About

All the Info

Hi all! We're Gillen and Libby. We wanted to create a space for us to share our lives and tips we find useful. A little bit about us:

Gillen is a born and raised New Orleanian. She graduated from LSU (geaux tigers) and is currently working in alumni relations and development at a local high school. Gillen loves all things bourbon and champagne. She's a huge fan of getting dressed up and will know all the latest makeup/skincare trends. You're most likely to find Gillen at Libby's house or at Grit's after kickball.

Libby is originally from St. Louis, Missouri and moved to New Orleans after graduating from Tulane (roll wave) and getting a job in software engineering. The way to Libby's heart? Matcha and walks in Audubon Park. You can find her either at barre or at happy hour.

We met through a mutual friend and the rest is history. We love all things Mardi Gras, food, fashion, and New Orleans.

Make sure to keep up with our journey!

How to Prepare for Mardi Gras

Expect the unexpected

There are many cities claiming to have the "first real" Mardi Gras (we're looking at you, Mobile) but there is no question that New Orleans does it better. It's bigger, rowdier, and boozier. On your way to your first Mardi Gras and have no clue what to do? Have no fear, the Gibs is here to help you through!

1. Pack a variety of clothes
The weather in New Orleans is prone to mood swings. One minute the humidity is so thick you feel like you're swimming in it, the next there's a flash flood, then the cold front moves in and the wet-cold cuts through to your bones. Mardi Gras 2020 is at the end of February this year, so the weather is anyone's guess. The best way to combat this is to pack for the three New Orleans seasons: summer, winter, hurricane. Make sure you pack your shorts, your poncho, and your jacket.

2. Have a designated backpack carrier
While it might not be very chic, the backpack is the unsung hero of Mardi Gras. Carry one of these babies and you won't need to stop and buy overpriced waters on Canal Street. Load them up with waters, snacks, alcohol, beer (cans, not bottles), hand sanitizer, gum, jackets, you name it. For years, I have been the designated backpack carrier and it has made all our lives easier. You spend less money and more time enjoying the parades with friends. For those not carrying backpacks, we suggest wearing fanny packs or carrying small purses.

3. Bring a portable charger
The worst feeling in the world is trying to catch up to friends on the route but your phone is at 2%. Not only will your phone die before you find your friends, but it'll also die before your Uber has a chance to confirm your ride. Portable chargers are heaven sent - they're not too expensive, they're fairly small, and they charge your phone in no time. Being stuck out during parades alone and without a phone is not ideal.

4. Wear rain boots even if it's not raining
If you live in New Orleans, you probably already have a designated pair of Mardi Gras shoes. They're shoes you don't care about getting dirty from mud or alcohol. Most times you will find locals wearing duck boots or rain boots even if the forecast only calls for clear skies. This is because the streets and sidewalks are soaked with alcohol and mixed with dirt creating a smelly muddy mess. This not only protects your feet but protects your wallet - you won't need to buy a new pair of shoes if you don't ruin them in the first place.

5. Remember, Mardi Gras is a family event
Sure, there are no children running down Bourbon Street but Mardi Gras is a family affair. Take a stroll down St. Charles Avenue during any given parade and you'll see children on top of ladders trying to grab an alcohol-soaked stuffed animal. Families come decked out in their best costumes to enjoy this unique holiday with friends. Kids toss footballs in the street in between parades. While it may come off as a strictly adult holiday, we can assure you that the heart of Mardi Gras is the families. We here in New Orleans start training them young. Don't be surprised if you see babies or little kids at tailgates next to college students - you learn to co-exist without issue.

6. Always carry cash
You don't want to be at the front of the line buying a snack only to realize it's cash only. Some vendors along the parade route don't have the capability to run cards and don't have Venmo. And on the off chance that cabs are less expensive than Ubers, most cabs during Mardi Gras are cash only. Carrying cash might not be ideal but at the end of the day it can save you from a ton of headaches.

7. Lassiez les bon temps rouler - Let the good times roll!
The most important way to prepare for Mardi Gras is by having fun and rolling with the punches. It's a packed, crazy, beautiful time that you don't want to miss out on. Take in the beauty of the floats, the locals dancing in the street, the college kids playing beer pong, and the grown men pretending to flash people for beads. It's an event you can't experience anywhere else. It's as unique as the city it's in.

The Gibs Valentine’s Day Guide

Our top recommendations for our followers

Whether you’re boo’d up this Valentine’s Day or will be celebrating Galentine’s Day, the holiday of love is here! Still need plans? Look no further than the Gibs! We’re sharing our favorite spots, activities, and gifts to get you through the day.

Parades

This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday of parades. I honestly can’t think of a
better way to spend time with those you love than out on St. Charles with all of
New Orleans!

Date Night

Whether you’re looking for low-key or over-the-top romantic, we got you!! In our book, simplicity is best. Grab your significant other, run to the grocery store, and pick one part of the meal to cook for each other! If cooking isn’t your forte, order take-out and snuggle up to some movies!
New Orleans is full of cozy, romantic date night venues. One of our favorites is Le Crepe Nanou. Located on Prytania, this small french restaurant is perfect for date night. We suggest splitting the fondue and ending your meal with the Crepe Suzette.
Don’t want to fight uptown crowds on a parade night? Try Muriel’s! Located off Jackson Square, Muriel’s is a classic creole staple. It has different rooms to go with the mood of your date night!
Looking for a cute spot to grab drinks and appetizers? Head to Delachaise on St. Charles. Always charming, always busy, and always a great spot to enjoy some bites and wine.

Girls Night In

Are you single or unable to spend VDay with your S.O.? Wrangle your closest
friends for a Girls Night In! One of our favorite things to do is create charcuterie boards with our favorite cheeses, meats, and accompaniments! Pair it with your favorite wines and whatever reality show you’re currently binging and you’ve got a night in heaven!

Girls Night Out

Fridays are always something to celebrate, especially if a holiday falls on it!
Celebrate the love with your girlfriends by meeting up for drinks at Claret! Their outdoor space is perfect for hanging out with your favorite people.
Another favorite of ours is Hot Tin. Located in the Pontchartrain Hotel, this bar not only has unique cocktails but the best view of the city. Can you say photo op????
If you’re looking to get out of the city to have some fun, trek on over to New Orleans East and visit the new Dixie Brewery! Enjoy a brewery tour with three beers included and end your trip playing their outdoor games in their amazing outdoor space!

Gifts

Gifts don’t have to be extravagant or expensive, as long as it shows the one you
love that you thought of them! If you don’t know what to get the one you love, experiences are always a great thing to get. Whether it’s a concert or a vacation they’ve been dying to take or just a day together, your time is a great gift!

The Gibs Guide to Quarantine

Remember, we will be okay.

During these uncertain times, we’ve had to adapt to our new normal. Currently, the state of Louisiana is under a mandatory shelter in place, meaning we can’t leave our houses unless we are getting the essentials. This can cause a lot of frustration and unease, as well as a lot of stir-craziness. Here are some things that we find useful to help us keep sane and healthy during this time.

1. Have a space in your home dedicated to work.

Working from your bedroom might sound fun, but after a while the lines between work space and relaxation space get blurred. Find a spot in your home and make it your home office. Whether this be your kitchen table or an actual desk, set it up in a way that will be most productive for you with as few distractions as possible.

2. Make sure to take breaks for fitness.

Now that gyms and other fitness classes are closed, it’s hard to keep up with a fitness routine. Thankfully, some of these classes are available online! Barre3, OrangeTheory, and Free to Be Yoga (to name a few) are live-streaming their classes or offering free classes online. This is not only a great break for your body but also your mind. Try to set a schedule for fitness like you would during normal times. Take a stroll around your neighborhood or local park, but make sure to stay six feet apart. Enjoy these times being able to be in the outdoors!

3. Set a routine for yourself.

When chaos seems to be everywhere around you, try and implement a schedule for yourself. Wake up at a certain time, change out of your PJs, work and eat at a certain time, anything that helps you stay sane during these times of not knowing.

4. Pick up a new hobby.

Always wanted to get into painting? Wanted to knit but never had the time? Is there a craft you’ve been dying to do? Now is the perfect time to get into it! You can find all your supplies on Amazon and Youtube is full of easy how-to videos! Have a backyard Bob Ross party, or start sculpting in your kitchen. Anything to get your creative juices flowing!

5. Read or listen to an audio book.

There are so many books that I have wanted to read but claimed I have had no time to read. Now I have no excuse not to read! Recently, I read Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I could not put it down! It sparked a love of reading in me again. Some books we’re reading during this time are I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, Sisters First by Barbara Bush and Jenna Bush Hager, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, and One Day in December by Josie Silver. Have a great book recommendation for us? DM us to let us know!

6. Organize your space/throw things out.

Now is the perfect time to Marie Kondo your life! Declutter your space and give back to your community by donating items and clothing that you don’t need anymore. While most donation sites in Louisiana are closed due to COVID-19, call and see if pick-up options are available.

7. Hold FaceTime happy hours.

One of the hardest parts about shelter in place is not being able to see friends. Thanks to technology, we’re able to communicate with them as much as we want! Grab all your friends and your favorite drink and hop on House Party to have a virtual happy hour! This is a great way to still stay connected to your friends and also a fun alternative for happy hour.

We know these times are strange but it’s important to listen to social distancing and shelter in place orders. By sticking together and staying inside, we can make sure our time at home is shortened. What does your quarantine look like? Let us know through email or DMs!

4 Things to do in New Orleans during Quarantine

Letting the good times roll from home

As a beautiful spring is gearing up in the Crescent City, it's easy to feel stir-crazy in quarantine. You can only bake so many loaves of bread in a six week period before you run the risk of opening an at-home bakery. We're a few days away from the city phasing into opening back up, so here are four things to do to keep you occupied until then.


1. Have a backyard picnic.

There's no better time to enjoy the great outdoors than now. New Orleans weather is currently in that sweet spot where it doesn't feel like you're walking through the fires of hell when you go outside and you can break out the fire pit once the sun sets. Use d'livery NOLA (available in the App Store and Google Play) to order from your favorite restaurants. D'livery NOLA lowers fees for customers and offers the best of New Orleans cuisine. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells, NewinNOLA.com)

D’livery NOLA

2. Bike the Lafitte Greenway.

While your favorite exercise stations in Audubon or City Park might be closed, the Lafitte Greenway is open! This 2.6-mile walking and biking trail starts in Bayou St. John and ends at Armstrong Park. If you've always wanted to go on a biking tour of the French Quarter, this is the perfect opportunity to do so. The Greenway offers a way to exercise in a socially distant manner, as well as offering a safe way to get across the city. (photo via Visit New Orleans)

Lafitte Greenway

3. Tune in to Pat O'Brien's virtual shows.

A beloved New Orleans tradition, the Pat O'Brien's piano bar has gone virtual. Pat O'Brien's is streaming through Facebook Live every weekend with some of the piano bar favorites. Make sure to drop in and listen to your favorite performers. Missing the atmosphere? Pick up their world-famous hurricane mix from your favorite grocery store and write down your song request on a napkin before commenting on their live video. (photo via Trip Advisor)

Pat O’s Live Show

4. Drive to the end of the world (no, seriously).

Tucked away in the Bywater, “The End of the World” is where the industrial canal meets the Mississippi. It's a ramshackle park that is a beloved neighborhood treasure. While still in the city and having a view of the skyline, “The End of the World” feels worlds away. It's not encouraged to get out and sit on its park bench currently, but that doesn't mean you can't sit and enjoy watching the Mississippi River from your car. Now you can tell all your friends you drove to “The End of the World” and back in a day to their shock and amazement. (photo via nothing-mundane.com)


Even though normal life has shot off course, New Orleanians still find ways to find the magic and light in dim situations. We're lucky enough to live in an area that is full of socially distant outdoor options, and we're even luckier that the weather is allowing us to enjoy this time. Life will soon go back to normal. but don't forget to enjoy this slowness of life while you can.

OH HEY, FOR BEST VIEWING, YOU'LL NEED TO TURN YOUR PHONE