Whimsical Woodland Party

When I started planning Ginny’s first birthday party, I immediately envisioned a whimsical woodland party that would bring lightness and boho beauty to Chicago’s ice cold winter. I created my own invitations and used them as inspiration for the decor – a light pink, peach, gold, and green color scheme with woodsy elements was the focal point of the party. Since going outside was not an option, I brought the outside in with a combination of real and artificial flowers and greenery and added a few personal touches with several DIY projects.

We opted for an afternoon party that worked around our little party girl’s schedule, so we served several appetizers and desserts in lieu of a full meal. The springtime whimsy made the party feel ethereal and magical, and I even decided to keep up a few decorations because they look so lovely. Create your own woodland party for birthdays, baby or wedding showers, or even an afternoon tea.

Mom’s Simply Delicious Chocolate Sundae Cake

Does it ever happen to you when out of nowhere, you just want cake? Silly question, of course that happens. Well, that happens to me too. Actually, what usually happens is that I want cake batter, but ending up with a scrumptious cake is a sweet byproduct of my batter craving.

My mom makes the most delicious cakes, and historically, I make the worst cakes. Even though I always follow the recipes step-by-step, somehow that moist, fluffy champagne cake turns into a dense, beer flavored brick by my very touch. Not the most impressive skill to have.

In an effort to avoid any baking mishaps, I skipped my mom’s homemade cake batter and opted for a box mix, making an equally delicious, fool-proof, easy peasy chocolate sundae cake. This is a great birthday cake – in fact, it’s my dad’s cake of choice every year, but I would also make it for other special occasions or heck, just because. It’s so simple but tastes very decadent and special.

DIY Carmen Miranda Costume

Last year when I was trying to come up with an outfit for my school’s Tropical Tuesday theme during homecoming week, I remembered a Halloween costume from when I was young and knew it would be perfect – Carmen Miranda, or as I called her back then, the Chiquita Banana girl.

(As you may know from prior posts, I like to go all out for theme days, so a simple tropical printed maxi dress would not do!) Check out this post on how to create a simple Effy costume from “The Hunger Games.”

Carmen Miranda was a Portuguese Brazilian singer, dancer, and actress, popular between the 1930’s and 50’s. She was easily recognized by her bright, bold colors, tropical flair, and fruit-adorned headpiece.

I did not spend any money on this easy DIY Carmen Miranda costume; however, I did use a few pieces from my childhood costume. Everything else, I had or borrowed. You can easily recreate this look with whatever pieces you already own; feel free to put your own spin on her bold look!