My Interview with Mrs. Arizona 2012 Kirin Christianson
These days, it seems that everyone has opinions about beauty pageants and I am no different. My opinions of beauty pageants have always been less than favorable, however I decided to find out more about them. I had met Kirin Christianson, Mrs. Arizona at number of functions and decided to see get the inside scoop on the pageant circuit. I will be the first to admit that I have always felt that pageants focus more on beauty than intelligence and character. Kirin was refreshingly kind and positive about her experience with pageants and did her best to get me to see things from her perspective. Despite my personal feelings about pageants, I would be remiss if I did not mention that two of my journalism heroines are both southern pageant girls: Diane Sawyer was America’s Junior Miss and Oprah Winfrey was Miss Black Tennessee.
As she welcomed me into her beautiful Scottsdale home, she shared the story of pain and cruelty she experienced growing up, being known as the “Ugly Girl.” Having two sisters myself, one of which was a homecoming queen, I also grew up being over shadowed by my more attractive siblings. Kirin explained that she decided to challenge herself and figure out how to change the things that she could and to work hard on her self-esteem and courage. Her story is really unbelievable, she entered 12 beauty pageants before she ever won one. I like to think that I am strong and press on, but I think I would have cut my losses and moved on if it were me! Her happy smile and can do attitude is what I admire about her and the fact that she proved that dreams and beauty don’t have an expiration date.
Kirin sensed that I wasn’t a fan of the pageant circuit, so she explained that pageants are now platforms for women to find their voice. Pageants provide scholarships for younger women and the “Mrs.” pageants are a great way for women to highlight the charities that mean something to them.
Kirin is a busy mom but she uses her story to inspire other women to think outside the box. She encourages women to dream and to get up after falling down. We all have the ability to change how we feel about ourselves. Self-esteem is the one thing no one can give you, it is a gift you must give yourself.
Surprisingly her experience with all the pageants put her on the road to self-discovery and helped her with her never give up attitude. On a final note Kirin signed a modeling contract with Ford at the age of 38 thus proving beauty doesn’t have an expiration date!
It is true that beauty starts from within and radiates outward.
Jenna Raskin invited SmartFem into her home and allowed us to get a sneak peek at the art that will be displayed at the “Love is in the Air” event that runs from Saturday, February 1st through Sunday, February 9th 2014. The exclusive event will be February 8th from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. It’s an exclusive event that you wouldn’t want to miss, so make sure to RSVP.
10 percent of the proceeds will be donated to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, a hospital that holds a special place in Jenna’s heart. While Jenna has no kids of her own, she has two nephews and one niece that she loves and adores. After her nephew came down with Crohn’s disease, she realized how friendly their environment is, and she wanted to give back for what they did for him.
Jenna grew up surrounded by art. Her grandmother was an artist, and she decided to follow in her footsteps. At the young age of 6, Jenna had several of her pieces sold in Downtown Scottsdale. “I was always drawn to art… My motivation was cellular,” Jenna said.
Jenna’s art really took off after her marriage; her supportive husband encourages her to do what she loves, whether it is mosaics, sculpture or paintings. Jenna believes that art is a great way to channel your energy. “I’m having fun one piece at a time,” Jenna said.
Jenna’s art is inspired by love, peace and harmony. “A heart is symbolic of so many things,” said Jenna. Some of Jenna’s art recent collectors include President Barack Obama and Alice Cooper.
Lately Jenna has focused on charity and helping raise awareness. Not only did she grow up in the culture of giving back, Jenna believes that helping charities and organizations is a win-win. She gets to do what she loves while lending a hand to others in need.
Make some time to attend the “Love is in the Air” event at DeRubeis Fine Art of Metal Galleries Scottsdale. It’s not only a great way to give exposure to PCH heart center, but to meet people that are positive and want to give back just as much as you do. It will be an evening full of fun, music and amazing art.
Jenna Raskin’s art is also available at Hava Java 32nd street and Camelback thru the end of February 2014. DeRubeis Gallery Scottsdale, Mosaic in terminal 4 at the Phoenix airport, Shorelines Gallery in Coronado, California, SteinerSports.com and at Jennaraskin.com.
One of the most common mistakes I see in American eating behavior is our impatience with food. Let’s face it, as a society, patience is not a strong point. Many will argue that our inability to wait has spawned thousands of products and services that fuel our need for speed in all areas of our lives, and some of them have been a wonderful addition to our lives. Take our cell phones, for example.
Our bodies, however, haven’t gotten the memo. If you want to increase your health, lose weight, manage stress, sleep better, and enjoy a more fulfilling life, I recommend slowing down. As a high energy, over-achiever myself, I can assure you that there is some value in creating time for things that matter. Like most behavior change, it is a work in progress, but well worth the focused effort.
When not to wait: As a general rule, we tend to wait until we are famished to prepare and eat our meal. Poor meal choices are most commonly caused by our lack of preparation and not eating often enough throughout the day. This results in eating the wrong foods too quickly, and many times without even tasting them. Getting too hungry sends out stress signals, which raises cortisol and leads to a cascade of digestive distress and weight gain. If this is a regular habit, my guess is you are struggling with an expanding waist line. The rule of thumb here is to eat every 3 to 4 hours. They don’t have to be full meals, but they definitely have to involve protein, phytonutrients and fiber. If you get into the habit of eating regularly throughout the day, you can be assured of making better choices and not over consuming your meal and beverages.
When to wait: Below is a list of suggestions on how to increase satisfaction and decrease digestive distress, fatigue and weight gain. Although these exercises may take some practice, the results are well worth it!
1. Sit down when you eat. The body digests food better in a relaxed state. Leave the multi-tasking alone and have a seat!
2. Before digging in, take a moment to say thanks. Take the extra second to pay homage to the blessing. There are people starving all over the world, including right here in the US. Appreciation is good for digestion.
3. Drink a glass of water before consuming anything. Begin while preparing your meal, and finish the glass within the first couple bites. This will reduce the “starving” feeling, and decrease your need to drink a high calorie beverage quickly because you are thirsty.
4. Breathe between bites. Finish what is in your mouth (that’s just good manners) and take a moment to swallow. Take a deep breath and then reach for that next mouthful.
5. Make it special. Take smaller bites. Actually take the moment to chew slowly and TASTE the food. Europeans aren’t “fat,” because eating is an “experience.” I also recommend using nice dishes, an attractive table setting and good company wherever possible.
6. Stop before you are stuffed. The body will turn hunger signals off when it is satisfied, however, there is a delay in the response time. The above suggestions will help assist you in becoming more aware of when the body has had its fill. Over-consuming also triggers a stress response that leads to a cascade of hormonal changes and signal the body to store fat.
Each person should walk away from a meal happy and satisfied. There is no such thing as indigestion and heart burn with folks who follow the above recommendations on a regular basis. We are all busy, but with some planning and some focus, it is possible to create better eating habits that lead to a new appreciation for food, and the miracle of digestion. Try sitting back and relaxing through your next meal. You will be amazed at how much less you eat, and how much better you feel for the next several hours!
The 2014 Golden Globes honored first time television winners along with seasoned film veterans who have won in the past.
In the drama category, Steve Mcqueen’s “12 Years a Slave” won for best motion picture. Matthew McConaughey won best actor for his lead role in the film “Dallas Buyers Club,” a movie depicting the struggles of having AIDS in the 1980s. Best actress in a drama was awarded to Cate Blanchett for Woody Allen’s 2013 “Blue Jasmine.” The winners in these categories were all going up against other big name actors and popular prediction picks, such as Idris Elba in “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” and Judi Dench from “Philomena.” For McConaughey and McQueen, this was their first Golden Globe win, however Blanchett now has three under her belt. She won in 1999 for “Elizabeth,” once in 2007 for “I’m Not There,” and this year for “Blue Jasmine.”
For the musical/comedy section, the buzz was around “The Wolf of Wall Street,” but “American Hustle” took away the crown for best picture. Amy Adams won best actress and Jennifer Lawrence won the best supporting actress category for the film as well. Leonardo DiCaprio won his second Golden Globe for best actor for”The Wolf of Wall Street.”
Supporting actor went to Jared Leto for his performance alongside McConaughey in “Dallas Buyers Club.” Alfonso Cuaron won best director for his space thriller, “Gravity,” with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Finally, best screenplay went to Spike Jonze for his black comedy starring Joaquin Phoenix, “Her.”
The television segment of the show awarded best show, drama, to “Breaking Bad.” Up against “Downton Abbey” and “House of Cards,” this was a close to call category. Bryan Cranston won best television actor in a drama for his role as Walter White in “Breaking Bad.” He was nominated three times for his performance as Mr. White before his 2014 win. Robin Wright nabbed her first win at the Globes with the best actress category for “House of Cards.”
Andy Samberg was nominated for, and won his first Golden Globe for his role in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” and the show also won for best musical/comedy television show. Amy Poehler, nominated two past times for “Parks and Recreation,” won this year for best actress in a musical or comedy television show.
Are these awards a predictor for the Academy Awards coming up in March? Only time will tell…as will the nominations which will be released January 16.
Rolf Lohse and his team of stylists celebrated the 25th anniversary of his salon franchise on December 15, 2013 with an elegant gala at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Phoenix. The evening was 1920s themed and the attendees dressed the part. The Prohibition era party kicked off with a cocktail hour set to jazz music. The glamorous guests were all donning sparkles, sequins, or luxurious furs to blend in with the 20s vibe. Some notable guests included everyone from Francis Tesmer, President of Rolf’s Salon, to representatives from global fashion houses, such as Carolina Herrera.
After the cocktail hour guests were invited to sit down for a dinner while employees, stylists, and friends of Rolf spoke about his accomplishments. After the ceremony, awards were presented to many of the stylists who exhibited extraordinary traits in giving back, mentoring, and many other categories. Lohse himself was presented a beautiful glass award for being the global icon of intelligent beauty that he remains today.
SmartFem attended this high profile event and took pictures of the fabulous dresses and costumes as well as celebrating this proud moment with the staff and owners of Rolf’s Salon.
The event at the Ritz Carlton featured performances by the Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders, live musical entertainment and plenty of fun for the attendees. We are happy we were able to attend and celebrate intelligent beauty and this spectacular moment in style history.
Happy 25th anniversary to Rolf’s Salon from everybody at SmartFem!
The Coen Brothers are at it again with the recent release of their film set in the 1960s, “Inside Llewyn Davis.” Set in 1961, Llewyn Davis struggles with being involved with the music scene which everybody was trying to be a part of at that time. With strong wit and whimsical melancholy, “Inside Llewyn Davis” shines in the open mic spotlight with its characters, dialogue, and aesthetic.
Joel and Ethan Coen are notorious for having impeccable character development. From “Fargo” to “The Big Lebowski,” these filmmakers create human beings instead of fantastical caricatures of them. For “Inside Llewyn Davis,” Oscar Isaac plays the brooding, bitter, idealistic main character.
The audience gets an inside look at his life from the first scene: We figure out that he is, for lack of a better word, a deadbeat musician with no place to live and a paycheck that depends on sporadic gigs at a local café.
However, instead of being obnoxious and disappointing, Isaac’s portrayal of the protagonist is realistic, hopeful, and tragic. Llewyn Davis inspires audiences to pursue what they love, no matter the cost.
Justin Timberlake and Carey Mulligan play Davis’ best friends, Jim and Jean. They are also trying to make it big in the music scene, but not necessarily alongside Llewyn. Mulligan’s performance is pungent as the films twist on a “love interest.” She constantly verbally abuses Llewyn for squatting at the apartment her and her boyfriend Jim share. Timberlake as Jim is a quirky counterpart to Mullligan. Although he does not get much interaction with either character, his musical performance in one scene stood out from the entire film.
The music in the film was a standout as well. While Davis was a folk artist, his friends and comrades sang everything from Mamas and Papas-esque harmonies to a goofy space age number by Timberlake and Isaac. The original soundtrack, which featured Mumford & Sons front man, Marcus Mumford as an associate producer and performer, is fraught with painful folk songs as well as upbeat adaptations and variations on the 1960s music style.
Although the film has been previously criticized for lacking a plot, the point of the movie was to get an insight on this difficult, strange, and all around hopeless situation people like Davis were a part of. Like most of the Coen brothers’ films, the relatively dramatic plot is sprinkled with humor. But despite the light comedy presented by some of the minor characters, (see John Goodman; Ethan Phillips) the serious themes pull through and the emotional vulnerability catches in your throat. It becomes nearly impossible to hold back tears when Llewyn performs his final song.
It’s definitely worth seeing, if not just for the fact you will probably become familiar with it when the Oscars roll around. “Inside Llewyn Davis” leaves you with that feeling of dissatisfaction, but in a positive way. The Coen brothers remind you, though in a harsher manner, that success is not measured by fame or money. Llewyn Davis is more than just a character, he is a symbol for doing what makes you happy and living a life that fulfills you, despite what other people think.
On Saturday, December 7th, 2013, Beyoncé made another stop for her tour, The Mrs. Carter Show, in Phoenix, Arizona.
People of every ethnicity and age came out to the long awaited concert. Lines stretched out from U.S. Airways Center, exceeding the maximum capacity, and requiring the security to create alternate entrances for the ticket-holders.
JohnJay and Rich had a red carped laid out outside of the arena to make every guest feel like a celebrity. They made it an entertaining wait for the thousands of people waiting outside.
Luke James opened the show with his passionate and seductive music. While he isn’t a household name yet, he did not disappoint his audience.
While concerts’ main goal is usually to entertain, Beyoncé made it so much more than that. She shared clips about how important it is to give back to the community. Something we recently talked about in Oscar De Las Salas’ article.
She also educated her audience throughout the concert. “We fight to find who we are,” she said. A quote that fits every single individual in their journey in trying to find themselves through life.
The Mrs. Carter Show was one for the books. From the stage setup, to every dance number, the concert had everyone on their feet.
B remains the Queen.
Christmas came a little early this year thanks to Alice Cooper’s Christmas Pudding event. The Solid Rock Foundation puts on a Christmas show yearly to benefit The Solid Rock Teen Center. The show is always a little different and this year was no exception. This year’s event was hosted this past Saturday December 7th at the Comerica Theatre. It was amazing to see all the rock stars of my childhood come together under one roof to aid Sheryl and Alice Cooper in their quest for keeping teens safe.
This year’s line-up included: Alice Cooper, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer of Kiss, Vince Neil of Motley Crue, Stephen Pearcy of Ratt, Tom Keifer of Cinderella, Kip Winger of Winger and Joan Jett. Seinfeld Star John O’Hurley hosted the show, and Bill Engvall was a special guest comedian.
This year’s event was very special as Rock Demarco, the world’s fastest painter enlisted the help of Alice and Sheryl Cooper to help him propose on stage to girlfriend Olivia Haine. Demarco comes out to paint some of the celebrities every year for Christmas Pudding to serve as auction items. This year he painted legendary rocker Joan Jett, and the man himself, Alice Cooper.
It is fun to work with people who are passionate about what they do and give a hundred percent every time. That is one of the things that endear me personally to Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock in addition to Alice and Sheryl Cooper and the entire Solid Rock Team.
The Cooper’s are a very community-minded and gracious couple, and that is why celebrities donate their time to Christmas Pudding every year!
I would also like to publically acknowledge Coye Pointer of Scottsdale Airpark Dodge and Cherylanne DeVita of DeVita International who have been generous Solid Rock sponsors for years, and who I have the honor and privilege of working with on SmartFem.com.
Christmas is a very special time of the year; help Alice and his friends keep teens safe by giving them the gift of music, dance, self-esteem and a sense of belonging. To find out more go to www.alicecoopersolidrock.com.
Also to see more photos of this fabulous event check out our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/smartfem.az
Photos courtesy of Surrealsister Photography
If someone asked you to name the city with the world’s largest gingerbread village, chances are you wouldn’t guess a city in Arizona. But Prescott, Arizona is exactly where that village resides! Just one of the many reasons to head up to “Arizona’s Christmas City,” you and your grandchildren will be dazzled by the 100+ gingerbread creations that make up this one-of-a-kind village.
Organizations in the community, as well as families and individuals, create unique entries. These entries will be judged, then viewed by as many as 50,000 visitors to this display at the Prescott Resort and Conference Center. This year, there is a tribute to the 19 firefighters lost from this community. The village, which is free of charge to view, will be available until Jan. 1, and your little ones will be wide-eyed at this charming snow-covered village, complete with trains running through it!
There are so many events going on in Prescott during the next few weeks that I am resorting to a list to fit most of them in.
Dec. 1-21: Santa Clause Express at the Verde Canyon Railroad in nearby Clarkdale on the weekends
Dec. 4-8: Walk through Bethlehem
Dec. 7: Breakfast with Santa from 8-10 a.m., 31st annual Christmas Parade from 1-3 p.m. and Courthouse Lighting at 6 p.m.
Dec. 8: Santa with the Animals from 1-3 p.m. at Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary – Santa will bring presents for the animals & will be available for photos
Dec. 13: Acker Musical Showcase from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at downtown locations – see over 100 musicians performing everything from steel drum bands to classical music (a ‘must see’ according to one of the Prescott locals)
Dec. 14: Wildnights at Night from 6-9 p.m. at Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary (every Friday & Saturday night in December).
Since there are more than enough activities to keep you in Prescott for several hours, please support the many wonderful eating and drinking establishments while there, and check the websites listed below for a complete calendar of events.
In addition to the above festive activities, you may even be able to see some white stuff on the ground, which is such a treat at this time of year. Regardless of whether there is snow, be sure to bundle up your little ones so that you can stay longer and take in all that Prescott has to offer in terms of holiday sparkle.
To get there:
Drive north on I-17 to the 69 turnoff (be sure to keep a lookout for the decorated Mystery Christmas Tree in the median near Sunset Point at milepost 254, follow signs to downtown Prescott.
For over 3 decades this Mystery Christmas Tree has mysteriously been decorated at night on Thanksgiving Weekend (Psst…We saw some of those decorators at work, but we wouldn’t DARE post the photos!)
You will pass the Prescott Resort and Conference Center on the left as you are entering Prescott, 1500 Highway 69, 928.776.1666. Continue on to Courthouse Square.
The amazing lights of Courthouse Square is reason enough to make the trip north, but there is so much more to savor. A visit to our own ‘Christmas City’ will leave you all with that warm, cozy feeling of small town Christmases of long ago…
The much anticipated 2013 American Music Awards not only brought together talented performers to the stage, but standout fashion to the red carpet as well. While most of last night’s looks are surely to be forgotten, a few stars got it right in memorable ensembles. In fact, these fashionista celebrities all had one thing in common: the cut-out.
Singer Christina Aguilera channeled Marilyn Monroe with curly gold locks and a white long-sleeved silk dress that hugged her in all the right places. In addition to the plunging neckline, the Maria Lucia Hohan gown featured cutouts drawing her waist inward. She topped off the look with sparkling accessories.
Glee star Naya Rivera put a spin on the effortless black dress in a Michael Kors look at the 2013 American Music Awards. The dress also featured long sleeves, ending in gold cuffs to accessorize. The cutout in this ensemble showed the actress’ cleavage, but the high neckline kept it from looking too revealing.
Celeb Nicole Richie also opted for a white cut-out gown, accentuating the mom of two’s killer body. The short-sleeved number showed off her arms while a gold statement necklace made for the perfect accessory. A fringed-chain clutch only added to the fierce look.
Singer Taylor Swift continued to wow in shimmering gold looks at almost every award show this year. The metallic minidress showed off her amazing legs, while a sheer fabric triangle cutout on the singer’s chest added intrigue to the overall look. The strapless dress was definitely a stunner paired with an easy tousled hairdo at the 2013 American Music Awards.
The dynamic duo, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, hit the carpet in matching looks that showed just enough skin for the young beauties. Kendall (left) wore a white strapless minidress with interesting angles and an uneven cutout along the waistline, while Kylie (right) chose tight black pants and a white crop top to go along with her new “banged” do.
All photos from the 2013 American Music Awards courtesy of E! Online