A Fashion Week Experience From The Everyday Girl

There is something so special about attending NY Fashion Week and all the hype that goes along with it. Being able to see beautiful fashion, (and some that you're wondering what in the world were they thinking) rubbing arms with socialites, and having a peek into the fashion world is enough motivation to want to go. 

I was very thankful to be able to attend a few shows with my work again, and after being here for eight years, I'm actually kicking myself that I never asked sooner about going. Fashion week brings out some of the most interesting people, and if nothing else, it sure makes for some great people watching.

Before I attended a show, I had a very different idea of how it all happened and what it would be like. What I didn't realize is how short most of the shows are. I'm talking some of them are only 15-20 minutes long, if that. It really depends on how large the designers collection is.

After realizing how quickly a show goes, I started thinking about all of the people that fly in or travel from all over the place to be there. If you aren't staying and seeing multiple shows, you might be let down. Of course, everyone is different, but if you've never been and were thinking about making a trip, I would suggest to have several shows lined up. It's also good to keep in mind that some shows take place at the same time or back to back. If they aren't in the same area, it could make attending them very difficult and you have to pick and choose which ones you can realistically go to.

I've had a few people reach out to me and ask about how you can get invited or how you go about getting tickets. Since I've never been invited as a blogger (that would be completely awesome if it happens one day) I actually don't know how it works from a blogger perspective. Like most things in life, it really comes down to who you know or the connections you have. I saw a lot of the "bigger" bloggers there that got treated very well (or so it appeared), they got to go backstage for special interviews, had the press taking their pictures, and got to walk away with those coveted swag bags.

I did have a chance to go backstage at Bibhu Mohapatra's show and got the chance to meet him. He was really down to earth and a great guy. His show was at Spring Studios where majority of the events were taking place, so it was a really fun experience to be where all of the action was. I was a little surprised by the backstage area which was so much smaller than I would have ever imagined, and not necessarily glamorous. I'm sure it depends on the location or the team of people they bring in, but I guess I had a different idea in my mind.

I was really missing my sister who was with me the last time we went. I can hold my own, but there is nothing like having a wingman when you go to these events. I hung around for a little while after and checked out some of the vendors in the lobby. TRESemme had a station set up where you could get your picture taken (they had me stand like this by the way with wind blowing in my hair) and other vendors had some fun things going on. It was really crowded down there because a lot of people hang out while waiting in between shows.

Since the studios weren't really around public transportation, I decided to take an Uber back to where I needed to go. I have never driven in the city and it's not something I intend on doing anytime soon. When I looked at what the price was for an Uber to pick me up, I might as well have booked a flight somewhere. Ok maybe it wasn't that drastic, but it was a lot of money. I had a genius idea to walk several blocks to see if it would bring the price down considering the studios were probably at a premium pickup rate. 

When I was leaving, there were paparazzi everywhere. I guess that's how it usually is but that was my first real encounter with being around so many cameras, and you all know how I love to jump in the frame when I can. As I was walking down the street I heard all of the camera shutters going off and paparazzi standing right in front of me snapping away. I smiled for a minute and then thought, no don't smile, you look too posed, just walk normal, take out your phone, do something. Then I thought no, no, you'll hate that pic because your serious face is more comical than anything and what if you get a double chin from looking down. Then reality hit, why in the world would they be taking a picture of me? Then I thought, well who knows maybe they just take pictures of whoever walks this way. Then I finally realized what was happening. I caught one of the paparazzi going up on his tippy toes and arching to shoot over me. I found that kind of odd so I turned around to see what was going on behind me. Sure enough, I see three beautiful girls walking (I still don't know who they were), but that's who everyone was trying to get pictures of. Here I was strutting my best walk right in front of them probably blocking that perfect shot (completely unintentionally, of course). I just started laughing and politely moved out of the way. 

Another fun observation when you get to go to these shows is seeing what all of the guests are wearing. I saw a lot of great outfits that I was having all the heart eyes for, and then there were those that looked like they purposely decided not to match, and others that looked like they rolled right out of bed. To each their own. Basically, whatever you decide to wear is acceptable. I also learned that no one buttons up their coat for these things. You guys, it was freezing out. I had on my fancy heavy coat and everyone else had theirs swinging wide open. I know, I get it, it's so you can see the outfit. I guess that was an amateur move on my part.

If you aren't staying in the city you also need to work out your commute and the logistics of things. For the most part, I can be in the city in under an hour. I went back into the city on another day for a show and boy was that a debacle for me to get there. I took the train in but when I got to the parking lot there were absolutely no more spots left. I circled three times, frantically went down side streets, but nothing. The train was coming in two minutes so I had to think fast. I resorted to making my own parking spot and prayed to the good Lord above there would be no ticket when I got back. I ran for the train, and as my ticket was printing out, the train pulled up. I jumped on the train and was on my way, or so I thought. Once I got to Penn Station I got another Uber to take me over to Park Street since Dennis Basso's show was at Saint Bartholomew's Church. Sure enough, the streets of NYC decided it was a good idea to do some road construction and there I was stuck in traffic with time ticking away. That's another thing, very rarely do these shows start right on time. In my case, it worked out in my favor. After moving at a snails pace, when we finally got closer, I told the Uber driver I would jump out and run the next two blocks. I made it with 5 minutes to spare before it was showtime. The concept of being in a church was cool but it was a bit dark in there which made it hard to really see some of the outfits and not the best lighting to get pictures. I don't think it would have been my first choice, but hey, I'm no designer.

Overall NYFW is a really fun experience. When I walk into the shows I can't help but have a smile on my face and feel like a kid at Christmas. Fashion week can be exciting, exhausting, intimidating, and spectacular all at the same time.

6 Simple Ways To Relax

Thank you Total Tea for sponsoring this post. All opinions remain my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Beautifully Candid. 

One of the best things I can do for myself is find a few extra minutes to unwind and really be able to relax. If I'm being honest, those rare moments don't happen as much as I'd like them to. I'm trying my best to change that because I see a big difference in myself when I can truly shut things out and allow myself to relax. 

Now, if only I could get that laundry to fold itself and my kids to actually pick their things up—imagine how many more relaxing moments I could let myself have.

Over the past few weeks I really thought about what helps me to relax and how I can incorporate simple ways into my weekly routine. Even if I'm not able to do all of them at the same time (it's a beautiful thing when I do), doing at least one of them helps me to unwind.

1. ENJOY A CUP OF TEA: since I'm not a coffee drinker (there I said it!), tea has always been my go-to. One of the things I look forward to on the weekends is enjoying a cup with my breakfast. During the week I also enjoy a cup after the boys go to bed. Let's face it, when they're awake it's not necessarily the most relaxing environment. Boy do I love those tiny humans though.

Since tea is such a big part of my routine, I don't drink just any. I really enjoy Total Tea and love the different options and flavors they have. Not only are they a family owned business, but they believe a healthy life is a happy life.

Their detox tea has been one of my favorites, and I also love the organic options they have. I've always been a big green tea drinker but their peppermint tea and chamomile tea have also been two that I am loving. I can honestly say enjoying a cup of tea is probably the most consistent thing I do for myself to help relax.

2. LIGHT A SCENTED CANDLE: candles are a great way to add to a relaxing environment. I'm a little picky when it comes to my candle scents. I try to stay away from a lot of floral scents because I've actually been around some candles that will make me sneeze. Those seasonal allergies are rough for me and not something I'm looking forward to. When I do find scents that I love, sitting down with my cup of a tea and a lit candle helps to melt the stress away (pun intended, haha).

3. COZY BLANKET: I don't know what it is, but I could seriously curl up with a blanket regardless of the season. The fluffier and the softer the better. I'm not sure I could ever have too many throw blankets, because I seriously want them all. If I'm sitting on the couch there is always one next to me.

4. COMFORTABLE CLOTHES: one of the first things I do when I get home from work is change out of my work clothes. I feel a lot more relaxed in clothes that are suitable for lounging around. This usually consists of some sort of workout wear (yoga pants are life), a relaxed tee or over sized sweatshirt, oh, and I can't forget about cozy socks! I live in my cozy socks in the winter.

5. READING A BOOK: this is something I am really working hard on incorporating back into my routine. Before I had the boys I used to read a lot more than I do now. I really miss it, and have been making it a point to try and do a little each week. Those days of finishing a book in a few weeks are probably long gone, or at least until my boys don't demand as much of my attention or I can work on saying no to taking on too much. My goal for now is to get through a few chapters here and there, which is something I know is doable. I always end up feeling so relax after I get some reading in and also fall asleep so easily if I read before bed.

6. MUSIC: a lot of what I've mentioned here are mainly things I do after the boys go to bed. However, listening to music is something I've been able to do throughout different parts of my day. I like to try and start my day off on a positive note and the elevation worship station  on Pandora is perfect for that. Even if I'm listening while in the shower or doing my makeup, it always puts me in a better mood. Some good tunes also help to make the mornings a little less stressful, which is always a wonderful thing. And who doesn't love a quick dance party to get things going?

When I have a moment to sit down with a cup of tea, light my candle, curl up in a blanket in my lounge clothes all while reading a book, and listening to music, well that my friends, is my kind of relaxing. 

Friday Favorites-The Week of Love

Happy Friday, friends! I hope everyone had a great week and celebrated some love too. Although, I do think it's something we should be showing and celebrate every day. Between going back and forth to the city and our little getaway, I feel like this week went by in a blink. 

Let's get right into some favorites, shall we...

1. Valentine's Day: I'll admit I used to think this holiday was kind of silly. Since becoming a mom my perception of holidays has changed a bit . The ones I didn't really care about have become a lot more fun now.

On Valentine's morning I had a special breakfast planned for the boys with all the goodies from Target's dollar section. I seriously have a hard time walking past that area without picking something up. The boys had parties in their classes and came home with so many Valentines. For dinner, we enjoyed a heart shaped pizza that gave me all the heart eyes. It was kind of perfect. After going out last year and dealing with crowded places, I have to say, I loved ordering in. 

2. Ice Castle: if you missed my post earlier this week, we actually celebrated Valentine's Day early with a getaway to the Ice Castles in New Hampshire. It was just as magical as it looks and then some. If this was closer to us I could see us making this a yearly thing.

3. NYFW: I had the opportunity to attend NYFW again with my work and got to see a few more shows. It really is a great time but can also be exhausting. I'm planning on putting a post together and sharing more from my perspective. I think depending on who you are, this week takes on a whole new meaning, especially for someone who is deemed a fashion blogger. I don't consider that a category I put myself in and feel that I've really embraced more of the lifestyle title.

I don't take things too personally and thought it was kind of funny, but I had a few bloggers message me after seeing my insta stories and asked how I managed to pull off going. My immediate interpretation drifted to more along the lines of, wow I have triple the amount of followers as you and I didn't get asked to go. They were very nice about it and that was not their words at all, but it was just interesting to see how some people who don't seem to pay attention to me on social media all of the sudden did. I also think a lot of it, just like most things in life, is about who you know and the connections you have. I actually don't know how it works from a blogging perspective and who decides how someone gets invited.

4. I'll take all the sunsets: this one might sound funny to some of you, but a favorite of mine this week was coming out of work and being able to catch the sunsets on my drive home. I wish this pic was from this week, but it's not. This pic is was one that I took over the summer and now has me anxious and excited about those longer days. There might only be 22 more days until daylight savings, but who's counting?

5. Organizing: yesterday we had our monthly Girl Chat link up where we shared more about how we stay organized. This is always an area I am looking to improve on and I loved reading all about your tips and ideas. If you're a blogger we'd love for you to join us the third Thursday of every month. Next month we'll be talking all about our Easter baskets. Can you believe how early it is this year?

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Here's where you can find me linking for all of the link up fun.

How We Stay Organized-Girl Chat Link Up

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This was a post I was putting off getting together for awhile because I don't really consider myself a very organized person. Ok, maybe I should give myself a bit more credit here. I like to have things organized and a place for everything to go, but with half of our things still in storage since we moved to our "temporary" location (ha, going on a year and half now) I've had a hard time getting things in order. 

I've mentioned before about my lack of closet space, or more accurately, no closet space—that is aside from our bedroom closets. I'm sure half of the things we have we don't need, but nonetheless, they are there, and hats, and coats, and gloves still need a place to go. 

I mentioned a few weeks ago about wanting to get a shelf that would help with coats and some storage. I ended up finding a 40% off coupon code for Hobby Lobby and pulled the trigger on it. I'm really glad I did because now it's out of stock (similar one here and here). This has helped us to stay organized with our winter accessories and extra space for the boys coats and jackets.

We also needed some storage to stay organized in our master bathroom because, you guessed it, we do not have a closet in there. This shelf has worked out really nice with the extra baskets and freed up some space to put some toiletry things in there. I also have some open shelving in our bathroom that I have several baskets (similar here and here) that hold majority of my facial products and hair products.

Using storage baskets (similar here and here) in the boys playroom has really helped to keep some sort of order in there. I would love to say that we have each of these bins organized by the type of toys, but let's be realistic here, I'm just happy when their toys are actually put back in them.  We also have a storage basket in each of their rooms with some of their stuffie friends and more toys.

Kids Storage Baskets
I came across this organizer in a clearance section in Marshalls and haven't been able to find anything like it since. I am so happy I got this because it is perfect to hold their craft things and easy to put away and bring out when needed. More times than not we have it out though because my boys are always looking to glue or tape something together. Does anyone else's kids always want to do a project?

I like to think that when it comes to managing my personal life and our family calendar that I have all of that under control. I have been loving my new planner (similar here and here) that I write down random blog post ideas, campaign deadlines, and whatever else needs to go in there. I also utilize my phone a lot for reminders and the calendar on there. Sometimes I need to have bells and whistles going off to remember it all. When it comes to staying organized with important documents and things like that, we do have a file cabinet at home that we utilize. I also carry around my flash drives for blogging resources and to organize my pictures on there. I create separate folders for events or dates and organize my pictures accordingly. If that's one thing I'm good at, it's trying to stay on top of my pictures because usually that's the most time consuming thing for me. What can I say, I might be a little camera happy.

Now it's your turn to join in on the fun and share more about how you stayed organized. 

To link up-grab our graphic, link up, and let's get to chatting! Make sure to stop by a few other posts in the link up for an extra bit of girl chat!

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Our Valentine's Getaway to The Ice Castle

 Ice Castles
There's nothing like celebrating love in the freezing cold surround by an enchanted ice castle. Our little trip was the perfect getaway and I am still blown away by this place. We decided to visit the Ice Castle in New Hampshire for a little Valentine's Day celebration. They have several locations but this one was the closest to us. And by close, I mean five and a half hours away. If you aren't familiar by now, we are always out for some sort of adventure.

We rented a condo through HomeAway which worked out great for us and was all the space we needed. These sites are quickly becoming my favorite and offer a really nice alternative to a traditional hotel. Now let me start by saying this area is a small town and mainly known for skiing. The ice castle is a huge attraction for them, but if you aren't into skiing or keeping it very low key, this location might not be the best place for you to visit. I mean that with all do respect, it's a very beautiful place but quiet with little going on. We knew that going into it and were completely fine with it. The only thing we were disappointed about were the antique stores were closed for the season (whatever that means) and we were really looking forward to finding some treasures.

I would highly recommend getting tickets online prior to a visit because they sell out quick for the ice castle. You also have to choose a designated entry time. Once you go in, you can stay as long as you want, but there is no re-entry. We picked an early time slot which was perfect for us because it was not crowded. By the time we left there were a lot of people there and we probably would not have been able to get half of the pictures that we were able to capture if we decided to go later.

When we first pulled up, I thought to myself, uh oh this is it?! It is very deceiving from the outside and does not look that big. Once we got inside it was pure magic. If you ever get a chance to watch videos of how they make these—amazing. When you're there it feels like you step into a dream of some sort. It started snowing right before we went in and for the rest of the time we were there. It was like an added special effect that made it feel even more magical.

We enjoyed watching the boys play and slide down the different slides they had there. They recommend for you to bring a sled in to pull the kids around, but they barely wanted to stay in it. Little nugget was actually more excited about pulling his big brother and refused to let anyone else help him.

There all of these different coves you can walk through and explore, and they even have a dancing water fountain. They also had a hot chocolate bar that we all enjoyed a cup from. The boys didn't like it so so hot and added in some snow to make it the best cold hot chocolate, ever (their words, of course).

After visiting the ice castle we decided to find an area that we could take the boys sledding and snow tubing. There was so much snow here. The mounds that lined the side of the road where taller than Eric and every where you turned you were surround by sparkling white powder.

We couldn't visit a ski town without checking out one of the mountains. We went to Loon Mountain to watch the skiers and take in the beautiful views. A was very adamant about trying out skiing and even tried to run off with someone's skis. It started to rain while we were there so we told him we would take him next time. Eric skis, and me, well, I try my best. A has been talking about it ever since, and with the Olympics on, he wants to go super fast. We might take him to the Poconos around here. We had a great time celebrating and exploring new adventures and celebrating a weekend of love.  I hope everyone has a great Valentine's Day! Until time, New Hampshire!
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