HOLIDAY 2013 AT NORDSTROM

The 2013 holiday at Nordstrom will be filled with much joy for customers. From classic sweaters to classic winter slippers, there’s something for everyone here.

Nordstrom metallic or glitter mini nail polish quad in great go-to shades, $20. Wear one color at a time or create your own look by mixing tones and textures. Nordstrom nail art set, includes 12 mini pots of sequins, gems, beads and foil to unleash your inner nail artist, $25. All available exclusively in Cosmetics at Nordstrom.

Nordstrom metallic or glitter mini nail polish quad in great go-to shades, $20. Wear one color at a time or create your own look by mixing tones and textures. Nordstrom nail art set, includes 12 mini pots of sequins, gems, beads and foil to unleash your inner nail artist, $25. All available exclusively in Cosmetics at Nordstrom.

Kiehl’s Since 1851 ‘Greatest Hits’ collection, includes Amino Acid Shampoo (2.5 oz.), Amino Acid Conditioner (2.5 oz.), Creme de Corps Body Moisturizer (2.5 oz.), Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Body Polish (2.5 oz.), Ultimate Strength Hand Salve (2.5 oz.), Ultra Facial Cream (0.25 oz.) and Midnight Recovery Concentrate (0.14 oz.), $45 (a $61 value). In Cosmetics at Nordstrom and nordstrom.com.

Kiehl’s Since 1851 ‘Greatest Hits’ collection, includes Amino Acid Shampoo (2.5 oz.), Amino Acid Conditioner (2.5 oz.), Creme de Corps Body Moisturizer (2.5 oz.), Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Body Polish (2.5 oz.), Ultimate Strength Hand Salve (2.5 oz.), Ultra Facial Cream (0.25 oz.) and Midnight Recovery Concentrate (0.14 oz.), $45 (a $61 value). In Cosmetics at Nordstrom and nordstrom.com.

Nordstrom on-the-go manicure set tucked into a pink or white sparkle clutch. Includes clippers, scissors, tweezers, nail file and cuticle pusher, $13. Available exclusively in Cosmetics at Nordstrom.

Nordstrom on-the-go manicure set tucked into a pink or white sparkle clutch. Includes clippers, scissors, tweezers, nail file and cuticle pusher, $13. Available exclusively in Cosmetics at Nordstrom.

UGG Australia ‘Dakota’ slipper with tie, suede upper, shearling lining and rubber sole, sizes 5-12, in blue Curacao/charcoal, princess pink/navy, banana yellow/shadow grey, $99.95. Available exclusively in Women’s Shoes at Nordstrom and nordstrom.com.

UGG Australia ‘Dakota’ slipper with tie, suede upper, shearling lining and rubber sole, sizes 5-12, in blue Curacao/charcoal, princess pink/navy, banana yellow/shadow grey, $99.95. Available exclusively in Women’s Shoes at Nordstrom and nordstrom.com.

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JCPENNEY Rings In The Holidays With Caroling Campaign That Inspires Customers To “Jingle More Bells”

New “Jingle Mingle” Microsite Brings Caroling Videos to Virtual Stage

Black Friday Doorbusters Begin Thanksgiving Day in Stores and at jcp.com

When it comes to shopping for loved ones this year, JCPenney is helping customers pull off the best Christmas ever by offering more fa la la for less moo la lah. That’s the inspiration behind the Company’s holiday tagline, “Jingle More Bells,” to express how shopping at JCPenney enables customers to be as generous as they want to be this season.

The integrated marketing campaign debuted Nov. 19 with a series of creative ads showcasing a festive choir singing fun reinterpretations of classic Christmas carols with whimsical lyrics that reflect the joy of shopping and finding that perfect gift.

Our holiday campaign was developed to charm and entertain, but more importantly, it reinforces that when customers shop JCPenney, they will find a variety of gifts that will fit their style and budget,” said Debra Berman, senior vice president of marketing at JCPenney. “From offering great deals to stocking everyone’s favorite brands, we’re the shopping destination that customers can count on this holiday season.” Continue reading

The Actors Hall of Fame to Induct 15 Stars of Film, Television and Theatre

The Actors Hall of Fame Foundation (The Actors Hall of Fame, 9415 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

www.actorshalloffame.org) has announced that 15 international award-winning actors will be inducted into The Actors Hall of Fame on Sunday, February 9, 2014 at 2pm in Culver City. The 2014 Inductees are: Julie Andrews, Robert DeNiro, Judi Dench, Robert Duvall, Kirk Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Olivia de Havilland, Hal Holbrook, James Earl Jones, Angela Lansbury, William H. Macy, Maggie Smith and Meryl Streep

The Actors Hall of Fame banner.  (PRNewsFoto/The Actors Hall of Fame)

The Actors Hall of Fame banner. (PRNewsFoto/The Actors Hall of Fame)

The Actors Hall of Fame’s Board of Electors nominates and votes for 15 actors each year who have distinguished themselves by achieving an international peer recognition award, have developed a body of work that advances the dramatic arts and have shown an ongoing commitment to philanthropy and service to society.

The Actors Hall of Fame’s mission is to restore and support dramatic arts education on schools. Drama Week is the first national dramatic arts education program that includes The 2014 Inductions honoring dramatic artists, and helps to focus international attention to understand the importance and value of dramatic arts education.

Drama Week is a weeklong celebration of dramatic arts education. There will be a special screening to support Actors for Autism of the documentary Kids With Cameras directed by Alex Rotaru, starring award-winning teacher/producer Brad Koepenick as he teaches autistic students to create and star in their own animated film. The next day, a special performance of 10-minute plays by the award-winning students at CHAMPS High School in Van Nuys will be presented.

On the final day, high school and college students will have a chance to pitch projects for films, television or theatre productions to a panel of industry experts from the major talent agencies, networks and actors.  Drama Week concludes with an inspiring spoken word performance by 15 award-winning students from the nationally acclaimed GET LIT program.

A special performance by The Hobart Shakespeareans, a class of 5th graders from Hobart Elementary School in Los Angeles, under the guidance of their National Medal of Arts winning teacher Ralph Esquith will be one of the highlights of the Induction celebration.

The Actors Hall of Fame is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit foundation dedicated to restore and support dramatic arts education in schools. The Actors Hall of Fame was launched with the support of major entertainment and business organizations, educators, dramatic artists and students. For more information, please visit our website at www.actorshalloffame.org.

Holiday Gift Sets for the Whole Family, Close Friends, Officemates and Beyond

Shopping for the holidays can be a bit overwhelming. But shopping for the holidays can also be fun.  Now is a perfect time to explore the world of beauty, hair and skincare (plus a little extra) because every company has so thoughtfully put together holiday gift sets of their favorite products. You really can’t lose. The gift guide below is just a small sampling of what’s available for your pleasure. So, whether you are buying for a loved one or for yourself, stock up and have fun.

STOCKING STUFFERS

Avon and Burt’s Bees has you covered here. From Wrapped in Velvet Eye shadow Palette ($10.00, the perfect palette to keep in your handbag during the holiday season) to Nail Art Design Strips ($10.00, Holiday cheer for your nails) to Holly Jolly Mini Hand Creams ($0.99), Lip Balm ($0.99) and Bubble Delight Bubble Bath Minis ($0.99), everyone’s stocking will be filled with fun  gifts this season. All are available at www.avon.com or through your Avon representative.

The Beeswax Bounty Gift Set ($9.99) from Burt’s Bees contains four of the extremely popular Burt’s Bees lips balms and a Bonus Woven Paper Change Purse. The change purse will hold all of your essentials – credit card, ID, and of course, a Burt’s Bees lip balm. The set comes in 2 variations: Classic, with four Beeswax Lip Balms or an Assorted Mix, with Beeswax Lip Balm with Vitamin E & Peppermint, Rejuvenating Lip Balm with Acai Berry, Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil and Nourishing Lip Balm with Mango Butter.

The Tint ‘n Shine ($9.99) Gift Set contains coordinating shades of Tinted Lip Balm and the new Lip Shine!  The set comes in two variations: Pink, with Tinted Lip Balm in Hibiscus and Lip Shine in Blush and Red, with Tinted Lip Balm in Red Dahlia and Lip Shine in Smooch.

Last but not least, the Party Lips Gift Set will keep you looking gorgeous at any holiday or New Year’s Eve party.  Each set contains two shades of the brand new Burt’s Bees Lip Glosses; the two variations are Pink, including Ocean Sunrise & Spring Splendor and Neutral, including Autumn Haze & Sweet Sunset.  These lip glosses contain ingredients that will not only deliver rich color with high impact shine, but also enriches your lips with nourishing oils. Burt’s Bees are available at drug stores and other retail outlets and at Burt’s Bees website.

RESTING IN THE LAP OF LUXURY WITH HASTENS

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Hästens is so much more than just about mattresses and oh-so-soft blankets and pillows these days. Hästens Down Slipper Boots ($80, Hästens Stores nationwide; www.hastens.com) The ultimate cozy treat for your feet for the upcoming cold winter nights, these 100% cotton boots are filled with a blend of 75% white down and 25% sea bird feathers, and feature a ribbon in the Hästens’ signature blue check pattern. This, dear friends, is what true luxury is all about.

Hästens Bathrobe ($450, Hästens Stores nationwide www.hastens.com) Envelop yourself in a robe fit for royalty with this double cut, terry cloth bathrobe. Made of the most premium quality cotton, it features Hästens blue check design as well.

Hästens Blue Check Pyjamas ($140, Hästens Stores nationwide; www.hastens.com) Drift off to sleep dressed in the most comfortable pajama set you’ll ever wear. Featuring the chic Hästens blue check pattern, this set includes a long sleeved top and matching pants, both made of supple, soft cotton.

FOR HER

L’Occitane Hand Cream Bouquet ($54, www.usa.loccitane.com) – Tis the season to give back. Return the love you get year round with the gift of nourishing hand creams in L’OCCITANE’s most beloved scents. This soothing set features hand cream in various mouth-watering scents: Cherry Blossom, Almond Delicious Hands, Rose 4 Reines, Shea, Pivoine and Lavender.

LE COUVENT DES MINIMES Eau des Minimes Trio ($48.50): Discover the citrusy freshness of the Botanical Cologne of the Minims Fragrance. Thanks to an original recipe combining three refreshing Citrus Fruits and seven beneficial plants the Botanical Cologne of the Minims invigorates and leaves a refreshing fragrance. This gift set includes Eau des Minimes Fragrance, Eau des Minimes Soap Bar and luxurious Eau des Minimes Shower Gel. www.usa.lecouventdesminimes.com Continue reading

103 Participants Selected for 2014 Whitney Biennial, To Take Place March 7–May 25, 2014

The 2014 edition of the Whitney Biennial—the country’s best known survey of the latest developments in American art—will take place March 7–May 25, 2014 and will be the last Biennial in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s building at 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street before the Museum moves downtown to its new building in the spring of 2015. This is the 77th in the Museum’s ongoing series of Annuals and Biennials begun in 1932 by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney.

2014 Whitney Biennial curators Anthony Elms, Stuart Comer, and Michelle Grabner. Photograph by Filip Wolak

2014 Whitney Biennial curators Anthony Elms, Stuart Comer, and Michelle Grabner. Photograph by Filip Wolak

The 2014 Biennial will take a bold new form with three curators from outside the Museum offering their unique perspectives on the state of contemporary art in the United States. The curators have selected 103 participants. While past Biennials have been organized collectively by multiple curators, for this edition each curator will oversee one floor of the exhibition. To curate the Biennial, the Museum selected Stuart Comer, Anthony Elms, and Michelle Grabner to represent a range of geographic vantages and curatorial methodologies. Whitney curators Elisabeth Sussman and Jay Sanders, who were responsible for the widely praised 2012 Biennial, are serving as advisors on the project.

Donna De Salvo, Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Programs at the Whitney, noted: “The 2014 Biennial brings together the findings of three curators with very distinct points of view. There is little overlap in the artists they have selected and yet there is common ground. This can be seen in their choice of artists working in interdisciplinary ways, artists working collectively, and artists from a variety of generations. Together, the 103 participants offer one of the broadest and most diverse takes on art in the United States that the Whitney has offered in many years.”

Stuart Comer (formerly Curator: Film at Tate Modern, London, now Chief Curator of Media and Performance Art at MoMA) commented that his section of the Biennial “acknowledges the complexity of contemporary art practice by including many types of cultural producers: editorial collectives, artist curators, activists, musicians, poets, dancers, filmmakers, painters, sculptors and photographers. These artists often work at the intersection of political movements and personal statements, addressing global shifts in vibrant and variable ways. A keen sense of history pervades their work, even as they are involved in forging new ways to consider identity, nationality, technology, community and genre. Many of them produce artworks that deviate and morph between forms and categories—they champion an art of multiplicity and flux.”

Anthony Elms (Associate Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia) began his curatorial process by trying to answer the question architect Marcel Breuer posed in his notes for the plans for the Whitney Museum on Madison Avenue: “What should a museum look like, a museum in Manhattan?” Elms’s answer for the 2014 Biennial is that “a museum in Manhattan should be filled with a multiplicity of voices and a sense of poetry. It should exhibit works of art from all creative disciplines and challenge the relationship between the past, the present, and histories yet to be written. Ultimately, each singular artistic statement should contain a palpable sense of the plural.”

Michelle Grabner (Professor in the Painting and Drawing Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, who also teaches at Yale, is an artist herself, and oversees two alternative art spaces in the Midwest) noted that her section of the 2014 Whitney Biennialfeatures artists who have come to the fore as figures of influence, both inside and outside the geographic and commercial centers of the art world. Some are independent-minded creators who feel their work is best served by maintaining a distance from these centers; some are teachers; others are ‘artist’s artists;’ some challenge art institutions. Many of these artists are object makers, embracing the traditional disciplines of craft, painting, and sculpture.” Continue reading

Jacob Zarbailov Launches JacobZ NYC Collection by Jacob Zarbailov in New York City

Images Photographed by Lev Radin

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 19: Jacob Zarbailov (L) shows off collection JacobZNYC of jewelry by Jacob Zarbailov during presentation at Todd Home in West Village on November 19, 2013 in New York City (Photo Credit: Lev radin)

NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 19: Jacob Zarbailov (L) shows off collection JacobZNYC of jewelry by Jacob Zarbailov during presentation at Todd Home in West Village on November 19, 2013 in New York City (Photo Credit: Lev Radin)

Yesterday, Accessories and jewelry designer Jacob Zarbailov presented his new JacobZ NYC collection by Jacob Zarbailov at Todd Home in the West Village on November 19, 2013 in New York City. The brand was founded in Moscow 3 years ago by the artist and designer and has grown since then.

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 19: Women bags JacobZNYC collection by Jacob Zarbailov on display during presentation at Todd Home in West Village on November 19, 2013 in New York City (Photo Credit: Lev Radin)

NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 19: Women bags JacobZNYC collection by Jacob Zarbailov on display during presentation at Todd Home in West Village on November 19, 2013 in New York City (Photo Credit: Lev Radin)

JacobZ NYC is inspired by ZEN gemstones and minerals from the Earth, also known as healing crystals. Ever since discovering them, Zarbailov has tuned into their energy and saw just how precious they are. They are used as a form of healing and as a tool to bring out certain spiritual qualities within ourselves, such as wisdom, luck, health, creativity and many more. Clearly these are gifts to be shared.

Stringing together enchanted pieces, he chooses only the highest quality of gemstones. Then, using Reiki and the Native American tradition of smudging, he cleans and charges the energy of each stone. Every finished piece offers a specific energy to support the wearer in their personal journeys.

Through his company, Zarbailov is supporting organizations which help people with Multiple Sclerosis. One of his closest friends and a great example of a person who has Multiple Sclerosis while giving motivation to others is the well known artist Katia Kull, who was invited to present some of her art during the event. There is little information about the prevention and symptoms of MS. We may never know who has it or how it occurs, but as zarbailov added, “we have to support people with Mulitple Sclerosis and show that artists care about people with Multiple Sclerosis and are able to support their well-being through art.”  20% of revenue will go to the Skladej Foundation.

2013 Snap-On Holiday Gift Guide: The Toy Catalog For Techies And DIY Homeowners

From innovative power tools and hand tools to the latest in tool storage, lighting solutions and shop and tech equipment, the 2013 SNAP-ON HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE is this season’s toy catalog for techs. This 16-page gift guide also offers popular non-tool items like the world famous SNAP-ON® SOCKS and KNIT HATS to help keep Snap-on Nation warm during winter.

The Snap-on Holiday Gift Guide offers the ultimate collection of Snap-on tools and equipment just right for holidaySnap-on 12 LED Red Pocket Light giving,” said Rick Secor, director, PR and communications for Snap-on. “Featuring over a hundred great gift ideas, the guide includes special pricing on many items through Dec. 31. Order now, as holiday gift guide items will go fast.”

Some of the exciting gift ideas available in the 2013 Snap-on Holiday Gift Guide include:

SNAP-ON 12 LED RED POCKET LIGHT (ECFONELITE)
This 12 LED high-output light (right) with front-facing surface mount diodes (SMD) produces 100 lumens on high and 65 lumens on medium. Using three AAA alkaline batteries, it provides seven hours runtime on high or 12 hours on medium. Featuring a robust rubber boot that protects the light from drop hazards, this Snap-on light is compact enough to take anywhere and the strong, rare earth magnet on the back of the clip attaches to ferrous surfaces. Also available in green (ECFONELITEG) and orange (ECFONELITEO).

SNAP-ON 7-PIECE 12-POINT FLANK DRIVE® PLUS METRIC COMBINATION WRENCH SET (SOEXM707)
Featuring the Flank Drive® Plus wrenching system, these top quality wrenches provide up to 62 percent more turning power, allowing more torque while reducing fastener wear. A durable finish provides corrosion resistance, while the high strength alloy steel offers greater wrench strength and longer tool life. The 7.5 degree offset broaching allows work in restricted areas and the 15-degree offset orientation helps fight clearance problems.

SNAP-ON MICROLITHIUM CORDLESS TEMPERATURE GUN (CTG761)
With the most advanced features of any professional infrared gun, the Snap-on CTG761 has the widest temperature range on the market from -58 to 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit. The ergonomic design of the CTG761 grip is equally comfortable for right and left-handed users and a single-button trigger makes it effortless to control. Powered by a 14.4V MicroLithium battery and charger, it is also interchangeable with the new Snap-on 7.2 Volt cordless tools, eliminating the need for extra chargers and back-up batteries.

SNAP-ON 3/8-INCH DRIVE 7.2 VOLT LITHIUM CORDLESS IMPACT WRENCH (CT661)
With 70 ft. lbs. of torque output, this cordless impact has variable speed with a digital toggle style trigger for precise control. A built-in brake stops the anvil from throwing sockets and fasteners and twin beam headlights illuminate work areas. It also has a quick 30-minute battery charge for less down time.

Customers can request a copy of the 2013 Snap-on Holiday Gift Guide by contacting their participating Snap-on franchisee or representative or by viewing it online at www.snapon.com.

World Premiere For The Compact SUV From Porsche: The Macan

Porsche is expanding its range to include a whole new class of vehicle. The Macan is the first Porsche model to break into the compact SUV segment and is poised to set new standards in the field of driving dynamics and enjoyment – on both paved streets uneven terrain. The Macan combines the typical handling characteristics that Porsche has represented right from the outset: maximum acceleration and braking values, vast engine power, extreme agility and optimum steering precision. What’s more, all of these features are teamed with a high level of comfort and everyday suitability. The sporty DNA of the Macan, as with all Porsche vehicles, is also immediately recognizable in the design.

The Sports Utility Vehicle is unrivalled in its flat and broad profile on the road. The wraparound bonnet and gently sloping roof line accentuate the overall impression of sporty elegance and powerful dynamics. Many of the design elements have been taken from other Porsche sportscars and enhanced for the Macan, making it clear to see from the very first glance that the Porsche Macan heralds the first sportscar in the compact SUV segment. The Macan is “Made in Germany”, produced at the Leipzig plant. Porsche has invested 500 million euro in the plant and has established an entire production line there. The line is set up to produce around 50,000 vehicles per year – all manufactured with the utmost precision and to the highest level of quality. Just what you would expect from Porsche.

Porsche Macan Turbo

Porsche Macan Turbo

Three models comprise the Macan product range at market launch. The Macan S is equipped with a 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine delivering 340 bhp (250 kW) and also features an active all-wheel drive with an electronically controlled, map-controlled multi-plate clutch. This all-wheel drive is fitted on all Macan models. A seven-speed double-clutch transmission transfers power as required and almost without any interruption in tractive force, enabling the vehicle to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.4 seconds (or 5.2 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package fitted). The vehicle reaches a top speed of 254 km/h, and its NEDC*) fuel consumption figures are between 9.0 and 8.7 litres/100 km, which corresponds to a CO2 emissions level of between 212 and 204 g/km.

The Macan S Diesel is the economical long-distance runner of the three Macan models. Its 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel engine achieves NEDC*) fuel consumption figures of between just 6.3 and 6.1 litres/100 km, which corresponds to a CO2 value of between 164 and 159 g/km. Nevertheless, the Macan S Diesel accelerates from 0 to 100 km in just 6.3 seconds (or 6.1 seconds with the Sport Chrono package fitted) thanks to its 258-bhp (190-kW) engine, and achieves a top speed of 230 km/h.

As the top model in the Macan model line, the Macan Turbo is set to be the most powerful vehicle in the compact SUV segment. The 3.6-litre V6 biturbo engine, which is being used in a Porsche model for the very first time, achieves an unrivalled 400 bhp (294 kW) and catapults the vehicle from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds. With the Sport Chrono package fitted, it is even possible to achieve such a speed in 4.6 seconds. Although the top speed is 266 km/h, the Macan Turbo delivers NEDC*) fuel consumption figures of between just 9.2 and 8.9 litres/100 km, which equates to a CO2 value of between 216 and 208 g/km.

Its name comes from the Indonesian word for tiger. And the Macan really does live up to its name: powerful and ready to pounce at any time, yet light-footed and tenacious on off-road terrain. The latest stage of evolution of the all-wheel drive – known as Porsche Traction Management (PTM) – has produced one of the world’s most powerful drive systems. In launching the Macan, Porsche now offers sporty all-wheel-drive vehicles across an unprecedented range.

A glance at the performance specifications reveals that the Macan has been designed with agility in mind. Further unmistakable hallmarks of the vehicle include its proportions, de sign and the mixed tires on large wheels. The

Porsche Cars North America, Inc. Logo.  (PRNewsFoto/Porsche Cars North America, Inc.)

Porsche Cars North America, Inc. Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Porsche Cars North America, Inc.)

engines, drive systems and seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) bring the vehicle’s characteristics to bear in dynamic and efficient fashion both on and off road, making for a true Porsche driving experience. The driver and passenger seats feature the low position typical of sportscars.

The range of equipment fitted on the Macan as standard is extensive, and includes the all-wheel drive, PDK, multi-function sport steering wheel with shift paddles, large wheels, high-performance audio system and an electrically operated tailgate. The list of optional special equipment offers further highlights, such as the air suspension system, which the Macan features as the only vehicle in its segment. There is also the Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) system, which has been specially tailored to the Macan. This system distributes varying levels of drive torque to the rear wheels and works in conjunction with an electronically controlled rear-axle differential lock. The list of Porsche options includes the much sought-after dynamic high beam forming part of the Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus (PDLS Plus), which continuously adjusts the headlight level in keeping with the traffic ahead and any oncoming traffic. Continue reading

Flexjet and Abercrombie & Kent Present “Passport to the World” as This Year’s Ultimate Holiday Gift

For those who want to give their loved ones the world, this year’s ultimate holiday offering from Flexjet (www.flexjet.com) operated by U.S. air carrier Jet Solutions and handcrafted by Abercrombie & Kent (www.abercrombiekent.com) is unmatched.

Passport to the World is a completely private jet experience circling the globe. From the Forbidden City to the Taj Majal, travelers will have exclusive access to hidden wonders for an once-in-a-lifetime journey of global discovery. This 14-day Passport to the World experience begins at $1.5 million. This includes $750,000 for land arrangements from Abercrombie & Kent for up to eight people, and a Flexjet 25 jet card for a Challenger 605 business jet, which starts from $750,000 for this itinerary.

This five-star Passport to the World experience for up to eight people includes a 14-day Abercrombie & Kent Card_Comp2journey, traveling in world-class comfort and style with one’s own private party aboard a Challenger 605 aircraft. The spacious business jet features larger, higher windows, along with cutting-edge avionics, state-of-the-art studio and video systems, global Wi-Fi and leather seats that transform into beds – allowing more space to comfortably unwind and relax.

An expert flight crew provided by Jet Solutions will remain with the group throughout the journey, learning each traveler’s on-board preferences and anticipating their needs.

Abercrombie & Kent will assist with expedited clearance through immigration and customs wherever possible; to maximize time spent enjoying each destination. Orchestrating each stop of the journey is an Abercrombie & Kent guide chosen from the ranks of its international coterie of professionals, who oversees everything from start to finish, relying on a lifetime’s worth of knowledge to reveal sights only locals know.

This journey also includes accommodations at the best landmark hotels reflecting the history and heritage of each extraordinary location, paired with incredible dining experiences at some of the world’s best restaurants, as detailed in the program highlights below.

Osaka/Kyoto, Japan (two nights) – Following a quick stop in Anchorage to refuel, the group lands in Osaka and continues to Kyoto, home of the famed Toji Temple, which was built in the year 826 and at 187 feet stands as the tallest pagoda in Japan. Travelers enjoy exclusive access to Toji’s Five Storied Pagoda as well as the emperor’s private retreat, both of which are closed to the public. No trip to Kyoto would be complete without a visit to Arashiyama Kitcho, often described as one of the best Japanese restaurants in the world with food “almost too beautiful to eat,” as distinguished by its three Michelin stars. Travelers savor this feast accompanied by geisha dancing, music and games. Following an afternoon Japanese Tea Ceremony, travelers return to the Ritz-Carlton Osaka, located in the prestigious business and shopping district of Nishi-Umeda.

Beijing, China (three nights) – From hutongs, narrow alleyways that date back to the Ming period and earlier, to the “Birds Nest” and “Water Cube,” the two stunning architectural highlights from the 2008 Olympics, travelers encounter 3,000 years of history firsthand in Beijing. Travelers also visit the Temple of Heaven, one of the great monuments built during the reign of the Ming emperors, where a resident master gives a special lesson in Tai Chi beneath the grandeur of the magnificent temple. Visit the Joyongguan section of the Great Wall, one of the vast structure’s most scenic stretches, for a Champagne toast and white-cloth picnic lunch atop the wall itself. Travelers spend their nights at The Peninsula Beijing – a graceful melding of the grandeur of the past and the luxury of the present ideally situated near the city’s historic heart, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.

Hong Kong, China (two nights) – Guests bid farewell to Beijing as they travel to Hong Kong, the dazzling jewel of the Far East. Travelers board a privately chartered Peak Tram car – Hong Kong’s oldest means of public transport – for a trip to the top of Victoria Peak, where cooling breezes, picturesque vistas and verdant foliage greet them, followed by a sunset cruise around Hong Kong’s famed Victoria Harbor. At Man Mo Temple, the most revered Daoist temple in the territory, guests have the opportunity to draw a joss stick and have their fortune told by the temple priest. An authentic dim sum lunch at Lung King Heen, Hong Kong’s only three-star Michelin restaurant is followed by a restorative session in Zu Di An Muo, traditional Chinese reflexology used to treat any body ailment. Travelers stay at The Peninsula Hong Kong, one of the world’s legendary grand hotels born in the glamorous 1920s.

Agra, India (two nights) – Travelers arrive in Agra to the palatial Oberoi Amarvilas hotel, where they are welcomed with showers of rose petals and given a red-powdered bindi on their forehead as a mark of respect. Travelers visit the Taj Mahal in both the morning and the evening, seeing for themselves the unforgettable way in which the monument seems to change hues with the colors of the day. A private Mughal-themed dinner with Kathak dancers caps an incredible visit to India.

Istanbul, Turkey (two nights) – Istanbul embodies the meeting of the East and West, and is the only city that was an imperial capital for 1,700 years. Visitors enjoy private openings of the Hagia Sophia, one of the most extraordinary creations in the history of architecture; the Topkapi Palace Complex, the center of Ottoman government from which the Turks ruled most of Europe and the Middle East; and the Chora Church, known to be the richest repository of Byzantine interior wall decorations. Travelers dine with the owner of a stunning 18th-century wooden mansion of an Ottoman royal, and witness a demonstration of Whirling Dervishes. Accommodations are at the Ciragan Palace Hotel Kempinski Istanbul, which combines the architectural grandeur of a palace on the Bosphorus with the comforts of a modern, deluxe hotel. Continue reading

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Glow Pets Light Up The Toy Aisle This Holiday Season

New from the maker of Pillow Pets and Dream Lites, Glow Pets are the amazing light-up pets that also transform into an extra comfortable and soft pillow. Poised to be a stand-out toy this holiday season, these cuddly critters are the perfect gift for little ones, but parents will love them, too. Whether kids have difficulty settling down or they just need a familiar companion to ensure a good night’s sleep, Glow Pets make bedtime a breeze and will help little ones drift off to dreamland long after the excitement of the holidays is gone.

Aside from being a plush, Glow Pets are ideal for bedtime, especially around the holidays when schedules are disrupted and wreak havoc on nighttime routines,” said Jason Biziak, Vice President, Ontel Products Corporation. “And, Glow Pets also make great travel companions, not only during the season but throughout the entire year.”

Children will find Glow Pets hard to part with as these super-soft cuddly companions are perfect for playtime, story time or anytime. When the button on a pet’s paw is pressed, the pet emits a soft light to help ease children to sleep. Each pet contains a special LED light that creates a glow without producing heat, and a built-in timer that automatically shuts off after 20 minutes. Children can simply secure the pet’s tummy with the attached strap to create a plush animal, and pull the strap to release the pet into pillow form.

Every child has a favorite bedtime toy, but what’s wonderful about Glow Pets is they are so much more than just another stuffed animal,” said Laurie Schacht, Toy Insider Mom. “Glow Pets serve multiple functions – as a nightlight, pillow and friend making them the perfect addition to a child’s bedroom, particularly for those kids who have trouble sleeping.”

Glow Pets are recommended for ages 3 and up. MSRP: $29.99. Choose from 10 pets including Beaming Bear, Glow Snail, Dazzling Zebra, Glow Turtle, Sparkling Unicorn, Glow Lightning Bug, Glow Monkey, Brilliant Pup, Flashy Penguin and Shimmering Seal. Available now at www.glowpets.com and major retailers nationwide.

The Christmas Countdown is on: Lands‘ End Unveils the Official Gift Collection of Christmas

Lands’ End for When . . . There Are Only 26 Days Between Thanksgiving and Christmas

With only a few weeks to get ready, time-crunched families will be extra busy celebrating the season, preparing their homes and finding the perfect gifts. To make it easier, Lands’ End announced it has unveiled the “Official Gift Collection of Christmas” via its catalogs, at www.landsend.com/gifts and at Lands’ End Shops at Sears®. Holiday shoppers can give with confidence — the collection features gifts carefully curated by price for her, him, boys, girls, baby, home and even the dog, making Lands’ End a one-stop holiday shopping destination.

With more than 275 choices for gifts under $25 and 300 choices for gifts between $25-$50 and more, www.landsend.com/gifts lets holiday shoppers easily find something special to fit their budget. In addition, seven featured shops offer gifts organized by themes – from stocking stuffers to gifts that sparkle and shine.

We know it’s going to be an extra busy shopping season,” said Michele Donnan Martin, chief merchandising and design officer, Lands’ End. “We also know that nobody wants to give the gift that gets re-gifted.  Whether shoppers call, visit us online or in store, we’re prepared to help husbands and wives, aunts and uncles, parents and grandparents – everyone – find the perfect gift.

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“We’ve scrutinized our gift list, making sure we recommend gifts we’d love to give our friends and family,” Donnan Martin said. “Look for everything from down vests and chic reversible down jackets to family sleepwear, cozy throws and luxurious yet affordable cashmere sweaters for the ultimate luxe gift.”

There’s something special about a gift with the recipient’s name on it. Whether monogrammed, embroidered, heat stamped or engraved, Lands’ End can make just about any item it sells personal.  The “Personalized Gifts” shop features items that can easily be monogrammed, for just $6 an item, in about two or three days. Select from 12 monogram styles and nearly 30 thread colors available to make every gift one of a kind and special. From fine Cashmere Sweaters to gloves and wallets, it’s quite impressive to discover what can take a stitch, stamp or engraving.

Lands’ End has always been a brand founded in beautiful color and special details and this season – whether for gift giving, dressing or decorating – their designers have gone all out.  “We have the perfect pairings for the holiday party and under the tree,” added Martin, “including beautifully embellished occasion cardigans and dresses, classic and colorful cashmere-lined sheepskin gloves with EZ Touch(TM) smartphone technology, and whimsical novelty sweaters packed with personality.”

Where the Holidays Come #Together

From Thanksgiving dinner to office parties and Christmas brunch, it’s the time of the year when everyone comes #Together. In recognition of these special relationships, Lands’ End is celebrating with the hashtag, “#Together.” Not only is it a play on social media but also how familial relationships are woven into the fabric of who we are as individuals, as well as a nod to the Lands’ End holiday family plaid used throughout all collections this year.

Just in time for the holidays, Lands’ End is offering free shipping to all customers on purchases over $50 as part of its standard customer offerings. Customers in the United States will also have the option to upgrade to 2-day UPS shipping for only $5, a competitive offering in the marketplace.

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Lands’ End customer care specialists are available 24 hours a day, 364 days a year and are all based in Wisconsin.  Lands’ End also makes in-person returns easy by allowing customers to return online purchases and gifts free of charge at any Sears store nationwide, or by simply using the Easy Return shipping label on the packaging for a low, flat fee.

This holiday season especially, Lands’ End customers are able to check off their shopping list with ease. Customers in the continental U.S. can order by Thursday, December 19, for delivery of in-stock items at standard shipping and handling for delivery by Christmas.  Procrastinators can order in-stock items by Sunday, December 22, and have them delivered in time for Christmas for a $15 upgrade charge. Additionally, monogrammed items only add an additional 2-3 days to the delivery time and start at just $6; and all pants are hemmed free of charge to a customer’s desired length. In-stock monogrammed or hemmed items will make tree time when ordered by Wednesday, December 18, with standard shipping.

Alaska Airlines Debuts Disney-Themed Airplane in Seattle

BOEING 737 ADORNED WITH BELOVED DISNEY-PIXAR CHARACTERS FLIES FOUR MAKE-A-WISH® ALASKA AND WASHINGTON CHILDREN TO DISNEYLAND RESORT ON INAUGURAL FLIGHT

The newest themed airplane in Alaska Airlines’ fleet flew into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, featuring one of America’s most beloved and rusty tow trucks.

Alaska Airlines newest Disney-themed airplane features some of Disney-Pixar's most beloved characters from the movie Cars.  (PRNewsFoto/Alaska Airlines)

Alaska Airlines newest Disney-themed airplane features some of Disney-Pixar’s most beloved characters from the movie Cars. (PRNewsFoto/Alaska Airlines)

Adorned with the familiar images of Disney-Pixar’s animated Cars characters Mater, Lightning McQueen, Guido and Luigi, the colorful Boeing 737-800 named “Adventure of Disneyland Resort” celebrates Alaska’s partnership with Walt Disney’s original theme park.  Alaska’s other Disney-themed planes are the “Spirit of Disneyland II,” launched in 2009; the “Spirit of Make-A-Wish,” which debuted in 2006; and “Magic of Disneyland,” which entered the fleet in 2005. Alaska’s first Disney plane, the “Spirit of Disneyland I,” joined the fleet in 2002 and was repainted in 2009.

It is the fifth Disney-themed airplane born out of the successful partnership between Seattle-based Alaska Airlines and Disneyland Resort.

Joining passengers flying on Flight 500 were four Make-A-Wish children from Washington and Alaska, ages 3 to 7, and their families, who will spend the next several days at the Disneyland Resort. During their visit, they will be treated to special activities and enjoy overnight accommodations at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel at the Resort.

Korbin Clark of Longview, Wash., hasn't been able to do many of the things he used to before he was diagnosed with cancer. Korbin is looking forward to going to Disneyland and swimming with dolphins at SeaWorld in Calif.  (PRNewsFoto/Alaska Airlines)

Korbin Clark of Longview, Wash., hasn’t been able to do many of the things he used to before he was diagnosed with cancer. Korbin is looking forward to going to Disneyland and swimming with dolphins at SeaWorld in Calif. (PRNewsFoto/Alaska Airlines)

Steve Hopson, age 3, from Barrow, Alaska is battling Ewing's Sarcoma, a form of cancer. Steve is looking forward to meeting his favorite Disney characters Mickey Mouse and Lightning McQueen.  (PRNewsFoto/Alaska Airlines)

Steve Hopson, age 3, from Barrow, Alaska is battling Ewing’s Sarcoma, a form of cancer. Steve is looking forward to meeting his favorite Disney characters Mickey Mouse and Lightning McQueen. (PRNewsFoto/Alaska Airlines)

Our Disney planes generate a lot of excitement among our passengers young and old wherever they fly,” said Jeff Butler, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of customer service-airports and cargo, and board member of Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington. “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our strong partnership than to launch this flying invitation to visit Disneyland Resort’s newest attraction and Mater’s home in Cars Land.” Continue reading

Bath & Body Works Introduces New Forever Midnight

Feel the moment of intense connection you spot each other from across the room. Your eyes lock. Chemistry ignites. This is the moment you wish could last forever—the essence of the all new Forever Midnight and Minight For Men, the sensual (and sensuous) new fragrance from Bath & Body Works.

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This holiday season, America’s favorite fragrance company is launching its most luxurious scent yet, Forever Midnight. With premium ingredients crafted by the world’s best perfumers, Forever Midnight has notes of luscious Plum Nectar mingle with exotic, Velvety Florals to create tempting allure. Sophisticated Jasmine joins seductive Vanilla Orchid for the perfect layer of femininity. Then a final touch of rich, warm Caramel Liqueur transports you to that magical Midnight moment where anything is possible.

A debut fragrance that captures the moment of irresistible attraction, Forever Midnight is available in Eau de Parfum, Body Lotion, Shower Gel, Fine Fragrance Mist, and Triple Moisture Body Cream. The collection also includes Midnight for Him Hair + Body Wash. After Shave Balm, Body Lotion and Midnight for Him Eau de Toilette. You can weave a spell of midnight magic however you choose. Mix and match this holiday to give her the gift of legendary midnight romance. Forever Midnight is available at Bath & Body Works stores and online at www.bathandbodyworks.com.

What To Wear This Holiday: The Designer’s Pick Of The Key Essentials From H&M

It’s easy to look your best this holiday at H&M, whether it’s for parties and festivities or relaxing with family and friends. Here are H&M‘s Ann-Sofie Johansson and Andreas Löwenstam´s picks for what to wear for every occasion.

WOMEN

This season it’s all about effortless pieces, party essentials and a new takes on glamour, says H&M’s Creative Head of Design, Ann-Sofie Johansson.

TUXEDO JACKET: “Say hello to our new best friend. It works with everything, whether worn with a dress, or matched with a romantic blouse and leather leggings for a rock vibe”

BODYCON DRESS: “This black dress trimmed with lace is perfect for parties, and is so easy to wear.”

RED FLOOR LENGTH GOWN: “I love the drama of this sleeveless gown, which flows to the floor yet floats because it’s sheer. It’s such a modern way to add elegance this Holiday.”

OVERSIZED KNITS: “A big sweater is so versatile this season. I love seeing them dressed up over sheer skirts, or worn for cosying up with friends on the sofa.”

ROMANTIC BLOUSE: “It’s great when something that’s easy to wear also looks so chic. This romantic blouse is one of those effortless pieces that can be worn all Holiday season.”

MEN

Dress your best this Holiday, whether it’s sharp tailored looks, innovative knits or pieces with attitude for the party season, says H&M’s head menswear designer, Andreas Löwenstam.

TUXEDO JACKET: “It’s great how the new sharp tuxedo jacket gives an immediate lift. Every man should have one in his wardrobe, especially for the Holidays.”

INNOVATIVE KNITS: “These are the season’s statement knits, which use traditional patterns and texture in a fresh modern way. They look so great worn with a tux.”

TRIM-DETAIL SHIRTS: “Black with white trim, or white with a black trim, both so smart shirts that look good on their own.”

FLANNEL SHIRT: “There’s something about flannel shirts which looks so good right now. These brushed shirts are perfect for the new mood at parties this season.”

TOGGLE CARDIGAN: “This is the perfect chunky knit piece for the holidays, whether its for walks in winter sunshine, or for relaxing with friends at home.”

Las Vegas High Roller Observation Wheel Reaches New Heights

FOCAL POINT OF THE LINQ, CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT’S $550 MILLION CENTER-STRIP DEVELOPMENT, MEETS MAJOR CONSTRUCTION MILESTONE

The Las Vegas High Roller reached new heights this week as the observation wheel’s first passenger cabin was rotated to the highest point on the wheel’s rim. At 550 feet, the rotation of the cabin to the mid-center point of the rim officially makes the High Roller the world’s tallest observation wheel. As the focal point of The LINQ, Caesars Entertainment’s $550 million outdoor retail, dining and entertainment district, today’s feat marks a major milestone for the Las Vegas Strip attraction.

The first passenger cabin is rotated to the top of the Las Vegas High Roller, officially making it the world’s tallest observation wheel at 550 feet. Photo Credit: Denise Truscello

The first passenger cabin is rotated to the top of the Las Vegas High Roller, officially making it the world’s tallest observation wheel at 550 feet. Photo Credit: Denise Truscello

This was a significant step for us. The level of technical precision and detailed planning to attach a 22-ton passenger cabin to the rim is tremendous,” said David Codiga, executive project director for The LINQ. “Seeing the cabin rotate to the top of wheel is not only very satisfying for our team, who has spent years working very hard to get to this point; but it also signifies we’re just that much closer to becoming operational. We’re all very eager to welcome passengers to the tallest and most advanced wheel in the world and this gets us one step closer.”

The High Roller observation wheel is the focal point of The LINQ, an open-air retail, dining and entertainment district, that will soon redefine the iconic Las Vegas skyline.

The High Roller will top out at 550 feet making it the largest observation wheel in the world. In addition to its great height, the High Roller will offer an immersive pre-ride experience for its passengers on their journey from ticketing through the wheel house complete with a lounge, to the wheel ride which features unparalleled views of the Las Vegas Strip.

Technical precision and detailed planning go into attaching the first passenger cabin to the rim of the Las Vegas High Roller observation wheel. Photo Credit: Denise Truscello

Technical precision and detailed planning go into attaching the first passenger cabin to the rim of the Las Vegas High Roller observation wheel. Photo Credit: Denise Truscello

The wheel structure will boast 7.2 million pounds of steel and 112 cable, with each cable measuring approximately 225 feet, for a combined total of 25,256 feet. The High Roller will feature 28 spherical cabins that will each hold 40 guests. Each cabin weighs approximately 44,000 pounds and includes 300 square feet of glass. The cabin windows are doubly curved and fabricated from four sheets of laminated glass.

The cabins will also feature dynamic video and music shows that will fade away seamlessly to show the most impressive views of the Las Vegas valley.

The first passenger cabin of the Las Vegas High Roller observation wheel is transferred to the wheel site early Monday, Nov. 4. Photo Credit: Denise Truscello

The first passenger cabin of the Las Vegas High Roller observation wheel is transferred to the wheel site early Monday, Nov. 4. Photo Credit: Denise Truscello

Fabrication of the wheel began in late 2011 and took place in several locations across the globe including China, Japan, France, Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Colorado, California and Las Vegas. The High Roller will travel at one foot per second and take roughly 30 minutes to make one full revolution. The wheel will be lit with more than 2,000 LED lights to create a customizable and visually stunning display. Continue reading

Sport Chalet Lists Top Five Hiking Gear Essentials And U.S. Trail Destinations

In preparation for your upcoming winter hikes, outdoor enthusiasts can explore what nature has to offer with expert insights and gear from specialty sporting goods retailer Sport Chalet (www.sportchalet.com). The Sport Chalet is a premier, full service specialty sporting goods retailer featuring the industry’s top sports brands in apparel, footwear, and sports equipment. Founded in 1959 by Norbert Olberz, the company has 52 stores in Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah; an online store at www.sportchalet.com; a Team Sales division; and offers more than 50 specialty services for the sports enthusiast, including online same day delivery, climbing, backcountry skiing, ski SportChaletLogomountaineering, avalanche education, and mountain trekking instruction, car rack installation, snowboard and ski rental and repair, Scuba training and certification, Scuba boat charters, team sales, gait analysis, baseball/softball glove steaming and lacing, racquet stringing, and bicycle tune-up and repair at its store locations.

Prior to making the trek and for all the future winter hiking trips to come, Sport Chalet Hiking Expert and Senior Apparel Buyer Paul Smedley provides gear and trail recommendations to help both novice and expert hikers blaze the trails in confidence. First, he suggests being equipped with the following items:

— Footwear can make or break a hiking experience. Low cut shoes like adidas Terrex Fast X Mid GTX Outdoor

adidas Terrex Fast X Mid GTX Outdoor Training Shoes

adidas Terrex Fast X Mid GTX Outdoor Training Shoes

Training Shoes are a lightweight option for shorter trips. Mid- to high-cut footwear offers additional ankle support for longer trips and for hikes with irregular terrain.

— Proper hydration is critical regardless of distance. Hydration packs allow hikers to carry plenty of water with ease. This The North Face Torrent Hydration Pack holds 8L of water in a backpack reservoir that is lightweight with additional space to carry any other hiking essentials.

— Know the weather forecast and plan for changes by bringing layers of clothing or wearing apparel that can transition easily. The adidas MT Hike Zip Off Pant is made of lightweight moisture management fabric and is built with a zipper in each pant leg to easily convert into shorts as temperatures rise.

— Avoid getting stranded with the Delores inReach SE Satellite Communicator, which can track GPS coordinates, allow for text communication regardless of cellular service and can even trigger an SOS signal.

— Should one get separated from a group The Pocket Survival Pak(TM) contains a collection of survival tools

DeLorme inReach SE Satellite Communicator

DeLorme inReach SE Satellite Communicator

hikers can easily carry to keep safe and warm.

The distance and difficulty of the hike determines what type of gear you might need,” said Smedley. “Sport Chalet Experts are readily available in-store to equip hikers with the proper gear and advice tailored to their needs. Our ultimate goal is to help customers feel prepared and capable to get out and explore the world around them.”

To help familiarize beginners to the trails, Smedley also recommends visiting some of the most well-known hiking destinations in the United States, including:

— Grand Canyon National Park – As one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon is not to be missed. The national park touts many trails around the rim of the canyon all with varying difficulties. For avid hikers, the Bright Angel Trail is a popular route, consisting of a nine-mile hike around the southern rim of the canyon.

— Yosemite National Park – A staple for experienced hikers and backpackers, the hike up Half Dome is 16 miles roundtrip and includes a tethered trek up the steep face of Half Dome. For those looking for a lighter option, Glacier Point is a one-mile hike with panorama views of Half Dome and much of the Yosemite Valley.

The North Face Torrent Hydration Pack

The North Face Torrent Hydration Pack

— Arches National Park – Make way on the Delicate Arch Trail, which is a three-mile hike to one of Utah’s most iconic figures- the Delicate Arch. This trail promises a view of the 65-foot freestanding natural arch and is perfect for intermediate hikers.

— Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park – The Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park is home to some of the world’s largest trees. The novice hiker can enjoy short hikes like the Big Trees Trail and Tonopah Falls Trail, which are both less than two miles in distance. The Big Trees Trail weaves through forests of towering 250-foot sequoias while the Tokopah Falls Trail journeys to the park’s largest waterfall.

— Zion National Park The Narrows is the most popular hike at Zion National Park with spectacular views of sandstone grottos, natural springs and hanging gardens. The trail takes hikers along the Virgin River floor, so adventure seekers should come prepared in waterproof gear and apparel.

For more information on Sport Chalet’s selection of hiking gear, and to find the Sport Chalet location nearest you, visit www.sportchalet.com.

Hammacher Schlemmer Introduces The Thermodynamic Cell Phone Charger

Continuing its 165-year history of offering the “Best, the Only and the Unexpected,” Hammacher Schlemmer introduces The Thermodynamic Cell Phone Charger, the only emergency charger that restores the drained batteries of electronic devices by boiling water.

The Thermodynamic Cell Phone Charger from Hammacher Schlemmer

The Thermodynamic Cell Phone Charger from Hammacher Schlemmer

Appearing as an unassuming 1.4-liter pot, The Thermodynamic Cell Phone Charger, converts heat into electricity using the laws of thermoelectricity when boiling water over a wood fire, camp stove, or the included propane-powered heating element. Simply fill the 1.4-liter pot with water and heat it on any wood fire, camp stove, or the included propane-powered heating element. As heat passes from the flame to the pot’s cool interior, a special plate harnesses the energy, generating a current that recharges handheld USB devices like phones, cameras, headlamps, and GPS units.

The pot includes a 4-oz. camp stove with electric ignition; a 3′ long heat-resistant charging cable; a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack that can charge phones when a heat source isn’t available; and adapters for most phones and USB devices. 5″ H x 6″ Diam. (12 oz.)

The Thermodynamic Cell Phone Charger is a classic Hammacher product that solves a problem—in this case, two,” explained Hammacher Schlemmer’s General Manager Fred Berns. “It recharges your handheld USB smartphones, carmeras, headlamps, and GPS receivers while reinvigorating you with a hot cup of hot chocolate!”

The Thermodynamic Cell Phone Charger recharged a dead cell phone to 100% battery power after four hours of heating in tests conducted by The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute and is available from Hammacher Schlemmer for $199.95.

Amway Introduces ARTISTRY YOUTH XTEND(TM) Lifting Smoothing Foundation

The right coverage, the right color, the right benefits – when we find the right foundation, its transformative powers make us feels like the best version of ourselves.”

Amway introduces ARTISTRY YOUTH XTEND(TM) Lifting Smoothing Foundation – extending a flawless, radiant, and youthful look onto skin. According to the NPD Group, a leading global market research company, more than 86% of women surveyed use makeup products with skincare benefits. In addition, 61% of the women surveyed said they use makeup products with benefits that are similar to the ones contained in their skincare products.

ARTISTRY YOUTH XTEND Lifting Smoothing Foundation in Natural

ARTISTRY YOUTH XTEND Lifting Smoothing Foundation in Natural

At its core, ARTISTRY YOUTH XTEND Lifting Smoothing Foundation is a rich, hydrating, anti-aging foundation that helps lift and firm the look of skin for a youthful, radiant finish. Its formula is a study in uncompromising beauty. For women who want buildable, medium to full coverage, yet a lightweight feel – ARTISTRY YOUTH XTEND foundation has it. For women who want immediate, visible perfection, but also longer-term benefits – ARTISTRY YOUTH XTEND foundation has it. For women who want the perfect shade match, yet staying power – ARTISTRY YOUTH XTEND foundation has it.

There are no trade-offs, no choices to be made; ARTISTRY YOUTH XTEND Foundation is the ARTISTRY® brand’s most advanced anti-aging foundation ever,” says Rick DiCecca, Global Makeup Artist.

ARTISTRY YOUTH XTEND Lifting Smoothing Foundation Shades

ARTISTRY YOUTH XTEND Lifting Smoothing Foundation Shades

ARTISTRY YOUTH XTEND foundation begins with the ultimate color palette. By revamping its existing foundation palette using a truly scientific approach, the ARTISTRY team conceived of a range that represents the maximum global skin tones. Shade development was approached in four distinct ways:

—  F.A.C.E.S. – Utilizing the exclusive ARTISTRY Facial Analysis Computer Evaluation System, Artistry scientists were able to cluster data from nearly 2,000 subjects representing six different skin populations to more fully understand the range of skin tones and shades that might best meet these needs.

—  Best-Sellers – The team analyzed best-selling shades from within and outside the ARTISTRY brand.

—  Product Development – The product development team then analyzed the existing palette ranges within the ARTISTRY collection and how to optimize them globally.

—  Global Makeup Artist – A makeup artist with clients around the world, DiCecca offered guidance on shade development and formula based on years of hands-on experience.

What these four evaluations concluded were unbelievably similar findings yielding ARTISTRY YOUTH XTEND foundation’s 20-shade lineup – a collection that reaches far more people than ever before. Within the comprehensive 20 shades, Warm, Neutral or Cool undertones are available.

ARTISTRY YOUTH XTEND Lifting Smoothing Foundation

ARTISTRY YOUTH XTEND Lifting Smoothing Foundation

With a few quick assessments, undertone is easily determined: Continue reading

HOLIDAY 2013 GIFT GUIDE: LA MAISON DU CHOCOLAT Introduces A MIDWINTER NIGHT’S DREAM, An Atelier Where Every Chocolate Lovers’ Dreams Come True…

With a nod to the carols of yesteryear, LA MAISON DU CHOCOLAT’S WINTER COLLECTION invites us on an adventure led by dashing reindeer, and an open mind that calls forth a sense of childhood wonder. With an elegant flourish, and an astonishing display of culinary magic, NICOLAS CLOISEAU, MASTER CHEF OF LA MAISON DU CHOCOLAT, introduces the ‘A MIDWINTER NIGHT’S DREAM’ COLLECTION, which beautifully combines the comforting warmth of chocolate with the joyful spirit of the holiday season.

Piece d exception Reve d'une Nuit LMDC Noel 2013

The midwinter night’s tale begins in with the signature piece, hand-crafted in the atelier of LA MAISON DU CHOCOLAT, a place where dreams come to life… The company’s master chocolatiers have created a wild ride, depicted like a clock mechanism with its internal workings held in place by a lacework of delicate strands of chocolate. A contrast of materials, the reindeer dash on a whirlwind of golden stars, seemingly weightless against the night sky. A mendiant disc garnished with pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, chocolate beads and cocoa nibs drives the gourmand gearwheel.

In contrast to the unbridled pace, it is the attention to detail that inspires dreaminess, and makes time stand still. Le Renne piece profil LMDC Noel 2013NICOLAS CLOISEAU practices a rare and precious artistry; his prowess exalts the savoir-faire of his craft. Perspective, movement, and dexterity apply aptly to the description of working with chocolate. Lacework, needlepoint, and gilding have inspired the detail of A Midwinter Night’s Dream’s three frontispieces:

— A graceful reindeer, the messenger of Father Christmas, leaps through a starry Christmas Eve in “The Reindeer”.

— A whimsical, spirited ride is captured in the notes of chocolate; pear and champagne nestled in the heart of the exceptional bûche “A Christmas Tale”.

— Finally, the grand grace and agility of the bounding reindeer in chocolate interlace, defy the artistic boundaries of ‘A Midwinter Night’s Dream,” the centrepiece of this collection.

The artistic signature of Nicolas Cloiseau is just as evident in his pastries; from the same fountain of inspiration spring snow-covered deer dreaming of Christmas, and a universe of fruity, intoxicating chocolate. The acidulous, exotic dark fruit flavors of CHOCOLATE MOUSSE, featuring CACAO from Madagascar, unveil effervescent notes of BLANC DE NOIR CHAMPAGNE. The sabayon and gelée enliven cubes of flambéed Pear Williams come to life. Festive notes of champagne with chocolate unleash the sophistication of silky, lush pear… and transport us from legend back to reality.

THE ‘MIDWINTER NIGHT’S DREAM’ COFFRET (55-pieces, $98.00; 15-pieces, $48.00 & 32-pieces, $67.00)

Nicolas Cloiseau also presents six new creations inspired by his latest gustatory discoveries. A pairing of the crisp notes of winter with the effervescence of the end of the year celebrations, shape La Maison du Chocolat’s latest chocolate creations: Continue reading

Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Tie The Knot & Beverly Center Announce 2013 Winter Collection At Los Angeles Pop-Up Shop

Jesse Tyler Ferguson & Justin Mikita Design New Bow Tie Collection for Tie The Knot — Available at First Ever Brick-and-Mortar Space

Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Husband Justin Mikita of Tie The Knot Pop Up, Beverly Center.  (PRNewsFoto/Beverly Center)

Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Husband Justin Mikita of Tie The Knot Pop Up, Beverly Center. (PRNewsFoto/Beverly Center)

Emmy Award® nominated actor, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, husband, Justin Mikita, and their non-profit advocacy organization, Tie The Knot, have announced their fourth collection of bow ties. Personally designed by Ferguson and Mikita, the brand new bow ties will be available at the store and online. All proceeds from the sale of the bow ties will be donated to charities promoting marriage equality on behalf of the LGBT community. Each tie retails at $25.00, is handmade and self-tie. Ferguson and Mikita are also thrilled to announce this collection’s Pro-Athlete All-Star guest designers: former NFL player Scott Fujita, NFL player Chris Kluwe and Phoenix Mercury WBNA player Brittney Griner. Each of this collection’s guest designers have had impressive athletic careers and been longstanding supporters of marriage equality. www.tietheknot.org

To celebrate the new collection and one full year of advocating for equality, Tie The Knot (www.tietheknot.org), The Tie Bar and Beverly Center are teaming up this holiday season to extend a unique opportunity allowing consumers to shop for a cause by opening a Pop-Up from November 18 – January 10. The exclusive shop will feature every previously sold-out design from the collection’s inception, including all of the past bow ties designed by guest designers such as Isaac Mizrahi, George Takei and more, as well as selections of other fashion forward

Beverly Center logo.  (PRNewsFoto/Beverly Center)

Beverly Center logo. (PRNewsFoto/Beverly Center)

men’s accessories furnished by Tie The Knot’s retail partner, www.TheTieBar.com.

The shop will be located at Beverly Center (Level 7 – Luxury Wing), 8500 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048. All proceeds from the sales of the fashion accessories and bow ties go to the fight for marriage equality. http://www.beverlycenter.com

A cornerstone for the premier fashion center’s holiday program this year, Tie The Knot punctuates Beverly Center’s evolving outreach to the LGBTQ community. The pop-up store stays true to the center’s fashion forward profile and features a diverse collection of bow ties from the founding team and celebrity commissioned designers,” says Susan Vance, Beverly Center marketing and sponsorship director.

Tie The Knot co-founder Jesse Tyler Ferguson boasts, “Just in time for the holidays, Tie The Knot is excited to make its world premiere into the space of brick-and-mortar. We have been so pleased by the outpouring of support and are excited to bring a bold and fashion­forward gift, which supports a right as fundamental as marriage equality, to the center of Los Angeles’ fashion industry.”

Anand Shah, CEO of The Tie Bar, says, “We are thrilled to extend our partnership with the Tie The Knot organization; we have done great things together in the past and this year’s launch at Beverly Center is no exception.”

Baby-G Steps Up Style With Holiday Timepieces

New Baby-G BA110, BA111 and BA112 Collections Keep “In Time” with G-SHOCK Favorite

Casio Baby-G is growing up this holiday season with a new collection of timepieces inspired by its analog and digitally-dynamite “big brother,” G-SHOCK.  Fashioned with G-SHOCK’s hallmarks in toughness and durability, these watches are designed to delight wearers with a look of strength that is synonymous with Baby-G, but with a more sophisticated, edgier design to fit the lifestyles of the newest millennial tastemakers. These watches offer the perfect gift-able accessory for the holiday season.

The Baby-G BA110 watch series in black/gold, white/rose gold, platinum and translucent/silver

The Baby-G BA110 watch series in black/gold, white/rose gold, platinum and translucent/silver

Casio’s female timepiece brand, Baby-G, was created as a counterpart to its “big brother” G-SHOCK in 1994. The brand exemplifies the synergy of fashion and function for the vibrant, active woman with watches that are stylish, bold, tough and chic. Equipped with the same superior functionality that G-SHOCK is known for, Baby-G timepieces are shock and water resistant with multiple daily alarms and stopwatch functions.

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Lady Gaga Concerts To Close New York’s Famed Roseland Ballroom March 28, 30, 31 & April 2, 2014

The iconic New York City venue—Roseland Ballroom—is closing its doors for good in 2014, and Lady Gaga will help shut down her hometown venue with a real New York theatrical affair. Gaga will play the final shows EVER at the Roseland in a very intimate residency March 28, 30, 31 and April 2, it was announced today by Live Nation Global Touring. Tickets for all performances go on sale Monday, Nov. 25 at 10:00am ET.

Lady Gaga Concerts to Close New York's Famed Roseland Ballroom March 28, 30, 31 & April 2, 2014.  (PRNewsFoto/Live Nation Entertainment)

Lady Gaga Concerts to Close New York’s Famed Roseland Ballroom March 28, 30, 31 & April 2, 2014. (PRNewsFoto/Live Nation Entertainment)

Tickets for the Roseland performances go on sale Monday, Nov. 25 at 10 a.m. Tickets are $50.00 for the floor and $200.00 for the mezzanine, and will be available online only at www.ticketmaster.com. Upon entry to the Roseland Ballroom on the night of each show, each ticket holder will receive a special commemorative ticket as a keepsake for this historic event.

Often called the “world’s favorite” ballroom, the Roseland has evolved since the ’20s as a center for dance, rock, disco, grunge, pup, urban and EDM. From Fred Astaire to Lady Gaga, it has been a favorite of artists throughout the decades. Starting with the March 28 performance on Gaga’s 28th birthday, the concerts will be a celebration of New York’s most venerable venue before it closes its doors forever.

www.LittleMonsters.com members will have first access to tickets for these historic events and will be notified today with details as to how to register for the chance to get first access to tickets. Randomly selected LittleMonsters.com users will begin to receive their invitations and codes to purchase tickets on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 10:00 a.m. EST. There will be a two (2) ticket limit per invitation. Registration does not guarantee access to tickets.

Citi is the official credit card of the Lady Gaga residency at Roseland. Citi cardmembers will have access to presale tickets beginning Friday, Nov. 22 at 10 a.m. through Citi’s Private Pass Program. For complete presale details visit www.citiprivatepass.com.

CGAP Announces Winners of 2013 Photo Contest

Images provided by CGAP

Photographers from over 90 countries made this the most competitive year for the CGAP Photo Contest, which just finished its eighth consecutive competition. The winner of the 2013 CGAP Photo Contest is Truong Minh Dien of Vietnam. The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor works toward a world in which everyone has CGAP LOGOaccess to the financial services they need to improve their lives. CGAP develops innovative solutions for financial inclusion through practical research and active engagement with financial service providers, policy makers, and funders. Established in 1995 and housed at the World Bank, CGAP combines a pragmatic approach to market development with an evidence-based advocacy platform to advance poor people’s access to finance. Their global network of members includes over 30 development agencies, private foundations, and national governments that share a common vision of improving the lives of poor people with better access to finance.

“Rainy Afternoon” by Truong Minh Dine, Vietnam. Grand Prize. A woman transports potatoes to a local market. Her earnings help feed two children and her husband.

“Rainy Afternoon” by Truong Minh Dine, Vietnam. Grand Prize. A woman transports potatoes to a local market. Her earnings help feed two children and her husband.

The annual CGAP Photo Contest aims to highlight stand-out professional and amateur photographers depicting financial inclusion around the world. Through strong photography, CGAP showcases the different ways in which poor households manage their financial lives and how financial inclusion can make the lives of people at the base of the economic pyramid better.

''Paperman'' by Md Farhad Rahman, Bangladesh. Second Prize. This man earns an income selling daily papers in a railway station. Selling papers is a common form of self-employment in Bangladesh

”Paperman” by Md Farhad Rahman, Bangladesh. Second Prize. This man earns an income selling daily papers in a railway station. Selling papers is a common form of self-employment in Bangladesh

A panel of four judges selected Dien’s photo, “Rainy Afternoon,” out of a record number of 3,890 entries from professional and amateur photographers in 91 countries. The 2013 panel of judges consisted of Suzanne Lemakis, Director of the Department of Fine Art at Citigroup, Mohammad Rakibul Hasan, the 2010 CGAP Photo Contest winner and professional photographer from Bangladesh, Stelios Varias of Reuters, and Indira Williams, the senior manager of visual resources at the Newseum.

''Brick Worker'' by Moksumul Haque, Bangladesh. Regional Winner, South Asia. A private enterprise worker is working at a brick field. Small businesses create new jobs for many poor people.

”Brick Worker” by Moksumul Haque, Bangladesh. Regional Winner, South Asia. A private enterprise worker is working at a brick field. Small businesses create new jobs for many poor people.

The winning photo depicts a woman transporting potatoes to a local market in Vietnam during a downpour. The woman’s earnings help feed her husband and two children. The 2013 Grand Prize is a $2,000 gift certificate for photography equipment.

The judging panel appreciated “Rainy Afternoon” for the way it thoughtfully depicted the resilience of low-income entrepreneurs in Vietnam. “The photo really captured a great moment,” said Mohammad Rakibul Hasan, the 2010 CGAP Photo Contest Winner and guest judge for 2013.

In addition to the compelling story behind the winning image, the judges felt that it was technically excellent. “It takes a disciplined photographer to step back and take a picture like this,” said Stelios Varias, a senior photographer and editor from Thomson Reuters and one of the four judges. “It’s incredibly hard to get a good shot in the rain.”

A Woman Painting

A Woman Painting

Camel Trader, India. Microfinance plays a big role in this camel trader’s life. He has recieved a loan to trade and buy camels at the Puskhar Fair. Photo by Rabin Chakrabarti

Camel Trader, India. Microfinance plays a big role in this camel trader’s life. He has recieved a loan to trade and buy camels at the Puskhar Fair. Photo by Rabin Chakrabarti

East Asia and Pacific Regional Winner: The Gold Life (Vietnam) This beautiful area used to be the Panduranga capital of the Ancient Champa Kingdom. These women cross the sand dunes to the beach for fishing every morning. Photo by Vo Chi Trung

East Asia and Pacific Regional Winner: The Gold Life (Vietnam) This beautiful area used to be the Panduranga capital of the Ancient Champa Kingdom. These women cross the sand dunes to the beach for fishing every morning. Photo by Vo Chi Trung

The Washerman, India. After washing, cloths are laid down for drying, ultimately to be sold to help this man earn an income. Photo by Rabin Chakrabarti

The Washerman, India. After washing, cloths are laid down for drying, ultimately to be sold to help this man earn an income. Photo by Rabin Chakrabarti

The judges also selected 28 other photos from around the world as regional winners, finalists, and special mentions, which were chosen for both technical excellence and depiction of the stories and faces behind financial inclusion.  Of particular note was the South Asia regional winner, “Brick Worker,” submitted by Moksumul Haque of Bangladesh. The photo captures bricks tossed in mid-air, leaving the viewer wondering what happened immediately after the picture was taken.

Double Curve

Double Curve

Latin America and Caribbean Regional Winner: Men and Oranges (Brazil) The São Joaquim Market is the largest flea market in the city of Salvador and more traditional for the low-income population. It is the main distributor of clay handicrafts, products to Candomblé rituals, plus fruits, vegetables, meat, clothes, and other products. Here, workers are supplying a truck with oranges that will be distributed to other regions. Photo by Luiz Grillo

Latin America and Caribbean Regional Winner: Men and Oranges (Brazil) The São Joaquim Market is the largest flea market in the city of Salvador and more traditional for the low-income population. It is the main distributor of clay handicrafts, products to Candomblé rituals, plus fruits, vegetables, meat, clothes, and other products. Here, workers are supplying a truck with oranges that will be distributed to other regions. Photo by Luiz Grillo

The Microsmile, Uganda. This woman is on the way to a weekly meeting with other members of a community-managed savings group. Photo by Oddvar Paulsen

The Microsmile, Uganda. This woman is on the way to a weekly meeting with other members of a community-managed savings group. Photo by Oddvar Paulsen

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Grace Hotels Opens Grace Cafayate, Argentina

Images provided the Grace Hotel Group

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Grace Hotels (www.gracehotels.com), the privately owned luxury boutique hotel group, announced the official opening of the latest addition to its portfolio, Grace Cafayate, a hotel, spa and residential villas development located in the Salta province of north west Argentina. Marking the group’s first hotel opening in Latin America, Grace Cafayate lies high in Argentina’s Calchaqui Valley, famed for its spectacular backdrop of The Andes and for some of the finest wines South America has to offer.

Situated on La Estancia de Cafayate, an exclusive golf, equestrian and residential estate, the hotel comprises 52 elegantly appointed rooms and suites within the hotel’s main building and its 20 residential villas. Each villa features two bedrooms with large en-suite bathrooms, dressing room, living room with an integrated kitchen, cellar and fireplace, plus outdoor hot tub, terrace and grill. Villas can be occupied as one-bedroom or two-bedroom suites. The architecture throughout the development draws inspiration from local traditions. Continue reading

Durex and MTV Launch Global Sex-Ed Project for World Aids Day

#SOMEONELIKEME: A GLOBAL CONVERSATION ABOUT SEX, SEXUAL HEALTH AND A WORLD FREE FROM HIV

FOR WORLD AIDS DAY 2013, DUREX AND THE MTV STAYING ALIVE FOUNDATION LAUNCH 3 YEAR GLOBAL INITIATIVE

Launch film preview http://youtu.be/yMcVsfEYoj8

Reckitt Benckiser’s power brand Durex has partnered with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation to launch ‘Someone Like Me , a global campaign for young people to revolutionize their own sex education and, ultimately, to take action to help shape a world free from HIV.

The MTV STAYING ALIVE FOUNDATION is an international content-producing and grant-giving organization dedicated to stopping the spread of HIV among young people. The Foundation creates and distributes challenging and entertaining HIV prevention content across MTV channels and with third-party broadcasters, while finding and funding young leaders who are tackling the HIV epidemic in their own communities.

To date, MTV STAYING ALIVE FOUNDATION programming has reached 100% of the top 50 countries affected by HIV, and has awarded 429 grants in 63 countries around the world, distributing nearly $4.5 million to grassroots HIV prevention projects. The MTV Staying Alive Foundation is registered as a UK charity and as a 501c3 charitable organization in the US. For more information log onto http://stayingalivefoundation.org

Over the course of a 3-year campaign, ‘Someone Like Me’ aims to break down the myths and barriers that confine sex education by starting a global conversation about sex, sexual health, and sex education – a conversation that says, ‘you are not alone’, that ‘someone like me’ has the same questions, worries and concerns  about sex as you do. With young people talking about sex, their experiences, opinions and worries openly, the HIV-prevention message will be integrated into the conversation as the campaign progresses.

‘Someone Like Me’ will directly target the preconception that HIV is not relevant, with messaging highlighting that HIV could (and does) happen to ‘someone like me’. We will encourage young people to engage with the provocative statement, ‘someone like me’, to share it, and to use it to make their own positive change towards a world free from HIV.

The campaign will launch across global digital channels targeting young audiences wherever they socialize and connect. MTV SAF and Durex aim to build the http://www.someonelikeme.tv hub in to the world’s largest peer generated content hub on sex, sexual health, and sex education. Over the three year campaign period, MTV SAF and Durex will also populate the website with a global crew of young people from around the world who will submit video diaries with their views and stories.

Throughout November, the campaign will feature prominently on Durex and MTV Social Channels and paid media, with social hooks aimed at stimulating the conversation and creating awareness. From the 25th November, the Someone Like Me documentary, ‘My Sex Life and Everyone Else’s’, will air on MTV globally.

Then on Saturday the 30th November, WORLD AIDS DAY CELEBRATIONS will be held in 7 countries around the world to drive the campaign message and celebrate change. The celebrations will commence in Sydney, then Shanghai, Singapore, Moscow, Berlin, Mexico City and ending in Bogota, Colombia.

Georgia Arnold – Executive Director MTV Staying Alive Foundation noted, For the past 15 years, the MTV Staying Alive Foundation has worked tirelessly to influence positive sexual behavior among young people around the world in creative and innovative ways. At MTV SAF, we believe that this generation will change the course of the HIV epidemic, and are thrilled to be partnering with Durex on a campaign that will empower young people to do just that.”

Volker Sydow – Durex Global Category Director, Reckitt Benckiser added, Sexual health and sexual wellbeing are at the core of our organizations; MTV SAF and Durex have a shared vision to improve sexual health for young people around the world and the energy, commitment and passion to make that happen. With ‘#someonelikeme’ we are excited to provide to young people around the world a new and revolutionary platform to speak up, sharing their stories and fundamentally driving change for them to experience in their lifetime an HIV-free generation.”

McLAREN GT Reveals More Details About The Track-Bred 12C GT Sprint

Following its global debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, McLaren GT has now confirmed the 12C GT Sprint ,the latest model from the GT racing arm of the McLaren Group that has been developed and optimised exclusively for the race track, will be priced at GBP £195,000*.

McLaren 12C GT Sprint

McLaren 12C GT Sprint

The 12C GT Sprint has been designed and built by McLaren GT, in close consultation with the team at McLaren Automotive, and retains many of the unique systems from the 12C road car, on which it is based. Groundbreaking technologies and systems have been honed, including Brake Steer and the active McLaren Airbrake, while a recalibrated Proactive Chassis Control (PCC) system helps deliver a truly bespoke GT racing experience, which can be set to individual driver preference.

Power comes from the highly-efficient M838T 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 powerplant found in the 12C and 12C Spider, and generates 625PS, while the familiar seven speed twin clutch gearbox from the 12C is also retained. Optimised oil and cooling systems are unique to the track-focused racer.

The 12C GT Sprint is built around the 12C’s 75kg carbon fibre MonoCell chassis, but any unnecessary systems or creature comforts have been removed to keep weight to a minimum. The car features a number of components carried over from the successful 12C GT3 race car, including the FIA-approved safety roll cage, central cooling radiator and digital dash display.

Styling upgrades on the 12C GT Sprint follow the McLaren mantra of ‘form following function’, with each enhancement designed to optimize performance. Stability and dynamics are further enhanced through a drop in ride height of 40mm, while a more aggressive front bumper, GT3-inspired bonnet with radiator exit ducts and front wing louvres improve downforce and give a purposeful look. The highly effective track-focused braking system features GT race specification brake discs, which sit behind centre-locking 19-inch wheels, shod with Pirelli competition tires. As with the 12C GT3, an on-board air jacking system is fitted to aid tire changes.

Inside the cockpit, a fully adjustable HANS-approved, lightweight composite racing seat fitted with full six-point harness provides the optimum driving position, while an air-conditioning system is retained offering added comfort. An integrated fire extinguisher system is also installed.

Throughout the development programme, McLaren GT has worked with a strong pool of resource to develop and optimize the set up of the 12C GT Sprint. This has seen McLaren GT works drivers Rob Bell and Adam Carroll, McLaren Racing Young Driver Stoffel Vandoorne and McLaren Automotive chief test driver Chris Goodwin spending time in the cockpit, and covering in excess of 5,000 track kilometers at circuits across Europe and the Middle East, as well as extensive simulator work.

Commenting on the 12C GT Sprint programme, Chris Goodwin explained: ‘The 12C GT Sprint has been designed as a true track-focused racer, offering increased levels of downforce, grip and durable track performance. Retaining all of the innovative technology and characteristics of the 12C road car such as active aero, Brake Steer and the innovative PCC suspension system, dynamically, the 12C GT Sprint takes things to a new level with the addition of many race track specific features.

The 12C road car has universally acclaimed levels of drivability and cornering performance to compliment its phenomenal levels of power and torque. As a driver this potent combination just inspires confidence all the way round a lap and in the 12C GT Sprint, that lap is now considerably faster!’

Andrew Kirkaldy, Managing Director at McLaren GT added: ‘The 12C GT Sprint offers a true insight into GT car levels of performance, in terms of downforce and grip. The 12C is one of the most accomplished high performance sportscars ever built, and the enhancements featured on the 12C GT Sprint build on, and optimize, these abilities to create one of the most usable track cars available, with levels of performance that are truly and easily accessible.’

A range of options and packages are available through McLaren GT, each of which is designed to offer even greater levels of performance and individuality, with improved levels of downforce and further reduction in weight.  Upgrades include a bespoke carbon fibre rear wing and front splitter, and a lightweight polycarbonate windscreen. The 12C GT Sprint is presented as standard in historic McLaren Orange, but can be specified in any bespoke color, on request. The 12C GT Sprint is available from all official McLaren retailers worldwide or direct from McLaren GT.  Visit www.cars.mclaren.com to locate your nearest retailer.

Damien Hirst & Alexander McQueen Launches Scarf Collaboration, With Film By Sølve Sundsbø

damien-hirst-alexander-mcqueen1

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the skull scarf, Alexander McQueen presents an exclusive collaboration with Damien Hirst. The collection offers 30 unique designs exclusively available from Alexander McQueen boutiques and online at http://www.alexandermcqueen.com. The partnership seamlessly plays on the shared aesthetic vision of Hirst and McQueen, in which an interest in symmetrical design is combined with strong references to the natural world. Each artwork is adapted from Hirst’s Entomology series; butterflies, bugs, spiders and other insects have been worked into each scarf design to form kaleidoscopic geometric shapes, laid out to create the signature McQueen skull motif.

The collection offers 30 unique designs exclusively available from Alexander McQueen boutiques and online at alexandermcqueen.com became available starting  Friday 15th November

The Who – Miles Over Vegas New Viva Vision® Show Debuts at Fremont Street Experience

Features “My Generation,” “I Can See For Miles” and “Pinball Wizard”

Las Vegas’ Fremont Street Experience debuted its newest Viva Vision® show The Who – Miles Over Vegas on Thursday, Nov. 14. The new light and sound show is built around the music of legendary rock band The Who and includes three of the band’s most iconic songs – “I Can See for Miles,” “Pinball Wizard” and “My Generation” – custom synced to stunning graphics including live music footage, album art, performance footage and more. Viva Vision® shows air nightly and are free to the public.

Fremont Street Experience debuts its newest Viva Vision(R) show The Who - Miles Over Vegas in Downtown Las Vegas. The new light and sound show is built around the music of legendary rock band The Who and includes three of the band's most iconic songs - "I Can See for Miles," "Pinball Wizard" and "My Generation" - custom synced to stunning graphics including live music footage, album art, performance footage and more. The Who - Miles Over Vegas airs nightly at 10 p.m. as part of the ongoing Viva Vision(R) show schedule. Viva Vision(R) shows air nightly and are free to the public. www.vegasexperience.com.  (PRNewsFoto/Fremont Street Experience)

Fremont Street Experience debuts its newest Viva Vision(R) show The Who – Miles Over Vegas in Downtown Las Vegas. Viva Vision(R) shows air nightly and are free to the public. http://www.vegasexperience.com. (PRNewsFoto/Fremont Street Experience)

Fremont Street Experience, a five-block entertainment district located in historic downtown Las Vegas features Viva Vision, the world’s largest video screen – 1,500 feet long, 90 feet wide and suspended 90 feet above the urban pedestrian mall. Viva Vision features nightly spectacular light and sounds shows with 12.5 million LED lights and a 550,000-watt sound system.

Viva Vision® features nightly free customized light shows synced to smash hits from legendary bands including: Bon Jovi – Wanted in Vegas, A Tribute to Queen, The Doors – Strange Days in Vegas and Heart – Crazy on Vegas. The LED display canopy rises 90 feet in height and stretches 1,500 feet along the Fremont Street Experience promenade from Main Street to Fourth Street. Within the canopy are 12.5 million LED lights and 208 speakers producing 550,000 watts of concert-quality sound.

Fremont Street Experience debuts its newest Viva Vision(R) show The Who - Miles Over Vegas in Downtown Las Vegas. The new light and sound show is built around the music of legendary rock band The Who and includes three of the band's most iconic songs - "I Can See for Miles," "Pinball Wizard" and "My Generation" - custom synced to stunning graphics including live music footage, album art, performance footage and more. The Who - Miles Over Vegas airs nightly at 10 p.m. as part of the ongoing Viva Vision(R) show schedule. Viva Vision(R) shows air nightly and are free to the public. www.vegasexperience.com.  (PRNewsFoto/Fremont Street Experience)

Fremont Street Experience debuts its newest Viva Vision(R) show The Who – Miles Over Vegas in Downtown Las Vegas. The new light and sound show is built around the music of legendary rock band The Who and includes three of the band’s most iconic songs – “I Can See for Miles,” “Pinball Wizard” and “My Generation” – custom synced to stunning graphics including live music footage, album art, performance footage and more. The Who – Miles Over Vegas airs nightly at 10 p.m. as part of the ongoing Viva Vision(R) show schedule. Viva Vision(R) shows air nightly and are free to the public. http://www.vegasexperience.com. (PRNewsFoto/Fremont Street Experience)

The new Viva Vision® show starts with “I Can See for Miles,” taking the viewer on a journey through the cosmos, eventually landing in Las Vegas. From there the screen, which is the world’s largest video screen and spans five football fields, is transformed into a giant pinball machine as balls roll up and down the street, reflecting the street scene below in “Pinball Wizard” and ends with a musical celebration set to pop-art graphics with “My Generation.”

Coinciding with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, the new show will be featured now through Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. with bonus shows at 1 a.m. on Nov. 15 and 16. Beginning Nov. 18, The Who – Miles Over Vegas will air nightly at 10 p.m. as part of the ongoing Viva Vision® show schedule.

We are excited at the opportunity to collaborate with one of rock’s most iconic bands for this new Viva Vision® show and the end result is sure to turn heads to the sky for an unparalleled visual experience,” said Jeff Victor, President at Fremont Street Experience.

The new show was announced earlier this year during a joint press conference with lead singer, Roger Daltrey and Fremont Street Experience President Jeff Victor. During the press conference Victor also presented Daltrey with a $5,000 donation to Teen Cancer America, a charity inspired by Daltrey and fellow band-mate Pete Townshend.

Fremont Street Experience is a one-of-a-kind venue that includes free nightly concerts and entertainment on three stages. With direct pedestrian access to 8 casinos, more than 60 restaurants and specialty retail kiosks, Fremont Street Experience attracts over 17 million annual visitors. Visit online at www.vegasexperience.com, Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FSE89101 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/FSELV

McLaren Automotive Retains Award For ‘Best Super Car’ In The Middle East

The McLaren 12C Spider named ‘Best Super Car’ at Middle East Motor Awards 2013

The 12C Spider has upheld the honour for McLaren at this year’s Middle East Motor Awards, being named ‘Best Super Car’ and retaining the title for the brand. The award marks the second successive year McLaren has claimed the coveted title, following the success of the 12C last year. The 12C Spider was launched in the Middle East in 2012, and unlike many rivals, it offers the same levels of performance, handling and driver enjoyment as the fixed-roof 12C.

McLaren 12C Spider

McLaren 12C Spider

McLaren is celebrating 50 years of innovation and race-winning success in 2013.  Following the launch of the first McLaren Automotive retailer in the Middle East two years ago, the region has already established a loyal customer base and following of fans.  Since 2011, McLaren Automotive has opened eight retailers throughout the Middle East and Africa region, located in Manama, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Riyadh and Kuwait.

The Middle East Motor Awards are the region’s most prestigious automotive accolades, judged by a jury panel comprising 18 of the region’s most influential motoring journalists from nine countries. This is the second year a McLaren model has taken part in the awards and is the second year McLaren Automotive have received the ‘Best Super Car’ title after the victory by the 12C in 2012; this honour tops off a successful second year of sales across the world for the brand.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, organizer Saif Al Midfa, Director General of Expo Centre Sharjah: “The 12C Spider is a clear winner for ‘Best Super Car’. McLaren’s follow-up model is a stunning car and worthy of making the ultimate wish list for any automotive fan.”

Ian Gorsuch, Regional Director for Middle East and Africa said: “To win ‘Best Super Car’ award in the Middle East for the second year in a row is an amazing achievement, and is true testament to the groundbreaking models in our range, especially as McLaren Automotive only launched three years ago.”

It is a great reward for all the skilled and passionate designers and engineers back at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, and our retail partners who have worked incredibly hard to build the brand in the region. We’re looking forward to our next year, and are extremely excited about our imminent first deliveries to customers in the region of our next generation ultimate supercar, the McLaren P1™.”

McLaren Automotive is a British manufacturer of luxury, high-performance sports cars, located at the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) in Woking, Surrey. In the Middle East, the company’s regional head office is located in Bahrain, home to the company’s principal shareholder, Mumtalakat. The region has a network of highly qualified and experienced McLaren retailers, located in the Kingdom’s of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Following the company’s global launch in 2010, McLaren Automotive launched the groundbreaking 12C and 12C Spider and, in keeping with its plan to introduce a new model each year, recently unveiled the McLaren P1™.  The brand continues to expand, operating through a dedicated global network of retailers in every major automotive market.

Give Love with Gap This Holiday Season

Drawing Inspiration from Cultural Icons Dressed in Gap’s Holiday Collection, the Brand’s New Marketing Campaign Inspires People to Fill the World with Love

Gap’s global marketing campaign, “Make Love” focuses on giving and spreading love, hope and joy this holiday season. The campaign continues to build upon the idea of getting back to what matters most, which Gap introduced earlier this fall with its “Back to Blue” campaign.

Gap Holiday 2013 - TonyBennett

Gap Holiday 2013 – TonyBennett

For a few short weeks during the holidays, we become conscious of what matters most to us. It’s a time when moments turn into memories, experiences become traditions, and gifts become sentimental reminders that we’ll cherish for years to come,” said Seth Farbman, Gap’s Global Chief Marketing Officer. “Make Love is about giving love through action, whether it’s a service to others or a gift that’s a representation of love.”

The new campaign, which includes print, outdoor, direct mail, social and cinema plus new digital content daily, features an influential group of artists and activists who are using their creative talents to make a difference in the world.

Cultural Icons Sharing Love

Tony Bennett in a navy blazer and tapestry scarf, 87 years old and with so much joy to share, his music has inspired genres far and wide, while Cyndi Lauper, dressed in Gap’s classic leather moto jacket, and Billy Porter, wearing the men’s wool peacoat, remind us that acceptance is one of the best kinds of love through their work on the Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots.

Alexandra and Philippe Cousteau, sharing the classic Rugby stripe scarf, carry on their long-standing family legacy by exploring the world and inspiring people everywhere to protect the environment, while actor and designer Waris Ahluwalia wearing Gap’s reversible puffer vest and illustrator filmmaker Quentin Jones in a cable turtleneck sweater, both make art together inspiring those around them.

Dressed in a red cable knit pull over sweater, actress Connie Britton and her son, Yoby, redefine what it means to be a family after a three-year international adoption process, while Ethan Bortnick, wearing a heather gray crewneck sweater, makes music history as the youngest pianist to ever headline a concert tour, raising $30 million to help people around the world.

Iconic singer Harry Belafonte and innovative musician Q-Tip, both wearing Gap men’s jackets, make peace together through a shared passion for the anti-violence movement, while model Kyleigh Kuhn, dressed in destructed jeans, makes possibilities for young women by putting her earnings toward schools she has founded for Afghan girls.

Giving Love Through Arts Education with Tony Bennett

As a brand for every generation, Gap brings together a few BRIGHT students with an icon who inspires them, 87 year-old legend Tony Bennett, in a series of short films that will be shared around the world starting today.

Gap VSCO 1

A long-time supporter of arts education, the films feature Tony and five high school students, all of whom have benefited from Exploring the Arts, which Tony created with his wife Susan Benedetto. Exploring the Arts supports arts education in public high schools currently in New York and Los Angeles. Tony Bennett founded, in association with the NYC Department of Education, a state-of-the-art public high school, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, located in the singers hometown of Astoria, Queens, adjacent to the Kaufman Astoria Studios complex.

The films document the students’ once-in-a-lifetime experience as they were selected to perform the timeless hit, “The Best is Yet to Come,” with Tony.  Additionally, through a series of individual interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, the students share what the lyrics mean to them personally and how support from the Exploring the Arts program has changed their lives. The films help bring awareness and support for Exploring the Arts, and serve as a reminder of what’s important during the holidays.

Tony Bennett is a living American legend who exemplifies what it means to make love, not only through his timeless music and art, but also through a lifetime dedicated to giving young people a supportive environment to learn and express themselves,” added Farbman. “Gap is an American company that is also dedicated to supporting youth in the communities where we work and live. It’s an honor to be able to partner with Tony this holiday season to share his commitment to public schools, the arts and the next generation of artists.” Continue reading