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.}

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

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

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

Hopscotch
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


HerKentucky Entertaining: Oaks Style


As the Derby’s companion race for 3-year-old fillies, the Kentucky Oaks has always been about the “ladies.”  However, over the past 138 years since the first running on May 19, 1875, at the Louisville Jockey Club (former name of Churchill Downs), a few tweaks have been made here and there.  For example, the original distance of 1-1/2 miles has been adjusted several times to today’s shorter length of 1-1/8 miles. And, the first Oaks race ran two days after the Kentucky Derby. Today, however, the "Ladies First" theme is both literal and figurative.  

In recent years, new Oaks traditions have emerged. For starters, in 1991, the stargazer lily was selected as the official flower of the Kentucky Oaks for its symbol of femininity and strength. Then, in 2006, in honor of the official flower, the race got its own signature drink, the Oaks Lily. As the Kentucky Oaks began to grow in popularity (attendance has doubled since 2001 to over 100,000 today), the day has blossomed into one of the most popular racing events in the United States.

From the fillies, lilies, drinks, and signature color pink, the Oaks is all about the ladies.  Even better, it’s a party with a purpose. Prior to the race, be sure to turn your eyes to the main track for a moving sight as 139 breast cancer survivors' walk in the Survivors’ Parade. Also, Churchill Downs will donate $1 from each Oaks Lily sold to Horses and Hope.  In 2008, First Lady Jane Beshear founded Horses and Hope with the Kentucky Cancer Program (KCP) to provide breast cancer education, screening and treatment referral for the often overlooked members of Kentucky's horse industry and their families.
Whether you’re going to Churchill or tuning in to watch the spectacular show of pink on television, today is the day to celebrate the special ladies in your life.  Although you will not find me among the masses this year, I will bring the flavor and traditions of the day into my home as I casually entertain a few friends.    
 
First, you can't go wrong with stargazer lilies. They're fragrant and stunning. I like to mix them with white hydrangeas and simple greenery for a bright pop of hot pink.


Even though we won't be at Churchill, my guests and I will still get to enjoy the signature drink of the day, the Oaks Lily.  This pretty and refreshing cocktail is super easy to make and can be enjoyed throughout the year. 

1 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix
3 oz. Cranberry Juice
Splash of Triple Sec

Once the ingredients are mixed, place in a glass with ice, and garnish with an orange wedge and a cherry (I added a lime wedge).







I like to serve them in the official Oaks Lily glass.  Not only do these stem-less wine glasses make the experience feel more authentic, but they make a great party favor, too. 


If you’re celebrating this year’s festivities away from Churchill, please consider sending a donation to Horses and Hope.  Tax deductible donations should be made to: 

501 E. Broadway, Suite 160
Louisville, KY 40202

Finally, let's talk about the horses. The fillies today are every bit the match of the boys tomorrow. With three undefeated horses, and a favorite (though twice defeated), Dreaming of Julia, having a "speed figure" (114) that is waaaay above the best any of the boys have ever run (105). For the not-so-serious gamblers, I like to write the names of each filly on a piece of paper for easy entertainment. Guests pay a small amount to play and the winner takes all.  

Now, if I were a betting woman...I'd have a hard time looking past the morning-line (and deserving) favorite, Dreaming of Julia, and co-second-choice, Unlimited Budget, but an equally hard time betting on them at short odds given the top-to-bottom quality of this field (how many undefeated fillies can be in a race, anyway?). Under the circumstances, I'd have to try to make my money in a trifecta by wheeling those two in first and second, with the field in third and hope that a live longshot like Pure Fun rounds out the top three. I might also back this up with an exacta box of those two, Pure Fun, Beholder and Midnight Lucky.  (And, I'm still rooting for Rosie on Seaneen Girl.) But, like I said, that would only be the case if I were a betting woman...

Who are your favorites for the 139th running of the Kentucky Oaks?


P.S. - My daughter, Katherine, will be the new girl at the party this year, and she’s already learning some of our finest traditions. How adorable is her bonnet from The Beaufort Bonnet Company?


{No member of the HerKentucky team received any compensation for this post.}

The HerKentucky Easter Basket Wishlist

If you're like me, you're going to be spending Easter Sunday with a big family dinner, a fancy dress hidden under a sweater, and the resolve to not eat too many Peeps. I thought it would be fun to put together a couple of Easter Baskets full of Kentucky-themed products to go along with those holiday plans!
  • The littlest gal on your Easter list will love this Savannah Seersucker Bonnet from Lexington's own Beaufort Bonnet Company. This monogrammable bonnet makes an amazing keepsake of her first Easter.
  • I adore the Lilly Pulitzer Just Add Mint print for spring. With all the fixin's for a julep, it's sure to be a hit at the spring races. Both the Lexington and Louisville Peppermint Palm stores have plenty of this fun print in stock, including my favorite, the Lavender skirt, as well as the Leandra and Lacina dresses.
  • Mellen Designs strikes again! Dress your iPhone 4 or 5 in your favorite team colors with the Winning Team Phone Case.























  • The little guy in your life will look sharp in the Baylor Bow Tie from Beaufort Bonnet. I love the monogram option!
  • Treat your beau to a bourbon class at the 1785 Bourbon Societyat Midway's Holly Hill Inn. I recently had the opportunity to sit in on a tasting; I left feeling a little happier and a lot more knowledgeable about Kentucky's native spirit!
  • Of course, what your favorite Kentucky fan wants is a commitment from Andrew Wiggins. I doubt the Easter Bunny can swing that one, but this Waterford crystal paperweight commemorating our 8th National Title is pretty nice.

The Beaufort Bonnet Company

The Beaufort Bonnet Company

is everywhere lately! This adorable line of children's accessories is just perfect for the teensiest fashion mavens in your life. I'm just in love with the bonnets, bowties, and bloomers -- many of which can be monogrammed. I keep hoping a friend or relative will have a baby soon so that I can buy all the Beaufort Bonnets!

I recently caught up with Markey Hart Hutchinson, the Lexington lady behind The Beaufort Bonnet Company. She's smart and fun, with a great eye for fun design. Markey's great attitude certainly shines through in her company's designs! -- HCW

A few questions with Markey:

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m from Lexington. I graduated from Sewanee (The University of the South) in Tennessee. I’m 32. I have two funny, smart, and wonderful children, my son Wakefield, who's 3, and Betsey, who's 1 1/2. My husband is a patient man and a great father. I like laughing, nice people, and all things that make my eyes smile. Colors and ‘pretty’ influence my mood; style and design have always been a passion.

How did The Beaufort Bonnet Company come to be?

A Mother Daughter Team started Susu and John in Beaufort, South Carolina around 2007-2009ish. The Beaufort Bonnet, made from an old heirloom pattern, was their star item and the reason they went into business. When I was pregnant and seeing the world through pink-colored glasses, I spotted a picture of a friend’s baby wearing a pink gingham bonnet while perusing Facebook. I asked where she got the little gem; I just knew Betsey would want a bonnet! My friend ended up gifting us one and it was love at first sight. Betsey wore her bonnet everywhere and people went bananas over it. Strangers and friends were asking where to get one. After studying the Susu and John website I noticed they didn’t have any retail accounts in Kentucky. I thought, I’m already selling these bonnets- I might as well get paid for it. I contacted the owner and asked if I could have the exclusive rights to sell them in Kentucky- a few emails later I found myself negotiating a price to buy her business. I gave the company a new name and logo and hit the ground running.

 I see a lot of traditional Southern style in your products, with some Lilly Pulitzer-style preppy mixed in. What are your inspirations for The Beaufort Bonnet Company's products?

Great observation! TBBC style is a reflection of my style. I like all things classic, timeless and refined- but I also like colorful, fun, and clever. My inspirations demonstrate that ‘refined’ doesn’t have to mean ‘boring’. Lilly Pulitzer, Dorothy Draper, and Carleton Varney mastered the art of pairing classic pieces with bold elements & bright colors to make things interesting. I want babies and children wearing TBBC items to provoke smiles (followed by compliments and conversation) - I love the idea of being partly responsible for someone’s smile.

 Here at HerKentucky, we love to support Kentucky's women-owned businesses. What advice do you have for women who want to start their own business?

I regret I’m not qualified to hand out advice. The Beaufort Bonnet Company is 4 months old; I’m still craving advice, suggestions, and wisdom. Ask me again when I recover my investment and start sleeping ;-)

What do you wish someone had told you before you started The Beaufort Bonnet Company?

I wish

someone had told me I was going to make mistakes- and that some mistakes were going to be expensive. Mistakes involving trust and dependability sting the most. The good thing is, I’m a fast learner.

Now for a few fun questions:

Coffee or Tea?

I’m way too complicated to answer this question. I drink coffee every morning but it’s really not my cup of tea- ha- do you get it?

Bourbon or Beer?

Cold BEER. In a bottle. But a cup or can is fine too.

Jeans or a Skirt?

skirt

Cats or Cards?

C.A.T.S cats cats cats!!

What's your favorite spot in Lexington?

My favorite spot(s) in Lexington are… Greenbrier’s pool, 3rd Floor Main at Keeneland, the house where I grew up, Wheelers, Suggins, Merrick, Rupp Arena when the Cats are playing, Gate 11 for tailgating, Monkees, L.V. Harkness, and the Chinoe Pub. Hmm, I bet there aren’t many people who have used L.V. Harkness and Chinoe Pub in the same sentence… I guess that’s me in a nutshell.

If The Beaufort Bonnet Company products are on your Holiday Wish List, you can find them at these Kentucky stores:

L.V. Harkness and Co

.: 531 W. Short St., Lexington (They even do registries for expectant mamas!)

Hopscotch

: 120 Clay Ave., Lexington

Nancy's Place

: 133 West Main St., Springfield

Kids Stuff

: 300 North Mayo Trail Suite 3,  Pikeville

Lad n' Lassie

: 188 West Court St., Prestonsburg