Getting Organized! | simplykierste.com

A guide to getting organized!

This is the time of year that getting organized is especially on everyone's mind.  The busy-ness and craziness of the holidays are coming to a close, and when the tree goes down, the urge to organize everything hits in full force.  Sometimes though, it can feel SO overwhelming, looking at a room, or a drawer, or a closet, (or all of the above), and wondering where in the world to even start.  You know you want to, you know you need to, but now what? How exactly do you make that leap, and get started?  If getting organized is on your list, I'm going to share my tips and tricks that will help you on your way to getting organized in 2015!

Getting Organized! | simplykierste.com

Remember…the goal of getting organized isn't getting everything perfectly lined up in a row, it's making it work for YOU.  How you organize something will be different than someone else, and that's okay…it's how it should be!

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best of 2014 | simplykierste.com

Best of 2014!

What a year!  I honestly can't believe it's already time again to write a "best of" post, but here we are, at the end of 2014! It's been an interesting year for me personally, and as a blogger.  We had a huge move in late summer, and we're currently living in an apartment while we're building a home, so many of my home projects/decorating ideas have been put on hold.  But, it's been fun to focus on other things, and believe me, I'm creating a huge list of projects that I'll tackle in a few months, and share with you! I'm grateful for 2014, and looking forward to 2015!  So glad you're all along for the ride!  xoxo

So...without any more delay, here's a list of the most popular posts... the best of 2014!

best of 2014 | simplykierste.com

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merry christmas | simplykierste.com

Merry Christmas!

Oh my goodness, I can't believe Christmas is here!  It has been another wonderful season, and a first for us here in upstate New York. I wanted to let you all know how much I appreciate you, and love getting your comments, e-mails, and posts in social media.  I just love you all, and so grateful to you for reading!  I feel like we're friends, even though we've never met.  :)

I wanted to share with you a Christmas story that has been my favorite since I was a little girl. It touched my heart then, as it does now, and tears come to my eyes every single time, no matter how many times I read it.  It's called Trouble at the Innand it tells the story of a young boy named Wally, and his part in his school Nativity. I absolutely love what it teaches about the true meaning of Christmas, and it conveys the kind of person I want to be, and what I'm trying to teach my children to be.

I hope you all have a most wonderful  and merry Christmas!  xoxo

[caption id="attachment_13008" align="aligncenter" width="750"]merry christmas | simplykierste.com merry christmas | simplykierste.com[/caption]

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10 Fun & Festive Christmas Breakfast Ideas | simplykierste.com

10 Fun & festive Christmas breakfast ideas

We are on the countdown to Christmas!  Is your house feeling it too?  The celebrating has already started around here, and just today I went and bought a ridiculous amount of food for this week.  On the list?  Christmas breakfast!  It's probably our favorite meal of the whole entire year.  I've gathered 10 fun & festive Christmas breakfast ideas that would be perfect for not only Christmas day, but the days leading up to it.  I love all the pancake and waffle ideas...and I know my kids would too!!

10 Fun & Festive Christmas Breakfast Ideas | simplykierste.com

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Easy Punch Recipe | simplykierste.com

The Easiest Sparkling Punch

I bought my first punch bowl very early on in life.  As a piano teacher, I felt it quite necessary to have punch and cookies after each recital, and a girl can't be without a punch bowl!  Now I use a drink dispenser, but I still have my punch bowl! This particular recipe is my go-to punch, and it's the easiest sparkling punch around. It only has two basic ingredients, so it's also so quick to put together, which I love. You can also easily change flavors to match a theme, season, or holiday, and I've made many different kinds.  The kind I love for Christmas and the holidays is what I call...Sparkling Cranberry Punch! Its delightful red color with cranberries with floating on top is perfect for any holiday table!

Easy Punch Recipe | simplykierste.com

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Family Lacing Cards | simplykierste.com

Family Lacing Cards

We live far away from all of our family--most of them live thousands of miles away, and my sister is the closest at twelve hours away. We don't get to see them as often as we would like, but it's important to me that we do things to keep connected, and to help my kids know their family.  I thought it would be fun to make a set of family lacing cards for my kids for Christmas a couple of years ago, and they LOVE them.  I made a card for each of our siblings, and their families, and it's so fun to have their cute faces so often.

Family Lacing Cards | simplykierste.com

 It's a perfect gift for either your kids, or for other family members--with a card of your family, of course!  I love to tuck them into our church bag, into my diaper bag for visits to the doctor and other times we have to wait, and into the car.

  This is a very easy project, and can be put together in an afternoon! It's also extremely budget-friendly--I made this whole set for less than $10, with the majority going to the lamination.

Family Lacing Cards | simplykierste.com

 

ITEMS YOU NEED:

-white cardstock

-coordinating cardstock

-paper trimmer & scissors

-hole punch

-printer

-pictures of choice

Family Lacing Cards | simplykierste.com

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Develop 5x7 pictures of your family.  On white cardstock, print the names or other text a little below the middle of the page, giving room for the picture to go above it.  Once it's printed, adhere the picture right above the text using double stick tape. (Font = century gothic)

2. Trim the white cardstock, leaving about a 3/4 inch border around the edges.  Mat it onto a coordinating piece of cardstock--I decided on red.  Trim all edges to be even.

3.  You're ready to laminate!  I took mine to Office Max, and had them use a 7 mil laminate.  I wanted it as thick as possible, and the 10 mil wouldn't work with all of the cardstock. Trim the laminate, leaving a small border around the edges.  ***Make sure you round the corners afterward--the edges are very sharp! If you have a laminator, you can do it yourself too! I also have a laminator, but I wanted it a little thicker than mine can do.

4.  Using a ruler and a Sharpie, decide where you how far apart you want the holes, and make a small mark.  Punch the holes over the mark you made with your hole punch.

That's it, you're done!  You've got darling family lacing cards!

 Family Lacing Cards | simplykierste.com
Gold Striped Gift Tags | Free Printables | simplykierste.com

Gold Striped Christmas Gift Tags

It's the 10th of the month! This month my friends and I got busy with the theme GOLD. It's kind of perfect for the holidays right? Check out my post and then hop on over to visit all of the others. Gold is such a fun color all year, but I love it at Christmastime!  I was looking through the candy aisle the other day, and saw one of my favorites (Hershey Nuggets with Toffee) in their beautiful gold wrappers, and knew I needed to make some Gold Striped Christmas Gift Tags to go with them!

Gold Striped Gift Tags | Free Printables | simplykierste.com

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Children’s Art Christmas Gift Tags

Hello, friends!  I'm Kierste, the girl behind the blog Simply Kierste, and I'm delighted to be here today!

I love doing projects with my kids, and this not only includes them, but highlights their creations. Yesterday afternoon I asked my kids to draw me some Christmas pictures--anything they wanted. We brought out the markers and the white paper, and they went to town. I took their artwork, and made them into absolutely adorable Christmas gift tags.

Children's Artwork Christmas Gift Tags | simplykierste.com

How adorable, right??!!  There is something so special about immortalizing such sweet artwork, and being able to share it. They're perfect for adding to presents you give to friends and family, or even for the ones you give to that specific child.  They would also be darling on a teacher gift, or a child's music teacher, ballet teacher, sports coach, etc.

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Cupcake Liner Treat jar | simplykierste.com

Easy Cupcake Liner Gift Jars

If you've been reading my blog for very long, you know that I'm all about simple ideas that pack a big punch--small things that don't take a lot of time, but look like you did.  :) I try to always have simple packaging items on hand, in case I need to quickly put together a gift for someone. Mason jars, milk bottles, bakers twine, and jute are a few, but I'm going to let you in on a little secret about one of my favorites...cupcake liners! They fit perfectly on the top of mason jars, and dress them up to make an easy and adorable Cupcake Liner Gift Jar.

Cupcake Liner Treat jar | simplykierste.com

Isn't that SO cute? And it literally took me three minutes.  THREE!

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Easy Shoe Shelf for Winter Boots | simplykierste.com

Easy Shoe Shelf + Rockwell Bladerunner X2 Tabletop Saw GIVEAWAY

This post is sponsored by Rockwell Tools. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Oh my goodness, the snow.  And the salt.  And the wet.  And the mud.  All of which I do not want brought into my house this winter!   With no mudroom in our little apartment, I decided that we needed a shoe shelf just outside our front door, so all boots could be deposited there before coming inside.  I had just been sent a Rockwell Bladerunner X2 Portable Tabletop Saw to try, and knew it would be the perfect first project!

Easy Shoe Shelf for Winter Boots | simplykierste.com

boots 8

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Give Happy with Osh Kosh | simplykierste.com

Give happy with OshKosh B’gosh

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for OshKosh B’gosh. I received an OshKosh B’gosh gift card to purchase product and to thank me for my participation. All opinions are 100% mine.

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 I have been shopping at OshKosh B'gosh for a very long time--more than ten years! It's a store that's on my go-to list for many reasons, but I especially love it around the holidays. Darling holiday outfits, adorable pajamas, and great deals to stock up on basics for the rest of the year are all part of the appeal!

Give Happy with Osh Kosh | simplykierste.com

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FREE Chalkboard Christmas Card Templates | simplykierste.com

FREE Chalkboard Christmas Card Templates

I first posted these in 2013, but updated them for the 2014 season...and I included all the directions to add your own text!  If you have any questions, please let me know!

Sending and receiving cards is one of my favorite things about the holiday season, and I love making them each year to send to our friends and family. Today I thought I would share some free Chalkboard Christmas Card templates in case you wanted to use them too!  And guess what...NO PHOTOSHOP REQUIRED!!  ☺  It's super easy, and I'm going to show you how!

Free Chalkboard Christmas Card Template | simplykierste.com

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Black Friday Cash Giveaway | simplykierste.com

Black Friday CASH GIVEAWAY!!!

I'm continuing this week of giveaways, and today is SO exciting!

To help you with the holidays, I teamed with 30 blogging friends to give you a $400 Cash giveaway! You read that right! $400 of CASH for one lucky winner right before the holidays!! All you have to have is a PayPal account where we can send you the money and enter below for your chance to win this Black Friday Cash Giveaway!

HolidayCashGiveaway_11_22-4

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Silhouette Black Friday Event | simplykierste.com

A Silhouette Black Friday Event! (Prices good through December 8th)

 

Are you ready for a Silhouette Black Friday Event???!!!

 Silhouette Black Friday Event | simplykierste.com

It's that time again...Black Friday 2014!  It's hands down the best sale of the year when it comes to Silhouette machines and products, and if have been waiting to buy a machine for yourself or someone else, this is the time!  If you already have a machine, the 40% off everything part of things is awesome--stock up now on all your favorites, or things you have been wanting to try.

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T-fal Calipso Pressure Cooker | simplykierste.com

Thanksgiving Made Easy with T-fal & Zabada + a GIVEAWAY!!!

This post was sponsored by T-Fal and Zabada.  All opinions are 100% mine.

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My kids LOVE mashed potatoes.  The real ones. They beg me often to make them, but I don't usually have time on a weekday to make them with our busy afternoon/evening schedules. So...they have always been "Sunday Potatoes" at our house, because Sunday has pretty much been the only day we have enough time to make them.  Until now.

I had the opportunity to try a T-fal Calipso Pressure Cooker.  I'm not kidding--it has been life changing for me!  I've seen and heard about pressure cookers, but I have to admit, they've always made me nervous. Even so, I anything that has the potential to make my life easier, and speed up the meal preparing process, I'm totally willing to try, so I did!

T-fal Calipso Pressure Cooker | simplykierste.com

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Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms | simplykierste.com

Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms

Peppermint is one of my favorite holiday flavors, and I LOVE it with chocolate.  The pairing is a match made in heaven, and heavenly would be the perfect way to describe these cookies.  When I came across Candy Cane Kisses at the store last week, I knew exactly what I wanted to do...I took the popular Peanut Butter Blossom cookie, and traded out the flavors for a delightful Christmas cookie!

Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms | simplykierste.com

The rich, chocolate-y cookie, with that little creamy bite of peppermint on the top...it's absolute perfection. And isn't it so adorable and festive? I love love the cute stripes on the Candy Cane Kiss!

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