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

Sweets for the Sweet: Free Printable Birthday Gift Tags AND Birthday Gift Blog Hop (100+ ideas!!!)

Sweets for the Sweet Friend Gift Idea & Free Printable | simplykierste.com

I'm excited to share today 101+ Birthday Gift Ideas for your Friends, including my Sweets for the Sweet Gift Idea & Free Printable! I am joining forces with Kristen Duke in her Birthday Celebration Week along with over 100 talented bloggers sharing lots of inexpensive ideas and free printables! SO fun, seriously!! This is a fabulous collection of gift ideas and printables that are absolutely perfect for the wonderful friends and family in your life...and it's all here in one place! I will never forget the first birthday I had here in Texas. We had just moved here a few weeks before (and it had been a really hard move for me) , and I didn't really know anyone very well at all.  To my … ...read more

Glazed Lime Bars

Glazed Lime Bars | simplykierste.com

Citrus is the epitome of summer, and I love it in all forms.  These Glazed Lime Bars are thick and rich and buttery, with a slightly tart lime glaze that is out of this world.  When I make these, they disappear very quickly!  They stack up perfectly in clear treat bags if you want to drop them by for a friend or neighbor.  They're perfect for taking with you to a party or BBQ.  If you're looking for a dessert for a wedding or baby shower, look no more! They taste as good as they look! These are the kind of bars that I can only make if I'm going to take them somewhere, because otherwise, I'm tempted to eat the whole pan.  ☺ Even better, they're a cinch to put together. Honestly!  I can … ...read more

Raspberry Pretzel Bars

Raspberry Pretzel Bars | simplykierste.com

Raspberry Pretzel Bars are one of my favorite things on earth.  How can you beat a buttery, pretzel-y crust, smothered in a scrumptious cream cheese center, and topped with raspberries and raspberry Jell-O?  You really can't.  Plus, it's red and white, which makes it very appropriate for 4th of July and patriotic festivities! I'm really sentimental about this recipe.  One of my closest friends gave me this recipe, and it's one that she often brought over (that I begged her to make) to our BBQs and picnics. I miss her like crazy, and I love thinking of her every time I make this. These are REALLY easy to make, but it's a process.  Each layer needs to be refrigerated before adding the next … ...read more

Stars & Stripes Oreos

Stars & Stripes Oreos | simplykierste.com

 A couple of years ago I made these super cute Stars & Stripes Oreos for the 4th of July, and they are now a family (and friends) favorite! They're so easy to make, and perfect for any patriotic party, BBQ or get together!!! These are also really fun for kids to help with--mine loved the chocolate dipping and then drawing on the stars and stripes. It makes a great afternoon activity! {SUPPLIES} -candy melts:  red, white, blue -Oreos {DIRECTIONS} 1.  Melt the white candy melts according to the package directions.  You can use white chocolate chips too--just melt them in a glass bowl in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until they're melted enough to stir … ...read more

on the road with the hp pavilion x360

hp pavilion x360 | simplykierste.com

This post is sponsored by HP.  All opinions are 100% mine. ----- A few weeks ago, I told you all about our plan to visit San Antonio for a quick family getaway, before the craziness of our move started. Can I just tell you how much fun we had? It was just what the doctor ordered! I thought I was in love with the HP Pavilion x360 before the trip, but now I KNOW I love it. It was a hot commodity while we were driving both there and back, and it rotated through all the kids, so they could each have their turn.  They used it for movies and games, and I used it for my sanity.  ☺  It was the perfect size to have in the car--small enough that it wasn't in the way, or too hard to move back and … ...read more

Don’t Eat Pete! A Simple & Fun Game for Kids and Families

don't eat pete | free printable | simplykierste.com

Our family has been playing Don't Eat Pete for years, and it has remained my kids' most requested game ever!  It's easy to play, making it perfect for even the youngest players, but fun enough for the oldest ones too.  Our copy finally bit the dust this past week, so I created a new one, and wanted it to share it with all of you!  The concept is simple.  Try to get as much candy as you can.  ☺ DIRECTIONS: Place a piece of candy on each picture. The first players turns their back, while everyone else chooses a picture to be "Pete".  When the player turns around, they point to one picture at a time, taking the candy that's on it, trying to avoid "Pete".  When they point to "Pete", … ...read more

Summer = Sweet Freedom

blue bunny sweet freedom | simplykierste.com

This post brought to you by Blue Bunny Ice Cream. All opinions are 100% mine. ----- That first morning after the last day of school is heaven.  No kids to wake up at the crack of dawn, no early morning lunches to make, and no throwing on some clothes that won't embarrass my children before gathering all of them up to walk my girls to school. {Although my pajamas did make several appearances throughout the year, especially toward the end...}   Even if we're up early--because my children don't get the whole "sleeping in" thing--we lounge around, get dressed at 10am if we want to, watch a movie in the middle of the day if we want to, and go swimming as late as we want!  One word?  … ...read more

Fast & Easy Individual Pizzas

Fast & Easy Individual Pizzas | simplykierste.com

I'm going to tell you a secret.  Don't tell ANYONE. I don't like making dinner. It might have to do with the fact that it falls at the worst possible time of day,  Kids are tired, I'm tired, everyone's hungry, and as Murphy's Law states, as soon as I get in the kitchen, everyone needs something at that very moment. If school is in session, kids are doing homework, practicing music, and odds are one of the kids (or more) will have a lesson or practice.  In the summer, we're out and about during the day, and somehow, we are just as busy. So...I'm a big fan of fast, easy, and yummy meals that require minimal time in the kitchen but have maximum flavor.  These fast & easy individual pizzas … ...read more