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 I 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 were always right in front of me and I’ll share my insider’s story!
About Dana is not an easy story to write and keep short, but I’ll try!
Inside Scoop About Dana
I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but I was born in Chicago, Illinois. There I spent the first part of my young life until work brought us back to Pennsylvania.
Now, I call Pittsburgh home, but I do visit Chicago because it is a treasured past and I will just consider myself a Pittsburgh transplant, so I view the city very 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 my advantage to gain insight and focus everywhere else I travel to.
My Grandmother’s Talents + About Dana
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.
Both of my grandmothers had specials gifts of cooking and baking and I spent so much time with each of them in the kitchen, and I learned a lot.
From each, I learned to create so many traditional recipes and how to 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.
About Dana ~ Cooking + Baking Continued
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 disappeared.
Our family suffered through a tragic loss, and I had just had my 3rd child. That moment changed my destiny and working away from my kids with 90+ work hours a week had to stop.
Reality smacked me in the face cold and hard. My destiny was paved out and I was about to follow the trail.
My Customers knew about Dana + found me
However, my clients, however, did not stop calling, as I had built a solid reputation for incredible meals, desserts, and bread.
Each had my cell number, and they used it, asking me if I could continue preparing their meals, and ordering holiday cookie trays, cannoli’s, pepperoni bread, etc.
Most also had house parties and hired me to be the Chef.
In the midst, I was hired to be a content ghostwriter for a massive online small appliance retailer. Chances are you’ve already used some of my recipes if you have an air fryer, steamer, bread machine, electric pressure cooker, etc.
At that point, I knew I could do so much more and I worked harder to make it happen.
In The Kitchen with Dana
While the kids were in school, and in between being a volunteer Spanish teacher for grades 1-8 at our local Catholic school, I carried on with cooking, and delivery, but eventually found that I wanted more people to be able to cook meals and enjoy food, so I began writing my recipes online in 2010.
While my recipes were rough sketches of what was about to appear, I was being discovered and featured by food companies and cooking brands like ALDI, Giant Eagle, Calphalon, Mrs. Fields, and so many more.
I was featured in ALDI flyers, with recipes and ideas on their website.
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 I kept getting invited to travel with food brands, and then electronics (as my professional background is in tech and HR!)
About Dana Vento: Travel Begins
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 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.
We’ve traveled on sponsored trips as a family of 5 via cruises, airplanes, and car, with trips varying from a week to 11 days (the kids had school which made it a little difficult!)
Now, as the kids are getting older, I travel with my husband on fabulous trips: Ireland, Vegas, Aruba, and more.
The About Dana Travel Writing Journey
I’ve won awards for my travel articles written for North Carolina (Cabarrus) as well as Niagara Falls USA.
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