{guest post} - long distance loving.

Feliz Viernes! {In other words, happy Friday!} Since my bff, Jillian, is galavanting around Spain, I'm here with a perfect outfit for a touristy day in Barcelona. I am thrilled she's getting some quality time with H before their big move next month! I just wish I could have fit in one of their suitcases ;) 

1) This easy, breezy Diane von Furstenberg Emsley Dress would be an ideal piece for sightseeing--with the long sleeves and the modest length, it is appropriate for any destination.
2) House of Harlow 1960 always has fabulous bold pieces and these Antler Button Stud Earrings stay true to form. They are also versatile enough for Jillian to wear with other outfits on their trip!
3) + 4) You can never have enough travel guides, so I included Rick Steves Spain 2012 and Fodor's Spain 2011 to help Jillian and H find hidden gems across Barcelona :)
5) The crossbody bag is a fantastic way to stay stylish on the go. Though I love wearing backpacks {so dorky, forgive me!}, I think Jillian could rock this Marc by Marc Jacobs Petal to the Metal Flap Pouchette while roaming Barcelona.
6) These Vera Wang Lavender Label Bailey Penny Elastic Topline Flats would certainly make a long day of sightseeing less painful! 
7) Accessories go a long way in making an outfit come together--and this Annie Hammer Brown Bubble Cuff does just that! I just adore the deep brown leather paired with the bright gold of the "bubbles".

What are your fashion must-haves while you're on the go?

Be sure to stop by my blog, {long distance loving}, to see a slew of other dreamy looks :)
Many thanks to Jillian for having little ol' me fill in while she's gone--it's such an honor to be here!

Enjoy your weekend! xoxo {av}

ps don't miss your chance to enter TWO fantastic blog birthday giveaways! winners will be announced on October 3rd.



{guest post} - chartreuse and a twist.

Hello! I am Brynn from chartreuse & a twist. I couldn’t be more excited to share my own personal Madrid guide with you all…and especially you, Jillian…you lucky, lucky Spanish traveling girl! I have been a bit lucky myself…I have been fortunate enough to travel to Madrid twice in my lifetime so far ~ once when I was 12 and again 16 years later. I definitely don’t know it all, but I am happy to share some of my favorite things {as well as some things I have not been able to see but really wanted to!} about this completely amazing city…there is definitely a piece of my heart that remains in Madrid!

 Calle de Alcalá via

Parque de Retiro ~ personal photos, Museo del Prado via, Palacio de Cristal via

Chalkboard, wine & olives, tortilla & paella ~ personal photos, tapas via, mahou via

All images  via

B & W ~ personal photo, flamenco dancer via, salsa club via

Turtles at Estación de Atocha ~ personal photo

The Breakdown:
1> You must visit all of the goods that Atocha {Center} has to offer…yes, it is touristy and yes, you will see all of this in your guidebooks, but I just wanted to emphasize this as a key area to explore because it is just too gorgeous to miss! :)
ROW the lake or take a siesta under a tree at El Parque de Retiro…
SEE the gorgeous Palacio de Cristal and
STROLL through the Museo del Prado {ranked as one of the best and largest collections of European art in the world}

2> I don’t know about all of you, but for me eating is a BIG part of traveling. I love to just dive right into the culture and experience it to the fullest. In Madrid, some of my favorite food & drink are as simple as…
A glass of RIOJA and some mighty fine Spanish OLIVES…
Or a MAHOU {you will typically find only one beer on tap in Spain, and in Madrid Mahou is it…and it is served ice cold!} and a TORTILLA {not what you think – a Spanish tortilla is considered as the “best of all omelets”…it is a pretty simple recipe of eggs potatoes and onions seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked in olive oil in a pan…the tortilla is standard bar food in Madrid, often served complimentary with your drink}.
On the less simple side is the gorgeous Spanish dish, PAELLA…this is a must in Madrid! {so long as you are not vegetarian, vegan or allergic to shellfish!}
Last, but certainly not least on the favorites is proper Spanish TAPAS…and when I say proper, I mean going out to tapas for dinner at 11:00 at night…when in e-spain, I find it most fun to pretend to be-spanish! {and late night tapas is what those lovely Spanish people do!}

3> Shopping…Madrid is a major shopping mecca…and I can not, can not, can NOT say enough about Spanish shoes!!! The styles are fantastic and {usually} so are the prices! Depending on your style, Madrid has plenty of different shopping areas…
For INDIE boutiques, Chueca is where it is at
If lucky enough to be in the city on a Sunday, hit up El Rastro in the historic center – Madrid’s and Europe’s largest OUTDOOR MARKET {just beware of pickpockets!}
If feeling a little SWANKY, shop the boutiques in Salamanca…apparently the Centro Comercial ABC Serrano, “an elegant shopping center with high quality stores” is the happening spot…there is even a rooftop terrace restaurant with a gorgeous city view! {hmmm…something to check out next time}

4> When in Madrid…you DANCE! Not only is this city a mecca for shopping, I think it is even more so for nightlife. Madrid is known as one of the liveliest night cities…so, put your party pants on, head out for those late night tapas and then strut out to the nearest dance floor and get your groove on…and don’t plan on stopping until the sun is rising!!!

5> Something kind of random, but one of my favorite memories of my last trip to Madrid is when my friend took me a little off the beaten path to show me one of her favorite spots in the city – the turtles at the rail station…the inside of the station has a very large pond and loads of greenery…and 1000s {literally} of turtles! 



wedding wednesday - engagement photos sneak peak.

h and i really lucked out with our wedding photographer. not only did dawn include an engagement session in our photo package but she was patient with us while i changed clothes, climbed on train tracks in heels and rode our bikes in the mural filled alleys. i adore these photographs and i am certain that they will always remind me of chicago, our west town neighborhood and the summer that we were engaged... 

 a HUGE thank you to the talented dawn roscoe for taking these gorgeous photographs. if you are getting married in chicago or need a photographer for any reason i would highly recommend dawn! 


rendez-vous: new england recap.

as promised... here are a few more Rendez-Vous New England photos :) - enjoy!
all photos c/o: Sarah from Hemenway Street

all photos c/o: Casey from Hello Love

i have posted even more rendez-vous photos on the cornflake dreams facebook page

if you're interested in attending future Rendez-Vous Events, pretty please fill out this super quick {and painless} survey to help us decide where we're headed next!


ps be sure to enter the ayofemi giveaway!

and stop by breakfast at toast today to see my (and lots of other fantastic bloggers) fall picks!


ayofemi giveaway!

i am a bit obsessed with the ayofemi jewelry etsy shop... i adore the delicate gold bracelets, modern friendship bracelets, and gold dipped bracelet in coral! bracelets aside, my hands-down favorite piece is the turquoise sunburst necklace. it screams summer but can easily transition into fall :) and now you can win one!

here's how to win: {leave a comment below}
mandatory- follow cornflake dreams via GFC or blog lovin
visit ayofemi jewelry and comment on your favorite piece

additional ways to enter: {leave a separate comment for each}
tweet about the giveaway! (please include @cornflakedreams & @ayofemijewelry in your tweet) 

good luck chickadees! this giveaway is open to domestic and international readers. a winner will be announced on Monday, October 3rd. 

update: #123 Tamra from walks with bella is our lucky winner.


ps congratulations to #47 - angela @ diary of a chair! you won the Very LovelyLeigh Cowl Giveaway!


friday's fancies #35.

happy friday!!! i am sooo excited to celebrate my brother andy's birthday and finally meet my younger brother's girlfriend this weekend! i will also be celebrating my new job!!! starting in october, i will be returning to the corporate world as a marketing coordinator and event planner at a large law firm. and i am ecstatic... i have loved working on blog redesigns and as a part-time marketing consultant but i MISSED the bustle of downtown, multiple deadlines, color-coding my calendar, o..and a sizable paycheck (call me crazy). i also hope some professional event planning experience will help make future rendez-vous events even more successful. SO no worries chickadees i love cornflake dreams + all of you so i will do my best to keep up with everything and i will still be taking design requests in my spare time.

whew! now that the big announcement is over...back to fashion! the weather in chicago is suppose to warm up a bit so i am excited to be wear my new eShakti dress. if you never checked out eShakti do it. you can order standard sizes OR customize your size to ensure the perfect fit (at a reasonable price-under $10!).

eShakti dress $54, leopard flats $250, bag $265, earrings $75

what are your weekend plans?

ps you have a few more days left to enter the Very LoveLeigh Cowl giveaway!


Rendez-Vous: New England sneak peek.

i will have full recap posts up next week- promise! until then check out these sweet shots + highlights from the weekend... 

rendez-vous weekend highlights::
-i arrived in boston on friday and had dinner with av + marissa from the boot
she is the.sweetest.person.evaaah. and i am totally jealous of her adventures in italy. 
-that night we assembled the goodie bags + finished the name tags...
i learned av is crazy organized and creative and the perfect event planning partner! 
-saturday started with the boston chocolate tour. it didn't take too long for a sugar high to set in. the weather was perfect for walking around and the i got a chance to talk to so many wonderful new england bloggers. btw it's no secret that i run on sugar but dang... after a few shops i was thankful i brought some tupperware.
-saturday night= mixer at The Charlesmark Lounge! they gave us our own private section and it was the perfect space to mix and mingle with attendees. 
-Sunday was the SoWa Open Market. we met at Grey's Fabric and Notions (adorable!) next to the market for some snacks and giveaways. afterwards we wandered around the market. oh..and i defiantly freaked (like a 14-yr girl who just saw justin beiber) when i saw the Roxy's Gourmet Grilled Cheese food truck (featured on food network show the great american food truck race). i shared a bacon + avocado grilled cheese and yes, it was worth wait.

more details next week - and a HUGE thank you to the amazing bloggers who attended the events! i had a blast meeting all of you and i cannot wait to plan another Rendez-Vous with {AV}! If you would like to be updated on the next Rendez-Vous Event Location/Dates please email me.


ps there's still time to enter to win a hand-knit cowl from Very LoveLeigh

pps a HUGE happy birthday to my brother andy who is turning the big 3-0 today!! 


wedding wednesday-name change.

last week at dinner with friends we started talking about weddings (one of the other girls is engaged too) she asked me if i was going to change my name. i immediately said yes, and no i wasn't going to hyphenate my maiden name or use it as my middle name (i like my middle name!) she was going to do the same. the conversation got me thinking about the whole name change game... i think there are perfectly good reasons for keeping your last name. elizabeth taylor was married eight times (that would be a LOT of new last names to keep up with!) also i have heard the paperwork is a bit tedious but i find something romantic about becoming mrs. m :)
hanger, glasses, e-card

what do you think? did you change your take your fiance's name when you got married? single ladies: do you want to keep your maiden name in the future? 


foodie fave - {closet cooking}.

recipes from closet cooking seem to always end up in my foodie board on pinterest...so it seemed like the perfect pick for my September foodie fave. please take note of all the tasty sandwiches and dips! perfect for those fall football parties...

What is your favorite meal of the day? 
This one is a difficult call as I do not really like sweet breakfasts so my breakfasts tend to be a lot like my lunches or dinners. Lunches are probably out as I normally bring leftovers for lunch at work, though I always enjoy getting to make lunch on the weekend. I am going to have to say dinner then, as I normally have more time to make it and that means that I can do pretty much anything that I want with it. 

Favorite Dish you have featured on your blog?
The questions go from hard to impossible! I will have to just go with a recent one that I have been completely addicted to, the Avocado BLT with Fried Egg And Chipotle Mayo

Favorite ingredient to bake or cook with: 
For a while I was totally obsessed with using homemade kimchi in everything that I could think of. I guess that my favourite ingredient would have to be spicy heat in any form whether from fresh chili peppers to powdered chili peppers to chili sauces, etc. 

New dish you want to try: 
There are so many on my list. I have bookmarked several thousand recipes that I want to try on the web! Recently I have been wanting to get into Indian cuisine a bit more and to conquer those long lists of spices that are so often present in the recipes. 

Are there any dishes that have surprised you with their popularity on your blog? 
The okonomiyaki --sometimes called the as you Japanese "as you like" savoury pancake or pizza. This is one of my favourites and I was a bit surprised at how popular it turned out to be. 

What is the most challenging thing about cooking in a small space? 
Making large multipart meals. If you are making a one dish meal then everything is good, and I like it that way, but if you need to make a big meal with a main, several sides and a dessert then the small kitchen starts to get challenging. Because it is a small place I do not have all that many dishes, pots, pans, etc as there is no place to store them and I quickly run out of surface area to work with while trying to make several things at the same time. 

What do you like most about cooking? 
I simply enjoy cooking. Time just seems to fly by when I am cooking, well as long as I am not standing there stirring a risotto for a half an hour, and it is just plain old fun! :)

see more::
Blog - Twitter - Facebook 


ps be sure to check out the Very LoveLeigh hand-knit cowl giveaway!


friday's fancies #34- rendez-vous!

happy rendez-vous friday! i am off to boston today to spend the day with miss av and to get ready for our weekend of events. if you are attending rendez-vous new england i cannot wait to meet you!! i am so excited to explore boston and meet some fantastic bloggers.

blouse $88, cords $158, flats $78, bag $495, necklace $38 {enter to win an upper metal class necklace + earrings!} boston print $25

what are your plans for the weekend?


wedding wednesday- first kiss.

when h and i were taking engagement photos the other weekend there was a lot of kissing going on. the photo session got me thinking about the big kiss! do you remember that scene in the wedding singer where drew barrymore and her friend discuss how to do the right wedding kiss? they settled on 'church tongue' which looks a bit like a hollywood kiss...
celeb images via - flowers via, via, via

obviously you don't have to be a celebrity to have a big kiss moment. i love these real-life kiss pics:: 

was your wedding kiss memorable? anything about it you would change? 
have you ever witnessed an awkward first kiss at a wedding (i know i have seen a few on the show four weddings!) 


ps don't miss your chance to win a gorgeous necklace + earrings from Upper Metal Class!


let's celebrate!

i started cornflake dreams last september and i have absolutely loved blogging this past year and getting to know all of you! the blog gave me a place to be creative every day AND launch my own graphic design services. thank you so much for your constant support and encouragement. now let's take the entire month to celebrate :) i have lots of fun posts + giveaways + guest bloggers and a killer meet-up. sound good?! 


sweet. let's get started then! first up is a giveaway from Upper Metal Class, one of my favorite easy shops! they make gorgeous minimalist and modern jewelry and you can enter to win two of my favorite pieces.
follow cornflake dreams via GFC or blog loving
visit Upper Metal Class and comment on your favorite piece of jewelry

extra ways to enter: {leave a separate comment for each}
follow cornflake dreams on Twitter
like cornflake dreams on Facebook
follow upper metal class on Twitter
like upper metal class on Facebook
tweet about the giveaway! - feel free to use::
{ celebrate a year of blogging @cornflakedreams with a @uppermetalclass jewelry #giveaway - http://bit.ly/ow48eZ }

Good luck chickadees! this giveaway is open to domestic and international readers
a winner will be announced on monday, september 12.


ps i will be guest posting at My Favorite Things ALL WEEK! so don't miss a post! xo


walking around...

happy labor day!! 
we leave for barcelona + madrid in three weeks and i am already excited to pack! organizing my suitcase is actually one of my favorite parts about traveling *weird i know. i love planning out my outfits and anticipating adventures. i know that while we're in spain we will do LOTS of walking so i have a bit of a dilemma on my hands. what to put on my feet? im generally not a fan of sneakers but i realize my feet (and the rest of my body) will suffer if i walk around in sandals with little support. 

do you have any fashionable suggestions?!


friday's fancies #33.

chicago is having a last minute burst of summer this weekend with 90+ degrees and some sunshine so i want to be outdoors as much as possible to soak it all in! h and i don't have any big plans for the long weekend so i would love to sleep in, take some bike rides and finally go see the help with the girls. on labor day we're going to my friends house for a cookout and to learn a few greek dance moves for her wedding reception next month! opa

dress $300, sandals $225, bag $2000, necklace $40

what are your plans for the long weekend?  




everyone's favorite, emersonmade just revamped their website! the new site makes shopping a bit easier and it makes me want to clean out my closet to make room for some new clothes. i am smitten with the india collection. the colors and patterns are fantastic and could be the cure for that pesky case of wanderlust...

india tunic $148, abhay roses $178, butterfly caftan $238
india wanderlust images via, via, via, via, via, via

emersonmade is giving away a piece from their india collection to one lucky rendez-vous new england attendee! (can we all agree that we're jealous of whoever that is?!) 

what is your favorite emersonmade piece? 

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