Hearty Oven Beef Stew

Hearty Oven Beef Stew | simplykierste.com

Whether you live where it's cold or hot, when fall arrives soups and stews become irresistible.  One of our favorites this fall is Hearty Oven Beef Stew, and it's seriously the best beef stew I've ever had.  It's thick with chunks of meat and vegetables, with a rich, delicious flavor. It's  a simple, rustic stew that doesn't disappoint. It only takes a few minutes in the morning to cut the veggies and put it in the oven.  It's SO easy to put together, then roasts all day in the oven, creating the most decadent aroma.  I have to admit, I look forward to that aroma just about as much as the actual stew!  You can also serve it over rice if you have some leftover, and it also extends the meal … ...read more

Yarn Pom-Pom Halloween Wreath

Yarn Pom-Pom Halloween Wreath | simplykierste.com

We moved to New York last month, and because we are going to build a home here, we are renting an apartment with 90% of our belongings in storage, including all of our holiday decorations.  I wish I could say it was easy enough to just go get them out of storage, but I'm afraid to say that's nigh until impossible.  It's a huge unit, stacked floor to ceiling, front to back with furniture and boxes, and everything would have to be moved out and looked through to even have a chance of discovery. We're talking hours and hours of work, for a low percentage of success. So...I decided to just create a few new fall and Halloween decorations, because we all love when we have a bit of the season in … ...read more

FREE Holiday Hot List Digital Coupon Book + GIVEAWAY!!!

Holiday Hot List Digital Coupon Book 2014 | simplykierste.com

I am seriously SO excited! This day has been a long time coming for me, because I have been so thrilled to share it all with you.  I love doing giveaways, because it's so fun for me to be able to give back to all of you, my awesome readers.  I've always wished that I could give something to EVERYONE, and now I can! I've teamed up with three other bloggers extraordinaire to bring you all the FREE Holiday Hot List Digital Coupon Book!  It's chock full of amazing and exclusive coupons from some of your favorite online retailers, including...Melissa & Doug, World Market, Ghirardelli, Sassy Steals, Overstock, Blendtec and so many more!  Freebies2Deals // The Crafting Chicks // Or So She … ...read more

The REAL Me…I am Brave and Beautiful!

I am Brave and Beautiful | simplykierste.com

I am Brave and Beautiful - a beauty movement that is sweeping the globe. Colbie Caillat started it with her recent song and video called TRY. My blogging friend Megan of Brassy Apple wanted to push this movement along and invited women from all over to share what they looked like without make up and I joined in!! Colbie's song says, "Take your make up off. Let your hair down... Look into the mirror at yourself, Do you like you? Cause I like you... " Megan and her friend Cobi of Peacefrom6pieces have been the team behind this whole project. Their worldwide vision included creating their own video inspired by the song TRY. The talent of Robbins Creative made it possible for them to pull it … ...read more

Easy Tin Man Costume + 88 Easy Costume Ideas!

easy tin man costume | simplykierste.com

It's almost October, and that means Halloween is on the horizon!! One of my favorite parts of Halloween is coming up with cute costumes for my kids.  So...I'm excited to tell you that I got together with 80+ blogging friends to bring you 80+ DIY Halloween costumes, including my super adorable and Easy Tin Man Costume! My little Jack-Jack was going as the Tin Man last year for Halloween, and I searched for quite awhile for a Tin Man costume for him.  I just wasn't in love with any of the ones that I saw, and didn't want to pay the price they were asking for them.  So...I decided to make one.  Problem? I'm not a seamstress.  Not a real one, anyway.  I can sew straight lines--give me basic … ...read more

Out-of-the-Vault: Easy Halloween Projects

Easy Halloween Projects | simplykierste.com

With Halloween around the corner, I thought it would be fun to bring some of my favorite easy Halloween projects out of the vault to share with you. Halloween is something our family looks forward to every year, and my list includes free printables, fun family traditions, decor, and more!  I have a list of even more Halloween ideas and projects I'll be posting over the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned for those too! 1.  Halloween Chalkboard Printable This is such a fun addition to my mantel!  It's a newer project (last year), but it's going to be a keeper.  :)  It's easy, too--just get it printed as an 8x10 or 11x20, and you're ready to put it up!  2.  You've Been Boo'ed!  FREE … ...read more

Cinnamon Swirl Cake

Cinnamon Swirl Cake | simplykierste.com

Who loves fall?  ME!!!!! It's always been my favorite, and it's on its way here in upstate New York. I love the crisp mornings, cozy sweaters, vibrant leaf colors, pumpkin patches, cider mills, and of  course, the yummy food.  One of our family's all-time favorite fall recipes is Cinnamon Swirl Cake, and you are going to love me (and hate me, because you're going to want to eat it all!) for sharing it with you. It is the epitome of fall! Seriously, it is SO good.  Bits of cinnamon & sugar are swirled around inside the moist, buttery cake, and it's topped with a creamy cinnamon buttercream frosting that I could eat with a spoon. (And I may or may not have done that before...) This … ...read more

Not-So-Spooky Halloween Fonts & Dingbats

Not-So-Spooky Halloween Fonts | simplykierste.com

Halloween is one of my very favorites.  The fact that it's a part of the cozy fall season just adds to its appeal.  When it comes to Halloween, I'm more of a not-so-spooky girl.  Give me the pumpkin carving, fun decor, darling costumes, trick-or-treating, fun parties, and yummy food!  There are also lots of opportunities to use fonts throughout the Halloween season, so being the  font addict that I am, I gathered my favorite Not-So-Spooky Halloween Fonts.  Best of all...they're free! Use them for Halloween decor, printables, tags, banners & buntings, invitations, and anything you can think of.  :) Hallocuties (Dingbats) // MTF Sweet Halloween Dings // Things We Said // 1942 Report // … ...read more

DIY Recipe Binder with FREE Printables!

DIY Recipe Binder | Free Printables | simplykierste.com

About ten years ago, I went through my stacks of cookbooks, and file of saved recipes I had printed or had received from others.   I took out all of our favorites, typed them up, slid them into sheet protectors, and put them into a binder. That Recipe Binder changed my life.  Yes, I know that sounds dramatic, but it's true.  It saved me so much time and effort when it came to cooking and menu planning, and at the same time streamlined and organized all of my recipes. The idea of a recipe binder is nothing new, and it's been around for a long time, but that says something right there...it's still around because it WORKS!  I've had to change binders a few times over the years, and just this … ...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