Sunday, December 12, 2010

A bustling life inside the snow globe.

Living in Chicago this weekend was like living inside a snow globe that's just been violently shaken around and set back down, leaving the snowflakes twirling in a swift sideways motion around the cluster of jolly Christmas carolers up at the North Pole or whatever. Sure, it looks quaint and happy sitting on your desk, but think for once about the poor little carolers living inside who now have to deal with the blizzard you've created! Come on!

Though Chicago's nickname of "The Windy City" has nothing to do with weather patterns and everything to do with politics, by god was it windy and cold this weekend! It was most certainly a time to stay inside, bake cookies or brownies or creampuffs or make stew or chili while watching, at full length, the 6 hour BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. Alas, I did none of these things.

Because while it's true that this is an all-but-dead time of year for wedding flowers (at least in my experience, most people in Chicago tend to put their weddings off until after the deep freeze of winter) holiday party time is in full effect! Gather ye your bottles of wine and adorable hostess centerpiece gifts and head on out into the cold to go celebrate with friends!

(Aforementioned adorable hostess centerpiece gifts.)

(The deep freeze hits the street where I live -- but even that can't stop the holiday cheer!)

(As always, Maddie remains upbeat and frisky. Nothing gets her down!)

So I spent my weekend making bundles of cute winterberry holiday arrangements and out in the company of good friends. Now we're heading full-tilt into the holiday rush and it's time to hunker down for a long cold winter! Of course, all those annoying "OHMYGOD HE WENT TO JARED!" commercials are telling me that people are about to get engaged in droves, so I'm steadying myself for a flurry of wedding inquiries! That would be fantastic! I would be 200% okay with that! My spring wedding schedule is already starting to fill up and I couldn't be happier about it.

Because if there's one thing to keep you warm during a cold harsh winter, it's the promise of a happy and productive spring!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What's up, cream puff?

I need to have a serious conversation with you. About cream puffs.

Well, first, let me back up a bit. Some of you may remember from a few blog postings back, my lovely friends Annie and Becca? I did flowers for a sort of dual baby shower for them? Remember? Yeah? Okay, well GOOD NEWS! Annie just had her little baby boy yesterday! He is SO cute! Roughly the size of a football. Or a very large burrito. I love him!

Look at that happy family!

I got to see him at the hospital last night, but I wanted to also drop by and bring the glorious family something today. Flowers, you assume? YOU ASSUME WRONG! Haha. I do adore flowers, and I will most definitely bring her some flowers once she's all set at home. In fact, I will fill her house with blooms to the point where she may feel a bit confused and overwhelmed! But for now? Cream puffs.

I have, you see, what some may call an "unhealthy" obsession with a Japan-based cream puff company called Beard Papa's. About a year ago they opened a Chicago location and I started frequenting their store to stuff my face -- and the faces of those I love. Today I figured, what better treat for a proud new papa and mama, than a Beard Papa!

Their cream puffs are like heavenly fluffballs of creamy creampuffy amazingness! Not too sweet, mind you... just sweet enough. Light, flaky, perfect.

Sweet Jesus look at those puffs.

I WANT ONE NOW! Alas, I left them all with Annie, her hubs and baby. They deserved them, after all, not I.

Anyway, while I was waiting for my puffs to be made, I got chatty with the store manager. It occurred to me that cream puffs could -- and SHOULD -- be the new cupcake! So I asked him if they've ever done any weddings. He said, "Acutally, yes! We did one during the summer... all strawberry puffs. We brought our machines out there and were making & filling puffs to order for the reception. People loved it!"


Brides. If you're reading this. Check out these puffs, please! They'd be such a deliciously different alternative to cake or cupcakes! Your guests would remember it forever! I am being totally and completely serious!

Man. I want a cream puff.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside!

This weekend marked the first official snowfall of the 2010 Holiday Season. It. Was. COLD! Of course that doesn't bother Forget me Knodt's fearless mascot, Maddie. She's got enough fluff to keep her up and running even in 12 degree weather! Yes, I said 12 degrees. And that's without the wind chill factored in!

Wind chill makes a big difference when you live literally 5 minutes by foot from Lake Michigan. This Saturday miss Mads demanded a romp in the snow, so I bundled up like mad and took her out along the harbor.

It's times like these, when my nose is running due to the cold, and my face is stinging from the harsh Chicago wind, and I can't even move my lips to tell Maddie to stop trying to pick up old Burger King wrappers and other such refuse, that I think to myself, "Why did you leave California, again?"

But then I stop and look around, and realize that there really is nothing like a White Christmas! The holidays feel decidedly more holiday-tastic when there's fluffy white snow all around. Twinkle lights on the street seem to twinkle a bit brighter.

And there's really something to showing up at a holiday party with a hostess gift like the one below, when it's absolutely freezing outside! You do a little "I'm so cold it's ridiculous!" jig while you wait for them to answer the door. Then you walk inside, hand your gift off to a smiling friend, who immediately offers to take your coat and scarf and... "please go ahead & leave your boots at the door, then come inside and get warm this INSTANT! There's hot mulled wine in the kitchen..."

Happy Holidays, all! I resolve to deal with the cold and even be upbeat about it...

Until the holidays are over, at least! Then all bets are off and I have free reign to complain until March comes, and 35 degrees feels tropical! :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Silver Bells...

Man. The holiday season hit Chicago all at once on Wednesday, with snow flurries, sub-freezing temperatures and a seemingly-overnight sprouting of Christmas tree lots! I love it! I'm in heaven! Every time I visit the wholesale flower mart I spend entirely too much time back in the holiday greens area, taking in all the fragrant pine!

I am a total geek for Christmas.

Anyway, I've been so-so-so busy, and now I'm behind on my blog! I've got two great events yet to post here -- one was a fabulous wine tasting soiree, and one was a super cool corporate event. I'm hoping to get them both up today because there are fantastic photos for each.

Looks like I need some helpful, hard-working blogger elves, eh?