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From the perfect jean to a basic black turtleneck, these looks are must-haves for the new year. Find this and more at area boutiques.

photography by KELLY MOORE CLARK model EMERSON GLOBKE hair and makeup by MEKA BENNETT

Blush by Elle

This oversized V-neck mocha sweater is super soft and stylish. Pair it with ankle length skinny jeans with a cut hem. Accessorize with a gold layered starburst necklace and gorgeous rose gold glittered sneakers.

Palette House and Plume

This jogger set is a staple for the new year. The casual zip-up hoodie is perfect for the everyday adventure, elevated with a stripe down the back. It’s worn with the matching ultra-soft Lux Wash French Terry pant with side striping detail and sweater knit trims.

This basic black turtleneck knit top is perfect for winter and spring. Pair it with this luxurious suede skirt with button front closures. Accessorize with a black leather bucket bag, gold bracelets and these ultra-pointed toe black suede booties.

I REMEMBER how, as I began my years of study as a seminary student, the first quiz in my initial Greek class had a significant impact on all my future studies of that New Testament language. Our professor assigned us a scripture passage from the Greek New Testament which we were to translate into English. We were also required to “dissect” the passage, identifying the verbs and their tenses, explaining the context in which the passage was written, and giving our thoughts relative to the desired effect the author wanted the text to have on his readers. Fortunately for me, our teacher had selected a passage with which I happened to be very familiar, and I was able to meet his requirements in a manner superior to and unmatched by any of my efforts during my undergraduate years at the college which I had attended prior to enrolling in seminary. In short, by God’s benevolent grace, I “nailed it!” When our tests had been graded and returned to us, I don’t think that there was a single red mark of correction on my paper. I was not a poor student, and I had taken a couple of Greek courses at the college level, but the impression made on our Greek professor was that I was a “top” student. The result of it all was that I received excellent grades in all of my future classes in that subject. Please understand that I did work hard in those classes, but I have no doubt but that my professor, as he evaluated my work, was influenced by his memory of my first efforts in his class. That good start paid good dividends. I share this story to make this point: strong beginnings and early efforts will have an impact on our futures and the successes we realize “down the road.” I believe we shall benefit by this theory as we begin the New Year of 2023. If we start strong and work diligently, the profits that come our way can be very satisfying. A New Year seems to offer us new beginnings. While we close out the old year with its failures and successes, we start the new with a clean slate and the opportunity to begin the year afresh by leaving behind the past year’s record and by sprinting out of the starting blocks in our pursuit of the best year ever. What I am suggesting is that, if we want 2023 to be better than was 2022, we will be benefited by getting a strong start. Waiting a while before giving attention to the goals we hope to attain in the twelve months ahead, is not a good, winning strategy. Instead, such a tactic is almost a sure recipe for mediocrity. To delay is to default. The strategy I wish to recommend is, I believe, one that will produce positive results. By starting strong and advancing steadily, there will be the realization of hopes that will be incentive and encouragement to continue, and even to increase our efforts. If we “play” the first quarter well, hopefully we shall have everything under control and quarter four will not be a problem. It is my strong desire that we all are resolving to pursue a New Year blessed by a positive, maturing relationship with the Lord. May I suggest a few things that will enhance your efforts to realize that hope? The first day of the New Year is on Sunday, affording us the opportunity to begin the year by attending worship; I can think of no better way to start our “race.” In addition to the practice of regular public worship, I commend to you private worship where you spend time reading God’s Word and praying. Finally, strengthen your personal relationship with God by sharing your faith with like-minded friends where there will be mutual encouragement to run the race well. May 2023 be blessed and the best New Year ever!

Calendar of Events

For a full list of event happenings in Northeast Louisiana, see our website at www.bayoulifemag.com

Through January 7

A Cast of Blues Exhibit

The exhibition includes 15 color photographs of blues artists and the colorful juke joints in which they played. The images are selected from acclaimed photographer Ken Murphy’s ground-breaking book, Mississippi: State of Blues. Time: Tuesdays-Fridays 10AM - 4 PM; Saturdays 10AM - 2PM Cost: Adults- $5.00 (18 and older). Seniors- $3.00. 17 and under- Free. Address: Northeast Louisiana Delta African American Heritage Museum 1051 Chennault Park Dr, Monroe Phone: (318) 342-8889

January 1-31

Monroe Museum Month

Join Monroe’s museums for Museum Month all month long in January 2022. Nine museums, all located in Monroe, have come together to celebrate what we love about and learn from visiting museums! Stop by the Visitor Center at Discover Monroe-West Monroe and pick up your museum passport. Time & Cost: Hours and ticket prices vary by location.

January 5

ULM Men's Basketball vs. Georgia State

Watch the ULM men's basketball team beat the buzzer and compete to win at the Fant-Ewing Coliseum! Time: 6:30 PM Cost: Ticket Prices Vary Address: Fant-Ewing Coliseum 4099 Northeast Drive, Monroe

January 6

Krewe of Janus Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night occurs 12 days after Christ was born and is considered the beginning of the Mardi Gras Season. Krewe of Janus will kick-off Mardi Gras with a Twelfth Night Party at their Krewe Den. Cost: $55.00 Address: Krewe of Janus Float Den 901 Louisville Avenue, Monroe Phone: (318) 614-8572

January 6-8

Big Creek Trade Days

Big Creek Trade Days are held monthly on the weekend before the second Monday with over 100 indoor and outdoor vendors, food trucks, and fun for all ages! Hours: Friday & Saturday 9AM - 5PM; Sunday 10AM - 4PM Cost: Free Venue: Big Creek Trade Days 327 California Plant Rd, Dubach Phone: (318) 680-1304

January 7

Miss Krewe of the Twin Cities Pageant

Join the Krewe de Riviere for their Miss Krewe of the Twin Cities Pageant. The pageant will be split up into two competitions: The Miss Krewe of Twin Cities (18-26 years) and The Miss Krewe of Twin Cities Outstanding Teen (13-17 years). Time: 11AM - 12PM Cost: $10.00/Person. Under 5 free Address: Jack Howard Theater 401 Lea Joyner Expressway, Monroe

ULM Men's Basketball vs. Southern Miss Watch the ULM men's basketball team beat the buzzer and compete to win at the Fant-Ewing Coliseum! Time: 2PM Cost: Ticket Prices Vary Address: Fant-Ewing Coliseum 4099 Northeast Drive, Monroe

January 12

ULM Men's Basketball vs. Ragin' Cajuns

Watch the ULM men's basketball team beat the buzzer and compete to win at the Fant-Ewing Coliseum! Time: 6:30PM Cost: Ticket Prices Vary Address: Fant-Ewing Coliseum 4099 Northeast Drive, Monroe

January 12-15, 19-21 Always...Patsy Cline

Always, Patsy Cline is based on the true story of Patsy Cline’s friendship with Houston housewife Louise Seger. Time: Thursday-Saturday 7PM; Sunday 2PM Cost: Adult- $30.00. Student- $15.00 Address: Strauss Theatre Center 1300 1/2 Lamy Lane, Monroe Phone: (318) 323-6681

January 13-14

2023 Ag Expo

Ag Expo 2023 is here to educate the public, both youth and adult, on the many ways agriculture touches daily lives! Time: Friday 2PM - 8PM; Saturday 9AM - 4PM Address: Ike Hamilton Expo 501 Mane Street, West Monroe Phone: (318) 355-2495

January 14

Precious Legacy Museum and Archives Israel Talk

The Precious Legacy Museum and Archives is located at Temple B'nai Israel in Monroe. This is a cultural museum of Judaism and Jewish contributions to the development of Monroe. Time: 10AM - 3PM Address: Temple B'nai Israel 2400 Orell Place, Monroe Phone: (318) 387-0730

ULM Men's Basketball vs. Texas State

Watch the ULM men's basketball team beat the buzzer and compete to win at the Fant-Ewing Coliseum! Time: 2PM Cost: Ticket Prices Vary Address: Fant-Ewing Coliseum 4099 Northeast Drive, Monroe

The Dixie Center for Performing Arts Presents: Louisiana's LeRoux

Louisiana legends make a musical gumbo that blends various instruments & music into a spicy, mouth-watering southern rock sound. Hours: 7PM Cost: $10.00-$35.00 Venue: Dixie Center for the Arts 212 North Vienna Street, Ruston Phone: 318-255-1450

January 15

The Dixie Center for Performing Arts Presents: Tommy Emmanuel

Regarded as one of the greatest acoustic guitarists of all time, Tommy Emmanuel is known for his complex fingerstyle technique, energetic performances, and use of percussive effects on the instrument. Hours: 7:00 PM Cost: $50.00-$60.00 Regular; $108.00-$280.00 VIP Experience Venue: Dixie Center for the Arts 212 North Vienna Street, Ruston Phone: (318) 255-1450

January 19

ULM Women's Basketball vs. Texas State

Watch the ULM women's basketball team beat the buzzer and compete to win at the Fant-Ewing Coliseum! Time: 6:30 PM Cost: $5.00 General Admission Address: Fant-Ewing Coliseum 4099 Northeast Drive, Monroe

January 21

Platforms and Polyester 2023

Grab your best disco attire and get ready to get your groove on at Platforms and Polyester- brought to you by The Radio People! Get ready to disco dance the night away and have a blast from the past! Time: 7PM- 10PM Cost: General Admission $40.00 Address: Bayou Pointe Event Center 100 Warhawk Way, West Monroe Phone: (318) 388-2323

January 26

ULM Women's Basketball vs. Marshall

Watch the ULM women's basketball team beat the buzzer and compete to win at the Fant-Ewing Coliseum! Time: 6:30 PM Cost: $5.00 General Admission Address: Fant-Ewing Coliseum 4099 Northeast Drive, Monroe

MSO Strings & Percussion

Join the Monroe Symphony Orchestra and Hammered Dulcimer National Champion, Amanda Roberts, with a strings and percussion performance. You do not want to miss this! Time: 7PM Cost: Adult $15.00. Student $5.00. Address: ULM Emy-Lou Biedenharn Recital Hall 200 University Avenue, Monroe Phone: (318) 812-6761

The Dixie Center for Performing Arts Presents: Twitty and Lynn LIVE at the Dixie

The grandchildren of music legends Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn perform songs that propelled their grandparents to stardom. Hours: 7:00 PM Cost: $39.00-$45.00 Venue: Dixie Center for the Arts 212 North Vienna Street, Ruston Phone: (318) 255-1450

January 27

ULM Tennis vs. Missouri State Come out to support the ULM tennis team at Heard Stadium! Time: 2PM Address: Heard Tennis Stadium Warhawk Way, Monroe

January 28

Ruston Art Encounter’s Performance Encounter

The Ruston Art Encounter hosts interactive art experiences for the community to be a part of on the last Saturday of every other month. The fourth installment of the Ruston Art Encounter is the Performance Encounter. A chance to grab some hot chocolate downtown and watch the talents of visual, culinary, and performance artists. Hours: 12PM - 4PM Cost: Free Venue: Downtown Ruston Phone: (318) 251-8647

NEDHSA's Psychodrama - "Sour Grapes"

Northeast Delta Human Services Authority (NEDHSA) and Crystal Wheeler Productions are partnering to produce "Sour Grapes," a threeact play exploring how we deal with tragic situations in our lives, and the way God shows us grace. Time: 2PM and 6PM Cost: Free Address: Monroe Civic Center 401 Lea Joyner Memorial Expressway, Monroe

Twin Cities' Krewe of Janus Grand Ball

The 40th Annual Twin Cities' Krewe of Janus Grand Ball featuring The TopCats from New Orleans. Join them at Bayou Pointe to celebrate King & Queen Janus XL Lee and Suzette Sawyer for a night filled with fun, food, and dancing! Formal attire is required. Time: 6:30 PM Cost: $100.00 Address: Bayou Pointe Event Center 100 Warhawk Way, West Monroe Phone: (318) 614-8572

The Dixie Center for Performing Arts Presents: Creedence Revived

Ready for a night of nostalgia with the world premier CCR tribute? Creedence Revived is the most highly sought-after CCR tribute band around. CCR is legendary! Hear songs like: "Have You Ever Seen The Rain," "Fortunate Son," "Proud Mary," "Born On The Bayou," and many more! Hours: 7:00 PM Cost: $10.00-$35.00 Venue: Dixie Center for the Arts 212 North Vienna Street, Ruston Phone: (318) 255-1450

January 7, 14, 21, 28

Ruston Farmers Market Shop, eat and support local producers and creators every Saturday morning! Hours: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM Cost: Free Venue: Ruston Farmers Marketplace | 220 E. Mississippi Ave. Ruston Phone: 318-957-130 Time: Tuesday – Saturday at 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Cost: $4.00 Address: Biedenharn Museum and Gardens | 2006 Riverside Dr, Monroe Phone: (318) 387-5281