04 May 2014

Derby Day

So we had our "Talk Derby to Me" party yesterday and it was fun enough for us to want to repeat the event yearly.

The decorations were fun for me to craft and they gave me an excuse to wander aimlessly through the aisles at Hobby Lobby looking for just the right pieces.

I already had the blanket of roses and wine cork felt rose horseshoe. (When have you ever seen those last five words together like that?) And I found some cool Derby printables to help kick things up a notch.

I knew this crate would come in handy. . .

I used a cool shabby chic frame of mine for a couple of the Derby printables. . . 

I was so pleased to be able to harvest some Derby-themed goodness from my yard. I snipped some roses from my knockouts in the front yard and lots of spearmint from the back yard.  I put them in Ball/Mason jars wrapped with twine and I attached some straw hats (6 for 99 cents at Hobby Lobby) for a fun festive look.

Roses and Mint from the Yard
My kitchen smelled so divine when I was putting these together.

We decided to put the TV outside vice having guests tromp through the house to watch the "Greatest 2 Minutes in Sports".  We used our camp canopy to protect the TV from the elements and it worked out nicely. 

We set up troughs of water and soda under the Magnolia tree as usual, and we put the bar up across from TV tent. We had wine and beer available and a Mint Julep station where guests were encouraged to make themselves the perfect Julep. For those who thought the bourbon was too stout, we had Wine Juleps.

In between the adult beverage station and the TV was the cutest hay bale couch I've ever seen (in person). I saw this idea a while back when we were planning the party. My friend only had one normal sized bale of hay and we could only locate compressed hay bales so we improvised.

Camille and Nols
I hadn't seen my friend Camille in about a hundred years!!
I thought it looked cute with the outdoor pillows we got last year. I already have ideas on how to improve upon this idea for next year....

Kids on the Counch

Earlier this week we saw a picture of a woman drinking an oversize glass of wine (through trick photography) and we thought we might have some similar photo ops with juleps.  Looks simple enough, right?

It's a lot harder than you think, but we tried.

Big @$$ Mint Julep

Big @$$ Mint Julep

As for food, I scrapped making my Nanny's Bourbon Balls deciding to instead make Chocolate Bourbon Fondue. I served it with fresh pineapple and strawberries and I did not get a picture of that loveliness.

And for authentic Kentucky goodness, I made Burgoo adapted from Elise's recipe (Elise never fails me!). I could not find lima beans so I subbed in okra and it was a big hit. I made the burgoo Friday night but I had a massive migraine and didn't get pictures of anything that night. ;.(

My friends and family also brought some bowtie pasta salad, cucumber and tomato salad, sloppy joes and other sweet confections. I kept putting my camera down in favor of my julep and missed out on many photo ops.

Mud Cookies
Just to be clear, those mud cookies were not made with bourbon.

Hat Winner (Congrats, Ketiesha!)
Ketiesha won the Hat Contest - I think everyone loved her feathers. Next year, I am getting more feathers!!!
I think the hats actually stressed out my lady guests. We were all trying not to break the bank with hat purchases and I am very proud of my frugal friends!  I got my sun hat with a big bow from Dillards and about an hour before the party, I went all Pretty in Pink on my hat cutting and ripping the bow into a cooler creation before I clipped in some boa type hair clips I got at HL. All of my hat stuff will be reused...

Next year we will have a hat station where guests (including children) can embellish their hats (more) or we might have a hat crafting party before the derby party. We'll see.

Tres, the Winner! (and Randy presenting)
And the winner of the other bottle of bourbon for correctly guessing the horses to win/place/show. Congrats, Tres!
I had a great time reconnecting with old friends and learning more about the derby and horse racing and am already looking forward to next year.

I made 2 permastone horse heads a few hours before the derby. Love! And my friend ordered cool napkins too!
Reuse of felt rose, burlap and mini julep candle holder
Of course we had pecans out for the guests!
Things not pictured that were special touches: Flip, the horse, with his garland of roses (he was on the food table inside) and floating red rose candles in the pool...

Another note: I am not really into the horse race thing, just like to have themed get togethers with friends. I crammed for the race and was originally going with Wildcat Red, then changed to Hoppertunity when I heard the name came from the infertile owners (Hoppers) who were trying to have a baby. Hoppertunity was scratched for some reason. 


  1. I love a good theme party! Looks like yours was a definite success!

    1. It was a good time, Melissa. Looking forward to more of them... except for the bug bites!

  2. Nolita, your crafts and creations and "hour before the party" innovations are truly inspiring -- I just marvel at them all! (As you may have gathered, I'm not the crafty type... but I sure love lookin' at 'em!) The kids & their mud cookies were so cute and your roses & mint photo practically emitted their aromas through my computer... aaaaaahhh. Party SUCCESS! (And I love your hat, too!)

    1. Next year I will likely help the kids more with their creativity. Maybe with a hat decorating station or virgin juleps!

  3. You are amazing! The little kids are so grown up! The party looked like a blast. You outdid yourself!

    Miss reading your blog. I finally get to start reading again. My conversion at work is OVER!!!

    1. Thank you, Jackie. I have missed hearing from you. Glad you survived the conversion!


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