Who Has Time To Sleep?

What an incredible two weeks I just had. Two MAJOR events back-to-back that I was honored to play a major role in. In my snapchat stories or other socials, you might have seen that the past few weeks my "job" has been nothing fashion related. Upon request from several different companies I've worked for, I'm able to play a role in producing some incredible events. These events serve all different purposes. Some are fundraisers, some are just for fun; and others are conferences of all types. 

Genesis Conference was March 6-8th at my home church, Harvest Time. I coordinated and helped produce visuals for the conference. This was a 1500+ national student conference that hosted many international speakers such as Rich Wilkerson Jr. and Robert Madu. The caliber of this conference was huge and the fact it happened in my hometown of Fort Smith, AR is even bigger! 

This past weekend, March 14, the U.S. Marshals Museum had one of the coolest events our community has ever seen. The Kickin' Up The Dust Gala was a fundraiser put on by the U.S. Marshals Museum. I'm so privileged to be the Media Developer for the Museum, and being apart of this historic event was absolutely phenomenal. With 750 attendee's and a $200 ticket price, this event was a huge success for the museum. 

Myself, Alice (Development Director), and Megan (Marketing Intern).
Myself, Alice (Development Director), and Megan (Marketing Intern).

Asleep at The Wheel
Asleep at The Wheel

Needless to say the past two weeks have been crazy and this week is nothing short of fast pace as well. I'm heading to Hot Springs, Arkansas for EAST Conference. I'll have more to come on that Wednesday.


The Sweeter Things In Life

During Fashion Week I had a private chocolate making class at Tache Artisan Chocolate. Guys, this was one of the coolest things I've done in the city. Located in the very corner of Lower Manhattan, Tache is a bright pop of color right off Broome Street. Walk through the doors and smell everything from dark chocolate, macaroons, and much more. I walked in and was greeted to the sounds of Kygo Pandora Radio, I knew I was in the right spot. 

The chocolatier lead me downstairs to their chocolate lab! I was in heaven. I learned really quickly that these guys knew everything about chocolate. She explained that I would make three types of sweet treats. First we started with chocolate art. By no means am I an artist, so I had to improvise a little bit but I think I did ok! I got to learn about types of chocolate and what is REALLY in the Hersey's bar you're eating. Tache uses dark chocolate which is my personal favorite. It has a richer taste and adding flavor to it brings out its' sweet taste.

Next up was chocolate clusters. She put a huge bowl of warm chocolate in front of me and told me to add whatever I wanted. I'm a simple kinda guy, so I just added peanuts and used coca powder and gram cracker on top as a garnish.

The last thing I made was a pure chocolate mold. She let me pick any mold I wanted. Naturally, I chose a Lion, it's my favorite animal and I'm kind of obsessed. I got to "paint" my mold different colors with powered coloring. Inspired by Katy Perry's Superbowl performance, I used red and gold. Next came filling the molds. As a kid, did you ever go to the soda fountain, stick your head under the nozzle and push the button? Maybe that was just me. That's the only thing I was thinking about while filling my mold with the chocolate. 

While my chocolate was settling I indulged myself in a few macaroons. When the chocolate was done chilling, I was able to wrap it up and take it home! I'm still eating my chocolate and my class was a few weeks ago!

Tache made my chocolate experience the best it could be. They were friendly and FULL of information. If you're in NYC or planning a trip, make sure Tache is on your list. Their classes are very affordable and can be easily booked via their website or with a phone call.

If you would, do me a favor and send Tache some love one social media. I know they would appreciate it! Next time you're in the area, stop in and grab some chocolate and macaroons! 

Thank you to Tache for an amazing experience! 

Tache Facebook
Tache Twitter
Tache Instagram

 


What I Learned From Fashion Week FW15

The last two weeks of my life have been the craziest I’ve ever encountered. Remember the first time you ever thought your life was crazy? Remember what that felt like? Then you approach an even crazier time in life and you begin to realize that life is just one crazy train that just so happens to stop at different stations along the way. Just in 2015 alone, I started a new job, added two huge clients, and I’m attempting to write a blog that maybe someone besides my grandma will want to read. 

When I landed in NYC all of this was pulsing through my brain. “Where will I end up?” “Is this really what I should be doing?” “What if no one likes my photos?” “I don’t think I’m crazy enough to be at this show.” This season was very different for me. I went with the intention of gaining content for my blog and photographing other bloggers. I’m proud to say that I did that. I learned a few things this week that will be sticking with me for a while. I’d like to share those with you in hopes of inspiring someone else.

1. THERE IS NO REPLACEMENT FOR AUTHENTICITY.

You be you. Over there years this has been one of the hardest things for me. I’ve conformed in so many different ways over the years. It pains me to look back and see what I missed out on because I wasn’t truly myself. The best version of you – is you. It has taken me a long time to figure this out. I realized during Fashion Week it is so easy to get lost in the hype and the glamour. It’s easy to look at someone and wish you were as influential (or stylish) as they are. God gifted you with everything you need to be successful. Don’t waste time trying lower yourself to someone else standard of beauty.

2. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THOSE WHO "GET-IT."

This one is easier said than done. I had several meet-ups with old friends, new friends, people I liked, and others I didn’t. Find those that aren’t afraid to tell you the truth, even when you don’t want to hear it. In any industry, relationships are the key to not just success, but survival. When you add value to the relationships you are in, something magical happens, it’s called genuine friendships.Those friendships are what will elevate you, not because you’re using them, but because they are nature and authentic. 

3. "JUST DO IT."

The Infamous Nike slogan. We’ve all heard it, yet how many of us quote it but don’t actually follow through? I’m not talking about YOLO. These are two different things that many get confused about. So What do I mean? This year I had the chance to sit on the sidelines and watch my friends do incredible things. I also had the chance to participate in those things. Every opportunity will lead to something. When the thought of NYFW came across my mind, I didn’t even hesitate. I went. I just did it. Because I did, my world has forever changed. You might have also heard, “Don’t let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game,” I’ve never thought this to be more true than this season of my life. To some extent, I’m not even thinking, I’m just going. At any age, you’ll never get back time you could have used to do something great. I had an english teacher in high school who was an incredible influence in my life. She would always say, “what are you going to do with this moment, because you can never get it back.” She’d then pause and say, “you just lost a second, what are you going to do?” That has always stuck with me, because it’s so true. Even now as you’re reading this, your life is getting shorter, how are you going to make the most of it?

I can’t wait to show you all I’ve done in the upcoming week, as I get my sessions edited, I’ll be posting them on here so you can see as well. Thanks for engaging with my Instagram and tweets while I was traveling. I feel like you guys are family, even if you’re thousands of miles behind a screen somewhere. 

Until tomorrow…

_M


Delta, I Cheated and I’m Sorry – Please Take Me Back?

4:30P - I left my NYC Hotel for LGA to head back to Arkansas.
5:45P - Arrived at LGA for my 7:00P connection flight to CLT.
6:20P - Got to the gate and learned my flight was delayed almost 50 minutes. 
6:25P - Found Dinner (This isn’t relevant to my post, but it was extremely good).
7:30P - Finally able to board.

Around 9:45P I’m realizing that my connection flight is at 10:10P and I’m not going to make it. The U.S. Airways flight attendant reassured me that due to the massive delay they would surly hold my connection. 

10:10P - As I deplaned, I began sprinting to my express gate at the other end of the airport. (I was in Loubitan boots that I attribute to slowing me down significantly.)

10:15P - Got to the gate and sure enough my flight was gone. 

10:15.5P - I realize how sweaty I was and had to take moment to process everything that had just happened.

And so began the layover process from hell, and why I will reconsider flying U.S. Airways when I’m in a crunch.

A little backstory before I go on: I booked with U.S. Airways because of the in and out times I needed in NYC. I’ve never flown with U.S. and was looking forward to the experience. U.S. Airways is now owned by American Airlines, which has lost my luggage twice, and so I haven’t flown with them in a while. I was a bit hesitant, but proceeded anyway. My departure flight was incredible. Everything was on time and we even arrived early at LGA. Return was obviously a nightmare, but I digress. 

10:30P - Standing in line at the customer service area with about 60 others from my previous flight, I sent a tweet to @usariways to see how they could help. 

11:05P - I was finally able to speak with a customer service agent who was very pleasant. She rescheduled my flight but didn’t even bother getting me in first class. She said due to an “Air Traffic” delay they couldn’t compensate me for a hotel.  

*Keep in mind, I’ve had this SAME issue while flying Delta, and both times they have gone above and beyond to compensate me and make sure I am comfortable while I wait for my rescheduled flight. This was not the case with U.S. Airways*

11:30P - I was given a “hotel voucher” for a discounted rate. When I called the 1-800 number, the discount was only $5 and their booking service sounded like it was based in Asia. They weren’t very helpful. So I booked independently at the Hyatt (life saver). 

11:45P - I made my way to baggage to get my luggage, here’s where it gets crazy. I asked the U.S. Airways attendant at Baggage Services where my luggage was, he responded with “It’s not coming out.” Those literally were the first words out of his mouth. He hadn’t checked my flight number, he was simply saying, “it’s not coming out.” I explained to him I had time sensitive documents that I needed first thing in the morning (in my carry-on bag they made me check due to lack of overhead space on my inbound flight). He still was no help. I said I’d meet someone wherever to get my bag, I just needed to get my things. He responded “If you even think about going down there, I’ll call security.” Finally, I pulled the “but I need my medicine,” (even though I didn’t) he looked at me and said rudely “If need be, we can call an ambulance, but your bag isn’t moving.” At this point I was livid, but composed. I did nothing to spur his insensitivity, he just simply did not want to help. He handed me a sad excuse for a toiletry kit and said “next person in line.” 

Every time this has happened on Delta, they have gone out of their way to make it right. U.S. Airways was inconsiderate and basically non-responsive to accommodating their passengers during a situation that was their fault.

12:20P - My car finally came for the Hyatt. Luggage-less and smelling pretty horrid at this point, I checked in and enjoyed the comfort of a suite that I paid for. Some may say, well that’s just part of it, but I don’t by it. Keep in mind, I fly sometimes up to 3 times a month, so I’m no stranger to dealing with airlines, but this has been my worst experience yet. 

I would be overjoyed if U.S. Airways could compensate my hotel. Even more so, I would love if they could train their employees to take care of their passengers. I’m always up for giving anyone a second chance, but not until something happens. 

Thank you Delta for loving me as much as I love you. I want to get on a flight and go somewhere “just because” to make up for my awful experience.

My advice to those booking trips this week and in the future: Don’t risk it, play it safe and fly Delta. Their gingerbread cookies are the best and I would dare to say they have more legroom. 

Have you had a bad airline experience? I’d love to hear about it, comment below and let’s have a group therapy session together.

_M


Countdown to Fashion Week

Fashion Week is Two days away... Yes, TWO DAYS! Unfortunately, I won't be there until Saturday, but still, TWO DAYS! What do I pack? This is a serious questions. Aside from it's Fashion Week, there is a massive blizzard impaling the metro area. My next question is style... The Kentucky Gent or The Bow Tie Gent? What style is the best?? < Two of my daily blog reads. All of these questions and more have consumed my thinking this year. I have found the answer. I'm going to do me. A little southern, mixed with a little edge. I'm going to be posting my daily outfits along with some of my friends style as the week progresses. It's crazy to think that this will be my first NYC/Fashion Week trip as a potential blogger *Lord help me* but if my feet are sore by the end of this, I'll call it a success. 

Oh, by the way, do you all remember my friend Betsy? She'll be making an appearance at FW as well! I'm so excited to do a little traveling with one of my favorite travel buddies. So stay tuned for some potential women's looks! 

In addition to shows, I'm excited to be shooting some of my favorite friends and fashion bloggers while I'm in NYC. I can't wait to take you along with me! This is going to be so exciting! 

Please comment below and let me know of any cool things you have done, or would like me to do while in NYC! It's one of my favorite cities, but I'm always looking for a new adventure!

And so it begins...
And so it begins...
Umm, I can't fit this all in a suitcase....HELP!
Umm, I can't fit this all in a suitcase....HELP!

Until tomorrow, here's some NYC inspiration: