Wednesday, July 8, 2020

A Summer Like No Other

It's still difficult to wrap my head around how our world around us is falling apart - between the virus, the police brutality, the lock downs, the economic calamity that so many are experiencing due to job losses.  It's surreal.  It's really not safe to carry on like life is normal, even in areas, not yet ravaged by the virus.  The death rate is slowly inching up as the community spread moves further into areas previously not hit by the virus.  This is not going to end well, at least here in the US.  And so many just pretend that there is nothing going on...... I don't see how schools will be able to safely reopen. If they do, expect many teachers and professors to either revolt or resign. 

It's been a summer like no other in so many ways.  Trips have been cancelled.  Community centers and pools are closed.  I rarely leave my farm now and have resorted to ordering from Target weekly for incidentals (even cat food for Truman) and do my grocery shopping online for pick-up.  The UPS man and I are on a first name basis.  And needlepoint and Netflix have been a blessing - you don't need a therapist if you have these. Writing this blog has also been like therapy, an escape and I sincerely appreciate all of the kinds words from my readers this summer.  So I can pretend life is somewhat normal when I am blogging........

Summer is my favorite time of year and I love finding great summer clothes that are unique and different like these mules/espadrilles.  While there's no where to go, there's no harm in looking good while you're dining on your patio.


Loving Sarah Bray's Bermuda style - her hats are to die for, as are her newer caftans.  These are made with vintage fabric and are so lovely. 


Love this one too.  It's perfect for patio wear.


These flats will go with everything in your closet this summer:

I love to find ways to spruce up my outdoor spaces which are used excessively in spring, summer and fall at the farm. Love this ceramic stool (which goes perfectly with my decor on my upper deck and patio).  Use it as a stool or as a side table. It also comes in black.

And I love these adorable plates, perfect to pair with white dinner plates and fun napkins for a great summer table setting.

And are these juice glasses not beautiful?

And aren't these hurricane lanterns fun?  

And I love this cute Marimekko dress!  How summer is this?  See it here.

This maxi dress may need to come and live with me.  So cute!  See it here.

And you can always treat yourself to a bath soak at the end of the day!  Nothing is more soothing than a bath, a candle and book.......

Find some enjoyment in summer if you can.  Stay safe. Stay at home. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

My Growing Needlepoint Stash

With the pandemic, I have been madly adding to my needlepoint stash, with the thought, in the back of my mine - if things get really bad I'll have enough stitching to do for years. LOL.

Loved this cheeky saying from Lycette.


I am working on these right now which will be made into pillows.  I stitched the green in hunter and have an adorable dark green gingham check fabric and fringe for the pillows. These remind me of Thelwell.  You can order these from Po's Point in Charlotte.

 I had to have this new one from Le Point Studio and this will be made into a door hanger:

This is from Lycette and I have wanted to stitch this one for many years.  It arrived recently.  And I love the way this is finished.

And I wanted to stitch a Jean Smith flower canvas and bought this one at a trunk show. It was so hard to pick just one!

This is my bargain rug from Ebay, a nice winter project.

Have wanted to stitch a scissors cover too and bought this one on Ebay earlier in the year:

I feel in love with this designer and thought this was so unusual. Not sure where it will go, but....

Another great Ebay find.  I have completed two wreaths and wanted one for the holidays so I can't wait to do this one.  It's similar to the other two that I completed and I made an offer on this on Ebay in the early days of Covid and the seller accepted.

 Happy stitching! Stay safe, stay in and wear a mask!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

July 4th Memories - the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Fourth of July is a bi-polar holiday in my book. Good things and bad things have happened during this holiday weekend, always to the extreme.  On a positive note, Sega was born on July 5th and we will help her celebrate her 26th birthday tomorrow with Altoids and carrots - her favorites.  She seems to be doing well for her age and has had a good summer (no founder episodes so far).

This photo is from State College, PA, one of my favorite horse show venues. We used to show there every year.  Some of my fondest memories with her are here.  There used to be three back-to-back shows starting in late June and so many July 4ths were spent here.  We stayed at the Autoport, a darling hotel not far from the Penn State campus. 

One year that stands out, when trainer Laura Pickett was still with us, makes me smile even now. Sega was on her A game but she was getting really top ribbons perhaps when we should not have.  This happens of course in the hunters and it's nice when it's your turn.  She won almost every class and I remember when we got to the second round of the hunter classic, I remember Laura telling me in her own way that I wasn't going to win this one. But we did win. I was a bit embarrassed because we really should not have won but perhaps it's payback when you don't get ribbons when you should have. This photo of a photo is from that weekend.Sega is braided in red, white and blue yarn.  It's one of those shows you'll never forget.  Sega also loves to suck her tongue after a few Altoids, as she's doing in this photo.  She still does that. She always wanted to win!

A not-so-fond memory of July 4th was seven years ago when I had a terrible accident on the night of July 4th.  My ulna was shattered just above the wrist after being kicked (or really the horse bucked and I was too close) but I could have been killed and quick reflexes saved me as my left arm shielded my face and took the brunt of the kick.  It took three surgeries over a period of almost two years to get back to a somewhat normal existence.  It was a long haul, many months of physical therapy, long periods where I could not ride or do barn chores.  At one point I had to board the horses for several months at a nearby farm but we somehow managed to get through it.

And yesterday adds yet another bad July 4th to my list.  I got up early and after doing my barn chores and went to pick up a load of hay. On the way back, a reckless driver hit me going at least 60 miles an hour in a 35 mph zone around a turn on a country road and totaled my truck. It was a terrible day.  No more horse showing this season most likely. 

Hoping that you have a better holiday weekend than what we are experiencing here in Virginia.  The Met Mile is later today at Belmont Park.  It should be a good race. Watch it!  Stay home please!  Stay safe and please wear a mask if you go out.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Needlepoint Bargains

Here are a few very good needlepoint bargains.  Once they are gone, they're gone. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Summer at Moda Operandi

If you have not discovered Moda Operandi yet, please do.  It's not just a place to order high end fashion and the sales are great. But Moda has some really nice home accessories, just in time for summer entertaining as we're all staying put.  Why not put a bit of style into the equation?

Want some stylish entertaining tips from Tory Burch? She offers some great advice here.

Love these napkins, which come in sets of four.  They look very expensive.  See them here.

Love these napkins, also sold in sets of four.  See them here.

And this umbrella!

Love these cocktail coasters:

Love these cocktail napkins:
And more cocktail napkins:

Love these dinner plates which come in sets of four and there are several colors. See them here.

Love these spongeware salad plates from Tory Burch.   Comes in sets of four.  See them here:

Have a stylish summer day!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Planning for the 4th of July

With the holiday weekend upon us, it will be a very different July 4th celebration this year, without a big family gathering, friends, trips to the shore.  It's all becoming a bit tiresome but we are likely in pandemic mode for much longer than we all anticipate.  So let's try to make the best of the situation Mother Nature has put us in.......

Cooking is a hobby and I love to make extravagant dinners from time-to-time, using new recipes (mostly from restaurant cookbooks or Junior League cookbooks) but wanted to share this recipe that I go to over and over again. It is so easy!  Hubby loves it, it's perfect for a small gathering or to use as an appetizer.  I serve it in a an old lucite bowl, with toothpicks.  The only ingredient you may want to stock are capers and celery seeds, both needed for this  

Southern Pickled Shrimp
1/4 c lemon juice
1 1/2 t salt
Hot pepper sauce to taste
1 t sugar
3/4 c olive oil
3/4 c red vinegar
3/4 c water
2 Bay leaves
2 1/2 t celery seed

For the shrimp:
2 lbs cooked shrimp
2 c sliced onions
1 2-oz bottle capers

Combine the ingredients above for the sauce.  Put the shrimp in a bowl, cover with the sauce and put in the fridge for a few hours. Drain it before serving.  Serve it with toothpicks! 

If I were going to decorate my patio from scratch for the 4th, I'd start with these melamine plates (in Tobacco Leaf, a classic favorite). 

These are simply the best summer placemats and every dish and napkin in your stash will work with these. If you don't have something like this in your kitchen, add them today!

Add these batik napkins:

This Bunny Williams' flatware has always been on my wish list. 

Add these cocktail napkins for pre-dinner drinks:

Decorate the table with these lovely hurricanes.  You'll think you're in the islands.  See them here.


Monday, June 29, 2020

Finding Your Pandemic Style

No trips to the salon, the spa, the doctor, and or my favorite clothing stores.  But you can develop your own pandemic style.  The reality is that we are going to be staying home a lot more in the next few years than we ever imagined. No big parties, no European vacations, not even a trip to the races is in the cards this year.  But that does not mean you can't keep your own style...... This may become the new normal.

I have learned to love hats this summer. Three news ones already!  If you are outside a lot, a hat is key to protect your skin but it can also be a fashion statement.  Love this one!

(Vineyard Vines Hat)

(CK Bradley Hat)

When I am not riding I am in shorts or a dress.  These are my favorite!

Love these for pull-on style:

 I love these dresses from Lilly and Vineyard Vines. Comfortable?  Check.  Protective?  Check.  Reasonably priced?  Check.

My pandemic style:

Understated, preppy, classic, simplistic, comfortable, environmentally conscious.

My primary brands:
J Crew (jeans, shorts)
Birkenstock (sandals)
Teva (sandals)
Lilly Pulitzer (SPF dresses)
Vineyard Vines (SPF dresses and hats)

Have a stylish day!

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