how to style a military vest.

Happy Monday! I hope everyone's weekends were great. Mine was spent being busy between caroling rehearsals, birthdays, my little sister's homecoming and grocery shopping! What were you up to?

This whole military vest trend has really caught on. I think every fashion blogger has stampeded into their JC Penney to get their hands on this vest, especially. I've seen this vest and so many variations of it and its style popping up on the worldwide web, so I decided I seriously needed to write a post styling it. I mean, it is one of my favorite pieces in my closet, so maybe it will grow to be one of yours, too!
look #1
When styling a military-inspired piece, I like the keep the rest of the outfit feminine. Yes, the vest already has the bling on the color, but I don't want it to come off as if I'm going on safari!
When choosing a top to go under the vest, I like to take cues from the gemmed collar. This serene blue-green really compliments the blue gem and I love it paired with the army green.
As for the jeans, I've been lusting over them for so long and just loved how they paired with the top. I like how they're not too busy, but take things up a notch.
I'm having a flirtation with booties this week as I'm considering finally picking up a pair, so I decided to see what they'd look like with the rest of the outfit and loved it, so maybe this is the extra push I need to go for the booties! What do you guys think? Are you all for short booties?

Where to Wear: Coffee Shop, Class, Casual Date-Night, First Fridays in Phoenix.

look #2
I seriously love bright colors. Especially when they're unexpected! Maybe this skirt does remind me of a banana a little bit, but I still really love it! I think of army green as a neutral. It's so fun to play up with bright colors! This is definitely a look for when you want to stand out and make a statement. Plus, the shoes are absolutely fab.

Where to Wear: Club, art gallery openings (because I go to so many), night out on the town.

look #3
I can't tell you exactly what I'm trying to accomplish with this look, I just like the quirkiness of it. Harem pants have somehow seized my heart on casual days, even though I loathe low crotch pant. And yes, these shoes have showed up once again.. I'm quite tempted to actually get them! I mean, every girl needs a pair of strappy heels, right?!
I've been pairing stripes with my vest a lot. I don't know what it is about stripes, but I just love em', especially with this olive color.

Where to wear: Date night, Sunday brunch in the city, night art festivals, a normal day.

How would you guys style this vest? I wanna see and hear about it! Comment below with your ideas! 

gifts that give back.

My little sister's birthday was yesterday and being the procrastinator I am, I didn't get her gift til' that morning. I'm usually most creative at the last minute. But the gift-buying got me thinking. I like to shop local and when I spend money. I know how hard people who have small businesses work to make their business a success and when they're making an effort to produce quality pieces, I go to them first. I love being able to talk to the artists and meeting the person who created my next favorite piece! 

I'd really love to share a couple of my favorite local shops. Most are Arizona spots, but you haven't got to live here to purchase from most of them if you see something that interests you!

Today, I'm featuring...

"Threads is a cause driven business that changes the future of at risk youth. They come from various backgrounds, but all have one thing in common, they want to break the cycle. By employing them, we instill values of self reliance and hard work. They are paid fair wages for the bracelets they make, and in turn are able to pay their way through school. Many of Threads employees are first generation college students. They dream of becoming nurses, broadcasters, writers and engineers. 

Your purchase will directly impact a student. Even beyond financial support, your belief in them is a symbol of hope and trust that they can achieve what for so long seemed impossible. By purchasing Threads you are wearing more than just a bracelet, you are wearing change."

I don't know just when I started following The Shine Project, but I know when I did, I saw things in a different light. I know, that sounds cliche, but have you ever had one of those moments where something just clicks? This was mine. Ashley, the writer for The Shine Project, is such an amazing writer and person. I truly appreciate her posts and what she does. Regarding Threads, I've never really been a gung-ho advocate for world peace, conservation or anything, but I figure that if I'm going to buy a product, I'd rather my money to go to the little guy than a large corporation anyway! Especially when it's a favorite blogger of mine who has the most adorable pieces of jewelry! I had lurked on the Shine Project's shop while reading the blog and lusted over some of the pieces. I thought it was cool how they stood for something while creating quality products and jobs for at risk youth. It wasn't until I went to Frances (a local shop in Phoenix) that I finally cracked. I not only bought a bracelet for myself, but bought one for my friend Amber, as well. They're the cutest pieces ever and for a good cause? Sign me up.

You can shop Threads here!

I want the State Stack so badly! 
What do you see that catches your eye? Have you ever shopped the Shine Project? Let me know in the comments below! 

Disneyland... In a Wheel Chair!

I realize these are probably some of the most random pictures ever, but they sum up my weekend in a nutshell! You know, except the wheelchair I was in for a day and a half. It's kind of a funny story. 
not so much funny as pathetic, but you get the picture.

My knees like to try to see how far they can push me on the pain scale before I crash and burn and this weekend was one of those few times where I did crash. Hence the being in a wheelchair all day Sunday and half of Monday. Experiencing Disneyland in a wheelchair is a really weird experience, to be honest. It opens your eyes to a lot. Seeing how some people have to experience Disneyland all the time vs the "normal" way is really intriguing. Seeing from the eyes of someone shorter than myself, seeing how rides are accessed when you're disabled, the disgusted looks people give you because they think you're in the wheelchair to "skip lines" and that there's nothing wrong with you... Can we just get one thing straight?
That's apparently a little known fact. I'm sure you've all heard about the fiasco with disabled people and that leading to changes to the GAC (Guest Assistance Card), but honestly? If you really need the GAC, you'd be grateful to be in the position a "normal" guest is. For the disabled member in your party to feel as normal as possible. That's why these people appreciate GAC; they get as close to a normal experience a general guest has as you can get. Some kids just can't wait in line due to ADHD, ADD etc. and some can't go through the lines because they're in chairs, which most lines in Disneyland Park can't accommodate because they were built before that was a priority. I really wish people wouldn't take advantage of this system. There are people who truly need it and are grateful they've got it. It's not the people complaining who are; it's the people who it affects for no reason. This was just driving me nuts after all the disgusting looks, second glances and whispering I had directed at me this weekend. There is such a thing as an illness that isn't always visible, you know. And when the general wait for Space Mountain was 55 minutes? We waited an hour and fifteen in the wheelchair line. So, it's not always better. If the park is busier, so is the wheelchair line. So blah. End of rant.

Otherwise, well even with the wheelchair, we had a really great time! We got to see Fantasmic!, World of Color and Aladdin. We even go to ride pretty much every attraction in both parks, so it was really great. Plus, I got my Ursula ears I was pining over so I was a very happy camper.

Pizza, Priscilla and... Prettiness! (I just needed a third P.)

SO. Go see Priscilla. I really loved it and was laughing, dancing and singing along the whole time! It has some rather explicit moments, but I think 14+ would absolutely enjoy it. It runs through the 22nd at ASU Gammage! You can get your tickets here! Be sure to check out the other Gammage Goers' reviews! We all loved it!

Now! Onto what I wore!

 {Dress: Dillards}
{Necklace: Charming Charlie's}
{Shoes: Born}

Hi, I'm Dani and I like sparkly things! The funny thing about this dress is that it's actually a little more matronly/old world than it looks! There are really wide lace straps that cover my shoulders and meet at the back! It's really pretty (and hard to explain), but for the occasion, not only was it too much, but the straps were too big on me! I know, sad day! I really do love the straps without it though (I just tucked them in; no cutting!), so I'm glad I at least got to wear this beautiful number!

We went to La Bocca for dinner (a pizza place on Mill Ave) and it was absolutely to die for! My friend Eric and I both had margarita pizza and boy, was it delicious! 

We were both so excited! 
And isn't Eric so dapper? I love his style.

We had such a great time at Priscilla and I'd be tickled to know that you guys do too! So go see it through Sunday! Students can even "rush" the show, where you can go to the box office the day of the show and buy best available seats for 50% off if you have your student ID! It's great, because even if you're on a budget, you still get to see the same amazing, Broadway show... Priscilla, Queen of the Desert!

** I receive tickets for these shows in exchange for my reviews, but all opinions are 100% truthful and mine.

Life Lessons from an Ad Man: TED Talk Thursday!

So, my English teacher showed us this TED Talk Video and I found it incredibly interesting. It's called "Life Lessons from an Ad Man". Here, Rory Sutherland talks about what he thinks about what advertising is and how advertisers fix things and deal with people vs other professionals. 

I find TED Talks to be not only educational, but incredibly entertaining and fulfilling as well.

Being as interested as I am in advertising, this certain talk spoke to me. What they create is "intangible" or "perceived" value. It's genius, honestly. It's not what you market, but how you market it. 
 His example about making the train ride from Paris to London more enjoyable was too funny to me. It really shows you the different types of minds that we've got floating around in the world. Engineers had the idea to shorten the commute by 40 minutes and spending six billion pounds in doing so... Mr. Sutherland's idea was to pay supermodels to walk up and down the aisles handing out free alcohol to passengers.... More cost effective, he suggested.
Anyone who can make a intangible idea more plausible and attractive than a tangible one is an absolute genius. 
He also talks about placebos.... And placebo education. Placebos are so interesting to look at. They prove that perception is really what it's all about... If you're an authority figure and you tell someone something; they're most likely going to believe you. The subconscious will take over and make you think something is going on that may or may not even be true. This can be positive or negative. 

So many problems in life can be "tinkered by perception." You can make something seem so much better than it is by employing an authority figure to endorse it and suddenly it's magic, perfection... It seems much better than it actually is. I mean, potatoes. Potatoes went from a commoners' food to a royal food; just because the authority figure said so. As commoners' food, nobody wanted it, but in a "Royal Potato Patch", it became gold. "If something is worth guarding, it's worth stealing."

All. Value. Is. Relative.

"Persuasion is often better than compulsion."

Are you guys listening to this? There is so much value in ideas and intangible things.
I see it as the way of the future. It's already started with the "Green Movement" and is only going to continue to flourish. Even in my college course guides, where they tell you what sort of careers you may go into for certain majors, they have a mark for "bright outlook" and "green occupation". Those particular fields make much more money than the traditional careers they list and for the most part, are listed under the same careers. For example "Green Marketer"; a position that is expected to grow rapidly over the next couple of years. Everything seems to be going that way. I'm starting to think... Maybe I should be thinking about intangible solutions, rather than tangible. Swindling or not. If that's where the future is going to be, so why don't we prepare ourselves now? This sent me a pretty big wakeup call. I love watching TED videos like this because they always give me a positive, new perspective.
How about you guys? Thoughts? Maybe a favorite TED Talks video? Let me know here! I'd love to check it out.

If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.

I am in complete Disney mode right now. I don't know about you guys, but I have such an affinity for Disney... It isn't even funny. I've been crazed since I was young and have carried the obsession on since then. Just from where I'm sitting I can point out my quote board with the Walt Disney quote on it, my Precious Moments Rapunzel "R" (for my middle name, Rose, AKA my excuse to buy it because it had Rapunzel on it), a glass slipper from when my Brownie troupe saw Cinderella, my reindeer Sven from the new movie "Frozen" coming out in November, an abundance of other Disney plushes... And the list goes on and on! I'm a complete nut. 
My friend Austin (who will be very happy to hear he finally got a shout out on the blog) and I are most likely heading to Disneyland on Saturday for Halloweentime at Disneyland, so I am definitely in Disney freak mode! Austin is pretty much my Disney BFF with whom I can find solace in, gabbing about how excited we are over the smallest, silliest Disney things!

I could go on and on about my feelings about Walt Disney and the Disney Company, and maybe someday I will! But for now, let's keep it simple! I'd really love to share my favorite spot, attraction, restaurant, show and land in Disneyland Park with you guys! That way, I can spread a little Disney magic and maybe plant some ideas for future trips in your heads! Pixie dust spreads pretty quickly up to the ol' noggin, you know!

Favorite Spot: Snow White's Wishing Well
Anyone who knows me well, knows I pretty much need to be proposed to in Disneyland to make it a done deal. Those who know me even better know that it should have something to do with Snow White's Wishing Well. I'm one of those crazy people that will take their Saturday night and use it to watch Disney proposal videos, because ROMANCE + DISNEY = PERFECTION. 
Snow White's Wishing Well is one of the most magical places in the park to me and it's the symbol of romance to me... Snow White being the first Disney princess and all. I mean, who doesn't want to be a Disney Princess?

Favorite Ride: Splash Mountain
I don't know what it is about this attraction that I love most. Is it the uncertainty of how wet you're going to get each time you ride? The attention to detail and story line? The ever-changing crazy face I sport in the picture going down the 52 and a half foot drop? Who knows. It's just amazing and something you can't miss when you head to Disneyland! It's based on the story of Brer Rabbit; alluding to Song of the South a bit too. It's a really good story and ends with a great song, "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah!" 

{Tag Digital Photography}

Favorite Restaurant: The Blue Bayou
Excluding Club 33 (which I haven't been to, but I'm sure would be my favorite if I had), my favorite restaurant is the Blue Bayou! Located in New Orleans Square, the Blue Bayou actually has a pretty good view, even if it is an "indoor" restaurant! It actually looks out on the beginning of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride! You can see the boats passing by from your table and some people will even wave at you! And that's just the beginning! The food is awesome. The Monte Cristo is my personal favorite. If you like fried stuff, you'll love the Monte Cristo! I promise that it's worth the bagillion calories.

Favorite Show: Fantasmic!
So, there's this show that makes me cry every time I see it... And it's Called Fantasmic! It's a "journey through Mickey's imagination" where you'll see all of your favorite characters, even the villains! It's an amazing show with some great effects, beautiful sequences and an amazing story! To me, it's a must see. Although, this was a hard question to answer... World of Color is incredibly amazing too! As are the fireworks show and even Mickey and the Magical Map (which I was bawling to the first time I saw it, thank you very much.) Disneyland is the most amazing place to experience your favorite characters and other things you'll never witness anywhere but Disney; so they're really all must-go's! 

Favorite Land: Carsland
Okay, so if you have any love for the Cars movie franchise at all; prepare for it to be quadrupled. If you didn't really care for it at all? Prepare to start a love relationship. Carsland is something that pictures can only begin to explain the beauty of. When you walk down the main drag of Radiator Springs, you are completely engulfed by the experience. With the canyons surrounding you, and on a more personal level, Radiator Springs; you will honesty be in awe; or you don't have a heart! It's home to my favorite attraction in California Adventure: Radiator Springs Racers. You'll have to see it to believe it, folks! It's truly a sight to see.

We Have a Winner!

The Starbucks Giveaway has concluded! Thanks to everyone who entered! I really appreciate seeing people communicating and sharing in the community of giveaways! ;)

Now... To announce the winner.... 

{Drumroll, please....}

The winner is Jennifer Truong!

Congratulations, Jennifer! I've emailed you, so try and email me back soon so I can send you your prize as soon as possible. :)

Again, thanks to all who entered! I hope to do another giveaway soon so you guys have yet another chance to win a little something, via my thanks!

Getting into the Spirit about Four Months Early...

It might be weird to other people, but I kind of expect hearing Christmas music starting in August and September now... I guess that's what caroling for a couple of years does to you! I actually caroled for two years in high school and we started around this time. The first year it was strange, but now I think it's expected and when it doesn't happen; boy is it weird! This year I'm actually caroling with Dickens Carolers and I couldn't be more excited! It's surprisingly refreshing to be singing Christmas songs this early on... I guess I just can't wait for it to be winter. I've already stocked up on seasonal wax melts and candles from Yankee Candle... I am just so ready for summer to be gone! 

Speaking of winter and all of the beautiful things that come with it like cozy sweaters and hot drinks... The Starbucks Giveaway will be ending tonight at 9 PM Arizona Time! So make sure you've got your entries in!

I decided to try and keep it casual today and soak up the (hopefully) last rays of summer!
But who am I kidding? This is Arizona. I could probably get away with wearing this in December. But I digress...

Sebastian insists on getting his little body into as many pictures as he can, he's such a glutton!

And my hair is seriously bothering me right now, as it looks red in some light, but brown in others! I definitely prefer the brown. I think, for once, I am in love with my hair!

**By the way, if anyone is paying close attention to my look and is wondering where my earrings are from? It's RJoaz Gallery! They're on a store vacation right now, until October, but once they return I know they're going to be putting out some amazing pieces! They've got everything from key earrings, to vintage necklaces to knit gloves... You can find most anything, accessory-wise, and it's all hand-made and incredibly beautiful so you should check them out! I might even be partnering up with them in the near future for a giveaway, so you'll see this name here again later!

(A Late) These Are a Few of My Favorite Things Friday!

The Original Chopshop
in Old Town Scottsdale, AZ.

I am honestly completely and totally in love with this place; it's official. What they offer is always incredibly fresh. Their kale caesar is a great lunch salad and the acai bowl makes an amazing breakfast! Have you ever had an acai bowl? I just tried my first one today and it was amazing... Just so delicious! If you stop by, be sure to try my favorites! They're the cucumber mint lemonade (new to me today, but I'm in love), the acai bowl (new to me, again, but so stinking delicious), the slim squeeze (a delicious fresh made juice) or piƱa kale-ada (Super yummy and even has kale in it, so you're getting plenty of nutrients!) I really just love the atmosphere of the Chopshop with all of the activity going on around you while you try and relax a little. It reminds me of New York, which makes me a little less city-sick.

#2 Shopping.

...Courtesy of Celebrity Encore* (an amazing consignment shop across the street-ish from Chop Shop in Old Town Scottsdale) and Torrid's amazing deals and threads!

Today I stumbled into Celebrity Encore and was oh so pleasantly surprised. I was looking at clothes and ended up by the counter... Where a beautiful pair of Marc Jacobs mary jane style heels essentially started glowing in my mind. I wore those heels the rest of my time in the store (where I found some other amazing pieces) and wasn't even having that much trouble walking in them either! They're magic shoes, I tell ya! Plus, the ladies who own the shop are the sweetest and are great at putting looks together! They get an A+ for both customer service and clothing quality!

If you look above, the first five are all things I bought at Celebrity today... They've got some amazing stuff, so it was hard to limit it down to even just this. The only thing I haven't taken pictures of yet are my new Marc Jacobs pumps and a little brown saddle bag! They're super cute too, though!

Another amazing place that I love to shop at is Torrid! It's a plus size clothing company for sizes 12 and up... And I love them! They carry clothes that are amazing in quality and style... I've never came out empty handed. Today I went in for leggings and look what else I came out with! They have sales going on a lot, too. For instance, today they had a buy one get one half off sale plus they were giving out $25 in haute cash for every $50 you spend (where you spend $50 in the future and get $25 of)! The rest of the pieces here are from Torrid and I am absolutely smitten with them... So versatile, yet so unique!

#3 Getting my hair done.

I seriously love when I get a new cut/color... It makes me feel like a brand new woman! And I am especially digging my choices this time around... I love being a brunette!

#4 Mickey Ears.

Especially handmade ones, like these! I cannot wait to post a DIY tutorial for these babies. They are so easy to make and you can be incredibly creative with them! I bedazzled these up, but made another pair in blue and added a bow out of Toy Story ribbon which created the cutest pair of ears ever! Studding a pair is definitely on the list.

#4 Hospital gowns with cool patterns.

I felt like such a dork taking this picture, but I don't even care... I just about took the gown! I am so drawn to this fabric and I've got no idea why... It's just so awesome! And beats all of the other hospital gowns I've had to use!

#5 puppies in costumes.

My dog. Dressed as a dragon. Nuff' said.

#6 Disney hair bows!

I am a Disney nut... And I'm especially crazy about Disneybound (basically where Disney inspires your everyday style). I got this one from Jaybee Pepper's Boutique over on etsy and I am in love! I mean, I haven't exactly received it yet, as I only ordered it a couple of days ago, but how perfect is it?! I can't wait to Disneybound Ursula next week when I'm in Disneyland!


If you want to visit Celebrity Encore, their address is:

7121 E. Fifth Avenue,
Suite 21 
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

And you can call them at (480) 481-0176!

They're a consignment shop, so they accept pieces if you want to bring some in to be looked at! Their qualifications for pieces are here on their website

I love supporting small businesses, so I will always talk about the ones I believe in! After all, why would I hoard all of my great information to myself? That wouldn't be fair and you guys deserve to know all about these awesome little places, don't you think?

It's Raining Men! Hallelujah!

So my broadway nerdiness seems to be consuming me today, so I've really got to get it out! I am so excited because Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is coming to ASU Gammage in just 5 days! There might only be a few of you that are familiar with broadway, but I'm going to talk about it anyway; broaden your horizons, people!

"This OUTRAGEOUSLY fun show tells the uplifting story of a trio of friends, on a road trip of a lifetime, who hop aboard a battered old bus searching for love and friendship in the middle of the Australian outback and end up finding more than they could ever have dreamed."
{Via: ASU Gammage}

How could you not love that?!
It features songs like "It's Raining Men", "Material Girl", "Shake Your Groove Thing", "I Will Survive" and more! I can't wait to groove to some of these songs (which I jam out to on a daily basis) and to see the fantastic costumes and stylings in the show! 

In case you guys were wondering why I post about Gammage, especially while talking about theatre, it's because I am a part of a group called the "Gammage Goers". We are 8 individuals who have a passion for broadway, the community and marketing! We basically help to get everybody pumped up for the shows that come to Gammage and even get to review them! I will always be honest about how I feel about a show, but to be honest, I've yet to see a bad show at Gammage. Some people don't even know what broadway or Gammage is and my goal is to get more people to be passionate about theatre! And fashionistas, you now have an excuse to wear/buy that fancy dress you don't really have an occasion to wear it for... So isn't that good enough of an excuse?***

The show runs September 17th through the 22nd and you can buy tickets here, by phone at (480) 965-3434 or in person at the ASU Gammage Box Office. 

Don't forget, students can get 50% best available tickets on the day of the show at the box office; just come with your student ID! This is how I get tickets 80% of the time, being on a tight budget, and I've gotten some fantastic seats! Definitely worth it.

Some fun show facts*:

1. It will take nine trucks to move the cast, crew, wardrobe and scenery here. Almost two trucks alone will be used for the 500-plus wild, colorful costumes packed in 40 wardrobe gondolas and another eight boxes alone for the wacky and outrageous hairpieces. 
{This makes me feel so much better about my own wardrobe. I mean, my life is a musical too, no?}
2.  There are 295 ostrich feather plumes in the costumes and headdresses.
{Poor ostriches...}
3. During the Broadway pre-tour run, there were 1,500 makeup remover wipes each week and 24 pairs of eyelashes for each performance.
{I'm pretty sure that's more makeup wipes than I'll use in 5 years, let alone a week!}
4. Each month, the cast goes through 175 tubes of lipstick, 75 pots of eye shadow and 2 pounds of glitter. Just to remove the glitter takes 12 rolls of packing tape a week.
{See, never feel guilty about using glitter. There will always be someone more glittered up than you.}
5. There are some 65 wig changes in the show, the fastest in 15 seconds.
{I feel a lot less confident in my hair skills. I can barely throw my hair in a pony that fast.}
6. there are more than 500 costumes, 60 wigs, 150 pairs of shoes and more than 200 hats and headdresses in the show.
{Yep, definitely feeling a lot better about my personal wardrobe.}

And with that, I'm leaving you with this picture...


*Facts were gathered from an article from the Las Vegas Sun with commentary supplied by myself.
** All pictures ©Joan Marcus
*** I receive tickets from ASU Gammage in exchange for reviewing these shows, but the opinions stated are 100% mine and true!

Fun. Most Nights Summer Tour: 2013.

So last night, one of my friends was trying to get rid of her tickets to the Fun concert in Phoenix and since I wasn't doing anything... I decided to take them! I mean, how often do you get to see Fun perform live?! It was an amazing concert and I wish I could go to it about a million more times! If you ever have a chance to see them perform; take it!

I seriously had to throw this outfit together last minute (and of course had to take a picture of it, too). I was wearing a sweater and short shorts all day today (lazy outfit) and decided that was just not going to cut it for a concert! So, I threw on some red lip stain and whatever else would go with a black pencil skirt and bam! Some sort of outfit! 
{Btw, this is my favorite necklace ever. It's from Annie Boomer Vintage in Phoenix! I love her little shop, she even has things on ebay. So local or not, be sure to check her out!}

Again, don't forget to enter the Starbucks giveaway! I want to help contribute towards your coffee fund!