Family

3 Reasons Homemaking + Parenting is Easier Today Than Ever Before

posted by Andrea | 04/27/2016 | 12 comments
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Homemaking and parenting has never been (and will never be) “easy”, but with a little extra support, some helpful modern conveniences, and a boatload of useful resources, it’s getting EASIER!

Today, I’m sharing one of my most favorite and most useful homemaking + mothering resources with YOU!

21st Century Parents – You’re Doing Just Fine!

posted by Andrea | 04/19/2016 | 35 comments
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I have wanted to publish this post for over a year already, and just recently got the guts to actually “pull the trigger”!

I hope my opinions will be a source of encouragement for today’s parents… because we really are all just doing the best we can!

7 Reasons I Don’t Sell Our Clothes

posted by Andrea | 04/18/2016 | 36 comments
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Due to my frugal nature, my love of buying and selling on Craigslist, and the fact that I purge regularly, I’m often asked about how and where I sell my clothing and our kid’s clothing.

Most people are surprised when I explain that I don’t sell any of our clothes… and today, I’m sharing why!

How We Do Snacks and Sweet Treats

posted by Andrea | 04/13/2016 | 36 comments
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Over the past month, I’ve gotten many emails and questions about how we handle snacks and desserts in our home — and since the Dekkers are all BIG fans of snacks and sweets, I figured it would be a fairly simple post to share.

Plus, I had so much fun digging up all those cute “messy face” photos of my kids from past years!

My Simple (and frugal) Long-Torso Swimsuit Solution!

posted by Andrea | 04/12/2016 | 30 comments
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For my entire life, I have struggled to find a one-piece swimsuit that was even somewhat comfortable… I’m sure there are many fellow long-torso gals out there who can relate!

I have tried on more one-piece suits over the past 3 years than I can possibly count, and not one has worked. I was starting to feel discouraged… until recently. I’m happy to share that I have FINALLY found not one, but TWO suits that fully cover my super-long torso! Bonus points that they are cute, comfortable, and extremely frugal!

That Time We Hired A Sleep Consultant… and what I learned!

posted by Andrea | 04/8/2016 | 21 comments
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James has never been an awesome nighttime sleeper, but he’s just so happy that we never really worried about it… until he started sleeping worse and worse around 5 months old. By 7 months, I was getting almost no sleep and having flashbacks to when Nora was younger.

I just couldn’t fathom doing 3 years of no sleep all over again, so we hired a sleep consultant. In less than 2 weeks, we had a much happier, more rested baby (and mama)! Today, I’m sharing the details!

Preserving Your Memories Just Got SO Much Easier!

posted by Andrea | 03/23/2016 | 22 comments
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One of the Christmas gifts we gave my parents was an empty box… and you know what, they LOVED it! That’s because the empty box was a “Legacybox”… which they could fill with all their old photos, VHS tapes, and other memories to be digitally preserved.

If you would love to digitally preserve your old memories but you just don’t have the time, energy, or tools, Legacybox might be your answer too!

A Less-Messy Way to Paint With Young Children

posted by Andrea | 03/22/2016 | 13 comments
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While I usually try to stick with relatively mess-free crafts and activities for my young children, there is just something about painting that is SO exciting for them — and they ask to paint ALLLLLLLLL the time.

This use to be a very messy craft… until recently when I tried a new method of painting with puff balls and clothespins!

Why We Don’t Homeschool

posted by Andrea | 03/18/2016 | 48 comments
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Over the past year, I have gotten a surprising number of emails asking why we aren’t homeschooling Nora, suggesting that we should homeschool her, or asking if we would ever consider homeschooling our kids. I have gotten an equal number of emails that, for whatever reason, assume that we DO homeschool our kids.

So today, I’m sharing a few reasons why we don’t homeschool — and why we really have never considered it as an option for our family.

A Deeper Reason for Disorganization

posted by Andrea | 03/15/2016 | 22 comments
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If you have been striving to get more organized, simplify your life, or increase your productivity… but for whatever reason you just never make any progress, I would highly encourage you to read through today’s (somewhat lengthy) post.

It might just shine some light onto a deeper reason for your disorganization.

Our New-To-Us Minivan!

posted by Andrea | 03/11/2016 | 35 comments
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Before we had kids, Dave and I joked about the day when we would eventually drive a minivan… and now, almost 10 years later, that day has finally arrived!

Today, I’m sharing why we decided to make the switch to a minivan, as well as some of my favorite minivan features.

A Big-Boy Bed for Simon

posted by Andrea | 03/10/2016 | 13 comments
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Now that Simon is officially 2 years old, we have started to talk about transitioning him into a “big boy bed”. We’re not planning to rush into anything, but we did want to get the bed all set up and in place so we’re ready when HE is ready.

Today, I’m sharing the new Leesa mattresses we got for Simon’s bed (and I have a great coupon code for anyone looking to purchase a new mattress!)

Simon is 2! (Plus His School Bus Party)

posted by Andrea | 03/7/2016 | 26 comments
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My sweet, squinty-eyed Simon turned 2 on Friday and we had so much fun celebrating at his School Bus birthday party this past weekend!

Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite things about Simon — and lots of cute pictures of his party!

10 Simple Ideas To Baby-Proof Your Home

posted by Andrea | 03/2/2016 | 12 comments
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Now that James is inching closer to 8 months old, he is crawling all over the place, trying to pull himself up on furniture, and grabbing anything and everything he can grab. I have no doubt that he’ll be taking his first few steps in no time — which means it’s time to put a few more baby-proofing precautions in place!

Today, I’m sharing 10 simple ideas to keep your house safe for young children… and save your sanity in the process!

How I Use Templates To Simplify My Digital Photo Books

posted by Andrea | 02/22/2016 | 29 comments
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Since many people know that I make digital photo books, I get lots and lots of questions about how I do it, how long it takes me, if I think I’ll be able to keep it up as we continue to have more children, etc. etc.

So, I thought it might be time for a blog post detailing exactly how I’m able to simplify the often overwhelming project of organizing photos into a book by using a few templates.

Things I’m Glad I Had For My First Baby

posted by Andrea | 02/17/2016 | 18 comments
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Last week, I shared a handful of baby items we had with Simon and James… but wished we would have had with Nora.

After writing that post, I started thinking more about the things we DID have with Nora that we have used over and over and over again with all 3 of our children… and I’m sharing a few of those today!

Our Expectations Matter

posted by Andrea | 02/12/2016 | 37 comments
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It’s very easy to quickly develop unrealistic expectations for our own homes, lives, bodies, spouses, children, and abilities… and in my experience, having unrealistic expectations is just another step towards an unhappy life.

If nothing else, I hope today’s post encourages you to be more mindful of your expectations and not let them be the cause of your unhappiness.

Things I Wish I Had With My First Baby

posted by Andrea | 02/9/2016 | 30 comments
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A recent conversation with a friend who is expecting her first baby sparked the idea for this post…

After having 3 children with VERY different personalities, all in different seasons of the year, and experiencing both genders, here are a handful of items I wish I would have had from the very beginning.

Another Small Healthier Habit

posted by Andrea | 01/20/2016 | 29 comments
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Although I am the farthest thing from a “health food nut” or a nutritionist, I am always striving for “better” in every area of my life. So for the past few years, I’ve been making really small changes to implement a few healthier habits into our diet.

This year, I’m making one more…

My New Daily Routine (with 3 kids)

posted by Andrea | 01/18/2016 | 21 comments
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I’ve been asked about my new routine several times over the past few months… so now that James is 6 months old, and I’ve been home with all 3 kids for half the school year, I thought it was time to share a little bit more about my “new” daily routine.