Monday, June 25, 2012

Miss CA: Day 3

Today was our first official rehearsal on stage with the whole crew!  We started rehearsing at 9AM this morning at the Saroyan Theater and it was brutal trying to learn all that choreography, but we did it!  Cassie, our amazing choreographer, does a fantastic job every year and she has not failed us this year either!  It took us pretty much all morning to fully learn all the dance moves as a group, but since after our rehearsal this afternoon, we all are having a blast and the dance numbers are so much fun!  Can't wait for you all to see the show!  Below is a video the local Fresno news Channel 30 made about what's going on in Fresno and how the festivities are bringing BIG money into the city.  I guess they have had a slow year in tourism, revenue, etc.  But I mean, who hasn't these day, right? It's great to know that the Miss CA Org. brings in a lot of business into Fresno.  The whole video is great, but I want you to click in at 1:37 to watch me concentrate really hard on learning the dance! :)

In between our dance rehearsals, we got to visit the Rotary Cub of Fresno! We got to have lunch and visit with the members there!  Rotarians are always a hoot and today they definitely made their mark!  The out-going president of the Fresno Rotary was have a "roast" session at this event.  The whole club made up a huge skit to make fun and joke about him and his accomplishments.  The "roast" was full of inside jokes that none of us contestants really understood, but it was still so fun to watch!  It is always fun to visit with people that give so much to others!  I truly believe in their motto "Service Above Self" and I am proud to know them!  The Rotary club will always have a special place in my heart because the Garden Grove Rotary Club sponsored me at Miss CA last year and helped me grow and blossom from all the experiences that came with it.  Thank you Rotary!

Tomorrow is the first preliminary night!  I will be performing on my harp and I am SO looking forward to it! Keep your fingers crossed! :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Miss CA: Day 2

Ready for interview with
my crown pin and all!
Today was INTERVIEW DAY!  I had one of the most important conversations in my life this morning and I am so glad that I finally got to meet the prestigious judges!  It was such a pleasure talking with them and I'm glad that they finally got to know me in person and not just from Twitter/Facebook/Blog! I look forward to seeing them again during this week's competitions. I want to shine for them and for you all as well! We'll see what happens on Saturday night!

We had a dance rehearsal to learn the opening number even more.  WOW! It sure is fast! We're dancing to "It Don't Mean A Thing If You Ain't Got That Swing" and it's a lot of dancing! I hope I don't fall :)  Now, I am getting ready for the Rotary Gala tonight.  We get to be dressy and "glammed" up tonight! I have a very special place in my heart for the Rotary Clubs because last year, the Garden Grove Rotary Club was my sponsor at Miss CA.  The members of this club do so much to the community and I look forward to meeting the Rotary members of Fresno! Stay tuned!
*      *      *      *

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Miss CA: Day 1

Hello World!

Yes, I am here safe and well!  I arrived in Fresno with Miss Culver City, Marina Inserra with 2 suitcases and 2 garment bags.  Yes, I travel compact and prepared! That's good practice for the job of Miss CA! :)

Day one is not over yet, I have more to write tonight!  But so far, today has been a blast!  All 58 of us went to the Fresno City Hall to meet Mayor Ashley Swearengin and take photos of course!  The Miss CA Organization has taken place in Fresno for the past 19 years, so we have a pretty good legacy here!  Every year it is tradition to visit the city hall with a gift that represents you and the title you are representing.  Now, Fresno and Southern California both have lots of sun, but I’m lucky to have the sun AND the beach!  This year, I brought the mayor a CD with sounds of the ocean and a summer-style cup for a refreshing drink.  She obviously has a very stressful job, so having a way to escape to paradise is always nice!

While at the city hall, I got to reunite with so many familiar and new faces.  All of the contestants this year are such dear and genuine young women.  I am proud to call them my sisters.

With my favorite food in the
world (other than Thai Food): 
The Bacon Cheeseburger!
After the event at City Hall, we headed to lunch and to a very unexpected location I might add!  We actually got to eat lunch at The Habit BURGER grill!  WHAT?!  Pageant girls eating burgers?? I mean, I know I do, but it was so nice to eat a burger even when competing for Miss CA!  If you know me, you should already know what kind of burger I got.  Of course I got a bacon cheeseburger!  Thank you, Habit for feeding us your custom-made and fresh burgers! I am a happy girl right now!

Our day has not ended yet! We are attending a delicious BBQ at a beautiful mansion here in Fresno! This event will be sponsored by the Fresno Kiwanis Club and I look forward to meeting all the members!  Stay tuned for more!
*        *        *       *
Okay it is late and I should not be writing on my blog, but I just wanted you keep you all updated on how the BBQ went.  First of all, there was Karaoke! Caylynn Simonson (my roommate) and I sang Shania Twain's "Man, I Feel Like A Woman" and it was a blast! Thanks for singing with me, Caylynn!  The BBQ was hosted by the Lester Family, which has been a huge supporter of the Miss CA Organization for many years and they always have held this BBQ at their home.  The food was hosted by the Fresno Kiwanis Club and they were so generous! They are good cooks!
By the end of the BBQ, Noelle had a genius idea to make a little music video!  To the Miss CA judges... Won't you pick me, for Miss Cali, maybe? :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rady Children's Hospital Visit

Today was another wonderful day because I got to visit a Children's Hospital.  This time, instead of visiting CHOC like I normally do, I drove down to San Diego to visit Rady Children's Hospital!  I didn't get to bring my harp this time, but it was still a memorable experience being with the "kiddos".  The experience was even better because Anna and Van came along (thanks Kati for setting up this visit for us!!!) This children's hospital in San Diego was built just over 2 years ago, so it is still pretty new.  Before CHOC made their enormous renovations, Rady used to be the largest children's hospital in SoCal. Regardless of it's "smaller" size, Rady still makes miracles for so many children and families every day.  Rady is still ranked in the Top 10 in U.S. News' Best Children's Hospitals.  They hold this honor very seriously!

The kids we met today were so adorable and reminded me how strong these sweet spirits are.  I am grateful every time I visit a place like this.  We went to the first playroom where we met Cassie and Aashiya who are two amazing young women. Aashiya was there to color and craft while still recovering from an appendix removal surgery! Wow!  I would have never known she was uncomfortable because she was so happy and excited to color with us.  And little Cassie, oh my word, she was the cutest little thing I have ever seen.  I colored a picture of Winnie the Pooh for her and signed it with my autograph.  I will never forget her tiny little voice say, "Tink you" (and yes she pronounced it like that). Our next stop was another playroom and there was a sweet young girl named Leah!  She and I were definitely excited because we had the same last name.  :)  She was there at her craft table making crowns with glitter (how perfect!)  Our last stop was to visit little Isabella who is obsessed with Disney princesses!  When we walked in her room, Anastasia was playing and I wanted to stay and watch the whole movie with her because it is one of my all time favorites (even though she doesn't have a Disney castle)!  She showed us all the Disney dolls she  had including Jasmine, Belle, Ariel, and even the new princess Merida!  Bella's mom told us that Bella normally-without Chemo)-has naturally long curly orange hair just like Merida! So precious :)

I learned something really cool about this hospital.  The whole hospital has an ocean theme, which is very fitting being that it's in San Diego, but each floor has a theme with matching decorations and wall murals.  The first floor is "underwater", the second floor is "beach", the third floor is "sky", and the fourth floor is themed "space" and this floor is open to only special cases and treatments.  It's a beautiful hospital and I am SO glad I got to visit this one!  Every time I visit a children's hospital, I become more and more proud to be a Miss America girl because we work so closely with the Children's Miracle Network.  Every cent that we raise as contestants goes to hospitals like Rady and CHOC and you can only imagine what miracles take place because of the funds raised.  I know that if I win Miss California this year that I will visit more hospitals (childrens, general, or veterans) and make it a state-wide tour!  I look forward to bringing my harp along with me too! :)

With Belinda (aka "B"), Anna, and Van

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I am truly grateful....

This is an ever-growing list of people that have made an impact in my life.  I feel that when going through such an important and high-stakes competition like Miss CA, that it's essential to count my blessings.  To those on this list: Thank you for being in my life!  You all are people that I will be thinking about as I am onstage in Fresno.  You are the people that I am doing this for and you are the people that keep me going.  Thank you for influencing me to do my best and always be myself.  I hope to make you all proud at Miss CA!

This list is in alphabetical order by first name and it is still being updated!
Love you all!

Mom and Dad (they’re always first)
Ariel Justice
Arlo Jorgensen
Art Meacham
Barbara and Russell Bell
Bill and Betty Farish
Camille Knecht
Chasta Nechvatal
Connie Lema
Daisy James
Damon Johnson
David and Marsha Stamper
Dean and Mira Anderson
Diane Wurtz
Doreen and Bill Witty
Dorothy Rose
Ellie Choate
Ernest Koneck
Flo and Larry Kelley
Grama and Grampa Elder
Grama and Grampa Johnson
Jeff and Bev Cecil
Jeff and Cyndi Jones
Jen Brooks
Jennifer Gallo
Jessica Becker
Jessica Tonti and Family
Jill and Larry Leslie
Joe Whiteko
Judy and John Crowder
Kalawai James
Kandee and Marc Anderson
Kati and Joe Enea
Keith Tibbitts
Kristi Sexton
Kristi Winn
Laura Brodowski
Mary Opperman
Melissa Mattingly
Michael and Kerry Caldwell
Mindy Schreiber and Family
Noelle Freeman
Patti Peterson
Patti Wunderlich
Paula Brown
Remy and Darek
Rick and Kim Nitta
Robert Batey
Ryan and Heather Dickens
Sherry Cain
Stacy Margolin
Steve Velez
Sweetheart Girls
Teresa Scanlan
Terry Dickens
The Cypress LDS Stake
The Garden Grove LDS Stake
The Garden Grove Rotary Club
The Hikawa Family
The Kerstner Family
The Margolin Family
The Tibbitts Family
Tom Moletteire
Veena Goel Crownholm
Wanda Reyes
Wendy Smith and Family

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Miss Nebraska 2012

Yes, I am in Nebraska!  You're probably wondering why and what the whole "CALI-BRASKA" stuff means and that's okay!  Here's the story:

Once upon a time, a young woman named Leah Cecil won first runner-up at Miss CA and was awarded the fantastic opportunity to compete at the National Sweetheart Competition (click for more info).  Last summer she flew to Hoopeston, IL to compete amongst the top young women that the Miss America Organization has produced.  The 30 women competing were first/second runner-ups in their state, so it was like a mini Miss America pageant!!...okay enough with all the cheesy third-person stuff! :)  While in Illinois, I had a roommate named Mindy Schreiber and we just clicked! I was so lucky to have her as my BFF during my exciting time at the Sweetheart Pageant!  Mindy ended up getting Miss Congeniality (which was NO surprise to me) and I got awarded the Patricia Musk Talent Award, so we both walked away with some great honors, but most important, a new friendship.  While in Illinois, we combined our states' names and now we are team "CALI-BRASKA". :)

When Mindy won Miss Omaha, her next step was to once again compete for Miss Nebraska!  Early on, the idea of visiting her pageant seemed like a great idea, but not possible at the time.  But after talking it over more with Mindy, I realized that I should just do it and cheer her on in person!  I'm SO glad I decided to come to Nebraska because I get to see Mindy again and I get to see her homestate too!  The Schreiber family has been SO gracious in letting me stay with them in their hotel and have been so much fun!  Mindy has her parents, grandparents, three sisters and brother, and her sweet supportive boyfriend, Caleb here.  It's a fun wild gang for sure (just like my family)!  I definitely feel at home here.

Anyway, I arrived on Friday and it was surely an interesting journey to North Platte!  I had to leave my house at 4AM in order to get to LAX 2 hours earlier than my 6:30 flight (LAX is a nightmare) and I first flew to Denver and then took a little jet plane with propellers to the little North Platte airport!  Mindy's mom and her local director were there waiting for me at the door and we were all ready to party!  Interesting story, on the small plant to NE I met the husband of a former Miss NE and he was one his way to see the show as well!

Friday night's preliminary show was a great production! The pageant is held at North Platte High School and the auditorium is HUGE!  The production is very similar to Miss CA, except there are only 13 girls and not 58, so the show is very short. The stage is beautiful, the emcees are hilarious and entertaining, and the girls are gorgeous (especially Mindy, of course!).  Speaking of the emcees, one is Patrick Thomas from "The Voice" and boy is he talented!  I did not get to watch the show much because I was busy with school, but when I heard him perform last night he gave me goosebumps!  He is hilarious as an emcee and phenomenal as a singer. He and Miss NE 2011, Kayla Batt, sang a beautiful duet and they sound so good together that they could record something and make it a hit.  They could be the next Lady Antebellum!  Good job Nebraska for putting him in the show!

Today (Saturday) is the final night for Miss Nebraska, so someone WILL get crowned the with the coveted title! I know I sound biased, but Mindy truly deserves it the most this year.  She is SO ready for the job and will dazzle the judges at Miss America.  She has not won any prelims yet, but that's okay (neither Noelle or I earned any prelim awards last year at Miss CA and we were the last two standing).  Despite earning no prelim awards, she has received some of the most honorable of all: The Miss NE Community Service Award, The Miss America Community Service Award, and the CMN Miracle-Maker Award for raising over $3,200 for Children's Miracle Network!  She will make it to the Top 7 tonight and from that point on, anything can happen.  It's all in God's hands right now.  Mindy knows that God has a plan for her and so she's ready for anything.  If you're reading this and you're a Miss NE judge, PLEASE PICK HER!!! :)  Good luck, Mindy! I love you and I am SO proud to know you! CALI-BRASKA all the way to Vegas, baby!

With Miss NE 2011, Kayla Batt
Today was also the Miss Nebraska Parade!  They had the local Boy Scout troop there along with the only world-famous Buffalo Bill impersonator.  He looked pretty good on that horse!  Kayla Batt and the Miss Nebraska contestants rode on a classic car of their own and showed off their beautiful smiles.  The parade reminded me a lot of the Garden Grove Festival Parade and the Hoopeston Sweetcorn/Sweetheart Parade!  Mindy looked stunning, as usual!

Fun fact: I went to Godfather's Pizza for the first time today! It was SOOO good, that's what I call pizza!  Caleb introduced me to Taco Pizza and it was surprisingly delicious!  It was still a pizza, but they put taco ingredients on it instead. Good job, Mr. Herman Cain!  I learned that the official headquarters for Godfather's is here in Nebraska!

Mindy will be coming to Fresno to watch me compete at Miss CA and I am SO excited for that.  If she is Miss Nebraska, I will be even more excited to know that my other half with a state title is there cheering me on!  Let's make this happen!

Check my Facebook or Twitter for updates on tonight!  I don't have a smart phone, so I won't be able to update right away. If you're anxious, check online anywhere else you can!

Mindy got First runner-up and was so gracious all night! YOU GO GIRL! And of course, congrats to the new Miss Nebraska, Mariah Cook!

Here are some fun facts about the State of Nebraska!

  1. Nebraska was once called "The Great American Desert".
  2. In 1927, Edwin E. Perkins of Hastings invented the powered soft drink Kool-Aid.
  3. The state nickname used to be the "Tree Planter's State", but was changed in 1945 to the "Cornhusker State".
  4. State insect is the honeybee.
  5. State motto: Equality before the law.
  6. The goldenrod was declared the state flower on April 4, 1895.
  7. The Naval Ammunition Depot located in Hastings was the largest U.S. ammunition plant providing 40% of WWII's ammunition.
  8. The Lied Jungle located in Omaha is the world's largest indoor rain forest.
  9. Nebraska is the birthplace of the Reuben sandwich.
  10. Spam (canned meat) is produced in Fremont.
  11. Nebraska has the U.S.'s largest aquifer (underground lake/water supply), the Ogalala aquifer.
  12. Nebraska has more miles of river than any other state.
  13. Nebraska is the only state in the union with a unicameral (one house) legislature.
  14. Nebraska's Chimney rock was the most often mentioned landmark in journal entries by travelers on the Oregon Trail.
  15. The 911 system of emergency communications, now used nationwide, was developed and first used in Lincoln, Nebraska.
  16. Nebraska has more underground water reserves than any other state in the continental U.S.
  17. Marlon Brando's mother gave Henry Fonda acting lessons at the Omaha Community Playhouse.
  18. Lincoln County is the origin of the world's largest "Wolly Mammoth" elephant fossil.
  19. Weeping Water is the nations largest limestone deposit and producer.
  20. The Nebraska Cornhuskers have been to a record 27 consecutive bowl games and 27 consecutive winning seasons
  21. The University of Nebraska Cornhusker football team has produced more Academic All-Americans than any other Division I school.
  22. The world's first college course about radio personality Rush Limbaugh is taught at Bellevue University in Nebraska.
  23. Origin of Nebraska's Name: From an Oto Indian word meaning flat water
  24. Nebraska's State Gem is the Blue Agate
  25. The largest porch swing in the world is located in Hebron, Nebraska and it can sit 25 adults.
  26. Union Pacific Railroad's museum is headquartered in Nebraska.
  27. Buffalo Bill Cody held his first rodeo in North Platte, Nebraska July 4, 1882.
  28. In 1950, Omaha became the home of the College World Series.
  29. Sidney, Nebraska was the starting point of the Black Hills Gold Rush.
  30. Dr. Harold Edgerton of Aurora, Nebraska is the inventor of the strobe light.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Let the countdown begin....

Today marks exactly 1 MONTH until I leave for Fresno!  SO EXCITING! It's so hard to believe that a whole year has gone by since the last time I stood on the Miss CA stage!  This year I am in the Beta competition group, which is one of four groups.  There are 58 contestants competing this year, so splitting into multiple groups makes the competition more organized and entertaining!  Each group has it's own order of competition, so take a look at what I'll be doing during my exciting week in Fresno!
I hope I can cross "Southern" off my title in June and make it: 
Miss Southern California 2012! ;)

SUNDAY: Interview (AM)

Note:  (Talent) my harp is bigger and better...this photo was taken at my
first pageant in 2004!, (Swimsuit) I will not be wearing that
particular suit even though it's my favorite, and (Evening
Gown) I will be wearing a different gown and I
will NOT have the huge 15 year-old bangs either :)
SATURDAY: Final Night!
This is where they announce the top 12 and then will crown the new 
Miss California 2012!
Keep your fingers crossed! There is only room for improvement! :)

Click HERE for more pictures....

Sunday, May 13, 2012

3 Caps and Crowns

Graduation is here and the "3 Caps and Crowns" are ready to go!  Yes, there are THREE Miss CA contestants graduating from Cal State Fullerton all at once!  Our caps are rhinestoned (with Miss America crowns of course) and our gowns and sashes are ironed!  The three Miss CA contestants graduating from Cal State Fullerton this year are me, Courtney Trouten (Miss NorCal 2012), and Whitney Leyva (Miss Fullerton 2012).  I must quote Courtney because she said it the best (I got this from her blog):
First off I must say that I find it remarkable that there are four girls from Cal State Fullerton who are competing up in Fresno (Including Miss Southland who is a Junior). This just shows how CSUF truly helps to produce outstanding women within our communities. What is even more impressive is that the Titans had six girls up in Fresno last year competing for the title of Miss California. With the four wonderful ladies competing this year from CSUF I like our chances of have a Titan Miss California.
Copyright: Doug Hikawa Photography
I am proud to be a Titan Girl! It's amazing how fast the past 4 years have gone by!  Maybe more years of school are in my near future.  As most people know, college tuition is practically unbearable so I'm hoping to win Miss CA this year so that I can get that scholarship boost to help me get my Masters Degree!
I have had the busiest, most fulfilling, and fun 4 years of my life so far!  I look forward to where God's plan will take me in June!

I want to talk about the significance of the phrase "cap and crown."  This phrase is so significant in my life because the reward I earn in the Miss America Org. is scholarship money.  The image pictured on the left sums it up so well.  The scholarships I have earned during the past 7 years in my experience in MAO has played a HUGE part in helping me afford college! "Scholarship" is just one of the 4 points of the Miss America Crown (the other 3 are Service, Style, Success) and I am so glad that I can apply the "point" of Scholarship in my life even more! I am so proud to be a Titan AND a Miss America girl!

I forgot to mention that even though I was never a part of a Sorority on campus, I am a part of the nation's BEST Sorority: Mu Alpha Omega (Miss America Organization).  This sorority keeps me just as busy as any other sorority does.  It may have made me even more busy, especially with the hard work it takes in order to succeed in this organization.  I am so lucky to have the MAO sisters I have!  I don't have any biological sisters, but this organization makes up for it for sure!  I have my Miss CA sisters and my National Sweetheart sisters--who are some of the nation's top young women that the Miss America Org. has produced (and I'm proud to be one of them!).  Once a Mu Alpha Omega girl, ALWAYS a Mu Alpha Omega girl!! :)

Back to graduation, I can't wait to graduate with Courtney and Whitney!! YAY!
We are 3 excited and proud Caps and Crowns!
Check out our album on Facebook HERE
These fun photos were taken by the one and only talented Doug Hikawa! Thanks, Doug!

Monday, April 30, 2012


Here is a silly video that my zany friend Scott made for me! WARNING: He's really enthusiastic about voting...hhaha Keep up the votes everyone! It's so nice to have so much support from so many people!! love, Leah 
Fourpoints Magazine, the official magazine for the Miss America Organization, puts on a contest for the next CoverGirl every year.  I have made it into the TOP 25!


  • Vote until May 15th
  • You can vote 100 times a day per IP address!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Another Visit at CHOC

Today was another wonderful day at CHOC.  I was able to take some pictures this time. :) Those kids are amazing and such an inspiration to me.  Normally when I play at CHOC, it's in the playrooms, but today I got to do it a little differently.  I got to go up to the sixth floor and play for the kids at their bedside.

Samantha was one of the kids I played for today and she was a sweetheart.  She was non-verbal and incoherent, but I could just tell how sweet she was.  As I played for her, I watched her heart meter and she remained calm and peaceful.  After every song was over, however, she got a little agitated and wanted to re-situate herself.  The nurse in the room told me that by watching her body language, that she knew that Samantha loved the music.  I was told before I walked into Samantha's room, that she LOVED music.  I couldn't stop watching Samantha as I played, and couldn't help but smile at her sweet face.  I love being at CHOC.
Another boy I met was named Augustine and although he couldn't show it with his weak body, the nurses and I could tell that he was excited to hear some music!  Augustine was non-verbal and immobile as well, but the nurses knew that he enjoyed the music I played for him.  The nurses told me that he shows his excitement by rolling his eyes a lot, which he did a lot today!  Augustine's mother was there too and she wants me to come back every two weeks when her son comes in for treatment and I definitely accepted that offer!  Augustine was such a sweetheart and I look forward to seeing him again!

Days like this remind me why my platform is what it is.  I could go on and on with many other experiences I have had with the young and old generations, but today illustrates a taste of it all.  If I become Miss California in June, I will make it my mission to visit as many hospitals (for children, adults, and Veterans) as possible during my year.  I have been asked in the past how I would do this service with such a big instrument and all, and I have all situated.  Normally therapeutic harpists use small harps just for ease of transportation throughout the hospital floors.  I currently do not have a small harp (the only small harp I have is toy-sized LOL) but as I travel the state, attaining a harp would not be a hard task at all.  The harp sister/brotherhood is very tight.  For example, when I competed at Sweetheart in Illinois, I found a harpist in Chicago that lent me his harp! Amazing life-saver!  However, having the state title this year would give me the perfect excuse to invest in a small harp anyway, so worries!

I feel so blessed to not only just visit the kids, but that I get to share my talent with them and help them feel better as they endure treatment.  I know God has given me this talent for two reasons: 1. to make money with it, and 2. (most importantly) to serve people with it.

Some favorite quotes of mine:
Music brings the sense of identity to people that are out of it.  Music brings those people back INTO it!

And thanks to my co-ED Melissa Mattingly, 
“Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears - it is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear. But for many of my neurological patients, music is even more - it can provide access, even when no medication can, to movement, to speech, to life. For them, music is not a luxury, but a necessity.” ― Oliver Sacks

You can look at the other past CHOC visits that I actually recorded HERE and HERE

It's Official!

Check out the other 57 wonderful and beautiful contestants on:

Monday, April 23, 2012

MUSIC: Compassion for the Convalescing

This is a main reason why my platform is what it is.  I tear up every time I watch this sweet man's reaction to his music.  It reminds me of so many experiences I have had with people as I play my harp for them. I'm choked up while writing this....PLEASE WATCH AND TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK...

Music brings the sense of identity to people that are out of it.  Music brings those people back INTO it!

To learn more about my platform, click here: PLATFORM

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Get your "Group-On!"

Yeah, I'm (sort of) on GroupOn....  You have 2 days left to get this awesome deal at Oahu Shave Ice!! Get it before it's gone!

Support my sponsor Oahu Shave Ice! :)

If you want to advertise and become my sponsor, it's not too late!
Go on my "ADVERTISE" tab to learn more!

Monday, April 16, 2012


If you're on Twitter, go ahead and FOLLOW me and my adventures up until Miss CA this coming June! If you don't have a Twitter, go ahead and get tweeting! :)  Share with your friends and their friends!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

On the Road to FRES-YES!

It's officially Miss CA Orientation time!  Our car had Miss Sierra Nevada- Caylynn Simonson, Miss County of San Diego- Anna Mason, Me, and Miss Culver City- Marina Inserra.  Our drive up to Fresno sure was an adventure!
To quote Marina Inserra (Miss Culver City) from Facebook:
OMG what a day!! Finally made it to Fresno after 8 hours!! Witnessed a Tornado in San Diego, rain through LA, and Snow through the Grapevine!! But made it safely with Leah CecilCaylynn Simonson, and Anna Mason! Yay Miss California Orientation! :)
While on the Grapevine, there was snow, harsh winds, and lots and lots of rain!  We had a little fun in weather that us sun-kissed SoCal girls are not used to!

More updates to come!  Saturday is a BIG day full of workshops and rehearsals! So exciting! 
xoxo, Leah

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Graduation is near...

Very NEAR!! I will officially graduate from Cal State Fullerton on May 19th and I am SO EXCITED! I did in 4 years and I'm doing it proud!  I'm excited to graduate with my good friend, Courtney Trouten!
Miss NorCal and Miss SoCal are graduating together! YAY! It will be a great day!

Miss NorCal and Miss SoCal...Class of 2012!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Oahu Ice Taste Testing

Oahu Shave Ice has been in business for a little over a year now and it's booming!  There are two OahuIce locations in Fullerton and Yorba Linda.  I am an avid customer of the famous shave ice!  It literally feels like eating fresh snow, they shave it so fine!  My favorite flavor is Tiger's Blood, which is a combination of strawberry, watermelon, and coconut!  It's so AMAZING!  They also have a variety of many, many more flavors to choose from! You just have to come on down and find a favorite of your own!

 Look at all those flavors!!

 The delicious menu! :)

At first, OahuIce only sold shave ice and ice cream, but now they're expanding their menu!  They have added hot pretzels, fresh-squeezed lemonade, t-shirts, and soon-to-be added pretzel dogs!  Today OahuIce had people come over to taste test their new pretzel dogs and I got to participate!  Their pretzel dogs are SO good!  And, their lemonade is so good too! Deeelish!

Take a look at Team OahuIce behind-the-scenes!

Anyway, I always have fun at OahuIce I am so proud to have them sponsor me at the Miss CA pageant again this year!  I am also so proud to be their "crowned" ambassador! :)  I will be submitting another OahuIce ad page in the program book this year.  Keep your eyes out for it!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

National Pancake Day!

Today is the one day of the year you can get a free stack of pancakes! Why? Because IHOP has made it a tradition, while giving out free pancakes, to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network (CMN)!  IHOP is a partner of CMN, so it's a great thing to see the home of our favorite pancakes give back!  You're probably thinking what does the Miss America Org. have anything to do with pancakes?  Well, Miss America is a major partner with CMN as well, so I have the opportunity to be a part of this great cause- to help local kids!  As a contestant I have the privilege to visit IHOP on National Pancake Day and help raise money, so I decided to go to the IHOP on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood!  Miss America herself was there too! I was so excited to meet her and help out with the festivities!
Last year when I was Miss Garden Grove, I went to the same IHOP when Teresa Scanlan (Miss America 2011) was there and it was so much fun to meet her.  Today I got to meet Miss America again and she is SO beautiful and poised! What a great role model!
With Miss America 2012, Laura Kaeppeler

I was not the only titleholder there;  many other local girls came to help too!  It was so much fun to see everyone there!  After taking pictures with Laura, we all walked around the restaurant and talked with the guests.  So many did not know why IHOP has this special day every year, so I am glad I could help educate people on that!  Even better, barely anyone knew that the actual Miss America was IN the restaurant and when they found out they got really excited.  I was able to meet a couple of guests who actually are the co-chairs of the official fan club for the amazing movie, "Somewhere In Time."  It was fate that I met them because I LOVE this movie!  On top of all that, this cute couple is from Wisconsin!  Because Laura is from Wisconsin, I flagged her over to them so she could talk to her fellow Wisconsin-ians. :)  Overall it was a great experience being able to meet Miss America and be a part of raising money for such a wonderful organization.
I also met a little girl named Sophia, who was also here last year to visit.  She has survived many complications and still takes treatment at the Los Angeles Children's Hospital.  She just looks like any little girl you would see and she looks lie a princess, especially with that tiara and sash!  Sophia's father told me that if it weren't for the LA Children's Hospital, his daughter would not be alive today, and that the only reason the hospital has been able to help her is because of the funds that come from CMN.  This is the perfect example of why there are fundraisers for CMN-- so that there are funds to help local kids have a fulfilled and happy life.  This is why we as Miss America contestants raise money for CMN before we compete somewhere.  This is why I ask repeatedly on FB and Twitter for donations.  Every cent, every dollar counts towards helping kids.  If you weren't able to make it to IHOP today, no worries! You can get your free stack next year, but I encourage you that in the meantime you donate to Children's Miracle now.  So many kids need your help!
You can donate for CMN HERE

 With my sister titleholder, Anna Mason and with Laura, again :)

SO many great donations made today!

                  With Caylynn, Miss Sierra Nevada :)                    Yummmmmyyy!

 Got my balloon on the wall!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pageant Visit #1: Miss LA Pageant

Tonight was the first pageant I was able to attend since being crowned Miss SoCal!  Going to pageants always beats being IN the pageants because you can just sit back and relax!  I was also able to meet up with my sister titleholders! I have not seen them since our winning night in San Diego!  This year, the Miss Los Angeles Pageant Org. celebrates 25 years, so it was definitely a special night.  There were 30 contestants (25 Miss and 5 Teen), which meant a LONG day for the judges! After lots of rehearsing and prep, only 5 girls could walk away with crowns at the end of the night, which is sad because they were all so talented and beautiful!  Congrats to all of the winners tonight!  It definitely seemed like tough competition, so congrats to all for your hard work!

I am so glad I got to hang out with Miss GG's Teen, Jazmin Avalos.  She is so adorable!  Garden Grove is so lucky to have her! I felt like I was going back in time hanging out with Team GG again, but I loved it.  Jazmin, you are SO beautiful and I cannot wait to see you compete at state this summer!
With sweet Jazmin

With Miss California, herself! The Queen and runner-up! :)
FOLLOW NOELLE on her blog too:
She's amazing!