March, 2019

My Year-Round Approach to Home Management

posted by Andrea | 03/29/2019 | 33 comments

Last fall, I shared a my personal plan to purge every single space in my home before the New Year. My little “project” went so well that I decided to continue it year-round!

However, I also added in a few new components which have allowed me to slowly deep-clean, purge, and organize my way through our entire home 3 times every year (with very little extra effort)!!! I can’t wait to share the details with you!

Our Current Weekday Routine (Spring 2019 edition)

posted by Andrea | 03/28/2019 | 10 comments

Every week, I get emails asking me to share more about what our normal daily life looks like. 

I’ve shared these types of posts in the past, but they get outdated so quickly that I decided it was time for an updated look at what a fairly “normal” weekday looks like in the Dekker home!

Hearty Whole Grain Oat Pancakes

posted by Andrea | 03/27/2019 | 19 comments

Pancakes were the very first food I made Dave, the morning after our wedding — they have been a favorite food of ours ever since.

I’ve “healthified” my pancake recipes quite a bit over the last several years; most recently with the addition of freshly ground grains! Today, I’m sharing our family’s top favorite — whole grain oat pancakes (and no, you don’t need to grind your own grain to make them!) 

How Our Simple Lifestyle Facilitates Frugality

posted by Andrea | 03/26/2019 | 45 comments

I’ve always been a very frugal person — faithfully clipping coupons, shopping thrift stores and Craigslist, cooking from scratch, and more — all in an effort to save more on the things we need and want to buy. 

However, SAVING money on the items we buy is really only half the battle in living a frugal debt-free life… today, I’m sharing the other huge factor in frugal living as it relates to our family’s ability to live well below our means.

Clara @ 18 Months

posted by Andrea | 03/25/2019 | 24 comments

Yes, you read the title of this post correctly… my sweet “baby” is 18 months old today! 

Really though, she’s not much of a baby anymore. She’s walking, talking, singing, laughing, and showing us a little bit more of her own individual personality every single day.

An Update on My Calendar + Planner System

posted by Andrea | 03/22/2019 | 53 comments

Back in November, I shared my new Calendar + Planner approach to the New Year.

I honestly wasn’t exactly sure how well this Calendar + Planner system would (or wouldn’t) work for me, my family, my routine, etc. but I knew I wanted to give it a shot! Now, 3 months after using this system on a daily (sometimes hourly!) basis, I have a short list of pros and cons to share! 

My Quickest ‘Quick-Tip’ to DeClutter Your Inbox

posted by Andrea | 03/21/2019 | 32 comments

Although I rarely do massive amounts of deep cleaning, I do find that around this time every year, I get fed up with ALL paper clutter (photos, files, piles, books, magazines, emails, etc.)

I am always especially ruthless with email clutter — and today, I’m sharing one quick-tip that has greatly reduced the time I spend checking emails!

Homemade BBQ sauce

posted by Andrea | 03/20/2019 | 11 comments

Although West Michigan is still fairly cold, I thought a recipe for homemade BBQ sauce would be the perfect way to kick off spring here on the blog! 

The recipe is SO simple and extremely tasty — you might never buy store bought BBQ sauce again!

Diastasis Recti… One Year After Therapy

posted by Andrea | 03/19/2019 | 88 comments

Last March, I shared a little bit about my journey to heal/fix/correct my Diastasis recti.

Now, one year later, I thought it might be time for a follow-up post — especially since I got SOOOOOOO many questions and emails after my original post.

Peek Into Our Week (SPRING!)

posted by Andrea | 03/18/2019 | 40 comments

Yay, it’s almost spring!

Come read what we’ve been up to for the last couple of week — including several very successful loaves of whole grain bread, lots of cute kiddo pictures, a new haircut for Nora, new jewelry for me, and SO many simple recipe ideas!

3 Reasons We Hire Professional Carpet Cleaners

posted by Andrea | 03/15/2019 | 37 comments

I know it might seem odd that my frugal, DIY self would want to pay someone else to clean our carpets every year… but there are just some things Dave and I feel are worth paying the pros for — carpet cleaning is definitely on that list!

Today, I’m sharing why!

A Different Perspective (That Time My Child Out-Organized Me!)

posted by Andrea | 03/14/2019 | 23 comments

Many of my pervious in-home organizing clients told me that the most helpful part of working with a professional was having a different perspective to help them “see” simple storage solutions that were literally right in front of them… but yet not “visible” for whatever reason. 

I understood what they were saying (and I know it’s true) but I honestly never experienced it in my own life until a recent situation when Nora out-organized me!! 

Cookie Crumb Truffles (my favorite way to use up stale baked goods)

posted by Andrea | 03/13/2019 | 10 comments

During my eat-from-the-pantry challenge last year, I used up various qualities of stale cookies, crackers, pretzels, cereals, bars, and brownies no one apparently wanted to eat anymore.

Miraculously, after mixing these stale crumbs with cream cheese and dipping them in chocolate, they were everyone’s new favorite treat! I’m sharing the simple “recipe” in today’s post!

My 7 Laundry Don’ts

posted by Andrea | 03/12/2019 | 123 comments

I don’t hate doing laundry by any means, but it’s certainly not a priority over family, work, or free time, so why make it any more challenging or labor-intensive than it has to be… right?

Today, I’m sharing 7 of my “laundry don’ts” — all in an effort to simplify and streamline this (never-ending) weekly chore!

How Quickly We Forget: Encouragement for hard seasons of life

posted by Andrea | 03/11/2019 | 30 comments

I suppose I’m glad our brains tend to push memories of hard times to the side, but I DO hope I never fully forget how difficult different seasons of life were in an effort to better empathize with others. 

If you’re struggling in a rough season of life, I hope today’s post is somewhat encouraging for you!

How I Store and Organize Everything In Our Kitchen

posted by Andrea | 03/8/2019 | 29 comments

Soon after we finished our massive kitchen renovation in 2012, I shared detailed pictures of the insides of all our cabinets and drawers.

Since then, we’ve added several more children to our family, I’ve changed so much of how I cook and bake, and we have different storage needs for older kids, school lunches, different snacks, etc. etc. So… I decided it was time for a (very long and detailed) updated post! 

Save More: Buy What You Need Versus What You Can Afford

posted by Andrea | 03/7/2019 | 35 comments

We wouldn’t have very full lives if we ONLY allowed ourselves to buy exactly what we needed to survive and nothing more. It’s fun to splurge a little every now and then and it can be a special treat to do or buy something we might not normally do or buy.

But I do think we (myself included) could all save a lot of money if we simply stopped to ask “Do I NEED this?” versus “Can I AFFORD this?”

Overnight French Toast Casserole

posted by Andrea | 03/6/2019 | 19 comments

My year-long bread-baking journey has had a rocky start so far — resulting in lots of stale, hard, dense, bread. However, I will not waste those ingredients (or my time). Instead, I make lots of yummy whole grain french toast casseroles!

If you’re looking for a great way to use up stale bread, buns, or rolls, try this recipe!!