Archive of ‘life’ category

Life Updates


Things have been quiet here on the blog, and I’m sorry for not giving more of an explanation. I needed to take a break and I wasn’t sure how long I was going to be away. I’ve had lots going on and my focus was split into a million directions. I needed to take some time to work on some other projects, but I’m happy to be back to blogging again! So here’s a little bit of what’s been going on over here:

I started my own law firm!

If you’ve read Dana Renee Style for any amount of time you probably know that I’m a lawyer. Well, earlier this year I decided to leave my job as the Supervising Attorney of the Small Business Division at a Baltimore County firm and go out on my own. I started my practice DM Law, LLC in Pasadena, Maryland. My practice focuses on serving artists and creative entrepreneurs as they start and grow their businesses.


I’m studying to take the bar again

As part of my efforts to grow my practice and move forward in my law career, I’m studying to take the bar again in February. I’ll be taking the UBE for admission to New York and New Jersey.


I’m becoming a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist

I’ve decided to take my love of aromatherapy to the next level and enrolled in a Certified Master Clinical Aromatherapy program through Heart of Herbs Herbal School. To document this journey, I’ve started a separate blog where I’m sharing information about my journeys and all my DIY recipes. You can check it out at Aromas for Life.

So that’s the highlights of what I’ve been up to. I’ll be sharing here again more regularly. You may see a little more in terms of personal posts, but there will still be plenty of beauty and fashion!


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.

Deb Bucy copy

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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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.

New Year’s Resolutions – Day Zero Project (101 in 1001)

starry skiesHappy New Year everyone! I hope your 2016 is off to an amazing start so far. As always, with a new year comes new goals. This year instead of doing new year’s resolutions (which I’m not a huge fan of anyway) I decided to switch things up and join Day Zero Project. Instead of having resolutions, I’ve made a list of my 101 things I want to complete in the next 1001 days. Some of these are big things (read 100 books and volunteer for 100 hours) others are small but things I’ve always wanted to do (make salsa and send a postcard to Post Secret). So below I’ve copied my list and you can follow me along here on the blog and on my Day Zero Project Profile. Let me know if you’re doing this project too!
1. Take a yoga or meditation class
2. Make at least 10 recipes that I’ve pinned on Pinterest
3. Make a photography portfolio
4. Make pesto
5. Finish My Friendship Crochet Blanket
6. Answer the “50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind”
7. Watch 26 movies I’ve never seen starting with each letter of the Alphabet
8. Read 100 books
9. Find a personally inspirational quote and work it into a piece of art or home decor
10. Send a secret to PostSecret
11. Get blog following to 2,500
12. Complete my Give 12 for 12 Project
13. Organize my office
14. Get a promotion
15. Leave an inspirational note inside a book for someone to find
16. Go to a concert
17. Clean out my closet
18. Dye my hair back to blonde
19. Determine my love language
20. Make photo book of first 5 years of marriage
21. Recode website
22. Take a zumba class
23. Make/bake 50 different desserts
24. Expand my vocabulary by 100 words
25. Make a list of 101 quotes that inspire me
26. Launch 5 new products
27. Start a podcast
28. Finish draft of book
29. Get a massage
30. Make dim sum
31. Go ice skating
32. Complete 10 classes on SkillShare
33. Improve my Spanish
34. Participate in a Color Run
35. Buy a piece of art from a local artist
36. Host a theme party
37. Attend a play
38. Attend an opera
39. Visit a new winery
40. Learn to use watercolors
41. Eat at 10 new restaurants
42. Plant an herb garden
43. Learn to play poker
44. Visit Ocean City, Maryland
45. Blog at least once a week for a year
46. Crochet a scarf
47. Legally change my name
48. Complete 30 Days of Greatness Challenge
49. Complete Plank Challenge
50. Learn how to country line dance
51. Complete OLW 2016
52. Order prints of our vacation photos
53. Create 101 new pairs of earrings
54. Learn to make polymer clay charms
55. Write a book of poetry
56. Take my husband to visit my family in Florida
57. Take a salsa class
58. Update my resume
59. Write an ecourse
60. Start keeping a gratitude journal
61. Open an IRA
62. Invest in 5 new stocks
63. Learn to do styled photo shoots
64. Shoot 10 portrait sessions
65. Post 10 new DIY projects on my blog
66. Complete a turkey trot
67. See the lights at Miracle on 34th Street (Baltimore)
68. Go on a dinner cruise in the harbor
69. Visit Las Vegas NEVADA
70. Backup our computer hard drives
71. Complete 100 volunteer hours
72. Redecorate our bedroom
73. Finish landscaping the front yard
74. Learn the rules for darts
75. Learn to make mole chicken
76. Complete the 100 Happy Days Project
77. Complete the 365 Photo Project
78. Make fonts out of my and my husband’s handwriting
79. Attend a ballet
80. Complete a jigsaw puzzle
81. Make salsa from scratch
82. Make a complete meal using only local ingredients from the farmer’s market
83. Get color contacts just for fun
84. Leave 25 Operation Beautiful notes
85. Update address book (and also note birthdays and anniversaries)
86. Complete our wills, living wills, and powers of attorney
87. Renew my notary commission
88. Purchase a fire proof box or mini safe to store important documents
89. Start 3 new holiday traditions
90. Order my DAR pins
91. Put family favorite recipes together into a book
92. Buy a bicycle
93. Find a new flea market to shop at
94. Attend a storage auction
95. Pay off at least 1 of my student loans
96. Play chess with DJ on a monthly basis
97. Join our local community improvement association
98. Attend a blogger event
99. Grow a succulent garden bowl for my office
100. Learn to identify more constellations
101. Send more snail mail (cards, letters, etc)

Rolling with the Unexpected

coffee on nightstandI know it’s basically been crickets here the past few weeks and I’m sorry for going MIA without a little bit of warning. It wasn’t an intentional break, but sometimes you just have to roll with what life gives you. The last few weeks have been full of highs and lows. The latter I’m not going to go into because I try to keep things positive on here, but for a while our emotions and energy were running on empty so if you want to send some prayers and good vibes our way, it would be greatly appreciated.

As for the good, things all sort of came together out of nowhere. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that I’ve been working on my Master’s degree. This past weekend I finished up all my coursework and I’ll graduate with the LL.M. next week. This is a huge relief to be done with school again for the time being (there’s a small chance I’ll go back to finish the three classes I need for a separate certificate, but I can’t think about that just yet!).

I also finally decided to make the shift with my job. I had promised myself that I would only stay where I was until I finished my program. One day, after unexpectedly getting out of work early, I channeled my motivation to switch things up and by the next week I had lined up a handful of interviews. My mom says that youjust have to keep putting what you want out there and opportunities will come. After suiting up and suffering through pantyhose in 85 degree weather, I ended up taking an associate position a local firm. Today was my first day and it’s pretty exciting. I can already see the potential and I’m very happy with my choice! While I’m glad they did, I had no idea things would come together this fast.

I also got to spend mother’s day with my mom yesterday. She came down on Saturday since I finished my final early. She went with me to pick up my new Canon 70D (a new job/graduation gift) and holy smokes am I in love!! We also hit up the flea market Sunday morning where I hit the craft supply jackpot from a vendor that was selling what appeared to be the closeout aisle from Michael’s for 5 for a $1. It took so much self-control to only hand over $9. I wanted to buy it all!

So here’s to a happy Monday and a start to a good week! I’ll be back to your regularly scheduled blog programming (whatever that means for this space). Stay tuned for some more fun announcements and a pretty sweet giveaway prizethat I’ve been holding onto for a few months!

Photo Credit: David Mao via Unsplash

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