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Best Coats for Winter

Check out these winter coat trends that are sure to warm you up this season!

The ubiquitous gray checked blazer of the season transforms into full-length menswear-inspired coats for an editor-approved way to top off any look.

A leopard faux fur remains the ultimate jacket to make any look instantly luxe.

This season’s hottest color continues to dominate every article of clothing, with a sweeping red duster jacket ranking as the perfect transitional topper.

Faux fur coats get a colorful upgrade this season in pretty pastels and candy colored hues.

A fur or shearling-lined parka makes for a timeless way to keep cozy.

Teddy coats are back and softer than ever. When you need a change from your plush, faux fur jackets, these achieve the same look in a more subtle fashion.

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Best Down Vests To Invest in This Fall

As the temperature starts to drop, it’s time to start breaking out the cold weather gear. From wool hats to down jackets to thermal underwear, the key to staying warm in the winter is layering. A down vest is a great option to keep your core warm. But how do you find the best down vest for you?

Calia Women’s Ruched Knit Vest

Fit this layer perfectly to your body by adjusting the drawstrings on both sides. It’s a great piece to throw on before you head out to the gym, and let the bodyBREEZE wicking technology do its job. We particularly love that it even has a hood for added warmth.

Lolë Brooklyn Vest

Where Brooklyn at? This vest gets its name because of its stylish, quilted, two-toned look. If your neck’s feeling cold, pop the collar and enjoy its fuzzy inner lining. Plus, two zippered pockets keep small essentials at hand like your gum, or cash for an impromptu hot cocoa break.

Athleta Altitude Down Vest

Ibex Wool Air Vest

The filling in this number? Merino wool, which is bound to keep you warm as a mid-layer while you’re on top of any ski mountain. It has a slimmer fit so it will look flattering even on smaller body types.

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Thanksgiving Menu Planning Guide

To pull off the perfect Thanksgiving feast, you need a plan.  Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving for the first time or just looking for a better way to plan, our day-to-day Thanksgiving dinner checklist will help you throw a fabulous party with ease.

Three weeks ahead:

  • Prepare your guest list; confirm how many people will be there.
  • Find out if your guests have any special dietary needs.
  • Place a rental order, if necessary, for tables, chairs, glasses, plates and flatware.

Two weeks ahead:

  • Decide on your final menu and collect the recipes you’ll need. Select some dishes that taste good at room temperature, so you won’t have to worry about your hot entree getting cold, or your cold dessert melting.
  • Assign cooking projects to family members who offer to help.
  • Order your fresh turkey, or buy your frozen turkey and put it in the freezer. If buying a whole turkey, plan on one pound per person. If you’re buying just the bone-in breast, plan on 3/4 pound per person.

One week ahead:

  • Shop for heartier vegetables like butternut squash, carrots, potatoes, parsnips and turnips.
  • Buy heavy cream now; it’s hard to find right before Thanksgiving.
  • If necessary, wash and iron linen or polish silver. Dig out your turkey roaster and platter and any serving dishes hidden away in closets or high shelves.

Three days ahead:

  • If you have a frozen turkey, clear a space in your fridge and put the bird in now to defrost.
  • Clean the house, or put non-cooking household members in charge.
  • If you’re having a lot of guests, you may want to set up the table(s) and make sure you have enough space and chairs.

Two days ahead:

  • Make pumpkin pies or pumpkin cheesecake, rolls, breads and cornbread for stuffing. Refrigerate pies; you can always warm things up again before serving. Apple or pecan pies don’t do well in advance, though; the crust doesn’t stay flaky and crisp.
  • Make things that can sit for two days in the fridge, like soups and cranberry sauce.
  • Assemble casseroles (like sweet potato or green bean); they can be stored uncooked in the fridge and baked on Thanksgiving.
  • Order or pick up alcohol and other beverages, or delegate this to your non-cooking guests. Keep in mind that a bottle of wine contains about five glasses and always have non-alcoholic drink choices on hand.
  • Shop for non-perishable goods now. You can buy flour, sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, canned pumpkin, packaged stuffing and cornbread mixes, rice, and fresh or frozen cranberries, all before the crowds descend.

One day ahead:

  • Set the table now so you won’t have to worry about it later.
  • Set up a coat rack with extra hangers.
  • Do any remaining baking, including apple or pecan pies.
  • Buy your salad greens and perishable vegetables. Wash lettuce leaves now, dry well, and store by packing them in paper towels in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
  • If you ordered a fresh turkey, pick it up from the butcher.
  • Calculate your cooking time (and cooking order) for tomorrow.
  • Figure out what can’t be cooked along with the turkey in the oven, either in terms of temperature or space. Plan to cook those things before or after the turkey is done, or on the stovetop while it’s cooking; better still, make them today.

Thanksgiving Day:

  • Prepare stuffing for the turkey (if you’re stuffing the turkey) and/or the dressing to cook on the side.
  • Prepare your vegetables for cooking-clean, peel and chop. Cover the ready-to-go vegetables and put them in the refrigerator. Boil potatoes and mash them; they can be reheated just before serving.
  • Stuff the turkey and get it in the oven according to the schedule you calculated yesterday.

Then:

  • After the turkey is in the oven, you should have a little time to relax away from the kitchen.
  • Just before the turkey’s done, begin cooking fresh vegetables, and get anything else that needs to go into the oven ready (stuffing, storebought rolls, etc.)

While the cooked turkey is resting:

  • Put a foil tent over the turkey. You now have about an hour to do the remaining cooking.
  • If you have a pan of stuffing/dressing on the side to bake, put it in now.
  • Warm whatever needs to be warmed, including mashed potatoes, rolls, soups and casseroles.
  • Cook frozen vegetables.
  • Make the gravy.
  • Put all the food on the table or buffet. Don’t hesitate to press guests into service to put food in bowls, open wine bottles, fill glasses and dish up the cranberry sauce.
  • ENJOY!
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Best Things to Do on A Weekend in Boston

Skip Netflix this weekend—here are some ways to get out of your home and not be bored in the city.

Freedom Trail

The No. 1 thing you should do while in Boston is to follow the 2.5-mile redbrick trail from Boston Common to Bunker Hill. Set aside 1 to 3 hours — depending on whether you want to speed through the historical sites or go on a tour with a guide in Revolutionary garb. Be sure to pit stop for a "beah" at America’s oldest bar, the Bell in Hand Tavern.
If you need to cut the tour a little short, a natural break is to follow the trail until the bridge and save the Bunker Hill Monument for another day. It’s definitely worth making it up to the North End to see Paul Revere’s House and the Old North Church, where the famous “One if by land, and 2 if by sea” signal was sent.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace

In the heart of downtown Boston, and along the Freedom Trail, is Faneuil Hall Marketplace. The original Faneuil Hall dates back to 1742 and the festival marketplace now encompasses the North Market, Quincy Market and South Market buildings.
If you don’t have much time, we suggest skipping chain stores like Ann Taylor and Urban Outfitters in favor of grabbing a bite beneath the Quincy Market canopies, picking up unique finds from pushcarts and pausing to take in a street performance or 2.

Fenway Park

There’s nothing quite like taking in a game at Fenway Park, one of America’s most beloved baseball stadiums since it opened in 1912. But even if the Red Sox aren’t playing, you’ll want to swing by and visit the Green Monster on one of the 50-minute tours offered daily.
If you’re looking to grab a bite or a beer near the stadium, you can’t beat The Bleacher Bar, in Fenway itself. As the name suggests, it’s beneath the bleachers in center field with a window that looks directly into the park.

Cambridge

You don’t have to be a coed to warrant a trip across the Charles River to nearby Cambridge. Home to 2 of the most prestigious universities in the country, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), its stunning architecture and incredible diversity of restaurants and shopping attracts a mix of students, locals and sightseers. 
Pop into a coffee shop and stroll through the historic Harvard Yard; you’ll find maps and information at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, John F. Kennedy Street and Brattle Street. Follow Brattle Street outside the square and you’ll be walking along Tory Row, nicknamed for residents of 7 Colonial mansions who remained loyal to King George during the Revolution. Among the most famous is the yellow Longfellow House (105 Brattle Street), home of 19th-century poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and former headquarters for General George Washington during the Siege of Boston, which is open to the public for seasonal hourly tours.

Cheers

Fans of the television show won’t be able to resist popping into the bar shown in the opening credits of this ‘90s sitcom. Formerly Bull & Finch pub, it has since been renamed to the more tourist-friendly Cheers. Just be prepared to hear more than one rendition of the Cheers theme song, “Where Everybody Knows Your Name."
Afterward, make sure to take advantage of all that Beacon Hill has to offer. Just up Beacon Street is the State House, and across the street is the Public Garden where the Swan Boats will be out in the warmer months. Make your way to Newbury Street for some afternoon shopping (or just window shopping) at some of Boston’s most upscale boutiques.

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4 Fall Boot Trends to Start Shopping Now

At the start of fall shopping season, there’s always one piece that we want to buy first: boots. A fresh pair in suede or leather just feels so distinctly autumnal; it’s the perfect way to usher the weather’s impending shift without completely overhauling our wardrobes. And, as new collections are finally beginning to hit stores, the search begins now.

Slouchy


If you adore the slouchy boot style but are looking for a bigger statement-maker, these fire engine red boots from Alchimia di Ballin are perfect. With a tapered heel and ankle strap, they feature plenty of unique touches, but it’s that bright red color that really makes these boots stand out.

Novelty Heels


With a snug fit of sleek black leather and a pop of gemstones in the back, these booties will have passersby doing a double-take. The uniquely shaped stones gives great dimension to a more minimalist shape, and the punch of turquoise is the perfect touch of color.

Combat Boots


Military-chic has made its way back around into this season’s trends, and what better way to embrace it than by sporting some commanding combat boots! This black pair is ready to put you in charge, in any outfit from daytime to night.

Sock Boots


Fendi’s sweet pair of knit sock boots combine sportiness and femininity perfectly. The embroidered florals are wonderfully girly, while the laces and ankle stripes give the boots an athletic feel. Overall, they have a cool vintage vibe, and they’re truly unique.

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Cauliflower Shepard’s Pie Recipe

I love to get creative with classic dishes, such as this colorful version of shepherd’s pie. Adding cauliflower boosts the nutritional value and cuts the calories.  Perfect meal for fall, you guys! Dinner on the table in about an hour. What’s not to love?

* all ingredients can be switched to your liking you can use Tofu for vegetarian style or chicken for beef, use cheese and vegetables you like. Don’t be afraid to experiment and improvise.

Ingredients:

  • Riced cauliflower
  • Shredded cheese of your choice
  • Cream
  • Butter
  • Bread crumbs
  • Mixed frozen vegetables
  • Jar of Beef or Turkey gravy
  • Small can tomato paste
  • Ground beef or turkey

Directions:

  1. Cook riced cauliflower until tender as salt as desired
  2. In a blender or food processor add table spoon of butter, table spoon of cream, and a handful or two of shredded cheese. Blend until smooth and consistency of mashed potatoes and set aside.
  3. In a non-stick pan add frozen veg and and cook for about 5 min add ground turkey and brown.
  4. Add gravy and tomato paste and cook through
  5. Transfer cooked meet and vegetable ingredient to a casserole.
  6. Pour Mashed cauliflower over the meat ingredients and spread evenly
  7. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top and may add some cheese as well.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 min or till bubbling hot
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Fall Spa Getaways

As we head into the heart of the fall season, there’s no better way to celebrate the changing of the seasons than to escape into nature. Fortunately, many of the country’s best resorts cater to leaf peepers with special tours and programs that allow guests to enjoy awe-inspiring views and the crisp autumn air. Whether you’re looking for guided fall foliage hikes, off-road Jeep excursions, or nightly bonfires, you’ll find perfect fall activities at one of these top resorts in the U.S.

Salish Lodge & Spa, Snoqualmie, Washington


Perched at the top of Snoqualmie Falls, Salish Lodge & Spa, a luxury retreat thirty minutes outside of Seattle, offers a whirlwind of outdoor activity in the fall. Whether it’s a hike through the Cascade Mountains to discover the alpine lakes and waterfalls, or a round of golf on one of the six local courses—including TPC Snoqualmie Ridge, the Northwest’s only Jack Nicklaus–designed course—there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy the changing of the seasons here.

Resort at Squaw Creek, Olympic Valley, California


The valleys of Squaw Creek explode with autumnal colors every fall. In September and October, the plush rooms at the Resort at Squaw Creek provide scenic vistas of the surrounding mountain peaks, blanketed in nearly every shade of yellow and orange. Hiking mountain trails, fly fishing, and biking along the scenic Truckee River are just a few of the resort’s activities. For the best in fall fun, check out the resort’s annual Harvest Festival (October 16–18); there will be hard cider tastings, s’mores, wine tastings, and a pumpkin judging contest.

The Lodge at Woodloch, Hawley, Pennsylvania


A Poconos resort removed from the more commercial mega-resorts that have recently entered the region, The Lodge at Woodloch was built with the fall season in mind. Complete with 57 luxury accommodations and a 40,000-square-foot spa, The Lodge at Woodloch specializes in wellness and relaxation. Start the morning with an outdoor yoga class and then join one of the resort’s guided nature walks, including the unique Edible Plant Walk through its 150 wooded acres. Next up is an afternoon in the company of renowned chefs for demonstrations and cooking classes. With endless places to enjoy the sumptuous surroundings and the serenity of the Poconos, The Lodge at Woodloch is the perfect fall getaway.

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Tips for Planning a Kid-Friendly Halloween party

You spent the time and money to buy or make the Halloween costumes, but they’ll only be worn for a few hours. In the dark. Hidden under a coat, if the trick-or-treating forecast calls for cold weather.
Solution? Extend the Halloween season by throwing a Halloween party for kids. Here are some suggested themes with activities and menus that complement them.

Pumpkin-Carving Party

This party can get messy, but it’s so much fun it could become an annual tradition.
Invite several families to your house, and ask them to bring their pumpkins and carving tools. Set up long tables either outside, in the garage or a rec room with the floors covered.
At a designated time, guests carve their pumpkins however they please. As they scoop out the pulp, come around with a baking sheet, collect the seeds and toast them in the oven for an end-of-party treat. You could also slip the toasted seeds into small bags and send them home as favors.
Once all the pumpkins are carved, display them together, perhaps giving awards for originality, precision or beauty. Besides the toasted seeds, the menu could include pumpkin soup, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin doughnuts or anything pumpkin.
When it comes to decorations, stick with a harvest theme. Make a scarecrow, circle up some hay bales on the lawn for seating (draping quilts or blankets on top of the hay bales makes them more comfortable), and wrap bundles of dry cornstalks with white Christmas lights if the party is held during the evening.

Mock Trick-or-Treating

Although they can be little tricksters and are as sweet as treats, children aren’t born knowing how to trick-or-treat.
Little ones need some coaching, and a fun way to do that is to set up a mock neighborhood in your house sometime before Halloween.
Borrow indoor playhouses from friends or have the kids make houses from large cardboard boxes.
Place each house in a different room and station an older child inside with a bowl of candy, stickers or other small prizes. The young kids then knock on each door and practice saying "trick or treat" and "thank you." The little ones get the thrill of receiving treats, and the older kids feel a sense of pride for helping the tots.
There’ll be plenty of sugar in the candy, so you won’t need to make dessert. For the main meal, serve Halloween Tossed Salad, Boneyard Chicken Drumsticks or Deviled Ghoul Eggs.
Avoid gory decorations (think pumpkins, not zombies), since this is a party for young children.

It’s in the Bag

Who doesn’t remember a Halloween when you couldn’t find your treasured trick-or-treat bag, so you used an empty pillowcase at the last minute?
You can solve that problem by hosting a bag-making bash a week or so before Halloween.
Depending on the age of your guests, the bags could be as simple as making handprint ghosts or decorating treat buckets or as sophisticated as sewing up scrappy owl sacks.
If your project involves using a pre-made bag, you could start the party by serving the kids their meal in the sack. Once they’re done eating, announce that they’ll then turn those bags into their very own trick-or-treat carriers.
The food could include ghost-shaped tuna salad sandwiches, barbecue "worm" sandwiches or witches’ brooms, which are made from pretzel sticks and fringed fruit leather.
A glass bowl of nuclear waste punch with glow sticks placed underneath it is sure to get some oohs and aahs from the kids.
Older children can follow most of the how-to steps on their own, but if the party is for young children, it’s best to have the supplies cut out and well organized ahead of time. Be careful not to get too involved, though. Their finished products might not be as refined as something you could buy in a store, but they’ll carry them with pride on Halloween night since they made them themselves.
For decorations, stick with the sack theme by lining the walkway to your front door with paper-bag luminaries and hanging ghosts made out of white trash bags from a tree.

Classic Halloween Party

If you long for the Halloweens of yore, host an old-school party.
Bob for apples, race to eat donuts hanging from string or play other classic party games.
Show a favorite Halloween movie under the stars, such as It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (compare prices) or another kid-friendly Halloween flick. Set up an outdoor cinema complete with hay-bale seating and propane space heaters.
Better yet, turn out the lights, burn some spice-scented candles and have a grown up read scary stories to the kids.
Set the party’s vintage tone with invitations and decorations. Your local antique store might sell old Halloween cards, which you could photocopy or scan into your computer and use to make your invitations, placemats, napkin rings, garland or other decorations.
However, you choose to celebrate Halloween, be safe and have fun.

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Tips for Planning Your Holiday Travel to Disney Land

When thinking about visiting the Disneyland Resort, it’s important to consider different factors that go into planning a nice family trip.  Let’s consider some below:
When to go:  The most asked question is when is the best time to visit the Disneyland Resort? I typically reply with a question, how do you define best? Do you mean most interesting? Best chance of an attraction being open? Least crowded? Warmest weather? Most pleasant weather? There are a lot of factors.
Best time of year: I think the parks really shine for the Christmas season. This usually runs from mid- November through the first weekend of January. The parks are decked out for the season with decorations, entertainment, and just an extra boost of energy in the air usually. Also unlike Walt Disney World Christmas offerings are still included in regular park admission, no need to go to a hard-ticketed event (yet). Last note on the holidays, if you are a Candlelight Fan, the Disneyland version is much grander in my opinion, but it only runs two nights a year, usually the first weekend of December.
In the fall, usually from mid-September through the end of October the Halloween festivities are underway. In addition to the Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, this typically includes decorations, pumpkin carving, and special character meet and greets for all guests. Then an afterhours/ticketed Halloween Party that features trick or treating, a small parade, and fireworks.
Throughout the year the resort celebrates other seasons/holidays too with various offerings, so be sure to check and see what is happening in the window you are looking at.
How to avoid the crowds: Crowds and Disneyland go hand and hand most of the time. It has become harder and harder to find a true off season. With the large number of annual passholders as well as events throughout the year there seems to be more off days than a season now days. Also keep in mind that some slow periods may be counter intuitive because of the large number of local annual passes. You should be sensitive to block out days for annual passes. Recently days when most passes are blocked out have become very pleasant and days right before a block out period or right after have become very crowded. In general, though the weekend and evenings are most crowded. Mid-week and mornings are generally lighter.
Weather considerations: Los Angeles averages over 280 sunny days a year and less than 30 days of rain. It is a very mild climate and can vary by time of day and day to day quite a bit. The climate is a desert which means the days can get hot with low humidity usually and the evenings typically cool down substantially. It is not atypical to be in the mid-80s for the afternoon but by the fireworks its in the 60s. Fog/Marine Layer is also fairly common in the mornings and it will burn off by the afternoon and then roll back in as the sun sets. The worst month for this is June which locals refer to as June Gloom. The raining season officially runs October through April but your greatest chance of a day or rain seems to be January or February. The hottest months are typically August through October. If you happen to visit during a rainy day there are a couple things to note. First is since it does not rain that often Los Angeles in general does not function well. This means expect heavier traffic and poor drainage. Disneyland on rainy days can be an adventure since many of the queues and attractions are outside. Most attractions continue to run in the rain. There are a couple of exceptions so be sure to check with the park before entering if that is a concern for you. They do not issue rain checks so once you use your ticket you are in. Also note the rain here in Los Angeles is typically cold and we rarely have lightning. It is almost the opposite of Orlando in this area.
Helpful Tips and Tools
Driving Directions – Find directions to the Disneyland Resort from local airports and via freeways, and learn about no-car options for getting around the Disneyland Resort area.
Parking – There are several parking locations that provide easy access to Disneyland Resort theme parks and the Downtown Disney District, some of which can accommodate oversized vehicles.
Mobile App – Enhance your next visit to Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park with the official Disneyland Resort mobile app. See wait times, browse maps, locate Disney Characters, make and redeem digital Disney FASTPASS selections while you’re in the parks on the day of your visit with the new Disney MaxPass feature—and much more!
Maps – View interactive maps of the Disneyland Resort area, and search for parking, Guest Relations, attractions, restaurants, restrooms and more.
Restaurant Reservations – Dining reservations are accepted up to 60 days in advance at many Disneyland Resort restaurants. Character Dining is offered at several theme park and hotel locations.

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Family weekend getaway to Arches national monument

Arches is our favorite National Park in Utah. We especially love it because there are a lot of fun easy hikes for kids, and each one has at least one great reward.Nature enthusiasts and thrill seekers alike will find many beautiful places to visit throughout this National Park including hiking trails, geologic formations, landmarks and more. With over 2000 natural sandstone arches located inside Arches National Park – along with a helpful visitors center – all travelers will find something to enjoy while visiting here.

Delicate Arch

The Delicate Arch is one of the most popular sights to see within Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. This world famous natural sandstone arch can be seen from both near and far. For those who enjoy hiking, the trail leading to the Delicate Arch starts at Wolfe Ranch, making its way through Slickrock and up to the arch. Visitors can also drive up to the Delicate Arch viewpoint if the hiking trail is requires a fitness level too high for what you are commonly used to. The view of the National Park from the top of the Delicate Arch is known as one of the most amazing in the area.

Fiery Furnace


Take a journey into the depths of the Arches when visiting the Fiery Furnace. This cool geologic formation is the perfect place to enjoy a hike, a walking tour or sunset and sunrise views. Throughout the Fiery Furnace tour, you will make your way over rocks and through sandy pathways, learning about the history of the park and formations as you travel along with your tour guide.

Landscape Arch


The Landscape Arch is among another one of the coolest things to see in Arches National Park. This incredible arch formation creates a bridge like structure that hovers high above the park. The Landscape Arch is actually longer than a football field with the thinnest park of the archway at 8 feet thick. Those interested in hiking to this formation can park at the Devil’s Garden Trailhead ad make their way out on a 1.6 mile hike.

Devils Garden Trailhead

The Devils Garden Trailhead is one of the most popular hiking trails located within the National Park. This 2.2-mile trail leads to the famous Double O Arch. Enjoy views of incredible scenery along the way while making your way over rocks, through narrow pathways, down drop offs and through thick sand. Visitors will see a wide range of arches along the hiking trail.
The rock formations delight kids as well as adults, and many short hiking trails provide opportunities for everyone to get out of the car and explore the park’s features.
Kids may also enjoy the ranger-led programs offered spring through fall. Stop at the visitor center to check current schedules, and take some time to view the exhibits and the park’s orientation video. It is also good to find out how to help care for the park before heading out on any trails.
The Junior Ranger Program is a great way for kids to learn about the park while having fun during their visit. Free booklets and Red Rock Explorer backpacks are available at the visitor center.