So excited that Elsie and I and a gang of the greatest people are headed to the new Eaux Claires music fest this summer! More details to come, but you can follow our party train through our camp hashtag #EauxMG!
The perfect setting under the sun © Whim and Fancy
My brother is my best friend. And, I love him to death. So, since his 30th birthday was quickly approaching, I knew I had to do something to honor him and show him how much he means to me and all of our friends and family. He said he didn't want anything crazy. Well, A: I don't know what "not" crazy is, and B: I'm his sister so I don't have to listen to him all the time. Thus, I decided to throw a Harvest Moon BBQ with good friends, good food, good music and a few surprises!
Setting up! © Whim and Fancy
Party time! © Whim and Fancy
As usual, this party was done on a budget and with lots of creativity. I had some amazing people team up with me to make this happen! Everyone came together to pull off a wonderful party - Big shout out to Terese, Koye, Rachel, Randi and my parents for all their help and resources!
For the theme, I was inspired by the long farm table rustic dinner party. We have a small backyard, so I decided to utilize the alley parking lot instead for the space. It's bordered by a rustic brick structure and lots of greenery. It was a beautiful foundation for the theme!
It's all in the lighting © Whim and Fancy
My good friend Koye is a wizard. Seriously, any idea I throw at him, he just miraculously does it with ease. He installed a wired system for hanging lights over the space. Needless to say, it was perfect and really set the ambiance for the party. We also added mason jar lights throughout the space that also acted as a barrier between the party and the alley street.
To execute the farm table dinner look, we needed a long table to fit everyone as well as white table cloths. Luckily, my good friend Terese came to the rescue and provided these things! For the centerpieces, I wanted to utilize burlap table runners and empty wine bottles as candle holders for an extra rustic ambiance. Thanks to Novo Coffee in Denver, I picked up several burlap sacks that came from family coffee farms all over Africa and South America. My team and I cut them into table runners for the party. Thanks to my friend Rachel, I didn't have to consume 25 bottles of wine before the party and she brought some from a bartender at a wine bar she knew! We filled them with water for extra stability and added candles that melted beautifully throughout the evening. My mom also handpicked fallen aspen branches from the mountains to add an extra bit of rustic warmth.
For food and drink, we served Blueberried BBQ Pulled Pork (as mentioned from this party), homemade Moscow Mules, my signature Lavender Lemonade, Ryan's favorite (and famous) Strawberry Cake from NoNo's Cafe, some speciality sides and everyone brought additional sides and drinks to share!
One of my brother's favorite poems is "Shake the Dust" by Anis Mogjani. He literally manages to show everyone this poem within 10min of meeting them. It's incredibly inspirational and focuses on living and loving your best. Take a look here. I wanted to make it a central message. Thanks to Pinterest, my incredible team and I used this project to convey it rustically and beautifully. Plus, he got to keep the sign as a gift!
I couldn't let the night slip away without a few surprises. Ryan and I's favorite local bluegrass band is Trout Steak Revival. They are so laid back and talented and really get the party goin. I just had to call them to make a surprise appearance at the party. They came up the alley singing Happy Birthday and really blew us all away with their entire set. Even the neighbors were opening their doors and windows because they enjoyed the music so much!
Since we were headed to Ryan Bingham at the Ogden Theatre for our last event of the evening, I couldn't just let us walk. We had to arrive in style! So naturally, I hired a hay ride to take us around the city and drop us off at the venue. It was the perfect end to a perfect evening!
Here are my best bets for a rockin' good time this weekend in Denver. Savor those last bits of summer, people!!
Mile High Soul Club (my favorite)
When: Friday, August 10th (occurs monthly on the second Friday!)
Where: Meadowlark Bar, 2701 Larimer St., Denver, Colorado 80205
What: Only the best DJ's in Denver! Denver's biggest soul happening is back August 10th at The Meadowlark and we will be on the patio once again! This month we are joined by one of our favorite guest dj, DJ Stefano! Wanna hear Northern, Funk, R&B and all things SOUL, MHSC is the place to be!
Denver Beer Co 1st Anniversary
When: Saturday, August 11th
Where: 1695 Platte St.
Cost: Free Admission, bring cash for food and beer
What: We are closing down the street and having a party! Join us for live music, food trucks, and over 12 different beers on tap including a limited release of Imperial Graham Cracker Porter!
Music from: Casey James Prestwood and the Burning Angles Chain Station Mountain Music
Tasty food from: Basic Kneads Pizza Chile Billy The Uber Sausage
Denver County Fair
When: All weekend!
Where: National Western Complex
What: This annual event celebrates the creativity and personality of Denver, with events, exhibitors, blue ribbon competitions and more!
Denver County Fair honors the fine traditions and values of America’s county fairs, which have been enjoyed by millions of people for over 100 years.
But, we are NEW. Although land was bought for a Denver Fair in the 1800s, that plan was interrupted by a little thing called the “Civil War” and no fair was ever launched. (That land is now City Park, by the way.) Somehow, the idea never came to fruition until NOW – in the 21st century, when Denver is a modern, bustling metropolis, forging a reputation as “the new creative capital.”
… So as we enter into our second year, expect us to do things differently than the fairs that were established last century, or the century before. We are new, we are urban and we are still pioneers!
Revolutionary Fair Design! This year we've got 14 interlocking indoor pavilions, each with its own exhibitiors, vendors, stage demonstrations, entertainment and open competitions! Even our CARNIVAL IS INDOORS!
Hope to see you there for the fun!!
Not only does he dazzle us with these works of art, but he's dedicated to his company, Outstanding in the Field, where he and his crew travel the world setting up breathtaking culinary events. These events feature a signature long table and food that is celebrated and sourced from local suppliers, prepared by a local chef.
What wonderful inspiration for a Monday! Remember to make it count like Jim Denevan. Why not start today?
original photo here //
Memorial Day weekend - what's not to love? First, let's take a minute to honor those that have given their lives for our free nation. It's a beautiful act to celebrate the lives of those brave men and women, so be sure to not forget about that in the midst of bbq'ing and fun this weekend!
There's so much to fancy this Friday, let me tell ya! I've got my mind on summery new music, rompers, frolicking in the park, the new Wes Anderson flick and sunshiny cocktails. How about you?
New Summer Track: Sunburn Modern by Baio
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This summery track comes from the bassist of Vampire Weekend, Chris Baio on his new EP release, Sunburn. Give your tush a little shake as you listen, eh?
I thought these would be a fleeting fad, but you know what? I think there's always an excuse to wear a romper on a sunny weekend. Sure, they're a pain in the stooge when you have to use the bathroom, but with so many colors, shapes and fabrics to play with, the romper has really turned into a versatile item. Fit is SO important, though. The last thing you want is colorful fabric headin' where the sun don't shine. SRSLY.
I'm loving all of these especially the last one from Stone Cold Fox. That eyelet detail is just tooooooo much!
Moonrise Kingdom is Wes Anderson's new film about two young lovers who flee from home set off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965. True to Wes Anderson, the soundtrack is impeccable and worth a few listens. It's in select theaters this weekend. Let me know what you think if you see it!
This Aquavit Spritzer sounds divine. According to Bon Appetit, Aquavit is a Scandinavian spirit that's a bit hard to find stateside. To make your own, try infusing vodka with the following: a sprig or two of dill, a few strips of lemon or orange peel (white pith removed), a slice of ginger, a teaspoon of fennel or caraway seeds, and/or a star anise pod. Infuse for an hour, strain and store in the freezer. Then follow the recipe from there! Sounds like a party in your mouth to me!
The Leland Palmer sounds like a tingle for the taste buds. In this adult version of the Arnold Palmer, gin, jasmine tea, limoncello, lemon juice, and grapefruit combine into a perfect porch-sipper. My friend, Alycia, introduced me to that potent little drink called Limoncello yesterday and I was ecstatic to find that this recipe had it included! Recipe here. Enjoy!
Have a beautiful Memorial Day weekend!
My gosh, I love Sophia Coppola! Her 2006 release of Marie Antoinette sparked my imagination so much yesterday that I had to re-watch the movie. The costumes and set designs are seriously full of Whim and Fancy inspiration! Wouldn't it be divine to have an Alfresco Tea Party inspired off of the movie? I thought so, too.
Loving it! If you are too, call the Whim and Fancy crew and we'll put this soiree together just for you!
© Whim and Fancy Photography (flowers courtesy of my Grandma's garden!)
What better way to celebrate your Mother than to cook her a deliciously-mouthwatering brunch? Well, here is an inspiration menu for you!
- Try a make your own omelet bar! Buy bell peppers, an onion, goat cheese or other specialty cheese, spinach, tomatoes, and bacon or sausage. Or try your own favorite mix of veggies. Pre-cook and chop everything beforehand for easy assembly!
- Fresh seasonal fruit salad. Apricots, cherries, oranges, grapefruits and strawberries are all in season right now!
Then add some special dishes:
Bananas Foster French Toast
Serves 2-3 Recipe by Tessa of Handle the Heat via Handle The HeatFrench Toast:
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- pinch salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 6 thick slices bread
- butter for frying
Bananas Foster Topping:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 bananas, sliced
- pinch cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large shallow bowl or dish whisk together eggs, milk, salt, cinnamon, and allspice. Soak bread slices in egg mixture, allowing to absorb as much liquid as possible.
While bread is soaking, heat a large skillet or griddle on medium heat. Melt butter in pan and brown the bread slices, working in batches if necessary. Brown for about 3 minutes per side, or until lightly golden. Place slices on a baking sheet and finish cooking in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until slices have a desired brown color.
While the french toast is in the oven, prepare the bananas foster topping. In a small skillet, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and stir until dissolved into butter. Add banana slices to pan, stirring so they are covered in caramel sauce. Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon. Bananas are done when they are warmed through. Pour bananas foster mixture over French Toast.
photo found here //
I prefer my tried and true recipe for herbed potatoes. They come out slightly crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside every time!
- 1 5lb bag of red potatoes
- 1/4c-1/2c olive oil or grapeseed oil
- Various seasonings (my favorites: rosemary, basil, garlic powder, fresh ground peppercorns, thyme, ground cayenne pepper)
- 1 gallon Ziploc bag
- 2 9x13 dishes
Preheat oven to 425°. Wash potatoes and dry. With skins on, cut potatoes into quarters and then into quarters again. See above photo for size reference. Place a quarter of the potatoes into the Ziploc bag and pour about a 1/4c of the oil over. The add seasonings to your liking. Zip the bag and toss it around until all potatoes are coated. If you need more oil or seasonings, feel free to add. There really is no wrong way to mess this up! After completing all potatoes, spread in one layer over each 9x13 dish. Roast for about 30 min and check tenderness. Roast for another 10min if they are a little hard to the bite. Enjoy!
Unique Mimosa Bar
photo found here //
For a quick and delicious brunch cocktail, grab a couple bottles of chilled champagne and some flavored Italian sodas. World Market carries delicious flavors like Blood Orange and Pomegranate that will be sure to give your mimosa a unique, special taste!
Before you read any further, I want you to click play right above. The song will just make you feel like you were at the party!
A few weeks back, I asked one of my greatest friends, Randi, what her ideal day would be to celebrate her upcoming birthday. Without hesitation, she screamed, "A picnic in the park!" Talking to her further, she said she wanted the kind of party that makes you feel like you were a kid again. Well, I knew right away this would be so fun to plan! Presenting...The Picnic-A-Palooza of Stupendously Sparkling Fun!
The main elements she wanted were Dirt Cups, Root Beer Floats, a picnic feel, party favors, lots of pink and for everyone to feel how grateful she was to have them in her life. No problem!
For the favors, we assembled small gift bags complete with a Thank You lollipop, gourmet gummy bears and a handwritten note!
The decor was so fun! I handmade flag garland, hung paper lanterns and umbrellas, set out pink bird cages, and arranged a picnic area on the front lawn complete with a game of Twister. We even had candy cigarettes and fruit-infused water!
Everyone was getting into the fun and games... even the sidewalk chalk!
Food & Drink
The party was potluck style and we provided a signature main dish, cocktail and dessert. For the main course, we served BBQ pulled pork that was to die for! We slow cooked the pork for a couple of days and Randi added a pint of pureed blueberries to each bottle of BBQ sauce - it made all the difference!
Our signature cocktail was an Adult Root Beer Float. We found these adorable miniature blue-green Coca-Cola glasses and served them with bend-y straws!
To assemble the Adult Root Beer Floats, simply add a shot of Three Olives cake vodka to each glass, fill 3/4 with root beer and then top each with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream! Add a dash of nutmeg for a special touch as well.
For the signature dessert, Randi wanted Dirt Cups of course! We served the dessert in mini pedestal cups filled with pudding, crumbled Oreos and a gummy worm.
And, of course, what birthday is complete without a cupcake pinata?! We filled the pinata with slinkies, candy, and bouncy balls. How could you not feel like a kid again?
The birthday was a success! We had other surprises and treats in store throughout the evening. The only problem was that everyone went home with a bit of a tummy ache from all the sugar! I'm sure they all would agree that it was worth it in the end.
If you have a party dream, I'd love to make it a reality! No party is too big or too small for the Whim and Fancy crew. We love making authentic and creative bashes that leave everyone with a smile on their face!
I just couldn't wait until next Sunday to recap the amazing creativity and fashion at the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby races. Hats off to the ladies and gents that made this event eye-candy worthy as well as exhilarating on the tracks! The dresses were impeccably selected and even the guys went all out for this momentous occasion. I could barely keep my camera active enough to capture it all!
My family and I were lucky enough to be invited this year by the wonderful family behind PMR Companies. We stayed at a beautifully designed apartment nearby and even had shuttle access directly to the front entrance of Churchill Downs! I've never been treated like so much of a queen. Our seats had a clear view of the finish line and a great spot to view all the peacockin' ladies and gents flooding the grounds.
Winning was certainly not in the cards for me, but I sure did learn a ton about the "art" of horse racing and all its history!
Winning big and mint juleps might not have been the highlight of the Derby for me, but the style sure was! It was fashion heaven everywhere you went, with rays of creativity shining bright. For Kentucky Oaks - the race day before Derby day, called Pink Out for Breast Cancer Awareness - I wore my Dreamcatcher fascinator with a hot pink frock. I debuted a new fascinator for the Kentucky Derby paired with an avocado and lime green dress.
The Dreamcatcher fascinator and the Pheasant Dreams fascinator are two previews of the new hat and fascinator line Whim and Fancy will be debuting soon. There will be hats for all occasions - weddings, Derby day, special events, and photoshoots. They were so fun to wear!
The Dreamcatcher is a beauty with green and pink accents, soft feathers and vintage pins. The Pheasant Dreams is a sight made from dried pressed flowers from East Asia formed into new petals, a netted veil, black feathers with an iridescent green hue as well as wire-floating feathers towering high. I can't wait to create more show-stopping fascinators and hats for events of all kinds! I'm also available for custom hat designs, so if you have an inspiration for what you want, I'll make it happen! Meanwhile, stay tuned for my Etsy shop debut.
On to the fashion recap! I couldn't possibly capture all the fashion and creativity at the event, but here is a great preview of the Oaks and Derby style mavens!
Leopard on leopard on leopard! This hat pulled out all the stops with fantastic architecture and frilly feathers.
One of my favorite hats seen at the Derby, this voluminous hat was adorned with pops of delicately handmade flowers.
Looking pretty in pink with this poppy fascinator.
Channeling chic vintage on the left and a crowd-tossing feather to the right. This gal hit about everyone and everything walking around, but I say it's worth it for the statement.
The guys really stole the show at the Derby. I seriously love those pants and a guy who's confident enough to wear them! They were flawlessly paired with a melon jacket and floral pocket square. Bravo!
April looked fabulous in a turquoise and lime green fascinator. Love her and had a blast going to both races with her! The floral dress on the right was too good not to photograph.
The guys take it away again in a picture-perfect bowtie and brightly colored plaid pants.
This dress was a beauty - layered lace and sorbet colors made me swoon for sure! Both dresses had impeccable detail that couldn't go unnoticed.
Patterned perfection was the name of the game on Oaks day!
This model-worthy dame donned an architecturally stunning black and white topper.
Loved this pair with her sage green and rose pink hat and his plunging neckline!
Beautiful sheer dress and summer-worthy hats!
Yellow and blue! Great bow-ties, fellas.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, neon + neutral are so hot for Spring.
I can't get over his blue and white striped tie. Well done!
I love it when a couple is game to be photographed in millionaire-worthy duds and soft pretzels in hand! I caught these guys just after grabbing a snack because that dress is too good for me to pass up.
Spring colors and white leather loafers caught my eye with these two.
If you're going to match, go big or go home!
I love when people have a sense of humor about the day and its traditions. I just love the flamingo hat and the Sugar Daddies!
One of my favorites from the day! I love the vintage cut dress and that beautifully-simple, yet whimsical hat! Work it girl.
I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to experience the Kentucky Derby in all its greatness! My pockets may not be full of green, but my well of inspiration is stocked! I hope yours is too. Until next time!
Ah, Spring is in the air, isn't it? I absolutely love walking outside and smelling the fragrant trees and witnessing the colorful growth make its way out of hibernation. Color is everywhere! Spring dresses flutter about, birds chirp and the coolness of the air mixed with sunshine is the perfect welcoming for a Spring frolick.
My favorite way to welcome the change is to add more color in my dishes and drinks with edible flowers! There's something about adorning a summer salad with a touch of colorful nature or smelling the faint fragrance while sipping a succulent libation.
Here a few recipes I plan to try for my next vacation to the porch:
Edible Flowers on Salads
My favorite (and easiest) way to add a touch of Spring to any dish is to garnish. Garnish a salad, any side dish or dessert! It's especially beautiful if you're individually plating a colorful meal and the edible flower is that extra special touch. Go to your local Whole Foods or natural foods market and ask for their edible flowers. This way, you can ensure you are eating the safest flower, free of pesticides and pollen.
Common sense note courtesy of Sprinkle Bakes blog: Eat only those flowers you are positive you can identify. Use organic, pesticide-free plants from nurseries and herb shops that offer organically grown flowers; pick them from a trusted friend's organic garden or your own.
Spring Flower Lollipops
for full recipe and tips courtesy sprinklebakes.com!)
Hard candy recipe from the
Yield: 10 lollipops
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
2/3 cup water
1 dram bottle candy flavoring oil (such as LorAnn, I used Blackberry)
Violet gel food coloring
10 organic whole voila flower heads or pansy petals, washed and patted dry
10 lollipop sticks
- If you are using a lollipop mold (recommended), lightly grease it with cooking spray. If you are not using a mold, pour 2 cups of powdered sugar into a baking pan with a lip. Create indentations with the bottom of a glass or other flat-bottomed object. Set aside.
- Stir together the sugar, corn syrup and water in a small saucepan and clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Continue to heat without stirring until the bubbling mixture reaches the hard-crack stage (302 degrees F). Remove pan from heat.
- Stir in flavoring oil and a small amount of gel food coloring. Be extra careful because the mixture will bubble and sputter with these additions.
- When the mixture has stopped bubbling, drop it into molds by the spoonfuls (or powdered sugar indentations) using a metal spoon. Carefully place a viola flower head or petal face down on the hot candy. Use the end of a lollipop stick to slightly press it into the candy. Quickly pour just enough hot candy over the flower head or petal to cover the backside, encasing it completely in the candy. Place a lollipop stick in the candy and turn 1/2 turn. Allow the candy to harden, then remove from molds. If using powdered sugar to mold, you may choose to rinse off the excess sugar under a thin stream of warm water - either way, the flower will become more visible once the lollipop is being enjoyed.
Lavender Lemonade (make with either vodka or soda water!)
Herb Citrus Cordial (makes 4-5 pints)
Recipe courtesy of innbrooklyn.wordpress.com
- 6 cup sugar
- Zest of 6 citrus, in large pieces of peel
- 4 cups fresh citrus juice
- 2 cup water
- 8 cups loosely packed fresh basil or 2 cups lavender or 20 stalks of rosemary or some other herb you want to cordialize.
- In a large pot bring sugar, zest, juice, and water to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Add the herbs and let the syrup infuse for at least 15 minutes.
- Meantime prepare your canning jars.
- Strain syrup through a fine sieve, squeezing out as much syrup as possible from the herb leaves before discarding them.
- Boiling water process for 10 minutes.
Serve with vodka and a splash of soda water, or just soda water if you prefer!
Enjoy the taste of Spring!
Today I'll share a fun project that I did for the annual New Year's Eve bash we threw benefitting S.O.U.L. Uganda. I love planning this party every year because the people and cause make it all worth while. You know how New Year's Eve is often over-hyped and under-delivered? This annual bash has never been that. When you party [hard] with a purpose, the selfish wills seem to disappear and you're left with hundreds of people bringing in the new year with joy, gratefulness and tons of laughter.
We rented a pretty raw space. It was great for the signature Whim & Fancy feel. Lighthearted, rustic, with a fancy twist. But the walls needed some color and spunk!
Working on a budget is a challenge, but all worth it in the end because you really get to use that creativity of yours! For this project, I decided to take advantage of the vintage records found at thrift stores. Not just any old school record, mind you. Only the cheesiest, craziest cover art will do! Luckily, I found all these covers in one trip, on half-price Saturdays! Yay for making budget! I painted hot pink speech bubbles onto the record covers that contained the event name, MWANZO, in the event logo font. All in all, I think I spent about $25-30 on this project (I already had the painting supplies, so it was hard to estimate that!).
What you'll need:
- Vintage Record Covers from the thrift store (try to pick ones with a coordinating theme, whether it be similar color family, genre, or trend)
- White acrylic paint
- Fluorescent pink acrylic paint (can also use fluorescent poster paint for this, but it will ruin your brush for further use)
- Liquitex High Gloss Varnish
- Medium width brush
- Speech Bubble cutout
Find a speech bubble or preferred shape by using a simple Google image search or build one in Photoshop/Illustrator. If you want to add a logo or text, create several on a page. Print and cut out a speech bubble as well as your logo/text. Set aside.
Trace the speech bubble shape onto each album art cover. If you have any people on the cover, place it strategically!
Apply one coat of white acrylic and let dry. Then apply a coat of fluorescent pink. Let dry. Apply a second coat, if more coverage is needed.
Apply a coat of the High Gloss Varnish. At this time, if you want to add your logo or text, use the varnish as its glue. Apply a second coat of High Gloss Varnish to finish and seal.
Hang as you please and enjoy a great conversation starter at any party! I mean, really, Cat Juggling?!
Also, you can apply this same customized project to any thrifted art piece! I went ahead and picked this lovely piece of art up and hung it in the bathroom of the party. It was certainly something interesting to look at!