On Titanic and New Year's Resolutions


I tend to get into movies. Like really, really get into them. So it's no surprise, to myself at least, that when I finally watched Titanic this Christmas, it made an impact (yes, I know I'm late 'getting on the boat', 'that ship has sailed', etc. ;) ). Although Rose Dewitt Bukater and Jack Dawson are fictional characters, the Titanic was real, and besides that, who wasn't at least a little bit touched by Jack and Rose's romance, fictional they may be? I could go on and on about how much I loved it, or how great the soundtrack is, or even add my two cents to the whole 'could Rose and Jack both have fit on the door?' debate, but I won't. What I will do is say some things that Titanic has taught me, personally.

"You learn to take life as it comes to you...to make each day count."

Besides the emotional foreshadowing, this line is excellent in its meaning. Jack is explaining to all the rich, emotionless people around them who waste days on small talk and parties that life can be so much more. And you don't know how much life you have left at any one time. I know most of you reading this are young. You probably haven't thought about this much. But life is short, really short when you think about it. That's not to scare you. That's to spur you on to not procrastinate, not waste time leaving your dreams unfulfilled. It's almost new years- what if your resolution this year was to do whatever it is you've been waiting for your whole life? I'm not suggesting you be rash, or run away with the first cute boy named Jack (lol), but I am encouraging you not to wait on things that you shouldn't, that you're only waiting on because you're afraid of failure. So go, try out for that play, or talk to the new girl at school. It doesn't have to be life-changing for anyone but you. Go make your own luck. ;)

"Promise me...that you won't give up, no matter what happens, no matter how hopeless...and never let go of that promise."

This is an extension of the above, and one of the most heart-rending and iconic scenes of the film. It might seem that it doesn't apply to most people or most circumstances- wasn't Jack dying, and Rose in danger of dying, when he said this? But it doesn't just apply to that. It applies to your dreams as well. I recently have had a friend who is into films, who has thought of giving up. I myself have often felt like giving up, especially if I don't know what comes next in my novel or I can't see my acting dream coming true anytime soon. But if you just give up, the chance of your dreams ever coming true at all is very slim. So you can't give up. And when you want to, you have to tell yourself 'I'll never let go'.

"Rose, you're no picnic, alright? You're a spoiled little brat, even, but under that, you're the most amazingly, astounding, wonderful girl, woman that I've ever known..."

Have you ever thought about who you are, really thought about it? I personally sometimes have a hard time telling who I am. I'm twenty, and a lot of you are younger, and this is the time in our lives when we often do some serious thinking about who we are, what we're about, and how we fit into the world. I believe that, like Rose, everyone has things about themselves that need 'fixing', and other things that need to be let shine through their whole being. Nobody's perfect. Sometimes we might realize we're shunning friends, or being grumpy with our family, or maybe we're spoiled brats, too. I know I've fit that phrase more than once. But then there's that part of you that's the wonderful, amazing woman (or man) and that should never, ever change. That should be what shines out about you. Let other people see who you are, really are, and if there's something not good about you that you know needs changed, then do it so that others can see who you really are, and not get stuck on that. Not everyone is as good at 'seeing people' as Jack Dawson, but thank goodness for those who are (I have a friend or two like that myself). And try to be that way to others; see past human imperfections and into who the person really is. You might like the new view.

It's almost the new year. This time, instead of making the clichéd new year's resolution that you won't keep, why not make one and stick to it? Something that'll make a real difference and help you to make your life more what you want it to be? Because it's not up to me to save you. "...only you can do that." Not that I'm saying you need saving, but you know what I mean.


-Barista Nicole-

Image: still from Titanic (1997)

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Meeting Those Scary Deadlines: Tips


It's the end of the year and that means a lot of things are due before you start fresh for 2014. For me, personally, I have a bunch of college applications due that I should've finished a few weeks ago, if possible. But it wasn't possible as I had so many things to do. HOWEVER! I have finally finished writing and editing my essays to perfection and I am ready to send my apps. Obviously, I procrastinated a little too much (with an excuse, though! So not really.), but in the meantime, I've been picking up tips on how to work with a deadline, which I should've used but didn't. Here's to hoping you're able to put these tips to use and finish all your work (homework, college apps, familial thingamabobs, etc.) before they're due!

Divide your work into manageable sections

If you don't do this, your work is just going to seem like this gigantic blob of things to do and it does NOT look pretty. Instead, divide up your work into sections and work on those.

Set deadlines for those sections

Yay for more deadlines! But seriously. Setting deadlines for each section you need to work on can really help you from stopping procrastination from edging its way back into your life. Plus! These smaller sections are much easier to handle, so deadlines aren't that scary.

Ask for help if you just can't do it

Ask your family, friends, teachers, anybody you know who is always willing to give you a hand. Two heads are better than one, they say.

Reward yourself!

Rewarding yourself is really important. Not only does it make you feel good, but it makes for a great incentive. If you have a coat you want to buy (I do!), keep that in mind as you finish all your work by the deadline. And once you're done, go to the mall and buy that thing and make yourself happy.


-Barista Mia-

Image: Shelby H.

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Things to Do on the Last Day of the Year

 

No one wants to end their year unsatisfactorily. Everyone wants to do something worthwhile before the year ends. I mean, what’s the fun in doing absolutely nothing productive before end of the year? Don’t you want to look back at 2013 and say, “Wow. That was one awesome year.” Now begs the question, what things can you do to make for an AWESOME last day of the year?

Get your 2013 New Years resolutions out and keep them for a day

Yeah. The year’s over and you’ve completely forgotten your New Years resolutions. However, think how cool it would be to keep your New Years resolutions for a day! Obviously, some things won’t be possible in a day like losing 10 pounds or running a marathon. But who cares? Just try to keep your resolutions for a day as much as you can (For losing weight, you can diet for a day. And for running a marathon, you can have a mini marathon with your friends!) and you’ll feel like you actually accomplished something by the time 2014 rolls around.

Spend some quality time with your friends and family

Nothing’s ever boring when you’re around people. Invite your friends and their families over to your house and have a little party as you wait for 00:00 1/1/14. Talk to people as you reminisce about all the fun times you had altogether throughout the year. Looking back at the past is always an amazing time to share with everybody you know. Don’t get too surprised if things get a little emotional.

Write

Even if you’re not a writer, it is a good idea to write about the year. You don’t want to forget everything that has happened. Remembering every single detail is going to be impossible unless you have super photographic memory, but just write down all twelve months of the year and jot down one or two major things that had happened that month. This is a great way to look back and remember everything that has happened in the span of only 365 days.

Happy New Year in, like, three days! Eek!


-Barista Mia-

Image: D. Sharon Pruitt

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3 New years resolutions to make for 2014


At the start of each year, there will always be more than just a few individuals obsessed with the idea of recreating themselves. There will always be thousands of people tweeting the words "New year, new me" or posting them on Facebook as midnight strikes on the first of January. But- honestly, how many of them really stick to it? A tiny weeny fraction, usually. Probably because it takes more than a minute or a couple of weeks to recreate your entire self. Really, you don't even need to start all over again. You just need to at least try and be the best you possibly can be. Here are a couple of ways you can do just that...

1) Be Healthier!
Ah, the obvious one. After the festive season, a substantial amount of us are left with feelings of guilt along with a couple of extra, unwanted pounds. I mean, who can blame you for gorging? Chocolate is abundant, along with fluffy cakes and cute decorated biscuits and whatnot. However, as glorious as they may taste, they are not so glorious to the skin, the arteries and various other parts of you. If you are wincing a little while reading this, maybe you should make it your mission to become a slightly healthier version of yourself. Whether it means joining a gym, changing up your diet a little bit or simply leaving the house more in order to get some fresh air, it's all beneficial!

2) Let Your Creative Side Out
Life can get monotonous, and sometimes we need an escape from our boring routines. Sometimes just a simple new hobby can provide exactly that. Repetition can sometimes suppress imagination and creativity, so maybe an interesting way to begin the new year would be to unleash whatever ideas you have already lying somewhere in the depths of your mind. For example, if you don't feel up to writing an entire novel or even a short story, why not attempt to write poetry? Or if you can't seem to manipulate words, you could attempt to create art or learn to play a new instrument. Even doodling idly is a starting point...

3) Step Outside Of Your Comfort Zone
Today, many young people tend to live their lives indoors or on the internet, just sticking with what's familiar. Probably because it's easy. However, it doesn't really allow you to bloom as an individual. Things are not the same online and although it is much easier to be open, it isn't exactly reality. As a socially-awkward internet addict, I can safely say the internet has not exactly helped me put myself out there in real life, and i'm sure many people feel the same way. So maybe it's time for some of us to do things we wouldn't normally do, because who knows- new hobbies, interests and relationships could arise form doing so. Why not try and work up the courage to talk to that person you kind of have a crush on (and I don't mean messaging them on Facebook). Or even apply for a new job, possibly one which allows you to interact with new people and do things which you aren't used to doing. Or simply join some kind of society, or perform. All you need to do is give yourself a push and it will definitely be worth it!

I am aware that new years resolutions are almost impossible to keep up, so here are a couple of tips which might help you make it through 2014 and maybe even through more years to come... Firstly, set yourself a goal, for example- you might have a target weight for the summer or you might just want to be able to play a specific song on the piano in a couple of months time. You could also motivate yourself by creating a mood board. Finally, of course, be positive about whatever you are trying to do and don't fill your mind with doubt. Also, remember, although it is a good starting point, you don't have to wait for the beginning of a new year to make a change. Good luck!


-Barista Ria-

Image: Kat

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How To Survive Without the Internet

 

My family just moved houses to somewhere in the middle of nowhere, which basically means... No Internet. Yup. I have no Internet. It’s taking me a whole lot of pain in the butt to get this blog running as usual. (I’m literally knocking on neighbors' doors asking them if they have Internet and ugh.) Anyway, besides stuff that I’m obligated to do, I’m not allowed to use more data or access the Internet much at all. And that got me thinking... Why don’t I do a blog post about surviving the wild world of No-Internet-Land? I mean, what kind of stuff can you do (if any) when you have no Internet access?

Read

Reading is such a lost art nowadays. Pick that book up from your shelf and start reading! Time flies past really well and you can have waay more adventures through stories than you’ll ever have with the Internet.

Do something useful with your life

Finish your homework, help your mom, clean the house, cook some food... Do whatever you can to keep your mind and body moving. If you just stay still while whining about there being no Internet, you suck.

Go outside

You’ll be surprised at how many things you can do outside. You can go shopping, have snowball fights, meet up with some friends... If you’re really craving for some media, I guess you could go out and watch a movie at the theatre or something. That’s cool too.

Yeah. The Internet is pretty much crucial to our everyday lives, but there will come a time when you’re stuck with no Internet. Take my tips with you just in case you end up in the same situation as me. You can never be too prepared. And, um, if you do end up with no Internet... Good luck. You’ll need it.


-Barista Mia-

Image: Avenue G

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Disney Shows That Are Actually Worth Watching

Disney sucks. Or rather, Disney used to be awesome, but now it sucks. I really, really miss the times of That's So Raven, Kim Possible, Totally Spies, and Lizzie Mcguire. Sigh, Memories, man. Unfortunately, we can't bring any of these shows back unless we're watching episodes that we've watched a hundred billion times. So then. Are there any shows that are worth watching in this new and suck-y Disney channel? Funnily enough, there are! Just two, but they're just as fun as the old shows and they make up for the pure gross-ness of nowadays Disney shows.

Phineas and Ferb


I watch this show every freaking day. It's soooo good. It's about these two brothers who invent the coolest things ever and their sister's attempts to bust them to their mom. Ooh! And how could I forget Phineas and Ferb's platypus who does absolutely nothing but is secretly a secret agent? This show is funny, heartfelt... everything the old Disney shows were like before they were destroyed.

Good Luck Charlie


At first, I was wary of this show since it featured real people and real people shows in Disney nowadays are Stupid with a capital S. But this show is actually awesome. It's the story of a very "special" family and an older sister leaving video diaries to Charlie, the baby of the family (well, actually, Charlie is an older sister too now. Kinda sucks, but whatever), to help survive the family.

These two shows are the only things keeping me watching Disney channel as an all grown up eighteen year old girl. LOL. Anyway, y'all should go check these two shows out. They're really good. No lie.


-Barista Mia-

Image: Disney

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A Three Hour Christmas Medley For The Last Hours of Christmas


MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!

Christmas is nearing its end all over the world. Actually, it's already Boxing Day where I'm at! I was mulling over what kind of post I should do today and I came across a three hour medley of Christmas songs. Woah. I have an excuse to keep all of you readers here at Le Teen Cafè for three hours and I can provide you guys really good background music and a good way to spend the last hours of Christmas Day. (LOL Christmas is over for me, but Christmas music is for everday! It's good music, for goodness sakes!)



Here's the list, copied and pasted from YouTube, of the songs included in the medley if y'all want it. I personally would listen to the entire thing. Haha.

0:00 Here Comes Santa Claus -- Bing Crosby
3:05 Feliz Navidad -- Beth and Scott
5:32 The Christmas Waltz -- Frank Sinatra
8:33 Winter Wonderland -- Aretha Franklin
10:41 The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year -- Andy Williams
13:09 Jingle Bells -- I have no idea who the artist is
15:25 Sleigh Ride -- Johnny Mathis
18:20 Carol of the Bells -- Mormon Tabernacle Choir
20:45 Santa Claus is Coming to Town -- The Andrews Sisters
23:25 Silver Bells -- Bing Crosby & Carol Richards
26:27 The Christmas Song -- The Osmond Brothers
29:07 I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus -- Andy Williams
32:15 Wonderful Christmastime -- Paul McCartney
35:59 Santa Claus -- Harry Connick Jr
40:35 Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer -- Gene Autry
43:46 Rockin Around the Christmas Tree -- Brenda Lee
45:49 Sleigh Ride -- Jack Jones
48:31 Blue Christmas -- Elvis Presley
50:36 White Christmas -- Bing Crosby
53:32 Jingle Bell Rock -- Bobby Helms
55:41 The Christmas Song -- Nat King Cole
58:47 Jingle Bells -- Frank Sinatra
1:00:45 Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas -- Frank Sinatra
1:04:09 Sleigh Ride -- Ella Fitzgerald
1:07:04 Winter Wonderland -- Tony Bennett
1:09:14 Let It Snow -- Dean Martin
1:11:08 The Most Wonderful Time of the Year -- Johnny Mathis
1:13:51 Home for the Holidays -- Perry Como
1:16:40 Little St. Nick -- The Beach Boys
1:18:46 A Holly Jolly Christmas -- Burl Ives
1:20:57 Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer -- Elmo and Patsy
1:24:23 Merry Christmas Darling -- The Carpenters
1:27:26 Here Comes Santa Claus -- Elvis Presley
1:29:20 Happy Christmas -- John Lennon
1:32:47 Jingle Bells -- Diana Krall
1:34:57 Deck the Halls -- Ottmar Liebert
1:37:57 Mr. Heatmeiser -- Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
1:42:18 Winter Wonderland -- Johnny Mathis
1:45:30 Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) -- Mariah Carey
1:48:00 Frosty the Snowman -- The Beach Boys
1:49:51 Let It Snow -- Harry Connick Jr
1:52:22 A Marshmallow World -- Dean Martin
1:55:00 Christmas Canon -- Trans Siberian Orchestra
1:59:16 Silent Night -- Sarah McLaughlin
2:03:00 Sleigh Ride -- Arthur Fielder & The Boston Pops Orchestra
2:05:59 We Need a Little Christmas -- Johnny Mathis
2:07:53 Santa Baby -- Madonna
2:10:26 O Holy Night -- Placido Domingo
2:14:21 God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen -- Bobby Vinton
2:17:26 It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas -- Johnny Mathis
2:19:38 I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas -- Gayle Peevey
2:22:14 Stille Nacht -- The King's Singers
2:25:25 Joy To The World -- Mormon Tabernacle Choir
2:27:58 Ave Maria -- Luciano Pavarotti
2:32:50 Waltz of the Flowers -- Leopold Stokowski
2:37:15 White Christmas -- Frank Sinatra
2:39:48 Frosty the Snowman/Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer -- Henry Mancini
2:42:12 O Holy Night -- Luciano Pavarotti
2:46:16 Hallelujah Chorus -- Mormon Tabernacle Choir
2:50:05 Mistletoe and Holly -- Frank Sinatra
2:52:21 The Christmas Song -- Mel Torme
2:54:25 Christmas Don't Be Late -- Alvin and the Chipmunks
2:56:44 Here Comes Santa Claus -- Gene Autry
2:59:13 We Need A Little Christmas -- Percy Faith
3:01:20 White Christmas -- The Drifters
3:05:33 The Magic of Christmas Day -- Celine Dion
3:08:11 Silver Bells -- Johnny Mathis
3:11:41 Suite from The Polar Express -- Alan Silvestri

Once again, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thanks for putting up with all of us at Le Teen Cafè. We really appreciate and love all of you guys <3


-Barista Mia-

Image: Joseph Jayanth

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A Christmas Poem by Barista Ellen


A Christmas in Glasgow is cold, I know
But I wish it cold enough for snow
We trek through rivers of water instead
And wish we were back home inside our beds

But I stay out in the cold for a while
to see pale and gold light up the Style Mile
Lights all shine bright on this cold afternoon
Reflecting on the street like an iridescent moon

I'm getting a chill as the rain it does pour
The coffee shop queue is near out of the door
Oh No! The rain has now turned to sleet
Let's go, find shelter down Buchanan Street

The Christmas market, it is a clamour
Of sounds, sights,smells, tastes. A joyous uproar!
My dogs on the trail on discarded food
He's found half a burger. Oh that's not good

This city of mine I both love and hate
But at Christmas time when we celebrate
I love the seasonal atmosphere
Apart from the horrendous rain I fear

And to all of friends in Le Teen Café
Have a Merry Christmas and Hogmanay


-Barista Ellen-

Image: Cyril Ayroles

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What To Do on Christmas Eve


Christmas Eve is only tomorrow. Can you believe it? Anyway. No one wants to do nothing on the day before Christmas, so what kind of things could you do?

Go shopping

I love to shop and going to the mall is a luxury for me. On Christmas Eve, I love to go shopping and the crowd of girls and women going Christmas shopping only excites me more. What's more fun than wrestling a pair of cute boots from another person?

Go to a party

A pretty classic thing to do the day before Christmas. Go join a party somewhere with a handful of your friends and have fun!

Do makeovers with your best friend

And on your brother too, for good measure. Slobber your face with makeup, wear the most outrageous clothes, make some awesome memories, and take embarrassing pictures for Facebook.

Make plans for Christmas

I tend to do everything last minute. If you're like me, then planning to do things on Christmas would be a great way to spend your time.

Hang out with your friends

There's a big chance you might be with your family on D-Day, so spend Christmas Eve with your friends. Go watch a movie, have dinner, pull pranks on the unsuspecting public, I don't know. Just do something fun and worth remembering.

Be nice to people

Go outside and look for someone to help out. Christmas and the spirit of giving is synonymous. Help a grandma with her groceries, help a young child find his way back home, or give a homeless man a nice meal and have a little chat with him. Be someone's superhero for the day.

D-2


-Barista Mia-

Image: Javcon117*

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How to Dress Up For Christmas


Christmas isn't complete until you're all dressed up for the special day! So what kind of stuff should you wear?

Dress up in red and green

Pretty obvious, right? Dress from head to toe (even your nails!) in Christmas colors and people will know right away that you're dressed up specifically for the awesome holiday.

Wear a reindeer headband

Do you even understand how cute these look? OMG. Go on. Go to the mall, buy a reindeer headband, and try them on! Ooh! They'll look especially adorable with curled hair.

If not, you can put on the classic Santa hat

I'm tired of seeing people wear Santa hats everywhere, which is why I suggested the reindeer headband, BUT if you aren't sick of them like I am... Santa hats are cute too.

Put on Christmas makeup

This is the fun part. I love to put on green eyeshadow and red lipstick! It looks so ooh-la-la and so Christmas-y.

SPARKLES!

I'm a huge fan of sparkles. Sprinkle sparkles, sparkles everywhere! If your clothes already have sparkles on them, that's cool too. Christmas equals a lot of lights and, well, in case of getting electrocuted, sparkles is a GREAT alternative.

And voila! There you have it. An outfit perfect for Christmas.


-Barista Mia-

Image: Eleazar

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Getting Into the Christmas Spirit

 

I don't know about you, but getting into the Christmas spirit is a little hard to do where I am living. I guess it's because there are no Christmas decorations whatsoever wherever you go. Okay. Maybe I'm exaggerating a teensy bit, but compared to most other countries, South Korea is not as into Christmas as it could be. Sucks. But it's not like I can change an entire culture, right? Now I know there are others out there who have a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit, whether it's because of stress or culture things like me. So how do you get into the Christmas spirit when it seems impossible to do?

Decorate Your House and Room

Clicky here for some tips on how to decorate your room. Putting Christmas lights everywhere, putting up front yard decorations for the whole world to see... It's fun and super Christmas-y. You definitely will feel like Christmas is near when you're done.

Say "Merry Christmas" to strangers on the street

If you aren't brave enough, well, you don't have to do it. But spreading the Christmas love to people you don't know is hecka fun and makes you feel all warm inside. Definitely try it out! It's very nice to see random people smile when you greet them with a "Merry Christmas". If this is too difficult to do, a "Merry Christmas" to anybody you know will suffice.

Sing Carols

I've been singing carols to myself and with my friends for the past week or two to get into the Christmas spirit. And something about the tune of the songs really turns the Christmas side of me on.

Make Someone's Day

Is there any other time in the year when you spend so much of your money on presents and give so much of your time to other people? Make your parents breakfast, get a friend that watch she wanted... I don't know. Just do something to make people happy!

And speaking of...

Be Kind

Go volunteer at the soup kitchen, help a grandma out with her baggage, help your mom with the groceries... Do stuff that you never would have done. Do stuff to even help your arch nemesis. Gasp. After all, giving and serving is what Christmas spirit is about, no?

D-4


-Barista Mia-

Image: D. Sharon Pruitt

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Get That Christmas Cheer Inside Your Room!



You go outside and there are Christmas lights and decorations everywhere, but once you come back inside to the warmth of your bed... well, things don't look so Christmas-y anymore. Wow. You really need to teach your bedroom a little something about Christmas spirit. So what can you do to up the Christmas feel of your, uh, y'know, not-so-Christmasy bedroom?

Get a mini Christmas tree

You don't need a full Christmas tree that reaches all the way up to the ceiling. A small one to leave on the corner of your desk will suffice. Anyway, it'll look soooo adorable and it'll make you go all "awwww".

Hang Christmas lights

I personally love doing this even though it's not Christmas. It ups the festiveness of the room and looks super pretty. I especially love to hang these lights over my bed to make my bed area look cosy and cute.

Play Christmas music

Ah. Christmas music. What's a better sound to the air than that? Play some soft Christmas music in the background in your room and it'll automatically feel like Christmas is near. (Oh, and FYI, it is)

Get a Santa or Rudolph doll for your bed

Eek! Can you imagine how adorable these dolls would look sitting on your bed as you (not so) patiently wait for Christmas to come already? Besides, I bet Santa would be really happy to see you have a doll of him and might give you an extra good present. *wink*

Candles!

I don't know how candles are associated with Christmas but I like it. Something about candles make everything look so, I don't know, winter-y and Christmas-y. Ooh! For an even better Christmas effect, get candles that smell like the smell of wood burning in the fireplace.

Put a plate of cookies in your room

Not only are they delicious, they make great Christmas decorations. Well, before you eat them all up anyway.

Now those are my Christmas room decorating tips only for you. So you better get crackin' and go decorate your room and not waste my tips, yo! Get your room and butt ready for Christmas. FIVE DAYS LEFT!


-Barista Mia-

Image: elisasizzle

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The Movies You Must Watch On Christmas


Christmas is less than a week away y'all! I can't believe it! Christmas has been my favorite holiday for a long time and for good reason... The presents, the community-spirit, and THE MOVIES! There are so many great movies out there to watch on Christmas and I cannot wait until I pick them up to watch on Christmas. Sure, they're all good movies to watch whether it is Christmas day or not, but it doesn't feel the same. Watching Christmas movies on Christmas has some kind of magic that just makes everyone feel so happy and fuzzy inside.

So what are the best Christmas movies to watch this year?

A Christmas Story



What? Too tired of this movie being played every Christmas? Well, to be honest, me too. Moving on.

The Nightmare Before Christmas



Halloween meets Christmas. Ah. What's a better combination that that?

The Polar Express



Beautiful graphics for Christmas. What's not to like? Okay. Maybe this movie's a teensy bit boring compared to the other movies, but it's a good movie to watch.

Home Alone



Sigh. Home Alone. My entire childhood is contained in this 100 minute long movie. Who doesn't want to watch a kid beat up two burglars, huh?!

Love Actually



In you are in the mood for a more romantic movie, Love Actually is the way to go.
 
How The Grinch Stole Christmas



I don't know why, but although I barely remember the other movies, I remember this one pretty clearly. Maybe I rewatched it one too many times because it was fun?

The Santa Clause



If you haven't watched The Santa Clause yet, you have not lived. It's one of the best Christmas movies ever. In fact, if you watch this, you should also watch The Santa Clause 2 and 3!

Arthur Christmas



I believe this is the newest movie on this list. I personally have not watched it yet, but my sister swears it's the best Christmas movie ever. I'm plannning to watch it on the 25th with my family this year.

Have you chosen what to watch for Christmas yet?


-Barista Mia-

Image: Kevin Dooley

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The Laws of Hair Straightening


I'm a straightener type of gal. I straighten my hair every single morning. And even when I feel like curling my hair instead, I can always use my trusty straightener to curl my hair into the most perfect curls ever. With years of hair straightening experience under my belt, I thought it would be neat to put the laws of hair straightening that I learned through trial and error finally on indelible ink pixels.

Use a heat protectant

I never used to bother with heat protectants, but since I started using them, I've come to realize how much healthier my hair looks. And even better, I don't have to go to the salon for a trim as often as before.

Use a tail comb

Straightening your hair without a tail comb is possible and I recommend it if you are in a hurry, but if you're not, straightening your hair with a tail comb guiding it makes for cleaner lines in your hair, if that makes any sense.

Divide your hair into manageable sections

Your straightener will work MUCH better if you divide your hair into smaller sections. A big chunk of hair isn't going to get as much heat as a smaller chunk of hair. You want to give enough love heat to each of your hair strands, don't you?

Don't ever DARE to use a straightener when your hair is wet

Just. Don't. Unless you want your hair fried.

Don't straighten your hair often

I know. I'm being hypocritical as I straighten my hair every morning, but my hair is stronger than usual hair, so I have an excuse (kinda). But for the average person, I would not recommend using any type of heat product every day.

The straightener is le best hair tool ever

You can straighten your hair, curl your hair, wave your hair, flip your hair, crimp your hair... You can literally do almost every single hairstyle out there in the world with a hair straightener. All you need to do is be a little creative.



-Barista Mia-

Image: elzoh

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The Superfan Cult

Sometimes it seems like the whole world is made up of superfans. They dominate your Twitter feed with their exclusive follow-parties and ramble on about how "utterly asdfghjkl" Zayn's new tattoo is. Sometimes they are nowhere to be seen. Most of my friends either hate or couldn't care less about Justin Bieber or One Direction. Whatever the case, there are millions and millions and...millions...okay...of those fans out there. And they are, like, really weird.

Now I don't mean that in a rude or negative way at all- in fact I am a bit of a fangirl myself at times. It's just that people who are so completely and devotedly infatuated with one pop star or another have such DIFFERENT lives to other people.

I was in the cinema yesterday with a friend (who coincidentally wanted it to be a date but I said no, I love Colin Morgan too much for that) and the trailer for Believe came on. It struck me how much the Bieber-boy means to some people, how much they've attached themselves to him, and how they basically use him as their Bible. They really look up to him as a guide and a helping hand.


It's interesting to think that there are people in the world who have put people like Justin at the centre of their lives. Some of them apparently wouldn't be around anymore if they didn't have him to keep them going, and somehow they've trained themselves to believe it matters to him whether they as individuals carry on through their hard times or not. I'm sure it does hurt him if he hears about it, but then he can't know every one of his multi-million fans' life stories, can he?

In a way it must be rather nice to have something in your life like a refuge, to occupy yourself with, perhaps especially so for those of us who don't have a religion. It must also be heavenly to have a crush who doesn't live right across the road from you so you can't ever go out for fear of having to talk to him, blushing like crazy. (Yup, that is meh.) It must also be sad, though, knowing the object of your existence will never know you as an individual person and that the obsession is only one-way. 

What do you guys think? Are superfans just ridiculous and messed-up, or should they feel blessed? Are you one? Let us know in the comments!

-Barista Sabita
 
Image: Joe Bielawa

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How To Deal With "I Feel Gross And Ugly" Days


These types of days are inevitable. You wake up one morning and the only thing you feel is pure gross-ness. It feels like you haven't showered in months and it feels like you smell like the garbage can. Ugh. Waking up to an "I feel gross and ugly" day is so not cool. I've had plenty of these, so I'm going to pass on what works for me when I'm feeling really horrible.

Take a shower

I don't care whether I've taken one an hour before. I take another one and another until I feel better. A relaxing bath may work too. Pamper yourself in the shower and stay in the warm water as long as you want to. Yes, even if it means making your skin all wrinkly.

Style yourself

For me, what really works is styling my hair, doing my makeup, and putting on my prettiest dress. Do what makes you feel beautiful. I tend to straighten my hair until it's super perfect and slap on foundation, eye makeup, and lipgloss. I make myself look as pretty as possible even if I don't need to go out.

Stretch

Maybe this only works on me because I'm obsessed with stretching, but stretching really helps relieve my brain a lot. It spreads this weird kind of peace all over my body after the initial, y'know, "ouch" moment.

Do something you really enjoy

I love to dance. So when I'm feeling super gross, I go straight into my living room and dance my butt off until the feeling of disgusting-ness goes away. Whatever your hobby is, do it. Film something, take a walk, play tennis, or throw some snowballs at unsuspecting strangers. Have fun!

And speaking of taking a walk and throwing snowballs...

Get some fresh air

Fresh air does wonders do your brain. It literally makes EVERY SINGLE THING ON THIS EARTH better. I know that on "I feel gross and ugly" days, you tend to want to stay inside and eat chocolate as you watch a movie, but that's not such a good idea. Go outside and breathe in that nice fresh wintry air, no matter how lazy you feel. Fresh air is a gift, y'all! Don't you dare reject it!

Hopefully, my tips will help you defeat the enemy that is "I feel gross and ugly" days. G'luck!


-Barista Mia-

Image: Elizabeth Ashley Jerman

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The Le Teen Café Review Corner: The Desolation of Smaug


The Desolation of Smaug. I had been awaiting its release for a year or so, excited and a little bit scared. I booked my tickets in advance for Friday the 13th, which did result in some bad luck as the seats were terrible. However, that was pretty much forgotten once the film started. It launched straight into the plot, without any pointless, over-the-top scene setting. Everything included in the film was pretty much vital and I think it's unfair to say that Peter Jackson has dragged out the short book into three films because he has added so much more (the White Orc, The Necromancer, Tauriel, etc were not in the book itself.) It stays true to the plot of Tolkien's novel, as well as including additional ideas of his, and what Gandalf was occupied with whilst the quest took place. There was a lot more going on in The Desolation of Smaug as opposed to An Unexpected Journey which is understandable but some may argue that this film is better than the first because of the insane amount of action. It's difficult to compare but both films are most definitely not disappointing, possibly living up to the brilliance of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

One of the main things I was concerned about was the animation and voicing of Smaug. It was something that would either make or break the film. However, he couldn't have been more glorious or terrifying. And he was portrayed pretty much perfectly by Benedict Cumberbach. His lair was equally impressive, in fact, it required all of the gold paint in New Zealand (plus more) to paint every gold coin on the set. This is actually believable when you see it for yourself, it's hard to take in. Anyway, unsurprisingly, the settings throughout the movie were beautiful. I can't cover everything in the film and comment on it as I cant stress this enough- SO MUCH HAPPENS. SO MUCH. Missing even two minutes of the film makes a huge difference. If you felt there was a lack of females in the previous film and the book, you will feel better after seeing this one. Not only are there more women, but there was more romance and the suggestion of a little love triangle (personally, I wasn't too bothered about this but I realize it might excite a lot of people). We also get do know the Dwarves a little bit better, Thorin and Kili in particular. Thorin's brave, stubborn and withdrawn character is captured well, and he barely differs from how he is described by Tolkien in the book. As for Kili, well i'm sure I speak for most people when I say he is my favourite dwarf. It's just impossible not to love him! Also, not forgetting Bilbo. Of course. In the book, he was shown as a fairly simple hobbit, whose adventurous side is brought to light as he is snatched out of his comfort zone. In the  movie, both movies in fact, Martin Freeman gives him something a little bit extra, an amusing awkward element which makes him arguably more interesting. There are no characters who could be faulted, we even got to see a different side to Legolas too (and it was damn good to see Orlando Bloom again). His character has always been a little bit of a mystery, even in LOTR, and in The Desolation of Smaug he is even more of a question mark. We are also introduced to Bard, an interesting, heroic bargeman. Again, there is much more focus on his actual character than there is in the book.

There are tonnes of scenes in this film that stand out. You are bound to be left with your mouth gaping at one point at least, or even a tear in your eye. Fights, romance, orcs, elves, surprises and witty remarks are all plentiful throughout the whole thing. And it ends perfectly, leaving you wanting more, I simply cannot wait to see what the next movie has in store for us. Peter Jackson is truly a genius and has managed to capture Tolkien's world flawlessly. My only concern with the film is the length (I reaaaally don't wanna fault it because it's a masterpiece). In all honesty, I think you'd have to already be a fan of LOTR or have at least seen the first movie in order to last through the whole two hours and forty minutes. But because I am horrendously in love with the whole franchise and the book, I freaking adored the whole thing. All of it. I was left speechless after experiencing a rainbow of emotions.


-Barista Ria-

Image: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug theatrical release poster (Warner Bros.)

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Handling College Rejection Letters


It's devastating to open up a letter with hope swelling up your chest only to find a rejection letter waiting for you on the other side of the screen from your dream school. Yikes. I got my early decision rejection a couple days ago and, thankfully, I was not devastated. Disappointed, for sure, but not sad or devastated. I've been dreaming about this school for years, but I was okay. Many of my friends cried, on the other hand, and had an extremely bad day when the rejections came along. And many of them decided, "OMG I FREAKING HATE THIS SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" As for me, when my rejection letter came, I just shrugged and said, "Oh well. Moving on." I think my attitude to my rejection had a lot to do with preparing myself mentally. I know that none of you want to get so hung up on a school that you become depressed if you get a rejection, so I'm going to give y'all tips on how to handle college rejection letters. ESPECIALLY from your dream school.

Know that the college admissions process is crazy subjective

Yeah. It's not all numbers and facts. The admissions officers also read essays, recommendations, and other stuff that cannot be measured in numbers. Some people will like you, some people will not. Fact of life. People naturally end up judging. And guess what? Admissions officers are people too. Judging through their own opinions about you is inevitable. A rejection is by no means a reflection of your SAT scores or grades at school.

Know that there is another school out there that you will be happy at

*enter dream school here* is NOT the only school in the entire world that you would be happy at. Yes, it's true. There are thousands of school in America alone and *enter dream school here* is definitely NOT the only one that can satisfy you. Honestly. When I started looking closely at the other schools I will be applying to, at least two of them have really caught my eye.

Research other colleges before your letter arrives

Instead of wasting your time daydreaming about your school or watching YouTube videos about your school (seriously bad idea. Do NOT even attempt this idiotic move. It's tempting, but just don't.), look at the other colleges in your list. Keep the school outta your mind.

Hopefully, my three tips will help you, y'know, not freak out so much if you get your rejection letter. IF, I SAID. IF! *ahem* Oh, right. And one last thing before you go...

Reward yourself

I don't care whether you got a rejection letter or not, freaking reward yourself after opening your letter. Celebrate your rejection! Yay! Having an attitude like this will seriously help. And no, I am not joking. Have a rejection party, go out to eat at your favorite restaurant, buy that coat you were meaning to buy for your acceptance gift. Whoop!


-Barista Mia-

Image: bluemoon197511

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Timeless Books That I'll Never Get Tired Of


I'm rereading the Harry Potter series right now and it just hit me how many times I've read the books. Maybe, like, some one hundred times. But guess what? I'm still not tired of reading Harry Potter. Harry Potter is one of those few books out there that have really captured me by the heart. Although for most books, rereading a book is kind of boring, rereading the Harry Potter series is a beautiful luxury for me. I feel really warm and cuddly when I pick up a Harry Potter book to read again.

So! I decided to compile a small list of books that have this type of timeless quality to me. Books that I will never get tired of reading over and over again.

The Harry Potter series

There's something very magical about this series that never makes me tired of the books. The characters are wonderful, the story is so intricately written, and the setting is just magnificent. It's like the magic that exists in the Harry Potter world has somehow translated itself into words so that everyone will fall heads over heels in love with the series.

The Chronicles of Narnia

Ah. Narnia. I cannot even fathom what my life would have turned out to be like if it weren't for this series. The story of an alternate universe filled with the most magnificent and terrifying creatures is just... so great. The Chronicles of Narnia is actually the reason I fell in love with reading in the first place. I think there's something about Narnia that brings childlike joy.

Any Roald Dahl book

The BFG, Matilda, The Witches, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory... Roald Dahl has written many of everybody's favorite childhood books. I really feel that the idea of making adults, for the most part, the bad guys has a lot to do with why I love Mr. Dahl's books so much. After all, who doesn't like the idea of the meanie adults being the evil dudes, eh? (I'm totally ignoring the fact that I'm 18, because I'm secretly 10. Yes. Yes, I am.)

Looking back at my list, it looks like what makes a book timeless for me is magic. Not necessarily real magic, but magic that can make my eyes shine with joy like a child's when I read the words of a book. Sigh. These books are seriously beautiful. Thank goodness for authors.

Anyway, what does your list of timeless books look like?


-Barista Mia-

Image: Pedro Ribeiro Simões

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The Day Your College Admission Results Are Out


Yeah, I know. The results are out waaaay later in the future, but it's not too early to prepare or write a blog post about it. Anyway, early decision/action to colleges will be out this month, so I figured, why not write this thing?

The day your college admission results are out is going to be a bad one. You won't be able to concentrate on ANYTHING and your butt will be itching the entire day as you wait (not so) patiently for your results to arrive. So what exactly are the do's and don't's of what to do the day your college admission results are out?

Don't tell anybody (except your family unless your mom's a tattle tale)

You don't want people asking you whether you got accepted or not. It's not cool. It's much better to have fewer people know about the places you've applied, because getting bombarded with questions like "did you get accepted?" and stuff like that is not fun. I mean, there IS the possibility that you might get rejected and, well, it's embarrassing. However, if you don't mind the questions, you can ignore my advice. This is just for you people who, like me, don't like the possibility of letting people down very much.

Keep busy and occupied

Do whatever the heck you need to do to keep your mind off of the admission results that are to be released. Go bowling, watch a movie, have a hot chocolate, skip school, go shopping, whatever. Just DO SOMETHING that'll keep your feet and mind moving.

Stay far faaaaar away from College Confidential

Those of you who have never taken part of this horrible website, good on you! It's really addicting and very nerve-wracking to be around people who think getting a 2100 on the SAT is a "weak score". Excuse me? But if you are an avid user anyway (like me), please listen to my advice and stay far away from CC for at least two days. Especially the day the results are released. People on that forum will be freaking out and that's going to double your anxiety.

Don't ever be alone

Don't even try. Or you'll end up on the Internet obsessively checking whether the decisions are up or not. That heart stopping feeling you get every time you refresh. Ugh. Not nice. Not nice at all.

Anyway, those are my tips for all you seniors applying to colleges this year. Good luck to all prospies!


-Barista Mia-

Image: taylor n

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Babysitting--What To Do When the Kid is Crying His/Her Head Off


I babysit almost everyday since I have a sibling who's only four years old and both my parents go to work. For those of you who have babysat at least once, you know how scary it can get when the kid starts bawling or screaming or just throwing a tantrum. It fills you with panic and ugh. How do you control an uncontrollable kid?

For those times when the kid just won't freaking LISTEN!, here are the top three things I do to stop my brother from screaming for the mom that won't come home for another two hours.

Plan A: Turn on the TV

Most of the time, this works. Sometimes, it doesn't. Ask the little kid (if he or she is capable of comprehension) whether he or she wants to watch TV. Turn on their favorite show for around three minutes and if the child calms down, yay! If not, booooo. Time to move on to plan B.

Plan B: Get the kid's favorite toy out

My brother looooves to play with blocks, so when he's crying, I drag him over to where the blocks are and ask him whether he wants to play with them. On some kids, this works really well. On my brother? Not so much. He's one stubborn kid. If, like me, you're stuck with a stubborn one...

Plan C: Play by yourself

Seriously. Get that toy the kid loves, or any toy in fact, ignore the kid, and play with it! Go overboard and think you're having the most fun ever! Yay! Soon enough, the kid will start watching you and slowly, he or she will most probably join you in the fun. This works really well in my experience.

If you summarize the three plans, what everything comes down to is: you need to distract the kid. End of story.

On top of all these plans, keep one thing in mind: do NOT ever mention les parents. That'll start the child off again and no, you don't want that. The one time you can mention les parents is when the kid asks where they are. Then you answer with something along the lines of: "They are at work, but they'll be back very soon."

I hope these tips help you the next time you go off to babysit. I know how hard it is to look after a kid, so good luck to you. You'll need it.


-Barista Mia-

Image: Bridget Coila

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Fictional Characters to Take to a Desert island


“What person real or fictional would you take to a desert island?” 
asked my younger sister the other day. At this point all my book-worminess burst out to the surface and I spent the rest of the day weighing out the pros and cons of which literary character could get me off the island fastest and kept on muttering on about other bookey stuff like how brilliant it would be if they made the Chrestomanci series into movies (it would be very brilliant in fact). I gave the matter enough thought to compile a list of the best fictional characters to bring to a desert island

1)
Name: Will Parry
First book to appear in: The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman
Will is one of the fictional characters who would get you off a desert island quickly, providing he has his knife with him. I always wanted to own the subtle knife and use it to travel to different worlds. If he, on the other hand, did not have the knife with him, I can imagine lying with him on a desert island beach watching the world go by. He went through so much for a twelve year old boy: he had to look after his mother and he worried about where his father disappeared to and then once the men came into his house everything just got worse. He deserves the weight being lifted from his chest.

2)
Name: Chrestomanci   
First book to appear in: Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones
The man of my mutterings himself has to make an appearance in this list. As the most powerful enchanter in all the different worlds, he'd certainly get you out in a jiffy and he's certainly not a boring person either!

3)
Name: Hermione Granger
First book to appear in: Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by J.K Rowling
I always wanted Hermione to be my friend growing up. Like me, she was smart and she read a lot but she's also courageous and is a witch (although I'm still hoping my Hogwarts letter's delayed). Also, in the Deathly Hallows, she could cook meals for Harry, Ron and herself out of what she could find, so starvation seems less likely. Not to mention the fact that she can disapparate off the island and could take me home with side long apparition.

4)
Name: Leo Valdez
First book to appear in: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
I could make a whole list of characters from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and the Heroes of Olympus to take to a desert island but I've limited myself to one. Leo would not be the person who'd get you out fastest, but everything about his character is amazing and he is one of those fictional characters that you feel upset about when you remember that they're not real.

HOUSE OF HADES SPOILER ALERT!!

I finally read House of Hades! Now the thing that is creepy now is that Leo got stuck in Ogygia. Apart from being the sweetest, most heartwarming part of the book Ogygia is a desert island. I never found any spoilers (at least for that part of the book) but I am finding this seriously creepy. I must be psychic or something!


-Barista Ellen-

Image: Brian Johnson & Dane Kantner

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Fashion Fads Suck. Be Yourself!


Everything comes and goes. Especially in fashion. Fashion fads are the worst things ever to catch up in. It seems one day, a flowy blouse is popular, but the next day, it's suddenly ew-worthy. What the heck happened in 12 hours?! Huh? Okay, I guess that's a little bit of a time exaggeration, but I have two points. I promise. Point #1: Fads don't last very long and it's unbelievably hard to catch up on the next fad unless you're some kind of fashion goddess or fortuneteller. Point #2: Who the heck cares about fads anyway? No more conforming to what your friends consider cool, no more asking Google what is "in" and what is "out". It's time to do stuff on your own. Yay!

Here are three items that I wear very often even though they're considered horrifying by the general public. And guess what? I don't care. I like them and I'm comfortable when I wear them, so leave me the heck alone.

Bootcut Jeans

No, they do NOT make me look like a cowboy. In fact, worn with heels, they look absolutely perfect. These boot-cut jeans make my legs look longer and thinner and ugh. I love them. I wear them almost every time I go outside. It's my "thing".

Collar Necklaces

These were in a while back, but they have been out of style for a little while now. Nobody seems to wear these anymore. But come on! They're cute and they complete a super simple outfit into something more fashionable! What's not to like?

Flatform Boots

Don't hit me! People really seem to hate these, but I think they look cute! They make my 5'3 stature taller without making my feet hurt like crazy after three hours. Sure, they're clunky, but come on! They're adorable.

So what does your unconventional wardrobe look like?


-Barista Mia-

Image: Vincent Boiteau

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How To Do The Splits


Maybe once upon a time, when you were a kid, you could do the splits, but try doing it now in your stiff teenage body. Ugh. It hurts and it seems impossible to get pass the 90 degree mark. That is your limit, you decide. That's it. I can't do the splits. Not anymore.

BUT THERE'S NO NEED TO FEAR. All may not be lost.

I'm 18 and I can do around 200 degrees of splits.

Right, you say. You've probably been doing it all your life. That's no help at all.

But will it help when I say I only started doing the splits when I was 15 years old? Yeah. I started doing the splits in my stiff teenage years when I could only do 90 degrees worth of splits. Maybe even less and that is no exaggeration. I couldn't even do a full split when I was a kid either. I sucked at flexibility.

So how do you manage to do the splits when you're as stiff as a board?

Step One: Stretch before doing it

Doing the splits is going to put a lot of strain in your muscles and it is not a good idea to just suddenly do the splits without warming up your muscles first. This step is especially important in the winter when your muscles are all scrunched up. Getting a muscle strain is not fun. You could also take extra precautions and put leg warmers on.

Step Two: Practice it every single day

Don't miss a single day or else you'll end up not being able to do the splits. One way that helps you remember to do the splits every day is picking a time to do the splits. I personally did it at night, but any time of day is absolutely fine. On the floor, practice your splits. Go as low as you can and stay in that position for 15 seconds. I heard staying in the position for 15 minutes is the right way, but who the heck can do that? Just do 15 seconds. Every single day.

Step Three: Be persistent

I'm serious. Doing the splits is going to hurt like crazy. But it's not only the pain you need to deal with. You need to persist through time as well. It took me over a year to get the 180 degrees splits right. Keep your goal of accomplishing the splits in mind every single day and persist through everything! That's the only way to actually manage to reach your goal.

What are you doing still on the computer. Go practice and claim a victory over the impossible splits!


-Barista Mia-

Image: klndonnelly

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How To Get Your Fave Celeb's Look


Hey girls! If you're anything like me, you have some favorite celebrities that you like to emulate. Maybe it's their awesome hairdo, or their super singing ability. Some things are nearly impossible to impersonate, but something very fun that you can do easily is get their look. The best part about it is that you don't have to have Gucci shades or a Prada purse to get your point across. You simply have to figure out your fave celeb's signature style and get a decent approximation.
One of my favorite celebrities is Taylor Swift. I love how she keeps it classy and always seems to have some sort of retro vibe going on, so those are the distinguishing trademarks I'm going to focus on. Taylor has worn skirts, pants, and dresses so the options are wide open. My favorite look of hers is when she wears a simple, forties-inspired dress, so that would be my starting point. Then I would pair it with some simple shoes, maybe ballet flats, and from there I would make the style my own with some accessories. The point isn't to try to pass for the celebrity, but to have an 'inspired by' style. If you really want to get into the look, you can do hair and makeup as well. For Miss Swift I would definitely apply red lipstick- a signature of hers- and give my hair loose, flowy curls.
You can do this for any celebrity you like; you might be surprised how simple it is to do when you figure out what it is exactly about their style that you love. However, some celebs are harder than others without a lot of altering. But even if your fave celeb is Lady Gaga, you can still accessorize like her!
I hope you have fun figuring out your celeb's look! Fashion can be tricky, so if you have someone's style you like, you can use theirs as a template to help you find your own. They don't even have to be a celebrity; maybe your sister, neighbor or schoolmate is a fashion queen! Just remember in the end that you're a unique person, and to be yourself and have fun.
I hope this helps inspire you fashionistas out there, and I'd love it if you tweet me a pic of you in your new inspired outfits!

-Barista Nicole-

Image: Taylor Swift's Twitter

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Top Three Twilight Myths Thrown to the Volturi!

Yes, yes, I am a Twilight fan. Or, more to the point, I'm not one in the countless seas of people who follow the "I hate Twilight" trend. I'll stand up for it, partly because I don't like it when people go hater on fandoms, (as books and movies are always good, even if not in a way some of us are able to enjoy), partly because I did really enjoy it, and partly because, well, it is a good series and I believe it should be enjoyed for what it is- a cracking good saga.



The world has got it all wrong!

Here are some things in popular belief that...sorry...just aren't strictly that true.

• "Twilight is cheesy."
The broadest assault on Twilight. I'm not going to deny that there's kissing and pining away for your spouse and typical, maybe predictable main plots. This is true. It has a sincere and beautiful heart, though, that's quite the opposite, if you can look past the style and enjoy the lovey-dovey-ness. Maybe this is why most Twihards these days are either twelve year-old girls or young to middle-aged single American women- they're apparently somehow able to do this.

• "It isn't even written professionally."
Myth. This is a myth! Outrageous myth! Treason! Blasphemy! The books are written cleverly- it does a good job of you in, is interesting, and uses all the "professional" techniques, i.e. metaphors and similes. There are some brilliant symbolic little details along the way. Stephenie tells the story pretty well.

The Twilight Saga (Little, Brown) by Stephanie Meyer. Annafur

• "Kristen Stewart is the worst actor in the world."
You know, I get why a lot of people don't like K-Stew's acting. She's jerky and awkward and if she were in real life it would feel as if she had a chronic shyness disorder or something and couldn't form her words properly. Compare her with Jennifer Lawrence in "The Hunger Games" series, though, and you see the same strange, almost uncertain portrayals in places. Apparently it's the way famous protagonists are these days. Bella Swan is quite an uncertain character, and unsure of herself and whatever's going on; "Oh, and by the way, Bella, I'm a vampire. Sorry, maybe you should have been aware of that before I got you pregnant." And obviously many, including professionals, think Kristen's good- she must have been chosen for the role over thousand of other auditionees for a reason.

Still from Twilight (Summit Entertainment)


-Barista Sabita-

Images: Gaston from Beauty and the Beast LivingShadowDarkMark, The Twilight Saga (Little, Brown) by Stephanie Meyer. Annafur, Still from Twilight (Summit Entertainment)

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How To Winter: Surviving Freezing Trips


It's freezing outside and the last thing you want to do in the winter holidays is to go out in the snow and do stuff that will turn your lips blue. Nuh-uh. I mean, going outside will just dry up your already flaked up skin and make you sting all over. What's the fun in that? But now I'm going to let you in on my secret to winter trips. Whether it's to the beach, the amusement park, the mountain, or wherever you are going that is still winter, (We're students. We can't afford Fiji.) it doesn't matter. My tips will save you from freezing winter trips.

Cover up from head to toe 

I'm serious. I once went to the amusement park with my friends in the middle of winter. I was wearing a sweater, a parka, thick jeans... everything. BUT! My face, neck, and hands were completely exposed to the freezing wind. I was okay at first. I mean, I'm used to the cold. But then my friends and I went on a ride and all the parts of my skin that was peeking out literally died. My hands stung so much and my face was flaking like crazy. All my friends and I had to cut the trip short due to our dying skin. We were purple with white flakes and cracked skin. Not pretty. It took a while to recover from the sting of the wind. So I'm telling you: Cover the heck up unless you want to die.

Don't go alone

Even if you want to have some alone time, it's best to go with one extra person. Body heat can keep you warm and cuddling up with your friends and/or boyfriend is a really good idea. Can you imagine just standing in the middle of nowhere with nobody in sight to keep you warm? The horror. Plus, trips are all the more fun with people around. Talking and laughing with them alone can keep you warm. No cuddling required. But if you must insist on a solo trip, go somewhere that lets you to stay inside almost all the time. Well, that is, unless you enjoy the feeling of freezing to death.

Move a lot

No, I don't mean let the car or whatever you're riding on move for you. You move. Yes. With your feet. And your arms. Your butt too. Dance to the music that is playing. Jump around in excitement at whatever you're doing. Overreact! Do whatever you must to keep yourself warm with rosy cheeks.

Don't skip the deodorant

Yeah. I guess this sounds a little weird, but, um, your pits might still sweat although the rest of your body is freezing. Yeah... True story. I've *cough* experienced it myself. So just in case, don't forget the deodorant cause, well, you might stink. Shrug. Better safe than sorry.


-Barista Mia-

Image: Martin Abegglen

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Are Sam Callahan and Tamera Foster Dating?

I am a bit of an X Factor fanatic. I love The X Factor. And the funnier and sillier it gets, the more I find myself enjoying it. Now, I'm not usually one for celebrity gossip, but I have to admit it can be great fun, so I'm going to conduct an investigation into a conspiracy that has been aloft on the show lately- whether Sam Callahan and Tamera Foster are...awh...in loooove. (Of course in reality I'm sure they're not, but that's not the point of gossip, is it? *Insert evil cackles here.*)

• Tamera's first diary dare was to be Sam's PA for a day. Ooh, nice. Here, take a look at the video!


• At the end of one of the joint performances of all the finalists, Tamera rested her arm on Sam's shoulder- as if he was a piece of furniture in her house. This is a true sign that they belong to one another, if you ask me. No one's asking me? Oh, well.

• Caroline Flack, one of the Xtra Factor presenters, kept seeming to think Sam and Tamera were getting married. "There were rumours"... Sam denied it, blushing, but Tamera has a cheeky side (which I hugely admire her for, BTW) and made fun of it by announcing that they were getting married after the X Factor had finished. Well, now they're both out of the competition, so we'd better listen out for wedding bells!

• When Sam left, he was asked who he was backing to win, and he paused and said Nicholas- "Nicky", who's in his category, or Tamera. Sweet.

• And when Tamera left last Sunday, she said she was going to meet up with our Sammie as soon as she could.

So there's some juicy fried nuggets of gossip for you. Gosh, I sounded like a Daily Star writer... Hum. What do you think of this rumour or any others that are on the show at the moment?

-Barista Sabita-

Image: Screenshot from a video-diary video on YouTube

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Yes. There Are Makeup Removers in Your Kitchen.


You have just come to the realization that you've indeed run out of makeup remover. You take one look outside and shudder at the snowy weather. There's no way in heck you're running outside in the freezing cold to get the makeup off your face. But at the same time, there's no way in heck you're sleeping with a face-full of makeup on. No way. You've run into a dilemma. But there's no need to fear. Unbeknownst to you, there are some natural makeup removers right there in your kitchen!

Olive Oil/Almond Oil

The best thing about olive oil and almond oil is not that they're cheap makeup removers that can be found in the kitchen, but it's that they are waaay softer and nicer on your skin than your average eye makeup remover.

Plain Yogurt

Yogurt can get rid of all your face makeup while moisturizing your dried up winter face. Aaaand you could even scoop up some of the extra yogurt and stuff it in your mouth. Yum.

Aloe Vera

Ah. Aloe. I love it. It isn't greasy, it smells nice, it tastes good, it's a great moisturizer, and now, it's a great eye makeup remover too!

Milk

This is a good time to reuse that almond oil (not olive oil) to remove that old makeup off your face. Just a few drops should do it. If you don't have any almond oil at home, don't worry. Plain milk works well too.

Please, PLEASE don't forget to wash your face thoroughly afterwards! Although all these products may be natural, it is absolutely NOT a good idea to keep all that on your face. Trust me.


-Barista Mia-

Image: sunshinecity

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The Le Teen Café Review Corner: Divergent by Veronica Roth


Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Books/HarperCollins

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.


Review:

(spoilers ahead)

Because the movie will be released very soon, I thought it might be a good time to release my review of the book-version of Divergent. I had heard about it a lot, but I didn't have an opportunity to read it until about a month ago. It was a bit late, but I'm not sad that I was late to pick this book up. Why? It wasn't as good as everybody claimed it to be.

People around me kept telling me how awesome this book was. Well, it isn't. The entire book is a prolonged initiation process. The initiation process could have been shortened to, maybe, a third or, even better, a quarter of the book and the rest of the two books could fit in the remaining 350-400 or so pages and voila. A complete series in a single 500 page book. Yay! But no. Sigh. It was REALLY disappointing to see that this entire book revolved around this single test that doesn't seem to matter for the rest of the series. (But I could be wrong. I can't be bothered to read the rest of the series. It's just a guess.) Yikes. The only good thing about the plot is the last few chapters. The action finally picks up at the very end. Ms. Roth, don't you see how much better Divergent might have been if you had cut the initiation process by, like, A LOT and fit more actual action into the book? As the book is right now, it's depth-less and absolutely POINTLESS until the last few chapters. Sorry.

Some things in this book just didn't make any logical sense:
* I mean, what's with the train jumping? What is that supposed to prove?
* Aren't adults supposed to be leading wars and such? What are stupid teens doing leading other stupid teens?
* From my experience of encountering people, it makes more sense that EVERYONE IN THIS FREAKIN' BOOK be Divergent!
* The reason the factions came to be makes absolutely no sense. The leaders were just plain stupid. Yay for segregation, eh? Did we learn NOTHING from the Civil War?

As for the characters... I guess they were a little more bearable than the plot. One thing that bugged me is the whole overdone "I found my one true love" card. -________________- And what's more? Her one true love has a tragic, hurt past and only Tris can help him. Oh my. And Tris. Well, Tris. Hm. She was self-centered, annoying, stupid, and judgmental. Need I say any more?

*pants*

Okay. I'm done with the criticism now. On to the good parts.

It's pretty hook-y in that it kept me reading. Also, well, I hate to admit it, but it's mindless fun. So if you want to read a book that you can read without thinking much, I would suggest you pick up this book at the library.

It's FUN. Pointless, but fun.

I guess I would have given this book a 4/5 if I had read this book when I wasn't in the mood for thinking, but Divergent caught me on a wrong day, so...

2/5

Now on to trying to find a book that I actually like. (I've been having bad luck recently.) Any suggestions?


-Barista Mia-

Image: Divergent (Harper Collins)

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