14 days of valentines for your kids & spouse

14 Days of Valentines for your kids & spouse | simplykierste.com

It's been a tough couple of years for my kids, and our family.  We've lived in three states and moved cross country twice over that short period of time, and that's meant a lot of changes, including leaving the only place they've ever  really known.  We are starting to get settled here in upstate New York, and in the process of building a home, where we hope to live for a very long time.  I've felt like doing some extra-special things for my kids and my husband, to show them how much I love them, and give them a little extra joy, and Valentine's Day is the perfect time to do that.  I created a really fun 14 Days of Valentines, and I know they are all going to love it! I gathered cute … [Read more...]

14 favorite Valentine’s Day children’s books

14 Favorite Valentine's Day Children's Books | simplykierste.com

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see my full disclosure. Books are always a wonderful way to celebrate any holiday, and Valentine's Day is no exception.  If you're looking for a really fun and easy Valentine's Day tradition for your family, try a Valentine's Day Book Countdown...one book a day from the 1st through the 14th! Check out this list of Favorite Valentine's Day children's books! A Kiss for Little Bear , by Elsa Holmelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak Guess How Much I Love You, Sam McBratney Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse! , Laura Numeroff Queen of Hearts, by Mary Engelbreit Counting Kisses, by Karen Katz Happy Valentine's Day, Curious George, N. Di … [Read more...]

Valentine popcorn lollipops + free printable!

Valentine Popcorn Lollipops | simplykierste.com

The Patriotic Popcorn Lollipops that I made for the 4th of July were such a hit,  I decided I just had to make a Valentine's Day version! My kids love these so much, and one of my five year old boys deemed them "the best popcorn balls in the world". So, there you go, all the recommendation you need. :) These are so easy and fun to make, and they are always popular wherever we take them.  They're made with melted marshmallow--so like a Rice Krispie treat but using popcorn instead! I tinted them pink, and I like the extra color it gives them for the Valentine holiday.  Next their dipped in white chocolate, with generous sprinkles on top, and they're ready to go! You can make them and … [Read more...]

Striped love sign

Striped Love Sign | simplykierste.com

I'm kind of in love with stripes, and I really love them on this Striped Love Sign I made to add to my Valentine's Day decor.  Although I love it so much, I might leave it up year round! SO fun!  I seriously love it.  Best of all, it's super easy to make and is a pretty quick project!  It would be adorable sitting on a mantel or entry table, or hanging on the wall.  I made mine a pretty good size--2 feet x 2 feet, but you can really make it any size you like. Use the same method and have it say something else--for a bedroom, bathroom, playroom--anywhere!  I love the wood color of the MDF alongside the white--so cute! Here's how I did it: SUPPLIES: -1/2 inch MDF, cut to 24 x24 … [Read more...]

14 fun Valentine’s Day movies for families

14 Fun Valentine's Day Movies for Families | simplykierste.com

We love family movie nights, and snuggling up together to watch our favorite movies. Valentine's Day is coming up in a few weeks, and a family movie night is a perfect way to celebrate together!  I'm sharing a list of our favorite Valentine's Day movies that are great for families. So...grab your cozy blankets, make some Pink Hot Chocolate, and get ready for an evening of Valentine's Day movie fun! Most of them are rated G, and a few are rated PG.   Common Sense Media is a resource that I've used to check movies for more rating information. The Love Bug , rated G The original version is definitely my favorite, and the one we watch.  I have loved it since I was little! The … [Read more...]

Valentine bingo!

Valentine Bingo | simplykierste.com

Can I tell you how much I love Valentine's Day?  I totally do, it's true.  We make it a family affair at our house, and  I just love doing fun things for my kids and husband to celebrate.  We do a super fun and easy Valentine Countdown every year, and one of the things on our list is to play Valentine Bingo! I created a fun new Bingo printable for this year, and I love it...I think my kids will too! Bingo is fun at home--we love playing it for Family Night too!  It's also perfect for any Valentine party.  If you're looking for a a great Valentine game for a class party, this works for preschool on up through upper elementary grades.  Everyone loves Bingo! We always use small Valentine … [Read more...]

10 Fun & festive Christmas breakfast ideas

10 Fun & Festive Christmas Breakfast Ideas | simplykierste.com

We are on the countdown to Christmas!  Is your house feeling it too?  The celebrating has already started around here, and just today I went and bought a ridiculous amount of food for this week.  On the list?  Christmas breakfast!  It's probably our favorite breakfast of the entire year.  I've gathered 10 fun & festive Christmas breakfast ideas that would be perfect for not only Christmas day, but the days leading up to it.  I love all the pancake and waffle ideas...they're all SO cute! *Snowman Milk Men *Gingerbread Waffles with Cinnamon Butter *Red Velvet Pancakes *Rudolph Pancakes *Cinnamon Roll Pancakes *Snowman Pancakes *Christmas Tree Waffles *Candy Cane Cream Cheese … [Read more...]

The Easiest Sparkling Punch

Easy Punch Recipe | simplykierste.com

I bought my first punch bowl very early on in life.  As a piano teacher, I felt it quite necessary to have punch and cookies after each recital, and a girl can't be without a punch bowl!  Now I use a drink dispenser, but I still have my punch bowl! This particular recipe is my go-to punch, and it's the easiest sparkling punch around. It only has two basic ingredients, so it's also so quick to put together, which I love. You can also easily change flavors to match a theme, season, or holiday, and I've made many different kinds.  The kind I love for Christmas and the holidays is what I call...Sparkling Cranberry Punch! Its delightful red color with cranberries with floating on top is perfect … [Read more...]

Easy Homemade Mexican Hot Chocolate

Mexican Hot Chocolate | simplykierste.com

We are such a hot chocolate family! I don't think many days pass through the holiday and winter season where my kids aren't asking me to make hot chocolate...and I oblige quite often.  One of my favorite versions is Mexican Hot Chocolate.  The added cinnamon and nutmeg brings a depth of flavor that is deep and rich, and accents the chocolate.  It's SO delicious, and easy! I like to serve it with whipped cream, then shaved chocolate and cinnamon & sugar sprinkled on top.  Mmmmmm...my mouth is watering just writing this out!  It's perfect for serving at home, or to guests.  I like to make a big pot of it on Christmas morning, and just keep it simmering in my crock pot or on the stove, … [Read more...]

Family Lacing Cards

Family Lacing Cards | simplykierste.com

We live far away from all of our family--most of them live thousands of miles away, and my sister is the closest at twelve hours away. We don't get to see them as often as we would like, but it's important to me that we do things to keep connected, and to help my kids know their family.  I thought it would be fun to make a set of family lacing cards for my kids for Christmas a couple of years ago, and they LOVE them.  I made a card for each of our siblings, and their families, and it's so fun to have their cute faces so often.  It's a perfect gift for either your kids, or for other family members--with a card of your family, of course!  I love to tuck them into our church bag, into my … [Read more...]