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LuLaRoe's Noir and Blanc Collection



LuLaRoe recently introduced their Noir and Blanc Collection, a curated array of 19 styles for women, men, and children in retro-inspired prints with a chic flare. 




Perfect for weekend getaways this Fall, the polished styles can be layered and worn year-round. LuLaRoe fashions are lightweight, wash perfectly, and never need ironing. Made of  buttery soft fabric, you won't believe how comfortable they are. 



The Noir and Blanc Collection provides effortless style and comfort wherever you go ~ school, work, church, or lunch with a friend. 



The Collection is priced from $24 (starting youth price point) to $70 and sizes from XXS - 3XL. LuLaRoe is sold exclusively through independent retailers who embrace social selling, and each offer a selection of unique styles. To find a Retailer near you, or for more info on starting your own business, visit lularoe.com and connect with them on Facebook and Twitter





Cruise for Free* with UR Comped


If you're a casino gaming enthusiast and you're not partnering with URComped, you're missing out on fabulous offers for "free" cruises. First let me say, as any casino player will tell you, the level of comps in any land or sea casino is determined by the amount of one's play, therefore, "free" is not exactly free, but if you're going to gamble for entertainment anyway, don't you want to receive all the perks that are available, including a cruise for you and a guest? URComped helps maximize a player's comps and gives gaming enthusiasts an opportunity to sail on a variety of cruise lines for free* or at deeply-discounted rates. The company was the brainchild of Craig Shacklett, a former Casino Host on a popular cruise line, who noticed there were guests in the casino who had spent full price on their cruise fare and were gambling as much or more than the guests who received a comped stateroom on the same sailing. Craig soon realized these VIP-level guests would likely be willing to try several different cruise lines if there was a way to offer them a comped stateroom on their initial voyage. Similarly, the cruise lines would benefit with an increase in new customers who liked to gamble. Genius!

URComped Founder, Craig Shacklett

Players simply upload their best recent offer from a cruise line or land-based casino to the URComped website, and answer a few questions about their gaming background and loyalty levels. Once the information is verified, offers will start rolling in via email, this could take anywhere from a few moments to a few days. Initial offers could be anything from a deeply discounted stateroom to a fully comped cabin or suite. Nearly every offer uploaded qualifies for, at minimum, 30% off an MSC sailing or a complimentary 2-Day Cruise on Paradise Cruise Line. Of course, the more lucrative the offer that is uploaded is, the higher the value of the offers for the initial cruise will be. I uploaded an offer I received for a complimentary 7-Day Balcony Stateroom and within minutes received offers for a complimentary Interior Cabin for myself and a guest on 4 cruise lines with up to 9-day itinerary options on numerous sailings. 


Courtesy: MSC Cruises

URComped partners with many other cruise lines including Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Celebrity, and Holland America. *Port charges and taxes are additional on every line with the exception of MSC which includes all taxes and fees. The company also partners with land-based casinos, however, their focus right now is primarily on cruises. 


Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

Craig, along with co-founder Cale Sherry, and the entire UR Comped team are passionate about helping their clients maximize their loyalty benefits and they often share tips on doing so in their weekly Facebook Live videos. Business is booming at URComped thanks, in part, to happy clients spreading the word about the company, and as evident in Craig's videos, he couldn't be more grateful. URComped's service is completely complimentary {the company earns a commission from the cruise line based on a client's play on each sailing booked through them} and you have nothing to lose by uploading an offer to their website. For more info and to view a sampling of the current offerings, visit urcomped.com.




Disclosure: No payment was received for this post, nor were affiliate links used. As always, opinions are my own.

Jarlsberg Sizzling Summer Burger Contest



Jarlsberg® Cheese famous around the world for its nutty, mild and sweet flavor just launched a global recipe contest starring two best friends ~ burgers and cheese.  Cheese fans and all foodies can enter the Jarlsberg Sizzling Summer Burger contest from now until August 27, 2018. Entrants will have the chance to win exclusive Jarlsberg® Grill Kits every week and the grand prize is a Big Green Egg Grill, so that winners can re-create their favorite Jarlsberg® burgers, just in time for Labor Day weekend!


Get inspired with Celebrity Chef George Duran's four distinctly different Jarlsberg® burger recipes, including one vegetarian burger and one burger with grilled pineapple slices in place of burger buns.

Jarlsberg® Fondue Burger

Each of Chef Duran’s four burger recipes offer a summer story and their own film: The Marvelous Meltdown, pictured above, features a Jarlsberg®Fondue Burger ~

Burger Recipe (makes 4):
1 tbsp. panko-style breadcrumbs
1 tbsp. heavy cream
1 1/2 lb minced beef
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. salt
1/4 tbsp. black pepper
Butter
4 sesame burger buns
Lettuce
Chopped scallions
Red pepper flakes (optional)

For the Jarlsberg® Fondue Sauce:
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp flour
1 C. of whole milk
1 1/2 C. of grated Jarlsberg® cheese

Directions
1. In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs and heavy cream until absorbed ( about 3 – 4 minutes).
2. In a large bowl, mix the beef with the garlic and breadcrumb mixture until combined. Season with salt and pepper and form 4 large burgers. Make a large indentation in the middle of each burger and preheat your grill.
3. In the meantime, make the Jarlsberg® cheese fondue sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan and whisking in the flour. Whisk over a medium heat until browned. Slowly whisk in the milk and allow to thicken (about 3 – 4 minutes). Add the grated Jarlsberg® and whisk until smooth. Set some cheese aside.
4. Grill each burger as desired, spread butter inside the buns and toast lightly. Arrange lettuce on the bottom half of the bun, followed by the burger. Then pour fondue sauce on top of the burger. Add the other half of the bun and pour more fondue sauce over the top.
5. Garnish with scallions and red pepper flakes.

Jarlsberg® Melted Maui Madness
To enter the contest and checkout all of the Summer Global Jarlsberg® Burger recipes, visit jarlsberg.com


Summer Must-Haves





Enjoy your favorite music at the beach or pool with JBL Everest™ Elite 750NC Wireless Over-Ear Headphones. They are super comfortable, lightweight and have incredible sound quality. A single charge lasts up to 20 hours, or up to 15 hours in Adaptive Noise Cancelling Mode. The sleek and stylish design folds flat to fit in the included protective case. Available in Silver, Blue or Gun Metal. $299.95 jbl.com



Lavanila The Healthy Fragrance in Pure Vanilla is the perfect fragrance for summer, but you'll love it so much you'll wear it all year. The signature fragrance is hand crafted and sourced from Pure Madagascar vanilla, creamy tonka bean, sugar cane alcohol and pure essential oils to create a soft, sultry and memorable scent. A 1.7-oz. bottle retails for $48 at lavanila.com


I shared Absolutely Gluten Free's new TahiniBARs with friends and the pool and it was unanimous -- they are delicious. The energy bar has the consistency of a freshly-baked cookie and is dairy and gluten free and certified OU Kosher. Made from all-natural roasted sesame seeds, the 100-calorie bar is a great source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. Perfect to pack in a lunchbox, backpack, or beach bag for an afternoon snack. Available in Pistachio, Vanilla and Cocoa Nib, they retail for $2.49-2.99 per bar. absolutelygf.com

Tap into your child's creative side and keep her/him entertained both at home and on vacation with Goliath's Paint-Sation. Paint will not spill out from these paint pods even if turned upside down. This fun set includes 3 paint pods, easel, paper, and 2 brushes. Available on amazon for $29.99, additional retailers listed on  goliathgames.us



Soothe dry, parched skin caused by summer  sun and swimming with Eminence Facial Recovery Oil. Formulated with herbs and nourishing oils, just a drop instantly smooths and hydrates skin. Suitable for all skin types. A .5-oz bottle with dropper retails for $76 at buynaturalskincare.com

Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation allows skin to breathe while it subtly yet completely covers imperfections and provides protection from damaging sun rays. Formulated with patented Ceravitea™ Complex, Vitamin E, and Aloe Vera, Oxygenetix can be applied immediately after laser treatments, chemical peels or injectables or used to cover rosacea, rashes or scarring. $66 oxygenetix.com

What woman doesn't love long, lush lashes? LashFood Ultra Rich Volumizing Mascara delivers nutrients for fuller, thicker lashes. Rice Bran expands lashes and extended release technology works to repair, strengthen, and protect lashes even after mascara is removed. $20 lashfood.com

If you're headed outdoors, don't leave home without Paula's Choice RESIST Skin Restoring Moisturizer with SPF50. Formulated with Shea Butter, Licorice, and Niacinamide, this anti-aging moisturizer provides essential protection from the sun's damaging rays and keeps skin hydrated throughout the day. A 2-oz. tube retails for $33 at paulaschoice.com.



Chic Giveaway! ~ One reader will win the prize of their choice from our gift closet!

To Enter: email chicgiveaway@gmail.com and include the following:
  • "Summer Must-Haves" in the subject line
  • your first and last name
  • complete mailing address
  • twitter id 
  • facebook name 
    If you're entering our giveaways we ask that you follow us on the social media sites in which you belong. Links to our pages can be found here: FacebookTwitter and Pinterest 

    We would love it if you would tweet this giveaway, here's a sample tweet for your convenience ~
    #Win the prize of your choice from @ChicLuxuries' gift closet in their *Summer Must-Haves* #Giveaway Details: bit.ly/2NjpdDB

    Contest ends 11:59 PM ET August 15, 2018.  Limit one entry per household. Winner will be notified by email and announced on our Winner's page. Winner will have 48 hours to claim prize. Open to US Residents 18 years of age and older. We received no compensation from any brand featured in this post, nor were affiliate links used. 




    Delaware's Quaint Villages FAM Tour



    I was invited to attend Kent County Tourism's recent FAM Tour along with tour operators and other travel writers from North Carolina to as far as Boston, and I happily represented the beautiful State of Delaware. Our hosts, Danielle and John, meticulously planned every detail with thoughtfulness and precision. 



    The trip began at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, this AAA-rated four-diamond hotel is an exquisite destination for groups, meetings, and individual or family getaways. Dover Downs has something for everyone ~ restaurants to suit every palate, an indoor swimming pool, a luxurious spa, a concert venue, and, of course, a casino with a wide selection of the newest slot machines as well as table games and sports betting. My newly-renovated room was clean and spacious and included a super comfortable king-size bed with fluffy pillows, desk and chair, sitting chair, refrigerator, coffee maker with complimentary tea and coffee, and toiletries. The room overlooked Dover International Speedway which is adjacent to the property.


    A room with a view ~ sunrise over Dover International Speedway


    We were welcomed with a private cocktail party where we mingled and enjoyed delicious hors d'oeuvres and complimentary drinks.



    Next we hopped on Dover Downs' shuttle bus for a private tour of the Speedway and Monster Mile ~



    If you haven't seen Monster Mile from the vantage point of the track, it's difficult to grasp how steep it is at some points. As the shuttle bus entered Monster Mile, we could feel the bus tilting even at the lowest point....imagine driving at 175 mph at a 3-4' story incline...amazing! We were also given access to the VIP box where some of the more decorated drivers have autographed chairs. 


    Greg Biffle #16

    So fun!!

    Speaking of winning, we had some free time after the cocktail party to try our luck in the casino. Our tour package included free slot play and most everyone in our group walked away a winner ~ Thank you Dover Downs! The evening ended with a private concert featuring the Neil Diamond Tribute Band in the cozy Fire & Ice Lounge, located in the casino.



    Dover Downs Casino

    Day 2 began with a delicious buffet breakfast in the Festival Buffet at Dover Downs. We then boarded a deluxe motor coach equipped with wifi, plush seating, a rest room, and water and snacks provided by our thoughtful hosts. Our first stop was the Air Mobility Command Museum located on the grounds of Dover Air Force Base. Although this was one of the destinations I was most looking forward to visiting, I wasn't prepared for how moving it is ~ definitely a must see for every American! Veterans volunteer to provide guided tours and admission to the museum is free. One could easily spend 3-4 hours exploring the museum and reading the history of each exhibit.





    We were able to board the C-47A Skytrain, pictured above, which was rejected by other museums as "beyond salvage". It has been immaculately restored with visible bullet holes remaining and features a collection of memorabilia donated by crew members. Also on display is an actual flight list and a picture from a 46-year reunion at the Museum held in 1990 and attended by the C-47's D-Day pilot, aerial Engineer, and three 82nd Airborne Paratroopers. Open cockpit day is held on the 3rd Saturday of each month April-September.  



    Of all the sights we took in during our 3-day tour, I was completely awestruck by the Sperry Ball Turret, pictured above, or more specifically, the Ball Turret Gunner. It's an image that I'm certain will remain with me forever. The ball turret is a plastic bubble that sits beneath the belly of the B-17. Ball Turret Gunners would curl up in a fetal position, and have to endure -50° temperatures. Worse, if the B-17 lost power and had to make an emergency landing without lowering the wheels, the gunner would have no way of escaping. The B-17 crews were volunteers, young men in their teens or early twenties, who could transfer from flying status to any other duty, but few did. Tough and fearless doesn't begin to describe these young men, they are all heroes. 



    Another image that captured my heart was this photo that is on display inside the C-5 Galaxy Cargo Aircraft. It's a picture with every seat of the C-5 filled with troops on their way home. You could feel their excitement from their expressions and it was hard not to be brought to tears thinking about what they had endured and how they must have felt knowing they were headed home to their families. It's so easy to take our freedom for granted. We owe these incredibly brave men and women so much. 

    John Dickinson Plantation

    Our next stop was the John Dickinson Plantation in Dover which offers a glimpse into the home and lifestyle of one of our Founding Fathers, John Dickinson, who signed the Constitution. Admission here is free and tour guides are dressed in period costumes. Visitors are invited to make sachets from fresh herbs grown on the plantation including rose buds, mint, lavender, and orange peel, reminiscent of handmade sachets once crafted by the Plantation's workers to repel insects from linens and beds. A working loom in the home is still used today to make rugs. ~





    A quick stop was to the Victrola Museum in Dover was on our morning itinerary. A vast collection of Victrolas are on display as well as a Grammy award which was designed to replicate a mini Victrola. Fun fact: Socks were put into the opening of the Victrola's megaphone to lower the volume which is where the phrase "Put a sock in it" originated. This museum also offers guided tours and admission is free.




    We then toured First State Heritage Park and Old State House. Admission is free to these attractions as well and tour guides are dressed in period costume.


    Old State House Courtroom 

    Monument commemorating the day Delaware became the First State

    Charming courtyard tucked away in downtown historic Dover

    We enjoyed a scenic stroll to the Grey Fox Grille where we were greeted during our lunch by Dover's Mayor, Robin Christiansen. Our buffet lunch was delicious {try the Chicken Salad, it's delish}.




    It was time to hop back onto the bus for a driving tour of Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Smyrna where we were lucky enough to spot several Bald Eagles and Blue Herons. Just a stone's throw from Bombay Hook is Historic Bellmont Hall, a Georgian-style mansion built in 1773 by Thomas Collins, a Delaware politician. ~



    Time to head back to the hotel to freshen up before our farm-to-table and libations dine-around at Fifer Orchards. As we drove through the Amish countryside, we passed many Amish homes and a horse and buggy riding along the side of the road.



    Once at Fifer's, we quickly hopped on the wagon for a tractor-driven tour through the orchards--my inner country girl could hardly contain herself---soooo much fun!



    A fantastic fresh-from-the-farm buffet catered by La Baguette Bakery was beautifully presented and included chicken with peaches, carrot salad, mini crab cakes, quinoa salad, lima beans, scrapple, freshly baked assorted pies and bread and OMG! cruffins. If you haven't tried cruffins, they are a cross between a croissant and a muffin, the light buttery pastry is rolled up {picture a cinnamon roll} and covered in sugar. Definitely worth both a trip to Fifer Orchards...and yes, even worth the calories. Representatives from local breweries, distilleries, and Harvest Ridge Winery offered samplings of their most popular libations. A crowd favorite was Harvest Ridge Winery's Blue Hen Blue, a grape and blueberry wine...velvety smooth and delightful...a perfect way to cap off a picture-perfect day.



    After checking out of the hotel the following morning we were off to a buffet breakfast at Rudy's Family Restaurant in Harrington {yep, eating again☺}. Rudy's is a favorite among the locals, known for their home cooking and affordable prices. 


    Delaware State Fair ~ Courtesy Kent County Tourism

    We were then whisked away for a driving tour of Harrington State Fairgrounds, a volunteer supported non-profit community based organization dedicated to educating and promoting Delaware's agricultural heritage, and home to the Delaware State Fair. The 10-day Fair is held every July and this year it celebrates its 99th anniversary with concert performances by Toby Keith, Brett Eldridge and many others. A new attraction to the Fairgrounds is bumper cars on ice {how fun do they sound?}. Delaware is only one of two States that offer this very popular attraction. 




    We squeezed in a stop at the Harrington Railroad Museum and nearby John Deere Museum. 


    country John Deere Museum
    Check out the phone number "729"

    Our tour concluded with an afternoon in Milford, located in Kent and Sussex Counties on the Mispillion River. Its tranquil, small town charm epitomizes "Delaware's Quaint Villages" and offers something for every visitor including shopping, kayaking, an Artists' Studio, art classes at the Art League, a serene River Walk, and a museum filled with an eclectic collection of treasures donated by Delawareans. We enjoyed a boxed lunch at our leisure sponsored by the Hilton Garden Inn {thanks, Wendy!}.




    Navy uniform on display at Milford Museum, amazed at the tiny size of the jacket

    Although I've lived in the adjacent County for a few years, I had not yet visited many of Delaware's Quaint Villages which are rich in history, old-fashioned hospitality, and the ideal mix of modern and colonial charm. A big thanks to all of the tour sponsors including Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, Hampton Inn by Hilton, Home 2 Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Holiday Inn Downtown Dover, and First State Heritage Park. Special thanks to Wendie, Danielle, John, and the Kent County Tourism team for all of their work in coordinating every detail to perfection.




    If you are a travel writer or tour operator and have a chance to attend a Kent County Tourism FAM tour, don't miss it. If you love discovering charming towns rich in history and natural beauty, be sure to visit Delaware's Quaint Villages. For more information and to view the Official Visitor's Guide, visit www.VisitDelawareVillages.com





     

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