The Engagement Gift Guide

This unfortunately doesn’t make up for any of the gift guides I missed during the holiday season, but this one is probably my favorite I’ve done so far! Whether your best friend is engaged, your sister, or your work friend, this is a guide for the perfect engagement gift for that newly engaged bride-to-be. Now that we’ve been engaged for some time, I thought it was appropriate to throw this together since engagement season is around the corner. Not only that, but I got some pretty great gifts at our engagement party that I love. Most couples do not have a wedding registry by the time they’re engaged, so this is a great excuse to grab an adorable gift before having to buy must-have registry items. Our engagement party was on the day we got engaged, so we definitely didn’t have one! Here is some inspiration and cute ideas for the bride-to-be and her groom. Of course it is classic to bring a bottle of champagne, but these are more fun!

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1. Bling Brush

I love all of these things but I especially love this! This Bling Brush is basically an on-the-go ring cleaner. The champagne bottle is the perfect engagement gift because it is SO cute, and then inside is that brush that every bride will want to use! When we were first engaged I can’t tell you how many times I was asked for people to see my ring. I still get asked for people to see my ring! She can stick it in her purse and have it handy for those moments when it needs a quick cleaning. I’m sharing an up close of how I use this on my Instagram stories today and saving it to my wedding highlight because I know this product will get a ton of love.

2. & 3. Ring Dish and Ring Tray

Number 2 is exactly what I got as an engagement gift from my sister! She has it and uses it every night so she thought I could use one too. I rub my eyes a ton, so for the most part I take my ring off before I go to sleep. Other times I don’t remember because I’m just too tired, ha! The ring tray is also perfect and can be used by both the bride and groom. Keep it by the bathroom sink and slip it off before hopping in the shower. Everyone is really different when it comes to rings— some people never take it off and others take it off at least once a day. I sometimes take mine off when I sleep if I remember, and I will take it off when I have a lot of dishes too and sometimes showers. It’s helpful to have these around the house so you have a designated place to put them since you do not want to lose your bling!

4. Milestone Drinks

This is also a gift that I got and love! I was gifted four bottles of wine by one of my nanny families, and each has a celebratory label on it. We have a bottle of wine to open on our first wedding anniversary, our first baby, our first big purchase and also our first Christmas (I think). This is perfect if you wanted to gift a bottle of alcohol, it adds a little something to it and makes it more fun. They have a variety of labels so depending on the couple you can mix and match different milestones and get however many you want!

5. Girlfriend to Fiance

I got a few shirts as gifts as well that all said Fiance or fun sayings on them. Since a ring isn’t enough (haha!) this shirt was fun to wear the first week after getting engaged places and can also be used later on during wedding planning! Bachelorette party shirt, and a keepsake for when you get upgraded again to wife. I’m definitely keeping all of mine as pajama shirts and its fun to look back on after planning is over!

XO,

Danielle Alana

Why i want to start being healthy

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Happy Friday friends! It’s the first Friday of the year and it feels GOOD. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m still on the new year binge and loving seeing everyone’s goals and what everyone’s up to. Some people get annoyed with it fast, but it’s one of my favorite times of the year because I’m so inspired, especially now. SO many wonderful things are happening with Danielle Alana this year and I can’t wait to show you all. In my first blog post of the year for 2019, which if you missed you can read here, I talked about being more healthy. So in today’s post I am going to go into the “why” part of it and get really personal!

While we’re on the topic of being healthy, I wanted to show you guys this water bottle I found before the New Year started and talk about it a little bit. I drink out of water bottles all the time, and I know plenty of other people do too. The fridge at my house has a water filter so mine is pretty much ready to go. But if you ask Tim, I literally hate drinking tap water. There’s nothing worse! He doesn’t have a fridge with a water filter, so I ALWAYS make him grab my water from the one he keeps in the fridge that’s filtered. When out and about, I cringe even more re-filling mine up! I think mostly what makes me so scared is because of the research behind tap water and what not. This Astrea Water Bottle helps me to get my water from anywhere without question. It’s the first one to be lead reducing AND it gives me great tasting water. You may be seeing me carry this around more often, so I wanted to give you a little back story and why I’m using this bottle in particular.

1. For My Future Babies

Being a nanny, you have to know I love kids by now! I’ve wanted to be a mom so bad my entire life, and now the idea of this is becoming more of a reality. Your decisions and life choices, including your health choices, effect your children big time. Before we start trying for babies, its really important that both Tim and I get into healthier habits. Healthier eating, and making fitness apart of our lives. I touched on this in my 2018 recap blog post, which you can read here. I know a lot of stuff goes out the window after having children, so I really want to make those things stick.

2. For US.

For Tim and I. For each other. Nowadays, I feel like it is so easy to let yourself go down a rabbit hole of bad choices. In marriages too, when life gets too busy, you forget to take care of yourself let alone take care of your partner. When talking about our future together, our relationship is a number one priority and for that to take place, we need to be in tip top shape as well. Being/getting healthy is a priority for also the sake of ourselves! It’s our job to take of our bodies and be responsible when it comes to this duty.

3. For Me

You probably saw this one coming! But in all seriousness, I owe it to myself to take care of me— mentally and physically. I don’t want to be the one who has a hard time recovering from something because I wasn’t physically in shape. Or have to go on a crazy diet because I let myself go too far. Not only that, but my body is eventually going to be a future home for our future children for 9 months. The LEAST I could do is properly treat and take care of my body.

Like I said in my post earlier this week, this has been a goal every year and has never quite really been accomplished. But there’s no more time for excuses. I’ve put this off long enough, and now I’m really excited about it! I know I won’t ever be perfect at it, and that I have a long journey ahead of me, but hey… this is a start, right? Cheers loves!

XO,

Danielle Alana

Wedding Diary #2 | Halfway There

Wedding Diary #2 coming in hot! When I wrote my first wedding diary pretty much immediately after getting engaged, I was SO ahead of the game. I felt confident, ready, and super prepared for pretty much everything. Well, that was 3-4 months ago at this point and I can tell you right now I am feeling the COMPLETE opposite. I feel really stressed, behind, and worried. Here is an updated checklist and a side by side comparison to Wedding Diary #1 update.

Wedding Diary #1 Checklist, September 2018

Wedding Diary #1 Checklist, September 2018

Wedding Diary #2 Checklist, January 2019

Wedding Diary #2 Checklist, January 2019

to purchase this spreadsheet, click here.

Ok, not side by side photos. You’d think if I have a blog that I’d be pretty tech savvy but it’s actually the complete opposite! Anyways, the first checklist is what I had crossed off this list back in September, literally 19 days after being engaged. You can read my first Wedding Diary here. The second one is my most recent checklist as of now, January 2019. It’s probably just me (since I’m such a huge planner) but I feel like I’ve BARELY got anything done since the last time I updated you guys! Hence why I feel really stressed out and also worried. Here’s the thing: holidays are great and all but not when you’re in the midst of wedding planning! All the festivities completely through me off my wedding planning train and now I’m just trying to get back up to speed. But for a type A personality girl, it feels like the end of the world!

Ok, ok. I can’t be that hard on myself, I know! Everyone deserves to celebrate the holidays and relax no matter what is going on. With that being said, I will give you updates on what has been crossed off the list since we chatted last about all things wedding.

Save the Dates

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Our Save the Dates are out! In case you missed it, I shared our cards in this blog post here, explaining the company we went with, and of course what they look like! Minus a few hiccups with getting those out, aka sending some to the wrong addresses, I was relieved to get those sent to all our family and friends. Which brings me to my next thing we crossed off which was…

Engagement Photos

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I was SO excited to finally get these crossed off, mostly because I just wanted to see what they looked like and show them off! Our wedding photographer, Dakai Reyes, BLEW us away with how incredible these photos turned out. It made me even more excited about the wedding since (to me) the photos are the biggest deal! Aside from of course getting married to Tim ;) Also side note: Dakai and I are NOT related, we just happen to have the same last name! I will be sharing a majority of our engagement photos on my upcoming blog post about Pre-Marital counseling, so stay tuned for that— but until then, here is a little peak!

Wedding Invitations

Along with Save the Dates and engagement photos comes wedding invites! I got a little ahead of myself, invites have not been sent out yet. BUT, the order is placed and I’m waiting patiently with our customized stamps ready to go and get them out. You’ll notice on the checklist that it says 2 months before, but we are sending out invites (hopefully, depending on when they get here) the first week of February so it’ll be 4 months ahead. With our venue, we need final numbers almost a month before the wedding, and you know there are always people who send the RSVPS in late so we need plenty of time to do all the logistics.

Hair & Makeup

Besides dress shopping, the engagement party, and basically everything else this has been probably my favorite part so far! My Makeup Artist is booked for the big day and after 2 trials we got the perfect look down. I shared it on my Instagram stories back in November I believe and I got SO MANY compliments. I was overwhelmed with how many replies I was getting to my stories, which just reassured me even more that the look was perfect for the wedding. As far as hair goes, my girls are booked! In two weeks Tim and I are taking a road trip to Arizona for my hair trial! If you’re on Instagram as much as me, you’ve probably seen a ton of this salon. Two lovely ladies from Habit Salon will be flying down for the wedding and I’m so stoked! I booked them before getting a trial because let’s be real… the work is amazing, I don’t need proof! But I’ll be doing a trial just to play around and finalize the style I want.

The Wedding Dress

I’m not going to go into a ton of detail because I’ve talked a lot about this already! I got my wedding dress and it should be here in less than a month. February we will start alterations and I get to try it on again which makes me smile from ear to ear! I’ve never felt more special in this dress you guys, you have no idea. I’ve been tempted more then a few times to post a picture of it but I know that is so bad. Instead I stare at it every night and just get excited! If you want to see and get an idea though, head over to this blog post to see what I look like in a wedding dress! Also, all of my bridesmaids officially have there dresses after going and trying them on so that is one more thing crossed off the list!

Rehearsal Dinner

It’s going to be a big one! As most of you know, our bridal party including flower girls and ring bears is quite large. We’re at over 30 people which means more at the rehearsal dinner! We got this set and booked at our venue the night before and invitations for this have also been ordered. I’ll be sending these out in April/May and they are literally just waiting in a box to be delivered, ha! Mexican food is my comfort food and also my favorite, so we’ll be having a fiesta the night before to get ready for the big day.

I definitely didn’t touch on everything that has happened since my last diary, but I wanted to make sure I touched on the important stuff that has since been planned. The point of these diaries was to keep you all updated on the wedding process, how things have been going so far, and also as something to look back on for me that will forever be here on my blog. Since our engagement is a total of 9 months, I’m rounding up 4 posts and it is hard to believe that this is my second one. In other words, this means I’m halfway done! Which also means, we’re halfway to the wedding. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again- I’ve been dreaming of this day for a long time. Now it’s here and happening. No more wondering on who I’m going to marry— it’s Tim! And wedding details, no more wondering and worrying because it’s being planned and it’s also happening! In the midst of being stressed and worried throughout all of this, I try to remember these little details and how I really am going to miss this so much. So if you’re engaged or about to be married, my tip for you is soak it in- the good and the bad! It’ll be over before you know it. So cliche, but after hearing it a million times I finally understand it.

Another wedding diary will be coming around March or April, so stay tuned! Until then you can follow me on Instagram here and be on the lookout for updates.

XO,

Danielle Alana

New Year, New You! Let's Get Organized

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Anyone struggle here with being organized? If so, I’m (sorta) with you. You’re probably wondering why I’m doing this blog post since ALL I talk about is how organized I am. I share my planner with you guys, how I decorate it, how much is planned and the whole thing. Well… I’m going to let you in on a little secret! 1. I don’t have it all together 2. I’m organized, but only when it comes to certain things. 3. I’m still learning how to be organized all the time, not just sometimes.

It physically pains me to write this as funny as that sounds, but it does! I TOTALLY get on my high horse sometimes when everything is planned… for the week. Then Saturday comes and I’m frantic thinking about the next week and what needs to get done. Not only that, but recently I’ve been forgetting important things. Twice in the past two months have I had work on a night and the family texts me to reconfirm the sit and I’m like… I’m working tomorrow night? Since when? This isn’t in my planner? Both times were 100% my fault. I agreed to work and then NEVER wrote them down! Lucky for me, both nights I had no plans so I was able to play it off and show up to work just fine. But that just isn’t like me at all! Getting into a daily and weekly routine is something I want to get better at, because I already have one it just really needs improvement.

Normally I would give tips and help YOU guys get organized, but we’re in this together this time. I have a few that I’m interested in trying/have been practicing that I’m going to share, but I want to hear what YOU guys do to keep it together and what you’re practicing, especially since the new year just hit and we are all in the mode to do so!

Plan Plan Plan

My Erin Condren Planner is my holy grail, and the one time I lost it I actually felt lost in life, lol! This has everything in it— my appointments, my work schedule, our plans, important dates, numbers, you name it it is in inside. Until I become an actual mother, this is my baby! I always try to make things fun so adding decorations like stickers and fun colors are what gets me excited about this.

Wake Up & Go

Every. Morning. You will hear my alarm clock go off and then hear me get out of bed about 30 minutes later. I purposely set my alarm for earlier since I know myself and I need that time to just lay in bed and be awake. I will admit though, it is a terrible habit. Like I said, writing this out and admitting this is painful ha! Getting out of the habit of laying in bed has been really hard, especially since we are in winter and my bed is just the coziest thing ever in the early hours of the day. I’m old school and I use an actual alarm clock— yes, you read correctly. I use a clock that isn’t my phone for an alarm. Crazy right? I’ve been thinking about switching to my phone lately and instead of having it next to my bed, putting it on the opposite side of the room so I’m forced to get up. Having an actual alarm clock has made it easy to just press a button and roll back over, so in this case I would be having to physically move. Ugh.

What Phone?

Another terrible habit! I grab my phone as I’m ready to wakeup, and then fast forward 30 minutes and I’m rushing to get ready and out the door. I could easily waste all day being on my phone and starting my mornings off with it has made mornings more bumpy then they need to be. Deleting my phone time and having self control- meaning no Instagram and other social media apps are gone in my mornings! This has helped my mornings be more calm and also not as rushed. This may be just me, but I also feel more motivated and refreshed not looking at it. Sometimes it can be a comparison game and I get caught up in the morning and then I’m instantly unmotivated for the day. Looking at all of this later has been helpful for getting up and starting my day.

I’m all ears! I want to hear about what you are doing to get organized in the New Year’s and hear your resolutions. I talked about mine here and here so now it’s your turn! Leave me a comment or shoot me a DM over on Instagram and let’s chat- goals, resolutions, or we can just complain to each other about how hard adulting is—let’s be real!

XO,

Danielle Alana

Welcome 2019! Goals & Resolutions

And just like that, 2019 is here! A fresh start. New beginnings. A new year, filled with endless possibilities. I am over the moon excited for this year because so much is happening. As typical and cliche as it may sound, I wanted to share a look into what this year has in store and also my goals. Then, at the end of 2019, reflect on this post and see how many of my “plans” actually happened and what goals were accomplished. Kind of keeping myself accountable in a way! By the time you read this, I will be sitting at the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California in the freezing cold. You can check Instagram stories if you want to see more of that. If you don’t follow me on Instagram, you can follow me here. I have a feeling 2019 is going to be one of the best years yet, so let’s jump into our plans first and see what’s happening there:

2019 Plans

My Bridal Shower

My Bachelorette Party

Our Wedding

Our Honeymoon

Hawaii 2019 Nanny Trip

Moving Out for the first time

22nd Birthday (me) & 25th Birthday (Tim)

My Best Friend’s Wedding

Tim’s Best Friends Wedding

First Married Thanksgiving

First Married Christmas

Expanding Our Family

And that’s just a few of the things! Of course, I hope all of these plans happen, but God’s plan is always greater. So as a little disclaimer and side note, I truly believe he is in full control of what goes on, but a girl can dream right?

All things WEDDING. As you can tell, based off a majority of the plans, they all revolve around wedding related things. The parties, the honeymoon, moving in together, and the actual wedding itself. We are truly in the mode now that holidays are over and things are starting to settle in. I only have a few more months left of sleeping in my own bed by myself, having my mama cook me dinner, coming home to my whole family, and a lot of other things. As I said yesterday, all of this truly is bittersweet. Stay tuned for my Wedding Diary #2 blog post coming up soon!

Other than wedding related activities, starting life out as newlyweds is definitely on the agenda! Our first home, our first married holidays, and some really fun date nights. Two of our friends in our bridal parties are getting married back to back, so celebrating LOVE will be a ton of fun.

Ok now to get to what you want answers to. Expanding our family! Where we are living yet is not yet decided, but we have toured plenty of apartments and that is definitely going to be our style of home. Depending on where we end up, and the rules, Tim and I definitely want to expand our family with four little feet. Dog or cat, we are open to either and are planning on rescuing a furry one to become apart of our family. We can’t predict the future though, so this may not happen (all depends where we end up!) but our hopes are high.

2019 Goals

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Healthy Eating

Healthy Living

Fitness

Sunday Routine

I’m giggling because these goals sound familiar. Probably because they are on everyone’s list for goals, and because they are on my list every year… and they only somewhat get accomplished. This year though I’ll have my forever partner to keep me accountable, and some of these goals NEED to be accomplished, it’s not just a want anymore. Tim & I planned our one year anniversary trip already (I’m such a planner) so we need to start saving for meals, excurisions, and all those extra things! We’ll be going to England, Scotland & Ireland for 2 weeks for our one year so luckily we have plenty of time until that comes around, but I have a feeling it’ll sneak up quick.

Health, health, health. Since graduating high school this has been something so hard for me to keep up with. Growing up I had it EASY and I totally took that for granted. My mom made all my meals for me- breakfast, lunch & dinner. I pretty much always had a balanced diet and of course I danced 24/7, so that was my exercise. After high school was over I was on my own for breakfast and lunch, and dance was no more. I got so many injuries in high school, that I just made the decision to stop because I was honestly tired of the whole getting hurt thing. I thought taking up going to a gym would be easy, since I went to dance class my whole life. Turns out it’s actually really hard and I have no self motivation- lol! Now that Tim and I are (soon to be) on our own, it’s our goal to make fitness happen TOGETHER. This entire time we’ve gone through phases of working out together and it never, ever lasts. “What time do you get off work?” “Ok I’ll do this, this and this, then be over.” “So after we workout we both need to shower and then figure out dinner and drive to your house then back and then we’ll relax.” Exhausting, right? We spent SO much time coordinating where we were meeting up, driving back and forth to each other’s houses, then wanting to get cleaned up, that by the time we were done it was 8 o’clock and we pretty much went our separate ways around 9. Our goal is that living together will cut out all the time we used to spend coordinating, since we’ll be at one place and we’ll already be home and have everything we need. While we talk about this often, we laugh because it sounds like such a luxury and I’m honestly really excited to get into that routine, and also cook up recipes in the kitchen!

Sunday routine… another really big hassle. While not living together before marriage was 100% our decision, it has had a lot of cons that I’m excited to be done with. Being in the same place will make it a lot easier to get up, get ready together and go to church and have our day to prepare for the week ahead. Our days will look a lot like praising the Lord, grocery shopping, meal prepping, and relaxing. Schedule is KEY to how my life works so to be able to have our Sundays together is everything my heart desires! Sunday + Church + Tim + Prepping + Quality Time = Happy Danielle.

Well friends… we’re only in the first day of 2019 and I already feel filled with joy. Excitement. Love. Just a few of the words to describe this year. I feel very blessed sitting here writing this blog post, talking about all the wonderful things that are happening in my life for 2019. But as I look back on last year, exactly a year ago from today, this day was filled with sadness. Confusion. And a lot of unknown. The beginning of 2018 I can confidently say was the first time I ever felt hopeless. So today, as we rejoice in this new year, I ask that you keep those in your prayers who have that feeling today. Take a look around and hug your loved ones tight. And most of all, rejoice!

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Phillipians 4:6-7

XO,

Danielle Alana