7 October 2009

Be the Change -We Day 2009



EDIT: They will be airing We Day again on Saturday October 17 at 12, on CTV.

Hi Everyone,

On Monday October 5, 2009 I got the amazing opportunity to attend Free the Children's third annual Toronto's We Day. It is a day for youth to come together and hear inspirational speakers. It was AMAZING and I am so glad that I got the chance to attend. I have talked about Me to We before. A couple of reps came to my school and gave an extremely inspiring talk and led us through some eye opening exercises. You can read about that experience here.


I can hardly describe what it feels like to be in a room with people who have done such amazing things to change the world. Hearing each of the speakers unique experiences and stories is something I will never forget. Being inspired by their experiences I had a ton of ideas of what I wanted to do to help change the world. What amazed me the most was the amount of people in attendance. It was so empowering to be in a room with 16, 000 other youth who want to change the world.



There were so many amazing highlights from the event that I do not even know where to start. There were so many inspiring and inspirational people, plus a lot of great performances. I can only try to describe how truly amazing the experience was. Hearing from all of these people that WE can change the world, and I truly believe that WE can.



Craig and Marc Kielburger.

Craig started Free the Children when he was 12 years old after reading in the newspaper about a 12 year old boy who was murdered for bring attention to the conditions that child labours were working in, in the carpet-making industry. This story affected Craig so much that he wanted to do something to make a difference. Today Free the Children is a charity that is recognized around the world.


Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel is a survivor of the Holocaust and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. He wrote the book Night (which I have yet to read but it is at the top of my list). Night is based on his experience in the Holocaust. My favourite quote from his speech is:


"Human Beings are not replaceable."



Robin Wiszowaty

Robin left her home in Chicago to go and live in Kenya with an adoptive family. Hearing about her family in Kenya and the customs that they have, and her decision to leave Chicago was amazing. The courage that she had to leave and go some place totally new and different is very inspriational.
Jessi Cruickshank


Jessi is the host of the After Show on MTV. She went to Kenya to stay with Robin and her family. She told us about her experience in Kenya and about when she asked the 13 year old girl that she was staying with, if she could change anything in her life what would it be. The 13 year old responded "nothing". She would change nothing about her life.


Mike "Pinball" Clemons.

Pinball was an excellent speaker. He got the crowed interested in what he had to say and delivered a poem. It was so much fun listening to him speak. He was probably one of the best speakers of the night.
Spencer West
Spence West does not have any legs. Yet he does not let that stop him. When doctors told him that he would not be able to walk on his own he proved them wrong. He has traveled to Kenya and is currently planning a trip to India.


Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way.
Dr. Seuss




Nico Archambault
Nico is Canada's First Favourite Dancer. He was there to announce that We Day will also be held in Montreal next year.


SYTYCD Canada Top 8


The Jonas Brothers
The surprise guests of the evening were the Jonas Brothers. I must admit I was pretty excited, I kinda like the Jonas Brothers. Joe is my favourite. That is all I am going to say on that topic. Moving on.



Justin Bieber


Hedley
Hedley finished the day with a mini concert.
Opportunity is not a chance its a choice.
Overall the We Day was an amazing experience. I hope that I get the chance to attend next years. They will be showing a special on We Day on CTV on Saturday October 10, at 7 ( I think). Or watch it here. *** They will be airing We Day again on CTV on Saturday October 17 at 12



Me to We's newest Campaign is 10x10 for 2010. The plan is to have everyone donate 10 dollars and 10 hours of community service. They also want to help support 10 communities.
For more information check out 10x1o here.
For more information check out Me to We here.
For more information Check out Free the Children here.
For more information about We Day. Click here.
For more information check out CTV here.


It takes one person to make a difference.
Love,

3 October 2009

The Windy City

Hi Everyone,

Over the summer I went to Chicago with my family for a few days. Chicago is a beautiful city with so much history. From the Great Chicago fire in 1871 to Al Capone in the 1920s. The shopping in Chicago was AMAZING. The stores were HUGE. There is this one street called the Magnificent Mile, and it definitely was just that. The Forever 21 was the biggest I have ever seen. It took me hours to go through everything, and I got some really great pieces there. Bloomingdale's had some great sales on jeans, and I got some Urban Outfitter boots that I am in love with. I will show you what I have brought in a later post, I thought I would share some other photos from the trip for now. Chicago has some very interesting buildings, and beautiful architecture.

















This building was really cool. It had apartment building up top and a parking garage below.












I was on a bus when I took this photo which is why it is not centered. I think I've mentioned before that I was a doll person as a kid (and in some way I still am) I even own an American Girl. The American Girl place was incredible. I couldn't believe how big it was and how much stuff was going on there. As soon as I walked in I wanted to be 7 years old again, holding my American Girl. My best friend and I used to dream of going there together with our dolls and going for tea. I guess we are a bit old for that now. But it was a lot of fun getting to see all the little girls with their American Girls.





It feels like just yesterday I was in Chicago but it was really over a month ago, how time flies. It's hard to believe that school has started and that its already OCTOBER! Seriously when did that happen? I feel like I am really starting to get out of that blogging funk I was in earlier, and hopefully that means I will be posting more often. I think I went through a bit of writers block for a while and didn't know what direction I wanted to take the blog so I just sort of stopped posting. Hopefully I am through all that now, and you will be getting more regular posts.
Love,



12 September 2009

A is for..

Hey Everyone,

I have been posting about Canadian Designers for a while now, and it is a topic that enjoy posting about. I love learning about new designers and sharing them with everyone. I have decided to make it a regular feature on my blog, and make my way through the Canadian Designers alphabetically. I hope you all enjoy it.





A is for... Anne Marie Chagnon and Arielle de Pinto




This is actually my first post on a Canadian jewelry designer but both designers really stuck out, creating unique and beautiful pieces of jewelry.





Anne Marie Chagnon is a jewelry designer from Quebec. Her work is truly stunning.



These rings are what originally made me fall in love with Anne Marie Chagnon's creations. I have a thing for interesting rings, and these are definitely different and original.


I love the contrast of the dark wood with the silver pieces. I also really love the interesting shapes of the beads.








I really love the colours in this piece. They all complement each other. I also really like the strong geometric shapes within the design.

Check out more of Anne Marie Chagnon's work here.









Arielle De Pinto is from Toronto and has a very unique approach to creating jewelry. She basically knits chains together to create her works of art.





What I love about all her pieces is how delicate she makes the chains look. I love the hardness of the metal with the softness of the knit. In this piece in particular I really like how the two different metals are weaved together.
The incorporation of the brass rings in this piece is stunning.




Find more of Arielle De Pinto's work here.



I hope that everyone has an amazing week.
Love,





8 September 2009

The last first day

Hey Everyone,
So today was my last first day of high school, so of course yesterday, I had to watch the episode of Gilmore Girls where Rory starts her senior year. I was kind of disapointed to wake up and not find my mother sitting in my room waiting to wish me a happy last first day. I can't seem to find the clip on youtube to share with all of you, so you should just go and watch the entire series. Its worth it.
It was really great to see everyone again at school, I really started to miss everyone. It however felt like I had never left, the summer felt more like a weekend, then 3 months. It was back to routine which I still have to get used to. I am very happy with all of my teachers, thankfully. My two homeroom teachers are hilarious and will make being at school at 8am on a Monday morning a little bit nicer.
I really hope to do well this year, I want to have a good time and many laughs with all my crazy friends.
Sorry for the short post. There will be many more to come (and they will be more interesting with pictures, I promise.)
If you went back to school today, or last week or whenever, I hope that your first day went well.
Love,

26 August 2009

Back to school

Heyy Everyone,

I can't believe summer is coming to an end. It went so fast. I have lots to share with you about my summer which I will do very soon I promise, I'm working on the posts, but every time I start I get sucked in by spider solitare. I am slowly becoming addicted its an issue. I will try to get the posts up soon.
This time last year I was doing a back to school post about uniforms, which took forever and was totally worth it. I have mixed feelings about going back to school this year. I'm really excited for my last year of high school, but also sad. I know I am really going to miss my school. It has been like a second home for me for 6 years now and part of me doesn't want to leave. I am excited to visit universities; decide where I want to go and what I want to do, but part of me is afraid to leave the safety of my school. By starting school it will be the beginning of an end, grade 11 flew by and I know grade 12 will too. I remember being in grade 9 and looking up to the grade 12s thinking that they were so much older and that I would be that much older and mature when I reached grade 12. However I still feel like I'm in grade 9, it doesn't feel like I have changed, and now that I'm in grade 12, they don't seem so much older. I know that grade 12 will be stressful to start, but I once everything gets going, I know it will be a lot of fun. This summer went by really fast, its feels like it was just June.
Anyways I hope you all enjoy what is left of your summers.
I will post again soon promise.
Love,

3 August 2009


Heyy Everyone,

The other day I finally got to hang out with two of my friends, like we used in the summer. We went up to my friend's boat, and it was a blast. It was so much fun lying in the sun, (we actually had some sun for once) talking and feeling the wind in my hair. At one point it got to be really windy and you couldn't hear a thing, everything around you was drowned out. This plus looking out into the water made it a great way to escape reality and just think. I loved it. Every time I do something outdoors, I think why don't I spend more time outside. I love going on hikes and exploring new places.

It felt good to spend time with my friends again. I felt like I hadn't seen them for a while. I was really starting to miss them. We always say that we are going to spend a ton of time together in the summer, but then everyone becomes busy with their own things, and we never get to see each other as much. After the boat we went out for dinner. We ended up at Montanans, as usual, and our waiter was pretty cool. Montanans got rid of the crayons on the tables which I complain loudly about each time I go there. Half the fun of Montanans is drawing on the table as you wait for your food. So we asked him nicely, and he brought us some crayons, which was great. We also ordered spinach dip, which is my favourite food. If I had to only eat one thing for the rest of my life, that would probably be it. It comes with FRIED BREAD! More things should come with fried bread, because its heavenly.

Driving back to my friends house we saw this guy on a skateboard, and he went to cross the street, but somehow he missed the skateboard. He looked around at everyone and raised his arms and then did a sort of bow, grabbed his board and kept going. It was funny probably in a you had to be there way, but I thought I would share anyways.

As you can see I am back. I have decided just to write as I feel like it. No pressure. I am starting to feel like my old normal self again, which is nice.

Went to watch my friend's soccer game. Not really into soccer, so started doing cartwheels instead. Brought back old childhood memories.

Anyways, until next time, I hope everyone is enjoying their summer,
Love,

30 July 2009

Stuck

Hi Everyone,

I know I haven't been the greatest blogger lately. It really not that I have been busy but more that I haven't been in the mood to blog. Lately I have been feeling like I lost myself and I don't know who I am anymore. I have always been a confident person and I still portray that when I am around others but sometimes I am unsure of who I am. I don't feel like this is a negative thing, I just feel like I am changing. I know that everyone feels this way sometimes, and I feel like once again I am ramblings. Part of me feels like its hard to write on this blog because I am changing and I'm not sure what to write about or what direction I want this blog to take. I feel like I am stuck and I don't know where I am going.
I feel like I am trapped in a box and I can't get out. I know that there is a way out, but I can't seem to find it. I feel stuck and uncreative, and when that changes then I will be able to post again. I need to find that spark again.
I'm sorry and will post as soon as I get my spark back.

16 July 2009

Harry Potter!

Heyy Everyone!
I saw Harry Potter yesterday! I liked it, I thought it was much better then the fifth movie. They left out stuff, as usual, but over all I enjoyed it. I don't want to say to much because I don't want to give anything away.
What did you think of the movie?

I have been busy this past week with summer school and my friend is here from out of town. I will try to post again soon. I always mean to post and then I forget to, its a bit of an issue.
I hope everyone is having an amazing summer. (I personally would like it to be a bit hotter.)
Love,
Belle


7 July 2009

Summer School

Hi Everyone,
I decided to join Mary's Summer School once again. I had a lot of fun doing it last year so why not do it again. It is actually perfect posting it today, as I am starting actual summer school today. I'm taking an extra credit in order to lighten my load for next year.

I really want to do the homework where you go to the library and take out a CD for everyday of the week, but my local library will not be open until Tuesday. So I will have to wait until then to get my CDs.



Genetic Disease:

This year in biology we did an entire unit on genetics and it was actually my favourite part of genetics. I loved doing punnet squares and working with pedigrees. It was very interesting to see how genes are passed down through generations. I want to share a genetic disease with you that after researching about and reading the stories of those who are affected by the disease really touched my heart.

SCID is often called Bubble Boy Disease due to David Vetter. He was a boy in the 70s who lived in a plastic bubble because he was affected by this disease. The disease affects the immune system.



What is SCID?
- A primary immunodeficiency (a state in which the immune system’s ability to fight infectious disease is compromised or absent) due to a defect in a gene.
- A severe defect in both the T- & B-lymphocyte (a type of white blood cell) systems.
- Also known as “bubble boy syndrome”.
- SCID can be successfully treated early. Otherwise it can be fatal within the first year of life
- Rare disease
- Most Common SCID is X-SCID

Signs and Symptoms:
- Signs of SCID include an increased susceptibility to infection (more infections than usual). I.e. A baby with SCID may have recurrent bacterial, viral, or fungal infections that are much more serious and less responsive to treatment.

- Numerous, serious, and/or life-threatening infections that are not easily treated and do not respond to medications (as they would in children without SCID), including the following:
o pneumonia - infection of the lungs.
o meningitis - infection of the brain.
o sepsis - infection in the bloodstream.
- other infections, including the following:
o chronic skin infections
o yeast infections in the mouth and diaper area
o diarrhea
o infection of the liver, skin, or ear


Reasons For Malfunction
X SCID
The mutation occurs on the IL2RG gene
The gene codes for a protein essential to the immune system
The protein aids in development of Lymphocytes (an immune system cell)
Lymphocytes protect against invaders, regulate immune system and make antibodies.
If a body is lacking Lymphocytes it makes it impossible to defend it against infections.

ADA SCID
Spontaneous mutation
Lack of enzyme that removes toxins

Pattern Of inheritance
X SCID
Sex Linked recessive disease
Affects more males
Females can be carriers of the disease
In order for females to be infected with the disease both X chromosomes must have the defect.
ADA SCID
Affects males and females equally
It has an autosomal inheritance pattern



There are a few treatments for SCID. They include bone marrow transplant and an experimental treatment of Gene Therapy.
If you would like more information about SCID check out this website.

If you would like to read about a child who suffers from SCID visit this blog and this one.



Summer School has allowed for many hallway moments! Why is it that the best laughs always happen when your sitting around in the hallway?

I hope you all are having an amazing summer.
Love,
Belle

2 July 2009

101

Hey Everyone,

So I have had this post planned for a while. I knew that I always wanted to go back and reflect on my blog after one hundred posts. This is actually post one hundred and one. I wasn't quite ready to release it week so I did a different post. But one hundred and one will do just as well as one hundred. I can not believe that I have made it this far. Before starting this post I thought a lot about what I wanted to say, and I feel like in true me style, it will be a bunch of rambling and I will never really get to a point, so I am going to apologize in advanced for that. I thought about doing something really special for my 100th post, but I ended up deciding to reflex on my blog over the past couple of years.

Before starting this post I went back and reread many of my posts over the past two years now. Reading some of my very first posts makes me cringe. I will not delete them, as they are very much a part of this blog and have helped it become what is it today. That being said, there are many posts that I am very proud of, and I would like all of my posts to be at that level, which lately I do not feel like they are. It is kind of fun and interesting to look back over the past two years because you begin to see patterns with in my posting. I always start posting more around January and it slowly starts to die down and around April, May and June you get my "I'm sorry, I've been busy, I'm such a bad blogger" posts. Then summer roles around and I am back to posting regularly.

This blog has been a growing experience for me, it has become a part of who I am. This blog in many ways is me, though out the posts my interests, thoughts and feeling can be seen. For those readers who have been reading my blog for a while now, maybe you can see some of the changes not only with in my blog but within me. I honestly don't know what the future holds for my blog, but as of now I plan continuing it. I do not know if that will change when I leave for university in a year or so, but right now I do not think that it will. My blog is my escape from the real world. I started it back near the end of grade nine which seems hard to believe. I have changed so much since then.


I am a big believer in goals. I set them for myself all the time, and some I treat almost like wishes in the fact that I don't tell anyone about them. Part of it I know, is my fear of failure. I work so hard to try and reach my goals and to end in failure is heart breaking, however it is a part of life, that I have come to accept. I have however reached one goal and that was to stick with this blog. When I started it, I said I am not going to give up on this blog after a 5 posts, but I am going to stick with it. 100 posts later, I think that I can safely say that I have done that. I am very proud of myself. In my profile/About Me section I wrote that I wanted to carve a space for myself out here in the blogging world, I truly think that I have done that. It may sound weird but this blog does feel like home. I thought about maybe changing my header or my background but I have decided against it because I feel that the way they are now truly reflects me and my blog. The blue is close to the colour of my room, and it reminds me of ice and skating and I just really love the header.

Belle is not my real name, and I have debated about reveling it or not. I personally don't want to mostly because I like writing under another name, its just fun. Belle really has nothing to do with my real name at all, (I'll give you this it starts with a J).

When I started I didn't tell anyone about my blog because I wanted it to a be a space completely my own, without the fear of being judged. This is still true today, with the exception of my best friend B. I am sure that if one of my good friends read this they would probably think that it sounds a lot like me, and if they asked if I had a blog I wouldn't deny it. However they have never asked.

I think that one of the coolest things about blogging is getting read people's blogs from all over the world and having them read mine. I can get inspiration from real people all around the globe, I love that. Blogs are so easily accessible and peoples personalities shine through that it makes them a pleasure to read. I love getting comments from people with blogs that I didn't know where out there, and going and reading their blog. A lot of inspiration for my blog, my clothes, and my life comes from the blogs that I read. There are so many smart, funny and talented people out there.

I started this blog for so many reasons and I continue it for so many others. I truly enjoy it.

I have had a steady amount of readers for almost 2 years now, and I would like to thank all of you for reading and commenting on my blog. It means so much to me, and is what helps to keep this blog going. I love to know that others are interested in what I have to say. So thank you.

For all of you of you who read that entire post all I can say is WOW and THANK YOU! I tried to edit I swear! My last few posts have been very text heavy and my next post will have many more pictures, I promise.
Thanks to all my readers again!
Have an amazing week.
Love,
Belle

28 June 2009

My Sister's Keeper






Hi Everyone,
I have been at the movies quite a bit in the past week. I went to see Transformers. It was amazing, and Shia was looking beautiful! There was a lot more action this time around then in the first. The movie I really want to talk about however is My Sister's Keeper. I read the book a while back ( around two years ago now) and I loved it. The novel by Jodi Picoult, was powerful and extremely emotional. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the story, its about a girl, Anna, who was born for the purpose of saving her sister, Kate, who has cancer. However when Kate needs a kidney Anna decides to put her foot down, and no longer wants to be a donor for her sister. She takes action and sues her parents to the rights to her own body. I'll let you read the book to figure out the rest. I have never cried so much as I did when I read this novel. It felt as though it was real and you connected with Anna's character. The family had gone through so much to try and keep Kate alive and her illness was taken a toll on the family. When I heard that they were making this book into a movie I was very excited, I knew this would be a movie I would cry at, seeing as I bawled throughout the book.



The movie for the most part was amazing. Of course they didn't go into as much detail as the book but the overall feelings of the book were portrayed. I cried like really cried, which was a first for me, I hardly ever cry at movies. Sofia Vassilieva, who played Kate, did an amazing job. As did Abigail Breslin who played Anna. Cameron Diaz did an amazing job as the girls mother. She portrayed the character of Sara perfectly. She captured Sara's feelings about her willingness to do anything to save her daughter's life, no matter the cost. Her love for Kate shone through and she didn't understand Anna's side of the story. The movie stayed true to the book for the most part until the end of the movie. This is where my issues with the movie come in. They dramatically altered the ending of the movie making it completely different from the novel. I do not want to give anything away, but I basically sat in the theater going WHAT WHAT WHAT! THAT IS NOT HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE NOVEL. That being said, if you did not read the book I am sure that you would enjoy this movie just fine. It is a sad movie, so I would bring a box of tissues with you. I would recommend the book over the movie for sure as it goes into way more depth and has many more twists and turns.



Anyways I hope everyone has an amazing week.
Love,
Belle.

23 June 2009

Friendship

Hi Everyone.





Lately I have been thinking a lot about the meaning of friendship. What makes a good friend, and once we have them how do we keep them. I feel I learnt my meaning of friendship early on because of some frights I was having with friends. Looking back, in a way I am happy I experienced those fights when I was younger because it made me think about what a true friend is, and those girls I was hanging around with weren't really my true friends. I recently read Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen. (On a side note, some people who had read it told me that they didn't really enjoy it. I on the other hand love it.)



One part in the novel sort of inspired this post. Ruby, the main character, is given a English assignment to take a word and find out what other people definitions are. Her word was family. This got me thinking about friendship. Everyone has their own meaning of the word, and I believe how you define friendships, defines the relationships that you have with your friends to a certain degree. I personally feel one of the hardest things of friendship is growing apart. Friends that you have grown up with are suddenly not the same person that they once were, or perhaps its you that has changed. But it affects the friendship, just the same and someone ends up hurt. In many ways I find that this is almost worse then fighting with a friend, because neither of you has done anything wrong. You want to save the friendship but you don't know how, and you each have your own lives and different friends then you once had. Its difficult. For me, I think the meaning of friendship is constantly changing as I make new friends and discover who I am as a person. In my friends I want people who are going to be there for me and support me.



Sometimes when I think about all the friend trouble I have had in the past I wonder if I am a bad friend, but then I think of all the friends I've had for years and those that I continue to make. My best friend is like my sister, in fact we used to pretend we were twins. I've know her since I was 2 years old, and we have had our ups and downs. There was a year when we fought, and weren't talking, I don't even remember what the fight was about. Yet we were able to work it out, and even though she now lives in another country we still talk almost on a daily basis and we see each other at least once a year, usually more. She's been there through so much, and I know that I can call her and she will drop everything in order to listen and I would do the same for her. Friendship is one of those things that is always changing, at least for me, and I am constantly struggling to find a new definition.






Whats your definition of friendship?


Love,
Belle