It’s Officially Summer Break!

posted by Andrea | 06/10/2016
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summer break

After giving a few exams this past week and hosting his staff party on Wednesday, Dave officially starts his summer break TODAY! Honestly, I think I’m more excited than he is 🙂

I love that he loves his job so much… but I also LOVE that his job allows him to be home for 10 weeks every summer!

The summer months are always such a great change of pace for our family… an opportunity for Dave to be home more, for me to get out of the house more, and for everyone to rest a little bit more.

There might be future summers when he chooses to get a summer job (or maybe not) but for right now, we’d much rather sacrifice a little extra income to enjoy several weeks at home together — especially while our kids are young and still think it’s fun to be with us ALLLLLL day long!

In the past, we have often managed to fill Dave’s 10-week summer break — sometimes with fun activities like family vacations, weddings, and traveling to visit family members; and other times with not-so-fun-but-definitely-worth-it activities like our massive kitchen renovation or our 3-year landscaping project!

I do not regret any of the house and yard projects we’ve worked on or any of the time spent with family and friends — however, I think Dave and I are both looking forward to this summer just a little bit more because we truly have NO summer plans!

No vacations, no weddings, no reunions, and no traveling at all!

In fact, as I flip through the next 10 weeks in my planner, the only things I have written down are:

  • Dr. and Dentist appointments for Dave and for me (all next week)
  • 1-year Dr. appointment for James in July
  • Simon’s speech therapy sessions on Mondays
  • Story hour at the library for Nora on Wednesdays
  • A full-family sleepover at Dave’s parent’s house later this month
  • A bridal shower for my cousin in August
  • A parent’s night for Nora’s school in August

THAT’S IT!

empty planner

My planner is empty… but I doubt we’ll be bored!

Of course, I’m sure activities, events, play dates, backyard BBQ’s, and special outings will be prevalent this summer, but it sure feels good to have a wide open calendar with no pressing obligations, to-dos, or timelines (especially since I know how busy the summer will be once our kids are a little older).

We do have a few smaller yard projects to work on, we’ll need to pick and weed our vegetable garden, and we’d like to put a new window in our living room, but other than that, we’ll enjoy playing outside, hanging out around the kiddie pool, catching up on some Netflix after the kids go to bed, and hopefully catching up on some sleep!

I told Dave I was worried I might not have enough blogging content to write about all summer long — but he suggested that maybe if I have lots of extra down time, I might come up with some fun ideas.

We’ll see….

(NOTE: If you have any blog post topic suggestions, ideas, or requests, feel free to leave them in the comments or email them to me directly!)

In the meantime, my first order of “summer business” is to weed through everyone’s closet and purge everything that’s too small or isn’t suitable for summers in Michigan. Maybe a good purging project will give me a few extra ideas for upcoming summer blog posts.

Happy Summer!

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74 comments

  1. Melinda

    06/13/2016

    I would like to see a post on how you stay on top of birthday presents, Christmas presents, Mother’s day, Fathers Day etc. It seems I am always running out at the last minute to buy a present for a family member or friend And what kind of gifts to you buy? Do you buy them ahead of time. Do you give cards, not gift cards but the Hallmark type cards? ha. I am always running out for those too.

    Also, maybe a “how I saved money this week” type of post.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks! These are awesome ideas!

    [Reply]

  2. Abby D

    06/13/2016

    Summertime always makes me think of the wonderful childhood memories I have of summer. Perhaps a blog post about your favorite summertime activities with your children and / or those of your own childhood would be fun. I remember the truck bed full of potatoes my grandfather would drive down to the house so we could begin the process of spraying them off with the water hose, the hours our family spent shucking and preparing corn for the freezer, and making applesauce from the apples in the orchard. I also recall loosing a good number of flip flops in the creek where we used to play on the farm. I know everyone’s will be different, but these are such fond memories for me.

    Also, my husband and I enjoy thinking about the family traditions we want to begin with our boys now. If your family has some of those traditions already or ones you hope to cultivate, I would enjoy reading about them.

    [Reply]

  3. Melissa D.

    06/13/2016

    My oldest graduated from high school last week and starting driving forklift for the summer to earn money for college. I did the same thing at his age but gosh, it was difficult just sending him out there to be a working adult for the summer! My blog topic suggestion for you is summer or part-time jobs that you & Dave have had, why you liked/didn’t like them, thoughts you have now about summer jobs, etc. You’re such a focused, dedicated worker, I thought it might be a good topic.

    [Reply]

  4. Cambria

    06/12/2016

    Hi Andrea!

    What kind of kiddie pool do you guys have? Our previous one needed to be “retired” after last summer and I’ve had a terrible time finding a hard sided one. Just wondering if you have a link (or something similar) to what you guy have. Thanks so much and enjoy your summer!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Cambria — our pool is a fisher price pool and it’s discontinued. If I were you, I’d either search for a Fisher Price or Step 2 pool — both make really nice hard-sided pools (but both are discontinued so you’ll only find them used).

    [Reply]

    Cambria Reply:

    Thanks Andrea! I’ll add it to my list of things to find second hand 🙂

    [Reply]

  5. Kristen

    06/12/2016

    Hi Andrea!
    I love your blog and have been following for a while now. You and I actually have the same decorating style. I love the warm and welcoming country/farmhouse look you have. I also love your little area rugs. I ended up buying the same ones for my home. I’d love to see some posts on gardening since I am hoping to get a small raised garden bed started. And I love any cleaning
    decorating and organizing posts. Oh and I was wondering, do you have any suggestions on best products that you like to use to clean your hardwood floors? (Mops and cleaning solutions) Thanks and keep up the great work!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Kristen! So glad you got those braided rugs (the ones we have in the kitchen?) We LOVE them and I get so many compliments on them. They are dark enough not to show any stains or dirt, but still colorful enough to add a nice warmth to the room. They are also SO easy to vacuum or shake out!

    As for the products to clean hardwood floors — I’ll be honest, I don’t “clean” them that often! I sweep or vacuum up the crumbs pretty much every evening, then I use washable swiffer pads to “dust” them at least once a week. I spot-clean any sticky spots when needed, but I rarely mop or scrub the entire floor (this is probably really gross to admit, but it’s true!)

    On the rare occasion I do scrub the entire floor, I just use hot water with some vinegar. I wipe the floors down with one microfiber cloth (wet with the vinegar water) and then dry them with another.

    Hope this helps!

    [Reply]

    Melissa D. Reply:

    Do you have a link to your rugs by chance? Thanks!

    [Reply]

  6. Michelle

    06/11/2016

    I would like to see a blog post on what you do for “me” time. Do you have any activities outside of the yard, home, wife, and kids? Do you have girls night out or time spent with just sisters, cousins, or friends?

    Us mamas all need a little time to ourselves but it’s hard to do when so much of our time goes to our family.

    I love everything you write and you are such an inspiration. I can’t believe how much I think of the way you do things when I am doing them myself. I can look at a mess and feel so overwhelmed and say to myself “Andrea would have never let it get this bad to begin with”. I don’t know what happened, I used to tackle projects without a second thought. Nowadays every job seems like such a monotonous task.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much Michelle! I had to laugh at your comment about “Andrea would have never let it get this bad to begin with”. Hopefully that little voice is motivational for you 🙂

    As for some “me time” — I’ve honestly thought about writing a post like this for many months already, but I’m afraid it would be very boring because I don’t do a whole lot! Since I’m slightly introverted (and LOVE working in my yard and around the house) my “me time” is usually spent outside weeding or watering in peace and quiet after the kids to go bed. Every once in awhile I’ll go do something with friends, but not that often.

    We do have a couple neighbor friends who I enjoy spending time with (and our kids like playing together) so I look forward to getting together with those moms and I do feel refreshed and energized after a morning out with them.

    I think in future years (once kids are older) I would love to get back into painting and refurbishing furniture. I used to find all sorts of goodies on Craigslist, fix them up, paint them, distress them, and then sell them again. That would be a fun hobby I’d like to make more time for eventually…

    [Reply]

    Evie Reply:

    I’d love a post about finding old furniture and painting it (oh, and glazing, too). The part of all that that I’m curious about the most is *recognizing* a piece of old furniture and seeing a vision for it. I mean, how do you weed out the not worth it stuff?

    The other thing is that if something does kind of speak to me, I end up being sentimental over the way it looks and not wanting to change it. I love LOVE your painted hutch and armoires, but my armoire still is its old oak self… Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Evie, Here’s a post about distressing furniture.

    As for what to look for, I’m a fan of anything solid wood WITHOUT a lot of fancy detail. And I’m not sentimental at all, so it’s easy for me to slap some paint on 🙂

    [Reply]

  7. Maria

    06/11/2016

    Happy summer, Andrea! Love all your posts especially the ones on organizing, recipes and fun activities for kids. I don’t know if you’ve already done a post on how to keep your energy up when you have so much to do. I always find I “hit the wall” at around 3:00 p.m. and find it hard to get through the rest of the afternoon without drinking endless cups of coffee as my energy level just dwindles the rest of the day. I’m a morning person and wake up at 5:30 a.m. so I do get a lot done up until early afternoon, but I find that I just can’t seem to finish everything on my “to do” list which I find very frustrating. Thanks so much for all your wonderful posts. Your blog is absolutely the best one and recommend to my friends.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Maria! I hope your friends are also enjoying my blog 🙂
    For me, one big “energy boost” is that Dave comes home around 3:30 every day. I’m usually starting to drag by that point in the day as well, but I know if I can just make it to 3:30, he will take the kids and I will get a little alone time to tackle a few things on my to-do list without being interrupted every 34 seconds 🙂

    [Reply]

  8. Katie

    06/11/2016

    It may seem weird but I would enjoy a post on produce; such as the best ways to clean and store various fruits/vegetables, etc. I notice your kids eat quite a variety of fruits and vegetables at each meal, so I’m wondering if you wash it all up beforehand or just as you go. Maybe something along the lines of your “freezable foods” post. I was raised eating a lot of processed foods and not a lot of fruits and veggies. I’m doing my best to avoid that with my kids but it seems like a lot if produce goes bad before we can eat it all up.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh, that’s a great idea Katie!
    I actually have a pretty good system in place to almost eliminate wasted produce — so I’ll have to take some pictures and put my thoughts into writing. Perfect timing too with all the fresh fruits and veggies coming this summer and fall!

    [Reply]

  9. Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving

    06/11/2016

    As I’ve said before, yay for teacher husbands! My husband’s year wrapped up in May this year, so we decided to leave for our family vacation right away. 2000 miles driven already, and still more to go…but I am SO thankful we have this opportunity, thanks to flexible summer schedules. I’m looking forward to some quiet weeks with all of us at home, too!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    WHAT! You’re amazing — doing all of that with a new baby and a toddler! Good for you and have fun on the rest of your trip!

    [Reply]

    Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving Reply:

    Ha. I don’t know how amazing I am…but when your family lives across the country, you just do it and travel to see them. Thankfully, the kids have been amazing travelers, which is indeed a blessing, and makes our travels much smoother!

    [Reply]

  10. Alisha

    06/11/2016

    I’m trying to keep our calendar clear too so we can fil it with fun! Going through my kids clothes too- not fun…

    [Reply]

  11. Barbara

    06/11/2016

    Sounds wonderful! I need to plan mine.
    What is the planner you use in the photo? It looks nice.
    I always enjoy your blog. You are inspiring!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much Barbara! Here’s the post about my planner — I love it and have used the same brand for several years now.

    [Reply]

  12. Susanne

    06/11/2016

    Enjoy your summer Andrea! My husband and I both teach so we have always been home all summer. My kids are now 14 and 11 and we are SOOOO busy! Sports camps, summer baseball league, vacation, church camps, and keeping my nieces for a week are plans that seem overwhelming. I distinctly remember the first summer this hit and it was such a change. However, it is the season of life we are in right now and I am so thankful that we can be off work to shuttle them around and be involved!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes — I’m sure those busy summers are just around the corner for us. we’ll hopefully enjoy a few more low-key summers at home though!

    [Reply]

  13. JoDi

    06/10/2016

    Happy Summer! Enjoy your open schedule and the freedom to fill it with whatever you like. Sounds like it’s going to be awesome! I never worked during the summer when my son was growing up, and it is definitely one of the best perks of working at a school. Now, I do summer school which is a shorter day and only 4 days a week so it feels like a break from the regular school year even though I’m still working. The extra money is nice for house projects so I’ll do it for at least a few more years, but I’m looking forward to getting my summers back eventually!

    I have no specific topic suggestions; I enjoy all your posts! It’s nice to read a blog where the posts are genuine. When you write about “Two things I do to …..” or “Why I ….” etc, the information is real and useful, but when I read articles of that type on other sites, it seems like they’re always prompted by “ohmygoshthisgreatbookIjustread” “you have to read this book!”. It just feels like a lot of blogs have become nothing more than vehicles for advertised content while yours is generating useful information. I guess the best way to explain it is that I’m never waiting for the product pitch when I read one of your posts, but on other blogs, I know it’s coming. It may start out sounding like the blogger is sharing some insight or tip, but it all just ends up being an advertorial.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much JoDi!
    I do turn down boatloads of sponsored posts because they aren’t something I’m interested in. I don’t like to promote anything unless I use it in my own daily life — glad that resonates with you (and hopefully other readers too!)

    [Reply]

  14. Krista

    06/10/2016

    I love your posts and this is my favorite blog by far! I am curious as to what pool you have and what tips you have on keeping it clean. We have a inflatable pool and it gets slimy so quickly. It seems like such a waste of resources to pour the water out every day. I can’t help but think there must be another to enjoy our pool.
    Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks so much Krista!
    We have a hard plastic “Step 2” pool (got it off Craigslist for $10!!!!!!)

    Anyway, it takes a ton of water, but it’s pretty much impossible for us to reuse the water even for one day because it’s filled with bugs, helicopters, leaves, twigs, etc. So I actually use the water to water my plants! I fill up watering cans and walk around watering various pots and annuals until the pool is completely drained!

    [Reply]

    Krista Reply:

    Thank you! After seeing that you got your pool on Craigslist I thought I would give it a try too. To my great surprise I found one also for $10!!! I am so happy with it FYI for your other readers little tykes has discontinued this pool:(

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah! Great deal!!

    [Reply]

  15. Mel

    06/10/2016

    I would love a post detailing every repeat task you do every month, every few months, twice a year, yearly. Or maybe how you remember to tend to each task. For instance, every month you tend to finances, organize pictures, etc. (I’m just making these up.) Every six months you have dental appointments. What are the tasks you must tend to? And how do you remember to tend to them? Do you have a master list? This sorta coincides with the most recent request on when you clean. But I’m wondering about the bigger to-dos too.

    Overall I’m pretty organized, but I feel like tasks always sneak up on me. Suddenly I realize that my kids need new shoes, or that I haven’t organized finance software in a few months, or the sheets need to be washed, etc. I would love to have a master list that details everything I need to do throughout the year (and every few years). I guess I’m asking — How do you remember to do everything that you get done??

    And I’ll repeat what so many others have said — I absolutely love your blog!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Mel — I was cleaning out comments that ended up in trash or spam and came across yours (which obviously isn’t trash or spam). Anyway, I wanted to let you know that I did write a post about almost exactly what you were requesting. You can read it here: http://andreadekker.com/my-cleaning-routines/

    [Reply]

  16. Chris

    06/10/2016

    Andrea,
    Your blog is my favorite to read even though I’m an old lady with grown stepsons! Why is yours my favorite you ask? Because it’s not like the other blogs out there that have the “link parties” and the decorating is all the same industrial farmhouse white and grey look…etc. Keep doing what your doing! I’m an organizing freak so I love those posts and the Craigs list tips!! Happy summer!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Wow thanks so much Chris! What a nice compliment to start my summer off on the right foot!

    [Reply]

  17. Diana

    06/10/2016

    Kids clothing swap is definitely on my radar too 🙂 Enjoy your summer–love this season!

    I think a post called something like “I always notice when ____ is dirty/disorganized” would be interesting, and maybe ask some of your fellow organizing bloggers or friends to give their answers too. Or maybe a survey from your readers too? I know you have lots of readers who are great at cleaning and organizing too!

    I always notice crumbs, but I have friends who always notice dust on the floors and could care less about crumbs. And it might give good ideas for places to touch up to give your home that extra-clean feeling when you want it.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Good idea! Thanks Diana!

    [Reply]

  18. Jules

    06/10/2016

    Yay for summer! Awhile ago you alluded to keeping Simon’s clothes for James to use. Initially with Nora you weren’t keeping kids clothes but now that you have two boys close in age it makes sense to me :). Would love a post showing how you store and organize the boys clothing from one to the other !

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Jules!
    yes, I got rid of all Nora’s outgrown clothing, but Simon’s clothing usually fits James in less than a year — so whenever something gets too small for Simon, I just take it out of his closet and put it right into James’ dresser.

    I do purge anything I don’t like and anything that’s not in good condition — so far, this is working well and doesn’t require any extra storage.

    [Reply]

  19. Dawn Kaestner

    06/10/2016

    My boys are teenagers now so the posts I love the most from you are ones that focus on photo organizing and financial/paperwork ideas. I almost want to have more kids because of your great ideas…almost, but not quite. I will live vicariously through yours:)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha! Save the ideas for future grandchildren someday!!

    [Reply]

  20. Emily

    06/10/2016

    Yay for summer!!! I am going through my children’s clothing today!! We have a couple camping trips (annual trips) planned but for us here in Michigan. Plus working on our growing business. My kiddos are also participating in the Bible Bee which we just started this week and are loving it! I enjoy all your posts but the recipe, organizing and yard posts are my favorites! Enjoy the 90 degree weather this weekend. Whew!! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Emily! Happy packing!
    You are a brave women to camp with a baby!

    [Reply]

  21. Heidi

    06/10/2016

    Any posts about traveling with kids! We’re getting ready to head out on a 2 week cross country road trip with our two kids. We travel ALOT with our kids, but never quite this far, so I’ve been searching the internet looking for snack ideas, entertainment ideas, and packing tips.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — sounds like a fun trip!
    I’ll be honest, we pretty much NEVER travel with our kids because even the thought of it stresses me out too much! We flew to Florida last year (a direct 2.5 hour flight) and we went to visit my sister a few months ago (1.5 hours away) and that’s really the only traveling we’ve done with our kids over the past 3 years.

    That said, I would definitely check out Pinterest as I’m sure they have some fabulous ideas and suggestions!

    [Reply]

    Heidi Reply:

    Traveling with kids gets much easier after you’ve done it awhile. We had to out of necessity because of where the grandparents live, but eventually we really started to enjoy it. Unexpected perk was that my six year old can read maps like a pro! 😉

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, yes, I would only assume it gets a lot easier. Just like everything else — practice makes “perfect”!
    We hope to travel someday… but not now 🙂

    [Reply]

  22. April

    06/10/2016

    I love all your blog topics, but I too, am missing the “farmhouse” ones. I really like the favorite things blogs and have purchased several of the items.

    [Reply]

  23. ShellyL

    06/10/2016

    I couldn’t resist the opportunity to chime in some blog ideas. I like all of your blogging ideas but my favorites are the farmhouse renovation ones. Maybe if you’re not renovating anything, you could do decorating or organizing. I love those. I also love the kid ones, recipes, favorite things, etc.. I guess you could say all of them. I have been missing farmhouse posts lately. 🙂
    Can’t wait to hear how you fill all those “empty” weeks with fun activities. Keep it up!! :)))

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yeah, it’s been awhile since I’ve done a farmhouse post! We haven’t done any renovating in a LONG time and I’m not sure we’ll be doing much this summer either. I’ll have to think of something “farmhouse” to blog about!

    [Reply]

    Clpalmat Reply:

    How about where you find your farmhouse accessories 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    almost all of them are from random junkyards, antique shops, or second-hand stores! I love the hunt!

    [Reply]

  24. Linda Bolt

    06/10/2016

    Topics for future blog posts:
    1. My head is still spinning about the 400 annuals planted in 2 hours. Do you have special tools or what? Also, do you use any type of software to plan landscaping?

    2. More like the recent one on the 2 things you do to keep a tidy house. Like more examples of what it means to not put things off until later. That was a really helpful post.

    3. Do you send birthday cards to family members, and do you have a system for remembering special occasions, gift-giving, etc….

    4. Suggestions for people to move forward who don’t already have as neat a house as yours. Like how to start if you have a big mess?

    5. How to decide what to keep in long-term storage or not?

    6. How did you get all your photos scanned?

    7. Thread-up: If you buy shoes on there, can you request wide sizes or not? And I haven’t found anything affordable on there yet.

    8. Pets: You don’t seem to have any. Pros and cons? (We have many creatures.)

    [Reply]

  25. Ann

    06/10/2016

    Hi! I’ve been enjoying the posts on the psychology of naturally tidy people. I find it interesting to have a view inside the brain of someone who thinks that way and hopefully adopt some of those thought patterns myself. I’m the type that always has a deep conversation with myself going on in my brain and the “do it know” concept is perceived as an unwelcome, ‘boring’ interruption to the ‘interesting’ things I am thinking through lol. I tend to avoid those niggling small interruptions to my day and have preferred to just do things all at once.
    However, after reading some of your posts about how you rarely procrastinate on anything, even small seemingly insignificant things (which really add up!) I’ve been trying to see these little, constant ‘interruptions’ in a new light and find myself purposely putting my thoughts on the back burner for a few seconds to “just do it!” I am hoping this will become much more ‘second nature’ after awhile, not requiring such a concious effort. Thanks for the encouragement to think of things differently!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Ann! And yes, I can almost guarantee that by forcing yourself to continually “do it now” it will eventually become much easier and more “second nature” as you will be developing a new habit!

    Keep up the good work!

    [Reply]

  26. Avia

    06/10/2016

    I’m super jealous of your clear summer! I’d love to see some more “life with small children” posts. Maybe you could do some interviews with other mothers who have different schedules than you but still manage to stay organized, have fun with their kids etc. Specifically I’d love to hear how other mothers who work out of the home manage to work, have fun with their kids and manage the usual summer busyness.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    This is a great idea. Thanks Avia!

    [Reply]

  27. Betsy

    06/10/2016

    I’d love more posts on how you keep your kids occupied everyday!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    They are getting MUCH better at playing together — and being outside helps a lot too. Also, they watch some TV every day — because otherwise I wouldn’t get anything done during the day!

    [Reply]

  28. Debra

    06/10/2016

    I teach, too and LOVE having summers off to be a ‘homemaker’! I would love a post on ‘anything’ finance’. I am very impressed on how you will be able to pay off your mortgage so early. I just downloaded your spreadsheet. What is your method for keeping track of your daily, monthly and irregular expenses. I am also impressed as to how you eat a such variety of foods without a high food budget. I enjoyed your post on shopping from Thred-up and plan on checking it out.
    It is ALL impressive!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Debra!
    I’m glad you think we eat a variety of foods! Sometimes I feel like we’re stuck in a rut and eat the same 10-15 meals over and over and over again.

    [Reply]

  29. Kylie

    06/10/2016

    More recipes – I’m sure you’ll be grilling up some fun things!

    [Reply]

  30. Rachel

    06/10/2016

    I LOVE all of your posts … especially the monthly “My Favorite Things” … organizing & purging .. and recipes … just to name a few. Your blog is definitely my favorite blog of all time!!! I just bought the Bandi belt … and I LOVE it 🙂
    My husband & I just went on a little 20th Anniversary Getaway to the Holland & Saugatuck area over Memorial Day Weekend. (I was hoping to run into you … cuz don’t you live around that area??!!!) Anyway … I would be interested in hearing about some fun things to do in & around that area because I’m sure we will be back … it was so BEAUTIFUL & RELAXING!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much Rachel — and congrats on 20 years! Dave and I are celebrating 10 years at the end of this month!

    We live about 45 minutes from the Saugatuck area, and since I rarely travel more than 10 minutes from my house, there was pretty much no chance you’d run into me — LOL 🙂 That said, if you ever make it back to West MI, feel free to let me know ahead of time and we can maybe arrange a meet-up!

    Oh, and definitely check out the MI website for more fun activities (http://www.michigan.org/). There’s lots to do in our wonderful state!

    [Reply]

  31. Elizabeth

    06/10/2016

    Ideas: how you wash your house Windows and how you paint rooms in your house (step by steps for both)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh wow — I don’t know if I even know how I do those things 🙂

    I might have to think about that as I’m not sure I really even have a system — I just do it! Food for thought and definitely a good idea for future blog post!

    [Reply]

  32. Lee Cockrum

    06/10/2016

    I’m envious of your unplanned summer!! I’m sure you will enjoy it!!

    I’d love posts about how those of us who are very poorly organized, overwhelmed and just generally messy can work on changing our homes in a manageable way. (Might only be me who is like this out of all your readers!!) I’m thinking that you might have some suggestions from back in your personal organizing days. I see the benefit of doing things right away, cleaning up each evening etc. But since my house is a hot mess everywhere, I’m not sure how/where to start. It seems like so many things hinge on each other, and when I try to do stuff, I get overwhelmed. I’d love to hear any advice you might offer!

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    Lisa Reply:

    No, not just you! I am a fellow messy person that is inspired by reading this blog (but am still a messy person…:) I have had “localized” successes, my junk drawer and closets are looking pretty good for once, but I still have piles of paperwork that accumulate and I can’t even speak about my garage! I agree it’s overwhelming and I would also love to see a post or series on where/how to start: room by room or declutter/pare down and then room by room, etc.

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  33. Amy O

    06/10/2016

    Andrea – I bet a lot of your readers would enjoy a post on how you’ve lost your baby weight and stay so slim! I know i would.

    Your blog is my favorite, by the way, hands down! I’m sure you will think of topics to write on.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much for your kind words Amy!
    As for the baby weight — I honestly think most of it is just genetics! I don’t diet or exercise, and I really don’t DO anything special to lose the weight. Just general housework, yard work, chasing after kids, going for walks with them, etc. I am “busy” doing stuff most of the day (I only sit to eat and work on blog posts) but I am definitely thankful for a seemingly high metabolism and good genetics!

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  34. Megan

    06/10/2016

    Hi Andrea! Happy Summertime! I was wondering if you could post (or link to previous posts) your weekly/monthly/yearly cleaning plan. I am doing a major catch up at my house (we moved in the past year and things have gotten waaaaaay behind), but after I have everything purged and then the daily routine in order, I’d like to get a good system in place for the regular dusting/vacuuming/bathroom cleaning. I’d love to hear what you do! Thanks!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Hey Megan,
    I actually don’t have anything like this on my blog right now — because I really don’t have a regular “cleaning plan”. I just clean things when they are dirty and that’s about it 🙂
    I don’t have certain chores I do on certain days of the week or at specific times of the year. I just sort of work my way through my house as needed… sorry, I’m sure that’s not very helpful at all!

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