Happy Thanksgiving!

All of us at The Lifestylist Brands would like to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. May it be filled with family, friends, love and great food!

African Orphans Send Message of Hope to Tornado Survivors

My sister and her family live in Edmond, Oklahoma and are one of the lucky families that have a storm shelter. Tornadoes touched down near them last weekend but what happened to them was nothing like what happened to the residents of Moore, Oklahoma.

Last Summer they had an unbelievable experience - they packed up trunks and suitcases full of shoes, clothes, blankets, and other needed items and headed to Maisha International Orphanage - an amazing labor of love in Kisumu, Kenya. The stories and images they brought back are life changing, and it's a great reminder of how a small donation or offering can be life changing to these kids.

The beautiful souls at Maisha wanted to do something for their friends in Oklahoma City and Moore, and made this video as a way of showing their love and support. What a great reminder this Memorial Day weekend how precious life is and we all need to live ours to the fullest.

Helping The Salvation Army Do The Most Good

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It's heartbreaking to watch the news today and see the devastation in Moore, Oklahoma. My sister and her family live in Edmond, OK and I have clients that have land lease communities very close to where the tornado touched down. Sam - my nephew and favorite Jr Lifestylist spent the afternoon in their storm shelter a few days ago having a picnic with his pets -I'm so glad that he made sure they were safe as well as his family.
People always think that "trailer parks" or "mobile home parks" are the worst places to be during a disaster like this, but that just isn't true. I was glad to hear that the Yes! Communities in this area only sustained hail and wind damage and no one was hurt. Their on-site managers made sure that everyone got to where they needed to be and are now busy helping them get emergency supplies and repairs. That's one of the advantages of living in a well run land lease community - there's always someone there to help.
If you would like to help the people of Moore that were affected by the storm, I encourage you to donate to the Salvation Army. They truly do the most good with every dollar that is donated.

Top Trends Seen at The International Builders Show 2013

We are back! Not only is home building rebounding and people are buying new homes again, the International Builders Show has returned to Las Vegas!

We just got back from a great week of exploring new products, speaking about design trends and networking with the brightest and best in the industry.

After walking all of the show floors and show homes, these are the top products and trends that we discovered.

On Hand by ODL One of the things I love about this year's Builders Show is that there were products that were innovative but affordable, and On Hand by ODL was one of these. This ingenious product adds storage and a communications center into a door without taking up any additional space in the home. The adjustable shelves make it easy to store everything from hair bows and Lego parts to dog collars and your spice collection. The communications center and be used as a white board, photo gallery, or anything else you want to display - every home needs one of these!
Tub Art by Kohler Bathing has become an art, and as always Kohler is offering products that let us do that in style. Besides the traditional built-in tubs, Kohler presented free standing tubs that would add elegance and artistry to any spa bath. They also showed beautiful faucet sets that added the personal touch. Kitchens and baths continue to be a large focus in the home, and Kohler continues to be the leader in how to make these areas function - beautifully.

Embracing Education Conventions like the Builders Show are a great place to keep up with trends and products. We were so impressed that Clayton Homes - the largest home builder in the US brought their General Managers to the show so they could find the best products and trends. Howard McGirt, General Manager of SE Homes of Texas walked the show with us and shared his thoughts on what was hot and what was not. It's easy to see why this innovative company sells so many homes every year!
500,000 Bottles of Beer Great product - great people. Loved learning how they used 500,000 bottles in the exterior of this building - the ultimate example of recycling and green design.  A Realm of Design offers GeeenStone which is made of 100% recycled glass aggregate and 99.8% renewable materials. The glass makes an ordinary exterior extraordinary -they said when the lights shine on the building at night it has a magical iridescence. The company offers numerous products from Fountains to Flooring and ships nationwide.

Light My Fire Fireplaces aren't what they used to be - today's options include alternative fuel, direct or indirect venting, indoor or outdoor applications... the options are endless! The Builders Show offered something for everyone but the message was clear - every home needs a fireplace in it somewhere! I also loved how Heat N Glo talked about trends and consumer requests in their marketing - not just selling but educating.

Glass Houses Glass is showing  up in every room of our homes. It was great to see new designs in windows and doors that played with light sources -the future is truly bright! Get ready to see doors and windows that play with the light by using screens and prisms that create patterns in places that you wouldn't expect them. Look for more paints, lighting, and materials that find ways to take advantage of natural lighting.

A BOMB Shelter? Who knew that this form of factory built housing would steal the show.  Atlas Survival Structures proved that at the International Builders Show there is something for everyone. These structures are priced starting at $72,000 and apparently these underground homes are gaining acceptance. Lots of people toured the home and had a new perception of what consumers are truly looking for in their new homes.