Entries from January 30th, 2012

January 30, 2012

scenes from my weekend | a visit to the bahamas

Is it still winter? Today, I’m coming back to some decent weather and a bit of a glow thanks to a mild winter in Kansas City coupled with some great travel opportunities to St. Lucia and most recently, the Bahamas.

I jetted off to Nassau and Paradise Island, Bahamas, on Thursday for a long weekend in the sun where I explored a few great spots on the island and had my share of cigars, local conch, wine and what seemed like an infinite amount of water.

You can see more pictures on my Facebook page if you fancy yourself a little bit of sun and sand this winter. Happy Monday.

cigars at graycliff hotel nassau bahamas

{I’m not a smoker by any means, but you can’t visit the Graycliff Hotel in Nassau, which is known for its 300,000-bottle wine cellar and cigar factory, without getting a puff. The owner, Enrico Garzaroli, rolled this beautiful “ninfa” cigar for me after dinner on Thursday night. Truly a special experience.}

ocean view at the cove atlantis paradise island bahamas

{I stayed at The Cove Atlantis for two nights during the weekend, and this is the view I savored each morning from my 17th-floor hotel room. Even though Atlantis is a larger resort with tons of attractions, moments like this make you feel like you’re miles away from the hustle and bustle.}

kimberlyloc in the water at the cove atlantis nassau bahamas

{On Saturday, I had a great four-hour chunk of time to soak up the sun on the beach at The Cove Atlantis. Besides being in an area exclusively available to guests at The Cove, this area was extremely clean and calm for such a high-energy resort. I was able to literally “swim with the fishies” in this clear water.}

eat conch four ways in the bahamas

{The locals are crazy for conch, and now I understand why. I had, clockwise from top left, scorched conch, fried conch, conch salad and conch fritters. It’s a favorite that reminds me of shrimp in the South. Conch has a chewy texture that takes on different personas depending on how it’s prepared. My favorite style was conch salad, which was similar to ceviche.}

spa at the one & only ocean club bahamas

{I had to take a break during my tour of the One&Only Ocean Club Spa in Nassau, where supermodel Cindy Crawford got married more than a decade ago. This chair was the perfect break from my high heels.}

Have you ever been to the Bahamas? Where did you stay, and would you recommend it? I’d love to know your thoughts!

January 27, 2012

free stuff friday | naturelle d’orient argan oil body exfoliant, body oil and glittering oil

NOTE: GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

I’m not very good at regularly applying body lotion. It’s a tedious task (skin is the largest organ, remember?) that takes up a little too much time, so I prefer to get mega moisture in the shower and immediately after. Exfoliating scrubs and body oils have reserved spots in my bathroom, and since my obsession with oils and scrubs commenced a few years ago, I’ve never had softer skin.

Argan oil is one of my secrets to soft skin. Well, secret’s out. For the last Free Stuff Friday post of the month, I’m giving away some of my favorite products from Naturelle d’Argan, one of the leading argan oil brands in France that is just now launching in the U.S.

naturelle d'argan products

{You can win this happy trio of Naturelle d'Argan products!}

I use Naturelle d’Argan Body Exfoliant (above, middle) to slough away dead skin cells and energize my body in the morning. I love the softness it brings to my skin thanks to the “liquid gold” of argan oil, which is rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids that restore the skin. It has a light, nutty scent to it that won’t interfere with any other fragrances you may choose to put on after your shower.

I’ve gone through more than half of my Naturelle d’Argan Argan Oil for Face, Body and Hair Care (above, left) quite quickly. It’s the perfect post-shower body oil; it’s fragrance-free and super-moisturizing — a little goes a long way! You can use this on your face before bedtime and as an overnight hair repair treatment (it temporarily seals split ends and soothes the scalp). Truly a simple yet standout product from the line!

This weekend on my mini-vacation, I’m faking a bit of a glow with Naturelle d’Argan Glittering Oil (above, right). It has a similar nutty/sesame smell like the body exfoliant, but with a dash of shimmer. I’m wearing this on my shoulders, chest and temples to bring a little color and light to my winter skin. It’s not a full-on bronzer, though; it just has a hint of temporary, sheer color to add a little healthy flush to your natural skin tone. As with the other products, it’s loaded with argan oil and ultra-moisturizing.

Want to win this trio? All you have to do is answer this question in the comments section below: Where do you plan on or want to travel to in 2012?

For one additional entry in the giveaway, you can “Like” kimberlyloc.com Facebook. Be sure to tell me in the comments section below if you have liked the Facebook page so I can count your vote twice!

Giveaway begins Friday, January 27, 2012, at 12:00 a.m. CST, and closes on Friday, February 3, 2012, at 12:00 a.m. CST.

Sweepstakes Terms and Conditions
1. No purchase necessary. A purchase does not improve your chance of winning. Void where prohibited.
2. Entrant must be 18 years old as of sweepstakes start date and a legal resident of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia as of start date.
3. Sweepstakes begins Friday, January 27, 2012 at 12:00 am CST and ends Friday, February 3, 2012, at 12:00 am CST.
4. Each entrant selected as a potential winner must comply with all terms and conditions set forth in these Official Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all such requirements. Winners will be selected by random drawing. If a potential winner cannot be contacted within fourteen (14) days after the first attempt to contact such potential winner, an alternate entrant will be selected in his or her place from all entries received.
5. Sponsor(s) is/are not responsible for lost or mutilated prizes and none will be replaced. Prize is nontransferable and must be accepted as awarded. No cash or other substitution may be made, except by Sponsor(s) in the event that the prize cannot be awarded for any reason, in which case, Sponsor(s) will award a prize of equal or greater value. All taxes, fees and surcharges on prizes are the sole responsibility of winner.

January 26, 2012

happy early weekend

I’m leaving on a jet plane (OK, AirTran) today for a long weekend in the sun.

You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to figure out where I’ll be from today until Sunday. You’ll get a full recap on Monday!

And don’t worry, the final free stuff Friday post in celebration of kimberlyloc.com’s bloggerversary will go live at midnight Friday.

Happy (early!) weekend.

island resort

{I’ll be hanging out here this weekend. Photo Courtesy derekskey}

January 25, 2012

cupcake taste test | ms. nene’s takes the cake bakery | kansas city metro

Local business owners “Stubbie” of E.F. Hobbs Coffee and Renee of Ms. Nene’s Takes the Cake ride around the Kansas City metro in their bright orange truck and brighten office monkeys’ days with a little sugar and plenty of smiles. If you stalk them follow them on Twitter, you can see where they’re headed so you can plan your day accordingly.

Or, if you’re like me, you can tweet them and they might just show up at the front door of your office.

ms. nene's takes the cake bakery kansas city

{Those cupcakes from Ms. Nene's Takes the Cake Bakery didn't last long.}

Upon approval from my office’s “Ministry of Fun” (aka spirit committee), CoffeeCakesKC rolled in to the parking lot and met a dozen or so of my cupcake-crazy coworkers and me to feed us red velvet, chocolate mint and chocolate with vanilla buttercream frosting cupcakes. Stubbie stood by to make hot drinks while Renee rounded up the cupcakes, which she sold out of within 10 minutes!

I was able to sample each available flavor of the day and buy an additional chocolate mint cupcake to take home to the teacher man. My coworker got the last red velvet, but offered me a bite for official taste test purposes. I couldn’t refuse.

ms nenes takes the cake cupcakes

{I got the red velvet cupcake, with pure white frosting, for my coworker and somehow managed to only eat half of one cupcake while the other two sat on my desk all day. Talk about self-control! Don't worry, though, I ate them with the teacher man later that evening.}

The red velvet cupcake had some pretty tasty frosting, but I was a bit surprised at the cake. It wasn’t as moist as I expected (so many of my online cupcake friends rave about Nene’s!), but I’m wondering if it was a fluke.

ms nene's takes the cake bakery red velvet cupcake

{The red velvet cupcake wasn't as moist as I'd expected it to be, but it did have a great, creamy frosting.}

I nibbled on one of the chocolate mint cupcakes at my desk throughout the day. The frosting deserved an A+ for fresh, minty flavor and silky texture, but as with the red velvet, the cake was just a tad bit dry. Nothing a little coffee couldn’t wash down, though.

chocolate mint cupcake ms nene's take the cake

{The kiss on top was a nice addition to the chocolate mint cupcake's perfect frosting, but I wish the cake was a bit more moist.}

I had a bite of the chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting at home with the teacher man. Same verdict. Superb frosting atop cake that needs a bit more oomph.

chocolate with vanilla buttercream cupcake ms nene's takes the cake

{Chocolate drizzles atop perfect buttercream frosting makes me happy.}

Though my review is mixed, Ms. Nene’s Takes the Cake is still on my hit-list. The frosting made a big impact on my taste buds, and I’m just too intrigued by the other regular-rotation cupcakes to write off an imperfect batch. I’ve got until March to round up my favorite Kansas City cupcakes for another series with the Cupcake Crusaders — here’s to hoping I can lure the cupcake truck back to work for another taste test!

KC-area peeps who love Nene’s, which flavors should I try next? And who is coming with me? (@angelchrys, I’m talking to you.)

Do you have a mobile cupcakery in your town? How do you feel about food/dessert trucks? Tell me what you think in the comments section!

January 23, 2012

scenes from my weekend | a celebration of chinese new year 2012 | year of the dragon

More than three weeks ago, the world welcomed 2012 with bubbles, sequins and perhaps a few midnight kisses. Today, those of us who have eastern roots that lead back to China, Vietnam, Taiwan and Malaysia are celebrating the Lunar New Year (commonly called Chinese New Year) with bright red clothes, loads of tasty food and a little extra green in our pockets.

This is one of my favorite holidays, and I love sharing the tradition with the ones I love. On Friday, the teacher man and I headed to my hometown to visit with family and friends and celebrate the year of the dragon, one of the luckiest signs of the Chinese zodiac. We stayed up late with cousins, uncles, aunts, nephews, friends and my mom playing games, eating traditional foods and drinking beer, all from the comfort of a home that was decked out in holiday decor.

Here’s a few scenes from my new year’s eve part 2 weekend. Gung Hay Fat Choy and Chuc Mung Nam Moi to all!

chinese new year dragon dance lion dance

{My mom, the teacher man, my nephew and I went to the public library for a small lion dance/dragon dance on Saturday. So happy to see a diverse group of people in Bentonville, Arkansas, come out to experience a fun tradition!}

red envelopes li xi lucky money

{One of my favorite parts of Chinese New Year celebrations is getting red envelopes filled with "lucky money" to start the new year off right. I especially loved this envelope with the adorable little kids on the front!}

hot pot

{Family-style meals make me happy. We had two hot pots of vegetables and seafood along with various noodles, rice, Asian-style barbecued pork and more to munch on Saturday night.}

How was your weekend? Do anything fun? Cheers to a prosperous new year and a great week!

January 20, 2012

free stuff friday | eminence stone crop collection tube

NOTE: GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

I’m heading home to see my family this weekend. My mom is way more of a minimalist than I am, so I like to pack travel beauty kits even for a quick trip to my home state to ensure I have all my skin care needs covered.

One travel kit that I’m loving right now is Eminence’s Stone Crop Collection Tube. It’s a set of five tiny yet mighty products that feature stone crop juice to amp up hydration and balance.

eminence stone crop collection tube

{Eminence's Stone Crop Collection Tube retails for $59 and contains four sample sizes of products and a full-size serum. Photo Courtesy Eminence}

The stone crop plant is a succulent (check it out here), which means it has fleshy leaves that retain a lot of botanical water — somewhat of a miracle ingredient for thirsty skin. Eminence harnesses the power of stone crop in the form of a gel wash, hydrator, mask, whipped moisturizer and serum.

I like to use these products once I’m settled in after a trip, no matter how long or short, so my blotchy, stressed skin can relax and repair. I’ve also turned the teacher man on to this unisex product, so be assured that it’s not overly girly like most things on my blog can be!

Want to try Eminence’s Stone Crop Collection Tube? I’m giving one away in celebration of bloggerversary month!

To enter for a chance to win, all you have to do is answer this question in the comments field below: What one thing, beauty or non-beauty related, do you always have to take with you trips?

For one additional entry, “like” kimberlyloc on Facebook and remember to mention that in your comment below!

Have a happy Friday!

Sweepstakes Terms and Conditions
1. No purchase necessary. A purchase does not improve your chance of winning. Void where prohibited.
2. Entrant must be 18 years old as of sweepstakes start date and a legal resident of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia as of start date.
3. Sweepstakes begins Friday, January 20, 2012 at 12:00 am CST and ends Friday, January 27, 2012, at 12:00 am CST.
4. Each entrant selected as a potential winner must comply with all terms and conditions set forth in these Official Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all such requirements. Winners will be selected by random drawing. If a potential winner cannot be contacted within fourteen (14) days after the first attempt to contact such potential winner, an alternate entrant will be selected in his or her place from all entries received.
5. Sponsor(s) is/are not responsible for lost or mutilated prizes and none will be replaced. Prize is nontransferable and must be accepted as awarded. No cash or other substitution may be made, except by Sponsor(s) in the event that the prize cannot be awarded for any reason, in which case, Sponsor(s) will award a prize of equal or greater value. All taxes, fees and surcharges on prizes are the sole responsibility of winner.

January 19, 2012

beauty scoop | sprout skincare makeup remover

I’ve never completely bought into the idea of eye makeup remover. Every one I’ve tried stings my eyes, inflames my skin and is ineffective at removing waterproof mascara.

For the longest time, I resorted to using crude oil-based baby oil (ew, I know) to remove my mascara. It was cheap and easy to access, but I always hated the feeling that baby oil residue left on my skin. I’d wipe, wipe, wipe it off and in doing so, irritated the delicate skin around my eyes. Back to square one.

For a more-natural approach, I’ve also tried straight up olive oil (a little too thick) and jojoba oil (not thick enough) to remove my eye makeup. I’d about given up until I discovered Sprout during recent research on farm-to-bottle beauty companies. I received a sampling of the simple yet chic product line and was immediately drawn to the eye makeup remover.

sprout truly all-natural sustainable skincare makeup remover

{Aside from the groovy packaging, I love that Sprout's makeup remover contains three simple, effective ingredients: organic olive oil, organic jojoba oil and organic sweet almond oil. Photo Courtesy Sprout}

Sprout founder Adina Grigore formulated this makeup remover with the right amounts of organic olive oil, organic jojoba oil and organic sweet almond oil to create a perfect consistency for removing heavy-duty makeup as well as lightly moisturizing thirsty skin. I don’t feel the need to sop up loads of excess oil when I use this combination (as opposed to when I smother on straight EVOO), and my skin doesn’t feel heavy or clogged with gunk when I dab this on my eyes (ahem, conventional baby oil).

Though this 2-ounce glass bottle will set you back $12, I think the personality and honesty that comes with Sprout should be the gold standard in skin care. It was to my delight that I saw a handwritten name on my makeup remover denoting who made my goods (thanks, Adam!) and made me even happier to learn Sprout’s philosophy behind genuine customer service.

“We sign our products because we want people to see that there are real people behind the products they’re using,” Adina wrote in an email to me. “Partly this is to differentiate us from ‘lab-made’ skincare, but also it’s to remind people that we care about what we’re doing. Adam is my co-founder and boyfriend, and we both still make product every single day.”

Adina likened this personal touch to the feeling she gets while participating in her Brooklyn CSA (community-supported agriculture) program. “We like the feeling of knowing the people who grew our food. We want to have that same relationship with our customers,” she wrote.

I’m ready to end my relationship with dirty, ineffective makeup removers. I’d much rather pay Adina for wholesome, food-grade ingredients in a thoughtfully packaged, reusable jar than give a buck for a grimy, greasy mineral oil that almost leaves me crying every time I use it.

What dirty, ineffective product are you ready to kick out of your beauty arsenal? Tell me how you’re planning to bring natural beauty into your skin care regimen in the comments section.

January 16, 2012

outfit post | bring on the brights

It’s been unseasonably warm around these parts, though we’ve had a few days of ice and snow.

Nonetheless, I’ve hardly worn my winter clothes and am ready to welcome spring in two short months. Bright colors are finding their way back into my wardrobe, and the sun has been shining through open blinds for the past few days. I can’t wait to open the windows.

Sunday was gorgeous, albeit windy, and I had a chance to shoot some photos with P, one of the sweet photographers behind Mimi & Chichi — who also happens to be my friend Jess’ (Chichi’s) husband. We spent the day doing top-secret girly things (not-so-top secret when the hubby is there taking pictures of us) and drinking mimosas. It was simply wonderful.

kimberlyloc chevron dress purple jeans{Green Coat//Banana Republic; Chevron Dress//Solemates Boutique, Van Buren, Arkansas; Purple Jeans//Forever 21; Photo By P}

 

I got this chevron dress in the mail on Saturday and knew it had to be in a future post. When I saw it on the Solemates Boutique Facebook page, I sent the owner, my dear friend Julia, a message asking her to reserve one for me — at $39, it was a steal! Chevron’s having a big moment right now, and black and white always has space in my closet, so this was a gimme. Though this is a “dress,” it’s a little bit too short for my 5’7” body, so a little coverage is necessary.

kimberlyloc chevron dress black belt purple jeans

{Belt//Gift from Carolyn; Chunky Wooden Bead Necklace//Thrifted. Photo By P}

I chose coverage in the form of bright purple jeans (remember my lusting over colored jeans back in December?) As loud as they may be, anyone can pull off colored jeans by pairing them with simple neutral tones. I chose to go full-on crazy with an attention-grabbing pattern, a bright coat and punchy accessories. Bring on the brights!

kimberlyloc accessories

Belt//Gift from Carolyn; Nail Polish//Zoya "Bevin" with "Maisie" on ring finger; Chunky Amethyst Ring//Maude Boutique, Fayetteville, Arkansas. Photo By P}

Jess and I had a lot of fun digging through my nail polish collection. She chose to paint hers with “Fly” from the Nicki Minaj collection for OPI. I opted to try one of the hues I’d been eyeing from Zoya’s spring 2012 “True” and “Fleck Effect” collections. “Bevin,” a subtle, seafoam-green, grazes my fingers while a nonchalant coat of “Maisie” gives a little depth to my ring fingers (see more detail on my Instagram).

kimberlyloc crocodile wedge heels

{Crocodile Wedge Heels//Nine West. Photo By P}

What are you adding to your spring wardrobe? How would you style a chevron-print dress? Tell me how to wear it next in the comments section.

Don’t forget to check out the outfit outtakes on the kimberlyloc Facebook page!



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