Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Best. Christmas. Ever.

It was by far the best Christmas ever and definitely the easiest question I have ever answered. I could not feel more blessed and more loved. I could cry just thinking about it all.

I am working on finding the perfect words to tell this amazing story but until then, here's a little sneak peek. Hope everyone had a magical Christmas!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tis the Week Before Christmas

...and all through the Nido house,
all the lovies sprinkling cheer, even the garage mouse.
The stockings are hung by the chimney with care,
waiting for St. Nick (and Mark!) to be there!
3 sisters nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of creme brulee dance in their heads.
Mom in her apron and Dad is his ASU cap,
Are tired of cooking and need a winter's nap.
When down in the dining room there arose such a clatter,
A four legged furball Ozzie was causing this matter.
Under the table he hid and he chewed,
On a dining room chair...he's cute but quite rude!
Desserts to be made and eggnog lattes to sip,
mistletoe hung for a kiss on the lips.
Its time to be merry, a delightful time for all,
Our Christmas even pajama party will be quite the ball.
A twinkling tree with an angel high above,
Wishing you all peace, joy and love!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pointy Ears, Penguins & Buttercream Snow!

My amazingly talented roommate has done it again and this time she has re-created the North Pole right before my very eyes. I have seen so many fondant creatures and items come to life in our little home but never in history of this cupcake creating have I seen anything so intricate and magical. Ashley entered these little culinary miracles in the Ultimate Cupcake Contest at the Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge last weekend. The miniature snowmen are so detailed and look at the precious penguins with snowballs in hand. Christmas trees with lights add sparkle and the giant cupcake is used as the center of the "cupcakescape". This Winter Wonderland would surely not be complete without the tiny elves! Look carefully and you will see one making a snow angel, one fallen in the snow on his skis and a little gem on his knees sliding down the snow in a saucer. Each sweet elf, much like a decadent risotto is made, was truly loved into existence! The pointed ears just leave me tickled!!

For more information on Ashley and her cupcakes, you can find her on Facebook! Group Name is "Custom Cupcakes by Ashley"

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Bean is a Dream!

I just enjoyed an extra long weekend with Mark and dare I say the highlight of our Christmas-y time together was introducing him to the Bean in downtown Chicago's Millennium Park!! My second trip to the windy city at Christmas time did not disappoint...there is something so magical about Chicago, especially lit up with twinkle lights. Of course I am biased, but how cute do we look standing in front of this metal masterpiece!? Despite Jack Frost doing more than nipping at my nose, I survived the North Pole like conditions and spread pixie dust all around!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jack Frost nipping at my nose

I have relocated to the North Pole (aka Illinois) for an extra long weekend with MM and could not be happier! Peace, Love & Pixie Dust to all...only 15 magical days until Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Not too hot. Extra chocolate. Shaken, not stirred.

The Friday night Christmas cheer would have not been complete without a hot seasonal beverage to share by the crackling fire that Mr. Chidester made for us. Hot chocolate seemed like the most appropriate choices as we snuggled in our pjs for the night.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate
  • 1 mug of cozy hot chocolate
  • A quick pour of Peppermint Schnapps (optional)
  • Garnish with mini marshmallows and a candy cane!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Smells Like Christmas

On Friday night, "Santa's Clacking Elves" (by John Chidester's standards), took over the Chidester bungalow to spread a little Christmas cheer. Mary Katherine was just over the moon all week for she had a non-edible Christmas surprise for us all. Of course our minds were running wild because who knows what our sweet MK would come up with! As soon as we walked in the door, she scurried to the kitchen and started peeling oranges and grapefruit and pulled out delightful smelling spices as if they were precious little gems. We all watched with curiosity trying to figure out what this big surprise was. Her face beamed and she screamed..."it's Christmas aromaaaaa!!!". We all did a double take but finished product not only made for a great joke the rest of the night, it filled the house with the smell of Christmas! MK's mom has been doing this for years and my mom has a similar little concoction.

Christmas Aroma
  • The peelings of one grapefruit
  • The peelings of one orange
  • A few cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon of whole allspice
  • 1 tablespoon of whole cloves
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and fill with water. Sit on a back burner on the stove. Bring it to a boil and then turn it completely low and let the scent sprinkle pixie dust all through your house!