Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Horse Wreaths

Don't we all love wreaths?  You'll love these, straight from an Etsy store called "Horse Wreaths" no less. Enjoy!

Shop until you drop here.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Favorite Gifts for Fall

When I think of Fall, I think of fox hunting, parties outside in the crisp fall air, cubbing season, the fall indoor horse shows and making that one last month or two outside count before you retire to indoors for the cold winter ahead.

Here are some of my favorite gifts, to give and receive, this time of year.  This fox stationary from L.V. Harkness in Kentucky is divine.  See it here.

These horse shoe cards are from the same store, made by The Printery.  Who does not love to have a stash of fine paper in their desk drawer?  See it here.

I love these cocktail napkins too.  Also from L.V. Harkness.  See them here

Candles are always a great gift and Nest is one of my favorites. This is a great one for fall:

This fox towel would be a great present for the fox hunter friends in your world. In Virginia they are plentiful.

Enjoy this lovely fall day!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Susan Shaw Jewelry

I discovered this line of jewelry a few years ago at a shop in Blowing Rock, NC and have been a fan ever since.  The line is lovely, very good quality, holds up well, for a reasonable price. What's not to like?

Not Just An Omnivore's Dilemma, It's Everyone's Dilemma

Every now and then I get up on my soapbox and speak to the masses.  This is one of those times.  Where I live in Virginia, we have not any significant rainfall for three months and there is no rain in the coming forecast for the next 10 days.  My fields are totally bare, trees are dying, I am feeding my horses hay in the fields which is unheard of for me this time of year when pastures are typically lush.  The fields look now like they should late February.  It's going to be a very long and hard winter for sure. Hay prices are skyrocketing.  I am afraid that my well might run dry if I use much water.

Luckily, I don't use a lot of water with 3-4 horses, no kids, I run the dishwasher maybe once a week, 1-2 loads of laundry a week.  But my use of water isn't really the issue.  The issue that has not been talked about much is how we Americans eat.  You can drive a Prius and ride a bike but until we all start paying attention to the immense energy consumption that it takes to create our food and the huge amount of water it takes to produce small amounts of our food, many parts of America will look like drought-ridden California and parts of Virginia.  We cannot sustain it on any level.

Here's something I pulled from Wikipedia about Michael Pollan's book, The Omnivore's Dilemma:

He's talking about how we eat "organic"

Pollan finds that while a one-pound box of California-produced organic lettuce contains 80 food calories, it requires 4,600 calories of fossil fuel to process and ship to the East Coast. He adds that the figure would be only “about 4 percent higher if the salad were grown conventionally.” It’s hard to dispute Pollan’s assessment of large-scale organic agriculture: it’s “floating on a sinking sea of petroleum.”

Did you know that it takes 80 gallons of water to produce ONE POUND of hamburger meat?  If everyone who eats beef switched to chicken, it would be like taking 26 million cars off the road!

My point is that REAL environmentalists need to do more than walk and bike and just walk the talk.  We have to start paying attention to how we use our precious resources as well as our carbon footprint.  One day, maybe not in my lifetime, but in the not too distant future, wars will be fought over water.  How is California and the West going to survive without water?  Do you really think that just because you shop at Whole Foods and are eating "organic" that you are really making a difference when it comes to our environment?   I personally think not.  There is is whole lot more to this story.

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Sucker for Silverware

It's time to start thinking about fall entertaining.  I am ready to set a new table after being outside most of the summer. I love setting a table and you need a good flatware set or two or three or better yet a set of silver that's been handed down over generations. We'll start though with a good set of stainless.   I love it as you can put it in the dishwasher and a good set will last decades. Don't go too cheap - it won't last.  Here are that I love:

This is from Horchow and reminds me of an old Tiffany pattern:

You can buy it here.

Here's another classic style:

You can find it here.

And I love this pattern by Juliska:

This is a Ralph Lauren pattern:

Bamboo is one of my favorites:

And this is just wonderful.  Expensive, but it will set a lovely table. Horse and Hound has this pattern made by Vagabond House.

Happy Monday! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Mellon's Upperville Farm is For Sale in Virginia

Got a cool $70M to spare?  If you do, you might want to consider touring the late Paul and Bunny Mellon estate in Upperville, Virginia.  It can be yours for $70M.  It's about an hour (without the dreadful traffic) from DC but you'll need a Downton Abbey-type staff to keep this place up.  The Mellons did not live in the Georgian manor house, it housed art, so you'll need to update the mansion.

A mile-long airstrip for the Lear:

You'll have one of the best views in Virginia:

All in, 2000 acres, a 10,000-square-foot Georgian mansion, a working dairy, two stables with 43 stalls, barns, more than 20 cottages, and extensive gardens.

Want to learn more?  Check out this one-of-a-kind estate here.  Maybe Larry (as in Ellison) is looking for a hunt country abode?

It's a Black and Gray Kind of Day

I'm still stuck on fall fashions this week and can't decide if I like the new "slouchy casual" look that companies like J Crew are promoting. I like my sweats, don't get me wrong, but I also like tailored outfits in fine fabrics, like Armani.  Less can be more but I don't want to look like I just got out of bed all of the time.  One dress I have my eye on is this one from Trina Turk, I'm a big fan.  You can order it here.  I'd put a big chunky silver necklace on with this or maybe just big earrings.  I like the black and gray look. It's dreary outside right now (but still no badly needed rain), so these picks fit the day.........

Do you like the new "Van" look that J Crew and also Tory Burch is promoting?  It must be popular as these are already sold out on Tory's web site.  You can still buy them in silver if you hurry.

I am still trying to get used to the "booty look."  I know it's in, but I am still trying to get there.  I do like these from Nine West.  You can find them here.

Also love this wool scarf from Kate Spade.  The pink adds a little bit of punch don't you think?

Hope your day progresses beyond gray and black.  Happy Friday!
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