Keeneland Spring Meet Stakes

Keeneland Derby Fashion

This weekend Jordan and I took a trip to Lexington and attended horse races at Keeneland. I had only ever been to Steeple Chase in Aiken, so the Dixieana race was new scenery for me. This was also my first trip to Kentucky. Hopefully we will make it to the Derby one day.
Lexington was beautiful, definitely like something out of a southern movie. White picket fences everywhere with drives that looked like this:
Keeneland Derby Fashion
At Steeple Chase in Aiken, your tailgate spot is on the track itself. At Keeneland you tailgate outside and watch the races from stands.
Keeneland Derby Fashion
Keeneland Derby Fashion
 Keeneland Derby Fashion
Keeneland Derby Fashion

We sat in general admission and it was absolutely packed, see photo above. The boys had the most fun placing $2 bets. No one in our group won more than $30 but from a few $2 bets, that’s not bad.

Something tells me that this wasn’t our last trip to Keeneland!

Trip Details:

Location: Keeneland Race Track, Lexington, Kentucky

Ticket Price: $5 (general admission)

Dress Code: Church Clothes

  • Ladies: sundress or dressy romper & cute sandals or wedges
  • Gents: button-up & slacks (blazer & tie optional)


  • Bring tailgate food & drinks- concessions inside are pricey ($4 water bottles)
  • Prepare a Spotify playlist for tailgating
  • Wear comfortable shoes, lots of standing on concrete & walking
  • Put on sunscreen even if its cloudy (we all got badly burnt)

Ciao for now!


My Favorite Salad

posted in: Fashion, Recipes, Travel | 0

Boots: Macy’s [similar]

During our trip out west, Jordan and I stopped in Scottsdale, Arizona. The night before stopping in Scottsdale, we stayed in El Paso (I hope to never go back). I’m not sure if Scottsdale was ACTUALLY as wonderful as I remember, or if El Paso was so horrible that I remember Scottsdale being better than it was. Whatever the reason, we fell in love with Scottsdale. 

We were hungry by the time we got into town so we stopped for dinner at Cowboy Ciao. Jordan ordered mushroom stew and I decided I wanted a salad. I usually like chopped salads and there was on one the menu, so I ordered it. The description read as follows: 
Stetson Chopped Salad: “I loved that chopped salad so much that I put it on my screensaver!” – Actual Guest Quote

This is what the salad looked like: 

It was amazing. So amazing that I found the recipe online and made it at home. It wasn’t quite as good as the in restaurant experience but it satisfied my taste buds just fine. 

Here is the recipe: 

  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) Israeli (pearl) couscous, cooked
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup (1 oz) super-sweet dried corn
  • 1/2 cup (2oz) arugula, chopped
  • 2 ounces smoked salmon, diced
  • 1/2 oz asiago cheese, crumbled **
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 oz) toasted pepitas **
  • 1/4 cup dried black currants**
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 1 cup aioli (Note: If you cannot find commercially prepared aioli and don`t want to make your own, you can substitute mayonnaise, or use 1 cup olive oil, drizzled in very slowly with motor running so the mixture emulsifies. It should thicken further with refrigeration.
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • Salt to taste 

  • 1
    In a shallow bowl, assemble the salad ingredients in rows. Start with tomatoes or arugula at one end; push previous row back with one hand as you place and line up the next ingredient with the other hand.
  • 2
    **Combine these ingredients beforehand and use as one row. All are available at Trader Joe’s. 
Add first three ingredients to food processor and blend thoroughly. With motor running, pour in buttermilk. Add remaining ingredients to combine. If using prepared pesto, taste before adding additional salt. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Source:Cowboy Ciao Restaurant – Scottsdale, AZ

Shirt: Old Navy [exact]
Shorts: Nordstrom [similar]
Boots:Macy’s [similar]
Purse: Longchamp [exact]

This was taken at the resort at the bottom of Camelback Mountain. 
We will definitely be making a return trip to Scottsdale, even if for no reason other than to order the Stetson Salad!

Ciao for now!


Edibles & Drinkables: Ramen Bars

posted in: Travel | 1

So there is the new (to me) trend: Ramen Bars. I remember seeing an episode on the Food Channel show Food Court Wars where one of the contestant’s restaurants was called Ramen Bar. I can’t remember if they won. And I’m not sure if the two are related.

In case you have no idea what I am talking about… this is Ramen:

Earlier this week, I was grabbing coffee with a dear friend, Leah. We were talking about my semi-recent trip to LA. Leah asked if I went to a Ramen Bar while I was there. Our mutual friend, who lives in LA, loves Ramen Bars. I didn’t see any of these restaurants on my trip, but with a simple Google search I found a ton of them. From what Leah said, this Ramen isn’t like the 10 cent packages at Kroger but is extremely delicious. I am very intrigued by this concept and hope to visit a Ramen Bar next time I am in the vicinity of one. Honestly, all I saw on menus in LA were different types of Kale. Lollipop Kale was pretty delicious.

Are there any Ramen Bar type restaurants near you? Have you been to one? What do you think of them? Yay or nay?

Let me know your thoughts.

Ciao for now!


Wander Lust

posted in: Travel | 0

Ever since July, I have lived out of a suitcase. Last year I did something that I have always wanted to do, I drove (or rode co-pilot) from the East coast to the West coast. It was a little pleasure, a little play.

View from the plane leaving the Emerald Isle 
Our three day drive through Texas (it’s huge, y’all) 
Sunset at my cottage in the Irish country 
This year will definitely be hard to top as far as travel is concerned (cross country, keys, Europe). I definitely hope to visit Miami and the keys again because that’s where my roots are. This year I also hope to visit NYC, something that was in the plans for last year but never came to fruition.

Beverly Hills last fall 
Florida Keys this past April 

Maybe this year our trip will consist of driving from the Keys to NYC… We haven’t decided yet. I am thankful for my travel companion, Jordan. We have been lucky to have the opportunity to travel and I hope we continue this tradition throughout our years together. Three places which I hope to visit this year are: 
1. New York City- I’ve been intrigued by New York City for a long time but haven’t actually had a reason to visit until this past year. NYC is fashion central and I would love to experience a little of that magic. 
2. Napa Valley- wine Capitol USA. I would love to venture over to the west again and this was one area of California that I didn’t get a chance to explore. 
3. Italy- ok a girl can dream. Maybe after I’ve lost all the weight from Ireland then I’ll be ready for another trip to Europe. Italy is the country I have on the top of my list but I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit anywhere out of the country. 
Dublin, Ireland 
Bring it on 2015! I’m ready for you! 
Ciao For Now, 

TerraMae: Brunching with Jackie O

posted in: Travel | 0

Jordan and I live four hours away from each other but we make an effort to spend as many weekends as possible together. One of our favorite rituals is to go to Sunday Brunch. We have traveled a lot this year and have brunched in quite a few different cities. I am going to start documenting our more memorable brunches in my blog. 
Below is my first installment:
Appalachian Bistro 
Downtown Chattanooga
TerraMae is located on the first floor of the StoneFort Inn. This boutique inn is over 100 years old and was built on the old stone fort which existed during the civil war. Chattanooga has a lot of antebellum history and Jordan has a fascination with most things military so this restaurant seemed right up our alley! 
TerraMae is located in downtown Chattanooga on East 10th Street. I think this may be our first time going to brunch downtown (we usually stick to NorthShore). The restaurant seemed fairly busy but we were able to be seated without a reservation. We were seated by right the kitchen so next time I will probably make a reservation.
The decorations and atmosphere were great! I would describe it as Southern Chic.
We started our meal with a mimosa for me and an americano coffee for Jordan. Jordan blindly ordered an americano and learned that he prefers lattes and cappuccinos.  That was his fault, not the restaurant’s. My mimosa was very good. You may ask “how can you mess up a mimosa?’ But we have been unpleasantly surprised with the quality of orange juice used in mimosas in most restaurants (usually tastes like Minute Maid). TerraMae doesn’t cut any corners on mimosas and uses freshly squeezed orange juice. Oh, and they have bottomless mimosas for $10. 
I decided to order the Heavenly Hash which is coffee and spice rubbed beef tips, caramelized potatoes (sweet and regular) and sunny side-up eggs. Jordan decided to order the frog legs appetizer as his main. 
My meal was amazing. The eggs were cooked perfectly and the beef was extremely tender and flavorful. I would definitely order this again.
 Jordan’s meal was good but too potent for hit palate. He wanted to try the frog legs out of curiosity, but lesson learned: Jordan hates frog legs. Jordan is an extremely picky eater but he likes trying new things… this usually results in him eating my meal or him not eating much at all. 
Since we essentially split my entree, we decided to get dessert. We ordered the bread pudding. It was amazing. The dish consisted of three bread pieces a dark chocolate garnish and a scoop of pumpkin spice ice cream. This dish was divine and we could have eaten two more servings if our stomachs would have allowed. 
So far, I would rate TerraMae as our favorite Chattanooga brunch spot.
<> <> <> <> four diamonds 
Ciao for Now,

Horse Country

Fall is my favorite season. Each year I look forward to wearing leggings, oversized sweaters, and boots. I love the holidays and seeing family and friends. Unfortunately it is one of the most difficult seasons to dress when it comes to weddings or fancier daytime events. There is an art to looking fashionable but not too summery. Darker colors and sleeves are key to a good fall dress.  As a worker in a boutique, I am daily helping women find the perfect dress to wear to any and every occasion. 
This past weekend I needed to find a dress for fall Steeplechase. In the springtime, a standard Steeplechase outfit for women consists of a Lilly sundress and matching floppy hat. Fall horse races are different. Not many women wear large sun hats. I still wanted to wear a dress but I needed something that was warm and not too summery. What a dilemma! But, I found the perfect dress! It was orange with light blue, navy, and black flowers. I paired it with my Marley Lilly riding boots and leggings. 
I received several compliments on both my dress and the dip I made for the tailgate. The only downer of the day was forgetting to bring the mango orange juice for the mimosas! 
My roommate and dear friend Holley! 

My sorority sister Caro! 

My date Matt sporting his Dogwood Stables hat! 
(Street Fight from Dogwood Stables won the first race!) 
Mirror picture before leaving and putting leggings on to keep me warm. 

Tailgating on the rail makes for an excellent view of the track. 
The girls at our tailgate! 
Now for the dip recipe which will rock your pasture! 
It was very easy to make. I found the base recipe on Pinterest but edited the amount of ingredients I put in to make it my own. 
-16 oz of reduced fat sour cream
– 8oz of cream cheese
– 3/4 cub of chopped ham (I bought premade chopped ham at Kroger) 
– 4 green onion chopped  
– 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (save a little to sprinkle on top) 
– 1 tsp of hot sauce 
– 2 tsp of Worshestershire sauce 
– salt
– pepper 
– Italian Bread Loaf (baked) 
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl except the loaf. Add the hot sauce and Worshestershire to taste. I added a little at a time to make sure they weren’t overpowering. 
Cut the football shaped center top out of the bread and use a knife and spoon to carve out the center of the bread. 
Fill the bread bowl with dip. Sprinkle extra cheddar cheese on the dip. Wrap completely in tin foil. 
Bake the dip for 350 degrees for 1 hour (wrapped in tin foil)
It serves well immediately or after it is cool.
I used pita bread but any sort of chip would work well with it. 
The picture is from Pinterest because mine was gone by the time I thought to snap a shot! 
Ciao for now!