Thursday, April 30, 2020

More Mother's Day Gift Ideas

It's a fact that we are all shopping online this year for Mother's Day.  If you are still in limbo like I am here are a few more gift ideas for mom depending on what she likes to do in her spare time - read, garden, ride, golf, stitch, play tennis, or just shelter at home.......

If mom is a gardener then she might enjoy these fun shocking pink pruning shears.

If mom reads a lot then she'll love this new book by my friend, author, Lian Dolan.  All of her books are great fun reads and this one will likely be just as good.  It just came out so I have not read it yet but it's on my list.  You can buy it here.

If mom stitches then she'll love these bags for her needlepoint thread.  You can never have too many of these!  See them here.

If mom is a rider, she'll love this new Ariat toile sunshirt.  If she's going to ride at home she can still look good and stay out of the sun.  See it here.

She'll love this dress/tunic/beach cover up from J Crew. It also comes in red. See it here.

Mom will love a high tech fabric Lilly skirt which can be worn for golf, for knocking around town (when we can do that again!) or just wearing at home.  It comes in several patterns. See it here.

Mom will love these new tennis shoes from Tory Burch. See them here.

If mom plays tennis then she'll like these personalized pads. See them here.

If mom can't go to the spa then the spa can come to her.  See it here.

Your outdoorsy mom will look stylish in this sun hat.  She can wear it to the races, to horse shows, to garden, to parties or to the beach.  See it here.

Make sure you have your mom covered this year! 

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Kentucky Derby That Wasn't

The world has been upended, we all know that, even the horse racing calendar has been turned upside down.  The Derby won't be this Saturday in which Tiz the Law would have likely been the overwhelming favorite (and he still might be in a few month's time) giving his owners and trainers an enviable second Derby win. (Remember Funny Cide?)  But the horse racing people are as enthusiastic about their sport as any rabid sports fan and it's one of the only sports still being run live, so what's a network to do but to dive in and promote?

 (Tiz the Law - Blood Horse Photo)

So if you are looking for a binge watch, tune in this Saturday to NBC Sports.  Since the 2020 Derby won't be the focus, they are milking this baby to the max, with a virtual Derby.  Dubbed "The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown," the virtual race is a computer-simulated version of the American classic, which was postponed this year from its traditional running on the first Saturday in May to Sept. 5th.

The virtual race will feature the 13 Triple Crown winners and use data algorithms, including historical handicapping information about each horse, to determine the probability of their potential finishing positions.

Plans also call for an at-home "Derby party," with track officials aiming to raise $2 million for COVID-19 emergency relief efforts. As part of this theme, Churchill Downs will join the Kentucky Derby Museum and other partners to offer virtual tours, Derby cocktail instructions, and an at-home fashion contest.  Why not join in the fun this Saturday from 3 to 6 pm EDT.

Beginning April 30, fans will be able to visit to choose their favorite horse to win the virtual race and also join Churchill Downs in making a charitable donation to COVID-19 emergency relief efforts. All participants who select the winning horse will be entered to win the ultimate Kentucky Derby 146 VIP Experience. Churchill Downs has pledged to match up to $1 million of donations with funds to be directed to the Team Kentucky Fund and Direct Relief. A small percentage will be earmarked for the Relief for Equine Industry Needs, a program managed by the Churchill Downs Foundation designed to benefit workers of the backside whose livelihood has been impacted by COVID-19 and also to help ensure essential care for horses throughout the pandemic.

There will also be a special on the life of American Pharoah.  Remember him?  Up close and personal with this boy a few years ago.....

And if your horse racing appetite hasn't been satisfied yet, you can always stick around and watch the running of the G1 Arkansas Derby which will feature many Derby hopefuls. The race is split into two divisions due to its size so it's a two-for-one deal.  It should be some of the best racing this season and several top prospects should show up including two from Bob Baffert's barn, the undefeated Nadal (with that name did you expect anything less) and the soon-to-be-finally-challenged Charlatan.  Is he the next Justify? He hasn't lost a race yet either.  We'll see on Saturday when he is tested with some G1 company for the first time.  

It's a fun day of racing for all you racing fans out there. I will be there for sure. Put on your Derby dress, mix up a good mint julep and watch some pretty darn good racing.  Love this outfit for the Derby from Vineyard Vines.  Pandemic?  What pandemic?

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Topiary Trees

With Mother's Day coming soon and patio planting season in full array selecting a topiary tree is good way to decorate your own home and fill mom's with good cheer at the same time.  And of course, it's all being done via the internet.

I usually do my patio flowers in white but am thinking pink this year. Love these azalea trees!  Many that I like are also sold out.   If you want to order these do so quickly. When they are gone they're gone. See these lovely trees here.

This one is also perfect for mother's day and comes in a lovely white planter.  See it here.

I love this rosemary topiary which also looks good in the kitchen.  See it here.

Love also this gardenia tree which is on Etsy.  See it here.

And if you prefer tall then this is another option.  See it here.

And if you prefer purple:

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Jack Rogers Horse Racing and Horse Shoe Sandals

If these are not the cutest horse sandals ever..........

Or try these......

It's not like there is a place to wear them right now, but these are classic.  You can buy them at the Keeneland Store online here

Or if you aren't into racing, try these:

 Too cute for words!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

My Needlepoint Hat Band Project

So glad the weekend is here. The days just fly by but the weekends fly by even faster.  When my father retired he told me that now every day is Saturday and every night is Friday night.  He was right but that's not true for me unfortunately. 

I thought I would try and make a needlepoint hat band. It's an easy project. Here's how you can make your own.  I was going to wear my new hat and hat band in Kentucky when we were going to go to Keeneland earlier this month.  Since that was not going to happen the project was slowed a little bit.  But it is coming along now.  I will share my finished product once it's all completed.

1) Order Needlepoint Canvas
I ordered mine on Etsy.  You should use 18 mesh canvas.  And you don't need much.  You can order here.

2) Buy Hat 
I bought my hat from  You may already have a hat that will work but you'll need to know how long to make your hat band. This one was inexpensive and I'll take off the black ribbon. See it here.

3) Create Pattern for Your Band
I decided to use a pattern from a very old needlepoint belt for mine.  But there are tons of things out there you can use.  Pinterest is a great source.  Here are some of the patterns I have been saving (all on my Pinterest site):

4) Buy Ribbon 
I bought my ribbon pre-pandemic luckily.  So you'll have to be creative in finding ribbon.  Buy ribbon the same width as your finished band.  Walmart used to have ribbon.  Most craft stores will have it and Etsy is another place.  I prefer grosgrain ribbon. You ndon't need a lot - the length of your hat band -plus enough to tie it.

5) Finishing
I have not gotten to the finishing part obviously.  I have a glue gun which I will use.  The band needs some strength, so I will add belt backing to the back of  my band and will roll the finished canvas one or two rows on each side.  You can buy this at places like Walmart or Michaels.  I am going to glue my ribbon as I don't think my sewing machine will sew through the needlepoint canvas (but it might and I will try that first) and the ribbon.  You can also send it out to have a finisher complete this process.  See an option here.

Here are some hat bands up close.....

You can also add a piece of cording like in the photo above and use smaller ribbons. The stores in Virginia that carry this sort of thing near me are closed so I won't be able to be that creative this time around.  But I have a feeling I will be making hat bands for gifts for friends in the future........

This is an easy and fun project you can do now. I love making stuff like this from scratch.  Be creative and experiment.  Would love to see your hat bands in a few months!

Friday, April 24, 2020

More Vintage Lilly - Skirts

In the spring and summer I am a big fan of vintage Lilly Pulitzer skirts.  I have bought them from Ebay and Poshmark and have a few I've owned for years. I prefer the longer ones, typically 17 inches or so (if you are 25 then by all means wear the short ones) and I prefer skirts over skorts (the skorts have shorts underneath the skirt).

You can buy these very inexpensively, $25 or less unless it's never been worn (NWT) or a special pattern that makes the skirt worth more.  Also shop the sites as you often find more than one of the same pattern at different price points.

This cute skirt is $20 and you can offer less. On Poshmark you are able to make offers.  The buyer also pays the shipping (a flat rate). 

This one is $13 and I am tempted to make an offer at that price.  Love the colors.  The A-line style also hides a lot if you know what I mean.  See it here.  Also love the pocket.
I also love this one but the price is too high.  See it here.  I love the animal prints best.

This one is a size 8.  I wish it was smaller.  Love the animals and the colors.  See it here.

This cute one is a size 4.  See it here.

This is my favorite one (and I have this one) and rarely see it for sale.  Love this Derby print.  See it here. This one is size 4.

Am also partial to the Lilly patchwork skirts.  See this one here.

This is a size 6, available for $18.  See it here.


The mango tiger skirt is cute too.  It's a size 10. See it here.

This is from my own closet. Love to pair my skirts with a fancy Tory Burch cardigan.

This is a Derby patchwork skirt that I bought on Poshmark a few years ago.  Love this one too!

There is nothing better than vintage Lilly, at a great price, to pair with your existing sweaters, jean jackets and sun shirts for a great summer look.  We'll likely be sheltering in place this summer, why not look good doing it?  Have a fantastic Friday.  Stay safe.  Stay home. Cherish this time with your family and animals.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Possible Pandemic Inducing Lifestyle Changes

This pandemic will be life-altering for many people.  Jobs are gone and may never come back in the same form.  Our hobbies may have to change. Travel will be different.  Our shopping and dining habits will not return to the old normal anytime in the near future.  The way we run and engineer our lives going forward will be totally unlike what we did pre-pandemic.

Sports will be different at least for a while.  Will you let your child play organized sports in close quarters like soccer, basketball, football, lacrosse? Spectator sports may also be different, perhaps only televised or streamed without people in the stands. Tennis, horse racing, motor sports, ski racing - these could easily resume without crowds or spectators.  How will the NFL or NHL work? Will the players risk getting sick to play? What happens to college sports?

Entertaining will have to be done at a distance and likely at home.  I could perceive having a small group over for dinner, spaced apart, close enough to have a conversation but far enough apart for safety.  Large gatherings won't be coming back anytime soon.  Restaurants will have to re-think their business model (less people dining at once) to survive.

How else might our routines of daily life change and perhaps for the better?

1) Classic Wardrobes Return with a Focus on Quality over Quantity
I am hoping that our spending patterns will change as we focus on having less.  We don't need five pairs of navy shoes.  We don't need new clothes every few months.  Focusing on quality over quantity and doing with much less may assist us also in helping to save the planet.  Many retail stores won't survive and we'll likely have less shopping options.  Maybe we'll return to buying locally from small stores?

Adopting Healthier Lifestyles
People are finally learning that having bad health habits affects health outcomes and even the possibility of death.  Obese people of any age are succumbing to this virus.  Now maybe everyone will realize that being healthy is extremely important for longevity.  We all need to eat better and eat less.

Learning to Entertain at Home - Games/Puzzles/Movie Nights
I've loved being at home and have adopted some old games and habits.  We're playing backgammon and Rook.  We have movie nights at home. We don't watch network television at all. 

Distanced Dining 
I can see the adoption of using tv trays at home for guests, for larger groups of people.

Reading Real Books Returns
Reading more books is one of the positive outcomes from the pandemic. There is something relaxing about sitting on the patio on a Sunday afternoon reading a good book or cozying up one evening to a good read before bed with a nice glass of wine.....

Learning to Live With Less
The unfortunate souls who have lost jobs, income streams, livelihoods are seeing that having debt and no savings is not an ideal situation. Maybe we don't need the big houses, the expensive new cars, our nails done every week and the trips to Bermuda.  We should all try to live with less moving forward.  Our bank accounts and the planet will thank us.


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