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Pam's Party Line: A phantom breakfast instead

Photo provided by GINGER MILLER --- Phantom Breakfast --- Getting together to mail out invitations to the Baton Rouge Regional Eye Bank's annual Phantom Breakfast are committee members, from left, Terry Moloney, Lee Caplan, Margaret Rome, Barry Allen, Marlene Colter, LaMarylis Newman, Ginger Miller, Vivian Frey, Wes Devillier, Linda Michelli, Casey Coughlin and Roxanne Berthelot.

You have to love an event, especially a breakfast one, where you don’t have to buy a ticket, get dressed up or even drive anywhere. So, thank you Baton Rouge Regional Eye Bank for again hosting your Phantom Breakfast. Executive Director Ginger Miller recently assembled her committee for a morning of fun as they stuffed and addressed… Continue reading →

Common Ground: Girl Scout experience a treasure

Though I never earned Scouting awards or sold many cookies, my short stint as a Girl Scout exposed me to adventures I still treasure. There was the camping trip to Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park in Robert, where I canoed and swam with my fellow Scouts in a man-made lake. There were troop meetings where we… Continue reading →

LSU's game design camp lets students design, play original games

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Hannah Vautrot, 14, left, and Courtney Lawrence, 14, work on their game, Jiggler, at LSU's GameCrash camp.

In the computer world of Jiggler, the maze is tough. Then the walls start moving. Designed by Hannah Vautrot and Courtney Lawrence, both 14, over two-and-a-half days at LSU’s game design camp, GameCrash, Jiggler may be a little too hard. “We may have over-complicated it for ourselves,” says Vautrot with a slight smile… Continue reading →

Happy Bartday: Prairieville family celebrates son's second birthday with Morris Bart-themed party

Photo provided by L'ERIN DOBRA -- What birthday party is complete without an appropriately decorated cake?

When her son turned 2 years old earlier this year, L’erin Dobra had the typical quandary — choosing a birthday party theme. Pirate? Firefighter? Superhero? Harry Potter? What? It turns out, little Grayson had been giving her hints. “Before he could walk or talk, every time the Morris Bart commercial would come on, he was… Continue reading →

They’re being cute again

TNS/Los Angeles Times photo by Ken Kwok -- Bribery usually works when photographing your pet. For dogs, try squeaky toys or treats. For cats, treats, catnip or a toy.

Your pet is doing that thing again. It’s the cutest thing ever, and it must be snapped, shared and forever immortalized on social media. Cats and Dogs of Instagram, here we come. But what happens? Just as you reach for the camera to compose the killer shot, your subject bolts. The moment is gone forever, as are your… Continue reading →

Community briefs July 28, 2015

Photo provided by LORI JOHNSON -- National Teen Best Dancer -- Baton Rouge dancer Payton Johnson, right, with choreographer Jason Parsons,  earned the honor of National Teen Best Dancer at The Dance Awards.

Baton Rouge dancer Payton Johnson, 16, has earned the honor of National Teen Best Dancer at The Dance Awards July 5-12 in New York City. The University High School student was chosen over 130 contenders from the United States, Canada and Mexico.… Continue reading →

Associated Press photo -- 'Raising Can-Do Kids: Giving Children the Tools to Thrive in a Fast-Changing World' by Richard Rende, Ph.D., and Jen Prosek

— Hard work, persistence, initiative. Can the skills found among entrepreneurs help today’s young people navigate their way to success? Absolutely, say a developmental psychologist and a successful public relations company founder who have teamed on a new book, “Raising Can-Do Kids.” Self-entitled kids may be able to navigate their way into… Continue reading →

Pennington study tests what role diet, exercise play in infertility, ovarian cysts

One of the most common causes of infertility in women may be cured with exercise or a healthy diet. Researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center are testing whether walking on a treadmill and eating better work as a treatment for polycystic ovarian syndrome, a disorder that causes cysts to form on a woman’s ovaries and raises… Continue reading →

Get tight glutes by raising the barre

TNS/Los Angeles Times photo by Cheryl A. Guerrero -- This move, the fold over, will help build lean muscle by lifting the glutes and defining the hamstrings. ORG XMIT: 1170393

So simple. Yet so hard. That’s the best way to describe this dance-inspired move from Suzanne Bowen, creator of BarreAmped. It looks easy and yet … well, try it for yourself and you’ll see. This move is called the fold-over, and it will help you build lean muscle by lifting… Continue reading →

Alzheimer's Q&A: How to transition somone into adult day care

My sisters and I want our mom to attend an adult day center for more socialization, but she is very hesitant to the idea. How do we make such a transition more comfortable for her? Adult day services offer a variety of benefits for the individual with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, and research indicates stimulation early… Continue reading →

Embracing a new grain for a fresh take on bibimbap bowls

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Crispy millet bibimbap, roasted sesame sweet potatoes with peach gochujang sauce

Bibimbap is incredibly trendy in urban centers right now. Not familiar with it? You’ll want to be! Bibimbap is a Korean rice bowl — white rice topped with meats, veggies, kimchee (intensely pickled cabbage) and hot sauce. Often, the meat is tossed in Korean barbecue sauce, lending a perfect sweetness to balance out the tangy and spicy… Continue reading →

Health briefs for July 27, 2015

WHAT: O Baby Expo WHEN: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1 WHERE: Ochsner Medical Center, hospital lobby, 17000 Medical Center Drive, Baton Rouge ADMISSION: Free RESERVATIONS: Email The first 30 people to RSVP will get a free diaper bag. DETAILS: Event will include educational sessions on such topics as car-seat safety,… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A: What are some risk factors for bladder cancer?

What are some risk factors for bladder cancer? Is it a common cancer? As with most cancers, the exact cause of bladder cancer is unknown. However, there are risk factors that can increase the chance of developing the disease. According to the National Library of Medicine, cigarette smoking has been attributable to 50 percent of bladder… Continue reading →

Danny Heitman’s “At Random”: Summer heat holds everything still

As homework for her photography class, my wife recently was told to take a picture of something in motion, an assignment easier said than done in south Louisiana summers. Nothing much moves here at this time of year, not much at all. Our neighborhood lawnmowers whir to life shortly after sunrise, then again near dusk. If you… Continue reading →

Pam's Party Line: Hot, hot summer nights

Advocate staff photo by PAM BORDELON --- Celebrity Waiters --- Serving as waiters for the Children's Advocacy Center's annual Celebrity Waiters event are, front from left, Steve Ward, Rick Perry, Dr. Beau Clark, Mike Strain, Sid Gautreaux, Sharon Weston Broome, Gary Rispone and Whitney Vann; and, back, Gordy Rush, Cliff Vannoy, Sheldon Mickles, David McDavid and Roger Cador.

Barely recovered from hosting the Miss USA Pageant contingent, L’Auberge Casino & Hotel was again the hot spot in town the night of July 15 with two big events taking place. It was crawling with former LSU athletes and coaches as the site of both the Children’s Advocacy Center’s Celebrity Waiter Event and the Suits &… Continue reading →

Theatre Baton Rouge names award winners

Jacob Voisin

Theatre Baton Rouge presented its winners of its 2014-15 season at its annual Beaux Arts Ball on July 25. This yearly awards ceremony and party honors the theater’s volunteers, from actors to interns. This year’s winners featured several Theatre Baton Rouge veterans, as well as many new faces: PRESIDENT’S AWARD: Mary and Bill… Continue reading →

Easy to be engrossed in astronaut’s quest

'Watch the Lady' by Elizabeth Fremantle

“The Martian” by Andy Weir. Crown, 2014. $25. I started seeing “The Martian” pop up on a lot of “best of” lists a few months ago, and when I found out it was being made into a movie starring Matt Damon, I knew I had to pick up a… Continue reading →


Here’s what’s happening in the area arts and cultural scene: The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, 427 Laurel St., Baton Rouge, is showing “Too Close/Not Close Enough: New Work by Emily LaCour” through Aug. 14 in its Firehouse Gallery. It’s 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. Admission is free. Call (225) 344-8558… Continue reading →

Book events SUMMER READING PROGRAM AWARDS DAY: 2 p.m., Amite Branch Library, 204 NE Central Ave. Come celebrate the end of the Teen Titans Summer Reading Program. Hero costumes welcome.… Continue reading →

Human Condition: At Tony Angello’s, everyone felt at home

Photo provided by RAYMOND ARROYO -- Raymond Arroyo and his grandfather, the late New Orleans restaurateur Tony Angello.

There is a line from Auntie Mame that always made me think of my grandfather: “Life’s a banquet and most poor s.o.b’s are starving to death.” In New Orleans we not only savor the banquet, but demand seconds. My grandfather was one of that long line of New Orleans restaurateurs who served up a wondrous banquet of… Continue reading →

Dizzy Arts to host party featuring live music, art

Dizzy Arts, which helps establish collaborations among artists of all mediums, backgrounds and styles, is hosting a Dizzy Arts Party on Aug. 1. The event will hop from one Baton Rouge venue to another, starting at 7 p.m. at Chelsea’s Cafe, 2857 Perkins Road, then moving to the Atomic Pop Shop, 2963 Government St., at 10 p.m.… Continue reading →

Chaplains meet spiritual needs of race drivers and their families

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- Two cars race down the strip at State Capitol Raceway during an 'Always Fun Friday' event while two more cars wait their turn. Racetrack chaplains  Craft Dunaway and Jay Dunlap are always on hand to pray with the drivers and their families.

PORT ALLEN -- Over the roar of powerful engines and the squeal of smoking tires, State Capitol Raceway Chaplains Craft Dunaway and Jay Dunlap joined hands with a driver to pray for his ailing family member. “Father, we come to you tonight knowing you are still in the healing business and you are still the great physician,”… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: Faith and work lead to ‘Better’ days for Showers

Photo provided by REGINA SHOWERS-GORDON -- The Showers singing group is composed of seven siblings, from left, Tabitha Showers, Tillis, Melody Showers, Regina Showers-Gordon, Ciara Showers, Tiffany Showers-Pines, Angela Showers-Lloyd and Titus Showers.

Even during the tough times, the Showers singing group, of Hammond, always believed there were “Better” days ahead. So the success of the septet’s national debut album, “The Showers Family Group,” featuring the wonderful hit single “Better” and “Praise Your Way Through,” didn’t come as a surprise to the family. “Better” is No. 13 on Billboard’s… Continue reading →

Summertime is lawn time and it's not too late to fertilize

Photo by JOHN WOZNIAK, LSU AgCenter -- It's not too late to fertilize your lawn for fall.

If you didn’t fertilize your lawn last spring, you still have time to fertilize and get your lawn in good shape before fall. Along with mowing and watering, early August is a good time to fertilize your lawn, says LSU AgCenter turfgrass specialist Ron Strahan. St. Augustine and zoysia grasses both respond well to fertilizer applications.… Continue reading →

Garden charm Accessories can add personality and flair to your landscaping

Associated Press photo by Dean Fosdick -- Unused objects like these baskets are integrated into a garden near Langley, Wash. Garden accessories can be used as decorations, for fun and eccentricity or to fit a theme.

Flowers are the face of a garden, providing color and texture. But a few well-placed landscape accessories can give it character and a dash of personality. Accessories can range from water fixtures, like ponds and streams, to outdoor furniture and appliances, fountains to statuary, miniature fairy gardens to antiques. Give it some thought, however. “There’s some… Continue reading →

Dress up your home with chic lanterns

TNS/Kansas City Star photo by David Eulitt -- Dress up your home or garden with a variety of chic lanterns. ORG XMIT: 1170606

The soft glow of candlelight twinkling through a glass lantern is quaint and romantic. It harks back to an earlier time before electricity. Lanterns are about as ubiquitous today as they were back then, especially where home retailers are concerned. Pottery Barn, West Elm, Restoration Hardware, Arhaus — they all carry variations of them. So do discount… Continue reading →

Volunteer Briefs for July 24, 2015

Volunteer opportunities, provided by Capital Area United Way, are outlined in this column every Friday. To learn more about these opportunities please contact the listed agency directly or visit to sign up online. INSPIRE A CHILD TO LOVE MATH AND SCIENCE, StemUP Baton Rouge — Drew Henry, (225) 226-7936: The… Continue reading →

Review: Harper Lee's 'Go Set a Watchman' best viewed as a glimpse into the writing process of 'Mockingbird'

'Go Set A Watchman' by Harper Lee

Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman” brings to mind Fyodor Dostoevsky’s observation that, if asked not to think of a polar bear, it would be impossible to think of anything else. The same is just as true of elephants as it is polar bears. Of course, the elephant in this literary room is “To Kill a Mockingbird.”… Continue reading →

The Librarian and Lee: LSU’s Jessica Lacher-Feldman was Harper Lee’s ‘handler’ for literary events

FILE - In this Aug. 20, 2007, file photo, "To Kill A Mockingbird" author Harper Lee smiles during a ceremony honoring the four new members of the Alabama Academy of Honor, at the state Capitol in Montgomery, Ala. Lee has started a nonprofit company that will produce a play about the book  "To Kill A Mockingbird", ending a dispute that threatened to derail the long-running performance, a publishing group said Saturday, April 25, 2015.  (AP Photo/Rob Carr, File) ORG XMIT: NY108

Almost every literate American has read “To Kill a Mockingbird,” but few know its author, Harper Lee. Jessica Lacher-Feldman can check both boxes. Lacher-Feldman, 47, head of special collections at LSU’s Hill Memorial Library, met Lee several times when Lacher-Feldman held a similar position at the University of Alabama. Lee, a resident of Monroeville, Alabama, attended the… Continue reading →

Common Ground: It's time to get back to school

When the main drag of a store becomes filled with five-subject notebooks, glue sticks, erasers, pencils and organizing systems, it all points to one thing — it’s time to start filling those dreaded school supply lists. Just days after Fourth of July displays are dismantled, uniform shirts in every color, accompanied by racks of khaki pants, soon… Continue reading →

Pam's Party Line: Trying to beat the heat

Advocate staff photo by PAM BORDELON --- Casas for CASA --- At the July 19 fiesta at the Renaissance Hotel kicking off this year's Casas for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) playhouse raffle are, from left, Executive Director Liz Betz; Joy Boyd, representing the Renaissance; David Faulk with Faulk & Meek, builder of the playhouse and title sponsor; board chairwoman Debbie Lamb; and Munzer Quadourah with Cox Communications.

The heat wave that’s gripped Baton Rouge for the past couple of weeks has slowed life down but it hasn’t stopped us from partying. Isn’t that what cool beverages are for? Frozen margaritas were the beverage du jour at the July 19 fiesta at the Renaissance… Continue reading →

Gonzales actress takes on two new series 'Zoo' and 'The Astronaut Wives Club'

Photo by Steve Hammond Photography -- Shanna Forrestall

Gonzales native and actress Shanna Forrestall pops up on two new TV series this week — CBS’ “Zoo” on Tuesday and ABC’s “The Astronaut Wives Club” on Thursday. Both shoots took place in Forrestall’s part-time home, New Orleans. These days, she’s dividing her time between there and Los Angeles. Debuting… Continue reading →

Community briefs for July 21, 2015

Photo provided by CHARMAINE BIOSSAT -- St. Jude KC Family of the Month -- The family of Chris and Allison Davis received the June Family of the Month Award from the Knights of Columbus Council 9692 on June 28 in the Parish Hall. Shown are, from left, Grand Knight Eddie Guidry, Allison, Mitchell, Chris and Caroline Davis, and the Rev. Trey Nelson.

The family of Chris and Allison Davis received the June Family of the Month Award by the Knights of Columbus Council 9692 on June 28 in the Parish Hall. The Rev. Trey Nelson and Grand Knight Eddie Guidry presented the award. Continue reading →

When artificial trans fats are removed from all foods by 2018, will you be able to taste the difference?

Photo provided by MetroSource -- Trans fats are so bad for us the government has banned them, so bakers are going to have to come up with new recipes.

Artificial trans fat — a common ingredient in many American foods — is now considered so dangerous the government is banning it. Found in fast foods, pastries and many prepared foods on grocery store shelves, artificial trans fats have been declared unsafe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and now must be… Continue reading →

Out of the bag: For crazy weeknights, this meal is a breeze

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Chicken legs and thighs are luscious in texture and full of flavor and protein. They also are much lower in saturated fat than most cuts of red meat, and they offer more iron per serving than chicken breasts.

Life is busy. We don’t always have the luxury of thumbing through our favorite cookbooks, marking appealing recipes with sticky notes for dinners sometime off in the future when we will somehow have time to salt-cure a cod or dry-age a side of beef in our garage fridge. Sometimes, we just need to get dinner on the table.… Continue reading →

Aquatic exercise more gentle on bones, joints and muscles

TNS photo by SERGEI BUTORIN/Fotolia -- Whether individually or in a class, working out in water can give you similar benefits to those on land, but can be more gentle on bones and joints.

Done correctly, water workouts can give you gains similar to those on land, including aerobic fitness, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and better balance. Darcy Reber, family medicine provider at Mayo Clinic Health System in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, recommends aquatic exercise because: Water’s buoyancy supports your weight. When you’re submersed up to your… Continue reading →