Hey, this is Dana!
I want to help you with your cooking, travel, and easy DIYs to save you money inside and outside of your home!
After founding Pittsburgh Frugal Mom and A Hockey Mom Reviews, my first two websites, I transitioned to Dana, the voice behind my site, DanaVento.Com. Here, I help my readers find easy-to-recreate recipes and DIYs and learn about fantastic travel destinations and adventures. I love sharing my tips and tricks with others and am so grateful to have this platform.
Social Animal calls me a top travel influencer, number 46 among the top 100.
I was featured in Redbook for my DIY car-buying skills (as a woman) and in Real Simple for gift-buying tips.
Recognized by Travel Media Showcase on behalf of Niagara Falls, USA, and Cabbarus, North Carolina, my travel articles won for their writing clips.
My travel photography skills won a Southern Delaware IG photo contest.
My easy recipes are online with a sister company of a Fortune 500 brand that markets small kitchen appliances! You’ve already used many of my recipes without knowing I wrote them!
Table of Contents
About Dana ~ Where, What, Who
Welcome to my life! My name is Dana Vento, and you have found my working portfolio, DanaVento.Com.
Thank you so much for dropping in and getting to know more about me!
I’m a mother, travel writer, food writer, DIY girl, and photographer. I live in Pennsylvania with my husband and family and have a rescue cat named Bella Dolce.
There’s never a dull moment in our home, and I often capture that in my stories!
My destiny to bake, cook, and travel was always right in front of me, and I’ll share my insider story!
About Dana is not an easy story to write and keep short, but I’ll try!
Inside Scoop About Dana
Now, I call Pittsburgh home, but I visit Chicago because it is a treasured past, and I will consider myself a Pittsburgh transplant, so I view the city differently from those who live here.
I travel through Pittsburgh learning about it as a travel writer, more than as a resident, and I have never worked with Visit Pittsburgh, so if it’s written on my website, it’s all from personal finds, not recommended by anyone.
Pittsburgh is a very different kind of place, and I use it to gain insight and focus everywhere else I travel.
Dana + My Grandmothers’ Talents Formed My Cooking + Baking
Throughout my website, you’ll see mentions of my grandmothers, Stella and Santa, 2 leading ladies in the kitchen. Both of my grandmothers were always ‘about Dana‘ they put me ahead of everything they had going on when we spent time together.
Each grandmother possessed special gifts of cooking and baking, and I spent so much time with each of them in the kitchen, and I learned to create many traditional recipes and bake and cook! As you can tell, my ‘In The Kitchen with Dana’ was already in the making!
Therefore, I am a self-taught baker, cook, and photographer, though I have received a great deal of training in photography via a part-time job I used to have.
On The Job With Chef DANA
What you may not know about Dana (me) is that at one point in my life, before a large personal family tragedy, I owned an Italian Deli & reservation-only weekend Italian Restaurant. There, I became a self-proclaimed chef, as our seating sold-out weekend after weekend.
My destiny to create DanaVento.Com was solidified even after the restaurant and store closed. We closed the store, because our family suffered a tragic loss, and the loss changed my destiny and work mentality forever (along with the rest of our family). The long work weeks of 90+ stopped because I wanted to be with my kids, and being at the Deli/Store no longer was meshing with my life.
Reality smacked me in the face, cold and hard. My destiny was paved out, and I was about to follow the trail.
However, ceasing my store location didn’t stop my clients from calling on me as I had built a solid reputation for incredible meals, desserts, and bread. Cell phones make it possible to stay in touch always and forever!
Clients continued to request meals, holiday cookie trays, cannolis with chocolate filling, cinnamon bread, wonton chips, braciole, etc. And to further the requests, I was consistently hired as a private chef for their dinner parties.
In the midst, I launched my first website, then the second. I transitioned to Dana (DanaVento.Com) and was immediately hired by the aforementioned sister company of a Fortune 500 brand to write photograph, and video easy-to-recreate recipes for air fryers, steamers, bread machines, dehydrators, etc.
At that point, I knew I could do so much more and worked harder to make it happen.
In The Kitchen With Dana
While my kids were in school and volunteered for Spanish teaching for grades 1-8 at our local Catholic School, I continued creating recipes.
My recipes were rough sketches of what was about to appear, I was being discovered and featured by food companies and cooking brands, and I was being featured on their websites and flyers.
- Giant Eagle
- Mrs. Fields
Then, Shop n’ Save, a local grocery retailer, hired me as their online spokesperson, and from there, my website exploded!
My kids were still young, and I had no one to help, and the more popular my site got, the more invites I received to travel to food brand destinations.
Travel With Dana
As a child, I was well-traveled, having been up and down the East Coast a multitude of times, through some of the midwest, and back and forth to California and Hawaii, Kaui, and Maui, as well as a trip to Sardinia, Italy on my own for a month!
Yes, I had the travel bug planted on me by my parents, and it keeps me propelled now!
After a while, I finally managed to go on some of the trips I was being offered and well the rest became history.
The About Dana Travel Writing Journey
On my Instagram feed, my beach photography won accolades too in Southern Del!
Travel is something that I simply can’t get enough of. I love to see and experience new places, not just those hot spots but uncovering all the area, or as much as I can when I am there.
Until the pandemic, I was in a suitcase 32 weeks a year in between recipe creation and DIY projects and I was slated for a fabulous 3 week Europe journey which all came to a halting stop!
We’ve traveled during the pandemic and I’ve shared those journies as well.
I am ready to cruise again, use my passport again, and travel to wherever, whenever, because everywhere in our world has something interesting to see!
Did you know this about Dana? I get Down + Dirty wth DIY
When I travel destinations inspire me to come home and dive into a DIY to change up parts of my home and I do just that.
You’ll find some amazing sponsored DIY projects on my website and the projects are easy to do in your own home!
My husband and I have done full bathroom renovations, to new bathroom renovations, installed faux brick walls, closet makeovers, and recently a staircase makeover from top to bottom (and that is just a sprinkling of all the DIY!)
DIY is how I use my downtime, and it allows me to use my DIY skills to upgrade the interior and exterior of my home and is a great stress reliever!
Plus, it saves me a lot of money and headaches from hosting workers in my house that ‘fall through ceilings’!
Food ~ Travel ~ DIY ~ It’s A Lifestyle
Every recipe released has been used and tested in my kitchen endlessly before I share it so that I KNOW it works.
Unlike many, I don’t buy my recipes from other ‘ghost writers’, I actually cook the recipes in my kitchen and use them daily.
My recipes will turn out if you follow the directions.
When I travel, I share photos that are untouched, and unfiltered, that’s known as setting realistic expectations and it is who I am, REAL!
My DIY projects are only things that we actually needed to do in our home, not just done to be sponsonred.
I am a one-person team, meaning:
- all social is posted by me
- recipes are made, photo’d and video’d by me
- all writing on the website is from me
- I run every aspect of my business from emails to writing.
Thank you for being part of my journey and make sure to sign up for my newsletter so you can get all the latest travel, food, and DIY projects that I post! ~ Dana XO