Sunday, February 27, 2011

Miss Finger Lakes 2011 is...

Charlotte Boothe! Welcome to the family, Charlotte, and again, congratulations - you are in for a whirlwind of excitement!

And a huge congratulations to all of the other contestants, as well, including 4RU Vicky Rippel, 3RU Amanda Boyer, 2RU Margaret Feldman, and 1RU Chelsea Prophet! All of the contestants were so incredibly talented, and it was near impossible to predict who might take home the crown.

This weekend was really special for me because it was my first time watching a pageant! Of course, I have seen Miss America on television and watched festival pageants, but this was so much more exciting. In addition to seeing so many pageant sisters, I really enjoyed seeing the pageant from a completely different perspective. With diverse talents, beautiful evening gowns, an upbeat opening number, and so much more, it was truly a fun evening, and an insightful learning experience as well. A big thanks to Chris Keefer, Pilar Miller, and Jane Eikov, for allowing me to speak on my experience as Miss Thousand Islands!

The weekend as a whole was a lot of fun, a little exhausting, and I'm now looking forward to the Miss New York State workshop and pageant more than ever! Before the pageant, Shelby, Sue, Gary, Corri, and I all spent the day shopping. We had a delicious dinner at an Italian restaurant in Corning before the pageant, that made up for our less than mediocre lunch experience in food quality AND laughs, as I successfully spilled the delectable garlic butter clam sauce down my new dress. Luckily, I had an extra dress with me! When I said pageant prep takes organization, I meant it - and not just for contestants, because you never know what could happen! If anyone knows of any pageant poncho vendors, please let me know, because we've determined I'll be needing some type of coverage to protect my wardrobe! I think I need to add "mess prevention" to my list of pageant prep!

Like my mom said, at least I have a good story...

That's all for now! Oh, and remember to get your ticket for the Children's Miracle Network Fashion Show, sponsored by A Touch of Grace, which will take place this Sunday, March 6 @ 2pm at the Best Western Carriage House in Watertown, NY!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pageant Prep!

It's not the easiest thing to wake up on a Monday morning, look outside to see four inches of snow (after the spring-like weather that melted it down to green grass on Friday), and still have a positive outlook on your day, but I try to look at Mondays as a day to get back into the swing of the week. Lucky for me, my Mondays aren't too hectic, and I always have lots of time to catch up on schoolwork in hopes of making the rest of my week less busy. Plus, this week, my boyfriend is visiting! Now, I always look forward to the weekends, but try to keep my thoughts and daydreaming to a minimum because I like to enjoy each moment for what it is, and find joy in ordinary and daily activities. This weekend is especially exciting for me, as I will be attending the Miss Finger Lakes Pageant in Corning, NY, to support the contestants vying for the title of Miss Finger Lakes 2011, and the chance to compete in Miss New York State in June, and to support my pageant sister, Amy Valenti, as she ends her year as Miss Finger Lakes 2010.

Just one year ago, I was getting ready to compete in Miss Finger Lakes 2010, and looking forward to the pageant almost as much as I am this year. This year, I will get to attend the pageant as an audience member and titleholder, which is especially exciting for me because I have never actually watched a Miss America local pageant before. I am looking forward to the experience and hoping to learn from the other contestants. I know I love competing, so I am hoping my experience watching a pageant is just as thrilling! I want to wish all of the contestants good luck in their final week of preparation for this pageant, and offer some insight:

In the words of Mary Johanson, a titleholder in a corny pageant flick of mine, Drop Dead Gorgeous, "With one week to go before the pageant, I was finishing my outfit, rehearsing my talent, brushing up on current events, and running 18 miles a day on about 400 calories. I was ready."

Now, obviously this is a joke, but I do love watching this movie as it gets closer to any pageant I am competing in. It's cheesy, strange, and oddly funny, and we all know it's really nothing like the pageants we compete in, but what people reference every time we say, "I compete in pageants."

Unlike the unwell titleholder in this dark comedy, with a week before a pageant, I absolutely do not recommend running 18 miles a day on 400 calories. But I do have a few tips to offer, especially to the contestants in the Miss Finger Lakes pageant this weekend, as they enter their final week of prep for this pageant.

It's a lifestyle for those of us who compete regularly in pageants, but pageant prep seems to increase in intensity and importance in the week leading up to a pageant. Just one year ago, I was spending extra time at the gym, saying "no thanks" to treats, and reading up on my current events, but also trying to relax and find time in my busy schedule to just think about the pageant. This time is so important to reduce stress, set goals, and plan for a successful week. While it may seem stereotypical, I like to pamper myself in the week prior, not because I think slathering my face with green clay mask is really going to help me win, but because I know that it will relax me and help me to boost my confidence. It is confidence that is the key to winning a pageant. So, to the contestants of the Miss Finger Lakes, many of whom are pageant sisters, I want to wish you good luck in this week and at the pageant. I will be there to cheer each and every one of you on as you further your dreams.

I would also like to offer some advice, as a fellow competitor, based on my own experience, and current pageant prep for Miss New York.

1) Set goals. If not the crown, what is it that you hope to gain from this pageant? If you have set goals in mind, you are bound to be successful. There are no losers in pageants.

2) Relax. Find a yoga class, and go. Yoga has boosted my motivation, plus it is a really great workout in itself, in addition to reducing stress. Stress reduction is so important, not only this week, but always, because negative stress makes it difficult to be focused and successful.

3) Pamper. Whether it is a pedicure or at-home skin care remedies, find something that will add to stress-reduction and relaxation, as well as boosting confidence, in turn promoting overall success.

4) Organize. Getting ready for pageants certainly includes some tedious list making, quick shopping trips, and trying on all outfits, and maybe even practicing hair and make up. This is really good to do earlier, rather than later, so that any issues with clothing or otherwise can be taken care of, preventing stress. Plus, this can help to get you really excited for the pageant, and always helps me to feel more confidence.

5) Practice. Pageant practice is kind of like practice for any other hobby or sport. Continue work on your talent, interview, onstage-question, and walks/poses, and stick with your fitness plan. Read the news every day, practice speaking while you are driving or with friends and family, put on your heels and walk in front of the mirror, and record your talent and critique yourself or have others help you so you can improve to your fullest.

We all have our own ways of getting in the zone during pageant week, and I hope that some of these tips can help your pageant preparation, and that my learning experiences can be beneficial to you all. I am so looking forward to the Miss Finger Lakes pageant, and am excited to cheer each and every one of you on, and support Amy in her final moments as Miss Finger Lakes 2010. I offer this advice not only to the contestants of MFL, but to those in all upcoming local pageants. I hope to attend as many locals as possible, and look forward to meeting new friends, welcoming new titleholders to the Miss New York Class of 2011, and catching up with my pageant sisters. Good luck!

All my best,


Monday, February 14, 2011

The Power of Mighty Power Yoga

What a great way to start the week! Yesterday, Sunday, usually cleaning, catch up day, I went to my first ever yoga class. Not just a regular yoga class, but what is called power yoga, aka Mighty Yoga or Hot Yoga. I went with a roommate and friend, and was a little nervous not knowing what to expect, especially because I had only ever done yoga from a DVD. After 75 minutes being in a 100 degree room, I felt completely renewed! I am so ready to start my week, and enjoy every second of it! I can't wait to go back next weekend, but this time I will bring a bigger towel! I encourage everyone to try some type of yoga, especially this particular class if you are in the Ithaca area! Prepare to push yourself to the "edge" and sweat, a lot!

This 18 credit semester s certainly a busy one, so I don't have much time right now to post, but before I go, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day, especially my Valentine, Tony! I hope you all, regardless of relationship status, find a way to enjoy this day. Celebrate not only love and commitment, but health and happiness! I challenge everyone to do something good for their own heart today - I know I will be spending some quality time with the elyptical and treadmill today!

Monday, February 7, 2011

A new addition...

First and foremost, I would like to congratulate my pageant sister KIeren Sheridan, Miss Fulton County 2011! Unfortunately, I was unable to attend this local competition, but kept a close eye on Facebook Saturday night so that I would know who the winner was! So, again, a huge congrats to Kieren, her runners-up, and all of the talented women who competed in Miss Fulton County. I am so looking forward to seeing many of you at Miss Finger Lakes 2011!

Now, I have even MORE exciting news. I had posted in my last blog post that I will be hosting the Children's Miracle Network Fashion show on March 6th. Well, on Saturday I had plans to try on the gown that Kathy & Kristan Letteire at A Touch of Grace had chosen for me. What was supposed to be a quick trip, turned into a fabulous morning of gown shopping during which I found both my talent AND evening gowns for Miss NY!!! It happened that the dress Kathy & Kristan wanted me to wear to host the fashion show was so amazing, that I ended up getting it for states! Needless to say, I will be wearing a different dress at the fashion show!

I also suppose I should tell you all about my morning, mostly because it involves my crown. Because last night was the Super Bowl, I decided to drive back to Ithaca early this morning, despite my parent's warning that the drive might encounter some weather. Regardless, I decided I wanted to wake up this morning, and thankfully did not come across any snow or ice. However, just as I was rolling into Ithaca around 8:15 this morning, I was involved in a minor, two-car accident. I am so thankful that no one was hurt, besides my car, and that it wasn't worse. At the time, I was completely overwhelmed, mostly because my car was obviously damaged, and also because I needed to get to my first class in which I was responsible for conducting an interview. The man in the other car was so kind and considerate, as was the policeman who was on the scene. I have never been in an accident and really wasn't sure what to do. Anyway, once everything was taken care of, my car was towed and the police told me to take only what I needed from my car and to put it into his car. Because I was on my way back from home, my entire backseat was full of my bags, filled with clothes, make up, etc, but I decided that I needed my backpack and purse more. Then, at the last second, I realized my crown was in its box that had wedged itself from the impact. I quickly grabbed it and put it in the car. As I started thinking more clearly, I realized that I had some of my essentials in my car which is now at a shop, and I had taken my crown instead, I just had to laugh at the whole situation.

Thank God I am OK, and for the crown box that saved my crown!