I’m Going to Hollywood!
Love, Miss Tampa Bay USA 2015

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Miss Tampa Bay USA 2015


Not California (boo), but Hollywood, FL for the Miss Florida USA Pageant in July! I kept it on the down low, but I’ve been inching to get back into pageants for a while now. As most of you know, I went through a string of health debacles last year, and competing was essentially out of the question until a few months ago.


Since I turned 25, I’ve aged out of the Miss America system, and I realized a few weeks ago that this is my last year of eligibility for Miss USA… which is scary (I’m a grandma!). I figured that it would take a few locals to get back into my groove, but low and behold, I won my first USA local, Miss Tampa Bay USA, on Sunday!


Miss Tampa Bay USA 2015


The pageant began with an On-Stage Interview phase, which consisted of an Introduction and On-Stage Question, then quickly progressed to the Swimsuit Competition, followed by Evening Gown. The biggest change in transitioning from Miss America to Miss USA is the absence of a talent performance. Miss America’s talent portion is 35% of your total score, so the competition was much quicker and less stressful than I was expecting (I somehow managed to get sick 2 days before each local… and my talent has always been singing. Go figure.).


Miss Tampa Bay USA 2015


My blog and real life bffs, Ashley Brooke and Mash Elle, were there to support me. I’m so blessed!


Miss Tampa Bay USA 2015Miss Tampa Bay USA 2015Miss Tampa Bay USA 2015Miss Tampa Bay USA 2015

One of the best parts was hanging out with the gorgeous pageant hosts and outgoing queens. They made a Miss America girl feel right at home.

I’m literally elated. When I look back at where I was one year ago, the change is incalculable. To go from the Florida Hospital ICU to another shot on the Miss Florida stage is really difficult to put into words, and I’m so blessed to have my health, happiness, and support system back in tow. It sounds like such a “pageant mentality,” but being surrounded by fellow MAO and MUO contestants is truly inspiring. I’ve actually met some of my very best friends through state and local competitions; these extraordinary young women are talented, beautiful, and ambitious… and it definitely forces you to keep pushing forward. From photobombs to doing each other’s makeup, I had such an amazing evening with these ladies!


Miss Tampa Bay USA 2015
Miss Tampa Bay USA 2015

These were seriously the sweetest girls ever. I hope we all stay in touch!

So, the night was basically a ton of fun, and it ended with an amazing surprise… I’m still shocked. My bffs, Ashley Brooke and Mash Elle, took me to dinner at Boca Kitchen Bar & Market in Tampa for a celebratory calorie fest. I’ll be honest, the binging hasn’t really stopped since… I’m eating Peanut Butter Oreos like it’s my job. Don’t care, still celebrating.


Oh, and major shout out to the makeup artist at MAC who hooked me up with this fabulous makeup haul. Since my skin is acne-prone, I’m hesitant, to say the least, to wear anything beyond BB or CC cream for every day wear, and I needed a clean and effective makeup blend for stage. My skin looked flawless. The makeup never felt cakey, and I stayed shine-free all evening! MAC, I adore you. Also, for those of you who have never tried Jordana mascara, do yourself a favor and make a trip to Walgreens. It’s literally the best mascara I’ve ever used…ever… and it’s $2.99. Unreal.



So what’s next? Some more book drives, the development of my 501(c)3, and a whole lot of hip-hop abs. This year is sure to be a whirl-wind, and I’m ready! Cue the R. Kelley “The World’s Greatest” music. 


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25 thoughts on “I’m Going to Hollywood!
Love, Miss Tampa Bay USA 2015

  1. Ashley Nicholas

    Girls, Stephanie is being extremely modest. She ROCKED the pageant, and it was no surprise that she won!

    Also, I can't believe you AND Michelle went to MAC without me. I'll never forgive you!!!


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