Meet Fern Olivia: The Most Motivating, Genuine and Loving Woman.

Happy Motivational Monday Lady Code!

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the Indie Beauty Expo in Dallas, an exhibition where independently owned makeup, skin care and bath and body companies come to promote and grow their product. To say I love Dallas is the understatement of the year. The people there are absolutely lovely and the people who attended the expo are compassionate, hard working and beautiful individuals.

Meet Fern: The Founder of Ajai Alchemy 

The Expo started on Tuesday and as my mom and I rushed into the elevator I happen to notice a woman standing next to us, she had beautiful energy and a warm smile. Later, I learned that this bright soul was Fern Olivia, an internationally recognized motivational speaker and teacher on the power of self love, yoga, and holistic lifestyle practices.


Originally  a former Finance professional and Biomedical Engineer, Fern was diagnosed with the auto immune disorder, Hashimoto’s Hypothyroid disease in 2008, making her feel “sluggish and bloated” which only added to the insecurities she felt when younger.

Being bullied from a young age, Fern felt as though she had little self worth., which was furthered by a string of verbally abusive relationships. She says “I was always feeling that I was weird, picked last in gym class, the boys never had crushes on me.” In fact, this made her “unworthy of being beautiful.” This view of herself lasted until her late twenties until she found the courage to leave a six year abusive relationship and leave her corporate finance job. It was after this jump that she found her true self, beauty and now she is “shining”. 

The journey she took to gain this confidence included:

  1. Finding yoga
  2. Realizing she had a “purpose greater than being a hamster in a cubical”
  3. Stopped doing something that she thought she had to do because her parents wanted her to do.

Being born with certain gifts, she could always feel other people’s emotions and her heart would break when she saw others being bullied. She knew she could help people and decided it was time to stop working at an unfulfilling desk job. Fern has helped coach and empower woman of all ages on self-identify, confidence and healing their bodies. She left her job and moved to California where she founded Ajai Alchemy, an organic essential oil fragrance brand formulated to assist with hormone balancing.

Inner peace
“Rituals are habits made holy.” -Fern Olivia

Since starting her company, she has seen her own self-confidence improve and recognized that so many women are ready to make the jump in their own lives, they just need a coach. Fern has become a mentor, guide and teacher. Her advice: “women need to hear, I see you, you’re beautiful”. A message which Lady Code aims to spread among all women. We have to empower one another, not compete against each other.

Ajai Alchemy
Ajai are charged fragrances with each scent made with the intention to activate your own inner power. They are made with 100%  Organic ingredients and recycled, eco-sustainable packaging to lower your carbon footprint.

You can connect with Fern on social media:





Please check out the video below to learn more about this lovely soul and spirit and do not forget to follow this empowering woman as she changes the world.

Happy Motivational Monday everyone!

Let’s get social- follow me on Instagram and Twitter @charvontratt

Love and light,

Char ❤


Body Positivity For Motivational Monday

Happy Motivational Monday everyone,

Today’s post is all about body positivity and being happy with yourself.

It is important to love your body and truly understand it’s unique needs. In a day where social media reigns supreme, it is easy to understand why body dysmorphia is on the rise. Many social media bloggers will brand themselves according to their type of eating like Vegan or Paleo or cupcake lover. Women need to understand and embrace that every single person is unique and so are their dietary needs. Instead of trying to be like someone else, be yourself and really tune in to what makes you feel good.

Two women the same age can thrive on different lifestyles, diet and exercise. The key is listening to your own inner voice and wisdom and not get distracted on what the internet or a blogger or a movie star says. The other issue with social media is that it embraces the unattainable perfection. It just doesn’t exist.

Love your body inside and out for the incredible machinery and gift it is. Feed it well with love, care and good food that resonates on the inside. Stop comparing yourself to others because you will never be someone else only yourself.

Lady Code is a place to empower women, whether that be to eat healthier, have a positive outlook, inspire makeup and fashion styles, but mostly to LOVE themselves.

Please watch the video below which inspired me for this post.

I am implore everyone reading this to STOP thinking about what they don’t like about themselves or what they wish they could change and START thinking about what they love about themselves.

This theme perfectly ties in with Lisa Opie’s un-retouched campaign for her swimsuit line, Vizcaya Swimwear. In this recent photo shoot, Lisa wanted to promote body love or what she is referring to as #PerfectlyImperfect!

A special “Thank you” to Dr. Elizabeth Trattner for helping with this post.

Happy Monday!

Love Char ❤

Meet Vanessa Hernandez: Miss New Mexico United States 2016

With the Miss United States 2016 pageant kicking off tomorrow, the countdown to Miss United States 2016 closes out with Miss New Mexico, Vanessa Hernandez! Vanessa was a student and Sundancer at New Mexico State University and a part of the first competitive hip hop dance team to win Dance Worlds. As an enrolled member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe Vanessa takes pride in having a career with one of her tribes enterprises. Growing up she faced bullying for having a diverse ethnic background. Now she uses her personal experiences of overcoming adversity as fuel to her platform, Anti Bullying and Women Empowerment. Vanessa hosts fashion shows that encourage young women to “stomp their heels on bullying” and embrace the beauty of being different and the confidence to always make a [fashion] statement.

vanessa hernandez photo 

Quick facts…
Hometown: Alamogordo, New Mexico
Current City: Alamogordo, New Mexico
Hobbies: Snowboarding, dancing, weight lifting, yoga, traveling
Favorite food: My mom’s green chili chicken enchiladas
Favorite movie: Legends of the Fall
Three words that sum you up: Vibrant, Authentic and Empathetic
Song you have on repeat right now: Just like Fire by PINK (The lyrics are so empowering!)
Dream job: I currently have a very rewarding career but if I was to wake up tomorrow to do something else it would be traveling the world with my platform.
Beauty product you can’t live without: I was recently introduced to Solar Protection Formula by my aesthetician and LOVE it!
Favorite quote: “The only disability in life is a bad attitude” -Scot Hamilton

miss new mexico vanessa hernandez
Having a title keeps you pretty busy! What is a typical day like for you?
One of the attributes pageantry teaches is time management. To keep my sanity of balancing my full time career and title amongst other daily responsibilities I start my day off with fueling my mind, body and soul with a workout, devotional reading and a good breakfast! After working a full day my evenings vary from weight lifting, pageant prep coaching for young girls, and preparing for appearances, photoshoots and interviews for the weekend.
What has been the highlight of being Miss New Mexico US so far?
A couple weeks after I was crowned I received an email from the fifth grade teacher of the Mescalero Elementary School and she told me she had asked her students who they wanted to come speak at their Graduation Ceremony and they chose me! I was completely surprised and felt so honored. I have a huge heart for the youth in my community so to know I was inspiring them inspired me!
What are some of your best beauty secrets to looking flawless all the time?
I wouldn’t say I’m flawless all the time. With a schedule as compact as mine I tend to be short on time and resort to one of my favorite looks, a bun! Since I was a little girl I use to love to dress like my Grandma Petra and she always had a good bun and bold earrings! Simple yet classy.  
 What is your go-to makeup look?
I love the natural look. My days start at 5am and usually doesn’t end till 9-10 at night so I always resort to a waterproof mascara and eye liner, MAC concealer under my eyes and MAC blot powder throughout the day. I love to curl my eyelashes with the tweezer man eye lash curler and always have a lip gloss on hand!

miss new mexico united states
Growing up, who was your inspiration?
Queen of Tejano Music, Selena Quintanilla! I am from a diverse ethnic background and I loved being able to relate to her upbringing and strong family values. She is Mexican-American and embraced every part of that through her music. Her innovativeness to fashion, humility, and compassion for fans is an inspiration to me as a woman today and I aspire to leave a legacy like she has.
Lady Code has a focus on anti-bullying and women empowerment. Do you have any advice for our readers who may be victims of bullying?
When I first read this blog I did a happy dance because my platform as Miss New Mexico US is Anti Bullying and Women Empowerment. I’ll share more of that below but YES I do have advice. We all have been bullied in some form or another because if you are different in any type of way you become vulnerable to being a victim of bullying.  One of my favorite lines in the book I Am Malala is when her mother tells her daughter to “Hide your face— people are looking at you” and she responds “It doesn’t matter; I’m also looking at them”. Always remember that the opinion of others does not define you! The next time you find yourself the victim of being bullied consider yourself in that position for a purpose! Be the good, share love, be the reason that bully wants to change for the better!  Matthew 5:43-48
Tell us about your platform:
As a young girl growing up on the Mescalero Apache Reservation I was a victim of bullying. My peers would refer to me as “white girl” and “princess” in a derogatory way because of the way I dressed and the color of my skin. When I would get home I would scratch my skin so hard till it bled hoping that it would turn brown like my mom. My mother has such a moving soul and taught me at a very young age that there is beauty in being different and to embrace who I am. Now, as a woman I want to share that! Anti-Bullying and Women Empowerment is what my platform is about. Fashion shows is my chosen activity to bring awareness to the topic of bullying and female empowerment!
Stomping our heels on bullying while making a Fashion Statement!

vanessa miss new mexico child
What can Lady Code readers do in their communities to get involved?
To get involved in your community with my platform I would just encourage you to stomp your own heels on bullying and create your own fashion statement that best represents who YOU are! By doing that you will be an encouragement to the next woman that comes your way.
To be more involved in your community with other projects I encourage you to listen to the radio, read the local newspaper or read up on your local chamber website for events. Social Media can be very helpful as well, simply posting a status asking how to get involved will blossom into philanthropic opportunities.
In your free time, what do you enjoy doing?
I’m grateful I have a family that supports my journey to Miss United States and the busy schedule it brings because when I do have free time it is dedicated to time being spent with them! Sometimes it’s only 20 minutes and my dad will come over and help me water my lawn, birthday BBQ’s on the back porch or sometimes I can collaborate shopping for the pageant with the women I love most! My mom and Aunt helped me choose my evening wear gown for Miss United States and that experience would not have been the same without them there.
What is one thing you can’t live without?
Friendship. I once had a conversation with a homeless man and apologized I wasn’t able to offer him much. He shared with me that my smile and generosity was enough and that more than anything he wishes people would just acknowledge him and wave hello. That conversation made me more aware that it is easy to take advantage of living a fortunate life and at the end of the day there is a lot of things we can live without but friendship keeps our souls alive!
What is the hardest part about competing in pageants?
 Letting others speak over your thoughts. In pageantry you get told “Be yourself, be yourself, be yourself”. As generic as that sounds it is so true! It’s easy to have someone you admire influence you. But don’t let their prominent manner steer the direction of your heart in the opposite way of YOU and your dreams! 
What is the best part about competing in pageants?
The voice of the crown! The moment I decided to participate in this organization it gave me the opportunity to have a more powerful and impactful voice to the young girls in my community. Choosing to no longer be on the sidelines and take the chance at vying for my state title challenged me to dig deep within myself and bring out the authenticity that I have been holding back. Thanks to USNP for the first time in my life I feel on fire!  
 vanessa hernandez new mexico photo
What is the best advice you have ever received?
I have come across lots of great advice through my life but most recently I had a friend reach out to me through facebook and shared with me some sweet and impactful words,
“…..Your coronation of Miss NM is a HUGE deal and super exciting as is the journey to Miss US, but never ever forget that you are Vanessa Hernandez, you were before and will be after this is all over. You have done an amazing job of not losing sight of your heritage and culture and where you’ve come from and most importantly your faith, and I just want to encourage you to hold onto that as things get more and more hectic….I know this is totally out of left field, I’ve just been thinking about it as everyone has been referring to you as Miss New Mexico as if that’s your new name…….”
God always has impeccable timing when bringing forward the support I need to help me on this unbeaten path to Miss United States!  
Keep up with Vanessa:
Twitter: @Miss_NMUS
Snapchat: MissNMUS2016
Instagram: miss_nmunitedstates
Facebook Fan Page: Miss New Mexico United States

Meet Claire Wright: Miss Washington Teen USA 2016

Today I am so honored to share an interview with one of the most inspiring young women I have met through pageantry. Claire Wright embodies everything that Lady Code stands for, so I knew I had to share her story with you all! I met Claire at Miss Universe 2015 through an interview I did for PageantLIVE. Through the interview, I learned that Claire was a former victim of bullying and she has since then created her own nonprofit organization, Project Claire Bear. Claire is also a blogger, student, and your current Miss Teen Washington USA! Claire is currently in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Miss Teen USA competition, so I thought now would be the perfect time to share her story!

claire wright 1

What inspired you to compete in beauty pageants?
While being severely bullied in middle school, I was looking for activities outside of school, so I could build up my life away from the people mistreating me. I told my mom I wanted to compete in a pageant, who was initially apprehensive, until I received a letter in the mail the next day asking me to participate in a pageant. We did some research and looked at it as God’s perfect timing. My first pageant was the best experience I could have ever hoped for. I gave a speech on the importance of being kind to others, and that passion has since grown into my nonprofit organization, Project Claire Bear. My confidence grew immensely that weekend and I learned so much about myself, and even placed in the top 15! The experience led me to have clearer aspirations for my career and inspired me to continue competing.

What are you looking forward to the most at Miss Teen USA 2016?
I am so looking forward to spending more time with the girls there! What I love about the Miss Universe Organization is that it gives titleholders the opportunities to spend time together throughout the year, so by the time we get to Miss Teen USA it’s one giant reunion with all of our best friends! Of course I also cannot wait to see who the next Miss Teen USA is, it would be an absolute dream come true to walk away with the crown, but I love knowing that either way I will have the time of my life! 

Tell us more about Project Claire Bear and how our readers can get involved:
Project Claire Bear is a nonprofit organization I founded to prevent bullying and promote kindness. After being bullied, I realized I didn’t want other kids to have to go through what I went through, so I have made it my mission to teach kids the tools to stop a bullying situation when they see it occurring. I speak at schools and community centers in my area and really cover all roles involved in the situation, be it the bully, victim, or bystander, because everyone has the power to be the change and be the good. You can go to to find out more or like the Facebook page “Project Claire Bear” to stay up to date!

miss teen washington usa 

You have a strong focus on anti-bullying. Do you have a personal experience with bullying that inspired you to fight bullying?
I have experienced bullying several times in my life and I decided I wanted to do what I could to make sure that other kids wouldn’t have to go through what I went through. I created Project Claire Bear as a way to prevent bullying and promote kindness by speaking out about my story and sharing the tools I learned to educate others on the different roles people play in bullying situations and how to stop it before it gets too severe.

What advice can you give to Lady Code readers that may be victims of bullying?
The most important thing to remember is that it is going to get better. When you’re being bullied sometimes it can feel like your whole world and it can be hard to see past it, but it is so important to remember that it is just a small part of it.

Do you have a favorite blogger? If so, who?
I love Julianne Hough’s blog! She represents young women for our generation so well. She is natural and confident in whom she is and promotes messages that are important to her, while keeping the blog fun. She just opened an active wear line and is so involved in actively making the world a better place; I look up to her so much. She is relatable, approachable, has so much professional and business experience and has so much to share.

How would you describe your own personal style?
My personal style is trendy and chic, yet classic. I love to stay up to date on the latest trends and am obsessed with finding new looks, but I always like to stay classic in my style.

claire wright photos

Who is your style icon?
Blake Lively! Her personal style has really grown since “Gossip Girl” ended. Since then, her career has taken off, she got married, and became a mother. The confidence in her personal and professional life shows through her bold fashion choices, but Blake looks just as chic in jeans and a t-shirt as in a ball gown. What I love about her is that she wears the clothes, they don’t wear her.

 What are your favorite fashion trends this season?
I am in LOVE with the lace-up trend! From shoes to tops, I can’t get enough of it!

 You must be a busy girl! How do you stay looking gorgeous?
First of all, thank you so much! Hydration is the number one thing!! I always make sure to drink plenty of water and maintain an active lifestyle to help me stay healthy and feel balanced. When I’m on the go, I always take my “S’well” water bottle with me and drink from it throughout the day.

What is your favorite new beauty product?
I’m way behind on this one, but the other day I just got a beauty blender and I swear it is pure magic. I love it and it helps me apply makeup quickly and smoothly before heading out for the day!

claire wright head shot 

Who in your life has inspired you the most?
My younger brother has inspired me the most in my life. He has grown up having learning disabilities and has had to overcome so many obstacles along the way, but he has never let that hold him back from giving his all.


What are some of your goals for the future?
Of course a big goal I am working towards right now is hopefully winning the title of Miss Teen USA 2016! My other future goals include graduating college, and pursuing a career as a broadcast journalist. One day I hope to host a national morning show!

Do you have any current or upcoming projects that you’d like to share?
Right now I am definitely in full Miss Teen USA preparation mode! I started a blog a year ago,, and plan on focusing more on it after Miss Teen USA! It is a fun way for me to share my thoughts and experiences and I am excited about it.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Always remember to be strong and be kind!

miss teen usa claire wright

Keep up with Claire:

Instagram: Personal: @clairewright12 Titleholder: @misswateenusa
Snapchat: Personal: clairewright12 Titleholder: misswateenusa
Twitter: Titleholder: @MissWAteenusa
Facebook: Personal: Claire Wright Titleholder: Miss Washington Teen USA

Meet Miss Kentucky United States 2016: Jessica Wallace

I’ve got a treat for my readers in Kentucky today! Lady Code scored an interview with our very own Miss Kentucky United States 2016, Jessica Wallace! I’ve been a fan of Jessica since she got crowned because she is so kind and humble. She is passionate about serving her community and giving back. Read on to learn more about this Kentucky queen who will be taking the Miss United States 2016 stage in a few weeks!

jessica wallace miss united states

Quick facts…
Hometown: Louisville
Current City: Louisville
Hobbies: Creative writing, Rock Climbing, Watching Horror films
Favorite food: Pasta, Steak, Salmon, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Grits, Greens, Pickled Okra,
Fried Chicken, Deviled Eggs and Sweet Potato Pie (Don’t forget I’m from the south) hahaha!
Favorite movie: I’m really into Horror movies! Alfred Hitchcock’s, Psycho is an all time favorite of mine.
Three words that sum you up: Resilient, Ambitious and Charismatic
Song you have on repeat right now: Beyonce’s entire Lemonade album
Dream job: Becoming an Executive Producer for CNN
Beauty product you can’t live without: Urban Decay Mascara
Favorite quote: “Though she be but little, she is fierce!”- William Shakespeare

miss kentucky jessica wallace

Having a title keep you pretty busy! What is a typical day like for you?
Wow! Where do I begin? I work in the banking industry, I am a Branch Manager. I am responsible for all things financial. This could be anywhere from credit card, mortgages and loan bookings to sitting down with a family and constructing the best financial plan to get their children through college. I work in a fast paced environment where things are changing every day. I have the ability to help a person plan their financial future, so each day is rewarding for me.

What has been the highlight of being Miss Kentucky so far?
Everyday as Miss Kentucky United States is a highlight! I have the BEST support system in my hometown of Louisville. I wanted to give a voice to the people in my community and promote positive change and my title enables me to do so. I am so blessed that I am in a position to where I can be a positive influence to those around me.

What are some of your best beauty secrets to looking flawless all the time?
I try to take really good care of my skin, I love to exfoliate. Also, I drink as much water as possible. Majority of the time I try to go with little or no make up so I can give my skin a break from product.

Growing up, who was your inspiration?
My mom. She is such a blessing in my life. God spent a little more time on this woman, she is phenomenal! My mother is a type 2 Diabetic, watching her battle this illness and never give up really shows me what true strength is. My mothers diagnosis has heavily impacted my life, it inspired me to become an advocate for the Diabetes Association. I spread diabetes awareness throughout my community by sharing my mothers story and being a mentor to families who have members that suffer from this illness.

jessica wallace photo

Lady Code has a focus on anti-bullying and women empowerment. Do you have any advice for our readers who may be victims of bullying?
My advice is to be strong, you’re not alone. There is a misconception that a person in my position (a pageant girl) would not understand what it’s like to be tore down by my peers. Actually, it is the complete opposite. I was bullied throughout elementary and middle school. It really took a toll on my self esteem. I found it really challenging to love the skin I was in, until one day I decided to pick myself up and work on ways that I can improve. I started focusing on my strengths instead of my weaknesses and I began to not only flourish in all aspects of life but I began to love myself.
* Remember* God gives his toughest battles to his strongest warriors. Never give up!

Tell us about your platform: Blessings in a Backpack is an AMAZING non profit organization. This organization mobilizes communities, individuals and resources to provide food on the weekends for Elementary school children across America who might otherwise go hungry. There are more than 15 million children in this country who are at risk of hunger. Children are fed during the school week by Federal government programs but we want to make sure they are getting nutritional meals on the weekend too. In Louisville we have fed over 10,000 students this past school year!

What can Lady Code readers do in their communities to get involved? Donate backpacks and non perishable food items to your local elementary schools. Become a volunteer by coming out to your local elementary school to help pack bags for the kids to take home for the weekend.

miss kentucky united states

In your free time, what do you enjoy doing?
Free time? What’s that? Haha! I enjoy being around people who love and support me. I’m all about creating memories and having a great time with good company.

What is your go-to makeup look?
I like simple and easy.
I love my full glam moments but I feel the most beautiful when I have a fresh look. Urban Decay Mascara, Make up Forever blush, Nars lipgloss and I’m out the door!

What is one thing you can’t live without? That’s a tough one! I’d have to say music. Music can change any horrible day into a good day once you hear your favorite song.

What is the hardest part about competing in pageants?
The hardest part is being critiqued. We all work so hard to win and sometimes our best isn’t enough. However, as long as you have a strong sense of self and confidence to match you’ll always be a winner!

What is the best part about competing in pageants?
The best part of a pageant is challenging yourself and stepping out of your comfort zone. Displaying the best version of you is such an amazing experience and we are lucky to be able to do that on such a grand scale. Another great part of pageants are the bonds and friendships you make with the other young women. We all want the best in life and definitely empower one another on and off the stage.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

“Never forget where you came from.”

Keep up with Jessica:

Facebook: Jessica Wallace

Instagram: jesscee___

Facebook Fan Page: Miss Kentucky United States

Meet Miss Washington United States 2016: Shelby Meader

The countdown to the Miss United States National Pageant continues with your Miss Washington United States 2016, Shelby Meader! Shelby just earned her MBA and works hard in her community to rescue dogs. In this interview, Shelby shares her beauty secrets, advice for victims of bullying, and her platform!

Hometown: Camas, Washington
Current City: Camas, Washington
Hobbies: Wakeboarding, Snowboarding, & Hiking
Favorite food: Pizza
Favorite movie: Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Three words that sum you up: Loyal, Confident, & Determined
Song you have on repeat right now: “Needed Me” – Rihanna
Dream job: Fly around the USA rescuing dogs from different situations
Beauty product you can’t live without: Chapstick
Favorite quote: “Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be”

Shelby Meader

Having a title keep you pretty busy! What is a typical day like for you? 
A typical day for me starts at 4.30am. I get up, go to the gym, come home and meal prep for the day. I work at Clackamas Federal Credit Union as an Assistant Branch Manager. Twice a week, I attend night school from 6-9pm as I am pursuing my MBA. My last class will be July 27th!! After all of that, I come home and usually like to relax and watch TV with my boyfriend Derek and our 6 month old Golden Retriever puppy curled up next to us.

What has been the highlight of being Miss Washington so far? 
I was just named Miss Washington on June 22nd, so it is all new and exciting for me. The highlight so far has been scheduling various appearances for the year. In particular, I reached out to the Southwest Humane Society, which is my platform, and created a partnership with them. I will be attending adoption events each month and continuing to walk the dogs every Sunday. I have been volunteering weekly at the Humane Society for almost 2 years, so I am thrilled to continue working with this amazing organization.

What are some of your best beauty secrets to looking flawless all the time?
As tough as this sounds, I have been drinking a gallon of water a day prepping for the Miss United States pageant. I have noticed a huge difference in my skin, energy, and overall health. Another beauty secret of mine is using vaseline on my lips at night. I wake up with moisturized and plump lips and it keeps them soft all day long.

shelby meader washington

What is your go-to makeup look? 
My go-to makeup look is very fresh faced. Because I am in business, I don’t like to wear a lot of makeup during the work day. I usually just wear mineral powder, blush, mascara, and chapstick. I love the fresh faced look because it keeps my pores clean and it is easy for me to get ready in the mornings :).

Growing up, who was your inspiration? 
Growing up, my inspiration was and still is my Mother. She is the definition that handwork leads to success. She was a stay at home mom by day who take care of my brother and I, and my Dad’s paralegal by night. I have always looked up to her because she is the wife and business woman that I one day hope to be.

Lady Code has a focus on anti-bullying and women empowerment. Do you have any advice for our readers who may be victims of bullying?
I do. I was bullied as a kid in school. I was always underweight and was under 5 foot until I was a freshman in high school. I was as straight as a board and socially awkward. I know how it feels to bullied, and I am 100% against it. Growing up, I had this dream of becoming a successful business woman and being a model. Well fast forward to a decade later, I am Miss Washington and I just completed graduate school and received my MBA. The advice I would give would be to not give up. DO NOT let what other people say to you define who you are as a person. You are all here for a reason and are meant to do something amazing. At the time when someone is bullying, it hurts, it really does. But just know that those feelings are temporary and the bullies are only acting on their own insecurities and you are the person they happen to take it out on. Let what they say roll off your back like water on a duck. I did not let people telling me I was too ugly to ever model, too short and that my teeth were too messed up to be a beauty queen, and not strong enough to be a business woman. I just think back on those comments and I silently thank those individuals for saying I can’t, because that made me want it ever more, and now I think … I can!

shelby meader mba

Tell us about your platform:
My platform is the Humane Society. I volunteer there every week with my mom on Sundays. We walk the dogs that are up for adoption and we post our “dog of the week” on social media in hopes of getting them adopted. One thing that I appreciate about this amazing organization is that it is a no kill shelter. I made this my platform because I have always had a passion for animals and being the voice for them because they can’t have a voice themselves. As Miss Washington I want to continue spreading the message of the Humane Society and work with the organization even more than I already am. I want to one day help in the stopping of the Yulin dog meat festival. That is my biggest hope and dream.

What can Lady Code readers do in their communities to get involved? 
You can volunteer as a dog walker at the Humane Society or donate. Every dollar donated helps in getting food, blankets, and supplies to the shelter. Even thing is donated and it is always in need.

In your free time, what do you enjoy doing?
In my free time I love taking our dog to the dog park, going on hikes, and exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I am an avid snowboarder in the winter and a wakeboarder in the summer. I am also an adrenaline junkie and thrill seeker. I’m an individual that has a bucket list and likes to cross things off of it.

What is one thing you can’t live without?
My cell phone. My entire life is on here and I don’t know what I would do without it. I have all of my favorite pictures and most importantly my color coded planner. If I didn’t have my planner, I really would not know what to do.

shelby meader miss washington

What is the hardest part about competing in pageants?
I would say that the hardest part about competing in pageants is everything leading up to the pageant. There is so much prep work that must be done: picking the right dress, being dedicated to a gym routine, drinking my gallon of water a day, and of course putting the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream down.

What is the best part about competing in pageants?
The best part about competing in pageants is EVERYTHING. I can’t pick one part. I have met so many amazing women throughout this process, pageant friends are friends for life. I love being on stage and empowering other women to be the best that they can be. My platform is for dogs and my passion is for women empowerment and education.

What is the best advice you have ever received? 
Do not let negative comments that people say to you undermine who you are as a person.

Keep up with Shelby: 
Twitter: @shelbymeader
Instagram: @misswashingtonus2016
Facebook Fan Page: Miss Washington United States 

Meet Miss Colorado United States 2016: Shanel Perry

The countdown to Miss United States continues with Miss Colorado United States! Since I was born and raised in Denver, I’m particularly excited about meeting our queen of the Centennial State! 25 year old Shanel Perry was born in San Diego, California, and raised in Colorado. She attended the University of Kentucky as a double athlete, varsity dance team and captain of the equestrian team all while studying Broadcast Journalism. She also has studied at the Colorado Film School for Writing and Directing. After college, Shanel moved back to her beloved state of Colorado where she now works as a National Sales Recruiter and teaches Pure Barre several times a week. Believe it or not, Shanel was a victim of bullying growing up. Shanel not only overcame bullying, but today she is the leader of a women’s empowerment movement and is using her title to support the cause. Read on to learn more about Shanel’s story. 

shanel perry miss colorado

Meet Shanel: 

Hometown: Castle Pines, Co

Current City: Denver, Co

Hobbies: Horseback riding, Pure Barre, watching movies, traveling

Favorite food: Mac and Cheese or pizza!

Favorite movie: It’s a tie between Forrest Gump and Top Gun! If Game of Thrones was a movie, it would win this one. It’s my favorite thing on TV ever. J

Three words that sum you up: Loving, Goofy, Spiritual

Song you have on repeat right now: “First” – Lauren Daigle

Dream job: Working on a movie/tv show! (Acting is a secret dream of mine!)

Beauty product you can’t live without: Lash Extensions! I go every 2 weeks!

Favorite quote: “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.” –Jim Carrey

shanel perry pure barre


Having a title keep you pretty busy! What is a typical day like for you? Today I woke up at 4:45am and went off to teach 6am Pure Barre. From there I ran home to give my puppy and boyfriend a kiss and then it was off to my full time job where I spend the day interviewing candidates for positions at Richmond American Homes. During lunch I ran errands for Miss United States! Only a few weeks out now! Yay! After work, I went to the gym to work on my fitness! Today was arms and abs. (I can barely walk today since yesterday was leg day. Ouch.) My boyfriend is a professional athlete so you can imagine how intense the workouts are! I’ve definitely through a jump rope at him before. Whoops… After the gym I made myself a healthy dinner and planned my outfit for my appearance for Miss Colorado United States tomorrow at the Defend Freedom Tour. Now it’s time to get some much needed rest to do it all over again tomorrow! Phew!

What has been the highlight of being Miss Colorado so far? I have met SO many new people. That’s one of the main reasons I love pageants so much! And you don’t just meet other people, you meet women who are just as driven and goal oriented as yourself. Every title holder wants to make a difference and that’s what makes it so special. Why wouldn’t you want to surround yourself with these people?!

What are some of your best beauty secrets to looking flawless all the time? Confidence!! Is that a beauty secret? Moisturizer helps too J especially being from Colorado. I walk around everywhere with lotion in hand otherwise I would look like a prune!

shanel perry miss united states

Growing up, who was your inspiration? This is going to sound so funny, but Michelle Rodriquez in Fast and the Furious… my brother always had me watching those movies growing up and now they are some of my favorites. She was so confident and independent and kept up with the boys… I grew up in a neighborhood where I was the only girl so being able to stand up for myself and prove that I was strong and fearless was something I had to do on the daily! Whenever they would pick on me I would say to myself, “what would Letty do?” Haha!

Lady Code has a focus on anti-bullying and women empowerment. Do you have any advice for our readers who may be victims of bullying? I’ve been a victim of bullying since I can remember. I was the curly white haired, round glasses, brace face, straggly little girl that apparently everyone saw as an easy target. The name calling was the worst, but there were other times when it got more physical or cleaver… I had a girl intentionally pour a full water bottle all over me when I was wearing white capris. That was brutal for a 6th grader! What I learned through it all was to be the bigger person. If someone is saying something that is hurting your feelings, tell them. If they won’t leave you alone, get yourself out of the situation and tell someone if you need to. The BIGGEST thing you can do is be the bigger person. Be kind to everyone. If you witness bullying, stand up for them. The only way we can put a stop to bullying is to put a stop to it ourselves. Stop the gossiping, stop the name calling, the girl on girl harassment. Women should stand together, not fight against each other. Imagine how powerful we would be if we were all one!

Tell us about your platform: I co-created “Women Empowering Women” with a good friend of mine over a year ago. We have a community page on Facebook with currently over 1,200 followers! Women from all over the world encourage and inspire one another, from sharing articles and videos of strong and inspiring women, to giving advice. Everything that we share is to show that yes, YOU are worthy and YOU are strong. We have plans to make it a nonprofit and are currently scheduling events to bring our online community together in person! As women, we thrive on empowerment, courage, love, success, and the ability to be vulnerable in strengthening the positive aspects in our daily lives. It is wonderful to have a group of women that agree and stand by this.

What can Lady Code readers do in their communities to get involved? 

Join us on social to join our online community and too see what we do next!

Private group:

Public Page:

shanel perry interview

In your free time, what do you enjoy doing? My number one love has always been and will forever be horseback riding. I have been riding since I was just 2 years old! Dancing has also been a huge part of my life since I was very young and I competitively danced and rode all the way through college. After I “retired” from dancing I got hooked on Pure Barre, which is a work out similar to pilates, yoga and ballet all mixed together. I now teach that several times a week! If I’m not doing any of those, I’m probably either at the movies or watching a movie. I have been fascinated with TV/Film since I was in high school and I actually won ‘Female Filmmaker of the Year” my senior year of high school. I also took a year of class at the Colorado Film School where I studied writing and directing and out of college hosted a TV show called Rupp TV for Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY.

What is your go-to makeup look? Is it sad that I only wear makeup on the weekends? My face is so sensitive that if I wear foundation and heavy makeup every day, I will just break out everywhere. When I do put makeup on for appearances and events, I go full glam! I LOVE makeup so if I could do it every day, I would. I love a gold and rose gold smoky eye with a bold lip. “Whirl” with “Current” Lip liner from MAC is my favorite. It’s almost purple.

shanel perry interview photo

What is one thing you can’t live without? Music and motivational speeches. Those are the 2 things that can get me out of any funky mood I’m in. If I’m tired and need to work out, if I’m upset and need to be at an appearance, if I’m angry and need to calm down, music and motivational speeches can fix everything. I suggest Eric Thomas. My favorite from him is called, “Adele.” YouTube it. You won’t regret it!

What is the hardest part about competing in pageants? Honestly, myself. I think it’s very easy to get into your own head and start to compare yourself to others and start telling yourself that you’re not pretty enough or smart enough and this is when I pray the most. I know God put me in these positions for a reason and I always just ask him to speak through me and let me shine for Him! Once you check yourself, you can really relax and enjoy the rest of the experience! 

What is the best part about competing in pageants? There are so many things! I didn’t do my first pageant until I was 23 (I’m 25 now). It was something I always watched on TV and admired… I even dressed up as Miss USA for Halloween a couple times, but I never went after it. Partly because I didn’t know where to start and partly because I didn’t think I had what it took. Boy was I wrong! Pageants are all about learning about yourself and what you are made of. I have never better understood myself then I do now. Not only do you gain confidence, self-esteem, self-improvement, friends,etc… the biggest thing for me is that it made me step back and say “okay, what do I stand for and how do I want to make a difference.”

I have been through a lot at such a young age. Eating disorders, bullying, depression, anxiety, serious health problems, toxic relationships, I couldn’t figure out why God made this life for me. I frequently questioned him saying, “why me, why me.” As I have grown and have been around the right people, I have seen the bigger picture. God gave me this life because I can handle it and I can make a difference. I’ve grown very strong over the years and its now my time to help others. The world of pageantry changed my life when I stepped onto the stage for the first time a year and a half years ago. That’s when it all sort of clicked for me. I saw what titleholders could do. The impact they have on others. I wanted to be that woman. I want to raise awareness about anxiety and depression, put a stop to girl on girl bullying, be a spokesperson for eating disorders, be an advocate for suicide prevention and so much more and you know what the best part is?! I can do it all as a titleholder.

shanel perry cheer

What is the best advice you have ever received? The best advice I’ve ever received was actually something to help me handle my anxiety. I was diagnosed with severe anxiety when I was in college. Someone once told me that when I am experiencing a panic attack or having anxiety about something that happened, to look at the big picture and say to myself, “will this matter in 5 years.” 99% of the time the answer is NO! It somehow helps me calm down a bit.

follow shanel perry


Keep up with Shanel: 

Twitter: @misscoloradous


Facebook Fan Page:


Meet Miss Texas United States 2016: Alayah Benavidez

With the Miss United States 2016 pageant a little over a month away, I’m so excited to bring you an exclusive interview with the queen of the Lone Star State, Alayah Benavidez! When she isn’t busy making appearances as Miss Texas United States and volunteering in her community, Alayah is a student, model, brand ambassador and even works for a property management company! Today on Lady Code Alayah shares her beauty secrets, advice on how to deal with bullying, and a peek into the life of a beauty queen.

Quick facts…

Hometown: Helotes, Texas

Current City: San Antonio

Hobbies: Crossfit, reading, exploring the outdoors

Favorite food: pizza

Favorite movie: Great Gatsby

Three words that sum you up: happy, genuine, caring

Song you have on repeat right now: Comfortable by Nick Jonas

Dream job: English Professor

Beauty product you can’t live without: Cream Puff powder from The Perfect Face Cosmentics

Favorite quote: “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire”

alayah benavidez miss texas us

Having a title keep you pretty busy! What is a typical day like for you? Thank goodness I am pretty good at time management! A typical day for me is pretty full these days. I normally start my day at about 7:30 am. I work for a property management company, go to school, model for 3 agencies nationwide and am a brand ambassador for Vienna Prom. After work I hit the gym and spend time with family. At least twice a week I also make an appearance as Miss Texas (in fact I am completing this interview from a hotel room in Laredo) and volunteer my time with some of my favorite charitable organizations. It’s a crazy busy life, and I love it!

What has been the highlight of being Miss Texas so far? It’s really hard to pick just one…but I have to say that all the support I’ve received has been so heart warming. Having the support of my state and hometown will be something I will always remember and has been the highlight of my journey so far.

What are some of your best beauty secrets to looking flawless all the time? Lashes, lashes, lashes! I love lashes. Even on a bare make up day lashes can complete a look. I also love to “bake” with Cream Puff by The Perfect Face Cosmetics. Not only does it sound delicious, it leaves your face looking flawless.

Growing up, who was your inspiration? Growing up I always looked up to my grandmother. She was, and still is, such a strong woman of faith. She’s my counselor, my fashion adviser and my prayer warrior. Anyone who has met her would agree that she is inspirational.

alayah benavidez

Lady Code has a focus on anti-bullying and women empowerment. Do you have any advice for our readers who may be victims of bullying? In middle school and even in high school I felt bullied. Sadly, I think most people are faced with some sort of bullying in their lives. For me, cutting unhealthy relationships out of my life and realizing my self worth and potential was key. When I was able to look in the mirror and see myself as perfectly imperfect and embrace those imperfections I was finally able to face those bullies with confidence. And you know what? That confidence scared them away. My mom used to say “fake it ’till you make it”…. and I did just that. I faked it until I believed it myself. Today I can proudly say I am 100% confident in who I am. Hey Bullies, look at me now!   🙂  

Tell us about your platform: I am so thankful that at an early age I discovered a love for reading. Little did I know that all those hours of escape were building a foundation for the years ahead. Good grades came easier to me than some of my peers, job interviews were a breeze and my public speaking skills were confidently developed. All which has led me to success in my career, personal life and pageantry. This is why I started my campaign, Read The Way.

My mission is to create an excitement and love for reading in our youth. Excitement sparks passion and passion fuels dreams. I’ve reached hundreds of Texas children with my message and look forward to taking it nationwide.

What can Lady Code readers do in their communities to get involved? I would love for all the “Lady Coders” out there to pick up a book and read to a child! Visit a library, a youth group or a classroom! Help me spread my message and #ReadTheWay on your social media. Every community has young bright minds that are full of imagination and ready to Read Today and Lead Tomorrow!

In your free time, what do you enjoy doing? I’m sure you can tell I am a book nerd, but I also enjoy crossfit and living a healthy lifestyle. If it’s outdoors I am down to do it! Fishing, hiking, swimming. I’m actually kind of a tomboy in my free time… a tomboy with fierce lashes!

 alayah benavidez miss texas

What is your go-to makeup look? Okay, here is a great tip. If you need to look amazing and only have a short time to prepare…wear red lipstick. Done! I’ve had to use this go-to look a couple of time this week and I must say, I got so many compliments!

What is one thing you can’t live without? My nude heels. When in doubt wear nude.

What is the hardest part about competing in pageants? I love PIZZA! Sadly, it’s not a good idea to mix pageant prep and pizza. So, minimizing my pizza intake to form the perfect bikini body is super hard for me 🙂

What is the best part about competing in pageants? The relationships formed with the contestants is the best part hands down. Some of my very best friends in life were met during pageants. These women are like minded, confident and are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside. It truly is a sisterhood.

What is the best advice you have ever received? Social media is such a big part of today’s society. the best advice I ever received was from my mother. She said, if you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see it, don’t post it. I’ve taken that advice and applied it to my life and it has really helped me to keep my moral compass steered in the right direction at all times.

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Keep up with Alayah: 

Twitter: @alayahbenavidez

Instagram: @MissTexasUS2016

Facebook Fan Page: Miss Texas United States 2016

The Power of “Girl Code”

Happy Motivational Monday everyone!

Lately, I have been hearing a lot about the power of “girl code”; women sticking together to protect one another and extending a sense of loyalty if for no other reason than because of their shared gender. It is so important for us women to work together and protect each other. This could range anywhere from not dating a friend’s ex-, giving a feminine hygiene product to a complete stranger, or waiting with a lone woman outside late at night as she waits for a cab.

We have to be willing to put ourselves in another woman’s shoes and take a moment to consider their feelings, fears or insecurities, so that we can stand by one another when the time comes.

Lady Code stands for Anti-bullying and Women’s Empowerment. It’s the perfect place to talk about women sticking together and supporting one another. Girls compete, but women empower. It’s easy to do the right thing, whether it’s hanging out a little longer to make sure that woman gets her ride or offering a few words of encouragement to someone who’s clearly upset. We are stronger together!

Make sure to check out the video below!

Happy Motivational Monday

Char ❤

Wellness Wednesday with Calli Brielle McIntyre

Happy Wellness Wednesday everyone,

First of all, I want to apologize for my absence. However, I am back with a FANTASTIC story about my new friend, Calli Brielle McIntyre.

Calli McIntyre: author of The Anteater that Couldn't Eat Ants.
Calli McIntyre: author of The Anteater that Couldn’t Eat Ants.

During my weekend at the Food Allergy Research and Education convention in Orlando, I had the opportunity to meet this inspiring young lady. Calli is currently Miss Garner’s Outstanding Teen 2016, and advocates for children suffering from food allergies and who are victims of bullying, since she herself suffers from a severe peanut allergy.

Her goal is to educate young children with and without food allergies about the dangers of cross contamination. She also teaches these young children about acceptance of others in order to stem the epidemic of bullying among teenagers. When Calli was younger, she was bullied by her friends’ parents because they found her allergies “too complicated.”

Her one piece of advice to the general population is to strive for understanding and acceptance. Our society has to make sure that children, teens and adults with food allergies feel embraced by their peers, not cast out because of their allergies (something these individuals can’t control.)

Another fun fact! This 15 year old has already written, illustrated and published her own book, The Anteater That Couldn’t Eat Ants. When going into schools to speak to children, she realized there weren’t many books geared towards elementary age school children that teaches the significance of allergies. This inspired Calli to write her own book to help promote her message. You can buy it on her website where you can also  learn more about this exceptional girl or contact her for more information.

Her accomplishments don’t end there! This 15 year old has her own non-profit organization called Crowning Purpose to promote the meaning behind the crown. There are 4 points to the crown: style, scholarship, service and success. Her organization is based on the service aspect and using that to inspire others.

She even signed my copy!
She even signed my copy!

Make sure you check out the full interview with Calli below!

Remember to wish her luck as she goes on to compete this June for Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen!

Happy Wellness Wednesday!