The Little Things


Hi everybody, hope you had a nice weekend!

Ben and I laid low key the last couple of days, spending it just the two of us. Saturday we hit up the mall, Whole Foods (Ben’s first time – squee!) and a local watering hole to watch the UNI (my alma mater) vs Iowa (my team) football game. I tried to cheer for both of ’em at first, but gave up 5 minutes in. It was just too hard! First of all I felt ridiculous, second of all, although my heart belongs to UNI as a school, my loyalty as a college football fan, even when the two teams are pitted against one another, lies with the Hawkeyes.

What can I say? Love for school and athletics can be mutually exclusive, imo! :)

Anyways, the family all gathered this afternoon for a big, birthday celebration.

Finn, my sweet nephew, turned 3! :D

He dug and ripped his way through oodles of toys and, although the G.I. Joe dolls were a hit (way to go little bro,) the dinosaurs my parents got him were hands down his fave. RAAAAWR! ;)

Ugh, I cannot believe he is already THREE. On one hand he has the intelligence of a 10 year old, but on the other, I remember when he was just a teeny tiny baby. Time goes too fast. :(

Evie, my niece, continues to be beyond adorable as well.

She smiles and bats her eyelashes now, and I just want to squeeze her allthetime. (Please acknowledge her orange-painted toenails, btw. Always on top of the latest fashion trends!)

She’s in her jumping phase now, so Ben and I played pass Evie when my arms got tired. Girlfriend is a tank!

Ahh, good to be back in those big, familiar arms. ;)

Tee hee!

After play time we had a nice BBQ lunch, starring Wallace Farms Brats with caramelized onions. Oh my, these brats were so good! Much lighter than pretty much every other brat I’ve had, and really fresh tasting too. I’ll have to remember to order some next summer.

A Veggie Quinoa dish tossed with Italian dressing was light and flavorful,

while a mayo-free, egg-free Greek Potato Salad rounded out the meal. Finn can’t have eggs or dairy so he was able to gobble up the delish dish with everyone else.  Here’s the recipe (sub the oregano and rosemary for 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning.)

Finn’s birthday dessert was egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookies. Wait, don’t be scared, these are AWESOME!

Perfect for Finn, who can’t get enough of ’em…

And everyone else too. They taste like Cookie Dough Balls! I had about 100!

The recipe is on my sister-in-law’s blog – My Wise Mom – and FYI, I’ve had some people email me before re: dealing with children’s food allergies, and her blog is a great resource for egg/dairy/peanut-free recipes and ideas – that actually taste good! – so be sure to check it out.

Not to be out-done, my brother whipped up a homemade Blueberry Sauce – fresh blueberries, simmered with sugar, and water for 30-45 minutes until thick and syrupy, to drizzle over our dairy-free, 1 ingredient Banana Ice Cream on the side. We all licked our bowls clean!

Happy Birthday to our sweet Finnegan! :D

Ben and I headed to the gym right from the party – our first time back since last spring. We usually take the summer off to run/exercise outdoors, but the days are getting shorter and cooler, and it was about time to get the first visit over with!

We hopped on a couple of treadmills and while he did his thang, I did mine. A (much too tough) 30 Minute 3-2-1 – 1-2-3 Treadmill Routine:

I’m not sure why, but running faster and further on the trail is so much easier than running 3 miles on that blasted rotating belt! Huh?

Anyways, this routine was 3 minutes at 6.0, 2 minutes at 6.3, and 1 minute at 6.5, then 1 minute at 6.0, 2 minutes at 6.3, and 3 minutes at 6.5 – and repeat. Although it was much tougher than I expected, it went really fast. Treadmill routines with alternating speeds and inclines are where it’s at. :)

We came home, showered up, and kept it really light for dinner – Luann’s Kale Salad with Chicken

Seriously love this good – nay GREAT – for you salad!

Antioxidant packed kale speckled with apples, dried cherries, and chopped peanuts (no red onions this time since I was splitting it with Ben) topped with an olive oil-brushed, garlic salt & pepper sprinkled sauteed chicken breast. Satisfying and feel good food, for sure. :)

Whelp, here’s the the end of the weekend! Do you have a busy week ahead? Mine should actually be pretty manageable, which I’m really excited about. It’s the little things. :)

Talk to you tomorrow!

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  1. Lucy 09.16.2012

    Uh oh. Your pictures of those adorable children might have reignited my third-baby dreams : )

    I tried the kale salad this week and LOVED it. In fact, I made two batches and as of Sunday night, there isn’t a kale leaf left in this house. That recipe is a keeper! Thank you so much for passing it on.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 09.17.2012

      Haha, I know – they’re so dang cute! ;) Glad you like the Kale Salad!!

  2. I’m slightly in love with those orange toenails. That is too precious for words. :-)

  3. Hannah 09.16.2012

    I was at Whole Foods yesterday too…would have died if I saw you there! ;)

    Also, while there I had a crazy experience. I was checking out the mac & cheese section with my boyfriend and commented on the dairy-free (vegan) mac & cheese, wondering if it was any good. The Whole Foods employee standing next to me asked me which variety I thought looked the best. She went on to explain that the reason she was asking was because she was going to give me a box for FREE to try. I was baffled and amazed. Yet another reason why I love Whole Foods!

  4. j3nn 09.16.2012

    Aww, Happy birthday to Finn! If his mom or anyone else is looking for a quality gluten-free boxed cake, King Arthur’s chocolate is AMAZING! It’s incredible soft and rich; I make it with palm shortening or coconut oil would work. So. Good. ! Almost like a fudge brownie.

    Kale salad is calling me. I’ve been craving it for days. Who craves KALE salad? Me! Well, I guess a lot of bloggers do. So yummy. ;)

  5. Lauren 09.16.2012

    I can’t believe Finn is 3! My goodness that’s crazy. MY nephew just turned 2 this weekend and I swear it was just yesterday that I was holding him in his first 5 minutes of life. What a great weekend to celebrate!

  6. What a fun party! I love that my boyfriend has a niece and nephew now because buying presents for little kids is so much more fun than getting presents for grown ups :-)

  7. moonsword 09.16.2012

    ohgoodgolly what a little charmer! And what a feast, especially the blueberry-topped banana ice cream treat…superyumfulness!
    Treadmill vs trail? Trail any day. :)

  8. Kathy 09.16.2012

    I love your blog and recipes. I live in Iowa and can relate to so many of the things you say and share. HOWEVER, I have to tell you that you are missing the absolutely best kept secret in Iowa….Tiefenthaler Skinless brats from their locker in Holstein, Iowa. Never again will you have to chew your way throughout the ‘skin’ (or whatever that substance is surrounding the meat). They are absolutely THE BEST. Check it out at And I am in no way related to the family….I just LOVE their products.

  9. I like the look of that treadmill workout, I bet it goes by fast! I have to agree, something about running steady at a decent pace on the treadmill is sooo much harder than running fast outside. It always surprises me too!

  10. Devon 09.16.2012

    I might have to make this kale salad recipe, since this is the second time you’ve posted about it in about a week! I just recently discovered kale and how I really did have to massage it to make it more edible. I’ve been trying to snoop around some other food blogs, but NONE are as cute, relevant, or useful as yours. Thank you for writing, Kristin!

  11. Karla 09.16.2012

    The pictures with Evie and Finn are beyond cute! I’m esepcially fond of Evie’s facial expression in the one with Ben. :)

    That looks like an awesome treadmill workout you knocked out today—way to go! I flip-flop back and forth between which I think feels faster (indoor or outdoor running), but I think I have to agree with you now that I’ve discovered all of the awesome central IA trails!

  12. madison 09.16.2012

    i TOTALLY and completely admire your teeny tiny portion sizes at the BBQ lunch. It looked so good and your serving are so small. I CAN DO IT too!! ,…right?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 09.17.2012

      Haha, well, they were HUGE plates which made the portions look super small, and we were heading to the gym right afterwards. Normally I would have had about 5 1/2 brats (I not so secretly love them…)

  13. Ginny 09.17.2012

    Finn really looks like you! Loving Miss LouAnn’s salad! Had it for dinner FOUR times last week!

  14. whitney 09.17.2012

    Can I just say that you have the cutest clothes ever?! I seriously want to shop in your closet. Where did you get that pink top? I want it!

    And fyi, your recipes are just as awesome as your clothes…love the blog!! :)

  15. Becca 09.17.2012

    Love your blog and the recipes!! Where is your bright coral shirt from in these pictures? Love the color and can never seem to find enough of it!


  16. Looks like a super fun weekend. Love the picture of you holding Evie and her cute little orange toenails. I will definitely be checking those cookies out.

  17. Running on a treadmill is SO much harder! I have the attention span of a 6 year old, I get so bored!

    Those cookies look so crazy good! I can’t believe they don’t have egg, dairy OR gluten!

  18. Melissa 09.17.2012

    I love reading your blog! It has really inspired me to create my own about traveling, etc. We seem to have a lot in common! p.s. I need to try that salad!

  19. Christina B. 09.17.2012

    Girllll…there is no need to wait all summer for those Brats. We are Wallace Farms devotees, and we certainly plan to eat them all through winter if we can. Yes, they are a more summery food, but they are far and away the best brats we’ve had. You have to try their breakfast sausage if you haven’t already.

  20. Amanda Betts 09.17.2012

    I made those cookies for my daughter today. Well…that was my excuse. They were really more for me. :-) They were amazing! I will definitely be making them again soon. I just wish almond meal wasn’t so darn expensive. But wow…YUM!! I think I will also start following Kerry’s blog. Loved it! We don’t have any food allergies at our house, but are always trying to eat healthier.

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