April Favorites: Pageantry and Packages


I honestly feel like it was just Christmas yesterday. Actually, scratch that…I feel like I just moved to Madison yesterday (when In fact I officially moved in Halloween weekend). The month of April kicked off with Miss America Serves Day, a national day of service where local and state titleholders across the country as well as Miss America take part in group service projects and raise money and awareness for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.I started my morning on Saturday, April 7 bright and early by paying a visit to my friend Caroline on Wake Up Wisconsin Weekend. Did you know, I worked for News 27’s sister station, News 19 in La Crosse for the past two years? A little fun fact, now you know! Appearing as a guest on the statewide morning show provided me with an outlet to touch on my personal platform, “Let’s Talk: Skill Sets 4 Success,” Miss America Serves Day, my journey, and ticket sales for state (phew)! Watch my interview HERE!Local titleholders here in Wisconsin spent Miss America Serves Day at the Robyn’s Nest in Milwaukee, the foster care Home associated with the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. We helped sort and fold clothing, ensuring the retail area was organized and ready for families to shop! We then traveled to a nearby school and made tie blankets for the kiddos! Naturally, I gravitated to the camo and blaze orange printed fabric…Don’t worry, in the midst of pageant preparations and appearances I do find time to do other things as well (it’s all about time management and keen organization skills). My sister and brother-in-law were in Madison the Sunday after Miss America Serves Day and I met them for breakfast at Short Stack Eatery downtown! If you live in Madison or are planning to come to town soon, I’d highly recommend you make it your breakfast destination — it’s delicious, fresh, and different!So you’ve got the gist of the ‘pageantry’ aspect of this month’s favorites title, but what about all those packages I alluded to? For a portion of the month I felt as though I was consistently getting mail! Between blogger mail and Miss Wisconsin prep orders (including a new interview dress and dress for Merchant’s Dinner with the judges the Monday of Miss Wisconsin week) it seemed never ending! While I won’t be sharing sneak peaks of either of those dresses, I am super eager to show you what I decided on in just over a month when I’m in Oshkosh for Miss Wisconsin week…stay tuned!Looking for a good pair of neutral, comfortable heels for spring and summer? I found these at Forever 21 for less than $20 and while I unfortunately couldn’t find these online for you all, I found a close second. These Qupid Faux Suede Strappy Heels are $35 and very similar! Plus, they come in three convenient colors.

One of my overarching goals for 2018 is to connect deeper to my faith. Another one of the packages that arrived during the month of April was this beautiful, colorful, and very interactive NIV Beautiful Word Bible recommended by my sister, Morgan.

What else did I accomplish during the month of April? I recorded and launched a week long social media campaign highlighting Young Professionals week which correlates to my personal platform, “Let’s Talk: Skill Sets 4 Success.” #YPWeek is meant to bring light to the work, values, and contribution young professionals are devoting to our communities while providing them with events and outlets to network with one another. I reached out to young professionals in Wisconsin and had them record videos introducing themselves, sharing their educational background and current title, and giving their perspectives on advice for students preparing to enter into college or the workforce. I also asked them to speak to what they feel are the most invaluable skills in the work place today! Didn’t see the videos? Check out @SkillSets4Success on Facebook or @MissWoodViolet on Instagram to give them a watch! #SkillSets4Success

Miss Wisconsin Prep Day took place in Oshkosh on Saturday, April 21. What is ‘Prep Day’ you ask? It’s a time when all of the Miss Wisconsin and Miss Wisconsin’s Outstanding Teen contestants gather at Alberta Kimball High School in Oshkosh, practice their talents on stage in order to gain a feel for the stage and allow the stage crew to practice lighting techniques, receive contestant numbers per the number of program ads they sold, and meet one another (if they haven’t already). Prep Day also includes a group meeting with all the directors to talk about details for state, scholarships, guidelines, etc. Oh, and clearly we take A LOT of photos too… #TheSisterhoodIsStrongI am super excited to be contestant #18 at state this year! I will be having my private 10 minute interview with the judges on Wednesday, June 13 before competing in Swimsuit and On-Stage Question preliminary competitions later that evening. Then on Thursday, June 14 I will compete in Talent and Evening Gown for preliminary competitions. YOU can buy tickets to both preliminary nights, the Miss Wisconsin’s Outstanding Teen show on Friday, and Miss Wisconsin 2018 Finals on Saturday night right now online: HERE!

I also teamed up with Ellie L. Illustrations for a week long, online fundraiser benefiting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals! Not familiar with her work? She creates bright, water colored images and quotes for prints, mugs, key-chains, mirrors, note cards, and phone cases. While many of them are pageant focused for different systems, there are other designs available with some level of customization too! Click the link about to browse her website and shop for yourself!On Saturday, April 28 I crossed an item off my bucket list by completing the Crazylegs Classic in Madison! The 8K race begins on the square downtown, weaving participants through the city before finishing within Camp Randall. Shout out to Denise Watrous for signing up with me. I ran the 5 mile race in 45 minutes, amounting to a 9:15 split time which shaved 45 seconds per split time off my hour run from the Thursday prior to the event. I will say, it was a pretty surreal feeling running down the ramp and onto the field within the stadium. I am amped-up and ready for football season, who’s with me?!Oh, I also stumbled upon this Wisconsin gem post workout at Canvas Club one Monday evening. Talk about all my favorite Wisconsin things in one place! It’s just missing Bucky Badger (there’s a Packers player off to the right)!

Last, but certainly not least — I debuted a new logo and branding materials for my blog and soon-to-be podcast which will launch officially on Tuesday, May 8! The show will come out on a biweekly basis on Tuesdays so be sure to search for “The Refined Redhead” on iTunes Podcast and Google Play — there’s a tease live right now. You can follow @RefinedRedheadBlog on Instagram and “like” The Refined Redhead on Facebook to stay in the know about my podcast, guests, and of course lifestyle and fashion tips.




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