Category: Call To Action

Samba Compilations, featuring Mayara Lima

I’m a “Sambista” at heart; a passista and musa in my mind! I love Brazilian samba; the music, the rhythm, the dance, the costumes, the parties– just everything. Here are three samba videos I’ve compiled featuring one of my favorite dancers in Rio. She is well known and respected around the world because her samba is flawless. Keep watching for more videos of other dancers. Please enjoy these clips. Subscribe to the channel. Give each video a thumbs up. And turn on notifications!

Subscribe to the channel, give each video a thumbs up and turn on notifications!

Subscribe to the channel, give each video a thumbs up and turn on notifications!

Subscribe to the channel, give each video a thumbs up and turn on notifications!

Thank you for watching,

Much Love,

Dani Styles

Kicking the Sugar Habit in 2017

I recently decided to cut back on sugar. Man, was I in for a surprise. Dude, EVERYTHING has sugar. And LOADS of it! I’m posting my videos hella late, but I’ll be keeping you guys in the loop. I fell off the wagon yesterday, but I’m doing better! Just watch. And lets talk on social media!

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival Preview 2016

by Christopher A. Daniel (@journalistorian)

Dominique Love (left) and Elizabeth Feichter (right) photo courtesy of Robin Lori
Dominique Love and Elizabeth Feichter
photo courtesy of Robin Lori

In anticipation of Atlanta Food and Wine Festival (#AFWF16) this coming Jun. 2-5, creators Elizabeth Feichter and Dominique Love recently hosted an intimate preview at their lofty headquarters in West Midtown.

The intimate lunch, titled “BBQ & Sound Bites,” gave a few of us foodies and cuisine enthusiasts a glimpse into the four- day, sixth annual epicurean extravaganza that celebrates the tasty, mouth-watering dishes and specialty cocktails from below the Mason-Dixon Line. Our meal was originally set to take place in Piedmont Park’s secluded, immensely green and flat Promenade area, where the festival has migrated to from its original Midtown location sandwiched between 12th and 13th Streets.

We’ve run out of space in Midtown unfortunately,” warns a sanguine Feichter. “We try to stay urban, leaving everything within walking distance. This space allows us to be a little more private. It’s a beautiful space.”

Unfortunately, inclement weather warnings prevented us from experiencing that ambiance. Feichter and Love were still welcoming and buoyant enough to host us all indoors, encouraging us to close our eyes and use our imaginations about dining on the turf. “We wish that this was the park,” Love told us during the presentation. “We were so excited to finally take the event somewhere other than our office.”

photo courtesy of Robin Loro
photo courtesy of Robin Lori

Lunch was quite savory and delectable. We were all seated around a U-shaped table facing both Feichter and Love. The bar area featured a variety of local, bottled craft beers and some refreshing spiked lemonade with moonshine (I lost count after glass number four), fresh basil and blackberries (yum). Fox Bros. BBQ catered an immaculate spread: whipping up some incredible bleu cheese potato salad with bacon, moist roasted turkey sliders on sesame seed buns topped with cheese and arugula (licks fingers) and Frito pies topped with shredded cheddar cheese, red onions and brisket chili.

Feichter and Love, who originally teamed up a decade ago to manage a consulting firm for nonprofit and philanthropic giving, reiterated over two hours how delighted they are about #AFWF16 despite having to revise the event annually. “Each year it is as much a labor as love,” confirms Love. “We’re so excited to share with you the next chapters of this event. We have a big job, to shine an international spotlight on the rich food and beverage traditions of the South.”

Against a back wall adjacent to our tables was a color-coded tile of the festival’s events. Feichter’s and Love’s staff listed and described the variation of tasting experiences, seminars, dinners, brunches, panel discussions, classes and cooking demonstrations taking place. “This is not about Atlanta. This is about the South,” stresses Feichter, “and how do we tell that story in a unique way every single year.”

“We’re a little bit festival but also part conference,” Feichter continues. We’re a lot of things, but we always want to find a way to push the festival forward.” Feichter and Love initially formed #AFWF16 after traveling to the Food and Wine Classic in Aspen and immediately noticing the foodie culture’s excitement and sense of community.

This year, Friday’s events will begin later in the day. Classes will primarily take place between Friday and Saturday, so that there is more focus on Sunday’s brunch. #AFWF16 is also making history, hosting the country’s very first pop-up vineyard. The vineyard will also premiere various arts events from Jun. 1-30, performances every Tuesdays and Thursdays.

photo courtesy of Robin Lori
photo courtesy of Robin Lori

Additionally, subsequent themes to be discussed throughout #AFWF16 include ingredients, poor man’s food, immigrant influences, vegetables, state-to-state traditions (or “road trips”) and tequila v. bourbon. The challenge every year Feichter and Love face is ensuring the talent in attendance can expose everyone to something new.

The ladies even encouraged us to be the “megaphone” for sharing our stories and experiences about the annual affair. “Food of place is important to defining who we are as people and as a group,” stresses Love.

“Doing this is telling the story of what’s going on in the South, and what’s going on is really tasty. It’s really exciting. It’s really innovative. It’s really something special to so many of us, and we want Atlanta to be the host and gateway for this.”

 

Christopher A. Daniel is an Atlanta-based journalist, cultural critic, historian, ethnomusicologist, and public intellectual. His work is primarily published digitally on The Burton Wire, where he is site’s music and pop culture editor. He’s also a frequent contributor to Albumism.com and soulhead.com. His work and passion for diversity and multiculturalism have been recognized by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), and NewsOne.com. Christopher was also awarded a Community Journalism Fellowship for the U.S. Consulate’s Office of Rio de Janeiro, where he traveled to Salvador, Bahia.

Get Your Passport… It Is Time For Your First International Trip!

from the monitor on the plane
from the monitor on the plane

So you’re ready to take your first international trip? I went to mexico at 17, the same year as 9/11 (don’t do the math) and I didn’t need a passport– just parental permission. But now, a passport is needed to leave the U.S. period. And my passport never saw a stamp until 2014. I held on to it for years. And I was so proud and cheesing from ear to ear when the Brazilian government official stamped my passport and said “bem-vindo”. Actually i think he said “welcome”, but whatever.

If you don’t know where to start for your first international trip, I’ve got ten steps for you!

  1. Get a passport. I know that may seem like common sense, but you won’t believe how many people say they want to go to London or France or Japan, but they never take the first step and invest in a passport. In the grand scheme of travel expenses, its probably one of the best and cheapest investments you’ll make. $135 + cost of photo. PS- don’t expect your photo to be good.
  2. Pick a Country (and maybe a city). If you’re like me and lust after everything on the travel channel or inside national geographic, the choice could prove difficult. So for this I say follow your heart and go big. If your heart is torn, talk to friends and family, or whoever you intend to travel with. Actually, finding a travel companion can be harder than picking a location.
  3. Do Your Research. Common questions to have answered early that could change your decision: What language(s) do they speak? What kind of food can you expect? What are some local customs? When is the best time to travel? What’s the weather like? Does my church or alma mater offer group travel with excursions? How much is average for airfare and accommodations? Do I know anyone who has been? Do i know anyone who lives or lived there? Does our government discourage or regulate travel to this place? Does it require an entry visa in advance of travel?
  4. Apply for a Visa. Not all countries require an entry visa, but that should be part of your research. Is a visa required? How much does it cost? How long does it take to approve? How long is it valid? What are the requirements for approval? For me the process of gathering materials for the application and awaiting the response made me kind of anxious. It was all worth it.
  5. Book Airfare. Some visa applications require you to have your airfare already booked. And if you don’t need a visa, book it as far in advance as is feasible for you. Consider your financial, personal, social and professional obligations at this time.
  6. Book Accommodations. In your research, you already found out what prices were common, but you should remember that hotels are not your only option. Airbnb is blowing up. Hostels are getting better and better. And truthfully, depending on how exotic or remote your chosen location, those may not even be options. So be open minded.
  7. Make a List of Activities. When you pay the premium to travel internationally, staying in your hotel or laying on the beach all day probably isn’t the best use of your time. Go see something historic. Go do something philanthropic. Go learn something new. Your vacation will be better for it. And if it goes badly, at the very least you’ll have an interesting vacation story. But just keep in mind the cultural customs and try not to piss off the locals.
  8. Don’t Piss Off the Locals. Travel blogs, books and more can give you the do’s and don’t for nearly wherever you want to go. If the city you want to visit expects one to dress modestly, do that. If the city you’re visiting is one where people smile and say hello to strangers, try that. Most importantly: if they speak another language and you hit a wall of communication do not, DO NOT yell in english at the locals expecting them to understand.
  9. Prepare for the Expected. There are a few things that will keep coming up in your research, like the suggestions to learn to say a few phrases. If you leave your hotel, you’ll need them. And avoid high exchange rates by exchanging your money at your bank before you leave. Speaking of money, a flesh tone money belt to wear under your clothes may not be a bad idea– just don’t open it on the street. Again, most of the “common sense” international travel tips will come up in your research.
  10. Embrace the Unexpected. Some people say to prepare for the unexpected. That oxymoron doesn’t fit with international travel. No matter how much research you do, you’ll never be prepared for everything that comes your way. So just do your best to go with the flow. You’re on vacation now!

Ugly Fruits and Veggies Find Love in France

I am guilty of skipping over the ugly fruits and veggies at my local grocer and farmers market. But I never thought about the amount of food waste that creates. French super markets have found a solution for this problem! It eliminates waste AND save families money in the process. Check out the video below! Maybe the U.S. should take a queue from the French on this one!

 

See you at the Series… The Rialto Center for the Arts

Last week I spoke to WSB-TV (channel 2 in Atlanta) about two of the Series Shows at the Rialto Center for the Arts. The first being Bale Folclorico da Bahia (Nov 1 & 2) and the second being The James Brown Project: Get on the Good Foot (Nov 9).

I am so excited about BOTH of these shows. I’ve seen Bale Folclorico twice and they are AMAZING! I love Brazilian dance, I love African dance. And Bale Folclorico da Bahia is that historic fusion of both. And when they perform at the Rialto, it’s a PARTY! Be prepared to dance at the end!!

The James Brown Project just premiered in New York at the Apollo. The Rialto is the second theater to show it. Its a celebration of James Brown’s influence on dance choreographed by 6 artist from around the world and performed by Philadanco. I saw the FIRST ever preview of the show a few weeks ago. And I cannot tell you enough how amazing it will be.

Both of these shows get me excited, so I was pleased to talk with WSB-TV. And I’m pleased to present you some options for discounted tickets! And PS- get there early the pre-shows are amazing! And the post-shows are great fun! I love the Rialto!

Video autoplayed so here is a link to my interview. http://bcove.me/ylx5mlq9

THE BALE FOLCLORICO DA BAHIA OFFERS:

Goldstar $26 Goldstar.com is offering half off tickets. Signing up is free! And tix are only $26.

15% OFF cheaper or better seats you MUST call the box office and give them code DINEWITHDANI for 15% off regular price.

Subscribe to the Series (buy tix to 4 shows or more) and get discounted tickets to each show, invitations and entry to VIP events and more!

Time to Vote Again… With Your Fork

We’ve just gotten through the Presidential Election, but we’re not done yet. In fact, we’ll never be done because we vote every day of our lives… with our forks.

What does that mean? When we buy less than healthy foods, we tell the government and retailers that it is okay to provide us with pesticide laden fruits and vegetables, meats raised on hormones and antibiotics and packaged foods full of preservatives. These foods that fill our local grocery stores aren’t our only option. They may seem more time and cost effective now, but there are unforeseen consequences for eating this way.

I’m not looking to put Kroger and Publix out of business. I simply want them to stock their shelves with healthier options. How do we make that happen? By buying local and natural products when available. Doesn’t that cost more? Yes, for now. But think about supply and demand. If the demand for better foods goes up, farmers and manufacturers will produce more, causing the price to go down. Grocery stores will buy more at a better price and we’ll see the savings as they become more common.

It’s not likely that I will give up this cause. I see the people I love struggle with obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, crohns and other ailments that can be caused, triggered or aggravated by diet choices. And I want to do more to prevent others from going through the same things. Electing government officials is our civic duty, but we can’t let election day be the only time our voices are heard.

Voting doesn’t only take place in a election booth. And here are “10 Ways to Vote with Your Fork” courtesy of Georgia Organics.

1. Eat low on the food and marketing chain by buying direct from farmers. Several studies have shown that the average distance food travels from farm to plate is 1,500 miles. In a week-long (or more) delay from harvest to dinner table, sugars turn to starches, plant cells shrink, and produce loses its vitality.

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Try This…. (Tips for) Visiting Your Local Farmers’ Market

As you know by now, I’ve gotten very into visiting local farmers’ markets. Not just the large establishments, but the pop-ups all over the city. I have yet to determine a favorite, but I’ll let you know as soon as I recognize it.

 

Anyway, if you, like many of my friends and family members, have never visited a farmers’ market, I highly recommend it. You’ll find locally grown, organic vegetables. There may not be much variety, but you’ll probably find things that aren’t available at your local grocer. And you’ll be keeping local farms in business.

 

I’ve posted a list of pop-up farmers’ markets in the Atlanta area. Have fun. And here are “5 Tips for Your First Trip to the Farmers Market” courtesy of Georgia Organics.

 

(1)    Get there early.

Check the farmers’ market website to see what time the market opens. Good farmers have very devoted fans, and may sell out of food.

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