Bon Vivant

Getting Served: Dining Indoors Post-Delta

    There was an all-too-short collection of weeks post-vaccination and pre-Delta surge in which indoor dining, dinner parties with vaccinated friends, bars and even travel seemed blissfully, pre-pandemic normal. Our collective hot girl summer was lit — for about…

Celebrate Everything: Bon Vivant Nabs an Award

  Normally I reserve this blog space to share design and lifestyle-related events, tips, recipes and the occasional life musings, with the goal of offering what I hope is generally useful and maybe even sometimes entertaining information. If you disagree…

Seasonal Delusion Disorder: Conjuring Autumnal Vibes

  My seasonal delusion disorder has only gotten worse over the years. You see, in my home state of Kentucky, the full four seasons show up without fail, year-after-year in all of their glory and misery. I haven’t lived there…

No Mud, No Lotus: A Cure for the Longest Case of the Blahs

  About 3,456 days ago, in April, I read a New York Times article about languishing. The piece described the emotion thusly: “Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking…

Good Wood: Mineral Oil is the Miracle Product You Need

  For years, I’ve been meaning to get mineral oil to use on my ever-growing collection of wood and bamboo cutting boards and wooden utensils. It’s one of those items that — it turns out — isn’t all that easy…

Summer Snacking: Melanie’s Boredom Busting Cheesecake Yogurt

  With Louisiana setting records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and the reinstated mask mandate to help curb the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, these days we’re opting for a semi-self-lockdown. That plus the oppressive heat means we aren’t even…

Arts and Crafts

  In the ‘70s and ‘80s, I took classes held at neighborhood park and pool during the summer. We’d take swim breaks to learn macrame, cross-stitching and other crafts. It was fun and kept us busy during long, hot summer…

Dust Busting

  Most New Orleans dwellings are old. This means drafty windows and myriad other open nooks and crannies that allow dust to come in and settle on every imaginable surface, rendering even the most meticulous housekeepers powerless against it. The…

Lemonade Days

  When New Orleans’ temperatures climb above the 90s, I start craving lemonade. Or perhaps I’m craving the idea of lemonade and the associations I have with it being a wholesome, refreshing drink to enjoy on the porch, during a…

Let There Be Delight!

  Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, I met a prosecutor-turned-designer and hotelier named Liz Lambert. The time was 2004, the land was Austin, Texas and I was a baby reporter at the Austin American-Statesman newspaper…

À Votre Santé

  The French 75 is my favorite cocktail. I love the lore. I love its namesake bar at Arnaud’s in the French Quarter. I love sipping a Cognac version during colder months. I love the lighter take made with gin…

We’ve Come Full Circle

  In April, my husband and I — fully vaccinated and ready to (safely) mingle — attended our first gathering (of more than six, socially-distanced people) since “The Before.” (That’s our phrase for anything that happened prior to the pandemic.) To…

Informal Debut

  This week, I entertained inside my home for the first time since the pandemic. We’ve hosted a few casual, four-to-six person, socially-distanced, outdoor gatherings, but in keeping with the CDC guidelines, nothing indoors. Since I’m so out of practice,…

In Full Bloom

  At the beginning of this week, I was saddened and shocked to receive the news about the unexpected death of one of our talented and vibrant New Orleans Homes magazine contributing writers, Pamela Marquis. Her articles about organizing, profiles…

Picking Favorites

  Let’s face it, you ­— and your dog — adore the pet groomer you’ve been seeing for Fluffer’s weekly blowouts for years. The thought of even looking at new toss pillows without consulting your designer (who is practically a…

Homeward Unbound

  I often daydream about how cool it would be to live and work in a new city every year or maybe even every few months. In the past, I’ve cobbled together about two weeks of working remotely from about…

Spring Break

  Bon Vivant is on a break this week to celebrate Easter. Whether you are celebrating one of the various religious holidays this week or simply reveling in the coming of Spring, enjoy. If you’d like something to read, catch…

Bon Vivant

Design, entertaining and good living with New Orleans Bride and Homes & Lifestyles editor Melanie Warner Spencer

about

For 20 years, Melanie Warner Spencer has covered news, lifestyle, design and entertainment at various publications, including as the design columnist at The Austin American-Statesman, a senior staff reporter at The Houston Chronicle and as the editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Houston Brides magazine. Her work also has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, The Huffington Post and Reuters in the United States and across the globe. Melanie is also an award-winning fine art and editorial photographer. She has been honored by the Texas Press Association for her editorial photography, by the Press Club of New Orleans for writing and editing and by the International and Regional Magazine Association for writing, editing and photography. Melanie is currently serving as the President of Press Club of New Orleans. When not making magazines, Melanie enjoys cooking, trying out new restaurants and best happy hours and taking road trips. Click here to like Spencer's Facebook page and follow her on Instagram @MelanieWarnerSpencer.

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