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FullSizeRenderI am an animal lover!  Ever since I was little I have always been intrigued by all of the different animals in our world.  Today I was able to have some hand on experience with some of the cutest animals in the world!  Baby lions and tigers!

 

IMG_1201At the Bowanville Zoo, the girls and I gathered in an arena to pet and took pictures of the newest members of the zoo!  You can tell that lions and tigers are related to cats because of the way they play!  Rolling over each other, clawing, and play fighting are all ways these adorable little animals are like our household pets.

After the ooing and awing at the baby tiger and lion stopped we had time to walk and explore the rest of the zoo.  It may be quaint but there were animals out being walked and fed.  This zoo has up close experience to animals which makes it different from all of the other zoos!  Leaving the zoo was extremely hard for everyone because we loved the animals so much!

IMG_1146Our next destination was the Richtree Taco Truck in the Eaton Centre!   Delicious tacos or burritos were served to the girls and I.  What a treat!  The tacos were delicious and I would’ve hone back for seconds if we had enough time.

The last event for the night was the Medieval Times!  Never have I ever seen pageant girls eat with their hands and cheer for the best knight!  This medieval feast was delicious and entertaining!  If I ever end up in Toronto again I am definitely going back!

DAY6

IMG_1193The day started off with a quick breakfast followed by rehearsals.  After the group finished the dance for the final night I was exhausted!  What better way to wake yourself up than to be inspired?  Our guest speaker, Mindy, was here today to teach us about inner beauty.  I truly felt moved by her, she is an amazing speaker.  Mindy will be judging the pageant on the final night.

FullSizeRender-2On to hair and makeup!  Watching the makeup artist complete my makeup was incredible!  The amount of detail she put into my makeup made me feel special.  I looked stunning!  I was very impressed with my hair as well because the hair stylist knew exactly what I wanted.

Both physically and mentally I prepared myself for the preliminary judging.  I was going to be the very first delegate on stage and I wanted to make to the judges’ mouths drop to the floor.  I became extremely nervous when I was backstage.  I felt like I wasn’t prepared even though I had practiced my hardest!  While I was up on stage I became relaxed.  The audience applauded, awed, and cheered which made me feel on top of the world.  All of my nerves that I was feeling befor the show had vanished!  I felt at home on that stage!  I am glad that there will be other nights where I will be able to be back up on that stage, because I think that I’m addicted to it!FullSizeRender-3

Tomorrow is another big day for me so please continue checking in for more blogs about my day! Thanks!

 

Written by: Alexandra
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First day out of the hotel was amazing!  No one even cared when we had to wake up early because of all of the fun that was planned.  After piling everyone onto the buses we began the day!

 

IMG_0893First stop was for breakfast at EGGlicious cafe!  Our bellies were soon filled with delicious eggs, bacon, toast, and potato hash browns!  The restaurant was lovely and so were the people working there! I have never seen so many teenage girls in one room!

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IMG_0923A beautiful day calls for beautiful walks along the harbour.  The sun was shining and the water was clear!  It took all of my strength to not jump in the water for a swim.  After rehearsing for the show the girls and I rode down to a river where we learned to dragon boat!  We raced other delegates and I am happy to announce that my team won!

 

IMG_0950Driving an hour and a half to Niagara was completely worth it!  We had the opportunity to watch an amazing magician named Greg Ferwin perform while we ate dinner!  If you are ever in Niagara I strongly suggest going to watch him!  It was incredible!

 

IMG_0956We we had just enough time to stop by Niagara Falls before we left.  To be able to see one of the wonders of the world in person was truly an awesome experience!  The falls were lit up with different coloured lights making then look magical!

The day might have been long and tiring but I wouldn’t trade it in for anything else!  I’m so excited for tomorrow!  Check back to see why!  Thank you!

 

 

Written by: Alexandra
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IMG_1143Food makes the mood!  My mom is always telling me that my mood is affected by what type of food I’m eating.  If I am not satisfied I become extremely unpleasant to be around.  However, when I was at the Richtree Taco Truck in the Eaton Centre my mood was definitely positive

 

Not only was the service amazing but the food as well!  This indoor food truck is home to delicious tacos, burritos, and drinks!  With so many options from the menu it took me a while to choose a meal.  When I asked the cashier all of my many questions about what was in the meals he was very descriptive and was extremely helpful!  I finally settled on beef tacos and a pop!

 

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After:IMG_1152

 

I cannot put into words how much better my day got when I took my first bite from my taco.  I was one happy camper!  My mood changed from tired and bored to excited and energetic all because of the delicious tacos that Richtree Taco Truck supplied.  Those who haven’t been to this joint are missing out!

Next time you pass through Toronto make sure you make the Richtree Taco Truck in the Eaton Centre your number one destination!

For more information about the Richtree Taco Truck please visit their website at the following link:

http://richtreenaturalmarket.com

 

Written by: Alexandra Tagged with:
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You know you are working hard when you can’t feel your feet at the end of the day.  All day was rehearsal.  Meeting the choreographer, learning the dance routine, and learning how to stand, walk, and pivot.

 

IMG_0864Presenting myself well has always been important to me. When walking on stage or even practicing, you must be confident. Today taught everyone how to be confident on stage and in life.

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After a long and tiring day of practicing, the girls and I had 20 minutes to get changed for a dinner out in Toronto.  Lone Star Texas Grill was an amazing first dinner outside of the hotel!  Fajitas were served to the pageant girls who were not afraid to dig in a get a little messy.

During the day, when I was able to check my email, I found one that was forwarded from my mom.  A friend of our family sent this to her…

“I read some of Alex’s blog and got to the part about hemochromatosis and it immediately caught my attention. Our daughter has really been suffering and in pain for the past few years and has been to countless physicians and specialists trying to understand what is happening to an otherwise healthy young lady. I told her to look into this as she seems to have many of the symptoms listed for this disorder.  It may amount to just another dead end road for us but thank Alex in advance for bringing it to our attention as it is something no one has mentioned to her or us.”

This almost brought me to tears!  No matter what happens this week with the pageant, I am so glad that I have been able to help spread awareness about Hereditary Hemochromatosis!  If I can help even one person, all my hard work has been worth it!

IMG_0877At the end of the day, I look back and think about what a fantastic day in Toronto it has been! Remember to vote for me at the following website, instructions are on my Facebook.

http://www.missteenagecanada.com/vip-signup

 

Written by: Alexandra
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What a long day in Toronto! After a delicious meal of Tim Hortons egg sandwich, yogurt, and an orange juice, the girls and I were sent off for hair and makeup. Once we were all dolled up the real work began.

imageFirst on the agenda was the photo shoot. The photographer was amazing! He had individual poses for every girl to make them feel special. After I was finished with all of the photos it was off to the video interview. After waiting for what seemed like forever I made it to the last part of the day – judges interview. When the interview was done I made my way back to the hotel room to get ready for dinner.

My first restaurant dinner in Toronto was delicious! Bread, pasta, salad, and cookies! What a meal!

Looking back at the day I cannot believe how fast it went! I cannot wait for all of the exciting days to come!

Written by: Alexandra
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IMG_0843 (1)My first day in Toronto was a blast!  I was able to see all of my friends from the provincial pageant and met some new ones!  The flight was early, security line up was long but nothing that I couldn’t handle on my own!  Once we landed some of the other girls and I were sent off to the hotel.  While our rooms were being prepared all of the delegates were able to catch up with each other!

IMG_0842 (1)We checked into our rooms with our roommates.  I am so lucky to have a great roommate named Dana who is a delegate from Manitoba!

After dinner and cake was served we were given our brand new sashes and shoes!  There is nothing like receiving free gifts!  At that time every girl was given a number for the competition.  I was lucky to receive Number 1!

If every day in Toronto is as good as today, I think that I am in store for a great and memorable trip!

Written by: Alexandra
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“Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Ghandi.  I believe in this very strongly.  A strong belief does not go very far unless people are willing to act on it.  I have chosen my platform to be about spreading awareness and educating people about the dangers of Hereditary Hemochromatosis.  Hereditary Hemochromatosis is one of the most under diagnosed disorders and that is what I want to change in the world.

IMG_1893.JPGThree generations of my family have been affected by Hereditary Hemochromatosis; myself, my mother, and my grandparents.  My grandfather is a carrier while my grandmother was the first to suffer from this disorder, however it took 10 years for her to finally be diagnosed.  This only builds on my reasoning to have chosen this as my platform.  It should not have taken 10 years for my grandmother to be diagnosed!  Not only did the doctors not know what was wrong with her but she began to question herself.  People began thinking that she was making it up, that she was a hypochondriac, or just plain crazy.  This is something that no human being should be forced to go through.  In the future I hope to educate enough people so that others do not face the same problems that my grandmother did.

What is Hereditary Hemochromatosis you may ask?  It is a genetic disorder that affects the amount of iron stored in your blood.  If you have it, your body will absorb too much iron.  This can cause many debilitating complications like heart disease, diabetes, joint pain, chronic fatigue and many more.

IMG_0819In order to have the disorder you must have both genes.  One in every 300 Canadians has this disorder and most don’t even know that they have it.  If you have only one of the genes you are considered a carrier and have the possibility of passing the disorder along to your children.  1 in 9 people in Canada are carriers.  This is important to me because one day I may marry someone who also is a carrier, then my children could be at risk of having the disorder.  If people are unaware that they have this disorder or that they may be a carrier they, or their children may suffer.

Is there treatment for Hereditary Hemochromatosis?  Treatment is simple: frequent and regular removal of blood called a phlebotomy. This blood is suitable for donation which can be done at Canadian Blood Services.

9312If I were to become the new Miss Teenage Canada I would make spreading this awareness a priority.  I have already partnered with the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society and would continue working with them.  In addition to the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society, I would work with Canadian Blood Services in hopes of reaching more people.  As Miss Teenage Spruce Grove, I have seen the spark of interest in people’s eyes when they hear that I am fighting to educate people about Hereditary Hemochromatosis.  Imagine what could be done if I became the national spokesperson for the society?  I could make a tremendous change in the world.  We may never be able to cure this horrible disorder, but we can try our best to catch it before it catches us.  I am here to help give the information that people need to save their loved ones or possibly themselves.

PleaseFullSizeRender visit the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society website for more information.

www.toomuchiron.ca

 

Thank you for keeping up with my blogs, keep checking in for the ones that will be coming from the pageant in Toronto this week!

Written by: Alexandra Tagged with:, ,
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IMG_0768“Hello summer”   The sun is out!  So that means going to the lake for weekends and holidays!!!  I love my home here in Spruce Grove but I have to admit, it’s so nice spending time at my lake, Lac des Isles, SK!  There are no bad days at the lake.  If it’s hot and sunny, then you go on the boat.  You can wakeboard, waterski, wakesurf, tube, kneeboard, or just swim!  Even if it’s raining or storming, you can spend some time in the trailer or cabin.  You can read a book, take a nap in the middle of the day, play cards, or just eat some food!  Enjoy any time you have at the lake!

 

IMG_1671 (1)I am very fortunate for the things I have at our lake.  For instance, my family’s boat is an amazing part of our summer.  I still remember learning how to waterski behind it.  IMG_1687We would sit off a dock then yell HIT IT to tell my dad we were ready to go.  Once I mastered waterskiing it was on to wakeboarding!  Next came learning how to wakesurf.   CIMG2672I prefer wakesurfing more than all of the other water sports for two reasons; its like surfing in the ocean except easier and when you fall it doesn’t hurt nearly as much as when you fall on the wakeboard!

 

IMG_1639After a long morning of water sports it’s always nice to kick back for a bit.  At Lac des Isles the water is so clear that you can see all the way past your toes!  CIMG2682What better way to finish off the day than with a fun tube ride!  The only downside is the crash!

 

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Living life at the lake is what I look forward to in the summer!

 

Thank you for keeping up with my blogs and make sure to keep checking in for more posts to come!

Written by: Alexandra
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“Keep calm and donate blood” – unknown author.  Lately I have received a lot of questions regarding Hereditary Hemochromatosis.  Since my platform is about spreading awareness about this disorder, I thought it would be a good idea to blog about it!  So please enjoy this post about Hereditary Hemochromatosis and why I’ve chosen it as my platform.  At the end, if you still have some unanswered questions please feel free to leave a comment!  Let’s begin!

IMG_1606 (1)Hereditary Hemochromatosis is a genetic disorder where “there is excessive and potentially toxic accumulation of dietary iron in the body.”*  You can only have the disorder if you have both of the chromosomes, or both genes.  If you have only one chromosome, then you are a ‘carrier’ of the disorder.  In this case, you will never have the disorder but you can possibly pass it along to your children.

Hemo Booth“Hemochromatosis is Canada’s most common genetic disorder and is most prevalent in Canadians of European, Nordic and Celtic descent. One in 300 Canadians has the condition. Those with hemochromatosis are genetically unable to metabolize iron absorbed from their diet. Men and women are equally affected. Harmful iron overload occurs in joints, the liver, pancreas, heart, brain and endocrine glands. Left unrecognized and undiagnosed, the consequences of too much iron can be prolonged, severe and fatal.”*

IMG_1747“Hemochromatosis cannot be cured, however, early testing, diagnosis and treatment for the disorder can reduce or eliminate most of the severe complications, which include arthritis, diabetes, heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver and cancer. Diagnosis is made through blood tests and genetic testing. Treatment is simple: frequent and regular removal of blood. This blood is suitable for donation.”*

IMG_1067“The burden of undiagnosed hemochromatosis in Canada results in avoidable costs to the health care system of premature chronic diseases, the financial loss to families due to disability and the preventable loss of loved ones.”*

The Edmonton Chapter of the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society (CHS) invites you to attend its monthly meetings.  Please see the “Events” section of the CHS website www.toomuchiron.ca for location and times.

CIMG2478Three generations of my family have been affected by Hereditary Hemochromatosis; myself, my mother, and my grandmother.  My grandmother was the first to suffer from this disorder, however it took 10 years to finally be diagnosed.  The reason I’ve chosen this as my platform is simple; I want to spread awareness so that future generations will not be subjected to years of frustration trying to find a proper diagnosis.  It should not have taken 10 years for my grandmother to be diagnosed!

IMG_0961.JPGAfter my grandmother was diagnosed, her husband was tested for Hereditary Hemochromatosis.  He was found to be a carrier which lead to their children’s tests.  When my mother found out that she had the disorder she contacted the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society for information and support.

The society’s goal is the same as mine; to spread awareness.  When I received my title as Miss Teenage Spruce Grove I was honoured to become a part of their team!  Through volunteering and public speaking at events, I feel that I have been able to help educate people in my community about the disorder.  I hope to continue my work with the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society in the future.

If you are interested in learning more about this disorder and how you can help you can visit either my Facebook page or the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society Facebook page at the following links:

https://www.facebook.com/MissTeenageSpruceGrove2015

www.facebook.com/TooMuchIron

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and educating yourself about Hereditary Hemochromatosis.  It is very important to me and to others that we spread awareness.

*Information courtesy of the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society.

Written by: Alexandra
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