Friday Favorites


Hey, hey everyone – TGIF! Got any big plans for the weekend? Fill me in! : )

Today my sister-in-law is taking me pre-baby registration shopping so Ben and I don’t run screaming from Babies-R-Us when we go to register later this weekend. I will never forget my first visit to the seemingly never-ending warehouse last year when I was picking up a baby shower gift for a girlfriend. I barely made it out of there alive, I tell ya’! So many options – just tell me what I need, right? Anyways, she’s a baby guru and will absolutely steer us in the right direction. Hopefully I can pay it forward someday!

Other than that, it should be a quiet weekend at home filled with sneaker squeaks (is March Madness over yet?) and getting ready for Charleston the following weekend. We never did make it out for a quick, 3-day trip we were talking about taking beforehand. Charleston kind of snuck up on us anyhow, so I don’t feel like we sat around twiddling our thumbs or anything!

Well I hope you’ve got some fun activities on the horizon and in the meantime, please enjoy my favorite finds from around the web and beyond in this week’s Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend!

Click the light blue link to be taken to the original source. 

Favorite treat: Salted Dark Chocolate Cupcakes. Salted. Dark Chocolate. Cupcakes. You know my love for salty-sweet combos, and these babies look like bliss!


Favorite furballI’ve looked at this photo at least 100 times this week, and it cracks me up every single time. I love how he (or she) is staring at a spot on the wall, concentrating SO HARD on getting that little tongue to curl. Precious!


Favorite fizz: Caribou Coffee Fizzy Peach Black Tea. I traded my standard ‘bucks for a ‘bou yesterday and ordered a Peach Black Tea to keep warm with while working the morning away. After ordering the hot drink I was quite surprised when the barista called my name and handed me a cold beverage…that was fizzy! My initial disappointment (seriously, it was freezing) was quickly replaced by sheer joy. This drink is AMAZING! Tasted like a yummy Italian Soda with a black tea base. I’ll be drinking these all summer.


Favorite devour: Italian Drunken Noodles. The only thing I like better than this blog post (it’s a great read) is the recipe for Italian Drunken Noodles within it. Total comfort food – I am so down!


Favorite tip: How to Clean Your Top Loading Washer. A couple weekends ago I cleaned my washing machine using the instructions in this post, and it looks as good as the day we bought it. Definitely give this a whirl if your washer looks as funky as mine did!


Favorite funny: 16 Breakfast Cereals that Should be Obliterated. I saw this on Twitter last night and Ben and I could not stop cracking up. Muesli: could you be any harder to pronounce or enjoy?


Favorite dinner: Chicken Parmesan Chicken. Crispy, cheesy, and decadent tasting for under 300 calories? Count me in!


Favorite thrill: The First Flyer – Grindelwald, Switzerland. I have zip lined through a jungle in Mexico before, but I think speeding down a mountain on a 2,400 foot cable, reaching speeds of 55mph just about sounds like the most fun thing ever. Look at those views!  


Favorite sip: Coconut Lime Mojito. Mojitos are my drank, mmkay, and the only thing that could possibly make them better would be a splash of sweetened coconut milk. Yumm!


Favorite project: Travel Keepsake Kits. I always have the best intentions of making photo books when Ben and I come back from fun trips but it rarely ever happens. A fun keepsake kit to hold maps, ticket stubs, and other fun mementos is an awesome alternative.


Favorite cozy: Cheesy Chicken Orzo. Ohhh. Couldn’t you just curl up on a cold night with a big bowl of this?


Favorite decor. Not only do I love this color combo (pink + gold is the key to my heart) but I really like the idea of mixing different patterns and prints of the same color. Makes for a really interesting and cozy look.


Favorite fresh: Mango Coconut Smoothies. Sorry, could I fit anymore drinks into this post?! :) Seriously though It’s been a challenge drinking nothing but water, water, water throughout this pregnancy, as it tends to get boring – fast. Anything with flavor catches my eye these days – especially if it’s thick, cold, and full of fresh mango.


Favorite fitness: 10 Minute Arm Workout. This arm workout is led by Cameron Diaz’s trainer Teddy Bass. If he can get my arms looking ANYTHING like Cam-Cam’s then I’m in!


Favorite splurge: Brown Sugar Pound Cake. You’re welcome.


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Have a great weekend, everyone!

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  1. Christine 03.22.2013

    I’m pretty sure I just pinned everything from this post onto my already massive pins boards. Thanks for this. haha. Have a great Friday!

  2. Afton 03.22.2013

    After BRU, you totally need to go to the Buy Buy Baby on University (kinda by Whole Foods). It is so clean and nice and well organized! I didn’t go until after I registered at BRU, and I wished I had registered at BBB instead. Also- Buy Buy Baby accepts Bed Bath and Beyond coupons, so if you get as many of those in the mail as we do, it’s not a problem to take one with you every trip. You also get Buy Buy Baby coupons everytime you purchase something at Motherhood. (Both the Motherhoods at Valley West and Merle Hay are good.)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 03.22.2013

      That’s on our registration list this weekend too! We went there last weekend and I agree – much more inviting than BRU. We figured we’d start at BRU as they have EVERYTHING we’d ever need!

      • Christine 03.22.2013

        I’d echo the comment that Buy Buy Baby is great. Definitely check it out. I thought I’d register at both BBB and BRU, but so far I’ve found everything I wanted at BBB.

  3. katydidsoaps 03.22.2013

    Oh lord the post on breakfast cereals made my morning!

  4. Julia Jolliff 03.22.2013

    I love that keepsake idea–I travel a lot and always plan to make a scrapbook and it never happens!! This seems much easier! Happy Friday.

  5. Ashley 03.22.2013

    The mango coconut smoothies might just fix my craving for pina coladas during this pregnancy. Looks like something I could drink on a birthday weekend, while turning 30. Ugh! Love your post, and having it 1st thing this morning totally made my birthday. Congrats on the upcoming baby boy :)

  6. those coconut lime mojitos looks ah-mazing. like hawaii in a glass. i think the beverage issue will be the toughest for me when we start having some kidlets.

  7. Sally 03.22.2013

    Oh March Madness — I will be so glad when it’s over and I can have my boyfriend back!! I’ve been frequenting Caribou over Starbucks lately, and that fizzy black tea drink looks delish, I’ll have to give it a try when (and if!) the weather warms up. Have a great weekend and good luck at Babies R Us!

  8. Donna 03.22.2013

    SUCH A GOOD IDEA to bring a “baby expert” to help you register:), because it can be sooo overwhelming at first… and then by the time your little one is 6 months old, you have those baby stores & all they’re craziness DOWN PAT! :). Have fun!

  9. Peyton 03.22.2013

    I’m going to Charleston next weekend to spend Easter with the in-laws…..what resturants got the most votes a few weeks back?? I might be interested in checking it out. I’m praying for nice weather for ya’ll, it is COLD in SC today!!!!!

  10. Love those pillows! And cheers to Caribou — that drink sounds amazing! (Especially once it’s warmer.) ;)

    Thanks so much for linking up my cupcakes!

  11. Tieghan 03.22.2013

    I love those cupcakes from Ali!! I wish I had some now! Thanks for this post! I always enjoy reading them!

  12. Madison 03.22.2013

    I discovered Starbucks’ Iced Green Tea the same way a few summers ago! I ordered an unsweetened green tea, but was surprised to get a cold one. Fortunately it was absolutely delicious and I’ve been obsessed ever since! :)

    xo Madie

  13. Switzerland looks amazing! Have fun shopping this weekend. My only plans are to buy a new car because my transmission died out of nowhere!

  14. Lizzy 03.22.2013

    This is my list I wrote on my blog for necessities for babies! But the most important advice I can give is borrow as much as you can!! And Congrats. Babies are the best!

  15. dana 03.22.2013

    This was an awesome friday favorites! I think I clicked out on all the links! Thanks for sharing, friend!

  16. Laura 03.22.2013

    I definitely pinned the most alcoholic drinks while I was pregnant!
    As for weekend plans, I hate to be a stereotypical Canadian but my hubby and I are in a curling bonspiel all day tomorrow, a good way to finish out the winter!

  17. Sarah 03.22.2013

    OMG I did that arm workout twice this week after seeing it on Pinterest and last night I thought my arms were going to So good!

  18. JennP 03.22.2013

    That’s awesome that your SIL can help you register. It’s nice to have the input of a seasoned vet ;) Best advice given to me: register in person and be careful if you go home and start changing things online that you’re not switching everything out for items (or even colors & patterns) that are online only. Unlike weddings, most people buy baby gifts in person and at the last minute. If it’s not in the store, then there’s a good chance you won’t end up getting it!

  19. Dena 03.22.2013

    I just sent my best friend (of 36 years…we met at age FIVE) a text that said “Please make me the salted dark chocolate cupcakes on IGE’s FF today. I love youuuuuu”. Do you think it will work? Please keep your fingers crossed for me :)

  20. Ana 03.22.2013

    I love all of these ideas! Everything is on my pinterest now!

  21. Those cupcakes look amazing!! And you posted them just in time for my birthday on Sunday! ;)

  22. M. Vivian 03.22.2013

    I can’t even look at that Brown Sugar pound Cake without feeling like I did something illegal!

  23. Kate@Diethood 03.22.2013

    HI! Thanks so much for featuring my Cheesy Chicken Orzo, AND for introducing me to your beautiful blog!! Can’t wait to browse around and see how an Iowa Girl Eats! :-D

  24. Tracy 03.22.2013

    Yikes! Good luck at Babies-R-Us! Glad you’ll have experienced guidance! That is overwhelming!

  25. Erin 03.22.2013

    Hi IGE, as a fellow Iowan I love your blog and your recipes have made my husby one happy man. That cereal post made me laugh, however, I love all of those cereals she listed, especially grape nuts and cap’n crunch, ugh. Good luck with the registry, it’s very overwhelming at first…who knew there are different nipples to accommodate a newborn vs 6-12 months?? Seriously! And car seats, where to begin? OHMIGOSH, I remember that. Just remember to have fun. Register for at least 3 of those fitted water-proof crib sheets, (you will need them and thank me later ;)) I went thru all 3 in one night, poor kid. They go under the fitted sheet and save your mattress and keep your babe from getting soaked should they have an accident. Have fun!

  26. Catherine 03.22.2013

    That Brown Sugar Pound Cake. Goodness. Gracious. Do you think the 10-minute arm workout will burn enough calories to make up for a slice :)?

  27. lovecooking 03.22.2013

    I literally gasped when I saw the picture of the brown sugar pound cake. Gasped.

  28. The travel box idea is SO cute! When I studied abroad, I kept every single subway map, train ticket, museum brochure, etc. and they’re all just sitting in a bag at my parent’s house!

    Lovin’ the drinks :)

  29. Lisa 03.22.2013

    I’m going to Charleston in 2 weeks for the first time. Let me know of any must “sees” or “EATS”!!! Thank you! :)

  30. Melissa in IA 03.22.2013

    I’ve been casually toying with the idea of somehow cleaning all the gunk out of the little nooks of our washing machine and now you leave me no excuse not to do it! Doggone it! LOL! Thanks for the link!!! :)

    LOVE-ing the looks of that brown sugar cake…sigh.

  31. Courtney 03.22.2013

    Can I make a request that you do a post on a copycat recipe of that fizzy peach black tea (or what you can taste is in it)?! Oh lord, we only have the ‘bucks up here in Seattle but that looks incredible.

  32. Holy MOLY. Those drunken noodles are killin’ me!

  33. Have fun shopping this weekend! I go into Babies R US every few months to get my dog Bentley a new tiger and am always overwhelmed with all the crazy kids and parents running around. If Bentley didn’t love the stuffed tiger so much I would be at pets mart. It does appear to have everything a mom could need though. Good luck shopping.

  34. Ann 03.22.2013

    Have fun in Charleston! Take a 45 minute side trip to Kiawah island….it is so lovely, quaint, and the best beach! The Sanctuary is FAB – go have lunch on the patio and take in the ocean breeze. If you have a little extra time – check out the Kayaking by Cassique Golf Course. I was there last fall and had dolphins swimming up less than a foot away! It is a special place – you will be googling rentals for a summer vacation on the beach next summer. I have 3 teenagers now, but my motto always was, have baby, will travel!

  35. Yum that brown sugar pound cake looks great!

  36. Kristen 03.22.2013

    The ‘Bou is SO much better than the Bux! Wish I had one near me

    • Lisa 03.24.2013

      Tried the sparkling peach tea at ‘Bou. Delicious. Thanks for the tip. Wonder if they can make it sugar free as large is 180 calories. But it’s great, almost dessert worthy.

  37. Trisha 03.22.2013

    1. The coconut mojito?! No words.
    2. Serious LOLing over that cereal post. Hope you weren’t too attached to the roof of your mouth. Curse you, Cap ‘N Crunch!
    3. Good luck with the baby registry. I couldn’t even handle our wedding registry. I don’t even want to think about an eventual baby registry. In fact, I may just hire someone right now…

  38. Yum! Coconut Lime Mojito. Looks so refreshing!

  39. Oh my goodness, my stomach dropped just my looking at the zip lining photo. That looks like such fun!

  40. Sarah 03.23.2013

    Italian Drunken Noodles? To die for!

    I will actually be headed to Osaka tomorrow for Spring Break! I’m staying for the week to check out Nara and Kyoto as well. I know that you lived in Japan for as summer, and I’ve made your Yoshinoya Beef bowl recipe. それがおいしかった!

    Congrats on the baby boy news:)

  41. Anna 03.23.2013

    Those salted cupcakes? Yum!

    On my agenda this weekend? Making your mango chipotle chicken… I have some chipotles in adobo leftover from making some chili and I can’t WAIT to use them in a variety of other recipes!

  42. Emily 03.23.2013

    Love the drunken noodles! Thanks for sharing that recipe idea:)

  43. Lindsay 03.23.2013

    Awesome FF post!

    I currently live in Charleston, and wanted to pass along this Charleston Bucket List I recently came across:

  44. […] Also, this. via […]

  45. debtgirl 03.23.2013

    In Santa Barbara for the night! Paradise!

  46. Jen 03.24.2013

    When we were in Charleston in October we did a walking tour with Brian from Charleston Sole. It was great. He takes you to a lot of places you don’t see on the other tours (alleys between houses, etc.). I think it was $18 and well worth it. He even went about 45 minutes past the 2 hours he advertises.

    The Unitarian Cemetery is beautiful as well… so unkempt and overgrown, in that beautiful southern way. It closes at 5 but if you go into the cemetery of the church next to it, there is a gate that connects them.

    If you are into ghost tours, Ed Macy does an AMAZING one. He is a great storyteller and his tour was a lot of fun. He even takes you into what was the original Citadel (and is now a hotel) for a story.

    Also, check out Southend Brewery and get their Roasted garlic, soft cheese and tomato chutney appetizer. SOOOOOOOO good! The building is amazing too!

  47. Kirsten W. 03.24.2013

    I made the Drunken Noodles for dinner tonight and it was delish! Thanks for sharing!

  48. Catherine 03.25.2013

    This looks great, Kristin! I also love coconut lime mojito.Pinning this to make sometime! Thanks!

  49. Donna Shelton 03.25.2013

    I would think the happy, healthy, exercising, loving Iowa girl would enjoy March Madness especially since there are still both Iowa men and women in the NCAA tournament. I love this tournament, but I’m a loyal Maryland girl and our women are in the big dance, our men terps are in the NIT,,,,but still going strong. We will be leaving the ACC and joining the BIG 10 in 2014. I do love Iowa girl eats and look forward to your picks on Fridays.


  50. Angela @ heartsit 03.25.2013

    That keepsake box is such a great idea! I will have to try it because I have a drawer full of brochures, stubs, otherwise garbage but somehow I consider it a souvenir because it was acquired in a different country. I also have a little ceramic piggy bank full of foreign currency that I don’t know what to do with so maybe I will divide it up into these boxes. (who throws out money?!)

    I love Charleston! I lived there for a few years and it is the best! If you haven’t yet, go to Basil! They have the BEST thai food. Be prepared for a bit of a wait though since they don’t take reservations. They will call you though so you can just stroll king st while you wait. :)

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