Monday, February 27, 2017

Guiding Santa to City Creek Mall

City Creek Mall sure knows how to kick off the holiday season! They have a big evening full of all sorts of fun Christmas activities. The evening began with a huge crowd guiding Santa to the mall with glow sticks!

We all sang Christmas carols and waved our glow sticks in the air like airport traffic controllers , and in a burst of fireworks, Santa appeared!

V was completely mesmerized by the glow sticks

Then the whole crowd moved down to the opposite end of the mall for performances of selected numbers from Ballet West's The Nutcracker.

Next up were brand new holiday themed fountain shows!

By now Vienne was freezing, she has a serious thing against gloves and her hands were turning into iceicles, so the Madisons said goodbye and headed home. I wasn't quite ready to be done having fun yet (I had literally spent an hour and a half in the parking structure trying to get a parking spot, so I was going to make sure I made it worth it!)

I got a caramel apple from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and walked over to Macy's to see their candy windows.

While I do always enjoy seeing the creativity of the candy windows, and I am so happy they brought them back after so many years without them, I miss the days when the candy windows were giant displays of entire scenes. Growing up I remember seeing scenes from fairy tales made completely out of candy and being enchanted with them. The modern ornament idea is fun, but I wish they would break away from it and move more towards the original candy window concept.

The sponsor this year was Sinclair gas, whose motto is, "fueling your next adventure" thus all entries had to include Sinclair's iconic dinosaur mascot. Dinosaur's and Christmas are hard to mash together. I know all of this because it has been a dream of mine and Bethy's to create one of these candy windows and we actually got around to submitting an application this year. Bethy drew up an amazing and creative concept and sent it in with our application. She got a call and was asked in for an interview. She said the interview went extremely well and the interviewer seems very impressed with her idea as well as her very organized plan of action for creating our candy ornament. We were super surprised when her design didn't get picked. However, now that we know the process we will definitely be submitting more designs in years to come! I was also glad I knew why there were dinosaurs on all the ornaments, otherwise I would have been super confused, I overheard tons of people discussing why there were dinosaurs and how random it was.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

I decorated for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving, I could not wait to get in the Christmas spirit! I have always wanted to do a 1950ish vintage Christmas, and this was the year I made that happen. All my decorations were in pale pink, green and blue with accents of gold and silver. 

My decorations were pretty during the day, but they really came a live at night when the Christmas tree could really glow and the twinkle lights made all the glitter on the ornaments shimmer. I loved spending my holiday evenings basking in the low glow of the Christmas tree, there isn't a more magical type of light.

I had a fun time wrapping all my gifts this year. I put on a marathon of Christmas movies and went to town. I had the Griffin family this year, they share my love of kitties, so I found the cutest kitty gift tags to use on their gifts to make them a little extra special. 

I fan girled hard when I saw these dainty chandelier ornaments at the store, they were some of my favorite Christmas finds this year.

Louis and Dinah love when I put up a Christmas tree. Dinah loves to be naughty and climb up the tree and make all the ornaments fall off. Louis loves to sit and admire it from a far. They both love hanging out underneath it, I can only imagine how magical that must be for them.

I have been on the search the last couple of years for plastic crystals, and this year I finally found some! Hobby Lobby had an entire wall of plastic crystals, all different patterns, shapes and sizes, and for suuuper cheap. I loaded up on them, I am now prepared for any and all occasions that call for gorgeous, hanging crystals.

When I had gotten all of my decorations up, my cute parents said they wanted to come see them in person, so I had them over to dinner one evening. I don't often cook elaborate meals, since it's usually just me and cooking big meals is exhausting, hard work. But I do enjoy cooking, so I used this as an opportunity to try out some new recipes, and I must say, they all turned out rather delicious.

I added this rustic bar cart to my home collection a couple of months ago, and I am obsessed with it! It's perfect for serving drinks and appetizers.

We had cranberry, apple ginger spritzers with homemade ginger syrup and balsamic cranberry and goat cheese crust-inis for starters.

I also wanted to learn how to make sugared cranberries so I made a batch and used them as garnishes on everything haha

The Menu:
Balsamic and Thyme Pork Tenderloin 
Creamy Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes 
Buttered Green Beans with Shallots
Orange Lion House Rolls with Homemade Orange Glaze
Raspberry Mixed Green Salad with Candied Almonds and Cranberry Ginger Dressing
Chocolate Peppermint Cake

As much as I wish I could say I made this gorgeous cake, I didn't, I picked it up at Whole Foods. They have an amazing bakery and I always want to buy everything they have in their coolers. I was so excited to finally have an occasion to buy something from there! I picked this cake because of how pretty it was, they told me it was a chocolate vegan cake. I wasn't sure what that would taste like, but I went for it anyway. I bought some of that special, comes-around-once-a-year peppermint ice cream to go with it. Turns out chocolate vegan cake is amazing!! It was so rich and chocolatey and moist!