How to put together a summer car kit + free printable!

Summer Car Kit | simplykierste.com

Already the sunscreen and bug spray have come out of hibernation, and plans are being made to enjoy every single minute of the summer.  We're  on the go a lot during the summer months, whether it's a road trip, or just around town.  It means a lot of parks and outdoor activities and FUN!  With all that fun comes the inevitable, and odds are, I'm going to need something out of the car kit that I keep in my trunk. Preparedness is key! I change it up a bit for each season, and today I'm sharing the summer version, plus a super cute free printable! Yep.  If  you've got kids, you know that bugs, sun, scrapes, bee stings, dirty diapers, wet clothes, mud, accidents, emergency potty stops … [Read more...]

Washi tape grocery bag containers

Washi tape grocery container | simplykierste.com

I re-use plastic grocery sacks for so many things--they are a hot commodity at our house! I save them and use them on a very regular basis not only in my house, but on the road.  I keep a bunch in the car so I'll have them when I need them, for any variety of reasons. Whether it's a pair of muddy shoes, wet clothes, a child that's sick, or a million other things, grocery bags regularly save the day! You can probably relate--there isn't much worse than a crazy mess when you're away from home, and being stuck without anything to wrap it up in (and perhaps contain the smell!) until you get home.  Empty Clorox wipes bottles make perfect grocery bag containers, and they make it so easy to pack … [Read more...]

Pottery Barn inspired vintage lamp

Pottery Barn inspired vintage lamp tutorial | simplykierste.com

So excited to have Amanda from The Tale of an Ugly House here today, sharing this ADORABLE Pottery Barn inspired vintage lamp! My husband and I have recently been transitioning our son's room from a nursery to more of a big boy room. My son, Charlie has been over the moon to see all the new things coming into his room. One item that I just couldn't settle on was a lamp. I wasn't finding exactly what I was looking for when I went to the big box store. While flipping though a Pottery Barn Kids magazine one morning, I saw this adorable vintage truck lamp. Given that Charlie loves cars and trucks, it was perfect! The price however was not. $130 for a lamp for a two-year old was a bit much … [Read more...]

Cheap & easy DIY outdoor wooden blocks

Cheap & easy DIY outdoor wooden blocks | simplykierste.com

My husband and I are outside quite a bit building and working on different projects now that the weather is nice, and it's wonderful!   The kids will play outside in the yard while we're working, and one of the things they love to play with are all the wood scraps that we seem to have an endless supply of.  This past Saturday they were stacking the scraps, building towers, making roads, pretending all sorts of things, and even coloring them with their sidewalk chalk.  It kept them busy for a long time, and they were having a ball.  I decided to use all of our scrap wood and make them their own permanent set of outdoor wooden blocks to keep outside all the time, knowing they would be a huge … [Read more...]

DIY Backyard Ideas for Kids

Awesome DIY Backyard ideas for Kids | simplykierste.com

Summer is almost here, and we can't wait.  We are definitely on the countdown!  One of the best things about our little apartment is that it has a great yard, and so being here through the summer while our house is being built means that we'll still have plenty of room for the kids to run and play.  However...there isn't anything out there right now, so I've been on the hunt recently for some really great backyard ideas that I could make for not only our yard now, but also for when we move into our house. I love that my kids love to be outside, and I want to do everything I can to encourage that.  Exploring, creating, playing, running, jumping, climbing---that's what summer is meant to … [Read more...]

Polka dot pail flower planter

Polka Dot Pail Flower Planter | simplykierste.com

So... the bad news first.  We thought the house we're building would be finished to move in this summer, but it's now going to be at least the end of September.  There is some good news though!  Even though our temporary apartment is tiny, we're lucky enough to have a good-sized yard that will help keep all my kids entertained all summer.  That also means that although I can't plant flowers in the ground, I can put out some cute planters.  Since I'm kind of obsessed with pails, I thought they would be perfect planters for our picnic table and patio.  They were super easy to make, and I love how they turned out!! I came across these particular pails at JoAnn Fabrics, right in their … [Read more...]

DIY ampersand sign tutorial

DIY Ampersand Sign & Tutorial | simplykierste.com

Hello! It's Jes from Mommy Envy and I'm back and sharing this easy DIY ampersand sign tutorial with you! Lately I've been obsessed with black and white home decor. I love how classy it looks. Black and white can be rustic, modern, or just about anything you want it to be! This sign came together really nicely and I was surprise how easy it was. I am in a couple Facebook groups of people who share their vinyl projects. I joined them to get ideas but it has been a motivator to use my machine more. Here's my step by step tutorial on making this wooden sign. I started with a 1x4 cut into 12 inch sections. I purchased a 6 foot board so I have enough to make 2 signs. My Home Depot and … [Read more...]

Make your summer easier with a printable summer schedule & calendar 2015

Keep your summers organized with the printable 2015 Summer Schedule | free printable | simplykierste.com

I have been receiving comments and emails about if and when I would be posting a 2015 Summer Schedule, and it totally took me off guard, because we still have two months of school left.  So for all of you lucky ducks that get out in May, I thought I should get this posted now! I LOVE having this spreadsheet for our summer schedule, and after using it for several years, I can't imagine a summer without it. There is always so much going on--concerts in the park, park days, library story times, ball games----and while we're not going to go to every single one of them, I want to know when they are in case we can go.  There just isn't room on my regular calendar for all of that … [Read more...]

DIY Dinosaur Bookends

DIY Dinosaur Bookends | simplykierste.com

Today  I'm pleased to announce Amanda Becker, from Tale of an Ugly House, as the newest Simply Kierste contributor!!  I just know you are going to fall in love with her, her projects, and her style.  Don't forget to swing by and say hello to her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!! // DIY Dinosaur Bookends by Amanda Becker...they are ADORABLE!!! We recently built my son a toy organizer for his room. If your child is anything like mine, they have a lot of books! I wanted to keep a few of my son's favorite books where he could easily get to them but still keeping them organized. Being that Charlie is only two, his favorites are always changing! I searched for the perfect … [Read more...]

Why our kids have chores + an age-appropriate chores guideline

Why our kids have chores + free printable chore guide | simplykierste.com

Ever since I posted my cleaning schedule and talked about my kids having their own chores, I've had a lot of comments, questions, and e-mails about our chores routine. It's been on my mind quite a bit lately too, because this year each of my six kids are turning ages where we can add a few more chores that they are able to do. We also moved from a larger home to a tiny apartment that we are living in while our new house is being built, and it's definitely required me to make a few changes, so I figured it was a good time to write out how our family handles chores for kids, and more importantly, why. We start chores young at our house--they are are one of the most vital parts of our family … [Read more...]