cornflake dreams.: September 2014

9.30.2014

May Designs Giveaway.

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

I have a wonderful giveaway with May Designs! The site carries a variety of custom cards, notebooks, and stationery with endless options to personalize your design. I am excited to giveaway a custom notebook. The notebooks come in over 300 patterns and colors, with lots of background shapes and monogram options. The inside of the notebook can be personalized with any of the following options: 2015 Agenda, Address Book, Budget Journal, Meal Planner, Calorie & Exercise Journal, Wedding Diary, Bump Diary, Baby Diary, and more. My personal favorites are the lined notebook (for lists!) and Meal Planner.

Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. A winner will be announced on Tuesday, October 7, 2014. Good Luck! 
-xo-
Jillian

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9.29.2014

HELLO sweet tooth.

Full Disclosure: Thank you to Lindt HELLO for sponsoring today's post. As always all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Cornflake Dreams.

It's no secret that I have a sweet tooth and I always save room for dessert. So I was really excited to try Lindt's new line of HELLO chocolates. The collection is inspired by classic desserts including: Caramel Brownie, Strawberry Cheesecake, Crunchy Nougat, and Cookies & Cream. I did my homework and tried all four flavors -- the Cookies & Cream was my favorite and Crunchy Nougat came in a close second. H liked Caramel Brownie flavor.

The candy comes in three different sizes -- Lindt HELLO Stick with six squares, Lindt HELLO Bars with 10 squares to share, or my personal favorite the Mini-Stick Bars with bite sized sticks (so you can try ALL of the flavors... #noshame).
I love the packaging and branding and they have some really cute videos with alternate endings! I love the music :) AND lucky you, they are running a HELLO Sweet Connections Sweepstakes*! Enter for your chance to win sweet experiences from Lindt Chocolate.

Which flavor do you want to try?
-xo-
Jillian

*No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., 18 years or older (19 in AL or NE and 21 in MS). Void where prohibited. See Rules at for weekly sweepstakes entry periods, prize descriptions, odds and other details. Ends Noon on 10/14/14. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: Lindt & Spr√ľngli (USA) Inc., One Fine Chocolate Place, Stratham, NH 03885.

9.26.2014

friday five.

Happy Friday! It was a long rainy week in Charleston. I'm hoping the sun comes out soon! Here are five other things on my mind:
ONE: Earlier this week I went to a blogger event at Moon & Lola downtown. It was fun to get together with Caitlyn, Ally, and Shelby and meet other Charleston bloggers. The space was beautiful and it was get an up close look at all the jewelry on display.
TWO: When do you start shopping for the holidays? Christmas will be here in three months (crazy right?!). In anticipation of the holiday shopping season, I'm working on updating my gift picks - $50 and under board on pinterest with budget gift ideas. I'll continue to add budget friendly picks over the next few weeks -- so be sure to check it out. Happy shopping!


THREE: Gone Girl opens in a few days. I loved this book and I can't wait to see the movie -- it'll be really interesting to see the characters brought to life.
FOUR: I made grilled cheese with apples + tomato soup the other night for dinner and I am SOOO happy apples are back in season! I can't wait to make more dishes that incorporate my favorite fall fruit.FIVE: There's a few days left to enter the Graphic Image datebook + pen giveaway. I'll announce a winner on Tuesday, September 30, along with another giveaway. 

Have a great weekend! 
-xo-
Jillian

9.25.2014

fall wish list.

The weather has finally cooled down in Charleston (whooohoo!) -- so I'm ready to stock up on some cozy sweaters and scarves for fall and winter. I have a few other seasonal things on my fall wish list too:
tuck stitch cover-up sweater - highland infinity scarf - my favorite fall candle - essie nail polish in wicked (I bought this last week and I love the dark color) - addison booties (I wanted these last fall but they sold out in my size) - antique pewter downing tote - *not pictured: a huge piece of pumpkin pie ;)

What is on your fall wish list?
-xo-
Jillian

p.s. Have you entered the Graphic Image datebook giveaway?

9.24.2014

Ame & Lulu bag review.

Full Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence Central for Ame & Lulu. I received product samples to facilitate my review. As always all thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Cornflake Dreams. 

Amye Kurson founded Ame & Lulu™ in 2003, because as an avid golfer, she was serious about the sport, but hated the stodgy and stale look of traditional active wear. She craved stylish accessories that could take her seamlessly from the course to cocktails. Ame & Lulu makes stylish sports gear: Golf Head Covers and Tennis Backpack, and a wide range of everyday totes, bags, and travel accessories. The Ame & Lulu collection embraces a classic, feminine approach to all things active. 
I had the opportunity to review the Ame & Lulu Easy Tote, Essentials Insert and Key Pouch in my favorite pattern. The collection includes 7 bright, preppy patterns in a range of colors, and I was immediately drawn towards the Villa pattern. Blue is my favorite color and I am a huge fan of quatrefoil pattern (I have quatrefoil patterned pillows and a rug), so the classic sky blue and navy Villa pattern was perfect. The Sugar pink and navy pattern (above) was another favorite.
The Easy Tote is a great gym bag, it's big enough for all of my clothes and workout gear. I like to mix up my workout routine with yoga, pilates, and weight lifting. Having all of my things organized in one large bag makes going to the gym less of a chore. The bag also has a large interior pocket with a zipper which helps keep my phone and other valuables hidden away. The matching Essentials Insert is perfect for my beauty products and the Key Pouch is a great place to store my ID and health insurance card (just in case!) All of the bags have durable nylon lining, which is easy to wipe clean and will survive any future water bottle spills. Overall the bags are sturdy and made with quality materials that will last for years. If you're looking for classic and colorful accessories for an active lifestyle, I would recommend checking out Ame & Lulu!

Website (use the code love25 at checkout for 25% off your purchase) - Facebook -  Twitter  - Instagram

-xo-
Jillian

p.s. Don't miss the Graphic Image Datebook + Pen giveaway!

9.23.2014

Graphic Image Datebook + Pen Giveaway.

I am excited to announce another great giveaway to celebrate my blogging anniversary. Graphic Image (parent company of GiGi New York) makes the prettiest leather datebooks, journals, and travel accessories. One lucky reader will win a 2015 Desk Datebook + Pen. The winner has their pick of Week-at-a-view, Month-at-a-view or Day-at-a-view agenda in a variety of colors and leather treatments AND free personalization. 
My favorites are the Magenta, Black, and Gold Washed Embossed Python Leather, and Metallic Rose Gold and Silver Leather options.

Please enter below using the Rafflecopter widget. One lucky winner will be announced next Tuesday, September 30 -- along with another giveaway. 
Good Luck!
-xo-
Jillian
a Rafflecopter giveaway

p.s. Congratulations to Jessica Woolsey, you won the Tieks giveaway!

9.22.2014

weekend good things.

We had our first visitor this weekend and we had a great time playing tourist in our new city. The weekend was full of so many good things (and good eats!)

My father-in-law landed in Charleston on Friday night and we went straight to Hominy Grill for dinner. I've been wanting to go here foreeeever so I was excited to finally visit. We shared some jalapeno hushpuppies (delicious!) and I ordered the Fried Green Tomato B.L.T. and cheesy grits -- the sandwich was pretty good but I wasn't a huge fan of the hamburger bun (seems like a weird choice for that sandwich). Thankfully grits were really tasty-- hello cheese + butter! I'd love to go back to Hominy Grill for brunch someday.
On Saturday we started the day at the Farmer's Market at Marion Square and bought some local pecans (sweet + spicy), and then walked over to the Historic City Market. My father-in-law loved the market -- he did some souvenir shopping and bought lots of goodies: cheesy grits, Charleston red beans, dried okra and apple spice walnuts from our favorite nut shop

We stopped at Queology for lunch. I liked h's BBQ chicken sandwich but I wasn't a huge fan of my BBQ pork tacos -- they were cold! This is the second time I've had cold BBQ tacos in Charleston (they serve cold tacos at Home Team BBQ). The flavor was good but it just felt WEIRD to eat cold meat.
After lunch we walked to Waterfront Park where we spent some quality time on the swings. Next we ventured over to Battery Park and wandered around the park. The forecast predicted rain all day but thankfully it was just cloudy.

Later that night we made Kotlet-- a Persian patty made out of potatoes, onions, beef, and turmeric for dinner. It was nice to take a break from the restaurant food and get a cooking lesson. We went out one more time to visit the Night Market downtown and ended up at Ben & Jerry's afterwards (I'm not complaining!) 
On Sunday the sun was out (yahh!), so we took advantage of the warm weather and headed over to Sullivan's Island. Can you believe it's taken us three months to finally make it to the beach?! It was worth the wait, the weather was perfect -- it was breezy and not too hot. After a long walk on the beach, we stopped at Poe's Tavern for lunch. It's a cute, quirky place with tons of Edgar Allen Poe photos and drawings everywhere. They serve REALLY good burgers (I indulged in the Amontillado burger with guacamole, jalapeno jack cheese, pico de gallo and chipotle sour cream). It's my new favorite place for burgers.
We ended the day at Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant. It's such a peaceful place to visit and see the wetlands up close. We took our time walking along the boardwalk and looking at little crabs and snails along the way.

How was your weekend?
-xo-
Jillian

p.s. There's one day left to enter the $150 Tieks Giveaway
I'm excited to announce the winner AND another giveaway tomorrow.


9.19.2014

friday five.

ONE: My father-in-law is visiting this weekend! It's his first time in Charleston and I am so excited to show him around our new neighborhood. We're planning on visiting a few new (to us) restaurants and making some homemade Persian food! Follow along on instagram :)
TWO: Earlier this week H and I went to Jim 'N Nick's BBQ for a little date night dinner. My burger totally hit the spot and cheddar biscuit and seasoned fries were delicious. H's bbq pork plate was really good (minus the fried green tomatoes-- they were disappointing). I can't wait to go back for some bbq pork tacos. 
prints via, via
THREE: The other week we watched the TED Talk: The happy secret to better work. During his presentation, Shawn Achor challenges the audience to train your brain to focus on the positives -- which will allow your brain to work more optimistically and successfully. He suggests doing the following for 21 days: write down three things that you are thankful for, journal about one positive thing you experienced that day, meditate, perform a random acts of kindness (example: write a positive email of support). These things done over and over again will train your braid to scan the world for the positive instead of the negatives. Before we go to bed, H and I have gotten into the habit of saying three (or more) things positive things that happened that day. It's such a nice way for us to end the day and take a little time to be thankful.
FOUR: I finished One Plus One this week. It was a quick read and a great story (not that I am surprised -- I'm a huge Jojo Moyes fan). Next up: Suite Francaise, Dragonfly in Amber (the second book in the Outlander series), and All Fall Down. Have you read any of these books? Which one should I read first?
FIVE: There are a few days left to enter my Tieks giveaway -- don't miss it!

Have a great weekend! 
-xo-
Jillian

9.17.2014

fall trend: plaid scarves.

This fall I am looking forward to getting cozy with a big soft scarf. I've seen a ton of plaid in stores and online and scarves are the easiest way to incorporate a little plaid into your wardrobe. Here's a roundup of plaid scarves all under $50:



Are you going to wear plaid this fall?
-xo-
Jillian

p.s. have you entered my Tieks $150 gift card giveaway?

9.16.2014

4-year Blogging Anniversary + a Tieks Giveaway!

It's hard to believe that I have been blogging for four years! I started Cornflake Dreams in 2010 as a creative outlet from my 9-5 job and it has evolved into so much more. This blog has become a part of my life -- and I really appreciate all of the support that I have received over the years my readers. You have been with me throughout some of my happiest and most challenging times -- our engagement, wedding, travels across Europe and beyond, my crohn's diagnosis and management, my 1,000th blog post and most recently our move across the country. I am so grateful for the friends --online and IRL -- that I have made through blogging. I'm looking forward to continue blogging and sharing stories about my life and my favorite things. 

I thought it only makes sense to give back a little something to you! I am giving away $150 gift card to Tieks.  I own Tieks in matte black, ballerina pink, copperhead snakeskin, and silver lake -- they are my favorite ballet flat brand.
Please enter below using the Rafflecopter widget. One lucky winner will be announced next Tuesday, September 23 -- along with another great giveaway. Thank you for your support! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck!
-xo-
Jillian

9.15.2014

weekend good things.

I had another low-key weekend with more New Girl episodes, a new book, ice cream sandwiches, a Starbucks pumpkin sugar cookiethe latest issue of InStyle, and window shopping on King Street. 
It was just what I needed.
H takes his big test today -- it's 9 hours long! So please say a little prayer :) And stop by tomorrow - I'm celebrating my 4-year blogging anniversary with a big giveaway. 

How was your weekend?
xo,
Jillian

9.12.2014

friday five.

Happy Friday! It's the last weekend before H's test -- whooohooo happy dance!!! Here are a few other things on my mind:
ONE: Earlier this week, H and I crossed another restaurant off my list and we went to Sesame. We took advantage of their $3 Tuesday burger night and it was soooo good! You have to pay extra for your toppings + (giant) steak fries, but it's still worth it. I ordered my burger with house made pimento cheese and tomatoes (it's listed on the menu as the South Carolina). It cured my burger craving and fueled my new pimento cheese obsession. Locals don't miss this weekly special!
TWO: I recently won a giveaway to KiraKira and I am loving my new druzy agate ring + gold celestial inspired locket. Check out the full line of travel inspired jewelry HERE
THREE: Please stop by The Collaboreat today! I am guest blogging about my dinner at Indaco earlier this week (there are lots of drool-worthy photos!)
FOUR: I bought THIS Tildon racerback shift dress ($49) and I loveee it. I am 5'4 and it's the perfect length. Now I'm tempted to buy the v-back woven dress (also $49) and the lace-inset shift dress (currently on sale 50% off - now only $24) from the same line.
FIVE: It's my 4-year blogging anniversary this month! To celebrate I'm hosting some great giveaways the next few weeks. The first giveaway will be coming up on Tuesday, September 16 - don't miss it! 

Have a great weekend!
-xo-
Jillian

9.10.2014

fall trends for less: sneakers + sweatpants.

I was browsing around JCrew the other day and I saw these photos: 
It got me thinking -- is it socially acceptable to go outside in sweatpants?! In the interest of comfort -- I'm going with yes. I found some great sweatpants (ranging in prices $17-$70) and sneakers $85 and under for this laid-back fall trend: vans classic slip-on $47 - nike internationalist sneakers $85 chucktaylor shoreline sneakers $45 - superga 2750 coto classic $65 -420 new balance burgundy sneakers $70 - chucktaylor shoreline sneakers $45

Would you wear sweatpants out of the house?
-xo-
Jillian

9.09.2014

VS Sport bra + legging review.

Full Disclosure: I received a complimentary sports bra + capri's from Influenster for the purposes of review. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Cornflake Dreams.
This past Saturday I received a package from Influenster -- it was a sports bra and capris from Victoria's Secret workout line: VS Sport. Overall I was very impressed with the quality and fabric of the two pieces. The Player Racerback Sports Bra had a bright turquoise, mint, gray, and black design and was super supportive. Usually I do not wear sports bras with that much support, so it was a little shock to the ladies. The Knockout Capri Pants were pretty snug on me (they were a size small). So I decided to exchange them for a larger size. I loved the black marl fabric, they were thick and you could not see-through them but the fabric seemed like it would breathe during workouts.
I visited my local Victoria's Secret store yesterday to shop around and check out the rest of the VS Sports line. Unfortunately my in-store shopping experience was less than stellar. I went during the week in the morning and I was the only customer in the store -- with three employees working. That should mean awesome customer service right? noooope. One employee asked me if I needed help finding anything and directed me to the workout gear but didn't offer any assistance while I spent 15 minutes digging through TONS of bras trying to find my size. I would have loved to try Knockout, Angel, and Seamless Support Sports Bras but some of the styles were not in the store and if they were I couldn't find my size. Thankfully I found two other options to try.

I tried on The Standout Sports Bra first, it was really difficult for me to get on with security tags right by the bra clasps -- argh why do stores do that?! Afterwards I tried on the PINK Seamless Bralette and it was perfect. It was easy to put on and very comfortable. It doesn't have a ton of support but it's just what I need for yoga and pilates. 
I had trouble finding VS Sport bottoms in the store but Victoria's Secret PINK had a few legging options. The Marled Ultimate Yoga Leggings are a toned down version of most of the rest of the PINK line -- they did not have a huge logo or graphic running down the leg. The leggings ended up being a great alternative to the VS Sport Knockout Capri Pants (which I could not find in the store). I went with a size medium and they fit great and they are really cute. I also found a pair of super soft sweatpants but they didn't have my size and I can't find them online -bummer! So despite the poor customer service, I am very happy with my new sports bra and leggings and I can't wait to workout.

Have you tried the VS Sport line? What did you think?
-xo-
Jillian

9.08.2014

fall TV favorites.

I had a pretty low-key weekend -- we had dinner at Chipotle on Friday, a trip to the gym on Saturday, and I finished reading BJ Novak's book on Sunday (unfortunately I wasn't a huge fan). I also watched quite a few episodes of the The New Girl. Obviously I'm late getting on board with this show. At first I was really annoyed with Zoe Deschanel's over-the-top character but she grew on me -- and her roommates are hilarious. It sort of makes me wonder what other shows I am missing out on and should watch. I am excited for some of my old friends to return next week --- The Mindy Project, Mike and MollyThe Goldbergs, and the final season of Parks and Recreation (so I guess I like quirky comedies). H is excited about the return of Brooklyn nine-nine  -- and we are both looking forward to the final season of Mad Men (whenever that returns!)

What TV shows are you looking forward to this Fall?
-xo-
Jillian

9.05.2014

friday five.

Happy Friday - I am ready for the weekend! We don't have any big plans but hopefully tonight will be another gym/Mexican dinner night :)
quote via
ONE: RIP Joan Rivers! Fashion Police is one of my guilty pleasures and it just won't be the same without the feisty host. Joan had the best one-liners, and yes, thank you for making America prettier!
TWO: Tieks just released two new fall colors to their ballet collection. Obviously I am loving the burgundy pair! #getinmycloset 
THREE: Have you watched the new trailer for Downton Abbey season five?! I've watched it a quite a few times and (don't laugh) it kinda gives me the chills! I am so excited for the new season - I just wish I didn't have to wait so long for it to be on in America.
FOUR: I'm not going to fashion week -- but Barbie is there -- and her instagram is pretty cute :)

FIVE: Our landlord told us that our new (mold free) lower kitchen cabinets will be installed today or on Monday! YAHHH happpy dance. This is NOT to say we will have the kitchen of our dreams -- it's just a rental! More like, hooray we don't have to store our pots and pans in the oven anymore! (yep - celebrate the little victories in life!)

Have a great weekend!
-xo-
Jillian

9.04.2014

fall trends for less: team tees + distressed jeans.

Fall should be here in a few weeks but I don't think Charleston got the memo -- it's soooo hot (hello upper 90's!) But that doesn't mean I can't dream about cooler temps and the rest of my wardrobe that has been in storage for months. I'm looking forward to wearing longer sleeves -- like team tees (raglans, ringer tees) and ripped jeans (not crazy frayed but slightly "distressed"). Here's my budget friendly picks -- tops under $50 and jeans under $100:

colorblock football tee $42.50 / college team v-neck tee $23 (get 20% off with the code SAVE at checkout) / blue linen baseball tee $30 / linen baseball tee in amour $25 / baseball shirttail tee $23 pink linen baseball tee $30 / merino baseball sweater $44.50

WEAR WITH:




Are you a fan of this Fall trend?
-xo- 
Jillian

9.03.2014

loving lately: minted's foil pressed stationery.

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.
I am a huge fan of Minted and it's no secret I love a little gold -- so I was excited to see their new line of personalized foil pressed stationery. The collection features over 35 designs with gold or silver accents, here are my favorites: 
Paris from Stripes to Chevrons (classy and simple) / Audrey (I love the pretty floral illustration) / Hello Friend (perfect for keeping in touch with your BFF) / Beaded Swag (this looks very "great gatsby") / Foiled Arabesque (I am a huge fan of Moroccan influenced design)

Which design is your favorite?
-xo-
Jillian

9.02.2014

weekend good things.

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend! I really loved spending time with H (during his study breaks) - we went on a few bike rides and I crossed a few more restaurants off my wish list.
We started the weekend with a trip to the gym and then Mexican for dinner (H suggested it...and I wasn't about to say no!) I have been craving chips + salsa + guacamole like crazy lately, so I was super excited to get my fix at Mex 1. The costal cantina serves food inspired by Baja, Mexico -- and it was delicious! We ordered the Nachos (little) Mamas with pork, black beans, jalapenos, guac, pico de gallo and queso -- for the "small" size it was HUGE. We probably could have called it a night but we also ordered Baja Bowls with brown rice (I got the cilantro lime chicken, H ordered the mushroom). The bowls were really tasty but my chicken needed some more cilantro + lime! We had tons of leftovers which made Saturday night dinner a breeze.
On Saturday I met up with Ally for lunch at Callie's Hot Little Biscuits. If you visit or live in Charleston PLEASE visit!! I am a huge biscuit fan and it was SOO good! It was also reasonably priced - I got 4 biscuits for $8, they were really filling and I couldn't finish all of them. I ordered the pimento grilled cheese (on a chive and cheese biscuit!) and the biscuits with blackberries. The biscuits come in sets of two, so Ally gave me one of her cinnamon biscuits so we could both try three flavors. The sweet flavors were just as good as the savory biscuits. I can't wait to go back. Later that night, when the weather cooled down H and I went on a bike ride around downtown to Battery Park... it was so nice to relax and people watch.
The rest of the weekend was pretty lazy (for me). H spent most of it studying but we managed to take a long walk downtown and hit up some of our favorite candy shops - fresh, warm pralines are the best!

How was your weekend?
-xo-
Jillian

p.s. The winner of the Meadowbelle Market giveaway has been emailed. Thank you everyone for entering, I will be hosting three more BIG giveaways later this month :)