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

African Orphans Send Message of Hope to Tornado Victims




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.

African Orphans Send Message of Hope to Tornado Survivors

Photo copy 2Photo copyPhotoPhoto copy 3My 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

Giving Back: Supporting The Salvation Army

Salvation Army Hurricane 6Salvation Army Hurricane 7Salvation Army Hurricane 1Salvation Army Hurricane 3It'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.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mothers Day!

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Happy 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?