Entertaining

My Top Tip to Simplify Big Holiday Meals

posted by Andrea | 11/13/2018 | 61 comments

I like to keep ALL holidays as simple as possible, but Thanksgiving is a big one for me — it can be so much work to roast the “perfect turkey” and have all the foods ready at the exact same time (but it doesn’t have to be).

If you’re hosting a big meal this holiday season, let me share one tip that has completely revolutionized the way I prepare big holiday meals, and drastically helped to simplify my most favorite holiday! I’m also linking to TONS of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes!

Sweet and Spicy Snack Mix (for a crowd!)

posted by Andrea | 11/6/2018 | 13 comments

Today’s recipe for Sweet and Spicy Snack Mix is a newer favorite of ours. I got the recipe from a friend this summer — and WOW is it good! 

I’ve made it a few times for food gifts, and I’m sure I’ll make it a few more times for holiday parties. It’s the perfect balance of sweet, salty, spicy, savory, crunchy, chewy, and oh so delicious! 

Fun Conversations Starters (for adults, kids, introverts, and anyone else!)

posted by Andrea | 10/26/2018 | 12 comments

As self-proclaimed introverts, Dave and I are not much for small-talk. We can manage boring small-talk conversations just fine, and I certainly wouldn’t ever consider us to be “socially awkward”.

That said, with the holiday party season just around the corner, I thought it might be fun to come up with a list of Fun Conversation Starters for anyone who would rather not discuss the weather or work with every new person they encounter! I also have a great list of 20 conversation starters for kids!

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 […]