life lately.

Loving: Our trip to Chicago! We had the BEST time visiting family and friends. It was so nice for Violet to finally meet lots of extended family. And we ate ALL the food. In one week we had Cuban, Deep Dish Pizza, Persian, Mexican, Italian Beefs, Meatballs...and of course some turkey and pumpkin pie :)
Looking forward to: CHRISTMAS!!! I'm sooo excited to finally decorate! We're staying in Charleston for the holidays, so I'm looking forward to starting a few new traditions and make my favorite comfort food (biscuits!).

Working on: Finishing up my Christmas shopping. I have a lot of babies to shop for this year which has been really fun! I bought a few gifts from Zubels -- they are having a 25% off sale (use the code SM25 at checkout). 

Here are some other good Cyber Monday Sales:
GAP: 40% off everything (use code BESTCYBER)
OLD NAVY: 40% off everything (use code BESTCYBER)

Watching: Christmas movies. The Grinch, Love Actually, The Holiday, It's a Wonderful Life, Elf, Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, Home Alone, and The Family Stone and Planes, Trains, & Automobiles... will all be on repeat in our house.

Shopping: I'm dedicating a lot of my shopping budget this month to gifts but I did pick up a few things online that I love: this scarf (it's a blanket scarf that's not too overwhelming), this beauty set -- from my new favorite brand, and a personalized Santa sack for Violet.
Baby update: Vi is teething again. She has been drooling like crazy. She bit me on the arm the other day (!!!) so I've been rotating different Nuby teethers. She really likes this one -- it has crinkly fabric (which is apparently catnip for babies) and the teether bib combo (available in stores at Walmart).


friday five.

I'm linking up with ChristinaApril, and Natasha today:

ONE: With everything that is going on in the world sometimes it seems really silly to blog. I've always said that I'd keep blogging as long as it was fun. I still enjoy it, but I feel an obligation to get real and talk about something that has been on my mind a lot lately.
images via + via
Every time I see a story about the Syrian refugees I can't help but think "What if that was me? What if H and I were forced to leave our home with our baby? What if I had to leave everything behind, sleep outside or in a crowded refugee camp, fear for our safety, and have nowhere to go? What if I worried about basic necessities like food, water, and shelter instead of what I'm going to buy friends and family for Christmas?" Whenever I think about the babies and kids and the terrible things they have to deal with everyday makes me want to cry. What kind of life is that?! No human should have to live in fear, without food, or a home.

So I've finally decided to actually do something about it, and start donating to charities that aid to refugee families in need. If you are interested in helping too here is a list of impactful charities
TWO: We are heading to Chicago on Sunday for a week! I'm so excited to see my family and friends and to eat everything. You can follow along on Instagram I promise there will be a few pizza pics :)
THREE: My (super talented) friend Liz is going to take our family photos for our Christmas cards while we are in Chicago next week. I can't wait to see Violet in her new red corduroy monogrammed holiday dress -- yep, totally embracing the whole Southern thing. I'm also hoping to incorporate Violet's new elf doll from Zubels into a few pics. The doll is super soft and it's an adorable alternative the creepy elf on the shelf dolls!
FOUR: We are having Thanksgiving dinner  at my parents house this year and I volunteered to make a family favorite: the broccoli and cheese casserole. I wouldn't mind having these dishes too: lemony roasted potato and broccoli rabe / hawaiian sweet rolls /  roasted asparagus with garlic and feta

FIVE: confession... I have broken my own rule of not celebrating Christmas before thanksgiving-- I can't stop listening to Christmas music :) My favorite Christmas song is "Do you hear what I hear?" because I have fun memories of playing that song on my parents player piano when I was little. I also love listening to Josh Groban around the holidays. 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!


angel oak tree.

One of the things I really love about South Carolina is how it stays green year-round. The trees lose some leaves but for the most part things are still alive and blooming through the winter. Charleston has a number of parks with beautiful trees, and we finally visited one of the oldest trees in the state last week. The famous Angel Oak Tree in John's Island. The tree is estimated to be 400-500 years old and it is massive.

It's amazing how large the branches are and incredible that it's survived storms and human activity over the years. If you are interested, you can learn more about the tree here.



pray for peace.

I spent a month studying abroad in Paris during the summer after my sophomore year of college, and I returned a few years later for my honeymoon. It's one of my favorite cities, and I was shocked to hear the news of the terrorist attacks on Friday night. I spent the rest of the night glued to the news, checking my Twitter feed for updates, and I even updated my Facebook profile photo to show my support for the victims and their families. I snuggled with Violet a little longer that night and I went to bed feeling sad about what happened and so incredibly grateful for the safety of my family. 
It wasn't until late the next night when I saw the article-- "Let's pray for Beirut the same way we are praying for Paris" that I learned 40 people were killed and 200 were injured in two suicide bombings in Beirut, Lebanon the day before the Paris attack. The writer Elyane Youssef brought up a lot of good points. Why hadn't I heard about this attack on the news? -- I watch the news every day. Am I watching the wrong thing? Or does the media just choose to cover some tragedies more than others?

The events that took place in Paris were terrible. It absolutely breaks my heart to see so much violence in a city that I love so much. But it also makes me sad and angry that other victims of terrorist attacks do not receive the same kind of media attention. All victims of terror deserve support and prayers. Not to mention the ability to easily communicate that they are safe to friends and family. I really hope that in the future Facebook enables their Safety Check for ALL natural and human disasters. In the meantime, I admire Elyane's plead for peace --  "Let’s pray for the whole wide world, in fact. Let’s see each each other as equal human beings; not as different countries."


friday five.

Happy Friday! I'm linking up with ChristinaApril, and Natasha today to share five things on my mind:
ONE: I don’t visit Target very often because like a lot of people I go in for one small things (tights for Violet) and I leave the store with a ton of things I didn’t plan on buying!! I'm not too upset about it though because I found some pretty cute things for the holidays: large + small felt trees for our mantle / red and white bakers twine + gold bells (= easy DIY ornaments).
TWO: Speaking of Christmas -- I'd love a plaid tree skirt for our tree. Thankfully my mom offered to make us one (yah!) but these ones are cute too: burgundy plaid / black buffalo check / tartan plaid
THREE: Our grocery store had BOGO Naan, so I made Indian food twice this week! Don’t be too impressed…the sauce for both dishes was from a jar. But now I want to explore more vegetarian recipes.
FOUR: H and I started watching reruns of Modern Family the other week. We stopped watching it few years ago because it was getting a little too corny with all of the Full House "everyone learn a lesson” endings. But I’m glad we gave it another chance! It’s been making us laugh a LOT. 
FIVE: Don’t forget to enter the Dove giveaway! A winner will be emailed next Tuesday (11/17).

Have a great weekend! 


weekend good things.

We had a pretty good weekend! The weather was weird -- 80's on Saturday, then 60's on Sunday, which I prefer since it's November (!!) Anyhoo we kept things pretty low key around here-- I got my haircut, ran some errands, cleaned the house, and we went shopping. I found a couple of cute sweaters and a dress for Vi at the outlet mall.

I also ordered some felt snowflakes and mercury glass Christmas ornaments. I'm so excited to finally have a big tree this year! 
And there was a LOT of good food. On Saturday I met up with a friend for lunch at White Duck Taco Shop. I love their green cilantro salsa and my new favorite taco is the lamb gyro -- it's so good. I probably should have stopped there, but that night h and I had Paisano's Greek style feta pizza. And on Sunday we treated ourselves to a few Charleston Donuts (I'm still dreaming about the strawberry + fruity pebble donut), homemade chocolate chip cookies, and chicken tikka masala with naan. If you need me I'll be doing yoga (or eating more cookie dough). 

Happy Monday!

P.S. It's the last day to enter the $150 Minted gift card giveaway!


holiday etsy favorites.

When I went grocery shopping the day after Halloween I was a little disappointed to see that they already rolled out the Christmas decorations and merchandise. I LOVE Christmas, but I think Thanksgiving deserves a little love too. So I never decorate or watch Christmas movies until after Thanksgiving is over. The past few years I've even started a tradition of watching The Grich on Thanksgiving night with (another) piece of pumpkin pie. That being said I like to be prepared with my holiday decorations and I hate rushing around at the last minute trying to find cute holiday decor or gifts. Sooo it's totally legal to start shopping early. I had a lot of fun browsing for Fall things on Etsy and no surprise I found a lot of great holiday things there too: 

When do you start decorating for the holidays?
Do you have any crazy rules like me?


2015 Minted holiday picks + $150 giveaway!

Full Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Minted. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Cornflake Dreams.

We had a great Halloween! I loved seeing Violet in her skunk outfit again, and we had fun at our block party, and passing out candy to the kids in our neighborhood. And now I can start thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas!! We're going to Chicago for Thanksgiving (!!) and while we're there my friend Liz is going to take some family photos. so yes -- I'm already thinking about holiday cards. I am going to order ours from Minted -- they have the best cards and they never disappoint. And because the holiday season always gets busy, I fully intend to take advantage of the free recipient address printing :) Here are my favorite Photo Holiday Card Designs:
stylish and merry / beautiful and wonderful life / photobooth / splashed foil-pressed holiday (FYI all foil-pressed cards and art prints are 20% next week (11/10-11/16) / just sleep (ha!) / may your days be merry

I also love traditional cards without photos. Here are some of my favorites: 

And Minted has introduced a beautiful line of pretty gift wrap! You can even customize select designs with your photos and text.

Minted is generously giving away $150 to one lucky reader! Please enter below using the Rafflecopter widget. One winner will be emailed Tuesday, November 10, 2015. 

Good Luck!
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