12/4/11

Timeless Design: Patriot Homes 2002



As a Lifestylist® I always say that design should be more about lifestyles than trends. Trendy design details and decors tend to cycle out quickly and leave the owner with a home that looks and feels dated.
In 2002 I was hired to be the Lifestylist® for Patriot Homes - an amazing factory built housing company based in Elkhart, Indiana. I had worked on factory built homes in the past, but never at this scale.  This is one of the first homes that I LifeStyled for them -it was at The Louisville show for their EnergyMate division. Jumping ahead 10 years, I'd be happy to show or live in this home again - it was well designed, the floorplan was open and perfect for entertaining, and the island was larger than anything else being shown at that time.
Be sure to notice the pendant lighting. I know we were one of the first to show them and we were ahead of our.  All of our lighting was part of a partnership I initiated with Home Depot.
When you look at this home, it doesn't look like a factory built home, or a modular home - it just looks and feels like a well designed home no matter how it got to the site. Who knew even 10 years ago we were designing the future of housing construction? Factory built homes are definitely here to stay.

12/3/11

Lifestylist® Breakfast Biscuits

Anyone who reads this blog knows this Lifestylist® is not keen on mixes, but I'm going to make an exception with this recipe.
Breakfast is a hard meal for me, and I know that my daughter has a tough time getting something healthy into my grandkids before they all head out to school. This is the LifestylistFood® version of a recipe I found on Pinterest, and I'm crazy about it! It's easy enough that the kids can make them themselves. By adding the ham and cheese you get some nutrients that can hold you over until lunch, and these are so moist you don't need butter or anything else on them. Be sure not to substitute something else for the buttermilk - it gives these the moistness and kick that makes these so special.
Breakfast Biscuits
Ingredients:
1/4 cup lean ham, sliced and chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups Bisquick®
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put all ingredients into a bowl and stir just until combined. Scoop into buttered muffin tins, and bake 15-18 minutes or until tops are lightly browned.

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!

11/15/11

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 Dallas




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 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.

11/7/11

Bunkbeds Add Style And Storage To Childrens Rooms

As a Lifestylist®, I spend a lot of time researching and reading about current home trends. The current trend in kid's room styling is minimalism and individual flair. For families with multiple children, space saving is an important element in room design. Bunk beds for kids fit in with today's minimalist trend and also provide practical, space-savings for families.
Bunkbeds can add flair to a child’s room using unusual bunk bed themes. Themes such as castles, race cars, trees or playground equipment bring a sense of individuality to the room. However, this can get a bit complicated if the kids sharing the room are not the same gender. I won't even pretend to know how to handle that situation!
My favorite Jr Lifestylist Jenna has had a bunkbed in her room since she was 4, and it has been the prefect solution for giving her lots of storage and having a space where her friends can sleep when they stay over. The bookcase that is tucked underneath has helped encourage her love of reading. Jenna has always loved pink, but now is trending towards blues and browns. Because her bunkbed is in a neutral wood finish, it's easy to change out her room as her tastes change.
Consider a trendy color theme. Current color trends steer away from the classic styling of blues for boys and pinks for girls. Color pallets that mimic nature, or include unusual colors such as black, gray and tan are now the trend. If you have a bit more to spend, consider using chalk board paint, kids go bonkers over this.
Minimize the amount of clutter in the room. Shelves and storage space should be attached to the wall, leaving an open floor space to play in. If you really want to take things to the next level, directly attach a bunk bed to the wall with no floor supports whatsoever, giving it the illusion that it is floating above the rest of the room (this can be quite pricey).
The current trends for bedrooms are exciting, the cluttered days of 100's of stuffed animals and blinding colors are over. Give your kid's bedroom a modern make over, they will thank you for it!

11/4/11

Thermador and Sur La Table - a Perfect Pairing


It's hard to believe that this Lifestylist® made it  through another year of The State Fair of Texas cooking contests! I am thrilled with the ribbons I won, and even though I missed a few of the contests I usually enter so I could take part in the Thermador Design Council, the information I received (as well as being pampered and having a chef cook almost every meal for us) was better than any ribbon.
When I'm thinking about what I want to enter and I'm looking for those special tools, Sur La Table is always my first stop. After I bought a digital candy thermometer there I started winning in the candy contests and now I can't imagine life without it. I also know they will always have the perfect pan, cruet, or sea salt to make my entries stand out.
A few years ago I was fortunate enough to get to photograph an event at the Dallas Sur La Table that was a book signing with Martha Stewart! For three hours I had a chance to see this icon in person, and for the record she could not have been more gracious. The Sur La Table team made the event go seamlessly, and everyone had a wonderful time.
When I was at the Thermador Culinary Center last week I heard great news - Sur La Table is now featuring Thermador appliances in many of their kitchens! Now you have the opportunity to take some of their cooking classes and be able to try out the steam oven and many of the other innovations that Thermador offers.
Thermador and Sur la Table - I can't think of a better pairing!

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.

10/11/11

It's a Great Day for a Fair!


Today was one of those perfect days to visit the great State Fair of Texas. It's something we look forward to every year - we even get season passes!

I've been entering the cooking contests for over 5 years now, and I'm proud to say I've gotten my share of blue ribbons. It has been so busy around here I haven't had a chance to enter yet, but I think there are some categories that are calling my name. Last year I won in the Tricks with Mix Category, and I'm thinking I may have to see if I can get Best of Show this year. Be sure to check out some of our award winning (and not award winning) entries on our Fair Foodies site.

It's a Great Day for a Fair!


Today was one of those perfect days to visit the great State Fair of Texas. It's soamething we look forward to every year - we even get season passes!

10/10/11

Feeling Fabulous after 50

It's hard to believe that I used to look like this, but I wouldn't go back to those days for anything. I'm open to meeting in the middle though, and a lot of what's important is not necessarily looking good but feeling good. Even if you look amazing but don't feel that way, what's the point?
I'm fortunate enough to have the resources to find people who can help me achieve my goals, and I'm going to start working with a very special individual that there isn't a set category for. Dr. Larkin Page has made a name for himself in the Miss America network by training quite a few of the girls who have been Top 10. He understands that beauty comes from within, and I'm looking forward to his help. Don't worry, there are no pageants in this Lifestylist's future, I'm just looking forward to feeling like a winner :)

Lifestylist® Beauty is all about feeling beautiful inside and out, and we'll be sharing our journey there - join us!

BEE Enchiladeria in Oak Cliff

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!