Beauty Therapy Life


Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

Summer is synonymous with sun, warmth and vacationing. As a kid, I would count down the days until the big break that came with summertime, a stretch of several months where I would play and enjoy time with family and friends.

I realize that while summer looks bright, in the eyes of many, it can also tell a very different story. A story of burns, heat waves and boredom. For some, summer is a more stressful and depressing time, a lull between work and productivity, a half-way mark signifying lack in accomplishment. The gloom with the glow, the burn with the bronze.

So what do you see, Beauties?

Do you connect to summer’s flowers or its occasional showers? Do you cherish the blooms or do you complain of the pollen? Do you adore the roses or do you hate the bees?

Why do I ask you all of this?

You know I love a good a flower reference. The blooms and brightness of summer hint to our own essence. We can choose to see our own beauty, or we can remain stuck with our roots underground, seeing no light or hope for another season.

For me, this year I’m overjoyed with bliss as I’m planning my fairytale wedding to the man of my dreams. So while times may be stressful (between us, Beauties, I have major allergies, my eyes are constantly dry, my nose is forever running and I just realized that this pesky rash on my arm is from my favorite perfume which I’m suddenly allergic to, ugh) — still, I choose to see summer’s sunshine and the beautiful blooms surrounding me.

My Beauties, I’d love to share some precious, recent moments from my life that offer up the opportunity to either connect to joy or focus on the pain. Like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel, the choice is yours, mine, ours.

Beauties, what would you choose?

What you might see: Pedicured nails wrapped around a glass of fresh mango papaya juice, as the luxuriating lady ponders the glamorous lifestyle she’s been afforded. In just a few hours, she will be treated to a lavish lunch and a dozen roses. Her life is a Danielle Steele novel basically — it can’t be real.

What’s really going down: This is the first minute I had a single moment to myself. I finally caught my breath, finding the gratitude  for just one moment of silence without needing to host countless guests and family members; without needing to answer a long list of questions that await. I finally kicked off my high heels to let my swollen feet breathe, and while I only had 15 minutes before getting back to the havoc, I squeezed out a small sliver of heaven at the spa— allowing myself to retreat into inner silence and to center, so that when I re-enter the madness, I could do so with love and grace.

What I choose to see: Two different spa waters? Do I go for the cucumber or citrus? The shade the leaves cast on the ground is so beautiful. Just looking at this moment gives me peace. I mean, now that’s living!

What you might see: A new Mercedes Benz SUV, with a bow on top, ready to be driven off the lot. Jeez, that’s an expensive car — that pretty brunette must be super rich. How does she look so thin in white? She must be a raging egotistical bitch, there’s no way someone wearing sunglasses inside could be normal.

What’s really going down: I just got a brand new car for my birthday, that I custom designed (both inside and outside). I had been waiting for it for over 6 months. I was beyond excited, and couldn’t wait to drive her off the lot. I even dressed to match the car! Side note: the green bow wasn’t a part of my design.

What I choose to see: A photo that I’ve held onto for months, because I was afraid to share a moment I’d looked forward to and worked hard for. This has been my dream car, and to have arrived at the moment when I could call it my own was emotional. Still, I hesitated to share it on social media, because of all the hate often spewed. I also see an opportunity to share my fear of success and what it might mean to claim it, so I take the leap and humbly celebrate my new ride! You should see the interior 😉

What you might see: A made-up brunette with her hair draped over her left shoulder just perfect so, casually snapping a selfie while sitting in brutal Los Angeles traffic. How many filters did she use?

What’s really going down: A brief moment in time between the hustle & bustle of rushing  to multiple auditions and getting there on time, despite the massive billion car pile-up on the 101. It’s hot as hell, precisely 96 degrees outside, and I’d just finished letting the sweat drops dry. I’d also finally felt confident enough in my makeup to even take a selfie, feeling self-conscious snapping one because of how self-indulgent it looks and feels. Thank God for good lashes, right!? Also, I took about 15 selfies until I got this “good enough” one.

What I choose to see: A beautiful opportunity to overcome my momentary obstacles and supposed “imperfections” and be grateful for the skin I’m in, as well as the opportunity to drive around a gorgeous city to audition rooms that I’m finally getting called into. I see a young woman growing daily, learning to embrace and celebrate her current moment as much as humanly possible.

What you might see: A sexy moment in time of a “beach babe,” with just that right amount of cleavage and leg showing. Is she thinking deeply? Longingly? Or did she just position her face that way so that her sunglasses contour her face perfectly?

What’s really going down: It had been weeks since I gave myself any time to treat myself to a spa day. Today was the day I gave myself a spa morning, after which my fiance and I stopped by the beach to walk around before we turned around and flew home. Still feeling the spa high, I took a seat on the closest rock and did everything I could to be present. I caught a glimpse of  crabs scurrying across the sand and rocks, and wondered where they were rushing to and from. They looked familiar. They were me. I was scurrying, burying my head in the sand, often forgetting to stop and take in the crisp ocean air. My fiance recognized the beauty of the moment, and snapped the above.

What I choose to see: A healthy woman who has make a conscious effort to tend to her inner and outer beauty. An often self-conscious beauty who struggles to synthesize celebrating herself with feeling silly about sharing her personal triumphs.

You see Beauties, so much of what we see hinges on our own perception. And if we spend all our time judging others and wondering why we were dealt terrible cards, we’ll lose the opportunity to connect to the deeper truth.

Choosing the good, the sunshine and the blooms in life is so much more rewarding than falling victim to the “oh, woe is me” mentality. Why? Because when we see the sunshine, it actually shines brighter. When we grow the beauty internally, it also reflects itself in the world all around us. Don’t believe me? I challenge you to try it for yourself. Let’s choose to see the good for summer’s entirety, and watch how magical this season becomes.

Also, next time you see a picture and feel the urge to judge the image, take a pause. Could there be more than meets the eye?

Bottom line, Beauties — let’s be open to seeing past the superficial and our own judgements, and let’s choose to connect to the beauty instead of the perceived “lack.” Life is what you make it, so let’s make it beautiful!



Valentine’s Day: The Beauty Therapy Way

Oh my Beauties,

It’s Valentine’s Day, and I’m certain that this day holds a deep meaning for you. Whether the day makes you sigh with a full heart, or roll your eyes with a heavy one — it’s a day dedicated to love.

So let’s talk love!

Whether you have a loved one you’re celebrating, or using the day to hang with your single ladies — let’s make today a wonderful celebration of the ultimate love.

Self-love, that is!

Beauties, I know you’re probably much like me and you find yourself lost in the hustle and bustle of life. The bills, the groceries, the laundry, maintaining the house and life’s relationships (from family, to friends, to your significant other). But just like any relationship, finding time means carving it out. Often the most valuable aspects of life take intention and hard work, which isn’t always so glamorous (at first glimpse).

The same goes for the relationship with YOURSELF, Beauty!

Honoring, cherishing and respecting yourself is a romantic relationship that so few of us treat with equal attention as we treat all the relationships above (including the tedious to-do lists).

On top of that, we’re fed lines like you can’t love another until you love yourself.

Wait wait wait, are you serious?

Are you telling me that I won’t find love until I love myself completely? Well damn, loving myself is a long journey, often a lifetime journey. Self-love is a process, not some overnight trick that leaves me 100% self-loving by the next morning. So then, am I doomed if I’m still on the path towards fully realized self-love?

Absolutely not!  I’m here to tell you that loving yourself is a process, and by no means do you have to arrive at full self-love in order to celebrate love itself. Relationships and love are huge, they are ever-changing and expanding and evolving. As are you.  

My personal evolution towards fully loving myself began with a simple promise to feel fulfillment both personally and professionally. Here’s how it started…

A few years ago, my insecurities were at an all-time high. While I was booking modeling and hosting work, my career path seemed shaky and unsteady. Personally I felt like a hot mess — and not the good kind of hot. I was broken. I was confused. I was scared enough to seek guidance and help. To look at myself in the mirror and not truly recognize the personal staring back, that was terrifying.

My journey to true and unconditional self-love started the moment I realized it was desperately lacking. Through days, weeks, months and now years of time spent with my therapist, my mentors, meditating and turning over my will to a higher power — I’m now able to look in the mirror and love who is staring back at me. And not for the physical being that reflects back, but for the internal beauty I now feel so secure and confident about.

So how could I possibly contribute to a relationship with my (now fiancé) then boyfriend? Well, I couldn’t. Thank God for the loving, patient and supportive man in my life who afforded me the time to mend and heal. Today, I’m so grateful and happy to report that we are two whole individuals, who can co-create a wholesome, happy and fulfilled love.  

We’re all works in progress. That goes for our relationship with ourselves and with our significant others. Every relationship requires work, commitment and quality time.

So no need to beat yourself up if you don’t feel so self-loving or loved, just take a small step in the direction towards the love you deeply desire.

Here are some of my favorite steps to take:

  • Buy yourself a dozen roses
  • Enjoy a romantic comedy
  • Cook yourself your favorite meal
  • Go on a hike & enjoy the great outdoors
  • Share a movie with loved ones  
  • Enjoy a bubble bath with a good book  

What little action of self-love are you going to share with yourself today? And not just today Beauties, let’s keep the self-love train chugging down the tracks of life on a regular basis. I would love to hear all about your self-love journey in the comment section below.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Beauties! You’re all my valentines…today and everyday!



Beauty Queen Bliss


I have to tell you what happened at this year’s Miss Virginia USA pageant….

I’m still fresh off my return flight from my old stomping grounds of Blacksburg, Virginia, where I was blessed to host the 2016 Miss Virginia USA and Miss Virginia Teen USA pageants. My 10th year hosting! Proof that a healthy relationship grows deeper with time, and carries with it the potential to deliver beyond expectation.

With days of rehearsals, loads of wardrobe prep and hours of mentoring young women to walk down a path I once strutted myself, I poured myself into an annual process that with each year brings me so much joy, nostalgia, and well, for the first time–a room full of teary eyes.

Before I tell you what happened. I want to flash back to last year’s pageant.

The last time I flew in to co-host and mentor the sweet contestants of Miss Virginia USA, I was a different human being. Do you ever take a moment to time travel to your earlier self? Even if just a month back, a week, even yesterday? I love doing that, to give myself a pretty pat on the back for the progress made, while also taking responsibility for some of the not-so-great habits I displayed once upon a time.

During last year’s pageant, I spent so much time carefully selecting my wardrobe, getting my hair and makeup seamless and making sure my image was…well, perfect. See the common theme there? ME. I barely had time to notice the fears, anxieties and worries of the lovely young ladies I was sent to mentor, the darling faces who were vying for a crown I am so honored to have been awarded in years’ past.

But this year….

…this year my focus was on something different. Not my wardrobe (in fact, I wore yoga pants and a baseball cap to rehearsals), not on whether my exterior image was up to par. This year my focus was on the girls and how I could be of service to them during their precious process.

After a group lunch one day, I had a moment to talk to the ladies. I opened up and revealed some personal stories about my own vulnerabilities. I told the room packed with gorgeous girls about my struggles to make ends meet early on in my career, about my turbulent ride towards self-love and acceptance and about my continuing struggle to accept myself and my own unique beauty. It wasn’t easy, but it felt amazing.

I wanted to break down the picture-perfect facade this time around. I wanted these ladies to have an all-access pass to my inner essence, something I’d never fully revealed in the pageant world. I was so passionate and raw and exposed. I caught a glimpse around the room mid-story and noticed eyes filled with tears. I couldn’t believe how touched these beautiful souls were.

I went on to praise the very system that had been the biggest stepping stone in my career, the Miss Universe Organization. I gave credit where credit was due. Not only to an organization, but to the people, the heartbeat of what makes the Miss Virginia USA pageant so different from all the rest. I shone the spotlight on the Executive Director, Kim Nicewonder, who once believed in me enough to let a young, scared and inexperienced 21-year-old host her show. Did I mention the show she entrusted me with airs live? That was 10 years ago. Not only did this woman believe in my talents then, she continues to shower me with endless love, support and an ongoing friendship that I will forever hold near to my heart.

There were handfuls of other powerful moments of genuine connection throughout the weekend — from several of the girls coming up to me individually asking for personal advice, to praying with the girls as a unified group on the final night of the competition prior to their dismissal to begin hair & make-up.  

The real show stopper came after the pageant.

After the new Miss Virginia USA and Miss Virginia Teen USA had been crowned, one of the contestants who had made the top 5 revealed that she believed in herself because of me.


Those words hit me so hard my eyes immediately filled with tears. My soul felt full. And my heart so deeply touched. To have left a mark on someone’s life with my own vulnerability was life-changing.

To be blessed with the handful of opportunities to give back to so many young women in the very arena where so much of my own beauty therapy came from was synchronous, and really magical.

Long after the lashes, hair extensions and perfectly beaded gowns have been taken off, these are the moments I cherish most. The moments that will live with me until the day I die. The moments that no one can predict, because they come from stepping out of a comfort zone of the seemingly “perfect.” That young girl may never know what her words and truth mean to me. While I may have encouraged her to believe in herself, she has encouraged me to keep fighting the good fight! To keep shouting Beauty Therapy from the rooftops.

I walked away from this year’s pageant with a renewed sense of purpose. A resolve to continue empowering women of all ages to connect to their deeply beautiful essence, beneath all the glitter and rose gold. And I’m so grateful to have you, my beauties, to share these touching tales with.  I truly hope they will continue to inspire YOU to step into more of your own internal, potentially life-altering beauty!

Shine on, beauties!



Enjoy my candid photo diary from the beautiful weekend 🙂























A special thank you to Proms, Pageants & Pretty Things, Henri’s Cloud Nine, Sherri Jessee, Rick Myers Photography, Kristel Wittensoldner, Michael Copon, Frank Beamer, Kimberly Nicewonder, KPJ Productions & the Miss Virginia USA Organization.