Earlier today I was at the Red River Ex, one of the best amusement parks in Manitoba. I was there as a judge for the extreme dog grooming competition, and lets just say its turned out amazing! There were so many different dogs and owners competing this year. The first prizewinner won cash prize and few little doggy goodies, the first place winner was a poodle that was themed as a bear. It was so creative, the groomer/owner had to cut his hair every three days for about 3 months to be able to have his hair shaped into ears. The best part was when they even had their own backdrop and the groomers and owners were dressed up as park rangers! Some of the other winners were a bumblebee, and one of the dogs had a variety of bugs shaped out of the dog’s hair, there are some amazing ideas and a lot of effort that goes into these competitions, and I love it! I even got to meet Bubba from 102.3 Clear FM, he was an awesome judge and also a very funny guy. Alyssa, Miss Teen Manitoba-World 2013 and I got to take a couple pictures with him, which was great!

So way earlier today I was on my way to the Red River Ex when my mom and I plus my little sister Clare were driving down the highway and all of a sudden all the cars in front of us plus our car comes to a complete stop! I thought there was an accident up ahead, but actually there about four geese and a million little fluffy baby geese in the middle of the road crossing the street, at first I thought they were ducks but turns out they weren’t. So it got me thinking we all need to pay more attention to these little guys during the warmer months of the year because this is there planet too. It’s so important we keep out eyes on the road, our pollution in its designated areas and our oceans, lakes, and rivers clean.

We cant forget today was father day either! I know I’m all over the place today but it was such a great day! Most of it was but I was a little down because I didn’t get to spend Father’s Day with my dad. Right now he is a thousand miles away on the otherside of the country in British Columbia and it’s very important to spend the time you have with your parents because you should never take that for granted. I love my dad, he is the best, he would do anything for my sister and I would do the same for him. It gets hard some times because of the time differences and also finding the time to call one another with our busy schedules. My dad has taught me so much, over the years and even though he is far away he still continues to teach me things in life My dad my sister and I went to Mexico for spring break and I had the best time ever!  I got to spend a lot of good quality family time with my dad and it’s a time that I won’t forget.

Written by: Elexis Wadden
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Hello ladies and gentlemen… Wow that was way too formal! Hello friends sound a lot better. So friends I had a deep thought the other day, what makes a gluten free diet actually healthier? Well I have done a lot of digging and research on the subject at hand. My conclusion is thorough and I am pretty proud of myself!

There are many things actually that makes a gluten free diet more preferable and it’s not just a better diet for someone who has celiac like myself, it’s good for everyone. What I found interesting was that this diet is very beneficial for those suffering from thyroid disease, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, anemia, autism, and irritable bowel syndrome. I was in shock to see how getting rid of gluten in your diet can help so many different problems! For all you fitness geeks, it is also valuable for those who are wishing to lose weight.

You know when you go to the grocery store and you walk down the snack isle, I can guarantee that 90% of those snacks are processed and contain gluten. We all know fresh, healthy green food is the way to go these days but I know at some point we have all given in and had that chocolate bar, because I have and I can tell you one thing, it was really good. My point is that once in a while a treat is not a bad thing, in fact I think its essential.

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Right now I have major writers block, and when I do my mind builds up this huge wall. Usually when I get writers block it’s because I have a lot going on and way too much for one mortal to do. Well today unfortunately it’s both, there is a lot to do to get ready for the national pageant including my fundraiser for Free The Children and my huge blog assignment that needs to be done for July. Oh, and did I mention getting my dance routine together for the talent night during the national pageant week in Toronto, as well as I have final exams for school coming up and projects that need to be completed. Those are just a few examples, but I have a special way of getting past feeling overwhelmed that I would like to share with you, and here are the steps I take:

#1. First I make a list, not just one list but a couple of them consisting of the different things that I have going on. For example these are some of my categories, including…

  • Pageant
  • School
  • Volunteer Work
  • Miscellaneous

For “Pageant” I would put the things surrounding what I need to do for it, for  example; fundraiser, dance routine, dress, blog, and so on. The point is to make categories of the biggest thing on your mind and then expand on it. Sometimes I even go as far as to leave notes about the specific person I might need to call about setting something up and the questions or points that I need to cover like setting up my fundraiser.

#2.  Second I prioritize. This is probably the most important step because this helps determine what needs to get done first. For this you should get your day planner out or your calendar or even your phone some people I know use their calendar on their phones. Look at the things on your list and pick a category, pick the biggest one or the one that needs to be completed the soonest to get it out of the way first.  Once you do that start to mark down the due dates of things that have to get done by that day. For the ones that don’t have a due date that’s when you need to decide how important it is and if it’s a due date is that far away like my big blog assignment and choose days where your going to work on it.

The whole idea of prioritizing is to let yourself know what needs to get done now, because if you don’t know you have an exam next week and you didn’t give yourself time to study then your in the hole and might just need to pull an all-nighter of studying…. I do not recommend doing that! That’s why I have given you these tips, because if they help me out then maybe they will help you.

#3. Third and last get ready to get your work on! For this step you need a clean workspace, a clean mind and a glass of water…because we both know you probably need to drink more water on a day like this… or not. Focus on the things that you have prioritized and that need to get done first, and I hate to say it but just let yourself forget about your other worries for the moment and do the best job you can on this one. Then when you’re done or have done the most you can do with it, then go back to the prioritized list and start from there again. One Down!!!

Things may get tough and we all know it can, and possibly go through it everyday at some point, but if you can take control of the simple things, your one step closer to feeling a little less stressed out. Guess what? I now feel less stressed out about getting my blog post all done for this week! I hope these few tips help you as much as they help me.

Enjoy your week!

Written by: Elexis Wadden
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My school has an annual art show each year, comprising of works of art from students of all grades in different classes of advertising art and fine art. This year the art show was filled with amazing art from huge sculptures to a small painting or photograph. Each student put an enormous amount of effort and themselves into their own works of art. The art show is generally held in the “The Pit”, an open area where students usually hang out during lunch hour, located beside the theatre in the school. Since grade 10 I have had my artwork displayed, its very exciting when your teacher lets you know that you have done an amazing job and thy would like to have your masterpiece on display!

 

One of the hobbies and interests I have is art, I absolutely love to paint with watercolors and also acrylic. Art has been very important since I was little. Most of the work or assignments we do in our art classes have themes or general direction the teacher would like you to follow. One of those assignments was to create a narrative piece drawing or painting. From past assignments I have always procrastinated- silly me, so just like the in the past I procrastinated and left the actual starting of the project to the last minute, the thing I didn’t realize is that it isn’t about procrastinating, its about that I have so many ideas. So I have started o take those ideas and trust my instincts.

This project took me about 4 hours roughly to complete and it turned out fantastic! If you aren’t quite sure what it represents take some time and think of the possibilities of a story line that fits your interest, think of it as a guessing game that can go on forever. Another one of my pieces of art I have created another one from an assignment is my hero assignment. My hero was my sister Clare. She has always been there for when I needed her most, she is very strong for being so young and I admire her a lot. It shows many sides of her and thisis one of the projects that I didn’t procrastinate a lot on, which I was pretty proud of myself for doing so.  

I am very fortunate to have the opportunities to have an art class and go to school, or go to the local art gallery, whereas a lot of children and youth will never have that opportunity to do so. That’swhy there are amazing organizations out there that support those causes and make it aware that not everyone has a phone or clean water. One of those organizations is Free The Children, they do so much and give so much of themselves to support and give back to those children that don’t have great life situations in different countries. I will be fundraising money for them up to the national pageant and putting together fundraisers, the minimum I need to raise $400, in reality that isn’t much, but it goes a long way for those children in need.

 


 

Written by: Elexis Wadden
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This past Friday on May 17, 2013 was my 14th dance recital with Selkirk Dance. It was amazing, I was in four dances this year, competitive lyrical, ballet, jazz, and hip-hop. I started dancing at the age of 3, with tap and creative movement. When I was in tap my dance group danced to the Pokémon theme song! I was Squirtle, I was so happy because it was a cute little yellow and sparkly bodysuit with a picture of Squirtle on the front. I danced at one of the local schools in either a classroom or the gym but they had to lay down these huge wooden boards because we couldn’t use our tap shoes on the other floor.  The best part was when my dance teacher and her assistant would give us stickers; I still have that little kitty notebook filled with those stickers. They also used to right down the dance cerography so we could practice at home.

When I was about my fourth year into dancing I had no idea if I wanted to go into jazz or ballet. It was a hard decision to make when I was little if I wanted to still be a ballerina. So I ended up going back and forth from the two for a couple of years until my parents let me go into both! Happiest year ever, I got to learn two dances that I both equally loved. My jazz classes were so cool, one dance we danced to the song “Under the Sea” from the Little Mermaid movie, and I can tell you, that was my favorite movie of all time, I still have all the movies including in VHS. Another one of my dances I was a pirate dancing to one of the songs from Pirates of the Caribbean. My dance teacher had this really cool move called the “meat-hook”. She still uses it today in my jazz routines and it never gets old, some of my best memories are from when I was learning a new dance.

I think we all have a special thing in our lives that we look forward to and make us forget about those worries we have floating in the back of our minds. My special thing is dance, it has been that one constant thing in my life that I have always been apart of and it has always been apart ofme. I think one of my greatest worries as I get older is that life will get too busy for dance or I will get too old to be apart of it. I think I need to remember that if its something you love enough than there will always be time for it. I worry a lot and if your one of those people who do too, look at the positives you have in life, dance, art, music, sports, or even math, who knows!  Just remind yourself or even someone you know and take the things that you love and put them in the front of your mind, not the in the back. You should never have to put the thongs you love in the back seat f your life, never compromise the things you love for something less.  These are the things I always try and live by, because I know if I don’t there will be a part of me missing.

Written by: Elexis Wadden
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For many people music is a safe haven, a hobby, and also a distraction; it can be used to have a good time, also to dance or it can pick your mood up when you’re down. When I was at my dance competition last Tuesday I had been really excited from the energy in the concert hall and from being on stage. Even though it was at my lyrical competition and it was a sad song you get a flood of emotion and adrenaline that makes you so happy inside. There are many different things music serves a purpose for, not just to listen to or to dance.  Music is an activity that involves all parts of the brain, its part of many different cultures all over the world and there are many different genres. Some popular genres are country, pop, rap, R&B and also alternative. My favorite would have to be R&B, I know a lot of people that are country all the way, country isn’t my favorite but I can also respect the genre as it has many great music artists behind it and possibly some of the best of the 21-century.

 

Slow music relaxes people by slowing their breathing and heartbeat down, this is why the music is so relaxingand we often listen to it before we go to bed or even if were upset because it gives that little bit of control and serenity in our life. I know me personally I always listen to music before I go to bed. My mind is always on turbo speed, so it allows me to take a moment and relax. A lot of times music is used to help treat people who have depression, reducing it by at least 25%, according on a paper in the latest UK-based Journal of Advanced Nursing. Many people don’t know the great benefits behind music and some of which can have a great impact on the recovery of stroke patients.  These patients in Finland listened to music for a couple of hours each day, their verbal memory and attention span improved magnificently compared to the patients who hadn’t been listening music daily. Music is like running in a lot of ways they both serve great purposes in our physical and mental health, which I find really important considering that osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s runs in my family.

 

 

One of the things that I didn’t know is that the human heart would automatically try to synchronize its beat to the rhythm of the song playing. Part of this is why babies always love dancing to music; it’s instinctual for them. I love it when I’m babysitting and I play Barney on Netflix, the kids are so content plus they love dancing along to the music. What else is interesting is music therapy is now more commonly used in hospitals to minimize the need for medication through childbirth. It can reduce pain and complement the use of anesthesia during surgery. Why music helps with the pain is because your body releases endorphins to counteract pain throughout your body. It’s very helpful when needing to be distracted, and it can give someone a sense of control. When I would get migraines, soft, peaceful music helped a lot with taking away the pain and I felt like I had a inside secret of how I didn’t need to take Advil anymore!

 

I know after finding out all these cool facts I had a new way of looking at music. It aided so many different parts of my life and now it can for you too. This isn’t all music can do, there is so much more out there you just need to take a look. Even when I joined choir a long time ago there was so much energy and sense of connection through the group and also in you. So next time your rocking out to that new hit song, or your at your next choral recital, take a minute to think about what has music done for you in your life.

 

http://www.emedexpert.com/tips/music.shtml

Written by: Elexis Wadden
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Yesterday I attended the event Look Good Feel Better Makeover Event for cancer care at ShoppersDrug Mart. I approached them to ask if they would like me to help out for the day because I wanted to go to the event anyways but thought it would so much cooler if I could get involved myself. Its a great cause because it was created from the belief that if woman with cancer can be helped to lookgood, with helping to achieve confidence, lift her spirits and take control of her life again with being empowered to face her illness with her new found confidence. They are the only national charity that addresses the appearance-related effects of all cancer women. From my point of view this is so important, I can’t imagine how much these woman go through each day, between the chemo therapy and treatments being able to feel beautiful is hard.

The Makeover Event provided free makeovers and skin consultations, gift giveaways, also free samples and refreshments. I was lucky to hand out the free samples of perfumes and skin products, it’s amazing how much people love those samples, including me. One of my friends was giving free mini manicures and there were so many little girls that were just itching to get one done, even the moms wanted one. Many of those moms bought ballets to the gift giveaway baskets and so did many other generous people. I can’t blame them though; some of those gifts were amazing. Its really remarkable how much this event will help so many people with cancer care, 5 dollars from each of the ballots bought went to that cause. I was really happy because the ballot holders for each prize were to the point where it was overflowing!

 

 

Written by: Elexis Wadden
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What is celiac disease? This is the same question I asked myself almost a year ago now. At the time I was diagnosed with it, the doctor said it was hereditary; my grandmother had it as well, on my father’s side. Celiac disease is a digestive condition triggered by consumption of the protein gluten, which is primarily found in bread, pasta, cookies, pizza crust and many other foods containing wheat, barley or rye. People with celiac disease who eat foods containing gluten experience an immune reaction in their small intestines, causing damage to the inner surface of the small intestine and an inability to absorb certain nutrients. Celiac disease can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. Eventually, the decreased absorption of nutrients (malabsorption) that occurs with celiac disease can cause vitamin deficiencies that deprive your brain, peripheral nervous system, bones, liver and other organs of vital nourishment. No treatment can cure celiac disease. However, you can effectively manage celiac disease by changing your diet.

I didn’t realize that my grandmother had the disease as well till I found out I had the disease.  She almost died from having celiac. Celiac disease wasn’t a typical everyday known disease at all 10 years ago, and not many people were as aware of celiac as they are now.  They still aren’t though, aware, so that is why celiac disease is part of my platform to raise more awareness so people don’t have to go for years not knowing that they have the disease. My grandmother went for years without knowing, my father and so have I have gone for years. This is why more people need to know, understand, and realize that so many people in our world, country and communities know next to nothing about it. I want to change that.

There are no typical signs and symptoms of celiac disease.  Many people do get abdominal pain, and bloating. Some of the less obvious signs that may occur would be:

  • Irritability or depression
  • Anemia
  • Upset stomach
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Skin rash
  • Mouth sores
  • Dental and bone disorders (osteoporosis)

Some indications of malabsorption of nutrients that may resultfrom celiac disease include:

  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps, gas and bloating
  • General weakness and fatigue
  • Foul-smelling or grayish stools that may be fatty or oily
  • Stunted growth (in children)
  • Osteoporosis

 

I have gone through many of these symptoms, muscle cramps, joint pain, upset stomach, general weakness and fatigue, the hardest one yet would have to be the depression. I have a great support system of friends and family, which helped me through depression, so I was never alone in it. But it was hard when people didn’t know what was going on in my life, they didn’t understand why I missed so much school. Why I was so quiet half the time, and shy, middle school would have to be the hardest time of my life. Through it all the doctors put me on all sorts of different dosses, and types of anti-depressants, none of them working. I hated the medication, every time I took it, it always reminded me there was something wrong with me that nothing is ever going to change.  After a couple years of the medication, I went off of it all, it honestly helped to go off of the meds. A year later, still having depression difficulties, I was diagnosed with celiac disease, probably one of the more happy days of my life at the time. Soon I changed my diet to being gluten free, for the first couple months it was difficult especially when I went to a friend’s house and there wasn’t much to eat. That was least of my worries, I was just so amazingly excited to be happy and pain free!

So if ever in your life your down, sad, out of breathe, look forward to the future. That’s the best thing you can do for yourself. Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better, just remember that.

Most of the information on celiac disease was provided by mayoclinic.com

Written by: Elexis Wadden Tagged with:
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This is my very first blog post, and actually my very first blog site! This blog I am proud to say will be all about me, so sit back, relax and feel free to take notes… I’m just kidding. I was born on January 20, 1996, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I currently live in East Selkirk, Manitoba, a quiet little village that I call home of coarse. I have one younger sister named Clare; I would consider her one of my best friends since we are so close. If you saw us both standing beside each other, and you didn’t know us you would probably think she is older, only because she is in fact taller than me. I live with my mom, and my dad lives in White Rock, British Columbia. My parents divorced a long time ago but I am very fortunate to have them as parents because they are both very loving and caring people. Without their generosity and support I don’t know what I would have done without them.

Everyone I meet seems to have a favorite colour, but I do not, I probably have about five; pink, orange, red, turquoise, and yellow! My favorite and lucky number would be 20 and I love penguins and tigers. I have a ton of hobbies and to list them all would take a while so here are a few, dance would be up at the top of my list, and I dance competitively. I dance lyrical, ballet, jazz (my favorite) and hip-hop. I started at the age of 3 in creative movement, I have done tap, gymnastics in the past but my love of dance fell into those four styles. My second hobby, comes in first as well only because art is a passion for me, whether it is painting with water colour, acrylic, pastels, or sculpting, creating new pieces of work that I know I have put hours of work into and getting the finished result is an amazing feeling- you should try it. I would love to live my life have as an artist or even a curator at an art museum, this would be a dream come true that I’m going to achieve one day. That’s one of my goals. No matter what happens peruse your dreams, which is a promise you need to make to your self… once your done reading my blog post of coarse!

If you know me I can be pretty quiet, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to say, and really I can be pretty talkative at times, just ask my best friend Brooke! In my blog I will be posting many things about my goals, my platform which is to bring more awareness to celiac disease, and to shed light on things that go unnoticed, that get looked over by many, the little things but also the strong intimidating subjects we don’t want to look at. I am pleased that you have shared my exciting first blog post with me and hope to have you support me by checking in with me on Facebook and Twitter, and even email me, as often as you can.

Thank you from Elexis Wadden, Miss Teen Eastern Manitoba World 2013

Written by: Elexis Wadden
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Written by: MTC Blog Team
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