One Room Challenge: lighting

It's week 4 of the One Room Challenge and today I'm going to talk about picking a light fixture. I initially wanted something very modern for our dining room. I picked out three options to show my husband and paired them with our dining room furniture (I think visuals help a lot with the decision making process).

He wasn't a fan of ANY of the options. Meanwhile I started to become super excited about sputnik lights after seeing them all over PinterestI showed him these dining rooms:
one / two
 and he still wasn't impressed.

He eventually told me that if I really wanted a sputnik light just go for it. But what I really wanted was for us both to love the space.

Our new home is a very traditional 2-story brick house, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the modern chandeliers I picked out don't really "fit" with that traditional exterior. And after seeing this dining room:
I decided it wouldn't be so bad to play it safe and keep the lighting simple. I ended up buying a similar oversized white pendant drum light and H and I both love it!
It works with our furniture and it's still modern without being too "in your face". Not to mention, if we ever decide to move again we don't have to worry about potential buyers being scared off by a modern light fixture right when they walk in the door.

A quick note on our floors -- our contractor removed the old carpeting in the dining room and installed new hardwood floors and stained them. We used a 50/50 mix of Jacobean and Ebony Minwax stains (top on the samples below) to get the final dark stain color. I love our dark floors but it's true what they say -- they scratch easily and you can see every crumb on the floor! So not exactly the best mix for a toddler. But we've reduced scratching by putting felt pads on our furniture legs and roomba helps with the crumbs.
I'll be back next week to talk about artwork and all the finishing touches! 

p.s. you can see my other ORC posts here: week 1, week 2, and week 3.


white table lamps

I've had a lot of fun decorating our new home -- our living room is finished and we are making progress with our dining room. But there's still a few rooms that need some love. Our master bedroom is a mess. It's the only room that still has boxes in it -- most of them are filled with frames that we still need to hang up. And I think it's time to finally buy some table lamps for our nightstands. I don't know what it is about table lamps -- maybe it's because I've never had them -- but they make a room feel so grown up. I want something simple that will work with our white furniture in our room. I think white or beige lamps would look pretty in the space, here are eight options that I've had my eye on:

one / two / three / fourfive / six / seveneight (my favorite!)
And if you want a little color -- this one is fun!

Which lamp is your favorite?


One Room Challenge: finding the perfect paint color

I'm back for week 3 of One Room Challenge and I'm sharing a major update in our dining room! Before we purchased our home I spent a LOT of time on Pinterest looking at paint colors and I driving my husband crazy comparing different options. There are way too many options out there! 

Our dining room opens to the foyer and it's the first room that you see when you walk into our house. So I wanted to make sure that whatever color I picked for the dining room worked with the rest of the colors in the house.

I already decided on using Sherwin Williams Zurich White for the foyer, kitchen, hallways, and living room -- it's a great neutral grayish white and Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray for our downstairs bathroom, playroom and Violet's room. We used both of these colors in our last home and I loved them. I also wanted to use Sherwin Williams Let it Rain -- a grayish blue -- for our laundry room and upstairs bathroom. The colors in our master bedroom, upstairs guest bedroom, and H's office were fine so we left them alone. That just leaves the dining room!
I used Benjamin Moore Van Deusen Blue in our master bedroom in last home in SC. I liked it, but H always referred to it as the "little boys room" -- so that color was out.
I decided I wanted something richer and darker for our dining room. Benjamin Moore has really helpful tools that allow you visualize their paint in a room. After a lot of research I narrowed down my choices to Hudson Bay and Hale Navy. Here is Hudson Bay in a dining room similar to ours with white wainscoting on the bottom:

Same room in Hale Navy:
HALE NAVY! Hands down. I love how dark it looks in the room and it's totally different from our old bedroom. And it looks great with rest of our color scheme:
Here's a quick reminder of what we were working with "before": 
And now our dining room with Hale Navy paint on top -- with our new unfinished hardwood floors and the same old chandelier:
Also in case you were wondering... I drove myself crazy trying to find the "perfect" white, I spent a lot of time looking up different shades of white on Pinterest. I ultimately gave up and told my contractor to use whatever they normally use on walls. And it's perfect. So sometimes I guess it's OK not to over analyze everything!! :)

What do you think -- did I make the right choice? 

p.s. you can see my other ORC posts here: week 1 + week 2


Minted's Semi Annual Foil Event

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.

Minted's one-of-a-kind gold, silver and rose gold Foil-Pressed wall artwedding invitations, and birth announcements are all on sale during their semi-annual Foil Event! Save 20% off with the promo code SHINE. Below are my favorites:
These pretty art prints would look great in a kids room or a nursery: chicago map / under the microscope (my favorite!) / custom footprints / you are so loved

It's been awhile since I've looked at Wedding Invitations but I love this modern gilded foil-pressed invitation, and this beautiful feminine floral ampersand foil-pressed invitation. The silver foil adds such a classy and pretty touch to both designs.These adorable Baby Announcements make me wish I was pregnant again! I love how the silver branches frame that sweet little baby on the willow announcement and how the little rose gold stars sparkle around the shine bright announcement.Minted is also hosting a graduation event with 20% off foil-pressed graduation announcements, 15% off all other grad cards and gifts. The effortless and etched in love announcements above are both way cooler than my high school graduation announcement!

Both promotions end 4/24, use the promo code SHINE to save!


Rainbow Birthday Party

We celebrated Violet's second birthday a few weeks ago with a rainbow themed party. After we bought our house I knew that I wanted to have her party there -- and a party was great motivation to get all of our things unpacked and put away before we had family and friends come over! Here's a few photos from the big day:
The birthday girl's outfit: pink heart dress + cat shoes
Decorations: rainbow balloon + DIY rainbow birthday banner + DIY felt heart garland
Party Favors: Target dollar spot bubbles, fruit snacks, horn blowers, party favor bags + rainbow favor tags c/o Minted
Food: Rainbow Sugar Cookies from a local bakery + Rainbow Sprinkle Ice Cream Cake (it was so good!) with a lotus flower candle. The lotus candle was so fun, it's like a sparkler and when the flower opens there are 14 small candles that also light up. I didn't take photos of the rest of the food (fail!) but we had a variety of appetizers: meatballs, pimento cheese cups, egg rolls, mini corn dogs, popcorn, fruit, and french onion dip.
Violet was so happy running around playing with her cousins and friends and eating as many rainbow cookies as she could get her hands on. And H and I had a lot of fun throwing our first party in our new house. Thank you to all our friends and family for helping us celebrate our little girl's big day!
Happy 2nd Birthday Violet!



friday five.

Happy Friday! I'm linking up with Christina, April, and Natasha to share a few things that have been on my mind lately:

ONE: How is it Easter this weekend!? With the move and Vi's birthday party I feel like April is flying by and the holiday snuck up on me. Thankfully I have everything set for Vi's Easter basket with the help of Mudpuppy. Vi loves Mudpuppy's jumbo puzzles (she got another one for her birthday), and they were kind enough to send over a few other fun toys. I know she's going to love playing with her new Coloring Roll, Dominoes (yah! family game night!), and Animals of the World Puzzle. I also bought Vi some extra washable crayons, sidewalk chalk, a few Sesame Street toys, and a Trolls sticker and coloring book for her basket. I'm considering throwing in some M&M's because they are her favorite (and the only candy she knows by name), but I shouldn't since I'm already having trouble fitting everything inside her basket!

TWO: Over the past year I've tried lots of natural deodorants -- I wasn't a fan of applying Piper Wei with my fingers and Toms, Lavanila and Schmidt's smelled great but after a week they didn't do anything to prevent wet underarms. ew. Then I saw another blogger's InstaStory (thank you Ally!) and she recommended Bali Secrets. I've been wearing it for a month and it actually works!

yellow duckie / pink mac (also in yellow) / floral

THREE: It's been raining like crazy lately so I finally ordered Violet a new jacket for spring. I went with the pink one because I knew she would love it (she does!) and it's wayyy easier to get her out the door in a jacket if she's wearing something that she likes :)

FOUR: I just started watching Catastrophe on Amazon and it's hilarious. The show is about a one-week stand between a Boston ad exec and a London schoolteacher that leads to an accidental pregnancy. I love the chemistry between the two main characters and their banter (which is totally not appropriate for kids, so watch it after you put them to bed). Has anyone else seen it?

FIVE: I kinda dropped the ball on my One Room Challenge update this week because I was busy finishing up our living room so I could do my reveal post but here are a few things I'm considering for our dining room tabletop: a decorative vase or a hurricane with a candle, silver placemats with floral napkins, and maybe a table runner -- floral
stripe / geometric design.

Have a great weekend!


before + after: our modern living room

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

Two and a half weeks after moving into our new house I'm ready to share photos of our finished living room! We worked with contractors to do most of the work to the room before we moved in or else we would still be working on it! Here are a few photos of the room before we started work: 
This is the view of the living room from the kitchen -- the chandelier is blocking an old (and pretty awful) white ceiling fan in the living room which you can see below: 
Our plans to makeover the space included the following: 
Remove the green and red plaid window treatments (yikes!), paint the walls Sherwin-Williams Zurich White and the trim and tray ceiling white. Remove the carpeting and install new hardwood floors. Refinish the existing hardwood floors in the kitchen and extend the hardwood floors into the living room. We used a 50/50 mix of ebony and jacobean Minwax stain for the dark color of the new floors. Remove the arches and straighten out the top of the bookshelves to have a clean, modern look. We decided to leave the french doors (they go into Violet's playroom and I like the option of being able to close them when I want). Here's my mood board for the space:

I bought the semi-flush ceiling light fixture that I included in my mood board, but it was way too small for the space. I ended up putting it in H's office and buying a larger fixture to put up in it's place.

I splurged on the gray and white mid-century heathered basketweave wool rug that was on my wish list -- my shopping budget will be taking a major hit to pay it off over the next few months. But it looks great with our gray sectional and it adds a lot of warmth to the room. I also love that it was made in a fair-trade certified facility. The rug is also very soft thanks to my rug pad from RugPadUSA. The Superior Lock rug pad keeps our rug in place so I don't have to worry about the rug moving. And funny story-- H wasn't 100% sold on the rug at first -- he argued that it covers up too much of our new hardwood floors, but he loves how soft the rug pad makes the rug!

I chose a few great pieces of art from Minted for our bookshelves: the Leaf in the Green and Marbled Wake prints are displayed behind our record player. And I'm obsessed with the Rocky Coast print on our mantle. It makes such a pretty statement and works so well with the navy accents in the room! I paired it with two other coastal photos from our trips to Greece and Italy, and put them in similar brushed silver frames.

And finally the AFTER photos!
I fell in love with this fireplace the first time we visited the house. It's HUGE -- at Vi's birthday party I was able to fit seven (!!) people in front of it without a problem. I can't wait to see it decorated with stockings and garland for the holidays. I initially wanted to paint the brick white, but I'm glad I left the light stone alone. I like how the light brick stand out against the white built-in bookshelves.
I can't wait to finish up the other rooms in our house! We have plans to eventually remodel the kitchen, but it works for now! If you're interested you can see my plans for our sunroom + dining room.


One Room Challenge: Modern Dining Room.

I decided to participate in the One Room Challenge event -- have you heard of it? Every April and October design bloggers take the challenge to transform a room in their home in six weeks. While our living room is probably the most dramatic makeover in our house (you can see my decorating ideas here) I have big plans for our dining room too! Here is a photo of the space when we purchased our house and during the construction process of removing the carpeting before we installed the new hardwood floors:
The first things that needed to go was the columns (they weren't load bearing so it was easy to get rid of them), the outdated crystal chandelier, and the carpeting! Here are my decorating ideas for the space:

Paint + Floors: Benjamin Moore Hale Navy HC-154 on top and white for the wainscotting and trim. Install new hardwood floors with a 50/50 mix of Jacobean + Ebony Minwax stain.

Artwork: Minted print Looking Over Montmartre paired with two of our photos from trips from Italy in white Pottery Barn Frames.
 I'll be back next week to share my ideas for tabletop decor.


top ten at Trader Joe's.

We've been so busy with the move and unpacking that I haven't had much time to cook real meals -- there's been a lot of takeout and "whatever we have in the fridge" dinners. Now that we're settled into our new house (yah!) I am excited to get back to my old routines...like taking a special trip to Trader Joe's (I go about once or twice a month). I love reading posts about what people buy at Trader Joe's because it always gives me ideas to mix up my shopping list (so please comment with your favorite TJ items). Here's my top ten:

I never leave TJ's without a bag of Roasted Plantain Chips -- they are my favorite snack! The chips have a great crunch and they aren't sweet like typical plantains from a Cuban restaurant. And after you finish the bag you can take comfort in knowing that they have half the fat of typical potato chips.

Creamy Cilantro Salad Dressing -- I LOVE cilantro so the thought of cilantro in liquid form that I can put on anything (veggie burgers, tacos, chicken, salad) is really appealing -- and it tastes good too!

I added TJ's Smooth and Creamy Cilantro and Jalapeno Hummus to the list because H loves it. He usually makes hummus sandwiches for lunch and the cilantro and jalapeno flavors are a nice change from his standard pine nut hummus (he says it tastes like Indian food).

I love making tacos with Pulled Pork Brisket + Island Salsa (chunky salsa with mango, pineapple, and red jalapeno peppers) -- thank you Cup of Jo for the easy meal hack!

Violet and I both love TJ's Organic 100% Natural Fruit Wraps, they remind me of fruit roll-ups, my favorite 90's lunchbox treat (without all the added sugar or preservatives). I've tried all of the different flavors and strawberry is my favorite.

TJ's Peanut Butter & Oat Bars are another snack that Violet and I can share together, they are perfect for breakfast or a snack at the library.

TJ's Just Mango Slices are another great snack (Vi isn't a fan, but H likes them!) The unsweetened mangoes are surprisingly really sweet #yahhhNATURE!

I don't eat very much processed sugar anymore, but I still crave Chocolatey Coated Chocolate Chip Dunkers. H got me hooked on them when we were dating :)

CHEESE! TJ’s always has the best price on cheese. I like to get the pack of three goat crottin cheese so I can try three different flavors.

What are your favorite Trader Joe's items?


sunroom plans.

Another major selling point for our new home is our sunroom! The sunroom is right off our living room with an adjoining deck that goes out to our backyard. From the sunroom and deck we have a river view and H already has lots of plans for landscaping. Our contractors installed new windows and a small heater to the sunroom, so we'll be able to use it year-round! I'm sure it'll be one of our favorite spots to hang out together as a family. Here are my decorating plans for the space: 
My top priority is finding cute patio furniture for the room -- or else we'll be sitting on camping chairs. Thankfully, we found this set on sale a few weeks ago. I initially wanted light beige or white cushions, but I decided to go with the navy because I'm hoping they will be easier to keep clean with a toddler. 

H and I have always loved outdoor string lights on pergolas and patios, so we want to recreate that look and have the lights up year-round.

We want to have a garden but we've already spotted a few deer running along the river, so until we can figure out a way to keep the deer away I want to plant a small herb garden in our sunroom. I love this large modern planter -- it's tall enough to reach the windows so the herbs will get lots of sunshine. We have always had lots of houseplants around our house, but after our move back from Charleston we are down to one :( so I'm excited to add more greenery to our house again. Since the patio furniture is dark I want to keep all of our planted pots light -- small, mediumlarge white pots (similar here, herehere)

I love these silver lanterns but I'm not about to spend $200 -- these outdoor metal lanterns are an affordable alternative and they are also toddler friendly-- no glass + faux candles!

I fell in love these throw pillows -- (more options here).

What else do I need for our sunroom?


blue outdoor throw pillows.

Happy Spring! I am so excited for warmer weather and I can't wait to move -- only a few days until our big move! The last time I checked in on the house our contractor was installing new windows in our sunroom. I think we'll spend a lot of time in that space this summer so I'm excited to start decorating. We already bought a patio set (I share more details on that later this week) but first I wanted to share some of my favorite outdoor throw pillows. When I started looking for outdoor pillows a ton of loud and crazy prints, but I wanted something a little more polished. Here are my favorite blue pillows, all under $100:

1 / 23 / 4
5 / 6 / 7 / 8
9 / 10 / 11 / 12
13 / 14 / 15

Which one is your favorite? 


DIY hanging felt heart garlands.

I have a fun DIY project to share today! For Violet's second birthday we're doing a rainbow theme party. I had so much fun decorating for her birthday party last year, but it made me really sad to throw everything away after the party was over. So this year I want to make something that I can use again after her party as decoration for her "big girl" bedroom. After searching on Pinterest for ideas I decided to make hanging felt garland hearts -- and I am so happy with how they turned out!To get started I purchased two sets of pre-starched felt from Target (32 ct hearts + 56 ct square set). You can probably get by with just using the square set, but I really liked the colors in the heart set. Pick which colors you'd like to use from the sets. Then cut out a ton of hearts in a variety of sizes (I used two different sizes for this project -- 3" and 4"). To cut out the hearts you can make a cardboard template and get busy with your scissors. OR I highly recommend using a AccuQuilt Go! Fabric Cutter and this heart fabric cutting die, it cuts three hearts and it made the process really easy.After I had all of my felt hearts cut out I spent a lot of time organizing them into different patterns. I finally decided on rows of classic rainbow colors, and shades of pinks, blues, and purples. When you're happy with your pattern, use a sewing machine to sew down the middle of the hearts leaving 2 inches of thread in between each heart. Also leave at least 3 inches of extra thread at the top of every garland.If you want to hang your garlands up in a row and you don't want a ton of holes in your wall, use the extra thread at the top to tie the garlands around a meter stick. I painted my meter stick silver with this marker -- you can leave it blank for a "school" vibe :) My meter stick had one hole at the end, so I drilled another hole on the other end and hung all of the garlands up on the wall using two nails.I added a sparkly silver TWO letters (on sale for 30 cents each!) with some pastel bakers twine and two push pins to complete the birthday sign. A big thanks to my mom who let me borrow her fabric cutter and helped with the sewing!


birthday gifts for a two-year old.

Violet is turning TWO years old this week!! I can't believe how fast the past year has gone by and how much our little lady has changed. It has been so fun to see her develop interests -- she loves Trolls, Cookie Monster, Elmo, her baby doll Margaret, and owls. And she has an opinion on just about everything now, especially what clothes and shoes she's going to wear. She is SUCH a girly girl and she has the biggest heart. Lately she's been wishing everyone she knows "Happy Birthday" -- so I can't wait to celebrate HER birthday! We're having cake, balloons, and a few presents this week and then we're going to have a rainbow themed party with family and friends after we move into our new house. Here are my favorite birthday gift ideas for a two-year old:

Vi still loves to do puzzles so it'd be nice to have a few to choose from. Almost every day she asks to play with play-doh and paint -- I already bought her this cute Trolls washable paint set but I'm sure she would go crazy over pink and purple play doh. We have regular family dance parties in the living room and Vi loves dresses she can twirl in.  A rainbow heart beach towel and a splash table would be fun for summer! I also love salt water sandals -- she lived in them last summer. Violet already got her radio flyer red rider tricycle over the weekend, and she really likes riding it around our house and filling the trunk up with all of her toys. She also still plays with her little people playhouse, so these sesame street figurines and thomas the train would be cute additions. And what toddler doesn't like stickers?! -- these are all over our house right now :)



cute removable wallpaper on etsy

I can't wait to get Violet's room set up in our new house! Her current room in our rental is a little sad since we never finished decorating it with the artwork from her nursery in South Carolina. We didn't think we'd be in our rental house long enough to justify putting holes in the walls. I would love to add a wall of patterned wallpaper to Violet's "big girl room" - here's some of my favorites on Etsy:

Which one is your favorite?


living room makeover plans.

One of the biggest selling points of our new home was the open living room and kitchen floorplan. We had a similar layout in our condo in the city and we loved it. Here are a few "before" photos of our living room:
Our contractors already removed the carpeting and they are installing new hardwood floors later this week. We're also planning on painting the red wall, installing a new ceiling light fixture, and fixing the top of the bookshelves (I'm not fan of the arches).

Here's my other ideas for the space, with items that I already own or plan on getting in the future:

Already Own: We have a similar gray sectional that will provide lots of comfortable seating. I'm excited to start using our reclaimed wood coffee table again (we put it away when Vi started walking).  And I love our cozy washed velvet pillows and buffalo check throw pillows.

Purchased: I bought two sets of navy blackout curtains and I think they'll add a nice amount of color to the room. This semi-flush ceiling light fixture is going to be a huge upgrade from the worn-out white ceiling fan that used to be in the room.

On My Wishlist: I love the subtle pattern in this gray and white mid-century heathered basketweave wool rug, it would look great with our gray sectional. I really want some birch logs for our fireplace since it's such a focal point of the room. And I'd love some new art! I love these pieces from Minted -- for the bookshelves: Leaf in the Green and Marbled Wake, and I'm deciding between these gorgeous blue prints for our mantle: Rocky CoastPamela or Fields of Blue.


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