Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Logical Living

One of my good friends from my early horse show days has recently started a company devoted to sustainable living, Logical Living.  You can find Logical Living on Facebook here. 

She and her husband have been trying to live "green" for 8 years.  They studied the subject and tried to put greener practices into their daily routine. It is amazing how much energy we Americans waste.  The company started when she started to track their water, oil and electricity usage.  She wanted to compare from month-to-month how much they were using and if their efforts to "save" actually worked.

(Photo from Logical Living)

Tobi (the co-founder) has created an assessment you can take on the site so you can determine where you are w/r/t living green.  As you make small changes in your routine, you can re-take the assessment to see how you have improved your approach to living a more sustainable lifestyle.  Even baby steps help in the end.
Her company also offers links to "green" products you can buy - cleaning supplies, laundry bags, composters, etc. 

I purchased "green" laundry detergent.  No more Tide for me.  The one I bought does not have petroleum in it.  Who knew?  The laundry ball I bought will also save -  I will use it to wash without using detergent at all.
And you know those cute green products you can buy at Target for just a little bit more - Mrs. Meyers for one - I am only going to buy those from now on. 

And I compost!  My pit went in a few months ago and in a few short months my horse manure will be dirt. 

We all need to start thinking more green. Our planet cannot take our abuse.  An NPR story a few days ago interviewed the late Sally Ride.  She said that when she was in space looking down on our planet it occurred to her just how fragile it is.  From that point forward she became a conservationist and made an effort to instill those beliefs in young kids.  Good for her! 

Logical Living is the only direction we can take going forward. With global warming a reality hitting us every day, impending water shortages, drought, high oil prices and pollution, we all need to do our share. Start to save a bit every day.  Think about your actions. Do you need to run that washing machine every day?  Can you take one less trip to the mall ?  Do you need to eat red meat 5 days a week?   Eat vegan one night a week from now on.  Buy from you local farmer's market.  There are millions of ways to reduce.

Think green. Act  responsively.  Live logically!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Vietri Campagna Dinnerware

OK, it's clear that the animal-fetish thing is going on here.  My house is full of animals (the real ones with fur), the kind that appear on patterns in the drapes (read toile), and now dinnerware.

I am simply loving these dishes (Campagna) from Vietri.  I can't decide which ones are the cutest:

Equestrian Olympic Coverage

The eventing portion has started with dressage scores posted for both individual and team competitions.  Cross country starts today.  If you are wondering what is going on, this is the best site for all equestrian coverage.


(Equisearch.com photo)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Flower Runners

I love these "flower runners" that are handmade and painted by a lady here in Virginia.  They come in several sizes and have holes in them for flowers, fresh or fake. Some people put candles in them.  She can paint them in any color to suit.

The runner comes in 3 sizes 11.5"x3.5",22"x3.5",and44"x3.5".The smallest comes with 5 holes,the medium size comes with 10 holes, and the largest comes with 20 holes.  Here is a link to her web site and she also makes lamps and frames. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Olympic Equestrians, Some Cool Facts

The Olympic equestrian events started in 1900.  It looked a lot different then - here's a list of the events:
polo, vaulting, four-in-hand driving, mail coach driving, mixed hacks and hunters and three types of jumping events:  high jump, long jump, and show-jumping.  Sounds a bit more like track and field don't you think?

Today's more modern events (three-day eventing, dressage and show-jumping plus the equestrian portion of the modern pentathlon) are rooted in cavalry skills and classical horsemanship.  Through 1948, only active-duty officers on military horses were allowed to compete.

The equestrian events are the only Olympic events in which an animal competes and is only one of three events in which he genders are on the same level playing field.  Sailing and mixed doubles in badminton (and I guess we should add tennis to that same list).

Did you know that at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne Australia, the equestrian portion was actually held in Stockholm, Sweden due to Australian quarantine laws?

The oldest rider to ride in the Olympics was 72-year old Arthur von Pongracz of Austria in 1936 in dressage.  (He died at age 77).  The youngest was 16-year old Luiza Almeida of Brazil at the 2008 summer Olympics.  Here is a photo of Almeida:

 (dressage-news.com photo)

Canadian rider Ian Miller holds the record of the most Olympic equestrian appearances and matches the record for athletes in any sport, having competed in an amazing nine Olympics as of 2008.

(www.tbo.com photo)

Pretty cool stuff!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award

I was humbled when I received an email from Emily at Entirely Emily that she nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award.  How cool is that?  Thanks Emily!

So according to this award, I have to leave seven random facts about myself......hmmmm.  Well, here it goes:

1) Green is by far my favorite color, followed by orange and aqua.
2) I have had the same haircut since 1990.   Think I am a creature of habit, or what?
3) Would love to have dinner with Andre Agassi and Serena Williams.
4) I am gourmet cook although I don't really love to eat. Foodie, No!
5) I went to Patagonia, in Chile, on a "pre-honeymoon" with my husband, for three weeks. 
6) I am a Gossip Girl junkie - it's the only show I watch.
7) Sports nut!!!! Love to watch NFL football, the Stanley Cup finals, tennis, the major golf tournaments, horse racing, ACC basketball and the NCAA March Madness tournament.  And of course, the Olympics!

I have to nominate 15 other blogs for this same award. Hope you will check these out as well!  

1) Kristi @ Biscuits and Navy
2) Shannon@ ShannonDarrough
4) Cathy @ Stitchfork Designs
5) Shannon @ Shannon Darrough
6) Jaclyn @ Haute Home
7) Sarah @ Matters of Style
8) Rebecca @ Rebecca Ray Designs
10) Sarah @ Sarah Winchester
11) Kate @ Party Resources
12) Allison @ Heirloom Philosophy
13) Erin @ House of Turquoise
14) Melissa @ Chic Coles
15) Jennifer @ Confessions of a J Crewaholic

Blogging has opened up a new world for me literally, with readers spanning the globe, all with different interests and viewpoints.  It has brought out the good in people, a way to share the things I love and see in my small corner of the world!


Needlepoint.Com Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Gail Dell, the winner of our needlepoint canvas giveaway, complements of Needlepoint.Com.  Gail lives just outside of Washington, D.C. in McLean, Va and rides in the hunters with her 8 year old OTTB, Super Monster who is kindly known around the barn as "Mr. T."  She has been his proud owner for 2 1/2 years.  I can see the love clearly in this photo.

Gail has promised to send a photo of the finished product.  I hope that this has spurred all of you to stitch, one of my favorite hobbies.  Just do it!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pony Express Social Stationary

I fell in love with this adorable stationary when I saw it in a store in Middleburg, Va.  Now you can order it online, directly from the company who makes it!  Go here.

The set includes 12 flat notes with envelopes in an adorable box.  Printed in the USA.  Love it!

For the Inn Crowd

The Mid-Atlantic area is full of charming inns and bed-and-breakfasts.  I've already commented on a few of them in earlier posts.  The historic ones are probably my favorites - houses with pasts.

The Wayside Inn is probably known more for its peanut soup and theatre than the inn itself.  But it passes the history test with flying colors.

Travelers started coming to the Inn in Middletown, VA way back in 1797 when it was known as Wilkinson's Tavern on the Valley Pike (which is now Rt. 11 which parallels I-81 in the Shenandoah Valley).  The Inn served both Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.  Just before the War the name of the Inn was changed to Larrick's Hotel. In the early 20th century a second floor was added with wings on each side and the Wayside Inn came into being.  The Inn proclaimed itself "America's First Motor Inn."   In the 1960's a Washington financier purchased the Inn and restored and refurbished it with hundreds of antiques.  The Inn was purchased again in 2009.

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, The Inn at Little Washington is a double Five Star, double Five Diamond Award winning hotel and restaurant.  Many Washingtonians make the 2-hour trek to Washington, VA to dine and stay at this very well known Inn.  Take your wallet with you.   The meals are legendary.  Foodies will love it! 

A little closer to my area is Clifton, just outside of Charlottesville.   The house was built and used by Thomas Mann Randolph who served as the Governor of Virginia.  During the Civil War the children of General John Mosby, the "Grey Ghost of the Confederacy" stayed at Clifton. The house remained a private residence until 1985 when it was restored by its current owners and turned into an Inn. It sits on 95 acres today and receives great reviews.  Book early!

Here is Clifton in 1890:

One of my favorites is the Inn at Phillips Mill which is in Bucks County, PA, just a few hours from New York City.  It is near New Hope, PA, a very popular area for tourists, artists and antique collectors.

A few others worth mentioning include the Ashby Inn in Paris, VA (just beyond Middleburg and Upperville), the Goodstone Inn in Middleburg and L'Auberge Provencal in White Post, VA.  These sit smack in the middle of the Virginia Hunt Country. You can spend the day in nearby Millwood, Upperville and Middleburg.

Here is the Goodstone Inn:

The Ashby Inn in Paris, VA:

An interior room at L'Auberge Provencal which is about 10 minutes from Ashby:

What are some of your favorites!

Friday, July 20, 2012

J Crew Jumps Into Fall

Gotta admit that it's hard to think about cool weather when it hasn't gotten below 85 degrees in a month or longer.  But I am channeling some of these new fall looks that were posted on the J Crew web site this week.  Polka dots seem to be in......

This dress comes in several colors.  I tend to like simple, clean lines, no really short dresses for me. 

I love this too.  Think how you might jazz up a green sweater with this around your neck!

I may break down and buy these wool pants.  Love this color!  And love the shoes too.

The sequin tops are fun and so versatile.

Clearly see the equestrian influence here!

Herend Does Horses

How many of you have collected Herend china over the years?  I started when I was in my early 20's and love it.  My favorite china pattern is Rothchild Birds (save that for another day), but the horses are heavenly.  I love the animals and today there are so many to pick from. But the horses........

You have to look at Herend as an investment, it does not go down in value.  That being said, I'm glad I have had my collection for a long time.  It is expensive. You can find it on Ebay and I recently came across an antique store that has really great prices (about half) on items.  They will also search for specific items for you. 

Herend is hand-painted, made in Hungary, and started creating figurines in the 1850's.  The products did not hit the US until the 1950's when the owners of Martin's in Georgetown (DC) starting importing it.  The rest is history.

The horses can be purchased in different colors.  Black was the original fishnet color followed  by rust in 1870.  Blue and green were added in the 1950's.  Raspberry fishnet came on the scene in 1986 and in 1994 butterscotch was brought in.  Chocolate was added in 2003.  The one horse that I have is in blue. 

These make great wedding, birthday, Christmas or graduation gifts.  Who would not love getting one of these?

Herend has a great website too (Herendusa.com) and also a good Facebook page. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Needlepoint.Com Giveaway

Horse Country Chic would like to welcome Needlepoint.Com as our newest advertiser. Based in Raleigh, N.C. Needlepoint.Com has one of the best websites around and a fabulous selection of needlepoint canvases online. Their retail store is pretty cool too if you live in the Raleigh, NC area.  For those of you who like to stitch but don't have a store nearby, the Internet brings one to your living room.  Trunk shows, accessories, educated professionals who can recommend threads, finishing, great sales, and anything else related to needlepoint, there is no better source.

In honor of our new stitching friends, we are offering a "giveaway" - this lovely foxhead which is on 13-mesh canvas (easy on the eyes to stitch), with the cotton threads you see attached, complete with needles.  You'll have everything you need, just add a background color!  The canvas is 6 inches wide and 4.5 inches tall.  This will look adorable stitched and the winner will have to send us photos of the finished product. Here is a picture of the fox finished and framed.  Looks good with a hunter green background. I could see doing it also in yellow, a lighter green, light blue, even a shade of pink or raspberry. This would look great on a table in your den. 

You could also make this into a great pillow, like this:

Or this....

(photos from Needlepoint.com)

Or you could have it made into a "sign" that would hang over a doorknob like this one that I stitched a few years ago:

Needlepoint.Com can recommend finishing once you complete it.

Here's how it works.  If you want to enter the contest, please go to Needlepoint.Com's web site  here and/or Facebook site here.

Pick out something else that suits your fancy to stitch and tell us why that would be the next project you'd add to your stash. They have a lot to like!  We'd just like to know!  I can't wait to see what everyone likes!

Send an email with what you would pick out and why - you can include a description of the item or the name/vendor.  We will select a winner on Monday, July 23rd.  All entries must be in by 12 noon pm on Monday, EDT. Happy stitching!

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