Baking Cupcakes with Social Bites

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[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1728.0"]Photo by: Aulbani O'Neal Photo by: Aulbani O'Neal[/caption]

Last week, Katie, owner of our Ruston store, had the privilege of heading over to one of our favorite cupcake shops to learn a little more about baking! Heather, the owner of Social Bites in Ruston, was kind enough to teach her the basics of baking while letting her indulge in a few sweet treats so that we could share it with you. As you can probably imagine, they had a blast in the kitchen together...

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by: Aulbani O'Neal Photo by: Aulbani O'Neal[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1728.0"]Photo by: Aulbani O'Neal Photo by: Aulbani O'Neal[/caption]

Social Bites is the most adorable little shop in downtown Ruston. Our Rodéo team visits them almost everyday. (Yes, it's a problem. We know.) The good (or bad) news is that they are about to be our neighbor! Heather is moving her shop to West Park Avenue in August. She will be relocating and expanding so that she can offer a space inside that you can rent out for parties and showers. We couldn't be more excited to have her on our street, but we have a feeling this could be dangerous! 

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1684.0"]Photo by: Aulbani O'Neal Photo by: Aulbani O'Neal[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1728.0"]Photo by: Aulbani O'Neal Photo by: Aulbani O'Neal[/caption]

Heather is a native of Ruston, Louisiana and has had Social Bites for seven years. She loves everything about baking and has become accustomed to an apron being her uniform! Her sweet "weakness" is Carrot cake.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1728.0"]Photo by: Aulbani O'Neal Photo by: Aulbani O'Neal[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1728.0"]Photo by: Aulbani O'Neal Photo by: Aulbani O'Neal[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1728.0"]Photo by: Aulbani O'Neal Photo by: Aulbani O'Neal[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by: Aulbani O'Neal Photo by: Aulbani O'Neal[/caption]

Although baking was a lot of fun, it is not as easy as it looks. Loading massive pans into a really hot oven is no easy job. And with baking, there is little room for mistakes or errors. However, the reward can be so sweet. 

Thanks again to Heather of Social Bites for welcoming us into your kitchen. You are the sweetest! If you live in Ruston, make sure to swing by her shop and indulge in a cupcake and an old fashioned coke! 

Keep Dreaming,

The Rodéo Girls

Tags: baking, collaboration, cupcakes, Dessert, get to know, interview, Out and About, ruston, social bites

Get To Know Julep Studio

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Last Wednesday, we sat down with the two ladies of Julep Studio, Jaime Leonard and Kelli Jennings, to get to know them a little better. As you know, this photography duo is responsible for the beautiful images from our latest lookbook, Rodéo Goes Glamping. Not only are they extremely talented at what they do, but they also happen to be really fun to be around. Read our interview of these two ladies below and you will see why...

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Left: Jaime, Right: Kelli Left: Jaime, Right: Kelli[/caption]

How did Julep Studio get it's start?

Kelli had just moved back to the U.S. from Germany and I had just moved back from France.  We both, separately, were looking at starting our own photography businesses, all the while, using each other as sounding boards for all of our ideas, questions, and planning. It didn't occur to us at first that maybe we should just pursue this together, as one company. It didn't take long for the lightbulb to go off, but once it did we knew we were onto something. In January of 2013, Julep Studio got it's start. We spent a lot of time on our name, trying to make sure it was both feminine and modern, while still representing The South and southern traditions. 

How would you describe Julep Studio's aesthetic?

Our aesthetic is fresh and modern while still being light and romantic. While shooting, we try to give direction, but want our client to still do what's natural in the environment that we are shooting in. We recognize and appreciate the need for tradition, but love to take that tradition and give it a "Julep" twist. 

What is your favorite type of event to photograph?

While we both thoroughly enjoy weddings, we can't help but be overly excited when we get to be a part of a fashion shoot. We love when a group of talented people get together, each doing what they do best, to make a creative concept come to life. There are no rules, no limits, just creativity. 

What sets you apart from other photographers?

Having two people allows us to capture the moment from multiple angles and viewpoints. We are able to collaborate with each other during the whole shoot, while also being able to give on-the-spot feedback. This means we can work smarter and more efficiently for our client. 

Is there any area of photography that you would love to get more involved in?

For us, it's definitely fashion. It's been a big area of interest for us since college, when we would organize these types of shoots on our own time. Fashion allows us to be imaginative, with no definite rights or wrongs. It's all about selling a lifestyle or an attitude to a woman that she desires in her own life. 

Who is an artist or photographer that inspires you?

For both of us, its Thomas Neff, the head of photography at LSU. He specialized in portrait photography and getting to know his subject. He is the reason we both stayed in photography. 

What has been the stand-out moment of Julep's career for each of you?

We both agree that seeing the dream we had in mind start to come to life right in front of our eyes was the best moment of our career, thus far.  Meeting with clients who describe the type of photography that they want and having it line up perfectly with the vision we set for our own company is a feeling like no other. It's in those types of moments that we realize we are on the right career path!

We asked them random questions and gave them five seconds to answer. This is what they had to say...

I wish I knew how to...

Jaime: re-upholster a sofa

Kelli: sail a boat

Dream vacation spot:

J: Florence, Italy or Portugal

K: Florence, Italy

Coffee Order:

J: soy latte

K: iced coffee

Salty or Sweet:

J: Sweet

K: Salty

Favorite way to unwind:

J: Walking the dogs, with a beer in hand

K: Watching Gilmore Girls with a glass of wine

Dogs or Cats:

J: Dogs

K: Cats

Who would be your celebrity best friend:

J: Jennifer Lawrence

K: Joy the Baker (Joy Wilson)


Now you can see why we are so smitten with these two ladies and Julep Studio.  If you are interested in booking them for any of your photography needs you can visit their website ( to find out how.

Big thanks to Jaime and Kelli for meeting with us and sharing a bit of yourselves with Rodéo and our readers!

Keep Dreaming,

The Rodéo Girls

Tags: Artist Feature, get to know, interview, Julep Studio LLC, Photo Shoots, photographers

Inside Scoop: Meet the Rodéo Team

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Ever wonder about the faces behind the store?  Some of you might know us really well and for others this might be your first introduction.  

Today we are excited to introduce you to the hippie in charge and her right hand ladies.   In the upcoming weeks we will be introducing you to the rest of our amazing team that help make everything possible!

Shanna Boudreaux: Owner, Buyer, Stylist, and CEO

Shanna got her start working in cosmetics for Estee Lauder and stayed there for nine years, where the next step available was to move somewhere new.  She and her husband decided that moving was not an option.  This decision led to Shanna to utilize her years of retail experience in opening Rodéo.  In August of 2005, Rodéo opened in an 800 square foot space.  Eventually the store grew and Shanna expanded by taking over the space next door.  Seven years later, she moved to our current Baton Rouge location and has been there for two years.  Shanna is married with two children, Grayson and Anna Grace, who are a huge part of Shanna's life as well as the store's!  They have both basically grown up spending time at the store. You have probably seen their faces while shopping in Rodéo or on our social media.

Shanna's favorite part of her job is making people feel happy and good about themselves.  She wants every customer to leave feeling beautiful and confident for whatever event they are getting dressed for.  Shanna is a huge advocate for being yourself and wants all of her customers to feel great doing just that.

Fun Facts:

  • Guilty Pleasure: Louisiana Art
  • Favorite Brand: Waverly Grey and Alice and Trixie
  • Can't Leave Home Without: Lipgloss
  • Salty or Sweet: Sweet

Katie Bonnette: Owner and Manager of the Ruston Location, Assistant Buyer, and Stylist

Katie started out working for Rodéo when it first opened ten years ago through college and became the manager after that.  After graduation Katie wanted to move back to North Louisiana and partnered with Shanna to open our second Rodéo location in Ruston, Lousiana where she became a part-owner of that store.  Katie is married and is a kitty mom to four!  

Katie loves her job so much and one of the reasons is that she loves the relationships that she gets to form with all of her customers.  Some of her best friendships have evolved from customer relationships!


Fun Facts:

  • Guilty Pleasure: Keeping up with the Kardashians
  • Favorite Brands: Free People and Show Me Your Mumu
  • Can't Leave Home Without: Mascara
  • Salty or Sweet: Sweet

Annie Hall: Store Manager of the Baton Rouge Location and Stylist

Annie moved to Baton Rouge in 2010 after graduating from ULM.  She worked for Dillard's for two and a half years in cosmetics until she got an opportunity to work at Rodéo in October of 2012, since then Annie has become the manager and couldn't imagine working anywhere else!  With her cosmetic background, Annie is our resident beauty expert when we need any advice for photo shoots in the hair and makeup department! Annie is married, and absolutely loves people, which is why the favorite part of her job is working with our customers!  If you shop in the Baton Rouge store, you probably already know Annie well!

Fun Facts:

  • Guilty Pleasure: Anything chocolate or watching Real Housewives
  • Favorite Brand: Tart and Vanessa Mooney
  • Can't Leave Home Without: Mascara
  • Salty or Sweet: Sweet


Carol Meche: Creative and Merchandise Manager, Blogger for Rodéo, and Stylist for Rodéo     Look Books and Photo Shoots

Carol went to Louisiana Tech and worked part-time through college at Rodéo in Ruston.  After graduating, she got married and moved to Baton Rouge where she worked for Anthropologie for two and a half years in management and as part of the visual team.  She left to come to Rodéo in November of 2013.  Carol's favorite part of her job is the environment and people she works with as well as the creative freedom that she gets to have here.  If Carol isn't at work, you can usually find her baking up something delicious...we like to consider her our own personal baker here at Rodéo.  

Fun Facts:

  • Guilty Pleasure:  Target
  • Favorite Brand: Greylin and Free People
  • Can't Leave Home Without: Mascara
  • Salty or Sweet: Sweet





Leigh Ann Chatagnier: Head of Social Media, Blogger for Rodéo, and Stylist for Rodéo Look Books and Photo Shoots

Leigh Ann worked for Anthropologie for 5 1/2 years as a visual manager where her and Carol actually were part of the same team.  Leigh Ann left Anthropologie when her and her husband moved away from Louisiana for a year.  After moving back she joined the Rodéo team by heading up the social media and working with Carol on Rodéo's blog, look books, and photo shoots.  Leigh Ann's favorite part of her job is working with a great team and being able to use her creativity on a daily basis!

Fun Facts:

  • Guilty Pleasure: Wine
  • Favorite Brand: Free People
  • Can't Leave Home Without: Mascara 
  • Salty or Sweet: Depends on the Hour






Now that you know a little more about us, we are excited (and hope you are too) to see more of the inside scoop in the upcoming weeks where we will be sharing more introductions, fun behind the scenes pictures and stories, and our day to day happenings here at Rodéo!

Until next time...

Keep Dreaming,

The Rodéo Girls

Tags: inside scoop, interview, meet the team

Beauty 101: Achieving That Perfect Summer Glow

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[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]photo by Julep Studio photo by Julep Studio[/caption]

Do ever wish you could get that perfect summer glow? You know the one that's sun-kissed, dewey, and effortless with just the right amount of color. That "I've been at the beach all day but still look fabulous" kind of thing.

Well then you are in luck, because today we bring you tips to achieve that perfect summer look straight from one of our favorite and most well-known makeup artists, Olga Longoria. We had the privilege of working with Olga on our last photoshoot (Rodeo goes Glamping.) She is really one of the best, and there's no one we trust more to get this information from! 

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1824.0"]photo by Julep Studio photo by Julep Studio[/caption]

Olga has worked in the make-up industry for almost 30 years. She started with Lancome and worked for them for 22 years. After that she worked for a dermatologist, adding even more experience in the skin and beauty industries to her resume. She currently works with various medical spas, salons, and plastic surgeons. Her favorite area and the one she specializes in is wedding and special occasion make-up. (Hint hint for all you brides-to-be, Olga is the best!)

We asked her what she loves about makeup and this is what she had to say... 

"I love makeup because I believe that every woman is beautiful and makeup enhances what they already have naturally. My goal in life is to make them feel as special and unique as I possibly can and to bring happiness into their lives. If I can touch their lives in a positive way or teach them at least one thing, then I know I am doing my job."

My motto is: "to make the world more beautiful, one woman at a time!"

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1824.0"]photo by Julep Studio photo by Julep Studio[/caption]

So how exactly do you achieve this perfect summer glow we've been talking about? Follow Olga's steps below... 

For Sunscreen:

Start the summer right by being sun smart. She recommends a lightweight sunscreen if you are going to be outdoors. Elta MD offers a great variety of sun screens to fit every need.

  1.  For the body use UV Aero Broad-Spectrum SPF 45 with 9.3 % transparent zinc oxide, which gives full protection against sun damage that can lead to skin cancer.  It comes in a spray form which makes it convenient and easy to apply.
  2. For your face use the lightly tinted UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF41 to give you a hint of color. It contains transparent zinc oxide (9%) and titanium dioxide (7%), both are natural mineral sunscreens without chemicals. It’s also water-resistant and great for sensitive skin.

For a Faux-glow:

She recommends Tantasia by Jane Iredale. This is a chemical free self tanner/bronzer that gives you a beautiful color without streaks or turning you orange. It’s also safe to use on the face.

For the Finishing Touches:

Just because you are playing in the sun doesn’t mean that you have to go bare. You can add the golden shimmer (also from Jane Iredale) to give your skin a radiant glow. For your lips, use one of the following:

  1. The lip and cheek stain by Jane Iredale which gives you a very natural and subtle color.
  2. For a bold lip, try the Power Lip by MILANI. This gives you vibrant color and long wear. Plus there are a variety of shades to choose from. 

*You can find these products in most Medical Spas and CVS.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2394.0"]photo by Julep Studio photo by Julep Studio[/caption]

We can't thank Olga enough for sharing her tips with us! She is truly talented at what she does, and we are so glad we got to know her a little bit better. We can't wait to share our next lookbook with you, so that you can see what she can do! And if you would like to book her for your next event, leave us a comment and we will get you in touch with her!

Last but not least, a shout-out for the two ladies of Julep Studio who took these beautiful pictures that capture Olga at work! They are so talented at what they do and really know how to capture the beauty in every moment. Thanks Kelli and Jaime! Be sure to follow them on Instagram (@julepstudio) and Facebook (Julep Studio) for more examples of their work and a bit of inspiration!

Keep Dreaming,

The Rodéo Girls


Tags: beauty, get to know, interview, make up artist, olga longoria, summer beauty, summer glow, sunscreen