Happy Hols!


Photo by Dawn Carl


See ya next year!

New Orleans Ladies Share Their Holiday Gift Tips

It’s Black Friday – the unofficial official first day of shopping for the holiday season for some people, but not all. If the thought of hordes of people pushing and shoving and grabbing for more and more stuff in malls and big box stores doesn’t appeal to you, you’ve come to the right place. You can watch all that drama later on YouTube and meanwhile make plans for a leisurely walk down Magazine Street or the smaller side streets of the Quarter or in a myriad of stress-free and friendly local shops around town tomorrow. In the spirit of encouraging New Orleanians to shop local, I’ve asked a few local women to tell us about their favorite shopping spot and/or favorite go-to gift. There are some great recommendations here and I’ve already visited a couple of them myself. Opt for a more friendly and civilized shopping experience this year – locally!

Suzanne Pfefferle

Suzanne Pfefferle

“For special occasions and Christmas, I often give my fiancé something from Perlis (he has a penchant for bow ties). He’s from Colombia and moved here a couple of years ago, so he’s building his collection of NOLA things! And, he wears scrubs everyday for work, so he likes to dress up every now and then.”

Suzanne Pfefferle, author of Vietnamese Cuisine in New Orleans and producer of the upcoming film, Latin American Cuisine in New Orleans






Judy Walker

Judy Walker

I’m a quilter, as are the other women in my family. My favorite place to shop for them is Mes Amis Quilt Shop, off Robert E. Lee on Spanish Ft. Blvd. Great modern fabrics and owner Denise Taylor has the best service ever.

—Judy Walker, Food Editor at The Times-Picayune


Megan Braden-Perry

Megan Braden-Perry



Fleurty Girl is my favorite place to shop for gifts because there’s something for everyone and the sales associates are knowledgeable and honest. There are books, housewares, high-end gifts, inexpensive trinkets, shirts, presents for babies, gifts for people you don’t know well, and the list goes on. The associates — from Lauren “Fleurty Girl” LeBlanc herself on down — try their best to help customers, whether that means pulling merchandise down, calling other stores, taking suggestions for new products, or anything else. I never leave Fleurty Girl empty handed.

—Megan Braden-Perry, Freelance Writer and New Mom
Dawn Carl

Dawn Carl

As someone who never seems to know exactly what to get folks for Christmas, along with the fact that I hate getting things I simply can’t use, and know others do as well, I often do “homemade” gifts. Cookies, pies, fudge, candy, mixes and more!!
There is an amazing shop in the French Quarter that I simply LOVE. The Spice & Tea Exchange of New Orleans at 521 St. Louis Ave. The fact that I can go in there, and choose how much or how little of a spice I want rocks! And don’t even get me started on the teas!! So many to mix and match…tea bags, tea leaves, and everything you need to make the perfect cup of tea. Bags of spices that I use for everything from sachet’s to Apple Pie!

Making a small basket of natural spices in the raw, along with with recipes, and mixes and giving them at Christmas, I know will be a welcome gift every time, even if it’s just for the scent alone.

— Dawn Carl age 51 resident of NOLA for almost 25 years…. Pro Photographer, Professional Genealogist, Mother of one.



DJ Soul Sister

DJ Soul Sister

My favorite holiday gift is always going to be vinyl records – for ME. Just kidding! I love to give the gift of music, and concert tickets, record store gift certificates, or even a biography or autobiography about an interesting musician are some easy and fun ways to do it. I love to help people get music for themselves and for others, so every year I throw a little party called The Holiday Crate Dig at one of my favorite local record stores, Domino Sound Record Shack. This year, it’s the 8th annual event, and it’s on Sunday, December 14 from 3-5pm. Everyone’s invited!

Soul Sister ~ WWOZ show programmer, award-winning live DJ artist, music aficionado

Liz Reyes

– Liz Reyes


There are so many local favorites but my go to that gets the job done is Aunt Sally’s Pralines shop because I love sharing anything food related from here.
I love pralines and so do relatives and friends out of town. I pick up pralines and many of the other great goodies the store carries. Wish I could send them a sample of all of our great local foods but this is a good sampler to get them coming back for more.

Liz Reyes, Award-winning TV News Anchor/Reporter, WVUE Fox 8 News

Click here for 2013’s holiday picks.

New Orleans Ladies Share Holiday Gift Picks

New Orleans is blessed with an abundance of culture from our artists, musicians, small businesses and many other venues. We have so many options to choose from at holiday time it can be mind-boggling! I contacted some local women and asked them what their go-to holiday gifts are and they were happy to share their NOLA inspired suggestions with us.



I recommend family membership to the zoo, aquarium or to a museum like CAC or NOMA! ~Mary Sonnier, Wife, Mother, Foodie, retired Chef/Restauranteur, proud member of the Who Dat Nation. Mary was recently selected by NBC Sports as its Sunday Night Football Fan of the Week to represent the Who Dat Nation via Twitter.


“Southern Love” comes to my mind first. I give love all year, but during the Christmas Holiday, I go all out in showing, giving Southern Love. It’s also a poem I’m working on. Next comes a tin can of New Orleans pralines. ~Phyllis Montana-LeBlanc, Actress, Author, Motivational Speaker. Currently starring in HBO’s Treme.


I love getting all the coffee drinkers on my list CC’s New Orleans Blend coffee with chicory. If someone likes dark coffee, they always love it. ~Helen Krieger, Writer/Producer – Credits include Flood Street and Least Favorite Love Songs.


My go to for gifts is my studio. Long before I worked as a journalist I was a textile artist. I work out of my Carrollton area studio. Every year I make different themed pillows for friends and family.  ~ Karen Gadbois, Co-Founder of The Lens, Textile Artist, Award-winning Journalist, Activist


My go to NOLA gift for the holidays is those really cool coasters that have New Orleans landmarks on them.  I love them because it’s a little piece of history, great conversation piece…and a wonderful way to support local artists and small businesses.  I often buy them at festivals.  There are different versions out there…but I love them all and the recipients love them too!! ~ Camille Whitworth, Award-winning Journalist,  Anchor WDSU News


My go-to holiday gift is a chicken foot fetish. Protective and so pretty! ~ Sallie Ann Glassman, Businesswoman/Owner of New Orleans Healing Center, Artist, Author, Vodou Pristess


I’m sending a taste of New Orleans basket – with local food and gifts from Serenity Home and Gifts. ~ Greta Perry, Businesswoman/Owner of Kickify,  Blogger at Kiss My Gumbo andHooah Wife.


My go to gift is the WWOZ cookbook “That Sounds Good” Its a fundraiser for OZ and has great recipes from musicians including Dr John, Irma Thomas and me! You can buy it from the OZ studios on Decatur and at Louisiana Music Factory. ~ Margie Perez, Singer/Songwriter

Great ideas! Thanks, Ladies!