If I Lived at Trump Place

If I were to be Miss USA I would spend a year living in a chic Trump Place apartment in NYC with the beautiful Miss Universe & Miss Teen USA as my roommates! While thinking about how I would spend my time there I decided to write a limerick to illustrate it... enjoy...

Trump Place
To live there would be quite exquisite,
New Mexicans surely must visit.
I’d summon Miss Teen USA
To a ritual dance off each day,
Then make her a sweet ‘nana split!

toes, shows, & bows,


Book & Song & Body

"...when you go hard your nay's become yay's..."
-Nicki Minaj
Book: Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin (my favorite author). I love love love this book (and the sequel Something Blue) & I am so excited that they have made movie about it which comes out Friday!! I hope it lives up to the book. I read Something Borrowed about 6 years ago and I'm tempted to whip it out and re-read it before I head off to the movie. I highly recommend this entertaining novel full of girlfriend drama, humor, and incredibly relatable situations & emotions.

Song: Fly, Nicki Minaj. This song gives me the same goosebumps as You're A Superstar did when our choreographer at Miss Teen USA 2005 played it as our warm-up for the telecast! This song is awesome, that's really all I have to say.

  "I hear the criticism loud and clear
that is how I know that the time is near
so we become alive in a time of fear..."

Body:  Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser. I really love the Muard products. This facial cleanser is the perfect balance of sudsy soap and exfoliation & it's perfect for my sensitive skin. I have had my tube of it since last summer and it's not even half way gone (a little bit is all you need to get the job done!). Plus, it's part of the "Anti-Aging" line and I love the thought of combating wrinkles before 30. I think this review from the Murad website perfectly sums up my appreciation for the product:
"This cleanser gracefully walks a delicate line. It is an effective exfoliating cleanser, but is gentle at the same time. My favorite thing about it is the way that moisturizers absorb better after using it. This is a product that accomplishes what it promises."

pink paisley & polka dots,


happy monday [ i & i ]

One of my absolute favorite pieces of inspiration, a poem by Mother Theresa:

The Final Analysis
 People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone may destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is all between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

i forgive you for calling me an "ugly duckling"
Forgiving another person takes a lot of courage, but it makes you happier for letting go of those feelings by increasing positive thoughts and actions and letting go of resentment, revenge and anger. By forgiving you are not required to excuse, ignore, or pardon, rather it is an artistic talent of bringing happiness into your life. There are a few things that I like to do that have helped me move forward in my life:

one- develop an understanding and empathetic perspective. By doing this you build skills that allow you to understand the perspectives of others and better understand the person who hurt you.
two- craft a mantra that can be used to help you grow and release negative thoughts through more positive thoughts. 
For example: 
I give & receive love in all situations
I spend my thoughts on positive emotions
I look for the good in all people & circumstances
I am healthy, happy & free
three- write a letter about your feelings to the person you are trying to forgive (this is my favorite thing to do). If the relationship is important share these feelings with that individual. If the relationship is not worth repairing, and serves you no benefit, use the letter as an opportunity to release your feelings and allow yourself to move on. You can throw the letter away or burn it up if you're felling really powerful!
four- reflect on a time that you have been forgiven. What was the outcome? How did you grow? What did you learn? How did you feel mentally?
 five- imagine what your life would look like if you forgave someone who has done wrong unto you. What would change? How would you feel mentally? What knowledge & skills would you gain? What would forgiving them look like?
 six- journal about your feelings and emotions and how you have chosen to move on from it. This experience may help you in the future and help you get to know yourself better. As you move forward in life you can look back at your thoughts and have concrete evidence as to how much you have grown. Remember when you were angry at someone for hurting you in high school and you wrote out your feelings either in your diary or in a note? Then in college or post high school you looked back at that and couldn't believe that you would say those things or think that way? Yea, it's like that.

People do wrong. People make mistakes. People hurt for no reason. Forgive them anyway. 

We grow incredible amounts every day. Take every opportunity to accelerate your growth and expand your knowledge, skills and experiences and get happier.

 Be fearless, fabulous & free,



How To Be A Green Goddess

Whether you are donning the glamorous green Diamond Nexus Miss USA crown (The gemstones are all synthesized using environmentally friendly processes. There are no toxic byproducts or pollutants!! Props to the Miss UNIVERSE Organization & D. Trump!!) or a flirty hand crafted flower crown, we all have an obligation to protect, respect, & celebrate our glorious home

Let's take a look at what is at stake if we don't own our commitment as inhabitants of the planet & take responsibility:

...wow! There is a lot at stake.
So what can we do?
Below is a list of ways that we can help reduce our carbon footprint, make a difference, & lead happier & more purposeful lives. Take a look and see what changes you can make today, and everyday (after all, shouldn't everyday be Earth Day?!). Even if you only do one of the following things you will still be making a difference
(If nothing else please check out my very last challenge.)

First, you can check out what the other Miss USA 2011 State Titleholders are doing this Earth Day! There is some really inspiring stuff on there, and some great tips!

Stop junk mail! Nothing says how much you are valued more than a personal flier from Publisher's Clearing House right?. Oh my gosh?! You got one? You are so lucky! You're a millionaire! Rid your life of this nonsense.
-You can get the Clearinghouse to stop clogging your mailbox by contacting customer service at 1-800-645-9242.
-My roommate taught me that you can call catalog companies and request to terminate delivery of catalogs (you don't really need the catalog, you can hop online & look at anything you fancy).
-You can also call the producers of your phone book and request to have that stopped as well (again, who needs it, hello... Google?).
-Wanna nip junk mail in the butt for 5 years? Send a postcard or letter to Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, PO Box 643, Carmel, NY 15012-0643.Include your complete name, address, zip code and a request to "activate the preference service".

Turn of the lights! Easy enough. Also be sure to switch out your light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CLFs) when your old bulbs burn out. Bonus points for creating a mini-terrarium with your old bulbs.

Educate yourself. Read books (eBooks? See below!), blogs, & news articles that will help you expand your knowledge & discover more ways to become a Green Goddess. Some favorites of mine:
Our Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel
Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
Curious George Plants a Tree by Margret & H.A. Rey
...after you read these books (or any books) recycle them! Donate them to a school or charity or a used book store. Or heck, make someone's day by simply leaving it on a park bench

Wash your clothes in cold water. Up to 85% of the energy it takes to machine-wash clothes goes towards heating up the water. Eek! This action helps extend the life of your clothes by preserving the color and fit. Bravo.

Walk or bike places. My next investment will be a bike. This is something I know I need to do more of. Don't feel guilty about driving your car, it is certainly a need for many people... just try to give it a rest from time to time.

Decline plastic bags as often as possible. I know this is something I used to be better at but have recently slacked off from. Here is my commitment to be more proactive & thoughtful about this. Bonus points (I really love you overachievers out there!) if you use a FEED bag. With the purchase of any FEED item a meal (or meals) is provided to help FEED the world. Feed yourself, feed the world and reduce waste.

Ditch the paper cup.... bring your own mug to the coffee shop. Just be sure to clean it first, ew.

Go paperless... a great excuse to spoil yourself with a Kindle or an iPad. Not only does it save ink, paper, and transportation costs from new books, it's also a cheaper and faster way to get a much desired book into your hands. You can page through newspapers & magazines or use it to review a document rather than printing it. If financially this is not the best investment for you at this time you can also simply borrow books from your local library (free = fabulous).

Eat one less serving of red meat each week. The combination of the energy it takes to produce meat (slaughtering, packaging, transporting), the amount of water livestock consume, the amount of water it takes to slaughter the livestock and the methane gas the livestock produce all take a huge toll on our planet. If each of us ate one less serving per week that alone would make a huge difference.... or perhaps you might be inspired and ready to educate yourself on a **gasp** vegetarian diet? This diet isn't for everyone, but if you feel it's something you could slowly ease into and commit to you should definitely go for it! Check out PETA's Vegetarian Starter Kit for more information.

Purchase products that use less packaging. For example, do you really need the individually packaged Craisins? Buy a bag of Craisins and put your servings in stylish Tupperware containers (see what I mean by "stylish" here).

Plant a tree! We love trees because they make life more aesthetically pleasant. Trees provide homes for the wildlife we adore so much. They take in bad stuff like carbon dioxide and pump out good stuff like oxygen. Are you convinced yet that trees are magical? Good. Now go plant one & give yourself a high-five!

Calculate your carbon footprint. By doing this you are taking a step towards determining what your effect is on this planet. After you have done that you can set goals and figure out ways to lessen your impact. My carbon footprint is 13.30 metric tons per year. Eek! What's yours?

I've said it before and I'll say it again, bottle your own water baby! Educate yourself on the best reusable water bottles and treat yourself to one you truly adore. Need even more proof about the harmful effects of bottled water? You can find endless reasons at Bottled Water Blues...
"It requires 3 times as much water to make the bottle as it does to fill it... it is an exceptionally wasteful industry."
 Ah.... water. Let's take a moment to pause & reflect on the glory of water....

Now don't you just want this stuff around forever? I know I sure do. Let's make every effort to limit our wast of this precious element.... For example, turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth. Oh my gosh, check out this ill fact:
"Leaving the tap running when you're brushing your teeth wastes up to 6 litres of water a minute or 35,000 litres of water per family, per year. This means your street alone could fill an Olympic sized swimming pool each year. Which wastes huge amounts of water and is a bit stupid - it's like having the toilet flush the whole time you're on it. " -We Are What We Do

 And finally....
 The last & final (& perhaps the greatest!?) thing I urge you to do is take a look at the bigger picture, and what your role is. Determine what your vision & purpose is here on this planet. Can you clearly articulate it (should it be articulated?)? Is it ever-evolving? What have you done? What do you plan to do? How are you going to make it happen? Your life is meaningful, powerful, and extraordinary. Own it, run with it, and reflect upon its greatness & significance. We all have a place and a role. Master your life vision and use it to bring greatness to your world.

"Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings." -John F. Kennedy
 Earthling love to you!