Sunday, February 28, 2021

Sunday Musings

On a rainy Sunday morning what better to do than find your inner entertaining self. If we can't invite friends to dine, why not still plan a special dinner party for your family complete with nice linens, candles, great food and atmosphere......

Start with these candles, love the green but I am a green person.

And while I love the wipe and clean Caspari place mats I blogged about earlier this month, these are scrumptious.  See them here.  They also come in blue and pink.

 These place mats are also to die for.  See them here.

Can't wait for the release of Christopher Spitzmiller's long awaited book and it's coming in March.  Order your signed copy here.

I have these plates in orange (now discontinued sadly to report) but you can add them to your collection in blue or gray.  The blue ones can be found at the moment at the Juliska Outlet.  See them here.

My favorite thing about Easter, honestly, is Russell Stover Jelly Beans.  CVS, Rite Aid or Amazon. You can't eat just one.  Love these!

And if you happened to watch two Derby prep races yesterday, we now have a few very clear front runners.  Essential Quality smoked the competition in the fog and mud yesterday at Oaklawn.  The top two-year-old colt is now the top three-year-old colt. I got goosebumps watching the enormous stride on this very well-bred gray son of Tapit. Godolphin may have their first Derby winner if they can keep this one in bubble wrap.

And in Florida, the favorite to win the Fountain of Youth yesterday at Gulstream also won, Greatest Honor, another Tapit colt. This was a slow race though and no mud. But time will tell.

Stay safe!  Enjoy your day.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Note to Self - What I am Loving Right Now

We all want to do things to make our lives easier, more enjoyable, more fashionable, more comfortable, right? 

1) No Wash Placemats - in my house we always dine with three things: linen or cloth napkins, a place mat and a real plate (no paper).  I discovered these place mats years ago and just ordered new black ones.  These are lined in felt, they look nice and you wipe them clean. No need to wash and iron these, ever.  I am learning not to love linen.  These come in many colors and you can also order them in round.  These look like a lizard finish. Very stylish and they are also inexpensive.  What's not to love?

2) Home Chef - When the pandemic set in I tried Home Chef through my employer.  I was skeptical at first but let me tell you how wonderful this service is.  We order almost every week, usually two dinners for the two of us and I can get three meals from those two.  You pick what you want every week and it arrives for us on Tuesday.  They change the menu items every week and for about $20 a meal, it's a great way to dine out without dining out.  There are many of these companies out there but after using them for about 10 months, I am still a happy customer.  The food is also very good!

3) Inexpensive Needlepoint - Stitching is an expensive hobby but Seaside Needlepoint has a lot of nice but older canvases 60 percent off.  I ordered one yesterday.  Go to their Instagram page and scroll down and there are many nice ones like some brick covers with bows on them. You can call the store directly to order.  

4) No More Ugly Candles - Life is too short for ugly candles.  Enough said.

Enjoy your Friday and hug your horse(s).


Thursday, February 25, 2021

Thursday Tidbits

 This has been one of the more stressful weeks in recent memory.  Alfie, on stall rest for a pasture injury that occurred in early January foundered on Sunday.  If you are not familiar with the term founder, it is laminitis, an affliction of the laminae in the front feet. It is very painful to the horse and can cause death (through euthenasia) if the condition cannot be reversed or stopped so the hoof can heal.  Some horses are more prone (older horses, fat ponies, horses with Cushings, Insulin Resistent horses) and Alfie has several of these possible triggers for the disease.  We caught it early and started him on the protocols immediately. On Monday he was not doing well and I was certain he would not make it through the week.  He improved though by Tuesday and was even better Wednesday. But this morning he has a lot of heat back in his feet (ice is his best friend right now) which is not a good sign. I was thinking last night that we were out of the woods but now I am not so sure.  He had his last shot this morning and no more DMSO drips (a solution you give the horse via IV which helps inflammation).  So Friday will be the big test.  Can he hold his own without the meds?  Will the pain return?  Will the heat subside?  We'll see.  So it's been a real rollercoster week here at the farm. 2012 has not started well.  

Alfie is not a youngster but I wanted to be able to retire him to a nice life even though with his medical chart (he is IR and Cushings) I never expect him to make it 27 like Sega.  But if he could have a few more years to enjoy the Virginia scenary, that's what I was hoping for.  Go out and hug your horse(s) today.  This is a photo from our competitive days.  He could jump like no other horse I have ever competed.  I miss those days already........

To relieve the stress, I have been stitching like mad this week.  My stash is getting smaller (well, not really) but I am sending a huge box to the finisher today.  This is something not in my stash (not possible) but love this one.   Make this into a cute clutch to use if we ever get to go out again.  Maybe by late summer?  See it here.

I have spring and summer on the brain and would love to be lounging on my patio in this Nimo With Love kaftan.  Love this brand. No pun intended.

Love this one too. See it here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Home Office Refresh Update

I wanted to give you an update on the home office refresh.  The project took a 360 degree turn in January and I changed the direction of the project.  The rugs I bought did not work and I ended up ordering rugs from Amazon.  The rugs I ordered were not really what I had planned but it worked in the end.  This is the chair I bought from Pottery Barn Teen. It looks really cute but it's not that comfortable but I'll learn to live with it.  Love the way it looks though.

I could not get the Clarence House fabric with the animals and it was probably too heavy anyway to make shades so I opted instead for this Schumacher fabric which I love. I have not had the energy to make a new shade yet but have all the tools I need to do it.  Hoping to do in the next few weeks before the weather breaks.

These are the rugs I bought from Amazon.  For the money it's a good find but I wanted wool and soft and these don't fit that bill but my cat Sophie does not claw these.  These rugs would be great in a beach house or well-traveled space. The 5 x7 is less than $125.  You can't beat that price and the quality is decent.

I'll take photos of the finished room once the shade is up but it is nice to have a refresh in a room I spend a lot of time in.  2021 has not been kind to my family, so the blogging has been infrequent.  Sorry for that.  Stay safe my friends!

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Readying for Spring

Usually by early March I am readying the farm for spring.  It's a ritual of sorts, pulling out the spring clothes, the patio furniture, shopping for new spring clothes, a trip to the Caspari store to refresh the napkin hoard.  All the bunnies come out.....

With the cold, the snow, the mud, and Covid it's like I am ready to turn the switch.  But traveling right now is not in the cards. We have an incredibly high positivity rate in my county (over 20 percent) and 600 new cases were reported in Charlottesville alone (the new variant hit Charlottesville and it's here) so going to my favorite haunts is out of the question.  So we'll have to do the abreviated version this year. So I am ordering from Caspari this year.  I have this huge cocktail napkin stash and I add to it when I go to Caspari. With the change in seasons comes a change in napkins.  The bunnies are coming from Caspari.

I pull out my bunny collection, curated over the years.  It is getting harder to find the bunny stuff these days. I add my door hanger, my needlepoint bunnies, my bunny plates, and knick knacks.  They stay out until the next season hits - Derby Season.

And it's always fun to find new spring clothing so that once the weather breaks out come the pastel colors.  To be honest, I have not bought clothing for spring other than a few items from Nike.  Last year I shopped when the prices hit rock bottom and I have not worn any of those clothes.  And I made a haul at the Lilly After Party Sale in late summer - so I have new Lilly waiting to be worn.  But if I was going to shop, here are a few items I'd buy....

I love Liberty and the colors of this blouse are perect to pair with white jeans, a pink cashmere sweater.

And I almost pulled the trigger on these Nike shoes in this fun color for spring (and still might).  These are so cute and it's all about comfort now, right?

And I also like these wide leg pull on sweats from Everlane in the light gray color.  Perfect to wear into the warmer months and will look great with the Nikes.

These chino pants from Everlane are greatly reduced and the reviews are fabulous. This will be my new "go to" pant until the shorts come out....

And I did order these two items from Nike but they have not arrived yet.  My new spring wardrobe:

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Weekend Update - Horse Racing, Stitching and Other Stuff

It's bitter cold here in Virginia, a good weekend to stay indoors.  So what's on the radar this weekend?

Kamala Harris just sold her condo in San Francisco.  Looks lovely!  You can read the story here.

Horse racing was again cancelled this weekend at Oaklawn for the second week in a row.  I was waiting to see my favorite chestnut mare racehorse (have to be careful there about the favorite chestnut) Monomoy Girl make her 2021 debut and the 2020 top two-year-old (and top Derby favorite) Essential Quality make his three-year-old debut.  But alas, next weekend will be a killer for horse racing.  On Feb. 27 and 28 Oaklawn will run five canceled stakes races, which is almost $2 million in purses.

This is the Tapit colt, Essential Quality, a beautiful horse, so correct, as Tapits tend to be.  He is also small (Tapit, that is) and he "right sizes" his progeny.  This one is owned by Godolphin, a homebred too.

(Keeneland/Coady photo)

But there is an exceptional race today, post time is 12:40 pm EST. The $20M Saudi Cup, one of the world's richest horse races is being run today with several quality US horses in the race.  I'll be watching this one.  It's being televised on Fox Sports from 12 to 1 pm.  There are 14 in the field today and Knicks Go and Charlatan are the two to watch. Both are speed horses, very fast, so it should be an interesting race. Knicks Go just won the Pegasus Cup in January at Gulfstream. It's a great story - he was sent to trainer Brad Cox last year and he's won every race since (4 in total with Cox) after a somewhat lackluster career.  Read a more detailed race report here.

And my new chairs arrive today......Stay tuned for more details....

And I love this designer Heidi Stanley Designs:

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Thursday Tidbits

Yet another snow storm has arrived but unlike Texas we're on the main power grid in Virginia and we have power (and regulation).  Sometimes that's not a bad thing.  So what's on my mind this wintry morning.....

Dreaming of patio time.  While my patio is covered in snow I'd love to be sitting in one of these bistro chairs right now...

Want to try these socks - perfect for running or just lounging with Nikes.

Designed, tested, and manufactured in South Africa, Balega running socks are ultra soft, durable, and well designed. Balega means "To Move with Speed" and the socks they offer provide outstanding results regardless of the speed you move at. All of Balega socks offer a seamless toe, deep heel pocket, and terrific moisture management technology. The Hidden Comfort style with the triple ply bottom and single layer top is the most popular Balega sock. Find a cut and color you like and try a pair today!

I do not own a pair of Stubbs & Wooten loafers (I'm more of a Belgians girl) but did you know you can create your own on their website?  Who knew? These are from their John Derian collection.

I created my own mules:

I'd love to try this line of cosmetics (a fun thing to do in the dead of winter).  Have you tried this line?

Love this bunny, buy two, one for each side of the dining room table.

I have not tried this shampoo but I love the lotions and masks from Drunk Elephant.  The shampoo is likely very good too.

Love this new sandal from Tory Burch, the Miller Cloud.  Nothing not to like here.  Suppose my closet will have a pair of these for spring and summer.

These are my favorites from Lycette's new arrivals.  She has the cutest stuff.  

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The Perfect Pouf

 I had not thought about adding a pouf to my decor but it's the small touches that can make a space extra cozy or comfortable.  These little things make perfect footstools or better yet give the cat another piece of furniture to adopt (or claw).  As usual Target offers the best deals.  I prefer the square ones (those angles) but round ones are also popular.  Most have the boho look but the leather look is also popular.


If your budget is bigger, try these from Sundance.  Reminds me of the old dhurrie rugs we once used in every room.....

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