Monday, April 18, 2011

Samantha's International Prince and Princess Pageant

Twice a year Sami does an all natural pageant in Stamford, CT. We stay for the weekend while she competes in informal beauty, formal beauty, model wear, interview, and she has to make up a commercial. The panel of judges are made up of former contestants and talent scouts from NYC.

This is her fourth year doing it, and we always have a blast win or lose. This year she did so well. We were so proud of her. She won interview, received 2nd runner up for beauty and 1st runner up for model wear. In addition, all contestants have to make up a commercial. This is for the judges to see how you'd do in the world of acting. Samantha blew us away with her confidence along with the awards she received for this. She got best overall commercial, most original, and best costume (thanks to my wonderful friend Lesley who is a costume designer).

We are not allowed to take photos or videos during the pageant, so these videos and photos were taken either at home or in the hotel.

Here is her commercial:

For informal beauty all contestant's wear the same T-shirt and can dress anyway they want...

For model wear she wore a sundress and straw hat. The video for this is taken in the hotel lobby before she went on.

The last category of the day was formal beauty....

Lucky Reece is away in North Carolina with a friend for spring break, but Randy, RJ, my parents, and of course myself went to cheer on our #1 girl. Here are some miscellaneous photos of Sami with family and friends.

Sorry about the clarity and choppiness of the videos.  We used Sami's camera which isn't the greatest for these purposes. 

Thanks so much for letting me take time from decorating to share my proud mommy moment with all of you. I promise, "back to normal DIY business" tomorrow....


Unfortunately I just received a not so nice email:

No longer care to subscribe to the blog of someone who would allow their daughter to participate in this activity. Your right and all that but my right to stop my exposure to this skewed value system.
Have a good day!

I started my blog a few months back to help others with inexpensive ways to decorate along with trying to teach how to do projects on your own to avoid high costs and save some money. Soon after my journey began, I became immediate friends with so many of you. I felt that we began to share not only our love for decorating, but we have gotten to know each other on personal levels and have even gotten to know each others family members through our blogs. Although I try to stay on topic, I do not decorate every day and sometimes share my personal life with you.

Yes, my daughter does natural pageants. Yes, we have all seen Toddlers and Tiaras. For those of you who haven't, it is a documentary show of children and their parents being followed on camera the weeks before and of a pageant. They show the most dramatic bratty children along with parents who push their children to the limits. This show and some past stories have given pageants a bad name. Trust me, there are children out there who play the flute with not so great temperaments along with pushy parents. They just haven't made a show for this yet.

My husband and I are loving parents who revolve their lives around their children. We give them the freedom to choose if they want to do pageants, sports, modeling, skateboarding, chess, academic activities, etc. If they decide they don't want to do something, they don't have to. Our family is very open and we tell it like it is.

To have someone just send me that email bothers me for these reasons. They have decided to judge me based on knowing nothing about me. They have decided to judge me based on something they may or may not have experienced. They have decided to label something I have personally done as a "skewed value system". In my response to her, I asked her how she knew the system was skewed. She did respond telling me she has actually experienced pageants. Confused though???? Still don't know how she can label what I personally do as skewed. Don't think she has been anywhere I have been?

Throughout our lives we will all experience fixed systems, bad teachers, bad coaches, inappropriate parents, and personal skewed systems. BUT, we have no right to judge others and the choices they make based on their own decisions.

Normally I do not care what others think of me. I know that what I do for my family is the right thing. But, this email I received got to me for the reason that people can be so shallow. Many times our children grow up to be judgmental and bullies because of parents who teach us to perceive others in negative ways. I feel this is what this person has done. Of course when I wrote this post I had NO intention of having to write any of this. Unfortunately I felt the need to though to let the ignorant know that unless you have facts, please do not make assumptions. I can't even imagine a fellow blogger telling me that their son plays the trumpet and me emailing me to tell them I will no longer be subscribing to their blog because I disagree with parents who let their kids play instruments. Or if my child personally had a bad experience with the trumpet or director.

I can't even begin to describe how much I appreciate my followers, subscribers, and comments. This blog has become a huge asset to my life. My mind was just totally blown just now when I received this email.

Thanks for taking the time to read my EXTRA LONG post.....


  1. SO beautiful!!! What a lucky girl to have all of you there cheering her on :)

  2. Lisa, she's so cute and talented! I loved the soup video too--very well done.

    Congratulations to her!


  3. GOOD FOR YOU LISA!! No one has the right to tell us how to parent and even though your blog is about decorating, etc, every time you mention anything about your kids, it's so positive! They seem like GREAT kids with lots of interests.

    It's just shocking to me that someone would judge you like that.

    From someone who LOVES your blog--ALL of it--keep up the great work! :)

    Have a great day!

  4. OH MY GOODNESS!!!! Seriously, I will never understand why some people choose to be cruel simply to hurt other people. Was that necessary? NO. Did it help her at all to tell you that she disapproves? NO. She just did it to be rude, and by her bad grammar, it is clear that she is NOT someone who should throw anyone. So there! I'm glad you posted about your reaction to her comment though. We're all human and although it iesn't always easy to admit, thiese blogs make us somewhat vulnerable and sometimes the things that people say to us do creep in and "get" to us. It's a lesson in kindness (& frankly, I'm glad that brat isn't reading your blog anymore, she isn't worthy!).

  5. And I'm super sorry for the typos in my comment - ugh. I type too fast!

  6. That is RUDE beyond measure! There are so many people out there that judge others based on nothing but their own "values". It really hacks me off and I'm glad you posted about it! Letting these people think they've done something is the last thing we want, hooray for you for telling everyone about it!

  7. She's crazy! I hate that pageants have gotten such a bad name because of that show. Good for you for sticking up for yourself and shame on your reader. If she didn't like your post she could have politely unsubscribed without the rude e-mail attached. I love that you share your Mommy moments and take such pride in your family!

  8. oh my goodness!!!! no one else can tell you how to raise your children or judge you by what you allow them to do. i am with you- i allow my kids to make choices, and i am open to them doing whatever they want. i love the blogging world for the close friends i have made, like you said, but i can't stand those who are so quick to pass judgment and criticize. i am so sorry you had to deal with that, but know that i think you are awesome as a person and a mom. i know how much you do for your kids and that your family has a firm solid bade of love and respect.

  9. Seriously Beautiful girl you have there Lisa!

    And I can't believe some people. I allow my children to make choices in what they want to do and be there supporting everything they do.
    Sorry you had to deal with that.
    And I love to see the personal parts of blogs.

  10. I LOVE your blog, Lisa!!!!!


  11. People are so dang mean these days! I've had one of those comments on my blog too.

    She's gorgeous! Don't let no email bring you down!


  12. Lisa,

    You have such a lovely family and it is sweet of you to share them with us. Your children all look healthy and vibrant and lively and it's obvious that you and your husband are great parents. Samantha is a beauty but she also radiates personality and intelligence and humor and happiness.

    People have their hot spots and you obviously touched one with that reader. So sorry for any hurt it caused you.



  13. Hi Lisa ~ Sami is incredible - full of vigor, energy and confidence! I have thoroughly enjoyed this post and want to thank you for sometimes going off topic and sharing your lovely family with us! xoxo

  14. Congrats to Sami!! Looks like she has a blast doing it!
    I'm sorry some people have to make others unhappy because they are unhappy with themselves. I don't know why she couldn't just unsubscribe and leave it at that. The email was unnecessary. She clearly needs to take a look in the mirror and worry about her character not yours! I love that you post about your family and I think you are an awesome mom. It is extremely clear that your kids are your priority and that this is in no way is unhealthy like it is with those toddler and tiara moms. Your kids are blessed to have parents who support their dreams no matter what they are!!

  15. LOVE the commercial! Does she want to be an actress?
    Sometimes I wonder why people like your ex-follower just don't go away without saying anything. It's called grace.

  16. Love that you do natural pageants. It reminds me of the days where my daughters did dance competitions every spring. So much fun. I miss it all when this time of year rolls around.

    Don't worry about this one comment. You're obviously a good parent with good values and your daughter looks like a pretty down to earth child. If you enjoy spending time together that way as a family, do what you feel is right for you and your family!

  17. I didn't know there were natural pageants but I could tell by your photos and the cute videos this is something healthy. Your daughter looks beautiful and happy. Being a great, loving parent who gives choices rises above anything anyone could ever say to you. Keep up the great job!

  18. "To thine own self be true"

    Your daughter is beautiful and you are an excellent mother - your love for your family is truly apparent.

    Marie @ Sally Lee by the Sea

  19. We were actually at the pageant for the first time. For the most part, we wanted to see what this was like for the kids. Our daughter participated in the Petite Miss Division....she was mostly certainly natural and to our surprise...won the "Best Smile", 3rd runner up for the Model Category (an oreo cookie commercial that consisted of one line...very loud and clear & wearing a skort & tee from the Children's Place) and 2nd runner up in the Overall Category. For an already confident little girl, she just lit up on the stage (ok, so she passed out and I had to carry her up to collect her trophies). We are seriously considering entering her in more pageants. Everyone we met was so nice, helpful and informative. Congratulations to you Sami from us and our Samantha!

    Carol Apa

  20. WOW Lisa you didn't even have to respond to THAT!!!!!!!!!!
    Sammi is a beautiful girl!! It's wonderful she is happy in her skin and happy with who she is!!!

  21. why did she have to make a statement about not following your blog anymore? just so you'd know? what a dummy.

  22. My daughter did pageants because SHE LOVED doing them, my son played football for the same reason! It is no ones business what your family does, it is obvious your daughter is having a blast and that is all that matters.

  23. p.s. I am your newest follower, I love your style! Excellent blog!

  24. I found this post through and I wanted to tell you that I think it's amazing that your daughter is doing pageants. I, too, was a pageant girl and I met some of the most intelligent, amazing, and talented women throughout my time doing them. A reality show should really follow Miss America for the year to show what an incredibly accomplished pageant winner can accomplish. I will tell you that I still use the skills I learned in pageants, lately the interview skills. Most people don't know that girls at 11, 12, 13, and so forth years old can get rigorous interviews. I remember reading the paper every morning at that age to prepare for interviews. Now, I have a side business where I interview coach students trying to get into medical school. My own husband just got accepted to medical school and he said I was the most rigorous interview he had, haha - and all that is thanks to pageants! So, that's a super long winded answer to say that I think your little girl is completely gorgeous and full of personality. Keep doing what you're doing. I personally cannot wait to have a little girl. Pageants and ballet lessons it will be for my little princess (provided she wants to of course :) xoxo,
    Cat Alford

  25. ...Ok, I'm in the South and I've always been nervous about pageants... BUT!!!-- I didn't know there was a such thing as an all natural one, and seeing your pictures, which are so NORMAL and lovely, I think that if I had a daughter who, just hypothetically, would deign to actually brush her hair at this age (knock wood... someday...)then I would be ok with her wanting to participate, and I would root for her in whatever thing she wants to do. So yay for you! And hooray for parents who love and SUPPORT their children in whatever thing they choose, sports, or pageant, or drama, or voice, or skating, or whatever! We need far more parents who are INTO being parents!!! And boo to trolls.

  26. People just have nothing better to do then to tell you that your making bad decisions it seems. People should email you with more positive comments. If your daughter is happy that is all that matters. People are to judgmental of other people's life's.

    -Zane of ontario honey