How to Have a Clean Home EVERY Day + Free Printable Checklist

One of the things I get asked about most is my cleaning schedule and regimen. I love having a clean home, and not just once a week, but every day. I can manage the rest of my life so much better when my house is clean and organized, and there's something about an orderly home that provides a more calming atmosphere.  Over the years as we've added more children to our family, it's be come even more essential, because there are so many more people contributing to the mess and chaos!

a clean house every day |

Years ago,  I developed a routine that has worked wonders for me, and I've loved it ever since. I'm going to share my secret with you today! It works, and if you follow it, you WILL have a clean house.


{simply kierste’s top 10 of 2013 + a a new year’s blog hop GIVEAWAY}

Can you believe 2013 is almost over?   This was a great year for me, both at home (baby Caroline ♥) and here, with all of you! I hope you all know how much I appreciate you...thank you so much for all the support, encouragement, comments, and LOVE!  Just know it is returned, ten-fold!

I love looking back at the most popular posts of the year--sometimes it surprises me, but many times they are some of my favorites too! I'm excited to share the top ten of 2013, PLUS...a super fun $50 Amazon Gift Card giveaway that you don't want to miss!  To make it even MORE fun, a bunch of my blogging buddies are also hosting $50 giveaways and featuring their top posts of the year. So, get comfy and have fun checking out the top posts here on Simply Kierste, entering my giveaway, then hopping over to the other blogs to see their top 10 posts and giveaway.  That's a LOT of great content (hello, Pinterest.) and a TON of chances to win.  Wahoo!!!

Top Posts of 2013 |



Favorite Family Games: ages 4-8

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  We're excited now to have a break from school, and my husband is home from work, which means it's time to PARTY!  ☺  Our family loves games, and this break is the perfect time to play some of our favorite family games. I'm going to share our favorites list with you today! These are tried and true--we've played them a million times, with five of our kids plus others, and they are ones we love, and play again and again. The ones I'm highlighting are most appropriate for ages 4-8.  Four of our children are in this age range (2 four year olds and 2 seven year olds), so we play a lot of games that work for this range.

favorite family games |


My Christmas Miracle

Everything I was planning this past week pretty much went up in smoke when half of our family came down with strep throat or the flu--my husband and myself included.  It's been an interesting week to say the least, and as I've been juggling and rearranging items on my list to fit this unexpected and unfortunate timing of events, something else happened that caused me to really reflect on what Christmas means to me.

A few weeks ago I ordered what I planned to be my little boys' main present, and was excited about getting free shipping, since it was very heavy, and would have been a fortune.  It was ground shipping, but guaranteed to get here in plenty of time for Christmas.  It arrived when I wasn't home last Friday, and it was taken to our "super-secret-hiding-place" to wait until Christmas Eve, when Rick and I hold our annual preset wrapping party.  I didn't even see the boxes, but assumed since they arrived, we were good to go.

On Sunday night we managed to load all the kids in the car and go look at Christmas lights, because it was something we could do without leaving the car, and we could enjoy a little bit of the season even while we weren't feeling well.  One the way home, the kids had fallen asleep, and so we took the opportunity to talk a little about our plan for wrapping.  The topic of the boys' present came up, and Rick happened to ask me why I bought that particular present for the boys.  It was discovered that the completely wrong item was sent to us, and I was just finding this out on the night of December 22nd.


{the holidays with bed bath & beyond}

This post brought to you by Bed Bath & Beyond. All opinions are 100% mine.


The holidays are such a wonderfully busy time!  I'm always looking for great ideas for holiday preparations, whether it's for guests coming to my home, entertaining, meals, parties, or learning new tips and techniques to make everything easier!

Bed Bath & Beyond's Holiday Your Way is your destination for inspiration, ideas, and solutions throughout the holiday season, featuring delicious and creative recipes, entertaining tips and how-tos, and tons of holiday inspiration to create a "Holiday Your Way!" Each week, Bed Bath & Beyond will serve up freshly baked ideas and videos along with expert advice to help you stay on track as you prepare for all your holiday celebrations.

Check out the Holiday Recipes for appetizers, desserts, and holiday meals. Just look at these Bacon, Cream Cheese Tomatoes...don't they look fabulous??? I can't wait to try them!


Guest Welcome Basket: FREE printable included!

We LOVE having guests come, and we've been lucky to have quite a few people visit this past year. As part of their welcome, I like to leave them a Guest Welcome Basket in their room, on the bed, so they'll see it right away. It lets them know how glad we are that they are with us, and gives them a few comfort items for their "home away from home".  If you're having holiday guests this year, consider putting together your own Guest Welcome Basket!

guest welcome basket |



You've Been Frosted |

You’ve Been Frosted

Can you believe it's December? Aaaack! I might be behind on my list, but I'm so happy that it's Christmastime I can hardly stand it.  We cut down our tree and decorated it this weekend, and I'm supremely happy as I sit here writing with only the tree lights on.  *sigh*

In October one of our favorite family activities is to "boo" our friends and neighbors, so I decided to do a Christmas version called "You've Been Frosted" and share it with all of you!  You will also now know how much I love all of you, because I actually wrote a poem. This is big, people.

you've been frosted |


Turtle Tassies

Why is that cooler weather just makes me want to bake?? The weather here has finally gotten to the point here in Texas where I might just go crazy and call the mornings "chilly", which means baking is in full swing.  I'm a HUGE fan of anything "turtle", so these Turtle Tassies are most definitely a favorite of mine.

turtle tassies |



{holiday cleaning made easy with steel meister!}

We are counting down the hours until our friends arrive for Thanksgiving.  We have missed them terribly since we moved away, and we couldn't be more excited that they're coming.  I can't wait to eat yummy food, show them all of our favorite places, watch movies, let our kids play as much as they want the friends that they've missed, play games, stay up all night talking, and just be together. Did I say eat yummy food?  ☺ To me these are the epitome of the holidays!

Since they're arriving soon, I'm in prep mode, and a big part of that is making sure my house is totally clean and orderly.  I'm a total clean freak, so it's really important to me that everything looks right.  My one cleaning nemesis has always been my stainless steel appliances.  I love the way they look,  but I've always struggled get them to be as clean as I wanted them to be. Since I'm kind of crazy about cleaning, when it comes to fingerprints and smears on my appliances, well...let's just say I have been wiping them down at least 15 times a day.  At least.  Sixty little fingers...*sigh*

I've tried different stainless steel cleaners, and never been totally satisfied...until now.  Recently  I was sent a sample of Steel Meister, and my life will never be the same! I will no longer be a slave to my stainless steel appliances. ☺