5 minute snow ice cream

5 Minute snow ice cream | simplykierste.com

We live in upstate New York, and it's been a very cold and snowy winter.  With all the frigid temps and snowfall, we've had lots of time indoors, and today was one of those inbound days. I wanted to do something fun with the kids to break up the day, so I decided to make snow ice cream, and the kids absolutely loved it!  It's SO fast, and SO easy, and just a really fun winter activity...that you get to eat! After living in Texas for a couple of years, my little kids didn't remember snow ice cream, and they were absolutely fascinated by the whole thing.  They weren't sure how it was going to work when I told them what we were going to do, but it was sure an exciting process for them to … [Read more...]

Good behavior punch cards

Good behavior punch cards | free printable | simplykierste.com

I was so excited when I opened the door.  We were new to the area, and living in a brand new neighborhood, so when I saw a girl about my age holding a boy about my boys' age standing on my doorstep, I couldn't wait to meet her. She looked at me and asked " do you have two boys around four years old"? I answered, "yes, I do!" "They're on your roof." Excuse me for a minute, while MY. JAW. DROPS. TO. THE. FLOOR. I very politely thanked her (what else are you supposed to do in that situation??!!), and then ran as fast as I could up the stairs to our playroom.  Sure enough, my four year old boys were on the roof, zooming cars off of the edge.  Somehow, they had figured out how to … [Read more...]

From a mom of six: my must-have baby items

From this mom of six: my must-have baby items

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are 100% mine. If you are expecting your first baby, you may be feeling overwhelmed by all of the products out there, and all the choices available.  It's true--we have so many options, but it's nice to know which direction to head in first, and the items that are tried and true.  If you're on baby #2 or more, you've probably started your own list of favorites, but if you're like me, you're always curious to see if there is something out there that might change your life for the better. :) After having six babies, and a lot of trial and error, I've definitely learned which baby items are my favorite, and some I wish I would have known … [Read more...]

Easy football paper sacks

Easy Football Paper Sacks | simplykierste.com

I know many of you are looking forward to this weekend's Super Bowl, and getting together with family and friends to watch the game, eat, and hang out.  However, I am looking forward to this weekend for a completely separate reason...my husband will be home from a two week international trip.  I think a massage is calling my name, and probably a pedicure too.  We are all so ready to have him home! That said, we are a football family, and love watching games together.  Of course snacks and food are involved, and I'm all about simple .  One of my kids' favorite snacks is popcorn, and it's a popular and fun thing to munch on during a game.  In my quest to come up with something cute for the … [Read more...]

14 days of valentines for your kids & spouse

14 Days of Valentines for your kids & spouse | simplykierste.com

It's been a tough couple of years for my kids, and our family.  We've lived in three states and moved cross country twice over that short period of time, and that's meant a lot of changes, including leaving the only place they've ever  really known.  We are starting to get settled here in upstate New York, and in the process of building a home, where we hope to live for a very long time.  I've felt like doing some extra-special things for my kids and my husband, to show them how much I love them, and give them a little extra joy, and Valentine's Day is the perfect time to do that.  I created a really fun 14 Days of Valentines, and I know they are all going to love it! I gathered cute … [Read more...]

14 favorite Valentine’s Day children’s books

14 Favorite Valentine's Day Children's Books | simplykierste.com

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see my full disclosure. Books are always a wonderful way to celebrate any holiday, and Valentine's Day is no exception.  If you're looking for a really fun and easy Valentine's Day tradition for your family, try a Valentine's Day Book Countdown...one book a day from the 1st through the 14th! Check out this list of Favorite Valentine's Day children's books! A Kiss for Little Bear , by Elsa Holmelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak Guess How Much I Love You, Sam McBratney Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse! , Laura Numeroff Queen of Hearts, by Mary Engelbreit Counting Kisses, by Karen Katz Happy Valentine's Day, Curious George, N. Di … [Read more...]

14 fun Valentine’s Day movies for families

14 Fun Valentine's Day Movies for Families | simplykierste.com

We love family movie nights, and snuggling up together to watch our favorite movies. Valentine's Day is coming up in a few weeks, and a family movie night is a perfect way to celebrate together!  I'm sharing a list of our favorite Valentine's Day movies that are great for families. So...grab your cozy blankets, make some Pink Hot Chocolate, and get ready for an evening of Valentine's Day movie fun! Most of them are rated G, and a few are rated PG.   Common Sense Media is a resource that I've used to check movies for more rating information. The Love Bug , rated G The original version is definitely my favorite, and the one we watch.  I have loved it since I was little! The … [Read more...]

All about me: annual interview questions for kids

Annual Interview Questions for Kids | simplykierste.com

I take a lot of pictures of my kids. And I mean A LOT.  I always have a camera with me, and I was super happy when the smartphone came along, so then I had a phone AND a camera all-in-one!  My kids know that no matter the occasion, no matter we go, pictures are going to happen  It's just how it is.  But what I love just as much as photos are their little words--the funny things they say, what they think about, and how they view the world.  Years ago, I started doing an annual interview with my kids, and it's seriously my favorite thing EVER.  At first it was on paper only, but now I do video too.  We have a family blog that I update regularly and get printed every year, so I keep it in print … [Read more...]

Family Lacing Cards

Family Lacing Cards | simplykierste.com

We live far away from all of our family--most of them live thousands of miles away, and my sister is the closest at twelve hours away. We don't get to see them as often as we would like, but it's important to me that we do things to keep connected, and to help my kids know their family.  I thought it would be fun to make a set of family lacing cards for my kids for Christmas a couple of years ago, and they LOVE them.  I made a card for each of our siblings, and their families, and it's so fun to have their cute faces so often.  It's a perfect gift for either your kids, or for other family members--with a card of your family, of course!  I love to tuck them into our church bag, into my … [Read more...]

Children’s Art Christmas Gift Tags

Children's Artwork Christmas Gift Tags | simplykierste.com

I originally posted this on Tater Tots and Jello a couple of weeks ago, and wanted to post it here in case you missed it. I first made gift tags using my kids' artwork a couple of years ago, and I'm excited to share the tutorial with you! It's still one of my favorite things. ----- Yesterday afternoon I asked my kids to draw me some Christmas pictures--anything they wanted. We brought out the markers and the white paper, and they went to town. While I always love their cute artwork, this time I had ulterior motives. :)  I also made sure to have them sign their names, then I took their artwork, and made them into these absolutely adorable Christmas gift tags! How adorable, right??!! … [Read more...]