Lights, Camera, Action!

I came, I saw, I conquered…in Swimwear and Fitness that is! I’m very proud and excited to share with you I won “Best in Swimwear and Fitness” at Miss California Latina! As you know, I competed this past weekend and boy oh boy, did I have an experience of a lifetime! Below is a quick overview of all three days at Miss California Latina in Pasadena, California.

Day 1
We began our journey to the pageant around 4:30am from the Central Valley and eventually we arrived to the hotel where girls filled the hallways with luggages, evening gown dress covers and curlers set in their hair. We checked in where I received my Opening Number dress, shoes, jewelry and two piece bikini. Luckily during our fittings, I ran into a friend I had met through social media knowing we would be seeing one another at the pageant where she introduced me to other girls she met earlier in the day. I then said my goodbyes to my family and pageant weekend had officially began. For the majority of the day, we practiced our dance routines, took group photos and settled ourselves into our hotel rooms. In the evening, we attended our Purple Media Carpet event where we introduced ourselves to guests and took media pictures.

Day 2
Our Saturday began around 7am where we continued our dance rehearsals and patiently waited for our one on one interviews that took up the majority of the day. We also took our bikini group photos and ate dinner at California Pizza Kitchen.

Day 3
On our last day, we ran through the entire show multiple times and set up and finalized our beauty stations to get ready for the show. We didn’t have much time to relax since we were definitely on the go since 6am with about five hours of sleep.

Finally, it was 6pm and the Miss California Latina show was ready to begin. With girls running like crazy all around backstage, woman parts hanging out and all, it definitely was a fun chaotic environment since there was only about three minutes in between outfit changes. Eventually the show came to an end and once I was awarded with my certificate, I knew in my heart that all this work paid off and I was leaving home as a winner. After taking pictures and changing into comfortable clothes and much needed flats for my swollen and blistered feet from wearing heels all weekend long, my family and I headed back to home sweet home but not before making a pit stop at no other than…McDonalds!

To be honest, I’m not sure if I’ll ever do another pageant again but signing up for Miss California Latina has given me a whole new perspective on pageants and what it means to be a supportive and an encouraging woman. Some of the girls I met (who had past titles and pageant knowledge under their belts) genuinely cared about everyone’s success and future goals just as much as their own and it was amazing to know I had support from girls I had met just a few days prior. I am so thankful to everyone who has cheered me on throughout this year and I am glad I am coming home with an award and new friendships. I have had an amazing year as Miss San Jose Latina and I am definitely looking forward to the new and unexpected opportunities that are coming my way.

Now, I’d like to take a moment and also thank all of my blog followers and everyone else who has stopped by and visited. I am very thankful you all took the time to read my posts giving me the energy to continue my writing posts. I hope you enjoyed reading some of my pageant experiences and I look forward to having you join me on my next blog adventure, The Kassie Khronicles*. Thank you again and I sincerely appreciate you all and your words of encouragement.

Love,

Kassie P.

*Once my blog is up and running, I will hyperlink The Kassie Khronicles so that you may find me and join me.

PS- Please feel free to see pictures from the pageant under my “Photos” page. Also, I was featured in another article where you can read more about me under my “Press” page.

Here We Go!

Seven. Days. Left. Yes that’s right, Miss California Latina is exactly one week away. Next Sunday, at this very hour I will either be the next reigning queen or I will look back on this amazing year and still feel a great sense of satisfaction. Everything I need for the pageant is set in stone and ready to go: travel plans, makeup and hair looks, and freshly steamed outfits.

I have had such an amazing time preparing for the pageant and I am honestly able to say I’m ready to be living the actual experience. I have been waiting exactly one year for this day and now that it’s right around the corner, just amazes me. I have had so much support from my family and close friends and knowing I have all of their best wishes and positive vibes is giving me that extra boost of confidence I need. I’ve sent a few questions via email to the pageant coordinator about certain details throughout the weekend but I also figured it’d be best for me to just go with the flow and experience the mystery as the days go on.

According to our itinerary, we will be busy from about 7am to 11pm throughout the entire weekend and the only time we’ll be in any contact with our families is on Sunday, the final day. Though I’d like to spend some time with my family to shake off some last minute jitters, I know I will be having a great time participating in interviews, photo shoots and outfit fittings. Out of all of the events that will take place, I really am looking forward to the personal one-on-one interviews (taking place on Saturday). I feel this is truly going to be my perfect opportunity to really connect with the judges and allow them to get to see my true self. Plus, who doesn’t like to talk about themselves?!

I’m so thankful for everything that has come my way as Miss San Jose Latina and I am so ready to see what doors will open for me next week!Love,
Kassie P.

Let’s Get Physical…Physical!

I’ve always been physically active for as long as I can remember: I played basketball (spraining multiple fingers), ran on the track team (in brutally cold weather) and had a passionate love for fast pitch softball (up until my concussion). Sports and eating healthy have always been part of my life so as I grew older and eventually moved out into the “Real World,” making time for exercise and whipping up a fresh meal was nothing ever considered out of the ordinary. When I found out I had been selected to participate in Miss California Latina, my first thought was Sponge Bob Sqaure Pant’s home, “Bikini Bottom,” knowing that of course with any pageant comes along that portion of the competition.

As mentioned in a previous post, I will be wearing my Senior prom dress so that should tell you I haven’t really grown since high school (though I still can fit into 8th grade clothing items but that’s a whole other blog post itself). For the past 10 months, I’ve been doing my regular workout routines however, to be completely honest, I’ve recently kicked up my workout a bit. You see, I’ve always eaten anything and everything I wanted because I knew I’d “work it off later.” Yes, I was (and am) the type of girl to go on a 7 mile run and come home and eat raw cookie dough without a slight of care. Though this lifestyle is fun and worry free, I knew I’d have to make some small dietary changes for the pageant.

So for these past two months, I’ve been trading in cake for protein bars and organic juice for fresh squeezed lemon, grapefruit and ginger mixed flavored water. I’d be completely lying to you if I said I haven’t had a sweet or two…or too many to count *guilty smile*, within these months. Psychologically yes, I get down on myself thinking I just messed up but then again, I truly think about it and I realize I’m not entering a body building competition and I’d be fooling myself and everyone else if I said that I only eat “clean” because everyone who truly knows me, knows I’m a proud Choc-o-holic. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely happy with what eating a processed food free life has done for my body, toning wise, but I think what’s most important is that I practice what I preach and that is the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and occasionally livening up the party with a peanut M&M or two.

The pageant is only two weeks away and though I’ll be in a bikini in front of hundreds of people, this portion is just a mere slice of what the judges will be looking for. Though I have been in the gym almost every morning, what I’ve been training more is my mind because anyone can get an “ideal” body with professional help but not everyone can offer a special mind and heart.

Love,

Kassie P.

Little Miss Sunshine

By now, you’re quite familiar with the fact that this whole pageant experience is a new thing for the Peña family. I don’t think anyone ever really anticipated that someone in our family would be part of a pageant but there’s always that one special person in a family that puts the “fun” in dysfunctional (of course said with laughter and loving intentions).

Ever since I was little, my parents instilled the importance of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. Soda and cookies for example, were hardly stored in our cabinets and usually after the every-once-in-a-great-while McDonald’s Kid’s Happy Meal, I’d hear my father’s repetitive lecture of being mindful of what I put in my body given that Diabetes runs on both sides of our families. Pre-divorce family outings actually consisted of us stretching together before mile runs followed by picking fresh wild berries by an abandoned railroad track. I began playing various sports like basketball and track at the age of 8 and was on a team every year up until my junior year of high school due to a head concussion during a softball game. Nervous to get back on the field the following year, I opted to take a Weight Training class instead, which has stuck with me to this day.

Now we all know one of the main highlights of any pageant is the swim wear portion and although I will not be able to view or try on my swimsuit prior to the weekend, I am on a mission to get in the best shape of my fitness career. Though in my conscious mind I am fully aware of what that means (no sugar, processed foods and all other delicious goodies) the evil Kassie on my left shoulder speaks to me on an average of 3 times a week saying, “Eat that, it tastes great!” Thankfully my family is just as supportive of me and my first pageant goals as Olive’s parents were in the movie Little Miss Sunshine and they’ve decided if I will have to skip out on Halloween and Thanksgiving meals and treats, they will do it with me! We’ve decided to stock up on fresh pie and all other not so healthy foods for the remainder of September because once October 1st comes, it’s GO TIME…bikini bodies 2.0 for the entire family!

Without my family’s support throughout this new experience, I don’t know how confident I would be going into pageant weekend but to know they are behind my every move verifies I’m exactly where I need to be at this point of my life…and to thank them I’d like to shortly present them with fluffy oatmeal chocolate chips cookies straight out of the oven!

Love,

Kassie P.