Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Julie Lee Smith -- Ms. Missouri Classic Beauty

Ask the Crown (Ep 15)

--Wendy Lindberg, America's SUPER Queen 2013-14

What a great PageantLIVE/Ask the Crown program to be sharing in October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

PageantLIVE hosted the very energetic and wonderful Julie Lee Smith- Ms Missouri Classic Beauty on October 21st, 2013 as she joined Stephanie McGrane in a show featuring her journey as a breast cancer patient and survivor.

Many people who get their yearly exams and physicals don't anticipate the kind of whirl wind of events that happened when Julie made it to her July appointment. Only anticipating the usual hour or so in the doctor's office, she was surprised to find herself still in the doctor's office, 6 hours later, going through the gauntlet of tests for the abnormalities picked up in her usual testing.

Growing technologies in breast cancer research

Julie had a 3D mammogram as a part of her diagnosis process. She talked to Stephanie and the viewers about the benefits this test had for her and the benefits it can have for women 50 and older. She says that she believes that this new technology is what has helped save her life. With only about 300 clinics in the US having the technology in their hospitals, Julie says it is very new and may be hard to get with your insurance etc, but is very worth looking into if you are faced with the need to have one done. 

As Julie had suggested, I looked up a little information on breast tomosynthesis.  

www.ahchealthnews.com reported some of the benefits of a 3D mammogram include:

1)    More accurate detection 
2)    Earlier diagnosis 
3)    Better detection in dense breast tissue
4)    Less Anxiety
5)    Safe and Effective

Be your own advocate!
Julie highlighted the importance of being your own advocate for your own care and to know what your insurance policies cover before you head into treatment and surgery. 

"If they (the insurance companies) can get by without having to put you up in the hospital, they will do it. And so many things were running through my mind." Julie said, ".... so many questions, and I was so relieved to had thought to look all that up before I had gone into the hospital."  "Definitely look at your policies if you have to have surgery." 

Mutation of BRCA1 and BRCA2, AKA: the "cancer gene"
Julie had also found out in the process of her testing that she had the "cancer gene", a series of mutations of tumor suppressor proteins that gave her an estimate that with her genetic testing and family history, that she has a 87% chance of getting breast cancer. 

www.cancer.gov says, "About 12 percent of women in the general population will develop breast cancer sometime during their lives. By contrast, according to the most recent estimates, 55 to 65 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA1 mutation and around 45 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA2 mutation will develop breast cancer by age 70 years."

"I was just doomed to get it. ... Those are horrible Las Vegas odds!"  Julie joked, "My parents always said I was special!" 

But Julie also warned that when you are considering getting tested for the "cancer gene" you should be sure you already have a life insurance policy. "Once you get tested a lot of life insurance policies will not cover you or accept you once they know you have that (gene)," she warned.

The BIG message
Julie wanted to really stress the importance of getting your regular mammogram and your monthly self exam. "I know mammograms hurt, but it hurts worse to know that you have cancer and you couldn't have done something about it. ... If I had skipped it (the exam) I wouldn't be here now." Julie went on to say, "you can go (to get your test) on an event like your anniversary, or something like that, so it is easy to remember."

Pageantry with recovery

Her nurses often call her "Queen Chemo". Julie wears her crown and sash to many of her treatments. 

She has found that the camaraderie and friendships that she has found in her pageant sisters has lead her to the people that she leans on a lot to help encourage her through treatment. "I have never seen such a support system in my entire life," is what her doctor told her when he saw her Facebook page with all of her pageant friends helping and supporting her. 

"I am so glad to be a part of something that has a meaning and a cause and that will help others. I like doing those charity events, runs/walks and fashion shows. ... getting out there and helping others," Julie observed "... People seem to stop and listen when there is a title behind it."

You can follow Julie on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/julie.l.smith.1272?fref=ts 

See the interview here: 


Hello all and thank you to PageantLIVE!

---Wendy Lindberg, America's SUPER Queen 2013-14

Hello pageant friends! I am so thrilled to be joining you as a new blogger for Ask the Crown! This opportunity for me to be involved with this format of communication, to share the goings on in the pageant world and PageantLIVE's wonderful programs, and so more is such an exciting opportunity for me! 

I am a mother of three lovely daughters ages 4,8, and 10 and married to my husband of 11 years, David. He is the HR director for a local school district and an Iraqi war veteran. I am a stay-at-home mother, and self-proclaimed professional volunteer as an active member of the St Francis Area, Minnesota, and United States Women of Today. 

I am involved with many aspects of the pageant world from judging, assisting in productions, directorship and a current national titleholder.  I look forward to sharing my point of view and stories from the pageant world! I am the current reigning America's SUPER Queen. 


Thanks for joining me on this new adventure and following Ask the CROWN on PageantLIVE's website and YouTube channel. 


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Chinese Laundry Grand Opening

Chinese Laundry Store Grand Opening                                          with Mabelynn Capeluj - Miss California USA 2013 

Chinese Laundry Grand Opening

The beautiful Miss California USA, Mabelynn Capeluj, attended the grand opening of a Chinese Laundry store in Westfield City Century Mall on October 19th.  Guests enjoyed cupcakes, fresh lemonade and complimentary gift bags. While there, Mabelynn took time to respond to Ask the Crown's questions.

What is it like being Miss California USA?

Being Miss California USA is such an honor.  I competed against more than 300 girls, so being crowned was unbelievable.

Mableynn Capeluj - Miss California USA &
Chloe Hope Hatfield - Miss California Teen USA

What has been the highlight of your year?

The traveling! I have been able to travel to Mexico for the Farouk Hair show and I will be going to the Bahamas in November.  I also had the opportunity to tour the Governor's office at my State Capitol of Sacramento.

What is your favorite style of Chinese Laundry shoe?  

My favorite is the Tippy Tops in Nude.  I have 4 pairs!  I wear them to all my castings and they go with everything!

Did you compete in Tippy Top shoes at Miss USA?  

We did not have the Tippy Tops at Miss USA but I wish we did!

What do you think of the Tippy Top shoe? 


What are the hot Chinese Laundry must have shoes for fall? 

Believe it or not, I love flat boots.  It is a great break from always being in heels.  I think any of the combat style boots with laces go great with leggings or skinny jeans.

Mableynn Capeluj - Miss California USA,
Chinese Laundry CEO - Bob Goldman & 

Chloe Hope Hatfield - Miss California Teen USA

How can you win a pair of Tippy Top shoes from Chinese Laundry?

Tell us why you want to win a pair of Tippy Top shoes or send a photo of yourself in your favorite pair of Chinese Laundry shoes to askthecrown@gmail.com. Miss USA and Miss Teen USA will be reviewing your responses & photos and choosing the new winners on Ask the Crown in November.

Shop, follow & like!

Chinese Laundry Website - http://www.chineselaundry.com/
Tippy Top Shoes - http://www.chineselaundry.com/search.cfm?kword=tippy+top&x=7&y=4
Twitter - @ChineseLaundry
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ChineseLaundry

Blog by Stephanie McGrane


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mabelynn Capeluj - Miss California USA 2013

Mabelynn Capeluj - Miss California USA 2013 

How did you capture the title of Miss California USA?

Mabelynn worked toward the goal of becoming Miss California USA for about a year.  She won Miss Greater San Diego USA, a prelim to Miss California USA.  During the year, she learned a lot about herself and grew as a person. Attending events and the real life experiences she encountered helped her feel quite prepared.

What has your year as Miss California USA been like?

Mabelynn describes her year as a "whirlwind". Right after winning the crown, photographers flocked her and her publicist came up to her and introduced herself. Mabelynn says, "there is always something going on."

She has been traveling and has partnered up with the National Psoriasis Foundation. At the age of 16, Mabelynn was diagnosed with this chronic skin condition and has since been able to speak out about it.

One of the highlights of her year was traveling to Miami, where she was able to watch Miss Florida USA (and good friend) give up her title.  While in Miami she also signed with a new modeling agency and walked for Beach Bunny during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

What is your advice to all of the girls who hope to become Miss California USA?

"Relax and have fun with it! At the end of the day only one girl wins, 20 girls place and over 300 girls compete.  I didn't win it my first try.  I actually competed for Miss California Teen USA about 4 years ago.  I didn't even place.  That was not the end of the world for me."

Mabelynn came back and won her local prelim title and went on to place in the top 10 her first year competing for Miss California USA.  "It really inspired me and I came back," she said. She won the title on her second try.  "For the girls who really want this and really want to work hard to hard toward this goal, keep trying and don't give up," advises Mabelynn.  "Every time I've competed I have learned something new about myself.  Overall, just relax!"

What is your secret pageant tip?

"Right before I compete, especially for swimsuit, I like to listen to really upbeat music, like party music and dance a little bit because it helps me loosen up and get rid of my nerves." Backstage at Miss CA USA and Miss USA, Mabelynn was dancing behind the curtains as she was waiting to go on stage. "My favorite is by Ellie Goulding, Anything Could Happen. It is really inspirational and upbeat. I love that song!"

What is next for Mabelynn?

After giving up her title on January 4, 2014, Mabelynn will travel to Miami to continue her modeling.

You are attending a grand opening of a new Chinese Laundry store...what is your favorite type of shoe?

"The Tippy Tops - the perfect pageant heel!  As a model, I wear them to all of my castings. Especially for swimwear, they are absolutely perfect!  Chinese Laundry gifted me a new pair and they are actually my fourth pair of nude Tippy Tops!  They are the best!"

Be sure to see the following blog of Mabelynn attending the grand opening.

See Mabelynn's interview

Keeping up with Mabelynn...

Instagram - Mabelynn Capeluj
Twitter - @RealMissCAUSA (during her reign)
Facebook -

Blog by Stephanie McGrane
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