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...]

Ten Years Later…Our Family’s Diabetes Story

Ten Years Later...Our Family's Type 1 Diabetes Journey | simplykierste.com

The end of this month marks the 10 year anniversary of our son's diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes.  It's been quite the journey for him, for me as a mother, and for our entire family.  I wrote this last fall, but to mark this milestone, I wanted to re-post it in recognition and celebration.  He is now almost 16 years old, happy, and doing well. This is dedicated to him, and to all the families with darling children that have been and will be diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  Ten years later...this is our family's diabetes story. xo ..... Sometimes we experience life-defining moments that while we're right in the middle of them, we don't quite realize how much of an impact they will actually … [Read more...]

Craft Stick Dolls: An Easy Craft for Kids

Craft Stick Dolls | A Fun Craft For Kids | simplykierste.com

Well, hello, hello!! Can you believe it's the 10th of the month, already?? Our bunch of 10 bloggers is so happy to be back, sharing with you ten brand new ideas.  This month we've turned our thoughts to our kiddos! Our chosen theme is JUST FOR KIDS, with ten great ideas, for and all about kids, including recipes, crafts, and all-around great ways to bring the family together. After you check out my super cute Craft Stick Dolls, be sure to check out (and pin!) the posts from my fellow blog friends. Enjoy! My girls love to make things, and often they're borrowing my craft supplies to create their latest project.  Last week they asked for craft sticks and washi tape, and I am in la la love … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

25+ BEST Board Books for Babies & Toddlers

25+ Best Board Books | simplykierste.com

I am an affiliate with Amazon.  I have linked to these books for your convenience, and some of them are to Amazon. All opinions are 100% mine. ----- When I found out we were expecting our first baby, the very first thing I bought was a board book.  I love to read, and I couldn't wait to read to my own little one.  Over the years we've added kids and books to our family, and I'm excited to share our best board books with you! I love board books because they are so much heartier than other types of books. They get dragged around the house, tossed in the diaper bag, are brought on trips, stuffed in backpacks, read, and re-read thousands of times.  They might get scuffed up over the years, … [Read more...]