Saturday, March 29, 2014

I've always dreamed of seeing my name in print!

While I was on my whirlwind experience in LA, I had something quite special happen to me. My home-town newspaper reached out to me, and wanted to do a feature on my Make-a-Wish experience! I am so blessed to have gotten the chance to share my story to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette readers. It was wonderfully written by a lovely lady; she did a phenomenal job with bringing my journey to life! I have always dreamed of seeing my name in print; hopefully one day, it will be my words!

One of the most incredible parts about my trip was that I was given the opportunity to blog with Glamour Magazine. YES, GLAMOUR! Being a writer for a fashion magazine is but a dream to me. Hopefully, in the future, I can call myself an official fashion journalist; But in the meantime, I will live up my few minutes of fame. Check out the five trends from L.A.'s Runway that you can wear right now! Here!

I am so blessed, and I can't wait to see what the future has in store! Thank you to every one who has supported me along the way! I now feel that I am more than my diagnosis; I am an evolving story, one that is far from the ending.

C'est L.A. vie!

Time has passed, but that does not set aside the fact that, when I speak about my Make-a-Wish trip, I feel as though I am talking about a dream I had last night. On March 8th, I was fortunate enough to enter a fashion-fanatic’s fantasy. I received a warm welcome from sunny California (not only because we were experiencing an arctic blast back in Pittsburgh). Everyone I encountered was so, genuinely sweet and showed willingness to hear my story; no wonder why they call it The City of Angels. Let me tell you, I was in an haute couture heaven!

          Make-a-Wish is an incredible organization, and I am so proud to be a part of it. As one may infer, my diagnosis was the most horrifying experience I have ever had. But don’t fret, it has also been the most incredible; Make-a-Wish becoming a significant measure of that.

          So how did this journey begin? As soon as my family and I landed from the plane, we proceeded straight to a jewelry store, located in Westwood village, called Sarah Lenard Fine Jewelers. It is a charitable company owned by a lovely couple, David and Gail, and their family. I was greeted with a beautifully made sign, fabulous flowers, scrumptious cookies, and most importantly, much love! They generously gifted me with stunning jewelry, from Charles Garnier Paris, that helped me become red-carpet ready! It was a wonderful way to start a week of voyages.

Skirt: Anthropologie, Clutch: Debbie Brooks

          The next day, the first of Style Fashion Week, was a debut of darling designs and dashing details. I was greeted by the amazing sisters who made this all a possibility, Erin Whitaker (PR Director) and Sarah Whitaker (Director of operations). They made me feel like a princess; way more than a typical Disney wish. They set up my series of events, opportunities, and special treatments! Their hearts are far too great for me to express. Every day, I was able to sit front row at all of the shows, meet special guests/designers, and get my hair and makeup styled. I guess you could say…I felt as if I was the girl of the hour.

Earrings: Sabika

The lovely lady, Nycole, who made me have the power of glam-hair! It was so nice to meet a Pittsburgh hometowner! I love you, beautiful!

Skirt, top: Anthropologie

This lovely lady is so classic, you wouldn't believe: Morganne Picard
My interview with the live-streaming coverage of LAFW with Laprivy Magazine
          As I watched the stunning models pass by, I admired their fierce strut while wearing glamorous garments. It occurred to me, just then, that I am witnessing a grand moment in the fashion world; I’m not a celebrity, designer, or journalist (yet), but I am sitting front row with people who are “somebody”. This trip, allowed me to venture into a dream; this is one that I hope to, one day, call my reality. I actually got to meet a very GLAMOURUS woman, Jessica Radloff, who I aspire to be like. She is a writer for Glamour Magazine and covers all things entertainment: award events, movie premieres, featured shows, etc. She even does a segment on The Talk! She is all over the board, and she plays it well. After getting to know her charming personality, I felt like I have known her my whole life; I am so blessed to now call her my dear friend.

The first night featured one of my favorite shows from the entire week: styles by Tatyana , featured at Betty Page Clothing. She makes a confident statement with vintage-inspired class. The range of figures and sizes was a refreshing take on the modern mod. These stunning women embodied each piece with a type of sophisticated chic that I desire to have. Here’s the thing; she is even sweeter and graceful than her designs...if that is even conceivable.

If you could possibly image, the second day of LA was filled with even more astonishment. There was a knock at my door, not room service or the cleaning lady, it was a delivery. I could not even lift these two, gigantic packages. They were taped with the Glamour logo. I was overcome with nervousness while eagerly anticipating its contents. The Glamour gals hit my style right on the nail: vintage inspired elegance with a dash of boho chic. They gifted me with beautiful clothing, shoes, and accessories, ones that I never believed I would own (Kate Spade, Tory Burch, Ralph Lauren, Rebecca Minkoff,  Zac Posen, etc). For the remainder of the week, I was red-carpet ready with a whole new wardrobe!

Get this: my week, so far, had consisted of everything fab about fashion. I can go home now and sleep soundly in my suburban ranch, right? You’re awfully  mistaken. It has just begun. My Glam gal, Jessica, arranged a surprise meeting for me, with an inspiring lady that I have looked up to for years, Rachel Zoe. Yes, the A-list stylist with her pronounced panache and previous t.v. show, Rachel Zoe. I had the amazing opportunity to have a tour of her studio, see her archive, meet her media team, and above all, meet and chat with Rachel, herself. She is truly a magnificent gal. Her generous heart complements well with her shinning style. I am so blessed to have met this beautiful woman. It was a day filled with a fabulous photo shoot, glitzy goodies, and Magnolia cupcakes!
Dress: Kate Spade, Shoes: Tory Burch

Rachel Zoe, signing her new book, Living in Style

 Before Heading to the fashion shows, my family and I had a wonderful afternoon perusing downtown L.A. and L.A. Live. First, we stopped at a macaroon shop that I have been eyeing up, every time we passed! This little taste of heaven was called Bottega Louie; I fell in a sweet, sugary love, the moment I stepped in. I don't know what it is about petite, macaroon cookies with pastel colors that makes me feel like I should be sitting at a Parisian café, drinking some fancy Frappuccino, and enjoying the latest issue of Vogue. Not to mention, I loved the fact that it was called Louie, because that is what my family calls my mum; short for Lucine.
Then, we went to L.A. Live, where all of Style L.A. Fashion Week took place. We walked around and saw the sights: Nokia Theater, Staples Center, Grammy Museum, etc. We stopped to enjoy a big lunch at a restaurant called Fleming's. This was the best meal that I have EVER had out! I ordered their lunch special: a delightful Fleming's salad, delicious filet mignon with a side of creamy, fluffy mashed-potatoes, and a decadent treat of chocolate crème brulee! I savored every bite; it was worth every penny!

Found my girl, Tswift!
Dress: Modcloth

The nights were long, but before I knew it, the week was soon over. Before I said my goodbye to the sunshine, my sweethearts, and Style Fashion week, I had a few more exciting encounters! Everyone knows this flamboyant fashion designer: Betsy Johnson. Before seeing her runway show, I knew how exciting  and exquisite her styles were, but I never knew what she was like, herself. Let me tell you, the cartwheel-into-a-split at the end of her show says everything about her! I was excited to even just see her in person! But listen here: she was staying at the same hotel as my family and I in downtown L.A. The next morning, we met in the tea room and I was able to interview her. From her starting out designing to her grandchildren, we talked about it all! When I asked about her family, she always responded with a big-hearted voice, which I loved and respected. “I wanted my family to live near me,” she said, “they live in the same apartment complex.” At that point, I could just imagine the cute rug-rats knocking on “Grandma Betsy’s” door at whatever hour. She proceeded to tell me, “With them, there is either ‘crazy grandma’ or ‘Betsy Johnson’, no in-between.” I see her being the Grandma, like most, who spoils their grandkids to no end, with mostly love, of course. And, without doubt, we chatted about fashion, style, and dreams. She is an insightful woman who I am so lucky to have met. I’ll never forget her distinctive flair, with her silver-sequin pants, cheetah shoes, and all! God love her, for seventy-one!

My male model friends; always a joy.

Dress: Zac Posen
Cat Dress: Modcloth

The best chauffer in the world, Lex! Thank you again for the flowers!

Earrings: Glam with Jess

Dress: Kate Spade, Shoes: Modcloth, Glasses: Prada
Then the time had come, where I had to say farewell to fashion and go back to the cruel reality of frigid temps and far-too-early mornings. But, the thing about this trip, is that it has opened so many doors (not just closet doors). This experience is something that I will carry with me, not only in my heart, but in my ambitions, for many years to come. Goodbye L.A., I’ll see you again!

A special thanks to all of my L.A. Make-a-Wish friends, Steven, Lani, Kristen, and Chico! I love your passion and devotion to this foundation; you are all sweethearts!