The Redbook Diaries

Dear Readers,

So that mystery trip back in June?

I spent three days in New York shooting the Real Women Style Awards feature for the September issue of Redbook! It was a whirlwind of fittings, photos, and champagne toasts. Quite easily one of the best weeks of my life. And I met incredible people along the way, from the entire team at Redbook to the nine other women who shared this experience with me. Every night back at The Hudson, I tried to jot down my favorite moments of the day so that I wouldn’t forget anything. Here’s just a small snapshot of my time in New York:


Tuesday collage_01

Arrived in New York and headed straight to Hearst Towers for my fitting at Redbook. The fashion team created mini style boards for each winner and pulled fall pieces for the shoot. (Getting a first sneak peek into what will be arriving in stores in the next few months…amazing. So is my epic fall wishlist.)

the style letters: The Redbook Diaries

We spent the afternoon playing dress up and choosing final looks for our feature. Had so much fun hanging out with the other winners and eating lunch with the editors – the excitement was contagious! I had a quick hour to grab a blowout at Rachel Zoe’s DreamDry and head back to the 44th floor of Hearst for a cocktail party hosted by Redbook and our sponsor, JC Penney.

Tuesday collage_03 the style letters: The Redbook Diaries


the style letters: The Redbook Diaries

Early wakeup call for our photo shoot at Industria Studios in the Meatpacking District. We spent the morning in hair and makeup and shot individual photos in the studio, as well as group shots in the neighborhood. That might be as glamorous as my life ever gets, and I’m totally ok with it.

Wednesday collage_02 Wednesday collage_03

I had a handful of Carrie Bradshaw moments, may or may not have shed a tear because I was so happy, and definitely learned a few posing tips from the photographers. (Catie Beatty and I are now pros at shooting in bright sunlight.) We wrapped up the shoot and toasted to a perfect day. I promptly fell asleep at 9pm after one last bathroom mirror selfie.

Wednesday collage_04


the style letters: The Redbook Diaries

Another early wakeup call, this time for a shopping spree at the JC Penney flagship store in NYC! We sat for mini-makeovers at Sephora, enjoyed breakfast with the JC Penney team, and shopped the latest summer trends – not a bad way to spend a morning. (Style posts to follow all this month!). It was such a pinch-me moment and a great way to spend the last few hours with this amazing group of women.

the style letters: The Redbook Diaries

I finished the trip by meeting up with my Chicago blogger buddies, Jill and Peggy, and eating lunch at the iconic Fred’s at Barney’s, something I’ve always wanted to do! One lobster club sandwich later, and I was ready for more shopping before I caught my flight back to Chicago.

This entire experience has been one dream come true after another. I am beyond thankful and honored to have this opportunity and can’t wait to continue working with Redbook in the future. And as for meeting these other women who have inspired the style letters and my own wardrobe over the years? So lucky to share this time with them and can’t wait to see what they do next.

Enjoy our feature in the September issue!

  • Marisa Zerby

    You’re not the only one that shed a tear! I love re-living this trip all over again!!

    • Maria MacNamara

      Marisa, what a cool thing to tell the grandkids someday, right?!

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  • Your snaps are great, what a whirlwind!

    • Maria MacNamara

      Thanks so much, lady! It was such an incredible time.

  • sandyalamode

    that is sooo awesome! the trip looked awesome!!

    Sandy a la Mode

    • Maria MacNamara

      Thank you so much, Sandy! It was the trip of a lifetime!

  • Arabella Proffer

    Congrats! I knew you had to be a winner. And oh man, Fred’s at Barney’s, nice!

    • Maria MacNamara

      Thank you so much, Arabella! It was such an amazing experience – I still can’t believe it happened. Hope things are great in Cleveland!

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