Heartfelt Role Model, Dani, is an amazing mother of five (including a set of twins), a grandmother of five, and she is a twin herself! As a young girl, Dani wanted to be a Docu-photographer for the military. She dreamt of being dropped by helicopter into a battle zone to depict the human face of war through her photographs. Although she has yet to become a Docu-photographer, she did enlist in the Army as a young adult. In Basic Training, she quickly realized how emotionally and physically strong she needed to be. She was never an athletic girl and started out at the very back of the training pack. However, through the encouragement from the other girls in her troop and her Drill Sergeant, she steadily improved. It was at Basic Training where she first truly understood the, “sense of sisterhood.”
“There was always someone encouraging you to do it,” she said. “We were there to help each other out, not to tear each other down.”
Today, Dani is a librarian by day and a blogger/photographer by night. Her camera is her toy and her closet is her playroom. Growing up in Italy and New Orleans gave Dani a front-row seat to fashion — and it is here that her incredible sense of style was born. She is a driven individual and a self-starter, teaching herself not only how to blog but how to take incredible photographs. Because she wants to take her own pictures (“why pay someone else to do it, when I can do it myself”?), she sets the timer on her camera for 10 seconds and then runs into position – glasses flying, lol! She also uses Pinterest, magazines and QVC to teach herself proper posing. Dani says she studies the models on QVC a lot to watch their facial expressions and to see how they stand to really show off the clothes. Dani’s secret to a good photoshoot? Listening to music that “sets the mood you want to achieve.” And, if you really want to look happy, a little “Golden Girls” on podcast works every time!
Once a month, Dani, and 9 other bloggers over the age of 40, share their love of fashion through their blogs and Instagram in a series called Ageless Style. Their goal is to encourage women to “keep their style as they age,” and she says when it comes to fashion, “Age is only a number, and if you’re comfortable, just own it!”
When asked about her own blog Living Outside the Stacks, and her love of all things Laurie Felt, Dani says, “The one thing I cannot stress enough to folks is that I would not talk about Laurie’s clothes if I didn’t truly like them — I value my integrity, and I want people to trust me. Laurie’s clothes are EVERYTHING. And the heart behind the clothes? Oh my gosh. I can’t say enough. But you know that already.”
Dani’s been married for 23 years and says her husband doesn’t notice much, but notices her Laurie Felt Curvy Denims every time she wears them! She says, “They get the husband stamp of approval!” And she tells him, “Even if I’m 80, bury me in my Laurie Felt Boho embroidery top — OFF THE SHOULDER!”