Guess what guys, my 25th birthday is next week! It’s pom-azing! Also a little pom-atic. I assure you I don’t feel that old… and I definitely don’t act it. Case and point; this pom-pom birthday party I’d very much like to throw myself. Lately, I’ve had a minor obsession with pom-poms, and have been trying to incorporate them into every aspect of my life. Ok, major obsession. But look at all the pom-abilities! Endless, I tell you. Alright. Enough with the pom-antics.
This right here is the real reason we trekked down to The Queen Mary over the weekend. Chill is a seasonal winter wonderland set up in a dome outside The Queen Mary where you can go ice skating, tubing and wander through one of the most incredible ice sculpture gardens imaginable. The Nutcracker themed exhibit is made up of 2 million pounds of colorful ice that took a team of 35 artists weeks to create. Highlights included a 35-foot tall castle, a three-lane slide and an awesome photo op in the mouth of a giant nutcracker. The only downside; it’s all inside a giant freezer. Seriously. It’s so cold (9 degrees) that they make you wear these massive blue parkas. I was swimming in mine. So SoCal locals, be sure to add Chill’s magical wonderland to your list of holiday adventures. Just remember to bring gloves… and a scarf.
This weekend we took a drive to Long Beach to explore The Queen Mary. I hadn’t been before, or at least couldn’t remember if I had, so it was a real treat! We left LA in the pouring rain, but as soon as we arrived the weather cleared, making way for a beautiful afternoon. Thank goodness. I’m not so sure I’d like to wander the rickety decks of an aging vessel in the rain. Walking the planks of the red and white ship however, was not our sole purpose. The main reason we went to Long Beach was to see The Ice Kingdom at Chill; a tented winter wonderland adjacent to The Queen Mary. But more on that, tomorrow.
Day 2 of our Advent calendar instructed us to make holiday bark, and so we did! You mustn’t disobey the advent. Since I’m not the biggest fan of the peppermint chocolate combo we made a few different kinds of barks, including the holiday classic. We did dark chocolate with almonds and marshmallows, white chocolate with peppermint pieces and both chocolates with pistachios and dried cranberries. Holiday bark is super easy to make and looks lovely in a jar with a bow around it. It’s the perfect holiday gift for your chocoholic friends and family. Or for yourself. Even better!
- 1 bag of semi-sweet Ghirardelli chocolate chips
- 1 bag of white Ghirardelli chocolate chips
- Dried cranberries
- Peppermint candy
Now pay attention, this is advanced level stuff. Melt chocolate, add topping. Done. Ok it’s a little more complicated then that...but not much. Using half a bag at a time, melt chocolate in microwave at 50% heat for 45 seconds. Stir chocolate. Repeat this about 3 times until the chocolate is completely melted. Mash up toppings to desired size. Now you can either add toppings before spreading chocolate thin, or after, or both. Pour melted chocolate onto parchment lined cookie sheet and spread thin with a spatula. Place in refrigerator to harden for an hour. Break into pieces. Store in pretty jar. Thatsallfolks!