An Organized Summer with the 2016 Summer Schedule {Free Printable}

An Organized Summer: Summer Schedule 2016 | Free Printable | simplykierste.com

It startled me when I was doing my planning for the coming week when I realized it's going to be May!  How did that happen? Not that I'm complaining--the weather has been fabulous, the sun is shining, and spring is in the air!  But it also means that summer is on the horizon, and even though we don't get out of school until the end of June (I know...), there are a bunch of you that probably get out in May, and I realized I needed to get the 2016 Summer Schedule ready to go! If you're looking for a place to keep track of all of your summer activities and travel, this free printable is here to help. This is the sixth year I've posted this schedule--I've been using it for years, and can't do … [Read more...]

Handprint Dishtowels

Handprint Dishtowels | simplykierste.com

There is just something about handprints that I love.  They capture a moment in time that is so precious, and I treasure them as tangible pieces of their childhood.  What's even better is when you have a reason to look at those adorable handprints all of the time? I created the cutest Handprint Dishtowels that are perfect for proudly displaying in your kitchen, and they're also perfect for Mother's Day, which is right around the corner! SO cute! I made a set of six dishtowels--one for each of my kids.  I just keep staring at those cute little fingers, I love them so much. I can't wait to use them in my new kitchen! This is a very quick project, and you can change the colors and … [Read more...]

75+ Best Chick Flicks for Girls’ Nights!

75+ Best Chick Flicks! | simplykierste.com

I LOVE chick flicks! As much as I love action and adventure, I'm always ready for a really good romantic movie, and I especially getting together with my girlfriends for a movie night. I definitely have a few favorites that I love to watch again and again, but I asked on my Facebook page for more ideas, and I wasn't disappointed. I was flooded with suggestions, and I was asked to share the list...so I am! I have more than 75 of the best chick flicks around, the hard part is just deciding what to watch first! I'm an old-fashioned girl, so my most favorite movies are older ones, or ones that are set historically.  I adore Jane Austen, musicals, Anne of Green Gables and Audrey Hepburn, … [Read more...]

Getting Kids To Practice Music: Tips, Ideas & Printables!

Tips, Ideas and Printables for Getting Kids to Practice Music | simplykierste.com

I started playing the piano when I was four years old.   I loved to play, but I definitely did not always love to practice. Sitting still was hard for me, and I much preferred to be outside running around than sitting on a piano bench.  I will always be grateful to my mom for sticking with me, and making sure I practiced. When I hit my early tween/teenage years, I started performing quite a bit, and something changed for me.  It became something I was personally invested in, and my life has never been the same.  All through high school, college, and now as an adult, playing the piano has been a huge part of who I am. As a mom, I'm so happy to be able to pass along the opportunity to have … [Read more...]

11 Tips & Ideas for Busy Moms: Organize for Success!

11 Tips & Ideas for Busy Moms | simplykierste.com

Let's face it.  Moms are BUSY.  So, so busy.  Between kids' homework, sports, music & other activities, taking care of the home, church responsibilities and perhaps working on top of it, there is just so much to juggle and keep track of.  And that's only the basics! Boy, do I get it.  In order to keep myself on track, and make the days a little easier and less hectic, I've implemented 11 different things into my day that while simple, make a HUGE difference, and help me organize for success! I won't say they'll make things perfect, because life is life, and things happen.  But they give me a leg up, and a fighting chance to do the things I need to do, and the things I want to … [Read more...]

DIY Outdoor Tree Baby Swings

DIY Outdoor Baby Tree Swings | simplykierste.com

We made these swings nearly five years ago, and they ended up being one of our very favorite things in our yard! I decided it was time to re-share, and it's a perfect spring project for the yard.  I wish I could retake pictures with a lot of different angles, but we no longer live in this house...or state.  We can't wait to do it again in at our new house, once it's built! With six kids that all love to swing, there just isn't enough room on our play set to accommodate everyone--especially needing two baby swings.  So I came up with a plan! How about taking advantages of the trees in our yard to add more?  A few 4x4 posts and a little hardware was all we needed to make these adorable and … [Read more...]

Save, Spend & Share Jars for Kids

save spend share savings jar for kids | simplykierste.com

Something we feel really strongly about as parents is teaching our kids about money--how to save it, spend it, and share it. Raising financially stable kids starts is a process, and these simple Save, Spend & Share saving jars are a really great way to start! The value of teaching your kids about money is immeasurable, and will have life-long effects. It teaches them what money is worth--what things cost, and what it really takes to pay for things you need or want.  It also reduces the sense of entitlement, which in this day is a constant battle.  As they get older, it also prepares them for real life--to be able to leave the house and be financially responsible as a young … [Read more...]

Expecting twins? Check out this list of my twin must-haves!

Expecting twins? Check out this list ofTwin Must Haves! | simplykierste.com

I vividly remember the moment I saw two little babies on the ultrasound screen, and we found out that we were expecting twins. So many emotions ran through my head--everything from pure joy to absolute terror.  Not that they weren't wanted, but just that we had no idea what to do! We had waited such a long time for another baby, and so it was mostly on the joy side of things, but thinking about TWO babies at one time? There was so much to think about and plan for, and we started right away trying to figure out what we would need for these two beautiful baby girls that would soon join our family.  We learned so much over the next couple of years, through much trial and error, so when our … [Read more...]

Building Old Salt Farm Series: How to select a building lot

How to Select a Building Lot | Building Old Salt Farm series | simplykierste.com

Hooray! We are making progress!  Our property will hopefully close in the next week, and the final touches are being made to the plans. We will be building on nine beautiful acres in upstate New York, at the bottom of the Appalachian Mountains.  It's wooded, with a perfect meadow for the house to sit, and a tree-covered hill in the back.  We've got plans galore, and I'm just so excited to get started. I'm also excited about the "Building Old Salt Farm" series that I'll be doing during the duration of the building.  I'll be sharing the entire building process, along with things that I've learned along the way. I've been waiting to really begin this series until we were closer to building, … [Read more...]

How do you know if your child is ready for piano lessons?

A guide on how you know if your child is ready for piano lessons | simplykierste.com

I don't remember a time that I haven't played the piano. My parents--neither of them with any kind of musical background--started me with piano lessons when I was four years old, and it's been an enormous (and wonderful) part of my life ever since. It taught me at a very young age how to work hard to learn something new, dedication, responsibility, and getting over some of my fears.  I performed and played all through high school, and then into college on a piano scholarship.  I taught piano lessons for many years--all through college and up until my last baby was born two years ago.  The ability to play the piano has given me many opportunities--to play, perform, serve in my church and … [Read more...]