Add Some Whimsy to Your Life!

October 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

So we’ve covered some of my favorite whimsical books and movies. Now it’s time for music!

Whimsy is a little harder for me to define in the realm of music. Many different songs feel whimsical to me for different reasons. So since it’s my blog and I make the rules, I’m going to throw all of them into this post, and hopefully one of them will strike your fancy. Then you can pop that sucker into Pandora and create your own whimsical playlist from there!

Half an Acre | Hem

So this is the ultimate in musical whimsy to me. The biggest reason for this is the soft melody, mixed with the gorgeous instrumentals. But the lyrics are really good as well. It’s rare I find a song that seems so perfect… and one that I still love six years after hearing it for the first time. (If you’re like me and can’t stand it when you’ve heard or seen something somewhere but can’t remember where and this one is doing that to you — you are probably recognizing it from the Liberty Mutual commercials back in the day.)

Make | Johnnyswim

This one lacks a little of that foresty-whimsy that was present in Half an Acre. But it’s still melodic whimsy to me. I can’t stop listening to it. The harmony is about as perfect as you can get. And the lyrics are strong. Your soul will respond to this one. (Even as we sit here, my husband can’t help but sing along.)

Mary | Patty Griffin

For any of you Blue Like Jazz fans out there, you may remember this. Throughout the book, Donald Miller mentions that he used to drive around with a dear friend, playing this song on repeat. And I get it. Patty always has a beautiful voice, so that’s happening. But the harmony is stunning again. And the whole concept is just gripping to me.

Like the Dawn | The Oh Hellos

This is probably the most excited I have gotten about music in a long time. A brother and sister duo, Maggie and Tyler Heath have filled a long-noticed gap in the “quote unquote Christian music world.” We have this amazing story that the Bible tells so beautifully. Yet often, I don’t feel like music is capturing this beauty and dissonance that is happening throughout history and now in our lives as well. But Maggie and Tyler have discovered how to bottle that and write and compose the perfect soundtrack. The whole album is meant to be listened to in order, track by track. And it just takes you on a journey. By far one of the most whimsical, beautiful, and truth-speaking albums I have ever heard. You should go right now over to their site and listen to the whole album. Please, please, please read the lyrics as you go. So. so. so. good.

Viva La Vida | Coldplay

You may get to this point and go, “Huh??” I know Coldplay is super mainstream at this point. But I think they are the Beatles of our time. And they have figured out this whimsical component to their music. I love so many of their songs from Yellow to Paradise to Fix You to The Scientist to Every Teardrop is a Waterfall. So fantastic. I’ll never get tired of them. And this one may be the best of all. They have transported us to another world with it. That’s whimsy at its finest.

Like Ships Need the Sea | Emily Hearn

I heard Emily Hearn for the first time about four years ago at a backyard concert in Athens, Georgia. She was so nervous, she had to have a friend sit on the deck with her while she sang. She performed the best version of Jolene I have ever heard. By far. You know how backyard concerts are when everyone’s all chatty while the person is singing? Well everyone literally stopped making any noise… I think we all stopped breathing. She has the most natural and beautiful voice. And this one is my favorite she’s ever written. It’s pretty gorgeous. And to mix the final two faves, she did a cover of The Scientist that is lovely.

Well, I think I could go on and on like this forever. So I’m going to stop it here and maybe I’ll do another whimsy playlist for you in the future sometime, if you like.

It’s so interesting writing about why you like a song. It’s so nebulous. There’s this ineffable factor to a whimsical song to me. My heart just responds to it. Each of these just speak to me. …Heavy. Haha! Hope you love them as much as I do.

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Add Some Whimsy to Your Life!

August 14, 2013 § 1 Comment

Watched all those movies from my last Whimsy post yet?? Are you ready for some more recommendations?

I don’t know that there is much I enjoy more in life than reading a book that is fun and has a decent love story and a little whimsy to it. These books don’t come around all the time. I would actually love it if they could make a Book Pandora that would just keep feeding you book after book that it knew you were just going to love!

But until they figure out Book Pandora, use this list as your guide to the whimsical book genre.

Guernsey

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: Sweet, sweet, sweet. This may have been the first book I read that was just really enjoyable to read. No difficulty deciphering old world language {I still love you, Jane Austen}, no evil characters plotting out their next evil deeds, and no foul language or raunchy scenes. It was just a sweet book. It actually has a very interesting historical component to it as well that inspired an awesome conversation with a Guernsian {??} bartender in a ski lodge in Banff, Canada a couple years back. Love that!

Moon

The Girl Who Chased the Moon: This may be the cream of the crop of whimsy. Sarah Addison Allen writes books that always take place at least partly in North Carolina and have a magical component to them. Many others like her book Garden Spells better. But this is by far my favorite! It involves wallpaper changing based on your mood and baked goods calling to people. Come on. This is heavenly. If you end up liking her writing, check out The Peach Keeper and The Sugar Queen too.

Bernadette

Where’d You Go, Bernadette: This was one of my beach reads this year. SO fun! This is more on the fun side of whimsy than on the magical side. It was hilarious and so easy to read. The ending was awesome too! I can’t recommend this book enough.

Lunch

Lunch in Paris: This book is actual more of an autobiography meets cookbook. The whimsy here is also less magical {except for some of those recipes} and more the kind that you feel when you hear of someone falling in love and moving to Paris  and cooking and writing all day.

Paris

The Paris Wife: This is an interesting nonfiction novel based on the books and journals of Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hattie. It is on the whimsy borderline. But the fact that it’s about Paris in the Golden Age and I really enjoyed reading it landed it on the list.

When I set out to write this post, I thought it would be much longer. But there really aren’t that many great books out there that have that touch of whimsy like I like. So we’re going with quality over quantity here.

What about you? Do you have any books you just loved reading??

Add Some Whimsy to Your Life!

July 23, 2013 § 2 Comments

In the mood for something whimsical? Want to put on some glitter, tulle and high heels, sip on a glass of wine annnnnnd watch an awesome movie?? [Don’t judge if that doesn’t sound like a fun night to you… some of us like to get dressed up and not go anywhere!]

If so, then I have some recommendations for an awesome night in!

Midnight in Paris – The epitome of a whimsical movie done well. Basic storyline: guy is in Paris on vacation with his fiance. He’s always loved Paris and dreams of how it would be to live there in the 20s. Magical things begin to happen. Quite possibly the best movie ever.

Moonrise Kingdom – This one is less whimsical in a magical way and more in a design, cinematography, costumes kind of way. Basic storyline: Two kids with a crush decide to run away together. Their parents, scout leaders and authorities don’t think this is such a good idea.

Amelie – Sigh. Amelie is the first of its kind. Aside from all the weird sex and nudity, this movie encapsulates what I love. Amelie is all about appreciating the little joys in life. Basic storyline: Amelie has led a sheltered life and she’s ready for adventure. As her first adventure ends up bringing pure joy to an elderly gentleman, she decides to focus her efforts on making people happy.

Chocolat – Another French film that just makes you smile… I mean Johnny Depp and chocolate. Need I say more? Basic storyline: Vianne has a gift of making chocolate… a very special chocolate that somehow affects the lives of the people who eat it. But the village mayor does not approve of Vianne and her chocolate shop. As Vianne continues to influence the town, you eventually see the impact the town has on her and her daughter, Anouk.

Romantics Anonymous – This is like the PG rated sister of Amelie and Chocolat combined. I think the French have something figured out. Basic storyline: Angelique is a trained chocolatier and extremely introverted, on the verge of agoraphobic. She gets a job selling chocolates for a dying chocolate shop, and ends up meeting someone along the way.

Penelope – This movie was basically a walking Anthro ad back in the day. Basic storyline: Penelope has gorgeous clothes, a fantastic treehouse room and beautiful curls. She just also happens to have been born with a family curse – a pig’s nose! Penelope’s family is on a mission to find someone to marry her and break the curse. When the guy comes along she thinks might be the answer, he says he can’t marry her…

The Legend of Bagger Vance – Many people I know did not enjoy this movie. But my challenge to you is to watch it again if you haven’t in several years. The acting is certainly sub-par. But, I just love the Southern storytelling and the music… oh, the music. That alone is enough to watch this again. Basic storyline: Ranolph Junuh was the South’s premiere golfer before he had a tragic experience in World War I. Now his old love, Adele, is hosting an exhibition golf tournament in order to save her late father’s Savannah golf course, and she needs Junuh to play. But the problem is, he’s lost his swing.

Now, please go grab some Milk Duds and enjoy these flicks that carry whimsy in spades!

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