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The Obama family dining room in The White House
Inscription on the White House Kitchen Garden Walkway Michelle Obama, at The White House Kitchen Garden Dedication Ceremony

On my second day at the White House, I was all jitters knowing I was going to meet Michelle Obama, a woman I’ve respected and admired for her work, her fashion sense, poise and approachability. 

Before walking through the White House with seven other journalists to conduct our interview with the First Lady, we were greeted by the Obama family’s furry family members, Portuguese water dogs Bo and Sunny. (Seeing them reminded me how much I missed my fur baby Kingston while I was away, which helped calm my nerves a bit)!

We were asked not to take any pictures as we walked through the White House, so sadly I don’t have images to share how amazing it is inside, but trust me when I say it’s one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen up close, along with amazing interiors that tell stories of the past. One of the rooms still has gorgeous turquoise and yellow furnishings designed by Jackie Kennedy Onassis!

For the interview, we were taken into the Obama family’s dining room, complete with modern art picked out by Mrs. Obama and the family’s collection of china. Upon entering the room, I noticed name cards placed around the table- I was shocked and excited to see my name at the head of the table! 

As we waited for the First Lady to enter, I had major butterflies at the thought of even shaking her hand, let alone receiving the cheek kiss she greeted me with, followed by the picture I was smiling ear-to-ear in at the top of this post!

Once we sat down to start the interview, my nerves really kicked in. I came prepared with four questions, but hoped there would be time to ask the one that meant a lot to me and my mission behind this blog. Within the group, most asked questions related to how she planned on continuing her Let’s Move! initiative. She shared many stories she’d witnessed throughout the country, one of which I was really moved by. A school district in the deep South had completely changed their cafeteria meal program, replacing pre-packaged meals with fresh fruits, bread baked every morning in their own cafeteria kitchen and creative dishes replacing high fat foods with vegetable substitutes- the kids are constantly begging for hummus and whole wheat corn bread as a result! I asked if they’d started writing a cookbook yet and Mrs. Obama looked at the moderator (who also heads the Let’s Move! program) and said my idea was great, they could raise money for the district! She also shared personal stories, reflecting on all the reasons she started the program, the biggest being the fact that she wanted better for her own children. 

When it was my turn to speak with the First Lady, I shared my mission behind the blog- to encourage and inspire confidence in women, and asked if she would consider creating a program similar to Let’s Move!, specifically for women. She smiled and answered thoughtfully, sharing her thoughts on women putting so much pressure on themselves to look a certain way, feel a certain way, act a certain way, taking little time for themselves as a result of caring for others. We exchanged thoughts on wanting to see a more diverse representation of women in media in terms of size, age, race and went on to discuss how much of an impact an initiative for women to promote health, wellness, confidence, self-esteem and community amongst many other things, would be extremely beneficial to all women. Our conversation has completely reignited my passion for my mission and the reason I continue to write this blog.

After an hour of question and answer, we made our way to the White House Kitchen Garden, where I had the honor of planting herbs and vegetables the day before (read more here). As a final nod to the garden she established in 2009, the First Lady held a dedication ceremony, thanking everyone involved in making her initiative a successful reality and dedicating the garden to the children of our nation. She announced plans to continue her work with Lets Move! and many exciting things to come- fingers crossed that my idea of creating a program for women is amongst those plans!

Thanks again to ShopStyle and PopSugar for the opportunity!