50 Best Summer Movies for Families | simplykierste.com

Best summer movies for families…including teens!

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 with my family, and they bring back a ton of memories.  We watched them on a VCR though--do you remember how long it took to rewind or fast forward?  Yay for DVDs!  You may notice that I also included the original versions of movies, including Parent Trap, The Love Bug, and Freaky Friday. I've always loved them the best!

I also created a separate "teen" list, for those of you that have mostly teens and even older tweens, depending on what your family rules are when it comes to movies. Every movie I've included, even the ones for teenagers, are rated either G or PG, except for the last few in the Harry Potter series.  Our kids don't get to watch those until they're pretty old. :) The Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean movies I just included the first in the series, because those are the ones that are rated PG.

50 Best Summer Movies for Families | simplykierste.com

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"Before you can play" summer chore chart | simplykierste.com

Save your sanity with a “before you can play” chore list!

Every summer morning I hear the words "can I play?", in one form or another.  They might be referring to going outside to play, having friends over, wanting me to take them somewhere, requesting screen time, or  any number of things that's on their agenda that day.  I got really tired of listing the things off that they needed to do before they could play (even though they already knew), that I decided to make things easier for not only myself, but for the kids too, by making a summer "before you can play" chore list.  I hung it on the fridge, and when they want to know if they can play, I just ask if they have everything done on the list! Love!

"Before you can play" summer chore chart | simplykierste.com

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Free flip flops coloring page | simplykierste.com

Summer fun: free flip flops coloring page

Kiki is here with a super fun free printable coloring page, to help beat summer boredom!  And...it's just fun. :)

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Hey Ya'll! SUMMER is here! Yay and Yikes, right?! Yay because your kids are home all day and you have so much quality time with them. Yikes because your kids are home all day...:) It's Kiki from Kiki and Company and I am here to share a really simple printable with you to add to your summer arsenal. I like to have a bunch of things my kiddos can do during the day to avoid the dreaded "BORED" word. In my house that is just code for "I need a job, mom!" ;) What says summer more that flip flops?

Free Flip Flops Coloring Page

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Summer Car Kit | simplykierste.com

How to put together a summer car kit + free printable!

Already the sunscreen and bug spray have come out of hibernation, and plans are being made to enjoy every single minute of the summer.  We're  on the go a lot during the summer months, whether it's a road trip, or just around town.  It means a lot of parks and outdoor activities and FUN!  With all that fun comes the inevitable, and odds are, I'm going to need something out of the car kit that I keep in my trunk. Preparedness is key! I change it up a bit for each season, and today I'm sharing the summer version, plus a super cute free printable!

Summer Car Kit | simplykierste.com

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Cheap & easy DIY outdoor wooden blocks | simplykierste.com

Cheap & easy DIY outdoor wooden blocks

My husband and I are outside quite a bit building and working on different projects now that the weather is nice, and it's wonderful!   The kids will play outside in the yard while we're working, and one of the things they love to play with are all the wood scraps that we seem to have an endless supply of.  This past Saturday they were stacking the scraps, building towers, making roads, pretending all sorts of things, and even coloring them with their sidewalk chalk.  It kept them busy for a long time, and they were having a ball.  I decided to make them their own permanent set of outdoor wooden blocks to keep outside all the time, knowing they would be a huge hit this summer.  We LOVE them!

Cheap & easy DIY outdoor wooden blocks | simplykierste.com

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Keep your summers organized with the printable 2015 Summer Schedule | free printable | simplykierste.com

Make your summer easier with a printable summer schedule & calendar 2015

I have been receiving comments and emails about if and when I would be posting a 2015 Summer Schedule, and it totally took me off guard, because we still have two months of school left.  So for all of you lucky ducks that get out in May, I thought I should get this posted now!

Keep your summers organized with the printable 2015 Summer Schedule | free printable | simplykierste.com

I LOVE having this spreadsheet for our summer schedule, and after using it for several years, I can't imagine a summer without it. There is always so much going on--concerts in the park, park days, library story times, ball games----and while we're not going to go to every single one of them, I want to know when they are in case we can go.  There just isn't room on my regular calendar for all of that information, plus when you adding swimming lessons, vacations, and summer camps, it's really ridiculous.

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20+ Best Tips, Tricks, and Ideas for Flying with a Toddler | simplykierste.com

20+ best tips, tricks & ideas for flying with a toddler

Flying with a toddler?  Try these tips, tricks and ideas to make your trip easier!

20+ Best Tips, Tricks, and Ideas for Flying with a Toddler | simplykierste.com

I recently took my newly-turned two year little girl on her first plane ride. She joined her sisters and me for a girls' trip out west, and none of us could wait to go!  I've flown plenty of times before, but it had been awhile since I had a toddler with me since now there are eight of us, we do most of our family traveling by car.

I think toddlers are in general the hardest age to travel with, but especially flying.  Not that they aren't perfectly adorable in every way, but they are at a age where they want to be down, running, and moving, and a plane is probably the most limiting.  When you're in a car, you can stop and stretch little legs and take a break, but that's just not always possible on a plane.  That said, to make it as easy and stress-free as possible for both toddler and parents, it's good to have a game plan, and plenty of tricks up your sleeve for the trip.

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15 Fun & Fabulous Popcorn Recipes | simplykierste.com

15 Fun & Fabulous Popcorn Recipes

It's no secret that our family loves popcorn.  Really, it's more of an obsession.  It's almost a daily occurrence at our house, and it's been a long time since I haven't heard "can we have popcorn?". My oldest son might actually totally survive on popcorn alone, he eats so much of it! We add butter and salt most often, but I also love to create and try new popcorn recipes too.  Popcorn is really the perfect snack and even dessert! It's wonderful for parties, at home with family, serving to company, as an after school snack, taking to the classroom, dressing up for holidays, packaging up as gifts, and...what movie night is complete without popcorn?

So, I gathered some of the ones I love the best, and the ones on my absolute MUST try list.  If you're like me, your mouth will be watering, and you'll head straight to the kitchen to whip up a batch of popcorn after you finish reading!

15 Fun & Fabulous Popcorn Recipes | simplykierste.com

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

Picking Berries, Making Jam, and Summer Family Fun!

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. One of our particular favorites is Bread and Jam for Frances. The story is darling, and delivers a moral about learning to eat and appreciate different foods. It's definitely one to have on your shelf!

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

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Summer Hairstyles for Little Girls | simplykierste.com

10 Fun Summer Hairstyles for Little Girls!

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 or short, it just feels so much better to get it up and off your neck and away from your face. My girls have been asking for different ways to do their hair up, but since I really haven't "done" long hair before, I decided to go out and find some easy, quick summer hairstyles for little girls for both long and short hair. I found some darling styles I can't wait to try, and thought I would share them with you!

Summer Hairstyles for Little Girls | simplykierste.com

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hp pavilion x360 | simplykierste.com

Planning a Family Getaway with the HP Pavilion x360

This post is sponsored by HP. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Wahoo!! Summer is upon us, and we are counting down the days until school it out. As much as I love structure and routine, but 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 huge part in getting us ready to go!

I'll tell you what, we have fallen in love. All of us. The "red computer" is in high demand every day, and it was invaluable during the planning process--not only in the necessary details, but for the extras too.

I made hotel reservations, debated Six Flags vs. SeaWorld, bought our SeaWorld tickets, checked out restaurants in the area, looked up mileage and driving directions, researched SeaWorld, the Alamo and other things to do that were close by, and covered every base I could think of. What I especially loved, is that I could do this in laptop-style on my couch or sitting at the table, and in tablet-mode in my bed!

hp pavilion x360 | simplykierste.com

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Peanut Butter Cookie S'mores | simplykierste.com

Peanut Butter Cookie S’mores

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!

Peanut Butter Cookie S'mores | simplykierste.com

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