Monday, January 21, 2013

Miss Sierra Nevada/Miss Yosemite Valley 2013!

All of the open contestants
Me and Miss Yosemite Valley 2013, Julianna
Wow! What a weekend :) This was my first pageant of the year. I call it my little warm up. Once you do one, you're on a roll for the rest of the year. I just LOVE competing. I love all the friends I make, I love singing my talent piece, I even love interview because I have such a fun time, no matter what. I still can't gauge whether or not my interview was great but I was told it was a good interview so I'll just roll with that. I learned so much this weekend from the other girls, especially since a lot of them are so experienced. All of the girls were so talented, it was on honor to get to know and share the stage with them! Congratulations to Miss Sierra Nevada Chrisy Alcaraz and Miss Yosemite Valley Julianna Johnson! Julianna and I are from the same town and I cannot even begin to explain the excitement I had during her crowning moment and even right now! I was so happy she won!!
Me and Napa County ED Sarah!

Me in Sarah's dress :)
Of course, not everything went as planned. My high school choir teacher used to say, "show business is flexibility" and it is so true! I somehow got the wrong email which told me a needed a long Mardi Gras themed dress when in actuality I needed a short party dress for luau...oops! Oh well, right? :) I didn't have an extra short dress to wear but luckily the Napa County ED Sarah was coming with some extras.

Also, my mom's camera batteries were dying so the pictures she took were a little blurry. The best picture she took was me before interview back at the hotel room (which was a wonderful hotel, by the way! Courtyard Merced).

Me before interview
Me and Miss CA 2012, Leah Cecil
Me and Gabino, ED of Miss Solano :)
Me and my boyfriend, Chad 
I felt a lot more put together this year, now that I knew what I was getting myself into! ;)  I learned a ton of things! I learned some beauty secrets (some I don't think I can mention here!) and some of the pageant myths are true! Although I didn't see anyone with hemorrhoid cream, there is a trick to put bronzer on your abs. I don't really think it makes a difference but if it gives you more confidence, go ahead! I also learned a lot about organization. I got to see different organization techniques and containers from sterilite  bins to duffle bags to suitcases. I was lucky that I brought my rolling dress rack that I purchased after reading Jenna Harvey's post on Gavilan Hills last year before competing in Miss Gavilan Hills (she also has a great packing list located here!) because it came in handy. Plus, it's always nice to share with the other contestants! :) I also suggest maybe buying a label maker or having custom labels to put your name on your items that could get mixed in with other contestant's (butt glue, tape, etc.). What I did this year was put my jewelry for each stage of competition in ziplock baggies and write my name and stage on each one. The hardest lesson I learned was BRING EXTRAS! Bring an extra long dress, extra cocktail dress, extra swimsuit if you have one. Anything can happen! I will be getting some type of carrying case to hold things that are just pageant related so I can just grab and go to the venue. One tip that I used this year that I learned at Miss Gavilan Hills was wear one set of eyelashes for interview and two sets for stage. I always learn so much at pageants! This was also the first pageant that I've been to that didn't have hairdressers and makeup artists back stage, although I didn't realize that until after the pageant. It is always important to know how to do your own hair and makeup for shows, or at least get it done beforehand. My hair lasted all day (6 AM-11PM) but be sure to bring your own curling iron, straightener, etc. to the show. I suggest Hot Tools for curling irons or Helen of Troy (sold at Sally's) for a cheaper version. They are sister companies but the quality of the Hot Tools is a little bit better. A lot of girls also went the old fashioned way with rollers, which turned out super cute! For me, I prefer to curl my hair with an iron for pageants because of the way my hair holds a curl but I do miss the body rollers give my hair. I guess that is what teasing is for! :)

Until next time! :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Volunteering at the Alameda Food Bank

Yesterday I went with my staff to volunteer at the Alameda Food Bank. This was my second time volunteering here, my first year being last January. I've also volunteered at the local Redwood Empire Food Bank through the school but our staff is too big to volunteer at that facility, so hopefully we'll have an opportunity later in the year to volunteer in smaller groups.

My job was to bag oranges. Normally this would be easy, but I was placed on the conveyer belt, which meant I had to bag the oranges as they came down the belt. I was at the very end and it was really tough because all of a sudden there would be a huge swarm of oranges that you wouldn't want to fall off the conveyer belt. It was a ton of fun!

The food that we were bagging is going to underprivileged children to take home for the weekend to help feed their families. It was such a great feeling to know we helped out so many people. Together, we bagged 9,055 pounds of food which comes out to 6,791 meals total. There was definitely a sense of pride when we left. It feels so good to do good!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Happy New Year :0)

Hi all! Whew, what a year it's been already! I wanted to tell you my biggest news!

I made my first sale! :) It was right before the new year. I have made a Facebook fan page for my bracelets if you would like to "like" it, the link is here! It was so exciting and I made her bracelet in record time. I love that I'm getting faster and better at making them. Also, I'm thinking about offering different colors with the green ribbon charm. I'm planning on making some variation of red or pink bracelets for Valentine's Day.

This past weekend was quite busy! On Saturday, I had my first rehearsal with Miss Solano. I had a ton of fun and I learned SO much! That's what I love about this organization, you're always learning. Sarah and Gabino are so warm and welcoming, I felt right at home. It was a little nerve-wracking to practice walking, but I think we were all a little nervous. The girls were very friendly as well, so that calmed my nerves a little.

On Sunday, I moved back up to school in the morning and then went to the Miss Sonoma County rehearsals. It was a long day! At the rehearsals, I saw a few familiar faces and met a few new girls. The walking this time was not scary because I already knew it. On a side note, I sang my new talent song for a few friends and it is so amazing to see how nervous I was singing my NEW talent song for them, compared to singing my OLD talent song for them. I guess I need to practice a little. :) After walking rehearsals, we drove over to Mary's house, the girls enjoyed an always delicious dinner and then started interview practice. Unfortunately, I had to leave early for my job, but I was excited to see my coworkers, too.

After that, it's just been a busy, busy week in CSA training. Today I am volunteering at the Alameda Food Bank with my entire staff. I am looking forward to a day of service and fun! :)