Shabby Apple Giveaway

I am not sure how I went this long without one of Shabby Apple's fabulous frocks! They are fancy, feminine and vintage inspired with touches of modern charm. I love that Geetha focuses on form and fit to insure that the wearer looks just as beautiful as one of her vintage inspired dresses!

Her holiday collection is filled with vintage silhouettes in of-the-moment colors and she is a girl after my own heart with her mix and match separates that include full length ball skirts, striped shirts and dotted cardigans. Her pieces are classic and are perfect for all of your holiday parties!

A UK Blue dress with bows?!?! What more could a Kentucky girl want?
Icy Blue Bell dress in sizes 0-16

This shirt and skirt combo has my name on it! I love stripes, bows and ball skirts!
Fancy Abroad Tee in sizes 0-16
First Snow Skirt in sizes 0-16

I love the vintage silhouette and the sweet bows on the sleeves!
Nutcracker dress in sizes 0-12

I recently had the opportunity to do a quick Question & Answer session with the delightful designer. I love how she started her company and I love her favorite fashion advice as truer words have never been spoken!  Thank you, Geetha for taking the time to speak with me regarding your company! We appreciate it!  

1. How did your business come about?  I had a boyfriend break up with me because he didn't like the way I dressed; so I decided to create clothes myself!
2. Bourbon or Beer? Neither for me.
3. Coffee or Tea? Neither for me.
4. Favorite Southern spots? I love the Florida Keys!
5. Favorite Holiday outfit? Long Ball skirt, flats and sequin shirt.
6. Favorite Fashion Advice? No matter how trendy or fashionable something is, if it doesn't look good on you, stay away!
If you are like me and can't wait to get your hands on one of Shabby Apples fabulous dresses, you are in luck! Geetha has so generously offered to give one lucky HerKentucky reader a vintage inspired frock just in time for all of your holiday soirees! Thanks Geetha!

One lucky HerKentucky reader will have her choice of one of the dresses below and the winner will be announced on Monday, November 18th. 

 Hollywood Hills Dress in sizes 0-16

 Joyful Dress in sizes 0-16

Save the Date in sizes 0-12 
Sash not included.

All photos courtesy of Shabby Apple.

HerKentucky Turns 2!

Today's our birthday, y'all!

Today marks two years of the HerKentucky blog. Every member of our writing staff is so thrilled and humbled that y'all stop by to read our posts and visit our social media sites. It's so wonderful to know that y'all love the Commonwealth as much as we do!

I wish we could all sit down together for a glass of bourbon and a cupcake today. Since that's a little difficult to manage, we've partnered with Louisville Stoneware to bring one lucky HerKentucky reader a stylish way to enjoy her favorite drink.

The Louisvilke Stoneware Mint Julep Cup is so fun, and its logo gets straight to the point.

Here's what our friends at Louisville Stoneware would like you to know about this item: 

Located in the heart of Bourbon Country, and with a history of making whiskey jugs, it’s only natural for Louisville Stoneware to have a line of Julep Cups.The exact origins of the Mint Julep are unknown, but it is said to have originated in the southern United States during the eighteenth century. U.S. Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky introduced the drink to Washington, D.C., at the Round Robin Bar in the famous Willard Hotel. It was also the favorite drink of American author William Faulkner. The Mint Julep is best known as the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, a position it has held since 1938, with Churchill Downs making over 120,000 for Derby fans each year.Chill your Stoneware Julep Cup in the freezer for at least 30 minutes – it can be stored there permanently if you like. With a slightly flared rim, this cup is perfect for slow sipping – the only way a julep should be enjoyed. For an authentic Julep-sipping experience, we suggest following the recipe on our Julep pitcher. Cheers!Your stoneware can be safely used in the oven, microwave, dishwasher and freezer. Just remember to allow pieces from the dishwasher to cool before refrigerating. Likewise, you should allow refrigerated piece to return to room temperature before washing. As with any stoneware item, extreme and sudden variation in temperature may cause cracking or breakage.

You can enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget. The winner will be announced on Monday, September 16th, and you can look forward to more HerKentucky birthday fun throughout September!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much to Louisville Stoneware for partnering with HerKentucky to bring y'all this giveaway. No member of the HerKentucky writing staff was compensated in any way for this post. Check back throughout September for more celebrations, giveways, and fun!

Celebrating Ten Years of Marriage

In June, I shared our plans to renew our vows this summer. On July 13, we gathered with our family and friends and celebrated ten years of marriage.

At 7pm, we walked out our front door with our two boys serenaded by my dear friend James Michael Bake rand stood beneath this beautiful tree crafted by Sara Falder of Flower + Furbish and said vows we'd written for one another.

Then we went to the backyard and ate pie and drank bourbon and danced under ANOTHER fantastic tree covered with photos of our own family's famous love stories.

In terms of celebrating life's big events, we couldn't have asked for a more perfect evening. 

~ Sarah Stewart Holland

Story Magazine Website Release Party

I recently had the opportunity to attend the most delightful party!

Our friends at Story Magazine unveiled their new website at the Green Building in Louisville's trendy NuLu District. It was great to catch up with Story's publisher, Julie Wilson. I even saw our very first HerKentucky Business interviewee, Carolyn Hannan of Bourbon and Beans!

Gorgeous table at the Story party
Are y'all reading Story Magazine? You certainly should be. They always have a unique perspective on Kentucky life. I love any media that doesn't reduce us to dichotomies like hillbillies vs. debutantes, or coal miners vs. thoroughbred owners. Julie has done a fantastic job of  breaking down those stereotypes and showing some great glimpses into Kentucky life.

As my beau and I left the party, we caught a glimpse of the most gorgeous sunset. It was a great end to a fun day!

Pumpkins and Witches!

I love decorating for Halloween. There are just so many fun pumpkins and witches to choose from!

I recently ran across some Louisville Stoneware pieces that I just love for the holiday this year:

This black pumpkin lights up a room or porch and saves all the carving mess.
This pumpkin serving tray is a great way to serve treats. Pumpkin whoopie pies are always a hit!

And this witch pitcher is just about the cutest thing I've ever seen.
Maybe you could stir up a spooky cocktail, a la Martha, although I'd recommend serving an artisan bourbon instead.

What kind of Halloween decorations do y'all have this year?

Couples Tailgate Shower: A Guest Post from Just Lovely Katherine

Katherine of Just Lovely Katherine is one of my very favorite bloggers.  She's the modern Southern Belle -- sweet, adorable, and creative.  She's also a Lexington-based attorney and is planning her wedding in her "spare time."  Katherine graciously offered to share some photos and planning tips from a fabulous tailgate shower she recently threw.  I think y'all will love it! -- HCW
"We're a drinking town with a football problem!" Or so say some! As most of you are probably aware (or totally unaware because we aren't even on your radar), the University of Kentucky isn't exactly known for its tradition of great football. So around here, it's all about the tailgating! Bring together family, friends, food and fun and what better lineup than that for a couples shower, tailgate-style! Even though we don't do football well here at Kentucky, we still like to throw a tailgate that would make any SEC team proud! So, here's how to go about throwing a Couples Shower Tailgate.

Let's break this down into list form, because lists are my thing
  1. The first step in planning any party is to pick a theme. Well, let's back up...first go to A Pair of Pears blog and download their Party Planning Printables. Their free worksheets are fabulous for keeping organized! Now, decide on a theme. Head over to Pinterest and start looking for inspiration (thank heavens for Pinterest!) 
  2. Once you have an idea of the overall look and feel of the party, the next step is to come up with a guest list and order invitations. I had Mary Ellen at Mellen Designs come up with a custom invitation for our tailgate shower. Her work is darling and the invite turned out so perfect! She incorporated UK and monograms! She can create anything, so be sure to get in contact with her for your next party!
  3. After creating a guest list, you should have some sort of idea of how many folks will be attending your soiree, so start thinking about what types of food and beverages you will be serving. For our tailgate shower, we went with delicious southern style BBQ from a local restaurant. Great for feeding the masses! For drinks, we had planned on getting a keg (remember, it's a tailgate afterall), but ended up just purchasing a trunk-load of cases of beer. Keep in mind that when most guests come to the shower, they are also coming to other words, you will need plenty of beer (more than you would for your typical shower)! I think we planned for 5-6 beers per person. 
  4. Now, we have a guest list, invitations mailed out, food selected and ordered, what next? The fun part! Decorations! Like I suggested above, Pinterest is a fabulous source for inspiration. Gather ideas you like, then you can DIY (or attempt to DIY)! One thing to keep in mind - you will have to haul all this stuff to the stadium and back. 
  5. If you are co-hosting an event, be sure to take some of the pressure off yourself by assigning tasks for the other hosts. You can't do it all on your own! I asked my fellow bridesmaids to bring side dishes, desserts, serving things etc. 
  6. Try to incorporate your team colors, football and the honorary couple wherever you can. Then just concentrate on the details that really make a shower special. I painted some flower pots in blue and white an added a "T" for the couple's last name. I planted flowers and a small tree in them and sent them home with the bride and groom-to-be. I made bunting by cutting small rectangles our of fabric and hot gluing them to cord. I also made a rag-type bunting to decorate the food tent. Simply cut up strips of fabric and knot over a long string or ribbon. I baked a blue and white cake and made little "r {heart} j" cake toppers. You can get the little wooden letters and shapes at your local craft store. Glue them to a dowel rod and paint. Easy peasy!
That's about all there is to it! If you are smart, you might consider doing this for an away game and throwing a tailgate shower at home! It was a lot of work to take everything to the stadium and get it set up. Plus, the couple had to haul all their gifts back after the shower. Despite the hauling, it was a huge success and everyone had a fabulous time!!! And no...UK didn't pull out a win!

Why Not Throw a Bourbon Cocktail Party?

Don and Pete.  Mint Juleps. That is all. via AMC.
It's Friday, and it's Bourbon Heritage Month.  Why not celebrate the gloriously crisp autumn weather with the warm, smooth notes of a bourbon cocktail? This weekend, you should throw a bourbon cocktail party!

Now, here at HerKentucky, we're always looking for a reason to throw a good party. Kentucky's very own whisky is a better reason than most.  In just four simple steps, you can put together a fun and elegant bourbon cocktail party.
Bourbon tasting bar, via Garden & Gun
Step One: Choose Your Bourbon
I'd suggest picking up three whisky labels that fit the distinct mashbill profiles -- one high rye content brand, like Basil Hayden's, one high corn content like Buffalo Trace's Old Charter, and a wheated bourbon like Maker's Mark or Pappy Van WinkleThis article from Bluegrass Threads, and this one from Epicurious, do a great job of describing the different taste profiles.  Pick up one of the small batch labels for true sipping, and remember your beer-loving guests with Bourbon Barrel Ale.

Step 2: Choose Your Blend
Most Kentuckians are pretty easy to please.  We take our bourbon neat, with a splash of water or, heaven forbid, with a little Coca-Cola.  (Bourbon and Coke tastes good, but don't ever admit it!)  It seems that bourbon is nationally trendy again, with all these speakeasies popping up in major cities.  You get things like the Bacon Old Fashioned, from Nashville's Patterson House, or the Kentucky Rose from Atlanta's Southern Art and Bourbon BarIf you want to get that fancy, your guests will love a sip.  This bourbon and ginger sounds interesting. Of course, nothing beats a Maker's Manhattan. Nothing.

Step 3: Choose Your Glass
A variety of lowball glasses, Manhattan glasses and julep cups help you enjoy in style.  I love these stemless martini glasses from Maker's Mark and these Fleur de Lis julep cups from Louisville Stoneware

Step 4: Choose Your Friends
Make a few calls, pour a few drinks, and enjoy.

Cheers, y'all!

This is the first installment in a series of posts called "The Bourbon Files", which will showcase the history, culture, and distinct taste of Kentucky's signature spirit.