Weekday Wardrobe

9.18.2015

Going from a three day work week to a full five day work week has certainly made my brain very tired. Ha! Last week I had Monday off for the holiday and I took Friday off for a trip to Utah with Adam - so this week it seemed like work took forever. Dragging and dragging until the weekend. But I made it, guys! I made it! It was a nice and busy week getting all geared up for sorority recruitment which starts today. I get to be heavily involved because I am the recruitment adviser for one on the sororities on campus. Should be fun to experience Greek life first hand! But for now, we can take a look at all things last week.



Monday | Top: Pink Blush | Skirt: Agnes and Dora | Heels: TJMaxx
Tuesday | Top: Pink Blush | Skirt: Pick Your Plum | Heels: Dillards
Wednesday | Top: Cotton On | Skirt: Pick Your Plum | Wedges: Nordstrom Rack
Thursday |Blazer: NoVae | Dress: Eleventh Avenue | Belt: Little Black Fashion Truck | Heels: Target
Friday | Top: Lucy and Lyla | Leggings: Gap | Necklace: Eleventh Avenue | Flats: Forever Young


My favorite outfit of the week is Monday - the top has some cute buttons down the back that you can't see from this photo. It was a fun little number to put together. Comfy and dressy for a full day of errands and whatnot. I also loved Wednesday's outfit. They look pretty similar with coloring, right? I have been on a green kick lately. Maybe just holding onto the last bits of spring colors that I can. Which of last week's outfits is your favorite? Any that you would love to see in your closet?

Baesball

9.16.2015

It is funny how one thing can completely become a part your identity - it is even funnier when that one thing is something you never EVER expected to be a part of your life. For me - that would be baseball. I had dated guys in the past that have loved baseball or played baseball and wanted me to love it... but I just couldn't get behind it. But then I met Adam and EVERYTHING changed. And now baseball is a part of our every day life. We talk about stats, we talk about pitches, we talk about strategy, we talk about games... it isn't everything but it is a huge thing. And with baseball being such a huge part of our life comes the part where literally every baseball thing people see I get tagged in. Baseball newborn photos, shoes made out of bats and baseballs, memorabilia, baseball decor. And once again - not many of those things I could get behind... until I saw THIS SHIRT!










Top: Routine Baseball
Jeans: Old Navy
Belt: Lands' End
Shoes: TJMaxx

Baesball. Sums it ALL up, right? I am married to a baseball player and now I am married to a baseball life - which makes baseball become baesball and I could not be happier. When I saw this top at Routine Baseball - they have a ton of awesome baseball gear - I was in love. I showed it to Adam and he thought it was awesome too. We are huge fans of Routine Baseball's clever tees - Adam even has one that has "Wendy Peffercorn is a dime" which always gets a lot of laughs... if you don't get the reference please watch Sandlot. You will be seeing a few of their items over the next bit. Because we are LOVING there subtle baseball references in awesome clothing. Would you add this punny shirt to your wardrobe? Because let's be honest... puns rock, right?

French Terry Tunic

9.15.2015

I am really excited to share today's post with you for two reason. Reason one - I got a great opportunity to help out a local company by modeling for them. Reason two - there is a steal of a deal coming up. Two awesome things, right? First things first. Modeling. Now, I wouldn't say I am a model, but I do love to style outfits and show them off for all of you. So when I moved to Idaho I got connected with the boutique owner of NoVae Clothing and have been modeling for her here and there ever since. It has been a blast! I am still learning the ins and outs of angles and proper photo shoot makeup, but I am enjoying every second of it. And the friendship that comes along with it. Last week we met up before I hit the road for Utah to model this little diddy for her.




Sweater: NoVae Clothing
Jeans: NoVae Clothing
Hat: Aro & Company


Which brings me to the real reason for this post. THE DEAL! You guys. Not only are these photos part of NoVae - but if you head to Jane.com you will see them there too! Because this sweater will be on Jane.com for a heck of a deal. You can find it under the name Mix n' Match French Terry Tunic. If you have ever shopped on a deal site before you know the slight anxiety that comes from not knowing sizing, not knowing the quality, and so on - because you can't see it before. Well I am here to tell you that this sweater ROCKS! I mean, it rocks enough that I asked NoVae to send me the photos so I could share it on my personal blog. I cannot speak enough great words about NoVae because I know she takes the time to find high quality items - material, fit, and longevity of clothing items. It is a great material - comfy and cozy, and I love the lose fit. The white ribbon stitching details are so fun too. I am generally a size 10/12, I am 5'9" tall, and I am modeling a large - just to give you an idea. So there you have it - I am modeling and this lovely top can be fond on Jane TODAY! So go get your shop on and get ready for fall.

The Four Points of the Crown: Success

9.11.2015

And now onto the final point of the Miss America crown. The final point which I think combines all of the previous points and brings them to a final thought. Success. The fourth "S" stands for where you see yourself at the end of the day. In many interviews, I have been asked, "What does success mean to you?"

I have taken a lot of time to reflect on that, not only because it is a point of the crown and not because I needed a good answer for my interviews... but because I need to have my own definition of success for all of my future endeavors. That way I have something to aim for. At first I thought it was winning. Coming in first. Being the best person, no matter what the job was. And being recognized for my hard work. But now I realize that success is so much more than that.
Miss America Four Points of the Crown
Four Points of the Crown
Miss America Four Points of the Crown
Miss America Four Points of the Crown Success
Miss America Four Points of the Crown
Four Points of the Crown







Success is coming home at the end of the day and knowing that I did my best and that I learned something new. Most of all that I am prepared to take those learnings and become a better woman. The Miss America Organization is all about helping women improve. The women that compete become successful not because they are pretty or smart or have a rocking bog. They become successful because they learn more about themselves. They learn how to interview. They learn sportsmanship. They learn what it means to be in a sisterhood and build bonds and relationships. The Miss America Organization pushes women to become academically achieved, creatively accomplished, healthy, and involved. It encourages every lady to become a well rounded individual.


I know that I am a better women today because of this program. And that is a success. I have learned. I have grown. I have seen my flaws and I have worked to fix them. I can be a better wife, volunteer, friend, and role model because of my time in the organization. I want to continue that legacy moving forward by giving what I have learned to the ladies competing now. And that is why I choose to compete. Because if I can share my successes - whether they come from winning or failing and learning - then I am doing just what the program pushes everyone to do. If I can contribute back to the program that gave me so much, then that is a success. And I am happy to be doing it.

The Four Points of the Crown: Scholarship

9.10.2015

One of the next four points of the crown for Miss America is scholarship. Scholarship is what the Miss America Organization is all based out of. We just went through a full revamp of our social media to make sure everything said "scholarship program" at the end instead of "pageant". Think.... Miss Congeniality. "It is a scholarship program!" All jokes aside, it really is the root of this entire organization. The Miss America Organization is one of the nation’s leading achievement programs and the world’s largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. Last year, the Miss America Organization and its state and local organizations awarded more than $45 million scholarships to it's contestants.

I could go on and on with names of contestants in the organization that have been able to graduate, debt free, with bachelors degrees, masters degrees, and doctorates. And the beautiful thing about it all, is if you graduate and still have scholarship, the organization will set it aside for you to use for classes in the future. My director my final year competing was working on her doctorate, pay with the money she was awarded from competing as Miss Idaho in 1993. How cool is that? She was the perfect example of scholarship to me. She really embraced education and she talked to me about what things I could do after I got my bachelors degree.

In addition to that, the Miss America Organization is a national partner of STEM. The STEM purpose is, "The STEM Education Coalition works aggressively to raise awareness in Congress, the Administration, and other organizations about the critical role that STEM education plays in enabling the U.S. to remain the economic and technological leader of the global marketplace of the 21st century. Members of the STEM Coalition believe that our nation must improve the way our students learn science, mathematics, technology and engineering and that the business, education, and STEM communities must work together to achieve this goal." The Miss America Organization is here to support women in moving into the fields they desire, not into the fields that are trendy.
 
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four points of scholarship
four points of the crown

I wouldn't be where I am without education. And my education was made possible by the Miss America Organization. Throughout my years of competing I won $5000 in scholarships. And, that is for a girl that didn't ever place at state. Imagine the girls that win a lot of awards, place in the top 5, and actually win! Some of my friends have won two or three times as much of money as me. My final year I won about $2,700 in scholarship for placing in top ten, the Idaho's Bert Park award - which is basically Miss Congenitally voted on by the contestants as the lady that represents the program the best, and I won the Miss America Community Service award. I think it is so incredible that an organization puts so much effort into helping women excel in education. They help women become doctors, news anchors, event planners, actors, and so on and so on.

The women in this organization have more ambition and more drive than anyone I have ever met. When you ask them what their plans are, it isn't to graduate from college. It is to graduate from college. But to continue learning. To get more education. To educate and volunteer in their community. It is simply amazing. And I am proud to be a part of a sisterhood that is so strong and driven.

Styled by 5: Shop & Apparel Varsity V-Neck

Remember that series I mentioned last month? Well it is time for the next round of Styled by 5. It has been fun planning out how to style a specific item to match my style and then seeing how the other women styled it as well. You will see this month I took it a little different way than the rest of the ladies - a few similarities in style but not in color for the outfit. This month we are featuring Shop & Apparel with a sweater that I fell in love with the moment I saw it on the site.



Okay - before I get going I have a little side note about Shop & Apparel - I met the owner at Alt over the summer and fell in love with her and her shop! She is so spunky and fun - and her shop is the exact same way. I am always looking through the site for fun new items and love seeing how her models are styled in every item. So I couldn't wait to work with her for this series. Now onto the outfit. I was trying to think of a fun way to style this to add is some color - I figured I could wear two brighter colors to make the black and white really stand out on the sweater. Making it a little preppy and a little classic all at the same time. So I went with a polka dot collared shirt in peach to add a little detailing at the top and my vintage styled skirt for the bottom. The sweater fit me a little tighter so I went with a skirt that wasn't for fitting for a little balance on the body. And wah-lah, here is my styling of the Shop & Apparel Varsity V-Neck.










Collared Shirt: Soel
Sweater: Shop & Apparel
Skirt: Agnes and Dora
Shoes: Famous Footwear


I had a lot of fun styling this - it was fun to see all the other women's photos come in and see how we differed. I think I differed the most using a bottom that wasn't black or white, but it was fun! Since we are all sharing the same piece on a different body type here is a reminder of my sizing - I am 5’9″ and I generally wear a 10/12 – 10 on a good day, 12 on a not good day… you understand, right? So I ordered this sweater in a large. It fit very snug and was like a glove with the collared shirt underneath it. However, it worked for the style I was shooting for. I love sharing my style with you, but I also want you to see clothing I style in other body types so you can find what is best for you. So feel free to check out how Kaylynn, Bethany, Jacque, and Sarah styled this outfit as well! And watch for a new piece of clothing styled by 5 every month.

The Four Points of the Crown: Style

9.09.2015

When you hear the word style, what do you think of? Generally people think of fashion, clothing, hair... all of the aesthetic parts of beauty. And I have to admit, when I first heard that style was one of the first points of the crown, that was my first thought too. Miss America has always been about being relevant. So as titleholders we follow trends and styles in our wardrobe to stay relevant. For example, when the work place started steering away from blazers and pantyhose, so did the interview portion of Miss America. When I first started competing it was unheard of to wear anything other than a nice skirt, blazer, and pantyhose. But, because Miss America doesn't want to become a "time old tradition" as business trendy became more acceptable in fortune 500s and companies around the country, it also became more acceptable in interview.

That is how I would always describe the style point of the crown when I first started competing. That as titleholders were were to keep a clean and appropriate appearance. That we were always to carry ourselves like women that had style and elegance whether in a business suit or in a workout outfit. That a titleholder is a role model and a spokesperson for the Miss America Organization, and we are expected to exemplify that in our look. But over my years competing style has become so much more.
style
style
four points of the crown style
four points of the crown style


four points of the crown style

Style does not have to be defined by the clothing I wear. It does not have to be defined by my hair style. It does not have to be defined by making sure that my clothing matches my skin tone. At the end of the day, style is defined by how I carry myself in any situation. My style shouldn't be defined by saying that I have great clothes or awesome shoes. It should be defined by how people feel when they are around me. Do I make them feel welcome? Do I make them feel special? Do I make them feel like they are worth all the time I have to offer? That is where my style comes in. In the way I treat those around me. In the way I carry myself in any situation.

A titleholder is a role model and a spokesperson for the Miss America Organization, and we are expected to exemplify that in our presence and in our poise. Our style comes from the way we represent the organization. This organization is full of women with style because they put just as much time and effort into their personality, character, and integrity as they do in any of their appearance. And that is why style is en essential point of the crown.

The Four Points of the Crown: Service

9.08.2015



Normally during Miss America Week and Miss Idaho Week I tell you all about my experiences from competing, but this year I am going to tell you about the program and what it represents. I love the Miss America Organization. I competed for throughout college and once I got married I knew I needed to stay involved so I switched over to the volunteer side and I am now the PR Chair for the Miss Idaho Board. Did you know that the Miss America crown has four points and each point represents a different word that the organization stands for? The four points are service, scholarship, style, and success. So over the next few days I am going to share with you why those four points are equally important and what they have meant to me since my time competing.

Service. This is one of the main points of the Miss America Organization that sets our program aside from all the other pageants. The Miss America Organization is deeply rooted in service. In fact, the year that you wear your crown and your title is called your "year of service" because we, as titleholders, are expected to serve wherever we may go. We are role models in our community. We are representatives of the area we live. Service embodies moral ethical value and that is very important in the Miss America Organization.

Beyond the basic service we offer to our community, every contestant is required to have a personal platform that they promote during their year of service. Ultimately, this is where they leave their legacy. There are scholarships awarded based on the effort they put in, the quality of life they contribute, and the amount of time they spend promoting something so important to their personal lives. Every young woman is able to pick their platform, to make it just that - personal. Based on life experiences and passions. This way it isn't just another "requirement", but it is something the titleholder wants to share, wants to speak about, and is ready to make a difference in.

During my year of service my platform was S.T.A.M.P. Out Bullying. I developed a presentation that is informative and interactive so the students can be involved with the process. First I introduce the students to my friend, Flat Fred the chalkboard, and ask them for examples of bullying. As they name off their examples, I write the words on Fred. As soon as Fred is covered, I ask the kids how Fred feels. The answer is always, “Sad!” After that I ask the kids for ways they can make Fred happy and feel included at their school. Every time a student gives an answer, I smudge out one of the mean words, leaving a little residue behind. Once all the words are smudged out, I show the kids that even though they can apologize and fix things, which is important, the scars are already on Fred. So it is best to never do it in the first place. Then I teach the kids an acronym to S.T.A.M.P. out bullying in their school. I was able to promote my platform to over 8000 students in seven elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school, as well as the Idaho State Student Council Conference. During my last year competing, I received the Miss America Community Service award for the work I did, and that was an honor just as great as the crown. To be recognized for my hard work with something I was so incredibly passionate about.
 
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S.T.A.M.P. Out Bullying
anti-bullying program
anti bullying programs

The amount that each woman gets out of the crown is dependent on what she puts in. That is why the service portion is unique. As we serve our communities, we will feel a greater loyalty to the people that have supported us. And as we feel a greater loyalty to those that have supported us, the fact that we have a crown and a sash becomes increasingly special. And while I could potentially accomplish great things without a crown and sash, they are keys and they are avenues into new experiences and opportunities. Greater opportunities because we are role models. We have a responsibility to serve, but we wouldn't take on the title and we wouldn't accept the crown if we weren't fully prepared to serve every day.

I am grateful every day for my four years of service. Those moments in the Miss Idaho Organization have built up a desire for further service in my life. And I hope to pass that same passion onto future contestants as I volunteer for the program. Service takes more than one person, but I will do all I can to build community where I live.

Miss America Viewing Party

9.07.2015

Miss America. You know I love it. You know I follow it. If you didn't know, now you do. I have written so many Miss America and pageant experience posts by this point that you could basically learn every little item you need to know. In fact, all week I will be pulling things from the archives to get you pumped for Miss America on September 13 live on ABC. I think it makes a difference when you know all the ins and outs of how the system works before you watch. But also, to get you ready for the show, I am giving you all my ideas to make sure if you do sit down to watch with friends that it is the BEST night ever.



Start Time. My very first piece of Miss America viewing party advice is to start the show at least 30 minutes before the pageant airs. That way everyone can get there, get their predictions in, pick a seat, and get comfy for a night of high heels and gowns. Lately Miss America has been showing a "lead in" show with the titleholder's journey to Miss America, their experience at Miss America, and a little backstage insight too. So if there is a "Road To Miss America" show of any sort, I usually start my party when that starts. That way they can watch that while they are getting ready for Miss America.

Food. It is a party, so food is a must. There are so many options for a Miss America party. You can check out the Pinterest board below for all the food ideas I have seen that are theme appropriate. I tend to lean towards a build your own food of sorts. Last year I did a Fruit Pizza bar with sugar cookies, frosting, and fruit - that way everyone could build their evening snacks to their hearts content. I also had a few other snacks like meat, cheese, crackers, and of course water and lemonade to drink. Miss America makes for a long night so make sure there is something for your party goers to eat.

Follow Deidre Miller's board Miss America Viewing Party on Pinterest.

Predictions. This is one of the most fun parts about arriving early for a Miss America viewing party. Predicting who you think will be in the top 15. I always have a computer on a table next to the food that has all the contestant's head shots pulled up. I also have a list of who has won each prelim so far and the preliminary group they are in next to the computer. That way the ladies that don't follow along closely, still feel they can make educated guesses. This year I am thinking of printing off all the head shots to hang up on the wall with their talents and everything listed. We will see if I get that done! Once everyone completes their prediction sheet you hand them in. They have to be in before the opening number to be counted for a prize. Then you hand them back out for everyone to score someone else's throughout the night. The person with the highest grand total wins a prize at the end of the night. You can get a copy of the prediction sheet HERE.

Scoring. This is the other side of watching the pageant. Scoring along with the judges to see who will be the winner. Make sure you are listening closely to the announcers as they call out the women that move on to the next part of competition so you can fill in their names. Then give them your own score. Keep scoring through each phase of competition until you get to the top 5, figure out your score, and then place them in their rightful position in the Miss America court. The woman with the most accurate Miss America court gets a prize - sometimes this can be split four or five different ways. So make sure you have a few of the same prize so everyone wins. You can get a copy of the score sheet HERE.

Crowning. Everyone loves a crown, am I right? So once the top 15 is called write down all the states on a piece of paper and put them in a jar to be drawn out. Go around the room and let everyone draw a piece of paper. Whichever state you draw, you become. If there are more finalists than party guests, let the women that had the highest top 15 prediction score draw additional names. Then as the night moves on have everyone watch for their contestant to move on too! Because whichever state wins get's their very own crowning moment. As it comes to the top 5 have the ladies with those states come up and let them act as runners up - then let the top 2 have their final moment before one lovely lady gets crowned!

Commercial Breaks. Okay... so we are all here for some Miss America fun, right? So commercials can be used for just chatting, tallying up scores, or for some serious Miss America commercial break games. Here are a few commercial break ideas.

Sash Decorating. Head to the dollar store and get a rectangle plastic table cloth that can be cut up. Make as many sashes as you can. by just folding and connecting into a loop. Once predictions are over, the prediction table can become the sash table. Lay out all the lovely sashes, markers, and any other decorating items you might want. Let everyone make their own sash and title to wear throughout the evening. You could also do a different variation with pipe cleaners and headbands for crown designing. But I always lean towards the sash so I can see everyone's self proclaimed titles.

Commercial Competition. Let everyone know that during commercial breaks they will be competing in a specific part of the competition. You could do evening gown modeling - but let them twist it to viewing party attire modeling. You can tell them all to prep a 30 second talent. You could do some on stage questions. Your choice! Just let your guests know to come prepared. On the final commercial break everyone can vote for their favorite "contestant" and the winning lady will get a prize. Or a crown. Your call!

Pageant Trivia. There is a very rich Miss America history. Head online and find some Miss America trivia. Set the group up into two teams. On commercial breaks, let the teams battle it out for the true Miss America historians. It is as simple as that! Finding the trivia is pretty easy - knowing the answers is the hard part.

Commercial Break Gameshow. I have a friend that came up with an awesome game that is all about getting to know your party goers through pageantry. She thought back to her pageant days and put together 5 questions for the night. As your guest arrive put their names into a bowl. Throughout the night draw a name out during the commercial break and fill in the blank with that name. On the back of their score sheet that person writes down which option they would choose and everyone else writes their guess as to what the person wrote. Once everyone has something written down, the person picked reveals their answer. You can find the slide show she made HERE. You can also download it to the computer by clicking File -> Download As.

So there you have it. Tips, tricks, and events to make your Miss America viewing party one to remember. Everyone will want to come next year! What do you do to make your viewing parties a success? Any fun games I didn't mention? Can't wait to hear how your party goes!

Weekday Wardrobe

9.04.2015

And just like that we are in September. And guess what? This weekend is Labor Day - nothing says party like a three day weekend! And as soon as Laboy Day wraps MY HUSBAND COMES HOME! So you could say I am pretty happy right now. And that is an understatement. I am ecstatic right now! THREE DAY WEEKEND. HUSBAND HOME!!!! Do you have any exciting Labor Day weekend plans? I have spent this whole week just getting pumped for next week. So exciting, right? You can tell where my focus has been by the sheer lack of hair care this last week...



Monday | Top: Pink Blush | Pants: Gap | Flats: Forever Young
Tuesday | Top: Agnes & Dora | Pants: Target | Heels: Cousin Couture
Wednesday | Top: Gap | Maxi: Gap | Flats: Forever Young
Thursday | Top: Forever 21 | Cardigan: Old Navy | Leggings: Target | Flats: Payless
Friday | Top: ModBod | Jeans: Gap | Flats: Nordstroms

Well.... if you have been around for a few weeks you know that Tuesday is a major outfit repeat. Like to the tee... and in fact, the same day! So clearly that is my favorite outfit from this collection. I loved it enough to wear a twin-identical outfit just weeks apart. But Wednesday comes in a close second. I won't lie, that week of outfits was rough because I needed to do laundry but really did not want to. So let's hope it gets better! Which outfit would you love to add to your closet?
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