April, 2019

3 Myths from Popular Home Organizing Shows

posted by Andrea | 04/30/2019 | 64 comments

Although I love a good home organizing show, I do think they have the potential to make real life organizing projects in our own homes seem out-of-reach and overwhelming for us normal people.

If you’ve ever felt completely overwhelmed with the thought of everything you need and want to do around your home, I hope today’s post offers a few helpful suggestions and ideas.

There Are Almost Always Exceptions to the Rule

posted by Andrea | 04/29/2019 | 2 comments

Although I am probably more organized, more energetic, and more scheduled than the average mother of 4, I feel the need to mention that in my life, there are ALMOST ALWAYS exceptions to the rule! 

Just because a system or routine or course of action might not work 100% of the time does NOT mean it’s not a great system or routine, it doesn’t mean I’m lying, and it doesn’t mean I failed! 

Are Your Goals a Priority?

posted by Andrea | 04/26/2019 | 4 comments

We’re already one-third of the way into the year, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably thought about the various goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year.

How are you doing with those goals? If you feel like you haven’t made any progress over the last 4 months, I can almost guarantee it’s because of one thing…

How to Substitute Whole Grain Flour in Almost Any Recipe

posted by Andrea | 04/25/2019 | 11 comments

For the last 5+ months, I’ve been cooking, baking, and eating whole grains every single day. 

I won’t bore you with too many details… but I WILL share a super simple way to substitute whole grain flour for all purpose in almost any of your favorite recipes — giving you more fiber and more nutrients with very little hassle or extra effort on your part! 

How Much Is Too Much? (my 2-part formula)

posted by Andrea | 04/24/2019 | 15 comments

Over the years, I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve been asked: How much is too much _______________________ (toys, clothes, shoes, bags, books, electronics, kitchen gadgets, tools, etc.)

Unfortunately, I don’t have the perfect answers for every situation… but I DO have a really simple 2-part “formula” that has worked well for my own home and life, and I have a feeling it just might work for you too!

5 Ways We Help Our Kids Try (and like) New Foods

posted by Andrea | 04/23/2019 | 27 comments

I would NOT say our kids are super adventurous eaters, but I wouldn’t say they are overly picky either. Of course, there are times when we do “force” our children to try something… but there are many other times when we are so impressed by their food choices… it seems our hard work is actually paying off!

If you’re struggling to get your children to try (and like) new foods, here are 5 relatively simple (yet effective) tips that have worked for us over the years.

An Attitude of Hospitality… Towards Our Families

posted by Andrea | 04/22/2019 | 20 comments

I think most of us consider hospitality to be outward acts of kindness to others — inviting friends over for a meal, bringing cookies to new neighbors, asking a coworker to join the gym with you, hosting the holiday festivities, etc. Even the dictionary defines Hospitality in that way. 

However, what if we applied this attitude of hospitality to our interactions with our own immediate family members…

The Difference Between Purging and Organizing

posted by Andrea | 04/19/2019 | 17 comments

An experience I had in college helped me realize, for the first time, the huge difference between “purging” and “organizing”, and the fact that being organized isn’t necessarily the most important factor in simple living. 

I’m sharing more today… along with a simple “assignment” for you that SHOULD help declutter your home and simplify your life!

My Super Simple, Super Frugal, Quick Fix for Faulty Technology

posted by Andrea | 04/18/2019 | 29 comments

Over the years, I have learned one super simple, super frugal, quick fix for faulty technology that has worked over and over and over again for me…

It might not work for every tech issue you encounter — but considering it’s completely free, super easy to do, and only takes a few seconds, it’s probably worth a shot the next time you experience an issue with your technology!

Whole Grain Banana Bread

posted by Andrea | 04/17/2019 | 22 comments

As I’ve been integrating more whole grains into our daily diet, I’ve started the process of “making over” MANY of my favorite recipes. 

This banana bread recipe was the very first quick bread / muffin recipe I made over — and after pulling several successful loaves of 100% whole grain banana bread from my oven these past few months, I believe I’m FINALLY ready to share my recipe on the blog! 

Why I Don’t Buy Kid’s Clothing in Advance

posted by Andrea | 04/16/2019 | 39 comments

When it comes to kid’s clothing (and adult clothing) I truly do not store much of anything outside the clothing we actually wear right now. I don’t buy ahead, I purge once they outgrow an item, and we don’t rotate clothing based on the season.

I explain more in today’s post!

When, Where, and How I Fit Work Into My Life

posted by Andrea | 04/15/2019 | 23 comments

I haven’t talked much about my work life lately — mainly because I just haven’t been working as much as I used to. I’m far from the budding entrepreneur I once aspired to be… but I still thoroughly enjoy sharing my thoughts in a tiny corner of the internet while enjoying home life with my family. 

Today, I’m sharing a little bit more about when, where, and how I fit working into my daily life!

My Method for Choosing Children’s Library Books

posted by Andrea | 04/12/2019 | 21 comments

Over the past 7 years of regularly visiting our local library, our family hasn’t even come close to reading every single book in the children’s section. 

However, in my opinion, we HAVE done a really great job of reading through a huge variety of books each week — thanks to a super simple method I implemented a few years ago!  

My Mother’s Ring (and a Jewelry Discount!)

posted by Andrea | 04/11/2019 | 14 comments

As some of you know, I recently designed and ordered a “Mother’s Ring” (a ring with all my children’s birthstones).

I’m so happy with how the ring turned out and I’ve had such great experiences working with Engels Jewelry Company over the last 20 years that I thought it might be fun to offer a discount on all Mother’s Jewelry… just in time for Mother’s Day!

Loaded Kale Salad… One We Actually Want to Eat!

posted by Andrea | 04/10/2019 | 30 comments

For a long time, Dave and I could NOT get excited about eating kale — no matter how I cooked or prepared it. Then about a year ago, I finally figured out a way to eat AND enjoy kale… all thanks to this delicious “Loaded Kale Salad” (as I call it!)

If you want to like kale but haven’t found a favorite recipe, give this delicious salad a try!

How We Paid Off Our Mortgage 24 Years Early

posted by Andrea | 04/9/2019 | 42 comments

Many years ago, I shared how Dave and I agreed (before we were married) to live off 50% of our income… which eventually helped us reach our goal of paying off our mortgage in roughly 6 years!

Today (after many requests) I’m sharing a few things that helped us pay off our mortgage faster… and I have a couple fun money jokes, courtesy of Nora’s joke books!

A Peek Into Our Spring Break Staycation

posted by Andrea | 04/8/2019 | 30 comments

We’re “back to reality” after a fun-filled week off from school for Dave, Nora, and Simon. 

Although we didn’t GO anywhere, I think the kids actually had a great time at home, especially since Dave and I had several fun outings and activities planned every single day. 

How I Store, Organize, and Track our Gift Cards

posted by Andrea | 04/5/2019 | 44 comments

Dave and I always have several gift cards to various places around town… some of which we buy ourselves during the special holiday gift card sales and promotions!

I have a super simple method to keep track of all our cards, which I’m sharing today. It’s a method I’ve been using for about 15 years and I’ve never ONCE lost or misplaced or forgot about a gift card!