Friday Favorites


Happy Friday, all!

Hope you had a super sweet Valentine’s Day! Ben surprised me with hot pink roses. I nearly cried. I did not photoshop an inch of this photo either, that’s how brilliant and beautiful they are. What a stud!


For dinner we hopped over to Trostel’s Dish for tapas. Normally I don’t like to share food (Kristin doesn’t share food!) but I am always up for tapas where you get to have little nibbles of lots of different stuff. We started out with calamari strips, which was the best cooked calamari I have ever had, and pan seared brussels sprouts with pork belly lardons (WOAH!) 


Ben and I always order arancini balls whenever we find them because they remind us of our time in Italy, and some super-tender lamb tacos rounded out the meal.


We finished off with vanilla bean creme brulee and berries for 2. PERFECT!


I’ll have to run several hundred miles to work off that meal, but it was totally worth it. Love splurging every once and awhile like this!

With that, I hope you have some fun plans for the weekend, and in the meantime please enjoy my favorite finds from around the web in this week’s Friday Favorites.  See ya’!

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

Favorite accent: Argento Vivo “Love” Stud Earrings. Dyyyying over how adorable these studs are. Cute for Valentine’s Day, or any day, really!


Favorite healthy: Healthy Strawberry Orange Gummy Bears. WHAT?! Gummy bears are my faaave! You have to check out all the yummy combos of healthy gummy bears this blogger has come up with.


Favorite happy: Bad Hair Day Print. This sweet print makes me sublimely happy for some reason. :)


Favorite snack: Trader Joe’s Just Mango Strips. OBSESSION ALERT! I’ve had the dried mango strips that Starbucks sells, and they’re ok, but these are so. much. better. Softer and they taste just like fruit rollups. Gotta love the ingredient list too – MANGOES. I picked up a bag yesterday and they were half gone by the time I left the parking lot.


Favorite tablescape. I love this fun and festive tablescape, but especially those adorable plates. Believe it or not, they’re actually Diane Keaton’s line at Bed, Bath & Beyond! Click here to buy the plates >


Favorite find: How to Turn Cookie Dough into Frosting. MUST. TRY. Think I’ll swap the flour in the recipe for powdered sugar, as some commenters suggested.

Cookie Dough Becomes Frosting_mini

Favorite furball. The labradoodle solves so many of Ben’s and my furball problems. It’s got poodle hair which doesn’t shed (we are both allergic to shedding dogs) and the cute factor of a lab. Squee!


Favorite dinner: Spicy Kale & Chevre Penne. Nothin’ wrong with this combo. Absolutely nothin’!


Favorite place: Cafe in Antwerp, Belgium. I can totally see myself sitting here on a crisp morning with a hot cup of coffee and fresh pastry. Perhaps with my labradoodle. Can you?


Favorite fresh: Spinach Shots. I’ve been juicing this combo of spinach, a green apple, and quarter lemon everyday this week – sometimes with some carrots or oranges thrown in. It is so fantastic, and I feel like my skin has been better this week, too (read: not breaking out like a hormonal teenager.)


Favorite homemade: Homemade Ranch Seasoning Mix. You can never have too many homemade seasoning mix recipes, and this one for ranch looks absolutely stellar!


Favorite fitness: I Love My Arms. I did this workout on Tuesday, I think, and my arms are still sore today. True, I’m weak, but still, this is a great little routine.


Favorite indulge: Reeses Peanut Butter White Chocolate Bark. Want to know what I love even more than Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups? WHITE CHOCOLATE Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. This looks fantastic!


View past Friday Favorites >

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Have a great weekend!

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  1. i think you need that labradoodle stat. i’m serious. i need more photos of cute dogs in my life until i can get one.

  2. I don’t share food very well either!! Good job on the roses Ben!

  3. Angela 02.15.2013

    My friend took me to Trostel’s Dish when I visited DSM – it was In particular, the mac & cheese was outstanding :)

  4. Tracy 02.15.2013

    Great Friday Favorites post as usual!! Thanks, Kristin. Have a great weekend!

    Well done, Ben! I’m slightly jealous!

  5. Maureen 02.15.2013

    I am obsessed with the mango slices from Trader Joe’s! I seriously buy no less than 3 or 4 packages a month!

  6. Major brownie points for the hubs on that one. What a beautiful bouquet :)

    My fiance brought me home a little red velvet cake from the bakery down the street. I almost died when it was done. So, so good.

  7. There are WAY too many great things to comment on in this post!

    First of all, what a sweet hubby you have! Those roses are gorgeous :).

    I am also loving those earrings and that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup White Chocolate bark sounds AMAZING. I am definitely a peanut butter and chocolate lover :).

    Oh, and just for the heads up, I have 2 doodles (a labradoodle and a golden doodle) and the labradoodle sheds quite a bit and actually sheds more than the golden doodle. But besides the shedding, they are BEYOND cute!

  8. Pamela 02.15.2013

    FIY. The dried mangos they sell at Costco are also wonderful. My high school aged kids gobble them up all the time!

  9. I love TJ’s Mango slices, they are so good! Your valentines dinner looks so fun and delicious! I love getting to try lots of different foods. I have a goldendoodle and love him to pieces. He does shed a little but I get his haircut every 2-3 months which seems to help. All of my friends will dog allergies are just fine around him!

  10. Those flowers are gorgeous! You are a lucky lady. :) Tapas sounds like a romantic thing to do for Valentine’s Day…sharing food is kinda intimate. Those spinach shots are genius! Lots of healthy spinach in one quick gulp. I’ll definitely be trying that out. I imagine you could make them with kale, too.

  11. Joyce 02.15.2013

    Love the Friday Favorites!!!

  12. Katie 02.15.2013

    You don’t share?!!? We could NEVER be friends. I will always ask for a bite of whatever someone is eating.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 02.15.2013

      I know, what’s even worse is that I am such a picker of everyone else’s plates! The shame. :/

  13. I want to ride my bike to Belgium and sit outside of that cafe. Just the photo itself feels like a vacation.

  14. HOLLIE 02.15.2013

    The Bad Hair Day print will be mine by the end of the day! So fun for my bathroom redo.

  15. Stef 02.15.2013

    We have a golden doodle, and she is the But, she definitely sheds – quite a bit more than I expected. Her puppies, however, are guaranteed non-shedders, as their dad is 100% poodle. The 75% poodle and 25% golden retriever mix has much better odds of not shedding than a 50-50. Look for an F1b doodle, if you’re worried about shedding! I cannot say enough wonderful things about the breed, though!!

  16. Kelli 02.15.2013

    Totally trying that cookie-dough-as-icing recipe! YUM.

    Re: the Labrador/Poodle mix… a “labradoodle” isn’t a breed, it’s a mutt. Responsible and reputable breeders – ones who compete in conformation or field trials – don’t breed mutts. Why not just go for a poodle or another already-established breed? There are so many mutts that exist in this world already, I just don’t see the point in creating new “designer” breeds. :(

  17. Brian 02.15.2013

    the best mango strips is Phillipine from Costco. We have tried them all and the quality of these blows all the others away. let us know if you try them. we go through bags and bags of them. I think they are 3# bags.

  18. Dee 02.15.2013

    Was just going to post that labradoodles shed, but Stef beat me to it. Most people with dog allergies aren’t allergic to the fur, but the dander. Just don’t want you to be disappointed.

  19. So….I will so be buying that dried mango this weekend and I’m definitely going to check out the gummy bears.

  20. Erica 02.15.2013

    If you like Mangos try Trader Joes Frozen Mangos. I gave up sweets for Lent and they were the perfect alternative last night, cold and creamy!

  21. Taralynn 02.15.2013

    Thanks for posting my gummy bear recipe! I read your blog all the time! We are both from IOWA!

    Btw, I have a goldendoodle (kinda like a labradoodle) they are the best!:)

    xoxo Taralynn

    • Iowa Girl Eats 02.15.2013

      STOP IT – no way! Where are you from?

      • Taralynn 02.15.2013

        Yes way :)

        From Ottumwa it’s southeast. I was also living in Iowa City for about a year!

  22. M. Vivian 02.15.2013

    Those roses are CRAZY! And more than a dozen!… Ben is a keeper for sure :)

  23. Thanks for the link to my white chocolate peanut butter bark :) Have a great weekend!

  24. My friend has a labradoodle, and that thing was THE cutest puppy of all time.

    Of all time.

  25. Darlene 02.15.2013

    We have a labradoodle. I’m probably biased, but he is super adorable. I have allergies too, which is why we got him. If you pick a reputable breeder, you should be able to find one that doesn’t shed.

  26. Those flowers and that little cafe… oh em gee! The girly girl in me is freaking out!

  27. I recently went to the Philippines and bought tons of dried mangoes. You really can’t get much better than that! :)

  28. Glad to see you liked my recipe for Spicy kale and Chèvre Penne. Love Trader Joes myself.

  29. sheena 02.15.2013

    Thanks so much for the shout out!! Happy weekend:)

  30. Brittany 02.16.2013

    Ok, those mango slices are INSANE.

  31. ohmygodineedthatbarkinmylifenow!

  32. Darien 02.16.2013

    i have a doodle – 75% standard poodle/25% australian sheppard. he is about 35-40 pounds right now (10 months old) and barely sheds. his hair is incredibly soft, but grows like crazy and MUST be brushed and taken to the groomer every 8-12 weeks or so. he is the sweetest, bounciest (seriously, he is spring loaded) boy and is so good with everybody. he is energetic and a lover for sure! just be prepared for the grooming that comes along with a poodle/doodle – brushing 3-4 times a week (takes 30 minutes or so), grooming (they charge more for poodles), and exercise!

    • Kristine 02.17.2013

      Ahh I need to see a picture of this! I have two aussies and I’m obsessed! I want to see the aussie and poodle combo! :)

  33. Alisha 02.17.2013

    That cafe looks like a dream!

  34. Your roses are absolutely gorgeous!

  35. Bekah 02.17.2013

    I liked the K by Keaton plates so much, I put them on my registry. I want to try those spinach shots.

  36. Maureen Gribble 02.18.2013

    Kristin– my “mini” labradoodle, Liddy, is 7 years old and the best dog we could have ever asked for—especially considering I’m allergic to dogs and because of that never had one growing up. She doesn’t shed, she’s got a great temperament and she’s just about the cutest thing (the picture you posted is basically how she looked when we picked her up as a puppy). She’s also very good with our 3 year old, though I’ll admit she probably was happier before we brought him home, ha! Seriously though, never even nipped at us or him, such a sweet girl.

  37. Jody 02.18.2013

    Hi Kristin,
    Our Labradoodle, Roxy is the best dog
    smart, fun, sweet and great with kids. No shedding and very easy to train. She just loves people….I’m not really sure she knows she’s a dog.

  38. Glad you loved those Diane Keaton plates as well! I loved using them in my makeover feature and photoshoot. They become personal favorites of mine too. You can check out the interview I did with Diane about her line – under “On Location” at the top of my site. Love her design style.

    Love your site and now inspired to try out some new foods!

    Thanks again for sharing the image of the table setting with your fans.

    Have a great, creative day!

  39. Jason Bradley 02.18.2013

    I went to high school with Taralynn from Undressed Skeleton. Small world :)

  40. HeidiLynn 02.21.2013

    What a wonderful post! Gorgeous flowers!

  41. Andrea 02.22.2013

    My husband and I are both Iowan natives living in Denver, CO. We took a trip to Belgium/Amsterdam last year and we ending up spending an evening at Mistral. The owner/cook has a kitchen on the back wall of the main floor, which only has 2 tables. She cooks every order and talks to you while she works. It’s like visiting your grandmothers kitchen, amazing.

  42. Voyage 06.30.2013

    salut, Je m’appelle Liane.
    Je suis une vieille de 30 piges !
    J’ai repris des études pour etre opératrice de fabrication !
    Mes amis disent régulièrement que je suis une vraie prune.

  43. […] Source: Iowa Girl Eats […]

  44. Bethany 10.24.2014

    Where is your labradoodle from? Must know who the breeder is he is so cute!!!

  45. […] Imagen 05, imagen 06, imagen 07 […]

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