Children

James is 4!

posted by Andrea | 07/16/2019 | 19 comments

James celebrated his 4th birthday on Sunday – which means preschool (and all sort of other fun opportunities) for him this coming fall!

Come read more about James, his Monster Truck party, and why we love this little guy so much!!

How We Make More Reading Time (and Enjoy Quieter Meals) With Our Kids

posted by Andrea | 07/15/2019 | 43 comments

Last winter, I started looking for ways to fit more reading time in with the kids — mainly because we were getting SO many books from the library each week that it was sometimes tricky to find time to read them all, especially since the older kids often like longer chapter books. 

Thanks to a suggestion from Nora, we have now made time for more reading every day AND we’re enjoying quieter meal times! Win-Win!

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.  

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!

How We Store Our Kids’ Clothing

posted by Andrea | 05/14/2019 | 15 comments

A few weeks ago, I shared why I don’t buy kids’ clothing in advance, why we purge outgrown clothing immediately, and why I don’t rotate clothing out by season. 

As a follow-up on that post, I thought it might be helpful to share how we store the kids’ clothing we DO keep — everything that actually fits and that they wear right now! 

My Motherhood Sweet Spot + a 3-Minute Challenge

posted by Andrea | 05/10/2019 | 22 comments

It recently hit me that I’m in that very short, but oh-so-sweet, season of motherhood when my children are all “old enough”… but not “too old”. They are self-sufficient in many ways, but still need me (and want me) in their lives.

This sweet realization… and a fun 3-minute motherhood challenge is what I’m sharing today, perfect for Mother’s Day weekend!

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…

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!

My Method for Choosing Children’s Library Books

posted by Andrea | 04/12/2019 | 20 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!

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.

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!! 

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!

Simon is FIVE!!

posted by Andrea | 03/4/2019 | 19 comments

As of 12:20 this afternoon, Simon will officially be 5 years old! 

Come check out his very low-key superhero birthday party, and some of my favorite pictures of him over this past year!

Practical Advice for Expectant Parents (and so many others)

posted by Andrea | 02/28/2019 | 22 comments

No, we’re NOT expecting any more babies!

But if you are, I’ve got a list of practical advice and to-dos you can complete and cross off your list NOW, and then rest a little easier knowing that some of these important tasks are out of the way before baby arrives!

How We Make Space For Our Kids’ “Treasures”

posted by Andrea | 02/25/2019 | 19 comments

Even before having children of my own, I was adamant that I could have BOTH a large(ish) family AND a clean home without spending hours every day picking up after people. 

So far, I’ve been able to keep our house neat and organized enough for my standards with minimal effort, while letting my children display, collect, save, cherish, and sometimes “hoard” their most favorite trinkets and treasures!

How We Celebrate Valentine’s Day: Frugal, Festive, Family Fun!

posted by Andrea | 02/11/2019 | 8 comments

We love celebrating special days and holidays… but we most definitely do NOT spend crazy amounts of time, energy, or money on decorations, fancy food, or elaborate gifts.

If you share my love of celebrating special days without too much excess hoopla, I think the simple ideas, tips, and recipes in this post will help make your entire week a bit more festive!