As the editor of New Orleans Bride Magazine, staff writer for New Orleans Magazine and the editor of Renaissance Publishing’s first book (which I’ll tell you more about later in this post), I’m privy to a steady flow of information and announcements about everything from books, music and food to weddings, design and new local businesses. With that in mind, every once in awhile, I’ll serve up a few of these tidbits in “Mélange” update posts, such as this one. 
First and foremost, the new issue of New Orleans Bride Magazine is on newsstands and online. It’s chock full of fabulous wedding gowns, ideas, tips, and expert advice for venues, gifts and every other nugget a bride-to-be and her groom-to-be could possibly need to plan a fabulous, memorable and special Big Day. Click here for links to our stories for the Summer/Autumn 2014. Better yet, click here for a list of newsstand locations where you can find the physical magazine, because sinking into the sofa with a glass of bubbly and perusing each page at your leisure is much more fun and festive than reading it online. Your choice! 
If you are planning a wedding (or if you just love to read bridal magazines, peep the fabulous photos and day dream a little), be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for links, events, news, announcements and behind-the-scenes fun and frivolity. 
Speaking of bridal, West Elm is coming to New Orleans and it will have a registry. But whether or not you are getting married, devotees of modern design can rejoice that there is another place to get the goods. The new location at 2929 Magazine St. is in an old filling station. The 9,820-square-foot, two-story space features exposed brick and other preserved historical elements. Its interior design also includes art installations, such as a collection of flattened brass instruments that’ll adorn the area behind the checkout counter. I’ve been assured no instruments were hurt in the making of this piece, that they already were damaged beyond repair and then salvaged for this second act in their lives. Clearly this location has New Orleans-flair to spare. Additional Big Easy love is on tap by way of local makers featured in the store. It opens at the end of July. 
Finally, as promised a little note about the book slated for release by Renaissance Publishing in July. “The Essential Louisiana Cookbook,” is by Louisiana Life's food columnist Stanley Dry with photos by New Orleans photographer Eugenia Uhl. I’ve been fortunate to work closely with Dry, Uhl and our graphic designer to craft a stunning cookbook that’ll have your mouth watering. But, we want your help choosing the cover. Click here to learn about and participate in our cover contest. Five lucky voters will win a copy of the book. One grand prizewinner will get the book and a $100 gift certificate to the restaurant of their choice. 
As you can see, it has been a busy few months! But, that doesn’t mean all work and no relaxation, because as followers of Bon Vivant know, pampering and little luxuries are top priorities. It is summer after all and while I personally am unable to flee to an island for the season, there are ample opportunities to pretend for a few hours at a time. On a recent weekend, my husband Mark and I went to Ship Island near Gulfport, Mississippi with friends for the day. A one-hour car ride and 40-minute boat trip later and we were frolicking on the beach in the sun. 
The next day, we wanted to continue the water-side vibes, so we popped up to Lakeshore Drive to have lunch and sip a couple of cold beverages at Brisbi’s while watching the boats float along on Lake Ponchartrain. The Blue Crab and Landry’s are also good choices for a relaxing lunch or dinner. Both are near the yacht club and offer fabulous views of the marina or the lake, depending on which you pick and where you sit. Boat owners can tie up right next to all of the above and take a break off the water. 
Remember, you can still summer even if it’s just on evenings and weekends and you never even leave New Orleans. Happy summering!