Friday Favorites


Can I get a T.G.I.F.?! :)

Lordy, this week has semi crawled by. I’ve been experiencing day later syndrome all week (I keep thinking it’s Friday, for instance, when it’s actually Thursday – d’oh!) probably because I’ve been uber excited about heading to Napa Valley this weekend!


Hilton HHonors, the loyalty program for Hilton Worldwide, is hosting an awesome sweepstakes series this summer called Seven Tickets to Your Paradise, where they’re giving away 7 legit trips like, I don’t know, a Ticket to Relax on a 6-night trip for 2 to Bali with all the spa treatments you can handle?! :)


One of the trips is a “Ticket to Dine” which includes a trip for 2 to Napa Valley for 5 nights with experiences at nearby restaurants and vineyards, and Hilton HHonors invited me out to have a mini-experience/preview of the trip this weekend. I am so excited!

The seven trips are being revealed every two weeks until August 31. Four of the seven have already been revealed (including the Bali trip!) and the next one “Ticket to Adventure” will be revealed on the 23rd (you do NOT want to miss that one.) You can enter here, to win one of the trips everyday until the 31st.

At any rate, I’ll be blogging, facebooking, and tweeting throughout the weekend, so I’ll holler at ya’ from Napa – and in the meantime, please enjoy my favorite finds from around the web in this week’s Friday Favorites, and have a great weekend!

Favorite indulgence: The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe. In addition to this being the best chocolate cake recipe, it might be the best picture of chocolate cake I have ever seen. Perfection!


Favorite fun: Sliding Rock in Brevard, NC. This 60 foot rock ending in a deep pool at the bottom has been naturally smoothed over thousands of years from rushing water. HOW FUN DOES THIS LOOK?


Favorite find: Shrimp Tacos with Apple Cucumber Salsa. I would have never in a million years come up with this mouthwatering combo. Plus I love the blogger’s story in this post. :)


Favorite tip: Print Size Guide. This is so helpful! I am always looking at art online (why?) but can never remember how the different sizes would fit into my space.


Favorite drool: Banana Bread Bars with Brown Butter. Schhlluuuuurp!


Favorite dish: Creamy Garlic Pasta. I want to inhale bowls and bowls of this stuff. Pasta. Garlic. Cream. ‘Nuf said!


Favorite DIY: Heart State. I have always thought these were so neat, and this blogger gives great instructions on how to recreate at home no matter what state you live in.


Favorite remix: Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta. CCB always sounds so good, but I’ve never wanted to put the effort into pounding, layering, rolling, etc. Right? Anyways, this recipe totally sidesteps the fussy work, for the same delish taste!


Favorite outfit. This is totally my style. Everything except the white sandals, perhaps. I’d get those dirty in 4 seconds. But everything else!!


Favorite beat the heat treat: No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars. Creamy, sweet, luscious – and no heat required. Love this recipe.


Favorite view. I went ziplining in the jungles of Puerta Vallarta once, which was totally thrilling. I can’t imagine ending the trip with a zip down into the ocean. So cool!


Favorite fresh: Summertime Noodles with Sweet Balsamic Dressing. This is a great dish to use up fresh produce, and is perfectly light for hot summer nights.


Favorite awwww. There was some kid selling baby chicks and ducklings one year in elementary school (I have no idea why) and I begged and begged my parents to let me have one. Thank goodness they knew chicks and ducklings grow up to be chickens and ducks, because all my friends who bought one had to take theirs to the “farm” 3 months later. Still, awwww! ;)


Favorite sweet: Blueberry Buckle. A sweet, and tasty treat to use all those in-season blueberries!


Favorite tip: How to Paint a Room Fast. Totally using these tips when I paint my kitchen. They are really, really good!


Favorite redo: Better Than Takeout Fried Rice. Fried Rice is one of my all time biggest weaknesses (especially from Wok in Motion.) Definitely going to have to try this recipe sometime.


Favorite must-have: Wood Grain Tiles. OBSESSED!!!! Must have in my future home/reno.


Favorite homemade: Raspberry Pie. Jenna promises this is the best pie crust recipe ever. If it tastes half as good as it looks, I’m pretty much sold. :)


View past Friday Favorites >;

Have a great weekend!

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  1. Amy 07.20.2012

    I love the slide! Most things on your favorites list scream summer which makes me oh-so-happy!

  2. Jen M. 07.20.2012

    Can you correct the link on the print size guide? I’d like to pint it for future reference. Thanks!

  3. Krista f. 07.20.2012

    I love your Friday favorites.

  4. Kristin 07.20.2012

    I LOVE that sliding rock was on your Friday Favorites. I use to go there every summer as a kid. It is SO much fun :-)

  5. Trisha 07.20.2012

    Ziplining into water is awesome/scary! That Napa trip looks beautifully relaxing. Enjoy!

  6. Sarah 07.20.2012

    How exciting you get to go to Napa!! Does Ben get to join you? I know you just recently posted how the two of you have always wanted to go. Enjoy!

  7. Kiki 07.20.2012

    I have been to sliding rock! Had totally forgotten about it until I saw that picture (was I 14?). Also, made the banana bread bars last night. Dangerous! Bake at your own risk. Hoping my roommates eat them today! Love the bathroom tile pic and the creamy garlic pasta. TGIF.

  8. Amanda 07.20.2012

    I love the heart state! I have a dilemma though, MI or CA? I’d feel disloyal to whatever state I didn’t choose. Have fun in Napa, it’s so ridiculously beautiful!

  9. lani 07.20.2012

    My coworker made the banana bread bars and they were Oh.My.God. good!

  10. So excited that you found my blog and linked to it for Sliding Rock! Thanks!!

  11. hope you have a great time in Napa!

  12. Having a zipline end in the ocean would be amazing – I’ve never tried ziplining before but that one definitely looks fun!

    And oh god, that picture makes me want chocolate cake. Like right now.

  13. MacKenzie 07.20.2012

    let’s talk about how i just google mapped how long it would take to get to that rock slide from here in DC…the 8 hours and 40 minutes would totally be worth it. Looks SO fun!

  14. Have a blast this weekend!!! Oh and I love those bathroom tiles!

  15. I love your Friday Favorites :) They are always one of my favorite times of the day!

    Also, I made a reallllly delicious cauliflower “fried rice” that I think you would love! Check it out:

  16. Off to make that Blueberry Buckle right now…but with black raspberries instead!

  17. Carrie 07.20.2012

    Never commented before but knew I had to when I saw Sliding Rock. I grew up going to Sliding Rock. My dad actually used to be a lifegaurd there in the 60’s at the Rock. Just know it is the coldest water you will ever FEEL but SOOO AMAZING! If anyone goes… wear some old jeans or shorts over your bathing suit! There are camping grounds and tons of trails to walk. Beautiful area!

  18. Jill 07.20.2012

    Who ever thought so many people have been to sliding rock? I don’t live anywhere near it, but went as a kid when visiting my grandparents and still vividly remember it so it MUST have been amazing! Each recipe looks better than the next…thank you!

  19. Cindy D. 07.20.2012

    OMG! I have been entering those HHonors sweepstakes like it’s MY JOB! I am so jealous that you are getting a preview! I hope you have a fabulous, fabulous time!!

  20. Cheryl 07.20.2012

    Not sure how much control you have over your schedule in Napa, but if you can get to Michael Chiorillo’s restaurant (Bottega) in Yountville, GO! So good!

  21. Syd 07.20.2012

    So glad you posted about the HHonors giveaway! I stay at a Hilton almost every week and had no idea! Not that I’m going to win, but thanks for sharing. Enjoy Napa!

  22. Tom H. 07.20.2012

    we so want to do the pin string map project for iowa/des moines…i just don’t know if i have the patience!

  23. Liz 07.20.2012

    We went to Napa about 2 years ago and loved every minute of it. We had our 3 kids with us so we were limited on the wine touring, but we look forward to going back one day just the two of us. It’s so beautiful! Have a great time!

  24. Karen 07.20.2012

    Have fun in Nappa! I live not far from there and just love it. (Sonoma is good too.)

  25. Ashley Morgan 07.20.2012

    I was so excited to see you posted about Sliding Rock!! I grew up there so I have been there multiple times. The water is so cold that it takes your breath away!!! I would highly recommend you go there if you ever travel to NC! I just moved to the Midwest and I definitely miss NC!!! Have fun in Napa!

  26. stacy 07.20.2012

    dangit! i cant decide which one i want to make first …. the banana bread bars or the peanut butter bars!!!!! :)

  27. Love the look of the summertime noodles. I’ve seen the view before and it looks absolutely awesome! I would love to do that.

  28. Kecia 07.20.2012

    Sliding rock! Forgot all about it! I’ve done that! I used to live near it!


  29. Rachel Schultz 07.20.2012

    Thanks for featuring my recipe! I’m a fan of your blog : )


  30. Heather 07.20.2012

    Hi Kristin,

    If you’re a fan of banana bread, you should give my recipe for caramelized banana bread a shot! (It’s even eggless!) It’s creamy & divine. (PS- That zipline shot is incredible! I used to zipline at camp. Isn’t it wonderful??)

    Heather @ Find That Warm Fuzzy Feeling

  31. Bek @ Crave 07.20.2012

    How exciting! Enjoy your weekend!

  32. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. 07.21.2012

    Thanks so much for including my bathroom renovation in your roundup of Friday favorites! I get so many comments on that wood tile. I’m going to edit that post to include the exact name and manufacturer. … I found your blog through my stats and I’m so glad – it’s awesome! I already see a ton of recipes I need to try! I’ll be following along now, so nice to meet you!

  33. Oh those shrimp tacos… how good do they look?!?! I made up a version of those summertime noodles a few weeks back too, let me just tell you, SO so good :)

  34. terri 07.21.2012

    I love our blog! So glad I found it. Hope you enjoy Napa Valley. I was there once with my mom long ago and would like to go back with my husband someday.

  35. terri 07.21.2012

    Ack, I meant that I love YOUR blog.

  36. Kirbie 07.21.2012

    Sliding Rock in Brevard is AWESOME! I had an ex-boyfriend from Brevard and we would go all the time. But I have never stayed in a line that long, he knew when to go. Beautiful country in the Pisgah National Forrest.

  37. You are teasing me with that piece of chocolate cake. Lots of good info I can use especially the one with the print size. I never kmow which size to get.

  38. Tammy Burch 07.21.2012

    Made the chicken fried rice tonight! AMAZING! Even my littlest loved it and she’s only two! Thanks for this new family favorite!

  39. […] or Instagram, then you know what a crazy experience these past two days have been previewing the Hilton HHonors Your Ticket to Paradise – Ticket to Dine Sweepstakes. I cannot wait to return to the area someday with Ben, although we do need to find some good craft […]

  40. Sara 07.22.2012

    Haha I used to go to sliding rock every summer too!! me and my cousins were JUST reminiscing over it today and it made me so happy to see this on your friday favorites when I was catching up on blog reading tonight!!!

  41. Jeninnc 07.23.2012

    Another Sliding Rock junky:). I grew up 30min from it, and still live close. So much fun. And such cold, refreshing water! Ya gotta do it!

  42. […] dining experience were seriously awesome ways to kick off our trip to Napa Valley with the Hilton HHonors Your Ticket to Dine Sweepstakes preview, but what I was really looking forward to was the WINE portion of the […]

  43. Tamara 07.23.2012

    Wow, this week’s installment has a bunch of awesome looking recipes!!! Yum.

  44. Omg, why does every dish you posted look soooo good right now? (Oh, because it’s almost lunchtime. Haha!)

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