Saturday, December 9, 2017

E.B. Horn Jewelry: Ornaments for You and the Tree

Note: This is a sponsored post. Thank you for supporting those who support Chow Down USA. Photography by Katie Salerno.

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The trees are up, the lights are sparkling, and today is the first snow in Boston! From Christmas decorations in the home and on the street, to dressing up for parties, winter holidays always have this nice balance of cozy and magic that I always look forward to. 

Finding the perfect winter accessories can make all the difference. Fun velvet winter outfits (c/o LIT Boutique), are accented perfectly with jewelry that twinkles as bright as the lights in the North End. Luckily, you can find ornaments for both you and the tree at E.B. Horn Jewelry. This gorgeous jewelry shop out of Downtown Crossing is one of the nation's oldest family-run jewelers - they've been around for over 178 years! It's so important to support local companies, and the family that runs E.B. Horn are truly good people and have the most stunning collection of jewelry, from necklaces to rings and even Christmas ornaments.

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Side note: This is shortly after Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson from Parks & Rec) walked through our shoot in the North End. We basically couldn't get our act together after that, good thing the shoot was mostly done by then!

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Being a local, family-run company, shopping at E.B. Horn feels like you're being taken care of by friends and family. It's crazy to think that when they first started, there were still horse and buggies on the street downtown! Plus, they offer one of the largest selections of diamonds, jewelry and watches in all of New England. Their jewelry collection has something for everyone, and you'll leave feeling like a million bucks!

What piece from E.B. Horn Jewelry would you put on your wishlist this year?
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Friday, November 24, 2017

France Diaries: AC Marriott Ambassadeur Hotel in Antibes / Juan les Pins

*This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting those who support Chow Down USA*


When travelling, the perfect lodging depends on a lot of variables. How much do you want to spend? Is location important? What accommodations are you looking for? In Europe you have endless lodging choices, from roughing it in hostels to lounging in the lap of luxury. 

When we first began our 10-day France adventure, we were hopping from modern Air BnB's to rustic provencial bed & breakfasts. By the end of our trip, we were ready to be wined and dined! Luckily for us, the AC Marriott Ambassadeur Hotel was luxurious and modern, with an unbeatable location. Read on to see why this is a must-stay resort during your next trip to France!


No joke, this was the view from our balcony! We had two balconies connected to our suite. Stepping out onto the terrace, you could see the French Alps to your right (above), and the Mediterranean Sea to your left (below). It doesn't get any more serene than that! 


The location of the hotel was absolutely perfect. It's situated in picturesque Juan les Pins, which is a short drive from the beautiful Nice, Grasse, and Cannes (which we took day trips to - stay stuned for those)! 




Despite being so close to well-known destinations in the French Riviera, Juan les Pins is a little more local and less touristy, which is perfect if you ask me. 

While I like to briefly peek at touristy places and landmarks, it's always funner to go where the locals go and experience life off the beaten path a bit. The AC Marriott Ambassadeur Hotel allows you to do so while still giving you all of the modern luxuries and accommodations you need.



Our first night we were shown the class and hospitality of the AC Marriott Ambassadeur Hotel, with a complementary chilled bottle of rose and sweet treats! Sipping and noshing on these on the balcony was such a relaxing start to our 3-night stay here.



I'll never turn down a cozy robe and fluffy slippers!


We were obsessed with this bathroom! It has a shower, a tub, two sinks, and a heated towel rack.


Room with a view, please and thank you!





That moment when your balconies have their own awnings!


The common area in our suite was perfect for watching TV and catching up on blogging. There was a separate TV in this room and the bedroom, which was a nice touch!




The Blue Lounge restaurant & bar within the hotel was so convenient and really impressive! The staff were super friendly and the food was honestly amazing. By the end of the trip we realized that the three of us were each gravitating towards the same plates every time - pesto pasta, seafood risotto, and a meat plate. The presentation here was so fun too!



Keeping it healthy (but delicious) with heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella.


They had such a fun cocktail selection! 


Even the breakfast here is grand - there's an endless buffet of fruits, pastries and cheeses that are too good to pass up!

We enjoyed so many local activities during our stay here, see below for a preview!


Perfume-making in Grasse.


Cooking with flowers in Antibes.



Glass blowing with the master artisans.



Antibes old town.


Absinthe bar in old town.




Nice



Cannes

The  AC Marriott Ambassadeur Hotel in Juan les Pins is central to so many gorgeous locations and fun activities. It's also near Monaco and St. Tropez, and has its own private beach. We were completely impressed with everything from its location, to the gorgeous room and balcony views, to the service and amenities. I absolutely recommend a stay here during your next trip to France!

 Have you ever been to France? 
What was your stay like?


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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Holiday Entertaining with Angle 33 Wine Thermal

*This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting those who support Chow Down USA! Photography by Brad Bahner.


One of my favorite things about the holiday season is that it brings everyone together! From holiday parties, to potlucks and clothing swaps, friends and family take advantage of the chilly months to get together, laugh and share stories. 

This past weekend we had a fun clothing swap where we all brought clothes we no longer wear for one reason or another - you know those tops & dresses that hang in your closet with the tags still on? Yeah. We then pick and choose which of other's items we want to keep, and the rest get donated to charity! It was super fun and made even more exciting with delicious treats and chilled libations. 

Enter Angle 33: A family-run business out of Montana which handcrafts sleek, modern, and functional pieces for your home and entertaining. I love their pieces for how unique and high-quality they are - they honestly make the best holiday gifts! Founder Matt Baack has been in the concrete industry for over 20 years, so he knows how to craft these gorgeous concrete pieces so that they not only look great, but last a lifetime. 

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Angle 33 wine thermals were perfect for keeping our wine at a perfectly chilled temperature - without the drippy mess that a bucket and ice creates! Here are just a few of my favorite things about Angle 33 wine thermals:


  • You can get them customized (with text, images, logos) for weddings, anniversaries, or birthdays if you're feeling extra classy. 
  • They protect your wine or champagne bottle from getting accidentally bumped off a counter top or table. 
  • They come in 12 gorgeous colors so you can match them to your current decor.
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Wine thermals keep your chilled wine or champagne cool for up to 45 minutes. You can extend this to 90 minutes by placing the thermal in the fridge for 30 minutes prior to entertaining.


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Fun fact: these wine thermals are also useful for red wine, even though you usually only chill white wine. Place the thermal in the fridge for 30 minutes to keep red wine at an ideal temperature for up to 90 minutes in the sun.

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I'm so impressed by the Angle 33 wine thermal. It really keeps the wine looking AND tasting cool! They also make really cool beer flight boards and beer chillers - which would be fab gifts for anyone but especially guys who can be tough to shop for!

Comment Challenge: Who do you know that would love these wine thermals? 



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