Pageant win! America’s U.S. Miss 2018

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Hey everyone! Wow does it feel good to finally have some time to sit down and write. My July was crazy packed with so many exciting opportunities that I haven’t had time to catch my breath but after a month of fun I am finally able to sit back, reflect, and fill you all in.

Starting with July 10. The day I was crowned your 2018 America’s U.S. Miss!

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America’s U.S. Miss is a system that has held a place in my heart for the past 8 years now. I was just 12 years old when I got on that national stage for the first time. The picture to the left was taken just moments after the final pageant back in 2010. Unfortunately I didn’t walk away with the national crown that year, and although I’m still smiling in that picture, the water works definitely came not long after. I just remember feeling so defeated, yet still so hungry to achieve that goal I had set for myself.

The following years were full of ups and downs. I competed in various pageants, I took some time off, I struggled with personal problems, so much had been thrown at me, and so many things had been changing as I grew older, but one of the things that hadn’t changed, was that goal to get the national title, I just had to figure out how to do it.

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So, 8 years later I decided to give it another try. Becoming the 2018 Miss California U.S. Miss I set my eyes on that national crown again and began preparing for the pageant, which if you read my last blog post, you know that while preparing I was hit with some bumps in the road (literally).  As I was getting ready for nationals, things were going wrong left and right, and I had  moments where I questioned if I could do this and if I should even bother going to nationals. It was a difficult time, and a tough decision but I am so happy with the one I made.

As that first weekend of July rolled around, I got on a plane to Clearwater, Florida and was immediately thrown into a week of fun. From glow parties, fun themed rehearsals, pool parties, beautiful beach sunsets and getting to meet girls from all over the country, I had one of the best weekends of my entire life.

By the time the final pageant rolled around, the happiness and confidence I felt was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, I didn’t think I could feel any happier, that is until that national crown was placed on my head.

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After 8 years of hard work, stress, tears, and determination I was named your 2018 America’s U.S. Miss and I could not be more thrilled!

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Standing on that stage with my new sister queens, I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face, I don’t think any of us could. I’ve always wanted a sister and as I stood there looking at each of their smiling faces I realized I was now leaving with 6 sisters!

I feel so blessed and excited for this upcoming year and having the opportunity to share it with these beautiful girls and I can’t wait to see what is in store for us throughout our reign!

 

 

It’s been a month now since I was crowned and everything is still sinking in for me. Over my years of pageantry I’ve won some, and I’ve lost some. I had supporters and I had a whole lot of doubters. People that didn’t think I was capable of achieving my goals, but now I can say through hard work and determination, I did it. I achieved my goal. And now, I get to enjoy my reign and work for the next year as your America’s U.S. Miss 2018!

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Life Update | Car Accident

IMG_4565Hey guys!

I know it’s been a while since I posted but don’t worry I have some exciting stuff planned for you guys so stay tuned!

This past month has been painfully busy – emphasis on the painful. As some of you may know I’ve been competing in pageants for years and currently hold the Miss California U.S. Miss title. (I’m flying as I type this to Clearwater Florida for the national pageant!)

If the craziness of juggling work and preparing for a national pageant wasn’t enough, my mom and I were in a pretty bad car accident just three weeks ago and that put everything on hold. Between our physical injuries, and the mental toll it has taken on the both of us, I had no idea how to get on with life, let alone prepare for a pageant.

I’ve always been anxious on the road and worried about these kinds of situations and I have always thought about how I’d react in the situation, but nothing could have prepared me for the harsh reality of a car accident.

If I close my eyes I can still feel my heart sinking as our car was sent spinning. I remember feeling the wind knocked out of me and feeling like I couldn’t breathe.  I can smell the smoke filling the car, and more than anything I can vividly see all of the glass and blood all over the inside of our car.

It was a real life nightmare.

Even three weeks after the accident I’m still in some physical pain but the mental side of it, is so much worse than I could even describe. Between the constant flashbacks, the grueling nightmares, the anxiety of getting back in a car, and so much more, these have by far been the most difficult three weeks I have ever experienced.

I’m not going to go into too much detail of the accident, mainly because I’m still processing everything and struggling to deal with the whole situation myself, but I just wanted to give you all an update on where I have been.

I know this post is short and not too fun but please bear with me! I have some posts planned that are a lot more exciting and happier than this one so be on the look out for those! 

And to everyone that heard about the accident earlier, whether you know me personally or found out through my social media and reached out, thank you so so much! 

Your love and prayers mean the entire world to me!

Xoxo, Juliana 

20 Lessons I Learned In 20 Years

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Guess who’s 20 today?! I’m finally an official adult. How crazy is that?

You know what else is crazy though? The responsibilities that come with being an adult.

Let me tell you, this whole “adulting” thing seemed so much more fun when I was little. Little me didn’t take into account the bills that needed to be paid I guess, but as stressful as it may be at times I am so ready to officially kiss my teen years goodbye and start this new chapter of my life.

With that being said, here are 20 lessons I learned in 20 years.

1) You are what you DO

It’s easy to talk the talk, but talk doesn’t always matter. Actions speak louder than any words you could possibly speak. If you have something you want to do, then DO IT. Don’t waste time planning it or waiting for the “perfect moment”; that perfect moment is now.

2) Losing weight isn’t everything

Stop putting all your focus on losing a certain amount of weight. Rather than putting all your focus on weight loss, focus on being healthy. Eat healthy and exercise regularly because it’s good for you and your body, not because you’re trying to punish your body.

3) Stop comparing yourself to others

It’s easy to fall into the comparison game-especially with social media-but it’s also dangerous to your mental health. As great of an outlet social media is, it’s played a big part in damaging self esteem in many people. Scrolling through countless posts of all the exciting things people post make it easy to feel the envy and start comparing your life to theirs. However, it’s important to realize that what you see on social media isn’t always real. We all post the best parts of our lives on social media and conveniently leave out our struggles. Stop comparing yourself and your daily life to someone else’s highlight reel.

4) Don’t ever let anyone make you feel bad about yourself

This past year especially I was faced with a few situations where I let people and their rude comments get me really down. It made me question everything I did, but now as I look back I’m finally able to realize that there was no point in that! The people that hurt you aren’t the ones suffering as you continue to punish yourself for whatever mean things they said about you. As much as it hurts, let it go and move on.

5) Own Your Self-Worth

You have to learn to love yourself, and realize that you are worth so much more than you may realize. Once you learn that you are good enough, and that you matter, no one else can steal that from you.

6) Life is all about progress, not perfection

We all have things we want to change in our lives, in a perfect world we can make those changes happen overnight but life doesn’t work like that. Chances are whatever you’re trying to change didn’t occur overnight, neither will the solution to it. Make small goals and continue to grow and make progress.

7) Don’t take yourself too seriously

For years now, I have struggled with the need to be perfect, and to get people to like me. I thought about it so much that I would take every little thing I said or did so seriously that it stopped me from enjoying my life. Stop overanalyzing everything you do and taking your life too seriously. No one else does, so why should you?

8) Agree to Disagree

We all like to be right, but sometimes it’s just not worth the argument. You have your opinions and others have theirs. It’s okay to disagree sometimes.

9) Life is too short to waste time hating anyone

This past year especially has been hard with this one. There were a few people in particular that made my life horrible and made me question everything, and I hated them for it. In the end though, all it did was hurt me more. I wasted almost a year on hating these people. Don’t make that mistake, if someone hurts you forget about them and find people that value you.

10) When life pushes you over, you push back harder

Life gets you down sometimes, but you have to be strong and fight through it. If you really want something, fight for it no matter who or what stands in your way.

11) If it feels wrong, don’t do it.

Growing up, you’re always trying to fit in with others, in desperate times you may even forget your own instincts and go along with whatever someone wants you to do for the sake of being friends with them. Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. It’s better to lose a friend than put yourself in a dangerous situation.

12) Investing in your skills is always beneficial to your future success

Lets be real, nothing in this life is free, thats for sure. If we have to pay for things though, shouldn’t we invest in something that can help us in the future? No matter what skills or talents you have, we all need a little training. Invest in your skills and do whatever it takes to perfect those skills to help guarantee your success.

13) If they do it often, it isn’t a mistake it’s their behavior

We all make mistakes, that’s life. However, if someone continuously lies, or makes the same mistakes and hurts you, it’s not a mistake no matter how sorry they claim to be. It’s who they are as a person, and they will more than likely do it again.

14) When in doubt, just take small steps

If you’re feeling unsure of whether or not you can achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself, don’t just give up and put your dream aside, make small goals, and continue to work towards achieving your goals one small step at a time.

15) Losing someone is tough, but you’re tougher

The loss of my great grandma is something I carry with me every single day. Sometimes I even forget she’s gone and find myself wondering when she’ll come visit next before I get that sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach as I remember she’s no longer with us. It still hurts me, every single day. The pain of losing a loved one doesn’t fade away, you just get stronger.

16) Follow your heart, but use your brain

Dating can be complicated to say the least. It’s easy to get caught in the excitement of meeting someone new, and falling in love with the idea of love. When someone new comes along that you think can make you happy by all means go for it like you’ve never gone for anything before, but don’t forget to take your head along with you. It’s important not to compromise yourself and your morals to make a guy happy. If he really cares about you, he’ll respect you and your decisions, even if they differ from his own.

17) Your thoughts are powerful, make them positive

It’s so easy to let your thoughts get the best of you. The more negative you think, the more negative you are going to feel. Keep your thoughts positive and always look on the bright side of things.

18) Its okay to adjust plans

Most things don’t turn out exactly the way we planned. Even if we end up getting the results we wanted in the end, chances are something along the way didn’t go exactly as you thought it would. Having to change plans up isn’t as bad as you may think it is in the heat of the moment. At the end of the day life has a funny way of working itself out and giving us what we ask for, it just may not be in the exact form we originally ask for.

19) Make peace with your past, before it gets in the way of your future

You can’t move forward if you keep living in the past. Whatever good or bad might have happened before needs to stay in the past, so you can start building your future.

20) Dreams require sacrifice 

Nothing in life is going to be handed to. Creative people are some of the best people in my opinion, but creative careers are not always typical or “safe”. If you have big dreams, you’re going to have to make big sacrifices to make those dreams your reality. You’re going to have to work day and night, you’re going to have to work when working is the last thing you want to do, and you will consistently have to make short-term sacrifices to get where you want to be. The people who go the extra mile are the ones on track to fulfill their dreams and be successful.

There you have it, my 20 lessons I’ve learned in 20 years. The two decades I’ve been alive have taught me a whole lot of good, and a whole lot of bad, but even through the bad it’s what’s made me who I am today.

Even through everything I have experienced, and everything I have learned, I still have so much room to grow and so many places I want to be.

I can’t wait to see what this next year has in store for me!

Meet My Best Friend-My Mom

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May 7.

The day the world was blessed with the most amazing woman.

This woman is kind. She is protective, selfless, funny, honest, beautiful, talented, loving, real, hard working, and so much more. Anyone would be lucky to spend even 5 minutes in this woman’s presence. I consider myself extra lucky though, because I’ve gotten to spend my entire life looking up to this incredible woman and getting to call her mom.

As I continue to get older, and look back on my life, the one thing that is consistent within every memory is this; no matter how hard things got for me,-and trust me, I’ve dealt with a lot more than most people even know-I could always count on one person to get me through.

That person is my best friend in the entire world; my mom. 13138794_1193710187307867_9033414808916679894_n

Over the last 19, almost 20 years, I have had the privilege of knowing, that no matter what stupid situation I got myself into, she would be right there to save me.

I’ve watched her a lot over the course of my life, even when she didn’t realize I was watching. Through all those years of watching her, and looking up to her I’ve come to realize something.

No matter how down she got on herself, when she was beyond stressed. When she got self-conscious, when she put her health aside to make sure her family was taken care of, when she gave up her entire life to raise her children.

I’ve watched her put on a brave face for my brothers and I before silently breaking down when she was alone, only to put that brave face right back on and be strong as ever for everyone else.

I’ve seen the pure joy on her face as she sings and dances, the music flowing through every part of her from her voice to her body, so naturally and effortlessly.

I’ve watched her do it all. I’ve seen her get so hard on herself, but what she never realized was that even though in her eyes she had done so much wrong, in my eyes she is the most amazing woman on the planet.

18425573_1542209535791262_7690220511132122767_nIn my eyes, my mom is a superhero. A beautiful, selfless, woman who would do anything for her family. She is strong and wise.

I honestly have never met someone as strong as my mom.  I look at how she handles every obstacle thrown her way and I truly admire her strength and courage.

Her independence is something I strive to achieve in my life. The love in her heart is something I hope to one day have in mine. The pure happiness in her eyes as she sings her favorite songs on our long car rides and we both dance like dorks to broadway playlists. (Seriously, you should see us jamming to Hairspray, Mamma Mia, and Grease, we have all those routines down!)

17457687_10213145150731812_5252575596183241965_nThere is nothing in this world that I am more grateful for than the special bond my mom and I share together.

It’s such a special bond, that only grows stronger as we grow older. Through all the laughter and the tears we’ve shared. From the worry, to the smiles, there is this unbreakable trust between us.

We have a life long friendship built on love and hardships that nothing can or will, ever get in the way of.

I am the luckiest girl in the world, to have this woman as my mom.

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Mom, I feel like no matter how many times I tell you I love you, it wouldn’t be enough to fully describe the love and admiration I have for you.

I could spend all the money in the world on gifts for you, and it wouldn’t be enough to repay you for everything you have done for me.

You are my hero, my best friend in the entire world, and the best mom I could have ever asked for.

Happy Birthday Mama.

I love you more than anything.

xoxo, Juliana

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Alone at 19

screen-shot-2018-05-03-at-4-48-24-pm.pngI remember being a little kid.

Surrounded by my group of friends, playing together at recess, hanging out at each others houses after school, going to dance classes, and performing at our schools annual variety show. I look back at those elementary school years and it all seems so picturesque.

I was a confident little girl that pushed her older brother away as he tried to walk me into the auditorium on my first day of Kindergarten (Sorry Michael, I had to establish my cool kid rep you know?). Bottom line, I was confident, carefree, and happy. I couldn’t wait to be older, I thought I had it all figured out.

I was going to work at my dance studio, teach the younger dancers throughout my senior year, I even had the song picked out for my last solo before I left for college. I was going to be on my high schools pom team, be a part of the school’s Rock n’ Roll Revival show, have loads of friends, go on dates, go to parties, you know, that typical high school experience we all dreamed of when we were little.

If you were lucky, that’s the life you got to experience, for me it wasn’t that simple.

We moved around a lot when I was growing up. From Maryland, to North Carolina, to Georgia, before landing here in California. All my old friends thought it was so cool that I had moved to California and at first I thought it was going to be cool too.

Until school started.

My brother seemed to make friends no problem, but I guess that’s what happens when you play football. What about me though? I was the little 6th grader that knew no one and had no activities. It was harder for me but I managed to make a few friends. They didn’t really last but I guess that’s on both parts.

One thing that never changed though was the way I thought about the future. Every time things got harder or I lost more “friends” I would just say “Gosh, I can’t wait until I’m older. Things will get better and I’ll have my friends”. However, the older I got…the more alone I got.

Being just two weeks away from turning 20, I’m still struggling with how lonely I was for years. I still struggle with being alone and the fear that I always will be alone; I struggle with these fears so much that I let it get in the way of new friendships and relationships.

It’s like I’ve built my walls up so high that I can’t even break them down. No matter how much I want to rip those walls apart and be myself again, It’s hard. The last few times I let my walls down for someone, they hurt me so badly that I was forced to shield myself completely from everyone else. It’s not fair to the new people that come into my life, but it’s something I subconsciously do.

Even with the new friendships I’ve started making through work or what not, the hurt I felt in the past makes it hard to let my walls come down all the way. My head and my fears get in the way of me letting go, and finally being that carefree, confident, crazy girl I once was.

The older I get though, the more I realize that keeping my walls up isn’t going to do anything but hurt me more. I’m finally ready to stop pushing people away, let my guard down, and reintroduce myself to that kindergartener that pushed her brother away (so hard that he fell over might I add…again, sorry Michael!)  and confidently walked into the school gym, ready to take on the world.

It may be hard to get there, but I want to be that girl again one day.

No matter what it takes, I will be that girl again.

My April Favorites!

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As I’m writing this I’m just in awe of how quickly 2018 is going by, I mean it’s already May?!? The past month has been so crazy for me between school, work, and all the added stresses that come with being a young adult, but I guess crazy is good sometimes right? (please just agree with me to make me feel better).

I tried a lot of different products this past month but I’ve narrowed it down to my top 5 April beauty favorites!

  1. First Aid Beauty, Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer fileAsset

For a while, I was never really into primers, I just didn’t see a point in them. BUT, this priming moisturizer is heaven in a bottle, for combination skin especially. I always struggled with finding the perfect foundation that wasn’t too matte and dry looking but still wasn’t super dewy. As I was trying to find the perfect finish for my foundation routine I started using this product with my Kat Von D Lock-It foundation, and it was like the heavens opened up and angels started singing because this finish was exactly what I had been looking for! This priming moisturizer gives you that naturally dewy look, and with the matte foundation on top it gives me the perfect mix of matte and dewy in all the right places.

 

2. Tarte, Color Splash Lipstick – in Beach Babe 99f30b678d09e8977f74a9b5c414f969.jpeg

I have been on the search for the perfect nude lipstick for the longest time and I finally found it! I loved this lipstick so much that for the first time I actually went through an entire tube of lipstick before losing it or getting tired of it. The color splash lipstick from Tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea collection in the shade beach babe is such a beautiful pink nude color, it applies easily and feels so smooth on your lips.

   3. Too Faced, Glitter POP! Peel-Off Eyeliner- in I’m Half Mermaid

7E0C8822-C017-4FEF-B22F-36D0D5201D91As Coachella rolled around and I sat there scrolling through everyone’s photos with a major case of FOMO yet again. As much as I wish it was acceptable to wear full on Coachella glam to work, it doesn’t really work out, but a little glitter never hurt anyone right? Which led me to use this eyeliner on my lower lash line.  I had bought this peel off eyeliner in the shade I’m Half Mermaid months ago but never used it until this month, and I LOVED it. It applies easily, it’s buildable so you can either have just a subtle liner or really build it up to get the color to pop even more, not to mention, color is beautiful and the glitter is amazing!

  4. NYX, Matte Finish Setting Spray NYX-Matte-Finish-Long-Lasting-Setting-Spray

Like primers, setting sprays are also something that I’ve been iffy about, and questioned whether or not they’re actually worth purchasing. When I’m busy running around all day and working, my makeup would always start sliding and getting shiny especially around my T-zone. I needed something that would keep my makeup in place throughout the day. I’ve had this setting spray on hand for a while now but only recently picked it up again and started using it and I finally remembered why I purchased it in the first place. No matter how much I’m running around, how hot I get, whatever it is, my makeup stays exactly as it was that morning. No shininess, no sliding, nothing. This setting spray is amazing and the fact that it is such an affordable price, makes it even better!

  5. Too Faced Candlelight Glow-Warm Glow Highlighter Too-Faced-Candelight-Glow-Highlighting-Powder-Duo-Warm-Glow-1

I’m a sucker for highlighters! I’ve never tried any Too Faced highlighters until this one, and I was pleasantly surprised. It leaves such a beautiful glow, without being TOO blinding. I mean I’m all for a blinding highlight but sometimes you want something a little more subtle, but not too subtle. I mix both shades in the compact and it leaves such a gorgeous highlight. Too Faced Candlelight glow in warm glow is stunning and it is the perfect everyday highlighter!

These products have been my beauty essentials throughout April! There’s a bunch of other things I tried out this month that I fell in love with too, but if I keep going we could be here all week, so I figured I’d cut it at this top 5.

What products have you been loving? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

5 Steps to a Healthier Body Image

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Body image.

It’s something we all struggle with at one point or another. Today, we live in a world full of filtered, photoshopped photos on Instagram that show us what we are “supposed to look like”. You can’t scroll through any social media without at least one post about weight loss, or a photo of an unrealistic body type. Whether it be bigger or smaller than you are, there’s always a post somewhere telling you that you need to change. That you aren’t good enough.

It’s easy to get caught up in these posts and fall into the self-comparison game, but how healthy is this? Even if those of us that are older are “mature enough” to handle it there are young, impressionable girls and boys looking at these posts and comparing themselves to unrealistic standards. It’s things like this that play a part into leading teens into life long struggles with eating disorders.

It’s because of this that something has to be done.

If you know me or have followed me on social media over the years, you probably know that I have struggled with an eating disorder for years. Having a positive and healthy body image was basically a foreign concept to me. I hated everything about my appearance from my height, to my weight, to the color of my hair. I didn’t like anything about myself.

I had a horrible relationship with food, being in a constant cycle of not eating, giving in and binging, feeling guilty and purging. I hated every minute of it, but I just couldn’t stop. It was like my brain would shut off until after the fact.

I’m now working towards my third year of being in recovery. Has it been easy? Not even close. I have struggled, I have slipped up, I’ve cried, and wanted nothing more than to give up at times. Although I am better-“recovered” if you will-I’m definitely not in the best physical or mental shape. I’m still working hard towards achieving both.

I still have down days. I have days where I want to slip back into old habits and give up on the whole “recovery thing”, but I don’t. Even when the dark thoughts start slipping back, I keep on fighting! Why? Because I’ve realized that I am worth it. I am worth recovering. I am worthy of happiness, and so are you!
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Two years ago I found myself doing something I never thought I’d have the confidence to do; I got on stage…in front of everyone…in a bikini?!?!

Yeah 12 year old me never saw that one coming.

If you told me a few years ago that I would be on stage in a bikini I probably would have laughed in your face, because there was no way, feeling as insecure as I felt that I would be able to do that, and yet here I am.

 

28618704_1847716021907277_3185484370552243955_oFast forward to this year, I modeled fitness wear for Jewlz Fashion Boutique! Just like the swimsuit it’s not something I thought was possible for me to do. Honestly I almost backed out of shooting the look last minute, but now looking back I am so glad I pushed through and got the confidence to rock that look!

Building up the courage to compete in swimsuit, shoot in fitness wear, and really learn to embrace my curves definitely was not easy. I had to work on my body confidence every single day, using little tricks that ended up helping in the long run!

Here are 5 of my tips to help you improve your body!

  1. Write down something you like about yourself each dayI know this one probably seems pointless, but try and find little things that you like about yourself that aren’t related to your weight! It could be something as small as your nails or your eyebrows, or even your personality! Just find something unique that you love about yourself!
  2. Stop comparing yourself to others!You are you! There’s no one else in the world that is like you, and that is an amazing thing! Don’t try and be a copy of someone else, just be you!
  3. Erase all negativity from your life, focus on the positive things!It’s time to tell the negative committee that meets inside your head to have a seat and be quiet. Get rid of any items, thoughts, or people that bring negativity towards your life. It’s time to start fresh, and think only positive thoughts!
  4. Look at yourself as a whole, rather than focusing on just one areaThere is so much more to you than your insecurities. Look at yourself as a whole and realize how truly amazing you are, regardless of what you weigh.
  5. Realize that beauty is not defined by a number, true beauty comes from withinIt might sound cliché, but it is so true! Beauty really does come from the inside. No matter what you weigh or what size you wear, you are beautiful!

Try these tricks out and you’ll be surprised to see that it actually does help! It’s going to take time to build the confidence and healthy body image that you deserve to have, but trust me when I say that it is SO worth it!

If there’s anything I’ve learned over my years of struggling with an eating disorder and body image insecurities it is the importance of loving yourself. So many years of my life were wasted hating myself and only now that I am 19 years old have I finally realized that the most important thing is self love.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a size 2 or a 22. Just know that You are beautiful. You are talented. and You are so loved.