cornflake dreams.: May 2014


five on friday.

Disclaimer: I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Mom Central for Dove. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Happy Friday!! I'm ready for the weekend and I can't wait to get outside and go on a bike ride! I am linking up with Christina, April, Natasha, and Darci today for Five on Friday:
ONE: Dove update - I have been using the Dove Advance Care line for a few weeks now and I am loving it. Dove Advanced Care moisturizes underarm skin to provide softer, smoother underarms in just three days. The line offers 48-hour odor and wetness protection and is available in a wide variety of signature Dove fragrances. I am happy to report that I am ready to start wearing tank-tops and sleeveless dresses and I highly doubt I’ll ever go back to my old brand. Hello, summer!

TWO: I just started reading What Alice Forgot and I need to a few new books to my summer reading list.

THREE: My May Houzz ideabook is filled with king-sized beds. I have a few favorites but after our decision to rent a smaller place in Charleston, we have put our big bed dreams on hold for a few years. We have decided to invest in a Tempur-Pedic Queen mattress instead -- hopefully that'll help h with his tossing and turning. 
FOUR: Jcrew is having a pretty good sale -- quite a few items from my wishlist are finally 30-40% off, use code SWEET at checkout: crocheted lace tank - prima jersey pocket tank - cap-sleeve tee - vintage cotton tank - scoopneck stripe tee
FIVE: There are a few days left to enter the Oat My Goodness Craft Giveaway. One winner will be announced on Monday, June 2 -- along with another awesome giveaway.

Have a great weekend! 


limited edition art at minted.

Full Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Minted. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Cornflake Dreams.

We started packing up our condo this past weekend and it was a little sad to put our things in boxes. It started to finally sink in that we are really moving. So in an attempt to distract myself from getting too emotional, I am going to focus on the fun part - decorating! We currently have two large gallery walls with photos from our trips and prints we have purchased over the years, but I have my eye on a few new prints from Minted:
I have the pink peonies print (upper right) in our bedroom and I love it!
Minted's Limited Edition Art Prints are created exclusively by a global community of independent artists. The prints are available in a range of sizes, and are available framed or unframed (awesome bc if you are like me it'll take you forever to remember to buy a frame!). I love all of the pretty abstract blue-ish prints and monogram options. 

Have you shopped on Minted for Art?


weekend good things.

Wow what a fantastic three-day weekend! I spent most of it visiting friends and family, eating great food, and packing up our condo. 

On Friday night h and I stayed in and relaxed. It was a long work week so we just wanted to be lazy :)

On Saturday I did some pilates and h played the guitar. We cleaned up the condo and eventually made our way over to our friends house for dinner. Liz and her husband Joe are the photographers behind Coach House Pictures and they take amazing wedding and family photographs.
 I met Liz through blogging (yah!) and she is sooo sweet and seriously talented! She is going to start offering photography services for bloggers and she took a few photos of me! I can’t wait to see how they turned out. Liz and Joe recently traveled to Thailand for their honeymoon so we got to hear all about the trip AND eat two types of Thai tacos! SO good! Turns out Joe is also a pretty incredible cook too. H and I went home stuffed and happy.

On Sunday we headed out to the suburbs to my parents house for a family cookout. It was a beautiful day and wonderful to see my aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and some extended family. My uncles are hilarious (they are the ones photo-bombing the center pic of me and my mom above). We stopped by IKEA after the cookout and returned our dresser (it won't fit in our Charleston rental...luckily we never put it together!) Of course we didn't leave empty handed - we found the perfect media stand for our TV. IKEA wins every time. We ended the night with the mid-season finale of Mad Men...I really wish I didn't have to wait an entire year to find out how the series ends!

We spent the majority of Monday packing! Our boxes filled up fast - it's amazing how much stuff you can store in your kitchen and bathroom. We took a trip to goodwill to donate some things-- I am sure there will be more trips in the future (only 3.5 weeks until we move eeek!)! I ended the long weekend with some hot yoga (we should probably turn on the AC.) AND I snacked on lots of Oat My Goodness granola -- enter to win some here.

How was your weekend!?


Oat My Goodness Craft Granola Review + Giveaway.

Full Disclosure: I received complimentary items from Oat My Goodness Craft Granola to review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Cornflake Dreams.

Hooooray I have a special treat from Oat My Goodness Craft Granola ! Oat My Goodness (OMG) is a family business run by a mother-daughter team, they have created a delicious line of craft granola. The packaging is beautiful (hello mint!) and the granola is SOOO good! My favorite blend is the Bad Monkey bag, a rich combination of peanut butter, chocolate, and banana. It's tasty enough to eat for dessert (or to add to ice cream!). The granola is packed with simple ingredients: old fashioned organic oats, dark brown sugar, peanuts, banana chips, olive oil, chocolate chips, peanut butter. That's it. No crazy ingredients that you can't pronounce.
The line also includes a Vintage blend (reminiscent of fresh-baked oatmeal cookies) and a Sunrise blend (bright flavors of orange, coffee, mango, and macadamia nuts). You can buy the granola online or in select stores (I am excited it's available at Southern Season in Mount Pleasant, SC -- near my new home!) Or enter to win two bags of granola below. One winner will be announced next Monday, June 2. 

Good Luck! 


a déjà vu move.

Happy Friday! If you follow me on instagram you have already heard the big news -- we are moving to Charleston, South Carolina! Thank you for all of your sweet and supportive comments. Here's the full story: I have a pretty long history with the city... I visited a few times with my grandparents and cousin when I was young and fell in love with the historic mansions and pretty beaches. After college graduation I was determined to live there, so I found a roommate and moved to West Ashley (a nearby suburb). Unfortunately I wasn't able to find a full-time job (retail wasn't paying those student loans!) After less than six months, I missed my friends and family and decided to move back to Chicago. 

Almost seven years later I am moving back! H was accepted into a one-year fellowship position and we are moving at the end of June. We're not sure if we'll stay longer than a year (pending available job offers/opportunities), so we definitely plan on making the most out of this year.  

This week we made a quick visit so we could find a rental in person (craigslist photos can be sooo deceiving!) I haven't driven a car (for more than a mile) in 7 years, so I need to live somewhere I can walk + bike -- I can do that in downtown Charleston. With a downtown rental we ended up making some compromises -- the fancy apartment complexes with a pool and gym were out of our price range. We found a great place for us -- it's a little carriage house surrounded by mansions within walking distance of The Battery and King Street. There is also a university gym nearby with LOTS of great classes --yoga! pilates! and a pool. The only downside is our rental is small (as in half the size of our current two-bedroom condo). So we are going to be very creative with our storage and downsize a little bit. It'll be worth it to have the location of our dreams and within a price range that we can still afford (I don't want to be house poor with a rental!) 

It will be bittersweet to be leave Chicago -- especially now that it is finally getting warmer! I will miss my friends and family like crazy. I also love my job, thankfully I am going to be able to continue working for my firm as a graphic design consultant. I am excited SO excited for h and I to start a new adventure together and I can't wait to share all of our favorite Charleston spots with you :)

have a happy memorial day weekend! 

p.s. Charleston locals, I'd love to know YOUR favorite spots (I need to work on my to-visit list).


guest post: exPress-o.

H and I are apartment hunting today - follow along on instagram to see where :) In the meantime Diana from exPress-o is guest posting today! 

When Jillian asked me where in the world I’d like to move, I instantly thought of Paris. The city of light and I go way back – it was 9 years ago when I visited it for the first time. Somehow, ever since then I’ve been feeling a strong connection. I love how frantic, busy, cultural and romantic it is. 
The energy is undeniable and you feel it instantly as soon as you drive through those streets with twinkling lights surrounded by amazing fashion and swoonworthy architecture. It makes you feel happier, sassier and full of energy. There is no better place in the world to enjoy some stinky cheese and amazing wine, not to mention those unforgettable fresh croissants in the morning. 

via - via - via - via - via - via
Plus to be honest, you can’t beat those magical evening strolls along the tiny alleys of Montamartre, or on the river bank by Île Saint-Louisor. I still remember how special they felt and how more and more beautiful the city looked each night – like from an old movie! Le sigh, would totally pack my bags right now!

What do you think? 
Have you been to Paris?
diana from exPress-o 


Whish Body Review.

Disclaimer: I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Millennial Central for Whish Body. I received a promotional item and Whish Body samples to facilitate my review. As always all thoughts are my own, thank you for supporting brands that support Cornflake Dreams.

As much as I love summer and warm weather I really hate shaving my legs every day and I can be a little lazy about it (umm sorry h). So I was excited to try some new (to me) shaving products from Whish. I received the Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream and and Shave Savor Hair Inhibiting Gel to review - both in a fruity pomegranate scent.

My initial reaction was that I LOVED the black and pink retro packaging -- it's much classier than my standard shaving cream from the grocery store! I used the Shave Crave Shaving Cream and I was shocked at how smooth my legs were after my shower. I got an extremely close shave without razor-burn or cuts. The Whish line was created with the power of men's shaving cream but without the harsh chemicals. The line is all natural, paraban free, sulfate free, TEA & DEA free, and petrochemical free -- I'm not even sure what half that stuff is sooo yep, I am glad it's not included! I used the Shave Savor Hair Inhibiting Gel at the end of my shower (in place of lotion) and the Gel quickly moisturized my legs and did not leave a sticky residue. It'll be a great product to use this summer after a day in the sun.

Sooo did the Shaving Cream and Hair Inhibiting Gel work?! Yes! My legs were softer longer and moisturized (without feeling greasy) and I was able to go a few days before shaving again (YAH!) I defiantly plan on including the Whish line in my shaving routine from now on. You can buy Whish products at Nordstrom (hello, free shipping!) I really want to try the Coconut Sugar Scrub + Almond Shave Cream next, two of my favorite scents.

Are you a Whish fan?


weekend good things.

Happy Monday! I had such a fun and crazy busy weekend!

On Saturday H and I volunteered at CPS' Invention Convention where we judged projects from Chicago middle schoolers. It was SO much fun, the kids were adorable and their ideas were sooo impressive and cute! My friend (and professional wedding and portrait photographer) Liz was sweet enough to volunteer to take photos at the event. 

Later that day my mom and I went to Nordstrom and I played personal shopper. We shopped til we dropped and found a gorgeous green embroidered lace shift dress for my brother's wedding, lots of summer work shirts, pajamas and the prettiest gold sandals (perfect for the beach!) I am defiantly adding those Miller sandals to my birthday wish list :) !!

On Sunday I met my friend for brunch at Local Root (one of my favorite spots downtown). Afterwards H and I went for a bike ride and then meet up for dinner with family. By the end of the day I was exhausted.

How was your weekend?


five on friday.

Happy Friday!! It got pretty chilly in Chicago so I am hoping that it warms up for the weekend. I am linking up with ChristinaAprilNatasha and Darci again today for Five on Friday: 

onetwo / three / four / five
ONE: My Mom is visiting this weekend! We are going to go shopping at Nordstrom to find her a dress for my brother's wedding. I am sure I will make my way over to the shoe department... 

TWO: On Saturday I am volunteering as a judge at Chicago Public School's (CPS) Invention Convention. My father-in-law is an Engineer (and an inventor) and he told me about the event. I can't wait to see what the kids have come up with :)
THREE: I won a pretttty incredible giveaway from The Honest Company earlier this week. Now I am trying to figure out what I should buy -- cleaning and beauty products for now? Or save the credit for future bebes? Do you have any favorite products from the line?

FOUR: I broke one of my latte bowls the other day... uggh not cool. But then I looked on Anthropologie and saw lots of fresh new colors! We currently own a mix of seafoam and white bowls but I would love to add a few sorrento blue bowls or a blue and green stack.
FIVE: I just switched over to a smaller wallet - the black wrislet phone wallet in embossed python from GiGi New York and I am obsessed. Now I have my eye on the ivory elle cross-body bag and sand embossed python all in one bag.

Have a great weekend!


get ready for summer with Dove.

Disclaimer: I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Mom Central for Dove. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating. As always all thoughts are my own, thank you for supporting brands that support Cornflake Dreams.

Summer is here - that means it's time to pack away your sweaters and long-sleeve tees and start wearing sundresses, swimsuits, and tank tops! This summer my family and I are going to the Bahamas in July for my brother's wedding, so I'll also be spending a lot of time at the beach in a bathing suit. To get ready for all of those light summery clothes I want to make sure that my underarms are moisturized and protected (shaving does a lot of damage to your skin). I am a huge fan of Dove and I absolutely love their Advance Care Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant line.

I am going to continue wearing the Dove Advanced Care Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant in the next few weeks leading up to the wedding so I feel confident wearing my sleeveless bridesmaid dress and not worry about irritated underarms. Dove Advanced Care is the only Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant formulated with NutriumMoisture™ to provide soft and smoother underarms in three days.

Before using the Dove Advanced Care line I suffered from dry, irritated underarm skin caused from shaving and dry winter skin. Now my underarms feel soft and moisturized after using product. You can really feel the difference when compared to other deodorants.

In addition to moisturizing, Dove Advanced Care Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant offers 48-hour odor and wetness protection and is available in a wide variety of signature Dove fragrances. I had the opportunity to test the product in Nourished Beauty (a floral powdery fragrance with notes of jasmine and rose) and Pink Rosa (floral and fruity with scents of violet, rose and raspberry blossom). They are both great scents and I was pleasantly surprised the Pink Rosa wasn't overly floral - it has a great mix of sweet flowers and fruit.

Are you a fan of Dove?
How do you get ready for summer?


wedding wednesdays: personalized MY M&M'S

Disclaimer: I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Millennial Central for MY M&M'S. I received product samples to facilitate my review and to thank me for my participation. As always all thoughts are my own, thank you for supporting brands that support Cornflake Dreams.

I am bringing back Wedding Wednesday with a post all about personalized candy! I have the opportunity to try MY M&M'S and I am plan to gift the candy to my cousin Kacie. Growing up Kacie always looked up to me as a older sister -- which I loved because I don't have any sisters. I still can't believe that my little Kacie is all grown up and getting married this Fall!! She was sweet enough to ask me to be a bridesmaid in the wedding, so I thought I would do something special for her bridal shower this summer.
MY M&M'S offers a unique opportunity to personalize everyone's favorite candy for a special event. The collection offers a wide range of 25 colors (20 of which are available for adding custom printed messages and images). Kacie is having a Cinderella themed wedding (she got engaged in Disney World!). She is having light blue bridesmaid dresses and blue and silver decorations, so I wanted MY M&M'S to match.

Overall customizing the M&M'S and ordering was a quick and easy process with 3 easy steps:

Step 1: Choose Colors! The Platinum Silver and Light Blue colors are a perfect match for Kacie's Cinderella theme. 
Step 2: Add Images, Clip-Art & Messages. You can choose up to two images (including photos or clip art) and combine them with up to two custom messages to celebrate your special occasion. I customized MY M&M'S with a crown image (which I uploaded) and a heart design (from the site's online clipart gallery). I also added a custom message "Kacie + James" and "11/08/14" (their wedding date) to the M&M'S. 
Step 3: Select Packaging. I went with the 5lb bulk bag with a scoop but there is a large variety of packaging options.

I'll let you know how the personalized M&M'S look once I get them in the mail (and I'm sure I'll have to taste-test a few too!)


weekend good things.

Thank you all for your sweet birthday wishes yesterday. I know Mr. Cornfake (ha!) appreciated every single one of them :) We had a really wonderful weekend and enjoyed some beautiful weather -- it's amazing how a little sunshine can change everything! 

On Friday H and I had Italian sandwiches from our local sub shop: Vinnie's - their roast beef with pesto mayo is the BEST. Later that night I surprised h with tickets to Steppenwolf  - we saw The Way West. Local tip if you call the theater the day of the show at 11AM you can get tickets for $20 each (more than half off the full price - limit of two).

We took advantage of the sunshine and went for a long bike ride on Saturday. We explored a new neighborhood (I spotted some lilacs!) and settled in for a while at a large park - h watched a rugby game and I finished reading The Husband's Secret. Later that day we stopped by Terry's Toffee (another local favorite shop) and bought gifts for Mother's Day (and picked up lemon toffee for our house!) Later that night we went out for Persian food with my parents and my father-in-law. It was wonderful to have everyone together! 

On Sunday we went for a long walk and stopped by one of my favorite shops (R&R) and I picked up an astrology birthday calendar that I've wanted for a while.  I made my Lemon, Zucchini and Artichoke pasta and we watched a few old episodes of Raising Hope (I am totally loving streaming Netflix!). 

How was your weekend?


five on friday.

Happy Friday! I am linking up with ChristinaAprilNatasha and Darci for Five on Friday: 

ONE: Persian Food + Family. My parents are visiting on Saturday and we are going out to dinner with my father-in-law to one of our favorite Persian restaurants. I'm excited for my parents try my new favorite food! 

TWO: It is WARMING up in Chicago -- it was in the 80's this week! I am so excited for summer, sandals and lots of bike rides.

THREE: Ellington Handbags. I got an Ellington Mia tote bag in olive green for Christmas a few years ago and ever since I have been a huge fan. I bought the Mia Crossbody purse last year and it is the my favorite bag for traveling. And a few months ago I decided I really wanted the Mia tote in black. I checked the website and I couldn't find it online (wah-wah). I emailed a customer service rep and they told me that the were discontinuing the bag (noooo) but they had a few left... SOLD! When you love a brand you stick with them! (and psst the Mia tote is no longer available on Ellignton's website but I found a few on Amazon). 

FOUR: There are a few days left to enter my Rikshaw Design giveaway -- I will announce a winner on Monday.

FIVE: It's h's birthday on Monday -- so I have a few surprises planned for the next few days. 

Have a great weekend!


loving lately: my tieks.

The other week I posted this photo on instagram...and I got quite a few comments asking how I liked my Tieks. I love them! They are my absolute favorite shoes. I wear flats almost all of the time so I was thrilled to finally find company that makes durable ballet flats in lots of colors and patterns. Tieks are a little pricey BUT they are high quality leather and they have really durable soles (so that means they will last). I also love that they fold up -- perfect for traveling! I started with the basics: matte black and silver lake (the only non-leather pair I own). Both colors are super versatile and can be worn with a lot of my clothes. The flats are dressy enough for the office and cute enough for weekends.

I bought the pink flats as a birthday present to myself last year and I can't wait to wear them again this summer with shorts, cropped skinny jeans and dresses. outfit above -upper left: stripe tank / watch (similar) / bracelet / shorts (similar) / tieks ballet flats in ballerina pink

I recently got a pair in snake print and they are gorgeous! The detail is so pretty and they dress up a simple black outfit: top (similar) / skinny pants / necklace (similar) / tieks ballet flats in copperhead snake

Do you wear Tieks Ballet Flats?


shop crush: Figleaves.

full disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Millennial Central for I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. As always all thoughts are my own, thank you for supporting brands that support Cornflake Dreams.

It's warming up and summer is right around the corner, which means it's swimsuit season! Shopping for a swimsuit can be a daunting process -- I am never sure what size to order and I worry that my suit won't fit (what's worse than trying on a small suit?!) has over 200 designers and sells swimwear, cover-ups, lingerie, apparel, sleepwear, and accessories. I am really impressed with Figleaves' selection of swim styles and range of sizes (they offer AA-GG cup sizes) - something for every body. I love that swimsuits come in varying cup sizes similar to a bra -- which is super helpful when trying to determine what size to buy. I was in search of a bikini with a fun print and I found a lot of great options. I ended up going with a lilac and purple animal print bikini, which is a total detour from my typical black bathing suit. My swimsuit looks exactly like it did online and it fits perfectly (yah!). 
After I finished browsing for swimsuits, I found some other great summery pieces to add to my summer wish list. I love all of the cover-ups! 

SWIMSUITS: Figleaves Swimwear Medina Paisley Soft Cup Triangle Bikini (I love this boho print) / Tuscany stripe shaping swimsuit (you can't go wrong with stripes) / Just Peachy by hurricane bikini / ACCESSORIES: Havaianas slim animal print flip flop / Seafolly eden tote beach bag / COVER-UPS: Figleaves Beachwear San Francisco crochet cover-up / Figleaves Beachwear Venus split sleeve jersey cover up / Freya Swim Spirit Tunic / Figleaves Beachwear Dallas Stripe Jersey Maxi Dress

Which swimsuit is your favorite?

Visit Figleaves US website - Figleaves FacebookFigleaves TwitterFigleaves Instagram - Figleaves Pinterest -- psst: use the promo code LOVE2014 on your next order to recieve 10% off full priced items (expires 6/15/14).



weekend good things.

Sooo I know I'm a day late but this weekend was too good not to share :) 

-On Friday h surprised me and said we could go out to dinner wherever I wanted! So I picked a restaurant that has been on my to-visit list for a while: xoco, by chef and restauranteur Rick Bayless. It's a small cafe that specializes in Mexican street food (tortas and churros!) Perfect for celebrating cinco de mayo early. We ordered some guac (duh!), a baja chicken torta and a pepito braised shortrib torta. And dessert: a churro with chocolate dipping sauce and the most delicious toasted coconut tres leches cake. I am still dreaming about that cake.
-It warmed up on Saturday, so we went on a bike ride park where we could do some reading. It was so nice to be outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. Later that night I went over to my friends house and had pizza with the girls. 
- On Sunday I went out to the suburbs for my sister-in-law's wedding shower. It was wonderful to see family and I am SO excited to be apart of her wedding this July!

How was your weekend?


Rikshaw Design Giveaway!

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

Happy Monday! I have a special giveaway from one of my favorite companies to start off the week! Rikshaw Design has launched a new Spring line with embroidered sleeveless tops, dresses, and caftans for women; dresses , and rompers​ for girls; jon-jons for boys; and kurtas for everyone! They also launched a new nursery collection full of crib sheets, bedskirts, quilts, blankets, and pillows (the prints are so adorable and they are making me a little baby crazy). 
Rikshaw Design was kind enough to send me a beautiful tuxedo kurta in booti periwinkle to review. It's the perfect shirt to wear on the weekends -- or on a bike ride! It looks great with shorts and jeans and I love the pretty pleating details at the neck. It'll be on heavy rotation this summer. And I am so excited Rikshaw Design is giving away another kurta (your choice of color) to one lucky reader!

Good luck! 


friday's fancies: may.

Happy Friday! I am linking up with Ali today for my 145th friday's fancies
I've had a crazy week, so I am ready for the weekend! Tonight h and I have our usual netflix date (we're watching Enough Said -- James Gandolfini's last movie). I am meeting up with the girls on Saturday for pizza and heading out to the suburbs for my sister-in-law's wedding shower on Sunday. Hopefully the sun makes an appearance too -- but I'll have my hunters ready in case it rains. 

rikshaw design tuxedo kurta shirt (like this shirt?! be sure to check in on monday!!)- skinny jeans in distressed indigo - hunter original tall gloss rain boots in blue lily (in loveee with periwinkle blue lately!) - chloe stud earrings (wear with anything earrings) - g pressed bracelet - gigi new york sand mini taylor bag - weekend reading: the husband's secret

Have a great weekend! 

ps I am guest posting over on birdie to be today! 


mother's day gift ideas (under $50).

It's May! I feel like this year is flying but I am excited that it's (slowly) starting to warm up in Chicago and summer will be here soon. Mother's Day is right around the corner too -- May 11th -- and there is still time to buy your mom something special. I rounded up some special things I know my mom would love :) 
rewined wine scented candle $22 - spa gift card $25 - $50 (for a mani/pedi) - heart mug $29 (for her morning coffee) - kate spade new york small square stud earrings $38 (in her favorite color) - l'occitane happy hands cream trio $28 (her favorite hand cream) - insulated canvas bag $49 (for our family trip to the Bahamas)- minnetonka cally slipper $38.95 (a cozy classic)

Have you shopped for mother's day yet? 
Do you have any gift suggestions?