{friday favorites}

What does Friday mean?  Well, this week it means the beginning of Spring Break, which I am so excited for.  It also means finishing up some fun projects--three new beds--and I can't wait to see the end result.  It also means date night with my hubby, a long run, lots of family time, and hanging out with friends.  I ♥ Fridays! Today it also means it's time for Friday Favorites...just a few of my favorite things.  They could be brand spankin' new, or something that's been around forever, but they are things that I'm loving right now!..... {Laughing Cow Strawberries & Cream Cheese}I am in love with Laughing Cow cheese, and I eat it all.the.time.  You just can't … [Read more...]

{turtle brownies}

turtle brownies | simplykierste.com

Turtle Brownies are my FAVORITE!!!! I love love anything "turtle".  Give me chocolate, caramel & nuts, and I'm a very happy girl.  So, it's no surprise that these brownies are one of my favorite things ever.  The richness of the chocolate, gooey-ness of the caramel, crunchiness of the nuts, and the fudginess of the brownie  is the most delicious combination.  Serving them warm out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream will knock your socks off! {Turtle Brownies} Mix together: German Chocolate cake mix 1/3 c. evaporated milk 3/4 c. butter, melted 1 c. chopped nuts Spoon half of the mixture into a greased 9x13 baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes. Cool … [Read more...]

{let’s talk sheet metal!} message center and more…

sheet metal full 2-001

Sheet metal has been around forever, but that's because of its versatility and vast decor organizational possibilities. I have used it over and over in projects, and I'm never disappointed. This time around, I used it for a message center for my kitchen desk area, to replace a smaller version. I don't have much space, and I needed  to have a place to clip up checks to be deposited, wedding announcements, cards, pictures, and all that kind of stuff. The one I was using just wasn't big enough, but I still needed something that would fit in my limited space. Well, you all know my love for old windows, and I seriously have about 10 of them in my garage, lol.  Lo and behold, I had one that was … [Read more...]

{giveaway} cutey

Happy Monday! I think giveaways are a great way to start the week, and this is a super fun one!  A girl can't have too much jewelry, and cutey has the most adorable charm bracelets.  I was lucky enough to receive a few in the mail, and they are darling--I love them!This is what they say about their bracelets:"In our little corner of the world we’re passionate about making very special things and making sure they reach their true owners. Right now we’re busy taking care of our collection of prêt a porter charm bracelets, each one born from a single idea. If you’re anything like us, you have special colours which can inspire or relax you, or a quirky attachment to certain … [Read more...]

{poundcake with lemon cream & strawberries}


My roots are Southern, and my grandmother is one of the reasons I love to bake.  I grew up eating her biscuits & gravy, fried catfish, grits & eggs, (and more) and I'm Southern girl at heart. When I was 8 years old, my grandmother gave me my own cookbook (Strawberry Shortcake, of course), filled with her favorite recipes written in her own hand.  She passed away when I was 17 years old, and it is one of my most treasured possessions.  This poundcake is her recipe, and it is divine.  The cake is dense but moist, and because it has lemon extract in the batter, it's perfectly paired with the lemon cream and strawberries. I'm not a huge fan of angel food cake, so this … [Read more...]

{scribble shop craft challenge} quiet books

challenge chalk tic tac toe-1

I was recently asked to join a few other bloggers to participate in a craft challenge. We were to receive a random box of supplies from Scribble Shop and make something using as many products as possible.  I was excited to try something a little different, so I jumped on board. Here's what came in my box: Supplies:  feathers, chalboard paint, glitter brads, glitter, blue and green roving, and fabric squares. I added a few more supplies--plastic name badges, ribbon, bulldog clips, and book rings--to come up with three fun projects! ..... I have to admit that the feathers threw me off at first, but my two year old boys served as inspiration for this feather color quiet … [Read more...]

{medals clipboard + an amazing silhouette deal!}

When you run a race, it's all about the tee shirt...and the medal. :) After race day is long past, they are the visual reminders of what you worked so hard for.  My tee shirts I wear all the time, but I wanted a place to keep my medals, and hang them where I could see them and be motivated by them, instead of being tucked away. When I saw this on pinterest, I knew I had to make one to hang in my closet. You could make one for any kind of medals--and would be super fun in a kid's bedroom too!SUPPLIES:1x6x18 pine board, edges routered if desiredspray paintsanderclothespinsscrapbook paperhot glue gunvinyl DIRECTIONS: 1. Spray paint your board, let dry, then sand the edges.2.  Cut the … [Read more...]

{photography with lei} how to lighten an image

Hello again!  I want to start a simple "how do you" series.  What do you think?  Possible topics would include popping color, covering blemishes, correcting color, using actions, adding a watermark, cropping, removing objects/swapping heads, etc.  You are welcome to send in your ideas, too!  Just email me at photosbylei@yahoo.comToday's question is "How do you lighten an image?"First of all, I always start my workflow with a little sharpening. So open your image in photoshop, click on Filter, then Sharpen, then Unsharp mask:Then this window will pop up and you will set your settings like so:Click OK.Now on to lightening things up a bit.  I don't need much, but I … [Read more...]

{spring wreaths for your front door}

It's official...I have spring fever.  We are seriously being spoiled by all the sunshine around here, and this weekend I couldn't help but take out my favorite spring wreath and put it up on my front door. I got it a couple of years ago on clearance at Target, and I'm still in love with it! It could easily be replicated, using a grapevine wreath and flower sprigs of your choice--they are just hot glued in place.Adding a wreath to your front door is a simple way to add personality and charm to your home, and makes it so inviting and welcoming. I tend to like the more natural wreaths--the greenery wreaths are some of my favorites--but I found some really fun ideas ranging from paper to … [Read more...]

{using an old window as a frame}

You all know my obsession with old windows, lol.  I really wanted one in my girls' room, and I found one that I thought would be perfect to frame a really large photo of them.The frame was already cream, so I painted it brown, then went to town with the sander to distress it--that was the easy part!I didn't want to spend a fortune on such a large photo--the window is almost 3 feet across--so I decided to try a method that I've seen around town and get a large engineering print done.  I'm pleased with the overall product, but it's definitely a little different than I thought it was going to be.  I ordered my print online--super easy to do, because I could upload my photo, … [Read more...]