Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gardening with kate

If I had a serious green thumb, and lots of cash to spend, I would have to purchase this gardening bag from kate spade. How cute is that? But, really, would you spend $345 on something that you're going to place in the dirt? I guess for the wealthy, it's not a concern. :)

The Great Steamboat Race

As the Kentucky Derby Festival continues, today is the annual Great Steamboat Race on the Ohio River, between the Belle of Louisville and the Cincinnati Queen. As you can imagine, a “race” between two steamboats is not action-packed, but it’s a wonderful excuse to gather with friends along the banks of the Ohio, and for some lucky party-goers, actually be a passenger on one of the boats.

On the way into work this morning, I took River Road and passed along the beautiful homes that have put up tents on their lawns to watch the race, including the Louisville Boat Club that has a big bash every year. Derby Week is all about parties, so be it a boat race, a parade or a horse race, we’re in high gear to get the party started!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sunny Days

The weather has been gorgeous and I took full advantage of the outdoors this past weekend, which resulted in sunburn and overactive allergies. Oh, well, I'm just so thrilled for warm, sunny days.

Miss E. had a soccer game on Saturday - Hubby is the assistant coach. It's been so much fun watching her and the other kids play. They're having a blast. Little Man is chomping at the bit to get out there and play. Next year, Buddy. But, I've come to find out that the best part of the soccer game is at the end - snack time. They can't get enough!

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Big Week Ahead...

Thanks to Kristy over at Le Petite Blog for e-mailing me the J. Crew coupon (a special Derby offer at Kentucky area stores). My mom and I are meeting tonight to scout out dresses for Oaks day and should I find anything at J. Crew, this coupon will come in handy. I saw this pink frock online - very cute. At this year's Oaks, they're encouraging everyone to wear pink, because a portion of the proceeds from the day will benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation.

By the way, if you're in the Louisville area this week, the Kentucky Derby Festival will be in full force, so be sure to check out some of the festivities. Tomorrow is the miniMarathon and the Great Balloon Race. Another event we love to attend is the Cherokee Triangle Art Fair. While not an official Derby Festival event, it's a great place to buy arts and crafts, eat good food, listen to music and walk around one of Louisville's most beautiful neighborhoods. See you there!
Photo courtesy of J. Crew

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Running of the Fillies

Today, Hubby and I got an invitation to the Kentucky Oaks next Friday, which means I have to scout out a dress pronto. I already have a fabulous hat that I purchased at the Hats for Hope auction last year, but have yet to have an opportunity to wear it. Now I do!

Our host is taking us to a brunch at a local hotel, where apparently some Food Network personalities will be on hand. Apparently it won't be Ina Garten or Paula Deen, but, I’ll take what I can get! Then we’re off to the Jockey Club Suites at Churchill Downs and, hopefully, good weather.

It’s such a treat to go to the Oaks and/or Derby. For several years, we were so fortunate to be able to participate in the pageantry of the Derby, thanks to Hubby’s grandparents and their box seats. But, tickets don’t pass down through families (at least that’s what they tell you) and after his dear grandparents passed away, tickets were more difficult to come by. We have gone with his father, as well as another set of friends in the past, but the last couple of years, it’s not happened. In 2007, I was nine months pregnant, so to avoid going into labor at Churchill Downs, we stayed home. Last year, we didn’t make it to Derby, but did attend the Oaks with my mother-in-law, who had box seats at the time. But as I mentioned in a previous post, a monsoon hit and made for a miserable day.

So, I’m thrilled to be going to the Oaks. It’s such a great time of year in the River City. Can’t wait!
Photo courtesy of Bill Luster, The Courier-Journal

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dish Dilemma

Well, I think it’s time to invest in some new everyday dishes. The set we purchased a few years ago from what I thought to be a reputable establishment, has not lasted the test of time (a very short time, I might add). One dinner plate broke in half as my husband was about to place it on the table – it already had a crack in it, so I guess the weight of the food just sent it over the edge. My daughter then accidentally broke a dessert plate placing it in the sink (props to her for carrying her dish to the sink, though). And, several bowls and other plates have chips or cracks in them. (Thank goodness my fine china is in excellent condition, of course, it only comes out of the china cabinet on special occasions.)

I’m thinking of returning to Williams-Sonoma where I purchased some soup bowls a few years ago, which we primarily use for cereal, fruit or snacks. I’ve had them for years and they’re still in great condition. Plus, they’re white and that never goes out of style. There’s also a nice setting I have my eye on at Crate & Barrel; again a simple white design that goes with everything.

If anyone has suggestions on nice, affordable everyday dinnerware, please send the information my way. I would greatly appreciate it!
Image courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

Monday, April 20, 2009

Gentlemen and Players

I just finished reading Gentlemen and Players by British author Joanne Harris – a novel I highly recommend. It’s a murder mystery set at a boys’ academy in England and I have to say, I didn’t see the ending coming. Usually, I have a good idea who the killer is in a novel, or I can at least see the direction in which a story is headed. Not this one. In fact, when a major bombshell was dropped toward the end of the novel, I had to reread the page again. “Surely I read that wrong,” I said. But, I didn’t and I was really pleased with how Ms. Harris completely surprised me.
Image courtesy of

Kitchen Blues

We’re having our dark cabinets painted white in the coming weeks and I’m really looking forward to it. I think it will do a lot to brighten up the space. While I tend to be pretty traditional when it comes to décor, such as a white kitchen, I just loved the Charleston kitchen that My Notting Hill featured on her blog. (Hope it's okay that I borrowed this pic - couldn't resist!)Gorgeous! If I were just a little more daring – and had an historic home that could pull off this shade of blue – I would do it.

For more beautiful Charleston interious and exteriors, stop by My Notting Hill.
Photo courtesy of

Friday, April 17, 2009

Be Stylish on Earth Day

If you're a fan of Vera Bradley, be sure to check out their special Earth Day offer. You can get the above shopping tote at any Vera Bradley retailer on April 22 - Earth Day - for only $12 (while supplies last). Print out the special offer on the Web site, or if you receive the Vera catalog or promotional e-mails, you may have already received your coupon (my dear cousin P. made me aware of this yesterday).

I already have a healthy collection of resuable grocery bags that I try to use frequently, to avoid using plastic bags. It's good for the environment and you can fit so much more into those bags! Now, I can grocery shop in style with this Vera tote!

Have a good weekend everyone!
Image courtesy of

Porch Decor

I like this watering can from Plow & Hearth - it's not only useful for watering flowers, but would look cute on my front porch.
Photo courtesy of Plow & Hearth

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Where would you live?

Thought I’d pose this question to the readers out there…if you could live anywhere else, where would you live and why? It could be somewhere in the United States or an international locale. Or, if you’re perfectly happy where you are, tell us why.

I’ll start…while I love the Bluegrass state, I could see myself living somewhere else in the southeast. I think North Carolina is a great locale. It has the beach and the mountains, plus we have family there, so that’s a plus. South Carolina would be a good place as well. (I guess my choice doesn't make me a very adventurous person, does it?) I think after the never-ending-winter we had, areas with much warmer climates are becoming more and more attractive to me!
Image: Eyup Alm, photographer

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Recap

What a busy weekend! Easter was wonderful - church, egg hunts, candy, good food, more candy. While it was a bit cool over the weekend, the sun was out, and I'll take that over the rainy weather we had on Friday.

We had to laugh when we saw the photo of the kids above - see the shadow of the Easter Bunny? How did he get there?

Would love to hear what you did on Easter - please share your stories!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Congrats, Little Brother

Congratulations to my brother who graduated from the police academy today! He has been preparing for this day for a long time and we're all so very proud of him.

We trekked down to Richmond, Ky. so we could be there for the morning ceremony. The kids had a blast staying in the hotel and I enjoyed traveling through Central Kentucky, an area of the state that I love (all those gorgeous horse farms). It was a very moving day, seeing my brother in his uniform, and seeing all of the tradition and honor that involves being a police officer. I greatly admire the young men and women who enter into such service. They are out there protecting us and I am grateful to them. There were five members of the class who have also served in the military - again, I am honored to be in their presence.

On the way home this afternoon, I passed a church that was displaying three crosses and it brought to mind the solemnity of the day. I hope all of you who celebrate Easter have a blessed weekend.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Trees with a history

I recently learned about a wonderful organization called The American Forest’s Historic Trees program that propagates and sells the offspring of famous trees. So, you not only enhance the environment by planting a beautiful tree, you’re also adding a piece of history to your landscape.

The trees are connected to famous people, places and events. For instance, you could plant a descendent of the famous Angel Oak at Johns Island, South Carolina (above); the Andrew Jackson Southern Magnolia, which was planted at the White House in 1828 in honor of Jackson's late wife, Rachel; a Gettysburg Honey Locust, near where Lincoln made his well-known speech; or even an offshoot of the Lover's Live Oak near the Little Satilla River in Georgia, which is said to be more than 900 years old.

With Earth Day approaching (April 22), it may be worth considering one of these trees for your own home, local school or other organization that is deserving of a lovely tree.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Perfect Combo

I've discovered Simply Seleta's blog and I'm just enamored with her style. In looking back through previous posts, I came across a feature she did on Rebecca Robertson's home, which was at one time a shipbuilder's warehouse in New York. I love this kitchen, because it combines my love of white kitchens and bookshelves, along with a splash of color.
Photo courtesy of Simply Seleta

Super Girl

This weekend, Miss E. was pretending to be Super Girl, rescuing people from the bad guys. But, in trying to say "Super Girl to the rescue," she kept saying "Super Girl to the restroom!" My funny little girl.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Here comes Peter Cottontail...

I can’t believe Easter is next Sunday! I need to get moving on Easter baskets. I’m hoping the Easter Bunny is good to Mommy as well, since I gave up chocolate for Lent!

A typical Easter at our house consists of the kids hunting for their baskets and then we go to Mass - you have to get there early, because it’s packed with what Hubby calls the “C and E Christians.” :) This year, we’re having supper at my parent’s house after church, so that should be fun for the kids. Hopefully it will be warm enough to get the boat out on the lake. We’ll see.

So, dear readers, what are you doing for Easter? Whatever it is, I hope you have a blessed Easter season.
Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart Living.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

JMW's Fish Shack

Ever have one of those days (or weeks) where all you want to do is move to the beach, open a fishing shack and cut bait? That's where my brain is right now. Good news is, I'll be at the beach in early June - can't wait!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My Little Man

Little Man turns 2 in May and I’m trying to think of a good birthday gift, but not another plastic toy that’s going to clutter my house! While perusing the delightful Ms. Darby’s blog, Fly Through My Window, I came across a crayon bag from “Easy Edges” on etsy that would be perfect for Little Man (Ms. Darby created her own, but since I’m not nearly as talented, I’ll have to purchase one). He loves to color and look at books, so we could load this up with crayons, coloring books, the latest Sandra Boynton book and more. I can’t tell you how many crayons we’ve lost, so I like the idea of the slots on the side of the bag. You can take it to a restaurant or just hang it somewhere in your house and it’s there when you need it.

A new era

Wow, the marketing team for the University of Kentucky athletic department works fast. I received an e-mail this morning featuring the new T-shirt they're already selling. The press conference is at 9:30 a.m., officially announcing John Calipari as the new men's basketball coach. We'll see how this goes!