{garage sale tips}

lemonade stand

Do you have a pile of unused stuff in your basement?  In your closets?  In your garage?  Are your drawers overflowing with items you no longer use or need? Have a garage sale!   It's a great way to clean out your house and garage, plus make a little extra money at the same time.  My friend and I just had our 3rd annual garage sale, which we hold every spring.  It's one of our favorite things to do, and after a few years, we've definitely learned a few things--several the hard way. Okay, so it will take a little work, but don't be scared!  It really can be a fun and profitable way to get organized. Since this is the height of garage sale season, I thought I would pass on my list … [Continue reading...]

{where i’ve been, and a giveaway winner}


It's been a few days since I've posted, but for very good reason.  This weekend was like no other...I RAN A MARATHON!!!It was my first one, and if it wasn't for my shiny medal, 3 lost toenails, and aching feet, it would almost seem like a dream.  I ran it with my best girlfriend, and we MADE IT.  My husband also ran it, and my parents came out to help with the kids and give their support--we couldn't have done it without them. My best friends all were there for the race (some ran their own races too), and met us at the 19 mile mark for moral support, food, and dry socks. Brook ran with us for a little ways, which was exactly what we needed--a huge boost to my morale. Seeing … [Continue reading...]

{piano practice points system}


I'm a piano teacher.I'm also a mom with kids taking lessons, and I understand how hard it can be trying to help motivate kids to practice. I started playing when I was 4 years old, and though I loved it, I remember having a hard time sitting down to practice when it was nice outside, or when I had a good book calling my name.I totally get it...on all levels. Years ago I created a piano points chart--a system to give kids a little extra motivation to practice, and small rewards for working hard and doing well. It works for everyone, because you can adjust the requirements and rewards not only for age levels, but for individual needs as well. Giving them a reachable goal has been … [Continue reading...]

{photograpy q&a with Lei}


Hey guys!  Thanks for all the great questions that came in!  Let's jump right in, shall we?Marcia asks:I have a point and shoot camera (Sony Cybershot) and want to know how to make my landscape pics "pop" and look gorgeous and different without simply using the landscape setting.Have you heard of actions?  They run in both Photoshop and Elements. Although, most are available for Photoshop only.  Boo.  Anyway, actions put a whole new spin on your image with just one click.  Or if you are really PS saavy, you can go in and make finer adjustments with layer masks and all that good stuff.  I use the Totally Rad Actions, Kubota Actions, Itty Bitty Actions, … [Continue reading...]

{crockpot green enchilada tostadas}

Crockpot Green Enchiladas | simplykierste.com

WHAT a crazy week!  I'm sure you can all relate to the feeling of a list so long you need a list for your lists, lol.  Part of the craziness is due to it being garage sale weekend--my friend and I have one every spring, and I LOVE it.  It's a lot of work, but totally worth it (more on that later). Dinners have had to be quick and easy this week, and I tried a new crockpot recipe that was a huge hit by the voting majority (which is a miracle in and of itself).  It started out as a green enchilada recipe from my friend Erica that I had been wanting to try, but needed to cut out some time.  Enter in the crockpot, and a new family favorite... Green Enchilada Tostadas 4 chicken … [Continue reading...]

Ice Pop Holders

ice pop holders | simplykierste.com

I have had ice pop holders on my list forever. I don't know why I haven't done it before now, because my kids are obsessed with frozen Gogurts and are always asking for a rag to wrap around it. Well, now that ice pop season is here (anyone else call them Otter Pops?), it was time to get them done. I just love these, and my kids do too. They keep those cute little hands from freezing, and they look pretty darn cute at the same time! This is a super quick and simple project...the best kind! ITEMS YOU NEED: felt hot glue heat transfer material OR fabric & heat 'n bond DIRECTIONS: 1. I used felt, because it's easy to cut out, holds its shape, and is really durable. Plus … [Continue reading...]