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In early December, we took a night to decorate the tree and get some Christmas spirit around the house so we could come out of computer land darkness to enjoy some holiday love all month long!  Really glad we did that as relax times have been minimal these days, and I adore warm, twinkling lights.

We love to make cocktails and we thought we’d share our recipe for boozy nog.  It’s not so traditional, and we’re not super mixologists or anything, but give’r a go and please report back if you like it or if you have ideas for tweaking 🙂


By Chadwick and Camille Bensler

MAKES TWO GENEROUS, MERRY DRINKS (Should there be any other kind?)

2 shots of Bourbon

2 shots of spiced Rum

6-8 shots of quality eggnog (to taste… Chadwick likes six, I like eight, we serve people 7 😉

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with good, clean ice

SHAKE IT, BABY- SHAKE IT HARD!! (for 40 seconds+)

take a sprig of fresh rosemany, bruise it and rub it around the edge of glass.  (The oils will provide a beautiful fragrance as you drink.)

Pour the drink into a glass of 1/3 ice

finish with fresh nutmeg shavings, and garnish with rosemary

We used: Kraken Rum,  Woodford Reserve Bourbon and Avalon Dairy’s Eggnog

first dog pets, then shake time…

It’s worth it to get fresh rosemary and whole nutmeg.

Then a few days ago, it snowed!!  Nothing exciting for the rest of Canada, but very exciting for people in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.  We use the opportunity to do some family photos each time it happens- and it usually happens pre-Christmas each year.  My mom cares for our whippets each time we are out shooting or traveling, and we are so grateful for her!!  She turned 70 this year and the more time passes, the more respect I have for the woman that she is, and the woman that she has always been. Thanks, Moo.

Playing with the dogs makes us all happy.

This Fall, NiNi turned 10 and Mya turned 8.  They bring so much joy into our lives.  We are grateful to be able to snuggle them over the holidays, and we think often about our friends who have lost their beloved pets this year. xo

I really treasure these images Chadwick took of me in the snow.  He actually caught me without nerves in front of the camera, so they may be the most authentic photos I have of myself since childhood.  Thanks, Boo.

On to more love for family.  My Mother In Law is a blessing to us, and to so many.  Like a lot of families these days, we have been taking steps to eat in a more healthful way- which doesn’t really include cookies, cakes and breads.  For someone who is FAMOUS for her prolific, spectacular and delicious gifts of home made Christmas Delights, Mom was contemplating not going through the effort of baking for family this year.  She decided to give from her heart anyway, and bake, package and mail this Most Perfect Box of Baking Love.  We were delighted!

PROPS TO OUR LOVELY CANADA POST MAIL CARRIER!  She saved this Most Perfect Box of Baking Love!

UPS delivered the over-night box to the incorrect address and left it a whole street away, outside on the stoop.  Our Canada Post mail carrier saw the UPS box with our name/address on it (the other family was away and did not see the box) and CARRIED IT ALONG WITH HER MAIL BAG, WHILE MAKING DELIVERY STOPS ALONG THE WAY, UP AND DOWN 2 HILLS to deliver it to us! We’ve only ever exchanged pleasantries with our mail carrier- nothing too deep, she’s usually wearing headphones and rocking her route like a BOSS.  For her to act so kindly and bring this package to us was so wonderful , and we are thankful!!

Chadwick gets his cheeky, great sense of humour from someone:

You don’t understand how good these cookies are.  What a pleasure to open the box and tour the containers of baking, all prepared for freezing or EATING RIGHT AWAY!

We wanted a photograph of the contents before getting them (ahem, a number of them) back into the freezer right away.  These cookies and baked goods are SERIOUS.  That gazillion-layered thin cake business in the tin foil is out of this world beautiful.  We wanted to shoot more, but we really had about one minute to shoot this stuff before it had to get back in the freezer.  No use spoiling all of this effort!!  Mom, THANK YOU. xo

Snow outside and Christmas baking.  What more could we ask for?  Well, we could ask to be closer to more family this Christmas, but we’ll feel the love either way.  

2013 has been an incredible year.  We are grateful to our family, friends, clients and all of the wedding industry artists and service providers we work with all year.  To say we’re excited about 2014 would be an understatement.  We wish YOU and those you love a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!  If you are feeling sad this season for whatever reason, may you find peace and comfort and warmth nearby.  JONETSU will be closed Dec 24-26th.  xoxo Camille (and Chadwick).

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