Sunday, December 30, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

On Hand™ by ODL Makes Getting Organized Easy


Help! The holidays are right around the corner, and I know I've got holidays items stashed from last year that I don't want to buy again.
Getting and keeping organized is not one of the things I'm best at, but as a Lifestylist®  I'm always trying out new products and ideas to help me stay focused and de-cluttered. And I found one that is so brilliant I can't believe someone hadn't thought of it before - On Hand™ by ODL.
With houses getting smaller and square footage being at a premium, ODL came up with a great way to go vertical and use an area that you already have in your home -doors. On Hand™ fits into a flush door and can be used in a solid core or specially braced hollow core door. It makes use of both sides of the door - one side gains valuable storage space and the other side become a display and communication area. Everything is adjustable and can be customized for your lifestyle.
I love this product because I am able to get smaller items out of the "mystery drawers" and put them in a place where I can actually find them. It's the ultimate way to organize spices, my canning supplies, and all of those kitchen gadgets I can't live without.
The drawers and cabinets in my bathroom always become a black hole as well - On Hand™ made it easy to find all of my girly stuff that I have to keep buying because I don't know where it went, bath products and even makeup.
In the utility room it became the pet organizer where I was able to hang leashes, collars, treats and there other goodies where they were easy to find and keep together.
The other side become a message center where you can write to do lists or phone messages on the glass with a erasable marker, and put soccer and bulky trash schedules behind the glass to keep up with everyone's schedules. I'm thinking it might also be the perfect place to display all of the Christmas cards we get this year as well.
I'm in love with this product, and I can't stop thinking about all of the fun ways I could incorporate this into The Home Idea Factory. My clients are loving it as well, and Reidman Development will be one of the first builders to offer it to their customers in their new Hammocks at Canandaigua.
This is a brand new product, but can find more information on the ODL website or feel free to contact us at: answers@lifestylist.com and we'll be happy to help you find a place that you can purchase this in your area.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Celebrating The Arts Community in Dallas

It's a great time to be a resident of Dallas, TX especially if you are a business owner. Not only is the cost of living 8% less than most United States cities, but we also have a mayor that appreciates the arts and the value they can bring to a city and it's residents.

The Business Council For The Arts recently presented their 2012 Obelisk Awards to a wonderful group of businesses and individuals that help the arts flourish in the North Texas area, and it was wonderful to see companies such as Capital One NorthPark Center, Half Price Books and others there to support this amazing organization.

Being a Lifestylist® is all about supporting the arts, and we were thrilled to be there to share this great event with you.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Museum Tower in Dallas Needs to See The Light

One of the best things this Lifestylist® ever did was to buy  The Home Idea Factory. Not only do I have space to try out new ideas and to foster lots of rescue animals, but I'm also only a few miles from the Dallas Arts District. - This wonderful gem is tucked away in downtown Dallas and you can experience the best in the culinary arts, discover new artists or ones that you have always read about, and appreciate what Mother Earth has graced us with in the Nasher Gardens or at the new Klyde Warren Park.
When I was driving to one of my favorite events - 'Til Midnight at The Nasher - I was literally blinded while I was driving over the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. I'd heard about all of the controversy surrounding the new Museum Tower, but it wasn't until I seriously couldn't see while I was driving 45 miles an hour on a highway because of it did I realize how dangerous it is - not only to the Arts District but to motorists driving down the various highways beside it.
Not only is the Museum Tower getting a reputation for being a bad neighbor - it's going to kill someone.
Let's hope that The Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund -owners of this $200 million dollar building do something about this issue before someone gets hurt.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What's New in Today's Housing


Change can be a very scary thing, but when a company like SE Homes of TX - a division of Clayton Homes - can change people's perception of manufacturing housing it's exciting!
The recent home show that they had at their Ft. Worth, TX location shows why SE Homes of TX has emerged as a leader in design and lifestyle. All of the 5 Lifestylist® Designed homes were very well received, but the one that stole the show was definitely The Monarch. I've shared photos of this home with consumers living in very high end site built homes and with custom builders and developers, and none of them can believe that this is a factory built home.
I've never seen this floorplan before. It is perfectly in tune with today's home buyer and the lifestyle they are hoping to achieve. It's open, the master suite is in a separate part of the home and has access to the very cool patio that is enclosed on 3 sides and ships as part of the home.
The "pet parlor" has also been a hit - this space in the utility room featured a pet shower with hand held showerhead, and a feeding drawer that can be closed when not in use.
I'm excited about this positive direction for our industry, and think you will be as well. For more information, visit the SE Homes of TX website or email Ryan Blackburn at: ryan.blackburn@sehomes.com

Friday, September 14, 2012

The History of Factory Built Housing



There's nothing we love more than a positive story about factory built housing, and BobVila.com has a wonderful article about the history of factory built housing.  Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber was honored to be interviewed and quoted in the story, and what is really exciting is that the author of the story - Jane Dagmi - was so intrigued about what this form of housing offers she's continuing to learn more and visit communities on her own. I'm looking forward to more of her stories in the future.
One of the things that has always been a detriment to our industry was the perception the press has, so having writers not only like our homes but also want to know more is a step in the right direction.
Be sure to also take a look at the timeline that Jane did -it's one of the best I've seen.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Modular Housing Gains Acceptance

It seems like people are finally beginning to realize that factory built housing may be a better way to build - I've had two site builders ask me if the projects that we are working on might be more efficient if we do a modular build instead of the way they traditionally build. What's really great is these are both commercial projects - one is a clubhouse and one is transitional housing for 14 so I'm really proud of my clients for looking at all options. In fact, Champion Homes is doing quite a few commercial builds, including hotels for a major hotel company - I can't wait to see (and stay in) the finished buildings.
Many people have the misconception that using modular construction is very limiting - I'm always surprised with how many people think you can only do 1 story. In fact, all construction has some limitations, but with modular you can build multi story buildings just as you can with site built.
This beautiful home in Montana that was built by the EnergyMate division of Patriot Homes is an example of what can be accomplished using modular construction. It has a 2 story family room and rock fireplace in it -they just completed the fireplace on-site with rocks they found on the ranch.
Before you make a decision on who is going to be building your next home or building, you might contact one of the many fine modular builders that might be the right fit for you.
If you need recommendations on who might be a good fit for you, feel free to contact us at: answers@lifestylist.com and we'll be happy to share our list of qualified builders with you.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Win An OXO Salad Spinner!

Summer is definitely here, and it's heating up in Texas. I turn into a really lazy cook when it gets so hot, and we do the Lifestylist® version of a salad bar many evenings.

Everything gets prepped - even the kids help plate their favorite ingredients -then we put everything on the island and people make their own salads as big or small as they choose.

I've stopped buying the bagged lettuce and greens because they are expensive and taste like chemicals to me. With the OXO Salad Spinner you can easily use heads of lettuce, spin them and even serve them in the bowl of the spinner. The kids love to help, and it's fast and easy for me.

To win won of these great products from OXO, go to the Lifestylist® Food blog and enter. there are 7 different ways you can get additional entries, and winner will be announced on May 11th.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Savor Dallas 2012

It's time for Savor Dallas again! This annual celebration of food and wine takes place March 30-31,2012. Take a look at some of the wonderful photos taken by Lisa Stewart of Lisa Stewart Photography and see why you need to join the Lifestylist® team at this wonderful event.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bridge-O-Rama is an Event For The People


There is nothing this Lifestylist® loves more than when a community comes together, and this weekend was a wonderful example of that. Dallas celebrated the opening of The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge - a beautiful example of functional art by having a weekend of activities including art exhibits, car shows, fun runs and parades. It also introduced visitors to some of the newest residents of West Dallas - The Workroom and Trinity Groves.
The Parade of Giants featured 15 giant puppets that were made by local groups and artisans and represented people who played a part in the history of the area. Many of the people who worked on the puppets were related to the people represented by the puppets, and it was really fun to hear stories about how these people had played a part in shaping the community and themselves.
Bridge-O-Rama is an event that I hope will continue - it was well managed and was truly an event for the people.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras Greetings

Daisy loves the Lifestylist® philosophy of Life Celebrating Style.  She is also open to any excuse to wear her favorite hats and attract attention.  Mardi Gras Greetings from Daisy the diva dog and the Lifestylist® family!

Friday, February 17, 2012

The International Builders Show Features Factory Built Homes by Palm Harbor

What a great, busy month this has been! This Lifestylist® has show houses to plan, new products to design and great conventions to attend... there just aren't enough hours in the day for all of the great opportunities that are ahead of us!
Last week I attended the International Builders Show in Orlando and after attending this convention for over 20 years I think this year was one of my favorites.
I am so proud to be a part of the National Association of Home Builders and to be involved in the modular side of home building. This was the year when I saw home builders really taking notice of what benefits factory built construction could offer them, and not only did we do a great job of talking about it - we also showed them.
There are meetings that go on before the Builders Show starts that help put in place best practices to promote and grow the housing industry. Councils cover various specialty groups, and I was impressed to see that Kevin Flaherty, Vice President of Marketing for Champion Homes was not only attending these meetings, he is also acting as Vice Chairman for the Building Systems Council. "The New Champion" is really showing their strength and commitment to the factory built housing industry, and not only are they active with NAHB, they are also becoming more active with the Manufactured Housing Institute. Kevin was a presenter in the NAHB News Conference "Industry Study: Characteristics of Modular Homes" and had great facts and figures about why consumers should consider buying a modular home.
Palm Harbor Homes presented three beautiful factory built homes in the Professional Builder Show Village showing a "Net Zero Eco-Home" that was a 399 sq. ft. park model, a modular duplex, and a modular luxury home. Tony Lucas the designer for Palm Harbor always does an outstanding job, but what he did with the Net Zero home really got people's attention. Tony added the architectural details on the exteriors that made you want to know and see more which is a lot of what you want a show home to do. It was interesting because another builder brought a home for the first time and it was in neutral colors and without much exterior interest, and many people (including myself) passed it by. I heard the home was beautiful inside, but only found that out after the show was over.
Builders were fascinated by the fact that the three homes were installed, furnished and decors added in 8 days. This was proof of one of the many benefits that factory built housing offers - time savings which results in cost savings. Will these homes result in sales for Palm Harbor? Ron Powell, President of Manufacturing for Palm Harbor Homes stated that "I haven't seen the statistics, but our internal feeling is that attendance at Show Village was better than last year. There were more attendees with solid projects in the immediate future. In the last few years, there were a lot of attendees trying to flesh-out ideas. This year, they've got land and are ready to go."
Besides having market driven homes at the show, I was also impressed to see Joe Stegmayer - the Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cavco Industries, a director and officer of Fleetwood Homes, Inc.  and Palm Harbor Homes, Inc. ,and a director of Palm Harbor Villages, Inc working the show. How he has time to even attend something like this is amazing, and I said working not attending the show because every time I saw him he was helping a potential customer or answering questions. And in his "spare" time he is serving as the Chairman of the Board for The Manufactured Housing Institute. His hands on approach to the factory built housing industry is one of the reasons it will continue to be a force to be reckoned with.
One of the highlights of this year's show for me was getting to hear Ben Bernanke speak about the state of our economy and what's ahead for housing. More on that later, but to see more images from this year's International Builders Show, visit and "like" our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/lifestylelist. I took over 2,000 photographs and I'm anxious to share my favorites with you.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

KidFilm Salutes Author and Illustrator Peter Brown

It's hard to believe that this is the 28th year that the USA Film Festival has been holding it's KidFilm festival.The largest children's film and video festival in the US hosts bus loads of school kids from local schools and teaches them about film making and important social topics that are covered in the films. Then there is a weekend of programming that is open to the public where special guests come in and share their crafts with the audience.
This year Peter Brown - celebrated author and illustrator of books that appeal to the kid in all of us attended. Not only did he introduce 2 films that were made of his books,but he also gave everyone in the audience a copy of "You Will Be My Friend". We all read the book together, then Peter autographed them for the kids. As a Family Lifestylist®, it is always so rewarding to be a part of opportunities like this where families can enjoy quality programming and we can all learn together.

Having the opportunity to volunteer at amazing events such as this are the reason I love being on the board for The USA Film Festival. It's a group I've been involved with for years, and seeing families being able to enjoy quality events like this one make it very rewarding.
If you live in the Dallas area you should look into becoming a member of this amazing organization. They have special screenings many with guests in attendance all year long, and being a member gives you the chance to get tickets to many of these sold out events before the general public. For more information give them a call at: 214-821-3456.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Gnome Knows

Let 2012 begin! It's looking like a very busy year for this Lifestylist® - I'm already working on trips to Michigan, New York, Las Vegas and Florida. All of these are to work with clients, and I'm always very frugal as to where I stay when I'm on the road.
The first destination for me when I'm trying to get my travel reservations in order is Travelocity. This has been such a great time saver for me, and I've discovered really cool hotels I never would have known (or Gnome) about without their help. I was fortunate enough to spend some quality time with that cute little guy sporting the pointy red at the past few years at Savor Dallas, and he shared some great tips with me.
One of the best ways to save is to book everything together on their site. Not only can it save you money, it's easier to keep up with to have your reservations  all in one place.
Thanks to their help, I discovered what I consider the best travel deal I've ever found. I needed a last minute room in the Tampa Bay area so I looked on Travelocity to see what I could find, and there it was - The Postcard Inn. Right on the beach, cool and funky, and amazing restaurant, Snack Shack and bar right on site, and under $75.00 a night! I liked it so much my daughter and grandkids joined me there to celebrate my birthday.
The next time you are thinking about heading out of town and experience something different, try Travelocity and trust their suggestions. Hopefully you'll be able to find your own Postcard Inn to enjoy.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

What's Mine is Not Yours - Intellectual Property

Seth Godin is my guru. He is so no nonsense but funny at times, intellectual but down to earth, and what I really love about him is that he can get a point across faster than anyone else I know. His Purple Cow book started me on a new road to being more involved in marketing and social media so I'm forever grateful. When I worked on the Purple Cow House Campaign with Patriot Homes I made sure to get permission from Mr. Godin, and we credited him for the phrase (and gave out his Purple Cow Book).

Today I got a great post from him titled "Simple Thoughts About Fair Use". So timely, and as always so well written. In this new blogging, social world I'm always stunned to see how many people are using other people's photography, ads, brands, and stories without permission. This article is a must read for anyone who is even thinking about posting on Facebook, Twitter, or a blog and using someones text or images.

I'm fortunate enough to have access to a very talented photographer - Lisa Stewart of Lisa Stewart Photography. The images you see in my blogs, on my Lifestylist Design Facebook page and on my website have been shot specifically for my use. I do that so I'm not using other people's work and having copyright infringements.

Lifestylist® is a term that I successfully trademarked in 2002 - my registration number is 2583235. I'm very proud of this because I thought I had a good idea and made the extra effort do "do the right thing" and spend the time, effort, and money to trademark it. You would be amazed at how much time I've had to spend since them protecting my mark because people haven't bothered to do their homework and see that it's trademarked before they use it in their own businesses.

Before you decide that you have discovered the next great phrase, or "borrow" a photo from someone else be sure to read Seth's post. Wondering where to learn more about these topics? The US Patent and Trademark Office has a great site, and it is also where you can search trademark registrations and applications.