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Spring Cleaning Tips From The Domestic Lifestylist®

Clarendon Spring2012 3
Finally! 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.

Getting Fit 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.

Weekend Cooking Ideas: Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup

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!

A New Wardrobe and a Clean Closet!

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!

The Domestic Lifestylist® Shares Finding 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.

What’s New in Kitchen Design

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?

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.

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!