It was an amazing first day today in Toronto at the beginning of Miss World Canada pageant week. We started the week with a Sponsor Dinner on our first night to thank all of the lovely sponsors for their participation and support towards Miss World Canada!

There were many present including the following:

StreetChic! Lilly from StreetChic was there supporting all the girls from MissWorldCanada. StreetChic wants people to know the latest trending fashions going around today via social media and blogging on their website! So the next time you see someone walking on the street and you love their outfit, you can blog about it!

One of my favourite shoe stores: Skechers!! Sketchers has the most comfortable yet very stylish shoes. I think I rock these sneakers quite well with my crown and my dress! Check them out online at www. skechers.com/en-ca

WarshCloths! 

WarshCloths is a company that provides you with makeup remover clothes! Completely natural! It is the first company in Canada to come up with makeup remover cloths. How it works is you take the cloth and simply wet it with water and wipe your face. It has all natural products that keep the face clean and clear. Do check them out at www.maxinewarsh.com/the-cloth/ Here is what Maxine had to say about it on her website: “The fabulous and best-selling WARSH Cloth™ is made of advanced thinner-than-hair fibers. Just add water to create a unique hydro process to cleanse and exfoliate. Release the surface bond that adheres make-up, dirt, and grime to the skin and wash it all away. The WARSH Cloth™  doesn’t harm your natural acid balance to protect against invasive bacteria and the drying effect of soaps. Try it and you’ll never want to switch. “

KRASheaButter: They are a company whose logo is simply “healing with meditation soul”. It is a company that provides you with all natural products with no added oils or preservatives. Some of their products include: lip balms, lipsticks, shea butter. From the proceeds of their sale, they help girls in school in Ghana and to keep women employed. I love what they stand for. Here is a little sneakpeak from their website:

“Build is about giving back to communities. Our proceeds of sales return to rural Ghana to support girls in school and keep women employed. We are also active in fundraising for the Breast Cancer community and supporting hyper-local initiatives”

Helene Clarkson Designer: Do you love travelling? you must check out Helen’s travel clothing then! Helene started her company 4 years ago and has been selling her self designed travel fit clothes online globally since then! I am holding one of her super cute and classy blue dresses in the photo above! Check her out at : www.heleneclarkson.com

“Designed for the carry-on, my line of clothing offers a fashion-packed assortment of dresses, tops and pants for the urban traveler, go-getter, superhuman fashionista in us all! Fabrics that resist wrinkling combined with multi purpose designs that flatter and travel well, makes for functional clothing that looks great, wears great, and feels great. Made with pride in Canada, our clothing is of the highest possible quality, in workmanship and materials. Welcome and Happy Travels!” 

NineWestCanada: Super excited that NineWest is the official footwear sponsor for Miss World Canada. They are providing all the girls with a pair of heels for the opening number and the swim round! Ninewest has the most comfortable heels. For those of you girls who are not too comfortable with heels, please buy them from NineWest! You will love them.

It was an amazing day full of goodies and meeting new people! Loved my first day and looking forward to the remainder of the week!!

 

Written by: Garima
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I feel so lucky to be a part of such a beautiful country. Canada celebrated her 150th birthday this month and I feel so very grateful to be residing here. I moved to Calgary, Canada from India when I was 11 years old and have been here since.

Although I can call the entire country my favourite place to be, I do have a little secret spot of my own in Calgary. I call it a secret spot because not too many people know about it. It is Bowmont park in Calgary NW.

 

About the Park

It is one of the most beautiful sights I have seen in all of Canada. I call it my little treasure within Calgary. The view provides you with the perfect natural scenic view of Bow River and the greenery it is surrounded by.

There is usually very few people there so it is as peaceful as a pin drop silence. I always love to go there to do my Yoga and to simply sit and meditate. I go there to breathe and clear out my thoughts.

This is my favourite image of the park. There is a mini heart shaped island in the centre of the river and it is the most stunning view. I close my eyes and I can feel the air and the water movement in the river. It is one of the most beautiful sights I have seen in all of Canada. I call it my little treasure within Calgary. The view provides you with the perfect natural scenic view of Bow River and the greenery it is surrounded by.

I discovered this park while I was attending University and went for a long drive after my last exam had ended. I somehow ended up here and went for a long walk by myself. It is the place where I allow myself to connect with myself and the Universe around me.

Plant Life

The coolest part about the park is the mini riverine forest it holds. It relies on periodic rain and flooding for regeneration and hence has been under threat for a while now. Calgary was flooded back in 2013, and while that was a hassle for the rest of the city, it was good for the plants.

Wildlife

The Bow river at Bowmont park is home to many amphibians and also including Geese and Gulls. The trees provide a home to beavers and many species of birds. There are usually signs that show deers and bears can sometimes be present, but I have not been able to witness that quite yet.

History

The bedrock of the sediments is more than 65 million years old. There has been multiple changes that the park has undergone for agriculture and also for creating a better pit for the wildlife. Many times I have gone, the benches always have a different message. People can customize a message and name a bench after someone who has passed away. “He lived a great life” or “They were the best couple” etc. would be the signs you would see.

Overall, Bowmont park is the most beautiful park I have been to in almost all of Canada and I feel privileged to be living in a city and a country as beautiful as Canada. I am grateful for the lifestyle, the nature, the convenience and all the opportunities that this country has provided me. It has empowered me to become a strong individual that I am today because I am free to walk alone and make my own decisions. I am able to stand up for myself and what is right without any hesitation because I know I am a part of a Free country!

Written by: Garima
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While doing a radio show for the past two years, I am so used to interviewing other people on my show and getting to know them. A few days ago, I gave another interview of myself to the radio program, Salam Namaste Canada. It was lovely to be in a different studio as a guest this time, and talk about myself.  Salam Namaste is an online radio program that is broadcasted globally. They talk about various issues on the show and often invite guests to promote them and speak to them about the current affairs.

  

We talked about my purpose of participating in Miss World Canada and what I plan to make out from it. I stated exactly what I believe. I am not going in with the expectation that I am the best and I will win for sure, rather, I am going in to experience this beautiful journey and to have fun. I am going to learn something and to use what I have learned to my knowledge and make the best of that.

Although, on my drive back home I realized something. I realized that there are a lot of things I have done for this pageant that have put me out of my comfort zone and forced me to do something I was not completely content with. I realized that this is something not everyone does and while it gives you appreciation, it also brings a lot of negativity and criticism with it. But it made me happy that I am able to overcome all of that and still continue on the path that I have chosen for myself.

We all have been taught to behave in a particular manner, according to our family and society’s principles and values, which sometimes force us to act a certain way when we really don’t want to. We are all a part of a race regardless of knowing where we want to end up. We are simply running.

During one of my work session’s training, we were told to do an activity where we were asked to visualize our goal/dream and write it down. The people on my table shared wonderful dreams of what they wanted to accomplish, i.e. buy a boat, win as an athlete, retire wealthy etc.

As I had never thought about my long term dream or what I wanted to accomplish. I usually just thought about what I want to do next in life. That got me thinking that a big house or a fancy car doesn’t give me satisfaction. My goal is not to exceed the society’s expectations and become wealthy. It is to exceed my own expectations and do what makes me happy. I realized that I wanted the inner happiness when you feel your soul is pleased with you and what you have become.

We have been taught that Life is a race and we must keep going to get where we want to be. But is there ever an end to this race? Do we ever for a moment, stop and think where we are even heading to? Do we really want to keep running in that race?

 

 

Written by: Garima
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For those of you who know me, you know that my favourite hobby is volunteering, especially with children. Today I will share with you my volunteering experiences in Mexico and India.

I had gone to Mexico to volunteer in an orphanage for one week and it was one of the best experiences of my life so far. Buenos dias. Good morning is how you say it in english. Language had been a huge barrier in Mexico, but what was fascinating was that all the people were very patient and supportive about this. I thought about this today that anyone i tell to “no hablo espanol”, they just smile and nod and try to speak in english with me. I remember though back home whenever someone has trouble speaking english, most of us get frustrated very easily. I know that despite having all the luxuries at home, we are still never taught to be so kind to strangers. But what I realized was that the less these people had, the more they had to give. And the more we had, the less we had to give. So sad and ironic.

All of these photos tell a story. The best part of the trips was definitely seeing the children. On day 1, when I hadn’t even introduced myself, a few of them just came to me at the door and hugged me like I was some sort of a saviour they were expecting. They are so welcoming and nice that you can’t help but love them. Interacting with the children was not so easy as they did not speak any english and I didn’t speak any spanish. I was lucky that I had some spanish friends with me. The children are very appreciative of any kind of attention or love they get. After hearing some of their stories, it broke my heart how such little children can go through so much and still be laughing. I know most of them were sad inside and it made me happy that I was able to make them smile, even if temporary. Overall this experience was amazing. I realized how resilient these children can be. They have all been through so much but they still have smiles on their faces. They are still content and happy with where they are now, or at least they are trying to be.

I also went to India to volunteer in the slums of Faridabad. I spent 2 weeks with children in a small school. It was amazing to see once again, their energy and appreciation for everything around them. One day, one of the children invited me to his home to introduce me to his mom and show me his house. It was so sweet, yet heartbreaking to see how little it was. The size of the house was the size of my room, and they had 5 people living there. His mom still offered me tea and biscuits. She was a very sweet lady and said to me, “I really appreciate that you come to spend time with these children here and help them discover new ways of learning. He is a very keen learner and is always very excited about knowledge.” I asked her If I could sponsor her child’s education. She was hesitant at first but she said “please do what you feel is right”. I told the child that once he finishes with his semester this year, I would like to put him into a better school and help him financially. He was so grateful.

While I was there, I also donated towards their school which helped them build benches for these children. They no longer have to sit on the floor and study.

Overall, both of these experiences were even more fun because I got to travel alone and explore all on my own.

Let me know your feedback!

 

Written by: Garima
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Today I want to share with you all some very personal areas of my life. Overtime I have become very comfortable with myself, but I wasn’t always that way. I now speak at public events, I host multiple shows, I speak at a radio show, I perform on stage, I talk with confidence. But I wasn’t always like this. Today I will tell you some of the things that have helped me reach to where I am today.

I moved to Canada when I was 11 years old and begun grade 7 in a public school here. It was difficult to leave my circle of friends I had built up as a child back home and having studied in one of the better schools there. It was a big culture shock and a challenge to start school here and also getting used to some of the North American trends. Some way or the other, I struggled my way through junior high, senior high and university by trying to implement numerous ways to fit in and make friends. I spent most of my lunches in high school and university sitting in the library.

It was during university that I accepted that I don’t really want to keep trying to fit in. I want to be with myself, I like myself. I spent a lot of time just on my own without sharing anything with anyone. One time I remember, I was going home with my brother and he needed to pass by the library quickly. I hadn’t been to the library with so many people in a while at that time. I still went with him and had a nervous breakdown and began to cry. I went up to him and asked him if we could please go home. He got up immediately and we walked to his car. While driving he asked me with a worried tone, what happened to you, you are depressed. He tried quite hard to get me out of the house some way or the other and meet people.

I understood his stress for me and I decided to get a part time job in my last year which helped me quite a bit to grow out of my bubble. Graduating was an accomplishment for me as I had decided to complete my degree in a shorter period of time to leave as soon as possible. I can’t say I would ever want to relive my high school or university time as I truly did not enjoy it like most have.

A year later I was driving on a highway when I was struck with an accident. I was driving behind a truck carrying some aluminum bins, and ready to take the next exit when a bin rolled off of the truck. It was too late to change the lanes by then and I didn’t know what else to do. My immediate response was to slam on the brakes which led the vehicle to collapse and skid from one end of the highway to the other. Luckily I came out safe with only a swollen lip and a bruise. But what I did realize from that accident was that I was not scared for a single moment during the incident. The whole time my focus was to get the car to stop on one end. That was the day that led me to believe that I am a strong person. I discovered that I was not afraid to go back driving on the road despite the accident.

It made me a mature person and made me realize that everything does happen for a good reason. I felt confident going to the movie theatre on my own, to a restaurant on my own, without thinking twice or what other people would say.  I stopped regretting my challenges I had faced in the last 10 years of my life in Canada and started to focus on me, my career and becoming a better person. Now I am participating in Miss World Canada and more than anything, I am excited for the experience it will bring with it. I am more excited than nervous, because I know that no matter how far I go, I will come back with a great learning experience.

It is these challenges that help us grow into a better person. We fall and we get up and learn to walk better and safer. We must learn to even cherish the downfalls in our lives as that is the only way we would have achieved the motivation to rise. We may not chose to believe it right away, but some way or the other, whatever happens is for the best. We cannot control life and death but we can control our thoughts and our decisions. We can change the way we think and how we perceive things. It’s up to us to see things negatively and keep going with hatred built inside us, or we can let it go, forgive others and ourselves, and move on a happier person, by appreciating the things we have. What do you chose?

Written by: Garima
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I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for the appreciation and the encouragement you have provided me through this journey. I was crowned as one of the finalists for Miss World Canada in March 2017 at the provincial Alberta crowning.

 

The finalists are competing for Miss World Canada and the winner will represent Canada at the Miss World Contest. This is a very exciting opportunity for me and I believe it will give me the platform I need to speak to a larger audience about everything I am passionate about.

I am a graduate from the University of Calgary and currently work at a financial institution as a Financial Planner. I work with valued clients to help them invest and plan for their long term goals, such as retirement. The part I love most about my job is meeting new people and getting to know them. I love to volunteer and currently volunteer at Sabrang Radio/Fairchild Radio 94.7fm in Calgary. I do a talk show every week on Tuesdays at 7pm to talk about various issues to raise awareness in the community. Please follow my blogs to know what types of topics I discuss and why.   

My family and I moved to Canada over 14 years ago from India and have lived in Calgary since then. I love my lifestyle here and feel very privileged to be a part of such a beautiful country. I think the residents of Canada are very lucky to be living in such a wonderful country where there is so much multiculturalism and acceptance of minorities. Because of this reason, I try my best to give back to the community as much as possible, especially to the ones in need and who are not so privileged.

While incorporating Yoga into my everyday routine, I also love to play Tennis, Badminton and Squash. Originally being from India, I am a huge Cricket fan and follow my national Indian Cricket team very closely. I also enjoy watching other sports such as Hockey and Basketball.

That’s all today folks. I will be sure to continue my blogs and keep sharing my thoughts with you. Any feedback is appreciated!

Written by: Garima
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