Thursday, September 24, 2015

" Hello September" by Nicole Doyle


My family is blessed enough to have a beautiful cabin on Tame Fish Lake, I was able to spend the beautiful weekend off of both school and work up north! We had a fun weekend of fishing (my Favorite part), boating, and some hard work too! I love having the opportunity to sit out on the boat and relax!

 

Look at this beautiful view!


It was a bit chilly along with windy outside, but I was able to bundle up and go catch some bass!

 


I enjoyed getting logs to split this fall for firewood next year. I like to prove girls are tough too; the oak logs are pretty heavy! Talk about a workout!

 


Its not bonfire without a wish lantern! My dad created the tradition of wish lanterns when we have bonfires. Everybody loves them!



 

Hope you had a wonderful weekend,

 

Nicole Doyle

Miss Teen Minnesota International 2015

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, September 21, 2015

"Nationals" By Nicole Doyle


Nationals in Jacksonville Florida was so much fun! I cannot believe the amount of amazing memories that I was able to bring home with me. Over the busy week the other contestants and I participated in fun activities, here is a summery of my week in Florida.


Orientation:

The first day was wonderful; I had such a blast meeting all of the girls and receiving official pageant handouts. While at orientation I found out my interview time along with finding out I was contestant number one! I also was able to meet the national tittle holders and the beautiful Mary Richardson.

 


 

A fun day of activities:

This was one of my favorite days at nationals, we were able to visit Sweet Pete’s, take a tour of Jacksonville, and make blankets for children in the hospital, and get a refresher on CPR thanks to the American Heart Association! Sweet Pete’s was my all time favorite; we learned how to make lollipops!

 

 
 

We finished the day with a Group Photo and Dinner.


Day 3 Interview:

Since I was contestant number one, I was up bright and early to get ready for interviews. (5AM in fact!) I unfortunately caught a flu bug, but was able to make it through interview and share about myself, and my platform “Kids Get Arthritis Too!” I absolutely love interview, it was my favorite part of competition even with me feeling “under the weather”. 

 


Day 4 Rehearsals and prelims:

This was a day packed full of practice, we learned our opening number as well as our walking patterns for Aerobic wear, Fun Fashion, and Evening Gown. It was a blast to finish the night with prelims. I had so much fun!

 

Day 5 Free day and Miss Prelims:

This was a day for the teens to sleep in and relax! I was happy to spend it with my family and finish the night with dinner and the Miss International Prelims.

 

Day 6 Finals: Rehearsals, rehearsals, and more rehearsals! I had so much fun at the final competition. I am so happy for Jules and look forward to following her throughout her reign!

 


 


Sending smiles your way,

Nicole Doyle

Miss Teen Minnesota International

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, September 18, 2015

"All American Sweetheart Pageant" By Kate Howe



So precious!!  I was asked to be a judge at the All American Sweetheart Pageant.  I couldn’t stop smiling for hours.  The girls were so sweet and charming!!  The directors started the pageant because their daughter was being bullied and they wanted an outlet where she could build self-confidence. 

 

 
 
 
 

One of the largest lasting impressions a pageant can have on an individual’s life is building self-confidence.  Competing in a pageant pushes yourself to new limits you didn’t even know existed.  You have to be vulnerable and allow yourself to be judged and criticized, while being incredibly self-confident in your own skin.  You learn to have poise, elegance and composure in front of large audiences.

 


The age group ranged from babies to pre-teens.  Yes – babies!!  They were so adorable dressed up in their outfits.  Some of the outfits were even hand-made with beautiful details and accessories – very impressive moms!  I loved that the pageant spotlighted a natural or glitz look.  Either look was very well received and place well in the pageant.  It is truly all about self-confidence and how your personality shines through.

 

 

Believe & Dream

Mrs. Minnesota International 2015

Kate Howe

Monday, September 7, 2015

"Nationals" By Alexis Adu-Bobi



 

          Where do I begin? Competing for the title of Miss International was such an honor. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to represent the beautiful state of Minnesota.

 
 

I was super excited to travel to Jacksonville. I had never been to Florida. The very first thing people told me about Florida was that the weather is very hot and humid. Hearing that was music to my ears. Anybody that knows me knows that I LOVE heat. I packed up and headed to the airport. Getting to Jacksonville was a lot of fun. The airport staff were so kind and made me feel like a celebrity. I talked to a lot of different people on the plane and at the airport. I met people from everywhere ranging from Tennessee to the Bahamas. It was great to see the heart God has for people.

 
 

When I arrived in Jacksonville and I stepped outside and felt a rush of warm air that literally sent chills down my spine, I couldn’t help but smile. Not only was the humid heat great but so were the people. A couple of people at the airport asked to take pictures. They were just as excited as I was!



When I arrived at the Omni Hotel I was amazed. The staff were so kind and very accommodating. I was also greeted by some of my sister queens Miss Alaska International and Miss Alabama International. After talking with them I felt right at home. One thing I will say about the International system is it is one big family. You are welcomed with open arms it is a strong sisterhood and that was something those two ladies showed. When I finally made it to my hotel room I was greeted by my sister queen Nicole. It was good to catch up with her. We knew we had a long week ahead of us so I settled in and made sure to get my beauty sleep.

 

The very first pageant event was contestant orientation. This is the very first time all of the state, region and country titleholders are together in one room.

After going over our itinerary for the week we played an icebreaker game. The room was filled with lots of laughs and it was great to see everybody’s personality shine through. I instantly knew this was where I belonged. 


 

One of my most memorable highlights was touring the beautiful city of Jacksonville. We first started off with a walking tour of the city. It was very interesting to learn about the city’s history. The part I enjoyed most of our walking tour was being able to check out the underground bank vaults. Afterward we were given the opportunity to make tie blankets for patients in the pediatric cardiac hospital. The work the American Heart Association does is truly amazing everyday they are providing awareness and resources to help save lives. It was an honor to play a part in bringing hope and joy to these young children. Next, we visited Sweet Pete’s candy store. I have a major sweet tooth so this was a dream come true for me. We had a front row seat to see how lollipops were made and we eventually made our own.  Last but certainly not least was the walking tour of the Jacksonville Jaguars Everbank stadium.  There we were able to see the stadium with the new score boards, training facilities, and my favorite the locker room. Inside the locker room they have every thing from ping pong tables to gaming systems. Needless to say, I was considering trying out for the team!  J

 

My absolute favorite part of the week in Jacksonville was visiting the PACE center. This really touched my heart because like many of these girls I came from a broken home. It was an honor to have the opportunity to meet so many of these young girls. The PACE center provides them with hope and shows them that their past does not determine their future.

 



Before I knew it I was getting ready for my personal interview. This was the moment I had worked hard for. This was my time to share my story and advocate for so many women and children who have currently lost their voice due to Domestic Violence. I will be honest I was very nervous until this very unexpected moment. Before my interview I had a dress malfunction. I went downstairs to the front desk to get a safety pin. As one of the staff went to look for one I was waiting, feeling the nerves starting to take over. I was looking down and as I looked up  I felt a rush of comfort but excitement. My sister queen Krista Wanous who is Miss International 2012 approached me with a big smile on her face. She could see how nervous I was. Her and her mother offered to pray for me. So there we were in the middle of the Omni hotel lobby saying a prayer. I remember my eyes filling up with tears from the peace and contentment I felt. God was with me and I knew he didn’t bring me this far to abandon me. I went into interview, as myself and I didn’t want it any other way. God is always there for us in the midst of chaos, you just need to remember to seek him. That moment with Krista and her mother showed me that and I will always cherish it.

         

Between rehearsals, interview, and appearances the week was going by so fast. Before I knew it I was watching my sister queen Nicole compete in her preliminary competition. She did such a fantastic job. I was so proud of her!

 

It was now time for the Miss International preliminary competition. I was so nervous but excited at the same time. I felt confident and beautiful in everything. I was unapologetically myself and I embraced the moment on stage. After prelims I felt a sense of peace. I did my best and everything was now in God’s hands.

 

Finals night had finally arrived. After opening number and introductions it was time to announce the top 15. As I waited my name was not called. Even though I did not make it into finals I was beyond proud of myself. What is for me won’t pass me. God was just telling me it wasn’t my time. When I think back it was more about the journey than the crown. I am somebody who has survived abuse, and homelessness and I did not allow what happened to me to define me. I stood proudly on that stage not only as your Miss Minnesota International but as Alexis Adu-Bobi.

 

Words cannot express how grateful I am to be able to share the year with my beautiful sister queens Lillie, Nicole, and Kate. You ladies are amazing and we have made Minnesota proud. I love you all! I want to thank my family and sponsors. Sarah Moses of the Pageant shop for helping me with my wardrobe. Sarah you are amazing and I am so thankful for you. My amazing coach Holly Ernst. Holly thank you for believing in me and my story. This journey has been so much fun with you! To my sister queens, Andrea, Jessica, Krista, Gabby, Charity, Rachel, and Megan. I want to thank each and every one of you for the support, everything from words of encouragement, to outfits. I am so grateful for all of your help. To my awesome director Allison, thank you for support throughout this year and the opportunity to be involved in this amazing system.

 

Again, thank you to everyone. For all of the love and support, I am proud to be a Minnesotan and your Miss Minnesota International 2015.

 

Peace & Love,

 

Miss Minnesota International

 

Alexis Adu-Bobi

 

 

 

 

" State Fair" by Kate Howe





The Great Minnesota Get Together!!  If you’re like 85% of the rest of the state you have been looking forward to the state fair for probably close to a month.  The cheese curds, the corn dogs, the concerts!!  I absolutely love the State Fair and we make it a tradition to go every year.  We even have a ‘circuit’ of food that we get…it always ends with everyone’s favorite Sweet Martha’s Cookies.  Lately, with the two boys, we like to go early before the crazy crowd sets in and hit up the Kidway.  This year we visited the pig barn to see the baby piglets!

 

During the State Fair, the parade is held daily at 2pm and features a high school marching band competition, floats and visiting royalty.  The International Pageant Queens were invited to ride the royalty float!  Lillie and I were the first ones there and were able to socialize with the other groups in the parade.  There were people who traveled from all over the state to attend the parade. 

 
Our float was to be pulled by of course…a tractor.  So fitting because the float next to us was a giant cow – lol!  Our driver, Lee, volunteers his time to drive the royalty float for the 12 days of the fair – so sweet!






There was a lot going that day with the protests happening and the actual parade was cancelled at the very last minute.  No one lost their spirit though and many of the participants still did their performances.  My boys loved the Native American dance and the marching band music.

 

Love Minnesota!

Mrs. Minnesota International 2015

Kate Howe