going on break

Dear Bitsy & Boo readers,

By now, you may have noticed that it’s been a while since I posted fresh content to the site, and for that, I feel I owe you an explanation. It’s numbered below, but you can totes skip to the end if you like.

  1. New job. I began as a Community Engagement Specialist with NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune last November, and to say that it’s been a whirlwind would be conservative. In that period of time, I have learned (and am still learning) best practices for social media and social media strategy, Movable Type, TextCaster, basic HTML, basic SEO, Hootsuite/Hootsuite metrics, PageBuilder, Storify and more. What’s amazing is that I am so incredibly amped about it all. Geeking out about how to best employ Instagram, Twitter and Vine to provide great coverage of an event? Yes, please! I strive daily to make NOLA.com the place for critical consumers of news in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and beyond to discuss that news.
  2. Art Melt. Within a week of starting the new job, I volunteered to chair Forum 35’s tenth annual Art Melt, held Saturday, July 20 at the Louisiana State Museum. It was a far great undertaking than I could’ve anticipated. What’s that you say? Why would you sign yourself up to chair the state’s largest juried art exhibit during a critical time for your career? The most obvious answer to your question is that I’m a crazy betch that struggles with performance anxiety (i.e. telling people, “No”). But the honest answer is that I genuinely support the event’s mission: to provide a free, high quality experience that cultivates a greater relationship between Louisiana artists and their community.
  3. Chronic pain. I am in the midst of a two-year struggle with chronic daily headaches. With the exception of a day here and there, I have gone to bed and woken up with a very painful pulsing in the back of my head over to 730 days. Based on my experience, I can confidently and resolutely say that I would not wish chronic pain upon my most hated enemy. Period. The emotional stress you develop after having numerous medicines/procedures fail; the debilitating energy drain that leads to guilt and sadness when you can’t do things you used to enjoy; the feeling of being somewhere, but not being fully present there because you’re consumed by pain; and worst of all, the absolute and utter despair that envelops you when you realize that you may have to live with chronic pain indefinitely–like I said, not upon my worst enemy. If you are struggling with any or all of the aforementioned chronic pain descriptors, please know that my most genuine sympathies are with you. And if you ever need to talk (or bitch like I’m doing), shoot me an email…seriously. And for those that aren’t sure how to talk to someone with chronic pain/headaches, this “10 Things NOT to Say to a Person with Migraines” article may help.

The lengthy explanation above is meant to simply help you understand that, except for an occasional post now and then, Bitsy & Boo must go on hiatus for a while. This decision was a very difficult one, and my fear of letting people down is palpable.

My little sister told me that sometimes the bravest and hardest thing to do is cut back–to not only realize that you’ve taken on too many responsibilities, but to actually do something about it. Maybe she was just trying to make me feel better, but her words resonated with me.

I believe my focus right now must be on doing well at my new job, planning an unforgettable Art Melt and working with doctors and physical therapists in an effort to alleviate my pain. I have no doubt that consistent posts will be published here again in the future with reinvigorated fervor and dedication. Of course, I hope you’ll be around when that happens so I may share them with you. Until then, your patience and understanding is all I can hope for.

Take care of yourself,

Rebecca

valentine’s day recap

I’m not a big Valentine’s Day celebrant, but I did get my jollies this morning from reviewing a menagerie of sweet/funny Valentine’s Day tweets and insta pics. See a few of my favorites below:

 

hump day treat: fajita burgers & black bean hummus

Happy hump day, folks! How was your Mardi Gras? Splendid, I hope! But does anyone else feel like they need to get back on track after some serious Fat Tuesday indulgence? This recipe for fajita burgers with black bean hummus is quite fitting for you then–tasty enough to help ease your way back into healthy eating, but still a far better alternative to the jambalaya, etouffee and king cake that we so often feast on during this celebratory season. Hope you enjoy!

Fajita burger with black bean hummus

For fajita burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 pound extra lean ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup reduced fat Mexican blend cheese
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Olive oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ medium avocado (optional topping)

Directions

Makes 4 turkey burgers

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, then form into four patties.

Thinly coat a sauté pan over medium heat with olive oil.

Cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side (I cooked mine in a George Foreman grill for 5 minutes in total).

Serve with black bean hummus.

Sprinkle with cilantro if so desired.

For black bean hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1½ cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1½ teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Directions

In a food processor or blender, pulse all ingredients until they form a smooth paste.

Serve with pita chips if so desired.

*Recipe adapted from Just a Taste’s Fajita Burgers & Black Bean Hummus

mardi gras style, part 3

The last installment of Mardi Gras style from Tomato Boutique is here! What say you to a brightly-printed blouse, your favorite skinnies and gold sandals this carnival season?

Mardi Gras style

Collective Concept sleeveless, bandana-print blouse, $64; Qupid Athena gold thong sandal, $35; La Mer gold wrap watch, $90; all available at Tomato

Mardi Gras style

Collective Concept sleeveless, bandana-print blouse, $64; La Mer gold wrap watch, $90; available at Tomato

Mardi Gras style

Gold feather earrings, $28 at Tomato

Mardi Gras style

La Mer gold wrap watch, $90 at Tomato. Gold bamboo bracelets, my own (belonged to my grandmother Bitsy).

Mardi Gras style

Qupid Athena gold thong sandals, $35 at Tomato

Hope you have a fantastic Mardi Gras weekend!

 Quote of the day:

“There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do.” –Amy Poehler

 

Beausoleil Baton Rouge

Michael and I had a fantastic meal last night at Beausoleil Restaurant. One of the best I can recall in Baton Rouge, in fact. The eatery’s quaint yet charming atmosphere was complemented by shabby chic details (has Target trademarked “Shabby Chic” yet?). A single red Gerber daisy topped the table while mixed-and-matched silverware lined each diner’s plate. Pork cracklins’ nestled in a small bowl were served upon sitting. A scrumptious first in my books. Drinks from the bar, like an Old Fashioned and Blueberry Lemon Drop martini, while strong, made for easy sipping.

With two drinks each, one small plate, one salad and one entree split, Michael and I walked out of there for $52 per person. Like many couples aiming to be thrifty (not claiming we always succeed), we agreed that that really wasn’t bad for date-night-out.

Anyway, check out photos of our small plate and salad below. Or to learn more about Beausoleil, visit their website or Facebook page.

P.S. – David is an awesome waiter!

Potato gnocchi with green peas, jumbo lump crab meat and pancetta in a sage brown butter sauce

Potato gnocchi with green peas, jumbo lump crab meat and pancetta in a sage brown butter sauce

Roasted beets, goat cheese and fried capers in a walnut vinaigrette

Roasted beets, goat cheese and fried capers in a walnut vinaigrette

 

Quote of the day:

“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” –George Bernard Shaw

 

mardi gras style, part 2

Carnival season reaches its festive pinnacle in a week from tomorrow–Fat Tuesday–and Tomato Boutique in Baton Rouge can help ensure that you celebrate in stylish comfort. I donned cowboy boots with both ensembles because I think boots are a good choice for parade-goers in general. Not only do they protect your feet from puddles and mud, but from clumsy (or drunk) revelers as well. Hope you enjoy!

Coral-shaped necklace, my own (similar here); Collective Concept herringbone print shirt dress, $70 at Tomato

Coral-shaped necklace, my own (similar here); Collective Concept herringbone print shirt dress, $70 at Tomato

Coral-shaped necklace, my own (similar here); Collective Concept herringbone print shirt dress, $70 at Tomato; Maui Jim pilot sunglasses, my own (available here); Frye cowboy boots, my own (similar here)

Collective Concept herringbone print shirt dress, $70 at Tomato; Maui Jim pilot sunglasses, my own (available here); Coral-shaped neckalce, my own (similar here); Frye cowboy boots, my own (similar here)

 

Coral-shaped necklace, my own (similar here); Collective Concept herringbone print shirt dress, $70 at Tomato; Maui Jim pilot sunglasses, my own (available here); Frye cowboy boots, my own (similar here)

Laughing at myself as I try to strike a pose.

 

C. Luce floral cutout hi-low blouse, $54 at Tomato; Indigo boho earrings, my own (similar here); Maui Jim pilot sunglasses, my own (available here); J. Crew denim shorts, my own (similar here); Frye cowboy boots, my own (similar here)

C. Luce floral cutout hi-low blouse, $54 at Tomato; Indigo boho earrings, my own (similar here); Maui Jim pilot sunglasses, my own (available here); J. Crew denim shorts, my own (similar here); Frye cowboy boots, my own (similar here)

Mardi Gras style

Mardi Gras style

Mardi Gras style

Mardi Gras style

super bowl xlvii takes precedence

Super Bowl XLVII

Happy Friday, folks! I have more cutesy photos from my Mardi Gras style shoot, but I’m afraid I didn’t have time to put a post together because work is friggin’ bananas right now with the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras converging on New Orleans all at once. I took the above screen shot simply to demonstrate one of the things that I’m working on right now. Hope it’s sufficient evidence of my innocence.

To check out the full post on NOLA.com, click here. Or, you can see Super Bowl fans flooding the French Quarter by visiting nola.com/jacksonsquarecam.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! See you back here Monday with more Mardi Gras style.

hump day treat, super bowl style

With a very sharp knife, cut the top from a medium garlic bulb, just enough to expose most of the cloves.

With a very sharp knife, cut the top from a medium garlic bulb, just enough to expose most of the cloves.

hummus recipe

Wrap the bulb in foil and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil, then roast for 45 minutes to an hour.

hummus recipe

After scraping blended ingredients into a bowl, mix in sun-dried tomatoes.

hummus recipe

Top with olive oil and paprika.

Roasted garlic and sun-dried tomato hummus. Honestly, you can stop right there. Nuff said. I’m a total goner for hummus. This was my first attempt at a homemade recipe, and now, I’m a believer. It’s just better, in my humble opinion.

Anyway, I find this hump day treat appropriate because it’s easy to make ahead of time and maintains its freshness for up to a week, thus making it a delicious (and healthy) addition to your Super Bowl party table. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Tahini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup chickpeas, drained
  • 1 teaspoon flake salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium bulb roasted garlic
  • 3 to 4 cloves of raw garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomato
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon Sweet paprika
  • Paprika & Olive oil (for topping)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F

With a very sharp knife, cut the top from a medium garlic bulb, just enough to expose most of the cloves.

Wrap the bulb in foil and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil, then roast for 45 minutes to an hour.

Once garlic is roasted, toss it in food processor (a blender doesn’t really work here I’m afraid) with tahini, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper, and lemon juice.

Blend until you have a pretty uniform mixture, then scrapes the sides and add the chickpeas.

Blend until combined thoroughly, adding water, more olive oil, or lemon juice as needed to achieve your desired texture.

Scrape hummus into a bowl and top with olive oil and paprika.

*Recipe adapted from I Like This

Quote of the day:

“A lie can travel halfway around the world while truth is still putting on its shoes.” –Mark Twain

mardi gras style, part 1

Last week, I visited two Baton Rouge boutiques in search of stylish yet comfortable wears for the parade-going gal. The jacket and sweater presented in today’s post come from Posh Boutique. Pair either with your favorite pair of skinnies and booties, and you’re set for comfy cuteness during the carnival season.

Mardi Gras style

Free People black combo jacket, $158

Mardi Gras style 2

Mardi Gras style 3

Mardi Gras style 5

Free People citron sweater, $104

Mardi Gras style 6

Mardi Gras style 7

So what do you think? If the weather gets a bit colder, could you see yourself wearing a lightweight jacket or cozy sweater? A big thank you to Posh Boutique for letting me play dress up!

Quote of the day: 

“Find your passion and do it totally. The more life experience you get, the better you’ll be at whatever you want to do.” –Jessica Alba

mardi gras style

Mardi Gras style

Mardi Gras is soon upon us, so I decided to visit two Baton Rouge boutiques in search of stylish yet comfortable wears for the parade-going gal. The above photo is merely a sneak peek. Check back next week to see what I found at Tomato and Posh Boutique. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Quote of the day:

“Youth ages. Immaturity can be outgrown. Ignorance can be educated. Drunkenness sobered. But stupid lasts forever.” –Aristophanes, famous Greek comic playwright