Toys”R”Us® Announces 2016 Thanksgiving Weekend Hours Begin Thursday, November 24 At 5pm, Offering 30 Hours Of Straight Shopping

Toy Retailer Kicks Off November with a Series of Services as the Destination for Gift-Givers to Check Off Kids’ Holiday Wish Lists

Shoppers should get their walking shoes ready. Right on the heels of the company’s Great Big Toys”R”Us Book of Awesome catalog, which offers hundreds of deals valid through November 19, Toys”R”Us® announced it has begun preparations for Thanksgiving Weekend. Its stores nationwide will open at 5pm (local time) on Thursday, November 24 and remain open through 11pm on Friday, November 25 for 30 hours of continuous shopping*. Readying the stores to offer doorbuster savings on the season’s must-have toys, Toys”R”Us has hired thousands of helpful elves to begin stocking the shelves.Toys R Us Logo

Our customers have voted at the doors year after year, and they continue to want the option to get an early start on their holiday shopping lists,” said Joe Venezia, Executive Vice President, Global Store Operations, Toys”R”Us, Inc.The good news is that we’re not only focused on delivering a Thanksgiving Weekend filled with deals and doorbusters, but we’ll be giving shoppers an entire month of can’t miss sales and services.u109_1476459700

Before the turkeys are purchased, circulars circled and Black Friday strategies planned, Toys”R”Us is rolling out various in-store services to make for a very merry November.

Front-of-Store G.P.S. Navigators Help Gift-Givers WIN November

Shoppers unsure of the difference between a Hatchimal and a Brightling need look no further than the dedicated “G.P.S. Navigator” – or, Gurus for Play Stuff – stationed at the front of Toys”R”Us stores nationwide on Saturdays and Sundays in November. And beginning Thanksgiving evening, these dedicated toy experts will amp up their presence in-store, continuing on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and during peak traffic periods throughout the holiday season. Donning holly-jolly red shirts, these toy experts boast an in-depth knowledge of top Skylanders® figures, popular licensed properties and must-have baby dolls (yes, the ones that wet themselves), and are ready to help customers navigate the toy aisles with ease.

Mapping Out a Speedy Shopping Strategy

For those moments when time is of the essence, Toys”R”Us is helping ensure shoppers receive quick and precise directions to the aisles and shelves they need. Gift-givers on a mission – with a wish list in-hand (or on their mobile device, at least) – can quickly locate items by referencing the large, dynamic maps located at the front of each store, or by visiting Toysrus.com/Guide, where they can search for a specific product by name and identify its exact location within their local Toys”R”Us store.

Plus, Toys”R”Us stores will offer a dedicated “Express Checkout Lane” for gift-givers purchasing four items or less between Thursday, November 24 and Christmas Eve, to help ensure a speedy and efficient visit from entrance to exit.

Free Services Are Key During the Season of Joy

It’s all about providing value whenever, wherever and however customers choose to shop with Toys”R”Us this holiday season. Those looking to stretch their dollar a little further can enjoy Free Store Pickup when they buy online from home or on the go, Free Layaway to make smaller payments over time with the added benefit of hiding Santa’s gifts elsewhere, and Free Shipping for online purchases of $19 or more**.

Plus, now is the time to take advantage of the company’s recently relaunched Price Match Guarantee. While not available on Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, this program helps remove any doubt for customers that they are getting the products they want at a competitive price***.

*Toys”R”Us stores nationwide will open at 5pm on Thursday, November 24 and remain open until 11pm on Friday, November 25, except for stores in Paramus, NJ, which will open on Thanksgiving from 5 – 11pm and will reopen on Friday, November 25 at 7am, and stores in Watchung, NJ, which will open on Thanksgiving from 5 – 9pm and will reopen Friday, November 25 from 12am – 11pm. Select stores in Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico will also have varying store open times. All store hours can be found online at www.Toysrus.com/BlackFridayStoreHours.

** For more information on these services, please visit www.Toysrus.com/PriceMatch, www.Toysrus.com/Pickup, www.Toysrus.com/FreeShipping or www.toysrus.com/layaway.

***Price Match Guarantee applies to these retailers and their e-commerce websites: Amazon, Baby Depot, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, buybuy BABY, diapers.com, Fred Meyer, GameStop, Hobby Lobby, JCPenney, Kmart, Kohl’s, LEGO, Macy’s, Meijer, Michael’s, Sears, Target, Walmart and YoYo.com. Visit www.Toysrus.com/PriceMatch for more information.

‘LOVE, NORDSTROM’: Nordstrom Celebrates Its Loyal Customers In 2016 Holiday Campaign

Nordstrom Inc. is celebrating its customers and their stories through a holiday campaign that thanks them called ‘Love, Nordstrom.’ The company is using the marketing campaign as a stage for larger-than-life love notes to thank customers for the special relationship they share. The campaign debuted in the U.S. and Canada on November 1st.1_nordstrom_ivy

LOVE, NORDSTROM

With this year’s campaign, Nordstrom is prioritizing a pure holiday spirit and expressing gratitude to connect emotionally with its customers in a special way. More than 30 real Nordstrom customers were photographed in Los Angeles, Nashville and Seattle and are featured in the national campaign that was produced in partnership with creative agency Partners & Spade.4_nordstrom-_kim-brothers

This holiday, we want to remember and thank the people who are most special to us at Nordstrom – our customers,” said Nordstrom Vice President of Creative Projects Olivia Kim. “We reached out to our employees and asked them to share some of their favorite customer stories. We met with as many people as we could, asked them to bring along some of the things that make up their signature style and took photos of them. It was so fun to connect with our customers who make us who we are. The result was our Love, Nordstrom campaign.”12_nordstrom_jonah

The integrated campaign components include digital, print, out of home, in-store window displays, shopping bags and coffee sleeves. There will be a ‘Love, Nordstrom’ navigation tab on Nordstrom.com. In an effort to reach and thank every single Nordstrom customer, the campaign also includes a charming video of employees singing the song “Thank You for Being Friend” to let all customers know how much they are appreciated. The video will be posted on Nordstrom.com and on the retailer’s social and digital platforms.7_nordstrom_chiyo

WHERE THE GIFTS ARE

This holiday season, Nordstrom hopes to be a gift-giving destination that inspires customers at all price points. A few highlights include:

  • Available now, the company is introducing Mini Boden inspired by Roald Dahl – an exclusive limited-edition collection for kids celebrating six stories including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and more.
  • Starting November 18, Nordstrom VP of Creative Olivia Kim will curate ‘Love, Pop-In@Nordstrom,’ a colorful holiday selection of apparel, accessories and tech toys including everything from smart luggage to unisex casualwear, turntables to instant cameras, cozy candles to nail art supplies, and more.
  • Starting November 25 in select stores, Nordstrom is launching shops with fresh gifting ideas such as Wit & Wonder (a one-stop shop for gifts with personality), The Trim Shop (featuring ornaments and decor), The Wonder Bar (for stocking stuffers), The Toy Shop (of course), Bow & Drape (for personalized gifts) and Gifts & Glam (for beauty).2_nordstrom_grace

Continue reading

Holiday Events, Special Rates Make Four Seasons Hotel Austin A Winter Value

Four Seasons Hotel Austin Rolling Out The Red (and Green) Carpetfour_seasons_hotels_and_resorts-svg

Austin is the heart and soul of Texas, with a dazzling array of talent that includes blues, jazz, folk and alternative rock musicians. Historic landmarks dotting the landscape include the State Capitol, University of Texas Tower and the Governor’s Mansion. A resort-like haven just steps from Austin’s central business and entertainment districts, Four Seasons Hotel Austin in downtown Austin (98 San Jacinto Boulevard, Austin, Texas 78701-4039 U.S.A) boasts an unrivaled setting on the banks of Lady Bird Lake. The Hotel offers 291 spacious hotel guest rooms, including 28 suites, all with exceptional views of the lake or Austin cityscape. TRIO at Four Seasons Hotel Austin offers fine dining in a contemporary atmosphere both relaxing and sophisticated, with a menu that is centered around steak, seafood; carefully chosen wines and a setting that is both metropolitan and scenic.four-seasons-hotel-austin-1

From a fairy tale Gingerbread Village that will light up the Lobby to a full lineup of festive events, the Four SeasonsHotel Austin is offering a veritable winter wonderland this holiday season for travelers looking to enjoy the capital city’s holiday charms.

And with special seasonal rates starting at USD 399 per night between November 18, 2016 and January 7, 2017, there’s never been a better time to visit. Below are just a few of the special offerings and dining events taking place at the Hotel in the coming months:

Thanksgiving Day Buffet – Synonymous with food and family, Thanksgiving at Four Seasons Hotel Austin is an experience visitors of all ages will enjoy – and not just because someone else handles the clean-up! Executive Chef Elmar Prambs and his team outdo themselves each year with a buffet spread that incorporates traditional favorites along with holiday fare.

Date: Thursday, November 24, 2016 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm in the Ballroom (until 8:00 pm in TRIO)

Price: Ballroom, USD 90 plus tax and 18 percent gratuity for adults; USD 35 plus tax and 18 percent gratuity for children ages 6-11; TRIO – USD 90 plus tax for adults; USD 35 plus tax for children ages 6-11

Reservations: Highly recommended, call 512 685 8300http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-little-girl-c

Teddy Bear Teas in the Lobby Lounge Traditional tea service, caroling and a fireside reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas by Santa make the Hotel’s Teddy Bear Teas in the Lobby Lounge a popular activity year after year. Children attending a Teddy Bear Tea are asked to bring a new, unwrapped teddy bear as a donation for Dell Children’s Hospital.teddy-bear-tea

Dates: November 26 and 27; December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18, 2016 with seatings offered at 12:00 noon or 3:00 pm

Price: USD 45 plus tax for adults and USD 30 plus tax for children ages 11 and under

Reservations: Required, call 512 685 8300Gingerbread House

Gingerbread Village Open Houses – A beloved tradition, the Hotel’s annual Open Houses officially kick-off the holiday season by inviting locals and visitors to ooh and aah over the Gingerbread Village in the Lobby, all while enjoying complimentary hot apple cider and festive cookies. The talented pastry chefs who created the houses – along with special guest Santa – will also be on hand for photo opportunities and to answer questions about this year’s “Fairy Tales”-themed Village, which will be on display from November 21 through December 25, 2016.aus_611_aspect16x9

Dates: November 28 and 29, 2016 from 5:00 to 6:00 pm

Price: Complimentary and open to the public

Reservations: Not requiredcq5dam-web-1280-720

Christmas Day Buffet – Already the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas is even more memorable when enjoyed at Austin’s Four Seasons. TRIO and Ballroom guests will feast on more than 80 dishes prepared by the Hotel’s award-winning culinary team, with live piano music adding to the festive ambiance in the Ballroom.sew_541_aspect16x9

Date: Sunday, December 25 2016 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm in the Ballroom (until 8:00 pm in TRIO)

Price: Ballroom – USD 90 plus tax and 18 percent gratuity for adults; USD 35 plus tax and 18 percent gratuity for children ages 6-11; TRIO – USD 90 plus tax for adults; USD 35 plus tax for children ages 6-11

Reservations: Highly recommended, call 512 685 8300 Continue reading

National Geographic Offers Gifts for the Adventurer, Traveler, Stargazer, Photographer, Book Lover, Young Scientist and More

Explore The World With National Geographic And Give A Gift Inspired By Travel, Adventure, Science, Exploration, Photography And Global Craft This Holiday.

If you have a love of people, places, culture and history or if you are looking for gifts that are out of the ordinary, National Geographic has some unique selections in its 2016 Holiday Look Book. From books to home goods, eclectic apparel and jewelry, gear, photography workshops and private expeditions National Geographic offers high-quality, authentic gifts that would delight anyone on your list.

Another plus: All purchases support National Geographic Society’s vital exploration, conservation, cultural preservation and education programs around the globe.

Buyers from National Geographic travel the globe in search of beautiful, handmade objects that tell a story,” said Jill Dvorak, director of site merchandising & marketing, catalog and online operations for National Geographic. “We’ve assembled an extraordinary collection of gifts for the traveler, the book lover, stargazer, home decorator, adventurer, animal lover, young scientist and beyond that will inspire them to learn and explore the world around them.”

Highlights From The 2016 Gift Selection:

National Geographic Exclusive: Geno 2.0 Next Generation Genographic Project Participation and DNA Ancestry Kit. $179.95

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Geno 2.0 Next Generation Genographic Project Participation and DNA Ancestry Kit

The revolutionary Geno 2.0 Next Generation test has been enhanced to offer the most up to date ancestry available and now has:

  • -Improved results based on a higher-capacity DNA-testing chip
  • -More accurate regional ancestry—double the number of regions and 50+ reference populations
  • -Improved DNA haplogroup calls and 20 new ancestral stories.

Introducing the next generation of the Genographic Project Participation Kit. This new DNA test uses cutting-edge technology to give you the richest ancestry information available. Join the more than half a million people who have already taken part in National Geographic’s groundbreaking Genographic Project—contribute to this real-time scientific effort and learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible.

National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Spencer Wells and his team designed Geno Next Gen based on the new technologies and insights that emerged since the launch of the Genographic Project ten years ago. Using an exclusive, custom-built genotyping chip, they test nearly 750,000 DNA markers that have been specifically selected to provide unprecedented ancestry-related information.

For the Holiday Host or Hostess: Personalized Nautical Flag Coasters (Set of 4), $55.00

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Personalized Nautical Flag Coasters – Set of 4

Although signal flags have been largely replaced by two-way radio and cell phones, in the 19th century they were how ships at sea communicated with each other. Each flag stands for a letter, but also represents a full message. For example, the “T” flag also meant “keep clear!” Today the flags are reserved for yacht racing and formal occasions. Choose your three-initial monogram and artisans in New England will create a coaster set on cork-backed, rustic tumbled marble that shows your initials along with the corresponding signal flags. Click here for a list of initials and their corresponding flags, or click on the Flag Meanings tab to see what phrase each flag symbolizes in the International Code of Symbols.

(Please note: Personalized items cannot be returned unless damaged or defective. Please check your order carefully; once placed, your order for this item cannot be canceled. Not available for shipment outside of the U.S. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery to the continental U.S. and 4-6 weeks for delivery to Alaska and Hawaii.)

For the Adventurer: Carabiner Clip Watch with LED Micro-Light, $45.00

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Carabiner Clip Watch with LED Micro-Light

Equipped with a powerful LED micro-light, this clever explorer’s watch has a built-in carabiner that clips right onto belt loops, packs, and more, keeping the time and a light source within reach as you travel. Luminescent hands and hour markers provide visibility in all kinds of conditions.

(Details: Uses one 376 watch battery and one LR1131 watch battery (both included). We recommend having a jeweler replace the battery. The case is intentionally challenging to open in order to better protect the mechanism and increase the watch’s water resistance. 1 1/2”W x 3”L x 1/4”D, 3 oz, Water-resistant to 100 feet.)

For the Book Lover: Wild, Beautiful Places: Picture-Perfect Journeys Around the Globe, $40.00

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Wild, Beautiful Places: Picture-Perfect Journeys Around the Globe

Experience the world’s most wild, remote, beautiful places with shots by National Geographic photographers and vintage photos pulled from the National Geographic archives. Highlighting 50 of Earth’s most pristine, scenic locales, this beautiful book is illustrated with stunning images, coupled with accessible, engaging descriptions and practical travel information. The book covers everything from otherworldly, secluded valleys to far-flung, soaring mountain ranges. National Geographic photographers share some of their favorite shots from around the world and explain how they got them, and historical photos culled from National Geographic’s hallowed image archive highlight old Society explorations in rugged, distant locations, and give a glimpse into the bygone days of these exotic places.

For the Photographer: Camera Lens Travel Mug. $24.00

camera-lens-travel-mug

Camera Lens Travel Mug

Increase your focus, clarity, and zoom abilities. We’re talking about the coffee! This deceptively realistic, BPA-free travel mug looks just like a DSLR camera lens with details like a focus ring and grip—perfect for coffee lovers and camera enthusiasts alike. The stainless steel lining keeps drinks hot and is extra easy to clean. The screw-top lid with sliding sip top keeps your coffee from spilling as you venture off road to capture that perfect shot. Continue reading

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association And The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences Announce Three-Year Partnership

Partnership Commences with Series of Three Classic Films at Walt Disney Concert Hall: Rebel Without a Cause, On the Waterfront, and Casablanca

The Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced a three-year partnership where the two organizations will collaborate on programming beginning in the 2016/17 season with the presentation of three classic films with orchestra live-to-picture at Walt Disney Concert Hall: Rebel Without a Cause (world premiere of film with live orchestra), On the Waterfront, and Casablanca. Additional co-curated presentations for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons will be announced.laphil_fwlo_865x385_06d-x2

Los Angeles plays a unique role in the history of symphonic music thanks, in large part, to the presence of the film industry,” stated Deborah Borda, President and CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. “The LA Phil has always included the best of film music in its repertoire, and through a new partnership with the Academy, will delve even deeper into the relationship between music and the moving image. We look forward to drawing on the unrivaled expertise of Academy members as we bring sight and sound together on the concert hall stage.

Although it seems inevitable, the partnership between the Academy and the Los Angeles Philharmonic has been almost a century in the making,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “This new alliance between these two institutions, both composed of the world’s finest creative professionals, and both headquartered in Los Angeles but with reach far beyond, will enable us to illustrate, explain, and celebrate the vital linkage between music and movies as never before.”

The Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Academy partnership begins in the 2016/17 season with the presentation of three classic films, each live-to picture with a full orchestra. On Thursday, November 17, at 8:00 PM, Scott Dunn leads the LA Phil in Leonard Rosenman’s celebrated score for Rebel Without a Cause (1955) – directed by Nicholas Ray with screenplay by Stewart Stern. This presentation marks the world premiere of the film with live orchestra.

Friday, November 18, at 8:00 PM and Sunday, November 20, at 2:00 PM, respectively, David Newman conducts the LA Phil in Leonard Bernstein’s Oscar®-nominated score for On the Waterfront (1954) – directed by Ella Kazan with screenplay by Budd Schulberg – and Max Steiner’s Oscar-nominated score for Casablanca (1943) – directed by Michael Curtiz with screenplay by Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch – both complete films with live orchestra. Each screening of the classic film series will be introduced by Academy members: Andy Garcia (Nov. 17), Eva Marie Saint (Nov. 18) and Aaron Eckhart (Nov. 20).

One hour prior to each screening, the LA Phil’s Upbeat Live will be held in BP Hall, free to all ticket holders. Curated by the Academy, the pre-concert talks will feature film-music historian and veteran journalist Jon Burlingame in conversations about the importance of each film score with former Academy Music Branch Governor and composer Charles Fox (Nov. 17), Academy Music Branch Governor and composer Laura Karpman (Nov. 18) and Academy Music Branch Governor and composer Charles Bernstein (Nov. 20). Continue reading

27 Animated Features Submitted For 2016 Oscar® Race

A record 27 features have been submitted for consideration in the Animated Feature Film category for the 89th Academy Awards®. The 89th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.86thOscars_Logo

Several of the films have not yet had their required Los Angeles qualifying run. Submitted features must fulfill the theatrical release requirements and comply with all of the category’s other qualifying rules before they can advance in the voting process. Depending on the number of films that qualify, two to five nominees may be voted. Sixteen or more films must qualify for the maximum of five nominees to be voted. Films submitted in the Animated Feature Film category also may qualify for Academy Awards in other categories, including Best Picture, provided they meet the requirements for those categories.

The submitted features, listed in alphabetical order, are:

  • The Angry Birds Movie”
  • April and the Extraordinary World”
  • Bilal”
  • Finding Dory”
  • Ice Age: Collision Course”
  • Kingsglaive Final Fantasy XV”
  • Kubo and the Two Strings”
  • Kung Fu Panda 3”
  • The Little Prince”
  • Long Way North”
  • Miss Hokusai”
  • Moana”
  • Monkey King: Hero Is Back”
  • Mune”
  • Mustafa & the Magician”
  • My Life as a Zucchini”
  • Phantom Boy”
  • The Red Turtle”
  • Sausage Party”
  • The Secret Life of Pets”
  • Sing”
  • Snowtime!”
  • Storks”
  • Trolls”
  • 25 April”
  • Your Name.”
  • Zootopia”

Nominations for the 89th Oscars® will be announced on Tuesday, January 24, 2017.

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