#Give12Project January

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January: The Nail Fairy

For  the second month of Give 12 Project, I’m excited to be donating 12 bottles of nail polish to The Nail Fairy. The Nail Fairy was a project started by Tina Ngo of Tina’s Traveling Nails. As her own way of giving back, Tina dons a tutu and fairy wings and travels to the children’s wards of local hospitals to treat the kids to a fun and special manicure. I think this is an absolutely amazing project and hope to be able to organize a local nail fairy event here in Baltimore in the future. In the meantime, if you’d like to make a donation to her project, she is currently requesting Fairy Wings, Temporary Tattoos, Nail Polishes, Nail Art Supplies, Tutus, and Fun T-shirts for “Themed Fairy” outfits. Find mailing information for where to donate here and you can also make a monetary donation over on her GoFundMe page.

#Give12Project

Give 12 Project is a twelve month project that focuses on making/giving twelve of an item to a new charity each month. The goal of this project is to use passions, talents, and interests to give back in unique ways aside from just giving money. Some months may be donating from items around the house and others may require putting creative talents to work, but the goal is give 12 items to the featured organization. Each month you can check in with me here to see more about what I’m giving that month and learn more about the organization I’m giving to. I hope that this project will inspire you to give as well, whether 1 or 12 or 20! You can follow along with my project and share what you’re giving using the hashtag #Give12Project. I can’t wait to see what amazing things we all can accomplish.

Huge 25 Piece Stationery Giveaway!

Stationery Giveaway

So who’s ready for a giveaway? Seriously, it’s been too long since I’ve hosted one and I have tons of awesome prizes just waiting for you guys. These are going to become a monthly occurrence. To kick things off, I have a massive stationery destash. The prize includes 25 pieces of stationery featuring pieces from A Beautiful Mess Happy Mail, Sabrina Soto, and much more. All you have to do is sign up for the Dana Renee Style Newsletter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Bonus, by signing up, you also get access to the Dana Renee Style Subscriber Portal where you can download the Photo Packs and planner goodies!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

6 Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her Under $30

Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase, which goes to help support this blog.
Valentines Day Under $30

Looking for a great Valentine’s DAY gift for your special someone that won’t break the bank? Here are 6 thoughtful choices for her that are all under $30 each.

1. Helzberg Freshwater Pearl and Silver Earrings ($29.99)

2. South Moon Under Heart Trinket Tray ($18)

3. South Moon Under Heart Trinket Tray ($18)

4. Date Night Ideas Boxed Card Set ($14.95)

5. Godiva Charlotte Gastaut Coupes d’Amour Chocolates ($28)

6. Our Q&A 3 Year Journal ($12)

Enjoy Your Life

Brrr! It’s cold here in Maryland in the aftermath of Jonas. We are now venturing into the great “dig out” of 2016. I hope wherever you are, you are safe and warm and had a great weekend. Today I’m excited to bring you a guest post by Deb Bucy, an amazing new contributor here on Dana Renee Style (and I’m totally not biased because she’s my mom or anything, heh). She is pretty fantastic and has some words of wisdom to start this week off on a great foot. Enjoy!

20160108_130904-1I hope that everyone is off to a great start in 2016 and that in the new year you live a life of joy! I am talking about living with the kind of joy that resonates in your soul and makes you a happy person. Hey, I am not a Pollyanna and I know that life sometimes kicks you in the gut and leaves you feeling angry and annoyed, but I want you to consider that life is about choices and you can choose to be happy regardless of your circumstances.

Enjoying life is a choice.  That’s right!  Maybe you haven’t thought about it that way before, but you are in control of your own happiness! Whoa! Think about that for a minute. You, and only you, are responsible for your own happiness. So, do you greet each day with gratitude and excitement or fear and dread? If you wake up each day with fear and dread, here are some tips to help you turn that frown upside down. Yes, corny, I know. But, hang with me. I have some helpful advice. Here are five steps to help you find happiness.

  1. Understand that happiness is an emotional state of being. It is not the by-product of an event or a material thing. Set your mind to be happy. Start by thinking happy thoughts. When something negative enters your thoughts, immediately start listing things that create a happy feeling. It is difficult to divide your focus, so by intentionally turning your focus to what creates the happy feeling inside, the negative will disappear.

  2. Surround yourself with people that make you feel good. It is hard to cut ties with people who bring you down, but consider how heavy their influences are to carry. Imagine carrying around a suitcase filled with books you have already read, and we are not talking about a suitcase with wheels. The load is heavy. You have read the books and enjoyed their stories, but it no longer serves you to hold onto them. People can be like those books. You don’t need to carry them around when they are heavy and serve no purpose in your life. Does that sound harsh and selfish? Well, sometimes we lose our joy because we are not selfish enough. Remember, you and only you are in control of your joy.

  3. Stop comparing your life to others. Your journey is unique. You are unique. Comparing yourself to others brings judgment and envy. Judgment brings feelings of inadequacy and failure, followed by consumption of large quantities of Ben and Jerry’s  chunky monkey ice cream. I know some of you understand what I’m talking about. Envy just screams that you are not content with who you are. You aren’t finished with your life yet, so become whoever you want to be and let those you are envious of become whatever they have chosen to be. I want you to have the courage to live your life without the fear of others’ approval. At the end of the day, does it really matter what other people think? Please answer NO! It should only matter what you think. Let me add a disclaimer here. I am not encouraging behavior that is illegal. I am encouraging you to be happy (within the legal confines of your local, state and federal regulations) and that joy is a feeling you choose to have within, regardless of your outward circumstances.

  4. Get addicted to the feeling of joy. Sometimes, I think people get used to being the victim. It brings a certain kind of attention, and whining and complaining become a habit that becomes hard to break. Yes, I think people become addicted to being treated badly and being miserable. Pain is inevitable, but misery is a choice. You should get so comfortable with feeling joyful, so addicted to feeling joyful, that you will say no to anything that threatens to remove that high.

  5. Don’t live in the past. Anything bad that has happened is part of your story, but it should be part of your history, not your present or your future. Imagine you are packing a suitcase for a trip to sunny Mexico. Oh no, not another analogy to luggage? I am a flight attendant and it’s what I know, but stay with me and you might get something good out of this. You know that you will need flip flops and a swimsuit for Mexico. But let’s imagine that last year you went on a ski vacation and forgot to unpack. Your suitcase is filled with heavy winter clothes. There are sweaters and boots and scarves. Do you need these in Mexico? Probably not. Are you going to pack your summer clothes together with the winter stuff? Of course not. Why? Because you don’t need the winter clothes where you are going. So you remove the winter clothes and leave them behind. The same is true for all the bad stuff that happens in life. Leave those things behind because you don’t need to carry them around. They are heavy and unnecessary.

It took me a long time to figure out that happiness was a choice I could make. For years, I felt that happiness was the result of a goal, like I will be happy when I fall in love, or I will be happy when I get a new job or buy a house or have children. Sure,  all those things have brought me great joy, but they are not the source of my joy. The source of my joy is my choice to be happy regardless of the circumstances of my life and because that joy comes from within, no one can ever steal my joy.

I wish you a year of happiness. May you enjoy every single day of 2016.

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Author: Deb Bucy

Deb Bucy is a flight attendant, artist, humorist and lay speaker for the Methodist church. She likes to share her outlook on life and problem solving skills with humor and biblical insights in a way that relates to the secular world.

 

 

 

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Subscriber Portal + Planner Washing Machine Freebie

I hope you’re all staying warm during this blizzard and if you’re outside of the blizzard count me jealous! We have about 3 feet of snow at our house here in Maryland, so we’ve spent the weekend in bed with soup and Netflix. That’s left me some time to play around with blog features and I’ve got something pretty awesome to announce–the Dana Renee Style Subscriber Portal!

I’ve been working on creating lots of different resources and freebies and I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to launch them here on the blog. What I’ve come up with is a portal where I’ll launch the new photo packs, planner freebies, and lots of other new goodies throughout each month. All you have to do to gain access is subscribe to the Dana Renee Style Newsletter. Right now Photo Pack Vol. 1 is listed there and that’s how you’ll be able to access all of the new photo packs going forward.

Washing Machine Freebie (pdf and cut file)

You may already know that I dabble in digital design and most recently I’ve been obsessed with planner stickers and goodies. I have some for sale in the Dana Renee Style Shop, but I also wanted to share some fun freebies with my fellow planner lovers. Today I’m happy to announce that this Washing Machine Freebie has been added to the Subscriber Portal. The file includes both a .pdf and Silhouette cut file.

I hope you love these resources and that you’ll join me over in the Subscriber Portal. I know there’s only a few things in there now, but my hope is to grow it into a library of awesome resources over the next few months! Sign-up now to gain access!

 

 

StriVectin Advanced Retinol Pore Refiner Review

Strivectin Pore RefinerI count myself pretty lucky when it comes to skin concerns, but my pores have always posed a bit of an issue and I haven’t found much that’s improved the situation. I was excited to hear that iFabbo had partnered up with StriVectin to sample their Advanced Retinol Pore Refiner. I’m always game to try a new product, especially when it’s a one step multitasker like this one.

For a little background on the product, the StriVectin Advanced Retinol Pore Refiner is intended for daily use. It is a lightweight lotion that claims to minimize pores and contain anti-aging and moisturizing properties. The main purposes of this product are to reduce the appearance of pores, refine skin texture, control shine and absorb excess oil, and hyrdrate the skin.

I’ve been using this product for a couple of months now and I can honestly say that this product delivered for me. I have seen a quite noticeable difference in the size of my pores. They are much smaller and refined, leaving my complexion smoother.I also have skin that is on the more sensitive side and did not have difficulties using this product daily. One of the great thing about this reduction in pore size, is the way that makeup and other skincare products apply. You get a cleaner, smoother finish.

Overall, I highly recommend this product if you have skin care issues similar to mine. I think you’ll get a lot of bang out of a little bit of product. It is a bit on the pricier side coming in at $99, but a little goes a long way and I think it’s a solid investment.

Disclosure: I received this product gratis for the purposes of writing this review. All opinions are my own based on my personal experiences with the product.

 

Keranique Clean & Condition Hair Care Set Review

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My hair stylist is constantly reminding me about the importance that my shampoo and conditioner play in the health of my hair (read: Dana stop buying the 79¢ stuff). So when iFabbo reached out with the opportunity to try Keranique, I thought it would be an opportunity to see if this is the right fit for my daily routine. I ended up being split on the set.

The Keranique Clean & Condition Hair Care Set is meant to stimulate the scalp, including the hair follicles, and increase strength, volume, and thickness. The set runs for $49.95 for both products and comes with a bonus detangling comb. I would say that used properly, there is easily a two month supply in the bottles. The main active ingredient in these products is the Keratin Amino Complex that works to condition the hair without creating build up or weighing it down.

I’ve been using this set for a while now and I’ve found that I’m a bit split. I really enjoy the scalp stimulating shampoo and find that it leaves my hair clean and silky without drying it out. However, I’m not as big a fan of the conditioner. To me it was a bit on the heavier side, and while it didn’t leave a build up, I didn’t get quite the same styling hold after using. I will say that I do have thick hair to begin with, so I am probably not 100% the target market for the conditioner and I can definitely see it working well for someone with finer hair.

Additionally, I was impressed by the clean sent and the ergonomic packaging. Overall, I think it’s a quality product, just not the right fit for me.

You can find out more about the Keranique brand on their website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Disclosure: I received this product gratis for the purposes of writing this review. All opinions are my based on my personal experiences with the product.

Link Love Week 1

Focus Digital Stamp Set 2As part of my word for this year, focus, I’ve decided to focus on the things that resonate with me and I thought I’d implement this on the blog by sharing a few of my favorite links from across the web each week.

Focus – My Word of 2016

focus 2016
You might remember that last year I decided to join the One Little Word workshop with Ali Edwards. In case you’re not familiar, it builds on the premise of choosing a single word to guide you throughout the year. Ali puts together a series of monthly prompts to help you reflect and engage with your word.

Although I didn’t complete all of the prompts, having a word to guide me through the year really helped me to hone in on opportunities that I otherwise might have let slip by. My word last year was “engage” and using that one word to guide my perspective really shifted my perceptions throughout the year.

For 2016, I decided that my word would be focus. Last year I engaged with my life and my surroundings, now this year its time to focus on what is really important. Focus on my health, focus on my career, focus on family, there are so many applications. This year is about filtering out the noise and the negative and focusing on positivity and opportunity. It’s about focusing on both goals and the journey to get there. It’s about seeing the big picture, but focusing on each small step along the way that will build into something great.

In addition, this word has a bit of a double meaning for me as I’m also working on further developing my photography skills. As part of my commitment to focus and photography, I started a new project on the blog releasing a photo pack of 10 photos each month that are free for bloggers to use.

I’m looking forward to seeing what 2016 holds. Are you choosing a word to guide your year? Let me know in the comments.

Introducing Photo Packs – Free to Use Hi-Res Images

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If you’ve been following the Dana Renee Style blog for a while, then you know that I love taking photos. More than that, as a blogger, I know how hard it can be to find images for blog posts and navigate the ins and outs of licensing.

As my own little contribution, I’ve decided to release monthly photo packs that you can use for personal and editorial purposes on your blog. Each month I’ll release a new pack of 10 photos, some months will have themes while others may be a mix.

This months theme is all about nature. I snapped these photos in gorgeous midday light at a park near our house accompanied by my puppy, Bella. We had a ton of fun capturing these pictures and I’d love to see how you use them!

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Ready to download this month’s image pack? Click below to download the .zip file of 10 full size, high resolution images.

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