Derby Dress a Day: For the Backside

Over the weekend (or was it last week – I have no idea, the days are running together because I am truly a hot mess right now), I got a request from a gal coming in town to attend the Kentucky Derby on the backside of the track. I, for one, have never gotten the invite to this somewhat unknown area of the track but I do have a couple friends who have spent Derby day back there.

For those who aren’t from around here (that just sounded so country and I thought about deleting it but instead think it fits), the backside of the track is where the horse stables are located. The week leading up to Derby makes this a hot spot and you’ll find all the local TV stations and a few radio outlets broadcasting live from here every morning. It’s a great spot to check out the early morning work outs of all the Derby horses. I’ve only been out there a couple times (with clients who scored an appearance on a morning show) but it’s got a very fun vibe those early mornings leading up to Derby. Definitely a Derby buzz in the air.  But enough about that, you want to know what to wear on Derby.

The backside, since it is primarily a place for horse stables, can be a pretty muddy zone even if it’s not muddy. Chances are, with the moonsoon season we’ve been in the last few weeks, it will be at least a little muddy out there. It’s also a much more casual atmosphere for watching the races. So when you’re getting dressed, my pick is for an easy sundress and boots. Think a little fancier, a little preppier festival style. I’ve definitely seen gals in this area wear hats but they are usually a little simpler (think wide brim straw hats or very simple fascinators) than the elaborate scenes you’ll find on the opposite end of the track.

If you’re heading to the backside (that’s what she said), pick something you’ll be comfortable wearing while plopping down in a fold-out chair or taking a break on a bleacher seat. And definitely no heels. First off, you don’t want to ruin them but you also don’t want to look silly or roll an ankle.

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Shopping: Spring Fever

It’s supposed to be 75 degrees outside today. You can see the grass, the sun is shining and it stays light past 6 pm. All signs indicate spring is here to stay and I couldn’t be happier. Now I feel like we can all fully embrace spring shopping. Derby is coming, wedding season is upon us, spring break is right around the corner and you know you’re going to get invited to about 100+ baby/wedding showers. Oh and you just want to wear something that has short sleeves.

Every option below is under $100. So there’s no excuse not to get yourself a little something something to get you in that spring mindset. So let’s get to it.


Favorite Things + Shopping: Secret Cupid Valentine’s Day Gift Exchange

February will be here tomorrow but no doubt you’ve already seen rows of Valentine’s Day candy, trinkets and treats in stores. I can’t say that I LOVE Valentine’s Day. I do think it’s basically a trick to buy more candy and make men the pressure to pull off a movie-style romantic evening. While I do love candy and a nice evening out (at this point I’ll take dinner just about anywhere if I means I can finish my food without 16 questions from a four-year-old), those things can get a little tired.

So a couple years ago, all the girls at my office thought it would be fun to do a Secret Cupid gift exchange. It’s, by far, one of my new favorite things when it comes to Valentine’s Day because I know I’ll end up with a pretty sweet gift (no pun intended).

Let’s all be serious. When it comes to Valentine’s Day gifts, we all just want a few of the fun, maybe cheesy or silly, cute items that stores (namely Papersource) stock this time of year.  So the Secret Cupid is perfect. Nothing fancy when it comes to organizing one – it’s basically the exact same thing as a Secret Santa exchange but we do it with just girls and a $25 gift limit. You can get a bunch of little things or one big gift – it’s up to you – we just make sure that it’s something the person would love. Which around our company usually means kitschy office supplies, funny gift cards and anything Rifle Paper Co.

If you’ve got more than three ladies in your office, I definitely recommend throwing one together (you can do it on Monday – it will make the start of the week WAY better). Or just send out an email to all your girlfriends, swap names and deliver the gifts on the 14th or plan a girl’s night out before or after.

Here’s a few of my favorite gift ideas. I’ll also be adding some to the rotating favorites in the side bar so check those out too!

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