Making Whipped Cream at Home : How to Get the Perfect Peak

Do you love homemade whipped cream? Wondering what’s the easiest way to make a batch? Here are 2 methods for making whipped cream at home – the sweet complement to ice cream and pie. Or maybe you just like to keep a bowl in the fridge ready to swoop up a spoonful.

cup of hot chocolate with whip cream - making whipped cream

Hot chocolate practically demands a dollop of homemade whipped cream. Photo: Shutterstock

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A Taste of Stellenbosch: Exploring South African Wines and Food

Stellenbosch is the dramatically beautiful, wine-producing region in South Africa. No visit to the country is complete without a Stellenbosch wine tasting (or two). Pair the wine with a food tour and learn about South Africa’s favorite foods, like biltong and bobotie.

Driveway flanked by foliage at Waterford Estate in Stellenbosch, offering South Africa wine tours

What waits at the end of this dramatic driveway? A wine safari at the Waterford Estate in Stellenbosch. Photo: Cathy Bennett Kopf/The Open Suitcase.

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Create a Spa Bathroom at Home: What to Put on the Wall

Want the feel of a spa bathroom in your home? One of the challenges is choosing wall art for your master bath. Instead of a kitschy beach scene or the clutter of a bunch of photos, go for an oversized piece, handcrafted of natural elements.Woven willow wheel from Pottery Barn makes the perfect spa bathroom statement and is a great way to feature big wall art. Continue reading

Gifting Outside the Box

Let’s start with the facts. No guy wants another tie. And no woman wants a gift card.

What do you get for the boomer who has more than they need or want? Most of my friends are packing up their possessions and selling them on eBay, giving them away on Freecycle or donating them to local charities.

But ‘tis the traditional gift-giving season. In addition to Hanukah and Christmas, I’m still attending milestone birthday parties. Since I hate to shop and am a terrible wrapper, I usually choose experiential gifts to mark these occasions. I’ll take a friend to dinner or give them concert tickets. There are so many great new bands out there playing in small, local venues; it’s an easy way to make a 50-year old feel twenty again.

Or, if you know someone who’s longed for a bit of Indiana Jones-like adventure, how about the chance to play amateur archeologist? It’s a unique gift for person in your life who wants nothing.

Looking for a unique gift for a guy? Consider an Adventures in Preservation trip.

Photo: The Fairfield Foundation.

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5 Tips for Slackers Visiting Pandora at Disney World

If there are no Pandora Fast Passes available for your Disney World vacation, don’t worry. Here’s a strategy for riding BOTH Na’vi River Journey and Flight of Passage in 2 hours!

“Did you book your FastPass+ yet?” My sister-in-law asked this question every time we talked about our upcoming trip to Walt Disney World. “Nope. I’ll get to it,” was my standard reply. When I finally opened the My Disney Experience app (while riding on the Magical Express from the airport to the Animal Kingdom Lodge), there was no availability for any of the popular rides, including Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey in the new Pandora – The World of AVATAR.

When visiting Pandora without a FastPass, be sure to catch the Tree of Life Awakening in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Watching the Tree of Life is a popular nighttime activity in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Photo: Cathy Bennett Kopf/The Open Suitcase LLC

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