Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

All of us at The Lifestylist Brands would like to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. May it be filled with family, friends, love and great food!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Martha Stewart American Made Competition

BabetteIt's so hard to find companies that only make American Made products these days, but what's even rarer than that is a woman owned company that is over 20 years old and only sells American Made products. Babette Holland was making beautiful furniture, vases, mirrors, and accessories in her Tribeca NY studio when the World Trade Center was hit only blocks from her. She has always been an advocate for animals and was a huge influence before and after for getting animals off the streets and into loving homes. Shortly after that she was diagnosed with MS, but was worried about what the effect would be on her business if her clients and others knew she was struggling with this disease. She shared in her own words on our Lifestylist page what she has been going through, and how she has decided it is time for her to come forward and educate people about MS. She has been honored by having her company included in the Martha Stewart American Made contest, and is close to winning but needs everyone's help to help her over the finish line. Please visit the Martha Stewart page, enroll then you can vote up to 6 times a day until Sept. 22nd. Someone like Babette never asks for help, so I'm thrilled for a change I can be the one to help her dreams come true!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Domestic Lifestylist®

Facebook PageHave you "liked" our Domestic Lifestylist Facebook page yet? We are getting ready to add some great new features that you won't want to miss - hope to see you there soon!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Making Memories on Memorial Day

Smith35 copySmith201 copySmith tifScan 121030 0021 2 copyMemorial Day weekend has always been one of my favorites. It held the promise that school was almost over, Summer vacation was just around the corner, and we would be heading to the family farm in Erie, Pennsylvania to spend time with my cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. I feel so blessed to have had such great experiences - our family has always been very close and full of role models that to this day I look up to. I love every community I get to work on, but being asked to be the Lifestylist® for The Hammocks at Millcreek has a very special meaning to me. I'm in a way getting to go home - to share all of the reasons I love Erie with people who will be able to call The Hammocks home. Please "like" their Facebook page and visit their website to learn why The Hammocks at Millcreek should be your new home.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Spicing Things Up

Spices throwaway 12Spices throwaway 3The Lifestylist test kitchen is almost complete! As I was taking everything out of drawers and my old pantry I realized now is the perfect time to check expiration dates on everything and get rid of things that aren't as fresh as the rest of the ingredients I use in my dishes. I was amazed that most spices didn't have expiration dates on them, but here are a few simple tips that can help you decide whether to keep or trash you pantry inventory. * Smell - always the easiest. If something smells "off" or in the case of spices has no scent at all it's time to replace. * Appearance - if something looks off as far as color or texture get rid of it immediately! The last thing you want to do is make yourself or your guests sick. Faded spices can mean that their strength isn't what it should be and will throw off the taste of your dish. * Expiration Dates - I do trust these and if somethings past that date will get rid of it. It just isn't worth ruining a dish of dinner party to save a few dollars. * Moisture - if something get introduced to an outside moisture source I would get rid of it instead of having to worry about mold or having it compromised. My sweet contractor made me a spice rack and I can't wait to start filling it. My favorite source for the freshest spices is Penzeys. They have opened quite a few stores and they also can be purchased online. My new absolute spicy find though is Tabasco Spicy Salt. I've never found it in the stores but you can but it at their online store. It's a blend of their very own slat that is mined on Avery Island, Louisiana and ground red pepper. It has quite a kick and a little goes a long way. I use it on everything!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Message of Hope: African Orphans Sen Love to Moore Oklahoma




My sister and her family live in Edmond, Oklahoma and are one of the lucky families that have a storm shelter. Tornadoes touched down near them last weekend but what happened to them was nothing like what happened to the residents of Moore, Oklahoma.

Last Summer they had an unbelievable experience - they packed up trunks and suitcases full of shoes, clothes, blankets, and other needed items and headed to Maisha International Orphanage - an amazing labor of love in Kisumu, Kenya. The stories and images they brought back are life changing, and it's a great reminder of how a small donation or offering can be life changing to these kids.

The beautiful souls at Maisha wanted to do something for their friends in Oklahoma City and Moore, and made this video as a way of showing their love and support. What a great reminder this Memorial Day weekend how precious life is and we all need to live ours to the fullest.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Doing The Most Good: Salvation Army

Salvation Army Hurricane 6Salvation Army Hurricane 7Salvation Army Hurricane 1Salvation Army Hurricane 3
It's heartbreaking to watch the news today and see the devastation in Moore, Oklahoma. My sister and her family live in Edmond, OK and I have clients that have land lease communities very close to where the tornado touched down. People always think that "trailer parks" or "mobile home parks" are the worst places to be during a disaster like this, but that just isn't true. I was glad to hear that the Yes! Communities in this area only sustained hail and wind damage and no one was hurt. Their on-site managers made sure that everyone got to where they needed to be and are now busy helping them get emergency supplies and repairs. That's one of the advantages of living in a well run land lease community - there's always someone there to help. If you would like to help the people of Moore that were affected by the storm, I encourage you to donate to the Salvation Army. They truly do the most good with every dollar that is donated.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Lifestylist is a Cover Girl!

The Lifestylist® Brands are a woman owned and operated business, and we were honored this month to be featured on the cover of the inaugural issue of Woman Owned Business Club Magazine. This is a great networking group for women and gives us a way to network with our peers and learn best practices for our businesses.

The magazine will be a place for us to share our business successes and to give tips to readers on lifestyle, beauty, and family as well. Lifestylist Suzanne Felber will be a contributing writer and looks forward to sharing lots of Lifestylist ideas and inspirations.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mothers Day!

PhotoHappy Mothers Day! I was reminded today as to why I became a Lifestylist® - my mother is the perfect example of who to live your life with style. We celebrated with homemade cinnamon buns and a cruise around their lake - how did you celebrate with your Mom?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sweet Snacks

Cookie Chips 15I've always had a sweet tooth, but regret the calories that most of my favorites have as soon as I eat them. Cookie Chips are my new favorite snack - sweet, crunchy and only around 20 calories each! These great bites are made by HannahMax Baking and are all natural, no artificial flavors or colors and no trans fats! My favorite is the original which tastes like an old fashioned homemade butter cookie. They are also available in Cinnamon Sugar, Chocolate Chip and Sea Salted Peanut Butter. It's been really hard to get in the kitchen these days with the Lifestylist® Brands being so successful, so discovering these treats is almost as good as making them myself.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Super Bowl Party Recipes

Pepperoni Pops8The Super Bowl isn't only about football - it's also about getting together with family and friends and having a great time. Being a Lifestylist® is all about Life Celebrating Style, and we've put together some quick and easy recipes that will make any gathering an event to remember. Our Pepperoni Pops are one of our favorites, but you can find all of them on our Lifestylist Recipe page.

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Jump Start To Spring Cleaning

Clarendon Spring2012 3Finally! We are actually getting some sunny days again, and it's making me think that it might be time to clean some of the windows in The Home Idea Factory. We love The Huffington Post and all of the great ideas that they share. They just did a story on cleaning tips - which is your favorite, and do you have one that isn't in the article? One of the Lifestylist® favorites is a product I found over 20 years ago when I had a home in New York City - Dr. Bronners. Their organic castile soap is good for everything from washing your hair, cleaning dishes or using as a cleaning solution everywhere in the home. It's super concentrated so you use 1 part soap to 40 parts water! I've been only using Dr Bronners to wash my face and as a body was ever since I discovered it, and my kids now only use it too. I love the Peppermint fragrance - it smells so clean and fresh! My Domestic Lifestylist® side loves cleaning my home with it as well -it actually makes cleaning fun! You can find this wonder product at most health food stores or on their website.

Friday, January 25, 2013

How OXO Is Protecting Their Brand

OXO Spinner 5It's just not easy doing business these days. Even when you constantly try and do the right thing, play by the rules, do everything you can to make the world a better place and treat your customers and employees like you would like to be treated, someone comes along and attacks everything you have worked so hard for. OXO, a wonderful, ethical company that is known for it's ingenious products and ideas sent me an email today about a competitor that is accusing them of stealing a product idea and proceeded to put up a billboard stating these charges 2 blocks from the OXO corporate office. The CEO of Quirky - Ben Kaufman then staged a picket line outside of OXO to draw attention to their charges. I guess they didn't realize that OXO doesn't only have smart designs, they are also really smart about marketing and intellectual property. They have been very supportive of the blogger community and came to us with the facts on this matter - all very well researched and stated. It turns out that Quirky never went to OXO to voice their concerns and allegations even though the companies are within blocks of each other in NYC. When the President of OXO Alex Lee met with Quirky CEO in 2012 about product design and innovation Lee asked Kaufman "what steps Quirky took to protect the intellectual property (IP) of this broad community when inventors submit their idea in an open and public forum". Kaufman responded "Nothing. Speed to market is our best protection." Almost every day I find another person or company that is using my trademarked term Lifestylist®. I spent a lot of time and money almost 15 years ago to trademark the term because I believed in it and wanted to protect it in the right way - legally. I've trademarked other terms and uses since then and it amazes me how many people never search the US Patent and Trademark records to see if a term they want to use is trademarked before they tie it to their brand. So I am going to do for OXO what I hope other people will do for me. I'm going to share the OXO story, and I'm going to buy their products and support their brand. How we spend our hard earned dollars is the easiest way to let a company know what you think about their business practices and products. Up until now I have never heard of Quirky, but in the future I won't be spending a dime on any of their products just on principle. OXO did a beautiful job of addressing this issue in social media and it is well worth reading. And leave it to them to change this into a positive - they are offering to give a "Patent Process Primer" to anyone interested so you can learn the correct way to protect your own intellectual property. It's really easy for anyone to write anything these days whether it's right or wrong, and the responsibility of the blogging and social media community to bring to light injustices such as this. I really appreciate OXO sharing this important lesson with all of us and showing us how to protect our own intellectual property.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Learning To Love The Kitchen

Thermador Cooking 116Thermador Cooking 335I'm always amazed how many people are afraid to cook. They think they don't have the skills or the knowledge to put together a meal so they depend on eating out, take out and convenience foods. Last week we were invited to visit the spectacular new Thermador Culinary Experience in California. Not only are there beautiful kitchens displayed with the cool new products that Thermador offers, it also has working kitchens where Chef Kyle will help you experience first hand what a difference these appliances can make in creating your own culinary creations. Being a Lifestylist® is all about Life Celebrating Style, and we love being in the kitchen and sharing that time with friends and family. When we got ready to prepare our lunch in the Culinary Center they asked us to pair up with someone. Holly said that she would love to cook with me, but she didn't know how to cook. Holly and I looked at the recipe for Pecan Pie and we jumped right in. We quickly realized how much easier it is to cook with the right appliances and tools, and working together our pies were in the oven in no time! By the time lunch was over, Holly no longer was afraid of cooking and she couldn't wait to share her new culinary skills with her daughter and family. Cooking should be a labor of love, and it can be lots of fun to spend time in the kitchen. Try taking a cooking class with friends and I think you might be surprised how much you might begin to enjoy spending time in the kitchen.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Great Service and Food at The Original Pancake House

Original Pancake House 11Original Pancake House 23Original Pancake House 49Original Pancake House 66Original Pancake House 72Original Pancake House 100Original Pancake House 155Original Pancake House 172Original Pancake House 8It's so nice to find a restaurant that not only has great food for the adults, but they also provide ways to keep the kids busy so you can enjoy your meal. The Original Pancake Houses in the Dallas Ft. Worth area are those places. We went for brunch today and even though it was busy and had a long wait, adults enjoyed some of the best coffee I've had in years while the kids were entertained by the very talented balloon artist. The food was amazing - so many great choices! The staff was very patient and helpful -they gave great recommendations. You could tell that they enjoyed working there, and everyone had a smile on their faces. Great news - they are open 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays so it's a great choice for a late date night.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Fitness Trends in 2013

Nike Fuel 7This Domestic Lifestylist® loves how seamlessly technology is blending with our homes, and after reading about some of the developments at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, we are going to have lots to talk about! The Nike+ FuelBand has been out for awhile, but apparently other companies are now bringing versions of this to market. We have been using one for almost a year and love it! The Fuel Band keeps track of pretty much every step you take and converts it into "fuel points" as well as calories burned. You will be surprised how many calories you can use up doing housework or basic chores. YOu set a goal, and such it to a site online that will tell you how you are doing on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. It looks like a rubber bracelet and also functions as a watch. The only thing I don't like about it is that it doesn't work on a bike, but I'm sure that they will have something new soon. I'm adding this to the LifestylistList as a great way to work on a healthier 2013.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Slow Cooker Soups

Vegetable Soup 1This is going to be a busy week! I leave tomorrow to do some new model homes for SE Homes of Texas in Louisiana, so while I'm enjoying all of that Cajun cuisine I wanted to cook up some healthy meals my Lifestylist® family could enjoy. Ro-tel® (tomatoes and diced green chilies)is a staple in my pantry. It is low calorie, low fat, and full of spicy goodness and is an important part of my vegetarian chili and my vegetable soup. I make this in my slow cooker - it's a perfect weekend dish because you can prep all of the vegetables and let it cook up on it's own. Use vegetables that your family prefers or ones that are fresh at the farmers market - my version changes with the seasons. You can find the recipe on my Lifestylist® Recipe page - enjoy!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Channeling Your Domestic Lifestylist®

THIF Clothes 7THIF Clothes 11It always seems like when it gets colder I start nesting. It's so dreary outside now is the perfect time to clean out closets and do those tasks I don't want to do when it's gorgeous out. The domestic side of the Lifestylist® Brand is not only about what I do for myself and my family, but what I can do for others. There are great sales right now on clothing and home items, and the colors that are available are gorgeous. There were some deals that I couldn't walk away from, but we have a rule in my family - if something comes in, more needs to go out. There are lots of important non-profits that help women "dress for success" and give them the skills and clothes to be able to successfully interview and land a new job. We are also very involved in groups that help homeless families and abused women get back on their feet, including Shared Housing and Genesis Women's Shelter. Knowing that I'm going to be helping others by cleaning out my closets helps me to dig a little deeper and let go of things I might have held on to than can have a better use with someone else. Today was a great day - I got some great new looks in my closet and helped a lot of women in the process. Recycling at it's finest!

Friday, January 4, 2013

How To Find The Right Contractor

THIF Fridge INstall 23THIF Fridge INstall 61You would think that finding a contractor or designer to do work on your home would be easy, but take it from this Domestic Lifestylist® it's not. When I decided to add a test kitchen to The Home Idea Factory I started thinking about having people in my home, and trust became even more important than the cost. Fortunately for me, I found Mike Clark and his team, and my test kitchen is closer than ever to being a reality. Here's some tips for hiring a contractor.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Kitchen Trends for 2013

Thermador Oct 11 29t's looking like this Lifestylist® is going to be spending a lot more time in the kitchen this year, and we couldn't be more excited! Our test kitchen is coming along really well, and we have a lot of kitchens we are designing for clients which is always lots of fun. January is going to be a month spent on the road. Besides working with all of our clients we have been invited to the beautiful Thermador flagship design center to see what's new as well as work on new appliances for the future. The International Builders Show will be taking place in Las Vegas, and it is always a great source of trends in home design. We'll have lots to talk about and share, and we are also anxious to know what you think about the new trend to brighter, whiter kitchens. Susan Serra, one of the premiere kitchen designers just did an article for Cultivate on Kitchen Predictions for 2013 that has lots of great information so we wanted to share. What do you think will be the top kitchen trend in 2013?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Great Plates

Dollar Tree Tabletop 3I love it when my kids call me for advice - especially when it has to do with looking for a source or product they need for their homes. My daughter decided to start out the New Year with some different plates -the ones that she had were chipped and a bunch of them had gotten broken. I am a frugal Lifestylist®, and as luck would have it I found some great plates at The Dollar Tree that are an amazing deal! They had dinner plates, bowls, and mugs all for $1.00 each. I love that they are a simple white with a raised beading around the edge, and at that price they are almost less than paper plates! It's a good thing she's in Florida because I think I bought up every one in Dallas. White is a great choice for your table - it doesn't fight with whatever color your food is, and you can easily add color to your table top with napkins, placemats, and flowers.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Healthy Start to 2013

Fiesta Salad 33With just a few more hours until 2013, we wanted to get an early start on some healthy recipes for the New Year. We love using as many local foods as possible in our cooking, but winter limits what we can find. Our New Beginnings Fiesta Salad uses Rotel - a great spicy tomato and chili mix that is low on calories but adds lots of flavor. When we make this in the summer we'll use fresh tomatoes, peas, and chilis but this is the perfect way to pay homage to the southern tradition of having black eye peas on New Years for luck. You can find the recipe on our Lifestylist® recipe page. Happy New Year!