Thursday, May 9, 2024

Mother's Day Accessories Gift Guide 2024


Looking for a gift for Mother's Day? Here's my accessories gift guide picks for umbrellas, handbags and jewelry. 

Shed Rain is celebrating their 75th anniversary this year. I've always wanted to try one of their umbrellas and now that I have no other one will do! They have so many different umbrella options from compact ones to larger umbrellas for those days when it's non-stop rain.

My favorite from Shed Rain is the Artist Series Studio Proba Reverse Close Stick Umbrella with a vibrant design. The two-layer canopy is made of 100% recycled polyester from  plastic water bottles. The unique reverse closing keeps water inside the umbrella and away from you when you close your umbrella. Also has UPF 50+ sun protection and a rubber coated hands-free handle.

Hammitt LA is known for their super soft, buttery leather handbags and reinforced gold rivets and hardware detail. The bags also include exterior and interior pockets for your cell phone and credit cards. They come in a number of styles including crossbody, clutch, satchel, shoulder and tote bags.

Sattaché is a covertible bag for on-the-go shoe storage, oerfect for when you need to carry a change of shoes for commuter or vacation travel. It can be worn as a crossbody, over your tote, backpack or handheld and comes with a canvas strap, metal chain and extra drawstring bag for larger shoes. It is also eco-friendly and durable, made of water-resistant recycled materials and PETA approved vegan leather. 

When not used as a shoe bag, it's also great to carry your water bottle or compact umbrella. I commute every day to work in the city, so this bag will come in handy when I have to switch into heels at the office or before going to events after work. I can also see myself using this when I have to carry my heels with me to a red carpet event, or when I want to do a photo shoot during my travels and need to change from walking shoes into heels. I love how it stylishly looks like a classy handbag and not a shoe bag.

Dolce Vita has several different styles this spring, from pearl and wooden beaded bags to pleated faux leather and raffia clutches. I love Dolce Vita bags as they are fashionable accessories to add to your bag collection.

Brosway Italia bracelets, rings and necklaces are perfect for layering and also include a selection of earrings. Brosway also has a Fancy Collection, in a wide selection of sterling silver in hues of pink, purple, green, blue and more.

Oni Jewelry is known for their interlockable chains and Versawear tech charms to be worn multiple ways as earrings, necklaces, bracelets and even eyewear chains. Oni's pieces are made of high quality 925 sterling silver and plated with 14k gold. 

Sunglasses are always a great way to complete a look, including Donna Karan, Anne Klein and Draper James from Marchon Eyewear. Choose from classic aviator styles to ones with black or print frames.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Celebrate Valentine's Day at The Sugar Factory Times Square

This was my first time having dinner at Sugar Factory Times Square and it did not disappoint! Located at 694 8th Avenue, Sugar Factory just launched their Valentine's Day menu, filled with creative signature cocktails and seasonal delights. Whether you are planning a Galentine's Day get together or a dinner date, you'll enjoy the Valentine's decor and ambiance for a fun night out. 

Since I love bubbly drinks, Love Bubbles was the perfect cocktail for me - a mix of Tasha Rose and coconut rum, with vibrant notes of fresh strawberries and pina colada, topped with a pink cotton candy cloud. In addition to cocktails, Sugar Factory has decadent shakes and hot chocolate to share. 

The menu has a great combination of sweet and savory dishes, and the generous portions make them easily shareable. The presentation of the food is so cute, instagrammable and on point for Valentine's Day, with food appearing in pink or red. I loved the Romantic Waffle, with red velvet Belgian Waffle baked with white chocolate chips, topped with strawberry ice cream, with pieces of red velvet cake, drizzled with cream cheese glazed.

If you love sweet dishes, then I'd recommend the Hot Honey and Pepperoni Flatbread with mozzarella and fresh basil. If you have a craving for fried food, then I recommend getting the Be Mine Valentine's Sampler, with cajun dusted tenders, mozarella sticks, sweetheart mac pops, and onion rings. The mozarella sticks and the onion rings were my favorite from the sampler platter.  

I'm a dessert lover, so I couldn't leave without getting the Heart Tower of Sweets, including dark chocolate covered strawberries, cookies, brownie bites, chocolate covered pretzel sticks and chocolate candies. 

If you've never eaten at Sugar Factory, this is the best time to go and experience this special menu, available through Valentine's Day.

 - Kim Weling

Friday, December 22, 2023

Initio Parfums Privés Holiday Gift Guide

There's nothing like receiving a luxurious perfume or candle for the holidays! You can't get more luxe than Initio Parfums Privés! They put so much thought into everything from the box it's packaged in, to the magnificent bottle with gold detail, plus etching and each captivating scent.

A top pick for this season from the Black Gold Project Collection is the best-selling Oud for Greatness Eau de Parfum, with the enchantment of the Tree of Fortune, representing prosperity and destiny. This rich scent has main notes of natural Oud Wood, Agar Wood Oil, Lavender, Saffron, Patchouli and Musk. 

To go along with this fragrance is the Oud for Greatness candle to add that woody scent to any room. This limited edition Oud for Greatness Eau de Parfum and Candle Set (also sold separately) makes such a statement, not just in scent but in appearance. It's beautiful just to have on display in your bedroom or living room. 

My gift to myself is the Psychedelic Eau de Parfum from the Carnal Blends Collection. Do you ever find a scent that you feel was just meant for you? I love woody and floral scents but never thought of mixing them together. It's a very sensual scent for this winter. Psychedelic Love has top notes of Bergamot, middle notes of Ylang Ylang, Myrrh and Rose, and base notes of Vanilla, Patchouli and Sandalwood.

The Initio collections include Absolutes, Carnal Blends, Magnetic Blends, Hedonist and Black Gold Project, all made in Paris. I highly recommend going on a fragrance journey and experiencing all these scents in person. The scents are unisex, so they are shareable with a significant other!

- Kim Weling

Monday, December 18, 2023

Fogo de Chão Now Open at Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, NJ

Have you ever dined at Fogo de Chão (pronounced fo-go dée shown)? Fogo de Chão is a Brazilian steakhouse where gauchos (trained chefs in the art of churrasco) provide an amazing dining experience, carving up signature cuts of fire roasted meat. 

I was so excited Fogo de Chão opened up a new restaurant location at Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, NJ. This is the second Fogo location in NJ. The first NJ location opened up earlier this year at Garden State Plaza in Paramus. 

Be sure to arrive hungry and pace yourself! I started off with the chilled lobster and shrimp seafood appetizer, and then made my way to the Market Table, which has an extensive selection of salads, vegetables and charcuterie. There are also tasty side dishes such as Feijoada - black bean stew with sausage served over rice, and Warm Pão de Queijo - cheese bread. 

Fogo de Chão also has great cocktails! My favorite is the Strawberry Hibiscus Caipirinha, which is one of the $10 all day happy hour South American Cocktails.

Then it was time to flip over my two-sided card to green to enjoy unlimited meat. When I needed a break, I just flipped my card over to red. I was so excited to try everything, including picanha (signature sirloin), ribeye, fraldinha (bottom sirloin), cordeiro (lamb) and more! 

You do not want to miss the dessert so make sure you save some room for it! It's hard to choose just one but they are also great for sharing and you can always have it boxed up to take with you. I recommend the Chocolate Brigadeiro or Tres Leches Cake. If you love cheesecake, try the Açai Cheesecake!

Fogo de Chão is a great place to go for holidays, special occasions or celebrations, for a date night or for a gathering with family and friends. I took my brother with me to celebrate his birthday and we both really enjoyed the food and atmosphere. Thank you Fogo de Chão for having us for this VIP experience. I grew up in this area so I'm happy this opened up here! The gauchos and staff were very hospitable and attentive! They were also happy to answer any questions. I can't wait to go back! 

Check out my highlight reel of my dining experience.

- Kim Weling

Saturday, December 9, 2023

The Perfect Gift for your Dog: Big Barker Orthopedic Dog Bed

If you have a large-sized dog in your family, I recommend getting a Big Barker Orthopedic Dog Bed. It's such a practical and comfy gift for your dog and easy to put together! My boyfriend Dan has a 7-year old German Shepherd in his family, Kenya and she suffers from joint pain. So upon testing out the 7" Big Barker XL sofa style bed (for dogs 60+ lbs) in Charcoal, Kenya immediately started laying on it! It's the perfect size for her and she has plenty of room for her pillows and toys. The bed allows her to stretch and lay on it multiple ways and it's also easy to move from one spot to another. 

This dog bed comes in different colors and also is available in the 4" size (for dogs 20-60 lbs), with the option to include cooling technology and to have your dog's name embroidered on the front (up to 10 letters). 

It's great to see how cozy this dog bed is for Kenya. The proprietary 3-stage foam construction protects joints from painful pressure points, and it's also easier for Kenya to get into the dog bed versus having to jump up on the couch.

The orthopedic dog bed is made in the USA and has a 10 year warranty! You won't have to worry about the dog bed getting flat. The foam is set to last a full decade or you'll get a new one from Big Barker! 

I was so happy to partner with Big Barker on this collaboration and it's so great to see Kenya enjoy her dog bed! 

If you want to see Kenya testing out her dog bed, check out this Instagram reel!

- Kim Weling

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Bath and Body Works Holiday Gift Guide

Bath and Body Works is a great place to get your holiday shopping done all at once! It's been a long time since I shopped in-store, and it was a fun experience to get to know the new holiday assortment and discover new scents. As I picked up gifts for myself, I also grabbed a bunch for family. 

The 3-wick candles are at the top of my gift list, as well as the cleansing gel and foaming hand soaps, along with festive holders to pair them with. There are great gift under $20 including the Winter Candy Apple body wash, body cream and fine fragrance mist set, but it's also easy to create your own gift set. Don't forget to pick up stocking stuffers such as the PocketBac anti-bacterial hand gels + holders, hand cream and lip products (scrub, mask or lip gloss), all great for travel or to throw in your bag. With many promotions changing from week to week, it's great to mix and match products and fragrances. 

Some of the new fragrances this season include Woodlands (men's collection), Luminous and Northern Brights Eucalyptus & Pine. If you want to shop for holiday scents I recommend Winter Candy Apple, Bright Christmas Morning, Winterberry Ice, and Snowflakes and Cashmere. 

A must-have for me during the holidays are candles and hand soaps in a traditional pine fragrance and Bath and Body Works has a few options, including Tree Farm and Fresh Balsam which I both love. For year-round scents, check out Champagne Toast, Aromatherapy Lavender + Vanilla and Chasing Fireflies.

- Kim Weling

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Little Bar in Hoboken: Hot Spot for Craft Cocktails and Small Plates

Little Bar is a new hot spot that just opened up this month in Uptown Hoboken at 1401 Hudson Street. This new restaurant and bar is a collaboration of partners Weng Lee, Chef Seadon Shouse and Michael Barry, serving up craft cocktails and small bites with a speakeasy vibe. The Euro-style restaurant really is a little bar, at 500 square feet and a capacity of 25 people so I do recommend making a reservation. The intimate setting makes it easy to have a conversation, so it's a great spot for a date night or catching up with a friend. 

I really enjoyed the She's-So Lim-n Lychee specialty cocktail and the small plates served as boards were so delectable and perfect for sharing. My favorite dish was the Duck Liver Pate, which I will definitely be coming back for! I also loved the Kaluga Caviar served with house made potato chips and crème fraiche and the House Made Maple Smoked Salmon. I always have a sweet tooth, so the Chocolate Pot du Crème with Espresso Crumble was the perfect way to end my night. 

Above Photos by Joshua McHugh

Here's a look at the small plates from my culinary experience:

Keluga Caviar with house made potato chips and créme fraiche

Duck Liver Pate
House Made Maple Smoked Salmon

Panna Cotta with Blueberry Jam
Chocolate Pot du Crème with Espresso Crumble

- Kim Weling