craving: cinnamon rolls.

ever since burger king started advertising their new mini cinnamon rolls i have had a CRAZY craving for those little buggers. thankfully i got my fill last week (thank you pillsbury) but i would love to try to make some from scratch and try a few new varieties....
what sweet things are you craving?!

ps congratulations to lucky no. 21, Courtney B you won the Swim Spot Giveaway! Please email me to claim your prize. 


wedding wednesday - mother of the bride dresses.

a few weeks ago i went shopping with my mom, grandma, aunt and flower girl. we had a v successful shopping trip and everyone found dresses! my mom was nervous about finding the right dress and she wasn't happy with a lot of the options she found online (too many sparkles, ruffles, and jackets). 

luckily she found a simple and chic dress, with a double-v in a gorgeous summery green!here are a few other options for a mother of the bride. these dresses ditch the embellishments and stick to simple silhouettes (perfect for a summer wedding):: 




summer 2012 bucket list!

this year has been full of checklists for travel and wedding planning. my 2012 summer bucket list is a short one but full of realllly exciting to-do's:: 

viavia - via - via

1. lounge at the pool - yes, that means scheduling in time to take time off from planning and enjoy the summer 
2.wedding shower at a winery! my aunts picked the perfect venue
3. hang out with my brother before he is deployed this july
4. bachelorette/birthday PARTY. aren't those invites perfect?! 
5. say "i do" to my best friend and celebrate with my closest friends and family
6. chicago blogger blitz! it's the day after my wedding but i don't want to miss this opportunity to spend time with some of my favorite bloggers
7. honeymoon in paris and prague, le swoon
8. my best friend's bachelorette beach party
9. lots of bike rides
10. friday/saturday concerts in millenium park. this is one of my favorite things to do in the city! it's the perfect way to end the work week and share a drink and snacks w/ friends.

what's on your list!? 
(here's mine from last year!)


ps cross your swimsuit shopping off your list -- enter to win a $50 gift card to swimspot!


good things - snippets from the weekend.

bikes! - mojito
happy memorial day! i am still enjoying the long weekend but here are a few snippets from my weekend so far...
-a long overdue (bright poppy) mani + (bright yellow) pedi 
-a bike ride with h - ending with a fresh mojito and a soft pretzel = the perfect afternoon snack
-quality time with the sex and the city girls...thank you style channel for the marathon
-we found ties for our groomsmen, fathers and ushers! checked off the list!
-meeting our florist- all of our flower plans are set. i can't wait to see everything in person!
-assembling our wedding invitations! mae mae did an amazing job, they are GORGEOUS!!
a family cookout with blueberry lemonade, italian beef, fresh fruit and taco dip (YES!YES!YES!)

ps congratulations to lucky #107, Zoe you won the NOVICA giveaway! please email me to claim your prize! if you didn't win no worries! there's still time to enter the swimspot giveaway!


friday's fancies #66 - memorial day weekend!

happy friday! i am excited about another long weekend! on sunday we are heading out to the burbs to meet with our florist, assemble our wedding invitations and attend my nephew's 8th grade graduation party. the rest of the weekend i'd like to keep things low-key... a bike ride and a scoop of italian ice sound like do-able plans. this weekend it is going to be hot so i'll be wearing shorts or a maxi dress::  

maxi dress $124 - sandals $60 - sunglasses $119 - tote $119 - earrings $30 

wanna snap up those earrings?! jojo loves you is having a HUGE memorial day sale over the weekend! the bling stud earrings are on sale 3/$60 which is a great deal if you can't pick one favorite --  i love the pink pair (obviously)...annnd the hot orangewhite, sapphire frost, neon green, pacific green opal and mint alabaster

what are your plans for the long weekend?!

ps don't miss the TWO giveaways going on right now! enter to win $50 to SWIMSPOT or $50 to NOVICA


swim spot giveaway!

summer is right around the corner and i can't wait to visit the beach (chicago has a beautiful one!) sounds like the perfect time to find the perfect swimsuit! swim spot has a great collection of women's swimsuits and select brands (including athenaella moss, hurley, and splendid). the site also has special features to make shopping easier! the Fit Specialist and Bikini Builder help you find their perfect suit based on your body type and allows you to customize your own swimsuit look. here are a few of my favorite swimsuits on swim spot:: 

enter to win a $50 gift card to swim spot!

want to win?! (leave separate comment for each):
follow cornflake dreams via GFC or BlogLovin
visit swim spot and comment on your favorite suit
tweet about the giveaway! please include @swimspot and @cornflakedreams in your tweet

a winner will be announced on thursday may 31st- this giveaway is open to domestic and international entries

best of luck! 


wedding wednesday - the menu.

tomorrow i am taking the afternoon off and heading to our wedding venue for our food tasting! i have been looking forward to this for a while, so i hope we get to test out quite a few things. we have a general idea of what we'd like for the menu: a served salad, stations with a pasta bar, a traditional beef option, and persian inspired grilled vegetarian and chicken kabobs. we're also going to have appetizers and late night snacks (those options are still tbd!) with all of that food, i am sure by the end of the tasting i will be stuffed! here are a appetizer and late night snack ideas we are considering:: 

caprese skewers - ricotta & spinach wonton - guacamole brushetta - samosas

sliders - soft pretzel bites - popcorn - mini chicken taquitos

i promise to try snap a few instagram pics tomorrow (if you have the app, follow me cornflakedreams)!

what is the best thing you have eaten at a wedding? 
appetizers - main course - late night snacks?! 


NOVICA giveaway!

happy monday! i am SO excited to announce a special NOVICA giveaway. you can win a $50 gift card to the online shop full of unique artisan pieces from all around the world! i love all of the pretty glassware and entertaining pieces::
green wave ceramic serving bowl - aqua margarita glasses -  cobalt drinking glasses

want to win?! (leave separate comment for each):
follow cornflake dreams via GFC or BlogLovin
visit NOVICA and comment on your favorite piece
tweet about the giveaway! please include @NOVICA and @cornflakedreams in your tweet

a winner will be announced on monday, may 28th - this giveaway is open to domestic and international entries

best of luck! 


friday's fancies - #65

hello there and happy friday! today chicago has been taken over by the NATO summit. i work downtown in the loop so my commute was a little hectic...needless to say i am excited for the weekend :) and a day off on monday! i plan to check a few more things off the wedding to-do list and be outside as much as possible. this sunday is a big day -- one of my best friends graduates from law school! i am so proud of her and excited to celebrate such a great achievement! i am also excited about the warm weather in chicago (hello summer!) bring on the maxi dresses and sandals:: 

maxi dress $60 - necklace $75 - sandals $295 - tote $32


ps one last day to enter the susan posnick makeup giveaway! a winner will be announced tomorrow!

stop by ashley nicole catherine today -- it's her wedding day!!! and i am guest posting :)


wedding wednesday - sweet favors.

happy wedding wednesday - we're less than 2 months from the big day! thankfully, our to-do list is starting to (slowly) shrink. right now i am figuring out the favors! we're going to have lots of food (and sweets!) but i am still leaning towards something edible for the favors. i think it's nice to have something to snack on after the wedding. one of my all-time favorite favors was at my friend's wedding, she had giant candy apples! here are some other tasty treats:: 

what do you think of wedding favors? go or no go? 
do you usually want something to eat!?



craving: indian.

this past sunday we went out for indian to celebrate h's birthday. it was his pick and he insisted on traveling allll the way to the north side of the city - to devon avenue, for our meal. if you live in chicago you know that the devon area is full of authentic indian restaurants, shops and grocery stores. 

i have a love, hate relationship with indian food... i love it. it hates me. regardless, i always go back for more and i typically order the same thing (it's too good not to!) veggie samosas, chicken tikka masala and plenty of naan bread... i think it's fair to say that this is a typical starter meal for someone who is trying to venture into indian cuisine. the next time i have indian food i'd like to make it myself!

have you tried indian food? what's your favorite dish?


ps: don't miss the $75 makeup giveaway!


friday's fancies #64 - turkish fashion.

happy friday! i don't know about you, but i am ready for the weekend!! it's suppose to warm up in chicago, so i am determined to get a bike ride in. i also want to do bake special for h on saturday-- it's his birthday! this week i have shared a lot of my photos from Turkey and now i'd like to share some of my favorite fashion trends i spotted in Istanbul! 

-h and i spotted cobalt blue jeans were EVERYWHERE..and now i really want a pair. 
-while we were in turkey the weather was gorgeous, 70's sunny and light trench coats were the popular style. 
-i saw quite a bit of floral tops + color block flats
-and finally...the evil eye ring. there are blue glass evil eyes are in just about every tourist shop in the city but i remembered seeing this house of harlow ring before the trip and i was determined to find something similar in Istanbul. fail. they didn't sell anything like it! note to turkish jewelers... dooo it! the gold rings would be a hit!

have a great weekend!

ps you still have some time to enter the getaway giveaway! i will announce a winner on monday.


istanbul, turkey - shop.

I always love to shop when I travel, and Istanbul was full of opportunities to find something special. There are shops everywhere, full of ceramic plates, tiles, silk scarves and little glass blue and white evil eye charms. I was really looking forward to the Grand Bazaar but it ended up being a BIG let down! it was full of touristy shops that you see around the city, along side high end jewelry shops and knock off purses and wallets. I'm not a fan of counterfeit goods so i passed on the fake Tory Burch bags and we didn't stay at the Bazaar too long. Luckily we stumbled along the Spice Bazaar! it was full of unique items and lots of delicious smells:
After our visit at the Spice Bazaar we ran into a gorgeous jewelry shop full of thousands of beads. I was like a kid in a candy shop! I quickly picked out a few strands of beads and they made it into a necklace for me. We returned the next day for another one...
The necklaces are my favorite thing I bought in Istanbul but I was kicking myself for packing so many clothes-- I really wanted to buy a ceramic platter. Instead I bought four ceramic tiles that I plan to frame and put in our kitchen... along with a few other things. H bought the watercolor prints and Turkey flag (he always buys a small piece of art and a flag when we travel). 
What is your favorite thing to shop for when you travel?


istanbul, turkey - eat

As promised, today we're talking about foooood. While we were in turkey i ate a lot of meat. it's everywhere and it's delicious. I had my fill of chicken kebabs, meat skewers and wraps. I even had some lamb! the meat was fresh and affordable so H a happy man. All of the food -- the meat, rice, vegetables and bread reminded him of food that he grew up on (he is persian so the staples are pretty similar).
Meat aside, my favorite treat in Turkey is somewhat mysterious. It's a cross between a croissant and a bagel -- we called it a baaa-sant (get it!?) but i don't know it's real name. The baaa-sant was buttery, flakey, with little flecks of sesame seeds. It was the perfect breakfast bread and I paired it with turkish cheese (which tasted like feta but not quite as salty) or strawberry jelly.
Sooo I guess it's kind of ironic that my favorite food in Turkey was something you'd expect to find in Paris... but i'm okay with that. and even more excited about our honeymoon in two months!


istanbul, turkey - see

During our trip to turkey I had a pretty simple game plan -- I wanted to see, eat, and shop. I'd love to share with you a few of my favorite sights. Istanbul is a city FULL of gorgeous views. It was almost comical at one point, with a hilly landscape it was impossible not to have a great view of something (whether that be an ancient Mosque or the bright blue sea). In addition to the views we were blessed with beautiful weather and blue skies the entire week - perfect weather for exploring the city and taking photos. 
Sultan Ahmed Mosque (the Blue Mosque) - this was the first Mosque we visited, and it is my favorite. The lights are breathtaking and the detail is gorgeous in person.
Topkapi Palace - I was thrilled to visit the ornate palace full of gorgeous mosaic tiles.
Hagia Sophia - this site has a long interesting history. It started off as a Basilica and then was made into a Mosque before it was transformed into a museum. 

tomorrow it's all about the food... 


see. eat. shop. - turkey recap + giveaway!

Happy Monday -- im baaack!! H and I had a great time in turkey! I'm still trying to go through 600+ photos and fight jet lag but the trip was full of beautiful sights, long walks, and tasty treats. Here's a little sneak peak at a few of my favorites... and a special giveaway!


i promise to share more photos from our trip this week. until then i've got something special for one lucky reader! i picked up a few goodies from turkey - turkish black tea, a small porcelain bowl for rings and things, two handmade turkish towels with glass seeing-eye charms and a postcard!

if you want to win the getaway giveaway, please follow cornflake dreams via GFC or BlogLovin and leave a comment with your favorite travel destination

a winner will be announced next monday, may 14th 8 AM CST. the giveaway is open to domestic and international readers. 

best of luck!


{guest post} - friday's fancies - love from afar.

i am honored to have my bloggy bestie and the creator of friday's fancies, miss. {av} from long distance loving, guest post today. the outfit she dreamed up is PERFECTION (especially that bracelet!) {av} always gets it right :)


Happy Friday! My name is {av}--and I am so excited to be filling in for my bloggy bestie! Jillian has been linking up for Friday's Fancies since day one, so it is a honor to grace the pages of cornflake dreams today. I'm more than jealous of her latest jaunt across the Atlantic, so I crafted this sassy ensemble that she could rock on the streets of Istanbul this Friday...

1) Simple stripes make this Mason by Michelle Mason Maxi Dress a versatile choice for any vacation. 
2) These sweet Kate Spade Seaport Pearl Studs would be an easy and happy addition to this ensemble.
3) For a dash of color, the contrasting stripes in this Marc by Marc Jacobs Crossbody Bag do the trick!
4) These Marc by Marc Jacobs Round Sunglasses would be perfect for strolling the streets of Istanbul.
5) Who wouldn't love to sport this sassy Corrin Bracelet from Loren Hope? It is bold and beautiful!
6) Though they may not be the best walking shoes, but these Bernardo Matrix Sandals would be the perfect to throw in a suitcase. 

Wishing safe travels + lots of fun to {j} and {h}--thanks again for having me, my love! 
If you want to see the round-up of other Friday's Fancies this week, click here :)
Enjoy your weekend, friends! 

xoxo {av} | {long distance loving}


{guest post} - APT 34.

Apartment 34- where style lives happily ever after. that pretty much sums it up! i love Erin's chic finds and wedding posts. she is an urban style icon and makes it look easy (and attainable)!
Hi all, Erin from Apartment 34 here, tickled pink to be keeping you company while Jillian is on her dreamy vacation. Since we're all fantasizing about a similar adventure, I thought I'd go ahead and pack an imaginary dream bag for an ultimate imaginary getaway. You know, should a real opportunity to hop a plane suddenly arise, one ought to be prepared with a shopping list.

A good weekender is an airplane essential. It must fit the iPad (I must confess, I don't leave home with out it), a scarf for the frigid plane air, a watch to get yourself settled into local time and sunnies and sandals for when you you step off the plane. I love to throw in a little necklace or bracelet that I put on when I arrive at my destination - just to feel a little dressed up!

So now that my bag is packed, who's ready to go find Jillian in Turkey me?! 

-Erin from Apartment 34


{guest post} -wedding wednesday - brooklyn bride.

this wedding wednesday i have a special guest blogger from my favorite wedding blog, brooklyn brideVanĂ© is v stylish and has an eye for great design.
Getting ready for your honeymoon can be a little daunting...how much to pack, how little to pack, WHAT to pack! So many options! I thought for this guest post I'd cover my honeymoon must-have's for chic traveling. Have an amazing time in Istanbul, Jillian!!

1| The Lipault Plume Trolley in a candy red color will surely standout at baggage claim
2| Spacepaks make packing a lot easier, and the inside of your luggage neater.  I always feel like I can squish a few more items in when I use these.
3| Dont forget to take your vitamins!  These cheeky pill containers are the cutest!
4| A stripey Kate Spade cover for your iPad will keep it protected and looking super sharp.
5| Luxe City guidebooks: a must for finding all the hottest spots.
6| A  Baggu leather pouch will keep all your important documents & loose change from getting lost
7| The Gorillapod is an amazing way to catch shots of your & your hubby when there's no one else around...mount it to anything!
8| I love the idea of a flashdrive luggage tag!

- VanĂ© of Brooklyn Bride


{guest post} - the boot.

marissa from the boot, is one of the sweetest bloggers i have been fortunate enough to  meet. she is living the dream, overseas in italy with her fiance, teaching young children and cooking up some tasty meals. every time i go onto her blog i smile... and then get hungry.
I'm always on the go - car trips exploring towns in Puglia, train rides to new cities in Italy, transatlantic flights to visit home and family in the summer time - so I'm pretty much an expert in travel snacking. In Italy, I'm what they call "a good fork" meaning I like to eat a lot, so I'm always prepared to be hungry, even when I'm in transit! :) What are your favorite travel snacks?

1) Trader Joe's Swiss Dark Chocolate with Hazelnuts - delicious and good for you because it's dark! 
2) Dean & DeLuca Granola - super satisfying and full of flavor. i like to crunch on it during those in-flight movies.  
3) Peanut M&M's - this is my guilty pleasure candy. there's a nut/chocolate trend happening in this list!
4) Carrot Sticks and Hummus - when you feel like something more substantial that candy, this is healthy and easy to pack!
5) Vita Coco - on long flights, to keep your jet lag at bay you need to stay hydrated. not only is coconut water super tasty but it's more hydrating than water alone. win win!
6) Snyder's Soudough Specials - i love a good, hard pretzel anytime, but while traveling they're perfect because they don't break in your bag!

Thanks so much for having me today Jill! If you're hungry for more of my musings and recipes, come by the boot sometime! 

- Marissa of The Boot
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