New Faces-April

There are some great ways to enjoy pageantry and modeling without breaking the bank. I love this awesome FREE opportunity shared via! Check out the first reblog of my Pageantry On A Budget series.

Tween Talent Collective

If you think that a free shoot can’t be of good quality, think again!  Once a month She Finally Snapped Photography opens her studio to 5 kids who what to try out modeling or refresh their portfolio’s absolutely free of charge!  We include 1 digital image with the free shoot, which can be used for submitting to agencies and magazines for publication, for social media or for any personal use of their choice.

Here are a few of April’s models, I see big things in their futures!

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Farewell Note to My Successor

Farewell With Love ❤️

Farewell With Love ❤️

It’s so very hard to believe that a year has flown by as quickly as it did. Last March, as I was being crowned your inaugural Miss Junior Teen Illinois United States 2015, I remember wanting my reign to last forever. Now, one quick year later, I feel like it’s all been a dream; a magical, exciting, thrilling, learning experience, and fun dream. As a farewell to my successor, I say, enjoy every single second!

National Stage MUSO 2015


CLICK TO Learn More About Hashtag Lunchbag

Take it all in and then hold on for an amazing adventure. From being crowned, to rushing over to our coronation party by our sponsor Fiesta Mexicana, to sleeping in my new crown, to pinching myself in the morning, to my first photo shoot, to my very first appearance, to my first modeling booking, to my first time volunteering with my favorite humanitarian movement project to fight back against hunger at #HashtagLunchbagChicago, to my event with Miss Iowa World spreading awareness about the epidemic of Childhood Obesity, to my first speaking engagement in front of over 1000 students of the New Trier High School Class of 2019–I’ve been blessed and cherished it all.

And you can bet that as Miss Junior Teen Illinois United States 2016, you will too. Get ready sister queen!

Miss Jr Teen United States 2015 Top 5

Speaking of getting ready, then comes more fun. Before you know it, even though you’ve already spent hours in preparation of capturing your State crown, it will be time to get ready for the pageant’s National competition. That means more coaching with your sister queens, which was SO much fun and hard work. I know you can do it, with the help of your dedicated director, Ms. Susan. I was blessed to have great coaches in the industry like Sarah Glitzer of Spotlight Consulting, Nikki Huber, and even a workshop with Mr. Jorge Esteban Pageant Smart. Take advantage of all opportunities that your director sets up for you.

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After all that work and preparation we put in, I remember this–next to my awesome mother, my director was the loudest person clapping when I finished 2nd Runner Up in the Nation, thanks Mr. Derrick!!

I owe much appreciation to my interview and platform coaches Mrs. Kimberly Triani and Mrs. Sarah Glitzer! I was able to capture the award of Best Interview in all divisions of the Pageant!

I owe much appreciation to my interview and platform coaches Mrs. Kimberly Triani and Mrs. Sarah Glitzer! I was able to capture the award of Best Interview in all divisions of the Pageant!

You are sure to have the experience of a lifetime on the National stage. Pageant week at Miss United States will be beyond fun and exciting. Get to know your pageant sisters from all over the United States. We all share a bond and some of them I’m sure will be my sister queens forever. I’ll never forget the smile on Gracie Gipson from Tennessee after being crowned our Miss Junior Teen United States 2015 that night. Love you Gracie and congrats again on your accomplishment!

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Other special people to shout out to are Ms. Yadira and staff for keeping me Glammed up all year, Ms. Eva for capturing the year in photos, Mrs. Dawn, Ms. Summar, and the entire team behind #TeamIllinois 2015. Last but not least, thank you to my sister queens and pageant moms for all your love ❤️ and help.


Pageant sisters for life.

Pageant sisters for life.

I’ll leave you with this. Be yourself, have fun, remember how blessed you are, and do as much volunteer work with your platform as you can. My passions are ending hunger and working to spread awareness about the epidemic of Childhood Obesity. I pray that you are able to use your reign to work closely with organizations you are passionate about too.

ciara hashtag lunchbag chicago group shot

Farewell to my successor, as well as to all of the people who helped to make my year one of the best of my life. I love you all. ❤️

CLICK TO Learn More About Hashtag Lunchbag

hashtag lunchbag quote

Hashtag Lunchbag Chicago Volunteer

Come back to the blog to see who is next to wear the crown. Who knows, it could be you on May 8th, 2016!


Stop Intimidating Yourself!

Great advice for all of us. Follow your dreams and never intimidate yourself. To read on, see reblog below. Have a wonderful and magical day. Love, Ciara…

Mrs. USA Universal 2015 Lori Tantawi

Me while looking at new contestant pictures last year for Mrs. US Universal: "Wait, What!!! She's competing?! She is zoo o pretty!!! OMG….OMG… I don't stand a chance….Oh WOW!! Look at how amazing get hair is!!! Awwww man….I'm not so sure about this…SOme of them have been doing this ALL their LIFE!!! My reaction while looking at new contestant pictures last year for Mrs. US Universal: “Wait, What!!! She’s competing?! She is sooooo pretty!!! OMG….OMG…….Oh WOW!! Look at how amazing her hair is!!! Geez she looks AMAZING!!! Awwww man….I’m not so sure about this…Some of them have been doing this ALL their LIFE!!!

18SEP2015 New Orleans

OK, first let me admit that I did in fact do this last year. When I was looking for pageant systems to try to researched ALL the past winners and studied their pictures and public profiles. Not because I’m a creep, but because I wanted to see if I fit in with who they have already chosen as winners. Was I pretty enough? Was I tall enough? Did I have enough experience? Were my pictures just as good as theirs? More often then not I walked away feeling nervous and scared. Why? Well because I…

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5 Things I Learned At My First National Pageant

Miss Jr Teen United States 2015 Top 5

Miss Junior Teen United States 2015 Top 5 

So you’ve won your State pageant, or you are thinking positive about the possibility of competing on a National stage. Well that means you’re already halfway there. Congratulations to you! Today I’m blogging about the 5 things I learned at my first National pageant. Hopefully the tips will help encourage another young lady who is just as beyond excited as I was. Here we go.

  1. Do yourself a favor and ignore ALL of the tempting social media posts with subjects like, “Top 15 Predictions” or “Miss Junior Teen United States Winner Predictions” ETC. With so many amazing pageant sister delegates, remember how hard each of you have probably worked for the crown. If you don’t make it on the lists of predictions, you may start to feel that you don’t have a chance. If you see that you do make it on these lists, you may think that you can relax and stop your pageant prep work. Either way I see it, save checking out the fun predictions for after the pageant. Quick Tip: I learned the hard way. After I didn’t make it on ANY of the prediction lists, I still finished in my pageant’s TOP 5! Thank goodness I am a very optimistic and positive person and didn’t let it get to me too much. 🙂
  2. Enjoy the once in a lifetime experience and above all have FUN! With all the responsibilities and your whole team counting on you, it’s easy to over think and stress out during competition. I learned the second I got there that I was in for the time of my life. It was so much fun, you wouldn’t believe! From meeting my new pageant sisters, attending fittings for competition wardrobe, going into hair and make-up EVERY day; I had a blast. Whatever you do, make it fun because it all ends way too quick.
  3. Don’t wait till pageant week to meet the other delegates. As soon as you win your State crown, be sure to congratulate other sister queens from each state on social media. If you are really blessed, you will be able to attend neighboring states to appear at pageants that come after yours. I met so many sweet and awesome Jr. Teens on my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. By the time we got to the competition, we were already friends and excited about seeing each other in person. A few of them will be friends for life, I’m sure of it.
  4. In between rehearsals, coaching, hair and make up appointments, team meetings, and competitions; make sure to take in the sights and visit the vendors and sponsor tables. Okay I have a confession, I didn’t do enough of this. Our pageant was in Washington DC, the nation’s capital. The city is so rich in history and I really wanted to get some photos at the White House. If I had it to do over, I would definitely plan a few hours to be a tourist next time. I did get to have fun seeing all of the vendor tables and sponsors. My favorite was Ruby Red Sweets!

Last, but maybe the most important thing that I learned was to plan ahead.

5. Plan and prepare months before pageant week so that you can take in the experience with very little stress. One of my favorite quotes is about how if you fail to plan, you can be sure to plan to fail. My pageant state director made sure that we had opportunities to have coaching, workshops, sponsors to work with us, pageant wardrobe sponsors, and team events. By the time we hit the road to Miss Junior Teen United States 2015, I was absolutely ready. I really think that is why I had great fun. Every time I stepped on stage the only thing I could think about was, pinch me is this real?

Plan, plan, plan!

Plan, plan, plan! Then just trust that you’re ready and have FUN.

Spotlight on Sponsor Everything For Pageants

When it comes to putting together wardrobe for pageants or even prom, don’t you love one-stop shopping?  The Miss Illinois United States Organization wardrobe sponsor, Everything For Pageants is the ideal place to find nearly everything on your list. From your dream formal dress, designer shoes, and fine jewelry for your next beauty pageant, prom, or other special event, they’ve got it. With all of the pageant preparation to get to Miss Jr. Teen United States, having awesome sponsors makes it just that much easier and a lot more fun! Mrs. Kimberly and her assistant Chelsea really treated me like a celebrity. Ciara and Everything For Pageants Staff

When we got the announcement about our 1st official titleholder photoshoot, I was super excited. It’s so much fun to get all ‘glam’ and work with the photographers and creative directors to get the right look. The official hair and make up team sets up a little salon and gets right to it, making us all glamorous and amazing. But, one of the huge stars of any photoshoot is THE perfect gown! Thank goodness for Everything For Pageants for making sure my gowns are magical and perfect. I worked closely with the staff, one-on-one. From the hundreds and hundreds of dresses, I was able to play dress up for hours and try on as many as I could. Fun, fun, FUN! They even had designer shoes and the best fine jewelry to complete the look.

We had great fun searching through hundreds of amazing gowns!

As my wardrobe sponsor, Everything For Pageants was also really helpful in finding me a really spectacular evening gown to wear at the Miss Jr. Teen United States national competition in July. I just can’t wait to show you my gown, get up on the stage, and work hard to make Illinois proud. Look for me out and about in Washington, DC in another fun and fashion forward dress sponsored by Everything For Pageants too!

So, whether you are looking for the perfect prom dress, your next pageant gown, or special event dress; remember how awesome and fun it was for me to work with them. You can experience being treated like a celebrity too. Big, huge thanks to the entire staff, especially Mrs. Kimberly Holliday Triani.

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Disclosure: I was not compensated for my opinion or views, I just think Everything For Pageants is pretty cool and wanted to share with you too. Happy Shopping. 🙂