Friday Favorites


Raise your hand if you’re ready for the weekend! :D

Also raise your hand if you cannot believe that Christmas is LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AWAY. Uhh, WHAT?! As I mentioned earlier, Ben and I are heading to DC to celebrate with his family this year, and I have not even mentally prepared myself for the fun and family time that awaits. Nor thought about packing. Who am I kidding, that will wait until circa 6 hours before we leave. Standard practice, you see.

At any rate, we don’t have anything on the agenda for the weekend (again! Bliss!) so it should be a relaxing weekend at home before the festivies of the holidays begins. Can’t wait. :)

Hope you have something fun planned for yourself but, in the meantime, please enjoy my favorite finds from around the web in the week’s Friday Favorites, and don’t forget to checkout an awesome giveaway from Stella & Dot at the end of the post. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Click on the light blue links to be taken to the original source.

Favorite healthy treat: Congo Bars. Yahoo – my sister-in-law posted the recipe for the dairy-free, soy-free, peanut-free, refined sugar-free, grain-free, gluten-free, wheat-free Congo Bars she brought to lunch last weekend. They are seriously so yummy – you would never know they aren’t “normal” cookie bars!

Favorite style: Parker Leather Wrap. LOVE this mix of bling and casual style.

Favorite breakfast: Caramelized Apple Oatmeal. If this doesn’t get you to eat your oatmeal, then I don’t know what will.

Favorite devour: Peppermint Ice Cream and Hot Cocoa Affogato. Now taking bets on how long it would take me to devour a big bowl of this rich hot cocoa poured over cold peppermint ice cream.

Favorite place: Lofoten Islands, Norway. Just totally confirming my obsession with the entire freaking country of Norway. I want to spin barefoot on a mountaintop there.

Favorite snack: Cuties! I LOVE when clementines come into season. They are perfectly sweet and so easy to peel. I bought a big bag earlier this week and already gave myself a sore on my the side of my mouth (TMI?) from eating so many. Worth it.

Favorite bite: Homemade Pretzel Bites. WOW – never knew making these could be so easy! Obessing over the garlic-butter slather, too.

Favorite fitness: The Core Challenge. This looks doable, right?

Favorite treat: Peppermint Oreo Truffles. These look SO easy to make, and I can only imagine how yummy they’d be!

Favorite polish: Essie Penny Talk. I think you’re either a nail polish girl, or you aren’t. I’m not, but I can still appreciate a super-pretty shade like this rose-gold-esque Essie polish. Would be cute every once in a while when I get motivated!

Favorite indulge: Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies. Check out at that gooey cookie dough topping!!

Favorite sip: Jingle Jangle Punch. Wow I could seriously slam a glass of this festive, berry-spiked punch right about now!

Favorite dinner: Crock Pot Rancher’s Roast Beef. Doesn’t this look mouthwatering? Especially love that it’s crock pot-friendly. Plus it has pepperoncinis, which make everything better. Always.

Favorite give: West Elm Baggu Bag. These bags are the perfect size for traveling, and I love that you can customize them with an initial. Great holiday gift idea!

Favorite dessert: Double Cookie & Cream Bars. My favorite dessert flavor – cookies & cream – times 2!!

View past Friday Favorites >

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Month of Holiday Giveaways

I have a soft spot in my heart for elegant and unique jewelry with classic, timeless style, which is why I feature Stella & Dot jewelry on my Friday Favorites allthetime. That said, I was PUMPED when Stella & Dot stylist (and IGE reader!) Denise Gulley offered to giveaway a piece this month. Of course I responded YES! and together we picked out a few choices that I know you, or someone on your gift list, will just love. Choose from…

Serenity Stone Drop Earrings available in smoky or jade:

Lindsay Bangle available in turquoise or white:

or Serenity Small Stone Pendant in aqua:

Enter to win your choice of Stella & Dot jewelery by 11:59pm central time on Saturday, December 15. Here’s how:

  1. Enter once by clicking on the “+1″ button next to the piece you want, then clicking “Enter” .
  2. Enter a second time by “Liking” Denise’s Stella & Dot Facebook page. If you currently Like her page, click “I’m a Fan!”. If you do not, Like the page via the blue button, and then click “I’m a Fan!” (You must have a Facebook account for this option.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Please note that the widget may take a few moments to load, and that it may not work in Internet Explorer. The winner is chosen at random by, and will be notified by email after the giveaway has ended.

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  1. Erin 12.14.2012

    *raising hand* thank goodness the rest of december is going to fly by at work! that nail polish looks amazing, and while i’m mostly a bare nails girl too, i could be talked into buying a bottle of this!

  2. Sara B 12.14.2012

    I would get my ears pierced just to wear those earrings. wowza! They would make an awesome gift though!

  3. Oh those pretzel bites could get dangerous! Now I don’t even need to run to the store to buy them… And the Stella and Dot Jewelry is gorgeous. What an awesome giveaway!

  4. Jill 12.14.2012

    I ordered a West Elm Baggu Bag a couple of weeks ago for a Christmas gift and two days ago received an email saying they were out of stock. Super disappointing! I’m not sure if they have received any more in stock but I thought I’d share. They are stuper cute! The baggu site was sold out too, but I found some on ebay. :)

  5. Lori H 12.14.2012

    Lovely giveaway!

  6. What a great round-up of favorites! Those oreo truffles are calling my name! Thanks for including my rancher’s roast, too!

  7. Both hands are in the air!

    Garlic butter pretzel bites? Sign me up!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  8. Maggie 12.14.2012

    As a DC resident I feel obligated to give you a list of must-eats. Since I’ve lived here it’s been my personal mission to eat everything the city has to offer and these are my favorites–

    Oyamel in Penn Quarter: my favorite and a Jose Andres creation. Order the guac. I have dreams about it.

    Ravi Kabob in Arlington VA: From the outside it looks like your run-of-the-mill counter service kabob place. In reality, it’s a 25 on Zagat and the most expensive dish you can get is $15.

    Pupatella in Arlington, VA: The best pizza is certified by the Italian government as true Neapolitan pizza and the arancini is incredible too! The atmosphere is a little… eclectic– but the food is what you come for.

    Hill Country in Penn Quarter: Super kitchy bbq joint but it’s incredibly fun and the food is great. I suggest Mac N’ Cheese as a side.

    Medium Rare in Cleveland Park: Go for their weekend brunch. You’ll get (bottomless!!) mimosas/screw drivers/bloody marys, an appetizer (and the best fresh bread you’ll ever have), and incredible fries and entree. As the name would suggest- their steak is the specialty. I cannot rave about this one enough.

    Also– not sure if they’ll be out in full force since you’ll be visiting when most people are out of town for the holidays– but check out the food trucks. will help you find out which trucks are where. The best: Red Hook Lobster, Basil Thyme, Big Cheese, Pepe, PhoWheels, and TaKorean.

  9. Your sis-in-law’s bars look SO AMAZING! I’m always looking for yummy, healthy treats to make for the children that I nanny for. I am definitely making these at some point next week. Thanks for sharing :)

  10. Do you have to live in the states to enter the giveaway contests??

  11. You seriously post the best dessert recipes…my mouth is watering!!

  12. Bek @ Crave 12.14.2012

    Your sweets always make me hungry!

  13. renee 12.14.2012

    Hey Kristin, I was at the very spot in Norway last June! It’s truly, truly breathtaking. you MUST go visit!

    BTW, I’m a Fort Dodge native and went with my mom, sis-in-law and nieces from Ames. There are lots of Iowans in Norway :)

    xox renee in minneapolis

  14. Barbara 12.14.2012

    I look forward to your Friday Favorites!!! Love them!!! BUT….Today…I was disappointed :-( No cute doggie picture!?!?

  15. Cassie Peterson 12.15.2012

    I so look forward to getting your emails…Lots of GREAT recipes…I agree with the mouth-watering comment. Thanks so much for emails….Love them

  16. Dee 12.15.2012

    That bangle bracelet is gorgeous! and I think I may make that roast this weekend it looks delicious. I love fridays here.

  17. Veronica 12.15.2012

    I love reading your blog and I just about die over your recipes, but I’ve never commented before. I feel I should on this one though, because I live in Norway, and that picture you posted is not Lofoten. It is Geirangerfjord, which is actually not near Lofoten (over 700 miles away). This is Lofoten:

    I love that you’re loving Norway and sharing it with others though :) You should come see it :)

  18. Brenda 12.15.2012

    I am wondering about pepperoncini and pepperoncini juice??? hard to find?

  19. love your friday favorites….that picture in Norway amazing!!!! the hot cocoa yes please…and I’ve bought2 bags of clementimes already…:-)

  20. I love the oreo bars and we have already gone through 4 boxes of clemintines. Seems to be a very good year for them.

  21. Paige 12.19.2012

    I’m a little behind on my blog reading but always love your Friday Favorites! LOL to getting a sore in your mouth from eating too many Cuties…I did the same thing this weekend except mine was on the side of my tongue. You’re right though…worth it!

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