cornflake dreams.


five things.

Happy Friday! I'm linking up with Christina, April, and Natasha to share a few things that have been on my mind lately:
ONE: I splurged on a new pair of Freshly Picked moccasins for Vi -- the saltwater purple/sand gray combo is perfect for her Halloween costume.
DIY Heirloom Pumpkin Tutorial / Stephanie from Olive and Tate / (I also love Hope's mantle)
TWO: I am loving decorating with eucalyptus! I posted a photo of our mantle on Instagram, but these spaces are so inspiring. I picked up a bunch at the grocery store (you can also find them online: fresh eucalyptus branches or faux silver dollar eucalyptus garland and wreath).
THREE: I want pretty much everything from J Crew's active line with New Balance. I love stripes, polka dots, and colorblock and they have it all - not to mention almost everything is available in navy. And speaking of J Crew I can't wait for my new winter coat to come in the mail!
FOUR: Bitsy's Brainfood sent over some samples for Vi to try! Created by moms, they have a mission to make healthy packaged food for babies and kids. Their Spooky Snacks are made in a nut free facility and are allergy friendly, certified organic, GMO free and free of artificial ingredients, and they come in fun alphabet shapes so kids can play and learn while they eat! Vi loved the orange chocolate beet and I already ate some of her sweet potato oatmeal raisin smart cookies. Spooky Snacks would be a fun treat to pass out on Halloween.
FIVE: Don't forget to enter my Minted $150 giveaway - there will be two winners!

Have a great weekend!


2016 Minted Holiday Card Picks + $150 Giveaway!

Full Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Minted. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Thank you for supporting brands that support Cornflake Dreams.

It doesn't really feel like Fall around here with 70+ degree temps -- I'm not complaining! -- but Halloween will be here soon and then Thanksgiving and Christmas!! So it's time to start thinking about holiday cards. I have a holiday photoshoot scheduled with my friend (and seriously talented professional photographer) Liz at Coach House Pictures next month. Violet is going to wear a classic black and white dress that I bought when I was in high school (!!) in the hopes I would have a baby girl in the future (it reminded me of a similar dress Audrey Hepburn wore in one my favorite movies Sabrina). 

Anyways, now that I have the photographer and wardrobe figured out, I need to pick out my favorite holiday card design. I've ordered holiday cards, Vi's birth announcement, and birthday invitation from Minted over the past few years and I am always so impressed with the quality of the cards, and the unique designs. Minted's 2016 Holiday Card collection did not disappoint! Here are my favorite designs:holiday frame - statement joy (my favorite!) - oh what fun! - golden evergreens - southern charm (I hope one of my Charleston friends uses this design, it's so cute) - writing on the wall

I also love traditional cards without photos. Here are some of my favorite non-photo holiday cards:
blooming year - noeliathe gift (I love the simplicity of this one!) -  vines of flowers - floral joy - woodland joy

Minted is generously giving away $150 to TWO lucky readers -- Enter HERE!
This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents, please enter by 10/27.

What is your favorite Minted holiday card?


DIY no-sew owl halloween costume.

Halloween is almost here!! Last year Violet was the cutest skunk (with a costume from Pottery Barn Kids), but this year I decided to make her costume. Violet is never without her stuffed animal Bernie the Owl, so that seemed like the perfect costume idea. I found a great no-sew idea on Pinterest (here), and I modified the costume to fit my toddler's personality. It was a labor of love, but I really liked how everything turned out!

Here's the supplies you need for this project:
  • A sweatshirt and sweatpants. I lucked out and found a really cute white fluffy coat at a thrift shop for under $5! I used these $5 sweatpants
  • 1/2 yard of fleece in two colors and 1 yard of fleece in a 3rd color – Depending on the size of your wings, you may have some left over.
  • Mini hot glue gun + extra glue sticks (I initially tried using Liquid Stitch but a hot glue gun was faster and more effective). 
  • Sharp fabric scissors (pro tip from my mama: don't use these scissors on anything other than fabric to avoid dulling the blades). 
1. First pick your colors and fabric. I went with light gray and purple fleece and fluffy white swirl-fur fabric (I love how soft this fabric is, but it's a total pain to cut -- it sheds like crazy, so make sure you shake it out after you cut out the "feathers" to release any extra "fur"). 

2. Cut out a tear-shape "feather" template from cardboard. You'll use this to help cut out all of your feathers. I placed the template on doubled over fleece and cut out two feathers at a time. If you use the fur fabric only only cut out one at a time. 

3. Cut, cut, cut out those feathers. Vi's costume probably has over 200 feathers on it... it was a good project to do while I was watching TV at night.

4. Measure your child's wingspan - have them raise their hands up like they are flying and measure across. Mark your fleece with the length of the wingspan. Next, tie a piece of string onto a pen, hold the string in the middle at the top of the fleece with one hand, straighten out the string to your desired length with your other hand (or have someone help!), and draw a semicircle. Finally use the pen marks to cut out the semicircle. 

5. Glue your feathers on with hot glue gun. I started at the bottom of the semicircle with a row of white feathers. I staggered a row of feathers in gray over the white, and then again staggering purple feathers over the gray ones. Repeat this pattern until the wings are covered.
6. Add feathers to the front of your sweatshirt in any desired pattern. I did nine alternating rows of the same white, purple and gray feathers.

7. When you finish the sweatshirt it's time to attach the wings! You can use Velcro if you want to be able to remove the wings, but I opted for the permanent route and attached the top of the wings with a hot glue gun.
8. To finish the costume, glue a few feathers to the front and back to the cuffs of the sweatpants.

Optional steps: Add an Owl Hat! I found a cute knitted hat on AmazonThere are additional options on Etsy too. There are online tutorials on how to make a hat for an owl costume, but I liked the idea of having a nice knit hat that she might actually wear again after Halloween.
You can also make some wings for a friend! I had some extra feathers so I decided to make a matching costume for Bernie.
I can't wait to see Violet all dressed up this year!


five things.

Happy Friday! I hope everyone is doing well, it's been a while so I have a lot of things on my mind lately -- here's five quick things:
 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6
ONE: Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue has Mini Melissa rain boots on sale! We bought Vi a pair of light pink duck boots over the weekend and they are so cute in person. I also love the boots with bows. Saks Fifth Avenue has a ton of other styles on sale with their Friends and Family sale -- Vi's classic bow mary janes are on sale and I'm really tempted to buy her a pair of owl mary janes.
TWO: Mini Boden has a limited edition Roald Dahl collection! Everything is so cute and the pieces makes me want to re-read all of Dahl's books. I especially love the Giant Peach T-shirt, Mrs. Ladybird Dress, the BFG cape with it's pretty London cityscape lining, the Alphabet Cord Dress - it's perfect for my bookworm, and the glow-in-the-dark Dream Jar Pajamas. The Rainbow Drops Dress and Veruca Faux Fur Coat are really fun too and soooo Willy Wonka
THREE: H and I finished watching all three seasons of Broad City. It's hilarious and I wish I didn't wait so long to start watching it. All three seasons are on Hulu. I'm also loving Younger with Sutton Foster (she was in Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino's other show Bunheads). It's a lot of fun and a total guilty pleasure show (H does not watch this one).
FOUR: We finally tried Blue Apron! The first week had three great meals and I cooked with ingredients that I hardly ever use. It was a lot of fun -- but of course more work than going out to a restaurant and almost as expensive. We had two meals that we didn't like the next week so we decided to cancel our subscription. While I like the idea of cooking outside of my comfort zone, the meals weren't filling enough for H and too heavy for me. I also didn't like how much packaging they used for every piece of produce (you can recycle everything but it's still excessive). In the end it wasn't a good fit for us. So this week I decided to finally use my recipes on Pinterest. I made Greek Pizza and it was SO good. I also tried a gnocchi recipe which was way too rich (hello cream base, what was I thinking?!) Anyways the whole Blue Apron experience encouraged me to introduce some new recipes into our usual meal rotation.

FIVE: I'm thinking of all of my family and friends in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina stay safe during Hurricane Matthew!! 

Have a great weekend!


creating a conscious closet.

It seems the older that I get, the crunchier I get. This year I made the switch to natural beauty products. And after watching this episode of John Oliver (a favorite!) I want to change the way I shop for myself and my family. 

Deep down I always knew that something had to give when I got great deals on clothes, but I didn't always connect the human and environmental costs of my shopping habits. Fashion is the second dirtiest industry after oil. Clothing manufacturing uses huge amounts of water and then pollutes the ground and water with dangerous dyes and chemicals. And when I read about horrible working conditions and saw images of children sewing Old Navy clothing (for other children!) it really upset me. The International Labor Organization estimates that 170 million children are engaged in child labor. I couldn't help but picture my own daughter in a similar situation and it finally made me want to be more conscious about where I buy my clothes.

I gave up on "fast fashion" a few years ago after being disappointed by the poor quality of clothes from stores like H&M, Zara, and Forever21. But I still have a closet full of Gap and Old Navy, and the brand has a history of poor working conditions for employees and using child labor. I also own J Crew, and Madewell clothes, and (per their website) they cannot trace their manufacturing/production line, meaning they can't guarantee that the clothing was ethically made. I can do better. After doing some research, I found quite a few ethical companies that offer beautiful clothes and accessories at reasonable prices. Below is a list of shops that I have ordered from, and plan to support in the future.

American Giant - Manufactures premium 100% cotton sweatshirts, shirts, bottoms and more for men and women. All items are made in USA with American cotton. I love basics tees, so I want pretty much everything on this site.

Everlane - Classic wardrobe pieces without the typical retail markups. They are transparent with customers and share information about where a product is made and how much it costs to make it. They also work to ensure that the factories they use maintain ethical production practices. I've ordered from Everlane in the past and I'm never disappointed with the quality of their clothes. They have a great mix of casual and dressier clothes, shoes, and accessories.

GiGi New York - High end leather handbags, clutches, wallets and accessories produced in USA. I still use my Tan Tori Tote as a diaper bag for Vi, and love love their Jeni Saddle Bag!

Mata Traders - A design driven, fair trade brand helping to end global poverty and inspire ethical companies and consumers to change the fashion industry. Their colorfully original designs are made by artisans in India and Nepal, and provide a stable source of income for families in some of the world’s poorest communities. Their plaid shirtdresses are perfect for fall and winter.
Adriana Bralette in black + cornflower blue - Martina Lo-Rise Cheeky in black + cornflower blue

Naja - Luxury lingerie at fair prices. They empower and employ women and the line is eco-friendly. They offer a wide range of "nude" colors to choose from and I love all of the hidden little details they put into their designs.

Nisolo - Nisolo means not alone. They believe in ethically sourced, affordable luxury that bridges traditional craftsmanship & modern style for men and women. Nisolo shoes, accessories, and jewelry are all handmade in Peru. I have the Serena Sandals and I LOVE them. They are really comfortable and well made. I want to get a pair in black when they are restocked.

PACT Apparel - Sweatshop-free super soft organic cotton basics for men, women and babies that feel great and go easy on the environment. They sell cute tees, hoodies, undies, and socks.

PrAna - PrAna creates versatile, stylish, and sustainable clothing and accessories that you can wear during every activity, every adventure, every day. They are one of the first major clothing companies to offer Fair Trade Certified products for men and women. I love their yoga tops and bottoms, and cute dresses (this is on my wish list).


Also I should note -- I'm trying to shop less in general as this is the best way to reduce waste and resources - not to mention save money! 

But when I do shop, I also want to support more small, independent businesses on Etsy, and purchase used clothing (especially for Vi) at consignment shops and on eBay. I will do my best to post Fair Trade and eco-friendly clothing and accessories on this blog in the future. I'm putting together another post with ethically made baby and children's clothing and toys soon!

Do you have any other shops to add to my list?


life lately.

Hi there! It's been a while so I thought I'd check in and let you know what we've been up to lately.
watching: My favorite show of the summer was Stranger Things on Netflix — it was soo good, and a little creepy. The show is set in the 80’s, so the character's clothing and hair is pretty amusing, and I love the soundtrack. I also finished the first and second seasons of Outlander - I read the first book and the show hasn't disappointed. The actors that play Jamie and Claire are perfect. I also loved Murtagh and Fergus!

enjoying: Spending time with Violet! She will be 18-months old next week and I know I've been saying it for a while now, but this stage is so much fun! I love seeing her grow and do new things. And it's interesting to see her develop an interest in certain things over others (she still loves shoes, and now she always carries around her baby doll). She has been talking non-stop -- she discovered Elmo a few weeks ago, so when she sees him, she points, and jumps and yells ELLLmo!!

making: Violet’s halloween costume! My mom always made our Halloween costumes when I was little, so I thought I'd get crafty and try a no-sew costume. So far it looks good!
reading: You’ll Grow Out Of It by Jessi Klein was my favorite book of the summer! I found myself laughing a lot and it’s a really quick read. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper was a sweet story about an old man discovering more about his late wife's life before they met. H always teases me about being grandma and loving "old people love stories" so this one was perfect for me. And I just started reading The Good Girl -- it's reminds me of Gone Girl -- and it's totally creepy, but I can't put it down.

wanting: I really need some new shampoo — my sister-in-law recommended Big Shampoo from Lush, so I’m going to excited to try it!
looking: Tan booties for Fall, I have a great pair of black booties from Sole Society that are still going strong after a couple of years so I'd like to get another pair from there.

Vi is loving: SHOES! The girl is obsessed, unless she's sleeping or in the bath she always has shoes on. I recently bought Vi her first pair of Mini Melissa mary jane shoes after I saw a few little girls at the library wearing them— the jelly shoes smell like strawberries! They are sold at Nordstrom, Zappos, and Amazon.
loving: Piñatagrams! The mini piñatas come filled with candy and they are delivered without a box. I really love getting mail so this was a fun treat! Vi was a BIG fan too, she keeps the empty piñatas with her stuffed animals. You can enter to one below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

What have you been up to lately? 


17-month toddler favorites.

I originally titled this post 17-month baby favorites -- but Vi isn't a baby anymore. She's growing up so fast and it's been really fun to watch discover new things -- like playing with play-doh (she kept trying to eat it) or going down a hill on dad's bike (she put her hands up and said whooohoo just like mom and dad). She is talking more and more everyday, and she's really social with other kids and adults. Vi is little Miss Independent and she certainly plays favorites with her toys, books, and food. Here are her current favorites:
BOOKS: Vi still loves story time and we read about 10-20 books a day. To keep things interesting I added quite a few new ones to the mix. These are her favorites:

-Curious George and the Rocket - She LOVES 'grshh' right now, so she brings this one to me to read multiple times a day.
-Shake a Leg - This book encourages little kids to get up and get active. It also helped Vi learn her body parts (fingers, toes, head, tummy etc.).
-I'll Never Let You Go - This story is so sweet and it encourages a big hug at the end.
-Little Blue Truck - A folksy rhyming book that teaches an important lesson -- be nice and help others.
-Brown Bear, Brown Bear - A classic and a great way to introduce animals and colors.
-Pirates Don't Take Baths - H bought this one and it's totally cute and quirky. 
-ABC Party Animals - Vi loves to hear the alphabet at the end of this book
-Goodnight Charleston - I find myself getting a little sentimental whenever she picks this one out, and it makes me look forward to visiting someday with her.
-If I Could Keep You Little - Get the kleenex! This one is bittersweet and forces you to think about your baby growing up.

TOYS: Vi is still playing with a lot of toys that I've blogged about before. The one toy she seems to always play with is her Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket -- she loves to "feed" her stuffed animals. She also likes her Little People Surprises and Sounds Home -- she usually makes the little mom and dad kiss! She likes to stack her Mega Bloks and play with her puzzles. And Bernie the Jellycat Owl is her favorite stuffed friend :)

CLOTHES: Ok let's be honest she doesn't really care what she wears right now -- as long as she has her "shews" on she's happy. But I love the Cat & Jack line at Target -- especially all of the non-traditional "girl" patterns like space and dinosaurs. The flowers and stripes are cute too :)

EAT: Feeding a toddler is tricky. She'll love something one day, and then she won't touch it the next day. She still drinks three small glasses of milk everyday, and she gets some protein with fruit and yogurt smoothies. She likes carbs and avocados (like her mama!) and my homemade vegetarian chili. We're still working on finding new ways of getting her to eat more veggies (mamas share your secrets!) and meat (which is really difficult for us since H and I don't eat many meat meals).