cornflake dreams.: October 2014


five on friday.

Happy HALLOWEEN!! I'm linking up with ChristinaAprilNatasha, and Darci today for Five on Friday. Are you dressing up or going to a Halloween party? I'm hoping we get some trick-or-treaters and then we're going out with friends.
ONE: We're going on a ghost and graveyard tour tonight! It's something I've always wanted to do in Charleston -- so what better occasion than Halloween?! :) 
TWO: H and I have a new netflix addiction: House of Cards. No spoilers please -- we're still only half way through season one. 
THREE: Bauble Bar recently announced a special Guest Bartender: Megan Rusner. Megan was diagnosed last May with Stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma and is in the middle of her treatment. She loves jewelry, so Bauble Bar partnered with her to design a special collection based around her personal mantra, "as good as gold" (since she is working hard to get her health back to being "as good as gold"). All net proceeds from her collection will go to the Leukemia and Lymphona Society. My favorites include the Minerva Fringe Collar Necklace and Good As Gold Bracelet. See the full collection HERE.
FOUR: I hit the 20-week mark on Wednesday -- we're half way there!! We got to see our baby yesterday at our level 2 ultrasound appointment and she was having a little dance party. Check back next week for a long overdue Bumpdate post :)
FIVE: There's still time to enter the Agnes & Dora Giveaway! I'll pick a winner on Tuesday, November 4.

Have a great weekend!


craving: spinach salads.

Throughout my pregnancy I've been eating a lot of spinach. I add it to spaghetti, omelets, and because of Crohn's it's the only way I can enjoy a leafy salad. Lately I have been making simple spinach salads with apples, walnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette. I'd love to mix things up with different ingredients and try some new recipes:
apple-feta salad with chicken, bacon and walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette* - pineapple spinach salad (two of my favorites together - why didn't I think of this before?!) - avocado strawberry spinach salad with poppyseed dressing (gotta love a recipe that uses avocados!) -sweet tooth salad with pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries, walnuts, and apples - chicken apple walnut spinach salad - spinach berry salad with blackberry balsamic vinaigrette* (*I'd skip the feta and gorgonzola cheese since sadly that's not pregnancy-diet approved -- whomp whomp)

What do you like in your spinach salad?

p.s. there is still time to enter the Agnes and Dora giveaway!


loving lately: Soria Z. Jewelry.

Full Disclosure: I received complimentary items from Soria Z. Jewelry to review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Cornflake Dreams.

Soria Z. Jewelry is a handmade jewelry collection based in New York City. The line is refined and modern, with versatile everyday pieces that can be worn alone or layered together. The company was founded in 2010 by designer Natalie Nguyen, and the company is named after her mother. Natalie is originally from South Carolina, she moved to New York to start her career, and recently moved to Paris for a year (lucky!).
I received a few pieces from the collection and they are absolutely gorgeous! The Gold and Sterling Silver Bar Pendant Necklace is sleek and simple and it can be worn with anything. I love to layer it with the 18K Rose Gold and Sterling Silver Snakeskin Pendant (the snakeskin detail is so pretty and unique). My favorite piece of the collection is the Multi-twisted Wire Ring. I usually keep things simple with my rings but it's the statement ring I've been looking for -- the perfect mix of modern and chic.
SHOP Soria Z. Jewelry - Follow on Instagram - Facebook - Twitter

What is your favorite piece?


Agnes & Dora Leggings Review + Giveaway.

Full Disclosure: I received complimentary items from Agnes & Dora to review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Cornflake Dreams.

Agnes & Dora has a huge collection of patterned adult and kids leggings, and maxi, midi and pencil skirts. I received two pairs of leggings to review, I went with the Laguna print (black, pink, and gray) and the Winnipeg print (black and white). I love the adorable fair isle patterns. The leggings are super soft and stretchy (one size fits XS-XL -- perfect for pregnancy). Also good to know -- the fabric is thick so the leggings are not see-through. They look great with ballet flats and I'm sure I'll be wearing them non-stop this winter with boots.

Agnes and Dora is giving away ONE item from their site to one lucky reader. The winner has their pick of a pair of leggings, pencil skirt, maxi skirt, midi skirt, harem pants, or kids leggings. Please enter using the Rafflecopter below. A winner will be notified on Tuesday, October 14. Good Luck! 
p.s. Want to shop now? Use the code JILLIAN15 for 15% off your entire purchase.


chicago good things.

I'm back!! I had a really wonderful time in Chicago. The weather was perfect and it finally felt like fall with leaves on the ground. I missed blogging but my little break was exactly what I needed. I shared a few photos over on instagram but here are some more highlights from our trip:

After arriving in Chicago, our first stop was lunch at Portillos! I was craving an Italian beef + cheesy fries like crazyyy and I was not disappointed. We spent the rest of the day with family at birthday and retirement parties.

The next day was our baby shower! My mom and my sister-in-law planned an adorable shower and everything was perfect. I'll share a full recap next week -- (spoiler: we revealed the baby's gender at the shower and I shared the news on instagram!)

On Monday I spent the day shopping with my mom and grandma in the suburbs -- we hit up a few baby stores, and Crate and Barrel (I wish they would open one in Charleston!) After we finished shopping, I went downtown and met up with h and his co-workers for some deep dish pizza. We went to Pizzeria Due -- I've never been there before and I was surprised with how good it was! The crust was thick and buttery, and the sauce was super tangy. 

I spent the rest of the week visiting old co-workers and friends for lunch, shopping on Michigan Ave., getting together with h's family for dinners (we had Indian and homemade Persian food). H was pretty busy during the week with his conference, so I was happy we got to have a picnic at Millenium Park with sandwiches from Pastoral Bread (my favorite!) I also finally saw Gone Girl with my friends -- so creepy good! By the end of the week I was exhausted and ready to detox from all the restaurant food. Chicago will always feel like home, so I'm thankful we had a long visit. And we're coming back in a few weeks for Thanksgiving -- bring on the hoosier mama pumpkin pie!

How was your weekend?! 
What's new with you?


five on friday.

Happy Friday!! I'm looking forward to the weekend! I'm also linking up with Christina, April, Natasha and Darci for Five on Friday:
ONE: Thanks for all of your helpful suggestions on yesterday's baby registry post! I made a few edits to our registry and I am confident baby M will be all set. Now I can focus on all the cute little extras ;)
TWO: After less than a week our pumpkins have already rotted in the 80-degree sun! Now I understand why a lot of our South Carolina neighbors don't have real pumpkins on their porches -- I guess we'll go with fake pumpkins next year (whomp whomp). 
THREE: Have you heard of Tees by Tina?! They specialize in stretchy one-size-fits-most leggings, tops, and dresses. I stopped in the King Street shop after seeing a huge sign in the window that said: "The Best Leggings We've Ever Worn" -- Lucky Magazine. okay, worth a shot! The leggings were amazing -- and they fit really well (even with my growing baby belly). I picked up three pairs: luster leggings (aka super smooth leggings) / sorbtek leggings in storm gray / chevron leggings in black. I have a feeling I will be living in these leggings throughout pregnancy.
FOUR: There are a few days left to enter the DPM Candle Giveaway -- I'll email the winner October 21. Good luck!
image via
FIVE: We're off to Chicago tomorrow for a week!!! I'm soooo excited to visit family, friends, and my favorite restaurants. And I can't wait to celebrate baby M at our baby shower. I'm taking a blogging break next week, but you can follow along on instagram :)

Have a great weekend! 



baby registry tips.

Registering for a baby can be super overwhelming. You might be wondering why I'm already working on a registry (I just announced I am pregnant last week) -- we're visiting Chicago in a few days, and my mom and sister-in-law are throwing us a baby shower while we're in town!! I spent quite a few hours days researching products and I completed our registry a few weeks ago. Here are two big tips:

Do your research: I scoured Pinterest and looked up baby registry blog posts for ideas and then when I found something I liked, I looked it up again on Baby Gear Lab. The site compares tons of baby products, lists pros and cons, and rates them against other brands. Customer reviews on Amazon are also very helpful. 

Breast feeding? Check your insurance to see if they will cover your breast pump! Our plan covers the $100+ model we were going to register for.

Here are a few key items that I added to our registry:

Stroller - After researching tons of options we went with one of the most popular options: the BOB Revolution CE Stroller. We already received the stroller in the mail (thanks to my mother-in-law) and I love it! It's easy to maneuver and collapse for storage. We also registered for a lighter stroller (but I am having a hard time explaining to H when we'd use it-- any thoughts?)

Car Seat - We went with the Chicco Keyfit 30 infant Car Seat and Base. It had high ratings on Baby Gear Lab and Amazon. It's also small enough to fit into our Honda Civic. BOB makes an adapter that will allow us to put the car seat onto our stroller. Update: I decided against the adapter and registered for a Chicco KeyFit Caddy Stroller Frame instead.

Crib, Bassinet, vs. Rock n Play Sleeper- We are currently renting a tiny place in Charleston (as in 650 sq. ft. 1 bed/ 1 bath). The baby won't have a dedicated nursery for the first few months. He or she will have to stay in the living room until we can move into a bigger place next July. So we had to figure out something that would provide a safe place for our baby to sleep, without taking up a ton of room. I already ordered our crib from The Honest Company and shipped it to my mom who has agreed to store it at her place until we move into a bigger place. I was set on getting a bassinet until my best friend and our OBGYN recommended that our baby sleep in a Rock n Play Sleeper for the first few months.

Monitor - In our current rental we don't really need a baby monitor, but it'll be nice to have when the baby gets it's own nursery. I don't want to spend a ton on a monitor -- I found an option that's $80 and has great reviews on Baby Gear Lab, but it doesn't have video (mamas, what do you think-- Is a baby monitor with video necessary?)

Bouncer - There are a million bouncer/swing options out there. I'm stuck between two options: The BabyBjorn Bouncer Balance Soft -- I like this one because: 1. It will grow with the child. The bouncer can hold a child between 8-24 lbs, and it can be used as a chair up to age two. 2. It doesn't use batteries and instead relies on the baby's own movement. 3. It folds up flat for storage (a major plus for our small place) 4. Unlike a lot of baby bouncers it doesn't have a ton of obnoxious colors and patterns, it's available in colors that will fit with our style. AND my other top option: the popular Mamaroo Bouncer - 1. It can also be used up to 25 lbs 2.It offers five different motions and speeds 3. It plugs into the wall -- no batteries required. The major drawback to the Mamaroos Bouncer is it doesn't fold up like the BabyBjorn Bouncer. Do you have either of these bouncers? Which would you recommend?

Bottles + accessories - Who knew there are a lot of different types of bottles too!? We went with Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Newborn Bottles - they are BPA, PVC, lead and phthalate free. I've seen these bottles on a lot of registry lists -- I hope we love them! I also registered for the Boon Grass Countertop Drying Rack which can be used after baby to dry sippy cups and water (or wine!) glasses.

What are your favorite items you registered for? 
Are there any big items that you received that you never used?


loving lately: campos bags.

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

The Campos collection includes the best of classic American leather design: clean, simple, well-made, beautiful bags that are incredibly versatile and useful. Every Campos bag is made to order by Roy Campo’s team of artisans using 100% locally sourced materials and quality American leather from upstate New York. Campos has a beautiful line of classic clutches, wallets, totes, crossbodys, and backpacks. I had the opportunity to review a small clutch in whisky. The clutch is 7 3/4" x 5 1/2" -- large enough for your phone, credit cards, and cash. I plan to use the sleek pouch to store little odds and ends in my purse that usually get lost (yahh organization!). The clutch comes with a pretty patterned cloth bag - great for travel and storage. I love the simple design and it's one of those classic pieces that I know I'll have for years.
Follow Campos on Instagram - FacebookTwitter
Shop Campos bags online -- bonus: use the promo code CORNFLAKE for 20% off your order! (code is valid through 10/31) 


Aspen Bay Fall Candle Giveaway.

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

I have another great giveaway from one of my favorite candle companies: DPM Fragrance. They represent a collection of candle brands including Capri Blue (also sold at Anthropologie), Found Goods Market (with pretty bronze containers), Low Country Luxe, and my new favorite: Aspen Bay Candles. Aspen Bay Candles has a Seasons collection with holiday inspired scents -- just in time for Fall and Thanksgiving! I received the Spice candle last week and I love the mix of cinnamon, spices, and baked apples. The candle isn't too sickly sweet (like some other apple candles can be), it has a more sophisticated scent for Fall. Enter below for a chance to win your own candle!
One winner will be announced on Tuesday, October 21. Please enter below using the Rafflecopter widget. Good Luck! 


weekend good things.

Happy Monday! We had a busy weekend, full of lots of great food (baby M was very happy!) The weather was warmer than what I'm used to for Fall -- high 80's -- but I'll take that over snow. On Friday H and I went on a dinner date to Tabbuli -- a downtown Mediterranean restaurant. We shared the Tabbuli Mediterranean dip which had a little bit of everything (hummus, feta, jerusalem salad, and pita bread) -- it was soo good. I ordered the gyro and fries for dinner -- it was also delicious, even though the fries were a crazy salty.

On Saturday we went to the gym for a quick workout, good thing because afterwards we went on a 2 1/2 hour culinary tour. We walked all around downtown Charleston and sampled a LOT of Southern food -- including: sweet tea, stone ground grits and sweet potato cake, Charleston benne wafers, hushpuppies (with praline butter), fried green tomatoes, Charleston red rice with sausage, lowcountry barbecue, cheese biscuit, collard greens and southern pralines, fudge, and white chocolate turtles. In the beginning of the tour I didn't think we'd get a lot to eat. um.... wrong. I was stuffed. There was absolutely no need to have dinner after 2+ hours of sampling food.

On Sunday we took it easy and checked out Second Sunday on King Street. Every second Sunday of the month the city shuts down car traffic on King street for pedestrians. It makes downtown Charleston feel very European with outdoor seating and tons of people walking around. I can't wait to go again next month! We also got pumpkins -- but didn't get around to carving them yet.

oh and we also returned our cable box. We don't watch 90% of our cable channels so we thought it would be a good idea to try the antenna/Netflix streaming route for a while. I'll let you know how that turns out -- thankfully most of my favorite shows are on network TV (I'll just have to adjust to life without a DVR).

How was your weekend?


five on friday.

Happy Friday! I'm linking up with Christina, April, Natasha and Darci for Five on Friday:
ONE: Thank you soooo much for all your sweet and supportive comments on my announcement yesterday! You made my day. btw how cute are jellycat stuffed animals?!
TWO: H and I are going to carve pumpkins this weekend! We haven't carved a pumpkin in years, so it'll be fun to relive one of my favorite childhood activities (and decorate our sad little porch).
THREE: Now that I am pregnant I have been drawn to the baby dept. of stores -- Jcrew has the cutest baby clothes on major sale right now (use the code WEEKENDPLANS for 40% off final sale). I couldn't resist the cute prints and I bought a few onesies (bonus: all baby items ship for free!)
FOUR: Graphic Image and GiGi New York are hosting a friends & family promotion - get 25% off all orders with the code WEAREFAMILY. Im loving the metallic refillable notebook - 2015 planner - metallic card case - olivia shopper (wouldn't this make an ammmmazing diaper bag?!) - navy all in one bag
FIVE: On Saturday we are going on a culinary walking tour downtown. It's 2.5 hrs long and we get to sample some Charleston signature dishes -- bring on the grits, pralines, Charleston benne wafers, and lowcountry barbecue!  

Have a great weekend!


and baby makes three.

that's right, I've been keeping a little secret -- I'm pregnant!!! :) Here is the full story: h and I have been trying to start a family for quite a while. We tried to get pregnant before I was diagnosed with Crohn's last year and we couldn't. In retrospect it was probably for the best, since it was important for me to be healthy before adding a baby to the mix. 

A few months after I started feeling better we started trying again...and nada. We went through quite a few negative pregnancy tests and we were both getting a little discouraged. So, we decided to focus on our move to South Carolina and get back to it once we settled into our new place. I went off to the Bahamas for my brother's wedding and a week after I returned (two days before our two year anniversary) we bought a pregnancy test just to check. I wasn't really expecting anything to happen (I even bought cookie dough ice cream to curb my disappointment). I took the test and was SHOCKED to see a positive test! I ran out into the living room and told h -- he didn't believe me and checked for himself. I took another test and then we jumped around and hugged each other like maniacs. We were both thrilled - we called our parents to share the happy news and celebrated with some ice cream. It was the perfect wedding anniversary present :)
{we bought the blue and white stripe elephant during our honeymoon in Prague -- it's exciting to finally take him out of storage!}
Now I am 17-weeks along and into my second trimester. My pregnancy has been really wonderful so far -- I was tired for a few weeks and my boobs were sore, but I haven't had any morning sickness or food aversions. That's not to say these past few months have been totally stress-free. Being pregnant for the first time is pretty overwhelming and I find myself worrying about everything. The first few weeks I was nervous that I would have a miscarriage, and later I was anxious about genetic testing (baby M is just fine). Everything is new and you can't control most of it. So I have resolved to focus on the positives and the things that I can control (baby names and nursery decor).

You might be wondering how pregnancy will change this blog -- I plan on doing monthly Bumpdates with updates on my pregnancy. And I'm sure I'll occasionally post about maternity and baby products that I love -- but it's not going to be ALL-baby/pregnancy all the time. Just let me know if there is anything you would like to see that is pregnancy or baby related and I'll see what I can do!

Have any advice for the second trimester of pregnancy?


craving: avocados.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit how many avocados I have eaten in the past few months (good thing I'm not keeping track!) I'm not sure what it is but I can't get enough of guacamole + avocado toast. Here are some other ways to incorporate one of my favorite ingredients into a dish:
APPETIZERS: avocado egg rolls - avocado feta dip - avocado hummus - LUNCH/DINNER: goat cheese avocado toast - avocado + heirloom tomato toast with balsamic drizzle - guacamole bruschetta toastchicken avocado pizza (with extra cilantro)- bacon avocado grilled cheese

Are you an avocado fan? 
What is your favorite way to eat avocados?


loving lately: Kendra Scott Jewelry.

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

I have been a fan of Kendra Scott earrings for a few years -- but I never bought a pair because my ears are super sensitive and I never wear any earrings (sad). So I was really excited to add the Rayne Necklace to my jewelry box. The long pendant necklace is a refreshing spin on the typical chunky statement necklace. The Rayne Necklace is available in a ton of colors -- I went with the classic Slate gray stone. The necklace is gorgeous in person and the neutral color works with just about anything in my closet. I wear a lot of yellow gold and love the thick gold chain + pretty tassel. The necklace is well-made and comes with a pretty fabric jewelry pouch for travel.
Rayne Necklace in Slate c/o Kendra Scott / tuck stitch cover-up sweater (now 40% off)

{shop all of the Rayne Necklaces}

Which color is your favorite? 


weekend good things.

What a wonderful weekend! H and I spent the past few days in Fayetteville, Arkansas visiting his mom. The weather was beautiful --- high 60's, crisp and breezy! It was a nice change of pace from Charleston's never-ending summer. It has been a few years since I've visited so I was excited to see how the town has changed. 
On Friday we visited Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in nearby Bentonville. The museum opened in 2011 and the building has an interesting design, something you'd never expect to find in Arkansas! The museum is full of American Art spanning five centuries. I really enjoyed the State of the Art exhibit with pieces by living contemporary artists -- and it was fun to see famous American works by Mary Cassatt, Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell, and Joan Mitchell. The museum is free year-round (thanks to Walmart) and absolutely worth a visit. Afterwards we had lunch at Penguin Ed's Bar-B-Que -- they have the BEST pulled pork bbq sandwiches + giant homemade cookies. Their bbq sauce is amazing (I should have bought a bottle to take home). 
Later that night we were treated to LOTS of Persian food -- my MIL cooked up a feast of Ghormeh Sabzi (an herb stew with parsley, onions, kidney beans, beef and lemon-- one of h's favorites), Fesenjan (pomegranate and walnut stew with beef meatballs -- I loved this dish), Kotlet (ground beef patties made with potatoes and onions), and tons of basmati rice and Tadig (crispy potatoes cooked under rice). I basically had to be rolled to bed :) 

The next morning we visited the Farmer's Market, and checked out a few shops downtown. H showed me around the Dickson Street Bookshop -- it's a maze of bookshelves and a pretty big deal with locals. Later that night we made homemade Kabob-eh Koobideh (ground beef kebobs on the grill -- my MIL uses cumin and saffron in her recipe). After every meal a plate of fruit and a bowl of nuts magically appeared in front of us -- my MIL was determined that we went to bed full every night. She succeeded -- I'll be detoxing this week :) 

How was your weekend? 


friday five.

Happy Friday!! Here's a few things on my mind today:
images via
ONE: We're spending the weekend at my mother-in-laws in Fayetteville, Arkansas! I'm excited for some homemade Persian food, family time, and hopefully some beautiful fall foliage :)

TWO: Bloomingdale's is hosting it's Friends & Family sale! I don't normally shop at Bloomingdales but it's one of the only places to get 20% off Hunter boots + free shipping! Just use the promo code FRIENDS at checkout. It rains a lot in Charleston -- so I bought a pair of the high gloss hunters in classic black (I'm excited these will be my new "winter" boots).
THREE: I have been craving soup like crazy lately. I really want to try to make these recipeslasagna soup - old fashioned chicken noodle soup - spinach tomato tortellini soup
FOUR: The Everygirl's Danielle + Alaina made a huge announcement last month -- they designed two sofas for the Chicago-based furniture company, Interior Define! Congrats ladies, they are beeautiful!
FIVE: There are a few days left to enter the May Designs Giveaway!

Have a great weekend! 


fall trends for less: parkas and sweater dresses.

It's slowly getting cooler outside and that means it's finally time to break out the jackets + sweaters. I really like parka coats + sweater dresses for fall. The light jackets -- in navy, olive green, or black paired with a heavy knit sweater dress are an easy + stylish combo. Below are my favorite parka jackets (under $130) and sweater dresses (under $100):

WEAR it with:

Are you a fan of this trend? 
Which parka coat or sweater dress is your favorite?


loving lately: Fotostrap camera straps.

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

One of my goals this year is to start using my paparazzi DSLR camera. So, I was excited to discover Fotostrap -- they make vintage inspired camera straps out of 100% genuine leather and durable materials manufactured in the USA (yahh!) Fotostraps are adjustable in length and have a comfy shoulder pad, which can be monogrammed!  Another thing I love about the company is with every purchase Fotostrap donates 10% to Fotolanthropy, a non-profit that captures and shares inspiring true stories of people overcoming adversity through photography and film.
I received a Fotostrap in navy and I love it! The strap is very stylish and much longer than my original Cannon DSLR camera strap, which makes it easy to use. H and I visited Folly Beach over the weekend and we played around with the camera. He was impressed with the new strap and likes the classic navy color and brown leather details.
Connect with Fotostrap: Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - Pinterest
SHOP (use the promo code Fotostrap+CornflakeDreams at checkout for free monogramming - expires 10/15/14) 

Do you have a DSLR camera? 
Which Fotostrap color is your favorite?

p.s. don't miss the May Designs giveaway!