Historic Holiday Home Tour

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The Home Idea Factory is located in a historic area of Dallas, Texas – Oak Cliff. Oak Cliff is made up of various neighborhoods, and one of those – Winnetka Heights is having their 28th annual Holiday Home tour.

The 28th Annual Holiday Home Tour will feature all of the traditional excitement from past home tours, plus a few new things, making this year’s tour bigger and better than ever before! – See more at: http://winnetkaheights.org/2014/11/celebrate-the-holidays-in-the-heights/#sthash.M9FejNxZ.dpuf

School Is Cool!

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Can you believe that school supplies are already showing up on the shelves at the stores? An important part of being a Lifestylist® is giving back to the community, and supporting Shared Housing and the important services they provide is something we always look forward to.

Shared Housing is a small under-funded group that helps provide housing to single parent families and and Seniors and one of the things that makes them very special is that once you are a part of the Shared Housing Family you are always invited to be a part of everything they do.

Their 2013-2014 School is Cool campaign has officially started! Our goal this year is to secure backpacks, supplies, uniforms and a pair of shoes for 300 of our current and former homeless children attending school. That means over 420 construction packages, 1000 packages of notebook paper, 1,565 folders with brads, crayons, pens, pencils and oh so much more! The Dallas Stars Hockey Team was very generous and provided the kids with these super cool backpacks last year giving our kids a fashionable start to the school year.

Would you consider becoming a friend of Shared Housing?  Whether you write a check, go on-line to donate, or coordinate a supply drive at your offices, we need it all! So, please help us! You will feel great doing so and our children and their parents will be thankful for your support in getting them to school.

For a list of ways you can join the campaign and help or if you need additional information, please call them or email them at:

Shared Housing Center – 214-821-8510
Maria Machado – mmachado@sharedhousing.org
Pam Russell – prussell@sharedhousing.org


Family Style

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The Lifestylist® family is very close, and when my new grandson was going to be christened in Florida last week 4 generations of my family headed to the beach to enjoy each other and celebrate this very special occasion.

My daughter lives in Orlando and my son is in West Palm Beach so we had lots of chairs, floats, boogie boards and floats to enjoy the beach with. Grandma spent 3 days in the ocean with the kids and I’m not as young as I used to be – I’m tired, sore and got some sunburn but it was worth it to spend time with the kids.

There’s nothing better than family time – I can’t wait to get everyone together again.

Lighting Up Las Vegas

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Not only is Las Vegas the city that never sleeps, it’s also the city that never stops changing. Every time this Lifestylist® visits for a conference there’s something new being built, or something new and exciting to see.

There is more to Las Vegas than gambling and the strip. Recently the Neon Museum moved into it’s new home near downtown and it’s an architectural masterpiece. This gem isn’t easy to find and they require reservations, but you’ll never regret making the effort to enjoy these important pieces of history. The docents are well versed in Vegas history and have a story to tell.

While you are downtown take the time to take a stroll down Fremont Street and walk through some of the old hotels that haven’t changed much since the Rat Pack sang to packed houses in them. There’s also great examples of historic neon pieces that have been restored and are on display.

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?


Teaching by Example


I can’t believe that Summer is almost over! This was a really busy one, and there never seems to be enough time to do all of the things I wanted to do.

Yesterday was the last Jr Chef Camp at The Gaylord Texan, and I think it was one of the best. When the 14 kids arrived I was a little worried – none of them had taken the class before and they were all new to each other as well.

After Al taught them about manners and etiquette Chef Joanne Bondy brought them into the Old Hickory Steakhouse kitchen and began to get them excited about cooking. The kids loved being able to be hands on with her and learn different cooking techniques, and by the time the second egg was cracked new friendships had formed and the kitchen was alive with excited voices all having new direction and dreams.

Sometimes even the most simple experience can be the most memorable. The kids got to go out in the Gaylord Texan herb garden and vineyard and were amazed to find that grapes grew on vines!

They had a blast tasting the different grapes and learning about how the herbs tasted. And the pride they all had when they served their parents the meal they made and introduced them to their new friends – just a great event.

Chef Joanne and her team don’t just teach kids how to cook at this event – they empower them to try new things and to believe in themselves, and that’s a lesson that is priceless.

Why I Love The USA Film Festival

On April 25th, the USA Film Festival will be celebrating it’s 42nd year of bringing the art of film to Texas. If you love watching great films and enjoy the people who make them, this event should be at the top of your list.

As someone who has been attending this amazing event for over 20 years, I have been fortunate enough to have experiences like getting a hug from Tony Curtis, going behind the scenes with the Muppets®, and talking about factory built housing with Sir Anthony Hopkins.  I share some of my experiences on my Lifestylist® website.

Some of the screenings have already sold out, but members of the festival get special opportunities and reserved seating at some levels. To find out more about becoming a member contact the festival at: usafilmfest@aol.com


The Lifestylist® Difference




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!

It's All About You!