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,


Chick-fil-A Bowl viewing in Baton Rouge

Chick-fil-A Bowl viewing is enhanced with drink specials from Baton Rouge bars.

Chick-fil-A Bowl viewing in Baton Rouge is enhanced with drink specials from local bars.

Chick-fil-A Bowl viewing may be different for those who don’t make it to the Georgia Dome, but no less fun. Click here to see the list I made of some local bars that will boast specials during this evening’s LSU-Clemson faceoff.

If I missed a perfectly good drink special in the Capital City, help a sister out by leaving a comment below. I hope everyone has a very fun and safe New Year’s Eve. Go Tigers!


new orleans food & drink highlights


The holiday weekend is steadily approaching, and my wish for you is quality time with family and friends, sans computer screen. But before you sign off, I’d like to share with you the final segment of scrumptious eats from Michael and I’s New Orleans weekend. Today, I want to share photos from two FAN-tastic hotspots in the Central Business District (CBD): Ruby Slipper Cafe and Herbsaint.

Both harbored their own atmospheric charm and inventive dishes. And both left me completely satisfied, which doesn’t happen that often. Check out the photos below and let me know what you think…

Ruby Slipper Cafe

Bananas Foster Pain Perdu

Bananas Foster Pain Perdu: Traditional French toast with rum-flambéed bananas & raisins, served with applewood-smoked bacon


Eggs Cochon: A pair of poached eggs over apple-braised pork debris and an open-faced buttermilk biscuit, finished with Hollandaise

Eggs Cochon: A pair of poached eggs over apple-braised pork debris and an open-faced buttermilk biscuit, finished with Hollandaise

Photo courtesy of southerngumbotrail.com

Photo courtesy of southerngumbotrail.com


Gnocchi Bolognese with Parmesan

Gnocchi Bolognese with Parmesan


Butter poached gulf tuna with pickled chillies and mint

Butter poached gulf tuna with pickled chillies and mint

Fried brussel sprouts

Fried brussel sprouts


Slow cooked lamb neck with saffron fideo and tomato confit

Slow cooked lamb neck with saffron fideo and tomato confit

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Quote of the day:

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” –Henry David Thoreau

new orleans food & drink highlights


Instead of working on today’s post last night, I went to see Anna Karenina. Very irresponsible of me, I know, but I’ve been wanting to see it ever since I did that post on Banana Republic’s Anna Karenina collection (to see that post, click here).

Anyway, today marks the second portion of highlights from Michael and I’s food and drink adventure in New Orleans. Next up: The Bulldog on Magazine Street. This establishment is always packed, and on a nice day, your chances of finding a table on the patio are very slim. It’s a mecca for locals and tourists alike who enjoy draft beer, drinking outside, dogs, cool water fountains and warm conversation. Sounds like my kind of people.

Check out these photos I took during our Saturday visit there… The Bulldog New Orleans 3

The Bulldog New Orleans 5

The Bulldog New Orleans 4

Michael Nicley & Andouille (not Michael my boyfriend…just to clarify)

The Bulldog New Orleans 2

 The Bulldog New Orleans

new orleans food & drink highlights


While Christmas is still a week away, Michael and I already exchanged a gift—the gift of a big New Orleans weekend. As I’ve stated before, when it comes down to a material gift or an experience, I will choose experience every time. Fortunately, Michael feels the same.

Also worth noting is the fact that we made a deal before the trip began: no calling and/or making plans with the many friends and family members we have in New Orleans. It was time for some “us” time, if that makes sense. And while it is always wonderful to go out with friends and family, we usually end up on the other side of the table or bar from one another, talking to other people…not each other.

Weekends spent in New Orleans are usually gluttonous ones, filled with copious amounts of scrumptious food and intoxicating refreshments. I must admit that this weekend was no different. Michael and I hit up some of our Crescent City favorites, but we also discovered (and delighted in) a few new bars and restaurants. Since we covered a lot of ground in 48 hours, I’m going to incrementally post some of the highlights from our indulgent weekend. First up: St. James Cheese Company on Prytania. YUM!

Overall, it was an incredible weekend. Eating and drinking my way through New Orleans with my best friend…gifts don’t get much better.

No matter its form, I hope you receive (or give yourself) a truly worthwhile gift this holiday season.

St. James Cheese Company New Orleans

St. James Cheese Company New Orleans

St. James Cheese Company menu

St. James Cheese Company slow roasted beef and bleu cheese on multigrain

SMOKEY BLUE SANDWICH House smoked Mycella blue cheese, top quality roast beef, Worcestershire mayo, tomatoes and lettuce on toasted Wild Flour multigrain bread.

HOOKS CHEDDAR SANDWICH Hooks Cheddar from Wisconsin with house smoked turkey, fresh basil, tomato, mayo and avocado on fresh ciabatta.

Learn more about St. James Cheese Company by clicking here.

More New Orleans food & drink highlights to come this Wednesday. Have you been to St. James before? If so, what’s your favorite sandwich there? I’m determined to try them all. If not, what’s YOUR favorite sandwich spot in Nola? I’ll add it to my “must try” list.

happenings: tin roof pub crawl

Pictured left to right are the lovely ladies orchestrating tonight’s Tin Roof Pub Crawl: Lori Lensing, Sarah Voelkel, Molly Loubiere, Lauren Bergeron & Erica Sherman

Friends, I’m so sorry this post is going out late. I have officially started my new job as the Community Engagement Specialist for NOLA Media Group’s Baton Rouge branch, and we’re having a team retreat today. Still, I wanted to notify you to an amazing event happening this evening.

Scenario: Friday night is rapidly approaching, you don’t have any set plans yet, and you’re thirsty. Awesome solution: pub crawl!

The Baton Rouge Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation has partnered with Tin Roof Brewery to produce a pub crawl taking place tonight on Third Street at Happy’s, Lucy’s, The Roux House and Boudreaux & Thibodeaux’s. It’s $2 Tin Roof Beer everywhere you go—you can even try the brewery’s new and very tasty Parade Ground Porter for $2! And some of the amazing covetables being given away include a signed Drew Brees jersey, restaurant gift cards and an LSU football signed by Les Miles.

Buy your $10 ticket by clicking here. Once you purchase a ticket, your name will go on the list and you can pick up your wristband at registration. If committing ahead of time isn’t your thing, no biggie, you can buy at the door too.

All proceeds from this thirst-quenching evening benefit the Baton Rouge Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation. So cheers to drinking for a cause!

Learn more about the BRSCAF pub crawl by visiting the event’s Facebook page; and for more information on the Baton Rouge Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation, visit website.

nola fashion week recap, part 3

Three pairs of shoes to always have in your closet: nude pumps, playful flats and black pumps (pointy toe is back!)

Have a brooch that you don’t wear often? Attach it to a chain necklace for bold statement making (see example on left). And the necklace on the right is actually two necklaces that Aimée combined. Lesson: you don’t have to settle for jewelry as is!


Aimée Gowland & Kay Morrison

Personal shopper and retail consultant Aimée Gowland of ALG Style and organizational expert Kay Morrison of The Occasional Wife facilitated the Sensible Style Solutions workshop last Saturday during NOLAFW.  They offered a great deal of practical advice for maintaining an effortlessly organized closet as well as a fashion forward wardrobe on a “real girl” budget. Here are some of my favorite takeaways:

  • Always ask the retailer if there is a promotion or a possibility for a discount. Local boutiques obviously want your business, so they’ll try to barter with you in hopes that you’ll buy that nice coat in store, as opposed to finding it on eBay or Zappos. I’ve never done this before, but it’s time I conquer my fear of “troubling people” and try. Most of the time, you’re not troubling them at all. Your contribution to local commerce, large or small, matters. As evidenced by this statistic: For every $100 spent at a national chain store, $43 goes back into the local economy. For every $100 spent at a local store, $73 goes back into the local economy. Sorry, I’ll get off my soapbox now. Just food for thought. 
  • Splurge on a classic LBD if you wish, but change its look with inexpensive accessories from places like XXI, TJ Maxx and Target.
  • Save wine bottles and place them inside your boots to maintain their shape. I love this tip because I never want to spend money on fancy boot-stuffers, but I do want to preserve my boots between wears.
  • Hang a corkboard near your closet and pin inspirational images to it. It can be anything from magazine clippings to photos of yourself in outfits you love along with outfits you get a lot of compliments on. I like the idea of a tactile board that’ll prompt my memory on stylish looks that may have been spontaneously put together, and therefore, harder to remember. Of course, Pinterest is wonderful for saving looks and styles you love, but how often do you reference it when getting dressed to go out? If you’re like me, the answer is never. If you do this often, mad kudos!
  • This last tip is more of a reminder, but be sure to “Like” the stores and boutiques you love, so you’re updated on sales and new items.

Quote of the day:

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” –Marilyn Monroe

nola fashion week, part 2

Andrea Loest’s 2013 Fair Fit collection was designed in collaboration with Paul Eastin and displayed in a runway show last Friday night. Fully apparent were the women’s wear designs that the line has become known for, such as minimalist silhouettes and inventive, customizable tailoring. But Loest and Eastin’s collaboration translated Fair Fit’s bread-and-butter to a new medium—menswear. Check out some of my favorite looks below.

Runway shots from Andrea Loest’s solo collection will appear soon!

Quote of the day: 

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” –Abraham Lincoln


nola fashion week, part 1

1. Sam Levin, Maddie Ross, AJ Brooks with Olivia Rothchild // 2. Lauren Lagarde (public relations advisor, NOLA Fashion Council) & Nick Landry (Nicholas Landry Events) // 3. Matthew Arthur, Amanda deLeon (fashion designer) & Anthony Ryan Auld (fashion designer) // 4. Hyma Moore (retail attraction associate, New Orleans Business Alliance) & Justin Shiels (invadenola.com) // 5. Madelaine Haydel & Victoria Young // 6. Charle Washington, Genevieve Douglass & Dorothy Young (no(la) more chains blog) // 7. Elizabeth Lagarde, Jeanne Lyons & Lorraine Lorio // 8. Jasmine Holzenthal (Sequin Crush blog), Katie Dumestre (The Elizabeth Chronicles blog) & Rachel Adams (The Elizabeth Chronicles blog)

It was palpable—that giddy energy that bubbles up inside of you when you know you’re about to run into your crush or receive exciting news or meet someone famous. It’s fleeting, but for a moment, possibilities seem endless and hesitations and anxieties fall to the wayside. NOLA Fashion Week-goers all felt that energy Friday night as designer Andrea Loest presented not one but two stunning ready-to-wear collections. As the first look hit the runway, we onlookers collectively realized that we were witnessing a rare mix of raw talent and boundless potential.

More on Loest’s designs, including runway shots, will appear in Wednesday’s post; but I wanted to kick off NOLAFW recap week by focusing on the people that make it, from the event coordinators to designers, bloggers and fashion lovers. These people are as vital to fashion week as the jewelry and clothing designs being presented. It’s where community meets style, and to me, that’s the most beautiful part of the whole affair.

I hope you enjoy the party pics above. Come back Wednesday for runway shots from Andrea Loest’s eponymous collection as well as Fair Fit.

Quote of the day:

“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” –Oscar Wilde 


BR Walls Project and Heather Savoy, formerly of Privé Boutique, jointly hosted BUST last night at Hartley/Vey Theatre in the Shaw Center. Conceptually, the event was unlike anything I’ve seen in Baton Rouge. A mix of breast cancer survivors and models donned handmade bras by local artists and skirts designed by Ann Tibbs Tillage for a runway show; and guests could later bid on the bras during a silent auction. All proceeds from the evening benefit Woman’s Hospital’s breast cancer outreach and education programs, including the Mobile Mammography Coach. The Coach has allowed the hospital to provide more than 22,000 digital mammography screenings to women across the region that may not otherwise have access to one. So incredible!

Being that it’s breast cancer awareness month, I thought this post might be timely. BUST was a really innovative event. It presented breast cancer awareness in a way that was playful (guests cat-called all the models and survivors as they graced the runway) and accessible to a younger generation (let’s please remember that breast cancer can affect women of any age; and not only those with a genetic predisposition!). The evening inspired me to finally make time for a mammogram. The keynote speaker, Jennifer Frederick (who was also my Tri-Delt alum advisor coincidentally), gave a heart wrenching account of her own battle with breast cancer. She was diagnosed at age 33 and her children were ages 6, 3 and 1! While I may not have children, I’m blessed to have a lot of people in my life that take caring stock in my health and wellness. I’ll get screened for them. Ninety-nine percent of me thinks it’ll come back clean, but why not eliminate all doubt? I would really love for you to do the same.

Cheers to your health and wellness, this month and every month!

Quote of the day:

“He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.” –Thomas Carlyle