2.29.2012

wedding wednesday - work it out.

workoutow ow!

with the wedding less than 5 months away i have made up my mind to get serious about getting into shape. i am not looking to lose a significant amount of weight but i would like to look and feel my best for my big day. in order to do that i want to tone up and change my edit habits (just a smidge). 

i am giving up fried foods and sweets while at work. i am surrounded by a lot of sweet stuff at work:: there is an employee on our floor who stops by everyday to deliver a piece of candy, monthly birthdays with cakes and donuts, friday happy hours with pizza and random goodies that magically pop up in the kitchen! usually i have no will power and i am surprised i haven't gained the freshman 15 at the office! it's better that i wait until i get home to have a (small) treat then snack on all that sugar throughout the day.

along with the fried-food/office sweets ban, i plan to start up my retired workout. i have a gym in the same building as my office and every time i take a break to workout i feel great the rest of the day... so there's no excuse. and finally, i am going to make simple swaps-- like using wontons instead of chips and yogurt instead of sour cream and continue cooking light (i even started a new pinterest board of lighter foodie options). 

i hope these lifestyle changes continue long after the wedding but there isn't anything more motivating than knowing you'll want to look (and feel) your best on your wedding day. 


do you have any tips?!
what keeps you motivated to eat right and workout? 
what's your favorite workout routine?
what sites do you visit for healthy recipes? 

xo, 
jillian

2.28.2012

game changer.

WONTONS. i'm a little obsessed with this game changer...they are so versatile and have very little calories and fat. 


via - via

a few weeks ago i made leslie's mexican wontons and substituted ranch dressing for yogurt + ranch seasoning and sausage for low fat ground turkey.

last weekend i whipped up some spinach and feta quiche cups

and this past sunday i made buffalo chicken roll-ups::
mix canned chicken, plain non-fat yogurt, shredded cheese, taco seasoning, franks hot sauce, diced onions - wrap in wontons and bake until crispy! easy beasy right?!
are you a wonton fan?! 
what's your favorite recipe?
xo, 
jillian

2.27.2012

good things.

hello there and happy monday! this weekend was a good one.. the snow stopped and the sun came out! here are few highlights:



-we finally got our new bench - still waiting on the cushion, it's on back-order, but it's good to have him home.
- finished part 1 of season 1 of happy endings - those kids are hilarious. 
-an at-home manicure and pedicure - i now have neon nails! bam!
-buffalo chicken wonton roll-ups (more on that tomorrow...)
-saturday bowling with friends... i got a STRIKE on my first try (granny-style). that luck didn't continue but that's okay. 
-sunday birthday brunch for my mom, it was fun to catch up with my family...
-i had another bake victory and made my mom's cherry crunch (staying with what works!) 
-sunday dinner at cafe ba ba reeba, where we got to partake in the last day of chicago's restaurant week with a prix fixe menu of paella, lots of tapas, and tres leche cake. i am still stuffed and dreaming of another trip to spain.
-the Oscars! we made it home from dinner just in time to see octavia spencer acceptance speech and watched the rest of the show. i have quite a few new movies to add to my netflix queue. 

xo, 
jillian


ps hop over to the girl with the blue bow, christinna was kind enough to feature me today!

2.24.2012

friday's fancies - #55.

Happy friday! Wowzah this week has been exhausting! I am ready for the weekend and some relaxing. Tonight we're staying in and catching up on season 1 of Happy Endings (we started watching this show a little late in the game but I love it. Its full of lots of randomness and occasional Chicago references. Saturday night we're going bowling and drinks. And on Sunday we are heading out to the burbs to meet my family for my mom's birthday brunch. Later that night we have our weekly Sunday dinner with h's family and I'm hoping to watch some of the Oscars... 
I love seeing Hollywood get all dressed up (and it'll be a great opportunity to scope out more makeup and hair ideas for the wedding!) If I were attending the Oscars, I would love to wear something bright, stylish and feminine. this jenny packham dress would glide on the red carpet and i don't think it would be trashed on Fashion Police, (another great thing about award shows-- joan has the best one-liners!)


Who do you think will be the best and worst dressed stars on Sunday?!

XO,
Jillian

2.23.2012

shoes!

remember a while ago when i posted about shoemint?! well, i finally got my hands on a pair of shoes and i loveeeee them! i went with hattie-- a black leather + snake skin print combo flat. they are surprisingly comfy and have the perfect little point. the snakeskin is an unexpected surprise...making them a little (dare i say), sexy!


and how cute are these little videos!? i love that you can see the shoes in action::



have you signed up for shoemint yet?! 
what style of shoes make you feel sexy?


xo, 
jillian

2.22.2012

wedding wednesday - the perfect playlist.

via, via, via

happy wedding wednesday! one of the most challenging parts of our wedding planning so far has been coming up with our playlist! (a project i thought would be easy since h and i have similar tastes in music). we can't seem to agree on what songs will make the cut. with a limited amount of time for cocktails, dinner and dancing-- i want to make sure we have all of our favorites included but i still want to leave room for our dj to do his thing. we also haven't decided on THE song. (our first dance song). thankfully we have a few months to edit the list-- until then i would love to hear your suggestions! 

what songs do you love hearing at weddings?!
what songs would you put on a 'do not play' list?

xo,
jillian

2.21.2012

gumdrop studs.

lately i have been alllll about stud earrings. these kate spade gumdrop earrings are a steal at $38! i just can't decide what color i like the best... 

colors - black - white 

 
i also love the heart studs $48 and signature spade studs $38


what's your latest jewelry obsession?
xo, 
jillian 

ps happy mardi gras!

2.20.2012

funny girls.

one of my favorite things in life is to laugh. on the weekends, if we are home, h and i try to watch snl for the weekend update skit with seth meyers. this weekend maya rudolph hosted the show, and it was pretty hilarious -- i loved the bronx beats skit with amy poehler. (if you want to see other highlights of the show - click here).




 amy poehler is one of my favorite funny girls--especially on parks and recreations, and after bridesmaids i finally gave in and admitted kristen wiig is out of control crazy cakes funny. maya, amy and kristen all seem like the type of strong, smart and funny women you'd want to be friends with.

who makes you smile?!
xo, 

2.17.2012

friday's fancies - #54.

happy friday chickadees! this weekend looks like it's going to be another low key one (YES!) with some wedding planning thrown into the mix.

okay now let's talk friday's fancies. {av} has teamed up with lisa from el em bee etc for this week's theme is fly away! i absolutely love traveling and i am beyond excited for two major trips this year-- Turkey in May, followed by our honeymoon in Paris and Prague in July! h and i are constantly dreaming of where to go next... we already know that 2013 will be the year of our adventure in Italy! he is a huge AC Milan fan so we'll go there for a game, and then travel to Rome and another (still tbd) italian city. here is a dreamy outfit for the trip:: 

dress $125, sandals $235, bag $345, ring $48

xo, 
jillian 

ps stop by the yuppie files - i am sharing my answers to ten questions!

2.16.2012

etsy wishlist.

lately i have been spending a lot of time on etsy... i blame it on the wedding but to be honest i have found a LOT of other stuff i neeeed for our new home. here is my current wishlist::



do you have any favorite etsy pieces? do share! i would love to check out a new (to me) shop!
xo, 
jillian

2.15.2012

wedding wednesday - hearts!

happy wedding wednesday! today in the spirit of valentines day i have picked out a few of my favorite heart details:: 

i think i'll try to incorporate a heart (or 2) in my wedding decor-- or on my shoes!

what do you think about adding hearts to a wedding? sweet? or sappy?


xo, 
jillian

2.14.2012

lots of love.

lots of love to our last valentines day as a dating couple. today also marks a 5 month countdown to our big day (holy moly)! we are staying in tonight and making a greek pizza together and watching the season premiere of cougar town (laugh if you will...but we love that show and i loveee that he is just as excited about our low-key plans as i am).




happy valentines day to you! 

lots of love, 
jillian

2.13.2012

confessions from the weekend...

on a sunday skype date with marissa (from the boot) she reminded me of galmour magazine's 'it's ok' series and it made me laugh. in that spirit, i decided i had a few things to confess from my lazy weekend.

it's ok... 


to look forward to a pile of blankets, a comfy couch and a glass of wine after a long week of work.

to be more excited about a new box of golden oreos than kitschy valentines day treats.

to convince your man you need to buy ingredients for a fancy pizza on tuesday since you're making dinner to celebrate the valentines day. 

to spend 10 minutes in the cereal aisle trying to find something healthy...only to walk away with lucky charms *they are made with whole grains! 

to take long hot showers but dread blow drying your hair afterwards. 


to find yourself watching a disney classic -- the lion king -- and singing along to every song.

to wake up early-ish on sundays because you know you can squeeze in a nap later that afternoon. 


to get v excited about the return of television shows - the walking dead, real housewives of orange county, cougar town. hello friends, welcome back :) 

to think your guy is smooooookin hot in his new suit and imagining your future wedding photos in your mind. 

do you have any weekend confessions?
xo, 
jillian

2.10.2012

friday's fancies - #53.

this weekend we don't have too many major plans..which is nice for a change :) i think we'll have a little movie date, and catch up on wedding planning. IF I had somewhere fancy to go i would loveee to dress up and wear something like this (and i'd need a chicago heatwave too)::


dreamy dress $645 - sandals $69 - cuff $22

xo, 
jillian 

2.09.2012

treats for your sweetie.

sooo h doesn't have a huge sweet tooth but i do. that being said, i'm pretty sure if i made a sweet treat or two for valentines day they wouldn't go to waste in our house and he would have a few. with the "holiday" right around the corner this weekend is the best time for me to get baking:: 


OR i could just order some cookies from momfuku in nyc (they deliver). the compost cookie (perfect for my pro-recylcing & composting fiance!) and the cornflake cookie both sound like perfect picks. {they also sell pies & cake truffles}. ampersand via

do you celebrate valentines day? 
what is your favorite sweet treat?
xo, 
jillian

2.08.2012

wedding wednesday - save the date!

happy wedding wednesday - let's talk about save the dates! right after we got engaged (the last day of our weekend trip to portland) h and i went to the Ace Hotel and jumped in their photobooth to capture the moment. i knew we would use these photos for our save the dates. that's not to say i didn't find a LOT of other ideas. here are a few of my favorites:
mad love - b&w photobooth - balloons

vintage postcard - matchbook - modern travel 

after much debate i stuck with the photobooth photo and (with a little nudge from my mom and friends) i decided to make our save the dates a magnet. i used magnet street's photo booth save the date layout to start and then uploaded my own design. the magnets ended up costing about $1.29/per magnet + envelope! kinda a steal, right?!

xo
jillian

2.07.2012

inspired design - big comfy beds.

our bed frame broke recently (oy! don't ask) and so now we're living like hippies with our box spring and mattress on the floor. i've got a nice idea of what i would like our bed to look like:: 

with a new duvet + cover, quilt, and pillows on our wedding registry i think we'll be able to make this happen later this year. i am still in search of the perfect headboard (that h doesn't think is too girly and i don't think looks exactly like our couch pillows!) 

what does your dream bed look like? 
lots of pillows? an oversized headboard? or something simple? 
xo, 
jillian

2.06.2012

good things.


good morning! how was your weekend? 
mine was pretty sweet :) friday we had a netflix movie date and watched The Ides of March {with George Clooney and Ryan Gosling}.  i am not a huge fan of politics in general but this movie was really fascinating and fast paced. we saw Clooney's  other big film, The Descendants, and i am not sure why that one is getting all the oscar nominations and not The Ides of March. ah, well. 

on saturday we met with our wedding officiant, Casey, and we discussed the ceremony. i am SO excited to get married and i think he is going to a wonderful job (if you're getting married in the chicago-area and need an officiant recommendation- email me. he is fantastic so far). afterwards, we got to indulge in some suburban panera for lunch (hooray bread bowls!) and we took a trip to barnes & nobel so h could study for a few hours and i could blog. after that, we squeezed in a quick trip to the outlet mall before we went to our friend's place for dinner and drinks.

super bowl sunday was full of food (as predicted). i succeeded in making my mom's cherry crunch (turns out the recipe is even easier than i realized). i loved the m&m's commercial but i got a little bored with all of the car commercials...and the actual football game.


how was your weekend?!
xo, 
jillian

2.03.2012

friday's fancies - #52.

happy friday!! this weekend we have LOTS of fun plans! we're meeting with our wedding officient tomorrow morning and then having dinner with friends later that night. on sunday we are hosting a mini super bowl party (full of lots of tasty dips + appetizers). I am pretty excited to watch the commercials...and the game. for the super bowl i want to be comfy in an outfit that has room to breathe :)

top $52 - pants $76 - flats $36 - bag $56 - ring $160

what are your plans for the weekend?

xo,
jillian

2.02.2012

when i grow up...

i was talking to h the other night and i asked him when he was a child what did he want to be when he grew up? he said doctor. and he is a doctor. boom! way to make it happen! well, i wanted to be a dolphin trainer. im not terribly upset that my dream was never realized (not sure i'd look great in a wetsuit) but it got me thinking about how we change as we grow up and how our dreams evolve (or don't).
a chef - ballet dancer - little mermaid - astronaut
i'm curious when you were little what did you want to "be" when you grew up? and what do you do now? are you on the road to your dream job?
xo,
jillian

2.01.2012

wedding wednesday - flowers.

happy wedding wednesday! as i mentioned on monday- we met with our florist over the weekend and she was just fantastic. our florist is a family friend and she had a LOT of great ideas for our big day but still listened to everything i wanted. 


when h and i got engaged last march (wowzah- time flies doesn't it?!) i had a clear vision of what i wanted for our big day: lots of gold, pinks and blushes and the dreamy pale flowers to match (with rustic succulents thrown in). 
blushes - succulents - pinks

fast forward 10 months later and now my mind is set on something completely different. i have nixed my muted palate for BRIGHT bouquets and flowers. here are a few of my favorites: 
ranunculus - bright bouquet - little buds

the bright flowers will serve as the main pop of color in our reception space so i want something bold and graphic (something a little more fun...like us!) i am confident our florist is going to help make our big day bright & beautiful- i can't wait!!

xo, 
jillian