Family

Our Best Tax Refund Tip

posted by Andrea | 03/24/2017 | 116 comments

With just over 3 weeks until the official end of tax season, Dave and I figured it was perfect timing to share one of our best tax refund tips — especially since we were pleasantly surprised with the extra-large refund we received for 2016!

Tips for Traveling With Tots

posted by Andrea | 03/17/2017 | 47 comments

Thanks to a bunch of fun travel opportunities, the Dekkers will be traveling more in the next 4 months than we have in the last 4 years — and yes, we’ll be taking all 3 kiddos with us to all our destinations!

Since I’m not necessarily an experienced traveler, I did a few quick internet searches for handy tips, tricks, ideas, and suggestions to simplify the traveling process with small children. Today, I’m sharing my favorite tips with you!

Why We Don’t Have College Funds for our Kids

posted by Andrea | 03/14/2017 | 85 comments

Almost immediately after Nora was born, I was asked if Dave and I were planning to set up a college fund for her and for any future children.

The short answer is “no, probably not” — and today, I’m explaining more about that decision in an updated post from one I wrote 3 years ago.

6 Ways I Simplify My Life

posted by Andrea | 03/9/2017 | 32 comments

For me (and for the rest of our family) having a simplified home environment goes a long way in simplifying our lives — however it’s not the ONLY factor.

I’ve taken many steps to simplify and streamline my life as much as I possibly can, and (along with keeping our home environment relatively simple) there are a few concrete things I do in order to simplify. I’m sharing those today!

Simon is 3!

posted by Andrea | 03/7/2017 | 33 comments

Our sweet, silly, stubborn Simon celebrated his THIRD birthday this past Saturday… and we partied in true “Simon fashion” with a Firefighter birthday party complete with donuts, juice, and candy (all his favorite things).

Today I’m sharing a bit more about Simon, and a bunch of pictures from his party!

Why I Prepare to Be Productive

posted by Andrea | 02/22/2017 | 13 comments

Over the past 7+ years of blogging, I have shared my fair share of productivity tips, tricks, and tools — but as with almost everything in life, my productivity changes as my season of life changes.

Today, however, I’m sharing the one productivity tip that has worked for me for many, many years — and one I suspect will continue working for years to come!

5 Ways We Simplify Mealtime with Young Children

posted by Andrea | 02/17/2017 | 15 comments

Mealtimes are some of the craziest, busiest, loudest, messiest times for our family — and they happen 3-5 time a day (if you include snacks).

However, there are a few things we do that seem to significantly simplify our crazy mealtimes… I’m sharing 5 of them today!

14 Simple Ways to Show Yourself Some Love

posted by Andrea | 02/14/2017 | 24 comments

Happy Valentines Day!

Instead of sharing cute Valentine’s craft ideas, decorating ideas, gift ideas, recipe ideas, or other ideas that take time, effort, energy, money, and a decent amount of planning ahead, I thought I’d share 14 simple ways we can show OURSELVES a little extra love over the next few weeks, months, and even years!

Two “Secrets” to Being Productive AND Being a Present Parent

posted by Andrea | 02/13/2017 | 29 comments

I’m often asked for any “secrets” I have to being productive while also being a “present parent” who plays with their kids, shows interest in what they want to do, reads books with them, does crafts together, etc.

I realize there are MANY variables that could come into play here, but as I’ve thought about these questions over the past couple of years, 2 simple concepts (a.k.a “secrets”) came to mind…

How I Save Time on One of My Least Favorite Activities

posted by Andrea | 02/8/2017 | 40 comments

After many years of visiting 4-5 grocery stores each week, finding the BEST deals, playing the drugstore game, and sending in multiple rebates every week, I now do 97% of my grocery shopping at ONE store.

I know I’m spending more because of it… but the luxury of more time is a splurge I’ve thoroughly enjoyed for the past few years! I’d love to know how you handle your grocery shopping too!

Why I Don’t Stress about Kids and Chores

posted by Andrea | 02/3/2017 | 50 comments

As my kids get older, I get more and more questions about kids and chores… and while Dave and I definitely do expect our children to help out around the house in age-appropriate ways, we don’t go crazy or get stressed out forcing chore charts on our young children.

Today I’m sharing the reasons why I don’t worry too much about kids’ chores… and I’d love to know how you handle chores in your home!

How I Became More Easy Going By Planning Ahead!

posted by Andrea | 01/31/2017 | 31 comments

This might sound like a crazy oxymoron… but it’s completely true for my life! Without faithfully planning ahead and incorporating structure into my daily routine, I would not be able to enjoy the benefits of a simpler, less stressful, more relaxing, more easy-going way of life.

Can anyone relate?

Creating Routine… When Every Day is Different

posted by Andrea | 01/27/2017 | 21 comments

As a self-employed, work-from-home mom of 3 energetic, non-school-age children, my days can be very VERY unpredictable… and this lack of structure starts to wear on me after a while!

Today I’m sharing a few basic routines I’ve implemented that allow our family to thrive, even when every day is different. I think the concepts could be implemented into many different family situations too.

One Important Life Lesson I’ve Learned

posted by Andrea | 01/13/2017 | 48 comments

Tomorrow my sweet baby James will be 18 months old!!!

Today, I’m sharing one very important lesson I’ve learned after 5+ years of motherhood — one that has completely changed my outlook on these years when so many others share their personal suggestions, opinions, and advice. 🙂

Two More Healthier Habits

posted by Andrea | 01/9/2017 | 69 comments

As you might know already, I’m not a huge health nut. HOWEVER, over the past 5+ years, I’ve made a conscious effort to SLOWLY incorporate several healthier habits into my (and my family’s) daily routine.

Today I’m sharing 2 more super simple healthier habits for 2017!

A New Planner for A New Year!

posted by Andrea | 01/4/2017 | 15 comments

As many of you know, I love my Personal Planner and have ordered that brand for the last several years.

Since my Personal Planner giveaway is always so popular, I’m back with another opportunity for you to win their newest A4 planner – perfect for those of you who want to get a little more organized in the New Year!

A Peek Into Our Christmas Break

posted by Andrea | 01/2/2017 | 23 comments

Happy New Year!

It was so nice to take a week off and enjoy a slower pace over the holidays — but I’m excited to be back! Come take a peek at what we did over our break!

Merry Christmas from the Dekkers

posted by Andrea | 12/23/2016 | 28 comments

As I’ve done for many years now, I’ll be taking the week between Christmas and New Years as a short blogging break. It’s such a nice time to step away from my computer and social media for a few days, and I always come back after the New Year with so many blog post topics and ideas!

Today I’m sharing our 2016 Christmas card, and a little bit about what I hope to do (and not do) over our Christmas break!