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

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Speakeasy Dining with Chef Simon at Loft 29

LEIBZIGER ALLERLEI P crab/oyster mushroom/edamame/carrots/asparagus/alba truffle sauce Bürgerspital, FRANKEN, Würzburger Pfaffenberg Silvaner 

If you are looking for a unique, dining experience, you'll want to make your next reservation at Loft 29 hosted by Chef Simon Cordes. This speakeasy restaurant indulges guests with elevated, modern German cuisine in an intimate dinner setting. Chef Simon prepares a curated 5-course tasting menu and wine pairing (wines provided by Wunderwein) that changes weekly. The historic, restored space is in a private loft with wood accents and exposed brick walls. 

Having traveled to Germany for the first time last summer/fall, I recently started to miss German food and this experience just brought it all back for me! The herring and apple strudel were my favorite dishes of the evening, and sincce I love sweet wines the dessert wine was my favorite!

WHITE ASPARAGUS GF, VT saffron aioli/speck crumble/chives/ marinated radish Freiherr Von Gleichenstein, BADEN, Grauer Burgunder Gutswein trocken 

HERRING P, GF housewife sauce/rösti/pickled onions/dill/trout roe Gut Hermannsberg, NAHE Riesling Sekt Brut 

SAUERBRATEN RHINELAND STYLE GF chive-mashed potato/glazed pearl onions/braised red cabbage/demi-glace Battenfeld-Spanier, RHEINHESSEN, Spätburgunder 

APPLE STRUDEL cinnamon whipped cream/raspberry coulis Bürgerspital, FRANKEN, Würzburger Rieslaner 

This is a great way to spend an evening among friends or for a date night out. For reservations, visit

- Kim Weling

Monday, November 6, 2023

Defy Facial at Naturopathica Spa & Healing Center

I have been a fan of Naturopathica products for years and was so excited to finally indulge in one of their spa services. As much as I wanted to go with one of their massages, I opted for the Defy Facial since I really wanted to experience several of the Naturopathica skincare products on my face.

The 60-minute Defy Facial includes HydroFacial technology (for exfoliation and painless extractions) combined with firming LED followed by a cooling jade stone mask to bring down any redness. This facial treatment combats fine lines and stimulates collagen with ingredients such as Vitamin C, Retinol, and Alpha Hydroxy Acids. I do appreciate that this facial also extended to the décolleté area and included a mini massage. 

I didn't experience any redness, just immediately refreshed, hydrated and glowing skin! The changing room has amazing lighting so you can really see the difference in your skin right after. There's also a nice relaxing lounge area to enjoy before or after your treatment. 

Here's a look at the products used on my skin:

  • Oat Cleansing Facial Polish
  • Manuka Honey Cleansing Balm
  • Sweet Cherry Brightening Enzyme Peel
  • Vitamin C15 Wrinkle Remedy Serum
  • Manuka Honey Whipped Oil
  • Lavender & Manuka Honey Balancing Mist
  • Sweet Cherry Conditioning Lip Butter

I truly love all the Naturopathica products so it's hard to pick any favorites. Their products are moisturizing and leave my skin looking radiant, and they also smell amazing! I love the Manuka Honey, Sweet Cherry and Lavender & Manuka scents!

A special thanks to my aesthetician Carol, who was absolutely amazing! She really took her time to give my skin the attention it needed. I highly recommend you ask for Carol if you book a facial at the Naturopathica Spa & Healing Center in Chelsea, at 127 West 26th Street in NYC. Be sure to check out their spa menu!

Many thanks Naturopathica! Next time I can't wait to experience one of the massages!

- Kim Weling

Thursday, October 12, 2023

iPhone Accessories Holiday Gift Guide 2023

With every new iPhone launch also comes new accessories! I used to have dozens of cases that I used to switch to match my outfits or my mood, but these days I'd rather have fewer cases that I can call my favorites. Check out my round up of phone cases for this season!

I always seem to buy a new iPhone right before the new model comes out. Last time it was because my battery kept dying, this time it's because I lost my phone. While many people are looking for iPhone 15 cases, I have my eyes set on ones for the iPhone 14 Pro. This case is great for anyone that loves earth tones and neutrals. This one comes in Saffiano leather, with a back case that opens up to reveal two card slots. 

If you happen to have an iPhone 14 Plus, then you are in luck! Instead of $40 you can find this for $14.99 at Target. The 14 Pro can be found on Amazon for $34.49. This case has a gold glitz and glamour feel with an art deco vibe, inspired by a sparkling chandelier.

These Burga cases are definitely on my gifting list (for myself lol). I love the designs, especially this marble one, and they look sturdy too. They also come in all different sized cases. 

I'm still shocked I don't own AirPods yet, but this would be my case of choice! I love the Moschino bear! I wish there was a phone case in the shape of the bear. 

- Kim Weling

Saturday, September 9, 2023

XGIMI MoGo 2 Pro Portable Projector

Earlier this year XGIMI launched the MoGo 2 Pro Portable Projector. It is the first smart portable projector, engineered to provide professional visual and sound experience in and around your home. I love the compact design, making it easy to move it to any room and stream on the wall, ceiling, or outside. It's also great to travel with. When I previewed the XGIMI next to a competitor brand, it was easy to see the crispness and clarity with the XGIMI, as well as incredible sound quality. 

The XGIMI MoGo 2 Pro also has fully automated uninterrupted image correction, intelligent obstacle avoidance (will automatically scale the image around objects in view) and intelligent screen alignment, automatically match the projected image with your projector screen, regardless of the size. 

More features of the XGIMI MOGO 2 Pro:

  • Hollywood-Standard Visuals: With 400 ISO lumens, integrated D65 color temperature standard adopted by Hollywood, and a 90% DCI-P3 color gamut, all colors are restored in brilliant, lifelike detail. 
  • Seamless Setup, Smart Projecting in a Snap: New ISA 2.0 technology ensures you never miss a moment of your favorite movies, TV shows, or games. 
  • 8W Speakers with Dolby Audio: MoGo 2 Pro offers a deeply immersive and cinematic audio experience thanks to its built-in dual 8W speakers with Dolby Audio. 
  • Smooth Android TV 11.0 and 3D Movies at Home: Decodes 4K video seamlessly and supports 3D content. Moreover, the upgraded Android TV 11.0 provides the ultimate user-friendly viewing experience. 
  • Movies on the Go: Easily connect MoGo 2 Pro to your power bank, allowing you to move it to different rooms or take it on your next outdoor adventure.

    - Kim Weling

    Tuesday, May 9, 2023

    Mother's Day Accessory Gift Guide 2023

    Whether you are shopping for your mom for Mother's Day or are a mom looking for a gift to treat yourself, here are my top accessory gift picks! Thank you to the Accessories Council for all the gifting ideas and introducing me to these amazing brands and products!

    Dune Jewelry Wave Necklace - Turquoise Gradient
    Dune Jewelry allows you to customize your sterling silver jewelry piece by taking sand you got from the beach or other earth elements you've found, layered to a gem-like finish. If you don't have an element to send, you can select Old Silver Beach and one of their sand artists can handcraft a Wave necklace for you. It's also something to think about for the future - you can collect sand from an upcoming beach or hiking  trip with your mom or you can gift this as a hint of a future trip! It's a conversation piece that your mom can always cherish!

    Alzerina Jewelry Cabo Verde Ana Bracelet
    Alzerina Jewelry has various collections including the Cabo Verde collection, inspired by the Conta di Ojo bead that originated in Cabo Verde, Africa. Each handcrafted piece is made with authentic Conta di Ojo beads, widely known as a symbol of protection from the evil eye to bring anyone wearing it good luck and energy! You can choose from colorful crystals and beads to black and gold.

    Naomi Cuff - 14K Gold Plated
    Sophie Blake NY is a women-owned jewelry brand that has modern, architectural and textural cuff designs that really caught my eye. I have always loved cuff bracelets since they can adjust to fit any wrist.

    DKNY Sunglasses 116 S Matte Black
    DKNY sunglasses are a useful gift that everyone can use daily, whether you are driving to work, walking to the store or going on vacation! This particular pair is perfect for everyday wear and is comfortable and lightweight.

    POP BAG USA Pebbled Leather Mini Crossbody
    Pop Bag is a unique gift, as you can customize your bag by snapping on a different color or patterned leather panel. You can also choose from a small, medium or large size tote and even get additional leather panels in case you decide to color block your bag later or add a pop of color. For the mini crossbody bags, you can choose from saffiano, pebbled or croc-embossed leather. For the larger tote size, there are additional options such as PVC, clear or even a Swarovski crystals tote. I have the pebbled mini in pink and I love it! It's the perfect size to fit my essentials, love the gold chain strap and the option to wear it as a crossbody or carry it as a tote.

    Daniel Med Everyday Leather Satchel Bag
    If you are looking for a fashion-forward soft leather bag with multiple pockets and functional details, then you'll want to check out Hammit LA. I also love the additional rivets and reinforced hardware on these bags. Hammit LA has several options including clutch, crossbody, shoulder, satchel, tote and backpack styles. There are. also bold colors such as a bright red or palm green.

    Luna Selene Jackie O. Houndstooth Ankle Bootie 2.0
    Luna Selene handcrafted footwear invokes elegance with timeless femininity, mixing the glamour of the 1950s-60s with today's modern edge. These shoes are made in Italy, and can be dressed up or down. The Jackie O. Houndstooth Ankle Bootie 2.0 is definitely my favorite, with a contrast red heel but I also love the Monroe Red Suede Pumps.

    Cole Haan ØriginalGrand Platform Wingtip Oxford
    These Cole Haan ØriginalGrand Platform Wingtip Oxfords are sustainable, super lightweight and comfortable with a Sitchlite™ knit upper in 100% recycled PET knit yarn and Patented Flowerfoam™ sole made from a minimum of of 25% dandelion rubber. These oxfords come in a variety of fashionable colors including optic white-metallic silver, rose smoke, gold-ivory and pecan-ivory.

    - Kim Weling

    Sunday, May 7, 2023

    The Makeup Show NYC 2023

    I had been anticipating the return of The Makeup Show NYC! This is one of my favorite shows to connect with brands and makeup artists and meet new people in the. beauty industry! It's also a great time to shop and stock up for your makeup kit or for yourself! I usually like to scope out what brands will be there ahead of time and also make a list what items I need, as you'll find product heavily discounted as much as 40-50% off. You can also learn so much about artistry from the educational sessions to speaking with makeup artists to learn some new tips and tricks. Here's are some highlights from walking the show floor at this year's show.

    I love Danessa Myricks products and artistry! The shades, pigmentation and palettes are all amazing! Also, be sure to meet with Danessa herself! She is so inspirational and talented -  she is a huge part of The Makeup Show!

    Francis Star Cosmetics

    Neen Pretty Shady Pressed Pigment Eye Shadows

    SeSpring vegan and cruelty-free Korean-inspired skincare

    Katiely Beauty

    1cm2 Art press-on nails - love the variety in designs and they also have options for shorter nails. They had 1 set for $15 or 2 for $20 at the show which was great discounted pricing!

    Regen4D created through a patented process with 4D HA

    Julie Mollo bags in fun and sparkly designs from clutches to cosmetic bags and totes

    Lola's Lashes including magnetic lashes

    Faace with skin solutions to help with stress, your period or tiredness

    Minimalista featuring scrunchies infused with Hyaluronic Acid

    Janet & Jo. nail lacquer in bold shades for summer including neons

    Vike Beauty Makeup Melt makeup removal spray

    Clinisoothe+ Skin Purifier

    Around The World Beauty sharing culture through beauty & travel 

    FACE Atelier

    Mario Badescu is my go-to for facial sprays! Newest scents: Aloe, Adaptogens and Coconut Water and Aloe, Sage and Orance Blossom

    Jones Road Beauty Lip Tints

    Make Up For Ever products were all 50% off! Decided to try this lip color in Festive Fuchsia

    MOB Beauty 

    - Kim Weling