{giveaway} pocket full of posies

Making dinner is one of my least favorite things to do.  I like to cook, and I like my family to have healthy meals, but it can be often is one of the most stressful parts of the day.  I'm usually trying to make dinner amidst homework, piano practice, and toddlers that are tired and grumpy.  Sometimes I'm a little tired and grumpy, too.  ☺ Anything that can help relieve the craziness of planning, shopping, and preparing dinner is high on my list of things to try. Pocket Full of Posies presents a solution for all of it! "Pocket Full of Posies offers  a unique pocket meal planning system that organizes life in the kitchen.  Our meal planning system is a way … [Read more...]

{oh, what do you do in the summertime?}

I just love summertime.  We have so many things that we love to do as a a family during the summer months, and we look forward to campfires in the backyard, BBQs, baseball games, trips to the beach, camping, staying up late, and spending time with friends and family.  It also means no school, and adjusting to a different routine and schedule, plus keeping kids entertained and busy.I'm always looking for fun summer ideas...everything from activities for kids, summer holiday decor, organization, to yummy recipes and more.  I'm super excited to announce a summer series here on Brown Paper Packages, titled what else but "Oh, what do you do in the summertime?".  Some of the … [Read more...]

{sketch pen tutorial} birthday girl card

birthday card 1 copy

I've had a Silhouette for awhile now, and up until a week ago, had never used sketch pens.  I don't know why, because now after I've worked with them a few times, I absolutely LOVE them! I wish I would have tried them a long time ago.  They are super easy to use, and you can create darling cards in no time flat. I really like giving cute cards, but I don't always have a lot of time to put something together.  This is the perfect solution--you can personalize blank cards in literally less than 5 minutes--I'm not kidding! So fast, so easy, and so darling! Silhouette has 3 different sets of pens--a glitter set, metallic set, and a starter set that includes 8 basic … [Read more...]

Wood pallet bed

bed--finished 6 copy

In all our married life, we've never had a bed.  Okay, so we've always had a bed, just not a headboard or foot board.  There's just always been so many other places for money to go, and the bedroom always came last. For many years we couldn't even make one, because we were living in apartments/townhomes while we were in school and then while were building our house, and didn't have room for tools.  When we finally moved into our house, and had all the tools we needed, there were always a million other projects, and the bed kept going lower on the list.  When I found some wood pallets a couple months ago, I knew it was finally time! I love out wood pallet bed, and you can make one … [Read more...]

{silhouette promo + CAMEO GIVEAWAY!!!}

 ***GIVEAWAY CLOSED*** Good morning, everyone!  I have a HUGE surprise for you today!That's right..one very lucky Brown Paper Packages reader is going to win a Silhouette Cameo!   You all know how much I love my Cameo, and I use it ALL the time.  It can cut paper, cardstock, vinyl, heat transfer, fabric and more up to 12 inches wide and 10 feet long. The possibilities are endless, and you will have so much fun using your own Silhouette Cameo!{To Enter:} Required Entry:Leave a comment on this post, telling me what you would make first! (Please include your e-mail address!)Additional Entries:1.  Follow the Silhouette blog.  Come back here and let me know … [Read more...]

{giveaway} a slip shop

***GIVEAWAY CLOSED***I am SO excited about the giveaway today!  A Slip Shop is an Etsy shop featuring slips that are designed to be seen, and are the perfect accessory for any skirt or dress.  I purchased these slips for the first time a couple of months ago, and I LOVE them.  Like, really love.  I initially bought them to lengthen a couple of dresses I have that are just too short for me to wear comfortably--especially chasing little kids around.  They not only lengthened my dresses, but added a whole layer of cute.  :)  They also work with those dresses and skirts where the length isn't an issue, but you just want to add a little flair to.  I get so … [Read more...]

{cinnamon chip cookies}

Cookies are always a huge hit at our house, and I love to take one of my favorite basic dough recipes, and do something a little different with it.  The other day I sent one of my kids to the storage room to grab white chocolate chips, and he came back empty-handed.  I almost always have them on hand, so it took me by surprise at first, and then I decided to alter my plans and try something new.  I'm so glad I did--these cinnamon chip cookies are delightful! We added a new favorite to our cookie list!{Cinnamon Chip Cookies}1 c. butter1/2 c. white sugar1/2 c. brown sugar1 egg2 1/4 c. flour3/4 tsp. baking soda1/2 tsp. salt2 c. cinnamon chipsMix butter and sugar until … [Read more...]

{photography with lei} adding depth to your portraits

Hey guys!  I've got a quick sun flare photo to share with you from my post 2 weeks ago.  Thanks for sharing, Jessica! I think the flare could be even more prominent in this photo - so maybe this would be a great photo to work with on today's post. :)  Cute kid, by the way!Today's post in our series of how-do-yous is going to take your pictures to the next level, by helping you add some depth to your portraits. What does it mean if your photo looks "flat"?  Well, a flat photo lacks dimension.  The shadows aren't there; if you didn't know you'd taken a picture of an actual 3D person you might think the photo looked rather 1 dimensional. We tend to get flat … [Read more...]

10 Fabulous Planter Ideas

10 Fabulous Planter Ideas | simplykierste.com

Here in Michigan, spring is on it's way!  When I was out shopping this weekend, all the potted flowers were calling my name. I haven't been able to stop thinking about which ones I want to plant this year, and what kind of planter I want to make to present them in. So...I went looking and found 10 FABULOUS planter ideas, ready to inspire!!! You will just love the creativity--so many clever and darling ideas! Most of these are for planting flowers, but I found a couple really fun ideas for gardens that I added those too. Here's an idea using an old washtub!  I made it a several years ago, and it's still one of my favorite things for my back porch. It's also really versatile--I plant … [Read more...]

Welcome To Town! {FREE PRINTABLE}

welcome to town | free printable | simplykierste.com

I'll never forget the day we moved into town.  My husband had just finished graduate school, and this was the first place we were going to live that was "for real"...not for school, but for an actual job.  It's not a big town, in fact, it's on the smaller side, but that didn't stop me from feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of trying to figure everything out, from stores and parks to libraries, dentists, doctors and more.  We had just made a huge move across the country for school a couple of years before, and had finally felt settled when it was time to move again. Starting from scratch is hard, no matter why or where you're moving! I created this fun and easy "welcome to town" survival … [Read more...]