{mini s’mores}

mini s'mores--brown paper packages

We are a S'mores loving family, and I cannot tell you how excited I was when I saw the new Lil' Squares by Honey Maid.  They are seriously the CUTEST mini version of graham crackers, and I immediately knew what I wanted to do with them! These mini s'mores are the perfect bite, and deliver the taste we all love in a tiny little package. The best part? They literally take just minutes to make in your oven! They are perfect for any summer occasion or get-together, an evening at home, rainy day activity, or family night treat.  Kids will love helping to put these together--and munch on the ingredients at the same time. :) I also love the presentation--why is it that everything's so … [Read more...]

{summer reading program} with printables!

 I posted this for the first time last summer, along with the printables. I've received several e-mails telling me that the place I updated those printables to is now requiring payment in order to download them.  I decided to go ahead and re-post it, and change the link for the printables to one that is free!  This was one of our very favorite summer activities, and can't wait to do it again! Since we're moving this summer, and will be in between libraries, I think it's going to be even more important.  Enjoy!..... When I was growing up, summers were for reading.  I read all year long, but in the summer I could curl up with a book for as long as I wanted … [Read more...]

{oh, what do you do in the summertime} featured guest: somewhat simple

Here is a fun indoor summer activity, perfect to throw together when the kids are getting a bit stir-crazy! GATHER THESE MATERIALS:Gift wrap tubesCereal boxesPacking tapePinto beans, rice, split peas etc.EmbellishmentsScissorsDIRECTIONS: 1. Using your packing tape, tape one end of your tube. I just laid the tape in several different directions over the opening and then wrapped the base of the tube a few times around to secure the ends of each strip of tape.  2. Cut your cereal boxes into strips. Make sure they are thinner than your tube (about 1 inch wide should work). Then, fold the strips back and forth like a fan or accordion. 3. Add your accordion-like cardboard to the … [Read more...]

{silhouette GIVEAWAY and promo!}

 ***GIVEAWAY CLOSED***Wahoo!!  I LOVE when I can do this!!!! I have the best readers ever, and I get so excited when I get to do a giveaway like this!  A 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. My recent treasure box post is just one example of the many projects I've used it for.  I created the text and cut out the vinyl in about 5 minutes!  It can cut paper, cardstock, vinyl, heat transfer, fabric and you can make things with rhinestones and sketch pens up to 12 inches wide and 10 feet long. It can help you decorate your home, make … [Read more...]

{easy father’s day ideas}

Father's Day is right around the corner, so I've collected some fun and easy ideas for the special dad in your life!{Father's Day Pop!} free printableWhipperberry{"Tie-riffic Father's Day} free printablesAmanda's Parties to Go{Bin Bag}A Spoonful of Sugar{Superhero Kit} free printablesAlphaMom{I Love Daddy 2x4 Photo Board}Simply Home & Family{Mini Tie Keychain}Creative Itch{Fun Moustache Ideas} easily adapted for Father's Day!Oopsey Daisy{Dad Photo}Brassy Apple{King of the Grill Apron}Martha Stewartkierste … [Read more...]

Kids’ Treasure Boxes: Keeping Their “Treasures” Organized

Treasure Boxes for Kids | simplykierste.com

Is it just my kids, or do yours love to "collect" treasure, too?  And when I say treasure, I mean rocks they found in the front yard, broken toys from the dollar store, every scrap of paper they've written their name on, pieces of colored lint, an old bead necklace they found on the bus...the list could go on and on. When I first discovered piles of "treasure" in their room, I was torn between wanting to acknowledge their need for keeping things that are important to them (don't we all want that?), and my need for a clutter-free home. I also wanted to teach them how to keep things orderly.  From these needs, treasure boxes were born, and it has been one of the best things we've ever done! … [Read more...]

{giveaway} jameson monroe

I was introduced to Jameson Monroe a few months ago, when their shabby flower skinny headbands were featured on a boutique site.  I thought they were so cute, and decided to give them a try.  Once we had them home, they quickly became our go-to headbands!  The bands are comfortable--I've never had a complaint from either one of my girls.  The shabby flowers are adorable, and made really well.  They feature a variety of darling products, including boutique headbands, bracelets, burp cloths, aprons, baby legs, blankets, swarovski crystal bracelets, earrings, and wipes cases.  They also have homemade designer caramels for weddings, showers, events, and just … [Read more...]

{oh, what do you do in the summertime} featured guest: lil’ luna

Hi there! Kristyn from Lil' Luna here!! I'm SO excited to be here on Kierste's awesome blog today - I just LOVE the girl!! With it being Summer here in AZ, things are getting pretty HOT, and the kids aren't as excited to play outside, so I thought it would be fun to make Homemade Gak (It's something I made all the time with my cousin growing up!) The recipe that was most similar to the one I used growing up if one I found HERE. It is so EASY and literally takes 2 minutes to make, but has provided HOURS (and I'm not even joking!), HOURS of entertainment!! Every day, for a week now, the kids have played with this gak for at least an hour each day. I've pulled out plastic cookie cutters … [Read more...]

{white chocolate chip lemon bread}

Lemon is to spring and summer as pumpkin is to fall, and I am passionate about all things lemon.  That means I am super excited about sharing one of my most favorite lemon-y recipes--White Chocolate Chip Lemon Bread!  Okay, it tastes more like a cake, but hey--it's made in a loaf pan, so I get to call it a bread.  When I call it bread, it makes me feel better about eating more than one piece.  Or more than two pieces.  :)  The white chocolate chips are optional, but I sure do like them in there! {White Chocolate Chip Lemon Bread}3 sticks butter (1 1/2 c.)3 c. sugar5 large eggs3 c. flour1 tsp. vanilla1/2 tsp. lemon extract1/2 tsp. almond extract7/8 c. ginger ale … [Read more...]

{easy DIY cupcake stand}

diy cupcake stand--brown paper packages--title 2

I adore cupcake stands--I just think they are so, so cute.   I've found a super easy, inexpensive version of my own, and I'm excited to share it with you today!   I cannot tell you how easy this is, don't you love it?  I was walking through the unfinished wood section in Michael's, and found the perfect pieces to make the cupcake stand. The first was a round disc that was already routered for the top, and a candlestick for the bottom.  The top piece was only 59 cents, and the candlestick was $2.99.  If you use your 40% off coupon for the candlestick, you can get it for around $1.80!  I just bought them a couple weeks ago, so they probably still have them now. You could … [Read more...]