Bridles & Baubles

Become Fluent In Trench

Nothing works harder or looks better during the transitional seasons (winter to spring and late summer to fall) than an elegant, timeless trench. The trench coat is a worthy invest that always looks chic. It provides a layer of warmth without looking and being too heavy and instantly glamorizes and polishes any look.

For example, it smartens up a chambray shirt, cuffed skinny jeans and heels:

Or gives a je ne sais quoi attitude to dressier pieces:

You can also layer it over heavier winter pieces such as chunky turtlenecks or fur vests on cold blustery days:

The trench is a true workhorse and worth investing in! Quite a few retailers are showing some great styles that will add a little pop to your wardrobe.

Banana Republic has a gorgeous traditional style in a warm vanilla color that will look amazing paired with your dark colors now and bright pastels in the spring:

Ann Taylor has two great takes on the classic trench. The first one is a more angular take on trench and looks sharp paired with jeans and a striped shirt but will also look professional for work. It features faux leather details for added interest. The second is a trench cape that I love and will be adding to my closet. It's just amazing! Cue messy ponytail, red lipstick...

White House Black Market has a more feminine take on the trench with princess seams, fitted waist, bold buttons and a ruffled collar. If you already own a traditional tan/cream trench add this bright lipstick red trench to chase away the winter blues. This shade of red is flattering on everyone and will brighten your winter complexion. You can never go wrong with this black trench especially with such a flattering fit and flare, equestrian inspired design.

Product Review: SmartPak Piper Breeches

This cartoon perfectly sums up the difficult task of finding the perfect breeches.

Now that I am back riding, I have started the "perfect breeches hunt". In some circles it would be sacrilege to say what I am about to type but, I don't like Tailored Sportsman breeches. I have tried them in all the styles numerous times and I just don't care for their fit or fabric. Every time I wear them they feel and look frumpy, plus the fabric is slicky yet sticky and feels like something an old man would wear. Yuck! 

So I decided to try SmartPak's Piper Knee Patch Breeches for everyday riding and I can honestly say I really like them. They are made from a thick (yet not hot) stretchy fabric that does a nice job of holding you in and camouflaging any lumps and bumps (maybe indulged a little too much over the holidays). The seamed back stitching and pockets are super flattering and give your derriere a little lift. One of my favorite elements is the fact that they lined the inside edge of the pockets with a super soft faux suede so you fingers and hands don't get scratched when you put your hands in the pockets (it's the small details that count). They move and stretch in all the right places and are very comfortable to ride in. The wider waistband is super flattering and hits in the right spot, not too low, not too high. They come in a variety of fun colors with contrasting trim, making them functional yet stylish.

My only complaints would be that the waist stretched out a bit as the day went on (easily remedied by going down a size) and the SmartPak logo appears in two places (front pocket and back) as well as a rubber plastic patch with the Piper name and all rather large in size. A smaller logo in just one spot would suffice.

Overall great, well-designed breeches at reasonable price and well worth a try! I am still on the hunt for the perfect show breeches and have three styles coming to me from SmartPak and am hoping one is a winner! Tell me about your favorite brands and styles!

Arctic Fleece

It has been a cold winter so far and my two horses at home Woody and Scout have had to wear their polar fleece hoods on numerous occasions. The past few years I have used some older polar fleece hoods when the temperature drops but after numerous wearings this season I went on the hunt for new hoods. Thanks to Robinhoods, I have been able to replace their old hoods with an upgraded version.

My older polar fleece hoods constantly acted like velcro picking up shavings and hay and generally looking like this:


The new Robinhoods Arctic Fleece hoods are made from a unique stretch fabric that is soft and fuzzy on the inside and smooth on the outside so you avoid the above scenario. They also feature a durable zipper and an elastic girth band that help keep the hood in place. My horses are warm and cozy in their new hoods and I can spend less time keeping them shavings-free.

Woody in his new Arctic Fleece hood: 



Arctic Fleece hoods are available online at Robinhoods.com.

Stikwood

I don't write many posts about home design because I feel there are so many great design blogs out there, not to mention Pinterest and Houzz. However, my husband and I are in the process of building a house and I feel like I have a lot of "house stuff" on the brain and will from time to time share with you some of my more unique finds. Today I am sharing one of the coolest inventions I have ever seen, it can totally re-vamp and revolutionize a space with simple diy installation.

As a barn girl I love the look of weathered wood and my husband and I have talked about installing a weathered wood wall in our bedroom behind our bed. Ordinarily that would be a huge project, build a frame, find a gazillion pieces of weathered wood, cut each to piece to size, install and sand (I am tired just thinking about it). Well, thanks to Stikwood you can now buy thin planks of solid real wood that just stick on the wall. Each plank has strips of heavy duty adhesive that make it easy to peel and stick to create a stunning wood wall. Stikwood comes in a variety of styles and colors from contemporary to rustic. Sheer brilliance! Available at Stikwood.com.


Hey Sailor

It's that time of year when the stores are rapidly moving out winter merchandise at deep discounts and slowly adding in resort items. It never fails that navy and navy stripes in particular always play a large part in most resort collections. I guess they are less jarring than neons and pastels when the weather is still bitterly cold and the thinking is they still look good paired with dark denim and boots now but also look fresh paired with white denim later.

This navy combo from Bailey 44 caught my eye and actually got me thinking about adding them to my closet. The ponte knit navy pea coat is updated in a cropped silhouette that allows longer length tops to peek out. I love it paired with the Retreat top, which happens to be the most interesting sailor striped top I have ever see. The traditional navy and white linen shirt gets a boost from a contrast stripe woven shirting bottom hem. This whole outfit will allow you to dream about warmer days while still staying warm and cozy. Available at Bailey 44.






January Love List

Hi y'all! Happy New Year! 

I hope if you did this on NYE:

You did not end up like this:

But if you did, all's well that ends well, move on to the next year with dignity and your head held high, no judging here! I am back to blogging after taking a small hiatus and hope to share with you my love of fashion, beauty, food and all things horses. I am kicking off with a new feature that I will do the beginning each month that chronicles some of the things that I am loving, using, eating, enjoying, looking forward to in the coming month. So, put away those silly resolutions and enjoy my January love list.

January has been ushered in with a powerful arctic blast and tends to be one of the coldest months in Oklahoma so many items on my Love List help battle the cold.

1. North Face Osito 2 Jacket

I was lucky to receive one of these gems for Christmas and let me tell you, it is like wearing a warm, furry hug. It is made out of this soft, silky, fuzzy fabric that feels amazing (much like a baby's blanket or expensive stuffed animal) and blocks the wind, keeping you very warm. You can wear it alone or as an extra layer under a coat. I also love that it comes in 22 yummy colors, perfect for adding a touch of cheer to cold, gray days.

2. Chapstick Total Hydration

Cold wind and dry heat combine to create super chapped lips and this new product from Chapstick is the real deal. It keeps your lips super soft and hydrated, banishing rough, flaky lips. It contains botanical oils rich in Omegas 3/6/9 which help maintain younger, healthier lips. It is thicker and glides on smoother than traditional Chapstick and is only available at Target.

3. Ugg Volta Boots

I love Uggs, even though some think they are out of style. They are supremely comfy and warm and I feel no shame when I bust them out every winter. This season I needed a leather bootie that was warm and water-proof that I could wear with skinny jeans. I was pleased to see that Ugg has created some more "fashion" boots that still retain the warmth and comfort of their traditional boots. The Volta comes in leather and suede and is embellished with buckles and looks perfect with skinny jeans.

4. Tough-1 Wild 600D Turnout Blanket

I invested in a few of these blankets for my horses this season and am loving them! My two horses that live at home, Woody and Scout, stay in a heated barn and get daily turnout and these blankets keep them warm inside and out, as well as being super durable. They are also waterproof and have been tested a time or two when we got a sudden rain shower or non-stop drizzle. The back leg straps (which tend to get ripped off) are made out of stretchy elastic that does not tear when the horses run and play. They also come in fun colors and prints.

Scout in her hot pink blanket:

5. Ally Carter's series and book Embassy Row Book 1: All Fall Down

I am a huge fan of fellow Oklahoma author Ally Carter and am looking forward to her new series Embassy Row. The first book All Fall Down will be released January 20th and I already have it pre-ordered to be downloaded on my I-Pad. If you have never read anything by Ally Carter I also highly recommend her Heist Society series. Here is the teaser for All Fall Down on Amazon: 

Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:
1. She is not crazy.
2. Her mother was murdered.
3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.

As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her -- so there's no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.

Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can't control Grace -- no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn't stop it, Grace isn't the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

Glitterball

Viv and Ingrid is an amazing jewelry line that I used to carry in my store. It's delicate, yet statement-making, jewelry is elegant and timeless. Their keepsake cards with dainty posts always sold out in my store and for fall/winter 2014 the cards were inspired by the year of the horse. They have paired dainty 6mm Swarovski crystal studded glitterballs with horse print cards. These are the perfect earrings to add a little sparkle to your riding and show outfits, as well as wear everyday outside of the barn. They also make the perfect gift for the equestrian chic friends in your life. Give them as a pick me up, thank you or good luck gift! Available for $38 in silver or gold with black, champagne, clear, navy or plum crystals on a variety of horse cards at Viv and Ingrid.

Well Heeled

As August fades into September I can't help but dream about fall clothes; in particular, boots. Even though hot weather has set up shop for the duration, I find myself drooling over every boot and bootie I come across. I have fallen particularly hard for these boots from Kate Spade.

 I firmly believe that women's shoes should look like women's shoes. I don't like brogues, smoking slippers, manish boots or overly tall/overly wedged heels that look like they belong on a cross-dressing/stripper in Las Vegas. I prefer feminine details, elegant designs and simplicity with a few unexpected details. These booties check all the boxes and are versatile enough to wear with a wide range of outfits. Booties will remain the item du jour as long as skinny jeans allow you to show them off. 

The first boot is the Lanise boot and it's simple stacked heel, rounded toe and smooth leather scream "wear me every day" and the bow detail is just icing on the cake, giving it a fun, flirty and feminine kick. It is available in black, tan and brown. It also seems to be selling out very fast so if you like it, you better hop on it. Available at Kate Spade, Zappos and Nordstrom.

If you are on your feet a lot thru the day then might like the flat Prospect boot. It comes in luggage brown and black and looks like a fancy pair of paddock boots. It will look equally at home with skinny jeans and cozy knits. Available at Kate Spade and Nordstrom.

If you, like me, think everything is made better with sparkle then you will love the Landon boot. It combines three of my favorite things, black suede, glitter and a bow. Seriously, you can't go wrong! Wear these with skinny leather pants or black tights and skirt or dress. Available at Kate Spade and Nordstrom.

Beauty and The Beast: Lipstick & Detangler

I am a bit of a product junkie and am always trying new beauty and grooming products on myself and my horses. In this edition of Beauty and The Beast I am bringing to you a major long-lasting lipstick and a super effective detangler for your horse.

I never leave the house without lipstick, lipgloss or tinted lip balm on my lips and I am constantly trying new brands, formulations and colors. A recent addition I picked up at Target has gone into regular rotation especially in our current hot, humid weather. Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick is the marathon runner of the lipstick world, super skinny that goes the distance. This lightweight liquid lipstick goes on like a gloss without the stickiness and dries to a matte pigmented finish. It does not feather or fade and requires no touch-ups even between meals. It recently lasted thru a 1/2 day of work, a 1/2 day in the barn and swimming. No joke, this stuff lasts and lasts, not coming off until I washed my face. By the end of the day it does make your lips feel a little dry, but hey you can't have it all! Available at your local drugstore or Target store or on Revlon's website.

On to the beast... I am obsessive about keeping my horses' tails long, shiny and tangle free. They get washed and brushed and slathered with Moroccan Oil regularly. But the summer months are particularly hard to keep tangle free due to their constant swooshing of flies. 

I felt like this summer has been especially hard and I needed to add a detangler to their Moroccan Oil in order to avoid snarls that can cause loss of hair. My local feed store recommended EQyss Survivor Detangler and Shine. 

EQyss® proprietary emollients, vitamin E acetate, keratin protein, panthenol, sweet clover, white willow, nasturtium, wild rose-berry, sage, walnut tree and red poppy combine to make a super-effective detangler that not only makes brushing thru a tangled tail a piece of cake but also keeps the tail from getting tangled going forward. It does not leave the tail sticky or oily or weird feeling, just soft, shiny and tangle-free. You can use it on a wet or dry tail. I mix a dime size amount with a few squirts of Moroccan Oil for daily grooming and after I wash the tail. A definite must add to your grooming bag! Available at Valley Vet and EQyss.

Beauty Serving Size

I saw this beauty info-graphic on Pinterest and it was too good to not share. I, for one, think I use too much product and end up wasting it on my towel or hands and this handy guide will steer me and you in the right direction.