6.27.2013

loving lately.

after my "serious" post on tuesday (thank you for all of your sweet comments & support) i thought i would keep things light today and share a few things that i am loving...


1. just about everything rifle paper co. designs... i especially love my new french note cards 

2. i am loving planning our seattle and portland trip (thank you for all of your suggestions!!) i cannot wait to visit the chihuly garden and glass exhibition in seattle! 

3. breaking bad. i mentioned that we started watching the show over the weekend... we got sucked into three more episodes last night. can't. stop. watching.

4. the tangle teezer brush is amazing, it detangles wet and dry hair without pulling hair out and it can be used in the shower to evenly distribute conditioner.

5. my new iphone case c/o caseable - i designed it using an instagram photo from our trip to istanbul, turkey. the online shop is very easy to use, finally a DIY project i can handle. (follow caseable on twitter and facebook for more design ideas.)




what are you loving lately?

xo, 
jillian


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6.25.2013

a healthy year.

I turned 28 years old this past weekend and when my husband asked me what my goals were for the upcoming year I immediately responded with, "I want to be healthy."
smart art via
The past year was full of some really wonderful things: our wedding, a honeymoon in Paris and Prague and a trip to Greece but we had to face some really difficult things too.

over the past six months we have juggled doctor's visits and tests, balancing work and family stress. after my crohn's diagnosis we finally accepted the disappointment that we'll have to put our baby making plans on hold until i am feeling better. i'll be honest this year hasn't been easy, but everything we have gone through has been a reminder of the importance of being good to yourself and prioritizing your health.


this isn't meant to be a pity post. rather a plead to take care of yourself. see your doctor when you feel like something isn't right. i suffered from symptoms of crohns for years before i finally saw a GI doctor and took the (uncomfortable) tests to get a diagnosis and start proper treatment. 

also, remember to listen to your body and know your limits! on our trip to Greece i shouldn’t have pushed myself to hike up a mountain 8 miles on the first day. I got really sick and i had to stay in bed the second day of our trip (not glamourous AT all)...h searched the island for bananas and powerade and it saved me. (h saved me!) and thankfully i was able to enjoy the rest of our vacation.


now that i am feeling better i want to always feel like this -- just months after i was at my lowest, (we're talking thin, weak and tired ALL of the time) my iron levels are up and my inflammation is down. i feel alive, full of energy and life. i am so incredibly grateful to my husband who was with me through it all. i pray that our second year of marriage doesn't have as many health challenges, but if it does i know that I can count on him to be my support system. this year I will focus on staying healthy. now that I have more energy I want to start incorporating exercise into my daily routine. I have already starting practicing pilates and yoga again and i walk to work when the weather cooperates. i am also working on tracking (avoiding) food that upsets my stomach and changing my eating habits. the goal is to incorporate more veggies, fruit, protein and less sugar into my diet.


this means you will be seeing more exercise and healthy food posts. 

get ready to get healthy + happy! 

xo, 
jillian

ps if you follow cornflake dreams via Google Reader, be sure to update your feed before June 30th! Google Reader is ending on July 1st, you can subscribe via bloglovin facebook or sign up for emails on the right sidebar.
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6.24.2013

good (birthday) things!

happy monday - this weekend was a blast! I spent lots of time with h, my friends, and family annnd i think i might still be in a food coma...

-friday night the girls and i got together for a picnic (in my kitchen), a storm dampened our millennium park picnic plans but we still had a great time AND lots of amazing picnic food (pasta salad, boursin cheese, bread, summer sausage, fresh fruit, puppy chow and funfetti cupcakes!)
-on saturday, h and i got sucked into season one of breaking bad. I can't wait to watch more episodes. later that night, we went to dinner with h's family, to our favorite Persian restaurant Doostan (I had my favorite meal: sour cherry juice, mast o moosir yogurt dip with pita bread, lemon chicken kabobs with dill rice and tomatoes). 
-we ended the weekend with a visit from my family on sunday. I took them to my favorite bbq restaurant, lillie q's (after a bad fire, it's back open!) the food was just as good as i remembered it and i got to try LOTS of sides with my pulled pork BBQ sandwich (I recommend the hush puppies, sweet potato fries, cole slaw and grits). 

Thank you to everyone for making my birthday so sweet! (i posted more photos on instagram) Now that the celebration is over, i want to detox and focus on my goals for the year - staying healthy and getting more active (more on that tomorrow). 


xo, 
jillian

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6.19.2013

trip tips: pacific northwest.


h and I are a few weeks away from our one-year wedding anniversary! can you believe it? The year has flown by! to celebrate, we are taking a week-long trip to Seattle and Portland. Portland is a special city for us (we got engaged there) and it will be nice to visit the Pacific Northwest in the summer. 

We will spend the first half of the week together in Seattle and then we're meeting up with h's family to celebrate his brother's wedding in portland! It will be a vacation full of family, love and FOOD. And that's where you come in...

Do you have any suggestions on where to eat or what to do in Seattle or Portland?
xo, 
Jillian
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6.18.2013

sweet dreams.

my favorite room in our condo is the bedroom. i got free reign over the decorating decisions and it is the comfy retreat that i have always wanted (with little touches of art that remind me of our honeymoon in paris). my june houzz ideabook is full of my favorite bedroom pieces (and a few that i'd like to have!) i thought it be good for h to see everything together, so he could visualize how great a gorgeous overstuffed chair, an industrial nightstand or new dresser would look in the space. smart right?! :) 


xo, 
jillian

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6.17.2013

summer in the city.


chicagoans live for summer. the city wakes up as soon as the weather warms up - it's my favorite time of the year and i am thrilled it's finally here! this summer i plan to do some of my favorite things: concerts in millennium park, bike rides, neighborhood festivals, a picnic at ravinia, farmer's markets, afternoons at my best friend's rooftop pool, a cubs game and some new adventures: second city, a tour of the rookery, a water taxi ride, the french market and a few (new to me) chicago restaurants: (little goat chicago, mindy's hot chocolate, bar toma, RPM).

how do you like to spend your summer?


xo, 
jillian

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ps congratulations to april g. you won the NOVICA giveaway!
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6.12.2013

birthday wishlist.

it's that time again...my BIRTHDAY is coming up! waa-hoo. i love a good summer celebration. this year i've got a few plans for my 28th (yikes!) and a little wishlist:: 

gatsby $18 - subscription to FitFabFun VIP $49.95/a season (i have a girl-crush on Giuliana Rancic and she is promoting a new quarterly gift box full of beauty, fashion, fitness, and wellness  goodies) - a pretty pink and red statement necklace $42 - house of harlow necklace $48 - candle $28 - tory burch wallet $235 - a new yoga mat $118 - irobot roomba vacuum $350 (that's right. i want a robot vacuum... now i am officially OLD). 

what's on your birthday wishlist? 


xo, 
jillian

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6.11.2013

wedding season secret.

summer is in full swing and that means it's wedding season!! i am attending a few weddings this year and i am SO excited to FINALLY try Rent the Runway! i have heard nothing but great things about the site (av from long distance loving raves about it) and it makes SO much sense. instead of buying a new dress for every wedding or special event (that you will most likely only wear once) rent one! i really regret not doing this last year for all of my wedding events (bachelorette party, shower and rehearsal dinner). i bought new dresses for each of these events and i haven't worn them since (fail). i have learned my lesson, now i just have to decide which dress to rent. here are a few of my favorite picks::


How It Works:
1. FIND IT: Search the site's collection of dresses and accessories for your rental date (they recommend 1 -2 days before your event), then filter by designer, price, length or style to narrow down your favorites. there's even a customer gallery with photos and reviews of real customers in their rentals. 
2. BOOK IT: Once you've selected your items, book for a 4-day or 8-day rental period. 
3. WEAR IT: Your order will arrive by 8 PM on your delivery date via UPS. 
4. RETURN IT: After your night out, send back your items in the easy pre- paid envelope provided - they will take care of the dry cleaning! 

have you tried rent the runway? 
would you do it again? do you have any favorite designers or dresses?!
xo,
jillian

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ps don't miss the NOVICA $50 gift card giveaway!
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6.10.2013

NOVICA giveaway.

NOVICA, an online shop full of unique artisan pieces from all around the world, is offering up a $50 gift card, just in time for summer! i love all of the great entertaining pieces - perfect for a cookout. 

NOVICA is also a great place to find something special for Father's Day! they have a great selection of cotton shirts and belts -- something every dad needs :) 
this giveaway is open to U.S. entries only. one winner will be announced on monday, june 17, 2013. Enter below, good luck! 
xo, 
jillian


a Rafflecopter giveaway


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6.05.2013

eat like a grecian.

One of my favorite things to do when I travel is EAT. I look forward to trying new dishes and getting my fill of local food. I was happy with most of the food that I had in Greece but I will admit there were a few misses.



EAT: 
Stuffed tomato and green peppers with rice, raisins, pine nuts and potatoes (this was a filling vegetarian option!) 
Chicken Kebabs with tons of tasty tzatziki yogurt cucumber sauce and warm pita bread. (Similar to Persian kebabs but served with french fries instead of rice). 
Moussaka - a savory casserole with layers of eggplant, spiced meat filling and topped with a creamy bechamel sauce.
Feta cheese - put it on everything. Order it cold as an appetizer and eat it with pita bread or mix it in with your main dish. I also liked it baked with sundried tomatoes, olive oil and topped with walnuts. Drool.


DRINK: 
Sour Cherry Juice! I had this in Turkey but it wasn't carbonated. I LOVE the Greek version. It's similar to cranberry juice but more sweet than sour. 

SKIP: 
“Fast food” Gyros - I got a chicken gyro from a stand in Athens and it was smothered with gobs of mayo to mask the sketchy meat. that's not to say all Athens gyros were bad, I had a pretty good one at a restaurant at the end of our trip (but i still prefer gyros at restaurants in Chicago's Greek Town!) 
I was also disappointed with the Spanakopita (Spinach Pie), the authentic Greek dish that I tried was heavy with a thick crust and filled with unseasoned spinach and not enough feta. I prefer the American version: flaky phyllo dough layered with lots of cheese and buttery spinach.

Have you ever preferred the American version of a dish compared to the real deal?
xo, 
Jillian
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6.04.2013

santorini at night.

Yes, another Greece post. but I couldn't help myself and it wouldn't be nice to hide away some of my favorite photos of Santorini at night. It starts with the sunset...the island goes quiet and all eyes are on the gorgeous view:


The caldera is almost prettier at night too... with little lights that glow like little lightening bugs.
Swoon. I want to go back. 
See more Greece photos: Santorini and Athens.
xo, 
Jillian
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6.03.2013

shabby apple giveaway.

now that it's finally summer, i can't wait to bust out all of my warm weather outfits and summer dresses. shabby Apple is an online dress boutique that specializes in vintage and retro dresses. (Click Here: vintage dresses). to celebrate the start of summer, shabby apple is giving $75 gift card to one lucky reader! 
one winner will be announced on the cornflake dreams' facebook page on monday, june 3. good luck, enter below! 

xo, 
jillian


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