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Delivering Quality Since 1952




062/ SANTA’S SMALL BITES Savory or Sweet – These Are Santa’s Favorite Cocktail Party Treats 82 / O, CHRISTMAS TREE Grace and Joe Pepper Provide a Cherished Piece of Our Holiday Traditions 98 / WHAT’S ON TAP? Monroe Welcomes Flying Tiger Brewery 122 / BITS AND PIECES The Expert Craftsmen at Rabbet Run Woodworks Are This Month’s Bayou Artists


136 / THIS IS HER SONG Erin Martinez Creates Beautiful Journals with Lotus Farm Designs 150/ BAYOU ICON Cindy Murray Makes a Difference for Children and Families 164 / SHIMMERING STYLE Fashionable Frocks for Your Holiday Parties 182/ TURNING HEARTBREAK INTO HOPE The Legacy of John Clarke Perry 192 / OH, WHAT FUN! Casually Chic Holiday Outfits from Area Boutiques


200 / BAYOU HOME Melody Olson’s Rooftop Loft Celebrates Christmas in the Clouds



time of the year, and we are celebrating this year with a BayouLife Magazine Open House on December 8th. We’ve had a few calls about the cost of admission – it is a free event, but we are asking that if you attend, please bring an unwrapped gift for donation to the Methodist Children’s Home in Ruston. The party starts at 5:30 p.m. with a fashion show at 6:30 p.m. Come join us to see our newly remodeled office (thanks to the flood) and help spread the holiday cheer. In this issue, you will find our gorgeous models Cherish Roberts and Michael Richardson modeling clothes from local boutiques. These images, captured by the talented Kelly Moore Clark, exemplify the season’s most stylish cocktail wear. Special thanks to our set designer, Libby Gifford, for making this a dream in metallic. Find it on pages 164. One pages 192-199, Ellie Jackson models comfortable chic, winter wear in a Oh, What Fun photo shoot taken by Martin Graham Meyers. And Meka Bennett worked her hair and makeup magic on all of our fashion sets this month. There are so many great editorial pieces in this issue. Nils Borquist traveled to West Monroe to interview Christmas tree farmers, Grace and Joe Pepper (pages 82-85). Meredith McKinnie got a tour of Monroe’s Flying Tiger Brewery, which will be opening soon (pages 98-102). We are in love with the cutting boards made by the local craftsmen at Rabbet Run, and April Honaker met up with them for a story on page 122. Our heart broke with the news of John Clarke Perry’s death this time last year. But, through his big, little heart, he saved another child’s life and by his parent’s resilience and unwavering love,

the John Clarke Perry Foundation was formed. Read this article on page 182. If you are looking for the perfect gift, look no further. We’ve compiled our favorite gift items in 9 pages. There is something for everyone on your list, and all are available from local retailers. See pages 208-216. We’ve definitely faced some challenges this year, but we’ve also have had great accomplishements. I am blessed beyond measure to have two wonderful daughters and a supportive and loving husband, parents who would do anything for our family, a staff who makes me laugh every single day and a career that I really enjoy. This holiday season, let’s let the peace of the season shine throughout our community and goodwill be done everywhere. Reach out to your neighbors, offer help to a stranger, cross the political barriers and let’s continue to focus on making this community great. And, please support your local businesses this holiday season. The people who own stores locally are those whose children go to school with yours. We are those who support non-profit organizations; who pay local taxes. We are those who give back to our community. So, when you are making out your gift lists this year, look through the pages of BayouLife. These businesses need your support more than Amazon or Ebay. Help us by letting us help you this holiday season. With all of my love and thanks, we truly hope you enjoy reading this issue of BayouLife Magazine. From our family to yours, Merry Christmas and happy holidays!


BayouLife 1201 Royal Avenue Monroe, LA 71201 Phone 318.855.3185 Fax 318.855.4645


ADVERTISING MANAGER Toni Navarro ADVERTISING SALES EXECUTIVE Ashley Hubenthal ADVERTISING SALES EXECUTIVE Amanda Singley CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Tara Ambrose Nills Borquist Maré Brennan Kenny Covington Lou Davenport Cindy Gist Foust Linda Holyfield April Honaker Janine Hopkins Paul Lipe

Erin Love Meredith McKinnie Dr. Timothy Mickel Kay Rector Claire Shepard Delia Simpson P. Allen Smith Beatrice A. Tatem Analeise Thomas Judy Wagoner

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Brad Arender Kelly Moore Clark Scarlett Garcia Martin G. Meyers ON THE COVER Ellie Jackson models Mr. P’s Tees sweatshirt and the staff of BayouLife Magazine. Photography by Martin G Meyers. BayouLife Magazine is published and distributed by Redbird Publishing, LLC. Circulation: 13,000 copies monthly. Postal subscriptions ($20) can be ordered online at www.bayoulifemag. com. BayouLife Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited photographs, manuscripts or other materials. Reproduction of contents without express written permission is prohibited.


Fitzco Marine Group Serving the Waterfront of the U.S. Since 1979


IKE FITZPATRICK, OWNER/FOUNDER OF FITZCO has spent all his life on and around the water. He started in business in 1979 at the age of 19. Having been instilled with values and principles from the beginning, he truly operates his business by the Golden Rule. Fitzpatrick has a passion for educating folks on marine construction to help them get the best “bang for their buck.” Fitzco has recently partnered with Joe Terracina of River Marine Works on the Ouachita and Red Rivers, as well as local lakes, in Northern Louisiana to provide a level of quality unlike any other in the area. They offer unsurpassed customer service and quality for your marine construction needs. Mike’s message is that floating docks shouldn’t be unkempt looking structures with vegetation growing out of the “exposed foam” flotation. They shouldn’t have poorly painted steel framework and columns. The problem is with the original design of the docks, most of which are not repairable, as the concrete decking has been poured on top of the foam flotation with a steel frame around it. “At Fitzco, we do many things differently… for a reason,” says Fitzpatrick. “We believe that your dock should secure your boat, not the other way around. Over the years, we have developed equipment and processes specific to improving our finished product while increasing efficiency. This has led to unmatched ability and quality in the maritime construction industry in the areas of pile driving (we can even drill and install piles in bed rock), bulk heading, floating and fixed structures and underwater recovery of sunken vessels.” “With us, it’s about design it and building it correctly…. once,” says Mike. “If it’s already been built and is not performing, we will redesign it and rebuild it correctly…. once. If you choose 10 DECEMBER 2016 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

us for your next project on the water, whether it’s replacing pilings, installing a bulk head, building a new floating or fixed pier or an elaborate custom boat house, prepare to be impressed.” Their system features: • Encapsulated float modules that are replaceable should one become compromised (which will not allow vegetation to exist) • Galvanized steel frames with the floats attached thereto so as to prevent any direct exposure of steel to the water • Precast, steel reinforced concrete deck panels which can be removed to access utilities or to replace in the event one becomes compromised. • All galvanized steel components alleviates the need to paint anything resulting in a truly “maintenance free” design. “I’ve been designing and building floating dock structures, from small private docks to massive commercial marinas, as well as consulting for other marine contractors, for over 30 years,” states Fitzpatrick. “It’s simple,” he says, “Fitzco and River Marine Works want you to enjoy more time on the water! Contact Fitzco Marine today by calling Mike Fitzpatrick (318584-7003) or Joe Terracina (318-665-0190 or 318-614-2406). 323 Moon Lake Road, Monroe, LA 71203 P.O. Box 466, Shell Knob, MO 65747 • 417-858-BOAT (2628) 212 Flat River Road, Bossier City, LA 71112 • 318-584-7003 Fitzco Marine Construction • AirHoist Boatlift Systems Century Maritime • MariTow U.S. “Serving the waterfront of the U.S. since 1979”


Glenwood Medical Group

Quality Medical Providers You Expect. Compassionate Care You Deserve. CARDIOLOGY P.Thomas Causey, Jr., MD, FACC Nikki Fuller, NP Dr. Causey, a fellow of the American Board of Cardiology and board certified in cardiovascular disease, specializes in clinical consultative cardiology, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology and preventive cardiology. He also serves as medical director of Glenwood’s Cardiac-Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center. PH: 318-338-3525 CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY Harry Donias, MD Scott E. Henry, MD, PhD Dennis Fischer, PA Karen Sinclair, NP Dr. Donias and Dr. Henry’s services include mitral valve, tricuspid valve and aortic valve repair or replacement, on and off pump coronary artery bypass, proximal aortic and arch pathology, surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation, lung and esophageal cancer, aneurysms, peripheral revascularization and carotid stenosis, as well as minimally invasive and endovascular techniques. PH: 318-329-3475 EAR, NOSE AND THROAT Brent Metts, MD, PhD Ellen Murray, NP Dr. Metts, one of the few surgeons in the nation who is fellowship trained in minimally invasive and endoscopic assisted thyroid and parathyroid surgeries, provides treatment for sinus disease, thyroid disease, hearing loss, throat and voice problems, sleep apnea, tonsillitis and ear infections. He also performs minimally invasive balloon sinuplasty. PH: 318-329-8458 12 DECEMBER 2016 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

FOOT AND ANKLE David Gardner, DPM Dr. Gardner specializes in bunions, hammertoes, flat foot, Achilles tendonitis, toenail fungus, ingrown toenails, heel pain, neuromas, corns, calluses, warts, deformities, geriatric conditions, diabetic foot conditions and sports injuries. PH: 318-322-5506 GENERAL SURGERY David W. Norman, MD Dr. Norman is a robotically trained surgeon who specializes in breast biopsies and therapy, wound care, acute infections and complications, minimally invasive treatment of bowel incontinence, incisionless acid reflux repair, evaluation and treatment of benign and malignant disorders of the breast, thyroid, gallbladder, skin, digestive and vascular systems,  advanced laparoscopic and robotic management of the appendix, spleen, colon, reflux disease, adrenals and hernias.   PH:  318-329-8411 GENERAL SURGERY AND WOUND CARE Russell T. Lolley, MD Dr. Lolley is the Medical Director of Glenwood’s Hyperbaric and Wound Care Center. He performs transcutaneous oxygen monitoring, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, wound debridement, specialty wound dressing and skin grafts, compression therapies and diabetic foot care. PH: 318-3298445 NEUROLOGY Jenny Guerre, MD Dena Novak, NP

Dr. Guerre is board certified in neurology and specializes in Myasthenia gravis, muscle disorders, spasticity, neuropathy, neurologic disorders, epilepsy, movement disorders, migraines and chronic headache disorders, stroke and dementia. PH: 318-807-4611 PSYCHIATRY Michael B. Wright, MD Dr. Wright specializes in psychiatric evaluation, diagnosis and treatment for adolescents and adults. His services include psychopharmacology and medication management, outpatient consultations, crisis management, acute psychiatric emergency management and referral, and consultations for psychiatric problems related to medical illness. PH: 318-329-4419 PULMONARY MEDICINE Ronald Hammett, MD Deanna McKee, NP Dr. Hammett specializes in critical care medicine, internal medicine and pulmonology. His services include treatment of disease and infection of the respiratory tract including cystic fibrosis, pneumonia, asthma, tuberculosis, emphysema and chest infections. PH: 318-329-8479 UROLOGY Edward Rutland, MD Hannah Morris, PA Dr. Edward Rutland is a board certified urology specialist and is one of the only robotically trained urologists in Northeast Louisiana. His services include the evaluation CONTINUED ON PAGE 175

Washington Wine & Spirits The Fundamentals of Sparkling Wine and a Holiday Gift Buying Guide


S THE HOLIDAYS APPROACH, IT’S A GREAT TIME TO feature a gift buying guide, as well as offer some information about sparkling wine, to gear you up for the First Annual Holiday Champagne Tasting! The event will be held on Thursday, December 8th from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Washington Wine and Spirits and is free to the public- no tickets required. The first thing to understand about sparkling wine is all Champagne is sparkling wine but not all sparkling wine is Champagne. Sparkling wine is simply a wine that has a significant amount of carbon dioxide, which creates the fizzy qualities. Champagne is a specific type of sparkling wine that is primarily made from Chardonnay and/or Pinot Noir grapes and must come from the Champagne region of France. The wine is also required to undergo a second fermentation process in the bottle that results in the carbonation, which is fondly referred to as the bubbles. Another specific type of sparkling wine is Cava, which is only produced in Spain. The wine undergoes the same secondary fermentation as Champagne, but the traditional grapes used to make Cava are Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarel·lo. However, the main thing to note is you can find quality sparkling wine from anywhere, not just the region of Champagne. Sparkling wine is known for being a celebratory wine, and we certainly agree with that notion. There is something special about the sound of the cork popping, the elegant and slim nature of the Champagne flute, and all the bubbles filling up the glass then dancing around your tongue when you take your first sip. Holidays and sparkling wine are a perfect combination, which is why Washington Wine and Spirits is offering their First Annual Holiday Champagne Tasting this December. They will have several representatives here to sample our various products and guide you through the sparkling wines. The wine shop staff hope you will join the party as they express their gratitude for all the love and support during their first quarter as the newest bottle shop in town! Along with great sparkling wine for the holidays, the wine shop also has an excellent selection of wine to help with your gift buying needs. Last month’s article mentioned that the shop’s collection has over 350 wines and 20% of those are under $20! Along with those exceptional values, they also have a number of prized cult wines that are great gifts for wine collectors and aficionados.


If you stroll through this section of the shop, you will find these outstanding choices with amazing ratings from wine critic, Robert Parker: • Frank Family Patriarch 2012 (98 pts) • Schrader LPV Vertical 2011, 2012, 2013 • Dalla Valle Maya 2012 (98 pts) • Bond Vecina 2012 (100 pts) • Hundred Acre 2012 (100 pts) • Phelps Insignia 2011 & 2012 (93, 96 pts) • Corliss 2009 (94 pts) • Penfolds Grange 2010 (99 pts) • Le Dome 2012 (93 pts) • Plumpjack Reserve 2010 (99 pts) • Quilceda Creek 2013 (99 pts) • Shafer Hillside 2012 (100 pts) • Harlan Estate 2012 (99 pts) • Chappellet Pritchard Hill 2010 (95 pts) In addition to value and variety in wine, the shop also offers a great selection of spirits. You can find amazing steals with Old Forester Signature, Four Roses Single Barrel, Ballantine’s Finest and the Kilchoman series. The shop also carries gift and sampler sets that make for great stocking stuffers, as well as limited release large format bottles that are fantastic for spirits enthusiasts. In addition to these great values, this list of collector’s items can also be found on the shelves: • Willet 3 year Rye • Hibiki Harmony Japanese Whisky • Port Ellen 32 & 35 years • Macallan Rare Cask • Jim Beam Distiller’s Masterpiece • Jack Daniel’s Sinatra & Century • Mocambo 20 year Rum • Avion 44 Tequila • Clix Vodka • Monkey 47 Gin • Grand Marnier 100th Anniversary • Green Spot Irish Whiskey From bubbles to bourbon, wine to whisky, and everything in between, Washington Wine and Spirits is a great one stop shop for all your booze buying this holiday season. As always, feel free to come by the shop and hang out with the knowledgeable staff. They are happy to help you find the perfect gifts this year.


Haik Humble Eye Center

First in Louisiana to Offer KAMRA™ Inlay– An Advanced Solution to Reading Glasses


N OUR 40S AND 50S, WE BEGIN to experience the naturally frustrating effects of blurry near vision and turn to readers for help. This near vision loss is called presbyopia. Presbyopia reduces the ability of the eye to focus on near objects, causing blurry reading vision. An advanced surgical procedure to treat this condition is now available from Haik Humble Eye Center. The KAMRA™ inlay has helped thousands restore their near vision and reduce the constant frustrations of reading glasses. Drs. Raymond Haik, Thomas Parker and Baron Williamson were the first ophthalmologists to do the KAMRA inlay procedure in the state of Louisiana. Those patients tell us KAMRA is the best thing they’ve ever done for themselves. You can have that same experience as those first Louisiana KAMRA patients! Why does near vision fade? The lens in your eye is stretchy and flexible. With time the lens stiffens. As a result it can no longer bend into the right shape to bring close objects into focus. To compensate, you end up moving objects further away at just the right distance to focus. This is why you start holding reading materials at arm’s length. The clinical term is presbyopia, and it happens to everyone eventually. How does the KAMRA inlay restore near vision? The KAMRA inlay sits in the first few layers of the eye known as the cornea. Smaller and thinner than a contact lens, the inlay is a mini-ring with an opening in the center. By using this pinhole effect, the inlay focuses light coming into your eye. This restores near vision


while maintaining distance vision without blurry zones. Who can benefit from the KAMRA inlay? The KAMRA inlay is ideal for individuals who want to reduce their dependency on reading glasses and meet all medical criteria. It is important to understand there may be times when additional magnification is needed for small print, to see in dim light or to perform a near task for an extended period of time. What benefits does the KAMRA inlay provide? KAMRA inlay treatment: • Restores everyday vision, so you can see text messages, a computer screen and the time on your wrist watch, without the constant frustrations of reading glasses or contact lenses. • Provides a natural range of vision – from near to far—without blurry zones. • O  ffers long-term performance to help you enjoy clear vision over time. How long will the KAMRA inlay last? Do I need to replace the inlay if my presbyopia worsens? The KAMRA inlay is a long-lasting solution to presbyopia. Assuming your eyes don’t change, the effect of the KAMRA inlay will go unchanged. However, with the development of cataracts or changes in your underlying prescription you may need an enhancement (i.e. LASIK or cataract surgery). This will be advised by your eye doctor. If it doesn’t affect my far vision, then why is it put in only one eye? The KAMRA inlay is place in only one

eye allowing you to see up close, while maintaining your distance vision in both eyes. Your non-KAMRA eye is left untouched. Working together, the eyes allow you to see near to far. The inlay does not affect your side or peripheral vision. Will I feel the inlay in my eye? Unlike a contact lens, the inlay is placed within the first few layers of the clear part of the eye, also known as the cornea, so it is not felt. It is secured into place and does not move after it is implanted. How new is the KAMRA inlay? The KAMRA inlay has been around for more than 10 years. It is the number one prescribed corneal inlay in the world. It provides an excellent long-lasting, natural range of vision from near to far for those who have become dependent on glasses to read. Can the KAMRA inlay be removed? Yes, the inlay can be surgically removed, if necessary. Will I notice an immediate improvement? As with any eye surgery, healing is a process. Recovery will depend on personal healing patterns. While some patients see an improvement within the first weeks to a month, others may require additional time. To determine if you’re eligible for KAMRA, your eyes will need to be assessed by an eye doctor. Please call Haik Humble Eye Center at (318) 325-2610 today to schedule a complimentary consultation.


All I Want for the Holidays The Merriment of the Holiday Season BY BEATRICE TATEM, PH.D., LPC-S, NCC, ACS


HERE IS THE SAYING THAT everything has a season. For many children, the advent of the holiday season seems to be an eternity. On the other hand, for many adults it seems like the older you get the quicker the holiday season comes.  I was one of those children who could not wait for the holidays and all it brought… the revisiting of family traditions, the reappearance of special recipes saved for the holidays and visits from friends and family. As a child, I associated the holiday with changes in nature, holiday music on the radio, retail displays, commercials on television, gift exchanges, merriment and receiving all I wanted for the holidays. I often wondered why the merriment of the holiday had to end. Over time, the holiday season has become symbolic of many values, wishes, pleasantries I hold dear for myself and others. All I want for the holidays has changed....What I now want for myself and others has changed with age, due to experiences and in reaction to the occurrences of life.    Tis’ the season to be jolly. I would be remiss to discuss merriment without acknowledging the holiday season is a challenging time of the year for many people. At the risk of projecting my thoughts and feelings this has been a particularly “trying year” for a number of my clients, colleagues, family and friends. It has been a year when admittedly the difficult times of past years seem greater than the lows of past years. At the start of a recent counseling session, I was reminded the holiday season is more than commercialized images of festivity and


merrymaking. For many it is time of reflection on what life has brought us, too, and has brought us through. The occurrence of the holiday season is a reminder, as with nature, life is cyclical and ever changing.   Perhaps a bit idealistic, all I want for the holidays is world peace and serenity for all, human understanding and unconditional acceptance, mental health and physical wellness. I want for every community engagement and cohesiveness, forgiveness and justice, peaceful progress and redemption, healing and renewal. It is my desire for all to experience respectful and meaningful dialogue and honest conversations of good intent.  May each individual possess resilience, the mental tenacity and inner strength to withstand the forces of life.  I wish for all people everywhere, young and old, ample provisions of  the basic needs of food, water, safety and shelter, coupled with an abundance of hugs and kisses from those desired. It is my hope we will all experience prosperity in the form of promise, satisfaction and fulfillment. May we all be treated with good will, civility, compassion, humility, integrity, validation and decency. Hopefully, we will witness and participate in acts of kindness both random and planned. All I want for the holidays is for the merriment often associated with this time of the year to be lasting throughout the year and the years to come.   Tips for keeping the spirit of the holiday joyous and peaceful. Embrace the season sincerely. Be centered in a spirit of gratitude of all things big and small; for the expected

and the unexpected. Seek and soak in all life has to offer. Recognize the gifts that are too valuable to price, gifts from within… love, respect, trust and kindness, empathy, humility, compassion. Gifts from the heart versus material things are always timely, share them generously.  Studies reveal people who are more materialistic are less thankful.  Always remember to say thank you. Celebrate what you have accomplished and what you generated this year.  Be a giver and spread joy. Let go of expectations, judgment and past grievances.  Remove the potential chaos and frenzy of shopping for the right gift for the right person, instead you can indulge others with gifts of your time, concern and interest. Choose simplicity over complexity. Plan for family time and meaningful gatherings. Celebrate diversity… Hanukkah and Christmas Eve are on the same day this year. Be intentional about providing words of comfort and gestures of kindness. Be nice rather than naughty. Be a force for good.  Make time for solitude. It will allow for emotional renewal, rejuvenation and replenishing of the soul. Wishing you all the hope, wonder and joy that the season can bring. May the gifts of love, peace, health, harmony, laughter and merriment be yours throughout the coming year.   For more information about counseling services and outreach programming, contact Dr. Tatem at Wellness Initiatives, LLC 1900 North 18th Street, Suite 414, Monroe, La 71201, 318-410-1555 or at


Hopkins Dermatology End the Year on a High Note



E INVITE YOU TO END THE year on a high note with a visit to Hopkins Dermatology. By providing multiple treatment options, such as facials, lasers, injections and premier skin care products, Dr. Hopkins is able to tailor antiaging for each individual to meet their personal needs. Results look natural for both men and women. Treatment options for all age groups are available. Starting treatments at a younger age to prevent signs of aging has become a popular trend. Optimizing the best of what is currently available in cosmetic dermatology is Dr. Hopkins’ emphasis. Fotona4D: Non-Invasive Laser Facial This is a series of synergistic, non-invasive laser treatments of both the exterior facial and interior oral cavity, enabling full-thickness contraction of collagen for persistent, nodowntime tightening and volumization, without injectables. With Fotona4D laser wavelengths and four treatment modes, anti-aging is comprehensively approached from four different levels, working deeper, medial and superficial connective structures of the skin as well as targeting imperfections. A full course of Fotona4D consists of four separate treatment sessions. The four “dimensions” of Fotona4D refer to four distinct modes of treatment. All of them are harnessed for aesthetic use in concert to combat facial and neck aging. This system grants the opportunity to achieve face lifting with a cumulative, synergistic effect, with little or no downtime or anesthesia.


Other exciting features of the Fotona that are available include: • Permanent Hair Reduction Using the hand scanner this becomes a fast and painless procedure for back or legs and is optimal for men and women. Fotona’s Nd:YAG lasers incorporate revolutionary pulse-control technology and a proprietary three-dimensional treatment pattern to provide safe and effective hair reduction. Unlike other wavelengths, only Nd:YAG is safe to use on all skin types. Fotona’s innovative system effectively targets surface treatment areas while leaving surrounding tissues unaffected. The success of hair reduction treatments depends largely on a patient’s skin and hair type, as well as the skills and treatment insight of the practitioner.

For fuller lips consider Juvéderm Volbella, which has been found to effectively increase lip fullness and soften the appearance of lines around the mouth. For younger looking hands, Radiesse is an effective treatment that corrects volume loss in the skin.

Injectables The jaw line diminishes as we age, but with Sculptra and Voluma injections, bone loss can be restored and collagen growth reactivated. Using the PHI technique, I am able to restore proper balance, ratio and contouring for a more youthful look and avoiding a “done” face. We are excited to be offering Kybella, the only FDA-approved injectable treatment that destroys fat cells under the chin to improve your profile. Kybella might be right for you if you’re bothered (unhappy, self-conscious, embarrassed) by fat under the chin, also known as submental fullness. If you feel the condition makes you look older or heavier than you actually are, you don’t want to have surgery and you eat well and exercise, but submental fullness does not go away, Kybella could be the answer.

Give the Gift of Beauty this Year! Inquire about our gift certificate packages and incentives during the month of December.

Caudalie Skin Topicals – You must experience the new LIFT collection Crème Cachemiré. Vogue says: Think of it like a 3D molding mask in a soft cream form. It immediately contours and fills in volume. Firming Serum - Facial contour redefining, 3D resculpting – This serum helps recreate the structure of younger skin; it appears firmer and more toned, and the facial contour is reshaped.

For the Laser Enthusiast: Pair the Fotana 4D Laser Lift with the neck tightening treatment and receive a complimentary Nectifirm product For the Flawless Face: Pair Sculptra for volume with Botox for lines and wrinkles and receive s complimentary Vitamin C product For the Workout Guru: Pair SculpSure for body contouring with a complimentary head and neck massage For Luscious Lips: Pair Volbella for the perfect pout with a complimentary Lip Buff and Quench product For Glowing Skin: Pair a relaxing Caudalie Hydrating facial with a complimentary micro plane session


Season’s Greenings Décor Inspiration And Caring For Live Greenery article by P. Allen Smith 22 DECEMBER 2016 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM


tarting out in the retail nursery business, I looked forward to the scent of fresh evergreens in the greenhouses when the cut trees were delivered. The sharp, familiar aroma always filled me with holiday spirit. I knew the time for molding live greenery into wreaths, garlands and centerpieces, and then, the pièce de résistance, bringing home a large, fresh evergreen to dress in lights, ornaments and ribbons was near. The idea of clipping little bits of nature and bringing them inside feels so festive, and to me, those evergreens are a blank canvas filled with potential. Each year is a chance to start anew. However, if you’re stuck in a rut when it comes to decorations and want to go above and beyond this year, here are three things I always keep in mind when decorating for the holidays.

CARING FOR TREES AND LIVE GREENERY Once your Christmas tree and other greenery -- boughs of Eastern Red Cedar, arborvitae, mistletoe or other greenery -- are cut and brought inside, they will begin to dry. So, it’s all about retaining moisture in the foliage. Follow these tips, and your greenery will retain its freshness as long as possible: First, re-cut the trunk as soon as you get it home. If you’re not ready to put it in the stand immediately, just set it into a bucket of water. A fresh cut tree can drink up to a gallon of water the first 24 hours after you bring it in and several quarts after that. Be sure to keep it well-hydrated and avoid drying out. Keep your tree away from heat sources such as vents and fireplaces to avoid fire hazards, but also because heat will dry it out. Keep in mind the lights on your tree are also a source of heat. The longer you leave them on, the quicker your tree will become dry. And it’s always a must to unplug them if you’re going to be away or before you go to bed. To add extra hydration in your greenery, recut the stems and soak it in water overnight. You can do this with cut boughs, garlands and wreaths. You can do this in a galvanized tub or your bathtub. Add glycerin to the water. This will keep the needles soft and pliable. Be generous – using 1 part glycerin to 1 part water. You can pick up glycerin at your local drug store. An additional way to keep moisture in the foliage is to spray the greenery with an anti-transpirant. This solution is available at garden centers. It will hold the moisture in and make your greenery look fresher, longer throughout the holidays. If you’d like to see these practices in person or find even more holiday inspiration, take a holiday tour of Moss Mountain Farm. See to reserve your spot or call (501) 519-5793.

FIND YOUR INSPIRATION The right inspiration can set your mind turning. For me, it’s usually a pattern or something I admire in nature. One year, it was a swatch of ribbon that spoke to me. Another year, it was the deep chartreuse coloring on a pear from my garden. Once you’ve got it, take that inspiration and carry it through your design. Find spin-offs and complementary colors and see where your imagination leads. If you always return to your original inspiration, you can’t go wrong. HAVE A UNIFYING THEME Once you’re inspired, it helps to have a repeating theme throughout to tie it all together. One Christmas, I was drawn to the color orange. I liked orange, because it was bright, grabbed the attention and added some whimsy. So, when decorating the tree with orange ribbons and ornaments, I also lined the mantelpiece with fresh clementines. In other rooms, I filled silver bowls with them to draw the eye and to offer fresh snacks for guests. DO SOMETHING UNEXPECTED Yes, the holidays are about tradition, but it’s always more fun with a few surprises. Try spray painting a pinecone deep red or silver, or stuffing a stocking with boughs of holly. Use fresh herbs to make a wreath. Add a few big, bold ornaments to your garland. Repurpose your silver mint julep cups for an arrangement of greenery and holly. The options are endless! WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2016 23

Your Trusted Hearing Center Guide To Navigating The Holidays With Hearing Loss


F YOU HAVE HEARING LOSS, you know how difficult it can be to hear well in stressful, noisy or distracting situations. The holidays are filled with fun and special moments, but they can prove a bit difficult for people with hearing loss. Here are some tips to navigate holiday situations with hearing loss:

HEARING AID TUNE UP Make sure to go to your audiologist for a tune up and cleaning of your hearing aids ,so your devices will be in perfect working order. Have extra tubes, filters, batteries, a drying device and cleaning equipment for your hearing aids on hand, especially if you’re traveling during the holidays. HOLIDAY TRAVEL If you plan to fly during the holidays, there are several things you can do to feel comfortable and prepared during the busy holiday airport season, including: Sign up for text messages. Many airports • and train stations - places that can get pretty loud - have systems in place where you receive a text message if your flight has changed. This way, you won’t miss important announcements. • If you wear hearing aids, keep them in at security checkpoints. According to the TSA, it is safe and fine to keep hearing aids or cochlear implant devices in your ears during a security screening. However, if you don’t feel comfortable walking through a metal detector or imaging machine, you can opt for a thorough pat down. Seat yourself close to the gate, so you • can better hear announcements. If you’re comfortable with it, ask someone near you to keep you posted about when it’s time for 24 DECEMBER 2016 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

your group to board or if there has been a change in flight status. • Make sure to bring any other devices you use, like a vibrating alarm clock or personal amplifiers. Consider also bringing a simple hearing aid repair kit, in case you have an issue and all nearby audiologists are closed on the holiday. FAMILY GATHERINGS If you have a very large family or several small children in the family, it’s likely that your holidays can get pretty noisy. Of course, you’ll miss a few things here and there, but here are some tips to help you navigate and make the most of your family gatherings: • Spend time with your family members oneon-one. If the house or gathering place is very noisy with football games on TV, laughter and back-and-forth banter, find a quiet place to talk. You can help in the kitchen or sit on the back porch - go wherever the distracting noises aren’t. • At the dinner table, make sure to sit next to someone who will fill you in, if you miss a punch line. Don’t sit facing the window, because the glare can be distracting and interfere with lipreading. Make sure the TV is turned off to minimize background noise, and let the host know what you need in advance. DINING OUT Many people dine out during the holidays, and restaurants can be especially busy and loud at this time of year. Here are some tips for surviving and thriving while eating out: • Try to get a spot with your back against a wall. This way, there will be no background noise coming from behind.

Choose a restaurant - or ask the host to • choose one - that is well-lit. If you depend on lip reading, it can be nearly impossible in a very dim environment. • Bring an assistive listening device - such as a personal sound amplifier - with you to dinner. These can be used in concert with hearing aids and can help in particularly noisy environments. Choose a restaurant that has round tables, so you can see most of the other guests more easily, which will better facilitate lip reading. HOLIDAY SHOPPING Shopping in a mall or grocery store can be a bit challenging for people with hearing loss at all times of the year, but they are especially difficult environments during the holiday shopping rush. Here are some tips to navigate the shopping scene: • Though you can get some good deals on Black Friday, avoid this day if you can help it. Many sites offer Black Friday deals online, so consider doing your shopping from home. • If you love shopping and picking out gifts in person and don’t want to order presents online, consider shopping in smaller local businesses, rather than big box retailers or departments stores, which are generally busier. • If you simply must go to the mall, you can navigate your interactions with the clerk upon check out by letting her or him know you have hearing loss. Also, look at the price on the digital sign to see how much your purchase costs, ask the clerk to write things down for you and ask him or her closed questions. Check to see if the stores you are visiting have a hearing loop - these are becoming more common.


Rayville Recovery A New Beginning


UBSTANCE USE AND DEPENDENCE is a huge problem for families and communities throughout the nation and appears to be expanding at an alarming rate. At Rayville Recovery, we are committed to providing quality inpatient treatment for individuals with serious drug and alcohol problems. While there are outpatient programs available, sometimes the intensity of inpatient care is necessary to enable persons with addictions to modify their behaviors and work toward long-term sobriety, when they complete treatment. WHY RAYVILLE RECOVERY? The decision to enter treatment is a difficult one to make. One factor in making that decision is your readiness for treatment; it is hoped that you are coming into treatment to work on your particular problem and not just trying to meet the demands of relatives, the court or others. The other important factor is to choose a facility in which you can receive competent care; we believe that the information below will show our levels of competence and caring. Rayville Recovery has been in operation for over eight years, providing inpatient care for persons with addiction. We are licensed by the Department of Health and Hospitals and are required to meet the standards established by that body. Additionally, we are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), which provides further standards to ensure that individuals will receive quality care. Rayville Recovery has an experienced and dedicated staff. Our treatment team is composed of physicians, nurses and counselors that provide the care and treatment


for persons with addictions. Our Medical Director has over 30 years of medical practice. Our Director of Nursing has over five years experience in working in a substance abuse setting, and the Program Director has over 30 years in the behavioral health field. Almost all the counselors have a Master’s Degree, and many are independently licensed. PROGRAMS AT RAYVILLE RECOVERY Detoxification - the use of some substances require that individuals receive extra monitoring to ensure that no serious physical health consequences develop. When individuals have been dependent on opiates (Lortab, roxycontin, oxycontin), benzodiazepines (Xanax, valium, klonopin) or alcohol, they may be placed in the detoxification program. Rayville Recovery has a medically supported detoxification program. Therefore, no replacement drugs (suboxone, methadone) are used. The typical course for detoxification is five days. Residential Rehabilitation - This is typically a four-week program. Persons in the rehabilitation program are assigned a counselor and develop with the counselor an individualized treatment plan to address the individual’s addiction problem, discharge plans and other important life areas. The great majority of the treatment and therapy is conducted in a group setting. This is important, because a great deal of what one learns in the treatment setting is derived from interaction among peers. Rayville Recovery uses the 12-Step model for recovery. While a person will not be able to complete more than the first two steps during the course of treatment, this will provide the basis for further participation in 12-Step programs when discharged to a

community setting. Co-occurring Disorders - Sometimes individuals will have a substance use disorder and will have been diagnosed and treated for a serious mental disorder. These individuals will participate in the Residential Rehabilitation program, plus receive some additional assessment and individual sessions from licensed clinicians. OTHER SERVICES Discharge Planning - Rayville Recovery has a staff member whose main task is to ensure that individuals who complete treatment are discharged into a setting that will be conducive to their continued recovery. This may include discharging to a half-way house, a three-quarter house or outpatient treatment. Intake Services - Our intake staff works hard to ensure that every person who needs and wants treatment will receive it. Once a person has made the difficult decision to receive treatment, intake staff will work to eliminate barriers to admission. In the event that we are not able to admit a person into our program, we will provide referrals to other programs or resources that will be able to provide help. ADVANTAGES OF OUR PROGRAM Our program is based on principals that have been shown to be successful for decades. Because our Residential Rehabilitation program takes about four weeks to complete, persons who are employed can transition back to their jobs better and lose less pay and benefits compared to six week or 90 day programs. For residents of North Louisiana, the participants in our program are closer to family and other supportive systems.


Affinity Health Group

Affinity Welcomes Lee “Wally” Thomas, Jr., Physician Assistant


XECUTIVES AND STAFF AT AFFINITY HEALTH GROUP (Affinity) would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest team member in Orthopedics, Lee “Wally” Thomas, Jr., Physician Assistant. Wally graduated Cum Laude with his Bachelor of Science in Education from Henderson State University and Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Harding University. He is also a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. Originally from Arkansas, Wally moved to this area after meeting his wife, Ginger, a graduate of Ouachita Christian School (OCS), and started a family. They have two sons and all enjoy sports and other outdoor activities. Before becoming a Physician Assistant, Wally worked as the Athletic Trainer at OCS from 2002-2005. Wally says of his career path, “I have always enjoyed orthopedics, especially with my background in sports medicine. Becoming a PA was the best career move I could have made.  It is very rewarding to help people who are not able to do the things they enjoy.  It is a great feeling to be to help someone get back to their hobbies and normal lifestyle.  I love my job…it is truly my passion.”  Wally joins Drs. Stephen Houseworth and Clemens Soeller, Orthopedic Surgeons, at the Affinity Orthopedic Clinic, located at 2516 Broadmoor Blvd. in Monroe. Together the medical professionals at the Affinity Orthopedic Clinic have over 50 years of experience. The Orthopedic team at Affinity treat and manage such conditions as: • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Problems • Arthritis • Bursitis • Fractures • Hip, Knee, and Shoulder Conditions • Joint Dislocations • Joint Replacements • Rotator Cuff Problems • Sports Injuries • Sprains • Strains


Affinity’s orthopedic solutions are guided by a team of orthopedic surgeons who are dedicated to keeping patients healthy and active. This team also provides personalized, comprehensive care to the athletic community. We offer a wide range of in-patient and ambulatory services designed to meet the needs of pre- and post-operative orthopedic patients. The goal is to provide the most compassionate healthcare possible, alleviate pain, restore function, and enhance the overall quality of life for our patients. Affinity Orthopedics is only one of many specialties located inside the Affinity Specialty Clinics. This new three-story facility is divided into 15 medical suites with over 100 medical professionals with concentrations in cardiology, general surgery, otolaryngology, urology, and orthopedics. In addition to medical offices, the Affinity Specialty Clinics location also houses on-site CT scan and X-ray, a casting room, a nuclear suite, stress machine, blood drawing areas, nurses and physician stations and a lab with the Beckman Coulter Access II (which is able to provide same-day testing for PSA and a Prostate Health Index). With the opening of this location, Affinity providers and their staff now serve 22 clinic locations in north Louisiana. Affinity employs over 500 medical and administrative professionals. At Affinity Health Group, our mission is to proactively seek opportunities to improve the quality of healthcare while balancing the cost of that care. Affinity is committed to service, patient satisfaction, healthy solutions and overall wellness of patients. For more information about Affinity Health Group, visit www.myaffinityhealth. com or call 318-807-7875. Affinity complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex. ATTENTION: If you have limited English proficiency, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-888-823-1910 (TTY: 1-866-524-5144). ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-888-823-1910 (TTY: 1-866-524-5144). ATTENTION: Si vous parlez français, des services d’aide linguistique vous sont proposes gratuitement. Appelez le 1-888-823-1910 (ATS: 1-866-524-5144).

For An Unforgettable Holiday Sue Paperie Is Your Local Destination For Unique And Personalized Gifts


HERE YOU ARE, SITTING WITH FAMILY AROUND the fireplace laughing and reminiscing about the past. You look on the couch next to you, and there is the love of your life, the person you are going to spend your life with. The person you’ve given your heart to and they’ve given you theirs. You have so much in common; you  laugh at the same things, you love the same music, and you both work on the edge of puzzles first. As long as the frame is finished, you’ll get the rest later. You look at them, and they meet your gaze. You both know it’s going to happen. You’re going to get engaged. When your family sees you look at each other, there’s a wave of joy that flows throughout the room. They know it’s going to happen. After everyone eats and exchanges gifts, you’re both sitting there and out comes another small package from his pocket. Wrapped in the most beautiful paper and the most perfect bow, he unwraps the bow and paper so gently as to savor the sounds and the look on your face. He gets on his knee and says, “Sweetheart, I’ve loved you since I first saw you. I knew this moment would come from the first moment I laid eyes on you. Will you marry me?” Applause breaks out, and congratulations are given on your engagement. You’re getting married! When you get home, the weight of it all hits you. You’ve got planning to do. Find a venue, pick out flowers, and stationery must be chosen. Fortunately, you have Sue Paperie  to help find the perfect complement to your big day. We’re there with you to sort through our selection of save the dates, invitations and thank you cards. You’ll find options for engraving, letterpress, foil stamping, photo options, and handwritten calligraphy. Our vendors and in-house designers give your stationery endless possibilities. Whether your style is modern or traditional,  you’ll find the perfect way  to convey your desire to have your recipients share your day with you. When you schedule and come to your bridal consultation, you will be greeted by one of our lovely staff, then whisked away to our bridal loft. There, a glass of bubbly and lovely treats will await you to help make that decision-making experience one you


will remember. If you are unclear of your vision for your wedding stationery, our knowledgeable staff will help guide you through the entire process. With brands such as Crane & Co, Bella Figura, Vera Wang, Anna Griffin, and Kleinfeld Paper, you will pleased with your final selections. Beyond the announcements and invitations, there’s so much more that we can help you with: monogrammed cups, napkins, ring bearer and flower girl cards, and cards for bridesmaids and groomsmen. We’ll help you find whatever you need to make that special time of your life that much more personal. If you’re not the one getting married, you can still  find gifts for the bride to be. To start, we carry a lovely brand called Claire Magnolia. They are an old-school book bindery for the modern bride. From the guest book, photo album and vow book, they create lovely gifts for your bride, because they combine vintage techniques with fine materials and fresh ideas. If you want to help keep that bride of yours organized, we have a bridal planning box with checklists, notepads with checklists, and Crane & Co.’s Blue Book for wedding etiquette. All are very useful for the modern bride. Of course, even if you don’t have a bride-to-be on your list this holiday season, we have gifts for the rest of your family and friends as well. In our lovely little store, you’ll find one of a kind artwork by Buffy Walker. We now carry beautiful prints by a recent Louisiana Tech Graduate, Mallory Burke. We even have gift cards to calligraphy classes by Shannan Inman of Paperglaze Calligraphy. If you are looking for something practical for that college sorority girl of yours, we have plenty of gifts that can be monogrammed with their sorority letters. Let Sue Paperie help make your holiday a special one.

‘Tis The Seasonal Winter Favorites and New Beers for the Holidays



HERE ARE MANY NEW CHOICES out there for your favorite beer geek this holiday season. Here’s a look at just a few of the new and seasonal offerings available this winter.

FLYING TIGER BREWERY Excitement has been building for a while about Monroe’s first craft brewery. The wait is finally over. Beginning in December, look for three new beers from our local jewel. Burma Blonde is a classic golden lager brewed with American grown two-row and Vienna barley. Glacier hops are added throughout the boil to create a crisp, citrus finish. Much like the classic pin-up, this lager is balanced head to toe and leaves nothing to be desired. In Man At Arms Amber, caramel and biscuit malts combine to produce a deceptively complex amber ale with a smooth malty flavor and a crisp hop finish. Man at Arms is a beer set to defend any occasion. Citrus, Sauvignon grape and tropical notes fly forward in Heroic Hops IPA as these hops blend effortlessly with a strong base of American Two-Row and Munich malts. Let there be no mistake, heroism is definitive... as is the beer you drink. For more information and to stay informed about brewery events, follow Flying Tiger Brewery on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. LAGUNITAS BROWN SHUGGA ALE Lagunitas Brewing Company has the top selling IPA in the country, but they also make some great seasonal beers. Their winter offering is called Brown Shugga. Described 32 DECEMBER 2016 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

by the brewers as “dangerously slammable,” this ale is a whopping 9.8% ABV and clocks in at 51 IBU’s. A generous amount of brown sugar is fed to the yeast, which lightens the body of the beer while still packing a punch. It pairs well with baked holiday treats and can even be used in a candied yam recipe that can be found at SAM ADAMS WINTER LAGER Samuel Adams is an iconic brand, known for their outstanding seasonal beers. Winter Lager is no exception. Spiced with cinnamon, ginger,\ and orange peel, this lager has a deep flavor and malty finish that will warm you on a cold winter’s night. Balanced with Spalt Apalter and Hallertau Mittlefrueh Noble Hops, it is the perfect accompaniment to a holiday meal with all the trimmings. To find Winter Lager near you, visit BLUE MOON CAPPUCINO OATMEAL STOUT Head brewmaster, Keith Villa, got the idea for this wintery ale while relaxing in a local coffee shop with a frothy cappuccino on a frosty afternoon. The fresh coffee aroma and rich roasted taste of this limited-release Cappuccino Oatmeal Stout is the perfect way to unwind and catch up with friends this winter. This dark brown ale has a creamy tan head and unfiltered haze. The assertive coffee aroma with a hint of cocoa opens up to a fresh-roasted coffee flavor with a light cocoa and malt sweetness. The subtle cocoa

sweetness is the ideal pairing for desserts, like chocolate truffles or even coffee cake. LEINENKUGEL’S CRANBERRY GINGER SHANDY The Leinenkugel’s brewery is located in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. The state of Wisconsin produces more cranberries than any other state in the nation. This inspired the brewers to create a Cranberry Ginger Shandy. The combination of traditional weiss beer with natural cranberry and ginger flavors is as refreshing as a toboggan ride on the Leinie Side. It pairs well with honeyglazed ham, Brie cheese or a green salad with tart vinaigrette dressing. To find Cranberry Ginger Shandy near you, visit Be sure to like Choice Brands on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with local happenings and new product releases. In addition, you’ll find links to beer related articles, fun recipes and much more! As a bonus, we will be posting a trivia question each month for a chance to win cool, beer related prizes. This month’s question is: What is the name of the iconic General and leader of the Flying Tigers that inspired much of the design and theme of Flying Tiger Brewery? Go to our Facebook page, post your answer in the comments section (the trivia post will be pinned to the top) and you’ll be entered to win (must be at least 21 years of age)! Find us at choicebrands,, and Good luck!


Jesus the Good Shepherd Catholic School JGS is Grateful This Holiday Season


ESUS THE GOOD SHEPHERD CATHOLIC SCHOOL is grateful during this Advent and Christmas season for the countless number of volunteers, sponsors and donors who made our 2nd JGS Annual Fund campaign and Fall Festival celebration an outstanding success. Through the combined efforts of all involved, this fundraiser and festival will continue as an annual school tradition. The success of our 2nd Annual Fund campaign was due in large to our 2016 Top Ram competitors: Mark Phelps (John Rea Realty), JGS Top Ram Winner; Misti Hajj (Keller Williams Realty); Jada Banks (Jack Fluck Realty); Johnny Wade (Jack Fluck Realty); Jeff Leaumont (State Farm Insurance); Eddie Neitz (State Farm Insurance); Monique Gill (State Farm Insurance) and Chandler Witherington (Shelter Insurance). These selfless JGS parents dedicated much time, talent and a little competitiveness to raising much needed funds for our school. Their hard work and 100% effort resulted in our school surpassing our $100,000 fundraising goal! We cannot thank them enough for their commitment to our school. The JGS Fall Festival, also in its second year, was bigger and better than the last. There were six rides from Duvall’s Amusements, nine class carnival booths, an amazing silent auction, fantastic food and an old-time country store. This was the first year we combined our Grandparents’ Day celebration and our fall festival celebration on the same weekend, and it turned out to be a great success. All the festivities were successful due to the hard work and organization of some amazing volunteers. We would like to extend a big thank you to the following committee members and volunteers who worked tirelessly to make the biggest weekend of our school year a wonderful celebration: Lillian & Albert Paxton, Sadye Richert, Mandy Booth, Susan Hopper, Miranda Hemrick, Kelly Hill, Amy Sawyer, Hillary Sirmon, Marlo Shepard, Krystal Medford, Gretchen Tiser, Amy Taylor, Felicia Hardwick, Meg Hayden, Rebecca & Jeff Leaumont, Rhonda Miller, Emily Casteel, Michelle Brown, Sheri Mowad, Mallory Benedetto, Christie Echols, Kate 34 DECEMBER 2016 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

& Mo Rolfs, Justin O’Neal, Caroline Brockman, Ainslee Peters, Kelly & Tim Southern, Carrie Rocconi, Jere’ Anthony, Sandy & Chad Beasinger, Lori Hughes, Jennifer O’Neal, Michael Ann Delcambre, Dana Tarver, Sara Taylor, Tara McEnery, Tam Middleton, Therese Nagem, Courtney Wetzel, Jenny Pankey, Christina Marsala, Kym Marsala, Michelle Moore, Traci Wade, Alicia & Stewart Traxler, Jaclyn Hall, Kristina Kight, Gina Greenwood, Corre Criswell, Becky Woods, Michelle Moore, JGS Dad’s Club, Damian O’Quinn, Mark Holyfield, Lori Bratton, Dusty Mardis, Ashley Hays, Mimi Rutledge, Shelley Seshagiri, Aaron Jordan, Allison Adams, Martha Cascio, Perry Estis, Kasey Witherington, Staci Williams, Holly Jones, Tammy Sheridan, Duvall’s Amusements, JPS Equipment, St. Frederick’s students and JGS friends & family who cooked and supplied items to the country store. We are truly blessed at Jesus the Good Shepherd with generous, selfless and dedicated family and friends who recognize the unique benefits of a Catholic education and Christ-centered school environment. By the grace of God, we are blessed with excellent certified teachers, whose focus is to provide a loving and secure atmosphere for all students. Just as Advent helps us to prepare our hearts and minds for the Christmas season and to remember the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ, we also remember those who have been so generous and giving throughout the year in support of our school. It only takes a glance around school to see their generosity at work! Thank you for your support throughout the years and we wish you all a very special Advent and Christmas season! For more information about JGS or to schedule a school tour, please contact the school office at 318-325-8569 or visit our website, School tours are offered every Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. or by appointment with the principal, Mrs. Lisa Patrick.


Out-Griswolding Clark Griswold

Creating an elaborate display that might call the attention of NASA is fun, festive and a little bit dangerous.


ery few sights compare with the majestic splendor of artfully constructed Christmas light displays. When the days shorten and nights are prolonged, the delicate glow of whites bulbs strewn across the face of a stately home, the blinking illumination of Santa’s sleigh and reindeer gliding effortlessly across the lawn and especially synchronized shows with musical accompaniment hold onlookers in a rapt glaze, forging memories for Christmases yet to come. Driving by and seeing children atop their fathers’ shoulders, pointing, faces frozen with eyes wide and mouths agape, makes even the most hardened soul melt to a warm pudding and conjures the desire to cover one’s own home in glittery lights. Better yet, when we see them, most of us instantly are reminded of Clark Griswold, and we are filled with the aspiration to out-Griswold the Griswolds. Unfortunately, we usually forget how Clark stapled his hand to the fascia board, fell headlong off the roof, and furiously kicked the miniature reindeer when they refused to light up. Mere trivialities, we think when we are reminded of Clark’s unfortunate experiences. How wrong we are. Initially, we think of those houses from our respective childhood years that left an imprint of grandiose Christmas spirit emblazoned across their windows and siding. The wreaths we remember resemble monster truck tires, bursting forth with holiday symbols. We also think of Clark Griswold; we can’t help it. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve all seen Christmas Vacation a million times, and we’ll see it two million more if we can. These embellished memories and this favorite holiday classic, while certainly enjoyable, may provide us with a false sense of what we can do with our own homes. No matter. We forge ahead, oftentimes not plan-



ning. We wing it. We put lights here, we put them there. We hang bells and candy canes and relentlessly dig at hardened ground so the Christmas signs will have a place to reside for the next few weeks. The frustration mounts, thumbs are pounded by hammers, bulbs are accidentally smashed, ladders tip on unstable ground, and hundreds of dollars are spent to get it just right. In the end, we realize something important. Hopefully, this realization occurs before we have both legs in casts or can no longer feel the last three fingers on our left hands. We thought, at first, that out-Griswolding Clark Griswold meant that we would erect an elaborate display that might call the attention of NASA or the NSA even. We wanted jumbo jets to be confused about where to land and passing aliens in UFOs to think they had found the most interesting person with whom to converse. We wanted Clark Griswold himself to come out of retirement so we could actually have some competition when next year rolled around. All of this is wrong. See, out-Griswolding Clark means to fall from a higher roof and miss landing in

the forgiving shrubs or pine straw. It means we miss multiple sumptuous dinners while we attempt to satiate our growling bellies with the tiny candy canes we stuffed in our pockets hours before. It means after putting hundreds of feet of lights around stair banisters, porch railings and the bushes running the perimeters of the house that we are about three feet short, and the stores are closed or are all out. Those three feet haunt us. It’s all we can see while staring from the window, drinking cold coffee, our eyes twitching from the lack of sleep and the teeny-tiny pebbles that have lodged in from the roof shingles down which we constantly slid trying not to fall. Again. Out-Griswolding Clark Griswold is simply accumulating a longer list of bumps, bruises, cuts and hospital visits. It is swearing louder and longer, secretly sobbing behind the closed garage door while maniacally talking to yourself and laughing aloud to no one in particular when the futility of building the perfect display is realized over and over again. Why, then, do we do it? Besides the injuries and quick collapse into the clutches of craziness, it is unbelievably fun. Oh, the fun. If there is anything we learn from Clark W. Griswold, it is that the end result isn’t necessarily remembered; it is the journey to get there. Wounds heal, breaks mend and marks made by stitches fade. Memories of the plans fulfilled and those gone awry, though, are imprinted forever upon the minds of the families who attempt to show Clark Griswold a thing or two about blasting the night sky with thousands of bulbs a blazing. Good luck, you aspiring Griswolds, and be careful. It may not look like it, but it’s a long fall off the roof. Trust me.

Fishing With Kenny Tips, Tricks and Tweaks article by Kenny Covington


ishermen are a different breed of people. No matter if you are a bass fisherman, perch jerker, bream enthusiast or whatever the case may be, fishermen think differently. There are secret spots, secret lures,and secret techniques. The only problem is nothing is secret anymore and nothing is sacred. Because of this thing we call technology, everything is a click of a button away from being common knowledge. Technology is not a cure-all however. There are still simple things we can do to make ourselves more productive on the water. There are tweaks that can be done to make a lure work differently, thus giving us the opportunity to catch more fish. Fishing is all about making adjustments, but sometimes the best adjustments are made before the first cast. The lures that are produced today are light years ahead of what was produced in years past. That still doesn’t mean we can’t doctor them up just a bit. I would like to share with you a few things I have found that have made me more productive while on the water. To some this may seem to be overkill, but if it will catch a few more fish, what’s the harm.


On every hard bait I purchase, before I use the lure in a tournament, I will change the hooks. Most of the manufactured lures these days have very good hooks already on them, but I have seen too many times in tournaments where the factory hooks cost my competitors dearly. I prefer to take nothing to chance and will make sure I have the right hooks on the lure being used. If I purchase a crankbait that has #4 treble 38 DECEMBER 2016 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

hooks on it, I will match the front hook with the factory size; however, I will upgrade the back hook to a #2 just to allow myself a bigger bite. Simply put, use as big a hook as the lure and the presentation will allow. This is also true when Texas rigging soft plastics. On topwater lures, I tie my own feather hooks to be attached on the rear of the lure. I try to match the color of my feathers with the base colors of the lure. It’s a nice complement to the action of the lure and can make finicky fish more aggressive when they strike.


While most lures are pretty much safe from my own experimentations, at times I do like to tweak them for better performance. Walking topwater baits such as a Spook or a Lucky Craft Gunfish will have a 50 lb. snap added for a better walking action when used with braided line. Popper style topwaters will have a small O-ring applied to the line tie for better action during the retrieve. Topwater color is overrated, it’s the retrieve that catches the fish. Spinnerbaits and jigs receive the most tinkering in my quest to find the right lure for the fishing process. I have found the skirts that come on spinnerbaits are too big and have too many strands to be fished effectively, especially on the smaller 3/8 and ¼ ounce versions. The newer perfect skirts make adjusting skirt size more difficult due to the umbrella style of their appearance. I have been creating my own spinnerbaits and jigs for several years now, and the one thing I have noticed is that the more realistic I can make the skirt appear, not just in color schemes but also in strand count, the better fish tend to bite the lure. On smaller spinnerbaits and jigs, such as a ¼ ounce version, the skirt needs to match

the size of the lure and not overwhelm the eye appeal of it. Whereas a ¾ ounce jig may require a big 40 strand skirt, allowing for more water displacement, a smaller offering may only require 20 to 25 strands, giving the lure a more finesse presentation. The more natural you can make your lure appear to the fish, the better your chances are of catching them.


As fishing goes people are always looking for new, exciting ways to catch fish. Sometimes it is better to go with the tried and true, because chances are the fish haven’t seen it in a while. Since the inception of the drop shot and the shakey head, the Carolina Rig has gone largely unnoticed. The Carolina Rig still catches numbers of fish and can get you a bite no matter how tough the conditions, but only if you throw it. Small 6 to 8 foot crankbaits, such as the 200 series Bandit or the Model 6A bomber, have slowly faded from popularity as well. Fishermen are starting to lean on the more expensive flashier models while these two old standbys are gathering dust in angler’s tackle boxes. It would be hard to argue that there has been a crankbait that has caught more fish than these two choices over the past several decades in our area. Dust them off, I am sure they will prove their value once again. Once again it is time to wrap up another month! Please be careful while on the water or in the woods enjoying the great outdoors. There is still no better way to spend the day! See you next month!


QUALITY FAMILY TIME Putting Your Family First This Holdiay Season article by Cindy G. Foust


h, the weather outside is frightful, because it’s still 90º and un-delightful. I wish we had a place to go, where it would snow, and snow. Please, Mother Nature, let it snow!” That’s it. That’s all I got. I feel like we should be shopping for bikinis (an item of clothing that hasn’t been in my closet in, like, well, never) and Hawaiian Tropic suntan oil rather than a Christmas tree. With the promise of rain on this middle of November day; however, I am optimistic that the pending rainstorm will bring some cooler weather that perhaps will trigger a little Christmas spirit. Instead of singing “Let it Snow,” I should be more like Cindy Lou-Who and sing “Where Are You, Christmas?” and maybe that would help. But, like the many other holidays I have written about, I look forward to this time of year in my columns, because I get to advocate for families spending time together. You know the saying, “The family that plays together, stays together?” I am a huge proponent of this parenting philosophy, because, well, my family has always played together, and we are a family that has stayed together. I have written in columns past about the importance of “allocating” time (that sounds like we are meeting with our CPA to divide our assets) that you spend with your family, quality time, that is. It’s no secret that families today operate their homes and their lives at breakneck speed. From work, to school, to extra-curricular activities, we spend our lives racing from one obligation to the next. So often, and I don’t know about you, but I just get tired of the race. Sometimes, I just want to stop the mania and pull my family in close, and soak up that time together (I honestly think I’m on the verge of writing a Hallmark card.) Can I get an “amen” from anyone, especially this time of year? I know I keep “beating the dead horse” that my son is nearing the end of his high school “career” and will be leaving the nest soon. Perhaps that’s why I’m feeling more overly nostalgic this Christmas, because I know my family dynamic is about to change, in a way that will never be the same. That creates an ache in my chest and a lump in my throat that feels like I have swallowed a Buick. I am desperately trying to savor every moment, every day. This Christmas, especially, I want all the “chicks in the nest” as much as possible, and I’ve been thinking about some things we can do together this holiday season.


The trick, as in most families, is that allocation of time I referred to already. As most families know, making the time is the absolute hardest part of this initiative (I swear I sound like I work at the White House, and I’m promoting a tax credit.) But, as I said, there are fewer things more important than putting your family first. So where do we start? I can tell you where I’m starting this season. First, we are having a movie night, and not the kind at home, that is too easy. I’m putting the four of us in the car and heading to Tinseltown. I’ve noticed a few Christmas movies that will be out this season, so our family will be like the Griswalds (minus ugly Christmas sweater and white SAS loafers) and hit the theater together. Next, and dare I mention, Christmas card night? Does anyone else out there ever feel like the single hardest accomplishment during the holidays is getting your Christmas cards made and then mailed? Sometimes I think it would be easier to qualify for the Olympics! So this year, I am starting a little earlier, making it a little easier on myself and we are going to sit down one night with a bowl of chili, around the breakfast table (I feel another Hallmark card coming) and we are all going to sign our cards. That way, everyone is involved, and they can even help me get them addressed. On to our next Walton’s Mountain moment, we are baking cookies. I can’t wait for my 18-year old son’s expression when he comes home and I have gingerbread and sugar cookie dough ready for the bake-off. I will keep my readers posted if he decides to tell his family good-bye and go into the Witness Protection Program (no, that was actually last week when his 50-year old mother did a hip hop dance at his pep rally…a moment in time I so desperately wish I could erase.) When my son was a little boy, he and I used to make gingerbread cookies and hang them on the tree. I will be happy to remind him that these were some of the best of times, with a good Christmas movie playing and his family all gathered around the island decorating cookies. Our next family outing will include visiting the “Holiday Light” displays in downtown Monroe and West Monroe. My good friend, Alana Cooper, and her team at the Monroe/West Monroe CVB, has done a brilliant job of organizing Christmas on the River, and it truly makes you think you’ve gone back in time. There’s something for everyone from the parades, the lights, the fireworks and the live entertainment, and it’s right here in our backyard. CONTINUED ON PAGE 181





The Monroe Garden Study League, member of The Garden Club of America, is presenting Steve Trash, the Upcycling Eco-Entertainer and Illusionist, free to the public on Saturday, December 3 at “Christmas in DOMO” at Monroe’s Downtown RiverMarket. Steve Trash is a nationally renown magician and kids’ comedian with a serious message for everyone. You don’t want to miss Steve Trash and his fun, musical, magical (and educational) shows at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the RiverMarket Center Stage. In addition, the garden club ladies will be handing out 2,000 free, reusable bags which are great for grocery shopping and can help you get ideas for recycling at your own home to reinforce Steve’s “Reduce • Reuse • Recycle” message.   During the “Christmas in DOMO” event at the RiverMarket, come see the Monroe Garden Study League (MGSL) tent and get your free recyclable/reusable grocery bag. These bags will help you keep plastic bags out of our landfill and keep Trash Mountain from growing! The MGSL tent will be located to the right of the RiverMarket center stage where Steve Trash will perform. The free bags are provided by sponsors which include Monroe Garden Study League; Sanican Bin Cleaning; CenturyLink; RiverLink Advisors; BayouLife; Brennan Dodge Chrysler Jeep; Ouachita Green; Bayou State Recycle Pickup; Susie Husted Realty; Dr. Douglas Brown; Dansby’s Taylor Rental; Monroe Medical Clinic; J. Dean Stockstill, MD, Family Medicine; Peregrine Corporation; Van Trow Toyota; Louisiana Pain Care; Audrey Harvey: John Rea Realty; and MOEbiz. In an effort to educate our community about recycling, every bag comes with a Recycle Guide with recycling locations is found inside every bag. The ladies at the MGSL tent can also help you find ways to reduce, reuse and recycle at your own home.  


One of these reusable grocery bags will keep well over 1,000 plastic bags out of the landfill over the course of the bag’s “lifetime.” Let’s do our part to stop growing stinky Trash Mountain (aka our local landfill)! 44 DECEMBER 2016 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM



An award winning performer, Steve Trash (EEAA - 2011 - Environmental Educator of the Year Award Winner) is also a founding board member of Keep The Shoals Beautiful and is a lifetime member of the Alabama Association for Environmental Education.   He has appeared at the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA, was a featured guest on LeVar Burton’s “Reading Rainbow” Magic Week, The Encontros Magicos Street Magic Festival in Coimbra, Portugal, Mother of the Nation Festival in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and was the featured green entertainment at the 2011 Keep America Beautiful - Great American Cleanup” national kickoff in Times Square - New York City.   Steve is a member of the Academy of Magical Arts, the North American Association for Environmental Education, the National Recycling Coalition and Steve was green waaaay before green was cool! He actually lives in a green home in the tiny hamlet of Frog Pond, Alabama. To learn more about Steve Trash, go to




he holidays are once again upon us, and we will soon be busy shopping, wrapping, dining, cooking and partying it up! Unfortunately, with all of that busyness can come bad manners and incorrect etiquette. Don’t’ worry, though, this year you can be the most proper and delightful guest by taking my quick holiday etiquette refresher course. Check it out below:


by Erin Sharplin Love

Also, be sure to send the invitation well enough in advance – I suggest at least two weeks.


Please help keep this tradition alive by writing and sending all thank-you notes as soon as possible after the gift or nice gesture was given. You will be remembered for your perfect etiquette by following this one rule, I promise!

Please, please let your host know if you will be unable to attend their party. If you have ever hosted a party you understand how important guest count is to every aspect of the planning process, so consider that during this holiday season and RSVP as soon as you receive an invitation.

Always bring a gift for your party host. After all, she has gone to the trouble and expense of creating a fun event for you to enjoy. Here are a few options for host gifts – fresh ground coffee and a cute mug, a soap and lotion set or chocolates!



If you are the one doing the hosting, I suggest sending real, printed invitations instead of relying on Facebook or a website to do the inviting for you. There is just something more personal about receiving a stamped invitation than getting an e-vite. 46 DECEMBER 2016 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM


Never arrive to a party early and never arrive over an hour late. I suggest arriving no more than 15 to 30 minutes after the noted start time of the event. And, of course, never overstay your welcome.


Here are a few reminders – Never double dip! Don’t talk with your mouth full. Wipe your fingers before shaking hands. Excuse yourself to reapply lipstick, blow your nose, etc. Don’t pile too much food on your plate. If you spill something, clean it up or tell your host immediately.


Keep the number of glasses of wine down to a minimum or you may wake up embarrassed.


In other words, don’t dress too scantily. I suggest referring to the invitation to get a clue about what the dress code is. Is the invitation fun and casual, classic and formal, or themed? Typically any event after 6:00 in the evening is more formal than the times before.



St.Frederick High School Transforming Learning with Your Support


OR THE FOURTH YEAR,THE ST. FREDERICK HIGH School PTO will be holding their annual fundraiser on February 4, 2017. Since starting the fundraiser, the SFHS PTO has worked to support the school’s vision and efforts to educate and prepare our children for careers in the Science and Technology industries. After working for two years to update all the existing science labs, the PTO worked this past year to update the existing computer lab into two separate, new computer labs before the school year. One computer lab is being used to teach the students basic and advanced computer skills in an effort to prepare them for college and beyond. The second lab is a Computer Aided Design (CAD) Lab, which houses technology that no other school has in the area. SFHS students are getting firsthand experience using 3D technology and learning how to think outside the box and in more than just one dimension. SFHS students are able to take CAD and Engineering classes as electives. Through these classes, students are designing, building, and printing their work using 3D scanners, computer programs, and 3D printers. The SFHS Engineering class is working on designing a brand new maintenance facility for the school, which will be 100 percent student-designed when the project is completed. In the CAD class, students are learning how to replicate things to fix even the most common of household problems. This year, one student was able to research and design a missing knob for a kitchen appliance. Once the student completed the rendering of the knob, they were able to use the 3D printer to create the knob and restore the kitchen appliance to full functionality. While just a simple project, this type of work shows students that there could be the future, in fields like medicine, with the use of design and printing technologies. Through the annual PTO fundraiser, the PTO hopes to continue to provide opportunities and technology for students at St. Frederick High School. SFHS is working to prepare students for the most needed jobs in the world right now. Unlike other schools 48 DECEMBER 2016 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

in the area, SFHS is working to transform traditional education embedded in textbook and test learning to one where students use traditional classroom learning to produce actual tangible results that they can see, feel, and even use to solve everyday problems. Along with classroom and technology funding, the PTO is dedicated to enhancing these programs and continues to support and supplement other areas around the school including teachers, athletics, other facility upgrades and programs to help every student make a name for themselves during their time at SFHS. No matter a student’s interest, St. Frederick has something to offer them. The SFHS PTO encourages parents and students in the area to tour the school and see how the bar is being raised in education at St. Frederick. From new courses like CAD to competing for state titles in several sports including tennis and soccer, students are excelling and achieving success. With registration right around the corner for the upcoming school year, now is the time to come see what all St. Frederick has to offer. Registration for the 2017-2018 school year will kick-off in February 2017. St. Frederick serves students in grades 7th through 12th offering a safe and unique experience for both junior high and high school students. St. Frederick is committed to preparing students for the future while teaching them in a loving and Christian environment. Tours for new and prospective students are given each week by the school’s Director of Admissions and other administrative staff. Anyone interested in a tour or anyone wanting more information about St. Frederick High School is encouraged to contact the school or visit the school’s website at The St. Frederick family hopes you will consider becoming a part of the Warrior family. The SFHS PTO wants to thank all our donors, who continue to support the mission of the PTO and school because without each of you, the advances being made would not be possible.


The Nude Nomad

Your Fashion Adventure Awaits You at The Nude Nomad


OVE TRAVEL INSPIRED LOOKS? YOU MUST VISIT The Nude Nomad, a women’s boutique for the wanderlust at heart! The mother-daughter duo, Elizabeth and Madison Guerriero opened The Nude Nomad for teens and women of all ages on Antique Alley in West Monroe, so that others can enjoy the same mother-daughter shopping and bonding experience they have shared through the years. Traveling abroad and living in Los Angeles set the ground work for The Nude Nomad. Madison was inspired by all of the trendy boutiques and eclectic styles she experienced throughout her journeys. Madison said, “After moving back home, I wanted to bring something different and unexpected to the Monroe-West Monroe area.” The quaint boutique is filled with unique clothing, handmade jewelry, shoes and other accessories from around the world, including Spain, Australia, Los Angeles, Guatemala, Haiti, Indonesia and more. Madison’s different styles inspired the look of the boutique and lines they carry. She said, “One day I may want to dress bohemian, and the next I may want to be big city chic. It depends on what I’m feeling, when I wake up each morning. The Nude Nomad reflects just that. It’s all about being comfortable in your own skin and adventurous with your style.” The Guerriero girls sought out designers and lines from across the globe to offer fashion forward looks at affordable prices. Introducing new lines as well as established ones, they handpicked every single piece of merchandise, providing unique and trendy styles at a variety of price points, so there is something for everyone. Some customer favorites include Anama, Johnny Was, Tolani, Sanctuary, Side Stitch, Maven West, Corral, Kendall and Kylie, MTNG, Sixtyseven, Andrea Barnett and Beljoy. From The Nude Nomad’s So-Cal inspired, rustic-glam decor to its one-of-a-kind handcrafted jewelry, this new boutique has received rave reviews from locals and tourists alike. Many customers are regulars, shopping multiple times a week to be the first to check out the new daily arrivals.


“Precious new store! Great unique finds and this mother daughter team were full of Louisiana charm with fashion taste that surpasses small town boundaries. They went above and beyond to help me find just what I was looking for,” Brooke Forner of Texas said in her review on The Nude Nomad’s Facebook page. Kelley Bell also reviewed The Nude Nomad and said, “Gorgeous shop with beautiful clothing and accessories! I could totally buy one of everything in the shop. The owner has a great eye for style and design and is super sweet and helpful. I’m a happy customer and will definitely be back!” Regardless of your age, style or budget, the boutique offers a wide variety of looks for every occasion. If you want to step outside of your comfort zone with a more fashion forward look, the Nude Nomad’s team of personal stylists can help you discover your individual style to achieve the perfect look for you. Not quite ready to push the envelope? Don’t worry. They have a reputation for putting together trendy outfits based on your personality, while offering fashion insight on different ways to style your favorite pieces, so you can get more wear out of them. Madison said, “I’ve always believed that confidence is the best accessory. That is something I want to be able to provide to my customers. When they walk out of the dressing room, I give them the same feedback I would give my best friends. If I don’t think the look works on someone, I’ll pull fab finds and style them in a way that will make someone look and feel like a million bucks. At the end of the day, I’d much rather someone leave The Nude Nomad loving their purchases and feeling more confident than simply making a sale.” With great gift items at great prices, The Nude Nomad should be the first stop for your holiday shopping! You are sure to find something unique for everyone. It is open Monday - Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. for the holiday season. Visit them at 222 Trenton St., West Monroe, LA 71291, and find them on Facebook and Instagram @TheNudeNomad.

Holiday Mixologist Combine a healthy dose of Purple Veronica with its lavender-hued spikes with the subdued structure of the Sarracenia, or pitcher plant, for an otherworldly arrangement that comes together in a bronzed porcelain lotus pod container. Deep purple mini carnations resemble tiny cabbage roses and add a healthy dose of color. Arrangement by GREGORY HUDGINS Photography by MARTIN G MEYERS


Gilded Ornamentation

Here Gregory artfully stacks gilded triangular sculptures to create the framework for this arrangement. Next, he adds a layer of buttercream colored yellow roses and secures a celadon-hued Tillandsia Xerographica, or airplant, as a star shaped adornment to the structure. Arrangement by GREGORY HUDGINS and Photography by MARTIN G MEYERS


Caples and Robinson Orthodontics Get Your Amazing Smile Faster Than Ever Before


T CAPLES AND ROBINSON ORTHODONTICS, WE strive to offer our patients the latest in orthodontic technology, with an emphasis on patient comfort and treatment acceleration. Patients can enjoy comfortable procedures along with aesthetically pleasing treatment options, like Clarity Advanced ceramic brackets and Invisalign aligners. Combining our newest innovation, AcceleDent, with these options can decrease treatment time from traditional orthodontic methods. Clarity Ceramic Braces give you the confidence you need to have an amazing smile, both during treatment and after. The translucent material blends with your teeth and will resist discoloration throughout your treatment. And with its small, lowprofile design, Clarity Ceramic Braces are virtually unnoticeable, making them perfect for patients of any age who are looking for the confidence to smile on any occasion. These durable brackets are constructed using a fine-grained ceramic material through an injection molding process. These small, dome-shaped brackets optimize patient comfort by allowing as little soft tissue contact as possible. Invisalign treatment takes a modern approach to straightening teeth, using a series of custom-made aligners created for you and only you. Invisalign treatment won’t interfere with your daily life, and you’ll start to see results in as little as a few months. As you might imagine, a large portion of our patients in Invisalign treatment are adults. In many instances, Invisalign has opened the door for patients who desire orthodontic treatment, but are reluctant to wear traditional braces, to achieve the smile that they have always desired. In addition to correcting aesthetic issues in many adults, we treat an ever-increasing number of cases in conjunction with other dentists and dental specialists in a multi-disciplinary manner to enable the dentists and specialists to deliver optimal care that could not be achieved in the absence of orthodontic tooth movement. The newest innovation we offer, AcceleDent, is an instrument that can decrease treatment time by up to 50% and can also


improve general comfort during orthodontic treatment. This non-surgical method has been approved by the FDA and has been adopted by professionals across the nation to expedite realignment. The AcceleDent orthodontic system works in tandem with other orthodontic treatments by utilizing vibrations by making your teeth move at a faster rate. The device applies SoftPulse Technology similar to an electric toothbrush. The stimulation increases blood flow to the gums creating a cellular response allowing for faster, more gentle tooth movement. Mechanical stimulation (vibration) of the bone has been studied since the mid-1980s to heal bone fractures and to treat osteoporosis. Best results can be obtained by gently biting down on the personalized mouthpiece for just 20 minutes per day during your leisure time, making it an easy and convenient way to quicken alignment. By accelerating the orthodontic treatment process, you achieve faster, more comfortable results. People often decide against orthodontic treatment because of the length of treatment time, but the AcceleDent system can now cut treatment up to 50%! Combining the AcceleDent system with traditional braces or Invisalign aligners can create one of the best treatment options offered in today’s orthodontics. The first treatment accelerator of its kind, AcceleDent at Caples and Robinson Orthodontics is the only treatment accelerator currently offered in Northeast Louisiana. People often begin the new year with resolutions of self-improvement, so why wait any longer for the straight smile you’ve always wanted with treatment at an accelerated rate? Call to schedule your free consultation today! Start your journey to a straight smile with Dr. Caples and Dr. Robinson, the only Board Certified Orthodontists in Northeast Louisiana and are Diplomates of the American Board of Orthodontics. With five convenient locations, Caples and Robinson Orthodontics is here to serve you.



that, through the years, Christmas has been one of my favorite days on the calendar. And as I recall Christmases-Past, one stands out as very special – it was the year that I received my first bike! The custom at our home was to open gifts on Christmas Eve. After dinner, my parents, my three sisters and I gathered around the Christmas tree. Now these were lean years for us financially, so there were not many packages to unwrap. And I did not see anything under the tree with my name on it, except for a card. Things did not look too promising for me - until I was handed the card with a message telling me to look on the front porch. I rushed outside, wondering what my gift could possibly be – and then I saw it. It was a beautiful bike with its light shining brightly into the chilly, December night. I thought that I must be the luckiest boy in the world (at that early age, I had not yet learned that Presbyterians do not believe in luck, but, instead, trust in Providence)! The bike was just what I wanted, but not something I had anticipated receiving for Christmas. It was a gigantic surprise! The reason that I was so surprised by this remarkable gift was that I knew that my parents could not afford it, so I certainly did not expect to receive such a gift. But as was


often the case with my folks, they frequently sacrificed for me and my sisters, and this made the bike even more special because I knew, even at that early age, that my parents had been willing to deny themselves for their child. Now, not only did I know that they could not afford such a gift, but I was also aware that I did not deserve their sacrifice. I was not a rotten, disobedient kid, but I was far from being ideal. My parents would have been justified had they decided to give me nothing for Christmas, but thankfully, they tempered their justice with a big serving of mercy. And they gave me that beautiful bike. This special gift, undeserved and given by loving parents who sacrificed in order to give, produced a feeling of deep gratitude in my heart. However, later on, that bike did figure into a run-in I had with justice. My father had stressed to me the importance of taking good care of the bike, letting me know that it was my responsibility to handle that bike with proper diligence. I failed to meet his expectations, because, one night, I left the bike outside, and it rained! You need to understand that there was no “politically correct” in my father – so, he “tanned my hide.” That day, I learned that what he sacrificed for, I needed to value – the same way that

citizens of the U.S. ought to be thankful that, although all is not perfect in our society, there is no better place in the world to live. Many men and women have paid the ultimate sacrifice to secure and preserve the freedoms that make America the great nation that she is; if some think differently, perhaps they would want to make their home somewhere else. All of us in this country have been blessed with much, and in my opinion, we all ought to be grateful. This undeserved gift which I received that Christmas long ago brings to my mind the most amazing Christmas Gift that anyone has ever received – the Gift of the One Who gives Christmas its name. That Gift was also given to those who do not merit it, and He was given at great cost to the Giver. Why? Because our Father loves so much and because His Son loves with equal depth. But do we ever stop to think how the Father feels when this awesome Gift is not properly valued. My father was upset by my careless treatment of the bike -- what about those times when we treat Jesus in ways that reflect lack of appreciation and love? Our heavenly Father surely must be troubled and offended by such behavior. So, dear friend, whatever gifts you and I may give or receive at this glorious time of year, let us, with grateful hearts, rejoice in the wonderful Gift of the Savior!


NIGHTSTANDS & COFFEE TABLES Must-Have Book For The Holiday Season


hen the first brown leaf tumbling and spinning earthward seemingly triggers the switch from the inviting late autumn warmth to the blustery crisp coolness of incoming winter, many outdoor aficionados begin to retreat to the refuge of the insulated indoors. With Christmas steadily approaching, the move inside is a great time to select a traditional holiday book and laze on the couch while enveloped by the warmth of mounds of blankets and a crackling fire. Even more fulfilling for parents, grandparents and older siblings, reading a holiday book to a child can produce the same wide-eyed excitement as does opening that first Christmas morning present. Certainly, poems such as “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” and books like A Christmas Carol are perennial favorites, and rightly so, but adding in new or unfamiliar texts may result in creating new family traditions for generations to come. One such book that could become a household favorite is The Christmas Wish by husband and wife team, Lori Evert and Per Breiehagen. The Christmas Wish tells the story of a sweet little girl, Anja, who wishes to become one of Santa’s elves. Ear-


REVIEW BY NILS B ORQUIST ly in the story, Anja helps her parents and neighbors with some small tasks before undertaking a journey to find Santa Claus. Anja’s expedition entails a series of magical encounters with Nordic animals, such as a musk ox and a polar bear, whose jobs are to assist Anja reach her destination while traversing the dangerous Northern tundra. The animals are able to communicate with the girl, and they also seem to already know the mission at hand. She skis, rides a gigantic horse and is flown through the air by an enchanted reindeer, until she finally comes face to face with the head elf. Anja is allowed to ride along with Santa, delivering presents while gliding through the night sky, until the morning when he takes her home and provides her with a mystical bell that may be used to call on Santa at any point. Evert and Breiehagen created a beautiful book, elegantly blending an original story with pictures displaying the rugged yet glorious attractiveness of the winter Scandinavian terrain. Using their own daughter in the role of Anja, which so happens to be her real name, made the entire project a family affair. Such an idea undoubtedly helped to create the warm tale. Additionally, the animals involved are all real, so the combined interplay of the

child, the beasts and the environment generate a wonder that even the adult reader will enjoy. In the end, we do not know if Anja really had this adventure or if it was entirely a dream. The argument could be made that it does not matter in the end. Whether a true excursion or one fabricated by the mind, the child feels the thrill of soaring through the air, speeding down the slopes and slumbering amidst the fur of a sprawling polar bear. In dreams, we get to be unfettered by logic, to be free to pursue those greatest desires. For Anja, the dream and the reality are one and the same, and the reader gets to experience the same delights as the child during her adventure. Books like The Christmas Wish entice adults to stay in on a frosty day and read to children, to empower the kids’ creativity and imaginations while secretly allowing themselves to be swept away by the story as well. We all need these books, especially around Christmas. The dreamy quality of the story and the illustrations can carry us into a world in which we may all be children, regardless of age, welcome to voyage across the world in pursuit of our dreams, helping us to embrace the magic of the festive season.


Santa’ s SMALL BITES Having a holiday party? These recipes from our local eateries is sure to please Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick and the rest of your guests. Styling by Gregory Hudgins and

Photography by Martin G Meyers


Greek Hummus INGREDIENTS • 2 cups drained well-cooked or canned chickpeas, liquid reserved • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste), optional, with some of its oil • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus oil for drizzling • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, or to taste • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste • 1 tablespoon ground paprika, or to taste, • juice of 1 lemon, plus more as needed • parsley for garnish INSTRUCTIONS 1. Put everything except the parsley in a food processor and begin to process; add the chickpea liquid or water as needed to allow the machine to produce a smooth puree. 2. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve, drizzled with the olive oil and sprinkled with paprika. 3. Top with feta, sundried tomatoes, black olives, and garlic pods.



INGREDIENTS • 1 lb back fin lump crabmeat • 16 oz plain bread crumbs • 3 large eggs • 2 oz diced red bell pepper • 2 oz diced red onion • 2 oz diced celery • 1 oz Tiger’s Eye Spice • 3 oz creole mustard • 8 oz panko INSTRUCTIONS 1. C  ombine bread crumbs, eggs, bell pepper, onion, celery, Tiger’s Eye Spice and creole mustard (do not overmix). 2. C  arefully fold in crab meat (try not to break lumps). 3. Form round cakes and coat with panko. 4. Broil for 10-15 minutes. 5. Serve with remoulade.


Delicate White Cake CAKE INGREDIENTS • 1/2 cup Crisco shortening • 1 1/2 cup sugar • 2 1/4 cup flour • 4 tsp baking powder • 1/2 tsp salt • 1/2 cup milk • 1/2 cup water • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla • 5 eggs CAKE INSTRUCTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease and flour (2) 8” pans. 2. In a medium bowl, cream the shortening and add sugar. 3. Next, beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. 4. Mix all the dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Slowly add in the milk and water. 5. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. ICING INGREDIENTS 1 cup unsalted butter 3 tsp vanilla 4 cup powdered sugar 5 tbsp milk ICING INGREDIENTS 1. Cream butter and add powdered sugar and vanilla. 2. Next, slowly add in the milk. Beat mixture until fluffy. 64 DECEMBER 2016 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM


Paleo Sausage Balls Makes about 50 cheese balls

INGREDIENTS • 2 1/2 cups almond flour • 1 tablespoon coconut flour • 1 teaspoon sea salt • 2 teaspoons baking powder • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder • 12 ounces organic cheddar cheese, shredded • 1 pound organic spicy sausage INSTRUCTIONS 1. P  reheat oven to 425º with rack in the middle position. 2. M  ix almond & coconut flours, salt, baking powder, garlic powder & cheese. 3. U  sing your hands, incorporate sausage into dry mixture for 1-2 minutes until it comes together. The mix will be damp. 4. R  oll mixture into 1 ½” balls & place on baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes, until just golden brown. Cool 5 minutes & serve.


Cranberry Stuffing Topped with Smoked Turkey and Brown Butter Sage Cream

CRANBERRY STUFFING BITE INGREDIENTS • 1 loaf toasted French bread  • 5 green onions  • 1/2 Craisins • 1 can cream of chicken soup  • 1/2 sautéed trinity  CRANBERRY STUFFING BITE INSTRUCTIONS 1. Chop trinity and sauté  2. In a large bowl combine remaining ingredients stir till mixed together  3. Scoop in a small muffin pan  4. B  ake at 350º for 20 minutes til golden  5. Top with smoked turkey  BROWN BUTTER SAGE SAUCE INSTRUCTIONS  1. In a sauce pan, cook butter until golden brown color and begins to thin.  2. Add sage leaves and remove from heat. Add lemon juice, heavy cream and cheese and whisk till smooth.




Meredith’s Musings May She Fly |

By Meredith McKinnie


e found out we were pregnant in April. We found out we weren’t anymore in June. During the hope and expectation and emotion and hormones, before the heartbreak, I wrote a letter to a fetus I was sure would be a little girl… May she giggle when she runs in the rain and pause to feel nature’s tears on her face. May she feel butterflies amidst her childhood crushes. May the first boy she kisses be worthy of her innocent affection. May the last man she kisses remain in awe of her choice. May she view the pressures of society as mere suggestions and always follow her heart, the pulse inside her being. May she be informed more so than smart, a dreamer not constantly reminded of her limitations. May she be kind in the face of hate, but vocal in the presence of injustice. May she find her voice and use it for good, for change, for the betterment of her world. May she consider others without denying herself, to not cower in the face of adversity, but to embrace life’s challenges that force her to evolve, to hug, to love and fight with a passion that only radiates from her truth. May she chase happiness every day, never settling for just enough. When her feet stop moving, may her mind stay in motion, always forward, cognizant of the past, but focused on the present. Should she express herself in written words, or song, or art, or social media, may 74 DECEMBER 2016 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

her mother always encourage her expression. She will not be suppressed or told she doesn’t matter or shushed or confined, and should she ever find herself in a cage, may she flap her wings incessantly until she soars again. May she never lose her will to fly. May she be inclusive, seeking out the different, the wayward, and the often ignored to learn their struggles and consider their perspectives. May she remember the gray, never settling on black and white, but rather the mass of gray that is often shoved aside in the fury of emotion or desperation for immediate answers or retribution. May she have an appreciation of color and diversity and a mixing of flavors and attitudes and viewpoints. May she recognize that we work better together, but sometimes it starts alone, that a battle, by definition, is not easy, but no less worthy of fighting. May she take the road less traveled in search of wanderlust, a stimulation of her mind, a depth of humanity unachievable without immersing herself in the unknown. May she have the courage. May she love harder and bolder and embarrass herself countless times until she no longer feels ashamed, until she comes to value her uniqueness. May she wear pigtails long past the age when they’re considered appropriate, if only because she likes the swoosh of the tail against her skin, and one pigtail can’t possibly be enough. May she thrive on informative documentaries and indulge in animated

fairytales. May she favor the magical and never question miracles. May she be bold, yet humble. May she ignore her mother when she tells her it’s not possible. May she remind her mother to believe. May she choose fun over fancy, character over countenance, spirit over space, love over logic. May she be the first to say “I’m sorry,” but only when she means it. May she be the first to forgive, but again, only when she means it. May she never apologize for being saucy, for she’ll get it honest. May she revel in being the loud one in the room, for she also will get it honest. But may she listen more. May she smile only when she wants to and never hold back her tears. May she feel emotion in her bones, the good and the bad, for experience shapes the soul. May she recognize that hurt words escape a hurting heart, and sometimes kindness or silence is her best response. May she believe in something or someone greater than she, for belief and hope give our existence purpose. May she believe in angels, and dare to be one for an unbeliever. May she be wild and free and loved. May she find the ones who foster her soul. May she protect her heart, but allow it to break. May she come back stronger with more empathy that somehow makes her pain worth the progress. May she fly when able and crawl when necessary. May she recognize the difference. May she seek the desires of her soul and never for a second question her ability. May she admire simplicity and listen to her heart. May she keep herself in check only when absolutely necessary. These are my wishes for her. And if she ignores each and every one, may she show her mother the beauty in the alternatives.






celebrated our first anniversary last month in the Bay Area of California and were blown away by the wonderful food, wine, scenery and culture. This

trip was much different for me than the last time I was in San Francisco- I did my homework before leaving and knew exactly where I wanted to go and what I wanted to eat (always the most


After landing in San Francisco, we picked up our car and drove straight to Napa and checked into the Carneros Resort and Spa. I highly recommend this resort to anyone who’s planning to go to Napa Valley. It’s a cottage style resort with two separate pools, three full service restaurants, an award-winning spa reserved exclusively for resort guests, onsite boutique, complimentary bicycles and the list goes on. The highlight of our time in the valley was, of course, the wine tasting. “Cab is King,” as they say in the area, and it is true. The wine tours were such an education on viticulture, history and the art of winemaking. Our favorite bottle came from Ehlers Estate - the “1886 Cabernet Sauvignon” was beyond lovely. Ehlers’ wines are all estate grown in the same AVA, organic and the profits go to heart research. Our other favorite wineries were Frog’s Leap Winery, Pine Ridge Vineyards, Chateau Montelena Winery, Kieu Hoang Winery, among others. We also had some of the best meals I’ve had in a long time. Restaurant musts are Bouchon Bakery (a repeated visit), Bistro Don Giovanni, Archetype, Gott’s Roadside, The Fremont Diner, Ad Hoc, Model Bakery, Boon Fly Cafe, FARM, and again, the list goes on. 



Atlanta and Dallas based fashion sales representative for Reeves & Company, Analeise Thomas, shares her new favorites in one of her favorite cities.

important). We recommend this trip to anyone that’s looking for somewhere luxurious and domestic. It could also be an easy weekend getaway.


After four days in Napa Valley, we made our way across the bay into Fog City. Luckily for us (or unlucky per your preference), the sky was clear as a bell and fog-less. We stayed in the Nob Hill area of the city at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins, and it couldn’t have been nicer. We were centrally located with everything at our fingertips and just an $8 Uber ride away. Chinatown is only a few blocks away, and such a site to see. While there, we enjoyed an exotic Schezwan lunch of “chicken with explosive chili peppers” at Z & Y Restaurant. One of our favorite days was spent strolling down Pier 1 to the Ferry Building farmers market. We snacked on the best oysters we’ve ever had at Hog Island Oyster Company and enjoyed watching the sea lions sunbathe and bark at each other. Our favorite meal was at Kusakabe, where they serve a multi-course prix fixe menu that is based on the principle of Japanese “Kaiseki” cuisine - it was life changing. Definitely check out the De Young Museum, Lombard Street, Grace Cathedral and Union Square. Other great restaurants to try are A16, Plow (best breakfast I’ve had, ever), Park Tavern, Zuni Café, Top of the Mark for cocktails and the tiki-themed Tonga Room for late night umbrella drinks. San Francisco is an amazing destination for anyone who loves great cuisine, beautiful scenery and rich culture!



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Mark Your Calendar For Thursday, December 1





hat’s new for Christmas? Art of all kinds! Visual art for the eyes, musical arts for the ears, culinary arts for the tastebuds! It’s all happening on both sides of the Ouachita River this December 1 as the two downtowns unite for another holiday Downtown Gallery Crawl! Thursday, December 1, 5-9 pm, is the time to enjoy art in the cultural districts of downtown Monroe and West Monroe. The party extends through TEN art galleries, all members of the Downtown Arts Alliance, where the whole family can participate. Totally free, the evening includes great food and drink, live music and, of course, wonderful visual art of all kinds. Governors’ Garden District Block Party will also present live music and great food at the old Ouachita Candy Company building on Walnut in downtown Monroe during and after the Downtown Gallery Crawl. On the west side of the river, the Ouachita River Art Gallery (308 Trenton) will feature various works by teen students from Wossman High School. This show is being coordinated by Mary Lou Rountree, and the works are impressive.  The River Gallery will also have its traditional Christmas Wall, where smaller pieces suitable for gifts will be displayed. Great food and music are always a part of the fun at the River! Just down Antique Alley from the River Gallery is RUMO’s, owned by Russell and Morgan Moore and curated by Austin Bantel. This show will be a treat! Emily Jane Cruz + Ali Hijazi will present ”Grey Areas,” a body of work they have assembled in response to the state of the world. Most of their art is focused on the struggle between right and wrong in terms of environmentalism, war and the conDramatic and mucept of time and being. sical arts will also be showcased outdoors on Antique Alley as Strauss Little Theatre will be presenting musical excerpts from Caberet! Moving to the east side of the river, Art Alley’s UPSTAIRS and Big Room Galleries, a “Mixed Bag” of artists, both residents and 80 DECEMBER 2016 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

guests, will be displaying their works. Food and drink is always served, and this time there will be a special treat—a young musician, Jackson Culp, a junior at Sterlington High School, will present his unique blend of ukulele and rap! Guest artists include Julie Crews, Amanda Roe, Rodney Crawford and more. Just south of the RiverMarket, Crawlers will enjoy more new works at the Garrett House—which will feature a variety of art curated by gallery director and ULM professor Brooke Foy, presenting her aspiring undergraduate students’ work. Their art will include both sculptures and installation pieces focusing on their ideas of a “Multiple.” ARENDER studio + gallery on Art Alley will have its annual showing of Ruston’s Joey Slaughter. This popular artist, a faculty member at Louisiana Tech, will present “Bitter vs. Better”—large-scale paintings, wood and mixed media--all sculptural in feel. Slaughter’s pieces are perfect as gifts for those special people on your list! Next door, at Sugar Gallery, resident artists Leah Smith Reitzell, Scott Stone, Stacy Medaries, Burg Ransom and Melanie Douthit welcome their new colleague Chris Cox, who will present repurposed wood transformed into lamps, tables and cigar-box guitars. Reitzell will debut a new series called “Sugarplum Fairies,” a collection of mixed media, textured dancers in every imaginable hue, leaping across the canvases, while Medaries, Ransom, Stone and Douthit will all have new work to show their loyal fans. At the Palace, Jake Dugard from Ruston will be showing his work, while everyone’s favorite cigar box ukuleles, guitars and clocks will be exhibited by Carltones. Illustrations from Tammy Matthews and a few more local makers will bring creativity and joy to

their work as the Palace will do its 6th annual Christmas Gifts Show. The exhibition “Malik Perrilloux Is Just a Concept” features two beautiful images at the Outside Gallery, facing the railroad tracks at the end of Art Alley. Perrilloux’s work deals with the difficulty of depicting the essence of one’s being. Finally, a new gallery is opening at this Crawl. Sikes Gallery (formerly Downstairs Gallery) will feature the art of Rick Sikes for this first exhibition—a treat for all who have enjoyed Sikes’ work of portraiture and illustration art in the past. The artists of Area 318 have lots going on as they present copious gifts to their community. People of all ages will enjoy hearing the music of Alan Brockman on Art Alley, holiday lights will brighten all our spirits, Strauss Little Theatre will be on Antique Alley, motorized carts will carry Crawlers from gallery to gallery (even across the river) and there’s a final treat--pick up a “passport” at any gallery and then have it stamped at all the galleries—it’ll get you a discount at the Block Party going on during and after the Crawl at the Ouachita Candy Company building on Walnut. The artists and their appreciative public sincerely thank the always-generous DAA sponsors, including Louisiana Pain Care, Bancorp South, Fiesta Nutrition Center, Creed and Creed Law Firm, Monroe-West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau, KEDM Public Radio, Sir Speedy, Northeast Louisiana Arts Council, The News-Star, DeltaStyle, Louisiana Division of the Arts, Rawls DeSigns, Cross Keys Bank, Lavalle Salomon Law Office, Warehouse No.1 Restaurant, Antique Alley Merchants’ Association, Masur Museum, Choice Brands and Marsala Beverage. The next Downtown Gallery Crawl will be Thursday, February 2, 2017.


O, Christmas Tree

Grace and Joe Pepper, along with their children, have maintained their Christmas tree farm for over 25 years in West Monroe. Thanks to their year-long hardwork and maintenance, the Peppers have become part of our Christmases by being kind enough to provide us a cherished piece of our holiday traditions. photography by Martin G Meyers article by Nils Borquist



hether tucked in the living room corner or displayed as a den showpiece, the Christmas tree glows as a beacon of the hope, joy and excitement of that most loved holiday season. With limbs encumbered by strands of flickering lights, glittery angels and that oven-baked reindeer decoration that never quite looked like a reindeer, the tree invites family and friends to mingle, to share laughter and hugs in its warmth. We can see them in the windows of homes lining the streets, emanating soft reds and greens, glistening stars perched atop the peaks. And we smile. We can’t help but do that, because we are all children at Christmas, full of wishes, dreams and the desire to know what hides beneath that wrapping paper with a hundred Santas roaming about. We appreciate the gift of the tree, the spirit that it embodies, and if we looked further, we could understand the dedication required and embraced by a special few people, often entire families, who work year round to deliver that cherished Christmas symbol upon which children of every age gaze with soft eyes and loving hearts. On the outskirts of West Monroe, there is a place that even in the heat of summer remains a winter wonderland, dotted with trees destined to be festooned with tinsel. For over 25 years, Pepper Christmas Tree Farm has provided trees that reside in homes across the region and beyond. Arriving at the farm, homes pleasant yet rather unassuming straddle a single lane paved entrance. However, once turning down the driveway past the aged sign proclaiming Pepper Christmas Tree Farm and easing over a slight rise, rows of Leyland Cypresses spring into view sprouting from the furrows stretched across sloping hillsides. Waves of trees, ranging in heights of over 20 feet to fragile knee-high saplings and colors from deep olive to soft bluish tints, emerge, spanning the countryside and ebbing into an abyss of towering loblollies behind the actual farm. With this view, one cannot help but hear Nat King Cole’s voice echoing throughout the valley. The driveway continues forth to a home nestled between a nursery replete with Christmas tree toddlers on one side and a vast expanse of trees climbing the hillside on the other. However, visitors stop at the looming red barn where, if lucky, Mr. Joe Pepper will greet them with an ever-present smile and inviting handshake. Nearly three decades ago, Pepper, nearing retirement from Graphic Packaging, pondered what to do with his time besides play golf and enjoy his family. Having an idea about starting a Christmas tree farm, he consulted with an acquaintance who also happened to be a forestry specialist. The friend’s advice: if Mr. Pepper wouldn’t miss hunting, fishing and many other pastimes, as farming would be a great deal of work and an even bigger investment of time, he should do it. That sounded like a good deal for a man who by his own admission is unwilling to sit at the house watching Oprah all day. Excited by the endeavor, Joe soon dug his hands into the earth and planted his first saplings, planting a seed that would lead to joy for thousands of families to come.

In tackling the Christmas tree profession, the Peppers joined a legacy of traditional small farm growers, a group that dwindles with the passing years. Upon initially gaining membership in an association of Southern Christmas Tree farmers, Pepper noted that there were over 600 members from several nearby states such as Arkansas and Mississippi as well as Louisiana. Today, only a few years later, a blink as far as Father Time is concerned, the same assembly boasts barely 60 members. Whether due to the difficulties of perpetuating tree growth and sales, encountering the increasing desire for imitation trees or competing with colossal companies, such as Lowe’s and Home Depot for customers, many small farmers have been phased out or have stepped away. Fortunately for North Louisianians, the Pepper family continued forward, dedicating themselves to producing trees, and perhaps even more importantly the entire Christmas tree experience, that elicit memories to stay with families for generations. From driving to the farm singing carols to walking the slopes perusing and caressing potential purchases, hearing children giggle as they point at each tree they pass, exclaiming, “That one!” and ending with a selection to be delicately wrapped and placed atop the car, each year’s experience is stored away in that vault of fond memories to be replayed with every coming December. Mr. Pepper smiles at such images. A five or six week stretch of blissful chaos at the end of every year is the culmination of 10 months of hard work unseen by shoppers. Joined primarily by his son Glen, Joe participates in the propagation of each tree on the farm, a grueling enterprise considering the hundreds scattered on the expanse. He explained that the process begins with taking a small cutting from a larger tree and rooting it—at this stage, the sapling stands around a foot high. He cultivates it in his nursery until he discerns that it has indeed rooted and is properly growing at which time he will plant it among similarly aged sprouts in uniform sections. As the tree grows, it must be carefully pruned, limbs culled to create and enhance the familiar conical Christmas tree shape. Additionally, as certain trees are prone to fungus, the Peppers must be watchful and spray the trees with the necessary remedy to squelch potentially harmful elements. Deer can pose a problem as well, from nibbling at the trees all year to shearing limbs while rubbing and scraping antlers during the fall, so the Peppers must also be vigilant concerning the locations where such damage is most commonly occurring. A lack of water may be the biggest issue for the farm; a dearth of rain for extended periods of time can result in the demise of many trees as the different varieties consume huge amounts of water. Unfortunately, last summer’s rain shortage, lasting several months, resulted in the loss of a great deal of trees. Fortunately, though, the Peppers outlasted the drought, and the crop of trees this year is particularly strong, possibly due to the most resilient trees surviving and thriving, enduring so that they may become beloved holiday family members. After a family determines which tree will be the perfect fit for its home, selecting, cutting then wrapping the tree take place, yet these WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2016 83

are not the only services provided by the Peppers. They will also happily fit the tree for a sturdy stand, as well as flock the tree, if desired. Joe has specially created stands for the trees that are constructed of metal and do not require the tedious action of screwing large rods into the base of the tree; instead, the Peppers can bore a hole down the center of the trunk that a prong from the stand easily sits within, which creates an even sturdier foundation for the tree. Regarding the flocking, the Peppers have fabricated a turntable that slowly rotates a tree so that they may dust it with simulated snow, providing a shimmering touch of holiday magic. As Joe explains the processes, one cannot help but realize that the practices preferred by the Peppers seem to have the best interest of the trees in mind. The careful consideration for the life of the tree, even beyond it being cut, is important for Pepper. This is understandable. For a man who spends so much time caring for the trees, watering them when thirsty, trimming them so they remain aesthetically pleasing even when no one sees them during the early months of summer and protecting them from the dangers of wildlife, seeing that they remain appreciated when leaving his care reminds visitors that the trees are thriving creatures, alive and sharing the earth with us, and that Mr. Pepper, selflessly guides them into adulthood and eventually the arms of families with the patience and hard work required by every parent. The Christmas Tree has evolved to become the most iconic emblem of the holiday season, which can make it easy for people to take them for granted. We see them everywhere for sale, and we see them everywhere on display. When visiting lots, the trees are lined up and stacked, and we essentially stand still and scan until we see the one we want. The process can be likened to shopping online; scroll, choose, point and click. Done. While simple, this belittles the work involved, especially for those families like the Peppers who start trees from a stripling and maintain them into towering behemoths. The element of nurturing something gets lost, which is bothersome for 84 DECEMBER 2016 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

Joe Pepper. At one point in time, recently in fact, people could make a good living running a tree farm, even if it was a small farm, but with expediency being overly desired, people have turned away from these farms and the families who own them. The Pepper family, though, is special. They continue to work to develop trees, to be integral pieces of the cycle of nature, planting, growing, harvesting and replenishing. Because they love interacting with nature and with the families who come and partake in the fruits of their labor, they succeed and pass on a tradition that is preserved by mothers and fathers who were taken to the farm as children by their mothers and fathers to experience an extraordinary and timeless experience. Joe Pepper summed up the work in one word: fun. Although it is demanding and becomes more and more tiresome as his own years advance, he said that the enjoyment, the fun, remains. Being able to do hard work alongside his son, his wife, and so many other members of his family makes the arduous tasks entirely worthwhile. When combining this with the sheer exhilaration in the faces of children and even adults who visit, the recipe for a satisfying job is complete. Family is what the tree is about. From the early stages of growth until the tree assumes its place near a welcoming door or stands peeking from an open window, it is groomed to become a family member, or at the very least a link used to strengthen the bonds of family. The family members put the tree up, and they stand together and decorate it, laughing about the snowman decoration missing its carrot nose or the yellowed paper gingerbread man suspended on twenty different trees for twenty straight years. They drink hot chocolate and eggnog in the tree’s presence, and they recite Christmas poems and open gifts underneath its outstretched arms. They need the tree, and they love the tree. Fortunately for those of us who happen to live close enough to get one, the Peppers have become part of our Christmases by being kind enough to provide us with a cherished member of their family, so that we may enjoy our own to the fullest.


1st Annual Pumpkin Fest



On Saturday, October 29th DBK Dance and Performing Arts along with the Downtown West Monroe Revitalization Group presented the inaugural Pumpkin Fest in West Monroe on Commerce Street. This free event was a celebration of all things fall. The streets were filled with vendor booths, pumpkin patches, hay rides and more. There was also a costume contest for the little ones, children’s crafts, live entertainment and delicious food. This event was sponsored by 88.7 The Cross and Power 927 FM.




On the BayouScene 1 Paige Hatten and Janice Steele 2K  aitlyn Adams, Ava Nelson, Adalynne Nelson and Bailey Adams 3 Abby Mock, Ashtin Nugent and Kayla Hazelton 4 Rael, Charo, Kane and Oti Banks 5 S tella, Parker and Julie Dash 6 Caroline Counts and Victoria Boudreaux 7 Brittney and Brantley Bass 8 Amber Goodjoint and Kaylen Arnold 9D  aniela Castellanos, Bradley and Caroline Ernst, Sophie Riles, Sara Ernst, Luke Hines, Cynthia and Thomas Riles and Kiki and Allie Hines 10 C  assidie Barthelemy, Jaxon Kohl, Becker and Chelsey Barthelemy, Jordan Cagle, Caleigh Barthelemy, Bella Godwin and Liam Cagle 11 A  din Livingston 12 A  ubrie, Ashley and Samuel Richard 13 Bree Williams and Tre Smith 14 M  ichele Stark, Sharon Scioneaux, Bridges and Evie Stark



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Boo at the Zoo Ghosts and goblins gathered on Saturday, October 29th for the annual Boo at the Zoo at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo. Little ones dressed up in their Halloween costumes for a fun afternoon of trick-or-treating and learning about the zoo’s many educational exhibits. In addition to candy gathering, those participating were entertained with games, activities and an art project. A contest was held with prizes awarded to the best monkey and Pokémon costumes as this year’s theme was PokéMonkee. This community event is sponsored by the Louisiana Purchase Zoological Society with support from the City of Monroe.






On the BayouScene 1 Jamel Johnson and Harrison M. Daniel 2 L ily Wise and Megan Edwards 3 Sebastian Anderson and Rikia Johnson 4 Quintin Green Jr. and Steve Brown Jr. 5N  athan, Barb and Chase Kennedy and Heather Jarvi 6 Toya Hubbard, Addison Spears and Tatum Daughtrey 7 Jerry Case, Robbin Brown and Chloe Pullium 8 Madison and Nicholas Nolan 9 Jayden and Julian Cox and Joe Clawson 10 T homas, Michelle, Bryan and Tyler Lay 11 E rica, Chris and Mason Lachney 12 A  lysia Chapman, Colby Lowers and Ryker Fife 13 Brianna and Zakendra Haynes and Lakalynn Reed 14 Ava and Stella Nelson and Josie Stutts 15 Joycelyn Washington and Kamille Washington



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Holidays in CedarTown


Holidays in Cedar Town, the annual benefit for Cedar Creek School was held from November 10 through the 12th this year. The event kicked off with a brunch featuring KaCee’s Sugar and Spice, Newk’s, La Bamba, Crumbs Catering and premium vendors for a fabulous shopping experience. Ruston, West Monroe and Monroe vendors showcased their 2016 holiday merchandise as well as some out-of-towners, so guests were able to get some of their shopping done early. Shoppers sipped mimosas and mingled as they perused the booths featuring the areas’ finest in retail and enjoying the fabulous food.


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On the BayouScene 1 Rachel McGehee and Leslie Allen 2 Lynda Steed and Liz Craft 3R  obin Tew and Morgan Garrison 4 Joanna Dugdale and Vanna Hood 5 Katie Bonnette and Jodi Wood 6 Shannon Inman, Rachel Davison and Candee Anderson 7A  lice Byrnes, Kelly Smith, Lynda Steed, Ginger Pearce and Olitsa Robbins 8M  ary Elizabeth Halbrook, Randy Ewing, Ashley Manning, Patricia Willis and Rosemary Ewing 9 Jodie Morphew and Olivia Stinson 10 Cassie Livingston and Kerri Sue McBeth 11 Melanie Peel and Jenn Carter 12 Karen Seacrist and Lori Seacrist 13 Karen Kirkcham and Anna Hunt 14 Monica Turner and Brittany Streetman 15 Sandy Phillips, Susan Everett and Erica Murray 16 Jillian Burns, Sandi Stephens and Kelly Quarles 17 Janet Mayfield, Merry Smith and Sharon McCaskill 18 Hannah Giddens and Lauren Giddens

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Stars on the Bayou


On Saturday, November 12, Ouachita Grand Plaza was home to “Stars on the Bayou,” presented by LearningTECH, Quest School and The Radio People. Former Seal Team Commando, Don Mann, New York Times best-selling author, motivational speaker, CIA Operative and World Class Adventure Competitor, headlined the event. Coinciding with Veterans’ Day weekend, Stars on the Bayou also honored families of Gold and Blue Star Moms. In addition to hearing Don Mann’s unique and inspiring story, attendees also enjoyed a silent and live auction, delicious hors d’oeuvres, entertainment by String Theory and a book signing. All of the proceeds from the event benefitted Quest School and their goal of upgrading technology. LearningTECH/Quest School is an educational services center offering a full time school for students who, for whatever reason, cannot find success in a more traditional setting.



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On the BayouScene 1 Kelley Steinhoff and Mark Parrish 2 Reba Lynn and Seth Smith 3 Chris Brown and Kevin Meredith 4C  indy Byrd and Lori Cockerham 5 L aura and Angela McManus 6 Chuck Murphy and Amy Walker 7 Brenda and Ray Aiken 8 Mac and Alise Oliver 9 Jayme Watson 10 S andra Rousseau, Molly McConnell and Susan Erskine 11 D  anere Nailer, Chris Daniels, Diamond Know-Jackson and Serenity Dean 12 Ginger and Mark Green and Baylee Day 13 Casey and Amber Savana




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United Way Celebration A celebration honoring the Steamboat Society and Alexis de Tocqueville Society was held on Tuesday, November 15 at the home of Linda and Joe Holyfield. The Steamboat Society was created in 1987 by United Way of Northeast Louisiana to recognize individuals and families who provide leadership through their generous contributions. Today, individual community leaders serve as the moving force that helps to build a thriving, interdependent community. The Steamboat Society has been a major factor in the overall success of United Way of Northeast Louisiana’s fund raising efforts and reflects the commitment of an individual’s or couple’s dedication to improving the quality of life in our community.









On the BayouScene 1 Nat and Stephanie Smith 2 Steve and Janet Haedicke 3 E rica and Michael Ryan 4 Billy and Judy Haddad, Carol Swander 5 Linda and Dr. Nick Bruno, Bill and Cathy Cheek 6 Lane and Andreé Eddleman and Janet Durden 7 Holley Holloway and Kevin Cuppia 8 Blake and Jodi Wheelis 9 Chris and Andi Holyfield with Lisa and Jonathan Joseph 10 D  r. Ron Berry, Stephanie and Nat Smith, Dianne and David Moore 11 James and Arabella Moore 12 Trent Livingston and Ashley West 13 Linda Holyfield and Amber Shemwell 14 James and Lynn Moore with Joe Holyfield 15 Amey Crousillac with David and Heather Skinner 16 B  illy Haddad, Morris Mintz and Representative Mike Walsworth 17 Ashley Doughty and Amanda Wimberly





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Reeves and Company



Amid the usual hustle and bustle of Dallas Market, the 15th floor of the Dallas Market Center where Reeves & Company Showroom is located was especially busy. On Thursday, October 27th, boutique owners, friends and family of the Reeves’ gathered in the massive new space for a grand opening celebration. Heavy hor d’oeuves, signature cocktails, wine and beer were served, along with quatros leches cake by La Duni Patisserie. Friends gathered as Donald made an emotional speech about his journey, his family, his employees and his partnership with his daughter, Analeise. Fashion was abundant, gift cards were raffled and a good time was had by all.




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On the BayouScene 1 Kelby Stehl and Patty Ponchur 2 Carol Royer and Katherine Way 3C  arol Perlman and Krista Blanchard 4 Linda Reeves, Sharon Brown and Lori French 5 Angie Manning and Layne Dornblum 6 Janice Burns, Tricia Hamell and Linda Carboari 7K  asper Karen and Allison Leigh 8 Chris McCurley and Gavin Smith 9 Analeise Reeves Thomas and John Clay Reeves 10 John Thomas, Sally Hines and Analeise Reeves Thomas 11 C  arolyn Phillips, Gail Novak and Melanie Secrest 12 Shannan Catlett and Gavin Smith 13 A  mybeth and Wesley Mainord, Amanda and Donald Reeves, John Clay Reeves, Analeise Reeves Thomas, Sallie Hines, Linda Reeves, John Thomas and Terry Reeves 14 M  arion Keegan, Lavenda Schriefer and Haley Camblin 15 Wendy Phillips and Analeise Reeves Thomas 16 R  ichard Cocherl, Jaime Nortman and Carol Dickerson 17 Toni Smith and Shanna Lee 18 A  mybeth Mainord and Analeise Reeves Thomas


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raft beer is a community, and the team behind Flying Tiger Brewery is committed to giving back to theirs. What began as a developed interest from bartending to a home-brewing operation turned business, the passion, the practice and the pursuit of perfection at Flying Tiger is evident in the product, the performance and appreciation of the past. James E. Simpson, David Johnson, Robert Brewer and Brooks Hamaker, along with a team of not just investors, but partners, identified a void in the Monroe area and are filling it one can and pint at a time. With a first-class taproom built from local talent and identifiable symbols of the region and its history, Monroe’s downtown area now has another feather in its cap. James E. Simpson’s love and appreciation for beer started behind the bar at Trio’s. The craft curve hadn’t hit Monroe then, still infantile in the late 90s. James remembers “only having Guinness and Harp, making black and tans left and right.” After his Trio’s days, James moved to Dallas in 2007 and frequented a place in Uptown called The Gingerman that had about fifty beers on tap, no domestics, all imports and beers from different areas of the United States. There, James discovered hundreds of craft breweries existed in the US making unique beers with more flavor often local to the region of their creation. Years later, on a trip to Jefferson, Texas, with his then-girlfriend, now wife, Julie, her brother let James sample his two kegs of home-brewed beer. James was impressed, saying it was “so good,” and began to pepper the brewer with questions about the process. Julie noted James’ interest and gifted him home brewing equipment later that year for Christmas. What began as a backyard hobby developed into Flying Tiger just a short four years later. James calls himself a “late-bloomer,” his love developing like his passion WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2016 99

for cooking. Having always been comfortable in the kitchen, James admires the creative process, getting to create every aspect “from grain to glass.” Twenty years ago, James was in Robert Brewer’s youth group at First Presbyterian Church in Monroe. They remained friends, and frequently Robert would hear about James’ passion for home brewing and often would come over to watch the process and sample the product. James would share his idea of bringing a craft brewery to Monroe. After countless brewery tours with his wife on vacations, James wanted to bring it home. David Johnson, former partner in Danken Trail had also been in talks with James, and the two brought Robert aboard for his business savvy. After discussing the concept, David and James knew they were missing a link if they were serious about making it a business. That link was Robert who digs into research, crunches numbers, and is slick with marketing and branding, which developed after Robert came aboard. The name Flying Tiger was proposed by David, who remembered a customer of his, one of the last surviving members of the Flying Tigers from World War II. In addition, the brewery wanted to pay homage to General Chennault, who was the commander of the Flying Tigers and a Louisiana native who lived in Monroe for a time. The Chennault Aviation & Military Museum is named after him, and Flying Tiger Brewery wants to highlight the local gem. The name honors General Chennault, the Flying Tiger who lived here, the museum and the P40 Warhawk Flying Tiger plane, the origin of the ULM mascot. Robert insists the name “truly is our identity now,” rich in history, respect and tradition.


hile James is the “beer passion guy, the chef, the cook,” Robert and James knew they needed a brewmaster. They couldn’t do the expansive operation alone, wanting to perfect all the elements. “We weren’t making beer in our kitchens anymore. We needed a team.” And though James says he “makes great beer, it’s different when you’re putting it in a can and out on a shelf.” It’s a brewer’s world out there, and with the craft industry booming, James and Robert were having a hard time finding a brewmaster with ten years plus experience. Brooks Hamaker, a Monroe native, had not lived in the area since 1979, leaving shortly after high school.


He was vice president of Abita, serving as brewmaster for eleven years. He made beer that every Monrovian knows from Turbo Dog and Purple Haze. When Brooks left Abita in the late 90s, he became a consultant for new breweries around the world. Brooks calls himself a “brewery in a box,” teaching people how to do it, helping them build it, and then moving onto the next project. He is responsible for setting up brewery operations in Mexico, Ireland, Hong Kong and all across the U.S. He had spent the last six years in Durham, North Carolina, which is exploding with breweries, moving from one setup job to another, when one of his sons called after seeing the ad run by James and Robert in search of a “Brewer for Hire.” After sending an article and a note response, thirty seconds later, Brooks heard back from James. It was a coming home for Brooks, whose parents still live here. He says, “I can walk into Brookshire’s and see people I literally haven’t seen in thirty years.” Nobody expected him to move back, and he is grateful for the opportunity with Flying Tiger. Along with a team of financial investors, the dream is becoming reality. Robert insists, “I don’t want to call them investors, because that seems impersonal, and they’re not. They’re partners, and this has been quite a financial project; they’re all supportive and active in it.” They know when to come in and when to let the men do their thing, which is important. The map of the United States shows Flying Tiger Brewery in a kind of “nuclear void.” Unless one travels to Shreveport or Little Rock or Jackson or Oxford, this kind of brewery experience is unavailable. Conveniently stationed right on Interstate 20, along with its agreement with Choice Brands, James’ sister, distributor Delia Simpson, a Level One cicerone in her own right, the business is taking off. Having worked in the Jacksonville, Florida area where the craft industry is relevant, the team is fortunate to have her onboard. James says his sister “has probably forgotten more about the craft industry than I know.” With only three Level One cicerones in Ouachita Parish, and two of them, Delia and Brooks, working with Flying Tiger, the knowledge is concentrated. In December, start looking for Flying Tiger beer in Brookshire’s and Super 1 in this region, extending east from the Mississippi River to Minden and down to Alexandria. Though large in square mileage, the area is not densely populated, but the beer will also be available in numerous convenience stores, local restaurants and bars. Beginning November 25, what the team has designated “Beer Friday” over Black Friday, the brewery itself will be open Thursday and Friday from 4:30-10:00 p.m., Saturday from 12:00-10:00 p.m.,


“COME GET FIRED UP ABOUT THE BEER, SAMPLE BEER AND HANG OUT.” and Sunday from 12:00-6:00 with bar tours on Saturdays where craft beer enthusiasts can learn about the equipment and beer brewing process. The weekends will feature live music, food trucks and a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, the only one of its kind in the region. Sourcing local talent was essential to the vision. Countertops, drink rails and tabletops were made by Kyle Snellenberger. Agnew created the old retro arrow sign that will sit atop the building. The logo and can designs were created by Jason Byron Nelson, a graphic designer James tasked with his music posters years ago. James was the brainchild behind the custom tap tower, an impressive system crafted by a maker in San Antonio. The design of the taproom is credited primarily to Robert and Sara Brewer, who are attempting to make the brewery first-class. “It wasn’t just slung together.” It took a lot of thought to create a special, unique experience. They want people to walk in and say, “Man, I’m in Monroe?” Featuring sitting areas, couches, oversized stuffed chairs and typical bar stuff like barstools, tables darts, and lounging areas, the goal is to get people to stay awhile. Robert wants people to “come get fired up about the beer, taste beer, sample beer and hang out.” A large outdoor space will feature seating, the team calling it the “beer garden.” Merchandise, hats, stickers and T-shirts will also be available for purchase. Embracing and promoting the craft beer community is the vision, and the people make it thrive. The four flagship beers will be: Man at Arms Amber Ale, Heroic Hops IPA, Burma Blonde Lager, and Nitrogen Milk Stout, though the Milk Stout will not be canned and only available at restaurants and bars. The brewery will open with the flagships, and eight to ten beers will rotate on taps with beer for all levels of interest. The Burma Blonde is more of a “transition beer” with more flavor than domestic, but not so hoppy, not too bold, and not so high in alcohol content, ideal for those interested in the craft world, but new to it. They will also feature “high gravity beer” and beer for “hop heads.” The brewing process can take anywhere from two weeks to several months, with the ales being shorter and the lagers taking longer. They will eventually have aged beer, the process taking up to eight months. The managing operators, James, Robert and Brooks, are committing seven days a week to this passion, along with David’s “entrepreneurial spirit.” Robert notes, like any business, “it takes everything you’ve got and then some to get it there.” James notes every brewery takes a “philanthropic avenue,” trying to help the community by making something locally. Promoting local products, local flavors and familiar faces is key. “Our avenue is giving back to Chennault Museum, our connection, our history.” The younger generation is not as familiar with the Flying Tiger story, a great heroic group of guys, and they want to preserve it. And primarily, the team is “doing something for the Monroe area.” The downtown location was chosen deliberately to partner with the ongoing revitalization. With efforts, such as the art crawls, the pub-crawls, the block parties and Mardi Gras, they want to be a part of that growth. The Mardi Gras parade will run right in front of the brewery. They are embracing and promoting this area, bettering where they live, providing cultural significance, noting history and helping to put Monroe on the map. With vision, passion, knowledge and creativity, they are enriching the depth of our town. Cheers to them. Cheers to the Flying Tigers, and cheers to our community. 102 DECEMBER 2016 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM


Antique Alley Open House Shoppers galore turned out for the annual Holiday Open House on Antique Alley in West Monroe. Strolling from store to store, patrons had the chance to browse boutique selections, antiques and collectibles. Each shop provided visitors with refreshments, ranging from hot chocolate to apple cider. Brownies, cheese, fresh fruits and cookies were also served. The annual open house event is the official kickoff to the Antique Alley holiday season, and each year it draws more than 2,000 shoppers to downtown West Monroe’s historic shopping district.

On the BayouScene 1 Elizabeth and Madison Guerriero 2 Patrick, Chelsie and Anniston Summerville 3 Gary and Morgan Northen 4K  aren Richardson and Melinda Killen 5B  etty Laird and Martha Alexander 6 John and Chevy Navarro 7 Leslie and Delores King 8 Debbie Bourg, Brittany and Braylon Streetman 9B  renda Hudson, Kelly Hudson, Kristy Cobb and Kasey Stevenson 10 K  imberly and Makenzie Rogers 11 R  honda Ruddick and Becky Harper 12 Vallarie Gardner and Megan Corrent 13 Patsy and Melanie Deal 14 Samantha Rawls and Holly Hammond 15 Jessica Holland, Jessica Pollard and Ellie Grace








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Tonore’s Tasting


On Thursday November 17, Tonore’s Wine Cellar hosted one of their quarterly wine tastings benefitting Quota International of Monroe. Every season Tonore’s hosts a wine or whiskey tasting benefitting a different non-profit organization in the community. Quota International is a nonprofit organization empowering women, children, the deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired in local communities around the world. More than 5,000 Quotarians - women, men and youth - are Volunteers in Action, known for their outstanding enthusiasm and service in 260 communities in 13 countries:  Aruba, Australia, Canada, Curaçao, Fiji, India, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, St. Eustatius, Suriname and the United States.








On the BayouScene 1 Stepheni Shicksnider and Chris Leguin 2 Joanie and Roy Simon 3B  ryan and Debbie Nugent 4 Linda Guice, Gwen Jackson and Janet Dollar 5 Georgia Street with Russell and Julie Kicey 6 Mike Tyson and Janet Colvin 7 Julie Kicey and Georgia Street 8 Patrick Mitchell and Linda Castle 9 Scott and Sarah Moore with Tim Martin 10 T eria and John Hamilton with Rhonda and Gray Howard 11 Kay Arnold and Leslie Plauche 12 Lisa Burgess and Vickie Irwin 13 Cole Lofton and Ray Allen 14 Courtney Johnson and Shamekia Goodjoint 15 Aja and Justin Hallmark 16 T amra Hall and Brandii Anderson










JGS Fall Festival On the evening of Saturday, October 29th, Jesus the Good Shepherd Catholic School celebrated their 2nd Annual Fall Festival. The fall festival was, again this year, a celebration of a very fruitful annual fund campaign thanks to our wonderful school family and our 2016 Top Ram competitors. Many JGS families, friends, grandparents and parishioners came out to take part in the fun festivities. There were amusement rides, class booths, food trucks, an old-time country store and a DJ to keep everyone busy during the event. We are so humbled and blessed to be a part of such a wonderful community who has embraced our school with open arms for over 50 years!

On the BayouScene 1 Felecia Hardwick and Caroline Brockman 2 Dana Tarver and Kelly Hill 3 T erri Southwell and Lizzie Southwell 4 Rosemary and Lillian Paxton 5 Stella and Cassie Livingston 6 Melissa and Mark Phelps 7 Amy Fakhre, Susan Hopper and Miranda Hemrick 8M  ark Phelps, Johnny Wade, Jeff Leaumont, Kindra Neitz and Chandler Witherington 9 Zoe Kudlas and Jada Banks 10 T racy and Johnny Wade 11 Sylo, Marli, BJ and ValentĂŠ Hollis 12 E mery Bonnecaze, Landry Taylor and Anna Montgomery 13 Heather Walters and Krystle Medford 14 A  insley Leaumont, Ellery Hemrick, Addy Leaumont and Mary Margaret Hayden 15 Cherie Donias, Michael Ann and Jott Delcambre 16 Stuart Scalia and Brenda Carso 17 Landyn Young and Louis Luffey 18 Grace Woods and Sue Blackford 19 P  hill, Ava and Molly Dunn 20 Mary Ann Drane, Paige and Lauren Davis 21 Gray Brodtman and Steve Gray 22 Morgan Powell and Erica Thompson 23 Debra Bridges and Jennifer and Kendel Harris 24 Nic, Creed and Desirae Trappey 25 Megan and Madison Shelby 15 26 Nicole, Jeff, Natalie and Landry Tannehill 27 Mickey, Brinkley and Roxie Bennett 28 S teele Thompson, Cynthia Machen, Marsala Trahan and DeAnna Thomason 29 Faith and Tonya Hunter








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Glenwood Charity Golf Classic




Glenwood Regional Medical Center and Frenchman’s Bend Golf & Health Club teamed up to host the Glenwood Charity Golf Classic on Friday, October 28th. The 18 hole four player golf scramble was held at Frenchman’s Bend to benefit Med Camps of Louisiana. Med Camps of Louisiana provides fun-filled camps free of charge to over 3,500 Louisiana children facing physical and mental challenges every summer. Lunch was provided for the participants, and prizes were awarded to the winners.






On the BayouScene 1 2 3 4

James Moore and Ryan McHenry Caleb Semmes and Shelby Aulds A  C Fletcher and Brian Fletcher K  elsey Bonin, Ruth Albritton, Laura Mollere and Charli White 5 T yler Flemister, Jeff Laudenheimer, Al Hayward and Perry Smith 6 Scott Pickett and Dieter Watson 7 Brad Terral and Chris Simpson 8 Mervin Smith and Dooley Jordan 9 Tony Roberts, Jim Cox and Johnny Cain 10 Mike Henagan, David Little and Brandon Dunn 11 G  reg Bell, Don Bell and Caleb Seney 12 Carlton Terrell and David Robinson 13 C  aleb Seney, Lisa Bradley, Susan Humphries, Kacie Hobson, Charlene Jackson, Sitting: Sarah Henley and Stephanie Dunn 14 K  eith Albritton and Charles Smith 15 Marvin Gray and Mack Smith









For Tommy...A Tribute On November 1, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. the intimate setting of Brown Auditorium on the campus of University of Louisiana-Monroe was the site of a heartwarming tribute to Northeast Louisiana Arts Council’s retiring CEO and President, Tommy Usrey. Usrey began his helmsmanship of the Arts Council in 1997 and steered the arts organizations in NELA to bigger and greater heights during his tenure. For one night only, our region’s Arts organizations came together in collaboration to honor the work of the man who has been a guiding force for the Arts. And what a life of service it has been! The visual artists on stage, painting and drawing the night’s performances, represented The Masur Museum of Art/ Twin City Art Foundation, The Art Club and the Downtown Arts Alliance. Visual artist and ULM Professor of Art Cliff Tresner painted throughout the event.  Throughout the evening, KEDM presented audio files of Tommy telling anecdotes of his time serving the Arts. ULM’s VAPA was represented by The Black Bayou Brass Trio of Dr. Dr. Aaron Witek, trumpet;   Dr. James Boldin, horn; and Dr. Jeremy Marks, trombone. Twin City Ballet presented a quartet of dancers performing to a live percussionist and was paired with visual artist Vitus Shell, representing the Masur Museum of Art.  Pianist Dr. Rick Seiler with the Monroe Symphony Orchestra  performed ‘Rhapsody in Blue” while visual artists Leigh Buffington and Anna Rowan from The Art Club created an abstract canvas. The 2015 and 2016 Dot Bassett Emerging Artist winners, Luke Matherne and Courtney Crain performed solo selections for the adoring crowd. Strauss Theatre Center brought an ensemble to perform excerpts from their latest offering Big River, including featured performers Jackson Culp and Demetrius Williams, who brought the house down with his powerful “Free at Last.” The youthful exuberance of the Strauss Youth Academy of the Arts Cabaret ensemble had everyone moving in their seats. The Louisiana Delta Ballet filled the stage with wall to wall movement for a stirring piece for Usrey and were joined by visual artist Victoria Smith of the Downtown Arts Alliance, who painted the ballet dancers in motion. Corey Trahan, Lisa Lee Phifer and Chase Miller sang excepts from Tommy’s favorite musicals, Next to Normal and had the crowd on their feet.  Georgia Street, chairman of the NELAC Board of Directors presented Usrey with a beautiful stained glass sculpture by Bruce Fleming   Special thanks to: Barry Stevens, Incoming CEO/President of Northeast Louisiana Arts Council; The Northeast Louisiana Arts 112 DECEMBER 2016 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

Council Board of Directors and Chairman of the Board Georgia Street; ShowCase Video Productions: Wayne Gentry, Richard Gentry and Chris Kidd for their expertise in sound and lighting for the production/ Production Managers: Gretchen Crawford Jones and Joe Istre; Backstage Assistant: Janna Graff; Invitation and Program Cover Graphics: Courtney Wetzel; Hospitality: Leigh Ann Goff, Melissa Saye, The Children’s Museum and Aramark; ULM: President Nick Bruno, Dr. Derle Long, Lisa Miller, Steven Burnside, Deb Lindley, Chi Tau Epsilon, Kappa Kappa Psi; Todd Colvin and Richland State Bank, Cassie Livingston and BayouLife Magazine, Karen O’Keefe and Sir Speedy, Corey Trahan, Megan Hodge, Cathy Airhart Webb, Donna Branson, Evelyn Johnson, Scott Frick, Jay Curtis, Nancy Miller, Aleta Eley, Magan Bass, Jeanine Patton, Missy Crain, Elmarie Wessels, Courtney Crain, Walter Allen, Linda Ford, Linda Lou Bourland, Michelle Harvey, Cindy Foust, Evie Stewart, Kelsea McCrary, Ben Hickey, Emery Thibodeaux, Maré Brennan and to the artists and performers who gave so freely of their time and talents. Congratulations on your retirement, Tommy Usrey.




On the BayouScene 1 Phyllis Gordon and Sylvia Masur Thompson 2 T ommy and Melanie Usrey, Georgia and Bill Street 3 Debbie Edgerton, Anne Patten and Lee Pierson 4 S pencer, Melanie and Christopher Usrey 5 L uke Matherne, Clint Downing and Evelyn Johnson 6M  elissa Saye and Leigh Ann Goff 7 E lmarie Wessels, Janna Graff, Naomi Cordill and Missy Crain 8 Marguerite Anderson, Michael Echols, Tommy Usrey, Regina Lynch Wood and Georgia Street 9 Scott and Maggie Zentner 10 Linda Ford, Scott and Cindy Foust 11 L uke Matherne, Corey Trahan, Barry Stevens and Wayne Gentry 12 Camille Peterson and Vickie Krutzer 13 Judy Reeder, Stefanie Cady, Ashlen Cady and Dylan Snowden 14 Bill and Anne Lockhart 15 S herri and Kalvin Flowers 16 Nancy Miller, Patti Nelson and Naomi Cordill 17 C  ourtney Wetzel, Aleta Eley and Clint Downing 18 S arabeth Parker, Leigh Ann McDonald and Michael Echols

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An Evening with Caudalie Dr. Janine Hopkins and the staff of Hopkins Dermatology hosted An Evening with Caudalie on Thursday, November 17. Guests sipped French wine and mingled while testing the new LIFT collection Crème CachemirÊ. Representatives of Caudalie, Nikki Galante and Brandon Gaukel were on hand to offer a presentation and answer questions. Dr. Hopkins began the presentation with a talk about the innovative Fotona Re-Surfacing Laser Peel, which promotes smooth, supple skin.

On the BayouScene 1 Dr. Janine and Ted Hopkins 2 Dana Taliaferro and Elizabeth Oswalt 3 Leigh Moses and Brenda Thomason 4C  helsea Hoyle, Christy Boardman and Lori French 5C  yndi Tatum and Dana Taliaferro 6 Analiese Reeves-Thomas and Alex Barham 7 Melanie Raines and Nikki Galante 8 Frances Coenen and Sharon Brown 9N  ikki Galante and Brandon Gaukel 10 Nicole Willett, Grace Jeanfreu, Christy Boardman 1




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Crumbs Catering Has Your Holiday Menu Prepared Make This Your Tastiest Christmas Yet


HE CHRISTMAS SEASON IS A TIME FOR GIVING. In the South, we believe that the best things you can give your loved ones is anything warm and delicious that comes from the kitchen. In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, Crumbs Catering knows it’s difficult to make time to tie on your apron to cook for your family and friends. Chefs Olivia Stinson and Jodie Morphew at Crumbs Catering are here to do that for you instead. These ladies have a variety of ways to help you make all of December less stressful. You can come check out one of many kinds of dips and spreads ready for you to pick up and throw in the oven to take to your next party. They are known for their Gumbo Dip, and if you haven’t tried it yet, you need to pay them a visit in Ruston. It is creamy perfection made with sautéed trinity and okra. It is full of andouille sausage and shrimp and everything you love about Louisiana. Crumbs also has a solution to dinner time when you don’t have time to cook. At the shop in Ruston, you will find a variety of soups, casseroles and prepared meals in the freezer. Their Roasted Tomato Basil Soup is a Ruston favorite. These ladies have many more delicious options that will make your holiday break that


much tastier for your family. Call their office to find out what they have ready for you to take home today! (318) 224-7082. Crumbs is booking up fast for holiday parties! Hurry and call to book an event for your home or office. The Crumbs Chefs are offering everything you remember from your childhood, like our Cornbread Dressing, Green Bean Casserole and Herb Butter Roasted Turkeys. However, if you want to surprise your family with something a little different, they would love to work with you to build the menu of your dreams. Remember, when it comes to your holiday party, make sure it is exactly what you have in mind. Crumb’s Catering specializes in your needs. Chef Jodie and Olivia have the knowledge and experience to cater your event exactly how you see it. Treat your guests with the quality and presentation that they deserve.   To find their Christmas menu of the traditional foods you know and love, follow Crumbs Catering of Ruston on Facebook and Instagram. Order before December 20 so that it will be ready for pick up December 23rd. Let’s make this Christmas the tastiest one yet, with no Crumbs left behind.

House of Carpets and Lighting Well Worth the Drive!


ELLO! ALL OF US AT HOUSE OF Carpets and Lighting in Shreveport are excited to showcase our products to Northeast and North Central Louisiana, and hope you will make the short drive to see us. We promise you will not be disappointed! Remodeling your home? Building a new home? Looking to update a couple of areas in your home? House of Carpets and Lighting has what it takes to make your home look its best. We carry quality flooring, from beautiful hardwood to durable ceramic and porcelain tile, to plush carpet and so much more! We also have a huge selection of backsplash and tumbled stone. House of Carpets and Lighting is the only Shaw Design Center in the area, and we have other top name brands as well. When it comes to lighting, House of Carpets and Lighting combines quality and

selection. We offer a wide range of lighting products that provide the perfect blend of beauty and utility. From beautiful crystal chandeliers to decorative kitchen and bedroom lighting, to under-counter and LED lighting, you will find the perfect lights for your taste, style and budget! Whether you are looking to update your entire house or just one room, we’ve got you covered! Let us make your home the gem of your street with the perfect exterior lighting solution to highlight the beauty of your home. From subtle lighting accents to landscape lighting and gas lanterns, House of Carpets and Lighting can help you enhance your home’s exterior to match the level of style and beauty of the interior. Accessories are the “cherry on top,” and you will find plenty of treasures at House of Carpets and Lighting. Artwork, lamps, home accessories, mirrors, accent furniture and

vanities – we carry everything to update your beautiful home. However, what sets apart House of Carpets and Lighting is our customer service. Family-owned and operated, House of Carpets and Lighting’s staff is knowledgeable about all of our products. In addition, our design team can guide you when it comes to selecting the best look for your home. We look forward to serving you! We can’t wait for you to visit our showroom at 4344 Youree Drive. Take the Market Street exit off I-20. Market St. becomes Youree Drive, so you will be here in no time! Open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. House of Carpets and Lighting— Well Worth the Drive!


A Sturdier Smile Begins at NELA Dental Implant-Retained Dentures

A STRONG FOUNDATION An implant-retained denture is a denture attached to implants inserted into the jaw. This is different from a regular denture which rests on the gums. Typically, a patient seeking implant-retained dentures does not have teeth in the jaw, but they do have enough bone in the jaw to support implants. A channel is shaped within the bone of the jaw and an implant is inserted. Over a few months the implant will become securely fused to the bone. From there, the patient’s implant-retained denture will snap onto the attachments on the implant. BENEFITS Denture wearers often find their dentures can be held in place with dental implants for added comfort and stability. Some patients even experience improved speech; a welcomed benefit for many. Implantretained Dentures may provide patients with extra confidence. Another major benefit of implant-retained dentures is the ability to enjoy foods previously off limits. However, there are some limitations on certain foods. Your dentist can explain these eating “do’s and don’ts” during your appointment. TRUST OUR EXPERIENCE AND EXPERTISE At NELA Dental, we take pride in the education and experience of


our dentists and staff. Dr. Vance Costello is highly trained in performing dental implant procedures. He has completed the American Academy of Implant Dentistry’s Comprehensive MaxiCourse and is an Associate Fellow of the AAID. Additionally, Dr. Costello is an instructor with Advanced Implant Educators (AIE) and Implant Know-How. Dental implant expertise also extends to NELA Dental’s Dr. Daniel Raymond. He has completed an implant fellowship with the International Implant Dental Association. EACH PATIENTS’ NEEDS ARE UNIQUE Would you like to restore the appearance of your beautiful smile and protect your oral health? We are proud to offer personal care that is customized to fit your individual needs. Everyone’s dental needs and financial situations are different, and we are committed to finding solutions for each patient to get the care they need. We also accept most major dental insurance plans, third-party payments and offer flexible financing options. Call one of our three convenient locations in Farmerville, Monroe or Oak Grove to schedule your free consultation. Don’t let anything stand in your way of a great smile any longer. Contact NELA Dental, and get started today on that smile you’ve always wanted! Resource:, Columbia University-College of Medicine.

Keep Your Chin Up Kybella Injection for Double Chin


Whenever someone tells me to keep my chin up I always ask, “which one?” – Anonymous


NE OF THE MOST COMMON questions I am asked when evaluating a patient for facial plastic surgery is, “Can you do something about my double chin?” Fortunately, in the hands of a broadly trained, board certified plastic surgeon, there are several good options for improving the neck and jaw line – including the area underneath the chin. These include surgical options, such as liposuction, isolated neck lift and even a full facelift. Sometimes a chin implant in conjunction with these procedures greatly enhances the result. For selected patients, non-surgical fat removal, such as CoolSculpt, is appropriate. One of the newest and most exciting methods of non-surgical fat removal from the “double chin” area is Kybella, an injectable material that dissolves away fat and can result in significant improvement over time. Kybella is an injectable form of deoxycholic

acid, a bile acid that occurs naturally in the body and helps with the breakdown and digestion of fat. When Kybella is injected into the fat beneath your chin, it kills some of the fat cells making the fat layer thinner and your double chin smaller. Three to five treatments are necessary depending on the size of the fat collection and the elasticity of the overlying skin. The treatment is not painful and is done in the office in about 20 minutes. As the fat cells dissolve, there is an inflammatory reaction that results in redness, mild swelling, numbness and firmness in the treated area that usually resolves in a few days but does not limit activity. Follow up treatments are done every four to six weeks until the desired result is obtained. Of course, like most non-surgical treatments, patient selection is key. Kybella is not for everyone. It only affects the fat; it does not shrink your skin. So, if you are under forty, have good skin quality and a fairly small fat collection, then you are a perfect candidate for Kybella. If you are overweight, over 60 or

have enough extra neck skin to make a wallet or a small purse, then you probably need some other method of treating your double chin. Injecting Kybella is deceptively simple, so you might ask, “Why do I need to come to a plastic surgeon to have this done? I could go to a strip mall walk-in clinic, a day spa or to some other doctor who dabbles in cosmetic procedures.” Yes, you could go to one of those other places. But if you do, you will not have a thorough evaluation and a complete discussion of ALL of the treatment options for your double chin and how it fits into the big picture of your facial appearance. Without this perspective, it will be difficult for you to make an informed decision. This is called tunnel vision - if all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail - and it is precisely why it is important that you see a board certified plastic surgeon who can intelligently discuss all of the options and help align your expectations with reality. So if you have more chins than a Chinese phonebook, Kybella is not for you. But if you are youngish, have a relatively small fat collection and good skin, Kybella may be a great non-surgical option. Call our office at 388-2050 and schedule a consultation to see if Kybella is right for you – or call Santa and ask for a Kybella gift certificate from Mickel Plastic Surgery - and rediscover your neck, chin and jaw line.


Northeast Louisiana’s Master Gardeners 7th Annual Gardening Seminar


HE NORTHEAST LOUISIANA Master Gardeners Association, in conjunction with Ag Expo, cordially invites everyone to attend our seventh annual January gardening seminar “Farm to Table: The Freshest Foods Are in Our Own Back Yards” on Saturday, January 14th, 2017, at the West Monroe Convention Center. Doors will open at 7:30 a.m. The program will include three expert speakers, door prizes, refreshments, a centerpiece contest, and exhibits by members of the Northeast Louisiana Master Gardeners Association. KEYNOTE SPEAKER JUDY BARRETT was the founding editor and publisher of HOMEGROWN: Good Sense Organic Gardening. She was previously the editor of The New Garden Journal and a host of the television series The New Garden. Judy is also the author of several gardening books including: Tomatillos: A Gardener’s Dream, A Cook’s Delight and How To Become An Organic Gardener in 7 Easy Steps. Her newest book Easy Edibles: How to Grow and Enjoy Fresh Food, came out in 2015. Judy is


a columnist for the Austin American-Statesman and on gardening for Edible Austin, ACRES U.S.A and the Harris Old Farmer’s Almanac. Judy speaks to groups about gardening across the South and Southwest regions. She holds BA and MA degrees in English from the University of Texas at Austin and has edited books on a variety of topics, including gardening, business, medicine and others. Visit Judy’s website, DAVID YOUNG spent 10 years in commercial agriculture in Indiana and Michigan and completed the Michigan State University Ag Tech Dairy Production program. In 2008, he left and became a full time volunteer with Brethren Disaster Ministries. His first trip to New Orleans was to rebuild houses damaged by Hurricane Katrina where he discovered there was a greater need there and founded Capstone, a 501C3 non-profit in the Lower 9th Ward. Capstone grows food and shares it with those in need at no or reduced cost. Today, it has expanded to operating on 24 previously

blighted and vacant lots in the Lower 9th Ward and two acres in Plaquemines Parish. Their mission is accomplished through community gardens and orchards, helping others start their own gardens, and a growing empowerment program called Sharing Lots. They also keep 60 bee hives and sell Capstone Raw Honey as a revenue source. JOHN COTTON DEAN is the Director of Regional Innovation for the Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. Dean helps lead CLEDA’s Central Louisiana Local Food Initiative which aims to strengthen Central Louisiana’s local food economy while also increasing access to fresh food for all the region’s residents. He has over ten years of research and professional experience focusing on the development of food policy councils and rural economic development through local food. Dean graduated from Iowa State University in 2012 with both a Master of Science in Sustainable Agriculture and a Master of Community and Regional Planning. KATIE SCHROEDER moved to Louisiana 2 years ago from Michigan, where she graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Agribusiness Management and a specialization in sustainable agriculture and food systems. She is currently an agronomist at Black Gold Farms in Delhi, La. Katie is working with the Louisiana Farm to School program to bring healthy, local food to Richland Parish. Katie is also a Louisiana Master Gardener.

The Mother Hen Creating the Perfect Gift Registry


REPARING FOR A NEW BABY CAN BE OVERWHELMING, especially when it is your first. Let The Mother Hen help you stock the nursery in preparation for your new arrival.  Setting up a registry will help your friends and family select the perfect gifts for you and baby. The first thing moms think of when preparing for a new baby is the nursery design. The Mother Hen carries an assortment of frames and wall décor to add the finishing touch to any nursery.  We also carry quilts and blankets that can be personalized for a gift that they can keep for years to come.  Moms and kids both love our Mint duffle and backpacks with the perfect personalization to match your little one’s personality. Moms then begin preparing for the hospital.  We are loving our new line of diaper bags with different options ranging from  hand bags to backpacks and have quickly become a mommy must have.  Packing the diaper bag will be a breeze with our bibs, burp cloths, wubanubs, swaddle blankets and more.  We can also help you pick the perfect going home outfit with our selection of gowns and layettes. Our Angel Baby products support the entire journey from prenatal care to nursing needs and everything in between.  Our customers have returned with great reviews of this line.  Jellycats have become an instant favorite for the little ones that come shopping with Mommy.  Their corresponding books as well as the Alpha-Kidz, piggy banks and chalk books make perfect gifts for all ages.  We don’t stop there. We carry clothing to dress your little one from newborn to 6T.  From smocked outfits to playful knits, we will have them ready for any occasion.  We can also monogram and appliqué items to customize the perfect outfit.  Let us help you finish getting ready for Christmas with matching pajamas for the whole family.  We didn’t leave out Mom and Dad.  We have Santa sacks that are perfect for those on the nice list or just for decoration.  We are a one stop shop for teachers, secret Santa, office parties, bunko and more.  The Mother Hen is located at 115 Cotton Street in West Monroe, right off Antique Alley. Find us on Facebook or call us today at 318-570-5993.


BITS& PIECES David Mason and Jay Crowell never anticipated that a friendship formed in the shop of Douglas Cabinet Company would lead to a business partnership. Six years later, the duo – along with Ella Guy, are turning out beautiful and expertly crafted woodworks through their company, Rabbet Run.

Article by April Clark Honaker and photography by Brad Arender


hen David Mason and Jay Crowell started working at Douglas Cabinet Company in the same month over six years ago, they had no intention of making friends there, much less starting a business together. Today, Jay said, “I’m 50, and David is the only person I truly trust.” Similarly, David said he considers Jay one of only two close friends that he’s made in the last five years, the second being his girlfriend, Ella Guy. All three—David, Jay and Ella—were important to the creation of Rabbet Run Woodworks, a custom woodworking business, specializing in functional goods. In addition to working regular hours at Douglas Cabinet, David and Jay do projects for Rabbet Run on the weekends, and when they set up for Rabbet Run at events like the Ruston Makers Fair, Ella is their merchandiser. At these events, they always display their first official project, a table they made for her. According to David, Jay is the talent behind Rabbet Run. Not only is he the shop foreman at Douglas Cabinet. He is a third-generation carpenter and has been around carpentry, cabinetry and woodworking his whole life. He has the experience necessary to ensure Rabbet Run’s products are of the highest quality. David, on the other hand, found his way to woodworking after stints at a lumber yard and a hardwood supplier. Although his current job in sales and estimation at Douglas Cabinet doesn’t involve much contact with wood, it has prepared him to handle the business side of Rabbet Run. As the voice of Rabbet Run, David handles the marketing. Since posting a photo of their first project on Instagram in April of 2015, the business has accrued over 400 followers, and they have filled some large orders in Ruston, including 150 cutting boards for First National Bank and 40 serving boards for Bradley Walker, the owner of Parish Press coffee shop. Some of their pieces are also available in downtown Ruston’s Better Living Market and in Main Street Exchange, a curated shop that donates a portion of proceeds to charity. 124 DECEMBER 2016 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

In less than two years, Rabbet Run has achieved notable success, but it didn’t happen all at once. According to David, the business came together in “bits and pieces,” much like the cutting boards they make. Their first project, a kitchen table for Ella, was actually created out of necessity. Hers had broken, so she needed a new one and asked David if he could make it. Not sure how to approach the project on his own, David sought Jay’s help, and together, they designed and built the new table from reclaimed heart pine. David said that before they made the table, he had only a passing interest in woodworking, but afterward, his interest sparked. Once Ella’s table was complete, David and Jay started making their first pieces for customers. Ella was able to connect them with people interested in their work through her job at Sundown Tavern. One of their most memorable early pieces was a 24x30 inch, end-grain

butcher’s block they created for Luke Kinmon, the Kitchen Manager at Sundown. David called the piece “behemothic” and said it’s really too big for everyday use, so Sundown serves cheese and other foods on it at parties. Another Sundown customer was Bob Thames, who has since become the Tasting Room Manager at Great Raft Brewing in Shreveport. Reflecting on Rabbet Run’s beginnings, David and Jay both agree that everything started at Sundown. In addition to the early pieces they created for Sundown’s staff, they made a cedar soap deck for David around the same time, simply because he needed one. After making the soap deck, David asked Bonnie Ferguson of Pastry Moon if she would consider selling them in her shop. At the time, Bonnie was putting together an art exhibition, called “Empty Vessels,” that consisted mostly of pottery, but she thought Rabbet Run would make a nice addition. To oblige, David and Jay put

together a small collection of pieces, including an end-grain block, an edge-grain board, a face-grain paddle and several cedar soap decks. On the night of the exhibition opening, Rabbet Run made its first official sale when Frank Hamrick, an Associate Professor of photography at Louisiana Tech, bought the face-grain paddle. Frank has since become a repeat customer, which also makes him one of David’s favorite customers. David said, “I like it when people love what they buy so much that they come back and buy more, because they want someone else to have it.” Another pivotal moment in Rabbet Run’s beginnings was the night David and Ella attended a talk by Aaron Draplin on Louisiana Tech University’s campus. Draplin had built a successful career as a graphic designer, working with several iconic brands, such as Nike, Red Wing, Field Notes, Esquire and Ford Motor Company. In addition, his wry sense of humor meshed well with David’s, and many of the things he spoke about rang true. For example, Draplin encouraged listeners to do only one thing and be good at it. He also called attention to the ampersand epidemic in business names, such as Peg & Awl. At the time, David thought, “He’s right. Let’s not be as common as everyone else.” After hearing Draplin speak, David felt inspired and came up with the name Rabbet Run. He said Rabbet Run’s name was inspired by two things. The first was a novel by John Updike called Rabbit Run, which tells the story of a former high school basketball star who is disillusioned with his adult life. The second was woodworking terminology. When he started working at the lumber yard, David heard terms like rabbet run and monkey tail that were completely new to him. “I was just moon-eyed,” he said, “because I had no idea what they were talking about.” Eventually, he learned that when someone said “rabbet run” they were talking about cutting a rabbet joint, which is simply an open-sided, rectangular recess along the edge or end of a board. Interestingly, the word around Ruston is that the name Rabbet Run also fits because David himself is hard to run down, kind of like a rabbit. Confident in the name and with a few customers under their belt, David wrote Rabbet Run’s artist statement. Even though David describes himself as a contrarian and isn’t totally comfortable being called an artist, he felt the statement was needed. It begins with a quote by Rick Rubin: “Everything happens kind of the way it’s supposed to happen, and we just watch it unfold. And you can’t control it. Looking back, you can’t say, ‘I should’ve...’ You didn’t, and had you, the outcome would have been different.” Immediately after quoting Rubin, Rabbet Run claims to have no idea what Rubin meant, maintaining that they included the quote only because they “really like Rubin’s work with LL Cool J, Run-D.M.C. and Johnny Cash” and because they wanted to “open strong.” The irony is that these guys do know what the quote means. It perfectly describes how Rabbet Run came to be, but challenging our expectations is part of who Rabbet Run is. In this case, they’ve done it by adding a little self-deprecating humor to an artist statement that doesn’t read at all like most artist statements. Their artist statement also downplays the work involved in their process. “What we do,” it reads, “is take large pieces of wood, cut them into smaller pieces of wood, then apply tons of glue and pressure to make them back into big pieces of wood.” While this summary is accurate in a sense, it doesn’t capture the time spent agonizing over material selection, the careful shaping of edges and corners, the five stages of sanding or the careful polishing, which is done with a proprietary blend of mineral oil and locally sourced beeswax from Jennings Apiaries. The work is intense and thoughtful, but making light of it is part of Rabbet Run’s shtick. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously,” Jay said. The humor is both natural and calculated—to a degree. “We want to generate interest,” David said, “but we try not to take it too far,” something he admits they don’t always get right. According to David, “The nuts and bolts of marketing are difficult, but somebody has to do it. WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2016 125

Otherwise, we’re out in Douglas, Louisiana, making boards in the dark, and no one will ever see them.” When they get it right, people follow them on Instagram, people buy their work, and when they get it really right, people buy more of their work. In addition to building a following on Instagram and spreading news of what they do by wordof-mouth, Rabbet Run has built their fan base through a lot of community support. Two of their earliest supporters were Jake Dugard and Cassidy Keim. “Through their Makers Union,” David said, “they helped us immensely. We kept a small stock of items there, pretty constantly, and Jake and Cassidy were always available for beer or advice.” Participating in the bi-annual Ruston Makers Fair has also allowed Rabbet Run to reach more customers and spread the word about what they do. According to Jay, that process has even changed his perspective a bit. “It’s cool to be thought of as an artist,” he said, “and to be appreciated for the quality of the work.” Another Rabbet Run supporter, Townsend House Gifts in Ruston, will host them on-site for NCLAC’s annual Holiday Arts Tour on December 2-3. Townsend House also stocks Rabbet Run’s “Make Ruston Weird” bumper stickers year round. Although not woodworks, the stickers capture the spirit of Rabbet Run’s movement to expand Ruston’s horizons--to not only accept but also to embrace more weirdness. According to David, the stickers have been successful, and he has noticed a change in Ruston’s openness to a broader range of artists and musicians over the past few years. In addition to having community support on the sales side, Rabbet Run has support on the production side as well. For example, they regularly use Henry McCoy’s laser at Fine Line Supply Company to engrave their work with the Rabbet


Run logo and with other custom features, such as monograms. David said, “There’s a lot of community in what we do. They probably don’t realize it, but a lot of people help us get to the finish line.” He and Jay also agree that Rabbet Run would not be possible without the support of Sandra Hancock, owner of Douglas Cabinet, and Pete Hancock, Sandra’s son and General Manager of Douglas Cabinet. From the beginning, David and Jay have been careful to avoid doing work that overlaps with Douglas Cabinet, and the Hancocks have allowed David and Jay to spend time in the cabinet shop outside of normal work hours. As a result, Rabbet Run has access to equipment they wouldn’t be able to afford on their own. Jay said, “We very much appreciate their support and are loyal to them. They’re an integral part of our business.” nother benefit of their relationship with Douglas Cabinet is that David and Jay are able to salvage wood that wouldn’t be suitable for cabinets and use it for their projects. For example, one of their favorite types of wood is figured maple, also known as flame maple. In this type of maple, distortion of the wood fibers during growth causes a wavy, textured look that doesn’t work well for cabinets but works beautifully for Rabbet Run projects. In fact, the wood works so well that Jay said, “At least 95% of the people that come by their booth at the Ruston Makers Fair can’t resist touching our work.” It looks textured, but “they’re amazed by the smoothness,” he said. One thing that Rabbet Run is adamant about is ensuring the quality and functionality of their work. David said that if their boards are properly cared for—hand-washed with soap, not soaked, dried vertically, and polished with mineral and beeswax regularly— they should last forever. A complete list of care instructions, including how to remove stains and lingering smells, accompanies their boards and blocks. Rabbet Run aims to create things that are beautiful enough to display but durable enough to stand up to everyday use and still look good. David said, “We can create something that does what a John Boos block does, but it looks better and lasts as long.” According to David, Boos is one of the leading manufacturers of butcher blocks and cutting boards, but David challenges anyone to compare the look of a Boos block to a Rabbet Run block. “The look of what we do is in the wood itself,” Jay said. Rabbet Run doesn’t use any dyes, stains or scents, and they take care to hand-select each piece of wood, unlike Boos and other mass manufacturers whose boards all look the same. David said, “If it was the same thing over and over, we wouldn’t do it,” and Jay added, “We don’t want to be everywhere and be generic.” Plus, Rabbet Run cares deeply about the way things look. According to David, they try different patterns and arrangements for the wood until they both agree. Even then, they occasionally discard the final product if it doesn’t turn out as well as expected. The whole process from wood selection to sanding and polishing takes time and keeps the operation small, but Rabbet Run is not interested in mass production. Both men are motivated by the idea of making something themselves and by the end product. “My grandfather was a postmaster and farmer,” David said, “and my dad built trucks for General Motors. They both produced something with their hands, and being able to do that too—to create something that could potentially last a lifetime—is satisfying.” Similarly, Jay said, “What drives me is building something I’m proud of. I love it when you put that much work in, and people like what you do enough to buy it and tell others about it.” The importance of hard work is something both men learned from their fathers. “We’re not breaking the mold,” David said, “but we’re doing something really nice. We hope the things we make can help make a mundane activity more pleasant.”



Traditions Antiques Gifts at Traditions Antiques


N ANTIQUE ALLEY IN WEST MONROE, TRADITIONS Antiques has been providing antiques from France, England, Belgium and Holland for the last twenty-five years. With biannual trips overseas, Melanie Liles and Pam Wood personally select the finest in French and English antiques. The history and quality of the antique pieces make them special, and they only increase in value. Particularly it’s the warmth they bring, having been loved for so many years. The stories vary from piece to piece, some originating from convents, large country estates and important buildings. The exquisite attention to detail begins each piece’s story. With the holidays quickly approaching, Traditions Antiques has gifts for all the people on your list. Some new store offerings for the ladies, hostesses and teachers in your life are the French milled soaps. Smoother than your average soap, creamy and more luxurious French milled soaps are offered in a variety of scents: lavender, verbena, French pear, pomegranate, Moroccan mint, passion fruit and grapefruit. The Rosy Rings scented wax sachets are both fragrant and decorative. The scents include: lilac blossom, orange blossom and honey, oak moss and myrrh, with Christmas scents such as: red currant and cranberry and bay garland. Candles are also available in everyone’s favorite scent, Louisiana Forest, along with: English lavender, bayou moss and wild currant for Christmas. Beeswax candles by La Petite Abeille come in hand-rolled pillars, eight-inch and twelve-inch varieties in holiday colors, ivory and black. Radko ornaments are on display alongside holiday napkins and matches; the Radko collectibles are all hand-blown and hand-painted. Traditions Antiques’ staples remain for the holiday season, including gift certificates, copper and English and French bread boards, popular for men and women. French pottery, confit jars and majolica pottery are scattered throughout the store. Blue and white china, decanters and crystal glassware are old favorites, along with rose bowls from England. For the perfect hostess gift, try the horn-handled or pearlhandled flatware. And for the extra special person, French mirrors and chandeliers are available. The French chandeliers are all re-wired and have an aged look to them. One hundred year old Bibles are ideal gifts for loved ones. Traditions Antiques also offers free gift-wrapping. Those new to the antique world, remember one piece can carry the room or purchase one good piece a year and build on a collection. Adding slowly over time builds character. Mix the modern with antiques; add interest and depth. And from the ladies at Traditions Antiques, we wish you and yours Happy Holidays.


Vieux Carré Market Holiday Parties, Gourmet Gifts and Fine Wines


T VIEUX CARRÉ MARKET, WE UNDERSTAND THE holidays, in fact, we consider ourselves experts. Whether you are searching for the perfect gift or you just want to treat yourself, we can help. We offer some of the most prized boutique libations around. We specialize in uniqueness, offering specialty vodkas, distinctive rums, exclusive whiskeys and more. If you’re in the market for a “wow” gift, ask our friendly and knowledgeable staff to help you find the perfect bottle. We offer the best selection of boutique wines in Northeast Louisiana. No matter what price range you have, we can find the right wine for you. Our collection of wines is vast, from the $30 bottle of Pietro Cabernet Sauvignon with a beautiful, seductive dark berry aroma to more exquisite selections such as Peter Michael, Two Hands, Turley, Miner, Penner-Ash, and more. A wine from Vieux Carré Market will be remembered well after it’s opened. We even offer a special order option for the rarest of bottles. For the foodie on your list, we have unique foods and gourmet goodies, cookbooks and kitchen must-haves. We can incorporate them into a fabulous gift basket for you, to please any culinary wiz. If you really want to bring a smile to someone’s face, let us help you create a custom gift basket. Our gift baskets are so much fun to create and can work with any budget. Choose any items within the store to create a special, unique gift...truly like no other. For your holiday party needs, consider letting Vieux Carré host your get-together. They have the capability to accommodate your gathering, whether big or small. For a more intimate occasion, book the back room or for a large party, reserve a spot in the bistro area. Chef John Peters offers special set menus for parties, so give them a call or stop by for more details. Think of Vieux Carré Market this holiday season! We love helping customers pick out the perfect gift basket or a great bottle of wine to take to a Christmas party. We love to serve and would be honored to host your holiday get-together this year, helping you to make memories that will last a lifetime! Vieux Carré Market is located at 1623 N. 18th St. in Monroe. Call (318) 388-2228 to book your holiday party today! WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2016 129

Experience Christmas in Ruston Upcoming Holiday Events for the Whole Family


HRISTMASTIME IN RUSTON IS SIMPLY MAGICAL and elicits all those warm feelings of being home for the holidays. Experience those warm feelings of being home for the holidays. This year, Ruston’s holiday calendar is absolutely packed with festive events that will be taking place all throughout the town during the holiday season. You’ll definitely want to bring the family out during this fun time, as we celebrate the holidays! Holiday festivities will kick off on Thursday, Dec. 1 with several events going on around town. The ice skating rink is back by popular demand and will be open from December 1-30 at the Historic Fire Station. Bring the kids to ice skate on this artificial rink and enjoy Christmas lights and decorations in charming Downtown Ruston! The rink is open all week long and costs $10 per person. Lincoln Lights Up the Pines will also be kicking off on Thursday, Dec. 1 in Lincoln Parish Park and will run through Dec. 3. This drivethru lights display is the perfect activity for the whole family, allowing passengers to see vintage campers decorated for the season and light displays from the comfort and warmth of their vehicle. More than 750 cars drove through the park last year, and this year is sure to be bigger and better! Come out early Saturday, Dec.3 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. for a chance to tour the vintage campers and enjoy a swap meet on the grounds!


The festivities don’t stop there! Join us in Downtown Ruston on Dec. 2-3 for the always-popular Holiday Arts Tour. This holiday art crawl features unique shopping opportunities, music, street theatre, art demonstrations, kids’ activities and more. New to Holiday Arts Tour is the Art Battle in Railroad Park! Come watch local artists in action and vote for your favorite painting as it’s being made by dropping “bucks in buckets.” See for yourself why Holiday Arts Tour was recently recognized as one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events of the year! Looking to get rewarded for all your Christmas shopping? Stop by the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce office Dec. 5-17, and pick up your passport for 12 Days of Christmas Shopping. Fill up the passport by visiting participating retailers, and you’ll be entered to a $1,000 win cash prize! “Get caught” shopping local by the Surprise Santa, and receive stocking stuffers, gift cards and more! Ruston is excited for another wonderful season of events, and we hope you’ll join us! For information on these events and more, visit or give us a call at (318) 255-2031.

Pearce Pharmacy Holiday Open House Bite sized pecan pie, an assortment of dips and peppered jelly were provided to guests at Bastrop’s at Pearce Pharmacy Holiday Open House. Everything that was served is also available for purchase in the store. Many friends and family came out to support the annual Open House on Sunday, November 13th. Excitement filled the air making it hard not to have a great time. Friends and family had a blast shopping for gifts and decorations for the holiday season.






On the BayouScene 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Caren Walker and Marilyn Winnon S honnie Hall Trotter and Carliya Trotter N  ancy Burroff and Teresa Pearce Mary Ann Phillips and Carolyn Nugent T raci Stephens and Linda Davis Olivia Harris and April Wadkins Pearce Pharmacy Staff




Tonore’s Wine Cellar Cheers to the Season of Giving


ONORE’S WINE CELLAR HAS STOOD PROUDLY on the corner of 8th and Louisville since 1935. George Tonore Sr. started his business, a small grocery store, when Louisville Avenue was still a gravel road. He had the foresight to make changes to the nature of the business as times changed. In 1963, Tonore started carrying mostly wines and liquor. The store evolved into a shop that had one of the most diverse selections of wines found anywhere in the United States, and in 1974, the name officially changed to Tonore’s Wine Cellar. A little over a year ago, Russell Kicey and his wife, Julie, became owners of the fine Monroe establishment. The store remains a hot-spot for wine, liquor, beer and gifts throughout the year, but especially during the holiday season. The iconic business is known for having a large selection of fine wines and liquor, as well as the largest selection of craft beer in the area. Russell’s expertise in the alcohol industry comes from almost 30 years of experience. After taking over the business, he expanded the craft beer selection, his specialty after years with Marsala Beverage. With the holidays upon us, many people turn to Tonore’s for holiday gift baskets. They can create custom baskets with anything from wine to whiskey to beer, gourmet foods, gifts and more. Whatever the budget, they can accommodate your needs. They will deliver baskets to clients and friends as gifts during holiday season. Out of town family members often order gift baskets for loved ones. It’s as easy as making a phone call. Tonore’s offers party planning services for holiday parties, wedding receptions and more. They also offer delivery service for orders over $150 before tax. Order client baskets for the holiday season, and they will deliver for you, as long as it is within a reasonable area. (Call for details.) Tonore’s Wine Cellar remains a family owned business that treats people like family. The Kiceys offer a comfortable and accommodating atmosphere with rich history. From a humble beginning, the business has grown to become a household name in the area. The Kicey family is committed to offering its patrons the same service that they’ve always experienced, and the same great selection of beer, spirits and wine.


St. Francis Medical Center A Definition of Dementia


EMENTIA IS NOT A SPECIFIC DISEASE. IT’S AN overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common dementia type. But there are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies. Dementia is often incorrectly referred to as “senility” or “senile dementia,” which reflects the formerly widespread but incorrect belief that serious mental decline is a normal part of aging. While symptoms of dementia can vary greatly, at least two of the following core mental functions must be significantly impaired to be considered dementia: • Memory • Communication and language • Ability to focus and pay attention • Reasoning and judgment • Visual perception People with dementia may have problems with short-term memory, keeping track of a purse or wallet, paying bills, planning and preparing meals, remembering appointments or traveling out of the neighborhood. Different types of dementia are associated with particular types of brain cell damage in particular regions of the brain. For example, in Alzheimer’s disease, high levels of certain proteins inside and outside brain cells make it hard for brain cells to stay healthy and to communicate with each other. The brain region called the hippocampus is the center of learning and memory in the brain, and the brain cells in this region are often the first to be damaged. That’s why memory loss is often one of the earliest symptoms of Alzheimer’s. While most changes in the brain that cause dementia are permanent and worsen over time, thinking and memory problems caused by the following conditions may improve when the condition is treated or addressed: • Depression • Medication side effects • Excess use of alcohol • Thyroid problems • Vitamin deficiencies Some risk factors for dementia, such as age and genetics, cannot be changed. But researchers continue to explore the impact of other risk factors on brain health and prevention of dementia. Some of the most active areas of research in risk reduction and prevention include cardiovascular factors, physical fitness and diet. Many dementias are progressive, meaning symptoms start out slowly and gradually get worse. If you or a loved one is experiencing memory difficulties or other changes in thinking skills, don’t ignore them. See a doctor soon to determine the cause. Professional evaluation may detect a treatable condition.

Source: Alzheimer’s Association WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2016 133

Holiday Shopping at Lewis’ Gifts Holiday Open House Set for Saturday, November 19th


OR OVER 75 YEARS,THE LEWIS FAMILY HAS BEEN A part of Shreveport, Louisiana’s retail community. Walk through the doors of Lewis’ Gifts, and you will find an exquisite showroom filled with unique finds. The items they stock include but are not limited to: • Louisiana-made items • Fine linens • Loungewear • Jewelry and accessories • Home fragrances • Tabletop • Bath and body • Home accessories • Baby • Silk florals • Kitchenware • Exclusive collections of ladies’ clothing Lewis’ Gifts is known for their exceptional service and bridal registry, which has served customers throughout the South. They carry the brands you love such as Jon Hart, Niven Morgan, Vietri, Juliska and Bella Notte bedding. Pre-order sales going on now for Vietri Old St. Nick. Purchase your Old St. Nick pieces now and receive 15% OFF through November 10th. Leave your purchases to be signed and personalized by Master Artisan Stefano Roselli at our Vietri Event on Nov. 10! Don’t miss Vietri’s last artisan signing event! They make great wedding, anniversary, Christmas or birthday gifts! Plan to stay for lunch! Biscotti’s is located inside Lewis’ Gifts and offers a delectable menu with something to delight every taste. Catering and Meals-to-Go are also available, offering sandwich trays, casseroles, sides, salads, dessert trays, soups, pies and cakes! They will do the cooking for you – for small families all the way up to large parties! Lewis’ Gifts 5807 Youree Dr.• Shreveport, LA 318-868-6700 Find them on Facebook and Instagram by searching “Lewis Gifts”


Unique Dining Experience Meet Friends Where Friends Meet – at Trio’s Restaurant


RIO’S RESTAURANT IS A LOCAL FAVORITE LOCATED at 2219 Forsythe Avenue in Monroe. They offer a fine dining experience with top-of-the-line cuisine, gourmet specials and top-notch service. Their menu combines Mediterranean cuisine with American favorites. Owner Jenifer Johnson Walker is a local who comes from a strong Greek heritage. When she first opened Trio’s, she knew she wanted the food to have a distinct Mediterranean influence. Trio’s Restaurant has stood the test of time by reinventing and adapting, while keeping the tried-andtrue staples of their establishment. The menu at Trio’s is packed with Greek favorites such as hummus, flat bread, Greek salads, gyros, their famous crabmeat moussaka and more. They have a long list of salads that give variety to those making healthy choices. In addition to their Mediterranean selections, they offer sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, pasta and many other favorites. Their specialties include delicious gumbo, crawfish etouffee and fish tacos (offered every Tuesday) all are out of this world! Looking for a great brunch spot? Trio’s offers a bottomless champagne brunch with great dishes every Sunday from 10- 3. Follow them on Facebook to see their daily specials and options that you won’t find on the menu. Trio’s has a full service bar with a wide selection of fine wines and hand-crafted cocktails to give you or your group a great selection. They offer a regular happy hour during the week and are a great place to stop and have drinks on the weekend. The sleek, modern décor makes for a great place for a night out. So whether you are in the mood for a night out, want somewhere to catch the game, need an intimate spot for a date night or want to hang out with a few friends, Trio’s is the place to be. Follow them on Facebook for constantly changing deals and specials. Come on over and meet friends, where friends meet! 2219 Forsythe Ave in Monroe 318-387-3577. Open Monday through Saturday, 11-10 and Sunday Brunch from 10-3 Merry Christmas from the Trio’s Family! WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2016 135



Erin Martinez is known for seeing beauty in ordinary materials. As the founder of Lotus Farm Designs, she started making simple, yet graphically elegant journals designed to guide journalers through 12 months of prayer and gratitude. Now, she and her husband, Joel, are giving back to their community through their company. Article by April Clark Honaker and Photography by Martin G Meyers


LOTUS FARM DESIGNS grew out of Erin Martinez’s desire to create beauty out of simplicity and to highlight the inherent beauty in simplicity. Erin graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, where she is originally from. While in college, Erin initially concentrated her studies on graphic design, but as she was nearing graduation, she took a ceramics class that changed her world. “I found that I loved clay,” she said, “and working with my hands instead of being on the computer all day.” After that first ceramics class, Erin was hooked and decided to add ceramics as her main concentration. She still loves graphic design, and continues to use her skills in that area as a freelancer, but she was inspired by the idea of turning clay—a simple, natural medium—into mugs, porcelain sculptures and other wares. In the same way that clay can be transformed into something beautiful, the lotus flower, a beautiful symbol of purity, blooms out of mud. This notion, along with a childhood spent amidst farmland, inspired the name of Erin’s business. When she started Lotus Farm Designs after moving to Monroe two years ago, Erin’s thoughts were set on making pottery. She and her husband Joel bought the equipment necessary for her to do it at home, but in the midst of launching Lotus Farm, Erin and Joel found out they would soon be welcoming their daughter Alina Grace, who is now 14 months old. Because of the pregnancy and some difficulties during it,

Erin resolved to return to pottery at a later date. “As my life changed,” Erin said, “I looked for different media to fit under the same name.” She took up home design, for example, and started creating specially designed journals. According to Erin, her Instagram is a good representation of her interests. As her account reveals, Erin likes to create things that are not only useful but also “simply beautiful and beautifully simple.” Engaging with a variety of media is something Erin enjoys as well, because each one makes her feel like a different creator. “If something is not creative,” Erin said, “I find a way to make it creative.” In clay, paper, wood and other simple, seemingly ordinary materials, Erin sees beautiful possibilities. “To most people, paper is just paper,” she said, “but I see potential.” With that potential in mind, Erin used her skills in graphic design to create the journals that have become the primary focus of Lotus Farm Designs. “I love the process of making things,” she said. “I feel like the process is sometimes more important than the final product. I also like to focus on the things I’m passionate about and the things that allow me to be creative.” When she made her first collection of journals, Erin hoped they would help others organize their lives and live intentionally. Most of the journals in her first collection were designed to guide journalers through 12 months of prayer and gratitude, but Erin also created a 12-month baby journal and a 12-month cooking journal. During the first year, Erin followed a traditional business model, aiming to make a profit, but then something changed. One Sunday, the Martinez family sat in church at First West in West Monroe where they are members, and the message struck a chord with them. “We felt we weren’t doing enough as Christians,” Erin said. “We felt we needed to do more in the community and more to serve people.” After the sermon, she and Joel decided to begin donating the net proceeds for her journal sales to a different Christian non-profit each month. The change meant charting new territory for Lotus Farm, but Erin said, “If I want to learn about something, I just throw myself into it and learn as I go.” She and Joel are open to supporting local and global organizations. Those interested in applying to receive a donation can do so through the Lotus Farm Designs website. According to Erin, the mission of the donations is “to see to it that everyone knows the grace of God,” a mission that also aligns closely with the mission of First West. WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2016 137


his September Lotus Farm took its first step toward achieving that mission by donating its net proceeds to Project 41 Ministries whose own mission is “to rescue, value and transform women in the sex industry and victims of sex trafficking.” Then, in October, Erin chose to donate to Project Orphans, which is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Erin said the organization found and contacted her through her Instagram, where she has over 600 followers. They are now using the support of Lotus Farm to fund a new school that will share God’s love and empower the orphans of Uganda with education. Erin said, “It’s rewarding to give to organizations that give back. We feel like we made the right choice, and we love doing it.” For Erin, two things continue to be incredibly important to sustaining Lotus Farm and its mission. The first is her faith. Erin considers herself fortunate to have been raised in a Christian family. Her grandfather and her parents were both major Christian influences, leading her to ask Christ into her heart at age 7. At the same time, Erin acknowledged that she didn’t fully grasp certain things about that decision until she was older. “One thing I do know,” Erin said, “is that God has been constant, consistent and true through everything in my life.” According to Erin, “Faith is at the core of the business.” She genuinely wants to impact people’s lives in a positive way. “One of the best ways for people to come to Christ,” Erin said, “is to be served by other people, which is why we’re trying to serve others through our business.” The second sustaining force behind Lotus Farm is Erin’s family. “My husband is such an inspiration, because he’s so versatile,” Erin said. “He’s a businessman by day and a violin virtuoso by night. That’s just amazing to me, and I strive to be like him.” Because Joel is also an artist, he can relate to the creative side of Erin’s mission, but he also helps tremendously with the business side, despite being busy himself. “He’s my backbone,” Erin said, “because he’s very encouraging and always inspires me to keep going, even when I feel like quitting.” Erin’s daughter Alina also inspires her. “I want Alina to know the meaning of hard work,” Erin said, “and I want her to see the beauty in simple, ordinary things, not just shiny, flashy, expensive things.” Not only does Alina inspire Erin, but Erin wants to inspire Alina. “Hopefully, 138 DECEMBER 2016 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

through this business, I can teach her something,” said Erin, “and maybe one day she can help me with it.” The Martinez family also have two Catahoula Curs, Mojo and Maggy, as well as 12 chickens whose eggs they sell. Erin said, “These animals are all part of our family.” Because the animals require care and attention, Erin hopes they, too, will teach Alina the value of hard work and discipline. As the new year approaches, Erin is introducing her 2017 journal collection, which features some notable changes. The new journals are thinner and smaller but equally meaningful. Erin said she wanted to make them more affordable and to allow more proceeds to go to charity. In addition, for this collection, Erin decided to partner with Shannan Inman of Paperglaze Calligraphy in Ruston. Erin said one benefit of partnering with others is that she gets to meet new people. Erin’s printer, ABP Printing, which is a local company, is also very supportive of her mission and has helped make sure the new collection looks perfect. For those interested, this collection can be found on the Lotus Farm Designs website, at Woodstock in Monroe and at Christ Church in West Monroe. Another newly designed journal is also available at Project 41 Ministries, and a special Christmas journal was created for a specific event at First West. With covers designed by Shannan, the 2017 collection includes five journals: the Baby Journal, the Sweet Sabbath Journal, the Legacy Journal, the Covenant Journal Set and the Missioner’s Journal. The Baby Journal is a 12-month journal that allows parents to document important milestones and memories from their child’s first year. It also includes monthly prompts and milestone cards that can be cut out and used for pictures. The Sweet Sabbath Journal was designed with Sunday morning sermons in mind. Erin said she realizes a lot of churches are now encouraging the use of apps to take sermon notes, and while she believes some of these apps are great, she prefers the more tactile, handwritten approach. “There’s something about writing words down that makes them feel more important,” she said. Plus, she believes the process keeps her more focused. After all, social media can’t be accessed through pen and paper. On its cover, the Legacy Journal includes the words, “This is my story. This is my song.” Erin loves these words, which are part of the refrain of the hymn, “Blessed Assurance.” She said the words fit the journal’s purpose, which is “to allow people to share their story—to gift it to others, to encourage and inspire.” Equally sentimental, the Covenant Journal Set comes with one journal for the bride and one for the groom. The journals can be used for vows or love notes. Either way, they make a beautiful keepsake. Erin said, “Even for traditional vows, having those words handwritten by your spouse is special.” The final journal in the new collection, the Missioner’s Journal, is Erin’s favorite. She and Joel are very supportive of missions. “If you’re going on a mission trip, you’ve got to be flexible and embrace grace and give grace,” Erin said. “This journal can help you prepare for that.” The journal also provides plenty of space to document the experience, something Erin said she regrets not doing during her missions. She would have liked to have shared those in-the-moment thoughts and details with her daughter, when she gets older. According to Erin, another important part of missions is bringing home and applying what you learn. To help with this process, the Missioner’s journal also encourages reflection. Looking ahead, Erin and Joel’s greatest hope for Lotus Farm Designs is that it will serve a higher purpose. “I don’t want the journals to just look pretty on a nightstand,” Erin said. “I want people to use them, to keep them as a keepsake and maybe to pass them down from one generation to the next.” Not only does the Martinez family hope their donations will change lives, they hope that when people buy a journal, it will change a life, too.

P&S Receives National Award P&S Surgical Hospital received the 2016 Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award, which honors healthcare facilities that consistently achieve the 95th percentile in patient experience. Press Ganey has recognized P&S Surgical Hospital for outstanding in-patient satisfaction every quarter for the past 11 years, said hospital CEO Linda S. Holyfield.

“It is a true honor to be recognized among the nation’s best. P&S Surgical Hospital physicians and medical staff are committed to providing our patients and their families with outstanding patient care,” she said.

Excellent healthcare is closely tied to patient safety. P&S Surgical Hospital reports an infection rate of only 0.25 percent. The national average is approximately 2.33 percent, as reported by Physician Hospitals of America. Another measure of the hospital’s success can be found in HCAPHS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems), which is a national, standardized survey instrument and data collection methodology for measuring patients’ perspectives on hospital care. HCAPHS data is used to determine recipients of the Guardian of Excellence Award. According to HCAPHS data, 91 percent of patients treated at P&S Surgical Hospital reported “yes” when asked if they would recommend the hospital, compared to the state average of 76 percent and the national average of 72 percent. Consumers can learn about this information and compare hospitals by visiting Press Ganey partners with more than 26,000 healthcare facilities to measure and improve the patient experience. “We are proud to partner with P&S Surgical Hospital,” said Patrick T. Ryan, CEO of Press Ganey. “This award is a testament to the organization’s leadership in delivering of patient-centered care. By achieving and sustaining this level of excellence, P&S Surgical Hospital demonstrates their commitment to reducing patient suffering and advancing the overall quality of healthcare.” P&S Surgical Hospital is a joint venture between St. Francis Medical Center and physician specialists.


A New You for the Holidays Tummy Tucks an Option for Smoother, Firmer Abdomen


F IT’S A SMOOTHER, FIRMER TUMMY YOU WANT, YOU may consider abdominoplasty. After all, of the 1.7 million cosmetic surgical procedures done in 2015, 127,976 of those were tummy tucks. That’s a 9 percent increase over 2014 numbers, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. “There is a misconception sometimes that loose abdominal skin will be taken up by exercise or diet,” said Stephan Maguire, M.D., a plastic surgeon in Alexandria, La., at Rapides Women’s and Children’s Hospital. “There’s no salve or lotion that will address loose skin or stretch marks. You don’t want to waste time and money on those. But with an abdominoplasty, you always see results.” Patients who choose abdominoplasty, often have loose skin across the lower abdomen occurring after pregnancy or weight loss. The outpatient surgery usually takes about two hours and requires 3-4 weeks for recovery. “The recovery, that’s the big thing with this surgery,” Dr. Maguire said. “With other cosmetic procedures, you can be back at work after a long weekend. With this one, recovery does take weeks, but the results are worth it.” Since the surgery requires removal of access fat and skin across the lower abdomen – and occasionally, the surgical restoration of weakened or separated abdominal muscles - there is an incision from hip to hip. There is also a scar. But Dr. Maguire is able to position the incision scar in a way that still allows patients to wear swimsuits and hip-hugging fashions. In some cases, patients schedule an abdominoplasty along with other cosmetic procedures, such as a breast augmentation or liposuction. And if your plastic surgeon and OB/GYN work in the same facility, abdominoplasty could also be done in conjunction with a hysterectomy, so the patient only has to plan for one “recovery” instead of two. “There are immediate results,” Dr. Maguire said. “There will be some swelling. But at three months, patients will be able to enjoy a beach vacation.” When planning a visit to the plastic surgeon for your abdominoplasty consultation, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, know that surgery costs can vary widely. The total cost will include surgeon fees, hospital fees, anesthesia fees, medical tests, medications and post-surgery garments. The office staff will be able to give you an accurate estimate of the final cost and can help set up an affordable payment schedule. Also, know that not everyone will be a good candidate for the surgery. Abdominoplasty patients must be physically healthy, at a stable weight, be a non-smoker and have realistic expectations. And finally, ask questions. Find out how long YOUR recovery will be and what you can do to make sure you get the best possible results. “There is a high rate of patient satisfaction with abdominoplasty,” Dr. Maguire said. “This is one of those issues where surgery is the only solution.” For more information about abdominoplasty with Dr. Maguire, call (318) 442-5800 or visit


Park Manor Plantation

Introducing North Louisiana’s Premier Wedding Venue


HETHER IT’S SPRING OR FALL, THIS PLANTATION farmhouse is the perfect place to hold any event. Beautiful hills and a woodland background set the perfect scene for celebrating with loved ones. The house has towering columns, a balcony, a luxurious walkway and a grand front entrance. Sitting on 150 acres, the magic of Park Manor Plantation will take your breath away. There are many events that Park Manor caters to: • Weddings • Receptions • Family Reunions • Proms • Parties • Events • Photo Sessions In the elegant Bridal Cottage, one will find a spacious room for dressing that is decorated in a beautiful dreamy rustic style that any girl will fall in love with. The cottage holds a full, working, elegant bath tub, kitchen, toilet and a large living area with HD Television. Vintage lace and rustic décor continues throughout the entire cottage making it the perfect place to prepare for one of the most important days in a girl’s life. Truly a dream come true. The pavilion includes room for tables and chairs and provides ample space for dancing and sharing memories with loved ones. An updated sound system is provided with fans as well as heaters and a fireplace, setting the mood for the cooler nights. Park Manor accommodates all guests with a handicapped bathroom and an extra space for food serving. Next to the dance floor, an HD television supplies a medium to display slide-shows of past memories. The deck gives guests room to move around and take a break from dancing while the vinyl curtains provide coverage from weather. Stop by and envision the space with your choice of decorations as you tour the grounds. These are just a few of the amenities that Park Manor provides guests. So call to book your Park Manor tour now, and let the history of the plantation take you into your future.


Matt’s Music In Tune with Budding Musicians and Professionals Alike


ERVING HOBBYISTS, PROFESSIONAL MUSICIANS AND school band players, Matt’s Music has been the go-to place for the finest selection of music equipment for over 25 years. Owner Matt Shepard and staff are proud to offer sought-after name brands including Fender, Taylor, Tama, Gretsch, Peavey, Jackson Guitars, Yamaha and many others throughout the store’s displays. Even better, Matt’s not only has the brands, but has the knowledgeable staff on hand who are happy to assist gift shoppers. The people at Matt’s Music can help you determine the best choices for beginners, intermediate expertise level players, as well as recommendations for the more skilled musicians on your giftgiving list. With such a variety, everyone can find a fit. In addition to selling all kinds of musical instruments, Matt’s is your source for pro audio and video equipment. They also rent instruments for school bands and orchestras and offer music lessons to boost your natural abilities to the next level. It’s the hands-on experience and technical expertise that separates the service at Matt’s from ordering something untouched and sight unseen online. The prices at Matt’s Music are competitive with online sources, but without extra shipping costs. If you don’t see what you’re seeking in the store, ask about Matt’s quick-order service. Finding just what you need is what Matt’s is all about, and no one should hesitate to ask questions. You’ll also see Matt’s Music supporting community and school events throughout the year, and they are proud to be a dependable source of students’ band instruments and accessories. Matt Shepard is pleased to be a sponsor of the Northeast Louisiana Music Awards event, and is excited for the winners who are inducted into the NELA Music Awards Hall of Fame, many of whom have relied on Matt’s Music themselves, or have had band members who prefer getting their instruments at Matt’s. From guitars, drums, keyboards and band instruments, to sound, lights and set-up, Matt’s continues to be your versatile place for all things musical. With professional help in selecting the right instrument at the right price, it’s no wonder that many customers make Matt’s a Christmas gift-giving tradition! Matt’s Music is centrally located off Highway 165 at 3235 Breard Street in Monroe, open Monday through Saturday all year long, or you can visit online at As always, Merry Christmas from Matt’s! WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2016 143

The Stork’s Nest

Holiday Apparel and Gifts for The Little Ones on Your List


HE STORK’S NEST HAS BEEN CONVENIENTLY located in Northgate Shopping Center on Forsythe Avenue. The shop offers adorable clothing from babies’ to kids’ sizes in the latest styles as well as classic ensembles. Christmas is just around the corner, and The Stork’s Nest has something for kids of all ages. They carry a large selection of toys, accessories, books, puzzles and of course, clothing. From newborn to size 4T, they have you covered. Look no further than The Stork’s Nest when it comes to baby registries. They carry a variety of popular items, such as WubbaNubs, teething items like the Gummee Glove, Toofeze, chew beads and the Baby Shusher, a proven sleep miracle makes a great gift for newborns. Puj is another go-to line this year, boasting items that simplify parenthood. Their foldable tubs are a musthave item on any registry. If you are looking for a keepsake gift, Elegant Baby offers heirloom gifts that are sure to please. Moms-to-be aren’t forgotten at The Stork’s Nest. Check out their wide selection of designer baby changing bags by Babymel, Kalencom and Storksak. Stylish and super comfortable Majamas, maternity pajamas can be found as well as nursing bras, nursing


scarves, Padalily items and loads more. For older children, The Stork’s Nest carries a large selection of books and toys. Corolle baby dolls are always a hit for little girls. These premium dolls, designed in France, offer a nostalgic essence with their familiar scent. You will find a variety of plates, cups and bowls that suction to the table or highchair and make great gifts for moms with messy toddlers. They offer a vast selection of puzzles and educational toys to challenge kids’ minds, as well as to entertain. The Stork’s Nest is proud to carry premium clothing for babies, as well as children. They offer everything from cute to classic and sassy to simple. With names you know and trust, such as Kickee Pants and Kissy Kissy, you are sure to find something for your little one. Stop by and visit with owner Sarah Katherine Ewing and see what the Stork’s Nest has for you and yours! The shop is located at 1826 Forsythe Avenue. And don’t forget to find them on Facebook to view new items as they arrive!

Unwrap Your Natural Beauty Your Christmas Wish List at PLC BY JUDY WAGONER


ITH THE HOLIDAY SEASON just around the corner, your kids aren’t the only ones excited about Santa Claus coming to town. As a gift that keeps on giving, non-surgical aesthetic treatments should be at the top of your Christmas wish list. Professional Laser Center has an array of services and procedures to help with your gift-giving. The Vampire FaceLift is one of our most popular procedures. It’s a non-surgical, no downtime form of facial rejuvenation that uses the patient’s own blood, or Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), as well as fillers, to lift and restore a healthy glow to the skin. It’s perfect for those who like their facial features but want to improve dullness, lack of color, sagging and wrinkles. Another PRP procedure that’s gaining in popularity is Vampire Hair Restoration. PRP is injected

into the scalp of patients who are losing hair or just beginning to thin. Dr. Victor Zuckerman, Medical Director at Professional Laser Center, is the only certified provider of the Vampire procedures in North Louisiana. Dr. Zuckerman, along with Dr. Gwen Proctor, also offer the extremely popular Botox injections, along with a variety of hyaluronic acid fillers, such as Restylane, Perlane and Juvederm. Dermapen Microneedling is another highly requested service. Microneedling induces the production of new collagen through the delivery of tiny needles into the skin. The micro injuries tell the brain to grow new collagen and repair the skin. It offers a solution for many skin conditions, including wrinkles and fine lines, acne scarring, stretch marks, skin tightening, lifting and rejuvenation. The Dermapen TattOff Tattoo Removal

System is our newest addition. It’s a safe alternative to Laser Tattoo Removal, which melts the ink and sends it into the lymphatic system. The Dermapen TattOff uses tiny needles which deposit a special acid into the tattoo, forming a scab. When the scab falls off, so does the ink, taking it out of the body. Intense Pulsed Light can take years off the appearance of the skin. This non-invasive light system treats a variety of skin conditions, including brown spots, sun damage, facial spider veins and Rosacea. Laser Hair Removal is hugely popular with our clients. Hair is removed permanently in as little as six to eight months. If you’re wanting to be hair-free by summer, now is a good time to start. Other services include Microdermabrasion, Endermologie for the treatment of cellulite, and the PinPointe Foot Laser which treats nail fungus. America’s number one growth factor, Biopelle Tensage,” is a wonderful gift for anyone wanting beautiful skin. The company has packaged the most beautiful Christmas gift, which includes its newest product, “Biopelle Stem Cell Cream,” which includes two free products, worth $300. If your Christmas wish is to restore your “Natural Beauty,” Professional Laser Center is here to help. Merry Christmas to all!


A Special Collection of Local Favorites

Give the Gift of Recipes this Holiday Season from the Junior League of Monroe BY TARA AMBROSE


AMILY GATHERINGS ARE UPON US, and the smells of Christmas are merely weekends away. Beautiful wrapping papers, bows and decorations are in view for everyone to see, as the season of giving is not merely about another decoration for your Mom’s mantle, or even another scarf for your best friend. It’s a time to share and make memories with family and friends, and what better way to make those memories than in the kitchen celebrating all that is wonderful about this time of the year! The Monroe Junior League offers three amazing cookbooks that are certain to bring a smile during this gift giving season. One can choose from the timeless “The Cotton Country Collection,” or the more recent publications of “Cooking in High Cotton,” or one of my personal favorites, “Celebrations on the Bayou,” making your shopping a breeze! All three publications are available Monday through Thursday at the Junior


League House located at 2811 Cameron Street, Monroe, LA 71201. You may also call ahead at (318) 322-3236 for gift wrapping, as these three cookbooks make marvelous gifts for that special someone on your holiday gift giving list! To share in the holiday spirit, the Junior League Cookbook Committee would like to share the following holiday recipe with you and your family during the upcoming holiday season. Mushrooms Burgundy Celebrations on the Bayou, page 68 Sauce: 4 sticks of butter 1 quart Gallo Hearty Burgundy 1 ½ Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon dill seed 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon garlic

2 cups boiling water 4 beef bouillon cubes 4 chicken bouillon cubes 4 lbs cleaned mushrooms Directions: In a stockpot, melt butter, then combined remaining sauce ingredients. Add mushrooms. Bring to a slow boil on medium heat. Reduce heat, cover and cook 3-5 hours. Remove cover and cook an additional 3-5 hours until liquid barely covers mushrooms. Let cool to room temperature. At this point, do not stir. Pour into container. Reheat to serve. Freezes beautifully. 12 servings. This is an excellent accompaniment to grilled or roasted meats. For cocktails for 100, triple the recipe and serve in a chafing dish.

Haven Interiors, Fine Paper and Gifts A Shopping Destination You Won’t Want to Miss!


HETHER YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A FRIEND OR something special for yourself, this great boutique has it all. Haven not only offers an amazing selection of gifts but completes the shopping experience with personalized service and complimentary gift wrapping. Haven is known for offering exclusive gift lines you won’t find in other shops in Monroe. This design shop also offers beautiful lamps, design accessories, bedding and throw pillows to complete your home. Among the large gift selection is several lines of pajamas in bamboo, satin or cotton, stylish slippers and amazing robes. Nest candles, marble coasters, hand painted canvases, new glassware,and a great selection of books are among the must have gifts this holiday season. Haven has also introduced luxurious cashmere ponchos and hand blocked, hand loomed scarves for those chilly nights. Haven is proud to carry locally designed kaftans and pajamas by Sue-Anu. Sue-Anu’s silk kaftans have exquisite embroidered details perfect for the holidays or choose a pair of hand stamped cotton pajamas which would make a great gift. Haven’s paper section is so popular with a wide variety of

notepads, letterpress notecards and foil journals, desk accessories, calendars, planners and gift tags. Graphic Image leather planners and passport covers are a customer favorite. Haven has an excellent variety of men’s gifts, including S’well water bottles that keep drinks hot for 12 hours or cold for 24. A great book, robe or the new Herschel travel bag are the perfect gifts for any man on your list. Ordering holiday photo cards and personalized paper gifts have never been easier! Shop from your home while supporting a local business by going to Quick ship and great selection. Be sure to visit Haven for “Black Friday” and “Small Business Saturday” specials throughout the store. Haven has extended holiday hours each day in December to provide extra shopping time and will be open on Sundays from 1-4 beginning November 27. For the best gifts this holiday season, a trip to Haven is a must!


Cricket’s Grace Ruston’s Newest Boutique


RICKET THURMON AND ANNA GRACE DOWLING have been friends since long before they went into business together. When they started their online store 2 years ago, they planned to test the waters before diving in to a retail location. The website quickly took off, and before they knew it they had 1,000 followers on Facebook alone. The two college students spent the early days building their inventory and clientele until finally, 4 months ago they opened the shop. Located in the shopping strip on Trenton Street in Ruston, next door to Two Crazy Girl’s Flower Shop and down from the Main Street Exchange, the shop offers a great selection of women’s apparel, plus size clothing, boots and shoes, jewelry and other gift items. Cricket’s Grace Boutique is the exclusive spot to get Just Black Denim. Since JUST USA was founded in 1985, they have been the innovative leader in the use of stretch denim. Year after year, craftsmanship and designs have helped them remain at the top of the industry. Their main goal is for their customers to look and feel fabulous when wearing a pair of Just Black jeans. This is accomplished through their amazing design team and the use of the finest quality fabrics. This has been the recipe for success at JUST USA. Their main vision has always been the beauty of simplicity. For decades, Just Black Jeans have been known for their signature 5-Pocket Basic, the perfectly versatile everyday jean. For holiday fashion, look no further than Cricket’s Grace Boutique. For cozy gatherings at home, try a simple shirt, a vest, jeans and boots. Are you planning on attending a more fancy affair? Cricket’s Grace has just what you need when it comes to cocktail attire, from dazzling dresses, glitzy tops and adorable 2 piece ensembles. Don’t forget the accessories. Cricket’s Grace offers jewelry for any occasion whether casual or elegant, as well as boots and booties that will match any style. Stop by Cricket’s Grace during your holiday shopping days, and see what they have to offer. You are sure to be pleased with their selection, style and customer service. Cricket’s Boutique is located at 108 S. Trenton St in Ruston, next door to Two Crazy Girls Flower Shop. Find them on Facebook to keep up with new arrivals and to see what’s in store. 318-245-0526


Gluten Free Goodness

For His Temple Highlights Healthy Options


OR HIS TEMPLE FAMILY FOODS LOCATED AT 315 Wood Street in Antique Alley is one of a kind. There is so much going on in this corner of West Monroe, you need to go check it out. It’s a happening lunch spot serving an ever changing menu of body fueling goodies both for dine in or take out. Did you catch that? Dine in! Say what? Yes, they opened a dining room recently, and now you can go in, sit down in really comfy chairs and chow down on body fueling, taste bud tickling organic, gluten free foods for lunch. Say what? It’s true. Go see for yourself. Lunch is posted on Instagram and Facebook every evening for the following day. There is a very wide variety of foods served that are tasty, good for you and always 100% gluten free. OK, back to what for His Temple Family Foods has going on... They have coolers full of organic, 100% gluten free meals that can be picked up fresh or frozen for that busy lunch or supper time, when cooking isn’t an option and a drive-hru is not appealing. It is a bakery of natural sugar, dairy free and gluten free goodies to satisfy the sweet tooth while still feeding the body. It is a market of clean, organic and gluten free products. It is an organic coffee bar serving up some amazing lattes. It is a place where service is rule #1, THE most important thing and caring for the customer matters above all! For His Temple serves 100% gluten free foods ALWAYS. No need to ask or wonder; it’s spot on every time. But, if you want to know ingredients, just ask. They are happy to share the ingredients list and work with folks on a daily basis that deal with various food allergies and intolerances. The focus is serving body fueling foods all the time. For His Temple tirelessly works with local farms and food artisans throughout the region, cooking with and offering for sale these folks products. For His Temple is ALL about local. Need a dish for your Christmas dinner table? Give them a call! Need an appetizer or two for a party or family get together? Give them a call! Need a dessert for an office event? Give them a call! Looking for a cozy space to hold an after work office party for your team? Give them a call! For His Temple cares about serving the community and will work with you to create the dish and/or experience that meets your need and surpasses your expectations. Go check it out this Christmas season. You will not be disappointed!



Making A Difference y d n i C urray M


or Cindy Murray, the phrase “making a difference” is not just empty rhetoric. It is what she does every day. As the Chief Executive Officer of The Center for Children and Families, Murray heads up an organization that serves hundreds of children and families in need in communities throughout Louisiana. Under Murray’s leadership, what began in a tiny back room office has grown into a thriving, nationally recognized non-profit agency that stands as a beacon of hope for those in crisis situations. Murray grew up in the small community of Dodson, Louisiana. She went to college in nearby Monroe, where she majored in Journalism at Northeast Louisiana University, now ULM. While she was in school, she worked as a reporter for the News Star, but she soon realized that journalism was not her calling. “They sent me to cover a house fire,” Murray recalls of her first job as a journalist, “but I was much more interested in comforting the people who had lost their home than in reporting the story. Instead of worrying about my deadline, all I could think about was that family,

sitting there on the curb huddled under a quilt, and what was going to happen to them.” It was, she says, a moment of clarity for her. She knew then what she was meant to do. Not long after that experience, Murray went back to school, eventually earning a Master’s degree in Professional Counseling. She was just out of graduate school when a crisis arose in her own family. Her father became seriously ill and was hospitalized for several months. During that time, Murray had to step in and take over her father’s company. She had been minimally involved in his business operations before, helping out with bookkeeping from time to time, and he had taught her certain aspects of the business, but she was unprepared for doing it all on her own. “But there I was,” Murray recalls, “running my dad’s timber business from a hotel room in Shreveport.” She says she kept things going long enough for him to get out of the hospital and back on his feet. As a child, Murray believed that she could do anything. It is a belief instilled in her by her parents and confirmed by her Christian faith as she grew into adulthood. Anyone who has ever worked with Murray would certainly agree with that assessment.



er first position as a professional counselor proved to be much more of a challenge than originally planned. Not long after Murray was hired by the Family Tree Counseling Service in Lafayette, her supervisor was terminated. With virtually no experience, Murray was left to keep that agency afloat during a time of multiple changes and turnover. “It was definitely good experience,” Murray says, “in that I learned a whole lot during those two years.” During college, Murray was very involved with the Christian Student Center at NLU, and at one point considered ministry as a full time vocation. It was through the Christian Student Center that she met Charlie Murray, who became her best friend. While she was working in Lafayette and he was working in North Dakota, she and Charlie stayed in touch. By chance, their extended vacations happened to coincide, and they were able to spend time together again in Louisiana. They realized then that they were meant to share more than friendship. It was not long before they were married. As a young couple, the Murrays lived first in North Dakota and then in Texas as Charlie continued working with churches in ministry. She assisted him in his ministry and also worked in private practice as a marriage and family therapist. They ultimately ended up back home in North Louisiana, when Charlie was hired as the campus minister at Whites Ferry Road Church of Christ. Because it would take time to complete the transfer of her therapy license to Louisiana, Cindy looked for another work outlet, which she found in Elaine’s Plants and Flowers. The couple bought the business in West Monroe and Cindy headed up that operation, something they both really enjoyed. Murray recalls being at the flower shop one morning when tragedy struck. She received a call from a church member who had been with her husband at Camp Ch-Yo-Ca, where he was serving as camp director as part of his work with WFRCOC. Cindy had called the camp earlier to talk to him and was told that he was still asleep. Her worst fears were confirmed when she reached Glenwood Medical Center. Her young husband had died in his sleep. At only thirty-one years old, Cindy Murray was a widow. “It was horrible,” Murray remembers of that extremely difficult time in her life. “But somehow, by the grace of God, I got through it.” Following her husband’s death, Murray sold the flower shop and went to work as the Director of Rural Services for the YWCA, an agency that would later become the Wellspring. Murray says that was a pivotal year for her. “This was perfect. I was not really in any shape yet to do one-on-one counseling,” she recalls. “It was good for me to get back into the workforce and to be involved with a non-profit. It was something I loved to do.” She discovered that she really enjoyed and excelled at administering community service programs. Around this same time, as young attorneys and members of the Junior League of Monroe, Wendy Giovingo and Stacy Guice were working to develop a program to benefit neglected and abused children involved in court proceedings in Ouachita Parish. Under their direction, the League partnered with local judges and

other community volunteers to implement a nationwide program known as CASA--Court Appointed Special Advocates—in this area. Trained CASA workers act as advocates for children caught up in the court system, providing important information to the judge making decisions about what is in a child’s best interest. Giovingo and fellow Junior League members interviewed and hired Murray as the first Executive Director of the newly formed CASA program. “It was just me and one half-time assistant working in a tiny room at the Junior League house,” Murray says, looking back. From these humble beginnings, The Center for Children and Families was born. “That first year,” Murray says, “things moved really fast. We start ed writing grants and were able to expand to cover several parishes. We eventually became CASA of Northeast Louisiana.” Murray says that she hired a whole staff at one time, bringing thirteen people on board. “It was a very exciting time,” recalls Murray. With Murray at the helm, the organization ran smoothly for a number of years. The CASA program won awards and was recognized as one of the outstanding CASA programs in the nation. In 2004, the agency faced compounding budget cuts and funding shortfalls. Instead of giving up, shutting down or figuring out ways to downsize, Murray suggested to the board that they take a daring approach. She asked them to let her expand. Murray laughs when she recalls what a bold move this was at the time. “Amazingly, my board went along with it.” The organization changed its name from CASA of Northeast Louisiana to The Center for Children and Families, and expanded its mission and focus to include other areas of service. Murray and Curtis Eberts, the agency’s Chief Operating Officer, drew up and submitted a winning grant proposal that allowed CFCF to begin offering therapeutic services to families in crisis. The Therapeutic Services division currently offers counseling services to teens, parents and families, as well as group counseling, life skills training and family advocacy. In addition to the CASA Program and Therapeutic Services, the Center also now encompasses a Children’s Advocacy Center. Having a Children’s Advocacy Center, which she describes as a “one-stop shop for kids who have been sexually abused,” had always been on Murray’s wish list. In 2004, that wish became a reality. Based on multi-disciplinary teams that work together in one place, the CAC provides a means for conducting forensic interviews with children who have been sexually abused, so that they do not have to tell their story over and over again. “Every service that an abused child needs is housed in this one area,” Murray explains. Dr. Mead O’Boyle, a pediatrician specializing in child sexual trauma, is housed at the CAC, which has expanded and is moving into a new space in November 2016. In 2015, the CFCF opened offices in Lafayette and Shreveport. In addition to the facility on Riverside Drive in downtown Monroe, the Center also has branches in Farmerville, Rayville, Columbia and Tallulah. Murray estimates that the Center currently serves between 1,250 and 1,500 active clients throughout Louisiana. As CEO of the organization, Murray now oversees a staff of more than 200 employees. Murray believes that one of the most important aspects of her job is to make The Center for Children

I realized a long time ago that I care about what we’re doing, and it’s important to me that it has meaning, but I get up and go to work every day because of the people that work for me.


BAYOUICON cont. and Families a great place to work. “I realized a long time ago that I care about what we’re doing, and it’s important to me that it has meaning, but I get up and go to work every day because of the people that work for me,” Murray says. “I really believe that my mission is to pour in to the people that work for me.” “The work that our staff does is hard,” Murray says, noting that center employees deal with some of the toughest, most unpleasant parts of society—child abuse, poverty, violence and lack of education. “I want our offices to be a sanctuary, where people can kind of take a deep breath and feel like they are safe here in the office.” She says there is a real spirit of play at the Center and it is not at all uncommon to see employees playing ping pong or some other game in the office. “When you do this kind of work,” she says, “you need an outlet in order to keep your sanity and sense of humor about you.”

Years ago, Murray started something for Center employees that she calls “Huddle.” “It’s something we do once a week, where we work on improving who we are as people. It’s not necessarily about work, but it is always about growing as a person,” explains Murray. “We shut everything down for an hour once a week and do some kind of learning component together. The idea is for the employee to become a better person and to build them up.” Murray recognizes that individuals spend a huge part of their lives at work, and she wants her employees to feel that their work is uplifting, not something that drags them down. “I want all of my employees to leave work each day better than they came—a better mother, a better wife or husband or community member or church member.” Of CFCF employees, Murray says that they are not only well trained and qualified, but are truly dedicated to the children and families they serve. As an example of the caring spirit among her staff, Murray points to the Center’s annual Christmas Project. “The Christmas Project began in 2005, when many of our employees struggled with the thought that while they would be able to provide Christmas gifts for their own families, many of the children they worked with would have nothing for Christmas.” The children served by CFCF are typically abused or neglected and are either in foster care or in families that are struggling financially. To make sure these children do not go without, Center employees have each child fill out a wish list with his or her clothing sizes as well as a few gifts they would like to have for Christmas. Through community donations, the Christmas Project provides gifts to nearly 1,000 children each year. “Providing gifts for that many children each year isn’t something we could do on our own,” Murray says. “We have our dedicated sponsors to thank for continually supporting The Christmas Project and making Christmas wishes come true for children of all ages across Northeast Louisiana.” urray is well known for benevolence in her personal life, always helping anyone who might be in need. Because of an encounter with someone who came to her for help, she received the greatest gift and joy of her life. Murray and her husband had always planned to have children, and after his death that longing did not go away. Murray says she had been thinking and praying about adoption and had even had a dream about a little boy with dark curly hair. Within a few days of that dream, a young woman in need of financial assistance came to see Murray. Murray helped her pay her utility bill, and as they talked, she related to Murray that she had a four year old child and also a baby that was just a few months old. She was struggling and knew that she could not take care of the baby, and had decided to give the


baby up for adoption. Murray told the girl about her prayers and desire to adopt. Three days later, Murray held in her arms a beautiful baby with dark curly hair that is now her adopted son. His four year old sibling was later adopted by a couple at Murray’s church. Murray’s friends and co-workers have celebrated with her and watched as she has embraced single motherhood with the same grace and determination that make her a successful executive. “Cindy’s approach to life is inspiring. She seeks to lift up those around her to their fullest potential by nurturing their strengths, setting an example for them, providing guidance to them and always being willing to learn from those around her,” says CFCF Board President Wendy Giovingo. “While making hard business decisions, Cindy keeps in mind the impact those decisions will have on the community, the families that CFCF serves and her employees. Cindy is an incredible person, and CFCF is blessed to have her at the wheel.” Murray strives to insure that everyone she comes in contact with is encouraged and uplifted, able to believe in themselves and have hope for the future. In her personal life and in her career, Murray makes a positive difference each day, making life better for those who live and work in her community.

Parkview Baptist Church Fall Festival


all Festival 2016 at Parkview Baptist Church in Monroe gathered close to 300 children, parents and grandparents in their Family Life Center on Sunday, October 30 for a fantastic treat of food and games. This event is an annual gift from the congregation of Parkview Baptist Church to the Monroe and West Monroe communities. Always held on the Sunday afternoon before Halloween, the Festival has gotten bigger and bigger each year. Hot dogs, drinks, cotton candy and popcorn were on the menu, and of course, plenty of games for all ages. New this year was the addition of the bowling alley to the list of

activities. Children won prizes or tickets at each game, and at the end of the Festival they were invited to spend their accumulated tickets for prizes in the fantastic Festival store. Complimentary pictures of children in their Halloween costumes rounded out the afternoon. The Festival is always free, and all children 2-10 years of age and their parents are lovingly invited to join the fun. Parkview is located at 1001 Forsythe Avenue in Monroe.


P&S Surgical Hospital Thanks Our Community Striving to Provide the Best Care for You



HE HOLIDAY SEASON OFFERS US A GIFT: THE CHANCE to appreciate our blessings. All of us at P&S Surgical Hospital extend our sincere gratitude to our patients and their families for trusting us with their health and the opportunity to improve the quality of their lives. We are also thankful to our dedicated referring doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants who depend on us to provide their patients with excellent medical care. We sincerely appreciate the support of our extended community of healthcare recipients and healthcare providers, and we will continue to strive to provide them with the best care. We are also thankful for the highly-skilled physicians and medical staff  members  who choose to work at P&S Surgical Hospital. The quality medical staff, as well as the dedication of our employees, have enabled our hospital to receive impressive national recognition for outstanding surgical outcomes in 2016. P&S Surgical Hospital continues to rank among the nation’s top 10 percent for Joint Replacement, according to Healthgrades, an online resource that compares physicians and hospitals throughout the country.   We are also proud to announce that our hospital has received the Joint Replacement Excellence Award and five-star ratings for total knee replacements and total hip replacements. Five-star ratings indicate that our clinical outcomes are among the nation’s best in conducting the medical procedures being evaluated. 

In addition, P&S Surgical Hospital has been awarded the Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence, an award which honors hospitals who have reached the 95th percentile for patient experience. Press Ganey has recognized P&S Surgical Hospital for outstanding in-patient satisfaction every quarter for the past 11 years.   These impressive national recognitions exemplify P&S Surgical Hospital’s focus on patient satisfaction and achieving the most successful clinical outcomes, and we are so proud of our outstanding physicians and medical staff members for their exemplary work.   Our patients and their families perhaps say it best. They often leave comments on our P&S Surgical Hospital Facebook page, such as this one: “The registration staff, the doctor, the anesthesiologist, the nurses and all the staff were super nice and caring. This was my 18-month-old’s first surgery, and they made sure we were updated about what was going on, and they explained everything nicely. I would recommend P&S to anyone.”   The exceptional staff at P&S Surgical Hospital, located in downtown Monroe, embraces the opportunity to serve the healthcare needs of northeast Louisiana. We urge you to choose us for your next procedure, and experience why our hospital is so beloved by our patients and their families.  We also wish you good health and happiness during the holiday season and throughout the new year. 


Nothing Runs Like a Deere 5K

Goldman Equipment Hosts First 5K Charity Race December 10th


OLDMAN EQUIPMENT IS PROUD TO HOST THEIR first 5K Charity Race. The “Nothing Runs Like a Deere 5K” will be held December 10, 2016 at their West Monroe location (511 Mane Street, West Monroe) next to the Ike Hamilton Expo Center. There will be a Family Fun run at 8 a.m., and the 5K begins at 8:30 a.m. All proceeds will benefit Family Promise of Ouachita, an organization that provides homeless families with stability so they can get back on their feet and provide their children with a healthy living environment. Come out to support the runners at this family-friendly event. Shop John Deere toys and merchandise for Christmas, and even take a picture with Santa! They have wagons, tractor toys, books, clothes and even a large variety of toys for the grown-ups. Those who sign up for the race will be entered to win a Honda Generator. You don’t want to miss out on this chance to provide for your community while having fun. Sign up on, or go to for the link to sign up. Be sure to like their Facebook page, and let your friends know you will be attending the event. Register by November 28 to receive a t-shirt size. Family Fun Run is $20, 5K is $25, and day-of-race sign-up


is $35. You can also decide to sleep in, donate, and still receive a t-shirt for $20. Goldman Equipment is your hometown Louisiana John Deere dealer. With 13 locations in North and Central Louisiana, it’s easy to access. They believe in upholding core values that have helped forge a long-lasting and mutually beneficial partnerships with large and small agriculture, commercial, residential and governmental customers and giving back to our local organizations will help the community, and relationships within our communities. The holidays are a time for giving so stop by December 10th and bring the family to support our community at 511 Mane St. in West Monroe. Feel free to call (318) 387-5534 or check out our Facebook page for any questions you may have. We hope to see you there! Happy Holidays from Goldman Equipment! Be sure to drop by to take advantage of the great selection of Christmas gifts, before we close for the year on December 16! Because of being so busy from planting season in the spring through harvest, our employees deserve a much needed break for the holidays. Reopening January 2, 2017!

Eat, Drink and Lip Sync On October 22, 2016 family and friends gathered to celebrate Amber Boyd’s 30th birthday. Held at Idom Plantationon in Columbia, guests were welcomed with food, drinks and entertainment. Light competition of Lip Sync performances made for a comical night. With everything from Daniel Moore and Bonnie Hay’s performance of with I’ve Had the Time of My Life to Danny Boyd’s rendition of Channing Tatum’s welding scene from Magic Mike, everyone danced and laughed into the night, and it was just that great memories!




On the BayouScene 1 Daniel Moore and Bonnie Hay 2D  aniel Moore, Amber and Danny Boyd, Tyler and Amy Idom and Tina Owens 3 S ommer and Victoria Robert 4 T ina Owens, Pam Mann and Amber Boyd 5A  mber and Danny Boyd 6 L andry Robert

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Simply Lou I Was a Ski School Dropout article and illustration by Lou Davenport


ever woulda been on that mountain top, if it hadn’t been for love. Never woulda saw all that snow, if it hadn’t been for love. Never woulda busted my butt, threw down my skis, quit ski school and threw a hissy fit if it hadn’t been, if it hadn’t been for love.” (my apologies to Chris Stapleton for paraphrasing one of his songs) I’ve written about some of the trips “Mister” and I took back when “things were good.” I did love him. Sadly, things just didn’t work out. It’s okay. That’s life. I have found it better to just remember the good. So “Mister,” here’s “to the good times!” When “Mister” asked me if I wanted to go skiing in Crested Butte, Colorado, of course I said, “Yes!” SNOW! You know how us Southerners act about SNOW! I wasn’t even thinking about skiing! He told me skiing was easy! Yeah, OK, SNOW! I didn’t know one thing about skiing! “Mister” had learned how years ago, and he was confident that with only one day in ski school, I would be “hitting the slopes” like a pro. Yeah, OK, SNOW! We left after dark on Christmas Day and his plan was to drive all the way to Tecumseh, New Mexico, stop and spend the night, then drive on to Crested Butte. The drive was long and dark. I enjoyed seeing little Texas towns way out there in the dark. They looked like little clusters of stars. I have to say I was tired 158 DECEMBER 2016 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM

of riding, but I didn’t complain. I just kept drinking coffee and tried to keep music going on the radio. We finally got to Tecumseh in the wee hours of the morning, and I began looking around to see where we were going to spend the night. The town was sound asleep. And, it was so cold. “Mister” pulled in the parking lot of the “Cowboy Cafe” and announced this was where we were going to the truck. What? He explained that was how he and his entire family did it when they all went up to Crested Butte. I thought he was kidding!He proceeded to get “comfortable” in that cold truck and started snoring! Let me tell y’all something, I have NEVER stayed one night in a dark parking lot in a freezing truck. Did I sleep? Of course not. I was “jacked up” on coffee and so cold. I watched as they finally opened the café before the sun rose. I hoped I could move after being cooped up in a truck for that many hours. Their breakfast helped, along with some of the strongest coffee I’d ever tried to drink. On the road again, our next stop was Crested Butte. I could finally see scenery. Breathtaking! SNOW! I had been to Colorado in the summer, but winter was better. Perched on a cliff, we saw a large herd of mountain goats that were not the least bit shy! Seeing those mountain goats made that cold, sleepless

night in the parking lot better. We finally reached Crested Butte, and the town was charming. We were staying up on the mountain, so we made our way there and checked into a little chalet hotel. I just wanted to look out the window and look at all that SNOW! But, no, we had to go to the ski shop and get all the necessary ski stuff! As we made our way there, I couldn’t breathe very well. I had altitude sickness. Lovely. And it didn’t go away, until we were on our way home. I nicknamed it my “Rocky Mountain High.” In the ski shop, skis, poles and boots seems to be flying around and everyone was in a ski frenzy! I felt like a fish out of water. When it was my turn to get fitted for boots, Oh Dear! Those things felt like I was going to fall face first onto the floor. They were weird, as in walking on your toes! I could barely walk in those boots, how in the world was I going to put on skis wearing them and ski? “Mister” registered me in ski school. I thought it was “ski school kindergarten” for those of us who had never, ever had a pair of skis on. I would soon find out, they LIED! Next morning, off we went, slowly, because I would have to stop to catch my breath. Why did fun have to be so exhausting? “Mister” left me at ski school and off he went to hit the slopes! I was watching people flying down that mountain on skis, stopping just short of hitting the lodge. They were

having lots of fun. Even little kids! The ski lift had a long line and were moving people up that mountain by the dozens! I “tippy toed,” loaded with my skis and poles, breathlessly, in total ignorance to my ski class. The teacher got there and said it was her first time to teach. She looked like Sheryl Crowe. I was cold. I thought I had dressed warmly enough. I felt like “Randy” in his snowsuit from “The Christmas Story.” First thing, I learned how to put those boots into the ski and click them in. Then, I learned to use the poles to help you get up. I learned how to “walk” sideways to get around. So far, so good. I thought too soon. I couldn’t keep those skis lined up straight. Mine slid wherever they wanted. Ol “Sheryl” lined us up and showed how to bend your knees and slowly come down a small incline. My feet went out from underneath me and I fell right on my butt. Nobody else did! I struggled to get up and slid down again. Several times! “Sheryl” and her first class left me! Didn’t even say, “Bye!” Rude! They went on to the bunny slope! So, what do you do? At least I could get up! I’d make it back upright, then fall on my butt again. I tried and tried and every time I did, my feet flew up, and I was on my butt again. That was beginning to hurt! In back of me was the ski class just having a great time on the bunny slope with “Sheryl,” and I knew damned well those people HAD skied before! To the side of me were little kids swarming around on their skis, even kicking up snow when they stopped! I hated all of them. I do not give up easily, but after about 50 “slip downs,” I’d had enough. Skiing was NOT in my future! There I was alone, with all these happy skiers around me, as I kept busting my butt on hard pack snow. I reached the “Hissy Fit Threshold” and crossed on over! I clicked those boots out of those skis and threw skis as far as I could! Next, the poles. I let loose a “tapestry of profanities that may still hang over Crested Butte” just like Ralphie’s “old man!” I acted a fool! I crawled up, no more tip toeing in those boots, to a deck that had tables. I breathlessly flopped down and started crying. Snot and tears were flying. My head, butt and back hurt! Where was the ski patrol? Don’t they have brandy? I’m sure I was quite “entertaining” for all those there that day, but I gave it a valiant fight! I wanted hot chocolate, a warm place to hide to “lick my wounds” and find my dignity. Soon, “Mister” skied up and did that move that kicks up the snow when he stopped. For a split second, I wanted to throw something at him, but I didn’t have anything left. Sobbing, I told him I quit ski school and had acted a fool. He laughingly told me I didn’t have to go back. He even promised we would go on a sleigh ride that I had asked him about. We went on that sleigh ride and it was my idea of “snow fun!” The moon was full; there were plenty of blankets to keep warm; the horses were big, beautiful Belgium Drafts. And, there was dinner! Skiing vs. Sleigh ride? Sleigh ride for me! So, “Mister” continued to ski each day, and I was most happy to hang out in the lodge. I watched it SNOW, drank hot chocolate and munched on homemade cookies that were left for guests. I was happy and warm, and he was happy zipping around on skis up on that mountain! The trip home was fun as well. We stopped at the Royal Gorge and the Continental Divide. We toasted in the New Year with coffee at an IHOP. Later, tumbleweeds were being blown by a strong wind across the road. We stopped and chased them! Brought a few back. “Never woulda busted my butt way up on that mountain top if it hadn’t been for love.” No skiing for me but...hmm, maybe snowboarding! I loved their crazy hats! Happy New Year’s Y’all! “If It Hadn’t Been For Love” by Chris Stapleton and the Steeldrivers


Governors’ Scotch Tasting On October 27, Governors Gigar and Pipe hosted a scotch tasting in collaboration with Washington Wine and Spirits. Tickets quickly sold out for the event which featured six different Scotches from Highland Park and Macallan that were paired with premium cigars.

On the BayouScene 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Fred Jones and Robert Knight Justin Thompson and Friday Ellis A  shley Ellis and Jennifer Lizenby D  enis Johnston and Cole Lofton P  uneet Sharma and Jade Davidson Rudy Niswanger, Robert McEachnie Hank Jones and Josh Donnell Chris Holyfield and Heath Lord Michael John and Brandi Lenard and Shon Berry










Meaningful Ceremonies

You and Your Family Are Invited by the Mulhearn Family and Staff to Attend


N TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6,THE ANNUAL CANDLE Lighting Remembrance Ceremony will be held in West Monroe at 5:30 p.m. and in Monroe at 7:00 p.m. The Mulhearn Family feels there is a need for those who have experienced a loss to be able to gather and remember loved ones. Honoring the deceased and caring for the surviving family members continues to be one of the most important aspects of their community service. Dr. John Canine, ED.D, Ph.D. and Andrew Dodson, grief after-care representatives, as well as Dianne Guillot, family service representative, will speak about grief and lend support and guidance in facing the upcoming holiday season. The hope is that you will find peace as you continue the journey of bridging your past with the future. On Saturday, December 17, Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery and the Mulhearn Family and Staff, in conjunction with the General Claire L. Chennault Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol, will host its 5th Annual Wreaths Across America Ceremony at 11:00 a.m. This event will be held across the nation simultaneously at participating cemeteries. Everyone is invited to attend this patriotic ceremony to pay tribute and express their gratitude to those whose sacrifices we can never repay. There will be a program featuring placement of a wreath for each branch of service as well as beautiful music. The

cemetery is helping perpetuate Wreaths Across America’s mission by remembering our fallen heroes, honoring those who serve and teaching our children about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families to preserve our freedom. Wreaths across American began with a trip to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C. that turned into a life-changing experience for a 12-year-boy from Maine named Morrill Worcester. The images representing our nation’s values and sacrifice spread up and down each row of marked heroes was something he never forgot. Worcester became the owner of Worchester Wreath Company, and remembering his trip as a young boy, he decided to put his surplus of wreaths to good use. In 1992, he began placing wreaths on soldiers’ graves at Arlington National Cemetery, a practice which later grew to be known as Wreaths Across America. Now through donations and volunteers, the graves of over 226,000 fallen heroes across the country are simultaneously decorated with holiday wreaths. “May God’s love light your way throughout this holiday season, and lead you into a new year filled with peace.” – The Mulhearn Family and Staff


Deck Your Halls with Aron’s Pharmacy

Aron’s Pharmacy Gift and Grill is Geared Up for Christmas with Great Gifts and More


NCE AGAIN, IT’S TIME FOR THE MUCH-ANTICIPATED holiday season and the folks at Aron’s Pharmacy are in Christmas mode! Beautifully lighted and exquisitely decorated Christmas trees are placed throughout the store with holiday displays that complement each one’s unique style. Santa Claus is seen driving his sleigh past the large front window, on his way to the North Pole. This year there is a special treat for the kids: a large mailbox in the children’s section of the store, beckoning the youngsters to drop off their wish lists for Ole Saint Nick during their visit. As always, beautiful gift wrapping is free with any purchase you make. Whether you are coming in to select the perfect gift for that someone special or for everyone on your list this year, be sure to join us for a complimentary taste of Aspen Mulling Cider and cookies. If you are really hungry, Aron’s serves breakfast from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. They serve lunch until 3:00 p.m. on Monday through Saturday. If you have never had the pleasure of having a famous Aron’s hamburger, now is a great time to try it out! Aron’s offers a large selection of Collegiate apparel and gifts. They have something for every fan with gear from LSU, Saints, Ole


Miss, ULM, Tech and Alabama and more. Come by and let one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff members help you with your holiday gift selections. And remember Aron’s has a complete candy department with candy from Russell Stover, Pangburns, Whitman’s and Lammes. Aron’s Pharmacy Gift and Grill is a full service, family owned and operated business in Monroe. It has been a main stay of the community for over 50 years. They continue to offer free city-wide delivery service to the Monroe and West Monroe areas. Come be a part of our family...Aron’s looks forward to serving you!

Aron’s Pharmacy Gift and Grill 1209 No. 18th Street Monroe, Louisiana 71201 318.323.2242 Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Saturdays 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Closed Sundays


On display at the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho are Hooshang Khorasani’s “Romantic Bouquet” and (right, top to bottom) “Sunset Harmony,” “All Dressed Up” and “Harmony.”

Four paintings by Ruston artist Hooshang Khorasani are being shown in two exhibits at the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho in Idaho Falls. The ARTmart exhibit began Nov. 10, and Art Collective began Nov. 17. Both will run through Dec. 30. Three of Hooshang’s abstracts will be part of ARTmart: “Sunset Harmony” and “All Dressed Up,” both 8x8 inches, and “Harmony,” 6x6 inches. The 24x30-inch floral “Romantic Bouquet” will be in Art Collective. ARTmart is part of the larger holiday exhibit Beaux Cadeaux. Art Collective is the museum’s annual juried year-end exhibit, an homage to art organizations, groups and guilds that nurture professional and artistic development. Overlooking the Snake River, the Eastern Idaho museum is home to five galleries, a children’s interactive art learning area, an art classroom/workshop area and an eclectic gift shop. The museum offers a full calendar of events for children and adults, including gallery walks, guest lectures and hands-on art workshops. Hooshang Studio is located at 1001 Cedar Creek Road in Ruston and is open by appointment.




Anitra’s CARA’S

This gorgeous peacockDescription.. colored gown features a boat neckline, off-the-shoulder straps in a shiny teal taffeta. The mermaid bottom has princess seams and an exaggerated sweep train. WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2016 165

Herringstone’s (left)

Cherish looks holiday glam in this rose gold sequin maxi skirt and crop top. Add an ivory jacket for warmth and style.

Eleven 26 (right)

Form fitting and flattering, this mid-calf length dress is sleeveless and features delicate sequined appliques cascading down the side. Finish the look with these stunning open toe ankle strap sandals and faux fur wristlet.

Hemline Monroe (left)

Alluring lace insets swirl over the surface of this striking cocktail dress, finished with a strappy halter neckline and dramatic diamond-shaped cutout back. Add a fringed, suede heel, small purse with chain strap and hit the town.

Beehive (right)

This dress is perfect for your next holiday soiree. The upper faux leather top balances the gold lamĂŠ skater skirt in this dress that is a go-to for any after-dark event. Accessorize with a thick velvet choker and sophisticated single sole pump with chunky wrapped heel.

MR. P’S TEES Description..

K-Sera (left)

Add a little stardust to your step with these black velvet flare pants paired with a simple shimmering metallic tank. This beautiful Angora fur cropped jacket is perfect for chilly nights. These alluring dress sandals and wide, textured statement choker complete the look.

Cricket’s Grace (right)

Shimmer and shine in this pull-on skater skirt and coordinating crop top for a fun and flirty night out. Add a simple velvet choker for a look that is brilliant.

New Attitude Hair Design Boutique LaCour (left) Create a look that steals the night with this glamourous red maxi dress. Layer on pearl necklaces and vintage Chanel to maximize your look. Add a sky high pump with a flirtatious bow on the heel, stack on gorgeous, gilded Simon Sebbag bangles and grab this vintage 1940’s red clutch for a city chic night out.

Ron Alexander Clothiers for Men (right)

This classic one-button tuxedo features a notch lapel,100% worsted wool and half canvas quality tailoring. It is paired with a classic fit sport shirt and plaid-print tie.

The Nude Nomad

Be the girl that has it all with this flirty cocktail dress featuring off-the-shoulder styling, sheer sleeves and mini silhouette. Add a black suede leather heel with pointed toe and ankle strap. Accessorize with layered necklaces and wrapped bracelets.

Glenwood Medical Group Continued From Page 12 UROLOGY Edward Rutland, MD Hannah Morris, PA Dr. Edward Rutland is a board certified urology specialist and is one of the only robotically trained urologists in Northeast Louisiana. His services include the evaluation and treatment of bladder, kidney and prostate cancer, kidney stones, male and female urinary incontinence, enlarged prostate, vasectomy and erectile dysfunction. PH: 318329-8517

GLENWOOD INTERNAL MEDICINE AND PEDIATRICS Billy G. Branch, MD Dr. Branch specializes in internal medicine, pediatrics, and family care. His services include minor illness and injury treatment, wellness exams, wellbaby checkups, sports physicals, hormone replacement, allergies and rashes, family planning, pre-employment physicals, chronic disease and medication management and specialist referrals. PH: 318-665-0170

PRIMARY CARE CLINICS GLENWOOD FAMILY AND INTERNAL MEDICINE Roland Ponarski, MD Christene Wooden, ANP Dr. Ponarski specializes in diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. He also offers routine physical exams and CDL license exams. PH: 318-329-8485

GLENWOOD INTERNAL MEDICINE AND PREVENTIVE CARDIOLOGY Alyce Adams, MD Dr. Adams is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and has completed specialty training in preventive cardiology. She is also a certified diabetes educator and specializes in the treatment of diabetes, hypertension, preventative cardiology and other chronic medical diseases. Tests offered include EKGs,

stress tests and echocardiograms. PH: 318-322-0458 GLENWOOD STAT CARE Daniel Trejo, MD Lynne Talley, NP Kim Kornegay, NP Pediatric, adult and geriatric care for minor illness and emergency including inoffice labs, X-rays and EKGs. Primary care includes chronic disease and medication management, physicals, wellness exams and skin conditions treatment. Open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (M-F) and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Sat). Walkins welcome. PH: 318-396-3800 Need to see a doctor? Schedule an appointment online from any device at Glenwood Medical Group administrative offices are located at 503 McMillan Road, in Glenwood Regional Medical Center, West Monroe. For more information, call (318) 3294200 or visit


Holiday Magic

Magic Grill West Monroe and Magic Grill Chicken Hope Your Holidays Are Magical!


HE HOLIDAYS ARE FAST approaching! There are some things that will always be holiday traditions, and it looks like Magic Grill in West Monroe is quickly becoming one of them. The holiday season at Magic Grill West Monroe has been filled with out of town guests. The parking lot has even been a meeting place for families as they come into town. “We have said we should keep the tables pushed together during the holidays for our out of town guests,” said Jada Ali, who owns both locations along with her husband, Faisal. “It is exciting being a part of this magic.” Being a pit stop for people for local flavor and the tradition of po-boys and gravy is something that Mr. Ray Pierce started over 50 years ago. At the Magic Grill on Arkansas Road, they have even started a tradition of their own. The restaurant features a map, where visitors


can pin where they came from to enjoy the delicious food. They are hoping to continue that magic down the hill at Magic Chicken inside J-Mart Too. The Magic Grill Chicken location inside J-Mart Too offers Mr. Ray’s famous fried chicken and gravy! “One thing I was striving for was to also become known for a magical bread product to serve along with the delicious chicken and popping gravy!” said Jada. Well, she has succeeded, because they have become the home of the magical rolls! They are similar to a school cafeteria roll and are near perfect when paired with the fried chicken and gravy! The rolls have become a hit, as many stop by for them by the dozen to take to pot luck type events! The Magic Grill West Monroe and Magic Grill Chicken inside J-Mart Too can cater your Christmas parties from either location! Gift certificates are available and make great stocking stuffers or teacher’s

gifts! As an added Christmas gift, they will give a free lifetime ice cream card with the purchase of a gift certificate. Faisal and Jada Ali along with Magic Grill West Monroe and Magic Grill Chicken inside J-Mart Too wish everyone a magical Merry Christmas and would like thank you for always helping them be one of the largest drop points for the Stuff-A-Bus toy drive during the holiday season! Merry Christmas, The Lil Grill with a Big Heart

New Attitude Hair Design Boutique LaCour Experience the Difference


UCKED IN THE CORNER OF THE TINY SOUTHERN TOWN of Delhi, Louisiana, is a shop right out of the pages of Steel Magnolias. Boutique LaCour caters to each client to create that one-of-a-kind look and to ensure the client is happy from the inside out. Located minutes from I-20 between Monroe, Louisiana, and Vicksburg, Mississippi, Boutique LaCour is easily accessible for out-oftown customers to feast on true southern style that is uniquely modern and fresh. Step inside and discover why this idyllic shop is different from any other. The warm welcome that awaits is only part of the enchantment. Whether shopping in the boutique or receiving salon services, charm is served up with a great cup of coffee or cappuccino and luscious sweet treats. The allure continues with the salon and the expertise of the staff. Expect the unexpected in fashion forward hair design along with the latest make-up application which can easily be compared to those found in metropolitan areas. The boutique is now proudly carrying The Real Vixen Lashes, 100% cruelty-free, luxurious mink lashes on a cotton band, that can be worn up to twenty-five times. The spa facials, spa manicure and pedicures, microdermabrasion, hair extensions and special occasion make-up are not only enticing, but also relaxing and therapeutic in the most captivating of spaces. Mystic Tan is also available for that UV-free year-round glow. LipSense by SeneGence is a fabulous lip color that lasts up to 18 hours! Come in, and we will help you find that perfect shade. Charisma continues into the fascinating and glamorous boutique with its distinctive, out of the ordinary clothing, scrumptious shoes and delectable jewelry, as well as vintage pieces, which are all here to entice and create that one-of-a-kind look. The knowledgeable staff provides first class client service, and with an in-store fashion consultant, each customer is assured of a unique, personal and customized shopping experience. Visit the shop, and see for yourself. Experience the difference. We’re waiting for you, and we look forward to meeting you! 710 Florida St. Delhi, LA 71232 318.878.3397 | 318.237.8504 Follow us on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram!


A Swanky Soiree

Monroe Renaissance Presents Up On the Rooftop


OW IS A TRULY EXCITING TIME to be a part of the downtown movement! Pioneers such as the Downtown Arts Alliance, the Palace, Vantage Health Plan, WarehouseNo. 1, Restaurant Cotton, Rain the Salon, Duck and Dressing are now joined by numerous exciting enterprises! These include Doe’s Eat Place, Momentum Wealth Management, CrossFit 318, The Brass Monkey, and Washington Wine & Spirits. roeLA Roasters is a social media sensation for pairing their got-to-have-it coffee with pop-up biscuit breakfasts from Cory Bahr of Heritage Catering! Plus, who isn’t dying to get a peek into local brewery, Flying Tiger Brewery’s new downtown digs?! Arrow Public Art, housed downtown in the historic Garrett House, is breathing new life into cherished cultural landmarks and adding to the energy of the Downtown Gallery Crawls. Exciting new residential opportunities are on the horizon in multiple locations


including Castle Hall, 211 and 217 DeSiard, and the Chef Hans building, to name a few. Maybe it’s the  roeLA caffeine, but the buzz downtown is tangible! One of the most exciting additions to downtown is the much publicized renovation of the old Virginia Hotel into the Vantage State Building. It has been eagerly awaited by all, and the time to get your first peek at the finished product has finally arrived! Monroe Renaissance is hosting its annual fundraiser “Up On The Rooftop” which coincides with the Christmas fireworks show on the river. We’ve got a brand new roof top from which to enjoy the show! The Rooftop Garden at the Vantage State Building features an indoor space with a 360 degree view through floor to ceiling windows, framed by Greek columns, coffered ceilings and chandeliers. There are also two large, outdoor balconies from which to admire the downtown skyline.  You’ll hardly believe this architectural

treasure has been hiding right here in your hometown! Prepare to be delighted! Inspired by the amazing ambiance of the Vantage State Building, Monroe Renaissance is stepping up the experience of Up on the Rooftop with live jazz music, elegant décor, and inspired craft food and drink pairings brought to you by Cory Bahr. Be sure to follow Monroe Renaissance on Facebook, as they roll out the tantalizing details of this truly unique event! Tickets numbers are limited this year, so buy them quickly! Be sure to ask about the exclusive VIP experience. Tickets can be purchased on by searching “Up On the Rooftop.” The Christmas season will be a magical time downtown with Christmas lights aglow and many wonderful events including a Downtown Gallery Crawl, Santa’s Christmas Village at the NELA Children’s Museum, and the Holiday Express train stop. Be sure to check out for a full list of events. While you’re downtown, keep a look out for the holiday window displays created by area schools for a friendly design competition! Participating schools include West Monroe High School, Neville, Sterlington, Richwood and Lee Junior High. These festive designs can be found at 211 and 217 DeSiard. Merry Christmas from Monroe Renaissance!

DBK Dance and Performing Arts New Facility, New Location, New Name!


N JANUARY 5TH, DEBBIE’S School of Dance will reopen with a brand new state of the art facility! Their new location and new name reflect an honored tradition as well as an amazing expanded program. We want to offer young people the best training possible, reaching beyond Dance to include Drama, Music, Theater, Yoga and Tumbling. The Performing Arts are so vital not only to our growing community, but in providing a well rounded education for our children. We are now officially DBK Dance and Performing Arts! Debbie Crew Bourg has been the Owner/ Director of Debbie’s School of Dance for 39 years. An Honors member of Dance Education of America, and graduate of the Joyce Newman Training School for Teachers of Dance, she has studied and trained with some of the best faculty in the country. She began her training at the age of three with Mary Lou Young Shepard, becoming her

assistant at the age of 16,” says Debbie She recognized very early on that I had a passion for Dance and special love for children. I have had so many wonderful experiences, honors and opportunities with my career through the years. I have seen hundreds of my students win titles, scholarships and have very successful careers. What still touches my heart is a student’s face that finally accomplishes that skill they’ve worked so hard for and the hugs from my precious Tiny Treasures at the end of class!“ “The name change has been something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while. We have always been a “Dance Family” from the special love and devotion we give our students to the entire business being run by family members! My daughters, Brittany and Kelsey, have been so involved in every aspect of this business, since they were very small. Brittany has been my personal assistant since about the age of 10. She

was my little organizer - from the office to helping with costume orders, scheduling and recital plans. A strong competitive dancer with a special ability to work with children, she began teaching the little ones while attending college. Now, with a Marketing degree and a natural creative talent, she is the core of the business side. Kelsey, began choreographing at the age of five! It was very obvious at an early age that she was an extremely talented dancer. Years of winning major competitions, titles and scholarships landed her a professional career. She has brought so much experience in every aspect of the Entertainment Industry to our studio. Incorporating my daughters’ initials with my own truly speaks ‘who’ we are! I am so blessed to have a staff that have literally grown up in the studio. They each share not only their talent but passion for the Arts as well,” adds Debbie. Check out their complete bios on our website, There are so many activities for young people to choose from these days.Says Debbie, “We see parents struggling to shuttle their little ones from one activity to another. We wanted to broaden our curriculum to enable them to have more options in one location. I am a firm believer that children learn what they live. A child that is trained in Dance and the Arts learns to have self discipline, respect for others, and strong work CONTINUED ON PAGE 181


Small Batch Customs

Creating Custom Gifts This Holiday Season


MALL BATCH CUSTOMS JUST OPENED THEIR DOORS this year but have already become the place to get custom insulated cups, like YETI and RTIC. This local business is owned and operated by Adrienne and Steven Mahon. They feature powder coated YETI cups, as well as other brands, and can etch a logo, monogram, design and more directly onto the cup. There are no stickers, which ensures that there is no chipping or peeling. Whether it’s for yourself, a gift or a corporate custom job, when it comes to designs, there is no limit. “We have cups in every color in stock and can customize your cup while you wait,” said Adrienne. “That is the great thing, you can come in and pick a cup out and take it home immediately.” If you are looking for something out of the ordinary like ombre colors, matte or even glitter, you can place your order and pick it up within five to seven days. They are licensed to use collegiate logos, so you can rep your favorite team. Some of their more popular designs include military logos, monograms, Louisiana themed designs and more. The cups also make great corporate and incentives gifts since a business’ logo can be etched on the cup, making for a unique gift. Small Batch Customs doesn’t stop at the ever-popular cups, though. They have introduced glassware and cutting boards. They can etch a custom design on stem and stemless wine glasses, whiskey glasses and cutting boards. “These make great gifts, not only for Christmas, but for bridesmaid’s gifts, groomsmen’s gifts and wedding presents. You can include the couple’s new monogram, their wedding date and more. The wooden cutting boards have become quite popular and are available in walnut, maple and cherry. They are a great, affordable gift, starting at $17.95. If you don’t know exactly what that special someone on your list wants, you can always go with a gift card from Small Batch Customs, so they can pick out exactly what they want. For more information or pictures of their work, check out Small Batch Customs on Facebook or Instagram. They are constantly updating their page with new pictures of designs on a daily basis. You can also give them a call at 599-YETI or check out their website:


QUALITY FAMILY TIME Continued from Page 40 And finally, and this one is easy, we are all decorating the Christmas tree. In years past, we did this as a family, but as time marched on, and everyone got so busy (and older and perhaps outgrow the tradition a little), I ended up being the one who decorated it. My little girl does help, but over the last several years, our family tradition, well, sort of took a backseat to our lives. Well folks, the tradition is about to be back at our house, and again, this is such an easy night to plan for your family. We might even make a few homemade ornaments (okay, this will definitely send my son to the closest house that will take him in), but what fun, especially when you have younger children, to make family ornaments that you will cherish for the rest of your tree decorating lives. Some of my favorites are the homemade ones my kids made when they were in grade school, and their little toothless faces are on plastered on a Christmas tree ornament. Makes me smile just typing this. So, there you have the Foust Family Christmas 2016…as we gear up to let our

first chicken leave the nest, like many of you have already had to do. And if you are those grandparents, like my children’s grandparents, who have already had your children leave home to start their own families, some of these traditions can even be started and enjoyed with your grandchildren. The simple truth is that these precious days pass so fast. Savor them, readers. Stop and make time to “play together.” It’s a little work. It takes a little time to organize activities. It especially takes effort to carve out the time to do it, but you won’t ever look back and regret the memories you made (It’s official, I’m applying to Hallmark to write their cards for them.) And thank you readers, for allowing us in your homes this season, and all the seasons of the year. It is a privilege to write for you, to encourage you and to parent with you. May your holiday season be filled with love, thanksgiving, family and friends. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

DBK Dance and Performing Arts Continued from Page 179 ethics. Creativity and self expression are important learning tools that enhance a child’s education. The Arts teach children to see and hear the beauty of movement and music. These are things that touch our very souls! I can’t even begin to imagine a world without music and dance. Classical training in the Arts should be a top priority for every young person to ensure we never lose these precious gifts! Every day our young people are saturated with issues that are so difficult to comprehend. Our goal is help each student accomplish their goals in a loving family environment. A dancer’s body is the instrument that makes the music come to life! We look forward for many generations to ‘Dance From The Heart And Give God the Glory!’”

– Mrs. Debbie


Turning Heartbreak Into


In November 2015, Holley and Jonathan Perry lost a child. Through grief and heartbreak, what would transpire in the days after losing John Clarke is nothing short of a miracle. This is their story and the beginning of what will be their legacy, a child was saved and a foundation was formed.

article by KAY STOTHART RECTOR and photography by MARTIN G MEYERS



ohn Clarke Perry and his twin sister, Ella, were born in Monroe, Louisiana on May 5, 2015 to Jonathan and Holley Watts Perry. Healthy and beautiful, the twins were welcomed home by their big sister, Emarie, who had just turned two. Life with two infants and a toddler was hectic but full of joy for the Perry family. Jonathan serves as director of marketing for Century Marketing Solutions, a subsidiary of CenturyLink, and Holley works as a speech therapist. In late November 2015, on a day rather like any other, the Perrys received a call from the twins’ day care, reporting that John Clarke had been fussier than usual and had a mild fever. Thinking he had an ear infection, they took him to a local walk-in clinic and eventually made an appointment with their pediatrician for the next day. Just one week before, a routine pediatric checkup had pronounced both twins healthy and normal. A family photo session was scheduled for later that day, which Holley says she considered canceling since John Clarke was not feel-

ing well. He seemed better, though, so they kept the appointment and the photographer shot some wonderful family portraits as well as lots of candid photographs of the three children. Later that night, John Clarke was sick and restless and did not sleep well. The next morning, blood tests revealed lower than normal iron levels, and John Clarke was admitted to the hospital. After tests and scans, doctors delivered the devastating news that a blood vessel malformation was causing bleeding in John Clarke’s brain. He underwent surgery to stop the bleeding, but within hours he was bleeding again and a second surgery was required. Holley recalls that the doctors were very candid with them about the seriousness of John Clarke’s condition. Understanding that the situation was critical, they were scared and emotional. Family, friends and members of their church came to the hospital to be with them and pray. They drew on their faith in God and looked to Him for strength. Julie and Brooke, two nurses on duty at the hospital when John Clarke was admitted, stayed beyond the end of their shifts waiting

for him to come through that first surgery. They remained with him for most of his stay. His second surgery was on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Doctors were cautiously optimistic, and the Perrys went home for a few hours on Thanksgiving Day, hopeful that the second surgery would be successful. When they returned to check on their son, they saw a handmade sign the two nurses had taped to his monitor. It read: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9.” By Friday, the bleeding in John Clarke’s brain had returned. The couple continued to pray, but the doctor explained that there was nothing more they could do. The Perrys realized then that their precious son was not going to live. They began to discuss organ donation. After talking with doctors and representatives from Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency, they decided to donate John Clarke’s organs. They wanted their son’s organs, particularly his heart and lungs, to help another child. The Perrys were told that it was extremely rare for an organ donation from a six month old to be matched with a donor in need. WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2016 183


ore than 400 miles away in Auburn, Alabama, another couple was praying for their son. Baby Davis Boswell, born June 30, 2015, was only a few days old when he became seriously ill. Diagnosed with a rare but deadly viral infection which affected his heart, Davis was hospitalized and underwent heart surgery. Although the surgery was successful as a temporary life-saving measure, Amanda and Tucker Boswell were told that their son needed a heart transplant in order to survive. By the last week of November, Davis had been on the list for a heart transplant for over 110 days. Doctors had warned the Boswells that it was extremely rare for an infant heart to be available, especially one that would be an appropriate match. They knew the chances were not great, but they kept praying. On Sunday, November 29, 2015, the Boswells received a call from their hospital’s transplant coordinator, letting them know that a heart for Davis had been found. On November 30, 2015, Davis Boswell’s tiny body received John Clarke Perry’s heart. Although they did not know at the time who received John Clarke’s organs, the Perry family took solace in the fact that through their grief another child’s life might be saved. Friends and family held

a prayer vigil with the Perrys at their home on November 30th to pray for them and for the recipients of John Clarke’s organs. Having their community come together and pray for them was comforting. “We knew that we weren’t in this alone,” recalls Holley. The day after John Clarke’s funeral, a member of their church sent Holley a message. Through mutual friends in Auburn, Alabama she had been following the story about the Boswell’s son, Davis, on Facebook. Holley broke down and cried when she read her message. After some online research and conversations with another mutual friend, they were able to determine that the timings of John Clarke’s death and Davis’ heart transplant were too close to be coincidence. Certain that the Boswells’ son had received John Clarke’s heart, Holley sent Amanda Boswell a Facebook message. She let her know that they were praying for them and were happy that John Clarke’s heart may have saved their son’s life. Actual confirmation about the recipients of John Clarke’s organs did not come until months later. A LOPA representative contacted Holley in March 2016 and was shocked to learn that she and Jonathan had already figured out who John Clarke’s heart had gone to. “That never happens,” Holley says. “No one ever finds out that early. It is amazing the way God has worked in all of this. Jonathan and I are not completely healed yet by any means, but it has helped so much with our healing process to get to see Davis grow and thrive and know that John Clarke was able to save his life.” The Perrys were also able to confirm through LOPA that a little girl who was three months old at the time of transplant received John Clarke’s liver. They are still waiting for information about her and her prognosis. The process takes time and it is up to the recipient child’s family to decide what information to disclose. For now, the Perrys are at peace just knowing that John Clarke was able to help another child. After corresponding for months, the Perrys met Amanda and Tucker Boswell for the first time this past April. The chaplain at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika invited both couples to attend the hospital’s annual Donate Life event to raise awareness and promote organ donation. Jonathan Perry spoke at the event and shared their connected stories with the audience. At the end of that first meeting with the Boswells, Jonathan says that the two couples jokingly referred to the rivalry between the Perrys’ beloved LSU Tigers and the Boswells’ home team, the Auburn Tigers. To lighten the otherwise serious and emotional tone of the occasion, Jonathan presented the Boswells with a T-shirt for Davis that reads “My Heart Bleeds Purple and Gold.” On the way home from Opelika, Jonathan thought about ways the two teams might join together to promote organ donation. He later asked a staff member of the LSU athletic department about the possibility of a promotional event to help raise organ donation awareness. The idea made its way to Les Miles’ wife, Kathy, who contacted ESPN. Holley and Jonathan were at the cemetery visiting John Clarke’s grave when Jonathan received an email from an ESPN producer wanting to do a television story about John Clarke and Davis. Crews from ESPN traveled to Monroe and interviewed Holley and Jonathan in their home. When the Perry family visited the Boswells in Ala-

bama over the weekend and attended the football game between LSU and Auburn, ESPN was there. On September 23, 2016, the night before their teams met in Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn and Les Miles of LSU came together for an unprecedented pre-game meeting. They talked with the Perrys and Boswells, fans of the rival SEC teams, as they shared their story of a connection much greater than football. The ESPN College GameDay segment, entitled “Heart of a Tiger,” aired September 24, 2016. In the television interview, Jonathan Perry describes his excitement at having a son and looking forward to taking him to LSU games in Tiger Stadium. He describes the heartbreak of losing his son at only six months old. He shares the story of how John Clarke saved the life of Davis Boswell, and how knowing that John Clarke’s heart beats on in Davis has helped him and Holley live through their grief. The Perry and Boswell families plan to meet each year at the LSU vs. Auburn football game. “We will be forever connected to the Boswells,” Holley says. She and Jonathan describe how, both times the families met, baby Davis smiled and reached out for them. He especially loved Jonathan and would go to him without hesitation. Davis was content whenever he was in Jonathan’s arms. His parents say that this is not the way Davis usually acts with strangers. LOPA nurses explain that cellular memory, while not a medically accepted phenomenon, is sometimes offered as an explanation for what the Perrys experienced. It is a theory that Holley and Jonathan believe is at least possible. During the second visit with the Boswell family, sisters Emarie and Ella played with Davis and his brother, Hudson. They are too young now to fully understand the connection between their families and it is not clear what, if anything, they will remember about this experience. As they grow up, they will certainly hear this story, and they will remember their brother from his pictures that adorn the walls of their home. WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2016 185


he Perrys are blessed to have lots of family photographs with John Clarke and his sisters. On the day the last ones were taken, the Perry family had no idea the difficult path they would be soon be traveling. This year, they took another family portrait. In it they held a photograph of John Clarke taken at that photo shoot last November. Next year, when they pose for a family portrait, there will be another child in the photograph. The Perrys are expecting again—a little girl, due this spring. Jonathan and Holley talk freely about all of the ways that God has blessed them through John Clarke, despite the terrible pain of losing him. To be able to hold Davis, put their ears to his chest, and hear the heart that had once belonged to their son beating in his chest is, they believe, a gift from God. “Our faith has grown so much stronger,” Holley says. They believe that John Clarke is in God’s hands. They are encouraged by the words of Joshua 1:9, the scripture the nurses posted at his bedside. “Joshua 1:9 has become our verse,” says Jonathan. Earlier this year, Holley and Jonathan established the John Clarke Perry Foundation as a way of honoring their son and offering hope and assistance to other families. In addition to promoting organ donation, the Foundation’s mission is to provide support to families with children in need of life-changing medical treatments. To raise funds for the Foundation, t-shirts were designed bearing the Joshua 1:9 scripture reference and the “Heart of a Tiger” logo. The shirts are for sale at Louisiana Purchases on North 18th Street in Monroe and are available in adult and children’s sizes. All proceeds benefit The John Clarke Perry Foundation. Inspired by John Clarke’s story, a group of LSU students set up a table in front of the Student Union and began registering organ donors and educating other students about organ donation. In the week before the LSU vs. Auburn game, they signed up enough donors to save over 100 lives. They will continue their efforts, in honor of John Clarke, throughout the semester. John Clarke Perry touched many lives during his short time on Earth. His parents remember him as a loving soul with big blue eyes and a sweet smile that could light up a room. John Clarke Perry’s organs saved the lives of two children. In the midst of their grief, Holley and Jonathan Perry gave the gifts of life and hope to two families. Through the John Clarke Perry Foundation, they continue to give. To learn more about organ donation or make a gift to the John Clarke Perry Foundation visit the Foundation’s Facebook Page or


Bella Blues Design Co.

Your One Stop Shop This Holiday Season


ELLA BLUES DESIGNS CO. PROVIDES A UNIQUE boutique experience. We focus on YOU! The staff at Bella Blues prides itself in making everyone’s day of shopping an experience that sets us apart from other boutiques. We have a variety of trend setting women’s clothing up to size 3x. You will get the runway look without the price tag. You can also find the cutest baby and toddler items including handmade bows. Our home decor is just as unique, with one of a kind pieces from local artists, farmhouse style decor and stylish gifts that create a backdrop for momentous life events, such as a wedding, first Christmas and dinner with family. The mixture of trendy and sophisticated clothing, handbags, custom jewelry, accessories, wall hangings, furniture and gift items has made Bella Blues an inviting and stunning one-stopshop. Walking into Bella Blues, you’re greeted by the smiling faces of your own personal shopper. Whether you need assistance in finding a special look or piece or you just want to browse on your own, Bella Blues aims to make you look and feel great. Whether

you’re looking for the perfect outfit, perfect handbag, perfect piece of jewelry, perfect wall art or that perfect one-of-a-kind piece, Bella Blues Designs Co has what you are looking for! Not only do we provide a unique boutique experience, but we are truly unique. We house other small businesses from across Louisiana, including Clay Cross Pottery, DMD bags, Jeannie’s Jewels, Marguerite Belle Crafts, Southern Style Boutique, The Cross Walk, The Cotton Gin, Norma’s Unique Designs, Cathy B’s, PRB Designs, The Monogram Addict and The Byrd’s Nest. As always, we are looking for unique vendors to add to our shopping experience. Apply today in store or through our Facebook page. We love to support local! Bella Blues Designs Co is located at 1902 Forsythe Avenue. Our hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 am to 5:30 pm, and Saturday 10 am to 4:30 pm. Extended holiday hours will be available. Be sure to check Facebook and Instagram for all the newest merchandise, sales and giveaways!



Ch e r r y Ph i l l i ps Bri n g s H e ari n g To T hose W ho Suffer In Silence




hey call her “The Hearing Lady.” Cherry Phillips’ patients often make their first trip to her office at The Hearing Center in Monroe reluctantly, at the urging of family members or friends who are concerned and tired of repeating themselves. Though they may come to her with trepidation, patients leave Phillips’ office with a sense of wonder and relief. What they discover at The Hearing Center is a caring professional who uses her expertise to improve their lives in ways they had not envisioned. Phillips is a Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist and owner of one of the outstanding Audibel hearing centers in the country. As a Hearing Instrument Specialist, Phillips focuses on detecting hearing deficits and determining how hearing loss can best be corrected with the most technologically advanced devices available. Phillips has been helping people regain their sense of hearing for almost thirty years. Becoming a hearing specialist was a natural choice for Phillips. She grew up in Mississippi, where both her mother and father worked in the hearing aid industry. After graduating from Clinton High School she attended Copiah-Lincoln Junior College and then Millsaps, a small liberal arts college in Jackson. As a young girl, Phillips would accompany her mother, who worked for the hearing aid company Beltone, on hearing center calls. After college, Phillips became licensed as a Hearing Instrument Specialist in Mississippi and worked with her parents in their business. Phillips was working in Jackson when she was contacted by the Beltone office in Chicago, offering her an opportunity in Northeast Louisiana. She was a single mother at that time. With two small children in tow, Phillips moved to Monroe and began work as a Beltone hearing aid representative. She covered a twelve parish territory, visiting a dozen service centers each month. Phillips worked extremely hard during those early years of her career, growing her clientele and raising two children on her own. Phillips recalls bringing her infant daughter to work and having patients offer to hold and rock her. She says patients still ask about her children, whom they watched grow into adulthood. Phillips’ daughter, Jance Phillips Hart, an LSU graduate, lives with her husband and three month old baby in Edmond, Oklahoma. Her son, Blake Phillips, is an award-winning chef at local restaurant, Restaurant Sage, and is the reigning Louisiana “King of Seafood.” “My patients are also like family to me,” Phillips says. “I treat them like family, and I want to help them as much as I can. I want them to hear as well as they possibly can. I also want to explain to their family members about hearing loss and how it affects the extended family. All of those things are very important to me.” Hearing loss can create difficulties in many areas of a patient’s life. “Symptoms of hearing loss will often mimic symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s,” she explains. “So in the testing that we perform, we are looking at auditory processing as well as speech understanding and other things that may be going on with the patient.” Phillips talks with family members who interact with the patient on a regular

basis to gain insight into difficulties and behavior that may help in her assessment. Extensive training combined with years of experience enable Phillips to recognize and correct a variety of hearing problems. In 2000, Bill Austin, a pioneer in the hearing aid industry who has fitted presidents, celebrities and professional athletes with hearing devices, created the Audibel brand of hearing instrument. Austin hand-picked Phillips as one of the original Audibel owners and providers in the U.S. In addition to the extensive training required to become certified as a Hearing Instrument Specialist, Phillips’ certification requires continuing education to maintain. Phillips travels to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where Audibel brand hearing devices are manufactured, at least annually. As new technology is constantly being developed, Phillips must undergo frequent training to stay abreast of changes. Larry Collum, Phillips’ husband, office manager and co-owner of The Hearing Center, points out how beneficial his wife’s experience and background can be to their patients and practice when combined with the latest technology. “Cherry really has a great understanding of new technology in the field because she has been doing this for so long and has seen firsthand the progression of this technology,” Collum says. “She has been a part of that since the beginning.” Phillips and her husband have known each other since childhood. “We went to junior high and high school together,” Collum says. “She was my big crush all through high school, but she wouldn’t give me the time of day,” he laughs. It was not until years later, when they were both living in Monroe, that they became a couple. Together, they are an effective team. Collum handles the business aspects of running the Center while Phillips concentrates on patient care. Phillips and Collum also share a love of travel. In their free time, they enjoy exploring as much of the world as they can and try to immerse themselves in the local culture wherever they go. Phillips has always wanted to visit Australia and hopes to realize that dream within the next year. So far, her favorite destinations have been the beaches of the Caribbean. “I’m a beach bum at heart,” Phillips laughs. In addition to her husband, Phillips’ employees are often her traveling companions. The Hearing Center staff and their families travel to places like Las Vegas, San Francisco, Boston and Minneapolis to attend training seminars and workshops. They always make time for fun and sightseeing as well. Out of town retreats with Hearing Center staff are also common, contributing to the business’ family environment. “We actually interview spouses of potential employees before we hire them,” Phillips says. “We feel that it is important for the spouses to understand what we do here.” Phillips says their work is not just a job. It is a lifelong commitment to the hearing impaired. Three and one-half years ago, Phillips contracted neuroinvasive West Nile disease which, resulted in permanent loss of hearing. Through this experience, she is now able to understand and relate to what her patients are experiencing in a way that she could not before. She has the perspective not only of a skilled practitioner, but also of a person with hearing loss. “I now experience what they experience

It’s not just about hearing aid sales. It’s about taking care of people. My patients are like family to me. I treat them like family, and I want to help them as much as I can.


in the world,” says Phillips. “I relate to them in a much stronger, compassionate way.” Phillips was seriously ill from the virus and went through a terrible ordeal but is now fully recovered, except for the hearing loss which is corrected by state-of-the-art hearing aids. She says that from that bad experience she gained a new outlook on her work and how to interact with patients. Phillips understands that although hearing loss is not physically painful, it causes emotional pain and problems for the person who is suffering. It is important to her to help relieve these difficulties for anyone who may be living with this pain, including those who may not have the means or access to corrective hearing instruments. Phillips and Collum donate their time and resources to insure that anyone who is hearing impaired has a chance at fully corrected hearing. They work closely with the Louisiana Commission for the Deaf, helping patients in Louisiana who need hearing aids but cannot afford them. Phillips offers her services to fit patients referred by the Commission with hearing aids at no cost to the patient. Phillips and Collum are also enthusiastic supporters of the Starkey Hearing Foundation, a charitable organization that provides hearing aids and services to underprivileged patients. Since its founding by Bill Austin in 1983, the Starkey Hearing Foundation has given away more than 1.5 million hearing aids to people in need. At The Hearing Center, Phillips and Collum accept donations of hearing aids and batteries to be used by Foundation. They also purchase used hearing aids from patients looking to upgrade their devices and then donate these instruments to the Starkey Hearing Foundation. When describing her vocation, Phillips says “It’s not just about hearing aid sales. It’s about taking care of people.” Her work helps to improve people’s lives. “You can see it immediately,” she says. Many of her patients are overcome with emotion when they are finally able to hear. “They cry, and we all cry, too,” Phillips says, describing the sense of joy, relief and gratitude that comes with hearing restoration. “I absolutely love what I do,” says Phillips. Her patients, to whom she has given the gift of hearing, are certainly grateful that she does.


Holiday Open Houses


Several area businesses held their Holiday Open Houses this month. Guests were invited to stop by and view holiday merchandise, enjoy refreshments and get some early shopping done.


On the BayouScene


1D  erma MediQ: Kisha Davis, Reba Custer, Dr. Saidi Sowma-Fakhre and Nancy Bershen 2 T he Muffin Tin – Natalie Riddick and Todd Estis 3 S pa Nouvelle – Kristen Stapleton, Kelly Griffin, Jeanette Barron, Drew Farr, Mary Beth Dickerson, Ana Hale and Wendy Newsom 4 F iesta Nutrition Center – Angie O’Pry Blades, Kattina Trosclair, Frank Kelly and Kshana Hall Davis 5R  oux – John Maverick, Kingsleigh and Scarlett Rabb 6W  oodstock Furniture Revival – Josh, Olivia and Sierra Roberts, Patrick and Chelsie Summerville and Kaki Hanks 7H  aven – Jennalee Byram, Jessica Byram, Sandy McMillan and Shelby Moore


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Oh, WHAT FUN Make sure your holidays are merry and bright with these casually chic outfits from area boutiques. From plaids to ponchos, this season’s looks mix comfy and classic silhouettes.

photography by Martin G Meyers hair and makeup by Meka Bennett model Ellie Jackson


Stay cute and casual with these ripped skinny jeans and soft golden-colored tunic with ruffled detail. A tassel necklace and western-inspired cowgirl booties complete the look.


Ellie looks precious in this v-neck knit sweater with choker neckline and unconstructed shearling vest featuring a slightly metallic finish and side pockets. The suede hat and faux suede over-the-knee boots are perfect for casual days this holiday season.


Get cozy this holiday season in this plaid flannel shirt and quilted vest with zip front. Pull on these dark wash skinny jeans and zip-up bootie for a warm winter look.


How do you combine the comfort of your favorite blanket and hoodie in a fashionable way? This afghan quilted scarf with faux fur lining is the perfect mix of syle and warmth. Sling it over this crew neck sweatshirt with cold shoulder cut-outs and pair with overthe-knee boots.


This faux leather top is a great way to mix up your winter wardrobe this season. Pair it with these cropped, cuffed skinny jeans and green leather booties with stacked chunky heels and round toe.


Whether you’re sitting by the campfire or cutting down a Christmas tree, this quilted jacquard knit pullover is a great addition to your winter wardrobe. Add these printed socks and Sperry duck boots for the ultimate in comfortable and warm accessories.


This black and ivory striped turtleneck poncho features fringe detailing and is paired with mineral washed bell bottom pants. Add these stylish booties and layered bracelets to complete this cozy chic look.


Here she comes a-wassaling in this “woody” duck sweatshirt from Mr. P’s Tees. The design is featured in green and red on an oatmeal and green premium Colorblock sweatshirt and is available in a unisex design.



Melody Olson is tour de force of energy, commitment and ideas. Downtown Monroe has this little lady with a big heart to thank for spurring its growth and helping create an unprecedented vitality in the heart of Monroe that’s been unseen since the 1960s. A definitive downtown study, contracted by CenturyLink and presented by Duany Plater Zyberk Co. in 2013, confirmed what Olson knew to be true. To be truly alive and well, downtown Monroe has to have a healthy balance of both residential property and businesses. Other Louisiana cities, like Shreveport and New Orleans, have been working on this same concept as Millennials around the country have expressed a desire to live in downtown urban areas. But as young people migrate back to city centers, restaurants and shopping are essential to raising the quality of life in those hubs. Explains Olson, “I wanted our city to be able to compete with other larger cities, so that we can keep our children around after graduation.” To get to Christmas 2016 perched high above the Ouachita River, first we must explore the history of the historic Penn Hotel. Built in 1928 for a sum of $250,000, the Penn Hotel once boasted 232 hotel rooms and a banquet hall that was frequented by the movers and shakers of the day, politicians, planters, oilmen and the like. But the building’s real claim to fame was its pink stucco cottage penthouse on the 9th floor of the building. The penthouse has an illustrious history, as it was once owned by the late Louisiana State Representative, banker and all-around character Shady Wall of West Monroe. After years of falling into disrepair and several changes of ownership, Olson purchased the building in 2004, intent on bringing the structure back to life as

luxury condominiums. Single-minded in her vision, Olson had done her homework and knew downtown Monroe was ripe for a renaissance. Says Olson, “Real estate recycles itself about every 100 years. According to many, many articles, a city can be judged by its downtown area. It is the heart of your city. One hundred years ago, people lived in the buildings in downtown and had shops and businesses in the lower portions, before the urban spread to outside areas.”   Fast forward to over $2 million in improvements to the structure, and Riverscape Condominiums is the success that Olson had dreamed and is a catalyst for the resurgence in downtown Monroe, leading the way for others to create their own downtown lifestory. All the units of Riverscape Condominiums have been sold, a testament to the vision that Olson had for downtown. Olson, herself, lives in the 9th floor penthouse, the external pink walls now painted a warm beige.  “There were lots of hurdles to redo a 9 story building as residential condominiums,” Olson explains. “We had to put in a new stairwell that would connect all of the floors internally. I hired Jerry Madden, a structural engineer with S. E. Huey, to help figure out where we could put it. Then the original hotel had two elevators. We configured one of the old elevator shafts to hold new electrical and plumbing.” To be up to code, new sprinkler, plumbing and electrical systems, as well as an enlarged elevator, were installed. “You couldn’t afford to build a building today that is as solid as this one. The walls are 14 inches thick and built with concrete,” says Olson, who appreciates the craftsmanship of the bygone era. “This building is like an old home with great details and good bones.” Original plans for the building showed the penthouse only had 1,400 heated square feet and 2 bedrooms and 1 bath. Olson increased the home’s footprint by 1,000 square feet, seamlessly adding an en suite bedroom and luxurious bath to the structure. Throughout the penthouse, care was taken to keep the building materials and accents as close to what you would find in a 1928 building as possible. Olson used cove moldings and transoms on top of doors to allow as much light as possible to pour through windows and doors.  To bring the  balcony railings up to regulation, Olson added custom hand wrought iron railings. Strings of white lights festoon the balcony railings to signal the approaching holidays.  One might call Melody Olson a rescuer of sorts, of buildings and antiques especially. Throughout her penthouse and her first floor office, you find the heavily carved pieces that speak to her eclectic sensibility and her collection of antique door knobs and hardware. Her office holds an original display case from The Palace department store, which is filled with an array of crystal knobs and elaborate hinges. WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2016 201


As you step off the elevator and into the penthouse, Olson creates a warm and inviting space. An antique hall tree from the late 1700s was too large to fit in the elevator and was lifted by crane to the balcony. Overhead a large Edison bulb light fixture illuminates the foyer. Olson is ready for the holidays with a grouping of trees, including living cedar in pots, frasier firs and what she calls “stick trees” covered in tiny white LED lights. “I love decorating for Christmas,” she says. “I love seeing DeSiard Street lit up for the holidays.” After five years of living high above downtown Monroe and overlooking the Ouachita River, Olson says she never tires of watching sunrises or sunsets. “My favorite is the private outside spaces. I can watch the sun rise over St. Francis and the sun set over the Ouachita. This is first house I’ve been able to open doors and windows and never worry about someone coming in.” The master bathroom features a large, marble walk in steam shower with a long bench seat. An aquarium is inserted into a wall between the shower and an enclosed water closet. A decorative tile inset is featured on the wall of the shower and the floor. A Kohler Infinity soaking tub is the centerpiece of this bathroom and is filled from an extraordinary ceiling mounted tub filler. With a push of a button, water flows from the ceiling to fill the tub. “At one point during a Christmas party, we wondered where all the guys were,” laughs Olson, “It turns out all the guys were in the back, playing with the tub!” The antique vanity and dresser were won at an auction in Atlanta.  The master bedroom is painted Sherwin Williams Foggy Day. “I like blue. It’s very peaceful,” says Olson of her retreat shared with her rescue puppies, Sassy and Pepper. “They are the neighborhood watchdogs,” she says as the fluffy pets keep a watchful eye on the over progress of the Vantage Health Plan’s renovations to the Virginia Hotel next door, barking occasionally from the penthouse’s back balcony as workmen go about their day. 

The guest bedroom features a hand carved Rococo Revival bed that could be attributed to John Henry Belter and was sourced from an antique auction in Vicksburg. A unique oval shape required a custom mattress. Custom built-ins in the room provide ample closet space, and the room has its own en suite bathroom. A half bath features a mirrored vanity with a swan fixture in brushed nickel. A baroque six tier chandelier with six concentric bands of prisms was brought from Olson’s previous home at Cheniere Drew. The ceiling is painted a metallic pewter while the walls are painted a rich red. The public spaces of the home and the central hall are painted a unifying Berkshire Beige, and the hand scraped wood flooring throughout creates continuity.


In the kitchen, Olson chose white Shaker-style cabinets and added Swarovski crystal embellished pulls for cabinet doors and drawers. Glass front doors on tall upper cabinets reveal Olson’s love for ruby crystal glassware, which are estate sale finds. Honed marble was chosen for countertops because Olson “loves to see the character of the material and honed marble shows the passage of time.” “I love the mix of contemporary and antique, especially early American pieces,” says Olson. And nowhere is this more apparent than the breakfast area where a round glass topped carved clawfoot table is surrounded by modern red leather chairs from Pier One, providing comfortable and ample seating. The breakfast room table is ready for Santa. A grouping of column candles, votives, reindeer and ruby crystals interspersed with greenery sets the festive tone. The dining room is resplendent with a centerpiece of luscious red roses, Olson’s collection of ruby crystal and Christmas china. “And a plate full of diamonds! Isn’t that what every girl wants for Christmas?” interjects the homeowner, whose playful touches invoke the whimsey of the season. The dining table is a turn of the century Horner partners desk topped with a glass table top that Olson had made to fit from ACME Glass. The drawers of the desk act as storage for essentials like napkins and table accessories. The carved bookcase in the dining room was bought from the McGuire family was repurposed as the perfect china cabinet for the space. A merrier space could not be found than Olson’s deck overlooking the Ouachita. And the words of actress Zsa Zsa Gabor seem appropriate for Olson’s Riverscape, “I just adore a penthouse view.” Holiday fireworks and bird’s eye views of parades make for joyous celebrations. Generous seating invites guests to linger longer beneath the stars and just a little bit closer to heaven. 204 DECEMBER 2016 | WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM


Delta Waterfowl Banquet



Many exciting things have happened in 2016, but none more exciting than the Delta Waterfowl Banquet. Committee members JD Daniel, Joe King Montgomery, Matt Dickerson, James Moore, Matthew Harvey, Ben Peters, Justin Higdon, Daniel Raymond, Ross Horton, Jarrod Sellar, Ethan Hunt, John Sitton, Johnny Johnson, Jonathan Willard and Greg Medlin went “all-in” to provide NELA’s best live auction, silent auction and raffle. Along with 32 donors, 41 table sponsors and 11 V.I.P. Sponsors, Delta Waterfowl is achieving new flight levels in providing the premier banquet. From Argentinian dove hunts, African safari hunts to 12 foot pit blind with dog box, items brought the bidding to new levels. Typically held two Thursday’s prior to opening day of duck season every year, this year’s Delta Waterfowl banquet could not be more of an success.






On the BayouScene 1 2 3 4

Josh Fuselier and Heath Davis Brandon Cantin and Robert Adams M  eghan Morris B  ryan Leach, Johnathan Willard, Daniel Raymond, Ethan Hunt, Matt Dickerson, Johnny Johnson, Ross Horton, Jarred Sellar, Matthew Harvey, Joe King Montgomery, Justin Higdon and Ben Peters 5C  arter Rogers, Peyton Rogers, Scott Rogers, Lake Grant and GG Grant, IV 6 Andrew Hubenthal and Taylor Hubenthal 7 Matt Bridges and Colby Reynolds 8 Billy Remore and U.S. Representative Dr. Ralph Abraham 9M  arty Magee, Knox Magee, Trey Telano and Dustin Parker  10 JP Coon, Logan Nolan, JW Perry, Robbie Kelly, Josh Creel and Jonathan Perry 11 B  lake Gillikin Jacob Davis and Matt Kennedy 12 D  arren Sutton, Johnny Peterson, Mark Sutton, Chris Cockerell and Mike Bernat   13 T ed Verrill and Luke Letlow 14 Kyle Bruyninckx and Tim Hoychick 15 Mike and Amy Sawyer, Tommy Hayes 1 6 Kathryn and Kevin Wiater 

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Jump Through Hoops Both a Jewelry and fashion Classic, every woman needs diamond hoop earrings such as these 8.15ct. stunners. Hollis and Company Jewelers in Monroe makes their own hoop earrings using larger diamonds while keeping the earrings a wearable diameter. Merry and Bright These Maui Jim’s from Haik Humble Eye Center are the perfect pair for any woman. The pop of purple will help her stand out in the crowd and be stylish all at the same time. Chic Cooler This SOVARO cooler has serious style, making entertaining in style both elegant and easy. This cooler, available at Material Things in Monroe, features cork insulation, easy mobility and variety of chic accessories.

Shining, Shimmering, Splendid A liquid pop of shimmer, easily applied with a tiny roller. The instant shine lift you get from the Liquid Shimmer Highlighter from MD Minerals at Hopkins Dermatology in Monroe is heaven-sent.

Box It Up This glass box topped with a beautiful geode will make for a perfect jewelry box or décor for your coffee table. Available at House of Carpets & Lighting in Shreveport, it is the perfect gift for the sophisticated lady on your list.

Deck the Walls This piece is created by local artists, Buffy Walker, and is available at Sue Paperie in Ruston. You can purchase of her unique designs featuring angels, hearts, crosses and more. It will add a special touch to that special someone’s wall.

Air Supply A gift for anyone without the green thumb. These air plants need very little attention and are a super cool and easy. They can be found at Free Birds Boutique on Antique Alley and are good inside plants all year long.

Chardonnay, Anyone? Beuhler’s Russian River Chardonnay displays abundant sloral/stone fruit aromas lightly accented by graham cracker sur-lie qualities. Stop by Vieux Carré Market in Monroe to check out their selection of gourmet wines for a gift they’ll remember.

One Hot Cocoa An easy holiday gift for anyone whether it be mom or co-worker. These mugs work wonderfully for a stocking stuffer or party gift. Find them and other great gifts at K&K’s Giving Tree in Mer Rouge or online at

Smokin’ Hot Gift This Primo grill from Azure Pool and Spas in Monroe is great for any man on your list. This is the only ceramic grill made in the USA. Your grillmaster can grill, bake, roast or smoke any food on it, making it something the whole family can enjoy!

Rub-a-dub Tub This drink tub is the perfect gift for the entertainer on your list. From Thurman’s Food Factory and Gifts in Monroe, it can hold cans, bottles and more during a party, plus features a decorative fleur de lis. Layers She’ll Love Hemline Monroe features a variety of beautiful jewelry, including this piece. With layers of gold chains and a jeweled pendant, this will be the perfect addition to her collection. Kool Koozie This genuine leather can holder koozie features a genuine Remington shotshell. From Louisiana Purchases in Monroe, this is a must have for any tailgate, BBQ or hanging around the fire pit.

Ole Blue Eyes It is said that Frank Sinatra was buried with one of his favorite things- a bottle of Jack. To honor his 100th birthday, this Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Century Whiskey, found at Washington Wine and Spirits in Monroe is encased in an impressive sleek box, that is perfect for any whiskey enthusiast. That’s A Wrap Scarves are the ultimate outfit topper, and it doesn’t hurt when they can convert to a comfy blanket. Perfect for the colder weather, these blanket scarves can be found at K-Sera Boutique by Anitique Alley in West Monroe.

Plan Ahead Sue Paperie in Ruston is the place to pick up something for the organized person on your list, because they have calendars, planners and more. A fave this holiday season is this Dapper Desk leather organizer from Emily Ley.

Nowhere To Hide This cozy chair with cow print and unique wooden accents will make the perfect addition to any fashionable and functional home. Available at Sleepy Hollow in Monroe, you can pick up this chair, as well any other of their customized pieces. Elf Magic Santa’s Magic Elf Dolls are a timeless Christmas tradition. These original magic elves inspire family activities and stimulate imagination in children. Find gifts like these and more at the Children’s Shoppe in Monroe and in Ruston.

Louisiana Love Show your state pride in a stylish way with this flexible (fits all wrist) 24k Gold Alligator Bangle by New York designer, Julie Vos. Also available in mixed metal, this bracelet is perfect for the Louisiana Lady on your list. Find this and more great pieces at Serendipity Designer Jewelry in Monroe. Cozy Christmas HerringStone’s in Monroe has boot socks and hats that will keep any girl warm and cozy. Not only are they trendy, but cozy, comfortable and cute!

Wishes and Dishes The holiday hostess on your list deserves something special this year. Check out Paul Michael Co. in Monroe for darling ideas like this, to please your favorite “Betty Crocker.” Rock On This geode pair of book ends will be stunning on any shelf this holiday season. Available at Something Special on Antique Alley, this gift will rock anyone’s world.

Shine Bright Looking for the perfect gift for the skin conscious person on your list? A gift certificate at Derma MediQ in Monroe can be used for anything, including this Limited Edition Brightening System from SkinCeuticals. The three-step system will help the user achieve a youthful glow, starting her new year off right?

Tie One On This year’s must have gift item is available at Louisiana Purchases in Monroe. This hair tie bracelet is a stylish cuff bracelet that holds a hair tie inside a unique engineered channel. It is fashion meets function!

Wine Down This DuMol Ryan Pinot Noir, 2012 has all the qualities you love in a Pinot Noir. It is Burgundian in style and has a fantastic 96 point rating from acclaimed wine critic, Robert Parker. Stop by Washington Wine and Spirits in Monroe for an impressive selection of wine and more.

Walk On The Wild Side Handcrafted, polished, stitched, cut and carved from start to finish in Southern California, the Geneva Black Multicolor Snake Heel is perfect for the lucky lady in your life who loves one-of-a-kind fashion pieces. Color options available at The Nude Nomad on Antique Alley.

Cult Classic Smith and Cult’s Nailed Lacquer consistently delivers both flawlessly smooth coverage and brilliant shine. For the fashionista on your list, check out Rain the Salon in Monroe for a gift that will give all her friends nail envy.

A Magic Merry Christmas This is the gift that fits everyone on your list! A gift certificate from Magic Grill in West Monroe can be redeemed for their famous po-boys, fried chicken and hot rolls, all topped with that magic gravy!

The Golden Touch This John Hardy Gift Box with 18KT gold and sterling silver Palu Collection pendant and earrings is available at Hollis & Company Jewelers in Monroe. It is also available in Classic Chain and Bamboo collections.

Comfy and Cozy Bundle up this year with adorable finds at The Fleurty Ginger Boutique in Monroe and West Monroe. Keep warm with this bundle of matching sock hat, scarf, and boot socks. They would make the perfect addition to any outfit.

Keep It Cool Corkcicle makes it easy to find gifts for anyone, whether you’re looking for a surefire gift or something more personal. Beehive in Ruston can monogram a tumbler for a personalized touch.

Need A Lift? Caudalie Resveratrol LIFT is a resculpting and recontouring cream that diminishes wrinkles and enhances firmness. Stop by MD Minerals inside Hopkins Dermatology in Monroe for stocking stuffers that impress.

These Boots Are Made For Walking These brown, shiny leather Musse & Cloud boots can be found at Free Birds Boutique in West Monroe. Their slick look makes them easy to pair with jeans or leggings and makes them the perfect gift for Christmas.

Bird Is The Word Material Things in Monroe has the cutest handcrafted birdseed gifts in the shape of wreaths, decorative bird houses and cottages. They not only feature unique details, but some are actual bird houses that the bird lover on your list can enjoy once the seeds are gone!

No Shade There will definitely be no shade given if you give these camouflaged Costa’s from Haik Humble Eye Center. With hunting season in full effect, your guy will appreciate this gift! It’s In The Bag This cloth bag is the perfect way to carry all of Santa’s gift this Christmas. From The Mother Hen in West Monroe, it can be easily monogrammed, making it a treasured keepsake for years to come.

Cap It Off Cara’s Boutique in West Monroe has this baseball style cap, that is perfect for girls of any age. It’s one of this year’s trendy colors, and the texture will keep her head warm in the chilly months to come! Practical and pretty!

Pump Up The Jam These silver peep-toe pumps can be found at Anitra’s in Monroe and would go great with any holiday dress. They’d make a wonderful gift for the fashionista in your life. Check out Anitra’s for all your formal needs.

Dynamic Duo Check out this cute makeup bag and keychain duo from Fabulous Fabric in Monroe. Perfect for Stocking Stuffers, Secret Santa and last minute gifts!  Comes in several different prints and colors and would look great monogrammed!

Yummy Gummy Need the perfect gift for the “tween” in your life? This Yummy Gummy scented chain purse by American Jewel is available at Erin’s Attic in Ruston. Snag one for your little diva before they’re gone!

Jam Session Among Taylor’s rosewood/spruce guitars, the 900 Series has always projected an aura of highend sophistication. On the 914ce, the Grand Auditorium’s all-round versatility has been punched up to produce a more powerful bass response and a warmer, sweeter midrange. Stop by Matt’s Music in Monroe for all the musicians on your list.

Cuts Like A Knife This Xikar Xi3 Spalted Tamarind Cutter crafted from exotic wood from Southeast Asia exhibits spectacular colors and black grain patterns that are truly unique. It features a polished stainless steel body, high quality 440 stainless steel blades and equipped with a lifetime warranty. Find gifts for the cigar enthusiast in your life at Governors Cigar and Pipe in Monroe.

A Stunning Set This Kendra Scott box set is available at Herringtone’s in Monroe. Presented in a cute box, the matching earrings and necklace will make any girl smile this holiday season.

Pearl for Your Girl The perfect Stocking Stuffer is found at Hollis & Company Jewelers is Monroe. This 11mm. freshwater pearl pendant is suspended on a beautiful triple strand sterling silver chain and comes in a beautiful presentation gift box from Imperial Pearls.

Hang It Up Lewis’ Gifts in Shreveport is a one-stop shop for holiday décor. This 24” fresh, Golden Woodlands Wreath is a must-have for your front door this holiday season. Check out Lewis’ for all your holiday needs.

Classic CoCo Any fashionista will love to get one of these vintage Chanel chokers, available at Hemline Monroe. This is a classic piece that she will treasure for years to come.

Swamp Tale Dazzle your kids with a “Cajun Night Before Christmas,” the Louisiana themed twist on the classic bedtime story. Find this keepsake book at The Children’s Shoppe in Ruston and Monroe, and make it a holiday tradition they’ll pass along.

Silent Night Woodstock Furniture and Gifts in Monroe is your holiday headquarters for unique finds. From ornaments to lights and décor, they have you covered. This nativity set is a simple, chic display depicting the “Reason for the Season.”

Wet Your Whistle Looking for something for the man who has it all? Whistlepig’s award-winning whiskey can be found at Tonore’s Wine Cellar in Monroe for a gift that will knock his socks off.

Give Me Liberty They’re back… Stop by Eleven 26 on Antique Alley for these Liberty Black “Chita” booties. These handmade beauties are every girl’s dream, made from the finest leather. Animal print is a neutral, right? Get ‘em before they’re gone!

Pop of Plaid This Cotton Brothers shirt from Ron Alexander Clothiers for Men in Monroe is 100% Cotton and wrinkle free. At an excellent price point, this plaid shirt will make a great gift for all of the guys on your list. Hit The Slopes Get into the spirit with Aspen Bay Candles. With scents like Nutmeg & Amber and Juniper Twig, you’ll get the feeling of being cozy by the fire with mug in hand. Find these and more at Trenton Interiors in Ruston.

Cookie Monster Pass some nostalgia onto your little ones with this Melissa and Doug toy cookie set. Help them create memories for years to come. Stop by The Stork’s Nest in Monroe to view their large selection of Melissa and Doug.

Brighton Up Your Day These versatile bracelets are a must have this holiday season. The Christo Cuff comes with a interchangeable and reversible leather inserts, they can be made to coordinate with any outfit. Check out Eleven 26 on Antique Alley for these and other Brighton stocking stuffers!

Home Sweet Home Everyone knows Aron’s Pharmacy in Monroe is a great spot for burgers, gifts and holiday décor. They also carry a wide selection of apparel, too! This Louisiana themed shirt makes a great gift for anyone with hometown pride.

Woodland Christmas Cruze’s Candle Company offers woodsy scents like Cypress Winter, Cypress Christmas and Cypress Rose to get you in the holiday spirit. Cricket’s Grace Boutique in Ruston carries these candles made locally in Moss Bluff, Louisiana. Stop by and check them out.

Squatch Sighting We believe that this Big Chuck shirt from Mr. P’s Tees should be on everyone’s list this year. Available in youth and adult sizes, you can make sure there is one under the tree for all of the stylish people on your list!

Glitz and Glamour Vahan’s signature bold sculptural designs are crafted in sterling silver and 14k gold with dazzling diamonds and precious stones. Lightweight, sophisticated and sexy, their timeless designs are crafted with impeccable quality. Check out National Jewelry in Ruston this year, your Vahan headquarters.

A Different Kind of Bubbly Give the gift of relaxation this Christmas. This Jacuzzi tub from Azure Pool and Spas in Monroe will be enjoyed year round. Even better, it can be delivered and installed in your backyard, ready and waiting after all of the holiday hustle and bustle. Pizza Party Looking for a unique find for the foodie on your list? This handcrafted pizza peel from Paul Michael Co. in Monroe makes for a nice surprise to turn anyone into a pizza aficionado.

Locked and Loaded Store your cigars in this handsome humidor from Savoy by Ashton. Black Calabash woods pronounce a bright variation of color with fine grain patterns. This humidor enlists the patented technology of Boveda Humidification Systems that maintain perfect conditions within your humidor. Find manly gifts like this one at Governors Cigar and Pipe this year. The Very Vest Keep him warm with the new Banded Goose Down Vintage Vest found at Simmons’ Sporting Goods in Bastrop. With snap-buttons, a zippered front and cargo pockets, any man would love to get this stylish, functional vest for Christmas.

Two-In-One This shawl is completely reversible, giving it two looks in one. It makes for the perfect gift for any woman when you aren’t sure of what size to get. This is just one of the many gift items at The Fleurty Ginger Boutique in Monroe and West Monroe.

Set In Stone The best-selling Indah bracelet is handcrafted with semi-precious stones. It is ideal for every age and is available in a variety of unique styles at The Nude Nomad in West Monroe, along with handmade earrings and necklaces.

Take Me Away This year, give the gift of sanity and relaxation with a gift certificate from Spa Nouvelle for a Spa Day Escape. Four hours of uninterrupted relaxation designed to help him or her escape from all stress. It includes a light lunch, Nouvelle Facial, Nouvelle Relaxation Massage and a Spa Pedicure. So Swell These beautifully crafted stainless steel water bottles from S’well are available at Haven in Monroe. The company gives back to those in need, so this gift is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

Classy Glass Traditions Antiques on Antique Alley in West Monroe has gifts that will work for everyone. The store is full of antique treasures, like this rose-colored glass jar with floral detail design and an iron work top, that make wonderful gifts. Prayerfully Perfect This beautiful bracelet by Ronaldo has seven beads, one for each day of the week. When you wake up wearing it, it will remind you to say a prayer for that day, and then again, by looking at it before going to bed at night and all seven days of the week. Find this and more beautiful jewelry at Serendipity Designer Jewelry in Monroe.

Ciao, Baby! The Ciao Milano Tess Anorak will be your all-around, year-long designer jacket. Find swoon-worthy styles like these at Rodéo Boutique in Ruston. Simply The Vest You will be considered the best when you get this vest for any lady on your list. From Cara’s Boutique in West Monroe, this pink vest is fluffy, fun and flirty. She will be cozy all winter long with this piece perfect for layering!

Light The Night The Patio Place now offers a new type of candle that is the perfect accessory to spice up your patio, porch, gazebo or pool area. The extra large wick produces a bright flame and warm glow that combines the comforting and relaxing glow of a campfire with the timeless beauty of a candle.

School Spirit This cozy Warhawk sweatshirt is just one of the many hand-drawn designs from local company, Mr. P’s Tees. Your favorite Warhawk would love to open this unique sweatshirt on Christmas morning!

Lace Up Channel your inner fashionista with these Freebird Arlo Lace Up Boots. You can find them, and many other gifts, at K-Sera Boutique in West Monroe. They are perfect for the free spirit on your shopping list. Bring On The Heat The NEW Paul Mitchell Neuro Round Brush, found at Rain the Salon in Monroe creates the perfect blowout with a smooth finish and shine. With titanium barrel and heat resistant bristles, it gives you a DIY, salon-worthy look.

Go Dawgs This bulldog cookie jar is perfect for the Louisiana Tech Alum on your list. Show your school spirit with unique finds at Townsend House Gifts in Ruston. The store is packed with items you can’t find just anywhere. Stop by and check them out!

Geaux Relax Your kids can relax on this sporty LSU beanbag from Sleepy Hollow Furniture and Mattress in Monroe. Adorable and affordable, your little tiger fan will love to watch the game sitting on this stylish seat!

Leather Up Stop by Bayou Gypsy in Monroe to scoop up one of these darling necklaces for your sweetheart this holiday season. They carry locally made and handmade jewelry that makes unique sticking stuffers.

State Pride Small Batch Customs features this unique Texas YETI cup, perfect for your proud Texan friend. Not from the Lone Star state? Don’t worry, they can customize any cup with a state flag, favorite team, monogram and more.

Short and Sweet This Sweet Tea hand wash and lotion are a must have for the special southern belle on your list. With a sweet and subtle smell of fresh tea leaves and sugar sitting in the sun, she will love this luxurious scent from Roux in Monroe.

Art From The Heart This line of cards from local artist Jennifer O. White are available at Bella Blues Design Co. in Monroe and double as a card and artwork. Each includes a special prayer and can be framed.

Pillow For Your Patio Shop The Patio Place for a wide variety of seasonal indoor/outdoor pillows! A large assortment of pillows from whimsical to classic patterns will welcome your guests to your outdoor spaces during the holiday season! Sparkle This Season Randy Smith Jewelers in Monroe is known for their exquisite and unique jewelry, and this piece is no exception. This diamond and sapphire gold necklace is a one-of-a-kind and perfect for the lady who has everything!

Geaux Relax Make a statement with this pink ostrich feather coat. New Attitude Hair Design Boutique LaCour in Delhi, has many wonderful gifts for women of any age. From make-up to shoes, they have everything you need to make a Merry Christmas.


Culturati Noiré On the evening of November 12th, “Culturati Noiré” was held at Brown Gym on the University of Louisiana at Monroe campus. Organizer and ULM alumni Robert J. Brown collaborated with the Eta Chi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha to bring this 6th annual cultural heritage event to fruition. Guests enjoyed live art galleries, a fashion show depicting the progression of African-American history, local vendors with handmade goods, non-profit organizations and a spoken word performance illustrating the stories of AfricanAmerican ancestry.

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On the BayouScene



1 Brea Joyner, Jasmine Gusman and Alayna Wyre 2H  ope Martin, Ciara Downing, Jamareau Bundred, Tamia Washington, Crystal Prudhomme and Anansi Thomas 3 Lauren Jelks, Shonesha Duncan, Crystal Prudhomme 4 Laterrica Jackson 5B  ig AL Cherry and Kanada DeBurr 6 Macky James and Skyler Dennis 7 OraAlise Greely and Montrell Marshall 8 Shanica Thompson and Pree McCarthy 9A  gape Skinner, Desireé Wimberly and Crystal Prudhomme 10 Jasmine Gusman and Jamareau Bundred 11 Joseph Evans, Isaiah and Josiah Bell 12 Crystal Prudhomme 13 Tamia Washington and Kya Ester 14 Shan’Desiree Williams 15 A  nansi Thomas 12



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Calendar of Events For a full list of event happenings in Northeast Louisiana, see our website at December 1- 23 Santa’s Christmas Village Time: Thursday- Friday 5:00 p.m. -8:00 p.m.; Saturday 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.; Sunday 1:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. A holiday wonderland with ice skating, snow, make and take ornaments, cookie decoration, rides down Mount Sneaux, the Coca Cola Christmas Village trains exhibit, a festive outdoor light show and special visits with Santa. Don’t miss the new photo booth fun every Thursday evening from 5-8 p.m. and your chance to meet two real live reindeer on November 19th. Venue: Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum Admission Cost: $7 ages one and up, $10 Skate rental Phone: 318-361-9611 Web: Wagon Tour of Lights Time: 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Take an open air ride through the lights and sights of our Twin Cities. The 30-minute rides begin at 5:00 p.m. and conclude by 9:00 p.m. every Friday and Saturday nights beginning Nov 25, with the exception of Christmas Eve. Venue: Antique Alley Web: December 1-31 Holiday Lights Time: 5:00 p.m. Don’t miss the lights in Downtown Monroe and West Monroe or Tree Jays at the Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum each night. Walk through the tunnels of lights at the Wonderland of Lights or our newest display, Throwback Christmas. Venue: Downtown Monroe and West Monroe Admission Cost: Free Phone: 800-843-1872 Web: Christmas at the Biedenharn Time: 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Enjoy the beautiful Christmas decorations throughout the Biedenharn Home and ELsong Gardens thanks to The Monroe

Garden Study League. Be sure to come by during regular museum hours to take your family Christmas snapshots. Open Tuesday-Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Venue: Biedenharn Museum and Gardens Phone: 318-387-5281 Web: Ice Skating in Downtown Ruston Time: Varies by day The Ice Skating Rink is back by popular demand! Bring the kids to ice skate on this artificial rink and enjoy Christmas lights and decorations in charming downtown. Location: Historic Fire Station Admission: $10 per person Phone: 318-251-1431 December 1-3 Lincoln Lights Up the Pines Time: 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. This drive-thru lights display is the perfect activity for the whole family, allowing passengers to see Christmas light displays from the comfort and warmth of their vehicle. Location: Lincoln Parish Park Admission: $5 per car Phone: 318-255-2031 December 1-4 “It’s a Wonderful Life” Time: Thurs-Sat 7:00 p.m., Sun 2:00 p.m. RCT presents this holiday classic about an angel who helps a compassionate, but despairingly frustrated, businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed. Location: Dixie Center for the Arts Admission: $12/$6 for students Phone: 318-255-1450 December 1 Downtown Gallery Crawl Time: 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Presented by the Downtown Arts Alliance, eleven art galleries in downtown Monroe and West Monroe are open all evening for the public to enjoy great art, food, drink and music. Original art is for sale, tax free. Admission is free. Venue: Downtown Monroe and


West Monroe Admission Cost: Free Phone: 318-503-5125 Garden District Block Party Time: 6:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m. Join Governors Cigar and Pipe once again for the 3rd installment of the Garden District Block Party! The night will be filled with amazing art, delicious food, live entertainment and Louisiana craft brews from Marsala Beverage. Venue: 305 Walnut St. in Monroe Admission Cost: $15 general admission; $75 VIP Web: garden-district-block-party-viptickets-29084922787 December 2-3 Holiday Arts Tour Time: 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. This holiday art crawl features unique shopping opportunities, music, street theatre, art demos, kids’ activities and more! Get some holiday shopping done while you meet artists and view their works in local shops downtown. Location: Downtown Ruston Admission: Free and open to the public Phone: 318-255-1450 December 2 Love and Theft Live in Concert Time: 7:00 p.m. Come out and see country music favorite Love and Theft performing live! Location: The Revelry of Ruston Admission: Ticket prices vary Phone: 318-255-1008 December 3-4 Journey to Bethlehem Time: 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Experience the sights and sounds of the world of the first Christmas through a 20 minute walk-thru Christmas drama. The journey features over 100 characters in costume, live animals, 1st century shops and a live nativity. Venue: Pecanland Mall Admission Cost: Free Phone: 318-396-4953

Web: December 3 Bah-Humbug 5k Run Time: 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. This 5k run is sponsored by Family Church in West Monroe and benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Louisiana. Venue: Antique Alley Admission Cost: $18 pre-registration, $20 day of race Web: Holly Jolly Breakfast 8:30-11:30 a.m. Twin City Ballet Company invites you to enjoy breakfast with Annie and friends, make thumbprint reindeer ornaments, write a letter to Santa, make reindeer food and more. Professional pictures with Santa to be taken by Samuel Bourland. Shopping will also be open at our Very Merry Market for personalized Christmas gifts, teacher gifts, home décor and more! Admission Cost: $10; Tickets are available at both locations of Linda Lavender School of Dance, Melanie Massey Physical Therapy (Monroe and West Monroe), The Muffin Tin, Trenton House and LG Studio in Ruston. Phone: 318-388-3011 Web: Painting in the Park! Christmas and Winter Themed Paintings Time: 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Come to the Kiroli Park Tennis Shelter and paint a canvas or cer a.m.ic for only $10! Larger canvases will be available for $15. Choose from a variety of paintings (lots of Christmas paintings) with step by step instructions or you can just paint anything you’d like. Venue: Kiroli Park Admission Cost: $10-$15 Phone: 318-355-4720 10th Annual Bawcomville Redneck Parade Time: 10:00 a.m. This is a parade like no other! You’ll enjoy floats with fun-loving redneck themes and throws that

range from beads to toys to other surprises. Venue: Downtown Bawcomville Admission Cost: Free Web: Christmas in DOMO Time: 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Come hear carols sung by local choirs, join in on the Ugly Sweater contest, be amazed by magical Eco-Magician Steve Trash, and taste the holiday drinks as you enjoy the local vendors along the River! Don’t forget about the Christmas Pet Pageant as well as getting a picture taken with Santa. Venue: Downtown RiverMarket Admission Cost: Free Phone: 318-807-9985 Web: Warhawk Football: ULM vs. ULLafayette Ragin’ Cajuns Time: 2:00 p.m. Come and cheer on the Warhawk Football team as they rival UL Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns! From the tailgate to the game this evening full of fun will have you cheering the whole time! Venue: ULM Malone Stadium Admission Cost: Ticket prices vary Phone: 318-342-1000 Web: Origin Bank presents the Kiwanis Club of West Monroe Christmas Parade Time: 3:00 p.m. Come enjoy the holiday floats and Christmas Parade. Venue: Downtown Monroe and West Monroe Admission Cost: Free Phone: 318-410-5346 Web: Downtown River Jam featuring the Garden District Grand Revival Time: 6:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. Jim Taylor Auto Group presents Downtown River Jam featuring Garden District Grand Revival on the Skent N Dent stage! Enjoy live music, food and spirits. Beer tastings provided by Choice Brands. Venue: Downtown Monroe Admission Cost: free Phone: 318-817-1737 Up on the Rooftop Annual Christmas Swanky Soirée Time: 7:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. Enjoy a night of great food,

spirits, live music and the best seat in the house for the fireworks at this great holiday event. Venue: Vantage State Building Rooftop Garden Phone: (318) 807-1177 Origin Bank presents the Monroe Renaissance Fireworks Extravaganza Time: 7:00 p.m. Enjoy this beautiful fireworks display along the banks of the Ouachita River. Fireworks will be shot from the Endom bridge. Venue: Downtown RiverMarket Admission Cost: Free Phone: 318-807-9985 Web: Twin City Ballet’s Festival of Trees Time: 5:00-7:30 p.m. | Live auction: 6:00 p.m. Walk through a winter wonderland of custom-designed Christmas Trees complete with travel and gift packages and wreaths available through live and silent auctions. Angel prices for Trees will be available. Venue: W.L. “Jack” Howard Theatre at the Monroe Civic Center Admission Cost: Free Phone: 318-388-3011 Web: Twin City Ballet Christmas Gala Time: 7:00 p.m. In this year’s An Annie Christmas, Daddy Warbucks wants to make sure Annie and her friends find out exactly what Christmas is all about as he takes them on a whirlwind adventure to celebrate this holiday. Together, they discover the joy of giving and that friends make the best family. The Gala will also feature Noël, Leaia Alsup’s beautifully choreographed joyous tribute to this December miracle. Venue: W.L. “Jack” Howard Theatre at the Monroe Civic Center Admission Cost: Prices vary Phone: 318-388-3011 Web: Rickey Smiley Comedy Show “Live” Time: 7:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m. Northeast Louisiana get ready to get your laugh on Saturday December 3rd at the Monroe Civic Center Arena as Rickey Smiley and friends return to Monroe for the Rickey Smiley Comedy Show “Live!” Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and show CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE WWW.BAYOULIFEMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2016 223

time is 7:30 p.m. Venue: Monroe Civic Center Admission Cost: $15 General Admission, $30 Risers, $40 Floor and $50 VIP Phone: 318-329-2225 Web: month December 8-10 Christmas Evenings at the Biedenharn Time: 5:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. Enjoy an evening of beautiful Christmas decorations throughout the Biedenharn Home and Elsong Gardens thanks to The Monroe Garden League, entertainment by local musicians, refreshments and photos with Santa Claus. Venue: Biedenharn Museum and Gardens Phone: 318-387-5281 Web: December 8 The Magic of Christmas Time:6:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. KNOE and the City of Monroe present the 2nd annual Magic of Christmas event with light displays and a live nativity. Kids can also visit with Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, the Grinch and many more Christmas characters! Venue: Monroe Civic Center Phone: 318-388-8888 Web: www.monroe-westmonroe. org/ Ruston Christmas Parade Time: 6:00 p.m. Come celebrate the season! Bring the entire family out to watch “A White Christmas” themed parade in Downtown Ruston! Location: Downtown Ruston Admission: Free to attend Phone: 318-255-2031 December 9-11, December 17-18 “Winter Wonderland, a Holiday Cabaret” at Strauss Youth Academy for the Arts Time: 7:00 p.m. Featuring timeless classics, such as “Let It Snow” and “Sleigh Ride,” this musical journey will have you tapping your feet to modern holiday tunes, such as “Once Upon a December” and “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” You might even get to celebrate the joys of summer with a certain snowman from Arendelle. Oh, and did we mention

there’s a 90% chance of winter precipitation? Venue: Strauss Youth Academy for the Arts Admission Cost: $12 Adult, $8 Student Phone: 318-812-7922 Web: www. December 10 Nothing Runs Like A Deere 5K Time: 8:00 a.m. Family Fun Run, 8:30 5k Join Goldman Equipment’s 1st Annual “Nothing Runs Like A Deere 5K.” Come out to support the runners, shop Christmas toys and take a picture with Santa. Proceeds of this event will benefit Family Promise Of Ouachita. Venue: Goldman Equipment – 511 Mane Street in West Monroe Admission Cost: $25 5k, $20 1 Mile Fun Run Kids Alley Sponsored by Centric Federal Credit Union Time: 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. A day of everything fun for kids: buggy rides, games, Masur Museum crafts, Zoo animals, bounce house, visits with Santa and more. For more information, call: 318-388-3930. Venue: Antique Alley Admission Cost: Free Phone: 318-388-3930 Web: Outdoor Movie: Home Alone, sponsored by Hamilton House Inn Time: 5:30 p.m. What would be better than a holiday movie in Antique Alley under the magical Christmas lights? Popcorn and hot chocolate will be available for purchase. Venue: Antique Alley Admission Cost: Free Phone: 800-843-1872 Web: A Magical Bike Parade Sponsored and Hosted by The Bike Source Time: 7:00 p.m. Be part of the glitter. Decorate your bicycles and pedal through the lights in both our cities. Everyone 12 years and older is welcome to participate. So light up your bikes and join us for a night of laughs and fun. May the best bike shine! (*Rain Date: December 17, same time) Venue: Antique Alley Phone: 318-387-5691


Web: The Snowman: A Winter Holiday Pops Time: 7:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Inspired by the short story told through pictures, Howard Blake’s movie short, The Snowman, comes to life in a vibrant way this holiday season with the Monroe Symphony performing the soundtrack live as the movie is shown! Venue: W.L. “Jack” Howard Theatre at the Monroe Civic Center Admission Cost: $5-$30 Phone: 318-329-2225 December 16-17 Louisiana State Games: Middle School Basketball Championships Join in on the fun at the Louisiana State Games Middle School Basketball Championships. Venue: ULM Activity Center Phone: 318-342-5305 Web: December 16 Louisiana Delta Ballet Presents “Twas the Night Before a Cajun Christmas” Time: 7:30 p.m. An Original Ballet, created by Artistic Director Missy Crain, this is a Louisiana twist on a classic Christmas story. Watch what happens when Santa lands in Louisiana on Christmas Eve. Kids and adults alike will enjoy this performance. Venue: Monroe Civic Center Admission Cost: $25 Phone: 318-345-1155 Web: Russ-Town Band Concert Time: 7:30 p.m. Come out and hear all your favorite holiday tunes performed by the Russ-Town Band. Location: Dixie Center for the Arts Admission: Non-perishable food item Phone: 318-255-1450 December 17 Jingle Bell Run Half Marathon and 5K Sponsored by the Boy Scouts Time: 8:00 a.m. for Half Marathon, 8:30 a.m. for 5K This great half marathon will begin at the RiverMarket on the beautiful Ouachita River and wind its way through historical Downtown Monroe and the Garden District. The 5K will begin at the RiverMarket

and take you through historical Downtown Monroe. For more information, contact Greg Covington at 318-325-4634. Venue: Downtown RiverMarket Admission Cost: Prices Vary Driven Desires Toy Drive Time: 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Show an unopened toy and receive free entry into the Driven Desires car show! Venue: Glenwood Medical Mall Phone: 877-726-9355 Step Back in Time Time: 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Take a stroll down memory lane on Antique Alley. The shops will display different eras through window exhibits and merchants’ costumes. There will be tours throughout the day led by a local historian, providing the history of the buildings and this fascinating area. Venue: Antique Alley Admission Cost: Free Phone: 800-843-1872 Web: Enjoy your stay in Monroe-West Monroe! We at the Monroe-West Monroe Convention & Visitor’s Bureau hope you have a great stay here! Please feel free to call us at 800-843-1872 if you have any questions. You may also stop by our offices at 601 Constitution Drive, West Monroe for brochures, coupons, and additional information. Visit www.monroe-westmonroe. org for information about events in Ouachita Parish and visit for events in Lincoln Parish.


BayouLife December 2016  
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