Taking the South to the North, Derby Style

Since we had a great week of celebrating the Kentucky Derby on our blog last week,  I thought it was appropriate  to host a Derby party here in Syracuse.  It was a chance for me to introduce some southern foods and traditions to my northern friends.  First off, I sent out paper invitations.  I love, love, love invitations and decided to send invites in the mail.  Might as well help the postal service out.


Derby invite

I bought the invitations in Kentucky and printed them out on our home printer.  We used our custom monogram on the invite.  Any chance we can use it, we do.



I tried to do a little Derby decor.  A few months ago I saw this horse in a store and bought it.  At first I was going to use it as a table centerpiece, but it didn’t have enough color.   I ended up putting him on the mantel with some fabric in a frame for a little kick.  The fabric may look familar.   It is extra fabric I had from my DIY drawer liners.  You can read about them here.



Derby decorations

 I used the chalkboard platter to remind people of the great day, and I printed out some  silks to add some color to the dresser near our front door.


Henry Clay quote

Our bar that Mr. Spring built (details coming soon)  was set up as Julep Central.  Since Mr. Spring is a true Yankee, born and raised in NYC, I thought this quote by Henry Clay, a famous Kentucky statesman,  was great to display on the bar.


Red Roses

Since the Derby is the Run for the Roses, of course I had to make the centerpiece red roses.  I have been cutting the stems and changing the water daily, and they still look great!


Derby prizes

We had a “Best Hat” and “Best Bow Tie” contest.  I bought these official Kentucky Derby glasses and mint julep cups for the prizes.  Now, whenever the urge strikes them, the winners can make their own juleps.



The table was filled with all the goodies.  Most of the food was bite size, so it was very easy to replenish as needed.


Derby plates

I happened to be in Lexington when all the Derby party items were for sale, so I loaded up my suitcase and brought it all back to New York.


Sausage Cheese Puffs

These sausage cheese puffs were so easy to make.  I made a ton before the party and froze them. Carmel from Our Fifth House had a link for these cute Derby printables. Here it is if you are interested for future use.


Beer Cheese

I love eating beer cheese when I go to Kentucky and never thought about making it till I found a recipe.  It was a huge hit.



Benedictine is another Kentucky favorite.  I made little finger sandwiches filled with it.



I tried my luck at mint julep cupcakes.


Bourbon Balls

I also had to introduce bourbon balls to all our friends.  I tried a new recipe, and I was shocked how easy and how great they turned out.  I will be making them again.


bourbon balls

I was so proud of these things.



I was able to grab Mr. Spring away from playing bartender to take a quick photo.  He looked like the true southern gentleman.  Not bad for a Yankee.  Our horse didn’t win, but we had a great time celebrating the Derby with our friends.

Click here to like The 2 Seasons on Facebook.


Linking to Between Naps On the Porch


  1. Isabelle says

    Came to your blog from Carmel on my fifth house & Luv It! Will be coming back for more! But I can’t, as a good Southern Momma, allow you to continue with the horseshoe above your door being upside down. In the last Derby picture with you in your gorgeous hat, the horseshoe with the opening pointed down is letting all your luck pour out. Had to share!

    • says


      I was wondering if anyone would notice the horseshoe. I have heard and read mixed reviews on which way the horseshoe should go. I have also read having it down keeps all of your luck in house, however I guess I will go with getting more luck by turning it up. I am off to do that now! Thanks for coming by our blog!


  2. says

    Looks like a beautiful party. Love the idea of celebrating Derby Day. You look smashing in that gorgeous blue dress and black hat.

  3. says

    What a lovely party — we always attend a Derby Party but our hostess doesn’t have the attention to detail that you have! But we do wear hats — but no bow ties! (And I’m not sure that we could get THEM into bow ties!) Loved your mint julep cupcakes — it’s a communal appetizer buffet at the party we go to — my contribution was mint julep cookies — but I really adore your cupcake presentation — the recipe?

  4. says

    What a great party! And how clever you were to buy those paper goods when you were in Kentucky! Your buffet table looks fabulous, and the little mint julep cupcakes are darling! I know your guests had a blast being introduced to Southern customs!

  5. Amanda says

    So cute! I love the outfits- tell Mr. Spring that he almost passes as a Southern Gentleman. 🙂

  6. says

    What a fabulous party! I love all the details, the foods and of course, your clothing and hat! Just too much fun and a great way to introduce the Derby to us Yankees.

  7. says

    How fun! I love that picture of you and Mr. Spring! Since we moved to Ohio we are fairly close enough to go in person to the Derby. We decided to wait until next year since our anniversary fell on the Saturday of the Derby this year. I’m more excited about getting a fancy hat!

  8. says

    Jordan you are such a great decorator and party planner!! You have such wonderful ideas for party themes I know all your friends love coming to your parties and I am really looking forward to your bourbon balls recipe. They look awesome.