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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11.25.2011

friday's fancies #43 - black friday.

happy black friday! i am not a fan of crowds or traffic and i loveee a great online sale  so today i'll be shopping from HOME! i also plan on enjoying some tasty leftovers and watch the big Arkansas vs. LSU game (h's family is from fayetteville and are HUGE razorback fans). couch time + pumpkin pie means something comfy: 
[necklace $60, shirt $27, leggings $165, sweater $97, moccasins $39]

o and if you're shopping online consider checking out ebateswhen you sign up and shop through their site you get cash back on purchases and special discounts - perfect for someone who prefers to shop online...i'm addicted!

xo, 
jillian 

ps there's still time to sign up for the NOVICA giveaway!
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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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11.18.2011

friday's fancies #42.

happy friday! i'm not feeling too hot today so i'll be spending the afternoon in bed and hopefully i'll rebound quickly. this weekend i have plans that i would hate to miss: saturday- a donut crawl! that's right my best friend mapped out four bakeries in chicago and we're heading out in the morning to see who has the best donuts in the city. i'm sure i'll need a sugar detox and a nap afterwards. later that night h and i are going out to the burbs from my little brother's engagement party! i am excited to see him and congratulate his new fiance in person. i still have no idea what i'll wear to the party but i'm thinking the comfy route is the way to go for the donut crawl:


shirt $78, sweater $25, jeans $49,watch $28, boots $165, bag $475

on sunday we're hoping to make it to the randolph street holiday market for some early hoilday shopping! 


what are your plans for the weekend?
xo,
jillian

ps there are a few days left to enter the stylemint giveaway! a winner will be announced on monday.
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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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11.11.2011

friday's fancies #41.

happy friday! tonight i am hosting a small group of bloggers at my place for a pinterest potluck! i am hoping to bake a few dishes i have pinned on my foodie or sugar, sugar pinterest board.

the baking doesnt stop on friday-- this weekend my kitchen is going to get a workout. on sunday i am hosting a pre-thanksgiving dinner with my closest friends! thanksgiving is my favorite holiday so i am estatic to be able to celebrate with my friends. I want to be comfy the entire weekend so i think a sweater dress will do the trick:

 sweater dress $98, knee socks $18.50, necklace $62, boots $348, apron $32, 5 ingredient fix cookbook $29.99

what tasty treats have you been cooking up lately?

xo,
jillian

ps don't forget there are a few days left to enter to win a shabby apple skirt!
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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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