Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Story, My Life

If we were introduced when I was a little girl, I would have told you I was a figure skater. As the youngest of six children in a small town in Minnesota, I grew up skating on the outdoor ice rink next to the elementary school and the pond that my father flooded on our property for all the kids in the neighborhood to enjoy. By the time I was 12, my parents were driving me 100 miles round trip to the skating lessons and through my teenage years my father woke me at 3:45am daily so I could skate from 5:30 to 7:30am before school.

As a competitive skater who turned professional at the age of 20, I learned discipline, perseverance, as well as, physical and psychological control. It was also through competitive skating that I learned how to be a good competitor, which has served me well in my professional life and pageantry. We can only control ourselves; therefore, competing is about being our best and being willing to accept the results as interpreted by those with whom we are willing to be judged.

If we were introduced when I was in my twenties, I would have told you I was an entrepreneur who understands the incredible responsibility and privilege associated with employing people and building a business. Growing up in a small family owned company, I knew enough to be dangerous. Between my junior and senior year at a liberal arts college, majoring in Psychology with a plan to become a Sports Psychologist, I elected to complete an independent study for a communications credit that introduced a new and innovative product to the construction industry. The result was the founding of Simplex Construction Supplies, Inc., a national award winning construction products company, which celebrated its 25th Anniversary on July 21, 2012.

If we were introduced in my thirties, I would have told you I was a burn survivor. In 1994, I chartered a helicopter to fly over a construction site. I survived a horrific helicopter crash, but not without enduring severe burns to 40% of my body when the helicopter exploded while I was still belted inside. Today, I am proud to serve as an Officer on the National Board of Trustees for the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, as a trained volunteer for Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery (SOAR) program, and as an international speaker for the American Burn Association, the World Burn Congress, and various community groups.

If we were introduced today, I would tell you I am a graduate of Harvard Business School, who treasures the friendships forged with classmates who made the cultural experience every bit as important as the academic challenge. I am married to the love of my life Joseph and we have an adorable Maltese dog named Tonka. We live in an historic former flour mill built in the 1800’s along the banks of the Mississippi River and St. Anthony falls in downtown Minneapolis. And last but certainly not least, it is with great humility, that I share with you that I am honored and blessed to represent accomplished and generous married women from around the world as Mrs. International 2012!

With love and gratitude,

Sarah Bazey
Mrs. International 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

For The Last Time, Jurnee Carr - Miss Teen International 2011

“Who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" –Esther 4:14

Just a few more days remain until I crown the new Miss Teen International 2012! This has been the experience of a lifetime that I will forever cherish. I cannot wait to see what my new sister queen will do with her title!

Thank you Mary & Mel Richardson for the hard work and dedication you put into this pageant to make it such a huge success. Joey, Clay and Terri for my fabulous wardrobe and photos; I love being around your smiling faces!

Mom and Dad, I love you so much and couldn’t have made it this year without your support. Granny and Papaw, thank you for supporting me and being my shoulder to lean on. My little sister, Jaecee Rae, and little brother, Daxx, you two keep me on my toes and remind me that being a big sister is my most important title. Tiffany and Robin Porter, your support means the world to me and I will always hold a special place for you in my heart.

Ciji, you have been an incredible Miss International and inspiration. It’s been an honor to share this year with you.

DeShaun, Allison & Bernee for allowing me to be a part of your pageant sisterhood. A special thanks to Allison for the gorgeous Titlewear clothes!

I would also like to thank: Patricia Edwards, International Pageant staff, Jurnee's Journey supporters & volunteers, Stephanie Ross, Gilbert Advanced Asset Management, Congressman Phil Roe, State Rep. Jason Mumpower, American Heart Association, and the HSUS for allowing me to be a part of the Youth Advisory Board.

It’s all about faith, not fate. When you let go of who you made yourself to be, and grab hold of what God has called you to, your journey will be far longer and greater than you can ever imagine.

Blessings to all,

Jurnee Carr
Miss Teen International 2011

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Competition Begins

It’s pageant week for the Miss Teen International Class of 2012! There are some absolutely gorgeous teens with even more amazing hearts. I cannot wait to see what the next Miss Teen International will do with her title! Here are some of the events so far during pageant week:

Ciji and I grabbed lunch at the Cheesecake Factory before orientation!

With Mary Richardson-Executive Director of the International Pageants and Ciji Dodds-Miss International 2011 before orientation

Speaking at orientation!

Window washing at the 94th floor of the John Hancock Observatory in Chicago!

Had a great time at the Boys & Girls Club!

A close-up of Mary and me before dinner!

Acting silly at interviews!

I visited the Visiting the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and met some wonderful children!


Lyan wants to be a fashion designer when she grows up! I see a future Miss Teen International here!

Can’t wait for the preliminary competition tomorrow! Be sure to follow @IntlPageants on Twitter for live feed of the pageant!

Jurnee Carr

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kicking Off Pageant Week

It’s officially pageant week for the Miss & Miss Teen International contestants! So many exciting things are happening in Chicago!

I kicked off the week by watching the Mrs. International 2012 pageant from a bird’s eye view! The ladies looked absolutely fabulous!


I got to chat with my sister queen, Mrs. International 2011-Janet Bolin, before finals started!

So honored to be a part of this amazing family of outstanding women. Here, I am with former Mrs. International queens.

The crown!

Making a silly pose with Miss International 2009 & my role model-Erin Golden-Vance!


Congrats to Sarah Bazey-Mrs. International 2012!

Jurnee Carr

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Last Words on Literacy

When I began this journey, I set out to inform as many people as possible on the importance of literacy.  Whether it was though reading a story at a local elementary school, donating books, or connecting an group of concerned parents to a literacy organization, I wanted to encourage, empower and educate the world on the importance of literacy.  I was raised to know and understand that education is power, and at its core is literacy.   It is with this belief that I sought to give others access to the power that so many of us take for granted.  The power to read is not just the power to pick up a book and understand its contents.  It is the power to pick up a newspaper and understand the world we live in.  To read a congressional bill and understand how it impacts you.  It is the power to read and understand a lease, so that you can make sure that your home is safe for your children.  Or in some cases to read a court document and understand your rights. 

The power to read has transformed societies, one person at a time.  Indeed, Literacy impacts us all.  I hope that I have conveyed that message to everyone that has read my blogs, I have met, read to, or even autographed a picture for.  Just Read, Fighting Illiteracy Starts With Your First Book- is not just my platform, it is my mantra and a personal mission.   As my time as Miss International winds down I am excited to enter the next phase of advocacy.  My work has just begun. 

Best,

Ciji Dodds
Miss International (for a few more days)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Last Words on Go Red

The beauty of pageantry is that you are given the opportunity to learn about causes which you may have otherwise been clueless about.  I didn’t know much about heart disease before I became involved with the International System.  I knew the basics from commercials, but I really did not know about prevention, signs, legislation and the rate of survival.   As a woman, I was undereducated about the illness that affects more women than any other.  My journey of education and subsequent advocacy highlights the importance of the alliance between International Pageants and Go Red for Women.  But for this alliance, I may have learned about heart disease the hard way.

I hope that we have learned together.  With each blog that I wrote about heart disease, I learned something new.   I am a nerd at heart and tree hugger by nature so I jump on any opportunity to advocate on behalf of a cause.  It has been my pleasure to advocate on behalf of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Campaign.  With the knowledge that I have gained, I can continue to educate myself and others.   Thank you to the AHA for providing International Pageants with such an amazing national platform and avenue for promotion.

Best,

Ciji Dodds
Miss International 2011

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pageant Week Extras

Who’s ready to take over Chicago?! I absolutely cannot wait to meet all the contestants competing for this year’s Mrs., Miss, and Miss Teen International titles! I know you are excited and anticipating what the week will be like.

Having competed twice for the title of Miss Teen International, I have a couple insider secrets to share with you before you leave so you will be better prepared on how the week will go!

Be prepared for a photo as soon as you arrive at the hotel! Remember: you are representing your state, region, or country and the International Pageant System and yourself. Arrive to impress!

Be sure to have full hair and makeup ready to go EVERY MORNING during the pageant week. You will have plenty of time for touch ups, but look your best as soon as you step out of your room.

My interview group!

Monday: Orientation. Be ready to meet and greet all of your fellow sisters! Bring your camera and sash. You will be given your contestant number and interview group/time here! Snacks will be provided.


Tuesday: Fun day in Chicago/Dinner. Wear something fun and comfortable as you will be out and about Chicago. Don’t forget to bring autograph cards or a pad of paper and pen to sign for the kids at the Boys and Girls Club. Can you imagine having a photo signature of a prestigious beauty queen you actually got to speak to?! That’s what these kids are looking forward to!

At dinner that night, we take a huge group photo out in front of the theater. Eddie Peterson-California International Pageants director will be speaking. Bring your tissues!

Yummy, heart healthy food all week!

Wednesday: Interview/rehearsals. You will enter with your group that was assigned to you at orientation at the time given to you. Afterwards, a delicious lunch will be provided. Take time to relax and get ready for rehearsals that night!

Taking a cute picture with my dad after prelims in my favorite cocktail dress!

Thursday: Prelims for Teens. Remember to wear a cocktail to and from prelims, with sash on at all times.

Heading over to watch the Miss International contestants compete!

Friday: Prelims for Miss. Teens: We get a day to relax and tour Chicago a bit more on your own time! That night, be ready to go watch Miss prelims. Wear your sash.

Eating all kinds of amazing food with my mother at the coronation ball!

We had so much fun dancing at the coronation ball!!!

Saturday: FINALS!!!!! Ah I cannot wait! It will be such an exciting time! Don’t forget to bring your on-stage interview suit, as the Top 10 will compete in this category tonight. After crowning, the Top 5 will wear their evening gown to the coronation ball. LOTS of food and dancing here-don’t want to miss it!

Jurnee Carr

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

10 Years of Teens

Wow, what an honor it was to be crowned the 10th Miss Teen International! As we head into nationals, I would like to showcase the accomplishments of former Miss Teen Internationals!

Our FIRST Miss Teen International in 2002: Paige Richardson


Throughout her reign, Paige set the stage for and spread awareness of the International Pageant system to teens across the country, while promoting her platform-Resisting Peer Pressure. Her advice for girls competing for an International title: “Stay true to yourself throughout this process and be kind to everyone you meet - open yourself up. You have the ability to walk away from this experience with not only wonderful memories, but friendships that will last a lifetime!” She has been living in NYC for almost 4 years and is a Senior Buyer for Macy’s. When she’s not in Manhattan she is usually traveling down to Virginia to visit her family. She says that her future plans are up to God- but the world is her oyster.

Miss Teen International 2003 – Bailey Mills


A recent graduate from Francis Marion University with a BA in Mass Communications and a track of Public Relations, Bailey plans to pursue her career in medical equipment/ pharmaceutical sales within the next month. As our 2nd Miss Teen International, Bailey shared her story through her platform, "A Sound Vision". At three years old, she was diagnosed with a 20% high frequency hearing loss in both ears. Fighting back, she made appearances at several deaf conferences, schools, and community events, encouraging people to communicate with the deaf and hard of hearing. She says, “Something as simple as learning how to sign the alphabet can truly make a difference in the life of someone who is deaf/ hard of hearing. Being able to travel the United States and help people who are just like me is something that I will be forever grateful for.”

One of her most treasured appearances was a trip to McCall, Idaho where she raised $5,000 for the deaf and the blind through a polar bear jump with the local fire department. Her advice for future contestants comes from 1 Corinthians 9:24-25; “Take advantage of the many opportunities that come your way, and get ready for one of the best weeks of your life!” After starting her career, she plans to live out her biggest dream of getting married, and being the best wife and mom that she can be.

Miss Teen International 2004 – Britany Martindale (Belczak)


While promoting her platform-Serving Senior Citizens: Bridging the Generation Gap, she successfully juggled her senior year of high school, traveling for appearances, volunteering, submitting college applications, and maintaining relationships with family and friends! Since June 2009, Britany has worked for The Columbus Dispatch in Advertising Sales. She was named one of the Top 10 Sales Reps for 2010 and 2011! As a hobby, she does commercial modeling. She also volunteers for local elementary, middle school and high school programs at church. Britany and her husband, Nick have been married for almost 3 years, along with a dog and is thinking of adding babies in the next 2-3 years. They have recently returned from trips to Costa Rica, Germany, Austria and France and want to travel more before growing their family. Her advice for onstage interview: “Listen carefully to the question and answer it. Then, elaborate. Don't give us your pre-planned platform commercial because it may not answer the question. Speak from your heart!”

Miss Teen International 2007 – Allie DeSantis


Allie’s biggest accomplishment during her reign was traveling to Japan to participate in the 2008 Olympic torch running ceremonies in Tokyo. She spent a week there doing press interviews, touring, eating delicious food, and even got to speak in a fashion show wearing a custom dress made just for her that is now in a Tokyo museum! Allie’s platform-Josh Cares is an organization that provides care for children who are often alone during a prolonged hospital stay. She went through specialty training and got to spend time with the kids, play games, watch movies, and make them laugh. She says that what a child needs most is the undivided attention of someone who makes them feel special.

Her advice for contestants: “Bring blister band-aids, get to know as many girls as possible and always remember to thank the staff. Even if I didn't have the experience of being Miss Teen International, competing would have still been 110% worth it because of the girls I met. But most importantly remember why you're there, never get caught up, and never stop being thankful. Take moments to really absorb your experience and be appreciative!” She recently graduated from Miami University and landed a job with Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. She will begin working this August for her favorite company in the world. Her future plans are to hang out with Mickey for a while at Disney and attend law school.

Jurnee Carr

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Maryland International Send-Off Party

This Sunday I attended the send-off party for Miss Maryland International, Chardia Murray.  Send-off parties are always fun.  They represent the best of both worlds.  You get to catch up with old friends and get a preview of contestant’s competition wardrobe.  It was a bit nostalgic.  But, I enjoyed being able to eat more than celery.

The best part is the pride in everyone’s eyes.  Everyone is there for one reason and one reason only.  They want their contestant to know that in their eyes they are the winner.  The support is overwhelming.  As a contestant, I didn’t want a send-off party because I’m not big on hoopla.  However, after it was over I was very thankful for the show of support and good vibes.   I hope all of you have enjoyed your send-offs and are amped about Chicago!!

Best,

Ciji Dodds
Miss International 2011

Monday, July 16, 2012

Heart Health 101- Cholesterol

Cholesterol plays a huge role in your heart health.  But, do you know what it is?  There are two types of cholesterol.  LDL (low density lipoprotein) is referred to as the bad cholesterol.  The second type is HDL (high density lipoprotein).  HDL is the type that protects the body and reduces the chances of heart attack. 

When you have high cholesterol you may develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels.  Over time, build of these deposits can make it more difficult for your blood to flow and eventually lead to cardiac arrest.  The goal is to boost your high cholesterol and lower your bad cholesterol.   You can do this through diet and regular exercise.  Foods that are high in omega 3’s, whole grains, and dietary fiber can help lower your cholesterol.  Regular exercise plays a big role in increasing your HDL (good cholesterol) in in lowering your bad cholesterol. 

You should always get your cholesterol checked regularly~ knowledge is power!

Best,

Ciji Dodds
Miss International 2011

Friday, July 13, 2012

Int'l Pageant Logo Clothing, Jewelry and Pro Photos Available at Nationals!

Just over a week from Chicago…can you believe it?! Before you go, I highly recommend you invest in these special offers:

Allison has all kinds of awesome custom items that are perfect for travel! I love my custom velour suit and bag!

Titlewear will be selling numerous official International gear. You can also order custom items while at the pageant! Just talk to Minnesota International director-Allison Stavrakis!

I LOVE my rhinestone crown shirts from Bernee! I wear them to all kinds of appearances, including this one where I spoke about heart health to a middle school!

Bernee Thurow, Arkansas International director, will be selling fabulous rhinestone International Pageants crown t-shirts! I absolutely love my t-shirts! They are perfect for any occasion. Who can go wrong with bling?! Bernee will have the shirts during rehearsals and throughout pageant week.

Only Paula Preston Photography can capture amazing photos, especially this one in rehearsals!

The amazing Paula Preston and her team of professionals will be taking your photos throughout competition week. I highly recommend purchasing a package so that you will always be able to cherish the wonderful memories made during pageant week. Also, no cameras are allowed in the pageant theater. Only Paula’s team will be taking photos in there!

Who knows? Your Paula Preston photo may end up in Times Square!!

Jurnee Carr

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Advice from a Tree


 

A close friend of mine posted this image on facebook and I was struck by how profound it is. I grew up with pine and magnolia trees towering above me. I always knew that there was something majestic but, I never could put my finger on it. When I saw this image, I had an “Aha!” moment.

1. Stand Tall and Proud: My favorite song when I was little was “This little light of mine.” I didn’t understand it until I got older. Don’t be ashamed of your light. Stand tall and proud in who you are and don’t be afraid to share your gifts with the world.

2. Go Out on a Limb: Ever climb a tree and get to the point where you want to turn back, but you realize that you’ve come too far so you might as well go for it? So you keep going until you reach the perfect limb, go out on it, and all of a sudden it makes sense. The view is spectacular and you are proud of your accomplishments. Life is a lot like that. Every now and then, go out on a limb, you will amaze yourself and be stunned by the view from a higher vantage point.

3. Remember Your Roots: Never forget where you come from. Your roots are your foundation. They provide you with stability and show you how far you have come. They also remind you of the people who are really important, those friends and family members who have been by your side every step of the way.

4. Drink Plenty of Water: Nourish yourself from the inside out. Take care of yourself. You only have one body, treat it as your temple. 

5. Be Content with Your Natural Beauty: There is, nor will there ever be anyone exactly like you. Embrace it!

6. Enjoy Life: You only live once, make it the memorable

Great advice from a tree eh!

Best,

Ciji Dodds
Miss International 2011

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Overcoming Family Illiteracy

Admittedly, I have placed a lot of emphasis on childhood illiteracy.  One issue that I haven’t addressed in depth is what happens when both parent and child are illiterate?  This presents a special challenge because parents are often ashamed of admitting to their children that they can’t read.  What would you do if your child asked you to read her a book and you couldn’t?  The solution isn’t easy but there are some ways that both child and parent can overcome illiteracy.  Literacy advocates can do the following:

1. Encourage parents to attend their child’s tutoring lessons:  By “tagging along” it has been shown that parents are at first passively engaged, then over time, they become more engaged.  This makes them want to enhance their own skill and seek out adult literacy programs.  A lot of literacy tutoring programs also have an adult component, so that parent and child can learn to read at different times, but in different settings.

2.Make sure there are books within the home:  The mission of First Book and Reach Out and Read is to make sure that children have access to books in their homes.  By doing so, parents also have access to books.  When a child practices reading to their parent, the parent is also presented with a learning opportunity.

3.Promote family literacy:  There is a great emphasis on childhood illiteracy, but parents sometimes fell left by the wayside.  By encouraging the entire family to take part in the process, literacy advocates cam make an impact on the literacy of the entire family.

Best,

Ciji Dodds
Miss International 2011

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Healthy Foods Under $1 Per Serving

Eating healthy on a budget can seem difficult; but it can be done! Being creative can help you stick to your budget and incorporate nutritious foods into your diet. Try to incorporate some of these healthy foods under $1 into your weekly menu planning.

Apples (raw with skin)
Great for: Snacks, green salads, main dish salads and fruit salads
What's a serving? 1 large apple
Nutrition Info per serving: About 116 calories, 5.4g fiber, 17% Daily Value for vitamin C, 7% Daily Value for potassium

Bananas
Great for: Snacks and fruit salads, yogurt parfaits and smoothies
What's a serving? 1 banana (large)
Nutrition Info per serving: 121 calories, 3.5g fiber, 14% Daily Value for potassium (487 mg), 20%
Daily Value for vitamin C

Baby Carrots (raw)
Great for: Snacks, casseroles, stews, veggie platters and side dishes
What's a serving? 8-10 baby carrots (3 oz)
Nutrition Info per serving: About 30 calories, 2.5g fiber, 234% Daily Value for vitamin A

Canned Beans (kidney, pinto or navy)
Great for: Green salads, casseroles, stews and chili. Types of beans range from 50% less sodium kidney beans and black beans to white beans and garbanzo beans.
What's a serving? Each can contains about 3.5 (1/2-cup) servings.
Nutrition Info per serving (for canned kidney beans): About 105 calories, 7g protein, 7g fiber, 8% Daily Value for iron, 9% Daily Value for potassium

Canned Tomatoes (packed in tomato juice)
Great for: Italian and Mexican recipes, chili, stew and casseroles. Flavor options range from no-salt-added sliced stewed tomatoes to diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil.
What's a serving? One can contains about 3.5 (1/2-cup) servings.
Nutrition Info per serving: About 20 calories, 1g fiber, 6% Daily Value for potassium, 19% Daily Value of vitamin C

Oranges (fruit 2-7/8” diameter)
Great for: Snacks, green salads and fruit salads
What's a serving? 1 large or extra large orange
Nutrition Info per serving: About 70 calories, 3g fiber, 138% Daily Value for vitamin C, 7% Daily Value for potassium

Pears (raw)
Great for: Snacks, as an appetizer with cheese, green salads and fruit salads
What's a serving? 1 large pear
Nutrition Info per serving: About 133 calories, 7g fiber, 16% Daily Value for vitamin C, 8% Daily Value for potassium

Lentils (cooked)
Great for: Soups and stews, cold bean salads and casseroles
What's a serving? ½ cup cooked
Nutrition Info per serving: 115 calories, 9g protein, 8g fiber, 18% Daily Value for iron, 10% Daily Value for potassium

Pearled Barley (cooked)
Great for: Soups and stews, cold salads and casseroles
What's a serving? ½ cup (cooked)
Nutrition Info per serving: 97 calories, 3g fiber, 6% Daily Value for iron

Yogurt (plain, low fat or fat-free)
Great for: Smoothies, yogurt parfait, dips and dressings
What's a serving? A 6-ounce container is usually a serving.
Nutrition Info per serving: (for 6 ounces of fat-free plain yogurt): 95 calories, 10g protein, 34% Daily
Value for calcium, 12% Daily Value for potassium

Eggs
Great for: omelets, hardboiled, salads
What’s a serving? 1 medium egg
Nutrition Info per serving: 63 calories, 4g fat, 164mg cholesterol, 6g protein

Broccoli
Great for: steamed as a side dish, tossed in salads, mixed in brown rice or whole wheat pasta dishes
What’s a serving? 1 cup raw, ½ cup cooked
Nutrition Info per serving (1 cup chopped raw broccoli): 31 calories, 0g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 11% Daily Value for vitamin A, 135% Daily Value for vitamin C

Sweet Potato (cooked, baked in skin)
Great for: baked, mashed, steamed
What’s a serving? 1 medium potato (2” diameter, 5” long, raw)
Nutrition Info per serving: 103 calories, 0g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 4g fiber, 438% Daily Value for vitamin A,  37% Daily Value for vitamin C

Brown Rice (cooked)
Great for: stir fry, steamed with veggies
What’s a serving? ½ cup cooked
Nutrition Info per serving: 108 calories, 0mg cholesterol, 2g fiber

Green Peas (frozen, cooked)
Great for: mixed into brown rice or whole wheat pasta dishes
What’s a serving? ½ cup cooked
Nutrition Info per serving (cooked): 62 calories, 0mg cholesterol, 4g fiber, 4g protein, 13% Daily Value for vitamin C, 34% Daily Value for vitamin A, 7% Daily Value for iron

Fat-Free Milk
Great for: cold beverage
What’s a serving? 1 cup
Nutrition Info per serving: 83 calories, 8g protein, 30% Daily Value for calcium, 11% Daily Value for potassium

Regular Oatmeal
Great for: hot oatmeal, breakfast, baking
What’s a serving? ½ cup cooked
Nutrition Info per serving: 83 calories, 0mg cholesterol, 2g fiber 

Spinach (raw)
Great for: tossed salads, steamed as a side dish
What’s a serving? 1 cup raw or ½ cup cooked
Nutrition Info per serving (1 cup raw): 7 calories, 0mg cholesterol, 1g fiber, 56% Daily Value of vitamin A, 14% Daily Value for vitamin C, 5% Daily Value of iron, 5% Daily Value for potassium

Frozen Mixed Vegetables
Great for: quick side dish, add to soups/stews
What’s a serving? ½ cup cooked
Nutrition Info per serving: 59 calories; 4g fiber, 78% Daily Value for vitamin A, 5% Daily Value for vitamin C, 4% Daily Value for potassium

Frozen Corn on the Cob
Great for: quick side dish, kid friendly
What’s a serving? 1 ear
Nutrition Info per serving (for a cooked cob that yields about 2 oz cooked corn): 59 calories, 2g fiber,
5% Daily Value for potassium

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2011. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 24.

Janet Bolin

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Summer Reading!

The end of the school year does not have to mean the end of reading.  All too often, children lose literacy skills gained throughout the year during the summer.  But studies have consistently shown that summer reading is critical to maintaining literacy skills and building new ones.  The Washington Post just published a great article with tips on how to make summer reading fun.  Here are just a few.

1. Blog about it!:  Blogging is a great way to integrate technology and reading.  Encourage your child to create a blog and post weekly reviews of the books that they have read.  It will help their critical thinking skills because not only will they have to read and summarize, they will also have to analyze and respond to posts.

2. Re-write a story:  Encourage your child to adapt a story and make it their own.  By changing the plot line and characters, children become better writers.  For example, take Little Red Riding Hood and add a modern twist.  Put her in present day D.C. and watch the fun begin!

3. Act it out!:  Encourage your child to turn their favorite book into a play.  The process of playwriting helps them develop multiple literacy and critical thinking skills.

These are just a few.  For more, check out  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/how-to-get-kids-reading-and-writing-over-the-summer/2012/07/03/gJQADjOgKW_blog.html

Best,

Ciji Dodds
Miss International

Father Co-authors Book with 11 year-old Autistic Son



The Twelve Weeks of Summer is a book written by father-son duo, Joseph Andrade and his 11-year-old son, Joey Jr. What makes this book special is that Joey Jr. is autistic. One hot summer day, the pair were out swimming. Joseph decided to test his son by encouraging him to adapt the 12 days of Christmas, to the 12 weeks of Summer. Joey quickly chimed in, and using his penchant for creativity, the song unveiled itself as a lively ode to summertime.

To make their song come alive, they decided to turn it into an art project. They sketched out each scene. After realizing that they may have something special on their hands they contacted an illustrator. The rest, as they say, is history. Joseph hopes the book will break barriers and change the way people view autistic children. The book is available through: http://www.amazon.com/, http://www.autismspeaks.org/ and www.createspace.com/3828061.

Best,

Ciji Dodds
Miss International 2011

Friday, July 6, 2012

Customized Guitar for Charity

Sam Bass, the first officially licensed artist of NASCAR, has kindly agreed to design a NASCAR Unites – An American Salute guitar. The NASCAR Unites – An American Salute campaign was launched to honor our U.S. military members and their families. This guitar is a part of the NASCAR Unites – An American Salute military summer.

American pop band, Train, is scheduled to perform a pre-race concert at Daytona International Speedway prior to the Coke Zero 400. Train will autograph this guitar prior to performing in the pre-race concert. In addition to Train, this guitar will be autographed by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers and by the artist, Sam Bass.

A very special thank you to Sam Bass for donating this guitar. Sam Bass supports The NASCAR Foundation through his original art and graphic design. Bass has also hosted the NASCAR Day Telethon at his gallery three times. For more information on NASCAR Unites – An American Salute please visit NASCAR.COM/Unites


Janet Bolin

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bahama Mama

1 week with no cell phone service…no worries, mon! I had an absolute blast on my family vacation on a cruise to the Bahamas! We set sail on the Carnival Ecstasy!

My friend, Courtney Woolwine, joined in on the fun too!

Cruises are so much fun! Every day Courtney and I would lay out by the pool, work out in the state-of-the-art gym, then get all fancied up for dinner with the family…all while sailing in the Caribbean!



We landed in Freeport and Nassau, Bahamas. The straw markets were my favorite! We also sailed to Key West and got to spend a little time on the beach there.

My little sister got her hair braided!


We also spent a few days at a resort and Universal Studios! The first night, we ate at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville and watched Madagascar 3 in the AMC theater at the park!


The next two days were spent riding roller coasters and checking out the new rides at Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios.

As a Twilight fan it is hard for me to say this, but the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was by far the coolest part of the entire park!

One of the coolest roller coasters I have ever ridden! I got to pick my own music as I went through loops and drops!

It was almost unbearably hot, but that didn’t stop us from having an absolutely amazing trip!

Jurnee Carr

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Furry, Fun Fourth

The 4th of July is a time of celebrating our independence from the British back in the 1700s. Everyone has so much fun of making a production of shooting off fireworks to show their joy! These light shows may be fun to us, but not to our pets.


More dogs go missing on the 4th of July than any other day of the year! Why? They can’t handle the blast of the fireworks. They get stressed and scared and run away. Please make sure your pet is wearing a collar and identification tag just in case you aren’t able to find them after the noise stops.


Also, NEVER leave your pet in a hot car. Cars can reach up to 116 degrees in just a matter of minutes. Would you want to be in this type of heat? Your pet doesn’t want to either!

Please be respectful to the sensitive ears of your pet by keeping them inside and away from windows while fireworks are going off. Don’t let your fun make your pet run!

Jurnee Carr

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Summer Cooking

Cookbooks are available through the American Heart Association. There are a variety of recipe suggestions to feed your need including soul food, diabetes health, yummy desserts and there are even recipes kids will crave!



One of my favorite cookbooks is the Go Red For Women Cookbook. I received a copy at the Go Red For Women launch party at Macy’s in Herald Square. My husband and I love seafood and there are a couple of great recipes we enjoy making at home. To view the entire selection of heart-healthy cookbooks, visit http://shop.heart.org/cart.php?m=product_list&c=109

Janet Bolin

Monday, July 2, 2012

The 4th Annual Dale E. Knack Memorial Golf Tournament

“No, he didn't fight in a war, or save 15 kids from a burning building, or even arrest the bad guy. He came home from work every day and kissed his wife, switched his work shifts around to attend all of his kids sporting events, and worked tirelessly on the house and yard.  See, the real heroes aren't the ones you see on TV and in the movies, they are the guys who live life to the fullest.  Guys, who live every day of their lives like it is their last - even when that term isn't even a blip on the radar. They are the ones who give back to the community, cherish the moments spent with family and friends, and can laugh or a good story or joke and a cold beer.”

These are the words of my friend, Barry Knack.  Barry, younger brother to Tyler, honors his father’s memory by hosting a golf tournament at St. Albans Golf Club, in Alexandria, Ohio, in memory of his father.  Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.  This event is a wonderful opportunity to bring together all who knew Dale Knack.  For me, this was a great way to help our friends.

My memories of the Knack family are precious.  We were always close with the Knack family, especially when we lost my father.  Barry’s mother, Luanne, was a school teacher with my mother at Licking Valley High School.  Growing up, after school hours and weekends were filled with helping the theatre department by painting sets, hanging curtains and helping choreograph musicals – we did all of this as a family. 

Tyler, now married with four beautiful children, serves as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force.  Barry is engaged and looking forward to his wedding this October.  Being able to reconnect at the golf tournament was like picking up where we left off before all of us graduated from high school.  Each of us has taken a different path, but we will always remember the positive impact Dale Knack made in our lives.

The Knack and Risner families.

The three teaching amigos and me - Luanne (Barry and Tyler's mom), Cheryl (my mom), Me and Kathy.

Me, with Danielle (future Mrs. Barry Knack) and the event organizer, Barry Knack.

Me and my mom - the extended-arm photo.

Me and my mom - a better photo taken by Danielle.

My artistically beautiful mother doing what she does best!

Janet Bolin

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Habitat for Humanity

In June, I had the opportunity to help Habitat for Humanity Charlotte.  The homeowners, Samy and Jeanne, are from the Dominican Republic of Congo and they have 3 children all under the age of 12.  With great teamwork, we made significant progress to stay on schedule so these future homeowners will be able to move-in at the end of July.





Habitat Charlotte is one of the top U.S. affiliates in total number of homes built. Each year, Habitat Charlotte builds homes in 30 neighborhoods throughout Charlotte, and they were the first affiliate to build a house with an all women crew.




For every home built in Charlotte, there is a home built in the sister affiliate of El Salvador.  Thank you to our build partner, SPEED Channel.  With determination, dedication and love for mankind, we didn't let the record high temperatures bother us.



Janet Bolin