12.31.2012

top ten in 2012.

the new year is right around the corner and every year at this time i can't help but look back at the past year. 2012 has been a huge year for me, full of soooo many great things. here's my top ten list of 2012:: 


1. i visited my first mosque in istanbul, turkey...and discovered the perfect pastry.
2. my aunts threw me the sweetest bridal shower...at a winery! 
3. i had an ammmazing birthday/bachelorette party
4. we got MARRIED! i have never felt so loved by SO many people, in one place, at one time. it was an unforgettable and beautiful day
5. i witnessed pure bliss: h enjoying his first parisian nutella and banana crepe
6. i changed my name and started signing mrs. m.
7. my brother andy got engaged and h's brother eloped! 
8. i got to celebrate my friends milestone moments: julie graduated law school, jen got married and elyse got engaged. 
9. i savored time with family: sunday dinners, thanksgiving with my parents and my first christmas as a mrs. 
10. h and i got cultural at the botanical gardensopera, ballet and steppenwolf theater

what were some of your highlights of 2012?! 
stay safe tonight and HAPPY NEW YEAR's EVE! 

xo, 
jillian

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12.24.2012

happy holidays!


happy holidays friends! 
i am taking a few days off to spend time with family but i'll be back next week!
enjoy the holidays!!

xo, 
jillian
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12.12.2012

baby fever on houzz

my december houzz ideabook is full of modern nursery pieces that will grow with a child and can be kept for years. i wouldn't mind having a few pieces in our condo right now (like that rug or the gold elephant!)

indian quilt $68 - modern mobile $75 - rocker $995 - gold elephant $39 - stripe rug $99 -$299 - z for zebra print $5.50 - MORE

view all of my houzz ideabooks

xo, 
jillian
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12.06.2012

put it in a pastry.

is it just me or does just about everything taste better wrapped up in a buttery, flakey pastery? when i am at a party (or a work event) i always look forward to seeing appetizers in the form of light puffs of pastry-goodness. i would like to try one of these tasty recipes:: 
pesto palmiers - cranberry and baked brie - bacon pineapple and boursin

spinach and artichoke - goat cheese - buffalo chicken - gouda and apple
what are your favorite party appetizers?


xo, 
jillian

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11.29.2012

wreath round-up.

this past weekend h and i put up a few holiday decorations including our itty bitty tree (it's a 3-footer!), our stockings and vintage garland from my childhood. i like to keep things simple when i decorate for the holidays (i weird thing about excess stuff and having to store it) BUT i think our condo could use a festive wreath for our front door. here are a few of my favorites::

winter flower wreath $31 - live fir eucalyptus & silver ornaments wreath $90 - initial wreath $26

outdoor ornament gold/silver pine wreath $39 - red felt ball wreath $31 - cranberry red wreath $59 - boxwood & berry wreath $70

xo, 
jillian

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11.27.2012

christmas wish list.

now that thanksgiving is over it's time to get christmas shopping! this year my wishlist has lots of black, gold, gray and white!
passport holder $60 - house of harlow 1960 necklace  $75 - polka dot snood $68 - blanket $115 - omg bag $275 - kate spade iphone case $40

what's on your wish list? 

xo, 
jillian
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11.24.2012

etsy favorites on small business saturday!

happy small business friday. i'd like to call out some of my favorite etsy shops -- great options for holiday shopping!! 


  • Art Goodiesblock print art and textiles (tea towels!) for you and your home
  • Bip & Bop - handmade jewelry (use the code HOLIDAYS2012 for 15% off your order)
  • Knits & Knots - hand-knit cowls and bracelets (use the code WEEKENDSAVE for 30% off all cowls)
  • Matine - leather clutches, wallets and totes (15% off on 11/26 with the code MONDAY)
  • Olive Yew! - gold, silver and rose gold jewelry
  • Upper Metal Class - minimalist jewelry (use the code GIVETHANKS for 15% off your order)
  • Silk and More - pretty kimono robes
  • Snugglens - camera bags and straps 
  • Tilly Maison - lucite trays
  • Tortilla Girl - hand-knit scarves, cowls, gloves, and hats (Cyber Monday SALE: 20% off all orders between 11/23 - 11/26 with code BLACKFRIDAY20 at Etsy checkout)
  • Trafalgar's Square - adorable animal sketches, perfect for a nursery (save 45% off your purchase with the code THANKS45
xo, 
jillian 
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11.21.2012

thank you to the charmers.

art via

have a very happy thanksgiving and give thanks to all the charmers in your life.

xo, 
jillian
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11.16.2012

giveaway:: win a free night at the Radisson!

want to take a mini vacation?! you're in luck, Radisson Hotels is celebrating their 50th anniversary by giving away one night's stay at Radisson Blu or Radisson hotels for 50 days!! now it's your chance to enter to win a night at ANY Radisson hotel in the U.S. 
where would you go? i'm dreaming of san francisco or new york
best of luck! a winner will be announced on monday, november 26th.

the details: One winner will win one night voucher that is valid for one free night, standard room, double occupancy at any North American Radisson Blu or Radisson Hotel of the winner’s choice. The voucher expires one year after issue date. The full terms and conditions are located on the room night voucher.

-xo- 
jillian
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11.12.2012

tis the season...

to be thankful! (i LOVE christmas but come on, let's save the red & green decorations until after thanksgiving... i'm looking at you Walgreens!) back to my original point, i have always thought that this month is all about giving thanks and spending time with the people you love. i am looking forward to thanksgiving day at my parents home this year with lots of family and wayyy too much food. h and i also plan to celebrate t-day with his family the saturday after thanksgiving with some vegetarian friendly dishes and a non-traditional take on turkey dinner (hello, chicken tenders!) 

image via

this year i have a lot to be thankful for... my husband, my family and friends, my health and this blog. i am so incredibly thankful to have my own space where i can get creative and "meet" wonderful people. so thank YOU for keeping up with my rants, cravings and random-ness, it really does mean the world to me.

xo, 
jillian

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11.08.2012

wanderlust wishlist: update!

I have travel on my mind and it has been a while since I have posted a wanderlust wishlist. Thanks to budgeting and lots of careful planning, I am thrilled to say that h and I will visit all of our the countries on my original wishlist by the end of next year. Spain and Turkey were amazing, Greece is booked for may 2013 and we're planning on exploring Italy next September! I'm not sure if my wanderlust list will ever end... here are my current dream destinations:
Thailand via via via

Switzerland via via via via

India via via via


London, England via via via via

What's on your wanderlust wishlist?
xo, 
Jillian
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11.06.2012

top travel eats.

This shouldn't come as a surprise but one of my favorite things to do when I travel is eat. The other night, h and I were reminiscing about our favorite travel memories and the conversation drifted towards food. After some carefully considerations we shared our top five food picks from our recent trips:

You'll notice my list is almost entirely full of carbs (whoops) while h has some more substance. If you're hungry for more - I've posted about food in Spain, Turkey, France (crepes & croissants). 

What are your favorite travel eats?!

xo, 
Jillian
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10.30.2012

etsy finds - silk robes.

I love the idea of matching robes for the bride and her bridesmaids! Robes are perfect for the girls to wear when they are getting their hair and makeup done and a gift they can wear for years. Bonus: the “getting ready” photos are even cuter. I was thrilled to discover silk and more on etsy that sells pretty silk robes AND is having a great sale - $30 a robe! I might have missed the opportunity to have the robes at my wedding but that doesn’t mean I still don’t want one! officially adding it to my Christmas wish list.  


individual robe $30 - set of 4 $120 - set of 6 $180
xo,
Jillian
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10.24.2012

wedding wednesday - first kiss

our ceremony (and the whole day) went by very quickly. one of my favorite moments of the ceremony was our first kiss a married couple. we both were SO excited::

swoon. 

i also adore this shot from our first dance::

:) 

 that wraps up photos from our wedding! wedding wednesdays will still focus on wedding details, dreamy gowns and decorations (i can't just quit cold turkey) BUT i promise to throw in some real-life married life and date night posts too.

xo, 
Jillian 
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10.10.2012

wedding wednesday - details of the day

Happy wedding wednesday! I have already shared our pre-wedding photos, ceremonyreception decor, and flowers. There are a few more details of the day that remain my favorite bits of the day:

our gorgeous invitation suite by mae mae paperie. the invitation suite (and table numbers and signage) was printed on heavy letterpress it was absolutely perfect. i would highly recommend working with megan, the pieces she created worked perfectly with what i envisioned for our wedding.


the dessert: in addition to a traditional wedding cake; we served mini pumpkin and pecan pies and a diy donuts bar with donuts that you top with icing and crushed capt'n crunch, coco puffs cereal or reeces pieces (inspired by our engagement/ portland trip and a memorable visit to voodoo donuts)


While we decided to be minimalist with decor and stick to flowers, I am happy we displayed a few of our favorite photos in the cocktail/dessert room. Another detail I love is my wedding welcome quilt! My mom is going to sew together all of the squares and I can't wait to see how it turns out. And finally... one of my favorite photos of the night, three generations of married women (and their gorgeous rings): my two grandmothers, my mom and my hands all together.
xo, 
Jillian 
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10.03.2012

wedding wednesday - flowers.

I shared a few detail shots last week but I was really impressed with what our florist (and family friend) put together for our big day. Amy from unique floral made all of my flower dreams into a reality after only meeting twice to discuss what I'd like.



[all photos via dawn e roscoe]
xo, 
Jillian 
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9.28.2012

happy (wedding) weekend to j+c.

today h and i are heading to Cincinnati, Ohio for my best friends wedding!! eeeep!! so excited for j+c and i am thrilled to be included in their big day.


cheers and happy wedding wishes :)

xo, 
jillian

ps: my matron of honor dress does have pockets -- so expect to see some instagram photo-happiness all weekend! [find me via cornflakedreams on instagram]
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9.26.2012

wedding wednesday - reception details

Happy wedding wednesday! Today I'd love to share details from our wedding reception. We had the dinner reception in the same space as our ceremony, at the metropolis ballrooms. I wanted the space to be light and summery. I kept things simple - and focused on the flowers and pops of red:

Our wedding cake was a nod to summertime: a light white cake with sweet strawberry preserves and white buttercream frosting, decorated with polka dots and topped off with our custom cake toppers.
We had a sofreh, an Iranian wedding table, with a variety of symbolic items- painted eggs for fertility, candles for a bright future, Persian coins for prosperity on display during the reception. my mother-in-law spent hours creating each piece on the table. 
i'll share more wedding details more next week! 
xo, 
Jillian
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9.20.2012

fall wishlist - olive jacket.

This fall i've got my eye on a few things...number one on that list is a lightweight olive jacket:
xo, 
jillian
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9.19.2012

wedding wednesday - our ceremony

H and I had a difficult time deciding what we wanted to do with our wedding ceremony. we wanted to incorporate both of our families religious traditions but also keep the focus on US. We decided to combine a traditional christian american ceremony with persian traditions and added in some songs that make me smile.
We had a christian reverend officiate the ceremony with an opening prayer, we lit unity candles, my god mother recited a poem and there was a closing blessing. i walked down the aisle with my dad - while José González heartbeats played. To reflect h's heritage, we incorporated a traditional persian sugar bell ceremony. My bridesmaid rubbed two sugar bells (brought over from Iran for the wedding) over our heads while we exchanged our vows - the rubbing of the two sugar bells is a symbol for a sweet life. 




{all photos by dawn e. roscoe}

The ceremony was perfect - a wonderful blend of our two cultures and a reflection of us. I had to hold back my happy tears so i didn't mess up my makeup but whenever i think about the ceremony I am extremely happy with how things went. (and how we left, as mr. & mrs. smiling our faces off and to god only knows by the beach boys!)
xo, 
jillian
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9.05.2012

wedding wednesday - sneak peek pics!

i received a few sneak peek wedding photos from my photographer last week and i was thrilllllled. i immediately posted a handful onto facebook and i was overwhelmed by the amount of sweet comments from my friends and family. so i thought it might be time to share a few with you! 
h and i decided we wanted to maximize photo time before our ceremony to take photos together and with our bridal party. we started the afternoon with a little reveal and then headed out to the woods. it was drizzling during the shoot but thankfully dawn, our photographer brought a cute umbrella! the rain eventually stopped and the sun smiled the rest of the day. i am absolutely smitten with these ethereal shots:






[all photos by the talented chicago photographer dawn e. roscoe]

stay tuned...i can't wait to share more detail, ceremony and reception shots! 


xo, 
jillian
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8.30.2012

postcards from prague.

We only spent a day and a half in the beautiful city of Prague (we had to cut our visit short in order to avoid a crazy 10-hour layover on our flight home). The city was a wonderful break from bustling paris - the food was heavier, the architecture was breathtaking and the people were all smiles. It's the perfect place to go on a long walk with your new husband :)


Have you visited Prague? Did you like it?
xo, 
Jillian
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8.29.2012

wedding wednesday - honeymoon picks.

99% of the time when i go to bed i wear shorts and a tank, which doesn't really scream ow ow :) for our honeymoon i wanted to wear something a little more grown-up...hot. i remember reading on a cup of jo (hello girl crush!) how she picked up a few things at eberjey for her honeymoon and loved the soft chemises. well, joanna (that's right, we're on a first name basis) she was right! i absolutely loved the classy chemises, cami and undies. all of the pieces i bought can be worn for a special occasion or just when you want to dress up your bed routine a little bit.
Delirious Cami - Delirious French Brief India Chemise - Gisele Lace Chemise

do you have any favorite places for pretty underthings?

xo, 
jillian
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8.28.2012

make it happen - traveling on a budget.

Last week I announced that we're going to Greece next may. After a lot of planning and saving h and I have decided that 2013 will be the year of travel

We are planning on going on two major international trips and a domestic trip out to Portland. Before you ask... no. i didn't win the lottery. Three trips is a lot BUT we take quite a few steps to ensure we can afford to travel:

1. save. Seems obvious right?! setting up a savings account and automatically transferring money to that account every month takes the guess work out and if you're like me, you won't spend money you don't "see." Don't think you have the money to set aside? Reassess all of your extra spending --starbucks, restaurant lunches, manicures, taxis... everything adds up! If you want to make traveling a priority you might have to cut down on other excess spending to make it happen.

2. travel off-season. We're visiting Greece in may which is considered off-season and airfare is considerably lower ($400-500 more/person) than summer months. For us this works out perfectly - it'll be mid 70's, perfect for walking around and while it might be too cold to get into the water I can still lay on the beach.

3. avoid eating at a restaurant for every meal - Visit a bakery and local grocery store and go on a picnic instead. This will save you money (and it might be good to take a break from heavy restaurant food every day!) also remember to pack snacks!

4. embrace public transportation - especially to/from the airport. A cab ride from most airports to downtown can be pretty pricey. prior to your trip do a little research and see if there is a train, shuttle or bus that will take you into the city. In Barcelona we took a motor coach city bus (Aerobus) into downtown ($10/person) - in Istanbul we took the metro (it was only $3/person!) - in Paris we hopped on the metro ($14.50/person). You will save a considerable amount of money taking public transportation and I usually feel safer on a train or a bus than I do in a cab in a foreign country (I blame that on too many action movies).

5. hotel vs. hostel. We never spend more than $150/night on a hotel or a hostel. For some people hotels are a REALLY important part of the experience, but for us it's just somewhere to sleep. We don't spend a lot of time in our room, so it doesn't seem to make sense to spend a lot of money on it. Consider a hostel when you travel too. We've stayed in quite a few nice hostels and some of them even include a light breakfast (free bread and cheese?! yes, please). We did have a rough hostel in Istanbul but we were wayyy under our budget on that one and should have paid a little more. With a hotel or hostel do your research and don't be shy about asking for photos of your room if they aren't available online. 

6. save the dream trips for when you can afford them. h and I would love to go to Australia or Tahiti but it's just not in the budget. The flights alone are ridiculously expensive. bummer but not the end of the world. We'll visit someday and there are plenty of places we can explore now without breaking the bank.

psst: in case you missed it, even more thrifty travel tips

Do you have any budget travel tips?!

xo, 
Jillian
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8.23.2012

gold for the sun king!

ahhh Versailles.. all that gold and decadence. I wanted to return to versailles ever since I visited the palace a few years ago and was devastated to find out that the famous hall of mirrors was closed for renovation. Luckily this time the mirrors were open and we had enough time to take the train to the chateau for a visit. After a ridiculously long wait (I think we might have arrived during the peak time of day), we finally got inside the palace walls. We took our time visiting the ornate rooms, trying to process all of the art and flourishes. h thought it was overkill but I liked the gold! (I even wore a large gold necklace in honor of the sun-king! Which i later regret after I got crazy tan lines - c'est la vie! 
While we were inside the palace H was dying to go escape outside to the gardens...I was just happy to finally see the gorgeous hall of mirrors:
When we finally made it outside we explored a portion of the massive grounds - my favorite part was the breathtaking orangerie, with it's impressive landscape designs:
Have you visited Versailles? 
What did you think of the castle and gardens?
xo, 
jillian
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