Cartier, two ways

I was watching the UK vs Western Kentucky football game recently, and toward the end (and it was a terrible end if you are a UK fan like me…) I decided to look up some info on our cornerback Cartier Rice:

There’s lots of buzz about Cartier on the internet, and if you want to see his UK profile, click HERE

However in my search for Cartier, I couldn’t help but stumble onto the Cartier of french jewelry fame.  The website of course is lovely, and I was so enchanted by the music on the home page that I did a little research and discovered that it is Maria Callas singing Casta Diva from the opera Norma by Vincenzo Bellini.

Maria Callas has a fascinating bio on Wikipedia about her life and career.  I was especially interested to find that there was an entire section devoted to her weight loss and how it affected her singing voice.  Click HERE to read more.

Below is a full recording of Casta Diva on YouTube accompanied by a slide-show of images of the beautiful Maria Callas.  Plug in your headphones and enjoy!

HIIT cardio workout

One of the ten million fitness barriers that people face is finding the time to get in a good workout.  Enter High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT.

HIIT alternates periods of high intensity exercise with periods of rest (or very low intensity exercise) for a set number of intervals.

In a HIIT workout you are increasing both your aerobic and anaerobic fitness, which improves your endurance and burns more calories in less time than a steady state cardiovascular workout.  The best part about HIIT is that if done regularly, these workouts can actually increase your resting metabolic rate (RMR), which allows you to burn more fat even when you’re not working out!

For me, the best part of HIIT is that I never get bored during these workouts–my mind is always trained on the clock.  Another benefit is that these workouts can translate to many types of gym equipment and venues:

  • treadmill
  • elliptical machine
  • rowing machine
  • stationary bike
  • indoor/outdoor track
  • pool
  • jump rope

You definitely need a timepiece for these workouts.  Anything will do, but if you don’t have a heart rate monitor and you’re serious about your fitness, I highly recommend getting one.  Click HERE to see mine.

Here is sample HIIT workout for beginners :

  • WARMUP: 2 minutes
  • HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL: 60 seconds– Here you should be exercising vigorously and should not be able to talk comfortably.
  • REST INTERVAL: 2 minutes– Here you should still be moving, but at a comfortable pace.
  • COOL DOWN: 2 minutes

The above workout should take a total of 22 minutes.  If you push yourself during the high intensity intervals, you should get a great workout.

Just for fun (and for an extreme reference point), I’ll throw in an advanced form of HIIT. Also called Tabata training, it takes only 4 minutes to complete and has been compared to running for an hour on the treadmill:

  • REST: 10 seconds

WARNING!  The above workout is super intense (I’m actually afraid to try it because I don’t like throwing up after I work out).   Check with your physician before starting any new exercise regime.

lexington cooperative explosion

A new donut shop!!!  North Lime Coffee & Donuts will be having its grand opening party on Saturday, September 22nd 2012.

The shop features “Life changing donuts” and coffee roasted locally by Lexington’s Nate Polly of Nate’s Coffee.

If that’s not enough local madness, check out their awesome logo designed by Lexington artist John Lackey of Homegrown Press:

Mr. Lackey also did a short stop-motion film to chronicle the renovation of the donut shop (don’t miss the March Madness Marching Band’s appearance at the 1:45 mark AND a beautiful scene starting at the 2:27 mark):

Here is the description of the film from YouTube:

A stop motion movie in which artist John Lackey of Lexington, KY chronicles the changing of a liquor store across the street from his studio/gallery (Homegrown Press) into several storefronts and the ensuing goings on in the North Limestone arts corridor. With dancing and stop motion painting on large canvases. Original song “Steady Like A Drum” by John. More art and info at

Coffee, donuts, art!  Click the links above for info about locations and hours.

pina colada fruit dip

image by kgreeneowens

This recipe is one of my favorites—quick, easy and a total crowd pleaser!  I like to serve this as a pick-me-up when everyone is in the mood for something tropical.

Pina Colada Fruit Dip

What you’ll need:

1 (3.4 OZ.) pkg. instant coconut cream pudding mix

¾ cup Cool Whip

l cup milk

l cup crushed pineapple, undrained


Step by Step:

Mix all ingredients together.  Ready to eat in about 15 minutes.

Serve with all your favorite fruits.  I prefer mine with pineapple spears and strawberries.

You can’t say that you don’t have time to entertain like this!

ny embroidery

image by kgreeneowens

Like many bluegrass ladies, I am a sucker for a monogram or any kind of decorative embroidery.  It is a great way to personalize a piece of clothing, handbag, tote, pillow and more!  I loved this sweet monkey outfit that I purchased for my son’s second birthday.  The only thing that was missing was a number 2 on his tummy!

My go-to place in town for embroidery jobs like this is NY Embroidery.  The newly relocated shop is conveniently located in the Brannon Crossing shopping center.  The staff are always friendly and willing to help you with thread color, placement and font selection.  They have many wonderful in-store mock-ups that are great when you are trying to make decisions.  Plus, their prices are very affordable, which often isn’t the case with such outstanding service.

Give them a try for your next embroidery project or gift!  The possibilities are endless—monogrammed towels for a bride and groom, baby bibs embroidered with the child’s name, monogrammed throws for your sofa, and more.


NY Embroidery, LLC
115 Cynthia Dr
Nicholasville KY 40356

MON-FRI 10-6

Phone: 859-309-0090



local style {donna, lexington, ky}

Bluegrass THREADS is thrilled to feature the fabulous Donna Ison as a local style standout.  The outrageous and hilarious editor of skirt! magazine was a treat to interview.

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I’m a recovering actor turned writer who has published two novels, The Miracle of Myrtle: Saint Gone Wild and Twenty Men in One Night (formerly Flirtini with Disaster). My next work, Bourbon Through It, a collection of outrageous essays, will be available next summer…if I get my shit together and write it. I still occasionally relapse and find myself onstage as one of The Sisters Provocateur whose mission is to prove that poetry doesn’t have to be pretentious, brainy doesn’t have to boring, and sexy doesn’t have to be skinny. I currently serve as the editor of skirt! magazine Lexington–it’s my “big girl” job. When not writing, I host all day champagne brunches; adore my husband, Frank; lounge at the lake with my turtle army; tap dance; argue politics & religion; hang out with my dogs Doc Grizzly and Rufus; and make sure the Bluegrass State keeps its bourbon up to par. To learn more, read my Bourbonista Blog where I reveal all the intimate details of my lush life in technicolor detail.

Describe your personal style…

Bohemian Badass with a bit of flapper flair thrown in for good measure.

Who are your style icons?

Women who define style on their own terms and find what works for them whether it is considered vogue at the time or not: Katherine Hepburn, Cher, Coco Chanel, and Pre-Ostentatious-Accent-Madonna.
What does “bluegrass style” mean to you?

In general, I think there is a casual elegance to bluegrass style. It is put together without being fussy. Upscale and understated, requiring a great effort to look like you didn’t try at all…pressed and put together. Because of my aversion to irons, dry cleaners, and uncomfortable shoes, traditional bluegrass style is something I will never achieve.

Any favorite local spots to shop?

Calypso is an amazing store. Of course, I love vintage, so Street Scene, Goodwill, and Pop’s. But, I mainly shop online.

Any other bluegrass hotspots we should check out?

Your friend’s closets. Plan a party…clothing swaps are a great way to save money and socialize simultaneously.

What are some style challenges that you face, and how do you deal with them?

I am curvy and 44, so what looks good on a tween model is not going to work on me.

How important is hair and make-up to your personal style?

As far as make-up, I have only one requirement: the perfect red lipstick. Some occasions just scream for scarlet smackers. Otherwise, I  keep it pretty simple, although a good long-wearing mascara that gives volume and separates is also important. Nothing worse than looking like a tarantula died on your eyelid. As far as hair, I do a pixie cut in the summer which I grow out to a bob in the winter…wash…rinse…repeat.

Which are the accessories that you never go without?

A glass of bourbon, a notebook to write down random brilliance, and silver hoop earrings.

What is your must have for fall?

Every autumn, I get a new pair of cowboy boots.  Whether I wear them with jeans, dresses,or nothing at all, a great pair of pointy-toed boots makes me feel sassy, sexy, and strong.

Animal print (especially reptile) is big for fall 2012—do or don’t?

Yes! Animal print is like a good dive bar, I’ve never met one I don’t love. But faux for me. No killing innocent alligators for the sake of posh pumps.



Thanks, Donna!

If you know a local style standout, send us a photo to or




five-cheese penne

image credit: dthoskins

Five-cheese penne is one of my all-time favorite recipes from the amazing Barefoot Contessa.  This dish is so easy and delicious that you’ll think of all kinds of occasions at which to serve it.  It was recently the main course for my mother-in-law’s birthday dinner.  I served each person in their own Le Cruset baking dish.

 Try it soon.  Full recipe is here.


and the winner is….


Erica Goins Bethel!

Unfortunately, Erica’s was one of our comments that did not make it into the traditional comment box, but here is what she said:

To say I am obsessed with my nail color would be an understatement! I have gotten the same color on my nails since I was in high school (15yrs). OPI’s Pompei Purple-which is actually a bright pink is what I get!

Congratulations Erica, and we hope you love your manicure as much as we do!