6.30.2015

life lately.


Loving: All things birthday :) I turned 30 last week -- thank you for all of your sweet comments! I was able to do yoga, take a nap, eat LOTS of funfetti cupcakes, and have a burger (or two). And if all that wasn't enough, two of my best friends from Chicago visited over the weekend! It was so fun to run around town with them and hang out with Violet. #bestpresentever

Loathing: Crohn's. It's kicking my butt lately and I'm reallllly sick of being sick. I have been dealing with a flare for about a month and when you combine that with breastfeeding and lack of sleep, I'm feeling really drained. I'm nervous my medication is no longer working so I'm going to have some tests done later this week. Hopefully we can figure out what's going on.

Looking forward to: Seeing my mom this week! She's going to come into town to spend the holiday weekend with us.

Working on: Our master closet. The previous owners installed custom shelves and drawers which are nice but need a LOT of love.

Watching: We finally finished Mad Men the other week (I loved the ending!!), so we can start watching the new season of OITNB.

Shopping: I received some Beatles albums for my birthday (thank you friends!) and I just bought another one. I also bought some more of these .... #glamorous.

Baby update: Violet was chewing on a cloth stuffed animal and she coughed up a hairball last week. I wish I was kidding! It kinda freaked us out, so now we only let her chew on plastic toys. She loves the Step 1 teether (from this set) c/o Nuby. It has soft bristles that massage her gums and help get her ready for teething. She also loves to eat her Sophie Giraffe :)
-xo-
Jillian 
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6.25.2015

"What to Expect When You're Expecting" book series giveaway!



Remember when I posted this photo on Instagram a couple of months ago? The first few weeks of being a mom was pretty challenging. I didn't know why Violet was crying all the time and I didn’t know how to make her stop. Thankfully before she was born my OBGYN (who I adore) recommended that we buy What to Expect the First Year. She recently had her first baby and said that the book was extremely helpful and answers many of the questions new parents have. So almost every morning H would read a few pages and summarize the major points for me. He’s such a good student he even highlighted passages and flagged pages :) When Violet got to the crying stage he urged me to read the chapter about why babies cry. It turns out it’s NORMAL for some babies to cry (and a times for no reason at all). But it does eventually get better. phew. After I read that I was relieved and it totally helped my confidence as a new mama. 
I didn't have the What to Expect When You're Expecting book when I was pregnant. But since my pregnancy symptoms might be different the next time around, I'm sure it'll come in handy. While I was pregnant I used the What to Expect App and every week h and I looked forward to watching the development videos to see how our little babe was changing and growing. It was also pretty amusing to see what fruit or vegetable her size would be compared to (we always tried not to eat that particular produce that week!) 
What to Expect When You’re Expecting is the longest running book on the New York Times Bestseller list -- it's been listed for over 600 weeks! It's also one of the most trusted and recommended pregnancy books by moms and doctors because it is full of practical advice. The What to Expect book series covers pregnancy through the second year and it would be a great gift for a mama-to-be. 

Enter to win the entire book series: 
What to Expect® When You're Expecting
What To Expect® the First Year
What to Expect® the Second Year
Eating Well When You’re Expecting

Please enter below using the Rafflecopter widget. One winner will be emailed Thursday, July 2, 2015. Good luck!
-xo-
Jillian

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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6.23.2015

hello, 30!

So, this is 30! I'll be honest, I thought this "big" birthday would be a little more dramatic and I would wake up today mourning the end of my twenties. They were great and I had a LOT of fun, but I am more excited about the future with my family. Being a mom and a wife was always the goal and I couldn't be happier with the two people I spend the majority of my time with. I love H and Violet so much and I can't imagine my life without them. My twenties have taught me that good friends keep in touch, family will always be there, and you're never too old to make more friends or live in a new place. 

Cheers to 30! I can't wait to see what's next :)
-xo-
Jillian
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6.22.2015

to H on his first father's day.

H -- I am so grateful for our family of three. You make this parenting thing really fun, and I fall in love with you a little more every time I see you rocking or playing with our daughter. I admire your patience and ability to laugh through the diaper blow-outs and late nights. You are such an amazing baba* and Violet and I are so lucky to have you in our lives.

Happy Father's Day to all the baba's out there!
-xo-
Jillian

*baba is Farsi for dad, in case you were curious ;)
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6.19.2015

Happy Baby Wrap Review + Giveaway.

Full Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary product from Happy Baby Wrap to facilitate this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Cornflake Dreams.
It's no secret that I'm a huge babywearing fan, so I'm excited to team up with another great company: Happy Baby Wrap. Established in 2011, the California company has developed ultra-soft organic bamboo baby carriers in pretty colors like seafoam green and vermilion red. I received a black and white polka dot wrap and it's adorable. I love the breathable, soft bamboo fabric, and the wrap is easy to use. And the packaging is super cute - win/win!
Happy Baby Wrap is generously giving away (one) wrap a lucky reader!
Good Luck!
-xo-
Jillian
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6.18.2015

#prayforcharleston

By now you have probably heard about the unthinkable tragedy that took place in Charleston last night. I was shocked to see the terrible news on Instagram (of all places) late last night when I woke up to feed Violet. I couldn't believe my eyes. Nine people were shot and killed during a bible study at a church in downtown Charleston. How could this happen? Who would do such a thing? The whole thing is so sad, it broke my heart and made me hug Vi a little closer. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.
-xo-
Jillian
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6.16.2015

30th birthday wish list.

My 30th Birthday is next week! Not going to lie it kinda snuck up on me. I've been pretty distracted lately with moving and settling into our new house (just like last year). That's not to say I haven't made any plans though! I'm going out for Mexican with my Charleston friends this weekend, H and I are getting burgers on my actual b-day, and two of my best friends from Chicago are visiting next weekend. If you asked me what I really want for my birthday it'd be a nap, time to do yoga, funfetti cupcakes, and a burger (in that order). But since all of that doesn't really make a pretty blog post, here are a few things that have been hanging out on my shopping list for a while:
I'd love some pretty (and practical) things for the house: a brushed silver triple wall frame for our bedroom, a set of outdoor throw pillows, a medium nickel finish pocket watch clock for my nightstand, a small glass canister and a set of black stripe monogram M hand towels for our bathroom, new coffee table books (Provence And The Cote D'Azure and Islamic Geometric Design), and a kate spade crown point frame. I also really want Vi to be a Beatles baby so I need to build up my vinyl collection: Let It Be, A Hard Days Night, Revolver, Rubber Soul.

What's on your birthday wish list this year?
-xo-
Jillian

Here's a look back at some old birthday wish lists: 20142013, and 2011 :)
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6.12.2015

friday five.

Happy Fri-yahh! I'm so ready for the weekend and linking up today with April to share five things on my mind: 
ONE: OITNB is backkkk! Who's watching this weekend? I want to watch it but I still need finish Mad Men before I start another Netflix show.
TWO: I love flowers but I never buy them for the house because I hate how fast they die. So I was excited to discover some hydrangeas growing in our backyard and brought them inside. They are gorgeous and thankfully they haven't affected h's allergies.
THREE: Last night I made my new favorite Greek Summer Salad. I got the original recipe here and it's a great way of eating a ton of veggies (and FETA). 
FOUR: We finished unpacking and arranging our books the other night and it made me realize the majority of our books are h's textbooks! I usually read on my Kindle, so I rarely buy actual books anymore. sad. Insert birthday wish list here.
FIVE: I posted a new energy bite recipe the other day using Nature Valley Toasted Oats Muesli and I found some other recipes I'd love to try. (psst: you can still download a coupon).

Have a great weekend! 
-xo-
Jillian 
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6.10.2015

Nature Valley Toasted Oats Muesli no-bake Energy Bites


I've become pretty addicted to the oatmeal energy bites I shared a few weeks ago. I usually eat one or two in the middle of the night, or first thing in the morning since nursing makes me hungry all the time. Many people use muesli as a healthier granola option, so I was excited to make Nature Valley Toasted Oats Muesli no-bake energy bites

Nature Valley Toasted Oats Muesli is a tasty blend of whole rolled oats, fruit, nuts, and seeds. It's lightly sweetened and made with healthy ingredients you can feel good about eating -- especially if you are like me and think calories don't count on the weekends ;) Nature Valley Toasted Oats Muesli comes in two flavors—Original and Blueberry. The Original flavor is a blend of Whole Grain oats, Sunflower Seeds, Dried Cranberries (my favorite!), Raisins, Toasted Coconut, Almond Pieces, and Pumpkin Seeds. I used the Original variety to make no-bake Energy Bites and they are delicious.
INGREDIENTS:
1 ½ cups Nature Valley Toasted Oats Muesli Original or Blueberry 
¼ cup shredded coconut 
½ cup peanut butter 
⅓ cup honey 
1 Tbsp. ground flax seed

METHOD:
Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix
Add in wet ingredients
Roll and compress the mixture into 1-inch round balls 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! 

Nature Valley Muesli can be found at your local grocery store - SAVE $1 with this coupon.
-xo-
Jillian
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6.09.2015

weekend good things.

This weekend H and my father-in-law got stuff donnne!
They removed the crazy slide off the swing set in our backyard (so the swing set is a lot less in your face), tore down a rotted wood platform (which previously supported a playhouse the old owners took with them), set up shelves in our storage closet (LOVE these!), installed a new kitchen faucet, hung curtains in our bedroom, changed air filters, got the door locks re-keyed, rearranged furniture, set up the guest bed, and hung a mirror in our downstairs guest bathroom. so yah -- it was a productive weekend. It's crazy how many little projects we have to do for this house but every time we complete something it feels more like our home.

We did take the time to go out to dinner -- we went out for Indian at Nirlep on Friday (I was disappointed with the food and we'll be going back to the Taste of India next time). We had BBQ at the Smoky Oak Taproom and that was delicious! Violet slept through both meals. My father-in-law insisted on ordering chocolate cake and ice cream and obviously I didn't mind: 
There was three of us sharing...but still. the cake was deadly. and crazy good topped with vanilla ice cream (for the record H insisted on taking that "after" pic). After this weekend I started thinking I should really work on eating less fried food and sweets. I'll be the first to admit that I'm addicted to sugar and I'm sort of regretting not joining Aspiring Kennedy Sweet Escape Challenge of not eating sweets for 50 days. And then I finally saw Oreo s'mores at the grocery store...so much for that. We rounded off the weekend with some Portillo's Italian Beef for dinner.
How was your  weekend?
-xo-
Jillian
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6.05.2015

friday five.

Happy Friday! It's been a busy week and I'm ready for the weekend (and hopefully a nap or two). I'm linking up with AprilCaitlynStephanie, and Laura today:
ONE: My Can't Live Without It item this week is Violet's Safari Hippo Wind Chime c/o Nuby. It's Violet's new favorite toy. Mom and dad are a fan because it's cute AND it keeps her entertained while we are in the car. The Hippo easily attaches to her car seat and it has a soft bell chime sound -- hooray for noisy baby toys that don't drive you bananas! 
TWO: My father-in-law is visiting this weekend so I am hoping to get a lot of stuff done around the house. Since the upstairs carpeting was just installed, we still need to unpack and set up the rooms upstairs (Violet's nursery, guest room, media room, and bathroom). I'm excited to style the huge built-in shelves in our media room and get rid of the last of our boxes. If we have time I'd also like to go front door shopping. Our current door has an ugly Georgia Bulldogs doorknocker on it (I thought it was a Greenbay Packers logo!) and the previous owner's name --the Adams family! So obviously that needs to go ASAP. I'd like to do a bright color for the door -- any suggestions?
THREE: Our neighbor stopped by the other day with banana bread. I thought it was the sweetest thing ever. And totally unexpected. That kind of stuff doesn't happen in the city. You might say "hello" to your neighbor in Chicago, but you aren't going to bring them baked goods. It made me really happy to be living in our little subdivision. :)
FOUR: I have a pretty long shopping wish list for the house and bathroom mirrors are at the top of the list. I've found a few styles that I like -- which one is your favorite?
FIVE: Now that we have a backyard I thought it would be fun to do a Houzz Ideabook with my dream patio pieces. It'll be a while before we can actually buy patio furniture since we have other house shopping priorities (see above), but it's fun to shop around. You can view the full Ideabook here.

Have a great weekend! 
-xo-
Jillian 
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6.04.2015

birkenstocks are back.



I have a funny history with Birkenstock sandals... I always thought they were reserved for the "hippie" crowd and I had to own some Grateful Dead tie-dye t-shirts to pull off the look. yep, not really my style. And when H and I started dating I noticed he had a pair of Birkenstock clogs. I teased him and asked him when we were going to play hacky sac. Turns out he actually had a hacky sac and some impressive footwork! ha - too cute!

I finally considered giving Birkenstocks a second look when I noticed a TON of people (of all ages) wearing them in Italy. I think Europeans are overall pretty fashionable and get on board with trends before Americans catch on. So I waited to see if the sandals were going to have a comeback. And they did! All of a sudden I saw Birkenstock sandals all over my favorite magazines and blogs. It took me a while to finally admit to H that I wanted a pair. Thankfully he refrained from saying "I told you so" and instead encouraged me to get a pair, telling me (again) how comfortable they are.I received a pair of Mayari Footbed Birkenstock sandals from Famous Footwear and I can't stop wearing them! H was right, the sandals are super comfortable (thanks to their famous cork soles). The shoes are perfect for my new mama on-the-go/always-on-my-feet lifestyle. The Mayari style has thin criss-cross leather straps that are a little more gladiator than the traditional slip-on Arizona Footbed SandalsI wore my sandals over the weekend while my mom and grandparents visited and we went antique shopping in Mount Pleasant. We found lots of vintage items including a pair of Fisher Price roller skates that I remember wearing when I was a little kid. So I guess it really is true -- what's old is new again, especially with fashion. I'm happy these comfy sandals made a comeback.
Search #ohsofamous and visit style gallery for inspiration, explore what others are wearing, and see the variety that Famous Footwear offers.
-xo-
Jillian

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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6.03.2015

welcome home y'all.

We moved over weekend and it feels SO good to be in our new home! But I won't sugarcoat it -- the actual day of our move was crazy and almost nothing went as planned. We ran out of boxes, the movers were a couple of hours late, our dryer was hooked up incorrectly, and the carpeting didn't get installed in until yesterday. And if that wasn't enough I had to go to the doctor's for a really nasty and unexpected Crohn's flare. talk about bad timing.

But we survived and we managed to unpack the majority our things with my grandparents and mom's help. It was so nice to spend a few days with them, and I am really thankfully that they were here. Unfortunately they weren't able to stay at our house because our guest rooms weren't ready (no carpeting!), but they came over every day to help us unpack, clean, and organize our new home. It was wonderful to have an extra set of hands to watch Violet. We got out of the house a few times to go antiquing, run around The Battery and City Market downtown, and go out to dinner. We brought Vi with us and I feel a lot more confident about taking her out to restaurants and stores now.
The house is far from being "done" decorating-wise, but I LOVE all of the colors we went withespecially the navy in our master bedroom. We set up Violet's crib in our room (we'll move her up to her nursery on the second floor in a few months) and I think she loves being able to stretch out :) It's nice to finally have space for all of our things - no more bikes in the laundry closet! I can't wait to share some before/after photos in a few weeks.

How was your weekend?
-xo-
Jillian
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