Matthew Mead and the Nielsons at Smeeks

When it comes to cheer, Smeeks candy shop knows what's up. So if someone's looking for holiday cheer, Smeeks is certainly worth a visit...or a photo shoot.

Famous mommy blogger Stephanie Nielson thinks so, too. She suggested the sweet spot to celebrity lifestyle expert Matthew Mead, as the site for a photo shoot with her family. Mead is the author of the upcoming magazine Holiday with Matthew Mead, and met Stephanie Nielson's family at Smeeks last week.

Stephanie Nielson, a former Valley resident and creator of the popular blog, the NieNie Dialogues, couldn't make the shoot. She's in recovery from an unexpected skin graft surgery at the Maricopa Medical Center.

Nielson received national media attention after she and her husband survived a plane crash in late 2008. Her body was badly burned and she suffered 19 initial skin graft surgeries and continues to undergo more. She and her family live in Colorado but are in Phoenix for the most recent surgery.

Matthew Mead is a NieNie reader. He's also a celebrity lifestyle and entertainment expert and is a regular contributor to Real Simple, In Style Weddings, and Better Homes and Gardens.

Mead will feature the Nielsons in his large-format magazine (Mead calls a "book-azine") that will be available October 2010. The publication will be filled with holiday crafts, recipes, and inspirations.

At Stephanie's suggestion, Mead met her husband and kids for a photo shoot at Smeeks (one of her favorites places in Phoenix). And as for Stephanie? Mead assures that he's come up with a separate and creative photo shoot for her.

While the circumstances seem less than ideal, Smeeks looks like the perfect backdrop for this photo session (at least, the kids looked pumped to be there). Check out some more shots here.

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