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.

The Why

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.

*used with owner's permission*

*used with owner’s permission*

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.

The Meaning

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 Future

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.

*used with permission*

*used with permission*

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!),

Cristina

P.S. Check back in a couple of hours for a last minute blog before I head off to nationals!!!

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Here’s Ottawa!

To me, Canada is the reason I am who I am. It is a country that gives me the rights, freedoms, and chances of a first world country but does so without stripping me of my personal culture. Canada is a mosaic, where different cultures combine to create something beautiful rather than blend into one thing.

Here's Romania.

Here’s Romania!

For those of you that don’t know, I was born in Romania and moved to Canada at a young age with just my parents, my sister, and our four suitcases. My parents did this for their two little girls because they knew that Canada was a land of opportunity, a place where we could grow up and achieve things that would never be possible otherwise.

Throughout the years, I’ve learned to truly appreciate the sacrifice my parents made when they moved here, because Canada is without a doubt worth it. Other than the culture, one of the things I love most about this country is the natural beauty that fills it. The arctic, mountains, prairies, and lowlands – all can be found here! In my opinion, it’s one of the most stunning places in the world, and I can’t wait for the opportunity to travel and see more of it (something I will certainly do if it become MTC 2015!). Many people take our natural beauty for granted by saying Canada is too big, or there’s too much tundra, or whatever else. I can’t say I agree. Canada is beautiful no matter it’s size, and the tundra may be cold, but it’s still a stunning sight.

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The CN Tower – View from a boat on Lake Ontario!

Another reason to love Canada is the landmarks we have all over the country. Just in Ontario we have Niagara Falls, the CN Tower, Parliament Hill, and many other points of interest. The girls coming to Ontario for the first time in just a few weeks are in for a fun time! Of course, Ontario isn’t any more important than any other provinces. There are so many other museums, parks, malls, churches, and other places all over Canada. One place I hope to be able to go to soon is the Halifax Harbour, which is where the Halifax explosion took place 70 years ago.

Just once.. I want to win JUST ONCE.

Just once.. I want to win JUST ONCE.

The next reason to love Canada is a more fun aspect. The FOOD and ENTERTAINMENT! From poutine, to maple syrup, to Tim Horton’s, we have a lot of delicious foods here. I know for a fact that exchange students love our food 😉 but then again, who can blame them?! Personally, I’m known to drench my Saturday morning pancakes in syrup. As for entertainment, we have some pretty cool people and things from around here. We’re famous for sports like lacrosse and hockey, and people like Jim Carrey, Wayne Gretzy, and as many girls have certainly mentioned, RYAN SEACREST.

Finally, one of the reasons Canada is amazing is because of how accepting and loving we are (and no, I don’t mean our stereotypical politeness). What I mean is that we (at least the majority) accept all cultures, races, genders, sexual orientations, etc. Acceptance is one of the best things a person, country, or group can be and I am proud to say that we are.

When I travel and someone asks me where I’m from, I will always proudly tell them. I am Canadian, and it’s great.

Cristina

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Hey loves!

Let me just start off with a HUGE apology for the lack of posts lately. I don’t want to make excuses, but I have two anyways. The first is that the blog network’s been kinda silly, and the second is that I’m in school over the summer (first exam’s tonight! wish me luck!)

That aside, I wanted to tell you all about two events I went to a littlewhile ago. So as Shay (Miss Teenage Durham) says, let’s hop into the time machine real quick.

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Princess Anna aka ME!

The first event was Stouffville’s annual Strawberry Festival. It’s a pretty huge deal for a little town, and I had the joy of being the guest of honour at the pancake breakfast! I helped hand out pancakes, took pictures with kids, and got to talk to all sorts of people about who I am and what I do. Many residents had heard of me through the local paper  or from past events, but a lot were still surprised that a girl from such a small town could do such big things!

During Strawberry Fest, I also had the chance to fulfill my childhood dreams of being princess (although I do already do so with my current crown!). I got to dress up as Princess Anna from Frozen and spent time with Queen Elsa and Olaf, entertaining hundreds of adorable kids and their families. A lot of girls (and boys) had Frozen themed clothing or toys with them and they were all so excited to show us! I had so much fun, and I would totally consider doing this for the rest of my life :p

1951 Chevrolet Torpedo Back :)

1951 Chevrolet Torpedo Back 🙂

The second event was Aurora’s Canada Day Festivities! If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen some photos of me at the petting zoo, but that’s not how I spent most of my day. I was a part of the Classic Car Show, where I saw some beautiful cars. My favourite was a 1951 Chevrolet Torpedo Back that was a beautiful Tiffany blue. I also watched the Aurora Teen Idol competition, talked to residents of the town, and played with the adorable animals of the petting zoo.

The cutest donkey there ever was!

The cutest donkey there ever was!

Both of these events were a ton of fun, and I want to say a huge thank you to both towns for allowing me to participate in these events, especially Peter from the Aurora Car Club!

Until next time (which will be really soon!),

Xoxo,

Cristina

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Hehe. We're almost the same height (when I have heels on)

Hehe. We’re almost the same height (when I have heels on)

Let me just start off with a quick little intro for the rest of you! For those that don’t know, today is my dad’s birthday! (I had to decide if I wanted this posted for father’s day or his birthday, I went with the latter). Dad’s also one of my biggest pageant supporters, and I definitely couldn’t do it without him. Moving on…

Dear Dad,

Let me just start off with a thank you. Thank you for teaching me all that you have and making me the person I am today. Thank you for always tucking me in, helping me with my homework, driving me everywhere (literally everywhere, since nothing’s in walking distance), and being a pretty awesome pageant dad 😉

 
11535424_1018804764798407_365302646_oI always joke that having Father’s Day and your birthday so close to each other is so annoying, and in way it is. But at the same time, mum, Sor, and I get to make this week extra special to you, because let’s be honest – you deserve it. Not many dads are so involved in their daughter’s lives as you have been with me and Sorina. Growing up, you were always there for us and you continue to be everyday.

Some of my favourite childhood memories are spending time with you. My window sticker collection from ballet class, bike rides around the block, endless games of Dominoes, Mastermind, and Connect4. You were always there to support me, but you were also there to make my childhood the best you could.11642043_1018804814798402_243257254_o

I can’t even begin to explain how much I appreciate all the you and mum have done for me, nor will I ever be able to thank you enough. Just know that I love you to the moon and back. And that your dad jokes are absolutely terrible. And that I will never stop correcting your pronunciation.

Xoxo, Prichindel/The favourite child/Cris

Someone's a little rascal...

Someone’s a little rascal…

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Almost half of all Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their life, and almost if not all Canadian know someone who has or had cancer. There are over 100 different types of cancer and no definite cure. This is why I relay.

I know several people who have survived cancer. But I also know just as many that have died. To make it even worse, there will be others I love that will get diagnosed in the future. This is why I relay.

Accept the baton. That was the challenge posed to everyone at Toronto’s Relay for Life event which took place at Fort York on Saturday. I was a crew member and volunteered for most of the day, which was such a rewarding experience.

Starting at 4:00 I stood on the corner outside Fort York directing people to the event and answering questions of pedestrians. At 6:00 I returned for opening ceremonies and walked the first lap with everyone else. After that I settled into my position in the activity tent, helping run fun and active events such as Zumba, yoga, and belly-dancing. I also worked in the relayer’s holding area, handing out freebies.

For those that don’t know how relay works: Every hour or so there is a theme lap, such as Mardi Gras, Beach Party, Cowboys, Hawaiian, and others. During each lap the relayers get little freebies such as beads (Mardi Gras) and beach balls (beach party). Everyone loved playing with them, and it made the repetitive circuit a lot more fun. Everyone was so friendly and there was a lot of dancing!

I also saw a few of my pageant sisters at the event, because there was a Miss Teenage Canada team! I’m so proud of Neha (Miss Teenage GTA), Sam (Miss Teenage York Region) and Shayna (Miss Teenage Durham Region) for coming out and participating! I loved getting to see them and spend time with them lapping. The biggest thank you goes to Shay for supporting me during the luminary walk. Love you girl <3

Speaking of that, the luminary walk. A luminary bag is decorated in honour of someone and a candle is placed inside. They light the track. The luminary ceremony is the most emotional part of the night as everyone stops walking to take a moment of silence for those we have lost. Next, everyone takes a silent lap around the track with their teams, often holding hands and supporting each other. Almost everyone participating has lost someone to cancer, and it is in this moment that we sit and reflect.

Overall, this event was absolutely amazing. I’m so glad I got to volunteer, and I can’t wait to go again.

Xoxo, Cristina

~

I walked in honour of my Aunt Luci and Uncle Ghita. Who will you walk for?

 

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Let me just start off with a quick life update. First of all, I have to apologize for my lack of posts in the last week, as things have been quite crazy. My end of the year exams are next week, and I’m quite sick right now 🙁 Second thing is that later today I’ll be volunteering at Relay for Life! If any of you guys are there, I’ll be at the Activity Tent from 3:30-7:30 and the Relayer’s Holding Area from 7:30-10:30!

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Sweet baby girl <3

Anyways, the point of this post is to tell you all about the event I had the honour of attending last weekend! This event was a charity soccer tournament done to raise money for a little girl named Julia. Julia is 4 years old (turning 5 in just over a week!) and has a genetic disorder called CDKL5. This means that she will reach very few, if any, of the developmental stages most children do. CDKL5 is a very rare disorder that not many people know about, which is why the Romanian community of Ontario hosts events such as this.

If you want to learn more about Julia and CDKL5, click HERE to go to her website.

During this event, I got the chance to meet lots of people and watch the soccer games going on (Romanians reaaaaaally love soccer), as well as meet a (retired) professional Romanian soccer player! His name is Gabi Balint, and he played for the Romanian team in the 80s, including the 1986 game against Spain when Romanian won the European Cup Final! It was a really fun time and everyone was so friendly! I also had the opportunity to meet Antonella Marinescu, the Romanian General Consulate of Toronto and speak about what I was doing as a finalist for MTC.

I had a great afternoon with the Romanian community as we all worked together for a great cause, but my day wasn’t over! That evening was the Ed Sheeran concert and my sister and I were fortunate enough to have tickets! The show was aaaaaaamazing!!! 😀 Ed’s voice is just so beautiful and I really liked the simplicity of his show!

Well, that’s all for now. Check back on Monday or so for another blog post about Relay for life! (I promise not to take as long a break as I did this time!!)

Xoxo, Cristina3

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Good evening everyone!

I’m back from camp and already into full pageant swing! I’ll be making a post about camp sometimes this week, once I get all the pictures uploaded onto my laptop (which will take a pretty long time because there’s so many!) In the meantime, I wanted to tell you guys about an event I went to on Sunday (May 31st).

11390232_439682022867290_3924262707822123330_nThis weekend I had the amazing opportunity of attending a fundraiser for a little boy named Luca. Just over a year ago – when he was only 21 months old – Luca fell into a pool and nearly drowned. He spent several months at SickKids Hospital (one of the charities MTC is fundraising for), but he was such a strong little boy and he pulled through.

Luca lives with his parents, Danny and Laura, and his two older sisters. They are such amazing, loving people who work so hard to do the best they can for their little boy. This weekend’s fundraiser included a walk around our town, breakfast/lunch, and event for the many kids that attended. Although the weather wasn’t the greatest, everyone’s happy spirits certainly made up for it!

Throughout the morning I spent there, I got asked multiple times if I was a princess! Many parents didn’t know how to explain what pageantry was, so we kept that story going. One little man, W, came up to me and told me that his middle name was Knight, and that he wanted to give me a hug! (Haha get it. Princess. Knight. LOL)

Anyways, this event really made me appreciate life and all that it has to offer. You never know what might happen, and although Luca and his family are doing the best they can, it’s a tough situation. I am so proud of my amazing community for coming out to support one another, and I hope we can continue to do so.

Xoxo, Cristina

P.S. I have many more events coming up, so check out my Facebook page for more info!

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Hey lovelies!

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m heading to the YRDSB Arts Camp! This means no internet and minimal communication with the outside world, which I’m actually super excited for!

Be sure to check out my blog next week for a post all about it (with lots of pictures), and from now on my blog will be about appearances and other pageant stuff!

Also, if you don’t already follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, be sure to do so! It’s where all the behind the scenes information is posted, and it’s a lot of fun (n my humble opinion, and those of all my followers).

I love you all, and will miss chatting with you!

Xoxo, Cristina

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Hey there! So I meant to post this quite a while ago… but then life happened.

As I posted on my Facebook and Instagram, my trip to France has come to an end! If you haven’t read all about it, you can check out all the posts in the TRAVEL section of my blog. But in the meantime, let me catch you up on what’s going on!

Very early Tuesday morning (so early that it was still Monday in all of Canada) I woke up, ready to return home but SO not ready for the exhausting trip that was to come. After an emotional goodbye with my host family, I got on a two hour train ride back to Paris. At the airport we checked in and my suitcase weighed 22.9kg (For those that don’t know, the max. is 23!) So basically, I’m an expert at packing 😉

Anyways, we got there a lot earlier than planned… just in time to be delayed by a bomb threat. Now this is the part where most people would freak out and be like “uhhhhh a what now?” but you’d be surprised how often it happens. It happened on the way to France too. Basically, if a suitcase if left unattended for too long, they just blow it up (AKA DO NOT LEAVE YOUR STUFF UNATTENDED.) They made us move to the complete opposite area of where we needed to go, and we ended up having to walk outside and around the area.

The rest of the trip was uneventful. We were on a brand new airbus which meant awesome entertainment, making the 8.5 hour trip slightly more bearable. I watched a lot of movies and T.V., and well as lots of music and reading. I was a little surprised to hear the flight attendants asking us to put our seatbelts on, since the time had gone by pretty quickly.

Flash forward to meeting my parents. There was a lot of squealing. My parents (being the amazing parents they are) got me flowers and balloons and even brought my crown to the airport! It was such a great feeling to see them again, but we didn’t have a lot of time to waste, as I had my next meeting in an hour! (Mind you, this is a Tuesday afternoon in Toronto – aka the worst time of day to drive because traffic.)

At this meeting, I got to see my two best friends and my arts camp family! Next week is arts camp, and I couldn’t be more excited! But more on that later, because you can bet there will be a post just for that!

I decided to make a poor decision and go to school the next morning, ignoring the fact that it was 8pm when I got home and that I had been up for 21 hours. Well that was… interesting. By the end of the day, I wanted to cry I was so tired. It was overwhelming to see everybody, to go my usual classes, to be back to my old routine. But I’m slowly settling in, and although I wake up at 7 everyday, I’m slowly getting used to the time zones.

Now that I’m back, you can expect to see lots of posts relating to my title. My first event will be right after arts camp, with at least one (but probably more) every weekend after that. Hope you’re ready! (Because I don’t know if I am 😛 )

Until next time!

Xoxo, Cristina

P.S. I apologize for the no picture post… But I doubt you want to see jet lagged me as it is 😛

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Momma's too short to reach 😉

Today is mother’s day, and for me it is bittersweet as I am not able to spend it with my mum. Since leaving Canada three months ago, I’ve already missed two important dates and today is the third (and final) one.

First was March 8th, a day that the world knows as International Women’s Day but that I – and other Romanians – think of as mother’s day. I had been away for about a month and I decided to make a digital scrapbook of pictures of my sister and I with our mum (with appearances from my daddy and other people).

My two favourite ladies in the world.

The next event that I missed was my mum’s birthday, and that was at approximately the halfway point. I made a card and wrote her a letter, and my sister got her flowers on both our part. Mum had a lovely party with all of our friends and while I skyped her to say hello, I wish I could have been there.

And now it’s the “official” mother’s day, and my main gift for her is my returning to the country in two days 😉 just kidding! But really, even though I can’t be with my mum in person today, she is always with me in spirit – no matter what. We fight and argue on occasion (mostly because I’m still a silly teenager), but my mum is my best friend and I trust her with anything and everything.

Pink shorts, pink jacket (it's my mum's), pink umbrella. I promise I'm not Elle Woods.

My mum has taught me everything I know, and I am who I am because of her. She taught me the importance of being kind, independent, and classy. She taught me family recipes, how to dance traditionally, and countless other ways to maintain my culture. She taught me how to dress, act, and fit in while still standing out. Oh, and of course she taught me butterflies and flowers, and everything pink 😉

You see, as I grow up, I learn to appreciate my mum (and dad) more and more. As a child I never really thought about all they did and all they sacrificed for me and my sister, but I now realize just how much it was. Big things like moving to a new country; little things like always kissing me good night. Their love is selfless and unconditional.

I love this photo of them <3

It’s funny. Ever since I was little, people always said I look/act like my mum. In the past I would’ve laughed and denied it because my mum and I were two completely different individuals. When somebody says that to me now? I smile proudly because it’s an honour to be compared to somebody as beautiful and amazing as her. When I have kids of my own in the future, I hope to be half the mum mine is. I wish I could hug my mum and hold her close, but I can’t until Tuesday. I’ll have to settle for our weekly skype calls and endless facebook messages.

My momma's always been gorgeous

In the meantime, everybody go give your mums (blood or otherwise) a big hug and kiss, and tell them how much they mean to you.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and mother figures out there. You are all amazing. <3

Cristina

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