Life

Get Rid of the All Or Nothing Mentality

posted by Andrea | 05/24/2019 | 22 comments

I am not one to follow fads or trends, I have never been the type to “jump on the band wagon” just because “everyone else is doing it”, I rarely have super strong opinions about specific topics, I don’t see many things in life as “black or white” with no middle ground, and I strongly dislike all-or-nothing decisions and situations.

Instead, I opt for a mentality of all-things-in-moderation — which has been a HUGE asset in my quest for simple living. 

Don’t Let Urgent Get in the Way of Important

posted by Andrea | 05/22/2019 | 30 comments

One thing I have stressed over and over and over again in my own life, with past clients, with my children, and here on my blog is the importance of planning ahead.

I could talk about planning ahead all day long, but if I had to boil it down to one single reason why planning ahead helps me to simplify, streamline, and de-stress my entire life, it would be this: Planning ahead lets me focus on the IMPORTANT instead of dealing with the URGENT.

I Am Enough! How I Quiet The Ridiculous Thoughts I Have Every Day

posted by Andrea | 05/16/2019 | 56 comments

I often find myself striving for improvement in almost every single thing I do — which can lead to feelings of being inadequate and not good enough (I’m sure some of you can relate!)

Today I’m sharing the super simple technique I use when these thoughts creep into my brain… I’d love to know how you handle these thoughts as well!

My Favorite Canning Supplies

posted by Andrea | 05/13/2019 | 11 comments

As our children get older, as our vegetable garden gets larger, and as I have more “free time” for activities I enjoy, I hope to increase the types and quantities of food I preserve each year. 

And since we’re entering the time of year when canning and preserving are becoming hot topics of conversation again, I thought it might be perfect timing to share some of MY favorite canning resources (the ones I’ve used year after year for as long as I can remember). 

A Few Of My Favorite Things {May 2019}

posted by Andrea | 05/1/2019 | 20 comments

Last week was a BIG yard work week for us… we had several larger trees delivered and planted, we dug out and transplanted so many shrubs, I split countless perennials, we rented a sod cutter to expand a few of our planting beds, and we had 20+ yard of mulch delivered. 

I know it might sound crazy, but working out in the yard truly is one of my most favorite things to do this time of year! I’m sharing a few more of my favorite things in today’s post! 

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…

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!

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 | 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!  

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 | 42 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!

6 Reasons We Buy Used

posted by Andrea | 04/3/2019 | 56 comments

It’s no secret that I frequently buy used and secondhand items for me, for Dave, for our kids, and for our house. I’m not ashamed to borrow something from a friend or relative — and you all know how much I love Craigslist!

Today, I’m sharing 6 reasons I almost always buy used…

A Few Of My Favorite Things {April 2019}

posted by Andrea | 04/1/2019 | 23 comments

Our family has enjoyed having everyone home for Spring Break these last few days… I feel like all I’ve been doing is cooking and baking (something I enjoy doing more of when Dave is home to help “hold down the fort”)! 

I’ll share more about all my spring break cooking and baking next week… in the meantime, it just seems fitting that all my favorites for this month are kitchen-related! 

Our Current Weekday Routine (Spring 2019 edition)

posted by Andrea | 03/28/2019 | 10 comments

Every week, I get emails asking me to share more about what our normal daily life looks like. 

I’ve shared these types of posts in the past, but they get outdated so quickly that I decided it was time for an updated look at what a fairly “normal” weekday looks like in the Dekker home!

How Our Simple Lifestyle Facilitates Frugality

posted by Andrea | 03/26/2019 | 45 comments

I’ve always been a very frugal person — faithfully clipping coupons, shopping thrift stores and Craigslist, cooking from scratch, and more — all in an effort to save more on the things we need and want to buy. 

However, SAVING money on the items we buy is really only half the battle in living a frugal debt-free life… today, I’m sharing the other huge factor in frugal living as it relates to our family’s ability to live well below our means.

An Update on My Calendar + Planner System

posted by Andrea | 03/22/2019 | 53 comments

Back in November, I shared my new Calendar + Planner approach to the New Year.

I honestly wasn’t exactly sure how well this Calendar + Planner system would (or wouldn’t) work for me, my family, my routine, etc. but I knew I wanted to give it a shot! Now, 3 months after using this system on a daily (sometimes hourly!) basis, I have a short list of pros and cons to share!