12.31.2013

2013 good things.

2013 was a great year, full of amazing trips and so many fantastic memories. I am so grateful to have such an amazing husband, family and friends to spend my time with. 

Top moments of 2013:

- Santorini was a DREAM. Greece has been on my travel wish list for years and our trip did not let me down. The island seemed unreal at times, beautifully decorated with bright blues and crisp white paint ...don't be surprised if I incorporate the same color scheme into my future home.

-This year, after many doctors visits, I finally figured out my health issues. Now I have a better understanding of what's going on with my body and how to treat my Crohn's. I am in a very good place. 

- I started working out again and I really look forward to weekly barre classes with my bff and lunch-time pilates and yoga classes. Being strong and healthy feels soooo much better than being weak, tired, and skinny.

- Book clubs, birthdays, brunches and lunches with the girls made my weekends brighter.

-h and I celebrated our one-year anniversary in July! h, you make me smile every day and I am incredibly lucky to have you in my life. 

-We took a week-long trip to the Pacific Northwest to celebrate our anniversary. I discovered lots of good food in Seattle and we visit family in Portland

- I had a major case of déjà vu while wandering around Charleston, South Carolina and rediscovering favorite spots with my husband. 

- We took our last vacation of the year to Italy - and visited RomeCinque TerreFlorenceVenice for two weeks. i am not sure there is another place in the world that I could visit and not get sick of the food or scenery. I am still craving more gelato and pasta :)

-This year we took advantage of our city and played tourist at a few Chicago spots: we saw Shakespeare and The Book of Mormon, visited Navy Pier, went to an outdoor concert at Ravinia, spotted my office building on the architectural boat tour and laughed a LOT during a performance at second city. I really love this city. 

Cheers to even more great memories in 2014! And thank YOU for your continued support and sweet messages :)
xo, 
Jillian 
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12.30.2013

a new calendar for the new year!

happy monday chickadees, i hope you had a very merry christmas! i had really loved spending time with friends and family and relaxing, i finally feel recharged for the new year! speaking of, 2014 is almost here, can you believe it? i've rounded up some pretty calendars to get you organized:

rifle paper co. cities 2014 $13 - kate spade 2014 wall calendar $26 - 
rifle paper and co 2014 secret garden calendar $26 - graphic image 2014 desk diary in embossed python $97 (i have this in grey!) - pattern and post card 2014 set $30 (this calendar has 12 months of pretty patterns and after the month is done you can each sheet in half to make a post card. LOVE this easy DIY project).

xo, 
jillian
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12.23.2013

have yourself a merry little christmas.



have yourself a very merry christmas chickadees!! h and i are heading out to the suburbs to spend the holiday with my family and i am taking the rest of the week off from blogging. i am sooo excited to unplug a little :) i hope you can do the same and spend some quality time with the people you love! 

xo, 
jillian 

ps i am sharing my stocking picks on la vie...J'aime today! 
        
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12.19.2013

shop crush: everlane.

my closet is a little heavy with sweaters and long-sleeves... which is okay since i live and chicago and it's FREEZING. but i would like to stock up on some basic short-sleeve tees. i recently re-discovered everlane, an online manufacturer and retailer of luxury essentials without traditional retail markups. tees range from $15 - $25 and they have a beautiful collection of tote and travel bags. i'm sold. 
bonus: everlane is offering free 2-day shipping. 

have you purchased something from everlane
what did you think?! anything you recommend? 

xo, 
jillian 
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12.18.2013

coffee table book picks.

i am sucker for big beautiful coffee table books. they are a great last minute gift and will make a nice addition to a friend or family member's library. here are my favorites for the bookworm, fashionista, traveler, art lover and obsessive list maker in your life: 

Well-read women: portraits of fiction's most beloved heroines  - Vogue: the covers National Geographic 125 years - India: in word and images - Litchtenstein posters (one of my favorite artists) - My future listography (i have a different listography book and it's really fun to fill out) - Mary Poppins (the classic gets a new cover).

what's on your coffee table wishlist?

xo, 
jillian
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12.17.2013

trim the tree with travel trinkets.

One of my favorite things about the holidays is decorating our tree. I love unpacking our growing collection of ornaments, which includes lots of little trinkets that we have picked up on our trips. My favorite ornament is the "sun king" lion we purchased in paris, on our honeymoon -- he is a finger puppet and fits perfectly as the tree-topper! 
What is your favorite ornament? 
Do you collect anything when you travel?
xo, 
Jillian 
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12.16.2013

december houzz board: deck the halls!

christmas is nine days away!! can you believe that?! we have our stockings up and our itty bitty tree is decorated but i've got my eye on a few other festive pieces:: 
christmas countdown $75 - sweater stocking - felt snowflake set $8 - glitter 3d star ornament $2.21/each - wooly penguin ornaments $3.71/each - triple berry wreath $40-$120 - see more holiday picks here  - or browse through my other houzz ideabooks

what is your favorite holiday decorations?
(i'd love to get a fresh wreath!) 

xo, 
jillian 

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12.11.2013

my christmas wishlist.

when i was little i used to cut up magazines and paste pieces together to create a mini-magazine full of the things i wanted for my parents (complete with an order form!) i guess i was a greedy kid, but at least i was creative! :) now we have pinterest (thank the lord baby jesus) and it's super easy to pin lots of things that you love....here are the front runners from my 'wishlist' board:
[ellington mia folding tote $179 - house of harlow mini pave sunburst pendant $58 - butter london shimmer nail polish in shag $13.50 - dots iphone 4s case $15 - landon key fob (for louie!) $17 - rewined candles in sangria $20 (these are made in charleston!) - the billie boot $228 -  new perfume! i love DNKY be delicious $60]

for more gift ideas visit my $50 and under gift board on pinterest

what's on your wishlist?!
xo, 
jillian

psst: i had a lot of fun looking at my old wishlists from 2010 and 2012 (not sure why i didn't make one for 2011!) 


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12.10.2013

craving: peppermint.

i've got a major craving for peppermint, 'tis the season! it seems to taste better during the holidays (like candy corn during october), but after seeing lots of tasty recipes on pinterest, plain old peppermint candy canes just won't do. i want peppermint mixed with other sugary good stuff like popcorn, chocolate chips, oreos, graham crackers, white chocolate... 

what's your favorite holiday treat?

xo, 
jillian

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12.09.2013

loving lately.

happy monday, my december is off to a great start! 
h and i had our staycation date this weekend at the Radisson Blu downtown, the room was gorgeous and i didn't want to leave! the location was super convenient too! we were able to walk to dinner and a movie. we saw catching fire, which i thought was better than the first movie (although the ending was really bizarre... SPOILER: it was really awkward to have a close-up of Jennifer Lawrence trying to look angry/confused). i kept comparing hunger games to divergent while i was watching  the movie (i just finished the divergent books and i was underwhelmed by the last book). i am back on team hunger games and thankful to h who sat through the 2.5 hr movie...he isn't really a YA fan.

i have also done a little shopping for myself (and others!) this month, here are some of my favorite purchases:
i bought some really cute shirts from jcrew factory online- including this polka dot top and the lace top i featured in last week's friday's fancies. i have my eye on this plaid shirt (but it's never in stock in my size!) i also scooped up the linen merci tee from jcrew since it went on sale. 

i found the perfect tory burch fall flats on sale at shopbop the other week. the flats are tan suede with pretty gold signature medallions.

i am tempted to buy a pair of d'orsay flats (piperlime is having a huge sale on shoes, 40% off flats, 40% off pumps, 25% off boots with the code SHOES).

and i am still loving my 'joan of arctic' sorel boots from last year. these things are weather-proof - i wore them all last winter and they can take on wet, snowy, cold chicago winters. i'm not looking forward to that kind of weather but at least my feet will be dry and warm! 

what are you loving lately? 

xo, 
jillian

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12.04.2013

etsy gift picks.

i am a huge fan of etsy (no surprise there...see previous etsy favorites here, here, here and here). it's my favorite place to shop for unique and special gifts, so i was thrilled to receive an etsy gift card from my aunt and cousin (thank you!!) while i was browsing online i found some great gift ideas for the holidays: 

have you bought any holiday gifts on etsy?
xo, 
jillian


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12.03.2013

happy holidays with minted!

Full Disclosure: Minted provided a complimentary set of holiday cards. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Cornflake Dreams.

 now that thanksgiving is over, the holiday season is here!!! this year we got our cards from minted, my go-to spot for printed cards, invitations and stationery. they have a lot of beautiful holiday card designs to choose from. i decided to go with something simple and add a collage of travel photos from the past year! i made the collage using InDesign, saved the final design as a jpeg, and added it to my minted card design. easy peasy! i added our return address with a custom stamp (from MaeMae Paperie) on the back of the envelopes with gold ink, to finish the cards. 

[we hung up our stockings this weekend! mine was made by my great grandma and we found h's on etsy]

Do you send out holiday cards? 
If so, do you shop for cards online or in stores?

xo, 
Jillian
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11.27.2013

thankful.

i have so much to be thankful for this year...
this is one of my favorite quotes (from Marcel Proust) and photo (from italy)

i am grateful for my health. i feel like a different person from last year - i finally have my crohn's under control (with medication) and now i have the energy to workout again (it's nice to feel strong!) and i am not tired all of the time.

i am thankful for my husband. he got me through a pretty rough year and he makes me laugh every day. he is also a wonderful travel companion and i am so thankful that were lucky enough to spend 4 weeks together exploring greece, seattle, portland and italy. i still can't believe we made our wanderlust wishlist a reality. 

i am thankful for my friends and our weekend brunch and book club dates together. you are the most supportive and strong group of women i have ever known and i am so grateful for our friendship. also, thank you to my best friend who always shows up to barre class - it makes it a lot more fun to have have someone to laugh with when we are thrusting our way through class...

and finally i am thankful for the holidays. it really is the most wonderful time of the year and i intend to celebrate with the people i love (my family!) and take some time to just relax and enjoy it all. 

have a happy thanksgiving chickadees!!! i'll be back next week.

xo, 
jillian

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11.25.2013

good things!

happy monday! i can't believe it's almost thanksgiving :) :)
-this weekend we celebrated christmas early with dinner (and card games) at my grandparents house. it was fun to see family and have some pumpkin pie early.
-on sunday the girls got together for brunch and we decorated sugar cookies. 
-we ended the weekend with sunday dinner at little goat diner. this was my first time at the restaurant and i LOVED it... you can't go wrong with breakfast and comfort food! the table shared cheesy garlic french bread with chunky marinara. i got the spiced apple pancakes with oatmeal crumble - it was SOOO good!

i am ready for my two-day work week! my mother-in-law is in town for the holidays, so i won't be posting on thanksgiving or on friday, but i will be on instagram and pinning

how was your weekend?! 

xo, 
jillian

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11.20.2013

chicago eats: sunday dinner bucket list.

as most of you know every sunday h and i go out with his family for dinner. we usually go to places that offer vegetarian and (somewhat) healthy options, so everyone can find something to eat (and we avoid the overly smancy restaurants). we like to try new restaurants but of course, we have our favorite spots too:

want to see more?! follow me on instagram :)

sunday dinner favorites:
  1. Cumin (Indian) - wicker park  
  2. DeColores - (authentic mexican) - pilsen 
  3. Doostan (persian) - west rogers park 
  4. Dragonfly Mandarin (chinese) - west side 
  5. Flo - (Tex Mex and great brunch too!) - west town
  6. Greek Islands - greek town
  7. Habana Libre (cuban) - west town
  8. Jerry's (sandwiches)- wicker park
  9. Lillie's Q (BBQ) - bucktown 
  10. Giordano's (deep-dish) - downtown (i actually prefer lou malnati's!)
  11. Mart Anthony's (Italian) - west town
  12. Pequods (pan pizza) - lincoln park  
  13. Piece (thin pizza) - wicker park 
  14. Two (american) - west town
  15. Vinny's (italian subs) - west town
and these are some new spots i would love to try...

Anteprima (italian) - andersonville 
Bar Toma (pizza) - downtown 
Big Jones (southern american) - andersonville
Davanti Enoteca (italian) - little italy
Havana (cuban/latin) - river north 
Mercadito (mexican) - river north 
Mindy's Hot Chocolate (desserts/american) - wicker park
La Scarola (italian) - west town
RPM (italian small plates) - river north
Southport Grocery (brunch) - lakeview
Taxim (greek) - wicker park


what are you favorite restaurants in Chicago or in your city?
xo, 
jillian 

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11.19.2013

color crush: navy.

when i look through my closet i always see a LOT of blue...i can't help it, i love the classic color :) navy goes with everything (yes, even black). here's a few more (new!!) navy finds i'd love to add to my collection:

what colors do you love right now?!

xo, 
jillian 

pssst: if you want more inspiration i recently added a "gift picks $50 and under" board on pinterest


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11.18.2013

good things.

hello and happy monday! this weekend was full of good things...

on friday our marketing dept. went out to lunch at Inspiration Kitchens, a social enterprise restaurant that provides essential social services to Chicagoans hardest hit by homelessness and poverty. Inspiration Kitchens  helps individuals gain valuable skills and experience that leads to employment in the food service industry. i am very proud of my Firm's involvement with Inspiration Kitchens, one of the Partner's serves as General Counsel no Inspiration Corporation on a pro bono basis. it was fun to visit the restaurant and learn more about the program and the food is really good. i recommend the motzo ball gumbo with chicken and andouille gumbo, pimento grilled cheese and the flourless chocolate cake with ice cream and toasted marshmallow. yummmm.

saturday was friendsgiving and book club! it was fantastic to see friends and eat thanksgiving comfort food - turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, pecan pie and julie's famous chocolate cream pie! 

i made chocolate chip pumpkin cookies...they were pretty good but tasted more like muffins than cookies!

saturday night we went out for dinner with my father-in-law to Smoque BBQ. it's my new favorite! the brisket and cornbread was SOOO good!!! 

the weekend ended on a rough note. a series of tornados hit illinois on sunday and we had very bad storms in the city. the severe wind and rain made me want to hide in our bedroom for most of the day....i am NOT a fan of storms!

how was your weekend!?

xo, 
jillian

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11.14.2013

november houzz board: give thanks and set the table.

thanksgiving is my favorite holiday - what's better than getting together with family and friends and eating lots of comfort food?! and of course there is all that black friday shopping madness (i prefer to shop in my pj's on the couch!) 

this year h and i are hosting thanksgiving at our house. i am thrilled to use our new-ish serving plates, bowls, platters (ya know, all that stuff i had to have on our wedding registry!) so i thought it would be fun to fill up my november houzz ideabook with things for the perfect thanksgiving celebration::

see the rest of my november houzz ideabook and other houzz ideabooks

xo, 
jillian

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