3.30.2011

playing favorites.

because i know you're dying to know.. and i was tagged in a favorites list::


{1} food. ??? {2} color. gold! lately i like the rose-gold variety {3} animal. dolphin {4} sports team. we watch a lot of AC Milan in our house (italian soccer) {5} dessert. pumpkin pie. lemon italian ice. cookie dough ice cream. reeces pieces. wildberry skittles. funfetti cupcakes. um yeah, so i have a bit of a sweet tooth... {6}artist/singer/band. regina spektor {7} pair of shoes. ballet flats. {8} outfit. a tank and cropped slim pants with flat sandals...to be worn in summertime in chicago {9} store. ???? {10} brand. jcrew {11} perfume. versace bright crystal {12} accessory. my crackberry {13} city. ??? {14} hobby. blog-loooovin. {15} beauty product. eye lash curler {16} snack. dry cereal-- cinnamon chex mix is pretty amazing. {17} holiday. thanksgiving! {18} movie. ??? {19} song. let's stay together- al green {20} guilty pleasure. reality t.v. and my dvr.

i think that covers all of the really important things...if you're curious about the ones i left out hop over to lifestyle maven today for the rest of my favorite things :)

anything else you wanna know!? 
 
xoxo,
jillian

psst: don't forget to enter the Laura Lombardi Jewelry Giveaway!
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3.29.2011

{six month anniversary} giveaway!


guess what chickadees! it's my six month anniversary of blogging :) whootwhoot! i have no idea where the time has gone but i have loved the last couple of months. i am SO happy i started cornflake dreams and have had the opportunity to get to know all of you! soooo to celebrate the talented laura lombardi is donating a GORGEOUS piece of jewelry to one lucky reader (i gushed about her collection here).

enter to win the copper ladder necklace -- it is one of my favorite pieces that you can wear with just about anything!

how to enter:

mandatory: follow cornflake dreams and leave a comment with some feedback about the blog. something you like, dislike, want to see more/less of :) i would love to know what you're loving or could do without.

increase your odds: {please leave a separate comment for each}
1. follow cornflake dreams via twitter
2. follow laura lombardi via twitter
3. tweet about the giveaway :: enter to win a necklace @lauralombardi @cornflakedreams:: http://bit.ly/dFKdZV !

that's 4 ways to enter--- good luck chickadees!!! i will pick a winner on monday, april 11. this giveaway is open to ALL countries :)
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3.28.2011

finding the perfect place.

as i mentioned on friday h and i visited a few wedding venue options this weekend. we saw the morton arboretum and two chicago park district buildings. i wasn't in love with them, but they are still in the running. i have always dreamed of a modern and chic venue for my wedding. we both want something untraditional and are looking for an alternative to a hotel ballroom or country club. after hours of research there are a few unique options in chicago but there are a lot of things to consider. the majority of my guests are coming from the western suburbs and parking is a huge concern. we also have to finalize a guest count list (150-200) and pick a date (may or june 2012).... but we do have some time to look around, these three are our style:: 
i love the exposed brick and greenery, but it might not be big enough for a sit down dinner and dancing:: a new leaf


the large windows are striking and the space is a blank canvas:: prairie production


a large brick blank canvas in an industrial area of the city:: MCA Warehouse


single ladies: where do you envision your wedding? something modern or traditional? a hotel? country club? golf course? destination wedding? 
married friends: how long did it take for you to find the perfect place? and how far in advance did you book? 

xo, 
jillian
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3.25.2011

friday love.

calligraphy by joelle from love is home

no links today just a lot of love and thank-yous :) 
a huge thank you to all of you for the sweet comments about my engagement! i am bursting with happiness and i cannot stop staring at my ring and kissing my finance! thank you to joelle from Love is Home, for the beautiful quote in her smancy calligraphy (above) and helping me personalize some notecards (i'll post these soon!). thank you to the wonderful bloggers who participated in the Spring Escape Blog Crawl and finally thank you to the ladies who were kind enough to guest post while i was on vacation. i am so grateful to have such supportive family, friends and followers (that's you!) so thanks a bunch and have a fantastic weekend! 

xoxo, 
jillian


ps a huge happy birthday to my dad :) 
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friday's fancies #10.

since the lovely {av} of {long distance loving} posted a guest friday's fancies last week, i am up to #10! tonight i am watching my alma mater Marquette University play in the sweeet 16! goooo marquette :) on saturday i am meeting up with the girls for brunch and most likely spending most of the day talking about wedding stuff. saturday afternoon h and i might go see potential wedding venues. on sunday i have my first skype blate with my blog bestie {av}! she was sweet enough to send me a package of bridal magazines and other goodies! too cute. here's my relaxed look for the MU game! 


cardigan $50, tee $24, jeans $125, toms shoes $44, bangles $12/each, messenger bag $245

do you follow college basketball? honestly this is the first game i will watch all season. i loved my time at MU, but i am not much of a sports person. i usually find out game scores via twitter or friend's facebook status :) 
what are your plans for the weekend?

xoxo,
jillian
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3.24.2011

the ring.

i have had quite a few requests to share a close-up photo of my engagement ring. i can't stop starring at it so i guess it would be selfish to keep it all to myself :) 
the band is a little pinker in person, just the right amount of a rose-gold hue.
it's exactly what i wanted and it is incredibly sparkly in person. the ring was custom made by a jeweler in my family... a hybrid of a couple of rings that h and i saw together. i must say i am pretty smitten with it :) i always thought that i would want a diamond wedding band but i want the engagement ring to stand out on it's own, so i am going to get a simple rose gold band instead. 

what does your dream ring look like? 
xoxo, 
jillian
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3.23.2011

style crush - {fairy tales are true}.

style crush is a new monthly series dedicated to blogger's with style. for my very first style crush i have chosen the always lovely Sarah Tucker from fairy tales are true.

high waisted anything, geometric, wide leg trousers.
look #1:: denim shirt $98, stripe dress $88
look #2:: white blouse $78, abstract dress $248
a little Q&A::
what trends do you love right now:: high waisted anything, geometric, wide leg trousers. 
who is your favorite designer:: Narciso Rodriguez - he knows how to make clothes that flatter women.
where do you like to shop:: Forever 21, j.crew, saks, bcbg, nordstrom
which do you prefer, heels or flats :: i wish I had a job where it was suitable to wear sky high heels. But most of the time, you'll find me in flats. or maybe a bit of a wedge.
what is favorite piece of clothing or accessory:: I love my Michael Kors watch JB gave me on the first anniversary of our dating. I still wear it with almost everything.
what do you feel most comfortable wearing:: Dresses.
what is on your shopping wishlist:: I would LOVE to have some louboutins. One day I just might (:



thank you to sarah! be sure to check out sarah's blog and etsy photography shop!

xoxo,
jillian
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3.22.2011

portland recap.

we arrived in portland on a thursday afternoon after a long flight from chicago. after taking the train from the airport to downtown (so cheap and fast!) we tracked down kenny and zuke's delicatessen and ordered two ginormous sandwiches. after lunch we ran around the city and tried to take it all in. portland is so green, trees and moss everywhere and i dare you to try to find trash or litter on the ground (quite the change from some parts of chicago). there are recycling bins everywhere and the clean and quiet train that runs downtown is free in some parts! craziness. we stopped in the infamous powell's books for a cookie break (me) and a little reading time (h). the store was a maze of books with multiple levels, absolutely a must-see for any avid reader. that night we met h's brother (who teaches law at university of orgeon) and went to dinner along with his girlfriend to lovely's fifty-fifty. we ordered a few pizzas, with v interesting and delicious toppings:: salumi finocchiona with mama l’il peppers & green  olives and one with wild nettles with taleggio, pancetta & parmesan.

day two was a foodie day. we stopped by stumptown coffee for some local coffee and then hung out at the ace hotel lobby (it has a comfy lounge area). afterwards we hit the food carts downtown. i had my first philly cheese steak sandwich and it was ahhmazing. h attacked a giant burrito and enchilada. we snuck out of the rain into our hotel lobby to eat our lunches (the only drawback to the food carts). after lunch, we headed to voodoo donuts... hellooo, sugar. we waited in line for a few minutes to buy three cereal/sugar coated donuts ($5 total!) the wait and sugar comma was totally worth it. chicago needs to starts to put cereal on their donuts. stat. 
day three. the day we got engaged! saturday started off with h singing in the shower... and i was annoyed (full disclosure: i'm not always a morning person). so crab cakes (me) wanted to do photo booth photos at the ace hotel because h didn't want to do them the day before (little did i know he was waiting for a special occasion). we took a few (far left) but the first two didn't really turn out. 

we headed to the river to go to the saturday market. while we were down by the river h got a call from the hotel, there was a package for him in the lobby. he told me his mom sent me something in the mail. weird. but she is pretty sweet so it wasn't totally unbelievable and i was excited to open up whatever she sent. we walked back to the hotel, picked up the package and then walked back to the river and sat on a bench (it was finally sunny outside!) h told me to turn around and open the box so he could take a photo of my reaction. i opened the small box and i was surprised to see it was empty! 
when i finally turned around i was absolutely shocked to see h holding a sparkly diamond rosegold engagement ring! i started crying and i barely heard him say "will you marry me." i was in total disbelief... was this really happening?! after i got over the shock and surprise, it sank in and i said yes. (needless to say my mood drastically improved and i realized why he was so giddy that morning). the rest of the day we were on cloud nine... we called and friends, i starred at my sparkly ring and shared lots of smooches.

i would love to hear your engagement story! were you surprised? 
xoxo, 
jillian
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3.21.2011

we're getting married!

hello lovlies! i've missed all of you! if we're friends on facebook or you follow me on twitter you already know... but i couldn't wait to tell all of you via the blog. h and i are engaged!!! i was absolutely shocked when he proposed and i cannot express how happy and excited i am to spend the rest of my life with him. i literally cannot stop smiling...more about the rest of the trip tomorrow :)
xoxo,
jillian
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3.17.2011

{guest post} - love is home.

i am so excited to introduce to you Joelle of where we love is home, one of my favorite bloggers. joelle is an excellent writer and she doesn't hesitate to tell it like it is, i admire her strength and honesty. Joelle and her husband (they are high school sweethearts-too cute!) live in sunny California and enjoy everything that comes with that-- winery tours, impromptu trips to the beach... the list goes on. enjoy!
xoxo, jcd
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One of my favorite things about reading blogs is taking a little peak into how and where other people live. Through blogs, I’ve “met” people from Chicago, little towns in Kansas, Seattle, Singapore, Paris, and South Africa. When I found out that Jillian needed a guest post for today, I knew that I wanted to share with all of you about my own little corner of the world.

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There are a thousand things that I love about this place. The weather. The fact that I really can {and do} run into celebrities while getting lunch with friends. The shopping and the clubs.


I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.


Not to make you jealous or anything, but here are a few reasons why California is my favorite place in the world.

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Did you know that California is the third largest wine producer in the world? If you love wine as much as I do, it doesn’t get much better than living less than an hour away from some of the best wineries in the country. Yum.

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Don’t know what In-N-Out is? Give me your address and I’ll mail you a burger. Seriously. I’m not even kidding right now. My husband and I love In-N-Out so much that we had it at our wedding. Again, not even kidding.
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I love wine so much, I felt that it deserved two spots on this list. Because I really, really, love wine. Like really.

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I love the beach. I love walking along the water and laying out on the sand. I love that we have pretty amazing fish tacos next to our beach, less than a mile away from our little apartment. I love that my husband will tell me to put a sweatshirt on, and then drive me to the beach at ten o’clock at night to just watch the water. I love everything about the beach. Except sharks. I hate sharks.

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Seriously. If you like Pinot Noir; if you like Sauvignon Blanc or Zinfandel, California’s Central Coast is the place to be. Someday I’m going to live on the beach in a wine town. And you can come have a glass of wine with me.


Thanks for taking a little trip to my favorite place in the world today. And thanks Jillian, for letting me post on your wonderful, fabulous blog!


Much love, friends!
Joelle

today's spring escape blog crawl stop :: sandy a la mode
remember to enter the jhill design personalized print giveaway!
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3.16.2011

singing in the...



 we leave for portland tomorrow and i have been checking weather.com like a maniac the past few days. i have no doubt it's going to rain so i will be prepared with a jacket and umbrella. but do i lug my hunters along too?! they are not the most comfortable walking shoes but it's also not comfortable to walk around in wet shoes...
what do you think?

xoxo,
jillian

ps today's spring escape blog stop is over at elle sees- don't miss it!
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3.15.2011

packing polka dots.

i started packing for portland last night... i really love packing for vacations! i am bringing one of my favorite black and cream tanks to wear with a pink cardigan (similar to this outfit). it is one of my only polka dot pieces but i am hoping to add a polka dot bikini to the mix this summer and perhaps a few other patterned finds to my wishlist::


[1] beige polka dot top $40 [2] dress $70 [3] bangles $62 [4] tank $150 [5] brown skirt $58 [6] black wristlet $69 [7] pink pouch $54 [8] black skirt $110

what do you think about the pattern? do you own any polka dot pieces?
xoxo,
jcd


spring escape blog crawl stop:: travels in heels!


{don't forget to enter to win a custom jhill design print}
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3.14.2011

portlandia.

this thursday h and i are leaving for a mini-vaca to portland, oregon! i have never visited the city but i am super excited to check out the gardens, food carts, micro-breweries and markets. i was lucky enough to get a few tips from holly (little miss holls) who i am meeting up with for drinks and becky (shopping is my cardio). with their suggestions and a little google research we have a pretty packed 3-day itinerary.
 
have you been to the city of roses? do you have any travel tips? must-sees?
jcd

next up on the blog crawl:: tomorrow be sure to hop over to travels in heels, to read about sara's upcoming vacation to santa barbara!
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spring escape giveaway- jhill design print!




to kick off the spring escape blog crawl, the talented Jennifer of JHill Design, is donating a personalized print to one lucky reader! the winner can choose from an 8x10 map print or city print and personalize it with your favorite pattern and custom text. 

these prints make gorgeous wedding, baby, and birthday gifts. or keep it for yourself! (i would have a hard time letting that pretty Malibu print go)

how to enter:
manditory: follow cornflake dreams if you don't already :)
stop by JHill Design and comment on what print you prefer (map or city)

increase your odds: {please leave a seperate comment for each}
3. like JHill Design on facebook
4. tweet about the giveaway :: enter to win a personalized @jennifer_hill print!!! ::http://bit.ly/i4UCRn @cornflakedreams!

so that's 5 ways to enter--- good luck chickadees!!! i will pick a winner on monday, march 21st. the giveaway is open to US residents only (sorry to my overseas friends).

xoxo,
jillian
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blog crawl- spring escape.

let's take a trip... announcing the spring escape blog crawl!

monday, march 14 -- a travel inspired GIVEAWAY and my portland plans
tuesday, march 15 -- travels in heels
wednesday, march 16 -- elle sees
thursday, march 17 --  sandy a la mode
friday, march 18 -- express-o
saturday, march 19 -- fairy tales are true
sunday, march 20 -- jet setting divas

psst: don't miss a post! i will have an updated schedule with links attached to the little crawl button on the left sidebar!
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3.13.2011

craving crepes.

right now i have a crazy craving for crepes. the first time i had a crepe was when i was studying in paris in college. i got a nutella crepe and it was love at first bite...so delicious that i was a little disappointed i had waited so long to try one. 


so how do you like your crepes?  sweet?


OR savory?

images via, via

xoxo, 
jcd
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3.11.2011

friday's fancies #8.

happy friday chickadees! chicago is celebrating st. patty's day this weekend so i will joining in on the fun. i am not sure if i'll make it downtown to see the bright green chicago river but no worries, i can see the river from my office and that dye doesn't go away in a day! this weekend we are also celebrating my dad's birthday a little early with dinner on sunday. i am realllly looking forward to a home-cooked meal (steak, twice-baked potatoes, and cheesecake!) if the weather cooperates this weekend i would love to wear something cute and comfy::

house of harlow necklace $109 (this one has been on my wishlist fooorever), small shamrock shake $2.29

what are your plans for the weekend? are you celebrating st. patty's day this weekend or next weekend?

xoxo,
jillian
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3.09.2011

musica.


let's talk about music for a bit... so spring means summer, and summertime in chicago means music festivals. i love to see live music outdoors. starting in june, every friday in chicago there is a free concert in millenium park where people bring picnics and wine. this year i am making it my mission to go to as many as possible. 


my all-time favorite concert was jack johnson for my golden 23rd birthday. i went with a group of friends and the weather couldnt have been more perfect. i cannot wait to go to more concerts once it starts warming up. i would looove to see regina spektor and the kooks live.


i am dying to know... what was your favorite concert? do you like small venues or big shows? outdoor concerts? who is on your concert wishlist?

xoxo,
jcd
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3.08.2011

let them eat cake.

happy mardi gras! last may h and i took a weekend trip to New Orleans, i have never been to the city during Mardi Gras and I am sure it quite party with lots of treats, including the infamous king cake. 
the first time i heard about king cake was in high school french class. after a few bites i was shocked to find a plastic bebe doll in my pastry. who bakes a cake with toys inside?! i didn't realize that finding the bebe meant i was responsible for buying next years cake... good thing it was senior french class ;) 


if you are feeling ambitious and want to make your own kings cake, check out this recipe (it has tips on where to put the little bebe).

i hope you all have a fantastic night and celebrate mardi gras with a sweet treat! i will most likely be having a girl scout cookie or two. or four. what about you? what's your favorite sweet treat? 


xoxo, 
jcd
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3.07.2011

weekend review.

this weekend h and i decided to skip going out to the movies since the weather was snowy and roads were icy. we stayed in and watched the kids are all right instead, and dreamt of summertime, vegetable gardens and dining al fresco. i would love to have some outdoor space to entertain and relax. my dream garden would include a garden, a lilac bush, and some sort of swing. 

images via, via 
what does your dream backyard look like? do you have a pool? a vegetable garden? fruit orchard? gazebo? hammock? tire swing?

xoxo 
jcd
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3.04.2011

friday link love.

o hello spring! via the sartorialist and pinterest

quick links::
the ultimate sweet treat.
girly girly crush.
be an informed eater: avoid these restaurant disasters.
easy, speedy breakfast ideas.
another super cute hair tutorial via cup of jo.

weekend reads::
covet garden magazine

you might have missed::
guest travel post on {long distance loving}
my feature on femmena mala's bloggin' ladies series

have a fantastic weekend!
jcd
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friday's fancies #7.

hey chickadees what's shakin this weekend? we don't have much going on aside from another reallllly important AC Milan Italian soccer football game on saturday. afterwards i'd like to fit in a movie date too, i really want to see the adjustment bureau and i am seriously craving some buttery popcorn. here's my dream date outfit for the weekend::


pleated dress $62.78, cropped cardigan $43.03, classic trench $129, oxford slingback $228,
knotted mesh necklace $75

what are your plans for the weekend?
jcd
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3.03.2011

color crush: coral.



along with yellow, i have a bit of a color crush on coral! i try to wear my skinny coral belt as often as possible, and i am pining for a bright coral bathing suit.

what do you think? will you incorporate coral into your wardrobe or home?

xo, 
jillian
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3.02.2011

buns, hun.

ten points if you started singing baby got back after you saw the title of this post. booooo if you didn't. and moving right along... loving the bun (hair) thang right now... i can do a mini bun but i've got dreams of a big bad bun one day:: 



what do you think of the whole bun thing? chic? or over it?
jcd

p.s. femmena mala featured me in her bloggin' ladies series! my answers might surprise you! check it out here
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3.01.2011

wanderlust wishlist.


i am dying to go to spain (this september!), greece, turkey (planning for a 2012 trip!) and italy. in honor of my waderlust wishlist i want to get these lovely city and country inspired patterns and prints by jhill design (they range from $25-$65). i have her places i've never been calendar (now on sale!) in my cubical and the patterns brighten my day.


what places are on your wanderlust wishlist? 
jcd


ps hop over to long distance loving to see one more destination i am loving from afar :)
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