Saturday, March 28, 2015

Michelangelo

I saw a quote recently that reminded me of our pageant journey, the vision and work it takes along with a lot of effort.


All of us are like the blocks of granite at the start of our journey and a masterpiece is waiting inside. We team with different people, other artists to help bring out the best in us…what we never thought possible until we accepted the challenge.

The hardest part is not the carving, but starting. So many people just see a block and doubt. They say it will never amount to anything, it’s not worth it, too hard, too much risk, too much of a time investment. Woah right, that is too much criticism! Becoming a masterpiece takes COURAGE, VISION, and DETERMINATION.


We cannot allow that negativity to shape our thinking taking us from a masterpiece to a “could have been” piece of art.


We allow it to limit our vision, when in fact we can aim high, and reach goals never ever thought possible.


We were all at one time blocks of marble, overlooked, never thought twice about. Then you took a chance…..


Just in case nobody has told you lately…..


I Love you sisters, shine bright, take hold of your vision, even if others are blind to what you see, start carving and become the MASTERPIECE you were always meant to be.

Live What you Love,

Maggi
Your Mrs. International 2014

#GiveShoesGiveLove

My Favorite Inspirational Quotes

Life doesn’t always go as planned, and sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated and inspired! I wanted to share with you a few quotes I have saved as my phone and computer backgrounds to help me stay positive when things aren’t always going my way!





I hope that these have been helpful! I like to keep them around where I can see them every day! You can also print out your favorite quotes and put them in your mirror or on your fridge!

Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International 2014

Friday, March 27, 2015

I Was Just Crowned…What Now?

The day you win or the day you are officially appointed to a state/area/national title is one of the most incredible days! There is lots of excitement, celebration, and anticipation for the upcoming year. Once that wears off a little it hits you that you have an entire year to begin making appearances and a much shorter amount of time to prepare for the International Pageants. It can be a little overwhelming, so let’s break it down!

The first thing you should do after your crowning is contact the organization you are partnered with to get a “game plan” for the year. Fuel Up to Play 60 was a tremendous help after my crowning because they helped me set up appearances and get the ball rolling for the upcoming twelve months.

Don’t stress, but do plan. At this point, the Miss, Teen, and Mrs. International pageants are quickly approaching. Over stressing will not be a productive step, but it is important to begin thinking about your wardrobe, travel arrangements, and preparation for the pageant. It will be here before you know it! Our International sponsors are ready to help you get ready!

If you have sister queens in your state/area/nation that you represent, reach out to them! Sister queens can help make your experience as a titleholder even more enjoyable. They can make appearances with you, be a resource when you have questions, and will always be there for a good laugh and a fun time.

Reach out to the heads of events and fundraisers in your area about upcoming events you would like to attend as the new titleholder. Don’t wait on an invite, be proactive and make it happen!

Make sure you balance your time between preparation and appearances. Stay tuned to our blog in the future for further elaboration on this topic.

It is so exciting seeing all of our new queens joining the International Pageants class of 2015. I know Maggi, Samantha, and I are looking forward to meeting you all in Jacksonville this summer!

Photos by Paula Preston!

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

Blair Wortsmith
Miss Teen International 2014

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Mind Games

This blog has been simmering in my mind for a while and is a call for encouragement to all of our pageant sisters, or anyone you know that needs to be reminded how valuable they are.

At first this blog title was going to be called “living your life by likes”, but at the end of the day, our value and self worth is only determined by one thing…what WE think of our self. It’s our mindset.


Social Media is an extremely valuable and necessary tool on your pageant journey and I encourage you to continue broadening your use of it and knowledge of each interface….BUT use it with your mind in the right place.


I have seen many women defeat themselves before even stepping on stage because they see what other titleholders are doing and begin to tell themselves they are not good enough. This is heartbreaking. Number one, YOU ARE AMAZING, pageant ladies are courageous!

It can easily be mistaken that people are just looking for the most expensive gown, biggest cup size, skinniest waist, etc. What is truly sexy though?


We see what others like, or maybe what has the most likes and can decrease our own personal value. Ladies, our worth is not based on the opinion of someone as they scroll through social media. Do we want to build our audience? Absolutely, but staying the real us and not tailoring our social media to fit someone else’s mold is one of the most valuable ways to live out our lives.

Keep in mind a few things:

1. We have nothing to prove to anyone


2. There will be people that will not like us….and there is nothing we can do about it. We cannot tailor to the people who have already shaped their opinion of us, if they change their mind, great, but stay authentic and celebrate the people who lift you up


3. Most of the time if someone does not like us….it actually has nothing to do with us. Our value cannot decrease based one another’s insecurity


4. The only one who can really ever defeat us….is us


5. Don’t join the club. It can be attractive to feel more “involved” in the gossip. It’s not worth it, celebrate other women, be an encourager!

6. Know who you are and stay who you are, because the real you, is THE BEST you and we “LIKE” that ☺


Live What you Love,

Maggi
Your Mrs. International 2014

#GiveShoesGiveLove

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Finger Nails & Toes

I have been asked my several girls what to do with your nails during pageant week! I know a lot of you love sparkle or crazy bling added onto your long acrylics, but pageant weekend is not the time for that. You want your nails to be subtle and not noticeable! I usually do a French manicure and nude toe nails! I would hate to distract the judges during interview or onstage with my nails! You want them to be looking at your face, not wondering what is going on with your fingertips!


Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International 2014

Friday, March 20, 2015

Fuel Up to Play 60 with the Panthers

While in North Carolina for the NC International Pageants, I had the privilege of meeting up with staff and players involved in the Fuel Up to Play 60 organization!

Dottie Ryan with the Southeast Dairy Council generously gave me some amazing FUTP60 Panthers gear! I really enjoyed meeting with the FUTP60 team that helps coordinate events with players and local schools. Thank you to everyone involved for taking time out of your schedule to speak with me!



I also met the new FUTP60 Rep for the Panthers, Graham Gano! It was such an honor meeting with this Panther Kicker to discuss fitness and a well rounded diet. Thank you for all you do, Graham!


Mrs. International, Maggi Thorne, and I were able to tour the facility, visit the field, and even try on some of the Panthers’ gear! This was the second NFL Stadium that we have visited together since August.

Cam Newton knows who to call if he needs a back up this season, ha!



The Panthers have also sponsored an official Play 60 KidZone near their stadium. I LOVE seeing the NFL give back to the community, and I know this park has given so many children the opportunity to become engaged in physical activity.



The park even has a photo booth for children that come to play!

Thank you to everyone that helped make this event happen! Go Panthers!!!

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

Blair Wortsmith
Miss Teen International 2014

International Queens in the News!

Miss Alabama International 2015 - Kaitlyn Hudson

AU Student, Miss Alabama International Works to Erase Stigma (Opelika-Auburn News)

http://www.oanow.com/news/auburnuniversity/article_64cead14-b637-11e4-a3a5-0b922de6168e.html

Miss Teen Australia International 2015 - Ruby Adamson

Cessnock's Ruby Adamson Off to Mrs, Miss and Miss Teen Pageant Competition in Florida, USA (The Advertiser)

http://www.cessnockadvertiser.com.au/story/2830732/ruby-set-to-shine-on-the-world-stage/?cs=457

Mrs. Australia International 2015 - Piper O'Neil


Piper O'Neil Becomes the First Mrs. Australia to be Crowned While Pregnant (The Daily Telegraph & Perth Now)

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/sydney-confidential/piper-oneil-becomes-the-first-mrs-australia-to-be-crowned-while-pregnant/story-fni0cvc9-1227187589764

http://www.perthnow.com.au/entertainment/confidential/piper-oneil-becomes-the-first-mrs-australia-to-be-crowned-while-pregnant/story-fnilxh2q-1227187589764

Mrs. Australia Piper O'Neil and Jordan Green Have Welcomed a Baby Boy (The Daily Telegraph)

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/sydney-confidential/mrs-australia-piper-oneill-and-jordan-green-have-welcomed-a-baby-boy-their-second-child/story-fni0cvc9-1227199255010

Mrs. Colorado International 2015 - Kimberly Dufresne

Turning Pain to Purpose: How I Survived My Eating Disorder (Mountain Connection)

http://www.mtnconnection.com/2015/02/10/61947/turning-pain-to-purpose-how-i-survived-my-eating-disorder#.VNrf2wpI6EY.facebook

Miss Florida International 2014 - Khalena Knox

Tallahassee Woman Attempts 'Match Made in Heaven' (Tallahassee Democrat)

http://www.tallahassee.com/story/life/faith/2015/02/06/tallahassee-woman-attempts-match-made-heaven/23010339/

Miss Teen Idaho International 2014 - Kelsy Patrick

Kelsy Patrick: Pageant Queen (Her Campus)

http://www.hercampus.com/school/utah/kelsy-patrick-pageant-queen

Miss Idaho International 2015 - Madison Summers
Miss Teen Idaho International 2015 - Lexie Bloom
Mrs. Idaho International 2015 - Heather Orchard

Newly Crowned Pageant Queens Explain Platforms, How They're Going to Help Our Communities (KBOI-TV 2)

http://www.kboi2.com/news/local/Newly-crowned-Idaho-International-Pageant-queens-explain-platforms-how-theyre-going-to-help-295617321.html?tab=video&c=y

Miss Teen Illinois International 2015 - Cheyenne Prowant

Who's in the News? Cheyenne Prowant (Quad-City Times)

http://qctimes.com/news/local/who-s-in-the-news-cheyenne-prowant/article_40fcdfaa-c16c-520e-b464-21ee9d284769.html

Mrs. Iowa International 2015 - Jill Barr

A Crowning Achievement (The Daily Reporter)

http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2142278.html

Miss Teen New York International 2015 - Rachel Goldsmith

Pageant Winner Takes Aim at Teen Depression (Long-Islander News)

http://www.longislandernews.com/half-hollow-hills-archives/pageant-winner-takes-aim-at-teen-depression

Miss Teen North Dakota International 2015 - Jordyn Sayler

Local Senior Named Miss Teen ND International (Times Record)

http://www.times-online.com/content/local-senior-named-miss-teen-nd-international

Mrs. North Dakota International 2015 - Erin Bertel

Her Voice: Pageant Winner Providing Hope to the Homeless Through Donations of Socks (The Forum)

http://www.inforum.com/shesays/lifestyle/3642365-her-voice-pageant-winner-providing-hope-homeless-through-donations-socks

Mrs. South Dakota International 2015 - Shirlene Hagler


Miss Teen Texas International 2014 - Jahnavi Muppaneni

Miss Teen Texas International 2014 Jahnavi Muppaneni's Stereotype-Breaking Pageant Journey (Brown Girl Magazine)

http://www.browngirlmagazine.com/2015/02/miss-teen-texas-international-2014-jahnavi-muppanenis-stereotype-breaking-pageant-journey/

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Hard Yet Joyful

Recently I saw a quote that reminded me of our journey in pageantry with our platforms.


I have a deep appreciation for the arts and since childhood have loved watching dancers, specifically ballet.

There is so much elegance and it is amazing how a story can be told through their gift of dance. Yet, there is also alot people in the audience will never see, like the hours of agonizing pain they put in before each performance. The rigorous schedules, discipline and overcoming doubt of their talents.

As International Pageants queens, we are so similar. Many people will see just the appearance side, the sashes, crowns, gowns, etc. There is much, MUCH more to us though. The courage to speak out for our platforms, the pain in our lives turned in to a passion. The discipline, commitment and elegance needed even when tired from a tough schedule.

You are not alone on your journey and the hard work will always, always bear fruit and not just a “performance” , but a story of your life that will capture an audience. Your moment of sacrifice and what no one will ever see will bear fruit of joy. Press on sister queens!

A quick fun video of what it is like to be a ballerina…..I think we are pretty similar with our passions for our platforms!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rryxZjqLtNs

Live What you Love,

Maggi
Your Mrs. International 2014

#GiveShoesGiveLove

Miss Teen, Miss and Mrs. West Virginia International Pageant

I had a fantastic time at the West Virginia International pageants Feb 21st! This was my first time hosting a pageant, so I will admit I was a little nervous! It was so much fun to be on the other side of a pageant! I think my favorite part was announcing the names of the new queens! It is such an exciting moment for them and I loved seeing the look on their faces!

I wore a huge cupcake gown by Sherri Hill and actually tripped over it going down the stairs after they announced my name as the host. Talk about an embarrassing moment! I believe I recovered well and made several jokes and references to my “fall” throughout the night! 

Congratulations to the new 2015 queens and farewell to the outgoing 2014 queens, you had an incredible year!


Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International 2014

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Makeup Work and Absences

One of the most common things said to me this year as I have traveled as Miss Teen International is, “Are you EVER at school???”

As a teen titleholder, you are more than likely to miss quite a bit of school depending on the types of events you are attending. One of my favorite things to do is speak at schools, but there is a problem with that… I am in school when everyone else is. My travel schedule also calls for a lot of days off. I’m not going to lie, my attendance record isn't the best!

However, I am in several Advanced Placement classes and managed to maintain a 4.33 GPA last semester. So how did I do it when I am missing so much school? Here’s some of my best tips for all you teens out there!

1- Let your teachers know you will be out at least a week in advance! It is important to notify your professors that you will not be there so they can prepare accordingly.

2- Try to get your makeup work BEFORE you are absent if possible. It is a lot easier to get the work done in advance than it is to come back confused and behind.

3- As soon as you know you will be absent, email your principal and attendance office about it. Every absence I have had this year has been excused because I asked prior to missing. Being proactive pays off!

4- Have an adult help you write a letter explaining your title, your platform, and why you will be absent. I’d then recommend bringing a copy of it to all of your teachers so they know why you will be gone so often.

5- Seek help from friends! I just missed an entire week of school, and without the help of my classmates I would've been extremely stressed. I’ve had them get copies of my work and I have picked them up when I got home. They have also helped explain assignments to me.

6- Prioritize what you will be missing school for. Sometimes you just have to say no to an event. I recently had to turn down some offers I would've loved to accept, but I just couldn't miss more school at that point. It stinks but school needs to come first!

7- This one is also about prioritizing, but it is in regards to the makeup work. Do the work that is more important first. I always prioritize my AP classwork over my electives.

8- And last, don’t stress about it! Missing class for events is only worth it if you enjoy the time that you're gone. You cannot do that if you are worrying about what you would be doing in class. Relax and work hard to get caught up when you return to school.

Pageant girls may not always get gold stars in attendance, but with proper planning and some great work ethic it is possible to stay on top of your schoolwork. The International Pageant girls definitely have beauty AND brains!


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

Blair Wortsmith
Miss Teen International 2014

Idaho Soles4Souls Shoe Drive

Recently we attended the Idaho International Pageants and I found my way once again driving across the United States to collect shoes, but this time from the contestants and Director Kimberly Mulkey!

Director Kimberly Mulkey and I with all of the shoes collected from the contestants, over 500 pair!

Tricia Doughty from the Mrs. Idaho International division won the Soles4Souls award for collecting the most shoes with over 400 pair! That is 400 lives changed in the effort to Wear Out Poverty!!!

Thank you for all of the contestants that participated and to help further the mission of Soles4Souls efforts to Give Shoes, Give Love and Wear out Poverty!

One of the contestants with the shoes she collected!

A special thank you to Kimberly Mulkey for making our visit to Idaho so special, we loved every minute and to the 2014 International Queens, thank you for sharing your time with us in your home state, you are sweet queens!


Congratulations for the new queens welcomed to the 2015 family!

Live What you Love,

Maggi
Your Mrs. International 2014

#GiveShoesGiveLove

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Few Simple Tips!

Hello Ladies! Lately I have received a lot of emails asking for Tips for your upcoming state INTL pageants, so I decided to make a blog to share with you all so that it could be fair! I know that I have made several blogs on interview and platform, so please refer to those if that is the area you are requesting help in! I just wanted to touch base on a few basic tips!

Posing Onstage:

Make sure your poses are meaningful and powerful, take a few seconds in each pose to truly soak it all in! Please practice in front of a mirror with your poses so you can see if they look “right” before doing them onstage. I see a lot of girls who lean back really far in their fitness wear, I think it is to “stretch out” their bodies as to look taller or leaner, but it can look odd onstage. So please be aware of your posture and stance. Also, watch posing with your inner thigh out, too often I see a girl pose with her right leg turned outward and exposing her inner thigh, it’s just not a solid look. Always keep “pretty feet” or your T- stance in mind when landing in your poses!

Wardrobe:

I know Fun Fashion can throw a lot of people off if you’ve never competed before! The best recommendation I can give, is too look at what the girls have worn the previous years, DO NOT COPY them, but it will give you an idea of what is appropriate! Be mindful of hemlines and slits! At most pageants, the judges are sitting below you in the first couple rows! Make sure that if you do a spin or have to turn sideways that you are covered up!

Onstage Question:

We have all seen it, that girl who is perfection onstage, but then bombs her onstage question. It’s heartbreaking. There are a few good things to keep in mind during this portion of competition.

ANSWER THE question! Do not give a memorized speech that completely ignores the question.

Do have an idea of what you’re going to say beforehand. The INTL pageant system will ask you about your platform, most likely something along the lines of what you’re going to do with the crown. But again, make sure to answer the question, especially if its specific and not general.

Watch your hands! I speak with my hands, so I tend to go big with them onstage and it can be distracting. SO I like to hold them behind my back while I'm not speaking!

Paperwork:

Every single word on your paperwork needs to have meaning. Far too often I have judged a pageant and asked a girl about a hobby or group she’s involved in to find out that she’s only done it once. Put things on your paperwork that you want to be asked about! Fill out the application completely, there should not be any blank space! PLEASE type your application, a hand written one seems like you didn’t take the time to really prepare for the pageant!

Grooming:

If you back comb your hair, please make sure the top layer is smooth. I don’t think I can harp on this enough! In all aspects of competition, the judges will see the back of your head, including interview! Keeps you finger and toe nails simple. You do not want to distract the judges with nail designs or sparkles! I normally have a pink and white French tip on my fingers and a nude solid color on my toes! Try to also keep the perfume to a minimum when entering interview, you do not want to suffocate th4e judges by spraying 15 pumps of Chanel #5 on right before going in!

I will give more extensive tips on each phase of competition as the pageant draws closer, but I hope this helps for now!

Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International 2014

Sponsor Spotlight

The International Pageant system has the most amazing sponsors! I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend some time with some of our team at the North Carolina International Pageants. This phenomenal group works very hard behind the scenes, but they definitely deserve some spotlight!

Thomas and Drew Dunn of Thomas Dunn Studios never fail to make a girl feel beautiful from the inside out. My hair has never looked so good and my face was flawless. Drew and Thomas generously take care of Mrs., Miss, and Miss Teen Internationals’ hair needs throughout their reigns. I am thankful for both their sponsorship and friendship!


Chelsea Cooley is amazing! This fabulous lady is the Official Walking Coach of the International Pageants, and she was also the emcee for the NC Pageant. The song “Uptown Funk” was playing during rehearsals when it was time for me to come onstage to be introduced, and Chelsea and I both started dancing! We decided our dance moves were a great addition to the show. She is so fun and very talented!

A.T. Dunn truly knows how to train a girl! During dinner before the show, A.T. and I had a great time discussing health and fitness since it is a topic near and dear to both of our hearts. A.T. has so many success stories, yet he never puts a client on a “diet.” It really is all about moderation. Thank you for not just your fitness guidance but the life skills you share with your clients!


My Competitive Image gown for the pageant was such a hit! I absolutely adored this stunning Sherri Hill gown. The front was simple and elegant, and the back definitely had the bling! It was perfect, and we are so lucky to have someone as talented as Joey on our team!



Thank you to these sponsors and the rest of the International Pageants team for sharing your time and talents with the contestants of our system! We love you!

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

Blair Wortsmith
Miss Teen International 2014

Monday, March 16, 2015

Paul Is Why


A motorcycle sat in front of a large picture collage at the Adamec Harley Davidson in Jacksonville Florida. Simply written across the middle of the collage was a name and date.

Paul Figura

1963 – 2014


Paul was a beloved figure of the community as a internationally known photographer, Harley rider, father and friend.

It can he bard to capture someone’s life in a few pictures, but as the community poured in to support the life of their friend who had a stroke and died last year, you could see his spirit in the people that were there.

The fundraising event was held on the last day of Heart month, February 28th to honor Paul’s legacy and raise money for the American Heart Association. Winn-Dixie flew in chefs from across the country to cook their best recipe in a chili cook-off. AHA First Coast was kind enough to make me a judge in the contest, so I had to put my taste buds to work!

The 8 master chefs from Winn-Dixie who puts their skills to work for the American Heart Association

The Chefs dishing out their chili to attendees, each recipe was AMAZING. One even incorporated dark chocolate and one was named “Princess Chili”. Yes, I loved them both (actually all of them!) 

Thank you SO much for AHA First Coast for inviting the International Pageant system to be a part of the event! It was a well organized event with so many passionate people on AHA Jacksonville’s staff. The community came out despite the rain to support a great man, because Paul is Why.


Live What you Love,

Maggi
Your Mrs. International 2014

#GiveShoesGiveLove

Go Red For Women Fashion Show

I hope everyone caught the live stream of the 2015 Go Red For Women Fashion Show in New York City! Tons of celebrities graced the runway is cutting edge gowns and unique red fashions! I was able to join The American Heart Association Los Angeles and The National Association Of Professional Women at City Club Los Angeles for a private screening of the show!

My Red Gown and the Gorgeous view of Los Angeles!

We were also able to listen to Crystal give a speech on her congenital heart disease. She is an amazing young woman who is now paying it forward and helping children who are facing the same open heart surgeries as she did. She goes to hospitals and passes out capes to young heart survivors as well as fundraises for American Heart Association.

Speaking in front of the group after the show! 

I was also given the opportunity to give my “preventative” heart health story! I love that the International pageant system is partnered with Go Red because of how involved I have been with them for the past 8 years! I highly encourage all future contestants who aren’t involved, to get started NOW! Especially while its heart healthy month!!

Ignite your spark,

Samantha Riddle
Miss International 2014

Sunday, March 15, 2015

AHA National Walking Day

One of my all-time favorite days of the year is quickly approaching… NATIONAL WALKING DAY! I’m not fooling around, this event on April 1st is a blast!;) This holiday was initiated by the American Heart Association to help combat the obesity epidemic and reduce rates of cardiovascular disease and stroke occurrences.


National Walking Day is what helped me launch “Walking Wednesday” that I hold in my neighborhood during the warmer months of the year. The holiday was held last year during my time as Miss Teen Little Rock International- just weeks before winning the title of Miss Teen Arkansas International.

My neighbors and I joined together last year to walk for this holiday.

Some of my little walkers getting high fives :)

I am so excited to celebrate again, and this year I am planning on making it bigger and better than ever!

This is an AWESOME way to support the American Heart Association. It is so simple to get a walk started! Here’s some steps to follow to get your event going:
  • Use resources from AHA’s National Walking Day Toolkit to publicize your event on social media.
  • Pass out flyers from the Toolkit with a meeting location, date, and time.
  • Encourage your fellow walkers to wear red in honor of American Heart Association.
  • And last, have fun! Joining together as a community is a blast.
So what are you waiting for? Gather your family, friends, neighbors, classmates, and coworkers and get moving. Let’s not just talk the talk but WALK the WALK on April 1st!


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

Blair Wortsmith
Miss Teen International 2014