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.

Color Swatching

Color can be a very intimidating thing. The choices are limitless, and making a bad decision can haunt you for a long, long time.

When I first started doing model homes, the thought of making color selections terrified me. These colors would be in these models for years and could truly affect how well the homes sold. After I got over that initial fear I found out it’s something that I’m really good at and by putting my Lifestylist® philosophy to work and listening to the client I was able to do some really exciting homes, including winning a National award from The National Association of Home Builders for Best Model Home Merchandising.

Lifestylist® Design has been a team member with Riedman Development for the Hammocks communities for over 10 years, and their latest community, The Hammocks at Canandaigua I think is going to be one of my favorites. It’s in a beautiful area, and every time I visit I don’t want to leave. I very much want the interiors and colors to reflect how truly special this community is, so finding the perfect paint colors has been top priority.

The way that I chose colors can be used by anyone, and it’s a great way yo make sure that before you commit to painting an entire room you are sure that you’ve made the right choice.

1. Go With What You Love Most good paint stores can do color matching these days. If you have a favorite dish, leaf, piece of fabric, or even a photo of a home where you liked the wall color take it to your paint store and see what they can come up with. They will usually have a wall of paint chips that you can select from as well – before you buy choose your favorite chips and take them home to see how they look in your surroundings.

2. Try Before you Buy I thought I knew which color I wanted at the Hammocks, but after I brought it home and painted the actual color on a wall I realized it was too green. Most paint companies will now let you buy a little sample size – Sherwin Williams who is my favorite paint sold me a quart sample for around $6.00 which was a great investment. I painted some approx. 2′ x 2′ squares of each on my kitchen wall, because it got lots of direct and indirect light during the day and also because I knew if I made this commitment  it would force me into finally repainting this wall! I also walk by this wall all of the time, so by observing the colors in different weather and light I made a decision I’m thrilled with.

3. Prep Your Walls Properly They always say you get what you pay for, and this is especially true with contractors. When I first moved into the Home Idea Factory this wall wasn’t finished, and the contractor I found did a lousy job tape and texturing it. The paint highlighted the flaws, so before I spend the money to re-paint it I’m going to be sure that the wall is taped properly and that all flaws, holes, etc have been filled in.

4. Paint Finishes Paint comes in different finishes including flat, eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss. Flat is usually the least expensive, but is also the most absorbent as far as fingerprints, grease, etc. and the hardest to clean. I usually go with a satin finish because I like the way it plays with light and is the easiest to keep clean, and use semi-gloss on my trim work it make it stand out. Keep in mind though that the more sheen the paint has, the more any imperfections you have on your walls or trim will stand out.

5. Tools Before you start, be sure that you have the right tools including a drop cloth, paint brushes, blue tape for masking off areas and a paint roller and pan. There are lots of cool products on the market to make painting easy for everyone.

Now that I’ve made my decision I can’t wait to get started on my new projects – which paint color do you think I decided on? Which would you have chosen?

 

Shared Housing Needs Your Help

I had a wonderful opportunity this week – I got to volunteer at Shared Housing.

I’ve been involved in lots of organizations where they just want you to give or raise money, but Shared Housing let’s me work with the people I’m helping and make a difference.

Thursday I got to play with the kids while the Mom’s learned about budgeting and parenting. And they are amazing kids – they all take care of each other and appreciate the smallest things. Shared Housing keeps a “toy room” where new toys are stored and used as incentives to the kids for good deeds or when it’s their birthday. People tend to be very generous at Christmas time, but by July the toy room starts getting pretty sparse. I promised the staff that if they would let the kids get an unexpected trip to the toy room, the Lifestylist® team would get to work and re-stock the room with goodies that would help keep the room open for the rest of the year.

I always keep my promises, and I’m happy to report that I’m going to have a car load full of goodies for the room, and mew sheets blankets, and kitchen utensils for the Moms. And the best part is that they said I can come and play with the kids any time 🙂

Just the smallest things can make such a difference. We visited our local Dollar Store and the clearance aisles at our local stores and were able to make our budget go a long way.

Shared Housing is also getting ready for “School is Cool”. They need to get school supplies and uniforms for 270 children that are active in the program. They believe that no child should have to start school  without the proper clothes or supplies -these kids have already gone through enough.

If you would like to help or to make a donation, visit the Shared Housing website or give them a call at: 214-821-8510

What is a Lifestylist® ?

 

 

 

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!

Out With The Old…

Sometimes being a frugal Lifestylist® can get you into trouble. Cosmetics and beauty products are so expensive, I just hate to throw them away if there is even a little bit left. Today I decided to break that cycle and let go of some items I’ve held on to for waaaay too long.

I read somewhere recently that you should throw your toothbrush out after you have been sick, and that really makes sense. Past their prime moisturizers and skin products can cause a lot more damage than good. I’ve heard that 6 months should be the longest something is kept, but I would check with the manufacturer to get their recommendations.

When I went to replace the items I finally let go of I decided to go back to my frugal ways and try some products that are modestly priced but have been getting great reviews. I’ll let you know what I think and hopefully we can all save some money this year!

The Lifestylist® Companies Support Smal Business Saturday

We are so proud to be involved in the home building business, and many of our customers are small privately owned companies that build homes for local families.

All of our Lifestylist® companies are built around the idea that if we buy from local companies and support our local businesses we help them to become homeowners and live the all American dream of owning a home of your own.We loved the 8 years that we were the Lifestylist® for Patriot Homes – we always did at least one Patriotic themed model home, and I think they were my favorites.

I’d like to say that I’m an example of dreams coming true – I married early, never finished college but here I am owning my own business and being able to help others.

If you are looking for a Lifestylist® to help merchandise and add Lifestyle to your homes, please contact us at: answers@lifestylist.com, or take a look at our website at: www.lifestylist.com

Let’s all support locally owned businesses and bring jobs back to America!

Being Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving! This holiday is about food and family, but even more than that I like to use it to remind me how thankful I am for what I have, and for those around me.

 

For over 25 years my parents were very active doing disaster relief with The Salvation Army, and even raised the money for a state of the art canteen for the Tyler Texas location. Whenever there was a disaster or need and my parents got a call they dropped everything and hit the road. One of the most memorable phone calls I ever received was when Hurricane Katrina hit and my parents answered the call. They called me when they were outside the Super Dome not having a clue what was going on inside. For six weeks they were in the French Quarter feeding the volunteers – my Dad always joked he always wanted to have a restaurant in the French Quarter and he finally got his wish!

 

Whenever this Lifestylist® could I joined them on the road helping my Mom cook up to 2,000 hot meals a day and seeing first hand what mother nature can dish out. People were so sweet and hospitable, even though many had lost everything that they had. It was always hard to leave – I wanted to stay there and help rebuild.

 

This year I have been blessed to be involved with three amazing organizations – Shared Housing, Genesis Women’s Shelter and HomeAid/Homebuilders Care. I am always so drawn to the kids – many of them have seen things we can’t even imagine, but they always have the best manners, always say please, thank-you and give the best hugs 🙂

 

It’s harder than ever to make a living, but even if you can’t make a donation to a worthwhile charity think about donating your time -you’ll be very thankful that you did.

 

 

 

 

 

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.