5 Ways We Simplify Outdoor Entertaining

posted by Andrea | 07/27/2018 | 14 comments

I realize we’re already nearing the end of July (sniff) and I probably should have shared this post a couple months ago — but if you’re planning to do any outdoor entertaining later this summer or fall, I hope the tips in today’s post will help simplify the process for you.

They are things we always do when entertaining outside (and yes, many of them would apply to entertaining inside as well).

10 Tips for Bringing a Dish to Pass

posted by Andrea | 07/13/2016 | 44 comments

Dave and I have lots and lots of parties, BBQ’s, picnics, and gatherings from Memorial Day through Labor Day… and what’s a great party without great food?

If you’ve ever dreaded “bringing a dish to pass” or stressed about what type of foods you should bring to your next potluck party, I hope my tips in today’s post will help!

10 Tips to Simplify Holiday Entertaining

posted by Andrea | 12/10/2015 | 19 comments

While it does take a decent amount of extra effort to host a gathering (even if we do keep things simple) we generally enjoy having others over to our house — especially since it’s often an easier option than loading up the kids to go somewhere else!

If you are entertaining this holiday season, here are 10 simple tips that should help things go a bit smoother — and allow you to actually enjoy your time with family and friends!

Thanksgiving Tips, Fun Facts, and Recipe Ideas

posted by Andrea | 11/25/2015 | 15 comments

This is Dave and my 10th Thanksgiving as a married couple, and although I’ve made all the traditional Thanksgiving foods many times before, this is our first time hosting the big day at our house!

Today, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my tips for simplifying this time of year; as well as some fun Thanksgiving trivia and some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes!

Our Salute to Summer Shindig

posted by Andrea | 10/10/2014 | 9 comments

As I mentioned in last week’s post, we hosted a big “salute to summer shindig” at our house to celebrate the end of the summer and the end of all our summer projects.

Although the Michigan weather did not cooperate, we still had a fabulous time celebrating with our family… in our garage 🙂

10 Tips to Prepare for Overnight Guests

posted by Andrea | 04/17/2014 | 15 comments

Will you be hosting out-of-town guests any time soon? if so, this post offers 10 helpful suggestions to get you and your home ready.

All the tips are super simple, and most of them won’t cost you a penny!

Nora’s $40 Daniel Tiger Birthday Party

posted by Andrea | 12/3/2013 | 31 comments

Instead of shopping on Black Friday, Dave and I hosted a little Daniel Tiger birthday party for our big two year old.

It turned out so cute, and I’m pleased to say I pulled off the whole party (including dinner for 16+ guests and gifts) for less than $40!

It’s OK if Your Holidays Aren’t Totaly Stress-Free and Simple

posted by Andrea | 11/25/2013 | 6 comments

Yes, you read the title of this post correctly. Andrea Dekker is telling you that it’s OK if your life is stressed and crazy! Well, kind of 🙂

Keep reading for my thoughts on why it’s probably OK if your life is a little crazy for the next 6 weeks…

Our Soup and Bread Buffet Party

posted by Andrea | 10/9/2013 | 23 comments

When we finally finished our summer-long landscaping project, Dave and I decided to have a bunch of friends over for a backyard BBQ. Of course, our friends were all on board for a free dinner… however, we opted for a homemade soup and bread buffet over traditional BBQ foods.

Today, I’m sharing the recipes I used, how I organized this event, and how I managed to feed 28 people for around $90 total!

Why I’m Not Cleaning for Company Anymore!

posted by Andrea | 12/13/2012 | 14 comments

As I mentioned last week, Dave and I have been hosting all sorts of holiday parties with family and friends — and believe it or not, I hardly did ANY cleaning before company arrived.

No I’m not sick, no I’m not lazy, I’ve just decided that our company doesn’t care and a “lived in” house is actually more welcoming than a perfectly clean house.

Simple Tips to Entertain With Ease

posted by Andrea | 10/22/2011 | comment

Over the next couple of months there is a good chance you will be doing some entertaining.
You might be having the gang over to watch the “big game”, organizing one last Fall bonfire, preparing a huge Thanksgiving feast, hosting a cookie exchange, celebrating Christmas at your house this year, or planning any other number of seasonal get-to-gathers.

Whatever the case, any type of entertaining involves planning ahead… and I have a few tips that will help you do just that!

Fourth of July Favorites from Around the Web

posted by Andrea | 07/2/2011 | comment

source: I absolutely LOVE four-day holiday weekends! That extra day just seems to make the weekend last forever {which comes in handy if you have a bunch of house projects to finish!} However, this weekend, Dave and I will NOT be doing any house projects. We are currently on our way to Chicago for a wedding and then headed to Wisconsin to visit his relatives for a few days. It should be a busy {but fun} long weekend… and I hear his Grandma’s […]

Birthday Giveaway #25: PartyLite TeaLight Centerpiece

posted by Andrea | 06/18/2011 | 208 comments

Welcome to my Huge Birthday Giveaway Celebration!! Instead of receiving gifts this year, I’ve decided to give YOU an opportunity to win a bunch of awesome products I currently use and love.  I’ve partnered with 26 amazing companies to offer 26 different giveaways for my 26th birthday. There will be multiple giveaways every day from June 13-18 — so make sure you come back! You will be able to find all 26 Birthday Week Giveaways here — just keep scrolling down to view them […]

Weekend Giveaway – Enjoy Lighting Flameless Candles

posted by Andrea | 05/14/2011 | 58 comments

This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Wendy {wendypchef@…} — out of 86 entries {via blog comments and FB comments} she was chosen at random via the “And The Winner Is” WordPress Plugin. I will contact you shortly with the information I need to get you your candles! I absolutely LOVE decorating with candles, and even though I’m not doing much decorating these days, I’m already getting excited for when all our home renovations are complete and I can get […]

Is Your House Too Clean?

posted by Andrea | 05/5/2011 | 12 comments

I’m guessing that after reading the title of this post, some of you might have laughed and rolled your eyes. Your mind might have quickly remembered the pile(s) of dirty laundry on the floor, the baskets of clean laundry waiting to be folded, and the stack of dirty dishes sitting in the sink. Nope, your house is NOT too clean! However, as you prepare for your next play date, your next batch of company, or even the friend you know […]

Ten Quick Tips to Simplify the Holidays

posted by Andrea | 12/13/2010 | 5 comments

Since we’re moving…and I’m just a little bit busy, I have a handful of amazing guest bloggers lined up for the next two weeks. They have tons of great information to share with you so read carefully!! Today, Theresa Finnigin of Ready Aim Organize is sharing a few quick tips to simplify your last-minute holiday plans. {My personal favorite is #9!} Theresa is also a professional organizer so you better pay attention — she really knows her stuff. Christmas is just […]

Oh No! I’m a Collector {of dishes}

posted by Andrea | 12/3/2010 | 10 comments

If I were ever a collector {which by nature I could NEVER be}…but, if I ever collected anything, it would be dishes! {p.s. If you are wondering why my silver cup is so dirty, don’t worry, I cleaned it!} I LOVE dishes! I don’t know why I love dishes…or when this infatuation started, but I have a hunch it was the day I registered for our wedding {Thanksgiving weekend of 2005}. There were just so many beautiful patterns and styles to pick from; I think […]

10 Speed-Cleaning Tips

posted by Andrea | 07/5/2010 | 3 comments

Need an easy way to get your home straightened up in 30 minutes or less? Try my 10 speed-cleaning tips! These ideas are great for when unexpected company arrives and you have no time to thoroughly clean or organize your home. In these situations, my goal is simply to make my home “look” clean on the surface…even if it’s really not! 1. Have a clean entrance. Clear the entry table and floor from all clutter. Put bills and mail away, […]