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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12.21.2012

friday's fancies #93.

HAPPY FRIDAY!! this saturday my mom and grandma are visiting and we're going to make christmas cookies and watch one of my favorite holiday movies: it's a wonderful life! h's mom gets into town on saturday and she is spending the weekend and christmas with us. i am excited to have a few days off from work and celebrate the holidays with my husband!

have a wonderful weekend and happy holidays! 
xo, 
jillian
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12.14.2012

friday's fancies #92.

happy friday! i can't believe that christmas is less than two weeks away. this month seems to be flying by and i still need to wrap all of my gifts! anyhoo :) this weekend is packed with fun plans. tonight i'm going to my office holiday party and saturday morning i'm getting brunch with the girls. sunday afternoon h and i are getting together with friends to play some board games (i preeeetty psyched!)

inspiration outfit via - sweater $45 - skirt $32 - tights $13 - nail polish $14 - booties $59

have a great weekend!
xo,
jillian

ps don't miss the Firmoo Glasses Giveaway AND Lulu and Georgia Giveaway!
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12.13.2012

lulu and georgia giveaway!

I am thrilled to announce yet another giveaway this week! this time it's with Lulu and Georgia, the California-based interior design boutique filled with gorgeous finds for your home. they are offering one lucky reader a $50 gift card to their shop (and a great 10% discount for all readers- see below for more details)! 


Enter to win a $50 gift card to lulu and georgia!
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

ps dont forget there is still time to enter the firmoo giveaway!
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12.07.2012

friday's fancies #91 - cookie exchange!

happy friday! this weekend the girls and i are getting together for our annual cookie exchange (and book club). this month our book club decided instead of cramming in a new book we are all suppose to watch a new-to-you christmas movie. i watched christmas with the kranks and it was pretty rough... i think i'll stick to my favorite holiday films from now on :) 
lace top $98 - pants $118 - scarf $34 - flats $128

have a great weekend!
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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12.05.2012

text friendly gloves.

the unusually warm weather in chicago was nice while it lasted but temps are expected to drop this week and it will get chilly fast. cold weather means i need to remember to wear a hat AND gloves! it would be nice to have gloves that would allow me to use my phone without taking them off. i found a few cute pairs of text friendly gloves :: 

do you own text friendly gloves? do you like them?

xo, 
jillian
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12.04.2012

shop crush: c wonder.

pinterest usually makes me really hungry -- stirring up cravings for ridiculously cheesy dishes or intricate desserts that i would never be able to make at home. luckily the last time i was on pinterest i made a shopping discovery! i met c. wonder through a few preppy monogram pins and after i checked out their website i was in love. c. wonder is boutique full of fantastic modern pieces for your home and closet. the carefully curated picks are on trend and reasonably priced -- here are my favorites::


have you shopped online at c wonder or at one of their stores? i'm ready to pull the trigger on a few pieces and i'd love to hear what you think of the shop!

xo, 
jillian

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12.03.2012

holiday traditions.

happy monday! yesterday h and i went to my grandparents to celebrate christmas early (they always try to get the family together before they spend winter in florida). it was wonderful to see everyone but the weather in chicago is unseasonably warm... we're talking 60s! I am by NO means complaining, i love the mild temps but it didn't really feel like christmas. to get myself in the holiday spirit and to make the most out of the month i'd like to introduce h to a few holiday traditions. 

be merrykisstree

we've got our itty bitty tree and stockings hung up, now i want to wrap up some christmas gifts and go shopping for stocking stuffers (my favorite!) 
-a cookie exchange with the girls. this is one of my favorite holiday traditions. we've been getting together and indulging in an afternoon of sugar shock for a few years in a row and i love it. 
- speaking of cookies... my office hosts a cookie decorating party where employees (and their kids!) are invited to decorate sugar cookies and make gingerbread houses. there is a table FULL of toppings and LOTS of tasty treats.
-a christmas movie marathon. i want to watch the (original) grinch who stole christmas, love actually, the holiday, elf, it's a wonderful life and something new--any suggestions?!
- explore the city! chicago holds a traditional german american holiday market - christkindlmarket. it's downtown and i am dying to go and shop for some ornaments and eat bratwurst and potato pancakes.

what are your favorite holiday traditions?!
xo, 
jillian
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11.30.2012

friday's fancies #90.

happy friday!!! i am super excited to have some time to just chillllll out and do a little christmas shopping. we don't have a lot of plans aside from heading out to my grandparents house on sunday to celebrate the holidays. the weather in chicago is going to warm up a little bit, so i'll take that opportunity to wear something a little fall-ish (like a vest!)::
inspiration via - shirt $88 - vest $138 - knit headband $38 - watch $106

have a great weekend! 
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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11.23.2012

friday's fancies #89 (+black friday deals!)

today i am thankful i that h and i have the day off from work! we're going to avoid the shopping today - i'm not a fan of huge crowds - but i might check out some online sales!


inspiration via - sweater $79 - jeans $59 - tote $208 - heels $70

here are some of my favorite black friday deals: (codes valid on 11/23 unless otherwise noted)
  • Asos ::20% off everything when you use code BLACKFRIDAYBONUS
  • Banana Republic :: 40% off everything when you use the code BRFRIDAY
  • Bauble Bar :: Buy 2 Baubles, Get 15% Off (code: FRIDAY15) Buy 3 Baubles, Get 25% Off (code:FRIDAY25) Buy 4 Baubles, Get 35% Off (code: FRIDAY35)
  • Dorothy Perkins :: 20% off full price dresses
  • Dwell Studio :: 11/22-11/25 – 20% off site wide when you enter code GOBBLE2012
  • Gap :: up to 60% off on select items + 20% off everything when you use the code GAPGIFT
  • Jcrew :: 11/21-11/25 – 25% off all orders + free shipping on orders over $150, when you use code COLOR25
  • Jcrew Factory :: 11/21-11/25- 40% off everything + an extra 15% off with purchase over $100 with code GIVEANDGET
  • Loren Hope Designs :: 20% off and free shipping with your purchase of $100, use code THANKS
  • Madewell :: 11/21-11/25 – 25% off everything + free shipping with code TREAT
  • Piperlime :: 11/22 - 11/26 - 20% off everything + free shipping with code ME
  • Shopbop :: 11/21-11/26 – Spend $250 save 20%, spend $500 save 25%, spend $1000 save 30%, spend $1500 save 35% when you enter code BIGEVENT12
  • Steve Madden :: 25% off and free shipping with code GIVE25
  • Tory Burch :: From 11/23 - 11/26 – Spend $300 get 20% off, spend $500 get 25% off, spend $750 get 30% off AND get a limited edition notecard set with any purchase of $150 or more when you enter code GIFTFORYOU
  • Twovet :: $50 off any comforter + free shipping, 11/23 only, no code required.
  • Victoria's Secret :: 11/23- free limited edition tote including four beauty must-haves with $65 purchase. Code FRIDAY65
happy shopping!!  (check back on monday for more deals!)

xo, 
jillian

ps there's still a few days left to enter the Radisson Giveaway!
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11.22.2012

give thanks.

someecard via

today h and i are heading out to my parents for a thanksgiving feast with family. i can't wait for lots of turkey, potatoes, biscuits and meatballs (a special treat, thanks mom)! we are bringing the broccoli, cheese and rice casserole - a holiday staple. i am so thankful to spend the day with family. we'll be hosting thanksgiving round 2 with h's family at our place on saturday.

happy thanksgiving! 
xo, 
jillian

ps the Radisson travel giveaway is still on! don't miss your chance to win a free night's stay at any U.S. Radisson hotel! 
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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

ps the Radisson Hotel Giveaway is still going on! don't miss it.
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11.20.2012

a holiday favorite.

broccoli cheese and rice casserole is a favorite at our holiday gatherings and it is usually the first thing to go. this year i am making the casserole for thanksgiving dinner at my parents, luckily it is very easy to throw together::
*you can use cream of chicken or mushroom if you'd like instead of cream of celery soup.

what are your holiday staple sides?

xo, 
jillian

ps don't forget to enter the Radisson Hotel Giveaway!
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11.19.2012

library date.

happy monday! i am ready for some TURKEY!!! hopefully the work week flies by! 
-this weekend was a lazy one. i got to sleep in both days and treated myself to a girly movie on friday.
- saturday night, i got together with the girls for friends thanksgiving and book club (this month i was not so great about reading our book!) but the company and food was fantastic! 
-sunday we went downtown for a date at the harold washington library. after exploring the massive building, we picked a quiet spot and had some quality reading time.
-sunday dinner was persian! i started the meal with a big helping of mast o moosir :)
xo, 
jillian

ps have you entered the radisson hotel giveaway?
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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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friday's fancies #88.

happy friday! tonight h is on call so i am indulging in some "me" time with a pedicure, retail therapy and a chick flick. on saturday, the girls and i are getting together for a friends-thanksgiving-book club. i'm bringing da biscuits! and sunday we'll get together with the family for sunday dinner. 
sweater dress $50 - coat $325 - boots $110

xo, 
jillian

stop by later today! i'm announcing a travel giveaway you won't want to miss! 
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11.15.2012

sweater season.

it is getting colder in chicago and that means time to break out the sweaters and layers. i am kinda obsessed with ultra soft crew sweaters from target - they are super soft, a great fit and a STEAL for $18! i have a nice little stack of six in my closet (pink, bright blue, turquoise, mustard, gray and black). bonus: they look great with a large statement necklace::

xo, 
jillian

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11.14.2012

date night: steppenwolf theater.


this past friday, h and i went to the steppenwolf theater and saw good people. it was our first time to the theater together and this show was really wonderful. 

synopsis: When Margie Walsh loses her job at a South Boston dollar store, she reaches out to old flame Mike, a Southie boy who left the neighborhood and became a successful doctor. Margie's attempt to hit Mike up for a job takes on a threatening cast when she realizes the power a secret from Mike's past holds. From Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire, Good People looks at the dangerous consequences of choosing to hold on to the past or leaving it behind.

the play was a great blend of comedy and drama and the actors did a pretty good job with their south boston accents. it was really entertaining to see the sets change (something that didn't really happen at the opera or ballet) and it was impressive to see what the actors could do on what seemed like a small set. 

next up... we're planning on seeing a show at the second city next month. 

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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