Howdy all, how was your week?

It’s been a pretty typical Midwestern summer so far, what with some rain here and scorching hot temperatures there, but I tell you what, Goldilocks would’ve loved these past couple of weeks. They’ve been juuust right.

Lincoln and I have been getting out and about with friends and family as much as possible, trying to soak up every minute of the quickly waning summer with long walks, picnics (oh yes, I’ve come to love and adore a good summer picnic. Who knew?) and splashing around in the water. We got him this Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark (really, waterpark?) which has been a Godsend. Every afternoon or evening I strip him down to his birthday suit then let him splash and play away. Mommy gets a good 20-30 minute break while the L-man cools down and has a blast.

Translation: everybody wins! (Just typed “wines” – TGIF!)


Anywho, quick announcement for you local folks – I’ll be at the Downtown Des Moines Farmer’s Market this Saturday, 7/26, from 8-10am handing out FREE Iowa Food and Family Project cook books at the Rhinehart Family Farms booth at the west end of the market. Whew! If you can’t make it, or don’t live in the area, it’ll be available via free PDF download sometime in August or September. I’ll definitely keep you posted!


Well wherever you are and whatever you do have a wonderful weekend, and in the meantime please enjoy my favorite finds from around the web and beyond in this week’s Friday Favorites!

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

Favorite forkful: Nectarine and Fig Summer Salad with Crispy PancettaI literally gasped when I saw this photo. Summery perfection on a plate!

Favorite getaway: 42 Perfect Summer Trips. It’s not too late to fit a perfect summer trip in, and I love these ideas! Tahoe will be mine someday. Folks who have been – north or south shore?


Favorite sip: Fresh Peach Margarita. Doesn’t this look like the most refreshing drink you’ve ever seen in your whole entire life? Must try while peaches are at their peak. Aka…now!


Favorite dip: Cheesy Margarita Pizza Hummus. Know what would go great with a big pitcher of those margaritas? THIS. Oh my word, this.


Favorite DIY: DIY Frame Shelves. Another Shanty-2-Chic project I must try! Love this cool and clever, easy-looking project.


Favorite wake up: Huevos Rancheros Nachos with Avocado Crema. How much more excited would you be to get out of bed if you knew a platter of these babies were waiting for you for breakfast? Oh my word.


Favorite breakfast: Pork Maple Fully Cooked All-Natural Skinless Sausage Links. Speaking of breakfast, I have been obsessing over these preservative-free pork sausages lately that contain just 6 ingredients, and no asterisks. They are FABULOUS and I enjoy ’em 2-3 times a week with eggs and hash browns while Lincoln takes his morning nap. They make me as happy as a well-fed lark. (Found at Whole Foods.)


Favorite tutorial: Top-Knot Tutorial. I am totally, completely, 100% hair challenged but this easy-to-follow top-knot tutorial from the always adorable Madison has me convinced that even I could do it!


Favorite twist: Toasted Marshmallow & Chocolate S’Mores Milkshake. Um, omg, YUM. I love me a good twist on a classic and this fab new take on s’mores looks totally dreamy.


Favorite idea: Cake Smash. I kind of thought every baby had a cake smash on their first birthday but then I found this article saying it’s all the rage right now. Regardless, I can’t wait to see little Lincoln’s face smeared with (dairy free) icing next week! (FYI – these photos are hysterical.)


Favorite fashion: Calita Dress. Is this not the cutest little easy-breezy summer dress you’ve ever seen? Simple to dress up or down, too.


Favorite dinner: Crusted Quinoa Chicken with Goat Cheese. I thought I knew where this recipe was going but was totally thrown for a loop by the end. What a tasty way to jazz up an easy weeknight meal.


Favorite find: MollyMats. I have no idea how I stumbled upon this product, but it’s really cool. MollyMats are high quality picture mats that you can buy in really fun patterns and shapes – there’s even collections that fit standard-sized Pottery Barn and West Elm frames (my favorite!) Looks like a fun way to spruce up a ho-hum space!


Favorite crave: Balsamic Watermelon Chicken Salad. Face plant alert! Man, if this combo doesn’t cause you to crave salads – seek help.


View past Friday Favorites >

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Favorite giveaway: Crunchmaster Crackers Giveaway

Calling all cracker lovers!

I don’t know about you but I always have two or three types of crackers in the house for dunking into hummus or pairing with The Laughing Cow cheese wedges. The last time we were in DC our friends Kim and Dylan bought Crunchmaster gluten-free crackers to have with some hummus they bought for us to snack on while we were visiting, and they were so good that I kept buying that at home. Ben calls them “those one crackers.”

Can I get you anything while I’m at the store? 

Just those one crackers.

Translation: we both love ’em. Really good story so far, no?

That said, I was pumped when Crunchmaster recently reached out and asked if I’d be interested in running a giveaway of their crackers. I wanted to give you a taste of what we’ve been loving, so of course I said, yes!

Crunchmaster crackers are available in a wide variety of flavors (my favorite is white cheddar,) and are great at holding up to hearty dips as they’re super, well, crunchy – hence the name. The fact that they’re gluten free is a huge bonus. Crunchmaster is giving away 6 products of your choice – all you have to do is follow the directions to enter below!


Enter to win the Crunchmaster Crackers giveaway by using the voting widget below (may not work in Internet Explorer.) To enter, click the “+1″ button then click “Enter” by 11:59pm central time on Monday, July 28. Receive an additional entry by following me on Facebook. Good luck!

*** PLEASE NOTE: the voting widget below may take up to a minute to load and may not work in Internet Explorer. The winner will be chosen randomly via and will be contacted directly via email. ***

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