Thursday, January 31, 2019

New Needlepoint

This is the best time to needlepoint and hopefully your "stash" is full so you can take full advantage of these plunging temps.  It was a brisk 6 degrees (F) here this morning.  With the Super Bowl on Sunday, I plan to get a lot of stitch time between riding Madison and Alfie (indoors of course).

There are many things I'd love to add to my "stash" so here are some ideas if you need to add to yours!

Happy stitching! 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Make Mine Towels

There's nothing like a good towel.  I know it sounds silly but having nice towels is a luxury that many simply overlook.  When I was in high school and college I worked in a department store in the linen and china department and learned to love a good towel. Fieldcrest's Royal Velvet was the very best that we sold.  I bought these when I went to college and they lasted about 20 years (really). It's hard to find that kind of quality today and the velour of Bed Bath and Beyond is just a fiber that neither absorbs or lasts or even looks good IMHO.

So why not have pretty towels like these from Leontine Linens (in the current Kips Bay Palm Beach Show House):

Or you can splurge on Porthault and hand them down (they will last a lifetime):

Adding a luxurious bath mat to your bathroom makes a difference - when you get out of the tub and fall onto the plushness that is inherent in a quality towel (read probably French or Italian) like this one from Frette:

Are these not beautiful?  Frette of course!

Or these by Matouk:

 Good linens are like fine wine.  They get better with age and you appreciate them more when you get older!  Stay warm out there!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Artic Surge Winter Survival Kit

At the farm when the cold weather hits you can't hide.  In fact the work mode goes into turbo charge as you have to chip ice out of water buckets, bring extra hay to the fields, add more layers to clipped horses - well you get the picture - all in single digits without the wind chill. So how do you cope with these days of frigid temps when you can't sit inside and sip and stitch?

1) Smartwool
I have tried all the socks and the only ones that really keep your feet warm are Smartwool. My fox hunting friends put me on to these years ago and I am still a convert.  They won't last more than a season or two if you wear them a lot but so worth it.

2) Hand Warmers
These are required when it gets really cold.  Buy them in bulk at Lowe's, Wally World, Field and Stream and then have them on hand when it gets too cold not to warm your hands and toes. And they are great in riding boots at winter horse shows.  A cheap fix that really works.

3) Hand Lotions
When it gets really cold and dry the hands crack along the finger nails.  It happens every winter.  Try using L'Occitaine  Hand Creme.  This is my "go to" in winter.

4) Carmex
This stuff is just the best for your lips.  I use it when I ski too.

5) Carthartt Everything
This stuff won't win any beauty contests but I won't leave the house without it - just the warmest way to dress.  These gloves are some of the warmest I have found (and I have tried them all) - bought these last year at Tractor Supply for $20 on sale.  My coveralls are priceless - worth their weight in gold in cold temps.

Aren't they pretty? I have a friend who wears hers to horse shows in winter with an Hermes scarf and a brooch..... They are the warmest....

6) Dubarry Boots
I wear my Dubarry boots all winter long.  They are lined in Goretex, are waterproof and comfortable.  Nothing else has worked for me.

7) Hat and Cashmere Scarf
When it's cold I wrap an old cashmere scarf around my neck and always wear a wool hat.  Cashmere is so warm especially if it's really old.  Newer cashmere is not the same quality as the old stuff.  The one I use everyday is 30-40 years old. Find one at Goodwill, Ebay, Poshmark.

8) Layers
I always wear layers under my coveralls, usually a base layer, a vest.  It depends on how cold it is but Arcteryx is the warmest.  I add a vest (where I can keep my phone with zipper pockets) too. This one is my favorite - it's warm but also very lightweight.

9)  Good Wine
When all else fails, a glass of wine in the evening takes the chill away. Stay warm and safe these next few days. We'll be burning the calories here on the farm for sure.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Sunday Musings

It's the last Sunday in January and we're battening down the hatches preparing for the next winter freeze coming mid-week. So what's on our minds right now?

1) Oscar Contenders
There are many good movies showing now and it's fun to watch the ones that are getting the Oscar buzz.  The Green Book is very good (highly recommend) and we're going to see Vice next.  One of my friends saw it last week and raved about it.

2) Shopping for Real Deals
There are still some great buys out there if you need anything like this silk blouse from J Crew that is now $40.  I have the pants and the silk is good quality and I love the print.  See it here.  Remember, the more you shop the more you save.

3) Cooking Italian
In cold weather I love to cook heavier dishes like Italian.  We made a trip to Wegman's yesterday and there is pasta on our menu this week.  I am cooking right now from this Italian cookbook.

4) Foal Watch
The foals are starting to drop in Kentucky and I love to see the photos of them as they arrive. There is nothing cuter than a new colt or filly.  One of these cuties may be our next graded stakes winner.  You never know......  This is Gun Runner's first foal, a filly born in Japan. Looks a lot like daddy.  Too cute!

(Blood Horse)

5) Needlepoint
This is the very best time of the year to needlepoint - without guilt - binge watching The Crown, football, ice hockey or tennis.  This is my newest project which will go in the cabin.  See it here.

6) Scarf Obsession
I've always loved wearing scarves and it seems that perhaps they are coming back in. Or maybe they never left? If you can't splurge for Hermes there are many options like this cute blue and white number from Anthro.

And I love this new Liberty print at J Crew:

Enjoy your Sunday!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Become a Collector

We've collected antiques for years and my husband and I love picking things up on our trips, when we're out and about, and just for fun. It's so easy to become a collector.  It's a hobby of sorts and I've also enjoyed studying some of the things I collect, like old glass.  You too can become a collector.

You need to love something to collect it.  What do I collect? Glass from the 20's, 30's, and 40's mostly American made - brands like Cambridge, Morgantown, Tiffin, Heisey, for example. Mostly stems, some decanters, finger bowls and some odd pieces in Imperial Hunt Scene (my favorite but hard to find).   I love these nudes from Cambridge.  Ebay and Etsy are sources for glass.  Glass shows provide the best selection and the best bargains. 

 I love this Heisey decanter with a hunt scene.  I have this in my collection along with the glasses to match it.  If these glasses could talk and tell the stories they've been privy to over long dinner parties....

Staffordshire - started when I traveled to London a few times of year for work and continues to this day. Staffordshire has come down significantly in price but know how to pick out a fake.  These are now on Etsy.  Antique shows are a good source.  I prefer to see these in person before I buy and I can tell if they are real.  I have dogs in my collection mostly but also some odd pieces. 

Chairs. I had a real chair fetish at one point, mostly for painted chairs.  Now I don't have room for more chairs but I still adore them.  These are for sale on 1stdibbs.  I bought my chairs at antique stores in Maryland and Pennsylvania.  I'd want to see these too in the flesh.  I studied painted chairs before I bought mine and searched for a few years before I found my set of eight and my pair.  Love them to this day!

Equestrian anything - prints, paintings, rugs, lamps, sconces, etc.  I love this small plate that is for on Etsy.  See it here.  These things are easy to pick up and here and there and my house is full of odds and ends, all equestrian, all antique, picked up in the US, France, Poland, England and Canada. 

We don't value anything old in this country anymore.  I love the old. Out with the new and in with the old - and it's better quality by a huge margin.  Learn to collect something you love and hand it down (or have a huge auction as I will one day!)

Friday, January 25, 2019

Moda Operandi for the Home

I'm not into high fashion but I love the linens and dinnerware that Moda Operandi offers for the home.  In the same high end style as the clothes the site offers, the linens don't disappoint and don't come cheap, but good linens are never inexpensive.

These napkins are distinctive and fun.

I love these napkins from Emily Wickstead.

These napkins are also lovely!

These plates from Alex Papachristidis are divine!

These placemats are so distinctive and pair beautifully with plates above.  See them here.

You can see the entire collection here.  Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

What to Watch This Weekend - The Pegasus Cup

It's not the Super Bowl, not the Derby, but it's still a pretty big deal in the horse racing world - The Pegasus Cup.  A relatively new idea for horse racing, this super duper purse has attracted some of the big names you'd expect - Baffert, Lukas, Chad Brown and others.  The race is this Saturday, in Florida at Gulfstream, and while it attracts mostly older horses, it's still fun to watch.

NBC will televise the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational.  The Series will include the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), to be contested on the dirt at 1 1/8 miles offering $4 million for the winner of the 12-horse field and the $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), to be run on the turf at 1 3/16 mile. The Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational will replace the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap and aims to attract and showcase 12 of the best turf horses from around the world as they compete for a $3 million first place prize.

NBC will air a live 90-minute program featuring both the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational. The broadcast will also showcase the Pegasus “blue” carpet, celebrity and live entertainment event elements from Gulfstream Park at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 26.

Past winners of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational include Arrogate, the 2016 Eclipse Award Winning Champion Three Year Old Male and the top earning Thoroughbred of all time, and 2017 Horse of the Year, Gun Runner.  On the heels of an exciting Breeders’ Cup Classic win with Accelerate, trainer John Sadler’s next stop will be the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series where he has committed to spots on the dirt, with Accelerate, and on the turf.

My money is on Accelerate.  It will be fun to watch this great event.  Wish I was in sunny, warm Florida to see it in person.  

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Horse Scarves on Poshmark

I've become a Poshmark convert the past few years snagging some great bargains, on mostly new stuff or almost new clothing at a mere fraction of the cost.  It's a great source also for the "old" J Crew for those of us who long for those days when quality was king at J Crew.

Horse scarves are also on the brain and they come in all sizes, colors, and price points on Poshmark.  Here are my picks.  If you don't shop Poshmark you should!  Try it!  I searched these - "horse scarf" and look what I found.  This one is listed for $25.

You can make offers on anything on Poshmark and the buyer can accept, decline or counter your offer.

This one is listed for $24.

I love this vintage scarf listed for $18:

This one is $7.

This one looks like Hermes and it's $55 (but it's not):

I love this Celine scarf listed for $155:

This one is Gucci for $100:

This vintage scarf is only $5:

Jonathan Adler:

 You can buy Hermes on Posh but the prices vary widely. Some of the scarves are priced full-price. Here is one I like a lot:

Happy Poshing!
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