Monday, March 27, 2017

Get Your Morning Going!


As Miss International, you wake up at obscure hours to catch flights - drive to an appearance - or even do a morning interview. It is beyond exciting to have all these phenomenal adventures and you’re just grateful that God trusted you with the crown. That being said, there are no excuses on how early it is. If Miss International is expected to be somewhere… she is expected to be there early and look the part. That means early mornings and coffee. Lots of coffee.

While I am preparing for appearances, I like to get my mind in the right state. It doesn’t matter how tired I am or how many moving parts there are. You have to remember that whoever you meet is encountering Miss International for the first time. As crowned titleholders we have the beautiful responsibility to encourage and inspire hope - we can’t do that if we’re asleep or focused on anything other than the current moment as Miss International.

Music and sermons help me prepare for the day! It’s really hard not to smile when a pastor is reminding you of God’s goodness or you’re hearing JT tell you how he “can’t stop this feeling!” Below are some of my favorite Pastors/Churches that offer their content for free online and 5 songs that are sure to get your morning going!

Online Sermons

Louie Giglio, Passion City Church

Joel Osteen, Lakewood Church

Beth Moore

Joyce Meyer

Top 5 Morning Songs

“Good Morning” Mandisa

“Can’t Stop This Feeling!” Justin Timberlake

“How Far I’ll Go” Moana Movie

“Hand Clap” Fitz & The Tantrums

“Waka Waka” Shakira

I can’t wait to see how you feed your soul with these songs and sermons! They are going start your day with excitement and joy - allowing you to pour out your true beauty to others!

Redefining Beauty Worldwide,

Amanda Moreno
Miss International 2016

I May Not Always Look Sick


“You are just being lazy”

“You could try harder”

“You must just be tired”

...“You don’t look sick”

These phrases are what chronic pain patients hear on a daily basis. We know that any illness is hard to deal with, but how about one that people cannot see. In some cases you lose weight, or suffer hair loss but with most chronic pain patients their outer image stays exactly the same.

Sometimes symptoms come and go. Allowing for good normal days and terrible bad ones. So, since most days they see are good they think “hmmm she was just tired today” or “He just wanted to miss school.”

Having an illness is tough, having a chronic illness that you will have to cope with for the rest of your life is even tougher.

It all goes back to, as an outsider looking in everything may look normal but everyone you meet is going through something. Please be kind, and try to understand. Ask questions if you have them, the chronic pain community doesn't mind! We appreciate you open-minded and wanting to learn about things us or our family members go through. Remember, everyone will experience pain at some point in their lives. It’s all about knowing how to deal with it when it comes so learn to... Dance Through the Pain!

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds."

-Orison Swett Marden

Garin Harris
Miss Teen International 2016

Friday, March 24, 2017

Pageant Wisdom


Most people have a "pageant girl" stereotype in their minds. And I get it, movies haven't exactly painted a pretty picture. Some of it is true.. I've had my share of "crazies" and "caddy Pattys" in the pageant world. But for the most part, the women are absolutely phenomenal! I've made some fabulous life-long friendships because of pageantry. Accomplished, supportive, kind and loving. However, we women, are emotional beings.. There are bound to be “hiccups” anytime you get a bunch of women together in the same competition. Some of them might even be ugly to you, so how do you handle that?

The first thing you need to know is- You're on a mission.

And anytime you enter a "mission field" you need to be prepared for attacks. I wish that wasn't the case, but then there wouldn't be a need for this blog.

When you're on the front lines doing good and making a difference, people are gonna get jealous. And not just in the "pageant world" but everywhere.

You're walking around with a target on your back. Wear it with pride because you earned it, that target is your "purple heart" medallion you for all your bravery and persistence.
Never underestimate a queen with a cause!

So when haters-hate, take it as a compliment!

Secondly, it's not about who is skinnier, or prettier, but who has the most HEART! Don't be afraid to be you, do you! Regardless of what anyone thinks...Be confident and portray it. Confidence is a million times prettier than "skinny" or "pretty." You can be both of those, but if you lack confidence, you're done!

Next, love! Love is always the answer. We've all heard the saying, (and now, the song) "kill em with kindness!" That may not be the right attitude, but nonetheless, it gets the point across. Choose love and kindness, be the bigger person, and God will reward you for it. For whatsoever you reap, you will sow!

Lastly- If you aren't the one to take the crown home.. Don't be THAT girl. Life WILL go on, and you're still a queen in your state, country or region. Be happy for the new queen, smile, and keep your composure, there is nothing uglier than a “sore loser.”

Use your current title to the fullest, and be grateful for the things you DO have, stop focusing on what you don't.

I'm your Mrs International reminding you-
TO CHOOSE LOVE,

Priscilla

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

3 Crown Worthy Hairstyles

It is never too early to start thinking about the hairstyle you want to rock at Miss International 2017. Leading up to my competition, I had an entire notebook describing my looks for each day - hair, make-up, outfit… everything! Start planning out what you want to look like for your crowning moment! Do you want edgy, classic, simple, or refined?

Let’s take a look at some of my favorite hairstyles for the upcoming pageant season that are sure to be crown worthy!

1. The Classic Pageant Look


This look is timeless and truly my favorite. I feel like it looks good on everyone. When the curls are loose it looks as if you just woke up that fabulous! Many crowns have been won with this hair-style and I doubt it will go out of style anytime soon! I selected this style for evening gown because I thought it flattered the neckline - my hair length - and face shape! Make sure that you have layers framing your face if you are trying to achieve this look. Without layers, your hair will be too heavy, unable to hold the curl, and will not frame your face in the best way. This look is always a guaranteed hit!

2. The Voluminous and Regal Up-Do


Ivanka Trump nailed it with this regal look! I love how it showcased her beautiful collarbone and gown. This look is perfect for gowns that have a high neck or intricate detail at the top. It takes someone bold and confident to pull off a look like this but it is so beautiful if you feel comfortable in it! I feel like this iconic look will show up many times, but with good reason! It’s stunning.

3. Half-Up Half-Down


In my mind, Kate Middleton can do no wrong when it comes to fashion and beauty selections. She just nails it every single time! This look has been in the pageant industry for eons. It is great if you’re selecting a gown that is ultra elegant and princess like! I enjoy how it’s a bit more formal than just all down, but not as refined as the up-do. It’s somewhere down the middle. I wore this look for many years and it always flatters my round face.

I cannot wait to see what amazing looks hit the stage at Miss International 2017!

Redefining Beauty Worldwide,

Amanda Moreno
Miss International 2016

Monday, March 13, 2017

Because of YOU!


Becoming Mrs International, has been such a blessing. I know my reign isn't over but I just wanted to use this opportunity to express my gratitude.

Recently we had the first National Infant Abandonment Awareness Day, and it was a huge hit! I know that this title played an intricate role in the success of that day. And for that, (and for many more reasons, and opportunities) I feel so thankful. Im so grateful for my husband, my family, Safe Haven Baby Boxes, The Hope Box and YOU-my faithful readers! I'm so blessed by you, thank you for reading my blogs, following my crazy “challenges” and most importantly, praying for me!

We might never know how many people or how far this challenge reached. But I know that the heart photos that I saw over social media, really touched my heart, and actually made me tear up.


It may have seemed silly to some- posting a heart selfie...But in doing so, you were sharing about Safe Haven laws...And who knows, your photo might have been the one that reached that desperate mother and saved a baby!

I know for a fact that because of you, and your willingness, many people have learned about Safe Haven Laws- A law that most have never even heard about.

Even though the “challenge” went well, we still have a lot of work to do. Please continue to share, post, and spread the word until there are no more abandonments!

I'm your Mrs International reminding you-

TO CHOOSE LOVE,

Priscilla

Pageant Planet Awards


Recently Pageant Planet released a few articles with awards for those in the pageant community! I have always said that the International Pageant system has the best sponsors, and this year they have done an amazing job being recognized for all of their accomplishments. Not only were our sponsors recognized but so were a few contestants. Here is a list so far of who has been recognized by pageant planet!


Clay Spann: Clay was not listed for 1 but 2 awards so far from Pageant Planet. He was in the Top 10 Make-Up Artist list and the Top 10 Headshot photographer list. Both of them were well deserved! I have had the privilege of working with Clay and he is not only amazing but a friend as well!

Here is what Pageant Planet says:
“Clay Spann is really a powerhouse of talent. Not only can he do your makeup for a photoshoot or pageant, but he also sells his own line of cosmetic products and makeup – and did I mention he can also take your headshot photos? Clay Spann’s headquarters is a one-stop-shop for your glamorous look for your upcoming pageant. Clay is located in Dothan, Alabama."
“Talk about a one-stop shop! Clay Spann is not only an extremely talented photographer but also an impeccable makeup artist. Embedded in each of his sessions is a makeup session with him to ensure you look and feel your best during the time spent with him. Clay has worked with the national title holders for the International Systems tem and numerous state and local titleholders for both Miss America Organization and Miss USA pageants. Clay is located in Dothan, Alabama and has a very glamorous approach to both makeup and photography. A bonus about working with Clay? If you love the products he uses on you during your makeup session, you can buy the products from him as he also has his own cosmetics line.”

Joey Rutherford: Joey is the owner of Competitive Image and also a close friend. The Competitive Image is an excellent pageant store. I purchased my evening gown and other pieces I wore at nationals from them! I will be attending the Trunk Show in April and highly recommend going. I attended last year and it helped me greatly! Congratulations to my friend Joey, I cannot wait to see you soon. 

Here is what Pageant Planet Says:
“Located in Dothan, Alabama is The Competitive Image. “Magnificent Apparel and Finery” is this boutique’s slogan. It has provided attire for hundreds of titleholders dating back to 2001. It’s no wonder The Competitive Image is among the top in the nation, as they also hold events during the year. In April, Sherri Hill will be at their Trunk Show.”

Thomas Dunn: Amanda, Priscilla, and I all just had a trip to Roanoke to see Thomas and Drew Dunn, Owners of the salon. They provided us all with fabulous hair extensions. They are so amazing, ladies please remember to book your appointments for nationals. They are the only hair and makeup sponsors allowed backstage to help with hair and makeup!

Here is what Pageant Planet Says:
“This full-service salon located in Roanoke, Virginia offers hair, makeup and even photography services. Although I have never been there myself, I was a fan as soon as I read that the salon uses Oribe products. I am a full-on fan of Oribe products for hair.”

Priscilla Pruitt: Congratulations to my sister titleholder Priscilla for making the Top 10 Mrs. Evening Gown list! Clearly it was well deserved, you look stunning in your evening gown!

Here is what Pageant Planet Says:
“This mermaid gown is beautiful, especially with the super long train and jeweled accents along the neckline and shoulders. The pure white color is stunning. It is so simple with some beautiful accents to make it stand out, and Priscilla looks beautiful in this gown! The dark hair looks amazing with the white gown. The crown and sash definitely look great with it, too."

Me: I cannot believe I was awarded with this honor! I was so excited when I heard the news that I was number 2 on Pageant Planet's Top 10 Teen Gown List . A big thank you goes to Joey from Competitive Image. Thank you for helping me pick my dream gown. You were such a crucial part of my pageant journey and I cannot thank you enough!

Here is what Pageant Planet says:
“This is an example of an insanely beautiful mermaid style gown. Garin looks jaw-droppingly stunning in this white mermaid style evening gown. The style of this design looks amazing along with its fabric and designs. She definitely chose her perfect gown for Miss Teen International 2016!”
I also want to congratulate a few of our contestants for also being recognized. Jessica Johnson made the Top 10 Teen Evening Gown list with me and Nicole Zwiercan and Jessica Jackson made the Top 10 Mrs. Evening Gown list!

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." -Orison Swett Marden

Garin Harris
Miss Teen International 2016

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Nothing Happens By Chance


There is no such thing as chance. How crazy is that? Where you are - who you meet - what you see… it’s all for a reason. It may not make sense now. It may not make sense a year from now. There will come a day when you see the pieces fit together and see your pain turn into purpose… and your test turn into a testimony… your small encounter turn into someone’s comeback. There will come a time when you realize why you met that person and had them in your life for whatever extent of time.

It’s a beautiful opportunity we have to pour into each person we encounter and love them well. Your words and actions could change the trajectory of their day. It’s a powerful and beautiful responsibility. However, without looking closely… we could miss the entire opportunity. We could completely miss our ability to change the world or a person’s life. Our words and actions could be careless and then we didn’t fulfill our purpose because we were so focused on our life that we couldn’t take time to lift up others.

Do you realize that the barista who made your Starbucks had a purpose in your life and you had a purpose in theirs?

Do you realize that the person who is sitting next to you at church could use an encouraging word and warm smile?

Do you realize that, although it seems random, the person who got grouped with you for a project may need you to show them your faith?

Each person - each moment - each encounter…. there is an ordained purpose. We can step into it or miss out on the big opportunity to be part of what Jesus is doing. Instead of just rushing by and seeing bodies… I encourage you to see people. Look into their heart and consider how you can bless them! You have no idea what your words, warm embrace or smile can do for them. Compliment their attire, ask about their life, invest in them!

You’ve been placed in this moment… this day… this location… this encounter… for a purpose. Step into this moment and the bigger story! Your true beauty has the ability to change the world.

Redefining Beauty Worldwide,

Amanda Moreno
Miss International 2016