The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Announces Second Slate Of Presenters For 88th Oscars®

87thOscars® producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin announced today the second slate of presenters for the 88th Oscars telecast. The presenters, including Oscar winners and nominees, are: Steve Carell, Priyanka Chopra, Quincy Jones, Byung-hun Lee, Jared Leto, Julianne Moore, Olivia Munn, Margot Robbie, Jason Segel, Andy Serkis, J.K. Simmons, Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon.

The 88th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 28, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

OpenTable Reveals The 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America

California, New York, Virginia, and Colorado Restaurants Make Strongest Showing; Standout Cities Include Colorado Springs, Las Vegas, and Virginia Beach

As we celebrate love and romance in honor of Valentine’s Day, OpenTable, the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations and part of The Priceline Group, has announced the 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America for 2016. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 20,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Open Table Logo

OpenTable logo (PRNewsFoto/OpenTable)

Featuring beloved restaurants adept at delivering hospitality with a personal touch, often from owner-operators, the complete list spans 33 states and includes honorees such as The Cellars in Virginia Beach, Forbes Island inSan Francisco, and Zenkichi in Brooklyn.

California has 15 winning restaurants, followed by New York andVirginia with eight apiece, Colorado with seven, and Arizona, Florida, and Texas with six each. Hawaii andNevada each have five winners while North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina each boast four.Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Washington count two winners per state. Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Utah are also represented.

OpenTable Romantic Restaurants

OpenTable Reveals 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America (PRNewsFoto/OpenTable)

Exceptional ambience is the common thread at the winning restaurants, from those set in historic buildings, such as the Rainbow Room atop 30 Rockefeller Center, to those associated with cozy inns and luxe resorts, including Duling Kurtz House and Tidepools at the Grand Hyatt Kauai.

Establishments serving American and French cuisines dominate the list; however, Italian restaurants and steakhouses also proved popular, as did those specializing in perennial favorite fondue.

 Food is inextricably – and deliciously – tied to love and romance,” says Caroline Potter, OpenTable Chief Dining Officer. “This year’s honorees represent the perfect places for diners to savor their love, whether it’s marking a moment in time or creating a new shared memory over fine fare in an intimate and special setting.”

The list of the 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America is generated from more than 5 million restaurant reviews collected from verified OpenTable diners between December 7, 2014 and December 6, 2015. All restaurants with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the percentage of reviews for which “romantic” was selected as a special feature.

Based on this methodology, the following restaurants, listed in alphabetical order, comprise the 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America according to OpenTable diners. The complete list may also be viewed at Continue reading

NFL Wife Nicole Jennings Kicks Off Super Bowl Weekend With “The Posh Shopping Soiree”

A Portion of Proceeds From the High-End Shopping Event to Benefit the National Psoriasis Foundation

One Posh Closet, the luxury resale boutique featuring new and gently worn designer items, is kicking off Super Bowl 50 Weekend with The Posh Shopping Soirée — a high-end shopping event with a portion of proceeds benefiting the National Psoriasis Foundation. One Posh Closet offers bargain-savvy customers access to new and gently worn, high-end designer items and exclusive fashion lines contributed by women associated with professional sports. Nicole Jennings, wife of NFL player Greg Jennings, created the brand to use fashion as a force to empower women to look good, feel good and give back.

One Posh Closet Founder and CEO Nicole Jennings

Nicole Jennings, CEO and founder of One Posh Closet.

One Posh Closet is the place where sports, fashion and philanthropy meet, with a portion of proceeds from sales going to a “Charity of the Month” making a positive difference in the surrounding community.

Celebrities, influencers and NFL players will be in attendance. Nicole Jennings will also be on hand to greet and advise shoppers throughout the event.

The event will take place at the Mission Bay Conference Center on Friday, February 5 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. During the cocktail hour of the event, from 2 – 3 p.m., Jennings will unveil the makeover from her New Year, New You Super Bowl contest that launched at the beginning of the year. Over Super Bowl weekend, the winner will receive a makeover overseen by Jennings that includes hair, makeup and clothing from One Posh Closet, in addition to two tickets to Super Bowl 50. The contest is a way for Jennings to give back to a deserving One Posh Closet fan who speaks to the heart of the brand.logo

Apparel items and accessories for sale during the event will include wares from designers such as Alexander McQueen, Givenchy, Chanel, Burberry, Prada, Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin and more, all well under their original price tags.

The Posh Shopping Soirée is an event designed to empower women to look good, feel good and give back. I am thrilled to launch our shopping event and celebrate Super Bowl 50 weekend with native San Franciscans and visitors in town for the game, while giving back to an incredible organization like the National Psoriasis Foundation,” said Jennings, CEO and founder of One Posh Closet.

The National Psoriasis Foundation is a non-profit organization with a mission to drive efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected. The foundation has become the leading patient advocacy group for the 7.5 million Americans living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day With a Special Room Package and Romantic Dinner at the Renaissance Charlotte SouthPark Hotel

Spark passion this Valentine’s Day with the Room to Rendezvous Package at the Renaissance Charlotte SouthPark Hotel. Perfect for a long weekend getaway or much-needed staycation, this package includes everything required for a fairytale holiday celebration.

The Renaissance Charlotte SouthPark Hotel

The Renaissance Charlotte SouthPark Hotel

The Room to Rendezvous Package is available now through February 14, seven nights a week. Starting at $349 a night, this romantic deal includes:

  • Champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries
  • A three-course meal for two at the hotel restaurant, Flagstones
  • A 60-minute couples massage at Salon Vivace
  • A breakfast buffet for two
  • Late checkout

Flagstones’ special holiday menu will be available on Valentine’s Day from 5-11 p.m. This three-course meal will feature:

  • Strawberry salad
  • Watermelon and lime granita
  • Seared bronzino with sweet pea puree and fried leeks
  • Butternut squash ravioli with a brown butter sage sauce
  • Grilled filet with sweet potato pommes dauphine and green bean almandine
  • Blueberry pie with burnt sugar ice cream
  • Coffee, chocolate and caramel sorbet trio

The meal is included as part of the Room to Rendezvous Package, or is available separately to the public for $48 a person. Make dinner reservations at Flagstones by calling 704-501-2510.

To make a reservation for the Room to Rendezvous Package online, use promotional code Z82 in the Corporate/Promotional code box, or call 1-800-468-3571 FREE in the US and ask for promotional code Z82.

Guests can experience the perfect blend of contemporary style and boutique elegance at the Renaissance Charlotte SouthPark Hotel. Only 10 minutes from the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the hotel is perfectly located to experience the best attractions Charlotte has to offer, including popular shopping destinations SouthPark Mall and Piedmont Row. Enjoy the indoor heated swimming pool, sauna and 24-hour fitness center on-site. After a long day of sightseeing or business meetings, relax with a cocktail at The Bar at Flagstones and retire to luxury accommodations. Perks like pillowtop mattresses, marble bathrooms and room service round out a flawless stay at the Renaissance Charlotte SouthPark Hotel.

For more information about hotel deals at the Renaissance Charlotte SouthPark Hotel, or to submit a request for proposal, visit or call 1-704-501-2510.

SVEDKA Vodka Expands Signature Portfolio with The Introduction Of New On-Trend Flavor Combination, Cucumber Lime

SVEDKA Vodka announces SVEDKA Cucumber Lime, the latest addition to its award-winning portfolio. Continuing SVEDKA’s leadership in discovering and leveraging food and beverage trends, SVEDKA Cucumber Lime brings consumers a crisp, refreshing palate combining zesty citrus and cool cucumber flavors. SVEDKA Cucumber Lime is the most recent stateside launch from the Swedish-imported vodka brand, which also boasts a range of flavored vodkas that include SVEDKA Grapefruit Jalapeño, SVEDKA Strawberry Lemonade, SVEDKA Mango Pineapple, SVEDKA Strawberry Colada, SVEDKA Colada, SVEDKA Orange Cream Pop, in addition to SVEDKA’s core flavors – Cherry, Citron, Clementine, Raspberry, Vanilla and Peach.

1L SVEDKA Cucumber Lime

1 Litre SVEDKA Cucumber Lime (PRNewsFoto/SVEDKA Vodka)

Opening with a hit of cool cucumber and tart citrus, it ends with a fresh, bright lime kick. SVEDKA Cucumber Lime delivers the quality consumers expect from SVEDKA, in the brand’s bold and iconic two-tone packaging.

SVEDKA Cucumber Lime builds on the momentum within the food and beverage spaces for refreshing, bright flavors, as seen with the surge in popularity of crisp cocktails like the Moscow Mule and Gin and Tonic. The new flavor also capitalizes on trends within Asian and Mexican cuisine, which have exploded in popularity among consumers looking to pair the distinct tastes of cucumber and lime.

Signature Cucumber Lime cocktail recipes include:


1 ½ Parts SVEDKA Cucumber Lime

¾ Parts fresh lime juice

¾ Parts simple syrup

SPinch of mint.

Combine ingredients including mint in a shaker set, shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cucumber wheel.


1½ Parts SVEDKA Cucumber Lime

3 Parts tonic

Squeeze of fresh lime

Build ingredients in a rocks glass over ice. Top with lemon/lime soda, and garnish with a lime wheel and a straw.

SVEDKA Cucumber Lime will be available nationwide beginning February 2016 (varies by market), in 50ML (MSRP $1.99), 375ML (MSRP $6.99), 750ML (MSRP $12.99), 1L (MSRP $16.99) and 1.75L (MSRP $21.99).

Fender® Introduces A New Level Of Performance Guitars With Its American Elite Series

The American Elite Series Combines Over A Dozen New Innovations And Features For Today’s Progressive Players

The Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) is launching its most high-performance electric guitar and bass line yet, the American Elite Series. Built on the Fender tradition of iconic design and craftsmanship, the 2016 American Elite Series is the embodiment of Fender’s commitment to innovation.

With over a dozen innovations and advancements spread across the line, the American Elite Series infuses the iconic Stratocaster®, Telecaster®, Jazz Bass®, Precision Bass® and Dimension Bass® with modern features designed for players seeking the pinnacle in Fender performance. Features in the series include groundbreaking fourth generation Noiseless™ pickups, comfortable compound neck shapes and heels, sleek new redesigned ABS Elite Molded cases and fresh new finishes.Fender Logo JPG_1211322105

Externally, each guitar in the American Elite Series carries on the tradition of iconic Fender design, craftsmanship and performance, but under the hood, these are a new breed of instrument, built to meet the demands of today’s most progressive players designed for the 21st-century player who constantly pushes the envelope. Each guitar is a true performer with eye-catching style, exceptional feel and versatile sound from the very first moment you plug it in and play.

The new Noiseless pickups are only available in this Fender series, and represent a quantum leap in pickup design. Combining authentic, vintage-style sound with effectively noise-free performance, these are the peak of Fender’s noiseless pickup designs. The pickups generate sparkling cleans and fat, overdriven tones that scream with pure rock ‘n’ roll power. Other shared features include a new compound “C” to “D” neck shape, a 9.5”-14” compound radius fingerboard, a new asymmetrical neck heel and a new dual action truss rod with easy access adjustment wheel.

The American Elite Series is our most our most progressive and advanced series of electric guitars to date,” said Richard McDonald, EVP of Fender and SVP Fender Marketing. “We spent two years refining every detail to give modern players the tools they need to excel and write the future of music.

American Elite Stratocaster Autumn Blaze Metallic

American Elite Stratocaster Autumn Blaze Metallic

AMERICAN ELITE STRATOCASTER® & AMERICAN ELITE STRATOCASTER® LEFT-HANDED: The American Elite Series features a Strat® and left-handed Strat. Both models include a two-point modern tremolo that adds emotive touches to the player’s performance without sacrificing tuning. Locking, all short-post tuning machines provide increased break angle at the nut The Stratocaster models are available in a variety of colors including the all new Autumn Blaze Metallic and Sky Burst Metallic. Other colors include the 3-Color Sunburst, Mystic Black, Olympic Pearl, Aged Cherry Burst, and Tobacco Sunburst.

AMERICAN ELITE STRATOCASTER® HSS SHAWBUCKER™: This American Elite HSS model combines a Shawbucker™ open-coil humbucking bridge pickup with the exclusive new Noiseless pickups. The passing lane push button switch reroutes to the player’s bridge pickup signal, bypassing the tone and volume circuits. Locking, all short-post tuning machines provide increased break angle at the nut. The two-point modern tremolo also adds emotive touches to the player’s performance without sacrificing tuning. The model is available in 3-Color Sunburst, Mystic Black, Olympic Pearl and Autumn Blaze Metallic. Continue reading

Bouquets to Art 2016 Returns to The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s de Young, April 5–10, 2016

More than 125 of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most innovative and sought after floral designers will return to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco‘s de Young for Bouquets to Art 2016, the annual week-long exhibition in which local designers create spectacular works of floral art in response to pieces in the museum’s permanent collection and the architecture of the building.

3_main image cropped

Image courtesy of The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

In the 32 years since its inception, this popular and much anticipated event presented by the volunteer members of the San Francisco Auxiliary of the Fine Arts Museums has drawn nearly 750,000 visitors, with net proceeds nearing $6 million. Funds from Bouquets to Art help underwrite special exhibitions, conservation projects and educational programs at the Legion of Honor and the de Young.


Image courtesy of The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco


Image courtesy of The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco


Image courtesy of The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

This year’s guest speakers include: author India Hicks, Danielle Hahn of Rose Story Farm, Occasion! founder and CEO Annette Kunz, designer-author Carolyne Roehm and San Francisco Cottages & Gardens editor-in-chief Alisa Carroll-who will moderate a panel with Christina Stembel of Farmgirl Flowers and Allison Futeral of Crimson Horticultural. Now in its 32nd year, Bouquets to Art will take place over six days between April 5 and 10.

Arrangements range from the strikingly simple to the elaborately intricate, including a large installation in Wilsey Court by Oakland’s Sharpstick Studios, who are celebrating their 7th year as participants. This year, floral designers will also draw inspiration from the special exhibition Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective, the world premiere survey of the late designer’s work on view at the de Young from March 12 – May 30.


Image courtesy of The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Continue reading

U.S. News & World Report Reveals the 2016 Best Hotels

The Lodge at Sea Island in Georgia is the Best Hotel in the USA.

U.S. News & World Report, a nationally recognized publisher of consumer advice and information, announced the 2016 Best Hotels. The rankings are based on thousands of independent reviews from individuals and travel industry experts worldwide and evaluate over 2,500 hotels across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. (See the full list of the Best Hotels online)

A great hotel can make your vacation, but travelers don’t have to waste time searching for the perfect accommodations,” said Erin Shields, travel editor for U.S. News. “The hotels on our list are adored by both travelers and expert reviewers for their high-quality amenities, comfortable rooms and exceptional services.

The Best Hotels methodology combines a hotel’s industry accolades with expert and guest reviews and hotel class ratings. U.S. News scored luxury hotels, identifying the top 10 percent in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean with Gold badges and the top 30 percent within specific markets with Silver badges.

The Lodge at Sea Island Photo Credit - Architectural Design & Planning Group

The Lodge at Sea Island Photo Credit: Architectural Design & Planning Group

The Lodge at Sea Island in Sea Island, Georgia, is named the No. 1 Best Hotel in the USA, followed by The Jefferson, Washington, DC, and ARIA Sky Suites in Las Vegas, a new addition to the Top 10 Best Hotels in the USA. Other new additions to the top 10 list are Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu in Hawaii; The Peninsula Beverly Hills; Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas; Waldorf Astoria Chicago; and Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley, California.

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman is the No. 1 Best Hotel in the Caribbean. Rosewood Mayakoba takes the top spot in the Best Hotels in Mexico rankings. For the third year in a row, the Ritz-Carlton, Montreal is the No. 1 Best Hotel in Canada.

The 2016 Best Hotels includes destination-specific rankings for hundreds of popular cities and vacation spots, from Las Vegas and Maui to Turks and Caicos and Puerto Rico. New York City has the most highly ranked hotels among U.S. cities, followed by Las Vegas and Chicago. New content and detailed hotel profiles allow travelers to search for hotels in the U.S. based on specific preferences, such as a pool, a fitness center or pet-friendly accommodations. A Best Hotels by Brand list is also available for travelers seeking brand-backed hotels.

The 2016 U.S. News Best Hotels

Best Hotels in the USA
  1. The Lodge at Sea Island
  2. The Jefferson, Washington, DC
  3. ARIA Sky Suites
  4. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu
  5. The Peninsula Beverly Hills
Best Hotels in the Caribbean
  1. The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
  2. Jamaica Inn
  3. Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
  4. Tortuga Bay
  5. Jade Mountain
Best Hotels in Canada
  1. Ritz-Carlton, Montreal
  2. Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
  3. Trump International Hotel and Tower Toronto
  4. Rosewood Hotel Georgia
  5. The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto
Best Hotels in Mexico
  1. Rosewood Mayakoba
  2. The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort
  3. One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos
  4. Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort
  5. Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita

For more information on Best Hotels, explore FacebookTwitter and Instagram using #BestHotels16.