Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"What can you do to make Miss America relevant?": My Day in the TN House of Representatives

I would compare my feeling of walking into the Tennessee State Capitol, just before a meeting of the House of Representatives, as the average girl would compare being let loose into the Neiman's shoe department-- Overwhelmed, but in the very best kind of way.

Those of you who know me know I love politics, I love law, and I also just happen to love shoes. For many years now, the usual first statement that I hear after being asked what career choice I have chosen to pursue is "OH! Like Elle Woods in Legally Blonde!"

Um. Because I have a lot of hair and dress nicely? Thanks.

Most of the time I quickly skew their "quick-to-judge" opinion of me the second they begin to question my opinions on hot button issues and local news.

So, I won't say I wasn't nervous about wearing my crown into the House of Representatives-- I didn't want a single person there to assume that because I was wearing a crown and red lipgloss that I wouldn't be able to have an intelligent conversation.

They didn't.

Sitting with Representative Matthew Hill (part of Washington County - From Jonesborough, woo!) and Representative Glen Casada (part of Williamson County), I felt right home. I talked with them about my platform, Let's Make "Healthy" Fun!, and my love of working in politics and hopes of becoming a district attorney one day. They showed a genuine interest, asked me questions, and Rep. Casada even invited me to appear at an event for Get Fit Tennessee in Nashville. [Sidenote: I also swiftly schooled them on the difference between Miss America and Miss USA.]

I guess what I am trying to say is that over and over again we are asked, "What can you do to make Miss Tennessee and Miss America more relevant?"

The answer is to SHOW THEM. That's all you can do to make anything more relevant-- Show them what you are doing, WORK to get yourself out there. That's all it takes. Say Yes, I wear make up, Yes, I have a giant sparkling crown on my head and tell them what that crown is helping you to accomplish.

They'll listen.

Jennifer Leigh :)

With Matthew Hill

With Glen Casada

With Speaker of the House, Beth Harwell

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Keep Calm and Carry On"

I have been keeping busy, busy, BUSY! The last few months have been a whirlwind of appearances, community service, prelims, wardrobe putting together, and Miss Tennessee preperation-- and it's only going to get better!

I FINALLY got to meet all of the other 35 beautiful Miss Tennessee contestants at Workshop in Jackson this past weekend. Like everyone else I am now counting down the seconds until June! During lottery I picked the 7th spot in Group A and the week of Miss Tennessee will be competing in Talent on Wednesday night, Swim Suit on Thursday night, and Evening Gown on Friday night.

Miss Tennessee Class of 2011

Miss Northeast TN, myself, and Miss Nashville

Miss Memphis, Miss Parsons Peavine, Miss Northeast TN, myself, Miss MTSU, and Miss Walking Tall

After Workshop, all the ladies attended the Miss Tennessee Outstanding Teen and Teen Princess Pageant where we watched some very talented and lovely girls compete for the titles! Congratulations to Miss TN Outstanding Teen, Madison Snipes, and Miss TN Teen Princess, Jocelynn Jordan!

The winners and runners up!

Myself, Miss Northeast TN, Miss Kingsport, and Miss Capital City

I'll post another update of all the other activities that have been going on soon, as well! I'm also gearing up for some exciting events with my platform, Let's Make "Healthy" Fun, and am always on the look for more! If you would like to have me visit your class or after school group to speak with your kids about healthy eating, staying active, and explaining what "healthy" really is, please contact me!

Keep calm and carry on :)

Jennifer Leigh

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Don't worry, y'all, I'm still here...

The last month has been jam packed with lots of preperation for Miss Tennessee-- we're getting so close! This weekend, I had the opportunity to get a few very important things taken care of including wardrobe (Thanks to Paige, Jared and everyone else at the fabulous Joann's!) and my Miss Tennessee headshots! I had a fantastic photoshoot on Friday with the talented Kristy Belcher and Joel Green. I have several appearances coming up this week, including a performance at the Veteran's Administration, that I will update on later, but for now I just wanted to share a few pictures from the shoot!

Click on the picture to view my Facebook Album!

Much Love,
Jennifer Leigh

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year... undoubtedly the BUSIEST time of the year, as well! In the weeks before Christmas, I was so busy with finals, appearances, and working, I could barely keep track of one thing to the next! But if you know me, you know that's the way I like it.

The holidays are a very demanding time for a Queen and I was blessed to be at a lot of great events this December. I did everything from the typical ride-on-the-back-of-a-convertible (a beautiful Mercedes convertible) in the Johnson City and Jonesborough parades to singing at the Jonesborough Nursing Home and teaching kids how to make gingerbread houses at the Jonesborough Visitor's Center. Throw in a ribbon cutting or two, a couple of Christmas parties, and a tree lighting and you have a fabulous holiday season!

Signing Autographs at "At Home with Santa"

Jonesborough Christmas Parade (Don't even start to judge my UGG boots; it was FREEZING.)

Jonesborough Lighting of the Christmas Tree...

Obviously this is my favorite part :) I love the kids!

Building Gingerbread Houses! So much fun!

With my great directors at the Chamber of Commerce Christmas Open House

After singing at Four Oaks Nursing Home

At the Ribbon Cutting for the First TN Development District in their new building.

So, now that you know what I've been doing, I hope you all had a blessed and merry Christmas and that you have a wonderful new year! I will be doing a lot of work with my platform. Healhthy, Active Youth in TN in the coming months, so if you have an event that you would be interested in having me attend, please let me know!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Go here to watch a quick holiday greeting from me to you!

It has been a hectic time, but a new blog post and picture update is coming soon!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Turkey Trot 2010!

Hey everybody! Just wanted to share some pictures from the Turkey Trot that I mentioned in my last post!

Turkey Trot Mascot!

A great turn out and a great time! This was an AWESOME family event and I am so glad I got to be there! I am always looking for races and walks (especially ones that have something for the kids!), so let me know if you have a suggestion for me!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

I hope everyone has had as wonderful and blessed a Thanksgiving as I did! Thanksgiving morning I went to the Johnson City Turkey Trot 5k for Up and At 'Em (which is part of my platform, Healthy, Active Youth in Tennessee). I had planned to run, but unfortunately have been sick since Monday, so I wasn't able to. I had a great time just being there, though, seeing literally thousands of people out for a healthy holiday family activity! I will share pictures soon! Because I was staying in Northeast TN for the race, my parents drove up from Knoxville and we had Thanksgiving lunch with family in Kingsport. I got to see some people I haven't seen in years and meet some that I've heard about forever! It was a special day and I am so glad we got the opportunity to be there!

As for an update for the last week or two, I attended a couple of events, including a ribbon cutting for the new Wound Care Center at the Johnson City Medical Center. I was so honored to be a part of the ribbon cutting and really enjoyed going on a tour of the unit and learning a little about the importance of wound care.

I have a lot of EXCITING Christmas activities coming up! Historic Jonesborough Christmas Tree lighting, parades, and taking kiddos Christmas shopping for their families-- just to name a few! I will update again soon with pictures from the Turkey Trot AND a few new publicity pictures that we took last week! Stay tuned!

Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend!