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Rebecca Ray's Kentucky Derby Trip

Posted on May 06, 2014 by Rebecca | 1 comment

This weekend, Derek, Monica and I were treated to the most wonderful Southern hospitality as we attended the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks. I thought the thrill of the year would be designing and having our Rebecca Ray Designs Bags as an Officially Licensed Bag of Derby 140, but getting to go and see the behind the scenes of the Derby was the thrill of a lifetime!! I'm still in a bit of "recovery mode", but I am so excited to share the trip with you!!

       

We started our weekend on Thursday night, when we arrived at the hotel with hundreds of other guests from all over the country - getting all of the hats in safely was quite a chore.  As you can imagine, shopping for the outfits for this weekend of activities is enough to complex anyone!

 

On Friday morning, we headed off to the track for a day of racing featuring The Oaks, a race for the top fillies that is dedicated to breast cancer research and funding.  As the sun was shining, Churchill Downs was bedecked in the most marvelous pink banners and flags. Everyone was wearing pink - it was a beautiful sea of gorgeous dresses and hats decked out in flowers and draping.  

We stood on the edge of that legendary paddock watching our friend Jill Byrne, who is Director of Programming and official handicapper of Churchill Downs, tell over a hundred thousand people about her best picks for the day.  Later that weekend, Jill was gracious enough to wear her Rebecca Ray Designs Bit Cuff that coordinated beautifully with her Derby Red dress and gorgeous hat. 

We finished the night by sitting up in the very posh Turf Room sipping Lilly drinks (a fabulous concoction that involves vodka and cranberry juice) from our commemorative glasses. 

By Saturday morning, Derby Day, I had gotten the hat wearing trick down, and we were ready to go again.  This time we were sitting in marvelous seats on the ground level of the track, a few boxes back and one furlong off of the finish wire.  

All of our lives Derek and I had horses yet neither of us had ever bet on a horse! We received a quick lesson in the lingo and learned how to place a bet- Derek seemed to pick this up very quickly!

During the afternoon, we were treated to a special tour of the Churchill Downs, which included a trip to the inside of the paddock to watch a race prepare while they saddled, bridled and said those famous words, "Riders Up!"  

 

While on the tour we also saw all of the different levels of the building and the various clubs, including the Turf Club and the President's Room, where we viewed the Derby Trophies and all of the those famous sterling Mint Julep cups up close!!

       

 

Can't wait for next year's Derby!

 

Rebecca

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Hurray! Summer's Here at Rebecca Ray!

Posted on June 05, 2013 by Rebecca | 0 comments

I do believe, that after a slightly contentious winter that hung on way too long, it appears that summer is finally here.  A chance to wear all of those bright colors that we have been longing for.  For me, it is also a time to pick flowers out of the garden almost every evening - I hunt and gather and run in to poke through all of my containers, vases and pitchers that I have collected throughout the years. Nothing perks up a room quite like fresh flowers! At our new farm, the peonies are particularly stunning this year all in pinks and whites in various shapes.  I'm pairing them with simple variegated hosta leaves that I also find in the yard.  The flowering trees are also a source of inspiration; I love placing branches in mid-century vases of strong greeks and blues.  Our hydrangeas are big and pink, and I love pairing those blooms with white ironstone or milk glass. Summer is also one of my favorite times because it is the start of all of our local, fresh farmer's markets. All of that fresh produce and home grown product inspires me to go home and cook!

 

From flowers to fruits, I have always been captivated by these bright colors found in nature, and the inspiration has translated into my designs! Whenever I see a dark red delicious apple, I am reminded of the time when I designed The Maryann handbag. I was trying to pick out a rich fall color for the bag and saw the apple I had with my lunch… and that’s how the red Maryann came to be! A pink Camryn handbag is always reminiscent to me of the pink peonies in my garden and a orange Croc Bracelet makes me long for sweet summer peaches. Hope you get inspired to both garden and embrace Summer style with Rebecca Ray!!

 

Best,

Rebecca 

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