Where To Stay Right Now: Fodor’s Reveals Its 2013 Fodor’s 100 Hotel Awards


Fodor’s Travel, the leading name in travel guides for 77 years, recently announces the 2013 Fodor’s 100 Hotel Award winners. Chosen by the experts at Fodor’s Travel, this third-annual list features a selection of 100 hotels across eight categories that represent 2013’s global hospitality trends. This year’s categories include Home Suite Homes, Culinary Gems, Sleek City Addresses and more.


Using their print guidebooks, ebooks, mobile apps, and www.Fodors.com, you’ll find highly curated advice to help you travel smarter, from the best arts and culture offerings to tips and strategies for an authentic and immersive experience. Fodor’s savvy travel editors and local contributors take the guesswork out of planning your trip and recommend only those hotels, restaurants, and things to do that meet our high standards, and we designate the absolute musts with “Fodor’s Choice.” Continue reading

LG Electronics Breaks Into New Audio Category with ‘LG SoundPlate’

LG Electronics USA has announced the LG SoundPlate(TM), an innovative new speaker system that features a minimalist design and provides a big audio boost for the home entertainment center. Shown for the first time in the United States as the 2013 Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) Expo kicks off, model LAP340 helps usher in a new generation of home theater audio systems optimized for today’s flat-panel HDTVs.

LG SoundPlate

LG SoundPlate

The tradeoff for the ultra thin TV design has been smaller speakers, which has led to a surge in demand for supplementary home audio devices,” said Jay Vandenbree, senior vice president, home entertainment, LG Electronics USA. “We’re augmenting our already robust line of soundbars with the LG SoundPlate to give consumers yet another alternative for powerful home entertainment sound in a compact, attractive design.”

The LG SoundPlate provides high-quality audio while maintaining a minimally obtrusive aesthetic. Despite a profile only 1-3/8 inches (35 millimeters) high, the LG SoundPlate is equipped with a robust 4.1 channel sound system complete with dual built-in subwoofers.

Its 120W output is boosted by a unique internal structure and LG’s proprietary acoustic tuning system, which makes it easier to hear dialog and other discrete sounds when watching TV shows or movies. To further enhance sound quality, this unit features LG’s Bass Port system, which reduces harmful vibrations from within the speaker enclosure. LG’s Cinema Mode feature optimizes the LAP340’s surround sound capabilities, creating an immersive field of multidirectional audio.

For additional functionality, LG’s Sound Sync, which is driven by Bluetooth® capabilities, enables users to pair the device with other compatible devices, such as phones, so consumers can wirelessly stream music when in range. As an added bonus, this feature helps reduce cable clutter in the living room by pairing your compatible LG TV to the SoundPlate wirelessly. From an aesthetic perspective, its low profile and sleek matte finish make it an attractive choice for any home theater set up. It is primarily meant to act as a pedestal, ideal for 32 to 55-inch class TVs, but is compact enough to fit in shelving units or TV stands.

The LAP340 LG SoundPlate is expected to be available through U.S. retailers beginning in October. For more information, please visit www.lg.com.

jcoco Introduces Delicious Ways to Support Fighting Hunger in America


jcoco,  an award-winning line of premium chocolate from the Seattle Chocolate Company, officially welcomes two new flavors to its American couture chocolate line: AGAVE QUINOA SESAME IN MILK CHOCOLATE and JINGLE BERRY, a seasonal combination of GOJI BERRIES and pine nuts in dark chocolate launched at a private event hosted by  celebrity chef, AMANDA FREITAG and SEATTLE CHOCOLATE COMPANY CEO JEAN THOMPSON in New York City. For Thompson, the jcoco line is the culmination of years of tasting, research and the desire to fuse style, phenomenal taste and a commitment to community in a premium chocolate that appeals to a woman’s senses and sensibilities.

jcoco Full Product Lineup.  (PRNewsFoto/jcoco)

jcoco Full Product Lineup. (PRNewsFoto/jcoco)

First introduced by SEATTLE CHOCOLATE COMPANY in late 2012, jcoco is a unique American couture chocolate that balances style and stunning flavor combinations with a deep commitment to the community. From the thoughtful packaging to the all-natural and kosher certified ingredients, and the perfectly-portioned individual-wrapped servings (just right for sharing) — savoring a jcoco bar is a true indulgence. But it’s an indulgence that makes a vital difference. Giving back is at the heart of the jcoco line. jcoco have a growing network of partner organizations (non-profit organizations focused on bettering the lives of women and their families, such as GILDA’S CLUB, FRED HUTCHINSON CANCER RESEARCH CENTER and neighborhood food banks coast to coast..) in communities coast-to-coast that provide a serving of fresh food to an American in need, each and every time a jcoco bar is purchased.  (To learn more about jcoco, please visit us online at www.jcocochocolate.com.) Continue reading

Bose Unveils The New Bose® Videowave® Ii Entertainment System


Bose unveils the VideoWave® II system, the next generation of its breakthrough entertainment system that combines a high-definition TV, home theater sound system, and music system into one revolutionary product. The   VideoWave II system will be available in 55″ and 46″ screen sizes, featuring a 1080p LED backlit display for stunning images, a new, more refined industrial design, and an updated click pad remote for the easiest, most intuitive control of home entertainment ever developed.

Bose VideoWave II Entertainment System

Bose VideoWave II Entertainment System


The new Bose VideoWave system delivers a brilliant picture, now with a new 1080p LED backlit display. Image quality is crisp and vivid for watching movies or TV, and the display now includes an aluminum-finish bezel for both model sizes, and a thinner, sleeker frame for the 55″ screen. The new VideoWave system is powerful, but slender and elegant enough to be wall-mounted, and uses just one cable to connect to a small console — which can connect up to six devices, including an Apple® TV, Blu-Ray Disc™ player, cable or satellite box, gaming devices, and many others.

The accompanying new VideoWave® system’s click pad remote uses just a few buttons, a touch-sensitive click pad, and an on-screen interface to control everything, eliminating the multiple remotes for multiple devices. With the click pad, every command can be made without looking away from the screen — change channels or sources, fast-forward, rewind, pause, quick skip, and anything else. There’s no guessing or confusion, and because the Bose® click pad remote uses RF technology, it doesn’t need to be aimed, and all the devices it controls can be hidden from view.

Bose CineMate 1 SR system

Bose CineMate 1 SR system


The new VideoWave system integrates a home theater system behind the display, yet delivers unmistakable cinema sound –- immersive and powerful. There are no separate speakers, no bass module, and no speaker wires. Continue reading

Bob Mizer & Tom of Finland’s Revolutionary Photography and Drawings Heads to MOCA at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Pacific Design Center, November 2nd – January 26th, 2014

Bob Mizer & Tom of Finland

November 2, 2013-January 26, 2014

MOCA Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave., Design Plaza G102, West Hollywood, CA 90069

MOCA PACIFIC DESIGN CENTER (http://www.moca.org/museum/moca_pdc.php) presents Bob Mizer & Tom of Finland, the first American museum exhibition devoted to the art of Bob Mizer (1922–1992) and Touko Laaksonen, aka “Tom of Finland” (1920–1991), two of the most significant figures of twentieth century erotic art and forefathers of an emergent post-war gay culture. The exhibition features a selection of Tom of Finland’s masterful drawings and collages, alongside Mizer’s rarely seen photo-collage “catalogue boards” and films, as well as a comprehensive collection of his groundbreaking magazine Physique Pictorial, where drawings by Tom were first published in 1957. Organized by MOCA Curator Bennett Simpson and guest co-curator Richard Hawkins, the exhibition is presented with the full collaboration ofmoca the Bob Mizer Foundation, El Cerrito, and the Tom of Finland Foundation, Los Angeles.

Tom of Finland is the creator of some of the most iconic and readily recognizable imagery of post-war gay culture. He produced thousands of images beginning in the 1940s, robbing straight homophobic culture of its most virile and masculine archetypes (bikers, hoodlums, lumberjacks, cops, cowboys, and sailors) and recasting them—through deft skill and fantastic imagination—as unapologetic, self-aware, and boastfully proud enthusiasts of gay sex. His most innovative achievement though, worked out in fastidious renderings of gear, props, settings, and power relations inherent therein, was to create the depictions that would eventually become the foundation of an emerging gay leather culture. Tom imagined the leather scene by drawing it; real men were inspired by it… and suited themselves up.

Bob Mizer, Physique Pictorial Volume 10 Number 4, april 1961, publication, printed with permission of Bob Mizer Foundation, Inc.

Bob Mizer, Physique Pictorial Volume 10 Number 4, april 1961, publication, printed with permission of Bob Mizer Foundation, Inc.

Bob Mizer began photographing as early as 1942, but unlike many of his contemporaries in the subculture of illicit physique nudes, Mizer took the Hollywood star-system approach and founded the Athletic Model Guild in 1945, a film and photo studio specializing in handsome natural-bodied (as opposed to exclusively muscle-bound, the norm of the day) boy-next-door talent. In his myriad satirical prison dramas, sci-fi flix, domesticated bachelor scenarios, and elegantly captivating studio sessions, Mizer photographed and filmed over 10,000 models at a rough estimate of 60 photos a day, seven days a week for almost 50 years. Mizer always presented a fresh-faced and free, unashamed and gregarious, totally natural and light-hearted approach to male nudity and intimate physical contact between men. For these groundbreaking perspectives in eroticized representation alone, Mizer ranks with Alfred Kinsey at the forefront of the sexual revolution. Thanks to the Guild, Mizer was not only a subversive and kitschy force in the art world but also one of the first to instill an open, gay community before the concept even existed. Continue reading

Kroger’s Family of Stores Commits $3 Million for Breast Cancer Awareness

The Kroger Co. Family of Stores, in partnership with key suppliers, has committed $3 million in donations for local breast cancer initiatives across the country to support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

This will be the seventh year since Kroger began the Giving Hope a Hand® initiative. By the end of 2013, Kroger will have donated more than $24 million to support breast cancer research, education and services since 2006. Last year, Kroger received the 2012 Gold HALO award from the Cause Marketing Forum for the company’s annual Giving Hope a Hand® campaign.


The effort kicked off in stores on Sunday, September 22 and features 21 Kroger associates who are breast cancer survivors on marketing materials and custom packages of national and Kroger corporate brand products. These women share their survivor stories on the packaging of select items sold exclusively in Kroger’s family of stores.

Kroger associate Joanna Garcia, is featured this year on select Kraft cheese packaging. Joanna had no family history of breast cancer but she learned a lot about herself throughout her battle with the disease. “I learned I have more strength in myself than I ever thought I had.  I learned that with perseverance, patience, and moral support you can get through any type of situation that comes your way.” She encourages everyone to never give up because you are not alone. “It’s okay to cry and be angry, as long as you keep fighting.”

Giving Hope a Hand® aims to inspire our customers and raise awareness by sharing stories from some of the more than 2.7 million women who are breast cancer survivors,” said David B. Dillon, Kroger’s chairman and chief executive officer. “The Kroger family is honored that so many of our associates offered their personal stories of hope and triumph.” Continue reading

Hästens Participates In “At Home On Madison Avenue” To Help Fight Breast Cancer

Swedish luxury bed-maker Hästens joins Traditional Home Magazine’s “At Home on Madison Avenue,” an inaugural event set to promote Madison Avenue as a go-to destination for high quality home décor and design. The event taking place October 22, 2013 will highlight world-class home design while benefiting The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Hästens’ participation is unique for its display of a completely custom “living headboard” of flowers designed by renownedmmm_1047 Events and Floral Designer and Author Matthew Robbins of Matthew Robbins Design. To support the cause, the Madison Avenue Hästens store (1100 Madison Ave, Madison & 82nd Street) will offer their luxurious duck-down travel pillows in limited-edition pink check with 15% of all proceeds going directly to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Departing from its iconic blue and white check print, Hästens has created this limited edition travel pillow in pink to draw awareness for breast cancer.

The first “At Home on Madison Avenue” will feature stores on Madison Avenue displaying curated window fronts as well as selling hand-selected “Pink Ribbon Items” to assist The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, an independent not-for-profit that works to find a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime. The event is organized by Traditional Home Magazine and the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) to bring attention to the excellence in design found on Madison Avenue and to celebrate the best of the best in home décor and furnishings.

Hästens (www.hastens.com/en-us), which was founded in 1852, is Sweden’s oldest manufacturer of beds and started out

Hästens 2000T II is one of Hästens’ most exclusive beds, featuring exquisite detail and unique design.

Hästens 2000T II is one of Hästens’ most exclusive beds, featuring exquisite detail and unique design.

by primarily making saddles and carriage furniture. The main filling material used for saddles was horsehair and already back then it was common knowledge that horsehair also provided the best possible filling material for mattresses. To begin with the saddle makers at Hästens only manufactured beds on demand. This demand increased at such rate that making beds with time became the main business for the company. The Hästens brand name (‘Häst’ is Swedish for horse) and logo are references to its origin as a saddle making company.

Craftsmanship and quality are two keywords at Hästens where beds are still made by hand using only natural filling material. Hästens is exclusive among bed manufacturers by having all of their beds awarded the Swedish Svan environmental certification, as well as attaining the standards set by Öko-Tex and Möbelfakta for home and public environment. Hästens beds are appreciated by many from palace to cottage, since 1952 Hästens has had the honour of being the supplier of beds to His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

Hästens is currently established in 35 markets and continues to expand organically in existing markets as well as initiating sales in new markets. The part of the business which is represented by exports is steadily rising, from just 4 percent in 1994 to 71 percent in 2005. In April of 2006 Hästens was awarded the ‘Grand Export Prize’ by His Majesty the King of Sweden in recognition of its successes.