Me on the Beaches of Jamaica

Me on the Beaches of Jamaica

During my lifetime I have been incredibly fortunate to have travelled with my family to different countries and places in this beautiful world. Doing so, I have discovered a love and passion for travelling, experiencing new cultures, new opinions, history, ideas, food and scenery. For me, travelling is about learning about somebody and someplace else. It’s about broadening my mind and being more open to experiences & ideas. Travelling is simply the feeling that you are actively learning about others and appreciating the great world we live in.

The first time I ever was on a plane was to travel to British Columbia to attend My uncle’s wedding in Vancouver. At this time, I was 5 years old and was so excited to go. I can remember drawing doodles of planes and skies in my room for weeks before the trip. As a little kid, leaving the farm and travelling to a big city on a real plane was just about as awesome as life could get. I can remember sitting on the window seat of the plane and not being able to take my eyes off the clouds for the entire five-hour flight. When we finally arrived in Vancouver, I was beyond excited to get a cab and drive off into a real city. There were buildings that touched the sky, hundreds of different restaurants and stores and countless parks filled with kids and dogs on every block. Coming from a small village with one park, one store and one restaurant, Vancouver was an overwhelming paradise to me.

During that trip, I visited the ocean for the first time.  It was too cold and rainy to swim but my family still had a great time collecting sea shells and rocks. We also visited the Vancouver Aquarium. I think it was there that I realized I had a love of the sea and all of the creatures within it. That day I got to see beluga whales, stingrays, starfish and dolphins. That trip started our family’s love of travel and led to the planning of our first tropical vacation to beautiful Dominican Republic.

Swimming with the Nurse Sharks in the Dominican

Swimming with the Nurse Sharks in the Dominican

Dominican was everything my family had hoped it would be; great food, beautiful scenery and nice, genuine people. It is an excellent place for a family holiday! Things couldn’t have gone better for our first time as a family travelling to another country. We headed off on this journey with our great friends Jerome and Mary and we have been travelling with them ever since. There was a certain energy and atmosphere at our wonderful resort that instantly made you feel relaxed and welcomed. After a lot of unpacking, changing into swimsuits and applying sunscreen we finally headed to the beach. I remember when my toes first stepped into the hot white sand. I remember seeing the swaying coconut trees and crystal-clear water. I was so excited to step onto a tropical beach, and I couldn’t wait to dive into the ocean for the first time. As the week continued, things only got better and better. During that week I learned many things about the Dominican people, their

Dominican diving!

Dominican diving!

language and their culture. I even stepped outside of my own comfort zone trying new foods, meeting many different people and opened myself up to different challenges and experiences. I think that travelling over the years has really helped me find myself and discover things about myself. Some new things I took on that week include snorkeling in a coral reef, tubing out in the deep ocean and swimming with real, live, sharks. Yes you heard me, sharks. Although they were just nurse sharks and don’t have a great deal of teeth, for an 8-year-old girl, I thought I was pretty tough.

Barbados at it's Finest!

Barbados at it’s Finest!

 

 

The next year my family travelled to Cuba, followed the next year by Barbados. Cuba was a fun and cultural trip. We enjoyed lots of Cuban meals and it happened to be Cuba Days when we went so they were celebrating their country in bright parades and shows and they shared this extravagant holiday with us. Barbados was a trip I will never forget! Never have I seen such a beautiful place filled with such a wide variety of people, scenery, plants and animals. Barbados is full of people who are larger than life. They fill your mind with their colourful speech, their walk, their endless energy and love of life. No matter what their age, they insist on having fun. Barbados is filled with endless beaches, luxury resorts and fun nightspots. The coconut palms, the bearded fig trees, the sugar cane fields and the tropical flowers all add to the charm. The first animal I saw in Barbados was a colourful sea turtle. Barbados is a haven for many turtles, including the Leatherback and Hawksbill turtles. Sea turtles are very commonly seen there almost like how a deer is common for people to see where I come from, but for me this was beyond exciting. That week we got to go snorkeling and swimming with the sea turtles, and I instantly fell in love. Some other animals I got to see in Barbados included the mongoose, bats, a red-footed tortoise, various species of lizards, whistling frogs and toads. The ocean in

Barbados on the Beach

Barbados on the Beach

Barbados was the highlight of the trip. The HUGE waves caused for an exciting and rowdy swim. At this point in my life that trip was the most magnificent 7 days I’d ever had. After all, how could body surfing wave after wave for hours on end in crystal clear water ever get boring?

Fun in Florida

Fun in Florida

 

 

The next year the Barr family took on Disney, Florida, the sunshine state of America. This trip was extremely eventful with one exciting event planned after another. In Florida I went on my very first roller coaster ride at SeaWorld. We went to the Magic Kingdom where we met Mickey and Minney and all of the other Disney characters and we also watched the amazing fire work show and a glow in the dark parade. It was truly a magical experience. Our favourite part about the trip was most definitely the water park! A full day of good fun in the sun, riding slides and floating in the lazy river. I swear, we must have floated around in that thing for 4 hours straight. We had so much fun in Florida but we felt we didn’t have enough time to fully experience it all so we returned again 2 years after and took on Old town, Universal and Gatorland.

Family Fun in Jamaica

Family Fun in Jamaica

You might ask what’s next on this family’s travel bucket list? Well, to us we couldn’t possibly miss out on a trip to Jamaica, two trips actually. We loved it there so much that we returned another year to experience it all over again. Every Island in the Caribbean has something unique and special about it but to me the music is what separates Jamaica from the others. Despite the tiny size of the island, Jamaican music has long been a powerful force on a global scale. First of all, we have Bob Marley and his Reggae legacy.  He advocated for social change while simultaneously allowing listeners to forget their troubles and just dance. I think this has a huge impact on Jamaica‘s friendly atmosphere and passion for music. The island boasts a wealth of extraordinarily popular genres such as dancehall and dub and has a long history of folk music.

Parasailing in Jamaica

Parasailing in Jamaica

On these trips to Jamaica I experienced new things that I have always wanted to try. I went parasailing, cliff diving, I swam with dolphins and my sister and I even rode a camel. I must say, swimming with dolphins was some of the most fun I’ve ever had. Being so close with such a gentle and happy animal can make anybody smile. Riding the camel on the other hand was a far more smelly experience, but still tons of fun! Parasailing was absolutely amazing! I soared 250 feet above the beautiful Caribbean Sea admiring the coastline of Jamaica. Up there I could really take in all Jamaica had to offer.

Cliff Diving in Jamaica

Cliff Diving in Jamaica

That year my family also returned to Dominican Republic for my cousin’s wedding where we went deep sea fishing, toured the island, went 4-wheeling and swam in a cave in a small village outside of Punta Cana. This was an excellent trip because we got to travel with family that we hadn’t seen in a very long time and I feel as if though I really connected and got to know some family members in a way that I never did before.

Calgary Stampede

Calgary Stampede

The next summer we decided there was still some of our very own country that had yet to be explored and seen so we packed up our cowboy boots and hats and headed out west to Alberta to take on the Calgary Stampede. I’ll tell you when they say it’s the greatest outdoor show on earth, they’re not lying. The Calgary Stampede is a not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates Alberta’s western heritage, cultures and community spirit. I have never seen anything quite like it! So many people were happy to be there and the vibe was unreal. Calgary is such a beautiful city. It made the experience so much more amazing. While visiting Alberta we figured we should travel out to Banff to see the mountains and go swimming in the hot springs. Seeing pictures of the Rocky Mountains does absolutely no justice to the real thing! The mountains were covered with a rug of trees, but their bare tops were scarfed and beribboned with snow. My sisters and I could hardly wait to arrive in Banff and see them up close, and go swimming in the hot springs. On our way we saw a gigantic elk crossing the road. It’s still so unbelievable to think that our very own country is home to some of the most beautiful species.

Stanley Park

Stanley Park

As amazing as Alberta was, my cross Canada touring wasn’t done for that summer. My uncle and aunt gave me the absolute greatest gift that year for my birthday; the chance to fly out to Vancouver to see them and spend the week with them. I jumped at the opportunity to travel to British Columbia again. The distant memories of when I was a little girl were still so great that I couldn’t have been more excited to live them again. We toured Vancouver on land and from up above. We went on a sea plane that flew us all around the city and over the ocean that surrounded it. We went to Stanley park where we admired the gardens and totem poles. We also went to Granville Island and the beach where my uncle took me sea kayaking. Sea kayaking was such a great experience. I saw seals, jellyfish and hundreds of bright pink and purple star fish. That weekend we set sail on a big ferry boat and headed to Vancouver Island. There, we went to the parliament buildings, the museum, went shopping and just toured the beautiful cobblestone streets. Although I did some extremely awesome things on this trip, I must say the best part about it was being with my family who I hadn’t seen in a long time and I really can’t think of a better way to spend time with them then travelling around beautiful British Columbia.

Now that my family had travelled a fair amount we figured out that Barbados stole our hearts, we absolutely love it there and have been back three times since. My family booked another trip there for next March break. Unfortunately I will not be joining them for I plan to take part on my biggest journey yet. Next March Break I’ll be taking on Europe for the first time. My school is planning a EF history trip to Canada’s Battlefields and I couldn’t possibly pass up the opportunity. I absolutely love history, traveling and learning about other cultures, so this trip is a total dream for me. First we fly over seas to the Netherlands, then go on to Amsterdam where we will visit the Anne Frank house. After reading the Anne Frank Diary as a kid I’ve always wanted to see it for myself. We then travel to France where we will see Vimy Ridge, Juno Beach and Normandy.  The trip is to conclude with a 3 day stay in Paris where we are free to tour wherever we choose. Words can’t describe how excited I am for this trip of a lifetime. I can’t wait to learn about these countries and our world in a whole new way.

2016 BLOG 3 quote

I’m really so lucky to have done all that I have at only 16 years old. I come from a very small village, and although to me, my hometown is still the most beautiful place in the whole world, I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to leave it for short periods of time and experience other countries. Traveling has offered me the opportunity to explore the world and open doors for myself. I honestly feel that through trying new things, learning new things and being in diverse communities, it has helped to mold me into the person I am today. I’ve realized I have a passion for travel and by acting on that passion I have made great memories and have gotten a good tan or two! There’s still so much out there I want to see and do. I want to take on this beautiful world head on and live my life to the fullest!

GO GOLD!

Kathleen

 

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I wanted to take this Blog post to give you some insight into how I started on this amazing journey to the Miss Teenage Canada Pageant and introduce you to my sponsoring pageant;  The Teen Ontario East Pageant.

Toe Logo

A year ago I would have never pictured myself to be where I am today. In April of 2015, I entered as a delegate in the Miss Teen Ontario East Pageant and my life took on a whole new focus.

My 2015 fellow M.T.O.E. Delegates

My 2015 fellow M.T.O.E. Delegates

Going into pageant weekend 2015, my only expectation is that I was going to have a fun weekend making new friends, trying new things and meeting some incredible childhood cancer champions.  I expected to return to school Monday morning and continue on with life as usual. Little did I know that pageant weekend was going to be the beginning of a whole new experience and a whole new me!

The Miss Teen Ontario East Pageant is a charity-based, not-for-profit organization and is a proud official fund raising and Awareness event for Childhood Cancer and many of the charities that assist kids with cancer and their families.  One such charity is the Candlelighters, a not-for-profit charity organization that provides comfort and resources to young cancer patients being treated through the Oncology team at CHEO (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario). Candlelighters has always been an extremely important organization to me and my family. In 2009, at the age of 11, my sister Jill was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Candlelighters provided my sister and our whole family with the support and the resources we needed to get through that devastating cancer diagnosis. This is how we initially got involved with the pageant. Jill is one of the childhood cancer survivors that goes on stage to lend support to the pageant and the special Childhood Cancer Awareness number and then when Jill participated in the pageant as a delegate, was crowned 1st Runner Up to Miss Teen Ontario East 2014, Theresa Paplinskie. The pageant has always showcased these heroes in such an inspirational and moving way!  The very first time I watched the pageant I loved it.

2015 MTOE Champions; Jessica, Jill, Paige, Nathan and Annie

2015 MTOE Champions; Jessica, Jill, Paige, Nathan and Annie

Pageant weekend was some of the most fun I’ve ever had. Throughout the weekend I was encouraged to try many new things, I made a lot of new friends and shared some great memories and laughs with the other delegates and the M.T.O.E. committee. All of the girls were so kind and caring. We stayed up late at night chatting and getting to know each other and my roommate and I became fast friends and shared lots of dreams and ambitions until the sun came up. By the end of the weekend we all felt like sisters. The pageant made me step outside of my comfort zone and I really did become more confident in myself. I think many of my fellow delegates felt the same way.

MTOE 2015 The crowning

My crowning moment April 2015

Being crowned Miss Teen Ontario East 2015 was one of the most exciting moments of my life. All of the emotions and thoughts that blew through my mind when my name was called completely overwhelmed me. I could hardly move, let alone march down the ramp with a beautiful, huge crown on my head.

Looking back to when I was a little girl I can remember how completely mesmerized I would be when I would see the Miss Teen Ontario East girls at events in and around our community. I always looked up to the previous title holders. I honestly thought they were celebrities. They were all so kind, smart and genuine. I can remember them always taking the time to come and talk to me at events they would be volunteering at. As a little kid, having a real princess approach you and ask how you’re doing and how school is going, is probably one of the most exciting things that could happen to you. I think that was why I found it so surreal to actually be crowned Miss Teen Ontario East 2015.  I was now in the same place as all of those girls that I had looked up to and admired!

"Plays on the Porch" Theatre Group

“Plays on the Porch” Theatre Group

During my reign as Miss Teen Ontario East 2015, I took part in some extraordinary events and made some wonderful memories that I will cherish in my heart forever. My first official duty as Miss Teen Ontario East 2015 was at “Plays on the Porch”, a local acting group in my home town. I was asked to speak in front of some very talented young actors and actresses about the pageant, performing in front of an audience, and how I coped with answering the dreaded impromptu question on stage. I was nervous at first. At the time I hadn’t done a lot of public speaking. Again, reflecting on the girls before me, and how amazing they had been really put the pressure on because I wanted to represent the pageant just as well as they did. Once I got to the event, started speaking and expressing my love of performing and how fun and exciting it could be, I really felt comfortable. The pageant and their Childhood Cancer Awareness campaign are two things that I am very passionate about, so I soon took to my new role with enthusiasm and a great deal of dedication. I knew that as long as I was myself, passionate about the cause and kind in nature, I would fulfill the duties of Miss Teen Ontario East. That day was the first of over 60 events that I attended and volunteered at in my region supporting all different causes. Some of my favorites events included:

Volunteering with the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Support Programs at Kidfest

Volunteering with the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Support Programs at Kidfest

The Spring Bloom art show for Candlelighters, the CHEO Telethon, The Trees of Hope auction, CHEO’s Teddy Bear Picnic, Cobden’s haunted walk, the Parkinson Super Walk, the Eganville races, the Miss Madawaska Valley Pageant, the Ottawa Toy Parade and several other Santa Clause and St. Patrick Day parades.

St Patrick's Day Parade

St Patrick’s Day Parade

As Miss Teen Ontario East 2015, I was given some great opportunities and met some amazing people.   For example, this past year, my home community hosted The World Kayaking Championships and the Director

World Kayak Championships with Delaney Holley Miss Intercontinental Canada 2014

World Kayak Championships with Delaney Holley Miss Intercontinental Canada 2014

of this event was kind enough to ask me to be a Co-Ambassador along with Delaney Holley, Miss Intercontinental Canada 2014. The event was held at Wilderness Tours and opened up with a big parade and ceremony that showcased our Canadian and Ottawa Valley heritage.  After the parade, I was given the opportunity to meet the athletes and hear many of their stories. It was amazing to be a part of an international sporting event! The kayakers were all so friendly and inclusive and invited me to take part in their journey with them. Although it was an international competition, the athletes were genuinely happy to be in Canada, doing what they love, meeting new people and making memories.

CHEO Telethon with Theresa Paplinskie Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario 2015

CHEO Telethon with Theresa Paplinskie Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario 2015

Holding the title of Miss Teen Ontario East 2015 also gave me the opportunity to do live radio interviews, voice radio commercials, be interviewed on CTV (national television) about my Childhood Cancer Awareness campaign and partake in several newspaper and community magazine interviews.  I rode in 10 parades in our region for many different occasions, and I was introduced and volunteered for a variety of different charities.  It was an incredible insight into how important it is for our generation to promote volunteerism and charity involvement.  All charities rely on volunteers to donate time and effort so they can in turn assist those that need their support; cancer patients, heart and stroke, diabetes, Parkinson’s etc.

"Light the Night Gold" on Parliament Hill for Childhood Cancer Awareness

“Light the Night Gold” on Parliament Hill for Childhood Cancer Awareness

The most inspiring event that I had the honor of attending as Miss Teen Ontario East 2015 was LIGHT the NIGHT GOLD on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. In honor of September being officially recognized at Childhood Cancer Awareness month, in a special evening ceremony attended by Childhood Cancer Champions and their families, Oncology medical professionals and many Parliamentary dignitaries, the Parliament Buildings were lit gold for those who have been affected by childhood cancer. The ceremony opened with a parade of young heroes and their families all dressed in gold, followed by some touching speeches and musical performances. To witness so many different people gather together to support something they are all passionate about, was truly beautiful and powerful. My personal inspiration is my sister Jill. Before she was diagnosed with cancer I had no idea what childhood cancer really entailed or what these kids and their families really go through. The devastation to someone so young and so close to you being diagnosed with such a harsh disease can be unbearable and certainly heartbreaking. Seeing how brave my sister was through it all, and how brave all of these children are has truly inspired me and touched my heart!  When I saw all the champions and their families gather on the Hill and when I experienced the moment with them when the Peace Tower was lit gold, I felt hope for the future and for a cure.  There wasn’t a dry eye on Parliament Hill that night!

Miss Teen Ontario East 2016 Sophia DeCarle. The Crowning Moment!

Miss Teen Ontario East 2016 Sophia DeCarle. The Crowning Moment!

It was an honor for me to hold the title of Miss Teen Ontario East 2015 and it was bittersweet to crown my successor this past month at the 2016 Teen Ontario East Pageant. However, the gorgeous Sophia Decarle Miss Teen Ontario East 2016 will be a wonderful representative and will do amazing things this year!  It was an incredible pageant once again and for me, it was topped off when I was officially crowned with my new title Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario 2016 by my predecessor, the beautiful Theresa Papalinskie, Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario 2015.

Proud to wear my new title MISS TEENAGE EASTERN ONTARIO 2016

Proud to wear my new title MISS TEENAGE EASTERN ONTARIO 2016

Representing the M.T.O.E. pageant as Miss Teen Ontario East 2015 and now as Miss Teenage Canada 2016 has been without a doubt, a highlight in my life. Last year I joined a family that I love with all my heart; The Teen Ontario East “Sisterhood”. All of the past title holders and delegates of the Miss Teen Ontario East pageant have been so kind and thoughtful through my year as Miss Teen Ontario East and now as I start my reign as Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario.

Our M.T.O.E. Sisterhood

Our M.T.O.E. Sisterhood

Pageants so often receive a negative public opinion because some people think they are superficial and all about outer beauty. I disagree!  I truly believe I have grown as a person, gained confidence in myself, developed strong public relations and public speaking skills, been introduced and become passionate about various charities and not for profit organizations, learned the importance of Time Management, prioritizing activities in my life and I have met some truly wonderful and inspirational people that have given me a new appreciation for life and how I choose to live mine.  All of these achievements were accomplished through my involvement with a pageant!

A photo shoot as Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario 2016 wearing a beautiful Bells and Bows Gown!

A photo shoot as Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario 2016 wearing a beautiful Bells and Bows Gown!

I am excited to expand my pageant experience and participate as a delegate in the 2016 Miss Teenage Canada pageant, representing my home pageant and region at the national level.  The Teenage Canada pageant emphasizes the motto;

“BE YOUR OWN KIND OF BEAUTIFUL”

a wonderful motto and a great message for all of us to follow.

I would like to sign off with one of my favorite quotes from a famous actress who represented true beauty, grace and compassion; the gorgeous SOPHIA LOREN

“BEAUTY begins the MOMENT you decide to BE YOURSELF!”

 

GOGOLD

 

 

Kathleen

 

 

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Kathleen in National gown

After my official crowning in my beautiful Bells & Bows Gown

My name is Kathleen and I am proud to be representing the beautiful Eastern Ontario region.  I am proud to be a farm girl!  Yes, I live on a 5th generation farm in the beautiful rural village of Douglas with my parents and two older sisters.  I have a dog Molly that I love with all my heart.  She was a puppy when I was born, so we have grown up together as the babies of the family.  Living on a farm also means LOTS of cats!  Sometimes it feels as if we are running a cat farm, not a beef farm.

I don't actually dress like this to drive the tractor!

I actually don’t dress like this to drive the tractor!

My beautiful family!

My beautiful family!

Most of my summers are spent working on the farm, where I drive tractors and bale hay! And although like any job, it’s not always the ideal way to spend your summer days, I wouldn’t trade it for anything because working on the farm has taught me to be responsible and hard working. When my family is not busy working the farm, we spend our days on the water; fishing, water skiing or swimming. I live in such a beautiful area with some of the most amazing lakes and rivers so we take advantage of that as much as we can. In the fall and winter my family loves spending time at our camp where we have bonfires, go hunting, fishing and have family time away from the farm chores with friends. I love going there! Some of the best times are made there with the people I love the most. I love spending time with my friends and family. They mean everything to me!  Family first!

 

Opeongo High School

Opeongo High School

Currently, I attend grade 10 at Opeongo High School.  The high school experience has been incredible so far!  I love taking part in extracurricular activities, and am a part of every sports team at my school.  Although I enjoy them all, my favorites would have to be basketball, hockey, volley ball and Track and Field.

Playing Basketball

Playing Basketball

If you can’t find me on the court, ice or field, you will probably find me in the school’s auditorium, drama or music room. I am an active member of my school’s vocal class and had the honor of being a lead in this year’s musical performance of Grease. Getting a lead in the school’s musical really allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone and realize my love and passion for singing, acting and performing.

Performing as Marty in GREASE

Performing as Marty in GREASE

I am also an active member of my school’s athletic association and am the representative for my grade on the Student Council. My sights are set on the Vice President seat for the 2016/2017 school year. My favourite subjects at school would have to be English or Music. I love being able to express myself and both subjects allow me to do so.

Love playing the ukelele

Love playing the ukelele

In my spare time I love to play music.  I’ve taken piano lessons for 8 years and have taught myself to play the guitar and ukulele.

Outside of the school environment, I am always happy to volunteer and take part in various events and community sports.  I play club basketball, volleyball and hockey.  I come from a very small community that is very close-knit; everyone is always there to help when needed, so I find it incredibly important to give back and contribute.  In 2009, my sister Jill was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and I realized then that being a part of such a caring community is indeed a gift!

April 2015, just over a year ago, I entered as a delegate in the Miss Teen Ontario East pageant; a pageant held in my area for girls in my community. The Miss Teen Ontario East Pageant is a charity-based, not-for-profit organization and is a proud official fund raising and Awareness event for childhood cancer and several charities that help kids with cancer.  One of those charities is Candlelighters, a not-for-profit volunteer organization that provides comfort and resources to young cancer patients being treated in Eastern Ontario. Candlelighters provided my sister Jill, and my whole family the support and the resources we needed to get through that traumatic time in our lives.

Over pageant weekend I made many new friends, had so many unique experiences and gained an inner confidence that I didn’t know I had! I really stepped outside of my comfort zone and so did all of the other delegates. It was an incredible weekend and was made even more memorable when I was crowned Miss Teen Ontario East 2015.

Proud to have been crowned Miss Teen Ontario East 2015

Proud to have been crowned Miss Teen Ontario East 2015

Being crowned Miss Teen Ontario East 2015 was one of the most exciting moments of my life. I have taken part in some extraordinary events and met some incredible people over the past year.  I will cherish all of these memories in my heart forever. Throughout my reign I volunteered at over 50 events throughout the Eastern Ontario region; each one just as exciting and eventful as the last. I learned so much over my reigning year and I feel as if though I really found myself.

Now, I have handed over my Teen Ontario East crown and I have taken on the title of Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario 2016. I plan to keep expanding on my volunteer experiences and community events and look forward to continuing to give back as Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario 2016.  I am also excited to introduce my charity platform; CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS to my new readers and followers. If I can introduce even one person to the challenges faced by kids with cancer and their families, then I have made an impact.  GO GOLD for Childhood Cancer Awareness!  I am also excited to start my fundraising for Free the Children and to take on my other duties that come with my new title. I’m so excited to take part in the Miss Teenage Canada Pageant and I can’t wait to take in all this experience has to offer!

GOGOLD

 

Kathleen

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One on One with the cubs at the BOWMANVILLE ZOO

One on One with the cubs at the BOWMANVILLE ZOO

Thinking back to day 5, Thursday, at  MTC 2015, it was our  last day of excursions! We departed from the hotel early to arrive at the Bowmanville Zoo for a private showcase with an adorable  lion and tiger cub. We sat in a large circle around the two cats while they playfully wrestled with each other. they would dart by us as if daring us to “catch me if you can!” We were separated into groups of 4 and we had the unique opporunity to touch, play and capture photos with these beautiful, playful cats.  Some of the delegates were also given the opportunity to have a lemur (small monkey) sit on their shoulder.  It was incredible and truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.   Thank you Bowmanville Zoo for giving the Miss Teenage Canada 2015 delegates the special memory and the opportunity to visit with the other animals in your zoo!

Next on the schedule was lunch at downtown Toronto’s EATON CENTRE.  We were

Thank you Richtree Natural Market for a lovely lunch

Thank you Richtree Natural Market for a lovely lunch

sponsored tacos and burritos from the Richtree Natural Market’s Richtree Tacos and Burritos.I chose the Hearts of Palm Gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, high fibre, low calorie BURRRITO and it was delicious!  Thank you Richtree Tacos and Burritos/Richtree Natural Market for hosting us!

At the Yorkdale Shopping Centre spending my Gift Card

At the Yorkdale Shopping Centre spending my Gift Card

We continued our shopping tour at the YORKDALE SHOPPING CENTRE.  Awaiting us outside the main entrance to YORKDALE SHOPPING CENTRE was a lovely YORKDALE staff member with 82 YORKDALE gift bags.  Each delegate was presented with a Gift Card for the Mall, a Points Card for the participating stores and booklet of coupons with amazing savings throughout the mall. And the best gift of all…We were given time to SHOP!  Thank you YORKDALE SHOPPING CENTRE for your generosity and your gracious service.

The amazing Dinner show at Medieval Times

The amazing Dinner show at Medieval Times

We headed out from the YORKDALE SHOPPING CENTRE and my bus buddy anticipated that we would travelling in the direction of Medieval Times!  She was right!  At Medieval Times were were served a very large and incredibly tasty soup with garlic bread, chicken, corn and potato dinner followed by a butter tart that was too tempting to resist.  The food was amazing and the performance was just phenomenal!  Thank you for a wonderful dinner and show Medieval Times!  It was another incredible memory to cherish from our Miss Teenage Canada 2015 Pageant week experience.

Enjoying Medieval Times

Enjoying Medieval Times

Thank you to Michelle and the Staff of MTC for an amazing week of excursions!  I am truly thankful for this experience.

Keep tuned in,

Theresa

 

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Thanks to Richtree Natural Market at the Eaton Centre for a wonderful Lunch.

Thanks to Richtree Natural Market at the Eaton Centre for a wonderful Lunch.

Well, another FIRST during my MTC week!  I have never had the experience of ordering food from a vehicle located inside a building.  To think of doing that, let alone doing it inside the  3rd largest mall in Ontario, Toronto’s Eaton Centre located downtown Toronto at 220 Yonge Street, would never have occurred to a small town rural girl from Barry’s Bay.  But, when visiting Toronto’s Eaton Centre you need to do just that!   Richtree Natural

Richtree Natural Market

Richtree Natural Market

Market’s vehicle is not hard to spot- a blue and white 1967 Volkswagen raptop bus! You won’t be able to resist the authentic, creative, unique look to this restaurant.  It certainly catches your eye and your nose!  The food smells so good! The menu at Richtree Tacos and Burritos offers other dishes aside from the ones clearly stated in their name, however the tacos and burritos are seemingly what they are known for- they were TASTY! The Hearts of Palm Burrito was myRichtree ordering choice, and it is actually a new addition to the menu! It was a refreshing, sweet,  is gluten free, dairy free, and vegetarian- the hearts of palm vegetable is a main ingredient which offers an delicious artichoke taste, high fiber, and a low calorie intake; a great choice for a healthy eater.  I had never heard of the heart of palm vegetable, but the unique name was one of the things that  helped me make my decision! My experience at Richtree Tacos and Burritos was nothing short of memorable;  the staff was so friendly, efficient, and even after definitely 50 plus photos, they still had smiles to share! Thank you to all of the staff  of the Richtree Natural Market for the sweet and delicious service and for hosting all of the MTC 2015 delegates and staff.  We thoroughly enjoyed our experience!

Richtree tag

Richtree can be found on twitter and Instagram @RichtreeMarket, and can also be liked on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RichtreeMarket !

Visit the website:  http://richtreenaturalmarket.com , for more information and details on the restaurants of this all natural, super fresh and friendly market- it should not disappoint!

Keep tuned in,

Theresa

 

 

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Can you say “AMAZING DAY?”

We were told that we would be boating, and that we did, but there was so much more to our day.  More than I ever would have imagined!

Thank you EGGlicious for the wonderful breakfast!

Thank you EGGlicious for the wonderful breakfast!

Our day started out with a delicious breakfast at EGGlicious an all-day breakfast restaurant located in the Mimco area of Toronto! The food was delicious.  It was prepared so quickly and the staff was incredibly nice.  After serving all 82 of us our breakfast, they were still up for a photo shoot with us.  Thank you so much EGGlicious for a superb breakfast and the amazing service! Egglicious logo

 

Not too far down the road, we made it to our next stop for the day;   Port Credit-J.J. Plaus Park. Walking down the boardwalk, on Lake Ontario,  alongside dozens of boats of various shapes and sizes with such interesting names was spectacular.  It was a truly beautiful backdrop!

At the waterfront

 

In lovely JC Saddington Park

In lovely JC Saddington Park

Right next door, we visited J.C. Saddington Park which is filled with wildlife, rich green agriculture and multi-coloured flowers! After admiring much of the landscape,Marc Gagnon, one of our entertaining MTC chaperones and Owner/Director of  Facade International-Model and Talent Agency directed our bathing suit choreography on a large piece of cobblestone placed beside a river surrounded by willow trees, filled with ducks, with a lovely fountain in the centre.  What a unique and beautiful way to work rehearsal into our day!  Marc is a blast to work with, and since we were going over the choreography in a public park we had lots of spectators which made it a very fun-filled, entertaining learning experience for all!

 

Next on the agenda was the Mississauga Canoe Club!  Hot dogs, ceasar salad, peaches, bananas, and other cut fruit were provided by the club for lunch. Once  our stomachs were full, we were ready to give Dragon boating a whirl! The sport is very team-oriented which encouraged us  to work together for a common cause and purpose. In addition to learning the sport, we were also introduced to several games that made it that much more fun! We embarked on an interesting Tug of War game where we were divided in half, each paddling in a different direction and whichever team traveled the boat in their direction farther was the winner! The game was a workout, and so much fun! For those of us who wanted to go in the water, we even got to swim! Thank you MTC for a very memorable afternoon!

Mississauga Canoe Club DRAGON BOATING!

Mississauga Canoe Club DRAGON BOATING!

Then we loaded onto the coach buses not knowing what our next destination would be. We were told to bring our evening wear, jewelry, makeup, heels, and crowns with us so we could change out of our casual wear and prepare for the evening’s festivities. Once aboard the bus, we were told that we had approximately an hour and a half drive to our destination which gave us time to get ourselves prepped for our dinner out! Imagine our surprise when we pulled into our destination, the GREG FREWIN THEATRE in down town

At the Greg Frewin Theatre in Niagara Falls

At the Greg Frewin Theatre in Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls! Greg Frewin is the “WORLD CHAMPION OF MAGIC”, and having the opportunity to see his show we certainly understand why!   The impossible was possible for Mr. Frewin! The theatre also offered a gourmet buffet which consisted of a variety of salads, meat, potatoes, buns and desert! We ate a fabulous meal and watched a phenomenal show!.

 

Niagara Falls at Night!

Niagara Falls at Night!

To top off this incredible day, we arrived at Niagara Falls for a spectacular night viewing of one of the Seven Wonders of the World! The glowing red waterfall marked the end of our excursion of day 4 at MTC 2015.

 

Thank you very much Miss Teenage Canada 2015 staff for a remarkable day and evening!

 

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Giving our bodies some nutritious food to begin the day gave all delegates the energy and understanding to learn how to stand, walk and dance like professionals! Fresh apples, bananas, peaches and strawberries, multiple kinds of flavoured yogurt, granola bars, moist chocolate chip muffins, and bagels with the choice of butter, strawberry jam or cream cheese on top were all offered to us! It was delicious and refreshing- thank you to all who prepared such a wonderful breakfast!

Rehearsals under the direction of Shawn Cuffie

Rehearsals under the direction of Shawn Cuffie

As soon as we had finished eating, rehearsal with Shawn Cuffie, the Miss Teenage Canada choreographer extraordinaire began! Heels on, standing tall, shoulders in–up, back, down–position, and with a smile on we all began learning how to stand and walk correctly! Soon after learning those basics, we started right into  the choreography for several components of the Miss Teenage Canada live pageant this Sunday, August 9th;  evening gown, top 10 evening gown parade, and the opening number!

We broke for lunch at around 1 pm and ate a delicious pasta from Kids Kitchen! Our lunch Thank you Kids Kitchen for the wonderful lunchbreak was a reasonable length of time which is great to allow for all of us girls to bond and get to know each other more. During rehearsal or any event/activity it can be difficult, so having the extra time while sitting down to eat and the interact with one another is amazing. Thank you Kids Kitchen once again for a delicious meal!

Our amazing choreographer Shawn Cuffie

Our amazing choreographer Shawn Cuffie

The rest of the afternoon was spent with Shawn in rehearsal, and the opening number seems to be coming along quite nicely!

Dinner time rolled around quickly and all

At the Lone Star

At the Lone Star

delegates were given 20 minutes to change into a cocktail dress! Not knowing where we were headed we changed, were escorted into the lobby of the hotel and out the door, down the street to the Lone Star! So many speak highly of the food, and I certainly know why now! We were given hot meat, a variety of vegetables, sour cream and salsa with warm pitas placed across our tables to create our own fajitas. The meal was so tasty and creating the fajitas ourselves made the experience fun and interactive!

We arrived back at the hotel for fittings for our opening number and the rest of the night to ourselves! Thank you for another lovely day MTC!

Keep tuned in,

Theresa

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This incredible experience continues:

After a late and busy first day,  we were graciously given more time than planned to sleep. Thank you Michelle! The day began at 9:00 am with hair and makeup for three major components of MTC 2015;  the  Judges’ Interview, Photogenic Photoshoot, and the Media Interview.

Getting the ROYAL treatment

Getting the ROYAL treatment

Our makeup was done by GLOW and CMU beauty academy students, Sheriff Cosmetics, and some others! Thank you Luisa Diaz from CMU who enlightened my complexion, gave my eyes a larger look, and who really is so incredibly talented in multiple areas.  It was wonderful getting to know you!
Hair was done by students of MARCA College!

Thank you Paramgit!

Thank you Paramgit!

Thank you Paramgit!   You’re work gave me the full, volumous look I asked for and more! These wonderfully talented ladies are well on their way to receiving their certificate for hairdressing!

 

After Hair and Makeup

After Hair and Makeup

With all of the business in Ontario’s capital, the hotel was put to the challenge accommodating to all of its guests;  MTC FINALISTS, people viewing the Paralympic Pan Am Games and the Toronto Caribbean Carnival Parade! This resulted in a room change for my roommate and I as well as some others throughout the afternoon so all of the MTC Finalists could be located together in the hotel.  Edwin, my room mate and I thought our first room was meant to be as it consisted of both of our favourite numbers! Loving our new room, but that was a unique coincidence!

Ready for my Photogenic Shoot

Ready for my Photogenic Shoot

Our Judge’s Interviews were followed by a delicious sit-down dinner  prepared by the hotel restaurant! Spaghetti, a version of fettuccini Alfredo with sausage, and colourful garden salad was served with a variety of cookies for dessert: macadamia nut, oatmeal-raisin, and others! Most of us could not get enough of the meal.  It was delicious!

Edwin and I ready for our Photos

Edwin and I ready for our Photos

Topping off our busy second day the Media Interview!  All of the Finalists were given the Media Interview questions  in advance of the pageant, so in the interview we were prepared when  the camera and lights came on! Each delegate  had to explain why we want to be Miss Teenage Canada  2015 and why we think we would be a good Miss Teenage Canada  2015.  We were then were given the opportunity to share an answer to one of the other questions that were provided.

Another amazing day at MTC!  Each day gives me the opportunity to meet and get to know more of these fantastic ladies from across Canada.  It is a true blessing!

Keep tuned in,

Theresa

 

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VOTING for the PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD is now OPEN!  I hope you take a few minutes to VOTE for me for this prestigious award.  Follow the detailed instructions below to register and then VOTE!   THANK YOU!

If you are registered as a VIP just Click to VOTE for me; THERESA PAPLINSKIE

If you are registered as a VIP just Click to VOTE for me; THERESA PAPLINSKIE

To VOTE  on line for the PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD,  please follow the detailed instructions below.

If you are already registered as a VIP Club member with Miss Teenage Canada (if you have previously voted for one an Eastern Ontario delegate in previous years (Caroline, Hillary, Grace or Sonya) you will already be registered and you can click directly on the VOTE button above to be directed to my page to submit your VOTE.

If this is your FIRST  time VOTING on the Miss Teenage Canada site, you will need to Register as a VIP first and then you will be allowed to vote.  Please follow these INSTRUCTIONS:

STEP 1:

CLICK on the LOGO to be directed to the Miss Teenage Canada Website

CLICK on the LOGO to be directed to the Miss Teenage Canada Website

CLICK ON THE LOGO TO BE DIRECTED TO THE MISS TEENAGE CANADA website.

STEP 2:

CLICK the MEET the FINALISTS LOGO to be directed to the Finalist's Page

CLICK the MEET the FINALISTS LOGO to be directed to the Finalist’s Page

CLICK MEET THE FINALISTS to be directed to the Finalist’s page

STEP 3:   BECOME A VIP

CLICK on the above picture to be directed to the VIP CLUB sign up

CLICK on the above picture to be directed to the VIP CLUB sign up

Fill out the required information and CLICK —  REGISTER

STEP 4:  CONFIRM your membership.

You will receive a CONFIRMATION e-mail.  NOTE:  Be sure to check your spam/junk e-mail folders if you haven’t received the e-mail, sometimes the confirmation e-mail is directed to those folders.

If you DO NOT receive a CONFIRMATION e-mail, click on the link below to Request a NEW CONFIRMATION E-Mail.

CLICK to request a new CONFIRMATION e-mail

CLICK to request a new CONFIRMATION e-mail

STEP 5:  VOTE for Theresa Paplinskie, Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario.  Click the button below to go directly to my link.

Click to VOTE for me; THERESA PAPLINSKIE

INPUT your e-mail address and click VOTE

You should receive the following POP up BOX:

YOUR VOTE HAS BEEN SUCCESSFULLY ADDED.

You can vote ONCE per e-mail, so if you have multiple e-mails, you can register them all and then vote for me by following the instructions.

Thank you so much for VOTING.  I am proud to be the Delegate representing the gorgeous region of Eastern Ontario!

Keep tuned in,

Theresa.

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