Happy Holidays!

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Happy Holidays from all of us at the Lifestylist Brands. May your New Year be filled with laughter, love and compassion.

The Martha Stewart American Made Contest

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!

Celebrating Summer: Waldameer

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Summer has always been one of my favorite times of the year, and when I was growing up, Summer always meant visiting my grandparents, cousins, and family at our family farm in Erie, Pennsylvania. I am so fortunate to have had a childhood where we could run wild and enjoy everything Summer has to offer. Visiting the farm meant catching pollywogs in the creek, eating wild raspberries as quickly as we could pick them, shucking corn and lima beans on the front porch, and our favorite part -heading to Waldameer at night to win prizes and be scared out of our minds on the rides. Our grandfather refused to take us one night for some reason so we embroidered "I am a Stinker" on his night shirt - I think that is one of the favorite memories for all of us.

Waldameer is still open on the shores of Lake Erie, - in fact it is the 10th oldest amusement park in the US.  I was sure when I visited Erie again to start working on the newest Lifestylist® Designed community - The Hammocks at Millcreek if I visited Waldameer it would never be able to live up to my memories. Fortunately for me, it did.

My grandfather worked for the Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad, so the trains were always one of our favorite rides when I was little. They are still there, and still have lots of happy kids riding them. The carousel is spectacular and since Waldameer first opened in 1896, the horses are probably some of the best examples you will find anywhere. I thought the park would feel small compared to the ones that are open today, but it's truly the perfect size.

I had to try the Ferris wheel and the Ravine II roller coaster, and I'm going to apologize here to the kids that got stuck riding with me. I felt their pain - if I had to ride with an "adult" I would have been bummed too, but they were very polite. The views at sunset from the Ferris wheel were spectacular -you had the sunset to your left, and great views of Presque Isle to your right. Lucky for me it had rained most of the day so the crowds weren't bad and the line was doable for the Ravine II roller coaster. This older wood beauty didn't look too bad - it couldn't possibly be as terrifying as I remember in my younger years. They wouldn't let me take my camera with me but I kept my phone - was was determined to take a Vine Video from start to finish. That great idea lasted less than a second - as soon as we started downward I started clutching to the safety bar and screaming like a girl. It was worse than I remember! The ravine might not look scary, but those jarring turns and bends will keep you at the edge of your seat.

No visit to Waldameer is complete without a turn at the bumper cars. My Aunt Julie is the biggest kid I know and she was ruthless when we rode this ride. I can't wait to take my grandkids to this treasure and to share my memories with them.


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


Life At The Beach

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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.

Farmers Market Sunday Soups

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This is going to be a busy week! I leave tomorrow to do some new model homes for SE Homes of Texas in Louisiana, so while I'm enjoying all of that Cajun cuisine I wanted to cook up some healthy meals my Lifestylist® family could enjoy.

Ro-tel® (tomatoes and diced green chilies)is a staple in my pantry. It is low calorie, low fat, and full of spicy goodness and is an important part of my vegetarian chili and my vegetable soup.

I make this in my slow cooker - it's a perfect weekend dish because you can prep all of the vegetables and let it cook up on it's own. Use vegetables that your family prefers or ones that are fresh at the farmers market - my version changes with the seasons.

You can find the recipe on my Lifestylist® Recipe page - enjoy!

Memorial Day Memories

Smith35 copySmith201 copySmith tifScan 121030 0021 2 copyMemorial Day weekend has always been one of my favorites. It held the promise that school was almost over, Summer vacation was just around the corner, and we would be heading to the family farm in Erie, Pennsylvania to spend time with my cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.

I feel so blessed to have had such great experiences - our family has always been very close and full of role models that to this day I look up to.

I love every community I get to work on, but being asked to be the Lifestylist® for The Hammocks at Millcreek has a very special meaning to me. I'm in a way getting to go home - to share all of the reasons I love Erie with people who will be able to call The Hammocks home.

Please "like" their Facebook page and visit their website to learn why The Hammocks at Millcreek should be your new home.

The Domestic Lifestylist

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Have you "liked" our Domestic Lifestylist Facebook page yet? We are getting ready to add some great new features that you won't want to miss - hope to see you there soon!