April 30, 2009

Today is the Day!

Most of you have probably seen my previous post about the St. Judes Fashion show I'm going to be in tonight ... But I don't know if most of you have seen what I've been nightmaring (I know it's not technically a verb, or word at all, but work with me people) about this week. Please click (or copy and paste into your browser) this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqYGoQsLPWg to see the inner workings of my functioning, yet sleeping brain.

Please, please shoot a prayer up for me so I don't face-plant like that. My legs are already jello from Bikram .... I'm going to have to do some serious stretching to get myself back into the game.

But, nevertheless, I'm super excited!

Check in tomorrow to see how everything falls into place. I mean, goes.

April 29, 2009

Workshop Weekend

Last Friday I got up at the crack of dawn, put on my face (game face that is), and headed out to Long Island to do a couple of RJR presentations. The students were really responsive, well-behaved, and eager. Which was awesome. Well, awesome other than when I got a nose-bleed in between my second and third class and the kids followed me out into the hall and to the bathroom still asking for autographs. Eww. I don't care if Santa Claus is in the hall, I'm not getting NEAR his nose-bleed.

Anyhow, after the success of the presentations I made my way back into the city and packed my leopard carry on full of various half-outfits, shoes, and cocktail dresses. After an intensely sweaty struggle down the four flights of stairs and several block walk I made it into my air-conditioned zipcar and prepared myself for the drive to Albany. Scooting down into my seat I was amped to be able to drive with the windows down, music loud, and iced coffee in hand. Unfortunately, it ended up taking 5 hours to get there and not 2 hours and 45 minutes. Fortunately the Miss NY Board of Directors was there and ready to meet me with hilarious open arms. They are ree.donk.u.lous. Don't believe me? See below.


Note that the ED is shooting me in the head. I'm only slightly concerned, Erin.

Late night, early morning, quick trip to the gym ... and voila! Workshop began. The girls filmed their up close and personals for the Miss NY video. Last year I divulged my secret obsession with mayonnaise. I think I also said I had scared off a couple of first-dates that way. I don't know how accurate that was ... I'm sure they were frightened on more levels than just that one. This year I didn't let loose any secrets as such, but I did drop some gems in there. That evening we had a formal reception which the Mayor came to, he's pretty hysterical and the girls loved him.

The evening came to a close and a twilight zone lingered on the other end for Linda Carbo and me.

As the contestants got up and headed to talent previews I definitely went to a bowling alley to participate in a live interview during a bowling tournament. Apparently every Sunday morning 10,000 people in Albany watch this bowling show. Who woulda thunk?! Anyhow, we've got a winner for the most awkward moment of my year ... and here she goes ...

Interviewer (a former PBA member): His shots seem to continue to become more erotic.

Silence.

ME: Do you mean erratic?

Interviewer: Yes! Yes! Oh my gosh, it gets 10 times hotter when Miss NY joins the bowling show!

cricket. cricket. cricket. (As a harnessed snicker reverberates in my head.)

After that I headed back to the theater and listened to Kate talk about interview. Talk about a throw-back. I joined her on stage for a bit and I found myself tearing up a bit. It was weird. Since I don't cry and all. (I think my mom used to think I was somewhat heartless as a teenager). But I felt as if I had time-warped to last year, looking at each of those girls realizing one would soon take my job. The excitement, nervosity, and enthusiasm on their end is unparalleled. I started to become retrospective and consider if I had done what I had wanted with my year; for the Miss NY Organization, as a representation of my state (all of you haters out there, my state = New York), and as a blueprint of who my family and friends have encouraged me to become, and most importantly for those I promised, through my platform, to push towards progress.

Then I got to speak to the girls about my job and the reality show. I wanted to make it crystal clear that this is a job. An honest to goodness difficult job. Not that just requires a smile and a sharpie but literally requires blood, sweat, and tears (and paperwork. lots of it.). I went on for a while and Kate finally said, "hey! tell them about some of the fun things you've done." I don't think I came off too negative, but I think it's incredibly important to understand the role you will undertake for a year.

And in that disposition I hopped into my car and zipped back to the city, following the bright lights home.

PS: I'm sure you wanted to know about the girls competing. Here's the deal, all 22 are capable of taking my job over. The decision will lie in the hands of 5 strangers at the end of the stage. They're ready to work hard for this goal over the next 2 months ... June 28th we'll see who takes the cake! (Sike, I'll be the one eating the cake. They'll be denying it for another year! muhahaha)


April 27, 2009

Return to Normalcy.

My mom sent up a package last week with a dress she repaired for me, and of course, guess what else was in the box? Articles! (Between you and me, I think she's fairly excited that I actually take a gander at all of these ripped out pages of magazines ... much less post some cool finds on here, so humor us!)

This batch was really good. I wish I could sit on some of these neat things for a drought, but I can't. I just can't run the risk of them a) running out or b) being discontinued before I find the time/remember to post. So, enjoy!

1. I'm a sucker for earrings. Scratch that. I'm a sucker for all jewels. Particularly the sparkly stuff. (Another thing I inherited from my mother, it wasn't just her face!) So, when I saw these studs I got really excited. See, there is a fine line between faux and Chinatown. Obviously there is nothing wrong with Chinatown - every single pashmina I own (minus the one Bryan bought for me in India) originally hailed from Chinatown. But with the jewelry you run the risk of turning green in two wears. So I'm fairly stoked that Kate Spade has whipped out some faux sparklers, and in all kinds of colors nonetheless! Not to mention the neat price tag at $45.


Bahh! In the words of Chip Brown, they're FAAAABULOUS!

2. I've always loved the black and white silhouette cut-outs of children. I think they're so elegant, but can also be super rad if done in bright colors. Anyhow, I really want one. Of something. Maybe even Piper. Technically she's my child even though I pawned her off on Mike and Lisa upon arrival in the Big Apple. Either way, take a look. Here's the website, too.



That's a teeny pair of scissors, fo' sho!

3. Lastly, my mother also gave me the love of makeup.

Quick side story: My mother uses a certain makeup product on a daily basis (she would shoot me if i divulged specifics, but, let's just say that she is making me go to the funeral home to make sure they use it as well before putting her in the ground. if only I were kidding) . But, her favorite kind is extremely specific. The company stopped carrying them so she wrote them and days later she had a box full of the discontinued item at our doorstep.

Anyhow, makeup can be expensive, but there are some drugstore brands that are awesome. According to Kristofer Buckle a professional makeup artist, these are the top 10 buys:

a. Johnson & Johnson Lavender Baby Oil, $5 (for a fresh, summery glow!)
b. Maybelline NY Colossal Volum' Express Mascara, $8
c. Max Factor Color Genius Mineral Bronzer in Sun Kissed, $9 ("Not heavily pigmented, so you can really layer it on without turning the color of a penny.") Needed/I recommend to college aged girls nationwide.
d. L'Oreal Paris Infallible Lip Gloss in Dulce de Leche, $11 (goes with all skin tones)
e. Dove Deep Moisture Foaming Cloths, $7
f. New York Color Cheek Blush in Riverside Rose, $2
g. Max Factor Lipfinity 3D in Midori Glam, $9
h. Cover Girl Eye Enhancers kit in Shimmering Onyx, $4 (think: hot, not-harsh, smoky eye)
i. Alcon Naphcon A Eye Drops, $9 ("They make you feel like you've slept hours, even when you haven't.")
j. L'Oreal Paris True Match Blendable Makeup, $11
k. Burt's Beeswax Lip Balm, $3

I already know which ones I want. And I'm going to buy them today even though I will be unemployed in one week. But, hey! I still have a job now, don't I?

Now that was a blog I felt comfortable writing. :)

Another Victory! Though, not mine ...

Okay, so I don't blog much about things completely outside my realm of understanding often, slash ever, but here I go ... partially because I promised a new blog to a "hunk" (according to the Miss NY BOD, though I wouldn't cry the contrary) currently overseas.

This weekend was a great weekend. I went to the Miss NY workshop in Albany to watch the 22 gals competing for my job (eek, only two months left!) meet, greet, and get down to business. All the while I was nose-bleeding and going on the news in Albany for a bowling tournament. Talk about now knowing what was going on.

But, while I was there two big things were going on. 

#1. Foxfield in Charlottesville, VA. Probably the most absurd horse-race ever. Think: hot, port-a-potties, lots of pastel sundresses and bow ties, girls hand-cuffed in the back of large police vans, over-served college students and a ton of alum.

I missed you guys a lot. But next year ... I'm there. Charmin to-go roll in hand. And I know where Paul will be when I'm there ...

#2. Little 500. See, I don't know much about midwest collegiate tradition but I'm learning. Slowly but surely. Paul rode in this bike race for the last two years and his team, the Cutters, were victorious both years. If it weren't so late I would do some research to verify exactly what I'm dishing out, but I'm assuming no one will really call me out if I'm wrong, and I really have tried to listen to all of the historically ground-breaking things the Cutters have achieved. But, in totality, all I know is they're fairly ridiculous and beat lots of frats to win this race. So Paul, en route to Sweden, stopped in Indiana to watch his sister Sarah ride in the women's race on Friday (who was apparently pretty baller) and to watch most of the men's race on Saturday. 

Anyways, the Cutters won the Little 5 for the third year in a row. A freaking out Paul called me from JFK pre- flight to gay Paris speaking in a higher tone than Kate Shindle can sing. And that says a lot.

I'm going to leave it to this newspaper article to give you the particulars. But I was really excited for them. Even though I have no idea what any of this actually means, other than AWESOME. 

Ok. Night, y'all. I'll give you the insight on what I actually participated in this weekend tomorrow. But, a promise is a promise.

Sidenote: The women's race went to Pi Phi. Again, obviously I have nothing to do with this other than the fact that I have some super-serious athletic sisters (thank God I didn't get coerced into doing something like this at UVa, I would have been a debacle).

April 23, 2009

Platform Victory. VICTORY!

Okay, so, people have asked me if I was super bummed out about being so close to becoming Miss America but not taking it home. My response, even that evening, was no, not really. I believe there are a lot of pros and cons about becoming Miss America. But before you say, well why did you go then? Don't get me wrong, by the time I got to Miss America I wanted it really badly. But, I was scared too. I obviously have strong opinions and I certainly know what I want and what I expect of people. I also know the power and responsibility that comes with the job if utilized properly. But I wanted it so badly for one reason. My platform.

This past September 11th I, along with about 60 other youth, met with Usher to discuss what our societal goals were for community service/volunteerism. After that, we attended the discussion with Senator Obama and Senator McCain focusing on service efforts here in our country. The next day, I attended the Service Nation Summit - speakers included Hillary Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jon Bon Jovi, and Ted Kennedy. I also spoke alongside several other youth reading the Declaration of Youth Service - I stated, just as Martin Luther King Jr. did, that anyone can be great because anyone can serve. (my platform in it's sheer entirety right there ladies and gentlemen). I also spoke that night at the reception. It was an exhilarating couple of days. The growing excitement of the election loomed and we we were all encouraged by the two Senators views on service and how it would be implemented when one stepped into office.

Please FF to Tuesday April 22. A victorious day for me, and for our country. Our President signed the Service Act. (!!!!!!!) Here is a brief summary:

Among other things, the Serve America Act increases national service positions from 75,000 to 250,000, and creates targeted service corps to address issues related to education, health, poverty, veterans, and clean energy; creates incentives and programs to boost community and faith-based volunteering by Americans of all ages; and establishes a “Social Innovation Fund” to seed the best ideas and strategies for solving chronic societal problems (a detailed summary can be found at
http://www.nationalservice.gov/pdf/09_0331_recovery_summary.pdf).)

To make the day even better, I was invited to be a part of New York Cares kick-off for their campaign 50,000 for NYC. When I arrived I was introduced to the other speakers. One in particular grabbed my attention. Valerie is a senior in high school and has been a New York Cares volunteer for three years. She has done some really amazing things. But the most notable thing she said was "I go to school, I work a part time job, and I still find time to volunteer. If I can, you can too." It's true. Doesn't it seems like we always just want some "down time"? Put your down time to some good and change the landscape of your community.

I congratulated each of the 250 volunteers at the orientation for taking the initiative to be there, and on being the first 250 of the 50,000 volunteers that NYCares will mobilize this year. If you live in New York and aren't a member of NYCares, you should be. Sign up! It's easy and the orientations are painless. If you're already a member, kudos to you! (I said something similar on my Video Blog for their website, I can't wait to see how awkward I look!)

This was a HUGE day for me. As un-well as I felt my spirits were lifted and my hopes super high for our country. We can do big things, people. Because it's the small actions that matter.

So, Tuesday night I cracked open a Red Bull and "cheers-ed" our nation, our state, and our city. And thanked God that I was still Miss New York.


PS: I also interviewed with NBC Mobile on Tuesday. Did someone say Miss CA USA? Gay marriage rights? Roxana Saberi? I did. But, only after I did a celebratory dance for President Obama and the pen in his hand.

April 22, 2009

Oops ... I Did It Again.

I think I kind of fell off the train, but only briefly. Promise. See, I've been feeling pretty under the weather lately and continuous nose bleeds make it difficult to type. Eww. Gross. BUT! Alas, Tim Morehouse, ever the genius, pointed out that red things and I go hand in hand (mano y mano ... name that movie). Nose bleeds, red wine, Red Bull, and the Hampton Crabbers.

Monday night was neat. I traipsed through the rain, boarded the M15 (I took the bus!! sidenote: I don't take the bus a lot. not because I don't like it or the people, but I hate having to figure out how the metrocard goes in the payment slot. I ALWAYS MESS IT UP. then I get embarrassed.) and headed to Gracie Mansion. Like, Gracie Mansion the Mayor of NYC's house. Though, he is only the second Mayor to not live there during his political tenure, it's still technically his home. Anyways, they were honoring the Public Art placed in Public schools around NYC. As a creative arts major I understand how important it is to surround ourselves, and particularly our future generations with art. It was so nice to be able to mingle and meet those that created the art, and those that have welcomed it into their schools - seeing the impact it has had on their students universally.

Immediately after the Mayor spoke I was rushed to a side hall and was able to meet him! Okay, so it was for approximately 58 seconds. This is how it played out: He said " Miss New York? You're famous!", I replied, "no sir, not as famous as you!" his response: "I'm old, just wait, you'll be more famous. Promise.".

Mayor Bloomberg promised I was going to be more famous than he. I hope I also assume some of his wealth as I shoot to ungodly amounts of fame. Until then, I'll keep twiddling my thumbs/busting my ass and hoping for the best.

After Gracie Mansion we shuttled off (in torrential downpours, just to reiterate) to Symphony Space to watch (and have a minor, yet thrilling role) in Mr. Broadway! Ok y'all. Absurd. Completely absurd in the GREATEST way imaginable. Think a theater full of gay men, a handful of theater buffs, Tovah Feldsuh as the Mistress of Cermonies, judges: Ana Gasteyer (SNL Wicked), Beth Leavel (Drowsy Chaperone, Young Frankenstein), Charles Busch (The Allergist's Wife, The Third Story), and Seth Rudetsky (Rhapsody in Seth, Chatterbox, The Ritz). So, essentially this place was LOADED. 

They competed in swimsuit, talent, and evening wear (suits) with an onstage question. Obviously their talents were amazing. AND THEIR SWIMSUIT BODIES. Please, words cannot explain. Only pictures. Please see below.



It's true! And they didn't even use makeup artistry for those abs. (I saw them backstage ;)

After all was said and done Mr. Hair won the title of Mr. Broadway. The title really was well-deserved. Here is a sound byte from his on-stage question: How do you feel/respond to the criticism of all of the nudity in Hair? " ... (somewhat paraphrased, but honestly ... it was this good!) "Why are people so worried about nudity on stage? Shouldn't we be more worried about war and guns onstage?".  Yes, yes we should. And that is why this occurred:



Then I schlepped home through the pouring rain, crown in tow. 'Twas an eve for the books, that is fo' sho!

April 19, 2009

Miss USA #2

Okay, so to be frank - we were pretty awesome at the predictions.

But, I need time to process the sequence of events, and the results. I may not even write about it. I will just include some photos from our little soiree at Melanie's. The company was the highlight, fo' sho!

On a similar note to where I will be taking my next blog post (if I do post about the pageant, still not sure if I feel comfortable) ...

I know this is a bit overdue but ... three cheers for Governor Patterson introducing legislation in support of gay marriage. I have had the opportunity to meet with the Governor twice. The first time was when he spoke at the National Press Club in Washington,DC about the status of our economy in July. Genius. Two months later, we all needed a sneak peek to that conference. The second time I spoke with him was when I was invited to attend the State of the State Address in Albany.

I am proud that he supports what I hope to be the essence of our country, outlined and maintained by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ratified by the UN in 1948.

The first section of the Preamble simply stating:

"Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world..."




Jamming out with the Governor at the National Press Club.

Miss USA

Tonight Miss USA comes to us live from Vegas. Sounds familiar, eh?

Well, a few of the ladies competing for Miss New York and I will be shacking up and watching the live telecast. We'll try and slip our predictions on here as the night grows old ... let's see how accurate we are on the OTHER side of things.

I know I'm less than awesome. Hope they can carry some dead -weight.

xo

Answer to your Questions about St. Jude re Donations!

Dear Friends and Family,

I am writing to you, as a Model of Hope, in hopes of securing your support for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As a Model of Hope, I will be participating in DESIGN CARES 2009, a benefit fashion event that will take place on April 30, 2009 at The Armory, Lexington Avenue at 26th Street, NYC, by walking the runway.

How you can help?

* You can sponsor my runway walk at an amount of your choosing. Simply go to www.stjude.org/designcares and on the ticket purchase page use the "additional gift" space and note my name in the "referred by" space OR make a check out to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital with my name noted.

* You can purchase tickets to attend the fashion show at www.stjude.org/designcares On the ticket purchase page note my name in the "referred by" space.

A little bit about Design Cares:

DESIGN CARES was launched in 2007 as a way for the fashion and design industry to come together in support of the fight against childhood cancer and other catastrophic childhood illnesses. The event raised over $500,000 in two years and our goal is to match that amount in 2009. DESIGN CARES 2009 is a collaborative effort of many designers and with the added support of models, stylists, and celebrities, it truly is a Kaleidoscope of fashion industry professionals coming together to keep the dreams alive for children with cancer.

DESIGN CARES will feature one-of-a-kind couture evening gowns from the world’s leading designers:

DESIGNERS: Adrienne Landau ● Alberto Ferretti ● Angel Sanchez ● B. Michael ● Badgley Mischka ● Carlos Alberto ● Carolina Herrera ● Catherine Malandrino ● Chado Ralph Rucci ● Christian Cota ● Christian Siriano ● David Meister ● Diane von Furstenberg ● Domenico Vacco ● Edwin D’Angelo ● Gucci ● J. Gerard ● J. Mendel ● John Galliano ● JonValdi Couture ● Karl Lagerfeld ● Luca Luca ● Maggie Norris Couture ● Marc Jacobs Collection ● Matthew Williamson ● Michael Kors ● Narcisco Rodriguez ● Neil Bieff ● Nicole Miller ● Reem Acra ● Valentino ● Vera Wang ● Versace ● Yigal Azrouel ● Zuhair Murad and others.



Guests also enjoy music, dancing, a dance performance, restaurant tastings, cocktails, and dazzling goodie bags. VIP guests also have seating for the fashion show and access to the VIP gifting suites. Please come out and support my walk down the runway in one of these amazing gowns!

A little info about St. Jude:

When St. Jude first opened in 1962, only 4 percent of the children suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer, lived to see adulthood. Today, thanks to the research done at St. Jude, the long-term survival rate for ALL has reached 94 percent. What a wonderful gift of hope that represents to children around the world! Hope for long lives filled with love, laughter, friends, family and opportunity. Hope that was simply not there 45 years ago.

Our patients and their families come to us during the darkest hours of their lives expecting the very worst. But time and time again, parents have described the feeling of hope they experience when they walk through the doors at St. Jude. No family is ever asked to pay for treatment at St. Jude and no child is ever turned away because of an inability to pay - thanks to the generosity of people like you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at 212-239-3239. They can also take your ticket order or donation over the phone - don't forget to mention your "Model of Hope".

Thank you for your support!

Sincerely,

Leigh-Taylor Smith

April 17, 2009

The Blog Scavenger

Ok. I cannot help but pass this site along.

www.edatingdiaries.wordpress.com

Hysterics. This girl is for real. Check it out!

Wednesday's Festivities!

This past Wednesday I went to the Sacred Heart school on the UES (Upper East Side for all of you non-New Yorkers) to give a couple of my RJR presentations. Do you remember when I wrote about how I was a little timid about giving the Cum Laude speech at Hampton Roads Academy a couple of weeks ago? Well, this was an all girls school that Gossip Girl must base some of their characters/school off of. If anything can revert me to feeling like an awkward, slightly insecure 14 year old this is it. Times 10.

But, insecurities aside I gave my first presentation and these girls were AH-MAZING. I always open up to questions following the presentation, encouraging an open dialogue about smoking, underage drinking, and drug abuse. Often times I get a few questions about smoking and drinking but then they usually start to head to me about my year as Miss New York. The girls at this school were so open with me about their personal conflicts, situations with friends, etc. This was one of the first times I felt like I was really making an impact - as a peer, as a mentor. Sweet success.

Then later that evening I met up with Tim Morehouse, Olympic Silver Medalist Fencer. Or, something like that. More like friend, now. And we walked the red carpet at the Conde Nast "Hot List" party. I always love to go play with Tim (who encourages me whole-heartedly to attend birthday soirees for Olympians in the midst of near death illness - check out his facebook pic, those are my glasses that I wore out. Yeah, that bad). Whoa! Run-on. And I'm not even going to apologize.


Scott Buccheit, Kryptonyte Juice, LT, and Tim.


Anyhow, we met up with Scott Buccheit who always makes me giggle ... and Katrina Bowden from 30 Rock was there ... and Kat DeLuna ... and Melissa Haro SI Swimsuit Model ... Wah wah wee wah. The name-dropping continues and is beginning to make me cringe.

Truthfully, it's nice to just be able to kick back and relax with friends. And that is why this whole "networking" deal as Miss New York is awesome. Not necessarily the career advantages (hey! don't get me wrong, I like those, too) ... but the really neat friends I've made this year. I hope you have a single tear streaming down your face for me. Because that got really emo.

April 16, 2009

Oh My! You have a lot to catch up on ...

Sorry for being a lazy nugget but my days have been quite packed! There's so much to tell you that I'm feeling slightly intimidated by the upcoming length of this blog post. In an effort to alleviate that anxiety and to give your eyes a break I'm going to split these up into seemingly shorter segments. With me? Neat.

Friday morning Paul, the zip (zipcar - my rad car sponsor as Miss New York!), and I loaded up and made the journey down South. Somehow I had been convinced to rent the BMW 5 series. I mean, obviously (?). As we pulled out from in front of my apartment building and squeezed by a truck, hit the sideview mirror on the back of the truck and began our journey we had only gray skies ahead. (I'm also not joking about hitting the side view mirror, fortunately there was no physical damage).

Anyhow, after hours looking at either nothing or this:



we finally made it to Hampton, VA to enjoy Easter weekend with the family. We played on Friday night as a fam - and then Saturday we headed to Colonial Williamsburg. When younger my grandparents would always get us seasons passes to Busch Gardens/Water Country for Christmas - but of course, as a compromise, my mom would take us on in depth explorations of Colonial Williamsburg at it's finest. From Bruton Parish, to the Wythe Candy Store (my favorite, obviously) this is where I honed my adoration for history. And for Felicity, the red-headed American Girl doll. But that's another blog entry in itself. Despite the rainy weather we enjoyed ourselves.


We weren't really locked up, if you were concerned.



After trekking through Colonial Williamsburg we played at the outlets. And then ate dinner at our beach house. Lisa coooked up some delicious treats - fried chicken, homemade mac and cheese, "backyard beans", and rolls. But, the best part was the ending. Please See Below.





And if that wasn't the icing on top (yes, pun intended), the whole fam gathered 'round for an intense game of Cranium. I have some insanely hilarious videos for you to watch below. You may not be in stitches like us, but hopefully you'll at least get a little giggle out of the sheer absurdity of it all. We're a competitive bunch but we actually made it through the game without any yelling, thrown fists, or tears. All in all, it was a success with the win going to Mike and Lisa. The 'rents.

video


He was humming "It's a Small World". Not joking.



video


Laura. Waterbed.


The next morning Jesus resurrected, LT was allowed to drink Starbucks again, and the family packed it up and went to Hampton Baptist Church. Assumedly my 23rd Easter there. I always love seeing the warm and familiar faces of those that I grew up with. What a blessing each of them is and has been in my life.

After a delicious, delicious Easter dinner we hit the road back to NYC. I think if people put a camera in our car they would think we were weird. But, obviously that has never stopped me. Thank goodness for an Easter basket full of chocolate goo-filled items.

Speaking of goo ... I'm YOUR goo.

April 9, 2009

What I'm Doing Tomorrow. By Picture.

Or, er, graffiti. My brother Bryan married one of the coolest chicks in town. Super smart (most likely smarter than my brother and I combined), hysterical, kind-hearted, beautiful, AND she likes to play with me, too! But what most don't know about her is she is a STELLAR facebook graffiti artist.

Laura drew this picture on my Facebook wall in sheer anticipation of our arrival into Hampton, VA tomorrow.


She signed Bryan's name, too. But I'm fairly confident she should take all of the credit for this one.

Second Times a Charm?

Ok guys. Here we go. I've been promised that I will not ... WILL NOT, get bumped from this one. If I do, I'm going to egg someone's brownstone or something. (Kidding, people, kidding. I've never done that before.)

Here's what I'm talking about --------->

I'm one of the Models of Hope for this slammin' cause. As most of you know I'm fairly obsessed with children but I also have a personal tie to this cause. One of my good friends was diagnosed with cancer our junior year of high school. Ever positive and radiant she handled herself with an admirable sense of grace and confidence as she battled the disease. Unfortunately we lost Stacy to cancer our first year of college.

I've donated my hair to Locks of Love 3 times to date (this time around it's slowly making it's way back) . It's always a test in humility, but the first time I thought, "ugh, this bob is really un-cute on my round face ..." then, I nearly hit myself. My gosh, my hair grows back. Often times these children will go through rounds and rounds of chemotherapy to attack their cancer losing every bit of hair they have. To give them some sense of comfort or confidence, through donating hair to be made into a wig is the least I can do.

SO, now that I've talked about that ... I'm a Model of Hope in this event. Here are the deets:

"St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases.
St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive
Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and
medical communities around the world. Our patients and their families come to us during the darkest hours of their lives expecting the very worst. But time and time again, parents have described the feeling of hope they experience when they walk through the doors at St. Jude. No family is ever asked to pay for treatment at St. Jude and no child is ever turned away because of an inability to pay - thanks to the generosity of people like you."


I'm so excited about this opportunity. But, here's the thing: you can sponsor me as a model ... If you do, I'll model like I did at Miss A. Scratch that. I 'll walk like a supermodel. Slash really, really try. Don't donate for me though. Donate for Stacy. Donate for the child that is suffering but overcoming this disease in a valiant way. Donate for those you know who have beaten, or lost the battle to this disease. This will be epic.

Humbly yours.

LT

PS: Don't disappoint me. ;)

April 7, 2009

Fat Lady, is that you? OMG, are Pigs Flying?

Indeed, indeed! Vermont has legalized gay marriage.

The only thing better than this is the fact that I'm celebrating Jesus' resurrection in Hampton with my family. Nothing trumps Jesus (I mean honestly, we sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus and blow out candles on Christmas Eve ... and this is not my attempt at a joke either).

But come on! Vermont, Iowa ... my hat is off to you. Hopefully the rest of our nation is starting to get the idea that civil liberties shouldn't be limited to those that are in love with the opposite sex. As I said in an article at the beginning of the year, I know I don't want to be judged for who I fall in love with, nor do I want to be restricted in my rights in conjunction with that - so what gives me the right to do just that? Nada.

I love this. LOVE it.

PS: Heterosexual married couples experience over 1,138 rights that homosexuals are denied. For reals.

PPS: Hey, Wall- Street-ers and politicians alike, wanna boost the economy? By allowing same-sex marriage there would be 2 billion flowing into the wedding industry alone. Neat, eh?

Tune In!

I forgot to let you all know that I will be chatting live on Pageant Radio. Don't believe it exists? Try me.

12-1220!

xo

April 6, 2009

Hey, you! Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks!

Kidding, kidding. I got a hot dog, just like the ones my mom fed me every single Friday night in the Fall from the moment I could chew without choking until I got shipped off to college. You know, at my dad's football games. This is him. I've always been "Coach Smith's daughter". Finally when I went to Miss America there were about four weeks in there where he said people called him MY DAD. Talk about victory.

Anyways, back to the point. Saturday morning I went to the Yankees v Cubs exhibition game at the new Yankee Stadium. First of all I want to applaud the 4 train for getting us there in record time. Who knew you could get to the Bronx from midtown in, uh, 15-20 minutes? If you live in the Bronx and that isn't normal, sorry (the F train really stinks too if it makes you feel any better), but I was impressed nonetheless. The game was many things; one being fun. It was also windy. Really, really windy. And I had to deal with a couple of Cubs fans who weren't too thrilled with the 10-1 outcome (hence we didn't see the end of the game). Crippling defeat is never worn very well. Again, joking. I'm talking smack like I'm some sort of avid baseball fan which I'm most certainly not. I think it's just because I don't have a team though ... maybe sooner than later I'll be recruited to wear the red and blue. If so, that's ok, because then I can switch it out for both seasons -- the Giants wear those colors, too!



The new Yankee Stadium!

Then I hurried home, cleaned my room (cough, cough, MOM!), and eagerly anticipated the arrival of Ashley Wheeler, Miss Vermont. Ashley and I got really close on the reality show, kept in touch before Miss A, and then have obviously done so since. There are so many good stories behind our friendship but here is one:

We ate a lot on the reality show due to the endless cookies, cakes, and ... chocolate covered strawberries. It was another one of those nights we were stuffing our mugs at 2am, after filming for hourssss, and I DARED Ashley to fit as many chocolate covered strawberries in her mouth at once. Ironically, the new Miss America, Katie Stam, was sitting there as well. And oddly, Ashley took me up on the dare. She proceeded to choke on a strawberry, ask for the Heimlich (but I kept laughing ... I knew she had a good diaphragm to push that stuff back up - I mean she won talent, y'all), and it came back up just in time for the current Miss America, Kirsten Haglund to sit down beside her. Of course she just popped in another one and we carried along our merry way. Obviously she is the jam. End of story.

So she came to NYC and we had SO MUCH fun playing. We had a couple of other ladies over on Saturday night. Talked, and laughed, and caused some general calamity. Really, really good time. Thank you, lady friends.

Sunday Ash and I explored (SoHo, Chinatown ...) then she caught her flight to Aussie to see her beau. Leaving me with a gorgeous day outside and time to play! Here comes the tragedy of the weekend ...

I went rollerblading with Paul. (The night I met Paul, Halloween, he had come over to my house with some other people and the rest of the story will remain a mystery ... perhaps due to some discrepancy ... but one thing we can all agree on is I definitely slipped on my 'blades to show him my skills ... through my pint sized apartment.) It was SOO pretty, yet SOO dangerous. 3 minutes on rollerblades is plenty of time for me to break my neck. And I did. Kind of. But, I actually broke my butt. I think I really did. Too bad I can't get a pink cast, that's all I've ever wanted out of a broken bone.



Fun and cute rollerblading. vs.

Me rollerblading. Less cute. More pain.


After my spill and more 'blading, we stopped by the grocer, cooked up some dinner and watched Ocean's Thirteen. Paul made potatoes and ate a carton of strawberries. I made some chicken fajitas. It was good. And I was content.

Great ending to a wonderful weekend.

Now I'm just enjoying the rain!

April 3, 2009

Praise the Lord!!

Equality. That whole "All men created equal ..." may finally hold some meaning. Thank you, Iowa.

I'd like to think of this issue as a parallel to the case of Loving v Virginia. Looking back and understanding the Civil Rights Movement was just ending 40 years ago is almost defeating. We may have come a long way, but we certainly have a long, long way to go.

I'm getting the tingles just thinking about this excitement!

And yes, I said praise the Lord!

April 2, 2009

Lisa Smith's Articles

When I got home this past Thursday night guess what I had PILED up on my nightstand? You guessed it ... newspaper/magazine articles collected by the one and only Lisa Smith.

So I've decided I'm going to put some of my favorite finds of hers on my blog. She has pretty impeccable taste, and I'd like to think I have a secure sense of style myself. With that said, here is your first treat!

These Gold plated Bangles with Swarovski crystals are awesome AND they're inexpensive ...



Cute right? Go check them out here. You should actually explore the entire website. It's awesome. Some definite good finds. And, if your man friend is looking for some ideas just tell him he should start reading my blog. I'll put him on the right path.

I'll have another one for you next week from little Lisa ... until then, au revoir!

PS 8 - Staten Island

Yesterday I went to Staten Island's PS 8 to hang out with the kids, and tell them to make right decisions. Each state contestant for Miss America has the opportunity to give the "Right Decisions, Right Now" program in schools across her state. Ironically, this program is sponsored by RJ Reynolds. Why ironic? Because the main focus is to discourage teens from smoking, underage drinking, and drug use. I mean really? RJ Reynolds? Wow, talk about trying to make yourselves feel better.

The students at this school were absolutely adorable. They were a younger crowd than what I've been seeing so it was refreshing to see their zealous little eyeballs darting around the room trying to figure out what the heck I was wearing on my head.


This is one of the first grade classes during their "reading club". The President, of the club would choose a student to sit in the "author's chair" and read a book to the class. Here we are thumbs - upping reading!

With little kids there is naturally a PHENOMENAL commentary. Here are just a few:

Girl 1: You look like a princess. (it's weird, crowns give off that impression.)
Girl 2: You are so pretty!
Girl 3: You are REALLY beautiful!
Girl 4: You're GORGEOUS!! You're EVEN MORE gorgeous than ME!!!!!


My crown got a smooch (and a tug) from one of the students. So cute!


We walked into the next classroom and the bell was only moments away ... these kids looked like they were about to pop off the running block. And this dialogue ensued:

Teacher: Everyone say hi to Miss New York!
Student: My mom is making jelly tonight!!!!!!!!!

And, alas, every single class asked me how old I was. One kid guessed 18. I suppose I should feel honored, but for some reason I just don't ... haha.

But, the greatest moment of my appearance yesterday was the end. I returned to the office to thank the principal Lisa Esposito for allowing me to visit with her students. Since the bell was getting ready to ring she asked if I would like to say something over the PA system. Since I'm naturally a very shy person I was a bit nervous. HA. Got you. Are you still awake? Keep reading. I of course said yes! But then we plotted ... Since it was April Fool's Day I made the following announcement, " Thank you so much for having me here today, what a great group of students you are! Since it is a special day I would like to announce that you have NO HOMEWORK tonight. Have a great afternoon!!". Note that I did not say April Fool's at the end. The principal was dying ... and I was lacing up my running shoes. I was scared those teachers were going to come after me!


Lisa Esposito, resident trouble-maker/Principal at PS 8, me, and the Vice Principal.

I hope everyone's Thursday is everything you dreamed of and more. It's almost the weekend people!