Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Selbyville Style Send-Off

On Saturday my family, church family, friends, and fellow Selbyvill-eans (totally a real word) threw me an unofficial send-off party. Over 150 people came out to enjoy food, drinks, and the company of good friends to send me off to Las Vegas in style. Many donations to Children's Miracle Network were collected, lots of fun was had, and I must have received about 200 hugs, (no complaints here). It was great to see my Salem United Methodist Church family, as well as friends from around the community, and lifelong friends. I want to thank Doyle's Family Restaurant, a local business for donating their time and delicious food to the party, Hocker's Grocery Store, owned by Senator Gerald Hocker, for donating food as well, the Bunting family for helping set up, my family for helping put the whole thing together and putting it on, and everyone for showing their love and support. Y'all have no idea how much I appreciate your kind words, love, and undying encouragement. 

I appreciate all of the kind words from my family, my second Mommy, Miss Irene, and Representative John Atkins that are presented in the article. I got a little choked up reading about my little sister, Remi, finally deciding that she wants to follow in her "Sassy's" footsteps one day, and be Miss Delaware 2024. She has never been a fan of the pageant scene, but she told reporter Glenn Rolfe, that her sister becoming Miss Delaware is the "best thing that's 
happened in her life." It is incredibly gratifying and humbling to know that my work is appreciated, and I cannot thank everyone enough for being there for me, not just this year and at the send-off, but throughout my life; I am so blessed to have y'all. Thank you for being a part of my journey, because I certainly couldn't do it alone. I'll be carrying these warm thoughts and well-wishes in my heart all the way to Las Vegas, as a reminder of where I'm from, and the reason I'm competing for Miss America.

http://delaware.newszap.com/southerndelaware/118120-70/alyssas-family-friends-unite-for-selbyvilles-miss-america-send-off
With Alex, one of my longtime friends

Cutting my cake!

Hanging out with Krysta, Justin, Nate, and Tc

My main man, Jake Atkins

Be sure you check out Missde.org to see the details for my official send-off, which is being held on Sunday, December 9th at Dover Downs Hotel and; Casino. You wouldn't want to miss a chance to preview my fabulous Miss America wardrobe!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Basketball games, Pageants, and Parades!

Hey everyone, happy black Friday. While all of you shoppers are getting elbowed in Wal-Mart, I'm snuggled up on my couch blogging, no complaints here. I will be heading to the gym later, but I guarantee a training session with Paul is much less painful than trying to hit the mall today. Anyway, back to Miss Delaware life, since I know that's what y'all want to hear!

 I was fortunate enough to emcee the Little Miss Millsboro pageant. I had a blast getting to spend time with all of the contestants and watching their talents, which ranged from hula-hooping, to cheerleading, to singing. Katie Favinger won over the judges singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee," and I was able to crown her the new Little Miss Millsboro. I can't wait to see Katie at parades and events throughout the year!

I have a confession to make: I am terribly uncoordinated and unathletic. I've always been more of an artsy type, I have always excelled in music, I play 5 instruments, I sing, and I dance. Sports, however, have never been my thing. I swam in high school, but I was never great, and the one time I tried to play soccer wasn't pretty. I don't think I ever actually hit the ball off of the tee in Tee Ball, and I was always picked last in gym class. Having said that, when I got an offer to play basketball with the Harlem Wizards, there was no way I was turning it down. I spent the morning at Frederick Douglass Elementary School in Seaford, DE at assemblies for the children. I was pleasantly surprised when the player, DP, who was running the assembly serenaded me with "Call Me Maybe," and even though at that point we had not spoken, I knew we would get along just fine! I should have worn more comfortable shoes, I had no idea I would be doing the wobble, Gangnam Style, and the Dougie. After a visit to the school nurse, DP and I walked around to all of the classrooms, spending time with the children and getting them excited for the game that night. I hauled back to my hometown of Selbyville to be in our Halloween parade at 7, then was back at Seaford by 8, nothing short of a miracle, to play basketball with the Wizards. I use the term "play basketball" very loosely, as I never actually made contact with the ball and spent most of the time running up and down the court and begging the other Seaford Stars NOT to pass me the ball. I did, however, dance and sing on the court, and put on a pretty funny show for the spectators.

Parades are probably my favorite appearances, mainly because I usually get to sit on the back of a car and smile. Also because my driver, Donald is the bomb. Recently I've been in the Selbyville Halloween parade, Milford's Halloween parade, Return's Day in Georgetown, and the ABC and Dunkin' Donuts Parade in Philadelphia! 

I have to elaborate on Return's Day, because I was fortunate enough to have met our Vice President, fellow Delawarean and Blue Hen, Joe Biden. I was honored that he took time out of his day to chat with me about Miss America, UD football, and other mundane topics. Before this becomes a forum for political debate I must say, whether or not you voted for VP Biden, as Americans we must respect his office and the service he is giving to our country. I performed a dance outside, on the asphalt, in the 30 degree weather, in a teeny tiny little costume, and after I warmed up, I got to ride through the parade. I later found out that I actually won the "Beauty Queen" category of the parade, so all in all it was a pretty successful day!

The ABC Thanksgiving Parade in Philadelphia was televised, and I was lucky enough to share a float with Miss America, Miss NJ, and Miss PA! There was even a close up of me, (I'd like to thank the academy.) No seriously though, I got to hang out with my Miss America sisters, Miss America herself, AND All 4 One, the boy band (fangirl moment.) Luckily I have an awesome Mommy who recorded the parade so I could watch our float and see Laura, Miss America sing, as well as my Miss Delaware pageant sister, Morgan Burris sing! Morgan is Miss Delaware's Outstanding Teen, and she was asked to sing in the parade, so now I'm just waiting until she's super famous so I can say I knew her when. She never fails to blow me away every time she performs!

I also had an incredible time at Collabagala, a James Bond themed event to raise money for 10 different very deserving charities. I spent time being a Bond Girl on the red carpet with Maria, Miss Delaware 2011, and then we tore up the dance floor with our friend Mike from best buddies. We had a blast and they raised a ton of money for some great causes!

I'm compiling most of the photos from recent appearances into one big slideshow for your viewing pleasure. 

Until next time,
Alyssa

Where liberty dwells, there is my country.

Seeing as it's the Holiday season and yesterday was Thanksgiving, I feel that this blog post is necessary. In early November my Step Father, Floyd was sent to Training before he leaves in December to fight for our Country. He will be stationed in Afghanistan for a year with his Military Police Unit with the Army National Guard. There is never a good time to send a loved one off to war, but it is especially hard to close to the holiday season. Thanksgiving is strange when someone you care about is so far away, and Christmas morning will not be the same this year. Though it's selfish of me, I am most upset that he won't be able to share my Miss America experience with me, seeing as Floyd was so supportive and helpful on my journey to Miss Delaware. 

I want to encourage all of you to thank someone you know who has served, or is still serving this great country we call home. It is these people who preserve our freedom, protect American justice, and fight to ensure that we are able to have the rights our founding fathers fought so hard to give us. It takes a true hero to give of themselves for a greater cause, and I for one am so proud to say that one of these heroes is in my family. Take the time out to send out a thank you, and send up a prayer for those in service, and remember that there are people who are fighting to protect you, your families, and your rights as citizens of the United States of America. God Bless the U.S.A. and thank you and Godspeed to our military servicemen and women.



 "This nation will remain the land of the free, only so long as it is the home of the brave." -Elmer Davis

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Most Thankful Post

 Hey all! I just returned home from the ABC Dunkin Donuts Thanksgiving Parade in Philadelphia; what an AMAZING experience. How many people get to say that they rode on a float with Miss America in their lifetime? Well now I can, so, ha! No seriously though it was absolutely incredible to spend the day with the lovely Miss New Jersey and the fabulous Miss Pennsylvania, and of course Laura Kaeppeler, our incredible Miss America 2012! It was the experience of a lifetime, and one of my best days so far as Miss DE! I'll have a more detailed blog post about my recent appearances as soon as my computer and I get some alone time, but I thought I would present you with a short list of things I am thankful for.

  • My family is the greatest. They have been incredibly supportive of all of my far-fetched dreams and have helped me make them a reality. Thank you for always being there for me and helping me achieve my goals, even though they might be a little lofty.
  • I have so many amazing friends who have been with me every step of this journey, thank you all for allowing me to be in your lives!
  • Super thankful for being able to represent this wonderful state at the Miss America pageant in January, and for God making it all possible.
  • The supportive and wonderful Miss Delaware Board of Directors, who volunteer their time and expertise to help prepare me for Miss America, and treat me like one of their own children.
  • As a general rule of thumb, I hate cats, but my cat is super awesome and I'm glad that he's seriously confused and thinks he's a dog. You rock, Ziggy.
  • I'm thankful for coffee, my one true love, the one that will never let me down, (unless it's decaf.)
  • Thank you to all of those who have served and are still serving our country. You are true American heroes and you are greatly appreciated.
  • Thank you JK Rowling for being a huge part of my childhood, even though you don't know it. Still waiting on my letter to Hogwarts, though.
  • Thanks for the Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins, and showing me that life goes on after Harry Potter. 
  • Thank you Lancome for your amazing mascaras. If Hypnose lashes was a man I would marry him.
  • I'm thankful for lipstick, especially of the red variety.
  • I'm thankful that Magic Mike was created. Seriously, thank you, from the entire female population of the world, and especially for casting my fictional celeb boyfriend, Matt Bomer.
  • I'm thankful for high heels, even though I'm already obscenely tall.
  • I'm incredibly thankful for Alpha Xi Delta for giving me a place to call home at the University of Delaware, and for giving me over 100 sisters that God forgot to give me. Xi love y'all.
  • I'm glad I have an 8-year old sister so I sort of have an excuse for watching as much Spongebob as I do.
  • I'm thankful for bacon, but only crispy bacon, and scrapple, love me some scrapple. 
  • I'm thankful for Lana Del Rey's music, because she is a boss.
  • Thank you to my big comfy bed for always being here waiting for me when I return to home base, you're the bomb.
  • One last huge shout out to Cherry Chapstick, you have my endorsement along with Katy Perry's.


Okay, now I'm off to stuff my face with everything and anything on the table, sorry Paul Timmons, aka World's greatest personal trainer. Everyone have a safe, happy, and fattening Turkey Day! God Bless!

Ephesians 5:20




"Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."


Monday, October 15, 2012

Blog Slacker

I have been a total blog slacker lately, and for that, I apologize. I promise it's only because I've been doing a bunch of super awesome Miss Delaware things! Let's see, since I last blogged I have been to some pretty cool events, like the Blue Jean Ball for Autism Delaware, A Meals on Wheels Benefit, the Miles 4 Melanoma 5K, a Health Fair at La Red Health Center, A Light the Night Walk, A CMN fundraiser, Johnstown Bridal Suite, and I've turned a year older. 


Miles 4 Melanoma was an incredible experience for me. There were over 1500 people there to support the cause and I had the opportunity to share my message with all of them. I made friends with a beautiful princess named Grace, and received a flower and a kiss on the cheek from a 4-year old whom I'm fairly certain is the cutest little boy on the whole planet. I am thrilled to say that I will be partnering with Miles 4 Melanoma throughout the year, educating people about skin cancer and raising funds for the cause. 
Princess Grace, who had a crown just like me!

My time at La Red Health Center was so special. I am a Spanish minor at UD and after spending time abroad in Spain, I'm near fluent in Spanish. La Red is a health clinic in Georgetown, DE and it is a great resource for those in our area who are without medical insurance coverage. They are a bilingual, inviting, and welcoming facility. I had a blast hanging out and I even received a balloon animal from my friend, Galilea!

After the Health Fair, I surprised my Miss DE "little sister" Audrey at her 6th birthday party! Audrey is a very special little girl and she will always have a place in my heart.


At the Blue Jean Ball I had a blast raising money for Autism Delaware and sampling all of the incredible foods they had to offer, (including some incredible cookies that I couldn't resist, sorry Paul.) Since my sorority, Alpha Xi Delta has Autism Speaks as their philanthropy, this is a cause I have a great interest in. I was fortunate enough to be a live model for a beautiful diamond and pearl necklace from Bellinger's Jewelers in Rehoboth Beach, DE. I was having a great time working the room when out of nowhere, the drop pearl fell off of the necklace! I was absolutely mortified until the lovely and understanding owners told me that it was easy to fix. File that under things that would only ever happen to me...yikes.
With Royal Classic Queen of Queens and Mrs. Blades at the Blue Jean Ball

   

Casual Tebow with MDOT

My friends Renee Bull, who is my amazing, gracious, and insanely supportive first runner-up, and Janey Covel, who is just about as sweet as sugar and is competing in Delaware again this year (YAY!) held a CMN fundraiser recently, and I was so happy to be in attendence. It was a talent show with acts from around the state, including Renee and Janey, and my incredibly talented little sister, Morgan Burris, Miss Delaware's Outstanding Teen!



Originally I signed up to be a part of Ashley's Crew at the Light the Night Walk to honor my friend, Ashley, who was diagnosed with leukemia on October 10th of last year. Ashley is now in remission,  has finished a half marathon, gone on a white water rafting trip, and was a featured survivor. When Miss Delaware was asked to be in attendance I had to laugh, because I knew my crown did not match my Ashley's Crew t shirt! My Grandmother is also a survivor of Leukemia, so blood cancer is a cause that I hold very close to my heart.

Last but certainly not least, I was fortunate enough to spend the weekend with the World's most fabulous Executive Director, Debi Wilson, in Johnstown, PA. Miss Delaware is fortunate enough to have her Miss America wardrobe provided by the Bridal Suite in Johnstown, and let me tell you, my wardrobe is FABULOUS. Deborah and Ronnie, the owners of the store are absolutely 2 of the most warm-hearted, welcoming, and helpful women I have ever met, and I am so thankful for all they do for our organization. They made me feel like a princess all day, and helped me pick out a Miss America wardrobe that is to DIE FOR. I guess y'all will have to come to my send-off on December 9th at Dover Downs to see it (shameless plug.)
With Emily after picking out my Miss America wardrobe!


So, clearly I've been super busy lately but that's no excuse for being so M.I.A.! New post coming soon, I promise, about the lovely local titleholders who will be competing for my title in June!

Until next time (Which will not be a month from now, I swear)
Alyssa




Friday, September 14, 2012

Skin Care Tips From Miss Delaware

As a pageant girl I often get questions about beauty, especially since my platform relates so closely to skin care! I won't deny it, I hit the genetic jackpot as far as skin, inheriting a nice average of the skin my family has. I got my Daddy's freckles and my Mom's resistance to sunburn as well as a generally balanced complection. This doesn't mean, however, that I don't take care of my skin! It is so important to take care of the largest organ on your body!

As far a facial care goes, it is important to take 4 steps each and every day: Cleanse, use a toner, moisturize, and wear sunscreen! You can save yourself a step by using a moisturizer with a built-in sunscreen, which is very common today. I recommend Artistry brand cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. Artistry is a luxury skin care brand and their products have kept my face blemish-free and glowing since my first experience with the Miss America Organization in 2010. I use their balancing set as I have combination skin, but they also have phenomenal products for everything from oily skin, to dry skin, to aging skin. I then follow with a good sunscreen, Artistry recently came out with an SPF 50 facial lotion that I am dying to try (if anyone wants to get it for me for my birthday...) since it's hard to find a lotion with an SPF over 30. Before bed, I follow my cleansing routine with Artistry Creme Luxury Eye Cream, which was a very generous gift from the wonderful people at Artistry when I was in Orlando for Miss America's Outstanding Teen. 

A run-down of my daily routine:

Morning: 
Artistry Essentials Balancing Kit


Aveeno Positively Radiant SPF 30 moisturizer

Night: 


Artistry Creme Luxury Eye Cream, AKA The BOMB

The single most important step of this whole process is sunscreen. If you only wear sunscreen for a day on the beach, you are opening yourself up for skin damage, premature aging, and most importantly skin cancer. Your skin is exposed to UV radiation every day, and the skin on your face is much more sensitive and prone to damage than skin anywhere else. If you're my age or younger, wearing sunscreen on a daily basis can not only save your life, but can prevent you from getting wrinkles, crow's feet, age and sun spots, and non-life threatening cancers such as carcinomas. If you've already begun to notice a decline in the condition of your skin and signs of aging, wearing sunscreen along with a good skin care regimen can delay, improve, and even reverse these problems. If there is one tip I wish for you to take from this post, it's:
Wear sunscreen every single day!

If you're interested in purchasing any Artistry products, you can find them here: http://www.artistry.com/

Sidenote: Artistry is a sponsor of the Miss America Scholarship Organization, so when you buy products from them, you are also making an investment in helping young women like me earn scholarship money! Artistry did not ask me to write this blog post, I just genuinely LOVE their products and I think everyone should give them a try!

Do you have any skin care tips, favorite products, or questions? Tweet me; @MissDelaware12

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Miss Delaware FAQ's


It seems that on appearances I always get asked the same few questions, so I decided to address some of them in a blog post.

Q. “How tall are you without heels?”
A. I’m about 5’9” flat-footed. I come from a tall family! I love heels though, so often at appearances I’m about 6’2”.

Q. “Do you watch ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo? Were you a ‘Toddler and Tiaras’ girl?”
A. Yes, I love “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” and “Toddlers and Tiaras.” No, I was a Ninja Turtle, Power Rangers, and Batman type of girl, and I still am.

Q. Do you know Donald Trump?
A. No, Donald Trump owns the Miss Universe Organization. The girls who are involved in his system are contestants for Miss Teen USA, Miss USA, and Miss Universe. Miss America is a separate entity and is a scholarship organization.

Q. Don’t you find it degrading to be on stage in a bikini being judged?
A. No, to me it is empowering to be on stage in my swimsuit. I have put a lot of hard work into my figure and I can’t wait to show it off at Miss America. It’s a huge confidence booster for me.

Q. How does your crown stay on your head?
A. I have excellent balance…no just kidding. Seriously though, bobby pins and clips.

Q. Does that thing (my sparkly hat) get heavy on your head?
A. I have zero complaints about it, I would sleep in it if I could.

Q. Are you a real princess? (My favorite question, and usually from little girls.)
A. Yes, and so are you.

Q. Why did you get involved in pageants?
A. I started out in pageants to earn scholarship money. I've now earned enough to pay for my 4 year undergraduate education and almost a year of law school after college! I strongly encourage young women to get involved with MAO to win scholarship money. After my first year with MAO I realized that there is a lot more to this than money. I am involved in this organization to grow as a person, my confidence has gone through the roof since I began competing, and my speaking skills have increased exponentially. Also, I see now that I am a role model to young girls. My 8-year old sister is my inspiration, and I try to be a positive influence in her life and the lives of other girls her age. 

Have any other questions for Miss Delaware? Feel free to tweet them to me, @MissDelaware12 and I will get back to you!! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Riverwalks, Weddings and Flu Shots!



This past week could not have been more opposite from my last week! Every day this week I was running to appearances, meetings, and speaking engagements, and I enjoyed every second. 

I worked out with Paul Timmons at the firm in Rehoboth Beach, DE, my official trainer for Miss America on Monday. I always enjoy working with Paul and I am learning a lot from him about health and nutrition. 

Tuesday I went and visited the Fenwick Island Lion's Club at Harpoon Hannah's. In high school I was fortunate enough to receive the John Furlow $4000 scholarship from this organization, and I was honored when they invited me to their meeting to speak and join them for lunch. As it turns out, I'm fantastic at stalling and rambling. Upon my arrival they asked for a 20 minute speech. No that is not a typo, I spoke for 20 minutes about college scholarships, Miss Delaware, Miss America, skin cancer prevention, and every other aspect of my life. I ended up having a wonderful time reconnecting with the Lion's Club and being able to express my gratitude to them. 

On Thursday I headed upstate to visit my skin care sponsor, Hockessin Day Spa to be spoiled. If you live in the area and have not had a facial from Donna yet, you are seriously missing out. Not only is she awesome and funny and sweet, but she keeps my skin glowing and fresh and always hooks me up with some awesome products! I then headed to the fabulous Debi Wilson's house to pick my spot for Miss America in the Miss America Lottery! I am glad to say I was lucky enough to get the spot I had my eye on. Call me superstitious but I was contestant number 7 in the Mu group at Miss Delaware, and I will be contestant number 7 in the Mu group at Miss America. It's all becoming so real now I can hardly contain my excitement. I ended the night catching up with some sorority sisters at the Alpha Xi Delta house at the University of Delaware.

For those of you who don't know already, I am a huge football fan. I love high school, college, NFL, and any other type of football you can possibly think of. I have 2 brothers who played on my high school football team, and while I was cheer leading captain I could never keep my eyes off the field. Friday night I was invited to Seaford High School Community Night to meet and greet, sign autographs, and toss the coin to start the game! I even got to spend time with Miss Seaford, Carolyn Smith! It was so much fun running around with the younger football fans and we even ended up on the local news. Though I had to hide my Indian River pride for the night, I had a blast at Seaford High and I hope to go back soon.

Without a doubt, Saturday was my busiest and most fun day by far. In the morning I headed up to Milford for the Riverwalk event. If you're unaware, I'm high energy, clumsy, accident prone, and silly, so there is never a dull moment. The wind gusts of 20 mph forced us to take down our tent and our decorations, and we ended up with nothing but a bare table and raffle tickets to sell. One man asked me if I was selling kisses, yikes, I got my flu shot from Walgreens pharmacy, and ended up staying for 3 hours after I was booked because I was having such a blast! After that I headed up to Dover for the Denim and Diamonds fundraiser for Meals on Wheels. I was joined there by my fabulous Executive Director, Debi Wilson, Maria Cahill, Miss Delaware 2011, Marcie Smith, Miss Diamond State 2012, and Stephanie Bailey, Miss Newark 2012. We had a blast dancing with all the guests and sampling delicious food from throughout the state. Maria and I took center stage to "shuffle" and at one point I distinctly remember hearing someone say "Look, Miss Delaware is doing the running man!" It was great to be able to spend a night with my pageant sisters and raise money for such a great cause.

Yesterday my mom was married and we celebrated at a good friend's house. I even let myself cheat and have a piece of wedding cake, but don't tell Paul! My mom's husband is leaving for Afghanistan in October so all prayers for his safe return home are greatly appreciated. 

All told this week was exhausting and full of travel, but I would want to spend my time any other way. 



Here are just a few shots from this week, there are many more to come!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The MIS-adventures of Miss Delaware(s)



This week was an interesting one, in that I didn’t have any appearances. No, you didn’t read that wrong, it was a slow, relaxing week in the life of Miss Delaware. I took full advantage of it, spending a lot of time with my little sister, Remi, who is the funniest 8-year old child to ever roam this Earth. We had a sleepover, a beach day, and a movie night! I wish everyone could meet my sister, because she is quite a character. She marched to the beat of her own drum, to say the least, and she says the funniest things without even trying.
“Remi-isms”:
“Remi isn’t even a real name. I wish my name was Whitney…or Sprinkles.”
“I am sweating like a meatloaf.”
“I’m like a seal on wheels!”
This is why my sister is the greatest child ever to live.

Anyway, I also learned something about myself this weekend. I am a scaredy cat. Maria Cahill (Miss Delaware 2011) decided she wanted to come down to visit me and rent jet skis, something that’s on her infamous bucket list. We attempted to go out yesterday, in the pouring rain, but the second we sat down on the skis, thunder and lightning started and we were rescheduled for this morning. I was a little nervous, but I thought that once I was out on the water I would be fine. WRONG. It took me a solid 20 minutes on the jet ski to will myself about 15 MPH. Eventually I put the pedal to the medal and hit 50, yes 50 MPH. It ended up being a great time, and Maria has another thing to check off of her bucket list.

Maria and I being refined and distinguished.


After jet skiing I headed to Paul Timmons at The Firm in Rehoboth Beach, my official personal trainer for Miss America. The Firm has this tradition where you can earn a black shirt, but you can’t buy one. You have to push yourself beyond physical and mental exhaustion and rise to the challenge. I’m proud to say that today I earned mine today by doing a 65 lb overhead squat and loaded knee jump. Check out the video!!


All told, this week was exactly what I needed. Free time to think, relax, and hang out with my family and friends before the busy week I have ahead of me.

Until next time,
Alyssa


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

MAOT in Orlando, FL!

Wednesday morning I woke up at 4:00 am, excited and ready to head to Orlando, Florida to watch the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant. 2 plane rides and a few hours later, I arrived in Orlando with my Mom, took a shuttle to the hotel, and got ready to meet my new Miss America sisters!

I headed to an Artistry consultation, where I got a whole goody bag of my favorite Artistry product, including their Luxury Care Eye Cream, Glitz Light Up Lip Gloss, Balancing Cleanser, Toner, and Moisturizer set, and the essentials kit in Light. I cannot say enough about these amazing products; they really keep my skin Miss America perfect all the time! We took some fun shots with our favorite shade of Light Up Lip Gloss, and had an interview with some Artistry Representatives. I would like to give a big shout out to Artistry, as they just came out with an SPF 50 facial sunscreen that not only protects your skin from sun damage, but also improves your skin quality and clarity! That night I got to watch Delaware’s Morgan Burris light up the stage in her evening gown and onstage question portion of the competition. 

Thursday was a whirlwind of filming for our wonderful Miss America sponsors. There are so many new and exciting marketing strategies that Miss America is adopting this year, so keep your eyes peeled! We also got to peak at the swimsuits by Catalina that will be featured at the Miss America Pageant in January! This is so cool for us, because after the pageant, the EXACT SAME swimsuits you see on the contestants will be available in select Wal-Mart stores and online! They are affordable and super cute!  Thursday night Morgan competed in the fitness portion of competition, and spend more time with my Miss America sisters.

Friday we filmed again for sponsors, had our first contestant orientation for Miss America, and then we headed to Disney World! We were lucky enough to have security escort us to the front of every line so we were able to go on a lot of rides, including the tea cups, It’s a Small World, Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, and a few more! I even rode in the front of Splash Mountain with Miss California, Leah Cecil and we got soaked!  We ended the night dancing with Stitch and headed back to our hotel, exhausted but extremely happy.  

Saturday morning, I was filmed for an interview with ABC, and then got some free time to hang out by the pool with my Mom, and grab some lunch with an old friend, my principal from Southern Delaware School of the Arts, Tim Fannin, who moved to Florida when I was in 8th grade! It was so nice to see someone who was such an integral part of my journey to the Miss America stage. Without my performing experiences and academic achievements at SDSA, I wouldn’t be the performer or person I am today. Saturday night finals at MAOT were such a pleasure to watch. Congratulations to all of the young women who were able to represent at that level, and to Rachel Wyatt, the new Miss America’s Outstanding Teen from South Carolina. She blew me away with her talent, a beautiful lyrical dance to “The Climb,” and she embodies what the organization is all about! 

I am so proud of Morgan Burris, our Miss Delaware’s Outstanding Teen for representing us with grace, poise, beauty, and genuine heart at MAOT. She never fails to amaze me and this week was no different. Though her journey in Florida is over, her amazing story does not end here. She is beginning a new chapter and returning to Delaware to finish her year with the same dedication and passion she has shown thus far. She is making a difference each day in the lives of other children who were adopted like she was, and encouraging other young people to follow their dreams. Morgan is one of the few young women her age who are able to make a difference. She is beautiful inside and out and she has a light that radiates through her smile, her eyes, and everything she says. Morgan truly is OUTSTANDING in every way, shape and form through the message she conveys, the hope she provides to others, the passion she has for service, and her genuine love for others. She is an inspiration to me and I feel so honored to be her “big sister.” 

This week through watching Morgan compete, and meeting my Miss America sisters, I am finally starting to realize that I really will be competing for Miss America in January. This lofty goal that I’ve kept in my back pocket all these years is becoming a reality. I can’t wait to reunite with the other 52 incredible titleholders, and make even more memories in January!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ferry Fiascos, Photoshoots, and Parades!

I can safely say that this week has been the busiest one in my year as Miss Delaware thus far. I don’t say this to complain because I’m happiest when I’m busy!

Sunday was the day of the ferry fiasco. After planning ahead (for once in my life) and booking a ferry ticket to work with my INCREDIBLE Miss America choreographer, Jamie Ginn, Miss Delaware 2006, I arrived an hour early for my ferry to Cape May, NJ. Once 7:25 am rolled around and the gate still had not opened, I realized I had booked the ferry backwards, from NJ to DE, and the first ferry from Lewes wasn’t until 9:15 am! Luckily the incredibly understanding customer service employees exchanged my ticket free of charge and helped me along my way. Misfortune over? Not quite. I have been on my fair share of boats in my life, I live near the water and I spend as much time on it as possible. Never before have I been seasick, but Sunday, of all days, my stomach got the best of me. I arrived in Ocean City, NJ slightly green, nauseous, and flustered, but excited to get to work. The session was incredible and I cannot wait to perform my new routine at Miss America!

The day ended with my Outstanding Teen, Morgan Burris’s send-off to Orlando for the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant! Morgan emulates everything the MAOT program is about, she is kind, compassionate, incredibly talented, intelligent, and well spoken. I can’t wait to watch her work that stage in Florida. GO DELAWARE!

Monday was a super intense, rope climbing, kettle bell flinging session with my official Miss DE trainer, Paul Timmons at The Firm in Rehoboth Beach. Tuesday I headed to Harrington for the Delaware Electric Cooperative dinner, Wednesday I visited Sal Cutrona, my Miss DE hair sponsor and Gloria, my nail sponsor at Michael Christopher Salon in Wilmington to get pretty before Orlando. Thursday I went to the Eagles vs. Steelers football game with a friend, totally unrelated to Miss Delaware, but totally AWESOME.

On Friday I participated in Trash the Dress for Charity. Lead by photographers Sam Ellis and Anne Donaway, young women can donate an old prom or homecoming dress to those who are not able to finance their dream dress. Sam and Anne take pictures of the models on the beach and gradually making their way into the water. They then dry clean these dresses and get them to those who need them! I had an extra dress hanging around in my closet that I hope someone will love! Nothing better than modeling and swimming in a gown for a great cause! I was honored and excited to be a part of this project.

Saturday I had an interview with Prita from PageantProfessors.com in Washington, DC and tomorrow morning is the Bower’s Beach  Parade!

This week was a busy/hectic/fun one, and I can only hope I stay this busy throughout my year as Miss Delaware!

P.S. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out Maria Cahill, Miss Delaware 2011, on Life on the Rock on EWTN! She was a total natural and I’m super proud! 



Friday, August 3, 2012

The Big "Thank You" Post


I want to say a quick thank you to some important people before I blog about anything else.

Without God, nothing in my life would be possible.

Thank you to my family for being so supportive in every way possible. My Mom, who has never missed a recital, performance, swim meet, or pageant, Dad who supported me financially and emotionally through my journey to Miss Delaware, my step-mom Karen, step-dad Dan, Floyd, Mom mom and Pop pop, Aunt Lisa and JP, my big brother Cory, my sister Remi, my step-brothers Ben and Zach, you are the best big happy dysfunctional family I could ask for.

To my friends, thank you for being there for me. Shelby, Abby, Taylor, thanks for being there for me since elementary school.

To my sorority sisters who have supported me every step of the way, a huge thank you. Ali, Steph, Kayla, my sorority family who stuck by my side, Veronica who I don’t know what I would do without, Marykate, who came all the way down to watch and cried more than I did over the win, all of the girls on exec. for the thoughtful and delicious edible arrangement. I’m so happy I have about 140 of the best sisters in the whole world.

Dillan, thanks for coming the long distance to watch me, and for putting up with me when I was going a little crazy preparing.

All of the Miss Delaware 2012 girls, I love each and every one of you. Thank you for making this experience unforgettable. Alix, thanks for being the best roommate I could have asked for you. I loved our late night talks and getting ready together. Becky thanks for being a sister to me all year. You have a very special place in my heart and I miss our Newark breakfast and protein shake dates.

Maria Cahill, I can’t even say “thank you” enough. I know you would make fun of me because I’m tearing up while I’m writing this. I knew when I met you last year, you were the kind of friend that only comes along once in a lifetime, and I’m so proud to call you one of my best friends. Thank you for setting such a great example for me to follow, and thank you for being so helpful to all the contestants this year. Let’s go get froyo.

To all the former Miss Delawares, thank you for being role models and inspirations to me. Kama Levandis, thank you for being my idol and encouragement, even though you didn’t know it.

To the best board in the whole World, thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to this program and your girls. You treat every one of us like your own, and we all love you for that.

Marcellus Beasley at B-Fit Enterprise, you believed in me from day one. You told me the day we met that I could do it and you stuck by me, not only as a trainer, but as a friend. I can’t thank you enough for all you have done for me.

The fabulous Tony Bowls, Josh Cody, the Perfect Dress in New Jersey, and Chris Saltalamacchio, thank you for making me feel like a princess while I was picking out my gown. Y’all rock, and I couldn’t have done it without this team.

David Button and Jen Hayward, thanks for being such awesome local mentors, and for believing in me from the start.

Everyone who was involved with my journey, thank you for helping me achieve my dream.

I am incredibly blessed to have so many people in my life who have been so fundamental in reaching my dreams. I am so grateful to everyone who helped make this possible.


Until next time,
Alyssa

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My FIRST Blog Post as MISS DELAWARE!


HI EVERYONE! My first blog post as Miss Delaware, how amazing/unbelievable is this? Every morning I wake up and I still have to double check to make sure I’m not in some incredible, ridiculous, inception-caliber dream. 6 weeks after being crowned, I am finally having a few quiet moments to reflect on the week that has forever changed my life.

Just 2 years ago I was an awkward, self-conscious, and quirky college freshman at the University of Delaware (GO BLUE HENS!) trying to find where I fit in, when I received a facebook message from Mama Sandy Soucek, telling me I should compete for a preliminary pageant to Miss Delaware.

I have grown more in the past 2 years through my experience with the Miss Delaware/Miss America Organization than I have in 18 years prior. After placing 4th runner-up to the fabulous Maria Cahill, a best friend of mine, I decided that I was going to put myself out there this year and leave everything I had on that Miss Delaware stage. I prepared like I never had before.  I lost 2 dress sizes and about 20 pounds, improved my talent and selected the wardrobe of my dreams.

For the first time ever, I was 100% confident with my body when I stepped on stage Thursday night for swimsuit. I felt completely confident with my onstage question (it probably didn’t hurt that it was about my platform) which I have been involved with for 8 years, (more on that later). Friday night I was so ecstatic to receive the evening gown preliminary award and my talent went even better than I  hoped.  Saturday night was a complete whirlwind. Out of the top 11, guess who was number 11. Yup, this girl right here. If you thought I was a nervous wreck, you should have seen my poor Mother! She just about had a coronary right there in Dover Downs. With the announcement of the top 5, I was at peace. Did I want to be Miss Delaware? You bet. I had put a year of hard work and dedication into this and I knew I was ready for this job. Having said that, there were 4 other beautiful, intelligent, and well rounded young women in those hot seats with me that would have made a wonderful state titleholder.

The crowning was an absolute blur. All I remember is hearing names called, and thinking “that’s not me.” I was so happy I got to share that moment with Renee. That girl didn’t win Miss Congeniality for nothing. She kept all of us smiling and laughing all week. I don’t remember what song was playing, I don’t remember what I did, and I certainly don’t remember hearing my name called out, but I eventually realized I was still standing there. Judging by the pictures from Miss Delaware, I think I held it together pretty well, and I was so happy to see the positive reactions from every other contestant. These girls are like my family now and I am so thrilled, honored, and humbled to be a representative for this class of young women.

I am sorry this is such a long post, but there is no way to shorten what was the single best week of my entire life into a short paragraph. I am so thrilled to start my reign as Miss Delaware, and I hope you all follow my adventures on this blog!

Until next time,

Alyssa



                           Check out this slideshow from Miss Delaware week!


Friday, June 22, 2012

Just kidding....Maria here....THIS is actually my last blog....oops.

I have started a new blog called "Kicked To The Curb: Life of a Former Beauty Queen."  Please check it out whenever you can!  I will be updating quite often!

It can be found at mariacahill.blogspot.com :)

As usual, PLEASE stay on this blog and support the new Miss Delaware 2012, Alyssa Murray.  Be sure to leave her well wishes and send her love as she embarks on one of the craziest years of her life!


stay chill,
xoxo



Maria

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hi, everyone!!! This is my first day as a former and will be my last post!! Yesterday, I was blessed to crown one of my best friends in the whole world, Alyssa Murray, as the new Miss Delaware!!! This girl is not only talented and GORGEOUS, but is HILARIOUS and has a heart of gold to match.  Alyssa, this year will be the best year of your life!! Treasure it and never take a single day for granted! LOVE YOU!!! <3


Thank you to everyone for their support during my year! All my love! X0X0


Reminding you to stay chill,
Miss Delaware 2011 signing off,
Maria Cahill










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