Friday, January 30, 2015

My Favorite Workout Songs!

Sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated at the gym, especially when preparing for a pageant and you have a million other things on your mind! I wanted to share my “Workout Playlist” with you all so you can stay motivated and get that extra push in your workout!

Alive – Krewella

Bulletproof – La Roux

Centuries – Fall Out Boy

Feel This Moment – PitBull

Titanium – David Guetta

Wings- Little Mix

Something Big- Shawn Mendes

Fight Song – Rachel Platten

The Fire – Kina Grannis

Watch me Shine- Joanna Pacitti

These are some of my favorite songs to work out to! Not only do they have messages that make you want to push harder, but the beat also gets your blood pumping!

When I was onstage in my fitness wear, I walked to the songs in my head and knew all of my hard work had payed off!

Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International 2014

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

CPR Certification

One of the best parts about being Miss, Teen, or Mrs. International is working with the American Heart Association, and this Friday at school was no exception! Nearly 600 students in my graduating class became certified in hands-only CPR.

AHA has been working with legislatures for many years to make CPR training a graduation requirement for students around the nation. Because heart disease is the number one killer and providing CPR in an emergency can save lives, this is an extremely important effort. Arkansas is now one of 24 states that requires this training.

The instructors started by showing us a video from AHA to show us the importance of hands-only CPR. We then watched a tutorial video to learn the two main steps on CPR- call 911 and push hard and fast. To learn more you can watch the video below!

I was so excited to see students at my school learning more about heart disease, ways we can help in emergencies, and of course the American Heart Association!

Maggi- Mrs. International 2014, Samantha- Miss International 2014, and I also had some training in this life saving technique when attending an expo for AHA this fall. I love that our system has partnered with such an incredible organization to spread awareness of heart disease.

Three queens- CPR

Miss Teen International 2013, Haley Pontius, helped AHA to encourage CPR to become a requirement in schools. Here’s a promotional video she was a part of!

Check out the following link to see if your state requires CPR training, if bills have been introduced in the area, or if no efforts have been made. Together we can work to make it a requirement in all states!

I hope to see our regional/state/country titleholders become involved with their local AHA chapter! A heart healthy life is a happy one!

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

Blair Wortsmith
Miss Teen International 2014

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

3 Tips to Curb Your Cravings - Part 1

We all face it and can fall in to the temptation of foods that at the time seem like a great idea and taste like a good idea too….until 5 minutes later we feel miserable.

Health is a very important part of my life and not so I can fit into a size 2 dress, but to live heart healthy for my family, and to serve them with energy, a healthy mind, body and soul.

We are nearing the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Day in February and hopefully everyday, not just the few days in to 2015 as a part of a resolution you seek to live heart healthy for you and those around you.

This year in 2015 as I re-structure how our family eats to be more organic, I will be sharing some more health centered blogs.

A few things to know about me before we get in to any of them:
  • I don’t keep a scale in my house and only weigh myself a few times a year as needed like doctor’s appointments. Health is not about a number at my feet. If you just focus on being skinny, that is not healthy.
  • I don’t diet. Life is about balance and our meals should reflect this as well. I helped used the perfect plate to get ready for Mrs. International to stay balanced, but I also made sure it was portioning out fast foods or chips with it…those are energy killers. 
  • Admitting, I have been through more drive through than I can count to feed my family in the hurry of life. I found myself last year asking myself if this really the best thing for my family? Is this the nutrition legacy I want to leave with them? My husband and I both grew up in poor homes, Ramen, chips and TV dinners were our diets, whatever was cheap. But my parents still have some of those same habits and with it came numerous health issues. It is extra effort, but I am focused on taking the time to pack healthy snacks or meals to go when we are busy. It is my act of love to my family to help them be heart healthy and give them a healthy future with smart eating habits.
Ok, enough said, here we go, the Top 10 Tips to Curb Cravings!!! You can do it, this is for you, your heart health, your mind and your soul.
  • Avoid Your Triggers: The reality is you crave what you eat. As you make healthier choices, your old cravings will weaken. This year I am attempting to go Gluten-Free. I was honestly a little critical about this lifestyle before, but after embracing it have experienced a huge change in my energy, skin and eating habits. Certain situations can trigger your emotions as well and foods can tie in to our memories, becoming an emotional eating trigger. Easier said than done to avoid all situations, but you have the power to choose where you go.
  • Balance your blood sugar: Research shows low blood sugar levels are associated with low blood flow to the brain, which can jeopardize your ability to make good decisions. (Ever grocery ship hungry…get my point?) A nutritious breakfast helps keep your blood sugar stable. Fill your perfect plate with items like eggs or a protein shake or nut butters. Oatmeal is great as well and one of my go to breakfast items. Avoid eating 2 to 3 hours before bedtime so you can get a great nights sleep. 

  • Eliminate Sugar, artificial sweetness and refined carbs: It can be best to just go cold turkey, but also don’t worry if you celebrate or a special occasion with a dessert. Just don’t go driving around town finding birthday’s to justify cake everyday ☺ Soda, juices, artificial sweeteners, these all trigger cravings and your dentist will surely thank you as well. Heavy amounts of sugar have been liked to obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Stats show that the average American eats 130 pounds of sugar a year!!!
Well friends, this will get us started on curb cravings tips, stay tuned for more to come and choose to live Heart Healthy!

Live What you Love,

Your Mrs. International 2014


Monday, January 26, 2015

Healthy Chicken Recipe

I don’t know if any of you know this but I love Garlic. It is almost a mandatory ingredient in all of my meals. So when its dinner time and I am searching for the best recipe my searches always include the word garlic. As we all know trying to eat healthy can be a challenge because there are so many more options out there for unhealthy items but try your best to resist. I want to help you with resisting those unhealthy temptations so here is one of my favorite garlic chicken recipes. It’s healthy and it has garlic, it couldn’t be a better combination.


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Additional herbs and spices, as desired, aka more garlic!

Preheat oven to 450°F Line a baking dish or cookie sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with cooking spray or lightly brush with oil.

In small sauté pan, sauté garlic with the oil until tender

Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar. Add additional herbs and spices as desired.

Place chicken breasts in a prepared baking dish and cover with the garlic and brown sugar mixture.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Bake uncovered for 15-30 minutes, or until juices run clear. Cooking time will depend on the size and thickness of your chicken.

Try this recipe out and tell me what you think, if you think there can be any improvements please share them with me below.

Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International 2014

A Blog on Blogging

One of the best pieces of advice I have been given along my pageant journey was to create a blog! I launched my personal blog in October 2012, and I am so glad I did!

Blogging for the International Pageants blog is a part of the job requirement as Miss, Teen, and Mrs. International. Having blog experience in the past made the transition into this position much easier. I was used to documenting my appearances, posting about healthy living, and sharing the pageant system with the world.

It can be tough getting your own blog started, so here are five of my biggest pieces of advice as you begin your blogging journey!

1- Dedicate a morning or afternoon to get used to the server you are using to post. Whether it is Blogger, Word Press, or another, it can take some getting used to it. Practice changing the theme, adding new posts, and adjusting to the features your server offers. It’ll make future posting much simpler!

2- Make your page engaging! The International Pageants Blog is a beautiful purple with lots of pictures and graphics that draw you in. I had a little too much fun making my personal blog pretty as I designed it haha. I recommend adding lots of features and widgets that make it a simpler and more captivating experience for the reader.

3- Read other blogs to get a feel for “blog land.” It can be a little intimidating at first if you don’t know exactly what you are doing. I promise that it is better to not know what you're doing as you prepare for your state/area pageant or for the International Pageant, not after you are crowned the winner.

4- Set goals for yourself on how many posts you wish to write and how many people you hope to reach. Having measurements of improvement are a great motivator when growing your page.

5- Have fun with it! I have loved blogging when it wasn't mandatory, so now that it is a requirement it doesn't feel like “work.” Sharing the things you are doing as a titleholder should be enjoyable!

For some inspiration you can browse through the Archives on the right side of the page as far back as 2010! You can also find my personal blog at Happy blogging! :)

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

Blair Wortsmith
Miss Teen International 2014

Friday, January 23, 2015

Clay Spann FACE Makeup Must Haves

It’s 6pm and I’m driving on a Kansas country road heading back to Nebraska after 3 days of traveling. Peeking in the review mirror in amazement, my Clay Spann makeup STILL looks fresh as when he had put it on the 36 hours ago for our photo shoot.

Yes, I am admitting I didn’t wash off my makeup the night before to the world through a blog, but when realizing only getting two hours of sleep in Dothan, Alabama would be possible before driving back to Panama City for a 6 am flight departure heading to an event… leave the makeup on it was. 

Now, this cannot be a regular habit to fall asleep with makeup on, but being able to show up the next day after a photoshoot with Clay Spann to an event in another state after 2 hours of sleep at a hotel, sleeping on a plane in an aisle seat (which I have quite possibly mastered) and STILL looking fresh…..this is why I love Clay’s makeup, it is simply THE BEST!

We have all used a lot of makeup lines, but 2 years ago after learning about Clay Spann cosmetics I started using his makeup and have never looked back. My makeup bag is full of Clay’s cosmetics!!! It stays perfectly put through international travel, foreign countries with sweltering heat, appearance after appearance, hot parades, etc. Basically everything you can think of. I am an extremely active person, mom, wife and Mrs. International who always needs to feel and look my best, after all, we are in the business of first impressions. Spur of the moment speak to a crowd, how many of us would look around for a mirror? I always feel confident when wearing Clay’s makeup and ready for everything…no mirror needed.

So here are my favorite Clay Spann items that are must haves. Call Clay to get your must haves, or better yet, go see him in person to customize your makeup plan and get the best training that is out there!!

  • The Face Kit to hold Clay Spann blushes and eye shadows (my favorite colors are Bouquet for blush and vanilla shake for eye shadow!)
  • Camouflage Cover Crème (my go to is Golden Beige)
  • Picture Perfect Foundation (I’m a blend of Olive Glow and Fresco Olive)
  • Translucent Loose Powder (Warm Beige for my tone)
  • Radiant Matte Finish (Natural Tan is my go to powder)
  • Matte Bronze
Clay Spann Cosmetics has colors to fit every skin tone 
  • Eye Shimmers (I LOVE Pink Opal, looks amazing on stage)
  • Lip Glass/Lip Gloss (I use the clear over my lipsticks or the color Ruby Slipper on it’s own for some color pop)
  • Lipsticks (I cannot choose just one of these, I love them all! Different shade for everyday of the month ;) 
  • Lip Definer (Cappuccino is a must have color, blends with lip colors great)
  • Mega Lash Mascara 
After writing this list, I just realized it is basically everything, but what can I say, I love my Clay Spann Cosmetics!

This is my makeup bag contents that goes EVERYWHERE with me. All of my Clay Spann favorites as you can see get well used! A little hint for helping to grab your makeup items when applying on the go, I use little pieces of colored tape on my brushes and foundation lid so at a glance I can easily see what is what. 

Ready for your photo ready face with Clay Spann cosmetics? You can order online at

Follow Clay Spann on Facebook at

Instagram @ClaySpannPhoto

Twitter: @ClaySpannPhoto

Live What you Love,

Your Mrs. International 2014


Thursday, January 22, 2015

New Years 2015

Its 2015, last year went by way to fast. I hope everyone had a fabulous and safe New Year’s Eve. Now that it’s a New Year it means it’s time to set those resolutions. Every New Year you get the chance to set a goal to either correct something in your life or strive for something better. I have set many resolutions for myself and I encourage everyone else to not just set one resolution but pick a few and really focus on them. I picked a few resolutions and I want to share them with you.

  • Be healthy and eat healthier 
  • Workout more
  • Save money and spend less
  • Be a better friend
  • Don’t take a single day, minute, or moment for granted
  • Attend as many camp Erin’s as my busy schedule will allow. 
  • Be the best Miss International possible

Whatever your resolution happens to be make sure you stick with it, they might be hard but in the end you will feel so much better.

I would love to hear all of your resolutions! Please share them with me below, I am excited to hear everyone resolutions.

Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

5, 4, 3, 2, 1… Happy New Year!

One of the biggest events on peoples’ Bucket List is to watch the ball drop in Times Square on New Years Eve. It is something I have always dreamed of doing, and this year I had that chance.

But it wasn't just any opportunity to watch… We were VIP! Miss Florida International- Lyss Acosta-Millan, Miss NY International- Elaina Estrada, Mrs. NY International Marjorie Anglade-Vail, and Mrs. Connecticut International- Paula Mele celebrated with me, my mom, and my aunt as we rang in the New Year!

The Wounded Warrior Project is the organization we have to thank for this opportunity. Veterans and current service members joined with their friends and family in Times Square for the big day. Thank you so much to everyone with the WWP for allowing the International Pageant girls to join in on the fun!

The crowds started gathering at about 3 AM on NYE to get the best spots in Times Square for the event. I can only image how miserable it could be waiting nearly 21 hours for the ball drop! We were so fortunate to not have to wait in those long lines and crowds. The NYPD escorted our group to the closest area by the ball at about 8 PM on New Years Eve!

Nearly one million people were gathered in that area to celebrate the New Year, many traveling from around the globe to see the sight. I definitely started the year off right with a big check on the Bucket List!

Thankful for my mom and aunt for taking on the Big Apple with me!

Thank you to the Wounded Warriors Project and some of my fellow International Pageant sisters for this amazing opportunity. Being in NYC for NYE is something I will remember for the rest of my life.

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

Blair Wortsmith
Miss Teen International 2014

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Soles4Souls International Pageants Shoe Drive

Soles4Souls has launched an initiative to collect 1,000,000 shoes this year by April and you are all invited to help out to Give Shoes and Give Love!!!

Many of you have reached out to me the last 6 months and donated shoes already or collected at your events, and THANK YOU. Let’s take it to the next level and if you would like to host a collection at your upcoming pageant or ship them in, let’s connect!!

Any donation is 100% tax deductible. We would love to celebrate you helping, make sure to take a photo of you helping Soles4Souls wearing out poverty. When posting, tag @Soles4Souls , @IntlPageants , @MrsIntl2014 and use the hashtag #GiveShoesGiveLove #WearOutPoverty . Thank you International Pageant sisters, you make my heart sing with gratitude and YOU are changing the lives of millions around the world☺

Live What you Love,

Your Mrs. International 2014


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Platform Development

I have been receiving a lot of private emails asking for my help with platform development. In order to keep all of the information fair, I decided to do a blog about it for everyone to see and utilize.

I have previously posted a blog regarding how to choose a platform if you do not already have one. So, I am hoping by now that you all have a platform and are working very hard with it! Like I previously stated if you are going to compete at the national level, you will want to worth with an organization that had a national presence. You want to find a way to help on a national level. Whether it is serving on a board or committee, or even making speeches at important events that are out of state!

The judges are looking for the total package. They want a young lady who not only volunteers for her platform, but is a breath of fresh air. What are you specifically doing that is different than what the girl next to you is doing? How do you stand out? You should find ways to volunteer that can answer these questions. Whether it’s starting your own program within an existing charity, or even volunteering abroad.

Last year, we had girls who had published books, volunteered out of the country, and had spoken in front of congress! I’m not saying you need to do these things to win, they are just ideas on how to stand out and differentiate yourself from the other contestants! Feel free to email me more questions ladies, but know that The information I share will be available to all contestants out of fairness!

Ready to tell those judges what made me different!

Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International 2014

Friday, January 16, 2015

Empire State of Mind

My mom, aunt, and I definitely had an Empire State Of Mind as we headed to the Big Apple for New Years Eve! After visiting NYC for Spring Break a couple of years ago I definitely left a piece of my heart in this incredible city. It was so good to be back! I don’t think it would have been possible to do more sight seeing than we did in our short stay.

We started off our trip at the September 11th Memorial and Museum to pay our respects to those that suffered on this tragic day. It broke my heart when learning about the stories of both the survivors and those that passed.

There were two massive fountains that have the name of every person that passed on 9/11.

The new World Trade Center!

Our first night in the city we saw the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes! Even though this holiday had already passed it was still really exciting seeing this amazing show.

It was my first time going to Liberty Island to see the Statue of Liberty up close! It was the perfect day for a photo op with Lady Liberty herself.

One of my favorite places in NYC is Chelsea Market. Every time I am there I feel like a real New Yorker shopping! It is so pretty inside and has some of my favorite local stores.

I went to the Empire State Building during the day and Top of the Rock at night to get both the day and nighttime view of New York. There are no words to describe the beauty of the city from the birds eye view!

Going to be a part of the Today Show was one of the highlights of the trip. We woke up bright and early to head to Rockefeller Plaza for the show. I had a huge sign that said, “Miss Teen International Loves Today.” I made it on air a few times, and I was so excited to be able to recognize the International Pageants on national television!

Central Park is one of the most interesting parts of New York. It is literally a big park smack in the middle of a ginormous city! It was so beautiful walking through and taking in the nature amidst the hustle and bustle!

Stay tuned in my next blog for more details about New Years Eve in Times Square for the ball drop!

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

Blair Wortsmith
Miss Teen International 2014

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Travel With Mrs. International S4S Haiti - Part 2

Thank you for joining the journey to Haiti through the International Pageant Blogs!

Our travels rounded out visiting Gonaives, Haiti and Montroius distributing to some orphanages, schools and community centers. The last visit in Gonaives was my favorite at the orphanage because not only did we distribute shoes to the children, but our team visited their living quarters and really got a peek in to the life of a Haitian child.

The reality of these distributions is we will see all kinds of children facing different circumstances in Haiti. Some places get the children “polished” up to visit. At one location my heart hurt as children arrived without pants, all they literally had was the shirt on their back. That is poverty. The shoes we hand out here have such a life changing impact and I really want to thank EVERYONE that has been collecting for Soles4Souls, you are changing the course of people’s lives throughout the world forever. Mrs. Haiti International 2014 and Miss Haiti International 2014 thank you for sending shoes ahead of the trip, the children LOVED them!!!

This is typical of Haiti living quarters for most. No blankets, thin mattress’s (if they are luck to get a mattress).

This was the orphanage in Gonaives.

These shoes were donated by Lorraine Charles, Mrs. Haiti International 2014!

Live What you Love,

Your Mrs. International 2014


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

American Heart Association's Simple Seven!

The American Heart Association is the official platform of the International Pageants! Not only is it important to know about their simple 7 just in case you get asked about it in interview, but its important for you overall health as well!

1. Get Active!

If you get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day (like brisk walking), five times per week, you can almost guarantee yourself a healthier and more satisfying life while lowering your risks for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Parents, your children need 60 minutes a day–every day–so when you get active, you’re also modeling healthy living for the next generation.

2. Control Cholesterol

When you control your cholesterol, you are giving your arteries their best chance to remain clear of blockages. Cholesterol is a waxy substance and our bodies use it to make cell membranes and some hormones, but when you have too much bad cholesterol (LDL), it combines with white blood cells and forms plaque in your veins and arteries. These blockages lead to heart disease and stroke.

3. Eat Better

Let’s face it, you can’t build a healthy body on a diet of hamburgers and french fries. If you are frequently skipping out on veggies, fruit, low-fat dairy, fiber-rich whole grains, and lean meats including fish, your body is missing the basic building blocks for a healthy life. Healthy foods are the fuel our bodies use to make new cells and create the energy we need to thrive and fight diseases.

4. Manage Blood Pressure

By keeping your blood pressure in the healthy range, you are:

1. Reducing your risk of overstretched or injured blood vessel walls

2. Reducing your risk of blockages which also protects your heart and brain

3. Protecting your entire body so that your tissue receives regular supplies of blood that is rich in the oxygen it needs.

5. Lose Weight

When you shed extra fat and unnecessary pounds, you reduce the burden on your heart, lungs, blood vessels and skeleton. You give yourself the gift of active living, you lower your blood pressure and you help yourself feel better, too.

6. Reduce Blood Sugar

Lowered blood sugar helps protect your vital organs. When you reduce excessive sugars, you are giving yourself the best chance for a healthy life. The American Heart Association considers diabetes one of the six major controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease

7. Stop Smoking

If you want to live a long and healthy life, breaking the nicotine addiction will be very important. Smoking damages your entire circulatory system, and increases your risk for coronary heart disease, hardened arteries, aneurysm and blood clots.

Most of you, especially as role models in your communities are already doing all of these things, so what’s next? Help others on their path to a healthier lifestyle! I high recommend and encourage all of you to get involved with the AHA on a local level!


Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International 2014

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Learning Lessons From Failing To Achieve A Goal

I took my first ACT Test the summer after my sophomore year and again October that year. I got a 25 and then a 27. These are good scores, but I just wasn't content. I had my mind set on attending college out of state and I knew that this score was not high enough to get me where I wanted.

I took my first prep course and brought my score up to a 29 and then a 30. By June of 2014 I just knew I was going to go up again, but that wasn't the case. My score went back down to a 29. I figured it was just because I wasn't quite prepared or because I had a “summer mindset.” This also wasn't the case. September 2014 I got the 29… Again.

I had my mind set on the 32 for so long, and knew my current preparation wasn't going to get me there. I only had 2 times left to take the test before the deadlines from the colleges I was looking at. I took another prep course. I took dozens of practice test and even scored in the higher 30’s on some of them. By the time the end of October rolled around I wasn't that worried about getting the 32 but about how much higher I would get. Was it going to be a 33, 34, 35, or by some miracle maybe even a 36?

Scores come out and probably the most bittersweet score came up on the screen… A 31. It was progress and it was an awesome score, but it wasn't the 32, which is the “golden ticket” to an out-of-state school for scholarships. I was was pretty upset. I decided I was done, and that I would never take that test again. Once again, I was wrong.

On the last day of the late registration period I signed up for the December test. I even turned down an offer to go to New York City with Mrs. International to take this test at home. Why? I knew I would have regrets about it if I didn't try one more time. I had become too confident in myself before this test, and it was a humbling experience when I didn't get the score.

I prayed a lot before this time. The morning of the exam I just offered it all up to the Lord. I knew if it was a part of His plan for me to get the 32 I would. God is capable of so many things, and guiding me to a higher score wouldn’t be tough if that was His path for me.

I walked out of school after the test feeling the best I ever have about it. This is the part of the story where it is all supposed to come together and I finally get the score I wanted after 9 tries and all of the hard work and determination, right? Wrong again.

As the clock flashed 12:00 AM on December 23 I opened up the webpage, anxiously awaiting the moment I could run to my parents telling them I FINALLY got the score. I had dreamed of this moment the way pageant girls dream about their crowning moment. But wait.. I see the 31 on the screen. AGAIN.

So you are probably wondering why I shared that super long story that didn't have the happy ending I was hoping for. But let’s face it… Life isn't always full of the “happy endings” we envision for ourselves.

The good news? God has a much bigger plan for our lives than the plan we want for ourselves. A lot of lessons can be taught through failure. At this point I do not know why I didn't get that 32, but I do know that is okay.

I have faith that I will be led to the right school next year, no matter how nerve wracking and scary it is right now! I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and that I will still end up where I am supposed to be Fall 2015.

Bouncing back from failures or rejection can be really tough. This lesson can most definitely apply to the pageant scene as well. Not all of the talented, qualified, and inspiring contestants can walk away with the crown at the International Pageants next summer, but each contestant can walk away knowing that they did their best and that it was not a part of God’s plan for her at the time.

Not getting the ACT score I wanted isn't the end of the world, but it is a bummer when a lot of work is put into something and the results fall short of the ultimate goal. On the bright side I have a score that I am happy with, I gave it another try when I really wanted to give up, and I didn't let failure get the best of me. God is good all the time!

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

Blair Wortsmith
Miss Teen International 2014

Travel With Mrs. International S4S Haiti - Part 1


I have been excited for this trip for months, the official Soles4Souls travel with Mrs. International trip to Haiti!!!!

The fun thing about writing this blog right now is I am still in Haiti and can hear the roar of the Atlantic Ocean outside my window☺

If you have read previous International Pageants blogs, you would know that this country is very special to me, so it is such an honor to serve the people of Haiti with others from all across the United States. We have 10 people as a part of our official Soles4Souls travel team.

Here is the team minus our photo taker Paul. You will notice each person is wearing a “sash” or “crown”. Since this was the Mrs. International trip I wanted each trip participant to feel special, thank them for making the investment to travel and celebrate our system in a unique way!

There is one particular team member I am really excited traveled with us because not only is she an amazing woman passionate about serving humanity, but she is an International Pageant sister! Miss North Dakota International 2011 Stacy Schaffer was a part of our travel group and ended up being a wonderful travel partner. I see more trips together in our future!

Our first night after dinner we ended with a short team meeting discussing the logistics for the following day.

Up and early our first distribution day, we sorted supplies and then headed to our first site serving over 200 children with shoes.

Our first site was a large area, similar to what we just experience in Costa Rica.

The need in Haiti is above and beyond any other country we travel to. These pictures cannot depict the level of poverty that truly exists here. I tell people there is the “face value” of the houses that lines the main roads of Haiti, but try to peek back if you can when driving and you will see the real Haiti and true poverty. For these kids shoes is absolutely life changing.

The second site was a small room, and we served over 300 children. Although the room was small and we served more, it is more effective to have 4 walls around you in a distribution and one way in and out. Children in developing countries just by nature can go in to survival mode and grab items before they are handed too them out of the fear they will not receive any. It is understandable when most of these kids can go for a day or two days without a single meal. We served every last child and wrapped up day 1. A lot of happy kids in Haiti thanks to a wonderful travel team for Soles4Souls!

I am excited for what day 2 holds, early morning church awaits us and a afternoon distribution! I can never thank all of you enough your donations and support of Soles4Souls, so THANK YOU!!!

Live What you Love,

Your Mrs. International 2014