cornflake dreams.

1.29.2015

made especially for you.

Full Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary item from Ludi GiftBox to facilitate this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Cornflake Dreams.

LUDI GiftBox was sweet enough to send over one of their unique gift boxes earlier this week. I loveeed the packaging -- my white gift box came with a bold black and white stripe grosgrain ribbon and bright poppy print paper inside.
I received the "For the milk & cookies lover" LUDI GiftBox:
I'm a total cookie fan monster + tea towel hoarder, so this gift was a perfect fit. The box included a "cookies" porcelain tray, two glass milk bottles, and a black and cream plaid tea towel. The cookies are not included, but I used that as an excuse to buy some Oreos and chocolate chip cookies. I had to see which cookies were more photogenic... just doing my job as a "serious" blogger. The chocolate chip cookies won! 
Anyhoo back to the box -- I love the concept of curated gift boxes because they make gift giving really easy. You can pick from their collection of gift boxes or LUDI GiftBox will work with you to create a custom GiftBox. You just pick a theme, set a budget, and then fill out a little information about the gift recipient -- they'll take care of the shopping, packaging, and shipping!

Have you ever tried a curated gift box service?
-xo-
Jillian

1.28.2015

craving: steak.

When my parents visited over Christmas they brought a cooler full of ground beef and giant steaks (...you know you grew up on a farm when). H and I usually don't eat a ton of red meat, so we're pretty excited to have a freezer full of premium meat. The ground beef is easy to cook with but the steaks are tricky -- we don't have a grill! Pinterest to the rescue -- I found some easy skillet recipes that incorporate steak into veggie-centered meals:

Are you a steak fan? How do you like to prepare it?
-xo-
Jillian

1.27.2015

etsy valentine's day picks.

Valentine's Day is almost here! As much as I love pink and red, hearts and arrows, and chocolate, I'll be honest -- H and I keep things pretty low-key. We usually get each other a card and we make a special dinner together at home, but we don't go crazy with gifts. But I still have my eye on some cute Valentine's Day inspired things over on Etsy: 

Do you celebrate Valentine's Day?
-xo-
Jillian

1.26.2015

weekend good things.

Happy Monday, my weekend went by sooo fast but it was a good one. We saw Birdman on Friday night -- it was weird but not as crazy as I thought it would be. I really loved how it was filmed, as one continuous long take. But overall I thought the movie was just okay -- I'm glad I saw it but I wouldn't want to watch it again. The best part of any movie is always the popcorn -- and that didn't disappoint :)
On Saturday we took a morning trip to the gym and afterwards I met up with the girls for a late lunch at Butcher & Bee. I had a cheeseburger + fries (add that to my list of pregnancy cravings). It was REALLY good and I can't wait to go back and try some other sandwiches.The next day the weather was sunny, so H and I decided to walk the Ravenel Bridge. The bridge is huge with eight lanes of traffic and a protected pathway for bikers and runners. It connects downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant and goes over the Cooper River and it's about 2.7 miles long each way. It was a great workout and the views of the water were beautiful. I'm excited to walk the bridge again with a stroller and a baby in a few months.
How was your weekend? 
-xo-
Jillian

1.23.2015

five on friday.

Happy Friday -- I'm I'm linking up with ChristinaAprilNatasha, and Darci today. 
Here are five things on my mind lately:
ONE: H and I want to go to a movie this weekend -- we're considering seeing Birdman, The Imitation Game, or Foxcatcher... have any recommendations?
TWO: Splurge vs. Steal. I received a Nordstrom gift card for Christmas so I decided to treat myself and buy an expensive ($78!) robe. When I got it in the mail I loved how soft it was but the front-tie was sooo awkward. Even without a bump, the tie in the front is not practical because when that fabric swings open you see can everything. So I returned the robe (hooray for free returns) and bought a much cheaper robe from Target. The Target robe has a similar kimono style, ties on the side and it's super soft. Plus at $22 I won't mind if this one gets spit up on :)
THREE: Minted has a really cute collection of Valentine's Day Cards! They are offering 20% off foil-pressed designs with the code FOILLOVE (offer expires at 11:50 PM PST on 1/26/2015).
FOUR: I'm still working my way through my Charleston restaurant wish list. It seems like everytime I cross something off I have a new restaurant I want to add :) but I'm not complaining! This weekend I'm having lunch with the girls at Butcher & Bee. Their menu changes daily so realllly hope they're serving burgers!
FIVE: Don't forget to enter the RapidLash giveaway! A winner will be emailed on Wednesday, January 28. 

Have a great weekend!
-xo-
Jillian

1.22.2015

9 essential maternity pieces for fall and winter.

Yesterday I reached 32 weeks, so I thought it was time to share some of my favorite maternity pieces. I didn't want to buy a ton of maternity clothes but I wanted to be comfortable in my clothes and show off my growing bump :) At a certain point you'll need bigger clothes but that doesn't mean you can't buy things you can wear throughout and after your pregnancy. So with that in mind, for the last few months my wardrobe has revolved around tanks, flowy tops, open cardigans, leggings, ballet flats, and a pair of full-panel maternity jeans (a necessary and very comfortable evil).

Flowy Tees -- I bought a 3/4 sleeve raglan tee and supersoft stripe crew tee from Gap Maternity and I have worn them throughout my pregnancy. The tees are light enough to wear with a cardigan. I also bought a few non-maternity tees (I ordered a size up). I tried to avoid tops with shirring on the side, which scream "maternity," that way I can wear them after the baby arrives when I want something loose and comfortable.

Flowy Sweater -- I love Gap's maternity eversoft v-neck sweater -- it has a circle hem that's longer in the back - perfect to wear with leggings and it covers up your butt.

Layering Tanks -- Target sells great maternity cotton tank tops that are stretchy, comfortable, and affordable. They are great to wear with cardigans or open button-up shirts already in your closet. These tanks also don't have ruching so they can be worn after the baby arrives. (I also own and love this tank from ASOS).

Cardigans -- Cardigans are the easiest thing to wear during pregnancy especially if they are swingy open styles (you won't need to buy the maternity size). Jcrew Factory's Always Cardigan and the Tuck Stitch Cover-Up from Express are great light options. For something heavier I like the Ribbed High-Low Open Cardigan from Banana Republic and Open-Front Cardigan from Old Navy.

Tunic Slip Dress -- I loooove my Tee's By Tina Tunic Slip Dress and I have worn it a LOT during my pregnancy. It's super stretchy and one-size-fits-all so you don't have to worry about what size to order. I love to layer it with everything -- cardigans, tees, and sweaters. The long tunic covers my booty and makes me feel totally comfortable in leggings. It's another piece I can wear post-pregnancy to suck everything in :)


Leggings -- I picked up a few leggings from Tee's By Tina and I wear them all the time (over the bump for the first few months and now under the bump). They are thick, not see-through, and available in a ton of colors and patterns. If you want a full-panel option I love Seraphine's Black Over-Bump Bamboo Active Maternity Leggings.

Full Panel Maternity Jeans -- I bought a pair of full panel legging jeans from Gap when I was about 19 weeks pregnant and at first I was not a fan. It took a while for them to fit without falling down, but it turns out I just had to wait until my bump got bigger! Now I love them and wear them at least twice a week (sometimes you just have to give the leggings a break). 


Swing Dress -- A loose swing dress is a great addition to your maternity wardrobe. Swing dresses can be dressed up or down with a belt and jewelry (and worn in the winter with a cardigan and leggings). I wore this dress for my baby shower and it's something I look forward to wearing again after pregnancy.

Comfy Ballet Flats -- I loved my Tieks ballet flats before pregnancy, and now with more weight to carry around I am even more thankful for them. For me comfort is everything -- I'll be the first to admit that I am not running around pregnant in heels (more power to you if you are!)


Mama's what are your favorite maternity pieces? 
-xo-
Jillian 

p.s. Don't forget to enter the RapidLash giveaway!

1.21.2015

RapidLash beauty review + giveaway.

Full Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for RapidLash. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

I have only used false eyelashes once. I had a makeup artist glue them on for my wedding and I loved them! But applying false eyelashes everyday seems like way too much work, and I'm too lazy/cheap to pay for lash extensions. So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review RapidLash Eyelash & Eyebrow Enhancing Serum. RapidLash is a clinically-proven, paraben-free formula that helps enhance, condition, and strengthen lashes and brows. It's proven to transform your lashes and brows in 4-8 weeks.
When I put on makeup (which let's be honest, now that I work from home -- doesn't happen every day) I usually stick to the eyes and I use eye shadow, liner, and mascara. I like wearing eye makeup but I really hate taking off my mascara at the end of the day. So I used RapidLash every night before bed for the past 6 weeks and within a few weeks I noticed a difference. My eyelashes appeared darker, fuller, thicker, and longer. The serum is easy to apply -- just remove all of your eye makeup and brush RapidLash onto your lashes before bed. The serum dries quickly and I never had any issues with dripping. In the morning I resumed my normal makeup routine, and after a few weeks I stopped wearing mascara because I didn't really need to anymore. I plan to continue using RapidLash in the future and including it in my regular night-time beauty routine.
    RapidLash is fragrance-free, ophthalmologist and dermatologist tested and is safe for people who wear contact lens. It’s not a prescription and you can buy RapidLash in-stores at CVS, ULTA, Bed Bath & Beyond, Meijer, Fred Meyer, and Kohl's, and online at CVS.com, ULTA.com, Bedbathandbeyond.com, Kohls.com, Drugstore.com, Dermstore.com, Skinstore.com, Walmart.com, and Costco.comFollow RapidLash: Facebook - Pinterest

Enter to win a bottle of Rapidlash Eyelash and Eyebrow Enhancing Serum! Please enter below using the Rafflecopter widget. One winner will be emailed Wednesday, January 28, 2015. 
Good Luck!
-xo-
Jillian