cornflake dreams.: March 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 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!? 

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


{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:: !

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 :)


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? 



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! 


ps a huge happy birthday to my dad :) 

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?



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? 


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!



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? 


giveaway winner!

thank you so much to every one who entered the Spring Escape JHill Design Giveaway! a winner has been chosen via

congratulations to taylor from curly in the city. please email me to claim your prize!


ps thank you all for your sweet comments about the engagement! i am so excited to share more!

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 :)

{guest post} - blue-eyed belle.

Hi everyone! I am Jennifer from blue-eyed belle. In mid-February, Jillian graciously volunteered to do a guest post for my while I was on vacation. Now, I am returning the favor! Jillian's blogs is one of my favorites. I love her personal style and creativity. I asked her what she would like for me to talk about, and we decided I should do my favorite Spring things!

There are so many things I look forward to each Spring. Those include visiting the park, taking in all of the flowers and trees, wearing skirts with bare legs for the first time in months, open-toed shoes, etc.
The warmer weather brings all of these things about, but there are still those chilly mornings and rainy days. I love these days also. There's just something about umbrellas, a soft cardigan, a good book, and a nap on a rainy day.
And then there are just the simple things about Spring - drinking sweet tea, seeing a rabbit in your backyard, a butterfly fluttering past, and the smell of honeysuckle.
Thanks for reading! And thank you again Jillian for having me!
What is your favorite thing about Spring?


pssst:: only a few hours left to enter in the JHill Design Giveaway!


{guest post} - she's on the run.

Hi, everyone. My name is Alysha and I'm a food blogger from Milwaukee, Wi who's always on the run - whether It's squeezing in a dog park outing, trying to get out the door or planning a girl's movie night. is how I balance it all - while making delectable dishes that satisfy my craving for life. 

I started running - literally - about a year ago and haven't looked back. After completing my first half marathon, I've officially caught the running bug. To fuel my long workouts and hectic days, I've taken a different approach to food. Although I live and die by my sweet tooth, I try to eat healthful foods the other 80 percent of the time. A cholesterol issue also has me turning toward high fiber, low-fat options whenever possible. 

So because I only have one post to show you Cornflake Dream readers what I am all about (Thanks again, Jillian!), I want to leave you with something I cannot live without - homemade granola. I've perfected my own recipe to make it more nutritious and every bit as delicious as the high-cal stuff.

Heavenly Granola from She's on the Run

3 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup ground flax
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup walnuts, diced
1/2 cup coconut
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 TBSP applesauce
2-3 TBSP canola oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup dried cranberries


1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. 

2. In a large bowl, mix oats, flax, wheat germ, nuts, coconut and brown sugar. Set aside.

3.  In a small bowl, mix together honey, oil, salt, cinnamon and spices. Mix into dry ingredients. 

4. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place granola on baking sheet and spread to an even layer. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. 

5. Remove from oven and let granola cool for 2 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and cool completely. Then mix in cranberries. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. 

I enjoy this granola on top of cereal, yogurt, over baked apples or straight from the jar. For more recipes (like spinach and pumpkin enchiladas, taffy apple salad or pecan kringles, visit my blog at Also, follow me on twitter @Shesontherun 

Happy cooking!

keep up with the spring escape blog crawl :: jet setting divas
psst:: don't forget to enter the jhill design giveaway, a winner will be picked tomorrow!


{guest post} - long distance loving.

happy friday chickadees-- today my blog bestie is guest posting! the lovely miss {av} is the woman behind friday's francies and she has been dreaming up amazing outfits for months. be sure to hop over to {long distance loving} - you'll love her style, advice, travel photos, and stories.. not to mention she is one of the sweetest people on the east coast :)

Happy Friday! My name is {av} and I'm behind {long distance loving}. I have long been an admirer of jcd's impeccable style, so to be asked to guest post on cornflake dreams is quite an honor!

She has been a faithful Friday's Fancies contributor, so today, I'm carrying on the tradition with this sightseeing chic outfit, which would work perfectly on the streets of Portland...

{all images are screenshots from the links provided below}

1) Anthropologie always tempts me with its wares, but this Blurred Chevron Scarf was more than tempting. Knowing jcd's love of chevron, I thought this scarf was the perfect accessory for a day of sightseeing!
2) Who can argue with J.Crew? The Jean Shop Chambray Shirt is a comfortable option for roaming the streets of Portland.

3) When I spotted this Foley + Corinna Mid City Tote, it tugged at my heartstrings. I love the versatility of this bag--and it would certainly fit a camera {like the one in #5!} and touristy maps {and maybe even the kitchen sink!}

4) I adored the slight metallic touch of this Madewell Porchlight Skirt. Tucking that chambray stunner into this skirt would make for an adorable twist on a normal shirt+skirt combo.

5) My love of photography should explain why this Lomography Diana+ Aviator Camera makes my Friday's Fancies. Wouldn't you feel superchic with it around your neck too?!

6) A little pop of color? Yes please. These Tory Burch Eddie Ballet Flats would provide just that--and put a spring in my step!

7) I own the traditional Wayfarers, but there's something about these Ray-Ban High Street Wayfarer Sunglasses which make them infinitely cooler. Enough said.

Do you try to channel the city you're visiting when packing for a trip?
What city are you hoping to explore in the near future?

Want to create your own Friday's Fancies? Just dream up the outfit you'd wear this Friday if money were no object! Post it on your blog--and then make sure to link up at {long distance loving}! Bonus? You can check out other outfits created by fashionistas from around the globe!

Endless thanks to my dear friend, jcd, for sharing her spotlight with little ol' me!

Enjoy your weekend! xoxo {av}

spring escape blog crawl stop :: express-o
and btw's giveaway reminder:: jhill design personalized print!


{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

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.


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.


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.

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.

I love wine so much, I felt that it deserved two spots on this list. Because I really, really, love wine. Like really.


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.


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!

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


singing in the...

 we leave for portland tomorrow and i have been checking 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?


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


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?

spring escape blog crawl stop:: travels in heels!

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



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?

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!

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!!! :: @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).


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!


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 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



what you can do.

like many of you, i am shocked and sadden by the devastation that has occurred in japan. please pray for the people in the pacific and take some action. however, before you open your wallets do a little research and make sure your money goes to the right place. here is a list of charities who are responding to the disaster. 

be thankful for what you have and tell your loved ones how much you care about them.



friday link love.

stay tuned:: next monday kicks off the spring escape blog crawl! i have a list of lovely bloggers lined up to share their dreamy spring destinations.

another super cute hair + scarf tutorial
i want to do this in our bedroom
awkward survival guide (thank you julie!) want more? nightmares, the dangers of sugar
gap has a blog! also save $20 off a $80 online purchase thru 3/12, code: GAP2080
loving these keds with a ribbon!
tips to create a creative and kick a** workspace
check out what's on my mind-right now over at styles 'n cream

have a wonderful weekend!