Valentine’s Day Game…Don’t Eat My Valentine!

Don't Eat My Valentine | Valentine's Day Game for Kids| simplykierste.com

One of our favorite family games is called "Don't Eat Pete".  We love to play it on Family Night, which we have once a week on Monday evenings.  It's a very simple but super fun game, and my kids especially love that they get candy. (Or mini marshmallows if I don't have any candy on hand!)  This week I'm helping with one of my kindergartner's Valentine's Day party, and I knew this would be a perfect Valentine's Day game! It's a simple game, but kids of all ages love to play it, so it works for any elementary school grade, plus kindergarten and preschool! My girls are in 4th grade, and they love it as much as my six year olds. How do you play? *Have the kids sit in a circle on … [Read more...]

Printable Bookmark Valentines

Printable Valentine Bookmark |Classroom Valentines | simplykierste.com

It's official...my kids' school is not allowing any candy Valentines this year.  They are totally and completely disappointed, but secretly I'm happy that we won't have quite as much candy coming home.  Don't worry about them--they will plenty of sweet treats--but I did need to come up with a non-candy valentine idea that wouldn't break the bank.  I created super cute Printable Bookmark Valentines, and I love that they are the valentine and the gift, all in one! These could not be easier--just print, cut them out, and fill in the to and from areas.  I'm going to laminate the ones we're making (my laminator is one of my favorite things!), but that's totally optional.  I also punched a … [Read more...]

Peek-a-boo Valentine Treat Jar

Valentine Treat Jar with free printable | simplykierste.com

Any excuse I can get to combine three things that I love--milk bottles, chocolate, and baker's twine--I take full advantage of it. These Valentine treat jars do just that, and they're the most darling way to tell someone "you're sweet". I just love the peek-a-boo heart that shows all those yummy Valentine M&Ms inside of there! (I always use the Peanut Butter kind...it's my favorite. Many innocent M&M's were consumed during the photo shoot. ) I love how simple they are to make, but they don't look like it!  They're super easy, and don't take long at all.  Let me show you how! SUPPLIES: -milk bottles (you could also use mason jars) -spray paint (red, pink, or … [Read more...]

A Valentine Tree {simple Valentine’s Day decor}

An adorable valentine tree, perfect Valentine's Day decor! | simplykierste.com

I'm going to have to have the most gigantic garage sale this summer when we move into our new house.  I can't tell you how many things I've bought or made to replace that very same or similar item that's in storage.  We even have two trampolines!  (The kids have big plans for them both...we'll see.)  It holds true for holiday decor, too, but with one major difference--I don't believe in having too much! I recently came across the most fabulous red and white striped pitcher, and being enormously obsessed with both red and stripes, I felt as if it was fate.  The best part? It was only $10!  It was a good day.  I had packed it away for next Christmas, but then I realized how perfect it would … [Read more...]

Heart Thumbprint Platter

Heart-shaped fingerprints on a serving platter make an adorable gift! | simplykierste.com

I can never resist a really cute serving platter, but when you add adorable little thumbprints, there really is nothing cuter! I absolutely adore my Heart Thumbprint Platter, and it makes me happy every time I look at it! So adorable, right? Not only is it darling, but it captures a moment in time that is so fleeting--it won't be long before their fingerprints will be bigger. I love it. It would also make the perfect gift for grandparents and anyone who loves your kids! It would also be super cute Valentine's Day decor--place it on a mantel, or the kitchen counter, on a shelf...anywhere! My six kids fit perfectly on this rectangular platter, but you could do round, square, … [Read more...]

7 favorite bloggers share their TOP POSTS of 2015!

top 2015 projects | simply kierste

What a year! 2015 was very different than I expected it to be. I thought we would be in our house by now, but due to unforeseen circumstances well outside of our control, instead we are still very cozy in our little temporary apartment.  So much has happened to our family over the last twelve months, and while things have been really hard at times, I've come into 2016 feeling very grateful for all of the things that we do have. And...come summer of this year, Old Salt Farm will finally be built! 2015 was also a very different year for me when it came to blogging.  Because I wasn't in a home that we could decorate in any way, and because all of our things were (and still are) in storage, … [Read more...]

Christmas thank you stationery for kids {free printable}

Christmas Thank you Letters for Kids | simplykierste.com

Hello everyone!  I hope you had a wonderfully merry Christmas with your family and friends! We've had such a lovely holiday, and received such thoughtful gifts from family and friends. On our list this week is sending thank you letters, and I created some adorable Christmas thank you stationery for my kids to use. They love having a fun template, and I wanted to share it with all of you too! I'm a big believer in sending thank you letters, and I'm trying to teach my children the importance of them as well. They don't have to use fancy words, or make it very long, but I do expect it to be sincere and to show gratitude to the person that thought of them.  I'm on a journey to teach them … [Read more...]

For your mistletoes…a Christmas gift idea & printable

For your "mistle"toes nail polish gift idea & free printable | simplykierste.com

My girls were looking for something to fun to give to their friends for Christmas, and I immediately knew just what to do! Bottles of nail polish make the perfect gift--add a cute For Your "Mistletoes" tag, and you're set to go! I love these Christmas-y nail polish shades, but any color is adorable! These are perfect for any of the girls in your life, no matter the age! I printed my tags onto Silhouette's printable gold foil. If you have a Silhouette, you can use the print & cut feature to cut them out. You can download the Silhouette file at the bottom of the post, and I also have a post on the print & cut feature if you need directions. If you don't have a … [Read more...]

Go on a Christmas lights scavenger hunt with your family!

christmas lights scavenger hunt for kids & families | free printable | simplykierste.com

Just down the street from us, there is a house that has the best musical Christmas lights show around.  So much so, in fact, that my little kids, who rarely can sit still for anything longer than 10 minutes, sit in rapture watching the lights dance to the music as it streams through the speakers into our car.  They beg to stay "just a little bit longer", and that little bit soon turns into an hour. There is just so magical about Christmas lights, and taking a night to drive around and look at them is one of our favorite Christmas traditions. We cozy up in our pajamas, take along bags of popcorn, turn up the Christmas music, and head off to see homes and neighborhoods transformed into … [Read more...]

Easy wood Christmas sign

Easy Wood Christmas Sign | simplykierste.com

You might be surprised to hear this, but one of the hardest parts of being in this little apartment and not having any of our things is not the cramped quarters (which I've actually come to appreciate in many ways), but rather not being able to build and create and make stuff!!  With no tools here, and no home to decorate, my list is getting longer and longer by the day. It's what I love to do, so when I get any small opportunity to make something, no matter how simple, I'm a happy happy girl! I decided I needed a little something to go above the chalkboard window in the family room to add a pop of color and a little bit of Christmas to the whole space, especially after my cute husband … [Read more...]