Neighborhoods of New Orleans: Mid-City

By Kathleen Carroll-Stutts
on February 05, 2016

There is truly no other city like New Orleans, with its unique mix of laid-back southern charm and festive creole culture. The neighborhoods of NOLA, as any local knows, are just as individually unique as the city itself. From the Oaks of Uptown to the updated 1920's shotgun homes of Lakeview, each has its own energy, its own music, its own style.

In our Neighborhoods of New Orleans Style Guide, we'll celebrate the spirit of some of NOLA's most-loved neighborhoods. We'll also share some of our favorite picks for reflecting the style of your favorite New Orleans zip code!

Neighborhoods of New Orleans Style Guide: Mid-City

To kick it off, we'll start by helping you create that quirky, artsy, but laid-back style that is quintessential Mid-City. Nestled right in the center of the city, Mid-City used to be considered the "back of town," when it butted up against swamp land. Now the area offers culture, food, and arts, whether kayaking on Bayou St. John, visiting the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park, or sipping Mimosas for brunch on the porch at Cafe Degas.

 1. French Market Designs Gumbo Bowls

Microwave and dishwasher safe, if it’s in gumbo – it’s on the French Market Designs gumbo bowl.  For heaping helpings of gumbo, this extra large bowl is almost too fun to fill. Serve up a hot, steaming bowl of soul-soothing gumbo to your guests or just enjoy a bowl yourself while curled up watching an episode of Treme. 

2. Hand-Painted Canvases by New Orleans Artist Jax Frey

Coined "Little Views," Jax Frey's 4x4 chunky canvases are wildly colorful and feature highly textured depictions of NOLA favorites. Who doesn't want a half dozen every day? And just like oysters, these adorable little puppies are better in groups...hang them on your kitchen wall next to your list for making groceries or stack them on a pile of New Orleans coffee table books.

 

 

 

3. Arthur Court's Alligator Collection

The Louisiana alligator just brings one back to hot, humid summer afternoons, strolling along City Park's lagoons or by the bayou.  Arthur Court's aluminum serving pieces are at once stunning and sturdy. Good for the fridge, dishwasher (low heat), or oven, they make for great oven-to-table entertaining. And no polishing required means easy Mid-City living.

 

4. Mad Darling's Mid-City Muse Candle

Mad Darling's 8 ounce Mid-City Muse candle smells of green bamboo and will make you want to put on a long skirt and dance barefoot! Inspired by the city's culture and character, Mad Darling candles are hand-poured in small batches with 100% all natural soy and cotton wicks right here in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

 

Stay tuned for more shout outs to our favorite NOLA neighborhoods. Be sure not to miss yours and post your comments here on what you love about your NOLA hood!

The Preppy Style & Gift Guide

By Kathleen Carroll-Stutts
on January 27, 2016

Preppy and southern go together like...well...seersucker and Saltwater sandals. Get inspired with our guide to gift-giving, style, and all things Prep. Whether for the classy lady, dapper dandy, or Ivy League bound baby, we've got you covered.

1. Royal Apothic Skincare & Fragrance, Apothecary Inspired 

Inspired by an apothecary manual tucked away in a London book shop, Royal Apothic cremes, candles, and parfums offer luxurious style boxed in beautiful packaging as delicious as their fragrances.  Don't worry, gentlemen. Royal Apothic caters to the stylish bloke, as well.

2. Beaufort Bonnet Company

The monogram is essential for the serious preppy mom. Hailing from coastal South Carolina, Beaufort Bonnet's bloomers, bonnets, and bucket hats are designed for the baby and toddler with a refined sense of style.

3. Clementine Hunter by Gitter Gallery

Hand-painted on ceramic, the works of famous Louisiana artist Clementine Hunter chronicle daily life on a southern plantation. Gitter Gallery's dinnerware and serving pieces are stunning set alone as a statement piece in the southern home, or arranged together to create a nostalgic tablescape for your next Sunday brunch.

4. Maison NOLA Storyland Prints

 Nothing captures the classic and traditional style that is Preppy better than the quintessential toile print brought to us by the ever-elegant French.  Available in three colors and in blankets, bears, and prints, with a personalization option, of course, Maison NOLA's whimsical toile designs capture our childhood favorites from City Park's Storyland, New Orleans. 

5. Jean Baptiste 1717 by Niven Morgan

Niven Morgan's colognes and lotions capture the essence of New Orleans and the South with fragrances such as jasmine, vanilla, and patchouli. His line of well-boxed luxuries cater to those with an appreciation for the classic and sophisticated, ladies and gentleman alike. The Jean Baptiste 1717 line is inspired by the French Louisiana founding father and evokes "oak lined boulevards, jasmined air, distant song, sweet times, and love lost and found."

6. Saltwater Sandals for Mommy & Me

The ever-versatile and super-stylish Saltwater Sandal is a classic for all southern and preppy children. Perfect for sandy family vacations, afternoon strolls, and summer festivals, the Saltwater Sandal isn't just for kids anymore. The preppy mom can now sport a cozy saltwater along with her mini-me (because what's more preppy than matching?) and be perfectly on trend.

7. Fleur de Lis Barware from Rolf Glass

The french fleur de lis can be preppy when spotted on a cuff link or embroidered on a lapel. But why not enjoy it etched on a whiskey decanter and set of high ball glasses? Afterall, no true gentleman or lady host or hostess goes unprepared for an impromptu happy hour social visit.  

 

8. Chewbeads Accessories for Mom, Baby & Child

A modern and functional take on the preppy string of pearls, Chewbeads are made to be food-grade safe with no BPA, Phthalates, lead, cadmium, or metal, are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning, and soft on teething baby's gums and emerging teeth.

Sesame Street Increases Awareness by Creating First Character with Autism

By Kathleen Carroll-Stutts
on October 26, 2015

Sesame Street's Workshop launched a global initiative last week - including Sesame Street's first Autistic character, Julia - for children ages 2 to 5 and their families and with the aim of increasing awareness and empathy around Autism. The initiative features strategies and best practices for managing daily stressors, offering support to families of children with Autism. 

Sesame Street has successfully found a way to explain the topic of Autism using the language of children, helping children understand and better connect with their Autistic peers. 

 

So many individuals find the conversation about Autism and mental health in general to be uncomfortable and challenging to navigate. Sesame Street's initiative encourages this conversation while providing answers and tools for children and adults alike who might feel uncomfortable approaching the subject.

Julia will go a long way toward removing the stigma of Autism, disabilities, and mental health, the first step in improving the quality of care for children with special needs!

 

According to Psychologists, Coloring is the Best Alternative to Meditation

By Kathleen Carroll-Stutts
on October 16, 2015

We've said it before and we'll say it again, coloring rocks! Seriously though, more and more research studies are appearing that support the many mental health benefits of coloring. This article on the subject from The Open Mind adds another voice to the topic:

Currently, six of the top 20 selling books on Amazon are adult coloring books. The unlikely pastime for those of us who have successfully graduated from kindergarten has been gaining popularity of late, as an easy means to express oneself and de-stress along the way.

Coloring allows to unlock your creative potential. Perhaps more important, it helps relieve tension and anxiety. It unlocks memories of childhood and simpler times. As psychologist Antoni Martínez explains: “I recommend it as a relaxation technique. We can use it to enter a more creative, freer state. I recommend it in a quiet environment, even with chill music. Let the color and the lines flow.”

Ben Michaelis, a psychologist, says, “There is a long history of people coloring for mental health reasons. Carl Jung used to try to get his patients to color in mandalas at the turn of the last century, as a way of getting people to focus and allow the subconscious to let go. Now we know it has a lot of other stress-busting qualities as well.”
Basically, if you are having a rough day at work or just a bad day in general, then feel free to take out some crayons or colored pencils and start coloring!

What Inspires Us: Lokai Bracelets

By Kathleen Carroll-Stutts
on July 30, 2015

Life happens in cycles. We've all been up, we've all been down at times.  Yet it's still easy to beat yourself up when you're low or forget humility when you're on a winning streak.  It's easy to forget that we're all human and that - while we each have our own unique story to tell - we are not alone in this cyclical and universal human experience.  Captured in each Lokai bead bracelet is water from Mt. Everest and mud from the Dead Sea - the highest and lowest points on Earth.  We love this fashionable reminder to keep yourself balanced, even when life feels like a ride on a crazy ferris wheel. 

Images from @christian-leblanc, @coletraykiss, @madisonamadorr, & @jessica-smitt0091

Even better, Lokai has offered a series of limited edition styles in support of various charities, making it even easier to contribute to and wear your passion.  Right now, Lokai's limited edition camo bracelet helps support the World Wildlife Fund.

Images from @InstaMaui & @livelokai

Skeptical about the authenticity of Lokai beads? Check out their expedition to Mt. Everest.

Celebrities, too, are inspired by Lokai beads.

Shop our selection online, here.

 

Giving Yourself the Gift of Change

By Kathleen Carroll-Stutts
on July 08, 2015

You already know how much we love The Giving Keys (read more about it, here).  Tina Wargo, a writer for Hello Giggles, shares her personal story of feeling down and out (we've all been there) and how The Giving Keys touched her, helping her climb out of discouragement and into joy.  Here is a snippet of what she has to say:

"If you’re a recent college graduate, or if you’re like me, and you’re a year out of college and still referring to yourself as a “recent college graduate” to preserve your ego and attempt to shield yourself from the real adult world, let me share with you some words of wisdom that I’m sure you’ve NEVER HEARD EVER BEFORE: graduating from college is kind of the worst. It’s hard. It’s depressing. It’s painful. And worst of all for creative spirits like myself, the abrupt lack of stimulation and passion—the kind that would wholly envelope your every cell and electrocute your every thought each time you entered a classroom—can leave you utterly, hopelessly, devastatingly, suddenly uninspired.

But I’m not trying to scare you. I spent an entire year living at home, working a pay-the-bills restaurant job, sitting in my underwear, watching Netflix, browsing the (Internet version of the) classifieds, and feeling sorry for myself because I was stuck. “I never thought this would be me,” I’d groan to myself as I wallowed in self-pity. “I should be doing something by now,” I’d think, as I sat on my bed and continued to do nothing.

To my (retrospective) horror, this trend continued for months. The further I got from my beloved identity as a college student, the more I craved the creative spark that used to drive me. But as that part of my life drug behind me like a sad, deflated balloon I couldn’t bring myself to throw away, the less motivated I was to pursue any of the big dreams I was once unabashedly sure I’d easily achieve. And though out of the ashes do many superheroes rise, this vicious cycle unfortunately did nothing but drag me down deeper into the spiral of shame and disappointment I’d gotten myself caught in. I didn’t recognize the person I was anymore. I wasn’t working toward anything anymore, I wasn’t passionate about anything anymore, I wasn’t particularly interested in anything with my usual over-eager ultra-obsessive fervor anymore. To put it dramatically, but realistically: I wasn’t living for anything anymore.

That all suddenly changed on one particular day, in one particular moment. As inspiration tends to do to the lost and/or wandering, I found myself absolutely struck as I stood in front of a display rack at a local boutique jewelry store. Before me, like an overly-obvious metaphor in a kinda crappy coming-of-age movie, were dozens of keys. Keys on necklaces that bore many words, all of which lunged out at me: “Courage,” “Create,” “Inspire,” “Believe,” “Fearless,” “Strength.” All of the words that stood for all of the things I had been longing to muster up inside myself for the past 12 months were suddenly in front of my face, telling me I could be those things again, reminding me I could feel those feelings again, and assuring me that in spite of the sticks and stones I had allowed to break my bones, words were there to cure me. I needed to know more."

Read her full article and find out how her story continues, here.

Share your own story on The Giving Keys website.  And don't forget to browse and find your key.

The Power of Dance

By Kathleen Carroll-Stutts
on July 07, 2015

Natalie Armoza contacted the New York City Ballet about a dance program for her daughter and other disabled children. We think this video by Upworthy speaks for itself. Don't forget to grab a box of tissues!

 

When she reached out to the New York City Ballet about a dance program for children with special needs, she didn't expect a response. But what resulted is nothing short of sheer joy. For everyone.

Posted by Upworthy on Monday, 29 June 2015

 

 

The Anti Flip-Flop, or Most Comfortable Ballet Flat You'll Ever Wear

By Kathleen Carroll-Stutts
on June 23, 2015

We love Yosi Samra ballet flats for the way they blend style, comfort, and practicality.  And we're not alone. Take a look at what People Style Watch has to say about their obsession with Yosi Samra ballet flats:

"It’s no secret that we’re obsessed with Yosi Samra shoes. They’re comfortable, chic and the label has a huge cult celebrity following. [...] Style editors here at People and staffers at Joyus (our partner in the shoppable videos you see on our site each week) are pretty crazy about Yosi Samra ballet flats. Our infatuation with the brand is two-part: They’re really, really comfortable and supportive — almost unheard of in a ballet flat — and they’re also very chic, which is probably why a ton of celebs wear them."

With their fold-up style for easy, on-the-go wear (great for commuters and travelers alike), extra cushy padding, on-trend colors and styles (we love the metallic accents), and amazing support, we're really feeling the love for these ballet flats. Whether you spend your days running after kids or to your next business meeting, these flats make it easy to go on your feet all day.  So it's no surprise that, like all of the Joyus staffers, each of us at Little Miss Muffin have at least one pair of Yosi Samra shoes in our closets.  And in addition to spotlighting Yosi Samra twice since last Fall, People Style Watch and Joyus have teamed up with the brand to create their own exclusive Yosi Samra styles. 

Yosi Samra ballet flats look great with just about any outfit, dressed up or down, while adding a sophisticated touch to casual styles.  See a sample of our selection online.

You Are My Superhero

By Kathleen Carroll-Stutts
on June 01, 2015

With Summer upon us and Father's Day fast approaching, we love this crafty idea posted on Facebook by Hot Moms Club.

Hand print projects are a great, creative way to spend quality time with the kids during summer break...and keep them occupied.  All you need is a little paint and some markers. The latest superhero twist on this classic art project pastime is sweeping the internet and inspiring us, too.  What a great way to strike up a conversation with your little one about who inspires them and why, or encourage them to see their very own superhero qualities.  It makes a great father's day gift idea. After all, dad's are our everyday superheroes!

One Step at a Time

By Kathleen Carroll-Stutts
on May 20, 2015

We love the lesson for us all hidden in this adorable Facebook video posted by Ollie-Oop: to take life one step at a time and celebrate our smallest accomplishments! We really love her Saltwater Sandals, too. 

Oh My Goodness...Ellie took her first steps at Ollie!! Yay Ellie!!

Posted by Ollie-Oop on Tuesday, 19 May 2015

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