Throwing an Easter Tea Party for Little Ones…

I don’t know about you but Easter has always been my favorite time.  It’s all about family, rebirth and renewal.  The world is waking up after a cold winter (at least where I lived in Central Kentucky).  I loved dyeing Easter eggs, decorating and making Bunny cakes.  However, I never partook of an Easter Tea Party!  We were too busy shopping for our Easter outfits, dyeing eggs and playing outside.  



I was interviewed by Christine Chagaris for Motherly about tea parties for little ones.  I must admit while I have many tea parties for adults, this was my first time planning a tea party for children.  The ideas came fast and furious because there are so many options.  I know many children who love to help cook and create.  As a child, I loved to bake and still do.  To read Christine’s article, visit the link below. 

There are endless themes one can use. Teas can be outdoor (weather permitting) or indoor.  I love the use of herbal teas for kids since they are often fruity, don’t have caffeine and are bright/colorful.  Celestial Seasonings teas such Red Zinger, Raspberry Zinger, and Herbal Peach are good choices and can be purchased at most grocery stores.  


I love the use of Peter Rabbit decor in this photo.  So much can be easily ordered online.  The important thing is to have fun, create memories and take lots of photos.  Read the article for more information

I was recently certified as an Afternoon Tea Expert by the Southern California School of Etiquette.   This will be an exciting addition to the programs that I already offer.  Since November, I have done an online event called “Tea With Polly”.  


Hats Suggestions for Derby 2020

I never thought we would have the Kentucky Derby in September.  We certainly do live in unusual times!

Polly and Husband Keith at Derby Party

What are my suggestions for Derby fashions?  

Well, as you any Kentuckian can tell you, it will be hot and humid.  Probably sunny.  In fact, when I first heard that they were moving the Kentucky Derby to September, my first thought was “Finally, a chance to escape the rain”. As you may know, it has rained on Derby Day in May for the past few years. A sunny day has been rare! When I went in 2009, I had three layers of clothing to stay warm!

There are many ways you can go style wise. 

Pink Feather Saucer Hat

Celebrate Summer’s Last Weekend

This means going all out and wearing your summer outfits for the last time.  Think vibrant pinks and striking blues.  Try Serena, Lucille, Ella, Julia or Simone. 




Lucille Pink and White fascinator saucer
Gretchen Red Feather Statement Saucer


Don’t forget red.

Nothing says Derby more than stunning reds. After all, it is known as the Run for the Roses!  Red is everywhere!

Gretchen or Catherine are my recommendations if you decide to go the red route.  Simple to coordinate with if you wear a black dress. It even works well with emerald green and navy.



Catherine Red Crinoline Black Sinamay Base
Shirley Temple Pink, white and black boater hat


Transition to Fall

I love soft pinks for fall.  Paired with navy, gray or ivory, they are so pretty. I have made many fascinators and saucer hats in soft pinks.  Try Serena, Lucille, Harper or even Temple.


Beryl is a great choice as well. Black and cream with soft pink ribbon trim. This is my patented paisley hatinator.




Beryl Paisley Black and Pink Fascinator
Ada Navy Fascinator with Pink Flower

Navy is always a safe choice. 

Ada, from our Great Women and Great Hats line, is a great choice.  A hand sculpted, straw bespoke fascinator with vibrant pink flowers. 


Mary, from our GWGH line, has the classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s bell brim. Navy straw with bright green flowers, it is a great transition to fall.


Mary Kies navy Audrey Hepburn style hat
Suzanne Wine Feather Fascinator




Try a fascinator that will transition into fall

Another option is fall style fascinators like Suzanne, shown with wine hydragenas and pheasant feathers.  


Another option is going for the rich jewel tones of ruby, sapphire and emerald.  Stunning with a black, navy or emerald dress.

Lady Rose




Lady Rose Wine Percher
Billie Light Tan Fedora

A More Casual Route

Not sure how to dress?  Afraid that the Derby won’t be as dressy this year with the restrictions?  Then, I would suggest one of our stylish fedoras trimmed with a gold bridle bit.  A hat like Billie, is a timeless classic. You can wear it many places besides the Kentucky Derby. 


If you prefer all white, try Helen, named after Helen Keller and part of our Great Women and Great Hats line.


Helen White Fedora

A September Kentucky Derby Party! Part 2


Decor wise, I love the idea of finding old trophies and putting roses in them. Filling julep cups with flowers is always a good idea too. I did that for my July wedding.  You can order Derby party supplies from many companies. Party City has some fun items.

Set up your display a few days ahead of time. That way, you can add more if you need to.  


This is perfect if you are hosting a Derby themed baby, bridal, wedding or birthday party.  You can get julep cups, purchase mini Woodford Reserve bottles, make a bit of simple syrup (it’s SO easy), paper straws and ribbon. Creative and festive.

Mint Julep Favors

Billie Light Tan Fedora


Hat wise, you can go in many directions. Want something casual, wear Billie. This ivory fedora has a white band and gold bridle bit. This handmade hat is classic Kentucky and will go with most everything in your closet. Billie is from our Great Women and Great Hats line.  Named after Jazz legend, Billie Holiday, born Eleanora Fagan in 1915.


Mary Navy Hepburn Brim With Green Hydrangeas and White Feathers

Want to be more dressy and go all out? Wear Mary from our Great Women and Great Hats line.  Handmade in our classic Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffanys shape, this hat is a winner. Named after Mary Kies, the first female to get a patent.  She wove silk with straw to make hats.


Serena Pink Fascinator with Feathers

Loving the idea of a fascinator? We have many options. Serena is new and from our Great Women and Great Hats line.  We named this handmade one of a kind stunner after the legendary tennis player Serena Williams.  Serena was the former world No. 1 in women’s single tennis. The Women’s Tennis Association ranked Serena Williams world No. 1 eight different times between 2002 and 2017. In total, Williams has been No. 1 for 319 weeks. Serena has also won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, 14 women’s doubles, and 2 in mixed doubles, which is the most by anyone in the Open Era. Williams also represented the United States in the Olympics, and brought home 4 gold medals. 




Select an impartial attendee to pick his or her favorite!  Nothing spurs people to dress up more than a contest.  Encourage people to have fun with this. Some people have a hat parade. Awards can be for Most Original, Best Couple, Most Winner’s Circle Worthy, etc.  You get the idea.  While this trophy may be a little over the top, you get the idea!  

The most important thing with any party is how your guests feel.  Make them feel:

1. At home

2. Treasured

3. Important

Do those three things and they will remember your party for years. 

Also, take LOTS of pictures!



A September Derby Party? Why not! Part 1


Never in a million years would I have thought I would be writing about a Kentucky Derby in September! But the world is full of surprises and things like our present situation force us to think outside the hatbox! 🙂

The Kentucky Derby this year will be run on September 5th, which is Labor Weekend, with limited attendance. What I would suggest is host a blow out Kentucky Derby party at home! We still have many things to celebrate. Getting good friends together is always a win/win. The past year has been extremely challenging for most. Let’s do what we can to lift spirits and make people smile!  

I love to pull out the silver mint julep cups, whether it’s for mint juleps or floral arrangements.  Always a classic!  You can do something simple or go all out.



Over the years, many have decided to do bridal showers, birthday parties, galas, teas, baby showers and even weddings with a Kentucky Derby party theme. What’s not to love? Roses, silver, friends, horses and more.  There are endless ways to celebrate.  You can request that your guests dress up or dress down.  You can have a simple spread or do something more lavish.   I love the idea of the gold frame (shown on the left) with a chalk board background.

I think now, more than ever, it’s important to celebrate with friends and family.  Due to the government restrictions regarding Covid-19, people as of late have been incredibly isolated.  We are social beings.  Being around people energizes me.  Of course, always use precautions and be safe.    



Feeling charitable? Maybe do a fundraiser for a charity. Each person who bets can put $10 in the hat.  Instead of the betting pool going to one person, donate the proceeds to charity.  If 15 horses run, that’s a quick way to raise $150 for your favorite charity. Most non-profits have been unable to host events this year and many are struggling.  I like Central Kentucky Riding for Hope.

Another good non profit is Kentucky Equine Adoption Center.  They rescue, rehabilitate and adopt out all breeds.


Food wise, I would stick with Derby favorites. Hot Browns are a must as well as pimento cheese sandwiches, Derby pie, a delicious cheese platter and cheddar chive biscuits with ham is always a favorite.  I came across a recipe for Pimento Cheese Grits, which combine two very Southern foods into one creamy dish.  It’s a Bobby Flay recipe as well.

Drink wise, there is the classic mint julep. However, many people that I know do not prefer them. The Oaks Lilly is a popular alternative.