24 Nov 2013
Tags: Apparel, Beauty, Beauty pageant, california, California Latina, Career, Clothes, Competition, Exciting, Fashion, Fitness, Fun, Hair, Health, latina, Life, lifestyle, Makeup, Miss California, Miss California Latina, Outfit, pageant, San Jose, Sunday
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,
20 Nov 2013
Tags: Ariana Grande, Artist, Happy, Iphone, Ipod, latin, latina, Life, Miss San Jose Latina, Music, Musica, San Jose, Songs, Video
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
Banda el Recodo
Hall and Oats
La Arrolladora Banda Limon
We the Kings
17 Nov 2013
Tags: Apparel, california, Clothes, crown, Culture, Dress, Evening Gown, Fashion, latina, Life, pageant, San Jose
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!
03 Nov 2013
Tags: Beauty, Bilingual, Blogera, Blogger, Fashion, Harlem, Interview, Kassandra Pena, Kassie, latina, Latino, LatinoUSA, Latism, Life, lifestyle, NPR, Race, Radio, San Jose, Spanglish, Winning, Yes
I had an amazing thing happen to me last week: I was invited to be a guest speaker on LatinoUSA on NPR. Yes, that’s right…this opportunity meant I’d be part of something HUGE. I received an email from the producer of LatinoUSA in Harlem, New York, asking if I’d like to be part of a panel discussing body image with the Latina and pageant industry. I was so in shock because NPR was something all of my journalism classes listened to at SJSU and the prominent journalists, in my eyes, were definitely high and mighty-celebrity like. After the initial pre-interview phone call, we finalized last minute details and like a child excitedly waiting for Christmas morning all year long, November 1st, my Christmas, finally came arrived.
Once my sister and I showed up to the station, we quickly set up shop and began mic checking and as soon as I knew it, the segment had begun with journalist and moderator, Maria Hinojosa, introducing me as “Blogera* Kassandra Peña, Miss San Jose Latina.” The conversation also included proud feminist and “Blogera” Patricia Valoy in which we all discussed how body image has changed over the years and what we think the future holds for Latinas. Eventually, the segment came to a final close and it was such an amazing feeling to hear my blog address and more importantly, my name be announced on air. Participating in an interview like this just made me even more determined to make a name for myself within the Latina social media community. I felt as if I were doing exactly what I was meant to be doing in life and I truly was at my highest self of fulfillment.
Though the conversation will be edited and aired within the next two weeks, I am so grateful the Miss California Latina organization exists. I would have never had the opportunity to be on NPR if it weren’t for the pageant and my creation of this very blog-how LatinoUSA contacted me. The “Big Day” is now just 26 days away and up to this point, I have had many great opportunities with just my title alone that no matter what happens, I still am walking away as a winner.
Ps- Please visit my “Photos” page to view a picture at the studio
*Blogera is the latest and trendiest “Spanglish” name given to a Latina woman who is a blogger.