Author: Melanie Warner Spencer

Cozy Cooking

  By most accounts, we have a small kitchen. It measures just over 8-foot by just over 9-foot and, were it designed any other way, it might be too small. As it stands, we got lucky: it is already laid…

Happy Memorial Day

  Bon Vivant is taking a break for Memorial Day. Please visit again on Wednesday, when we’ll be back to our regular blogging schedule.

High and Low

  At this stage of the COVID-19 crisis, my husband Mark and I are devising as many plans as possible to safely increase our time outdoors. Our daily walks or bike rides and frequent porch sits are getting longer and…

Go-To Go-Cups

  With lockdown going into week 2,345 and the spring weather beckoning, most of us have been doing a lot more porch and patio sitting and taking and long walks in the neighborhood. The latter also means blowing through that…

Bread Wars

  The entire internet has seemingly been baking homemade bread for weeks, with the exception of those of us who weren’t prescient enough to buy yeast before the COVID-19 hoarding began in earnest. My husband Mark and I bake bread…

Keep it Clean

  Whether you live in a small downtown apartment, a little cottage in the Marigny or a sprawling and expansive St. Charles Avenue manse, keeping it clean can seem like a full-time job. Add to that the fact that some…

Work It

For those fortunate to have remote-capable jobs during the COVID-19 crisis, working from home is, perhaps, long-held #LifeGoals brought to fruition. Unfortunately, it happened in the most surreal and frightening way. It’s of course a blessing to be employed right…

DIY: Champagne Cork Wall Hanger

  For years, my husband Mark has worked from home full time, with me bringing work home a day or two throughout the week. Our shared worktable in the living room has always been sufficient and, for the most part,…

Bowl of Comfort

  Comfort food is high on my list these days. But, I’m also keen to eat economically, nutritiously and — to paraphrase food journalist Michael Pollan’s advice in the 2009 PBS documentary "In Defense of Food," which was based on…

NOLA Mock-Tales: We are the Champions

  On Sunday, the Eat Fit Alcohol Free for 40 Challenge (which is really 46 days) ends and I’m jogging across the finish line with a mixed bag of emotions. A lot has changed since those carefree days back in…

NOLA Mock-Tales: The Home Stretch

  In 10 days, the Eat Fit Alcohol Free for 40 Challenge will end and I will toast with a crisp, fizzy French 75. Or perhaps a flavor-packed Bloody Mary with celery, pickled things, hot sauce and a little paprika…

Corona Diaries: Thursday, April 2, 2020

  Until last week, we had a seemingly endless, ridiculous and seriously chaotic group text going with 18 of our friends. It began as a 12-person text after the social distancing order and then, once we hit the subsequent shelter…

Corona Diaries: Wednesday, April 1, 2020

My husband Mark and I traveled to Italy the year we got married. On that whirlwind, eight-day trip, we immersed ourselves in the culture and brought back more than one custom to incorporate into our day-to-day lives. I learned to…

Manicure 101

If you are used to regular visits with your favorite New Orleans manicurist, at this stage of the COVID-19 closures, stay at home mandates and pro-level handwashing, your poor hands are beyond wrecked. While it is certainly a quick pick-me-up…

Corona Diaries: Tuesday, March 31, 2020

  For the past 15 years or so, I’ve worked to explore and create routines and rituals. Yesterday’s diary entry outlined a few of my routines — morning meditation, afternoon tea and an evening walk — but I didn’t go into…