Goodbye, 2017

Hello, and welcome back.  Goodness, it been a long time since I’ve visited with you on this blog.  Much has happened in the year 2017, and to be honest, I’ve never been so glad to see a new year come.  I have finally come to a place where I am ready to begin sharing on the blog again, but I don’t want to jump back into the swing of things without a brief summary of our year.

Goodbye, 2017 www.jilliandanielle.com

One of the highlights of the year was this spring when we got to take a few days off and head to Texas.  In Dallas/Fort Worth for the birthday party of a friend, we took a couple extra days to see the sights.

In my mind, a trip to Texas would not be complete without making our way to Waco and the Magnolia Silos!  You can read a bit about our Magnolia experience HERE.

MilesToMagnolia www.jilliandanielle.com

Magnolia Market www.jilliandanielle.com

With summer came a new project, and our own fixer upper.  A cute little 1930’s bungalow that we plan to flip quickly began to take up all our spare time.  Because of it’s age, it was one of our more challenging flips, but definitely one of the most charming!

At the end of October, we put the flip house on hold to have a little “us time”… it was time for vacation!  Headed back once again to our beloved Emerald Ilse, North Carolina, we were beyond ready for some rest and much needed TLC.

On Day Two of our trip, while standing in the idyllic grounds of a peaceful, historic church in New Bern, NC, we received the devastating call that no one ever believes they will receive.  My husbands sister, Angie, had passed away suddenly that morning from a double pulmonary embolism.  She was only 45.

Jill and Angie www.jilliandanielle.com

Such news is shocking, numbing and unbelievable under any circumstances, but being hundreds of miles away from our family added a loneliness and desperation to get home that made that the longest day of our lives.  Southwest Airlines went above and beyond to get us back to our family, and after hearing the news at around 1:00 pm, we were back with our family by midnight that night.

I feel as though I could write forever about the vastness of this kind of loss, but suffice it to say that the remaining months of 2017 went by in a blur of tears, pain, numbness and disbelief.  You feel as though you are living an out of body experience, while at the same time the pain is very, very real.

Angie was a vibrant and kind person… my husbands closest friend.  Full of spunk and life, she was one of that rare breed of people who genuinely care about others.  She was full of questions about what was new in your life and it was never feigned… she really wanted to know.  A beautiful person inside and out, she took care of others with all the passion she had.

In our upcoming months and years,  we will be trying to adjust to our new normal…. learning to live life without a person like that.  We can move forward because we know that she is now with her Father, where there is no pain, no tears.  And also because we have the knowledge that He has joyous moments yet to come for us, even in times when that feels impossible.

While the holidays had many painful moments this year, we still celebrated them, for His birth has given us our hope.

This January, I welcomed the new year… more than happy to leave 2017 behind.  Our prayers for 2018 are for peace, for health, for faith to be strong, and for determination to appreciate the simple things… to receive those joyful moments He sends, no matter how small.

Blessings for your new year, and please come back soon for more content!

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A Stroll Through My Garden

In a prime example of procrastination, I diligently went out and took these photos of my garden at the end of May… and never did a thing with them. So a random Friday in August is as good a time to share them as any, I suppose. You can never go wrong with flowers in my book. Happy Friday!

Garden Header www.jilliandanielle.com

While these plants are a bit more full and lush now (except my beautiful pot of coleus that was mowed to the ground by a heinous squirrel), the arrangement of my garden remains the same.  Also, I apologize for the timestamp that appears in some of the photos… I didn’t know it was on, and was unable to crop them all out.  I will note the name of the plants below the photos if possible.  Enjoy your stroll!

Garden 2 www.jilliandanielle.com

This stunning old red fence was a piece we salvaged out of an old barn. The paint and all the markings are original.

Garden 3 www.jilliandanielle.com

The color of these Drift Roses is called Popcorn. It is a perfect name, as the color changes from white to yellow as it blooms.

Garden 3 www.jilliandanielle.com

I love the vibrant green of this Lemony Lace Elderberry Bush.

Garden 5 www.jilliandanielle.com

Reliable Knock-out Roses and a healthy Sedum that comes back every year!

Garden 6 www.jilliandanielle.com

This shady part of the garden is a difficult place for plants to thrive, so I hung this antique window to add some fun!

Garden 1 www.jilliandanielle.com

These lovely Sun Coleus grew to be about two feet tall before they are devastated by a vicious squirrel.

Garden 9 www.jilliandanielle.com

This is a Supersonic Tomato, and he is taller than me and producing well now!

Garden 8 www.jilliandanielle.com

So pleased with my front porch arrangement! The bright green Sweet Potato Vine looks great in a cherry red pot from Westlakes.

Garden 7 www.jilliandanielle.com

Be sure to stop and smell the roses this week!


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My Magnolia Experience

A recent trip to the Dallas/Fort Worth area quickly became the perfect reason to take a little day-trip to Waco, Texas.  In fact, I may have informed my husband that I wasn’t coming home unless we stopped at the Magnolia Silos.  Although… he secretly enjoys the show too and enjoyed our visit almost as much as I did!  Shhhhh… don’t tell him I told you! 🙂

Magnolia Market www.jilliandanielle.com

Magnolia Silos www.jilliandanielle.com

I have always been a fan of Fixer Upper, but after reading their book became even more inspired by their journey.  It’s always been a dream of mine to make my life’s work doing something I’m passionate about, and I love when I see people doing just that.

I was careful to plan our trip on a weekday, because I had heard how busy it was on weekends.  I’m glad I did, because it’s almost difficult to imagine it being busier than it already was!  All the staff there was fabulous, friendly and did a great job of keeping things moving without rushing you.

The setup of the Silos is really beautifully thought out.  While the shop is full of people, the open lawn and landscaped outdoor area give you plenty of space to relax and not feel rushed.  Covered tables, swings, and bean bag chairs provide lots of places just to soak up the experience.  Should you find that you can’t find a seat, I would suggest visiting the garden and finding a nice patch of grass to relax on!

Magnolia Lawn www.jilliandanielle.com

I also truly appreciated the fact that, while the store and the bakery are both filled with beautiful things, the Silos have been designed so that you can absorb the entire experience without spending a dime if you didn’t want to.  I love that they have made it accessible for all ages and all budgets.

We parked in the convenient and free Silos parking in the back of the complex.  A lot of people didn’t seem to know it was there as it is tucked around the corner.  Should this lot fill up, there are nearby churches that were offering parking for a fee.

We began our visit by simply strolling about the lawns and soaking up all the sights. The famous #MILESTOMAGNOLIA sign is right in front as you enter the main gate, and they have staff there to take your picture so your whole party can be in the photo!  That was a touch that I really appreciated.

MilesToMagnolia www.jilliandanielle.com

The charming little bakery sits to the right of the front gate, and the old grain building that now houses the Magnolia Market sits to the left.  As you walk between these two buildings, you will enter the open spaces that are filled with the green lawn, tables and swings, and lined with food trucks.  The charming rose garden and the small Magnolia Seed & Supply are tucked at the back corner.

Magnolia Bakery 3 www.jilliandanielle.com

Magnolia Jeep www.jilliandanielle.com

We made our way slowly through the store, taking in all the beautiful displays. Everything is layed out in that “Joanna Gaines” way, that gives such nice inspiration for how to use the items in your own home.  Because we were flying home, I knew I couldn’t go crazy and buy a lot of things… so I just chose a super cute Magnolia T-shirt, a coffee mug and tote bag to use at home, and a few gifts for family.  I really wanted to come home with that famous Magnolia wreath, but I knew it would never survive the flight without being damaged.  Maybe that will be a future online purchase!

Magnolia Market 2 www.jilliandanielle.com

Magnolia Market 3 www.jilliandanielle.com

Magnolia Market 4 www.jilliandanielle.com

Magnolia Paint www.jilliandanielle.com

By this time it was lunch and we were ready to hit the food trucks. I ate at the Cheddar Box, and while it was super yummy, it took over 30 minutes to get my food.  It’s understandable… I guess there’s only so fast you can go in a tiny food truck, but I was a bit hangry towards the end! 🙂  My husband made a better choice and ate at the hot dog truck.  He got his food right away and said it was the best hot dog of his life!  My recommendation would be to plan to have your lunch either before or after that noon lunch rush.

We journeyed next into the little Seed & Supply shop. This is a peaceful, quiet part of the property and while there weren’t really any seeds, there were a lot of cute knick-knacks and gardening tools.  The benches on the front porch and in the garden provide a perfect spot to rest awhile and people watch.

Magnolia Seed & Supply www.jilliandanielle.com

At this point we had been there for several hours and we were ready for a cupcake! But sadly, due to the long lines at the bakery and the bakery truck, we made the tough decision to move on without a Magnolia cupcake. We had a few other stops to make on our Fixer Upper tour, and we had a couple hours to drive back to our hotel.

Next we headed over to JoJo’s original shop on Bosque Boulevard. They still own the property, and while it is empty now, you can still see her original sign and the beautiful gates they installed at the back of the parking lot.

Magnolia on Bosque www.jilliandanielle.com

Magnolia on Bosque Sign www.jilliandanielle.com

The next stop on the tour was the workshop and store of Harp Design Co… the business run by Clint Harp, Joanna’s carpenter from the show. The shop still sets right next door to their house, which was a dramatic transformation that was featured in Season One of the show!

Harp Design Co www.jilliandanielle.com

After this we headed back to the hotel, having had a wonderful day. That night in our hotel, we happened to watch the episode of Fixer Upper where they remodel the bakery.  This was Nate’s first time seeing that episode, and after watching it we both began to feel like we missed out by not making time for a cupcake.

Sooooo…… on our last day in Texas we had some time to kill before heading to our 6:00 pm flight. You guessed it!  Back to Magnolia!  All I can say is I have the best husband in the world!

We stood in line at the quaint little bakery shop on a beautiful, sunny morning. We were greeted in line by staff that gave us order cards so we could decide what we wanted ahead of time.  The line actually moved really quickly!

Magolia Bakery 5 www.jilliandanielle.com

Magnolia Bakery 2 www.jilliandanielle.com

The staff at the door let a certain number of guests in at a time to keep the experience from being over crowded. This was so nice, as it allowed me to notice all the details of the charming little shop.

Magnolia Bakery 4 www.jilliandanielle.com

Magnolia Bakery 5 www.jilliandanielle.com

Magnolia Bakery www.jilliandanielle.com

We decided on the Lemon Lavendar cupcake and the Shiplap cupcake, and handed the girl at the counter our order card. Our cupcakes arrived at the end of the counter in an adorable Silos Baking Co. box (which of course I kept!), and we headed out to the sunny patio to enjoy our treats!

The cupcakes were works of art, and just as delicious as they looked! I even loved the frosting, and I typically am not a frosting person.  We shared them both, so we could have half of each, and finished every bite!

Magnolia Cupcake 4 www.jilliandanielle.com

Magnolia Cupcake 6 www.jilliandanielle.com

Magnolia Cupcake www.jilliandanielle.com

Magnolia Cupcake 2 www.jilliandanielle.com

Magnolia Cupcake 3 www.jilliandanielle.com

After another farewell tour around the market, we said good-bye to the Silos for good this time. While it may have been silly to drive all the way back for a cupcake, I am glad we returned and completed the whole experience!

Not only does the Magnolia Market and the property at the Silos feel like an extension of Chip and Joanna, but it was thoughtfully designed with every guest in mind. If you ever have the chance to visit I highly recommend it.  Even my husband enjoyed it.  It is about so much more than a store… it is about the Magnolia Experience!

Magnolia Silos www.jilliandanielle.com


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Monthly Roundup

Hello there!  It certainly feels like time for a good old catch-up!  What have we been up to?  Everything and nothing it seems…

Monthly Roundup February 2017

photo courtesy of Maria Aldrey

Work has been busy. Since I work in banking, February always seems to be the time the examiners show up.  For some reason, bank examiners always make me think of the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life”.   My mom sent me a text the other day to remind me to “tie a string around your finger, Uncle Billy”!

Speaking of my mom, you should check out her new blog!  I have been helping her with setup, and it is up and running!  She is (I must admit) a much more talented writer than I am, and she will have lots of useful information and funny stories to keep you entertained!  Check her out HERE!


The month of January has three family birthdays, and February has Valentine’s Day and my sweet hubby’s birthday. Needless to say, all these events keep us hopping.  For Valentine’s Day, I once again planned the 14 Day’s of Valentine’s for Nathan.  I do this every year, and I really think it is his favorite part of the holiday.  He very sweetly keeps all his treats in a little pile so he can take a picture after Valentine’s is over. 🙂  I found all the printables on Pinterest, but I don’t know the exact websites.

14 Days of Valentines www.jilliandanielle.com

He surprised me this year with this STUNNING pearl bracelet for Valentine’s!  He really is the best!

Freshwater Pearls www.jilliandanielle.com

Nate and I have been discussing for some time that we would like to start a record collection. This weekend his parents generously gave us all their old records, and now our collection is off to a fabulous start!  We both really like the more classic music, and now we have several of the “greats”.  The Beatles, Ray Charles, Elvis, The Mama’s and the Papa’s, The Righteous Brothers, The Supremes… we can’t wait to play all this great vinyl!

Record Collection www.jilliandanielle.com

After much delay, I finally put up my 2016 Favorites! All my top items from the past year are included, with both beauty and lifestyle featured.  I have already found a few 2017 favorites… I’ll be talking about them soon!  You can read about my 2016 Favorites HERE.

Sephora Rose Face Mask www.jilliandanielle.com

I hope you all had a wonderful February, and are as excited for spring as I am.  As I write this, it is 81° outside!  Bring on the summer!

This post is linked with 5 on Friday and High Five For Friday… be sure to click over for more great posts!

5 on Friday

grab button for Cup of Tea

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2016 Favorites

Well now that March is upon us… here we are with my 2016 Favorites!  Better late than never right?  While I fully intended to post this in January, sometime these things do fall between the cracks.  The beginning of the year is a busy time for me work-wise, and I have also been helping my mom set up her new blog!  Be sure to click HERE to head over to her blog Midwest Storyteller to see all her new content!

For last year’s Favorites, I shared my favorite item from each beauty category.  Since I still enjoy many of those products today, I felt I would be repeating myself if I followed the same format.  So this year I have just chosen my best-of-the-best… the items that truly excited me last year and that I have used over and over!

2016 Favorites www.jilliandanielle.com


Maybelline Dream Velvet Foundation in Shade 20

Even though I have oily skin, I tend to avoid the standard matte foundation.  The heavy coverage tends to sit on my skin like a mask, and I find that as the day goes on, the foundation begins to break apart and become patchy.  This is an exception to the rule.  The Dream Velvet formula give full coverage that looks natural, stays put, and prevents shine.  It had become my go-to base for long work days… I rarely have to touch up with powder!  You can see more details about this foundation HERE.

Maybelline Dream Velvet www.jilliandanielle.com


Becca + Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection Face Palette

This is really a beauty!  From packaging to performance, this palette really delivers.  I contains two of Becca’s famous highlighters and three stunning blushes.  A light hand is required, as the pigmentation is some of the best I have seen, and it looks stunning on my vanity table!  While this palette was sadly limited edition, you can by some of the items individually HERE.

Becca Champagne Glow Face Palette www.jilliandanielle.com


Kat Von D Shade & Light Eye Contour Palette

This was a gift from my husband, and little did I know how much I would love it!  A eternal fan of the all-matte eye look, I instantly made this a part of my daily makeup bag.  It contains a wide variety of matte shades, and the pigmentation and texture is perfect!  I think the size of the palette and the quality of the shadows makes this a great investment.  Get all the details HERE.

Kat Von D Shade & Light Eye Contour Palette www.jilliandanielle.com


Buxom Mascara

It always seems like the mascara hunt is an endless one, with very few checking off all the boxes on the wish list.  However, this mascara from Buxom is possibly the best I have found.  I provides the perfect combination of length and volume, plus it gives the feathery, fluttery lash I love with zero clumps.  As a bonus, it is the only non-waterproof formula I have found the doesn’t run off my watery eyes!  They have both regular and waterproof versions HERE.

Buxom Mascara www.jilliandanielle.com


Bed Head Dry Shampoo

I’ve said this before, but I am pretty picky about what I put in my hair… I hate the feel of “product”.  But I do like to sneek in an extra day between washings sometimes, and this is the perfect dry shampoo for me.  It comes out in a dry, powdery spray and it is clear… a bonus for you girls with dark hair!  It absorbs any oil, and gives my hair a bit of bulk, but never has that waxy feeling that makes me cringe.  While not online at Walmart.com, I snagged this at my local Walmart for around $12.00!  You can also find it online at Ulta HERE.

Bed Head Dry Shampoo www.jilliandanielle.com


Sephora Rose Sheet Mask

Even if this didn’t work worth a hoot, I would still buy it just because of the smell!  Oddly enough, to me it doesn’t smell like roses… it smells like you went and shoved your nose into a giant bouquet of peony blooms.  Quiet possibly my favorite smell on earth!  But by lovely coincidence, it gives wonderful results as well.  I like the fact that it is a sheet mask and there is no need to wash it off.  Just simply peel it off, rub the excess into the skin and head to bed!  It packs such moisture that I can still feel the results in the morning.  You can find it, along with many other versions HERE at Sephora!

Sephora Rose Face Mask www.jilliandanielle.com


Leather Jacket

This was another gift from my sweetie.  For quite some time I have been wanting a quality leather jacket, and I wanted something that was different but still had a classic feel.  This fits the bill perfectly!  It has a classic motorcycle shape, but the soft gray is more flattering on my fair skin than a traditional brown or black, and the silver zippers add the perfect amount of sparkle!  The jacket is from the brand Black Rivet, and the leather is butter soft!  I got mine HERE at Wilson’s Leather.

Wilson's Leather Jacket www.jilliandanielle.com



Several months ago I shared a review of my new 2017 planner from Rifle Paper Co.  I am so pleased that I have been able to stick with using this planner since August and things are still going strong!  The design is lovely, and the layout is just what I need.  I am so pleased I selected a planner that makes it fun to plan!  You can see the remaining styles of Rifle Paper Co planners HERE, and you can read my review of the planner HERE.

Rifle Paper Company Planner www.jilliandanielle.com


Mercury Glass

This lovely little number was a gift from my mother-in-law, who actually found it at Cracker Barrel!  What is there not to love?  It’s rose gold and it sparkles… enough said.  This particular style seems to be sole out, but never fear!  If you are a Mercury Glass lover like I am, it seems to be everywhere this year!  May I suggest a few options HERE, HERE and HERE?

Mercury Glass www.jilliandanielle.com

I hope you enjoyed these very late, but very loved 2016 Favorites!  Stay tuned, as I have plans for an Anti-Haul post coming soon!  Don’t what that is?  Be sure to check back!

Comment below and let me know a few of your favorite things from 2016!

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