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,

Shay~

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,

~Shay
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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For the past few weeks i have been helping coach 4-5 year old’s soccer team, and i can not tell you enough how much i have enjoyed for these past few weeks.

These kids are so talented, we probably have a future Fifa Cup player on the team:P

I find that volunteering to coach soccer was a great idea because i love children and i’m really good with them, and i played for 14 years so i could always teach them new things from when they’re really young.

As tiring as chasing kids on a field to go the right direction, they really enjoy playing and i think they like my coaching which is nice because i want them to like me:P

This is Jayden and i just sitting on the blanket, he likes being called Superman:)

I don’t really miss soccer as much as i should, but i never thought that i would love coaching so much, seeing them smile when they get their first goal, and when our star goalie makes awesome saves. It is really rewarding to be on such an amazing team, and i am really going to miss them when it is over<3

~~Halle Livingston Miss Teen Durham-World 2012

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On March 27 i was lucky enough to meet some amazing people to help bring awareness to everyone about the struggles of Epilepsy, and how they should know that they are never alone.

 

So on that day, i went to Toronto, wearing the best color ever strutting my stuff in the Purple Day Fashion Show for Epilepsy.

I hope if i win Miss Teen Canada-World, i will get to help bring more awareness to Purple Day<3

~Halle Livingston-Miss Teen Durham-World

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Hey There! I’m Halle Livingston, Miss Teen Durham-World. I am 18 years old and I grew up in Ajax, Ontario.

Miss Teen Durham 2012, Halle LivingstoneI am a fun, outgoing kinda girl who is always up for a challenge.

I enjoy dancing (hip hop), reading books, watching movies/tv shows on my laptop and most of all i love karate, it has become my life.

Unfortunately I do not dance in any fancy studio, just the comfort of my own bedroom, but I have done shows for my school and an ITP competition. I would like to join a class very soon because I know I have much to learn.

I also do Karate, I am currently a first degree black belt and  I plan on staying for a very long time, I might even end up taking over the class next year, I have run half classes a few times before but I’ve never run a full class. I’m very touched that my Sensei’s have chosen me over students who have been there longer. I am very honored and I hope to make them proud.

I am currently not in school at the moment but I have applied to a few colleges for massage therapy, and I’ve also toured Guelph University and Flemming College. I also thought that if massage therapy did not work out for me, I would become a police officer, my karate experience could help me a lot in the field.

My goal as Miss Teen Durham-World is bringing awareness to unprivileged and marginalized teens who find themselves homeless in Durham. I want to demonstrate to them that anything is possible with the right attitude.

Follow me and support my cause!

My first post on the 2012 Miss Teen Canada Blog Network was sponsored by Direct Buy, and Toronto roof repair system.

~Halle Livingston –Miss Teen Durham-World 2012.

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