The 5 Best Iced Vanilla Lattes

I'll be the very last person to declare myself a connoisseur of anything. A hobbyist in the least and an enthusiast at most, but never an expert. But, I will say that being a creature of habit makes me objective with recommendations. I won't easily sing praises unless I've tried the same thing at five hundred other places. Case in point: my five favorite baguettes, which I've thoroughly researched for the past twenty-something years. The best friend of a baguette? An iced vanilla latte.

In my second attempt to simplify your search for some of New Orleans' Bests, I think something as simple as coffee can start your day off on the right foot, but if it falls flat, so can the rest of your day. I love Starbucks as much as the next person, but I think they make the worst iced vanilla lattes because their vanilla doesn't taste anything like real vanilla. If I'm going to shell out $5 on coffee, it had better be made with real vanilla! Depending on the day, I might veer towards the sweeter side in which I'll turn to Mojo's Coffee House or hop to Spitfire Coffee in the French Quarter when I need an extra jolt to wander the city.  There's no perfect iced vanilla latte but hopefully these notes will help guide your next coffee trip! And now that New Orleans has a legitimate craft coffee community, there's no reason not to try all these gems.

1. The Orange Couch (2339 Royal Street) - Sweet with a wonderfully unique velvety texture. 

2. District Donuts (2209 Magazine Street) - Made with homemade vanilla bean syrup and strong 1000 Faces espresso

3. Mojo's Coffee House (1500 Magazine Street & 4700 Freret Street) - Silky smooth texture and sweet vanilla flavor

4. Spitfire Coffee (627 St. Peter Street) - Clean vanilla and not too sweet, followed by strong cinnamon notes 

5. Merchant (800 Common Street) - Subtle vanilla flavor and bold espresso

The Art of Listening

To be vulnerable is two parts scary and fulfilling. It can be an equalizer in a relationship– a neutral territory where people are able to find common ground and understanding. But when does saying less make more of an impact? What are the benefits of being aware and strategic in our role as an observer by listening– hard– to others and ourselves? I’ve found that being quiet and more intentioned with words has helped me make peace with the things I cannot change. Listening helps us discover ways to make the greatest impact without being the loudest person in the room. It helps us learn to spend time going unnoticed, to put our own agenda on the shelf for a moment, and gain fulfillment through another person’s story. Doing these things are harder than they seem, because it reminds us how small our role in the world really is, and forces us to spend time with who we really are and where our strengths truly live. It’s a brave thing to do, to remain small.
— Kate Arends, Wit & Delight

Hey, Louisiana x Madewell!

Kain pocket t-shirt | Madewell skinny skinny in black frost | Sam Edelman 'Petty' boots

In the past three months, I've received roughly ten text messages from different friends saying 'Madewell is coming! Madewell is coming!' They either know my obsession with J.Crew's sister label or share the same feelings. I've always been a pant girl but funny enough never a jean girl. Short legs, a mediocre butt, and don't get me started on my knees (I knowwww we are our own worst critic) just never made it easy. Until I decided to invest in a pair of Madewell's skinny jeans. The Skinny Skinnies do, in fact, make you feel skinny skinny. Consider my mind blown. These days you'll find me falling asleep in my Madewell denim because they're that comfortable! So, any thoughts where I'll be this Tuesday when Louisiana's first store opens its doors? Madewell where all my denim dreams (eyeing these slim boyjeans) are bound to come true, of course. You should come, too. If not for the denim, for the snacks or a free tote (because you're not not going to shop) or to meet some good folks. 

Madewell Store Opening
Lakeside Mall
7-9:00 PM
RSVP here
P.S. bring your friends and use the hashtag #madewellnola!

Sealed in Style

BCBG dress (on sale!) | Massimo Dutti heels | Mignon Faget jewelry

A week away from this blog is entirely too long. I don't have a legitimate excuse for the silence, but I'm happy to be back with some fun news in collaboration with Easter Seals, an organization that supports disability services in Louisiana. Incredibly honored and excited to be joining Liz Cooke of Lionheart Prints and Tiffany Napper of Flying Fox on Saturday, November 1st to judge the style contest! Mark your calendars and prep your outfits because one lucky stylish attendee will receive a prize package worth $500 from The Shops At Canal Place. You can check out my Pinterest board for some inspiration! There will be an open bar, dancing, food, silent auction, photo line and music.  It will be held at The Shops At Canal Place from 8-11PM and tickets can be purchased here

As far as my outfit goes, I'll be sporting this comfortable asymmetrical dress I found on sale at BCBG. It must've been fate because just as I was rummaging through the racks of evening gowns this baby appeared out of nowhere in my size. Pretty sure it was meant to be! And also meant to be paired with a few of Mignon Faget's jewels. Pictured above is the Serpentine ring, Elizabeth Bangle, and Pylon Tile Sinker Cypress Chain necklace. Hope to see your pretty faces there!

Photos by Mignon Faget Ltd & Ashley Bel