Gluten-Free School Lunch Ideas

Gluten Free School Lunch Ideas | simplykierste.com

This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are 100% mine. ----- One of my girls was diagnosed with celiac disease a couple of years ago, and one of the hardest parts of eating gluten-free is figuring out eating at school and in social situations.  We really are so fortunate now, because there are so many GF options in grocery stores, and even restaurants. Thirty years ago, my brother was diagnosed at  only 18 months old after nearly dying (Celiac Disease was not well known at that time). Back then there were extremely limited options, and the very few gluten-free products that did exist were horrible tasting.  So, when I'm feeling frustrated about a certain situation, I just … [Read more...]

Thrilled to Pieces Teacher Gift {FREE Printable}!

Thrilled to Pieces Teacher Gift | simplykierste.com

I love giving my kids' teachers a little something at the beginning of the school year, and my kids love it too. It's never anything big or fancy, just a small token of our appreciation, and to show them how much we are all looking forward to the school year.  I actually made this fun "Thrilled to Pieces" Teacher Gift at the end of the past school year for my kids' teachers, but I went ahead and made a tag for the beginning of the school year so I could share them both with you! This is SO easy to put together! I filled a mason jar mug with Reese's Pieces, then tied on the cute tag.  I stuck in a orange chevron straw, and added a cute chalkboard flag with my girls' names on it.  When I … [Read more...]

School Papers Storage System {Free Printables!}

School Papers Storage | FREE PRINTABLES | simplykierste.com

 School is almost in session around these parts, and it means that soon a plethora of papers will be heading my way.  Many of those are my kids' "treasures"--artwork, papers, pictures, and other keepsakes from their school years that I want to keep forever.  They can pile up really fast, and I'm excited to share with you my School Papers Storage system--one that I've used for many years to organize all those special papers! It's super easy.  Easy to put together, and easy to maintain, which are both important, and vital to success.  I bought a plastic filing tote for each child (the kind meant for filing--it has edges on the side of the tote for the hanging files to hook on to), then … [Read more...]

15 Fun & Fabulous Popcorn Recipes

15 Fun & Fabulous Popcorn Recipes | simplykierste.com

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 … [Read more...]

Personalized Baby Blocks

Personalized Baby Blocks | simplykierste.com

A good friend of mine created the cutest baby announcement cross stitch project for each new baby that's come into their family, and they are proudly on display in her home. I love the idea of having a child's birth information displayed, so I created these darling personalized baby blocks--perfect as a baby gift for a new mom, or for your own child's nursery or room. This is a simple project with a fabulous finish! Aren't they so fun?  I think any new mom would love these baby blocks for her baby, and you can make them in any color scheme to match any nursery! Gray, pink, navy, orange, turquoise...so many options! I made these a couple of years ago, and used vinyl for al the … [Read more...]

Free Back to School Printables

free back to school printables | simplykierste.com

Okay, you guys, it's MOVING week!! The movers are coming today, and we will be on our way to the lovely state of New York! We are all just so excited to get there, start exploring the area, and find out all about the kids' new schools. The first day of school is always exciting at our house, and I created a set of darling free Back to School printables to add to that fun first of school picture. I had all ages in mind with these printables--super cute for everyone, but not too "young" for older kids.  Simple.  Adorable.  LOVE them!!  What I like to do is print each one that I'm going to use (I did orange for my boys, and pink for my girls), then laminate them and file them away. Then each … [Read more...]

Picking Berries, Making Jam, and Summer Family Fun!

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

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.  … [Read more...]

Chalkboard Back to School Countdown Printable {FREE!}

Chalkboard Back to School Countdown | simplykierste.com

Back to School time has been one of my favorite times of year since I was small.  The smell of new clothes, new pencils all sharpened and lined up in a pencil box, a backpack hung up and ready to go, all the wondering about the new teacher and all the kids in class--all of these things still make me excited!  Just the sight of all of the school supplies on the store shelves makes me happy. My kids are already picking out their new backpacks, and imagining what their new school in New York will be like.  So...as we are enjoying every last bit of the summer, we are also counting down to the start of SCHOOL! To help us, I created a fun Chalkboard Back to School Countdown! You have some … [Read more...]

Summer Playlists for Kids & Families

summer playlist for kids | simplykierste.com

Isn't everything more fun with music?  At our house, you can usually find us rocking out to our favorite tunes while we do the dishes, make dinner, drive in the car, or just because!  Summertime means even more time together, whether it's at home hanging out or on the road, and a Summer Playlist is a super fun way to enjoy that time together! I'm a huge fan of playlists.  All of the holidays, seasons, girls' trips, races, and pretty much any party are all great reasons to create one, and summertime is no different! Everything is more fun with music.  ☺ Summer Playlists for Kids is one for the bucket list!  I just created our Summer 2014 Playlist as a surprise for my kids, and I'm so … [Read more...]

Picture ABC Books

picture abc books | simplykierste.com

One of my absolute favorite things to make for my kids is Picture ABC Books. I make them each their very own book, and it is most definitely a treasured possession. In their book, each letter of the alphabet is represented by a picture of them or someone in our family, so it's not a only a great way to reinforce the ABC's, but  also an adorable little mini memory book.  This month is my twin boys' birthday, and it's their turn for this very special gift! My kids LOVE to see themselves in pictures. We snuggle up on the couch or in their bed at night, and it doesn't matter how many times they've seen the pictures, they always ask me a million questions---what, why, where.  It's a piece of … [Read more...]