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For our final blog assignment we have been asked to write about out dream vacation with S-Trip! For over 35 years S-Trip! has been a leader in student travel providing life-changing trips to over 40,000 students annually in over 40 destinations around the world. S-Trip! travelers are encouraged to become global citizens; opening their eyes to new cultures, languages, and experiences. Recently named Profit Magazine’s 25th fastest growing company in Canada, and recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies by Deloitte and CIBC, S-Trip! is a leader in student travel in North America. Find out more at www.s-trip.com.

After you have checked out the website, you can understand how excited I am to have the chance to win the social media queen award and a trip! My Dream Vacation would take me to beautiful Paris. France is one of the top destinations on my travel-bucketlist and I would be ecstatic to have the chance to visit. I have been studying French all throughout high school and plan to further my studies next year in university as I study second-language teaching. A vacation in Paris would help me develop my speaking skills in an authentic french setting as well as immerse myself in the French culture. However, I wouldn’t be alone. S-Trip is all about providing trips for groups of friends, graduating classes, etc. so I would bring my best friend, Nick, with me! We are honestly the best of best friends you will ever find and I wouldn’t want to explore the world with anyone but him.

Nick and I before prom

For my dream vacation with S-Trip I would like to stay in a small home on the outskirts of Paris, somewhere in the country. The home would not be too far from downtown so we could get there easily. I would love to work part-time as an au-pere, teaching children to speak English. I love kids and french, so mixing those two things together would be perfect! Doing that during day hours some days would still leave me with lots of time to sight-see and explore the area with Nick. Nick really enjoys food and cooking etc, so we would definitely visit a different cafe/restaurant everyday and try everything… and I mean everything. I would also love to do some wine-tasting (although I have never had it, I hope I would enjoy it for this trip’s sake).

The Palace of Versailles

Along with visiting different restaurants, we would tour the city by foot, or bicycle. I would like to take pictures near the Eiffel tower and tour the Louvre. One place that would be so extravagant to visit would be the Palace of Versailles! It is absolutely beautiful and I don’t think I would ever forget walking through those gardens. Lastly, I would like to spend the evenings experiencing the Paris-nightlife, dancing etc. A boat ride on the Seine would be amazing at sunset, or a picnic by the water.

My S-Trip dream vacation with my best friend would be the best time of my life. I would be able to de-stress, relax and feel comfortable. The memories we would make would be incredible because I could do everything I love, in a place I can only dream of one day visiting!

Where would your dream vacation take you? Please comment below and let me know and be sure to search S-Trip on Facebook and Twitter for more information about planning your own amazing trip with friends!

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 on Grad 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 visit www.s-trip.com.

All images found on google.

Written by: Kayla Karrandjas
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First of all, I would like to thank Niagara Falls for sponsoring the Miss Teen Canada World 2nd blog challenge! If you have not visited Niagara Falls, I definitely recommend that you do so, there is many tourist attractions to take advantage of and The Falls are beautiful!

The Beach

I have the luxury of living in Simcoe County, an area which encompasses the popular, Wasaga Beach! The longest freshwater beach in the world, it is a popular summer tourist destination, situated at the southern end of Georgian Bay, about two hours from Toronto. A boardwalk runs most of the way along Beach 1 and 2 with beach 1 drawing the largest crowds and the popularity decreasing further west. There are many shops and restaurants along the boardwalk as well as cabins/cottages/houses for rent very close by. The energy from the beach is evident in the music and laughter heard all around, and although Wasaga beach makes for a great area for friends, it is tremendously family-friendly. In the area, there are many recreational trails that are used for hiking, cycling, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling and the Nottawasaga River offers game fishing and canoe routes to explore.

Scenic Caves

While in Wasaga, be sure to check out the Scenic Caves! Open in both summer and winter, you can experience self-guided walking trails through caves and caverns carved millions of years ago by glacial ice. There are numerous spectacular lookouts with panoramic views of 10,000 square kilometers of Georgian Bay and you can walk across the longest suspension footbridge in Ontario — 126 metres long. With many activity packages, you can customize your visit to make the most of it! If anyone has ever been to Scenic Caves, please comment below I am very curious!

Wasaga Beach Paintball Adventure

For those of you who have not been paintballing, let me begin by telling you that it can definitely be a lot of fun! Wasaga Beach Paintball Adventure is Canada’s premier indoor/outdoor paintball megapark and has been operating since 1992. The park contains 13 unique fields (such as a western-themed town, tank-attack field, etc) on over 70 acres of beautifully wooded, landscaped terrain designed specifically for paintball. They’ve also got two outdoor airball fields, one natural grass and one brand new astro-turfed X-ball field. Other facilities include: Proshop, Snack Bar, Lounge Area, Complete Washroom Facilities, Picnic and Barbeque Area, Free Parking, Personal Storage Area with lockers and Certified Equipment Technicians. Wasaga Beach Paintball Adventure will be having their annual player appreciation day on October 20, 2013 and will be hosting Canada’s largest paintball game August 17, 2013.

Overall, Wasaga beach is an amazing tourist destination and a highlight of Simcoe County! Please comment below any of your experiences in the area and if you have never been, I recommend you visit this summer.

(I will be posting photos of myself in Wasaga this week when I visit!)

Written by: Kayla Karrandjas
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Posted On: Categories:Blog Assignments

Signature Towels is famous for making high quality monogrammed towels that are perfect gifts because they convey a personal touch – like they are from someone who really cares about the recipient. With a $250K  budget, actors, cameras and sets etc, I am in charge of creating a thirty second television spot for Signature Towels to market their personalized bath towel. Click on the link and check out what they have to offer!

The Big Idea: Market personalized towels as a versatile product by following the life of various well-known Canadian athletes.

In my opinion, celebrity endorsement of products can be a very effective way to draw an audience and get people talking. The athletes/celebrities I would want to star in my commercial would be Sidney Crosby (hockey), Christine Sinclair (Olympic soccer), Georges St-Pierre (ultimate fighter) and Milos Raonic (tennis). By featuring people from many different sports I hope to have the viewer relate to at least one of them. I believe all of these people act as great role models and definitely make Canada proud with their passion and determination to succeed.

The Breakdown: a look at each scene in the 30second spot.

1) The first scene will feature Sidney Crosby. He is playing in the last seconds of a tied hockey game, skating the puck down the ice. The camera pans out to show the crowd cheering in anticipation then shows a close-up of crosby’s face, looking intense with sweat beading down his face. The camera shows the timer counting down. Crosby’s maneuvers the puck around the other team, shoots, and SCORES as the buzzer sounds! The players are then shown in the locker room after the game congratulating each other. A player slaps Crosby on the back and says “good game”. Finally, the scene ends as Crosby walks out of the showers with the signature bath towel around his waist. The camera does a close up on the embroidered name along the side and Crosby smiles as he is packing up his gear.

Setting/mood: This scene is used to show intensity and adrenaline in the hockey arena. This scene is used first because it is very eye-grabbing and fun. The locker room is fairly bland so that the towel stands out.

2) The second scene features Christine Sinclair. Christine is in the midst of a heated soccer game, sending and receiving passes all over the field. She is tripped by a player on the other team, but stands up and keeps going. The camera shows her being shouldered by other players as well as intricate footwork with the ball. The game ends and her team is shown hugging each other. Camera changes to show Christine relaxing into a bubble bath, her muscles sore. As she looks to get out, she notices her towel is missing. Her mother knocks on the door, brings the towel in and places it beside the tub. Christine sighs in relief and a close up of her hand is shown grabbing the towel where her name is beautifully written.

Setting/mood: This scene is used to show relaxation and personal satisfaction after completing a task. The towels are seen as a product that can be cherished as more than just a material object, and as something that symbolizes comfort and reassurance. The room is lit with candles and beige “spa” tones are used.

3) The third scene features Georges St-Pierre. The signature towel is shown hanging in the washroom as the mirror fogs with steam from the shower running. GSP leaves the washroom with fighting shorts on and the towel around his neck. He looks at himself in the reflection of his trophy-case and does some warm-up punches etc, and says “I got this”. The camera then shows parts of his fight (not too violent) and the final moment when his arm is raised as he is named the winner.

Setting/mood: This scene shows the towels as part of a routine or “pre-game ritual”. This scene is meant to show confidence and preparation. The focal point of the room is the trophies and the embroidery on GSP’s towel is gold to match.

4) The final scene features Milos Raonic. It is winter and he is in a chalet with some friends. His friends are watching replays of Raonic’s latest tennis match on t.v. when he enters and says “come on guys, lets go for a dip!” The friends are shown entering an outdoor hottub where they laugh and have a good time until it is time to get out. Each person grabs their personalized towels and wraps up in them. One friend remains in the tub without a towel, calling to the others to get him one. “Milos got these for us” they tell him as they show their names on the towels. Raonic enters the scene carrying the towel for his friend and says “don’t worry buddy, I got one for you too”. He leaves the towel on the chair my the door, a fair walk from the hot tub and says “but you have to come get it!” The friends go back inside, laughing and the camera zooms in on the signature towel as the brand name/logo appear on the screen.

Setting/mood: This scene shows the towels as part of a fun time with friends. The towels can be a part of the athletes’ lives on their off-season. The scene is set outdoors during the winter to show that the towel can be used for a variety of things and to enhance the Canadian

Overall, I think this idea would work very well to sell the personalized towels and further commercials could be made with the separate athletes interacting and bonding because they realize they both have the towels. I would like to thank Signature Towels for sponsoring the MTCW pageant. For more information on any of their products including personalized towels, bath towels, or golf towels, please visit their website www.signaturetowels.com and check out their blog site which I found very informative!

Thank you for reading!

Written by: Kayla Karrandjas
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Posted On: Categories:Blog Assignments

A simple recipe that puts a healthy spin on a summer classic, banana ice cream!

This recipe consists of two ingredients, banana and milk,  as well as a freezer and a blender.

1. Grab your banana (one is a good serving size for one person, but make more or less as you please), peel and slice it.

2. Stick your banana pieces in the freezer, two hours should do it.

3. Put the frozen slices in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.

tip: When I made this recipe I had to add milk to the banana in order for my blender to work.

4. Place your banana ice cream into a bowl and enjoy as you lounge by the pool on a hot summer day.

tip: I read online that other’s like to add peanut butter or chocolate chips to their mix. However, I found the light banana flavor more than satisfying.

Please try this recipe and comment below with what you mixed in!

Written by: Kayla Karrandjas
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Environmental awareness is gaining a huge following in our generation and it is becoming more important to be knowledgeable about the things that we do which may help or hinder the environment. Being knowledgable about terms such as “LEED certified” and “green technologies” can help you to make decisions that will promote the health and longevity of our world.

What is a Green Building and LEED?

A green building is one whose construction and lifetime of operation assure the healthiest possible environment while representing the most efficient and least disruptive use of land, water, energy and resources. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a third-party certification program and an internationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED certification is presented based on performance in five key areas of human and environmental health, including sustainable site development , water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

TIOCOAT Flat Roof Solutions

A great way to reduce energy consumption is white or rubber roof coating. TIOCOAT flat roof solutions is a company that makes a white roof or rubber roof coating that is guaranteed for the life of the building. TIOCOAT provides 89% reflectivity of solar radiation, which will significantly reduce the buildings energy requirements. Please consider implementing this green technology in your home!

Motion Sensor Lighting

We are continuously told that an easy way to reduce energy in our homes is to turn off the lights when leaving a room. However, it may not seem practical if you are only leaving the room momentarily… but does that time add up? Of course! Installing motion sensor lighting is a simple and smart choice that can make your home more eco friendly. There are four main types of sensors:

Infrared or Passive Infrared (PIR) Sensors: Designed to see infrared radiation, or heat (from humans, for instance), these sensors detect the motion of heat from one area to another. These are best suited for hallways and areas with a long line of sight.

Ultrasonic or Ultra Sound (US) sensors: Using ultrasound technology, these devices emit sound waves and any motion will disrupt the frequency. These can be falsely triggered rather easily and are not the best option if you have pets.

Audio sensors: Using a microphone, these sensors listen for sounds, such as voices or movement. These sensors may not be the best at distinguishing between voices and other noises.

Microwave sensors: This technology is most commonly used for automatic door openers, but it’s somewhat new and less tested in occupancy sensors. These devices function by sending out microwaves and then sensing the reflected frequency.

Personally, I think we should have an “Earth Hour” every month, or even every week where for an hour families turn off their lights and electronics. It helps the environment, promotes family bonding time and who doesn’t love candles?

Watering the Lawn

This is something that is more practical if you are not planning on doing an eco-home renovation or do not have the money to spend on green-technologies for your home. Having a healthy green lawn is something that many families strive for when the nicer weather comes around. he typical single-family suburban household uses at least 30 percent of their water for irrigation. Some experts estimate that more than 50 percent of landscape water goes to waste due to evaporation or runoff caused by over-watering. (US Environmental Protection Agency). Here are some easy ways to lower water bills and make every drop of water count:

Water in the early morning: if you water at mid-day, much of the water will evaporate.

Water the grass: This may seem obvious but ensure that sprinklers are not watering the driveway or road.

Raise your lawn mower cutting height: longer grass blades help shade each other, reduce evaporation, and inhibit weed growth.

Use organic fertilizers and soil amendments: such as leaf mulch or compost, these increase soil’s water-holding capacity, allowing the lawn and garden to stay greener longer.

Simcoe County Administrative Centre Goes Green

A great example of a green building in my community is the Simcoe County Administrative Centre, located in Midhurst. In 2008, the building recieved a $25.3 million renovation and expansion which included some amazing green technology features! The project was a challenge for architects Rob Knight, of Barrie-based Ted Handy and Associates, and Stephen Teeple, who’s with Teeple Architects in Toronto. It entailed renovating the existing administration building, built in the early 1970s, and adding a modern extension that meets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certificate standards. In line with the LEED designation, building materials contained recycled content that were sourced from within 800 kilometers of the project and wood and composite wood products from sustainably harvested sources.

Green Technologies in the SCAC

-The building is cooled and heated by a groundwater system. Water is pumped up from 80 wells 250-feet underground, then is heated or cooled to maintain the indoor temperature.

-The lighting system naturally dims and brightens, depending on the outside light. The three arrays of solar panels on the roof reduce the electricity bill.

-Exterior glazing on the large windows, combined with argon gas between the panes of glass, reduces ultraviolet light from entering and increases the insulation factor, as well as letting in plenty of sunlight.

-Working areas have daylight sensors (so lights are dimmed or shut off if enough sunlight is coming in) and occupancy sensors (so light fixtures are shut down if no one is in the room) to reduce energy consumption.

-An irrigation system for lands around the administration centre rely on harvested rainwater from the roof.

-Inside the new portion of the building, low-flow fixtures provide a 40% reduction in potable water use and an onsite bio-filter treatment system ensures effluent leaving the building is as clean as possible.

-A ventilation heat recovery system controlled by CO2 sensors ensures that adequate ventilation is being provided at all times.

I hope to see you all making some environmentally-conscious decisions in the future. We have to do everything we can to preserve this beautiful planet!

 

Written by: Kayla Karrandjas
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Posted On: Categories:Blog Assignments

Last night, Wednesday May 29, I volunteered at the Barrie Rotary Club‘s annual Fun Run/Walk. It is an important community event and all funds raised will be used to support local community and environmental projects, as well as Rotary International projects.

 

I had a great time cheering during the Kid’s Run with the mascot, Sprocket as well as handing out medals and drawing raffle tickets later in the night. The location for this event was absolutely spectacular and the great weather made Barrie’s waterfront look amazing. The night also included live music from the band Bunker as well as food and refreshments provided by local businesses. I was very inspired by a boy, around my age, who placed very well in the 5K run. I am passionate about health and fitness, but have never been a runner. However, I am looking to change this by doing a 5K myself! I will be accompanied by my best friend, Nick, this Sunday as we run for MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) in Barrie. I encourage you all to set goals (no matter how outrageous they may seem) and work to accomplish them! Check out my blog post next week for an update on how the run went!

Also, you can donate to Free the Children through my page, here!

Written by: Kayla Karrandjas
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Write for Rights is a campaign by Amnesty International, where people write and demand action on behalf of  individuals who are experiencing human rights abuses around the world. Words are powerful and when they arrive in Government Official mailboxes by the thousands, they can not ignore them and perhaps gives cause to review the cases.

Last week I had the opportunity of writing letters for this campaign. Although it was supposed to be held in December, my school’s Amnesty club postponed it due to the teachers’ strike. I wrote two letters, one to the Minister of Justice in Ottawa and one the Premier of Gauteng Province, South Africa.

No More Stolen Sisters: Justice for the missing and murdered Indigenous women of Canada

According to Canadian government statistics, Indigenous women are five times to seven times more likely than other women to die as the result of violence. However, government response has been shockingly out of step with the scale and severity of these tragedies. My letter outlined my feelings towards the issue and asked that police respond to all missing persons reports in the same manner, without regard for race or sex. The federal government has responded by announcing plans to spend 10 million dollars over five years to address violence against Aboriginal women and girls, although most of the money is going towards police initiatives that track missing persons in general. Hopefully, the letters will promote the government to go further with this issue.

Noxolo Nogwaza’s Story

Noxolo, a woman from South Africa, was raped, beaten and stabbed in the dark, apparently because of her sexual orientation. She was an activist for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights and unfortunately, little progress has been made into investigating who committed this crime. LGBTI people often say police officers or medical personnel do not take them seriously when they seek help after attacks against them. I felt very strongly about this issue because I know people who are a part of the LGBTI community and understand the struggles they encounter every day. In my letter I encouraged the police authorities to fully investigate the death of Noxolo Nogwaza and publicly condemn targeted violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals. Everyone should be able to live their lives without fear of discrimination, harassment or violence.

I was impressed with the amount of letters that were written by students in my school and we also raised quite a bit of money. The next Right for Writes will be on December 10, 2013 and I encourage you all to participate!

Written by: Kayla Karrandjas
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I just got home from volunteering at the I Love Me Club‘s Pizza Hut fundraiser in Barrie! The I Love Me Club is a non-profit organization with over 2000 members. They make sure that girls and boys of all ages, know that they matter and that they can make a difference in their community.

The I Love Me Club was started by Mackenzie Oliver when she was in grade 3.  Mackenzie started the club because friends of hers had low self-esteem due to bullying. Mackenzie is such an inspiration and at only thirteen years old she has acquired so many awards and recognition in the community.

The event tonight supported a great cause and guests were able to enjoy Pizza Hut’s buffet for only $10.99, with $4.00 going to the I Love Me Club from 4-9 pm! Celebrities like Lyric Dubee, Disney XD Star Coulton Conway and Tori Webster from Life With Boys were in attendance. I helped hand out goody bags to children in the restaurant as well as meet so many amazing people and volunteers. I also had the honor of being sworn into the club as the 2310th member!

“I solemnly swear to always love who I see when I look in the mirror, inside and out.”

McKenna (volunteer), Patrick Brown (member of Barrie parliament), Mackenzie and myself

The night was a sure success and I look forward to hearing how much money was raised from this event! You can check out the I Love Me Club website here for more information as well as their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Written by: Kayla Karrandjas
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On April 30, I attended the Women at their Best Event at the Nottawasaga Inn. The ‘Crystal Ballroom’, an extravagant venue, was perfect to accommodate vendor booths around the room, a catwalk stage and comfortable seating. As the guests were arriving I sold raffle tickets to support Stevenson Memorial hospital, My Sister’s Place and Girl Guides of Canada. Everyone was so generous and the prizes for the raffle were definitely worth it! The night began with some financial advice, followed by an eye-opening presentation about Stevenson Memorial hospital. Barb’s Clothes Closet, located in Alliston, displayed some lovely spring and summer fashions on the runway before guests were invited to taste some goodies and view the exhibitors. (The cookies were delicious!) Next there was a performance from the Nicole Jacklin School of Dance, the studio which I used to dance at. They performed a flash-mob and had all of the women on their feet! Two solo pieces were danced as well.

To end the night, Canadian best-selling author and storyteller, Sue Kenney, captivated the crowd with her inspirational story of self-discovery while walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain. I had the chance to speak with her afterwards where she signed one of her books for me!

I loved being a part of this event and have to say that my favourite part was when I was handing out raffle tickets, a girl slightly younger than me came up to ask me how I got involved with pageants. I loved telling her all about the process and learned that she was interested in competing as well! I want to use my title to inspire girls and I can already tell how truly rewarding it is.

Check back soon for my next blog. (I apologize for the poor-quality of the photo to your left, I just wanted to snap a picture of my outfit!) xo

Written by: Kayla Karrandjas
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