Happy Derby Day!

Happy Derby Day to all my readers! It's off to the races! I hope each and every one of you gets to enjoy something minty this afternoon. I adore the concept of a mint julep - from the mint sprig to the silver julep cup (I use one for my pens & pencils), but I've never learned to like the taste of Bourbon. I think I will be sipping a mojito instead, as well as some mint-infused iced tea. My father passed along his recipe for a traditional mint julep, so I thought I'd share it with you all. The recipe was given to him when he played a concert one spring with the Lexington, Kentucky orchestra! It follows: 

One Mint Julep (Lexington, KE Orchestra Recipe)

Chill silver julep cup. 

Place 4-5 mint leaves in cup. 

Muddle with

   one tsp. powdered sugar

   one tsp. water

Fill cup with crushed ice.

Pour in 1 jigger of bourbon whiskey.

Stir energetically until ice has dropped 1 to 2 inches and frost appears.

Then fill remainder of julep cup with crushed ice, and pour in 1 jigger of bourbon whiskey.

Decorate the julep with springs of mint leaves dusted with powdered sugar.

Slip very slowly!

Fabulous Blogs

Thank you to Southern Gent for the lovely "Your Blog is Fabulous Award!" Southern Gent, your blog is simply fabulous as well! I hope you're getting excited for Derby Day. The rules of this award are to recognize the blogger who bestowed the award and then nominate ten other blogs you admire. I hereby pass along the award to the following fabulous bloggers:


Lilly Pulitzer Colorful Cause at Bloomingdales NYC

I wish I was still in the big apple! I just returned from NYC yesterday, and if only I could have stayed two more days I would get to attend the launch party for the Lilly Pulitzer Colorful Cause Collection. The event is tomorrow evening April 30 from 6-8pm, and Elizabeth Hasselback will be there to present the celebrity designs at the flagship store. I feel sure it will be a very exciting event! Monograms & Martinis, you must be going, and if so I hope you can fill us in on what happens! Fortunately, there will also be a Jubilee Exhibition displayed in the Lexington Ave windows all the way through Mother's Day, celebrating 50 years of a colorful life! 
On a side note, I ate at a fabulous new tapas restaurant the other night called Pera. It's in midtown on Madison Ave, and the entire experience was delightful, from the menu to the interior and atmosphere, to the wine list and the adorable waiter who was ever-so-accommodating and gentile. I highly recommend it! A fun spot. (pictured below)


Award Thank You

Thank you so much to SassyPinkMonogram for naming me a recipient of the Neno's Award, an award which signifies: 1)A dedication for those who love blogging and encourage friendships through blogging. 2)To seek the reasons why we all love blogging. 3)Put the award in one post as soon as you receive it. 4)Don't forget to mention the person who gives you the award. 5)Answer the awards question by writing the reason why you love blogging. 6)Tag and distribute the award to as many people as you like. 7)Please notify the award receivers and put their links in your post.
I've only been blogging for a little over a month, but it has been such a rewarding experience so far! I love blogging because it enables me to share my most special, sometimes frivolous, yet always close-to-my-heart interests and experiences with others who care about the same sorts of thing!  I am amazed by how many wonderful bloggers I have become acquainted with so far, and I want to let all my readers know how much you inspire me everyday. You are such wonderful women, and your blogs give me a boost everyday! I hope I can meet more of you in person in the future, and in the meantime I would like to pass on this award to:
1. DCPrep (my swap partner!)
2. Monograms & Manicures (my very first read!)
3. Summer Is A Verb (my style go-to!)


La Plates

I'm piggybacking on Monograms & Manicures' post about her generous giveaway of La Plates because I'm so excited to discover this wonderful company! They donate proceeds to charity, and they have designed custom plates for many celebrities. You can customize your plate in numerous beautiful color, design, and font combinations, plus their melamine material makes them perfectly durable and poised for outdoor entertaining in the summer. Thank you, Helen, for sharing these!


SewGirlie Grocery Totes

A very special thank you to SewGirlie for the fabulous giveaway of a set of monogrammed reusable grocery tote bags. I love them! What a creative, beautiful solution to address the issue of recycling and environmental responsibility.  


Rep Time!

This weekend the Cornell Men's Lacrosse team is having their annual 21Run, a 5K held in memory of the late George Boiardi, #21 and former captain of the Cornell Lacrosse team, who was tragically killed in a lacrosse game in 2004. The goal of the "21 Run" is to remember George and continue his selfless vision by raising money to promote children's literacy. All proceeds from the even go to the Family Reading Partnership.

I will be working there representing Vineyard Vines as the Cornell Whale Rep. I'm happy to say I had the idea for Vineyard Vines to sponsor this event, and so they are for the first time. Everyone in the winners circle will be receiving lacrosse ties and tote bags! It will be a wonderful way for the VV brand to gain broader exposure up here at Cornell.

I am also very happy that Tucker Blair has decided to participate in the event by sending up some marketing materials. Taylor Llewelyn, founder and CEO, contacted me about recruiting a Cornell rep for TB, and when I mentioned the even to him we discovered that his friends knew George from high school (Landon). Today Taylor sent me two beautiful needlepoint headbands to spread the word. It was a lovely surprise, thank you Taylor! I hope everyone has a happy Friday tomorrow. More to come soon.


NYC Trip

I just got back from New York City! Yes, at the last moment I was surprised with a trip to the big apple because I found out I was awarded first place in the Genuine Design Foundation Essay Competition. The awards were presented yesterday at the Haworth Showroom in conjunction with the grand opening of the NY11 Interior Design Exhibition. I went up yesterday from Washington and had a lovely stay at the Cornell Club, and then I drove back to Ithaca tonight. It was short but sweet, and was very grateful for the opportunity to represent the Cornell Interior Design Department at the event. I loved seeing the work of all 11 institutions represented at the Exhibition. If you're in NYC, it's worth a trip to the showroom to see it! 

Thank You, Miss Sweet Tea!

I want to give a special thank-you mention to Angela of Miss Sweet Tea Diaries, for I've won her last giveaway! She is sending me a lovely package (below is just one of the items coming my way, from Preppy Monogrammed Gifts) and she has been so kind. Miss Sweet Tea, you are the sweetest! 


Easter Tide

Happy Easter, my dear friends! Today is a sparkling sunny day in Washington, DC, although quite chilly so I've been a bit nippy in my Lilly shift at church this morning. My family went to the National Cathedral for the Easter Service, and it was beautiful as usual. I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful place to worship. The Girls Choir sounded beautiful, and Dean Lloyd gave a wonderful sermon. My brother is up at college in Vermont and sadly wasn't able to make it home this Easter, but I sat with my parents and had a very special morning. This afternoon we are hosting all our our extended family on my father's side for Easter Dinner. I must keep this post short because guests are to arrive at 3:30! It will be lovely to see my cousins whom I haven't seen in a long time. To begin with we're toasting a Happy Easter this afternoon with Grapefruit Spritzers - my mom and I kind of made of the recipe, but it's a grapefruit twist on delicious white wine sangria.  Happy Easter to you all!


Easter Chocolates

Just finished making a few chocolate bunnies! Here are some pics!


Pink Moon Thursday

Tomorrow is the Pink Moon! That means celebrating the first full moon of springtime. If you are near a Lilly store, bop on over sometime tomorrow for lovely pink treats! Wishing you all a Happy Pink Moon. 



This weekend I had the pleasure of visiting the Mackenzie-Childs plantation, and it was a dream! I've loved Mackenzie-Childs for much of my life because the designs are so unique, whimsical, and colorful. I delightedly found out that the farm where it was founded is just a forty-five minute drive from Cornell. It is located in the beautiful lakeside town of Aurora, NY, a place Pleasant T. Rowland (the creator of American Girl Co.) lovingly restored and preserved. Pleasant acquired Mackenzie-Childs in 2000 and owned it until 2008. Aurora is an idyllic village with population of a couple hundred people. It feels like it came straight out of one of the American Girl Doll books! If you ever get a chance to visit, you must stay at the lovely Aurora Inn or it's sister, the E.B. Morgan House. My family has dinner reservations there on graduation weekend because it is so beautiful. If you stay at the E.B. Morgan House, you will see that it is decorated throughout with Mackenzie-Childs housewares and furniture, even the kitchen!

So while I was at Mackenzie-Childs, I was given a wonderful private tour of the Farmhouse, which Mackenzie-Childs designed and decorated top-to-bottom to be a fully functional B&B, but in fact nobody has ever stayed there and instead they just give tours of it. Pictures are not allowed because the designs are very exclusive, but all I can tell you is that I felt like I died and floated up to heaven! My dream is someday to have my own Mackenzie-Childs custom tiled kitchen or bath, and at the farmhouse was the most beautiful examples that are absolutely awe-inspiring. The Showroom is equally incredible. I spent a full three hours shopping there, and I did snap photographs of the pieces there. View these amazing pictures!

Easter Cookies

Easter is absolutely my favorite holiday. Pastel colors, dying eggs, green grass and flowers budding into springtime, wearing an Easter hat to church, Easter egg hunts, chocolate bunnies, carrots, spring dresses......I love everything about it! I always make homemade Easter treats for my loved ones, such as chocolates and easter cookies, and this year I've been sending off little packages to all my relatives (I have lots of older cousins who all have adorable young kids). Last night I had fun with my Williams-Sonoma Easter sprinkles kit and decorated some sugar cookies. I was so happy that every sugar cookie came out of the oven perfectly done! Here are a couple of pictures. Next I will be making chocolate bunnies to give to my local friends and family. I hope you are all enjoying your pre-Easter season as well. Even though it's raining here in Ithaca, I know spring must be just around the corner!

Book Release

I recently found out that Lee Woodruff, wife of ABC news anchor Bob Woodruff, has just written a book called "Perfectly Imperfect." I do have a little stack of books by my bedside just waiting to be read, but I can't wait to add this to it! In her first book, she wrote eloquently and honestly about the struggles they faced together as Bob recovered from the traumatic brian surgery sustained in Iraq. Now, she chronicles her life as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. It promises to be a very inspiring read, so I wanted to share it with you all because I'm sure you will enjoy it. It releases on April 21! I hope everyone is having a happy monday!