Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving and I am home alone… but in no means sad. While my family is enjoying delicious treats and the company of extended family members, I’ve opted to take this day to make final preparations and completely immerse myself in peace and tranquility. My day began by packing and organizing all of my weekend necessities and finding the time in between house cleaning and doing laundry to read and jot down some final thoughts in my journal. Throughout the day, I’ve received some amazing support text messages and it has definitely made this experience a lot more real.

For the most part, I’ve been doing a lot of self talk in order to get my mind focused but I know that in order to really live out this experience, I must live in the moment. Luckily, I’m not as nervous as one would usually think but I definitely am feeling a bit anxious. Later this evening, I will be joining my sister and heading out to Southern California where my life may change forever on Sunday.

Since it is Thanksgiving and all, I’d like to take a moment and thank all of my readers who have followed me on this amazing journey. Your comments, daily blog visits and emails have inspired me to continue my writing posts and I hope you have learned a lot about me and who I am as a person. To date, my heart is so happy with all of the opportunities I’ve had being part of this pageant and whatever the outcome may be, I know I will continue moving forward in life because if there’s anything I’ve learned this year, is that there is no other option but to.

As for now, I will go take my final walk as Miss San Jose Latina 2013 around my neighborhood breathing in the fresh air and admiring all that Mother Nature has to offer because that right there, is something to truly be thankful for.

Love,
Kassie P.

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Body Image

Ever since I was a baby, I’ve had the most sensitive skin. My mom tells me she’d have to lather my entire month old body with heavy duty Aquaphor because I’d break out in rashes and other skin issues. As I got older, my body started reacting to different products, foods and sudden changes in emotions that drastically affected me both internally and externally. For example, I know if I wear earrings for three days in a row, my earlobes will break out in hives, diamonds or not. I know if I eat a delicious cheesy burger with must have fried french fries, I’ll be hunched over with stomach pains within about an hour. Lastly, and the most alarming of all of my body’s reactions is when I go through sudden drastic changes in emotions. It’s quite amazing how the body knows “when something is wrong” and it goes into defense mode. You see, for as long as I can remember, whenever I’ve felt under extreme pressure or feeling of no control, my body literally goes into shock and the lovely results are what I’m dealing with today: skin rashes on my arm and all across my chest and neck.

It all started when I woke up to find I had become the latest victim of an EVIL sneaky little spider who decided to also be part of the bikini portion of the pageant and bite me on my stomach! Luckily, it’s small enough BUT a spider bite isn’t something I’d like to take with me this weekend (especially since I already have a scar from an infected bug bite I got while vacationing in Jamaica in September). Then, after about spending almost an hour with a telemarketer trying to return a faulty beauty product, I was trapped inside my carport since the driveways of all of the apartment complexes were undergoing construction and residents were not given notice. I decided I’d then do some work on my computer only to find our internet was down so there I was again spending another hour going back and forth with two Comcast representatives, only to find out they could not help me via telephone. Meanwhile, I had my sister texting me all of the information I needed to be as a witness for her mock trial law school final later in the evening. By this point without having eaten lunch and about 30 minutes away from needing to be fully engaged at work, I needed to get myself together because I knew worrying and stressing out anymore than I had already been doing for the majority of the day would only take an unnecessary toll on my body. Usually, I would have put some light music on but this time was different, I needed to get myself under control ASAP so I laid belly flat in my living room, nose smushed into the carpet.

I began running my fingers through my scalp, massaging my neck and did multiple breathing exercises while telling myself I’d now have to rearrange tomorrow’s BUSY last minute pageant “To-Do” list in order to fit everything else I did not get a chance to do today. Fortunately, after recollecting my thoughts I was off to work and had a great last day before Thanksgiving break. I then headed off to my sister’s final and I had an awesome time pretending to be a witness of a crime, where it gave me an opportunity to do some public speaking in front of a large crowd…just the extra practice I need!

I think what was most upsetting about today was that I know this should be a very exciting week and full of positivity and having what seemed like everything happen all at once, unfortunately got to me and now I’m dealing with the consequences. Fortunately, my family was able to help reboot my confidence and I’m back on track with a goal in mind. Tomorrow is a brand new day and I’ll be making the most of it to compensate for today’s lack of a gracious attitude towards life and in the meantime, I’ll be a walking Aquaphor advertisement.

Love,

Kassie P.

Behind the Scenes

My favorite day of the week is Sunday because I get to visit my parents and spend some quality time with them while taking advantage of a quarter free laundry system, of course. I keep all of my most prized possessions at my parents house so it wasn’t a big surprise that I’d keep all of my pageant odds and ends tucked away in my old room’s closet. In a previous post, I mentioned I was almost done purchasing all of my outfits items and thankfully today marked the final shopping day for all of my pageant gear meaning a complete head-to-toe dress rehearsal was definitely necessary.

After about two hours of makeup, hair and outfit changes, I was finally done! I practiced walking in all of my outfits (evening gown especially) and adjusted a few buttons here and there. I am so happy I have everything set because this is just one less thing on my mind now that the pageant is exactly two weeks away.

A lot of my friends have been asking if I’m getting nervous but in complete honesty, I’m getting very excited. I am having the time of my life soaking up all of these opportunities and experiences that I’ve had that being part of the pageant has given me and I’m now ready to actually be in Pasadena!

Love,
Kassie P.

SoleExpo

When I was a Junior at San Jose State University, I interned for Bay Area’s legendary TV and Radio host, Chuy Gomez. Though he was usually out and about doing guest appearances and promotions, I definitely took advantage of my time as an intern learning as much industry knowledge as possible. Now I’m not sure if I got lucky or if Chuy just keeps a good relationship with all interns but we never stopped communicating post internship duties. Chuy has been a great help in giving me advice career wise while promoting a few of my past accomplishments so when he found out I was Miss San Jose Latina, he definitely wanted to help me get the proper exposure.

Last Saturday, Chuy invited me to the second annual SoleExpo* event on the East Side of San Jose. The event was held to help local venders sell and promote personal clothing lines and authentic urban style shoes. Since my family was on our way to Fresno immediately right after, I was not able to stay as long as I would have liked to but I definitely was able to interact with guests and of course, shop. What made this event more special was that I was accompanied by my older sister who hasn’t really had the opportunity to come to events with me since she usually is swamped with third year law school assignments or papers. Eventually, it was time to get on the road but I was happy to make another appearance on the same day my blog hits surpassed 3,000 views!

*To view a picture of myself and Chuy please visit my “Photos” page.

Love,
Kassie P.

Crunch Time

Over the past several days, all of the contestants have been flooded with Miss California Latina emails outlining the weekend and all of its fun events. We also received photographs of our Opening Number dress, our shoes, and two-piece bikini. Of course I’d like to share the photos with you but the organization asked we keep everything private until the actual weekend. What I can describe to you is the Opening Number dress is a simple one shoulder pink cocktail dress paired with nude opened toed ankle strapped heels. The bikini, however, is something I’ll have to physically see in person since the photo didn’t have the best quality and the pattern looked like something military personnel wear in combat. Regardless of how the outfits fit (which I’m hoping everything fits like a glove) I’m thankful they are free and all contestants get to take them home plus further goodies.

With all of the emails coming in full force, I finally feel like this is really happening. I had known I was going to participate in the pageant since September 2012 so now that it’s only three weeks away, my mind is blown away. I’m very excited to have this whole pageant experience part of my life and everything that has come my way because of my Miss San Jose Latina title. This whole year has been a blessing and I’m definitely looking forward to the pageant weekend!

Love,
Kassie P.

The Countdown

In exactly one month from today, I will be competing for Miss California Latina and I am so excited! It seems surreal to think one year ago, I was barely filing out the organization’s paperwork to begin the process. Earlier this week, all of the contestants received a handful of emails outlining the pageant’s weekend…and it is something I definitely am looking forward to. Some of the events include attending a Purple Carpet Media Event and lots of dress rehearsals throughout the day!

Now that the pageant is weeks away, I definitely have noticed more anticipation and nervousness within myself. Though these feelings have sometimes kept me tossing and turning before bed, thinking of how the weekend will play out, I know I am more excited than anything else. Years ago, I would have never imagined myself entering a pageant and having all of the great support and opportunities I’ve had thus far. The countdown is officially on and I am totally ready to put San Jose on the map!

Love,
Kassie P.

Dia de los Muertos

Over the weekend, I made a pageant appearance at National Hispanic University for their annual Dia de los Muertos* celebration. Not only was seeing the alters and amazing art work in remembrance of past loved ones a beautiful sight but I also had the opportunity to meet and speak with young girls and their families about what it means to be a “beauty queen.” I was approached by a supportive father whose daughter was a bit too shy to personally ask me pageant questions but nonetheless, I was so happy I could inspire the young girl to go for her dreams. The father let me know his daughter was an aspiring model and actress but needed that extra boost of confidence. As I was telling the young girl this had been my first pageant ever and I had made it this far, she began smiling with a twinkle in her eye as if she was thinking that she too, could someday have the same possibilities.

Aside from meeting local vendors and doing some retail therapy, I also got to spend the afternoon with some very talented musicians and friends, Raul y Mexia*. The brother band (and sons of Hernan Hernandez from legendary group Los Tigres del Norte) performed for the audience and of course rocked the house! The brothers, who I met through Claudia Candelas*** (wife of Raul and my co-founder of “Stiletto Girls,” my next blogging project) have been touring throughout the United States so I was happy I got to spend some time with them while promoting my title.

Now that Miss California Latina is just around the corner, I’ve been reflecting a bit more on this entire year. I feel extremely proud of myself because I’ve gotten out into the community more than ever and have had some amazing opportunities come my way with just the current title I have now. I don’t know what the future holds for me pageant wise but just as the little girl saw that “I’ve made it,” I see Raul y Mexia living out their dreams who most likely at one point of their lives looked up to their dad with that same twinkle in their eyes… thinking of all of the possibilities.

*To view a view a video project on Dia de los Muertos I filmed, produced and edited while at SJSU please click here

**Please visit Raul Y Mexia to view pictures and hear some amazing Latin beats!

***Please visit Claudia’s blog

View some pictures from the event under my “Photos” page!

Love,
Kassie P.

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