Hey Guys!

This summer has been such a wild adventure for me as Miss Teenage Southern Ontario 2017! I’ve been meeting, attending, and learning so many new things.

As many of you know, a big role that plays in a titleholder’s responsibility is volunteering and helping the community! Volunteering has been  something that I’ve been doing ever since I moved here to Canada. It’s a great feeling being able to help others out and do something for the good.

This is truly such a memorable moment. I hope to inspire young girls to follow their dreams!

So far I’ve attended local events in my city, promoting my title and platform as well as helping the community. The first event that I went to as Miss Teenage Southern Ontario 2017 was a local fundraiser at my city’s local animal shelter, The London Humane Society. We raised money with a silent auction for homeless animals in need, as well as got to spend time with all of the furry friends at the shelter. I got to speak about my platform and a bit about what the Miss Teenage Canada pageant is all about, as well as took pictures of some of the cats and dogs in the shelter.

I also got to attend the local Mexican Festival! It was such a great experience meeting all the performers and watching all of the cultural performances. I got some time on stage as well to share my experience as Miss Teenage Southern Ontario 2017 and my platform. It was going great except the huge thunderstorm that soon kicked in!

Meeting some of the great performers at the Mexican Festival!

I also got to spend time at my local McDonalds on McHappy Day! It was such a fun day spending time with all the customers and kids. I had never seen McDonalds so filled! It was hectic but it was worth the while. My absolute favourite part of the day was taking pictures with the little girls, especially when they were so intrigued with questions, asking to wear my crown in pictures! It truly makes you appreciate the value and importance of being a titleholder! With that amount of people showing up at McDonalds that day, imagine how much money all of the McDonalds nationwide raised on McHappy day! Us humans are really able to achieve anything when we all support and help each other out!

Giving younger girls a chance to wear my crown!

My most recent event has been one of my most favourite so far! I was invited by Language Students International and London Language Institute to welcome the international students that have come to London, Ontario this summer to study English. I got to meet so many great people, and got to talk to them about their experiences as students immigrating and coming to Canada! All of their stories were great. I loved seeing them so excited to learn about our Canadian culture, as well as when students from different countries shared their own cultures to one another during the event. It really showed me how important diversity and multiculturalism was, and why I chose to advocate the acceptance of multiculturalism and diversity here in Canada. I got to share my experience so far as Miss Teenage Southern Ontario 2017, and we all got to enjoy a delicious BBQ lunch!

Spending time with some of the foreign students at the BBQ.

Sunny days call for the best BBQ’s!

I loved volunteering and appearing at all these events. Meeting new people and interacting with new minds, sharing new ideas, and learning about different people and experiences is something that I consider valuable. The more you learn, the more you know. These events helped me expand not just my platform, but my point of views and opinions on many new things! Each person opened a new window for me, teaching something new every time!

Don’t forget to follow me on my official social medias to keep track of me and what’s next to come:

Facebook Page: @MissTeenageSouthernOntario2017

Instagram: @missteenagesouthernontario2017

Twitter: @MTSOntario2017

Thank you for reading my blog, and come back soon for more updates!

XOXO,

Sahia, Miss Teenage Southern Ontario 2017

Written by: Sahia
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Hey Loves!

This summer I got to spend a whole day in a place I never even knew existed, The Distillery District.

Earlier in the summer during one of my many trips to Toronto for some Pageant training, we decided to take a little trip to the Distillery District, especially since I haven’t explored the GTA very much.

Walking through the beautiful Distillery District

The day started off with a whole lot of walking, which continued for many hours. We stopped at a little store that had just opened up in the Distillery, tried on some clothes, and continued forth with our adventure. It was a pretty well filled placed, assuming that many people come to tour it because of it’s astonishing brick walls and old fashion look. I’m a huge fan of anything vintage. The architecture in the Distillery is something that I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of. The weather was one of the best I’ve experienced all summer! We even got to talk to and congratulate a newly wed couple, whom were celebrating their marriage with family and friends in the Distillery!

Closer look of the “Love Lock”

After walking around for a bit and window shopping through some boutiques, we made our way towards the beautiful lock filled wall that spelled out “LOVE” in big capital letters. This site in the Distillery District is called the “Love Locks”. This is a place where you and your love can write each others names and anniversary on a lock, and lock it on the wall. This is supposedly locking your love together, a place where a “Soul meets a soul on lovers lips”. I personally find this as one of the most romantic things ever! Obviously, me being a sucker for love enjoyed watching couples “lock their love” and take a picture near the wall. It is something you don’t see everyday, and I believe those little moments in life, are the moments you should cherish the most.

After taking some photos at the Love Lock, we headed towards some more shopping! We stopped at a little cafe. I thought it was the cutest thing ever. Every baked good felt like it was home made by Abuela (that’s Grandmother in Spanish) herself, and they had the nicest setting too! We ate some food outside on the patio and talked while we enjoyed some coffee. It was relaxing and it gave us a little break from so much walking! We then continued our way through the rest of the Distillery District.

Outside the small cafe!

I really loved seeing all the small little boutiques and shops. Every time I think of Toronto, I imagine a big city full of lights, media, and a fast paced environment. It was an unique experience to see the small, calmer, more vintage side of Toronto such as the Distillery District, and what lies upon them. Seeing new places and meeting new people is one of my very favourite things. I aspire to travel in the future. I believe seeing new sights and learning new things is a very valuable thing in a person’s life. Exploring new cultures and emerging yourself in a different environment and way of life is something I hope I can do a lot in my future.

“Under The Mistletoe”

I always thought travelling had to include a huge trip across seas on a plane, but boy was I wrong! Little did I know there’s so much to see in my own region. There truly is a hidden adventure everywhere you go. I can’t wait to see where I’ll end up visiting next. Hopefully the Distillery District is one of them again, I really loved the romantic feel mixed with the vintage architectural vibe. It reminds me of a mini version of Paris!

This so far has made it to the Top of my list! I can’t wait to go back again, it’s worth the two hour trip to Toronto:)

Don’t forget to follow me on my official social medias to keep track of me and what’s next to come:

Facebook Page: @MissTeenageSouthernOntario2017

Instagram: @missteenagesouthernontario2017

Twitter: @MTSOntario2017

Thank you for reading my blog, and come back soon for more updates!

XOXO,

Sahia, Miss Teenage Southern Ontario 2017

Written by: Sahia
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Hey everyone! My name is Sahia and welcome to my blog! I’m a finalist from London, Ontario and I am beyond excited to be able to share my experience to the Miss Teenage Canada National pageant with all of you! As some of you may know, I was 1st Runner Up at the Miss Teenage Ontario 2017 Pageant, therefor crowned the new Miss Teenage Southern Ontario 2017!

A bit about me…

I was born and raised in Colombia. I lived there with my Mom and Dad ( and soon after welcomed my little brother into our family). At the age of 7, my family and I fled our home and were sponsored as refugees to come start a new life in Canada in hopes for a safer environment and brighter future. I was blessed to be able to grow up bicultural, being able to experience two different worlds in one. Now I’m not going to lie, having to leave all your family and loved ones behind and start a new life wasn’t easy. I had to adapt to a new environment and way of life, learn a completely new language, and start fresh. Luckily, with the help from my supportive family and newly made friends, it was an experience that I’ll always be proud of myself for overcoming!

Moving here, I promised myself I would make the most out of this milestone in my life and take as much advantage out of it as I could. I enrolled in a French Immersion school in seventh grade, in hopes of expanding my knowledge and love for languages, while also attending Korean School for two years as well. Since my early childhood years, I always had a passion for the arts. Visual Arts, Acting, and Dance was something I really loved to do. It has brought me to where I most involve myself with within school. Now, at 15 years old, I have achieved things that I never thought I’d be capable of achieving, such as becoming a model, participating in a pageants (which I never thought I’d do), raise awareness on issues I am passionate about, and even manage my own department within my family owned company. Canada has now become my beloved home, and has opened so many doors for me, the possibilities are endless!

Growing up I’ve been a very compassionate person. I always feel for others and enjoy helping those in need. Having to grow up experiencing things that I shouldn’t have had to go through as a kid has inspired me to help those who are going through the same obstacles as I have, and that’s what has lead me to my platform!

I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting Miss Teenage Ontario 2016/Miss Supranational 2016, Hannah Begovic! She’s the sweetest person you’ll ever meet, can’t wait to see what more success comes her way!

What is my platform?

As I said above, I immigrated to Canada as a refugee. Going through that experience, I know what it personally feels like to feel excluded and like you don’t “fit in”. Even at one point, I began to start feeling ashamed and embarrassed of my own culture, trying to hide my roots as much as possible to avoid being an “outcast”.

This has encouraged me to raise awareness on the acceptance of diversity and multiculturalism. I want not just kids, but everyone in general to feel accepted and welcomed without having their race, culture, or religion be an issue. I want new Canadians to feel like they can be a part of Canada and its culture, without having to disregard and forget where they came from. Even now, many people experience discrimination, making it more difficult to adapt to and live their lives. Genocide has become a big issue that’s talked upon worldwide, and it’s something that can not be ignored. I believe Canada is a role model nation to the world, welcoming those who are in need, and accepting everyones differences, because that’s what should makes us so powerful and united. Our unification is our strongest attribute.

Behold! The official Ontario finalists for the Miss Teenage Canada 2017 Pageant! Congratulations to all of these wonderful ladies, you guys were exceptional. Congratulations to Miana for winning the Miss Teenage Ontario 2017 title; can’t wait to see you all this summer at nationals!

What I plan on doing with my platform…

To me, having a vision is one thing, but taking action and acting upon it is another.

Now that I have finally received my Miss Teenage Southern Ontario 2017 sash, I am ready to start involving myself even more within my community to promote my platform and title! I’ve brainstormed a couple ideas on how I can help and volunteer within my community, as well as raise money for Free The Children! I plan to involve myself with helping welcome the refugees and immigrants of my community, and team up with a couple organizations to help those out in need! I am currently planning a fundraiser for the near future, to collect some donations for Free The Children!

Very special thank you to my official gown sponsors, Elle Couture! Go check them out for wonderful dresses for every occasion!

I hope you guys can keep up with me as I continue to represent my title of Miss Teenage Southern Ontario 2017 throughout my journey to the Miss Teenage Canada Pageant!

Can’t wait to let you guys in on what’s next and hope to make you all proud:)

Don’t forget to follow me on my official social medias to keep track of me and what’s next to come:

Facebook Page: @MissTeenageSouthernOntario2017

Instagram: @missteenagesouthernontario2017

Twitter: @MTSOntario2017

Thank you for reading my blog, and come back soon for more updates!

XOXO,

Sahia, Miss Teenage Southern Ontario 2017

Written by: Sahia
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My oh my how quickly has time flown by! It’s been almost a month since my last blog post, and for that I apologize. The reality is that I haven’t been doing anything too crazy, mostly just enjoying my summer vacation with friends and family. I hope you all had a wonderful summer and long weekend!

Like many students in Ontario, I start school tomorrow. I’m heading into my grade 11 year, a very important and very busy year that I plan on making the best of. I’ve got a rather crazy course load, but I have some pretty cool teachers and classmates so it’ll be okay.

As I start my third year of high school, I’ve come up with a few things to always keep in mind.

  1. Start with a positive attitude, and keep it up year round. It’ll make things more fun and the year will go by faster.
  2. Stay organized. School can be frustrating when you’re getting a lot of work and papers, so the easiest way not to get stressed is by keeping everything organized.
  3. Stay away from the drama. Except for the course, because that’s pretty cool.
  4. Always be kind. It’s pretty simple, but it can make a huge difference in people’s lives.
  5. It’s okay to need help. Personally, I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for my friends and family. Even one person supporting you makes a huge difference.
  6. Take breaks and reward yourself. This is one I always have an issue with, because I’m always on the go. Unless you want to burnout before the year ends, stop and take breaks when you need them.
  7. Communicate! With friends, family, classmates, and especially teachers! They are there to help you, but they can’t if you don’t keep them in the know!
  8. Join extra curricular activities! If you’re schedule permits, join a club or two that interests you. You’ll meet new people, do something you like, and you’ll have one more thing for your resume.
  9. Keep “your spaces” organized. By that I mean your locker, desk, etc. Unless you want to always be losing things, in which case go ahead.
  10. ENJOY YOURSELF! Although it may not seem like it, high school goes by fast so try and enjoy as much of it as possible.

Those weren’t in any particular order, more just some of my random thoughts. To everyone who has already returned to school or will be soon, have a wonderful school year. I wish you the best of luck!

Xoxo, Cristina

Written by: Cristina
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And by I, I mean my feet. 🙂

It has been one long and unforgettable week. As I sit here writing this post, I wear no makeup, comfy clothes, and have bare feet. It is such a change from the week of perfection and my feet are glad to not be constrained by heels.

Now of course, my complaining of pain doesn’t mean the week wasn’t great. Quite the opposite in fact. If you’ve kept up with me on my journey so far, you would know we have done some incredible things. I have also met some of my new best friends (shout out to Ana, Cara, Emily, Mackenzie, Hannah, and so many other girls!!) and made lots of future travel plans. If I were to describe this week in a phrase, it would have to be “an unforgettable experience”. Nowhere else would I have gotten to play with baby lion and tiger cubs, watch a magic show by the falls, and eat baby dragons with my hands while drinking unicorn tears. Thank you so much to Michelle, Christi, and everyone else who made this week possible.

Although I didn’t win the crown, that’s okay! I gained so much more from this week and have learned a lot about myself in the process. Congratulations to Sarah Wojcik for winning the title of Miss Teenage Canada and her runner-up Alexis Gardner for an equally well done job. I look forward to keeping up with your adventures – I’m sure you will both go far, being so kind and beautiful!

My not winning the crown doesn’t mean my reign is over. I am still Miss Teenage Southern Ontario 2015, and will continue to be until I crown the next MTSO in January 2016. In the meantime, I will still go to events and promote my platform. Thank you to everyone who has supported me so far on my journey – I hope you will continue to do so. Thank you to all my wonderful sponsors, my friends, my family, and my pageant sisters for being the reason I have been able to achieve all I have so far. It’s been a long and tough road, but it’s also been a ton of fun. I hope these next few months will continue to be exciting, and don’t worry, I’ll still update you all 🙂

Thank you once again to everyone, and another huge congratulations to Sarah!

Xoxo, Cristina

Written by: Cristina
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I apologize for lack of pictures, but it is just too crazy right now and pics are so time consuming. Hope you guys can forgive me!

Preliminaries
Ahh sleeping in. What a beautiful thing. We woke up nervous but excited for the evening that was to come. We went down for breakfast and then to the ballroom for rehearsals. After a couple hours we switched to the top floor for a seminar with the lovely Melinda Shenkar (from Degrassi!). She did an amazing little presentation about confidence and self esteem, as well as how to express and take care of yourself. Next her and her friends showed us some makeup techniques and how to take care of your face and body.

After that we went to a yummy lunch of pizza from Panago and then back to rehearsal. That finished pretty quickly and we had some free time to practice walks as we were taken to get our bathing suits. I ended up with a nice black suit, although I saw some beautiful blue and pink ones too! We also had to start getting ready for hair and makeup, but we soon found out we were seriously lacking in makeup artist. Ruh-roh… There was a bit of a panic, but we realized it would be a-okay.

Show night. Oh my gosh. Well it started super late, but that’s okay because we looked fabulous! The show itself was a ton of fun once I got past the nerves. I think I did a pretty good job, but we’ll see tonight 😉 I am so proud of all my girls for doing an amazing job l, and I can’t wait to see the results!

Talent Gala
The day started off pretty chill, with a normal wake-up call for breakfast. We spent most of the day in rehearsals with Shawn and James (both are fabulous choreographers!!) which was super fun. At 5 we were released to get ready for the evening – the gala! I wore a long yellow gown with gold detailing (thanks mummy!) and I absolutely loved it! The show itself was amazing and I am so in awe of how talented each individual was. No matter the outcome ladies… You killed it! The show ended just before midnight, and we were taken up to floor 12 for a surprise – a gift bag with products from our sponsors! That was super fun, but we were so exhausted and just wanted to hop into bed. Now we’re heading out to the show location to practice! Wish me luck!

Xoxo, Cristina

Written by: Cristina
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DAY 5

IMG_20150806_095809788We got to take turns playing and taking pictures with the cubs, but they got really tired by the end and had to go for a nap. In the meantime, we had the joy of meeting Maurice… a ring-tailed lemur! A total cutie, Maurice was great at following commands like sit, shoulder (as in jump on my shoulder), and jump. SO ADORABLE. After that, we got an hour to roam the zoo and see other animals. I was with a couple of girls who had never seen a zebra before, so it was so funny to see their faces as we reached the zebra enclosure. My favourite part was visiting the llamas and getting to feed them. Overall, the zoo was incredible and I seriously want to go back soon.

Next we went for lunch at the Eaton Centre, which you can read about in another post. This was a ton of fun and I felt like a celebrity as we walked around the mall. Lots of people stopped to stare, take pictures, or talk to us. The funniest moment was when a group of teenage boys came to a couple of 11855411_1013978571967396_1259882892_nOntario girls and said “We’re from British Columbia and have an assignment to take picture with something relating to Ontario. Can it be you?” It was so funny because we seriously doubted there was an assignment, but we didn’t mind. I love taking pictures with people! After this mall, we moved on to another… Yorkdale Mall! They were so wonderful in sponsoring us with little gift cards and VIP cards. Thank you so much to them! I used mine to buy chocolate 😉 Aha we took lots more pictures there and did a bit of quick shopping before we realized we were quite hungry and wanted dinner!

Dinner was legit my favourite part of this week so far. We went to Medieval Times, the coolest restaurant in all of Toronto. For those that don’t know what it is, it’s basically dinner and a show set in medieval times. All the servers are dressed as wenches and there are jousts happening as you eat dinner (WITH YOUR HANDS!!).

This photo is dark but shows the half a chicken we had to attempt to eat without utensils

This photo is dark but shows the half a chicken we had to attempt to eat without utensils

Each section of the restaurant has a colour, and you have to cheer as loud as you can for the knight with your colour. We took it a bit… far. We were in the red section and we went crazy cheering for our knight. Eating the meal was hilarious because there were no utensils and some of the girls were unsure of what to do. Personally, I didn’t mind it and found it kind of fun!

The day was absolutely wonderful and I hope all other future MTC girls get such a great experience. The hugest of thank yous to our chaperones and lovely sponsors for making all of this possible – we truly appreciate it!

Xoxo, Cristina

Written by: Cristina
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DAY 3

To sum it up in a word… REHEARSALS! We spent all morning and afternoon with our amazing choreographer learning how to walk and the dances for this weekend’s shows. It was lots of fun, but so much work! People often underestimate pageant girls – think walking in stilettos is hard? Try dancing while also smile and looking like you’re not in pain! We got occasional breaks, but oh boy were my feet tired. After rehearsals, we were in for the biggest treat yet! WE GOT TO GO OUTSIDE! Now, this may not seem like much until you remember we had yet to leave the hotel since arriving. We were eager to go out, even if it was just to the restaurant down the street.

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Dinner with the roomie!

At Lone Star we sat in booths and tables chatting with one another and eating fajitas. It was wonderful to get to talk with people (specifically Mackenzie, Alysha, Emily, and Kayla) and not worry about various pageant things. The staff were super awesome and everyone else in the restaurant couldn’t stop staring (not that I blame them. I’d do the same!) The night ended early, with just the warning that we would be called at some point for a dress fitting. My floor was eventually called and we piled into the elevator with two other people and all the MTC gals. We went up a couple floors… and then stopped. The elevator broke as we were on it, and one of the gentlemen on the elevator with us pried open the doors as our chaperone called the emergency button. We were saved pretty quickly, but it made for an eventful and kind of scary night! (It ended positively though! The dresses are beautiful!!!)

DAY 4

Dragonboating!

Dragonboating!

WE WENT OUT. AGAIN. Today’s adventures started bright and early, before we’d even had any breakfast! We hopped on the buses and drove to an adorable diner called Egglicious, where we have eggs (duh), bacon, potatoes, and buttered bread. It was delicious and the staff was so friendly. I loved talking with them all, as well as my wonderful tablemates. Of course, the day had just begun. Next we went for a scenic walk along the river and made our way to the Mississauga Canoe Club where we were greeted by some enthusiastic staff that were excited to teach us all about dragonboating! We went in 4 separate boats of 20 (two at a time) and got to play games and race. It was hilarious because we had a sing-a-long with Francesca to help our boat keep the rhythm. Surprisingly it worked, because we won every race!

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My girls: Ana (C) and Isha (R)

After that adventure, we were told we’d have an hour or so to change and get cleaned up on the bus before arriving at our destination for dinner. Normally I don’t like surprises, so it was quite interesting to not know what to expect. However, as an Ontario girl it became pretty obvious where were going as we passed by Hamilton. NIAGARA FALLS! Apparently it’s the first year they’ve taken girls, so I felt quite honoured!

In Niagara Falls we went to a super cool magic show at the Greg Frewin Theatre. It featured tigers, parrots, dogs, and all sorts of other animals. I couldn’t figure out how any of the trucks worked and sat with my mouth open in shock the entire time. We also had a wonderful buffet while we were there and talked to a lovely family from the United States. The night was so much fun, but it wasn’t over yet!

The falllls

The falllls

We were in for a surprise…THE ACTUAL FALLS! We didn’t have a lot of time because of the drive back, but I know the out of province girls loved it. Personally, I’ve been several times but it was nice to be able to take pictures and laugh at the girls’ amazed faces. After we finished there we got back on the bus to drive home and most of us fell asleep. When we arrived at the hotel we were told of the next day’s plans… A petting zoo! I already knew the plan, but I was still just as excited! We all fell asleep quickly, dreaming of the fun day we had in store.

(To Be Continued really soon… aka as soon as I finish writing! Xoxo, Cris)

Written by: Cristina
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Today was absolutely magnificent and full details will come soon, but in the meantime I just HAVE to tell you about where we went to lunch today – Richtree Taco and Burrito Truck! It was a whole new take on TacoTuesday, but SO GOOD. We started off by giving the server our name (or in my case a nickname because spelling my name is hard) and then either getting 3 tacos or a burrito. I got a chicken burrito with all sorts of yummy things in it, and a Cola in an adorable glass bottle. It was absolutely delicious, but be warned – it is a bit spicy! I didn’t mind though, because the ingredients were so yummy and everyone working there was so nice! (Although, I would assume having a sash and crown makes people like you more – that’s just my guess)

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With Shirley (L) and Kayla (R) 🙂

There was one thing about Richtree Restaurants that caught my eye and that is that the menu items use all natural, fresh, local, and in season ingredients. They even include antibiotic and hormone free meat! I was super impressed with the quality of the food, and was glad to hear that they have four open kitchen restaurants in Ontario: the Eaton Centre (where we went), Bayview/York Mills Centre, College Parj, and Square One Mississauga! I’ll be sure to stop by at one of those places in the future to get another delicious burrito! Or hey, maybe I’ll try tacos next time!

Richtree Website: http://richtreenaturalmarket.com

Richtree Facebook: /RichtreeMarket

Richtree Twitter: @RichtreeMarket

Richtree Instagram: RichtreeMarket

Xoxo, Cristina

Written by: Cristina
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