12 Steps to Change

12 steps to change | simplykierste.com

Odds are, addiction has touched your life in some way, either personally, or through a friend or family member.  There are many types of addiction, and each one can have a devastating effect on not only the addict, but also everyone they love and who love them. Millions of people in this world are living every day with the worry, heartache, and burden of addiction. But, there is hope. On addictionrecovery.lds.org many people have shared their story, in hopes that it can help someone else. Judith says:  "As long as I can remember, I have battled with an eating disorder. My disorder led to many health complications, so I went from doctor to doctor to find a quick fix. When one doctor … [Read more...]

Make packing lunches easier & faster with a school lunch station!

School Lunch Station | Free Printables | simplykierste.com

With my twin boys starting kindergarten this year (sniff, sniff), I will now have five kids to pack school lunch for.  All of a sudden this past week that seemed like... a lot.  We still have a couple of weeks until school starts, but I decided to get organized now! I've always had some kind of lunch station, but the thought of 25 bags of chips, 25 fruit cups, 25 granola bars, 25 string cheese, and 25 go-gurt (plus sandwich stuff) per week really got me thinking about how I could create something to make the packing process a lot faster and easier. So...the official school lunch station has been created, including some super cute printables as the finishing touch. It's simple, but that's … [Read more...]

5 ways to stay organized & connect with your kids after school

5 ways to connect with your kids & stay organized after school | simplykierste.com

When the kids come home from school, so begins the busiest part of my day.  Homework, making dinner, music lessons and practice, sports--the list goes on.  It's important to me to not only keep this part of the day as organized as possible, but also to really connect with my school-aged kids. They've been gone all day, and I don't want to rush, rush, rush through a crazy afternoon just to put them to bed without really connecting with them.  It's also much easier said than done, which is why I have a game plan!  There are five things on my after school list, and I'm feeling ready (almost) for the new school year to start in two weeks! It's not always possible to each of them every … [Read more...]

Washcloth boo-boo bunny

washcloth boo boo bunny | simplykierste.com

Last year my baby spent a lot of time in the hospital. Within seven months, she was admitted to ICU five times, and it was an incredibly difficult time.  We were blessed with really wonderful doctors, and exceptional nurses who took great care of her, and  when you're spending weeks in the hospital at one time, you get to know them pretty well.  Caroline was between 15-21 months during this time, and being old enough to walk but young enough to be confined in a crib was a challenge, and I was constantly looking for ways to entertain her.  She also had a lot of shots, IV's and treatments and watching your baby go through it is pretty terrible.  The nurses were definitely the bright … [Read more...]

Monogrammed backpack tags

Monogrammed Backpack Tags | simplykierste.com

My kids love having something on their backpacks that identify it as "theirs".  I created these super cute monogrammed backpack tags that are perfect for the new school year! I prefer using monograms instead of their full names for safety reasons, plus initials are really just adorable! My darling boys (yes, they're twins!) are heading off to kindergarten this fall (sniff, sniff), and they are SO excited about their backpacks and tags. On my girls' tags, I added a bit of ribbon. I think I could add even a few more pieces, for a fuller look, and it would be darling! These are SO easy to make...you need just a few items and you can make one for each of your kids! … [Read more...]

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...]