The right gift for your beloved is a choice that should come from the heart—but that doesn’t mean a little research can’t help. The following picks are the result of more than 100 hours of research performed by some two dozen testers tasked with finding the best items to help you plan your next romantic occasion (even if you secretly hoard all of the chocolate for yourself).




The Black Box offers just the right balance of understated and seductive, and the chocolates inside are sure to excite the most jaded palate.




2d7436b1c1293c8a2722b99810332275Now that we’ve officially crossed the half-way mark of January, I thought it was only fitting to take a second and check in on each other. How are you doing? How is the new year going so far? I finally took the plunge and tossed out our Christmas tree last weekend. Even though it sure was hard to say goodbye to that bone-dry mini fir, I convinced my husband to leave up a few strands of lights around our apartment. That way, we can enjoy the spirit of the holidays for just a tad-bit longer. Plus, those warm white bulbs always illuminate such a cozy vibe, don’t you think?

Anyway, enough of my off-tangent rant. Time to get back on track.

How are your new year’s resolutions coming? I know I mentioned some simple resolutions to revitalize your body, mind and soul here that are totally doable any time of the year, but then I got to thinking: What about the people that are looking to grow and evolve but aren’t really keen on resolutions in the first place? And that’s why I’m here today.

Instead of creating one, two, three (four, five, six) giant self-care goals to achieve throughout the next 365 days, why not take the year one month at a time? That way, you can tackle smaller challenges with each 30/31 days that pass and revel in just as much (if not more!) self-improvement success by the time December rolls around. Enticing, right?

Now of course, everyone is unique so your idea of self-care might differ with what I’ve listed below, but I’m hoping it will at least help you get started on your journey!

January: Infuse your mind with inspiration.

With the cheerful holiday decor all packed up and the outdoor temperatures consistently dropping, it doesn’t take much for January to seem a bit dreary. But don’t let the cold frigid weather get you down. Instead, take time to infuse your mind with inspiration. Plan a trip. Add adventures to your bucket list. And if you don’t have a bucket list, create one. The excitement of having something to look forward to will be the heat needed on even the coldest of days. FULL ARTICLE AT WIT & DELIGHT

Call for Bayonne playwrights

5xkq_12baytheater20_2_The Bayonne Theater Company, a nonprofit theater group, is searching for short comedy plays from the Bayonne community for the group’s upcoming “Comedy Playwrights’ Project” in the spring at Grace Lutheran Church.The group’s five past performances have been written mostly by group members, but it wants to tap into the Bayonne community for diamonds in the rough. Submissions should be between 15 and 45 minutes, and have a healthy dose of humor.

In December, the tightknit group presented “Mystery Play,” a murder mystery directed by Shawn Norton. Another group member, Jennifer Lubach, wrote and directed a November play called “Small Spaces,” a comic tale of being trapped in small spaces. Before that, it presented a Woody Allen play called “God,” which regularly breaks the fourth wall and requires actors to sometimes play audience members.

“Now we’re asking new writers to send in their plays, and we’ll produce them,” said Lubach, who has directed two original performances, including an evening of short skits. The group, three years old, funds performances through donations and ticket sales. The group is behind Bayonne’s first and second annual Renaissance Festival and the Bayonne’s Got Talent show. With enough to put on another show, the group needs material to perform.

Read more: Hudson Reporter – Call for Bayonne playwrights Local theater group seeks short comedies


jo-maloneCandles may as well be currency in the interior-design world. Interior designers use them as the final touch to a room, the one that elevates a space to the next sensory level. We mortals love them too but have a hard time knowing where to start.

To help you wade through the morass, we rounded up our favorites. Psst — they are also on every interior designer’s list!

Get ready to buy matches in bulk.

Jo Malone

If it’s good enough for Kate Middleton, then it’s good enough for us. The Duchess of Cambridge had Jo Malone’s citrus scents — Orange Blossom ($65) included — perfuming Westminster Abbey during her royal wedding. ‘Nuff said.

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Bringing movie sets back to NJ

Film tax breaks returning to state; Bayonne has legendary movie history


THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME – A panel of film professionals came to Jersey City on Sept. 12 to talk about tax incentives as well as the future of film industry in the state. Read more: Hudson Reporter – Bringing movie sets back to NJ Film tax breaks returning to state Bayonne has legendary movie history

via Al Sullivan/Hudson Reporter – Film historians often attribute the origin of the term “cliffhanger” to the 1914 silent film serial “The Perils of Pauline” in which the main character clings to the Palisade cliffs near Fort Lee. Many people are unaware that New Jersey has a long history in the film industry, dating back to Thomas Edison’s invention of aspects of photography and film production in Newark and his laboratories in West Orange. And one of the early companies that eventually evolved into Universal Studios started as a small silent film studio in Bayonne.

Numerous places in Hudson County and New Jersey have served as locations for films such as “A Beautiful Mind,” “Grosse Point Blank,” and the HBO series “Oz.” But the state has long lived in the shadow of New York City, which has always competed with Los Angeles as a setting for film production. Yet, more than 18,000 union workers associated with movie and TV production live in New Jersey.


50 Christmas Cocktails to Get You Through Holiday Drama


Have one glass (or six) of these cocktails and punch bowls—who’s counting during the holidays, anyway?

via Alyse Whitney at Bon Appetit

All you need are two steps to survive Christmas: Take a deep breath and make a cocktail, stat. Cozy mulled wine, spiked egg nog, and dangerously-strong bourbon punch will help you get juuuust drunk enough to survive everything from fake-smiling through bad gifts to your post-feast food coma.

Take me to the cocktails! >>>