Tony Can Say He Sleeps With A Model

First, thank you to everyone who was following me on Instagram and Facebook yesterday and all the wonderful comments and likes – totally felt like a Rockstar – thank you!

So I really had no expectations for yesterday at all.  I’d had a few conversations with AJ the photographer.  Totally awesome guy by the way.  I knew he bought me a few pieces to wear (which I didn’t get to keep, fyi!) and I was told to bring dark jeans and a wide belt.

It started out as a chilly day – 40 degrees.  For people who don’t live in cold areas, most public transportation areas have a warming station that you can sit under – its basically just 3/4 enclosed with heat lamps so you are out of the wind and/or rain.

photoshoot 039

I ate one of Jacky’s apple and cheddar scones that I made over the weekend – so fricken good!

photoshoot 040

Since it was an hour and 20 minute train ride, and I wasn’t sure what the day was going to be like, I ended up getting a “second” breakfast at the train station.  Not many places open for breakfast, so I ended up getting an egg/ham/cheese breakfast panini.  Not bad for $3.99, but too much bread so I took the top bread off.

photoshoot 043

So we meet at The Chopping Block (I walked the mile from the train station) (or what I like to call – the first location – ha!) and they were so gracious to provide us with props, cutting boards, etc.  Checking in on us a few times to see if everything was okay.   Granted, I’d only been to this place once last month at the Beef Counsel event I was invited to.  So the fact that they were more than welcome to give us the space for free was amazeballs.  I need to email Andrea the PR director for putting it all together, and Mario for taking care of us today.

It’s in The Merchandise Mart – this building is so huge!  Only 4,000,000 square feet of space.  Yep FOUR MILLION!

photoshoot 052

Shortly after AJ started to set up, Nora, the hair and makeup stylist was there.  Totally fun girl too – I loved that they got my sense of humor right away and it made the whole thing seem a bit less surreal to me.  I mean, it’s not every day that you get your hair and makeup done and have your photos professionally taken!

I sent this picture to Tony after my hair and makeup was done.

photoshoot 058

His comment?  “Wow, I am dumbfounded.”  He said it looked like a caricature of me, but I guess in a good way?  He’s never seen my lips shaped like that before, and I have never once worn red in my life.  And that was a DRESS people.  I haven’t worn a dress since my friends wedding and that was maybe 8 years ago?!

photoshoot 064

This was photo shoot location #1.  Heather, this was down the hall from where we had our cooking challenge – I didn’t even know it was there!

Since he had to wrap up his equipment, he asked that I meat him at his studio in an hour and fifteen minutes.  I talked to Tony on the phone, then got bundled up with the thought of just walking towards the studio until I found someplace to eat, and then probably hitch a cab to the studio.

The weather at this point?  Fucking gross – so windy, sleet/rain/snow mix.  My umbrella literally turned inside out because of the wind and once I got that situated, I looked to my left and lo and behold, I was standing in front of a BBQ Joint!

photoshoot 006

That would be Blackwood BBQ.  I hadn’t heard of it, but that’s not unusual since I don’t get into the city that often.  Once I found out there was brisket I was sold!   Since I had bread at breakfast, I opted to for their brisket salad.  I asked if I could take a picture of their glorious beef!

photoshoot 002

Look at the bark on that!! I wish it was a better picture, so I “borrowed” one from their website.  Um, yeah, that’s better!


Look at the smoke ring on that brisket people!   Well, that would be why – their meat is smoked for fourteen hours!

photoshoot 012

photoshoot 004

I was actually eyeing the Mac N Cheese.  You know I puffy heart anything with cheese in it!  But I stuck with my salad.

photoshoot 009

Again, not the best picture, but don’t let that fool you.  It was a wonderful mix of baby greens, with seasoned corn, shredded carrot, the brisket, and for a dressing?  NORTH CAROLINA BBQ SAUCE BABY!  Not sure if it was the spice in the BBQ sauce or on the rub of the brisket, but it had a wonderful heat to it.

Right before I started eating, one of the owners came over to ask if I was the one taking pictures.  I said yes, I was a food blogger who was “just in the city doing a photo shoot for a National magazine” and had a food blog with 1.4 million readers, his eyes lit up and he brought me his card over and said if I had any questions, just to let him know!

As I was packing up to get ready to go he brought me over his mac n cheese and said that everyone raved about it and he wanted me to have one on the house!  So I brought it to AJs house and said “hey I got free mac n cheese – do you want some?”  He said yes and then said “did you take a picture of it yet?”  I said no – while I took this picture:

photoshoot 015

AJ had other ideas!  He got a plate, fork and a bandana to food style it!

photoshoot 029

Okay, not only his photo (on my camera mind you!) better, but holy shit this is some legit mac n cheese.  They use three cheeses, and I am confident it’s a butter panko crusty topping.  I took one bite and gave the rest to AJ.  So good!

One look I didn’t quite like was the cowel neck (I am sure I am not spelling that right!) and the high belt.  It made me feel too boxy in the middle since that’s where all my weight is, but he assured me it looked good!

photoshoot 060

While at his studio he brought out some snacks that were leftover from a food photo shoot – proscuitto wrapped cheese?  Yes please!

photoshoot 072

We did a final shoot a few blocks away outdoors, but the weather was really starting to get snowy out so we called it a day.  I ended up walking from his studio back to the train station – so all in all I did about 2.5 miles of walking in the city – not bad!

Thanks AJ for a great photo shoot – you were totally professional and made me feel at ease from the first second.

photoshoot 073

Yep, that would be him preparing a model release form for me!  So now Tony can say that he sleeps with a model! Open-mouthed smile

One thing I had to bring home?  Garrett’s popcorn for Tony – next to my Dunkin Donuts coffee for me!

photoshoot 076

When I got back to our local train station, we had about 1/2 an inch of snow and the whole first layer was ice – had to use the ice scraper for the first time this year!  Check out the icicles off my rear view camera on my car!

photoshoot 082

So it was more than I ever could have expected the day to go, and can’t wait to share with you the professional pics.

photoshoot 080

The hair stylist suggested the next time I have my hair cut to ask for chunkier bangs, she said it would frame my face better.  Nice to know I can clean up pretty good!

Alright, sorry this is so long, but it was a fun day and I wanted to share it with you.  Looking forward to checking up with what you all are up to!  Make it a great day!


75 thoughts on “Tony Can Say He Sleeps With A Model

  1. LOVE IT!!!! Note to Biz, the next time YOU cut your bangs, cut them chunkier, LOL!!! 😉 what an awesome day!!!!!

    • Ha, how did you know I cut my own bangs Peggy??!! Cannot wait to try that sriracha chicken you posted on Facebook! (fingers crossed there is a bid on your house by now too!) We need to be within driving distance of each other so we can meet at Giordano’s in Rockford!!

  2. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! How fun! Sounds like the shoot went just amazing. You look gorgeous girl! ❤ ❤

  3. You look very pretty! I like the look with the belt although I think I would have worn it a bit lower. Believe it or not that helps define the middle.

    Also, you have 1.4 MILLION readers? I’m a little confused by that number…

  4. That last photo of you is so fantastic, you are so so beautiful in that picture, I love it!

    I wouldn’t have chosen that outfit wit the brown sweater for you. It puts to much accent on your neck and on your waist. I’m curious for the red outfit, from the first look it seems that looks better on you.

    But what a fun day you’ve had!

    • I actually like the red dress – it was a size 14 so it was big, so they clipped it in the back and it was really flattering! Who knew I could look okay in a red dress?!

  5. You should wear red often! That last photo is gorgeous too! What fun–even in the nasty weather.


  6. Thanks for sharing such a fun day! Can’t wait to see everything pulled together in the professional pictures/article. I LOVE the look of red on you! Of course I have to comment on the food – that BBQ looks awesome! I was going to ask you for lunch suggestions for Chicago as I’ll be there on the 7th for my annual ‘going to the city to look at decorations, lights and people’ trip! That place might be the choice! Have a great day basking in the afterglow of being a model 😉

    • Sorry – I didn’t mean to be ‘anonymous’. The above comment was from me 🙂

      • It’s weird but I have never ever had a piece of red clothing – I may need to change that up! I will send you an email of some places to eat at Lynne!

  7. You are rocking the red lipstick! Thanks for explaining the warming station to us “southern folks”. I feel like a bobo for not knowing what they were. I love the last photo in this post. It is the smile. Yours is great and you always smile with your eyes. It was great going along with you on your adventue. I will be waiting impatiently to see and hear more about it.

  8. Glad you had a good time – how fun to be treated like a model…you looked great and I loved how they styled your hair! I’m with you on the sweater outfit; sometimes, no matter what the expert says, you have to go with how you feel in it. Loved the red on you – I think you have a new color to wear!

  9. OMG – look at you!!! You look amazing!! What an incredible day – thanks for sharing it with us. Now I can say I know a bad-ass model!!!

  10. What an amazing day! You look fabulous. Bummer about the weather, but doesn’t look like it deterred things much. I want to check out that BBQ place, it looks wonderful. Way to rock it! Can’t wait to see the pics.

  11. Oh and glad my scone recipe got to go along for the ride 🙂

  12. I think you’re rocking it in the last photo and red lipstick looks fantastic on you. What a fun day. Can’t wait to hear what magazine you’re in. And way to impress the BBQ guy. It must have seemed surreal to say those words, “food blogger in the city for a photo shoot for a national magazine.”

  13. Ah, you’re looking GORGEOUS! Congrats! ❤

    • Thanks Marion! I actually thought of you this morning. I was at the gym and someone came up to me to ask how to use a piece of gym equipment – what??!! 😀

  14. Biz regarding your question about my pie crust, I sometimes make it myself. This one was from a package that contained the flower, I had to add an egg and butter myself and mix that.

  15. You rock! And the red lipstick is fab!

  16. Red is definitely your color. 🙂 Can’t wait to see the final results!

  17. Biz, you look absolutely stunning!!!
    Can’t wait to see the final pics!!

  18. Biz you look beautiful! You should also wear red more; it’s definitely your color!!!!

  19. Biz, I’m so happy for you! You looked gorgeous! And happy! And relaxed! Red is your color. Lucky Tony. I miss Garrett’s!

    • Thanks Abbe – I am the lucky one – I have the most supportive loving husband out there! And yes, I’ve had a few handfuls of Garrett’s and holy cow it is so good. Insulin worthy for sure!

  20. wow, must have been a surreal day! looks like you had a lot of fun. i don’t think i can pull off red lipstick but it looks seriously lovely on you!!

  21. Sorry the weather was fucking gross yesterday. It was 10 degrees this morning here in good ol’ Nebraskee. With all that makeup, you look like a porcelain doll! Totally beautiful, makeup or not! I am so glad things went well for you; and gosh damnit, now I want caramel cheddar mix from Garrett’s! It’s been two years (actually two years this week) since I’ve been to Chicago. Craziness.

  22. Your pictures were fantastic. All your hard work has paid off! Looking so great!

  23. You look fantastic! I love your red lipstick and your hair looks amazing. You really should wear red – it’s a great color for you. It sounds like a wonderful experience and I am sure your humor made their day!

    • Thanks Tami. I was especially giving the make up girl shit because she was Vegan, yet she was wearing a fur lined coat and wearing a goats horn necklace! A friend of hers does taxidermy art and jewelry!

  24. I like the last picture best. You look fabulous. Yeah, I overuse that word. 🙂

  25. What fun to see it all in words! Thanks for sharing your day with us. Looking forward to magazine pics and cover!

  26. You look beautiful – and now I want garretts!!!! Glad it all went well!!

  27. Oohlala!! You look gorgeous!! And I agree with the others – red is your color!
    I’m a ‘southern folk’ too so thanks for explaining what a warming station was. lol
    But I knew exactly what ‘bark’ meant and what a ‘smoke ring’ was! lol So glad you had a great day and Thanks for sharing it with us! 😀

    • Sherry,you would have loved the brisket! Definitely going back for their platter – its a little bit of everything, I just didn’t have enough time, and well, I should probably share a platter with someone!

  28. WOW you look wonderful!!! Love the darker hair and red lipstick. VAVOOM!!

  29. So fun!! I didn’t even know there were more rooms there, either! i never would have guessed.

    You are stunning!!

  30. Garretts…….yummmmmmmmmy! It was good to see you Sunday. I almost didn’t recognize you all fixed up, glad you had a good day.

    • Thanks for all the hot sauce too – I haven’t taken a picture of them yet, but I’ll give you props later in the week. It was great to see you too!

  31. What a fantastic day! See? No more complaining about your hard work, it’s clearly paying off. You looked great!

  32. You look fantastic Biz! What a fun experience.

  33. […] life was back to normal yesterday.  Nora wasn’t here to do my hair and makeup.  The paparazzi weren’t waiting for me at the doors of my office.  Fans weren’t lined […]

  34. Hell, yeah, Biz! You look smokin!! Tony’s one LUCKY MAN! Ow ow!

  35. You are sizzlin’ like the bbq! Um…that came out wrong, but you look AWESOME!

  36. Biz!! I don’t know if you remember me, but I used to have the blog “Spinach & Spice”. I took a break from blog land for a while, but I have to admit..your blog was the first I came back to read 🙂 You’ve made so much progress! You look great Biz, and your personality (my favorite part of your blog, I think you’re freakin’ hilarious) hasn’t changed one bit. I’m looking forward to catching up on your posts and I’ll be commenting more in the future!
    P.S. Your hair in makeup in this post.. AWESOME!!
    Sounds like such a fun day and great experience!

  37. […] then I remembered I had originally taken Friday off for my photo shoot and switched my mammogram appointment to Friday – so I was off of work!  I realized Thursday […]

Comments are closed.