3/24/11

Good Manners Never Go Out of Style

The world lost a very special person today - Elizabeth Taylor. She always handled herself with grace and dignity, and was a wonderful role model for all of us who were fortunate enough to grow up watching her on the silver screen. As a board member of the USA Film Festival, I've learned never to form an opinion about someone until I meet them in person, and sadly Ms. Taylor is one that I would have given anything to meet but it wasn't meant to be.
Denise Vivaldo - who is one of my favorite writers as well as being my role model in the styling world just posted a story in the Huffington Post about her encounter with Ms. Taylor. It makes me love Denise and Ms. Taylor even more. The title of the story is Elizabeth Taylor: Good Manners Never Go Out of Style and I couldn't agree more.
This weekend I was working with photographer Lisa Stewart LifeStyling Savor Dallas- a special food and wine event that I enjoy attending every year. To make the shots Lifestylist® Designed, I take my own glasses, plates, and styling utensils and try to get at least 50 great food and wine shots in about a 2 hour time frame - and did I mention we do this while the event is going on and we have to work around 2,000 -3,000 attendees? It's quite a juggling act. What struck me the most about this year's event was the lack of courtesy shown to the chefs and wine makers by the attendees. The whole point of an event like this is to educate people about your food and your wines, and hopefully they will come to your restaurant or buy your wines after the event is over. You would have thought some of these people were trying to win a million dollars by snagging the most to eat and drink -we were literally getting pushed and stepped on when we were trying to set up our shots, and people were taking the food that I styled right off of the plate (my plate) before we got get it photographed. The wine makers didn't have a chance to tell about their wines, because someone else was already putting out their empty glass to be filled.
Good manners never go out of style, and I'm actually appreciating the manners that my parents drilled into me at an early age. I never want to be the one pushing for a glass of wine or a dime sized piece of cheese - I want to remain a Lifestylist® and savor every moment and experience that I get to indulge in. Thanks Denise for this wonderful memory I will now have of Ms. Taylor and the reminder to live our lives with the dignity that others have shown us.

3/14/11

BEEing in Oak Cliff: Where to get The Best Enchiladas Ever!

Oak Cliff, Texas is a great place to be right now if you are a foodie. We've had some amazing restaurants open in our area recently - everything from BBQ to fine dining. My favorite of them all right now though is BEE - Best Enchiladas Ever.
Restaurateur Monica Greene - well known for her legendary Monica's aca y alla and Ciudad restaurants has decided to combine fast with fresh. At BEE you get to write down which main choices you want, then after it's assembled you tell the chefs what vegetables and extras you want on them. You can then "BEE Gone" with your creations, or enjoy them in the bright, sunny dining area or on the patio - this Lifestylist's favorite. favorite. The patio is pet friendly as well so it's a really fun place just to hang out. Check out our Lifestylist Designed Media video to get an idea of why we love to BEE there.
I rarely eat meat, but when I was LifeStyling a photo shoot at BEE recently I got to sample the brisket, and I am hooked! It was lean and moist, and the perfect compliment to my favorite sauce - the Chipotle Crema. You get your choice of one or two enchiladas, so now I just get one cheese and one brisket!
BEE was chosen by a lot of national publications during the Super Bowl this year as the place to be seen - stop by and see for yourself why .
They are located at: 202 W. Davis Street, Dallas, TX 75208 and they are open 11am - 10pm 7 days a week. Tell them The Lifestylist® sent you!

3/11/11

Verrines: Big Tastes in Small Packages

It's a small world after all: verrines, a French concept that layers ingredients in a small glass or clear container has been seen in restaurants and high end parties, and now it is making it's way to suburbia.
Verrines are as pretty to see as they are to eat, and it's a great way to cut calories by making portions smaller but still appealing to the eyes and the palette. These bites can be sweet or savory, and can add a touch of elegance to any event.
Pier 1 Imports has a great assortment of mini cordials, dessert bowls and shot glasses complete with coordinating spoons that are perfect for making your own verrines at home.
If you don't want to make these yourself, Seasons 52 Fresh Grill calls these their Mini Indulgences, and it's hard to only sample one. Choices include Key Lime Pie, Old Fashioned Carrot Cake, and Mocha Macchiato - yum! I recently went there with the owners of The New American Home for a celebration dinner and we kept (and ate) the entire Indulgence presentation - now THAT was a celebration!
The verrine trend is here to stay, and we are looking forward to sharing some of our favorite recipes for these here.

3/6/11

Petsmart Takes a Wrong Turn

I am so disappointed in Petsmart - they usually are one of the more compassionate pet supply stores. They have done a great job sponsoring adoption events with local shelters and groups, and I was really surprised when I saw this promotion yesterday.
Apparently if you bring in your movie stub from the new Nickelodeon film Rango you can get $10.00 off the purchase of any reptile. Supporting  the impulse buys of any animal is such a bad idea, and if potential pet owners think their new family members are going to be as cute and entertaining as the ones in the film, they are in for a letdown.  As someone who has owned quite a few snakes (the things you find out about this Lifestylist® here!) I can tell you they are very difficult to take care of, don't eat things you would normally want to feed to anyone or any thing, and if taken care of will be a member of your family for decades.
Petsmart -unless you are willing to take back all of the reptiles you sell after the new owners get disenchanted with them, I hope you will rethink this marketing campaign and make a $10.00 donation to the shelters that have to take care of these animals after they are abandoned.
I think the movie looks fantastic, and I know my Jr. Lifestylists are going to be joining me to see it more than once! Let's teach our kids the difference between what is involved in the real-life responsibilities of bringing an animal into our homes vs. the fun, animated ones they see on the big screen. Rango will be coming into my home, but he will be seen on my television screen not behind the screen of a cage.