The past five days have been the most amazing of my life! Seriously! A few months back, i was presented with the opportunity of a lifetime. While i wish i could give you all the details, sadly i can't just yet. I will, however, give you a few hints! First, it involves me potentially being on TV, second, IT involves one of my favorite brands (hehehe look closely and think of my favorite complexion products), and third... this opportunity involved me flying out to Hollywood, California! It will probably be a while before i can divulge all the details but i promise it will be worth the wait! Until then, i wanted to share with you the amazing time i had while in LA!
I will admit, leaving my babies behind was quite possibly the hardest thing ever. I cried the whole morning prior to my departure, cried kissing them goodbye at the airport and pretty much cried the entire six hour flight to LAX! I just don't know how mommies who travel regularly for work do it. I'm such a baby when it comes to that stuff! Once i arrived, the driver was waiting to take me to the hotel where i stayed right in the heart of Hollywood. It was a two block walk from the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame which was so fun to see in person! That evening, i met a few of the lovely ladies involved in this project and had a wonderful chat with them. After that, i decided to go for a walk by myself to see a little bit of Hollywood. I wanted to take in as much of this wonderful town as i possibly could. I knew i was on a tight schedule so i went for it! As i got closer to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, i realized this was going to be quite an interesting adventure! Hollywood BLVD is fun and scary at the same time. There are all kinds of people, tourists, characters (think Michael Jackson, Prince, Spider Man, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, Mickey). It's very crowded and i definitely pushed my way around a bit. A few minutes into my walk, i spotted the famous LA store Kitson! After doing the happy dance, i ran in and admired every last thing in that store! It's a feast for the eyes and can be quite over stimulating to say the least! I fell madly in love with their cheeky shirts with the best quotes/sayings. I purchased my first one at that store but waited before purchasing more because i had a planned day off with the beautiful and super talented Serein Wu of Dress Yourself Happy. We had plans to visit the original (and much larger) Kitson on Robertson so i knew it'd be best to wait. After Kitson, i saw the famous Chinese Theater and the Roosevelt Hotel. I couldn't believe i was actually seeing these iconic buildings in person. It was so liberating experiencing this by myself. I loved walking around and just taking it all in. After that, i walked into such a cool souvenir shop. It wasn't your typical shop, it was large, and loud! The music was blasting and the energy was high. There were fun Hollywood type souvenirs, think movie reels, and old Hollywood memorabilia like anything Elvis, Marilyn, Audry Hepburn, Lucille ball etc. I spent a good hour just looking at everything with amazement and excitement. That night, i walked back to my hotel room feeling so grateful for what was going to be a life changing experience!
The next morning, i woke up nice and early to get ready for an exciting day on set! I loved that my room had a Keurig machine! Two coffees later, i was ready to take on my next adventure. So this day involved me going to Jim Henson's studio where the Muppets were born essentially! I was in awe! This was such a major part of Hollywood history. Hair and makeup was in the very room where Charlie Chaplin had many movie viewings! You could see and smell the history in that room! Once hair and makeup was done, we were taken to the set where filming would take place. All i can say is WOW... this set was not only beautiful, but sooooo intimidating! There were cameras everywhere and a crew of about 80. It was so fun having people touch us up for hair, makeup, wardrobe etc. That day, while very long, was quite the experience. I will never EVER forget it! I was certainly star struck as there were two celebrities on set! I wish i could share more but i promise that as soon as i can, i WILL! That night, a few of us ladies decided to go have dinner at a fun Mexican restaurant near by. We were all famished since we hadn't eaten practically anything all day! After dinner, we headed over to Sephora for an impromptu beauty haul. Get all of these beauty enthusiasts in a room together and there's sure to be some damage done! It was the perfect end to a perfect day!
The following day was my day off. I'd been dreaming of this day for quite some time. My friend Serein Wu who i met during this year's Allure Beauty Blogger Awards, offered to show me around town. I was so grateful that she was willing to do this for me! We met officially in NY at BeautyCon where i told her I'd be in LA in July. We've been planning ever since! She is an amazing Vlogger and blogger so be sure to check out all her amazing hauls/reviews etc! Anyway, Serein picked me up at the hotel and we drove to the Hollywood Sign. I couldn't believe that i actually got to see this iconic sign in person! Wow! It literally took my breath away! After that, Serein planned to take me to two famous professional makeup/beauty stores. The first was Namies... this store had everything and more that a beauty enthusiast could possibly want! Personally, i was most interested in picking things up that were not available to me back home. Serein gave me some great recommendations and i will be sure to share all that i picked up soon as she and i are going to collaborate on a video of our LA haul! Following Namies we headed to Nigel's which is a similar beauty store where i picked up a few more fun things to try! We started getting hungry and headed over to In N Out Burger. I'd heard that it was a must while in LA so i figured I'd go for it. You guys should see the line for the drive thru at this place... it was literally out of the parking lot! Oh and inside was just as crowded! After a bite, i completely understood why... the burger was exceptionally good!
After lunch we drove to Robertson for some shopping driving past the Grove and Cedars-Sinai where many celebs have their babies so that was kind of fun since i always see it on TV! Robertson was fun! We went to THREE Kitson stores there where i did some more damage! Oh Serein introduced me to The Coffee Bean... the coffee was delish! I had my first Georgetown Cupcake(can you believe i had to travel to the west coast to do that?!), and walked past the famous Ivy restaurant. I wanted to look closely to see if there were any celebs but was too embarrassed to do so lol, but i did the tourist thing and snapped a selfie with the restaurant behind me! We ran into paparazzi which was fun! Oh we went to Make Up For Ever and spent a good hour there with the most amazing makeup artist Courtney! She was so informative and passionate! I walked away with a major shopping list. I did pick up a gorgeous shadow and Serein did quite a bit of damage there! I held back because Courtney was sweet enough to show us the array of new shadows they're launching on August 1st and I've already made a list of the ones i wanted so you know what I'll be doing on the 1st!
A little shopping at Kitson!
The picture below is me standing near the famous Ivy Restaurant!
Georgetown Cupcakes! Yum!
Hello Rodeo Drive!
So here's the best part. One of the things i absolutely didn't want to leave LA without doing is going to SUR. So Serein made us reservations. We drove through Rodeo Drive which was uhhhhhmazing!!! Ok lets chat SUR! So the restaurant itself is actually smaller than i imagined in my head. It's impeccably decorated... all shabby chic which i LOVE! So here's the crazy part, Peter from the show Vanderpump Rules was there and served me my drinks! I wasn't sure if the people on the show actually worked there but i guess they do! I got a picture with him and he said they're currently filming and the show will air some time in October! Oh and he told me Stassi is back! The food was way better than i expected too. Delicious really! The funniest part? A TMZ bus drove past the restaurant, stopped and Peter came out for a photo op! Only in LA right? This was the most amazing day. I kept telling Serein that i would never forget this day as long as i live. I am so grateful to her for graciously taking time out of her life to spend the day with me and showing me around. She's just an amazing person! She gave me a beautiful gift... i just couldn't believe that she was doing all of this for me. I am forever grateful and indebted to her for this amazing day! Thank you Serein!!!!!!
Serein looking perfectly gorge!
Peter from the show Vanderpump Rules who BTW served me my drink! Woohoo!
The food was delish!
The bathroom at SUR!
Bathroom Selfie! Yes i look cray cray but i had to... wouldn't you?! Think of the famous people who've ahem... powdered their noses in that bathroom! lol
OK... lets just say there was dulce de leche in my crepes! Oh Em Gee....
Serein's dessert looking equally delish!
The next day was my one on one camera day! I soaked in my last day of 'hair, makeup and wardrobe' again! I was scared beyond words but once the cameras rolled, the producer made me feel very much at ease. It was just the coolest experience of my life! Wow! We were then taken to another room where something amazing happened. I got to meet one of my favorite, most inspiring woman in the beauty industry! The cameras were rolling and caught the entire thing on video! I was shaking with excitement. I can't wait to share the complete experience with you but again, there are so many legalities that i don't want to do anything I'm not suppose until i get the green light! Just know, this very moment was one of the best of my life! The last part of this little journey of mine took place at another studio where we had hair, makeup and wardrobe again for a photo shoot. This was pretty fun too! Can't wait to see the final product!
Some of the outfits i wore while in LA! I know i don't typically do these but figured why not!
The new bag i picked up at Kitson!
When i returned to the room, i contemplated doing a Hollywood tour but didn't have time since i was meeting some of the ladies for dinner. Instead, i opted to walk around Hollywood Blvd for a little more shopping. That night, i met some of the girls from the shoot at the bar at our hotel for some drikie poohs and dinner. We shared laughs, talked about this amazing experience and simply bonded over our one common thread... the love of this amazing brand! After dinner, we headed to Hollywood Blvd and did a little shopping (at Kitson of course) and later a little desert at Ghiradelli! Yum! Sadly... that was the end of a very special few days for me. I hugged everyone goodbye and headed back to the room to pack for my very early morning pick up. Uhhh can we call 4am early morning? Personally it felt like middle of the night! It was wonderful to hug my beautiful family when i got home as i missed them tremendously. However, i will never ever forget this amazing experience as long as i live. I'm so grateful to God for this beautiful journey! I met the most amazing group of ladies, some of which have blogs/vlogs! Supriya of Beauty By Supriya, Raquel of Will Work for Product, Serein of Dress Yourself Happy blog and vlog - youtube channel, Abby of Always Abby, and the beautiful Gabrielle of Gabzilla ( you must read her blog as she shares her journey with lupus). I could relate because my mom suffers from Lupus and it broke my heart to see such a beautiful young girl (and her gorgeous mom) suffering from the same evil illness!
If my trip had a theme song it would be this one. I kept it on replay while getting ready every morning before heading to the set because it reminded me of how beautiful life was at this very moment. It also reminded me to take a moment to just appreciate and love myself. I'd been really struggling with my self esteem lately. Mirrors in particular were (and still are really) my biggest enemy, but during those short days... i felt beautiful. Please listen to it... it's just such a beautiful song!
Overall, this was one of the most glamorous journeys of my life. Thank you to all who made it happen and thank you all for taking the time to read and share this journey with me! xo, Carla - FMM