Bunnies, Brunch, and Market-Ritas: Spring Market 2017

The weather is warm, the sky is sunny, the champagne is poppin’, and the ladies are shoppin’.

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The Junior League of Monroe’s latest Spring Market is happening this weekend, and of course the shopping possibilities are endless. With clothing boutiques and various other goods coming from all over Louisiana and other states, this is your one-stop shop. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the Monroe Civic Center will be brimming with fresh spring apparel, but throughout the weekend, the Junior League hosts special events to make this sweet deal even sweeter.

  1. Shop ‘til You Drop!

This event is a fun, champagne brunch catered by The Coffee Bean in Monroe, with entertainment by Rod Allen Payne. Throughout this event, you can shop the market also. So grab your brunch buddies and make plans to be at the Civic Center on Friday, March 24, from 8:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

  1. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

No statement is more true. Enjoy extended shopping hours at the Spring Market with door prizes and live entertainment by Mike McKenzie. Thurman’s Food Factory will cater, and you can also enjoy Market-Ritas throughout this event. This one takes place Friday, March 24 from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

  1. Breakfast with Bunnies

Not sure if any other explanation is needed. On Saturday, March 25, from 8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., breakfast will be served! You can also get live bunny portraits made, and there will be story time as well as other activities for children. At $20 per family, this is a great event for your whole crew!

  1. 2017 Spring Market Raffle

Throughout the weekend, enter for a chance to win a $10,000 Sleepy Hollow HGTV Home Makeover. This fundraiser supports the Junior League of Monroe and their various activities in the community. Purchase a $20 ticket, and you just might win a magnificent home renovation!

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Along with the incredible shopping experience and the fun events, all proceeds from this event go to the Junior League of Monroe. Their mission is to continue to better our community, so every penny you spend at the Spring Market goes right back into our beloved city.

And that is a pretty good reason to shop ‘til you drop.

 

spring market

6 reasons to escape to Monroe-West Monroe with your family in September

  1. ULM Football
    ULM football field
    ULM Football Field

    Start your 2016 Football season soaring while watching the ULM Warhawks fight their way to a season of victory starting with a home game at ULM’s Malone Stadium against the Southern Jaguars to kick off the season on September 3rd.

  2. Prep for Hunting Season
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Hunting bows

What better place to get ready for hunting season than in the heart of Sportsman’s Paradise!  Get your gear here at great local stores like TP Outdoors and The Honey Hole, or even from classic retailers such as Academy Sports & Outdoors or Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Looking for a way to get the kids involved? Come visit northeast Louisiana the weekend of September 17th for a Hunting & Fishing Day in Tensas Parish where the whole family can practice skeet and archery shooting as well as get their hands dirty with some live critters!

  1. Making New Family Memories
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Go-Karts at Excalibur

Break the back to school blues and take some time out to reconnect with your kids with a quick weekend away. Make new memories with your kiddos here by strolling through the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo and Splash Pad, doing some Go-Kart laps at Excalibur Family Fun Center, and of course, taking a photo op with a stop by the Duck Commander Warehouse!

  1. Trying Something New…Like Kayaking on a Bayou!
Mike Roberts Jay Roberts Kayaking Black Bayou 2
Kayaking on Black Bayou

Not everywhere has bayous, and definitely not everywhere has ones where you can rent kayaks and canoes to go exploring! Make some new, adventurous memories as the temperatures begin to slowly fall while you experience a beautiful fall sunrise or sunset along Black Bayou.

  1. Escape from the world

    escaperoom
    Southern Escape

Well…sort of. Take one of the Southern Escape challenge courses with your friends or family as a time to get away from it all….literally. How, you may ask? Through hour courses, you are locked in a room and must creatively work together to find your way out. The catch? NO PHONES ALLOWED. But don’t we all need a mini vacation from our phones sometimes?

  1. Shopping…lots and lots of shopping.
Shopping on Antique Alley (2)
Shopping on Antique Alley

It’s true that Monroe is home to the second largest mall in Louisiana (Pecanland Mall), but there are plenty more places to shop as well! With hundreds of stores both locally owned and chain retailers, there is no shortage of shopping here! What better places to get your home ready for the fall season then at Walsworth and Company, Woodstock Furniture Revival, or at the regionally known and loved Paul Michael Company.

Need any more reasons? We doubt it. But if you do, find out what amazing things you can shop for, eat, and discover while in Monroe-West Monroe along with a full calendar of events.

DIY: Vintage Frames

DIY projects are always a fun way to spruce up any home, but sometimes it’s hard to know exactly where to begin. If you are looking for a simple inexpensive project to add a unique touch to your home décor this is the blog for you!

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Ouachita River Trading Company

The first thing I needed in order to start my project was frames. I wanted to find frames that were actually vintage to add to the look I was going for, so I headed out to Antique Alley. With over 40 unique antique shops and boutiques I knew Antique Alley would be the perfect place in Monroe-West Monroe to find exactly what I was looking for. After shopping around I was finally able to find three frames at the Ouachita River Trading Company that were perfect for my project. Next, I picked up some chalk paint from Cotton Port Antique Mall and I was ready to start my project.

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Supplies:

-Picture frames of your choice

-Chalk paint

-Painters tape

-Paint brush

 

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Use the painters tape to cover up anything you don’t want to get paint on. I really liked the gold border on one of my frames so I decided to use to painters tape to cover that up. You’ll also want to use the painters tape to make a border between the paint and the glass of your picture frame.

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Once you’ve got the tape in place it’s time to start painting. I used Vignettes Chalk-Style Paint color Linen that I got at Cotton Port Antique Mall and was ecstatic with the results; however any type of chalk-style paint will work. For two of the frames I wanted the original color of the frame to show through the paint, so I applied a thin layer of paint using long brush strokes.

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I love how these frames turned out! For the final touch I added photos taken around Monroe-West Monroe, and decorative ribbon to one of the frames. Add your own family photos from your visits to Monroe-West Monroe and create a unique souvenir that you can cherish for a life time.

Junior League Spring Market a Hit

by Jerrica B.

Is your life a little bit happier? Your closet a little bit fuller? Your wallet a little bit lighter? Chances are, you went to this year’s Spring Market.

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Spring Market Registration Booth

If you weren’t already in the mood for spring, you were when you left this event. The bright colors and floral decorations were a pleasant reminder that we were days away from the official start of the loveliest season. We already knew that spring was coming early this year, thanks to Punxsutawney Phil, but the Spring Market really made it feel like winter was behind us, even when it was a cool 50 degrees outside.

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Festive and bright spring decor

The Junior League of Monroe held their annual fundraiser last month, and over 5,000 people came out to shop. With over 100 vendors from 26 different states, it was hard to pass up this unique opportunity for a true one-stop shop.

Shoppers could browse through clothing, skin care lines, security systems, and even hunting bows. The options really were endless. On top of that, several restaurants were on site serving food. You could eat there, and then continue your shopping!

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Dining area

The Junior League likes to keep the event fresh each year by building on the year before. Two years ago, they added the Breakfast with Bunnies event, which was a huge hit. This year, the vendors came from 26 different states, which is a new record for them. They hope to continue to grow, and bring more business to our town.

This year, the event took place amidst the disastrous events of the flood. However, those at the League hoped that their event would provide a brief reprieve from the happenings of the previous week. People who were suffering or who were dealing with the situation, could spend time with friends and family at the market.

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Shopping at the Spring Market

The Junior League raised over $105,000 at their Spring Market, and all of that money goes right back into our community. This organization is very involved in the education system. Every year they adopt a school to provide for. They also award grants to teachers throughout the year. They organize ACT workshop classes for local high schools, and they also have a program to help first-time mothers. So for those who spent money at the Spring Market, know that your money is going to good causes!

Thanks to the Junior League of Monroe for putting on a great event! For all of you shopaholics out there, start saving up for next year! It’s sure to be even bigger and even better.

Shop the 2016 Color Trends in Monroe-West Monroe

by Janna J.

With the colds of this winter finally coming to an end, it’s almost time to start working on our spring wardrobe. Spring shopping is like a light at the end of a chilly tunnel, however this early in the game it is hard to know exactly what is going to be in style for the upcoming season. Luckily for us, Pantone just made shopping a little easier by releasing the top ten must have colors for spring 2016. To make spring shopping even more of a breeze for our visitors and locals, we have put together a list of the official Pantone spring color report and just where you can find these colors in Monroe-West Monroe.

  1. Rose Quartz

Rose Quartz is set to be the number one color on trend this season. Believe me you will see this color everywhere. This pale pink is sweet without being too frilly and is perfect for day or night. This color is quickly filling up the racks at local Boutiques such as Duck & Dressing. Hurry up and get this color now to be one of the first on trend this spring 2016 season.

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Duck & Dressing
  1. Serenity

This new spring color is just as calming as it sounds. Fresh and airy, Serenity is a must have in any spring 2016 wardrobe. Serenity goes perfectly with rose quartz to create the ultimate spring outfit. Our very own Rustico already loves this trendy color.

Serenity
Rustico
  1. Peach Echo

Different shades of orange have been trending for several seasons, and it’s comes as no surprise that we are seeing a new shade this spring. Now introducing the newest member of the orange family Peach Echo, this playful shade is sure to be a statement color this spring. You can currently find this shade in colored jeans at Pelican District.

Peach Echo Pants
Pelican District
  1. Snorkel Blue

While navy shades are usually reserved for the colder seasons, Snorkel Blue allows us to break the rules thanks to its nautical vibe. You’ll see this color throughout the spring and summer so you better stock up now.  Dress casual with HerringStone’s snorkel blue tank top.

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HerringStone’s
  1. Buttercup

Get yourself pumped up about the sunny days to come with Buttercup. This eye-popping hue is the go to statement color of spring 2016. Brighten up your spring day with this Buttercup Tie Dye Tunic from Kin-Mar’s Boutique.

Buttercup
Kin-Mar’s Boutique

 

  1. Limpet Shell

This shade of aqua that leans towards the green family is sure to be a favorite throughout the 2016 spring season. You will see this color more and more the closer it gets to Easter.  These limpet shell colored jeans from Rustico are perfect for any spring day.

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Rustico
  1. Lilac Gray

In a season where pastels usually rule, a good neutral is a must. Lilac Gray, with its purple undertone adds a little more to your wardrobe than a basic gray. This color allows people who like earthy tones to still wear a spring shade. Check out Hemline Monroe’s Lilac Gray distressed swing tunic.

Liliac Gray Shift Tunic
Hemline Monroe
  1. Fiesta

Get the party started with spring 2016 color Fiesta. Spice up any wardrobe with this sassy spring shade. This vivid red is sure to turn heads, so head on over to K-Sera Boutique to purchase this amazing color.

Feista Red Dress
K-Sera Boutique
  1. Iced Coffee

Another spring 2016 neutral is Iced Coffee. Don’t let the iced named fool you, because this color is set to be hot throughout the year.  Find this earthy neutral in a casual dress from Cara’s Boutique.

Iced Coffee Dress
Cara’s Boutique
  1. Green Flash

Last but defiantly not least on Pantone’s spring 2016 color report is Green Flash. This green will be seen as both a statement and accent color throughout the spring 2016 season. Get your Easter outfit planned early with this dress from The Twisted Peacock.

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The Twisted Peacock

No matter which of these colors you choose to rock, be sure to shop in any of the local Monroe-West Monroe boutiques for the most unique finds this spring 2016 season.

His & Hers Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

by Janna J.

Romance fills the air every February 14th, the special day we know as Valentine’s Day. You and your significant other plan a night out in the Twin Cities. You strategically choose the restaurant with the most romantic lighting, share a bottle of wine, take a stroll along the Ouachita River, and shower each other with gifts. Gifts?? If you’re like me and still in search of the perfect gift for your someone special with less than two weeks to go until the big day, don’t stress. There is no need to make a mad dash to your computer and order the first pink and red thing you see. Instead follow this gift guide to find a unique and thoughtful gift right here in Monroe-West Monroe that will be sure to impress your sweetie.

Gifts for Her

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Swan Creek Candle and necklace from The Fleurty Ginger Boutique

For the candle lover

Candles are the perfect go to gift idea. Really, who hates the fresh scent of the perfect candle? After many years of searching for the candle of all candles, I found Swan Creek Candle Company. These 100 percent soy wax candles have a lead free wick to ensure a clean burn that will fill your entire home with fragrance. You can find the Olive Verbena scent along with many others at The Fleurty Ginger Boutique. Pair with one of their awesome accessories for a gift your valentine is sure to enjoy.

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PANDORA bracelet from Serendipity

For the girly girl

Start a Valentine’s Day tradition with this sterling silver Pandora charm bracelet. The heart clasp adds a romantic touch that makes for a flawless Valentine’s Day gift. This may be the best gift idea yet, because for many Valentine’s Days to come you can purchase a charm to add to your loved ones collection. Every time she looks down at her wrist she will be reminded of all the wonderful Valentine’s Days spent together. This PANDORA bracelet and charms are part of the Valentine’s Day collection that can be found at Serendipity.

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Cookbooks from Haven and Intelligent Designs

For the cook

Find an assortment of best selling cooks books at Haven and Intelligent Designs. A great gift for the chef that doesn’t have a lot of time is #1 New York Times bestseller Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. Whether you’re hosting a party or simply making dinner on a hectic weeknight, Ina gives you lots of amazing recipes that taste just as good—or even better!—when they’re made in advance. This amazing cookbook will put a smile on the face of your busy chef.

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Caldrea body care line from Material Things

For the woman who needs to relax

Help your valentine feel like every day is a spa day with Caldrea body care items. These body oil, body wash and body lotions are filled with botanical benefits that are safe and gentle to every skin type. The aroma therapeutic scents of these products will allow your loved one to relax and unwind after even the most stressful of days. These body care items along with many other Caldrea products can be found at Material Things.

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Heels from Salt & Pepper Accessory Boutique

For the fashionista 

These shoes are modern take on the classic nude heel, and are sure to go perfectly with everything in your fashionista’s closet. Not to mention, they will score you major points with your sweetheart. She will be impressed that you were actually able to pick out a pair of shoes that are so her. You can find these shoes for your sassy valentine at Salt and Pepper Accessory Boutique.

Gifts for Him

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Mini Grinder gift box from The Spice and Tea Exchange

For the chef

Whether your man is a master chef, or just thinks he is, he will love this mini grinder gift box from The Spice and Tea Exchange. Each grinder box comes with six of the most popular grinder blends that The Spice and Tea Exchange has to offer. Also the unique wooden storage box will go great in any style kitchen.  The mini grinder gift box will help add a little spice to this Valentine’s Day.

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Running shoes from Fit Right Active

For the runner

What do runners love more than running?? Well, that would be brand new running shoes. These Brooks running shoes are a hit with almost any runner. This light weight high mileage trainer shoe with a subtle amount of support can be found at Fit Right Active. If he is extra picky about his shoes take him to Monroe-West Monroe’s first and only specialty store that offers video gait analysis to find the perfect shoe for his foot.

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Southern Marsh Hanover Boxers from River Outfitters

For the sleeper

Don’t just buy him another pair of boxers; buy him his favorite pair of boxers. Southern Marsh is a company that has been providing southerners with the softest t-shirts around for years. Now try out their soft, breathable, 100 percent cotton boxers available at River Outfitters. These specialty boxers are great for the valentine that values comfort above all else.

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Orient from Ron Alexanders Clothiers

For the sophisticated man

Orient is an exotic fragrance blended exclusively for Ron Alexander. Master perfumers combined fresh floral notes with citrus, honey, woods, and oriental spices to create this one of a kind scent. Your beau will love this unique cologne that can only be found in Monroe-West Monroe.

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Hanamint fire pit table from The Patio Place

For the outdoorsman

Shopping for your outdoors man can be confusing trying to remember if he already has this type of duck call or decide if he really needs a new camping tent? Honestly if he didn’t ask for it from Christmas, he probably doesn’t need it. So now it’s time to start thinking outside of the box for the perfect gift, and that perfect gift is a beautiful Hanamit fire pit table from The Patio Place. With winter in full swing, the warmth of the Hanamit fire pit will allow you to enjoy the outdoors without feeling Jack Frost nipping at your nose. Knowing that you’ll be able to cozy up to the fire with your valentine is an added bonus.

Now that you’ve found the perfect gift, be sure to visit our website to plan the perfect evening at one of our local restaurants. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Top 10 Fashion Trends for 2015

By Kaitlyn G.

We’ve searched around and compiled a list of the Top 10 Fashion Trends of 2015. With so many cute local boutiques in Monroe-West Monroe, there are plenty of places to shop these trends!  Oh, and in case you haven’t heard the trend we love most: Local is the new black.

  1. Color of the Year

Keep your eyes wide for the color of the year for 2015, Marsala. This reddish-brown hue, named after the Sicilian wine, is popping up everywhere from pillows to purses to pants. Marsala is sure to add depth and warmth to your wardrobe in these next few cold winter months. Place you are sure to find Marsala? Salt & Pepper Accessory Boutique!

Salt & Pepper Accessory Boutique hat and pants in Marsala
Salt & Pepper Accessory Boutique hat and pants in Marsala
  1. Gingham

While the print itself is nothing new, the use of gingham in 2015 is fresh in modern and simplistic hues of toasted almond, aquamarine and shades of red. Gingham will be popping up everywhere from skirts and dresses to scarves and cardigans.

Check out this oversized gingham shirt we found at Free Birds!

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Gingham shirt from Free Birds
  1. Subtle 70s

The wild 70’s is a decade to remember and is certainly inspiring fashion for another year. Making a comeback under a tasteful, editing eye, baby bells (toned down bell bottoms), fringe and frays, and rising necklines are here to stay this season. With subtle 70s throwback vibes, these boots from Herringstone’s are a must have.

 

Herringstone's boots in various styles
Herringstone’s boots in various styles
  1. Doing Denim Differently

Denim has always been a staple in everyone’s closet for as long as I can remember. In 2015, fashion is mixing things up and creating new glamorous ways to show off our denim. Not just limited to jeans anymore, this denim puffer jacket from K-Sera is a great example of how to pull off decorated denim.

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Denim vest from K-Sera
  1. Sporty minimalism

Fall in love with sportswear and casual wear this year because it’s everywhere-and we’re excited about it! Comfort is chic with cut outs and minimalist touches in sporty yet casual jackets, sweaters, and crop tops will keep you on trend. Take a pared-down approach to athletic influences such as stripes, zippers, and drawstrings. You can check out these cool and casual styles at Herringstone’s and Rustic Rose.

 

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Sporty looks from Herringstone’s and Rustic Rose
  1. Suede

Suede is the new fur for 2015, and it’s coming in all colors and patterns. From buff shades, to yellow, to polka dots, you name it-you can find it in suede. Try out these suede mocha boots from Free Birds.

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Suede boots from Free Birds
  1. Showing shoulder

Shoulders are strong this year, and we aren’t talking shoulder pads! Designers are taking the less-is-more approach by creating pieces that have a bold one-shoulder design as well as cute cut-outs like this dress from The Twisted Peacock to show your shrug. 

The Twisted Peacock, West Monroe Louisiana, shopping
Off the shoulder dress from The Twisted Peacock
  1. Statement stripes

Stripes are everywhere this season in all colors, sizes, and placements. You’ll find statement stripes featured in sleeves and accents of handbags as well as entirely striped pieces. Horizontal or vertical doesn’t matter this year so try them both! Pull off this trend by sporting this soft, black & white striped tee dress from K-Sera.

 

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Striped tee dress from K-Sera
  1. Modern and muted safari

Just imagine the Hamptons on safari. Instead of wearing heavy, opt for charmeuse jumpsuits in the new shades of tree top or woodbrine green. Trade the baggy utility style pants for fitted cargos in soft beige and dark khaki like these from Duck & Dressing.

 

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Fitted cargos from Duck and Dressing
  1. Prima Ballerina

Basics are your best friend in beautiful blush and black. You can find these shades basically anywhere, and the fit and comfort level is divine. Pieces reminiscent of flowing ballet wear in these soft colors will take you far into spring and summer. This dress from The Shabby Chic Two is perfect either for a night out or to pair with leggings for a casual day outfit.

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Dress from The Shabby Chic Two