My Summer Blogging Plan

posted by Andrea | 06/15/2017
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About 5 years ago, I started taking time off from blogging every summer. I started with just a week, then quickly realized that in order to get a true break, I needed to take 3-4 weeks off.

Yes, that’s a lot of time, but it really is worth it for me and for our family.

This year, however, I’ve decided not to take several weeks off during the summer months because I definitely want to take time off after the baby is born at the end of September — and it’s probably not super smart for me to take a month off in July or August, and then more time off in September or October!

 

My plan is to continue sharing 5 new posts every week… but ONE of those posts will be a “week in review” of sorts. I’ll go back through my archives over the past 7 years of blogging and share links, photos, and snippets from posts I wrote that same week in previous years.

For example, today I’m sharing several links and photos from posts I wrote between June 11 and June 17, 2010 through 2016. I’ll also share a quick summary of current life in the Dekker house.

So far, it has been lots of fun for ME to go back in time and remind myself what was happening back then. Plus, I figure it’s a great way to resurrect a handful of the hundreds and hundreds of posts in my archives.

Hopefully it will be a nice refresher for you to re-read some of these as well!

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2010:

One of the very first blog posts I ever wrote (I think it was my 4th post) was all about my closet… it’s almost embarrassingly horrendous to look back on now 🙂 I thought I was so cool for putting borders around all my photos — which are tiny and not super clear. My how times have changed!

Also, for those of you who might be confused, these are pictures of the closet at our first house, not our current farmhouse.

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2011:

All week long, I hosted a Huge Birthday Giveaway Week with 26 giveaways for my 26th birthday. It was crazy, it took SOOOOO much time and effort, but it was really fun (and I didn’t have kids at the time so what else did I have to do… right! 🙂

I also ironically shared our new closet at our current house! We LOVE this closet set up!

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2012:

My hair is kind of wind-blown, but this has always been one of my favorite pictures of me with Nora (roughly 7 months old).

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These 5-Minute chocolatey pretzel bites are still one of our family’s favorite snacks — the kids love to help make them now too!

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If you’re looking for a simple, practical wedding or bridal shower gift this summer, here are a bunch of my favorite ideas!

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2013:

Here are 5 financial lessons I hoped (and still hope) our children will learn from us.

I still love this post about the Good Old Days — and the cute picture of Nora I used in the post! She went months and months refusing to wear anything but a pair of bright pink water shoes. It lasted well into the winter months too!

And now, James is almost the same age as Nora was in the picture above… and the exact opposite — requesting his winter “bootsies” EVERY single day, even in the middle of summer!

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2014:

These super simple DIY garbage disposal tabs work wonders to clean and freshen stinky disposals!

I loved writing my birthday post that year — all about how I don’t need gifts or flowers to feel loved.

And here’s the link to my most favorite Strawberry Pie (which I’ll be making tomorrow, after we pick fresh Michigan strawberries!)

Here’s another one of my favorite photos!

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2015:

I still love making our own (very frugal) foaming hand soap — and our kids still LOVE the foam!

2015 was the spring/summer we did TONS of house and yard projects in hopes that we’d have lots of time to rest after James was born. I shared all about our massive list of projects in this post — including a mini bedroom makeover for Simon (which is the exact same room we gutted and are now almost finished renovating for Nora!)

Here’s how it looked 2 years ago when we moved Simon in… I can’t wait to share pictures of the newly renovated space in a few more weeks!

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2016:

I shared our kids’ bedtime routine — and how they were finally all going to bed early and sleeping really well. I won’t lie, this past year of super early bedtimes and kids sleeping all night long has been absolutely FANTASTIC! Sleep deprivation is the one thing I’m totally dreading with the arrival of another baby — we’ll just take it one day (or night) at a time I suppose!

For those of you looking for fun ways to entertain young children (without a ridiculous amount of prep work or creativity on your part) here are 12 of my favorite ideas — including “playing beauty salon”!

I also shared one of our most favorite dips for chips — I still look for any and every excuse to make this!!

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2017:

So far, our week has been filled with caulking, puttying, sanding, and painting — and adding all the finishing touches to Nora’s new bedroom upstairs. The carpet was installed yesterday, and we will hopefully get the mini loft bed installed ASAP (here’s one sneak peek!!)

I’ve also been busy preparing and freezing a bunch of food and snacks for an upcoming cottage vacation with my family. We’ll be fairly far away from most restaurants and grocery stores, so my goal is to make as much of the food in advance as possible.

Oh, and here are a few of my favorite pictures from earlier this week 🙂

I hope you enjoyed the “walk down memory lane” as much as I did!

I’m looking forward to sharing these posts with you all summer long!! 

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30 comments

  1. Osvin

    07/06/2017

    Hey, Andrea, I love your article.

    [Reply]

  2. Lori

    06/18/2017

    Can’t wait to see Nora’s new bedroom! Have a relaxing and fun vacation!

    [Reply]

  3. Hannah Beth Reid

    06/17/2017

    As a new reader, I enjoyed the look back at previous posts!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay — welcome aboard!

    [Reply]

  4. Annette Silveira

    06/16/2017

    I love these round-up type posts. Anne Bogel at Modern Mrs. Darcy does one each Friday and I look forward to it every week.

    [Reply]

  5. Alicia

    06/15/2017

    You have such kind readers, Andrea! Who genuinely adore you and your family (myself included) ! I need to start prepping freezer meals for baby#4 , too! My goal for this summer is to have at least 2 months of prepared freezer meals by the time the baby is born!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I know — my readers are the best!
    Also, WOW, what an ambitious goal to have 2 months of meals in the freezer — can your freezer even hold that much food?

    I usually try to have a bunch of pre-cooked meat in the freezer and at least a few meals. Looks like I won’t be as prepared as you will!

    [Reply]

    Alicia Reply:

    Well, that’s my goal anyway, we’ll see if I’m actually able to make it happen! 🙂 I’ve never pre-made that many frozen meals before, but I figure if I start now I should have enough time, right? We do have enough freezer space thankfully – we have a deep freezer and 2 refrigerator/freezers!

    [Reply]

  6. Maggie

    06/15/2017

    I have been following your blog for a few years now and I absolutely love it!!
    I have put many of your tips to use. I struggle with organization and your tips come in handy all the time.
    I am no where near where I want to be with it all but I feel like I am making progress.

    I also love your perspective and admire how confident you are in your choices especially when it comes to your kids.
    Too many times I have compared myself to someone else, for example, on Facebook and have completely stressed out thinking I’m not doing enough with my kids or for my kids because so and so is doing all this stuff.
    Then I come and read your posts about how you DO let your kids watch tv, how you DON’T have a million activities planned for them for the summer and I feel relief!!! I’m human and so are you, lol.
    I’m looking forward to reading your posts This summer!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much Maggie — and yes, your children will be just fine if they watch a little TV, eat a bit of candy, and don’t have fun activities planned for them every minute of the day. Sounds like you’re doing just fine mama!

    [Reply]

  7. Francie

    06/15/2017

    I love these type of post, Andrea! This is definitely a win- win. http://www.supersimpleways.com

    [Reply]

  8. ShellyL

    06/15/2017

    I love this!! It’s nice to look back at some of your older posts. Some are from before I joined so they are new to me. All of them are fun to look back on. There will be plenty to read. I can’t wait to see the new room! Farmhouse posts are my favorite.

    [Reply]

  9. Stel

    06/15/2017

    Your flowers in the garden are looking beautiful. And James is suddenly so grown-up!
    I had to smile, because your “Our new closet” post (2011) was how I stumbled onto your blo from down south in South Africa 🙂 I was researching closet layouts as we were converting our kitchen and pantry in our 80 yr old house into a bedroom and small walk-in closet, Your post was one of the top hits and I actually then followed your links and looked at your other closet-related posts! Couple of years later and 1600 km away, I more or less copied the closet that I came up with and build the same in the house we built new.
    Enjoy your summer! We’re wondering what happened to winter here, waiting for rain and recovering from the most horrible runaway fires the Garden Route has seen in >100 years 🙁

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Stel! So glad you found me WAAAAAAAY back then (and that you now have an awesome closet). Sorry about the fires — we want rain here too!

    [Reply]

  10. LEANNE

    06/15/2017

    love your posts…. every day…. I just pinned the strawberry pie!!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    It’s the best strawberry pie ever. I can’t wait to make one tomorrow!!!

    [Reply]

  11. Pamela

    06/15/2017

    I loved this post and checked out several of the links! Looking forward to more this summer! ~~Pam

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Pamela!

    [Reply]

  12. Christine from The (mostly) Simple Life

    06/15/2017

    It’s fun to see some of your super old posts!

    I love the pictures of your kids running through the sprinklers. I don’t remember a lot from my childhood but I do remember having a blast running through the sprinklers!

    Where do you buy your Michigan shirts from? I’m in need of one 🙂

    [Reply]

    Donna G Reply:

    I’m not Andrea, but they came from Home T. The website is thehomet.com. And I have one of their shirts and have given them as gifts, They are crazy soft!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, exactly — thanks Donna!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    The Home T — they are amazing!

    [Reply]

  13. Jenn

    06/15/2017

    I really enjoyed this post. Great idea 🙂 Separetely, I’m curious what you’re pre-cooking and freezing for your cottage vacation. Would you mind sharing? I always have a harder time thinking of freezer ideas in summer than in fall/winter when I can do chili, heavy pasta, etc…

    [Reply]

    Ashley Reply:

    This would make a great blog post!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Jenn!
    I have 2 pans of cheesy potatoes to go with whatever meat we eat (they go well with grilled meat too).
    Also, all the precooked and pre measured ingredients for egg casseroles (minus the eggs)
    I have a big batch of taco meat/beans/onions/pepper, etc for tacos or quesadillas.
    And of course, lots of cookies, bars, muffins, and even an ice cream dessert!

    [Reply]

  14. Katie

    06/15/2017

    I’m looking forward to all the review posts. Great idea!

    [Reply]

  15. Paulette

    06/15/2017

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Really like the posts from the past and I’ve said it so many times, but the photos of your children make my heart happy. They are so adorable!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Paulette — I think the kids are pretty cute too 🙂

    [Reply]

    ShellyL Reply:

    I agree. They are such a happy, all-American family. I love the kid and family pics.

    [Reply]

  16. Michelle Bonk

    06/15/2017

    So great to look back!

    [Reply]