Friday Favorites


Good morning and, SPOILER ALERT: 

Gooo Gabby! :D Sorry, I’ve had just about every Olympic event spoiled by media headlines, so I wanted to give you a heads up in case you DVRd last night’s women’s gymnastics individual all-around competition, where Gabby Douglas won the gold medal!

Gabby trains here in town and we could not be more proud of our little “Flying Squirrel”. I actually met her a couple years ago (she went to my Mom’s school and was in her office when I went to visit her once) and, like a little squirrel, she is ridiculously tiny. I’m only 5’2 and I felt like I was towering over her. How she gets to flying to those heights, I’ll never know. What a freaking stud – you go girl!!

Geez, I seriously don’t know what I’m going to do with myself after the Olympic are over. Oh wait, yes I do. Do more than sit on my butt from 7-11pm. I just love ’em so much! :D

Seeing as how the summer is winding down though (sniiiiff) we’re going to have to kick the DVR into high gear this weekend so we can get out and enjoy these last few weeks of summer fun. Got a couple of activities on the docket.

What are you up to this weekend?

Whatever it is, I hope you have a blast and, in the meantime, please enjoy my favorite finds from around the web and beyond in this week’s Friday Favorites!

Favorite song: Phillip Phillips “Home”. NBC played this song during nearly every single Gaby montage this week (she moved to Iowa from Virgina when she was 14 to train – hence the lyrics just know you’re not alone/I’m gonna to make this place your home – at least that’s what I got out of it ;) ) which made me weep EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Every time!

Favorite idea: Angel Food French Toast. Now WHY didn’t I think of that? Decadent!


Favorite finally: Braid Bun for Short Hair. Finally a cute ‘do for us short haired gals. :)


Favorite sip: Key Lime Pie Mojito. Great recipe here – sounds uber refreshing!


Favorite improve: How To Stain Builder-Grade Cabinets. I semi-loathe the builder grade cabinets in our home, and this finish looks so luxe, don’t you think? Perfect for sprucing up our bathroom/hiding the hair dye I accidentally smeared on the vanity 3 years ago…


Favorite photo: Siena Market. I gasped when I saw this picture – it looks nearly identical to the tiny town market Ben and I went to everyday on our Amalfi Coast vacation, straight down to the gorgeous fresh fruit display out front!


Favorite MMMM: Chocolate Birthday Cake. LOOK at the luscious icing dripping down the sides of this cake. Wait ’til you get a load of the filling. ;)


Favorite getaway: Club Med – Maldives. Absolutely unbelievable. Can you imagine?!


Favorite tip: No More Icky Pans. Now to track down the secret ingredient that will save all my rusting baking sheets!


Favorite Fall: Stuffed Shells with Butternut Squash, Spinach, and Ricotta. RIGHT? I tried to hold off posting this until closer to the Fall, but I just couldn’t help myself. Love this blogger’s recipes!


Favorite room: Industrial Rustic Room. Love this mix of brick, wood, and steel – awesome style.


Favorite awww. Ben nearly wept when he saw this picture. He wants a bulldog more than anything!


Favorite indulge: Bloomin’ Onion Bread. Bread, cheese, butter, onion, herbs. Need I say more?


Favorite fit: Sworkit App. I can’t wait to try this app which allows you to set the length of your workout, and which areas you want to target, then walks you through exercises in real time. Sounds awesome!


Favorite sweet: Watermelon with Ginger Syrup & Lime Zest. I’d love to try this with the remaining 22 cups of watermelon I have sitting in my fridge!


Favorite feature: Island End Cap Refrigerator. Absolutely must have in my future dream home!


Favorite swap: Morning Cocoa Rolls. CHOCOLATE rolls instead of cinnamon rolls in the morning. What a way to wake up!


Favorite sip: Nutty Hazelnut Iced Coffee KCup. Obsessed with this iced coffee flavor. I’ve been having one nearly every morning for the past two weeks! PS: Enter code LUCKY1-8131 at for 10% off storewide until August 8!


Favorite spin: Spinach Artichoke Pasta. Skip the dip and give me a giant bowl of this pasta instead. Holy cow does this look good!


Favorite DIY: Toilet Paper Roll Painting. I love the rustic look of this painting technique. It’d look so nice on a series of tall/thin canvases, I think.


Favorite refresh: Mango Lassi and Strawberry-Honey Yogurt Popsicles. Creamy, cold, refreshing. I would devour these.


Favorite style. All the things!


Favorite find: Brownie Batter Parfait. You have GOT to see this recipe – it is off the chain!!!


View past Friday Favorites >

Have a happy weekend everyone!

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  1. Lindsey 08.03.2012

    I have that cabinet re-do on my list of “projects” also…
    You do it first and let me know how it turns out. :)
    I will be making the brownie batter parfait soon!!

  2. Sworkit 08.03.2012

    We’re excited for you to try Sworkit as well. Let us know how it goes. If you haven’t upgraded to try Pro yet, email me and I’ll take care of that for you.

  3. Noelle 08.03.2012

    Hey Kristin! Try this recipe from Food & Wine for all that watermelon. The combination is just…amazing! I literally eat this until I can’t fit another piece in my stomach :)Have a great weekend!

    Watermelon Salad with Mint and Lime
    8 cups seedless watermelon chunks (1 inch), from a 6-pound melon
    1/4 cup fresh lime juice
    Pinch of cayenne pepper
    1/2 cup mint leaves, torn

    In a large bowl, toss the watermelon with the lime juice and cayenne.
    Fold in the mint leaves, season with salt and serve.

    Make Ahead
    The watermelon salad can be refrigerated overnight. Fold in the torn mint leaves just before serving.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 08.03.2012

      I’ve got all these ingredients on hand right now – I’ll whip this up this weekend. Thanks!

  4. Stephanie 08.03.2012

    Hey you can buy that soap for the pan at whole foods also I see it at target (in make up isle – like near Burt’s bees). It is great soap, you can use it everywhere! We use the peppermint one in shower, makes a refreshing shower in the hot summer.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 08.03.2012

      Good to know – thank you for the tip!

      • I read on One Good Thing by Jillee that the secret to cleaning your pans is something called Sol-u-mel.

        I tried the baking soda and peroxide thing I saw on Pinterest and it didn’t work —- don’t bother with the scrubbing!!! :)

  5. Lauren T 08.03.2012

    I love your Friday Favorites almost as much as I love all your awesome recipes! I always bookmark several of them :) My boyfriend will go crazy over the spinach artichoke pasta! Spinach artichoke dip is one of his favorite things ever!

  6. Whitney 08.03.2012

    that SONG! I clearly live under a rock and have never heard phillip sing – nor do i have cable and have been out of the olympic loop as well (save the online updates). in any case, that song just reaches right into the lonely places.

    thanks for sharing it.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 08.03.2012

      You bet, glad you like it :) It’s been playing on repeat on my comp for the past 3 days. :)

  7. Nancy 08.03.2012

    SO that means I totally met Gold Winner Gabby because I met you last year. Right? Isn’t that how 3rd degree separation goes? ha!!

  8. How funny! I’ve been to that Siena Market! I went to Italy last year with my mom and spent a few days in Siena. They have a bunch of pottery in the back. I bought this super cute Olive Oil bottle!

  9. Marcie 08.03.2012

    Those photos are lovely..really gorgeous. Love the bun, love Gabby and love pasta.

  10. Amy 08.03.2012

    I just made the Spinach Artichoke Pasta this week (with a little leftover chicken thrown in.) It was delicious!

  11. Linda W. 08.03.2012

    You can purchase the soap at Campbell’s Nutrition, 42nd and University, also!

    Love your Friday Favorites! The Brownie Batter Parfait looks W.O.N.D.E.R.F.U.L.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. I love your Friday posts!! So fun! That spinach artichoke pasta looks to-die-for.

  13. Abby 08.03.2012

    I just needed to tell you that I love your Friday Favorites. I always find myself sharing at least a few links with my husband :) I dig your taste!

  14. I just clicked over on that Chocolate Birthday Cake recipe, and oh my goodness. Cannot.stop.salivating.

  15. jad18 08.03.2012

    That soap used to be at SuperTarget and you can get it at I believe. Phillip Phillips won American Idol this year and I believe “Home” was his winner song. If so, then it is definitely the best song for a winner the show has ever had. I love the “settle down” part.

  16. Katrina 08.03.2012

    One of my favorite things about Friday’s is reading your Friday Favorites. I freaking LOVE them!!! Thanks so much!!

  17. Kayla 08.03.2012

    My husband also has an obsession with bull dogs – I have to admit, they do look pretty cute.

    This doesn’t really have anything to do with Friday Favorites, but I also live in Des Moines and my husband and I have been trying to decide on a restaurant to eat at on Tuesday to celebrate our anniversary… we want to try somewhere local that we haven’t been to before. Any good local suggestions??

    • Iowa Girl Eats 08.04.2012

      Miyabi 9 is always my go to. If you don’t like sushi though, I’d try Lucca, Centro, or Cool Basil!

  18. Key Lime Mojito?? Sign me up!! I also couldn’t stop cooing at the puppy photo. I’ve been doing lots of puppy research lately, maybe next spring :) Have a wonderful weekend!

  19. Gwen 08.03.2012

    I totally downloaded that song after I heard it on the Olympics the other night. <3

  20. tom h. 08.03.2012


    Loved it so much that we named one of the girls after it! HIGHLY recommend a stop there next time you find yourself in Tuscany… Open air store fronts everywhere you turn, plus the best piazza in Italy!

  21. Jackie 08.03.2012

    This post was loaded with all sorts of amazingness. First of all, Gabby. It seems like every single blogger I’ve come across is posting about her today. And for good reason – she is incredibly talented and worthy of that gold in every way!

    Also, the food. You have me craving about one million different things right about now. The angel food french toast, chocolate birthday cake, stuffed shells and spinach artichoke pasta look especially incredible.

  22. I saw that short haired updo on Pinterest this week and was soo excited!

    Also I love the fitness apps you post- they always sound so neat!

  23. I agree with you on the Olympics. I think I was more emotional than Gabby last night. She is so great!! I’m going to miss the Olympics, but maybe I can start getting to bed at a decent hour. That photo of the bulldogs is priceless.

  24. That is SO COOL that you have met Gabby. It seems like the tallest girl I saw was from Russia – I think she was 5’4″. Everyone was 5’2″ or less.

  25. Kristin B. 08.03.2012

    Yay now I know what that song is. I’ve been teary eyed all week. Especially when they play that song, someone wins, someone cries, and when they receive their medals. I love the Olympics and am so glad that another Iowa trained athlete won!

  26. Dream Mom 08.03.2012

    OMG, one of the BEST Friday Favorites posts! You had me with the Stuffed Shells, then the Club Med, add the Bloomin’ Onion Bread and seriously, I didn’t think it could get any better…then you added the Island End Cap Refrigerator and chocolate cake…I thought the only thing she’s missing is fashion and I saw the Chanel bag and that put the post over the top. Seriously, the only thing missing is a hot guy (too bad your married or we might have had that too, lol). All of the food looked amazing and the Key Lime Pie Mojito…so refreshing. Nice post!

  27. Kelsi 08.03.2012

    I agree with everything you say about Gabby. I love the Home reference. I love that she willingly came to our beautiful, wonderful, Des Moines :) I love the Olympics, and when they played the National Anthem when she got gold I bawled like a baby. But seriously, I don’t know what I would do without your Friday Favorites posts.

  28. Margaret 08.03.2012

    My husband and I have also gotten addicted to the Phillip Phillips song via excessive amounts of Olympic watching! Loving it! Great post!

  29. Great post! I am so obsessed with the Olympics at the moment. Go Team GB!

  30. TGIF! I need to catch up on my Olympics watching this weekend!

  31. Ziba 08.05.2012

    Fantastic ideas!! I will be trying the short hair braid idea. Also, where do you get your photos?

  32. Ksenija 08.06.2012

    What an amazing list of favorites. I am especially thankful for the “braid bun for short hair” – always wondered how to do this and giving it a try soon.

  33. Molly 08.07.2012

    Hi, Kristin! I’ve been a reader for a while and I just felt like I had to comment after all this time and let you know that your Friday Favorite posts are so fantastic – you have given me so many wonderful ideas to make, bake, and do. I don’t even have to use Pinterest when I have you! Thanks again for all you do!

  34. Rachel 08.09.2012

    I love these posts! I look forward to them at the end of each week!

  35. Thanks a lot for the post.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome.

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