Saturday, April 30, 2016

Mother's Day Gifts

Mother's Day is just around the corner and you still have time to make your mom wonderfully happy on her special day. Thank goodness for internet shopping and if you haven't found that perfect something, here are new ideas:

1) Lilly Anything
My mom loves Lilly (who doesn't?) and today only, you get a gift with a purchase. Here are some ideas:

I love this Lilly popover and wear this often this time of year.  There are several juicy patterns to pick from. See this here.
This trapeze dress is a great addition to anyone's wardrobe. It's so beachy. See it here.

2) Orvis Sunshirt
Is your mom the outdoorsy type? If so, she might love one of these sunshirts from Orvis.  See them here.  I ride in mine all summer long.  They are great for gardening, anything outside.

3) Trinket Dish
I love these cute little dishes from Madison in Dallas. Your mom would remember who gave her one of these.  See them here.

4)  Gien Horse Dishes
I love these dishes!  They have several versions, race horse, jumping horse, etc.  But if your mom loves horses she'll love them all.  See these here.

5) Tassel Necklace
These are all the rage and at this price point, you can buy your mom several. See them here.

There's nothing better than a great mom! 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Joe Fargis is One of a Kind

Last night at dinner I happened to run into Joe Fargis.  Some of you may not be familiar with the name,  but if you've been around horses for any length of time, you know his history.  Joe still rides but he doesn't compete in the big classes like he once did.  A few years ago, here in Virginia, he suffered a bad fall, and thank goodness he recovered.  But this man is the real deal, a one of a kind, a tough combination to find in someone as accomplished and well-known in his sport.

I interviewed Joe five or six years ago for an article I was writing at the time, and I cannot tell you how humble this man is.  And better yet, he is a true horseman.  His horses always come first for him and at the time of the interview he was competing an older mare, in her very late teens, at the Grand Prix level. I believe she was 19 at the time.  Horses don't last like that unless they've been cared for, well.  He told me he pulled his horses' shoes at the end of the season and turned them out for a few months, no jumping, very light riding until they went to Florida a few months later. 

When he had his accident I wrote him a note, hoping for his swift recovery, and he wrote me the kindest note on his own engraved, monogrammed stationary (I was impressed) which I have kept.  You can read about the fall here.

At dinner, he was kind and gracious, as always, a class act, the real deal. He's in town for two weeks of horse shows, but he's training riders, not competing at the Grand Prix level (our loss).

And in case you don't know Joe's story, he won a gold medal (team and individual) in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles on an American Thoroughbred mare, Touch of Class.  He went to the Olympics again in 1988 where he won a team silver medal on a mare, Mill Pearl.  He loves them, he once told me.  A man after my own heart. There's nothing better than a good mare.

 (Joe in more recent times)

 (Joe on Touch of Class)

(Joe meeting Nancy Reagan at the White House)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Spring Soiree

The weather is warming and the patio furniture is out.  The plants were put out this past weekend so it's time for a spring soiree.

So how do I set my table? Let me count the ways.  I'd start with these adorable plates from Pottery Barn.  Love the colors and they'll go with so many things. And they are on sale!

These white plates from Juliska will work nicely with the colorful salad plates.  See them here.

Use these napkins from Ballard Designs.  See them here.

I'd add these cocktail napkins from One Kings Lane. I love a linen cocktail napkin. See them here.

I love the woven place mat look for outside, because they don't blow away in the wind, and they go with everything.  See these here.

Bunny Williams again? Yes, I know but I love this flatware!  See it here.

Add a little more color and whimsy with this glassware:

(See it here)
And I LOVE these wine glasses which go great with the navy cocktail napkins.  See them here.

You have no excuse to entertain this weekend.  None, whatsoever!  Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

And They're Off.....

The Derby is ten days away, always anxiously awaited in my household.  But there is so much going on right now if you love the four-legged, at least where I live and beyond.

1) Foxfield Races
If you live anywhere near Charlottesville, VA or attended UVa, you've likely been to Foxfield.  Drunken co-eds, Lilly dresses, tailgating, and of course, the horses, steeplechase that is will been in full array just outside of Charlottesville this weekend.  Hoping the weather holds out, especially for those wearing Lilly.

2) Maryland Hunt Cup
I've blogged about this magnificent race before and if you have not seen it in person, please make your way to Maryland and go north of Baltimore in the Maryland Hunt Country.  It is a spectacle.  This race attracts real horse people, those who truly come to see the horses race over America's premiere timber course.  The last one standing will win.  See my earlier blog post here.

3) Rolex ****
Three day eventing fans know all about Rolex, the nirvana of the sport in America.  The best in the world attend and only the very best finish.  It's a trek to Lexington, KY to watch this, but well worth the effort if you love this sport.

4) Lexington Spring Premiere Horse Show and Grand Prix
I'll be venturing out locally to one of the top AA horse shows in Virginia.Some of the best hunters stop by on their way north from Wellington. There's a small Grand Prix on Saturday night that's always fun to watch and is often won by local riders.  It starts today and runs through Sunday.  There's a second show next week which runs through the same schedule.  Grand Prix is Saturday at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, VA.  It's all free for spectators.

Did I miss anything?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Hats Off

I'm not a hat person really but I have learned to love hats if only for their utilitarian purpose.  But you can be sensible and stylish at the same time.  A sensible hat should serve its purpose - to keep the sun off your face and hold your hair in place at the same time.  Style is a bonus. This one from Tuckernuck is especially cute and it comes in two colors, navy or cream bow.  See it here.

This straw hat from Madewell is also very cute.  See it here.
This Eric Javits hat from Saks Fifth Avenue is very stylish. See it here.

This hat from Nordstrom Rack is stylish and sensibly priced.  See it here.

And I love this big floppy hat from One Kings Lane.  See it here.

This one has some darker tones to it. Love it too!  See it here

Enjoy a sunny day!  And wear a hat.

Ivy, Virginia

Ivy, Virginia is one of my favorite spots. Nestled on the western side of Albermarle County just outside of Charlottesville, it is the prettiest part of Charlotteville IMHO. Other may love the majestic estates of Keswick to the east, but with the western views of the Blue Ridge and the rolling hills of green, it's not hard to understand how the hamlet got its name.

I've blogged before about the infamous Ivy Nursery which lies just west of the real Ivy, Virginia not far from the Boar's Head Inn.  If you have not been it is a mecca for anyone who loves house and garden but mostly garden.  See my blog post from 2014 here. It is one of my favorite spots. 

Down the street from Ivy Nursery is And George, an ecletic store, full of antiques, furnishings and just some interesting stuff.  See it here.

One of the most romantic restaurants in the region is the nearby Ivy Inn.

And if you fall in love with this area you might want to check out this house for sale.  You can see it here.  It's also in Ivy.

After you shop till you drop, have a romantic feast at the Ivy Inn, you can lay your head to rest at the Boar's Head which is about a ten minute drive east on Route 250.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Equestrian Napkins

lf you are planning to entertain this spring and want to add an equestrian flair then I have news for you. One of my favorite places to buy linens has new patterns which will also work perfectly for that Kentucky Derby part you may be planning on...  See these here.

If you prefer a bit more color then you'll adore these.  See them here.
I also love these.  See them here.

If green is your thing you'll also want these.  See them here.
Pomegranate has so many cute patterns to chose from. There is clearly an equestrian enthusiast in that company somewhere! Thanks for creating fun napkins and placemats for the horse loving set.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Late Spring Picks

I love summer clothes but have not seen a lot this year that I am loving.  But I have picked up a few items and have seen a few that I liked but did not need or had no where to wear.  Here's a few things that I am loving right now.....

I tried this on a few weeks ago and liked it a lot and it was on sale at Kate Spade not long ago with 25 percent off everything. It is cute, not too short and would be a good spring dress. See it here.

I picked this dress up a month or so ago but have not worn it yet and just fell in love with it even though I have no need really for another nice dress. But you know......  It is longer on me, hitting me just above the knee.  See it here.

I fell in love with this trench too and it so cute in navy plaid.  See it here.

I tried this dress on but alas no need for another "wedding" type of dress.  But if you need one this is a good one.  See it here.

I have not loved the Tory Burch collection this spring as much as usual but there a few new pieces that I would love to add to my wardrobe, but typically buy her stuff on sale.  These are lovely:

Monday, April 18, 2016

American Greatness

As we approach the running of the roses again in early May, I can't stop thinking about last year's run with American Pharoah. We were so spoiled last year to watch greatness, to witness a horse that will surely go down in the history books as one of the greatest to run on American soil. I'm still reading Joe Drape's book that comes out later this month and I simply can't put it down.  There's a glimpse of his book in this article in the New York Times, and he's a writer there, and it shows in his excellent writing.

If you loved watching this horse, please read this book.  His greatness was oozing out of him all along and some saw it, others did not.  You could have bought this horse as a two-year-old but nobody wanted him. 

See the article here and read my blog post about the book here.  Maybe we'll witness history two years in row?

New York Times photo

Friday, April 15, 2016

Marysia Swimwear

I don't get to the beach or pool often in summer but am hoping this year to go out to a state park near my farm that has this incredible "beach" on a lake. It's been there since the 1930's and on those super hot Saturdays this year guess where I'll be?

Every four or five years I take the plunge and buy a new bathing suit. It gets harder and harder to find something with coverage that also fits and looks good and this year I am loving the suits by Marysia. She is a former ballet dancer and surfer and she's clearly filling a void for sophisticated suits that we can all wear that cover and don't look dated in two years.  They are expensive but if you use it for a few years it works.

She's all the rage and her suits can be found in many stores on the web and beyond.  Here are some that I am loving (I don't do bikinis anymore):

Others are starting to copy her signature scalloped trim like J Crew and Kate Spade.  But she has great style. 
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