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.

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.

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.

Music Mania

For as long as I can remember, listening to music has always been my escape from my world while relaxing in peace. Throughout my school years, I listened to my Ipod while doing homework and studying for exams and while journal writing, I keep soft music playing in the background. In my house, a Pandora station is always on and the beats of the music keep me dancing in between hair brush strokes and more importantly, feeling alive! So in order to help keep my nerves down during pageant weekend, I figured I’d compile a list of my favorite songs and create a “Miss California Latina” playlist on my 2007 Ipod.*

Normally, one would ask why not just add the playlist or listen to Pandora on my Iphone however, I can not and will not take the chance of bad service or reception in the hotel leaving me without music. Though I have no idea how the weekend will play out, I know that I will at least feel more “at home” with my favorite tunes ringing in my ear buds.

Growing up, I was introduced to various genres of music from the people who raised me: parents, babysitters, the Catholic church, and TV. I’d like to think I have a wide and random taste for music so it’s not going to be a big surprise that my playlist will jump from songs from The Partridge Family to Blink 182 to Julieta Venegas. To people going through my Ipod, these random, completely different languages and messages may be a bit too much when trying to get a feel as in to who I am as a person but I think having a mixture of songs and genres shows just how diverse and culturally aware the average Latin American woman is today.

*Rock out to some of the artists I’ll be listening to with me:
Ace of Base
All American Rejects
America
Ariana Grande
Banda el Recodo
Banda Carnval
Brandon Heath
Chris Brown
Doobie Brothers
Gerado Ortiz
Hall and Oats
La Arrolladora Banda Limon
John Legend
Mandy Moore
Mary Wells
Metro Station
Patti Drew
Toby Mac
Toy Box
We the Kings
Will.I.Am

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.

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.

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.

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