Hooray! We are making progress! Our property will hopefully close in the next week, and the final touches are being made to the plans. We will be building on nine beautiful acres in upstate New York, at the bottom of the Appalachian Mountains. It's wooded, with a perfect meadow for the house to sit, and a tree-covered hill in the back. We've got plans galore, and I'm just so excited to get started.
I'm also excited about the "Building Old Salt Farm" series that I'll be doing during the duration of the building. I'll be sharing the entire building process, along with things that I've learned along the way. I've been waiting to really begin this series until we were closer to building, and I think now's the right time!For the first post, let's start at the beginning...how to select a building lot. Where you build is just as important as what you build, and I'm sharing some things you may want to consider as you're selecting the perfect place for your new home.
One of our favorite family games is called "Don't Eat Pete". We love to play it on Family Night, which we have once a week on Monday evenings. It's a very simple but super fun game, and my kids especially love that they get candy. (Or mini marshmallows if I don't have any candy on hand!) This week I'm helping with one of my kindergartner's Valentine's Day party, and I knew this would be a perfect Valentine's Day game!
Can I tell you how much my kids love snacks? Whether it's choosing them for their school lunches, raiding the pantry after school, or taking them on the go, they pretty much love them for every reason and in lots of different forms. Around the holidays I like to come up with fun & easy snacks that make snack time a little more festive, and Cupid Crunch Trail Mix is a favorite for Valentine's Day!
At our house, we like ice cream pretty much any way it can be served, but one of our very favorites is an ice cream float. There are so many yummy flavors that we love, but the lovely pink and white Cherry Vanilla Float is perfect with Valentine's Day right around the corner!
This post brought to you by Create the Good. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Simply Kierste.
When I think about the community we live in, I think about all the ways that our family is touched by all the people in it. School teachers, coaches, ballet instructors, music teachers, friends, neighbors, doctors & nurses, tutors, librarians--they are all a part of our lives, and are significant contributors to how my children grow up. Lives are being changed, and differences are being made, and my family and I want to be able to give a little of that back. That's how communities get stronger and better--with all of us working together, each doing our part to create good around us.
We are fairly new to the area we live in now, and I've got my wheels spinning about some of the ways my family and I can contribute. One of the organizations that's very close to our heart is JDRF, which is the largest non-government funder of Type 1 Diabetes. Our oldest son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes just weeks after starting kindergarten, and we very much want to support a cause that is working so diligently to develop answers to not only better treat T1D, but even prevent and cure it.
My one year old daughter was quite ill last year, and hospitalized in the PICU several times over a short period of time. It was a very challenging time for our family, and we quickly got a glimpse into what it's like to have a critically ill child and spend a long time in the hospital with them. We had so many wonderful doctors and nurses that truly cared about our daughter, and about our family, and gave us tremendous support. In an effort to give back to the hospital, and also to help other families that were in similar and even more difficult situations there, we organized a collection of toys and books to be donated to the PICU. It was an incredible experience for our family, and we witnessed community pulling together as many people reached out to help. We are greatly looking forward to our next project!
Do you have a vision and dream for your community? A project or cause that you want to help support? Do you want to make an impact and give back? Enter the Create the Good Dream Builder Video Contest! Create the Good and win $2500 for your next project!
Right now through February 7th, 2016, you can submit a short video (60 seconds or less) that details out a plan you're working on or would like to work on--one that will make a real and lasting difference in your community, and how $2500 will help. Create the Good is looking for passion and great ideas, and can't wait to hear about your community. You can also post your submissions to the Create the Good Facebook page.
Just imagine what you can do! One person CAN make a difference, and YOU can be that person!
Our family should buy stock in our favorite peanut butter company, because it's ridiculous how much we go through. You know those giant containers you can buy at warehouse stores? We can go through one of those in a week! Needless to say, any kind of peanut butter recipe is super popular at our house, and this Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Sheet Cake is a sure winner.
I kind of love Valentine's Day. Okay, I big, fat, puffy heart Valentine's Day. There are just so many fun things about it, and one of them is that I can use my heart cookie cutters as much as I want. Nothing is safe--I will cut out anything into the shape of a heart! Isn't everything cuter like that? Well, brownies were on the list this week, and I made the most adorable & yummy Layered Heart Brownies you've ever seen.
Today was a snowy winter day, and it was the perfect day to whip up a batch of my favorite Double Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are decadently rich, chock full of chocolate chips, and basically melt in your mouth.
I love packaging gifts in a way that's simple, inexpensive, but totally adorable. This darling Valentine's Day Gift Idea is all of those things, and it's perfect for giving to anyone on your gift-giving list this Valentine's Day.
Any excuse I can get to combine three things that I love--milk bottles, chocolate, and baker's twine--I take full advantage of it. These Valentine treat jars do just that, and they're the most darling way to tell someone "you're sweet". They're super easy to make, and the peek-a-boo heart is absolutely adorable!
I'm going to have to have the most gigantic garage sale this summer when we move into our new house. I can't tell you how many things I've bought or made to replace that very same or similar item that's in storage. We even have two trampolines! (The kids have big plans for them both...we'll see.) It holds true for holiday decor, too, but with one major difference--I don't believe in having too much!
I recently came across the most fabulous red and white striped pitcher, and being enormously obsessed with both red and stripes, I felt as if it was fate. The best part? It was only $10! It was a good day. I had packed it away for next Christmas, but then I realized how perfect it would be for Valentine's Day. With a little card stock, twine, and a few branches, an adorable Valentine Tree was born!