10 Heavenly Hot Chocolates

We loved when mom mixed Swiss Miss with water, but we’ve grown up—and so have our tastebuds. Once you’ve sipped honest-to-goodness hot chocolate, you’ll never look back again. If you can’t travel to Paris or New York, make it yourself.

1. Chocolate l’Africain
from Angelina Tearoom

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{Giveaway} A year of fabulous, fresh flowers!

bouqslandingpage

TELL US YOUR FAVE FLOWER AND WIN BEAUTIFUL BOUQUETS FOR A YEAR

You’re tired of dropping a small fortune on “fresh” flowers, only to have them droop and die a few days later. How’d you like to spend absolutely nothing on a year’s worth of beautiful blooms and have each breathtaking bouquet last for up to two weeks?

One lucky FOF will receive a fresh bouquet of her favorite flower–once a month for an entire  year–from The Bouqs Co., which is changing the way we buy and enjoy flowers. Offering a gorgeous selection of 40 bouquets, curated by a renowned floral designer, The Bouqs Co. ships its blooms directly to your home from eco-friendly, sustainable farms in South America, where they’re grown.

To win, visit www.thebouqs.com, pick out your favorite bouquet, then comment below with your choice: 1 FOF will win!

Special occasion coming up? Order from The Bouqs Co. today and get 10 percent off and free shipping, exclusive for FOFs.  Enter code FABOVERFIFTY at checkout.

1 FOF will win 12 bouquets of flowers (a 1 year-subscription). (See official rules, here.) Contest closes July 29, 2013 at midnight E.S.T. Contest limited to residents of the continental U.S.

{Gift Guide} GIVE great design gifts, RECEIVE a gorgeous candle

Bring the perfect  next holiday affair. Three FOF genius design bloggers tell us their fave pieces to GIVE this holiday season.

Plus! Enter our contest, and you may RECEIVE a delightful, all-natural candle from Well Dressed Home.

To enter to win a gorgeous candle in the scent of your choice, comment below and answer: Tinsel on the tree–is it tacky or terrific? (One FOF will win).

Soy-wax  14-oz candle by Michel Design Works, $28.95
“Who doesn’t love getting a candle for the holidays?” says FOF founder Geri Brin. “These are are all-natural and just beautiful. I buy a few and tuck them away, in case I get any last-minute invites to holiday parties. This way, I never arrive empty handed.”

Custom Art by Linda McCoy, $200
“You can send FOF Linda McCoy a picture of anything and she’ll create a custom painting… it’s truly a one-of-a-kind gift” says Geri Brin. “She painted a portrait of me and one of my dog, Rigby, that I cherish.”

Leather Envelope by Graphic Image, $67
“This is a great catch-all for your pictures, receipts and important cards,” says FOF founder Geri Brin. “I love giving and receiving functional gifts.”

{Geri Brin is the founder of FabOverFifty.com}

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Encyclopedia of the Exquisite: A General History of Elegant Delights by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins, $20.85
“A great read about beauty of all kinds—from the everyday to the obscure!” says FOF Barbara Mangini of design blog My Dog Eared Pages.

A Passion for Interiors by Carolyne Roehm, $41.58
“Any book by Carolyne Roehm is bursting with yummy photography and stylish décor.  A Passion for Interiors is a private tour of Roehm’s Manhattan duplex, her Colonial-era house in Connecticut, and a friend’s Aspen residence.”

Bremer Collection Raw Linen Table Runner, $24
“I love the idea of one-of-a-kind farmhouse finds. Just add a wooden bowl full of paper whites and a big ribbon!”

Baggu bag, $8
“Baggu makes the best reusable bags from rip-stop nylon. Most people use 300 to 700 plastic bags a year. Instead you can just use one Baggu. They come in bold colors and patterns and are perfect stocking-stuffers for everyone on your list!”

{Barbara Mangini is the FOF blogger behind My Dog Eared Pages, a collection of her marvelous musings and highly-vetted design, fashion and art finds.}

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“Because I am a note writer, I always have a supply of beautiful papers on hand,” says Renae Moore of the blog Renae Moore Designs. “Hannah Nation is the creator of Gadabout. She has so many beauties it’s hard to choose and she will custom monogram any you pick.”

{Renae is the interior decorator and blogger behind the oh-so lovely Renae Moore Designs blog. }

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Frances Palmer Pottery, $25-245
“Her pottery is feminine, pure and will be loved by many for generations,” says FOF Lisa Porter of the design blog, The Lisa Porter Collection.

Southern Magnolia Tree, $44
“Seeds of life is a delightful farm that specializes in gift trees. They can be planted in honor of a special friend or family member. Trees symbolize strength and endurance and are the kind of gift that have potential to last centuries.”

{Lisa Porter is the FOF behind the delightful design blog, The Lisa Porter Collection. Lisa’s gorgeous blog features eye-popping design, inspiring interiors and carefully-vetted businesses.}

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To enter to win a gorgeous candle in the scent of your choice, comment below and answer: Tinsel on the tree–tacky or terrific? (One FOF will win).

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

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{Gift Guide} GIVE wine gifts, RECEIVE a wine pairing cookbook and two bottles of wine

Our FOF vintage veterans handpick 7 top bottles to GIVE for the holidays.

Plus! enter to win below, and you may RECIEVE 100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy with Wines You Love cookbook  and two bottles of wine from Casey Flat Ranch. (One FOF will win.)

To enter, comment below and answer: When you’re served wine at a restaurant, do you sniff and taste it before you drink it?

1. 2006 Wild Horse Cabernet, $18.99

It’s very smooth with a hint of smoke at the end,” says FOF Mary Maynard of the popular blog, “Happy Hour Mary.” “It’s just a bit over $15 but tastes more expensive!”

2. 2007 Open Range Proprietary Red Wine, $18

“This wine comes from Yolo County, California, an area at the forefront of seasonal, sustainable and organic agriculture.” says FOF Ursula Hemacinski, author of The Wine Lovers Guide to Auctions and VP of Marketing for Casey Flat Ranch. “With its notes of plum, black currant, fresh earth and cedar, it’s a great accompaniment to pastas, seafood stews, pork and lamb.”

2009 Open Range Sauvignon Blanc, $15

“This wine is also from the up-and-coming wine region of Yolo County,” says FOF Ursula Hemacinski. “With it’s crisp foundation, delicate minerality and notes of green apple, kiwi and lime, it holds its own against pork tenderloin and seafood pastas. It’s especially delicious with cheese trays.

3. Mumm Napa Cuvee M Sparkling Wine. $20

“The winemaker himself, Ludovic Dervin, told me he designed Mumm Cuvee M to taste like peaches and cream – and it does!” says FOF Jill Silverman Hough author of  100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy with Wines You Love “It’s my favorite sparkler.”

4. Swanson Alexis Cabernet Blend (vintage years 2004 to 2007 from Oakville or Napa), $58-$79.99

“I enjoy Swanson’s Alexis Cabernet Blend from Napa,” says FOF Eve Bushman of Eve’s Wine 101 blog and the Santa Clarita, CA, newspaper column by the same name. “In the ‘04, I noted pleasant black fruit in the aroma and taste–dry with a lovely length.  The ‘05 was quite complex and the ‘06 had aromas of anise and eucalyptus.”

5. Dancing Bear Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain (vintage years 2005 or 2006), $106

“If you like mature jam on the nose and full flavors of cherry, blackberry, softened tannins and black pepper, you’ll like this,” says FOF Eve Bushman.

6. En Tirage 1992 Russian River Valley Recently Disgorged Extra Brut, $60.

“Longtime winemaker Don Baumhefner finally has released En Tirage, a bottling he’s let linger in the cellar for 17 years,” says FOF Virginie Boone, contributing reviewer for Wine Enthusiast Magazine. “Disgorged just this fall, it’s creamy, voluptuous and deep honey in color, with a lovely apricot nose and layers of texture.”

100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy with Wines You Love cookbook by FOF author Jill Silverman Hough

“It’s full of easy, delicious recipes and makes wine pairing absolutely unintimidating,” says FOF author Jill Silverman Hough. “If you’re serving, for example, Chardonnay, turn to that chapter, pick any recipe, and it’ll go with Chardonnay. If you don’t have a particular wine in mind, pick a recipe you like and then get the wine to go with it.”
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To enter to win 100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy with Wines You Love cookbook and two bottles of wine from Casey Flat Ranch, comment below and answer: When you’re served wine at a restaurant do you sniff and taste it before you drink it?

Contest closes December 14, 2010.

(See all our past winners, here.)

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

{Poll} Results are in..What’s at the top of FOF’s wishlists this year?

Last month, we asked FOFs what they’re most coveting for the holidays. What topped their wishlists?

Dazzling Jewelry! See the rest of the poll results below.

Which of the following would you most want as a holiday gift?

  • Dazzling jewelry (43%, 33 Votes)
  • A killer accessory such as a luxe bag, designer eyewear or a gorgeous scarf (17%, 13 Votes)
  • One-of-a-kind art (17%, 13 Votes)
  • Stylish travel gear or luggage (12%, 9 Votes)
  • A scrumptious gourmet treat (5%, 4 Votes)
  • Knockout exercise gear or apparel (5%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 76

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Comment below and tell us: Do you agree?

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{Poll} What do you want as a holiday gift?

Less than two weeks until Black Friday, which marks the beginning of holiday shopping season. Tell us FOFs, which of the following would you most want as a holiday gift?

Which of the following would you most want as a holiday gift?

  • Dazzling jewelry (43%, 33 Votes)
  • A killer accessory such as a luxe bag, designer eyewear or a gorgeous scarf (17%, 13 Votes)
  • One-of-a-kind art (17%, 13 Votes)
  • Stylish travel gear or luggage (12%, 9 Votes)
  • A scrumptious gourmet treat (5%, 4 Votes)
  • Knockout exercise gear or apparel (5%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 76

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