traveling abroad with a baby -- should we stay or should we go?

Lately H and I have been talking about traveling again. We love taking trips together and I get serious wanderlust whenever I look back on our old travel photosI made a travel wish list back in 2011 and another in 2012. We visited all of the places on my original list (Spain, Turkey, Greece, and Italy) and now I want to revisit the second list. Out of all of the places I included (Thailand, Switzerland, India, and England), London seems like it is the most family-friendly place to visit. Switzerland seems like the next best choice, but I've heard it's crazy expensive. 

We'd love to take a trip next summer, but I'm not sure I can handle leaving Violet at home. I think I would miss her too much, and I wouldn't be able to enjoy our trip if she wasn't with us. But then again I get nervous about flying with her to Chicago --- so the idea of putting her on a plane for 10+ hour flight to Europe seems crazy. And what about all the stuff she needs? Where would she sleep? What about a car seat or stroller? And diaper changes?! Is it realistic to think you can travel abroad with a one-year old and not lug around a ton of things? I think she will still be small enough that I can carry her in a baby carrier or wrap. Lauren (from Aspiring Kennedy) makes traveling around the world with her babies look easy. And it's not like Europeans don't have kids!

All of these concerns make me think that maybe we should start off with a domestic trip where we are familiar with the language and the flight is shorter. If we go that route we're considering visiting NYC, Portland, or San Francisco. 

I'd love to hear what do you think -- Have you traveled abroad with your baby? Should we wait a few more years to travel again or consider leaving our baby with her grandparents?


shop crush: sophie & lili.

I discovered Sophie & Lili on Instagram a few weeks ago after Oh Joy! shared an adorable vignette of Instagram photos she created for her. The vignette is part of the #igwatercolorstories series. It's such a creative and unique concept! When Jennifer Vallez, the Illustrator and designer behind Sophie & Liliannounced she was taking requests for commissioned watercolor stories, I knew I wanted one for Violet's nursery. I picked out some of my favorite Instagram photos -- they are special photos that'll always remind me of our first few months with Violet in Charleston. A few weeks later I received my one-of-a-kind watercolor print:I know the print will be something that I will hold onto forever and I can't wait to see it hanging up in Violet's nursery. Jennifer also makes adorable handmade plush dolls -- I have my eye on a custom doll and mermaid doll for Vi. I'm also tempted to order a set of semi-custom notecard set -- I just can't decide between the little girl with pigtails or a bob (seriously too cute!). Update: follow Sophie and Lili on Instagram to take advantage of a 30% off 2-day sale starting this Friday (7/31) 
What are your favorite creative shops? 
Have you found any of your favorite shops through Instagram?


loving lately: the classics.

Lately I have been realllly sick of my clothes. Don't you wish there was a reset button for your closet? Unfortunately it's been a long time since I have been shopping in an actual store (Violet hasn't developed an appreciation for retail quite yet), so I'm sticking to online browsing for now. I have my eye on a few classic pieces that I know will be easy to incorporate into my existing wardrobe, and can be worn into Fall. Here are some cute picks from J.Crew Factory (and if you're like me and refuse to pay for shipping, you can use the code FREESHIP at checkout today):

ONE: denim jacket (I own this and love it!) / TWO: boardwalk sandals / THREE: striped ponte dress (it's pretty much the dress version of this tee -- and it would be cute to wear with boots this fall) / FOUR: striped boatneck tee (I want it in navy and black/white too #cantstopwontstop) / FIVE: sketched cotton drop shoulder tee / SIX: suede ballet flats / SEVEN: cat-eye sunnies (I love this retro pair) / EIGHT: denim shorts / NINE: skinny sweatpants (a weekend favorite!)

What's on your closet wish list?


our favorite baby books.

This weekend I started reading my first non-baby book since before Vi was born. It was really nice to read something longer than ten pages, and that didn't rhyme :) I try to read at least ten books to Vi everyday and her dad reads various NPR articles to give her exposure to different words -- and so she knows what's going on in the world :) Our favorite baby books are enjoyable for us to read aloud and they hold Violet's attention (which is obviously very important). Here are our ten favorites:

1. Goodnight Moon. I'm not surprised this book is so popular. It's easy to read and the perfect addition to a nighttime routine before bed. 
2. On the Night You Were Born. I loveee this book. It's so sweet and I'm sure we'll continue to read this to her when she gets older. 
3. Giraffe's Can't Dance. This book shares an important message for kids: being different is okay. The illustrations are really beautiful too.
4. First 100 Words. This is a great educational book to introduce your baby to a variety of different words. I usually make up a story using the words, and pointing out the pictures as I read.  
5. Moo Ba La La La - A silly little book with lots of animal sounds.
6. Jellycat Farm Tails. - This was one of the first books we bought Violet. I love the soft pages, crinkly pages, and fun, interactive animal tails.
7. Where is My Belly Button. Another favorite Jellycat soft book with peek-a-boo activities for the baby and reader.
8. 123 Chicago. This book counts to ten using Chicago's famous landmarks and symbols. It's a fun way to introduce Vi to deep dish pizza + my favorite lions at the Art Institute.  
9. 10 Little Sock Monkeys. This book reads like a song and it's easy to dance to.
10. Everyone Poops. I received this book as a gag gift from a friend years ago. I read it to Violet pretty early on and she loved staring at the bright colors and shapes. If I get sick of talking about poop I just point out the different animals and colors. I think this book will come in handy in the future when we start potty training. 

What are your favorite baby books?


friday five.

Happy Friday! You know the drill -- I'm linking up with April today to share a few things on my mind:
ONE: The Nordstrom Anniversary sale is now open to everyone! I shared some favorites last week and here is an update on my shopping cart -- I purchased two scoop-neck tees ($15.90/each) in black + white striped and beige rainy day, deconstructed tomboy skinny jeans ($44.90- LOVE them! they have the perfect amount of stretch), a vintage nike hoodie ($34.90), and a striped sweater ($24.90) for fall. I also bought these lucky brand boots, but I sent them back because they were huge.
THREE: And finally here are my favorites for your HOME: barefoot dreams cozy throw - alarm clock - crosley gold record player - gray pillow - plaid pillow - diamond braided pillow

FOUR: This "Don't Text and Drive" video is totally worth watching. It scared the crap out of me (and of course I started crying when they showed a baby). I just started driving again and I NEVER use my phone. So please, please put your phone down while you're driving. k thanks. #ItCanWait

FIVE: I know I'm really late on this one but I really love reading the short Humans of New York stories (and the sweet and supportive comments) on Facebook.

Have a great weekend!


love + loathe list.

Meg (a Charleston blogger/friend) and Sarah tagged me in their Love/Hate posts, and I looove a good list -- so here it goes: 
1. #babycornflake + H... i bet you saw that one coming ;) 
2. traveling. miss it, soo much. can't wait to start up again. 
3. the color blue. #navyeverything
4. yoga.
5. baby stretches + smiles. 
6. bike rides.
7. oldies music. 
8. FaceTime.
10. dried mangoes. (these are my favorite no-sugar added, organic option) and obviously I'm totally addicted to sugary desserts too (sprinkle animal cookies, carrot cake, peanut butter m&m's, pumpkin pie, and cookie dough!)

1. cold weather. ugh. it's the worst. although I'm not sure 100-degrees with humidity is much better.
2. palmetto bugs -- aka cockroaches that fly. yikes!
3. self-checkout at the grocery store (it always takes longer)
4. cardio.
5. crohn's. 
6. mushrooms, olives, and fish.
7. when you can't fall asleep but the baby is asleep :/
8. the lack of ice cream in my freezer + belly (thanks a lot #5).
9. slow walkers people who take up the whole sidewalk and won't step aside for others. 
10. war, poverty, racism, inequality, hunger, violence, injustice... and all the other things that make my heart sad when I watch the news.

What's on your list?


three years!

Today is our three year wedding anniversary !!! It was such a beautiful day and I'll never forget how happy I was to marry my best friend. I remember all of the wonderful butterflies, dancing until my feet hurt, and endless smiles from our friends and family. There was so much love that day. And I am thankful that this year we get to celebrate our big day with our little girl. H -- I love you with all of my heart, thank you for loving me every day like it's our wedding day :)

 your cornflake (+ baby cornflake)


everyday with a baby is a workout.

Violet is going to be four months old tomorrow -- on our three year wedding anniversary (insert alllll the heart emojis!) The last few months have been wonderful, but totally exhausting. I'm finally starting to find a little balance and carve out some 'me' time to do the things I love --- like working out. I argue that having a baby and carrying all 14+lbs of her around all day totally counts as a full body workout. And when you combine that with breastfeeding (which seems to burn a million calories), I have little energy leftover to fit in an "actual" workout.
H misses going to the gym too. And since we don't live by family and we don't feel comfortable leaving Vi with a babysitter yet we have to get creative. He suggested that we take turns watching the baby, while the other person has an hour or two to do whatever they want a few times a week. So far it's been great! He usually goes to the gym during that time, and I like to do yoga. When we want to workout together, we go for a walk.

Over the weekend, despite the crazy hot temperatures (summers in the South are no joke), we went on a walk with Violet. It felt really good to get outside and spend some quality time together. I love our new house, but sometimes I miss living downtown where we used to go on walks all the time. It was nice to explore our new neighborhood together.  I wore my new Nike Air Zoom Fly 2 Running Shoes from Famous Footwear and they were really comfortable. I went with the classic black and white pair because they go with everything and it makes getting ready really easy. 
There are days where I still choose a nap over yoga or a walk, but it's nice to have the option. Search #ohsofamous and visit style gallery for inspiration, explore what others are wearing, and see all the different shoes Famous Footwear offers.

What are you favorite at home workouts?

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


Minted Art options for a bathroom.

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.

Our new house is (slowly) coming together but I still haven't hung up any all of our art. I have a lot of great pieces for Violet's nursery, our living room, and the FROG (finished room over garage). But I didn't have anything that would work in our downstairs powder room. Minted to the rescue again! I browsed their Art Marketplace for a couple of hours and I had a pretty hard time narrowing down my favorites. So I made a board with my top options against the bathroom paint color - Benjamin Moore Nantucket Fog, so I could visualize the prints in the space. I shared it with H for his opinion... and he had no preference. OY!
A: Swoop - B: Confetti - C: Rocky Coast + Distant Island Pier - D: Indygo + Underwater - E: Indygo + Distant Island Pier + Underwater (all shown in the Black Premium Wood Frame)

I finally choose a modern combo of prints (Swoop + Indygo + Underwater
I loooove how it looks in our home:
And since before + after photos are fun -- here's how the previous owners decorated the space next to our finished room:
I have always been a big fan of abstract art, so I'm happy I went with something a little different :) Now I just need to finish decorating the rest of our house!


weekend good things.

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. After I got a few medical tests out of the way, we spent the rest of our time grilling burgers, making s'mores, and relaxing. It was exactly what I needed.
My mom was in town so we went out to lunch at Bull Street Market (her favorite) and did a little shopping on King Street. We also walked around our favorite hidden graveyard (235 King Street, connected to the Unitarian Church). It's totally overgrown with beautiful flowers and plants: 

How was your weekend?


PSTML Turkish Towel giveaway.

I am excited to introduce an exciting giveaway with one of my favorite small businesses today! PSTML is an artisan Turkish Towel company that got it's start with a successful Kickstarter campaign. PSTML sources their Pestemal & Turkish towels directly from the small village of Babadag in Turkey. The village is the birthplace of the turkish textile industry, and the manufacturer is the last of their kind in the region. PSTML's mission is to showcase the stories of people, customs, and cultures by curating premium, artisan goods for people seeking authentic, sustainable, and responsibly sourced goods. They recently released a handful of beautiful new designs. I received a set of blue stripe Turkish Pestemal Bath Towels and they are perfect for the beach or the bathroom.
A pestemal or peshtamal (pesh-te-mahl) is an authentic Turkish towel. It is flat-woven with a hand-tied fringe, generally made with Turkish cotton. Pestemal are colorful, fast drying, absorbent and an essential element of the Turkish bath experience. Pestemal are used as towels, decorative throws and packable travel towels.
I'm partnering up with PSTML to give away an artisan made, 100% hand-loomed Turkish Pestemal Bath Towel. The winner can choose between four colors: blue, green, red or gray. Please enter below using the Rafflecopter widget. One winner will be emailed Wednesday, July 8, 2015. Good luck!
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