“I’m gonna pop some tags, only got twenty dollars in my pockettt….” Ahh nothing like a little bit of thrift shopping to alleviate the everyday strife of a tumultuous teen life :p As it was Mother’s Day Weekend there was a 50% sale for all women’s clothing and accessories at the Salvation Army! My friend Zoe and I literally only had $20 each, so we were in desperate need of some bargains.

Sales on sales on sales!

Being among the racks brought me back to my volunteering days at the Salvation Army in Oshawa a couple months ago, and if you didn’t know, for every dollar spent 89 cents go back into the community 🙂 So if you’re ever in need of a faux mink coat or a case for your prized bowling ball go shop at Salvation Army! We didn’t spend spend too much time there, but we both walked away with some killer deals!! The number one rule when thrifting is to always keep an open mind (hmm not a bad life principle either) because you never know what you’re going to find… Has anyone else noticed the accidental rhymes? Lol I just did it again. Anywhoodle, I scored a pair of perfectly fitted, retro, high-waisted jeans 😀 Did I mention they’re red? <3  I didn’t quite believe in love-at-first-sight before, but I must say  I am reconsidering my opinion.  I also got a similar pair of Calvin Klein jeans that are orange 🙂 Annnnd a really cute pink purse that I swear walked right out the Clueless movie. It’s strange because i’m not usually a pink person in regards to clothes, but I’ve been wanting to step outside my fashion-box and try something new. Well that’s all for now, I have a really amazing social experiement i’m working on, so stay tuned for more! 😉

I found love in these jeans <3

Yours Truly,




P.S. We also went to the mall, and casually tried on a few prom dresses! I just wanted to post a picture of my favourite, so may I have a drum roll please? ********************************************************************************  

Written by: Shayna
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April showers bring May flowers<3

Good morning 🙂 First off, I would like to apologize for disappearing off the face of the blog-world for a bit! This past month has been very hectic, and if you read my last blog you would know it has been both physically and emotionally strenuous. I can honestly say even though its been a month I still don’t know how I feel about my parents separating. However! I am moving forward with my head up and have been keeping very busy, which I have found to have helped me  handle the situation immensely. Overall I can say I am at an 8 out of 10 opposed to the 3 out of 10 I would’ve rated myself a month ago 🙂

You may perhaps be wondering to yourself, what could Shayna possibly be so busy with? Well let me tell you! Now that it is officially springtime, all the activities I enjoy doing are possible again 🙂 This would include soccer and track. As far as track and field goes, I love the sport, competing is such an integral part of who I am. My favourite event is the hurdles race. Last year I was not allowed to run them however because we didn’t have a coach, as it was only the school’s first year in a long time having a team 🙁  BUT GUESS WHAT! This year it has been decided that I not only will be able to run this year, I am the coach!!!! I am so excited and proud to accept this responsibility 😀 It means so much especially because I was the one who petitioned with over 75 signatures to continue having a track and field team. *Our team last year only had about twelve people on it!*

I am so excited to run and coach for hurdles this year 😀

All right where was I? Oh yes, I’m a busy bee haha  I am also on the prom committee (as I go to a Catholic school we have been unaffected by the strike, and the event is moving ahead as planned thankfully!) and prom is only one month away. Prom planning is incredibly stressful, I never would have guessed how hard decision making would be when a dozen people need to agree!!  I am on also on student council and we are putting together our annual talent show in less than two weeks. Oh! and I am also organizing a personal venture with my friend, as we are in the process of starting our own  business (More details on that later).

Overall, I’m so grateful to be busy because it gives me a purpose. On that note I will bide you adieu until next time, as I am going to meet my dad for breakfast <3


Yours Truly,

Shayna 🙂


P.S. Only 3 months until Nationals! 😀

P.P.S. Here are some breakfast pictures I took this morning haha


There is never a bad time for breakfast *Eaten at 12:23pm*



Written by: Shayna
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Hello blog, i’m not sure how one begins a post like this one, but i guess I should start at the beginning. This morning my dad drove me to school, and on the way there nobody talked. When I asked him about when he worked he replied. Then he just came out and said, “I think you should know that your mom and I talked and we have broken up”. Or something like that I wasn’t really paying attention to the exact words… A few days ago we had a conversation about what the future might hold and some struggles he and my mom were having, but even though he mentioned separating it didn’t quite register, nor did I think it was ever seriously going to come to that. Again I don’t really remember what he said after that, except the typical cliche “I still love you very much” and “this doesn’t change our relationship at all”. By the time we got to the school, he was still talking about details and what was going to happen, like how he couldn’t afford to move out right away, but he would try to be gone by May as per my moms wishes. And he probably would have kept talking, but I just had to escape. I gave him tight hug and basically ran out of the car… There was a school bus parked in front us, and I could feel tears already running down my face and at that moment I just remember praying no one was in the bus, so they wouldn’t see me cry. I laugh now in hindsight because when I walked into the office I remember brushing my tears off to the secretary as allergies and we both joked about how miserable having headaches and being stuffy is. I have a first period spare, and I was early so I just ended up in the library with my headphones in, and I felt okay for the rest of the hour. But then once second period started I just felt like I’d

The trigger

been hit by a truck and punched in the gut. I tried so hard to hold onto my last shred of composure and stability, but then I got a text from my friend Adam asking me if I was okay, cause he had seen me crying from inside of the stupid yellow bus in front of the school. I was in the middle of math and I just tried to put my hair in front of my eyes as I asked to go to the bathroom.

I’ve always prided myself on the fact I’ve never EVER cried at school (aside from actual injuries) because I am proud of myself for being able to see the silver lining in every situation, and to pull myself up by the bootstraps cause I’ve always had to do so. But as I fell into the thankfully empty girls washroom and into the last stall I just broke.

I can’t even type this right now without sobbing. I’m not even ashamed to say I am an ugly crier. I just need a minute…




I had to stay for a solid ten minutes in the bathroom that by some miracle stayed empty fighting myself for control. I’ve never tried so hard to keep it together and failed. I had a text from my dad too and I couldn’t even read the first sentence because it made it feel too real. Cold water and toilet paper couldn’t erase or hide the bloodshot eyes that I had then and have now. The rest of the day felt so long, and I ended up back in that boxing ring, my tears versus my willpower, with my mitts tied tied tight three more times. I don’t know if it was a cruel ironic twist of fate, but it was freezing rain all day. Gotta love some pathetic fallacy.  Thank goodness for my ipod, because I don’t know what would’ve happened if I had to be alone with my thoughts and my new reality all day.

All that keeps buzzing around in my head is the words my mom said. “Sometimes love isn’t enough”. Maybe it’s just me being naive or inexperienced in love and life, but if you don’t hold on to the people who love you so badly it hurts what is left?My step-dad and mom were engaged, and yeah I am aware it wasn’t official, but I can’t help but think of those would-be wedding vows. “For better or for worse”. “For richer or for poorer”. “In sickness and in health”. Those vows to me are all just synonyms for “Love is enough, and I love you”. It’s crazy, because I feel like the whole concept is just too ridiculous to grasp. I obviously don’t know the whole story and what did or did not happen to lead up to this. What makes me angry though is the assumption that it’s not my relationship so it doesn’t affect me. Of course it does! Actually I digress, because if I continue on this path this post will be a mile long haha It doesn’t feel real and I know that it won’t for a while. I am grateful for the time we did have as a whole family, but i’m also bitter for having to be shattered once again. I just want somebody to rub my back and tell me it will be okay, but I also would rather hear the ugly truth than a beautiful lie. It’s pretty late and I’m so physically and emotionally drained. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Grateful I have Kevin and my Little Blankie - never too old for anything that makes you feel safe



Written by: Shayna
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Had to take a selfie with Mayor Ryan 🙂

Today is the last day of the Easter weekend, and what a weekend it has been. Allow me to backtrack slightly to Saturday, which was when I had my first official appearance as Miss Teenage Durham in the 11th Annual Royal Canadian Legion parade! I was privileged enough to be on the legislative float of Pickering and met some very respectable politicians, including the mayor! The entire event was amazing, and the experience was priceless.

When I walked into the Legion building at 8:45 in the morning I was instantly drawn into a welcoming place that had been plucked out of history. Exposed wooden beams on the ceiling and memorial plaques lined the walls of the interior.There was a long shuffle board table off to the side, as well as a slight but particular musk in the room that reminded me of flipping through old photo albums with my nana. There was music playing that came from the “oldies jukebox” station, and songs like I’m So Proud by the Impressions played softly in the background…There was a massive wooden propeller mounted at the back too… I was quite blown away because I have driven past this place dozens of times and never noticed it before.

I wish I could play the banjo!

The parade was an absolute success, but my favourite part was meeting the veterans and military persons who had come out. I noticed that they acted like little kids with new toys who liked to get themselves into shenanigans. One group of guys in particular, were all messing around on the school bus we took to get to the beginning of the parade. Did I mention they are all over 65 years old? I was sitting beside a sweetheart named Sandy and a kind but burly man named Joe was in the seat across from us. Joe jokingly called me princess the whole time haha. Anyways, he poked Sandy and was teasing him about how he got to sit with all the pretty ladies. Sandy of course just winked and replied with an, “I can’t help it if I’ve got it and you don’t”.  Which led to varying degrees of manly displays and loud declarations of who was a better gentlemen. I don’t think I can count how many times “Ladies first” was said, even if it was only to get on and off the school bus <3 I must also mention my second favourite person in the parade, who I never ended up getting his name, but we talked for at least and hour and laughed and listened to the twang of his banjo. Did I mention he had the best outfit in the entire place with his duck cap and bow tie? He also had multi-coloured socks on with their own bows attached <3  I realize it was those little things that made the event so memorable, and made me feel so grateful for my title because I never would have otherwise had the honour to meet such amazing and lively people <3 I wish I had taken a few more pictures with my new friends, but it is okay because it just means I have to hold onto the memory a little tighter. It truly was the highlight of my weekend and I am so excited to continue getting involved and meeting new people 🙂

On the float with the councillors 🙂

The fantastic and very festive float I was on (Check out that alliteration lol)

Thanks for reading and stayed tuned for more 🙂



Written by: Shayna
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Hello hello! this week has been quite an eventful one!

The Baking process!

In preparation for the bake sale at my school on Friday February 27, I made my famous Snickerdoodle cookies :p Can we just take a moment to appreciate how awesome that name is? The Snickerdoodle Cookie… I LOVE IT! haha I am happy to say they turned out really well (because you know I had to try one…or two)! Aside from the cookie making process for the bake sale, throughout the week we have had black history trivia over the announcements! One of my favourite questions being ‘What was the name of Martin Luther King Jr.’s  Wife’s name?’ Do you know what it is? ………… If you said Coretta Scott King then you would be right! You also would have won a pizza party 🙂 Throughout the week our group has posted a variety of informative posters around the school encouraging our student body to educate themselves on prominent black persons throughout history. Our slogan “Knowledge is Power” is a great testament to this. The day of the bake sale, we played music,  like A Little Wine by Patrice Roberts , that reflected the diversity of most of those participating. The bake sale was a huge success and we raised about $200 for the Big Brothers and Sisters organization.

The bake sale 🙂 Notice the Black Canadians in History poster?

As an active member of the Black History Committee we have been working to teach our school about embracing the variety of culture that exists in our community in celebration of Black  History Month. I personally feel so privileged have been born into two different cultures because it broadens the range of people I can have a more personal connection with. I love walking into a Sunrise Caribbean restaurant, ordering jerk chicken or curry goat, and automatically having a conversation starter with the people there.  Though the month of February is coming to a close today, it doesn’t mean that the acquiring of knowledge and celebration of all culture will be over 🙂 So let us all enjoy and celebrate culture and diversity on our final day of Black History Month 2015.


Yours Truly,


Proud to be both Jamaican and German

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Let the journey begin! 😀

Miss Teen Durham, whoa, it boggles my mind to say it aloud. Never before have I competed in a pageant,  so when they called my name I was ecstatic. Oh! My apologies, allow me to introduce myself; My name is Shayna and I am 17 years young from Ajax, Ontario 🙂 I’m sure you are dying to know what my ethnic mix is, and I say this because I am usually asked at least once every time I go out in public by strangers with a similar curiosity level as yours aha. My mom is of Scottish/ German decent and my biological father is Jamaican. Although i’m really proud to just be a Canadian who does not have to be defined by my skin colour 🙂 

My sister Selena and I on the beach <3

I have an interesting family dynamic with one older sister (who is my unofficial twin… I’m taller though haha), my step-dad who I love to death, my mother who is so dear to my heart, and of course my two little dogs Piper and Chloe.

Piper (left) Chloe (right)

Only somewhat recently has my dad come into the picture, as I have always grown up in a single-parent environment. Our home never felt empty though, because my mom always made sure my sister and I never felt like we were missing anything and knew the boundless extent of support and love she had to offer.

My hobbies list is quite extensive, so bear with me 🙂 I have played competitive soccer for about 12 years. I adore soccer because it is the perfect combination of cardio, physical contact, teamwork, and skill. Sadly I have recently stopped playing competitively as it is necessary I focus on work and school. Although I am still playing for the school team! On a completely different note, I am a proud and fanatical bookworm. Books just manage to whisk you away into another place, another world filled with endless possibility. They can teach you something new (____ for Dummies books are my secret weapon), offer you solace from a harsh reality, or merely be an empty notebook that we have to capacity to fill with our own ideas… My entire family, most of my friends, and even my school librarian know that if they just ask, I will have a list of book recommendations for them in about 30 seconds haha.

I love this book and HIGHLY recommend it to everyone I meet :p

For your own enjoyment, here a few of my favourites: The Swiss Family Robinson (original) by David Wyss, The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, and The Shadow in the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. I quite literally could go on with my list of recommendations, but I will refrain for your sake :p Have I mentioned my extensive repertoire of cheesy jokes?? Okay so what does a nosey pepper do? —> He gets “Jalapeño” business” 😀 **knee slap** On a more serious note, I have a passion for photography, in particular macro and landscape shots. To become a photographer for the National Geographic magazine is my dream, although I prefer to use the term goal, as I want this pursuit to become a reality and plan on doing whatever it takes to achieve it.

It's true

Music is a universal language and I believe the world will find unity through chords and lyrics. As a music enthusiast I am currently learning how to play the guitar. My music teacher taught me how to create my own music and I have been dabbling (fairly successfully) in song-writing 🙂 I love animals, and that love is not confined to tiny sized dogs. My family owns a horse named Gunner who is the second big man of the house. Equestrian has always been a passion of both my mother and sister, and only recently have I decided to seriously pursue riding. I am excited to find where this sport will take me, as my coach says I am quite the fast learner 😀 Did I also mention I love sunshine? Being outside is where I spend my entire summer, and even during winter as long as I am properly bundled up. I should also mention I am in the process of learning spanish, so if you are greeted with an “hola!” that is why :p I will limit my hobbies to these, and will save the rest for another post.

A typical Arizona sunset <3

I have moved quite often and for three years I actually lived in Arizona, USA, with my mom! It was a phenomenal experience, and the culture was so different, yet invigorating. Not only have I moved houses multiple times, but I have also travelled extensively thanks to my mom,who has always advocated cultural exposure. In 2012 I travelled to Gale’s Point in Belize with my church  on a mission trip for 8 days, to help the impoverished women there whose humanity was not fully recognized. It was a life-changing trip.

My mom and I in Belize 2012

One that cannot be fully described in words because the emotional impact was so extensive. I personally believe they had more of an impact on us than we did on them 🙂 They taught me about humility and what it means to help someone else… Aside from Belize, I have travelled to Jamaica, Cuba, Dominican Republic,the United States, Germany, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. I am also going to be travelling to four cities in Spain this coming July (SO EXCITED!!) My wanderlust is embodied in a single quote by St. Augustine which is, “the world is a book and if one does not travel they only read one page”. I haven’t been everywhere, but believe me when I say it is on my list :p

I am so excited and thankful to be on this once in a lifetime journey, and absolutely cannot wait to present to all of you my best self.

Yours Truly,

P.S. T-Minus 163 days until the Miss Teen Canada Pageant 😀
P.P.S. follow me EVERYWHEREE
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On Sunday July 15, 2012 us girls had mentor night which was a very inspirational evening. All the women we met were very wise with their words.

The first speaker was Melani Chong, she is the creator of a natural skin care line called soya boutique. Melani decided to basically, in short form, tell her life up to the point of her creating her line. She discussed how she became a Ford model because of her dad seeing something in the mall. At first she had doubts about becoming a model because she always

thought of herself as an athlete in highschool ,so modeling would be a BIG transformation for her. So then she signed with Ford models and in some way she still had doubts about becoming a model, she felt like she could do more for herself. Then she became a stylist and worked with top photographers, but she still felt like there was something more. When she was pregnant with her first child she realized health was very important and that is when she came up with her skin care line. One thing she said to us that she wanted to get across was that PASSION lead to DRIVE and drive leads to ACTION! Make that impact.

The next mentor was Katrina Hadden. Katrina wrote a health book call “Making it in High Heels”. She also started a bit about her life in school and how she found it very frightening walking through the halls because she was bullied because of how tall she was. Katrina was also athletic, she was a basket ball player. She had her life planned out, she was going to finish school and get a scholarship for basketball and then go on to the WBA, but during a scrimmage at her practice, she injured her knee. So, because of her friends, she became a model, but was so confused of where she would fit in (being a size 12). So the first thing she thought of was to lose weight, but she did it the wrong way. Katrina started to have an eating disorder but the definitely didn’t work, she didn’t fit in anywhere. Starting off new she left Ottawa and moved to Toronto, she was very determined to get a new point across, she wanted there to be a “third group”, one group for all the girls who weren’t super skinny, but weren’t plus size models either. She finally found the model agency Ben Barry who had the exact same thought about “in between models”. Katrina wanted everyone to know that even through bullying and shyness, you have got to feel confident and to make sure you know that you have a place in this world. 5 tips on how to be a good role model:

1)      Make sure you take care of your health, so drink lots of water.

2)      Carry an attitude of gratitude

3)      Insert quote!!!!

4)      Have forgiveness of yourself and others

5)      Be yourself, nobody does it better

I felt that i related to Katrina the most because i was also made fun of because of my height and i was called names and it didn’t feel good, but everyone has to find that one thing they were meant for and that gives them the confidence they need.

The next mentor was Alexandra Orlando. Alexandra has her own book called “Alexandra Orlando in Pursuit of Victory”. She came to talk to us about how we shouldn’t try and figure out who we are now, but who we want to become, and to be stronger than you actually think you are. In 2007, Alexandra was qualifying to be on the Olympic team at 15 years old for Rhythmic Gymnastics but missed but 1/10 of a point. At that point in her life she went to a dark place and took a break from gymnastics. When she was go back, finally ready and realized the love of that sport was too important she wanted to go back, but her coaches tried to tell her she did not have the right figure anymore, but she didn’t listen and continued anyways, all she told herself was to keep pushing. In 2008, Alexandra qualified for the Olympics. Then she went to school to get her business degree.

Her message was to always show your true emotions, never hold anything back, just go for it and always acknowledge the people who got you there.


The last speaker was Dr. Natalie Archer. Natalie only had some tips for life, and as much as she shared she wanted to make sure she got those points across. Education is key, you always have to keep working at it. She used a saying that she got from her son, “build your web”, so build your future. Another point was to always have advanced planning, she said it was key to success. She discussed how women are becoming the “leaders” in a way. We should take calculated business risks and we should be able to control our own destiny. Now-a-days you see a lot of women who are bringing in money which causes  a lot more roles for women and that gives us a lot more pressure. Dr. Natalie couldn’t have been clearer with this point but she wanted us to know that having children is VERY important for us women.

These four amazing women have been great people to talk to, with all the struggles in their life it was nice to know that all women are not alone. I hope to have that much confidence in what i do with my future. They were perfect example of who a great role model should be.


~~Halle Livingston MissTeenDurham-World2012

Written by: Halle Livingston
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My DREAM vacation  spot is Hawaii. I have always wanted to go there, it’ s probably the white sand and the blue water that attracts me to it most.

I know if i went with my friends i would have the time of my life! while the girls tanned, the boys would play football on the beach, or we would play beach volleyball. just to lay in the sun and relax all day is what i really want. Plus we would go to a Lu Wow and dance on stage with all of the Hawaiian dancers. We would celebrate every night like it was our last night there.

I would probably bring my 2 bestfriends, their cousin, and then my two friends from karate.Knowing the boys, they would probably want to swim or just relax, and for the girls, we would go shopping and tan.

I would want a place that’s kind of secluded from everyone else, just in case our neighbors would be noisy.

Also meeting new people from the island would be really interesting, getting to know their cultures and what they celebrate.

Hawaii just seems so peaceful and relaxing, i don’t know who wouldn’t want to go there:)

S-Trip! takes student travellers on unforgettable adventures around the world. Celebrate the exciting conclusion of high school in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica or Bahamas with all your friends onGrad Trip. Spend a weekend skiing or snowboarding at one of Canada’s premier mountain resorts on Ski Trip. Experience culture, sightseeing and events in Montreal or Quebec City on Busaway. Make a difference in an underdeveloped country on an impactful student Volunteer Trip. Explore the culture and history of Europe on Euro Adventure. For more information visitwww.s-trip.com.


Written by: Halle Livingston
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If i could create any TV show it would be called UGLY BEAUTY. Each show would be a documentary going all around the world and interviewing women or men and asking them to talk about what they consider beauty but what we can see as ugly. I would be the host of the show.

i picked this type of show because you see this kind of thing everywhere, girls not seeing what everyone else sees girls seeing ugly when really there is true beauty right in front of them. I personally had a phase where i did not like the way i looked, yet i kept getting compliments saying i was beautiful and i should be a model, i did not see what they saw. After a few years of disliking my body i started thinking, why should i bother putting myself down when no one else seems to be doing it. That year i joined karate, and for some strange reason, i never felt more confident in myself. i was getting higher in belts, i was getting stronger and learning new things, i actually felt good about myself, i felt confident.


So for the show, i would start off somewhere where everyone knew the place, like Toronto. I would find a girl or boy to interview ask them how they would define beautiful and when i got an answer like ” well its all about the way you dress, or how your hair looks, etc.” i would ask that person to come with me to a place like Africa, and i would show them that there, it is always how you dress or what you put on your face.In Africa they have traditional tribal clothes and have tattoos all over their face. Also, the most beautiful women have these giant rings in their mouth that are called lip plates.

I know this show will reach out to alot of people around the world because i know i am not the only person who has thought they weren’t beautiful. I hope this show touches alot of peoples hearts and lets them realize true beauty is their own kind of beautiful.

Written by: Halle Livingston
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