Arizona Adventures!

Hey everyone!
Today’s post is at least 3 months overdue – sorry! I’ve been having some technical issues with iMovie that’s causing delays on my Vlogs so stay posted as there’s a lot to come!

This vlog is a little disjointed as you’re seeing what was meant to be part of an ongoing series about shenanigans to get into in Arizona because I was living there & attempting to get into shenanigans – followed immediately by footage of me moving back home.
If you’re confused about when I lived in Arizona, don’t worry – you’re not alone! I was going to film a big announcement & create several videos discussing the move, however, circumstances changed quickly & creating an ongoing series seemed pointless.
Long story short, I moved to Arizona in December 2015 for a new job in an attempt to expand my Resume, broaden my horizons by living in a new state, & live closer to several friends/family members, including my godchildren. Unfortunately, my grandma was diagnosed with cancer very shortly after that & I moved back to NorCal in July 2016 to help my family & spend time with her.

Please enjoy this small snippet of my time in Arizona featuring Danny from Savage Squad, click here to see their channel! Please FOLLOW MissAl-Leigh.com to stay updated with future shenanigans, SUBSCRIBE to the YouTube channel for more vlogs, SHARE, LIKE, & COMMMENT! Thank you 🙂

Beauty Deals 2.0

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Movie Review! Central Intelligence

Looking for something to do this weekend?! Today’s post, a mix of a Collaboration, Event Recap, & Movie Review, will definitely provide an awesome idea!
On Monday, I was offered the chance to get a sneak peek of “Central Intelligence” – a new movie starring Dwayne Johnson & Kevin Hart that comes out THIS FRIDAY, June 17th! Thank you FabulousArizona.com for this awesome opportunity! The Event was a lot of fun, way more than just a basic Movie viewing. Radio stations Power 98.3 & 101.9 were there giving away a ton of free branded merchandise, as you’ll see below, & playing some great music. I was genuinely surprised no one started a dance party, especially when they started playing “The Wobble”! I posted a video of the theater filling up on my Twitter, go check it out & Follow me: @MissAl_Leigh. Keep scrolling to watch the trailer for “Central Intelligence” & read my Review – I’ll try to keep SPOILERS to a minimum!

As you can see from the trailer, the basic plot is that Hart’s character, Calvin, & Johnson’s character, Robby are high school classmates with very different social standing. Calvin is Prom King & basically Captain of every sport, voted Most Likely to Succeed & dating the prettiest girl in school. Robby is an overweight goofball that’s a social outcast, an easy target for bullies. Flash forward 20 years & Calvin definitely doesn’t have the amazing successful life he imagined. He married his high school sweetheart & now works as an accountant. The day before their 20 year High School Reunion, Calvin is reunited with Robby – now Bob Stone. Bob Stone is, of course, in way better shape, but the same lovable, if a tad bit annoying, goofball – & he’s also a human weapon employed by the CIA. Bob involves Calvin in his latest mission which twists & turns until Calvin has no idea who to trust! Underneath the huge muscles, is Bob still that misfit from High School, who now needs his help to save the world? Or is he really a dirty CIA Agent hell bent on killing whoever gets in his way? Calvin & Bob must overcome many obstacles on the road to clearing their names in this Action Comedy that has a really sweet message about friendship & learning to love who you are.

Rating: B
Usually I split my Movie Reviews into Likes & Dislikes, but there wasn’t anything I DISLIKED about “Central Intelligence”. I just didn’t really connect with it enough or find it hilarious enough to give it an A rating. It’s definitely funny & there were quite a few moments that had the whole audience laughing out loud. However, if you’re not a fan of Kevin Hart, you most likely won’t enjoy this film. He’s a “big” actor, but I have the same sense of humor/style of comedic acting, so I guess I’m biased! The writing is clever, pay close attention for a few lines that reference other characters the cast has played. For example, a line about Bob looking like Hercules – a character Johnson has played. Also, there are some awesome cameos for fans of “Breaking Bad”, “Arrested Development”, & “Bridesmaids”. This film was relatively tame in terms of language & violence which I was kind of surprised by. Plot wise, the details of the CIA storyline hardly matter. The real story is the developing friendship & character growth that occurs between Calvin & Bob. The end is predictable & slightly cheesy, but was nice to see in a mostly male cast action/comedy/buddy film. Character-wise, I liked that Calvin is honestly a good guy. I appreciate that he wasn’t some bad boy jock getting his comeuppance by becoming a paper pusher. I think more people can sympathize with a nice character that had a bright future ahead of him – & just turned out to be average. There’s nothing wrong with it, but I think many of us can identify with having big dreams, only to wake up to a reality that’s much different. All in all, I would definitely recommend this film for anyone looking for a movie that’s fun but also has a lot of heart – no pun intended!

For a chance to win a Sneak Peek of your own for an upcoming film & to check out all sorts of cool restaurants, local spots, spas, donut shops, etc, in Arizona, please Follow Fabulous Arizona on their website, Instagram, & Twitter!

While you’re at it, please Follow me here on MissAl-Leigh.com, Instagram, & Twitter! Let me know if you plan on going to see “Central Intelligence” or once you’ve seen it, Comment below what you thought! What other movies are you planning on seeing this summer?! Thanks for reading 🙂

Music Monday! Concert Reviews – @TheRocketSummer “Zoetic Tour” in Phoenix/Santa Ana/San Francisco

Hey everyone!
Today’s Music Monday once again features my favorite band,  The Rocket Summer!
I’ll be covering Concert Reviews of the 3 “Zoetic Tour” shows I saw (Phoenix, Santa Ana, San Francisco) after the L.A. performance mentioned in a previous Music Monday. These will be done in more of a summary format, quick descriptions of the night as a whole rather than breaking everything down because with 3 Concerts to review, I’m going to struggle to keep this short!
Please keep reading to see which venue I liked best & watch the video for clips of the performances! Please Subscribe, Follow, Like, Share, & Comment on this post & the YouTube video!

1. Phoenix – May 10th – The Rebel Lounge
Parking is shenanigans here. The venue lot is SUPER small, so a majority of guests parked in the surrounding neighborhood. Luckily, there was plenty of parking, however there are NO street lights. I was thankful others arrived at the same time so I had people to walk in with for creeper safety reasons, but I did trip on the sidewalk about 3 times because I couldn’t see anything.
I really enjoyed the opening act, The Foxies. They were by far my favorite openers. Lead singer Julia Lauren is gorgeous & has this Gwen Stefani/Kesha/Lady Gaga kinda look/sound going on that is engaging to watch & enjoyable to listen to.
Bryce was amazing as always. He has a great sense of playfulness & connection with the crowd. He changed the lyrics to “FL, CA” to reference Arizona, something he usually does at shows when his songs reference specific states, & the crowd went wild to have that local touch. Being from California, I was a little bitter to have my home state get the boot, but I knew that seeing him in CA later would make me feel better!
The crowd at this show was not my favorite, but not the worst I’ve experienced. One group in particular was over the top distracting. At one point they were singing other TRS songs OVER Bryce talking – rude! The loudest girl had a beautiful voice so at least she sounded pleasant. I spoke with her after to compliment her voice & she was really sweet, but part of me still wanted to chastise her, because I’m 25 going on 86, haha!

2. Santa Ana – May 12th – The Observatory/Constellation Room


Just two days after seeing TRS in Arizona, I managed to find my way to a whole different state to see another show! The CR was my least favorite venue of the tour. It was $10 to park but the lot was full so you had to park several blocks away. I’m glad I had someone with me so I didn’t have to walk alone in the dark. The CR is a small room INSIDE The Observatory & there were two concerts going on with very distinct crowds & it was quite an interesting sight to see these two types of fans mix. My Chucks, no makeup, & jeans fit right in with my fellow TRS Family, but looked quite slovenly next to the full hair/make up, bandage dress wearing girls at the rap show! Security was INTENSE, they patted me down more than I’ve ever been, even at the airport.
We missed the opening act, arriving just in time to scoot to the front & wait a few minutes. Again, awesome performance from Bryce & the band. Although, he seemed to have some trouble engaging, but I blame that on the crowd. He kept trying to get us to clap along – we started clapping 20!! times, yes, I kept track. It was too much, almost awkward.
In addition to not loving the venue, I didn’t love this crowd. There were a handful of extremely intoxicated girls behind me that kept stumbling into me, yelling at Bryce to take his clothes off, & spilling their drinks on me to the point that I left the venue smelling like Jaeger. After one girl elbowed me in the head, she draped herself on my shoulder, slurred an apology, & began petting my hair – no thanks! One bright spot was getting to meet a couple my mom had met at the LA show. They were wonderful & have been TRS fans as long as I have & we had a lot in common. Those are the types of people I love to meet at shows, they’re the real TRS Family.

3. San Francisco – May 19th – Bottom of the Hill


Back to where it all started last November, good old San Francisco, at Bottom of the Hill. This is a great venue. I’m not sure if I feel that way because I’ve been there before so now I have some sense of familiarity, because they have amazing food, or because it’s in my hometown, kind of.
SF was easily the best show overall, again, maybe I’m feeling some sort of hometown pride, or maybe because it was the last show of the tour, but it was just epic. The crowd was awesome & supportive, not overly aggressive about what songs Bryce should play & I think that allowed him to feel more comfortable & perform differently. He played “Get Over It” from the newly released “Zoetic” album & I was excited to hear it live as it’s one of my favorites. He also jumped into the crowd more than he did at the other shows I attended which is always so much fun.
I think I mentioned this in my LA Review, but I only wanted to wait for him after the SF show because that was the first place we met so it was the perfect bookend to this tour. I had carefully thought out what I was going to say – no embarrassing quoting his own lyrics to him this time! Unfortunately I ended up having only a super small window of time & didn’t get to say hardly anything I wanted or ask any of the questions I had! Bleh. It’s okay, lesson learned! The short moment was really special, he remembered me from November, what I was wearing, where I had come from that day, & saw me in the crowd in LA. He also told me I had great hair, which I’m still way too excited about, haha! In the selfies we took, which you can see at the end of the YouTube video, he’s holding our hair together in a comparison of greatness!

One additional thing I want to mention a bit more depth, as I touched on it briefly in Phoenix & Santa Ana – my annoyance with the crowd. I had an amazing time at each & every one of these shows – mostly thanks to Bryce & the music. However, a disappointing common theme I found among the crowd was, what I felt to be, a general lack of respect. A majority of the obnoxious guests seemed to be first time TRS show attendees, but people need to shape up. I don’t mind screaming for requests, especially when he asks, but when he’s playing the opening to a song & you’re yelling “NO NOT THIS, PLAY ‘TV FAMILY’, ‘TV FAMILY’ BRYCE!!!!!”, you are being rude & inconsiderate not only to him, but to fans that WANT to hear the song. It’s not all about you. This isn’t a private show. You probably think I’m being a grumpy old lady, but as I’ve mentioned, these are relatively small, intimate venues so it’s super distracting to be dealing with these chicks riding the Hot Mess Express when you’re there to focus on the music & have this spiritual experience – which is what TRS shows are for me. Also, I think it’s completely classless to yell at anyone, but especially a married man whose wife is in the same room, to take his clothes off & “Show Me Everything You’ve Got” – an innuendo based on one of his song titles.

Overall, seeing 4 shows total of the “Zoetic Tour” was quite an interesting experience. I naively thought going to 4 shows was going to make me special in some way, but I talked to at least a handful of people that had gone to the same shows as me plus others. Someone even traveled from Brazil to see him in SF – that’s dedication! I’m sure it’s obvious, but I highly recommend listening to The Rocket Summer & going to the concerts.

Huge thanks to the entire crew & band for a magical tour – shout out to Tyler for giving me a set list in SF! Teddy for putting up with my shenanigans via Instagram, you owe me a selfie, haha! & Tara, for approaching me & remembering me from the November show, it makes me feel so special to know that I made even a small impact on someone that’s made an impact on me as well. Please hire me 🙂
Of course, thank you to Bryce. Thank you for this music & the experience of these shows. As I mentioned, your music is a spiritual experience for me, & you probably find that somewhat blasphemous, but don’t worry. I know you’re not perfect or God like, that’s what’s important. You have bad days & things make you mad & you want to change, yourself, other people, the world, but you also find the beauty in things. If I was ever as talented as you, I would want to make this music, I would want to spread the same message & give people the same hope you’ve given me, all of us in the TRS Family. I have struggled the last few years, & especially the last 6 months. TRS music has always been my go to for inspiration, for cheering up, or to get out some angst. The last few months of having these shows to look forward to has kept me going & given me things to look forward to because I know that for one night, I will be in a room filled with people that look to your music for whatever reason & we all have that connection. Like you say, even when you’re alone, you’re not alone. Oh crap, I did end up quoting his lyrics to him 😉

I can’t wait to see what the future holds for TRS & in turn, for myself. I think of how different my life was when he released the album previous to “Zoetic” & I’m excited to see how things will change when the next album is released. Maybe I’ll make it to 5 shows next time! What do you think? Have you ever followed your favorite band/musician on tour? What other music should I be listening to? Please let me know in the comments & don’t forget to Subscribe/Like/Share!

#EventRecap – @Macys #ChandlerFashionSquare supports @GotYourSix & @TAPSorg

How would you like the opportunity to donate to some really amazing Military Charities AND get 25% off this weekend at Macy’s!? Interested? Keep reading…

Right now Macy’s is partnering with a Military Charity called “Got Your Six“. I have spoken about this group in a previous post, but briefly, GY6 is a group that works with Military Non Profits (like TAPS) & the Media/Entertainment Industry to work towards bridging the military-civilian divide & portraying our military in a more positive, realistic manner. Their partnership with Macy’s will 100% support TAPS & other military groups through a promotion going on this week! If you donate $3, Macy’s will give you a 25% discount pass to use this weekend, May 13th-15th! 3 days of discounts for only $3 plus the satisfaction of helping a worthy cause!

I was honored to be given the opportunity to go to my local Macy’s & speak on behalf of TAPS – Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. Again, this is a group I have blogged about & volunteered with before, but I will give a brief explanation. TAPS was founded about 20 years ago by a woman named Bonnie Carroll after her husband, Brigadier General Tom Carroll, was tragically killed in an aviation accident along with 7 other soldiers. She has since received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her efforts with TAPS. What I love about TAPS is they provide support to anyone that knew the Military member that has passed away, no matter their connection with them or how they passed away. I appreciate that TAPS recognizes that grief hits all of us differently & it doesn’t matter how close you are to the person. Sometimes just knowing that someone you used to see on a daily basis is gone, can really shake you & you deserve to have your feelings heard & your heart healed. My “mission” at Macy’s was to connect with employees, tell them a bit about GY6, TAPS, & how I connected to the group. By giving them this information, we hoped that when the time came for them to encourage Guests to donate, they would remember me & my story, & know that people in their neighborhood care about this, so maybe their Guest does too.

Here’s a bit of my story, as I’m sure you can tell, this post is basically what I said at Macy’s.
I became involved with TAPS somewhat because of my romantic relationship with someone in the Military. Seeing his struggles with PTSD & re-integrating into civilian life made me want to become involved with an organization that could help him and those like him, so I started volunteering with the Wounded Warrior Project. I was more than willing to help him fight his demons, but the relationship eventually became dangerous. After our breakup I was filled with an intense rage & grief. It was like he had died, & in a way he has, because the man I loved is gone. The person that remains is a stranger filled with hate & disrespect. If you watched Vlog #2, just by chance, I discovered TAPS. It appealed to me because it was easy for me to identify with survivors not only because of this painful breakup, but because I have been through the grieving process with the loss of my dad when I was a child, & the more recent loss of both my grandparents on my mom’s side.
Volunteering with TAPS is extremely rewarding. After my Macy’s talk, a woman thanked me for being there & said, “People just don’t understand, especially people your age. My husband was in Vietnam & he still struggles with PTSD. At first you think it’s just part of their personality, just how they are…” & I said, “Then you realize, they’ve seen & done things that have made them this way.” “Yes”, she said, “You’re exactly right. I’m so sorry for everything you’ve been through, & I’m so sorry your ex, someone so young, will probably struggle the rest of his life.” My ex wouldn’t want her to feel sorry for him, but I think he’s missing the point. Someone out there, a complete stranger, wishes for him to have a full, beautiful life, void of hardships & ugliness. I wish the same thing for him & all of us, so it’s comforting to find similar values in people. In moments where I think darkness will win, I remember people like the woman I spoke to today, I will remember there are others like me that want to help. Not everyone lets the demons win. I want to be someone that lets light in, & volunteering with groups like the WWP, GY6, & TAPS, among others, allows me the chance to do just that.

I’m hoping this Event Recap will help spread the word of this wonderful opportunity. Even if you don’t/can’t donate, hopefully this information will encourage you become involved in these groups somehow, or any Volunteer work you find valuable!

I have included links throughout this post, but here’s the information again.
Please click on these links to get more information, Donate, or become a Volunteer!
Got Your 6
TAPS – Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors
Wounded Warrior Project
If you’d like to read posts where I mention GY6/TAPS/WWP, please click these links.
Veteran’s Day: Shirts to show your Support!
Vlog #2 – Melrose Ave Adventures Part 2
Event Recap – Charity! TAPS – Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors at the Disney 1/2 Marathon

Event Recap: @Bloguettes Branding Workshop!

Bloguettes PHX Branding Workshop!

Bloguettes PHX Branding Workshop! I did not intentionally crop anyone out of this picture, that’s just how it was taken 😦 Sorry!

About a week ago I attended a Branding Workshop held by the Bloguettes. The Bloguettes are a savvy, talented, educated group of ladies that tour the country with 2 day educational workshops. These workshops are centered around helping bloggers, business owners, and creative minds of all avenues broaden their online presence by heightening their Photoshop, Social Media, and Branding skills, among other things.

This particular Workshop was held at their beautiful studio in Phoenix, Arizona. It was so clean, light, and airy, with a touch of fashionable whimsy. Check their Instagram: @bloguettes or mine: @missal_leigh for pictures of their studio, the event, and the lovely bag full of goodies from the many sponsors who supported the Workshop.

The Workshop comes with a take home guide book with quick tips in case you forget any of the highlights of the discussions or Photoshop tutorials. I took 14 pages of notes on a small notepad & I wish I had taken more! The take home book is very helpful & the Bloguettes have been great about answering any follow up questions I’ve emailed them with, but I wish I had taken notes on everything in my own words – but that’s just the kind of “learner” I am. I’m sure some people didn’t take any notes & are relying only on the take home book just as successfully – to each their own!
Each day is broken up into Photoshop tutorials and lectures on Branding, Blogging, Social Media, Business, & Photography. We would cover a portion of the lecture, then learn something in Photoshop, go back to lecture, etc, etc. Switching things up kept the Workshop moving smoothly and kept the atmosphere from becoming too school-like.
The Branding, Blogging, and Business lectures were a tiiiiny bit redundant for me because I have my B.A. in Communication Studies, I’ve ran my own blog for quite some time, and I’m already making money through Affiliates. However, my B.A didn’t teach me everything, I’m obviously not a hugely successful blogger, and I’m not making that much money – so I definitely picked up some helpful tips and tricks. The overall messages were things I was aware of, for example, “Keep everything Consistent” or the idea that you have to match your voice to the types of Affiliates you want to work with – you can’t be cussing and wearing a Dominatrix outfit in all your posts, then wonder why a brand like American Eagle Outfitters won’t work with you – but hearing it come from the Bloguettes gave me more confidence to really believe in the things I had been thinking all along. It was nice to have confirmation that my head is in the right place, now I need to match my actions to it!
The Social Media and Photography lectures were extremely helpful. I learned so many things about the different Social Medias – did you know there are best days & times to post on Pinterest/Instagram, etc?! I can’t give away all the secrets, but I found these lectures taught me the most. I really have no Photography or photo editing skills so the Photography lecture coupled with the Photoshop tutorials was incredible! Yes, I know you can look on YouTube for PS tutorials, but I still had no basic knowledge so it all seemed like gibberish. Also, I thought PS was just for making women look more conventionally beautiful in advertisements, I had no idea how many other really cool things you can create! I’ve been trying to figure out how to make some prints with my favorite quotes on them, but I didn’t know how I was going to go about it – hello Photoshop! I’ve been downloading different fonts like crazy!

One suggestion I would make to improve the Workshop would be to re-assign seating on Day 2. Day 1 we found our seats based on where our name tag was. The next day was free seating & we all sat with the same group – which was lovely! BUT, for Networking purposes it might have been wiser to force our hand a bit and make us sit with different people. The concept is a little juvenile, but sometimes people don’t think about things like that or just need to be forced out of their comfort zone.

The bottom line: At this point, I’m a little overwhelmed. I need to sort through all my notes and figure out the exact direction I want my blog to go. I don’t necessarily care about making a living through blogging, although that would obviously be a nice bonus. My main goal is to use this blog as a way to present my skills in a way that will be pleasing to a potential employer in Public Relations, Event Planning, Social Media Management, and related fields. My thoughts right now are to invest in a Sony QX 100 and purchase Photoshop to help my blog LOOK more professional. I will also be making a more conscious effort to brand my blog with specific fonts and color choices. In the past I have picked those things at random because I didn’t think people were paying attention, but through the Bloguettes I’ve learned that even those seemingly small choices create your brand and represent your voice. I also need to focus on creating a Media Kit to send to other bloggers or companies. I have a lot more confidence in my blog after working with the Bloguettes because now I know the steps to take that will create a more consistent, cohesive image, which will ultimately appeal to those I want to collaborate with.

Are you interested in being part of the Bloguettes next Branding Workshop? Check their Calendar to see if they’re coming to an area near you! I traveled to Phoenix from NorCal for the Event because I was in the area visiting friends & family. I would recommend going to a Branding Workshop in a location you feel comfortable traveling to often specifically because of the networking opportunities. I met a lot of great new friends…but we’re in different states so it’s going to be somewhat challenging for us to collaborate because of the distance, so that’s something to keep in mind. Also, please be aware, this is definitely something I consider an investment purchase – it’s pretty pricey. However, they offer a student discount, so be sure to inquire about that! Also, I’ve seen them offer a “Free Seat” Giveaway on their Instagram – so follow them and keep tabs of the giveaway in your area.

To get a better idea of the types of creative minds that bonded during the 2 Day Branding Workshop, here is info on some of the lovely ladies I had the pleasure of getting to know, please check out their stores/blogs/Social Media etc – show them some love!

Belle from “Dara & Belle” – Fashion/Lifestyle Blog
Instagram: @daraandbelle
Facebook

Frances Vintage – Modern Boutique with Vintage Charm, open 7 days a week in the heart of midtown Phoenix
Shop the Store!
Blog

Kylie Rowe – Assistant Director @OzmenCenter | External Vice President @NevadaGSA | Team Member @TEDxUofNevada | #BiggestLittleCity Real Estate Investor | MBA Student @BizUNR | Hat Expert
Looking to launch a lifestyle blog & start a hat company!
Twitter:  @KyRoBiz
Instagram:  @kylie_rowe

Sage Hardy from “Farm Fresh Fancy” – AZ lifestyle blogger sharing everyday moments, fresh ideas, and simple, pretty things from the little farm we call home
Facebook
Pinterest
Instagram: @sagehardy

Marisol Avila from “All The Prettys
Facebook
Instagram: @alltheprettys

Maggie McGrath – Founder of Pineapple Triangle – We create a local give-back market in which attendees get to shop an array of local artists while giving back to the community at the same time.  Our Markets are called “AZ Share That You Care”.
Facebook
Instagram: @pineappletriangle

Marina Cay from “PoshFoxx” – Online clothing store launching this Spring/Summer featuring a mix of Swimwear and Street Clothing with a distinct style.
Marina is a current business student at Arizona State University, graduating this May. She hopes to attend FIDM in Los Angeles this Fall to study Apparel Industry Management. She designs Fashion Illustrations, Graphic Designs, and loves all mediums of art.
Instagram: @marinaxfarro (Personal) @poshfoxx (Business)

Erica Kartak, Creator of Luv in the Bubble, a fashion and lifestyle blog. I believe in splurging on jewelry and handbags and hunting for a sale on everything else. Balancing a love of cheeseburgers with healthy eating and activity keeps me sane.
Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter
Instagram: @ericakartak

So there you have it! My thoughts, plus some great new entrepreneurs to look into! Will you be signing up for the next Bloguettes Branding Workshop? Have you ever taken a Workshop like this before? Please let me know in the comments below! Make sure to follow me here & on my Social Media to stay up to date with everything I’ve got going on. Thanks for reading!

Contouring