Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Day with the "Wiser Generation"

I don't know about you but I'm definitely inspired by the "Wiser Generation". 
Their zest for life is contagious!  
Today I had the opportunity to meet with many of these wonderful seniors at the Miralea Vendor Fair at the Olmsted. They were there to learn more about the services available to them during their transition from their current home to their new one at Miralea, an independent living community on the Masonic Home Campus.  

We set up a room vignette, rather than a banquet table with a few chairs.
Doesn't it look cozy? 
The idea is to demonstrate that you can have a wonderfully comfortable environment even in a small space.

As you can see, it was well attended!  That's me in the center having a wonderful discussion 
with an old friend who is moving into Miralea.

I look forward to seeing everyone in the months leading up to their move in the Fall. And I'm sure I will since I have a long-standing relationship with one of the new residents - my Mom!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Joan's Trifecta - The Final Pick

It's almost here.
 The greatest two minutes in sports!  And your Derby party has one more key ingredient to make it as memorable as the race itself....

The menu is perfect and the table is festive. Now the focus is on you!
So what will you wear for a day at the races and party at home?

I like to dress up for the occasion.  It puts me in the party mood.
My choice?

The weather at the track on Derby Day can be unpredictable so layering is the way to go.
I love this dress/ jacket combo!  It's colorful, elegant and easy to transition from day to evening.

And of course, the hat is the final polish to this fabulous outfit.

Once at home, wear the dress solo for a softer look

My secret weapon?
 Ditch the heels you've endured all day and switch to these bejeweled sandals.
They're classy, chic and best of all, comfortable so you can enjoy the party!

My trifecta picks for the perfect Derby bash...



Thursday, April 19, 2012

Joan's Trifecta Part Two - Fabulous Tabletop

My Trifecta picks for a winning Derby party?   In my last blog I talked about the most important one,

But that's just the beginning.

Terrific food deserves a

Taking my cues from the brightly colored jockey silks, I like to make my Derby table a mix of playfulness and sophistication.

Starting with a citrus yellow charger, I add graphic punch with this polka dot dinner plate

And layer with a black and white jockey salad plate.

This checkerboard place mat is the perfect backdrop for my colorful placesetting.

With a subtle nod to our polka dot theme this stemware and napkin still remains simple and classic. 

What's the third pick in my winning Trifecta?  Coming up in my next blog....


Saturday, April 14, 2012


What an exciting phone call 
when Cathy Zion, publisher for Today's Woman Magazine, informed me 
that I had won Most Admired Woman (Home/Style category)!

Thank you to all my friends for taking the time to vote.  
It would not have happened without

Check out the June issue of Today's Woman for interviews from all of the winners.

I would love to see you at the 
Awards Banquet at the Mellwood Arts Center
Tuesday, June 26th.  
Get your tickets soon as this event sells out quickly.



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Joan's Trifecta

In about three weeks, the whole world will converge on our beautiful city when we host the 
Kentucky Derby.  Eleven months out of the year, Louisville is like any mid-size town.  But, when April comes, the excitement builds as we enjoy the many events leading up to the first Saturday in May.  
Just a horse race, you say?
Hardly!  From Thunder Over Louisville, one of the largest fireworks display in the world, to the 
Great Balloon Race and Pegesus Parade it's a month long celebration. 
It's also a great excuse to dress up and entertain!

Here's my first entry in the winning TRIFECTA,  
whether your Derby gathering is in Louisville or LA.

Louisville has a reputation for being a  "Foodie" town and our panache for fabulous spreads is no exception. Using the freshest seasonal ingredients I can find, I like to serve traditional Derby fare that celebrates our rich culinary heritage. My sure bet? Country ham biscuits with orange marmalade, oven roasted asparagus, corn pudding and yes, 
warm Derby Pie!

It goes with saying, the mint julep is the quintessential Derby drink.  I always serve them in silver julep cups with a fresh mint spring.  Made the old fashioned way, with simple syrup and crushed mint,
 it doesn't get any better. 

Watch for my next entry in the winning TRIFECTA!



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Through the Garden Gate

For the past four years I've had the pleasure of visiting one of the most fascinating and historically significant places on earth - The University of Virginia in Charlottesville. With my son graduating in May, I wanted to make one last trip before the big day.

There are plenty of tours of the Grounds, but I've been intrigued by a lesser known self-guided tour of the gardens behind the Pavillions in the academic village. Home to college deans and professors, each Pavillion has a secluded garden, which is accessible through a series of garden gates. Although open to the public, these hidden little gems are very private, with an occasional student seen on a bench or lying in the grass.

What lies beyond each gate is a sight to behold!

And in keeping with Thomas Jefferson's love of  Neo-Classical style, each garden gate was designed with classical elements to complement
the Pavillion behind it. 

This is my heaven on earth!

The next time I see my son, he'll be in cap and gown marching down the Lawn from the Rotunda.  Somehow I don't think that will be last time I'll visit UVa......