Monday, December 31, 2012

Have a Healthy 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!

Welcome to 2013!

May 2013 be full of hope and joy!

2013 NYE

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy Holidays From The Lifestylist Family

Happy Holidays from The Lifestylist® Brands. Here's hoping that your holidays is shiny and bright!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays!

May your holidays be shiny and bright! Happy holidays from the Lifestylist Family

XMas Card 2012

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Celebrating The Arts 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

Is The Dallas Museum Tower a Good Neighbor?

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.

Porto Rico Coffee and Teas Celebrates 100+ Years



Tonight Hurricane Sandy is wreaking havoc on New York City and the East Coast. I was just there a few weeks ago enjoying all of the wonderful sights and sounds the city has to offer, and I can't help but worry  about all of the people and businesses that I love going to there.

One of those is Porto Rico Importing Co. on Bleecker St in Greenwich Village. I've been buying my coffee there ever since I had a place in NY, and after I moved I continued to have it shipped to Texas. I knew they had great coffee at amazing prices, but a few days ago I got a flyer from them telling about the history of the family and that the owner's Mom, who has always been a part of the business and lived over the store just had her 100th birthday! I can't imagine the stories she must have as someone who lived in NYC all of her life, but you feel like you are experiencing some of that history just by visiting the store.

To celebrate Rose's 100 birthday they are doing a very special blend. I know I'm going to have to buy a few lbs to celebrate this special occasion -to order yours, you can visit their website or give them a call at: 1-800-453-5908

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.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Teaching by Example

 



I can't believe that Summer is almost over! This was a really busy one, and there never seems to be enough time to do all of the things I wanted to do.

Yesterday was the last Jr Chef Camp at The Gaylord Texan, and I think it was one of the best. When the 14 kids arrived I was a little worried - none of them had taken the class before and they were all new to each other as well.

After Al taught them about manners and etiquette Chef Joanne Bondy brought them into the Old Hickory Steakhouse kitchen and began to get them excited about cooking. The kids loved being able to be hands on with her and learn different cooking techniques, and by the time the second egg was cracked new friendships had formed and the kitchen was alive with excited voices all having new direction and dreams.



Sometimes even the most simple experience can be the most memorable. The kids got to go out in the Gaylord Texan herb garden and vineyard and were amazed to find that grapes grew on vines!



They had a blast tasting the different grapes and learning about how the herbs tasted. And the pride they all had when they served their parents the meal they made and introduced them to their new friends - just a great event.



Chef Joanne and her team don't just teach kids how to cook at this event - they empower them to try new things and to believe in themselves, and that's a lesson that is priceless.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Christmas in July at Shared Housing



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had a wonderful opportunity this week - I got to volunteer at Shared Housing.

I've been involved in lots of organizations where they just want you to give or raise money, but Shared Housing let's me work with the people I'm helping and make a difference.

Thursday I got to play with the kids while the Mom's learned about budgeting and parenting. And they are amazing kids - they all take care of each other and appreciate the smallest things. Shared Housing keeps a "toy room" where new toys are stored and used as incentives to the kids for good deeds or when it's their birthday. People tend to be very generous at Christmas time, but by July the toy room starts getting pretty sparse. I promised the staff that if they would let the kids get an unexpected trip to the toy room, the Lifestylist® team would get to work and re-stock the room with goodies that would help keep the room open for the rest of the year.

I always keep my promises, and I'm happy to report that I'm going to have a car load full of goodies for the room, and mew sheets blankets, and kitchen utensils for the Moms. And the best part is that they said I can come and play with the kids any time :)

Just the smallest things can make such a difference. We visited our local Dollar Store and the clearance aisles at our local stores and were able to make our budget go a long way.

Shared Housing is also getting ready for "School is Cool". They need to get school supplies and uniforms for 270 children that are active in the program. They believe that no child should have to start school  without the proper clothes or supplies -these kids have already gone through enough.

If you would like to help or to make a donation, visit the Shared Housing website or give them a call at: 214-821-8510

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Look at Modular Housing

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

Freebie Fridays!

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.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hope Dims For Best Buy



Who knew a 1" bulb could become such a great marketing and customer service lesson? After trying to deal with Best Buy for a month about a warranty issue I got so mad I gave up and discovered a wonderful locally owned shop that replaced my projector bulb and had me on my way in under 1/2 hour. You can read the long version of this saga on my Lifestylist® page -it still amazes me how I was treated by a company that should care more about it's customers than Best Buy seems to.

Then today when I was getting all of my facts checked I went to the Best Buy Facebook page so I could quote other unhappy customers, and one of them had linked to a Forbes article  about "Why Best Buy Is Going Out of Business Gradually". They linked to a follow-up story that talked about how Best Buy handled different issues "The People Vs Best Buy Round Two" Sadly, it's nice to know I'm not the only one that feels this way and they have even given lousy customer service to Larry Downes, a professor and best selling author.

I'll never get back the time I've wasted on this, but I'm hoping that by sharing these experiences I can help my readers not make the same purchasing mistakes.

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!

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!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Getting Inspired on Pinterest

 



Once upon a time a company could have a website up - good or bad- and customers were happy. Not any more - with consumers using the internet as their main resource to find information on any and everything, it's critical that you take advantage of the other social media outlets that are available. For the next week we are going to highlight some of our favorites, and today we are going to start with the fastest growing site out there - Pinterest.

Pinterest.com This is the fastest growing web trend - ever.  They hit the 10 million U.S. monthly unique visitors faster than any independent site in history. With a growth of over 40 times in the last 6 months, if you aren't on Pinterest you need to be. I've seen statistics state that 58% of the traffic to this site are women between the ages of 25 and 44, and 97% of Pinterests' Facebook fans are women.

What is Pinterest? The official definition is "Think of Pinterest as a virtual pinboard — a place where you can create collections of things you love and “follow” collections created by people with great taste. People use Pinterest to collect and share all sorts of things — wedding inspiration, favorite T-shirts, DJ equipment. You name it, people are pinning it. We know you have great taste in something. Our mission is to make Pinterest the best place for you to share your taste with the world.”

People are flocking to Pinterest because it is a great resource of high quality lifestyle focused images, and it's fast and easy. You design your own "boards" that you can add your images to or "pin" images that were posted by someone else or that you found online. I've discovered some of my favorite new recipes on Pinterest, and I'm also amazed by how many new viewers have discovered the Lifestylist® brand thanks to our page.We are definitely getting more subscribers on Pinterest than we are on our Facebook page which is a huge shift in how people are searching for us.

Something else that is unique about Pinterest is that it's by invitation only right now, and you can join by asking for an invitation on the site or by receiving one from someone that is already active there. If you would like to receive an invitation so you can check out our Lifestylist boards just send us an email at: answers@lifestylist.com and we'll send one your way!

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.