Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Make-A-Wish Royalty

Well I'm back to reality...

This past weekend I've been living the dream at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel celebrating my Sweet 16 on Friday, May 25th. Before I even go into details, I would like to thank the Arizona Biltmore staff for making this experience the ultimate hotel experience that I will never forget! I would also like to thank the Make-A-Wish Foundation; without the amazing volunteers and the generous donations of ordinary people my incredible Sweet 16 party would not have been possible! And lastly, I would like to thank everyone who attended my bash! It wouldn't have been a birthday if I didn't have my wonderful friends to celebrate it with me!

My day began the minute I woke up when I realized I was in a grand suite and not my bedroom. After I showered and ate breakfast in the hotel restaurant, my mum and I traveled to the Pucci Salon to get our hair, nails, and makeup done.

Ideal Party Makeup: A purple smokey eye with a neutral shimmery lip color and enough cover up to hide my acne ridden face.

Ideal Party Hairstyle: I definitely wanted an updo, but choosing one was so difficult! After I flipped though a styling book, I finally decided on a braided, somewhat messy updo.

Ideal Party Nails: My dream was to have a royal flush on each hand(Ace on my thumb, King on my pointer finger, Queen on my middle finger, Jack on my ring finger, and a Ten on my pinky). Unfortunately, this salon didn't master in nail art, so I settled on a purple to match my dress and a sparkly gold top coat.

Three hours later I was feeling like a total princess even without the ballgown.

We had a car drive us back to the hotel so I could begin the transformation process from ordinary to royalty!

Once I was dressed, we met up with my grandparents who drove five hours from Palm Desert just to be apart of my special day. The plan was to have all my friends meet up in my hotel room and then a limo would pick us up, drive us around a couple blocks, drive us to the ballroom where my party was being hosted and we would make our grand entrance on the red carpet! While in the limo, my friends and I were having a little pre-party by fist pumping, drinking "champagne", and taking pictures. Once I stepped out of the limo, the first thing I saw was a huge crowd of all my friends cheering and the Dj welcoming me by announcing my name as I walked on the red carpet.

The Biltmore planned my party far more superior than I could ever imagined. The ballroom was dark and tinted green with stars bouncing all over the place. One side of the room was completely dedicated to a huge food buffet with macaroni, chicken strips, french fries with assorted dipping sauces, tacos, a chocolate fountain, and the delicious indulgences(I tip my hat off to you, Chef Todd). The opposite side was composed of a photo booth with fun props for everyone to take pictures along with blackjack, roulette, and craps tables. And in the middle was the Dj booth in front of a big dance floor surrounded by round tables.

Six hours sure went by fast! I was preoccupied the whole time by trying to greet ALL my guests, and if I didn't get to their table I surely met up with them on the dance floor during the Cha Cha Slide, the Cupid Shuffle, Cotten Eye Joe, or Macarena. When I wasn't "busting a move" I was taking pictures with all my friends at the photo booth, although, I'm sort of upset I didn't get pictures with EVERYONE! If anything, I wish I was in a little more pictures(what can I say, I love being in front of the camera).

The crown adds to my princess-ness!

Love this photo!

Some of my favorite people!

My Wonderful Wish Granters!

My CDC Girls!

We're the... five best friends that anybody could have! <3

Le Boyfriend <3
Just a few out of the 275 photo booth pictures taken at the party...

During class I would always daydream about my cake and design what I wanted it to look like. But once again, my dreams were far exceeded when I saw a much better designed cake of spongy goodness! You could describe the cake as kooky? The baker incorporated all my ideas like edible playing cards, scattered poker chips, and a huge dice. After a couple hours passed by, all my friends and family sang happy birthday to me and I cut my cake which was more difficult than it needed to be, since the cake was sort of lopsided I was afraid of tipping it over. Thankfully I decided to cut on the most level tier of cake and successfully pulled out a slice of chocolaty superiority!

After my parents made a heartwarming toast and the Dj dedicated the song Firework by Katy Perry to me, because he thinks the lyrics best describe my personality, the regular lights were turned on and it was time to say our goodbyes. I didn't want the night to end, but if the night didn't end sooner or later then I think my voice would've vanished from screaming lyrics while dancing and my feet would have fallen off from partying too hard.

Unless I'm at camp, I don't think I've ever had that much fun! If I had to repeat any day of my life than it would definitely be Friday! Except the second time I would make sure to eat more food, "gamble" at everyone's game table, and take more photos with my boyfriend and everyone else I didn't get pictures with.

How will my wedding possibly top that spectacular of a night!?(better start saving)

A wish well spent! And again, I would like to thank everyone from the Make-A-Wish Foundation and all the Arizona Biltmore staff for any contributions! This party meant the world to me and now it's a memory I will never EVER forget! Not even when I'm eighty years old and can't even remember five minutes ago, than hey, I'll always have scrapbooks!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

An Idea Has Sprung

A couple weeks ago I attended Relay For Life to support those battling cancer, those who have survived it, and to honor those who have lost their lives to this disease. It's an overnight fundraising event which takes place around the globe. 

Not that cancer is not a worthy cause, I support it 100%, but living with heart disease my whole life, and meeting others kids with CHD, earns more of my respect. Personally, I would rather be apart of the American Heart Association community than the American Cancer Society. Let's not forget that CHD does not have a cure either. After all, heart disease is the leading cause of deaths in both men and women. In 2010, Coronary Artery Disease(the most common kind of heart disease) alone projected to cost the United States $108.9 Billion. This total includes the cost of health care, medications, and lost productivity. 

After experiencing Relay for Life once again I began thinking; what if there was a fundraiser out there, that was just as world-wide as Relay for Life? But not for Heart Disease... after being a heart transplant recipient my whole life, my focus is on Organ Donation. I believe people are more clueless about the importance and impact of Organ Donation.

 Just to state the facts...

Each day an average of 70 people receive transplants, however, about 18 people will die each day waiting for an organ that can't take place due to the shortage of donors. 1 organ donor can save up to 8 lives, and there are about 100 million donors in the U.S today, but let's not forget about the 2.5 million lost lives in 2007. 

The purpose of this Organ Donation fundraiser would be to celebrate those living life who have also endured transplant(whether it was an eye, liver, or HEART transplant), raise money for a cure of rejection, and of course, give people the opportunity to give the gift of life by becoming an organ donor. Because the reality is, the number of candidates waiting continues to decrease the number of organ donors available, and only you can change this! 

Like Relay for Life, this Organ Donation fundraiser would reach out to a teenage audience, like myself. The younger you learn, the wiser you become.  

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Centers of Disease Control and Prevention