Mornings, smournings.


Hey y’all, today on Siempre Lifestyle we are talking mornings and how to handle them.


I don’t know about any of y’all – but I used to HATE mornings. I hated them with a passion. Think mornings were to Danielle as Christmas was to the Grinch. I never wanted to get out of bed, and when I did I stomped around until coffee magically found its way into my hands where it would stay until I went to bed that night. I wasn’t a morning person, but I also wasn’t a daytime person. I was someone that dreamt of productivity but didn’t know how to achieve it, I was floundering though out my days doing things and making goals but none of it was in a productive way. Y’all that’s when it hit me – if my mornings weren’t productive then my days and nights wouldn’t be productive either. 

But what do you do? I mean if you’re anything like me you’re up till 11:30 texting friends and snap chatting your boyfriend. Or you’re binging the newest season of “Stranger Things”. You’re too busy to give up time to sleep better and have more productive mornings, right? WRONG. Studies show that the most productive hours across the country are from 5 am -1pm. So let’s think about that for a minute. If you’re someone that likes to sleep in till 10- 10:30 am you’ve lost 5 1/2 hours of prime productivity. Studies also show that we are more likely to get things done earlier on in the day as opposed to later because things always tend to come up to block those things you said you’d get done latter. 


I bet  you’re all looking at me now like “Hold up, Ellie- how am I supposed to turn into a morning person over night?” To which I would reply – “you’re not”. I was not born a morning person, there are pictures from my teen years that prove I was the furthest thing form a morning person – but then I got to college and I learned real fast that life will pass you by if you’re sleeping till noon with class from 2-8 and then trying to party. So I made a simple change – I gave myself a bed time. Nothing extreme, but a bed time. The average human adult needs between 7-9 hours of sleep for their brain to fire on all cylinders. Setting a bed time meant that I was going to wake up refreshed, with my brain refueled, and ready to tackle my day!

My 2nd advice for you is to put something on your morning schedule that you love but make yourself be productive to get it. For example – I love coffee, I LOVE COFFEE, its an obsession, but here lately, I’ve been making myself walk around the neighborhood and drink a full 32oz of water before I can have my coffee. I swear that cup is the best one of the day because I did something to earn it, something that benefits my overall health. 

Last tidbit of advice for living a productive life: watch less, read more. Now don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that you cant watch Grey’s Anatomy or binge NCIS for a week. However studies show that our brains are sponges and they are constantly absorbing the information around them. I don’t know about y’all but I’d like my brain sponge to be picking up things that are going to benefit me and my family. 

So friends, I hope maybe this helps you be a little more productive with your mornings. However my number 1 piece of advice would be to slow down. Wether you’re a full time bussinsss woman, a stay at home mom, a work at home mom, or wherever you may fall on this spectrum: SLOW DOWN. We’ve heard it a million times growing up in the church “You cant pour from an empty cup” and it’s so true – so here’s your last little encouragement – slow down and smell the roses. The dishes can wait. The mess can wait. Go live in your chaos because one day you’ll be wishing these days would come around again.

So this is me, 


Take Courage, My Heart

Hey friends, long time no chat. If you’re not following me over on Instagram then you probably don’t know but I’ve gone through a few big life changes recently. On April 20, my oh so handsome man asked me to be his wife. Then not too long later – I was offered a position at a car dealership in the town he grew up in. The second week in June I packed up, said goodbye to Atlanta and moved to small town Cleveland, TN. This has been the hardest transition I’ve ever gone through in my life. I never imagined that I would have such a hard time settling in and growing accustomed to being away from my support system. I thought that I would move and nothing would change. I thought that I would settle in and make 2am friends immediately. I thought that I would immediately find that support system that I had worked so hard to build in Georgia. 


I don’t know about y’all, but sometimes the Lord has to just “Jesus slap” me with some truth. It’s never fun and always uncomfortable but that tends to be the only way that I wake up and see the adjustment that needs to be made within my heart. Can I point you to some truth for a moment? Grab some coffee and settle in – let’s chat about that famous verse in Proverbs and what it really means to trust in the Lord with your whole heart. 


Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” So what does that mean? If you’re anything like me, you’ve heard this verse your whole life and maybe you even believe that you’re living it out. However, I’ve learned through this journey that living this verse is a day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, conscious effort. I’ve learned that living this verse means that when I’m feeling left out, left behind, or lonely I make a decision to say, “Lord I’m feeling so anxious in this situation, but I’m choosing to trust in you and your plan. I’m choosing to believe that you have a purpose for this mess.”


I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m actually here to let you know that this is the hardest mentality switch I’ve ever had to flip. I’m not perfect and I wouldn’t be 100% honest if I said that its an all the time thing, because it’s not. 90% of the time I still have a gut reaction – one that I have to apologize for later. I still struggle with placing my trust in my Creator even though I know that His plans for me are good, I know that His purpose for my life is good, I know that He will always make a way.


Here I’m linking the song that’s been helping to remind me of all of this. It’s reminding me that God is good. It’s reminding me that His plans and purpose are good. It’s reminding me that when I look to Him I will find comfort, truth, and light. It’s reminding me that He is in the waiting, He hasn’t left me, He is walking next to me in the valley.


So this is me, 

Siempre Danielle

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends

Hey hey friends and Happy Thanksgiving! Wherever you’re spending your day, I hope its filled with all the food, programs, and people that you love most. Each year I compile a list of the things that I am most thankful for. So this year I’m giving you 18 things I am thankful for and next week I’ll share 18 reasons to be thankful even when you can’t see them. Let me know in the comments what you are thankful for today!




  1. I’m thankful that in this crazy world, Jesus is STILL enough – His Blood STILL covers all – He is STILL moving and working things out for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28)
  2. My Momma
  3. A family that I can always call in for backup
  4. my sweet boyfriend and his family, who I’m spending the day with
  5. warm socks
  6. warm beds
  7. the freedom to worship Jesus when and as I please because of those that fought and died for this country
  8. Church leadership that truly cares about the flock and takes time to nurture and nourish each member
  9. my church family, y’all I have been blessed with the best
  10. 20 Thanksgivings with my Pawpaw watching the Parade and the Dog Show while drinking coffee
  11. Apple Pies
  12. Strong coffee
  13. Strong Attitudes
  14. Broken hearts – yeah you read that right – this year I am thankful for broken hearts because its in brokenness that we grow and learn – I did a lot of that this year
  15. College Football Rivalries (call me crazy, idk)
  16. my Boston Red Sox – World Series Champs BABY
  17. I’m thankful that when you take something to the Lord, when you ask something of Him, He is faithful to exceed expectations – Ephesians 3:20
  18. YOU. I am thankful for each and everyone of you that take the time to read these post, to comment on them, and interact with me. The Framily I never knew I needed. 

So this is me, 

Siempre Danielle

Oh hey, LDR, how you doin’?

Hey sweet friends and welcome back to the Lifestyle section of Siempre Danielle! I feel like my lifestyle posts are opportunities to sit down with you and swap stories and share advice. So just imagine for a minute that we’re all gathered around a warm fire with mugs of coffee or hot cocoa or whatever your personal preference is. Today we’re just gonna chat like we’ve been girlfriends for years and we’re taking on a doozie: Long Distance Relationships!! I have never been a fan of long distance relationships; I thought they were hard, that people in them lack the means to communicate with each other, that their conversations were shallow and hollow. I believed that those attributes all described Long Distance Relationships and contributed to their failures. I don’t know about any of you, but I would have done anything to avoid a LDR and a failed relationship until I met Cameron.


I think part of the reason that I was no longer wary of those things was because of how I felt about Cam, but another part was because we decided very early on that we would not fall into those stereotypes, what we’ve called the “relationship trap killers”. So I wanted to share a few things that we do that make this crazy LDR thing a little easier as well as answer some of your questions that you sent to me through Facebook  and Instagram. So without further ado – let’s get this girl chat started!

The biggest (and most asked) question I got was about communication and intentionality in our conversations. Now if you know anything about me you know that I am an 8 on the Enneagram – I work well under pressure and through conflict – I am, as my mom calls me, “aggressive-aggressive”. If I can describe Cameron without all of those words it would be “exact opposite”. Where I am high-strung and very vocal about my emotions almost immediately, Cameron is not. He is very calm, very even keeled, he takes time to process his emotions before he speaks, and can sometimes be very passive when it comes to disagreements. Our first really big disagreement stemmed from him processing internally instead of talking to me because that was what was comfortable for him. So your first tip is this 1) Discover how you communicate but also how you need to be communicated with. If your partner communicates by using firm and annoyed tones but you don’t respond well to those tones and just shut down when someone uses them then neither of you is going to get anything out of a conversation. You will travel in circles never getting anywhere. Now as for intentionality – we’ve been reading through a book that was given to me by a friend called 101 Questions to Ask before you get Engaged by H. Norman Wright, and let me tell y’all this book has made our conversations have so much more depth and intentionality. The book is written by a Christian author, and while it does contain questions to ask your partner, it also contains the reasoning behind the questions. I would 100% recommend this book to anyone – not just couples in LDRs but to all couples. I’m a firm believer in asking the hard questions now so that you’re not trying to figure out how to mesh beliefs while planning a wedding or raising children.

I also got several questions about staying positive in a Long Distance Relationship and while I don’t believe that I’m the person to give anyone any tips on this – I can tell you what I tell myself to bring my mood up when I haven’t seen my boy in 10+ days, I’m having a rough week, and I just want to sit down and watch a movie with him but that can’t happen because he lives 125 miles away. Y’all, long distance is HARD but video chat is a lifesaver. My number one tip, and Cam will tell you the same, plan out your video chats, plan out when you will see each other. Countdowns give you something to look forward to knowing that the end of the separation is coming. My second tip for y’all is to make traditions – set goals and traditions to follow when you’re together. We’ve set a goal to spend at least 2 weekends together attending church. Sunday’s are for coffee, church, lunch, and naps. We stick to those traditions as much as possible because we know they bring us closer together.

Y’all, Long Distance is hard, but its worth it. I have learned so much in the past 5 months about myself, about who I am, what I am looking for in a relationship. This boy has CHANGED my life for the better. And I know, one day, the long distance will be over, and I’ll look back on this time thankful for the growth, the pain, and the joy this season brought us.


So this is me,

Siempre Danielle

Wait, what’s for dinner?

Okay lets be honest – how many times have you looked at your spouse, your roommate, who ever you might live with and said, “Wait, what are we having for dinner?” like you thought the other should have planned it but they didn’t and now its 3:30 pm and you’re scrambling to figure it out. Come on – raise your hand – we’ve all been there! So how do you recover? How do you figure out dinner without running to Taco Bell or Marcos? Here are a few of my favorite food bloggers that always help get me out of a jam.


I love Shay Shull over at Mix and Match Mama! She’s so down to earth and has easy to follow easy to throw together meals. I can’t tell you how many times I follow her #MealPlanningMondays to the letter! Shay, you’re the best!!

I also love Courtney Tracy over at With Love, From Courtney. Her 5 ingredient white chicken chili is the, y’all! I am obsessed!!

The last one I have for you is a staple blog and so easy to follow – my friends over at Pinch of Yum. Their recipes range from beginner to expert and are so easy to follow!

So – instead of reaching for your nearest takeout menu click on over to one of these blogs and ask yourself, “What’s for dinner tonight?”

So this is me,

Siempre Danielle

Welcome to Siempre Home

Hey y’all and welcome to a new section of “Siempre Danielle” that I like to call, “Siempre Home” – if you’re new here or just popping over to see what the fuss is all about – Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here. One of my favorite things about myself is that I was born to be “Suzie Homemaker” so I’m extremely excited to introduce this section of my blog where I can share my favorite recipes, household cleaners, and overall tips and tricks that make being a modern day homemaker possible! So in honor of our first Home blog – I’m gonna be sharing one of my favorite fall recipes with y’all: Taco Soup!!


Taco Soup

You will need: 

1lb ground beef 

1 yellow onion (diced)

1 green bell pepper (diced)

2 15 oz cans dark red kidney beans

2 15 oz cans chili beans

1 15 oz can black beans

1 15 oz can whole kernel corn 

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes

1 10 oz can Mild Rotel 

2 packets of Taco Seasoning

1 packet dry ranch seasoning


Garlic Salt


  1. In a large skillet on medium heat drizzle in EVOO and brown meat 
  2. Add in onion and green pepper and season with Garlic Salt and Pepper and cook until they  have softened
  3. While waiting for them to soften – place a liner in your crock pot for easy clean up 
  4. Add all cans to your crock pot
  5. When your onion and green pepper are soft add in your meat mixture
  6. Cook on High for 2 hours
  7. add in seasoning packets
  8. cook until ready to serve

Serve with Sour Cream, Cheese, & Corn Chips

So this is me, 

Siempre Danielle

but, you don’t look sick.

One of the hardest things that I’ve learned when it comes to this chronic illness life is that I’m always going to have to deal with and face the doubters, the people that see someone that looks normal and think that I’m faking it. The number one comment I get when I tell people about Mito is “But you don’t look sick” and y’all is that a hard pill to swallow. I mean you look at someone that can’t walk and you know that – you look at someone that is suffering from cancer and you can probably tell, but when you look at someone with an invisible illness – you can’t always see their suffering or evidence of their pain. 

I’ll never forget the first time someone said, “You don’t look sick so you must be faking it”. I remember almost responding with, “You don’t look stupid and yet here we are.” And yet, I held my tongue. It never gets easier having to convince someone that your pain is real. The easiest thing I can relate it to is mental health or grief. You see, when we are grieving our hearts hurt, they’re in an active state of breaking over and over, and yet our outward appearance does not reveal that; does that mean that it isn’t happening? 



The thing with invisible illness is that I can never fully let someone in on the pain, on the sickness, on the day-to-day struggle. Its the age old phrase, “You don’t really know someone’s battle until you walk a mile in their shoes” coming to life right before your eyes. So what now? What does that mean for me? Heck, what does that mean for you? How do we solve this fundamental difference? How do we reconcile what you see with what I feel? The truth: we can’t, at least not completely and fully. However, we can do our best to meet in the middle of this struggle and love each other better. 

You see, I can try to be more understanding of what you see and how you see it. I can try to not rush to anger. I can explain more and huff less. I can be more open and honest and transparent. You can be less judgmental of the cover. You can try to see through the mask and see the girl behind it. You can take the words, “I have mitochondrial disease”, and do your own research. You can check in – ask how I’m doing – ask what I’m feeling. 

We can do better. 

I think as a whole that’s a sentiment to get behind. I’m a firm believer that the day we can’t get any better is the day we go to heaven because on this Earth – there is always room for personal growth. We can always listen better. We can always understand better. We can always try more, try harder, try better. We can communicate better. We can laugh better. We can love better. 

That’s my challenge to you this week – do better. Call that friend that’s been on your heart and take them coffee – it doesn’t have to be Starbucks, it can be coffee from the pot in your kitchen – but take it to them and connect with them on a face-to-face level. Call your parents or your grandparents and tell them that you love them. Text your cousins or your aunts and uncles and check in. My new goal this year isn’t just to love people – but to love them well and that means understanding them and their background and where they’re coming from. 

So this is me, 

Siempre Danielle

My 5 Fall Must Haves

Happy Fall Y’all!!! Okay, so its not quite fall yet – we have a few more days – but your girl is READY for fall! If you guys didn’t know, fall is my absolute favorite season. I love everything about fall. I love when the air gets crisper, when leaves start to change, when I get to pull out my flannels and booties, I especially love getting to throw on a bold plum lip. Today’s Siempre Beauty post is going to be addressing just that! So without further adieu – here are the top 5 things I cannot live without when it comes to fall!!

  1. A good moisturizer

Y’all I swear – the second July is over my skin automatically dries up and becomes flakey and itchy. I have rosacea and dry skin to begin with but once fall rolls around my skin begins the downward snowball into “bone dry land”. I have been using the “Nurture Me” Moisturizing Creme from OLE HENRIKSEN again recently and I have forgotten the miracle that it is! This is my 3rd fall using it and I can say that it is 100% worth the price!!


2) NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

As I mentioned I have really bad rosacea which leaves my skin extremely red every day. I have tried almost every concealer known to man and I struggle with the weight of it. If the concealer covers everything then its too heavy – if its a light weight concealer then it doesn’t cover everything I need. That is why I love my Radiant Creamy Concealer. Its not too heavy, it covers everything I need it to, and it doesn’t irritate my skin further. 


3) Brow Powder and Gel

I don’t know about y’all – but the second the leaves start changing I want to darken up my brows and make them fuller. I prefer a brow powder to a pencil because its easier to manipulate. I use the Brow Duo by Anastasia Beverly Hills and pair it with the Brow Gel to set. 


4) A Bold Lip

We’ve talked concealer, we’ve talked brows, lets talk lips! If society would let me – ya girl would walk around with a plum lip year round. I love a fun bold flirty lip and I tend to think that Fall is the perfect time to wear one! I’m currently loving these four liquid lips for fall : 

Sephora’s Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Color in Deep Plum Luster

Nars Powermatte Lip Pigment in London Calling

Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint in FOMO

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick in Chai

5) New Hair Color

After months of not dying my hair – I called up my hairdresser/aunt and said, “Lets make a change”. Studies show that 90% of people that are wanting to change up their hair will wait to do so until the seasons change. As far as I was concerned – a few highlights and a rose gold toner did the trick!!


So there’s my top 5 must haves as we go into this fall season. What about you guys though? Share with me what your favorite fall products and trends are! 

So this is me, 

Siempre Danielle

The Found Sheep

Y’all can I be honest with you for a second? These past few weeks have been ROUGH. Like everything is fine – honestly it is – but my heart has been heavy and my spirit is kinda lagging and I just don’t know what’s going on. I think that sometimes its really important to address the fact that sometimes life is just flat out hard on our hearts for absolutely no reason. And honestly y’all, when I get like this, I’m never my best self. I tend to try to take on all the projects and all the stress, I’m easily angered and annoyed, I lash out at those closest to me – and all because I let myself forget who’s I am in a world wanting to know who I am.

I love the parable of the lost sheep. I think that’s the perfect example of my life right this moment. Its found in Luke 15:1-7 and it goes like this,

“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”3 So he told them this parable: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”

So if you’re still with me, you may be thinking, “What in the world does a lost sheep have to do with a heavy heart?” And, friend, you have every right to question the methods to my madness – but bear with me a moment longer, will you? You see – in order for this sheep to have gotten lost – he had to have first been distracted. We’ve all hard the phrase “herd mentality” and this applies so perfectly when it comes to sheep. You see in order to keep the sheep together – the shepherd leads one and the others follow because that is ingrained in their DNA – that is how sheep work. So in order for one to get lost – it has to become distracted. That distraction could be anything – the sheep’s surroundings, other animals, fellow sheep, it could be injured or sick – the distraction isn’t really the point though. Its what the distraction leads to. See the sheep has been distracted and now it’s lost. It’s lost and now the shepherd must stop to find it. 

Isn’t that how our heavy hearts happen? We get distracted by the world. We get distracted by our surroundings, by what’s going on in our atmospheres that have absolutely nothing to do with us – by the things we can’t fix. We get distracted by our friends and family – by their problems, by their joys, we get distracted with comparing our problems and joys with theirs. We get distracted by the places, people, and problems around us and we forget that we were created to follow Jesus. We were created to love the Lord. That is our purpose – that is our herd mentality – to passionately and unashamedly follow our Shepherd. 

I think that sometimes we as Christians identify with the lost sheep of this story. I think that we forget that we’re not walking around like a lost sheep, because our Shepherd has not lost sight of us. We might have lost sight of Him, but He hasn’t lost us. We are not lost sheep – we are found sheep. Its so easy to get distracted in this life – so here’s my question how do you return your focus to the One that never stops patiently pursuing you? How do you live from a “found sheep” mentality instead of a “lost sheep” mentality? I know for me its recharging in small groups – its having deep and meaningful Jesus talks with sweet friends – its seeking wisdom and counsel from those that have walked this road ahead of me – its reconnecting with the Father during worship. But I want to hear from y’all – let me know and I’ll share a few of your responses in next week’s lifestyle post!

So this is me, 

Siempre Danielle

Happy September, Mitochondrial Disease!

September – most love the first of September because it means the dawn of College Football and y’all don’t get me wrong – that’s a strong AMEN from me as well – but, I love the first of September for a bigger reason. September, in the state of Georgia, is a month devoted to raising knowledge and awareness of Mitochondrial Disease. I was seventeen when I was officially diagnosed with Mitochondrial Disease, Mito for short. Mitochondrial Disease is an energy deficiency disease that effects energy output, muscle mass, and the overall way that a person’s body functions. Mito has several different symptoms and they vary depending on the patient. When it comes to me, my symptoms include but are not limited to: extreme fatigue, weight gain, joint pain, muscle pain, an impaired immune system, fevers, sensitivity to heat and cold, and migraines. In my body, Mitochondrial Disease presents in the form of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome, and the main three symptoms that I deal with every day are fatigue, Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome, and joint/muscle pain.





The word fatigue when defined by Webster’s Dictionary means physical or mental weariness resulting from exertion. Mito means that my body does not produce the energy that I need to properly function. That means that I do not have the energy to do anything at all even when “anything at all” means resting and sleeping. Everything that I do means exertion and loss of energy, and that means that I struggle with constant fatigue.

Another symptom that I struggle with on a daily basis is Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome or CVS. Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome is a disorder that is often associated with Mitochondrial Disease and it causes extreme abdominal discomfort along with nausea, vomiting, and abdominal migraines. The episodes of CVS are indeed cyclical and occur every 24-28 days counting from the day the episode begins. These episodes begin on a Wednesday night or Thursday morning with extreme nausea and severe vomiting for up to three days. I will vomit until Saturday evening and on Sunday I will experience fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, and abdominal pain. Then, during my sleep Sunday night, I will wake up with severe migraine pain. My typical pain scale is anywhere from a seven to a ten and I will have all the classic migraine symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to sound, sensitivity to smell, dizziness, and of course the actual head pain. The episodes can last three days to fifteen days depending on my vitamin and energy levels.

The last and probably the most difficult symptom that I deal with on a daily basis is joint and muscle pain. The joints in my body that are most effected by Mito are my hips, knees, shoulders, and my right ankle, and the muscle pain is everywhere. Muscles house the majority of your mitochondria and because mine do not function properly I live with constant pain, weakness, and soreness.

Living with Mitochondrial Disease is the hardest part of my life. There are days that I simply cannot get out of bed, there are days that I feel as if I do not have the energy to roll over, and there are days that I sleep through completely because of sheer exhaustion. The phrase “one day at a time” is common among patients with chronic disease, but “one minute at a time” is the phrase we use in the Mitochondrial Disease community. Life with Mito is not easy, but I survive it because of hope; the hope that one day there will be a treatment, and the hope that treatment will be followed closely by a cure.

Since September is #MitoAwarenessMonth – all of my lifestyle posts this month will be geared towards living with a chronic illness and how it affects my life on a day to day. I used to hate this disease, I used to be so bitter, I used to be so angry about having to modify my life to fit my body. Now I realize the truth – I’ve been blessed with a unique opportunity to reach others in a way that I never could have before. I’ve been blessed with some of the best friends and the best support system ever because we all share a common bond – I have this team of people that support me, they pray for me, they get me – all because I have Mitochondrial Disease. I’m not bitter anymore, and yeah, I still hate this disease – but there aren’t words for how grateful I am for what it’s given me. 


So this is me,

      Siempre Danielle