Nelda Carnley manages a vibrant riverside bazaar of eye-grabbing wares at Nelda’s Place, ranging from women’s clothing and accessories to ornamental knickknacks. Glue a finger to fashion’s pulse with stylish dresses, jackets, and tops ($19.95–$69.95), harmonizing ensembles with pitch-perfect handbags ($24.95–$64.95) that blend fetching hues with chihuahua- or miniature-elephant-toting functionality. A trove of jewelry pieces ($6.95–$39.95), ripe for legal plunder, brims with bracelets, earrings, and necklaces itching to adorn unembellished limbs. Patrons wishing to broadcast their allegiance to the lily can peruse a bevy of fleur-de-lis-themed items, from wrist cuffs to dinnerware, or cultivate their own botanical coat of arms in a stalwart garden pot ($19.95–$189.94). Located on the banks of the misleadingly real False River, Nelda’s also stocks gift-worthy sundries such as candles, sunglasses, and quilts.
Carey Long’s professional interest in fitness stems from something personal. After experiencing the early passing of his parents, Carey decided to focus his fitness approach on prolonging life. Racking up certifications in physical therapy and strength and conditioning training, Carey began developing Real Life Fitness, a system catered to regular people who want to improve the quality and extend the longevity of their lives. The system seeks to boost energy, address chronic health problems such as high cholesterol, and promote physical activity, all while keeping in mind the time limitations and challenges of everyday life.
Clouds of fog roll through darkened halls, concealing mercenaries tracking their target’s movement. Before their trap can be sprung, the unthinkable happens: their vests begin to vibrate as a giggling child yells, "Got you!"Laser Tag of Baton Rouge's family-friendly laser-tag sessions thrust players aged 7 and older into similar faux combat, peppered with flashing lights and thumping music. Players race through a 7,500-square-foot multilevel arena brandishing Gen 6 laser-tag weapons that dole out precise shots and automated score updates. Special scenarios challenge players to work cooperatively toward a shared goal; for instance, in the Fugitive mission, one or two targets must escape a group intent on their capture.
Between bouts inside the arena, players can test their gaming skills at the center's arcade, which is filled with contemporary and classic machines. Each game is outfitted with the Power Play system, a swipe-card-and-sensor combo that tracks remaining game credits, relieving players from the hassle of endlessly fishing for quarters. The arcade also leads to an observation deck that looks onto the laser-tag arena, giving spectators a giant's-eye view of the combat below.
Strangely enough, it was Maria Prochaska Boudreaux's baby daughter who first spread the word about her art. When her daughter was born, Maria painted a mural in her room. Friends who stopped by to see the newborn became entranced by the piece, and soon they were requesting murals in their homes, too. Maria did them one better: she opened up her own art business, where she sells her work and hosts art classes for all ages.
During these classes, she teaches students how to make textured paintings with layers of color that create 3-D ridges on the canvas. One of her more popular classes is the Women, Wine, & Whatever series, a three-hour session complete with a BYOB policy. Guests paint whatever they desire on an 11"x14" canvas while Maria provides basic instruction on brushstroke techniques and how to keep hungry raccoons away from your still-life portraits. She also hosts children's birthday parties and painting classes with set subjects, which range from stylized fleurs-de-lis to flowers, butterflies, and even crawfish.
Flipping through the TV channels, it’s not unusual to see cooking sensation Holly Clegg working her culinary magic on shows such as Fox & Friends, The 700 Club, or NBC’s Weekend Today. At once a culinary phenom, family woman, and tech entrepreneur, Holly has also added the title of author to her ever-growing resumé of success. Her trim&Terrific series, a 14-book women’s lifestyle series that unlocks the secrets to healthy eating, has sold almost one million copies. She’s also penned cookbooks for people with diabetes and cancer patients, leading to features in both USA Today and Country Living magazine. Her books also cover topics such as quick meals and cooking for beginners, walking novices through the cooking basics such as nutrition and singing to a lobster before plucking it from a tank.
Mattress Direct culls a variety of mattresses in textures ranging from firm to plush from brands such as Tempur-Pedic and Serta. Serta's iComfort, for example, evenly distributes support across the body with microsupport gel capsules nestled in its memory foam; a specialized material prevents overheating and the resulting unpleasant lava-chase nightmares. Mattress Direct's stock of bed frames, bed linens, and pillows allow patrons to assemble complete bedroom sets in one trip, and an express delivery service prevents the hassle of renting a moving truck or outfitting each leg of a new bed with a rollerblade.