Monday, August 29, 2016

Bob Baffert's Revenge

If you were lucky enough to watch the famed Travers Stakes late Saturday afternoon at Saratoga, then you saw one serious race horse.  If you remember, last year, we were all terribly disappointed when American Pharoah lost the Travers.  But this year, Baffert came back with a bang and his ability to pick out good horse flesh was on full display as the lightly raced Arrogate not only won the race by 13 1/2 lengths but smashed the track record at Saratoga by going a mile and a quarter in a stunning . 1:59.36.  This was the fastest Travers in the history of the race, going back 147 years!

His regular jockey declined the ride on the leggy gray colt (he rode to the second place finish on another Baffert colt, American Freedom) and is likely kicking himself.  And incidentally, jockey Mike Smith, who rode the gray colt to the win, also rode Arrogate's dad.  But no one expected the gray colt out of Unbridled's Song to come out and win this race in stunning fashion.  Baffert has another clear winner on his hands for sure.  The Breeder's Cup Classic in November is looking to be quite a race with the likely addition of this blazing fast colt.

Bred in Kentucky by Clearsky Farm, Arrogate was a $560,000 Keeneland September Yearling purchase.  Third in his first start at Los Alamitos in April, the colt came back nearly two months later to win by 4 1/2 lengths at Santa Anita. Progressing through his allowance conditions in two more starts, Arrogate continued to win for Baffert, improving his pre-Travers record to three wins from four starts. The Travers victory improves the colt's overall earnings to over $880,000. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Worst of McMansions - Virginia Style

We're going way off topic today.  The connection here is that this house is in Virginia, albeit Northern Virginia, which is more akin to Northern New Jersey than the Virginia Hunt Country, thank goodness.  If you live in the 'burbs around Washington, D.C., sorry for the slam.  This will give you a good chuckle today. But the place is full of houses like this with insane price tags, no land, and no taste at all whatsoever.  Enjoy!  Please start reading here. I haven't laughed this much all week! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The English Tack Trader

Someone asked me about places to buy and sell used tack and riding clothes.  The English Tack Trader on Facebook is a good place to sell and buy and I am sure there are many other sites that are also good.  Here is a link to this site.  Here is some stuff for sale on the site at the moment.....

Happy shopping or selling!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I Heart Poshmark

Say adios to Ebay and hello to Poshmark, a much better way to sell your fashionable, brand name clothes, and to find great bargains on lightly used clothing and accessories. If you have not tried it, you should. See it here.

Here's how it works.  Take a picture of the clothing you want to sell with your phone. You have, of course, loaded the app on your smart phone.  The picture is downloaded. You add, size, price, description, color, etc. and it goes to your "closet" where the items you are selling are housed.  A buyer can bid on your item.  You can accept it, turn it down, counter offer.  Once a price is settled on, a shipping label is emailed to you.  The buyer always pays for shipping.  You pack it up, take it to the post office and off it goes.  The buyer has a few days to accept your item and sellers are rated.  Once accepted the money goes to your account, Poshmark keeps a small percentage.  You can request a check or use your account funds to buy off Poshmark.  It is so easy.  You can buy high end brands like Hermes and Gucci and I have found it a great source to sell my J Crew items that are sitting in my closet, that have rarely been worn.  Try it out.  I think you'll never use Ebay ever again to buy and sell clothing and accessories.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Middy N' Me, Again

I love Middy N' Me clothing and some of their new fall styles do not disappoint.  These long skirts and shirts are not available yet (should be in September) but scream1970's hunt ball to me.  Love these styles even if I don't have anywhere to wear it. The one of the far left is my favorite.  The shirt is bright pink. 

You can see their Facebook page here.

The prints are fabulous.  Made to order.  Made in the USA.  Terribly expensive.
Happy Monday!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Gold Medal for the Old Guy

What an incredible way to end the Olympic Show Jumping Competition in Rio on Friday.  Talk about highlighting an already outstanding career on the horse of a lifetime, Big Star.  I love that the "old guy" won it, Nick Skelton at age 58.  He's Britain's oldest gold medalist since 1908, he's the oldest medalist in Rio (as of Friday anyway) and he is the oldest medalist ever in Olympic equestrian history.  And I also love that he rides in an old Stubben saddle!

Not that Skelton has never seen gold, he did win the team gold in London on the same horse and he's been to seven Olympic Games.  But he didn't have a stellar Olympics in the team competition at Rio.  He came into the individual competition by placing 33rd in the team competition which meant he had to go first in the order. You never want to go first in the order but this time it paid off because his horse had more time to rest between the three rounds.  He was one of 13 to jump clean and six were in the jump off for the gold medal. He went first in the order and was one of only two clear rounds.  He has said that he will retire when Big Star retires. But what makes the win even more sweet is that this horse and this rider have each seen their share of injuries.  Skelton suffering an almost career ending injury right before the Sydney Olympic Games but managed to come back.  He needs a carefully placed stepladder to mount a horse.  What an amazing feat to overcome a lot of adversity and rise again to the pinnacle of sport. 

You can read about Big Star here.  Kudos to a masterful team.  What a way to top off an already illustrious career!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Ellie's Nightmare - A Tragic Horse Story

This story is a horse owner's worst nightmare, a tragic ending, that just did not have to be.  Just like in any business, there are good companies and terrible ones.  This one is certainly in the latter category. As horse lovers and owners we need to spread the word about this company and make sure that you and anyone you know never uses them, ever.  Please help get the word out.  Horses don't just die from being shipped.  This animal was clearly abused by anyone's standards. It could not be saved.  It had a health certificate before it got on the trailer. 

See the story here.

See the owner's story here.

Help spread the word please!

The Indispensable Jean Jacket

I don't think there's a more versatile piece than a denim jacket for any wardrobe.  I love having one, with pockets preferably and I wear one with khaki pants, with a Lilly skirt, with white jeans, with just about anything.  My favorite one, an old Talbot's jacket, was lost, so I am in the market for a new one.  I find myself needing one, a jacket with pockets that goes with everything for an event next week.  Here are some that I am looking at......

This one from J Crew is greatly reduced and I like it's boxy style.  The pockets look cheap but it may be worth a try.  See it here.

This one from Madewell is also cute.  See it here.
You can't beat the price of this one from H & M.  See it here.

This one has a little grunge going on but is still cute and very reasonable. See it here, also from H & M.  

If you opt for a shorter style then you'll like this one from Ralph. See it here.

I also like this one.  See it here.
This one could be interesting. I think they overdid it with the arms. See it here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

New J Crew Picks

With fall just around the corner, it's that time to start thinking transition, as we move from summer to fall. J Crew launched some new stuff this week and for the first time in months, there are things that I really like.  Here's what caught my eye.....

I love these jeans (and ordered them so we'll see if I can pull it off) and the orange sweater.  My old J Crew cashmere t in orange is growing tired. This Hermes orange goes with everything!

 I don't wear skirts or work in an office but if I did, I'll pull the trigger on this skirt.  And I love it with the pink coat. Leopard is a neutral you know....

 Love, love, love this coat but am TRYING not to add to my huge collection of coats.  This is a great trench.  Love the entire look ....
 This is a great travel dress.....
 If I worked in an office this would be mine....

 This cardigan comes in some great colors. I love the trim.   Kelly green is my favorite...
 I bought this blazer last year in navy and red and I am loving the pink and navy even more.  Love the entire outfit....

 These pink pants are in the mail and they have already sold out in many sizes.  Just a great color....
 J Crew came up with some zany prints that should probably also be made into a wallpaper.  These will work for some but not for others but aren't they fun and original?

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Dynamic Duo That Dominated Dressage at Rio

If you are following the equestrian sports at Rio, then you can't help but read about the dynamic duo from Great Britain that has changed the sport of dressage forever, Charlotte DuJardin and her impeccable mount, Valegro.  They won an individual gold medal today (a repeat performance from London) and helped the UK win the overall silver medal in dressage.  The German powerhouse took gold and the US managed to take bronze.

But Charlotte DuJardin made her meteoric rise to the top of this sport on ambition and talent, not wealth, where top horses run in the six and seven figures, which is somewhat unusual in the moneyed sport of dressage.  She has a story to tell, how hard work, huge talent and a little luck all made her what she is today, likely the best in the world and maybe of all time.  The New Yorker article from April is well worth the long read.  You can read it here.

This phenom has checked all the boxes, all by the ripe old age of 31.

Her score today of 93.85% was the third best score ever recorded in this sport.  Guess who has the top two higher scores?  Yes, you guessed it.  She does. 

Tupelo Honey Cafe - Great Cookbooks

While I realize many people don't cook anymore, I am not one of them.  Cooking is relaxing, fun when I have the time and I like to try new recipes.  Being from the South, I love vegetables and what I call updated Southern cuisine.  Restaurant cookbooks are my favorites.  I've had the Tupelo Honey Cookbook for a few years and love it. The cafe is in Asheville, NC (have not dined here) but it would be on my list given the recipes.  You can buy the cookbook here.

I just received the new version and I must say it is full of great recipes.  Last night we dined on a potato casserole and a corn dish made with Guyere cheese.  Scrumptious!  You can see the new one here. This one has been out a little over two years.

The recipes are not difficult but difficult enough and ingredients are ones you can easily find in a decent grocery store. If you love gourmet Southern cuisine, dive into these!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Po's Point Teams with Lycette Needlepoint

If you want an easy piece to stitch for the rest of the summer look no more as Po's Point has made it so easy!  Love this design from Lycette and the colors are fabulous.  Pillow?  Put this in a tray for the patio maybe?  For more of Lycette's designs go here.  Contact Po's Point here.  Happy stitching!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Blackberry Farm

Let me start by saying I have not made the trip to the infamous Blackberry Farm in Eastern Tennessee. It's on the bucket list for sure.  After reading about it, to me, it looks like it's the Inn at Little Washington (here in VA) meets Eastern Tennessee. Set on over 4000 acres, Blackberry oozes sophistication in a very rural setting.  But this remoteness does not come cheap.

 The farm was purchased years ago by the founder of the Ruby Tuesday restaurant chain. It was run by his son, Sam Beall, until February when he was killed in a tragic skiing accident at age 39.  His wife and five children were left behind and are taking over the reins for now.

There is a two-night minimum, dinner and meals are included.  Children are extra. Dogs are allowed (for a fee) and you can fish, foxhunt, take cooking lessons, go to the spa, or enjoy their incredible wine cellar.  This is quite a place, maybe one day.......

I love this intro from their web site:

In 1939, Mrs. Florida Lasier of Chicago snagged her silk stockings on a wild blackberry bramble while exploring the idyllic Smoky Mountain foothills, and the name Blackberry Farm was born. Thirty-nine years later, the Beall family invested their hearts and souls in the same romantic site that has become their family home and lifelong passion. Today, one of America's most celebrated intimate luxury hotels beckons discerning guests who aspire to escape modern-day frenzy and slip into a Blackberry state of mind. Situated on a pastoral 4,200-acre estate in the Great Smoky Mountains, Blackberry will show you the many reasons why it is one of the top rated properties in the world.

This place has won more awards than Meryl Streep has Oscar nominations.  Maybe they are on to something.  Learn more about this idyllic place here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Best Hostess Gifts

I like to keep a stash of gifts around so when I need one, I have it ready to go.  When invited to a dinner party, it's a good idea to bring a hostess gift with you. Not wanting to take the customary bottle of wine (and please no Rose, ever), it's fun to come up with great gifts.  Your hostess will love it.

This blue and white candle from Tory Burch is something I'd love to receive.  See it here.

If your hostess or host likes to decorate, loves color and fashion, then this coffee table book will be a hit.  This is a fun book to own. And you can never have too many books, ever. See it here.

I love these tea towels from L.V. Harkness.  See them here.

And who does not love a good cookbook.  The Junior League cookbooks are always good.  See this one here.

And for the person who loves vivid pink, these pink agate coasters are great fun.  I would love these too! See them here.
Make your host or hostess extra happy! Have a great day!

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