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Bright Pink Lips

Bright lips, like Zoolander's Hansel are "so hot right now,"  not to mention a nice break from the everyday-ordinary-vanilla-neutral lip colors we all wear.  I once thought, "I could never pull that off,"  so in true Me fashion, I tried anyway.  All it takes to pull of a trend, is the confidence to do so... Well, that and knowing what else to wear with it.

With a bold lip, it's important to keep the rest of the face simple.  1940's Pin Up Girls, in all of their Red-Lipped-Glory, wore very light eyeshadow and blush, anything more and they would end up looking like Mimi from the Drew Carey show.

To get my eyeshadow look, I've put together a slide show:

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

1.  I first used Bare Minerals Brightening Eye Primer all over my eyelid.

2.  Next, I applied a highlight.  I used the highlight powder that came in my Milani Eyebrow Kit, and applied it underneath my eyebrow and on the inner corner of my eye.

3. Using the Kat Von D Memento Mori eyeshadow pallet, I applied Agatha Pink {a shimmery peach} all over my eyelid, and on the inner half of my lower lash line.

4.  I then put Meditation {a light shimmery bronze from the same palette} along the crease of my eye, and on my lower orbital bone.

5.  Using Sugar Skull {a shimmery beige} I blended out my crease color into the highlight I applied in step 2.

6.   Then I went in with MAC's Woodwinked {A shimmery, warm, light golden brown} on my outer V, and brought down to the outer half of my lower lash line.

7.  I went back in with Meditation and blended the upper edge of the outer V, mostly to soften and lighten the color.

8. I then applied my eyeliner.  Today, I used Revlon Colorstay liquid liner on my upper lashline, and tried a "winged" liner for the first time.  I'm kind of crazy about how it turned out!  Then I took the Revlon Colorstay eyeliner (the cream pencil thing) and put it on my upper and lower waterlines.  THEN, I took a pencil brush and MAC's woodwinked, and swept a little over my liquid liner to soften the harsh line.

 9.  Lastly I applied a volumizing black mascara. 

I used Two Faced Papa Don't Peach blush on my cheeks and then decided everything was neutral enough for my hot pink lips!

I started with NYX lipliner in Pinky.  Then I used Revlon's colorburst lipstick in Fuchsia {I always want to spell it Fuschia}.  If Fuchsia is a little too dramatic, try Carnation, it's a little more subdued, but still a perfect pink.  Lastly I topped everything with a hot pink lip gloss

Tada!  There it is, a cool look for a hot summer!

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Temporarily Out of Order

Week 2 of anti-text is complete.  Recently, I "temporarily cancelled" texting on my cell phone.  I wanted to see #1 If I am actually dependent on texting and #2 If I could go without it for a month.

It just seems like with the advent of social networking sites and the advances in technology, no one bothers "talking" anymore.  Being social has become so anti-social.

I thought it would be difficult giving my thumbs a break, but the last two weeks have been fine.  It has been SO NICE to actually speak to human beings when I need to communicate. 

The only downer is that I'm tired of explaining to people, "No, I didn't get your text." Or, "No, I'm not ignoring you, I'm just trying a little experiment for a month or two."  I'm not entirely text less, however.  I do receive e-mails directly on my cell phone, so if the need for voice-less-communication should arise one can always e-mail.  

Could you go 1-2 months without texting?

Happy Humpday!

How's your week going?

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Quiet Library

We're almost half-way through the week, and I thought I'd make a quick lil' vid' to say "Wussup?" 

PS.  Check out those dark circles under my eyes!  I better go buy some Time Balm on the fly!

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Summer Reading

It's Monday Monday Monday! I started off this new week by accidentally sleeping in and missing my class! Oopsie! I have been really good about going to bed early, but last night I was so tired, I think the extra ZZZ's (12 hours!) were SOOO worth it.

Yesterday, after church, I went with BF to his parent's house for a pool party and BBQ. We had the best time! The weather was hot hot hot, and the pool felt great. Plus I got to see the little M's {who aren't so little anymore}.

This the last week of Summer School, and I'm desperate to find some fun summer reading. Recently I read City of Thieves {awesome}, and I'm two chapters into Water for Elephants {the movie starring R-Patz and Reese W is out next year!}  I'm determined to read as many books as I can in July and August, before Fall Semester begins.

I'm kind of a picky reader, if I'm going to read a book, it had better be worth my time. I was thinking of L.A. Candy, Sh*t My Dad Says {the mindless reads}, The Catcher in the Rye, or The Hunger Games.

Any suggestions?

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What Not to Wear

BF got called into work yesterday and it turns out, they are changing his work schedule...  Normally he works a million hours Wed-Sun.  Normally, I have to wait until midnight or 1 am to go to bed,  I usually like to stay up until he's off so we can talk about our days or hang out before bedtime.  It is really hard on me because I get up everyday at 6 am for school, and I think that the hours I'm keeping contribute to my insomnia.  Well, as I said before, BF got his schedule changed, he now has Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday's off, he will be done everyday by 4pm, and he will still be pulling well over 40 hours a week!

{Cue Handel's Messiah}

Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!

I was so excited that I made up a song and dance called "Hooray for Early Bedtimes!"

He started his new schedule started today, so after work he came over, and the sun was still up!  {Amazing}  After a few hours we got hungry.  After deciding that neither of us felt like cooking dinner {plus, we all know what an amazing culinary master I am}, we decided to hit up Roberto's for some Mexican food.  Lately, I CAN NOT get enough Mexican food.  I've had it 4 out 6 nights so far this week.  And this has been the case for the last month or so.

In the car on the way to Roberto's, I noticed his outfit.  No biggie, work clothes, but then I looked at his feet.  Black socks with white flip flops!  I begged him to take off the socks, but he refused, claiming that bare feet in shoes {even flip flops} was dis-gus-ting.  Once we were parked and walking into Roberto's he said, very loudly, "Oh and you think my outfit is bad?!?!  What is with your pants?!?!" 

I assured him there was nothing wrong with my sweatpants and t-shirt combo, and that I would leave it up to my blog readers to decide who's outfit was the most ridiculous...

Matching flip flops, we are that couple... So lame.

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Dear Shirtless Las Vegans

Dear Shirtless Las Vegans,

I realize that it is now {officially} summer and with the temperature currently pushing 110º, most of us would like to take every possible opportunity to work on our tans.   Trust me when I say that I fully understand the desire to wear a little less clothing this time of year.  There is, however, an appropriate time and place to be without aforementioned articles of clothing.

Men, let me briefly explain the places in which is not OK to go shirtless:

  While driving down the freeway in your Mustang convertible, with the top down.  I've always been one for fresh air, and rolling down the window is an adequate way to feel the nice breeze while going 65 mph.  There is no need to roll drop-top-sans-top, it is simply too hot outside.  If you should so choose to disregard what I've suggested, for the love of SPF, wear a t-shirt!

  In your front yard, whilst mowing the lawn.  Now, I realize you are "in the privacy of your own home," but your not.  You're in the "privacy" of the public eye.  The rest of us don't pay an exorbitant Home Owner's Association fee to see your belly button lint and back hair.

☀  Anywhere public.  Those little signs on the door that state, "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service," are there for a reason.  It's a wonder they even have to exist, but some schmo probably thought that IHOP was a Margaritaville.  The sign does not mean, "Take off your shirt and your shoes and don't work."  Clothing was invented for a reason, please wear some.  {On that note, "wife-beater" (horrible name) tank tops are not suitable for public, no matter how big your muscles are.  They are an undergarment, please wear as such.  I taught BF that long ago.}

☀  Unless you look like the photo below, please wear a shirt when in the company of more than just yourself/ your family and anytime you leave your house.  If your body does look like the photo below, please disregard this letter.

Thank you.

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Wah Wah Wednesday

  I need summer school to be over.  I realize I have only 1 week left, but I'm officially burnt out.  Plus I don't want to study anymore for my midterm tomorrow.  Transposable elements, you'll be the death of me!

☆  I really don't like the post office.  I returned a package and the receiver is saying they haven't yet received it, so they charged me serious money for it.  Even with the tracking number, I am unable to located this package to prove I sent it.  My sales receipt and confirmation number is not good enough.  Grr.

  I filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, as well as contacted Texas Police's Fraud Department.  No one uses my SSN and gets away with it. No one!

☆  I cleaned today, a lot, my bedroom smells like Pledge.  Mmmm.

  My parents should have let me go to beauty school.  They told me I was too smart and needed a real college degree first, then I could do whatever I wanted.  I've been bugging BF for months (since January) to get a haircut, even offering to do it myself, lying about how I've cut lots of hair in the past.  He wouldn't have it, he thinks his lady-lovely-locks are awesome.  Finally he called me Friday, "It's hot as balls, will you cut my hair?"  I.AM.TRUELY.GIFTED.  Seriously.  All those times my brothers have come home from Supercuts with botched hair cuts, I can't, for the life of me, figure out why...

I'm not at all crazy about this 1/2 beard he has going on...

☆   The self tanner I applied the other day looks awesome, I love being tan.

☆   I love reading the scriptures.  I had a concern in the back of mind, and when I read today, without looking for a solution, my concern was addressed and I was inspired to know what I need to do.

 Oh, also; No, I haven't picked a winner for my Cruise Give Away yet.  Call me a slacker, but I haven't finished blogging about my cruise either.  Once I'm done telling all about it, I'll pick someone.  It should be soon, this box-o-goodies is just taking up space.

Well folks, we're half-way through another week!  Happy Humpday!  PS Enjoy the awesomness below!

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San Juan, Puerto Rico

Day 4 of our cruise adventure brought us to San Juan, Puerto Rico!  On every cruise, the travelers are offered the option to sign up for a "shore excursion" at ever port of call. {Like our para-sail adventure in St. Thomas}  Normally there are close to 100 excursions of all different varieties and "athletic levels."  The excursion list for San Juan, however, was quite disappointing.  I believe there were only 5 excursions offered, most of which included scenic tours of Old San Juan.  Wah wah wah.

BF and I had our hearts set on one of the excursions, but weren't sure we were willing to pay $125 each for it.  However, with our refund from the Para-sail, we jumped at the opportunity to sign up.  The excursion was a "Canopy Tour of the El Yunque."  Basically it was a rain forest tour, but not in a car or bus.  The tour was given through a series of Zip Lines!  I think it was like 3 miles total of zip-lining!

Unfortunately, out of over 3,000 cruisers, and only 15 spots on the tour, there was only 1 spot available.  So BF and I decided to do our own thing.  When we ported we were dropped off right in Old San Juan.  The architecture was gorgeous, every building was colonial style and painted in the most beautiful colors.  We picked a direction and started walking, enjoying the scenery.  Most of the downtown area was undergoing renovation, so that was neat to see everything being restored.

After about 35 minutes of walking, we had finished our water (1 L each) and were completely parched and overheated.  We live in a desert with summer temperatures pushing the 120's, but there is no humidity, which is nice.  It was only about 85 in San Juan, but the humidity was so high, it was miserable to be outside.  While walking, we came to the Castillo de San Cristóbal, a Spanish Fort built in the 1700's!  We decided to stop in for some history, culture and shade!  The fort's huge stone walls basically wrap around the entire city of San Juan, it was really neat to see.

After a quick look around, we decided to find a beach.  While deciding what beach to visit, we found a Starbucks {in all its colonial glory}, grabbed some Passion Shaken Lemonades, grabbed a taxi, and headed to the beach.  We spent the rest of the day playing at the beach, the waves were humongous and a few kicked our butts.  It was awesome!  We also made sure to leave plenty of time before the ship left this time.

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Bronzed Beauty
How to Self-Tan Like a Pro

It has been just over a month since I returned from my cruise.  Ahh memories.  I didn't buy any souvenirs this year {ever notice how most souvenirs are just crap that gets thrown away?}, but I did bring home an awesome tan.  However, because I haven't been out in the 100°+ sun my once bronze complexion has faded back to something resembling pasty white British skin.

With today being the official first day of summer {hooray!} I've decided that no longer will my epidermis be brighter than the light of a thousand suns... Today, I will Self Tan!  Normally I prefer my tan to be au natural, even with the risk of wrinkles and cancer, but it is simply too hot, and I don't have the patients to sit outside all day. 

On my quest for color, I've decided to share some tips, tricks, photos, and other advice on achieving the perfect sunless tan, so as not to end up looking like Lindsey Lohan in Just My Luck {orange palms and tan lines galore!}

As in any recipe for success, I'll first list the basic ingredients:

☀  A good self tanner.  I've tried a few over the years, but this year, I'm using The Sun Laboratories Dark Self Tanning Set $66.00.  {I got mine on sale for $30 back in February} This kit is great because it comes with the tanner, an Exfoliating Body Scrub, and an after tan Moisturizer.  If that's a little pricey  for your tanning budget, they currently have an Ultra Dark Special that includes an Ultra Dark Self Tanner, the Exfoliating Body Scrub and a beach bag for $39.95.  {FYI the shades from lightest to dark are: Tan < Ultra Dark < Dark

☀  An Exfoliator.  The kit mentioned above comes with a nice exfoliate, but I personally prefer exfoliating gloves.  They are easy to use and work better than any cream or gel exfoliator I've tried.  I bought mine a few years ago from the grocery store for about $7.00.

☀  Vaseline.  Vaseline is amazing and has so many uses.  For tanning it is a super-shield that keeps the tanner off of places I don't want it, like my eyebrows, fingernails, and toenails.
  Gloves.  Gloves are easy enough to find, most people already have a pair of rubber gloves they use to clean their toilet.  I buy vinyl gloves from the drugstore {I use for tanning and waxing} and then just throw them away when I'm finished.

There are a lot of tips out there on how-to apply self tanner, but below are some of my essential tips for a fool proof tan.  Leave any of these out and you're asking for a sub-par faux glow; and no one wants it to be known that their {*cough cough*} natural beauty isn't so natural.  So on your next day off (or day when you have nowhere to be) try these tips and  get your tan on:

☀ Don't shave or wax the day of your tan. The golden goo can sink into your empty hair follicles giving your skin a nice polka dot pattern.

E.X.F.O.L.I.A.T.E. like there's no tomorrow, from head to toe.  Leave no part left untouched, including your cuticles!  When you're finished, go back and do your feet, ankles, knees, elbows, hands and wrists again.

When applying a SELF-tanner by yourSELF at home, stick to using creams or gels.  Better yet, use one with instant color that "shows where it goes."  Sprays are impossible to do at home, unless you have a helper.

Put Vaseline on and around your toenails, fingernails, eyebrows and even hairline.  This will help avoid odd discolorations in these areas.  If you slick your hair back with a head band, just apply a little Vaseline on the parts that show.  Applying a tanner will be easier when you're not worrying about where you don't the tanner to go.

☀  Wear gloves.

  Start at your feet and work your way up.  I've read a lot of articles that say the opposite, but what happens when you've applied your tanner to your stomach and then reach down to do your ankles.  Not only are you creating creases in your neck whilst looking down, but but your stomach tan will rub off onto your thighs.  Also, apply in segments: left foot, left calf, left knee, left thigh, right foot, etc., bottom, stomach, back (you may need help with this), neck, face, left arm, left forearm, right arm, right forearm.  Then I take off the gloves and do my wrists and hands last.

☀  While applying, massage in like you're being paid to do so.  The more you rub it in, and blend it out, the better your application will be.
  Time is of the essence.  Work quickly and efficiently.

☀  Wash your hands with soap and warm water immediately after your finished.

☀  Read the bottle to see how long it takes to dry.  Let your tanner dry for that amount of time.  Then try to be naked as long as possible, avoid water and sweating.

Finished!  I feel like I just spent a day at the beach, without all of the sand in unmentionable places!  Unfortunately, in a few hours the smell will kick in.  Again, this is another reason to self tan on a day where nothing is going on.  There are products out there that claim to not have "that faux tan smell" but unfortunately, this cannot be helped.  The chemicals in the product react with your skin's chemistry to create a "staining effect," part of that chemical reaction is the release of the odor. {Wah wah wah}. 

Lastly, if there were any mess-ups, go over the area with an astringent or toner, and then exfoliate the area again.  {Lemon juice and salt work well too}.

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Miss Priss Beauty Poll | June 21
Happy Father's Day!

1. Mood:  Grrrrreat!  Today I feel just like Tony the Tiger!  I'm looking forward to a day of doing nothing.  And because it's Father's Day, we're having a big dinner at my Grandparent's house {my daddy-o is still in Germany}.  My Grandpa is like a second father to us.  Growing up, my dad was in Pharmacy school for a while and then went straight into working 12 hour days to pay off those student loans.  My grandpa was the one who taught us things like how to camp, how to successfully swing from monkey bars, and how to swim.  I have always been a "grandpa's girl" so it will be nice to spend some time together.

2. Breakfast:  This morning I had a carton of blackberries and a banana.  I've been on a fruit and veggie kick lately.  It's been SO HOT here that I can't hardly stand to eat anything heavier than a popsicle, plus most fruits are in season so they're inexpensive!

3. Fragrance: The Body Shop's Satsuma lotion.  YUUUMMM.  This is one of my favorite summer smells.  It's super citrus-y but not overkill. 

4. Eye makeup:  Lavender and apricot eyeshadows from a few different brands.  L'Oreal Linuer Intense liquid liner, Lancome Hypnose Mascara.

5. Momentary makeup issue:  Finding a great concelear for undereye circles, that isn't cakey.  I have really bad "Saturn rings" due to my insomnia, and nothing is working to cover them.  I've gotten a few suggestions {Hourglass $32, TheBalm Time Balm $18, Benefit Powderflage $28}, but everything is very pricey so I'll have to save up to get them.  Anyone have any suggestions?

6. Eyebrow status: HOT MESS.  I ran out of muslin paper, and haven't been able to wax them, PLUS my manicure scissors {I use to trim them} broke.  They are scary right now, think George Whipple...

7. Last movie I watched: I watched When In Rome yesterday.  I really thought this would be cute, Josh Duhmel is easy on the eyes, and whats-her-face was cute in that Sarah Marshall movie... Nope, it was not good.  My brothers all said it was "cute" and I believed them.  But they also liked Made of Honor which I thought was too predictable.  A guy's taste in a "good chick flick" is very different than a chick's taste in a "good chick flick."

8. Latest makeup or beauty find:  I stumbled upon a blog the other day called Style Your Life, and fell in love.  This lady has great taste, and I decided that if I ever hire a personal styist, she'd be like 3rd on the list of people I consider.  Check out her site, she loves J Crew {my fave} and Old Navy and Forever 21.  Awesomeness.

9. Shoe crush:  Still loving summer sandals, I can't get enough.

10. Goals for the week:  Study, study, study.  And try to get my identity back.

Hey y'all!  I hope everyone is pumped up to face another week!  I know I am, not really but I'm trying to psyche myself out.  I have to call the IRS tomorrow and, if their office is anything like the Social Security office, I'm planning on being on hold for a very long time.  After putting alerts on my credit report and checking my accounts, etc., I called the SS office to see how I could get my SS# taken from the lame-o person who is using it down in Texas.  It took me 15 tries before I actually got a ring and not a busy signal, and then I was on hold for close to 3 hours!  When I finally got to speak to a human being she said this:

"Well as long as they are paying taxes you don't have anything to worry about..."

To which I replied, "Well, I know for a fact they are not paying taxes, and I am worrying because someone has my SS#!"

She didn't seem to think it was a big deal, and basically told me there's nothing I can do about it until the IRS comes to collecet tax money next year!

"Even though I'm calling now, in June, to get this taken care of?" I asked.


Does anyone else find it odd that no one is willing to help me?  This is a big deal, my financial feauture is at steak here.  This is why there is so much emphasis about "protecting" yourself from identity theft; because once it happens, there isn't a lot anyone can, or is willing to do to help.

Unless my phone call with the IRS fixes EVERYTHING, including getting my number taken from the person who is using it and having them thrown in jail for identity theft, I'm getting lawyers involved.  Anyway, enough venting.  Have a great week!

Your Turn
Copy this and fill it out in the Comments Section or on your own blog post.

1. Mood:
2. Breakfast:
3. Fragrance:
4. Eye makeup:
5. Momentary makeup issue:
6. Eyebrow status:
7. Last movie I watched:
8. Latest makeup or beauty find:
9. Shoe crush:
10. Goals for the week:

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Last night the bros and I decided to hang out and watch a movie.  I don't remember what we were watching, and I guess it doesn't matter, because I'm the only one that was watching the TV anyway.  You see, my brothers each share a blood supply with their laptop computers, when we watch a movie, they all sit on the couch with their computers on their laps and surf the Internet.  Kinda defeats the purpose of "watching" a movie right?

Anyway, Griff was looking at a website that sells T-shirts with "mostly inappropriate" sayings on them.  After telling us about a few that were HILLARIOUS, he read one that said, "Fire Nancy Pelosi."


Not that a few unnamed family members of mine wouldn't love for that T-shirt to be a reality, I just think it got to the point where no one was listening...
Then, Griff chimed in again, "Get it? Fire.  They spelled it F-I-R-E."

Colby quickly replied, "Uhh, yea, that's how you spell fire, dummy."

Thank goodness for the Clark County public education system.

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I was always more of an "Alan" girl myself


I'm not what you would call a "Toy Story" fan. However, I will be seeing this movie because of one character... Ken. Growing up I was more of a Midge/Alan girl rather than a Barbie/Ken girl. Seriously, Wedding Midge was probably my favorite "Barbie" of all time, and I owned close to 100 "Barbies." She had pretty red hair, and long bangs! I also loved how her wedding dress turned into a cute "reception suit." Plus her hubby Alan was gorgeous, second only to whiskery-Shaving-Fun-Ken (we know I love whiskers).

I had the whole wedding set! ♥ ♥ ♥

A beard, and "real" hair... Hawt.

Anyway, I'm off track.  Toy Story 3 has sucked me in with the new Ken doll character.  I stumbled across these videos, and was cracking up.  Hopefully he becomes a major character in the movie and makes it worth seeing.

I love the dancing!

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I'm so so so sad...  I feel like I'm constantly getting taken advantage of this week!  First, there were two separate counts of identity theft, and now this...

I was catching up on reading some blogs I enjoy and one of them led me to a blog post entitled, "How to Spot a Fake Benefit Coralista Blush."  So I read it.  I purchased Coralista from the exact same makeup website listed int he article (along with Benefit's 4 other blushes).  I like Thrrrob (it's probably my favorite blush), Dandelion is alright, Georgia (Peach) is a little light for me, but I like it, and Dallas is a nice bronzer.  However, Coralista is like one of the top-five-must-have-blushes-in-your-collection, and I just could never figure out what all the hype was about. 

Everyone says that a REAL Coralista is a beautiful coral-y, pink that smells "divine."  Mine looks like a coral-y orange, and smells like hand soap.  Anyway after reading this article, I discovered that my Coralista AND ALL 4 OF THE OTHERS are fakes!!!  The flaws are all pretty well concealed, but there were 2 major give-a-ways on each box!

My FAKE Coralista:
1. The back label of the real one says, "Sweep this coral pink powder onto cheek bones... bikini optional! (avoid eye area)."  On my FAKE blush there is no space between the "..." and the word "bikini."

2.  The ingredient label doesn't peel up to reveal ingredients in other languages, in fact the label doesn't peel, period, without ripping the box. 

Sad Face :o(

The flaws from the other 4 blushes, again, are well concealed but all have issue #2 listed above, and on each of them the benefit.com website text is not bold, it's just normal text.

If you have these products and didn't purchase them directly from the Benefit website, or a reputable distributor (Ulta or Sephora, etc.) you may want to check that you didn't get duped too.  Oh, and read this article, How to Spot a Fake Benefit Coralista, just to be sure.

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Happy Friday

In the immortal words of Sandra Bullock, "i've got so much foil on my head I'm picking up HBO."

Today I'm getting my hurr did because my roots were out of control!  (Did you see this post?  And that was a week ago!) The weekend is here and I'm kicking it off at my favorite place on the world, the salon... Primping and old lady gossip, what's not to love?!?

How are starting your weekend?


Fun Facts
I am a Beauty Queen

Well, kind of... Not really.  A few years ago, I was experiencing a very difficult time in my personal life.  My self esteem was completely shot, and I was slowly but surely sinking into a "black hole of depression" as I like to call it.  I needed a pick-me-up in a big way, but didn't know what it was, or how to go about getting it. 

Growing up, my mom's best friend was always suggesting I do pageants.  I never took it seriously, and never did get involved.  However she was persistent.  She was a pageant director for the Miss Idaho USA pageant for many years, and always talked about the great "scholarships" given to the winners and runners up {Scholarship is the wrong term, but the winners did get a big check among other things.}  One day, while I was a little down, she told my mom that the 2007 Miss Nevada USA pageant was less than one month away, but I still had a week to sign up.  My mom and I decided to look into it.

Knowing nothing about pageants, I signed up.  The catch was, that the total cost of the pageant (4 different outfits, photographs, entry fees, etc.) would cost upwards of $3,000.00!!!  However, the contestants were not allowed to spend their own money on any of it!  We were required to find sponsorships for all costs associated with the pageant and provide copies of cashiers check to prove we did so.  I live in a fairly wealthy part of town, and because I've lived here my whole life, I have a lot of close associations with people who were excited to sponsor me.  It took me only a few days to come up with the money and my Grandpa took my "headshots" in his backyard.  I was ready to go!

My brother was also super excited about this pageant business (more so than I was) and paid for me to hire a personal trainer for the month.  Because of my "blues" I had lost some weight (which I couldn't afford to loose in the first place), and needed to gain it back (10-15 lbs.) of lean muscle.  I went to the gym everyday for 29 days, at 4am, and in total gained about 12 lbs.

I also spent about 4 nights a week with my mom's friend learning how to walk.  The pageant required us to wear 5" high heels at all times, and learning to walk-gracefully- in them was no easy task.  She also recruited a "panel of judges" (different people from our church) together about once a week for mock interview sessions.  The whole experience not only prepared me, but gave me something do to besides worry about my sadness.

When pageant weekend came, I was so nervous.  I had never done anything like it before, and honestly, I had no clue what I was doing.  I prepared the night before by watching Miss Congeniality and Drop Dead Gorgeous with my family.

Some of the other contestants had been involved in pageants since birth, and one of the girls even had an entire house deemed "her pageant closet!"  These girls were also very impressive in other ways.  One girl was deaf, but had gotten her masters degree and owned a chain of tanning salons across Northern Nevada.  One girl was an active military member with a PhD.  One girl had a professional modeling contract with 4 different agencies.  It was intimidating to say the least.  I was a 22 year old pre-med student who worked in Advertising- facinating.  Some of them were very nice, helpful, and, like me, were just excited to be there and have a good time.  Others were not, using the excuse, "my mom would kill me if I helped you with your makeup."

The pageant began early in the morning with each of us being intervied in front of a panel of eight judges for exactly ten minutes.  I was #1 and first to go.  I felt like I was in front of a firing squad, with a new question being asked before I finished answering the first one.  I was able to keep cool however, because I am really really really good at talking.  Luckily for me, most of my questions involved my education, and my goals in the medical field, as well as questions from a survey I filled out upon registering.  ("It says here, you're a little goofy, show us goofy..."  And I did one of my little dances, which got them all laughing.)

At showtime, we opened with a dance number to Madonna's Vogue and introduced ourselves.  After that it was time to strut on stage in a bikini, again I was first.  I was nervous for a few reasons.  Because I was in the Miss pageant, and not the Teen-Miss, I had to wear a two piece.  It is not the most comfortable thing to strut in a bikini in front of 500 people.  We were also given a little shawl and told to "work it" and "use your prop."  Whatever that means...

After that it was time for the evening gown portion.  My mom is the one who picked out my dress.  When I saw it I said it looked like a peacock, but I trusted her and bought it anyway.  It was the hit of the pageant.  Apparently people really like peacocks.

After that, the top 5 were called... I wasn't expecting anything, I was just happy to be there, and happy to have the loudest cheering section, and to you believe it, they called my name!  What?  The other contestants were excused, and us Top-fivers were individually asked one more interview question on stage. 

This part of the contest doesn't really count, or matter, because no one actually answered their question.  One girl was asked about her goals, and went on to talk about how much she loved her grandmother.  I was asked what three things I would like to accomplish if I won, again, cool under pressure, "I would like to successfully compete in the Miss USA pageant in January.  {We were told that if were asked this question, this was to be one of our answers}  I would like to be a positive role model for the young people of this state , and I would also like to promote literacy across Nevada."

Literacy?  Where did that come from?  I don't know, but at least I answered the question, with a coherent answer that made sense, so that was good enough for me.

As it turns out, I didn't win, this girl did.  But I did get third, and I was stoked!  I think when they called my name, I was having so much fun, I didn't care if I won or not.  I cheered and hooted an hollered louder than anyone-  I almost felt bad because the girl who got fourth was crying next to me... A few months later on Christmas Eve, I got a phone call telling me that since the current title holder was stripped of her crown, I was promoted one space up in the line up, "Congratulations." 

Anyway, it was a fun experience, and something that I can look back on and say, "Yep, I did that."

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