Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Call to the Post

Every first weekend in May when I was growing up, my family would tune into watch the Kentucky Derby. Perhaps because of my mom's love for horses or because in the earlier part of the twentieth century a distant relative was twice a winning jockey of the race, watching the Derby run was an important, never-missed tradition for us.

The morning of the race would be spent reading the sports section of the newspaper for information on the running horses; we read so that we could choose the horses we would be cheering on for the win.

Aimee Herring Photography

Our decisions were mostly made by the highly scientific means of deciding which horse's name and silks we liked most. Sometimes, though I can't say often, the odds came into play for me too, and when I say they came into play, it was in falling for the long shots.

Eric Piasecki Photography

Odds of 25-1? 35-1? 50-1? As a person who loves to champion the underdog, who has a soft spot for movies like Rudy, The Mighty Ducks, and Little Giants and who delighted in the unexpected romance of Samantha Baker and Jake Ryan, higher odds didn't scare me off. In fact, sometimes, they were all the better.

Watching the Derby continued to be part of my life each spring, even after I graduated from high school. In college, my best friend, L, hailed from the Bluegrass State, and I discovered her knowledge of horse racing was much greater than mine.

In addition to horses' names, L's picks were made based on a knowledge of trainers, jockey's, and stables, information she shared with me. I watched the Derby my freshman year in college with what felt like more insight; suddenly, the names of the humans involved with the day meant a little more to me.

Marisa Crawford Indri

I attended my first live horse races at Churchill Downs with L and her dad, and, although it wasn't the Derby, I learned firsthand the excitement of a winning ticket. During grad school, I watched the Derby broadcast at Keeneland, another horse track in Kentucky, with L and her friends from home. While I didn't win big, I did leave with a new found love for the traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby, as I enjoyed my first mint julep, served in an official souvenir glass, that day.

I still watch the Derby ever year, but instead of reading the sports section for information on the contenders, I read my information online. My rather limited knowledge of trainers and jockeys sometimes factors into my picks, but I must admit my decisions are still mostly based on horses' names, silks, and odds.

I have yet to make it to Churchill Downs for the running of the Derby, but I still hope for that day to be in my future. My friends from college made a pack to one day attend together, and our sights are set high on Grandstand seats, as expensive and difficult to come by as they may be.

I can't wait to don a lovely hat and cheer with the crowd, but, until then, I will continue watching and cheering along with my t.v. Speaking of, there is Derby coverage to which I now must attend and some horses I need to cheer on for the win. Happy Derby Day!

A Late Contender

This just in. We have a late contender joining the field for the horse home goods race. I can't believe he was overlooked in the first place because I believe odds are he's going to be a favorite!

This fantastic guy can be found at Brown Button Trading, which as of this week is shipping across the globe! If you haven't already, you should take a look at Brown Button Trading, which, as many of you know, is the latest venture of the always sweet and funny blogger Kimberlee of Brown Button. The website is beautiful and stocked with wonderful wares, and I am hoping Kimberlee finds the greatest success in this endeavor.

Friday, May 1, 2009

No Horsing Around

I can't believe it is already Friday, and Horse Week will soon be drawing to a close! Theme weeks always feel like "so much to say, so little time." So without any horsing around, let's get to it!

Yesterday, we looked at horse items for your home, and today, we are looking at horse items you could add to your closet.

Juicy Couture

I have never really been a charm bracelet girl, but I am a bit smitten with the one above. I adore each charm and would surely revel in the clanking and jingling it would make (as I rather love the sound of bangles doing the same thing.)

Each of these t-shirts would make for perfect, easy weekend style.

This sweet face could join you on runs to the grocery or library and would be happy to serve as your pack horse.

And, if I had all the money in the world, I would delight in placing the Gucci horse bit bracelet on my wrist. Pure classic equestrian style.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Horse is A Horse, Of Course, Of Course

My mom has a special place for horses in her heart; she grew up riding and had her own horse until shortly before she and my dad married. In the years since, she has continued to ride off and on, and her love of horses still runs strong.

My mom dreams of having horses again complete with a ranch and acres of land. So, for the time being, until she gets that ranch, the following horses are all ones my mom could bring home. They might not be a substitute for the real thing, but they'd make for a fun addition to a home all the same.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Three Elements {Kentucky Horse Farm}

It has been an awfully long time since I've posted an inspiration board and even longer since I've done a Three Elements post (funny, the last time I did such a post, I said the same thing...) This week's Three Elements, as part of Horse Week, were inspired by the beauty of Kentucky horse farms.

The first board is for a more formal and traditional bride with a hint of old-fashioned elegance. A rich palette of colors, including chestnut, emerald green, and soft peony pink, would echo throughout the decor of the day. Mint juleps would be served in their traditional silver cups, and in celebration of a Southern favorite, the wedding cake would be a delicious red velvet.

The second board is a bit more casual and has an upscale, down-home vibe. This bride is a woman who doesn't mind mucking out the stalls for her beloved horses and who draws inspiration in the colors surrounding her in the barn. A warm palette of red, mustard yellow, chestnut, and kraft-paper brown would provide the backdrop for the day, and Southern comforts, such as buttermilk biscuits and bourbon, would fill guests bellies.

The three elements this week are:

and, of course, in the Derby tradition, women in hats!

Mint Juleps & Silver Spoons
Row 1: L to R- Leo Patrone via The Bride's Cafe, Patricia Lyons via Southern Weddings, Martha Stewart Weddings
Row 2: Brides, Gene Burch Photography via, Johnny Miller Photography
Row3: Isabel Lawrence Photography, Carrie Patterson Weddings, Mary Claire Weddings via Style Me Pretty, Jake McBride of Christian Oth Photography via Style Me Pretty, Beka & Jesse-- Marie Labbancz
Row 4: Brides, Nick Weiler, Amy Squires via Elizabeth Anne Designs

Down-home Derby
Row 1: L to R- Aimee Herring Photography, Gentl & Hyers, Gene Burch Photography via, Whitebox Weddings
Row 2: Rebekah Westover via Elizabeth Anne Designs, Nick Weiler, Brides
Row 3: Pinch My Salt, Martha Stewart Weddings, romanlily
Row 4: Myrtle and Marjoram via Style Me Pretty, Mikkel Vang

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hold Your Horses

Horses are commanding animals to behold, and their likenesses certainly hold their own in home interiors. Each of the following spaces displays an element of equestrian style through the depiction of these majestic creatures in items such as pillows, prints and paintings.

Domino (r.i.p.)

via The Style Files

Country Living

Amanda Nesbit Design

If you prefer a more subtle nod to equines in your interiors, you can simply display an item inspired by horses, as seen in the two rooms below.

Melanie Acevedo

James Merrell

Chomping at the Bit

I have horses on the brain, as this Saturday is the Kentucky Derby, an event I grew up watching every year on television and that has long held a special place in my heart.

It has also been a long time since my last theme week, and I have been chomping at the bit* to present this one, so, without further ado, I bring you Horse Week.

*If you are thinking "Champing at the Bit!!," you are correct. I, however, apparently along with many other English speakers, thought it was "chomping," and it seemed too strange for me to write "champing" instead. Grammar police score one point.