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The Best Holiday Displays in California

During the holidays, some of the most luxurious hotels in California have constructed the largest and most spectacular gingerbread houses and holiday displays that are featured throughout the lobby and hotel.  Here are the best of the best: Montage Beverly Hills Guests and visitors at the Montage Beverly Hills are dazzled with multiple brightly lit trees, a menorah, and life-size sleigh with mistletoe above to sneak a memorable kiss. Life-size nutcracker soldiers made of fondant stand at attention in the lobby of the hotel. The Montage Beverly Hills is offering special programs for the entire family. Younger guests can...

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Luxury Experiences and Rare Goods Are Top Gifts for the Wealthy

With the official holiday season in full swing, the time has come to start shopping for loved ones, but what happens if that person is a millionaire who already has the world at their fingertips? MillionaireMatch, the largest and original millionaire dating site with over 3.5 million singles, surveyed its members and discovered some of the top gift ideas for the holidays. “No matter the income bracket, it really is the thought that counts,” said Katherine, spokesperson for the world’s largest millionaire dating site, MillionaireMatch.com. “It’s just that sometimes that thought comes with a price tag.” Here are the top...

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Feliz Navidad From Isla Cozumel

Celebrating Christmas in the tropics promised to be a grand family adventure with no snow, no tree, no turkey, no stuffing and zero stress. During the traditional season of gift giving, Cozumel was the present we gave to ourselves! Cozumel’s Tormentos Reef “That was one of the best dives I’ve ever done!”, Kathryn proclaimed after surfacing at Cozumel’s Tormentos Reef. Comprised of coral pinnacles towering approximately 20 to 30 feet high and interspersed with wide, sandy areas. The colorful coral heads are adorned with purple and orange sponges, brain and whip corals. Tormentos is a veritable ocean garden where...

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Go Beyond Pecan Pie this Holiday Season

  When deciding which dishes to serve this year at holiday gatherings, consider going beyond traditional recipes and use beloved seasonal ingredients in new ways. For example, while pecan pie is top of mind for many dessert-makers, it’s also a perfect time to make new dishes with an ingredient like pecans, also known as The Original Supernut. Naturally sweet and nutritious, the pecan lends itself to nearly endless holiday menu inspiration. It hasn’t been an easy year for the pecan industry, but you can support American pecan growers and #PledgePecans – that’s a promise to add one more pecan-friendly...

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Holiday Baking and Wine Pairings

There are few holiday traditions as sweet as baking a selection of treats to share with family and friends. This is especially true for the California winemaking family the Mondavis as it is for families across America. As the season begins, Janice Mondavi, wife of third-generation CK Mondavi and Family co-proprietor Marc Mondavi and their four daughters, Angelina, Alycia, Riana and Giovanna, always set aside time to gather for an afternoon of holiday baking. Their Grandma Rosa was an incredible cook, and the tradition continues through the generations. It should surprise no one that in this household, instead of...

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4 Favorite Dishes You Didn’t Know Pair with Champagne

While you may think of Champagne as just for toasting, experts point out that it can actually be quite food-friendly. “Champagnes with a higher proportion of Chardonnay in their blends — such as the signature style of Champagne Taittinger — can be particularly versatile when it comes to food pairings,” says Chicago-based sommelier, Belinda Chang. For this purpose, Chang recommends the family-owned and operated champagne house, which offers a distinctive, light and delicate style, a longer aging period before release and sustainable production processes. “Every self-respecting foodie and wine geek knows to pair Champagne with a towering icy plateau...

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Mionetto’s Last Minute Thanksgiving Cocktail and Entertaining Tips

Pop the bubbly…we’re less than 24 hours away from Thanksgiving! Mionetto has shared with us some of their favorite spritz cocktails to kick-off your Thanksgiving holiday celebration. Spritz is Italy’s most popular aperitivo cocktail. The Mionetto Spritz is as easy to make as 3-2-1…pick the one that suits your taste!  Mionetto’s Prosecco is one of my favorites. It has the right amount of bubbles and is not too sweet. The Mionetto Aperol Spritz, Mionetto Elder Flower Spritz and Mionetto Limone Spritz cocktail recipes follow the holiday entertaining tips. Cin Cin! Mix It Up With a DIY Garnish Bar Cart...

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Celebrate the Holidays at National Harbor, Md.

Washington, D.C. region’s  premier waterfront escape features Santa, larger-than-life ice sculptures, performers, stunning holiday décor and displays National Harbor has quickly become one of the nation’s top holiday waterfront destinations, offering both family activities and romantic getaways for couples. Each year, National Harbor welcomes Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center’s amazing ICE! This year, the fun begins on November 16 and runs through January 1, 2019.  The world-famous interactive ICE! attraction will showcase the true meaning of Christmas with its rendition of the ever-popular Peanuts holiday story, A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles Schulz. Beloved characters including Charlie Brown,...

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Creative Entertaining: Giving Thanks Tips

By Rana Florida Thanksgiving entertaining doesn’t have to be a stressed-out ordeal. The real focus should be on gathering family and friends for a festive feast and an opportunity to reflect and to give thanks. There are so many amazing ideas, from cocktails to food to tabletop décor that will work for both the intimate dinner and the big family gathering alike. But the key to keeping it stress-free is to keep it stylish, yet simple. The key to enjoying your holiday is to do most of the work before your guests arrive.  Set the table a few days...

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Arrival of 35-foot Fraser fir signals the start of Christmas at Biltmore

A towering 35-foot Fraser fir tree arrived at America’s Largest Home this week, the finishing touch after weeks of decorating Biltmore House for the holidays. Christmas at Biltmore, the estate’s annual holiday celebration, formally begins Saturday, Nov. 3 and runs through Jan. 6, 2019. The 35-foot Banquet Hall tree is Christmas at Biltmore’s star attraction each year. Santa rode aboard a horse-drawn carriage to usher the tree to the front door of Biltmore House. It took more than 40 staff members to hoist the tree onto their shoulders and carry it into the Banquet Hall, where a system of ropes secured the tree in place....

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Celebrate the Holidays with Chandon

While up in the culinary town of Yountville in Napa Valley, I met Pauline Lhote, one of the top California winemakers and Director of Winemaking at Domaine Chandon. She and her team are excited to debut two new festive, limited-edition Brut bottles – one in silver and gold and the other in hot pink and gold. JW: These new bottles are so pretty and perfect for the holidays. Was that your plan? CHANDON: The Chandon Brut enhances a tablescape for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s Eve celebration. It’s elegant gold foil neck and effervescent label takes any holiday gathering to a new...

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Do’s and Don’ts of Thanksgiving Etiquette

Thanksgiving is a special time where we give thanks for everything and everyone in our lives.  But when family and friends who don’t see each other very often gather for the yearly feast and celebration, sometimes things get strange and awkward. How do you shut down those prying questions or handle a rogue guest? Sharon Schweitzer, an international etiquette expert, author, and founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide, offers these tips to make this Thanksgiving the best ever. –        Seating Plan & Place Cards: As the host, keep the cast of family, friends, distant relatives, neighbors, and old friends...

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