An Organized Summer with the 2016 Summer Schedule {Free Printable}

An Organized Summer: Summer Schedule 2016 | Free Printable | simplykierste.com

It startled me when I was doing my planning for the coming week when I realized it's going to be May!  How did that happen? Not that I'm complaining--the weather has been fabulous, the sun is shining, and spring is in the air!  But it also means that summer is on the horizon, and even though we don't get out of school until the end of June (I know...), there are a bunch of you that probably get out in May, and I realized I needed to get the 2016 Summer Schedule ready to go! If you're looking for a place to keep track of all of your summer activities and travel, this free printable is here to help. This is the sixth year I've posted this schedule--I've been using it for years, and can't do … [Read more...]

20 Easter Basket Ideas for Babies & Toddlers

20 Easter Basket Ideas for Babies & Toddlers | simplykierste.com

    I just love putting Easter baskets together.  The Saturday before Easter is the day that we do a treasure hunt to find the baskets, and it's anticipated by everyone. My kids are already talking about it, and it's one of our favorite traditions. This year I'm especially looking forward to my two year old finding her basket, because she's started to catch on to what it's all about! I also loved her baby Easter basket--there's something so special about a "first."With Easter coming up in a couple of weeks, I've gathered my favorite Easter basket ideas for babies and toddlers. I always include some kind of toy in the baskets for my babies and toddlers, and wooden toys are … [Read more...]

Some Bunny Loves You! An Easter Service Idea

Some Bunny Loves You | An Easter Service Idea | simplykierste.com

One of our favorite things to do as a family during the holidays is to take treats to friends & neighbors secretly--ringing the doorbell, running as fast as we can, and getting away before we're spotted.  We love it so much, and it's so fun to be able to spread a little cheer to those that may be in need of a little extra. We call it "You've Been Boo'ed" at Halloween, but at Easter, it's Some Bunny Loves You!  We usually like to plan our rendezvous for Sunday evening or Monday for Family Night.  We either bake treats, or package together some Easter candy to take, then tie on cute tags and print the instructions! My kids absolutely love coordinating all the details--who's going … [Read more...]

Easy & Adorable Oreo Chicks

Easy & Adorable Oreo Chicks | simplykierste.com

Since my kids love helping in the kitchen so much, I'm always looking for fun & easy projects we can do together, especially during the holidays.  We first made these adorable Oreo Chicks several years ago, and they're still such a favorite! It makes a great activity (and treat!) for Family Night, and we usually make them a week or two before Easter.  Not only are they fun for home, but perfect to take to spring parties, or as part of your Easter menu! When I've made them in years past, I've added small pieces of broken pretzels to use as cute little legs.  I don't know if Oreos have gotten skinnier over time, because even though I use Double Stuf, I've had a terrible time … [Read more...]

Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cake

Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cake | simplykierste.com

What flavor combination most comes to mind when you think about St. Patrick's Day? Chocolate and mint, of course!  It also happens to be one of my favorites, and I absolutely adore this Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cake.  As did my husband and children, who literally inhaled it.  This cake is super easy to make, and will pretty much knock your socks off, as well as anyone else who you serve it to! It's a St. Patrick's Day dessert, but it's darn good anytime! Oh my goodness, it is SO yummy!  Layers of dark chocolate cake and mint chocolate chip ice cream, with chocolate ganache poured over the top makes for an absolutely divine cake.  Now you can have your ice cream and your cake too, all … [Read more...]

Yummy Lemon Cream Cake

Lemon Cream Cake | simplykierste.com

I love lemon all the time, but it's a perfect match to springtime!  Since we're nearing spring (at least I'm hoping), I wanted to share one of my absolute favorite recipes ever, Lemon Cream Cake.  It's perfect for all of your spring parties and Easter menus, and you'll have people chasing you down for the recipe! It is SO SO yummy.  Layers of moist cake and cream cheese filling, topped with little crumbles of powdered sugar & butter---it just melts in your mouth!  What I love about it even more, is that it uses a boxed cake mix (Duncan Hines is my favorite!!), so it speeds up the process.  The creamy filling adds so much to the cake that you can't even tell it's not homemade. I … [Read more...]

St. Patrick’s Day Printable: Lucky To Know You

St. Patrick's Day Printable Tag | Lucky to Know You | simplykierste.com

I am such a big fan of super cute tags that dress up a simple jar and add a ton of charm!  I love creating them for every holiday, then use them to give gifts to friends, neighbors, teachers, and other people in my life. Everyone loves knowing that someone is thinking of them or really grateful for them, and I created an adorable St. Patrick's day printable tag that's perfect for letting them know! Tie it on to a jar of treats or candy, and you're set to go!  I love using holiday M&M's because they're  so festive and totally cute. And yummy.  I especially love the ones for St. Patrick's Day, because they're mint & chocolate...my fave! So cute, right?! And SO SO easy. … [Read more...]

Easy & Adorable Heart Ice Cubes

Heart Ice Cubes | simplykierste.com

I love things to be cute, but I'll admit I'm kind of impatient, and I don't always have a lot of time, so my favorite ideas are the simple ones! I absolutely adore these tiny red heart ice cubes, and they seriously take this glass of milk from boring to the cutest thing ever, and all it took was a minute or two of prep! Am I the only one who thinks anything tiny is even more adorable? These ice cubes would be darling for any special meal, including Valentine's Day. (My fourth grader pointed out to me today that they're technically not "ice" cubes, but calling them milk cubes didn't sound quite right! :) ) When they melt, they turn the milk pink, so it keeps the whole theme going even … [Read more...]

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...]