Friday Favorites


Say it with me now – T.G.I.F! :D

Last night my parents and I attended one of the local Farmer’s Markets that just opened up for the season. Look who we ran into while we were there – Quacky, aka, Ben! ;)

Ben2 Ben1

He was onsite with his work team trying to push for last minute Duck Sales for the YESS Duck Derby tomorrow, and was freaking adorable in his duck suit, quacking at all the little (and big!) kids, handing out hundreds of high-fives and hugs, and absolutely loving every minute of it. What a trooper!

After last night, Ben’s team is less than 100 ducks away from reaching their fundraising goal for the Youth Emergency Services Shelter (YESS), which provides emergency shelter, crisis care, and counseling for children and families in Iowa. If you want to help (and be in the running for $10,000!) click here to donate under his team’s name.

I tried tweeting at Ashton Kutcher (an Iowa native) for help, but alas, with 10.5 million followers, it seems he missed the memo. ;)

Anyways! I hope you have some fun things planned for the weekend, and in the meantime, please enjoy my favorite finds from around the web in this week’s Friday Favorites!

Favorite bite: Spiked Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes. What’s more happy than the summery, sweet-tart taste of raspberry lemonade in cupcake form?!


Favorite outtake: I So Pale. I saw this on the Ellen Show yesterday and was DYING laughing. Watch the other girl just losing it at the end. ;)

Favorite obsession: Kate Middleton + Kentucky Derby. This Friday Favorite serves double duty. 1.) I am obsessed with Kate Middleton and watched oh, pretty much every single special on tv last weekend about her and Will’s 1 year wedding anniversary. 2.) Wearing an awesome hat & attending the Kentucky Derby has officially been added to my bucket list. :)


Favorite supper: Lemon Basil Pesto Pasta. Thinking my obsession with lemons from last summer will surely continue this year with fresh and easy suppers like this one.


Favorite destination: Gorges du Verdon, Provence, France. This is actually a river in France, just down from Cannes. The color of the water just amazes me!


Favorite find: Dotty Motif Juicer. Totally unnecessary, and I have zero space left in my kitchen for uni-taskers, but ohh, it’s so pretty!


Favorite light bite: Orange Strawberry Salad with Orange Dressing. A sweet, light summer dinner, with an orange dressing that sounds just divine.


Favorite accent: Mini Wishbone Bracelet. So pretty and dainty, and you know I love all things lucky!


Favorite workout. Great set of exercises here.


Favorite redo: Brown Rice Sushi Balls. Instead of fussing with rolling sushi rolls, stick all the fresh ingredients inside a ball of rice. Love this!


Favorite giggle. I mean, RIGHT?!


Favorite funny. Bahahaha – look at his little left cock-eye!


Favorite comfort food: Cheesy Chicken & Rice Soup. I want this soup like, yesterday. Gah, I want to face plant in it!


Favorite home find: Suzani Print Bath Button Back Armchair. What a gorgeous accent piece! Me thinks Ben wouldn’t be too pleased with having a pink and purple chair in the living room though. ;)


Favorite spot. Yes. This. 2 months from now.


Favorite couple. I don’t know about you, but I could look at engagement and wedding photos all day long. They just make me so happy – especially when they’re fun and unique like this couple’s!


Favorite makeover: Chicken Parmesan Burgers. TOTALLY droolworthy!


Favorite blog: The Forest Feast. Amazing photos, recipes, and perspective.


Favorite dream home must have: Cook book Storage. Right now I have nowhere to store yet highlight all my fun cook books. This is a perfect solution to keep them out of the way, but still handy and in sight.


Favorite nibble: Orange Vanilla Almonds. Ben and I are OBSESSED – like, a bag a week obsessed – with Trader Joe’s raw unsalted almonds. This is a yummy way to jazz them up for a sweet, (pretty)healthy treat!


Favorite photo: Lincoln Memorial. Talent.


Favorite tutorial: Sock Bun Tutorial. If you’ve been curious as to what this whole sock bun craze is all about, go here to find out how to easily do it!


Favorite outfit. Can you say, summer? 8) Would you wear colored shorts? I would/do!


Favorite mini: Poptart Pops. ADORABLE!!!

Click here for past Friday Favorites >

With that, I’m out! Have a great weekend everyone! :D

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  1. Those are all fabulous favorites! Your favorite spot looks very similar to mine….come on, summer, we’re all ready for you! Happy Friday!

  2. I think we should share a closet. Love that outfit! and those poptarts on a stick…adorable.

  3. LOVE this post!! So much fun stuff!!

  4. Amanda 05.04.2012

    I made Courtney’s chicken parm burgers this week – they are delicious!!

  5. Love this list + photos. I want to pull up a chair at that forest feast! And thanks so much for the nod (sushi balls)!

  6. Trisha 05.04.2012

    Those spiked raspberry lemonda cupcakes are seriously good, made them last summer for a bridal shower. I obsessed over Courtney’s chicken parm burgers after she posted them. I almost forgot how much I wanted to make them, thanks for the reminder! :)

  7. Hi! I adore your blog and I thought about starting one of my own. I had no idea what to blog about, then it final came to me: my secret engagement. I only have one post, but I think it’s the start of something beautiful. What do you think?

  8. OMG I am OBSESSED with trader joe’s raw unsalted almonds!!! I eat them every single day and NEVER get tired of them :) If you’re ever in a pinch and can’t get to TJ’s the blue diamond raw almonds from a regular grocery store are good too. Plus they come in small resealable containers so I can store them in my car!

  9. Mollie 05.04.2012

    I saw him there! Although, he wasn’t in the duck costume at the time.

  10. Emily 05.04.2012

    That juicer really is adorable! I’m with you though, uni-taskers just take up too much valuable space!

    I’ll have to try the almond recipe, too. Sounds yummy!

    Good luck with the Duck Race! We have one in my town and I love watching them get dumped into the river :)

  11. Megan S. 05.04.2012

    Love the recipes! I will be making those cupcakes for a Derby party tomorrow! And yes–you must experience Derby at lease once in your life. I live in Louisville and have been the last few years….craziness in the infield :)

  12. I want that chair!! (and the outfit..) :)

  13. BrookeNotOnADiet 05.04.2012

    I made those chicken parmesan burgers earlier this week and they are freaking AMAZING! Highly recommend them!

  14. Just have to point out….. that duck costume is PRIME.

  15. Kristine 05.04.2012

    I love the engagement photos, those are so creative! Thanks for sharing all this! I love it!

  16. Sarah 05.04.2012

    That chair is to die for! I have a pair of colored pants/capris in my cart online right now.. Just not sure if am brave enough to pull the trigger!

  17. […] this made me happy today:¬†Friday Favorites via Iowa Girl […]

  18. i bought shorts ALMOST like that a few years back on the clearance in november at oldnavy… $1.99. NOBODY wore salmon shorts then, but i figured “what the heck, they are only $2!” and now i wear them all the time in the summer :D

    also, i saw that same mini poptart article on last year, and was so inspired that i made regular-sized ones of my own! using the big batch of rhubarb jam i had just made… they are totally worth it to make them!! see it here:

    cheers. have a great weekend :D

  19. Emily 05.04.2012

    Those mini pop tarts are adorable!!

  20. Ben makes a very handsome duck! And I too am obsessed with Kate Middleton.

  21. Love those engagement photos – so unique!
    PS. I just adore reading these Friday Favorites posts – you always share such great favorites! TGIF!

  22. Jacks 05.04.2012

    We made the soup for dinner last night. OMG. delicious!!

  23. Monica 05.04.2012

    I just did the sock bun on my sad little fine hair and it came out perfect and amazing! Thanks for the link!

  24. Sydney 05.04.2012

    Always love your Friday Favorites – especially love the Zac Efron picture! Only in my dreams :)

  25. LOL – that news blooper was hilarious! If I were the other girl, I would be losing it a lot more. BTW, I saw that sock bun on the Rachel Ray show a few weeks ago. I can’t wait to grow my hair out more to try it.

  26. Andrea 05.04.2012

    Love these Friday Favorites! I look forward to them every week!

    I’m completely with you on the Kate Middleton/Kentucky derby thing. I’m headed to a Derby party tomorrow complete with a hat contest…although mine doesn’t compare to Kate’s crazy British hats!

    Thanks for all the fun finds…have a great weekend! :)

  27. Nice finds! There are several recipes there that I’ve pinned and definitely want to make soon :) I LOVE the couple photography with the color dust. It reminds me exactly of the Color Run 5K my husband and I ran at the end of March. Has anyone heard of it? We looked exactly like them, colored head to toe, but the end of it!

    • Hilary 05.04.2012

      I have! I’m bummed I missed signing up for the Chicago Color Run! Hoping to be able to go and take pics of the runners there though!

  28. Hilary 05.04.2012

    Great duck costume! I have a soft spot for those duck races…I actually won a car years ago by adopting a duck for the Rock River Duck Race in Rockford, IL!

  29. Kim Bergkamp 05.04.2012

    Love your post! I just “pinned” three of your favorite things! Have a great weekend!

  30. Thanks for the shout out! What an awesome post and fun blog! Happy weekend!

  31. Seriously, TGIF! Those engagement photos are just too cute. It’s so… out of the norm, which I absolutely love. That juice is beautiful. Even if you don’t have space, you totally have to get it.

  32. Darien 05.05.2012

    I learned how to do sock buns in boot camp to keep long hair within regs. And my TI (drill instructor) was a huge stickler for the females having perfect hair. FYI, don’t tie it up in a sock bun too tight while it’s wet- it’ll cause much soreness and bruising. (And sometimes even sores!!!)

  33. Marieke 05.05.2012

    Love those favourites! Did you know that the Gorges du verdon is connected to a few lakes? Those are even more stunning and amazing to swim in! Every time I think back I just want to dive right back in! Best lakes I’ve ever been to!

  34. Marilyn 05.05.2012

    Funny!! I saw on your site that video of I’M SO PALE and I thought I recognized it. Those are our local station news and weather ladies. So it was on Ellen? Ha Wonder if they know?

  35. Lani Moeller 05.05.2012

    I also ran into your husband – I may have embarrassed when I tiold him I recognized him from your blog :) I was at the market with my boyfriend and our son, who is 17 months old and OBSSESSED with ducks. We bought a duck for the derby and can’t wait to go on Saturday.

  36. C. 05.05.2012

    Great list, as always!!

  37. I’ve been craving Courtney’s Chicken Parm burgers since that post! I have to get around to making them soon.:)

  38. Jenn 05.06.2012

    Im like 95 percent sure I saw you and Ben yesterday!! (correct me if I’m wrong, Ben in the blue duck/yes shirt and you in an iowa shirt with a number 1 on the back??) Ok, all I saw was the back of this person hah But I seen this post yesterday morning and then just happened to go to Jordan Creek mall while visiting my fiancee. I’m from Omaha. And so I kept my eye out! Anyways, I was waiting in the ridiculously long line for a chick-fli-a sample :) and then when I came back to say hi you weren’t on the rock anymore :( Hope that was you so this post doesn’t sound stupid haha. And hope even more you had fun!

  39. Tons of fabulous faves :-)

  40. Crystal Christopher 05.14.2012

    We made the spiked cupcakes this past weekend and they were Awesome!! Only problem is the icing didn’t seem to be thick enough. I made the cute with the little lemon slice and raspberry on top, took a picture, precious! By the time we got to the party and hour later, they were running and almost watering. We were thinking maybe it could be from lemon jucies? I know it wasn’t your actual recipe, but I didn’t know if you had any ideas on how to thicken the icing up to stay better. It still didn’t take anything away from the taste. They were scrumptious!

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