Monday, May 23, 2016

Equestrian Tablescapes

Since I returned from Kentucky, I've been thinking about the oodles of equestrian china that can be found at L.V. Harkness. If you haven't made a visit, next time you are in Lexington by all means make the trip.  It inspired me to come up with some ideas of my own, just in time for the Belmont Stakes a few weeks. Sadly we won't have a repeat of last year with Nyquist being beaten on Saturday, but that's horse racing.  But here are some ideas in case you too decide to pull out the stops in a few weeks.

I love this look.  The placemats are vinyl.  This orange color goes with everything.  See the green grass runner down the middle of the table?  Love that.

 You can pick from a number of styles of plates, from Gien, readily available on the Internet.  Pick your discipline.

Here are some orange placemats.  You can find them here.

If you like the horse racing theme, you might like these plates from L.V. Harkness.  And these are very reasonably priced.  You can use dinner and salad or use the salad plates with white dinner plates.  I'd use these with a pink or lime green mat. Even purple would look good.

Use these.  You can find them here.

I also fell in love with these dishes also from L.V. Harkness.  They had some adorable bowls that went with this set.  Each pattern is different.

 These would look great on the table.

 And these plates are also special.  Love the Hermes stainless too!    Happy entertaining!

Sunday, May 22, 2016


Last weekend I made a whirlwind trip to Lexington, KY and one of my stops was at the famed racetrack (and auction house) Keeneland.  I had never been to Keeneland and can't wait to return during the months of October or April when races are being held.  If you recall, American Pharoah made his last run at Keeneland last fall when the Breeders Cup Races were held there.  It is a lovely place.  We started our visit at the Track Kitchen, where we had a Sunday morning breakfast.  It wasn't crowded but it's a fun place to mingle with trainers, riders, barn help, tourists like us.  You never know who you'll run into there.

 From the kitchen we walked through the barns that were not too crowded and it was a Sunday so it was quiet. But the barns are still decorated with stable colors, there are ferns hanging in the breezeways, coolers, horse buckets, etc.

 We stopped to see a lovely gray horse being grazed by his groom.

 The barns are numbered and are made of cement block, nothing fancy but functional.

We walked to the track where some horses were running, it was very chilly morning, so many were fresh and eager to run.

 The grandstand area is beautiful.  It puts some of the tracks I have been to, to shame. This is the side entrance.  It was closed on a Sunday but you could walk up into the stands.  The stonework is from the original owner who started with a barn but never finished it and ended up selling the property.  The new owners made the barns into the stands that you see today.

This is the saddling area.  The walkway is all rubber bricks.  It was groomed and immaculate.  Not a blade of grass was out of place.

 Nearby are the jockeys....

 The famous clock......

If you are interested in the history of Keeneland there is some good information here.
It's a lovely place, cannot wait to come during a meet.  Put it on your list if you make a trip to Lexington, KY.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Find - Ginori Giardino Dei Semplici Verdi China

China lust is a big problem in my house. There's little room left for plates and dishes, new or old, hand me downs, family heirlooms or new retail purchases. So it's a good thing that there is no additional cabinet space to accomodate this new pattern from Italian china maker Richard Ginori.

 Giardino dei Semplici collection is inspired by vases created by Ginori between the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century. The collection includes Art de la Table in plates, tea and coffee sets and the entirely hand-decorated accessories such as vases, change trays and chalices. The Richard Ginori Giardino dei Semplici vase collection is comprised of three decorative elements: Lion, Wolf and a Bearded Man. Varying finishes in bisque as well as a sponged effect technique are enhanced by a special coloring that was reproduced to create an authentic and original feel.
Iconic Italian dinnerware manufacturer, Richard Ginori has been producing porcelain dinnerware in the outskirts of Florence Italy since 1735. Renowned for both simple white patterns as well as luxurious and richly colored dinnerware, Richard Ginori enjoys a reputation as one of the worlds premier quality luxury brands with a rich heritage. Richard Ginori dinnerware... setting beautiful tables in homes worldwide.

You can see the collection here.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Graduation Gifts

It's that time of year again when you have to come up with numerous, cleaver, creative, and somewhat reasonably priced gifts for grads. As you age and get further and further from the younger set, it becomes even more difficult to find that perfect present for a generation you know nothing about.

But here are some ideas (thinking why would I take her advice after that diatribe above?):

I love this bracelet and it's priced well for a nice piece of jewelry. You can customize this by changing the charm (it can be done in other stones/colors). A nice keepsake is memorable.  See it here.

l love these necklaces which make a wonderful gift.  You can have one of these in every color.  You can buy these on Etsy too. These are from L.V. Harkness in Lexington, KY.  Great for the high schooler.

I don't think you can go wrong with Herend animals.  If your graduate is an animal lover, all the better.  These become keepsakes over time.  The problem is which one do you pick?
Finding the gift for the male is a bit more difficult. I have stitched needlepoint belts for my nephews and they loved them, as they helped me select the colors and the pattern.  If you don't needlepoint, you can buy them already stitched.
A great weekend bag is also a great graduation gift. Love this one from Orvis.  See it here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A New Must Read - "The Sport of Kings"

Being an avid reader who loves to mix the best on the printed page with the horse, the New York Times is ranting about this newly published book, The Sport of Kings.  And sadly, I have not read this one, yet.  Quoting directly from the article, which you can read here:

This book relates the story of one of Kentucky’s oldest and most influential families, the Forges, from just after the Revolutionary War to the mid-2000s. Henry Forge and his daughter, Henrietta, work to breed a monster of a horse — Hellsmouth, the next Secretariat. Henry is his own kind of racist monster.

A movie, a mini-series? Who will ride the horse? Gary Stevens, again?  I cannot wait to read this one.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Rainy Days and Thursdays

It's done nothing but rain lately, day in and day out.  Everything is green and lush but this is starting to get silly.  If this keeps up (and sorry California) an entire wardrobe of raincoats will become essential. 

I spied this navy coat last summer in Boston and fell in love with it then. It's lined in a tatersall plaid and not it's on sale! See it here.

This red one is also cute and also on sale.  See it here.

This plaid coat is also warm for those who need rain protection plus warmth.  See it here.

If you want to be totally functional but also a bit chic, you can try this one here.

And if all else fails, you can always go equestrian. See this here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Spring Escapes

Spring has sprung, the grass is green and on the farm in the spring, the work never stops (the downside to farm life). This is the time of the year that you wish you had time for a respite, an escape, just even a little free time.  So one can only dream right now.......

Dream Vacation:
The French Open with an extra week in Paris.  Going to the French is on my bucket list and I will get there one day.  Right now I'll settle for my annual trip to the Open in New York post-Labor Day.  I'd add at least a few days for a little shopping on the side.

My favorite way to wind down after a long day is a soothing soak in my tub with bath salts.  Right now, these are some of my favorites:

Stress Killer:
After all of these years, running is still the easiest way I've found to clean out the brain, gain new focus and just feel better.  Nothing else works for me.

When All Else Fails:
A great Chardonnay or Savignon Blanc.

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