Thursday, April 29, 2010


Wow. It’s Thursday – only three more days until the adventure begins. All of my efforts over the past several months are finally coming together, and I simply cannot wait to get to Vegas. The excitement is out of control!

For everyone who has called, texted, sent me emails, written on my facebook wall, etc., your kind words are what remind me why I wanted to do this in the first place. I cannot begin to describe how heart warming this is for me, knowing what a great support system I have. I hope I do you proud at Miss USA!

So my wardrobe is set and my evening gown is complete. I’m still waiting on the earrings that are being made for me, but I should be able to pick them up tomorrow! Now its just time to pack, get myself mentally prepared, and maybe, possibly, if I’m really feeling good … take some time to sleep before the two weeks of busy-ness commences. AH! I cannot wait. Its going to be so busy and so nuts … but so incredibly amazing!! If time allows, I will be certain to write as much as possible while I’m there to keep you updated on all of the behind-the-scenes action. :)

I can’t believe its here I can’t believe its here I can’t believe its here!!!! I’m soooo excited!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Article in the Southtown Star

Thanks Liz, this is a wonderful piece! I'm so happy to have the community's support!

Read the article: click here.

1 Week Countdown

Here it is ... my last week to prepare for Miss USA. In only 7 short days, I'll be writing about leaving for Vegas. AH!

I woke up this morning feeling excited and anxious. I met my friend Molly at the recreation park at 9am and we ran hills until we couldn't feel our butts anymore. Then we did abs until they burned so badly we wanted to cry. And we did it all with peeeerfect timing, since it started to rain the moment we finished. It must have been God saying, "OK, you've done a good job, now go home and rest!"

I've got a busy week ahead of me, but I'm sure the time will fly. I'll be finishing up alterations on my evening gown, picking up my earrings for it, putting the final touches on my wardrobe for rehearsals and appearances, practicing the walk on stage, and doing mock-interviews. In addition, I'll be throwing the first pitch at the Cubs Game this Tuesday, working on fine tuning my body for the swimsuit competition, practicing putting on those dang false eyelashes (yikes!), and a bunch of other odds and ends. Thursday night my bootcamp is having a little send off party for me at the bowling alley, and Friday my mom has decided to have an open house with close friends and family. I'm so excited for this week and to leave for the Miss USA Pageant! Only 7 days. Wow. It's nearly here!

Friday, April 23, 2010

IADT Fashion Show

Click here to see the shout out from FOX CHICAGO!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm up late thinking about all the things I have to do to prepare for Vegas. I leave next weekend already, I can't believe it! I need sleep so much, but I'm so excited I can hardly keep my eyes closed! Also ... I keep having weird dreams about the crown, lol. Last night it was the crowning moment at Miss USA, but no one could find the crown so they had to use a plastic one for the time being. Gosh, I want to do well at this event. I've worked so hard and have been so passionate about doing my best, I just hope it pays off!

The only things I have left to do are practice interview, practice walking in my evening gown (it arrived to my house today, ahh!), and finish off my wardrobe. A lot of girls ship things to Vegas beforehand, and if I'm going to do so the shipping company suggests putting it in the mail no later than Tuesday. That's only 4 days away, YIKES! I've been talking to my roommate, Miss Iowa USA, about what we can coordinate for the trip, but there is still soooo much to bring for two weeks of appearances and rehearsals! :)

Bottom line, I'm so so so excited. It's so close now ... only days away! Now if I could only get some rest ... zzzzzzz.


I love love love love love my evening gown for Miss USA. It’s going to be soooo amazing I can hardly wait to get there and show it off. I’m excited to see what the swimsuit looks like since it won’t be given to me until I arrive in Vegas. My last thing to think about – the interview.

Interview is an important part of this competition because it lets the judges know why you are right for the job of Miss USA. You have to look right, sound right, be right, while still being yourself and showing them everything that makes you the best candidate for the job – and in only two minutes time. Dun dun dun.

So what have I done to prepare? Practice, practice, practice. If you go in there prepared, there is nothing to be frightened of, after all. Even if I don’t practice answering the questions they will end up asking me in the interview, I hope that I will have practiced enough other questions to make a solid point or argument. But the other thing I have done to prepare is choose a look that will make me feel my best. In my opinion, if you feel like you look good and you’re happy with yourself, your attitude will reflect that. At least that’s what I’ve observed in my own experiences. So for interview … I have nailed down two looks right now that I just love, and now the hard part is deciding which one I’m going to use!

There is so much to think about going into this pageant, but I love every bit of it. I love the planning, the thinking, the learning, the challenges. I love it all so much that I wonder why it took me 24 years to realize it! In fact my sister asked me last week, “When did you become such a girl??” My answer being, of course, “When I won the Miss Illinois USA Pageant!” AAAAAH I can’t wait I can’t wait I can’t wait for Miss USA!!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Getting Close

I'm in Marion, Illinois right now visiting with Michelle Holmes of the Pageant Room. We have been fitting my evening gown, going over wardrobe for Vegas, and practicing my on stage walk in both swimsuit and evening gown. Being here is making me very anxious to leave, although I know it will be here before I know it! Only 17 days to be precise :)

There are only a few things left to prepare now ... finishing up my wardrobe, practicing that interview, continuing to work on getting my body in the best shape it can be, and ... omg ... packing!! I'm so excited. I was just reading my contestant handbook I received via FedEx on Monday, and it was telling about the media photographs and interviews we should expect upon arrival to the hotel. What?! Paparazzi?! ME?! OK!!! Hehe I'm so pumped. This is going to be a blast. Woo hooooo!!!! Miss USA Pageant, I'm ready for you to be here!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Last night I was recognized by the City of Lockport and their Mayor at the executive board meeting. It was great to see members of the community so excited about the local girl gaining the title of Miss Illinois USA ... I guess I am the first one in this town to do so!

They allowed me to say some words, and then they presented me with a certificate that I feel is completely awesome. It is titled, "'Person you should know' certificate of recognition." Hah! I'm a 'person you should know.' AWESOME! Then it states, "This certificate of recognition is presented to Ashley Bradarich on this 7th day of April, 2010, by the city of Lockport, for your accomplishment in becoming Miss Illinois USA 2010. Congratulations on all of you achievements and best of luck in the Miss USA Pageant and all of your future endeavors." Isn't that so nice?!?!?! It certainly makes me feel good :)

The girls at boot camp are planning to take me out bowling before I leave for Vegas. It's so nice that everyone is expressing their support and excitement as the competition grows nearer. Even as I was getting my nails done today the people at the salon had all kinds of questions for me about "this and that" ... and said how excited they are to watch on May 16th. I hope I'm in the top 15! AH! :)

This is so awesome. I've never been involved in such a community-wide display of excitement. Well, except maybe when the Bears were going to the Super Bowl ... but hey, who can't get excited about that?! And this is so much different. I've poured my heart and soul into being the best I can be ... and I certainly hope it will radiate on that stage when the pageant finally arrives. I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Today that whole family went on a lunch cruise for grandma's 80th birthday. 80 -- that's a lot of years. I'm only 24, but sometimes ... I feel that's old. But geez, I've got quite a ways to go to catch up with good 'ol gram. It makes me wonder ... what was she like when she was 24? What are any of us like? Am I going to care about completely different things as I mature versus what I care about now? Are my career aspirations going to change? Will I be interested in different sorts of art, food, culture, men?

Today I spoke with my cousin who just turned 32 ... she says her life has finally begun. At 32 she knows what she wants to do, she knows where she's going, and she knows who she wants to be. She spent her 20s trying to figure out who she was. She was engaged twice, moved 7 times, changed jobs about twice that, and has finally, at 32 years old, settled in her career, opened her own business, dumped the nonsense men, and taken a hold of her life. And she's soooo happy.

When I was 23 my goal was to finish college, get a good job, save up some money, move out to my own place, and establish my freelance business. Now, at 24, my goals are somewhat different. But then again, my opportunities to grow are so much greater since winning the crown. I wasn't planning on the wonderful things that becoming Miss Illinois USA would bring, but I want to embrace them with everything I've got. My goal at this current moment is to be in the top 15 at Miss USA. Being in the top 5 would be AMAZING, and winning would be a dream come true. That's what I want for myself. My hope for this pageant and competition is that it might help me discover my life's passions, and give me a chance to really find my calling. I already know that I enjoy being involved with people a lot more than being behind a computer, sitting in the background ... but maybe there's a way for me to incorporate both. I'm open to change, in fact ... I LOVE change and welcome it. I can't wait to see where life takes me from here, whatever it may be. As much as I hate not knowing the outcome of things like the Miss USA Pageant, I think it's so exciting to know that anything is possible!! I can't wait can't wait can't wait to get to Vegas. It's like this is the new chapter in my life book. I'm so excited to see what happens!