BBQ, Bourbon and Big Hats

Bonjour, mes bons amis!

We finally made it to the weekend!  It’s been quite a week – but what better way to relax than by getting in the mood for “the greatest two minutes in sports” with Kentucky-inspired cocktails, smoky southern BBQ and of course, a fancy big hat!  (We really need more traditional occasions/reasons for wearing big hats like the Derby…)

churchill downs, kentucky derby, 139th kentucky derby, bbq, bourbon, big hats

Churchill Downs has hosted the Kentucky Derby for 139 years
{photos from top left: pberry / jackiembarr / JoeyBLS Photography / Velo Junior / Nikki McLeod}

Bourbon is a personal favorite of mine, so I enjoy watching the event with friends, pretending to be at Churchill Downs wearing a big hat of my own with a delicious bourbon cocktail in hand.  Needless to say, I needed little convincing to share some of my own Derby inspirations.

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We need more reasons for bourbon cocktails and big hats…

  1. Trust a pro like Mrs. Lilien’s “Mrs. Julep” easy and Derby-ready mint julep recipe. While you’re at it, pick up her amazing Cocktail Swatchbook full of ideas for every occasion!
  2. Every trip to San Francisco, I enjoy a number of classic bourbon cocktails at this modern speakeasy – reservations and password required, however, cell phones and prowling strictly prohibited.
  3. You’re bound to find a tasty mint julep at Brooklyn’s Char No. 4, specializing in nothing but bourbon (and oddly, delicious cheese curds!).
  4. Find the perfect fancy big hat for that last minute Derby party or polo match at an online retailer like Hats in the Belfry or from Lexington, KY’s very own Polly Singer.
  5. If you’re looking for BBQ to complement your bourbon cocktail and big hat, here’s a national roundup of the best in the country.
  6. Great snack and app recipes for a Derby Party – direct from the horse’s mouth!

Finally, as old-school and traditional as the Kentucky Derby may be…

kentucky derby, 1955 kentucky derby, african american waiters, racial divide, first black jockey, kevin

Kentucky Derby in 1955

… today’s Kentucky Derby is anything but stuck in the past.

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Kevin Krigger, Kentucky Derby jockey hoping to win the garland of roses.

And I’m off!

Have a wonderful weekend, mes bons amis!!

♥ – LBH

 

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Bourbon Gets Personal…

beckyoinla | flickr:celieknob creek | serious eats | pottery barn

What’s better than a deliciously smooth bourbon, either mixed or neat?

A PERSONALIZED BOURBON GIFT!

And now, Knob Creek is offering personalized labels on their bottles – how much more perfect could this get?

Order yours today on the Knob Creek website here.  How easy was that?

LBH

Cold Weather Survival Tips

Bonjour, bon ami!!

It’s actually getting quite chilly here in Los Angeles!  And as the temperatures drop in this late autumn season, this means it’s time to gear up to face the cold weather challenges.  Here are some of my favorite ways to combat and survive the cold weather:

top: flickr/rubyblossom | bottom: thebeautydepartment.com

My skin is typically combination to oily during the majority of the year here in Los Angeles.  However, the colder dryer than usual autumn and winter days wreaks havoc on my skin.  But one of the best ways I’ve found to fight the flaky-itchy-scaly-skin-look is to combine my moisturizer (using the same amount I would normally), and adding two to three drops of Vitamin E oil.  You can find Vitamin E oil (in liquid form) at nearly any drug store or health food store.  Just the two to three drops of oil will give your moisturizer the additional boost it needs to give your skin a healthy glow – after all, crack is whack.

tumblr: kroketta

If your lovely home is sans a functioning fireplace, well, I feel your pain.  During the cool weather, there is nothing like the smell of a burning fireplace in the air from a nearby chimney.

voluspa

But you can still capture the scent of the season with delightful candles like Voluspa’s Frost Pinecone, or grab one of the many great and inexpensive candles from Target.

And for unscented but charming candlelight, grab one of these lovely hibou or pinecone candles from Cost Plus World Market!

One of the best ways to survive the cold is obviously turning on/up the heat in your home.  Or… you could warm the house and heart by baking these entrancing and enchanting little mini apple pies!  The aroma of cinnamon, spices and apples is sure to make you feel a lot better about being indoors.  I used Camille Styles’ great recipe as a guide to make these little guys above in ramekins.

Of course, the best way to stay warm is to first get warm on the INSIDE!  Try a bourbon, cognac or brandy cocktail by starting with a good quality grade (ie. Makers Mark, ), add simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar boiled together) and fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste, topped with a splash of ginger ale.  Muddle and add fresh blueberries, blackberries or cranberries for an even more layered cocktail.  And for those nights where you may feel a cold or cough developing, you can always trust in a Hot Toddy to help ward off germs (and evil spirits). Try The Kitchn’s Apple Ginger Hot Toddy – it will definitely warm your soul.

wendy’s lookbook | prepfection | j. crew lookbook | white + warren | goorin bros | the cherryblossom girl | anthropologie | crush cul de sac

This is the time for you to try all of those great layered cozy looks that you’ve seen since last spring (but would start sweating just as the thought of wearing them).  Pull out that cute wool hat in the corner of the closet, pick up that inviting infinity scarf, and pull out those cute sparkly cashmere gloves.  Cold weather is much more forgiving when it comes to layering, so don’t fear a mismatch – mix textures, materials and colors.

What are your cold weather tips and favorites??

Stay warm, bon ami!

LBH