Bridles & Baubles

Romance Novel Hair

Have you ever wanted romance novel hair (thick, full, voluminous waves of curls cascading down your back)?

If the answer is yes or no, but you want a "perfect hair day" everyday then check out Philip B's Oud Royal Forever Shine Shampoo. It is the first-ever time-released shampoo for mega bounce and shine that keeps on giving. It contains time-released botanical hydrators, molecules tiny enough to pass through the fiber of your hair and moisturize each strand from the inside out. Just one use will make a remarkable difference in the overall look and feel of your hair. Think thicker, glossier and bouncier than ever before and the effect lasts for days. It's meant to work on curly and straight hair by taming frizz and defining curls as well as adding full volume to fine straight hair. 

This stuff really works! It made my fine straight hair full and bouncy allowing it to hold my blow out and curls all day and my hair just got better as the day went on. It has a rich, warm, woodsy Oud smell (smells like an exotic men's cologne, probably something the men above would wear) that took some getting used to at first but now I love the way it makes my hair smell and it lasts all day. This rich, thick liquid gold shampoo is expensive but so worth it! Buy a bottle and save it for special occasions or use it everyday as a special treat. You never know it might turn you into a romance novel heroine or at the very least give you her hair.


March Love List

March came in like a 



Let's hope it goes out like a 





Even though March came in with a snow storm and arctic temps it still ushers in the very beginnings of Spring and my March Love List.



With winter hanging on well into March my lips still need extra moisture and this super creamy lipstick adds a splash of rich moisturizing color and creamy shine. Each swipe yields soft, natural looking color perfect. Plus the colorful floral tubes are just so cheerful!






My husband surprised me with this bright pink bag that is equal parts ladylike and tough. It's structured design and hardware give it edge but it's satchel style and pastel color lend softness making it the perfect spring carry-all. It has more than enough room for all your essentials but will also carry an ipad or small laptop. If pink isn't your color, it comes in a variety of other colors as well as a smaller and larger version.






 I have never liked sports bras but they are a necessary evil when it comes to riding horses or working out. Thanks to Victoria's Secret I have found a sports bra that I actually like wearing. Their new Knockout Sports bra combines a regular front close bra with structured cups that gives support and shape with a zip front sports bra making it easy to get on and off. It provides maximum support, is comfortable and looks great on. Available in lots of fun colors and prints.








I love my Ariat half chaps! They are made from incredibly soft leather and suede that mold to your legs and provide superior grip. I have had mine for years and they have been used and abused and still look great. The rugged zipper zips easily and never catches or causes any problems. The suede back calf panel is elasticized and stretches to fit my calves comfortably. I highly recommend getting a pair for your everyday rides!






In honor of my Irish roots and St. Patricks Day I made these amazing Whoopie Pies. If you love chocolate and you love Bailey's Irish Cream then you will love these. The cookie part is soft and fudgy but light and crispy like a macaroon and the icing is an Irish Cream spiked buttercream. They smelled amazing when they were cooking! Who needs green beer on St. Patrick's Day when you can eat these instead. Recipe is here.


What they looked like on Pinterest:





What they looked like when I made them (because let's face it, nothing looks like it does on Pinterest):




Beauty and The Beast: Quenching Dry Skin and Dry Hooves

This is the time of year when dry skin sets up shop and refuses to budge, thanks to hot heater air and dry arctic air. It is also the time of year you need to keep your horses hooves moisturized. The cold dry air and heated barn air (if your barn is heated) combined with spending more time in their dry bedded stalls due to inclement weather, can cause your horse's hooves to dry out. Dry hooves, hard frozen ground and daily work can lead to cracked hooves that can spell big trouble for your horse. Banish your dry skin woes and your horse's dry hooves with some of my favorite products!

Let's start with banishing your dry skin! The secret to soft skin lies in a two step process, exfoliation (which removes dry dead skin cells and reveals softer skin but also allows your skin to better absorb moisturizers) and moisturizing (replacing lost moisture and creating a barrier to keep skin hydrated). I have become obsessed with Soap & Glory's Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub and Smoothie Star Body Buttercream. They both smell heavenly and make my skin incredibly soft and moisturized.

Soap & Glory's Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub features a super skin-smoothing blend of cupuacu bio scrubs, shea butter, bananas, almond, and honey extracts to gently polish, smooth, and moisturize the skin. This scrub has won many awards and also has all 5 star reviews on Sephora's website. It also does not contain any bad-for-you parabens, sulfates or phthalates.

Soap & Glory's Smoothie Star Body Buttercream is a luxurious, lightly whipped, super nourishing 5-OIL™ body buttercream, which features pistachio, almond and coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter. It goes on silky smooth without any greasy residue and immediately soaks in leaving behind deliciously scented, baby soft skin. It has permanently banished my rough elbows and knees and has kept away the dull, flaky skin I usually get in the winter.

Now that we have cured your winter dry skin woes, we can move on to making sure your horse's hooves are healthy. A few months ago I tried Healthy HairCare's Hoof Moisture on a whim, when I noticed that it came in a spray bottle. I liked the idea of using a spray bottle instead of the usual thick gloop and brush routine of most hoof moisturizers. The spray idea is pure genius and so easy to use but I was more concerned with how well it moisturized my horses' hooves. It wins on both fronts, ease of use and delivers healthy hooves. All three of my horses are currently barefoot and you have to keep chips away with good moisture. I have used it on my two at home since summer and just recently started using it on my new horse who is in training. My horses' hooves that are at home look amazing; shiny, hard hooves that have not chipped once this winter when faced with dry frozen surfaces. I immediately saw results with this spray that I have never seen with any other hoof moisturizer. My horses are also on Farrier's Formula because true hoof health comes from the inside but when combined with the Healthy Haircare Hoof Spray it has created strong, healthy feet.


Mirror Mirror

The history of the Ray-Ban Aviator dates back to the 1930s, when new airplanes allowed people to fly higher and farther. Many US Army Air Service pilots were reporting that the glare from the sun was giving them headaches and altitude sickness. In 1929, US Army Air Corps Lieutenant General John MacCready asked Bausch & Lomb, a Rochester, New York-based medical equipment manufacturer, to create aviation sunglasses that would reduce the headaches and nausea experienced by pilots, which are caused by the intense blue and white hues of the sky. The prototype, created in 1936 and known as ‘Anti-Glare’, had plastic frames and green lenses that could cut out the glare without obscuring vision. The sunglasses were remodeled with a metal frame the following year and rebranded as the 'Ray-Ban Aviator'. On May 7, 1937, Bausch & Lomb took out the patent, and the Aviator was born.

Still to this day, the Ray Ban Aviator retains it's spot as not only a highly functional item but a timeless fashion accessory that looks equal parts stylish and badass on everyone who wears them. They look at home with jeans and a tee as well as an elegant summer dress. Slipping on a pair of aviators instantly adds glamour as well as imbibing the wearer with the confidence of fearless aviators of the past. This season Ray Ban has added brightly colored mirrored lenses to their original aviator style. In Easter egg, candy colors such as purple, pink, turquoise, green and orange, they make the perfect accessory for spring. I love the bright pop of colors that instantly flatter your skin tone and update a true classic. Available at Ray Ban and Sunglass Hut. The only problem is what color to pick?


Good To Know

If you have ever been horse shopping you will know it is the most frustrating yet rewarding experience you will ever venture into. I laughed out loud when I saw this funny graphic outlining some common horse for sale terminology and what it really means.

February Love List

Well we made it to February and for you spring/summer lovers you are one step closer. February is a month of mother nature mood swings (arctic blasts followed by snatches of balmy days and wind, lots of wind), all things Valentine's Day related (cue hearts, roses, chocolates and cupid) as well as the start of show season for me (cue butterflies). Without further ado, my February Love List!

1. The Houndstooth Horse Valentine's Themed Polo Wraps

Nothing quite says love like these fun and colorful polo wraps. Your horse will love showing off these cushy wraps in cheerful shades of pink, white and red with heart themed embroidery. Get a pair for your horse and then share the love by giving your horsey friends and trainer a set. Don't forget to check out the super hero themed polo wraps, they are adorable! 

2. SmartCalm Pellets for Horses

My retired thoroughbred quarter horse gelding Woody turns into a wildabeest when temperatures drop and the wind blows. This normally mild-mannered gelding decides he is going to try and live up to his Secretariat lineage in the winter. In order to keep my calm and everyone else who works in the barn's calm we keep Woody on a scoop of SmartCalm pellets every day. It works wonders by just taking the edge off so he turns back into the lazy-hyper horse we know and love the rest of the year. SmartCalm Pellets offer a multifaceted approach to calming by providing 5,000 mg of magnesium, 550 mg of vitamin B1, and 2,000 mg of inositol (a B vitamin relative). I highly recommend it, if you have a nervous, hyper or inattentive horse! My husband even jokes he wants to feed me some too!

3. Klatch Coffee

My husband is a coffee addict, I mean connoisseur. I am always on the hunt for interesting coffees for him to try. I got him some Klatch Coffee for Christmas and he loved it! What's not to love, they have over 20 coffees that have rated 90 points or greater by the Coffee Review (which apparently is a really big deal) and they only use the top 1% of coffee beans from around the world. I am not a huge coffee fan but this stuff is quickly gaining my fandom. Each cup has a complex blend of flavors that taste amazing and when it is brewing the whole house smells like a local coffee bar. Treat yourself or the coffee lovers in your life with some Klatch Coffee (you can't go wrong with the Breakfast Blend, named the top Breakfast Blend by Coffee Review). Expensive but worth it!

4. Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Eye Concentrate

A few sleepless nights, the hustle and bustle of the holidays and entering my 30's has brought a need for me to get serious about using an eye cream. With sensitive skin around my eyes I have always had to tread carefully when it comes to eye creams. I first tested this one when I got a sample from Sephora and immediately bought it after I saw results. It moisturizes, diminishes fine lines, eases dark circles, eliminates puffiness and illuminates. All without irritating the sensitive skin around my eyes, all moisture no sting! You can read online at Sephora all the technical info and ingredients that make up it's magic but take it from me, it works!

5. Lisa Eldridge Makeup Tutorials

I have become hooked on British makeup artist Lisa Eldridge's makeup tutorials. She has 20 years of experience working on major celebrities and models and her work has been seen in almost every fashion publication. Her tutorials are easy to follow and you can replicate all of her gorgeous makeup looks with her step by step instruction and the tools and products she uses. I am not alone in my adoration, she has over a million followers on YouTube and was recently named Lancome's Creative Director. If you want to up your makeup game or just pick up a few new looks check out her videos. Vogue.com has 5 great videos and you can also check out her YouTube Channel. I apologize in advance for the sheer number of products and brushes you will want to buy!

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.