cornflake dreams.: January 2013


craving: milkshakes.

i loveeee a good milkshake. unfortunately, my lactose intolerant-ish stomach disagrees. luckily i found a few tasty sounding recipes. now i need to just get my hands on a blender! 


bathroom update.

whenever i visit world market i practically run to the food and beverage section of the store. i love picking out unique snacks and european chocolate. sometimes i am so distracted by the food that i forget that world market has TONS of unique pieces that remind me of anthropologie... but for half the price. i especially love these bathroom picks for an easy update::

where do you shop for little updates for your bathroom? 



good things.

i'm not ready for it to be monday but isn't that how it always goes? we need more 3-day weekends. luckily, this weekend was full of happy good things. 

-friday night h and i went out for a tasty italian dinner together. my favorite bite? the bread, olive oil and parmesan cheese! seriously is there anything better? the cheesy spinach and artichoke dip was a close runner up. it was a nice departure from our typical friday date (dinner and a movie at home). 

-saturday i went to my best friends place for her birthday lunch. we had tacos, skyline dip! cupcakes and ice cream... and spent some time catching up on Girls. it was the perfect afternoon.

-h scored discounted tickets to the steppenwolf theater and we saw The Birthday Party. the play was a little abstract for me but the actors did a wonderful job... i'm starting to really like live theater.

-sunday was a lazy day...naps, tv and a little reading. we ordered in from leona's for sunday dinner...i had yet another chopped cobb salad (i might have a blu cheese addiction). 

how was your weekend?!



friday's fancies #97.

happy friday! it's snowing in chicago today...which makes me want to crawl back in bed and sleep for a few more hours. it's also my best friend's birthday!! we're celebrating tomorrow with a little fiesta at her place :) the rest of the weekend will be low key - h and i might squeeze in a movie date (any new movies you recommend?!)
 top $30 - jeans $52.50 (with the code GAPTREAT) i bought these jeans and i am nicknaming them my "dream jeans." they are SUPER comfy and soft.  - scarf $20 - flats $40 - earrings $11 - gloves $28

have a great weekend! 


ps don't miss the wallpaper update giveaway!


ray-ban does retro.

growing up my mom always wore tortoise shell wayfarer ray-bans... so imagine my surprise when i started seeing LOTS of people my age wearing the iconic shades. apparently mom had it right all along. while i like the classic wayfarer style, i prefer aviators and retro inspired styles like jackie ohh and cat-eye shades.
black wayfarer - tortoise shell wayfarer - aviators - jackie ohh 

i recently got a gorgeous pair of ray-ban cats in light havana from sunglasses shop and i am in love. these glasses are big, but in a wonderful retro way that make me feel like i should be setting on the mad men set. and the brown tortoise color goes everything.

print fabric - never hide ad

what style do you prefer?

ps there's only a few days left to enter the wallpaper update giveaway! don't miss the chance to redecorate your space.


a case for spring.

society 6, a sweet site full of affordable art prints, i-phone cases and tees, is offering up free shipping on all orders now through sunday (1/27). so what better time to switch up your iphone case! these are my favorites:: 

 pink stripes - mint green - glitter - ocean fan tail - water color -- all cases are $35

psst: here are some other great iphone cases!


ps don't forget to enter the wallpaper update giveaway


craving: grilled cheese.

soup and grilled cheese are a match made in comfort food heaven. i love classic grilled cheese sandwiches but there's always room to add in one or two drool-worthy extra ingredients:: 

last week i had a pesto, tomato cheddar grilled cheese sandwich and it was ahhhmazing.
what do you like to add to your grilled cheese?


ps redecorating?! don't miss the wallpaper update giveaway!


wallpaper update giveaway.

happy monday (and MLK day AND inauguration day!) i am excited to announce a fun giveaway today from wallpaper update. one lucky reader will win a $100 gift card to wallpaper update, an online wallpaper retailer full of great decals, mural and patterned and solid wallpaper. i have spotted quite a few gorgeous rooms on pinterst that have wallpaper on a focal wall -- it's a great easy way to add pattern and color to any space. if i could redecorate any room in our condo it would be the office and i would add a bold geometric patterned wallpaper to a large wall.

one winner will be announced on monday, january 28 - best of luck!


friday's fancies #96.

happy friday!! after a crazy week of sick days and trying to jump back into work, i am excited the weekend is here. saturday i have book club with the girls, this month we read "the fault is in our stars" by john green. whoa tear-jerker! it's a sad sad story about a teenager with cancer. other than book club i plan to lie low and sneak in a few naps and hopefully a date with the mister.
sweater $38.50 - cords $28 - heart studs $28 - ring $28 - iphone case $14

have a great weekend! 


ps there are still a few days left to enter the april m giveaway!


craving: comfort soup.

i am still recovering from an awful virus/ aside from gatorade and diet sprite the only thing i want to eat is HOT comfort food in the form of soup::


ps don't forget to enter the April M Giveaway!


april m $50 gift card giveaway.

happy monday! April M, an online jewelry boutique full of great pieces is generously offering up a $50 gift card to one lucky reader.  

a winner will be announced next monday, january 21. good luck!



friday's fancies #95.

hi friends and happy friday. i'm not feeling well (i caught a nasty bug) so i am going to keep this post short and sweet. i don't have any plans for the weekend and now that i am sick, i need to take it easy. so lots of naps and maybe a few movies...and maybe some online shopping. c wonder is having a HUGE sale on their sale..50% off! all of my picks today are under $50/each (prices below are adjusted using the coupon code EXTRA50). 

henley $17.50 - cardigan $27.50 - bracelet $22.50 - necklace $27.50 - shoes $47.50

have a great weekend!


blogger fail.

last week i was contacted by a magazine who wanted to use an emerald color board (from 2011) in their magazine! AHHHMAZING! there was one major problem - they wanted photo credits for the images i used on the board. AND fail. i didn't credit the photos i used on the guest post so they couldn't use the post in their feature. i want to say that i was new to blogging and pinterest and i didn't know how to find the original source for an image and cite it properly...but in the end i just didn't take the time to cite the images.

takeaway lesson for bloggers: treat your blog like an article, use some basic journalism 
skills and site your sources and give credit to the photographers and artists who deserve it. if that means you can't use an image then move on and find another one.

in other news my january houzz board is up and it's full of emerald finds (ALL properly sourced and cited!)



seeing spots.

i am seeing spots and smitten with a classic pattern and color combination: black and white polka dots! the print is super versatile and can be paired with all of those bright jeans and bottoms in your closet. i found some perfect polka dot pieces all under $50 - for now AND later::

for now: mittens $15 - bra $20 -  3/4 sleeve top $36 - jeans $49.95 - cropped pants $25

for later: dress $49 - scarf $15 - chiffon top $46.61 - swimsuit $40 - iphone case $40



the perfect dopp kit.

cute make up bags are surprisingly hard to find! in the past i have always used freebies from perfume or makeup sets, so i was thrilled when i stumbled on a photo of a pretty dopp kit on pinterst . i followed the link to high tea and hammocks which is self-described as organic modern textiles. the online boutique offers lots gorgeous handmade fabric items at reasonable prices::

i started following high tea and hammocks on twitter and the SAME day the owner announced a special sale on her dopp kits. i jumped at the chance and jumped on the chance to snatch up the cobalt blue lattice dopp kit for $27 (including shipping!)

visit hammocks & high tea and check out all the modern and organic products - pillows and reversible clutches



friday's fancies #94.

i announced a few resolutions the other day and while i want to refocus my blog, i also want to continue one of my favorite weekly posts: friday's fancies! when {av} came up with the concept for friday's fancies she encouraged bloggers to dream big without a budget. i have never enjoyed window shopping (too depressing!) so my friday's fancies will have a budget twist. every piece i feature, from now on, will be under $75!

polka dot tee $20 - black cropped pants $45 (with the coupon code GAPNEWYEAR for 25% off original price) - scarf $25 - earrings $38 (i got these for christmas and i love them!) ballet flats $59

 this weekend the girls and i are getting together at one of my favorite brunch spots in the city: toast! expect a review and photos next week.



eat: manny's cafeteria and delicatessen.

a few weeks ago i visited manny's cafeteria and delicatessen. it's a chicago staple that has been around since 1942. they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner but they are famous for their deli sandwiches (specially the ginormous corned beef ruben). i ordered a half corned beef sandwich with a cup of matzo soup and i had leftovers! tasty sandwiches aside, the actual restaurant is reason enough to visit - it looks like an old school cafeteria (complete with trays) and friendly servers in white uniforms and hats. i felt like i was on a movie set.
visit manny's cafeteria and delicatessen
1141 S. Jefferson
Chicago, IL 60607



back to the basics.

poster via

my number one resolution for 2013 is to refocus this blog. 

when i started blogging i wanted to use it as a way to get creative and connect with other bloggers. along the way i have made some amazing real-life friends and i have had fun documenting our travels and adventures in the city. 

i am constantly inspired by bloggers who put hours into their posts and find the time to produce original and interesting content. as much as i love blogging, it can be overwhelming to balance a full-time work schedule and blog every day. 

i have decided i need to get back to the basics and refocus on the things that i really love, instead of just keeping up with the blogosphere and self-imposed post deadlines. i'm going to try to post 5x a week but if i don't have anything interesting to post about (or the time to create a post i am proud of) i'm taking the day off! it may not be a revolutionary idea but i think it will make me happy. 

here are a few things you can look forward to in 2013:: 

life in chicago: dates. sunday dinner restaurant reviews. my favorite spots.
travel: i have some pretty sweet trips planned for this year and i can't wait to share them with you. 
shopping: i am going to limit my shopping posts to really special items AND budget finds since i get pretty excited to find a great deal in real life.
even more food: in addition to restaurant reviews, expect more craving posts as i always seem to be craving something...and this year i want to actually cook those treats!  

anything else you'd like to see?!



happy new years!!! i hope everyone had a wonderful NYE and i am SO excited to see what 2013 will bring! as always i have made a few resolutions for the new year:: 

art via

1. refocus cornflake dreams... more on that tomorrow ;) 
2. read more. this should be relatively easy with my monthly book club meetings with the girls and library dates with h. 
3. workout 3-4 times per week. my busy work schedule has been conflicting with my free time but i need to make the time to workout and de-stress. 
4. keep up with date nights. i want to take advantage of all of the fun things chicago has to offer!

do you make new year's resolutions? 


ps don't you love looking at old resolutions?! (take a peek back at 2011 and 2012)