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


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!

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