cornflake dreams.: August 2012


friday's fancies #77.

happy friday! i am sooo ready for the long weekend. we've got a few small plans but nothing major so it'll be interesting to see how everything pans out. hopefully i'll be able to go shopping and take advantage of some labor day sales...i've got my mind set on fall colors: lots of wine, browns, blacks and gold! 
dress $69 - necklace $45 - sandals $65 (i just bought these and i love them! they are super comfy)- via

have a wonderful weekend!! 


postcards from prague.


We only spent a day and a half in the beautiful city (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?


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 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?



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?!



good things.

-my friday pizza and movie date was just what i needed after a long week at work, we watched nine months, juliane moore and hugh grant are sooo young and there were quite a few adult jokes i didn't catch the last time i watched it! 
-i finally got my crepe fix this weekend at the randolph street market! i had a delicious savory chicken, pesto, spinach and onion crepe from gotta B crepes and i need to make a return trip so i can try a sweet crepe.
-speaking of sweets...i can't stop thinking about creamy delicious jeni's ice cream - i had a sample of the lemon blueberry, two of my favorite flavors!
-sunday dinner was moved to saturday and we visited our neighborhood tapas restaurant.
-greekfest was rainy on sunday, so we met our friends for a late lunch at a nearby greek restaurant. the gyros + our conversation was wonderful :)
- the rest of the day was lazy and i took the opportunity to do a little cleaning and watch a few episodes of real housewives of new jersey... i'm hooked!


ps the lucky winner of the photo-canvas giveaway is no.5, courtney! congratulations, please email me


friday's fancies #76.

happy friday! this week has been busy and productive at work and i am ready to unwind. i have a dinner/movie date with friends tonight and tomorrow h and i are going to the randolph street market! i've never been before but i've heard great things AND it's in our hood (1340 W. Washington, Chicago) - so we can just ride our bikes there. i hope i find some vintage jewelry. on sunday we're meeting friends at greekfest in greek town -- which seems like the PERFECT time to celebrate booking our 2013 trip to greece! h found a great deal on airfare the other night so we're set to visit athens in may 2013. in honor of our future greek trip i've dreamt up a goddess-esq outfit::  

mint maxi dress $69 - sandals $82 - earrings $13 - metal cuff $18 - cross-body bag $178 - viavia


ps there's a few days left to enter the photo-canvas giveaway


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 over-kill 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?


wedding wednesday - bridesmaids shoes.

happy wedding wednesday! i had a wonderful time at my best friend's wedding shower in ohio this past weekend! her big day is in a month and it will be here before we know it. i still need to find shoes for my (gorgeous) bridesmaid dress. the dress is a cute retro style so black peep toe pumps would be perfect::

alfred sung bridesmaid dress - 1. via spiga unity pumps $140 - 2. nina culver pump $79 - 3.bandolino signon sandal $44 - 4. eveabel platform pump $80 - 5. nine west geezup peeptoe pump $56

where do you buy your shoes?! online? in the store? 
i've had lots of luck with online shops like piperlime and endless in the past but with heels i might have better luck at a traditional store. 


ps there's still a few days to enter the canvas-photo giveaway


short, straight hair.

once i chopped my hair i was quickly reminded that i have a crazyyyy cowlick in the back right side. we're talking straight on left, totally flipped out on right = aweeeesome. enter the return of the professional hair straightener. when i had longer hair i only used a straightener once in a while but the cowlick wasn't really an issue. i was given the chance to review a new straightener -- the hana professional 1" flat iron and it blew my old chi straightener out of the water! hana heats up quick and does the job so my hair stays straight all day. i also use bumble and bumble products --thickening spray for volume and grooming cream to keep everything sleek -- before drying and straightening my hair. 

thickening spray - grooming cream - 1" flat iron - via 

what products make your beauty routine easier?


ps don't miss the photo-canvas giveaway!


photo-canvas giveaway!

hello and happy monday! i've got a special treat for you today -- a giveaway!!  when h and i travel we take quite a few photos (even more now since h bought a paparazzi camera.) i love looking at our photos after our trips and now that we're really settling into our condo and decorating with our new wedding gifts i have started to print and frame our travel photos. an easy way to step up the decorating game is to print photos or prints onto canvas. lucky you.. photo-canvas is generously giving away one 24" x 16" canvas print to a lucky reader!  

how to enter! (mandatory)
follow cornflake dreams via gfc or bloglovin
please leave a comment telling me what you would have put onto a canvas print (i'd pick a prague photo!)
for extra entries:: (leave a separate comment for each)
tweet about the giveaway - please include @cornflakedreams and @bagsofloveuk
this giveaway is open to US, European and Canadian readers. a winner will be announced on Monday, August 27th. good luck!


friday's fancies #75.

this weekend i am going to my best friend's wedding shower in ohio! i'm looking forward to having a girls weekend and a mini-roadtrip...bring on the 80's music, snacks and car dancing. fast food stops is going to be wonderful to spend some quality time together and hang out with her family (they are the type you feel right at home with!) i'm so happy it's her turn for all the wedding-palooza-ness and i can't wait to see what fun shower gifts she receives!

top $36 - jeans $80 - bag $498 - flats $295 necklace $59 - bangles $163

have a great weekend! 


parisan picnic in the park!

when h and I travel, one of our favorite things to do is visit a city park, relax and have lunch. When we visited the Eiffel Tower we were excited to take it all in and relax in the champs de mars with tons of other tourists and locals. After oooh-ing and awe-ing at the tower it was time to get lunch. We found a nearby grocery store (another one of my favorite things to do! It's so interesting to see what sort of produce, treats and snacks they have in stock). We quickly found salami and deli style chicken for sandwiches (which was a nice break from HAM!), chips and my favorite, garlicy boursin cheese. The meal was a nice detox from all of the buttery croissants and crepes we had been indulging in all week. 

During our stay in paris we found ourselves resting at parks or along the seine quite a few often. The Seine was always bustling with people and I loved seeing thousands of love-locks on the bridges! It was so wonderful to explore and take a moment to take it all in. One of my favorite spots was on the the Île de la Cité  on the far west end there was a tiny park perfect for a quick afternoon nap. 

Do you like to visit parks when you travel?


wedding wednesday - etsy shops.

when i was planning our wedding i fell in love with tons of dream weddings on pinterest. but how do they do it? where do the wedding planners actually get the stuff to make the dreamy weddings come true?! enter etsy! it was my go-to place when i wanted to find something unique for our big day. i came across tons of great and affordable shops that added lots of dreamy things to wedding::

-striped, polka dot and heart paper straws from the cupcake social
-custom cake toppers from knotting wood
-paper dessert bags from whisker graphics
-custom favor tags and bakers twine from krave designs
-heart stickers from maggie stahler design

what are your favorite etsy shops?!


august houzz board - a splash of color!

can you believe it's already the middle of august?! summer is flying by and fall is just around the corner. i'm not quite ready for that yet, so i have rounded up a collection of bright colorful blue and green things for my august houzz board. here's a sneak peek::

check out the more blue and green picks on my august houzz board!



good things - weekend recap.

this weekend was full of summery good things! we didn't have any concrete plans and it was fantastic...
- friday h and i had a netflix movie date. we watched the queen, which sparked lots of wickipedia research.. i didn't realize there was so much drama in the british royal house!
-i started my saturday with a long overdue skype date with one of my favorite blogger friends.
-afterwards h and i took a short bike ride to a nearby chocolate factory and bought some goodies.
- we took an impromptu trip to the chicago botanical gardens (something that has been on my summer bucket list for a few years!) it was sooo refreshing to get away from the city for a few hours and see lots of gorgeous flowers and plants. h brought his paparazzi camera and we got some great shots.
- sunday we took another bike ride and did a little shopping ... the ride was a lotta fun but wowzah yet another reminder that i need to start doing some cardio.
- sunday dinner with the family was at cumin in wicker park. i am a sucker for indian food and i couldn't resist ordering my usual: chicken tikka masala and lots of naan!

how was your weekend?!


friday's fancies #74.

happy friday!!! we don't have any plans and i'd love to take advantage of it! i've been dreaming of bike rides - farmers markets - italian ice from the shop around the corner - a movie date (with popcorn!) hopefully we'll do one or more of those fun things. whatever we do i plan to keep it simple in the style dept. - lots of solids and simple gold jewelry.
plain white tee $24 - maxi skirt $88 - flats $61 - necklace $85 - sunglasses $150
popsicle - farmers market bike 

have a great weekend!



a view from the top.

After our visit to Sainte-Chapelle we stopped by Notre Dame and decided we just had to get to the top! We waited in line for a long hour and a half, and then climbed up the 380+ winding stairs to the top of the towers. I was pretty winded by the end (must do more cardio!) but the view was spectacular:

it was amazing to see the roof details of notre dame and the gargoyles up close.
After our trip to the top, h and i took our turn at kilometre zero, the center of paris. Legend says that if you visit kilometre zero you'll return to paris one day! let's hope so :)

Have you climbed to the top of Notre Dame?
If not, would you want to?


wedding wednesday - short bridesmaid hairstyles.

this past weekend i hosted my best friends bachelorette party (i'll share photos next week)! we had a fantastic time and it got me really excited about her wedding (which is less than two months away). as a bridesmaid (and the maid of honor - whootwhoot!) i will have to figure out how i'd like to do my hair for her big day -- something i didn't really think about when i chopped 8 inches off a few weeks ago! as expected smancy hairstyle options are pretty limited for ladies with short hair.. i found a few cute do's on pinterest but all of them involve curls (something my pin straight hair does not cope well with). bring on the hairspray!

viavia - via - via 



stunning stained glass.

During our first full day in paris we headed over to Sainte-Chapelle, the tiny chapel on the Île de la Cité near the Notre Dame. We arrived fairly early and avoided a long line. 
Once we got inside h went crazy with the camera - the lower chapel was ornate and full of rich blues and gorgeous patterns. I told him to be prepared, it just gets better... 
Once we got up to the main floor he let out a DANNNNNNG! he was stunned by the beauty of the stained glass and the amount of it! This was my second visit to Sainte-Chapelle but it was still stunning and I found myself stopping to take it all in.
If you are ever in Paris and have the opportunity to visit Sainte-Chapelle, do it. It's a magical place and one of my favorite places! 


friday's fancies #73.

happy friday! it's been a busy week at work and i am sooo excited for the weekend! tonight i am going to my company's summer party. my best friend's bachelorette party is on saturday and we've got lots of fun stuff planned (a day at the beach, party at my place and then out to dance!) sunday will be spent recovering...

dress $50 - necklace $148 - bangles $195 - clutch $156 - nail polish $8 (essie in pansy)

have a great weekend!


bonjour paris!

Our honeymoon in paris was everything I thought it would be. We enjoyed gorgeous weather, delicious croissants and crepes, long walks and short to-do lists full of fun adventures. It was h's first time to paris and he was in charge of taking photos with his paparazzi camera. He took a LOT of photos and after a while he decided to stop since everything was so beautiful. Much like our other international trips (Spain and Turkey), we got into a little morning routine and started off each day the same -- I'd find a local bakery or pastry shop and buy something for breakfast and then we'd hunt down a Starbucks. SHAME on us Americans. I know.. but caffeine cravings don't stop just because you're in another country (I don't mind the free wi-fi either!) After we settled in with our treats we'd plot out our day. Here are a few photos from our first day in Paris:

 Our hotel was in the ninth arrondissement on the right bank of the Seine - the area was full of shops and restaurants!
 We stumbled along an indoor corridor of "secret" antique shops.
From a distance h and I thought this tower belonged to Notre Dame... once we got closer we realized we were wrong. It was still really beautiful! (I'll share photos from the TOP of the Notre Dame towers next week!)



wedding wednesday - bridesmaid details.

happy wedding wednesday! i wish i could share photos from our big day but i wont have our finished professional photographs for another month :( trust me, im dying to see them too! in the meantime i thought i would share some other real wedding details! in an earlier post i revealed that my bridesmaids got their dresses from jcrew, but i kept the colors a surprise. after i got engaged i thought i would have lots of pinks, browns and blushes for our wedding... and then i a vivid poppy bridesmaid dress on jcrew and that all changed. i STILL love the bright mix of pink and red::
vivid poppy sinclair dress - bright coral arabelle dress - vivid poppy lucienne one-shoulder dress - 
bright coral louisa dress

i'd also like to share what i bought my bridesmaids! i put together a little goodie bag with a chevron cosmetic bag from baby penelopeearrings from le petit ruban, essie nail polish, two candles in their favorite scents and a thank you note!

i am so grateful for having wonderful bridesmaids. they looked BEAUTIFUL on my big day and were so helpful (steaming my dress before the ceremony, fixing my hair, keeping the dance party going ALL night!)