New Orleans guide | designlovefest

i thought we would put together a bunch of our favorite new orleans spots for our wedding guests (5 weeks to go!) and then i figured, might as well post it on the blog too. so here’s a list of restaurants and bars that are special to us. justin is from new orleans and it’s his favorite place to be. can’t wait to celebrate, eat, drink and be merry! leave your favorite new orleans spot in the comments.

get ready to be FUUUUUULLLLL and happy…

New Orleans guide | designlovefest

is our favorite place for oysters in town! get the soft shell crab po’boy and the chargrilled oysters.

New Orleans guide | designlovefest
New Orleans guide | designlovefest

is an excellent meat heavy restaurant in the cbd. on the pricier side but definitely a place to make reservations and have a delicious meal!

next door, they have a more casual sandwich spot called and it’s great as well.

New Orleans guide | designlovefest
New Orleans guide | designlovefest

is where we are having our family dinner the night before the wedding. cool decor, a fantastic chicken sandwich, a great bar, and it’s in a lively area to wander around with a drink in hand.

New Orleans guide | designlovefest
New Orleans guide | designlovefest

best fried chicken – justin says “maybe in the world!”

New Orleans guide | designlovefest
New Orleans guide | designlovefest

we’ve had a few dates at the counter at this low-key bar in the marigny, . order the giant burger, loaded baked potato and a bloody mary. the perfect hangover fix. one of my favorite meals in town!

New Orleans guide | designlovefest
New Orleans guide | designlovefest
New Orleans guide | designlovefest

we almost had our wedding here, it’s so charming! stop in the for a pimm’s cup and it feels like you’ve transported in time in the french quarter.

New Orleans guide | designlovefest

is a very classic new orleans breakfast spot. a solid, no frills southern brunch. shrimp and grits, duck waffles, praline bacon…





this kitchen is where we spend A LOT of our time. it opens up to our dining room and living room, and some of my favorite moments are me standing at the stove while justin sits at the bar and entertains me, or when i can watch and interact with everyone mingling on the couch.

before i moved in the previous owners had taken the kitchen from what looked like this…

and completely transformed it so when i moved in, it looked like the below photos. it’s SO impressive what they turned the space into! after living here for a few years i wanted to add some personal touches and updates to the room. my good friend has such amazing taste and helped us bring some new life into the kitchen. (she also designed our patio HERE and our dining room HERE)


the first thing we decided on was the CABINETS! they were already ikea cabinets with silver pulls and luckily sarah has  that fit perfectly with what we currently had (best ikea hack!) this subtle update made such a big difference in person.

the brass handles elevated the design and made it feel much more like my personality. i love how they age and grow with character over time. sarah also designed these handles for ! she’s a multi-talented gal alright.

these are the specific shapes we used: and

we also added a for some extra storage up top!

and how about the backsplash! cannot forget that. i went so back and forth, do i go crazy colorful? all white? pattern? all marble? we finally landed on this brass inlay tile from (they have some seriously awesome tile) and designed this unique way of laying it out. i LOVE the end result and the shine it has in the morning light. it really ties the space together.

our little kitchen nook we kept simple and full of light. the and (they are actually really comfortable and work outside too). the light above the table is from ikea. maybe someday i will add some benches for more storage, but for now i love the simplicity!

you can see and ! these small changes and some styling made such a big visual difference and make me happy on a daily basis. slowly but surely making each room in this house very special to us. thank you for your help and beautiful taste!

and thank you , my favorite interior photographer for capturing these stunning photos! she has A+ taste too, check out her

let me know if you have any questions! xx bri



has so many cute pieces for spring right now! i’m always a fan of their colors and patterns, they keep things playful while still being sophisticated. wish i had a birthday coming up because i would be wish listing some of these items asap, how pretty is that pink + yellow combo?! and i love that they paired everything with cowgirl boots!

into , especially in this yellow color. and these are too cool for me but i love them, and very into the , would be so cute under overalls or tucked into a full skirt.

many of these dresses and pieces are super versatile too, you can wear them during the day or night. to a wedding, with a denim jacket, cowgirl boots or heels.


ganni is a pro at and i love this yellow with pink flowers wrap, and this flirty little cocktail dress is a favorite, looks so fun to wear! and again with the eyelet, so sweet in this .




smashed potato appetizer | designlovefest

we really out did ourselves with this one, if i do say so myself! bri and i learned how to make a proper smashed potato in culinary school (which requires boiling, pan frying, basting and broiling!) and they were so delicious that we had to remake them but with our own twist. the horseradish sour cream really takes these to the next level and bri suggested a garnish of pomegranate which i was a bit skeptical about but it really brings the flavors together. the seeds have a bright flavor which is similar to how lemon zest really brings together the flavors of something savory. go make these!  -joanie

smashed potato appetizer | designlovefest

smashed potato bites
what you’ll need:
• 1 lbs peewee potatoes
• 6 pieces of bacon, cooked
• green onions
• butter
• pomegranate seeds
• flat leaf parsley
• thyme

horseradish sour cream//
• 1 cup sour cream
• 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon salt
• black pepper

smashed potato appetizer | designlovefest
smashed potato appetizer | designlovefest
smashed potato appetizer | designlovefest

• bring salted water to a boil, add potatoes and cook until you can pierce with a fork with no resistance. drain and set aside.

• chop the cooked bacon, parsley and green onion, set aside.

• in a small bowl, add all of the ingredients for the horseradish sour cream and mix together. adjust to your desired flavor profile, adding more horseradish for an extra kick, lemon or salt as needed. dust with a generous amount of black pepper.

smashed potato appetizer | designlovefest
smashed potato appetizer | designlovefest
smashed potato appetizer | designlovefest

• once the potatoes have cooled, place them on a flat surface. using either the palm of your hand or the back of a measuring cup press gently into them to flatten. don’t use too much force or they’ll break apart.

• heat an oven proof skillet on medium heat, once hot, add oil, swirl and add potatoes, cook until brown and flip. once browned on both sides, add 1 tablespoon butter and a sprig of thyme and turn off the heat. the butter should melt and then start foaming, baste the potatoes by tilting the pan towards you and using a spoon to drip the butter over the cooked potatoes. depending on the size of your pan you might need 2-3 rounds in the frying pan to cook all of the potatoes. once they are all browned, place them on a baking sheet, drizzle leftover butter from the pan and thyme and put them under the broiler until the edges start to get crispy, about 3 minutes.

smashed potato appetizer | designlovefest
smashed potato appetizer | designlovefest
smashed potato appetizer | designlovefest
smashed potato appetizer | designlovefest
smashed potato appetizer | designlovefest
smashed potato appetizer | designlovefest

place the potatoes on a serving tray and top with the sour cream, bacon, green onion, parsley and pom seeds. serve immediately and enjoy all the thank you’s these potatoes will get ya!

smashed potato appetizer | designlovefest
smashed potato appetizer | designlovefest
smashed potato appetizer | designlovefest

images by:  
styling by: joanie cusack



relaxation | designlovefest

we had the best weekend celebrating bri’s bachelorette at in laguna beach last weekend. everything went exactly as planned, the weather was gorgeous and it was really just the perfect weekend. the theme for the weekend was relaxation which was exactly what we did! since bri is the queen of chill, i wanted to put together gift bags for everyone that included some of her favorite items so that people could use them over the weekend and take them home to keep them calm in their own lives. – joanie

an essential part of the relaxation kit was . their waffle robes are so soft and cozy, everyone was wearing theirs all weekend long to breakfast, the beach and lounging by the pool.

relaxation | designlovefest

all the guests also got which are perfect thing to hang around the hotel in. they are cut slightly oversized which makes them really comfy. the is my favorite.

bri is a serious candle lover so of course we had to include that as well! this one from P.F candle co in their scent is amazing! we’ve loved their candles and scents for awhile now (they are LA based!) and their is beautiful.

relaxation | designlovefest

our obsession for runs deep, their is at the top of my Christmas list every year and i really notice such a difference in my skin when i’m using their products. we include their in the gift bags as that’s one of bri’s favorite products to use at home and on the road. it’s great for bringing along to the pool for a midday spritz or to use before heading to bed.

and finally, espresso bites for when you really wanna chill.

had the best time putting these kits together! these are truly some of bri’s favorite items and i love thinking about people getting to use the items at home to relax and remember the weekend! Xx

relaxation | designlovefest

Next Page
 photo 1_zps2362d795.jpg
 photo press_zps16ed2344.jpeg
 photo work_zpsnrxwbhbd.jpg
 photo DSC_7838-1_zps1axry6fb.jpg
 photo plant01_zpsvbblfnip.jpg
 photo mail_zps0136b91f.jpg

 photo jobboard-check_zps431bea8e.jpg
 photo downloads_zpsd641254d.jpg