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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.
- Start with a positive attitude, and keep it up year round. It’ll make things more fun and the year will go by faster.
- 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.
- Stay away from the drama. Except for the course, because that’s pretty cool.
- Always be kind. It’s pretty simple, but it can make a huge difference in people’s lives.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
We 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 Ontario 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!!).
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!
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.
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!!!)
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!
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!
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)
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)
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
Oh my goodness. I am SO tired (but happy!) and it’s only the second day! It’s been an absolute blast, and although a bit hectic, a wonderful experience. I’m gonna start right at the beginning, and work my way up to last night 🙂
I was one of the later delegates to arrive (because yay driving). I had waaaay too many bags and my dad wasn’t allowed to help me beyond the elevator, so that was the first of many adventures. In the main room, I was greeted with tons of girls and even more luggage. I went around and introduced myself to most of the girls only to find out most of them knew of me because of social media! From there we were called out in small groups to go meet our roommates and head to our rooms. My roommate, Emily (Miss Teenage West Calgary) is a super cool girl and we quickly found a lot of things we had in common. We also discovered a door leading to the next room… which happened to have too more lovely MTC delegates: Sara (Miss Teenage Northern BC) and Sammi (Miss Teenage South Calgary).
We all unpacked and talked but were soon called for yet another exciting event… THE WELCOME PARTY! We all went back up to the main room where we registered, got some goodies, and ate some food. We got some beautiful jewelry from Bells and Bows, some stylish pink baseball caps, and our pageant shoes! We also took a big group shot as the reigning Miss Teenage Canada (Francesca McFadden if you somehow don’t know her) cut our welcome cake! We had a lovely evening that ended with a relatively calm bedtime… but we knew the day to come was going to be CRAZY.
Day 2 was super busy, but lots of fun! I woke up crazy early (nerves I guess?) but had to be ready for 9:30 so I took my time getting up. We skipped doing our hair and makeup because today was photoshoot day and so it was being done for us! We went for breakfast super quickly and then to the artists to be beautified. My wonderful stylist (Keisha from
Saints Cosmetics in Aurora, Ontario) did an amazing job on my makeup, and then my hair stylist did tight little ringlets that relaxed into beautiful waves. I was so impressed and happy with the turnout!
Next we went downstairs and changed into our photoshoot dresses. The photoshoot was a bit awkward at first as we settled into a comfortable routine, but by the end I was having so much fun! The photographer was great at giving directions, and I felt like a real model! After that we had interviews (but shhhhhhh. no talking about those!!)
The last thing of the day was videoshoots, which we did with an absolutely hilarious videographer that was quick to help us out and make us feel more natural (because there’s nothing natural about smiling and playing with your hair in dead silence 😛 ). The awkward feeling never really went away, but it certainly improved!
Finally we were done for the day and had a bit of downtime to relax in our rooms and unwind from a busy day before heading down to the buffet for dinner. It was so much fun to just hang out with the girls and be regular teenagers. I hung out with my roommates as well as Anastasia (Miss Teenage Central Nova Scotia), Mackenzie (Miss Teenage Airdrie), and Hannah (Miss Teenage Halifax). They are all so cute and funny and I’m so glad to have met them <3
Overall, the first two days have been an absolute blast! Thank you to Michelle, Christi, Ryan, Marc, Courtney, Cheskie, and everyone else involved in running this/chaperoning us. It’s been a ton of fun and although the elevators are a hassle, we’re managing.
Until next update,
The moment I have been waiting for these last 6 months… It’s almost time to go to pageant week! This post exists for two reasons. The first is to thank everyone who’s helped me get where I am today; the second is to reflect on how far I have come in the last 7 months since winning my title.
Let’s start with the first. The thank yous.
Thank you to all my amazing sponsors for their generous contributions to help with pageant fees, to everyone who donated to Free the Children, and to every person who followed me on social media.
Thank you to my wonderful friends for putting up with my crazy schedule. I’m sorry for all the times I had to say no to going out because I had an event, and you’re the absolute best for always sharing my updates and shouting (literally shouting) my title to the world. You guys are the reason I’m still sane, and I love you all <3
Thank you to my fabulous family for all the love and support these last few months. Thank you DAddy for driving me places, editing my posts and letters, and always being there to give me a hug when I needed it. Thank you Mummy for all the shopping trips, getting your friends to like and share my page, and the encouraging words. Thanks Sorina for letting me borrow clothes, for editing things, and dealing with a very stressed out me. Thanks to Adrian for being way better at grammar and way calmer than I am. You guys are the bestest people ever and I would not have made it this far without you.
Finally, a huge thank you goes to all my pageant sisters. You have all been so helpful in offering both life and pageant advice, and just helping out with whatever one of us may need. It has been so much fun talking to you ladies in our group chat, and I cannot wait to meet you all in person! Best of luck to all of you, because you are all so beautiful and kind!
Part 2 – A personal reflection
Wow. Just wow. Ever since the first moment I got crowned 6 months ago, I still can’t quite grasp the fact that I am Miss Teenage Southern Ontario. Yes, I have the sash and crown to prove it, but it still feels unreal. Now, an hour before I am set to leave on for one of the greatest adventures of my life, I still don’t believe it! I am so honoured to have been chosen to represent this region, and I can’t wait to see what this week will bring me.
No matter what the results may be, I know that this experience will have been worth it. I have made life-long friends without having even met them in person. We manage the timezones (9 hours between Dijon and Vancouver), our busy schedules, and all our other commitments and made an effort to keep up with one another. I may not recognize their faces when I arrive, but I still know that Anastasia loves Doctor Who, Alysha’s obsessed with Taylor Swift, Carrington is a fantastic boxer, and Angel is an amazing actress. (Plus a zillion other little facts about other girls).
The Miss Teenage Canada competition isn’t just about the nicest dress, the best walk, or the most money raised. Sure, that’s important, but at the end of the day, I’m more likely to remember my closest girlfriends’ personalities not their clothes. That being said, to whoever does win MTC, congratulations! I am so proud of you and all you have achieved, and you should know your MTC Sisters will always be by your side.
That’s all for now, as I’m about to do some last minute prep and then get in the car to go. More updates soon!
Hi Loves! Can I just start off with a HUGE apology for my lack of posts. Life has been crazy busy as I prepare for Miss Teenage Canada and live my day to day life. I finally got a chance to blog again, and today’s blog is about something very important to me – my platform.
My platform is similar to that of many other delegates: mental health awareness. Some people may wonder why I didn’t choose something less popular or common, but the answer to that is simply that I didn’t feel the same passion towards anything else. And no, I don’t mind that other girls have similar platforms – it’s actually the exact opposite! It’s so great to hear that more people are getting involved, standing up, and making a difference.
I chose this as my platform because it is something very close to my heart. Although you may not realize it (because not many talk about it), chances are you all know somebody suffering from mental health illness. It may seem that mental health problems are something that only a few rare and “broken” people have, but that’s just not true! Mental health can affect anyone and approximately 20-25% of Canadians will personally experience mental illness in their lifetime.
I know from personal experience that a mental health struggle is exhausting for both the individual and their loved ones. As an individual, you may feel damaged or alone. As a family member or friend, you may be worried or feel helpless. These are feelings that nobody deserves to go through and I want to change that.
Why do I want to eradicate the stigma around mental health? Because it’s tough enough for youth dealing with mental illness without the fear that they are being judged by those around them. In the past, people believed mental illness was only a problem for those who were crazy and never thought of it to be something that could affect their own family. To me, mental health awareness means making people aware of what it really means and what we can do to support one another.
The ultimate success would be achieving my platform goal – eradicating all the stigma that currently exists against mental health. Unfortunately, that will take an exceptionally long time and even so may never happen. Instead, I will gladly settle for a major improvement. Even better, I would love to be able to personally make a difference with the title of Miss Teenage Canada! If I were to win MTC, I would use my title to help promote mental health in a positive light. Social media would be a great tool in this case, and as I build my follower base I can share more information in regards to my platform.
Finally, I would love to continue to participate in mental health awareness days such as Eating Disorder Awareness Week (February 1 to 7), Pink Shirt Day (February 25), International Self-Care Day (July 24), World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10), Mental Illness Awareness Week (October 4 to 10), and many more. Participation in these events may not seem like a lot, but it can be a quite significant contribution when you combine it with media and other tools.
Mental health awareness is dear to my heart and something I will continue to pursue regardless of title or not. It’s important for us to all work together, and I can’t wait to see where the world will end up in the future 🙂
LOL (Lots of Love!),
P.S. Check back in a couple of hours for a last minute blog before I head off to nationals!!!