Category Archives: southern style

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

 

Breaking news: Gertrude’s begonias are blooming. Since I started writing home and garden features for Nola.com | 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.

 

Breaking news: I don’t care about fashion blogging anymore

I started Slow Southern Style in 2009 as a fashion blog that promoted southern fashion. Since then, it’s evolved, or maybe devolved, into something more personal. My focus here has shifted,  but I still heart fashion, even if I don’t talk about it on the internet as much as I used to. I also haven’t been buying clothes as much as I did when I worked in retail. What used to be a $200 a month habit, (a paltry amount for some, an exorbitant sum for others) it now takes me months to spend that much on clothes. Truth is, in order to blog about fashion you have to constantly rotate your wardrobe and quite frankly, I just don’t care about the newest, shiniest things. I’ve never been super trendy, but I’ve quit caring about fads even more and I’m okay with that. I feel like I’m dressing like myself, for myself and that makes me content. 

That said, I started a Slow Southern Style Instagram account to get back to my roots a little bit, but this site will remain just whatever the hell I want it to be. Here are a few iPhone photos I took this past summer. If you’re interested in better quality photos, and I know that you are, follow my Tumblr: christylorio.tumblr.com
Can’t stop won’t stop with the ostentatious snake jewelry.

I don’t always selfie, but when I do, it’s at the Abita Mystery House

Trying to look all lady like and shit.

UAL’s Covington location was practically giving these cuff bracelets away.

My back patio kiddie pool situation. Equal parts white trash and best idea ever…..

…..but we did splurge and go to Blue Bayou this summer. 

Making an attempt to play flute on a regular basis again. 

My backyard. And by backyard I mean overgrown area behind the house. 

I’m borderline too old for a romper with pom pom detailing but I really don’t care. 

My addiction to Everlane is never-ending. Gotta collect them all!

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Sweating Season

Front Yard Foliage

     Let’s face it, New Orleans can be downright miserable in the summer. The humidity slaps you in the face like a steaming wool blanket the second you walk out the door. It’s all bad hair days and sweaty clothes from now until October. The city goes into a reverse hibernation, with many people taking the opportunity to travel. For whatever reason, I’m usually the dummy that doesn’t get out of town during the hottest part of the year. This year, that’s got to change.

     August marks our ten year wedding anniversary (when in the hell did that happen?!)  and while we were planning on renewing our vows where we got married, the timing was off (thanks, fall school schedule) so we opted not to say “I Do” again, at least not this year.  Instead, we’re packing up the car for a week long road trip: NOLA>Atlanta>Asheville>Louisville>Pigeon Forge. I’m looking forward to making road trip playlists, visits with friends and family along the way, truck stop dinners and dusting off our trusty two man tent. Goodbye humidity, hello clean mountain air. 

So, what’s your summer travel itinerary looking like?

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Splendid Pig Is Poppin’ Up All Over

By now you’ve probably heard that pop up restaurants have infiltrated New Orleans. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, I’ll sum it up: an already established business allows a chef to utilize their space during times that the kitchen is closed. Why dine at a pop up when we already have so many options? For starters, the chefs are usually restaurant veterans that are attempting to break out on their own. Many of them do it to flex their creative muscles, often serving underrepresented food in a city that frequently caters to tourists’ palate more than locals. You’ll also be supporting up and coming restaurant owners, winning bragging rights of discovering them first when they (hopefully) open a more permanent eatery. Think of it as being a satiated early adopter. 


     My friends at Splendid Pig, husband and wife team Brandon Blackwell and Jennifer Sherrod,  have been running their pop up restaurant out of Carrollton Station every Monday night since November of last year. Even though Splendid Pig has only been in operation for seven months, the duo brings years of experience to the operation.  Brandon was sous chef at Upperline, as well as a butcher at Cleaver & Co., while Jennifer filled the general manager position at Martinique Bistro for fifteen years. In other words, you’re in capable hands in terms of food and service.  Splendid Pig’s menu is comprised of small plates, ranging in price from $6-$9. As the name indicates, pork is the standout, but their offerings are surprisingly diverse. The focus is Southern, utilizing locally grown and raised produce and meats. Inglewood Farms pecans graces the seared Louisiana drum this week, accompanied by a roasted summer squash polenta, charred tomato vinaigrette and mint. Covey Rise Farms supplied the corn for this week’s chilled corn soup with pickled squash, marinated crab claws and chili oil. For those of you with a sweet tooth, two desserts are always up for grabs. The boozy brownie, the mainstay option, is based on a different cocktail recipe each week. My advice? Bring a friend or two and sample the entire menu. 
 
Last month Splendid Pig expanded, taking over Milk Fish in Mid-City once a month. Starting in July, they will be in Coulis every Tuesday night.  I took these photos for them six weeks ago; keep in mind the menu changes weekly. For the entire month of June, Splendid Pig is participating in the Locavore Challenge, which challenges diners to eat 100% locally sourced ingredients. Several dishes adhere to the local stipulation, even down to the pecan oil.
 
Check out this week’s menu here, and make sure to get on their weekly mailing list. Catch them tonight at Carrollton Station, or this Wednesday at MilkFish in Mid-City. Pssst! Yours truly will be working Wednesday’s dinner service, so pop in (see what I did there?) and say hi. 
 
 
 
Splendid Pig Schedule:
 
Every Monday 6:00-9:30pm (ages 21 and up):
Carrollton Station, 8140 Willow St. 
Liquor: Carrollton Station is a bar.
 
Every Tuesday 6:00-9:30pm (starting July 1st):
Coulis, 3625 Prytania St.
Liquor: BYOB, mocktails and mixers available for purchase. 
 
Wednesdays 6:00-9:30pm (once a month, date changes):
Milkfish, 125 N. Carrollton Ave. 
Liquor: BYOB
Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

Worth The Drive: Abita Mystery House


Unexpected free time this summer has afforded me the luxury of taking random day trips from New Orleans. My first stop? A trip across Lake Pontchartrain to Abita Mystery House. Tucked away in the charming town of Abita Springs, this quirky museum houses owner John Preble’s impressive collection of tchotckes, vintage arcade games, painstakingly detailed dioramas and taxidermy that looks straight out of Rob Zombies’ House of a Thousand Corpses. I mean that in the best way possible.

 I was downright giddy when I first drove up to the museum. My friend Rebecca described it as a “Pee Wee’s Southern Folksy Playhouse” and I couldn’t agree with her more. The collection is split up among a vintage gas station, a 100 year old Creole cottage and the House of Shards. Each building contains an amalgam of the ordinary, the odd and the downright delightful. Make sure to allow yourself a few hours to explore. While the Abita Mystery House is small, it’s chocked full of wonders. Photos are highly encouraged, so bring your camera and a roll of quarters if you want to fiddle around with the arcade games. 

The Abita Mystery House is definitely worth the hour drive from New Orleans and the three dollar admission fee. 



Abita Mystery House     
22275 Hwy 36 
Abita Springs
 Louisiana 70420 
985-892-2624


Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

oh hey now

Oh hey now, I went and started a Slow Southern Style Instagram. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite snapshots of New Orleans culture, served with a side of personal style. Of course y’all can still keep up with my personal account if you’re so inclined. We’re in the thick of Carnival season this weekend. Parades are rolling all day, every day and I’ll be out on the streets snapping pictures all weekend long. Of course Mardi Gras Day is basically my Christmas morning; I’ll be up at the crack of dawn on Fat Tuesday, ready for some carnival adventures. See y’all on the parade route. 

Necklace Bayou Bohemian| Sweater LnA via Rise| Jeans Banana Republic|
Jacket vintage Levi’s via Buffalo Exchange| Oxfords Frye via Buffalo Exchange

Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

My 2013 Year In Review: Lose Some, Gain Some

Custom portrait by Maggie Covert | Confused? Look here and read this. All will be revealed.

Oh hey 2014, you crept up on me with the quickness, didn’t you? I didn’t announce it to the world, but Slow Southern Style turned five years old this past year. I know I’ve been neglecting my baby (see below for the reasons why) so here are some of the highlights of 2013:

  • I officially re-enrolled at The University of New Orleans (as a senior!) after a ten year hiatus. If you’re interested in the full story click on over to Propaganda, where I share my experience of entering the academic world as a non-traditional student.
  • I got the courage to quit my job of eight years. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it was an important one. While I occasionally miss talking about clothes all day, it was time for me to evaluate my long term goals and make them happen. 
  • After three beautiful years with Nadia, our beloved greyhound, we gave her one last throat rub. We also unexpectedly lost Proteus, one of our cats we had for eight years. 2013 was rough, to say the least. However, the pitter patter of little paws was not absent for long. We welcomed  Izzy (Greyhound), Beignet (Rat Terrier/Catahoula mix) and our two kittens Piper and Lorenzo (formerly Loretta: oops!) as our newest roommates. We still miss Nadia and Proteus, but the newest additions help ease the pain. 
  • I took on the role of Managing Editor of Propaganda New Orleans, which shifted my focus from writing about fashion to editing and writing on a much wider variety of subjects. Food, art, history and travel were just some of the topics I wrote about. Here’s the list, if you’re so inclined. 
  • My brother, sister and I had a sibling reunion after not being in the same room together for two years. My siblings are the world to me. I’m hoping to take a trip to Louisville, Kentucky to visit my brother later this year. 
Things I’m looking forward to in 2014:
  • The biggest, and most important, is my ten year wedding anniversary in August. Yea, we’re getting old. We’re renewing our vows in the same spot we got married: below the rim of the Grand Canyon. 
  • Mardi Gras. Duh. It’s the holiday that trumps all other holidays. 
  • After years of pining for a fancy camera, I bought myself  an SLR. I’m looking forward to signing up for classes so I can figure out how to work the damn thing and stop uploading mediocre photos here. Maybe. 
Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

Say Hello To My Little Friends

Frye flats| Blouse from my sis, assorted necklaces (the N stands for Nadia)| Rose gold leather cuff from Satchel

Crawfish claw pendant necklace and cameo belt buckle| Meteorite ring, anniversary gift| Camper heels

Izzy, our newest needle nose. Scroll down for the story.

Loretta is a hellion, Piper is sweet as can be.

Black leather and brass belt| Asymmetrical skirt c/o Abeille NOLA (old)| Banana Republic flats

The month of August was a particularly cruel one. As anyone who knows me can attest, I’m a big animal lover. Our pets are family, and the death of an animal is the equivalent of losing your best friend. My husband and I unexpectedly lost Proteus, one of our cats of eight years, and Nadia, our sweet greyhound, two weeks later. I won’t go into personal details here, but the mourning process was a long one. While nothing will replace those two, we’ve welcomed Izzy, Loretta, and Piper to our home. They’re all getting along, although LoLo, Proteus’ brother, still rules the roost.

All pictures are from my Instagram account. Follow me at @christylorio and while you’re at it, check out @nolaprop for more photos .

Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

W Hotel Hosts New Orleans Fashion Week Retail Therapy Event

I don’t know about y’all, but I’m pretty much always in need of a manicure. I can usually spruce up my claws at home but when my cuticles really get out of control, I head to the pros. Next Wednesday, treat yourself to a little mid-week pampering at Retail Therapy, a New Orleans Fashion Week event at the W Hotel. For $20, Spa Atlantis is offering mini-manis and “signature martinis”, or just stop in to browse the fashionable offerings from Langford Market, The Blues Jean Bar, Hazel & Florange and Hemline. The event is free to the 21 and up crowd. For more information, visit W Hotel’s Happenings.
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Cavortress at Bonnaroo

Charleston designer, stylist, and vintage clothing aficionado Julie Wheat designs and slings  clothes under her eponymous brand name Cavortress.  She’s dressed Zoe Saldana, shown at NOLA Fashion Week, and sold vintage gems at various festivals, including Voodoo, SXSW, and Bonnaroo. With all this, it’s no wonder why she’s received mentions in Women’s Wear Daily, and was tapped to design for Reckless, a new show airing on CBS this Fall.

No stranger to festival style, Julie was kind enough to share her recap what ‘down on the farm’ festival goers wore, Tennessee style from this year’s Bonnaroo. 

Instagram:  Cavortress
Facebook:  Cavortress


Hulahooping is essential to any festival. This girl brings it to another level with her quasi butterfly costume:  check out the detail on the ripped tee she did herself, looks like butterfly wings!


This fella has it down:  home made galaxy print (not quite tiedye) paired with dress pant cutoff shorts, vintage charm necklace, Havana Raybans, and Tretorns he almost looks dressed up.
Of course Bonnaroo wouldn’t be equipped without Grateful Dead garb, this guy’s bringing it to another level. Check out these dead bears Jeremy Scott for Adidas shoes paired with the vee style tie dye Grateful Dead t-shirt.  Garanamals done right!
Punkrockabilly princess with studs, Urban Outfitters shades, Cocacola bandana, cutoffs, Doc Martens, choice piercings, and a teensie piece of turquoise to top it off!

No festival is equipped with out a festicouple.  These two were our favorite! Note the nice silver Grateful Dead pieces.
Tutus are something often worn at festivals. This one is rather unique and goes great with the swimsuit.
We think San Francisco guys are hot, costumed but not!
Wire wrap jewelry is a staple at festival events. This guy is the artist himself and has some heavy duty work to show off. He is also donning a nice Grateful Dead ring. 

This gal looks adorable and didn’t have to try. Here’s to keeping it simple!

Julie Wheat- Miss Cavortress herself!

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