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

Written by: 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


Written by: Cristina
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There are some people in life that make you laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger, and live just a little bit better. – Unknown

Good morning/afternoon/evening! (I’m in one zone, Canada’s in another 😛 ) In case you didn’t get what that quote refers to, it’s about friends. This past year has been anything but ordinary and I’ve made so many new friends along the way while maintaining and restarting some old ones.

First off, the most recent friends. My French fries (even though those are actually Belgian). I met so many people these past few months and I just want to say thank you for accepting me and not making fun of me too much when I made mistakes. I’m glad I got to get know you and I hope to be able to maintain these friendships. At the very least, you can keep making fun of the books I read and music I listen to, and I’ll make fun of the weird ways you say things 😉

I didn't even try to find a cute photo of all of us. Wasn't happening.

My pageant sisters. I haven’t even met the majority of you yet but I feel like I know you all. I can talk to you about anything, no matter what or when. You are all so beautiful – inside and out. To my Ontario sisters, I am so proud of you. In those two days we spent together, we all learned and grew and I know that nationals will be an even better experience. In the meantime, we’ll just keeping talking about bread on fb 😉

From strangers to sisters in the blink of an eye.

To my Romanian friends: I still get freaked out when I realize how long we’ve known each other. It’s been what, 8-9 years? (That may not seem like a lot to others, but when you’ve moved like I have, it’s a lot.) You’ve known me since my awkward phase…. just kidding that’s still a thing. But you’ve known me for a super long time and I’m glad I get to see y’all pretty often. I still want to do that Romania road trip btw! (No photo because I don’t have any on this computer!)

My arts camp family… well technically camp’s not for another three weeks, but I already know a lot of you from previous years. As we grow and learn as artists, you continue to impress me with your talents. You’ve taught me a lot about expressing myself and honestly, there’s nowhere I feel more at home than at camp. You are some of the kindest souls I have ever met and I love you all (Almost as much as the big cookie!).


My YRPC/Dream ’14 fam, you are super people and you can do anything! I so wished I could’ve made it to Forward ’15 but I know that no matter what you guys have my back. Keep being the hard working and inspirational people you are, because I can’t wait to see what other great things we can achieve.

THAT session. You know which one I'm talking about...

To my school friends (because I have no other name for you), you are my weirdos and I (can’t believe I’m saying this 😛 ) love you. We have the strangest conversations and go on the strangest adventures. I miss seeing you everyday, although I appreciate the Snapchats. Thank you for being the most amazing and supportive friends I could ever ask for (even if you show it by pretending to not know me when we’re in public).

Missing my love, Tia </3

To my sisters. Not just my biological sister (although you too bug!) but all my sisters. To the girls that I can call at any time of the day, to the girls that know everything about me, to the girls who I’d do the same for. You know who you are, and you know I love you all. There’s not much else to say to this, other than that. I love you.

And last but not least, is my Bug. Who originally got put with my other sisters, but that wasn’t enough (see picture below). You’re my best friend and I know you don’t need this post to make it clear. It’s been a thing for 15+ years and you can’t get rid of me. You will be my matron of honour and you have no choice 😉

She didn't appreciate being lumped in and pulled the Mushu Card.

Aaaaand I think that’s all my amazing friends. If I forgot someone (which I probably did!) then I am SOOOOOO sorry but I still love you <3 I just have a terrible memory and forget things easily. No joke, I forgot my teacher’s name today. The teacher I’ve had all semester. I forgot their name and had to check my email. My bad.

Anyways,the point of this post wasn’t to tell you about my memory struggles. It was to remind you guys the importance of the family you choose. Go give your friends and family a little loving, like I plan on doing <3

Xoxo, Cristina

Written by: Cristina
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Hey Lovelies!

I meant to upload this yesterday, but something came up and I completely forgot! Sorry about that! Anyways, today’s post is about my time abroad as an international student. If you’ve read pretty much any of my posts in the past, you’d know that for the last 2.5 months I have been in (for the most part) in Dijon, France. In 2 weeks I’ll be returning to Canada and my regular high school.

I wanted to make this post for two reasons. The first is to tell you guys a bit about the program I went with, and the second is to tell you about French schooling (because I’ve gotten quite a few questions about it and how it’s different from Canada).


To start, I first found out about the possibility of an exchange in Grade 7 or 8. I obviously was waaaaay too young to do it then, so I moved it to the back burner until the start of grade 9. One day in French class we had a presentation from a company called ISE Ontario (International Student Exchange in case you didn’t connect those dots). I eagerly listened to the presentation and rushed home to tell my parents about it. After a LOT of begging, my parents agreed to let me apply (when I say a lot, I mean a lot – just ask my mum).

The application process was… thorough to say the least. Approximately 12 pages long, it asked you about pretty much everything. My parents also filled out a bunch of questions, mostly about the home and routines. They try to be as thorough as possible, because you’re spending 6 months with your partner, and it’d be a shame if you didn’t get along!

Anyways, that was in the winter months. By May-June I got my partner profile who (as my family jokingly said) was the French equivalent of me. We liked a lot of the same things and whatnot, so I was super excited! We talked to each other on Facebook and Skype, and then finally met in August when she came to Canada. We had a wonderful time, and kept in touch after she went back in November. Then as you know, I went there in February and will be returning shortly! (If you want to read about my time here, check out the travel part of my blog).


Next part is about French school vs Canadian school. I figured this was a good time to write about it, since my last day just passed!

To put it simply, they’re about as different as they can get! For starters, school size. My Canadian school is about 1200 kids, while my French school was 2.5x that; my Canadian school is a simple two story square-ish building, my French school is a labyrinth that I STILL don’t know how to navigate (tbh I don’t think anybody does!).

School here is much more formal and strict than in Canada. Teachers are treated with the utmost respect, technology is prohibited unless otherwise stated (more on that later), and school is a place for learning – not other things such as electives or extra curriculars.

Academics are taken very seriously here, which is something I really appreciated it. Although it was in French, I understood the majority of the lessons (just like I don’t understand Shakespeare in English, I don’t understand Moliere in French) and I liked the challenges posed to us.

I have to say though, that I do like the freedom of expression there is in Canada. I love and have learned to value the opportunities given to me through electives, clubs, and sports. I also enjoy (aka need) my phone in class, because I work 10x better when having music to distract me from other people. Like I said, technology isn’t allowed unless you’re given permission. Fortunately, the Dean gave me permission to use my phone as a translator when I needed it, so that was great (no music though).

Overall, going to school here was an interesting experience, as was the trip as a whole. I skipped a lot in this post about how it all works, but if anybody wants to know more about ISE or is just curious about French school, you can always leave a comment and I’d be happy to chat with you about it!

For now, i’m going to go enjoy my two week vacation (OH YEAH. WE GET A TON OF BREAKS HERE! IT’S GREAT!). Until next time!

Xoxo, Cristina

P.S. Sorry for the no picture post, I still love you all!


Written by: Cristina
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My latest post is, as you may have guessed by the title, about the beauty that is the outdoors. Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of my free time enjoying the warm weather of France. There are a lot of parks near my house and school, all lovely in their own way.

First, is Place de la Wilson. I’ve posted a picture of this park before, where I mentioned being eager to see the fountain turned on. Little did I know that there would be something even nicer before that…. Behold the beauty that is blossoming cherry trees!

On the particular day I went, it was warm and there was gentle breeze blowing. Being the middle of the day it was relatively empty and serene. I took a few pictures and spent the remainder of my time reading and listening to calming music.

Next, Parc de la Colombiere. I think I’ve mentioned this one too. I pass by it every week on the way to the training stadium for gym (where we throw javelins btw!) but up until last week, I never stopped to appreciate it.

Boy do I regret not going sooner! My first time wandering the park was on a warm weekday evening, as the sun was slowly starting to set. Lots of people were in the park, from young lovers, to children and their parents, to teenage friend groups, to retirees. I passed by an ice cream stand, and couldn’t resist the urge to get a salted caramel scoop (it was delicious by the way).

The third beauty isn’t natural nor is it technically a park. It is in fact a little garden space in town. Nestled between two cultural heritage sites of Dijon, Jardin Jean de Berbisey is a relatively small plot of land. It’s got half a dozen benches on the two side walls and planters of cheerful flowers. Although it’s in the middle of the city, it’s on a relatively quiet street and offers a place of rest to all who pass by.

When I first passed by this place, it was on the way to grab lunch with a large group of classmates. I made a mental note to properly check it out and a few days later retraced my steps and returned. I’m glad I did, because it’s such a cute place! Dijon sure has the right idea with these little gardens!

And the final place I’ve enjoyed is actually a part of a museum (Musées de la vie Bourguignonne et d’Art sacré). Now, the building itself is super cool and I’ve briefly been inside (I plan on doing a full tour on Monday) but the courtyard is so cute.

The first time I stumbled upon this place was by accident, and it was during lunch. The museum was closed until later on, but parents were there with their kids waiting. It was such a simple little place, but as those kiddos ran around playing games, it made me really happy.

I promise there were actually children/people in general there. I just try to avoid people in my pictures as much as possible 😉

I’m really glad I found these places. Had I been just a regular tourist, I never would have found these “hidden gems”. Along with a chapel and a bakery/cafe combo, these outdoor beauties have become my go to places when I have free time before returning to school or when I’m in need of me-time.

No matter where I go or where I’ll end up, I will always seek a place like these. A place of comfort and calmness. I think everybody deserves to find a place (or 5) like this. I also think everybody can. You just have to do a little exploring – that’s half the fun!

Until next time!



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Bonjour tout le monde! (Hello everyone!)

A tree with a pretty cool shadow.

As mentioned in my last two posts (on porcelain and a throwback respectively), I spent my long weekend in the beautiful Limoges, capital of the Limousin region. Limousin is the second least populated region of France (after Corsica) but still makes quite the impression. My weekend was so much fun, and I bought some beautiful souvenirs! We arrived Friday evening, after a five hour road trip. The first thing I noticed upon our arrival was the strange shape of the trees! After asking Cécile and her mum about it, I learned that the branches were cut short and that the clumped ends were moss. I’d never seen anything like it so it was really cool!

We stayed with my host mum’s best friend, who happened to live across the street from Town Hall! This building is very grand, and is modeled as a smaller version of Hôtel de Ville (Paris City Hall), so that was quite nice. We had a calm evening as we were all tired, but we looked forward to an adventurous two days. Saturday morning was spent at home, as Cécile and I had homework while the adults ran some errands. As I sat on my bed I kept hearing people cheering and talking, and realized it was coming from Town Hall. Why? Because Saturdays, mean weddings! I saw three weddings go by that day, and I was only home for a small part of the day.

Panorama of the view from my window!

That afternoon we went shopping, and if you follow me on Instagram (which you all should, because I post sneak peeks for my next blog post!) you’d know I took lots of pictures of the adorable sign shops. We visited a cheese shop that had tons of gourmet aged cheese wheels, then a chocolate shop with every variation of chocolate you could imagine! We also went to some boutiques, a few chapels, to historic sites, and my favourite place of the day – the porcelain shop! (If you want to read more about that, check out the last post I did!)

The Vienne River! 🙂

Following the trip to Maison de la Porcelaine, we went for a little walk in the park nearby, and then for a drive around the French countryside. As I wrote to my sister, if I’m ever looking for a vacation house when I’m older, somebody remind me to look for a villa in rural Limousin! We also saw a lot of cows (or Moo-Moos as I call them) grazing in the pastures, birds singing in the trees, and flowers starting their spring bloom. It was so pretty and serene.

The front entrance of the cathedral!

We left Monday afternoon, but not before having on final outing, this time to a cathedral. This church is super old – as in the XV century  (15th for those who don’t know roman numerals – like me before coming here) and was built in a gothic style. We also walked to the botanic gardens nearby, which weren’t in bloom (obviously) but still nice nonetheless. It’s definitely on my bucket list to see it when in full bloom though!

And the final part of the day was walking through the old part of the city, cobblestones and all. My host mum made lots of jokes about how Toronto/Canada in general doesn’t compare, and she’s 100% right. Canada is beautiful, don’t get me wrong. But it doesn’t have the historic charm of France and the rest of Europe. Many of the places I’ve visited are actually older than Canada itself. Canada’s just a baby in comparison!

Cutest couple ever?

Anyways, that weekend was a lot of fun, and as I wish it could have lasted longer. Thank you to my host mum for arranging this trip and her amazing friend for having me. This entire trip has been surreal and I appreciate it so much <3




Written by: Cristina
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Hey there!

Just some of the many owl decorations!

In my last post I mentioned going out of town, and for those who were wondering where I went, the answer is Limoges, Limousin! I originally planned on making one post for this weekend, but I realized that I took waaaaay too many photos of the porcelain and that they deserve their own blog post on them!!

I assume most of you aren’t aware why I’m getting ridiculously excited about porcelain, so here’s why: Limoges is famous for having some absolutely amazing porcelain. Like amazingly amazing.

There were rows... upon rows... upon rows.

On Saturday we went to a very small, personal store with the cutest designs ever. Limoges really likes owls (which if you remember from my post on Dijon, so does Dijon) so that was convenient! All of the porcelain was hand crafted and the detail was astounding. If we’re being honest, my first thought when I walked into the store was “OMG WHAT IF THERE’S AN EARTHQUAKE?!” and I panicked at the idea of all that hard work going to waste.

Sunday we went to an even bigger and better porcelain shop (yes, I know I sound like an old lady getting so excited about china). It was three floors!! This particular store, called Maison de la Porcelaine (which translates to The House of Porcelain) had everything you could think of, from the obvious (plates, cups, bowls, etc.) to the colourful (jewelry, mosaics, wall hangings – all that fun stuff) to the straight up random (magnifying glasses, wine corks, or Christmas baubles anyone?).

The colourful designs are stunning works of art!

The teacups and saucers were my favourite, as my mum happens to own a bunch of antique ones already. Unfortunately, I was limited by what could survive my trip back home. Somehow I still manages to go a little bit crazy with my purchases (NO RAGRETS), and I ended up buying some beautiful things (which I can’t post here, as my family and friends read my blog, and I don’t want to ruin the surprise!) that I absolutely love – and hope  they will too.I saw so many amazing hand crafted pieces this weekend and also got the chance to see them being made – it was fascinating! Check back in a few days to see what I did the rest of the weekend (hint: it includes cathedrals, boutiques, food, and a lot of other random things).

Xoxo, Cristina

Instead of my usual selfie/photo of me, here's a porcelain workshop!

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The inspiration for today’s post came from talking a lot with my cousin in the last little while. For those that aren’t aware, I was born in Romania and moved to Canada at the age of four. I have three cousins on my mum’s side between the ages of 13-16 and we’re all super close. The time difference can make talking a challenge, not to mention school and day to day life getting in way. However, we still try to make it a priority to talk as much as possible.

Now that I’m in France, it’s so much easier! There’s only a one hour difference, which after dealing with seven is nothing. I found that I’m much more inclined to talk to my Romanian family and friends than my Canadian ones while I’m here, although I think that it has to do with more than just time zones. France and Romania are very similar in architecture, and are both very different from Canada. Europe in general is very different, as it’s so much older and has a much richer history.

The other day I went to the market and felt like I had accidentally snapped my fingers and teleported to Romania. It made me homesick for the home that is no longer my home (except for some summers). That night I messaged my cousins on facebook, and we were able to talk for hours because there was no crazy time difference. Over the next few days we talk constantly, laughing about memories as they came to us. It was as though we had never stopped talking.

This brings me to the point of this post. We started to talk about all sorts of funny stories, and it got me feeling nostalgic. I decided to look through some photos from past trips, and thought hey, why not make it into a cute little video? I tried to put it in a kind of chronological order… tried being the key word here. Also, the music is Romanian music I listened to at one point or another in my life 🙂

Anyways… click HERE to see the video! Because I couldn’t upload it here, I embedded the youtube link instead 😉

Xoxo, Cristina

P.S. I’m going out of town this weekend, so expect a post on my travels next week!



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This lovely lady is now sixteen!

Today is my exchange partner’s 16th birthday! I had the joy of having Cécile over for my 15th birthday last October, and now I’m here for hers! Yay 😀

These are my gorgeous new friends! From LtoR: Alexane, Rose, Camille, Ophelié, and Juliette 🙂

We celebrated by having a party on Saturday! She invited a bunch of our classmates to go bowling and then to just hang out at home. It was an absolute blast and I’m so glad I got to hang out with my new friends AND eat cake in one day 😉

Anyways, bowling. Fun fact, I’m not so good terrible at it. I jokingly went up for Cécile’s turn (while her friends held her back) and got her a gutterball. When she went to return the favour, she actually did help me out by getting me a spare! The look on her face was hilarious! Thanks Cecil 😉

Snapchat caption says it all!

During other people’s turns, we were ridiculous. We made lots of commentaries, took photos, and had a generally fun time! Since everyone in France wears scarves, we ended up all wearing one another scarves, and wrapping them around other people’s heads, and just being weird. Back at our apartment we danced to music, sat around talking, and made lots of silly faces. It was definitely one of my favourite memories here so far, since everyone was so happy 🙂

For Cécile’s birthday, I made her a fantastic card and got her “Ghost Stories” by Coldplay. Because we both love that band, as well as OneRepublic, The Script, and other such bands. Being the evil friend I am, I gave her a gag gift (she gave me one tooooo!) of a bag filled with laundry clips. She laughed and admitted she deserved it, since she had given me one filled with folded papers.

B&W photo = automatically artsy... right? 😉

So anyways: to the girl who went from being a stranger to my best friend when she came to live with me back in August, happy birthday! 🙂 Keep being the amazingly weird person I know and love (did I really just say that out loud?!?!). Thank you for everything you’ve done to make my time with you memorable! Hope you loved Canada as much as i’m loving France, and hopefully you’ll be back soon! Have the bestest of birthdays my dear, and enjoy being 16 🙂


Crissy-Crissy 😉



Written by: Cristina
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