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