Friday, April 18, 2014

The 2014 HerKentucky Easter Basket Guide

I love the idea of giving thoughtful, unexpected little presents to the folks I love. These fun Easter basket picks are a great way to support local businesses with fun presents.

Southern Belle Glitz Kentucky State Love Necklace

I wear this fun, delicate chain necklace All. The. Time, and I get compliments every single time. It's a great way to show your Kentucky pride, and at only $16, it's perfect for the littlest Kentucky girl in your life. You should probably go ahead and pick one up for yourself as well. Available online from Georgetown-based Southern Belle Glitz.

Macarons from Ghyslain at Westport Village

Macarons are never a bad idea. Pick up these gorgeous spring shades at Ghyslain at Westport Village in Louisville.

Easter bonnets or bucket hats from The Beaufort Bonnet Company

How precious are these for Easter Sunday? Check out Lexington-based The Beaufort Bonnet Company for adorable hats for your Belle or Beau.

Country Rabbit Pottery from Hadley Pottery

Louisville's Hadley Pottery is known for their classic "Country" pattern. These bunnies will make a stunning Easter table.

The gift of service

Why not teach your kids that it's far better to give than to receive by getting involved with The Toy Chest, a Lexington-based charity that provides toys, books, and clothing to children who need them? Learn more here.  

{Southern Belle Glitz is a HerKentucky sponsor for April and May. All opinions are my own.} Pin It Now!
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Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Beaufort Bonnet Easter

After a brief hiatus from social media a couple of months ago, I happened to look at my Instagram feed on the last day of The Beaufort Bonnet Company's Waterlogue photo contest. Although I missed the contest, I discovered a new App for my iPhone.  In case you've never heard of it, Waterlogue is a very simple to use App that transforms your photos into watercolor-like images.  (By the way, I am always looking for photo Apps, so please let me know some of your favorites.)

There is nothing more classic than a bonnet.  Every single picture of my daughter in her Beaufort Bonnet looks timeless, especially as a watercolor portrait.  Here are a few of my favorites:

I loved this last one so much that I ordered a standout from Mpix just to see how well it would print.  Turns out, not too bad.

As my daughter gets older, it saddens me to think that one day she will no longer wear a bonnet, especially at Easter.  This year, the Easter Bunny is giving her the Pippa Petal Hat with a pink seersucker bow.  I look forward to seeing her in this precious sun hat as she races around on her new walker we decorated for her upcoming egg hunt.  

Now, I just need to get a message to the Easter Bunny that an original watercolor portrait is on my wish list. Happy Easter!

(Psst)...There's still time for the Easter Bunny to find a Beaufort Bonnet at the following Kentucky stores:

Animal Crackers
3634 Brownsboro Road
Louisville, KY 40207
ph. 502-896-2339

Baby Bundles
161 Lexington Green Circle, Ste. B3
Lexington, KY 40503
ph. 859-309-0459

805 Frederica Street
Owensboro, KY 42301
ph. 270-689-2229

Choate's Gift Shop
1939 Kentucky Ave.
Paducah, KY 42003
ph. 270-442-1798

120 Clay Avenue
Lexington, KY 40502
ph. 859-258-2923

Kid's Stuff
300 North Mayo Trail
Pikeville, KY 41501
ph. 606-432-8197

Lad n' Lassie Children's Boutique
188 West Court Street
Prestonsburg, KY 41653
ph. 606-886-3142

Lucy's Fine Gifts
1945 Scottsville Road
Bowling Green, KY 42104
ph. 270-781-2008

L.V. Harkness & Co.
531 West Short Street
Lexington, KY 40507
ph. 859-225-7474

The Plaid Rabbit
209 North 12th Street
Murray, KY 42071
ph. 270-753-7534

Nancy's Place
133 West Main Street
Springfield, KY 40069
ph. 859-336-0026

Wait's Hill Gifts
401 South Main Street
Somerset, KY 42501
ph. 606-678-0512

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bourbon Glazed Bacon

 Yes, you read that right, delicious Bourbon. Glazed. Bacon. Should I even keep writing? I am sure all you can think is bacon, bacon, bacon, bourbon, bourbon, bourbon, MUST MAKE bourbon glazed bacon immediately, if not sooner.

And you should! Its sweet, smokey, salty bacon bourbon goodness makes it a delightful treat for any time of day. I would recommend that you make this when you are serving a crowd. A taste here and a taste there can turn into half a plate of bacon in the blink of an eye. That may or may not have happened to me today. All in the name of research...right?

The best part is that it is so simple to make and you probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry already! This would be the perfect addition to any Easter Brunch or Derby Party.

Bourbon Glazed Bacon

  • 1 Package of Thick Cut Bacon - Preferably from Kentucky. 
  • 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup of Your Favorite Bourbon
  • 1/4 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Dash of Chipotle Powder
  • Dash of Cinnamon
  • Dash of Cayenne
  • Chopped Pecans (optional) 


  1. Preheat your oven to 350. 
  2. Line your jelly roll pans with aluminum foil. I used three layers (a piece on each side and then one down the middle) to ensure that it was an easy clean up. Top your aluminum foil with a cooling rack, this will allow the bacon to get extra crispy.
  3. Combine light brown sugar, bourbon, maple syrup and spices in gallon size freezer bag. 
  4. Cut bacon in half and add to freezer bag. 
  5. Toss that beautiful bacon until it is fully coated.
  6. Put bacon on tray, careful not to over lap. 
  7. Place tray of bacon on the top rack of your oven and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, drizzle the bacon with any remaining glaze left in your freezer bag.
  8. Bake for an additional 15 minutes for chewy bacon or 20 for those who like it crispy. 
  9. Sprinkle with salt and chopped pecans and let bacon rest for 5 minutes.
  10. Try not to eat all of it before it gets to the table!
  1. I have made this a few times and the freezer bag is the easiest and cleanest way to coat the bacon. 
  2. Adjust the spice according to your taste. I wanted to add a little something extra, but did not want to take away from the stars of our show. I started with a teaspoon of each and it was much too strong. 
  3. Bake bacon one pan at a time on the top rack of your oven. If placed on the bottom rack, the drippings will burn. We want our smokey flavor to come from the bacon...not the oven. 
  4. I know it seems odd to sprinkle salty bacon with salt, but we added a lot of sugar to that bacon and we need the salt to counter it. I would taste your bacon first to make sure it's not too salty and then lightly sprinkle. It will make a world of difference and highlight all of the flavors. 
  5. Spray your cooling racks with a non-stick cooking spray and the bacon will come right off. It helps for clean up too! 

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The 2014 HerKentucky Guide to Keeneland Springtime Style

Every spring, we get a ton of questions from readers; they all send some variant of the question "What should I wear to Keeneland?"  Now, if there are two things I love, it's shopping at local Kentucky boutiques and taking in a day of horse racing. I asked a few of our favorite Lexington-based boutiques to help us sort out the Keeneland Dress Code.

If you're going to stay near the Paddock -- General Admission, Grandstand, or Equestrian Room -- there's no need to dress up very much.  Guys often opt for khakis and polo shirts, and women can wear slacks. These are the areas nearest the track itself, and people are truly there to watch (and bet on) the horses. With that said, don't be surprised to see a lot of dresses and sport coats in the lower-levels.  In recent years, a culture of dressy tailgating (think Steeplechase) has popped up among college students and twenty-somethings, and the second floor (General Admission) Sports Bar often resembles a campus bar or fraternity semi-formal.  While the dress code says "casual", there's plenty of Vineyard Vines ties and Lilly Pulitzer to be seen. The Peppermint Palm suggests the Richelle dress -- available in pink seersucker, as shown below, mint green seersucker, or fun Lilly prints to brighten up your day at the track.

Lilly Pulitzer, seersucker, spring, Keeneland, horse racing, Steeplechase, Louisville KY fashion blog

If you'll be dining in the upper-level, enclosed dining rooms-- The Lexington, Kentucky, or Phoenix Rooms-- then expect to dress for a business event.  The Lexington and Kentucky rooms -- dining rooms often reserved for business and social gatherings-- have a "business formal" dress code; these areas require men to don a coat and tie, and skirts/dresses/dressy slacks for ladies.   The Phoenix Room-- another reserved dining room-- is "business casual", requiring collared shirts and slacks for men and dresses/pantsuits for ladies. During the week, many professionals take long business lunches in these areas, as is reflected in their dress code. This Lilly Pulitzer Pearl shift from the Peppermint Palm comes in a versatile white lace that allows you to pair with a sweater or blazer for the area of your choice.

Lilly Pulitzer, lace, spring, Keeneland, horse racing, Steeplechase, Louisville KY fashion blog

The members-only Clubhouse similarly requires coat and tie for men and dressy pants/skirts for ladies.  I find that a skirt suit or a dress paired with a pretty cardigan or wrap is always appropriate for the upper levels.  In general, if you'd wear it to church or a business meeting, you're golden. Most of all, remember to look nice because you'll see plenty of people!

AJ's Casuals suggests this Hunter Bell lace dress, DVF clutch, and Carol Bader Designs fascinator for a fancy day on the upper levels.

Lace, Lexington, spring, Keeneland, horse racing, Steeplechase, Louisville KY fashion blog

To coordinate with your Keeneland ensemble, we're thrilled to offer one lucky HerKentucky reader a seersucker bow clutch purse designed by our own Italian-trained handbag maven, Elizabeth Elfen! I love this bag for a day at the track, a summer wedding, or any time you want to add a little Southern sass to your ensemble.

Just enter using the Rafflecopter widget below and tell us what you're wearing to Keeneland this spring, and check in Thursday when we answer a pressing question about Keeneland style!

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring is in the Air (FINALLY)!

Easter marks the true start of spring for me.  Out cashmere and boots, in linen and sandals. Thoughts turn to warmer weather and all that entails:  Derby, patio dining, sangria, outdoor sports, pool memberships, regular pedicures, summer camps, and, for us, a long promised and awaited puppy.  Louisville springs are gorgeous and I find myself taking a daily drive down Lexington Road to soak in the scenery instead of my normal commute shortcuts.  Plus, let's face it; Easter has the best candy of all the holidays.  The peeps.  Those Cadbury eggs.  Starburst jelly beans. 

I don't enjoy shopping for myself but I do love shopping for my kids.  Easter Sunday often falls over a spring break weekend and we aren't in town to make it to church.   Luckily, his year it is later than it has been in recent years, so we'll be gussied up next weekend.  My granny made all of my Easter dresses when I was a kid, but I don't know how to sew. 

Kate:  Mom, you look like a frosted cupcake!

I favored vintage lines and bold color for Kate this year. 

Mini Boden Vintage Dress 33294 Easter Springtime Party Dress
Dress via Mini Boden. Who knew you'd have to go to England to get some Kentucky blue?
Robert is really into bow ties right now and I'm not sure how long that phase will last, so I perused Etsy until I found coordinating neck wear for him.

Boys Spring Yellow Polka Dot Bowtie
Bow Tie via Little Vys. Check out her Etsy Shop!

Pair it with linen pants and bucks and he's gold!

Of course, we also dye Easter eggs.  The kids insisted on the PAAS kits with the color tablets (Star Wars for him, Hello Kitty for her) but I also got Pinterested into trying a few new methods involving sharpies and neon food coloring.  Messy, but fun.  Here are the results:

This is our first spring living in Crescent Hill, and I've been told that we can't miss the annual Easter Parade, which takes place on Saturday, April 19th and starts at 11:45, running down Frankfort Avenue (sorry, new neighborhood, but I'm never going to call it The Avenue) from Kennedy to Halderman.  This parade has been Crescent Hill's way of celebrating the season for over 20 years.  Lots of candy will be thrown, so come with baskets!  We made a fun hat for Kate to wear to the parade.  It's amazing what $20 and a trip to Michael's can do:

"No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn." -- American author Hal Borland

Celebrate the season, y'all!
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