Christmas in Ashland

A few weeks ago, I found myself in Ashland with an hour or so to kill, so I took a walk downtown to look at the Christmas decorations. I've always adored the way that town decorates for the holidays. It's so delightfully old-fashioned and fun.

When Do You Put Up The Tree?

 When do y'all put up your Christmas tree?

This time of year, that's a divisive question. Too early, and you're stealing Thanksgiving's thunder. Too late, and you're a bit of a Scrooge. It's a quandary of Christmas cheer.
My family doesn't do Black Friday. There's no 4 a.m. trip to Wal-Mart or Kohl's for us. The day after Thanksgiving is forever reserved as The Day We Put Up The Tree. Like Nordstrom, we wait until it's appropriate, but we don't wait too long.

Now, I may have been ready to succumb to the peer pressure of Facebook this weekend. Those folks who posted photos of their trees just seemed so... happy. I already have a few presents purchased, and it's just about time to pull out the Love, Actually DVD. It basically made sense, right?

I was almost convinced until I found myself in Ashland this weekend. I love that town's Christmas decorations, and I wanted to take a few photos for HerKentucky holiday posts. The decorations were as delightful as ever, but it was 63 degrees and sunny. Santa looked a little warm in the sunlight amidst the leaves. Maybe waiting another few days makes sense...

When is your "right time" for holiday decorations?

Pink Ribbon T-Shirt Quilt

This is what a square will look like.
I've always wanted to make a t-shirt quilt. For years, I've saved quilts from ball games, sorority dances, and charity events. I've matched them to the perfect fabrics and I've made diagrams of their placement. And then, every time, I stopped.

As y'all well know by now, I come from a quilt family. I can distinguish a nine patch from a Log Cabin or an Ohio Star from a mile away. I've learned the appliqué stitch. I can iron like a boss. The thing is, I just can't cut straight. Turns out, that's a big problem when you're making a quilt.

This October, I'm getting past all that. I'm making a throw-sized quilt to commemorate many years' worth of breast cancer charity runs. This cause hits really close to home for my beau and me, and we've always made an effort to support breast cancer research charities. Needless to say, we have a lot of pink ribbon t-shirts sitting around the house. A quilt is a perfect keepsake to help us remember all the fundraisers we've participated in over the years.

My basic pattern.  I'll keep y'all posted.
My grandmother helped me create a pattern for my quilt. We cut nine t-shirts into 15" squares. Each square will be framed by a 2" wide green and pink border. These squares will be sewn together and framed by a 2" wide contrasting border, then quilted.

Since I've cut up over a decade's worth of fundraising commitment to use as quilt squares, I'll need to participate in a few new races and earn some new shirts. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to raise money for breast cancer research in the Bluegrass State this year!

This part scares me far more than running a 5K!
Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
Lexington (5K) -- Saturday, October 6, Downtown 9 AM
Ashland (4K) -- Saturday, October 13, Central Park, 9AM
Louisville (5K and 10K) -- Saturday, October 13, Iroquois Park 9AM

American Cancer Society Making Strides Race
Lexington -- Sunday, October 28
Louisville -- Sunday, October 28
Ashland -- Sunday, October 28

Max and Sophie's Guide to Dog-Friendly Kentucky

I'm a crazy dog lady. I don't even pretend otherwise. I'm nuts about my dogs and take them everywhere that they can safely, easily, and politely go.

Max at Fourth Street Live!
Now, my dogs are gorgeous and smart and sweet. But they aren't exactly Paris Hilton purse-dogs. My boy, Max, is an 80 pound Labrador Retriever. Sophie, my girl, is a fifty-pound Lab mix. They don't exactly sneak up on you. But they love to travel and meet new people. Here's their list of favorite pet-friendly Kentucky spots.

Puppy Max in Cherokee Park
Cherokee Park. When Max was just a puppy, we lived in Louisville's Highlands neighborhood. Louisville's amazing park system has been celebrated for so many reasons; dog-friendliness is certainly a big part of their appeal for us! My beau and I walked baby Max to Cherokee Park's "Dog Hill" several times a week. He learned to play catch and meet people and other dogs. He came home good and exhausted after several trips down the steep hill.

Puppy Max in Cherokee Park
Bluegrass Barkery. Lexington's Bluegrass Barkery specializes in safe, healthy treats for your dog. Max celebrated his third birthday there with a fun cookie, which was apparently delicious.

Bluegrass Barkery goodies
Ashland's Central Park. When visiting family in the Eastern part of the state, Max and Sophie love to walk around the park. Soph is a particular fan of the squirrels and dogs, and just loves watching little kids play soccer in their Saturday morning league games.

The Starbucks at Nicholasville and New Circle. Ok, Kentucky has caught up with the rest of the world and now has dozens of Starbucks locations. But, this store, in the middle of Lexington's shopping district, introduced Max and Sophie to "puppy lattes" -- shot cups filled with whipped cream. It was love at first lick!

Sophie gets a puppy latte
The Seelbach. It's no secret that, here at HerKentucky, we love the historic Seelbach Hilton. So does Max. My beau and I have stayed there with Max a few times, and he's always been treated like a little prince. As he prances through the lobby, clicking his nails on the marble floors, I'm reminded that Scott Fitzgerald was once thrown out of the very same establishment. They have their standards.
Max Stayed Here.

The Highlands. Perhaps the most dog-friendly neighborhood I've ever seen. Max has been welcomed on the patios of Molly Malone's, Wick's, O'Shea's and countless other bars and restaurants around Louisville's Bardstown Road. I guess he's done his part to keep Louisville weird.
Max hydrates at Wick's Pizza

Where do your Kentucky dogs like to go?