Blueberry Dump Cake | simplykierste.com

Blueberry dump cake

Kara, from Creations by Kara, is sharing this delicious Bluberry Dump Cake recipe today!

Easy Blueberry Cobbler

If you live in an area where you can grow your own blueberries, I am insanely jealous. I love them so very much, but since they don't grow in my area, they cost a small fortune. I buy them whenever they go on sale. I bought a pint last week, then we ended up going out of town before they all got eaten. When we got back they weren't fresh enough for salad, so I decided to use them for baking.
blueberry-dump-cake

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING!!! XO

The BEST Hot fudge with 4 ingredients + 10 minutes | simplykierste.com

The BEST hot fudge: 4 ingredients + 10 minutes!

Others may tell you that they have the best hot fudge, but I'm here to tell you that NOW you've found the best hot fudge!  With just four ingredients and in ten minutes or less, you can have the fudgiest, richest, creamiest, smoothest, and most chocolate-y hot fudge you've ever had.

For reals.

It's the kind of hot fudge that you really don't even need ice cream for...just a spoon.  A big one.  It's to-die-for good.

The BEST Hot fudge with 4 ingredients + 10 minutes | simplykierste.com

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING!!! XO

Dinner made easy with Newman's Own | simplykierste.com

Making dinner easy with Newman’s Own

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

-----------

My kids love to "dip".  Pretty much everything, actually.  We always have a bottle of ranch dressing in our refrigerator, and there's house-wide panic if it starts to get too low.

One of our favorite dressings is Newman's Own, and not only does it come in Ranch, but Balsamic, Olive Oil & Vinegar, Family Recipe Italian, Creamy Caesar and more.

As a mom, I love how simple salad dressings are to implement into dinners. It's how I get my kids to eat most veggies, but it definitely doesn't end there, because there are so many things that are dippable! Salad dressings make perfect dips, because they're already made--just pull them out of the fridge and serve!

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING!!! XO

50 Best Summer Movies for Families | simplykierste.com

Best summer movies for families…including teens!

Our family loves movies, and summer movie nights are a common occurrence around our house. Popping popcorn, snuggling up on the couch together--it's the best! We've watched a lot of movies as a family, and I thought I'd gather some of our very favorite summer movies that are perfect for your next movie night and share them with you!

My kids are mostly younger (five of them are age nine and younger), with just one older, so we are watching movies that are for that general age group. If you have an age span of kids, these movies will still appeal for the most apart across the board, and are movies that the whole family can enjoy.  Many of these are ones that I enjoyed as a child, watching with my family, and they bring back a ton of memories.  We watched them on a VCR though--do you remember how long it took to rewind or fast forward?  Yay for DVDs!  You may notice that I also included the original versions of movies, including Parent Trap, The Love Bug, and Freaky Friday. I've always loved them the best!

I also created a separate "teen" list, for those of you that have mostly teens and even older tweens, depending on what your family rules are when it comes to movies. Every movie I've included, even the ones for teenagers, are rated either G or PG, except for the last few in the Harry Potter series.  Our kids don't get to watch those until they're pretty old. :) The Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean movies I just included the first in the series, because those are the ones that are rated PG.

50 Best Summer Movies for Families | simplykierste.com

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING!!! XO

old salt farm | simplykierste.com

Building Old Salt Farm

I am in the middle of one of my biggest projects to date...building our new home...Old Salt Farm.  Last year when we moved from Texas to upstate New York, we knew we wanted to build--and we wanted to have more acreage.  So, we put all of our stuff into storage, and moved our family into a small (very small for the eight of us) apartment while we looked for property and began the building process.  I've always dreamed of having a farmhouse in the country, and it's about to happen!!

It's been an adventure over the last eight months, traversing regulations, attorneys, and lots of red tape. We have built before, but I didn't realize how different it would be building in another state.  FINALLY, the ground is breaking this week, and we could not be more excited!

I thought it would be fun to document the building process, and to share what it looks like from start to finish.  The plan is to post weekly or bi-weekly (depending on the building schedule) with updates on the progress, showing how it all works, and giving you a peek at the behind-the-scenes.  If you've built before, I would love any tips you have to share!  Even though we do have some experience going into it, it's amazing how much there is to learn.

So...let's start at the very beginning...

old salt farm| simplykierste.com

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING!!! XO

Easy seasoned glazed pretzels

Easy seasoned glazed pretzels | simplykierste.com

Last week we spent the day with friends at one of our favorite beaches.  Of course we all brought snacks, because that's just what one does when at the beach, right?  One of my darling friends brought the yummiest pretzels ever...crispy, crunchy, buttery, with a hint of garlic...I could not stop eating them!  I'll just tell you now I that was hooked after the first bite.  I got the recipe from her very soon after we got home, and I knew I had to try them right away.  My kids and husband adore them too, and I've already had requests to put them in their school lunch--and school doesn't even start for another seven weeks!  These easy seasoned glazed pretzels are so delicious, I knew I needed to share them with you!

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING!!! XO

12 mouthwatering summer salads | simplykierste.com

15 mouthwatering summer salads

I absolutely love salads.  Really yummy salads.  Yes, regular greens with dressing is just fine, but I get so excited about a salad that's chock full of my favorite things, plus has a fabulous dressing to go with it.  My mouth is seriously watering thinking about it! Summertime is the absolute best time to enjoy a salad, due in large part to all the fresh fruits and vegetables that grocery stores and farmers' markets and gardens are overflowing with.  There are just so many options, and all of the wonderful colors just make me happy.

I'm still trying to convince my kids that salads are as good as I say they are, so  I went on a quest this week to look up some of the most mouthwatering summer salads I could find. They're going on my menu list over the rest of the summer, and I can't wait to try them. I love salads because they are perfect for lunch AND for dinner! They looked so good, I just had to share them with you!

12 mouthwatering summer salads | simplykierste.com

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING!!! XO

Farmhouse Picnic Table | simplykierste.com

Farmhouse style picnic table

The last picnic table we had cost $10.  We had just moved into our first house, and I was at the township office working in paperwork, when I saw a pile of picnic tables outside. They happened to be old tables from the parks in our township, and they were selling them cheap to make room for brand new tables.  I dug through the stack and chose the best of the bunch, and after refinishing it several times over the years, it lasted us until we made this last move.

I had plans to make another one this spring, and then my cute hubby surprised me by making one when I was out-of-town a couple months ago.   We've always use our picnic table a lot, and with the good weather finally making an appearance here in upstate NY, so I was very happy! I had to wait about 6 weeks for the pretreated lumber to finally dry out in order to finish it, but it's finally down, and I love it!

Farmhouse Picnic Table | simplykierste.com

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING!!! XO

Backyard fun: Make your own DIY Tetherball set for half the cost! | simplykierste.com

Backyard fun: Make your own DIY tetherball set!

We are on a quest to add some really fun things to our backyard, and this DIY tetherball set was an easy weekend project that our whole family loves!  

Backyard fun:  Make your own DIY Tetherball set for half the cost! | simplykierste.com

After re-discovering tetherball at our friends' home several weeks ago, the kids begged us to get a tetherball set for them.  I checked them out on Amazon, and when I saw the price (around $100), I knew I could make one for less. I did!  I saved more than half by making our own, plus it's incredibly sturdy and durable.  We absolutely love it, and our family has already spent a lot of time outside enjoying it.

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING!!! XO

Easy peasy lemon squeeze...fun printable gift tag | simplykierste.com

Easy peasy lemon squeezy: “you can do it” gift tag

Four years ago I ran my first marathon.  It was one of the most challenging and most rewarding things I've ever done.  Nine months before that, my second set of twins were almost a year old, and I really wanted to get back in shape. My best friend asked me if I wanted to do a half marathon, and I actually laughed!  I've always played sports, but pretty much had the mentality that there was no reason to run unless you were chasing a ball. :)  I decided to take her up on it, and in ten weeks, I ran my first half marathon.  Then the crazy idea to run a marathon became a reality just six months later.  In nine months I went from running a couple of miles to running a full marathon, and while I'm not the fastest girl out there, I did discover what I can do when I make a goal and work hard.  I absolutely know that I couldn't have done it without the support of my family, without my best friend (some of our long runs will forever be a part of my fondest memories), or without my closest friends cheering me on.

The day of the race, one of those wonderful friends gave us the cutest gift. I was feeling so nervous, and just that small and simple gesture gave me a boost that I so appreciated. Yes, it was kind of cheesy, but I loved it, and now when I want to cheer someone on, give them a little boost, and remind them that "you can do it", this is a gift I love to give.

Easy peasy lemon squeeze...fun printable gift tag | simplykierste.com

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING!!! XO

Are your kids arguing? Try Kindness Punch Cards! | simplykierste.com

Are your kids arguing? Try a kindness punch card!

One of the hardest things about having all my kids home in the summer is the arguing.  Don't get me wrong--they are really good kids, and they do well most of the time, but being home all together all of the time tends to cause more disagreements and disruptions than usual.  It certainly doesn't help that we are in a very small space, pretty much on top of each other, and without most of their toys and games, but even other summers in the past it was an issue. Does your family struggle with this too?

Today I decided something had to be done.  They need a little extra motivation to be kind even when it's hard--even when one of their siblings does something that bugs them or that they don't like.  So...I created a kindness punch card, and I'm hoping that giving them a little incentive will help the peace in our home, but also help them to think twice before reacting negatively. It will also give me the opportunity to really look for and focus on the good choices they're making, which also helps to set the tone. I'm looking forward to trying it--we're starting today!

Are your kids arguing? Try Kindness Punch Cards! | simplykierste.com

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING!!! XO

Keep kids entertained with these darling 4th of July placemats! | simplykierste.com

Keep kids busy with these adorable 4th of July placemats!

Happy July Everyone! I'm Kiki from Kiki and Company and am super excited to be here today to share a fun printable for one of my favorite holidays. July 4th just has a special place in my heart, so I hope this helps to make lunch or dinner just a little more patriotic and a little less hectic!

4th of July place mat at kiki and company

These place mats are simply a quick download and print away to keep your little munchkins busy while they are waiting for their meal.

Free 4th of July Placemats from kiki and company

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING!!! XO

favorite farmware and where to find it! | simplykierste.com

Favorite farmware…and where to find it!

I am in love with all things farmhouse, and I'm always on the lookout for decor that fits my farmhouse style.  I've come across some great sites through my searching, and discovered some of my favorite farmware that I want to share with you today...and also where to get them! What I love about just about every one of these items is that they can cross style genres--industrial, traditional, coastal--and can fit into so many different types of spaces. I absolutely love each of these!

favorite farmware | simplykierste.com

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING!!! XO