Twelve things I wrote for | The Times-Picayune in 2016


Breaking news: Gertrude’s begonias are blooming. Since I started writing home and garden features for | The Times-Picayune last January I’ve been privileged to interview and tour an eclectic mix of homeowner’s and renter’s spaces. I’ve covered everything from a charming 400 square foot apartment in the Warehouse District to a grand 10,000 square foot Old Metairie home. Writing about beautiful houses is a delight; not only am I constantly inspired by other people’s beautiful spaces, but I get to meet interesting people while doing it. Here are 12 stories I wrote last year– most of them are house tours, but not all of them. Click on the headline to read the full story.


Would you like a poem with that? Buy a pizza, get some poetry at New Orleans restaurants

Pizza and potholes don’t have much in common (although they both tend to be round), but this month (April) they serve as gateways for youth poetry during National Poetry Month.

Big Class, a nonprofit volunteer-run organization that helps kids ages 6 to 18 with writing skills, started the Pizza Poetry Project in 2014.


Grieving widow finds joy in decorating chic dining room 

Coletha Tucker needed to bring a little joy into her life nearly three years ago so she hired Whitney Jones of Whitney J. Decor to help her revamp several rooms.
Tucker’s husband Alan had just died of cancer. “I got tired of coming home to the same thing. It was miserable,” Tucker said. Hiring Jones proved to be a mood elevator.


How to clean up glitter, the bane of all post-Carnival cleanup efforts

After the last piece of king cake has been consumed and the costumes are packed away, there’s still one tiny reminder of the Mardi Gras season that lingers and lingers. Glitter — the bane of all post-Carnival cleanup efforts.

Traces of the sparkly stuff can be found everywhere: hardwood floor crevices, car upholstery, that favorite hoodie worn to every parade. Glittery dust bunnies can lurk under beds and in corners months after Mardi Gras.


From ho-hum to hip: A cosmetic spruce-up breathes new life into a Harahan home

Heather Smith’s mid-century modern house in Harahan is a study in the transformative power of paint and plants.

Smith moved into her two-bedroom, two-bath house in May 2015, two days after selling her beloved Nashville Avenue shotgun, where she’d lived for seven years. The reason? Smith went through a divorce in January 2015 and, after living in the same two-mile radius for nearly 20 years, she was ready for a dramatic change and a new project.


Honey, I bought a house: Wife surprises husband with serious fixer-upper

The day Elaine Vigne bought her Gentilly Woods home she told her husband she was going shopping, but she didn’t specify what she planned to buy.

“He thought I went shopping to buy a dress,” she said. “He was like, ‘I thought you went shopping today?’ I said, ‘I did. I bought a house.'”


Filled to the brim: A Metairie man’s unbelievable German beer stein collection

Open the door to Randy and Jean Smith’s Metairie home, and you’ll instantly be inundated with beer steins thanks to Randy’s 450-piece collection.

The space feels like a biergarten; steins cover nearly every flat surface of the couple’s living room. A medieval tapestry hangs over a cognac leather sofa, German-themed decor decorates the walls, and ceiling beams have steins dangling from hooks. Randy, an affable man with a white handlebar mustache, even looks like the type to collect beer steins.


A cozy Creole townhouse in the midst of the French Quarter action

Guy Williams knew he belonged in New Orleans the moment a stranger asked him for a bite of his pastry.

Williams, who grew up in Tennessee and lived in Manhattan for many years, was in need of a change. He found himself sitting at CC’s on Royal and St. Philip streets with a cup of coffee and a pastry when the quintessential Crescent City magic happened.


Mother’s Day gift idea: portraits from six New Orleans artists

In this Instagram world, the gift of a portrait on Mother’s Day can feel old fashioned, which makes images of her favorite people — or pooches– that much more special. These photographers, painters and illustrators offer styles ranging from classic to quirky. 


Plant-loving Metairie resident transforms courtyard into private oasis

If you’re looking for “the best kept secret in Metairie,” then look no further than Richard Bienvenu’s backyard courtyard — at least according to him.

Bienvenu and his girlfriend of 14 years, Diana Eubanks, transformed a once “dump” of a courtyard into what could easily pass as outdoor seating at a trendy eatery. In fact, the owner of Quarter View Restaurant (located next door to the couple’s home) jokingly said, ‘How many tables do you think I can fit out here?’


Worldly influences, local art reflects Gentilly renter’s interests: Cool apartment style

The two-bedroom Gentilly house that Charle Washington rents with her boyfriend, Max Lapushin, is filled with work by local and up-and-coming artists, from letterpress posters by Amos Kennedy to framed yarn work by Pottspurls.

“As a local creative, I know how much people appreciate you supporting them, and I love art that has a story,” said Washington, who runs Shop Charle, a vintage clothing pop-up shop. “I almost never paint a space,” she added. “I cover it in framed artwork because the last thing I want to do when I move is paint over it.”


House tour: former schoolhouse filled with hand-me-downs with history

Journalist Helen Rowland once wrote, “Home is any four walls that enclose the right person.” For Hattie and Corey Moll, that quote rings true. They’ve been renting their two bedroom double — an 1854 former schoolhouse in the Riverbend area — for only two months but it feels like they’ve been there for years.


First lady of fashion: Michelle Obama through the years

First Lady Michelle Obama has brought her own brand of class and grace to the White House. We reflect on some of her most iconic fashion moments of the past eight years.


Growing up With Hurricanes

Barataria Preserve


“Are you planning on writing anything about Katrina?” My friend Missy posed the question to me during one of our quasi-regular coffee dates two weeks ago. The 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is coming up on August 29, and my social media timelines are saturated with links to articles from both local and national news outlets.

I have mixed emotions about “K10”. I acknowledge the importance of commemorating the struggle, the lives lost, the frustrations felt (no matter if you stayed in town or high tailed it out of here), but I find rehashing the experience on a yearly basis exhausting.

I’ve shared snippets of my Katrina story with everyone from friends to total strangers, but I’m not ready to write my entire experience down yet. Instead, I’ll share an excerpt from Allons, a longer essay I wrote this summer. The piece is about growing up in a house that was situated on the cusp of the swamp in an otherwise nondescript WestBank subdivision. This particular part of the essay explores what it was like going through adolescence with the constant threat of hurricanes. If you enjoy it, or even if you hate it, please leave your thoughts in the comments. Thanks for reading.



I was eight weeks old when I took my first pirogue ride. The levee was just a glorified dirt mound then, and a storm brought enough rain to flood our house, requiring my parents to bundle me up and float us out. The levee was still inadequate when my brother was born two years later. Whenever Nash Roberts would announce a hurricane was coming, neighbors would join together to fortify the levee with hundreds of sandbags, most likely purchased with their own money. The Army Corps of Engineers finally built the levee up and installed a pumping station that would suck the water out of the streets. However, the levees could only do so much. Whenever Nash predicted a really big hurricane was projected to make landfall, we got the hell out of town. If Nash said it was bad, then it must be bad. Everyone trusted Nash.

My sister was born seven years after my inaugural boat ride and by then me and my brother were evacuation pros. We could each take three toys with us, but no more. Mom would bring photo albums and important documents, such as our birth certificates, to my maternal grandparent’s house, since their house never flooded. Dad would board up the windows with sheets of plywood, which protected the glass panes and blocked light from coming in. We put all of our furniture up on wooden blocks, as if those extra two inches would make a big difference if significant flooding occurred. Anything that could get ruined would go on top of beds, dressers, and closet shelves. I would put my most prized possessions at the highest points, which forced me to assign value to everything I owned. Sometimes I thought about the worst case scenario, imagining our house filled to the roof like an aquarium. I imagined Sac-au-Lait and Redfish doing circles around the wooden dollhouse my paternal paw paw built me. I never worried about my own well being, but worried about my precious belongings, like what would happen to my microscope or my roller skates. Mom and Dad took care of the bigger things that my adolescent mind couldn’t quite comprehend, such as personal safety in the midst of a natural disaster. We also stocked up on canned goods and filled the bathtubs with water just in case water sources became contaminated after the storm. We never needed the water, but once every few years we would have to live without power for a few days and subsist on canned beans and PB&J sandwiches.

Not So Terrible Twos- Two Year Anniversary

Dang y’all where did the time go? Slow Southern Style turned two years old this month, damn they grow up fast. Thanks to all of the new readers out there, the people who have been here from the start, and the occasional lurker. Y’all mean the world to me.

 Here are a few quick pictures from the past two years.  Slow Southern Style started from humble beginnings and remains a culmination of the Southern based designers that I love, off the beaten path shops, and random personal style anecdotes.  Thanks for all of the love and support and don’t forget to come out and meet some of the great designers featured on this blog for Objects of Adornment at Du Mois Gallery on October 8th. Even if you can’t make it to the opening the show runs through October. I hope to see a few of y’all on Freret Street!

Old bricks and new (at the time) tattoos

Partner in crime and woman of many talents, Leslie J Almeida

My version of preppy style, pink patent leather penny loafers

The midi skirt that got a mention in the Times-Picayune

This is how we do. Mardi Gras 2011

Andre Harris and I at Blink Boutique

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New Orleans’ Anthropologie One Year Anniversary

Last Friday I had the pleasure of being invited to the New Orleans Anthropologie to partake in their one year anniversary festivities. There were a number of events taking place but I settled on a  jewelry making class with Cynthia Sheridan, a Houston based designer.  Along with her sister Lorena Rodriguez,  Sheridan creates pieces that “transmit soul and spirit to the metals and minerals” under their De Petra jewelry line. It was a real treat being taught how to make one of the sister’s signature pieces, a necklace pouch filled with protective talismans. The sisters were excellent teachers and I can’t wait to try my hand at making more.  Pick up your own special DePetra bijoux online at Anthro.

Needle, thread, and felt, the essentials

Beautiful leather version of what we made

Sewing our pouch

Lots of pretty thread to choose from

The finished product, complete with feathers and beads

Makeshift apothecary

Quartz, amethyst (my birthstone), and essential oils and herbs to protect and ward off evil

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Armoire Anniversary Party

When Erin, the owner of Armoire, asked me to model for a private party celebrating her boutique’s one year anniversary I couldn’t say no. I met Erin at my own place of work and we also have a mutual friend. Not only is she sweet but she stocks great pieces at affordable prices and I love that she carries plus sizes and most of the inventory is available to shop online as well!

My partner in crime Leslie from UNMADE. 

Leslie did my makeup for me too!

I love how the earrings perfectly compliment the dress without being too matchy matchy.

And many thanks to the Paris Parker team for doing the hair and makeup for the show. I was astonished with how quickly they whipped out these pretty unkempt braids. The Prytania Street team makes it seem so easy!

 To see more pictures from the evening check out Armoire’s Facebook photo album. Congrats again Erin and here’s to many more years!

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Slow Southern Anniversary!

One year ago today I was searching for fashion blogs to read, specifically ones based in New Orleans. I was coming up empty handed so I decided to take matters into my own hands and start one myself.

I know what you are thinking. Does the blogosphere need another fashion blog? The internet is infiltrated by fashion insiders and amateurs alike. Now ask your self this- does the blogosphere need a New Orleans fashion blog? The answer is quite simply, yes. While there is much content devoted to what’s hot on the Paris runways and what the SoHo scenesters are donning on the streets, there is a scant trace of southern style available for perusal.

That said I’d like to welcome you to Slow Southern Style. Written from a fashion follower and retail insider this blog serves the purpose of showcasing New Orleans fashion in all formats. Whether it be on a mannequin or on the street you will find it here.

My first interview ever thanks to Beloved Light Vintage 

That was the beginning, my friends. Since that first post the blog has grown up and I’m glad that there are interested readers out there. I’m also now part of the Go NOLA team and am working on a few other exciting projects as well, one of which will be announced September 7th.

A few images from this past year

Fashion Illustration and designer Nicole Album
I have to give credit where credit is due. This blog would not have been possible without guidance from my good friend Leslie Almeida of NOLA Eats, Eatventful, and Unmade. Leslie is the sole reason I signed up Slow Southern Style for social networking in the first place. She won Gambit’s 2010 web awards for “Best Social Networker” so I always listen when she has something to say.

Once again thanks for reading and show your support by adding Slow Southern Style on Facebook and Twitter.

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