Celebrate New Year’s Eve at David Burke’s PrimeHouse at The James Chicago



For travelers ringing in the New Year in Chicago, David Burke’s PrimeHouse is offering an $82 prix-fixe celebratory menu laden with brilliant modern American offerings.  Guests can choose from a variety of options, including the 55 Day Dry Aged Bone-in Ribeye, which was named Chicago Magazine’s Best Dry Aged Steak.

Complemented by dishes including Oysters on the Half Shell with horseradish, cocktail sauce and mignonette; Pretzel Crusted Crab Cakes with caviar crema, raisin compote, tender greens and apple; and Wagyu Beef Sashimi with Himalayan salt, mushroom chips and truffle mayo, it’s sure to be a night to remember.

The first chef to own his own bull, Chef Burke’s commitment to quality is evident in the USDA prime grade, hand-selected beef served in David Burke’s PrimeHouse. The restaurant dry-ages its meats in a Himalayan salt-tiled aging room on premise, with the result being perfectly marble-ized, tender beef with a rich depth of flavor. Under the leadership of Executive Chef Rick Gresh, David Burke’s Primehouse features a rotating menu that focuses on seasonal, local and organic ingredients and inventive dishes that reflect evolving culinary trends.

The James Chicago (http://www.jameshotels.com/chicago55 East Ontario Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611, 312.337.1000, Reservations: 1.877.JAMES.55), which opened in 2006, provides unique style and exceptional luxury service in comfortable surroundings. Ideally situated in downtown Chicago on the corner of Ontario and Rush Streets, steps off of Michigan Avenue and in the heart of The Magnificent Mile, the best of Chicago’s dining, shopping and nightlife are right outside its doors. Within walking distance are Chicago’s exciting cultural attractions including the Museum of Contemporary Art, the John Hancock Observatory, Millennium Park, the historic Water Tower and Navy Pier.

The James Chicago Hotel

The James Chicago Hotel

Guest accommodations at the James Chicago Hotel (Rates starts at $250 per guestroom and $2500 per suite) includes 61King Guestrooms, 43 Double Guestrooms, 38 Deluxe Double Guestrooms, 49 Deluxe King Guestrooms, 52 Studios, 26 Lofts, 26 One Bedroom Apartments and 2 Penthouse Lofts. Guestrooms and Studios feature a palette of warm tones. The contemporary layout and custom designed furniture include a streamlined dark wood platform bed, work/dining niche, flat-screen TV’s, and spacious slate-tile and marble bathrooms, all created with the guests’ personal needs in mind. Lofts feature a living area, wet bar, spacious bathrooms, work/dining niche and media rooms. One-Bedroom Apartments are designed in true upscale residential style featuring a living room with separate bedroom, wet bar, dining area and spacious bathrooms. Penthouses Lofts highlight luxury city living with two bedrooms, formal living and dining rooms, oversized bathrooms with his and hers sinks, soaking tub, and separate rain shower.

Guestroom at The James Chicago

Guestroom at The James Chicago

The James Chicago Hotel Lobby Art Gallery

The James Chicago Hotel Lobby Art Gallery

Guestroom Amenities includes Custom, comfortable beds, Work/dining niche, Snack & cocktail bar

Commissioned art, Flat  screen TVs, Digital TV & movie system, Stereo with iPoddock, Cordless dual-line phone, Complimentary WiFi, Intelligent Nutrients full-sized bath products, 100% Turkish cotton towels, Full-length mirror, Dimmable lighting, Individual climate control, Daily newspaper delivery, Complimentary triple-filtered water system, Eco-friendly pillow options by Keetsa and Starbucks Via coffee with European-style water boiler. Continue reading

Holiday Gift Guide 2013: WAHL Holiday Gift Lineup Offers Look-Good, Feel-Good Tools That Combines Performance, Style and Comfort

They say it’s the thought that counts. However, it is estimated that more than half of all holiday shoppers are expected to return the gifts they received for various reasons, according to a recent national survey. Fortunately, Wahl, a leader in men’s grooming and personal care, has a holiday lineup designed with staying power. The company’s latest offerings consist of budget-friendly gifts for everyone on the list, including new lithium-ion-powered grooming tools, temperature-therapy massage solutions and odor-fighting products for pets.
Most guys are in search of the best gadgets, so this holiday season Wahl is putting the most advanced battery technology available into their hands with a newly expanded lineup of lithium ion grooming tools. For the head and face, Wahl offers the Lithium Ion Clipper and Lithium Ion Beard & Stubble Trimmer. Both feature precision ground blades, longer run time and quick charge capabilities. 
The Lithium Ion Clipper can run for up to two hours on one charge thanks to Wahl’s proprietary battery technology. It offers 50 percent more power than standard clippers to ensure optimum cutting performance at all times, and has a convenient 15-minute quick charge option. Travel-ready and ready in a pinch, it holds its charge for up to one year and is available as a combo kit that includes a detail trimmer and assortment of accessories and guide combs. The Lithium Ion Clipper Kit is available nationwide with an MSRP of $69.99.
The Wahl Lithium Ion Beard & Stubble Trimmer is exactly that. Yet you can do so much with this trimmer. Trim and detail your facial hair and touch up and cut the hair on your head. It has the most advanced rechargeable battery technology. It’s lighter weight, has almost no charge loss in storage, is environmentally smart, and has no memory issues. Best of all, it provides 3x the run time, 2x the torque, a 1-minute quick charge and 1 hour full charge which standard NiMH / NiCad trimmers can not do. Travel-ready and ready in a pinch, it holds its charge for up to one year and is available as a combo kit that includes a detail trimmer and assortment of accessories and guide combs. The Lithium Ion Clipper Kit is available nationwide with an MSRP of $69.99.

For the nose, ears and eyebrows, Wahl also offers the Lithium Lighted Detailer, which sheds some light on those hard to see areas. The Wahl Lithium Powered Lighted Detailer comes with 3 interchangeable heads: Reciprocating head for ears and detailing, Rotary head for nose hairs and Detail head for necklines and eyebrows. It also comes with an eyebrow guide, protective cap and 1 AA Energizer® Lithium Battery.

It’s safe to say a majority of people could use a gift that relieves this year, as a recent study found 85 percent of Americans are in pain. With this in mind, Wahl offers new Hot-Cold Therapy Massage products to address a variety of pain points, including sore and swollen muscles, poor circulation and those everyday aches and pains. Wahl’s newest tool, the Hot-Cold Therapy Massaging Gel pack, combines massage and temperature therapy and includes a Velcro strap for hands-free targeted relief.

For the four-legged members of the family, Wahl offers a new line of pet hygiene products. The Odor NeutralizerWaterless Shampoo and Doggie Deodorant are designed to take the dirty work out of bathing.  Whether searching for a stocking stuffer or preparing for holiday photos, this line of all-natural products are developed with the needs of pets—and their owners in mind.

Wahl’s complete line of budget-friendly gift ideas can be found online at wahlholidaygifts.com. This online shopping destination makes it easy to purchase products online or locate them in stores in time for the holidays. These products can be found at major retailers nationwide at prices ranging from $5.99 to under $80.



Last minute holiday shoppers receive their Christmas presents early this year with the gift of extra time as Macy’s brings back its seasonal tradition, 24-hour shopping. Beginning Friday, Dec. 20 at 7 a.m., 37 Macy’s stores in select cities across the country including Macy’s Herald Square in New York City; Union Square in San Francisco; and State Street in Chicago will stay open overnight for four days in a row of non-stop shopping until Christmas Eve on Tuesday, Dec. 24 at 6 p.m.


In 2006, Macy’s Queens Center store was the first Macy’s store to go 24-hours. Due to its unprecedented success, Macy’s added additional store locations in the following years. Store associates volunteer to work the overnight and extended hour shifts.

With a shorter shopping season, Macy’s customers will be able to enjoy 107 hours of ‘round-the-clock shopping to ensure that everyone on the list receives the very best gift. Macy’s 24-hour shopping is a holiday tradition that makes the season less hectic with stores remaining open all-night during the homestretch of the Christmas season. Less holiday crowds and shorter lines are an added bonus as Macy’s makes sure that time is on everyone’s side. In addition to the 24-hour stores, mostly all stores nationwide, except furniture galleries and select locations, will offer extended hours each night until 2 a.m. thru Dec. 23, making Macy’s the go-to store for gifting.

Overnight shopping at Macy’s has become a holiday tradition that last minute gift-givers count on to get them through the time crunch of the season,” said Peter Sachse, chief stores officer, Macy’s, Inc.Our customers already love to shop with us for the best gifts, but they also love that our stores stay open providing them with the convenience of late-night or early morning hours so that they can shop when they choose.

Macy’s 24-Hour Stores include the following select locations:


  • Macy’s Union Square, San Francisco
  • Macy’s Valley Fair, Santa Clara


  • Macy’s State Street, Chicago
  • Macy’s Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook
  • Macy’s Woodfield, Schaumburg
  • Macy’s Orland Square, Orland Park


  • Lakeside Shopping Center, Metarie


  • Macy’s South Shore, Braintree, MA


  • Macy’s Twelve Oaks, Novi
  • Macy’s Oakland, Troy
  • Macy’s Lakeside. Sterling Heights
  • Macy’s Fairlane Town Center, Dearborn


  • Macy’s Rosedale, Minneapolis

New Jersey

  • Macy’s at Newport Centre, Jersey City
  • Macy’s at Willowbrook Mall, Wayne
  • Macy’s Menlo Park Mall, Menlo Park
  • Macy’s Woodbridge Center, Woodbridge
  • Macy’s Cherry Hill, Cherry Hill (Philadelphia)

New York

  • Macy’s Herald Square, Manhattan
  • Macy’s at Queens Center Mall, Rego Park
  • Macy’s Flushing, Flushing
  • Macy’s at Staten Island Mall, Staten Island
  • Macy’s Kings Plaza, Brooklyn
  • Macy’s Manhasset, Manhasset
  • Macy’s Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove
  • Macy’s at Roosevelt Field Mall, Westbury
  • Macy’s at Green Acres Mall, Valley Stream
  • Macy’s Cross County Shopping Center, Yonkers


  • Northpark Center, Dallas
  • Parks at Arlington, Fort Worth
  • Memorial City, Houston
  • La Plaza, San Antonio
  • North Star, San Antonio
  • Del Norte, San Antonio

Washington, D.C./Virginia/Maryland

  • Macy’s Mall in Columbia, Columbia, MD
  • Macy’s Tyson’s Corner, McLean, VA
  • Macy’s Fashion Center, Pentagon City, VA

DiscoRobo Does Boxer Briefs – Techno Style!

Who knew boxer briefs would start trending this holiday season! Now there’s Boxer Briefs – Techno-Style featuring DiscoRobo from TOSY Robotics! Check out this chorus line of boxer-wearing robots that really know how to ring their chimes. Their beat detection technology makes for just the right moves in this choreographed bell-ringing rendition of a holiday classic. ( Video available at:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTf4XXyPdac&feature=youtu.be

DiscoRobo is the dancing, talking robot that’s activated by music and an interactive app (iOS, Android and Windows) that enables users to choreograph the robot’s moves to match the music with booty-shaking action. The robot is so into the music, its face just lights up with funny facial expressions that change as it dances. It can also dance to other sounds: beat box, drum beats, handclaps or even footsteps.

In chat mode, DiscoRobo responds to typed questions with witty remarks. When two are paired together, face to face, they chat with each other. In dance mode, just a shake of the phone or a swipe across the virtual DiscoRobo on screen makes the actual robot react and mimic the movements.

TOSY Robotics was founded by a robotics guru team and first went into operation in 2004 after many years of experience in mechanical engineering. From the very beginning, the Vietnam-based company has always placed the highest priority on research and development with the motto “Creativeness and modern technology are key factors for success.” It is the manufacturer of the Good Housekeeping’s Best Toy Awards 2011’s TOSY® AFO™, a flying boomerang with a smart LED system that can return precisely to its point of origin, and the Guinness World Records holder TOSY TOOP, a non-stop collectible battling top with flexible controllability. For more information about TOSY Robotics, visit: http://www.tosy.com/discorobo

Hanes Celebrates The Holiday Season By Donating Half A Million Socks To Charities Helping Those In Need

America’s Leading Sock Brand Continues Its Tradition of Making the Holidays More Comfortable by Donating Socks to The Salvation Army to Help the Needy and to Five Shelters to Help the Homeless


Hanes® America’s No. 1 sock brand, is helping spread holiday comfort by donating 250,000 pairs of socks to those in need and the homeless. The socks will be distributed by The Salvation Army nationwide and five homeless shelters in New York and California. This year’s donation marks the fourth consecutive year Hanes has worked with The Salvation Army, which provides assistance for nearly 30 million Americans each year, by providing socks — the most requested but least donated item needed at the organization’s centers.

This season, Hanes is also expanding its yearlong partnership with Mark Horvath, an advocate for the homeless, and delivering portions of the sock donation to local nonprofit organizations that aid those in need and the homeless. Recipient organizations are Covenant House, NYC Rescue Mission and Coalition for the Homeless, all in New York City; Rescue Mission in Syracuse, N.Y.; and Los Angeles Mission in Los Angeles.

A longtime partner, Horvath helps distribute Hanes socks throughout the year to those affected by homelessness as part of his mission to bring a face to the growing issue as founder of Invisible People. “I’m thrilled to join Hanes again this year to deliver socks for the holidays,” said Horvath. “Through the years I’ve seen firsthand how others have benefitted from the gift of clean socks. It’s an item that many folks often take for granted.”

“Hanes is proud to continue our annual tradition of providing socks to those in need,” said Sidney Falken, Chief Branding Officer, Hanes. “We are grateful for the chance to give back to others with a donation of half a million socks and make the holidays more comfortable.”

Over the past five years, Hanes has donated 2.7 million socks to the needy at the holidays. Last year,Hanes also donated 50,000 pairs of socks to East Coast victims of Superstorm Sandy.

To share a story about providing comfort this holiday season or join the conversation, follow #HanesforGood throughout the holiday season. For more information about Hanes, visit http://www.hanes.com or http://www.facebook.com/hanes.

Holiday 2013 Gift Guide: The Espa Candle Collection

Whether you are looking to unwind during the hectic holiday season, create an intimate atmosphere for holiday guests, or even looking for a holiday gift for a friend, ESPA has the perfect candle to create an inviting environment at home and one the receiver would appreciate. The ESPA Candle Collection consists of three wonderful scents and sensual aromas, and all displayed in beautiful glass, designed to create the perfect atmosphere for every occasion.

ESPA Aromatic Candle 200g - Back

The Lemon & Tonka Bean Candle ($50), is an uplifting scented candle that infuses your surroundings and recreates the spa experience. A divine aroma, low lighting, soft sound, it’s the quintessential spa experience. With our richly aromatic candle – a careful balance of wick, hand poured wax and pure essential oils to uplift your senses with a zesty hit of Lemon, an intensely floral heart note of exotic Ylang Ylang and crushed Tonka Beans. The Bergamot & Jasmine Candle ($50 has a citrus top note of Bergamot and floral bouquet of Jasmine. The flickering flame will infuse your surroundings with a wonderful citrus top note of Bergamot, a floral bouquet of sensual Jasmine and a hint of Cedarwood to suffuse your home with a sensual ambience to welcome you home every day. The Espa Candle Collection is available at www.espaskincare.com and select spas worldwide

ESPA Aromatic Candle 200g - Front

Shinola Debuts The Wright Brothers(TM) Limited Edition Watch & Bicycle

The first in the Great Americans Series & launch of The Foundry collector’s club

Shinola (www.shinola.com) introduces The Wright Brothers(TM) Limited Edition Watch, created to honor the Wrights’ incredible contribution to America’s history of innovation and industry. This handcrafted timepiece is the first watch in The Great Americans Series— a collection of limited edition watches created to honor iconic American innovators and industrial pioneers. It’s a very special kind of American-made in celebration of those who helped make our country great.

Courtesy of Shinola.  (PRNewsFoto/Shinola)

The Wright Brothers(TM) Limited Edition Watch, Courtesy of Shinola. (PRNewsFoto/Shinola)

As makers of modern, handcrafted watches, bicycles, leather goods, and journals, Shinola is proud to be based in Detroit, a community-minded city with a strong manufacturing legacy. We built our watch factory within the College for Creative Studies in the former Argonaut building.

Each timepiece comes in a special custom gift box with a certificate of authenticity, leather card wallet, leather carrying case, and a hickory watch box. Also included is a leather-bound coffee table book that delves into the background and achievements of the Wright brothers, featuring rare imagery from the Wright brothers’ private collection.

Courtesy of Shinola.  (PRNewsFoto/Shinola)

Courtesy of Shinola. (PRNewsFoto/Shinola)

Purchase of The Wright Brothers(TM) Limited Edition Watch also includes automatic membership into The Foundry: a private collectors club established exclusively for owners of limited edition Shinola wristwatches.

A private launch event to kick off the Great Americans Series and unveil the watch and bicycle was held at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit–permanent location of the Wright brothers’ bike shop and childhood home. In working with the Wright family, Shinola was gifted a piece of original wing cloth from the Wright Flyer I. At the event, Shinola and the Wright family donated a piece of the original Wright Flyer I wing cloth to the Henry Ford Museum.

In tandem with The Wright Brothers(TM) Limited Edition Watch, Shinola is building 25 customized bicycles featuring The Runwell frame and fork with a jet-black finish, sleek bamboo fenders, and a bright headlamp.

The Wright Brothers(TM) Limited Edition Watch and Bicycle will be available for purchase on www.Shinola.com, and at the Shinola flagship stores in Detroit and New York City.

Matthew Robbins Launches New Holiday Collection with TereForma

image001Master Designer, wedding planner and author, Matthew Robbins has launched his first line of specialty vases in collaboration with Teroforma just in time for the holidays. Martha Stewart-favorite Matthew Robbins is widely known for transforming spaces with his unique and elegant floral arrangements and now, he has brought his signature touch to the Atelier Vase Collection (available at www.Teroforma.comThese ceramic vases were crafted at Sao Bernardo in Portugal and made from high-fired, bisque porcelain to perfectly frame the subtle counter relief pattern on the exterior to contrast with the tint-glazed interior of each perfected piece making each vase a complete work of art. Their unique shape will enhance the flower arrangements and make an amateur’s arrangements look professional.

The porcelain vases come in sleek, refined shapes and feature subtle counter relief patterned exteriors for interesting texture along with contrasting tint-glazed interiors that add a pop of modern color, so the vases look as great without flowers as they do filled with them. Thoughtfully designed to pair with corresponding types of popular floral arrangements, the five different shapes ensure that there is one for every design and every occasion. Use the Branch vase to display exquisitely long, woody image002arrangements or place just a single peony in the Bud vase.

Every piece from the Atelier Vase Collection is handcrafted in Sao Bernardo, Portugal by master ceramicists from high-fired, bisque porcelain, an unglazed, snow-white ceramic. Timeless and beautiful in their simplicity, the vases show off masterful arrangements or lend an air of professional polish to amateur ones—either way, they’re the perfect showcases for nature’s beautiful blooms. The Atelier Vase Collection makes a nice holiday hostess gift and includes Bloom Misty Blue vase, $125; Bouquet Violet Fog Vase, $150; Branch English Moss Vase, $150; Bud Morning Dew Vase, $75 and Cutting Yellow Clay Vase, $100.

The head of the eponymous NYC design firm Matthew Robbins Design, event planner, interior designer, and artist Matthew Robbins is widely known for his events and floral design work and as Martha Stewart’s resident wedding guru. He contributes to wedding-centric publications like InStyle Weddings, TheKnot.com, and Modern Bride, pens a regular column in Martha Stewart Weddings, and is often featured on the Martha Stewart Show. His tips for designing a spectacular wedding around nine objects have been published in a book titled Matthew Robbins’ Inspired Weddings to encourage others to bring the excitement of beautiful design into their lives.

Connecticut-based product design incubator Teroforma collaborates with talented designers to create well-designed home products with a focus on items for the tabletop. Founded by Anna and Andrew Hellman, the firm is perhaps best known for its innovative Whiskey Stones, made to chill drinks without watering them down.

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Fretlight Guitar Announces Bass Model

Featuring The Breakthrough Fretlight Technology, The Fretlight Bass Guitar Makes the Perfect Gift of Music and Rhythm this Holiday

Fretlight Guitar announced it has expanded its product offering in time for the holidays with a bass guitar model, the FB-525 Bass. Invented in 1987 by Optek Music Systems founder and CEO Rusty Shaffer, the Fretlight Guitar has changed the way the world learns to play by combining advanced digital and LED technologies within the timeless form and function of classic electric, acoustic and bass guitars.

Fretlight Guitar Announces Bass Model.  (PRNewsFoto/Fretlight Guitar)

Fretlight Guitar Announces Bass Model. (PRNewsFoto/Fretlight Guitar)

With the addition of the Fretlight bass to its existing electric and acoustic guitar line, Fretlight now offers something for everyone. The FB-525 features the world’s only built-in LED learning system that helps you learn how to play guitar and bass up to 10 times faster than traditional methods. The Fretlight learning system allows a player to light up songs, tabs, riffs and over five thousand chord and scale patterns, right on the neck of the Fretlight guitar.

For years, Fretlight has helped six-string guitar players of all levels take their skills to the next level,” said Shaffer. “Now, by popular demand, we are taking that same technology and learning system and applying it to the four-string bass. We can’t wait to hear success stories from beginner to advanced players around the world.”

The Fretlight bass is available in both right and left-hand models, and is finished with chrome hardware including a fixed bridge and a two-way truss rod. Fully adjustable bridge saddles give users complete adjustability for a superior playing experience, while the Advanced Polymer Fretboard and Stratabond(TM) neck gives tones a rich sustain that bass players dream about. Stratabond(TM) is a state-of-the-art engineered hardwood that yields uncommon strength and rigidity across ever-changing environmental conditions. The Fretlight bass gets big tone out of its single coil bridge pickup and classic “P” style neck humbucker. Controls include a 3-way pickup toggle switch, master volume and master tone.

By connecting through a PC or Mac, the Fretlight bass uses a combination of software and video instruction to dramatically simplify and accelerate the guitar mastery process. The video lessons can be slowed to a desired tempo, and looped so fingerings can be practiced at a comfortable pace, building muscle memory, retention and confidence. The new Fretlight bass starts at $499.99 and can be purchased at select retailers or online at www.fretlight.com. For more information, also visit www.Fretlight.com.

Bellegance Perfumes Announces the Launch of its First Fragrance, Midnight Promise

An Exquisite Aromatic Blend Infused with the Sensuality of the Bewitching Hour

Bellegance Perfumes has announced the launch of its first fragrance, Midnight Promise, the new scent previewed at the 2013 Sniffapalooza Fall Ball in New York City in late October, celebrating the “resourcefulness, resilience, strength and sophistication of women”.

Bottle and box5 black_R3

Midnight Promise, whose tagline is “The Magical Hour When Anything is Possible…the Promise of Midnight,” was created by master perfumer Sarah Horowitz and fragrance designer Karen Dubin, recipient of the 2013 Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) Great Idea Award for Fragrance Innovation.

Bellegance Perfumes is a luxury fragrance company founded in 2012 by Dr. Gordon Schaye, a successful surgeon and businessman with interests in the arts who became fascinated with the potent power of perfume. Inspired by his deep appreciation and admiration of women, the brand utilizes talented women perfumers to create fragrances for women to cherish and enjoy, with the goal of bringing confidence, luxury and elegance into their lives.

Horowitz is the owner of a successful fragrance company, Sarah Horowitz Parfums, and a co- founder of Original Scent, a custom fragrance retail experience in Pasadena, California. She brings over twenty years experience in private-label perfumery to the table, creating for brands such as Apothia at Fred Segal and many celebrity signature fragrances.

Karen Dubin is a fragrance expert in addition to being founder and CEO of Sniffapalooza, an event-based group of fragrance aficionados that originated in New York City and now unites perfume enthusiasts from around the world.

Working closely with the Bellegance in-house team, the two created the unique fragrance which features Top notes of red mandarin, and cinnamon; (Middle) Heart notes of Moroccan red rose and Base notes of amber, incense, oak moss, soft patchouli, fresh vetiver, vanilla musk, and sandalwood. Launched just in time for the 2013 holiday gift giving season, Midnight Promise is the ideal gift for that very special woman in your life.

Midnight Promise, bottled and manufactured in France, will be available online and in stores with a suggested retail price of $105.00, available initially in a 2.5 ounce size and can be ordered at www.belleganceperfumes.com.

Ring In The Holidays With The Treasured Tradition Of THYMES FRASIER FIR COLLECTION





From the scent of fresh-baked sugar cookies wafting through the air to the crispness of a just-hung wreath, fragrance has the power to instantly evoke fond memories of the holidays. For countless families, THYMES FRASIER FIR is the scent that conjures the warmth and joy of the season. A beautiful, timeless tradition to give or receive, FRASIER FIR sets the mood for special moments and inspires sweet reminiscences. The perennial favorite fragrance combines the aromatic snap of crisp Siberian Fir needles with warm cedarwood and relaxing sandalwood for an invigorating and fresh yet cozy and comforting blend. This season, the time-honored scent is housed in beautiful, sophisticated new packaging that adds even more richness and joy to every celebration. From plaid-wrapped candles to tree-engraved reed diffusers, each Frasier Fir offering enhances the season’s gatherings.

What began as a line of soaps and bath salts inspired by a love of art and nature has grown over the course of almost 30 years to become THYMES, the leading fragrance brand in the U.S. specialty market. Made with essential oils and naturally derived ingredients, the artistically designed products pioneered an entirely new category of botanically-based bath and body products. While the company—and category—have grown since then, Thymes’ mission remains the same: Create beautifully fragranced, gorgeously detailed products formulated with the best possible ingredients to enrich the mind and body, addressing your needs and complementing your life.

THE THYMES FRAGRANCE STUDIO is the scent lab where favorite Thymes fragrances are blended and new scents are constantly being created. At the Fragrance Studio, Thymes’ experts carefully craft each scent, building complex and intriguing layers around a core characteristic, which is an expression of the dominant fragrance family. Every scent falls into one of the seven fragrance families: Citrus, Green, Floral, Aromatic, Oriental, Gourmand or Woody. Each Thymes fragrance is also accented by notes that are part of a sub-family, serving to enliven and complement the dominant fragrance family. Immerse yourself in the Thymes Fragrance Studio, a place where you can explore and experiment according to the fragrance notes and moods that move you—from your daily beauty rituals to your home environment.

The Frasier Fir Collection is available in all forms: All Purpose Cleaner ($11.50), Bar Soap ($10), Decorative Sachet ($3.75), Dishwashing Liquid ($11.50), Hand Lotion ($16), Hand Wash ($14), Hand Wash Large ($20), Home Fragrance Mist ($18), Hurricane Candleholder ($22), Pinecone Poured Candle ($30), Pinecone Reed Diffuser ($63), Potpourri ($32), Poured Candle ($28), Poured Candle, 3-Wick ($50), Poured Candle Set ($34), Poured Candle Tin ($18.50), Reed Diffuser ($60), Reed Diffuser Oil Refill ($19), Seasonal Poured Candle ($38), Seasonal Poured Candle, 2-Wick ($50), Sink Set with Ceramic Caddy ($36), Ceramic Soap Dish ($10), Unscented Reed Refill ($6), Votive Candle ($12.50), and Votive Candle Set ($19) at www.Thymes.com. For a complete list of Thymes retailers, or to order products, visit www.thymes.com or call 1-800-366-4071.

Men’s Furnishing Report: Not Your Grandfather’s Socks: Soxfords Launches New Themed Designs and Gift Sets for the Holiday Season

NOT YOUR GRANDFATHER'S SOCKS Soxfords Launches New Themed Designs and Gift Sets for the Holiday Season. (PRNewsFoto-Soxfords).

NOT YOUR GRANDFATHER’S SOCKS Soxfords Launches New Themed Designs and Gift Sets for the Holiday Season. (PRNewsFoto-Soxfords).

Just in time for the holiday season, men’s sock wear company Soxfords is launching its sophomore collection of colorfully themed, high-quality designs. Each pattern is created around a thought-provoking theme or backstory. From frogs, to fish, burgers, and zombies, you’ve never seen dress socks like these. Soxfords also introduces a limited-run of themed gift boxes that celebrate the particular style of several top-selling designs. The brand has placed its socks alongside a collection of well-crafted products from artisan companies, and curated collectables to bring an assortment of high-quality gift boxes. Gift box themes include: Zombie Survivalist, Cubical Commando, Fanatical Foodie, and Zero G. Soxfords range from $20 – $25 per pair, with a range of combo packs available. Themed gift boxes are priced at $95. All items are available for pre-order on www.Soxfords.com.

Soxfords Gift Boxes

Soxfords Gift Boxes

Rocket through any workaday atmosphere with the Soxfords’ “Zero G” themed box. This box is perfect for the astronaut in all of us – whether you brave the heavens in a Saturn V, or commuter traffic in a Saturn coupe.  The Box contents:

Vintage Science or Sci-Fi Magazine: “We fell in love with the retro look and feel of these vintage magazines featuring idealistic predictions about space flight, or fanciful visions of a fictional future. Each box contains one magazine printed between 1950-1980, of a condition perfect to sit back and enjoy.”

Jet Black Rocket w/ Red Fins by PlaySam: The perfect complement to the Kessler Syndrome design. Playsam’s Rocket is a sleekly futuristic, yet classic, design featured in a  brilliant black and red, will look great on an office desk of even the most conservative stargazer. Founded in 1984, Playsam is the leading Scandinavian design company for executive wooden toy gifts.

Astronaut Icecream (2 packs): What would-be astronaut doesn’t love the initially chalky, then mouth-wateringly creamy goodness and sweet taste of freeze-dried astronaut ice-cream?  This box contains two packs of this childhood classic that is sure to bring a smile to your face!

Kessler Syndrome Socks (2 pairs): What would a Soxfords box be without their signature socks? These popular astronaut-themed dress socks have been a hit with anyone looking to add a bit of subtle sci-fi fun to their outfit. Two pairs of Kessler Syndrome socks come included, packed in a sturdy white gift box. This gift box is available for pre-order only, and will mail out separately from the rest of your order (if applicable). Guaranteed to be delivered in time for Christmas.

Soxfords - Kessler Syndome Astonaut-Themed Dress Socks Gift Box

Soxfords – Kessler Syndome Astonaut-Themed Dress Socks Gift Box

“Cubicle Commando” Gift Box

As weekdays blend together it’s all too easy to lose your identity in pursuit of corporate goals. The “Cubical Commando” is an executive-friendly box of fun that helps keep you grounded even as you pass through the ranks. Enliven your work space while maintaining your identity with their “Cogsworth” socks

Cogsworth Socks by Soxfords (2 pairs): What would a Soxfords box be without their signature socks? Featuring a “gear and cogs” motif, these light blue dress socks have been a hit with anyone looking to be more than a Cog in the Wheel!

Retro Tin Robot from Chucklesnort: This wind-up tin toy is the perfect companion for any office. A few twists of the key, and as your new friend shambles across your desk you’ll be transported to a simpler time, where “9 to 5” actually meant something.

Balancing Blocks by Areaware: Grown-up blocks to release the kid in all of us! Take a break and get those creative juices flowing by balancing these ten faceted stone-size shapes to create your own free-form sculptures. Tumbled in a water-based paint, and packaged in a cotton drawstring bag.

Handmade Wooden Tops by The Original Tree Swing: Writers block? Waiting for that spreadsheet to download? Keep your hands out of the candy jar by keeping them busy with one of these tops! The Original Tree Swing is a family owned and operated business born from a desire to inspire creative play for children and the young of heart.  All tops are made from reclaimed wood and finished in beeswax or mineral oil.

This gift box is available for pre-order only, and will mail out separately from the rest of your order (if applicable). Guaranteed to be delivered in time for Christmas!

oxfords Dress Socks - Suitcase of Socks Suitcase

oxfords Dress Socks – Suitcase of Socks Suitcase

The Whole Enchilada $300

I heard you like socks.  Lots of them.  Can’t get enough, ac­tu­ally.  Well sir, have we got a deal for you!

With the Whole En­chi­lada combo pack, you’ll get all eigh­teen pairs of Sox­fords dress socks that they cur­rently offer (one pair of each de­sign/color), at a great price. Now you’ll have plenty of socks to wear on your feet and put on that sock-pup­pet show you were al­ways dream­ing about. Think big! Note that this in­cludes their six newest de­signs only avail­able for pre-or­der. These will mail out sep­a­rately from the rest of your order, guar­an­teed to be de­liv­ered be­fore De­cem­ber 25th! Continue reading

PANDORA Jewelry Launches the Winter Wonderland Collection

The new PANDORA pieces allow women to celebrate the unforgettable memories of the holidays and ring in the new year in style

The new PANDORA pieces allow women to celebrate the unforgettable memories of the holidays and ring in the new year in style

PANDORA Jewelry celebrates the warmth of the holidays and the cool beauty of winter with its new collection inspired by the colors and splendor of the season. Get in the holiday spirit with new sterling silver charms and pendants, including traditional yuletide symbols — a snow globe, a Christmas tree, a striped candy cane, and a silver bells dangle, which actually “rings” lightly when moved. The openwork sterling silver pave Winter Wisp charm dazzles on a bracelet, or earrings, when combined with PANDORA’s earring barrels. A beautiful sterling silver snowflake pendant adorned with more than 60 clear cubic zirconias adds festive cheer to a necklace or bracelet. PANDORA also adds cozy winter mittens, a snow angel and champagne flutes to the extensive Moments collection of charms.

Get in the holiday spirit with new sterling silver charms and pendants, including traditional yuletide symbols — a snow globe, a Christmas tree, a striped candy cane, and a silver bells dangle.

Get in the holiday spirit with new sterling silver charms and pendants, including traditional yuletide symbols — a snow globe, a Christmas tree, a striped candy cane, and a silver bells dangle.

The magic of the season shines in sterling silver rings and earrings embellished with pave-set stones. A large cocktail ring or stackable scalloped rings set with dramatic black or purple crystals are elegant statement pieces for any affair. Delicate star and heart-shaped rings and stud earrings twinkle with 11 pave-set clear crystals on each piece.

Capture the cool light of winter with ice blue or vibrant purple Italian Murano glass, sculpted into teardrop-shaped earrings and pendants. Made with sterling silver, each hand-finished piece has nearly 200 facets, which add sparkle to any occasion.

Capture the cool light of winter with ice blue or vibrant purple Italian Murano glass, sculpted into teardrop-shaped earrings and pendants.

Capture the cool light of winter with ice blue or vibrant purple Italian Murano glass, sculpted into teardrop-shaped earrings and pendants.

The new season collection exemplifies everything we love about the brisk winter season — from timeless traditions to dazzling beauty,” said Angel Ilagan, Vice President, Marketing, PANDORA, the Americas. “The new pieces allow women to celebrate the unforgettable memories of the holidays and ring in the new year in style.”

PANDORA also introduces three new options to its collection of pave charms — 14K gold with clear zirconia, sterling silver with red zirconia, and sterling silver with violet zirconia. Pave charms start at $65 each.

To view the new pieces or locate an authorized PANDORA retailer, visit www.pandora.net.

Casio and EMINEM Celebrates 30 Years of G-SHOCK with the G-SHOCK x Eminem Limited Edition 30th Anniversary Timepiece

Casio America, Inc. is celebrating the 30th anniversary of their G-SHOCK watch brand by announcing a collaborative limited edition release with Eminem. The collaboration was announced on August 7th 2013 with an unforgettable exclusive performance at G-Shock’s Shock The World event in New York City. The GDX6900MNM-1 timepiece, available December 7, 2013, takes the newly-revamped XL-6900 watch face and personalizes it with Eminem iconology for a watch that is not only ruggedly functional, but also stylish & streetwise.

G-SHOCK x Eminem Limited Edition 30th Anniversary Timepiece (GDX6900MNM-1).  (PRNewsFoto/Casio America, Inc.)

G-SHOCK x Eminem Limited Edition 30th Anniversary Timepiece (GDX6900MNM-1). (PRNewsFoto/Casio America, Inc.)

Available in matte black with black dial and black reverse LCD, the GDX6900MNM-1 pays homage to Eminem’s rise from one of the Worlds most rugged urban terrains – the streets of downtown Detroit. As tribute, the skyline of Detroit is printed in bold red on the upper watchband. The watch face and band loop sport the reverse “E” from his stylized moniker, while the watchcase back and lower watch band are personalized with an autograph of his alter ego, “Shady”.

This new G-Shock reliably features the rugged functionality that sets the G-SHOCK brand apart, with Shock Resistance, 200M Water Resistance, Auto LED Super Illuminator, 5 Daily alarms with Flash Alert, 48-City World Time, and Multi-Home settings.

The multi-faceted Eminem (also known as Slim Shady and by birth name Marshall Mathers) is a multi-platinum, 13-time Grammy Award winning rapper, record producer, songwriter and Oscar winning actor, who has sold over 80 million albums worldwide. An avid watch collector, Eminem is seen wearing G-SHOCK throughout many of his music videos and performances, making this collaboration a natural expression of mutual respect and appreciation. Being one of the most recognized and accomplished hip-hop artists of our time, this limited edition collaborative watch with Eminem crowns a long history of hip-hop partnerships for G-SHOCK.

With hip-hop it’s as much about where it’s from as who it’s for,” said Shigenori Itoh, Chairman and CEO of Casio America, Inc.Eminem has an immense and loyal fan base around the world, as does G-SHOCK, making this collaboration one that will connect closely with many thousands of collective fans.”

The limited edition GDX6900MNM-1 Eminem men’s watch will retail for $180, and is avaiolable through selected department stores and fashion boutiques, key jewelers, and the G-SHOCK NYC Soho store.

Celebrate the Holidays with New Yoplait® Yogurt Limited Edition Winter Flavors


BY POPULAR DEMAND, YOPLAIT® YOGURT LIMITED EDITION FLAVORS ARE HERE. Fans voted for the winter seasonal flavors to be featured this holiday and Yoplait listened. Yogurt lovers can now enjoy the cool and minty winter flavors–YOPLAIT LIGHT MOCHA MINT and YOPLAIT ORIGINAL PEPPERMINT BARK-FLAVORED YOGURT–but only for a limited time.

Peppermint Bark Flavored Yogurt

Peppermint Bark Flavored Yogurt

Yoplait’s consumers have enjoyed the spring and fall seasonal flavors and the demand continues to bring limited-time seasonal yogurts with trending flavors they desire,” said Blake Holman, associate marketing manager, Yoplait. “During the holidays, peppermint is a huge hit with consumers and our fans selected peppermint bark and mocha mint as the winter seasonal flavors they wanted Yoplait to make.”

Yoplait’s seasonal flavors cannot only satisfy by providing the immediate pleasure of an indulgent yet nutritious dessert, but consumers can also use the new flavors to make some fun and trendy recipes for the holidays that the entire family will love.

Decorate the table during the holidays with color and cheer. Nothing says holiday more than candy canes. Everyone will love this CANDY CANE DIP. Serve with rolled fudge crème-filled or chocolate sugar wafer cookies. For a special touch, put the dip in a martini glass and coat the edges with crushed candies.



Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Start to Finish: 10 Minutes

  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 containers (6 oz each) Yoplait® Original 99% Fat Free peppermint bark yogurt
  • 1/4 cup crushed red and white peppermint candies
  • 28 chocolate fudge crème-filled tubular-shaped rolled wafer cookies or chocolate sugar wafer
  • cookies

1. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in yogurt until blended. Stir in candies.

2. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until serving time. Serve with cookie wafers.

14 servings (2 tablespoons dip and 2 cookies each). For a festive presentation, moisten the rim of a large martini or margarita glass with a small amount of the dip, then dip the rim into a shallow dish of crushed peppermint candies.  Serve with your favorite cookies for dipping, such as chocolate wafers, chocolate chip cookies or chocolate graham crackers.



Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Start to Finish: 2 Hours

  • 1 box (1 lb 2.4 oz) Betty Crocker® Original Supreme Premium brownie mix
  •  Water, vegetable oil and egg called for on brownie mix box
  • 2 containers (6 oz each) Yoplait® Original 99% Fat Free peppermint bark yogurt
  •  Crushed peppermint candies, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Make and bake brownie mix as directed on box, using water, oil and egg. Cool completely.

2. Reserve half of cooled brownies for another use. Crumble remaining half of brownies. In each of twelve 2-oz shot glasses or mini dessert dishes, layer crumbled brownies and yogurt. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving time. Just before serving, top with crushed candies.

12 servings

Look for tasting-size dishes or shot glasses in the housewares departments of department stores, or use any small glasses you have on hand. Instead of crushed peppermint candies for a garnish, reserve 2 tablespoons of the crumbled brownies to sprinkle over the yogurt. Continue reading

The Vespa Primavera Legend is Back

Vespa Primavera Anteprima

Vespa Primavera Anteprima

The new Vespa Primavera made its French début at the Paris Salon de la Moto this past week. Unveiled a month ago at the world press at the Milan 2013 EICMA show, the Vespa Primavera is now being marketed all over Europe and – following a presentation in Hanoi – in Vietnam and Asian countries as well.

The first Vespa Primavera emerged in 1968. This was the year that witnessed a new awareness amongst the younger generation that suddenly wanted to yell for freedom. Nimble, innovative lines, sparkling performance, easy and fun to ride – 45 years ago Vespa Primavera was a breath of fresh air. Small and quick, it was to become one of the longest running and most beloved models in the history of Vespa, equally popular with both men and women.

Vespa Primavera Anteprima

Vespa Primavera Anteprima

Youthful, technologically ground-breaking and agile, with an eye to the protection of the environment, the new Vespa Primavera is the hero of its time, inheriting all the joy of life that go hand in hand with the story of a model that is a cult in the Vespa family tree.

With a radically new design, a new body in steel, new sizes, still agile but even more stable and comfortable, Vespa Primavera is reborn – powered by the ultra modern and ecological 50cc, 125cc 3 valve and 150cc 3 valve engines – appropriating some of the stylistic and technical solutions of Vespa 946, the most prestigious and technologically advanced model ever conceived.


The new Primavera is back at one of the brightest moments in Vespa history, the year that also marked the début of the Vespa 946, which was introduced to the American market with the launch that took place in Manhattan on 25 October after already having been introduced in Europe and Asia.

The record of new products offered is matched by sales records: from January to October 2013 the Vespa brand earmarked the exceptional number of more than 158,000 units sold worldwide, 20,600 vehicles more than the 137,000 sold in the first ten months of 2012.

This is further confirmation of the extraordinary progress the Vespa brand has made in the last ten years: from 2004, when overall sales reached 58,000 units, numbers rose to 100,000 in 2006, and 165,000 Vespas manufactured in 2012, a record which is about to be broken in 2013. In less than ten years, from January 2004 to October of this year, a total of 1,207,827 Vespas have been sold worldwide.

Introducing OYOBox: The Chic, Contemporary Solution For Storing Eyewear

New Handcrafted Luxury Product Streamlines Organization, Makes Great Holiday Gift For Men, Women, Families

OYOBox is the chic, contemporary solution for storing eyewear.  It was designed to protect and display up to eight pairs of sunglasses and eyeglasses, like a jewelry box for eyewear.  It can accommodate both small readers and large, trendy frames.  (PRNewsFoto/OYOBox)

OYOBox is the chic, contemporary solution for storing eyewear. It was designed to protect and display up to eight pairs of sunglasses and eyeglasses, like a jewelry box for eyewear. It can accommodate both small readers and large, trendy frames. (PRNewsFoto/OYOBox)

We all know the feeling of fumbling around for the pair we’re looking for, or searching around your car or house looking for your favorite frames. You wouldn’t toss your favorite jewelry in drawers all over your house or leave your diamond earrings swimming around the depths of your purse, so why do that with your eyewear?

Just as fine jewelry belongs in a jewelry box, eyeglasses and sunglasses belong in an OYOBox. Just in time for the holidays–OYOBox is an innovative product designed to streamline the way you store and wear glasses. OYOBox solves this dilemma by allowing you to store up to eight pairs of your favorite glasses in a centralized location.

OYOBox is offered in an extensive array of vibrant colors and luxurious wood finishes to complement any style or decor. Each unit is outfitted with easy to clean leatherette interior, state-of-the-art modern hinges and shatterproof top window for viewing.  The handmade OYOBox features seven layers of meticulously hand-applied lacquer that embodies the luxury of the collection.

“I designed OYOBox to create ease in selecting your eyewear on a daily basis,” said OYOBox Co-Founder Luba Stark.  “OYOBox was developed to introduce a new way of thinking, storing and relating to your eyewear collection.  Our product is unique because it brings precious eyewear out of the dark and into the light.”

Stark and her brother, Michael Kriss, developed OYOBox after realizing there was no other product on the market that served the same purpose with such attention to detail and craftsmanship.

“We saw a huge gap in the market that needed to be filled and wanted to help streamline peoples’ lives by providing them with a functional yet stylish product to store their eyewear,” said Kriss.  “OYOBox is something nearly everyone will find useful, whether for themselves or for their entire family.”

OYOBox is a great holiday gift idea for anyone on your list:

—  Fashionistas. Take your pick of frames to change up your look.

—  Sunglass aficionados. Protect expensive designer frames like Chanel and Prada.

—  Guys on the go. Most men don’t bother to hold on to individual cases.

—  Busy moms. Keep OYOBox on the entry table to get out the door with ease.

—  Loved ones with reading glasses. Corral stray pairs of readers in one place.

—  Home organizers. OYOBox’s chic design and universal color options match any decor.

Each OYOBox comes with a sunglass pouch, cleaning cloth and carrying tote. It retails from $250 to $300, and is available for purchase at select upscale boutiques nationwide or at www.oyobox.com.


A Winter Wonderland of Honey Flavors: Keep Warm all Season Long with New Honeylicious Holiday Drinks

While eateries and coffee shops may draw us in with their seasonal offerings, nothing beats a warm, homemade drink with honey to get you through the cold winter days.

The festive feel in the air, gatherings with family and friends, and of course, the delicious holiday feasts are among the many reasons we look forward to the winter months. From decadent dishes to comforting drinks, the aromas and tastes of winter are unlike any other time of year. This season, the National Honey Board and Melissa Bailey, author of the popular recipe blog Hungry Food Love, have created delectable honey-based drinks the whole family can enjoy.

Aside from the special touch it adds to this new festive drink menu, honey also contributes its benefit as an all-natural cough suppressant. With options as tasty as the Honey Caramel Coffee and Spiced Mandarin Orange Tea with Honey, mixing up a warm honey beverage to get through the cough and cold season is both easy and palatable. This golden, one-ingredient sweetener is your best ally against the cold weather months ahead.

“Honey has always been one of my favorite ingredients to experiment with in the kitchen because there’s simply nothing else like it,” states Melissa. “Its wholesomeness and unique flavor has always impressed me, and these qualities have motivated me to try it in a multitude of food recipes – and now in these new honey-infused drinks!” Honey’s role in these Latin-inspired beverages celebrates tradition by complementing the tones and flavors of holiday favorites. For example, the fragrant Apple, Pineapple and Honey Cider was inspired by the Colombian drink hervido de piña, which is very popular during the chilly wintertime.

These honey-licious new drinks are the perfect treat to share with loved ones on a holiday morning, brunch or evening get together – and you’ll be happy the winter season has enough cold days in it to enjoy each drink. Visit http://www.mielpura.org today to check out all of the recipes and find more information about honey’s natural benefits as a cough suppressant. Make staying bundled up indoors with a hot honey drink in hand your new favorite pastime of the season!

Coconut Cream Honey Eggnog Makes 4
3 tbsp. honey
1 cup coconut milk
½ cup condensed milk
1 cup evaporated milk
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. cinnamon, ground
3 tbsp. rum (optional)

Preparation: Place the three milks, the cinnamon and the yolk in a blender and blend. Next, pour the mixture into a medium-sized saucepan and cook over low-medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the rum and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain to eliminate any solid residue. Store the eggnog in the refrigerator for 5 to 8 hours before serving.

*The rum can be left out for a kid-friendly version.

Spiced Mandarin Orange Tea with Honey Makes 4
4 tbsp. honey
Juice of 12 mandarin oranges (with the pulp)
Rind of 4 mandarin oranges
4 cups water
4 star anise pods
½ tsp. nutmeg, ground
½ tsp. cinnamon, ground
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
Extra cinnamon sticks (optional garnish)
Preparation: Place all of the ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan. Cover with lid and heat over high heat. Stir every so often and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and boil for another 30 minutes without lid, until all the flavors are well combined and the aroma of the spices is strong.

Before serving, strain the tea to remove the pieces of rind and any residue. Serve hot and decorate each cup with a stick of cinnamon if desired.

White Chocolate Mocha Mint and Honey Cream (4 servings)
2 tablespoons honey
2 ½ cups cream ( heavy cream )
2 cups whole milk
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup espresso
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
Crushed mints to decorate (optional)
Preparation: In a saucepan over high heat medina, bring to a boil 2 cups of heavy cream and regular milk. When they are boiling, add the white chocolate and a tablespoon of honey. Lower heat to medium-low heat and add coffee and peppermint extract. Let the fire for about 5 minutes and presto!

* For honey cream
In an electric mixer, mix ½ cup of heavy cream with 1 tablespoon honey. Keep beating until lifting the beater peaks form. Use this cream for serving on mocha. Garnish with crushed mints.

Hot Chocolate Peanut Butter and Honey (4 servings)
4 tablespoons honey
4 cups milk
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
Preparation: In a saucepan over medium-high heat, boil the milk with honey. When boiling, add the chocolate. After the chocolate is dissolved, turn off the heat and with the still warm chocolate into the pot, add the peanut butter and mix with fast and frequent so that the peanut butter is well mixed and hot chocolate is a little thick movements.

A Feast to Satisfy Both the Eyes and The Stomach

A party is not a party unless you have some delicious appetizers to munch on. So to go with the previously published Holiday Cocktail Drink Recipe Guide (https://fashionpluslifestyle.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/lets-break-out-the-booze-and-have-a-ball/), I am also posting a menu of fun, tasty finger foods for you to make and enjoy as you hang out with family and friends.

Smucker’s® has introduced Smucker’s Pairings – a simple way to get inspired and discover new uses for your favorite fruit spreads. By uniting unique or traditional ingredients, home cooks can make delicious flavor combinations and create the ultimate wow factor. Smucker’s Pairings use five ingredients or less and are ready in about 15 minutes, so you don’t have to wait long to delight the taste buds. Whether entertaining friends, whipping up a family meal or making an afternoon snack for the kids, Smucker’s Pairings will inspire you to experiment with fruit spreads in new ways – like creating a Fresh Cranberry Orange Pecan Relish or a delicious Strawberry Feta Almond Spread.
SMUCKER’S NATURAL FRUIT SPREADS (available in four delicious fruit flavors – Strawberry, Red Raspberry, Orange Marmalade and Concord Grape) are made with ingredients from natural sources, has no preservatives and is naturally delicious made with real sugar.


Strawberry Feta Almond Spread
A classic combo with a twist: Combine the natural sweetness of Smucker’s®Orchard’s Finest Pacific Mountain Strawberry Preserves with the bold taste of feta cheese, toasted almonds, and balsamic vinegar in a bowl. Spread on assorted crackers, pitas, or endive.

Turkey Cranberry Bites
This appetizer is Thanksgiving in a bite. Just chop up some roast turkey breast, and spoon into thawed phyllo cups. Add brie, and top with Orchard’s Finest® Lakeside Cranberry Raspberry Preserves. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes at 350° F. Serve warm with a garnish of additional preserves, if desired.

Sweet & Spicy Orange Glazed Pecans
Try this pairing for a tasty spicy-sweet treat. Combine Smucker’s® Sweet Orange Marmalade and cayenne pepper, warming 30 seconds in the microwave. Toss with pecans and toast in a 300°F oven 20 to 22 minutes, until browned. Once toasted, sprinkle with salt and rosemary.

Fresh Cranberry Orange Pecan Relish
Add some seasonal flavor to your cheese board with this relish made with with cranberries, pecans, and orange. Combine chopped cranberries, toasted pecan pieces, diced red onion, and Smucker’s® Natural Orange Marmalade Fruit Spread in a bowl. Add a dash of red pepper flakes. Serve with a wedge of gorgonzola cheese, rustic crackers, or cinnamon pita chips.

Peach Pumpkin Dip
This snack captures autumn’s richness. Combine Smucker’s® Peach Preserves with the creamy lusciousness of canned pumpkin. Add a dash of pumpkin pie spice and combine with cream cheese. Puree in a blender, and serve with gingersnaps or vanilla wafers.

SMUCKER’S NATURAL FRUIT SPREADS VARIETIES are available at manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $2.59-3.89 at select retailers nationwide. Visit http://www.smuckers.com for a full list of Smucker’s fruit spreads varieties, product locator and recipes. Visit http://www.Smuckers.com/Pairings to view all the Smucker’s Pairings, and share your favorite using #smuckers #pairings.

FAIR. Quinoa Vodka is a product of the world’s first and unique Fair Trade Certified line of spirits. The company believes in being socially responsible by treating all people fairly and their vision has taken them globally to source the best ingredients directly from farmers for their high-quality, award-winning spirit. FAIR. Spirits has partnered with Kelley Sparwasser and Jessica Harlan, authors of the recently published Quinoa Cuisine, to create festive, palate-pleasing quinoa creations to complement FAIR. Quinoa cocktails. Below you’ll find cocktail dishes organized by brunch, appetizers, and then dessert.
Photo Credit: Dina Avila Photography

Blini with Crème Fraîche and Gravlax

Blini with Crème Fraîche and Gravlax

Blini with Crème Fraîche and Gravlax
This recipe will quickly become your go-to for guests, since it’s versatile enough to serve for brunch and a cocktail party alike. These fancy but easy blini are sure to have your guests thinking you’ve spent hours in the kitchen. Gravlax is salmon that has been cold-cured in salt, sugar, and spices. It is available at most specialty food stores and can even be purchased at IKEA. Tobiko can be purchased in the seafood department of most Asian and specialty food stores. Makes 20 to 24 Blini

1 recipe Quinoa Buttermilk Pancakes
1 cup whole milk
unsalted butter, as needed
6 tablespoons crème fraîche
2 pounds gravlax
4 tablespoons tobiko (flying fish roe)
24 small sprigs fresh dill

1. Make the quinoa buttermilk pancake batter according to the recipe instructions, but reduce the honey to 2 tablespoons and substitute 1 cup of milk for the buttermilk in the recipe.
2. Heat a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add a dollop of butter and melt, spreading with a large flat spatula or tilting to coat the skillet completely. Spoon the batter onto the griddle or skillet, about 1 Tablespoon per blini. Cook until the underside is golden and little bubbles form on top, about 4 minutes, then flip and cook through, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Repeat with the rest of the batter, adding butter to the griddle or skillet as needed. Let cool.
3. To serve, top each blini with ¾ teaspoon crème fraîche, 1 ounce gravlax, ½ teaspoon tobiko, and a small sprig of fresh dill. Continue reading

Neiman Marcus Launches Charitable Giving Campaign And The Ken Downing Gift Collection

Last week, Neiman Marcus announced the launch of The Heart of Neiman Marcus Program in conjunction with the launch of The Ken Downing Gift Collection.

 The Ken Downing Gift Collection - Alexander McQueen Clutch

The Ken Downing Gift Collection – Alexander McQueen Clutch

The Heart of Neiman Marcus is a national umbrella program that concentrates the company’s charitable giving efforts around supporting arts experiences for youth. Building a national program around this issue, including local activation and partners, enables Neiman Marcus to have a greater impact on the communities where stores are located and better align charitable efforts with the company’s brand.

 The Ken Downing Gift Collection -Tom Ford Deluxe Lipstick Set

The Ken Downing Gift Collection -Tom Ford Deluxe Lipstick Set

Neiman Marcus has had a long-standing alignment with the arts and is one of the few retailers in the world with a corporate art collection. Exposure to the arts is a luxury that often requires specific access to enjoy. Engagement with the arts, especially for young people, can impact educational performance and creativity and enhance community health.

To launch the campaign, Neiman Marcus Fashion Director Ken Downing, has curated an exclusive gift collection of 37 gifts ranging in price from $32 – $1800. Ten percent of the sales of these gifts, from now through to December 25th, will benefit a local charity supporting art experiences for youth. Forty-one different charities around the country have been selected. Ten percent of all sales of the Ken Downing Gift Collection online, through www.neimanmarcus.com, will go to the Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation.

A spirit of community and goodwill has been an important part of the culture of our company for over 100 years,” said Karen Katz, CEO and President, Neiman Marcus Group, “It is with that spirit that I am happy to announce the launch of ‘The Heart of Neiman Marcus,’ our first nation-wide corporate giving program dedicated to raising money in support of arts experiences and education for young people.”

For more information on The Heart of Neiman Marcus, please go to www.neimanmarcus.com/heartofneimanmarcus

Celebrate New Year’s Eve With Fine Dining And Fireworks At Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas

Celebrate New Year’s Eve With Fine Dining And Fireworks At Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas

Celebrate New Year’s Eve With Fine Dining And Fireworks At Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas

The Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas will welcome 2014 with an elaborate New Year’s Eve feast and a fireworks viewing party for guests on December 31. The triple Forbes Five-Star resort will transform its 23rd floor for its New Year’s Eve Gala and will host two different seatings at Twist by Pierre Gagnaire for an exceptional celebration to ring in the New Year.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve With Fine Dining And Fireworks At Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas

Celebrate New Year’s Eve With Fine Dining And Fireworks At Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas

Guests will enjoy a front row seat to the world-famous Las Vegas Strip fireworks when they join the 23rd floor festivities at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve. The Mandarin Bar, Tea Lounge and Sky Lobby will host the New Year’s Eve Gala featuring extraordinary décor, live music, a spacious dance floor and multi-colored filled floor-to-ceiling windows framing the fireworks across the city skyline. The gala begins at 9:00 p.m. and general admission is USD150 per person; tables in Mandarin Bar and Tea Lounge start at USD500. The gala is complimentary to hotel guests and diners at Twist by Pierre Gagnaire.

World-renowned Chef Pierre Gagnaire joins guests at his Five-Star restaurant, Twist by Pierre Gagnaire, to welcome 2014 and enjoy the exclusive New Year’s Eve feast. The New Year’s Eve dinner is available in two seatings with complimentary champagne, general admission into the 23rd floor New Year’s Eve Gala as well as prime seating to view The Strip’s fireworks show. The first seating consists of four-courses priced at USD 350 per person and the six-course second seating is priced at USD 525 per person.

The four-course menu is available at 5:30 p.m., 6:00 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. and includes:
Lobster Fricassee with fresh ginger and lemongrass butter & creamy pumpkin puree with lime
Warm Scallop Carpaccio with stew of black truffle, cuttlefish, smoked haddock, celery root and shaved chestnut
Tajima Wagyu beef au poivre with black Sarawak pepper, black truffle and Paris mushroom, & fondue of endive and mache with bacon
Pierre Gagnaire’s Grand Dessert including a crumbly shortbread with black currant syrup, apples and passion fruit marmalade; multi-colored meringue with polignac almond, ganache with old rum; lemon jelly with limoncello and chocolate ice cream; and mango veloute and wedges with raspberry sorbet and coconut milk with lime.

The six-course menu is available at 9:00 p.m., 9:30 p.m. or 10:00 p.m. and features:
Sea Urchin Custard with caviar and declination of turnips, & Blinis with vodka granite and traditional garnish
Lobster Fricassee with fresh ginger and lemongrass butter & creamy pumpkin puree with lime
Warm Scallop Carpaccio with stew of black truffle, cuttlefish, smoked haddock, celery root and shaved chestnut
Duck Foie Gras Shortbread with Chantilly and red port, red pepper puree, and a milk chocolate leaf
Tajima Wagyu beef au poivre with black Sarawak pepper, black truffle and Paris mushroom, & fondue of endive and mache with bacon
Pierre Gagnaire’s Grand Dessert including a crumbly shortbread with black currant syrup, apples and passion fruit marmalade; multi-colored meringue with polignac almond, ganache with old rum; lemon jelly with limoncello and chocolate ice cream; and mango veloute and wedges with raspberry sorbet and coconut milk with lime

For additional information, purchase tickets or to make table reservations, please call 702-590-8882. Guests must be 21 years of Mandarin_Oriental_Hotel_Group_gold_logoage and older.

Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas is one of only six triple Forbes Five-Star hotels in the United States and is the only hotel in Las Vegas with Five-Star recognition for the hotel, Twist by Pierre Gagnaire restaurant and The Spa. A sophisticated sanctuary of modern elegance prominently situated at the entrance of CityCenter, Mandarin Oriental has made its mark as the ultimate urban resort destination in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. Designed entirely by interior designer Adam D. Tihany and architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox, Mandarin Oriental brings to Las Vegas a new standard of style with stunning suites, captivating architectural design, unique restaurant and bar venues, and the legendary hospitality of Mandarin Oriental.

Montblanc Meisterstück Tuscany: The New Leather Goods Collection from Montblanc

Meisterstück Tuscany, a collection of leather goods for men, with exceptional leather crafted with the ancestral skill of Italian artisans according to the timelessly elegant aesthetic of Montblanc was launched in November 2013.

Montblanc Meisterstück Tuscany Collection

Montblanc Meisterstück Tuscany Collection

The new collection will include 11 products, in Terra and Nero colour each, such as wallets, business card and passports holders as well as briefcases between 115€ and 1450€. For Meisterstück Tuscany, Montblanc selected the unique character and outstanding quality of buffalo leather. Because of the legendary strength and robustness of the animal from which it derives, buffalo leather adds extraordinary suppleness and sensuality, making it a rare pleasure to touch and to hold. Furthermore, every skin is unique, revealing the animalʼs life through an entirely individual pattern of natural marks and creases. In a sense, therefore, every Meisterstück Tuscany item has its own story to tell, even before its proud owner makes it his companion for life…

Among the highlights of the collection are a slim hand-held document case and a cross-body envelope bag designed for the modern businessman who has the self-confidence and style savvy to team the rugged, natural look of buffalo leather with a formal business suit during the week and laid-back chinos at the weekend. The deceptively spacious document case boasts two inner compartments with several pockets, as well as a large zippered pocket on the outside, while the neat envelope bag, which comes on an adjustable canvas shoulder strap, has a zippered outside pocket and an array of smaller inside pockets.

Complementing these designs is the classic Montblanc Double Gusset Briefcase, whose elegant fusion of form and function – including two spacious compartments, specific smartphone and tablet pockets, and a secure combination lock in polished stainless steel – makes it a perennial best-seller. An array of small leather goods, notably wallets, a business card holder and a passport holder, completes the collection. All the pieces are lined in jacquard fabric with the emblematic “M” motif, which is engraved on the nib of the iconic Meisterstück fountain pen, and signed with the instantly recognizable Montblanc emblem.

The Montblanc Meisterstück Tuscany Collection is available in selected Montblanc boutiques worldwide.

Target Announces Strong Start to Black Friday Sale with Target.com Traffic Exceeding Previous Records

Top doorbusters drive heavy online traffic and large crowds at openings nationwide

Target Corporation announced a very successful start to its Black Friday shopping weekend, with guests responding to deep discounts and a wide variety of the season’s most popular offers. On http://www.Target.com, where nearly all doorbusters were available on Thanksgiving Day, traffic and sales were among the highest Target has seen in a single day. In the early morning hours after the doorbusters first became available, Target.com saw two times more orders versus last year at that time. Hot items included the iPad Air, several large screen TVs, Nintendo 3DS XL and Zoomer the Robot Dog which sold out by mid-morning. Other top sellers included the Nikon L320 camera, Samsung 40” TV, Beats by Dr. Dre Solo headphones and the Dyson DC35 vacuum

Our guests told us they want top gifts at a great value, and our team delivered,” said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Target. “Whether online, on their mobile devices, or in our stores, guests shopped Target in unprecedented numbers. And, as always, our team provided the exceptional experience our guests have come to expect from Target.”

Starting in the early morning hours of Thanksgiving Day on Target.com, through our Thanksgiving night store openings, traffic across all channels was strong,” said Jeff Jones, executive vice president and Chief Marketing Officer, Target. “I’m excited to see how guests respond to Target’s unbeatable value through this weekend, CyberWeek and the rest of the holiday season.”

In stores, crowds began gathering hours before the 8 p.m. opening and teams reported lines that stretched several blocks. Electronics and toys were popular destinations. In many locations, the Element 50-inch TV at $229 sold out in a matter of minutes.

Traffic remained strong for several hours after opening at many stores. After midnight, guests took advantage of a special offer that started at 12:01 a.m. local time on Friday, Nov. 29. Guests who spend $75 or more in Target stores receive a coupon valid for 20 percent off nearly all items of a single, storewide purchase in the first week of December.

This Holiday Season, Give the Gift of the Ultimate Coffee Experience

Nespresso 5

The holiday shopping season has begun, bringing with it countless opportunities to find gifts that everyone on your list will adore. Coffee lover and design expert, Tim Gunn, has already found his must-have for the holidays: the perfection of coffee from Nespresso. With 21 Grands Crus sourced from the top 1-2% of the world’s best coffee beans, easy-to-use machines that deliver the barista experience at home, as well as personalized customer service,  Nespresso offers a world of experiences – and gift options – to celebrate the season of giving.

Nespresso 1

Nespresso machines are truly the perfect gift for the holiday season,” says Gunn. “They are contemporary, sleek and stylish. They enhance any environment and make a powerful visual impression because they emphasize what I believe are the most important attributes of great design: quality, taste and style.”

New Addition to Nespresso Line of Machines: UMilk

The newest addition to the machine line is the UMilk, which combines the modular design and easy to use technology of the U Machine with a fresh-milk frother. Users are now able to easily make café quality Cappuccinos and Lattes at home with the touch of a button. The UMilk comes in two colors: Pure Black and Pure Cream, and features three pre-programmed cup sizes and automated cup preference memorization.

Nespresso 2

While the holidays can be a busy time, they should also be an occasion to savor moments of indulgence. For those who wish to invigorate their coffee experience, Nespresso offers its newest holiday variation: Masala Chai. This Grand Cru is characterized by hints of cinnamon, star anise and clove.

Nespresso 3

Nespresso Boutiques and Boutique-in-Shops are a fantastic place to experience and purchase Nespresso products. At all locations, Nespresso Boutique Specialists are available to help guide customers through the full range of Nespresso machines and assist in sampling the 21 Grand Cru coffees. At Nespresso Flagship Boutiques in New York, Boston, Miami, San Francisco and Beverly Hills, holiday shoppers can sip and savor Nespresso Grand Cru coffees as well as enjoy a menu of sweet and savory fare. For additional information on Nespresso please visit www.nespresso-us.com.

The Body Shop Brings You A Feel Good Cyber Monday

Shop www.TheBodyShop-usa.com on Sunday, December 1st at 7AM to Save 50% Off Your Bath & Body Care, Makeup, Fragrances & More Sitewide + Free Shipping!

The Body Shop Cyber Monday.  (PRNewsFoto/The Body Shop USA)

The Body Shop Cyber Monday. (PRNewsFoto/The Body Shop USA)

This holiday, The Body Shop is giving you and yours an extra joyful treat!  Give the gift of FEEL GOOD beauty that comes straight from the heart with The Body Shop, and save BIG!  From Sunday, December 1st – Monday to December 2nd save 50% sitewide + free shipping with any $30 purchase on the products that help you feel good, and benefit the community as well.

The Body Shop offers a full range of bath & body care, skin care, makeup, hair care, fragrance, and men’s products THE BODY SHOP USA LOGOmade from the finest natural and Community Fair Trade ingredients from around the world. At The Body Shop, when you purchase a product, you’re actually giving twice, once to your loved one, and once to our Community Fair Trade partners.

With this mega Cyber Monday deal of 50% off sitewide + free shipping with any $30 purchase, The Body Shop is helping customers cyber SAVE and cyber GIVE.  This do-good company always keeps people, animals and the planet in mind, so when you shop with The Body Shop, you are choosing to make a difference and build a bright future.

True to its do-good mission, The Body Shop is gratefully celebrating #GiveBackTuesday on December 3, 2013 with an everyday commitment to giving back to those in need of support. This holiday season, The Body Shop is helping others share in the feelings of joy more than ever. Each purchase contributes to the building of five schools in Community Fair Trade communities around the world—from India to Nepal to Ghana and Honduras. Thank you today, and everyday for sharing in the giving spirit! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piSgqXophAc&feature=youtu.be

The Body Shop International plc. is the original ethical beauty brand, with over 2,500 stores in over 60 markets worldwide. The Body Shop seeks out wonderful natural and ethically sourced ingredients from all four corners of the globe to deliver products bursting with effectiveness—all to enhance your natural beauty. The Body Shop is proud to have been the first beauty brand to have brought the benefits of fair trade to the beauty industry through its own unique Community Fair Trade program, to have introduced 100% recycled packaging, and to continuously campaign for causes to raise funds and awareness on key issues of the day, including animal testing in cosmetics and the sex trafficking of the most vulnerable in our society, children and young people.

UGG® Australia to Host 4th Annual Holiday Register Drive To Benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Keeping the tradition of bringing comfort and joy to shoppers this holiday season, UGG Australia will partner with Boys & Girls Clubs of America for the fourth year in a row, hosting a register drive to raise funds for the organization.  All 41 domestic UGG Australia stores (including 22 concept stores and 19 outlets) will participate in the holiday initiative, kicking off November 29th and running through December 31st.

UGG Australia Sparkle Stockings $45.  (PRNewsFoto/UGG Australia)

UGG Australia Sparkle Stockings $45. (PRNewsFoto/UGG Australia)

For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs serve nearly 4 million children and teens through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. Clubs provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at www.bgca.org/facebook and www.bgca.org/twitter.

Shoppers will have the opportunity to make a contribution at the checkout registers in all stores while on the search for the perfect holiday gift this season. In select locations and while supplies last, shoppers who make a donation will receive a complimentary set of BGCA holiday gift tags.

We are thrilled to continue our support of Boys & Girls Clubs of America,” says Constance X. Rishwain, president of UGG Australia.  “Their mission aligns perfectly with UGG’s philanthropic focus of empowering kids and providing them with the tools for a successful future.”

UGG Australia concept and outlet store locations can be found here: http://www.uggaustralia.com/storelocator

(RED) Honors World AIDS Day With The Launch Of New Holiday Campaigns From Partners To Help The Fight Against AIDS

This holiday season, one color unites Theory, Jonathan Adler, Kidrobot, Live Nation Entertainment, Sir Richard’s Condom Company, Beats By Dr. Dre, Starbucks, Fab.com, Belvedere Vodka, Priority Records and Coca-Cola: (RED)

World AIDS Day marks a time to celebrate how far we’ve come in the fight to end AIDS, as well as a time to shine a global spotlight on the monumental, historical opportunity now upon us to deliver the world’s first AIDS Free Generation in over 30 years.  This World AIDS Day, on December 1, cities, organizations, people and brands including – Jonathan Adler, Theory, Kidrobot, Live Nation Entertainment, Sir Richard’s Condom Company,

(RED) honors World AIDS Day with the launch of new holiday campaigns from partners to help fight against AIDS.  (PRNewsFoto/(RED))

(RED) honors World AIDS Day with the launch of new holiday campaigns from partners to help fight against AIDS. (PRNewsFoto/(RED))

Fab.com, Coca-Cola, Priority Records (a division of Capital Music Group), Belvedere Vodka, Beats By Dr. Dre andStarbucks  – are coming together to invite people all over the world to BE (RED) this holiday season.

Deborah Dugan, CEO of (RED) says, “Every year, (RED) marks World AIDS Day by unveiling a number of campaigns and partnerships to add to our long list of supporters, all aimed at focusing the world’s attention on the AIDS crisis and transforming our incredible purchasing power into a global force that saves lives.  Today, I’m so thrilled to announce that Theory, Jonathan Adler, Kidrobot, Live Nation Entertainment and Sir Richard’s Condom Company are all joining (RED) in the fight to end AIDS!  Together, with our current partners, we are turning the holiday season (RED) to show people how their everyday choices can help deliver the first AIDS Free Generation in over 30 years.”

Today, it costs as little as 40 cents a day for two antiretroviral pills which can prevent the transmission of HIV from mother to baby. Still, 700 babies are born with HIV every day.  Though that’s roughly 200 less than in 2012, we can get that number near zero in the next few years.  This World AIDS Day, (RED) and its partners invite the world to:

Make a Bold Fashion Statement for an AIDS Free Generation with (THEORY)RED 
Wearing red makes a bold statement, but wearing (THEORY)RED makes a bold impact.  Theory has partnered with (RED) to create a (THEORY)RED gift card,  as well as a collection of five bestselling classics in (RED)’s signature color for Holiday 2013.  25% of the retail price from each (THEORY)RED item purchased at Theory retail stores globally or at Theory.com will be donated to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.

Design a stylish home with (JONATHAN ADLER)RED   and help deliver an AIDS Free Generation 
This holiday season, home décor enthusiasts can deck the halls (RED) with luxury items from the (JONATHAN ADLER)RED Holiday Capsule Collection.  From November 24 through December 24, Jonathan Adler will donate10% of the retail price from select red-colored products at Jonathan Adler stores or at jonathanadler.com to the Global Fund fight AIDS.  Additionally, all year round, aromatherapy lovers can enjoy the new (JONATHAN ADLER)RED Special Edition Tomato Pop Candle, which features a clean, crisp garden scent and fights AIDS with every purchase.

Get Playful with (KIDROBOT X KEITH HARING) RED for an AIDS Free Generation 
As the premier creator of limited edition art toys, signature apparel and pop culture accessories, Kidrobot has teamed up with (RED) and the Keith Haring Studio to fight AIDS through the universal language of art. Bringing together Kidrobot’s iconic ‘Bot’ sculpture with Keith Haring’s legendary artwork, the (KIDROBOT X KEITH HARING)RED collection includes five amazing and surprising conceptual art pieces.  5% of the purchase of every (KIDROBOT X KEITH HARING)RED item at Kidrobot stores globally or at kidrobot.com will be donated to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.

Donate to (RED) through (LIVE NATION ENTERTAINMENT)RED  for an AIDS Free Generation
Through December 15, fans of concerts, sports, theater and family events can go (RED) by opting to add a $5.00 contribution to their Ticketmaster.com and LiveNation.com ticket purchases. One hundred percent of every donation will go directly to The Global Fund to fight AIDS.

Buy (SIR RICHARDS)RED  Condoms for an AIDS Free Generation – Doing Good Never Felt Better! 
Doing good never felt better with the (SIR RICHARD’S)RED Condom Packs.  Launching the first-ever (PRODUCT)RED Condom Collection, this hip prophylactic brand will be donating 5% of the retail price from the (SIR RICHARD’S)RED 3- and 12-packs to The Global Fund to fight AIDS.

Shop (FAB) RED for an AIDS Free Generation
From December 1-16, holiday gift seekers can enjoy the (FAB)RED store on Fab.com, the one stop shop for (RED) products this holiday season!   Fab is offering a range of over 50 items, including items from (RED) partners such as Jonathan Adler, mophie, Theory, FEED, Kidrobot, Fatboy and more. Fab is also including red-colored Fab-sourced products–ranging from posters and tees to wall décor, enamel letters, and luggage — in the (FAB)RED shop, with 10% of proceeds going to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.

Download DANCE (RED) SAVE LIVES2  on iTunes for an AIDS Free Generation
(RED) and Priority Records bring dance music fans the ultimate soundtrack to World AIDS Day global celebrations with DANCE (RED) SAVE LIVES2 . Currently #1 on the U.S. iTunes Dance Charts, the newDANCE (RED) SAVE LIVES2 album  features the hottest dance and pop artists, including Avicii, Baauer,Benny Benassi, Bingo Players, Calvin Harris, Dada Life, deadmau5, Major Lazer, Martin Solveig, RL Grime, Swedish House Mafia, Tiesto, Tommy Trash and many more!  100% of proceeds go to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.

Help deliver an AIDS Free Generation just by busting a move with cokeREDmoves!  Go toCokeREDMoves.com , download the track, and upload a dance video on YouTube or Instagram using #CokeREDMoves as the title or hashtag.  For each of the first 1000 #CokeREDmoves videos submitted, Coca-Cola will make a $25 per video donation to the Global Fund, up to $25,000, in addition to the $1 million they already donate annually to the Global Fund. Join Harry Shum Jr., the Jabbawockeez, Les Twins, Mega Jam, Omarion, Richy Jackson, Shane Sparks, Autumn Miller, Kathryn McCormickand more who have all joined the MOVEment!

Drink (STARBUCKS)RED  for an AIDS Free Generation
On December 1 st, Starbucks will contribute 10 cents for every handcrafted beverage sold in the US andCanada to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.

Party with (BELVEDERE)RED  for an AIDS Free Generation
Join DJ Mark Ronson and (BELVEDERE)RED at Marquee NYC on November 30 th! 50% of profits of (BELVEDERE)RED goes to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.  (BELVEDERE)RED is available worldwide throughout the holiday season. If you are of legal drinking age, remember to drink responsibly.

Turn up the Beats for an AIDS Free Generation with (BEATS BY DR. DRE PILL)RED 
For one day only – on December 1, World AIDS Day – (RED) partner Beats by Dr. Dre is turning the Beats Pill wireless speaker (RED)!  For every red-colored Pill sold on December 1st, Beats will send a portion of the proceeds to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.  That’s in addition to the (BEATS)RED Solo HD headphones which fight AIDS year round!

See the World Turn (RED) for an AIDS Free Generation 
In its fifth year, our “One Color Unites Us” campaign continues as the world’s most iconic, distinctive landmarks illuminate (RED) on December 1st.  46 buildings will cast red lights across 12 cities this year, incorporating new partner cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and new partner landmarks such as the Alvin Ailey Theater and Bank of America Tower in New York City. Other incredible participants include the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit, the Hearst and Gehry Buildings in New York, and the CN Tower inToronto, Canada. The complete list of participating landmarks will be available online at blog.joinred.com

(RED) was founded  in 2006 by Bono and Bobby Shriver to engage businesses and people in the fight against AIDS. (RED) partners with the world’s most iconic brands who contribute up to 50% of profits from (RED) branded goods and services to the Global Fund. (RED) Proud Partners include: Apple, Starbucks, The Coca-Cola Company, Beats by Dr. Dre, Belvedere, Claro, SAP, Telcel and Live Nation Entertainment. (RED) Special Edition partners include: Jonathan Adler, Theory, HEAD, Kidrobot, Mophie, FEED, Sir Richard’s Condom Company, Shazam, Girl Skateboards, Nanda Home, Bottletop, Tourneau, Fatboy USA and Bed Bath & Beyond.

To date, (RED) has generated more than $240 million for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, to support HIV/AIDS grants in Ghana, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania. 100 percent of that money goes to work on the ground – no overhead is taken. Global Fund grants that (RED) supports have impacted more than 14 million people with prevention, treatment, counseling, HIV testing and care services. (RED) is a division of The ONE Campaign.  Learn more at www.red.org.

THE GLOBAL FUND TO FIGHT AIDS, TUBERCULOSIS AND MALARIA is an international financing institution dedicated to attracting and disbursing resources to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria.  The Global Fund promotes partnerships between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities, the most effective way to help reach those in need. This innovative approach relies on country ownership and performance-based funding, meaning that people in countries implement their own programs based on their priorities and the Global Fund provides financing where verifiable results are achieved.

Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund has approved funding of US$ 22.9 billion for in 140 countries. To date, programs supported by the Global Fund have provided AIDS treatment for 5.3 million people, anti-tuberculosis treatment for 11 million people and 340 million insecticide-treated nets for the prevention of malaria. The Global Fund works in close collaboration with other bilateral and multilateral organizations to supplement existing efforts in dealing with the three diseases.

Let’s Break Out The Booze and Have a Ball…

By Phillip D. Johnson


As we enter the last days of 2013, we all have something to celebrate. If you have had a very good year (especially on the financial front), more power to you. If your year has been less than perfect, then you really need a good party and high hopes for 2014. If, like Queen Elizabeth II in 1992, you have had an annus horribilis, a terrible year; then you really need to have a party to celebrate the hopefully brighter future. The cocktail drink and winter season recipes below came courtesy from many sources but they all have one thing in common: You are likely to fall in love with them and add them your party drink arsenal. Whether it’s a party of one, a family gathering, cocktails with friends or a year-end celebration in a professional setting, there’s something here for everyone. Salud.

The book, Aphrodisiacs, with a Twist! by Mark Sexauer, is designed for both home and professional bartenders, foodies, cocktail enthusiasts, couples, entertainers and theme parties. Fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs that are historical aphrodisiacs are used in making nearly 100 original “craft” style cocktail recipes that are creatively approachable to home bartenders while keeping the attention of the professionals. Recipes by Mark Sexauer

Rompope (i.e. Mexican Eggnog)

There are hundreds, if not thousands of recipes and variations for Rompope in books and on the internet.  In Mexico you will see flavored versions usually with almonds, cinnamon or strawberries.  I’m not a big fan of most variations of Rompope because I love the basic recipe at its foundation so much.  The recipe is simple (if you don’t count the hard shaking involved) and offers a familiar flavor profile to eggnog that people will instantly be thinking of as they close their eyes and savor the taste.” – Mark Sexauer

  • 1 1/2 ounces brandy
  • 3/4 ounces agave syrup
  • 1/4 ounces smoky mezcal (optional, but super worth it)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 ounces whole milk
  • dash pure vanilla extract
  • dash almond extract
  • pinch of powdered cinnamon
  • top angostura bitters swirl, as garnish

PREP: Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice and shake very VERY hard to emulsify the egg.  Strain into a glass of your choice (double old fashioned and small wine glasses work well) and top with angostura bitters using a straw to swirl a design.

Preparation Notes: If you are making this drink as a single recipe, which is how it reads (although easily multiplied) there is a bit of showmanship here with the use of the whole egg.  There are still a large number of people who are not familiar (grossed out) with the use of whole eggs in drinks yet are eager to eat raw cookie dough?  Trust me, not only are you 100% safe but it will open you up to many more amazing whole egg and egg white cocktails.

Mulled Wine (i.e. Spiced Wine)

“Few things get people in a positive mood for the long cold winter months like mulled wine.  Most commonly called spiced wine here in the United States or sometimes glühwein in German speaking countries it is a great addition to any winter menu or holiday party.”

Mulled wine in its many forms through time was created, like vermouth, because wine went bad much faster before refrigeration and vacuum sealed wine corks.  Adding spices and herbs to wine was common even well into the 20th century.  There are countless recipes available and even pre-packaged “mulling spices” you can buy at most grocery stores.  Of course there is no way around it but the best spiced wines are made from scratch.”

I have used the recipe below for many years with people begging for the recipe after parties.  I like to use brown sugar in place of cane sugar; I feel a hint of molasses makes this recipe even more iconic for the holidays.  I also use a Syrah (Shiraz) for my base wine because even though it is a dry wine, as most reds are, Syrah’s are medium in tannins, medium in acidity, have rich full aromas of dark plums and ripe fruit all of which are perfect for mulled wine.

The use of whole milk instead of cream lightens the drink without comprising the idea or general flavor.  In fact, I am happy to drink a number of these in one sitting as they are much lighter then they read on paper. The mezcal is optional but gives this drink more depth. – Mark Sexaeur

Mulled Wine

  • 1 bottle syrah (I used a big syrah with notes of plums)
  • 1 cup brown sugar (how come you taste so good….)
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • Zest and juice of one orange
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 8 whole peppercorns
  • 8 whole allspice
  • 3 small cinnamon sticks
  • 1 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon honey

PREP: Pour the entire bottle of wine in a large pot with a lid over medium-low heat.  Put cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, and allspice into a pan over medium-high heat and roast until a strong aroma is apparent.  Some popping is normal but do not burn.  After roasting the spices put them into the pot with the wine.  Combine the remaining ingredients and turn heat to low and simmer covered for one hour.  Remove from heat and let cool for 10-20 minutes to finish infusing spices into wine.  Strain and pour wine into a sealable container.  It is much better if you refrigerate overnight if you have the time to let the flavors infuse completely but either way make sure to serve warm, it’s not so good cold?

Preparation Notes: Do not boil the wine, it will tasted oxidized!  Taste often, especially if you are deviating from the recipe.  The longer the spices sit, the stronger they will infuse into your wine which can be good or bad depending on the spice and be especially careful with cloves as they are very potent.

When serving, I find that using a soup warmer, crock pot or even a cleaned out coffee pot works well to keep the wine warm throughout the night.

Variation: Mexican Spiced Wine: You can spin the base recipe above, like any recipe, a number of ways.  One fun way is make a Mexican Spiced Wine substituting some of the ingredients with others for a different flavor profile.  For example I used tequila instead of brandy as the fortifier.  Agave instead of brown sugar, mostly, and adding spices like cumin.  The flavor profile is not extremely different then the above recipe but it shows that if you get creative you can come up with your own unique spiced wine to fit any purpose, theme or meal.

Mexican Spiced Wine

  • 1 bottle malbec (a big one with spiciness)
  • ½ cup amber agave syrup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup reposado tequila
  • Zest and juice of one orange
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • Zest and juice of two medium limes
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 8 whole peppercorns
  • 8 whole allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon whole cumin
  • 2 small cinnamon sticks
  • 1 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Follow the same preparation as the mulled wine recipe.

If you haven’t heard the buzz, premium spirits and wine company Pernod Ricard recently launched a new,

experimental brand of vodka called, ODDKA by WyborowaODDKA Vodka has six distinct flavors (Apple Pie, Electricity, Fresh Cut Grass, Salty Caramel Popcorn, Wasabi and Original) that will be sure to excite, delight, and spark an ODD conversation. ODDKA Vodka has created these recipes with the unique and “odd” individual in mind. With flavors like  these, your cocktail bar is sure to spark a fun festive conversation.

Last & First

Last & First

Last & First

  • 50 ml / 2 Oz ODDKA Apple Pie
  • 30 ml /1 Oz Fresh lemon juice
  • 20 ml / 3/4 Oz Simple Syrup
  • 40 ml / 1 1/2 Oz Fresh pineapple juice
  • 3 Raspberries
  • 3 Blackberries

PREP: Pour all ingredients and ice into a shaker. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a fresh berry. Continue reading

Give A Gift That Gives Back This Holiday Season


United Way Worldwide and its partners are offering alternative holiday gift ideas and other great ways to give back this holiday season to help improve lives and make communities stronger all year long. As the largest privately funded nonprofit in the world, United Way works to create a better life for all people by focusing on education, income and health. Examples include:

#GivingTuesday: United Way is encouraging partners, supporters and its network of 1,800 United Ways around the world to give back – not just money, but time and influence as well.

Microsoft Corporation employees are selling the 2013 Discover | photographers@Microsoft book of photography for $50 plus shipping. Purchases can me made online or at certain locations. Microsoft donates all sales to United Way—including a company match on employee book purchases and employee volunteer hours to create the book. To date, Microsoft has raised more than $200,000 for United Way through book sales.

American Express: When you buy this Special Edition United Way Gift Card between 10/1/2013 and 9/30/2014, we will donate 100% of the Gift Card fee to United Way to help the common good through education, income, and health programs.

GE: At the online GE Appliance Outlet Store, GE donates 2% of the product purchase price to United Way.

Amazon recently launched AmazonSmile where customers can shop on Amazon and donate 0.5% of the price of eligible items to over one million charitable organizations—including United Way.

Kellogg Company has a consumer loyalty program, Kellogg’s Family Rewards™ www.Kelloggsfamilyrewards.com – customers collect points from products they purchase and then redeem points online—including the option to donate to United Way.

Target: For the 23rd consecutive year, Target stores across the country will donate more than 7,000 holiday trees to United Way as part of the Target Share-a-Tree program. Trees will be distributed to families in need as well as partners such as shelters, community centers and childcare programs.

U.S. Bank gives consumers $1 for trying U.S. Bank Bill Pay when they donate $1 to one of four selected charities, including United Way. U.S. Bank matches up to $50,000 annually in Bill Pay Giving donations.

According to the 2012 Cone Holiday Trend Tracker, nearly three-quarters (71%) of consumers expect companies to support causes during the holidays; 75% of consumers say they feel better about companies that support holiday causes; and 71% indicate they would choose a gift that supports a cause over one that does not.

You can give, advocate and volunteer to make your community a better place; just visit www.unitedway.org, follow @UnitedWay or check out www.Facebook.com/UnitedWay.


Bath & Body Works Black Deals

This holiday season, give the ones you love something special from America’s favorite fragrance company. Bath & Body Works has seasonal-scented AND luxury fragrances and body care, warm and cozy candles, festive hand soaps and more – something for everyone on your shopping list!

For your friend who’s full of holiday cheer – these fragrances bring favorite seasonal memories to life, capturing the smell of baked holiday treats, the cozy roar of a fire or the sparkling dusting of a first snow. They’ve gathered all 3 steps of their most popular fragrance in the Holiday Traditions Collection in this easy-to-wrap, fun-to-give Gift Set. Includes super lathering Shower Gel, skin-loving Body Lotion & Fine Fragrance Mist, which comes unassembled so you can bundle, wrap & give with love. Set includes Signature Collection Shower Gel (10 fl. oz.) Body Lotion (10 fl. oz.) and Fine Fragrance Mist (8 fl. oz.) & Gift Wrap. The Signature Collection Daily Trio ($26.50) features holiday classics like Vanilla Bean Noel, Winter Candy Apple and Twisted Peppermint, or try all NEW Merry Marshmallow Kiss or NEW Cranberry Twinkle delectable scents.

For the hopeless romantic in your life, why not give her a little glamour and romance? An alluring gift that includes the NEW Forever Midnight—Bath & Body Work’s latest prestige fragrance—is just what she needs. Indulge her with luxurious body care essentials like scented body wash and lush lotion, as well as the beautiful and sophisticated eau de parfum (Eau de Parfum ($45), Fine Fragrance Mist ($22.50), Shimmer Mist ($22.50), Body Lotion ($20.50), Body Cream ($20.50) and Shower Gel ($18.50)).

What kind of holiday season would it be without the soft glow of a warm candle – and only the best from Bath & Body Works, of course. Made using the highest concentration of fragrance oils and a wax that melts consistently and evenly, these candles radiate enough fragrance to fill an entire room and they look beautiful too! Whether you’re looking for a sweet candy apple scent, the crisp air scent of fresh balsam or ripe, red cranberries dusted with fresh snow, these festive scents will fill your home with love and happiness this holiday season (Candles range from $12.50-$20.00)

BBW Black Friday VIP bag

The holidays also bring parties and gatherings, so for your hostess with the most-ess, say “thanks” and “happy holidays” with Bath & Body Works luxury hand soaps ($14.50). The rich, conditioning Olive Oil formula helps nourish and soften skin and the decanter bottle adds a perfect touch of décor for those entertaining in their homes this holiday season.

Last but not least, everyone loves a great BLACK FRIDAY DEAL. Bath & Body Works is offering an exclusive limited edition VIP tote bag with your purchase of $40, over $100 value for just $20! The tote includes seven of the brand’s best-selling products including the newest must-have fragrances of the season.