4.18.2014

five on friday.

Happy Friday! I thought I would try something new today and link up with Christina, April, Natasha and Darci for Five on Friday. 

ONE: I am currently reading The Last Love Letter from Your Lover by JoJo Moyes and loving it...no surprise there. 

TWO: I am really excited for season 2 of Orange is the New Black! They just released a trailer and it looks really good. (photo above via)

THREE: I recently bought a one-piece swimsuit from jcrew and I LOVE it. The wrap-front silhouette and grid navy and white polka dot print is perfect. It also comes in solid colors - I am tempted to buy another one in vibrant flame... and a summer straw hat (on sale 30% off with the code BIGSALE)

FOUR: I still love Fashion by Mayhem (you know that mom and daughter duo who make clothes out of construction paper) -- follow on instagram @2sisters_angie to see new creations.


FIVE: It's Easter weekend! That means I get to see my family on Sunday and have my last cadbury cream egg of the season ;) 

Have a great weekend! 
xo, 
jillian
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4.17.2014

a bed fit for a king (and queen).



H and I have decided that we want to upgrade to king size bed (mostly because I sprawl out during the night, leaving him close to the edge -- sorry, babe!). I am excited to buy a new mattress (we're thinking memory foam) but have no idea what brand to buy -- any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. A larger mattress means we'll also have to buy a new headboard or bed-frame, comforter, duvet cover and sheets! It's a lot to consider all at once, so I thought I would start with the duvet cover. I want to keep the room simple and avoid loud bright patterns. I found seven duvet covers that I think will create a relaxing and peaceful space: 
 grand embroidered black stripe cover / JR by john robshaw cosmos gray duvet / Dwell Studio modern border admiral duvet cover  (also in smoke gray) / hudson park Italian percale double-stripe duvet / sferra connery circles duvet / natalie embroidered quilt  

Which one is your favorite?
Do you have a mattress brand you recommend? xo, 
jillian
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4.16.2014

loving eyelet details: splurge and save.



I donated my winter coat the other day and packed away all of my wool sweaters (maybe a little too soon since it's cold again in Chicago). I am ready for  Spring and Summer weather AND clothes -- bring on dresses, skirts and shorts in light fabric. Lately I love everything eyelet -- a classic fabric for Spring -- here are a few of my favorite splurge and save options: 
SPLURGE: banana republic shift dress $130 - shauna eyelet skirt $165 - shoshanna wilson lake cover up $198 (take 25% off with the code INTHEFAMILY14 at checkout)vignette top $65 - eyelet hideaway top $90 (20% off with code MOODLIFT) - liv eyelet racer back dress $152

SAVE: eyelet shift dress $25 (I have this in navy and I can't wait to wear it to my sister-in-law's wedding shower!) - strapless dress $25 - spaghetti strap dress $25 - also available in plus-size $42 and maternity $35 - (15% off with code ONSAVENOW).  

Do you like the eyelet trend?
xo,
jillian
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4.15.2014

april houzz board: poufs.

This month my houzz ideabook is dedicated to the pouf! Love them or hate them you can't deny that they are a functional piece of furniture and they don't take up a lot of space in a room. I want a pouf for our living room so I can put up my feet at night :) here are a few of my favorites: 

 white faux leather pouf / varigated aqua pouf / navy bubble knit pouf / threshold striped navy pouf / yellow braided pouf / cobalt blue knitted poufgray knitted graphic pouf / bazaar pouf - See my full April ideabook here or browse through all of my Houzz ideabooks.

Do you like poufs?
Which one is your favorite?
xo, 
jillian
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4.14.2014

weekend good things.

Happy Monday! My weekend flew by but it was full of so many good things including two wonderful brunch dates!

-On Friday night we had our Netflix date and watched The Best Man Holiday -- it wasn't very good and very predictable but it still made me cry like a little baby.

-Saturday I met up with the girls for brunch at Flo in West Town. I had the tastiest Mexican breakfast tacos -- filled with eggs, veggies, black beans, cheese and a side of guacamole.

-I took advantage of the warm weather and walked to the hair salon (in sandals!!). H met me after my haircut and we soaked up the sun while we walked around the neighborhood. That night I made chicken tikka masala for dinner-- it was good but not quite like the "real" thing at Indian restaurants.

-I started Sunday morning with some yoga and then we met h's family to celebrate my sister-in-law's birthday at another West Town spot -- Bow & Stern Oyster Bar. I am not a seafood fan but they have a really wonderful brunch menu. I got the opportunity to try lots of delicious dishes (thanks to h and my father-in-law) -- I recommend the Oreo pancakes, Rolling Meadows Farms Pork Belly Hash and the side of fruit (not on the menu but I was pleasantly surprised it was full of fresh ripe blueberries, raspberries and strawberries -- no cantaloupe or "filler" fruit!) 

-The weather got cold fast and it rained for the rest of the day. I'm officially ready for summer :) 

How was your weekend?
xo, 
jillian
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4.11.2014

link love.

Happy Friday!! It's going to be warm this weekend (YAHHH!). Tonight H and I have a netflix date night - we're watching The Best Man Holiday (obviously my pick but I'm making dinner so that makes it ok, right?!) On Saturday I have a brunch date with the girls and a haircut appointment (I am long overdue for a trim). And Mad Men is back this Sunday!! I'm also hoping to fit in some yoga and if it's warm enough a bike ride! 
photo from instagram - @cornflakedreams

Here's a little weekend reading: 

-I have a bad case of #babyfever -- so it was refreshing to read about The No Kids Club


I have lived in Chicago for seven years (and grew up an hour from the city) sooo I think can admit that our city has a few problems. I laughed/cringed when I saw The 99 problems with Chicago.... but these ones really hit home:

3. That one nice day in March that gives you false hope
8. The coldest four months ever on record
22. Polar vortexes/vortices
28. The city’s segregated like a TV dinner
30. Sleepy train conductors
36. “Was that gunshots or fireworks?”
42. CTA platform heaters getting turned off two months too soon
52. 9.25% sales tax
59. People standing left on the escalator
72. The war between taxis and bikers
73. Our killer crime rates
75. Unannounced express trains
87. Clothes stained from street salt

-Okay, fine. I am a little OCD

-I am in love with these sandals + swim suit + cover-up! #SUMMER

-Have you taken the buzzfeed Mad Men Quiz? What character are you? I got Roger Sterling --ha! Love him but I'm a little surprised the quiz didn't make you choose your gender.

-If Jurassic Park had a Yelp page....

Thank you for all of your comments on my budget post
I loved reading all of your tips.

What are you up to this weekend?
xo, 
jillian
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4.10.2014

how we manage our money.

Lately I have been posting a lot about shopping -- things I want to buy or have bought. I really enjoy shopping but I like to have extra money left over to do "fun" stuff like brunch with the girls and movies dates AND save for the future (a bigger house + travel). So I thought we could talk about budgets today (it'll be painless, I promise!)
My husband and I have a shared account that we both deposit into every month and it pays for joint bills: groceries, satellite TV, internet, Netflix, utilities, medical expenses, and mortgage for our condo.

Then there are our individual bank accounts -- we have set monthly budgets for our personal spending and manage those budgets ourselves. As much as h doesn't understand or even agree with my shopping he is respectful of my budget and doesn't complain when I buy another pair of shoes. Having these pre-set budgets works for us and we rarely fight about money because we know where the money is going. Keep in mind: our budgets were not made overnight -- we had many discussions about money and how much we need to spend (bills) versus how much we want to spend (shopping an entertainment). Just find a budget that works for you (and your partner if you have a joint account).



I'll let you in on a little secret that helps me manage my budget-- I am a crazy spreadsheet-lady. I write down every. single. thing I buy. That way I really know what I am spending (aka all those random CVS visits really add up!) I have kept a record of what I bought for the last 4 years and it's sooo helpful to see where all of your money goes (a few years ago it was bar tabs...now it's barre classes!)  

Another thing that works for me -- pay off those credit cards EVERY month! I have 3 credit cards but I make absolutely sure that I pay off any charges the SAME month. I seems so silly to pay interest on anything, aside from H's crazy medical school loans but we're working on paying those off. (His budget has "student loans" in place of "savings" up above.) Speaking of savings, set up your bank account to automatically deposit money into a savings account every month - that way you wont be tempted to spend the "extra" money in your account.

I'd love to hear how you budget your money! 
Do you have any tips that help you save or monitor your spending? xo, 
jillian
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