June, 2019

How We Arrange Carseats In Our Van

posted by Andrea | 06/28/2019 | 15 comments

Over the years, we have switched and rotated and rearranged the carseats in our van multiple times and multiple different ways — depending on how many children we had and what their ages were.

I’ve gotten SO many questions regarding the ways we arranged our seats — so that’s what I’m sharing more about today! 

Why I Don’t Always Give 100%

posted by Andrea | 06/27/2019 | 38 comments

With only 24 hours in a day, there really is only so much we can accomplish. Of course, we CAN work to increase our productivity and improve our efficiency, but there are times when we simply have to cut corners and give less than 100% effort in order to fit it all in.

I am personally more of a “do more at less than 100% effort” — but there are certainly pros and cons for each side. I’d love to have you weigh in with what works best for you!

Kids in the Kitchen: Homemade Ice Cream in 5 Minutes!

posted by Andrea | 06/26/2019 | 12 comments

Want to do something REALLY fun and SUPER simple with your kids or grandkids this summer? Make homemade ice cream! 

It only takes a few minutes (plus freeze time), it requires no special equipment, and our kids say it tastes like Culver’s Custard — which is a HUUUUGE compliment! 

Why We Prepare to Be Productive (Even in the Summer)

posted by Andrea | 06/25/2019 | 23 comments

We often think of summertime as no work, all play, beach days, sleeping in, vacations, and living carefree without any type of schedule. I don’t know about you, but that’s not how my summers are… even with Dave home all day!  

Productive is rarely a hot topic during the summer months — however, in my opinion, preparing to be productive is even more important for Dave and me during the summer months when we have SO many extra things we want to pack into our schedule. I explain more in today’s post!

Back To Basics: 5 Needs We Must Meet For Our Children

posted by Andrea | 06/24/2019 | 29 comments

As many of you might remember, Nora was a very high-needs baby. She caused a huge amount of stress for Dave and for me in the beginning, but I can now see how this steep learning curve paid off exponentially with the rest of our children. 

If you are the parent of a high-needs baby, a slightly-sensitive toddler, or a child who regularly acts out for seemingly “no reason”, I would strongly encourage you to put your parenting books back on the shelf for a month or so and simply get “back to the basics”.

Our Garage Renovation: a 6-Year Update

posted by Andrea | 06/21/2019 | 8 comments

It’s been exactly 6 years since we completely overhauled our main garage with the fabulous organizational system and epoxy garage floor coating… and it honestly looks as good today as it did 6 years ago!

We have enjoyed our renovated garage immensely over the past 6 years — I’m sharing some updates (and lots of photos) in today’s post! If you’re contemplating a garage renovation, you’ll want to check out this post!

5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Freezer Space

posted by Andrea | 06/20/2019 | 10 comments

When it comes to feeding my family, I consider my freezer to be as valuable as my oven since at least some part of almost every single meal we eat comes from the freezer!

No matter what size freezer you have, there are definitely ways you can maximize and make the most of your freezer space. I’m sharing 5 tips in today’s post!

Homemade Slow Cooker Refried Beans

posted by Andrea | 06/19/2019 | 27 comments

Although I was originally intimidated by the seemingly long process of soaking, draining, rinsing, and slow cooking dried beans, I quickly realized it only requires a few minutes of hands-on work for a HUGE amount of homemade refried beans!

In my opinion, they taste significantly better than canned beans, and they freeze really well!

5 Questions I Ask When I’m Purging

posted by Andrea | 06/18/2019 | 45 comments

I’m often asked if I have a “method” for purging or a pattern that I follow each time to make it a more routine process — and as I thought more about how exactly I motivate and encourage myself (and others) to purge, I realized that there are certain questions I came back to time and time again.

Today, I’m sharing those questions!

Our Completely Ridiculous-Looking Plan to Keep Weeds Out of Our Garden

posted by Andrea | 06/17/2019 | 39 comments

For the past 5 years, we have had ONE nice-looking vegetable garden — the others have been completely covered with weeds by fall. 

This year, we’re trying something new to (hopefully) help us keep the weeds down– boy does it look ridiculous! I’m almost a little embarrassed to share pictures on the blog! 

My 100% Whole Grain Dough Recipe + Printable!

posted by Andrea | 06/14/2019 | 35 comments

After months of experimenting, tweaking, testing, baking, and eating SO MUCH whole grain bread, I’m FINALLY ready to share my recipe on the blog!

I’ve successfully made this exact recipe week after week for several months now… and my family gives it 2 thumbs up! I’ve also created a FREE printable recipe (with or without photos) that you may save, download, or print — consider it my birthday gift to you!!!

6 Reasons A Capsule Wardrobe Might NOT Work for You

posted by Andrea | 06/13/2019 | 33 comments

If you’ve spent any amount of time reading blogs or browsing social media, you’ve probably heard a lot about “Capsule Wardrobes”.

I’m always so intrigued by the idea of a capsule wardrobe, but I also realize that for the majority of people, it’s not the most realistic wardrobe plan… today I’m sharing a few reasons why.

Our Most-Read Toddler Board Books

posted by Andrea | 06/12/2019 | 26 comments

In general, when it comes to books, we almost always borrow instead of buy. However, I will admit to having a teeny-tiny “soft spot” for toddler board books!

I realize there are hundreds and thousands of amazing children and toddler board books — in no way do I think my list contains the “best books” or the “right books” — they are simply the books all 4 of our kiddos have loved and enjoyed over the years.  

Southwest Spaghetti Squash Casserole

posted by Andrea | 06/11/2019 | 11 comments

Today’s recipe for Southwest Spaghetti Squash Casserole is one of our favorites. Since I almost always have a container of roasted, shredded spaghetti squash in the fridge, and several containers of cooked black beans and meats in the freezer, it only takes me a few minutes to have this casserole ready for the oven.

It’s perfect for busy afternoons and evenings because it doesn’t require any side dishes — just some chips, salsa, and guacamole! 

One of The Easiest Ways to Get Excited to Wake Up Early

posted by Andrea | 06/10/2019 | 31 comments

I don’t think waking up early is essential for productivity or a lifetime of success. It’s completely possible to sleep in and be productive during different times of the day… HOWEVER, based on the number of emails and comments I’ve gotten asking about our 4am wake up time, I figured it was time for another blog post.

If you’re interested in learning to become a morning person (something I DO think you can learn), I hope the 4 tips in today’s post will help!

Our Favorite Family-Friendly Frugal Summer Fun Ideas

posted by Andrea | 06/7/2019 | 8 comments

While I certainly don’t think it’s our job as parents to entertain our children all summer long, I DO think the summer months at home together can be a lot more enjoyable if we try to plan a few fun (or special, different, out-of-the-ordinary) activities each week. 

Today I’m sharing SEVERAL of the extra special, frugal family-fun things we do together each summer. Hopefully it will spark a few ideas for things you could do with your family as well!

A Simple, Frugal, and Fun Wedding Shower Idea

posted by Andrea | 06/6/2019 | 18 comments

One of my favorite wedding showers was a “Pantry Shower” where everyone brought a recipe and a few of the non-perishable ingredients for that recipe. This shower was a fantastic way to quickly fill up our EMPTY pantry and kitchen cabinets with a huge variety of foods.

If you’re looking for fun, frugal, practical, easy-to-put-together shower ideas for almost any new couple (or new homeowner) THIS is it! 

Delicious (Make-Ahead) Layered Lettuce Salad

posted by Andrea | 06/5/2019 | 30 comments

Today I’m sharing the revamped (and healthified) recipe for our family’s Favorite Make-Ahead Layered Lettuce Salad (yes, our kids will actually eat small amounts of this salad!)

Not only can this salad be made ahead and enjoyed for days (without getting soggy), it can also be made from pretty much any salad-type ingredients you have in the house — oh, and it tastes amazing too!