Monthly Archives: December 2009

Year in Review

2009 was a monumental year in terms of growth and change for my husband and I. We moved back to New Orleans, taking up residence in a tiny apartment in the Garden District. He scored an unbelievable career opportunity and I’ve remained with my company for almost 5 years and continue to enjoy what I do. We are currently in the process of buying our 1st home, which ironically is our old house that we lived in before Katrina. We have now celebrated our 1st Mardi Gras and Halloween back in New Orleans since Katrina. These holidays are like our Christmas and Easter and the year basically revolves around them.
I’d like to take a look back at the year in fashion.These aren’t in chronological order but I’ve indicated the month.
November
What I wore to Sunday brunch in the French Quarter. Yes my arms are freakishly long. In fact my inseam and my arms are the same length. I feel like a monkey. Anyway this dress is black eyelet with white lining. Take note of that fab detail on the hemline. Dress: BCBG Bag: Chloe

 September
 I ended up selling this dress because I thought I looked “thick” in it. I kind of wish I hadn’t but whatever. The brand is Tramp.

 April
Wore this for a day trip to Oak Alley Plantation. I’ve traded in all of my bootcut jeans for skinnies except for this pair. They started off inky dark blue and have faded and worn in to perfection.

shirt: Ralph Lauren jeans: Citizens of Humanity shoes: Vans sunnies: Ralph Lauren

 August
Wore this for my 5th wedding anniversary dinner at Lilette.  Clearly I have an affinity for strapless dresses. Unfortunately you can’t see the great details that well but there is a big zipper across the front that really makes this piece. Dress: Iodice

I also got a fabulous piece of jewelry that night. My husband surprised me with this blue topaz bracelet from Sabai. My engagement and wedding rings are blue topaz and sapphires and diamonds, respectively so he bought it to match my rings. It also helps that anytime we walk past the shop I point out things I like in their window. ;p This picture is really dark but the bracelet is bright silver with bright blue stones.

I remember wearing this in April but I can’t remember where I was going. Yes that is the world’s tiniest kitchen behind me.Dress: Buffalo Exchange, necklace: Betsey Johnson, flower hair clip: Twisted Salon

I rang in 2009 with pink and orange hair. My hair remained this color combo for a year (June ’08-June’09) until I got tired of the upkeep and how dry my hair had become due to bleaching and coloring it. I had gotten the idea from an Elle magazine fashion spread where the model had brown hair with pink and orange streaks. Current color? Brown.
I am excited to see what 2010 will bring. If all goes as planned we will be in our new home by the spring (no way I’m moving around Mardi Gras time!) and celebrating a milestone birthday in February. I’d also like to thank all of my readers and hope you’ve enjoyed keeping up with posts thus far. Whether you are a casual onlooker or a regular keep the comments coming and I am always open to suggestions for new post ideas.



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Grand Canyon

I promise I’ll get back to musings on southern style but for a moment I’d like to share photos of what I did on my winter vacation. Before Katrina my husband and I visited the Grand Canyon once a year  until the time we moved to Arizona. We even took a working vacation in 2003 and spent 3 months working for Xanterra at the restaurants on the rim. In 2004 we got married at Havasupai so clearly the Grand Canyon is a special place for us.
I’ve stood in front of this sign at the trail head more times than I can remember but have never taken a picture. We hiked to Phantom Ranch, my favorite place in the world besides New Orleans. Note the drop in elevation from the trailhead to the river. That is a #$!@ on your knees on the way down and a %$#@! of a climb on the way out. Imagine being on a treadmill at the highest incline for 7.1 miles and subtract the ability to get off.

Speaking of steepness check out that trail! We trudged through ice and snow for about 1/2 of the hike in. Some might call me crazy but I actually enjoy this and nothing makes you appreciate walking on flat, dry ground than a steep walk through the snow.

Sis and I at Cedar Ridge.

The bottom of the canyon looks quite different from the top. This was taken standing on a little bridge next to the Bright Angel campgrounds. The large bridge in the background is the black bridge.


Where Bright Angel Creek spits into the Colorado River.

My sister and I both got the memo about black North Face jackets and gray Target yoga pants. We didn’t even realize we were outfit twins until the second day. How dorky.

Here I am getting ready to hike out after spending 3 nights at the bottom.

My husband
If you are interested in planning your own Phantom Ranch trip I highly recommend scoping out Hit the Trail, a comprehensive guide about hiking in the Grand Canyon. I’ll leave you with a few quick tips.
  1. Know what you are getting into. Canyon hiking is like climbing a backwards mountain. While the descent might seem easy at first remember you have to take the same way back up. Everything in the Grand Canyon is steep but some trails are harder than others. The descent is harder on your body but the ascent will really get your heart racing.
  2. Be prepared. I really can’t say this enough. You never know what the weather will be like or if you will get injured. Bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, and appropriate clothing. If you really want a lesson in what not to do Over the Edge: Death in the Grand Canyon is a good start.
  3. Be aware. How close is that edge? Is that a branch lying across the trail or a rattlesnake? What’s that big horn sheep doing over there? 
  4. Don’t be the $#@!^%#@! that feeds the wildlife. Don’t take anything that isn’t yours and hike out all of your trash.
  5. But most importantly have fun! You are here to experience one of the natural wonders of the world. Take lots of pictures, attend a ranger program, soak in the sights, and just sit back and comprehend how incredible your surroundings are.

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Slow Southern News

  • The Ogden Museum of Southern Art is conducting a 4 week long jewelry making class. Jewelry Making 101 will be taught by New Orleans’ own Vitrice McMurray, an award winning jewelry designer. Students will learn basic techniques like wire bending, piercing, filing and finishing. Register by Tuesday, January 5th to reserve your spot.
  • Style.com, the online home of Vogue, takes a look back at the best party frocks and red carpet looks of 2009.
  • Need a new look for the new year? Swap BoutiqueLife yoga + boutique, and Paris Parker salon are giving away a complete re-do. Just fill out an application available at all three places and enter to win a designer outfit, hair and cosmetic makeover, and a free month of yoga. 
  • Need a fancy frock for graduation or a dance? How about a debutante ball? Yvonne LaFleur is having a trunk show Sunday, December 27th through Saturday, January 2nd. Prices are in the $200-$300 range and are appropriate for 8th graders and high school girls.
  • Help ring in the new year at the Freret Market on Saturday, January 2nd from noon to 5:00pm. As usual there will be live music, food, art, and plenty of handmade clothing and accessories.
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Slow Southern News

  • Style Lab for Men is having a holiday party this Tuesday, Dec. 22nd from 5:00-8:00pm. Defend New Orleans will be on hand selling samples as well as Renu Jewelry showcasing their latest pieces. There will be champagne, door prizes and a DJ on hand to help get you in the holiday mood.
  • Tomato has a new selection of 50% off merchandise just in time for the holidays as well as $10 items perfect for stocking stuffers.
  • This holiday season why not help your community in the form of a charitable gift card? Changing the Present and Rebuilding Together will help rebuild homes in New Orleans with the money. Denominations range from $25 to $150, which pays for the cost of bamboo flooring or a new toilet, respectively.
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I’m back!

I’m back from Arizona and ready to start posting! As great as it was getting out of town I need a vacation from my vacation. It went a lil’ something like this:

Monday: flew into Phoenix, rented car and drove 4 hours to Grand Canyon
Tuesday: hiked to bottom of Grand Canyon
Wednesday: relax
Thursday: relax
Friday: hike out of Canyon, drive two hours to Jerome to stay with friends
Saturday: hang out in Jerome for a few hours, drive two hours to Scottsdale (Phoenix), check into hotel, shop at H&M, meet friends at 7:00pm for dinner
Sunday: wake up at 8:00am, check out of hotel, shopping at Nordstrom Rack, lunch with a friend, fly out and back home at 111:00pm

Phew! I never claimed that I take relaxing, easy vacations. I’ll post some pictures as soon as I can and then it is back to my usual reports on southern style. For now I leave you with a shot my myself and Justin, a sartorialist’s dream. He’s one of my best and closest friends and I love him dearly.

p.s. Two things I need to fully disclose.

1. On our first flight back home there were tv monitors built into each seat. This meant that we could watch TWO FULL ESPISODES OF JERSEY SHORE BACK TO BACK. Considering I’ve never had cable t.v. in my adult life this was amazing. We were actually pissed that our flight landed on time because we missed part of the last episode.

2. The day before we left my husband and I put an offer in on a house and it was accepted. It’s not just any house but the home we lived in before Katrina. Having that hanging over your head during vacation is kind of exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. More on first time home buying later.

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Festival Fun

Whether you are still seeking that perfect Christmas gift or just a little pick me up for yourself don’t miss the Freret Market this Saturday, December 12th from 12:00-5:00pm.  The market started in 2007 as an effort to revitalize the once bustling Freret St. and is usually held the 1st Saturday of each month. However since the holiday season is upon us there are two markets in December and I attended the first one this past Saturday.  The market features lots of handcrafted items, live music, food and pet adoptions. It is a really fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon, support local artists, and interact with your neighbors.

Let’s get to the goodies, shall we?

Mallory of Miss Malaprop was hawking her wares as well as other eco friendly artisans. I picked up this hilarious Frantic Meerkat magnet which is also available online.

I picked up this roll on perfume balm from Manor Hall Soap Company. It is small enough to throw in your bag so you can refresh throughout the day. I bought the cedarwood and blackberry with pink grapefruit. The perfume is made with all natural ingredients but the scent lasts longer than other non chemical perfumes that I’ve tried.
 Have you ever seen the list of chemical crap and carcinogens that goes into most fragrances? It is scary stuff that you are spraying on your skin.

Somehow, somewhere, I picked up a nasty, expensive little habit- fancy soap. I believe Mallory started my obsession when I purchased a locally made Sweet Olive Soapworks bar over the summer. Thanks a lot, Mallory. 😛
  I purchased this monster bar for only $8 from Bayou Soap Company and was told it will last three weeks. The smell is divine and those green basil bits made this soap maker the best at the market IMO.

My grand daddy of a purchase was this onyx and sterling silver ring. In case you didn’t notice the large snake tattoo in some of my pictures my affinity for snakes is undeniable. I collect all sorts of snake jewelry but it  has to be high quality otherwise you cross into tacky territory. I’m a sucker for an oversized ring so I couldn’t say no to this one! I purchased this from Golden Wagon, who usually vends at the French Market.

I stopped celebrating Christmas some time ago** but that doesn’t mean I can get away with leaving mom empty handed. This year I decided to go for an oyster theme and bought her a painted oyster shell ornament and an oyster spoon rest. Sadly I didn’t get the name of either of these vendors.

** I don’t advocate buying crap in a desperate attempt to appease friends, family, or coworkers during this “giving” time of year. You’ll never catch me running out to buy somebody a pack of socks because that is what they need. What kind of gift is that?
That said I fully get behind thoughtful tokens of appreciation and what better way to state “This made me think of you” with a handmade treasure.
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Slow Southern News

  • N.O. Surf Shop is offering 15% off any single item or 15% off your purchase when you spend $100 or more now through Saturday, December 12th.
  • Freret Market is having its annual “Freretstivus” holiday market complete with 130 vendors from 12-5pm on Saturday, December 12th.
  • What’s more bizarre than Snake & Jakes’s holiday bazaar on Saturday, December 12th? From 6-9pm the bar will host their Christmas “Bizarre” with clothing, arts, crafts, vinyl records and more for sale.
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Give ’em the boot

I might turn my closet quickly but one thing I never get rid of is a great pair of boots. Some of my boots I’ve owned for 10 years, others I just bought last month. Regardless of your personal style cheap boots are never good boots; you want them to wear in and become old friends, not a trendy throwaway piece of crap that will give you blisters.
 Merrell Tetra Launch Waterproof Boots - Women's These Merrell boots, available from REI are as functional as they are cool. Merrell manufactures hiking shoes so you know these will feel like heaven on your feet and be sturdy.

When it is cold and rainy outside the last thing you want is clammy feet. These Cole Haan rainboots from Zappos have Nike Air technology so you could wear them all day and remain dry and comfortable.

If you are looking for riding boots these Michael by Michael Kors, available from Dillards, perfectly fit the bill.

 If your holy grail of boots is the ultimate shit kickers it doesn’t get much better than these Frye boots I found on Ebay. Since I don’t wear brown or a size 9  these babies are still up for grabs.


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Snuggies are never an option

Growing up in southeast Louisiana I’ve never needed a serious winter coat. People love coats down here just because their’s never see the light of day. Every fall I say the same shenanigans; I will get my winter boots reheeled, I’ll have great gloves and a chic little winter hat. Well that never happens but one thing I do have is a closet of outerwear to choose from. If I could necessitate the need I’d buy one of the items below to add to my collection.

For whatever reason I have an affinity for 3/4 sleeved coats.  The Scissor Sisters Coat from ModCloth is a perfect excuse to purchase elbow length gloves.

Everyone needs a little black jacket in their closet. This Theory tux jacket available from Piper Lime is so chic and I think would pair well with casual outfits.

If you want to get lux without breaking the bank this little feathered capelet from Forever 21 will add glamour without killing your wallet. I really wish they would have styled this differently. This is the type of piece where more is more! I’d throw this over a cocktail dress and make a (probably failed) attempt at a great messy updo. It would also look better left open to avoid looking like a bird costume. Of course Mardi Gras IS only two months away….

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Vacation

I’m taking a bit of a breather from life and blogging to go on a much deserved vacation. I haven’t taken a proper vacation since August 2008 so I am long overdue.

 Next weekend I have my sister’s college graduation, the Nola Eats holiday party, my work holiday party and then I hop on a plane the next morning for three nights at the bottom of the Grand Canyon followed by visiting friends in Jerome, an ex ghost town, as well as Phoenix. Phew!

I plan on making a few posts from now until Friday to hold y’all over.

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