Sunday, January 19, 2014

Natalie M. Foundation Fashion Show

Well, hello everyone! I write you, on the eve of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, with my windows open and the sun shining in; I can't believe it's so temperate and gorgeous outside! I could really get used to this! Today, I'll be telling you all about the day I spent working and modeling at the Natalie M. Foundation Fashion Show last weekend. Enjoy!

Last Sunday I went to the Overland Park Convention Center to work at the Vanbros table recruiting contestants (check out the picture below) and walk in the fourth-annual Natalie M. Foundation Fashion Show; it was so much fun! Over 500 models from all across Kansas City were on hand to show off the amazing designs of Tony Bowls, who was also in attendance, with three sold out shows throughout the day. I got to catch up with former Miss Kansas USA Lisa Forbes and former Miss Kansas Teen USA Aly Klinzing before walking in the final show of the night in a gorgeous gold Tony Bowls dress from Natalie M. It was great to be there -- did you know that since 2010, the Natalie M. Foundation has raised over $250,000 for education? Such an important cause and a really fun day! If you go to Design and Capture Studios website, you can view the entire gallery from the event, but I hope to have more photos soon!

Next week I'm walking in the Watercolors High Fashion Heart Throbs and Heroes Fashion Show at Harrah's North Kansas City Casino & Hotel benefitting the St. Luke's Women's Heart Center. I can't wait! Not only will there be hundreds of models wearing the latest fashions, there will also be a live performance by the COMPANY MEN -- you know you want to come! You can buy by clicking here, and for all the details visit the Watercolors High Fashion website. Hope to see you there!

Enjoy your long weekend and try to make time to honor the memory of the amazing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by serving your community, not just tomorrow on King Day but always! I try to remember what Dr. King stood for: justice, empowerment, love and peace. So important. Enjoy the rest of your January!

All the best,


Holding down the Vanbros table at the Overland Park Convention Center.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year, New Perspective

Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a fabulous time celebrating the holidays with their friends and family. While 2013 was a truly unbelievable year, I always relish the opportunity to start anew, set fresh goals and look forward with positivity while remembering all the experiences I had the year before that got me to where I am today. It's with that in mind that I write today: making sure I embrace change while reflecting on the moments and people that made an impact on me in 2013, and recapping a few of my most recent appearances. Read on!

I traveled to St. Louis for the 2014 Miss Missouri and Miss Missouri Teen USA Pageant at Lindenwood University in November. I had a wonderful time seeing my boo, Mrs. Missouri United States Kristy Kelley and a few other titleholders, though it was bittersweet saying goodbye to Ellie Holtman and Brenda Smith-Lezama, my 2013 Vanbros sister queens. I know wonderful things await them as they start a new chapter in their lives! But I know it's difficult to pass on the crown. Congratulations to the 2014 titleholders, Erica Sturdefant (who did a great job helping me prepare for interview this summer at boot camp before nationals) and Samantha Bowers! I added a few pictures of the pageant below.

Then, as 2013 came to an end, I went to Wichita for the 2014 Miss Kansas and Miss Kansas Teen USA Pageant at Maize South High School the weekend before Christmas. I got to catch up with a few friends I hadn't seen in quite some time, which was wonderful, met a 2014 Mrs. Kansas United States contestant, Kristin, and was there as 2013 titleholders Staci Klinginsmith and Aly Klinzing passed on their crowns. I will miss them both, especially Aly, Miss Kansas Teen USA 2013. She was such a sweet girl who made every moment of her year as a titleholder and truly made a difference in the lives of many. I made quite a few appearances with her, and was fortunate to have her as a little sister queen. I know she will go on to do wonderful things. Aly, you are fabulous! There's a picture of us below. Congratulations to the new 2014 Kansas titleholders, Audrey Banach and Claire-Bailey Lee; welcome to the Vanbros family!

Christmas came and went, and then New Years Eve was upon us! I had such a wonderful time ringing in 2014 with my husband, Alex -- check out the picture below -- and our two best friends who just moved back to Kansas City after hiking the Appalachian Trail last year. What an amazing accomplishment! It's adventures and opportunities like that, ones that people think you're crazy to take but that end up being so rewarding and changing your priorities and perspective, that are so easy to pass over and ignore. Don't ever ignore those opportunities! Since being crowned your 2013 Mrs. Kansas United States, I've tried to live in the moment, take chances and continue to step out of my comfort zone. It's definitely changed me as a person and I'm so thankful for the opportunities I've been given and the unique people I've met.

If you're ready for the chance of a lifetime, make sure you visit or call (913) 381-7121 to apply and take the first step. You never know, 2014 could be your year! Feel free to email me with any questions you may have at No matter how things turn out, I promise you won't regret competing. I promise.

I can't even imagine where this year will take my husband and I, but wherever we go, we're so ready. I'm excited to see who I crown the new Mrs. Kansas United States this April, and look forward to seeing how the "power of the crown," as they say, positively affects the next titleholder as it has so positively affected me. So go out and make 2014 your best year yet! Strive to be better, go farther, do things that scare you and never compromise who you are for others while remembering the experiences of 2013 that helped shape who you are today.

I'll leave you with a quote from the current Miss USA, Erin Brady: "You will have chances you can't even imagine. If you can break away from 2013, you can start a wonderful life in the present moment."

Here's to a truly fab New Year ... cheers!

All the best,


Kristy, Ellie, Brenda and me at the Miss Missouri USA Pageant in November.
Me with Mrs. Missouri United States Kristy Kelley at Miss Missouri USA.
At the Miss Kansas USA Pageant with 2014 Mrs. Kansas United States contestant Kristin.
With Miss Kansas Teen USA 2013, Aly Klinzing at Miss Kansas USA
Ready to ring in 2014 with my husband and friends in Kansas City! Cheers!