New year, new opportunities and tons of cleaning up of files, recipes, and closets to do!
As a Lifestylist® I spend a lot of time on the road searching for what’s new, but when I’m home I love spending time in the kitchen working on comfort food recipes that are so easy anyone can make them.
I love Cream of Asparagus soup and I spend a fortune buying it so I decided it was time to come up with a recipe I can make at home. This recipe is so easy and by using vegetable stock instead of the chicken stock most recipes call for it keeps it vegetarian and reduces the sodium levels.
Fresh Asparagus is already showing up in the grocery stores and farmers markets – give it a try and see what you think.
2013 was a great year for the Lifestylist Brands. We were honored to be asked to speak at some large national conferences, new clients joined our family and we continued to be more active in social media.
Flipagram is an app that lets you choose photos that you used in Instargam and make a flip book movie out of them.
Take a look at our Flipagram movie and see some of the people, events and places that made 2013 a year to remember.
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!
The Lifestylist test kitchen is almost complete! As I was taking everything out of drawers and my old pantry I realized now is the perfect time to check expiration dates on everything and get rid of things that aren’t as fresh as the rest of the ingredients I use in my dishes.
I was amazed that most spices didn’t have expiration dates on them, but here are a few simple tips that can help you decide whether to keep or trash you pantry inventory.
* Smell – always the easiest. If something smells “off” or in the case of spices has no scent at all it’s time to replace.
* Appearance – if something looks off as far as color or texture get rid of it immediately! The last thing you want to do is make yourself or your guests sick. Faded spices can mean that their strength isn’t what it should be and will throw off the taste of your dish.
* Expiration Dates – I do trust these and if somethings past that date will get rid of it. It just isn’t worth ruining a dish of dinner party to save a few dollars.
* Moisture – if something get introduced to an outside moisture source I would get rid of it instead of having to worry about mold or having it compromised.
My sweet contractor made me a spice rack and I can’t wait to start filling it. My favorite source for the freshest spices is Penzeys. They have opened quite a few stores and they also can be purchased online.
My new absolute spicy find though is Tabasco Spicy Salt. I’ve never found it in the stores but you can but it at their online store. It’s a blend of their very own slat that is mined on Avery Island, Louisiana and ground red pepper. It has quite a kick and a little goes a long way. I use it on everything!
Happy Mothers Day! I was reminded today as to why I became a Lifestylist® – my mother is the perfect example of who to live your life with style. We celebrated with homemade cinnamon buns and a cruise around their lake – how did you celebrate with your Mom?
It’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.