guest post: sea island drive.

Hello! It's Paula from Sea Island Drive. I'm so excited to hear that Jillian is moving to Charleston so we can finally meet in person. So, today I've put together a little welcome guide. (It is also a good visitors guide if you're planning to visit our fine city anytime soon.)
Things to do in Charleston:

Second Sunday on King Street   On the second Sunday of each Month King Street is closed to cars from Calhoun to Queen Street.  Wander, see your neighbors, do some shopping, grab some food, and enjoy the people watching!

Walk or Bike South of Broad   The historic homes in this neighborhood have been beautifully maintained and restored and are so fun to admire.  Stroll, pick out your favorite(s), be inspired by the manicured lawns and window boxes, and dream of what life could be like South of Broad...someday!

Go to the Beach  Each beach in the area has it's own personality, but we prefer Sullivan's and Isle of Palms.  During the summer, go early to get a good parking spot and enjoy the sun before it gets too hot. 

Place to Eat in Charleston:

McCrady's  The food is always outstanding, the service is impeccable, and the presentation can't be beat.  We sit at the bar because the menu is the same, the setting is relaxed, the company is good, and Ryan makes the best cocktails in Charleston!

Macintosh  Everything on the menu is delicious, but the burger is the best in town (and the fries...don't even get me started!)

Husk Bar  Great cocktails, a cool setting, and delicious southern-inspired bar food.  What more could you want?  Good people watching maybe...?  Yup, they have that too!

Black Tap Coffee  The perfect spot to meet a friend for a really, really fabulous cup of coffee!  Enough said...

Leon's Oyster Shop  Leon's is the newest addition to Charleston's seemingly endless list of fabulous restaurants, and to say it hasn't disappointed would be an understatement.  Oysters, obviously, but really, really great fried chicken too!  Oh, and soft serve!!  

EVO  A little ways out of downtown, but well worth the drive.  The pizza and salads are perfection!

Phuong Vietnamese  Totally off the beaten path, but for this Seattle girl who loves a great bowl of Pho (and struggled with the lack of offerings in Charleston), this was one of the best food discoveries we've made!  Trust me!  

Places to Shop in Charleston

What Charleston lacks in department stores, it makes up for in boutiques...

Hampden Clothing   For any fashionista, this should be one of your first stops!

Shoes on King  Great selection of shoes

Blue Mercury & Cos Bar  Both of these stores fill the void a really great department store cosmetics department

Mac & Murphy  This little shop is a real gem!  The best stationery shop in town, hands down!

Eclectic  A fun, ever changing mix of home decor.  

And of course, a few of everyone's favorite chains...  J.Crew, Madewell, Anthropologie

Good luck with the move Jillian!  And for those thinking about visiting...do it!!  Don't hesitate to reach out if I can help with any trip planning!  

Follow Paula on Instagram.


goodbye Chicago.

It's my birthday on Monday and our last weekend in Chicago -- talk about bittersweet! It's also my last day in the office today (sooo weird). I have a lot of fun plans for the weekend and I am excited to spend some quality time with friends and family. I can't even get into how sad I am to be leaving Chicago (queue ugly cry) but let's just say I will miss the city and my friends and family a lot. Chicago is the place where I reunited with my best friends, started my career, met h, started this blog, got married, and bought our first home. But I am a big believer in "everything happens for a reason," and I am so excited to start a new chapter of my life in one of my favorite cities

There are more good things to come: Follow along on instagram to see my birthday celebrations (spoiler: there will be lots of food pics), our move to Charleston, and my trip to the Bahamas (the following week) for my brother's wedding.



loving lately: swimsuit cover-ups.

I usually gravitate towards pants or shorts but during the summer I try to embrace lightweight dresses (especially in the South Carolina heat)! I am also planning on spending some time at the beach, so I stocked up on some summer dresses and cover-ups that can be worn over a swimsuit:
In my closet: elan stripe cover-up dress $38 (this can also be worn as a maxi skirt) - tie waist strapless dress $50 double strap wrap dress $50 - elan convertible cover-up dress $38 (most of my closet is black + blue, I love this bright coral color) On my wish list: gauze tank stripe dress $58
Which cover-up is your favorite?


summer reading list.

I have a 14-hour car ride to Charleston next week and a beach vacation the following week, so I need to fill up my kindle with some new books. I just finished reading, What Alice Forgot and it was pretty good (I liked it more than The Husband's Secret by the same author). Now I am looking forward to reading these picks: 
1. The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard Morais - Indian food in Paris?! I'm sold.
2. One More Thing by B.J. Novak - This was on my last reading list but I haven't gotten to it yet.
3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - this was highly recommended by Tiffany of Dancing Branflakes and my mom, so I am pretty much obligated to read it!
4. Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson - another recommendation from friends.
5. One Plus One by Jojo Moyes (my favorite!) I've already pre-ordered this book, I'll get it just in time for my beach vacation (whoohoo!).

And here is a rundown of the books I have read so far this year-- ranked from BEST to meh not so good:

1. Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
2. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
3. The Last Love Letter to Your Lover by Jojo Moyes
4. The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
5. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
6. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
7. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
8. Labor Day by Joyce Maynard
9. Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
10. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

What is on your summer reading list?


lebenslustiger etsy shop jewelry giveaway.

The Lebenslustiger shop is one of my favorites on Etsy, it has one of a kind handmade jewelry from Germany, including beautiful rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings. The shop owner Anette was sweet enough to send me the rose gold clover ring I posted about a few months ago -- along with two other rings! I decided to share the love (and the rings) and host a giveaway! One lucky reader will win two beautiful rose gold rings -- the ball wire rose gold ring + rose gold circle ring (together worth $84). 
Enter below, one winner will be announced on June 26 (after our move).
Good Luck! 


weekend good things.

Happy Monday!! It's my last week in Chicago and I just had the best weekend :) 

On Friday I met my mom in the suburbs for some shopping at the outlet mall. We need to find another hobby -- we left the mall with waaay too much stuff ;) But on the bright side - now I'm set for my Bahamas trip -- I found some cute dresses + tank tops.

Saturday morning we did some more packing and said goodbye to our couch (we sold it to a friend). Later that morning I went to brunch with friends at Little Goat Diner and I ordered the blueberry pancakes with oatmeal crumble (my new favorite!) After brunch I got my hair cut -- I'm not looking forward to finding another stylist in Charleston. Later that night H and I went to my friends house for a cookout. We ate tasty BBQ and went onto their rooftop and took in the sights (and sounds -- Spring Awakening festival was playing nearby). And of course indulged in a few s'mores! SO good. I forgot how much I liked them. 

On Sunday we spent the majority of the day packing and organizing our things -- with the World Cup playing in the background (h was in soccer heaven). And we ate more S'mores... I am a little embarrassed to say exactly how many we had but I finally got my marshmallow fix! :)

How was your weekend?


five on friday.

Happy Friday! Our time in Chicago is winding down (with only a little over a week left) so I am going to be a busy bee this weekend. I am linking up with Christina, April, Natasha and Darci for Five on Friday:

ONE: I am taking a half day today to spend some quality time with my mom. We have wanted to visit the Fashion Outlets of Chicago for a while so we're finally making it happen! (tory burch outlet + jcrew factory here i come!!!) 
via - via
TWO: My best friend is having us over for a cookout on Saturday, and I bought supplies for S'MORES! I can't wait to get my marshmallows fix :) 

THREE: I love love these maxi dresses from gap - how cute is that ballet scoop neckline? I need to go try it on in the store to see if the length works on me (I'm only 5'4 so sometimes I struggle with long maxi dresses). I also love the ballet-back tee!

FOUR: I am in the process of cleaning out my closet and I'm selling a few things - email me to purchase.

FIVE: Don't miss my Stephanie Johnson giveaway - there are still a few days left to enter. A winner will be picked on Tuesday, June 17. 

Have a great weekend! 


birthday wish list.

With our big move less than two weeks away, I haven't really thought about my birthday but it'll be on our last day in Chicago (talk about timing!) It's my last birthday of my twenties but I am excited about it - 30's are the new 20's right?! I am also thankful I have a lot to look forward to this year. So with celebrations just around the corner, I thought it might be time to update my Pinterest wish list -- here are my favorites:

gorjana viceroy necklace -  gorjana chloe stud earrings - capri blue volcano jar candle (my favorite!) - tory burch miller sandals - baggu dipped tote (this is my favorite from my beach bag roundup) - stephanie johnson medium flat pouch in mumbai fuchsia $33 - polka dot beach towel

Pretty things aside, I'd really just like to see my friends and family and spend some quality time together before I move. and eat cake -- it's not really a birthday without some something sweet :)


Stephanie Johnson Travel Bag Review + Giveaway.

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

I have a special giveaway from Stephanie Johnson this week! I am absolutely in love with this line of versatile cosmetic cases and travel accessories. Stephanie Johnson is known for beautiful patterns and my Grace brush case (in the Mumbai fuchsia print) is stunning in person. The case is super functional with a top compartment for 4-5 brushes or eyeliners, and space in the main compartment for other beauty products. The inside of the case has a durable clear plastic overlay, so it is easy to keep clean. It's a great size for travel and fits nicely in a suitcase - it'll be in my bag for the Bahamas! You can shop the entire line of cases on the Stephanie Johnson website or shop select styles at Nordstrom (I also love the katie laguna turquoise folding cosmetics case!) Enter to win a grace brush case below! :)

Enter below, one winner will be announced on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. 
Good luck! 


weekend good things.

Monday is here and another weekend has flown by! I don't know about you but I am exhausted :)

H graduated from residency on Friday (yahhh!!). The graduation ceremony was followed by a reception where we filled up on some tasty appetizers and drinks. We made it home in time to watch two episodes of Orange is the New Black. I was kind of disappointed with the first episode but the second one was much better. I can't wait to watch the rest of the season. 

On Saturday I met up with the girls for brunch at Local Root. I had a spinach and feta omelet and it was sooo tasty (perfectly paired with a light salad and fruit). After brunch I did a little shopping and found a great swimsuit coverup at old navy (a steal under $30!) Later that night h and I went out with his co-workers for a celebratory dinner in the suburbs. We ate lots of Italian food (family style is the best!) and the residents shared their best hospital stories.

We spent the majority of Sunday packing. We deconstructed another large bookcase and finally packed up our frames. It's so sad to see the bare walls but I am excited to see how all of our things will look in our new place. I took a break to do some yoga and then we met up with the family for Sunday dinner at one of h's favorite restaurants, Pequods for deep dish pizza. It's hard to believe our time in Chicago is coming to an end, we only have two weeks left!  

How was your weekend?

p.s. Congrats to Amanda B. you won the Albion Fit giveaway! Thank you to everyone who entered, stop by tomorrow for another great giveaway (hint hint: if you like the pink pattern above, you'll love this giveaway!)


five on friday.

Happy Friday!! I have a busy weekend with a lot of plans that revolve around food (bring it on!) I also have these five things on my mind and linking up with Christina, April, Natasha and Darci for Five on Friday:
ONE: H graduates from residency today! His ceremony is today and we're going out to dinner with the other residents to celebrate tomorrow night. Now that he has accepted the fellowship position he is just one year away from practicing full-time. I am SO proud of him and everything he has accomplished, it'll all be worth it when he is done :)
TWO: If you follow me on instagram you might have noticed I have been doing some very touristy things this week (hello Navy Pier!) H's aunt visited from Iran and his dad was determined to show her around the city during her quick trip (she is now on her way to the East Coast to visit other relatives). She was so sweet and I was impressed with h's farsi skills, his fluency in the language makes me want want to learn more than three words!
THREE: I did a little shopping on minted last week and got a few personalized things: birthday and christmas gift tags, a notebook, and notecards for h (he needed something nice for interview thank you notes). After I placed the order I was nervous that it wouldn't be delivered before our move in two weeks. I got everything yesterday - that's crazy fast for personalized products! 
FOUR: Orange is the New Black is back!! Are you a fan of the show? Normally I love to do TV marathons with Netflix shows, but with just two weeks left in Chicago I'm not sure I'll have time to watch all of the episodes. I might save a few for rainy days in Charleston.
FIVE: There is still time to enter my Albion Fit giveaway! I will announce a winner on Monday, June 9. After all that restaurant food this week I am looking forward to doing some extra yoga this weekend.

Have a great weekend! 



9 beach bags under $50.

Now that I have a few swimsuits for summer I want to find a great beach bag (I'm planning on going to the beach a lot this summer in Charleston!) I have seen quite a few beautiful bags but then I get bummed about the high price tags. Ugh... I really don't want to spend $100-$300 on a bag that is going to be spending most of it's life in the sand! So I found some affordable options - all under $50: 
TOP: baggu dipped tote $36 (+$8.50 to personalize) - colorblock weekend tote in stripe $33 - contrast-stich natural tote $36 - MIDDLE: black straw tote handbag $28 - diamond print tote $28 -riley tan stripe tote $45 (use code BRALL for 25% off) - BOTTOM: printed canvas tote in multi blue stripe $36 - medium natural open top canvas tote bag $17 (+$6 to personalize with a monogram!) - blue and teal striped tote $28

Which bag is your favorite?


craving: marshmallows.

One of my favorite summer treats are s'mores. And lately I can't stop thinking about this ice cream sundae I used to get when I was younger -- it had chocolate custard + crushed Oreos + marshmallow fluff. OMG it was the best. I also love a good rice krispies treat -- so I guess I am in the mood for marshmallows! I found a lots of tasty marshmallow recipes I'd love to try:
no-bake peanut butter bars (mmm pb + chocolate is the best combo) / toasted marshmallow strawberries (there's fruit, so it has to be "healthy" right?!) / birthday cake marshmallows (perfect for summer celebrations) / salted carmel and chocolate rice krispie treats (for the salty + sweet fans) / pretzel s'more crunch bar / s'more crack dip (not sure I'd be able to share this one) / s'mores rice krispy treats (the perfect match)

Are you a Marshmallow fan?


five favorite swimsuits.

The highlight of my weekend was hanging out at my friends rooftop pool. It was so nice to feel warm and soak in a little sun (even if I was wearing SPF 55+). I also got to wear one of my new swimsuits! I'm a little embarrassed about the amount of bathing suits I have ordered and returned these past few months. It was all worth it because I finally found a few amazing suits for the summer (and my trip to the Bahamas!) I ended up with 5 bathing suits (1 old) and they are all within a similar color-range: navy, black, cobalt blue so it's easy to mix and match tops + bottoms. Here's the five (#swimsuithoarder) that made it into my closet:

1. My favorite swimsuit this season is the dark cove paisley triangle bikini topnavy lowrider bottoms. The bikini top has a colorful retro paisley pattern (reminds me of Megan from Mad Men) and pretty gold hardware. The top is comfortable and comes with removable padding. The lowrider bikini bottoms are perfect - they are not too skimpy and provide just the right amount of coverage (believe me I tried a lot of different styles before I found ones that I liked - hooray for free shipping/returns). 

2. I loved the triangle bikini top so much I bought it in navy stripes (you can wear the same solid lowrider bottoms! Or buy matching stripe bottoms.) This navy stripe version does not have padding but you can find a similar stripe style (at a lower price) with padding here

3. It took me a while to decide on a good one-piece. I went back and forth between a navy/white grid dot wrap and a ruched femme black tank one-piece suits. I ended up keeping the ruched femme tank suit! I love love the overall shape of the suit, it has great support on top, a deep v-neck (which makes it more hollywood glam than frumpy) and the figure slimming ruching is ahhmmazing (I predict I'll wear this at the end of my Bahamas trip after lots of key lime pie!) 

4. For a strapless option, I love my Beach Club Solid Bandeau + Shirred Bikini Bottoms. (I have this suit in cobalt blue, I got it a few years ago and it still looks like new. The top a great twist detail on the front and it can be worn as a strapless bandeau or halter. 

5. My final bikini pick is the Seamed underwire top. I have a similar top and I like to wear it with bright blue bikini bottoms for an easy colorblocking look or matching black for a classic look. 
Have you found your dream swimsuit?
Do you prefer bikinis or one-pieces?


Albion Review + Giveaway.

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

I have great giveaway from Albion Fit! Albion's mission is to provide women with the most luxurious, flattering, and hassle-free fitness and leisure apparel on the market. The company offers a great collection of tops, bottoms, and swimsuits. I had the opportunity to try the Albion Fit Go Long Crew with thumb-holes in Jade. It's such a pretty color and the tee has a lightweight silky fabric that is super comfortable to wear for workouts or lounging around. My arms always get cold at night so this is my new favorite pajama shirt! I also love the yellow and gray stripe full zip jacket with ruffle detail and comfy baseball tee. Enter below to win an Albion Fit gift card!

Enter below, one winner will be announced Monday June 9, 2014. 
Good Luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

p.s. congratulations to Megan Baker you won the Oat My Goodness Granola giveaway!
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