8.28.2014

i love peanut butter & co.

Peanut Butter & Co. was sweet enough to send over some product samples last weekend. ahhhmazing. I got to try five different all-natural peanut butters, including: Smooth Operator, Crunch Time, Cinnamon Raisin Swirl, White Chocolate Wonderful, and Dark Chocolate Dreams. I was in peanut butter heaven. They were all delicious but my favorite was the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl. I love that every jar lists unique ways to use the peanut butter. The Cinnamon Raisin Swirl tastes SO good with apple slices or bananas and it instantly turns dry toast into a delicious and easy breakfast. It's also good directly off a spoon (meet joe black style) - I'm adding it to future grocery lists.
After sampling the peanut butter, I decided to get busy in the kitchen on Sunday and bake some peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips (recipe via Deliciously Sprinkled) using Peanut Butter & Co.'s Crunch Time peanut butter. Now it's a few days later and I still can't stop eating them :) I also thought it'd be tasty to add a little Dark Chocolate Dreams to the cookies to make a sandwich. yep. best idea ever ;)

Have you tried Peanut Butter & Co.? 
What is your favorite flavor?
-xo-
Jillian

8.27.2014

shopping keepers and returns.


Keepers: CB2 knitted gray pouf -- This has been on my wish list for a long time and I even included it in my April Houzz Ideabook. It looks great in our living room and I use it almost much every day.

I took advantage of the Layered and Long Etsy shop discount I posted about the other week and bought a Wishbone necklace. It's even prettier in person and I've already worn it a few times. Use the promo code CORNFLAKE at checkout for 10% off -- I'm tempted to buy this necklace too.

GiGi New York All in One Bag, stone embossed python  - I am a huge fan of GiGi New York and Graphic Image! Their leather wallets, bags, and planners are high quality and made in the USA. The All in One Bag is beautiful in person and it's the perfect size for date nights and brunch dates (it fits my phone, credit cards, sunglasses and lip gloss).

and now for the Returns: I waited until the last day of the Nordstrom anniversary sale and bought a Caslon Drape Neck Zip Tan Cardigan - I had high hopes for this cardigan but it just looked frumpy. I also bought the Spanx 'Ready to Wow' structured leggings -- they are good in theory but eeks no. They were really tight up top (ok that might be the Spanx part), the cut was not flattering and they were very uncomfortable.

The Le Mer Del Mar gold watch I had on my wish list finally went on sale the other week from $88 to $61. Shopbop has fast (and free) shipping and I got the watch within a few days of ordering it. At first I was thrilled, I loved the small size and pretty face with great detail. But when I put it on I realized the watch has an elastic wristband and it hurt my wrist = no bueno. I promptly returned it (thankfully Shopbop offers returns too).
And finally, the Kristen Blake Piped Stretch Cotton Trench Coat (currently on sale 1/2 off) unfortunately did not work out. I liked this trench, it had nice thick water resistant fabric, pretty lining and seemed well-made. But it was too big on me. I normally wear a Small but I think this coat would fit better in a Petite XS -- hopefully Nordstrom restocks soon!

What are your latest shopping keepers?
-xo-
Jillian

8.26.2014

weekend good things.

Sorry for the delay!! This past weekend was pretty low-key but I managed to try a new restaurant and do some baking! Here are the highlights:

Friday night H and I went to the gym and I did some yoga and some exercises on a foam roller (I love those things!)...and then we hit up a taco bell. #classy! Don't worry we both ordered off the light fresco menu :) We finished the night with a few episodes of Lost (we're starting from season one - I never watched the whole series but it's pretty good so far).

On Saturday H spent most of the day studying and I started The Hundred Foot Journey. I also made my great grandma's date nut bread (again). And later that night we met up with some friends for dessert at Kaminsky's. I ordered the brownie sundae with vanilla bean ice cream, chocolate sauce, caramel, and pecans. so. so. good. Afterwards we walked around the Night Market downtown and managed to snag a swing by Waterfront Park (the breeze by the water was ahmmazing).

I met up with Ally and Caitlyn the next day for brunch at Leaf. The restaurant was beautiful with lots of seating indoors and a pretty patio. I ordered the egg, cheese, apple and bacon croissant sandwich - one of my favorites! It did not disappoint, and the breakfast came with fruit, potatoes AND a mimosa, bloody mary or juice -- you can't beat that! I made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies later that afternoon and finished The Hundred Foot Journey. The book was a quick read compared to Outlander and it was pretty good (although it wasn't the romantic story I was expecting, so that was a little disappointing). I'd love to see the movie and see their interpretation of the story and characters.

-xo-
Jillian

p.s. THANK YOU for your salon suggestions last week. Now I'm in search of a good place for a pedicure downtown... any tips would be greatly appreciated! Also stop by Recent Somethings - I am guest posting today!

8.25.2014

Medowbelle Market etsy shop gift card giveaway.

I am teaming up with Meadowbelle Market for a great giveaway for your jewelry box! I featured their delicate stacking ring in my etsy summer picks post and I am excited to giveaway a $30 gift card to one lucky reader. Meadowbelle Market has a pretty collection of stackable rings, midi rings and personalized necklaces in gold, rose gold or silver. Here are my favorites: 

One winner will be announced on Tuesday, September 2. 
Good Luck!
-xo-
Jillian

8.22.2014

friday five.

Happy Friday!! I'm ready for the weekend :)
ONE: These Honest Slogans made me laugh -- see all of them here.
TWO: When I posted my sangria color crush roundup earlier this week I guess I forgot that I live in the South -- where college football is king. So it might be a good time to mention that I have zero interest in ALL sports -- and yes, that includes pro and college football, basketball, baseball, and hockey (even if the Blackhawks are winning). I have no shame admitting I will go to a game if the tickets are free and there is food. And the same goes for a game-day parties -- appetizers and dips are required. I realize that some people love sports (my husband wants everything in our home to be red and black in honor of his Italian soccer team) but it's just not my thing. But don't worry, we can still be friends... and eat game-day appetizers together.
THREE: During the Summer I really like to watch shows on The Food Network and The Cooking Channel, and one of my favorites: The Great Food Truck Race premiered earlier this week. Watching it makes me want to go back to Portland and visit their food truck scene. Do you watch the show? Do you have a favorite truck yet?
FOUR: H will be studying again this weekend, which will give me lots of time to read The Hundred-Foot JourneyI'm sure an Indian food craving will follow :) 
[cartoon via]
FIVE: I need a haircut soonish -- Charleston ladies, I'd love downtown salon suggestions!

Have a great weekend!
-xo-
Jillian

8.20.2014

homemade chicken pot pie.

Last night I was in the mood for a little comfort food. Growing up I used to love Marie Callender's frozen chicken pot pies, but as a "responsible" adult I can't bring myself to eat something so unhealthy and salty. So I decided to make my own and update the recipe to make it a little healthier (substituting milk for cream for less fat and water for chicken stock for less salt). The end result was delicious and h very happy. Next time I'd like to figure out a healthier (homemade) alternative to the pre-made crust -- maybe light biscuits or mashed potatoes on top (like a Shepherd's Pie). In the meantime I'm looking forward to eating leftovers. 
Recipe adapted via Food Network

Ingredients:
1 large chicken breast diced
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup diced white onion 
1/2 cup diced carrots (I like to use baby carrots)
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large potato, diced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup water (or low-sodium chicken stock if you have it)
1 cup milk (or sub with heavy cream)
1 store bought pie crust, unbaked and thawed if frozen

METHOD: 
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Sprinkle the diced chicken breast with paprika, oregano, salt and pepper. Heat a pan over medium-high heat and spray with Pam (or use olive oil). Add the seasoned chicken and saute until cooked through, remove the chicken and put on a plate for later (to avoid overcooking). Cut the potato into 1/4 pieces and boil.

Add the onions and peas and carrots to the pan, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir and cook until the onions become tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute longer. Check on your potato, once it's cooked dice it into smaller pieces and add to the mix of vegetables. Sprinkle in the flour and stir until the flour dissolves into the vegetables and juices. Add the water (or chicken stock) and raise to a simmer, stirring until thickened. Once the liquid has thickened, stir in the milk (or heavy cream). Season with salt, if needed.


Return the chicken to the pan. Fill the pie tin with the mixture and place in the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Enjoy!
-xo- 
Jillian

8.19.2014

color crush: sangria.

I've spotted lots of shades of sangria red/purple in stores lately -- which makes me really excited about Fall but there are still cute options to wear now (and purchase for later). Here are my favorites: factory draped sleeveless blouse $50 (wear now and later with a cardigan) - ruched underwire tank swimsuit $63 (there's still time to get to the beach in Charleston) - 3" chino shorts $45 - embroidered pom-pom tank $49 - v-neck tee $15 - factory tissue scarf $35 (light enough for summer) - sophie dress $200 (I wish I had somewhere to wear this dress -- it's gorgeous!) - embroidered navy top $50 (cute color combo) - andie chino $49 (I want these for Fall)- essie limited addiction nail polish $8.50 - contrast stitch sweater $90 - suede ballet flats $80 (adding these to my wish list!)  -- use the code EXTRA25 for 25% off Jcrew Factory purchases

Would you wear the color sangria for Summer and Fall?
xo, 
Jillian