10.31.2013

halloween movie marathon.

happy halloween!! this is the first time in a few years that i haven't dressed up and gone out for halloween...i can't say that i hate it! so instead, i plan to watch a few of my favorite halloween movies tonight. i love the witches (the book is even better), hocus pocus and anything by tim burton - beetlejuice, sleepy hallow (i usually wait until december to watch the nightmare before christmas and edward scissorhands). and yes, i realize most all of these movies are for kids... but i can't really handle seriously scary movies! :)

how do you celebrate halloween?! 
what are you favorite halloween movies?

xo, 
jillian

see what's shakin:: bloglovin // instagram // twitter // pinterest // facebook // google+
SHARE:

10.30.2013

never stop learning.

there are times i realllly wish i knew how to use our paparazzi camera or edit photos with photoshop...or style a bookshelf! have you guys heard of skillshare?! it's an online community marketplace of (affordable) classes. they offer a great list of workshop videos - complete with customer reviews and recommendations - in a number of areas: advertising, business, design, fashion & style, film & video, food & drink, music, photography, technology and writing & publishing. the classes i looked at ranged in price from $15 - $25 -- which is way cheaper than signing up for a class at a local college or attending a technology workshop or conference.

i spotted this door in santorini, greece - quote by John C. Maxwell

have you ever taken an online skillshare course? 
did you like it? is it worth the money?!
xo, 
jillian


see what's shakin:: bloglovin // instagram // twitter // pinterest // facebook // google+
disclaimer: i was not compensated for this post -- i just thought it was a fun thing to share and a great opportunity to learn:) 
SHARE:

10.29.2013

vatican city.

We ended our Italian adventure back in Rome. We spent the first day back at Vatican City, visiting St. Peters Basilica and the Vatican museum. We climbed to the top of the dome - after two weeks of walking, we decided it would be smart to skip half of the climb by taking the elevator. Despite the shorter climb, - I STILL freaked out about the narrow space, curved walls and shrinking steps. Once we finally got to the top of the dome it was crowed with tourists and hard to get around - but the view was beautiful. That was my first and last visit up the dome! The rest of our visit was less dramatic -- St. Peters Basilica was HUGE and extremely ornate with beautiful details at every corner. The Vatican museum housed massive tapestries and almost every wall and ceiling was covered with Renaissance art (and yes, ThSistine Chapel is a MUST-see). 



Have you visited Vatican City? Did you climb to the top of the Basilica? 
xo, 
Jillian
SHARE:

10.28.2013

budget booties under $50 and $100!

happy monday chickadees! fall is in full force and i want to update my closet with a pair of brown or black booties! here's a roundup of my favorites - from nordstrom, old navy and target:
under $100: bp trolley ankle boot $99 - julianne hough for sole society giuliana $90 (in tan and black) - DV by dolce vita gila $80  ---  under $50: old navy women's suede bootie $45 (in tan and black) - mossimo kodi ankle bootie $35 (in tan and black) 


do you like booties? which pair is your favorite?!

xo, 
jillian 

see what's shakin:: bloglovin // instagram // twitter // pinterest // facebook // google+
SHARE:

10.24.2013

fall reading list.

after our tv went out the other week i realized i need to read more. so it's time to update my summer reading list with a new roundup for fall. i recently finished reading AmericanahReconstructing Amelia and Divergent - i liked it even more than Hunger Games (probably because of all of the chicago references). here are a few other books i'd like to read:


Less than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis - set in Los Angeles in the early 1980s, the novel follows a cast of upper-class, good-looking, oversexed, drug-addled, thrill-seeking, college-age characters on the road to perdition.

Everything Is Wrong With Me: A Memoir of An American Childhood, Gone, Well, Wrong by Jason Mulgrew - the blog-turned-memoir piles the author's dysfunctional family, deranged friends, working-class roots, sexual experiences and mental illnesses mostly for laughs, spinning out a raunchy and irreverent bar-room book. 

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - books, war, love and mind-blowing sadness spin together in this compelling and complex young-adult novel set during WWII in germany. (am i too old to be reading all these young adult books!?)

Looking For Alaska
 by John Green - i'm on the fence with this one... i read The Fault in Our Stars and it was depresssssing and a little too sappy for my taste. has anyone read Looking? would you recommend it?



do you have any other suggestions? i'd love to read something funny (think david sedaris or sloane crosley...)

xo, 
jillian

see what's shakin:: bloglovin // instagram // twitter // pinterest // facebook // google+
SHARE:

10.23.2013

vanishing venice.

Venice is unlike any other place I have visited before. It's been on my to-visit list for years... I remember staring at photos of the city in National Geographic when I was little. I couldn't believe this city was built on top of water. How did people get around? (lots of boats + bridges). Did they swim in the water?! (no!) What happens when it floods? (they make the most of it). I was also concerned to hear that the city was sinking - I HAD to see it before it was gone. Thankfully, h agreed that venice was a no-brainer stop on our Italy trip. with it's winding streets, bridges and canals filled with gondolas it was even more beautiful than I imagined:
We avoided the pigeons in Piazza San Marco, but loved exploring the Doge's Palace and nearby Saint Mark's Basilica (with stunning gold mosaics inside it was my favorite church in Italy!) h was happy to find LOTS of great street art and I might have shopped less in Florence if i knew how great the shopping in Venice was.
Have you visited Venice? 
Did you like it?
xo, 
Jillian 

pssst - see more Italy recaps here
SHARE:

10.22.2013

budget favorite: ultrasoft crew neck sweater.

i loveee my target mossimo ultrasoft crew neck sweaters...(illustrated here last year). i have the sweater in seven colors (pink, teal, black, tan, orange, gray and cobalt blue) and i always receive compliments when i wear them. the ultrasoft crew neck sweaters are super comfy and true to their name (soft!) -- AND they are under $20! yep, that's right... stock up now! 
(the sweater also comes in v-neckcowl, boatneck, 3/4 sleeve (green above!) and cardigan styles!)

do you have any favorite budget finds?

xo, 
jillian 

see what's shakin:: bloglovin // instagram // twitter // pinterest // facebook // google+
SHARE:

10.21.2013

craving: soft food + smoothies.

sooo i might not be "craving" soft foods or smoothies, but right now my mouth is full of stitches and it's all i can handle. thankfully my friend lent me her blender, so it has been easy to try new smoothie (and milkshake!) recipes. here are my favorites so far::


and i've been craving some "soft" comfort foods (hello, peanut butter + banana and lemon + blueberry...my favorite flavor combinations!)::

do you have any smoothie recipes you love? what about any other favorite soft foods?

xo, 
jillian 

see what's shakin:: bloglovin // instagram // twitter // pinterest // facebook // google+


SHARE:

10.17.2013

october houzz board: inspired by italy.

after our two-week trip to italy in september i couldn't stop thinking about all things italian...so i thought ITALY would be the perfect inspiration for my October Houzz Ideabook:: 


xo, 
jillian

see what's shakin:: bloglovin // instagram // twitter // pinterest // facebook // google+

SHARE:

10.16.2013

"love to love" in florence.

Florence was magical. The city is walkable, safe, clean and full of beautiful architecture. It also didn't hurt that our hotel was right around the corner from Via de' Tornabuonia street lined with designer stores (o hello, prada, gucci, pucci, dolce & gabbana, roberto cavalli...so nice to see you!) I did the majority of my shopping in Florence and came home with a pair of leather sandals, florentine paper (which I used to update our "white board" in the kitchen) and a LV wallet (I know, I know...in the land of leather I probably shouldn't have bought a coated canvas wallet but I couldn't help myself). 

Shopping aside, the highlight of our trip was our hotelier monty. He was the sweetest old italian man and every time we returned to the hotel, he greeted us with the most over-the-top animated phrases -- "BONJOURNO! bonjourno! cheek to cheek... LOVE to looove!" it left us smiling the rest of the day. 


We stayed in florence for four days, which was plenty of time to wander around the city and see the major sites. My favorite spots included: the view of the city from the  Giotto’s Campanile tower, the Santa Maria del Fiore (The Duomo) and nearby Florence Baptistery, inside you will see walls filled with stunning gold murals. Walking around the Piazza della Signoria and visiting the Palazzo Vecchio - it was so fun to imagine living in one of the extravagant apartments. I also loved walking along the Ponte Vecchio (the main bridge that crosses the arno river), it's a great spot to stop and take everything in. 

all photos by my husband :) 

As monty would say, "love to love, kiss to kiss...prego!"
xo, 
Jillian

[psst: see more Italy recaps: Rome (part one), Cinque Terre, EAT like an Italian and unexpected art in Florence... Venice and Rome part two are on the way!]
SHARE:

10.15.2013

building a bigger (and better) nail polish collection.

this weekend i realized i don't have any nail polish that i love. i rarely paint my (finger) nails, because it takes me less than a day to chip them (thank you, desk job and endless typing). and although, i love how no-chip manicures look, they rip my nails apart and it's just not worth it. so that leaves the toes. i feel really weird when they aren't painted (which is probably strange) but i'd like to build a bigger (and better) nail polish collection, starting with darker hues (and a few sparkly picks for the holidays)::

ESSIE: essie smoking hot $8 -essie bold beautiful $8 - essie power clutch silver $8
BUTTER LONDON: butter london tart with a heart glitter $15 - butter london chancer $15 - butter london all hail the queen $15
OPI: OPI Incognito in sausalito $9 - OPI nein! nein! nein! OK fine! $9 - OPI lincoln park after dark $9 

what's your favorite fall or holiday nail polish?
xo, 
jillian

see what's shakin:: bloglovin // instagram // twitter // pinterest // facebook // google+
SHARE:

10.14.2013

weekend good things.

happy monday chickadees - this weekend was full of lots of good things (and i can't believe it's already over!) 


-friday's highlight was portillo's chocolate cake (for my boss' birthday). if you haven't tried it before, do it. you won't believe that it's from fast-food italian beef restaurant. the cake is HUGE and it has the best chocolate frosting. portillo's does chocolate cake right.

-saturday we took advantage of the unusually warm weather and went on a bike ride around the neigborhood. it was so fun to be on our bikes and i am not ready to store them away for winter. 

-later that afternoon we listened to a few episodes of NPR (i surprised h last christmas with a USB drive of 35 hours of This American Life stories). i also spent a few hours reading reconstructing amelia (i'm almost done and i can't wait to see how it ends).  

-that night, we went to a diner with h's family in Old Town. breakfast for dinner is the best, i got a huge omelet with tons of cheese, zucchini and tomatoes. 

-on sunday we watched thousands running the chicago marathon (including my best friend), it was exciting to see so many runners and supporters. luckily the weather was gorgeous too! cool and sunny - perfect for running. 

-i took advantage of some great online sales (40% off everything at GAP and 50% off everything at JCREW factory) and scooped up a few things for me and for the holidays (yes, that's right i have officially started christmas shopping). 

-we finished the weekend with a few episodes of season one of mad men, (we missed the first few seasons of the show). unfortunately, we had to watch the episodes on our tiny computer because our TV isn't working (our bulb burnt out last tuesday and we're still waiting on a replacement). 

how was your weekend?! 
xo, 
jillian

see what's shakin:: bloglovin // instagram // twitter // pinterest // facebook // google+

ps congratulations to Shelby, you won the Xperience Days giveaway - i'll email you shortly with the details!
SHARE:

10.10.2013

craving: something different.

i tend to crave something sweet, cheesy or wrapped up in pastry... so it might be hard to believe but i am craving brussels sprouts! i tried brussels sprout salad over the weekend at a friend's house and wowzah, what a game-changer! apparently i DO like raw brussels sprouts...especially when they are chopped up and mixed with blu cheese, cherry tomatoes and turkey bacon and topped with avocado lemon dressing. drool.

so i guess that means i finally have an "adult" palate...so why not round up a few more chopped brussels sprout recipes:: 


do you like to eat brussels sprouts? do you prefer them raw or cooked?
xo, 
jillian 

see what's shakin:: bloglovin // instagram // twitter // pinterest // facebook // google+

ps don't forget to enter the Xperience Days giveaway - you could win $100 for a city adventure...(i'd choose a food tour!)
SHARE:

10.09.2013

shop crush: etsy round-up.

etsy is my favorite place to find unique gifts, so with the holidays approaching i thought it'd be fun to round-up some of my recent favorites shops: 

do you shop on etsy? what are your favorite shops/items?

xo, 
jillian
SHARE:

10.08.2013

discover: unexpected art in florence.

h and I love discovering street art when we travel. So we were thrilled when we saw something fun going on with the street signs in Florence:
At first we didn't know if it was something the city implemented (perhaps a ploy to catch drivers' attention or get tourists talking) or a brave artist. After a little research we learned that it was Clet Abraham, a French artist who is responsible for altering TONS of Florence street signs with clever stickers. 
My favorite is the sign with the little sardine men :) 

Have you visited Florence? 

Did you notice the street signs or any other unexpected art?
xo, 
Jillian
SHARE:

10.02.2013

to-do lists done right.

Full Disclaimer: I received a complimentary item from Graphic to review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Cornflake Dreams.

I write lists for everything...groceries, errands, my closet wish list and the oh-so-important to-do list. So I was very thankful to receive a gift from Graphic Image that helps me write my to-do lists in style. The metallic leather jotter is small enough to throw into your purse and super functional with paper storage in the front and back. I have the jotter in soft gold leather, which matches my passport caseGraphic Image has a extensive collection of calendars, planners, journals, travel accessories (most of which can be personalized!) I had my jotter engraved with my favorite line, "i've got dreams babe." :)
Another thing I love about Graphic Image is it has a sister company: GiGi New York! The shop is full of gorgeous leather handbags, clutches, wallets, accessories, tech and even accessories for men. I am smitten with these bags:


Are you a list-maker?
xo, 
Jillian
SHARE:

10.01.2013

eat like an italian.

We ate a LOT in Italy. This shouldn't be a huge surprise since we usually always eat a lot on trips (with all that walking you have to!) but I am happy to report that at the end of two weeks in Italy I wasn’t sick of the food (which IS something that has happened in other countries).

here is a breakdown of my favorites (by city):
Rome - cacio e pepe – this is how italians do comfort food - creamy spaghetti with sharp parmesan cheese and fresh black better. I had this twice and I’ve been craving more since our trip.
artichoke, tomato and cheese risotto – this was hands down my favorite dish of the whole trip. I regret not getting it again.
Cinque Terre- pesto everything  we ate it on gnocchi, pizza and with buttery focaccia bread.
Florenceflorentine steak  we typically don’t eat a lot of red meat but h wanted to make an exception since we were on vacation so he ordered a HUGE florentine steak. It was pretty fantastic (not sure if that’s because I haven’t had steak in a while or it was really that good).
venice – h had “the BEST pizza of his life” at antico forno. He loved the thick focaccia pizza lightly topped with red sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese and basil. We were in Venice for two nights and we went there twice. It was that good.
Everywhere in Italy at 3:00 p.m.GELATO. I tried to practice some self-control and every day I’d say to myself “I won’t have gelato today. I can skip a day…” and then by the time 3:00 p.m. rolled around I’d magically have a cup in my hand. Weird right?! But it was impossible NOT to get gelato when EVERYONE was chowing down on the stuff. And believe me, it was BETTER than any ice cream I’ve ever had (and less destructive to my sensitive stomach). My favorite flavors were the stracciatella (vanilla with chocolate chip), limone (stracciatella WITH lemon makes a great combo that reminds me of creamsicle), I also liked nocciola (hazelnut) and pistachio. If you can eat gelato from vendors that COVER their product—it tastes a lot creamier (I liked GROM).

What is your favorite italian dish?!
xo, 
Jillian
SHARE:
Blogger Template Created by pipdig