The Martha Stewart American Made Contest

Babette
It’s so hard to find companies that only make American Made products these days, but what’s even rarer than that is a woman owned company that is over 20 years old and only sells American Made products.

Babette Holland was making beautiful furniture, vases, mirrors, and accessories in her Tribeca NY studio when the World Trade Center was hit only blocks from her. She has always been an advocate for animals and was a huge influence before and after for getting animals off the streets and into loving homes.

Shortly after that she was diagnosed with MS, but was worried about what the effect would be on her business if her clients and others knew she was struggling with this disease. She shared in her own words on our Lifestylist page what she has been going through, and how she has decided it is time for her to come forward and educate people about MS.

She has been honored by having her company included in the Martha Stewart American Made contest, and is close to winning but needs everyone’s help to help her over the finish line.

Please visit the Martha Stewart page, enroll then you can vote up to 6 times a day until Sept. 22nd.

Someone like Babette never asks for help, so I’m thrilled for a change I can be the one to help her dreams come true!

How OXO is Protecting Their Brand

OXO Spinner 5It’s just not easy doing business these days. Even when you constantly try and do the right thing, play by the rules, do everything you can to make the world a better place and treat your customers and employees like you would like to be treated, someone comes along and attacks everything you have worked so hard for.

OXO, a wonderful, ethical company that is known for it’s ingenious products and ideas sent me an email today about a competitor that is accusing them of stealing a product idea and proceeded to put up a billboard stating these charges 2 blocks from the OXO corporate office. The CEO of Quirky – Ben Kaufman then staged a picket line outside of OXO to draw attention to their charges.

I guess they didn’t realize that OXO doesn’t only have smart designs, they are also really smart about marketing and intellectual property. They have been very supportive of the blogger community and came to us with the facts on this matter – all very well researched and stated.

It turns out that Quirky never went to OXO to voice their concerns and allegations even though the companies are within blocks of each other in NYC. When the President of OXO Alex Lee met with Quirky CEO in 2012 about product design and innovation Lee asked Kaufman “what steps Quirky took to protect the intellectual property (IP) of this broad community when inventors submit their idea in an open and public forum”. Kaufman responded “Nothing. Speed to market is our best protection.”

Almost every day I find another person or company that is using my trademarked term Lifestylist®. I spent a lot of time and money almost 15 years ago to trademark the term because I believed in it and wanted to protect it in the right way – legally. I’ve trademarked other terms and uses since then and it amazes me how many people never search the US Patent and Trademark records to see if a term they want to use is trademarked before they tie it to their brand.

So I am going to do for OXO what I hope other people will do for me. I’m going to share the OXO story, and I’m going to buy their products and support their brand. How we spend our hard earned dollars is the easiest way to let a company know what you think about their business practices and products. Up until now I have never heard of Quirky, but in the future I won’t be spending a dime on any of their products just on principle.

OXO did a beautiful job of addressing this issue in social media and it is well worth reading. And leave it to them to change this into a positive – they are offering to give a “Patent Process Primer” to anyone interested so you can learn the correct way to protect your own intellectual property.

It’s really easy for anyone to write anything these days whether it’s right or wrong, and the responsibility of the blogging and social media community to bring to light injustices such as this. I really appreciate OXO sharing this important lesson with all of us and showing us how to protect our own intellectual property.

Chef Joanne Bondy To Be Featured at James Beard Dinner

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

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!

Here’s to a Tasty 2012

Happy New Year from the Lifestylist® family! We are really excited about 2012 and the opportunities that will come with it.

A lot of being a Lifestylist® is about being a trend tracker and doing research. Today I read something that was written by someone else titled “Social Media Lifestylist Guidelines for 2012” – boy does that sound dull! The first thing that comes to mind is a big dusty manual full of rules and regulations, and that is exactly what social media (and being a Lifestylist®) is not about.

The tag line I have always used for my Lifestylist® brand is “It’s All About You”. I didn’t want the brand to be about me telling people what to do – I wanted to listen to people’s wants, needs, and dreams, and help them achieve those even when they didn’t know that’s what they were really searching for. I don’t want to dictate, I want to educate. I’ve learned that listening is so much more important than anything I will ever have to say, because sometimes if you let people express their thoughts they will find their answers.

Social media is such an exciting new frontier because it gives everyone the chance to tell their story to the universe. It’s become a great equalizer because almost anyone  on any budget can get access to a computer and a free site and share their thoughts.

There’s a down side to this though as well -there’s not as much editing as we’ve seen in the past. We have to learn that even though someone may have written it, there is the possibility it might not be true. Before we share or depend on information we find we have to be sure and check the facts. As the guardian of the Lifestylist® trademark for almost 10 years now I’ve seen how many people want to tie into my brand but aren’t willing to go through the legal process to acquire a brand of their own.

So what are the real Lifestylist’s guidelines for 2012? Never call them guidelines, live your life to the fullest, listen to those around you and you can never laugh too much or have too much great food and wine!

Here’s to a boisterous 2012!

Thermador and Sur La Table – The Perfect Pairing

It’s hard to believe that this Lifestylist® made it  through another year of The State Fair of Texas cooking contests! I am thrilled with the ribbons I won, and even though I missed a few of the contests I usually enter so I could take part in the Thermador Design Council, the information I received (as well as being pampered and having a chef cook almost every meal for us) was better than any ribbon.

When I’m thinking about what I want to enter and I’m looking for those special tools, Sur La Table is always my first stop. After I bought a digital candy thermometer there I started winning in the candy contests and now I can’t imagine life without it. I also know they will always have the perfect pan, cruet, or sea salt to make my entries stand out.

A few years ago I was fortunate enough to get to photograph an event at the Dallas Sur La Table that was a book signing with Martha Stewart! For three hours I had a chance to see this icon in person, and for the record she could not have been more gracious. The Sur La Table team made the event go seamlessly, and everyone had a wonderful time.

When I was at the Thermador Culinary Center last week I heard great news – Sur La Table is now featuring Thermador appliances in many of their kitchens! Now you have the opportunity to take some of their cooking classes and be able to try out the steam oven and many of the other innovations that Thermador offers.

Thermador and Sur la Table – I can’t think of a better pairing!

It’s a Great Day for a Fair


Today was one of those perfect days to visit the great State Fair of Texas. It’s something we look forward to every year – we even get season passes!

 

I’ve been entering the cooking contests for over 5 years now, and I’m proud to say I’ve gotten my share of blue ribbons. It has been so busy around here I haven’t had a chance to enter yet, but I think there are some categories that are calling my name. Last year I won in the Tricks with Mix Category, and I’m thinking I may have to see if I can get Best of Show this year. Be sure to check out some of our award winning (and not award winning) entries on our Fair Foodies site.

 

Because of our love of the State Fair of Texas, we have collected some really unusual items from the fair. This is what makes the Lifestylist® touch so unique – not only great items, but items with a story and history.

Portfolio Kitchen and Home Opens New Flagship Store

Congratulations to Thermador and Geri Higgins for the opening of the Portfolio Flagship store in Kansas City. There will be a functioning Thermador Culinary Studio in the store and Thermador’s executive chef Brad Peterson will be conducting cooking classes and demonstrations during the opening.

Geri is on the Thermador National Design Council with Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber, and we are hoping an invitation comes our way so we can see this beautiful new location in person!

Thermador Shares Recipe for all Ages

As a Lifestylist®, I am always on the go. I have opportunities coat to coast, and often get to spend evenings with friends and family experiencing their homes and their lifestyles. There is nothing I enjoy more than an evening at home – either mine, or my friends. For these special evenings I like to have recipes that are my “go-to’s” that I can prepare and share.

I’m honored to be on the Design Council for Thermador Appliances, and on a recent visit to their amazing Thermador showroom in Scottsdale, AZ -they put us to work. We got to experience these appliances first hand, and prepared a fabulous dinner that we all enjoyed. My favorite item of all things that we prepared was the Creamed Spinach – who knew? Thermador shared the recipe with me, and since then it has become one of my favorite recipes to share. When I just got to spend some time with my grandkids we prepared this together and they loved it! Thank you Thermador for sharing this great, simple recipe that everyone enjoys. I’m going to return the favor and share it with you here.

 

Creamed Spinach

5 lbs. of fresh spinach, cleaned of stems and rinsed

1/4 cup butter

1 shallot, fine dice

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp. nutmeg

1 C. heavy cream

shredded Parmesan cheese

salt & pepper to taste

Bring a large stockpot full of water to a boil. Blanche the spinach for only 10 seconds.

Put blanched spinach in a colander and press out as much liquid as possible, then chop.

Melt the butter in a large rimmed skillet over medium heat and add the shallot and garlic. Cook until tender, about 4 minutes.

To that, add the drained spinach, nutmeg and heavy cream. Bring to a light simmer.

Transfer to a bowl and using an immersion blender, blend the ingredients to a uniform consistency.

Place in a heat proof serving bowl and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Place under broiler until cheese is golden brown – enjoy!