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Taco Truck SelfieHave a craving for spicy tacos? Well you need to check out the Richtree Taco Truck in Toronto’s Eaton Centre; the girls and I received good quality food, excellent service, and all from the coolest little truck!

I ordered the chicken burrito, and boy was it hot! It’s one of those foods where they taste fantastic, but also simultaneously give you a little heat to keep you on the edge of your seat. They also serve beef and fish tacos as well, which I am informed by other delegates that are also of top quality; regardless of tastes, they got you covered.

Not only do they have good food, but the staff are also very friendly, and the food arrives quick. What else could you possibly want? I was absolutely stunned at how well they fulfilled the orders of 82 girls in the small time frame it took, and all with a smile on their faces.

Moreover, if you are in the area you should definitely check this truck out!

If you would like more information about Richtree, check out their social media here:

Twitter Tweet at #RichtreeFiesta

Facebook

Website 

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Written by: Dana Tagged with:, , , , , , , , ,
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Actions speak louder then words, but motives tell all. It is no secret that a delegates platform, or even the everyday persons beliefs say a lot about him or her. So what does my chosen platform say about me, and what am I willing to do as a potential Miss Teenage Canada to promote it?

Speaking at Forbidden Flavours Fundraiser

Speaking about mental health at Forbidden Flavours Shilo

Firstly my platform, as previously vocalized, is to raise awareness of mental health issues in military children. This is a topic extremely close to my heart. I live and breath the military child lifestyle, and feel it has really shaped the young woman I am today; however there are stresses to overcome as well.

Because of my lifestyle I have gone through some lows. I have felt alone, drowned in worry for my parent, and have been bullied when I was forced to move to new schools. So many kids like me go through these things! I chose this platform not only to have my situation be heard, but to make it known amongst these struggling youth that there are others to support them, and that they can overcome their lows. It would mean so much to me to know that I had helped at least one youth!

MFRC Parade Float

On the Military Family Resource Centre Traveller’s Parade Float

If I am chosen as Miss Teenage Canada 2015 I would use my unique perspective and public speaking abilities to inspire conversation about mental health. Additionally, I would like to work further as a youth ambassador with a like minded organization, the Natasha’s Wood Foundation, and continue volunteering at the Military Family Resource Centres.

In summary, I have chosen an extremely important issue for my platform, would like to make a difference, and have a game plan to do so. I definitely possess the passion for my topic because it is my life! However, regardless of whether I am crowned, I will always stand up for “army brats” like me.

Thank you for reading.

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Written by: Dana Tagged with:, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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So I’m going to start off by saying that this blog post isn’t going to be in the regular Learning From Experience format. This is because this weeks post isn’t a specific event, but rather an stretched out experience that I feel can be learned from. Happy reading!

The first triumph but not the end

The moment that ended a journey, and began a larger one.

So as you may know, the national competition Miss Teenage Canada is extremely close now; one week kind of close. Naturally I’m a bit nervous. Everything I have worked for will soon all be judged in a competition that could forever change my life! Obviously that’s quite a bit of pressure to overcome.

Now, I would not hesitate to say that I am a very confident person; however a situation like this can really make an individual feel small. I began to look at the numbers, the other girls, and I compared myself; I became filled with doubt. However, I couldn’t remain in that mindset! If I believe I’m going to lose, then I’m going to be defeated by not only the competition, but myself.

They are looking for a strong, intelligent, beautiful person, to represent their title. So how can I embody that if I’m looking down? I realised that I needed to get out of this trench of self pity, and believe. Believing in yourself is the key to success!

Miss Eastman and I

Miss Eastman and I after crowning. A new friend made along this journey, and a powerful girl.

The girl who gets the crown is the one who knows they have the stuff to get it. She practices for hours on end to make sure her walk is the epitome of grace, she looks in the mirror and sees a beautiful smile, and fights for her platform to demonstrate her big heart. She knows going in that she needs to have fun, make friends, and that not winning is NOT losing. I sought to become this girl.

I will be that girl, I will have the confidence and the skill! Even if I don’t ultimately win, I know that I gave it my all, and that there are people that are proud of me; I’ll be proud of me. Because it isn’t the destination, it’s the journey! I will have learned, I will have made friends, and I will love myself.

We all have to learn this eventually if we want to succeed. You need to believe, get rid of the “if your not winning you’re losing” mentality, and learn to love yourself! I’m going to put all three of those things together for this competition, and into everything for the rest of my life.

Thank you for reading, and to all the other girls in this pageant, I wish you luck. I can’t wait to meet all of you extraordinary young women, and experience this journey with you all!

Experiences write your story

 

Written by: Dana Tagged with:, , , , , , ,
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Here in Canada we have a lot of rights and benefits that other countries do not; that is called privilege. Today we will take a closer look at privilege in an everyday situation that happened to me, and try to answer the question “Should the privileged feel guilty?”

What Happened:

Shoes

Privilege allows me to buy new shoes when some people can’t even afford shoes. Appreciate what you have!

So this isn’t a completely foreign situation for many Canadians, but I went shopping for clothing a few days ago; I needed to get an interview outfit for my trip to Toronto and some high heels to match. Howevever, a couple of things occured to me when I came home.

Firstly, I noticed that I seem to have a strange idea of what a “need” is. I have never had to worry about being able to eat, or having a roof over my head. Those things,while recognized as needs, are never at the front of my mind. Often times it becomes easy to forget these core needs, and create superficial ones. While I can shop happily without worry for luxuries, someone may be struggling to survive!

To put out another point, not all women have the right to shop alone, and even are required to have a man with them at all times! Not only can they not shop alone, they would never be able to wear the type of clothing I was buying: a dress cut above the knee. It is a huge privilege to be able to decide what to do with your body!

What Did I Learn?

So to take it back to the original question, should we feel guilty? I think it is only natural to feel that way when we have more then we need, and rights not everyone has. However I think that instead of feeling guilty, we should use those thoughts to do something positive! Instead of fussing about what you have, try to make a difference in someone else’s life. It could be as simple as sharing your lunch with someone without one at school, or even donating a bit of your own money to a charity like Free the Children!

Thanks for reading, and remember:

Experiences write your story

 

 

 

Written by: Dana Tagged with:, , , ,
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Canada, simply put, is amazing. We are a developed, and free country; however we are not the only nation with those two characteristics. To really see what makes Canada the great country it is, one must look at what makes us different. We have a variety of different biomes, a vast pool of opportunities, and a very diverse range of cultures.

Enviroment:


Firstly, Canada is the 2nd largest country in the world based on area, but 37th in population; meaning there is A LOT of empty space in this country! “What fills that space?” one may ask. Well for starters there is the tundra; located in the northernmost regions of Canada where it is FREEZING cold. Then the boreal forest, which is the largest biome that holds familiar animals such as moose, and deer. The temperate forest, which is similar to the boreal except it has a higher biodiversity, and a warmer climate. And last but not least, the grasslands; otherwise know as the prairies. That’s a lot of variety for one country, and part of what makes it so special!

Opportunities:

Not only is Canada a land of many biomes, but also a land of many opportunities! First of all, everyone is entitled to an education up to the end of high school. Then, because of the availability of scholorships and student loans, everyone can pursue further education. Meanwhile in other countries, post secondary education is not available to everyone because the average person can’t afford it!

There are also opportunities when it comes to finding a job; even in Brandon there is a youth job centre that serves people ages 16-29. At the youth job centre they help people build a resume, offer advice on job interviews, and even help people figure out what they’re good at! If one looks further, one can even see the amount of job opportunities demonstrated by the immigrant population. People come to Canada to work and live because of all the amazing opportunities available for them.

Multiculturism:

Speaking of immigrants, our country offers them the same rights and respect as anyone born in Canada! Canada is often refered to as a “melting pot” of different cultures; meaning they all come together. In fact, it is the people that make a country the way it is; with all the cultures that make up Canada, it gives everyone the chance to explore new things, and learn more about themselves.

With the diverse group of people that make up our country, people have learned to be more tolerant to the differences of others. Canadians are free to practice the religions they choose, and have their beliefs protected and respected. Not only that, but there is also a plethora of different places of worship for Canadians to utilize. Mosques, temples, churches, all accessible!

Moreover, the characteristic that makes Canada so great, is being unique. From a unique environment, different opportunities, and a mix of people, Canada is truly a one of a kind nation.

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Written by: Dana Tagged with:, , , , ,
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What Happened:

It was a beautiful day. It was warm, I had just ran a successful bake sale that morning, and my visiting friend Meagan and I were winding down. We had planned to go out for dinner at the inn outside of Shilo at 6:30, but because we had nothing better to do, we left a half hour early.

Meagan and I get caught in the rain

We sure look ridiculous, but we had fun!

Although this seemed like a good idea at the time, when we got around half way there it began to pour rain! A ten minute sprint, and a flip flop lost later, Meagan and I finally arrived soaked to the bone at the inn. You wouldn’t believe the looks we got when we entered!

After wringing our clothing out in the sink of a public washroom, Meagan and I finally got to sit down and enjoy a meal. On any other occasion the food we ordered would have been nothing special, but after the ordeal we had just endured, it tasted like heaven; we must have looked like ravenous, wet dogs!

What I Learned:

Even though my friend and I had the misfortune of getting caught in a storm, we were able to make light of it later. You could even say it made the meal better! The lesson Meagan and I both took from this experience is that it is always important to see the bright side of a bad situation. In life there is going to be ups and downs, but you need to see the rainbow at the end of the storm; whether there is an actual storm or not! This experience is certainty going to stay with us, and I think has made us much closer.

So, that is the moral of this story, remember:

Experiences write your story

Written by: Dana Tagged with:, , ,
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Group photo at art partyThis past Tuesday I had the honor of hosting an event for the Natasha’s Wood Foundation. For those who don’t know, Natasha’s Wood is an Organization that seeks to raise awareness of mental health issues in military and first responder children and provide support.

The great thing about Natasha’s Wood, is that it cultivates imagination through art and storytelling; so naturally they have embraced this through a story book contest! They are getting children involved by having a contest where youth illustrate 4 story books. Click here to read more about the contest! All of the proceeds from these books will go towards youth programs for the children affected.

Picture submissions at art partyTo help contribute to this cause, I hosted an art party at Shilo’s Military Family Resource Center! There we had an event that included local military children in this contest; 2 groups of children participated, and we were able to gather many pictures for submission.

Food at art partyAdditionally, we provided gifts for all the children! For the little girls I decorated crowns; I thought this was fitting because I always get asked if I can let them try on my crown, so instead I gave them one of their own to keep. Then, I gave the boys little animal puppets with googly eyes. However, that’s not to mention there was cake and ice cream for everyone!

Besides the contest (and the fun) I am very proud to be a youth ambassador for the Natasha’s Wood Foundation. I know what it is like to have to move frequently, cope with my father being away in dangerous places, and deal with the emotional aftermath of his deployment. It is amazing to see an organization that aspires to directly impact kids like me; in fact, I wish I would have gotten involved sooner!

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Written by: Dana Tagged with:, , , , ,
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So this past Saturday we had a bake sale and carwash to help raise funds to get me to Toronto! It went extremely well to say the least. Many people in our community donated baked goods for our sale, and even helped wash cars. Additionally, we were able to hold our event at the Shilo Fire Hall all thanks to the kindness of our local firefighters; they even cleared out their fire trucks so we could hold the sale in the bay! Even though the morning of the sale it rained, the clouds parted and we were able to sell almost all of our baked goods; not to mention we cleaned more vehicles then the rain did!

FTC Shells and HoneyAlso at the sale were some shell Christmas ornaments from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and tubs of honey from Bee Blossom Apiaries! All the proceeds from these products will be donated to the charity Free the Children. The shells were provided by Anna’s Art Gallery and Studio, and decorated by Christine Douglas. A big thank you to those two for donating them for the sale!

A friend came to help out!

My friend Meagan came from Brandon to help out. Another great example of community!

Finally, I am so amazed by my community at their ability to come together and support each other. Ever since moving to Shilo 3 years ago, I have really seen the strength of this community demonstrated through the people in it. Military communities may have their struggles, but they sure make up for it! A last thank you to all the people who donated, volunteered at, and visited my event; without people like you, I would never be able to achieve what I have so far.

Thanks for reading!

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Written by: Dana Tagged with:, , , ,
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Experiences write your storyI am a firm believer that the person you are today is shaped by the events in your life. Everything you do, or things that happen to you, will ultimately teach you a lesson if you look for it. That is the reason why I have decided to start this blog series; I want to further examine events in my life, big and small, to inspire people to try to learn more about themselves.

I will be posting an addition of “Learning from Experience” once a week. This week, being the first of many, I will cover an ongoing experience:

My Journey with Miss Teenage Canada

It was sort of a out of the blue decision, to enter Miss Teenage Canada. One day while scrolling through her Facebook feed, my mother came across it and asked me if it was something I would be interested in. Of course I thought “why not?” Then, within a few days I had done a telephone interview, and been accepted as a delegate!

Crowning PhotoNext, after many preparations including a social hosted by Forbidden Flavours Shilo, I was on my way to Winnipeg for regionals. There I was crowned Miss Teenage Shilo!

Obviously that was very brief explanation (I’m sure some of the other girls can attest to that) but really, that was only the beginning. After that I had started, and still currently am, getting out in the community. To be truthful, that is where the real learning comes in!

So What Did I Learn?

Well, it would be fair to say that I have learned many skills throughout my journey, but overall I would say that the biggest lesson was learning to put myself out there. It takes a great deal of confidence to even apply for Miss Teenage Canada, and it felt like a leap of faith or a long shot that I would be selected! However, I soon realised after my crowning that I had all the capability to succeed, and that it was just a matter of trying.

Another thing that leads me to this conclusion is getting out into the community. A good part of your final score in this competition is based on how you make yourself present in the community; that also takes putting yourself out there. Opportunities won’t just come to you! Making yourself stand out like that, even wearing your crown at events, can be scary. I just have to do it confidently, because now I have realized that I am capable and it is something I must do (and enjoy while it lasts).

Overall, being able to put yourself out there is crucial to success in more then just the pageant world. You won’t get a job if you don’t apply, you won’t make friends unless you make yourself known, and you won’t be happy if you don’t try! The key is to believe in yourself, really embrace the “why not?” attitude, and just do.

Because Experiences write your story

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Written by: Dana Tagged with:, , , ,
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