An awesome lady who I adore Nancy asked me to be a part of the judging committee for MISS NEW YORK 2013 this year.

I was so excited because lately I have been involved with a lot of model and talent castings so I really thought I had the know- how for this opportunity.

What she didn’t know when she asked me to be a judge was that I was a pageant girl myself in high school.

I was a true “girly girl”  – I loved dancing, shopping and getting dressed up.

I also loved the idea of a pageant because it allowed me to put my love for dressing up and dancing together along with the idea of practicing public speaking and confidence building.

It takes a lot of guts to get up on a stage in front of a whole audience of people on top of your peers that you are competing with – yes the end goal would be to be crowned for the pageant -but what you realize when you are going through the weekend is that there is so much more to it – you meet so many amazing girls, you build your confidence, you learn how to love yourself more and be comfortable in your own skin and it is a fun way to bring family and friends together.

I am the luckiest girl because I have the most loving family who came out for the pageant and spent the whole weekend watching me on stage and my mother being the best mom ever allowed for three of my friends to come – Joy, Tracey and Anne-Marie.  It was a blast.  I look back now and I am so grateful to my family and friends.

I just looked back on the photos today – I don’t remember it as much as I wish I did but I think I came in first or second in the talent portion.  I was really a great tap dancer.

I don’t remember the rest now to be honest but I look back at those photos and think “what was I thinking … with that hair? and that dress? but then I look at the group photo and everyone had big hair and puffy sleeves it was the late 80s!

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The pageant I was a judge for this weekend was for MISS NEW YORK. There was another group of judges there to judge for MISS TEEN NEW YORK as well. These are the girls that go on to represent NEW YORK STATE for MISS USA.


It was a great weekend with such an awesome fun group of judges who are all talented.  We learned a lot about over 120+ females and their goals, talents, charities, and ambitions.  It was so wonderful to meet so many intelligent and beautiful woman in one afternoon.

I wish there was a talent portion of the pageant because that was my favorite part of the pageant I participated in along time ago.  There was a swimsuit and evening portion of the pageant beyond the interview.

The dresses were beautiful from bold colors like red, green and blue to lots of rhinestones and FEATHERS galore.  There were some very high heeled shoes along with a lot of shoes with glitter, rhinestones and crystals.

My favorite dress was definitely this mint green feather dress that the newly crowned MISS TEEN USA wore – it was a beautiful gown.

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Another fun part was that Julissa Bermudez host of a the cool show EMPIRE GIRLS  ( with Adrienne Baillon) was one of the hosts :


and Susie Castillo who  I adore who I haven’t seen in forever but who came to visit Caravan a few times she has to come and visit us ! She is so nice and a former Miss USA.

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We also heard about the year that Johanna Sambucini, Miss New York 2012 and Sabrina Mastangelo, Miss Teen New York 2012 had – and all about their charity work. Johanna did a ton this past year for AUTISIM speaks and Sabrina worked against bullying and organized a whole community to stop bullying from happening which is a huge problem.
But these women exude so much grace and poise and have accomplished so much in the last year.  I hope we get to see more of them soon.  Sabrina is quite the character – super funny – they should give her a television show – her wonderful attitude is great inspiration for teens around the country.  Johanna is beautiful and so smart she was gaining her masters while preparing for the pageant she won in 2012. She will succeed in anything she does – I was very lucky to have Johanna host our Fashion Night Out party this past year. She wore a Dana Maxx dress and it was so great to have MISS NEW YORK at an event supporting MADE IN NY designers. FNO party 16

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I loved the fact that K2 comes up with the idea of everyone naming themselves something related to New York so the winner of MISS NEW YORK was Miss Hell’s Kitchen because she works in the area and knows a lot about it. So funny because I live in the Hudson Yards/ Hells Kitchen area – so yay !! for my part of NYC ! The winner Joanne Nosuchinsky is a beautiful, talented woman and seems to truly enjoy life.  I loved it when she told us that she performs in the 80s Prom that happens at Webster Hall – it sounded like so much fun. And like me she uses PONDS Cold Cream – a beauty secret I got from my grandma! She answered the questions given to her eloquently and I think she is going to be a great MISS NEW YORK.

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Miss Teen New York 2013, Nikki Orlando, was beautiful and had an amazing smile and did a great job with the on-stage interview questions and like I said before I loved her dress !! She mentioned how she wants to go to FIT one day – she seems to already have a great fashion sense.

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Both are amazing representatives for New York City. I love New York and all our designers and people who represent the spirit of New York and both these girls will do just that.
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I did get the chance to capture my favorite beauty salon / stylist Ray from CHRISTO NY touching up the girls before their interviews !! They were the official hair partner of this year’s pageant – all the ladies had such beautiful hair – Christo and his team are amazing !

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I learned a ton this weekend – it was very emotional because it allowed me through the eyes and hearts of all these ladies to remember what it was like for me to have my family and friends cheering me on.  It reminded me of me having to find the confidence to get up there to perform in front of so many people.  It also showed “girl power” and new friendships. It was so nice to see girls holding hands, supporting one another and having fun.
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Everyone that was part of this pageant was a winner! I am very thankful for having this opportunity.

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