Your sayin ............What do they know about a Kentucky Derby Party? They live in Washington State and were both born and raised Pacific Northwest. And why did Donna get a surprise party?
To answer the first questions.......
Not a damn thing!
We know that it looks like tons of fun, we would love to attend one day and I personally love the hats. I also have a little affection for the playing the ponies.
Second part of the question........
I have to start way back in the beginning, last November when The Hubs and I were attending WSU Laura's surprise birthday party.
The Hubs and I were hosting an after wine tour BBQ at our house. There was to be a winery stop that was the last stop before everyone came over to our house. We had taken a car to this last stop so when the bus got there I could jump in my car while everyone was enjoying the winery, race home, and start getting some food ready for our guest who had been drinking all day and were probably starving.
Donna had agreed to meet me and help out. Donna has been at every party The Hubs and I have thrown and is always the "hired" help. She never says no when asked.
Well something happen in the communication between me and the winery tour decision maker (Mr. WSU) and we ended up going to a different winery and I FLIPPED OUT!
(the fact about Timi) The FAT: a huge pet peeve of mine is things not being on time when it comes to food. I can not stand food all coming out at different times. My mother taught me that timing is everything. Everything has to come out at the same time for dinner, parties, whatever. And......it needs to be hot! This is probably what stresses me out the most with parties. I want everything to be out together, hot and ready for guest.
I had no way to get to my car because we were on a bus tour.
So I called Donna and she drove all the way to the winery, picked me and The Hubs up and took us home so we could get things going for the rest of the party. Donna...........Party Saver!
Our Ugly Christmas Sweater Party.........same thing, Donna came early to help because I'm always in the weeds in getting stuff ready to go. She was wrapping gifts, lighting candles, and helping get food out. Again..........she's my second set of hands.
On Christmas day at my parents house, The Hubs, my parents, and myself were talking about how helpful Donna always is. The fact that she never says NO.
That she's just a good friend to us (me)
She has taken care of Franklin for days at time while we were away, came and watered plants in the middle of summer when they needed it, desperately, gathered mail, picked up our dog so we wouldn't get charged extra at Doggy Daycare, taken us to the airport and driven all the way to our house just to check the coffee pot making sure it's off. She also is always game for whatever crazy ass idea comes in my head. She has been a very loyal partner in crime to me.
My Dad being a big Donna fan said "you need to have a party for Donna!" "not for her birthday, it needs to be Donna Appreciation Day!"
I'm on it!
I called WSU Laura immediately and said
"hey this is what I'm going to do"
We all know WSU Laura loves a good party. She truly is the Queen of fantastic parties in our circle of friends. So, she and I started trying to come up with themes for our party. Things Donna loves. What could we do???
I got a hold of her sister and between the 3 of us we had a plan! It's going to be a beach theme. Seafood boil, red and white table cloths, sand, beach everything!
LOTS OF TIME TO PLAN!
Then........change of plans......
One day Donna and I were driving in the car and she was telling me that she was planning a 2 week trip to Vegas to visit friends the first couple weeks of May.
I had to think fast!
DING DING........ brilliant idea!
Let the lies begin!
Me: "hey, I'm thinking about having a blog party and I was wondering if I could get you to help me with it"
In true Donna form
Donna: Oh of course!
Me: I need a theme for this party? What do you think it should be?
Donna: It's on May 2nd?
Me: Yes, sorry that's right when you wanted to got to Vegas
Donna: Oh I can go anytime
Donna: You should have a Kentucky Derby Theme. Have everyone were hats, have traditional Southern food, and mint juleps.
Me: That's a fantastic idea! What kind of food should we have?
Donna: Oh, BBQ brisket for sure, cornbread, mac and cheese, coleslaw, and..........well it's your party you have whatever you want.
Me: No I'm asking you what you think we should have. You know me I will go over board with the food. So I need ideas so I don't make too much.
Donna: OK, let me think about it.
Me: Should it be formal or casual?
Donna: Oh you should go formal. That would be fun.
Me: Your going to be there to help me right?
Donna: Sure I'll help. Let me put it on my calender right now.
She whips out her little pocket calendar and writes it down.
Donna: Are you going to post this on your blog?
Me: Oh, no. It's going to be invite only. The Hubs doesn't' want me opening the house up to just anyone who can walk in off the street. Safety ya know!
Donna: Oh good idea!
The concept was born and Donna would be helping me and WSU Laura plan the whole thing! We had Donna's sister Diann in on it, but we had to keep that part a secret. Donna would have known something was up.
So the months went by, I ended up having shoulder surgery, and then it was the end of April and time to start really getting going on this. Donna came to the rescue yet again in helping me get ready.
Before I get in to the party lets talk about hats for a minute.
I'll keep it short.
In Washington when someone says hat, ones mind goes to ski hat, baseball hat, or cowboy hat. Maybe a sun visor. We are mostly baseball hat people. I'll be the first to admit I myself own a bazillion baseball style hats.
Finding a hat in this area that would be Kentucky Derby party worthy wasn't an easy task. Donna and I looked every where we could think of. Department stores, discount stores, thrift stores, consignment stores. We looked every where in a 50 mile radius. Finally I found a place on line that I thought we should check out. Even if we couldn't afford a hat there we could look.
read our reviews on Yelp.
This little shop is so blog worthy! I didn't even think about taking a camera with me and I'm so disappointed I didn't.
Donna and I are going to go back take pictures and I'm doing a whole blog on this woman one day. Meeting Henrietta and seeing her creations was defiantly a high light in life.
OK, back to the Kentucky Derby Story.........................
It's Derby Day!
Donna suspects nothing! She and WSU Laura came over the day before and helped me set up, cook and make our hats.
She was so surprised!
The balloons that were out front at the end of our driveway to mark The Kentucky Derby Party House. It started pouring down rain before I could get an outside picture of them. They looked so festive. I loved them.
We served mint juleps but here was the second star of the day.........
LORDY LORDY this stuff is the bomb!
Thank you to all the East Coast and Southern Bloggers who talked about this on their blogs. We are lovin it!
I just ordered a case from the liquor store. This will be our drink of choice this summer.
Full glass of ice
1 part simple syrup (sugar water)
1 part vodka
filled it up the rest of the glass with water or soda water. Depends on if you like a little fizz.
F A B U L O U S!
The food! WSU Laura helping put food out.
WSU Laura's outfit and hat were fantastic!
It was all ready on time.
BBQ Pulled Pork and BBQ Brisket from Sticky Fingers BBQ
They did a great job. We used them for our Ugly Christmas Sweater Party too.
I ended up making corn bread, prawn mac and cheese, deviled eggs, and strawberry shortcake for dessert.
Your cooks for the day.............The Nuckinfuts
We used my Grandmothers China and I found this great hat that my mother had given me years ago.
How cute are A Dozen Eggs cookies on the table???
This was Princess Spoiled Brat's outfit. Her horse made the horse race bugle sound.