Children's Miracle Network!

Please help me reach my goal of raising $2,000 for the Children's Miracle Network. Every penny counts! Just follow the link below

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Move it and Lose it Challenge #8

I was watching the news the other day and a story immediately caught my attention and inspired Move it and Lose it challenge #8. A recent study was conducted that showed that people who eat lunch/dinner in front of a computer/television eat more than they would if they were to eat at the kitchen table. Guilty as charged. Not only do I eat my lunch at my desk at least 3 days a week (on a good week) but what is the first thing I do when I get home? If your thought was watch TV.. I wish. I reopen the computer and start studying for my exams with my dinner by my side.

The study concluded it that since your mind is distracted by the screen, you do not realize when you are full. I also agree with this because the other day I made it through almost an entire bag of pretzels without even a second thought. Oops.

Now this part wasn't in the study, but I have also found that it takes me way longer to eat when I am trying to work than if I would have just taken ten minutes to actually enjoy my meal. This may be due to the fact that I am eating more because I am distracted, or it may be because I am a bad multi -tasker. Either way, your challenge this week is to break away from the screen during meals. Good luck!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The true test

A few months ago, I was honored and overwhelmed with excitement when my best friend asked me to be the maid of honor in her wedding. She told me they had finally set a date. June 18th. Two weeks later, I was walking out the door for a Miss Finger Lakes appearance when my phone beeped, it was an e-mail that I had been awaiting from Kenny Mack.. the dates and location for Miss NY were being announced! The tears started coming on faster than I could read. June 13-19. I was devastated, as this is my last year of competition.
I dried my tears and immediately said, well that's it, I am choosing friendship, my time as a contestant in the MAO was over. How could I not be there for her on her big day? I tried everything that I could think of to get around the problem, even searching on the Internet for hours to try to find a possible issue with the date the Miss NY Organization chose. (didn't work)
As the days passed, my decision never left the back of my mind. It was all I could think about. I went back and forth for weeks over what I should do. Tonight, I made the hardest decision of my life. I called my friend and with her full support, I will not be ending my journey quite yet. I will be competing for Miss Greater Rochester this year only. If it is in the cards and I become Miss Greater Rochester 2011, then I will see you at Miss NY 2011, if it's not, I will be smiling as I watch my friend walk down the isle.
I contemplated sharing this story with everyone because the last thing I wanted was a debate over how bad of a friend that I am on the nasty board. But I decided to share it because this organization means more than anything to me. It has helped me to become the woman that I am and I am not ready give up on my dream. So I have one last chance. Please mark your calendars and come support me on March 13th for my very last local pageant.
P.S. Passed my second CPA exam today. OOOOhhhhh we're half way there!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

As Promised

Okay so this post really isn't as promised because I promised for Saturday, not Sunday... but it's pretty close. I think you will forgive me when you hear my most recentAdd Image fiasco.

Bed bugs are a growing epidemic in New York State. They have been all over the news for the New York City infestation, but not so much in Upstate NY. Well I must have been the lucky person because two weeks ago, I discovered one in my apartment. A common misconception is that you get bed bugs from being messy, however when they were discovered in my spotless apartment I did some research and found out that it has nothing to do with how clean you are. The way that most people get them is by traveling (which is how I most likely got them), they like to cling onto your suitcase. They are a very expensive and time consuming pest to get rid of. For example, I paid the exterminator over $700 and had to wash everything I own (23 loads of laundry). So, here are just a few helpful traveling tips so you don't wind up like me.

  • Never leave your suitcase on the floor (use the provided suitcase rack)
  • Make sure your suitcase is zipped up at all times.

  • Don't throw your clothing on the floor, if you put it in the drawers make sure you put your dirty clothes right back into your zipped suitcase.

  • Inspect the bed when you get there. Leave the lights off and use a small flashlight to look in the box spring and the seams of the mattress. The bugs are very small but you can see them.

  • Check out to see if they have been reported at the hotel you are staying at.

  • When you return home, vacuum your suitcase before bringing it inside (you must change the vacuum bag when finished because they can live in the bag).

Okay now that I freaked everyone out, I have had time for some other fun things in the past two weeks other than bed bugs. Stacey Minchin, Miss New York International, and I teamed up to make some appearances!

First, we helped out at the Meals on Wheels pancake breakfast. Our job was to be waitresses and Stacey did a good job... me on the other hand, I tried my best :) The turn out was awesome and we had such a great time working together that we figured we would do it again the next week.

Our next event together was the inaugural Veterans Day Walk/Run. I think we were the only two that decided to walk haha, but hey, we crossed the finish line still standing!

Our next event together will be on Sunday at the Corning Parade of Lights!

P.S. If anyone is serious about going to watch Stacey in Chicago this July as she competes for Miss International, please let me know. My mom and I will be scheduling our flights/hotel in the upcoming weeks!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

On the hunt...

... for Miss Finger Lakes 2011! The Miss Finger Lakes Organization has announced this year's pageant to be held on February 26th 2011. The pageant will be hosted by our very own Miss NY International, Stacey Minchin! If you are interested in competing, let me know and I will make sure to get you all of the paperwork.

Now that I am finally done traveling for awhile and am all settled in, it was time to fill up my calendar. Here's what is in the month ahead...

November 4th - Volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House
November 7th - Showing off my Pancake Flipping skills at a CMN Breakfast fundraiser. *9:00-12:30 at the First United Methodist Church on Cedar St in Corning -- Stop by!*
November 14 - Inaugural Veterans Day 5K Run/Walk hosted by Elmira College
November 20 - CPA Exam :(
November 27 - Corning Parade of Lights

Friday, October 8, 2010

Deep Breaths

Fist, I will say, Yes... this is delayed.. but, when I explain my schedule, I bet you will forgive me :) As you know, I recently started full time at PwC... so that means two weeks of training in Pittsburgh. I have been home for a week and a half now (where I spent every waking hour literally working or studying). I sat for another section of my CPA on Wednesday... it did not seem to promising when a tear rolled down my cheek about 36 minutes into the exam.

But anyway, I had a grueling two weeks in Pittsburgh. While it was a lot of fun meeting all of the new people in the Lake Erie class of 2010, I had to head back to my room to study every night boo! About 4 days before I said goodbye to Pittsburgh, I received a phone call from my mother, my grandmother had been diagnosed with Breast Cancer. We are very grateful because due to my Aunt's pestering, my Grandma had her yearly exams tested and therefore, caught the disease in its earliest phase. Two days later, my phone rang again, this time it was Pilar. She told me about the Breast Cancer awareness walk that was going to be held in the Finger Lakes that coming coming weekend. I really wanted to be apart of it, but I was torn. I was so sick, I had an exam in a week, I would already have to drive 5 hours to Rochester and didn't want to tack on another 2, but I decided that it was important for me to be there. Team Style (our team name) raised over $700 for the event. It was so empowering, there were hundreds of people that came out for the first annual walk in corning. Teams were made up of not only supporters, but survivors. Even though I was sneezing the whole walk, I am so grateful to have been a part of the event.

I have pictures of this, but I am not technologically savvy and my computer (or possibly myself) is being dysfunctional so I cannot transfer them. As soon as the problem is solved I will put them on facebook!

On Sunday, I am off to California for two weeks to begin an audit!! You probably will not hear from me for a few weeks because I am sure I will be in my work and study coma, on the beach of course :)

Move it and Lose it Challenge # I have no idea: Take an hour for yourself each week. This is a lesson that I have been learning the hard way. For example, when you constantly work/study, you get very stressed. When you get stressed two things may happy. 1. Your immune system can get very weak and 2. you will have a harder time staying in shape because your body is working so hard to fight the stress. If you can take even an hour to go for a walk, be lazy on the couch, or read a book, every week your stress level may decrease and your body will respond positively :)

P.S. Stacey Minchin and Felica Ramos are competing for Miss NY International tomorrow (I was supposed to go but my business trip got moved up so I have to be at the airport at 7 am sunday morning :( ) Please wish them luck!!!!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

An inspiring little girl...

First and foremost... CONGRATS to Hannah Wright, my dressing room pal, for placing 2nd runner up at the National Sweetheart pageant!!!! Love her!

I apologize for my dwindling blog posts... it is busy tax season once again (corporate returns due 9/15) and I have been working 13 hour!!! However... I am still finding time to volunteer!!! This past week I organized a dinner to be made for the Ronald McDonald house for the 1st year class at PwC (that includes me... I am no longer an intern!!!!). As always, it was a blast and a really great way to get to know my new co-workers. After we cooked for approximately 45 people, I had my first tour of the Ronald McDonald House! I don't know how I volunteer there so much and have never gotten the tour. It was more than a house... it was a home. Each room had individual touches to make the visitors feel more comfortable. There were multiple family type rooms, board games, and much more to keep everyone in a positive mind set. It really blew me away how much detail and time was spent making the facility into a warm environment.

Can you find Ronald?

This Saturday, I hosted the Teen Miss Finger Lakes Pageant! I was joined by my pageant pal, Vicky Ripple! Thank you so much for helping us out! The day was really fun, esp since a lot of the girls competing also competed for the Miss Colonial Days title and I was able to see their improvement already! Although all of the girls did great, one of the new titleholders really stuck out in my mind. Lauren Randall, the new Little Miss Finger Lakes, competed for Miss Little Colonial Days this past summer. Her sister, Maryn, also competed. While both young ladies did a phenomenal job, Maryn took home the title. When this happened, I must say that I got a bit nervous wondering how Lauren was going to take the news of her sister winning. I have never seen such grace and sincere pride between sisters. Lauren was so happy for Maryn and held her head high. I must say that I grinned when I looked down at my index card that was handed to me by the auditor when it said that Lauren had taken the title, she is extremely deserving and I could not be more proud of her!

Lauren when her name was called :)

Things start to get a bit crazy soon, I leave for Pittsburgh on Tuesday and will be there for two weeks. I will return to Rochester for a few weeks then will be off to California for two weeks (work not play :( ) I will sure to keep you posted on any events coming up!

Move it and Lose it Challenge #6: I challenge you to not eat two hours before you go to sleep! While you are sleeping, your metabolism slows down quite a bit, so if you absolutely have to eat before you go to bed, try something light like watermelon :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

This Just In.....

PASSED MY FIRST CPA EXAM WITH AN 84!!!!!!!!!! One down, three to go!!!

Ahh so excited right now that I figured I would let you all know what I have been up to. Life has been crazy hectic. I am currently studying for the next section of my CPA, working, moving (which has been quite the disaster), and of course, representing the Finger Lakes Region :)

Last week, Stacey Minchin and I volunteered at the CMN Golf Tournament held at the country club. Our job was to see if anyone made a hole in one and if they did the would win a new jeep! Well, that Jeep is back on the lot because no one got a hole in one, but hey, we saw some pretty awesome shots! After the tournament there was a fundraiser dinner that we attended. We also had a pretty fun photo shoot in the rain on one of the greens, compliments of my dad! I will post some pictures on here and the remainder of the pictures on facebook once I find my camera cord that is somewhere between my new apartment and my old apartment.

This week was also my last Get in the Game Monday :( Surprise surprise, it was raining all day so we couldn't go outside. But, we took advantage of the youth center and tried to stay away from the video games! A big thank you to the Youth Center for allowing me to come and volunteer! It was been a great couple of months :)

The week ahead:

Volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House on Thursday!

Move it and Lose it Challenge #5: Break up your meals into smaller meals throughout the day. Currently, I eat 5 small meals everyday instead of 3 big meals. This allows your metabolism to work constantly and at an even pace instead of trying to break down huge amounts of food.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Move it and Lose it Challenge #4

I was so caught up in the commotion of this week that I forgot to give you your next Move it and Lose it Challenge!

I Challenge you to eat breakfast! It's as simple as that! A lot of people are under the misconception that eat more = gain more. However, a healthy breakfast has quite the opposite effect. Eating breakfast gets your metabolism going early, which means you will be burning more calories throughout the day (not to mention that you will most likely be taking in more vitamins and minerals)! So instead of waiting til 11 to jump start your metabolism, eat breakfast and start it at 8!

Check out this article from the Mayo Clinic for more breakfast tips!

Until next time :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Different Perspective

This weekend was the Miss Thousand Islands pageant, it was the first time in five years that I was not looking down at the audience.This time, instead, I was looking up at the girls. I am not going to lie, this was very difficult for me. The volunteers of the Miss Thousand Islands Organization have become family to me and their pageant is always one that I look forward to.

SO the results!

Community Service - Victoria Ripple

Congeniality - Corri Dartnell

CMN Award - Alli Sun

3rd RU - Abagail Turner

2nd RU - Angela Galasso

1st RU - Corri Dartnell

Miss TI 2010.....

With Miss TI 2010, Morgan Bocciolatt

MORGAN BOCCIOLATT! P.S. Morgan, I am sorry my camera messed up so I didn't get your crowning moment. My dad is going to try to see if he can recover it off my camera for you :( Congratulations sweetie, so proud of you! Enjoy your year!!!

Corri and I

This was also a special day for Corri Dartnell, who has been competing with the Miss America Organization since the age of 17 and was Miss Thousand Islands 2008. Saturday was Corri's last MAO local pageant and I am so proud of her. I have had the opportunity to watch her grow through this organization and I am so thankful to be able to call her my friend.

Miss NYOT, Allison Stroming, Miss NY, Claire Buffie, and myself

When I returned home it was time for another Get in the Game Monday! We had a really fun day and a record amount of kids!

The week ahead:


Sunday: Volunteering at the CMN Golf Tournament at the Corning Country Club

Monday: Get in the Game

Monday, August 9, 2010

"Kick it to Amy...She can't throw it"

The EXACT words of the boys on the opposing team of Kickball today during a Get in the Game Activity.... HARSH (although, sadly true)!! I am more than half way through my Get in the Game summer program and I must say, I am having a blast with it. I cannot determine for certain that the kids are participating in the different activities because they want to or because they earn points for a Sea Breeze trip with their activity hours... I am going to have to say it's a bit of both :)

Taking a step back now to Thursday! Thursday was a LOOONG day for me. It started at 5:45 (yes a.m.) when I got out of bed so that I could get into the office early. Getting in early = Getting out early. At 4:30, I kicked off my heels and slid on the flip flops as I got into my car for a very familiar drive. For anyone that does not know, I live in Rochester... I could easily do community service here, but I wanted to make sure this year that I am representing the area that believed in me and named me as its title holder. So every weekend I drive one hour and forty-seven minutes to the Finger Lakes! When I arrived I found myself surrounded by a bunch of cars, people, and vendors.. that's right.. RACE FEVER! At the event, I sold tickets to help support Meals on Wheels! Each ticket purchased bought you a duck. Yeap, that is right, a duck. It wasn't real of course, although that would have been AWESOME (I used to have three ducks.. Huey, Duey, and Louie... Duey got hit by a car, it was traumatizing). At the end of Race Fever, all of the ducks were thrown into the river, like so....

... and the person's duck that made it to the finish line first won a trip to Hawaii! Unfortunately, my duck must have got lost on the 50 foot path the finish because I never received that phone call welcoming me aboard to the Aloha State. :( oh well.

I was quite the Salesperson :)

Friday morning I woke up and drove back to Rochester for the PwC picnic, which was followed by the Park Ave Arts Festival on Saturday. What did I do on Sunday morning you ask? I got back in the car and drove to Elmira, NY! It was time for another Wal Mart fundraiser. This was my first time doing a fund raiser at this particular Wal Mart. Unfortunately, I was double booked with another organization, so I was a little nervous of how the day would turn out, but my two little helpers seemed to win over the customers! In total, we raised $172 in four hours! A big thank you Walmart, Jaida, Mini Miss Colonial Days 2010 and Nayanna, Mini Miss Congeniality 2010.

The week ahead:

Saturday: Miss Thousand Islands 2011 Pageant!!
Monday: Get in the Game Monday at Family Services

Move it and Lose it Challenge #3: Pre-package your daily snacks! I have often fallen victim to the vending machine. On Thursday, I took an inventory of it (aka checked out the snacks) to see if there was anything healthy in there. Surprise surprise, there wasn't. Before you go to sleep, pre-package any grapes, granola bars, yogurt, strawberries, etc. that you will need to quench your hunger for the following day. That way you will be less likely to be searching for that 75 cents and more likely to fit into those goal jeans that you have been saving!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Learn and Burn!

Tomorrow is big day 1 out of 4 (I hope only 4)!! I have been studying since May for the Regulation section of the CPA exam. I have been on the edge the last few weeks because I have been impatiently waiting for my NTS, which allows me to schedule my exam. It is supposed to take 6 weeks... mine took 8. I FINALLY received it on Friday and was able to schedule my exam for tomorrow. So, unfortunately, I had to cancel Get in the Game Monday.

I have been studying non stop for the past 48 hours and finally decided at 8:47 p.m. that it was time to call it quits. I cannot possibly cram anything else into my brain. So tonight, I am going to paint my toes, eat some strawberries, watch Licensed to Wed, and give you some fun info on being healthy that I learned in the PwC monthly newsletter!

Since I am a numbers person, I like to know the how many calories you burn for each activity that you partake in. Here are the facts...

If you....Then you Burn
Play with your dog... 75 Calories/Hour
Take a Walk in the park... 115 Calories/Hour
Weed the Garden... 230 Calories/Hour
Play Golf (with a cart!)... 250 Calories/Hour
Play Softball... 260 Calories/Hour
Play Doubles Tennis... 350 Calories/Hour
Exercise using an elliptical... 850 Calories/Hour

So, like I said last week, I am not getting a gym membership until I am finished with my exams, so until then, I can use some of the things on the list above to make sure that I am staying in good physical shape!

Alright I hope everyone took on the Move it and Lose it challenge last week by parking in the back of parking lot, but it is time for a new challenge!

Move it and Lose it Challenge #2: Take the stairs! I know how tempting it is to take the elevator, trust me, there is one in my parking garage and I park on the top floor. But taking the stairs, esp in the morning, is a good way to get your heart pumping early!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Move it and Lose it!

I am very excited about a couple of ideas that I have recently brainstormed with the help of Calista. So on this Wednesday evening, instead of studying like I should be, I am going to share!

Program #1: What Moves You?

This program is for Elementary aged kids. When I was in 4th grade, we participated in a reading competition. Whichever class room had the highest total of after school reading hours, won a party. Sounds simple enough... so why not gear this idea towards physical fitness! According to experts, Kids only need one hour of physical activity a day! This can definitely be accomplished, especially if the kids are in a competition. The program would last for about a month and by the end, the hope would be that the children would turn the competition into a lifestyle. I have pitched this idea to a local elementary school (I even made a fun activity tracking sheet!) and am anxiously waiting to hear back. I will keep you posted!

Program #2: Move it and Lose it!

This program is going to be geared towards teens and adults. My platform is actually for kids, but I got in a heated debate with myself... (yeah it's possible to debate with yourself) over the idea of joining a gym right now and when the debate did not end how I wanted it to, I decided that I needed to come up with a plan. As much as I would LOVE to join a gym, I knew that my CPA studying schedule would cause this to be an unwise economical decision...aka I wouldn't have time to go to the gym. Now, I am ready to attack my critics that believe that I am already a small person and that I do not need to go to the gym. Here's the thing, being small means just that... you are small. By no means does that suggest that you are necessarily healthy or fit. So this program can be for EVERYONE!

Here is the deal. All you have to do is one small challenge every week. I will announce these challenges both on my facebook and through my blog. Some will be geared towards physical fitness, others will be geared towards nutrition, and maybe I can even throw in a few mental fitness challenges! I am going to do every single one of them, so if you feel like you are doing them alone, I can promise you that you are not! So here it goes... Move it and Lose it Challenge #1...

I Challenge You to: Pass up that close parking spot at the store/work/etc. Leave it for someone that actually needs it. Pretend like your car is a gem and park that baby in the back row!

P.S. this challenge can be altered for my city folks who use public transportation. Skip your usual entrance to the subway and walk to the next one. We all know it's only a few extra blocks! (Do not do this, I repeat, DO NOT DO THIS if you are alone at night -- this is a day time activity only :) I am a stage 4 worrier)

Monday, July 26, 2010

This Week's Festivities

Friday was a very forgetful day for me.
Forgetful event #1: Setting my alarm so that I could wake up and study...darn.
Forgetful event #2: I forgot to mapquest where Batavia was (I thought it was 20 minutes away, but it was in fact 45 minutes away), resulting in me being twenty minutes behind schedule. YET, I still made it on time because I have OCD when it comes to being punctual, therefore, me being 20 minutes behind = me still being 5 minutes early.
Forgetful event #3: Due to my freaking out about being behind schedule, I left my crown and sash on the counter :(

So after I was done forgetting everything, I found myself at the 2010 Genesee County Fair Queen Pageant, put toghether by our very own Vicky Ripple! Vicky has been so wonderful to me this year and she always keeps me posted on eventthat I could help out at! This year's pageant was my emcee debut! It was a lot of fun and I may have recruited a few more Miss Finger Lakes Candidates!

I was feeling much better this Monday so it was time for another Get in the Game Monday! Unfortunately, we had another crummy weather morning, so we spent most of it inside playing 27 games of guess who. Once the weather cleared we headed outside for a game of four square. I let the kids pick the activity today and of course it had to be a game I had never played before. But, shockingly, I wasn't horrible at it!

In an earlier post, I discussed how the average child spends 7.5 hours a day in front of some form of screen (comp, tv, cell phone, etc.). I wanted to share a wonderful rule that has now been implemented at the youth center that I volunteer at. Each child must sign up for computer and video game time and is only allowed two, fifteen minute, time slots on each. Let's do the math - That is one hour of screen time!! While we cannot control what the kids do when they are at home, my friends and I at the youth center are taking a stand for change and a more active lifestyle!

The week ahead:
Next week will be another Get in the Game Monday. As of right now I am planning on taking this week as a hard core study week for my CPA examination, as my first test is quickly approaching!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Another Girl's Dream Come True

This Saturday I put my accounting skills to the test....well not really. I was the auditor for the Miss Monroe County Teen Pageant!! This pageant was so fun for me because not only was I able to witness the winner's reaction when she found out that she was given the opportunity to represent her region at Miss NY Outstanding Teen Pageant, but I also got to spend the day with my pageant loves. Joining me at the head table was, co-auditor, Vicky Ripple, and judges, Lorna Rose, Ali Sun, and Heather Knowles. We had so much fun discussing the upcoming pageant season and reminiscing about past pageant seasons. A huge thank you to Calista and Melanie for making this event possible for all of the young ladies!

Add Image
In last week's post, I stated that I would have another Get in the Game Monday this week. Unfortunately, when I woke up this morning, I was feeling a bit under the weather. But I didn't care, so I got up anyway and took a shower. When I got out of the shower I realized I did care... so I spent the rest of the day in bed with wet hair. I am very confident that even without the Get in the Game segment, the youth center kids still had a very involved and active day.

The week ahead:

On Friday I will be the emcee for the Miss Genesee County Fair Pageant! (This pageant is organized by Vicky Ripple!)

On Monday, we are Getting back in the game!

Monday, July 12, 2010

I am so...gullible

I must say I didn't get much CPA prep in this weekend, but this weekend's events were totally worth it. On Friday afternoon, Vicky Ripple and I met up at the Hyatt in Rochester with three other volunteers to begin judging the National American Miss Pageant (NAM). I have to admit that I am not someone that really follows any other pageantry organization other than the MAO, but NAM will now be on my radar. The pageants that I judged were the 4-5 yr olds, 6-7 yr olds, and 8-9 yr olds... and let me tell you, I was blown away. NAM searches for the girl that looks her age, is poised, confident, and well spoken. How would you know if a 4 year old is well spoken? We interviewed them....that's right, these girls start their interview training at FOUR!! I was expecting one word answers or some shy little ones to run out of the room crying, but it was the exact opposite. These young ladies pranced into the room in their little suits and spoke in complete sentences and with heart. The pageant was two days and that is a lot to ask of a little one! It was a phenomenal experience and I am so grateful to the NAM organization for allowing me to be a part of it. Congratulations to all of the contestants, you girls were great!

After the exhaustion of NAM, I slept half of Sunday away. But there was no fooling around on Monday, it was time to Get in the Game!! This was my second Get in the Game Monday, and the weather was so much more cooperative. In the morning we chilled inside and played Monopoly and pool, and then we headed outdoors for a game of kickball. I was silly and wore flip flops and kicked my shoe further than the ball.

I figured that since it was going to be such a warm day and that we didn't have access to a pool, that water balloons would be stellar! We started off with making really tiny water balloons which we had to carry on spoons in a relay race, and the switched to the balloon toss, and ended with an all out water balloon war. Don't get me wrong, it was a lot of fun and it really got the kids excited and moving around (mission accomplished!), but there must be something really great about getting Amy soaked. Not only did I have the entire group of them chasing after me with their water balloons, but they also found it necessary to play a practical joke. As you know, balloon remains are not good for the environment, so I suggested that we all clean them up after the fight was over. Two of the boys walked over to me and said they had a bucket to put the balloons in. Now, if you were smart, you would look in the bucket to see if it was empty... I was not smart. I bent down to pick up a balloon at the perfect time for them to dump a bucket of ice cold water over my head... I was no longer soaked, but drenched. I will get them back next Monday.

The week ahead:

On Saturday I will be auditing the Monroe Country Fair Pageant where a contestant will be chosen to compete for Miss NY Outstanding Teen 2011 (Let me know if you know someone that would like to compete) and on Monday there is another Get in the Game Monday!

Until then... :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I'm sorry could you repeat that order please?

After work today, I traded my calculator for a cash register...same concept I thought... I can handle this. Wrong! I am the worst cashier in the history of cashiers and I discovered I am even worse at pouring beer from a tap. For example...

Customer: " I would like a red hot and a bottle of water"
Amy: "Coming right up!!"
Customer: "Isn't that a white hot... and I asked for water...not soda"

But hey... A+ for trying is the motto at Home Plate! (Okay I just made that motto up, but I needed a self-esteem booster).

So what is Home Plate you ask (just amuse me)? Home Plate is the concession stand at the Rochester Red Wings Minor League Baseball Field. The company has a great system in place that allows volunteers to run the stand. When I first heard about this, I thought, why would I want to volunteer at a baseball game...who is that helping besides a concession stand to make more profit from not paying employees? Well it helps kids Get in the Game!!! Home Plate donates 5% of the evenings profit to a not for profit organization. Tonight, I was serving hot dogs and pouring beer (cough.. foam.. cough) to raise money for Two Doors. Two Doors is a community resource center for kids in Rochester, NY. A few of the many programs at Two Doors are a Healthy Highway, which teaches kids about wellness and nutrition, Cultural Arts, which allows for hands on creative thinking and learning, and Family Outreach, which gets the entire family involved for a night of healthy eating and festive activities.

With my friend Melissa....mmm look at those fries!

This was such a fun event and as much as I would have liked to be serving hot dogs in my crown and sash to represent the Miss America Organization.. it just did not seem to fit the health code regulations :)

Later this week I will be judging the National American Miss Pageant... stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Teens Crowning Moment!

Did you really think I could watch a pageant without recording the crowning video? Follow the link to see the winners of the Miss NY Outstanding Teen Pageant!

Congrats Ladies!

Get in the Game Monday Number 1!

There was no relaxation time after coming home from Miss NY! Yesterday was my very first Get in the Game Monday!! I was at the youth center for 6 hours with the kids and really enjoyed getting to know them! The weather was kind of crummy in the morning so we spent the first few hours inside playing pool, air hockey, and ping pong. When it heated up a little, we ventured outside for a few hours to play basketball, football, and lacrosse! Oveall it was a fun, active day and I can't wait for my next adventure in two weeks (off next week for July 4th).

Unfortunately, while I did take a lot of pictures, I cannot publish any of them until I get parental release forms... so stay tuned!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Miss NY-- Claire Buffie!!!!

Brace yourself.... it is going to be a long one. First and foremost congratulations to Miss NY 2010 - Claire Buffie!!!! Claire is PHENOMENAL, I had the opportunity to really get to know her better this past week and let me tell you, the girl is a trooper. Claire was sick all week long and by her enthusiasm and positive attitude you would have never guessed it. I know she is going to do great things with her title and make NY proud this year!

So lets rewind. As I was driving to Albany on Monday morning I could hardly contain my excitement. This was a trip that I had been working towards taking now for 6 years and I was so anxious to get it started. Upon arrival, Kieren and I loaded our entire lives out of our vehicles and up to a 3rd floor apartment ( that's right-- no elevators!).

After we were all settled in, we met all of the girls at our orientation lunch. Before long, the festivities began! We made our way around the city of Albany via a really cool water/land vehicle on a Ducks tour. Poor Katie M got a little nervous when we hit the water! After our tour, we went to dinner at Prime 677, only one word necessary here... DELICIOUS! Thank you so much to the kind staff and for the wonderful meal!

Now after day one, the remainder of the week is all kind of jumbled in my mind so trust me when I say that the order of events will absolutely not be chronological. My first work out with Kent really gave me a lot of confidence! Shocking right? I am not a dancer by any means, but thanks to Keelie Sheridan, who taped the opening number dance for the girls, I was able to learn the majority of it ahead of time. If it weren't for that tape and Kent's great instruction, I would have been going left when everyone else was going right, going down when everyone else was up.... you get the point.

Now, I have never been one that has been power tools savy. I don't even think I could be called power tool literate. But, I surely learned when we built stairs for Habitat for Humanity! The good news is that I still have all of my fingers and toes :)

Another activity that I really enjoyed this week was meeting the 136th district Assemblyman, Jim Bacalles. All of the assemblymen were so excited to see us and we had quite the photo shoot with them! It was really cool to be standing in the capital and hearing different Representatives shouting out what area they were from to try and match themselves up with the appropriate titleholder. They made us feel very important!

My FAVORITE event of the week was visiting Girls Inc. These little ones were SO excited to see us and they asked such good questions! There were some potential Miss America's in the room! I think that I can speak for all of the girls by saying that this event was so meaningful. It really touched my heart when I saw their little faces light up when we let them be the new Miss NY Class of 2010.

We also made our way to the Children's Hospital to see where all of our hard work in raising money for the CMN goes to. We met a baby that was only 1 pound. This is where my breakdown of the week occurred. It was so hard to see this tiny life trying so hard just to survive. It really made me realize that every penny raised truly does make a difference and is going to push me further to raise as much money as I possibly can in the upcoming year.

This week was the greatest experience of my life. I was the recipient of the Academic Achievement award, which was such an honor (once I realized why Kieren pushed me onto the stage!). Although I did not make the top 11, it did not matter. I was still on that Miss NY stage-- a place that I worked so hard to get to. The friends that I made, the exhausting nights, the nervous breakdowns, the never ending stories, the encouragement, the laughter, and the memories we shared will never be forgotten. Congratulations to the entire Miss NY Class of 2010 -- you girls are amazing.

P.S. Want to see more pictures? Check out my facebook albums entitled, Miss NY 2010 and Miss NY 2010 Part 2!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Here I Come Miss NY!!

Well it's finally here!!!!!!!! I already know that there will be no sleeping tonight even though it will be absolutely necessary for the 4 hours of driving that I have ahead of me tomorrow morning.

But, before I go, some thank yous are in order. I have such a great group of people helping me prepare for the Miss NY Pageant ranging from my family to friends to pageant volunteers. First and foremost, my parents and sisters have been phenomenal. Esp my mom who has been at my beck and call all week and calming me down while I am freaking out about minor mishaps! Next, is Jane, Pilar, and Chris. I have know the Miss Finger Lakes board for years now and they have always helped me in any way that they could. I am so grateful to them and so glad that they are a part of this organization. And finally, is this group of wonderful girls -- my pageant sisters. Stacey, Corri, and Vicky, have been so supportive of me and so helpful in preparing me for Miss NY. I love you all :D

My girls and I at the Miss Thousand Islands send off party!

I cannot wait for this week to begin! I will do my best to keep everyone updated and post pictures throughout the entire week!!

P.S. The first official Get in the Game Monday is the day I return from the pageant. Can't Wait!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Blast From the Past!

This is where it all began... Miss Colonial Days 2004 was my very first pageant and my very first title. Without the Colonial Days Pageant, my journey with the Miss America System may have never happened. When I was asked to judge the 2010 Colonial Days pageant for the Mini and Tiny Miss categories I was so honored. This weekend was not only a blast, but it brought me back to my roots and made me realize how grateful I am and how lucky I was to represent the Finger Lakes region as Miss Colonial Days 2004.

On Thursday night, I was able to judge the pageants and I had so much fun! Let me tell you, it is not easy to choose between the most adorable little girls!

Angel was giving up her crown as Tiny Miss Colonial Days (she's a riot)

Tiny Miss Colonial Days, Sarah, when her name was called!

Jaidah, the newly crowned Mini Miss Colonial Days, and I!

On Friday, I went from judge to volunteer. My first duty was to calm the Miss contestants down before their interviews! I remember sitting in the very same room waiting for my turn... it felt like it was yesterday (sadly it wasn't and I am clearly getting old!).

Hanging out before interview with the Miss Contestants

After the interviews we headed over to the tent for the Tiny, Teen, and Miss Categories. All of the girls did great!

With all of the Colonial Day's Queens!

On Saturday, all of the contestants met up for the annual Colonial Days Parade. I wore the same exact gown that I wore the day I won my crown (super pumped that it still fit)!!!

Following the parade, I invited all of the contestants to join me at Wal-Mart to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network. These girls were phenomenal; There was no getting out of the store without donating! After only four hours of fundraising, we raised $534 for CMN...what a team!

Cindy, a manager at Wal-Mart that was very accommodating!! THANK YOU!!!

With my all star fund raiser girls!

I would like to thank Pilar Miller and Jane Eikov for all of the work that they did this weekend for the pageant. They are both such wonderful volunteers in the FL region and our volunteers can never be thanked enough!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Has anyone seen my pillow?....Me neither!!

On Thursday after work my co-workers and I headed to the Ronald McDonald House to cook some grilled chicken, Italian dressing potatoes, veggies, and of course cookies for the families staying at the House. As always, it was tons of fun and I never fail to learn how to cook something new!

Colleen and I spending some quality time with Mr. McDonald!

After the cooking festivities, it was time for Colleen and I to kick off our heels and lace up our sneakers! We were on our way to race in the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge. The event is 3 1/2 miles long and over 10,000 participants were up to the challenge. This year, the main beneficiary of the Rochester Corporate Challenge was the Urban League of Rochester. This organization will be launching a Youth Workforce Development and Green Jobs Initiative. The goal is to get students more involved in business related internships that will help them develop careers in Park Management, Ecological Restoration, etc. Now, it would not be the JPMorgan Corporate Challenge if it didn't rain EVERY SINGLE YEAR! Even though we were soaking wet by the end, on the up side, the rain did cool us down! We finished the race in 35 minutes and 32 seconds-- just about a 10 minute mile... and for two non-runners, we were pretty proud!
A few of the twenty runners that represented PricewaterhouseCoopers...soaking wet!

This week's fun did not end there. This weekend was the Children's Miracle Network telethon to raise money for the Arnot Ogden Medical Center. I was honored to present a check on behalf of the Miss America Organization.

The Week Ahead:

I am very excited for this next weeks festivities. I will be judging the Miss Colonial Days Pageant for the Tiny Miss and Mini Miss Categories on Thursday and helping out with the teen miss and Miss Colonial Days Categories on Friday. On Saturday, I will be riding in the annual Colonial Days Parade and finishing off the weekend with a fundraiser for the CMN at the Painted Post Wal Mart.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lets Catch Up

I hope that everyone had the chance this weekend to not only catch some sun and bbq, but to also take the time to remember those who have fought for our Country. This past Monday was the annual memorial day parade in Corning, New York. It was HOT, but very fun! One little boy shouted at me from the crowd "You are so beautiful, but you are going to get very muddy in that truck!" Needless to say.... everyone around got a good laugh, including me :)

Miss Teen Finger Lakes, Desiree Miller and our Tiny Miss Colonial Days

Thank you to Simmons Rockwell for letting us use your trucks!!

This past weekend I got together with my pageant sister, Vicky Ripple. We had lots of fun working on my interview! Vicky is putting together the Miss Genesee County Fair Pageant on July 23rd; it is open to girls ages 15-18. The best part? Vicky asked me to emcee the pageant!!! I am so excited! If you know anyone that would like to compete, send them my way!

The week ahead:

Tomorrow I will be volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House after work and then running in the Corporate Challenge to promote a Greener Environment and active lifestyle for the Corporate world. Let's hope I make it to the finish line! On Sunday, I will be presenting the Finger Lakes Miss America for Kids check on WENY TV to the Children's Miracle Network. Busy, Busy!!!