Category: Video

Tips for Booking Airbnb || Rio Apartment December 2016

To get a real understanding of any city, renting an apartment or house is a really nice option when traveling. Here are a few tips for booking your next vacation on Airbnb!

I traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the second time in December 2016. This time I stayed longer than I’ve ever stayed on any vacation: a whole two weeks. I went with my fiance and his best friend. Together the three of us shared a luxury two-bedroom, two bathroom apartment in the upscale neighborhood of Ipanema, just a block and a half from the famous stretch of beach (and two blocks from the foot of a favela).

While the apartment was huge and perfectly furnished for us, there were some challenges that had nothing to do with the property, the host or the neighborhood. There are local infrastructure problems that weren’t insurmountable, merely frustrating at times and slightly irritating at others. I discuss those at the beginning and end of the video.

Anyway, here is a walk-through of that apartment with commentary. I hope you’ll enjoy. Let me know your thoughts on the apartment! Below are some tips for booking on Airbnb


Tips for Booking on Airbnb

(1) Fill Your Profile– Make sure your profile is complete with pictures, info about what you do for a living, why you love to travel, why you prefer airbnb, etc. Get references if you can!!

(2) Make Thorough Lists– Airbnb has a function that allows you to make wish lists for different purposes and add friends, etc. This allows me to save all the places I like while I go ALL the way to the end of the search list. On Airbnb you can filter, but you can’t sort properties, so look at EVERY apartment. You might be surprised by what you find on page 16 or 17 of your search. Most people won’t even go that far. The more popular hosts get top billing and are featured on the first few pages of the search.

(3) Ask Questions– I usually start by asking questions as opposed to immediately requesting to book. Let the host have the opportunity to engage with you first before requesting to book their place. In my message I compliment the property and then ask my question (making sure the details are not in the description). If they aren’t responsive, that’s probably an indicator of why type of host they are. I understand there are always extenuating circumstance, but you want to make sure that you and host are on the same page

(4) Read the Details– there are places that charge additional fees, etc.  One host said i needed to email a copy of my passport and the country visa– as a mandatory policy. I didn’t comply because Airbnb has already confirmed my identity. When I asked “for what purpose do you need my passport and visa,” he backpedaled and said he’d need to see upon check-in, which is fine. There are also places that give discounts for renting more than 7 days! Just make sure you read everything!

(5) Report Prejudice or Discrimination– There are people who wont rent to blacks, muslims, gays, etc. Airbnb has said they don’t support these policies, BUT have put nothing in place to combat the practice. And many host continue to restrict their availability for certain people. I had a host say a property was no longer available. Then they marked it rented. When I resumed my search the next day– the exact same property was available again. I messaged the host who continued to say the place was not available. I made the mistake of going back and forth with this person when I should have just reported them.

I hope these tips are helpful when you book your next vacation rental. SAVE $40 ON YOUR FIRST AIRBNB!

booking airbnb

National Queen and King of Samba 2017

rainha do samba

In October 2017, SambAZ crowned the Queen and King of Samba for 2017. Though I was not a competitor, I was able to travel to Phoenix, AZ for the festivities, which included many classes taught by some of the best dancers and choreographers out of Brazil. Below, you’ll find my footage from the competition. I captured as much as I could while staying in the moment. I look forward to being a competitor in 2018!

rainha e rei do samba 2017

Recipe| Cabbage Collard Slaw by Embody Well

Sometimes in my blog posts I mention the “vegetablarian” in my life. Please allow me to officially introduce Tanya Leake of Embody Well! My friend and fellow samba lover invited me into her kitchen for an episode of her YouTube series “Grub and Groove” where she teaches you how to cook a tasty, healthy dish along with some dance moves! I had so much fun filming this with her. And I hope you all enjoy watching. Try this recipe. Is is DELICIOUS!

Please keep your eyes open. She is about to drop a book. I can not WAIT to read it!! And I know you will love it too!

Cocktails| How To Make a Tom Collins

The Tom Collins is the perfect summer cocktail. It is sweet, citrusy, sparkling and refreshing. Gin cocktails are not normally thought of as light, but this one is. This particular concoction is perfect for those who don’t like the taste of alcohol but want the sweet buzz that they provide. So be careful with this one. It can be deceptive!

I’m dubbing this one the cocktail of Summer 17. Watch the video below for more details. I like mine sweet and boozy, so modify as you see fit.

For the written recipe, Click: (more…)

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

Healthy Living| Kicking the Sugar Habit in 2017

I decided to cut sugar from my diet in 2017. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is hard and its even harder when you have a sweet tooth. But even for those of us who don’t, cutting sugar can be difficult because nearly everything we eat has sugar! And LOADS of it! You can find sugar in the most unexpected places. And even if its natural, that doesn’t mean the glycemic load will work in your favor. Certain natural sugars are just as bad as high fructose corn syrup. So watch the video below to talk learn what steps I’m taking in 2017.

I’m posting my videos hella late, but I’ll be keeping you guys in the loop. I fell off the wagon recently, but I’m doing better! Lets talk on social media!

Purchase your monkfruit sweetener using the link below to keep this site running. This is the best price you’ll find for this brand! I put it in my black coffee every morning now.

Recipe| How-To Make a Yummy Pressed Sandwich

Sandwiches don’t have to be boring. With the right tools and ingredients, you can make something yummy! Like a panini!

A panini is a pressed/grilled sandwich. The name is of Italian origin, like the sandwiches. So using italian breads like ciabatta (chee-BAH-tah) and focaccia (foh-KAH-chah) makes sense, but I used regular sandwich bread though. I have more tips below.

This is a simple recipe that you can follow. I hope you’re inspired to upgrade your regular sandwich to something warm and melty.

What you’ll need:
– George Foreman Grill (or electronic grill) OR cast iron grill pan and press tool
– chicken (sliced)
– roasted red peppers (picked red peppers)
– pesto sauce
– mozzarella cheese slices
– hummus (optional)

See below for MORE tips, not seen in the video. (more…)

How-To Make Caprese Skewers

If you’re hosting or headed to a party, a great no-cook option for an appetizer or starter is caprese skewers with prosciutto.

Caprese (Cah-PRAY-zee) skewers (sk-YOO-werz) are inspired by the caprese salad– an italian salad popularized in the Mediterranean city of Capri. It is historically buffalo mozerella, fresh basil leaves and tomatoes topped with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Turning it into a skewer makes it a salad in one bite. I decided to add to prosciutto for a little more flavor, protein and heartiness.

Below is my video with tips and tricks for making the assembly go quickly. I took the platter shown at the end of the video to the birthday party of my good friend Chef Nadia and her twin sister Elon. The skewers disappeared REALLY quickly. I know your friends will enjoy them too.

mozzarella (balls in olive oil)
fresh whole basil leaves
cherry tomatoes
prosciutto di parma
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
black pepper

Click for tips:

Salgueiro Samba School in Rio de Janeiro (2014)

In August 2014, I visited the Salgueiro Samba School (Academicos do Salgueiro) for their weekly public rehearsal (ensaio), which basically turns into a big party! It was an amazing experience. That night I made new memories and new friends.

While we got there before 11pm, the show doesn’t really kick off until 1am. There was live pagode music, followed by a mini parade through the quadra set to the most recent carnaval enredo. From what I understand, there is a passista show after the parade. Those are the videos that I love to watch online. This is apparently when the party really starts. They go all night! I can’t wait to return so that I can experience this portion of the party. But I enjoyed what I experienced.

I filmed as much as I could while still staying in the moment. And upon my return to the US, the first thing I did was splice all the footage together to an amazing song about Salgueiro. Below is an abridged version of the original video.

I’m annoyed and flattered by all the people who have posted the original video as their own. So, thanks and you’re welcome. LOL. #watermarkednow

TIP: Take a nap before you head out and wear cute but comfortable shoes. Even my comfortable heels hurt after standing on the concrete for 3 hours. And if you’re a person who sweats, take a rag. Its one of those types of parties!

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