Nov 302012
 

Christy Lorio (photo by Leslie Almeida)

With the holidays coming up, we often reflect upon our riches and give to those that are less fortunate than us. The Polar Express benefit is a concert that doubles as a toy drive for kids at Children’s Hospital and Ochsner. Attendees can either pay a $10 cover ($7 for students with college ID), or opt to bring a toy donation instead. Continue reading »

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Nov 232012
 

Christy Lorio (photo by Leslie Almeida)

Who’s ready for some serious shopping today?  Prepared to fight the masses for a 2-for-1 special on socks? Willing to get elbowed in the ribs for some celebrity endorsed perfume gift sets? Risking life and limb for a deeply discounted flat screen TV? No thanks, I think I’ll pass. Continue reading »

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Nov 162012
 

Christy Lorio (photo by Leslie Almeida)

No matter how quick and accessible digital publications are, a good ol’ fashioned  IRL (netspeak for In Real Life) book fair is far more inspiring than a Google search for new reading material. Get out from behind your iPads and Kindles and take an afternoon to explore The New Orleans Bookfair and Media Expo, held this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 725 Magazine St in the CBD. Continue reading »

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Nov 092012
 

Christy Lorio (photo by Leslie Almeida)

Growing up here in the New Orleans area, you’d think I’m accustomed to mild winters. Fall down here is just a quaint notion, one that comes from a brain soaked with humidity in desperate need of some crisp cool air. I’m not one to obsess over the weather, but I get antsy in anticipation of consistently nippy days. Unfortunately, we all know drinking pumpkin spice lattes while wearing shorts is inevitable, but with a little careful planning you can make sure you are dressed for Mother Nature’s most erratic behavior by planning ahead on a daily basis. Continue reading »

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Oct 262012
 

Christy Lorio (photo by Leslie Almeida)

With everything from dog treats to beauty products available at deep discounts on flash-sale sites such as Fab, One Kings Lane, and Gilt, it’s no wonder small local businesses have a difficult time staying afloat in this era of Internet-savvy consumers. While the rallying cry of “Shop local!” feels like a good way to support the local economy, more often than not even the staunchest of locavores will succumb to a good deal. Continue reading »

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Oct 192012
 

Christy Lorio (photo by Leslie Almeida)

Everyone at some point gets that dreaded little letter in the mail, with two words stamped on the front in unmistakable red letters: JURY SUMMONS.  Having never been called to serve jury duty until this past month, a string of expletives left my mouth when I found that little love note from Orleans Parish in the mailbox. It couldn’t have come at a worse time: October is absolutely the busiest month of the year for me. There’s New Orleans Fashion Week to attend, Halloween costumes to sew, and given I work in a retail store that sells costumes, we are really damn busy. Like “curl into the fetal position under the bathroom sink after the shift” type of busy.  But instead of trying to lie and weasel my way out of it, I chalked it up to my civic duty, sucked it up, and went. Continue reading »

Sep 142012
 

The Claiborne Corridor Cultural Collaborative (C4) Mapping Project boundaries. (via c4nola.com)

Christy Lorio (photo by Leslie Almeida)

While there’s no mistake that New Orleans is known for its rich culture, many people tend to only think of prime locations such as the French Quarter or Magazine Street. Continue reading »

Sep 072012
 

Christy Lorio (photo by Leslie Almeida)

“Expect the worst and you won’t be disappointed” was the most solid piece of advice my dad ever gave me. I find my dad’s words of wisdom oddly comforting in the most dire of situations, including the panic felt when dealing with named storms.

With Hurricane Isaac whipping through town, there was nary a household saved from the massive power outages. And while we were charging our phones in the car, checking our Twitter feeds, and complaining about Entergy not doing it’s job, I have to admit I chuckled a bit as to how spoiled we’ve become. Continue reading »

Aug 172012
 

Christy Lorio (photo by Leslie Almeida)

I knew I didn’t want kids as early on as middle school, and high school squelched any maternal instincts I might have possessed. Going to an all-girls Catholic school in the 90s, we were succumbed to scare tactics such as watching videos of abortions on a projector screen in the school’s gym to prevent us from experimenting sexually. And since having sex before marriage is a sin, pregnant students were permanently kicked out, their only option being attending an alternative school until they gave birth. Since I was barraged with so many negative connotations about sex and pregnancy at such a young age, I associated pregnancy with delinquent behavior and never had much desire to go through what was described to me as an awful experience. Continue reading »

Aug 102012
 

Christy Lorio (photo by Leslie Almeida)

There’s an old joke that eventually, people start to resemble their dogs. I got a greyhound about two years ago, and while I’m still waiting to be tall and skinny like her, I’ve grown content to share personality traits with my retired athlete instead: We both like long walks, yogurt, and hogging space in the bed.   Continue reading »

Aug 032012
 

Christy Lorio (photo by Leslie Almeida)

A new crop of college freshmen will infiltrate our city soon, calling New Orleans home. Whether it’s one semester or the next four years, the 2012 crew will be looking for jobs, be it for extra spending money or to work their way through school.

As a decision maker in the hiring process, I’m often befuddled by some of the things I see on job applications. Granted, I’m not talking about hiring to fill an upper management position. This is entry-level retail we’re talking about, but I deeply question if people really want a job given their tendency not to present their best selves. Continue reading »

Jul 272012
 

(all images courtesy of Rebecca Rebouche)

Christy Lorio (photo by Leslie Almeida)

At first glance, New Orleans resident and artist Rebecca Rebouche is sweet, slightly shy, and unassumingly pretty. She’s also down to Earth, a noble trait considering she graces this month’s issue of Garden and Gun Magazine as one of 15 featured artisans “shaping the look of the South.”  

Inspired by nature, Rebouche utilizes elements from the natural world to form the basis of her whimsical paintings, but she always draws from human nature to tell her stories. Her paintings are sweet, but not saccharine; they’re whimsical, dreamy and often surprisingly dark but never in a macabre way, more like a soul drenching thunderstorm. Trees are a common theme, as well as textiles, bunnies (she has a pet rabbit), birds, umbrellas, and sail boats. Continue reading »

Jul 132012
 

Know the eBay terrain — here are some of the more important options for online shopping. (graphic by Christy Lorio)

Christy Lorio (photo by Leslie Almeida)

I was sitting down with a friend a few weeks ago — a hip, in-the-know, bargain-loving type of gal — and over a lunch of ahi tuna salad and shrimp and grits I waxed poetic about my latest eBay find and how much money I saved. Much to my chagrin, my hip, cool, and decidedly-younger-than-me friend sheepishly admitted she’s never experienced the pleasure of bargain hunting on the “world’s largest online marketplace,” deeming it overwhelming and frustrating.

I’ve been utilizing eBay since 2000, long before flash sales and coupon sites became all the rage. And while I don’t frequent the site more than a few times a year, like a long lost friend that doesn’t hold a grudge, it’s always there for me with open arms when I decide to visit. My tricks to a successfully frugal purchase? Check your competitive side at the door, and limit your search to help better your odds at finding what you want. Continue reading »

Jun 292012
 

Three hikers in the Grand Canyon (photo by Christy Lorio).

Christy Lorio (photo by Leslie Almeida)

When I was a kid, my family packed into the car National Lampoon-style every year for vacation. Dad would always drive with Mom playing co-pilot and navigator. We’d take a train up Pike’s Peak, drive over the Hoover Dam, cruise the Las Vegas strip, and peer down into the Grand Canyon. My Dad always wanted to go back to the Grand Canyon to hike to the bottom, but cancer took him away from us unexpectedly in his mid-40s and he never got the chance.

So I decided to do it for him — 10 times, actually. Continue reading »