Category Archives: Lifestyle

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.

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!

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.

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Doing The Most Good With 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.

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?

Sweet Snacks

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I’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.

Recipes For Your Super Bowl Parties

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The 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.

Quirky Takes Their Grudge Against OXO To The Streets

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.

Enjoying Spending Time In The Kitchen

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I’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.

Customer Service at It’s Finest – The Original Pancake House

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It’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.