Re-Decorating Your Home

I recently wrote an article for the Great Southwest Home Show that had some easy and inexpensive ideas that might help you.

You can be frugal and still have a beautiful home -the key is to really put together a plan with what you want to accomplish and how much you want to spend before you start shopping.

When a start on a Lifestylist® Designed home, the first thing I do is think about the homeowners lifestyle, and how they’ll be living in it. Do they have kids? How Old? Pets? Are sports important? Do they like to entertain? Do they enjoy spending time in the kitchen or would they rather share “Take-In” with their guests?

Making over your home can be as simple sometimes as just moving some things around -by giving the room a different “flow” and feel, you might end up with just the experience you were hoping for!

Lifestylist® Advisory: BEE – Fast and Fresh

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!

Lifestylist® Advisory: Savor Dallas

It’s hard to believe that Savor Dallas is less than a week away! This will be the 7th year that I’ve attended and styled the shots for photography – each year seems to be better than the last. As a Lifestylist®, I appreciate the fact that Savor Dallas is all about Living your Life with Style, and eating well as you do it!

With over 200 chefs, mixologists and winemakers typically bringing goodies that always not only look good enough to eat, but to shoot as well. I have to get with their team, style the item on a pretty plate that I bring along or a beautiful glass, then hand them off to photographer Lisa Stewart of Lisa Stewart Photography. We only have a few hours on each day to accomplish this so I’m always amazed at what Lisa is able to get photographed.

Today I pulled some of my favorite shots and made a video with them -great memories and inspiration on what I want to accomplish this year. Which is your favorite?

For more information on this fantastic event, contact Jim and Vicki at: www.savordallas.com

Most of the photography on the site is shots that Lisa and I did as well, so enjoy!

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.

Manufactured Homes by Cavco in The Texas Hill Country

I love the area near New Braunfels and Boerne – great countryside and the best BBQ!

Cavco Home Center in New Braunfels is a great place to start your search – we have done some Lifestylist® Designed homes for them and were amazed with their quality and customer service. They have a great selection of homes that would be ideal as your main or vacation home.

To see a video of some of the homes we LifeStyled for them, check out our Lifestylist Channel on You Tube, and to get more information on what homes are currently available, give the home center a call at: (830) 608-0208. Tell them The Lifestylist® sent you!

The Official Lifestylist® Channel

Are you looking for new housing trends, photos from the New American Home,travel destinations, or decorating ideas? We know the place to go!

Check out The Official Lifestylist® Channel – a place where we are putting together videos and information that can help you find the answers you are looking for.

There are lots of new projects in in production – we would love to hear from you and know what you’d be interested in seeing. Next week we are off to Arizona to visit The Mosaic Cafe, Sabino Canyon and Old Scottsdale! We will also be getting some advice from Thermador on what are the best appliances for my cooking style.

Lifestylist® Designed homes are becoming something that consumers are asking for, and we will be sharing some of our latest designs soon as well. Visit our new channel often to stay in touch – we’ll see you there!

Lifestylist® Advisory: Sweet Treats for Valentines Day

Are you looking for something easy and memorable to do for the special person in your life on Valentine’s Day?
These White Chocolate Citrus Truffles will be a gift to remember. I entered these in the State Fair of Texas this year and they were a huge hit.
INGREDIENTS:
3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
Zest of 1 Orange
Zest of 1 Lemon
2 lbs. White Chocolate
1 Tablespoon Shortening
Combine zests and heavy cream in a small saucepan – simmer until bubbles appear.
Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, warm up again until bubbles appear.
Melt 1 lb. white chocolate, strain cream mixture and add to chocolate. Stir gently and allow to cool to room temperature.
Once cooled, place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
Roll ganache into 1 inch round balls, then put in freezer to set at least 2 hours.
Melt remaining white chocolate, and stir in shortening. Dip centers into chocolate, then garnish with orange zest.

New Lifestylist® Designed Homes for Champion Homes of Texas

2011 is looking like it’s going to be a busy year! I was at Champion Homes of Texas the other day, and saw lots of new faces and activity. They are looking at some new Lifestylist® Designed decors and homes that are going to leave the competition in their dust!

Champion Homes has new owners and a new CEO, and I think there are some very exciting changes coming.

If you haven’t visited with them lately, you need to get with sales manager Jimmy Griffith at: 817-295-2267 and see what’s new.

Have You Joined Animal Rescue Corps?

Finally! A group that is focused on Animal Rescue. Animal Rescue Corps is a new group that was started by Scotlund Haisley and his talented team that has more than 40 years collective experience in animal protection. As a Lifestylist®, I’m thrilled to be involved with this wonderful, important organization.

To make people aware of the group, Animal Rescue Corps is holding a drawing. Simply share your email address with them if you haven’t already, and you will automatically be entered into a random drawing for a Valentine’s gift package that includes: ARC gear, dog & cat goodies, and movie memorabilia from ARC’s own Elaine Hendrix.

Gifts From The Heart

Valentines Day is almost here! I love making gifts for my family, friends and clients, and this is the goodie they always ask for.

At the recent IBS Show in Orlando I had my granddaughter help me make up some cookies and candy that I brought to the NAHB staff and to my favorite clients – it was a huge success. That is one of the important parts of being a Lifestylist® to me – using my talents to bring joy to others.

I’ve been entering variations of this toffee in the State Fair of Texas for years and this is the version that everyone asks for.
The key to candy making is having a good thermometer, and when I invested in a digital one it made all of the difference in the world. As soon as the temperature gets up to around 250 degrees start watching very closely – it will get to the optimum temperature quickly and if it heats to even 5 degrees more than it should it will burn. Enjoy!

Texas Butter Pecan Toffee
Ingredients:
1 lb Texas pecans
1 lb butter + 2 tablespoons butter for pecans
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup light Karo syrup
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 lb chocolate chips
Directions:
In a skillet, stir butter and pecans together – cook over a low heat until lightly toasted. Remove from heat.
In a medium saucepan combine the rest of the butter, sugar, water and Karo syrup. Stir until mixture comes to a boil, then continue to cook without stirring until mixture reaches a temperature of 290 degrees. Stir in half of the pecans to mixture and turn out onto a 12” x 18” baking sheet. Sprinkle top with chocolate chips and spread after they melt – then sprinkle rest of pecans on top and allow to cool. Break into bite sized pieces.