The Kentucky Derby.

I have spent the majority of my life in Kentucky.  I fit some of the stereotypes by saying things like “y’all”, “fixin’ to”, I’m obsessed with college basketball and I love being barefoot.

But in some ways, I’m a terrible Kentuckian… I don’t have a southern accent, I don’t like bourbon, and I have never been to the Kentucky Derby

Moving to Los Angeles has made getting to Churchill Downs even more difficult…

So I decided to bring the derby to the west coast.  With a ton of help from some amazing people we pulled off a pretty great party that Southern belles everywhere would be proud of.

First of all, I have to give credit to the amazing ladies who pulled this off with me.  Marisela and Kate helped in more ways than I could list in this blog.  They went above and beyond.  Marisela (left) is my roommate, and the week leading up to the derby was spent experimenting mint julep recipes while making crafts for decor every night. She became my co-host and took over so many of the details.  This party wouldn’t have happened without her.

Kate (right) helped us secure the venue at her apartment complex, and let Mari and I take over her kitchen leading up to the day.

mari kate

The planning started with the invite.  My good friend Tiffany Lo assisted in the design of this baby…

kentucky derby for print

Once the invites were out…we went to Pinterest for party ideas.  First for the decor and utensils.  Crafts were made, my mother’s mint julep cups were acquired, and then the menu was agonized over.

talk derby to me

We went with a very country spread including country ham and biscuits, kentucky hot browns, sweet potato casserole bites, and of course derby pie


hot brown



In addition to these dishes we had beautiful fruit skewers, a veggie tray, Cinco de Derby guacamole, and a gorgeous red velvet cake made by Kate that tipped it’s hat to the ‘run for the roses.’


Then came the most important part of any derby celebration – the mint julep.  Marisela created a beautiful spread to create the tasty signature cocktail…


If bourbon wasn’t your thing, we had a sweet tea vodka/lemonade drink to sip on as well. and of course a hydrating station…


And what is a horse race without some betting.  Everyone could bet on one horse for $5 each, and they could choose as many as they wanted for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places.



Once the race began, I was shocked at the excitement that filled the room… everyone was captivated by the greatest two minutes in sports… of course that could have been because those jars were filled with over $500!


And i mean, how great did everyone look?  i was so impressed with how much everyone got into the theme.  Look at these, as Kate would say,  Southern California belles…


Overall, it was an incredible time. Not to mention the fact that I bet on the winning horse…go Orb! I have to say that we may have been most proud of the little details of decor…








And no great party goes on without a good playlist.  I chose a solid mix of country and just some good, fun music…

During the party everyone was already asking me how we were going to top it next year…I don’t think I’m ready to think about it yet.  But…. if we do throw another party…let’s just hope I don’t drop the derby pie at 1:00am the morning of…



4 Replies to “The Kentucky Derby.”

  1. What a waste of Derby Pie!!! Of course, that is coming from a lifelong lover of the gooey delight. Great party. You rep’d KY well. BTW, I had Revolutionary to show…so we both did okay. Okay, you did better.

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