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

Print Friendly

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!

Blog Signature








Print Friendly

A Few Thoughtful New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year! While weather-wise, January is one of the worst months of the year, there is something about it that always feels like a fresh start.  The Christmas decorations are gone, and the house feels clean and spacious again.  January always seems to be the month I want to do my “spring cleaning”… of both my house and my mind!  I guess that’s why people make resolutions.

Every year I wonder if resolutions are worth it. There seems to be something so clichéd about them, and most of the time it feels like they fail, but there is something so satisfying about setting goals.  You can’t succeed unless you try.  So here’s what on my mind for this new year:

Thoughtful New Year's Resolutions www.jilliandanielle.com

photo courtesy of Wonderfelle



Do you ever struggle with the differences between who you want to be vs. what your personality inclines you to be?  In my heart I desire to be organized, keep a tidy house and live a more “minimalist” lifestyle.  I devour any blogs or Youtube videos about home design, organization, and time management… not because I am trying to learn or be better, but because I love it!

Here’s the thing… by personality I am a messy person.  I was the kid who went and shoved all my stuff under the bed when my parents told me to clean my room.  I know I don’t need half the crap I accumulate, but that doesn’t seem to stop me from bringing it home.  If I love organization so much, then WHY is it just so darn hard for me?!

Nate said to me the other day “Your New Year’s Resolution should be that when you pick something up, you put it back where you got it.”  He said it with love… the truth with love. 🙂

Last year I made a resolution to utilize my planner more, and while I’m not a planner guru, I did fairly well and am ready to go with my 2017 Rifle Paper Co. planner.



I won’t talk much about this, because whose NYR isn’t to lose weight?  But since meeting my husband I have gained more weight than I care to admit, and it has gotten to the point that I don’t feel myself anymore.  It’s quite true when they say marriage makes you gain weight!  Anyway, I have some personal deadlines that have helped me kick start the weight loss, and it’s great to have a goal and a date to work toward.



The blog is definitely its own being.  Some days, it feels like it calls the shots instead of me!  I started off great last year, but the second half of 2016 was sporadic to say the least.  I little self-reflection caused me to question why this was…

I have read so many blogging articles that say over and over that consistency is key… that the only way to keep and engage your readers is to post frequently and regularly.  And while I don’t dispute that, it was causing my content to suffer.

Not only was I rushing, and putting up content before I was happy with it, but I would feel so guilty when I missed days.  I didn’t start blogging to feel guilty about it.  Nor do I blog to keep up with someone else’s schedule… especially when I’m sure most of that pressure come from within my own head!

I really want to take the time to put out the content I want without the pressure of committing to a posting schedule. Hopefully this will help me to be more creative and achieve better posts and better pictures.

So, 2017, here are my goals:

  • Try to discover the happy medium between the lifestyle I crave and the lifestyle I live, and to be thoughtful about it… no pressure… no guilt.
  • To keep using that planner!
  • To meet my personal goals for weight loss.
  • To focus on quality vs. quantity for the blog. Sometimes less is more.

At the end of the day, I feel like the goal of all these resolutions is to improve my quality of life and simplify my time so I can do the things I love.

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Let me know in the comments if you’re pro or con, and share any tips you might have for sticking to those goals.

I hope you all have a wonderful 2017, and I will be seeing you soon with my 2016 Favorites!

Blog Signature





You might also like…  Choosing Joy  &  Product Empties!



Print Friendly

Weekly Roundup – Blessings and Thankfulness

Hello everyone! Long time, no see!  I have certainly taken a bit of an unplanned hiatus from the blog these last few months, so I guess this is more an Autumn Roundup than a Weekly Roundup.  Oddly enough, as the holidays are approaching I find life to be slowing down a little… maybe I shouldn’t say that out loud! 🙂  Here’s what we’ve been up to recently…


  • I think I mentioned before that I started a new job.  This was a great move and I have really been enjoying it, but the work is more challenging and has resulted in quite a few more tired evenings.  As time has passed I feel as though I am better acclimating to the change in schedule, so here I am… back again!
  • Nate and I were blessed to be able to sneak away for another fabulous vacation this year.  We so enjoyed our trip last year to the Outer Banks of North Carolina that we headed back again!  We got to spend 10 lovely days soaking up the sun, strolling on the beach and taking some great hikes.  While the vacation itself was amazing, the best part of our trips is always the time spent together, just the two of us.


  • Is it possible that Thanksgiving is next week?!  I feel like I left on vacation and came back to Christmas.  I am already feeling woefully behind this holiday season, but I do have one gift purchased… so there’s that.  The plan is to put my Christmas decorations up this weekend, so perhaps that will put me in a festive mood! The older I get the more I stop to absorb the blessings of the Christmas season and am so thankful that our families are close.
  • I have rediscovered my love for the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads!  This was a staple in my routine for some time, but as often happens, I let myself run out and didn’t repurchase.  I knew my skin has been rough and dull, but I just didn’t piece together that this was the missing ingredient.  I don’t know what’s in these things that makes the magic, but they have brought the glow and evenness back to my complexion.  This skincare staple really is a difference maker!

FAB Facial Radiance Pads


  • Do you suffer from chapped lips in the winter?  I do terribly, and I shared last year how much the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask helped my extremely chapped lips.  Now that fall is here, I have purchased another tube and it is once again an essential item.  It truly is the only thing that will keep my lips hydrated in the colder months.  You can read my complete review of the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask HERE.


Well, it feels so good to catch up after so much time away!  Thank you all for your patience.  Since we are headed into the busiest time of year, I am not going to promise any specific schedule at this point, but I will definitely be back more often.  Check back soon for a roundup of some of my favorite recipes I will be making for the holidays!

I hope you and your families have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Blog Signature





This post is linked with 5 on Friday and High Five For Friday.

5 on Friday

Print Friendly

How To: Apply Bronzer & Contour

Welcome to the next segment of my How To series… each segment of the series will tackle a category of makeup and cover how to properly apply each one. For you beauty gurus out there this may be old news, but I’m hoping this will be helpful for beginners or those who have always dreaded makeup application.  Stay tuned as we work our way over the whole face!

Today’s topic is bronzer and contour. We will discuss the differences and cover the basics of formulation and application.



So what is the difference between bronzer and contour?  Bronzer can be added to any portion of the face and body that would naturally receive a tan, and is meant to mimic the bronzing effects of the sun.  Bronzers have a slight warm tone to create this effect.

Contour is meant to be used to create shadows, which will change the appearance of the face’s structure.  Contour formulas are a very ashy, almost grey, brown, and should have zero warmth.  Because shadows are rarely orange, you know?


Like most beauty products, bronzers and contours come in both powder and cream formulas. Which one you choose will come down to preference and skin type.

Cream products usually impart a more luminous look, which may not be ideal for those with oily skin. Powders can provide a more matte, diffused look.


For powder bronzers, use a fluffy brush to apply it to the places that would normally be touched by the sun, such as the face and neck for an all-over glow.  Apply bronzer after your base and powder, but before any additional color. Gradually build up the product until you achieve your desired color.

Application for cream bronzer is similar, except you should apply it after your foundation, but BEFORE any powder products.

You will need a smaller, denser brush for contour application because you will want to concentrate the color in a smaller area.  The most popular placement for contour is the hollow spot under the cheeks , which will create the illusion of more structured cheekbones.  Contouring is also possible on the nose, temples and jawline.  For some great instruction on contouring click HERE, HERE & HERE.

As with bronzer, cream contour should be applied before face powder, and powder contour after.


This was always my preferred method of applying bronzer, but I never knew it had such an official name!  I take my bronzer on a fluffy brush, but I apply it in a rough contour pattern… around the perimeter of my face, on the nose, jawline, etc. This will not define or give the illusion of structure, but leaving some areas of the face untouched will add some lightness and dimension.

I hope you enjoyed these little tips for the perfect bronzer and contour application!  If you have any suggestions for bronzers and contours, either formulas or application, please comment! I would love to hear!

Blog Signature




You might also like: How To: Apply Concealer  &  How To: Powder




Print Friendly