January, 2018

How We Do Hot Breakfasts on School Mornings

posted by Andrea | 01/31/2018 | 33 comments

Recently, I’ve had several readers ask if we’re still doing a hot breakfast every morning — and if so, what we eat and how we make it work with an earlier school schedule.

So now that we’re already a few weeks into 2nd semester, I figure it’s time I share the 2 main reasons we’ve managed to enjoy a hot breakfast, even on school mornings!

10 Non-Dish Uses for Dish Soap

posted by Andrea | 01/30/2018 | 44 comments

Dish soap is one of the household cleaners I have chosen not to replace with a natural or DIY homemade cleaner — and I don’t think that will change for a while.

You see, along with washing our dishes, we use dish soap for SOOOO many different tasks in and around our house. If you’ve never tried using your dish soap for anything other than dishes, you’re totally missing out!

A Peek Into Our Week

posted by Andrea | 01/29/2018 | 15 comments

What a full week we had last week — not necessarily because of so many activities, but simply because each one of our kids had something special going on last week!

Also… I left the house EVERY single day with some or all of the children! Can you believe it!

4 Months With 4 Kiddos!

posted by Andrea | 01/26/2018 | 39 comments

Clara is officially 4 month old… which means Dave and I have officially survived 4 months with 4 kids!

As a whole, these past 4 months have gone much better than I ever anticipated — for that, I am so grateful! However, there are definitely a few areas of my life that feel like they are in survival mode!

9 Reasons We Use Credit Cards to Simplify our Lives

posted by Andrea | 01/25/2018 | 118 comments

I’ve had a credit card since I was 16 — and Dave and I use credit cards to pay for almost everything we buy.

I definitely don’t think that credit cards are the best financial decision for everyone — and at the same time, I don’t think a cash-only budget is the best financial decision for everyone. That said, here are just a few of the ways credit cards majorly simplify and organize my life.

Easy One-Skillet Mexican Rice Casserole

posted by Andrea | 01/24/2018 | 10 comments

I’m back with another frugal, family-friendly Mexican meal our whole family loves.

I can have this meal on the table in roughly 15-20 minutes. And like most of my recipes, it freezes well too!

My Big Kitchen Purge!

posted by Andrea | 01/23/2018 | 25 comments

The week after Dave’s Christmas break, I did a Big Kitchen Purge — resulting in a HUGE donation pile, an over-flowing bag of trash, and a whopping FIVE empty shelves + TWO empty drawers!!!

I’m sharing more about this purge today, as well as how I repurposed several unneeded containers to better organize other areas of my home!

How I Clean our Secondhand Treasures

posted by Andrea | 01/22/2018 | 17 comments

It’s no secret that we LOVE buying used and secondhand items whenever we can. Of course, buying used items means I will need to thoroughly wash everything before we use it!

If you’re new to buying thrift store items or if you’re interested in how exactly I clean our thrift store finds, I will hopefully cover most items in this post!

Organizing In Plain Sight… Why I Don’t Always Put Everything Away

posted by Andrea | 01/19/2018 | 43 comments

I’m definitely an advocate for creating a “home” for all my things — and then putting my things back in their home when I’m done using them. But I do believe there are some items that just need to be sitting out in plain site in the name of practicality. 

Today, I’m sharing one example from my own home and life!

Really Yummy Cereal Bars

posted by Andrea | 01/18/2018 | 15 comments

In some ways, I feel a little silly sharing today’s recipe on my blog — it’s one of those things I figure EVERYONE already knows how to make. However, after trying so many different tweaks and variations over the years, I finally have a version of this recipe that I feel is “the best”. 

If you’re looking for a super quick treat to whip up for snacks, school lunches, an upcoming party, etc. give these yummy cereal bars a try! 

A Clutter Lesson from 10 Pairs of Socks and Underwear

posted by Andrea | 01/17/2018 | 26 comments

For the majority of my life, I’ve had drawers stuffed full of socks and underwear — not because I necessarily NEEDED that many pairs, but simply because I had them.

However, 4 years ago, I purged my huge stash down to only 10 pairs of socks and underwear, and I’ve learned a few “clutter lessons” as a result!

I Made My Pancakes Healthier… and No One Noticed!

posted by Andrea | 01/16/2018 | 42 comments

5 years ago, I shared my recipe for our family’s most favorite pancakes… and since then, I’ve made this recipe hundreds and hundreds of times.

My original recipe isn’t necessarily “unhealthy”; however, last year, I decided to try “healthifying” my pancake recipe just a little tiny bit… hoping no one would notice (and they didn’t)! I’m sharing the 3 little tweaks I made in today’s post!!

Because 40% Off Is Still 60% More Than Not Buying It In The First Place!

posted by Andrea | 01/15/2018 | 11 comments

Although I generally dislike shopping, I often find it difficult to pass up a bargain — especially at thrift stores , online, or if I get freebie coupons.

Today I’m sharing a couple recent stories about how I (almost) got sucked into using a coupon just because it was a great deal… tell me I’m not the only one with this problem 🙂

A Clever Way To Organize Medicine When You’re On The Go

posted by Andrea | 01/12/2018 | 24 comments

Last month, I shared a few simple tips and tricks to quickly organize your medicine cabinet at home… however, for those of you who are regularly away from home, I thought it might be helpful to share a super simple and extremely clever way to keep your meds organized on-the-go.

Chunky Cinnamon Applesauce

posted by Andrea | 01/11/2018 | 18 comments

If you’ve ever read the Weekly Menu section of my Peek Into Our Week posts, you’ll notice that we eat A LOT of applesauce! Every year, I can roughly 50 quarts of delicious homemade applesauce and we enjoy it as a simple side dish with most of our meals.

However, on special occasions, I often whip up a fresh batch of chunky cinnamon applesauce — with the delicious addition of Red Hot candies! I’m sharing that recipe today!

Two of My Favorite Benefits of Good Time Management

posted by Andrea | 01/10/2018 | 4 comments

I talk a lot about time management and productivity on the blog, and that’s because it IS important to me — but NOT just so I can “do more”.

In fact, as the years go by, I’ve realized that simply “doing more” is rarely the reason I strive to better manage my time. Of course, it’s always nice to accomplish more in less time… but my favorite benefits of good time management are quite different.

How I Keep Up With Regular Purging

posted by Andrea | 01/9/2018 | 16 comments

Since we have so much more coming INTO our home these days, I really have to practice regular purging to keep things from getting too out of control.

I don’t have a fancy system or cute donation bins… but so far, the simple system I’ve been using for years and years continues to work well for us, even as the volume of things entering our home continues to increase.

A Peek Into Our Week (post holiday)

posted by Andrea | 01/8/2018 | 44 comments

Life in the Dekker house is slowly getting back to “normal” after lots of holiday parties, out-of-town guests, and SO MUCH FOOD!

Today I’m sharing a few family and life updates, along with my new winter boots and a fabulous book I just finished! Oh, and I’d love some ideas for indoor winter activities for young kids!