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!

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You might also like…  Choosing Joy  &  Product Empties!



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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!

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

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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!

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




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Weekly Roundup – Fall Frenzy

Happy Friday everybody! 🙂  It’s been a few weeks since I’ve checked in here, but I’m excited to be back.  Thanks for stopping by… please read on to see what’s been up here lately!  If you enjoy these weekly posts, be sure to check out some other great bloggers through the link ups below!


The biggest thing that’s kept us both so busy this past month is work.  Since my sweet hubby is self-employed his schedule can definitely be undependable, and while he’s had a great month, his work has kept him working long hours and getting home late.  I have taken on a new job title at my 8-5, and have been training for the past three weeks.  I am LOVING the new position and the work involved, but it has meant later evenings for me as well, along with some seriously overloaded brain cells!  That’s life folks, and we’re loving it!

Since things have been so hectic lately, we made it a point to take a few days and get away over Labor Day.  We took a brief trip to Kansas City, and it’s a perfect town to sightsee if you ever get the chance!  They have a fabulous art museum for a town it’s size and it’s free!  Union Station always has great exhibits and things to entertain, as well being walking distance from other great attractions.


Union Station – Kansas City


Nelson Atkins Museum of Art – Kansas City

While at Union Station, we visited the somewhat controversial exhibit Body World.  While I wouldn’t personally recommend it for kids (although there were a ton of kids there), I think it is an extremely thoughtful and humbling experience for adults and definitely worth seeing.


Because of it’s impactful nature, I couldn’t bring myself to take any pictures at the exhibit.

September made it’s way in with 90 degree temps, but that did not keep me from decorating for fall!  I am just simply ignoring the fact that it feels like the dead of summer outside.  Perhaps I’ll wear a scarf tomorrow!


Glass Pumpkins – This season from Costco

After my little hiatus, I did manage to get one post up this week… another addition to my How To series.  This on is about powder and you can check it out HERE!  I will do my best to get posts up as regularly as possible during these next to weeks of continued craziness… I promise a post on how I use my planner will be coming soon!

How To Apply Powder www.jilliandanielle.com

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a snuggly, pumpkin-ey September!

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This post is linked with the lovely ladies at 5 on Friday and High Five For Friday.

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How To: Apply Powder

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 powder, and we will cover the basics of formulation and application.

How To Apply Powder www.jilliandanielle.com


Powders come in more varieties than you might think!  You will choose between a loose powder or a pressed powder, and each has its own merit.  Loose powders typically have a lighter more flawless finish, while pressed powders provide less mess and are easily tossed in your bag.  I tend to reach for loose powders at home, and pressed powders for on-the-go.

Now that you have decided between loose or pressed, you can choose your finish!  Many people think they don’t like powder because they don’t like the matte look, but there are so many other options available.

Do you want your powder to provide some added coverage (MAC Studio Fix) or be completely transparent (Laura Mercier Translucent Powder)? Do you want a matte finish (Urban Decay De-Slick) or a luminous glow (Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder)?

There is a choice for every preference!


Even if you don’t love the look of powder, a light dusting will make other powders (such as your bronzer or blush) apply more easily.

To avoid that cake-y powdered look, take a few minutes to let any cream products dry before applying powder.  Then apply powder sparingly with a big, fluffy brush.  While powder puffs and sponges are handy for quick touch ups, they can create a heavier look when used all over the face.

Baking is a new trend to the makeup scene, and is said to provide long lasting and brightening results!  After applying under eye concealer, pick up a generous amount of powder on a dry beauty sponge.  Press it into your under eye concealer… this will look heavy and obvious, but you will remove some later.

Let your powder “bake” for 15-20 minutes while you complete some more of your beauty routine.  Then using a big fluffy brush, sweep away the excess powder from the baked area.  You’ll be left with a bright, flawless finish that will last all day!

I hope you enjoyed these little tips for the perfect powder application!  If you have any suggestions for powders, either formulas or application, please comment!  I would love to hear!

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



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