Blogging, Chicago, Friends, Humor, Sponsored Post

Vanilla Ice Has Got NOTHING on this Company


So last week, I got to be a part of something pretty cool.
I have met so many amazing friends from blogging but I am very lucky to have some really cool blogging peeps that live right here in the Chicago area.
One of those is MJ Tam.

I got to meet her last December at a blogging event and liked her immediately.
But I had no idea who she was until AFTER meeting her.
I am sure I had food in my teeth and was talking about things like feminine products the whole time we sat next to each other and be well, inappropriate.
That is my “thing”, apparently.


Kari and Ree Drummond. And Kari's bra.

So MJ and her friends Beth, Nancy, Duong and David in addition to writing a blog called Chicagonista, also run a Chicagonista LIVE show.
If you live in the Chicago area, it is a great resource for anything from shopping, food, places to get drunk and the sort.
You call them “bars” I call them “places to get drunk”.
Tomato. Tomahto.

I got invited to a live taping recently and as excited as I was about being there, I was STOKED about where it was being held.
At a vanilla factory.
Where there is vanilla, there are cookies.
It’s the law of physics.

Nielsen Massey makes really amazing vanilla that is only carried in stores like Williams Sonoma, Whole Foods, etc..
My mama loves this vanilla.
So I love this vanilla.
Because it reminds me of mom.
And cookies.
Since I love to cook, love the smell of vanilla and love MJ Tam, it was decided that I will be there.

I need to give props to my bestie Rebecca, aka Auntie Rebecca, for getting Ellie on the bus this day so I could attend.
The major excitement for me was that I was able to do this during the school day so really, this was a stay at home mom field trip.
And I got booze.
More on that later……




When I got out of the car in the parking lot, it smelled like vanilla.
When we left?
The parking lot smelled like cookies baking.
I think they were holding out on us.
Chicagonista at Nielsen Massey Vanilla

I am not gonna lie, I get giddy when I see TV cameras.
I don’t know why.
I am not destined to be famous but something about those cameras and those lights makes my insides scream I AM READY FOR MY CLOSE UP.


Drinks at the vanilla factory

So there was booze here.
I am not a boozin’ it up during the day kinda girl.
But I did drink this little drink and mayyyyyybe another teensy one later on.
I felt so continental!
I felt like this must be what big people do during the day!
North Shore Distillery provided these pretty pink big people drinks.


Desserts at the vanilla factory
THIS is what happens when you get 30 bloggers in a small room with a bakery chef.
Bent Fork Bakery made these treats.


The gingerbread cupcake with eggnog frosting?
Sweet baby ruth.
I am not making this up as I go along.
 There was also this chocolate Ho-Ho like thing…I am not doing it justice by description but it was so good.
I wanted to shove this entire plate in my purse.
I might have if I hadn’t gotten stopped in my tracks by the factory tour.
Because I love a factory tour.
Jen and I at Nielsen Massey
My friend Jen and I on our way into the factory tour.
I am sure we are the only ones who posted pictures of us wearing hair nets all over social media.
It’s how we roll.
We TOTALLY should have worn those to Bethenny.


Filming Chicagonista at Nielsen Massey Vanilla


TV cameras!
Nielsen Massey vanilla

I wanted to go home with all of the vanillas.
Please send me home with all of the vanillas.

Out of the blue, as if by chance or kismet, my friend Erin posted the most amazing recipe on her blog!
Main Ingredient?
Instead of hot chocolate, think hot VANILLA.
Can you stand it???

I can’t wait to make it with my Nielsen Massey vanilla!!
That totally sounded like a plug, didn’t it?
I didn’t mean it to.
I swear.
You could use any vanilla to make it.
Heck, you could use ten different vanillas if you want to.
It is tots up to you.
But if you want it to taste amazing?
Use the Nielsen Massey vanilla.
Wink wink.

6 thoughts on “Vanilla Ice Has Got NOTHING on this Company”

  1. Love it.Love you.Love the Ree picture (as always).Love the Neilsen-Massey vanilla too (even tho I have no idea how to bake)And I love MJ and the ladies of Chicagonista too. (I'm sure I'd love Erin too when I meet her. As long as she stops trying to steal my bestie!!)) 🙂


  2. I need you to come over and bake and Erin to come over and make me drinks. Ok?Best line: I wanted to put the whole plate in my purse.


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