Wedding Dress Shopping with Essense of Australia

Ugh, what a dream! I’m so excited to share today’s blog post with you guys because it's all about, WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING! Two weeks ago, Sydney and I drove up to Upland to check out Deborah’s Bridal and try on some wedding dresses by Essense of Australia. First of all, I can’t believe the time has finally come! I’ve walked past countless amounts of stores and day dreamed about the day when it would finally be my turn. Now, we’re eight months away and the countdown has begun! I tried on a handful of STUNNING Essense gowns, that I’m going to show you today and I’m so excited to see which dress style is your favorite. I tried on everything from long sleeve, to ballgown, to mermaid style. Deborah’s staff pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and really embrace the feeling of being a true bride. I tried on styles that I never would have if I would have gone on my own, and they made sure to make me look picture perfect! We had so much fun accessorizing the dresses, and dressing them up to make it look like the real thing.  This really helped me picture what I will look like on my big day, and it made it that much more special. Enough chit-chatting, let’s talk wedding dresses!

Style D2388

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This Essense of Australia gown captured my heart the moment I tried it on.  The elegance of the color and little design was breathtaking in my opinion. And the train… I’m a sucker for a good train.  If you look closely at the back, you can see the detail that creeps up my shoulder. So dainty and feminine, even in the front! I tried an updo with this dress to feel out the different looks that would compliment it.


Style D2520

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I was pleasantly surprised when I tried this on because I thought it was gorgeous on the hanger, and I loved how it looked on. My favorite thing about it was the layers— it just added a little more personality to the dress and made it that much more dreamy.  I mean look at me, I was having a Cinderella moment FOR sure. If you asked me what my style was, this wouldn’t come to mind. After trying it on and having my princess moment, my horizons broadened and I entered a whole new world. My self confidence was boosted from “only one style looks good on me” to “I can try new things and see what works”.


Style D2471

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Similar to the dress prior, this one was also one of Essense's ball gowns. I had another moment dreaming because this dress was PINK! In bridal terms, it was a light blush.  But in case you haven’t seen the colors of my blog, then you know I’m a pretty big fan of this color. The top part of this dress was truly highlighted when it came to the design. The beading, and sequins, was stacked onto this dress.  So much I felt like I was glowing from within!


Style D2548

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When I think of different dress styles that come to mind, this isn’t something I think of.  But after putting it on… it was more my style then I ever thought it would be. All of us had too much fun accessorizing with the added headpiece, I was feeling major Great Gatsby vibes! I’m a huge lace lover, so the beauty that this dress holds from head to toe is mesmerizing.  I keep going back and looking at it because it is just SO pretty!


Style D2475

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This dress tied with dress number 2 for first place. I have a lot of dress trends that I like, some of them being lace, open backs, strappy backs, trains, the list goes on.  Since this dress was different then any of the others I tried on, I felt like this one really stood out to me. It gave me the real bride feeling with the full bottom and then adding the flowers. Just seeing myself in these photos gives me the chills because I really WILL be a bride in just a few short months!


What I like so much about Essense of Australia is the wide variety of dress styles they have.  As you can tell from my pictures, no two dresses are the same.  There is something for EVERY girl. Whether you want a stunning ball gown, a long sleeve beauty, or a unique mermaid- they have it all. And for one second, let’s talk about prices. All of these wedding dresses were so decently priced. I see it on TV, or I see it on the internet, that to get “the perfect dress” you need to give an arm and a leg just to buy it.  Trying on these Essense of Australia reassured me that I don’t need to SPEND a million bucks to FEEL like a million bucks. Whether you’re a bride-to-be, or dreaming of your big day, I encourage you to visit one of their retailers and pull some Essense of Australia gowns off the racks. Trust me when I say you won’t be disappointed! Comment below what wedding dress is your favorite-- I’d love to hear!


Thank you to Essense of Australia for sponsoring today’s post.

XO,

Danielle Alana

All About Lips

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Fall is officially here and I’m more in the mood to do fun lip colors every now and then, so I’ve done some hunting! Only sticking to my top 3 favorite brands though, duh. I’ve always been a nude pink girl when it comes to the lips, so every time I do a new color our of my color range it has to be good. Trying to find lip products that work for me has been REALLY hard, and has honestly taken a lot work. My lips are naturally dry and I’ve tried one too many products that make my lips ten times worse. So far I’ve only found 3 brands that work for me, so today I’m sharing which ones I swear by and also my top 5 lip colors for the everyday look- no matter what the season is! Let’s jump in.  

1. NYX COSMETICS- This brand I swear by, especially their butter glosses. If you ever see me wearing a gloss, it is 99% of the time these kind. The reason I love them so much is because the glosses aren’t STICKY. I’m basic and I love a good gloss (surprise surprise) and these work for everyday use, and also the fancy nights! Not to mention, these glosses smell so good that’s addicting. Oh, and I’m IN LOVE with the prices. #score Below are my favorite colors and the gloss linked!

Eclair, Tiramisu, Vanilla Creme Pie, Maple Blondie, Angel Food Cake, Cupcake

2. CHARLOTTE TILBURRY- I’ve seen this brand for awhile now, but I finally decided to take the plunge when I saw them on sale during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Like I mentioned, I’ve had a hard time finding brands that I love and since this was on the pricier side, I was hesitant to buy it. I figured it was on sale so I might as well just try it. Well, now the only lipstick I wear is this one. MAC lipsticks were and still are my favorite, but I like to venture out! This is my newest brand that I am loving when it comes to lipstick! These colors work all year round in my opinion and have the softest formula that feels creamy on the lips.

Liner Colors: Pillow Talk, Pink Venus Lip Stick Colors: Bitch Perfect, Nude Kate,

3. MAC COSMETICS- We go wayyyy back. Like back to the beginning. The first lipstick I ever wore because I danced my whole life starting at age 3, and the recitals I was in I wore makeup and went all out! The smell of these takes me back down memory lane every once in awhile, especially when I wear colors like I used to! The texture of these lippies are very smooth and they glide right on, regardless if you are wearing a matte or a shine. I tend to prefer shine and glosses over matte, but when I do step out of my comfort zone, I these matte lipsticks do a really good job about not making your lips dry as long as you are properly hydrated.

Snob, Creme Cup, Politely Pink, Twig

I feel like this post is sort of random, but I do get asked a lot about what colors are on my lips and also since we are heading into dry season, I figured now was a good time! I also feel like I’m the only one who struggles with chronic dry lips. They recently have gotten more under control since switching regular chapstick, and boy the minute I go too long without water my lips are dry, peeling and cracking. I’d love to what your favorite colors are for Fall and what lip products work best for you!

XO,

Danielle Alana




Getting Organized

It’s always a good day when you get to start off decorating your planner, isn’t it? Earlier last week over on stories I showcased my new buys from Erin Condren that I was SO pumped about! This brand has had my heart for the past 3 years and nothing gets me more motivated then having cute things to help me get organized. Earlier this year I did a blog post on why I love Erin Condren and what I use to plan. This post I’m going to be going into depth on how I decorate my planner, and what keeps me on track for staying organized. If it has something to do with stickers or decorating, or anyway that you can make any adulting thing fun, I’m all in!

Just back tracking a little, here is what came in my order!

Now to break it down.

ADDRESS BOOK- This is a new addition to the family and I’m looking forward to utilizing this in my future! I don’t know about you, but excel is my worst enemy. I hate technology (lol) and whenever I can I prefer to write things down rather than type them. This is my main reason as to why I’m so into planning and being organized! When it comes to things like making a guest list and keeping things in order like addresses (which will be happening here soon!) I loose everything while I’m typing it in a spreadsheet and I always mess something up. After the wedding, even Christmas card lists. I ordered this so I can keep track of all of our friends and families addresses as time goes on and also things such as birthdays and anniversaries. I love knowing when friends birthdays are so I can send them a card in the mail or just wish them a happy anniversary and surprise them! I’m planning on keeping this for the long run and writing everything down in pencil so it can change as time goes on.

STATIONARY- I’ve been on the hunt for stationary that I can personalize for AWHILE now, and I have no clue why I didn’t think of EC. I think I’m just so planner based here that it didn’t even cross my mind to check there. As I was making this order, I was browsing around and came across these that were plain and I could personalize which was EXACTLY what I wanted. I’m hoping to use these as letters to you guys, when I do giveaways or just send you guys little things in the mail. Also for every day things like birthday cards, thank you letters, and working with brands. Now I finally have them, YAY!

INTERCHANGABLE COVERS- I forgot to mention these guys on stories. Something I love so much about the life planner and address book is how the covers you can switch out. I just stuck with one cover for my address book, but as time goes on since I look at my planner so much, I like to change out the front and back to switch things up. I have a pile of these in my drawer always ready to go whenever I want!

ELASTIC BANDS- These are a new addition that I’m excited about! I use my planner everyday, always referring back to it for my schedule and what I need to get done that day. Since I’m constantly opening and closing it, I ordered these to help me get to what page I want faster. I slide them on the page I want for the week and am able to use these as a bookmark if you will, and change them out! I ordered the glittery ones of course ;)

LIFEPLANNER- The God of planning, is also the name I have for it other than life planner ;) I’ve been using this for a total of 3 years now and I don’t think I’m ever going to switch. It has all my needs and then some! First off, its just fricken cute. You can’t deny it. Motivational quotes are placed in the beginning of each month and theres always a page for notes. It comes with colorful outlines, and then in the back of a planner a few pages of stickers are also included. Along with a pouch to hold things if needed, and a perpetual calendar. Need I say more? Some people say it’s thick, while I do agree (it is not a petite one), you have to have room to carry all of that stuff! It makes me feel like I have super powers when I carry this thing around and I always get the “Wow, you look so put together” compliment when people see me with it. It really is my pride and joy!

Now to the fun part, how I accessorize!

Something I’ve loved doing since I was in early high school is watching YouTube videos on how people decorate their planners and such. I love little details and all things girly (if you couldn’t already tell) so I like watching how other people do things and getting inspiration from those social channels. One thing I’ve hated though? Feeling like my planner is ugly and always not doing PERFECT and then being mad with how it looks… hence why I buy a new planner every six months. Because I end up using white out and making it ugly. Well with all that being say, I FINALLY found a way to decorate my planner and love it. And it was really simple fix.

…I pencil everything in. I no longer use pen.

I’m not sure what makes me more mad— the fact that it was an easy fix or the fact that I bought too many planners? But really, this has made the world of a difference when it comes to accessorizing and I’ve really had to pace myself. I would get WAY too excited when stickers came in, or I got on a planning kick, and I would go over board. When the time came to accessorize for that week I was irritated and didn’t like what I did 5 weeks ago. Oh, and my plans had changed and I was whiting stuff out like it was my job. This sounds really silly and also very much a first world problem, but I actually couldn’t handle it.

The solution- I now pencil all of my plans in. I don’t do stickers until the time is right. #overdramatic But if you are like me, and your schedule is constantly changing like work shifts and plans, then you know the struggle. With my new life planner I now sit down on Sunday’s, and only decorate for the following week. I’ll use my favorite sticker books (shop below) and then write everything in pen for that week. At that point, oh well if something changes. It’s made the world of a difference and when it comes to motivation and loving how it looks, this method has worked great for me. Again, this sounds so silly but my planner is what keeps my busy life on track and it might as well be cute, right?!

I love talking about my love for planning and I hope you guys like reading about it! You can shop everything in this post through the pink highlighted links or the Shop My Post widgets. Please let me know if you have any questions, or comments! My DM’s and email are always open to chat. Have a great week!

Thank you to Erin Condren for sponsoring today’s post.

XO,

Danielle Alana

Fall Trends + My Favorites

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Happy Saturday, friends! Tim & I are off to our first marriage class with my home church and I honestly couldn’t be more excited. It’s 3 hours every Saturday for the next month, and we get the best resources and tools plus a mentor couple to go with us through the process. Saturday is off to a great start already! To kick off the weekend though, I’m sharing today my favorite fall trends plus my favorite things that I think you NEED for Fall. As always, you can shop through highlighted links which will take you to the site, or through Shop the Post located at the bottom of this post.

I’m EXTRA excited about this Fall season because a lot of trends are coming back from the early 2000’s and those days were honestly my jam. Unfortunately though I was too young to style them correctly, so I feel like I finally have my chance lol! The leopards, skirts, and the mustard color are my personal favorite. I’m shopping for those when I see them and stocking up! In case you missed it, yesterday on Instagram stories I talked about some things that are on sale at Nordstrom right now and all of the stuff that I tried on in my stories is linked there, saved to the try-on highlight tab! You can follow me on Instagram HERE.

What are your favorite trends for Fall? Any favorites I should know about?

XO,

Danielle Alana

Wedding Diary #1 | Let's Get Planning!

I know you all have been dying to read this post and I thought about posting it sooner so many times, but was able to hold it together! Can you believe that? Immediately after we got engaged I was brainstorming ideas of blog posts and what to share with you guys along the way, thinking about if I was on your end. Asking myself, “If I was following a blogger who happened to be getting married at the same time as me or before me, what would I want to see? What would I want tips on? What could help me?” My blog is used by other people daily, but I also like to look at it is as something I can go back to later when I want to read old memories. I’ve decided to start a series called “Wedding Diaries” to go over some key points. Where I am in the planning process, sharing with you what we’ve done and BTS, and some things I’ve learned along the way. With that being said, even though we got engaged only a month ago, I have A LOT to share with you guys, so keep reading if you want the scoop!

Schlueter Wedding

Wedding Date: June 8th, 2019

Countdown: 245 days

Checklist

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As you can tell, quite a bit has been accomplished! I didn’t hesitate to start and one of our registries was done the day after we got engaged. I was at Crate & Barrel as soon as soon as it opened and you bet I didn’t hesitate! One of the reasons I’m super excited is because I feel like all of the “work” is done. Not really, but you know, the hard decisions you have to make. Whose going to DJ, what flourish do I like best, the list goes on. Now all the fun stuff is waiting for us both- bachelor party, bachelorette party, shower upon shower, wedding dress shopping, etc. I know what you are thinking… she has everything done, but she hasn’t gone WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING?! Don’t you worry, I’ve already done enough stressing for the both of us. I have 8 people (only family believe it or not) that I wanted to go dress shopping with me. That is moms, sisters, and grandmas only. Trying to work with those schedules, on top of bridal salons schedules… was kinda hard! I grabbed the first available date for everyone and I got October 7th. We’ll be heading to two salons and grabbing lunch on Sunday, and I decided to make a makeup trial appointment BEFORE shopping so it would help me better get an idea of what I would actually look like on the day of. Now, I only scheduled one day for wedding dress shopping and I’m honestly hoping that I can find it on this day. It’s safe to say I’m a risk taker ;) But really, cross your fingers for me or else you’ll see me on news for a 24 hour shopping spree trying to find THE dress. Luckily the style I want, isn’t too unique so both places should have it.

Besides the wedding dress not being bought yet, I feel like everything else is under control. Since you made it this far (congrats!) I decided I’ll let you in on a little secret. We booked the venue before we got engaged, which means we also booked the date before we got engaged. June 8th is our anniversary, and it isn’t on a Saturday again until 2024. Neither of us wanted to wait that long! We loved the idea that our dating anniversary could be our wedding anniversary, so we just did it. “That is terrible luck!” “Omg she is crazy!” “What were you thinking?!”… Silly you, I didn’t ask for your opinion. ;) In all honesty though, the amount of people that give their opinions when you start wedding planning, is kind of unreal. When I ask for people’s help, it doesn’t bother me at all and I feel relieved to hear other peoples experiences sometimes. When I didn’t ask, I’m just telling, and people all of a sudden start saying how they would’ve done it if they were me… you’ll see me leave the conversation before they can even finish. I have a feeling this is what parenting is like when you’re a new mom…

I know a lot of you wanted to know where to venue is, but since most of our wedding planning is super public, I decided I’m going to keep the venue under wraps until it’s time for the big day. I will tell you though, it is in Orange County and it is BEAUTIFUL! Since my venue is known for having weddings, they have planners on site which has been really helpful. We’ve had multiple meetings thus far going over the big day, plans, vendors, and them helping me make decisions that I couldn’t do on my own! I’m sure when you saw the checklist you probably thought to yourself holy cow, it has’nt even been a month and this girl GOT IT DOWN. Yes, I do, thank you very much. ;) But, there is still a good amount that needs to be done but what we have left is the fun stuff.

Like I said, tips and tricks are here for you! Here is stuff that I have personally done so far that has made a world of a difference, and that I highly recommend to you brides!

Tips & Tricks

  1. Make a separate email account for your wedding

If you’re like me and your inbox is a disaster, this would be a smart idea. You will be emailing important contracts, payment methods, and chatting with your vendors throughout the process, so you don’t want ANY of these things getting lost. I chose an email address that we could use after the wedding as our family one to be shared for the future, because I know I’ll need that too. Doctors, buying a house, kids information, etc.

2. Start planning your bridal shower and bachelorette party immediately

Believe it or not, trying to work 8 girls schedules is pretty hard. After getting all of my bridesmaids availability back from the months of January-June, there was ONE WEEKEND where everyone was available to go away for the weekend. ONE, I kid you not. Even though your bridesmaids might say they’re pretty open, they very possibly could be. But also, depending on your number, you’re going to have to work with MULTIPLE schedules, especially if you want everyone to go. The further ahead you pick a weekend, the better! That way everyone has it on their calendar and you can let it go until it comes time to picking a location, theme, etc. Same goes for the bridal shower- try your best to do it right away so everyone can plan around it!

3. Buy A Wedding Planner

As you guys know, I love my planner! So I had to buy a wedding planner of course. This came with a lot of note pages, and then a checklist of what I should be doing leading up to the wedding! Not to mention the monthly calendar which was really helpful to use when planning a weekend for my bachelorette. Some other helpful things it has is a place to list measurements, a place to put vendor contact information, the list goes! This is keeping me organized throughout the process so far. Along with a file notebook to keep contracts in!

4. Get ready to defend yourself

A lot of people had a lot to say when Tim and I got engaged. Don't get me wrong- we got showered with love and it could not have been more perfect! But, no matter how hard you try, you can’t escape the “talk”. So many people have told me how they think I should do things for MY wedding. It kind of gets to a point where it gets old, and also irritating. Being the person that I am, I’m a huge planner. I’ve been planning this day since I was 4 years old. I have answers to mostly everything, but thats because I know what I want and I know my vision. If you’re someone who hasn't even begun thinking about what you want (which is 100% normal and ok), get ready to be on defense. Once people hear that you aren’t sure about things, or what you want, you will get a downpour of opinions, comments, and even some rude talk. It hasn’t even been a month and I’ve already just learned to nicely say, “I’ll take that into consideration”, and walk away. Which has put things into perspective for me, and now I try to be much more aware of what I am saying to newly engaged girlfriends and brides to be. The process is overwhelming enough, just let us vent unless we ask you for your opinion.

18 days in and I’d say I got myself a good head start! I will be doing a total of 4 diaries, and my next one will go live when we get to the halfway point! I’ll be checking in to let you know what else has been crossed off the checklist, more tips & tricks (hopefully), and how everything is going thus far! I bought that checklist HERE off Etsy to get you guys a good visual of what is done so far. Vendors and everything you can think of will be shared after the wedding of course! Thank you SO much for reading and happy Wednesday!

XO,

Danielle Alana