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...]

5 ways to stay organized & connect with your kids after school

5 ways to connect with your kids & stay organized after school | simplykierste.com

When the kids come home from school, so begins the busiest part of my day.  Homework, making dinner, music lessons and practice, sports--the list goes on.  It's important to me to not only keep this part of the day as organized as possible, but also to really connect with my school-aged kids. They've been gone all day, and I don't want to rush, rush, rush through a crazy afternoon just to put them to bed without really connecting with them.  It's also much easier said than done, which is why I have a game plan!  There are five things on my after school list, and I'm feeling ready (almost) for the new school year to start in two weeks! It's not always possible to each of them every … [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...]

Best back-to-school & fall crockpot meals

16 Back-to-School & Fall Crockpot Recipes | simplykierste.com

And so it begins. I was doing my calendaring for the week, and realized that our summer is quickly coming to a close, and that the craziness and busy-ness of school and fall are upon us. Even though we have a few weeks before school starts,  I have several kids playing soccer, and the season is in full swing starting this week.  It means 4-5 times a week of being out of the house in the evening, and limited time to make and serve dinner.  I know I will need to rely on my crockpot a lot, so I can serve yummy, healthy dinners to my family without spending a lot of time in the kitchen. I gathered some of the most mouthwatering, family-friendly (or anyone friendly) slow cooker recipes I … [Read more...]

DIY notebook paper treat bags

DIY notebook paper treat bags | simplykierste.com

I was at Target (of course) and saw the cutest notebook paper treat bags. I immediately thought how fun they would be for all things school, and at first thought I would buy up a bunch to keep for throughout the year. But I would have to spend a fortune to do it, and I didn't really want to do that. Then I remembered I already had some plain white treat bags at home, and realized it would be super easy for me to make my own DIY version, anytime I needed them! You guys, they are SO easy to make, and literally take just a couple of minutes.  If you have plain white treat bags, and a couple of colored pencils, you can make your very own set of notebook paper treat bags. You can always … [Read more...]

Monogrammed backpack tags

Monogrammed Backpack Tags | simplykierste.com

My kids love having something on their backpacks that identify it as "theirs".  I created these super cute monogrammed backpack tags that are perfect for the new school year! I prefer using monograms instead of their full names for safety reasons, plus initials are really just adorable! My darling boys (yes, they're twins!) are heading off to kindergarten this fall (sniff, sniff), and they are SO excited about their backpacks and tags. On my girls' tags, I added a bit of ribbon. I think I could add even a few more pieces, for a fuller look, and it would be darling! These are SO easy to make...you need just a few items and you can make one for each of your kids! … [Read more...]

First day of school printables!

First Day of School Free Printables | simplykierste.com

I know, I know, back-to-school stuff already??!!  The summer is flying by, and even though we have a little more than a month before my kids are back in school (right after Labor Day), I know it's going to come fast. We are trying to stuff in everything we can, and working on whittling down our summer bucket list.  Too many things, not enough time! I'm also in my get-everything-organized-before-school-starts mode, and making these cute first day of school printables was on my list.  I know some of you  go back to school in August, so I thought I'd share them now! It's a first day of school ritual--snapping a picture to capture that moment in time--each year is a milestone to be … [Read more...]

Best summer movies for families…including teens!

50 Best Summer Movies for Families | simplykierste.com

Our family loves movies, and summer movie nights are a common occurrence around our house. Popping popcorn, snuggling up on the couch together--it's the best! We've watched a lot of movies as a family, and I thought I'd gather some of our very favorite summer movies that are perfect for your next movie night and share them with you! My kids are mostly younger (five of them are age nine and younger), with just one older, so we are watching movies that are for that general age group. If you have an age span of kids, these movies will still appeal for the most apart across the board, and are movies that the whole family can enjoy.  Many of these are ones that I enjoyed as a child, watching … [Read more...]

Summer bucket list: Fun family activities!

Summer Bucket List | simplykierste.com

Hello, my name is Jes (from Mommy Envy) and I am addicted to all things summer! Summer just started and I feel like it will be over before we know it! My family has a few things planned at the end of the summer and I often worry we will miss out on all the things we can do before the summer ends. I know I spent all winter wishing for summer and now that it is here I want to enjoy every moment. A great way to make sure you don't miss out on summer is to make a summer bucket list. Just like your personal goals, you are more likely to accomplish a goal if you write it down. My family turned this into a fun family activity. We spent one evening talking about the fun things we can do … [Read more...]

Keep kids busy with these adorable 4th of July placemats!

Keep kids entertained with these darling 4th of July placemats! | simplykierste.com

Happy July Everyone! I'm Kiki from Kiki and Company and am super excited to be here today to share a fun printable for one of my favorite holidays. July 4th just has a special place in my heart, so I hope these 4th of July placemats help to make lunch or dinner just a little more patriotic and a little less hectic! These place mats are simply a quick download and print away to keep your little munchkins busy while they are waiting for their meal. There are 3 activities. Color the Flag is a way for them to color in a US flag. My Favorite Fireworks is a way for your kiddos to draw the most beautiful fireworks they have ever seen. Star Tic-Tac-Toe is just a quick way to play tic-tac-toe … [Read more...]