Talk Derby to Me!

I am so sorry! I have been a bad bad blogger. It’s been a busy month (or so) personally and professionally. I’ve been bursting with ideas to share the whole time but have also been too exhausted to sit down at night and write. That’s no excuse though – I promise will try to get my head back in the game!
So let’s kick things back off with a bang! May 1st was one of my favorite days of the year; the Kentucky Derby! Last year I held my first Derby party and decided to make it an annual event. 
For the 2010 race, my inspiration was a mix of Millionaire’s row and garden party with a few Derby touches. The paper I found for the invites sealed the deal: 
Disclaimer: excuse the poor photography. I’m using a simple Canon SD1100 – so you won’t see anything fancy from me. I also need to make better choices on WHAT I photograph. 

A little bit of folding, Cricut-ing and double-sided-taping later; the invites were ready to send:

When guests entered (or left), they could take their official Kentucky Derby 136 plastic cup. Everyone was encouraged to pull out their best Derby hats and gear so throughout the party, they had an opportunity to vote for the best hat and the best overall outfit. If you squint, (just one photo oversight!) you can see the Derby-branded julep glasses at the back of the table that the winners got to take home as a prize.

The appetizer buffet included Derby favorites like Kentucky Hot Browns (mini-size) and Benedictine Dip along with grilled asparagus, cheesy garlic biscuits, fruit salad and cocktail weenies (my husband’s request).

My new Cricut was a huge time-saver! Last year, my sister and I traced and cut out horseshoes by hand to make a garland. Pushing a few buttons makes paper-crafting so much easier! I used the horse, from the My World cartridge, and flower, from Home Decor Solutions, shapes for garlands and tags.

We moved our dining room table out from the center of the room to open things up. The chandelier that usually hangs over the table at right about forehead level (ouch!) so I wanted to be sure people didn’t miss it!

At the Mint Julep station, pre-mixed Mint Juleps were in a pitcher and extra Early Times whiskey and mint syrup on hand for guests to make adjustments.

One more thing that I didn’t photograph very well was the betting window. Some friendly, $2 wagers were allowed before the race. A photo booth was also set up for some post-race fun. However, by the time those pictures started, a few too many mint juleps had been consumed – so I won’t subject you to our “silliness.”
Everyone had a blast and I had far too much fun planning it.
If you’re thinking about holding a bash for the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby, check out  http://www.kentuckyderby.com/party for guidance and Caufields Novelty for supplies and super-fast shipping.
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