Horse racing, fancy hats, and mint juleps in silver cups…what’s not to love? Every year, I look forward to Derby weekend and Bowties & Belles because it’s a chance to dress up and have a little fun with fancy millinery while benefitting a good cause. I have to admit that it snuck up on me a little this year since the past few months of staying home with Tad have absolutely flown by. I have an aqua and gold Lilly dress that I bought last year, just before I found out I was expecting, that I really didn’t get to wear. Given that gold is so popular right now, I figured I would have no trouble finding a gilded, shimmering hat to match. After striking out, and realizing things were getting down to the wire, I was happy to find a fascinator style headpiece on Nordstrom’s website in a pale aqua shade with a shape that I liked that I thought would pair perfectly. Unfortunately, the shade was a bit more of a seafoam green in person than it looked online. With mere days before the event, I grabbed a can of spray paint in desperation and hoped for the best. I was pleasantly surprised with how easily it covered the sinamay, and even the feathers! Though I was pretty happy with the result, the resulting hue was a more muted gold than I had hoped for so I went back to digging in my closet and pulled out this old favorite pink and gold dress that seemed new again after not having been able to wear it last year.
My sister was sweet enough to come visit and to watch Tad while we headed off to Bowties & Belles, a Kentucky Derby party to benefit the Campagna Center. It’s always great to spend an afternoon catching up with old friend and making new ones, but even better when it benefits the community as well. The Campagna Center offers educational and social development programs for children, teens, and adults in the community. Soon after moving to Alexandria, I was introduced to the Junior Friends, an organization that partners with and supports the center. It has been an amazing way to get to know some phenomenal women, and get involved in the community. I’ve had the opportunity to spend time doing everything from arranging flowers for the Anniversary Gala to planning and decorating “Santa’s Workshop” for Deck the Halls, one of the signature events during Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend. If you live in the Alexandria area, I highly recommend checking out the great things the Campagna Center is doing for the community, and coming to a Junior Friends meeting if you want to get involved!