The Oprah Magazine has been a staple in my life (and in my mailbox) since its conception nearly eighteen years ago. Two years ago, the magazine announced they were starting an influencer program so I quickly applied! While writing my application essay, I confessed my love for Oprah, as she has been such a role model throughout my life in so many aspects. (A little off topic but can we take a moment to reflect on her incredible Golden Globes speech…WOW)! Back to my application…as I was writing my essay, I couldn’t help but think about all of Oprah’s incredible accomplishments and ways in which she empowers women. Whether it be through her talk show, book club, “favorite things” or incredible giveaways, Oprah has always had an innate ability to relate to people from a distance; a unique trait not many people have. Also, lets be real…am I the only one who has fantasized about being gifted a car by Oprah lol “and you get a car, and you get a car”…I think any Oprah fan has daydreamed about this at least once!
A few weeks after submitting my application, I was ECSTATIC to find out that I had been chosen to be one of Oprah Magazines influencers. Being accepted into an elite group of fifty women from all around the country is such an incredible and somewhat surreal feeling. I wasn’t only excited to be chosen as an “O Mag Insider” but also being a part of a supportive and empowering group of women who can confide in each other and share a mutual passion for fashion, lifestyle and beauty. This platform has allowed us to come together and form a tight knit group where we can happily share and bounce ideas off of each other. As a fashion, travel and lifestyle blogger, there is nothing more empowering than having support from other women who truly care about your success. The Oprah Magazine Insiders group has helped me gain insight into so many categories that I never thought I would be interested in exploring. Although I wasn’t an avid reader, I am not hooked on Oprah’s Book club, having recently read “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones. I have also been given the opportunity to try new products before they are even released on the market. This is also a very exciting aspect because I have the chance to try a product and give my true feedback about whether I would use it or not. I would never recommend products I wouldn’t personally use myself to my followers so I really appreciate the fact that Oprah Magazine allows their insiders to “test” some of the latest and greatest products before they hit the market.
I had so many incredible experiences during my first year as an Oprah Magazine Insider and I just received some very exciting news…the magazine has chosen me to be an Insider for another year! 2018 is going to be bigger and better than ever! I am beyond thrilled to have been reaccepted and just received my first assignment for 2018…I was chosen, along with five other O Magazine Insiders and Oprah Magazine staff, to attend a 7-night Holland America “Adventure of Your Life” Cruise. Throughout my lifetime, whether it be traveling the globe as a young model, a mommy or being on a reality TV show, I feel like I have had incredible experience and visited many places throughout the world. With that being said, I had NEVER been on a cruise! Needless to say, I was BEYOND ecstatic to be chosen.
While on the cruise, I had the opportunity to participate and host a Lands End “LOVE THAT” swimsuit fashion show! This was one of the highlights of my trip. Normally, this would have been Adam Glassman’s role but he wasn’t able to join us on this cruise as it coincided with the Oscars. If you’re not familiar with Adam Galssman, he is the O Magazine creative director and Oprah’s dear friend who also happens to be an incredible fashionista. Adam contributes to the monthly “LOVE THAT” style section of the magazine, highlighting seasonal must-have items and trends. Hosting the LOVE THAT segment was such an amazing learning experience. This was an amazing learning experience! Normally I’m the model, not the host, so it was exciting to get to see a whole new aspect of a fashion show. The O Magazine beauty editor, Brian Underwood, was also cruising with us! It was so fun to get to know him and pick his fantastic beauty brain! I learned everything about the latest skincare trends to the hottest spring colors and hairstyles. Brain hosted an “O Beautiful” segment on the main stage and featured each of the O Magazine insiders in their before and after makeup and hair trends. My look was all about a bronze smokey eye and an updo! I must say, I learned quite a few tricks from him (stay tuned).
So I had mentioned before, this was my first cruise and I must say, it is definitely not my last one! I honestly enjoyed every minute of it and can’t wait to go back. I already told my husband that once we retire, I will have us booked on a cruise every other month. I must say, the idea of a cruise made me a bit hesitant at first. I really had no idea what to expect; how do I find my way around, is it super crowded…there were so many “what if’s” going through my mind. Well, there was absolutely NO reason to worry; I 100% understand the appeal of a cruise. The idea of unpacking one time, having every type of cuisine imaginable underneath one roof, six different bars (casual, piano, pool, sports, music, upscale) and beaucoup entertainment from morning to night. Whether you prefer a Broadway show in the theatre, gambling in the casino, listening to a live blues band in the lounge or sitting at the terrace and gazing at the stars, there is something for everyone on a cruise, especially when hosted by Oprah Magazine on Holland America.
The exciting part about this particular Holland America Cruise was that it was in conjunction with O, the Oprah Magazine. Imagine everything you love about your favorite magazine, wrapped up into a vacation on a beautiful Holland America ship. I am now a huge fan of Oprah’s book club and as I mentioned before, I have been reading the latest book on her list “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones. I was so excited to attend one of the book club meetings that was hosted by Tayari herself! She spoke about the process of how she wrote her incredible novel, which was such a thrill to learn about. To actually be able to sit with an author and learn about the entire writing process while having the opportunity to have a Q & A was at the top of my list.
I also had an incredible time stopping at each of the ports throughout the Caribbean. Who doesn’t love a beautiful day at the beach in Key West, Turks & Caicos, the Dominican Republic and The Bahamas? The list of activities goes on and on! It’s hard to imagine all of this happens on one ship during a short week! I’m sold…so where to next?!? I’m thinking a cruise through Europe or the Greek Islands sounds about right! Who’s coming with me?!?