4.30.2015

Lulujo Turkish Towel Review + Giveaway.

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

Lulujo Baby is a Canadian company that sells premium bamboo and cotton muslin swaddling blankets, Turkish Towels, and organic cloths. Their mission is simple: create functional products with comforting fabrics that modern parents and babies love. I received a bamboo and cotton muslin swaddle and I love how functional they are. The extra large all-in-one wraps can be used to swaddle or as a blanket, nursing cover, changing mat, or stroller cover. The fabric is soft and I love the wide variety of cute patterns -- the gray polka dot, pink chevrondreamland, and bumbling bee prints are all favorites.

I also received an adorable pink and coral Turkish Towel (just in time for summer)! The towel is 100% cotton, highly absorbent, and fast drying. It's perfect for an afternoon at the beach or a picnic in the park. The towel would also make a great blanket or wrap. I love the bright colors and the large size makes it something that both kids and parents can use.
You can enter to win a set of 3 Turkish Towels (a $65 value). These towels are cute for kids and grownups :). Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. A winner will be emailed on Thursday, May 7, 2015. This giveaway open to U.S. and Canadian residents.
Good Luck!
-xo-
Jillian
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4.29.2015

spring shopping hits and misses.

Since Violet was born I've been doing almost all of my shopping online (which if I'm being honest isn't too different from my pre-baby days). But dressing a postpartum body can be a little tricky and there have been a LOT of returns. I feel guilty about returning so much but I guess I still need some time to adjust to my new curves (whoa boobs). Here's a roundup of all the things I have loved this season and the other stuff that didn't make it into my closet: 
HITS: 
1. Hi-Neck Tank - This is one of my favorite purchases! This tank is super flattering and I wear it all the time. The fabric is stretchy but it isn't clingy (win/win). I also love the classic black and white stripes (I also ordered the blue and white stripes but I returned it because it was a little too see-through).
2. Softest Lace Racerback Bralette - I searched all over for a racerback nursing bra that I can wear with my collection of racerback tanks this summer. I LOVE this one from Aerie - it's cheap, cute, and I can wear it after I am done nursing. (note: this isn't a traditional nursing bra but it works for me because it's wireless and easy to pull up or down. I typically wear a 34B bra, but to accommodate the new boobs I went with a size Large).
3. Factory Knit Stripe Racerback Maxi Dress - Yes, more black and white stripes :) At first I didn't know if I'd keep this dress but every time I try it on I like it a little more. It's made out of lightweight material (perfect for summers in Charleston). And it's looser than most of the dresses I own, so I'll probably wear a skinny belt with it to create more of a shape. I also like this Solid Blue Maxi Dress
4. Factory 3" Printed Stretch Chino Short - I LOVE the pattern on these shorts! They will look great with a basic black tank. And I was thrilled that I was able to fit into my old size (thank you stretchy chino fabric!)
and now for the MISSES: 
1. Joie A La Plage Sandals - these have been on my wishlist for a while now, so when ShopBop finally had a sale I scooped them up (along with this pair of Yosi Samra sandals). Sadly they were both really uncomfortable, with zero foot support or padding, and I didn't think they were worth the money.
2. Frenchi Woven Swing Tank - I ordered a size small and it was really flowy and unflattering. And I also shouldn't have gone with the periwinkle color (which is currently sold out) -- it made my pale skin look sickly.
3. Pleione Racerback Tank - From the photo online this tank top looks like it has a cute blush and black print. But when I opened up the box I was shocked to see the blush pink is actually hot pink -- not at all my style.
4. Linen Boyfriend Tank - I loved the color of this tank but I was really disappointed with the fit. I I ordered a size Small and HUGE and really unflattering. 

What's in your shopping cart?
-xo-
Jillian

p.s. here's my last shopping roundup.
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4.28.2015

pin to present: peanut butter oatmeal energy bites.

I'm linking up with Anne In Residence today. She challenges bloggers to share something they pinned next to their own finished project. I LOVE this idea because it encourages me to go back onto Pinterest and actually do something with all those things I pinned. This weekend I made the Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Bites I blogged about last Friday (whoohoo!). And I'm so glad I did! The energy bites were delicious, they tasted like mini granola bars! H liked that the snacks weren't full of processed ingredients and I was impressed with how easy they were to make. I even felt comfortable enough to make a few modifications to the recipe. I'm sure this snack will be in heavy rotation in our house from now on :)original recipe via (my substitutions are in italics)

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup oats 
⅔ cup toasted shredded coconut 
½ cup peanut butter 
½ cup mini chocolate chips (I did NOT include any chocolate chips in my recipe because I thought with the honey these bites would be sweet enough without chocolate) 
⅓ cup honey 
1 Tbsp. chia seeds (I used ground flax seed instead -- an ingredient I had leftover from my lactation cookies) 
1 tsp vanilla 
I added a handful of chopped walnuts and an additional tablespoon of honey in order to make the mixture stick together 

METHOD:
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. 
Roll and compress the mixture into 1 inch rounds and place on parchment paper 
Refrigerate a few minutes until firm and then transfer to an air-tight container. 
Refrigerate and enjoy for up to one week. 


Have you tried any new recipes or DIY projects from Pinterest?
-xo-
Jillian
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4.24.2015

friday five.

HELLO Friday, I've been waiting for you! This week has been a little crazy. The boss lady has been on a feeding frenzy (we think it's the six week growth spurt), and I'm pretty exhausted. But I love Friday posts so I'm linking up with Christina, April, Natasha, Darci, AND CaitlynStephanie, and Laura today:
ONE: My doctor said I can start working out again this week! Even though most days I'm too tired to do anything but take care of Violet and make sure our house doesn't turn into a complete disaster I really missed yoga. It has always been a huge stress reliever for me and I always feel better after I spend some time on the mat. That brings me to my Can't Live Without It item of the week: my Manduka yoga mats! I invested in two quality yoga mats last year and I use them all the time. I have the Manduka Pro Mat which is thick mat I use for at home workouts and the PROlite mat for gym workouts. I've had a few cheapo mats in the past and a quality mat makes a huge difference in your practice. Both mats are really well made and have a lifetime guarantees which (IMHO) totally justifies a higher price-tag.
TWO: I plan on making these no-bake peanut butter oatmeal energy bites and oatmeal raisin energy bites sometime soon. They look like an easy and healthy snack that'll keep me full (breastfeeding burns a ton of calories!). 
THREE: I love love Jane the Virgin. Does anyone else watch this show?! I'm totally addicted to it. I love the characters -- I'm #teamraphael not #teammichael so I can't wait to see what happens next! Another favorite show in our house is The Last Man on Earth we just watched a couple of episodes on hulu and it's pretty funny :)FOUR: I received a NuRoo Nursing Scarf to try out and it's fantastic! The scarf can be worn a number of different ways - wrapped or draped, front and back, over the shoulder or around your neck. It's made out of lightweight, breathable fabric and comes in two colors navy and gray/ivory stripe (of course I went with the stripe option!). And I love that when I'm done breastfeeding it can still be used as an infinity scarf.
FIVE: I bought this maxi dress from Nordstrom and it's a keeper. The material is lightweight so it won't be to heavy to wear this summer. And the cut is really flattering -- I ordered a size small. I am tempted to get another one in a different color since they are currently 25% off.

Have a great weekend!
-xo-
Jillian
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4.21.2015

ten newborn favorites.

I can't believe it's already been five weeks since Violet was born. Like I said before, the first month was a total blur. It's survival mode and all about getting to know your new baby. And believe it or not, you don't need allll the things you registered for that first month. That doesn't mean you won't need that stuff in the future, but these are my newborn favorites:
1. Keekaroo Peanut Diaper Changer - This is one of my favorite items. We use it everyday, multiple times a day to change dirty diapers. It's made out of waterproof material so there's no need for additional pads or covers -- just wipe clean. We also use it as a waterproof surface when we give Vi sponge baths . We cover it with a clean towel and put it next to the sink to avoid any spills on the counter, and to give her a cushy surface to sit on while she is pampered. 

2. aden + anais Classic Muslin Swaddle Blankets - Once I mastered the art of swaddling I started to really appreciate these blankets. They are huge and lightweight (which is important because you don't want your baby to overheat!) I always keep one in our diaper bag just in case Vi gets cold in the stroller or I need a cover for the carseat. 

3. Dr. Brown Gia Nursing Pillow - I've been exclusively breast-feeding without pumps or bottles and I love this pillow. It provides the perfect angle for a comfortable feeding, and I also use it all the time to prop Vi up and play with her. Bonus: the cover is removable and machine washable. 

4. Fisher-Price Newborn Rock n Play - We use this as a bassinet and it's where Violet naps and sleeps every night. I love that it folds up and it doesn't up a ton of space in our tiny place (there's also no crib sheets or mattress pads to deal with).

5. Solly Baby Wrap - I shared my love for this wrap last week, but I'll say it again -- it's the best for wearing your baby on walks outside or around the house. Bonus: when I put Violet in the wrap she usually falls asleep within ten minutes #secretweapon. 

6. Gerber short-Sleeve Onesies - Even though we have a lot of clothes for Vi, she usually wears short-sleeve onesies because they are so easy to put on little chickadee does not like to be changed!) There's a large hole for head and two-snap buttons for super fast diaper changes. 

7. Baby Mittens - I know some people aren't a fan of baby mittens because sometimes babies manage to pull them off, but I LOVE them. They kept Violet's face safe from her super sharp fingernails for the first few weeks (we were nervous about cutting them, but thankfully we're better about that now). Sometimes we still use the mittens at night to keep her hands warm. We also love onesies with the built-in hand covers.

8. Vaseline Petroleum Jelly - Vi got a diaper rash at two weeks old and we tried used rash ointment to treat the red skin, but it didn't help very much. My mother-in-law recommended that we use Vaseline. The stuff is magical and it cleared up Vi's rash in a day and she hasn't had any more irritated skin.

9. Carseat/Nursing Cover - My friend Caitlyn made me a carseat/nursing cover (modeled after this cover) and I use it all the time. It's a favorite when we go out on walks to cover the carseat + stroller caddy (she doesn't fit into her BOB stroller yet). The cover is an easy way to block out the sun and reduce the risk of over stimulating Violet (which happened the other day in the grocery store).

10. What To Expect The First Year - My OBGYN recommended this book and it is fantastic. It's full of really useful information and it's written in a style that is easy to digest. 

And the first month misses - hopefully she'll change her mind in the next few months:
She won't take a pacifier (and trust me it's not for our lack of trying. I tried six different brands including mom favorites Avent Soothie, Dr. Brown PreVent Design Pacifier, and a duckie WubbaNub. nope. not a fan.I was also pretty excited about the Boppy Newborn Lounger but she will sit in it for about five minutes before she starts crying. And it won't be long until she outgrows it. #whompwhomp

Mamas what are your 1-3 month favorites?
-xo-
Jillian
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4.17.2015

friday five.

Happy Friday! I'm linking up with Christina, April, Natasha, Darci today here's five things on my mind:
ONE: Talk about a dream collaboration -- Bauble Bar is selling  Capri Blue signature candles! I've raved about them before and they are still my favorite. Capri Blue Volcano is the perfect blend of tropical fruits, sugared oranges, lemons, and limes and my go-to candle for spring and summer. Take advantage of your vault points + free shipping and stock up -- large jar ($32) and travel tin ($16).
TWO: Have you guys heard of the Baby Foot Peel? It's supposed to be a super effective treatment to remove calluses and dry/dead skin from your feet (just in time for sandal weather!). After reading Grace's review I really want to try it. 
THREE: These cartoons made me laugh a lot. I can totalllly relate to the agony of dropping your iPhone while you're nursing or being all scratched up by babies super sharp nails... good thing babies are so cute ;)
FOUR: I'm mailing out our baby announcements from Minted today! After spending a crazy amount of time browsing through different options, I went with the uptown introduction design. I'm always happy with the quality of Minted projects and their baby announcements did not disappoint. They are beautiful! I absolutely recommend taking advantage of their free recipient addressing...bc no one has time to write out addresses!
FIVE: Don't forget to enter the HALO SleepSack Swaddle giveaway!

Have a great weekend!
-xo-
Jillian
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4.15.2015

Halo SleepSack Swaddle Review + Giveaway.

Full Disclosure: I received a complimentary item from Halo to review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Cornflake Dreams.
One of the first things I learned as a parent is our baby sleeps much better when she is wrapped up in a blanket and swaddled. I'll admit I was intimidated by all of the swaddle techniques I saw online, so I was excited to try the Halo SleepSack Swaddle. The SleepSack promotes safe sleeping and replaces loose blankets in the crib that can cover a baby’s face and interfere with breathing. It's also the only 2-in-1 adjustable swaddle that allows you to swaddle your baby with her arms in or arms out (which is great because Violet is a ninja and she gets her arms out no matter what!) The SleepSack Swaddle is extremely easy to use and I love that it has an inverted zipper for quick night-time diaper changes. It's available in a variety of prints and fabrics. We have the Alligator Blue print in 100% Cotton Muslin Fabric, which is a nice lightweight fabric for summer (and the print is adorable).


About HALO
HALO Innovations is dedicated to putting the health, safety and well-being of babies first. In fact, over 1,300 hospitals use HALO® SleepSack® wearable blankets through the HALO Safer Way to Sleep Initiative. The HALO family of products, including HALO SleepSacks and SleepSack Swaddles, SwaddeSure and the best-selling HALO BassinestTM Swivel Sleeper, help children from newborn to toddler age sleep better and safer.

You can enter to win a 100% Cotton Muslin Halo SleepSack Swaddle in your print or color choice. If you don't have a baby or you're not expecting -- enter for a friend, this Swaddle would make a great baby shower gift. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. A winner will be emailed on Wednesday, April 22, 2015. This giveaway open to U.S. residents.

Good Luck!
-xo-
Jillian

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4.14.2015

weekend good things.

Happy Tuesday! I had an extra long weekend with my father-in-law in town (he arrived on Friday and leaves tonight). We spent most of his visit hanging out with Violet :) He showered her with attention and held her almost the whole time. I took advantage of our time with a babysitter and gave myself a pedicure, took a few naps, caught up on my magazines, and got a haircut. The weather was pretty warm so we spent a lot of time outdoors walking around our neighborhood.
One of my favorite part about having family visit is introducing them to our favorite restaurants #allaboutthefood. We got sandwiches from Queen Street Grocery (my favorite) and tried a new (to us) spot: Persimmon Cafe. H loveddd his chicken curry sandwich but unfortunately I wasn't impressed with their roasted chicken sandwich. It was packed with chicken, but it was pretty bland. On Sunday walked around on King Street and got salads from Verde. Locals: you have to try their spinach salad with strawberries, feta, avocado, pecans, and croutons -- it's delicious!

In other news -- Little miss Violet is a month old today! And we received a wonderful health update over the weekend. On Friday she had a echo heart scan with a pediatric cardiologist, and her heart is just fine! H and I are sooo happy and relieved that she doesn't require any follow-up appointments. (I took it as a good sign that the doctor's office had my favorite Dr. Seuss quote on the wall!) And yesterday at her four week check-up we were happy to hear that she is right on track in the growth dept. :)

How was your weekend?
-xo-
Jillian

p.s. There's only one day left to enter the Solly Baby Wrap Giveaway! Don't miss it and stop by tomorrow for another baby giveaway :)
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4.10.2015

friday five.

Happy Friday! I'm linking up with Christina, April, NatashaDarci AND Caitlyn, Stephanie, and Laura, here's five things on my mind:
ONE: CaitlynStephanie, and Laura are hosting a new link-up to highlight something you can't live without. Since I've had Violet my makeup routine has pretty much disappeared and I keep my skincare regimen super simple. I might not have time, energy, or interest to put on eyeliner but I never skip my moisturizer. My current favorite is a sample I received from Influenster: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel. It smells great, absorbs quickly, and leaves my dry skin feeling super hydrated.

TWO: Old Navy has sooo many cute clothes for Spring -- I have been living in these cropped jersey pants and I love this stripe tank. I just bought a few more pieces and I'm hoping they are keepers (I'll keep you posted!) And btw that JCrew crossbody bag I bought a few weeks ago sadly did NOT work out. The purse felt plasticky and cheap and totally not worth the $98 pricetag.
THREE: My favorite Charleston candle shop just launched Candlefish.com! Now you can shop online -- bonus: use the promo code OFFTHEHOOK for a free travel tin candle from The Library at Candlefish with any online purchase.
FOUR: My father-in-law is visiting this weekend! I'm so excited for him to meet Violet and explore downtown. And if the weather cooperates I'd love to sneak in a trip to the Farmer's Market or Second Sunday.
FIVE: Don't miss the Solly Baby Wrap giveaway! One winner will be emailed next Wednesday (4/15)

Have a great weekend!
-xo-
Jillian
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4.08.2015

Solly Baby Wrap Review + Giveaway.

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

One of my favorite baby items is my Solly Baby Wrap. I still haven't been cleared to workout so my favorite way to keep active is to take long walks around our neighborhood with Violet. If you've ever visited downtown Charleston then you know most of the old slate sidewalks are pretty rough. The trees create huge bumps and cracks so walking with a stroller is a major pain. I prefer to keep things simple and leave the bulky stroller and diaper bag at home and wear Violet!
I registered for another baby wrap for our baby shower and it's made out of thick t-shirt material that doesn't breathe. The Solly Wrap is a light, super soft fabric that is breathable which is very important for babywearing. You don't want your baby getting too hot (especially living somewhere warm like Charleston). The wrap is extremely easy to put on and get your baby into and I'm a sucker for stripes :)
Enter to win a Solly Baby Wrap -- you pick the print or color! If you don't have a baby or you're not expecting -- enter for a friend! This wrap would make a great baby shower gift. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. A winner will be emailed on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. This giveaway open to U.S. residents.

Good Luck!
-xo-
Jillian
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4.06.2015

life lately with a baby.

Hello there! The last few weeks have been pretty wonderful...and a total blur. The days have flown by and I can't believe our little girl is already three weeks old.

I've absolutely loved spending time with Violet and learning how to be a mom :) And I fall even more in love with H every day when I see him with our daughter. He's a doting dad and my heart aches when I see him reading to her (mostly BBC articles), introducing her to strong female singers, or rocking her to sleep. He's the one that reads the parenting books and reminds me that babies are supposed to cry...and growth spurts don't last forever. We're working on getting into a routine and there are still long nights and 3AM feedings -- but it's all worth it when we see her smile or hear her make little dinosaur noises. so sweet!

We're sooo grateful that our parents were able to visit and spend time with their granddaughter. It was wonderful to have an extra set of hands to help burp the baby, change diapers, help in the kitchen, and reassure H and I that we're doing okay as parents. We were also blown away by all of the support from the rest of our friends and family --- we appreciated the phone calls, texts, emails, cards, flowers, chocolate (YAH!), and generous gifts (you guys know how to spoil a baby and her parents!!)

Spring has arrived in Charleston, so we try to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and go on as many walks as possible with our favorite baby carrier wrap.

So what's next?! My plan going forward is to continue working part-time as a graphic design consultant, but the majority of my day will be spent taking care of Violet. I'm excited to start blogging again too-- I've missed you guys! I'm hoping to post a few times a week but I'm not going to pretend that I'm the boss anymore ;) I hope that everyone has been doing well and I can't wait to catch up with all of you!
-xo-
Jillian
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