12.30.2011

twenty - eleven.

photo by dawn e roscoe
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2011 was an incredibly busy year - so much happened so fast! i cannot believe that it's already new years eve (eve) and i am looking back but here it goes - my top 10 of 2011:
1. we got engaged. this pretty much trumps everything else for obvious reasons. i was absolutely surprised and thrilled when h proposed and it was my favorite memory of the year.

2. our weekend trip to Portland ended in our engagement - it also introduced me to the pacific north west, delicious food carts and the necessity of rain boots.

3. i started cornflake designs- a little blog design company and i had the opportunity to work with some of my favorite bloggers to redesign their space.

4. my best friend got engaged! i remember literally squealing when she told me and i am SO happy she met her match. 

5. my little brother returned from Afghanistan safe and sound (thank the lord).

6. rendez-vous new england in boston! this year ali and i finally got to hang out in person AND meet TONS of other great bloggers. 

7.  espana! our first european vacation together was wonderful. gorgeous weather, lots of walking and site seeing. and of course tapas, sangria, and sweets!

8.aris + al get hitched

9. my little brother got engaged!
10. we bought our first place. this was a fast one. one minute we're looking at condo's online and seeing a few here and there and the next we're signing the papers! our place is a dream though with lots of space to grow in the future (i promise to take you all on a proper photo tour early next year).
a huge thank you to all of you who stop by and say hi. i appreciate your support and kind words more than you'll ever know! wishing everyone a safe and happy new years with lots of sparkle and smiles. 

xo, 
jillian
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12.21.2011

blogger wishlist- midwest.

i am a bit partial to this group of fantastic midwest bloggers...daily dishvery loveligh, and sequins and stripes 


shari from chicago is wishing for: 
1.Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender (for making lots of soups this winter)
2. Michael Kors Tortoise Shell Watch 
3. Gwyneth Paltrow's Cookbook - My Father's Daughter



leigh from michigan is wishing for:
1. School Uniforms for kids in need: because education is one of the greatest gifts!
2. Hunter Basketweave Socks for my new yellow wellies: because it's about to be a cold christmas.
3. Couples Mittens from etsy: even though mr. m would need a lot of coaxing to wear them.





xo, 
jillian


blogger wishlist recap:
west coasteast coastoverseas, and the south!
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12.20.2011

blogger wishlist - the south.

happy tuesday y'all! today i rounded up a few of my favorite southern bloggers {simply southern, elle sees, and mimosas in the morning} to share their wishlists!

emily from Houston is wishing for: 
1. kate spade iphone case
2. aldo kovalcin black booties
3. shaker knit scarf

elle from atlanta is wishing for:
1. clarisonic plus sonic skin cleansing system
2. miss dior fragrance
3. silk twill hermes scarf


allyson from Dallas is wishing for: 
1. ipad + tory burch cover
2. michael kors hamilton large tote
3. west elm slate placemat

i'm saving the best for last! midwest bloggers will be up tomorrow!
and in case you missed it: blogger wishlists from the west coast, east coast, overseas


and i'm guest posting over on sandy a la mode! a gift guide for the bebe-cakes!
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12.15.2011

blogger wishlist - overseas.

today we're going international with blogger wishlists from the boot and aspiring kennedy!(across the pond's wishlist will be posted later today as a special thursday treat!) 


marissa from italy is wishing for:
1. Kitchen Aid Stand Up Mixer so i can do lots of holiday baking
2. Kumquats and Kiwis Minted journal for dreaming up blog posts
3. Pumpkin Cable Knit Scarf from Topshop to stay warm while we're hanging out in the piazza



lauren from england is wishing for:
xo, 
jillian

ps check out the BEST and worst gifts i have received and given over the years over on fashion truffles!
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12.14.2011

12.13.2011

blogger wishlist - west coast.

hello chickadees! i am SUPER excited to announce blogger wishlists from around the US. today we'll start off with those trendy ladies from the west coast- brynn from chartreuse and a twist, katie from running on happiness and joelle from something charming!



brynn from seattle is wishing for:
1. a poppy slouchy jacket 
2. a set of glasses
3. a new camera!


katie from arizona is wishing for: 
1. michael kors 'layton' chronograph watch
2. tea rose velvet blazer 
3.braden taupe boots

joelle from california is wishing for: 
1. leopard print toms
2. chanel chance perfume 
3. a kitchen aid mixer

xo,
jillian

ps east coast favorites are up tomorrow!
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12.08.2011

industrial crush.

h and i have similar tastes when it comes to how we want our new place to look (well- most of the time). right now i'm trying to get him on board with industrial pieces that i think will look great in our kitchen and dining room. i am smitten with these industrial chairs, stools and light fixtures...








1. firefly pendant light $199 - 2. marais a side chair $125 - 3.victory pendant lamp $149 - 4.cb2 counter stool $110 - 5. machinist stool $125 - 6. high back stool $155

how would you describe your interior design style?
modern, traditional, eclectic, vintage?
xo,
jillian
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12.06.2011

sunday dinner- persian.

every week h and i go out for sunday dinner with his family (dad + brother + his fiance). the dinner's are a great way to get together before the work-week and spend some quality time together. we take turns picking out the restaurant and this week it was my pick. i chose my favorite persian restaurant: noon-o-kabob in albany park [4651 N. Kedzie Ave, Chicago]:


h's family is 100% persian and they love this place...so you know it has to be good. we've gone quite a few times and i always look forward to the mossir [homemade yogurt with shallots}, feta cheese, fresh parsley and pita bread. i also love the chenjeh and joujeh [steak & chicken kabobs with steamed tomatoes, dill rice with lima beans]. whenever i order this dish i usually mix in some mossir to create a cremier texture with my rice (trust me try it sometime!). if you're looking for authentic persian food stop by - and bring an appetite- the portions are huge so i always have leftovers.

what kinds of food are you loving right now?

xo, 
jillian


ps hop over to a {little} dash of ash to see my christmas wishlist for our new place!
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12.05.2011

sugar, sugar.



this saturday i hosted my second annual cookie exchange with a great group of friends -- including three of my favorite chicago bloggers:: shari [the daily dish], zoe [style foodie], and lara [simply irresistible].  we snacked on dips and appetizers, played a fun taboo-esq game and then dug into all of the cookies (there were sooo many tasty options). we also packed up a box of cookies that will be shipped to a solder in Afghanistan. somewhere in the middle all of the chatting and games i missed watching the holiday...so i'm putting that on my to-do list before christmas :)


how was your weekend?!
xo, 
jillian 

ps the winner of the Mikarose Giveaway is lucky #76 -Chris! Congratulations!!

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11.30.2011

wedding wednesday - the honeymoon!

when h and i got engaged in march we immediately discussed the honeymoon. we decided Paris + Amsterdam would be the perfect pair for our 10-day adventure. i spent a month in Paris back in college but i have been dying to go back ever since my study abroad visit ended. we bought our plane tickets to Paris a few months ago and then got distracted by "life" things...(a job change, condo and a trip to Spain). last week we started talking about our honeymoon again and researching our destination cities and hotels. after some research, Amsterdam's just didn't feel right. sure it looks like an awesome city and a somewhere to visit before we have kids... but not for our honeymoon. after some discussion and lots of wicki-travel page searches we discovered Prague! Paris + Prague --so different but both seem sooo dreamy. the perfect destinations for our honeymoon! now that we have the cities picked we are faced with the (exciting) task of plotting out our to-do's/to-see's. there are places i absolutely want to revisit while we're in paris (musee d'orsay, centre pompidou, versailles!) but i know there are other gorgeous sites and tasty restaurants we need to add to our travel plans. Praugue will be a brand-new adventure for both of us.


 [via, via, via, via, via]

have you been to Paris or Prague? do you have any must-sees?
any favorite boutiques, restaurants or bakeries?!


xo,
jillian
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11.24.2011

turkey time!

happy thanksgiving ya'll! i hope you have a wonderful day and remember to give thankful for all the good things in your life!


xo,
jillian
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11.23.2011

wedding wednesday-registry essentials for the kitchen.

Tis the season for baking and cooking up large feasts! After my pinterest potluck and friends-thanksgiving I realized there are a few kitchen essentials that I need to add to our wedding registry.

First on my list is a kitchen aid mixer! With so many colors and options I was a little overwhelmed at first (my first color choice was mint). I decided it might be smarter to go with a color that I won't get sick of after a few years = gray. classic, chic, and it wont clash with my stainless steel appliances.

It's not everyday that i entertain a large group of guests but when I do i would like to have some proper serving pieces (a serving tray, cake knife/server, large spoons...). I love really love all of the simple designs at Crate and Barrel.


And then there are a few other fun things: copper pepper mill, sandwich pressmint mixing bowls

What are your kitchen essentials?
xo,
Jillian
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11.22.2011

sugar wasted.

a saturday morning schedule that starts off with the line "Let's get sugar wasted!" guarantees it is going to be a good day. i love my friends. my best friend jen was responsible for allll the planning of our first annual chicago donut crawl this past saturday. we visited three chicago donut shops and by the last one i was waaaay sugar wasted...

first up was The Doughnut Vault the trendy river north shop. i met my friends at 9:30 AM and there was already a line down the street. we waited in line for about 20 minutes and once we finally got into the itty bitty shop we each bought a ginormous donut (i got the chocolate glazed).


next up! Dinkels, a classic bakery in lakeview. this place was adorable...filled with affordable old-school pasteries, donuts, cookies and cakes. we got a table inside the bakery and were able to enjoy our donuts inside (unlike the vault). i ordered the cinnamon apple donut (middle) and it was hands down the best donut of the day. runner-up goes to my friend's maple bacon glaze donut (left) which had a great salty sweet combo.

we were suppooose to go to Fritz Pastry  - 1408 W. Diversey but they SOLD OUT of donuts by 11AM! we were a little sad but moved onto the next stop...


our last stop was a new bakery in my neighborhood, west town, Bleeding Heart Bakery! by the time we went to the sustainable punk-themed bakery we all wanted to take a break from the sugar and ordered brunch. no worries... before we left i picked up a chocolate peanut butter donut for the walk home.


if you live in chicago i would highly recommend going on a donut crawl- it was a great way for me to spend time with friends, visit different neighborhoods and get my sugar fix. just make sure you schedule in a nap afterwards. 


next up- a cupcake crawl!

xo,
jillian


ps don't miss the NOVICA giveaway!
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11.17.2011

croc confession.

i have a shoe confession to make... i recently in love with a shoe i never thought i could love. crocs. queue disapproving sign! but daaaaaaaanng those things are comfy and my little ballet crocs were (dare i say) cute. after much deliberation (and desperation), i decided to try the shoes out in spain. i ordered the kadee black ballet croc flats and got them 2 days later (whoa fast shipping!) when they arrived i was surprised to discover the shoes are super light and didn't add weight or bulk to my small suitcase. day one in spain i was pretty jet lag but we wanted to see the city so we walked. a lot. and at the end of the day my feet were sore but NOTHING compared to my usual cole haan flats (they usually hurt after an hour of walking). my crocs held up in the rain, heat, and even on the beach. throughout the 10-day trip i alternated them with a pair of TOMS (which were also comfy but less flexible) and some rainbow flip flops (these were killer on my knees and didn't give any arch support).

if you're traveling soon or you just want some comfy basic flats i would recommend these shoes. bonus: they were only $30

tips: buy a size small down
if your shoes are a little snug throw them in a dryer for a few minutes and put them on (they will stretch to the perfect size). 

xo, 
jillian
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11.16.2011

wedding wendesday-man style.

earlier this week instead of rushing to get ready for work i tried on my wedding dress (again). it's just hanging there so why not :) after i messed around with my hair a little bit i decided i should change before i got the dress dirty... i started to think about h's wardrobe. we havent really talked about what he is going to wear yet. h is a big bowtie guy so intially i was thinking ok, let's go with the bow tie suit route. but the other night he mentioned something about suspenders.. do you pair suspenders with a bow tie (or is that too country?) what about a skinny tie? so many questions! naturally i went to pinterest for some inspiration. here are a few of my favorite looks:


xo,
jillian


ps there's still time to enter the stylemint giveaway!
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11.15.2011

weekend review- thankful

this weekend was full of friends + food...so basically lots of goooood things.
on friday night i hosted a pinterest potluck with a few of my favorite chicago bloggers (shari, zoe, lara + leslie) and it was fantastic! i got to try new savory + sweet treats and chat it up with the girls...im tempted to try to make this a monthly thing. i made cake batter rice krispee treats but my favorite dish was shari's greek dip (i was thrilled to have leftovers the next day!) Saturday i was pretty productive at home-- i did lots of cleaning, laundry and prepping for friends-thanksgiving on sunday. we went out for greek sat night opa. i can always go for gryos and greek chicken lemon soup!

sunday was the big holiday! we had 8 guests (and somehow everyone had a place to sit!) our friends brought a dish (or two) so we had quite the feast. i was in charge of the turkey + pumpkin pie... after a little online research earlier in the week i realized that i had to thaw said frozen turkey a couple days before dinner. #fail. so plan B: we served three rotisserie chickens and they were delicious :) i am incredibly grateful to have such wonderful friends and my man helping out in the kitchen. let the countdown to thanksgiving2 begin!

how was your weekend? do you ever celebrate the holidays early?
xo, 
jillian
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11.09.2011

wedding wednesday - switch up!

One thing i have learned while planning our wedding is try not to sweat the small stuff. h and i are x months away from our summer wedding and last weekend we met with the owner of our venue to go over some details. turns out he had some news for us- we are not able to have an outdoor ceremony. The park we were orginally planning on getting married at (across the street from the ballroom) is a public park and apparently the city is prohibiting all future weddings at the space. they want to keep it a public place...yada yada. after the initial shock > BUMMER > sad > panic (what are we going to do?!). i felt relived. now we won't have to worry about the weather, rain on the wedding or 100 degree temps. The planner at our venue assured us that we could use the ballroom space for our ceremony, move guests to another large space on the same floor for cocktails and back into the ballroom for dinner and dancing. crisis averted. now i just have to figure out how to decorate the space without spending a fortune on flowers.

have you seen any creative or modern decor ideas for an indoor wedding ceremony?


xo,
jillian

ps don't forget to sign up for the shabby chic giveaway!
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11.08.2011

color crush: green.

while h and i were walking around madrid i spotted a gorgeous european woman wearing a bright green top and i was a little green with envy. i generally don't wear a lot of bright colors but i needed that top. two days later i YES-ed out loud at a store when i found the blouse. to my relief it was crazy expensive and it looked great on. sold.
now i am smitten with all things green! consider these pieces added to my wishlist:: 
for my closet and jewelry box: 1. scoopneck blouse $110, 2. earrings $32, 3.necklace $173  and for our new home: 4. emerald ombre covered dish $28, 5. cake stand $75


what color are you crushing on lately?
xo, 
jillian
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11.02.2011

wedding wednesday- jen + casey

happy wedding wednesday! i have a special treat for you today, my best friend's engagment photos! the photos were taken by our ridiculously talented and creative friend josh pabst. josh was my former co-worker and is a full time architect and a wedding videographer and photographer. he opened up his own company; Obvious Child Productions, LLC and his videography work is pretty remarkable {this wedding video made me tear up and i don't even know the bride or groom!} i adore his photos of my best friend jen and her fiance casey! they look so happy and in love-- don't you agree?!

to see more videos + photos by Obvious Child Productions
vist the website - facebook page

xo,
jillian
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10.26.2011

wedding wednesday - aris + al.

happy wedding wednesday! today is a special post dedicated to my friends aris + al's wedding. i was lucky enough to be a bridesmaid and i had so much fun helping them celebrate their big day. aris + al had a gorgeous traditional greek orthodox ceremony and it was wonderful to have a spot up on the altar to see the priest do his thing. the ceremony was filled with symbolic gestures--which the priest explained at the end. after the ceremony we moved onto the reception (after a champagne filled limo ride...) and the rest of the evening was filled with Greek dancing, fantastic food, tears and a lot of smiles. it was the first wedding i was ever apart of and i loved every minute of it! 
aris + al had an incredible sweets table (it went on forever!) and they gave guests huge candy apples as favors! their playlist was ahhhmazing and i am considering 'borrowing' a few songs for our wedding next year.
Congratulations to al + aris and thank you again for letting me apart of your special day! 
opa!
xo,
jillian
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10.20.2011

españa snapshots- madrid

As soon as we arrived in Madrid, we were in love. The city reminded us of Chicago, a bustling city full of people. I loved the public parks and squares--if you walked for five minutes you were bound to run into one! The city was full of cars and scooters zooming around, but there were also large streets dedicated to pedestrian traffic which we loved. We spent a lot of time stopping in shops and restaurants. One of our favorite spots was a modern market where we shared churros and went back for tapas.


On our last day we ran into an artsy area of the city where they were holding an outdoor showcase of interior design shops and boutiques. If I could carry more on the plane it would have been an expensive afternoon!
xo,
Jillian
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10.12.2011

wedding wednesday - bridesmaid dresses.

as you know my little brother got engaged over the weekend, he called me yesterday with more happy news! 
he wants me and my older brother andy to be in the wedding. 
the bride will have her sister and brother in the wedding party too. fun right?!

via, via, via, via


this saturday one of my best friends is getting married and i am ecstatic to be apart of the wedding party, i get to wear a pretty purple gown and greek dance the night away :) 

with all this bridesmaid buzz i thought it was about time that i reveal a few details about my wedding party and what they will be wearing next july...

after much debate i decided to go with different styles of jcrew bridesmaid dresses from the chiffon collection. i let my bridesmaids choose their favorite style and i picked two colors (i am trying to keep that part a surprise!) i love the idea of wedding parties and i think it's even more fun when the bridesmaids or groomsmen get to show off a little bit of their personality with their outfit. 


what do you think- do you like mismatched bridesmaid gowns? or do you miss the traditional matching look?!


xo, 
jillian
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10.06.2011

siesta and sweets

I'm excited to share with you my two favorite things from my trip to Spain: Siesta and Sweets! During our trip to Barcelona and Madrid we did a lot of walking...which justified my afternoon naps and sweet fix. I ate a whole lotta croissants, churros and chocolate, cakes and ice cream. I even visited mcdonald's to try the spanish version of soft serve (it's on a waffle cone with a kit kat!. three times. judged. i know. but it was soooo good.

One of my favorite sweet shops was Antigua Patileria del Pozo in madrid. the pastry shop with decor from the 1830's sold tasty little cakes at a super affordable price (so you can try a few!).
Spaniards are all about the siesta. Who wouldn't be?! After my sweet fix I indulged in an hour nap. If only I could get the siesta started in the states... 
xo, 
Jillian 
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