Holiday 2013 Gift Guide: Wonderbag. A Unique Recipe for Change Launches in the United States


Wonderbag, the simple but revolutionary non-electric portable slow cooker, brings its inspirational use to the United States this fall, and will be available exclusively through online retailer Unilever, one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products, has partnered with Wonderbag to bring it to North America.

Wonderbag, the simple but revolutionary non-electric portable slow cooker, launches in the United States this fall, and is available exclusively at For every Wonderbag purchased in the U.S. through, one is donated to a family in need in Africa. (PRNewsFoto/Wonderbag)

Wonderbag, the simple but revolutionary non-electric portable slow cooker, launches in the United States this fall, and is available exclusively at For every Wonderbag purchased in the U.S. through, one is donated to a family in need in Africa. (PRNewsFoto/Wonderbag)

Wonderbag isn’t just a powerless cooker; it’s an instrument for change.  Founded in South Africa by Sarah Collins to ease the social, economic and environmental impacts of wood fire cooking, the Wonderbag is proof that a simple slow cooker can make both delicious food and a lasting environmental and humanitarian difference. Collins, the founder of Natural Balance, the company who developed the Wonderbag, was recently recognized by Fortune as a member of the 2013 class of the Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs.

Natural Balance is a South African social enterprise established in 2008 which developed the Wonderbag. The Wonderbag is a heat retention cooker, which was inspired by Sarah Collins’s memories of using similar devices as a child growing up on a farm in rural South Africa.  ONE WONDERBAG saves, in Africa, over the period of a year, one ton of carbon, 1.7 trees, 3,000 liters of water and $36. The Founders of Natural Balance, Murray and Sarah Collins, announced at the 2013 World Economic Forum in Davos, their goal to have 100 million Wonderbags in homes across the world by 2020. With over 600,000 Wonderbags already in use in communities across Africa and the Middle East, they are well on the road to achieving this. The Wonderbag has thus far impacted over 2 million people who otherwise would not have had access to daily meals. It has created over 2,000 jobs and has more than 40 entrepreneurs selling the Wonderbag. Businesses have been started, domestic violence reduced and children put back into school. The impact of this simple innovation is astounding. For instance, in 2012 Microsoft bought over 20,000 carbon credits from Natural Balance.

Wonderbag, the simple but revolutionary non-electric portable slow cooker, launches in the United States this fall, and is available exclusively at For every Wonderbag purchased in the U.S. through, one is donated to a family in need in Africa.(PRNewsFoto/Wonderbag)

Wonderbag, the simple but revolutionary non-electric portable slow cooker, launches in the United States this fall, and is available exclusively at For every Wonderbag purchased in the U.S. through, one is donated to a family in need in Africa.(PRNewsFoto/Wonderbag)

Wonderbag is all about fostering a sense of global community and celebrating what unites us all – our love of cooking and of sharing a meal with those we love,” Collins explains. “With the Buy One, Give One program, U.S. consumers have the power to cook wholesome, healthy meals for their families, whilst empowering a family in Africa who could not otherwise afford a Wonderbag.”

Slow cooking is a quick and easy way to create wholesome, healthy, homemade meals. The Wonderbag allows the U.S. consumer not only to slow cook without using electricity or gas, but also to bring these slow cooked favorites anywhere – potlucks, picnics, tailgating, and dinner parties.  Virtually any slow cooker or stovetop recipe can be easily adapted for the Wonderbag, including traditional holiday dishes like mashed potatoes, gravy and soup.

Wonderbag’s clever insulation allows food that has been brought to a boil to continue slow cooking while in the bag.  No electricity is required. Boil it, bag it, slow cook it, and serve it.  Potlucks, tailgating, or dinner parties, Wonderbag is versatile and can be used anywhere you want and for any occasion. It’s also perfect for holidays when stove and counter space are at a premium.

Buy One, Give One

For every Wonderbag purchased in the U.S. through, one is donated to a family in need in Africa. The Wonderbag has already reached more than 600,000 African homes through the international Buy One, Give One campaign. Wonderbag launched in the United Kingdom and Europe in 2012.

Wood fire cooking is the source of major social, economic, and environmental issues in Africa. Families in Africa that use Wonderbag significantly reduce fuel usage, allowing time for other activities such as attending school and work, and not having to collect firewood daily, as well as a significant cost savings that eases the burden of poverty. Using the Wonderbag helps save water, reduces the carbon footprint, and minimizes deforestation and smoke inhalation deaths.

U.S. consumers can also feel great that their Wonderbag has helped empower women across the globe.

The Wonderbag is an innovative solution that empowers women and helps them better feed their families, while also helping the environment,” says Lauren Bush Lauren, CEO, Creative Director, and Co-Founder of FEED Projects. “It is wonderful to see such a simple and brilliant solution come to market in the United States.”

“We’ve seen the impact Wonderbag has had for families in Africa, and we believe in its potential for growth in the United States,” Kees Kruythoff, President of Unilever North America, says. “Unilever is proud to support Sarah Collins and her eco-entrepreneurial causes as she launches Wonderbag in the U.S.”

Along with supporting the Buy One, Give One effort, a Wonderbag purchase also includes a Knorr®/Wonderbag slow-cooker recipe booklet and free Knorr® Homestyle Stock to add rich flavor to your favorite dishes. Knorr® Homestyle Stock tastes like stock made from scratch. It uses carefully selected ingredients that are slowly simmered to perfection by the Knorr® Chefs.

The Wonderbag is available in red or blue at for $60. Empower someone in Africa with your purchase, and empower yourself by learning more at

Holiday 2013 Gift Guide: The Ultimate Collection Of All Eight Seasons Of Showtime’s Award-Winning Original Series, Weeds, Starring Mary-Louise Parker Arrives On Blu-ray Disc November 5 From Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Showtime’s smoking hot hit is back with Weeds: The Complete Collection, arriving on Blu-ray Disc (plus Digital HD Ultraviolet) November 5 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. When Nancy Botwin (Parker) faces both sudden widowhood and poverty, she’s determined to do anything to keep her kids in suburbia — including taking on the job of neighborhood pot dealer. Subversive and hilarious, the complete series is as intoxicating as ever, with everyone’s favorite pot-selling soccer mom and the rest of the Botwin clan dealing with the mafia, love affairs, the birth of an illegitimate child and relocation after relocation. Watch as the Botwins’ plans go up in smoke!


Including seasons one through eight of the popular cable series, the limited edition Blu-ray collection is a must-have for fans and features 16 discs in a special “glowing” acrylic case package along with all-new bonus content featuring Mary-Louise Parker. Headlined by Parker (Red 2) in her Golden Globe® winning role, Weeds also features a hilarious ensemble cast including Hunter Parrish (It’s Complicated), Alexander Gould (Finding Nemo), Justin Kirk (TV’s “Animal Practice”) and Kevin Nealon (TV’s “Saturday Night Live”). In addition, the series boasts strong turns from Elizabeth Perkins (Big), Albert Brooks (Drive, Broadcast News), Demian Bechir (A Better Life, TV’s “The Bridge”) and Jennifer Jason Leigh (Margot at the Wedding, TV’s “Revenge”) along with celebrated guest stars including singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette, Mary-Kate Olsen (Beastly), Michelle Trachtenberg (TV’s “Gossip Girl”) and Zooey Deschanel (TV’s “New Girl”). During its final season, the series lit up the ratings, averaging 3.2 million viewers an episode across all platforms. Continue reading

The Joule Dallas Hotel Nears Completion of Renovation and Announces New Rooms and Expanded Event Space



The Joule Dallas Hotel ( is nearing the completion of its two-year, $78 million renovation and expansion of five interconnected downtown Dallas buildings. The Joule, named for the international unit of energy, occupies a revitalized 1920’s neo-gothic landmark building on Main Street. A visual masterpiece from award-winning designer Adam D. Tihany, the hotel is filled with thoughtful architectural details, rich furnishings and original artwork from Andy Warhol, Tony Cragg, Adam Fuss, Richard Phillips and more.

Ballroom at The Joule Hotel and Shops, Dallas. Credit: Eric Laignel.  (PRNewsFoto/The Joule)

Ballroom at The Joule Hotel and Shops, Dallas. Credit: Eric Laignel. (PRNewsFoto/The Joule)

The Joule is an artfully-delivered experience in an iconic setting, infused with energy, style and passion. Set in the heart of a burgeoning downtown — adjacent to the flagship Neiman Marcus and within walking distance of the internationally acclaimed Dallas Arts District — the hotel boasts a supreme location and a vast art collection.

Tihany’s contribution to the recent expansion of The Joule builds on a sensuous hospitality experience, informed by Texan culture and a vibrant downtown energy. The vision for the 32 additional guestrooms in the second tower follows his original hotel inspiration — Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth — and retains the luxurious and modern feel of the 129 rooms in the first tower, bringing the total to 161 guestrooms. In addition to the new 21 Premier Guestrooms and eight Deluxe Suites, three ultra-luxe penthouse units have been created for the most discerning of guests. Two of the penthouses are multi-level, each with a private terrace, and the third occupies an entire top floor, offering striking panoramic views of the city.

img_hotel_joule_dallas_2 Poule_Large_ph114

In addition to the new guest rooms, spectacular penthouses and communal spaces, the property includes a cantilevered glass rooftop pool and a bespoke lobby environment. The hotel features many well-curated amenities such as a subterranean spa by ESPA, a TASCHEN Library and retail by TRAFFIC Los Angeles and TENOVERSIX.

The Joule has emerged as Dallas’ ideal location for corporate meetings, special events and weddings. The expansion almost tripled the hotel’s programmable meeting space to more than 14,000-square-feet with the addition of two new ballrooms, three additional meeting rooms, a pre-function area to the existing ballroom level and a rooftop terrace. The literal highpoint to the event space expansion is the rooftop Joule Terrace — a beautiful locale featuring a climate-controlled pavilion with a retractable roof, entry via majestic glass elevator shaft and amazing skyline views.

Equipped with cutting-edge technology, each meeting room allows for seamless integration of computer, video and audio equipment. Wireless high speed internet access, a state-of-the-art digital audio/visual system and touchscreen audio/visual controls ensure ease of use and streamlined design. From small board meetings to seated dinners for more than 300 guests, The Joule boasts the quintessential event space for the widest array of gatherings.

Executive Chef Justin Fields oversees the banquet division and takes great pride in carefully sourcing local ingredients to craft a multitude of delicious catering options. His menus feature consciously sourced farm-raised proteins and seasonal produce, mixed with almost anything one would request. Field and his team are committed to creating unforgettable events through creative exchange and collaboration.

For more information, please visit:

New Lease Amendment Signed by Metropolitan Museum of Art and City of New York, Confirming Longstanding Admissions Policy


The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that at the City’s request it has signed an amendment to its 1878 lease with the City of New York. The new amendment confirms and continues the 42-year-long agreement under which the Met and the City first established, and has since maintained, a discretionary admission policy for the institution.

In addition to confirming the existing admission policy first introduced in 1971, and regularly modified with the approval of City administrations in the years since, the new amendment authorizes the museum, should the need arise, to consider a range of admission modifications in future years, subject as in the past to review and approval by the City.

new-york-metropolitan-museum-of-art NY-NYC-Metropolitan

According to the new lease terms:

The Museum may set the terms of admission to its permanent galleries to the general public, including admission fees and days and hours the Museum shall be open to the public, with the written consent of the Commissioner of the City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs, which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld.  In granting such consent the Commissioner shall consider the fiscal needs of the Museum in light of the Museum’s commitment to serving the public and the City’s monetary support. Admissions for special exhibitions, group tours, educational programs, performances, lectures, conferences, symposia, classes, and shows mounted in the Museum’s theater and event spaces may be charged such amounts as the Museum shall from time to time prescribe.

The new lease amendment acknowledges that by 1970, municipal funding, once the major source of revenue to operate the Metropolitan’s City-owned building, was “no longer sufficient to allow the Museum to operate without charging admission fees,” and formally reiterates that the Parks Department fully authorized the Museum to begin charging visitor fees in 1971, and that the City subsequently approved all modifications in writing.

It is important to make clear as we sign this amendment that we remain very much committed to maintaining—and further widening—public access to the Museum,” commented Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Metropolitan.  “Toward this end, we recently expanded our hours by opening the Met seven days a week, and have enhanced programs designed to reach out to attract visitors from every community of the City.  The effort to broaden and diversify audiences will continue.  At the same time, however, faced with perennial uncertainties about future funding sources, the Met and the City concluded that it makes sense now to consecrate our longstanding and wholly legal admissions policies.”

The continued generosity of our visitors under pay-what-you-wish remains crucial to our ability to build and maintain the Met’s encyclopedic collections and magnificent galleries, and to present special exhibitions and public programs at no additional cost to visitors who enter the building,” Mr. Campbell added. “When the policy was first introduced, the Met was a 750,000-foot-square museum attracting a million visitors a year.  The building is now more than twice the size and commensurately more expensive to maintain and secure for its more than six million annual visitors.  The quantity and quality of service provided by the Museum makes the preservation of its varied income streams more important than ever.

We are extremely grateful that the City, which has long provided essential operating support to the Met, has moved now to reaffirm a policy that not only allows visitors to pay what they wish at the door, but has encouraged us to offer same-week entrance at no additional cost to the Cloisters museum and gardens in Fort Tryon Park, and has enabled us to provide free-with-admission access to all special exhibitions, as well as cost-free gallery tours, curatorial lectures, library access, and visits by New York City school groups.  We expect and trust that the museum and the City will continue to work cooperatively into the future to preserve full access to the Met under the generous admissions policies so wisely created in the past.”


London’s New Artistry Youth Dance Company to Promote Diversity in Dance by Encouraging Young Londoners of African and Caribbean Descent to Achieve Success in Dance


Artistry Youth Dance ( has launched London’s first youth dance company to teach jazz, contemporary dance and Horton technique to young people of African and Caribbean descent. Artistry Youth Dance is a vibrant youth dance company for aspiring performers of African and Caribbean descent, aged 14-19 years. With a focus on jazz and contemporary dance, the company aim to provide training and performance opportunities for its Company members, showcasing their talents and celebrating their artistry. It is hoped that through Artistry Youth Dance, the students will develop their dance and performance techniques, enabling them to go on to further training in the arts and a career in dance. The company also supports the dancers to develop a range of life skills that can be applied to any career they choose to pursue. Aspiring dancers can audition for the company’s next intake here:

The dancers in action: Artistry Youth Dance to Promote Diversity in Dance by Encouraging Young Londoners of African and Caribbean Descent to Achieve Success in Dance

The dancers in action: Artistry Youth Dance to Promote Diversity in Dance by Encouraging Young Londoners of African and Caribbean Descent to Achieve Success in Dance

The not-for-profit organization, launched in April of this year, aims to cultivate a more culturally diverse representation of dancers within the industry by showcasing talented young dancers of African and Caribbean descent. Teaching ballet as well as workshops in a variety of other dance styles including hip-hop and musical theatre, the company supports young people to realize their talents in dance and creates pathways for further education in the Arts. Having accepted its first intake of 10 students (aged 14-19); Artistry Youth Dance is now looking to progress towards its first performances later this year.

Kamara Gray, Artistic Director of Artistry Youth Dance, financed the launch entirely herself. Gray said: “That’s how much I believe in it! It is a fantastic opportunity for the young people involved to learn a variety of techniques and skills from first-rate teachers, as well as improving their all-round strength and flexibility. We aim to help our dancers become strong, confident and versatile individuals, both on and off the stage.” She added: “I have always wanted to be able to give something back to young dancers, particularly those from the African and Caribbean communities.”

The dancers in class: Artistry Youth Dance to Promote Diversity in Dance by Encouraging Young Londoners of African and Caribbean Descent to Achieve Success in Dance

The dancers in class: Artistry Youth Dance to Promote Diversity in Dance by Encouraging Young Londoners of African and Caribbean Descent to Achieve Success in Dance

Kamara Gray is an experienced dance teacher and performer of Jamaican heritage who has taught extensively in the UK, Australia and Kuwait. She was born in Papua New Guinea and grew up in Sydney, where she began studying dance at age four. Kamara continued her dance training at the Ailey School in New York and Dance World 301 in Melbourne. As a performer, her credits include film, television, and live events, including the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony as a Lead Tap dancer, the MTV Europe Awards, and L’Heure Espagnole with the Royal Opera.

Artistry Youth Dance is particularly excited to bring the Horton technique – a blend of ballet, Native American folk dance, Japanese arm gestures, and Caribbean, Javanese, and Balinese techniques – to London youth. “All of our teachers are highly experienced and have trained at the Ailey School in New York,” says Gray. “We are the only youth dance company in London to teach Horton technique, so this is a wonderful opportunity for young dancers.”


Kamara Gray

Artistic Director, Artistry Youth Dance |

CONTACT: Mobile: +44(0)794-6678-419

Montblanc & Josh Lucas Celebrate Madison Avenue Boutique Opening

On October 23, 2013, Montblanc and Co-Host, actor Josh Lucas, celebrated the opening of its newest boutique located on Madison Avenue. Montblanc Chief Executive Officer, Jerome Lambert and Montblanc North America President & CEO, Jan-Patrick Schmitz unveiled the luxury maison Montblanc boutique located in the heart of mid-town New York City. Special guests in attendance included Olivia Munn, Anthony Mackie, Olivia Palermo and Johannes Huebl, Karlie Kloss and Topaz Page-Green.

Montblanc Boutique on Madison Avenue (Photo Credit: C. Mioses de Pena)

Montblanc Boutique on Madison Avenue (Photo Credit: C. Mioses de Pena)

Known for its commitment to the highest standards of European craftsmanship, the new boutique boasted the very latest collections of exquisite timepieces, innovative writing instruments, fine jewellery for men and women, and artisanal leather goods.

Expansive exterior floor to ceiling windows displayed the latest offerings from the luxury brand. Loyal customers and global travelers alike experienced the iconic Montblanc star, which ushered them into the contemporary 3,200 square foot store with beautiful Swarovski crystal curved glass floating chandeliers and a private client room for product viewings.

The interior of the store reflected Montblanc’s heritage- the celebration of the written word. With a wall dedicated to the largest collection of limited edition writing instruments in North America, enthusiastic connoisseurs had the opportunity to see unique pieces ranging from the annual Writers Edition to Patron of Arts and the exceptionally rare pieces that are the specialty of the Artisan Atelier. Additionally, the cultivation of writing was further reinforced by two large writing desks – two retreats that stood ready to welcome every guest to the store. Continue reading

Larry Kramer honored by PEN, HBO at 2013 PEN Literary Awards Ceremony

On Monday, October 21, PEN American Center, the largest branch of the world’s leading literary and human rights organization, celebrated its 2013 Literary awards at the Proshansky Auditorium of CUNY Graduate Center in New York City. “I’ve seen a common thread tonight that writing should be more than just art but activism,” Master of Ceremonies Andy Borowitz said of the evening. “And I am taking that all as a personal attack on me.”

PEN President Peter Godwin, Executive Director of PEN Suzanne Nossel, Mark Ruffalo, Len Amato, and Larry Kramer. Photo courtesy of Patrick McMullan.  (PRNewsFoto/PEN American Center, Inc)

PEN President Peter Godwin, Executive Director of PEN Suzanne Nossel, Mark Ruffalo, Len Amato, and Larry Kramer. Photo courtesy of Patrick McMullan. (PRNewsFoto/PEN American Center, Inc)

Borowitz’s remarks summed up an evening of literary camaraderie, activism, and humor that characterized the ceremony and its honorees. For more than 50 years, the PEN Literary awards have honored many of the most outstanding voices in literature across such diverse fields as fiction, poetry, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, translation, and drama. This year’s awards ceremony captured PEN’s dual mission to advance literature and defend freedom of expression by celebrating the activist writer, most notably with Larry Kramer, but also with writers like Sergio De La Pava, Gina Apostol, Kevin Young, Kirsten Greenidge,Tom Reiss and others whose work illustrate honest accounts of people, cultures, and issues on the fringe, embodying themes central to the fight for individual rights and freedoms.

Executive Director Suzanne Nossel acknowledged this activism in her remarks for the evening, saying, “For the writers of PEN, the defense of free expression and human rights is not a task but an inspiration. It’s no coincidence that many of the writers whose inspiration we celebrate tonight tell stories that–in ways both overt
and subtle–probe the abuse of power and abuse of rights, whether the political or the personal. By appreciating them, we remember what’s ultimately at stake in the fight for free expression

With the help of its partners and supporters, PEN conferred 16 distinct awards, fellowships, grants, and prizes, awarding nearly $150,000 to writers, editors, and translators. Presenters Morgan Entrekin, Kimiko Hahn, Dinaw Mengestu, and Minna Proctor introduced the winners.

Actor Mark Ruffalo presented the PEN/Laura Pels Award for Master American Dramatist to Larry Kramer, addressing Kramer’s activism as much as his literary talent. “Kramer’s fearless work obscures the boundaries between the personal and the political,” he said. “He has worked to bring a crucial awareness to the fight against HIV/AIDS even in the face of censorship and condemnation by his peers.” On behalf of PEN, Ruffalo presented Kramer with a limited first edition of Eugene O’Neill’s Collected Early Plays, signed by the renowned playwright.

Theatre is too small,” Kramer pronounced over the attentive audience, after receiving a standing ovation. “We have to think bigger as writers. We have to try and change the world.” Additional quotes from winners and presenters are available upon request.

After the ceremony, the winners and guests, including PEN President Peter Godwin, Literary Awards Committee Chair Alice Quinn, Executive Director Suzanne Nossel, Joanna Coles, Barbara Goldsmith, Frank and Carol Deford, Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel and Carl Spielvogel, Angela Tarantino, Len Amanto, Dante Di Loreto, Kathleen Beckett, Ben McGrath, and more continued to celebrate over cocktails and crudites at the reception that immediately followed.

The awards were also made possible through the generous contributions made by CUNY, for donating their Graduate Center Auditorium, all of the judges who donated their time and energy choosing the winners, and the generous support of PEN’s many donors:, Kathleen Beckett and Steven Kroll, the family of Robert W. Bingham, Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel and Carl Spielvogel, ESPN, Harrison Ford, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, The Kaplen Foundation, the PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant, Phyllis Naylor, The Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater, the Estate of Rochelle Ratner, Dr. Edward O. Wilson and the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, Gerald Weales, and Jacqueline Bograd Weld and Rodman L. Drake.

Target Unveils 2013 Holiday Initiatives


Target Corporation has revealed its holiday marketing campaign and outlined its key holiday initiatives. This year, Target will offer more ways to save, an extended Holiday Price Match policy, a new Store Pickup program, inspiring social media integrations and top gifts for everyone in the family. Throughout the season, Target will make it easy for guests to check off their holiday list and bring their unique holiday moments to life, no matter how, where or when they want to shop.


“My Kind of Holiday”

Target’s 2013 holiday marketing campaign is designed to inspire and celebrate the traditions – big and small – that are part of today’s holiday season. The theme for the cohesive campaign is “My Kind Of Holiday” and will extend across all channels, including broadcast, radio, in-store, catalogs, digital and social media. Beginning in November, Target will invite guests to join the conversation by using the hashtag #MyKindofHoliday.

“‘My Kind of Holiday’ was inspired by guests’ stories about holiday traditions and the unique and personal ways they celebrate throughout the season,” said Jeff Jones, chief marketing officer and executive vice president, Target. “This campaign will inspire people with products and ideas, compel them with unbeatable prices and enable them to shop Target through the most digitally-enabled effort in our history.”


Unbeatable Value

With the combination of Target’s Holiday Price Match, Cartwheel and REDcard Rewards, Target guests will find unbeatable prices and more ways to save throughout the holiday season. For the second year, Target is extending the timeframe of its Price Match Policy for the holiday season beyond the typical seven day window. If a guest purchases a qualifying item at Target between Nov. 1 and Dec. 21 and then finds it for less at, a local competitor’s printed ad or at select online retailers, Target will match that price. For more details, including terms and conditions, visit Continue reading

Target Redefines Top Holiday Kids’ Gifts List and Introduces a Gift Detective to Make List Building More Fun

Target® Corp. is guiding parents through the all-important holiday shopping season with an expanded top kids’ gifts list and a host of online and in-home resources. The retailer is also enlisting advice from a former CIA officer on using family friendly intelligence techniques to find out what kids really want.


For the first time, electronics, video games and sporting goods join toys on Target’s list of items that kids will be coveting this year. Favorites topping kids’ wish lists include the Target exclusive LEAPFROG LEAPPAD2, DISNEY PRINCESS ENCHANTED BUNDLE, RAZOR LIGHTED-WHEEL A SCOOTER, BEATS SOLO ON-EAR HEADPHONES and more.

In addition, Target is helping parents follow their kids’ clues to find the perfect gifts by partnering with Jonna Mendez, a former CIA officer and mom who will serve as a KIDS’ GIFT DETECTIVE. Inspired by her years of CIA experience, Mendez will offer fun tips and playful techniques to help parents of kids who may not share exactly what they want. Throughout the holiday season, guests can visit to access a video series where popular mom bloggers work with the KIDS’ GIFT DETECTIVE to put their sleuthing skills to the test.

Before parents can start shopping for holiday gifts, they need to solve the puzzle of what their kids want most – which often extends beyond the toy aisles,” said Scott Nygaard, senior vice president, merchandising, hardlines, Target. “Target offers guests tools to build their lists, including a dedicated online portal, our annual kids’ gifts catalog and the Kids’ Gift Detective, who brings some lighthearted fun to list building.”


For guests to easily browse and purchase their kids’ coveted gifts, will be a go-to source this holiday. This dedicated page will showcase the season’s must-have gifts and allow guests to view thousands of products by sorting by age, gender, brand or character to quickly find their kids’ wish list items.

Target’s annual kids’ gift catalog will arrive in homes and on in early November and will feature more than 400 items throughout the store, including toys, sporting goods, electronics, entertainment items, apparel and accessories. The catalog features special pricing to give guests the best value on top kids’ gifts this year, and coupons that can be used on a guest’s total purchase. Guests who shop with a Target REDcard will save an additional 5 percent off gift prices in the catalog, in stores and at Through Nov. 27, guests will also receive free shipping on every catalog item when ordered from


Target partnered with the top manufacturers to identify the hottest kids’ gifts for the season. This year, Target’s top kids’ gifts list features Target exclusives and brand favorites like BARBIE, BEATS, LEAPFROG, MONSTER HIGH, NERF, RAZOR, XBOX, and includes selections for boys and girls of every age.

9 Months to 3 Years

  • Disney Sofia The First 10″ Doll (Target Exclusive)
  • Fisher-Price Little People Disney Princess Klip Klop Stable
  • Furreal Friends Cuddles My Giggly Monkey
  • Sesame Street Big Hugs Elmo

4 Years to 6 Years

  • 4-pk. Disney Planes Die-Cast Gift Set (Target Exclusive)
  • LeapFrog LeapPad2 Disney Princess Enchanted Bundle (Target Exclusive)
  • Imaginext Justice League Javelin (Target Exclusive)
  • Disney Frozen Anna or Elsa Dolls Toddler Dress Gift Sets (Target Exclusive)
  • Angry Birds Go Pirate Ship
  • Fisher-Price Octonauts Octopod Play Set
  • Kidtrax SRT Viper 6-Volt Ride-On Car
  • Lalaloopsy Loopy Hair Doll
  • LEGO Friends Downtown Bakery
  • Barbie Dream House
  • MEGA Bloks Hot Wheels Super Stunt Test Facility
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles R/C Shellraiser
  • Zoomer

7 Years to 9 Years

  • Monster High Power Ghouls Doll (Target Exclusive)
  • 6-pk. Marvel Titan Heroes (Target Exclusive)
  • Razor Lighted-Wheel A Scooter (Target Exclusive)
  • 2-pk. Skylanders Swap Force (Target Exclusive)
  • LEGO Chima Equilas Ultra Striker (Target Exclusive)
  • Transformers Beast Hunter Beast Fire Predaking Dragon (Target Exclusive)
  • Furby Boom
  • NERF Elite RapidStrike CS-18 Blaster
  • Hot Wheels Triple Track Twister
  • Flutterbye Flying Fairy

Kids’ 10 Years and Up

  • Air Hogs Atmosphere
  • Beats Solo On-Ear Headphones
  • PlayStation 4
  • Samsung Galaxy S4
  • Spy Gear Panosphere 360 Spy Cam
  • Xbox One

Garnier USA Wins First-Ever Sustainable Beauty Award

Sustainability Pioneer Winner for Commitment to the Environment Through Garnier Beauty Brigade

Garnier USA took home the first-ever Sustainability Pioneer Award presented by Organic Monitor at the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit held in Paris, France on October 21st. The Award was created to recognize exceptional brands making international sustainability strides in five categories including Green Formulations, Sustainable Packaging, Sustainable Ingredient, Sustainability Pioneer and Sustainability Leadership.

Garnier expands commitment to sustainability turning non-recyclable waste into something beautiful. In a partnership with TerraCycle and GrowNYC, Garnier will build the first-ever community garden made from non-recyclable post-consumer beauty waste.  (PRNewsFoto/Garnier)

Garnier expands commitment to sustainability turning non-recyclable waste into something beautiful. In a partnership with TerraCycle and GrowNYC, Garnier will build the first-ever community garden made from non-recyclable post-consumer beauty waste. (PRNewsFoto/Garnier)

Criteria for the Sustainability Pioneer Award includes a demonstration of proven leadership by a cosmetic or ingredient firm in the areas of packaging, waste management, energy management, CSR and corporate philanthropy, and more. Brands considered for the prestigious awards were by invitation only.

We couldn’t be more honored to receive the Sustainability Pioneer Award by Organic Monitor,” says David Greenberg, President of Maybelline New York-Garnier-essie. “This is a long term commitment to sustainability for the L’Oreal Group and Garnier. We have currently collected over 2.7+ million pieces of beauty waste with more than 12,000 Beauty Brigades established domestically and internationally. The program has literally created great things, such as a Community Green Garden in New York City with plant beds, picnic tables and waste bins made from recycled beauty waste.”

Through an exclusive partnership with TerraCycle®, a company that specializes in recycling post-consumer waste and a driving force behind environmental action, Garnier provided a comprehensive solution to personal care and beauty packaging waste.  Through the Personal Care and Beauty Brigade®, individuals and groups are empowered to recycle any kind of hair care, skin care, and cosmetic packaging waste that would otherwise end up in landfills by sending it to TerraCycle for free.  For every piece of waste sent in, Garnier will contribute two cents to the school or charity of the collector’s choice.

In addition to diverting packaging from landfills, Garnier and TerraCycle are beautifying communities with the waste collected through the Personal Care and Beauty Brigade. In October 2012, Garnier donated 55 trash receptacles made of recycled beauty waste to the city of Newark, NJ to help keep the city’s parks clean.  Last August, Garnier and TerraCycle renovated a community garden in New York City that was badly damaged during Hurricane Sandy.  Beauty waste was recycled into plastic lumber and used to build raised garden beds, picnic tables and trash receptacles.

Best Halloween Costume of the Year Awarded to “Invisible Cowboy” From Arizona Who Wins “Best In Bash” National Champion at the “Hub Network’s First Annual Halloween Bash”






The Hub Network, a destination for kids and their families, awarded “The Jackie” for the best Halloween costume of the year to Bill Freitag from Arizona, who won “Best in Bash” National Champion for his costume as “Invisible Cowboy” in the “Blast from the Past” category at the first-ever 50 State Halloween costume competition celebrated during the star-studded taping of the “Hub Network’s First Annual Halloween Bash,” this past Sunday at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. The inaugural event, hosted by “Saturday Night Live” star Kenan Thompson, will be broadcast Saturday, October 26, 8–10 p.m. ET/5–7 p.m. PT on the Hub Network.

Invisible Cowboy Bill Freitag named "Best in Bash" National Champion on the "Hub Network's 1st Annual Halloween Bash" Oct. 20 presented by Kenan Thompson.  (PRNewsFoto/Hub Network)

Invisible Cowboy Bill Freitag named “Best in Bash” National Champion on the “Hub Network’s 1st Annual Halloween Bash” Oct. 20 presented by Kenan Thompson. (PRNewsFoto/Hub Network)

The costume competition was judged by Halloween-expert Martha Stewart, actor Hal Sparks (“Spider Man 2”), and actress, singer and dancer Coco Jones (“Holla at the DJ”). Freitag wins the $25,000 grand prize and has a chance at a walk-on role on the Hub Network’s Daytime Emmy® Award-winning Series, “R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: The Series.” Before being announced as “Best in Bash” National Champion, Freitag was named the semi-finalist in the “Blast from the Past” category for his costume, “Invisible Cowboy.” The semi-finalists in the five other categories were as follows:

  • Thomas DePetrillo from Rhode Island won for “Overkill the Giant Zombie Killing Robot” in the “Mad Genius” category
  • The Pabellon family from Wisconsin won for “Triple Dip Ice Cream Cone” in the “Everyday Stuff” category

    The "Jackie"

    The “Jackie”

  • Thomas Cavagnaro from New York won for “Giant Gorilla” in the “Animal Kingdom” category
  • Celia Sciaroni from Missouri won for “Nacho Cheese Monster” in the “Howlarious” category
  • Roxanne Coble from California won for “Headless Marie Antoinette” in the “Spooktacular” category


The “Hub Network’s First Annual Halloween Bash” is a star-studded, two-hour special that also includes performances by pop-star Cody Simpson, America’s first teen-girl pop-group, Fifth Harmony, and illusionist Nathan Burton. In addition, entertainment journalist Nancy O’Dell (“Entertainment Tonight”), actress Tamera Mowry-Housley (“The Real”) and actresses Candace Cameron Bure (“Make It or Break It”) and Gina Rodriguez (“Filly Brown”), along with their furry pets, will make a special celebrity paw-stumes appearance.

Celebrity presenters include Bill Nye the Science Guy, Nolan Gould (“Modern Family”), Zachary Gordon (“Diary of a Wimpy Kid”), Keean Johnson (“Spooksville”), Joey King (“The Conjuring”), Peyton List (“Jessie”), Bailee Madison (“Trophy Wife”), Ryan Newman (“See Dad Run”), Todd Newton (“Family Game Night”), Nick Purcha (“Spooksville”) and Rico Rodriguez (“Modern Family”).

Bob Bain serves as executive producer of the “Hub Network’s First Annual Halloween Bash” and Paul Flattery is producer for Bob Bain Productions. Viewers can visit to view all of the Halloween costume submissions and learn more about the special.

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Sponsors of the “Hub Network’s First Annual Halloween Bash” include Activision’s Skylanders SWAP Force, Hasbro’s Furby Boom!, Party City and Sparkle® Paper Towels.


QUEER/ART/MENTORSHIP (, the multi-disciplinary, inter-generational arts program that pairs and supports mentorship between emerging and established queer artists in NYC, has announced  its third round of Fellows.

Founded in 2011 by filmmaker Ira Sachs and Pilobolus Co-Executive Director Lily Binns, the program has quickly established itself as a core nucleus of conversation and development for queer artists in the NYC-area and beyond. QUEER/ART/MENTORSHIP is one of several ongoing programs run by the larger Queer/Art organization that also includes the popular QUEER/ART/FILM series in both NYC and Los Angeles.



QUEER/ART/MENTORSHIP was founded on the belief that the more vibrant and supported the queer artistic community is, the more porous its boundaries will become, thereby cultivating superior artistry and sustainable creative careers. Honoring the differences between the generations within the queer artistic community and the diversity of choices, values, esthetics, and opportunities in artists’ lives, the program supports a rich communion, working against a natural segregation between generations and disciplines. Its goal is to build an interconnected web of queer artists of all generations and mediums who know each other and each other’s work. Queer/Art/Mentorship was created to support artists in the process of creating this community.

The program is a year in length. It is largely driven by the unique character of each of the mentor/fellow pairs according to their respective needs and habits of communication, although once-a-month meeting commitments will be suggested. The program coordinators engage in an ongoing dialogue with the mentors and fellows in an effort to ensure that the program best serve its participants.

The entire group of mentor/fellow pairs will also convene for three short meetings throughout the cycle. The goal of the limited group-wide meetings is to encourage dialogues between all levels of participants and between all disciplines. It has been shown in a variety of fields that implement mentor programs that the mentor-to-mentor dialogue that occurs in mentor programs is as significant to the program’s success in developing the field as any that occurs directly between mentor and mentee.

Fellows apply to QUEER/ART/MENTORSHIP with a specific project that they would like to undertake during the course of the mentorship. Projects may be in-progress, and they do not need to be “finished” by the end of the program. Proposing a project is a way to introduce oneself to potential mentors, and working on that project in dialogue with a mentor is a way to focus the development of the relationship. Keeping Queer/Art/Mentorship project-based will also provide a manner by which to assess, and modify if necessary, the program’s long-term effectiveness in facilitating and supporting the actual creation of new work.

Queer/Art/Mentorship is an outgrowth of the Queer/Art/Film series presented monthly at the IFC Center in downtown Manhattan. Both were inspired by the lack of support for queer content in mass media, the absence of mentors of who would have been in the generation most strongly affected by AIDS, and the dearth of examples of sustainable alternative careers.

Queer/Art/Mentorship does not expect any kind of specific content in terms of artists’ work or how queerness manifests within and around it, but it gives space and support for conversations about what it means to generate and curate queer work in New York City and America. The program aims to give a sense of the value of queer work and cultivate a collection of voices that amplify the queer artistic experience. As New York City is a locus of creative capital in the US and abroad, the work encouraged by the program will radiate out and impact the broader culture as well. Continue reading

Bombay Sapphire Gin Announces Four Winners Of The Imagination Series: Film Competition




BOMBAY SAPPHIRE®, in association with Tribeca Film Festival®, today announced the four winners of the Bombay Sapphire Imagination Series: Film competition. The competition offers budding filmmakers the chance to realize their own short film, using their imagination to interpret a short film script created by Academy Award® winner Geoffrey Fletcher.

Geoffrey Fletcher - Bombay Sapphire Imagination Series Judging

Geoffrey Fletcher – Bombay Sapphire Imagination Series Judging

Now in its second year, Bombay Sapphire and Geoffrey Fletcher assembled a cross section of imaginative heavy weights from the world of film to judge the entries, which featured Academy Award® winning actor, Adrien Brody; screenwriter and film director, Lucy Mulloy; screenwriter, Naomi Foner; actor, Peter Facinelli; and senior curator at Vimeo, Sam Morrill, who between them selected nine films for their originality and imagination. With imagination at the heart of both Bombay Sapphire and filmmaking, the competition looks to explore endless creativity and the brand’s belief in the power of imagination and that it can take you anywhere.

The winners are:

Anthony Khaseria, a screenwriter from London, for his film ‘Reflections’

Maite Fernandez, a bookseller and comedian from Spain, for her film ‘Grafitti Area’

Chris Cornwell, a screenwriter from London, for his film ‘Exit Log’

Kiara Jones, a film student from the U.S., for her film ‘The Other Side of the Game’

Academy Award winning screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher commented on the competitionm saying: “At a time when it’s difficult for new voices and creative visions to find funding and broad exposure, Bombay Sapphire is providing a platform and launch pad for new stories to be told on screen. We hope the films we create inspire audiences and are as resonate as they are imaginative.”

Bombay Sapphire Imagination Series: Film competition judge, Geoffrey Fletcher

Bombay Sapphire Imagination Series: Film competition judge, Geoffrey Fletcher

Academy Award winner Adrien Brody said, “The range of creativity of the entries we received to the Bombay Sapphire Imagination Series Film competition this year was vast, making it extremely difficult to distil into only four winners. Regardless, I hope for many it was a motivational experience and I believe we’ve uncovered some exciting new talent who we hope will go on to make an impact within the film industry. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how we bring the winners imaginations to life through film on the big screen in April.”

Starting today, Bombay Sapphire is giving members of the general public the chance to vote for a fifth film to be made through its open vote selection. By visiting a vote can be cast, with the winning film Bombay-Sapphire-Logo1announced on 14 November 2013.

The wild cards are:

Karen Pessina, Italy – ‘Tea Time’ is a thriller involving two men who pull over with a flat tire. When they seek help at a nearby house, an old lady offers them tea and muffins. One suddenly drops dead after eating a poisoned muffin. His partner is reunited with the old lady.

Allyson Morgan, USA – ‘Need for Speed (Dating)’ is a comedy about two friends that attend a speed dating event. They face a gaggle of unsavory guys one after the other and begin to think that all hope is gone. Fate intervenes and they each find a great match somewhat closer to home.

Giles Borg, UK – ‘The Search’ is a drama about a man who fears he’s the last man left on earth. He employs an old computer terminal, BOB, to scan CCTV footage for other signs of life. BOB finds other humans but, being lonely himself, does not tell John, who leaves, hopeless.

Effie Woods, UK – ‘Cutie Pie’ is a comedy about a man, Peter, who returns home to find he has been bought an adorable kitten by Maggie. Peter wants Maggie to return it when the kitten destroys the house. Despite their efforts to shake off the little monster, it continues to haunt them. Continue reading