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

12.28.2011

touché.

something i tend to forget...

even with the long holiday weekend i am still swamped at work and i need a mini blog break. i'll be back before new years and in the meantime you can visit across the pond for a guest post :)

xo, 
jillian

12.27.2011

christmas, a corgi and a corsi.



merry christmas chickadees - i hope you had a wonderful weekend! i know i did :) h and i spent christmas-eve-eve (friday) with his family and we enjoyed pizza, christmas vacation and the corsi! 

h's dad has been telling us about his new corsi (a table with a built in heater) for a few weeks but i didn't really know what to expect. he raved about the table and explained how he ordered the heater from japan and put the whole thing together himself. traditionally corsi table's use a small charcoal fire under the table with fire proof blankets surrounding for a family to cuddle together. the modern version uses an electric heater and lots of blankets. it was ahhhhmazing.. like a comfy bed in the living room!! if you ever have the chance to try one of these DO IT. 

saturday we headed out to the burbs to visit my family and meet her new corgi!! i literally freaked out when i met dougie.. he is THE CUTEST little pup and SO much smaller than i thought he would be. I was v tempted to dog-nap but then i started thinking about all the work it is to have a dog in the city (not to mention my mom would be heartbroken if i took her pup!) we spent the rest of the weekend with my brothers and my extended family (lots of kids + cookies + craziness).

on sunday night we came back to the city and it felt good to be home and unpack our goodies. overall it was a great holiday and i am ready for 2012!!

xo, 
jillian

12.23.2011

friday's fancies #47 - merry christmas!

happy friday!! today i have the day off (waaahooo!) and tonight h and i start our holiday celebrations with pizza + christmas vacation at his dad's! on saturday we're off to the burbs to spend the rest of the weekend with my family. i am soooo excited to see my family and meet my mom's new puppy (i promise to take lots of photos!) happy holidays chickadees - have a wonderful weekend!! 

express sparkle sweater $44 (on sale!), leggings $58, jcrew quincy boots $218 (on sale!), plaid scarf $125, TWINKLE
xo, 
jillian

ps i tweeted about it..and facebooked it but if case you missed it- check out our engagement photos on brooklyn bride!

12.22.2011

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!

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!

12.19.2011

good things.



this weekend was full of lots of great festive things!
friday night's movie date was canceled because h got stuck working on call *boooo* but it gave my the opportunity to relax, watch some trashy tv and go to bed early. 
saturday i woke up to snow! it was pretty but it melted after a few hours 
(thankfully...i'm not ready to trek to work in that stuff!)
the rest of the day we napped, h watched soccer and i snuck in some yoga
that night we went to our favorite italian restaurant with h's dad + brother. mart anthony's is right down the street and they always have something tasty on the menu. i got the chicken prosciutto with fontina cheese and it was reallllly tasty.
after dinner we met our friends al + aris for a wine tasting at the tasting room for some drinks (i got the champagne flight!) and lots of cheese.
on sunday we ventured out to the suburbs for an early christmas with my dad's side of the family. it's tradition now to play apples to apples with my cousins (who are craaazy trash talkers). i did my best to take the kiddies down :)

how was your weekend?!
xo, 
jillian

12.16.2011

friday's fancies #46.

happy friday!!! we're just days away from christmas!! (9!!) and this weekend i have a few early holiday plans:: tonight h and i have a movie date (i want to see young adult). saturday it's dinner with h's dad followed by wine tasting with friends! and on sunday we're heading out to the suburbs to have a early christmas dinner with my grandparents. if i was feeling fancy on saturday i'd love to wear something like this to the wine tasting::

dress $82, earrings $58, heels $99- on sale!, clutch $50

xo, 
jillian


ps more blogger wishlists next week!

12.15.2011

blogger wishlist - a cali girl in scotland.

i thought you might want to see one more international wishlist today. meet megan from across the pond (a cali girl living in scotland):


Hi all..


It me again
the American expat living in Scotland..
(I've been invited here before..i guess being invited back means i didn't scare Jillian and her followers off)

When Jillian e mailed me about this little " 3 wishes" series she is doing I was like
oh that's easy..could totally come up with three Christmas wishes..

and now I'm sitting here and I'm all, crap.
I have like a thousand Christmas wishes..

There is the given..
world peace,
cure for untreatable illnesses..
the UK to start start making real Mexican food...


I mean, a taco bell would do.

But ill just keep it to the basic, "what i would ask for Santa on my dream list"

1. A golden retriever puppy

via


2.  A shopping spree at Zara (amount unlimited)




3. A winter home in California, and a Summer house in Ireland (with free travel to and from)



via

Ok so technically that is five..

but that should be easy enough for Santa.


stay tuned for more wishlists all week!

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!

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!

12.12.2011

good things.



this weekend was v low key but full of lots of good things...

-a Caribbean inspired holiday party on friday night - complete with fruity drinks + mini umbrellas!
-a v tasty post-party burger at the twisted spoke
-watching bridesmaids with h (who has never seen the movie)...queue lots of laughs and quotes the rest of the weekend
-sleeping in
-milk and peanut butter snack mix from target (aka puppy chow)...i am sooo addicted
-scoring sweet stools (at an unbelievable price) for our kitchen!
-finishing my christmas shopping + wrapping
-sunday morning workout
-christmas candles (my favorite is yankee candle christmas wreath) + christmas movies (we watched the (original) grinch this weekend!
-sunday dinner at DeColores, an amazing mexican restaurant in pilsen (recommended to me by shari). i ordered three tacos (pork, chicken + steak) and we shared some delicious guacamole with lots of cilantro + cucumber.
-blogger christmas wishlists ALL week long!

how was your weekend?
xo, 
jillian

12.09.2011

friday's fancies #45 - the office party.

happy friday! i have had a long work week and i am soooo excited to spend some quality time with h...and some pillows, blankets + the couch! we rented bridesmaids (i've aleady seen it but h hasn't) and i am ready to laugh. BUT before i can officially celebrate the weekend, i am going to mingle with some of my co-workers tonight at our company party. since i am relatively new to the office (i started my job in october) i know a handful of people but this party might be a great opportunity for me to get to know some new co-workers. if i had an limited budget i would show up wearing this::

[dress $60.90, shoes $455, ring $87.50, bag $425]

what are your weekend plans?
xo, 
jillian

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

12.07.2011

well done.

I am starting to get realllly excited about the upcoming holidays! Every where I turn on the blog world I see TONS of great gift guide lists (mine will be up next week). I also recieve daily emails from stores offering great sales and I find myself shopping online... a lot (and thus breaking one of my 2011 new years resolutions). all of this give-me give-me give-me i want's make me feel a little guilty about all of the people who won't be celebrating the holidays this year and who wish for things i take for granted.

then i remembered there's something i can do about it (and pssst so can you!) i got an invitation from an inspiring blogger that i just couldn't resist sharing with you...


introducing the well done 2011 project. (you might have noticed the little icon i have hanging out above my photo).

well here's the deal:
you have the opportunity to make a real difference to people in need. to someone who wishes for clean water (a necessity i know a lot of people take for granted every day). it only takes $5000 to build a water well for 250 people. so that means if we all pull together and donate $5 (or more) we can help fund this amazing cause and make a world of difference to a small community.

think about it and check out this video:: why water
to see more check out Aspiring Kennedy blog and donate to a great cause!

xo, 
jillian

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!

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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12.02.2011

friday's fancies #44 - cookie exchange!

happy friday chickadees! i am sooo excited for the weekend (what's new?!) but this one is going to be even more fun because it involves friends, bloggers, holiday movies and COOKIES. i am hosting another cookie exchange and i decided this time i would introduce my best friends to my blogger friends! i am excited for them all to meet and to spend saturday afternoon watching christmas movies and eating cookies. i made my favorite- nerds and i can't wait to see what the girls bring over. we'll be packing up one big box to send overseas to a solider (one of my brother's friends who is stationed in Afghanistan). i'll be sure to share lots of photos + recipes next week (AND a few wishlists from some of my favorite bloggers).

movies + cookies call for another comfy, cozy outfit (yep- i live in clothes like this in the winter months). this one is inspired by cameron diaz's winter wardrobe in the holiday (every time i watch that movie i want to stock up on white sweaters!)::


[sweater $648, tee $34.50, cords $89.50, slippers $115, house of harlow necklace $70, throw $69]


what's your favorite christmas cookie + movie?!


xo,
jillian


ps only a few days left to enter the mikarose giveaway!

12.01.2011

our america.

i've got a little confession to make. my latest obsession is a nerdy one...documenteries! i can't get enough of them- especially if they are reduced to a one-hour weekly show. if you're into that sort of thing (or want to get a conversation going) then check out the show Our America. It is hosted by lisa ling explores controversial issues in america and aires sunday evenings at 9 CST on the OWN channel (oprah's new network). this sunday is the season finale of the second season and i cant wait to get a closer look at where everyone is now.

my favorite episodes addressed faith healers, transgender lives, state of sex offenders, online brides, heroin addiction [ season 1]; extreme parenting, modern polygamy, amateur porn, underage prostitution and the incarceration generation [season 2]. most of the topics are v serious. some of the episodes made me cry. all of the episodes got h and i talking about the issues and discussing how we felt about them. it is SO interesting to me to get more information about the issues from the people who are actually in that world.

xo, jillian



another must see show (on the science channel of all places) is An Idiot Abroad- created by Ricky Gervis is absolutely hilarious. it's a great way to spend a hour- traveling with a Brit (the loveable Karl) and watching him react to the most akward situtations while he says just about everything he is thinking.