cornflake dreams.: February 2015

2.27.2015

five on friday.

Happy Friday! I'm linking up with Christina, April, Natasha, and Darci, here are five things on my mind:

image via
ONE: Thank you all sooo much for your supportive comments on my last post. I feel really good about our decision (especially after seeing this story - yikes!).
TWO: House of Cards is BACK! I know what I'm doing tonight... 
THREE: We're meeting up with some friends on Saturday for brunch at Bull Street Gourmet and Market -- I'm allll about the french toast lately (and they have croissants with Nutella...yes, please!)
FOUR: One of my favorite Chicago bloggers - Emily from Isn't That Charming just launched Wandeleur, a creative lifestyle website full of inspiring images and features -- check it out!
FIVE: There's a few days left to enter the Gerard Yosca singular stack bracelet giveaway

Have a great weekend!
-xo-
Jillian

2.25.2015

babies, blogging and privacy.

I've been thinking about writing this post for months, and now that I'm only three weeks away from my due date, it's time to hit publish. I have been blogging for over four years and I've loved sharing important milestones in my life -- our engagement, marriage, move across the country, and most recently my pregnancy. I was thrilled to find out I was pregnant and I wanted to share my journey through bumpdate posts and #babycornflake pics on Instagram.

However, I think it's important to stop and think about babies, blogging, and privacy. I grew up with a computer in our home but Facebook and Twitter didn't come around until I was in college. The world has changed a lot since I was little and now many parents share photos and videos of their kids on social media. Others go a step further and chronicle their kids lives through blogging as a way to connect with their family. I totally respect that and I LOVE to read "mommy" blogs and see photos of cute babies. In the end it's up to the parents and it's a very personal choice as to what they share. As a blogger I often put pressure on myself to share everything, but that doesn't mean I should have to.

After a long discussion with H we have decided that we'd like to keep most of Violet's life private. That means I won't be posting photos of her on my blog or public social media accounts. It wasn't an easy decision, but given H's career -- he is a psychiatrist and he often evaluates mentally unstable patients who are being held in jail or in prison-- it only makes sense for our family to make her privacy a priority. We'd also like to give her a childhood similar to our own -- where her photos are kept in albums at home and not made available to everyone on the internet.

I have no doubt that I'll still talk about Violet in blog posts -- she'll be a huge part of my life, so how couldn't I?! I also plan on sharing her favorite toys and clothes, her nursery (whenever it's completed), and my favorite maternity and postpartum items since I've found similar blog posts helpful as a first-time mom. But I am not going to post a birth story or monthly developmental updates. I hope you understand and respect my decision. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to leave a comment below or email me!

What do you think mamas? When it comes to your kids -- how do you decide what to share?
-xo-
Jillian

2.24.2015

Gerard Yosca Singular Stack Bracelet Giveaway.

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


As you know I'm a huge fan of Gerard Yosca jewelry. His collection of Singular Bracelets are some of my favorite pieces to wear everyday! The sleek and simple bracelets are made for stacking or can be worn alone. I love to layer my Flowerball Blossom Cuff, Two Cuff, and One Cuff bracelets together.


Gerard Yosca is generously giving away two Singular Stack Bracelets: the Five Cuff (with a triangle stone) and Two Cuff (with two round stones), so you can make your own Singular Bracelet stack! Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. A winner will be emailed on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. This giveaway open to U.S. residents.
Good Luck!
-xo-
Jillian

2.23.2015

weekend good things.

Happy Monday! Why do the weekends always go by so fast?! H and I kept our plans low-key and enjoyed some time together since things are going to get crazy when the baby arrives in a few weeks :) On Friday I convinced H to get DiGiorno's for dinner. I added fresh veggies to the pizza and we took a trip to the gym after dinner (so that makes it totally ok, right?!) Afterwards we settled in and watched a couple of episodes of Louie. The show is a little weird but Louis C.K.'s stand-up comedy is hilarious. On Saturday we ran some errands, went to the gym again (whoohoo on a roll), and watched Shark Tank. I met up with the girls on Sunday for brunch at 39 Rue De Jean and I ordered a burger and frites (no surprise there... totally blaming it on pregnancy cravings). Afterwards I treated myself to a red velvet cupcake. H and I took advantage of the warm weather and went on a long walk downtown, before coming home to watch Downton Abbey and The Oscars (my vote for best dressed: Anna Kendrick and Margot Robbie).

How was your weekend?
-xo-
Jillian

2.20.2015

five on friday.

Happy Friday! I'm linking up with Christina, April, Natasha, and Darci, here are five things on my mind:
ONE: The Oscars are on this weekend! I haven't seen a lot of the nominated movies but I still plan on watching.
TWO: I'm meeting up with the girls on Sunday for brunch at 38 Rue de Jean. It'll be my second time visiting (it was one of our stops during the Upper King Street Culinary food tour).
THREE: I have been patiently waiting for Bauble Bar to restock their Slim Bar Pendant Necklace. And it's finally back! I also love the Initial Bar Bracelet, Coordinates Bar Pendant Necklace, and Mini Bar Stud Earrings.
FOUR: Ben and Jerry's just released Tonight Dough, in honor of Jimmy Fallon and it sounds pretty awesome: Caramel & Chocolate Ice Creams with Chocolate Cookie Swirls & Gobs of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough & Peanut Butter Cookie Dough. So basically all of my favorite desserts in one cup...yes, please!
FIVE: Don't forget to enter the Turbans for Tots and the Grayling Jewelry Giveaways!

Have a great weekend!
-xo-
Jillian

2.19.2015

Grayling Jewelry Review + Giveaway.

Full Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary item from Grayling Jewelry to facilitate this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Cornflake Dreams.

I was recently introduced to Grayling, a jewelry boutique based in Portland, Oregon. Grayling's mission is to create unique, high-quality jewelry in a wide range of prices that is versatile, stylish and above all, made by hands in the U.S.A. Their 2015 Spring and Summer collection includes a mix of metals and Austrian pearls. All of the pieces are handcrafted in small batches with the finest gemstones and faceted crystals available. The pearls feature a solid core of Swarovski crystal, which are treated to protect against damage from cosmetics, chemicals and perfumes. 
I'm a June baby, so I've received lots of pearl jewelry over the years. I wasn't always a fan of pearls -- they seemed old fashioned -- but this isn't your grandma's jewelry! The Grayling Jewelry line is updated and modern, mixing metals to create fresh and unique pieces. I love the Billie Simple Pearl Necklace -- it's beautiful in person and extremely versatile. The necklace is perfect to wear with with other updated classic items in your closet this Spring and Summer:wear now: Billie Simple Pearl Necklace in SilverTrench Coat / Tuxedo Blouse / Gigi Pants (or leggings)/ Pixie-Bob Amelia Flats / Parker Crossbody Bag wear later: 3" printed chino shorts

Lucky you -- Grayling is giving away a Gold Billie Simple Pearl Necklace to one reader! Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. A winner will be emailed on February 24, 2015. This giveaway open to U.S. residents. Good Luck!
-xo-
Jillian

2.18.2015

Minted birth announcements.

Full Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Minted. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I am officially a month away from my due date (holy moly)!! I'm sooo excited to meet our little girl and I am doing everything I can to prepare for her arrival. I've already scheduled a local photographer to take newborn photos, so we can order announcements a few weeks after she is born. And I've looked through tons of birth announcements on Minted (my favorite place for printed stationery, invitations, and nursery art) and finally narrowed down my favorite designs:
Foil Pressed: star / love line / stringed hello / custard

Which birth announcement is your favorite?
-xo-
Jillian

2.17.2015

Turbans for Tots Review + Giveaway.

Full Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary items from Turbans for Tots to facilitate this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Cornflake Dreams.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend (and a Happy Valentine's Day)! H and I had a brunch date at Three Little Birds Cafe -- their banana, honey, and peanut butter stuffed french toast was ahhmmazing! And we spent the rest of the long weekend running errands, watching movies, and relaxing. It was perfect :)

Today I'm excited to share another great Etsy shop. Turbans for Tots is based in Northern California and they make affordable baby headbands, bows, elastic headbands, and scarves. They have a large variety of cute patterns and colors, and pieces range from $4 (elastic headbands) - $18 (scarf and headband set). They offer free domestic shipping on orders over $50 (just use the promo code 50SHIP). I received three cloth headbands -- they are adorable and very well-made. I love how some of the headbands are tied with a knot! They look very retro, and they can be adjusted so your baby can wear the headband longer.
Turbans for Tots is giving away a $25 gift card to one lucky reader! Please enter below using the Rafflecopter widget. One winner will be emailed Tuesday, February 25, 2015. 
Good Luck!
-xo-
Jillian

2.13.2015

five on friday.

Happy Friday! You know the drill...I'm linking up with Christina, April, Natasha, and Darci, here are five things on my mind today:

[card via]
ONE: Baby boom! Caitlyn welcomed her sweet baby boy Rowan to the world earlier this week. My cousin Kacie's baby girl is due any day AND Doula, one of my oldest friends is expecting in a week! #babieseverywhere
TWO: Rumor has it West Elm is coming to Charleston!! I was totally spoiled in Chicago with the home decor shopping options (Crate and Barrel, Land of Nod, IKEA) so I'm thrilled a West Elm is finally opening up!
THREE: Ashley of Rosie Posie Designs was sweet enough to send over a custom 24 oz. tumbler from her Etsy shop. She creates cute personalized mugs, tumblers, plates, trays, iPhone cases, and beach towels. The 16-inch acrylic cup is another great option for staying hydrated on the go, and I love the idea of a getting a personalized Christmas cookie platter for Violet in a few years!
FOUR: It's Valentine's Day weekend! We are celebrating with a brunch date, which is perfect because lately my love language is food :)
FIVE: There are a few days left to enter my Olive and Birdie giveaway AND Bella Materna Nursing Bra giveaway!

Have a great weekend!
-xo-
Jillian

2.12.2015

Bella Materna Anytime Nursing Bra Review + Giveaway.

Full Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary products from Bella Materna to facilitate this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Cornflake Dreams.

Bella Materna is a Seattle-based company that creates beautiful nursing bras and maternity essentials. Their bras are made out of certified toxin free materials, and feature patented one-hand clips and comfortable flexy underwires (which lactation consultants prefer). They have a large collection of wirefree bras and underwire nursing bras.
Today I want to talk about Bella Materna's wirefree Anytime Collection. I received an Anytime Maternity Bra and I love it! The v-neck maternity and nursing bra is comfortable enough to sleep in and it's made out of quick dry fabric (80% Nylon/20% Lycra), which is stretchy but still supportive. The bra has easy pull aside nursing access and it includes removeable pads that are washable. I ordered a size medium and with the extended back closure, and adjustable straps it's easy to get the perfect fit. Bottom line -- this bra is a keeper and I'm packing it in my hospital bag to wear after delivery.
Anytime Maternity Bra c/o Bella Materna
Bella Materna is generously giving away one nursing bra to a lucky reader! Please enter below using the Rafflecopter widget. One winner will be emailed Thursday, February 19, 2015. 
Good Luck!
-xo-
Jillian

2.11.2015

bumpdate: 8 months.

How far along: I'm 35 weeks today -- so over halfway through 8 months of pregnancy! whoohoo! almost there!

Size of the baby: According to the My Pregnancy app our baby is the size of a honeydew melon. She is roughly 18 inches long and she weighs around 5.25 pounds. 

Gender: little miss Violet Mae

How do you feel? My energy has slowed down a little bit and I feel like I am eating all. of. the. time. Otherwise I feel great!

Eating/Cravings: Eating: not to bore you but oatmeal, apples, avocado toast with scrambled eggs, hummus and veggies, and burgers and fries are still on heavy rotation. Craving: steak spinach salad with tons of blue cheese, s'mores oreos, and bring on the girl scout cookies --- samoas, tagalongs, shortbread (mom if you're reading this please send cookies!! I can't find any in Charleston.)

Miss anything? I miss the other 95% of my wardrobe...it'll be nice to get back into those clothes eventually.

General mood: Excited!! My friend Caitlyn just had her baby and I got to hold him last night. He was so cute... it made me reallllly excited to meet our little girl.

Fears: This month has been pretty easy going and stress-free, I just hope it lasts.

Sleep:
Violet likes to dance every night right when I lie down for bed and she wakes up around 5 a.m. I'm afraid she is going to be a "sleep-all-day/ party-all-night" girl.


Workouts:
I'm still keeping up my workouts and I try to be active at least 5-6 times a week. H and I like to visit the gym, and take long walks together. When I can't make it to the gym I like to workout at home. I have modified my workouts to avoid intense yoga poses-- this YouTube video is one of my favorites.


Things I am looking forward to: Attending the rest of our baby classes --newborn essentials and infant CPR.


Best moment this month: Our rocker has finally arrived! We set up the "nursery" in the living room...it'll work for a few months.

Shout out to my baby daddy: Thank you H for spending his Saturday at an all-day birth education class with me. He did an OBGYN rotation during med school, so he was already familiar with the majority of the information that was covered. But it was really important to have him there with me and I learned a lot! Now I know what to expect when you start going into labor and throughout delivery (and what pain management options I should consider). We also got to tour the hospital and view the labor and delivery rooms. IT'S GETTING REAL!

Maternity clothes: I'm still living
 in tank tops, cardigans, and leggings (sooo thankful that I work from home). 

Purchased/ Currently in my shopping cart: It's all about the baby these days (and I love it) -- I recently purchased a few things for her diaper bag (face wipes and a wet bag), and thank you cards from Minted. I also bought myself a nursing sleep bra, some nursing tank tops, and a super comfy fleece sweater.
-xo-
Jillian
p.s. I'm hosting two great giveaways -- enter to win an adorable onesie or toddler tee and a LOVE art print or mug over on instagram!

2.10.2015

Etsy shop crush: Olive & Birdie (+ a Giveaway!)

Full Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary item from Olive and Birdie to facilitate this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Cornflake Dreams.

One of my favorite shops on Etsy is Olive and Birdie! They have an collection of baby onesies and toddler tees with adorable graphics in a range of sizes (short and longsleeve in newborn - 12 month sizes and 2T - size 6 children). All of the onesies and tees range in price from $18-$20.
Bottom: lemon bodysuit / bicycle bodysuit / first birthday "one" bodysuit
Olive and Birdie is so sweet and they sent over a pineapple bodysuit for Violet... which is absolutely perfect for Charleston! The onesie is sparkly, but it doesn't require any special care -- it can be washed and dried with the rest of your laundry. Olive and Birdie is giving away a $20 gift card to one lucky reader. Enter for your baby or for a friend (these onesies would make great gifts) by using the Rafflecopter widget below. One winner will be emailed Tuesday, February 17, 2015. 
Good Luck!
-xo-
Jillian

2.09.2015

an afternoon at Charles Towne Landing.

It was warm and sunny this weekend in Charleston, so H and I decided to take advantage of the 70-degree temps and get outside. We spent Sunday afternoon at Charles Towne Landing. The historic site is located along a marshy point by the Ashley River, and it's the birthplace of the Carolina colony. It's a gigantic park full of beautiful oak, palmetto and pine trees, and a variety of birds and animals. There are seven miles of walking trails, including a nature and history trail, and 80 acres of park-style gardens with pretty pink, red, and white camellia flowers. H and I walked around the park for a few hours, but next time we want to rent bikes!
Charles Towne Landing is a great place to spend an afternoon. It's family friendly and there were tons of families running around with their kids, and people walking their dogs. It would also be a cute place to have a picnic :) The park charges a $10/per person admission fee but it's worth it.

Visit Charles Towne Landing: 1500 Old Towne Road, Charleston, SC
-xo-
Jillian
Psst... I'm hosting a special giveaway on Instagram with one of my favorite Etsy shops!

2.06.2015

five on friday.

Happy Friday! I'm I'm linking up with Christina, April, Natasha, and Darci
here are five things on my mind today:
ONE: It's going to be in the 70's in Charleston on Sunday! H and I want to enjoy the nice weather with a trip to the beach or a plantation. #sorryimnotsorry
TWO: With all of the excitement of the Super Bowl last Sunday I totally forgot about Downton Abbey. fail. If you did too, you can watch last weeks episode online HERE.
THREE: With Spring just around the corner (hang in there Chicago friends) I'm ready to ditch my riding boots. Rockport has a line of cute and super comfortable shoes made with ADIPRENE® by adidas sport technology for all day comfort. The Cambridge Blvd Comfort Driving Mocs are probably the most supportive shoes I own and the light tan suede color goes with everything.
FOUR: If you're trying to build up your wardrobe check out Popbasic. Every month they release a micro collection of three beautiful basics with free shipping and no subscription necessary (whoohoo!). I received the Paloma leather clutch and a light gray striped infinity scarf from their Paloma Collection. I love the sophisticated details on the clutch, especially the striped interior lining and rose gold zipper. Both pieces are extremely versatile, I plan to use the clutch in my diaper bag and the scarf is light enough to wear year-round.
FIVE: H and I are going to our (all-day) childbirth education class on Saturday...wish us luck ;)

Have a great weekend! 
-xo-
Jillian

2.05.2015

loving lately: Gerard Yosca's Flowerball Collection.

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

Gerard Yosca has released the beautiful new collection Flowerball -- just in time for Spring! The line features fresh daisy and petal designs, and I absolutely love the blossom cuff and daisy pendant. Both pieces are extremely versatile and can be layered with other necklaces and bracelets. I had the opportunity to talk with Gerard Yosca about the Flowerball collection:



Why the daisy motif?
The daisy is so fresh and simple. It is easy to wear all year, but when it appears in winter, it really is the promise of spring isn't it?

This is your second daisy group. How is this one different? 
I did white and yellow enameled Daisy way back in 1991. It was very graphic and pop. No one was working with enamel back then, and the collection had a large impact. This time around, the look is much more classic. There are daisies, but I’ve also done a few pieces out of the petals that just become modern abstraction. 

You keep refining your collections. 
What does this mean to you, in jewelry and/or in fashion? 
You know, there is so much “stuff” in the marketplace. There is a version of everything at every price level. For me, the challenge is to try to make our pieces just a little better—to be more thoughtful in design and in the way someone may want to wear a piece.blossom cuff + daisy pendant c/o Gerard Yosca

Why the name Flowerball?
There was such a wonderful reception to my Powerball collection. The standout was a single hand-hammered gold ball on a clean chain. The daisy has the same kind of impact. Boom—spring—got it! 

What spring trends are you excited about?
Printed patterns…and for men too! And I’m excited about the move to deeper color for spring. We are so used to pale color at that time of year, but rich, saturated color looks new. 

What do you look forward to in the spring?
Pots of daffodils and hyacinth, Cadbury chocolate mini eggs and walking barefoot on the beach (even if I have the hood of my sweatshirt up and my hands in my pockets to keep me warm). 

SHOP Gerard Yosca - Follow on Instagram - Facebook - Twitter

What is your favorite piece from the Flowerball collection?
-xo- 
Jillian

2.04.2015

slow cooker recipes to try.

I received a slow cooker a few years ago for Christmas but I wasn't a huge fan because it usually burnt our food. I think it was on steroids...or I really struggle with cooking. I make most of our meals without burning down the kitchen, so the supercharged Crock-Pot had to go. But lately I've been thinking it might be nice to get another crockpot, especially with a baby on the way. That, and after I posted about steak last week, I realized it would be easier to make Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches in a slow cooker. ok. SOLD! I found an affordable Crock-Pot at Target and I now I can't wait to make these healthy-ish dinner recipes:
Skinny Chicken Pot Pie / Pulled Pork Gyros / Chicken Tikka Masala /Spicy Beef & Bell Pepper / Quinoa, Chicken and Kale Soup / Stuffed Bell Peppers (this is one of my favorite slow cooker meals, my parents used to make it all the time when I was younger).

What is your favorite thing to make in your slow cooker?
-xo-
Jillian

2.03.2015

personalized nursery art from Minted.

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.

Minted has a huge collection of adorable nursery art prints -- and most of them can be personalized!
Here are my favorites:
I also love these grown-up prints for a nursery:
I couldn't resist the Beach Cruiser print... how cute is that?! :) All of the prints are available in a variety of sizes, and there's an option to include a frame for a (small) additional cost.

Which print is your favorite?
-xo-
Jillian

2.02.2015

weekend good things.

Happy Monday! Why do the weekends always go by so fast?!
On Friday we went to Lee Lee's Hot Kitchen for Chinese (H's pick). I rarely crave Chinese food but I've heard great things about this place and it didn't disappoint! We shared some beef pan fried dumplings, Kung Pao Chicken (my favorite!), and Beijing comfort noodles. Everything was delicious, the portions were large, and it wasn't greasy (part of the reason I normally avoid Chinese food). Lee Lee's is on the outskirts of downtown Charleston, so you have to drive but it's worth a visit.
We spent most of Saturday running errands -- we took a trip to the gym, installed Violet's car seat, ate some donuts, and went grocery shopping. Later that night we watched the movie Chef and I'll admit I wasn't a huge fan -- it was really predictable. But it did make me want a Cuban sandwich (sounds like it's time to take a trip to The Americano soon). 
Super Bowl Sunday was a pretty lazy day but we took a walk around our neighborhood and soaked up the sun and 65-degree temps (I am loving winters without snow ...sorry Chicago). Later that night I made steak fajitas and guacamole for dinner. It was sooo good and super easy -- just slice up some steak, onions, and bell peppers, mix in fajita seasoning, throw everything into a glass pan and bake uncovered in the oven at 400-degrees for 25 minutes.

How was your weekend?
-xo-
Jillian