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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12.20.2013

friday's fancies #139.

happy friday! we're SO close to Christmas!! tonight h and i are going to see at show at second city! i am sure it will be hilarious and i am happy cross something off my chicago bucket list. on Saturday i am meeting the girls for our christmas brunch and a little gift exchange :) :) and the rest of the weekend i am going to relax before the holiday festivities begin! 
everlane ryan slouchy pocket tee $25 - factory winnie pant $36 - v-neck cardigan $98 - leopard scarf $60 - wool glittens $32.50 (extra 30% off with the code GIFTNOW at checkout) hunter boots $140 - kate spade skinny mini pave bow earrings $48

have a great weekend! 
xo, 
jillian
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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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12.13.2013

friday's fancies #138.

happy friday! this weekend the girls are coming over for book club and a cookie exchange. it's one of my favorite holiday traditions (we've been doing it for a few years) and it reminds me of when i was little and my mom, aunt and cousins baked holiday cookies together. i am so happy i can keep the tradition going. AND we always end up watching love actually (my favorite) ... not a bad way to spend a saturday afternoon! :)
tissue turtleneck $20 - dreamy tartine mini satchel $238 (jcrew is offering up an additional 30% off with the code GIFTNOW at checkout) - vintage skinny joe jean's (i bought a similar pair recently and i LOVEEE them!) $165 - tieks by gavrieli pink ballet flats $165 (click on the promo tab for an extra 20% off!) - jojo loves you bling earrings on sale 3 pairs for $60

have a great weekend! 

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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12.06.2013

friday's fancies #137.

happy friday! this weekend h and i have a staycation date at the radisson blu downtown (im really excited to see the aqua building close up!) we are thinking about seeing a movie (catching fire) and treating ourselves to dinner. on saturday we're going to my father-in-law's house to learn how to make ghormeh sabzi, which is a persian herb stew (and one of h's favorites). 
have a great weekend!
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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12.01.2013

year-round shopping tips.

in anticipation of cyber monday i thought it would be fun to share some of my YEAR-ROUND online shopping tips that will save you even more cash! (hint hint: pin this one for later).

1. most retail shops will run promotions with up to 30% - 50% off merchandise at some point during the year, be sure to sign up for your favorite store emails so you don't miss the big sales. 
2. sign up and shop with ebates - you'll get cash back just for shopping at your favorite stores (up to 12%). it's a free and easy service to use, i've been a member since 2011. 
3. before placing your order, check sites like RetailMeNot.com for promo codes 
4. POACH IT! this is my favorite trick... sign up for this (free) service and when you find an item you love "poach it" and you'll receive an email when it goes on sale. you can also track the price of an item over time, so you can see how low the sale price has gone in the past. 
5. RENT the RUNWAY. rent your next dress instead of buying it - it's a fun way to wear expensive dresses for a low rental fee (AND you get two sizes for every order, so you don't have to worry about fit). read more about my rent the runway experience

do you have any other online shopping tips?!

xo, 
jillian


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