12 Scrumptious Peanut Butter Recipes | simplykierste.com

12 scrumptious peanut butter recipes

What a whirlwind of a week! My parents have been here visiting from Utah, and since it's the first time they've visited since we moved here, we've been making the rounds of all of our favorite spots. Oh, and we've also had ice cream almost every single day since they came.  I'm not kidding---there is a cute ice cream place on every corner around here, and none of us can resist it.  I definitely came by my sweet tooth honestly. :)  In fact, I was looking through recipes tonight to see what treat we would make tomorrow, because baking is another thing we like to do, and I realized that almost three quarters of them were recipes that had peanut butter in them.  They all looked so yummy, that I decided I should share them with all of you!

12 Scrumptious Peanut Butter Recipes | simplykierste.com

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12 steps to change | simplykierste.com

12 Steps to Change

"You can judge them. You can ignore them. Or you can listen to them."

Odds are, addiction has touched your life in some way, either personally, or through a friend or family member.  There are many types of addiction, and each one can have a devastating effect on not only the addict, but also everyone they love and who love them. Millions of people in this world are living every day with the worry, heartache, and burden of addiction.

12 steps to change | simplykierste.com

On addictionrecovery.lds.org many people have shared their story, in hopes that it can help someone else.

Judith says:  "As long as I can remember, I have battled with an eating disorder. My disorder led to many health complications, so I went from doctor to doctor to find a quick fix. When one doctor diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia, pain medication became a part of my life and soon became an addiction. This addiction was a way of numbing the pain I had been hanging on to all my life.

After years of this lifestyle, I woke up one morning in the hospital because of a drug overdose. I was numb. My world was dark, and I felt alone and lost. This was not the way I wanted my life to go.

My adult son told me I needed help and I started to listen. I was lucky to find an amazing therapist who was familiar with the Addiction Recovery Program. She said I should try it out because if I didn’t get help for my addictions, I was going to die."

She went on to go through an addiction recovery plan and says

Aa a loved one of someone who has an addiction, there are so many emotions that come it.  TC wrote a letter to her younger self, after her husband had recovered from his addiction--it's a letter of hope, of encouragement, and permission to feel what she feels.

Here is an excerpt:

"So your world just came crashing down, didn’t it? Everything you thought was real in your life really wasn’t, huh? I bet you don’t know where to go from here, where to turn, who to trust. I bet you are feeling insecure, and scared, and unsure. I know what you are going through, and here are some things I want you to remember as you start this journey to healing. You are not alone. I don’t just mean that Heavenly Father and Jesus are there for you, because at times that might not feel like enough. What I mean is you are literally not alone. I know you feel like isolating yourself and hiding away, but please reach out, search, find, and talk to other women that are going (or have gone) through what you are facing right now.

This is not your fault. It is his addiction. These were his choices. You have nothing to do with this, and there is nothing you could go back and do “better” that would have prevented this. You are not the cause; therefore, you are not the solution. Don’t try to “fix” him by changing who you are. You can help him, and you can support him, but this is his battle, not yours. You have your own battle to fight now.

Let yourself feel. Don’t push away emotions that feel “wrong.” They aren’t wrong; feelings aren’t wrong. You will heal faster if you lean into the anger and if you lean into the pain. Find a therapist or a trusted friend whom you can share raw emotion with, because it’s okay to feel anger. You have been betrayed, and you have been hurt.

Lastly, take care of yourself. This sounds selfish, but it’s not. It is essential to healing your heart and your marriage. Your husband is incapable of taking care of you at this time, and even though he is responsible for this pain, he isn’t equipped to be there for you. I know this sounds scary and it makes no sense, but don’t worry; if he is truly in recovery, he will learn how to be there for you, and, eventually, he will be capable of filling the role of husband. In the meantime, you need to take care of you."

12 steps to change | simplykierste.com

For National Addiction Recovery Month in September, mormonchannel.org is releasing a series of 12 heartbreaking and incredibly personal & inspirational videos--12 stories, 12 people, 12 steps to change.  The series follows real people and their very real struggle to overcome their addiction, as well as their stories of hope, as they take steps to change their lives.

I hope you will spread this message by sharing it with those around you, that it might start a conversation, provide a glimmer of hope, and eventually, lead to a path to peace.

12 steps to change | simplykierste.com

For more information, please visit mormonchannel.org or addictionrecovery.lds.org. Join the conversation at #12stepstochange.

School Lunch Station | Free Printables | simplykierste.com

Make packing lunches easier & faster with a school lunch station!

With my twin boys starting kindergarten this year (sniff, sniff), I will now have five kids to pack school lunch for.  All of a sudden this past week that seemed like... a lot.  We still have a couple of weeks until school starts, but I decided to get organized now!

I've always had some kind of lunch station, but the thought of 25 bags of chips, 25 fruit cups, 25 granola bars, 25 string cheese, and 25 go-gurt (plus sandwich stuff) per week really got me thinking about how I could create something to make the packing process a lot faster and easier. So...the official school lunch station has been created, including some super cute printables as the finishing touch. It's simple, but that's my favorite way to do things!

Make packing school lunches faster and easier with a lunch packing station! Free printable labels included! | simplykierste.com

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5 ways to connect with your kids & stay organized after school | simplykierste.com

5 ways to stay organized & connect with your kids after school

When the kids come home from school, so begins the busiest part of my day.  Homework, making dinner, music lessons and practice, sports--the list goes on.  It's important to me to not only keep this part of the day as organized as possible, but also to really connect with my school-aged kids. They've been gone all day, and I don't want to rush, rush, rush through a crazy afternoon just to put them to bed without really connecting with them.  It's also much easier said than done, which is why I have a game plan!  There are five things on my after school list, and I'm feeling ready (almost) for the new school year to start in two weeks!

5 ways to connect with your kids & stay organized after school | simplykierste.com

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washcloth boo boo bunny | simplykierste.com

Washcloth boo-boo bunny

Last year my baby spent a lot of time in the hospital. Within seven months, she was admitted to ICU five times, and it was an incredibly difficult time.  We were blessed with really wonderful doctors, and exceptional nurses who took great care of her, and  when you're spending weeks in the hospital at one time, you get to know them pretty well.  Caroline was between 15-21 months during this time, and being old enough to walk but young enough to be confined in a crib was a challenge, and I was constantly looking for ways to entertain her.  She also had a lot of shots, IV's and treatments and watching your baby go through it is pretty terrible.  The nurses were definitely the bright spots--they were so good with her, and were constantly coming up with ways to make things easier.  That's how I learned about the washcloth boo-boo bunny!

washcloth boo boo bunny | simplykierste.com

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16 Back-to-School & Fall Crockpot Recipes | simplykierste.com

Best back-to-school & fall crockpot meals

And so it begins.

I was doing my calendaring for the week, and realized that our summer is quickly coming to close, and that the craziness and busy-ness of school and fall are upon us. Even though we have a few weeks before school starts,  I have several kids playing soccer, and the season is in full swing starting this week.  It means 4-5 times a week of being out of the house in the evening, and limited time to make and serve dinner.  I know I will need to rely on my crockpot a lot, so I can serve yummy, healthy dinners to my family without spending a lot of time in the kitchen.

I gathered some of the most mouthwatering, family-friendly (or anyone friendly) slow cooker recipes I could find, and you can bet they will be on my menu starting...now!  Everything from fajitas to one-pot chicken dinners is on this list, and I hope they'll help you with your busy schedules too!

16 Back-to-School & Fall Crockpot Recipes | simplykierste.com

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Banana Split Brownie Ice Cream | simplykierste.com

Banana Split Brownie Ice Cream

I am a big fan of banana splits and the more toppings the better! This no churn banana split brownie recipe is one of my favorite recipes yet and I am so excited to share it with you today!

I delicious and creamy no church ice cream recipe.

My name is Jes and I blog over at Mommy Envy, I am so excited to be back again this month sharing this recipe with you! Now that I've discovered no churn ice cream I don't know if I will ever go back. I've never had luck with ice cream machines, mainly because I like too many toppings. And I love that I get to make up my own flavors! I've contemplated this recipe for a while now and I finally made it just for you!

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DIY notebook paper treat bags | simplykierste.com

DIY notebook paper treat bags

I was at Target (of course) and saw the cutest notebook paper treat bags. I immediately thought how fun they would be for all things school, and at first thought I would buy up a bunch to keep for throughout the year. But I would have to spend a fortune to do it, and I didn't really want to do that. Then I remembered I already had some plain white treat bags at home, and realized it would be super easy for me to make my own DIY version, anytime I needed them!

DIY notebook paper treat bags | simplykierste.com

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School Shoes for Kids | simplykierste.com

First-day-of-school outfits with Rack Room Shoes!

This post is sponsored by Rack Room Shoes. All opinions are 100% mine and mine alone.

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It's almost time for school to start!  Can you just smell the newly sharpened pencils? I love this time of year, and shopping with my kids for all of their school supplies, including their first-day-of-school outfits!  Do you remember choosing your outfit for the first day?  Oh, the memories!  In my day it was ESPRIT bags and Guess jeans and Birkenstocks, which totally tells you I'm a child of the 80's and 90's! As a mom, those first day outfits are still important, because my kids love them too!

School shoes are a really important part of that first day, and the whole year. Our elementary school requires that they wear sneakers every day, so they're #1 on my list. For my girls, I'm looking for shoes that will look cute with both jeans and skirts, and for all of them, shoes that are high-quality and will last through the every day wear and tear.

Enter in Rack Room Shoes! They carry all the top brands that I love and look for when Back-to-School shopping, including Nike, Skechers, Vans and Converse. I found the cutest shoes in styles and brands that are on-trend, and will look great with everything they wear!

School Shoes for Kids | simplykierste.com

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Lunchbox Laughs | simplykierste.com

Lunchbox laughs!

Hi everyone! So happy to be back with you this month to share another free printable with you. I'm Kiki from Kiki and Company and I am starting to gear up for the beginning of school. One of my favorite things to do each year is to leave Lunchbox Laughs in my kiddos lunch or backpack with a little note on the back to remind them how much I love them while they are away from me. Today I came up with a fun little sheet of laughs for our littles this year!

BACK TO SCHOOL LUNCHBOX LAUGHS

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First Day of School Free Printables | simplykierste.com

First day of school printables!

I know, I know, back-to-school stuff already??!!  The summer is flying by, and even though we have a little more than a month before my kids are back in school (right after Labor Day), I know it's going to come fast. We are trying to stuff in everything we can, and working on whittling down our summer bucket list.  Too many things, not enough time!

I'm also in my get-everything-organized-before-school-starts mode, and making these cute first day of school printables was on my list.  I know some of you  go back to school in August, so I thought I'd share them now!

First Day of School Free Printables | simplykierste.com

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