11/27/11

On The Record With The Lifestylist®


One of the questions I get asked the most is how I ever decided to become a Lifestylist®, and where did I get my training.
I've been called a storyteller many times and it's an accurate assessment - I use my talents and materials to tell a story in a home. Hopefully this story explains to the potential homeowner why their lives would be better by living in this home, and what they can expect from the community, the builder, and from the experience. To tell the story, I collect thousands of items - old and new - that I incorporate into my LifeStyled homes.
This weekend I decided it was time to go through some of the things I've collected, and it's been quite a trip down memory lane. I discovered a trunk I forgot about that had family photos from the early 1900's that gave me a glimpse into my family history I hadn't been aware of. Through this discovery I'm finding I come from a very artistic family full of risk takers. This ostrich photo with my great aunt will now always be one of my favorites.
It seems I've been in the media longer than I remembered for my decorating skills. My mother and both grandmothers were very talented in the design fields, and I was lucky enough to be nurtured and inspired by them. This article from 1969 shows me as a 13 yr old showing off some of my skills with my mother and sisters. Apparently I also had my own booth at the church bazaar selling paper flowers and copper enameled jewelry that I made. What's funny is that after seeing this, I may have to try this again - it's really a fun idea!
I'm honored to be a Lifestylist®, and I love having the opportunity to help others find their passions in life. This holiday season remember what makes you happy, and share that passion with your friends and family - you might even find a new career by doing it!

11/26/11

The Lifestylist® Companies Support Small Business Saturday


We are so proud to be involved in the home building business, and many of our customers are small privately owned companies that build homes for local families.
All of our Lifestylist® companies are built around the idea that if we buy from local companies and support our local businesses we help them to become homeowners and live the all American dream of owning a home of your own.We loved the 8 years that we were the Lifestylist® for Patriot Homes - we always did at least one Patriotic themed model home, and I think they were my favorites.
I'd like to say that I'm an example of dreams coming true - I married early, never finished college but here I am owning my own business and being able to help others.
If you are looking for a Lifestylist® to help merchandise and add Lifestyle to your homes, please contact us at: answers@lifestylist.com, or take a look at our website at: www.lifestylist.com
Let's all support locally owned businesses and bring jobs back to America!

11/24/11

Being Thankful





Happy Thanksgiving! This holiday is about food and family, but even more than that I like to use it to remind me how thankful I am for what I have, and for those around me.

For over 25 years my parents were very active doing disaster relief with The Salvation Army, and even raised the money for a state of the art canteen for the Tyler Texas location. Whenever there was a disaster or need and my parents got a call they dropped everything and hit the road. One of the most memorable phone calls I ever received was when Hurricane Katrina hit and my parents answered the call. They called me when they were outside the Super Dome not having a clue what was going on inside. For six weeks they were in the French Quarter feeding the volunteers - my Dad always joked he always wanted to have a restaurant in the French Quarter and he finally got his wish!

Whenever this Lifestylist® could I joined them on the road helping my Mom cook up to 2,000 hot meals a day and seeing first hand what mother nature can dish out. People were so sweet and hospitable, even though many had lost everything that they had. It was always hard to leave - I wanted to stay there and help rebuild.

This year I have been blessed to be involved with three amazing organizations - Shared Housing, Genesis Women's Shelter and HomeAid/Homebuilders Care. I am always so drawn to the kids - many of them have seen things we can't even imagine, but they always have the best manners, always say please, thank-you and give the best hugs :)

It's harder than ever to make a living, but even if you can't make a donation to a worthwhile charity think about donating your time -you'll be very thankful that you did.

11/15/11

Fall Arrives at The Home Idea Factory

It's been a busy year, and this Lifestylist® has spent quite a bit of time traveling to visit clients and homeowners. Because of that I haven't spent as much time at The Home Idea Factory, but today I got to make up for that and experience again why I love living and working here.
Visiting The Workroom yesterday really got me inspired and I looked at what was around me with different eyes. Things I would have thrown away are now going to be recycled - just wait until you see what I am planning on doing with the two birds nests I found!

It may be Fall and we are almost to the middle of November, but things are still blooming. Daisy - my rescue dog helped me explore - take a look at some of the special finds we made today.

11/13/11

The Workroom Comes to Oak Cliff




I feel so fortunate to have so many interesting creative people in my life. Developing the Lifestylist® brand has opened a lot of doors to me, and  it's always exciting to see what new ideas they come up with that I can then share with my readers.


Nick Troilo is known as someone with great taste that can throw a heck of a party. His artwork is seen in some of the best homes and restaurants in Dallas, and his personal home has been published in various publications.

If you haven't had the chance to be invited to one of his soirees this is your big chance - Nick is opening The Workroom in the emerging West Dallas area just north of Oak Cliff so everyone can take a look at some of the amazing items he has collected over the years while you enjoy a cup of coffee on the patio or shop for the perfect hostess gift.

The Workroom started out as a floral design studio but has expanded to include gifts and accessories for the home as well as an art gallery. The space hasn't officially opened yet, but Nick is opening his doors by appointment and can be reached at: nicktroilo@theworkroomdallas.com or at 214-663-0857. He'll also be posting on Twitter when he is hosting special events @workroomDallas. The store is already full of his carefully curated collection including full sized turkeys, Santas from Russia and antique vases just waiting to be filled with fresh flowers.

Many of the items in the store are one of a kind so hurry in before your favorite is gone.

10/31/11

Tricks and Treats From The Lifestylist®

Even though it's been a very busy month, we made a point of catching up with one of our favorite Jr. Lifestylist's to see what he was doing for his annual Halloween party.
Sam Davis' parties are legendary, and this year was no exception. With over 75 kids attending this year's bash we wanted to create fun, themed treats that he could serve outdoors. Take a look at what we came up with  - Witch Hats and Krispy Pumpkin Treats.
We also worked on some tabletop ideas for the Fall holiday season that were inexpensive but would put our guests (and ourselves!) in the mood. The Lifestylist® Designed homes for SE Homes of Texas were full of ideas that visitors could do in their own homes.
While we were on the road we discovered the Great Pumpkin Patch in Clarence Center, NY - if this doesn't get you in the mood nothing will!
Have a wonderful Halloween and be sure to "like" our videos on our Lifestylist® YouTube Channel.

10/13/11

Multitasking

Being a Lifestylist® isn't as easy as it looks. Especially with all of the regulations they make when you fly now, it's become harder to look pulled together and actually look like a Lifestylist® when you can only have two carry-ons and they are charging you for checked luggage. Because of what I do, I have to travel with my laptop, ipad, iphone, jewelry, cameras, flashes, etc. with me on-board, so I'm always looking for ways to cut back on what I need to bring with me on the road. Daryn DeZengotia is the brains and beauty behind Scatter-Brain - a resource that is devoted to the struggle AGAINST work/life balance. She really knows her stuff, and is funny as well! Be sure to check out her Facebook page and "like" it so you can get her great tips directly. Daryn was one of the top selling consultants at Avon, and she knows how tough it is to keep yourself pulled together 24 hrs. a day. She's been helping me find some great information to share here, and just told me about a great article on Oprah.com about 13 of The Best Beauty Multitaskers. These look like great solutions that will let me cut down on what I carry, and many are well priced as well. I'm going to try some of them - let us know if you do as well and which are your favorites.

10/5/11

Dear Steve Jobs: Thanks for the iMemories

I started writing this when I heard Steve Jobs was retiring from Apple, and now after I heard of his passing I thought it was time to share it. Rest in Peace Mr. Jobs - you've made the world a better, unforgettable place.
Dear Mr. Jobs,
Thanks to you, I have memories that wouldn't have been possible without your vision, drive, and ability to see the world like no one else could. Because of you, the consumer got a voice in the crazy world of computers and electronics, and you also gave us a company that would listen to that voice. We stopped being looked at as consumers that were a hindrance and not smart enough to understand code, but parents who want to stay in touch with their children and grandchildren. By creating the Apple Stores I know I am never alone, and there will always be someone there to guide me through the technology tunnel.  Questions become solutions with a "genius" by my side. There is no such thing as a stupid question, and not only have I found answers, I've also found life long friends.
Vacation photos became more than a stack of photos - you allowed us to make beautifully presented books that chronicled our dreams, wishes and aspirations. Because of your vision a dummy like me was able to put together videos using iMovie about a new animal rescue group that stirred the heart and soul, and made people understand what Animal Rescue Corps was all about. Because of you, 1,000s of animals have now been saved. I've been able to watch my grandchildren grow up on my iPad using FaceTime, and have been able to experience their first time to roll over, steal home base and fall in love. it seems if there is ever something you need, "There's and App For That".
You have not only changed the world, you have made it a better place to be. Your passion and vision has changed all of us, and I thank you. You will be missed, and never forgotten.

8/21/11

Ashley Furniture HomeStores Launches "Who's Ready for REAL Furniture" Contest


As a Lifestylist®, helping others enhance their life and style is what I love doing. Because of this everyone thinks I must live in a glamorous, well designed home, but I have a little secret to share with you. My motto is "your Life, Your Style, Your Way" and that applies to me as well as the people I help, but I have been told that this chair is hurting my reputation.
I bought it a long time ago and it was expensive (and is not from Ashley). I was told it was leather, but after the finish started peeling off I found that wasn't the case.  But it does have heated cushions and a massage element in it, as well as that fancy phone so I never had to get up. I tried buying a slip cover for it, but nothing could hide its sad condition. It's still "functional" but it may be time for it to go.
If you have your own furniture that may be past it's prime this is the contest for you! Ashley Furniture is having a "Who's ready for REAL furniture? contest, and the winner can receive a grand prize of a $3,500 shopping spree, and two lucky runner ups will receive a $500 gift certificate.
I hope you don't have a recliner or a room full of furniture past it's prime, but if you do, go to the Ashley Home Store Facebook page and enter. The contest runs through September 9th, and while you are waiting to see if you won be sure to check out the great news designs available at your local Ashley HomeStore.

7/4/11

The American Dream

We all have our own version of what the American Dream is - for many that includes owning your own home.
My dream was to have my own Home Idea Factory - a place where this Lifestylist® could live and work, would have the character that would let me "practice what I preach" and have some room to garden. I was also hoping to have enough space to continue to help with the animal rescue groups I've joined. All of my dreams came true, and now I have a space that will never be "done", but always evolving.
My father told my mother when they got married that some day he would buy her a place on a lake, and he did! Their Hideway Lake home has been the place that many of our family holidays, wedding, and birthdays have taken place, and it is full of wonderful memories.
There are people who are looking for an affordable place with a yard to raise their families, use as a second home or retire to and land lease communities can be a great solution for these people. Land lease communities are those where factory built housing are placed in communities where homeowners lease the land the homes are placed on in a community - many times with amenities such as pools, clubhouses, and tennis courts. I have always believed this is the perfect solution for affordable housing because it can be so cost effective, and I've been wanting to be a part of this solution hands on.
The time has come! Lifestylist® Design has been asked to re-brand and enhance the lifestyle options of two communities in Florida - Parkwood in Port Orange, FL and Countryside Village in Tampa. I can't wait to get started - these communities are a great example of how affordable the American Dream can be. Be sure to get our updates on the progress at Parkwood and Countryside Village Facebook pages.

6/7/11

It's Time to Get Corny

Right now it's corn season in Texas! The Dallas Farmers Market has a great selection, and even many of the grocery stores are featuring locally grown sweet corn.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy this seasonal favorite is Chef Joanne Bondy's Habanero Cream Corn. Joanne is the Executive Chef at the Old Hickory restaurant at the Gaylord Texan. Part of the summer series at the Gaylord is Jr. Chef Camp, and this dish is always one of the favorites that that kids prepare.
If you can't get to the Gaylord Texan to enjoy this dish, Chef Bondy has shared the recipe here so you can try it at home.

6/6/11

Farm to Market

This Lifestylist® is so fortunate to be close to a great farmers market. The Dallas Farmers Market is open 365 days a year, and I love how they make sure  you know which the local farmers and produce are.
One of my favorite farmers is Lemleys which has had a stall for as long as I can remember. If you want great tomatoes and peaches, this is definitely the place. They are so nice, and Mr. Lemley is often there on weekends sharing his knowledge.
Not only does buying from farmers help support the local economy, it also is an excellent way to save money and eat healthy. Search out your local farmers market and find out what a difference it can make in your lifestyle.

5/8/11

What is a Social Media Lifestylist?

I can't believe it's been almost 10 years since I received the trademark registration of the term Lifestylist! I had been using the term for quite awhile as the definition of what I do, then a wonderful mentor recommended that I trademark the term to protect it. Wonderful advice, and it has been a decision that I have never regretted.
I bought my first domain names when we were still using dial up connections and no one had a clue what to do with a name after you bought it. Again I have been very fortunate to have great advisers around me and because of them I own some very powerful domain names. As Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, YouTube and LinkedIn began to become important, I discovered social media. Most of my clients are on shoestring budgets, so introducing them to the power of social media and how it can help them develop their brands and businesses was a great way to help them stretch their marketing dollars.
So what is a Social Media Lifestylist? That would be me! Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber has been recognized as the go-to person for developing social media programs that will produce results. Her Lifestylist.TV Channel features interviews with lifestyle issues and concerns including puppy mills and the groups dedicated to closing them down, home builders, fund raising homes, and some amazing interviews yet to come! You can also find us at: www.socialmedialifestylist.com. www.socialmedialifestylist.net, and www.socialmedialifestylist.info. This Lifestylist® is against buying designer dogs and is all about rescue, so if you read something else it's incorrect.
The first advice I always give to my clients is to be sure and purchase any domain names that might have to do with your brand, and this is why we have the Social Media Lifestylist domains.
We also believe in giving back to the communities we love and we handle the social media for the USA Film Festival, HomeAid / Home Builders Care Dallas, Chef Joanne Bondy, Photographer Lisa Stewart and Jack's Backyard. Future projects include Legal Honesty and some others we can't talk about yet :)
So if you are looking for a Social Media Lifestylist® to make your brand come alive, accept no imitations - it's a decision you won't regret.