Thursday, January 31, 2013

Inspiring Pageant Queens

Let's chat about some amazing and inspiring beauty queens.

This is Kirsten Haglund, Miss America 2008.
Kirsten had an eating disorder, overcame it and then went on to compete
in pageants.
She won her first pageant on her first try and it was straight launch for her
from local, to state, to Miss America.
She was born to make a difference.
She chose her platform from personal experience, eating disorders.
As Miss America, she started a foundation that helps
girls fight and overcome eating disorders.
She is phenomenal...I am in awe of everything she does!

This is Miss Alaska, Debbe Jo Ebben. 
She shaved her head 3 months before competing at Miss Alaska.
She shaved her head to raise more than $4,000 for the St. Baldrick's Foundation,
which donates money for childhood cancer research.
She shaved it to let children who have cancer know that it
is OK to have a bald head.
Wow, what a hero I would say.
Check out an article on her HERE!

This is Abigail Hardin.
Abigail was born with a huge birthmark on her cheek.
She was very insecure about it and struggled to feel beautiful.
She was Miss Hoover 2010 and used her
title to help kids embrace their differences and be happy
in their own skin.
She even wrote a book titled "Look at me, I am just like you"

I LOVE pageants, there is so much good that can be done
by these amazing girls and their inspiring stories. 
These girls are taking their platform to amazing levels
and changing the world!
If you know of an amazing pageant girl
PLEASE share it in the comments section.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Self Esteem Advice Column

It is time for Ashley Marie's Self Esteem Advice Column again

AKA "Ask Ashley Marie"

I will be answering 3 questions from our readers today.

Dear Ashley Marie,

My hair is so fine and flat, I feel like it is plain Jane. I am 

constantly looking at all the other girls at school and wish 

my hair was as pretty as theirs. What can I do to feel 

confident about my own locks and do to add volume to it?


Always Plain Jane

First things first, I am sure your hair is beautiful. Let's start with a little exercise  Go look in the mirror and write down 3 things that you like about your hair. Is it easy to manage? Do you like the color? Do you like the length? Do you like the way it flows as you walk? Write down 3 things you like about it in your journal. Now to add volume to your hair there are many different products out there. When looking for a shampoo find one that says "volume" on the front. This will start to add some life to your hair and you will notice a difference. Now you have to be careful because volume shampoo can be very drying to your pretty locks so you may want to try a moisturizing conditioner. (you can even add a little olive oil to it) This will ensure your hair doesn't get dry and frizzy, especially since it is winter. Another great thing to try is to put your hair up in a high bun when you sleep. When you wake up it should have some pretty waves and kinks in it. This will make it easier to curl your hair in the morning or it will add volume as you straighten it.

Dear Ashley Marie,

I want to eat healthy and take care of my body but I am so 

busy since I am in the school play and we have practices 

after school. I feel like I never have time to exercise and it 

is too hard to eat healthy since I only get a chance to snack

at odd times during the day. Help!

Love, Sarah P.

Props to you for having the desire to take care of your body. Your body does so much for you and it the least you could do to take care of it. There are lots of simple ways you can take care of your body while being on the go all the time. First make sure you have a water bottle with you always. Water is so vital and making sure you get enough is extremely important. Replace soda and all those sugary drinks for water. Second start packing healthy snacks. Fruits and some vegetables are super easy to take on the go. You can eat a banana anywhere! Other healthy food snacks would include protein bars, raisins, nuts, plain popcorn, string cheese, etc. As for the working out part be sure to take the stairs everywhere you go. You can also do some yoga or simple exercises in your bedroom before you even head out for school. Best of luck!

Dear Ashley Marie,

I always feel left out. No matter what I do I always feel like

the 3rd wheel when I am with my two best friends. They

always leave me out of conversations and everything else 

they do. I hate it. How can I fit in better with them?

Sincerely, The outcasted girl

Believe it or not this is a common one. This actually happened to me TONS all the way from Elementary School through High School. I was shy and didn't make a whole lot of effort to go out side my bubble, I have learned a lot since then. It may be best to first hang out with each of them one on one, then you can feel connected with both of them on a level you probably haven't felt for awhile. While you have some alone time with them, bring up the fact that you feel left out and wish there was a way you could all feel included. I am sure they will be very understanding and now that they both know they will each do different things to include you more if they are real true friends. One of the most important things you have to remember about friendship though is you have to be a friend to have one. This doesn't just mean being nice and caring although these are important factors. It also means reaching out to them. Even though it seems a lot easier to have others come to you first, sometimes you HAVE to go out of your way and seek others first. This is hard, trust me but if you don't reach out you can't expect others to do all the hard them half way! 

I also have one more idea so you don't feel like the third wheel! I am sure there are several girls that go to your school that often feel alone or feel like they don't have any friends. Seek those girls out and make a friend, then you can bring that girl into your group. I am sure your friends will be very accepting of her and you can hang out as a group sometimes and sometimes you can do things with this the two of you. This way you are helping others just like you while helping yourself... it is a win-win!

Remember if you have questions and want
it answered you may just see it on next 

weeks post. 

Email me at

Monday, January 28, 2013

Goals before I turn 25

I turn 25 in 7 months. I will be a quarter of a century. CRAZY!!!

As much as that scares me, it excites me even more!
It excites me enough to accomplish 5 of my life long dreams!

I believe setting goals and accomplishing them is one thing that is amazing at building confidence! 
I love setting goals, it is one of my favorite things! It becomes more of my favorite once I accomplish the goal.

So here are my 5 BIG goals to accomplish before I turn 25 years old.

1. I am going to publish a book  - It has been my life long dream to have a book published. I have been doing lots of research on how and what to expect. I have my topic, I have my preferred publisher, now I just need to concentrate and write! Write, write and write some more! I can do this! I am SO EXCITED!!!

2. I am going to learn to play Waterfall on the piano (perfectly and memorized) I love playing the piano and teaching myself. We were so blessed to receive a piano for free this past summer and I want to make the absolute most of it.

3. Hold at least 3 Self Esteem Workshops - This is an opportunity for me to share my platform that I didn't get to share as Miss Murray. This is also a VERY IMPORTANT stepping stone for me to reach my dream job. I am SO EXCITED!! 
(Let me know if you have a Young Women's night that I could come to and share my inside outside beauty night with)

4. Facial 120 girls - This will get me on track to earn my Mary Kay car. It will also allow me to make a difference to some young women and girls who maybe need a self esteem boost in their life. 

5. Run a 5K - This is probably really easy for a lot of you out there but for me this will be a challenge. Especially if I don't walk any of it. But what a great way for me to get in better shape and challenge my body while supporting a good cause! I am going to find a really good cause that is important to me that I can support.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Self esteem advice column

Remember this post? 
Well it's Wednesday so it's time for the first "Ask Ashley Marie".

I have 3 questions from readers today.

Dear Ashley Marie,
Sometimes I feel like I am not talented in away which then makes me feel inadequate around others. What can I do?
Love, The inadequate girl

Great question! First of we all we ALL have some sort of talent or something we are good at, I promise. But I totally understand where you are coming from, I have felt this way before many times growing up. Get out a piece of paper and number it to 10. Then write down 10 things that you are good at or that you like to do. It can be as simple as 'coloring Disney pictures' or 'being a good friend'. Once you have completed the list HANG IT - hang it somewhere where you will see it each and every day. Your mirror would be a perfect spot for this. Now read it every single morning before you walk out the door. These things that you listed are your's what makes you special and unique! Embrace it!!! I bet the girl who dancing skills you envy doesn't have all the talents you posses on your list. Hold your head high and focus on what you CAN DO and NOT on what you can't do!

Dear Ashley Marie,
What is a good product to get rid of my acne?
Love, Pimple face

Pimples are so annoying, aren't they? A couple things will help to eliminate this. First you need to establish a good skin care regimen. This means washing and moisturizing your face both morning and night. The reason you wash your face at night is because you are taking off all your makeup you wore that day as well as taking off all that dirty bacteria and grime your face has been collecting throughout the day. Sleeping with makeup on blocks your pores which therefore causes acne.You wash your face in the morning to give your skin a fresh new start throughout the day as well as washing off any drool or icky stuff that may have ended up on face from sleeping.

I can think of 4 perfect products for you that will help you to establish an excellent skin care regimen and help fight your acne.

**With these products you will want to make sure you are getting the right product for your skin type!
1 - Botanical Effects Cleanse -  Leaves skin feeling clean and balanced. 
It helps defend against environmental damage and helps promote healthy skin.

 2- Botaincal Effects Freshen - Freshens the skin leaving it clean from
any impurities that were not removed from the cleanse. 
Helps create balanced skin and pores and leaves your skin feeling fresh and pure.

3 - Botanical Effects HydrateIt helps defend against environmental 
damage and helps promote healthy skin.
It gives your skin the moisture that it needs to keep skin in balance and
prevent pores from being clogged.

4 - Acne Gel - Contains 5% Benzoyl Peroxide to give your skin the treatment it needs.
It penetrates pores and eliminates most blackheads, pimples and blemishes while 
preventing new ones from forming. It is dermatologist tested.

Dear Ashley Marie,
I am so shy so it is really hard for me to make friends at my high school. I want to fit in so bad but I don't know what I would say. Is there  a way to overcome my shyness?
Love, The bashful one

Shyness is definitely something that can be overcome, it just takes practice. I want you to try an experiment. Think of someone in one of your classes that you would love to be friends with but you have been to shy to actually talk with them. Got someone in mind? Great! Now I want you to write on a piece of paper why you want to be friends with her. Do you have something in common with her? Do you like her style? Is she friendly? Does she like the same sports as you? A list of 3 reasons should do. Now what you just did was you found common ground. Usually the main reason people are shy is because they don't know what to talk about or they feel afraid of what others will think. I want you to write out the conversation you are going to have with this potential friend on a piece of paper. 
It may look something like this: "Those are such cute boots, I have been wanting some like that for awhile, where did you find them?" "Oh that is my favorite store, if I could afford it, I would shop there all the time." "You know I have admired your style for awhile now, it would be so fun if we could go to the mall sometime together and maybe you could teach me a few shopping tricks?"
It's simple and its the perfect way to make some new friends. Always be thinking of things to say and talk about with others and this will help you tons!!

Remember if you have questions about anything related to 
Self Esteem, Beauty, Health, Boys, Friends, Life Choices, Feelings and 
any other topic that relates to girls
you can email them to 
and maybe next week your question will be featured on this blog! 
You can remain anonymous or you can share your name - - it doesn't matter!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Body Peace

Have you taken the Body Peace pledge?

I love seventeen magazine and right now they have an amazing pledge going on!

A pledge that could forever change the way we look and feel about ourselves.

The following pledge comes from here

  • Do the little things that will keep my body healthy, like walking instead of hanging on the couch, or drinking water rather than something sugary.
  • Appreciate what makes my body different from anyone else's. I love that I'm unique on the inside, I will try to feel that way about the outside too!
  • Wear makeup only when I want to and it feels fun. I won't use it to hide the real me!
  •  Accept that my body will go through changes, and that's okay.
  • Support my friends, who just like me, have their own body issues. Hey, we're all in this together!
  • Put my energy toward the things in life I care about instead of wasting another ounce of it on my insecurities.
  • Remember that the sun will still rise tomorrow even if I had one too many slices of pizza or an extra scoop of ice cream tonight.
  • Never blame my body for the bad day I'm having.
  • Stop joining in when my friends compare and trash their own bodies.
  • Never allow a dirty look from someone else to influence how I feel about my appearance.
  • Quit judging a person solely by how his or her body looks — even if it seems harmless — because I'd never want anyone to do that to me.
  • Notice all the amazing things my body is doing for me every moment I walk, talk, think, breathe...
  • Quiet that negative little voice in my head when it starts to say mean things about my body that I'd never tolerate anyone else saying about me.
  • Remind myself that what you see isn't always what you get on TV and in ads — it takes a lot of airbrushing, dieting, money, and work to look like that.
  • Remember that even the girl who I'd swap bodies with in a minute has something about her looks that she hates.
  • Respect my body by feeding it well, working up a sweat when it needs it, and knowing when to give it a break.
  • Realize that the mirror can reflect only what's on the surface of me, not who I am inside.
  • Know that I'm already beautiful just the way I am.
  • Not let my size define me. It’s far better to focus on how awesome I look in my jeans than the number on the tag.
  • Surround myself with positive people. True friends are there to lift me up when I’m feeling low and won't bring me down with criticism, body bashing, or gossip.
  • Accept the changes that my body is going through. I will celebrate my new shape and curves. I will rock what I've got!
  • Remember that sometimes I will have down moments. And in those times, I will remind myself of how awesome I am by looking in the mirror and saying, "I'm good! I can do this! I'm number one!"
  • Accept that beauty isn't just about my looks. It's my awesome personality and my energy that creates a whole, unique package.

So go take the pledge and come back to let me know you did, 
cause we are all in this together! :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

5 Reasons a daily skin care regimen is important

1. Fight Dry Skin - A daily skin care regimen fights dry skin and keeps your skin looking clean and feeling good. No one likes dry skin because  it's itchy, it's painful and it can lead to cracking which is not healthy. No matter what skin type you have; Oily, Dry, Normal or combination - it is important to moisturize it two times a day. It does not make your skin more oily, in fact it is actually absorbing those oils and keeping your face moisturized and supple.

2. Fight Aging - We all want to look healthy and young and a skin care regimen is just the secret for this. Taking care of our skin on a daily basis with effective products can help fight aging spots and wrinkles. Proper skin care is so important for our physical appearance. 
Why does this matter you ask?

Close your eyes - Think of someone you love very very much!

What comes to mind?

I bet it was their face, am I correct?

So think of this, how do you want your loved ones to remember you?

3. It's Healthy -  Healthy & Supple skin is so important, especially in the winter. The reason we have skin is to protect our bodies insides, our skin is our largest organ and serves a very important purpose. When our skin is dry, cracked or starts to become flaky, it has a harder time being our defense and fighting off potential disease.

4. It boosts self -esteem - A daily skin care regimen can help fight rashes, acne and keeps you feeling confident all day long because you know you took the proper steps to caring for your skin.  When you put time in for yourself, don't you notice that you just feel confident and happy because you did your part for yourself?

5. Protects you from skin cancer - {Okay so this one is just relating to the use of daily sun screen} No matter how long you are out in the sun; your skin is being damaged by the sun. Even on those snowy winter days the sun can still hurt and affect you. The sun emits harmful UV rays year round which then can potentially lead to skin cancers. Sunscreen helps protect you against these UV rays and sun spots keeping you healthy and happy.

So after learning all about this, how can you not invest in a skin care regimen?

{I will be showing you 3 different types of skin care regimens from Mary Kay products soon.}

Thursday, January 17, 2013

My business in the making...

It's official...WAHOO.

I am so excited about my launch of my new website.
I still plan on blogging lots on this little blog of mine
but my website is the source to learn more about me 
and my business in the making.

It's my website for pageant coaching,
self-esteem consulting
and my notebook shop 
and SO much more!!!

I am starting a "Ask AshleyMarie column"
that will include all sorts of self esteem advice.
You can email me at
with any questions that relate to self esteem, beauty
health, boys, friends, life choices, style, feelings,
and any other topic that relates to self-esteem.
You can be anonymous, make up a secret code name
or stay true to your skin - - it doesn't matter!
Then every Wednesday, I will answer two questions here on 
THIS blog!

I am also planning a big Mother daughter Self Esteem workshop.
Want to get involved or be apart of it in any way?
Leave a comment below.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dear Future Husband

I have created a list of what attributes I want to find in my future husband!

The point of this list is for me to become everything on it.

If I want a guy who is everything on this list,
chances are he has a list for his future wife too!

So the goal is for me to match the list.
I shouldn't be worrying so much about who he is
as long as I am working on becoming the person I expect to find!

So read my list, steal some or steal all if you want...
then go make your own and hang it!

1. Patient - Please be patient with me. I will probably be moody or demanding at times.
 I also have OCD, I'm working on overcoming it but please be patient with me.

2. Funny - Some days I am just going to need a good laugh.
 I want to marry a guy who has a good sense of humor, I believe life
is more worthwhile when you can find humor in the every day things.

3. Honest - I expect you to tell me the truth in all that you do. I want to be honest with you
about EVERYTHING! This is the secret to a good marriage - no secrets!

4. Surprises - Going back to the whole honesty thing, I LOVE surprises!
When you surprise me, white lies are OK! :)
Read my journal for ideas on what I love and what I don't , ask my friends for surprise ideas
but surprise me often! I love a good romantic surprise!
Come home and suprise me with my favorite music, with my favorite food!

5. Integrity - Have morals and values and stick to them.
Let's live a good life together by sticking to
high standards and beliefs.
If one of us is tempted to do something, I want us to be 
dependable to each other to encourage the other to make a better decision.

6. Forgiving - Forgive me when I make a mistake. Say sorry to me first.
I think of the marrige I want to have and I
want it to be a competition for us to say sorry first.
I am stubborn. {my mom believes it's because I am a leo}
So this is going to be a hard one for me but I promise I will be working on it.

7. Motivated - Set out goals and dreams for yourself! Then do everything it 
takes to achieve. Life isn't worth living if you aren't working on a goal in life.

8. A dreamer - I am a major dreamer and I need you to dream as well.
I often find new neighborhoods to drive around in.
Neighborhoods that have gorgeous yards and inspiring views.
I go out looking for the most perfect home and I say to myself, I am going to live 
there one day. I dream of a beautiful kitchen, bathrooms that make you feel at peace
and a home that you can be pleased to live in because you worked HARD
to afford it.

9. Athletic - Now I am not athletic nor will I ever be. I don't care if you are good at 
sports or not. I just care that you find great pride in taking care of yourself.
In exercising regularly to have a healthy and fit body. 
(I wouldn't complain if you had a 6-pack)

Dear Future Husband,

Here are some side notes that you should be aware of for our proposal!

I would truly loved to be proposed at "The Roof" in the Joseph Smith building.
Have you seen it, it is BEAUTIFUL!!

I don't want the ring put in my food, please don't make me dig for a ring.
That seriously just isn't classy.

Love, Ashley

Friday, January 11, 2013

10 life skills pageants teach you

Miss America will be on TOMORROW on abc.
(check your local listings to find out the time)

In honor of Miss America week I wanted to try and break some stereotypes
 about pageants and tell you
10 life skills that pageants can teach you.

Competing for Miss Murray may have been one of the greatest things I have done in my life from all the skills I was taught and the lessons I learned that have prepared me to live in this world. 

As Miss Murray 2006, Lindsey Smith says
"It is not the outcome of the pageant that changes you, it is the involvement and preparation."

It shaped me into my best self!

1. Confidence

There is nothing that builds more confidence than walking on stage in a swim suit and high heels! As you compete, you will have to start doing many things that will quickly get you out of your comfort zone. You immediately build confidence by going through the interview preparation process and the on-stage question portion of the pageant.

As you start to prepare for a pageant, you realize that you are capable of so much more than you ever thought was possible. A radiant new you begins to shine through the hard work you put in day by day.

Desiring to win a pageant and take the crown is a great dream to have! Dreams propel us to where we are meant to be. As you work hard giving everything you can to the dream that has been set in your heart, you become changed from the inside out. Having a dream creates so much confidence that can set you free and help you become who you were always meant to be. 

2. Service

Choose a platform you are SO PASSIONATE about and then tell the world to look out! 
When you choose a cause that is so dear to your heart, nothing in the world is going to stop you from serving! I have always loved service, but I didn't know how to reach 
out of my little comfort zone to make a difference. As I competed I started realizing how much I could do just in my own community, I started to touch lives and help others more than I ever dreamed of.

Pageants are the perfect outlet for you to give your whole heart to a cause or nonprofit that you believe in. You learn so much about marketing, fundraising, selflessly giving, and so much more!

I grew up loving service, but through pageants, I learned about how much I loved service in a new light and a new way. I was able to touch hearts that I had been missing without the competition. The pageant opened many doors for me to serve and it created this passion that is now forever written upon my heart!

3. Style

Thank goodness for Miss America giving me a reason to work on my outer beauty. 
While this isn't the most important part of the competition, it shows that you care about yourself and people trust people who take care about their-selves!
Also, this is another way to boost that confidence. You just feel happy and can focus on others when you dress the part of a confident girl!

It also taught me to be confident in me and my style. There is no set standard of beauty and we all have different styles. Pageants allow you to embrace who you are and your own style! Be confident in just being you!

4. Scholarship

There are so many opportunities for earning scholarship money through pageants!
Once you get past the local competition, the scholarships open up even more!
Scholarships are one of the greatest tools you can have to get you through school.
I earned a few scholarships on my journey and they were a 
tremendous blessing to me as I pay every penny for school out of my own pocket.

5. Success

Simply put, pageants give you a desire to live the most successful life you can dream of. 
They create a desire and passion within you to become successful in school, successful in a family life, and to have successful relationships. They create this passion within you to make success a reality in all areas of your life.
Pageants help you think out of your box, dream big, and give you hope that you can do the impossible!

6. Talent

Growing up, I took very little dance before my family realized we just couldn't afford it. After that, I never really had very many opportunities to develop a talent. Talents open your mind, give you purpose, and allow you to express yourself in creative ways.
I was so thankful for my competing in pageants to give me a second chance at developing a talent. I can now play the piano more than I ever thought would be possible.

Every talent takes time and dedication which wherein right there creates self-discipline that will overflow into all other areas of life! Choose a talent, work hard at it, and you have one of the biggest secrets to success in the palm of your hand.

7. Motivation

When competing in a pageant, you are working towards a goal that you are excited about! You can't help but feel motivated to do everything in your power to become your best self! Competing gave me motivation to reach my fullest potential. Preparing for a pageant gives you a reason to get out of bed every morning, you are motivated and
inspired by the dream in your heart and the competition ahead.

8. Health
Goodness, I hate to admit this one, but exercising and eating healthy wasn't always
something that came natural to me. In the pageant world, you have to work HARD no matter what body shape you have. Working out and clean eating starts to become a habit the more you practice it and understand it. Your mind and body feel so good because of the way you start caring for it. Pageants shouldn't be the only reason you choose to care for your body though! Set goals for your health and make them happen!

9. Current Events & more informed voting

 I never really cared about the news or about important topics that such as history and politics until I started studying for the pageant and realized just how much they affect me  personally. Pageants changed my view on the subjects that I was overlooking and taking for granted. Because current events are a very prominent subject in your personal interview, you have to obtain the knowledge about history and current events to create an opinion on your belief. This therefore equates to more knowledge about politics and politicians, leading you to be a more informed voter!

I have a lot more gratitude for the country that I live in and the freedoms that we exercise here, now that my mind has been opened. I also take more pride in voting because I recognize the influence I have and I want to use my voice to make a difference.
Plus knowing about current events gives you something to talk about with others when carrying a conversation.

10. Communication

In preparing for a pageant you get the opportunity of meeting so many different people.
Communication skills are naturally developed as you start talking to people every day.
Once you prepare for a pageant interview, you can handle ANY interview that ever comes your way.