Christmas Thank You Stationery | simplykierste.com

Christmas thank you stationery for kids {free printable}

Hello everyone!  I hope you had a wonderfully merry Christmas with your family and friends! We've had such a lovely holiday, and received such thoughtful gifts from family and friends. On our list this week is sending thank you letters, and I created some adorable Christmas thank you stationery for my kids to use. They love having a fun template, and I wanted to share it with all of you too!

Christmas Thank you Letters for Kids | simplykierste.com

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Pecan Sticky Bun Bites | simplykierste.com

Pecan Sticky Bun Bites

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pillsbury. The opinions and text are all mine.

One of the best parts of Christmas Day at our house is the food.  It's all about finger foods, snacks, small appetizers & treats, and little bites that everyone can come and help themselves to during the day. Whether we're playing games, chatting with family and friends, or enjoying new gifts, the kitchen is usually the hub, and I love having plenty of food for everyone to enjoy. Everyone gets to choose their favorites, and then I like to add something new! This year I made Pecan Sticky Bun Bites, and not only are they super easy to make, they are so yummy, and perfect for Christmas!

Pecan Sticky Bun Bites | simplykierste.com

I love using Pillsbury Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls, because it makes it SO quick and easy! I used kitchen scissors to cut the unbaked rolls into quarters, then slid them on a paper straw cut in half. You can use lollipop sticks too!  Once they're baked, I dip them in caramel and roll them in nuts.  That's it!   I've done a few trial runs this week, and I can barely get them finished and on a plate before they are completely devoured.

Pecan Sticky Bun Bites | simplykierste.com

Pecan Sticky Bun Bites | simplykierste.com

Pecan Sticky Bun Bites
Recipe Type: Breakfast, Dessert
Author: Simply Kierste
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 32
Ingredients
  • 1 can Pillsbury Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls
  • Wrapped caramels
  • 1-2 T. heavy cream or half and half
  • Chopped Pecans
  • Paper straws or lollipop sticks
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil, and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Open the can of cinnamon rolls, and use kitchen scissors to to cut each one into quarters. Slide one piece on each paper straw (cut in half) or lollipop stick, then lay them down on the cookie sheet.
  3. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until light golden brown. Let cool completely.
  4. While they're baking, unwrap your caramels and place in a glass bowl. Add about a tablespoon of heavy cream for every 30 or so caramels, and then melt in the microwave for about a minute. Stir, then continue for 10-15 seconds at a time until you can stir the caramel smooth. (You can also use the Caramel Bites, and follow package directions to melt them.)
  5. When the cinnamon rolls are cool, dip them in the caramel, then roll them in the chopped pecans.

I bought the Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls at Walmart, along with all of my other supplies, which made it so easy to get everything I needed.  Love that!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pillsbury. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Minted Holiday Cards & Giveaway | simplykierste.com

Minted Holiday Cards + $250 Giveaway!

This post contains affiliate links.

Tis' the season for spreading cheer by sending holiday cards to your friends and family! Minted has so many adorable choices for any kind of card you want to send--card size, number of photos, layout, colors, and more. I love that their cards are all designed by independent artists, and they have some of the most unique cards around.

Are you looking for super cute Christmas or holiday cards?  LOVE LOVE! And it's not too late to order cards to arrive by Christmas Eve (order by 3pm PT on 12/17)!  There's also a sale for 15% holiday cards through December 21st, just use the code WINTER15.

Minted Holiday Cards & Giveaway | simplykierste.com

Sometimes the hustle and bustle of Christmastime makes it easier to send cards for New Years instead, and Minted has you covered! (I've even sent Valentines' Day cards before! :) )

Minted New Years Cards | simplykierste.com

One of my favorite Minted products is their personalized gift wrap. It is SO cute! I love love the thought of having your very own wrapping paper with your family's name on it.

Minted Personalized Gift Wrap | simplykierste.com

You can also check out their Gift Guide and Wrapping Looks  for even more great ideas!

GUESS WHAT?? I've got a fabulous Minted giveaway for you today!  Not just one, but TWO lucky readers are going to win a $125 Minted gift card!!  Wahoo!!  All you need to do is click on the link below to enter.  Giveaway ends December 21st, 2015 at 11:59pm EST.  GOOD LUCK!!!

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE!!!

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Easy Wood Christmas Sign | simplykierste.com

Easy wood Christmas sign

You might be surprised to hear this, but one of the hardest parts of being in this little apartment and not having any of our things is not the cramped quarters (which I've actually come to appreciate in many ways), but rather not being able to build and create and make stuff!!  With no tools here, and no home to decorate, my list is getting longer and longer by the day. It's what I love to do, so when I get any small opportunity to make something, no matter how simple, I'm a happy happy girl!

I decided I needed a little something to go above the chalkboard window in the family room to add a pop of color and a little bit of Christmas to the whole space, especially after my cute husband took on the big, bad, storage unit and tried to find our ornaments and decor, but couldn't.  I created a simple but adorable wood Christmas sign that's perfect above a doorway, window, or shelf, and I absolutely love it!

Easy Wood Christmas Sign | simplykierste.com

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Just popping by to wish you a Merry Christmas | free printable tag | simplykierste.com

Just popping by to wish you a Merry Christmas! (Popcorn gift idea)

Did December sneak up on anyone else?  All of a sudden, Christmas is less than four weeks away, and I don't know how it happened!  There just seem to be years that are busier than others, for me, this is most definitely one of them. My book manuscript is due in a few weeks, and we are starting to really get into house stuff, so I kind of feel like this month is going to be a blur!

I love giving gifts to the people in my life, but since time is always a factor (especially this year), I'm all about fun & easy & cute ideas that I can put together quickly.  This popcorn gift idea fits the bill, and is something that can be given to friends, neighbors, teachers, your hairstylist, postal carrier...anyone!

Just popping by to wish you a Merry Christmas | free printable tag | simplykierste.com

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Gift Wrapping with Scotch Holiday Tape | simplykierste.com

Wrapping it up with Scotch Holiday Tape!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of 3M. All opinions are 100% mine.

Tis' the season for gifts and wrapping! Giving gifts is an integral and magical part of the holiday season, and it's so fun for me to make or find the perfect gift for the people in my life.  Whether it's for my family, teachers, neighbors, or friends, I love making packages look festive, and Scotch consistently comes through for me!  This time of year I head to Staples and stock up on my favorite tapes:  Scotch Magic TapeScotch Double Sided Tape and Scotch Expressions Tape.

Scotch Magic Tape is perfect for holding wrapping paper in place--it's strong and clear and stays just where I need it to be. I use Double Sided Tape to adhere printables or tags onto packages or gifts, and they're both my go-to products during the holiday season.  I've started wrapping up Christmas books for our annual Christmas book advent, and both of these tapes help me wrap them up just right!

So cute, right?  Thank goodness for Staples and Scotch Holiday Tape!

I also love love Scotch Expressions Tape--washi tapes that come in all kinds of great colors, and even glitter, which is perfect for the holidays! There's always a great selection at Staples, and they're in a main showcase making them super easy to find.

Washi tape can be used for so many things around the holidays, and one of my favorite ways to use it is to cutesify (that's a word, right??!!) a plain paper treat bag. I used the green stripes,  solid green, and silver to create a darling Christmas tree on this bag:

It completely changes the look of the bag, and it just took a few pieces of tape! Simple, so easy, and SUPER cute! Now it's perfect for gift-giving, after I add a few treats!

To keep track of all of my washi tape rolls, I adore the Expressions Multi Roll Dispenser. It's refillable and portable, making it super easy to store and use!

Make YOUR holidays magical with Scotch tape, and find everything you need at Staples! To find a store near you,look up your area with their Store Locator.

Happy wrapping!

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10 Fun & Festive Christmas Breakfast Ideas | simplykierste.com

10 Fun & festive Christmas breakfast ideas

We are on the countdown to Christmas!  Is your house feeling it too?  The celebrating has already started around here, and just today I went and bought a ridiculous amount of food for this week.  On the list?  Christmas breakfast!  It's probably our favorite meal of the whole entire year.  I've gathered 10 fun & festive Christmas breakfast ideas that would be perfect for not only Christmas day, but the days leading up to it.  I love all the pancake and waffle ideas...and I know my kids would too!!

10 Fun & Festive Christmas Breakfast Ideas | simplykierste.com

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Gold Striped Gift Tags | Free Printables | simplykierste.com

Gold Striped Christmas Gift Tags

It's the 10th of the month! This month my friends and I got busy with the theme GOLD. It's kind of perfect for the holidays right? Check out my post and then hop on over to visit all of the others. Gold is such a fun color all year, but I love it at Christmastime!  I was looking through the candy aisle the other day, and saw one of my favorites (Hershey Nuggets with Toffee) in their beautiful gold wrappers, and knew I needed to make some Gold Striped Christmas Gift Tags to go with them!

Gold Striped Gift Tags | Free Printables | simplykierste.com

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Children’s Art Christmas Gift Tags

Hello, friends!  I'm Kierste, the girl behind the blog Simply Kierste, and I'm delighted to be here today!

I love doing projects with my kids, and this not only includes them, but highlights their creations. 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. I took their artwork, and made them into absolutely adorable Christmas gift tags.

Children's Artwork Christmas Gift Tags | simplykierste.com

How adorable, right??!!  There is something so special about immortalizing such sweet artwork, and being able to share it. They're perfect for adding to presents you give to friends and family, or even for the ones you give to that specific child.  They would also be darling on a teacher gift, or a child's music teacher, ballet teacher, sports coach, etc.

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31 Cheesy, Easy & Adorable Neighbor Gift Ideas | simplykierste.com

31 Cheesy, Easy, & Adorable Neighbor Gift Ideas

Looking for neighbor gift ideas? Have I got a list for you! My mom passed this list on to me years ago, and since it was an old, typewritten copy, I thought it was time it came into the digital age.  :) I love how cheesy these ideas are, but they are also super fun and easy. I remember quite a few from my growing up years, so they also bring back a lot of memories. If you're looking for something that you don't have to bake, there are some really great ideas on here!

31 Cheesy, Easy & Adorable Neighbor Gift Ideas | simplykierste.com

I LOVE the Chex one......

  1. M&M's: Have a Merry & Most Wonderful Christmas!
  2. Soup or soup mix: Wishing you a "Souper" Holiday Season!
  3. Frozen or ready-to-bake pizza: Warm up to a wonderful holiday season, "topped" with Christmas cheer! OR...Hope your holiday has a lot of "pizza-az"!
  4. Apples & Hershey's hugs: A teacher can't live by apples alone...she needs hugs too!
  5. Popcorn balls: Here's hoping you have a "ball" this year!
  6. Loaf of bread: For being there when you were "kneaded", for "rising" to the occasion, large or small. For never "loafing" on the job, for helping others to "heel". No matter how you "slice" it, you do a terrific job. Merry Christmas!
  7. Jolly Ranchers: Have a Holly "Jolly" Christmas!
  8. Root beer: We're "rooting" for you to have a wonderful holiday season!
  9. Chex mix: Remember, Santa "Chex" his list twice! Happy Holidays!
  10. Nuts: We're "nuts" about you! Merry Christmas!
  11. Measuring cup (filled with candy): Wishing you joy beyond measure!
  12. Cinnamon & Sugar (or cookie sprinkles), in a cute jar: May your Christmas be sprinkled with laughter and love--Merry Christmas!
  13. Salsa: Adding a little "spice" to your holidays!
  14. Seasoning Mix: "Seasoned" with love--Merry Christmas! Or "Seasons" Greetings!
  15. Sprite: May your Christmas be Merry & Sprite!
  16. Soda Pop: I'd "soda" like to wish you a Merry Christmas!
  17. Mints: Friends like you are worth a mint! OR We were "mint" to be friends!
  18. Grater & Cheese: To a "grate" neighbor--Happy Holidays!
  19. Bear-shaped Honey: Have a "beary" sweet Christmas!
  20. Christmas-shaped Pasta (or any pasta & sauce): Have a "pasta-tively" happy holiday!
  21. Jam: Hoping you have a holiday "jam-packed" with fun!
  22. Cookie Dough: Here's a little extra "dough" for Christmas! or Everyone needs a little extra "dough" for Christmas!
  23. Divinity: May your holiday be divine!
  24. Toffee or Brittle: Any way you "break it", we're think you're the greatest!
  25. Apple anything (pie, muffins, bread, cobbler, or apples): You're the "apple' of our eye! Merry Christmas!
  26. Banana bread: We love you a whole bunch!
  27. Cupcakes: You take the cake! Merry Christmas!
  28. Carrot cake: We "carrot" a lot about you!
  29. Oranges: "Orange" you glad we're friends? I am!
  30. Sparkling Cider: Wishing you a sparkling holiday season!
  31. Set of thank you notes: We're so thankful for you!.....

And one more that I love, and have done several times...Snowman Soup!  I've created free printables for download!

Snowman Soup | free printable | simplykierste.com

Do you have a fun idea? Please share--and link it up here, or leave me a comment!

My Christmas Miracle

Everything I was planning this past week pretty much went up in smoke when half of our family came down with strep throat or the flu--my husband and myself included.  It's been an interesting week to say the least, and as I've been juggling and rearranging items on my list to fit this unexpected and unfortunate timing of events, something else happened that caused me to really reflect on what Christmas means to me.

A few weeks ago I ordered what I planned to be my little boys' main present, and was excited about getting free shipping, since it was very heavy, and would have been a fortune.  It was ground shipping, but guaranteed to get here in plenty of time for Christmas.  It arrived when I wasn't home last Friday, and it was taken to our "super-secret-hiding-place" to wait until Christmas Eve, when Rick and I hold our annual preset wrapping party.  I didn't even see the boxes, but assumed since they arrived, we were good to go.

On Sunday night we managed to load all the kids in the car and go look at Christmas lights, because it was something we could do without leaving the car, and we could enjoy a little bit of the season even while we weren't feeling well.  One the way home, the kids had fallen asleep, and so we took the opportunity to talk a little about our plan for wrapping.  The topic of the boys' present came up, and Rick happened to ask me why I bought that particular present for the boys.  It was discovered that the completely wrong item was sent to us, and I was just finding this out on the night of December 22nd.

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