Sara Perez Ekanger Shares Her New Orleans Holiday Traditions
A Sweet Stop at the Ice-Cream Shop
"Living above an ice-cream parlor has been so fun," says Ekanger, who likes to pop downstairs for a scoop after she and her husband, Trevor, finish their holiday decorating. "The Creole Creamery makes a peppermint flavor around this time of year that is a personal favorite. There's a cute little bench right outside the shop, so we like to sit there and people-watch."
Mild New Orleans winters mean sandals work year-round. Ekanger wears them with a ladylike midi and a classic car coat for a seasonally appropriate look.
Italian Melton Wool Blend Unlined Car Coat in Light Blue, $248; bananarepublic.com
Slim Perfect T-shirt in Navy, $30; jcrew.com
Classic Majesty Midi Skirt in Peacocks, $69; modcloth.com
The Block Heel Sandal in Dusty Blue Lizard, $155; everlane.com
Pupusas at Home
On Christmas Eve, Ekanger likes to prepare pupusas, a soulful dish that her Salvadoran mother often made to celebrate special occasions. "They're basically tortillas stuffed with cheese and meat—they're delicious," she says. "So on Christmas Eve, I'll make those, and my husband and I will open gifts. Then we'll take the streetcar down St. Charles Avenue to look at all the lights. Everyone's in their own homes celebrating, so it's just the two of us, and we love it."
Ekanger keeps it cozy and casual in her favorite jeans and velvet kicks that are equal parts comfy and cute. Bonus points for the cardigan's flattering length.
Long-Line Sweater in Wine Heather, $35; oldnavy.com
Monterey Sneaker Crush in Heather Rose, $98; zappos.com
T-shirt and jeans, her own
A New Year's Eve Toast...with Grapes!
"Right before midnight, my mom would gather us all together, and we'd pray for a blessing for the New Year. After that, we'd do the countdown and eat 12 grapes as fast as we could," Ekanger says with a laugh. "It's an old superstition for bringing good luck the next year!" These days, she skips the grapes but still rings in the New Year surrounded by close friends.
Ekanger's day dress moves easily into cocktail hour (and all the way until midnight!) when accessorized with classic, berry-hued pumps and glitzy baubles.
Velvet Midi Dress in Green, $70; zara.com
Circular Earrings, $20; zara.com
Margie Pointed Toe Pump in Pomegranate Pink Suede, $120; zappos.com