Happy Friday, everyone! How was your week?

Ben’s parents were here all week after Lincoln’s party and, although it will be good to get back into a routine, the house is oddly quiet with just Lincoln and myself at home now that they’ve left. I won’t have too much time to dwell on it though, as these next two weeks are going to be a jam-packed blur of activity including heading out to the Iowa State Fair. Oh yes, it’s officially fair time!


Despite the fact that I won’t be able to enjoy any of my favorite fair foods this year (which I admittedly had a small meltdown about the other day. RIP foot long corn dog!) it’ll still be fun visiting the ol’ Butter Cow and showing Lincoln all the farm animals, especially the horses which he’s really into right now. Let me tell you, I’ve learned how to do a mean horse impression!

In addition to the family fun, I’ll also be in the Varied Industries building TODAY, Friday, August 8 from 1-3pm handing out FREE Iowa Food and Family Cook Books so if you locals are at the fair, stop by and say hi!

If you aren’t local or can’t make it, don’t worry, the link to download the cook book will be available sometime in the next couple of months. I’ll keep you posted.

What’s on tap for you this weekend? Only a few more left in the summer – I can’t believe it! Lincoln and I were at Target yesterday and I just had to shake my head at all the families doing their dorm room and back to school shopping. This summer has absolutely flown by.

At any rate, 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 blue links to be taken to the original source.

Favorite dip: Italian Guacamole. Such a simple twist with such a delicious outcome. Ali, the guacamole queen, has stumbled on something really unique with this Mexican-Italian fusion recipe.


Favorite getaway: A Quick Guide to Sardinia. I started following lifestyle blogger Geneva on Instagram a few days into her unforgettable trip to Sardinia last month, and I was crossing my fingers she’d write a “how to” post about it. I loved reading the helpful tips and special finds she included in her post!


Favorite crave: Smoky Sweet Cherry Pepper Cheeseburgers. Cheddar + Bacon + Cherry Peppers = Hollar. (Although I loathe bell peppers, I love me some tangy cherry ones!)


Favorite how-to: How To Create a Gallery Wall For Less Than $20. Last week Ben and I finally attempted to complete the photo rail/wall above the big couch in our living room in anticipation of having guests over for Lincoln’s party. It did not go well. Ben’s got a great eye for design…I don’t…and now the wall is in a wretched state of flux. That said, I pretty much want it to look exactly like this, plus a photo rail. Inspiration on the cheap, FTW!


Favorite bite: The Best Baked Brie with Balsamic CherriesSpeaking of my love for cherries…AHMAHGAH. Is this an app? A dessert? Who cares, it looks irresistible!


Favorite everything: Simple Crispy Basil Caramelized Garden Vegetable + Fontina French Bread Pizza. I can’t tell you what I like best about this recipe because the answer is ALL THE THINGS. Ok, if I had to pick it’d be the crispy basil. I’ve got fresh basil for days so I can’t wait to try crisping some up.

Easy-Crispy-Basil-Caramelized-Garden-Vegetable- -Fontina-French-Bread-Pizza-12_mini

Favorite snack: The Laughing Cow Light Garlic & Herb with Veggies. It’s been so hot out lately that I’ve been digging light snacks like The Laughing Cow cheese wedges smeared onto fresh vegetables. Light, refreshing, and hello, CHEESE!


Favorite truth. Right? Story of my life. Especially hurtful when it happens because I only put make up on, like, twice a week.


Favorite crispy: Blackened Shrimp, Bacon, and Green Onion Cast Iron Skillet Quesadilla. Oh my. Yummy! Check out this post not only for a mouthwatering recipe, but also to learn a new-to-me way to make quesadilla cooking even quicker. Say that five times fast.


Favorite fun: Watermelon Wrapping Paper. What a sweet little project for summer gifting.


Favorite find: Sun-Dried Tomato and Mozzarella Quinoa Burgers. I am so excited to try this burger. I’ve been looking for a good quinoa-based burger recipe that Ben, Lincoln, and I can all eat, with a few modifications for the boy, and I think this is it!


Favorite DIY: The Arrow Jewelry Holder. I’m all about arrows these days (I seriously had like 3 arrow projects to share with you today,) and this cute yet functional project won my heart.  Especially because it’s hanging below one of my favorite prints in the world. Hey y’all!


Favorite treat: Deep Dish Oatmeal Fudge Bars. Thick, chewy, and fudgy. Pretty much all of my favorite dessert adjectives in one treat. Love!


Favorite giveaway: DOLE Bananas “Peel the Love” Tour Gift Pack Giveaway. Last month I told you about the DOLE Bananas “Peel the Love” Tour that’s on a roll throughout the country, handing out coupons, samples, and more. To celebrate the last half of the tour, DOLE Bananas is giving away a huge, banana-themed prize pack to one IGE reader!


Enter below to win:

  • 6 months worth of bananas
  • Dole tote bag
  • Dole apron
  • Serving platter
  • 4 Dole smoothie/cocktail glasses

And if you live in one of these cities, don’t forget to stop by and Peel the Love (central Iowa locals, they’re heading our way August 21-24!)

August 7-8 – Mississippi
August 7-10 – San Francisco
August 11-15 – Sacramento
August 14-16 – St. Louis, MO
August 17-18 – Reno, NV
August 21-24 –Des Moines
August 22-25 – Portland, OR
August 29-Sept 1 – Minneapolis
August 29-Sept 1 – Seattle

Enter to win the DOLE Bananas “Peel the Love” Tour Gift Pack Giveaway by using the voting widget below (may not work in Internet Explorer.) To enter, click the “+1″ button then click “Enter” by 12am central on Tuesday, August 12. 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 Random.org and will be contacted directly via email. ***

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