Cinnamon Swirl Cake

Cinnamon Swirl Cake | simplykierste.com

Who loves fall?  ME!!!!! It's always been my favorite, and it's on its way here in upstate New York. I love the crisp mornings, cozy sweaters, vibrant leaf colors, pumpkin patches, cider mills, and of  course, the yummy food.  One of our family's all-time favorite fall recipes is Cinnamon Swirl Cake, and you are going to love me (and hate me, because you're going to want to eat it all!) for sharing it with you. It is the epitome of fall! Seriously, it is SO good.  Bits of cinnamon & sugar are swirled around inside the moist, buttery cake, and it's topped with a creamy cinnamon buttercream frosting that I could eat with a spoon. (And I may or may not have done that before...) This … [Read more...]

21 Top Disney Tips You Can’t Miss!!!

Top Disney Tips | simplykierste.com

 We took our kids to Walt Disney World for the first time about a year and a half ago, and absolutely loved it. We not only thoroughly enjoyed the park, but we had an awesome place to stay, ate amazing food, and saw SO much.  I credit the reason for our success to the mastermind behind our whole trip...our very good friend, Dale Schmidt, who joined us, along with his family.  He is, in my mind, the Disney World Master.  ☺ I can't even tell you how many times he's been there--without kids, with small kids, with older kids, and a mix of older and younger kids. He's stayed both on and off property, with large groups and small groups.  He does an incredible amount of research, pays close … [Read more...]

{my christmas miracle}

my christmas miracle | simplykierste.com

Everything I was planning this past week pretty much went up in smoke when half of our family came down with strep throat or the flu--my husband and myself included.  It's been an interesting week to say the least, and as I've been juggling and rearranging items on my list to fit this unexpected and unfortunate timing of events, something else happened that caused me to really reflect on what Christmas means to me. A few weeks ago I ordered what I planned to be my little boys' main present, and was excited about getting free shipping, since it was very heavy, and would have been a fortune.  It was ground shipping, but guaranteed to get here in plenty of time for Christmas.  It arrived when … [Read more...]

{peppermint popcorn crunch}

peppermint popcorn crunch | simplykierste.com

Peppermint?  Popcorn?  White chocolate?  YES!  Peppermint Popcorn Crunch is perfect for filling treat bags with, serving at a party or gathering, or just munching on!  It's incredibly easy to make (we're talking FIVE minutes, people!) and will be sure to please wherever you serve it! I first started making this recipe years ago, using toffee bits  (which is also amazing), but one Christmas it dawned on me I could switch them out for peppermint, and I'm so glad I did!  I prefer using air popped popcorn, but you can use microwave popcorn--whatever you have! I also like to used chopped candy canes as opposed to crushing them, because I like to see and taste the pieces of peppermint.  It … [Read more...]

{merry kissmas}

merry kissmas | simplykierste.com

Merry Kissmas! This is definitely an oldie, a goodie, and slightly cheesy--which is why we love it, right?  I adore Hershey Peppermint  Kisses, and they're so cute in their silver & red wrappers, that I just had to create a fun tag for them, and use them for gifts. And of course...I'm going to share it with you! It's so easy to put together! I just filled a milk bottle with kisses, printed and cut out the tag, then tied it on with bakers twine. You could also use mason jars, clear treat bags, takeout boxes--I like something clear, so you can see the kisses. This would be darling for hostess gifts, teacher gifts, neighbor gifts...and more! Or, if you're looking for an easy last minute … [Read more...]

{english toffee bars}

english toffee bars | simplykierste.com

These English Toffee Bars are hands down my favorite bar recipe EVER, and my go-to dessert that everyone loves! If you're looking for a yummy addition to your Christmas dessert list, then look no further...these are it! English Toffee is my favorite Christmas candy, and these are it in a bar form---caramel, chocolate, nuts--when they're warm from the oven you just can't beat them! There are layers of a yummy, butter-y crust, chocolate chips, toffee bits, and sweetened condensed milk to hold them together. I can't take them anywhere without getting asked for the recipe, and I'm just telling you up front, they are TOTALLY addictive.  ☺ They're perfect on goodie plates, stacked inside treat … [Read more...]

{a trip to the fire station: b’gosh believe and holiday giving}

fire station | simplykierste.com

This post is sponsored by OshKosh B'gosh. All opinions are 100% mine. ----- This Christmas season I really wanted to focus my children and family on serving more, giving more, and reaching out more to others in our community. My parents were really good about giving us opportunities to serve, and I have many memories of going to the nursing home on Sunday afternoons--singing, playing the piano, talking, and spending time with the people there. One year and man from that nursing home was even able to visit our home for Thanksgiving, and it made a great impression on me. I learned at a young age how important it is to give, to think outside yourself, and to show gratitude for what we've been … [Read more...]

{peppermint striped candlesticks}

peppermint striped candlesticks | simplykierste.com

Can you believe it is the 10th of December! Yikes, how did that happen?? Well, we're back with another amazing Blog Hop. Peppermint is definitely the flavor of the season and it is also our theme for the month. and since I'm a tad bit obsessed with all things peppermint, I was thrilled for this month! I made some darling Peppermint Striped Candlesticks, and I can't wait to share them with you! We've got lots of peppermint flavored treats to share with you as well as some darling peppermint inspired crafts! Be sure and visit all the blogs to check out the details on their peppermint project. We'd love for you to pin the collage below, check out my (project) and then go see all of the other … [Read more...]

{FREE chalkboard christmas card templates…NO photoshop required!}

christmas card template | simplykierste.com

Sending and receiving cards is one of my favorite things about the holiday season, and I love making them each year to send to our friends and family. Today I thought I would share some free Christmas Card templates in case you wanted to use them too!  And guess what...NO PHOTOSHOP REQUIRED!!  ☺  It's super easy, and I'm going to show you how! You'll need to head to Pic Monkey, which is a free online photo editor. This is seriously just a couple of steps people, EASY and CUTE! I'm going to use my cutey-cute sister's family as an example... 1. After you download and save one of the free templates below, choose "edit a photo", and then open up the file you saved. Click on the overlay icon … [Read more...]

{simple gold foil garland & gift tags}

foil garland | simplykierste.com

Hi!  Its Michelle From Chalkboardblue, and  I wanted to share with you two different and fun ideas to help Celebrate the Holidays!  This gold foil Garland is fun to make to decorate a tree or add some flair to a gift!  You can make your garland whatever size you may need it to be.  I made this one smaller to be a simple accent to a tree. This foil Garland was made using Printable foil that is adhesive.  It is made by Silhouette and is so great to work with!   I cut mine using my Silhouette Cameo.  I made several circles sized them roughly 1 in. x 1 in.  I cut the deer at roughly 1.5 x 2 in. I also had to make the deer on one side opposite so they will stick together evenly on … [Read more...]