5/28/08

Food Vendors


One of the bonuses of living in an ethnic-diverse neighborhood is getting to experience other people’s cultures. My Hispanic neighbors know how to entertain, and I think that some of their grilling skills could put The Food Network’s Sandra Lee of Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee to shame. Oh wait - my grand-daughter’s cooking skills are better than hers so probably bad comparison.

When it gets hot around here we start having these street vendors come around that have bicycles with a cooler on the front. They sell various Hispanic goodies, but my favorites are the ice pops that are made locally with great gourmet flavors. Pineapple, vanilla with raisins, and my favorite - mango with chilies. They typically cost $1.00 and are filled with fresh fruits and juices, little or no added sugars and are around 100 calories each. You just can’t beat them. I just got back from walking the dogs and passed a vendor so now I’m treating myself with a mango chile. Fortunately I like hot, spicy foods because these really pack a punch!

5/27/08

Made in America

This week I decided to take advantage of the Memorial Day holidays and work on getting organized. Part of that process was going to be to catch up on my blogs and websites and try to understand what I need to do to make them more educational and interesting.

How did we get so off track as a country? It's incredibly hard to go to a store and find anything made in the US anymore, and good luck calling up a company for technical support and getting and American to help you. Since we just celebrated Memorial Day, this seemed like the perfect time to blog about this.

We all know which are the worst companies when it comes to customer support (Hewlett Packard) but I want to talk about the heroes out there that were available all holiday weekend to make miracles happen and to help me get these sites online.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love the Apple and the Apple Stores? I was stumped about how to work in iweb so I made an appointment at my local Apple store to see if I could find some answers. As usual I had questions most people don't ask, but they went from genius to genius and they got me a great answer. I now feel totally empowered and I'm excited about sharing the results. If you haven't discovered Bluehost, you should. They are an amazing value as a hosting service, and I'm in love with their support staff. They are available 24/7, all in the US and they truly do everything they can to help. Instead of following a manual, they dig in and fix it! I'm always time challenged, so I really appreciate them taking charge.

It's time to make a difference, and choose wisely how we spend our well-earned money. If we don't support our products and labor forces here, how will our economy ever move forward? The next time you have a large purchase to make (or even a small one) ask where it came from and who's going to be there when you run into problems.

5/26/08

Lifestylist Design - It's All about You


Happy Memorial Day! This was a wonderful family filled one for me - I drove up to Oklahoma City to spend the day with my parents, sisters, and their families.

This month I've been very busy doing model homes across the country for Patriot, and also working on my new Lifestylist Design products that will be launching in January. It's been really exciting to see the Lifestylist program come full circle, and to see how people have embraced the concept and made it their own.

My sister is the perfect example of what Lifestylist Design is all about. It should be about you - your life, your loves, your discoveries, not some designer or other persons interpretation of how they think you should live. I was finally able to get up here to see the new home that she and her family have been working on, and it's spectacular! And the best thing about it is that when I walk in the home, or even when I drive up to the home there is no question that this is an active outgoing family who loves life and are individuals. From the start my sister refused to get "typecast" into a specific style or theme. Instead she incorporated things that they saw on various trips, items that were gifts on very special occasions, and was wise enough to encourage her subcontractors to be partners with her on this journey. The result is a marriage of craftsmanship and character that will never be replicated the same way again, just as my sister is a one of a kind.

"Rules" are meant to be broken, especially in the design world. The next time someone tells you what you can or can't do with your home tell them that you practice the Lifestylist Design philosophy where what you love is never put in question.