Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Models for Miracles Fashion Show

Hey there! It feels to me like it should be spring on beautiful Mt. Oread here in Lawrence, but it is still so chilly that I can't believe it will literally ever be warm again! Not sure why I start every blog with a comment on the weather, but it appears to have become a theme for me. Anyway, today I'm writing about my recent trip to Wichita for the Models for Miracles Fashion Show; it was so much fun and for such a great cause!

I arrived at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Wichita Airport Sunday morning and waited with the other 200-plus models to get checked in before our quick orientation. We heard a little about the background of the fashion show, how it supported the critical work of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals in their efforts to improve the lives of ill children and their families, and learned of our boutique and room assignments. I was lucky enough to be outfitted by BodyTrends BoutiQue out of Oklahoma City! Such great ladies and the most amazing prom and pageant dresses. Seriously. 

We rehearsed a little, then hit the stage for the first show at 1 p.m., during which I got to wear a beautiful white-and-gold beaded Terani Couture dress, and the second show at 4:30 p.m., where I unveiled a gorgeous lacy pink peplum dress (a personal favorite of mine). I also got to catch up with 2014 contestant, Mrs. Wichita Kristin Wetta, again and was proud to be part of an event that raised over $23,000 for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals! Truly amazing! Check out the pictures below to see how things went. 

There were quite a few titleholders there, it was great to see so many queens come together for a great cause! Ashten Vincent, Miss Oklahoma's Outstanding Teen, was there as was Miss Kansas' Outstanding Teen Kristen Boxman, Miss Teen Kansas United States Tobie Roberts and Mrs. Kansas All World Beauties Airin Nelson Rinehart. Local Miss Kansas titleholders Callie Hobkirk, Miss Hay Capital 2014, Krystian Fish, Miss Lyon County 2014 and Megan Keller, Miss Wichita's Outstanding Teen 2014, were also there! Simply amazing. 

A huge thank you to all the gracious and patient volunteers and to Mrs. Kansas International, Kim McDowell, for all you did to make this event an amazing success and a fun day! It was truly an honor to have been a part of something like this. I hope I can do it again next year! 

While I was in Wichita, I also had the opportunity to meet and shoot with photographer Ashley Clupny of Ashley Clupny Photography at EJF Studios and it was so much fun! It was great to meet not only Ashley but also her twin sister Amy and Eric Frank of EJF Studios, but also to spend some more time with 2014 contestant Kristin (who also did my hair for the shoot). And, I will admit, I always enjoy my time in front of the camera; photoshoots are really one of my favorite things to do. Thanks, Ashley for the opportunity! You can check out a few of my photos by going to her Facebook page or by scrolling down to the bottom of my blog post.

Earlier in February, I had the opportunity to meet another amazing and promising 2014 contestant, and ordered my gifts for all the ladies competing in April as well. So excited to see everyone, and meet the ladies I've only spoken to over the phone, in just a little over a month! I can't believe how fast this year has flown by. Incredible. And I really can't wait until the pageant, live from the Historic Missouri Theatre in quaint and welcoming St. Joseph, on April 5 and 6, 2014! I can only imagine what the next year has in store for the 2014 winner. 

Have you ever thought about competing? It's not too late! Just visit the Mrs. Kansas United States website or call Janet Parkes at the Vanbros offices at 913-381-7121 to apply for your chance at a $15,000 prize package and the opportunity of a lifetime. I promise, you won't regret it. You'll get to represent the married women of Kansas from July 20 to 25, 2014 at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas

And, to follow along with everything that's happening during my last month as your Mrs. Kansas United States, make sure to follow me on Twitter at @RealMrsKSUS and on Facebook at facebook.com/MrsKansasUS! You can also email me at mrsksus2013@gmail.com if you want me to make any appearances before I crown my successor. 

I'm heading to the Mrs. Kansas America and Mrs. Missouri America Pageants this weekend and get to see my boo Kristy Kelley, Mrs. Missouri United States, as well as fellow Lawrence lady and University of Kansas grad Elizabeth Stephens, and a few other pageant friends who will be there. So excited!  

That's about it. Have a great week! 

All the best, 


In my Terani Couture gown from BodyTrends BoutiQue

In my favorite pink and lace peplum dress onstage at the Models for Miracles Fashion Show.

With 2014 contestant and friend (and fab hairstylist), Mrs. Wichita, Kristin Wetta.

Shooting with Ashley Clupny Photography at EJF Studios in Wichita. 

One of the photos from Ashley with my crown and sash. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Heart Throbs & Heroes Fashion Show

Well, the weather is quite different then when I wrote my last entry in mid-Jaunary; it's barely above zero and there's a foot of snow on the ground! It may be February (which in my mind means the end of winter) but it is definitely still winter. Like, really. Anyway, today I am writing about the Watercolors High Fashion Heart Throbs & Heroes Fashion Show I walked in a few weeks ago that benefitted St. Luke's Health System at Harrah's North Kansas City Hotel & Casino. It was so much fun!

A few weeks before the show, I drove to Watercolors High Fashion in Kansas City to pick out my two looks. It was so hard to decide! There were hundreds of dresses to choose from, all from top brands. I decided on a fabulous MacDuggal pageant gown (my first look) and a Sherri Hill cocktail dress (my second look), and a blue light-up dress as my back up. After leaving, I was really excited for the show.

I arrived bright and early the day of the show and went to the VooDoo Lounge at Harrah's North Kansas City to get my hair and makeup done. After a few hours of hanging out and getting to know the other models, we started rehearsing. And then we rehearsed, and rehearsed ... and rehearsed! There were hundreds of models, a live DJ, the COMPANY MEN, an emcee, and models from St. Luke's (former patients), so it was critical we all knew when we were supposed to walk and with whom.

After rehearsals, the guests were allowed in the ballroom, and all the models were lined up in their first look. I donned my crown and lined up with Megan Johnson, Miss Johnson County and Alexis Rewalt, Miss Kansas United States and former Miss Kansas Teen USA. We hit the stage for our first look, changed, listened to the intermission performance by the COMPANY MEN, and then went out for our second look. Finally, it was the grand finale, after the three queens were introduced and that was a wrap! I was so happy to see my husband, Alex, cheering for me in the crowd and that I got to catch up with friends and family who came to see me. It really was a great day!

There were models of all ages in the show; from elementary-school-aged girls, to ladies like me, to young men who were professional models, to an 80-year-old former model who was lovely inside and out and her husband of 40 years. Just amazing! I am so happy we could all come together to support such a great cause. It was the least I could do to support the patients of St. Luke's Health System. Check out the pictures below to see one of my dresses (the awesome Sherri Hill dress).

I also have to say the staff at Watercolors High Fashion and the volunteers were amazing -- so patient! I can't say enough about the selection and knowledge of the staff at that store, I'm very lucky to have Shelley Wood and Watercolors High Fashion as one of my official sponsors!

Hope your February is going well and that you enjoy Valentine's Day next week!

All the best,


Backstage after changing into my second look from Sherri Hill.

With Alexis Rewalt, Miss Kansas United States, in the ballroom. 

With my husband, Alex, after the final walk. Glad he could come!