As a Lifestylist, location is everything when I go on vacation. If I am going to a mountain destination I like to stay in the mountains, and if I am going to a beach location I want to be as close to the water as possible. Part of the experience is hearing the waves break and waking up to the sun rising over the water. A lot of times I have to pay a premium for these vacations, but to me it’s worth it.
When my son was getting married in Boca Raton 5 years ago I asked for hotel suggestions and he recommended The Howard Johnson. The price was great, it was right on the beach and I could get ocean views for less than what I would have spent at an inland hotel. We had a great time so when we were heading back for a family reunion and my grandson’s christening I thought we’d stay there again.
I knew it was too good to be true the first time -it was now remodeled and had become the Wyndham Deerfield Beach Resort but the price was still reasonable so we decided to give it a go.
Calling this hotel a resort is a stretch – there is a small pool, a bar / cafe, restaurant and a fitness center but that’s it. The beach is a public beach and you have to pay for umbrellas, chaises and chairs. Parking is available for $12.00 / day, but there is free wifi.
We ate the first night at Cafe Med which has a great patio looking out at the ocean and pier. The food and staff were mediocre – our caprese salad had mealy tomatoes and a lack of flavor and basil. The rigatoni was supposed to be made with house made pasta but was very disappointing.
The rooms are small but cozy, and I love the fact that they had wood floors – we constantly were tracking in water and sand from the beach. The beds are divine, complete with feather pillows. the rooms had full glass walls facing the ocean and pier which made for great people watching.
We are already planning a return trip – the location and price make this one of the best values in the West Palm Beach / Boca Raton area.
Tonight Hurricane Sandy is wreaking havoc on New York City and the East Coast. I was just there a few weeks ago enjoying all of the wonderful sights and sounds the city has to offer, and I can’t help but worry about all of the people and businesses that I love going to there.
One of those is Porto Rico Importing Co. on Bleecker St in Greenwich Village. I’ve been buying my coffee there ever since I had a place in NY, and after I moved I continued to have it shipped to Texas. I knew they had great coffee at amazing prices, but a few days ago I got a flyer from them telling about the history of the family and that the owner’s Mom, who has always been a part of the business and lived over the store just had her 100th birthday! I can’t imagine the stories she must have as someone who lived in NYC all of her life, but you feel like you are experiencing some of that history just by visiting the store.
To celebrate Rose’s 100 birthday they are doing a very special blend. I know I’m going to have to buy a few lbs to celebrate this special occasion -to order yours, you can visit their website or give them a call at: 1-800-453-5908
The Texas Hill Country is a great area to visit if you like great music, scenery and BBQ. One one of my trips through this beautiful area I discovered The New Braunfels Smokehouse – a great local find that offers their own hickory meats, cheeses, jellies, and other goodies that can be bought at the location or ordered online. They opened in 1952, and the restaurant at the location is fantastic. Imagine thick cut bacon, hand sliced turkey and swiss cheese on homemade toasted bread. It is heaven on a plate! The Chef salad is huge, and comes complete with your choice of house made dressings.
This is a stop that I make every time I’m in the area, but if you aren’t finding yourself in this area any time soon go online and experience this Hill Country tradition for yourself.
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!
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.
Being a Lifestylist® is about looking at the world through the eyes of your clients, and understanding their wants, needs, dreams and desires. This is different for everyone, and the challenge is to listen and learn.
I visited a gem in St. Petersburg Florida on my recent trip to rebrand Countryside Village – The Dali Museum. It had been housed in a smaller building the last time I visited, but the new building is nothing short of spectacular. The architecture was as quirky and thought provoking as Dali’s works are, and Cafe Gala - a wonderful cafe featuring Spanish cuisine is included in the beautiful new surroundings.
You can’t take photos in the actual galleries, but put aside any preconceived ideas you have about Dali’s work and see for yourself the brilliance of this master. You can tour with prerecorded tapes that explain the works, or tour the collection with a docent, which I recommend. The one I toured with was passionate, informed, and gave me a whole new appreciation of this talented artist and his work.
There are lots of great places to walk and reflect around the museum, so save some time to enjoy everything this area offers. To learn more about the museum, you can visit their website which also list the special events taking place.
VIEW VIDEO“Staycations” seem to be a trend that continues to be popular, and when we went to the Gaylord Texan this week to observe their Jr. Chef Camp it looked like the place to be! Of course “it is always 72 degrees at The Gaylord Texan” so with it being so hot outside, it’s a great place to spend a summer weekend.
Chef Joanne Bondy and her team do an amazing job teaching kids what it’s like to work in a restaurant kitchen, and one of the teams this week learned how to make guacamole. I loved the fact their wasn’t a video game in site, and these kids were having a blast!
It’s a small world after all: verrines, a French concept that layers ingredients in a small glass or clear container has been seen in restaurants and high end parties, and now it is making it’s way to suburbia.
Verrines are as pretty to see as they are to eat, and it’s a great way to cut calories by making portions smaller but still appealing to the eyes and the palette. These bites can be sweet or savory, and can add a touch of elegance to any event.
Pier 1 Imports has a great assortment of mini cordials, dessert bowls and shot glasses complete with coordinating spoons that are perfect for making your own verrines at home.
If you don’t want to make these yourself, Seasons 52 Fresh Grill calls these their Mini Indulgences, and it’s hard to only sample one. Choices include Key Lime Pie, Old Fashioned Carrot Cake, and Mocha Macchiato – yum! I recently went there with the owners of The New American Home for a celebration dinner and we kept (and ate) the entire Indulgence presentation – now THAT was a celebration!
The verrine trend is here to stay, and we are looking forward to sharing some of our favorite recipes for these here.
This Lifestylist® got a lovely thank-you note the other day from a reader. I had recommended The Gaylord Texan as the place to stay during Super Bowl XLV, and they couldn’t agree more! With North Texas having the coldest weather we’ve had in years, being in the wonderful atmosphere of The Gaylord Texan with all of it’s attractions, shopping and dining under one roof is definitely the place to be.
We have had the wonderful opportunity to meet with John Imaizumi – Senior Vice President and General Manager. It is obvious from the moment that you meet him why his “Stars” (what the employees are considered) and guests love him so much. His honest compassion and love for this group shines through, and you can see his attention to detail everywhere you turn.
Even if you aren’t staying at this hotel, it’s the perfect place to just go spend the day during your Super Bowl XLV visit. The Gaylord Texan is the official hotel for The Dallas Cowboys and is close to the stadium and DFW airport. There is great shopping for those Texas themed items, and coffee shops for you to just sit and people watch from.
The Old Hickory Steakhouse is our favorite restaurant in North Texas, and not only is the food spectacular, the staff knows how to make everyone feel important as well. Executive Chef Joanne Bondy prepares her signature dishes including her Habanero Cream Corn that I can’t get enough of! They also have tableside service for their artisanal cheeses and desserts.
If you want to get some lighter fare and focus on a wine tasting, be sure and visit Old Hickory’s upstairs wine bar and veranda. It features an Enomatic wine system, and you can get flights of wines that you have always wanted to try in as little as a one ounce pour.
Ready to kick up your heels? The Glass Cactus Nightclub that is also part of the Gaylord Texan is the place to be. It boasts 39,000 sq. ft. of indoor floor space and has 13,000 sq. ft. of outdoor decks overlooking Lake Grapevine. They’ll be having a special “Big Game” viewing and After-Party on the 6th.
We’d love to hear about your experiences at the places we recommend – feel free to let us know at: email@example.com
Make sure and let people know that The Lifestylist® sent you – we love sharing our favorite destinations.
They say it’s all about location, location, location, and I love that the NY Times had an article today about the place to be seen during Super Bowl XLV is Oak Cliff! The Home Idea Factory has been located in this historic district for over 10 years, and we couldn’t agree more. The Bishop Arts District of Oak Cliff is truly a neighborhood and we love living and working in this diverse community.
Part of the Lifestylist® movement is about buying local, and there’s no better place than in Oak Cliff. Dude Sweet Chocolate is a must visit destination for anyone with a sweet tooth – their artisan chocolates are the best I’ve had anywhere in the world. Great live music? Check out Jack’s Backyard - a little bit off the beaten path but still in Oak Cliff. They have a wonderful “backyard” with fire pits where you can enjoy great food and great local musicians in the company of friends. And a little known fact is that they have one of the best brunches in town with bottomless mimosas – the perfect way to start game day!
We will be sharing as many of our local favorites as we can here before the game. If you need a referral just for you, feel free to email our Lifestylist advisory services at: firstname.lastname@example.org
See you at the game!