Friday Favorites


Good morning, and TGIF! :D

You know how the weeks leading up to a vacation usually crawl by at a snail’s pace, leaving you waiting for the feel of smooth sand, and taste of minty mojitos in pure agony? This week has been the complete opposite! I feel like I’ve been running around like a crazy person trying to get everything on my to-do list done, and there’s just not enough hours in the day to do it all!

At this point I’m kind of in “wedding mode” though. Jamaica is coming a little over one week from now whether everything is done or not, so I guess I’ll just keep my eye on the prize. ;)

I hope things are going well in your world, and you’ve got some fun plans to look forward to this weekend. In the meantime, please enjoy my favorite finds from around the web in this week’s Friday Favorites!

PS: sorry for the abundance of cakes. I actually had about three times as many, but Ben talked me down off the ledge…

Favorite mouthwater: Baked Lime Pudding Cake. This creamy, sweet & tangy cake makes my mouth water. I think my citrus obsession from last summer is coming back in full swing!


Favorite dress: Malibu Maxi Dress. How cah-UTE is this maxi dress?! I’ve never bought one because I’m so short (5’2) and I feel like they’d always drag on the ground, but the color blocking and cut is absolutely adorable regardless.


Favorite gadget: S’more Maker. No bonfire? No problem! Pop s’more ingredients into the cups of this s’more maker, then place it on the grill or in the oven. Awesome for the summertime.


Favorite find: Mamma Chia. I don’t remember how or where I heard about Mamma Chia drinks, but I am obsessed with finding them. Apparently it’s fruit juice sweetened with agave nectar with chia seeds inside. YUM!


Favorite weekend treat: Meyer Lemon Doughnuts. Angharad featured these doughnuts on her blog the other day and I about fell off my chair when I saw them. I always associate doughnuts as a weekend treat. This is certainly one to work for!


Favorite funny. I don’t know why, but the visual image of me and my girlfriends trolling around on golf carts in our bejeweled track suits when we’re 80 made me laugh like crazy. Love it. ;)


Favorite retreat. Oh, those summer nights…


Favorite bite: Parmesan Baked Potato Halves. Potatoes + garlic + butter + parmesan cheese. What’s not to love?


Favorite before & after: Re-purposed Barn Doors. I am just obsessed with making the old, new, and using it in unexpected ways. So rustic chic!


Favorite moist maker: Peach Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake. I simply cannot get over how moist, dense, sweet, and luscious this cake looks.


Favorite pooch. Ben and I nearly died laughing over this picture. I mean, WHAT?!

Favorite slurp: Creamy Garlic Pasta. This is my ideal weeknight meal. Easy and SO pleasey.


Favorite woah: Sand Paintings. San Francisco based artist Andreas Amador creates “paintings” in beach sand using only a rake, and time. You should see these pictures!


Favorite scene. Love the DIY window treatment, open shelves, granite color, and that FARM SINK! Obsessed with farm sinks.


Favorite bikini buster: Bacon Taco Shells. Just once, sometime, mmkay?


Favorite awesome: Camera Lens Mug. A must-give gift for the camera enthusiast in your life!


Favorite twist: Ginger Coconut-Carrot Cake. Yes, to all of those flavors. I want to make these into mini cupcakes.


Favorite flavor combo: Cantaloupe Ribbons with Chorizo. This reminds me of the Prosciutto, Cantaloupe & Cashews salad I posted a couple months ago. I’d like to try the spicy chorizo!


Favorite view: Streets of Najac, France. I wonder if these people wake up everyday thinking, “I get to LIVE here!”


Favorite memory: Framed Corks. Frame corks from champagne bottles opened for important events in your life – wedding, births, anniversaries, etc. Great conversation piece – I just wish I would have saved one from our wedding!


Favorite .com: Chocolate Chip Cookie Mousse Bomb. This recipe makes me sublimely happy. Cookies on top of cookies topped with chocolate. ‘Nuff said. ;)


Favorite do good: Youth Emergency Services & Shelter of Iowa (YESS) Duck Derby. Ben and his team at work volunteer at YESS, which provides emergency shelter, respite, crisis care, and counseling for children birth through age 17, and are heavily involved in their annual “Duck Derby” fundraiser going on now! You can help YESS by adopting a rubber duck, which will be released Saturday, May 5, at the Jordan Creek Town Center Lake.


Watch your duck race against thousands of others in an effort to win amazing prizes, including the chance at $1 million, groceries for a year, a landscaping makeover, $1,000 Scheels Shopping Spree, iPad, and more. You you do not need to be present, or from Iowa to win. 

100% of the proceeds from the Duck Derby go to the YESS shelter so they can continue providing impact counseling for children and their families. Click here to help children & their families through YESS, and adopt a duck! (PS: that link goes directly to Ben’s team’s fundraising page. The winning team gets to release the ducks!)


View past Friday Favorites >

Have a great weekend everyone!

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  1. Hannah-lyz 03.30.2012

    I use coconut and ginger in my carrot cake all the time! So I can attest to it’s delisciousness! Add in some flaked almonds, raisins, chopped dates, orange juice and maple syrup.. and you have a carrot cake that converts carrot cake haters! – Proof from my carrot-cake hating dad, brother and boyfriend, who polished off a whole cake in a day. It’s also great using a little less liquid, a handful of ground almonds to bind, and baking it as cookies! Definately a fav! ♥

  2. Christy 03.30.2012

    Happy Friday! I’ve seen those Chia drinks at Hy-Vee. I go to the Hy-Vee on Jordan Creek Parkway. They are kind of in a weird spot, they are on the end of a cold section where one side is cheese and the other side is the soy products. I haven’t tried one yet, but I eye them when I’m in there.

  3. LisaL 03.30.2012

    Ahhh yes, the summer nights – that is a gorgeous picture and have always dreamed of an area like this, however I think the mosquito’s would enjoy it more than we would!
    hahah :-)

    My bucket list includes traveling to France someday. How awesome!!!

  4. Jeff 03.30.2012

    Thanks for the Duck Derby shout out! I have been involved with the event for the last 4 years and it is an amazing event and a great cause. I hope to see everyone out at Jordan Creek Mall on May 5th for the event!

  5. Mellissa 03.30.2012

    I love Mamma Chia, seriously addicted! I found them at my local Whole Foods and Co-Op. The Raspberry Hibiscus is delicious.

  6. Oh my gosh, THAT VIEW! I need to see that someday. Najac, France just added to the travel bucket list.

  7. Bridget Miller 03.30.2012

    mama chias… or something VERY similar can be found at gateway market!

  8. Oh my goodness, all those desserts have my mouth watering! I love your Friday Favorites!! Btw-I made your green monster smoothie for the first time this week and it was AWESOME. Even my hubby loved it! Thanks for the recipe :)

  9. OMG – Those cakes are AMAZING…you can never have too many cakes.

    Oh, and I must share a funny with you about that duck. Last weekend when I went to JC with my mom the duck was there and my two year was FREAKING out and kept waving at him, and wanted us to go see him. Until…we were actually right next to him. Then the look of terror on his face was unmistakable. But if we backed up three feet he’d say hi and wave. It was so funny. And we did buy two ducks :-)

    Have a GREAT weekend…and may your mojitos come soon.

  10. So in love with farm sinks – That is the number one requirement of my dream home :-)

    What a cool charity – Random, but yesterday a duck flew up and landed in my yard just before I left for work (There is no lake or pond anywhere near my house). I think it’s a sign that I should buy a duck for the charity now :-)

  11. Brittany 03.30.2012

    Soo many good looking’re a girl after my own heart!! That coconut ginger carrot cake looks AMAZING!

  12. Allison 03.30.2012

    I know what you mean on the maxi dress. I’m an even 5 feet – no way could I pull that off! I love the color blocking though!

    Your favorite retreat looks like it is straight out of the Bachelor/Bachelorette. All of those scenes where the couple is enjoying after dark drinks/food in the midst of lush greenery.

    Ah, so jealous of your Jamaican vacation!! I still have months until my Mexico trip. It can’t come soon enough.

  13. Mia 03.30.2012

    Thanks for the info on the Duck Derby! I am buying one for each of my daughters for Easter!!

  14. love those re-purposed barn doors!!

  15. Bacon taco?! Straight ridiculous!

  16. Kristina 03.30.2012

    I’m 5’2″ and I wear maxi dresses and skirts all summer long. Wedge sandals and my tailor are my best friends!

    Many stores like Victoria’s Secret have “petite” versions of their dresses too.

  17. sue 03.30.2012

    where do you peruse to locate your friday fav’s? pinterest?

  18. Nancy 03.30.2012

    Lots of great things to enjoy in these faves, yum!

  19. Mollie 03.30.2012

    I’ve seen the chia drinks at Gateway Market. The last two times I’ve been in there I pick one up but for some reason always end up putting it back. Let me know if you try one! They look so good. Next time it’ll be staying in my basket for sure!

  20. Caroline 03.30.2012

    bacon taco shells!!! WOW!

  21. McKinzie S 03.30.2012

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now but have never commented, this time I have to! Just wanted to say I feel the fear of maxi dresses also being under 5’3″! I alwaysalwaysalways stick with skirts and dresses above the knee, otherwise I drown in fabric!

  22. erica 03.30.2012

    OOH, i love that framed cork idea!!! i’m going to do that!

  23. Caitlin Murphy 03.30.2012

    All of these look great! They actually have a taco “shell” made with bacon at the Lardon truck here in LA. Its called the “baco”

  24. Candy 03.30.2012

    We just adopted a 6-quack!! Sooo cute!! We have always had a heart for children and this sounds like a great cause!!

  25. Kaleen 03.30.2012

    We sell those chia drinks where I work, at Gateway Market. I actually spoke to your brother there yesterday, haha!! I hope I didn’t freak him out, but I had to tell him how much I love your blog and congrats on the beautiful new baby! :)

  26. Mary 03.30.2012

    The peach cake…it calls for peach puree….where do you find that? Thanks!!

  27. Staci G 03.30.2012

    The YESS shelter is an amazing place for kids and families in need, great reminder to get our ducks! I never knew I needed a camera lens mug…but alas, I DO!

  28. Emily 03.30.2012

    Always love seeing your Friday Favorites! That’s funny, I always think of donuts as a weekend treat, too. I am craving one at the moment actually…

  29. Mama Chia is THE BEST. It’s sweeter than GT’s Synergy Kombucha with Chia seeds, but that is pretty darn good, too.

  30. 1. I am 5’2 and rock maxi skirt/dresses! Just have to hem them :)

    2. That Mamma Chia stuff reminds me of a healthy Orbit Drink.. gosh what was that called… it had the little gooey balls in it? 90’s?

    3. YESS does amazing work! You should check out IHYC – they deal with homeless & near homeless teens & young adults , so the kids from YESS once they’ve gotten older :)

  31. Amanda Betts 03.30.2012

    That lime pudding cake and those lemon donuts. Wow!!! And I am definitely going to search out that chia drink. I’ve been reading so much about chia seeds lately. And I am in LOVE with that backyard retreat! I’m BEGGING my husband to let us move to an acreage…someday…

  32. nosogirl 03.30.2012

    I adopted a six quack!! How fun is that?? And for a good cause, of course.

    I’m also going to bake the Baked Lime Pudding Cake tomorrow – yum!

  33. Alison 03.30.2012

    Those are some fantastic favourites! The drink with chia seeds in it sounds really interesting – perhaps kind of like a bubble tea? And I LOVE that backyard scene. Amazing. I want to live there!

  34. Beth 03.31.2012

    Oy! I’d give anything to get to live in that little French village. Imagine all the history.

  35. Robyn 03.31.2012

    Chia drinks?? Sometimes I wish I didn’t live in “redneckville”, I have to travel 50+ miles to get anything ‘different’, anyway….since I eat Chia seeds everyday, I found a recipe for Chia Fresca that I can’t wait to try, perhaps it will be as good as those Chia drinks look?

    1/2 c lemon or lime juice
    1/2 Pom juice
    1 tablespoon chia seeds
    9 c water

    mix, shake and shake again!

    P.S Thank goodness your husband talked you down from the cake ledge (it’s just not worth it!)

  36. Marie B. 03.31.2012

    Am I the only one now craving the Chocolate Chip Cookie Mousse Bomb? Also, the Parmesan Baked Potato Skin Halves are ON for a dinner side! My extra weight will thank you! :)

    I bought a SixQuack in honor of my six wonderful grandchildren! I wanted to put Ben’s name, but
    couldn’t figure out where! Oh well, at least it goes to his team AND for a great cause!

    Have a great vacation!

  37. Dee 03.31.2012

    Those doughnuts looked amazing….anything lemon and you had me at the get go.

  38. Tom H. 04.01.2012

    Hey Kristen…I know I’m probably not your target demo here, but I do enjoy perusing your Friday Favorites from time to time. I must say…IMO, you have a GREAT eye for interior design! Missy and I are currently building (well…just about finished building) our new house, and her dad found TWO old barn doors on one of his farms that we’re incorporating into the design. One is actually used as a slider that separates rooms…it turned out SO COOL!

    Missy wants to use the second door for pictures…hopefully we get it finished before baby #4 arrives!

    We also had a farm sink (Ikea Domsjo) IN OUR HOUSE until we realized that it wouldn’t fit due to the angle of the island it was supposed to be installed in. Ugh…so frustrating!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 04.02.2012

      I am SO excited/envious of you and Missy’s new house! What fun to be able to pick everything out and customize for your family. I need your mud room. :)

      • Tom H. 04.02.2012

        Thanks! It’s been a long, and at times tedious process. We never realized how many decisions are involved in building…let’s just say it was fun, but we hope to never have to do it again. We’re certainly loving the way it has all finally come together though…and we hope to be permanently moved in by mid-April!

        Yes, the built in mudroom lockers were one of Missy’s “non-negotiables,” especially for the amount of *stuff* the girls will (eventually) have. Coats, shoes, backpacks…it will be nice to just stow it away and close the door. Glad you like them as much as we do!

  39. I think I bookmarked every recipe in this post!

  40. Marie B. 04.02.2012

    Made the CCCMousse Bombs and they were sooo good (as in too tempting to eat all of them
    myself!), I had to share with friends, sister, other friend……..anyone I could find, but I absolutely loved them and so did my recipients! I saw a recipe for making chocolate bowls which would work well with the mousse, also! Oh, my!

  41. Sophia 06.04.2012

    Where is that maxi dress from?

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