Weekly Roundup – Family & Fireworks

My goodness, this week was a full one… full of activities and events that say ‘Summer”!

Weekly Roundup Fireworks & Family www.jilliandanielle.com

Of course, we kicked off the week with our family Fourth of July celebration!  We have our whole family over for food, fun and fireworks.  The Fourth is also my Dad’s birthday… so Happy Birthday Dad!

Fourth of July 2016 Collage www.jilliandanielle.com

Two days later I got to have a group of friends over for a great girls night. We do this once a month and every month has a food theme… this month was salads for summertime!  I made this super yummy Greek Chicken Salad.  You can find the recipe HERE… click it, do it, do it… you’ll thank me!!!

I am starting to get a few veggies out of my garden!  I have been researching recipes to make with kale, and I have my basil hanging to dry.  I tried this recipe for cheesy kale crisps… you can find it HERE, and I am dying to try this soup made with kale… you can find it HERE.  Yum!

Cheesy Kale Crisps www.jilliandanielle.com

Cheesy Kale Crisps


So, do you all have any diet tips for those of us who struggle with snacking?  I am really pretty good about controlling my portion size and eating decent meals, but it is always the snacks that bring me down.  I am a grazer!  Help!

This week on the blog, I talked about a new favorite lipstick and one of my favorite blogs for inspiring makeup tutorials.  Don’t forget to check back Monday for my review of my new 2017 planner!

My Favorite Blogs Edition 4 - Shameless Fripperies www.jilliandanielle.com

Thanks for checking out my Weekly Roundup!  What have you been up to this week?! 🙂

For this post I am linking up with 5 on Friday, High Five For Friday, & Meet @ The Barre

5 on Friday



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Weekly Roundup – Friends & Food

Hello all!  Happy Friday!  Is it hot where you live?  It’s been boiling here!  Missouri is such a strange place… it’s dry because we need rain, but the air is oppressively humid.  This is a state of extremes.

Weekly Roundup Friends & Food www.jilliandanielle.com


We got to start off the week spending some great time with amazing friends.  We don’t live close, so we don’t get to see each other often, but whenever we do it’s like we were never apart.  Those are really the dearest friendships.

Friends www.jilliandanielle.com

Flashback Friday to some early makeup experimentation – Friends that play together stay together

I did some extra cooking since we were having company… this lemon pie recipe from Joanna Gaines was epic!  SUPER easy and beautiful too!  This warm spinach artichoke dip went perfectly with some evening drinks.

I ordered my new planner for the upcoming year!  So excited, it should be arriving any day!  No hints… I’ll be posting about it soon!  This week’s edition of My Favorite Blogs was about Katie from Cup of Tea… you can read Edition 3 HERE.

aprettierweb-phone-flowers-pencil www.jilliandanielle.com

I won a country ham this week from my work, purchased from our local county fair!  Have you ever cooked a country ham?  Waaaayy different from a ham bought at the store.  You have to soak the ham for at least 24 hours before cooking… fingers crossed this turns out!

Country Ham www.jilliandanielle.com

I am hosting my family for the Fourth of July, so it has been a busy week preparing for a fun weekend!  The fourth is also my dad’s birthday, so I will be making him a yummy ice cream cake!  I layer an oreo crust, chocolate & vanilla ice cream, chocolate candies (I use Reese’s, Kit Kat’s & Heath), whipped cream, and I make a flag on top with raspberries & blueberries!   Yum!

I hope you all enjoy a wonderful Fourth of July with family and friends, and remember to take a moment to reflect that we are blessed to live in the United States of America.

For this post I am linking up with 5 on Friday, High Five for Friday, & Meet @ the Barre.

5 on Friday

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Valentine’s Day Treats Inspired by Pinterest

Last week I shared a few of my favorite Valentines gift ideas that I have snagged from Pinterest. This time, I thought I would assemble a few suggestions for yummy treats you can make for your family, friends or teachers.

I think that Valentine’s day gifts with a personal or homemade touch are the best, and that anyone would appreciate these thoughtful treats. Might I suggest adding some of the free Valentine’s printables from my last post to your gifts?

Valentine Blondies –

I think these red and pink M&M’s would look cute in regular browines as well, but there is something about the color of the blondies that really make them stand out! They are yummy too, I made them last year!


Heart Shaped Eggs –

I love this simple idea for making heart shaped eggs for your kids (or kids at heart)! Just make sure you use metal cookie cutters.

Red Velvet Peanut Butter Blossoms –

The dark chocolate and deep red color of these cookies gives them an elegant touch.

Cupid’s Float –

Whip up an ice cream float with strawberry soda for a fizzy, pink Valentines drink!

Dark Chocolate Avocado Pudding –

For the healthy eaters in your life try making them this dark chocolate pudding.  You cannot taste the avocado (it even passed the husband test) and it is sweetened with agave.  Throw some fresh raspberries on top for some Valentines color!

Fruit Kebabs –

Use pink and red fruit, including watermelon cut into heart shapes, to make these healthy, refreshing kebabs.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries –

Everyone pays a fortune for chocolate covered strawberries, but they are incredibly easy to make at home.  Simply melt a bag of chocolate chips of your choice (I prefer dark chocolate) along with 1 tablespoon of shortening or coconut oil. Dip the strawberries and add sprinkles, or let them chill then drizzle with another color of melted chocolate.


Happy Valentine’s Day!




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Autumn Party Prep – Tips and Tricks

I hosted a little gathering of girlfriends at my house this week. Once a month we meet with a different food theme. This month was Mexican food… next month will be a pumpkin theme for Thanksgiving. Each guest must bring a dish that has pumpkin as an ingredient. Pumpkin night is always a favorite of the year!

I didn’t have to do a ton of prep for this event, as each guest was bringing a topping or ingredient, but I thought I would share a few of the little touches I used to help my guests feel at home.

1.  Fall is in the air, and fall decorations definitely go a long way in making people feel cozy. My home is small and I try to decorate simply, but a few festive touches gave it just the right feel. And of course, fall candles are a must!

Fall Mums

Fall Wreath

Fall Candle

2.  I purchased this beautiful water pitcher in the sale aisle of Costco. The quality is wonderful, made of porcelain and glass, and it is a stylish and convenient way for guests to serve their own water. I tried to stick with a theme of clear glassware, so I used glass pitchers to hold some tea and lemonade as well.

Water Pitcher

3.  I prefer to use real dishes for my guests. I set these out ahead of time on my island so my guests can serve themselves buffet style, and I use decorative glasses or vases to hold the flatware. The drinking glasses I simply sit next to the beverages. I do use paper napkins, but I try to pick a design that complements the dishes I am using. Also, I try to make sure that my dishwasher is completely empty when my guests arrive so I can have plenty of room to clear dirty dishes quickly.

4.  Fall weather seems to call for hot beverages, so I decided to set up a tea station. I set out a teapot with hot water along with cream, sugar and honey and a selection of various loose teas. I made a homemade chai latte mix as well which was a hit! I set out each of the teas in matching containers and made paper labels with each flavor.

Tea Station

Tea Selection

5.  I try to keep at least one lamp on in each room, even those that guests may not enter, so that the house seems more open and bright. This is a great tip for small homes! Finally, I add a candle to the bathroom so it is never dark, even if a guest turns off the light.

Bedroom Lamp

bathroom candle

I hope these tips inspire some of you with your next gathering, and I would love to hear some of your favorite tips for hosting a party! Feel free to share in the comments below.  Happy Friday!



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The most amazing poppy seed bread!

Today I thought I would take a shot at sharing a recipe here on the blog.  I am a carb lover!  I could easily be a Frenchwoman who lives on a loaf of bread and a hunk of cheese.  Nothing is more comforting to me than a warm loaf of bread.

Poppy seed intro pic

This recipe is a family favorite.  I wish I could reference the original cook, but we have been making this for so many years I don’t even know where it came from.

My favorite thing about this bread is the glaze on top… it just adds a scrumptious touch!  My biggest suggestion for this recipe is to make sure you have the proper flavorings for the bread and glaze.  I can’t imagine that it would be as good with substitutions.

mixing poppy seed bread

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do and if you make it, please comment below and tell me what you think!  Happy Monday!

Poppy Seed Bread

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond flavoring
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons butter flavoring

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil and milk.  Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix well, then add the poppy seeds and flavorings and mix again.  Pour into two greased and floured loaf pans and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

After you remove the bread from the oven, prepare the glaze.  In a small saucepan, combine:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of each of the above three flavorings

Heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbly.  Pour over the warm loaves while they are still in the pans.  Allow the loaves to rest in the pans for about 20 minutes, then remove and enjoy!

Fresh poppy seed loves

poppy seed close up

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