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Finding Whimsy

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Whimsy to me is playful, eccentric, original, and can evoke a child-like feeling that brings fantasy in a fun and colorful way. Whimsy doesn't have to be saved for big events like weddings and baby showers; it can be added to your everyday life in fashion, décor, and food. Whimsy is everywhere for children; perhaps it's because so many whimsical things are childlike. An adult world is not a fantasy and there are many times we would like it to be because adding that playful quality can bring us back to our carefree childhood. You can bring whimsy into your everyday life by thinking about the following:

• Don't be afraid of colors, mixing them with patterns and shapes.
• Wallpaper can be whimsical; it can take you into a garden or a rainforest if you are brave enough.
• Contrast in textures can create playfulness.
• Anything that produces a feeling of nostalgia may be a feeling of whimsy.
• Start small and slowly add as you feel comfortable.

My mom has a charming English village called Whimsy on Why made up of a series of highly detailed and colorful porcelain houses and buildings found in the typical British village. Just looking at it and imagining living in such a place makes me feel good.

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I've always thought of Alice in Wonderland as hands down the most whimsical story in the world. Sesame Street is also whimsical; I especially love how the puppets are not high tech because of this children can use their imagination along with Elmo and friends.

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Everyone's house is most whimsical during the holidays. Think about Christmas decorations: the twinkle lights, garland, glittery ornaments... I turn to my mom who is the queen of thinking outside of the box to add whimsy.

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For a restaurant, Rise Soufflé is not only fabulous French cuisine, but it also has a whimsical atmosphere with its mix of old and new. It's cozy and intimate with twinkle lights in tree branches in the middle of the restaurant to bring in an outside charm.

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Neiman Marcus at Willow Bend had the perfect sensory simulation to get you in the mode for shopping. Who wouldn't want to walk under and be tickled by soft butterflies? Going up the escalator inspires you to touch and feel the different fabrics. Birds and butterflies naturally come to mind when I think of whimsy in nature because they playfully flutter and their colors can be fanciful.
Some say I dress my daughter like Cyndi Lauper. I love patterned tights with spots, stripes, and a mix of bright colors. It's young and youthful. On an adult, a little goes a long way. It's easier to focus on small accessories like a clutch, scarf, broche, or earrings. Playful adornments add glamour.

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The French are experts at whimsy, always making it look so easy and effortless. Just look at this gorgeous cake from The Sugar Plum Cake Shop in Paris. I also think of French furniture: shells, scrolls, branches of leaves, flowers, and bamboo stems dance their way around the legs of an armoire. The French have such an appreciation for Chinese art that inspired chinoiserie motifs. The Louis Vuitton City Guide to Paris is mesmorizing, watch it and I promise you will feel inspired to create something whimsical.

Songs I find whimsical and that make me feel happy:

• Corrine Bailey Ray- Just like a star
• Annie Lenox- Little Bird
• Beatles- Blackbird
• Paul Simon-You can call me Al
• Henry Mancini- Moon River

You can find fanciful architecture in other places than Disney World. Gaudi decorated Barcelona, Spain with such whimsical character that you can't help but feel like you're in a fantasy.

Find your eccentric side and look for everyday flourishes, you'll be surprised how much whimsy you find in the most unexpected places.
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