Hello, my name is Morgan Packard and I’m a craft-aholic. For me, walking into Jefferson Variety (239 Iris Ave., Jefferson, La., 834-5222, JeffersonVariety.com) is akin to giving a toddler full reign inside a toy store. Do you want to buy amazingly fine and shimmery glitter by the pound? No problem. Need feathers in Tiffany blue for a hat to match your shoes? They have that, too. What about fabric that looks like turquoise scales for a mermaid tail for Carnival? They have it in three different shades.

Thanks to Jefferson Variety I never worry that I won’t be able to find the finishing touch that each costume needs or that I won’t be able to get the perfect sequined leprechaun to put on an umbrella for the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

When you walk into Jefferson Variety you’re greeted by row-upon-row of beads and plush for Carnival float riders and a case of rhinestone pins and crowns. If you can make it past the light-up mini beer steins on plastic beads and two-foot-long stuffed snakes that make fantastic shawls, the treasures are toward the back.

Full disclosure: The last time I visited Jefferson Variety I only went in for one tub of glitter. After four hours; paging through five books of sequined shapes, chats full of advice from both aid and pleasure club wives and Mardi Gras Indians, and a good 30-minute discussion about the best craft glue for glittering objects versus creating a quick hem, I walked out with three bags full of everything I needed to create four different crafts (two of which are still on, what my fiancé lovingly refers to as, my crafting bench).  From inception to the finishing touch, if you’re DIY-ing anything, try Jefferson Variety.

Charrier Lighting Solutions

Charrier Lighting, 4621 Janice Ave., 454-0038, Kenner

Most of us would love to reduce our energy bills and realize it’s our lighting that consumes a significant part of all electrical energy, usually between 20 and 50 percent in homes and offices. However, LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology can provide similar light output but at greatly reduced costs. LED lamps use only 10 percent of the power of standard bulbs. If you’re interested in potential energy savings, Kenner-based Charrier Lighting Solutions offers low-energy LED products for both new installations and retrofits for existing homes. They also offer security and safety lighting systems for residential and commercial properties.

– Mirella Cameran

Carousel Pediatrics

Carousel Pediatrics, 4224 Houma Boulevard, Suite 240, Metairie, 885-4141, CarouselPediatrics.com

Carousel Pediatrics has launched a newly designed website aimed at providing helpful advice on health news and medical issues that many parents face. There are articles from Carousel doctors such as “Rotavirus Vaccine” and “Fever Phobia” as well as “Healthful School Lunches.” A complete list of childhood immunization requirements is also available alongside other useful child-health-related advice, including information on consultations and billing. Carousel Pediatrics offers growth assessment to immunizations and specific treatment for particular illnesses, to infants, children and adolescents within the greater New Orleans area. 

– M.C.