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

School Lunch Station | Free Printables | simplykierste.com

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 … [Read more...]

10-minute fall wreath

10- minute fall wreath | simplykierste.com

Just when I started talking about fall being around the corner, we got a heat wave.  I guess summer just isn't ready to let go, and that's okay, because it gives me time to make more fall decor!  I've got a darling fall wreath to share today, and I'm not kidding when I say that it takes 10 minutes to make!  If you really want a fall wreath, but don't want to pay mega-bucks to buy one, or if you think you can't make one because they look too difficult--this is the wreath for you! It's simple, adorable, and perfect for your front door (or anywhere)! I'll tell you my little trick to making a fall wreath quickly...using a fall garland! Using a fall garland means that all the hard work is … [Read more...]

Farmhouse style picnic table

Farmhouse Picnic Table | simplykierste.com

The last picnic table we had cost $10.  We had just moved into our first house, while I was at the township office working on paperwork, 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 used our picnic table a lot, and with the good weather finally making an … [Read more...]

Backyard fun: Make your own DIY tetherball set!

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

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!   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. It really is so worth it to make your own.  It only took about an hour to put together, then 24 hours of drying time.  Totally … [Read more...]

Favorite farmware…and where to find it!

favorite farmware | simplykierste.com

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! Wire baskets // Boxwood wreath // 3-tier metal stand // Ribbed creamware batter bowl // Vintage metal scale clock // White pitcher // Galvanized cake stand // Enamel bread box // Nesting herb crates // … [Read more...]

Nautical outdoor “eat” sign

Outdoor Nautical "Eat" Sign | simplykierste.com

 Amanda, from The Tale of an Ugly House is here today, sharing this adorable outdoor "eat" sign!!  With summer finally here I've been looking for fun decor items to spruce up our backyard. We love to entertain and grill out. It's been really fun adding some nautical touches here and there to our outdoor space. I love how this sign turned out. We have it sitting on our grill prep/ buffet table. It's super easy to make and very inexpensive! Here's what you need to make your own rope sign- 3- 1x4 cut to 18 inches 2 - 1x3 cut to 8 inches Rope of choice Stain or paint of choice Cut three 1x4's to 18" long. Attach them together by screwing two 1x3's to the back of your … [Read more...]

Vintage lemonade stand with reversible chalkboard sign

Vintage lemonade stand with reversible chalkboard sign | simplykierste.com

Making a lemonade stand has been on my list...pretty much forever.  The last few years we've been so transient that it wasn't really an option--with no where to store it and moves coming up.  Even though all of our things are in storage right now, we did keep out the chop saw so that we would be able to build things for our new house.  With summer parties and entertaining on the horizon, I decided it was finally time for a lemonade stand!  I'm calling it a lemonade stand just because I'm not sure what else to call it, and because it just sounds cuter, but it will mostly be used as a outside serving station. I added a few features, including a reversible chalkboard sign, and decided on a … [Read more...]

Save your sanity with a “before you can play” chore list!

"Before you can play" summer chore chart | simplykierste.com

Every summer morning I hear the words "can I play?", in one form or another.  They might be referring to going outside to play, having friends over, wanting me to take them somewhere, requesting screen time, or  any number of things that's on their agenda that day.  I got really tired of listing the things off that they needed to do before they could play (even though they already knew), that I decided to make things easier for not only myself, but for the kids too, by making a summer "before you can play" chore list.  I hung it on the fridge, and when they want to know if they can play, I just ask if they have everything done on the list! Love! We have a regular chore chart that we … [Read more...]

5 tips for painting & decorating unfinished frames

5 tips for painting & decorating unfinished frames | simplykierste.com

Hello again... Jes here from Mommy Envy. Pinterest is full of cute printables inside cute frames. I love using these MDF frames with fancy edges because they are customizable and it's easy to change out the picture. I love decorating with pictures of my family and since we have young kids I am constantly putting new pictures in. First of all you can get these unfinished frames at most craft stores. I ordered a bunch from Cut it Out Frames and then let them sit in a drawer for almost a year! There's no need to be afraid to paint these frames. It's so easy! There's no sanding or priming required. The first set of frames I painted were for my youngest's nursery. My mom made the cutest … [Read more...]

How to plank a piano & a chalk paint piano makeover

How to plank a piano & a chalk paint piano makeover | simplykierste.com

So, I planked my piano.  YES, I did! I have been wanting to paint my piano for a very long time.  Years, in fact.  I don't know why I've hesitated, because normally I paint anything and everything I can get my hands on. I think a lot of it is due to the fact that the last couple of years we have been moving around a lot--three states in a two and a half years--and now that our new house will be finished in a few months, our temporary living situation will cease. Hallelujah! I haven't been able to really do any projects or decorating for years, and I'm more than ready to start digging into my mile-long list so they'll be ready when we move in. Project #1?  The piano.  It's one of the few … [Read more...]