Two Tips to Simplify UNpacking

posted by Andrea | 10/25/2016 | 29 comments
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In light of a recent mini vacation we took last week, I’m sharing 2 relatively quick tips that help me to simplify the UNpacking process… In fact, they make it possible to be fully unpacked and on my 2nd load of laundry within 60 minutes of getting home!

4 Ideas to Reduce Excess “Wants”

posted by Andrea | 10/24/2016 | 21 comments
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There is no “quick fix” for not wanting something cool when you see it, but I do have a few relatively simple tips I use for myself (and for my children) that seem to help reduce some of those excess “wants”.

These ideas are especially relevant now, as we gear up for another holiday season filled with even more stuff… but they work well year round too!

Because it’s Rarely the “Right Time” to Get Started

posted by Andrea | 10/21/2016 | 15 comments
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Do you have a list of projects, tasks, to-dos, and goals you’ve been putting off until the timing is just right?

If so, I hope today’s post will be the motivation you need to get started RIGHT NOW… because it’s rarely ever the “right time” to get started!

3 Ways to Help Children Live Simply

posted by Andrea | 10/18/2016 | 29 comments
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If you have children of any age, I hope today’s post will give you a few ideas to help your children learn to live simply.

These tips alone won’t magically transform your children into simple-living, time-managing, neat-freak, purging machines… but they are steps in the right direction!

10 Reasons We Love Our Library!

posted by Andrea | 10/13/2016 | 24 comments
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Even though I’m not personally an avid reader, I spend a fair amount of time reading to my kids AND taking them to the library.

I realize that going to the library (especially with small children) can seem overwhelming if you’ve never done it before; however, I would encourage all of you (no matter your age) to visit your local library every once in awhile. Even if you aren’t a big reader like me, there are still so many free programs and resources you can take advantage of!

How We Do Halloween

posted by Andrea | 10/11/2016 | 15 comments
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Whenever we get close to a holiday, I get lots and lots of questions about what we do to celebrate, what types of traditions we have, what types of food we make, how we involve our kids, what types of gifts or treats we share with others, etc. etc.

I realized that after almost 7 years of blogging, and after sharing our traditions for SO many other holidays, I’ve never written about Halloween… until today!

My Job As Mom

posted by Andrea | 10/7/2016 | 32 comments
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Although I never expected to be a full time stay-at-home mom, I truly do enjoy being home with my kids… however, I didn’t always love being home.

It took a few years before I was finally able to find my own best way to be a stay-at-home-mom… and it all started when I decided to treat my job as mom like any other “typical job”!

My New Favorite (Online) Dollar Store!

posted by Andrea | 10/6/2016 | 13 comments
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With the holiday shopping season right around the corner, I thought it might be the perfect time to share another fabulous online shopping resource I’ve been using the past couple of months.

For those of you who hate shopping (like me) you’ll enjoy finding great deals at dollar store prices — all from the comfort of your own home!

Why I Don’t Always Listen to What “They” Say

posted by Andrea | 09/30/2016 | 23 comments
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As with almost every facet of my life, once I find my own way, I have a renewed confidence that propels me forward without worrying or stressing about what anyone else says I should be or could be doing, eating, wearing, saying, thinking, etc.

While I’m certainly not opposed to seeking out advice from others, I know my own life has been significantly improved by simply trusting my own instincts and not always listening to what “they” say.

Back-to-School Shoe Giveaway!

posted by Andrea | 09/22/2016 | 6 comments
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Although I’ve never loved shopping and I’m not really into clothing all that much, one of my favorite things about back-to-school shopping is getting new shoes.

Our kiddos are loving their new “back-to-school shoes”… and I’m excited to be able to give away a couple pairs of pediped shoes for those of you who might still need to pick up a pair of back-to-school shoes for your kids!

Our Non-Toy Christmas

posted by Andrea | 09/21/2016 | 28 comments
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After shopping a local second-hand sale last week, I realized that I’m actually DONE with all the Christmas shopping for our kids (and I spent less than $50 total!) Also, I realized that out of everything I have for them, there are only 2 toys!

If you’re looking for a few non-toy gift ideas — or if you just want to know what our kids are getting for Christmas, check out today’s post (but don’t tell my kids!)

My Monthly Photo Checklist

posted by Andrea | 09/12/2016 | 19 comments
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I’ve written at length about how I organize our photos, how I create our digital photo albums, how I edit our photos, and how I back up our digital photos… but I’ve never shared MY thought process for taking certain photos in the first place.

If you’ve ever been overwhelmed by all your photos, or wished you would have taken more photos, I think my “monthly photo checklist” might be helpful for you!

5 Ways I Try to Promote a Healthier Lifestyle

posted by Andrea | 09/8/2016 | 38 comments
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As with all aspects of my life, when it comes to health, wellness, nutrition, exercise, and body image, I strive for “all things in moderation” and “gradual forward progress”.

Today, I’m sharing 5 ways I try to promote a healthier lifestyle… as well as a few thoughts on positive body image.

Snapshots of Summer

posted by Andrea | 08/26/2016 | 28 comments
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Today is the last official day of summer for the Dekker family as Dave goes back to school on Monday.

As I thought about how I wanted to close out the summer on my blog, I realized there were SOOOOOO many photos I’d love to share… I hope you enjoy a few “snapshots” of our summer!

The Importance of Margin Time

posted by Andrea | 08/22/2016 | 36 comments
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Just as the margins of books, newspapers, and magazines give our eyes a break from all the words on the pages, margins in our life give us a break from all the busyness, stress, and chaos.

Today I’m sharing why I feel “margin time” is one of the simplest and most important things I do to alleviate that frazzled feeling that often shows up if I have even the slightest notion that I might be running behind.

My TOP TIP to Simplify The School Year

posted by Andrea | 08/11/2016 | 27 comments
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As I child, I LOVED the start of another school year! As a teacher’s wife with 3 young children at home, I can’t say I have that same love and happy anticipation for another school year to begin!

However, I’m working ahead now to simplify the start of our school year… and I’m sharing my top tip today!

Our Amazing Bubble Cloud Experiment

posted by Andrea | 08/8/2016 | 8 comments
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Our “Amazing Bubble Cloud” is currently one of our favorite crafts or experiments — and it’s SOOOOOOOO simple to set up.

If you’re looking for a quick activity for younger children with very little set up and not much mess, you’ll love this one!

Wedding Anniversaries… and More Memories Preserved

posted by Andrea | 08/3/2016 | 18 comments
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Dave’s parents’ wedding anniversary is coming up later this month and as an early “anniversary-type gift”, we digitized hundreds of old family pictures (something his mom has wanted to do for years) with the help of Legacybox.

It has been fun to look through Dave’s old family photos — and I’m excited to offer all of you a fabulous discount to help preserve YOUR memories!

When You Have No Time For Yourself

posted by Andrea | 07/15/2016 | 59 comments
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Earlier this spring, I transplanted a bunch of white lilies from my Great-Grandparents’ dairy farm… and while it might sound a bit crazy, the lilies got me thinking about different seasons of my life when I have had very little time for myself.

If you are currently in a season of life with no time for yourself, I hope this post offers some encouragement… you definitely are NOT alone!

James is ONE!

posted by Andrea | 07/14/2016 | 21 comments
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Can you believe our sweet baby James is a year old today!?

Come take a stroll down memory lane with lots of cute pictures from the past year…. Also, James is talking!