cornflake dreams.: November 2013



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.


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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?! 


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friday's fancies #136.

happy friday! the holidays have arrived early this year! we're going to my grandma and grandpa (on my dad's side) for an early christmas celebration on saturday. i'm excited to see family and eat lots of holiday comfort food (mashed potatoes! pumpkin pie!!) on sunday i have a brunch date with the girls - so it's probably best for me to wear comfy clothes ALL weekend.

have a great weekend! 

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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?

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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?!


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

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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!?


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friday's fancies #135.

happy friday! this weekend i am getting together with the girls for friends thanksgiving AND book club. we'll be discussing divergence (i loved it!) and i am making chocolate chip pumpkin cookies (...praying that they turn out). the rest of the weekend will be comfy and cozy :)

classic button-down shirt (i LOVE this's probably going to my go-to holiday stable) $54 - charcoal cardigan $80 - leggings $8 - miriam boots $120 - furry earmuffs $25 - gloves $25 - wishbone necklace $24 (i LOVE this necklace!)- madewell transport tote $168

have a great weekend! 


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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


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blogger chain mail.

mail call! {av} from long distance loving tagged me in a little blogger quiz, and i'll admit i love a good list, so here it goes: 

FAVORITE FLOWER? lilacs! i had purple lilac bushes at both of my childhood homes (we moved when i was in 5th grade). the smell is SO comforting to me and they will always remind me of my family. i also love lily of the valley (i was sad to see the little bell flowers used as a weapon on breaking bad!

MOST / LEAST ORGANIZED SPACE IN YOUR HOME? my closest is CRAZY organized...with clothes lined up by sleeve length (and color). shoes are in boxes with photos attached to the outside and my statement necklaces are hung up on display. i find a lot of comfort in being able to find what i need in my closet very quickly. the least organized spot in our condo is our office/guest/storage room with the always-growing pile of stuff that needs to go to goodwill. it's a mess and 99% of the time i prefer to just shut the door. 

WHAT BOOK HAVE YOU READ RECENTLY THAT REALLY MOVED YOU? the glass castle by jeannette walls. i was really animated when i read this book...lots of "whhhhat" and quite a few tears. it was well written and i still can't believe it's a true story. it makes me want to hug my future kids and never let them go :) 

WHAT DISH ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO AT THANKSGIVING DINNER? pumpkin pie for dessert and the next morning for breakfast....and maybe more later that day. #bringontheFATpants

HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE? i don't drink coffee or tea. i have a strawberry crystal light with caffeine once a day. that's about it, unless im feeling crazy and have a diet pop (coke,mountain dew or dr. pepper) with dinner or while i am watching a movie.

WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL? i miss senior year, i had a very relaxed schedule. i took 3 classes (one of which was home ec.) and after i was done passing out the food we made to friends, i got to leave school a little after noon. im not sure how this happened but it was a breeeeeze. other than that i miss seeing my high school friends on a daily basis-- luckily i am still in touch with one of them.

MOST MEMORABLE CONCERT? ten out of tenn, december 2008 with my best friend jen at schuba's in chicago. it was the BEST - it was so snowy outside but inside it was so cozy and happy! the concert introduced me to lots of great artists (including two of my favorites: griffin house and katie herzig). AND there was a photobooth before those were all over the place. 

HOW DO YOU UNWIND BEFORE BED? my husband and i always watch the wgn news (yep im a grandma) and we spoon. tell me what's better than that?!

DOTS OR STRIPES? stripes AND dots. im not going to choose. but if i have to i'd pick stripes. i love dots but they can go very, very wrong. 

and i want to add a new one... FAVORITE U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL CITIES? charleston, south carolina; portland, oregon; chicago, illinois; barcelona, spain; santorini, greece and paris, france!

and since it's bloggin protocol to "tag" other participants...i'd love to see what's on tiffany, alexa, christina and shelby's list. 


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shop crush: sole society.

have you shopped online at sole society? after finding a pair of their boots at nordstrom (included in my budget bootie roundup post) i was thrilled to discover that there is a LOT more sole society shoes out there :) AND great accessories (i love the cable knit beret and infinity scarf). here are my favorites:
cable knit infinity scarf $30 - starburst crystal earrings $25 - britton smoking loafers $60 - averill penny loafer flats $60 - idelle round toe bootie $90 - addison ankle bootie $70 (i LOVE these boots but i can't decide which color to get...the taupe or the black?! i hope they restock soon)- cable knit beret $30 - miriam round toe boots $120

have you bought anything from sole society?


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weekend good things!

this weekend was basically a big fat persian reunion :) h's brother and his wife were in town from portland AND my mother-in-law surprised us with a visit from arkansas! we spent the weekend hanging out and visiting some of our favorite restaurants. we went to Mart Anthony's for italian on friday and Reza's Restaurant in andersonville on saturday. i love big family dinners because it's the BEST time to try something new, while enjoying great company.

at reza's we had a table full of food that started with parley, radishes, feta cheese and warm pita bread (my favorite!). we ordered the maust museer (this restaurant spelled it differently than Doostan- my fave persian restaurant, and they added dill to the shallot yogurt dip, which was pretty tasty). we also had a plate of kashkeh bodemjan (mashed roasted eggplant, caramelized onion, whey, garlic and mint). i'm not a huge eggplant fan so i passed on that dish. 

for the main course i ordered the meal that never disappoints me: grilled boneless chicken kabob with dill rice but this time i loaded on the sumac (a traditional persian spice for meat). h got the ghormeh sabzi (a chopped vegetable beef stew with kidney beans and lemon juice) which i finally tried-and liked! The table shared an order of falfels and my mother-in-law gave me a few pieces of her beef koobideh kabob (skewers of juicy charbroiled seasoned ground sirloin). OMG. SO SO good.

have you ever tried persian food? did you like it? 
what is your favorite type of food to eat at family dinners?


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friday's fancies #134.

happy friday! this weekend h's brother and his wife are visiting from portland, so we're going to get together for a few family dinners (YAH!) i'll probably spend the rest of the weekend reading -- i just started the book thief and perfecting my chaturanga (i gotta work on my upper body strength!)
have a great weekend! 


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wishlist: vintage pj's.

it must be the zooey deschanel effect - i really want a pair of vintage pajamas :) i think they would be a cute alternative to my typical fall and winter nighttime apparel (a thermal tee and yoga pants). bonus: these pj's look really warm and cozy, perfect for cold chicago winters! 

do you have a pair of vintage pj's? do you like them?

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craving: apple salad.

now that fall is in full swing i am craving apples! they finally taste like they should-crunchy and crisp...mmmmmm. here are some savory and sweet salad recipes i would love try this fall: 

do you have an apple salad recipe that you love?

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shop picks: bauble bar.

bauble bar is my favorite place to shop for trendy (and affordable) jewelry. i have bought quite a few statement necklaces from the site and i am always impressed with the cute packing and fast, free shipping. if you haven't already signed up for bauble bar it. it's free and you get 15% off your first purchase. AND if that wasn't enough you'll get access to exclusive deals and sales (including the famous buried bauble).

it's a great place to find the perfect gift for your friends or to find something special to wear now that the holidays are right around the corner, a girl can never have too much jewelry! these are my favorite sparkly pieces::

do you like to wear fun jewelry during the holidays?
which pieces are your favorites?!


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