Well, I really don’t even know where to begin with this! What a dream the last week, even the last few months have been! This has been the hardest secret I have had to keep (I have known since May)! I think it was even harder than keeping my pregnancies under wraps until it was time to spill the beans!
I was at my store when I found out that I won, via email. Instant tears and sobbing! Thank goodness I didn’t have any customers in the store at the time! We were to keep this under lock and key, which was SO HARD. I of course told my husband, my parents and a couple of close girlfriends with strict orders to not tell a soul!
Let me tell you-having to lie to so many people is SO hard! “Did you hear about that contest yet?” Uhhhhhh….not yet! How about that weather?!
I figured I would share with you all everything that went into the article as well as the Today Show segment!
I made the short trek to NYC at the beginning of June for the photo shoot (or for those that didn’t know I won, I went “for work”). Having a car service pick me up to and from while I was there was quite nice-not going to lie! Easy to get used to, that’s for sure!
We were picked up bright and early at our hotel and taken to Pier59 Studios where our photo shoot was…I knew I had a long day ahead of me but was so excited. My husband came to the city with me, so he knew he had about 12 hours of the day to occupy himself.
When we got there, it was right to the hair/makeup chairs! Sidenote-it was SO hard to not share the day as it was happening. Like I said, we were sworn to secrecy, so mum was the word. I opted to just not really be on social media that day instead of trying to be cryptic and risk spilling the beans! I did try to document as much as possible-when I remembered-which was harder than I thought it was going to be!
Our setup was pretty great for the day-shoes, jewelry and clothes galore! It was so fun to see what the other gals had picked for their outfits (and meet them as well). We had only met at the hotel for the first time. We all clicked though right away, which made for a fun, easy day!
James, the stylist for the shoot was so awesome. I had stopped in the Hearst building the day before the shoot to pick out what I would be wearing for the photos. He had a great selection of items and was totally open and accommodating to my preferences and what I felt comfortable with.
He can also tie a bow like no one else! I had to snap of pic of him in action!
You really can’t go wrong with a jumpsuit, am I right? I loved this one because it was so comfortable and I felt great in it. The metallic slides were the perfect finishing touch to the look.
I’m sure you’ve already seen, but there were six winners total (all beautiful, kind, hard working gals), but they grouped us into three’s. I had the privilege of being paired with Grace and Kelly….we had a ball during our portion of the shoot. And can I just say that every day needs to be accompanied by a diva fan!
The photographer, Jeff Lipsky, made us feel at home and so comfortable. Guys, he is legit. I couldn’t believe that I was being photographed by someone with the kind of credentials he had. You would never know that he has worked with such celebrities-he was that down to earth, and kind, and welcoming!
I have to admit, out of the whole day, one of the best surprises was when Ryan stopped by! Some of the Redbook gals said he could swing by if he wanted to. I knew he was at Chelsea Pier golfing (surprise, surprise!) so I told him to stop by if he could!
I was in the zone during the shoot and walked off set literally right by him! LOL! For some reason I turned around and there he was! It was such a nice surprise and really emotional to have him there! He didn’t stay long, but just long enough to give me a big hug and a selfie! I really am so lucky to have a guy like him by my side-always so supportive and my biggest cheerleader.
With Grace, Kelly, and Beth in between shoots
We all had our own racks-something so simple, but something that just makes you feel so much more legit!
Loved Beth-she is probably one of the cutest pregnant gals I have ever seen! I had followed her blog for years so it was great to finally meet her!
Do you remember in the movie Dirty Dancing, when Baby meets Patrick Swayze for the first time and she says “I carried a watermelon” and then basically kicks herself for saying that? Well, I had a “I carried a watermelon” moment with Meredith Rollins, the Editor in Chief of Redbook. She is so kind, and gorgeous, and stylish and just plain sweet. I was waiting for my next round of photos, and in she walks…
She walks over to me and the first thing I say is “I KNOW YOU FROM INSTAGRAM!!!!!!!!” Immediately I thought who even says that?!?! How about “You’re the EIC of Redbook-such a pleasure to meet you!” or “Hi I’m Rebecca, thanks so much for the opportunity!” NOPE. I know you from instagram. LOL.
I am sure she thought nothing of it, but I would certainly like to rewrite our intro! HA!
A quick selfie-this was towards the end of the day. We were all pretty exhausted by this point. A GREAT exhausted, though!
My second outfit (and a photobomb from James)…if only I could have snagged this jacket. It was everything!
The day was so surreal, but the fun was only beginning! I headed back home, but still had to keep everything quiet until the Today Show last week! That was a whole other surreal, amazing experience!
One of my best friends Sage came with me and I am so thankful she was there! She kept me calm and made me laugh! Everyone needs a Sage in their life! She is such a loyal friend and the baddest boss babes you will ever meet!
We stayed at the Omni Berkshire Place and it was gorgeous. Everyone was so helpful, the rooms were roomy and clean!
We were picked up at our hotel around 7:15 to head to the Today Show and got into hair and makeup right away. We weren’t allowed to snap any pics because of what celebrity guests would be in and out.
After that, there was a lot of waiting. It seemed like an eternity!
I think one of the best experiences of the day was having my parents there. As soon as I told them I was going to be on the Today Show they booked their train tickets, hotel room, and made their sign to hold on the plaza! They got there at 6:00 in the morning to be sure they would be in the front. If we are being honest, I think they got more air time than I did! LOL!
To have them there was just priceless. They ended up coming inside and I was able to chat with them before I went on and before they went into the green room with Sage. Afterwards, as soon as we saw each other we just started sobbing (happy sobs, obviously)-a moment I truly won’t even forget. Their support means more than I could ever put into words! I mean….are they not the cutest?!?
Doing a quick run through of our segment before getting our mics on!
The actual segment started and ended so fast! It was like I blinked and I missed it! I equated it to the scene from the movie Old School, when Will Ferrell has to give a speech, and he nails it. At the end of the speech he “comes to” and is like WHAT JUST HAPPENED I BLACKED OUT?! Yeah- that’s what it felt like lol! It was SUCH a blast though.
All of us after the show! Jenna Bush is much taller than I thought and so nice. Meredith, Today Show contributor and judge Lilliana Vazquez, myself, Grace, Kelly and Sheinelle
So while there, Lori Loughlin (who plays Aunt Becky on Full House) was there. She didn’t have time for a picture, but I did get to meet her, and had another “I carried a watermelon” moment. I shook her hand and said “My name is Rebecca, too!” GUYS. Her real name isn’t Rebecca. WHAT AN IDIOT! HA! Sage was able to snap a picture of her as she passed us. She is just as gorgeous in person as she is on TV!
Here’s a little close up of the gorgeous ring I wore….can’t get enough of it!!
I don’t even know where to begin with my thank you’s. Of course Ryan and my girls. Gosh they are so supportive of me it’s nuts. My family and friends, especially my parents. I didn’t know it was possible to see my parents with so much pride, but it made me feel so fulfilled.
You, my readers. Blogging for five years is a loooong time. My growth has been slow and steady but organic. I couldn’t be more thankful for you all!
And of course, everyone at Redbook. What an experience. From the bottom of my heart, thank you SO much.