Lazy, Bad Hair Days


Do you ever have those days when your hair is an absolute bird’s nest, but you just don’t feel productive enough to make your hair look presentable? I do and so do a billion other people in the world. Thankfully, I have some solutions on what you can do with your hair when you’re having both a lazy day and a bad hair day at the same time. Here they are:

Solution #1: The Dancer Hairstyle

Dump a whole heap of wax onto your hair and pull every single strand of your hair back into a tight, tight ponytail. You can see a lot of dancers doing this, hence the name. The wax can easily make you look impeccable. After your hair is in a ponytail, you can get a little creative. Make a braided bun, keep it in a simple ponytail… whatever.

Solution #2: Wear a hat

A simple solution to an impossible problem. Grab a hat on your way out of your house and voila. No one will notice that you’re having a horrible hair day. The only problem is that wearing a hat can get a bit annoying.

Solution #3: Wear a headband or bandana

A less annoying solution than Solution #2. If you hair isn’t so bad that you need to literally cover every inch of it with a hat, wearing a headband or bandana is a cute idea to make your bad hair into nice-looking hair. Plus, headbands and bandanas are in style where I’m at. They’re super cute.

Solution #4: Go au natural

Honestly, no one will care as much about your hair as you do. We are our own worst critics after all. And when someone does notice, make a joke about your hair. This is a sure way to get laughs from friends and some more confidence about yourself.


-Barista Mia-

Image: StarMama

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Things That Should Have Fandoms But Don't

Here are some of my favourite books, movies and TV shows that I think deserve more notoriety via fandoms. Do you agree with me?

Little House on the Prairie


It's ancient- it was on TV in the '70s- but it was my all time favourite TV show growing up. (And no, I actually grew up in the '00s...) The 200+ episodes feature Laura Ingalls, a country girl with pigtails, as she grows up in eighteenth-century Minnesota. I loved this show because even though Laura had a different kind of life in a different kind of place, she was still exactly like a normal child and teenager today. She carved her crushes' name on a tree and shoved the class bully Nellie Oleson into a river!
Even now, if I'm having a bad day and need to get away from it all, I try to escape back into the past with a good old episode of LHOTP.

How I Live Now


The book is by Meg Rosoff and the film was out in October. I fell in love with them both. It's about an American teenager, Daisy, who goes to live with her cousins in England just before the outbreak of World War Three. The book is special as it's written in a really different and captivating way, and it was awesome to see it brought to life watching the movie, especially as Saoirse Ronan was in it.

Now is Good




Now Is Good
is an internationally best-selling book and film about a girl dying of cancer. She makes a list of everything she wants to do before she dies- sex, drugs, fame, shoplifting. When she realises she only has a few weeks left to live, the list changes to things like laughter, seeing the sun come up one more time, watching her brother perform one more magic trick...
Maybe I love this book and film so much because Tessa is a bit like me in that we both love to savour each moment as it comes. Anyway, it's enchanting. Similar to The Fault in Our Stars, but... yes... even better.

Call The Midwife


This TV show is currently airing in the UK and I love it more with every episode. Okay, I admit it, the birth scenes are a little gruesome, but it's not all babies and bunting. There are great characters and some pretty inspirational stuff there too.


-Barista Sabita-

Image: via (Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls, 1975), Schu (How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff), via (still from Now Is Good), The Art of Doing Stuff

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My 2014 Oscars Predictions


Every year, I like to predict the winners for the Oscars, arguably the top award an actor/movie could ever get. 2014 is no different except I decided to share my picks with y'all lovely people as well. So here are my predictions for the winners of the 2014 Academy Awards!!!

BEST PICTURE

My prediction: 12 Years a Slave

This is almost a no brainer (I say "almost" 'cause awards like these can be pretty unpredictable). 12 Years a Slave has had a streak of awards this year, including winning the coveted Golden Globe. It'll be a miracle if some other movie ends up snatching this uh-mazing movie from its naked golden man.

BEST DIRECTOR

My prediction: Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity

Again, another almost no brainer. If you've watched Gravity, you would know exactly why he's my pick for best director. I've never seen a movie so visually perfect.

BEST ACTOR

My prediction: Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club

This year is Matthew's year. He's been winning, like, every award out there for whatever the equivalents are for Best Actor. At first, I was pretty sure Chiwetel Ejiofor would win for 12 Years a Slave, but something tells me that Matthew's winning streak is not to be broken. On the other hand, I feel really sorry for poor Leo who's, unfortunately, most likely going to miss his chance for the Oscar once again.

BEST ACTRESS

My prediction: Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine

Have you seen her performance? You can't compare it with anybody else's in this category.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

My prediction: Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club

I would be extremely surprised if someone else won besides Jared. He's been missing from the acting community for a long time (which definitely helps out) and his performance was phenomenal.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

My prediction: Lupita Nyong'o for 12 Years a Slave

I've been rooting for this girl since I don't even know when. She was perfect in 12 Years a Slave. I guess, Jennifer Lawrence could give this girl a run for her money, but for some reason, I get the feeling she won't be able to win an Oscar twice in a row.

BEST ANIMATED FILM

My prediction: Frozen

You can be the dumbest dumb person ever and still be able to know that Frozen will win this category. How could it not?!

The Oscars are just a few days away now! I've got to get my popcorn ready. You wanna bet how many predictions I got right?

UPDATE!

The Oscars are over now. And it turns out I got all my predictions right! For the first time ever! Whoop!


-Barista Mia-

Image: via (Oscar poster)

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How To Be Friends... Or More


Sometimes when you meet people, you just know; you were made to be friends. Everything just clicks, but you don’t really know them that well. Or maybe someone of your preferred gender catches your eye in another way, and you can’t stop daydreaming about them. What to do? Unfortunately, we’re beyond the easy-breezy Kindergarten days when you could just walk up to someone and say ‘hey, wanna be friends?’ or ‘I like you’ (kids are super cute, aren’t they?). When you’re a teen or young adult, it starts to get trickier. I mean, you could just be blunt and forward if you want to, but that’s braver than most of us are up for. So I have some ideas of ways to subtly get to know people better, while gauging if they reciprocate your feelings (whether those feelings be friendship or something more).

Part 1: Friends


Ask them to do things with/for you, and if you can do things for them

While it’s definitely not a good idea to pawn personal work onto other people, if you’re having trouble doing something, you can always ask them for assistance or advice, especially if it’s really a two-person job or they’re more experienced than you are. For example, if you’re really struggling with a math concept and you know the person is an expert, you could casually ask “Hey, did you figure out last night’s math homework? I had trouble with problem eight.” For a lot of people, that’s invitation enough to help you work it out, or maybe even set up a study/tutor group. Or you could reverse things and do something for them, which is even better, because not only do you get to spend time with them, but they’ll see you’re a helpful, kind person.

Be places you know they’ll be

It could be anything from walking past science class when you know they’re getting out, to finding their lunch place at the cafeteria, to asking a mutual friend to invite you both to hang. The main point here is to be casual, and not obsess over seeing them; just take the opportunities you know they’ll be around, and try to make them. Or you could go a step further and try to see if they have any casual plans, such as seeing a movie or grabbing something to eat, and casually mention ‘Oh, that sounds fun!’ That way, it’s up to them whether they shrug it off or invite you to join them- you don’t feel pushy or get rejected, and they don’t feel like you’re impeding their personal space or like they have to let you join them if they’d rather not. If they do invite you or, better yet, if they start inviting you to things without you even saying anything about it, you’ll know they’re likely interested in hanging out more.

Don’t be afraid to be bold

If you’re tired of waiting around for the right moment, you can always just go for it and ask them to do something with you. If you’re concerned about rejection, you can make it casual: ‘Hey, I’m going bowling at the new rink and looking to go with some people. Is that your kinda thing?’ Again it lets them back out without having to feel bad, and you can then go with other people if it turns out they can’t or don’t wanna hang that day. Of course there’s nothing wrong with just asking ‘Wanna go bowling tonight?’ but if you’re shy like me, the other way is a good starting point.

Part 2: More than Friends


Of course the tips above still apply to when you just wanna hang out and get to know your crush better first, or casually ask them out as friends. But what about when you’re not sure if you’re the only one with feelings beyond friendship, or you want to let your crush know what they mean to you without flat out saying it? When you’re ready to make the move, here are some ideas.

Gauge their interest of you/actions around you

Does your crush always seem eager to see you, or does he/she seem content to hang with the group when you’re not there? Do you get the same greeting as other friends, or is yours different in some way, such as being gentler, shyer, or sweeter? While these signs aren’t proof that the crush is reciprocated and you definitely don’t want to overanalyze or blow things out of proportion, these are some good things to watch for to help get an idea if there might be something there, or if you’re just a friend to this person. It’s best to look for these if you’ve already been friends for awhile so that you don’t mistake new-person shyness as nervous crushing, etc.  The sad truth is, you’ll never really know unless you ask, but doing a subtle analysis could save you some trouble if you find out that you’re treated just the same as his guy friends or if she smiles at everyone that way- because if there’s no difference, you’re likely just a friend (unless he/she is just an amazingly private person). Again, you never know.

Indicate your own interest

Given the complicated nature of the tip above, you can see why you might get to a point where you just want to make it clear that you are interested, and then leave it up to your crush to either reciprocate or not. The best ways to do that are to reverse the above; let yourself smile shyly at him, or giggle at all of her jokes even if they’re just silly (basically, just don’t do anything to hide the crush like you might normally do). You get to decide how obvious you are about this- if he’s the only one who sees your special smile and wonders about it, or if everyone within ten miles knows that you’re crazy for him/her. Just remember that people might tease you, especially if you go over the top. While I’m not saying that’s a reason to stop, I am saying that you don’t want to get carried away and should make a game plan so you know what you’re willing to reveal about yourself before you get into the heat of the moment. If you want your crush to be a secret, don’t do these things, because someone’s likely to catch on.

Drop some hints

If you’re ready to go even further and make it super clear that you’d like to go out with this person, you can start dropping some subtle- or not-so-subtle- hints to let them know how you feel. ‘Hey, I’m seeing a movie tonight and I’d really like you there to cuddle with’ while you wink is way more obvious (lol) than ‘You doing anything tonight? I’d really like it if we could hang out, just the two of us.’- although both will probably get the message across. This can be a super tricky zone, and just know: your crush is pretty obvious at this point to everyone involved, and you don’t want to make a fool of yourself. I certainly would never say the first line or wink at anyone, but maybe you would if you’re super flirty- the point is, don’t push yourself to do or say anything you wouldn’t usually do. And note; the bolder, more obvious you are, the more exact the person will have to be in their answer, and if they don’t feel the same, it could make it even more difficult on the two of you. I would definitely have an idea that they do, indeed, feel the same for you before you try this. And it’s up to you whether you approach them in a group or alone. Just make sure you’re ok with the entire group seeing you flirt with this person if you go that route, and that you don’t make the person uncomfortable no matter how you go about it.

Final notes

So yeah. Becoming friends with someone- or especially something more- can be super tricky if you’re shy, or just don’t know how to go about it. Just remember to treat everyone with respect and kindness, and not to push anyone to do anything they don’t want to, or make them uncomfortable. Unfortunately, not everyone that you want to hang with wants to hang with you, and not everyone you crush on feels the same way. But that’s ok, because the more you try to be social, the more people you meet and try to get to know, the better chance you have of meeting your new best friend, or scoring a date with an amazing girl or guy.

And if you’re a girl who wants to skip all the games and guesses and just ask that guy out, Barista Mia just wrote a post on that, so check hers out.


-Barista Nicole-

Image: Leo Hidalgo

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Creative Ways To Ask A Guy Out


It's 2014, yo! As embarrassing as it is, I think it's time for women to stand up and ask their crushes out. Waiting can get a little tiring after a while, you know. But what are some creative ways to ask a guy out?

Write him a note and tuck it where he can find it later

In his pocket, in his bag, in his locker, in his umbrella, in his hat, in his book... Tuck it somewhere as a surprise for him. It'll be a totally special discovery.

Sing it

If you're musically gifted (unlike me), sing a love song to him. If he smiles or responds to your song in another positive way, ask him out at the end of the song.

Play the Question Game

Basically, ask each other questions, taking turns to answer them. And halfway through the game, BAM, ask him out. If you're lucky, he'll say yes.

If you're too chicken to do something in real life, go virtual

Of course, asking a guy out over FB is the worst idea ever. Instead, make a video on YouTube and send a private link to him.

Watch a movie together

I've personally never tried this, but it works in movies so why can't it work in real life? Just watch a movie together and you'll end up kissing when the mood allows it. It's the golden Hollywood rule.

Steal his phone and put in a reminder to ask YOU out

Saves you all the trouble from actually asking the dude out. Clever, eh?


-Barista Mia-

Image: Garry Knight

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How To Stay Awake



Sometimes you've gotta work against yourself in order to get stuff done. There aren't always enough hours in the day so the only way to get by is to cheat your own body. Whether you are stopping yourself from dozing off at work or trying to survive a sting of nights out, it can be done.

If you are one of those superhumans who is actually able to take power naps, I envy you (seriously, how do you wake up?!). If you can do this, you are pretty much saved. There is also an alternative polyphasic sleep cycle you can develop, consisting of only four hours of unconsciousness, allowing you to optimize your time. You have to train your body to take four, hour-long naps throughout the day. This is of course, a long term solution and adapting to it is apparently torture. But hey, if it works, your waking life is extended significantly.

However, if you are unable to fall asleep without drifting off into dreamyland for multiple hours, all is not lost! Espresso does work, along with fresh fruits such as bananas and apples- healthy snacks can also help keep you more alert. You may not realize, but your mindset makes a big difference to how awake you are too. If you have something to look forward to, chances are, you will wake yourself up a little out of excitement. I often find that if I feel guilty about dropping off (for example, if I had to complete homework before sleeping) I am less likely to do so. This is because it is so much harder to nod off whilst feeling guilty or agitated- knowing something unfinished and unpleasant will be waiting for me when I wake up... Finally, awaken your senses and keep moving. Cold water does work wonders, along with bright lights, and loud noise. Yes, it is painful but consciousness is what you get.

Fighting sleep is not always the answer, but sometimes it's just a necessary evil w must all encounter. Good luck!


-Barista Ria-

Image: Harriet

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5 Fruits That Can Replace Your Unhealthy Snacks



I’m a fruit lover. I prefer it to cookies. So, when I need to eat a snack, I always eat fruit. There is many types of fruits for many types of people.

For you, popcorn lovers as myself, I would recommend grapes. You don’t need to peel them. So, laziness is not an excuse. Besides they are delicious. The “white” grapes, as they are known, almost taste like candy.

Chocolate cookies… what a dilemma. They are really addicting! But a simple orange can help you. They are fresh, healthy and you won’t feel hungry after you eat just one of this tasty fruits.

Apple! No, I’m not talking about iPhones, I’m talking about one the healthiest fruits. You can cut it like french fries and enjoy an evening of infinite zapping.

Next up, bananas. (*laughs*) Seriously, this is the easiest fruit to eat and it’s a good replacement for gummy bears.

Lollipops can be replaced with peaches. They can be sticky as well and they will fill your stomach for a long time. You won’t feel the need to eat and you can occupy your mind with other thoughts.

Lastly, I will recommend kiwi because, personally, I love it. It’s luscious and you can easily eat it with a spoon.

So, what are you waiting for? Go watch your favorite TV series with a plate full of fruits.


-Barista Alexandra-


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How I Came to Love Harry Potter


I was never a fan of Harry Potter.

Yes, I know. Shocker, right? Truth be told, I never got the hype. I didn't understand why people would line up in front of bookstores just to get the first copy of the next Harry Potter book. Or even line up in front of movie theaters to be the first to watch the next film. Why the heck would people do that? I didn't understand. At all. It was just a normal book to me.

At this time, I only had one Harry Potter book: The Chamber of Secrets. I know many people would think it random that I only had the second book, not the first. But that's the book that appealed to me most when I went to the bookstore. I had heard many things about Harry Potter and decided I wanted a little dose of it. When I saw the bookshelf dedicated to Harry Potter, the first one, The Philosopher's Stone, didn't look as appealing to the one next to it. And as for the rest in the series, they just looked too fat for little eight-year-old me. So I picked up the second one and asked my father to buy it. He did. And I liked the story. Just liked it. Nothing else. I didn't want to buy the rest in the Harry Potter series. I had no reason to. It was just an okay book that I could read if I had nothing else to read.

Fast forward seven years when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two came out. Well, it's the last one. Why not go see it? I thought. That day, my family moved houses so it was pretty hectic at home. So when a teacher of mine proposed that we go watch Harry Potter. I said yes. I watched it and found it a slightly better movie than the few others I had watched.

Then I came home. I lay in my bed, waiting for sleep after a tiring day. But the sleep wouldn't come. That's nothing strange, though. I often have a hard time sleeping. However, this time it was different. There was something very emotional stirring up in me. OMG... I was going to cry. True to my prediction, I started bawling my eyes out. It was like someone close to me had died. I have NOT cried that much before. For hours, I cried like crazy.

I just couldn't stop. Grief had overwhelmed me. And I knew exactly why. Because of Harry Potter. It was over now.

You might think it's strange for someone with such a little interest in the magical world of Harry Potter be so emotional towards it. I guess it is weird, but it is possible. Because even though I had so little interest in Harry Potter, I had grown up with him.

No more Harry Potter movies. No more Harry Potter books... It was over. I hadn't realized how big of an impact Harry Potter had in my life. I hadn't realized how much Harry Potter was—and is—a part of me, no matter how much I had ignored it. And it felt like that part of me was being wrenched out with that last movie. I was half dead.

The next day, I asked my Dad if he could take me to the bookstore. Luckily, he had time, so he did. And there, I picked up all the Harry Potter books except the second and fifth. The second, because I already had it. And the fifth, because the bookstore didn't have it. I was so heartbroken because of that one book I couldn't get. I was ready to cry. I managed to keep in my tears, though, and suck it up like a big girl.

Fortunately, the bookstore restocked two weeks later (yes, by this time, I had finished all the books and they were AWESOME) and I finally got the fifth book I wanted.

Now, I get the hype. I understand why people would line up in front of bookstores just to get the first copy of the next Harry Potter book. Or even line up in front of movie theaters to be the first to watch the next film. Why the heck would people do that? Well, I still don't understand. At all. But I do know that if there happened to be a new Harry Potter movie or book, I would be that crazy person to stand hours in front of the bookstore and theater, ready to charge in.

So in the end, it's not how I came to love Harry Potter, but how I found out I loved Harry Potter. But either way, I'm glad I did.

And also:

"I'm not going home, not really." -- Harry Potter

I burst out crying when I read this.


-Barista Mia-

Image: Harry Potter logo

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Why I'm Glad to Say Goodbye to Winter


I like to think that when it comes to most things, I am an optimist. Winter, however, is not one of them. Yeah, I enjoy building snowmen and sledging as much as the next person, but I despise winter when it comes down to the stark reality of the bitter cold season. I, for one, am glad winter is nearly over.

Firstly, I cannot deal with the cold anymore!!! Not only is it agonisingly cold when I’m confident enough to brave the outdoors, but for a few weeks in the dead of winter this year my central heating broke! I spent my study leave shivering in front of a little fan heater while trying teach myself inter tropical convergence zones and what not.

Secondly, I’m tired of all these layers of clothes! Sure, I love a cute jumper or scarf but there comes a point where you’re sick of being as padded as a snowman. I want to shed those extra layers. This winter I’ve worn:  Layers of jumpers, multiple cardigans, bobble hats, scarves, three pairs of socks and tights under my trousers. I guess it doesn’t sound so bad, but that was just for the indoors! I really don’t take to the cold well.

Thirdly, I can't stand the wet. I look forward to a good bit of snow in winter. I might be nearly 17 years old but those delicate white droplets floating to earth are enough to make me feel five years old again. However, how much snow have I seen this year? Not a drop. All I’ve had is rain, rain and more rain with maybe the occasional sleet or hailstone. Thankfully, I’m not in an area of Britain that has been flooded this winter, but the constant being rained on going home from school has dampened me both physically and emotionally. Not only that, but it has left me with a cold... again!

Boy, am I glad warmer weather is on the way.


-Barista Ellen-

Image: Thomas Frost Jensen

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How To Make Water Taste Better


I'm not much of a water person. I know water doesn't have a taste, but something about it doesn't really, uh, taste good, if that makes any sense. The only way I can drink water is if something is stuck in my throat and I need to push it down with some liquid. The problem is, water is extremely beneficial for the human body, so I'm always at some kind of inner battle with myself. I know I need to drink water, but my taste buds don't like it. I know that there are others like me out there... so what are some ways to make water taste as good as orange juice or Sprite without robbing water of its benefits?

Citrus
Squeeze or splash some lemon, lime or orange into the liquid and voila. You instantly have a cup of water that tastes so much better than the pure thing.

Frozen berries

Freeze some strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries overnight and then put them in your cup when you're ready for a drink of water. They add a hint of flavor as well as a bit of color.

Teabag

Add an organic teabag to your cup of water. Simple as that.

Non sugar juice

Any juice out there can provide an awesome base flavor for water. Just make sure the juice is all natural, with no sugar.

Well, I'm off to dump a slice of lemon into my bottle of water. Peace!


-Barista Mia-

Image: go_nils

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How To Wait For Those Impending College Decisions


We honestly can’t help counting down the days until our college admission decisions are released. I’ve written a couple other college admissions-related posts a few months ago, and I think it is now high time to write a new one. This time, on how to wait for those horrifying impending decisions on March 22, March 27, April 1... all those random dates that are less than two months away *insert panicked emoticon here*.

Don’t spend too much time browsing on the Internet

I am aware that the Internet is a major part of everybody’s leisure time, but when you’re waiting for decisions from your schools, it is a pretty bad idea. Sooner or later, you’ll find yourself on your dream college’s website ('cause you have a need to stalk the school), a prospie forum ('cause fellow prospies are your allies and you must talk to them about everything you're feeling), an application status check site ('cause it might give you a clue as to whether your file's been read or not), the Common App (‘cause you need to reread your essay for the hundredth time although it’s already been sent), or some other site that will only heighten your anxiety. Not good.

Set another goal to accomplish before decisions are out

This is the tip that is getting me going on with my life at the moment. My goal, which I am not going to tell you, is what I’m setting my sights on. I’ve set a deadline for it at March 20 (when my first college decision comes out) and I’m working my hardest to accomplish it. This is a much more productive way to spend your waiting time than just crying on your bed, shuddering as you think about D-Day.

Forget about college

Yeah, I know. Easier said than done. After all, it seems our lives are now revolving around the single decision of all the colleges we applied to. But just try to forget about those incoming decisions. Focus on your studies, having fun, and making the most of your senior year instead of woefully asking about your chances at your dream college on College Confidential.


-Barista Mia-

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How To Follow Your Dream


If you’re like me, you have a huge amount of dreams; things you want to do, places you want to go, idea just waiting to become reality. But how do you do that? How do you stop dreaming of living and start living the dream? Well, first you have to know what it is that you want to do.

Finding Your Dream

If you have no idea what your dream is, it just means you haven’t found it yet. Take up new hobbies, meet new people, get out there more and try new things. When you find your dream, you will know it, because you’ll be unable to imagine yourself doing anything else with your life.

Prioritizing

But what if you’re like me, and have more than one dream? Can you become a concert pianist, an A-list movie producer and a well-known novelist? Sure, but probably not all at once! When you figure out what your dreams are, it’s important to pick what you need to focus on right now, the most important one. For me, it’s choosing between pursuing writing, acting in theatre, modeling, etc. I choose theatre, because when I watch Ryan and Sharpay sing “What I’ve Been Looking For” all I can see on that stage is wonder, and think “I would die to be doing that right now.” If you can live without it, it’s not your dream right now.

Starting Anywhere

Ok, so you have your dream. Now what? You start anywhere and everywhere you can. If something is going to further your dream, you do it, no matter what- well, as long as it’s safe and doesn’t go against your beliefs, etc. But don’t let unimportance stop you, or if something doesn’t seem a perfect fit. It’ll still keep you going and, you know, everyone has to start somewhere. I didn’t just walk onto a movie set and get cast as a star character. I found out I love theatre by being in a play that I had no lines in. Zip. Zero. All I did was the scene movements and- oh, I got to cough. XD But every day of that play, I was there, doing my makeup and donning my costume and loving every minute spent in the company of other actors. I’ve auditioned since then and am now in another play where I have four lines. Hey, not much, right? This isn’t going to make me a movie star or let me go on Broadway. But it is slowly letting me build my resume. And the best part? I kinda think I’m having just as much fun at a local college’s theatre as I would acting anywhere else. I’m already living my dream.

Never Listen to the Haters

You have to believe in yourself even if others don’t. Don’t let lack of opportunity, of fear of failure, or anything else that doesn’t matter get in the way of you doing what you want to with your life. It’s your dream so, in the wise words of that one pub thug from Disney’s Tangled:

Go on. Live your dream!


-Barista Nicole-

Image: Eddy Van 3000

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How to NOT Procrastinate


Procrastination's become a bit of a problem for me. I keep pushing things back because there are a million other things I would rather be doing. I currently have to write some essays and do a Sociology project, but I've been putting everything back. I thought it's now time for me to set my priorities straight and become productive. So I've piled up a list of tips for myself to keep myself from procrastination and get myself to work. And then I thought, "Why not share my tips with the readers of LTC?"

Make every second count

Every second you're doing nothing, you're wasting your time. So get off that lazy butt and get to work when you realize you have some spare time.

Create a list of things to do for that day

I keep talking about lists. I love lists. They're life-saving. Just write everything you need to do for today and make it your goal to cross out everything on your list before you call it a day.

Do the hard stuff first

You'll feel way more productive. And once the hard stuff are out of the way, you'll feel like a baggage has been lifted off your shoulders, making you even more productive as you finish off the rest of the items your list.

If you're prone to daydreaming (like me), time yourself

Set a time limit for the things you are doing. Like, the dishes, for instance. You can set the timer for fifteen minutes and you can try finishing everything in under fifteen minutes. Plus, trying to beat time is fun! It'll be like a little game.

Don't forget to take little five-ten minute breaks

You know that first tip at the beginning? Well, sometimes, it is necessary to give your brain some time to breathe. Have some chocolate, go on Facebook for a while... but time yourself! You don't want to end up spending the rest of your day being unproductive.

Reward yourself at the end of the day

This is one tip that I reuse often as rewarding yourself becomes a huge incentive. When you're done with EVERY SINGLE THING on your list, reward yourself. I usually reward myself with sleep as I'm usually done with everything at 2am. Sad, I know. But sleep is an awesome gift. Other gift ideas include a midnight snack, a movie, or some free Internet time where you can do whatever you want.


-Barista Mia-

Image: Christos Loufopoulos

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TVD vs. The Originals


Which characters do we love the most? Here's my opinion on some of them.

1. Camille “Cami” O’Connell vs Matthew “Matt” Donovan

Winner: Cami

Cami is the perfect human in a town full of supernatural creatures. She is way better than Matt whose personality isn’t the greatest. She has a great background and she grows up so much over the episodes that I just can’t get enough of her. I think no one can deal better with supernatural mess than she does.

On the other hand, Matt really doesn’t contribute a lot to TVD’s story development, which is a shame.

2. Davina Claire vs Bonnie Bennett

Winner: Davina

I really loved Bonnie in the first season of TVD but then I felt like the writers gave up on her and her development. Davina , though, is a fresh witch with a tragic life. I love how intense her story is and how she expresses herself.

3. Hayley Marshall vs Caroline Forbes

Winner: TIE

Remember when we were all furious about Hayley being in the Originals instead of Caroline? Well, that opinion certainly has changed. Hayley fits the Originals perfectly just as Caroline fits TVD.

4. Rebekah Mikaelson vs Elena Gilbert

Winner: Do I really have need to say it?

Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to express how Katherine is the only reason I still watch The Vampire Diaries. She is awesome and I love her. Elena, on the other hand, is extremely annoying. The only thing I like about her is her relationship with Damon and we know how that is going…

Between these two very emotional girls, Rebekah is my favorite. She seems tough but she just dreams of a normal life. Also, she learned that girls need to stick together. GIRL POWER! Hehe.

5. Klaus and Elijah vs Stefan and Damon

Winner: TIE

I have to admit that I didn’t like Stefan till this season came out. But now, I think I like him even more than I like Damon. The two together make my heart melt.

Klaus and Elijah are perfect as well. I mean, do I have need to comment on this? The four of them are just perfection! You can’t make me choose!


-Barista Alexandra-

Image: via (TVD and The Originals posters)

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The Importance of Friendship


Friends. We all love our friends. Friends are one of life's most essential ingredients, but we need to appreciate and make the most of them. Would we be able to keep happy if we didn't have our friends, even if we sometimes don't notice them?
Sometimes we come home after a long and boring day of toiling over textbooks, and need a bit of lighthearted gossip to cheer us up. Fun days out with friends are essential to happiness too; what would life be without them?

It's so nice to have people in your life with things in common with you. Family members don't always understand what it's like to be you, but friends are more likely to. They go to the same classes, have the same homework and maybe favourite school subjects, dislike the same teachers, and have the same mutual friends as you.

It's also nice when someone who's going through the emotional problems you are. I often go from "I'm so alone, nobody understands me, woe is me!" to "I'm loved! Thank goodness for so-and-so's advice!"

Talking about things like that can open up new fields of intimacy for you and your friend, too. Getting to know someone down to their innermost soul can be really rewarding. As is turning the help and support tables the other way round and helping someone else out.

So, if you ever fall out with a friend or it's one of those days when it seems like no one loves you, bear in mind the things your good friends actually do for you, and let that show you that they love you- even if they don't know it themselves! And don't be afraid to tell them you love them too!

Giving friendship bracelets is one way of doing this.

How important do you think friendship is? Leave a comment below!


-Barista Sabita-

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Meet Those Pesky Word Limits


Word limits are the bane of my life (or one of them anyway). I find a certain joy in writing and when the time comes to write an essay for school I get a bit carried away –I could write until the cows come home. I simply ignore the limits and write until the essay seems fulfilled, which unfortunately is most likely several hundred words more than I’m allowed. The dilemma to me comes when the teacher yells that I’ll fail if I don’t get rid of 300 words. Here are some tips to cut down that lengthy essay to the correct limit.

1) Highlight the words you don’t need on a hard copy. The task seems more daunting when it’s on the glowing monitor. I find the task easier when I can hold it in my hands. Plus, I just love colourful highlighters! After working on the hard copy long enough, delete the highlighted words on your digital copy.

2) Colloquialisms and Hyphens are a god given gift. I know that colloquialism will make a teachers blood curdle, but using it’s, don’t, won’t etc. will save you those all so precious words when it matters. Use the hyphen whenever possible to turn two words into one.

3) Put phrases into your computer's built-in thesaurus so it spits out a one-word alternative. The thesaurus is another thing I'd struggle without in these essays both in writing and deleting words.

4) Look at each point of your essay and think --Do I really need this?

Come to think of it ,deleting parts of essays is something I really hate. It wastes good work and makes things seem like they're going backwards. My solution to this is after shortening your essay, write something else. No task, no word limit, no rules –it’s my way of giving the lost words new life. In fact, this post was my way of making up for the words I had to remove from an English essay and it was not even that many words I had to delete.


-Barista Ellen-

Image: Jessie Jacobson

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How To Read A Book You Don't Want To Read


That list of required readings at school can sometimes make your head spin. Thankfully, I've been blessed with the ability to love almost all classic books slash poems, but there's no denying that some books just do NOT catch my attention the right way. Les Misérables and Wuthering Heights are two of those books that I found extremely difficult to read. I mean, it's not like the writers are horrible (in fact, let me confess that I'll never be able to write like Hugo or Brontë), but I just found it pretty hard to like these books. I didn't feel as invested into their characters as, say, Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet. But more than the characters, it's the writing style that really tripped me up. For example, Victor Hugo spent countless pages talking about history and describing the setting instead of moving on with the story.

But enough chatter, here are some tips for you who are having a hard time trying to read a book you need to write a book review on by Friday.

Set a daily reading goal

Don't overwhelm yourself by reading the entire book at once. Take everything bit by bit. For example, if you need to read a 365 page book in two weeks... Read around 25 to 26 pages a day.

Make the most of the book

If you're an artist, draw pictures of important scenes. If you're a writer, write about your feelings and your thoughts of a certain passage. If you're a talker, talk with a friend about things that are happening in the book. Do anything to make the plot and characters seem more real to you.

Have a snack with you

Food makes people happy. Happy equals a better time reading a boring book. Fact of life.

Remove yourself of all distractions

Turn off your phone, computer, laptop, and anything else that could snatch your attention away from the book.

Just suck it up, be a big girl, and read the thing!

It won't kill ya. Promise.


-Barista Mia-

Image: Oleh Slobodeniuk

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Winter To-Do List: Are You Sure You Are Ready For Winter To End?


Winter only comes around once a year and we better make those few precious months count! Even though it's freezing cold outside, there are a whole heap of things you could do with your friends or even by yourself. Spring is starting to arrive, but are you sure you are ready for the cold winter to end? Have you done every winter thing you should have done? Here's a winter checklist for y'all:

Build a snowman

Have a snowball fight

Go to a party

Ice skate

Go sledding

Snowboard down a hill

Go to ski

Put up a Christmas tree

Decorate your room with fairy lights

Huddle by the fire

Drink hot chocolate

Buy a snow globe

Eat marshmallows cooked by the fire

Have the most delicious dinner since you-don't-even-remember-when

Eat sugar cookies and drink milk

Take pictures of snow

Make snow angels

Listen to nice Christmas music

Have ice cream in the cold

Watch Frozen

Go to the beach

Have a movie marathon

Build a snow fort

Write a poem about the beauty of winter

Knit a scarf

Catch snowflakes on your tongue

Read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

Wear fuzzy slippers

Curl up under your blanket with a good book

Take a loooong bubble bath

I haven't done most of these so I better get cracking. I'm starting with the snowman. (Yes, I'm behind on all these winter activities. I'm an expert procrastinator, all right?)


-Barista Mia-

Image: Sagisen

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Introducing: TimmyFellDownTheWell


Hey guys! If you’re like me, you’re a big Youtube fan. It’s super-fun to watch videos from your fave channels, but isn’t it even more awesome when you stumble across a totally new channel and get to watch like 30 videos you’ve never seen in a row and fall in love with  them? Or is that just me?

Anyway, I’m going to tell you about a channel I absolutely love. TimmyFellDownTheWell is one of my favorite channels and dude has way more subscribers than I’ll ever have, but he’s still not nearly as well-known as Pewdiepie or Jenna Marbles. He should be. He’s a totally hilarious, down-to-earth, amazingly talented individual who makes the world a better place by what he does. His videos are a mix of comedy, parodies and impressions, inspirational, gay pride, and whatever else his amazing brain thinks of.

One of my favorite groups of videos by him is his Disney Princess Support Group spoofs. He always plays every role, so in these videos he’s Ariel, Snow White (his trademark Princess), Rapunzel, Pocahontas and more. The absolute hilarity of his takes on the princesses we all now and love will have you quickly clicking the link to each episode.

Another awesome episodic of his is Timmy’s New BFF, during which he features many of his Tiny Timmy followers who compete through various weekly challenges to earn the title of Timmy’s BFF. It’s currently in season two (I appear in the first episode although that’s as far as I got, lol). He’s got his own little reality show going on, and if you think people wouldn’t want to be Timmy’s BFF, you’re dead wrong. Because that’s another thing that’s so great about Timmy; he cares about his fans and making a difference and his loyal followers back him all the way. He’s an amazing guy who I would love to meet in real life someday and his videos are the funniest things ever. So definitely, get over there and give his channel a try!

Warning: Timmy’s content is mature; if you take issue with cursing, crudity, sexual content, etc. this isn’t the channel for you.


-Barista Nicole-

Image: TimmyFellDownTheWell

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Sweater + Spring/Summer Dress = Perfection

It's not officially spring yet. I mean, it snowed only yesterday where I'm at. I still need to be careful to wear a thick jacket every time I go out, but the weather is warming up and, well, the confusion of how to dress up every time is starting to arise in everybody's minds. What do you wear when it's cold, but not cold enough? I don't have many solutions, but I do have one AWESOME that could save you from a headache:

Wear a sweater on top of your spring dress or skirt and voila. Pure perfection. Here are some examples to follow:



Who says you can't play with colors in the winter?



Cute and comfy. Perfect for class.


When you pair a nice skirt/dress with a sweater, there's no rule that says you need to look cute. You can look chic too!

PS. Sorry for the late post, guys. I lost track of time... and Internet.


-Barista Mia-

Image: zoë biggs, Barbro Andersen

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Why 'Loner' Doesn't Have To Mean 'Lonely'


"Loner." I'm pretty sure you're all familiar with the word, whether you've been called it yourself, or jokingly yelled it at a friend who was sitting alone. In all honesty, it seems as if the lighthearted insult grows increasingly meaningless each day. It also makes me question- is being called a 'loner' really insulting?

When you're a teenager, one idea people seem to be obsessed with is surrounding themselves with friends and ascending up this ladder of social hierarchy. I'm definitely not saying all of us think that way, but it's an urge we simply can't control. It's arguably in our nature. Therefore, when someone is seen alone, some people view it as them failing to climb socially. However, in reality, some people actually enjoy their own company and don't feel the need to surround themselves with the presence of others all of the time. It's not failing, it's just being different and possibly more comfortable in your own skin. Unfortunately, sometimes we are pressured to go against the preference of being alone, because of the expectations. You see, when we're around our peers, school in particular, we're in a mini-version of society itself. You go against what's normal and expected, and people notice it and comment on it. It's not always fair, but that's just the way it is. I've been called 'loner', or at least variations of the word, on multiple occasions. Even my friends think it's kind of weird if I choose to sit alone, but that's the thing- it's a choice for some people. I understand the concern, because unfortunately some find themselves unable to find others to be with, but even then, it doesn't make them any less of a person for it.

What I mean to say is sometimes, alone time can be glorious. It's good for you. I'm sure if you attend a pretty populated school, you'll understand what I mean- after all, you're there for several hours a week, often surrounded by the same individuals. Don't be afraid to escape sometimes. I'm certainly not telling you to bunk off lessons, but you know; during break, free periods and lunch, it's not weird to take some time to organize your thoughts. Some days, words on a page or some lovely melody coming through from your iPod can provide better company than most people. And that's fine! For example, during my mid-week free periods, I find that getting lost in a good book while sipping latte is bliss.

People shouldn't be condemned for spending time in solitude. After all, it's beneficial, making it easier to concentrate, increasing productivity, enhancing relationships... It simply helps you bloom as a person, and allows you to get to know yourself a little better. Just remember- the term 'loner' is trivial, taken seriously only by those who don't understand the art of flying solo.


-Barista Ria-

Image: Barta IV

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Why You Should Join the Divergent Fandom


Hi there initiates! The Divergent movie is coming soon and for those who are still not sure if they want to get into this fandom, I will tell you why you should.

1.  No love triangle.

One of the things I love about Divergent is that there is no love triangle. It focuses on the action, the development of the characters and not as much as introducing silly romances. It has a love story and it’s absolutely breathtaking (*spoilers**heartbreaking in the last book*).

2. New fantastic world.

The world that Veronica Roth, the author, describes won’t disappoint you. In fact, it will (like The Hunger Games) make you think about today’s world and tomorrow’s. It will make you angry, it will make you smile but, most important of all, it will occupy your mind.

3. The love-hate relationship you will have with the main character.

Beatrice “Tris” Prior is not the typical main character. Sometimes, you will want to slap her in the face and other times you’ll want to hug her and tell her it’s alright. Also, she grows a lot over the books (and movies) so you’ll feel like you have seen her grow up like you’re friends since childhood.

4. Four

Four is the love interest of Tris. He brings the best of her and she certainly brings the best of him. They both learn from each other and that’s what makes their love so interesting. Four is the character you’ll fall in love with because he is always there to help Tris (to survive).

*spoiler*

You’ll want to hug him in the last book.

5. Veronica Roth

This young author is one of the best. Her writing will make you feel like you’re Tris and you’re jumping off a building with your heart beating like crazy. Also, she really connects with the fans so she will make your experience in the Divergent Fandom the best one ever!


-Barista Alexandra-

Image: The Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth (Harper Collins)

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5 Modern Inventions I Simply Cannot Live Without


The modern era has given birth to a billion things that are now essential to our daily lives. I could do without some of these newer inventions like Google Glasses (ugly much?), but there are other new inventions that I just cannot live without. What are they, you ask? Well...

Headphones

To many people, headphones aren't necessarily something that they really need. But I NEED them. I get bored super easily when I'm alone, so I always whip out my headphones and jam away to music or watch YouTube videos. And when I'm at home and don't want to disturb anybody, headphones come in real handy.

The Internet

Internet is still not installed into my new home, but hopefully, it'll be very soon. Anyway, for the past two months or so, my house has had absolutely no connection to Internet and it's really frustrating. I mean, besides all the entertainment available online, I also need to be able to study and post blog posts!

The Smartphone

My smartphone broke and I was left with no phone for about two weeks. Two FRUSTRATING weeks, I might add. I explode when I can't Google something at the exact moment a question pops up in my head. Also, the apps installed into my phone are more than useful for my daily life. My calorie counter, my dictionary, my Bible, my Twitter, etc... all in one small device I can hold in one hand!

The Laptop/Computer

The smartphone screen is a little too small and frustrating at times. Especially when I'm typing a paper or doing something else that smartphones are just no good at. At times like these, I sneak my dad's laptop into my room and do everything I need to do before my dad comes up to my room to ask me whether I've seen his computer. Heh.

Wi-Fi

Without Wi-Fi, I can't use my smartphone or laptop or anything! Wi-Fi is the foundation for all these wonderful inventions centered around the Internet. Need I say any more?

I don't know. I find it kind of sad that we are relying on stuff like the Internet when our ancestors needed nothing but a spear to hunt with. But I guess we do live in the 21st Century where the Internet is central to our daily lives. Oh well. What are some things YOU can't live without? Comment away!


-Barista Mia-

Image: Ashok Govind

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Awkward Valentine's Day Moments


Valentine's Day is comin' up and we all know how awkward this special day could be. I mean, like, how are you supposed to ACT without looking so out of place? Well, you aren't alone if you feel uncomfortable whenever Valentine's Day comes along.

Here are just some of the most awkward moments I and countless others experience:

You're invited to spend time with this guy you've had a crush on since forever, but a date is CLEARLY not on his mind

For Valentine's Day, isn't it customary to watch a romantic comedy, not, y'know, a movie with more sliced heads per frame than kissing?

You TRY to be all romantic and stuff, but stupid things keep distracting ya

You go in for the kiss and then, ring ring, the phone stops you. You start to cuddle and then your brother decides to barge into your room... You get the picture.

You really REALLY want to break up with this person, but it's Valentine's Day, and it's rude

A break up's been on your mind for a while, but now that Valentine's Day has arrived, you just can't end a relationship. It'll just make you seem heartless.

You give your date a gift, but your date has NOTHING for you

Are you serious?

You cook something, but it seems like your date isn't really enjoying the food

I spent five hours cooking that, yo. Just please, PLEASE tell me it's good!

You're single (like me) and you're surrounded by couples everywhere

Sometimes, it makes you feel like a loner. Other times, well, Barista Ria has some solutions.

You're kinda going out with someone, but you aren't totally sure, so you don't know whether you should be together on Valentine's Day

Ah. The inner turmoil of deciding whether you are boyfriend-girlfriend. Sigh.


-Barista Mia-

Image: Elizabeth Ashley Jerman

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Facebook vs. Twitter

Facebook and Twitter- which do you prefer? Some people are fervent FB lovers; others hate it and stick to Twitter. I personally adore both, but spend more time on Facebook, mainly because more of my friends have it. Here are some points to consider...

• Like I said, often more people have Facebook than Twitter. Facebook is a general tool for everyday life (how sad that sounds!) and everyone goes on it regularly. Twitter, on the other hand, is more for unusual people who want a vent where no one knows them...and maybe a place to go when they're drunk.


• There is a beautifully friendly community on Facebook for page admins. I'm am admin on seven pages including Hunger Games fan-pages, a poetry and writing one and a depression help page. It's a joy sharing stuff with the likers and getting tonnes of likes and comments, and I've made some of my best friends though admin group chats.


• Twitter has the advantage in that you can have a wider public audience. It's easy to get a couple of thousand followers and hopefully have them all see your Tweets. That's not as likely to happen as it is for everyone to see Facebook posts, though, as if you have that many followers you probably follow a good many people too (unless you are Harry Styles) and they may not read their whole news feed.


• But the Twitter community can be awesome too. You're more likely to meet awesome new people on Twitter if you follow people you don't know in real life.

• Rants- difficult with 140. Ah, the 140-character limit- one of the great banes of Twitter! As much as it makes us value our words, it prevents us from expressing ourselves voluminously or creatively. Unless you use the short slot to your advantage and be clever in your phrasing...




-Barista Sabita-

Image: , FACEBOOK(LET)mkhmarketing, JordanGosselin

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Frozen Fashion


If you’re anything like me, you’re at least a little bit obsessed with Frozen right now. An amazing story packed with love, action, humor- plus the amazing animation, scenery and costumes- what’s not to love?

So if you’re crushing on aforementioned costumes- Elsa’s ice-dress is to die for- I have a solution for you. Well yeah, sure, as far as I know there’s no way to have an actual ice-dress, but don’t let that stop you. Here are a few tips and ideas for channeling your favorite Frozen character.

Colors

Each sister has their own color. Anna and Elsa are always in, respectively, warm green and icy blue. Kristoff and Hans have a mix but you can still find pieces in their different colors and combine them to get the right feel.

Style

For the sisters, the more feminine the better. Flowy skirts and dresses, corset-like tops or cute sweaters, hair ribbons- anything girly is great for them. If you’re trying to go for the sexier Elsa, I’d recommend dialing back the sweet a bit and adding in the spicy. If you have a skirt with a knee-slit or a gauzy top, now’s the time. You could even layer a sheer top under a sweetheart top to get the look. For the guys, well, it might be harder to get their looks, but focus on shapes. Hans has broad shoulders and snug pants. Kristoff has bulky layers- you might even add a bit of fringe.

Hair

There are several styles for the sisters you could try if you have long enough hair. Two low braids, one over-a-shoulder braid, the swirl-on-the-back-of-the head braid, the coronation crown braid. Are you getting anything here? Braiding is key. ;) For the guys, well…that’s harder to accomplish unless your hair happens to look like theirs. But for Kristoff you might add a little gel to give it a wave if your hair is straight. For Hans you can part it in the middle and smooth it into humps on either side.

Makeup

With both girls, I’d use eyeliner or something to make your eyes look as enormous as possible, like Disney animation does (it’s crazy how big their eyes are, so don’t worry if you feel like you’re ‘failing’ here; it’s just a plus if you can make your eyes look larger). I’d use heavy-ish mascara, but make sure it doesn’t get too clumpy. Both girls have rosy cheeks, so add some blush. For Anna, I’d keep it natural with nude eye shadow and natural lip-gloss. For Elsa, you can go more dramatic with her eye shadow- purple and pink shades of course- and her lip color is more obvious, so stain or lipstick would work here, in a nice medium pink that goes well with your skin tone. Lastly, you can add freckles if you’re feeling extra adventurous; Elsa’s are lighter, Anna’s more prominent. For the guys you could always add some rosy cheeks or freckles, but it’s up to you if you wanna take that route or just go natural.

Combine these elements, a little or a lot, to tone down or shout out your look. It’s up to you whether only you knows you’re secretly sporting Elsa colors, of if you want everyone within five miles to know that you’re Kristoff. Just have fun and enjoy the fandom! And if you do this, I’d love if you tweet pictures- I am an enormous fan of both Frozen and fashion after all. ;)


-Barista Nicole-

Image: Frozen (2013) movie poster. It's awesome. Watch it.

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9 Reasons To Travel The World


Since the age of five, I have had this wildest thought revolving around my head. The thought scared me, made me shiver. It is an idea many have dreamed of, yet few have actually pursued.

The thought of traveling, walking across globe, taking on the world.

What are nine reasons to explore the Earth?

1. The universe outside the world you are used to.

European explorers were so lucky. Back then, they never knew where they were heading, or what awaited them on the other side. That gave them a sense of pure curiosity and an overload of excitement.
That is the thing about the term "wanderlust". It's a desire to travel, because travelling brings you to a different dimension, to a realm you never thought existed. Seeing things you never see in your daily life, inhaling a different kind of breeze, feeling an unfamiliar ambiance. It just feels right, perfect.

2. The chance of falling in love.

Michelle Phan, Youtube's greatest make up guru has the hottest boyfriend on the face of the Earth. Do you know where she met him? In Paris.
They say there are so many fishes in the sea. What if your fish is from another ocean? The Atlantic Ocean, perhaps? Travelling gives you the chance to open your book to many kinds of people, the chance to open your heart and fall in the crazy but magical hands of love.

3. The adventure that awaits you.

Adventure. That is the very tempting word that lurks behind every traveller's heart. Going to the jungles of Australia? Clubbing in Las Vegas? It's all about the different adventures you get yourself into.

4. The language for your tongue. The knowledge for your mind

The most multilingual people are travellers. Why? Wait. Do you really need to ask why? Of course it's because of the different countries they've gone to visit. Well, that is something you won't learn in any of your language classes. Because real education is in the field. And the world is your field.

5. The FOOD, duh!

From the most sophisticated French and Italian cuisines to the street foods in Macau, you can't miss anything out. The exotic foods you taste on your travels will be some of your best memories.

6. The freedom you want to experience.

Being out in the world is like being a little fish swimming the depths of the open ocean. You know it is dangerous, but at least, you are free. As the wind paces towards your face, you can raise your hands up and move with the beat of life. You are free.

7. The break you deserve.

It doesn't matter how your boss held you behind for so long, it doesn't matter how long you worked so hard in class. You can finally leave all your work for a moment, forget all your problems and pain as you walk across the globe. Why? Because the skies are your deadlines right now, that's why.

8. The inspiration that you will meet,

Travelling the world means opening your eyes to a whole new set up. It gives you a different perspective. But what's more important is the inspiration your heart will create as soon as you've stepped out of your comfort zone. Inspiration is everywhere, you just have to find it.

9. The memories that will stay forever.

Happy memories. The visions that we never get tired of playing over and over again. Looking back, reminiscing,  gives you this absolutely beautiful feeling because memories are spells bound to stay in your heart forever.
Also, do not forget to take pictures and videos. Lots of 'em. As Nicholas Sparks said in Safe Haven, "You'll take a lot of pictures and only regret the ones that you didn't take."


-Guest Barista Czarina-

Image: Dave C

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How To: Valentine's Day For Single People


The quickening arrival of Valentine's Day is likely to either fill you with excitement or... well, the opposite. Some people very much enjoy being single, I mean, you get to be fairly independent and of course, you don't feel guilty every time you notice an insanely attractive boy or girl (and it doesn't matter if you take an obvious glance). However, sometimes, on this day in particular, you just can't help but notice the lovey-dovey couples and feel a slight surge of what might be envy or desire. Don't worry though- you don't have to spend this Valentine's Day moping, or even alone for that matter!

If you have some single friends who are also free on February 14th, why not spend it together? Friends are important, arguably just as much or even more than a boyfriend or girlfriend. So have a party, a sleepover, a night out... Maybe watch some soppy films or extremely non-soppy films (if you intend on avoiding the romantic theme altogether). Show your friends just how important they are to you, because after all- this is a day of love.
Speaking of expressing feelings of love, show your parents (or any other family members for that matter) just how much you appreciate them! Whether you decide to cook them something delicious for dinner or buy a well-thought-out gift, whatever you do will go very much appreciated. Remember, February 14th is a day to celebrate love, whether it be platonic, romantic or just love between family members.
You could also make this day a You-Day. By this I mean seriously pampering yourself. Buy (or even send) yourself chocolates and make sure you have stocked up on ice-cream. Treat yourself to something, and don't feel guilty, because after all, this day is all about you. Do everything you enjoy, and be sincere about it! It is important to love oneself, just as much as it is important to love others.
So don't fret as Valentine's Day looms ever closer. Instead- celebrate it!

-Barista Ria-

Image: Selena N. B. H.

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