Living the Fabulous Life


Is hard work!!

But fabulous, nonetheless. ;) Let me start from the beginning!

My hair and makeup call was at 9:00 on Tuesday morning, so I arrived a little bit early to get settled in, sip some coffee and eat a few pieces of fruit for breakfast before the madness began.


At 9:00 on the dot, and with coffee in hand, I hopped into the “hair chair” to get my tresses smoothed and styled – with a view of the city, to boot! The woman who did my hair is moving to Miami for two months, next week. She says that’s where all the shoots are this time of year and, of course, it’s a lot warmer in Miami (well, not lately actually) than it is in NYC! How cool though, to have a profession where you can just pick up and go wherever, whenever you want?! Sure, it’s not a guaranteed paycheck, but the freedom can’t be beat!


After hair, I hopped 5 feet over to get my makeup done by perhaps the coolest woman ever – Arial – self taught makeup artist extraordinaire! You’ll never guess what kind of foundation she used on me?! HD Makeup Forever! She used a different shade than the one I bought, so I’m contemplating returning mine to match the one she used. Either way, it’s cool to get your makeup done by someone who knows what she’s doing!


My shoot was second, so after hair and makeup, I looked on from the wings – soaking it all in.



Getting nervous!


The woman who went before me had a cat in her shoot. “Peaches” was very well behaved, and came with two cat wranglers. I wonder what their business cards say? ;)


Here’s Peaches. I stayed far away from homeslice as I am deathly allergic to cats. Plus, I’m more of a dog girl. ;) For a cat though, she was pretty cool.


Finally, it was my turn. OMG! What do I do?! How do I stand? Do I move or stay still? I don’t know the first thing about being a model!!


Luckily, I had the most amazing photographer – mustang man – who guided me through the entire thing. The best part is when they brought out the wind machine. I repeat – brought out the wind machine. Yes! It seriously gave me something to focus on and brought out my inner model…whoever she is! 

Ps, let me just tell you that I had NO idea, no clue, not even a 1% understanding of what all goes into taking a picture for an ad campaign. Literally, after every 2 shots the “glam squad” – hair, makeup, wardrobe, art director, their brother – come at you all at once, adjusting every little detail about every little thing. The corner of the jacket is folding weird, let’s try it with this portion of your hair over your right shoulder, you’re forehead is shining, etc. It was absolute insanity!! But very, very cool to see how hard these people work to get the “perfect shot”. It really is a tough job!

Finally after an hour of shooting – I was done! Sore from posing, hopeful that my pictures turned out alright and so HAPPY that I had done it! I’m not sure if anything like this will ever happen again, so mostly, I was just thankful for the experience. :)

Around this time we all broke for lunch – modeling sure makes a gal hungry!!



I had a Veggie & Mozzarella sandwich on Asiago Cheese Focaccia, some Gourmet Potato Chips and some Pasta Salad that completely knocked my socks off. Plus, a couple of Lemon Rosemary cookies from the day before!


Sadly, after lunch, it was a wrap for IGE!! I had had SO much fun, but didn’t stay blue for too long, because I was finally let loose to explore the city for a couple hours before my flight back to Iowa!

I had 2 1/2 hours to burn and 2 stops that I knew I had to make.

1. Chelsea Market & the Food Network Building Headquarters

2. Macy’s

Here’s the route I took, lined in blue!


First stop, Chelsea Market and the Food Network Headquarters! Isn’t this the coolest building ever? It looks like a giant basket has been woven on the outside!


The Chelsea Market sits below the building and is filled to the brim with specialty and gourmet shops GALORE. 

Chelsea Market

This is one of the markets that the food network kitchens use to gather ingredients at!


As soon as I walked in the doors, I smelled it. Chocolate. I followed my nose which led me to the Fat Witch Bakery. Hooooly, Heavens. You have not smelled chocolate – real chocolate – until you have smelled this bakery. The scent of chocolate is so much deeper than anything I’ve ever smelled before – and they were handing out free samples of their signature brownie!!! After a nibble I knew I had to have a whole one, so I snagged a Caramel Witch Brownie. Which (witch), I am saving to be savored and devoured in increments over the next week. :) 


After wandering around Chelsea Market for awhile, I hit the streets and headed uptown towards Macy’s! The architecture in New York is so special and unique – I made sure to pause and really look as I walked.



Finally, after passing Penn Station, Madison Square Garden, and countless Starbucks (you can never have too many!) I arrived…it’s the “World’s Largest Store” folks! Macy’s!!!


I don’t know why I have such a weird fascination with the NYC Macy’s. I think it all stems from wanting to go to the Thanksgiving Day Parade so badly my whole entire life. It’s not like I freak out when I go to every Macy’s – just this one. It’s special. :)


I can only imagine how beautiful it must be when all the lights light up at night! Similar to Larimer Square, I bet!


The inside was just stunning. Old world elegance, new world products. I wandered around for awhile, browsing and “window shopping”. Maybe the next time I return, it will be between the dates of November 24th & 26th, 2010? Maybe they’ll be some floats and large balloons involved?? Just saying. ;)


Around this time, I had to start walking back to the studio before it got too dark out, but still had a little bit of time to kill in the area around the studio, so I did what any rational foodie would do – I wandered around Whole Foods…


And made a pit stop at Dunkin’ Donuts! :D  


Ah yes, the infamous Dunkin’. We don’t have any DDs where I live, but I’ve always heard that their coffee is good, nay GREAT! 


I had to find out for myself and, after the first sip, I can tell you that I whole heartedly concur! It was truly one of the best cups of brewed coffee I’ve ever had and definitely lived up to its tasty reputation!!


Naturally, I had to have some Chocolate Glazed Munchkins to go along with my freshly brewed cuppa joe. :)


I munched slowly and enjoyed them immensely while resting my weary feet and sipping my hot coffee…until the crazy man sitting at the table next to me started talking about how ambition is the root of mankind’s problems. ?!Mmmkay, time to leave! :D


I grabbed my coffee, headed back to the studio,


Said one last goodbye to New York City,


And off I went! One pit stop in Milwaukee, a bag of Chex Mix and chocolate chip cookie later, I was home! :D :D :D Vacation is amazing but there’s something about sleeping in your own bed at night. Know what I mean?

Well, truly, what an adventure the past two days have been! It’s not everyday someone calls to say they’re sending you to New York City to live the fabulous life for a couple of days! This was such a unique and wonderful experience that I’ll remember for the rest of my life!


What’s the most unique place you’ve ever been?

ps, don’t forget to enter to win the Amy’s Kitchen free food and gear giveaway!

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  1. Your trip sounds so fabulous!!! I agree, the NYC Macy’s is completely special :). Makes me miss living there!

    I think the most unique place I’ve been is Galway in Ireland. It manages to be quaint, hip, beautiful, and unique all at the same time! :)

  2. What a fun time!! That looks like an absolute blast girl! I love the architecture of NYC, too. I love it – just beautiful. I do know what you mean about sleeping in your own bed. There is really nothing like that comfort. :)

  3. Holly 01.13.2010

    Wow – I am so jealous of your adventure! How fun to be part of something so amazing, then get to go explore the best city in America (IMO). :-)

    Hmm….neatest place I’ve ever been would definitely be Ireland. I’m not sure I can narrow it down to one location! It is breathtaking. It’s so green – it’s like one giant golf course!

  4. Stephanie 01.13.2010

    Looks like you had an amazing trip, so exciting!!!

  5. This is sooooo cool! Thanks for sharing!

    I’ve never seen the “inside” of a shoot before :)

  6. Wow. What a great experience you had. I have always DREAMED of going to NYC, and I hope someday I will get to go as well.

  7. Melanie 01.13.2010

    That is so exciting! I loved hearing about all of the behind-the-scenes work – I can only imagine how cool it would be to have a team in charge of making sure I looked good! ;) I’ve never been to NYC, but all of your tidbits about places to see have made me eager to go someday!

  8. Carrie 01.13.2010

    The most unique place I’ve ever been would have to be Borneo. Oceans and rainforests, mountains and hot springs and wildlife to boot; it was an experience of a lifetime.

  9. So fun and exciting that you got to model for an ad campaign! Looks like you had a great time. I think the most unique place I’ve ever been is New Zealand – it was so beautiful and there were a ridiculous amount of sheep!

  10. MAC 01.13.2010

    Can I be you??!!! This sounds like such a great adventure for you! Sounds like you got alot packed into just 2 days:)

  11. Run Sarah 01.13.2010

    How awesome!! What a great experience!

  12. Sarah Jayne 01.13.2010

    What an INCREDIBLE and AMAZZZING opportunity!! Sounds like SO much fun, even if it was quite the whirlwind :)

    Most unusual trip I’ve taken was to rural northern France- the boyfriends sister played professional basketball there. Now THAT was an experience….

  13. Sarah R 01.13.2010

    What an amazing opportunity for you! One you’ll remember for a long time I’m sure!

  14. Bridget 01.13.2010

    What an exciting trip for you! Great pictures and I can just smell the DD coffee. The most unique place I’ve been to has to be Japan. The food, the city of Tokyo, the living quarters, the rugged terrain and the people were just amazing. Welcome home to Iowa!

  15. Machelle 01.13.2010

    Wow! That looks like a loooong way to hoof it! What a trooper! I’m afraid I would have been tempted to flag down a cab! Maybe “Cash Cab” would have picked you up! WooHoo!

  16. Jenna 01.13.2010

    You make New York look like so much fun! I’ve never been there, but now I might have to consider it. Chelsea Market sounds amazing!

    Annecy, France is hands down my favorite spot thus far in the world of vacationing. I went to other parts of France (Paris, Lyon, etc.) but Annecy was beautiful. It’s a city near mountains and is complete with a rather large lake that practically glistened. It has an old town feel in the area we stayed. Sitting outside at a cafe eating crepes and going to the local market…there was nothing like it. I don’t have a blog site as of yet or I’d throw some photos up for you to see, but I recommend looking it up!

    P.S. I made the Lemon Tuna Caserole and Kentucky Derby Pie for my mom and I last night and it was one of the best meals I’ve eaten in a long time. So good! Your recipes are helping me to be a good cook, I think! :)

  17. What an amazing experience! Glad you had such a blast :-)

  18. Sara 01.13.2010

    What a fun trip, Little Miss Model! I would love to go to that Macy’s…but only if I had unlimited funds to spend. :) Glad you had a good trip.

  19. Erin 01.13.2010

    Your trip sounds wonderful!!! Chelsea Market is high on my list of places to visit and your pictures definitely backed that up for me. :-) And, DD coffee has always, always been my favorite, but we don’t have them where I live either…I feel your pain!

    So glad you were able to have this experience! It’s one for the memory books, for sure.

  20. Wendy 01.13.2010

    What a wonderful experience! Thanks for sharing it with us. :)

    The most unique place I’ve been is Quebec. Beautiful!

  21. BRANDI 01.13.2010

    that’s so exciting! glad everything went well :)

  22. Mandy 01.13.2010

    I would love to try any of Amy’s frozen meals. I avoid frozen in general, but maybe I could be a convert! The Indian inspired meals really intrigue me.

    Your trip looks amazing! I doubt I could ever be chosen to be a model, but maybe one day someone will scoop my son up for modeling because he is the cutest thing in the universe. Not that I’m biased or anything! ;)

  23. LONDON!!!

    My step-dad was in the military and stationed in England for 5+ years so I was lucky enough visit several amazing places in England and Europe (France, Germany, Belgium & Spain)…….and loved them all, however London was my favorite and I enjoyed every visit so much! =)

  24. Rose 01.13.2010

    Wow- this whole experience looks unreal. How very exciting for you!

  25. sassy 01.13.2010

    Love the pic of you getting your makeup touched up. Hopefully, some day in the future you’ll get to show us how the ad turned out! And I too want to visit NYC when the macy’s day parade is going on…some day!

    Most unique place I’ve ever been…Cinque Terre, Italy. I know it’s becoming a hot spot for tourists, but it’s seriously amazing. These tiny little towns on the coast of Italy where families have lived for generations. And the pictures you take there are downright amazing and breathtaking. Old women come out of their houses in the morning to gossip with their neighbors, men who own restaurants bantering with each other as they set up shop for the day, lemon trees along the hill sides, brightly painted homes, laundry hanging to dry…love it.

  26. Evan Thomas 01.13.2010

    The Food Network headquarters looks awesom! And it’s goo to see they feed their models well

  27. Tay 01.13.2010

    So jealous!! Looks like an amazing time :-) And I definitely dream to try a DD someday too!

  28. One of the most unique places I’ve been is Torino Italy right when they were building the stuff for the Olympics. So much fun to tour the sights and see what old world Italy really is like.

  29. Jenn@slim-shoppin 01.13.2010

    Wow, what an exciting trip. I would totally go to Chelsea Market and Food TV studios if I was near there.

    Great pics!

  30. What a lovely trip to NYC! There is no city in the world like it. I live in upstate NY about 1.5 hours from there and it’s SO much different. LOVE going to the city though! So much to see and do. I’ve never been to the Chelsea Market — that’s on my list, though! :)


  31. Jen 01.13.2010

    Looks like you enjoyed your quick vacation, so fun! I’ve been to the Macy’s parade twice, tons of fun, hopefully you will be able to go one year.

  32. Sissy … Looks like you had a ton of fun! Jealous about the DD. Did you get paid for that joint or was the trip “compensation in full”?

    Glad you’re back! Finn misses you.

  33. katecooks 01.13.2010

    so fun! glad you got to have such a great experience! is it weird that out of everything in this post, i am the most jealous of those munchkins LOL?!? i miss ’em! looks like a fabulous trip!!!

  34. Niki 01.13.2010

    Looks like you had an awesome time!!

  35. RunToTheFinish 01.13.2010

    This was great to read, you are a very lucky chica! I’ve still not been to NYC and I am dying to go…more so after this.

  36. Ada 01.13.2010

    I was at the Chelsea Whole Foods today as well! Too bad I didn’t run into you:( Congrats on the shoot, it sounds like you did a great job!

  37. Jenna 01.13.2010

    Yummy lunch spread!
    Chelsea market looks super cool!

  38. Penny 01.14.2010

    Ugh!!! Jealous!!!!!!

  39. Lindsay 01.14.2010

    I hate to admit that I’ve lived in NYC for almost 3 years now and have yet to visit the Chelsea Market! I see a trip there in my near future :)

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