Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Rewind!


It has officially been 155 days since I was crowned Mrs. International 2014 and my dream came true. I am so grateful for everyone who has made these last 155 days amazing and even more so hit the ground running so I can help Soles4Souls wear out poverty. A look back at the last 22 weeks of 2014 of being Mrs. International 2014! Thanks for joining the journey and excited for everyone else who is competing in 2015, you are amazing women who will shape the world for the better…one rhinestone at a time!!

Live What you Love,

Maggi
Your Mrs. International 2014

#GiveShoesGiveLove

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Quick Snack Ideas!

I am often asked how I can stay energized while on a “pageant diet”. Well, first things first, don’t look at it as a pageant diet. In order for the change to be constant it needs to be a lifestyle change. You need to fully commit to a better, healthier you. Not only did I start to see changes in my body when I was eating healthy, but I could feel the difference in my energy levels. My skin started to clear up, I wasn’t getting sugar headaches and felt happier overall. Most of you know my obsession with chocolate and how I cannot get through the day without it, so I wanted to share with you the snacks I always have on hand!

Skinny Cow or Jenny Craig both make chocolate candies around 120 calories or less!

Frozen Greek Yogurt by Healthy Choice (Tastes like ice cream) for 100 calories!

Skinny Girl Popcorn hits the salt cravings hard for only 100 calories!

Special K cracker chips in ANY flavor are amazing! I had those all week at Miss INTL.

Quest Protein Bars In Cookies and Cream are the best tasting protein bars I’ve ever had!

Frozen Healthy Bunch No Sugar Added Popsicles- only 15 calories each!

Low Fat String cheese- any brand, usually around 50 calories

Freeze dried strawberries, sweet and crunchy.

Fiber One 90 calories peanut butter pretzel bars.

Those are just some of the snacks that I always have in my pantry! I don’t believe in depriving yourself from snacks, I think it is all about moderation. It’s important to drink plenty of water and follow through with 3-5 days a week of your cardio workout of choice!

For more information on my diet and exercise regimen, contact A.T. Dunn at Info@TonedToWin.com

I met A.T. and Chelsea at The Competitive Image trunk Show last April (another reason to come to the trunk show ladies) and they started me on a personalized workout plan and my “perfect plate”.

Just an example of what you can eat using the perfect plate!

Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International 2014

Monday, December 29, 2014

New Years Resolutions and Fitness

As we welcome the New Year, I want to talk about Resolutions! The most common resolution made at the beginning of the year is to exercise and lose weight. This is great, but there's a problem. It is also the most commonly broken promise. So how do you make the commitment to become healthier and actually maintain it? Here are 5 of my biggest tips:

1- Set aside a certain time each day to spend exercising. I am commonly asked how I find time to workout, and the answer is simple.. I don't find time, I make it. By putting my visit to the gym or my dance class on my schedule I am much more likely to stick with it!

2- Small changes make a big difference. So many people make the mistake of drastically altering their diet and exercise plans instead of slowly adding things like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your diet and gradually implementing exercise in daily routines.

3- Stay motivated! This can be done by changing your phone wallpaper to a picture of an inspirational quote or keeping it on your refrigerator or mirror. It's a perfect reminder when you're tempted to reach for something unhealthy in the fridge or when you're spending time on your phone that could be spent being active.






4- Become involved in an activity that you enjoy. If you hate running then don't do it. The options for physical activity each day are endless! Some possibilities include team and individual sports, indoor and outdoor activities, and things done around your house.

5- Holding yourself accountable is so valuable. My favorite way to do this is at www.fueluptoplay60.com. By creating an account and using the Tracker feature, you can keep up with how active you were that day and what you consumed. It has helped me realize how many servings of foods from certain groups I should have a day and how active I really am.

And my bonus tip is… Be good to yourself! We all make mistakes and mess up sometimes. Tomorrow is a new day. Start fresh and make it count!


Look for these features on Fuel Up to Play 60’s website!

Let's make this the year that being healthy is taken off of the "Unfulfilled Resolution" list! For my tips and advice stay tuned to the blog and my Facebook page, Miss Teen International 2014 Blair Wortsmith.

If you believe in something, believe in it all the way!

Blair Wortsmith
Miss Teen International 2014

Saturday, December 27, 2014

New York - Part Two: Following His Footsteps

In the city that never sleeps, I nearly did not either! New York was very kind to me and I truly enjoyed my time there serving with Soles4Souls along with connecting with our International Pageants family.

Sunday of my trip was the “free” day so to speak. No events planned on the schedule and for one sole purpose. New York was the last place my brother lived before he passed.

Through the pageant and becoming vocal about my family's past, over the last couple months I have reconnected with the girl whom found my brother's body. Recently she shared with me the weeks leading up to his last day on earth and even what it was like finding his body. Some people may not want to know all of those details, but I like to search for truth. It is important because so many times people try to hide their past, pain or struggles and it only further hurts us as a society that strives for perfection.

This picture is the last photo I ever took with my brother celebrating his 32nd birthday before he moved to New York from San Diego.


Though this is the year that marks a decade of his death, when strolling the streets on New York, he felt alive to me.

Allison took me to all of his favorite landmarks and amazingly, she later shared with me the buildings I found the most captivating, were his favorites as well. After the trip she sent me pictures of him at the same areas we visited.


It was a day I will cherish and remember forever, 6 hours of city and soul searching. Opening chapters of our past help us write the future and unlock what we never knew to even be hiding in our soul.


Can you believe Mrs. International 2015 crowning moment will be up on this screen seen by tens of thousands?!!! How amazing!

Union Station was by far my favorite place to visit. The architecture is stunning.


Live What you Love,

Maggi
Your Mrs. International 2014

#GiveShoesGiveLove

Friday, December 26, 2014

Why I Chose Miss International

With so many pageant systems out there, I have been asked over and over again, Why Miss International? I am a firm believer in pageantry and how it helps build woman up, so you will never hear me speak an ill word of any pageant system, but let me tell you why INTERNATIONAL IS THE BEST!

Miss International is unlike any other system in the world. It is an International (hence the name) pageant, girls from anywhere in the world can come represent their country and compete. 40% of your score is based of your INTERVIEW! It is extremely important to this system that their winners be able to hold an intelligent conversation and have a platform that they are actually working! They care about what you have done AND what you are going to do as the titleholder. You are allowed a “platform page” to show examples of your work within your community and your “strategy” you would use if you were to win the crown. It is so much more than..”If you could be an ice cream, what flavor would you be and why?” Another wonderful thing about this system is that no political or religious questions are allowed to be asked by a judge. They aren’t trying to trick you in interview! They truly want to know about your platform and your personal goals! The national director came up to each and every girl after our interviews and asked if every question seemed relevant and if we were asked anything that made us uncomfortable! She cared about our feelings and emotional wellbeing.

Miss International is a fashion show from the moment you arrive in Jacksonville! If you are like me, and LOVE fashion, this is a huge PLUS! Each and every day you are at the pageant, you are taken to amazing places, dressed to the nines and hanging out with girls who are all so unique and different! I love seeing all of the fashion from foreign countries! If you take a look at my Clay Spann Website photo this year, you can tell just how cutting edge the fashion can be!

If there is no preliminary pageant in your state or country- YOU CAN STILL COMPETE! One of the most amazing things about this system is that it gives everyone a chance to chase their dreams, regardless of competing in a preliminary pageant! While last year’s winner, Jesse Ladoue won her preliminary Pageant of Miss New York International, I was at large! It truly goes to show you that anyone, if they work hard enough, has a chance to be Miss International!

On Finals night- your score sets back to ZERO! Which means you get a do over! I was so extremely grateful for this because I actually tripped onstage in my fitness wear during preliminaries! As soon as my name was called into the top 15 I knew I would get a chance to redeem myself!

Don’t even get me started on the AMAZING sponsors! (This would be a 10 page blog!) BUT, you get to work with Clay Spann, Joey Rutherford of the Competitive Image, Suzy Boots, Susan Botek, WKPR Chicago, MMG Model Management, Thomas and Drew Dunn, Chelsea Cooley, AT DUNN, Titlewear and so many more! This year has so far been a dream come true! I have never believed in a program as much as I believe in the International Pageant systems! Please feel free to comment or ask any questions you would like!

Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Doing the Most Good

Ever since I was a little girl, my mom and I have always loved donating money to the Salvation Army when we saw the Red Kettle at stores and wanted to give it a try. After many years, we finally had our turn to ring the bell and raise funds for this awesome organization!


The Salvation Army serves people in dozens of countries around the world. They have assisted over 30 million people around the world since it began. How amazing is that??

The history of the Red Kettle is really interesting! The Captain of the Salvation Army wanted to do something about the hunger levels in the San Francisco area. He brainstormed for a long time and remembered seeing a large iron kettle in England for money collection, so he decided to try it the concept out here in the U.S. This is now a global initiative that serves more than four-and-a-half million people each year. To learn more, head to http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/red-kettle-history.

It is so important to take time this holiday season to serve those around you. There is so much value in making a positive difference in someone’s life, and volunteering is a great way to spend time with loved ones!


If you believe in something, believe in it all the way!

Blair Wortsmith
Miss Teen International 2014

New York City - Part 1

The last time I truly walked the streets of New York I was in the 8th grade. Stepping off the plane I was excited for 5 days in the city. Some of my favorite highlights from the first couple days were meeting with International Pageant sisters of the past and present.!

Arrival day I hopped from subway to subway at random stops exploring different areas. I actually enjoy public transportation and seeing so many different people. New York City has wonderful diversity and culture, I could people watch for days!

My second day I met my 2013 International Pageant sister Ceylone at her event "The Esther Project" that celebrates and encourages women.


Miss New York International 2015 Elaina Estrada was able to attend the event as well!


After the event I headed to the New York Giants facility to tour and discuss Soles4Souls.





After the Giants, my day rounded out with meeting Mrs. New York International 2015 Marjorie Vail. We even saw the city of New York from the top of the Empire State Building!)



More adventure to come in part 2! I feel slightly like a true New Yorker writing this blog at Bryant Park in the midst of seeing the city. More bites to be taken out of the Big Apple :)

Thank you to Ceylone, Elaina, and Marjorie for taking the time to meet. I truly appreciate the efforts you made to do so!

Live What you Love,

Maggi
Your Mrs. International 2014

#GiveShoesGiveLove

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Jingle Jubilee Parade

I was excited to welcome in the holiday season with the Arkansas Int’l titleholders in the Little Rock Jingle Jubilee Parade! Everyone from the age divisions of Baby to Mrs. Arkansas Int’l came out for the festivities. I had the opportunity to lead the long line of convertibles!



Members of the Corvette Club so graciously offered not only their cars but their time for the parade. My driver, Mr. Dan Tucker, is the only remaining member from the original club. He drove me in a Stingray that he’s had since the 1960’s. It was AWESOME!

It was definitely a GR8 RIDE!


Anyone that knows me well knows that I LOVE Christmas time! The decorations, music, festivities.… I love them all! I look forward to doing “Christmasy” things every year, and this was definitely a great way to start December!!!


I met some of the sweetest people at the parade! Several people asked if they could ride with me because they loved the Corvette, if my crown was made of real diamonds, and if I was a real princess. It was so cute!

Loved meeting these sweet little Girl Scouts!

If you believe in something, believe in it all the way!

Blair Wortsmith
Miss Teen International 2014

Holiday Dessert Idea

With the end of the year rapidly approaching, many holidays are on the horizon! It can be extremely difficult to watch your calorie intake while enjoying the festivities with your loved ones! Thankfully, My wonderful mother made me a special treat last year for our celebration and I wanted to share her recipe with you all! While most ingredients can be substituted to your dietary needs, I am a huge fan of “Sugar Free” products, so I tend to gravitate towards those!

Strawberry Squares:

Ingredients

1 3/4 sticks salted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing pan

(My mom substituted the ZERO calorie spray butter)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cup oats

1 cup packed brown sugar

(My mom substituted Splenda Brown Sugar)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

One 10 to 12-ounce jar strawberry preserves

(My mom substituted sugar free strawberry preserves)
Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch rectangular pan.

Mix together the butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Press half the oat mixture into the prepared pan. Spread with the strawberry preserves. Sprinkle the other half of the oat mixture over the top and pat lightly. Bake until light brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely, and then cut into squares.

My mouth is watering just thinking of these bad boys right now! I cannot wait to enjoy some of these this holiday season!

Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Time is Now

Looking back over the last couple years one of the best decisions I made was to come back to Mrs. International after competing the first year. I was extremely happy to just be a part of the International Pageant system having a great experience and even more grated to have do many passionate new friends. A person I admire and respect told me "Don't wait, the time is now". Sitting on the other end of the phone, I had wondered if taking a year off from the pageant and then coming back would be better. Listening to that little piece of advice changed my life forever when one year later a dream come true.

Many pageant sisters have been asking me the same question of whether or not to take a year off, or maybe a few years, but my encouragement to all of you is the same I received "The time is now".

The realization was there that my underlying mission to love people globally was too important to not wait and keep going while in the right mind set. The greatest obstacle you will face is only yourself. Push a is doubt, fear, the question "Do I even have a chance?" . The best fact about International Pageants is EVERYONE has a chance. Whether or not you have a chance is only something YOU can answer...not anyone else. This pageant is not about where you live, your ethnicity, how much money you make or even how much you spend in the process of competing. It IS about your heart to serve, your confidence, ability to have compassion for others, a deep inner strength, your desire to live healthy and understanding that you represent an entity that has a global presence of integrity and class.

The choice is yours alone, but heartfelt encouragement with my favorite saying "Never Give Up."

Recently when touring the New York Giants one of the quotes they had on the wall stuck with me because it's applicable to all endeavors in our life.


The friendships I have now with my International Pageant sisters are irreplaceable. Meeting up with them everywhere I travel constantly reaffirms the fact I made the right decision to come back along with the thousands of lives changed with Soles4Souls

If anyone has questions or you are in need of encouragement, I'm here. After all, we are family...International Pageants family ♡


Have faith friends in the journey and your purpose. Sometimes , you just need to believe!)

Live What you Love,

Maggi
Your Mrs. International 2014

#GiveShoesGiveLove

Social Media As a Titleholder

Social media is a biggie in the International Pageants! As you can probably tell, Maggi, Samantha and I spend a lot of time posting on the Int’l Pageants blog as well as on our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. As pageant titleholders we are placed in the public eye, especially when it comes to the Internet. It is so important for us to use our words online to inspire, motivate, and entertain. So what is the secret to doing this successfully? Here are six of my best tips for social media:

1- Keep it appropriate! One question to ask yourself that typically works when deciding to post is, “Would I want my grandparents, religious leaders, boss or pageant director to see this?” If the answer to this is no, then DON’T put it online!

2- Be conscientious of your audience. This post geared towards pageant contestants would not resonate well with a football team. Post things that are relatable to those reading it.

3- Use social media to promote! Your accounts are not to just promote yourself but your the International Pageants and the area you represent. Do this proudly!! I would love to see all of the Class of 2015 change their usernames to their title like we have done. You can find me on Instagram @missteenintl2014 and on Twitter @missteenintl14.

4- Sharing what you are doing as a titleholder can be easily done through social networking sites. These can be awesome resources to let the world know about what kind of appearances and charity work you are involved in. I recommend creating an album with all of your photos to document your events.

5- Balance is important. I think having a variety of posts is good idea. I aim to include pictures of appearances, my “normal” life, health tips for my platform, and more. Not every picture needs to be a selfie haha. Keep it interesting!

6- There is a fine line between networking and security. It is so awesome that we can connect with people from all over the world through the Internet! Things like Mutual Friends may indicate that a person isn't a complete stranger, but safety should always be a concern. If you have not met, spoken with, or even heard of a person, it probably isn't a good idea to accept their Friend Request. Privacy settings are very helpful!

I hope these tips are beneficial as you market yourself online. There is so much value in presenting the best possible version of yourself on social media. Now get posting, sister queens!


If you believe in something, believe in it all the way!

Blair Wortsmith
Miss Teen International 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

International Platform: Go Red for Women


As a contestant in the 2015 International pageants it is important for you to be aware of the national platform. You will more than likely encounter a judge who will ask you about your involvement or knowledge with The American Heart Association.

If you are currently not involved, don’t worry, you can start now!

Just go to their website : https://www.goredforwomen.org/

I started volunteering with them 8 years ago after sending an email to my local AHA office! You can host health fairs, be a guest speaker, or even put a team together for a heart walk!

Social Media is also another great way to get involved! Share The American Heart Association message on your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages!

Not only is it important to get involved because it is the national platform, but its also important because heart disease is the number one killer of women.

Your efforts as queens make a huge global impact on this disease! Together, we are changing the face of what was once known as a “Man’s Disease”.


Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International 2014

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Decade on Purpose

At the start of 2010, our hometown church started a “Decade on Purpose” initiative. We each wrote a statement, or few lines on a card of what we were trusting God to do in the next decade to come. When this was written, I had not traveled to Haiti yet, we had two children and the only person in my life lost to suicide was my brother. Looking back, I now realize what was starting in my heart was just a kindling of a fire that would soon be a roaring blaze to serve our world.


My desire to serve orphans came when I was watching a 20/20 episode on Haiti in 2009. A young girl was re-united with her mother after living in an orphanage for years. Her mother’s husband was not her dad, and because of Haitian law that the man of the house is the ultimate decision maker, she was sent back to the orphanage because he was not the father to this young girl and he did not want her around. The scene of the young girl being torn from her mother’s arms, both of them screaming for each other, put me in a down pour of tears. I could not imagine the pain they both felt. I began to learn more about the country of Haiti and saw the despair. After the earthquake happened, I became very focused on getting involved with an organization that had direct ties with Haiti. It just so happened a new organization had formed, the Nebraska Global Orphan Project and I ended up joining them, then traveling to Haiti in July of 2010…a few short months after writing the first statement for Decade on Purpose.

This was my first trip to Haiti, 6 months after the earthquake hit. I fell in love with the country and their people.

After visiting Haiti firsthand, I became more deeply involved and joined the board of an organization called Global Orphan Hope. We were a hands on group that didn’t just send money, but we sent people and built orphanages in developing places like Haiti. I thought “This is it, my construction skills are used, marketing skills and we are serving orphans”, but then in January of 2011 everything changed.

I had been feeling extremely sick and was not quite sure why. I found out soon enough when learning I was pregnant with our 3rd child. This was a “surprise”, as I had been very, VERY focused on my career as well in the midst of the largest capital construction campaign in the history of Nebraska Athletics. $340 million dollars in projects and I was at the helm of them all with my boss. I was angry to be honest because of the “interruption” in “my plan”. My ambitions had been to climb the career ladder in athletics, become an administrator, and eventually an athletic director….and I was well on my way. Attending meetings and doing my job became a daily struggle, and just basic life was a struggle as I fell asleep at the dinner table, and became very dependent on others for help. For someone who has an independent personality, it was a daily battle. Then disaster hit…………

In May of 2011, when I was 6 months pregnant, my husband and I separated. We hit an extremely difficult time in our marriage and I began to put myself in the mode of raising 3 kids on my own. As a last ditch effort, we went to counseling in Colorado. While there, we went to a place called Seven Falls. Walking up a set of steep, steep stairs, we were both complaining, arguing, and had agreed to not go all the way to the top because it was too difficult. The plan was to take a rest at the half way point and then go back. Once we got to the hallway point and caught our breath, we decided to make the commitment to finish. The second leg of the steep stairs, we did not complain and made it to the top...where it was absolutely beautiful. We knew what we were in for. If we had given up, we would have missed out on so much. It was the paraphrase for our marriage at that point in time and after our time in counseling made the commitment to Never Give Up on our marriage. Then more disaster hit…..

We keep many copies of this picture at Seven Falls around our house and in our bibles. It serves as a reminder that struggles will come, but if we push through, it is worth it…and it will be beautiful.

Standing in the airport heading back to Nebraska I received a phone call that one of my track coaches from college had died in his hotel room at a track meet. The next morning there was a voicemail on my office phone from my best friend's brother. He was informing me she was dead. 2011 was a very difficult year, heartbreak, struggle, death, rough pregnancy, etc. Only one year in to a Decade on Purpose, I was beginning to feel like I might not survive the decade.

When Ellie was born, I felt like at that moment was the first time I truly understood grace. We did not deserve her, yet we were blessed with another child anyways. We call her “The game changer”….and Ellie Belly ☺

The struggle we went through in our marriage re-prioritized all of my goals and ambitions. I started a transformation in to the mother my children need me to be and the one God wants me to be….and not just to our children, but the millions around the world. I learned a deeper compassion through our struggles and a better understanding of how others need to be loved. As you know losing my best friend has forever shaped my life and there is not a day that goes by that I do not think about her. Losing her was the final spark to igniting what now roars like a wildfire in my heart.

Here we are in 2014 with 2015 fast approaching. The ways I initially thought these goals would be fulfilled is very different from where I am at today. As Mrs. International 2014 I’m able to do more than I ever thought possible for orphans, and many others globally. Being a part of a system where so much change is possible, is more than I could have every prayed or asked for. The fact that my family can be right alongside me every step of the way makes it even sweeter.

The realization came that when tragedy strikes in life, it does not mean God has abandoned me, but that He is letting something happen in me when tragedy strikes that is helping to fulfill my purpose. Sometimes God does things that are in our best interest, even if painful. There are times life makes sense and sometimes it doesn’t, but God’s goodness is always there.

Own your own journey, don’t expect someone else to do it for you!

Above and beyond the “Decade on Purpose” goals, at the beginning of each year we write goals. Below were the goals I wrote on 1-2-14 for this last year. It includes trying to triumph over some of my weakness’s and build my strengths. One my of greatest on both side sides of the coin is my inner drive. I admittingly have chosen activities over my family during the last decade. There was not a strong family environment surrounding me growing up, and some of the bleeds into my life now….something I seek to change for my children and all the future generations to come from our children.

2014 Goals:

As a mother:
- Choose family more over extracurricular activities 
- Pursue Christ better and be more intentional of sharing God's word with each child
- Be more diligent about making sure our home is clean
- Make a better effort to schedule play dates for each kid
- Take days off for each kid to celebrate life with them in the little ways
- Make healthier meal plans
- Save energy for my family
As a wife:

- Pursue Christ better and pray every day for Fred
- Build up Fred better, less criticism
- Be intentional about my household responsibilities
- Be financially responsible 
- Be more intentional about loving Fred with an open heart
As an International queen:

- Represent the international pageant system with class, grace and dignity
- Follow through with actions on words spoken
- Represent Soles4Souls by being intentional with training, marketing them and organizing a major shoe drive
- Have confidence in who Christ created me to be and use those abilities as He intended
- Pursue what God puts on my heart, having faith in His provisions for that task
- Don't worry about what other queens are doing. God is in control, NOT me. If being Mrs. International is my destiny, then so be it. If not, I can still change the world
The desires of my heart, future goals:

- Leaving job at athletics and still being able to provide financially for our family and have our home be more organized- Being Mrs. International to continue to represent Soles4Souls on an international scale
- Professional obstacle course racer
- Being a motivational speaker all over the world
- Motivating others to pursue their dreams and never give up hope
Dear God,

Thakn you for every opportunity you put before me. Thank you for the strength, the desire, the passion, and the faith to trust you will always be by my side.


As 2015 approaches, what does your next decade look like?


Live What you Love,

Maggi
Your Mrs. International 2014

#GiveShoesGiveLove

Friday, December 19, 2014

Holiday Mail for Heroes

I kicked off the Thanksgiving holiday by delivering cards to patients at the VA Hospital in North Little Rock. Students at Fulbright Elementary School made hundreds of cards by hand for the retired servicemen and women. I was honored to represent the Fulbright community to pass out the cards and interact with the patients!


Thank you to the staff at the hospital for being so welcoming!

Seeing the look on the Veterans’ faces when they read the mail was priceless. Members of the US Armed Forces do so much for us as citizens, and working to put a smile on their face and bring a little joy is the least we do can to try and repay them for all they have done.


The Holiday Mail for Heroes program is put on by the American Red Cross. The mail made by students has typically gone overseas to those currently serving, but they wanted to keep the cards local this year. Every school that participates reaches out to their local community of Veterans to distribute the mail.



Getting to express our gratitude to these Veterans for their service was a great way to begin a week full of Thanksgiving. A special thanks to those that protect our freedom and keep us safe!


If you believe in something, believe in it all the way!

Blair Wortsmith
Miss Teen International 2014

Dallas Margarita Ball

I was so thankful to be invited as a volunteer at the 2014 Dallas Margarita Ball! I attended the event last year and had a fantastic time! For those of you unfamiliar with Margarita Ball:

“The Dallas Margarita Society, Inc., (d.b.a. Dallas Children’s Charities) was formed in 1977 when a small group of business acquaintances decided to host a holiday party for associates and friends. The Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization whose goals are twofold. The first is to provide at-risk Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex children with gifts at Christmas time and the second is to help those community organizations that work with at-risk children throughout the year. The Dallas Margarita Ball has grown over the years and is now believed to be the largest annual invitation only charity black tie gala in the world, providing gifts for more than 6,800 at-risk children each year.” – Margarita Ball Website

I was so grateful to be able to spend time with my sister queen, Mrs International 2014 Maggi Thorne! We collected toys that patrons brought to donate to Dallas Children’s Charities. Each and every toy gets sorted by gender and age and distributed to needy children for the holidays.

An entire WALL covered in donated toys!

All of the guests in their black tie outfits!

Mrs International 2014 and I at Margarita Ball 2014!

Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

North Dakota International Pageant

Welcome to Fargo, North Dakota!”. My husband Fred and I recently had the honor of judging for the North Dakota International Pageants. As Allison and Kathy, the state directors greeted us in the hotel lobby with welcoming hugs, we settled in and then headed to our judges orientation.

Interview immediately followed our orientation and woman after woman, I knew a very difficult task was ahead. Each one passionate, prepared and full of courage.


From 5:30pm until 9pm we interviewed a classy, inspiring group of ladies for each category of Teen, Miss and Mrs.

I would like to thank Janelle Steinberg, Mrs. North Dakota 2014 who is one of the sweetest and funniest ladies I know. Her and her husband hosted us at their restaurant, Rookies, Friday night. So proud of you Janelle!!

Saturday was a full day in itself watching rehearsals thinking in just a few short hours, one of these title holders would be closer to competing on an International stage in Florida with women from around the world!

Right before the show, the judges and I snapped a quick picture with the state directors Kathy and Allison. They are SO inspiring and with over two decades of serving the International Pageant system, they are amazing!



The crowning moment came and the look of joy was bright on each ladies face.


I was very excited to see so many former North Dakota International Queens came to watch!!!


Thank you for Allison and Kathy for allowing me to share with the audience about Soles4Souls!


Also, a nod to my 2013 International Pageant sisters Jen Mauch and Shannon Van Uden Rook. Love you ladies!!!


Good luck 2015 class, keep working hard!

Thank you to Dunn brothers coffee for some meals, Chipperz for the treats and Rookies for delicious food!

Allison and Kathy, thank you for including us, a true honor to serve you as judges.

Live What you Love,

Maggi
Your Mrs. International 2014

#GiveShoesGiveLove