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...]

How to make an easy & adorable quiet book

How to make an easy & adorable quiet book | simplykierste.com

Make an easy & adorable quiet book for your toddler or preschooler using plastic name badge holders and this darling free printable! I adore name badges, and I've used them for so many projects.  Not only are they inexpensive, but they're the perfect portable size.  I made my twin boys quiet books several years ago using them, and this week I decided it was time for my baby girl to have one too! Since we're working on our numbers and shapes, I created a darling set of  printables that I thought would be perfect for the quiet book.  Caroline absolutely loves it, and it tucks right in my diaper bag or purse to use in the car, at church, or while we're waiting … [Read more...]

7 things I learned from being stranded in the airport with kids

7 things I learned from being stranded in the airport | simplykierste.com

Early last Wednesday morning I left for the airport with my three girls after spending a glorious week with my parents.  I had no idea that it would be a long two and a half days before we would finally get home. We happened to arrive at the Chicago airport just as a major storm was making its entrance, and due to a deadly tornado that was crossing the state, many flights needed to be delayed and cancelled. With no luggage, no way to get home, and three little girls counting on me, it was an experience I won't soon forget. I've flown many times before, but I'd never even come close to being stranded. Somehow everything had always been very uneventful, so I had no idea what was in store … [Read more...]

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

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

Flying with a toddler?  Try these tips, tricks and ideas to make your trip easier! 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 … [Read more...]

Why our kids have chores + an age-appropriate chores guideline

Why our kids have chores + free printable chore guide | simplykierste.com

Ever since I posted my cleaning schedule and talked about my kids having their own chores, I've had a lot of comments, questions, and e-mails about our chores routine. It's been on my mind quite a bit lately too, because this year each of my six kids are turning ages where we can add a few more chores that they are able to do. We also moved from a larger home to a tiny apartment that we are living in while our new house is being built, and it's definitely required me to make a few changes, so I figured it was a good time to write out how our family handles chores for kids, and more importantly, why. We start chores young at our house--they are are one of the most vital parts of our family … [Read more...]