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.

Out With The Old

Sometimes being a frugal Lifestylist® can get you into trouble. Cosmetics and beauty products are so expensive, I just hate to throw them away if there is even a little bit left. Today I decided to break that cycle and let go of some items I've held on to for waaaay too long.

I read somewhere recently that you should throw your toothbrush out after you have been sick, and that really makes sense. Past their prime moisturizers and skin products can cause a lot more damage than good. I've heard that 6 months should be the longest something is kept, but I would check with the manufacturer to get their recommendations.

When I went to replace the items I finally let go of I decided to go back to my frugal ways and try some products that are modestly priced but have been getting great reviews. I'll let you know what I think and hopefully we can all save some money this year!

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.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Lifestylist® Goals for 2012: Re-Gifting

As part of my Lifestylist® Goals for 2012, I finally started letting go of things that should have been tossed or recycled ages ago. One of the items I have a lot of is the soaps and bath products you get in hotels when you travel. With my schedule I'm in all different sizes and shapes of hotels with a vast range of complimentary items included.

Never one to waste something if I don't have to, I always bring my own products when I travel but bring back the ones from the hotels and give them to some of my favorite charities. There are lots of shelters that desperately need these types of items for their short term residents - I knowthey are always going to good use and worth the trouble of bringing them home and sharing them.

So today was a great day - I gained a few new empty drawers and helped my community in the process!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Trend Tracking With Pinterest



As a Lifestylist®, I spend a lot of time researching trends and learning what consumers want - then sharing that information with my clients. There are lots of places I do my research and new sites are popping up every day. I want to share with you one of my new favorites.

Have you discovered Pinterest yet? The site describes itself as "an online pinboard where you can organize and share things you love" but it is truly so much more than that. Words don't do justice to this site - it's definitely a visual experience.

Pinterest lets you do your own digital wish books where you can browse through thousands of images, recipes and inspirations that others have shared and "pin" them onto your own boards. You can also follow people who have a style that you like and share your favorite finds using Facebook or Twitter.

This is a great tool to see what consumers are liking and sharing. I have a huge appreciation for the laws governing intellectual property and don't publish other people's photos or articles on my sites without permission. Pinterest gives you the opportunity to share other people's images without violating copyright rules, and it's also a great way to share what you like and don't like with others.

Our boards can be found at: pinterest.com/lifestylist take a look and let us know what you think. We'd love to see what your boards look like as well. Email us at: answers@lifestylist.com with your Pinterest name and we'll take a look.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Ringing in 2012

Happy New Year from the Lifestylist® family! We are really excited about 2012 and the opportunities that will come with it.

A lot of being a Lifestylist® is about being a trend tracker and doing research. Today I read something that was written by someone else titled "Social Media Lifestylist Guidelines for 2012" - boy does that sound dull! The first thing that comes to mind is a big dusty manual full of rules and regulations, and that is exactly what social media (and being a Lifestylist®) is not about.

The tag line I have always used for my Lifestylist® brand is "It's All About You". I didn't want the brand to be about me telling people what to do - I wanted to listen to people's wants, needs, and dreams, and help them achieve those even when they didn't know that's what they were really searching for. I don't want to dictate, I want to educate. I've learned that listening is so much more important than anything I will ever have to say, because sometimes if you let people express their thoughts they will find their answers.

Social media is such an exciting new frontier because it gives everyone the chance to tell their story to the universe. It's become a great equalizer because almost anyone  on any budget can get access to a computer and a free site and share their thoughts.

There's a down side to this though as well -there's not as much editing as we've seen in the past. We have to learn that even though someone may have written it, there is the possibility it might not be true. Before we share or depend on information we find we have to be sure and check the facts. As the guardian of the Lifestylist® trademark for almost 10 years now I've seen how many people want to tie into my brand but aren't willing to go through the legal process to acquire a brand of their own.

So what are the real Lifestylist's guidelines for 2012? Never call them guidelines, live your life to the fullest, listen to those around you and you can never laugh too much or have too much great food and wine!

Here's to a boisterous 2012!