The Wyndham Deerfield Beach Hotel and Resort

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As a Lifestylist, location is everything when I go on vacation. If I am going to a mountain destination I like to stay in the mountains, and if I am going to a beach location I want to be as close to the water as possible. Part of the experience is hearing the waves break and waking up to the sun rising over the water. A lot of times I have to pay a premium for these vacations, but to me it’s worth it.

When my son was getting married in Boca Raton 5 years ago I asked for hotel suggestions and he recommended The Howard Johnson. The price was great, it was right on the beach and I could get ocean views for less than what I would have spent at an inland hotel. We had a great time so when we were heading back for a family reunion and my grandson’s christening I thought we’d stay there again.

I knew it was too good to be true the first time -it was now remodeled and had become the Wyndham Deerfield Beach Resort but the price was still reasonable so we decided to give it a go.

Calling this hotel a resort is a stretch – there is a small pool, a bar / cafe, restaurant and a fitness center but that’s it. The beach is a public beach and you have to pay for umbrellas, chaises and chairs. Parking is available for $12.00 / day, but there is free wifi.

We ate the first night at Cafe Med which has a great patio looking out at the ocean and pier. The food and staff were mediocre – our caprese salad had mealy tomatoes and a lack of flavor and basil. The rigatoni was supposed to be made with house made pasta but was very disappointing.

The rooms are small but cozy, and I love the fact that they had wood floors – we constantly were tracking in water and sand from the beach. The beds are divine, complete with feather pillows. the rooms had full glass walls facing the ocean and pier which made for great people watching.

We are already planning a return trip – the location and price make this one of the best values in the West Palm Beach / Boca Raton area.

Hope For 2013

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Another year is almost behind us, and I think most of us are looking forward to a fresh start in 2013.

Last year made it clearer than ever that nothing is more important than relationships. I feel so fortunate that I was able to spend time with my cousins I hadn’t seen in years, had some great sister time and what was most important, got to spend a lot of quality time with my kids and grandkids.

Being around the grandkids reminded me how wonderful it is to always be looking forward to tomorrow and the opportunities it brings. The amazement of what a fantastic job my kids are doing as parents, and how talented their Jr Lifestylists are keeps reminding me how important it is to spend time with family.

Here’s hoping that 2013 is filled with hope for all of us, and we remember what brings us joy.

The Museum Tower in Downtown Dallas is Blinding

One of the best things this Lifestylist® ever did was to buy  The Home Idea Factory. Not only do I have space to try out new ideas and to foster lots of rescue animals, but I’m also only a few miles from the Dallas Arts District. – This wonderful gem is tucked away in downtown Dallas and you can experience the best in the culinary arts, discover new artists or ones that you have always read about, and appreciate what Mother Earth has graced us with in the Nasher Gardens or at the new Klyde Warren Park.

When I was driving to one of my favorite events – ‘Til Midnight at The Nasher – I was literally blinded while I was driving over the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. I’d heard about all of the controversy surrounding the new Museum Tower, but it wasn’t until I seriously couldn’t see while I was driving 45 miles an hour on a highway because of it did I realize how dangerous it is – not only to the Arts District but to motorists driving down the various highways beside it.

Not only is the Museum Tower getting a reputation for being a bad neighbor – it’s going to kill someone.

Let’s hope that The Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund -owners of this $200 million dollar building do something about this issue before someone gets hurt.

Does Time Warner Cable Appreciate Your Business?

Like a lot of people I’m sure, I get bombarded with junk snail and email from the cable company, Dish Companies, and the telephone company begging me to change my services to them.

Time Warner Cable has been especially aggressive, and after years of saying no and my Dish company wanting to charge me to fix equipment that I rent from them, I thought I’d give Time Warner a try. The sales person couldn’t have been nicer, and we set up an appointment that fit with this Lifestylist’s crazy schedule so I could be there and have them install all of the new goodies.

The day came, but the tech never did. I called after he missed my appointment and was told he was there but no one was home and that he left a note at the door. I was here – no call, no doorbell, no note so one of us was confused. The tech then took it upon himself to change my appointment from 8-10am to 8am – 9pm. Even though I was told more than once I would be his next appointment, no one ever showed up. Keep in mind that this is a company that I’ll be spending thousands of dollars with a year, and before it was over I spent over 10 hours being put on hold (yes, after awhile I started keeping track.).Bottom line – no supervisors ever followed up like I was told they would, the most they were willing to credit me for wasting my time was $15.00, and a week later I got an email rescheduling the appointment.Initially I had canceled all of the services I had with my former providers, but I called them and negotiated better rates (and my equipment being repaired for free) so even though I wasn’t happy with what I had, it seemed like the best of the worst.

Lesson learned? I never want any of my clients feeling like they are settling when I do something for them. Even if it’s just making sure that they know I appreciate their business – they work too hard to not get the best. I like to know that my business is valued, and I’m sure that my clients do as well.

Gaylord Texan Chef to Be Honored at James Beard House

Chef Joanne Bondy, Executive Chef at The Old Hickory Steakhouse at the Gaylord Texan has been asked to host a special evening at The James Beard House for the third time. This Lifestylist® was honored to be able to help prep the last dinner in the James Beard kitchen, and then stay behind the scenes to capture the experience on film.

Chef Bondy treated member of the Gaylord Food and Wine Society along with other guests to a preview of what will be served at the October event recently, and this is definitely going to be a meal to remember. Palmaz wines will be featured and served with the dinner.

For information on how you can attend this very special event, contact the Gaylord Texan team at: 817-778-2210

The Lifestylist® Brands

 

 

 

One of the questions I always get asked is exactly what is a Lifestylist®, and what is unique about the Lifestylist® Lifestyle. The second most asked question is what makes me a Trailer Diva!

The Lifestylist philosophy is about “Life Celebrating Style”. Our clients life and style is what dictates how a Lifestylist® works with you. My favorite example is I had a client in Phoenix, Arizona that was a major Phoenix Suns fan, and their team colors are orange and purple. The client wanted their entire home done in these colors. What they wanted is what they got, complete with a child’s room with a hardwood floor striped like a basketball court. They wanted to stylishly celebrate their interests and love of their home team and we did!

I just spoke to a friend who’s dog just dug up their entire garden and her daughter slammed the door on the neighbor’s hand – all in about 30 minutes time. Her needs and lifestyle are completely different from my son – no kids, no dogs, and lives in front of his computer. What my style is wouldn’t work well for either of them which is why I need to understand the client and what their “hot buttons” are. It’s takes extra time and sleuthing to achieve this – many times the client has trouble putting into words exactly what they are looking for but they know it when they see it. I take the responsibility very seriously – a person’s environment can truly change their lives in a positive or negative way. If someone is happy in their home their quality of life improves.

Next to being a mother, becoming a Lifestylist® is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. I’m looking forward to expanding the concept and what it offers in the years to come. – we will be launching a new food line this Spring!

DIVE IN To a New Champion Home

Champion Homes has taken buying a new home to to the next level with the introduction of DIVE IN – a way to design and customize your own home online or with a sales agent.

DIVE IN (Design Interactive Viewing Experience) offers a collection on plans that let you choose different lifestyle options, flex spaces, alternative kitchen designs and other choices that allow the customer to design a home that is truly a home of their own.

Kevin Flaherty, VP of marketing for Champion Home Builders said this is the perfect tool for retailers to help their potential buyers design their new home.  “When it is used with a tablet computer, the sales experience grows exponentially with the ability to provide the customer with all the information they need to make an informed buying decision in a unique, concise and captivating manner.”  We loved interviewing Kevin and Phyllis Knight – Chief Financial Officer of Champion at the recent MHI Congress and Expo, and their enthusiasm about the factory built industry is contagious.

We are proud of the Lifestylist® Designed model homes we have done for Champion, and we are looking forward to doing more in the future. This video can show you the difference a Lifestylist® Designed model home can make.

 

The New American Home 2011 Features Thermador Appliances That Exceeded Homeowners Expectations

The Home Idea Factory was asked to be the Lifestylist® for The New American Home 2011, and we loved getting to see all of the new product innovations that were included in the home.
Thermador provided the appliances for this beautiful home, and visitors fell in love with the steam oven, refrigeration columns and the eye catching Sapphire dishwasher. Besides it’s SBL (sexy blue light) technology, this workhorse could fit 18 stemmed wine glasses, had three drawers, and made it possible to clean everything from fine crystal to heavy, dirty pots and pans.
We did a video of the Reidman Development team experiencing this dishwasher, and also showed what consumers thought. What did the homeowners like the best? They said that Thermador’s customer service was the component that won their loyalty. The Thermador team was always there when they had questions, and went above and beyond to make sure that the new homeowners weer happy with their new home.

Tricks and Treats From a 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.

Holy Guacamole!

VIEW VIDEO“Staycations” seem to be a trend that continues to be popular, and when we went to the Gaylord Texan this week to observe their Jr. Chef Camp it looked like the place to be! Of course “it is always 72 degrees at The Gaylord Texan” so with it being so hot outside, it’s a great place to spend a summer weekend.

Chef Joanne Bondy and her team do an amazing job teaching kids what it’s like to work in a restaurant kitchen, and one of the teams this week learned how to make guacamole. I loved the fact their wasn’t a video game in site, and these kids were having a blast!

To learn more about Chef Bondy and the different activities that she does at the Gaylord, “like” her on Facebook or follow her tweets @joannebondy.