Friday Favorites + The Big 2-9


Another year, another great 4th! :D Can you believe it’s already over?

Tuesday night I mixed up a huge batch of Dad’s Killer Beergaritas to take with us to the Yankee Doodle Pops concert, put on by the Des Moines Symphony, that my family and I go to every year at the state capital.

Since it was 100+ degrees, there was less than HALF the crowd there usually is, and we had our choice of the entire capital lawn to spread our blankets out on and cheers to a hot and boozy 4th. ;)


(Seriously, have you made the Beergaritas yet? So refreshing!)


The symphony and other acts played all throughout the evening, until it was dark enough for fireworks.

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It was another great show, although perhaps a tad shorter than other years. It really was that hot out!

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The 4th was just as toasty, so Ben and I hung indoors all day before heading to a friend’s 4th of July BBQ that evening, then yesterday I turned The Big 2-9, AHHH!!


Ben and I mourned celebrated with my annual birthday sushi lunch at Miyabi 9 – my favorite restaurant in town.


A cooling sushi lunch platter with miso soup, ginger salad, a full plate of sushi, and my sweet honey-bee (Ben) was just what I was craving. :)


Drooling at the memory!


We also splurged and split a Cascoe Bay Roll – a tempura battered and fried spicy tuna roll. I never believed in frying sushi rolls until I tried this. It is amazing!


To distract me from the fact that I was turning 29, my Mom took me out for a pedicure next (rocking the obnoxious neon pink – woot!)


Then everyone came over to my parent’s house for a birthday dinner, including my sweet niece, Evie!


I requested a simple summer BBQ with cheeseburgers, Judy’s Baked Beans, Mom’s Potato Salad, and fresh fruit.


And frozen Pepperidge Farms Cake, natch. :)


It was great having all the fam come over, even though my birthday hit in the middle of the week.

We even got to facetime my little bro in Denver – whee! (Classic Dad expression, no?) ;)

To 30, and beyond!

Today is supposed to be the hottest day yet, with temps at 101 and the heat index at 110+ degrees, but everyone’s getting a little cuckoo around here from being cooped up, so Ben and I are heading out for a night out on the town tonight with some friends. I CAN’T WAIT!

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy my weekly wrap-up of my favorite finds from around the web, in this week’s Friday Favorites!

Favorite treat: Blueberry Hand Pies. I don’t think I’ve ever told you this but I AM OBSESSED WITH HAND PIES. Like, obsessed. I once (almost) overnighted an entire shipment of these famous hand pies from NOLA to my house in an act of hand-held pie desperation. Eesh.


Favorite find: Chevron Painting. This is just too cool. So mod.


Favorite mmmm: Grilled Figs & Cheese. I can’t even imagine how decadent this would taste with salty prosciutto slices!


Favorite view. Sigh! Take me there?


Favorite copycat: Noodles & Company Penne Rosa. A copycat version of Noodles & Company’s spicy, creamy Penne Rosa, made healthy!


Favorite bling: Lindsay Bangles. Aren’t these bangles too much fun? I can’t decide which color I love the most!


Favorite side: Orzo with Parmesan & Basil. It’s always nice to find a tasty side for dinner. This looks simple and so satisfying.


Favorite funny. Been there, done that! ;) Look at his little eyes all closed in delight!


Favorite crunch: Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing. This salad looks light yet filling, and full of fun textures and flavors.


 Favorite fashion: Nena Zig Zag Dress. SO fun and flirty. The perfect party dress.


Favorite redo: Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce. Made without velveeta?! Getcho own – this batch is all mine! ;)


Favorite place: Charleston Beach House Bedroom. Oh how I’d like to wake up here!


Favorite grill: Grilled Chicken with Fresh Cherry Sauce. I am obsessing over cherries right now. they’re candy sweet, and so inexpensive.


 Favorite photo: Seven Hours. Sweet.


Favorite bite: S’Mores Dip. No campfire required. Love this!


Favorite print: Time For Coffee. Great colors that would pop in the kitchen.


Favorite fresh: Summer Salad. Fresh veggies, goat cheese, and a light vinaigrette. Perfect for these hot days when you can’t bear to turn on the stove!


View Past Friday Favorites >

Have a great weekend everyone! :D

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  1. Emily 07.06.2012

    Absolutely adorable family pics; awesome! Happy birthday Iowa Girl!

  2. Kristin from MN 07.06.2012

    Happy B’day! I love your striped tank – where do you get it?

  3. happy birthday kristen! you look GORGEOUS in all these pics:)

  4. grilled cheese with FIGS!!?! sounds like heaven! i’ve recently learned that my adult tastebuds LOVE figs, but they are so hard to find in the grocery store :(

    cheers to the weekend!

  5. First of all, HUGE happy birthday to you!! Looks like you had a really great birthday!
    My best friend’s son was born just yesterday, too…so good day for birthdays :)

    Also. I think I found my project for the unofficial Pinterest Challenge – that chevron painting is unbelievable and I must have it (but not for $1,600)!
    I’m also going to have to try my hand at that 8 hours photo. What a unique concept!!

    Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend! Looks like the heat should ease a bit tomorrow morning!!

  6. Lisa Rohrbaugh 07.06.2012

    WoW 29 – enjoy! Love your blog and you are a great photographer. Thank You for all the time you put into this. Love reading it! And, your little girl – so adorable.

  7. Daisy 07.06.2012

    Happy Birthday, lady!

    I want that chevron dress, but its sold out, nooooo.

  8. Amy M 07.06.2012

    Happy birthday! Mine’s today and I am just a little bit excited to celebrate at Flying Mango! Will have to check your old posts to remember what you recommend from there.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 07.06.2012

      Happy, happy birthday!! Can’t go wrong with anything at Flying Mango, but we love their ribs, and gosh, well anything really. :) Just don’t forget to get some cornbread with cinnamon butter!

      • Allison 07.06.2012

        Flying Mango is a small restaurant with not much parking, so we always try to get there before 6:30 when we go there so that we don’t have to sit around and wait very long. Just a thought! It is a great restaurant. My favorite there, by far, is the brisket. The cornbread is excellent.

        • Amy M 07.06.2012

          Thanks! My mouth is already watering thinking about the cornbread and butter! :)

  9. Faun 07.06.2012

    Happy birthday, but it’s a tad peculiar that you’re so overwrought about turning 29. I turned 42 last year and didn’t give it a second thought. I LIKE getting older.

  10. Happy Birthday Kristin! Looks like it was wonderful! Also, you look really adorable holding your niece…a vision of things to come perhaps? Hehe…whenever you do have kids they’re going to be super lucky to have a mom that is such a great cook! Have a great weekend :)

  11. Elyse 07.06.2012

    Happy birthday to you!

  12. Lindsey 07.06.2012

    Happy Birthday! Looks like you had the perfect celebration! Great Friday finds!!

  13. Melissa 07.06.2012

    Happy Birthday. You don’t look a day over 21 :) What the heck is on Ben’s toe in those photos? That’s a mighty fancy toe ring.

  14. Happy Birthdayyy!!! Looks like you had a great time :)

  15. Tom H. 07.06.2012

    Happy belated birthday Kristen! Just ordered deck furniture that should be here this weekend…can’t wait break it in with some ice cold beergarita’s! Let’s just hope these triple digit temps go away ASAP…

  16. Paula S 07.06.2012

    Happy Birthday!! Just have to say I was born and raised in NW Iowa and now live just south of Denver. Love, love, love your blog. You do us proud Iowa Girl!

  17. Maria 07.06.2012

    Happy Birthday! Looks like you had fun!

  18. Lauren T 07.06.2012

    HAPPY BIRTHDAYYY! Looks like you had a wonderful time celebrating it.

    I need that cup that your beergarita is in–did you buy that or make it? I need it. Now.

  19. Jenny 07.06.2012

    Happy Birthday! Hope you had a wonderful day!

  20. Jocelyn 07.06.2012

    Happy birthday! Looks like you had fun. Love your blog, recipes, and Friday Favorites! Where did you get the gold leaf necklace in your pictures?

  21. anaiah 07.06.2012

    My birthday was yesterday too! I always said the 4th of July fireworks were part of my July 5th B-day celebration…lol! So here’s to us! By the way, I turned 33 and I am loving my 30’s…seems to be a time for really discovering yourself completely! Have a great weekend!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 07.07.2012

      Happy belated birthday!! :D :D :D

    • Kari Miller 07.07.2012

      Funny! My birthday was also on the 5th and I was 33, my daughter is the 6th and she is 4. I thought my birthday was always overshadowed by the 4th until we had her, now it all about my daughter! Happy Birtday!! PS love the beergaritas!

  22. Briana 07.06.2012

    happy birthday! just want to say I discovered your blog a few months back and i absolutely love it. it is now my fave :)

    also, i turned 29 last month. mixed feelings on that one… well, i supposed they aren’t really mixed yet but I am hoping to mix some optimism in there soon! haha

  23. Jeninnc 07.06.2012

    Happy Birthday! This preggo sushi lover is dead jealous of your aMAZing looking lunch! Ahhh…sushi…soon;).

  24. Mandy 07.06.2012

    Happy birthday! Is there a way to get a recipe for that salad?

  25. luv what you do 07.06.2012

    What a great looking 4th and a happy bday with all of the best things a girl could ask for! Those beeraritas really do look perfect for this 100 degree weather!

  26. Danelle 07.06.2012

    Happy Birthday! I’ve made that penne rosa recipe before and it was so easy and delicious!

  27. Mmmmm, Casco Bay at Miyabi is one of my favorites. Such a guilty pleasure, yum yum yum!

    Happy birthday! Looks like it was wonderful. :)

  28. Mandy 07.06.2012

    Happy birthday to a fellow early July bday girl (mine was on Sunday!). Looks like you did it up right!

    Thank you for the summer salad link. I have very little salad inspiration, and that looks perfect!

  29. erica 07.06.2012

    happy belated birthday!!!!

  30. Sarah O. 07.06.2012

    That ckicken salad looks so great! I love the dress, perfect for a spring or summer party.

  31. Candy 07.06.2012

    Happy Birthday!! Your niece and nephew are too cute!!

  32. Angie K. 07.06.2012

    Happy Birthday! The fun has just begun… Thanks for another round of your Friday favs — always find good things to pin!

  33. The summer always seems to fly by after the 4th of July!

    Happy Belated Birthday! :)

    I’ve been craving s’mores. I need to try out that recipe.

  34. Trisha 07.06.2012

    Happy Happy Birthday, girl! Looks like you had a pretty fantastic few days of celebrating. Evie is starting to look so much like Finn, those two are the cutest!
    Cannot WAIT to try that penne rosa recipe. It is by far my fave Noodles dish.

  35. Happy Birthday! And thank you for posting my penne recipe! :)

  36. Firstly Happy Birthday!! Secondly thank you for sharing my Orzo recipe!! I was so excited to see it, I love your blog and have been reading for awhile now!! Have a great weekend!

  37. heather 07.06.2012

    happy belated birthday…! if this is any consolation(and i mean it in the best way possible), you could pass for going-on-25, very easily. youre gonna be one of those girls we’re all jealous of when youre 50!

  38. Lauren 07.06.2012

    Happy Birthday lady!!!!! So glad you enjoyed a wonderful day with your family. Now go celebrate some more this weekend!

  39. Happy belated birthday, Kristin!

    I just wanted to stop by and thank you for sharing my Coffee Time print! I’m so happy that I did, because I love your blog. I’m a nut for good food and travel (and married a boy from Iowa), so your content especially speaks to me. :)

    Thank you!

  40. Maria W 07.06.2012

    Happy Belated Birthday! Your blog gets better and better. I look forward to it. Thanks so much!

  41. Bek @ Crave 07.06.2012

    Happy 29th Birthday! I love your Friday favourites- keep it up!

  42. Cathy 07.06.2012

    Happy Birthday IG~ and you look so happy and glowing. Looking forward to going through all the Friday Favorites this weekend, and maybe making some Beergaritas. Hope you extend your celebration through the weekend.

  43. Happy Birthday!! Geez, everything looks so good, but I am especially excited to try the Beergaritas! What a good idea! :)

  44. Suzanne 07.07.2012

    Happy Birthday and the big 29 sounds good to this 40 something girl :). I appreciate you including me in your Friday Favorites, you are adorable and so is your family and blog. BTW I too am crazy about hand pies and sweets in general!

  45. Anne Jasinski 07.07.2012

    Happy birthday Kristin! I follow several blogs but yours is my all time favorite…I get so happy when I see “Iowa Girl Eats” in my inbox…I feel like it’s a “shout out” from a dear friend. You are adorable, bright, fun and clearly appreciative of your wonderful family. (This one sided “friendship” is weird/bittersweet but I’ll take it!)

  46. Amber 07.07.2012

    Happy belated birthday, i love your friday favourites! :)

  47. kate 07.07.2012

    happy belated birthday! (you did it again…i don’t know where you find these adorable pictures of bostons, but they always make my day :)

  48. Happy 29th, Kristin!!! I just turned 29 two months ago. :) Living up the last year of our roaring twenties – whoo!!!

    LOVE that zig zag dress too! So cute!!

  49. jessie 07.08.2012

    happy belated 29th birthday! thank you so much for sharing your birthday celebration pictures. it looks like you and your family had an amazing time. love all of your ‘favorites’. :)

  50. Krista 07.08.2012

    Hi Kristin!! Happy belated birthday! It looks like you had a perfect, relaxing day! I am so excited to have stumbled across a fellow Iowan and DSM Blog! Your Blog is gorgeous, ive been browsing through your recipes for a while now.. keep up all the fantastic work!


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