Holidays

Why Parents Should Stop Worrying About Fair and Equal

posted by Andrea | 10/24/2014 | 49 comments
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This is a post I’ve been itching to write for years already — but I didn’t think I would hold any “clout” on the topic until I had at least 2 kids.

So now that the “having two kids” part has been taken care of, I have a few (maybe more than a few) things to say about why I STRONGLY believe we should stop worrying and stressing about making every single aspect of our children’s lives “fair” and “equal”.

Clutter-Free Gifts for Kids (100 days and counting)

posted by Andrea | 09/16/2014 | 14 comments
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Last week, two different people emailed me asking for advice on clutter-free gifts for kids.

So, in honor of the fact that today marks 100 days until Christmas (yes, you read that right!), and the fact that I’m a huge advocate for completing at least some holiday shopping nice and early, I’m sharing a few of my favorite clutter-free gifts for kids.

Because I Don’t Need Flowers to Feel Loved

posted by Andrea | 06/16/2014 | 52 comments
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Today is my birthday!

And instead of giveaways or any other fancy, celebratory post, I’m sharing something that has been on my mind a lot lately. It also just so happens to fit perfectly with this special day.

My Top 10 Favorite Holiday Posts

posted by Andrea | 03/26/2014 | 1 comment
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As I planned ahead for the arrival of baby Simon, I thought it might be fun to resurrect some of MY favorite posts from the past 3.5 years of blogging.

Today, I’m sharing some of MY favorite holiday posts — clutter-free gift ideas, our holiday cards, tips to simplify and enjoy these busy times of year, and more!

Our Super Relaxing Holiday Getaway

posted by Andrea | 01/3/2014 | 24 comments
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Dave and I intentionally tried to simplify our 2013 Christmas Break. We’ve just been so busy, and we know things will only get busier with a new baby, so we’ve been doing a lot of relaxing lately.

We were also gifted a fabulous local getaway to the Homewood Suites by Hilton — Grand Rapids. It was the icing on top of our super relaxing Christmas break!

Merry Christmas! – 2013

posted by Andrea | 12/24/2013 | 9 comments
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We’re all excited for Christmas over here; but honestly, I think I sometime like Christmas Eve even better than Christmas Day. It’s quieter, more low-key, less hoopla, less busyness, and just simpler.

Due to the holidays, having family in town, and a fun little pre-baby holiday getaway Dave and I are taking later this week, I’ll be taking the rest of the week off from blogging. But I’ll see you back here on New Year’s Day!

Traditions

posted by Andrea | 12/23/2013 | 31 comments
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Today I’m talking about traditions — specifically holiday traditions — and I’d love to hear your thoughts too.

I love traditions… but only if they work with our current family, our current stage of life, our current budget, and our current interests. And I’m definitely not afraid to stop or alter a specific tradition if it stops working for us.

How The Dekker’s “Do Christmas”

posted by Andrea | 12/20/2013 | 16 comments
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Over the past years, I’ve gotten numerous questions about how Dave and I “do Christmas”. And since I’ve only blogged a little bit about each of these topics sporadically over the past 3+ years, I thought it might be time to consolidate it all into one nice, neat post.

Today, I’m sharing how Dave and I have been “doing Christmas” for the last 8 years — everything from holiday cards and gift-giving to family traditions, Christmas decorations, holiday parties, and more!

Dear Well-Meaning Relatives: Please respect our request of fewer gifts for our kids.

posted by Andrea | 12/5/2013 | 47 comments
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Since I get SO many emails from overwhelmed parents asking, “how can we ask our well-meaning relatives to PLEASE stop giving our kids so much stuff?” I thought I’d write up a response in the form of a letter.

This post is intended to be humorous, so I certainly hope it doesn’t come off as offensive, rude, or disrespectful — and it is in NO WAY directed towards Dave or my relatives. :)

Happy Thanksgiving from the Dekkers

posted by Andrea | 11/28/2013 | 7 comments
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As I mentioned several weeks ago, we decided to send out Thanksgiving cards this year. We have so much to be thankful for — it just seemed fitting.

Happy Thanksgiving friends!

It’s OK if Your Holidays Aren’t Totaly Stress-Free and Simple

posted by Andrea | 11/25/2013 | 5 comments
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Yes, you read the title of this post correctly. Andrea Dekker is telling you that it’s OK if your life is stressed and crazy! Well, kind of :)

Keep reading for my thoughts on why it’s probably OK if your life is a little crazy for the next 6 weeks…

More Creative & Clutter-Free Holiday Gift Ideas

posted by Andrea | 11/7/2013 | 23 comments
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Today I’m piggy-backing off the really fun Clutter-Free Gift series I ran last year, and sharing some of my favorite creative AND clutter-free gifts for almost anyone on your holiday shopping list this year.

Of course, I’d love to hear your favorite clutter-free gifts as well!

Gift Giving: Cheap vs. Frugal

posted by Andrea | 10/7/2013 | 48 comments
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As you probably know by now, I’m a big fan of saving money whenever I can, using coupons, finding great deals, etc. etc. — and that philosophy transfers over to my gift giving as well… but only to a point.

I personally think there is a distinct difference between giving frugal gifts and cheap gifts — and today’s post is based on this topic and a few recent emails I’ve received on this topic.

Nora’s Homemade Cloth Activity Book

posted by Andrea | 10/2/2013 | 24 comments
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Now that it’s officially October, I find myself frequently thinking about Christmas gift ideas. Two gifts I’ve ALWAYS been an advocate for are clutter-free gifts and educational gifts — especially when it comes to gifts for kids.

Today I’m sharing a really fun educational gift Dave’s mom made for Nora — it would make a fabulous Christmas, birthday, or “just because” gift for any lucky child on your gift list!

Simplify Family Schedules with Traditions

posted by Andrea | 04/25/2013 | 22 comments
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You may remember my motto for 2013 is “A Year of Ultra-Simplicity”, and one of the ways Dave and I have been able to REALLY simplify our busy schedules is by implementing daily and weekly traditions — and thus saving loads of time, energy, and stress.

Sound good? Then keep reading!

Two SO-Simple DIY Valentine’s Day Cards

posted by Andrea | 01/24/2013 | 8 comments
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As adults, Dave and I don’t do much to celebrate Valentine’s Day; however, as a kid, I remember getting excited about passing out Valentine’s Day cards to the kids in my class.

Today, I’m sharing two really simple DIY Valentine’s Day card ideas that you can totally do — even if you aren’t crafty — and your kids might even be able to help!

Happy New Year!

posted by Andrea | 01/2/2013 | 12 comments
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We had a fabulous Christmas and New Years, and I’m so excited to be back to blogging. Dave is still home from school for the rest of this week, but I have too many ideas floating around in my brain and I couldn’t wait any longer to share them with you!

Today I’m sharing a little recap of the past 2 weeks… but tomorrow it’s back to simplifying and organizing!

Merry Christmas… from the Dekkers

posted by Andrea | 12/19/2012 | 36 comments
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As I mentioned yesterday, I’m taking a two-week blogging break to spend time with family — and to enjoy Dave’s extra-long two FULL weeks of Christmas break!

However, I couldn’t just leave for two weeks without wishing you all a VERY Merry Christmas, or without sharing our 2012 Christmas card — and a few cute family pictures!

What Are Your Favorite Holiday Traditions

posted by Andrea | 12/11/2012 | 27 comments
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Some of my favorite things about the holidays — specifically Christmas — are the fun family traditions I know I can always look forward to year after year.

Today, I’m sharing a few of our family traditions, but I’d also love to know what some of your favorite holiday traditions are (either for your family, friends, work, or from when you were little.)

10 Tips to Simplify Holiday Entertaining

posted by Andrea | 12/8/2012 | 9 comments
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The past few weekends have been chucked full of holiday entertaining in our home — apparently our new kitchen nominated us to host every single holiday party this season!

If you’re also entertaining this holiday season, here are 10 simple tips that should help things go a bit smoother — and actually let you enjoy your time with family and friends!

Creative & Clutter-Free Gifts {Day 6} = Acts of Service

posted by Andrea | 12/1/2012 | 3 comments
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Today is the last day in my week-long Creative & Clutter-Free Gifts series… and it’s my favorite clutter-free gift of all {acts of service}.

I’ve always been a big fan of service gifts — much more so now that I’m married, have a house to maintain, and a child! I’d take the “gift” of a cleaned kitchen or a few hours of babysitting over almost anything from the store… any day!

Creative & Clutter-Free Gifts {Day 4} = Cash

posted by Andrea | 11/29/2012 | 5 comments
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Today is day 4 in my Creative and Clutter-Free Gift series and I’m super excited — because we’re talking about giving cash!

I never liked giving cash until I realized that there are tons of creative {and personalized} ways to give this fabulous clutter-free gift. I’m sharing 10 ideas today!