Introducing: ClothesEncounters

I'm a YouTube freak. I'm always hanging around this site and, as a result, I stumble across new YouTubers constantly. Unfortunately, a lot of these users aren't really blog post-worthy. But a couple weeks ago, I came across this YouTuber called ClothesEncounters. She, as you can probably tell by her username, is a fashionista. She loves clothes, she dresses really well, and she has tips all over her YouTube account. I love watching her videos to pick up fashion tips. She's awesome. The best part is that short people, like me, can pick up her tips without the fear of appearing even shorter than usual. Jenn, AKA ClothesEncounters, is only 5'1.

I thought it would be great to introduce you guys to her, so here are some of my favorite videos from her channel:

Jenn knows exactly how to dress for different types of people. She's literally a fashion genius. I love her outfits and ideas.

I'm from Korea and I swear I've never even heard of some of these places/festivals. Boo. Tourists get all the fun. On another note, once again, I lurve her outfits. Her fashion style is so cute.

Not exactly fall right now (more like spring), but I seriously love Jenn's stuff in this video.

A spring version of the huge fall haul video.

This is one of Jenn's more popular videos. It's ironic 'cause her channel focuses more on fashion than makeup, but whatevs. She'd make a cool makeup guru too

I hope you enjoyed these videos. You can check out more of her stuff on her YouTube channel clothesencounters.

-Barista Mia-

Image: Jenn's Twitter


Countries With The Best Food

Ugh. I feel so horrible. I haven't been posting in LTC for the longest time ever! I had an absolutely horrible week and I'm still bawling my eyes out at everything that has happened. Now enough complaining about my life. I want to talk about... food. 'Cause we all know that food makes EVERYTHING better. Oh, and to make things even better, should we talk about both food AND travelling? Almost everyone wants to travel one day (including me) and for some of us, one of the top reasons for travelling is for the delicious food that we'll get to taste on our little adventures. So which countries out there have the best food ever?


France has everything from champagne to cheese to bread and even snails. France has it all. French food is versatile and awesome. They have every taste, every meal, to fill up every stomach. By the way, many of the world's famous chefs have studied at France.


I believe there's only ONE country in the world that can actually compete with France in terms of food and that's Italy. I personally adore Italian food more than I like French food. Their pizza, gelato, pasta, risotto, tiramisu cakes, wine... Italy has some of the world's favorite foods. No one can pass over Italian food like it's nothing. Just a little taste of Italian food will feel like food heaven.


Indian food is one of the more exotic foods on my list. Ever since my parents took me to Indian restuarants as a kid, I've absolutely fallen in love. Indian food is spicy, sweet, tasty... everything. You have not lived until you have tried Italian food. There are a whole variety of Indian food to try out, but one thing defines it all: their delicious spices that literally make your taste buds shudder in delight.


Ah, Mexican food. I've got to confess that I haven't had my share of Mexican food until last year. Seriously. I don't know how I survived without the spicy, pure deliciousness of Mexican food. Tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas... Though I've never been to visit Mexico, I've been told that their street food is also to die for.


The best part about going to Turkey for food is that EVERYTHING, and I mean everything, tastes good. It doesn't matter if you eat a meal that costs, like, a penny (an exaggeration, but you know what I mean), it'll taste good. Besides, Turkey is surrounded by three seas, which means there's a full variety of fish to taste. Mmm. Oh, and how can I not mention Turkish delight?

Did you notice that I haven't put much Asian food on my list? Well, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Chinese food is great. They're amazing, in fact. But, as an Asian, well, I've kind of grown tired of Asian food (not Indian, though. I could never get tired of Indian food). But for those of you who want to have a taste of Asian food, you should definitely visit Japan, Korea, Thailand (definitely try ALL the Thai fruits as well. Yum.), and China.

-Barista Mia-

Image: Arnaud DG


The Best Types of Therapy

Sometimes, we get a little too stressed out and we find that we absolutely need to get something done about our messed-up thought lives. This is where therapy comes in. It's not really necessary for you to barge into a therapist's office and demand for some talking time unless, of course, you really feel like you need professional help. Instead, for those of you who just need some relaxation, here are the best types of therapy that is both accessible and cheap.


Ah, music. Blissful music. Music can work to calm people down. I was having a very hard day yesterday, so I decided to listen to a whole heap of inspirational songs. And guess what? I feel so much fresher and so much better than I did the day before.

Write it all out

Writing is GREAT therapy. It's a scientific fact. Write down all your thoughts onto a piece of paper and let out all of your feelings into words. Translating your thoughts and feelings in a way that is actually tangible can make you feel so much better as you understand exactly why you're feeling so horrible.

Sing some songs

This is similar to the first tip except that you're actually going to sing the songs instead of just listening to them.

Go somewhere remote and nature-y and scream

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This helps. Really. I've tried it countless times and releasing all those emotions with a loud shout can be a real relief. Just ask Zac Efron (HSM3, anyone?).

P.S. Sorry that I've only been posting downer posts recently. But I'll be back tomorrow with a more fun post for y'all to read.

-Barista Mia-

Image: Rebecca L


Senioritis: The Cures

So after writing that post about having senioritis, I decided to Google for some reliable ideas on getting over senioritis quickly before I fail a subject or do something I'll regret for the rest of my life. I had tried different methods beforehand as I noted in my previous post, but those hadn't worked. These new tips, though, I haven't tried yet. So in case they DO actually work to heal senioritis, I decided to share these cures with you.

Do something new

One reason seniors get senioritis is that they fall into a routine and everything just seems so boring. So do something new with your life. Play a new sport, take up a new hobby, take a trip to the beach, whatever... The novelty will make everything seem fresh and cool to you.

Guide the freshmen

Be a role model. Show them the ropes of how to handle high school. Tell them how to balance fun and work in a way that really works. Teach them what foods are edible in the cafeteria and what aren't. It's not every year when you're the oldest and wisest in school.

Hang out with others that have a bad case of senioritis

That way, you guys can suffer together. Just kidding! Surrounding yourself with people who understand exactly what you're going through will make you feel heaps better. And who knows? Maybe you can all push yourselves to get out of that sucky trench called senior year. Of course, this can all backfire and maybe you'll end up motivating each other to get even worse senioritis haha. To make a long story short, be cautious with this tip.


This is the traditional cure for senioritis. And yes, there's absolutely no doubt that this cure works. It's worked for millions of high school seniors. So if the above tips don't end up working for you, I guess you'll have to wait till graduation, which actually isn't too far away.

-Barista Mia-

Image: Tammy McGary


The Fear of Talking To Guys

I must admit that I’m not the most optimistic person in the world. I find negative aspects in every situation which means that most of the time, I’m afraid to step out of my comfort zone, especially when it comes to talking to cute guys. Some of you may feel the same way.

There are a few things I have learned in my short life. Firstly, friends are amazing. Secondly, friends will humiliate you when they please, which means basically every second of your day. Thirdly, real friends listen. What I’m trying to say is that you should talk about your fears with your friends and they will certainly help. For example, my friends have come up with a great idea to make me do things I would otherwise never do. We make bets all the time. Don’t worry; it doesn’t have to include money. Most of the time, we dare someone to do what she is too shy to do. This helped me to finally get the courage to talk to this great guy. And guess what? I’m still alive! (Just kidding, I’m still dying of embarrassment)

Of course, being embarrassed is part of the process and it only helps to make the experience fun and exciting.

There are other things you could do. For example, if the situation involves any social network, you can just ask a friend to do it for you! That way, you will just have to shout “OMG” a million times while your friend is doing all the work. Pretty simple, right?

If it involves actually talking to someone, try to find him or her alone and then ask your friends to push you. That way, you will feel obligated to talk to that person.

Okay, I know what you are thinking. All these situations involve an overdose of emotional feelings that will probably make you want to hide in the other part of the world forever. But look at the positive side: it’s better to do it than regretting not doing it.

-Barista Alexandra-

Image: Ignat Gorazd


Senioritis: The Symptoms

I don't know if you've noticed, but I used to put up one blog post per day here at LTC, but recently, I've been more lazy about posting blog posts. Why? Well... I have senioritis. I can't find the motivation to do anything anymore. I just can't wait to graduate. I wish there was something I could do, but all I can do is wait for this stupid, lazy feeling to fade away. I've tried everything to motivate myself, but it's just not working. I just want to lie in my bed and stay there until senior year is over. But alas, that isn't something I can do. I can only wait. For those of you who also have senioritis... hang in there, guys! We can get through this together.

Just for fun's sake, I decided to list the various symptoms associated with senioritis.


"Ain't nobody going to get me out of my bed today."

Physical decay

"Sweatpants and sweatshirts are my life. I don't even remember why I used to stress about getting changed for school. As for showers? Meh."

A lack of motivation

"Oh, yeah. I forgot that I had that paper due today. *stares at blank doc for two hours* Whatever. I'm not doing this."

A dismissive attitude

"Homework. Who the heck cares?"


"Ohhhh right. I forgot all about that musical rehearsal LOL... I was in the computer room looking for prom dresses."


"I'm basically living on caffeine, but even still, I'm finding it so hard to focus on anything at all. Everything's just a fuzzy blur. *snores*"

Recognize yourself in this blog post? I do. Well, I better get back to rocking back and forth in my chair as I wait for graduation day. Blech.

-Barista Mia-

Image: Incase


Things To Do Before You Graduate High School

Now I think I've already mentioned a billion times in previous posts that I am currently a high school senior applying to colleges in the US. Well, I wanted to take a break from all this stressful college stuff and decided to focus on high school, where I am right now.

Here are the things EVERY high school student should do before graduating:

Start a band

Come on! Everyone's dreamed of starting a band and jamming along to tunes and, y'know, participating in competitions and stuff. It doesn't matter if you sound horrible. The point of starting a band is to have fun.

Play a sport

No one. I repeat, NO ONE should sit still on their lazy bums and do nothing. Everyone should go out and play a sport. You can make amazing friends and have some of the best experiences of your life.

Get straight A's for at least one semester

It doesn't matter if you're naturally a C student or something. Work your butt off for just ONE short semester and get those elusive A's. It'll be fun to boast to people that you once got straight A's.

Get your driver's license

Now here's one item in the high school bucket list that I haven't accomplished yet. I have no money or time. Sobs. You people who are able to get driving licenses, think yourself lucky.

Go camping with your friends

Ah, memories. Going camping, starting a camp fire, eating marshmallows, playing around with fireworks... What's a better way to spend your vacations than among your friends and nature?

Ask your crush out

You heard me. Suck it up like a big girl and ask your crush out. You'll regret it if you don't. And if he ends up rejecting you, shrug it off. He's not worth it.

Go to prom

I seriously cannot wait for this year's prom. I couldn't go last year due to stupid SATs, but this year, nothing's going to stop me from dressing like a princess for the night! Prom is something EVERY high school student should experience whether you have a date or not.

Be weird

Yes, be weird. You won't have many excuses to be weird when you're older, so do it all now when you're young and free! After all, you're only young once.

-Barista Mia-

Image: rik-shaw


No Makeup!

Makeup is so common these days. Everyone (with rare exceptions of a few very individualistic girls who usually go to Steiner schools or something) wears makeup. I say this with surprise because I come from a "natural-is-good-makeup-is-evil" kind of background myself.

Even now I spend most of my time without a single makeup product on. When I go out, whether I put any on depends only on how much time I have to do so.

It is fun to layer on the blusher, eyeshadow and lip gloss like crazy when you have a big party to go to or are doing it as a sleepover activity. Putting pretty makeup on can also be a fun and calming thing to do when you're on your own. It can be rather like art therapy- it's pretty and enjoyable, and something you can get really good at.

However, I think it's a shame when girls feel like they have to have some kind of artificial coverage on their face at all times in order to feel complete. The belief that people actually care about it dominates them.

Often the difference between how you look makeupless and your natural look are too big not to be very noticeable, and if you went out without anything on your face one day people would notice the change. We're used to our made-up look, that's why we can easily begin to feel uncomfortable and bare without it.

But it doesn't have to be like that. You have probably heard it said a million times over that natural is beautiful, and it is- just in a different way to the heavy paintedness we're bombarded with in magazines, TV shows, and on the Internet. Try it- to get used to it, first just wear a little of the products that really make a change to your appearance, such as eyeliner, and gradually lessen it to even less, and finally nothing.

As many of you will have seen from the influx of special no-makeup selfies being posted on Facebook at the moment, there is a campaign going on in which you get sponsored to do this. The money goes to cancer research.

What better a way to start ditching the cosmetics and helping charity at the same time? Others aren't going to judge you, especially if they're also doing it themselves!

My own no makeup selfie

-Barista Sabita-

Image: Lexie Terry, Barista Sabita


Easy Breakfast

Most of us don't have time to have breakfast. We know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but with waking up taking about 30 minutes and choosing clothes taking another 30 minutes, plus makeup, packing bags and all that stuff, it's really hard to find time to stuff some food into our stomachs. But do not fear! There are many different types of breakfast you can have with very, very little (if any) preparation.


Just grab a fruit on your way to school or work and chomp it down. I personally like to have an apple for breakfast when I'm in a hurry. It's easy to eat and it fills me up.


A bowl, milk, and cereal. That's it. Cereal is simple, tasty, and healthy.


All you have to do is put a slice of bread in the toaster, grab your favorite jam (Nutella or blueberry jam for me!), spread your warm toast with the jam, and voila. Breakfast in a minute just for you.


The fun part about making smoothies is that you can dump whatever you want into the mixer. If you don't know what to do, dump in banana, vanilla ice cream, a lot of sugar, and some milk into the mixer and mix it up. It's really good! Smoothies are an easy and delicious breakfast to have for any busy day.


Ah, Starbucks. What will we ever do without it? Go to the nearest Starbucks and grab a bagel plus a drink to start your day. A perfect breakfast.

-Barista Mia-

Image: John Herschell


Reasons To Be a Nerdfighter

You might know who they are. By definition, nerdfighters are “people who instead of being made up of cells and organs and stuff are actually made out of awesome”. This community was started by Hank and John Green who are famous YouTubers and brothers. They have many channels, the most famous being Vlogbrothers.

So, why should you be a nerdfighter?

Firstly, Hank and John are amazing and, of course, pretty awesome. Besides being a YouTuber, John Green is a famous writer, mostly because of his book “The Fault in Our Stars” (If you haven’t read this book, you should definitely read it. Like, now.). He has other works such as “Looking for Alaska” and “Paper Towns”. But let’s not forget about our friend Hank Green. He is a great musician and he is the co-creator of the popular web series “The Lizzie Bennett Diaries” (If you haven’t watched this series, you should check it out).

Secondly, Hank and John make science, history, and any other boring subject, fun. I personally prefer their channel “Mental Floss” but they have other channels dedicated to science, and their main channel, VlogBrothers, also dedicates some of its videos to these subjects.

Being a nerdfighter is about decreasing worldsuck and increasing the amount of people made of awesome. Usually, nerdfighters are involved in many charity projects such as Project for Awesome (You can learn about this project here).

Most important of all: anyone can become a nerdfighter. Join the nerdfighteria here:

DFTA (Don’t forget to be awesome).

-Barista Alexandra-

Image: still from Vlogbrothers video


What To Do When You're Completely Burned Out

There are times when we just feel absolutely exhausted. We have no motivation to do anything and we feel like crawling into a ball and sleeping until we die. Unfortunately, this is not an option for many of us. We still have stuff to do no matter how annoying it is. So what are some things that we can do when we're utterly burned out and exhausted?


Sleep is the best medicine, they say. And it's true. When you're feeling burned out, rest your mind a bit. Give yourself some rest

Eat healthy

Believe it or not, but eating healthy can make even the laziest person in the world feel good. It's the same case for people who are burned out. Your head will feel lighter and you will feel happier after you start eating healthier.


Exercising really clears the mind in my opinion. When I'm feeling a little burned out, I always go outside with my badminton racket and play a game with someone.

Say no

One reason people get burned out is that they have way too many things on their plate. So when someone asks a favor or tells you to do something and you KNOW that doing that certain thing will put a lot more baggage on your shoulders, say no.

Don't give up

Feeling burned out isn't the end of the world no matter how much it feels like it. Don't give in to lack of motivation and don't accept defeat. After all, this is a battle between you and your mind. In the wise words of Dory, "Just keep swimming."

-Barista Mia-

Image: Michael Dorokhov


The Five Types of Jeans You Should Have

Skinny Jeans

Every girl needs a pair of skinny jeans in their closet. No girl can be complete without it. They go with literally every single thing! A lifesaver in fashion emergencies, for sure.

Print Jeans

You need to be extremely careful when you're picking out print jeans for you to wear. Make sure they fit you and your style and make sure they don't look like PJs on you. If you've got these tips under control, you'll have a fun pair of jeans to wear whenever you feel like going a little hyper with your style for the day.

Bootcut Jeans

They make your legs look long. End of story.

Color Jeans

I personally have electric blue jeans right now. Once, I had pink. Next, I think I want to go for mint green jeans. I really, really love colored jeans as you can see. They make a boring outfit look absolutely awesome.

High-Waisted Jeans

There. I said it. I know many people would want to burn these type of jeans, but I think there's a way to get them to work. First, make sure your butt fills in the back of your jeans. Second, work 'em.

-Barista Mia-

Image: Maria Morri


Waitlisted? What Should You Do?

Our first college decisions have started to arrive! This is an exciting process. I mean, all that waiting is finally over! At least, that's what we thought. Some of us open our decisions, our hearts beating like crazy, and what'd'ya know... we've been placed on the waitlist. A deluge of emotions start to wash over us. Relief, disappointment, and lastly, disbelief. We have to wait another two to three months for our final results?! Oh, heck no. But alas, this is our fate. But then, what can we do about this bubble called the waitlist? Is there anything we can do about it?

Well, first...

Express your interest in the school

Send an email to your regional admissions officer of the school(s) you've been waitlisted at. Make it heartfelt, but don't go overboard. Write about why you want to go to said college, program, or whatever. Basically, write a "Why This School" essay and send it.


Send updates

Keep in contact with your admissions officer. Whenever you get an A in something, receive a type of award... it's time to send an email. Don't become a pest though. You don't want your admissions officer thinking you're annoying, which gives him/her a reason to reject you in the end.

And finally...

Pretend it's a rejection and move on

Truth be told, getting off the waitlist is... difficult. Don't be overly optimistic and think that you have a great chance of getting in. Focus on your other schools instead. If you eventually get rejected, oh well. You've already moved on, so it won't matter for you anymore. And if you get accepted. Whoop! An awesome surprise just for you!

-Barista Mia-

Image: Stuart Fannon


How To Sleep Better

I'm probably one of the worst sleepers out there. I find it extremely difficult to fall asleep even though I am super tired. I just lie on my bed for hours, thinking about the meaning of life, my crush, and other weird stuff like that. Of course, to fix my dilemma, I tried so many different tricks and tips to fix my sleepless nights, and after three years of experimentation, I think I finally know which tricks and which tips work best in helping me to fall asleep.

Get cozy

Pretty straightforward, eh? But there's no better trick up there to help you fall asleep than to get cozy. It's pretty cold in my room, so I jump into my bed at night, crawl underneath my thick blanket, and make myself super comfortable in my bed.

Use up every inch of your energy

Sounds tiring? You bet! And that's the whole point. Go exercise, go run around on errands, go hang out with friends. Do everything that will make you exhausted by the end of the day so that you'll just collapse on your bed.

Set a wake up time and a bed time

Yeah, yeah. You're too old for that stuff, but guess what? Setting the time to go to bed and the time to get off the bed to start the day really help.

Don't be hungry

So I was on a diet a while back and I decided to eat absolutely nothing after six. Every night during that diet, I thought I would never be able to go to dreamland. All I could think about was how hungry I was and how many hours I had to wait til breakfast. In the end, I gave up on that particular diet. The lesson? Don't go to bed hungry.

Avoid drinking too much liquid in the evening

Do I really need to explain why?

-Barista Mia-

Image: martinak15


How To Deal With The Green-Eyed Jealousy Monster

Jealousy is inevitable. I myself have felt it for two different reasons just this week. I'm not usually the type to get jealous as I have a pretty optimistic approach to life, but I just couldn't handle it this week. Sigh. First, one of my closest friends got accepted to a school that we both applied to, but I ended up getting waitlisted. I honestly was pretty happy about the waitlist as this is a top-tier school, but after hearing that my friend had gotten in... well, let's just say the green-eyed monster inside of me didn't really like it. Second... um... this is a more personal thing so I'll keep quiet about this one.

I hate feeling jealous. I really do. I feel nasty. I mean, why the heck am I jealous of my friend for getting in when I should be congratulating her from the bottom of my heart (I am happy that she got in, but the jealousy's messing up my emotions). Anyway, I looked for ways to kill the jealousy that is killing me inside and I came up with a list of tips. I feel heaps better now and hopefully, if you feel jealous about something right now, you will too.

Treat yourself

Go shopping, take a nice bath, whatever. Just make yourself happy so that you forget about who and what you're jealous of. There's one CON to this method, though: As soon as you're done treating yourself, there's a possibility that your jealousy might spew back out.

Count your blessings

A surefire way to stop your jealousy. Instead of focusing on what you DON'T have. Look at what you DO have.

Distract yourself

I distracted myself by reading a hundred different books. Okay. Not a hundred. But I did read three books so far.

Write, shout or sing it out

Believe it or not, but when you write, shout, or sing about how you're feeling and such, you're going to feel so much better.

Be nice to the person you are jealous of

*snort* Yeah, right. But seriously. When you're nice to the person you're jealous of, you're going to forget how jealous you are of him/her. Give that person a present, hang out with that person, strike a friendly conversation with that person. Make that person happy and you will be happy too as weird as that sounds.

-Barista Mia-

Image: MiraCosta Community College


Alleviating Those Downer Days

No matter how hard we try to avoid them, life will slap us in the face for no apparent reason in the form of what I like to call a 'downer day'. I am referring to one of those days where you find yourself repeatedly asking the question- "what's the point?!". One of those sucky, unnaturally long days where the only thing you want to do is curl up and forget everything. It would be misleading to suggest that there are ways of avoiding these moments, but here are a few ways to cushion the blow...

1) Take your mind off things (If nothing in particular is bugging you)

If you feel the way you do for no particular reason, distract yourself. Maybe watch a movie or series, throw together a playlist which will lighten your mood. I often find that lighthearted conversation with friends is a brilliant solution to feeling glum. We all need a break from constantly thinking, sometimes.

2) Face whatever is on your mind

I recommend doing this when some unresolved problem is causing your mood to be this way. If this is the case, it's best to face whatever is bugging you. I'm sure you've guessed it, but talking it out really does help. Tell someone how you feel, rather than keeping everything bottled up inside. If you honestly don't know who to turn to, keeping a diary or even an anonymous blog can really help. You can always email or comment too, I'd be happy to help or even just listen! Just don't ignore the problem, if there is one. Unfortunately, I can only speak in general terms, but i'm sure this piece of advice stands true in most cases.

3) Remain optimistic!

It's easier said than done, I know but looking on the bright side really reduces the frequency of these bad days.

Hopefully your suckier (I know that's not a word) days won't suck as much now, and remember- they're just a part of life!

-Barista Ria-

Image: Lau_Lau Chan


Fashion How-Tos: A Beginner’s Guide

Rule #1: Break all the rules

I don’t care if the stars aren’t wearing it, or if you’re best friend already wore it, or if it’s ‘not right for your body shape’. Wear what makes you happy. The following ‘rules’ are just to help you out if you’re having trouble. <3

Rule 2: Proportions (tops to bottoms)

If your wearing an oversized sweater, pair it with skinny jeans. Or if you’re skirt's flowy, try a fitted tank-top. Basically, try not to have your top and bottom both snug or super loose; have them balance each other out.

Rule 3: Colors

There’s supposed to be a skin tone test (the seasons one) but I never figured mine out. I just suggest compiling a list of what colors suit you, in what shades, and which ones make you look sick, tired, or just blah. Everyone’s going to be different, so what looks amazing on your friend probably won’t on you (unless of course you guys have similar coloring). If you find a color you love but just doesn’t look the best on you, keep it away from your face; wear a scarf in a more flattering color over the top of that sweater, or wear it in bottoms, shoes or accessories.

Rule 4: Fit

If you particularly want to flatter your body shape, here’s an easy way to make sure you do that: focus on what certain types of clothes make different parts of your body appear bigger/smaller. Want less focus on your bust? Wear the clothes that make you look smaller there. If you’re like me and have a kinda tiny bust, you might do the reverse. Just make sure whatever you wear isn’t way too big or small; clothes that are too big look sloppy and aren’t flattering, but clothes that are too small are just as unflattering and can actually be unhealthy (and if you’re sensitive about your weight, tiny clothes can create ‘fat rolls’ in places you don’t actually have them). So just observe your body and wear what makes you happy about how you look and what shapes you create (a full length-mirror can really help make sure you like the entire outfit, that you’re not accidentally showing off more skin than you wanted, etc.).

Rule 5: Getting the look

Basically, stand back from your mirror and make sure your top/bottom or dress/sweater whatever doesn’t crazily clash. Stripes with prints, etc. can be dangerous territory so if you’re new to this, it might be better to play it safe and have only one printed part of your outfit. So if you want to wear that polka dot dress, wear the plain sweater. Or if your pants have stripes, go with the chic, simple top. For accessorizing, pick two or maybe three things; don’t pile on earrings, bracelets, necklaces etc. etc. (unless you’re going for a new and edgy look).

So I hope these tips have helped you out somewhat, and I’ll be posting part 2 shortly, for those of you who are saying ‘yeah, yeah I know this stuff but I want more help’. :)

-Barista Nicole-

Image: Barbro Andersen


Introducing: Wattpad

You might have heard of Wattpad: an innovative social network whose popularity is increasing at the speed of light, but have you considered joining its community? If so, well, you probably know how frustrating and fantastic it can be at the same time. For those of you who have no clue what Wattpad is, I’m here to tell you all about it.

Wattpad is for the unknown writers and for any type of readers. All you have to do is create an account and start writing and reading! It can be a bit annoying sometimes since most of the good writers don’t get the recognition they should get. So from a person with experience on this social network, I think you should search for amazing talented writers who don’t get as many fans as they should, instead of just clicking on the popular books that everybody reads. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t read those books (some of them are pretty good); however, I think that you will understand my advice after you join. You may get the recognition you deserve or you may not. It is really random but, if you're a writer, don’t give up! Wattpad is a great way to improve your writing skills as well as take in some constructive criticism.

Join clubs and make friends! Wattpad is for the underdogs. There, anyone can show their true colours. Do you have any problem? The Wattpad community will help! Just write how you feel and everyone will want to make you feel better.

If you are planning on showing off some of your works, just make sure you know how to end them. Sometimes, it can be a little annoying for your readers if you have no clue what to do with your book or you simply don’t update it. Try to be organized. For example, if you already have two or three chapters for a new book, don’t put them all at once. This will give you some time to write more chapters and will also make your readers attached to your brilliant idea.

If you are a member of Wattpad and you don’t get noticed: don’t worry. Try changing your book cover to something more appealing. Colours are extremely important. You need to create something simple but memorable. Also, book titles are a big deal. In Wattpad, if your title tells the reader everything that the book is about, it will probably get a lot of views, especially if it is a fanfic (I think that we need to change this attitude about fanfics though).

Most important of all, have fun! Wattpad can be many things: amazing, exciting, gripping, frustrating, boring... it really depends on your attitude towards it. If you want to make the best out of your Wattpad experience, start by making friends. They make it all better!

-Barista Alexandra-

Image: via (Wattpad logo)


Making Sports and Exercise Fun

Exercise is a crucial factor in losing weight. Exercise is especially important in the spring time when we are prepping to make our bodies as presentable as possible for the summer break. But the problem is motivation. We all find it mighty difficult to motivate ourselves to exercise. What better way to up our exercise motivation than by actually starting to LIKE exercising and working out?

Find the sport for you

Some people like to swim, some people like to run, some people like to dance... find something that makes you actually want to work your body to death. I personally like to dance and play badminton. Don't try to do a sport that you don't enjoy doing just because your friends are doing it or because you think that makes you look cool. Do something you like.

Do it with your friends

If you and your friends like the same sport, great! Exercising with your friends is an awesome motivator and it makes exercising a more fun experience for both you and your friends. Gossiping on top of exercising, anyone?

Don't fall into a routine

If you do, exercising will lose its novelty and will become super boring, like homework. Keep it exciting, fun, and new every time. Do your sport in different places, try different techniques...

Play a game

If you're doing a team sport or a sport that requires a partner, playing a game is a sure way to keep exercising super fun. Plus, playing games can motivate you to improve your skills so that you would win.

Listen to music

Music, especially the kind with an energetic beat, has a magical quality of motivating people to exercise. So plug in those in-ear headphones and get cracking.

-Barista Mia-

Image: Lehigh Valley, PA


How To Improvise On The Piano


I've been an on and off piano player for several years now. But this time, I'm determined to keep playing without giving up. The reason I'm so excited about playing the piano all of a sudden is that I finally know how to improvise. Improvising on the piano is beyond fun. Playing with the notes on the keyboard, making music out of just chords on a page... that's incredibly cool. I started out by just learning all the chords, so that I could play whatever song I wanted by just searching for the chords online, like at Ultimate Guitar. And once I got to know the chords, I decided to try out improvising, something that I've been so hecka scared to do.

For those of you out there who want to try out improvising on the piano, here is my how-to for y'all:

Pick a song you want to improvise on

It can be any song. It can be a pop song, a Broadway song... whatever. Just pick one and get the chords for the song. I personally started improvising with Titanium by David Guetta, one of my favorite songs ever.

Start by just playing the chords of the song, nothing more

Don't improvise just yet. Familiarize yourself with the key that the song is in. Remember which sharps or flats are in the song (though if you've studied music theory, like me, you would know which sharps/flats are present just by looking at the chords) and make sure your fingers are comfortable with the song. For something super easy to play, try find a song in the key of C, F, G, or D (the easiest keys to play in IMO) or, if you can, you can transpose the song you chose in the beginning to an easier key.

Listen to the actual recording of the song

Listen to the pattern of the music in the background. Pick up some ideas, pick up some notes that you want to try out. It's okay to copy exactly what the piano is doing in the actual recording. One good way to learn how to improvise is to copy other piano players.

Let your fingers and your heart do the work

Play. Just play. Don't think. Just play. Do whatever. Improvise with the notes on the piano. Improvise with some of the notes you heard over the recording. Copy from the original, make your own... Just play. There's just ONE rule to keep in mind: remember the key you're playing in. Don't go off key when improvising. You'll just make the song sound weird. For example, if you're playing in the key of D, you shouldn't play E# or F, you should play E or F# instead.

Now for the hard part...

Let yourself make mistakes

Here's a fact: you're going to sound horrible. At least at first. It takes a bit of time for your fingers to get used to improvising. Experiment on different notes on the piano, try different patterns... The key to improvisation is to make mistakes and learn from them. If you're too afraid to make mistakes, it's going to VERY hard to learn how to improvise.

Keep practicing

The only way to improve ANYTHING in life is to keep practicing. Don't give up and keep pushing on the notes on the keyboard. Play music, make heaps of mistakes, and improve more and more everyday.

P.S. I used to be an absolutely horrifying improvisor, but by following the steps above, I'm pretty good now. Of course, I still have a lot to learn and I need to experiment more, but I've improved quite a bit. So try out these tips. They really do help.

-Barista Mia-

Image: Knar Bedian


How To Find The Perfect Prom Dress

Choosing a prom dress is hard work. It's almost impossible to pick THE dress for the special evening. But, hopefully, with a few tips, the quest to find your prom dress won't seem too daunting. So here are my tips for finding the perfect prom dress for what's supposed to be the best evening of your entire high school career!

1. Begin your search EARLY

Go prom dress shopping at least four to six weeks earlier than the date of your prom night. Any later, then all the good dresses would be taken and that's not cool. Not cool at all. Besides, most formal dresses need some alteration and you need to leave time for that.

2. Plan your budget and start saving

Don't forget to leave extra cash for accessories, shoes, hair, and makeup as well.

3. Google prom dresses and take notes on your favorite styles

That way, you'll have a better idea of what you're looking for and you won't be overwhelmed by all the choices that you have when you finally go shopping.

4. Shop online, thrift, go to specialty shops, go to your favorite store, search everywhere for the perfect dress

Try on a variety of styles and colors to see what looks best on your body. At the same time, though, don't forget the notes that you jotted down in the previous step! Use the notes to narrow down the impossible search a little.

5. Pick your top five

Take pictures of your top five or so dresses. And if you can, take pictures of you IN the dresses. Then...

6. Sleep on it

Whichever dress your gut tells you is the one you should buy is THE ONE. If you don't trust your gut so much, though, you can always ask your friends' for their opinions on the dresses too. And voila. You've found your prom dress!

-Barista Mia-

Image: Emily Burnett


The 2014 Oscars--Best Moments

Ah, the Oscars. So much happened over the course of one night that the Internet practically exploded: meme, pictures, gifsets....temporary Twitter problems (it was worth it, Ellen!). Here are some of my favorite moments from that night.

1. Jennifer Lawrence

Just, everything about her. She started off the night with a bang- er, another trip- and things kept going from there. From being called out by Ellen, to doing the calling-out herself, to being in the most-tweeted selfie ever... it was a very Jennifer Lawrence-y night, which in my book is a definite win.

2.  The Pizza Delivery

Can we just pause a moment to think about the situation; all these celebrities, gathered for an awards ceremony, wearing their finest and on their best behavior... and then Ellen orders a pizza. And they all eat it- one of the messiest, least-dignified foods- and for a moment, we’re reminded that all these actors are people just like us. I thought it was a super cute- and yummy!- moment.

3. Leonardo DiCaprio’s [lack of an] Oscar

Oh Leo. We’re all starting to feel bad for you- even if the memes that come from your misfortune are some of the funniest. From subtitling his sad/mad movie scenes to be about the Oscars, to always bringing it up every time there’s a discussion that has anything to do with him, the internet loves poking fun at his misfortunes. And they’ll have just as much fun when he finally wins one (hey, Leo’s not the only one who wants him to win!).

4. Anything and Everything Frozen

Idina Menzel’s (or Adele Nazeem’s, lol)  rendition of “Let it Go” had many fangurls screaming into their TVs, and I thought it was just darn cute and quirky that Kristen Bell has a burrito tucked in her clutch (she also gave a French accent to the famous quote ‘Do you wanna build a snowman?’). Frozen 2, anyone? And in the meantime, check out all the super-cute fanart of Elsa and Anna at the Oscars, based off of Idina/Kristen.

5. Ellen

I already mentioned the pizza (which was her idea) and the Twitter problem (which was due to her famous celeb selfie) but let’s take a moment to really appreciate Ellen’s wonderful hosting abilities. She’s funny, intelligent, tells it like it is and knows how to make a wonderful time for everyone around her. I’d certainly want to go to a party hosted by her. Oh, and she’s the author of the best new quote for Hunger Games fans: “Who are we kidding, it’s The Hunger Games. There’s cameras everywhere, you’re starving, and Jennifer Lawrence won last year.”

Well, I don’t know how you feel about it all, but in my opinion, the Oscars this year can be described in a single word: epic.

-Barista Nicole-

Image: Ellen's Twitter


Busy Day Makeup

After writing that post on lazy, bad hair days, I thought it would be neat to write a sister post on what to do with your makeup when you're so busy that you're just like "what the heck". This is me almost every single day. I consider my hair more important than my makeup, so after spending thirty minutes styling my hair, I find it impossible to find time to do makeup as well as I do my hair. A couple years of doing this, I now consider myself an expert in quick makeup for busy days.

Anyway, enough back story, here are my busy day makeup steps:

1) Just put on some foundation

Yes, really. This is what I normally do every day. I just slap on some BB cream on my face. Obviously you won't look dressed up and stuff, but I think this is good makeup for school. I mean, you're covering up some flaws and you won't look gross.

But if you're lucky enough to have more time to paint your face...

2) Put on concealer and powder your face

Put on a little concealer on certain spots like underneath your eyes and powder your face for the big finish. Voila. Your face will look flawless.

You have more time? Well then...

3) Slap on some lipgloss or lipstick

This way, you won't look too pale and dead like the way most people look when they only put on some face makeup.

If you still have more time, though...

4) Curl your lashes and put on some mascara

I've still not mastered the art of the liquid eyeliner (I abhor pencil eyeliner. I don't know why.), so I tend to skip putting on eyeliner unless it's a special occasion (I need around two minutes to put on my eyeliner. If you can put on eyeliner quickly, though, go for it!). Mascara, on the other hand, is easy peasy. Plus, mascara makes everyone look so much better. Oh, and you can always put on eyeshadow before mascara-ing your lashes, but it's an optional step. You don't NEED to put it on, especially not when you're running out of time.

You still have more time, you say? Then...

5) Apply blush

Yay for a little more color on your face!

Yes, I know this is a weird order to put on makeup, but this guarantees that you'll look good on any step you decide to stop on. I mean, you never know when you'll run out of time perfecting your makeup.

I know I've missed out several crucial makeup steps like bronzer, eyeliner, etcetera, but if you have the time to do more than what I've mentioned here, it's not a busy day for you. It's a not-so-busy day. And these makeup steps are only for busy days, so get lost.

Kidding! No, seriously. Stay and read some more. Heh.

-Barista Mia-

Image: Alex


Things I Wish Were Movies

Whether you’re a regular cinema visitor or just like to watch one once in a while, we are all movie fans. Now despite there being many brilliant (or not so brilliant) movies coming out all the time. There are several things I wish were movies but alas are not likely to ever be made.

1) The Chrestomanci series

Ever since I first read Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones about a year ago, I thought that it would make a brilliant movie. But why just that book? Why not start at the beginning? With book number one: Charmed Life. The animated film Howl’s Moving Castle based on the Diana Wynne Jones novel of the same name shows that her work can work well on the screen. Why can’t we have an adaptation of the Chrestomanci books?

2) Whatever film this is advertising

It’s been nearly a year since My Chemical Romance's tragic break-up. What would be a better parting gift than a feature length movie based on the video for “I’m not okay”? Yeah, I’m being a bit too hopeful, but no My Chemical Romance fan would deny how amazing that would be. I for one am prepared to feel the romance.

3) The Subtle Knife

I adored the book Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman. In fact, I am currently re-reading my very, very worn out copy for the umpteenth time. The film adaptation for The Golden Compass was okay apart from the fact that IT FINISHED BEFORE THE ENDING OF BOOK!!! I was always disappointed that we never got to see the sequel and now at 19, Dakota Blue Richards has outgrown the role of 12 year old Lyra. I think people would notice the seven year gap as, if my memory serves me correct, The Subtle Knife starts about 3 days after the end of Northern Lights.

-Barista Ellen-

Images: via (The Chrestomanci series), via (The Subtle Knife)


Give Your Best Friend a Creative Present

When it’s your best friend’s birthday, you’re sure you know what to do: buy something. It could be a pair of shoes from a shop that everybody knows or a bracelet from a famous brand. But are you sure you want to do that? Your best friend is someone important in your life, the one who is always there for you. You need to give her something special. Get her something from your heart.

Here are some pretty good examples of creative and thoughtful gifts.

Write a song.

This is a great present. If you don’t like poetic and sentimental stuff, you can just write a funny song about the aspects you most love about her and sing it with a hilarious voice. She will surely appreciate your gift and laugh as well.

Personalize a piece of clothing.

For example, a T-Shirt is a great piece of clothing to give a personal touch to. You can write a funny message on it or simply redecorate it to something fashionable. It really depends on how your best friend’s personality is.

Record a video.

Another great present you can give your best friend is a video made by you. You can put your best friend’s friends and family on it saying some phrases about your BFF. There is nothing more I could say about this except: Be creative!

Take her somewhere

Sometimes, the best gift you can give is company. Take her to some place you both love to go to and have a good time.

Show your skills

If you are good at baking or cooking, you can totally show off your skills and, at the same time, make your best friend happy. Paint, write some nerd jokes… give her something that will not only show why she chose you to be her best friend but also to show her why you chose her to be your best friend.

-Barista Alexandra-

Image: Don LaVange