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...]

Backyard fun: Make your own DIY tetherball set!

Backyard fun: Make your own DIY Tetherball set for half the cost! | simplykierste.com

We are on a quest to add some really fun things to our backyard, and this DIY tetherball set was an easy weekend project that our whole family loves!   After re-discovering tetherball at our friends' home several weeks ago, the kids begged us to get a tetherball set for them.  I checked them out on Amazon, and when I saw the price (around $100), I knew I could make one for less. I did!  I saved more than half by making our own, plus it's incredibly sturdy and durable.  We absolutely love it, and our family has already spent a lot of time outside enjoying it. It really is so worth it to make your own.  It only took about an hour to put together, then 24 hours of drying time.  Totally … [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...]

Are your kids arguing? Try a kindness punch card!

Are your kids arguing? Try Kindness Punch Cards! | simplykierste.com

One of the hardest things about having all my kids home in the summer is the arguing.  Don't get me wrong--they are really good kids, and they do well most of the time, but being home all together all of the time tends to cause more disagreements and disruptions than usual.  It certainly doesn't help that we are in a very small space, pretty much on top of each other, and without most of their toys and games, but even other summers in the past it was an issue. Does your family struggle with this too? Today I decided something had to be done.  They need a little extra motivation to be kind even when it's hard--even when one of their siblings does something that bugs them or that they don't … [Read more...]

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

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

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! We have a regular chore chart that we … [Read more...]

Company’s coming! Breakfast ideas for overnight guests

12 yummy breakfast ideas for overnight guests | simplykierste.com

We moved away from our family and home state when we left for graduate school, and since then we've lived in four different states and gathered dear friends in every place we've been.  We love LOVE when we have guests, and when our friends and family come to visit.  It's always so wonderful to get to spend time with them, and show them "our town".  I seriously can't wait for our house to be finished, so we can start having guests again! We are pretty casual when it comes to breakfast, and even when guests come, we mostly stick to hot/cold cereal, fruit, yogurt, and juice.  It's always fun serving an extra yummy breakfast during the visit, and we'll save it for a morning when we have … [Read more...]

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

Summer Car Kit | simplykierste.com

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! Yep.  If  you've got kids, you know that bugs, sun, scrapes, bee stings, dirty diapers, wet clothes, mud, accidents, emergency potty stops … [Read more...]

Cheap & easy DIY outdoor wooden blocks

Cheap & easy DIY outdoor wooden blocks | simplykierste.com

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 use all of our scrap wood and make them their own permanent set of outdoor wooden blocks to keep outside all the time, knowing they would be a huge … [Read more...]

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

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

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! 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 … [Read more...]

The World’s Best Supermom Letter!

The World's Best Supermom Letter | simplykierste.com

Hi everyone! It's Kiki from Kiki and Company back to share a new printable with you for this month. After designing and getting this printable ready, I realized that I made a letter for you last month, so NEXT month I PROMISE to give you something else! haha. I LOVE celebrating moms and motherhood. As the 3rd of 5 children myself, helping my mom to realize the great impact she has had in my life is so important to me. As a mother of 5 children, I also LOVE hearing from each of my kids on Mother's Day. Today, I will make that a little bit easier with a letter to the World's Best Supermom (that's you)! It's a simple fill-in-the-blank letter that the smallest to the largest child can … [Read more...]