{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

Anything with nuts and caramel I'm pretty much in love with, and these Turtle Brownies are no exception. 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! I have made these many many times, and each time they're reached with rave reviews.  Best of all, they're super easy to make--in the oven in about 10 minutes! These are perfect for home, to give as gifts, or to take to parties and BBQ's. They're one of our favorite desserts, and we often choose them for our Sunday Night Treat.  If you have … [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...]

{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...]

{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 [email protected]'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...]

{four layer dessert}

I first discovered this recipe when we were in college, and I fell in love with it right then and there. I love all the layers--individually, and together!  The shortbread crust is nutty, rich, and buttery, and when it's paired with the delightful cream cheese and pudding layers, it's pure heaven.  The whipped cream  is the perfect topping...it's so, SO yummy!  I really could eat the whole pan.  :)I used pistachio pudding in honor of St. Patrick's Day, and it will be perfect for our dessert on Saturday night.  Not a pistachio fan?  Not to worry--I LOVE it with lemon pudding, and the chocolate is delicious too.  I've also made it without the nuts, so if … [Read more...]

{giveaway} the rusted chain

Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!  We enjoyed superb weather, and took full advantage of it by being outside as much as possible.  My kids were filthy dirty the entire time, and loved every minute of it.  We're going to start the week off right with a super fun giveaway from our newest sponsor...  This darling shop features custom jewelry, including hand stamped necklaces, bracelets, and more.  {necklaces}{bracelets}{earrings}{fun stuff for photographers}So cute, right?  One of everything, please!I'm excited to announce that they are giving one lucky reader a $50 gift certificate to their shop!Here's how you enter: (please leave a … [Read more...]

Popcorn Cake

popcorn cake | simplykierste.com

Yesterday was the most beautiful day.  It reached almost 70 degrees, and when it's normally in the 30's this time of year, it was a very welcome surprise.  With my windows thrown open, kids playing outside all afternoon, and flip flops on my feet, spring was definitely in the air, and it was the perfect day to make one of our favorite treats...a popcorn cake! What a fun {cake} this is!  I used Easter M&M's this time, but depending on the holiday or season, you can easily substitute the colors. It's perfect for any party or get together, especially with Easter coming. The best part?  It's SO easy, and takes less than 10 minutes to make.  LOVE that. {popcorn cake} 10.5 oz. … [Read more...]