12/19/09

Time for a Change



Change is a very scary word to most builders, especially when there is a cost associated with it. One of the objections I hear many times when looking at existing models and communities that aren't doing well is that because it's been slow they don't want to invest any more money into a community.

@home Builders is doing well in this economy because they understand marketing and their buyers. When sales slowed down to three in a year at The Preserve they realized it was time for a change. The Home Idea Factory did the first two models and as a Lifestylist I had done my homework on what these buyers were looking for. Entertaining at home, taking advantage of the four seasons living that took place around the beautiful pond, river, and forests in the community and families were definitely the focus.

The new model and sales center have been a huge success! Last month they sold 8 homes and now they are taking reservations in the next phase instead of having to offer incentives. If your sales have stalled, the right course of action might be to see if your model, plans, and lifestyle you are displaying are still on trend or if it might be time for a change. The Home Idea Factory can come in and help you with this evaluation to see what is the best approach at the right cost.

12/1/09

It Takes a Gingerbread Village to Fight Abuse and Homelessness

GBH Village  1288GBH Cat Detail  1287GBH Judging  1290GBH Details  1291Builders, chefs, and community members teamed up today to start the “Home Sweet Gingerbread Home” competitions at NorthPark Center. Lifestylist® Suzanne chaired the event which looks like it will become an annual favorite.Chef and cookbook author Karel Ann Tieszen teamed up with Shared Housing board member Mona Lincoln and TX State Fair Celebri-chef Peter Clarac (he was a winner in the Oprah cook-off) to decide which of the houses would be awarded the coveted blue ribbon. Pastry Chef Instructor at the Art Institute of Dallas Nina Hunter amazed the judges with her beautiful victorian home complete with playful penguins enjoying the pool in the backyard and was awarded first place.

Thursday the “Builders and Bakers” competition will be taking place from 12pm to 4pm also at NorthPark. Teams comprised of members from the Home Builders Association of Greater Dallas will be creating homes on-site with celebrity chefs from Stephan Pyles, Sambuca, Old Hickory Steakhouse at the Gaylord Texan, DC’s Catering and The Cupcakery. They will then be judged and awarded various prizes in different categories.

The competitions will benefit two great organizations - Shared Housing Center and HomeAid / Homebuilders Care, both which break the cycle of homelessness and abuse in the Dallas area.

11/7/09

August Dog Rescue

August Dog Rescue01August Dog Rescue17August Dog Rescue08August Dog Rescue20I went to a great event the other day at Gold's Gym in Dallas - August Dog Rescue had some beautiful rescue animals there that were looking for new homes. How could you not love these angels? I know at least one of them found a new home so it was a great day - they just need more homes so they can rescue more animals.

11/6/09

Getting Blind Sided by the USA Film Festival

One of the great benefits of being a member of the USA Film Festival is the incredible screenings that you are invited to all year long. Most of the films haven't opened at the theaters yet and many have people from the film in attendance. I was able to go and see Julie and Julia a few months ago and absolutely loved it, so when I got an invitation for The Blind Side I thought it looked like a great evening.

It's so easy to have a pity party these days - unemployment everywhere, businesses and clients going out of business, foreclosures... just when you think you have it bad there's a great film like this to snap you out of it and remind you what life is all about. It is a true story that takes place in Memphis and some of it is about a part of Memphis that I've driven through on my way to doing home shows in Tunica. Poverty is everywhere, it's just many of us chose to ignore it.

Sandra Bullock plays the mother in this film and she was absolutely incredible! This film will change any perception that you have of her, and I really believe her performance is Oscar-worthy. Director and Texas native John Lee Hancock was in attendance and delightful.What's so cool about USA Film Festival screenings is that after the film the guests typically hold Q&A sessions and you get to hear inside stories about the actors and what was involved in making the film. Really great stories about Sandra Bullock and it was wonderful to know what a true professional she is and how much she made sure to stay true to the real person she was playing.

The film opens on November 20th, and is from Warner Brothers. If nothing else, make this the film your family goes and sees Thanksgiving evening - it will change the way you look at the holidays.

Nancy Lieberman to Coach NBA Development Team

Talk about role models - the amazing Nancy Lieberman has another first to add to her resume - first woman to coach and NBA development team. My daughter played basketball all through high school and my niece is now playing at her high school, and this will prove to them that if you love what you do there are no boundaries.

The Dallas Morning News had a great story about the new team  and Nancy. Congratulations!

Being Blind Sided by the USA Film Festival

One of the great benefits of being a member of the USA Film Festival is the incredible screenings that  you are invited to all year long. Most of the films haven't opened at the theaters yet and many have people from the film in attendance. I was able to go and see Julie and Julia a few months ago and absolutely loved it, so when I got an invitation for The Blind Side I thought it looked like a great evening.

It's so easy to have a pity party these days - unemployment everywhere, businesses and clients going out of business, foreclosures... just when you think you have it bad there's a great film like this to snap you out of it and remind you what life is all about. It is a true story that takes place in Memphis and some of it is about a part of Memphis that I've driven through on my way to doing home shows in Tunica. Poverty is everywhere, it's just many of us chose to ignore it.

Sandra Bullock plays the mother in this film and she was absolutely incredible! This film will change any perception that you have of her, and I really believe her performance is Oscar-worthy. Director and Texas native John Lee Hancock was in attendance and delightful.What's so cool about USA Film Festival screenings is that after the film the guests typically hold Q&A sessions and you get to hear inside stories about the actors and what was involved in making the film. Really great stories about Sandra Bullock and it was wonderful to know what a true professional she is and how much she made sure to stay true to the real person she was playing.

The film opens on November 20th, and is from Warner Brothers. If nothing else, make this the film your family goes and sees Thanksgiving evening - it will change the way you look at the holidays.

11/3/09

Days of Taste

Days of Taste09024Days of Taste091300Days of Taste09105Days of Taste09185One of the most rewarding things that this Lifestylist® is a part of every year is Days of Taste which is sponsored by the American Institute of Food and Wine. Fourth and Fifth graders from local schools come down to the Dallas Farmers Market to learn about food and have a lot of fun! This year my group was the best I've ever had, and I think a lot of that can be because of a great teacher and the chef that taught the class - Chef Joanne Bondy from the Gaylord Texan. I always learn as much as they do, and after Chef Joanne teaches them about the senses, buying local produce from farmers and how to make a pasta salad from scratch the teams get to go down to the Farmers Market and buy the ingredients for their own salads.

My team (The Grinches since we were buying green and were at the green table) did a great job of negotiating with the farmers so that not only did they stay within their $5.00 budget, we actually had $1.00 to give back to the program! I think they were all amazed with how much food could be purchased for $4.00 that was healthy and delicious. Teaching kids about food and getting them to try new things isn't a matter of tricking them - you just need to let them have fun and try things their way. Who would have thought a pasta salad with avocado, corn, green peppers and kiwi would taste as great as it did?

Congratulations to the AIWF Dallas chapter for another amazing event.

10/12/09

I almost met Oprah at the Texas State Fair

Oprah at Fair 6Oprah at Fair 10Fair Ribbons 11Fair Ribbons 5Today was a very exciting day. One of the ways as a Lifestylist I search out trends and try to understand what today's buyer is looking for is by being a part of the Great State Fair of Texas. Some years I enter the Creative Arts contests - especially cooking. You'd be amazed how much you can learn about people and their lifestyles by sitting with them and chatting while we wait for the judging to be over and those coveted ribbons to be handed out. This was a great day - my second red ribbon and a blue! I love giving back and sharing, so when my competitions are over I share my remaining goodies with the parking lot attendants, ticket takers and fair workers. Ribbon or not, they are always very appreciative of what I make.

This year has been more exciting than most because Oprah is taping at the State Fair and they have been doing a lot of taping in the Creative Arts Building which is where we hang out. We saw a lot of people walking around with crew passes today and I asked someone if I could take a photo of theirs - they actually let me hold it! Why was that important to me? I have so much respect and admiration for Oprah - I can't think of anyone who gives back as much as she does, and we have the connection of rebuilding the Gulf Coast after Katrina - I worked on over 2,500 Katrina Cottages and she made a huge personal investment of getting people back into homes after the storms. If you have spent any time there you know how important that work still is.

So as we were walking out of the building getting ready to pass out my remaining entries who should be in front of us but Oprah and Company! It was so exciting, and I ran up to her car to try to get a better look - she looks AMAZING in person by the way - I saw someone in her car so asked if I could give her my blue ribbon. They said that was very sweet but I should keep it, but I gave them some of my caramels. I believe in sharing with everyone. I was honored that they were so excited about my goodies, and now can't wait to see the show after they tape it. I didn't get to meet her, but you just never know what tomorrow might bring.

I almost met Oprah

Oprah at Fair 6Oprah at Fair 10Fair Ribbons 11Fair Ribbons 5Today was a very exciting day. One of the ways as a Lifestylist I search out trends and try to understand what today's buyer is looking for is by being a part of the Great State Fair of Texas. Some years I enter the Creative Arts contests - especially cooking. You'd be amazed how much you can learn about people and their lifestyles by sitting with them and chatting while we wait for the judging to be over and those coveted ribbons to be handed out. This was a great day - my second red ribbon and a blue! I love giving back and sharing, so when my competitions are over I share my remaining goodies with the parking lot attendants, ticket takers and fair workers. Ribbon or not, they are always very appreciative of what I make.

This year has been more exciting than most because Oprah is taping at the State Fair and they have been doing a lot of taping in the Creative Arts Building which is where we hang out. We saw a lot of people walking around with crew passes today and I asked someone if I could take a photo of theirs - they actually let me hold it! Why was that important to me? I have so much respect and admiration for Oprah - I can't think of anyone who gives back as much as she does, and we have the connection of rebuilding the Gulf Coast after Katrina - I worked on over 2,500 Katrina Cottages and she made a huge personal investment of getting people back into homes after the storms. If you have spent any time there you know how important that work still is.

So as we were walking out of the building getting ready to pass out my remaining entries who should be in front of us but Oprah and Company! It was so exciting, and I ran up to her car to try to get a better look - she looks AMAZING in person by the way - I saw someone in her car so asked if I could give her my blue ribbon. They said that was very sweet but I should keep it, but I gave them some of my caramels. I believe in sharing with everyone. I was honored that they were so excited about my goodies, and now can't wait to see the show after they tape it. I didn't get to meet her, but you just never know what tomorrow might bring.

9/6/09

Business Ethics

I read a great article in the Dallas News today about a Dallas legend - Ebby Halliday. This 98 year old woman is the grande dame of real estate, and what a wonderful example to all of us on how to live our lives and run a business. A true lifestylist, Ebby is known for giving back to the community and for always being there for her agents and their clients no matter how large or small of a part they play in her company.

My mother worked for Ebby Halliday Realtors for a few years and always raved about the integrity on which the company was run. I have purchased a few homes in my days from Ebby agents and it has always been a great experience.

We need more people like Ebby in this world. Congratulations on all of your achievements and to those that are still to come.

8/6/09

Family Style


As I’m sitting here watching my grandchildren, nieces and nephews run around having a blast this week I’m realizing what’s missing from most of our model homes – life. Real Life isn’t perfect, and that’s what makes things interesting. It’s those special touches like a handwritten note from a 4 yr old or a handprint on the wall that make us remember how precious life is.

That’s why I love being a Lifestylist – it’s all about injecting those memories that make life exciting into living spaces that then become very personal.

Family Style


As I’m sitting here watching my grandchildren, nieces and nephews run around having a blast this week I’m realizing what’s missing from most of our model homes – life. Real Life isn’t perfect, and that’s what makes things interesting. It’s those special touches like a handwritten note from a 4 yr old or a handprint on the wall that make us remember how precious life is.

That’s why I love being a Lifestylist – it’s all about injecting those memories that make life exciting into living spaces that then become very personal.

7/26/09

Nothing Semi-Homemade about Parigi


Looking for the perfect place to spend an afternoon brunch with friends? If you are fortunate enough to be in Dallas I recommend Parigi. They not only embrace supporting local farmers and vendors – they actually let you know which farm particular items are coming from.

There was a great article I received today that tells why this establishment is so popular, but to truly understand you have to visit yourself. Chef Janice Provost and her talented team are featured at Savor Dallas and I’ve always been dazzled by the food and the presentation.

7/25/09

Social Networking


Every day I'm realizing how important the new ways of communicating are becoming. Think about how much "snail" mail you get each day and how it's changed from letters and handwritten envelopes to junk mail and catalogs. My handwriting has become awful because I'm always on the computer! That's what being a Lifestylist® is all about - zeroing in on how people's lifestyles are changing and how that effects that way they live, work and play.

As part of these changes , Twitter, Facebook, and my blogs are the first thing I do (besides pour a huge cup of Tim Horton coffee) in the morning. Then I read all of the emails that came in overnight and check my favorite blogs and online publications to see what's new in the world.

To address these changes I have a new Facebook page that anyone can become a fan of and I would love to have you join us! Some of the great features of this page will be the discussions and my Inspiration photos - you can see what I'm seeing visually as trends and changes.

I'm really looking forward to a new way to interact with my peers and clients and friends- I hope that you'll become an active part of the network.

7/23/09

Referrals are Priceless

Nothing can hurt or help more than words and they are something that's truly priceless.

I was checking my LinkedIn page today and saw that a few people had given me recommendations including Sam Weidner Jr who was the VP of Patriot Homes and who had written the following:

"I have had the honor and the privilege to see a true artist at work. I hired Suzanne Felber to help Patriot Homes take a new, innovative, and aggressive role in helping redefine manufactured homes as people knew them. Without question she tackled that task with enthusiasm, and a creative vigor unlike anyone had seen in our industry at the time. Suzanne has a brilliant mind for knowing design trends and how to present her designs in a way that attracts buyers from all walks of life. With her help Patriot was able to win over 9 housing design awards including an award for best marketing campaign awarded by the NAHB. If you want your products to look the best the hire the best, Suzanne Felber."
Service Category: Professional Lifestylist
Year first hired: 2002
Top Qualities: Great Results, Good Value, Creative

It's one thing when you think that you have given a job your all, but when you receive something like this out of the blue it makes you want to go out and work that much harder, and give that client a big hug!

I'm honored to have worked with Sam and his company, and I'm looking forward to working with him even more in the future!

Referrals are Priceless

Nothing can hurt or help more than words and they are something that's truly priceless.

I was checking my LinkedIn page today and saw that a few people had given me recommendations including Sam Weidner Jr who was the VP of Patriot Homes and who had written the following:

"I have had the honor and the privilege to see a true artist at work. I hired Suzanne Felber to help Patriot Homes take a new, innovative, and aggressive role in helping redefine manufactured homes as people knew them. Without question she tackled that task with enthusiasm, and a creative vigor unlike anyone had seen in our industry at the time. Suzanne has a brilliant mind for knowing design trends and how to present her designs in a way that attracts buyers from all walks of life. With her help Patriot was able to win over 9 housing design awards including an award for best marketing campaign awarded by the NAHB. If you want your products to look the best the hire the best, Suzanne Felber."
Service Category: Professional Lifestylist
Year first hired: 2002
Top Qualities: Great Results, Good Value, Creative

It's one thing when you think that you have given a job your all, but when you receive something like this out of the blue it makes you want to go out and work that much harder, and give that client a big hug!

I'm honored to have worked with Sam and his company, and I'm looking forward to working with him even more in the future!

7/16/09

Whirlpool awards Centex Homes Sustainable Energy Award



Whirlpool has made a huge commitment to building green and the sustainable energy movement. As part of their Green Touch Program they recently awarded Centex Homes an Excellence in Sustainability Award.

"The method in which homes are built makes a major impact on the community and the world. While many builders are just learning sustainable building practices, Centex is acting as an excellent role model, representing the future of residential building," said Tom Halford, general manager of contract sales and marketing at Whirlpool Corporation.

Centex Energy Advantage homes include a suite of energy-efficient features installed as standard nationwide, including Whirlpool and KitchenAid brand appliances in the kitchen and laundry room. According to a study commissioned with the NAHB Research Center, these homes are up to 22 percent more efficient than comparable new homes built to the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code, the most widely used energy efficiency code. When compared to a typical 10-year-old home, as defined by the U.S. Department of Energy's Building America Program, the Centex Energy Advantage homes in the study were shown to be up to 40 percent more energy-efficient.*

Congratulations Centex!

As a Green Lifestylist® I'm in love with Whirlpool's Energy Star products and their exhibit at the IBS Show motivated me to start planning my own sustainable kitchen here in the Home Idea Factory.



Whirlpool Corporation Commends Centex as 'Excellence in Sustainability' Award-Winning Builder

7/5/09

Homearama is Back



Where did the year go? It’s hard to believe that once again it’s time for Homearama in Rochester, NY. We had so much fun last year, and the best part was that @home Builders was able to raise a lot of money for the local Ronald McDonald House.

The Home Idea Factory was honored to be the Lifestylist® for the first Ronald McDonald / Homearama House and as always David Riedman and @home Builders was the first builder to step up to the plate. This year @home Builders will be building a “Barkitecture” home that will also be shown and sold at Homearama. As someone that runs a sanctuary for animals I applaud the Rochester Home Builders Association and @home Builders for making people aware of how many animals need homes.

Lollypop Farm is a wonderful organization that helps put loving pets and families together – congratulations to the Rochester Home Builders Association for this wonderful partnership.

Make a difference – attend Homearama and purchase some of the incredible items that Ronald McDonald House has for sale or bid on the @home Builders pet mansion. With your help we can make a big difference!

6/15/09

Greatness is Personal

Today many of us gathered to say goodbye to a great man - Norman Brinker. Most people know of Norman as the mind who started and refined the trend of casual dining and the founder of Brinker International, but to me Norman will always be a horse lover, polo player and wonderful father first.

In my horse days I had a barn behind Norman's equestrian center - Willowbend Polo Club. We would ride back and forth between barns and most of my horses came from owners at Willowbend that owned horses that were too much for them and wanted to unload them. Those were wonderful days and how fortunate we all were to be able to watch Norman streak across the polo field doing what he loved. Norman had an uncanny knack of knowing and remembering everyone's names from the grooms to the owners and he treated everyone equally.

When I had two very young children I decided to work as a waitress at Steak and Ale - a concept that Brinker owned and was fairly new at that time. I helped open the Plano location and Norman spent an amazing amount of time with us learning what worked and what didn't. He also wanted to make sure that we knew our jobs inside and out and we did a lot of wine tastings to learn about what we were serving. That was my first exposure to wine and it's an experience that I still enjoy. His passion about the company made us passionate about what we were doing, and we took our jobs personally and wanted to make Norman proud of us.

Our lives continued to intertwine - my sister was married at Willowbend and went on to work at the corporate offices at Brinker International. Being a "Brinkerhead" she loved being a part of that culture and was always amazed when she would visit a Chili's and Norman would be there often by himself just enjoying a burger. He always remembered my sister and made her feel special.

What Norman and many great self-made leaders understand is that to succeed it has to be personal. Your own integrity, how you treat people and love of what you do is not a small part of why these people have succeeded and why so many people people love and respect them in return. I wish I had taken a pen and notepad to the service because the wisdom and stories that were shared were incredible. Ross Perot and Mr. Brinker were good friends for many years and I can understand why - they are a lot alike, and both have a great, dry sense of humor that I love. Mr. Perot spoke and he was able to capture what made Norman so special. Even though he had been in a coma and had health issues from a polo incident and had other obstacles, nothing was going to keep Norman down and no matter what he did it was always with an amazing positive attitude and a love for life and everyone around him. Thanks to those special moments at Willowbend, Steak and Ale and our love of horses I have lifelong friends and memories for which I'll always be grateful.

We'll miss you Norman, but know that you are happily playing polo on the most heavenly fields any of us have ever dreamed of.Norman Brinker

6/3/09

Simply Summer



Summer is here! I was fortunate enough to start mine off with my kids and grandbabies in simply-summer-1258Florida last weekend and it reminded me of those wonderful innocent summers I enjoyed when I was growing up. Special days of running free at my grandparents farm sitting in the raspberry patch stuffing ourselves with delectible juicy fruits, spending time on the rocky shores of Lake Erie floating under the summer sun in an innertube with not a care in the world, and evenings of family dinners featuring fruits and vegetables that we had helped raise and pick on the farm.

Spending time with the kids reminded me how uncomplicated life can be sometimes if we let it and that the more simple our lives are the more sometimes we can enjoy those special times.

5/21/09

Now is the Time to Buy a New Home

clayton-seguin-ext-1244The National Association of Homebuilders has put together a wonderful resource of information on why now is the time to buy a new home.

With the new tax credits, interest rates at an all time low and the great values that builders have available, now is the time!

The Manufactured Housing Institute also has great information on how you can purchase the home of your dreams. With builders and manufacturers cutting back drastically on how many homes they are building, the end of this opportunity could be sooner than you think, so with the great spring weather  get our there and find the home of your dreams today!

4/22/09

A Greener Earth Day

sustainable-kitchen2-1213The Green Evolution is in full swing, and Earth Day is the perfect time to reflect on where we are and where we are trying to get to.  Just think about how much more acceptance the green movement has now, even compared to last year. Consumers no longer hope they can buy a green product - they expect the products they buy to be green.

Housing is a great example - it’s exciting to see more and more builders using green practices as a standard part of their building. Energy Star appliances are more common than ever, and Whirpool has stepped to the front of the line with their commitment to making our world a better and healthier place to live.

Whirlpool’s focus on green is at every price level, and last week they were a major sponsor of the Manufactured Housing Industry Congress. They brought Mark LaLiberte to the event to educate participants about going green, and Mark did a fantastic job of explaining how just doing the small things can make a big difference.

At the International Builders Show in January they showed their Sustainable Kitchen. Beautiful, inviting, efficient and green! Going Green doesn’t have to mean having solar panels on every roof - it can be as simple as making the home you live in more energy efficient and purchasing the right Whirlpool appliances for your lifestyle.

There’s so much to talk about, and thanks to Whirlpool and advocates like Mark we’ll continue to have great accomplishments to talk about in the future.

4/21/09

The Green Evolution

So you say you want an evolution... well it looks like the Green Evolution is here, and here to stay. No matter what industry you are in, everyone seems to be getting on “The Green Train”. But what does this really mean to you, and the world you live in?

Defining Green is not an easy task, and the definition seems to be changing every day and mean different things to different people. It can be as simple as putting your trash in the appropriate container or as complex as an off-grid solar home. The important thing is that you do something and incorporate a green lifestyle into the way you live today and in the future.

I heard an excellent example this week at the Manufactured Housing Conference where we were blessed to have Mark LaLiberte as a speaker. He used the example of a green builder in Connecticut who was bragging about the great granite he was able to get inexpensively in China. Being that New Hampshire - the granite state - borders Connecticut Mark asked why he didn’t source the product there. Sometimes we have to look at issues besides price - think about all of the energy that was wasted getting the product from China as well as the jobs locally he might have saved - and those employees that might have become customers - and to me it puts a different spin on how we forgo value for price many times.

I see the greening of America as being an evolution instead of a revolution because it’s not going to happen overnight, but if everyone starts asking the question about what their choices are going to mean for ours and our families quality of life in the future hopefully we can start turning things around.

4/11/09

Easter Lily

This has been a great week - we got 3 kittens adopted and have a wonderful neighbor that's willing to adopt a German Shepherd! It feels great to find loving homes for these animals and to educate people about adopting instead of buying pets from puppy mills and pet stores.

While I was looking for a dog for my neighbor I was shocked at how many purebred animals there are out there looking for a home - even more of a reason to get the word out about adopting.

Lily is one of our rescue pets, and she loves walking the neighborhood and seeing all of the kids. She's a big ham and is always up for dressing for the occasion!

4/9/09

Vertical Living

man-west-1211Next week is going to be a really fun week - I’m off to Las Vegas to speak at the Manufactured Housing Congress and at the meeting for the Las Vegas High Rise and Condo Association. It’s really beginning to feel like the housing market has hot bottom and people are starting to think about buying their dream home again.

The Vegas market is amazing, and I love visiting the new high-rise communities and learning more about vertical living. There are so many advantages, and I’m excited to see the latest and greatest. They are fascinated with my Lifestylist brand, and I’ll also be sharing with them what the heck a Lifestylist is and how we approach the design and marketing process.

3/14/09

Scene at Savor Dallas



Savor Dallas is finally here again and it was a perfect evening! If you weren’t able to attend you truly missed out, but at least you still have a chance to enjoy the Grand and Reserve tastings tomorrow.

People truly had the opportunity to “stroll” during the arts stroll that visited the Nasher Sculpture Gardens, Dallas Museum of Art and the Meyerson Symphony Center. Fine wine paired with incredible art - how could life get any better?

We all moved on to Victory where there was an abundance of opportunities to sample great wines, spirits and food offerings while listening to great music and enjoying the evening.

Photographer Lisa Stewart did another amazing job of getting great shots, and there were so many choices it was hard to choose which ones to share here. Be sure to check out her site to see others.

3/6/09

The Ultimate Fan

I have a favor to ask of all of you that really doesn't have anything to do with this blog but it does - my 10 year old nephew is learning an important lesson about marketing and the power of the internet.

Sam lives in Oklahoma City and is the ultimate sports fan - he is crazy about the OKC Thunders and goes dressed to show his support to almost every game. His parents have always been wise enough to let Sam find his own calling, so his enthusiasm (and his outfits) are all his idea. Because of this, Sam was nominated to be part of the Ultimate Fan Finale.

He is also a great well rounded child (and I am a proud aunt!),does very well in school and loves to cook with me - we entered the State Fair of Texas Cooking contests this year and Sam won two 2nd place ribbons!

If Sam wins this contest he gets to go to Boston and see his team play there as well as learn some valuable history lessons when he gets to tour the city.

Please help me encourage Sam to follow his dreams. The link for where to vote on the NBA site is here, and you can vote was many times as you would like. Most of the others that are up for this honor are adults so I'm even more proud of what he's accomplished. Please vote for Sam Davis and vote often!

3/3/09

Filling Empty Bowls


There's nothing better than giving back, but when you are also able to discover new trends and products for yourself it's a bonus!

Not only did I come home from the Empty Bowls event with a beautiful, handcrafted new bowl, I also discovered a company that sells "pantry staples" - pre-measured ingredients that you can easily make up into homemade meals quickly and in a cost-effective manner.

Homemade Gourmet offers meal solutions that make it easy for anyone to whip up a great meal, even if you think you can't cook. They had Lemon Sandwich Cookies at the event, and they were divine! I thought they came from a restaurant and I was thrilled to find out they were something I could make at home.

Fortunately they had one of their catalogs in our goodie-bags along with a sample of their Fire Grilled Salsa Mix so I can get some of the mixes for myself. I'm also anxious to try the salad mixes, especially the Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad mix - it sounds like a perfect meal to enjoy outside on the patio soon.

2/18/09

Savor Dallas 2009

I’m so excited that it’s almost time forSavor Dallas! This is the 5th year for the event, and I’m proud to say that I’ve attended every one and wouldn’t miss it this year for anything.

This two day event features the best in food and wine, and it’s the perfect opportunity to sample those wines that you’ve always wanted to try. As aLifestylist® I always view this as a great opportunity to find out what the latest trends are in food, wine and beverages as well. Last year there was a grapefruit infused vodka that they mixed with grapefruit juice that was fantastic - not too sweet, and the perfect option for a unique spin on a Mimosa.

wp-boxes1tartsPhotographer Lisa Stewart is responsible for the photography of this event - be sure to take a look at her images from previous year and I promise you you’ll wish Savor started tomorrow!

Alas, the event won’t be held until March 6th and 7th in the Victory area, Arts District and downtown Dallas. If you can’t wait until then to sample what will be offered this year be sure to take a look at th elist on the Savor Dallas site of who will be attending.  There are also “Tasting Notes” by some of the wines that will be offered that will give you a preview of what to expect. Tickets can be purchased on the website for all of the events.