cornflake dreams.

4.24.2015

friday five.

HELLO Friday, I've been waiting for you! This week has been a little crazy. The boss lady has been on a feeding frenzy (we think it's the six week growth spurt), and I'm pretty exhausted. But I love Friday posts so I'm linking up with Christina, April, Natasha, Darci, AND CaitlynStephanie, and Laura today:
ONE: My doctor said I can start working out again this week! Even though most days I'm too tired to do anything but take care of Violet and make sure our house doesn't turn into a complete disaster I really missed yoga. It has always been a huge stress reliever for me and I always feel better after I spend some time on the mat. That brings me to my Can't Live Without It item of the week: my Manduka yoga mats! I invested in two quality yoga mats last year and I use them all the time. I have the Manduka Pro Mat which is thick mat I use for at home workouts and the PROlite mat for gym workouts. I've had a few cheapo mats in the past and a quality mat makes a huge difference in your practice. Both mats are really well made and have a lifetime guarantees which (IMHO) totally justifies a higher price-tag.
TWO: I plan on making these no-bake peanut butter oatmeal energy bites and oatmeal raisin energy bites sometime soon. They look like an easy and healthy snack that'll keep me full (breastfeeding burns a ton of calories!). 
THREE: I love love Jane the Virgin. Does anyone else watch this show?! I'm totally addicted to it. I love the characters -- I'm #teamraphael not #teammichael so I can't wait to see what happens next! Another favorite show in our house is The Last Man on Earth we just watched a couple of episodes on hulu and it's pretty funny :)FOUR: I received a NuRoo Nursing Scarf to try out and it's fantastic! The scarf can be worn a number of different ways - wrapped or draped, front and back, over the shoulder or around your neck. It's made out of lightweight, breathable fabric and comes in two colors navy and gray/ivory stripe (of course I went with the stripe option!). And I love that when I'm done breastfeeding it can still be used as an infinity scarf.
FIVE: I bought this maxi dress from Nordstrom and it's a keeper. The material is lightweight so it won't be to heavy to wear this summer. And the cut is really flattering -- I ordered a size small. I am tempted to get another one in a different color since they are currently 25% off.

Have a great weekend!
-xo-
Jillian

4.23.2015

craving: chicago style comfort food.

If you follow me on Instagram you know that last week I received a pretty amazing delivery from my parents. They sent Portillo's Italian roast beef sandwiches and Lou Malnati's deep dish pizza and the timing couldn't have been more perfect.
DINNER: Portillo's - Lou Malnati's - Vienna Beef Hot Dogs
Springtime in Charleston is beautiful and the weather is great, but I'll be honest, even with April flurries (crazy!) I miss Chicago. We couldn't spend Easter with family this year and even though we chatted via FaceTime, it just wasn't the same. H felt the same way and we were more than happy to eat our feelings and have Portillo's the other night for dinner. Its probably for the best they don't ship their chocolate cake...  that would be troubleMy mom and grandparents are visiting in just a few weeks (early June!!) I can't wait to have one of best parts of Chicago (family) here in Charleston! Until then I'll help myself to another Chicago favorite (deep dish pizza) and maybe I'll order some dessert.

What is your favorite food from your hometown*? 
How do you deal with being away from family? 
-xo-
Jillian 

*For those of you who are new here, no I didn't grow up in downtown Chicago. Like a lot of Chicagoans I grew up in Chicagoland...45 minutes west of the city in a very small town. But I lived and worked downtown after college for 8 years until I moved to Charleston last summer. So I get to call both places home :)

4.21.2015

ten newborn favorites.

I can't believe it's already been five weeks since Violet was born. Like I said before, the first month was a total blur. It's survival mode and all about getting to know your new baby. And believe it or not, you don't need allll the things you registered for that first month. That doesn't mean you won't need that stuff in the future, but these are my newborn favorites:
1. Keekaroo Peanut Diaper Changer - This is one of my favorite items. We use it everyday, multiple times a day to change dirty diapers. It's made out of waterproof material so there's no need for additional pads or covers -- just wipe clean. We also use it as a waterproof surface when we give Vi sponge baths . We cover it with a clean towel and put it next to the sink to avoid any spills on the counter, and to give her a cushy surface to sit on while she is pampered. 

2. aden + anais Classic Muslin Swaddle Blankets - Once I mastered the art of swaddling I started to really appreciate these blankets. They are huge and lightweight (which is important because you don't want your baby to overheat!) I always keep one in our diaper bag just in case Vi gets cold in the stroller or I need a cover for the carseat. 

3. Dr. Brown Gia Nursing Pillow - I've been exclusively breast-feeding without pumps or bottles and I love this pillow. It provides the perfect angle for a comfortable feeding, and I also use it all the time to prop Vi up and play with her. Bonus: the cover is removable and machine washable. 

4. Fisher-Price Newborn Rock n Play - We use this as a bassinet and it's where Violet naps and sleeps every night. I love that it folds up and it doesn't up a ton of space in our tiny place (there's also no crib sheets or mattress pads to deal with).

5. Solly Baby Wrap - I shared my love for this wrap last week, but I'll say it again -- it's the best for wearing your baby on walks outside or around the house. Bonus: when I put Violet in the wrap she usually falls asleep within ten minutes #secretweapon. 

6. Gerber short-Sleeve Onesies - Even though we have a lot of clothes for Vi, she usually wears short-sleeve onesies because they are so easy to put on little chickadee does not like to be changed!) There's a large hole for head and two-snap buttons for super fast diaper changes. 

7. Baby Mittens - I know some people aren't a fan of baby mittens because sometimes babies manage to pull them off, but I LOVE them. They kept Violet's face safe from her super sharp fingernails for the first few weeks (we were nervous about cutting them, but thankfully we're better about that now). Sometimes we still use the mittens at night to keep her hands warm. We also love onesies with the built-in hand covers.

8. Vaseline Petroleum Jelly - Vi got a diaper rash at two weeks old and we tried used rash ointment to treat the red skin, but it didn't help very much. My mother-in-law recommended that we use Vaseline. The stuff is magical and it cleared up Vi's rash in a day and she hasn't had any more irritated skin.

9. Carseat/Nursing Cover - My friend Caitlyn made me a carseat/nursing cover (modeled after this cover) and I use it all the time. It's a favorite when we go out on walks to cover the carseat + stroller caddy (she doesn't fit into her BOB stroller yet). The cover is an easy way to block out the sun and reduce the risk of over stimulating Violet (which happened the other day in the grocery store).

10. What To Expect The First Year - My OBGYN recommended this book and it is fantastic. It's full of really useful information and it's written in a style that is easy to digest. 

And the first month misses - hopefully she'll change her mind in the next few months:
She won't take a pacifier (and trust me it's not for our lack of trying. I tried six different brands including mom favorites Avent Soothie, Dr. Brown PreVent Design Pacifier, and a duckie WubbaNub. nope. not a fan.I was also pretty excited about the Boppy Newborn Lounger but she will sit in it for about five minutes before she starts crying. And it won't be long until she outgrows it. #whompwhomp

Mamas what are your 1-3 month favorites?
-xo-
Jillian

4.17.2015

friday five.

Happy Friday! I'm linking up with Christina, April, Natasha, Darci today here's five things on my mind:
ONE: Talk about a dream collaboration -- Bauble Bar is selling  Capri Blue signature candles! I've raved about them before and they are still my favorite. Capri Blue Volcano is the perfect blend of tropical fruits, sugared oranges, lemons, and limes and my go-to candle for spring and summer. Take advantage of your vault points + free shipping and stock up -- large jar ($32) and travel tin ($16).
TWO: Have you guys heard of the Baby Foot Peel? It's supposed to be a super effective treatment to remove calluses and dry/dead skin from your feet (just in time for sandal weather!). After reading Grace's review I really want to try it. 
THREE: These cartoons made me laugh a lot. I can totalllly relate to the agony of dropping your iPhone while you're nursing or being all scratched up by babies super sharp nails... good thing babies are so cute ;)
FOUR: I'm mailing out our baby announcements from Minted today! After spending a crazy amount of time browsing through different options, I went with the uptown introduction design. I'm always happy with the quality of Minted projects and their baby announcements did not disappoint. They are beautiful! I absolutely recommend taking advantage of their free recipient addressing...bc no one has time to write out addresses!
FIVE: Don't forget to enter the HALO SleepSack Swaddle giveaway!

Have a great weekend!
-xo-
Jillian

4.15.2015

Halo SleepSack Swaddle Review + Giveaway.

Full Disclosure: I received a complimentary item from Halo to review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Cornflake Dreams.
One of the first things I learned as a parent is our baby sleeps much better when she is wrapped up in a blanket and swaddled. I'll admit I was intimidated by all of the swaddle techniques I saw online, so I was excited to try the Halo SleepSack Swaddle. The SleepSack promotes safe sleeping and replaces loose blankets in the crib that can cover a baby’s face and interfere with breathing. It's also the only 2-in-1 adjustable swaddle that allows you to swaddle your baby with her arms in or arms out (which is great because Violet is a ninja and she gets her arms out no matter what!) The SleepSack Swaddle is extremely easy to use and I love that it has an inverted zipper for quick night-time diaper changes. It's available in a variety of prints and fabrics. We have the Alligator Blue print in 100% Cotton Muslin Fabric, which is a nice lightweight fabric for summer (and the print is adorable).


About HALO
HALO Innovations is dedicated to putting the health, safety and well-being of babies first. In fact, over 1,300 hospitals use HALO® SleepSack® wearable blankets through the HALO Safer Way to Sleep Initiative. The HALO family of products, including HALO SleepSacks and SleepSack Swaddles, SwaddeSure and the best-selling HALO BassinestTM Swivel Sleeper, help children from newborn to toddler age sleep better and safer.

You can enter to win a 100% Cotton Muslin Halo SleepSack Swaddle in your print or color choice. If you don't have a baby or you're not expecting -- enter for a friend, this Swaddle would make a great baby shower gift. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. A winner will be emailed on Wednesday, April 22, 2015. This giveaway open to U.S. residents.

Good Luck!
-xo-
Jillian

4.14.2015

weekend good things.

Happy Tuesday! I had an extra long weekend with my father-in-law in town (he arrived on Friday and leaves tonight). We spent most of his visit hanging out with Violet :) He showered her with attention and held her almost the whole time. I took advantage of our time with a babysitter and gave myself a pedicure, took a few naps, caught up on my magazines, and got a haircut. The weather was pretty warm so we spent a lot of time outdoors walking around our neighborhood.
One of my favorite part about having family visit is introducing them to our favorite restaurants #allaboutthefood. We got sandwiches from Queen Street Grocery (my favorite) and tried a new (to us) spot: Persimmon Cafe. H loveddd his chicken curry sandwich but unfortunately I wasn't impressed with their roasted chicken sandwich. It was packed with chicken, but it was pretty bland. On Sunday walked around on King Street and got salads from Verde. Locals: you have to try their spinach salad with strawberries, feta, avocado, pecans, and croutons -- it's delicious!

In other news -- Little miss Violet is a month old today! And we received a wonderful health update over the weekend. On Friday she had a echo heart scan with a pediatric cardiologist, and her heart is just fine! H and I are sooo happy and relieved that she doesn't require any follow-up appointments. (I took it as a good sign that the doctor's office had my favorite Dr. Seuss quote on the wall!) And yesterday at her four week check-up we were happy to hear that she is right on track in the growth dept. :)

How was your weekend?
-xo-
Jillian

p.s. There's only one day left to enter the Solly Baby Wrap Giveaway! Don't miss it and stop by tomorrow for another baby giveaway :)

4.10.2015

friday five.

Happy Friday! I'm linking up with Christina, April, NatashaDarci AND Caitlyn, Stephanie, and Laura, here's five things on my mind:
ONE: CaitlynStephanie, and Laura are hosting a new link-up to highlight something you can't live without. Since I've had Violet my makeup routine has pretty much disappeared and I keep my skincare regimen super simple. I might not have time, energy, or interest to put on eyeliner but I never skip my moisturizer. My current favorite is a sample I received from Influenster: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel. It smells great, absorbs quickly, and leaves my dry skin feeling super hydrated.

TWO: Old Navy has sooo many cute clothes for Spring -- I have been living in these cropped jersey pants and I love this stripe tank. I just bought a few more pieces and I'm hoping they are keepers (I'll keep you posted!) And btw that JCrew crossbody bag I bought a few weeks ago sadly did NOT work out. The purse felt plasticky and cheap and totally not worth the $98 pricetag.
THREE: My favorite Charleston candle shop just launched Candlefish.com! Now you can shop online -- bonus: use the promo code OFFTHEHOOK for a free travel tin candle from The Library at Candlefish with any online purchase.
FOUR: My father-in-law is visiting this weekend! I'm so excited for him to meet Violet and explore downtown. And if the weather cooperates I'd love to sneak in a trip to the Farmer's Market or Second Sunday.
FIVE: Don't miss the Solly Baby Wrap giveaway! One winner will be emailed next Wednesday (4/15)

Have a great weekend!
-xo-
Jillian