My Week In Review (August 27- September 2)

posted by Andrea | 08/31/2017
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Nora’s first day of school and riding the bus is officially in the books — and she did great!

We had an open house Monday night for her to meet her teacher, and then her first day was Tuesday.

Dave also started school on Tuesday — but after so many years, it’s not nearly as big of a deal for him as it was for Nora!

Although the summer is fabulous, I really do miss the structure and routine of the school year. Of course, having an extra adult around all day during the summer is very freeing, but there’s something nice about doing the same things every day with a break on the weekend.

Hopefully we’ll all fall into a really good school routine over the next couple of weeks and be able to “seamlessly” integrate a new baby into our already-established routine (hey, I can hope… right!).

Here’s what I blogged about this week in previous years…

2010:

I shared the fun, creative, simple, and frugal gift we gave to Dave’s parents for their 30th wedding anniversary.

I also shared 10 of my top tips for using Craigslist (and I do honestly feel like they still all apply today, 7 years later!)

If you’re looking for a SUPER rich, sweet treat to make this Fall, try these delicious Oreo Truffles. They are very simple to make and will WOW almost anyone!

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2011:

One of my TOP TIPS for saving money at any store, any time of the year is to simply check your receipt before you leave the store. I still do this religiously every time I check out anywhere (even thrift and secondhand stores).

It’s amazing how many mistakes I find — and sometimes if I’m charged more than the sticker price, I get an extra discount — so it definitely pays to look!

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Last week, I shared a delicious recipe for Blueberry Peach Pie — but back in 2011, I shared this simple Peach Almond Crisp recipe — also delicious, just in a different way!

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2012:

I shared how we organize our master bathroom — most of which is still exactly the same 5 years later (which means our system must be working!)

If you feel like you need a little extra encouragement and motivation to get back into your school/fall routine, here are 3 tips that have always helped me.

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2013:

As I’ve mentioned the past few weeks, I took a month-long blogging break for the month of August this year. I was planning to do that all along, and then in June, we found out I was pregnant with Simon — and I had SUCH bad nausea from mid July through mid September that the month-long blogging break in August could not have come at a better time!

I shared all about my blogging break in this post… but I didn’t share our big baby news just yet πŸ™‚

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2014:

One of the things I was struggling with back in the summer of 2014 was the concept of “Enjoyment or Entitlement” — like should we benefit from all the scrimping and saving we did for the first 8 years of our marriage and now enjoy being able to spend more on internet, groceries, a few fun family activities, etc. or does that start a slow descent down the slippery slope of entitlement?

I shared more of my thoughts on that in this post (lots of great comments too!)

Although I would never claim to be a potty training expert, I did (eventually) successfully potty train one of the most stubborn little girls around — and I shared more about it in this Potty Training 101 post!

And if you’ve ever wondered what on earth a Virtual Assistant really does — I shared what I do as a VA in this post.

I also shared a few pictures from our last days of summer — wow, the kids were SO little back then!

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2015:

I wasn’t blogging much at this time due to the recent birth of Mr. James — but I did share his super cute birth announcements (and how I made them myself for pennies)!

I’m SOOOOOO excited to have one more shot at making and designing birth announcements again!

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2016:

My favorite canning and preserving resources — all in one handy spot!

I’m SO thankful for all the hand-me-down clothing my kids get from friends, relatives, neighbors, etc. In fact, our new little girl’s closet is currently stuffed full with 100% hand-me-downs — I haven’t purchased a thing for her yet!

If you’ve ever wondered how I handle hand-me-downs, THIS is how I do it!

I loved writing this post about my “Organizational Litmus Test” — I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been up in the middle of the night with a child, needed to change a diaper or even bedding in complete darkness and I’ve silently praised myself for being so organized that I can quickly and easily find everything I need without making much noise at all!

And finally… It’s Not Magic, It’s Maintenance!

Although I would love to be able to wave a magic wand and give you the no-work, no-time, no-money, no-energy solution to achieving a simple, organized life… it just doesn’t work like that! However, with a few simple routines and a bit of maintenance, I know you can get there eventually!

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2017:

The big deal for our family this week was school starting — and as I mentioned earlier, the first day went really well.

Nora said her first day of school was “the best day of her entire life”, and after meeting her teacher twice, Dave and I are SO THRILLED Nora is in her class. They are a perfect fit for each other and I really think Nora will thrive in a school setting.

James definitely misses Nora more than Simon does — Simon says he’s “the boss” when Nora is gone. These 2 play really well together though!

We’ve been enjoying cooler weather (especially in the evenings), lower humidity, and some rain — all of which make it feel A LOT like Fall around here! I know the hot temperatures and high humidity could come back any time through the beginning of November, but the baby and I are certainly enjoying less heat and humidity!

37 + weeks!Β 

I tried out a few new recipes, and resurrected some “oldies but goodies” that I haven’t made in Β years — be watching for them on the blog in the next couple of weeks!

Dave and I cleaned out the garage and the shed — nothing major, just moving things out, sweeping, and putting things back again. Yes, our collection of kid’s toys and bikes is growing at an alarming rate!

And, most exciting for me, I (almost) finished the nursery πŸ™‚

I’m still looking for a cute rug and a few more finishing touches, but everything else is finished, the clothing is all washed and hung up, my hospital bag is (mostly) packed, and the crib, carseat, and other baby items are washed and ready to go. I’ll share a bunch of pictures and more details in a couple weeks… but here’s one quick photo, just to whet your appetite!

I’m borrowing a Rock ‘n Play from a friend — this will be the first time I’ve had one of these for a new baby and I’m pretty excited.

Even though I really have no desire to have this baby 2 weeks early, I have always thought having a baby on Labor Day would be sort of cool! I doubt it will happen since I’m more likely to go 2 weeks late than 2 weeks early… I guess we shall wait and see!

Our Labor Day project (assuming the baby doesn’t arrive) will be to finish staining our shed and hopefully doing a bit of yardwork as we desperately need to start deadheading and pruning certain perennials back for fall!

I know I won’t want to do this in another couple weeks, so the more we can do NOW, the better!!

Oh… and guess what!?!?!

We hired a local artist to do a pastel drawing/painting?? of our home to hang in a big frame by our front door! She stopped by this week to show me the progress and it looks amazing. I can’t wait to share the finished piece!

That’s all for this week… hope you enjoyed combing through my archives!Β 

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26 comments

  1. Irina

    09/01/2017

    Sorry to be nosy, but are those baby initials in the basket? I bet the nursery will be super cute:)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — they are initials, but NOT the right initials πŸ™‚ The correct initials will come after she’s born!!

    [Reply]

  2. Marsha

    09/01/2017

    Just getting a chance to read this post a day late. Since you commented about having a baby on Labor Day, I have to comment that today (September 1st) is my mother’s 93rd birthday. She was born on Labor Day in 1924! We will have a family celebration tomorrow!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    well happy birthday to your mother!!

    [Reply]

  3. Jen

    09/01/2017

    I had my baby on Labor Day, too. Really fun, especially when that child’s birthday comes around to being on Labor Day again. Good luck with your upcoming delivery!

    [Reply]

  4. Janine

    09/01/2017

    I LOVE that picture of Simon in the swing. He is such a hoot!! πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  5. Vicky

    08/31/2017

    I labored on Labor Day…..22 years ago!!!!

    [Reply]

  6. Debbie

    08/31/2017

    Can you do a video of Nora sharing her experience for the first of school and also James’ experience without Nora? It would be so fun to see and hear them share their experiences. Of course, Simon can share his being boss for the day while Nora is gone too. LOL!

    [Reply]

  7. Allison

    08/31/2017

    Nora is getting to be such a big girl! It’s great that she loves school, both my girls do too, but they won’t admit it lol.

    My one daughter started “pre-k disabled” at 3 (she had speech delay and motor skill issues) and took the bus to school. On the first full day of school she was scared to get on the bus and was crying. The bus ladies let my ex ride on the bus with her – so we have pictures that go something like this 1 – her crying
    2 – her crying less
    3 – she see’s the school, a little unsure
    4 – she’s getting off the bus with a big smile, never once looking back
    we laugh at the pictures – they’re like a slow motion cartoon.

    But let me warn you – time goes quickly. My twins are starting 10th grade next week (while they were only 3 yesterday….)

    Btw, I found out I was pregnant on Labor Day 2001!

    [Reply]

  8. Tracey

    08/31/2017

    Wow, Andrea, I absolutely love reading about what you’re up to, and were doing this week of the past several years. I’m 47 and have a 16 and 14 year old, and I just marvel at all you’ve learned accomplished over the years. It’s awesome.

    Thank you for sharing this all with us. You are truly amazing and a wonderful source of ideas and inspiration for so many!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Tracey!

    [Reply]

  9. Francie

    08/31/2017

    Can’t wait to see your new bundle of joy! Good to hear Nora did well riding the school bus, my son absolutely loves riding the school bus.
    -Francie
    http://www.supersimpleways.com

    [Reply]

  10. Kerri

    08/31/2017

    Geez! I couldn’t imagine being 40 weeks pregnant. I had all 4 of mine early.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — I almost made it to 42 weeks with both Nora and James πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  11. JoAnn C.

    08/31/2017

    Congratulations on Nora’s first week in school. She’s grown so fast. My heart sings when I hear of a child who loves school. I myself never did like school–at least not until college. Lol on using the incorrect blocks in the baby’s room. You had me for a second or two. Have a wonderful rest of the week, and a safe Labor Day weekend to you and your family.

    [Reply]

  12. Chris

    08/31/2017

    That’s great that Nora loves school! And the painting idea is really neat. I have an idea for a future post. For those of us who don’t know about about gardening, I would love to read about which plants need deadheading, when, etc. I bought a rose that is supposed to bloom all summer but it doesn’t, then someone told me I need to deadhead it (?) My lilies only bloom a short time and I deadheaded them and it didn’t help.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh wow — this would definitley just be something you need to Google about your specific types of plans and your area/climate/zone. There are different “rules” for different plants, and it different locations so there really wouldn’t be any way I could accurately or completely cover this topic in a blog post.
    In general, if there are dead flowers, you can almost always pick/cut them off so the plant looks better.

    Our roses are Double Blooming Knock-Out roses. They bloom heavily in late spring/early summer and then a few blooms throughout the summer with another big burst of blooms starting now through Frost. We just hack them back in the fall but that’s it. However, different roses need different things — so again, you’d just want to google your specific type of rose bushes πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  13. Anna

    08/31/2017

    I had a Labor Day baby! I went into labor the middle of the afternoon and we joke about how we had to leave the ribs on the smoker and never got to enjoy them. He was also two weeks early, as were my other two babies.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    what a fun story!

    [Reply]

  14. Deb

    08/31/2017

    L. K. D. in the blocks is that a hint to the name of your new little one? Like playing I spy…… πŸ˜‰

    [Reply]

    Kari Reply:

    That was my first thought too!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    sorry… I won’t “give up” that easily!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — no πŸ™‚
    I will eventually have her initials in the blocks, but I purposely put wrong letters in there for the picture πŸ™‚ Obviously the “d” is right, but the L and K are just to throw people off. I LOVE keeping the name a secret!

    [Reply]

    ShellyL Reply:

    I was guessing. LOL You got us! πŸ˜‰

    [Reply]

  15. Lu

    08/31/2017

    Andrea, congratulations on Nora’s first week of school. She looks so grown-up and confident!

    You are doing so much the last few weeks before having a baby. I can’t wait to meet your newest little one because I still remember reading about Nora’s birth!

    The weather has definitely cooled down in the Midwest, and we are enjoying it very much as well. Some of the hot, humid days of July and August were almost unbearable. Praise God for A/C, but I am glad not to have to use it constantly. πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Lu! Nora is looking grownup!!
    And yes, I’m super excited to share the baby news whenever she makes her debut!

    [Reply]