I’m lucky to know you: St. Patrick’s Day gift tags

Let the people in your life know how lucky you feel to to know them! 

Lucky to know you | St. Patrick's Day free printable | simplykierste.com

We all have people we love and appreciate in our lives, and it's never the wrong time to let them know. With St. Patrick's Day right around the corner, you can print this adorable tag to help you do that! I adore milk bottles and mason jars, so I use them the most often, but clear treat bags work really well too.

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From this mom of six: my must-have baby items

From a mom of six: my must-have baby items

If you are expecting your first baby, you may be feeling overwhelmed by all of the products out there, and all the choices available.  It's true--we have so many options, but it's nice to know which direction to head in first, and the items that are tried and true.  If you're on baby #2 or more, you more than likely have started your own list of favorites, but if you're like me, you're always curious to see if there is something out there that might change your life for the better. :)

After having six babies, and a lot of trial and error, I've definitely learned which baby items are my favorite, and some I wish I would have known about with baby #1! At the top of my list are basic items that make my every day a little bit easier and more manageable. They are the things I use when it comes to soothing a baby, putting them to sleep, trying to make them comfortable and happy while making dinner or taking a shower (and anything else you need to do), and trying to make traveling and going places a little less complicated. I've compiled that list for you here...my must-have baby items! If you're looking for ideas, hopefully this will be a good place to start.

From this mom of six:  my must-have baby items

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V-Tech Safe & Sound Monitor | simplykierste.com

Peace of mind with the VTech Safe & Sound Baby Monitor

This post is brought to you by VTech and The Motherhood. All opinions are 100% my own.

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There have been lots of times over the years when seeing what was going on inside the nursery would have been extremely helpful.

Take for example the time that my one year old twin girls got into the fruit snacks I was storing under their cribs (small apartment, no storage space) while they were supposed to be taking a nap.  They ate through six full boxes before they were discovered.

Or the time that my doorbell rang at 6am, and found my neighbor and my two year old little boy standing on the front porch.  He had woken up when his dad got up for work, quietly escaped from his crib, and then after my husband left, went out the then unlatched door.

We could even talk about the time that one little girl discovered the baby powder, then shared it with her twin sister, and together decided how much fun it would be to empty the whole container over the floor, and shake it into every single dresser drawer.

V-Tech Safe & Sound Monitor | simplykierste.com

I could go on.

All of these were performed in utter silence and stealth mode, so even the best of baby monitors didn't pick up a thing.  I'm not sure when my babies learned how to do that, but they clearly excelled.

Then there's the serious side of things.

The past few months have been very difficult for our family, as my baby suffered has from severe respiratory failure and was in the ICU three times over three months.  One of those visits resulted in her being intubated because she couldn't breathe on her own, and she was in the hospital for two weeks. Her illnesses are onset very quickly, and often times worsen in the night. Since then, being able to see her and listen to her while she sleeps has become very important to me.

caroline sk

One of the things that's giving me peace of mind right now is the VTech Safe & Sound® Pan & Tilt Full Color Video Baby Monitor. It allows me to see into her room, and keep on eye on her while she's sleeping both day and night.  It has so many features that I just love, including being able to pan up to 270 degrees side-to-side and tilt as many as 124 degrees up and down. I can even zoom in up to 2x to get a closer look if I want one. With automatic night vision, I can even check on her in the middle of the night. It also has a talk feature, where I can push a button and speak to her, and she can talk back!

One of my favorite features is the built-in thermometer, so I always know what the temperature is in her room.  It's SO cold here right now (today it got down to -25 degrees), and knowing she's staying warm.  If you have a baby and a toddler you want to keep an eye on, you can have up to 4 cameras on one parent unit, so it grows as your family grows.

V-Tech Safe & Sound Monitor | simplykierste.com

During the day, I keep the parent unit in the kitchen/family room area, because that's where I spend the most time.  I love to watch and listen as she goes down for her nap, and hear her darling little voice. It's fun to watch her tire herself out walking around the crib, until she finally decides it's time to lie down and go to sleep.  As she moves,  I can zoom in or out, move the camera side-to-side, and get a view of everything that's going on, including any shenanigans she might want to participate in!  At night, I can rest easy, knowing that I have eyes on her whenever I need to. It's easy to move from the family room to our room, or to take to any room I need to. I'm so grateful that I have something to put my mind at ease all of the time, but especially when she's sick.

This little video shows her during nap time this week, and I'm using the tilt and zoom functions to follow her around.

If you'd like to learn more, I'd love for you to join me for a Twitter party, where you learn more about this amazing product, chat about general baby and child safety tips, and have the opportunity to win a very cool prize!

When: Wednesday, February 18 at 1 p.m. ET
Where: We’ll be on Twitter – follow the #VTechBaby hashtag to track the conversation. You can see the details and RSVP via this Vite: http://vite.io/themotherhood
Hashtag: #VTechBaby
Prizes: During the party, we will be giving away five nursery safety baskets featuring VTech Safe & Sound ® Pan & Tilt Full Color Video Baby Monitors to randomly selected participants who answer the trivia questions correctly. Prizes limited to U.S. participants only. 
Hosts: @TheMotherhood, @TMChatHost, @CooperMunroe, @EmilyMcKhann
heart chips and salsa | simplykierste.com

Heart Chips & Salsa

Chips and salsa are a favorite at our house, and every once in awhile I make them homemade tortilla chips. They're always a huge hit, so I knew that my kids would love this fun Valentine's Day snack of Heart Chips & Salsa!

Heart Chips & Salsa | simplykierste.com
Aren't they adorable?  And they taste SO yummy! My kids gobbled them up and were asking for more within minutes.  I guess next time I'll have to do a much bigger batch!

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Famous 3-ingredient Potato Chip Chicken | simplykierste.com

Famous 3-ingredient potato chip chicken

The definitely of hitting the jackpot when you're a mom?  When every single one of you kids AND your husband absolutely loves the dinner you made.  There is a hands down favorite meal at our house, and my kids beg me to make it on a regular basis.  Potato Chip Chicken is crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and packed with flavor.  With sides of ranch dressing and honey mustard, it's pretty much heaven and a HUGE crowd-pleaser!

The BEST Potato Chip Chicken | simplykierste.com

Seriously, this chicken will make you a rockstar! It's popular with everyone I've served it to, and it's great for company and feeding a crowd.  I'm warning you...make a lot, it will go fly off the table!

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Pizza Night with Newman's Own | simplykierste.com

Pizza Night with Newman’s Own

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Newman’s Own. All opinions are 100% mine.

Friday night is pizza night at our house, and we all absolutely love it.  We eat yummy pizza, then snuggle up on the couch to watch a movie. It's a tradition that's been going on for many years, and it's a great way to spend time together and unwind after a busy and hectic week.  The kids also love the fact that they get to stay up late!

This past week we tried a new pizza by Newman’s Own I was happy because I could pick up Three Cheese and Pepperoni for the kids, and the delightful Margherita with tomatoes for the adults. They're not tomato fans, but I sure am!

It was quickly declared to be "the best pizza in the whole world", and I was asked if we "could please have it every week".  That's pretty high praise coming from my little pizza gurus!

I love Newman’s Own pizza for several other reasons. They're made from all natural and high quality ingredients, starting with a multi-grain crust.  As a mom, it makes me happy that we can have yummy pizza that the kids love, but I'm giving them something that's good for them too.

Did you know that 100% of Newman's Own profits go to charity? That's more than $400 million dollars over 30 years!  They strive for great taste and quality, while promoting charity and doing good. It all started in 1982 by Paul Newman, with parchment labels going on bottles filled with his very own homemade salad dressing. I love that I can make a difference for others, while feeding my own children a delicious, high quality meal.

We will definitely be buying Newman’s Own Pizza again! You can find more information on Newman’s Own Facebook and Newman’s Own BuzzFeed Page.

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You are sweet Valentine's Day treat jar | free printable | simplykierste.com

You are sweet Valentine’s Day treat jar {free printable}

 This darling "You are Sweet" Valentine's Day treat jar fits into my favorite simple + cute category.  With my free printable tag, you can put it together in just minutes!  

You are sweet Valentine's Day treat jar | free printable | simplykierste.com

This cute gift is perfect for friends, neighbors, co-workers, teachers, and more!  It would also be a great favor for a Valentine's Day party.  Anyone would love to receive this fun jar, so if there's someone in your life you want to thank, or let them know how special they are to you, this is a good place to start.

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