Family

Enjoy ONE Moment (but maybe not every moment)

posted by Andrea | 06/20/2016 | 47 comments
opening gifts thumb

Anyone who has ever gone anywhere with a young child has most likely heard the phrase, “enjoy every moment — it goes so fast” uttered from the lips of well-meaning friends, relatives, or complete strangers.

Since it’s not actually possible to enjoy EVERY moment of life… I’m sharing how striving for ONE enjoyable moment has helped me realize how much of my life I actually DO enjoy — and alleviate so much guilt for those times when I do get frustrated, annoyed, angry, or stressed.

12 Ideas to Entertain Young Children (no creativity required)

posted by Andrea | 06/17/2016 | 37 comments
12 ideas thumb

For those of you who spend time with young children, those of you who aren’t necessarily super creative or crafty, and those of you who have no idea what you’re going to do now that the kids are home ALL DAY LONG, here are a few things we do to stay busy…

You’ll notice that most of these activities require little to no creativity, little to no monetary cost, little to no set-up, and little to no clean-up! Win, Win, Win, Win!

Our New (amazingly awesome) Kid’s Bedtime Routine

posted by Andrea | 06/13/2016 | 36 comments
bedtime routine thumb

For the first time since becoming parents, Dave and I finally feel like we have an awesome bedtime routine for all 3 of our kids… and since I am regularly asked about our bedtime routine, I wanted to share exactly what is working for us RIGHT NOW, and why I feel it’s working so well.

I hope some of you will have more tips and ideas to share in the comments too!

Our Family Pictures :: Spring 2016

posted by Andrea | 05/27/2016 | 21 comments
family picture thumb

We had family pictures taken a couple weeks ago and I got the digital rights to all the photos last week!

Although I already shared a couple of the full-family shots on the blog, I figured it might be fun to share a few more of the kids and different poses.

Secondhand Shopping Made Simple

posted by Andrea | 05/26/2016 | 25 comments
shopping thumb

For as long as I can remember, I have always hated shopping for clothes. All of that changed, however, when I stumbled upon thredUP soon after Nora was born.

Over the past 4 years, thredUP has become my top resource for clothing for my children AND for myself. I’m excited to share more about this today — and offer a fabulous discount to anyone who has yet to try thredUP!

Four Fun Flower Crafts

posted by Andrea | 05/24/2016 | 12 comments
flower crafts thumb

Although we try to stay outside as much as possible this time of year, the rain keeps us inside at least a couple afternoons a week — and when it rains, Nora almost ALWAYS wants to do some type of “painting craft”.

Today I’m sharing 4 quick, simple, and fun flower crafts she did one rainy day last week!

3 Questions That Reduce My Frustration as a Parent

posted by Andrea | 05/19/2016 | 32 comments
3 questions thumb

Today’s post is another one of those “this is what works for me” type of posts — however, I think it has the potential to improve almost any “adult-child relationship” — whether it’s your child, your grandchild, a niece or nephew, a neighbor child, a friend’s child, or whomever.

Surviving and Thriving – it only took me 5 years!

posted by Andrea | 05/10/2016 | 37 comments
mothers day thumb

Exactly 5 years ago today, Dave and I shared our surprise baby news with our parents — we had NO idea what we were getting ourselves into, especially with a fussy baby like Nora.

Now, a couple years and a couple babies later, I feel like I’m FINALLY finding my groove — you might even say we’re THRIVING instead of merely SURVIVING!

5 Signs Your Schedule is Too Full

posted by Andrea | 05/6/2016 | 18 comments
too full thumb

Although it’s nearly impossible for me to suggest the number of tasks that is “too much” for any given person, I do think it’s possible to gauge whether OUR OWN schedule is too full right now based on a few tell-tale signs of overly-busy people.

Today I’m sharing 5 signs that your schedule might be too full — as well as a few steps you can take to simplify your schedule!

Our Simplified Mornings Start with Two Breakfasts

posted by Andrea | 05/5/2016 | 25 comments
breakfast thumb

I have recently received several emails, comments and questions asking for tips to simplify and de-stress busy mornings.

I know my solution won’t work for every family, but you might be surprised to read how we manage to keep our mornings relatively simple AND eat a hot breakfast almost every single day.

3 Reasons Homemaking + Parenting is Easier Today Than Ever Before

posted by Andrea | 04/27/2016 | 17 comments
homemaking thumb

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!

What are your thoughts on parenting and homemaking today versus in past generations?

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

posted by Andrea | 04/19/2016 | 35 comments
family thumb

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
clothes thumb

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
snacks thumb

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
swimsuit thumb

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 | 23 comments
sleep thumb

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
legacybox thumb

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
painting thumb

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
homeschool thumb

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
disorganization thumb

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.