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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

DIY Finances Ledger

DIY FInances Ledger | free printables | simplykierste.com

A couple of years ago I posted about the kitchen mini command center I made for our Texas home. One of the things that I mentioned was my bills and finances ledger. I've had so many e-mails and questions about it that I decided to give it its very own post!  Even though my command center has had to be modified since we moved to New York, that finances ledger has remained the same--I've had it for a long time. I use this ledger almost every day. I pay the bills and handle the finances for our family, so I use it to stay organized and keep track of all of our financial information. My husband is also able to look at it whenever he wants to, and see exactly where we're at and what's going … [Read more...]

I need to get organized, I want to get organized…now what? A guide to getting organized!

Getting Organized! | simplykierste.com

This is the time of year that getting organized is especially on everyone's mind.  The busy-ness and craziness of the holidays are coming to a close, and when the tree goes down, the urge to organize everything hits in full force.  Sometimes though, it can feel SO overwhelming, looking at a room, or a drawer, or a closet, (or all of the above), and wondering where in the world to even start.  You know you want to, you know you need to, but now what? How exactly do you make that leap, and get started?  If getting organized is on your list, I'm going to share my tips and tricks that will help you on your way to getting organized in 2015! Remember…the goal of getting organized isn't getting … [Read more...]

Easy Shoe Shelf + Rockwell Bladerunner X2 Tabletop Saw GIVEAWAY

Easy Shoe Shelf for Winter Boots | simplykierste.com

This post is sponsored by Rockwell Tools. All opinions are 100% mine.-----Oh my goodness, the snow.  The salt.  The mud.  The wet. The drippy.  All of which I do not want brought into my house this winter!   With no mudroom in our little apartment, I decided that we needed a shoe shelf just outside our front door, so all boots could be deposited there before coming inside.  I had just been sent a Rockwell Bladerunner X2 Portable Tabletop Saw to try, and knew it would be the perfect first project!Who knew that something as simple as a shoe shelf could make me so happy? :)  It was such an easy project too. We screwed 2x4's (two on each level)  into 1 inch pine boards (for the sides)--to make … [Read more...]

DIY Recipe Binder with FREE Printables!

DIY Recipe Binder | Free Printables | simplykierste.com

About ten years ago, I went through my stacks of cookbooks, and file of saved recipes I had printed or had received from others.   I took out all of our favorites, typed them up, slid them into sheet protectors, and put them into a binder. That Recipe Binder changed my life.  Yes, I know that sounds dramatic, but it's true.  It saved me so much time and effort when it came to cooking and menu planning, and at the same time streamlined and organized all of my recipes. The idea of a recipe binder is nothing new, and it's been around for a long time, but that says something right there...it's still around because it WORKS!  I've had to change binders a few times over the years, and just this … [Read more...]