Royal Ascot: Day Two Hats

My favorite hat on Day Two of Royal Ascot, and perhaps of the entire race meeting, is this wonderful hat worn by the Countess of Wessex. I will let the hat speak for itself.

Countess of Wessex

The Royal Hats blog describe this hat made by Jane Taylor as:

“. . . a wonderful oversized boater hat. In plum hued straw, the piece features a short, flat crown wrapped in what looks like a cream silk abaca hatband and a very wide brim, trimmed with large purple and pink silk cabbage roses and a cream silk twist.

There were other very lovely hats but nothing like this one. Brava!

Honourable Mention

I have not been inspired by any of HM The Queen’s hats at Royal Ascot this year but quite like the yellow one seen here. Camilla has worn two very beautiful although predictable hats. Both royal ladies look terrific in these colours.

Updated June 22, 2017 at 1:44 pm.

Royal Ascot: Day One Hats

Day One at Royal Ascot was full of white/cream coloured hats gracing royal heads.

Duchess of Cambridge

My favourite of the day is worn by the Duchess of Cambridge. It is remarkably similar to what she wore head to toe last year. The Telegraph noticed that too.

Designer: Unknown. Dress by Alexander McQueen.

Duchess of Cornwall

The Duchess of Cornwall (fka Camilla Parker-Bowles) wore one of her larger than life hats.

This is a new hat. Designer: Philip Treacy.

Next up, some honourable mentions.

I always seem to love the hats worn by Zara Philips Tindall (daughter of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Philips) and the Countess of Wessex (Prince Edward’s wife).

Countess of Wessex

Here is Sophie Wessex arriving at the Royal meeting with her husband and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The hat is embellished with straw curls.

Sophie Wessex, Day One, Royal Ascot 2017.

This a new hat. Designer: Jane Taylor. Dress by Emilia Wickstead.

Zara Tindall

Here’s my girl. She never disappoints. Love the playfulness of this hat worn by Zara. Described by the designer as a “white sloped beret in visca straw trimmed with an upturned bow in three tones of blue.”

Designer: Sarah Cant.

Looking for more? Hop over to the Royal Hats blog.

More millinery fun to come.

Simple home remedy to stop the itch from mosquito bites

All you need for the Hot Spoon Method for instant relief from the itch of a mosquito bite is some hot water and a metal spoon.

All you need for the Hot Spoon Method for instant relief from the itch of a mosquito bite is some hot water and a metal spoon.

We had a very mild winter which means my area is teeming with mosquitoes. I am very light skinned and true to form mosquitoes are feasting on me at the usual high rate. As unpleasant as the bites are, it is the itching that drives me mad. The usual cortisone creams and calamine lotion were doing absolutely nothing to help.

I was losing my mind so searched the internet. In the comment section to yet another article recommending the same old useless (for me) solutions I hit paydirt. Hallelujah!

The Hot Spoon Method

You will need something to heat water in and a metal spoon plus a tissue for drying.

  1. Heat the water. You want it hot but not boiling hot. Be careful.
  2. Place the spoon in the hot water to heat the spoon up.
  3. Remove the spoon and quickly dry it with a tissue.
  4. Place the back of the spoon on the mosquito bite.
  5. Hold it until the itching disappears or about 5 seconds.

I used a mason jar filled with water and heated it in a microwave on high for 2 minutes and let it set a minute or two. Then I rested the spoon in the jar for a few seconds. I removed the spoon, wiped it dry and applied the hot spoon to the bite. In a second or two the itching stopped but I held the spoon in place while I counted to ten to make sure I fully “cooked” the mosquito bite.

I had more than 40 bites altogether (no exaggeration), some in clusters, on my arms, legs, toes, fingers, neck, chin line and at my hair line. So you can imagine my relief.

There’s a scientific explanation for why this works so quickly and beautifully. All I care and am so grateful for is that it works! It will work for you too. And you can do it right there at home and get relief as quickly as you can heat a bit of water and grab a metal spoon.

Black-eyed pea burgers recipe

Black-Eye Pea Burger by Del Sroufe via One Green Planet.

Black-Eye Pea Burger by Del Sroufe via One Green Planet.

FORKS OVER KNIVES — A neighbor tried this out and shared the results with me and it was staggeringly good. I don’t know if I can reproduce it by myself but I am going to give it a go. You should too and let us know how you like it. Oh, yeah. It’s vegan.

Black-Eyed Pea Burgers

by Del Soufe


½ cup cornmeal
1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 whole-grain sandwich buns, for serving (optional)
Lettuce leaves, for serving (optional)
1 large tomato, sliced, for serving (optional)
Mustard and ketchup, for serving (optional


Place the cornmeal on a shallow plate and set aside. Have a nonstick baking sheet ready or line a standard baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the black-eyed peas in a medium bowl. Using a potato masher, smash the beans, leaving some of them intact for texture. Add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, arrowroot, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, mix until well blended; the mixture will be very crumbly.

Divide the mixture into four equal portions. Press each portion into a patty about 4 inches across and dredge in the cornmeal to coat completely. Transfer the patties to the baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Remove the patties from the refrigerator and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Turn each patty over and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, until the burgers are lightly browned and hold together well when moved.

If desired, serve on a whole-grain bun and top with lettuce, tomato, mustard, and ketchup.