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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Beauty Bootcamp

Whew! I'm still recuperating from our week at beauty bootcamp in Blytheville! Every year Marrietta Jerome and Eva Graves, along with the other Miss NEA Pageant Association board members, host a "bootcamp" to prepare their four queens for their state pageants. "Bootcamp" is definitely the right term for it! We have loads of fun, but it is also a lot of hard work. I'll take just a second to tell you about some of the things we got to participate in this week, but first I have to tell you about my trouble getting into Blytheville...

Last year before Miss Arkansas I was told when I went to get my oil changed in June that I would be needing new tires before the end of the summer. Long story short, tires are expensive and as of last Monday, I still hadn't gotten new tires! So I'm driving along on my way to bootcamp when I start to hear a repetitive thudding. You guessed it! Flat tire! Funny as this was NOT, this wasn't the first flat I've experienced in making preparations for Miss Arkansas this year! Two tries and lesson learned...Promise! Travelling with my director earlier this year, we also experienced a flat! Basically, I'm just really unlucky when it comes to tires! ;) I mention this on my blog because I was blessed last week with a set of entirely free, lightly worn, tires. Just when you think there is no where to turn, God is always there reminding you that He is in control, and it would be remiss of me not to mention how greatful I am to know a wonderful, loving, and protective Heavenly Father!

Now back to bootcamp! My sister queens and I spent all of last week experiencing a small taste of what the job of Miss Arkansas is really about. We were apart for one week from our family and friends, we stayed in a hotel, visited local service organizations to discuss our platforms and perform our talents, visited with the Boys and Girls club and learned how to dance (see below), and did all of this while also preparing for our state competition with onstage practice for 4 hours each day! I'll say it again...Whew! The past week has only solidified for me, my desire to one day be Miss Arkansas! This is such a wonderful organization to be a part of and to represent! Just when you think you are too tired to go on, a little girl will come up to you and ask if you are a real princess and can she be one too, you're day will instantly brighten, and you'll remember that what you are doing with that tiara on your poofed up hair is actually making a difference in communities around our state!

Thank you to everyone who made last week possible for me and my sister queens!

Here are a few photos from our week...

Posing with a couple of Lions!

Getting some make-up tips from Lori, one of the Miss NEA Pageant Association Sponsors at her shop, Me and My Sister/Merle Norman!

Telling the kids at the Blytheville Boys and Girls Club about serving their communities!

Dancing to the Cupid Shuffle with the kids!

All of us outside the Boys and Girls club in Blythevile!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tony Bowls and Scholarship

They're finally posted!!! I'm so excited to share this on my blog. At the end of May all 46 Miss Arkansas Contestants participated in a photoshoot hosted by Tony Bowls! I previously posted the iPhone photo that Tony Bahn took that day, and I'm so thrilled to finally post the finished product!

So...Why the big deal? Well, other than the awesome experience that the photoshoot was, YOU have a chance to help your favorite contestant receive money to use towards her education. The girl with the most votes will be named the Tony Bowls/Mon Cheri People's Choice Award Winner and will receive a scholarship on the final night of the Miss Arkansas Competition. Simply go to www.missarkansas.org/photoshoot to vote for your pick! It cost $1 dollar to vote, and you can vote as many times as you choose. So take this opportunity now to not only check out some amazing photos, but to help one of us continue our higher education goals. I'd very much appreciate your support! Thank you Tony Bowls and everyone who made this opportunity possible! Catch you next time!

Much love,


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Miss Summer Sweetheart Pageant

I am happy to announce that the first ever Miss Summer Sweetheart Pageant Benefitting Children's Miracle Network Hospitals was a success! It was very interesting being on the opposite side of the crown for this one. There is so much work and planning that went into making this pageant as successful as it was, and it makes me think about how much more work goes into planning a local preliminary pageant. Our Executive Directors (EDs) do such a fantastic job getting everything together for their pageants, and not only that, but they do it every year and spend the remainder of the year preparing their titleholder for Miss Arkansas! Of course I owe so much to my last year's directors, Sean and Ellen Pollock, for everything I learned from them. And now, I can't begin to describe what a blessing Marrietta Jerome and Eva Lee Graves have been in both my daily life and my competition life! I'm so thankful to have been blessed with wonderful directors two years running! From what I hear, Arkansas is blessed with fantastic directors all around. So thank you to all of the local EDs for all you do!

Here are a few photos from the pageant Saturday! A big thank you to Charles Andrew Fleeman for taking these for us. And the last photo is courtesy of Kimberly Adams.

All of the volunteers!

The hosts!

My Diamond State Princess Maddie Adams was in the Young Miss division!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Workout Slump...

Just finished my first 5K! Wow! That was exciting. I didn't run the whole way, but I'm very happy to say I finished! With a little rest, I'll be ready to do another soon. With all of this exercise, I thought I'd sit down and fill you in on a few of my workout secrets.

Right after finishing! *note the bottle of water*

Preparing for Miss Arkansas means I have a lot of daily tasks that I have to accomplish everyday if I want to perform well in July. One of the biggest things I have to keep up with throughout the summer is my workout schedule. Now lucky for me, I love to workout and I maintain a pretty healthy diet throughout the year. My mother is gluten intolerant and I have, in the past year, joined her in keeping my diet mostly gluten free! So with diet not a big worry, I spend most of my time preparing for the Lifestyle and Fitness competition with differing daily activities. I know this blog is meant to be mostly about my appearances as Miss Northeast Arkansas, but it wouldn't be very complete if I didn't let you guys in on some of the struggles I face getting to competition in July.

I decided to write this post in order to encourage those out there who are trying to lead healthier lives. I can assure you, it needs to be a lifestyle change and not a diet. I've really struggled lately with the energy and desire to push to the end of my workout. Do you ever just get to that point where you want to just drop it? Or think, I can work harder tomorrow...and never do? Yeah, I've been there. Recently. So I wanted to share the little tricks that have been helping me to work over that slump.

1. I work out at home a lot so when I get down, I put up my iPod up and go to Youtube. Now, be careful not to waste all your time searching, but search some of your favorite singers or groups. Create a video playlist and have them play while you're working out. Guilty confession: I always watch Pussycat Dolls' videos. The girls are all dancers and they have great bodies. Talk about motivation to get in shape!

2. When I get to that low point in my workouts when I don't feel like pushing myself, I call a friend. Just recently, I went for a run in the park with a new friend of mine who is a soccer player. Now I've never ran over 10 minutes straight by myself, but by having someone at a better running level go with me on my workout, I pushed harder than ever before. I finished a 2.4 mile run having only walked 4 minutes of the entire treck.

3. Finally, find a workout routine that you LOVE! Not all workouts are for everyone. I used to spend (waste) a lot of time in the gym without seeing many results. Now I've found activities that I LOVE to do on a daily basis. My favorite? Pilates! I do pilates 3-4 times a week at NEA Total Fitness here in Jonesboro, AR. I started with Frank Kasper who owns the studio last summer and he helped me prepare for Miss Arkansas 2010. I love everything about pilates. I know that my pilates workout is going to give me the look and flexibility that I want and that helps me stick to the routine even when I don't feel up to it.

At Miss NEA.