by Utokia Langley

I AM A REYNOLDS REAL MOMS FINALISTS!! I am still pinching myself in disbelief!  I am so excited, I’m about to loose control and I think I like it Whoo Whoo!

I entered the Reynolds Real Moms contest in November by submitting an application, a picture and a video displaying tips in the kitchen using Reynolds products.  Well the tips were easy because I’ve been using Reynolds products for as long as I can remember cooking!!  And if you’ve been following my blog you know if I can make it easier, faster, more flavorful or just more better (smile), I am going to do it and share it with the world!  So I submitted my application and said my prayers!

THEN IT HAPPENED, I received an email letting me know I was chosen as 1 of 10 finalist.  At first I thought I was reading it wrong so I read it again and then again lol!  Every time I read the email, it said I was a finalist so I decided to accept that I was a finalist and started doing the happy dance, OMG I was so excited!  As a finalist I won a mini IPAD (YES!!!!), 1 years worth of Reynolds Products (YES YES!!!!), 6 months of Reynolds products to GIVEAWAY to one of you (YES YES YES!!!!) and a trip to Chicago to shoot Reynolds videos with the other 9 finalist (YES YES YES YES!!!!)  When this contest is said and done OUT OF THE 10 FINALIST ONLY 5 WILL WIN – SO STAY TUNED FOR HOW YOU CAN VOTE (for me that is ~ smile).

WHO KNEW Chicago would be this magical in January (with 10 degree weather)??  I knew we would be flown to Chicago to do videos but I was not prepared for the pampering and good times.  When we arrived at the airport we had a car service take us to our hotel, then there was a gift basket waiting for us with fruit, water, chocolate (OMG Dark and Milk), and lots of other good stuff!  We stayed at the Intercontinental Chicago magnificent mile hotel.  On the first floor was Michael Jordan’s Steak & Seafood House!  How in the world could I resist Steak & Seafood (HA you thought I was going to say resist Michael Jordan HA HA – hey I’m married you know!!).  Let me just say this, OMG the food was simply amazing AND they served huge portions.  I ordered the colossal crab cake with lemon aioli and they meant it when they said colossal!  We also ordered their garlic bread with buttermilk blue cheese fondue, OMG the flavor in everything ordered was just intense and tantalizing!

The next morning the car service picked us up from the hotel to go to the video shoot at the most amazing house in Hinsdale!  Please note I’ve said car service twice already, YES car service car service, I never felt the 10 degrees because we always had car service (BAM)!  My makeup was done by the most amazing and talented makeup artist!  She made me look so natural and feel so beautiful!  All of the PR staff at Olson were incredible, I mean really all we had to do was focus on doing well in the videos – everything else was HANDLED!

The videos were exciting, as you know I have done cooking videos at home but there is nothing like the real deal, it was simply amazing, I mean all the cameras the lights and the crew, OMG the Production crew, the food stylists, the Directors they were so freakin frat awesome!  I’ll have to admit by the time I was done with my videos I was exhausted.  But no need to worry I was then whisked off for a little pampering at a nearby SPA!  Have I mentioned already what an amazing time this was for me?

To make a GREAT night PERFECT when everyone was done with their videos Reynolds had a nice dinner for us at Balena (food was amazing)!  We had an opportunity to really mingle with the other finalist, Olson PR and Reynolds Executives!  The Vice President and President of Marketing for the Cooking Division of Reynolds spoke and what they said put the cherry on top of everything!  They talked about Reynolds wanting to touch real people in real kitchens, no gimmicks just real people.  That was it for me, whether I become one of the 5 winners or not Reynolds will always have a spot in this Real Moms kitchen!  Follow Me with #ReynoldsRealMoms.

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Karen January 26, 2013 - 7:19 am

I am so proud of you. You are my I spiration and my shero. Keep up the good work.

utokia January 27, 2013 - 4:43 pm

Awe thank you Karen!

Seyi January 27, 2013 - 5:53 pm

Congratulations!!! This sounds amazing!

Simone January 28, 2013 - 9:45 pm

Congrats on being a finalist and fingers crossed that you are a winner! Either way, this is really great for you! Keep up the awesome work.

Christine February 23, 2013 - 4:43 pm

wow! This sounds like it was truly an amazing experience, and like you’ve won already! Congrats, congrats and congrats again!!!

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