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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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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I will be dedicating some of my blog posts to my platform which is fitness and healthy active living. As a student in high school managing homework, a part time job and extra-curricular activities, I understand the struggle that many teens and young people have with making healthy eating choices and making time to exercise. There are times when my meals are based on convenience and not how healthy or nutritious the food really is. Although I would like to spend time planning and prepping my meals for the week on a Sunday, I realistically know that will not happen. I am very motivated and dedicated to my health and fitness but I can also be very lazy. This is why my posts are not going to be directed to someone who has copious amounts of free time on their hands or someone who is looking for a dramatic lifestyle change. I am looking to provide tips, recipes and workout routines which are easy and quick and will ultimately result in a healthier you!

10 Easy Tips to Becoming the Best ‘You’

1. Do NOT Drink Your Calories, Opt for Water!

As amazing as carbonated drinks are, they are filled with sugar and calories galore! As you probably know, water is the best way to hydrate but it can get boring very fast. Limit yourself to real fruit juices or try flavored water to spice things up. Drink a glass of water in the morning to start your metabolism, flush out toxins and keep your skin glowing. (Invest in a reusable water bottle, unlike in the photo.)

2. Sleep

8-10 hours of sleep every night is ideal. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, weekends included! This way you will always wake up feeling fully rested and motivated to take on another day.



3. Look at the Ingredients 

Know what you are putting into your body! Natural foods that you make yourself are always better than pre-processed foods. Try introducing new foods to your meals such as kale, quinoa or tofu.


4. Everything in Moderation

As tempting as it may be to eat that entire bag of chips or popcorn, use a bowl to limit how much you are eating. Check the bag for a serving sample so you can accurately know how many calories you are consuming.

5. Make the Healthy Options Available

You cant expect to make healthier choices when they are nowhere to be found in your house right? Grocery shop for fruits and vegetables, the more colour the better. Snacking healthy will make such a difference in the long run. You’ll feel better and have more energy from eating an apple rather than a chocolate bar. If you know you are going to be hungry later, bring some food with you from home to avoid buying fast food.

6. Exercise

This does not mean you have to have a gym membership! Consider your level of fitness and set a small goal that is attainable. Take the stairs at work instead of the elevator, walk for fifteen minutes every day, ride your bicycle to the store instead of driving. There are many excellent and quick workout videos that can be done at home. I personally enjoy doing yoga after school because it is a good way to release stress from the day and does not leave me too fatigued to make it through the night. Research and find what works for you!

7. Do Not Pollute Your Body

Smoking and or excessive drinking takes a toll on your health and can make it much harder to reach your fitness goals. Quit smoking and drink in moderation to ensure you are making the most of your hard work!

8. Find Support

A friend or family member who has relatively the same goals as you can act as the motivation you need to keep going. Now you are not only working for yourself, but someone else as well. Take turns researching new healthy recipes every week or putting together a weekly circuit.

9. Socialize in Healthier Ways

Plan to do something active with your group of friends. Try a yoga class together, go bowling or for a walk in the park. Invite friends over and have a healthy dinner party or pot luck instead of eating out. Plan to hangout at times that do not coincide with meal time so you will not feel the urge to buy fast food.

10. Remember Your Mental Health

Becoming healthy involves a lot of hard work that will not be easy if you are dealing with many other problems in your life. Find a way to deal with stress such as talking to someone or meditating to be sure that you are ready to push your body and accomplish the goals you are setting for yourself.

Thanks for reading, please comment with YOUR tips, I am by no means an expert and love learning. Feel free to send me a message on Facebook or Twitter with any fitness or health questions you have. Thank you!


Written by: Kayla Karrandjas
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King Emmerson, 0-23 months division

On St.Patrick’s day this year I had the opportunity to judge the All Canadian Pageants‘ Shamrock Pageant in Barrie. The pageant was open to all age groups from just months old to the teen division, with both girls and boys participating.

“We believe the greatest gift you can give your child is self-esteem and self-confidence. In our books, you are a winner the minute you step on our stage. By simply participating we know you will take something positive away with you from this experience,” as stated on the All Canadian Pageants’ website.

Everyone had the chance to win tiaras, gifts and a chance to attend the finals in April. Each participant walked away with something and I loved being a part of pageantry for the next generation. The children were absolutely adorable, especially the boys in their costumes. I hope I will have the opportunity to judge another pageant in the future or help ‘behind the scenes’ offering encouragement and tips.

Beautiful and confident young women in the making!

I think that pageants have a positive effect on children and teach them great transferable skills. Pageants promote self-confidence and teach children how to present themselves in a respectful way. Goal setting is promoted and there can be the same level of competition in a pageant that you may find in a sporting league. Yes, the little girls love to dress up and have their hair done, but it goes deeper than that with the friendships that are formed and the sense of accomplishment each child feels as they bring home a sash or crown. Although there are horrible pageant stereotypes that can be associated with the show Toddlers and Tiaras, many pageants for young age groups are considered “natural” and strongly discourage heavy makeup, tanning, fake teeth etc. I hope that pageants will become more well known for positive attributes and would like to use my title to show people what pageantry is really all about!

Check out the All Canadian Pageants’ Facebook page here for more adorable photos and upcoming events!

My Facebook page also has some more photos from the day, click here!


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The Red Dress Gala this past weekend (April 20) was absolutely amazing! We were at rehearsal all day from 10am until the end of the show around 11pm. Everyone was so dedicated and it made everything run smoothly. We were lucky enough to receive catered food throughout the day (thank goodness) and it was exciting to watch everything come together.

Little Red Riding Hood

We had our hair and makeup professionally done throughout the day and it was definitely necessary for the extensive wolf costume in Little Red Riding Hood. They looked amazing! The show was also photographed by numerous photographers and I am excited to see all of the pictures.


Myself, Kim, Molly and Veronica

I bet you could not guess what I was wearing. Along with wearing an outfit from The Red Tulip in Barrie, I wore two one-of-a-kind balloon dresses! The dress was literally, constructed from balloons, designed by Kim Keogh of GOOF Balloons. They were works of art and although difficult to get on and off (you wouldn’t believe) it was such a unique experience. As the guests arrived adorning their beautiful red attire, I stood by the main doors displaying the dress. They attracted much media attention and I posed for many pictures. Afterwards I was rushed backstage to change into my Red Tulip outfit to open the show as a book reader for the fairy tale theme.

After intermission, I had the opportunity to help with the cake auction to raise money for the heart and stroke foundation. I had the privilege of meeting Miss Brazil Canada as she presented a dessert as well. She is so beautiful, definitely a great pageant role model.

I changed into another balloon dress and posed in the crowd throughout the second half, leading the runway train to conclude the show. I would like to thank Sandra and her team for their dedication, they produced and amazing show and everyone is grateful for the effort and time they put into this event!

You can see even more pictures on my Facebook page here!

Daniela Correia, Miss Brazil Canada

Written by: Kayla Karrandjas
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On Friday April 19th, I volunteered a couple of hours after school in Barrie at the Prom Blitz Project at the Kozlov mall.  The Prom Blitz Project promotes self-confidence and beauty by providing free prom dresses and accessories to high school girls who cannot otherwise afford them. I donated some dresses on behalf of friends and family and was delighted when a dress I brought was the first to be chosen! I acted as a personal shopper for the girls, getting to know a bit about them and what they were looking for, then selected dresses for them to try on. There was also a wide variety of stunning jewelry and undergarments donated by La Senza. I know how important prom is, as I am a graduating student myself, and I loved having the opportunity to help other girls feel beautiful.

Pictured here is myself and the lovely Shannon Murree, one of the Prom Blitz directors and volunteer coordinator. She is so kind and outgoing, it was great to work with her!

The Prom Blitz will most likely take place next year as well so save your dresses and I highly encourage you to take advantage of this volunteering opportunity. Check out the Facebook page as well for more info and pictures!

Written by: Kayla Karrandjas
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