Entries from October 31st, 2011

October 31, 2011

happy halloween

I like Halloween more and more every year. I make more of an effort to dress up now (this year the teacher man and I were Don and Betty Draper from “Mad Men”, and last year we were Bill Compton and Sookie Stackhouse from “True Blood”) and get excited to see everyone’s costumes, decorations and of course, bowls of sugary sweets.

betty draper and don draper halloween costume

{Some people mistook me for Marilyn Monroe until they saw the beautifully branded, homemade Lucky Strike cigarette in my hand. Advertising works. Doesn't the teacher man look dapper?}

We hit up a couple of fun Halloween parties over the weekend, including my oh-so-creative coworker’s amazingly decorated annual Halloween party. There we spotted a sassy Nicki Minaj, Guy Fieri, Mrs. George (the fabulous mom from “Mean Girls”) and of course, Jesus.

nicki minaj and betty draper halloween costume

{Nicki Minaj brought the super bass to the party, while Betty Draper brought her best pearls, a Lucky Strike cigarette and her own martini glass.}

Though I’m not recreating my Betty Draper outfit for the work Halloween costume contest this year (I mean, I work in advertising…I’m sure Mrs. Draper has been done), I have had the Halloween spirit — and glittery remains — draped across my desk for the past month. Meet Agent Orange, a naughty client who didn’t cooperate with his beloved copywriter:

glitter skull

{The remains of a naughty client lie on my work desk. I like that when people ask where I sit, I can say, "The desk with the glittery orange skull and fabulous sunglasses."}

Besides admiring all the kooky costumes and fun decor, one of my favorite parts of the Halloween holiday season is visiting the pumpkin patch. I’ve got obsessing over which ones to choose down to an art, and this year the teacher man and I came home with five pumpkins to carve and decorate. Tonight we’ll spend the night gutting pumpkins, roasting seeds and watching (or not watching…) Monday night football.

teacher man with pumpkins

{The teacher man had a similar look on his face last year when he had to carry around my pumpkins in his arms. At least this year he got to cart them around in a wagon. We ended up switching up our pumpkins at the last minute, but this picture was taken at the height of me testing his patience at the local pumpkin patch.}

kimberlyloc pumpkin

{This green baby pumpkin has been resting peacefully near my television for the past week or so. Tonight, I will open him up, eat his seeds and give him a nice little facial reconstruction.}

We’ll see if any spooky goblins and ghouls come to the door asking for candy tonight. If not, you can bet I’ll be snacking on Halloween candy into at least the first half of November.

candy corn

{I eat candy corn like it's popcorn. I may or may not hit up the post-Halloween candy sales just to get a one more bag of this sugary treat.}

What are you doing to celebrate Halloween tonight? What did you do over the weekend? Tell me about it in the comments section.

October 29, 2011

outfit post | black and tan

What I’m going to miss the most about summer is the ability to effortlessly throw on a casual dress, shoes and accessories while I rush out the door on Monday mornings.

Luckily, fall hasn’t fully arrived in the Kansas City area (though it did go from a warm 82-degree-day to a much-cooler mid-50s within a day), so I am enjoying the last few opportunities to get ready in a snap — no extreme layering required (yet).

On Monday, I threw on a simple LBD and accessorized it with tons of special jewelry, funky cutout booties and a vintage short-sleeved trench. While it isn’t the most-complex outfit I’ve ever worn, it was yet another way to maximize a simple, inexpensive little black dress’s potential. I like the idea of dressing up even the most-basic clothing with meaningful pieces of jewelry and accessories that take you back to places you’ve been or people who have been important to you throughout the years.

black and tan kimberlyloc 1

{Little Black Dress//Target; Tan Short-Sleeved Trench//Thrifted, Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco; Booties//Maude Boutique, Fayetteville, Arkansas}

I love this vintage trench. While in San Francisco one weekend, a dear friend of mine bought it for me on a day when we were walking around the Haight and I just wasn’t dressed appropriately for the windy weather. It cost all of $20 and has a funny , voluminous stitching on the back that gives even flat-bottomed women like me a bit of oomph.

While it’s not the most-practical piece to own (I can wear a short-sleeved trench in Kansas for about three weeks every year — then it’s either too hot or too cold), it’s a meaningful item that proudly hangs in my coat closet next to bulky jackets and winter coats.

black and tan kimberlyloc 2

{Coral Bracelet//Gift from the Teacher Man, Salina, Kansas; Three Wooden Bracelets//Gift from my high school friend Rachael, San Francisco; Green Flower Bracelet//Bought at Vung Tau Beach, Vietnam, circa 2003}

All of the bracelets on my wrist are priceless. The coral bracelet is the first piece of jewelry the teacher man ever got for me, and I adore it. It’s one of my favorite colors and goes with everything. Whenever I get compliments on this piece while in his presence, he can’t help but smile and know that he did well. :)

I often wear the three wooden bracelets, sent to my by my friend Rachael while she was still living out west, because they’re wonderful neutral pieces that add a bit of dimension to a simple outfit. She sent these to me after I visited her for the first time in San Francisco a few years ago.

black and tan kimberlyloc 3

{Orange and Brown Bracelet//Bought at Vung Tau Beach, Vietnam, circa 2003; Heart Brooch//Solemates Boutique, Van Buren, Arkansas; Shell Ring//Adorned Boutique, Lawrence, Kansas, via Bali}

My two little bracelets from Vietnam are priceless. I got them while visiting my mother’s side of the family for the first time nearly nine years ago. Our family went to Vung Tau beach and had a blast taking pictures, picking through handmade jewelry and of course, swimming in the ocean that summer. My mom bought these little bracelets for my cousins and me — they cost something like a quarter a piece, and my cousins were so giddy to have matching jewelry with their American relatives.

I have a handful of brooches from Solemates, but I usually reserve this autumn-colored one for this trench. I like the way it adds a bit of sparkle to the vintage piece and incorporates teal, green, yellow, orange and white into the color scheme — a perfect palette for fall.

How do you dress up basic clothing? What jewelry and accessories are your go-to pieces for a little extra outfit pizzazz? Tell me about it in the comments section!

October 26, 2011

favorite foods | vietnamese banh mi

While most of my childhood cuisine consisted of traditional Southern comfort food (my father was a Texan and I grew up in Arkansas), my Chinese-Vietnamese mother added some Asian flare to our menu so we could get a taste of her homeland from time to time.

Before it blew up into a street food craze, banh mi was a special treat in our home. My mother would load up on the tasty French-Vietnamese sandwiches from our local Asian market, and my brothers and I would tear through them like we’d never seen cured meats and pickled veggies on crusty French bread before — because, well, we hadn’t. Thanks, Mom.

banh mi vietnam cafe kansas city

{In Kansas City, I like to get banh mi from Vietnam Cafe for a quick, simple and healthy (not to mention cheap!) lunch.}

Banh mi isn’t like your typical sub or hoagie-style sandwich. At what sub shop can you get a fresh-made sandwich with complex flavors and knockout ingredients for less than $2? The perfect banh mi combines just-baked, warm, crackly French baguette stuffed with layers of chilies or jalapenos, steamed and barbecued pork with fish sauce, pickled carrots and daikon radish, fresh cilantro and pork liver pate. It’s tangy, savory, crunchy and satisfying on so many levels.

Which is why, on most days at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant in Kansas City, Vietnam Cafe, you have to get your banh mi before early afternoon. Even though it’s not on the menu, the Vietnamese community and regular patrons know to order it fresh-baked, and the shop routinely sells out every day.

(You can ask the poor teacher man, who’s been slighted a few times when we’ve dined at VC for dinner and the beloved banh mi was all gone for the day).

Have you ever tried banh mi? What did you think? What are some of your favorite foods?

October 21, 2011

outfit post | pleather and lace

I am not a photographer. I shoot my blog photos with my iPhone 4, which is an upgrade from my unreliable point-and-shoot from a few Christmases ago.

I’ve always said that if I ever wanted to incorporate outfit posts into my blog, I wanted to do it right.

Well, the time has come.

My friend Ed agreed to snap outfit posts for the blog until I get my own camera and figure out my way around it.

Until then, enjoy Ed’s beautiful photography (and taking a peek at my outfits) every week.

This is going to be fun.

kimberlyloc wears a red lace dress over pleather leggings

{Dress//Boutique in Soho, New York City; Faux Snakeskin Belt//Target; Pleather Leggings//Forever 21; Booties//Wal-Mart. Photo By Ed Felix}

I wanted the first outfit captured on the blog to express a few things about myself.

Red is my favorite color, but for some reason, I own very few pieces of stop sign-colored clothing. This dress, which I got from a small boutique in New York City in February, combines showstopping red with delicate lace — a perfect reflection of my feminine yet fiery personality.

I like the way this lace dress hugs my body yet covers up everything — except when worn without leggings underneath (which I have never done!). I paired it with some edgy (and inexpensive) pleather leggings to tone down the girliness of the lace..and to stay warm in this cooler fall weather.

kimberlyloc red dress and faux snakeskin belt

{Photo By Ed Felix}

kimberlyloc red dress and accessories detail

{Cameo Bracelet//Solemates Boutique, Van Buren, Arkansas; 18K Gold and Onyx Ring//Gift from Mama. Photo By Ed Felix}

While there’s nothing extremely special about this faux snakeskin belt from Target, the bracelet and ring are special to me.

My first job ever, in high school, was at Solemates Boutique. I have a lot of clothing, jewelry, shoes and accessories from Solemates — and those pieces, including this cameo bracelet, are at least six to seven years old. While the bracelet may not hold any monetary value (it cost 24 year-2004-dollars), it reminds me of a very good time in my life — being 18, carefree and ready for my next adventure.

Upon completing one adventure in life, college, my mom handed down the gold and onyx ring to me. It wasn’t a particularly meaningful ring in itself — just a gemstone one of my mom’s friends gave to her that she had made into a ring — but that ring was the first of anything that belonged to my mom that I now own. I blame credit her for my love of big, gaudy chunky rings. I like the combination of this loud, dark ring with the pearly, sweet cameo bracelet. It keeps it real.

How do you keep it real? Show me some of your favorite fashion pieces! Upload them to the kimberlyloc.com Facebook page while you check out some outfit outtakes from the shoot. Or, leave me a comment and tell me what fashion blogs inspire you to keep it real :)

October 20, 2011

cupcake taste test | 5-city hit list | overland park, olathe, leawood, lenexa, prairie village | kansas

I’m partnering with my blog friends over at Cupcake Crusaders in a little cupcake countdown that celebrates the best sweets in each of our respective areas.

Next month, I’ll be hosting a series of blog posts from Stacy, Jenn and Elisa detailing the trio’s top five favorite cupcakes in the city of Baltimore. I’ve never been to the city (beyond the airport), so I’m anxious to see what cupcake shops of the many the ladies have reviewed so far on the blog make their top-five list to share with us.

bakery girl

{Photo By gabyflo/Courtesy Flickr}

In addition to the Cupcake Crusaders offering their top five favorite cupcakeries for my readers to salivate over, I’ll be sharing my top five favorite sweets shops on their blog.

For my series, I’m focusing on my favorite cupcakeries in the Kansas City, Kansas, suburbs, with a focus on Overland Park, Olathe, Leawood, Lenexa and Prairie Village. The Cupcake Crusaders and I decided to be very specific in what shops we’re including in our roundups, and it made more sense to focus on a certain ZIP code or set of suburbs.

(In a few more months, we’ll do another countdown where the Crusaders include Baltimore metro area/suburb cupcakeries, and I’ll focus on Kansas City proper cupcakes.)

Which cupcakeries do you think deserve to get a shout-out during this cupcake countdown? What shops should we tell the Baltimore area to take note of here in the prairie land?

I’ve already got my running list — with a few more shops to try this weekend. Tell me about the cupcakeries you love in Overland Park, Olathe, Leawood, Lenexa and Prairie Village so I don’t forget to cross them off my list!

October 19, 2011

simple snack | dark chocolate chip, nut and dried fruit medley

I’m a snacker. By about 3:00 on most weekdays, I experience the afternoon slump and get a little bit hungry (and grumpy). Though I’ve been known to raid the receptionist’s candy dish from time to time, I usually keep myself in check by stocking one of my desk drawers with healthy, simple snack options.

Instead of wasting my money on pre-packaged trail mixes that have way too much added salt and sugar, I like to make my own snack mixes with simple, high-quality ingredients that I can buy in bulk. I usually keep a pint-sized canning jar stocked with a delicious homemade trail mix with me at work. My favorite ingredients include dark chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli), dried cherries and unsalted almonds, pecans and peanuts.

simple snack dark chocolate chips dried cherries almonds peanuts

{Half a cup of this dark chocolate chip, almond, pecan, peanut and dried fruit mix satisfies my mid-afternoon snack attack.}

I choose unsalted nuts to better control the salt content of my snack — but I don’t go completely without it! I like to sprinkle a little bit of sea salt (maybe half a teaspoon per pint) to ward of salt cravings and balance out the sweetness of the dried cherries and dark chocolate.

Do you go through the afternoon slump ‘n grump? What healthy snacks do you like? Share with me in the comments section!

October 18, 2011

taco tuesday | ricos tacos lupe | the westside | kansas city, missouri

A few weeks ago, my coworker Rob brought in five tiny tacos that made me…I can’t believe I’m about to say this…miss Topeka, where I used to work. We always got the most-delicious Mexican food from a little hole-in-wall-joint that probably caused me to gain a pound or two every week.

To no benefit to my waistline, there’s a whole street full of hole-in-the-wall-Mexican places — Southwest Boulevard — in Kansas City, so I ventured out to get my own tiny tacos last week from Ricos Tacos Lupe. I may or may not be going back there today as well…

ricos tacos lupe kansas city

{The street-style tacos at Ricos Tacos Lupe cost $1.50 a pop — except on Tuesdays, when they're just a buck!}

I chose al pastor, asada and pollo tacos with fresh cilantro, onions and lime. They were almost perfect; one of my tortillas was a bit soggy. The meats — the important part of a taco — were juicy and flavorful, so I can overlook the tortilla issue. At the table, the complimentary chips were a bit stale — but the squeeze-bottle salsas had enough body and heat to distract me from the disappointing chips.

Regardless of the couple of hiccups at Ricos Tacos Lupe, I’m ecstatic to eat my way through the menu. I now get the whole allure of “Taco Tuesdays.” Let a new weekly tradition begin!

Have you been to Ricos Tacos Lupe? What did you think? What are some other great hole-in-the-wall Mexican joints in KC? Leave me a note in the comments section!

October 17, 2011

this makes me happy | natasha’s mulberry & mott opens pop-up shop on country club plaza

On Saturday, I was pleasantly surprised when the teacher man pointed out this sweet sign as we were walking out of the parking garage at Ward and Central on the Country Club Plaza.

natasha's mulberry & mott country club plaza kansas city

{Hello, Natasha!}

My favorite sweets shop, Natasha’s Mulberry & Mott, has opened a pop-up store on the Plaza for the holiday season! Even though I had my heart set on getting ice cream Saturday afternoon, I quickly changed my mind as I wandered into the shop and got a box of macarons to share with the teacher man, my best friend Liz and my friend from high school, Jarid. Neither Liz nor Jarid had had macarons before, so I’m happy I was able to introduce them to my favorite little cookie from my favorite little shop.

natasha's mulberry & mott french macarons box

{I got seven macarons — one of each flavor available that day — and they were beautifully packaged in this sweet macaron box with a hot pink bow. Love it.}

natasha's mulberry & mott french macarons

{These didn't last long. Top row, left to right: Green Apple, Black Currant; middle row, left to right: Strawberry, Almond, Peach; bottom row, left to right: Pistachio, Passionfruit.}

Natasha’s Plaza pop-up store will be open until January 15 — though I hope it gains enough traffic and popularity to stick around for the long haul! In addition to the signature macarons, she has beautiful homemade marshmallows, all sorts of tiny cakes, jumbo cookies and drip coffee, all made fresh daily and trucked in from her Mission Farms location.

If you live in the KC area and have yet to try Natasha’s, you now have no excuse. Unlike the Mission Farms location, the Plaza store is open on Sundays (I’ve had a few sad macaron-free Sundays).

Call me if you need help getting through your box of goodies.

Theme by Blogmilk   Coded by Brandi Bernoskie