Picking Berries, Making Jam, and Summer Family Fun!

Jul
28
4
picking berries, making jam, summer family fun | simplykierste.com

Our summer days always include reading.  I don't think a day passes that we haven't sat down and read together, and I love that we aren't feeling the hustle and bustle of a typical school day afternoon.  We also love to have adventures together, and sometimes the two go hand-in-hand.  A couple of weeks ago I posted on Paging Supermom (as part of their Books Alive series) about how the two are combined!  Reading + Adventures (outdoors and in the kitchen) = Summer Family Fun!  They are simple ideas, but those are the best kind!  ☺ Our family is in LOVE with the Frances books by Russell Hoban. That Frances is such a character, and we laugh so hard at all of her adventures...or misadventures.  … [Read more...]



Summer Playlists for Kids & Families

Jul
16
0
summer playlist for kids | simplykierste.com

Isn't everything more fun with music?  At our house, you can usually find us rocking out to our favorite tunes while we do the dishes, make dinner, drive in the car, or just because!  Summertime means even more time together, whether it's at home hanging out or on the road, and a Summer Playlist is a super fun way to enjoy that time together! I'm a huge fan of playlists.  All of the holidays, seasons, girls' trips, races, and pretty much any party are all great reasons to create one, and summertime is no different! Everything is more fun with music.  ☺ Summer Playlists for Kids is one for the bucket list!  I just created our Summer 2014 Playlist as a surprise for my kids, and I'm so … [Read more...]



Raspberry Pretzel Bars

Jul
03
6
Raspberry Pretzel Bars | simplykierste.com

Raspberry Pretzel Bars are one of my favorite things on earth.  How can you beat a buttery, pretzel-y crust, smothered in a scrumptious cream cheese center, and topped with raspberries and raspberry Jell-O?  You really can't.  Plus, it's red and white, which makes it very appropriate for 4th of July and patriotic festivities! I'm really sentimental about this recipe.  One of my closest friends gave me this recipe, and it's one that she often brought over (that I begged her to make) to our BBQs and picnics. I miss her like crazy, and I love thinking of her every time I make this. These are REALLY easy to make, but it's a process.  Each layer needs to be refrigerated before adding the next … [Read more...]



Don’t Eat Pete! A Simple & Fun Game for Kids and Families

Jun
27
2
don't eat pete | free printable | simplykierste.com

Our family has been playing Don't Eat Pete for years, and it has remained my kids' most requested game ever!  It's easy to play, making it perfect for even the youngest players, but fun enough for the oldest ones too.  Our copy finally bit the dust this past week, so I created a new one, and wanted it to share it with all of you!  The concept is simple.  Try to get as much candy as you can.  ☺ DIRECTIONS: Place a piece of candy on each picture. The first players turns their back, while everyone else chooses a picture to be "Pete".  When the player turns around, they point to one picture at a time, taking the candy that's on it, trying to avoid "Pete".  When they point to "Pete", … [Read more...]



Lemon Meltaways

Jun
23
4
Lemon Meltaways | simplykierste.com

I'm pretty much obsessed with anything lemon.  All I have to do is see the word "lemon", and I totally want to try the recipe.  That's what happened a week ago, when a friend shared a recipe via e-mail.  AND it was for Lemon Meltaways, which, come on now, how can that be resisted?  Not very well.  ☺  I made them, LOVED them, my kids loved them, and they now have a permanent place in my recipe book.  I'm sharing them with you today!!  I don't think you'll be able to resist them either! This isn't a typical cookie recipe, which makes me love it that much more.  No beaters are required--just mix up the ingredients, which takes all of about 5 minutes.  Tops.  After rolling the dough into two … [Read more...]



10 Fun Summer Hairstyles for Little Girls!

Jun
20
0
Summer Hairstyles for Little Girls | simplykierste.com

I like to "do" my girls' hair everyday. It's a ritual for us--they each come into my bathroom, and we talk while I do their hair for the day.  It's our time together, and one of my very favorite things. My girls have had short hair (a-line bobs) for most of their lives, so our routine has almost always included curling it or blowing it out.  Recently one of my girls has decided to grow hers out for ballet--it needs to be longer so it's easier to put back in a ballet bun, and I think she prefers long hair.  Her sister still loves short hair, and requests the same swing bob she's had since she was about a year old. Here in Texas. the summers are HOT and HUMID, and whether you're hair is long … [Read more...]



Planning a Family Getaway with the HP Pavilion x360

Jun
03
0
hp pavilion x360 | simplykierste.com

This post is sponsored by HP.  All opinions are 100% mine. ----- Wahoo!! Summer is upon us, and we are counting down the days until school it out. As much as I love structure and routine, this time of year, I'm craving a little relaxation.  It also means it's time for our family to getaway and enjoy time together. Due to our move this summer, we've had to alter our plans a little, and we decided to go on an early getaway before all the craziness hit.  Since we moved to Texas not quite two years ago, it's been on our list to visit San Antonio, and finally it's going to happen!  When it comes to a family getaway, there is always a lot of planning involved, and the HP Pavilion x360 played a … [Read more...]



Sweet Lemon Water

May
30
8
Sweet Lemon Water | simplykierste.com

Summer is almost here, and yummy, cold drinks are perfect to beat the heat.  Sweet Lemon Water is one of my favorites, and my go-to drink to serve at any BBQ, party, or gathering.  It's incredibly simple to put together, refreshingly light, and absolutely delicious!  You may be thinking, lemon water?  Really?  How is this different from regular ice water with sliced lemons in it?  Well, I'm going to tell you.  ☺ It all starts with mixing sugar in with ice cold water, and letting it dissolve, then adding lemon extract for the lemon-y flavor and then...the secret ingredient. Have you heard of citric acid? It's used a lot in canning tomatoes as a replacement for lemon juice, and it provides … [Read more...]



Peanut Butter Cookie S’mores

May
23
4
Peanut Butter Cookie S'mores | simplykierste.com

We are a S'more loving family, and look forward to campfire season every single year. I feel like they're the epitome of summer and outdoor goodness.  We've experimented with different types of candy bars (my favorite is Reese's PB Cups), but the other night I decided to switch up the graham crackers instead! The result?  FABULOUS-ness.  Peanut Butter Cookie S'mores were born!  It was really something of an epiphany.  I was standing in front of the fridge, looking for something else, when my eye caught the leftover Peanut Cookie dough in the freezer.  I knew we were doing S'mores that night, and something just clicked!  I baked up a couple of batches of the cookies, and that evening, we … [Read more...]



10+ Fun & Simple Summer Kickoff Ideas

May
19
0
Summer Kickoff Ideas | simplykierste.com

I can't remember whose idea it was for a surprise water balloon fight, but it was brilliant. Especially since they didn't know it was coming.  :) We had it all planned out. On the last day of school, we were READY!!! My best friends and I filled balloons the night before, packed the cars with extra clothes and towels, and brought along yummy ice cream treats in a cooler. It had been such a hot week that we knew it would be the perfect thing. The morning dawned, and OF COURSE it was rainy and cold.  Murphy's Law and all that, right? Fortunately, the rain subsided in the afternoon, and even though it wasn't as warm as it had been, we proceeded as planned. We were in luck.  The mission was … [Read more...]