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Summer writing contest winners revealed

Reasons to be er Summ Trip d Arouin As a

beautiful Learn to Love yourself

How to Score an Internship

The Break-Up First Aid Kit

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(this summer!)

and ! playlist

! e r e h is r e sumGem t Schooled on SPF Gracing our cover is Grace Kelly!


write for us ! or just simply read. over a hundred articles every day blog posts from real girls over twenty writers advice, love, and beauty

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Ymeet the writers Brittany

(Bee)

Czech

I was born on August 30th nearly 17 years ago in a small Indiana town and have lived here since then. My biggest obsessions are photography (deviantart: formidablebee), John Green, and Framing Hanley, Not only do I proudly write for Reasons to be Beautiful, but I also write for my school newspaper and my own blog. (http:// bee-dearmichael.blogspot.com/) I dream one day of joining the US Navy and becoming a stormchasing meteorologist, but until then, I’m experiencing as much of my youth as I can. (And writing about it!)

Jayna Lee O. I’m a very random, very imaginative 18 year old from Northern Utah. I took lots of writing and journalism classes in high school, but was a complete Band Geek. I love writing things about music, romance, and vampires. I adore dinosaurs, cupcakes, and jellyfish. Hopefully, I will be a published author someday. Some of my favorite hobbies include reading vampire stories, making funny faces, and getting slurpee’s with my friends.

Madeleine Tham (Animeuver)

Hailing from the sunny isle of Singapore, I enjoy exploring and finding out more about various cultures and traditions. I write my own fictions, and I aspire to become either a magazine editor, scriptwriter or a programme director in the future; the entertainment field has always fascinated me. (One day I would start my very own kpop blog!) Like many others, I enjoy watching movies, listening to music and reading. I’m mostly spontaneous and open to many ideas, old and new alike, so feel free to discuss them with me. Till next time, adieus!

Nguyet-Mimi Duong (Sinnto )

Don’t get too excited ‘bout my name, I really go by Mimi. But of course I won’t destroy the name my parents gave to me. I only have one brother - older and I look up to him. I’m a blogger, no doubt about that. I waste my time writing, ranting, reading, and editing. Writing isn’t my strongest point but I’m not going to let it stop me. But other than having blogging as a hobby, I love hanging out with my friends. Oh, and I eat a lot. Think twice about inviting me to go out and eat!

Christine ( Alaskalush )

April O.

I’m an 18 year old college student living in Southern California. I am a book worm, a videogame geek, and a music junkie. I’m about to begin my sophomore year of college and I’m really excited for what’s to come! Being a pretty positive person, it takes a lot to get me down. One weird fact: I hate television and movies. I cannot sit still through a 30 minute episode for the life of me. It’s just boring and not my cup of tea.

I’m a small town girl trying to cope with big fish in a small pond syndrome. Get me started classic movies, Star Trek, or western comics and you’ll never hear me stop. I’m a self admitted slob and workaholic. I can turn from a tomboy climbing a tree to a girly girl lusting over a hunky actor almost instantly.


Which cover do you like best?

** Your main methods How do you cope to slim down this with stress? summer? 41% Balanced diet 75% Exercise 17% Medication 27% Mixture

85% Music 10% Exercise 35% Rest

Ymeet the writers Stephanie Watson (MaydayKoigo)

I have been writing prose and poetry since I was little, it was a form of delightful escapism for me. However in my late teenage years I dedicated myself to writing as an art form, to publish my literature as soon as I could, nowadays I am still working hard to complete my novels and I’m enjoying every minutes of it. For the past couple of years I have also gained a huge interest in journalism, an interest which continued to grow as there are so many ways to look at the world; a good article can really turn your head to certain issues. Photography is also a huge interest of mine.

Kai Alexis

‘m Kai or Miz, whichever you prefer to know me by is fine. This is my first blog that is shared with other lovely people. So I suppose my point of writing this post is to tell you about myself. There isn’t much to tell: - I like sweet things and zombies. -I have trouble keeping my thoughts straight. Sometimes this gets so bad that in the middle of a conversation, I change topics. -I’m rather blunt with my opinions. I’m sorry in advance. - I love talking, and even more then that, listening. If it’s not self explanatory, I’m a new writer here. I’m not into picking a topic and just writing about that, so I write about a little bit of everything.(This includes: music, books, movies, TV shows, and fashion.) Otherwise I get bored.

Lauren (broken_bleeding_angel)

I am broken_bleeding_angel, but behind this screen I am simply known as Lauren. I am a 19 year old high school student and yes I know I’m a little old to still be in high school. I was born 13 days late and as a result 13 is now my lucky number. I bet you’re wondering why I’m saying all this stuff about my self, or for some of you that don’t give a care and have already stopped reading this by now don’t. >:C Well I am here to write. I write about things that will make you think, wonder, cry, laugh, angry, hopeful, and many other things. So hopefully you keep reading.


Y

Y meet the editor

I

would lying if I did not state that the name for this magazine came from 90’s, female centered grunge band Hole. Their song, Reasons to be Beautiful, inspired me to make this magazine (and the blog!) one of the only few sources running around out there who identify with real girls, in real circumstances. Those who write for this magazine are young women, living in different parts of the world, coping with their own mishaps and achievements. We are all writers, in any form of disguise, willing to take this magazine and turn it into something special for you. If we inspire you to read, write, and love yourself, then please drop us a line by our e-mail. If we love what you wrote to us, we will definitely feature it in our next issue! Reasons to be Beautiful is a seasonal magazine and every day blog. If you would like to send in your article or short story, I highly encourage you to look on the blog and turn it in as soon as possible. We all hope you enjoy the first issue of Reasons to be Beautiful. Every issue is free!

YAlissa

BeautifulMagazine@hotmail.com Drop me a line! I’d love to chat!


Yyourself Y    Look in the mirror and love what you see! What Sometimes you may feel like there’s nothing left. Like it’s the end of the road, and there’s nowhere left to turn. As if you’re a forgotten memory on a page of a spiral notebook. You never are. You’re a neighbor, a daughter, a friend, a sister, a mother, an aunt, a niece, a stranger, an apprentice, a lover, a boss, a renter, a buyer, an owner, or any combination of the above. You’re always seen by someone. Even if you feel like you’re stuck in a cage of frosted glass, people will still see your shadow move. You may look in the mirror some days and sigh, or even cry. But I’m here to tell you, you’re worth more than that. Your eyes will always be so bright and beautiful, your hair lush and shiny, face clear and smooth, lips perfect and smooth, nose small and perfect, to the right eyes. Who cares what you look like to the rest of the world? All that matters is how beautiful you think you are, and how beautiful the person you love knows you are. Even if you havn’t found that person, be patient! Love comes on her own terms, no one elses. It’s worth the wait, to have someone you love to hold and to kiss and to call your own. Even if you don’t believe you’re beautiful yet, you are! Movie stars, with their perfect makeup, perfect hair, perfect everything, are lacking one big part of the picture-- that isn’t how they really look. They have experts make them look so beautiful its superhuman. It is, in a way. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, don’t you know? You might hate your flaming red hair and stormy green eyes, but I think that is beautiful. I have a thing for Asians, and I’m dating a guy who is half Japanese. Everyone tells me that I look better than he does, I’m “out of his league,” but to me, he is so much more beautiful than anyone else on the face of this Earth. You are that beautiful to someone, or you will be, if you give it time. People say you’re blind when you’re in love, but no! It is really quite the opposite. My eyes have been opened so much since I fell in love with him. The beauty of the world shines in his beautiful eyes. Love, ultimately, makes you more beautiful than anything. Love from friends, sisters, brothers, parents, boyfriends, girlfriends, fiancees, spouses, lovers, anyone. Love is beauty.

by Rachael

makes you feel beautiful?

by broken_bleeding_angel

Hello dear readers,

I have some pressing questions running through my mind that I feel like sharing with you all. What makes you feel beautiful? What is beauty? Do you think you are? Is it something you can obtain, or something you are just born with/without? Who is there to say that you are not beautiful? Do you associate beauty with uniqueness, the strange, oddities, familiarities, anything?What is it to you? Do you believe in “inner” beauty? Is “outter” beauty the most important thing to obtain in your life time? In all honesty I don’t think I’m beautiful all day every day. I have my moments and days where I’m all like, “UGH! I’m a hideous vermin that somehow managed to crawl it’s fat butt out of the toilet...”. Those are usually the days where I just wake up feeling like crap, you know those days. Does Beauty even get it’s on “feeling”? Maybe it’s a sense, not like smelling and what not, but like....Yeah I guess it’s a feeling. Beauty is hard to describe I guess. I think certain poetry is beautiful because of the way it flows or makes me feel. Physical beauty, I guess, is the same. But it’s not like I sit there and go, “Oh man! That guy/girl over there sure is beautiful! I wish I could be like them!” In all honesty I wouldn’t want to be them. Their lives may seem easy, but it’s full of complications just like ours. Beauty is complicated then. To define it is to see it and know it. I don’t think I have ever seen true beauty. Nor do I think that I will in my life time. Though if I do, I’ll be sure to tell you if I have.

ways to boost your self esteem * Buy yourself a * Leave a * Mani-pedis pretty, new dress note on your pil- and facials! By and take yourself low that says yourself or with out to dinner at “Good morning the girls, its all the swankiest re- beautiful!” fun. staraunt in town

Y

* Look at cute animals at the ASPCA. You might just find a new best friend!


Quick Tips

Seven Simple Snacks String Cheese:

This quick to grab snack is conveniently small enough to fit into a fridge no matter how full it is. Not only is it fun to eat, but it is usually only about 25¢.

100 Calorie Snack Packs: Your work of making sure the food is healthy AND small enough to keep on hand is done! These serving size cookies and pastries are delicious and filling.

Q

Ben & Jerry’s:

Even though the whole tub is well worth it on a hot day, to cool off and stay in a serving size, get the Mini Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. It’s only one serving and comes with its own disposable spoon.

Crystal Light: Grab that water bottle and an On The Go Drink Mix from Crystal Light. Delicious, quick, and all disposable. Also great for if you recycle water bottles, rinse it out and fill it with another flavor.

How can I use a cleaning bucket?

A

:

Popcorn:

*

Single serve, low or no fat popcorn makes a great snack that you can munch on for a long period of time. It’s filling and you don’t feel guilty eating a whole bag of popcorn by yourself.

Easy Mac:

Get your favorite child hood snack in a quick serving size to ease any snack craving you have during any time of the day. The best thing about this is they still come in the comical SpongeBob as well.

Alw and ays loo to sn cupboaking in Whe ack on rds for the fridg at h ther at betwe someth e snac ome, work en me ing th o a k of hu s will fil ese sevr kickin ls? l e n t hat n sim g it ger fro ing am eatin while k small c ple nd d g mo eepin revice ippin re th g g to an a you se wall o far into rvet. that

?

Pudding:

All sorts of tantalizing flavors that hit the spot that only pudding can. They come in snack packs of three to twelve and make for a great pick-me-up. By Jayna

Cleaning

Q

by iCrickle

What about disinfecting wipes?

:

A

: Clorox, Lysol and even some of the major grocery stories manufacture disinfecting wipes (sometimes called Sani-Wipes) that can work wonders for cleaning sinks, bathtubs, toilet seats and even small messes on the floors. Purchase one container (usually thirty wipes) for each of the bathrooms in your home and one for the kitchen. Every time you go to the bathroom or use the kitchen, take a minute to run a disinfecting wipe over all of the surfaces. You won’t have to worry about wringing out or cleaning a sponge or rag, and it takes just a minute or so.

: Rather than running around your house, trying to find the type of cleaner you need, store each set of cleaning supplies in its own separate bucket. That way everything is there when you need it, and you can transport it all easily with : Keep a squeegee (less than $4.00 from Walmart) in an easy-to-carry bucket. You each of your bathrooms. Whenever you take a shower, squeegee the shower walls to avoid build-up of mildew. can also use a caddy, if you You should also teach your spouse and children to use prefer. Later, if you need the their own squeegees. This will make cleaning the shower a much bucket to fill with soapy wa- easier chore when you finally get down to using tile cleaner and a sponge. ter, you can simply rinse it You can also keep a spray bottle of a bathroom cleaner in the out in the sink or at the gar- shower. Spray the walls before you start the water and let it sit den hose and refill it with your while you’re getting undressed and preparing for your shower. You can rinse the walls while you’re taking a shower, then cleaning supplies.

Q: Why a Squeegee?

A

squeegee when you’re done (works great with a detachable shower head).


life Camping:

* * * *

It Doesn’t Have To Be Boring During Day: Summer is the perfect time to find your tent, pack some canned food, and get on the road to the great out doors. Though most kids, and even adults, don’t find camping fun. It’s dirty, it’s cold, there’s no good food, there’s bugs, no running water, no real toilets. That’s not what camping is about. It’s about having fun with your friends and family and enjoying the amazing things in nature. So here are some of the things that can make a camping trip fun, cheap, and an awesome experience.

Card Games: Adventures: First off, no one needs a cell phone or mp3 player to have fun, contrary to popular belief. A simple deck of face cards can provide so many time consuming games for both single and multiple players. There is WAR, Speed, Go Fish, Solitaire, B.S., Slap Jack and lots more. Playing cards cost only a dollar or two and can be stored anywhere.

: s e m a G t h g i N

Go exploring! Take in all the nature you can and see everything that makes up what you live around. Take a hike or if there is one, go for a swim in the river or lake. Though make sure you wear bug spray and sun screen and be careful so you don’t get hurt and end up being miserable the rest of the trip.

If night and cards isn’t really your thing, take a simple craft to do. These can be found at most department stores and are fairly cheap. Another fun thing is coloring. Buy a couple of coloring books, some crayons and have a ball. If you want to get a little more adventurous, take a magnifying glass and melt the crayons onto the paper to make some cool designs.

Campfire:

Roasting marshmallows is fun, but it’s also fun to try different things over the fire, like roasting Starbursts, dough to make a biscuit, or the classic hot dog. While you’re roasting, it can be fun to sing songs with everyone or to tell scary stories. It’s a great time to stay warm and be around people you love.

When night falls in the open places, you don’t need any flashlights to provide light, the moon and stars do it for you. This makes an excellent time to whip out some night fun. Kick-theCan, Ghost In The Graveyard, Sardines, and Freeze Tag are some fabulous games for the dark hours. Or even bring out some pillowcases, toothpaste, and socks and go Snipe Hunting. This fresh air experience never hurt anyone.

by Black Star Shine


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: o T w o H

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* *** *** *** e g e l l o in C

d e e c c u S

by AlaskaLush

Organize

Organizat ion is ev erything. track of y Keep our paper s , of your d ments, of ocuyour sylla bus, etc. a system Make that work s for you make sur an e to keep things tid d that they y so ’re easy to find a moment’s t any notice.

it d e r c a r t x E

extra nities for u t r o p p o ou’ll ny and all w when y o n k t o n Look for a on ur D to a u really d o take yo t s t credit. Yo in o p a mile w extra g the extr in o g need a fe o S . h it. B to an A tally wort o t is s t C or your in o n a few p hat you’re to get eve ow the professor t e o sh kes to rais a t it It will als r e v e ridicudo what s doing a n a e m willing to it points. e, even if few extra your grad a r fo r e g pap lously lon

a p e e K r e n n pla

s, ter clas f a g in r n for ers tuto ssor off lutely no reaso e f o r p u are o If the e is abs tly feel like yo r e h T ! ones tions take it if you h s or have ques o t t o n s la uld also you in the c You sho eed . g d in e l r g e g stru answ hey n ed to be ssist them if t you have e n t a h a t d w hers an You kno ou can tutor ot helping hand. hing if y . t a e r t m x o e s the else rned omeone fully lea success ly teach it to s ful success

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s d n e i r f e k Ma

ake a not hurt to m can It really would e class. If you th in s d n ie fr ails, few umbers or em n e n o h p ge n excha them if le to contact you will be ab ask them ss period and a cl a s is m u cture yo n that day’s le o n o ti a rm fo for in that you lecture notes or about the issed. might have m

Tape audio r ecordings of the le ctures

rything gs out, eve in th n la p ou If you re easily! Y o m h c u m ssignwill come prioritize a to le b a ue will be ck of the d a tr p e e k logments and lanner and p a g in p e o help dates. Ke ates will als d t n a rt o p to ging im e you want m ti e th t u an upyou plan o ing before y d tu s to devote t. coming tes

There are tim es when the professors will lecture fo r long period s of time. Therefore, it might be be st to tape the lectures so that you d o not miss a beat. It wil l also be easi er to take notes and st udy when yo u hear the lectures again when you get home.

Ask questions

Be punctual

g n i r o t Tu

No one goes to college with the intention of failing. Everyone wants to succeed and do good! So here are a few tips that will get things going for you and help you make the most of your academic experience in college. (This list could also easily be applied to high school! So if you are still in high school, this is still a good tip list to read!)

Nothing is worse than arriving late to a clas s and disrupting the lectur e because of your tardiness. So be on time and show th e professor that you are committed to the course by not being late.

Notes

Take quic ka you will b nd abbreviated n otes so th e able to at still catc Do not sp h end all o the lectu f r e. y Most of t he testin our time writing. g and hom rial will b ework m ef ateto have a rom the lecture. So it pay good ear s for the le Exchange cture too your note . s way, you ’ll be able with peers too! T hat to get so you migh me notes t have m issed whe that listening n you we to the le re cture.

If anything sounds confusing or difficult to process, always ask questions. Always. I cannot possibly stress this enough. If you need the professor to clarify something, ask a question! You will learn more if you get things clarified right then and there in the classroom instead of waiting until you get home and wondering about it as you do your homework. If you feel too embarrassed to ask the professor in front of the class, shoot them an email once you get home. They provide you their email addresses in the syllabus for a reason, so make the most of it!

Study

get the enever you h w y d u st e told Be sure to unselors hav o c e g e ll o C lass, chance to. u spend in c o y r u o h ry e ev ours at me that for dy for two h u st to d e e n ke a you will e wise to ma b o ls a ld u o mates and home. It w h some class it on w p u ro g y stud or the library ry ra b li l a c r lo ask each meet at you ill be able to w s y u g u Yo er study campus. elp each oth h d n a s n io ther. other quest n work toge a c u o y if y ntl more efficie

There is really nothing to it! A lot of it just requires being conscious about how much effort you put into your classes and showing that you’re committed to the course.


How to Score an Internship, Summer Edition by Alissa

Companies lust for free work. Especially if you’re in college looking for credits or an extra boost in the communications world. Here a quick how to for your summer job:

1. Check out Craigslist or Fastweb for a company in your area willing to have an intern.

If you’re interested in big corporations like the L.A. Times, you must apply six-months in advance.

2. E-mail - at the leastfive places.

Your e-mail should inform them that you are polite and head-strong. Something short, yet tasteful: Dear (Company Name Here), I have found your post on Craigslist (Or any other search engine). I am an aspiring (list wanted career here) and have found that interning for your company would be a pleasure. Are you still looking for interns? Sincerely, (First Name & Last Name) Do not post spelling errors! Don’t mind what day it was posted on what time, all you know is that this is a company looking for you. If they list a criteria, take it!

4. Check if it is credit-only or for anyone.

If it is a credit-only internship, contact your college (or community college) to transfer the credits for your major. Especially if you are in a major that needs at least 7 or 8 internships. Most colleges take it as a course, so make sure you know where the credits are going & how you are going to be able to show it on your resume when you set out for a job.

5. Keep in touch

3. Compile a resume of awards you won (both in high school and college) Once they e-mail you and you feel that it is a legitimate internship, always put past work experience- even if its just for Jamba Juice! Give them two samples of your writing, design skills, etc. Also, give them your cell phone number. If you know someone else will be answering, tell them to ask for you.

with them! Ask them questions, yet, maintain professionalism.

TIPS TIPS TIPS TIPS

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Keep calm. Don’t act nervous, but do not act too comfortable. Shake hands. Remember their names. Take a portfolio with you, just in case. Be comfortable enough to talk about yourself and your aspirations. They WILL ask you why you want to intern for them. Make sure you check the background information, research their site, and understand what they do exactly.

Keep in touch. E-mail, Call. Make sure, once again, that your credits are in toe.


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s p i T g n i t n Job Hu by Grace

It’s summer again. For some of us, that means going out and having all the fun you can, but for others it means finding a job. Job hunting can be one of the most intimidating tasks that a person has go through. I’ve been there several times now, and it doesn’t become easier or less stressful the more times you do it. But by working several highly prized jobs, I’ve also had the advantage of seeing job hunters from the other side, the employer side. From their mistakes and successes, I’ve compiled a list of job hunting tips.

- Dress Professionally

It doesn’t matter if you’re applying for a job at McDonald’s or the White House, when you go job hunting it is a must look professional. That means wearing a dress shirt (if you’re not sure what constitutes a dress shirt, just stick to formal button ups), slacks or a formal skirt, and dress shoes. If you’re job hunting in the winter months, the coat you wear should be equally formal, a nice windbreaker, pea coat, or blazer. If you like accessorizing, that’s fine, but don’t make it too glamorous. I’ve had people come into my job to leave resumes wearing what ranges from hot pants to their favorite tattered band t-shirt, but none of them were considered for a position. If you look professional it sets a tone that you’ll act professional if you get the job.

- Don’t Bring a Friend

I know that it’s kind of intimidating to go out and look for jobs, so it’s natural to want a friend to go with you. However, if you bring a friend along, you’re giving the impression that you’re too shy to approach strangers alone. Many bottom level jobs involve customer service, so being afraid of strangers could cripple

your chances of employment. If you really must bring a friend along, have your friend wait outside while you go in to leave a resume.

- Check Back In

It can only help to check back into a job that you’ve applied to. Not only can you get an update on their hiring status, but you can put in some face-time with the employees there. If you make yourself memorable to them you’ll be first on their list to call when a position opens up. Especially for jobs that you really want, go back into the location about a week after you first dropped off your resume and ask, “I was wondering what the status on my resume was?”

- Update Your Resume

Double check your resume to make sure all the information is current before you give it out to anyone. Are there any spelling or grammatical errors? Is there anything important you left off, like your phone number? Is the anything unimportant that you put on there that you should take off? And as much as you might want to include all the information on there, it’s a job hunting faux pas to have a resume that’s more than one page. Have a friend look it over to find any mistakes. Your resume is the last impression that a potential employer has of you, it should be professional and memorable. Keep it neat and crisp by carrying it in a folder when you go out job hunting.

- Aim High... At First

You never know when that bookstore you’ve loved all your life might be hiring. I’ve gotten some awesome jobs just because I happened

to go into the establishment on the perfect day. Create three lists of places to apply to: the places you really wish you could work at, places that you wouldn’t mind working, and places you think you could get a job at if you absolutely needed a job. Apply at them in this order. Almost anyone can get a job at a fast food joint, but unless that’s where you want to work, save it until you can’t go without work any longer. You might get lucky before that.

- The Best Hours

The best hours to apply for a job are going to be the business’s slowest hours. For most stores and service jobs that’s going to be the early afternoon, just after lunch. If you go into a place right before closing and take up the employees time when they could be getting other work done, you’re sure to get the stink eye and make a bad impression. If you apply during the late morning hours or early afternoon, you’re also sending out the message that you’re active during that time and could work earlier hours.

- General Tips

Don’t buy goods or services from a business when you’re dropping off a resume there, it sends a sign that you’re not very serious about wanting a job. Exploit any connections you might have or friends who have jobs. I’ve gotten more than one job because I knew someone who already worked there. The recommendation from other employees is going to put you ahead of the pack. This should seem obvious, but never chew gum while you drop off a resume. If you must freshen your breath, use mints. Speak professionally, even if it’s just to a clerk and not to a manager. Your words and appearance should create a lasting impression, and the clerks will remember if you weren’t professional. Finally, smile. Even if you’re nervous and your feet hurt from walking, you could be meeting a co-worker and friend for the very first time.


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Reasons to Drink Green Tea It’s good for your skin.

by Cosmic Latte

Studies involving green tea show that it provides protection against skin cancer and is likely to slow down signs of aging. It can also prevent sun damage and has anti-inflammatory properties.

It’s good for your heart.

Green tea has been shown to lower the risk of atherosclerosis, a disease in which your arteries become blocked. It can also lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood cholesterol levels, and can help prevent damage to heart muscles.

Gre for s en tea i s umm er (e a refres has h s b best een pra pecially ing drin good things ised as iced!) k yo an o r of th eason. u can d ne of th d rink e Here e aw - wi of g esom are t r h just eh and een te a. C ealth b a few you’ he en ll be wan ck them efits t ou in ever y da g to dri t, nk it y!

It promotes oral hygiene.

This beverage kills bacteria that cause dental plaque and bad breath, and can increase the acid resistance of tooth enamel.

It enhances mental focus.

Green tea contains the amino acid L-theanine, found almost exclusively in the tea plant. Theanine can create a calmer but more alert state of mind.

It can help you lose weight.

That’s right! There is powerful evidence that green tea can promote weight loss, particularly when combined with a healthy diet and good exercise. The tea can increase the metabolism of fats in the liver and stop fat absorption.

O H ! A N I N O M O S NO ININSOMNIA!

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OH

al A few natur help solutions to ss aid sleep lo

by FelicityRoze

Herbal Milk & Rice Bag Honey

I have about six of these things. It’s a pillow filled with rice, lavender and other herbs scented to help you relax and or fall asleep, depending on the type that you buy. put the rice bag in the microwave for about three minutes (time varies on size. be sure to double check me) then hop in to bed. This should help. I bought mine in the local market, just ask around and even if the vendor doesnt have one they may have the card of another vendor who does.

Have you ever heard that your supposed to mix warm milk and honey? It’s a bit of an old trick. Just warm a mug of milk for thirty seconds. add two tea spoons of honey stir and warm again for another thirty seconds before stirring again. and voila! perfect sleeping potion. If you have natural lavender growing in your yard or lavender tea bags adding a bit will only make it stronger.

Dont Eat That Midnight Snack Eating snack food at night should be avoided. Sugary foods will raise your blood sugar and make it impossible to drift off into sleepy land.

Hypnosis Some people may doubt this method however it is one of the only ways i can get myself to relax when under immense stress. You may also wonder how to do this, well you can easily hypnotize yourself on you tube. All you have to do is follow the directions and let your mind go and you can hypnotize yourself to want to go to sleep. just search “Hypnotize self” on you tube and you can look through until you find one for your purpose.


life F P S n o d e l o o h c S t Ge What SPF

* by AlaskaLush

Now that we are w ell into t we need he to remem things be ber a few summer, fore we g et too frie important summer nd sun. One of the mo ly with the things to s t importa ke nt pool part ep in mind while enjoying y or havin a sunscree n! I know g fun at the beac h , a is parental boring to pic that y units hav e drilled our time and in to your h time aga e in, right? ad most of u Wr s know th at it’s im ong! While ply sunsc po reen ofte n, not ma rtant to apreasons w n y know o hy we sh f the ould or w h at can ha pen when pwe don’t .

B V U e ir u q c r a u p o sy-t you can a e nd that ! a e p r a o s t e ch nblock drugs w e a f UVA su r local and e at you chas

means and how it effects you!

S

PF means “sun protection factor.” A sunscreen with an SPF of 15 delays sunburning of the skin 15 times longer than someone without sunscreen and allows someone to stay out in the sun 15 times longer than they normally would without sunscreen. It’s also important to reapply the sunscreen every few hours to make sure that it keeps you protected all day long. The SPF in sunscreen protects against UVB (Ultraviolet B) rays, but not the lesser-known UVA (Ultraviolet A) rays. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “UVA rays account for up to 95 percent of the UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface.” Therefore, it’s important to find a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. SPF isn’t a measure for protectant against UVA rays, so be sure to find a sunscreen that says it protects against both types of Ultraviolet rays or has dioxybenzone, titanium dioxide, oxybenzone, sulsiobenzone, or zinc oxide in it’s ingredient listing. At the moment, there is no official way to measure the appropriate amount of UVA protectant to use. But doctors do recommend that you use a sunscreen with an SPF of at the very least 15 and a few of the ingredients listed to protect you against UVA rays.

** ** Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 55

This sunblock has a high SPF and some ingredients that also protect against UVA rays. It’s also long lasting! About $9 for 3 oz.

Blue Lizard Sunscreen Sensitive SPF 30+

This sunscreen is for those that have sensitive skin. Although it doesn’t have as high of an SPF as the ones previously mentioned, it does have a scent-free formula and isn’t too hard on those with sensitive skin. About $12 for 5 oz.

No-Ad Sunblock Lotion SPF 45

It does about the same job that the Neutrogena sunblock does, but doesn’t last quite as long. However, you do get more for your buck! About $10 for 16 oz.

Banana Boat Sport Performance DriBlok Sunblock Lotion SPF 30 This particular sunscreen is great for those that play sports or spend some time in water. While it is necessary to reapply sunscreen often, this one protects those that sweat or get wet in the sun. About $9 for 6 oz.

Dangers of not wearing sunscreen:

N

ot wearing sunscreen causes wrinkles to appear upon the face and sunspots to develop on the body. Aside from the how the radiation rays affect someone’s appearance, it could also do incredible damage to the skin cells, causing them to mutate and turn cancerous. The Skin Cancer Foundation states, “UV radiation is considered the main cause of nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSC), including basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). These cancers strike more than a million and more than 250,000 Americans, respectively, each year.”

A

s you can see, it’s very important to wear sunscreen. While it’s great to enjoy the summer and soak in the sun, skin damage isn’t cute and is definitely something that we should take a few extra measures in preventing. If you would like more information on SPF, UVA/UVB rays, skin cancer, and other things mentioned in this article, feel free to mosey on over to the Skin Cancer Foundation website (www.skincancer.org) to learn more. They have anything and everything you’d ever want to know about skincare.


li f e --------------------------------------------------Take a stranger out to dinner This doesn’t necesarily mean going out on a blind date. Just take someone out to dinner and learn all about them. Listen to what they have to say and listen to the stories they have to tell. Just make sure you’re safe about this one too. Ask a friend of a friend of a friend or something of that sort. Careful, serial killers like Wal-Mart too.

Walk through the entire National Liberty Museum

Things you should want to do

If you live in the US, there’s a place in Philadelphia called the National Liberty Museum. It’s the one museum that changed my life and how I look at it forever. And if you are a citizen of a different country and happen to stop by the Philly area, take the time to go here. It will change your life too.

We all have things in our lives that we want to do, we have at least some Write a letter to idea, but maybe not a strict plan or list. For those that have a list, or perhaps at least three peowant a to start a list, here’s a list of things that you should put on your list: ple you love and tell them how thankful Adopt a diner Introduce a you are for them Start a social Choose a diner or some sort of people in your lives deserve movement on a couple and then go restaurant, perhaps even a store that to The know how much you care about to their wedding you go to as often as possible. Get them. It doesn’t event take that cause you believe Although I’ve never done it, I can to know the workers and the own- long. in only imagine how amazing it feels. ers. You can also learn a lot from Nothing makes you more proud doing this and make new friends. Go on a thrift of your life than helping others, or Mail an offi cial at least that’s how it is for me. When Watch a volcano store/small town you start a movement on something care package erupt shopping spree that you really care about-be it auSome post offices will send it for tism awareness, leading a drug-free life, or even making loneliness go extinct-then you know and you understand just how little it takes to make a big difference.

free, but even if there’s not one near you that will do so, put some money forth to help someone. Don’t have an income? Ask people to pitch in. Just send some items that will help overseas. You don’t have Attend a march atosoldier know them, but if you don’t it’s There are marches (or parades) a total plus. The soldier will know occurring practically every day. that there are people they don’t even Find one near you (or start one!) and know that cares about them. find out how you can help. Adrenaline is produced and rushes through Make a differyou when you have tons of people marching right beside you shouting ence in someone’s the words that they believe in.

Take part in a national event

life

It’s pretty self-explainable and it’s pretty easy. Just give someone This is similar to what is said a hand to hold you may save a life above. Some of theses events don't without even knowing it. even require much travel. National events are as simple as a day of siMaintain a yearlence or a day without shoes. Either long journal way, there's always something you You don’t have to write everyday, can do that countless other people but make sure you do as often as you are doing around the country. You can even take it to the next step by can. I promise, when you look back at the whole year in writing. participating in a world event.

Just do it safely! Observe this You never know what you can breath-taking natural event and find! learn the power Earth has. Maybe even help out the area affected afSpend a week terward.

Introduce the in a foreign place alone world to yourself It doesn’t have to be Paris or Tai-

Do something that will cause people to take notice of you (legally and healthily). Show them what insert your name here has to offer to the world!

Call customer service just to thank them for the good service

The poor customer service workers have to listen to people yelling, nagging, and complaining for a livine. Take a few minutes and call. It will make the worker’s day a lot easier. Sometimes they even give you free stuff!

wan, it could simply be the town beside you. You can spend a week like the locals. Get to know them and their culture.

Live long Do what you want

by Bee


advice Hello, ! e c n e d Confi by Trinica

I

t is a well-known fact that people need confidence. It fuels us, it strengthens us, and it is easy to obtain with the right attitude. Unfortunately, some girls are extremely self-conscious and selfcritical (which is a major cause of depression, suicide, anorexia, and bulimia). So how do you go about upping your confidence meter? There are so many ways to learn to love yourself. Here are a few tips:

Doll up!

Pampering is an important part of a girl’s life. Go get your nails or hair done! Take a day off and visit a spa! Shop for new clothes with your friends and then go out socializing. You know what makes you look good, so play up your advantages and have a blast. There is no doubt that looking fantastic will make you feel fantastic.

Be optimistic! Let’s face it, sometimes you are just having a really bad day. But sometimes all it takes to turn your day around is some positive thinking. Instead of complaining when your plans get canceled, try thinking of an alternative plan. Who knows? You may end up doing something unusual and fun with people you don’t normally hang out with. And you may love it.

Lose regrets! Do as the Italians do- Vivere senza rimpianti. Forget what people may think of you; in the end, the only person who matters is you. Do what makes you happy, and be a little wild! The only thing that can stop you is yourself, so don’t hold back and have fun!

Get uncomfortable! Let’s face it, sometimes you are just having a really bad day. But sometimes all it takes to turn your day around is some positive thinking. Instead of complaining when your plans get canceled, try thinking of an alternative plan. Who knows? You may end up doing something unusual and fun with people you don’t normally hang out with. And you may love it.

Swap Antidepressants for

Rubber Duckies by Amanda

W

ords like bath and relaxation bring luxurious and soothing thoughts that we can all relate to. There isn’t a better way to end your day than to soak into a stress reducing environment. Hot water, usually around 95 F is ideal for soothing nerves, relaxing muscles, and increasing circulation. All through history, cultures have been using a variety of water temperatures, scented oils, herbs, and plant and fruit extracts for calming benefits such as stimulating the immune system. Romans, Greeks, and Turks used to practice Hydrotherapy to relief pain and treat illnesses like arthritis, spinal cord injuries, burns, and paralysis. Like most of you, I don’t have any Sandalwood or Frankincense lying around my house. For those who don’t have the time to go out searching for ancient herbs and oils, here are a few great recipes that you can shop for at your local grocery store:

* Milk and Lemon Soak- Add 1 quart of whole milk and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to a very warm bath. * Tea Bag Bath- Add a few herbal tea bags to your bath water. * Vanilla Bath- Add 1 cup of baby oil and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, mix and add to your bath water. * Citrus Bath- Add sliced oranges, grapefruits, and grapes to your bath. And remember, you aren’t striving for the perfect bath. You’re striving for the outcome of it all!

Four Ways to Liven Up a Boring Summer

1. Get out of the house! This is issue number one about why your summer will be boring. You need to get out and live a little. You may not even have to go very far 2. Go to a neighboring city! There’s nothing to do in my city, so we got out to the closest city where at least they have a lot of festivals and parades. 3. Go shopping! Retail therapy fixes everything. 4. Make new friends! Chances are a lot of your friends went away for vacation, and you’ve been left in your lonesome. So get out and make some new friends. Who knows you may even start a summer romance. To make a long story short: No one wants to have a boring summer.


advi c e --------------------------------------------------A New Look For Your Bedroom

O

By Sinnto

h lord, it’s finally summer isn’t it? Time to get one of those things off your “to-do list of the summer”. Well if one of them is redecorating your bedroom, you’re in quite a luck. I’m redecorating my own room too. Funny eh? Though it’s not on my to-do list, I think my bedroom can go for some action. Wouldn’t you say yours should be getting some action too? Don’t worry, this won’t be a whole piece of writing on what to get for your bedroom. It’s more of a guide to a room makeover. I won’t be pointing out specifics for you to buy, you are going to have to decide that for yourself. Don’t worry, it doesn’t matter what size of a room you have. Just have a space where you sleep that you are determined to change. Let’s get this party on the road, shall we?

Brightening Your Room;

; this is one of the key things people forget when they’re redecorating. Now, why do they usually forget about this? Because it’s usually the last thing that’s on their mind. In my opinion, the lightning should be the main base of reconstructing your room. If you have a window, let the sunshine in! How? By opening the blinds - which means nothing should be in its way of shining light into your room. Keep items CLEAR from the path of the sunlight. Sunlight is good for you. If you stay in your room all day, might as well get some sunlight and give yourself a glow, right?

Listing Items;

* TIPS!

makes the whole process of what you want a lot better, and you don’t have to remember all the items you want! Make it easier on yourself, you’re already having to push, pull, yank items in and out of your bedroom, why waste more energy remembering what you want in your bedroom? Make a list of all the items you want in your room. Then narrow it down to what you already have, what you don’t have, and what you want to replace.

Drawing it out; Keep an eye out at all time: ALWAYS, ALWAYS, check your deals website. At least once a day, you’ll never know when you miss a great deal!

Have patience: Why? Because when you’re looking for an affordable room under your budget, you need to wait for the deals to be made.

Color your picture: Color the drawing that you made for your room. Scan it, and print it out. Just in case so you’ll have a copy for yourself. Buy stuff you can see before you pay: As Coloring makes it for used items, it’s much better if you easy to see what colbuy it when you can see it and not have it ors match and which shipped to you. Don’t always trust the pictures. Go to them and look at it yourself. you want.

get a piece of paper and a pencil, you’re going to be an artist! What? Draw? I’m horrible at drawing?! Well, too bad. You’re going to have to draw out your room (or something alike it) and the inside of it in the space you want it to. This makes the process of moving stuff in a lot easier. Why? You already know where it’s going! Sure, it may not look as nice on paper or it may not look as nice in real life, at least you have some bases of where stuff goes.

Complementary Colors; colors that goes well together. You want to have two or three solid colors in your room that goes well together. It’s much more appealing than random coloring or overdoing it with the colors. Try to have a maximum of four colors (though two might be the best). These colors should go well together. How do we know what colors go well with each other? GET A COLOR WHEEL! This is a technique I’ve learned in my art class: colors across each other on the color wells are complementary colors (colors that looks great with each other!) Well that saved you a lot of trouble didn’t it? Solid colors are the best.

Deals, Deals, Deals!;

you don’t have unlimited amount of money to spend, spend it wisely. A lot of people buy a lot of new stuff when they’re on a budget to redecorate their room. But the thing is, you don’t need to buy new stuff, used stuff can be quite nice too - and it’s cheaper. A new bed could be $250 but for a used one it could be $50. But that doesn’t mean you’re going to buy everything used. The only things you should buy that’s used are furniture. Cloths, bedsheets, pillowcases shouldn’t be used and it’s much more sanitary if you buy it new. COMPARE PRICES! Go to many different stores and compare. But stuff are usually a lot cheaper if you buy it online. A website for deals/bargains: Craiglist.


advi c e --------------------------------------------------What Bee Thinks

( ail me at m e , e m m fro dvice”, a e advice “ k li le o it ls t a e ld th If you wou .com with il a m gaia (rini_ g n o @ c e e m e b t y c a samm blog, cont age me on devian e h t n o t s s e commen ou can me e be sure to includ y r o , ) o e as moon_n bee). Ple ivate or if r le p b e a ic id v m d ea tart (for ymously. n o keep th o t n e a m it t t n pos if you wa to just re e m e k li you would

Q

I overreact and become jealous of everything basically, in relation to my boyfriend. I feel like I want him all to myself, and my mood darkens a bit whenever his attention is diverted away from me towards his family members and friends. Now, I don’t speak of my possessiveness out loud because it’s a stupid reaction, and my boyfriend would greatly disapprove. My boyfriend is a one-on-one person, meaning his attention can only be given to one person at a time. So whenever he messages someone, he is constantly focused on that person only, no matter how much I try to keep the conversation alive. I feel invisible sometimes. He promises he loves me very much, and always will, which is why I shouldn’t feel this way. How do I quell the jealousy?

A

Jealousy is a very natural feeling that we all feel at one time or another. First off, talk to your boyfriend. Make sure he’s aware of your feelings, but also make sure that he knows you’re working to repel these feelings. What you need is a personal rehab and seek help from loved ones with it too. Every time you feel jealous of someone or something, think about all of the things that you have, that many others would be envious of. Everything comes as part of a package. If somebody has something that you don’t, you also have a few things that they don’t. You can also give the person you’re jealous of something nice. It could be a flower, cookie, or even a hug. Anything works. After that, whenever you see them happy, you’ll realize that you have contributed to their overall happiness and you will start feeling happy in return. Another way is to boost your own self-esteem and self-confidence. Actual scientific studies have shown that people with low self-esteem are much more jealous than that of the average person.

Q

I have a temper that is bad. I have been known to break things and loose it and attack someone before or just go crazy. I want help but I am to paranoid of therapy to get any, most articles I read aren’t for people with anger problems but for the people who deal with them. I try to calm down by doing other things, but I just get more infuriated, going outside helps sometimes but I don’t always have that option. I have tried to let it out or keep it in but neither of those seems to be right, letting it out makes me feel angrier and keeping it in makes me feel like my hearts going to stop from the stress, I have popped veins before from doing that.

A

I understand where you’re coming from. Sometimes I get extremely angry, so angry that I feel like nothing I do will ease that. It seems to me that what really works for most people is just a good angry rant. Get online, call up a friend, perhaps even talk to a wall. Not only does talking to a wall help you realize the root to your anger, it also makes you feel completely crazy and you find the desire to laugh at yourself.

Q A

I’m kind of turned on by lesbians & I’m not bi or a lesbian myself. I have a boyfriend, I love him, but I’ve been curious about how it’d feel to makeout with a girl. It would be cheating if I did it though. IF I did try it, I’d want it to be with one of my friends, just to experiment. And I can think of one already who would be up for it, but I think it would be wrong since I have a boyfriend. What if these feelings don’t go away? First off, I love the fact that you recognize that it could be considered “cheating”. There are girls I knew/know that date a male and a female at the same time, and don’t consider it to be cheating, which I don’t understand. Secondly, there’s nothing wrong with “testing the waters.” In fact, it’s healthy. Talk to your boyfriend and express your feelings. Come to an agreement. Maybe you can spend a little time apart just so that you can really get to know yourselves. I know, it’s cliché advice, but it’s true. It’s never a good idea to fully commit yourself to anyone unless you know who you are yourself.

Q

I met a new friend today. We have been texting and talking on the phone for a while and we also went to the same school but didn’t have any classes together. He had told me over the phone that he liked me more than a friend. But when we hung out today, he made comments about dating both the cheer and dance captains from my school along with saying a girl on a motorcycle magazine was “sexy”. I’m not like those girls at all, I’ve got my curves and am kind of big boned, certainly not someone who looks all to flattering in a bikini. Plus I’m a huge nerd. I wanted to tell him I like him too, but now I’m scared that I won’t be his type of girl. Any help?

A

There are many different types of things that people look for in relationships and most of the time, good looks are not a must-have. Yes, there has to be some sort of attraction for the relationship to work, but that doesn’t mean the “sexy” girls are often preferred. In men’s eyes, hot girls are just for fun. Marriage often occurs between people that treasure the personalities of each other. Talk to him. Tell him how you feel and ask him how he feels. I’m sure he’ll call you crazy. And maybe he is attracted to you immensely, you’ll never know until you talk. Also, sometimes guys just try to show off by saying things like that, but they don’t realize how much it turns most women off.

Much Love,

Bee


advi c e ---------------------------------------------------

e c i v d A Writing by inashell

Finding Inspiration Finding Inspiration Finding Inspiration Finding Inspiration

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usually flock to the magazine section of any book store, library, or -If I’m lucky- thrift store. I open the pages, delicately gobbling up every design, word, and photograph that is lathered across the page. I devilishly eat it up with my eyes. My heart quenches and I find myself in love - with a magazine. I often find inspiration in the smallest aspects of my life, whether it is staying up late, coffee in hand, furiously typing away at an article or just simply rushing to finish a good book.

Find your favorite quotes

Don’t worry about writing a mary-sue, just worry about writing the story. It is okay to suck when you’re writing, revisions and editing will be here to come and go. Writer’s block. You have it, I have it, but usually it’s just me being a procrastinator. Don’t think about having writer’s block. It’s fine if you haven’t finished it and have been working on it for more than one year. It doesn’t really matter how long it takes you, only on how good it is. When you get a rejection from an agent, it’s not the end of the world. Just query more agents. It’s as simple as that. Editing is something a lot of people don’t want to do, but you have to do it. If someone suggests that you should fix something, be open to it and don’t judge them. If you have a critique partner, find one that is open to give out constructive criticism without having to worry about hurting your feelings and will still praise your work at the same time. Writing short stories, novellas, flash fiction, and maybe even ‘novelettes’ ( most are not really open to using the term ‘novelettes’, so short stories, flash fiction, or novellas are good to go ) are a challenge to some because it’s hard to shorten. Take out details that aren’t needed, sub plots, and focus on the big thing of the story. Don’t worry about cliches and original ideas. A lot of things aren’t original and people still like them. If your story has a cliche, think about whether or not it is very predictable, such as a bad guy falling in love with a nice girl or something like that. We know that the two would fall in love. You can change that cliche and make it different, add some more things. Research. Researching is very important. Sometimes, some things that aren’t researched won’t really come as off to a reader, but lets say a person that works in the field? They’ll notice. But if it’s really obvious, like for example, if Romeo and Juliet didn’t meet in Romeo and Juliet, it will be very obvious. Age doesn’t matter in writing. It is basically how good the story is. So whether you’re a teen that critiques an agent, don’t expect them to jump on the offer, it counts on the writing. But remember that your age will/might be used as a marketing ploy. What if you don’t have time to write? Find time to write. Want to write, but don’t want to go through the whole process? You have to write, if not, don’t write.

Tumblr is notorious for re-blogging fantastic, inspirational quotes. If you are in love with E.E. Cummings or simply Jane Austen, there are a plethora of pages dedicated to your favorite authors,actors, and theorists. Cannot find a person from quotes you like? I suggest you check out Quote book.

Finding your fortune

If you cannot pin-point a favorite quote, I suggest taking yourself out for fortune cookies. Open it up, read the fortune, and base your story or article among that concept. I keep the fortune I unraveled ages ago, “You will make a name for yourself” above my desk to remind myself of my fortune’s message. It has motivated me through the toughest of articles.

Copy, Paste and Annotate

While browsing through your finished books, underline in pencil all of your favorite words, concepts, and sentences. Annotate your favorite beginnings. Find yourself in love with certain words. The way Charlotte Bronte simply uses “isolation” can trigger a story held within you.

Classical music and Caffeine

My favorite combination to pair off a terrible case of writer’s block is Classical music and soda. Whether you associate your favorite Classical music genre as Apocalyptica or Mozart is up to you, though I suggest Apocalyptica’s dark demure over Mozart’s contemporary essence. If you are not a soda-carnivore, I suggest coffee or tea. Anything with caffeine to get your blood pumping furiously. The combination of quick-ended notes with the rush of energy from the drink will have you bursting with thoughts.

by alissa


advi c e --------------------------------------------------Embracing Yourself Can You Handle It?

T

he concept of having the ‘perfect set of teeth’ is conceptual. I think it would be a set of teeth that are natural looking, and looks good on you. It doesn’t necessarily mean having a completely straight set of teeth, which most people would take to be the ideal case. But I beg to differ. I know friends who don’t have straight teeth, but her smile is really cute and uniquely hers; she has a pair of lateral incisor (second tooth from the middle) that are practically 90-degrees turned form an average person’s, but because it’s symmetrical, and coupled with her pair of ‘vampire teeth’ at the side, she looks really adorable when she smiles. So ladies, if you’re really troubled over your slightly-crooked teeth, you might just want to think again about having braces.

Don’t be mistaken… There are reasons why dentists recommend braces for some people; it’s generally for health purposes. Personally I wear braces (even extracting 4 teeth for that), because I have biting problems (cross-bite, which is difficulty in chewing food because of the misalignment of my molars) and heavy misalignment of my top and bottom jaw. Not only that I don’t look good (one of my teeth was slanted and it almost turned from horizontal to vertical from the front view), I have actually resorted to swallowing my food because I couldn’t bite properly. Now, that is a problem.

Benefits and Opportunity Costs #!: Costs of wearing the braces.

There are many forms of braces, ranging from the traditional metal-brackets to the invisible braces that are stuck behind the teeth instead of them in front. And different kinds of braces come with different kinds of prices. For students, it is highly recommended to just wear the visible braces; cheaper, faster and easily replaced. For working adults who have to speak to clients on daily basis might want to spend a little more on getting the invisible braces.

We often say having a great smile is important; it shows how much confidence and friendliness one is brimming. Having a beautiful smile might just be another thing, and it could round down to having the ‘perfect’ set of teeth. #2: Emotional and Physical Distress

WORDPRESS.COM

The pain one have to go through is also another thing one need to consider. Of course, the extraction (if needed) and the first few days of putting and getting use to the braces (as well as subsequent adjustments) will be hard for most people. Some have to take liquid food like porridge or soup as compared to normal standard meals because of the sensitive gum and teeth. Some take a few days, while some, weeks. The adjustment period varies, but it is definitely there.

#3: An added bonus

Of course becoming ‘prettier’ is definitely a bonus, but do keep in mind that braces does not come with a hundred-percent success. There are cases where patients have teeth at are crooked at the end of the day, so selfmanagement is really important. Post-braces treatment is as equally as important as the days you’re wearing your braces. I have a friend who had taken out his braces and because of his laziness in post-braces care his teeth were becoming slightly slanted again. Even one just took out the braces, it is important to note that, especially for teenagers, our gums are soft and our teeth are constantly moving (applies for adults, though relatively stiffer), that is a possibility that the teeth could shift back to the way it was before braces if one is not careful.

Actress America Ferrera wears braces for her show, Ugly Betty. Though the braces are unflattering on Betty, Ferrera illuminates her own set of teeth. STATIC.TVFANATIC.COM

Y PARAORKUT.COM

Rocker Gwen Stefani of No Doubt wore braces in 1999 after the support of her album Return of Saturn. Now she is bracefree and more glamourous than ever.

Judgement Ultimately it comes down to personal decisions: whether enduring the pain and bearing such costs is worth it at all. Consult an orthodontist first, and make sure you find out everything you need to know, including the payments to be made, the duration of braces, the management of teeth after that and so on. Listen to what the professionals have to say before making your decision. After all, a good orthodontist will never ask you to wear braces if you don’t need it

by Animeuver

LIFE

Y


Y beauty ---------------------------------------------------

YY

Y

Y

Y girl crush of the moment Mary-Kate Olsen

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Y beauty --------------------------------------------------Get the look Summer’s Messy High Ponytail By Sinnto

The messy High Ponytail is the only hair you need to master when you don’t have enough to do all that fancy stuff. It fits whether you’re going to the club or just hanging out with friends. The Messy High Ponytail will give you a wild look. The hair itself shows the people around you the confidence you have in yourself just by the looks of it. The hairstyle will bring your face in focus making every movement on your face a lot more noticeable - quite good for flirting. What’s not to like? Letting you look sexy and letting you have more advantage in flirting is pretty awesome for just a hairstyle that takes about five minutes to do.

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Hair Length: Medium (the longer the better!) Hair Type: Straight or Wavy

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Make sure your hair is at least one to three days old. I know this sounds gross but it gives your hair a lot more of an edgy look. If you did happen to just wash your hair, you can weigh it down with some Leave in Conditioner, Shine Serum, etc.

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Now tie your hair in the position.

* Know that it will look different with different type of texture of hair. Add Hair Wax (step 9) if you need too. Leave in conditioner could be used if you don’t have your satisfied hair.

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Split your hair into a top half and a bottom half. You can do this by putting either your thumb or index finger on top of the ear on both sides and move your hand across your head until it touches the other finger.

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Brush the top of your head to smooth the bumps out. If you have bangs you can either keep them or have them out of your face.

Keep the hold or grab a hold of the top section and raise it high up on your head - to the height of your likings.

As you can see, when you’re done, it seems pretty messy and knotty. Use your hand to pull out of the knots or pull at it.

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Brush your hair out. You don’t have to be thorough with it.

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* Know that the bumps on your head won’t work to the way you want. Leave some of the bumps, it looks more real.

Now pull the hair from the bottom layers section by section up up to where you’re holding your top section. Add the sections that you pulled up to your top section.

You can also add more texture by using Hair Wax and adding it to the bottom of your hair. And you’re done for your hair. It’s quite simple, isn’t it?

* You can curl * Practice the end if you Makes Perfect! like, but it will take away some of the edgy look.

* TIP

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Y beauty --------------------------------------------------Sunlight Protection... by Sinnto

FOR HAIR!

Protecting Your Hair From the Sun

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Right. Most people when they are planning to go on a beach day or going somewhere that’ll be sunny likes to protect their skin more than their hair. Well guess what? Our hair needs protection too! Yes, we have all hear that heat products like curling irons, hair styling wand, straighteners, blow dryers, and the list goes on.... But that’s not the only thing you need to worry about!

Sunlight can damage your hair just like ordinary heat products Sunlight has UV light which - as you already know, can damage your skin and cause skin cancer. So if it can harm something that’s like your skin, it definitely can harm your hair as well.

Sun Damage

The sun’s damage to your hair will show quite obvious. If you are a person who doesn’t usually use your heat product but do notice that your hair is getting quite dry, brittle, breaks easily, split ends, then your hair is probably getting damaged by the sun.

How do you notice it?

Have you ever put your hand onto of your head and felt that your hair was burning hot? Like you just straightened it out and touched the hair right afterwards? Yep, that’s your hair getting burnt and fried. If you don’t believe me, stay out in the sun for about an hour, then touch your hair. You’ll definitely feel it then.

Methods to protect your hair: Use Leave In Conditioners

It helps your hair detangle and makes your hair a lot softer. Recommendation: bioInfusion Olive Oil Leave In Conditioner (Walgreens: Regular $7.99 for 8oz) and it has heat protecting.

Add Shine to Your Hair

If your hair is damaged but you still want to add some shine to it. Use a shine serum. It makes your hair shinier than it usually would be. Recommendation: bioInfusion Olive Oil Shine Serum (Walgreens: Regular $7.99 for 6oz)

Deep Conditioning

Deep conditioning is like conditioning - to the extreme. It has many nutrients and products to make your hair healthy again. Do it once a week during the summer to revive your hair of any damage that was done by the sunlight. Recommendation: Garnier Fructis Haircare Fortifying Deep Conditioner 3 Minute Masque, Sleek & Shine 10.2 oz (Target: $5 for 10oz)

Washing your hair less often

This is quite easy and free. Your natural oil makes the hair shiny and somewhat protects it. Basically it’s not the oil that makes your hair nasty, it’s the dirt.

Make yourself a homemade manicure! by Jayna Lee

1. Set Up: Some preparation is required. If you have, or can borrow, a spa kit including a device that melts wax for you to dip your hands in, plug it in for as long as needed before starting your manicure. If you do not have one, skip step three. 2. Cleaning: Use fingernail polish remover to get off any old paint you have on your fingernails. Make sure no spots are left. After, wash your hand thoroughly. Make sure your hands are dry. 3. Wax: Slowly dip your hands, as kit instructs, into the warm melted wax. Lift your hands out and let the wax harden over your skin for a few moments before peeling it off and repeating the process. This makes your hands smooth and soft, sometimes even fragrant. 4. File: Using a nail file (strength of your choice) and file down and rough or sharp edges on your fingernails. Make sure they are all even before wiping your nails off on a towel to make sure no powder interrupts the pain flow. 5. Painting: It’s summer! Select a bright fun color that will match any tan you have and start painting your nails in straight even strokes. If you feel adventurous, paint each finger a different color to give your hands some pizzazz. You may need to paint more than one coating to make sure it is extra bright. 6. Decorating: Once the solid colors are dry, you have a number of options. You can add sparkles to your nails, paint flowers on them using toothpicks or thin brush fingernail polish, or apply small jewels with some nail glue. Be creative and make them pretty. 7. Coating: Finally, paint on a layer or two of clear fingernail polish. Sit back and relax while your nails dry. Don’t be in a hurry with them; take a nice nap to make sure they have a long time to harden.


dati n g ---------------------------------------------------

Y Things NOT to do on a Date!

Y Compiled by readers and staff!

1. “Don’t wear too much perfume, a light Eau De Toilette will enhance your natural scent nicely, but overdosing on perfume will just sting your date’s nose.” 2. “Have a closed mind. You never know how it’s going to go, or sometimes who it will be with. So try to always keep an open mind about things.” 3. “Don’t call or text your friends to tell them how the date is coming along. Not only is it rude but also disrespectful to your date, and gives the impression that your social life is more important than the person you may have romantic interests in.” 4. “Don’t rush in a date; let things go by its natural course, not go by a strict plan. It wouldn’t be enjoyable then.” 5. “Don’t go somewhere where you’re apt to embarrass yourself on a first date. Can’t skate? Maybe the skating rink is a date best saved for later dates, when you’re closer and maybe even a couple. It’s cute if your girl- or boyfriend helps you up when you fall on the ice; on the first date, it won’t help your nerves at all!”

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6. “Kiss on the first date “ 7. “Don’t ignore body language! That can tell a lot more about a person than you may think, maybe more than they themselves even realize!” 8. “Order something crunchy! If you just met your date, the sound is awkward enough to stop a conversation.“

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Summer Flings S

ummer Fling: A romantic relationship free of hassle s, commitments or drama timed for the summer on , ly. Something light and fun -fi lled with nothing to worry about at the end of the season. Usually not exclus mutual agreement of frie ive to one person, ends ndship. in a Yes, a summer fling. Now, these can absolutely be fun! If you’re a divorce ba you’re shipped half-way by and across the country, heck , find a cute boy/girl fro and get flirting! But if it’s m Starbucks someone you might have to see during the schoo ware. l year… Be-

by anticupid16

Don’t commit Have a lot of If you’re gonna have fun a summer fling, don’t use the “L” word

Don’t get too attached

Do stuff often with your summer beau! If you’re only gonna see him/her a few times, then what’s the point? The phone calls? NO! Make it fun!

This goes with getting committed. If you’re just looking for a summer thing, and you get attached, this thing is gon- If you end up really liking the person, there’s a na end in waterworks, strong chance that they not fireworks. feel the same. If you live Summer flings a ren’t for evin different states, you erybody, but if that’s how you fly, then spread could do a repeated your wide, wide wings and summer thing. If you’re in soar! Just try to aim for the st ars and not the same area, maybe the glass windo ws. you just earned yourself a new boy/girl-friend!

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Stay friends afterwards


dati n g --------------------------------------------------surviving a break-up

The Break-Up First Aid Kit

your ex and you’re ith w up n ke ro b ly nt e c re So, you’ve just self, “What do I do ur yo g in sk a re u’ yo So it. heart broken over -First Aid Kit. BU ur yo t e g to g in o g re now?”. Well hunny, you’

In this kit you should have: 1. A pillow.

Any pillow will do. What is this pillow for? Well, if you’re still angry then you can use it to punch, tear and kick at to let all your frustrations out on. because no one wants you hurting yourself. And once all that anger is gone, and if the pillow has survived your wrath, then it will be your best friend as it catches your tears. Take your time with it, there is no need to rush your emotions and feelings.

3. Your favourite/ comfort food.

Nothing might make you feel better then some ice cream, chocolate or your mama’s home made chicken noodle soup. Which ever it is, make sure you have some and lots of it. Generally I don’t normally encourage girls to eat to feel better, but in this case I find it’s ok. Break-ups are hard to deal with, especially if it was one you had been in it for a long time or were connected to the other person in a deeply intimate(nonsexual) way. So go ahead and eat all the chocolate, ice cream or what ever you want.

2. A list of all your best and close friends that you 4. Have all your can call and favourite movhave over. Because there’s nothing better ies and shows then having all your girls there with stacked up to you when you need them. If they’re watch.

good friends they’ll be there for you Whether it be Gone with the and help you during this emotional Wind, Underworld, or Mary Poptime. pins. Watch something that you

love and don’t mind watching again and again if necessary. Often comedy is great to watch when you’re in the mood for it, but I would avoid romance if you’re still raw from the break up. Or any movie that would remind you of them. This whole process is to get help get over it, not remind you of them.

you want to feel. You could listen to your favourite CD while in a bubble bath or lying on your bed, hugging your First Aid Pillow. Again, no songs that remind you of them, just songs that carry you off into your happy place.

Pretty mu ch have anything makes yo that u feel go o d. I’ve be through plenty o en f hard b ups and re a kfind the se thing help cop s to e with the m I’m ho they’ll he ping lp you to o . Play anything that makes you

5. Music therapy will soothe your soul.

feel good, or makes you feel how

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t s i l y a l P p U k a e Your Br t their favorite break-up songs! Readers and Staff alike pick ou

I’m Still Breathing

-Katy Perry

Loveless

-Siouxsie

Broken Sound

-New Found Glory

Do it Alone

-sugarcult

River of Fire

Beautiful

Breakeven

Duvet

-Bif Naked

-The Script

Lost

-Coldplay

-Social Code

-Boa

Where I stood

-Missy Higgins STARPULSE.COM


dati n g --------------------------------------------------What I consider the Top Five

by broken_bleeding_angel

S

o I was on eHarmony advice forums when I came across this one forum about advice that had been given. It was called, The Top 5 Male Turn Offs. Which really is anyone’s top 5 turn offs. But here is what it made me think. If guys would be fair on dates, that would be nice. I don’t know how many times I was asked out on a date only to find out he either “Lost his wallet”, or he didn’t have enough cash to even pay for a taxi ride. It’s not fair when either gender is stuck with any of that crap.

Lack of communication sucks. I cannot stand being around someone who cannot say more then a few simple sentences to me. I’m a very chatty person at times. Yes I understand that some people have their quiet or “down” times. But if they’re like that all the time, then it makes it hard for me to be with them. Like I would like to know how his day went and such. But if all I’m getting is “fine”, “it was ok” and such, then that’s not giving me much verbal stimulation in the relationship. And for me, it shows that he doesn’t give a shit about me or that I care about him. Two-way open communication is a must!

Being stood up No equality sucks. sucks. It’s no fun to be standing outside of a building for hours while you wait for your date to show up, if she/he ever does. It’s depressing and rude. At least when I get asked out and I’m not sure about whether or not I’m free that time, I tell him that I’ll check my schedule to see if I’m free and I do call to let him know and reschedule if I can’t. It’s not polite or fair to leave someone hanging like that.

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care of everything while you get to go along for a free ride. With me it’s simple. He asks me out, he pays. I ask him out, I pay. Or we both do Dutch. Nothing wrong with either of those three until the one person is the only one asking for dates which is forcing the other one to pay all the time. But I prefer to take turns with paying for stuff.

Changing yourself sucks.

Especially if you don’t even know if you’re going to be with that person for the rest of your life. See I believe you change with the person you love, not for them. You need to get it from both sides of the relationship for it to work. You need to give to get.

Ultimatums suck too.

Though they are necessary in If you expect one or the other to the business and working world, it do everything, then that’s not a re- should not be the same for a relalationship. That’s a care taker. And tionship. I can understand if you’ve that’s not dating or marriage or any- been with a guy/gal for years and thing else when it’s one sided. If you you want to get married. But if you can’t step up and be toe to toe with haven’t really talked about it with the other person, then you shouldn’t them, then you can’t really give be in a relationship. It’s not fair to an ultimatum. If you’re not happy, the other person to make them take move on.


culture

--------------------------------------------------Book Review

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by Bee

hen I heard that John Green and David Levithan, arguably two of the most defined voices in today’s young adult literature generation, had teamed up to write another teen novel, I knew the story would be memorable and inspirational, but I clearly had no idea it would be this moving. Will Grayson, Will Grayson, cowritten by David Levithan (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) and John Green (Paper Towns), is a powerful story that focuses on the lives of two people named Will Grayson and Will Grayson. These two randomly meet in a pornography shop in the middle of downtown Chicago. This simple coincidental meeting between two high school boys lead to a powerful journey for the two and for all of the others involved in their lives. Will Grayson, Will Grayson, is mostly about love and friendship. It’s about accepting what you’re given and breaking those boundaries you set up to keep others out. It’s about following your heart and letting yourself fall, without fearing the landing. It’s not too often that I stumble upon a book which inspires me in all ways. Not only is the writing something that I would model my own writing after, but the actual characters are based off of characters that we actually have within all of us. If you’ve read the book already, than I hope you realize that I’m not speaking literally here. For example, Will Grayson #2 is an “inthe-closet gay.� When I say we all have theses characters inside of us, I don’t mean that we’re secretly homosexual. What I mean is that we all feel what Grayson #2 has felt and some of the situations that he has been in. Grayson #2 ends up finding the person that he believes to be “the one,� but as we all know, love isn’t simple. He ends up losing his love, partially due to his lack

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He is We Band Review

of self-confidence. How many times has that happened to you, be it a friend, hobby, relationship, family member, etc.? I would use this as an alternative “teen life bible.� I don’t mean I’m going to worship this book and base my life off of it, but I know that when I am being used by a friend, want to be closer to a parent, or am just so stressed, that I can lean on this book and refer to it for advice. In fact, I have already referred to this book many times. I can also honestly say, that I have never been more connected with any literary characters than I have been with Tiny Cooper, Will Grayon, Maura, and all of the other characters strongly involved in this inspirational tale. Gripping, powerful, and overwhelmingly heartfelt, Will Grayson, Will Grayson shows the reader that it’s okay to be who you are, even if that person is incredibly gay, obnoxious and conceits, and blindly in love.

He Is We, originating in Auburn Washington, has astounded thousands of fans! Their music is a must hear and is possibly one of the best rising music artists out there. They are currently touring the U.S. happily with Bobby Long. He Is We music is a catchy acoustic indie pop genre that will get stuck in your head for days, and you won’t want it out. Their lyrics are beautiful along with Rachel’s amazing voice and Trevor’s instrumentals. Some have said their music is “fresh�, “Inspiring�, and of course, “Pure awesomeness�. Some of their most popular songs are ‘Happily Ever After’, ‘I Wouldn’t Mind’, and ‘A Mess It Grows’. Unfortunately, the only song available on iTunes is ‘A Mess It Grows’, but other songs are available for free download at www.purevolume. com/HEISWE. Don’t any of you dare hesitate to listen to this amazing duo! Happy listening. by Black Star Shine

Top five Songs You’ve Never Heard

by Alex West

1. Forever by Walter Meego This song has an upbeat feel that just makes you want to smile. The lyrics are

simplistic, and yet they convey a strong sense of an innocent love. It’s a great song for those who’ve been waiting for that special someone to just ask them out!

2.

For Everyone by Ashton Shuffle

This is a great song for those who are into the techno craze. The build-ups and transitions in the song keep you entertained for the entire thing. I especially like the build-up into the B-chorus.

3.

#814+6'*+0)5$;1/ plamoose

This cover of an age-old favorite is simply beautiful. The 5/8 time puts you at a lilting waltz, while the harmonies send shivers up your spine. And the best part? It’s just a girl and her husband making music. Amazing.

4.

My Favorite Accident by Motion City Soundtrack

I’m not going to lie, this is one of my all-time favorite bands. I was lucky enough to see them in concert, and they were just amazing. This is one of my favorite songs by them. It’s the perfect break-up song for those of you who don’t go around vandalizing your ex’s cars.

5.

Hush Hush by Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head

This band is downright hilarious. The name alone is enough to make you laugh. This song is an upbeat parody of most teenage pop songs. With ridiculous lines like, “She’s hot but she’s a liar� you’ll find yourself grinning as you sing along. (Check out some of their other hilarious songs like, “Sophisticated Side Ponytail� and “Beard Lust�)


culture

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Finding summer in a m ovie by MaydayKoigo

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ummer is a beautiful and inspiring time for many of us and even if you’re busy during the season with work, summer-school or some other commitment that decreases your free time there will always be at least a short moment where you can sit back and enjoy the wonderful sunshine, captivating bursts of summer-rain and the tranquil cooling breeze that flows through the air. This season has been in full swing for a few weeks now and I’m sure many of us have already kick-started our summer routines: picking out light and colourful clothing, slapping on the sun-tan lotion, and perhaps booking a trip to sunny locations for the day or maybe a week or two. For others who have not planned their summer routine yet, not to worry, there are plenty of ways to have a great summer if you are stuck for ideas at the moment! The most important thing to remember about summer is the ability to feel as good about yourself as you do about the season. You don’t have to fill every moment of your time with activities to enjoy the summer, enjoying the season can be as easy as sitting in your garden with a book and a fruit smoothie, or sitting with a nice glass of Bucks Fizz as you watch a summery movie…which is exactly what this article is about. It is very important to exercise regularly and efficiently, and during the summer it is probably at it’s most rewarding; jogging through the park with the sun bouncing off your skin, and the cool breeze hitting your face, however there is nothing wrong with relaxing in front of the television with that same sun beaming through the window, every once and a while. Last summer I started making lists of all the summery movies I’d watch, all the summery books I’d read and all the places I’d visit to make this summer the best yet, and the first of those lists I’d make is always the movie list. Movies such as ‘Juno’ and ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ are very moving films to watch when you feel you feel like watching a cynical situation turn into

summer movie a h c t a w ou y s a s of Bucks Fizz s la g e ic n a h it w sit an inspiring one, from teenage pregnancy to life being one big beauty pageant we are shown that everything that goes down must come back up. For a cheesier and more predictable plot we have the romantic comedies such as ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ and ‘I could never be your woman’ which tickle the funny-bone and make the voice squeak at on screen kisses; when a fashion designer realises where her home really is, and when a television producer realises being a mother is who she really is, you’ll feel warm and fuzzy inside just as they do. For a more serious movie recommendation, ‘The Assassination Of Jesse James: By the Coward Robert Ford’ and ‘The New World’ are movies that will broaden your mind. Though these films don’t necessarily make us smile and feel the need to rush off to the beach, they do show beautiful landscapes, skyscapes, waterscapes and other long shots of nature, watching these films may make you wish

to visit these locations, from the American west to the forests of Virginia, even if these locations have changed dramatically over the years the mind can still visit them when watching these movies. Another location where many people visit during the summer is France, a well used location in both ‘Chocolat’ and ‘A Good Year’ Both movies show the beauty of the country and both leave you with that warm and fuzzy feeling that summer should bring us all, whether it is revisiting a childhood holiday spot, or guessing the new neighbours favourite kinds of chocolate. This nice mix of Hollywood and Art-House is well worth a few watches, after all you’re bound to be tired after taking a long walk through the countryside, surfing at the beach or doing whatever it is you choose to do during the summer, the best way to relax after a productive summer day - or a well deserved lazy one - is a nice film that suits the season, don’t you think?

Other activities to do during this wonderful season: And other fun Fishing: Art: Swimming: Picnics: things to do:

Even if you wish to throw the fish back into the water the exciting yet calm feeling of getting your first bite will be worth the wait.

Celebrate the sunshine around you by writing or painting about it.

If you don’t live near a lake or beach there will be lots to do at your local swimming pool.

The ultimate summer activity, set up a BBQ and Wine tastings, music and book gather round some friends festivals, botanic garden visits, & family to have a munch beach parties, rollerblading, bike at some home made treats. riding and so on.


culture

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paramore’s brand New eyes by Ashleigh

“infectious riffs... acoustic songs with those subtle string plucking of theirs which blend nicely with Hayley’s voice”

I

t’s as if their efforts have finally paid off - after the success of their 2nd album, Riot! as compared to the first one, then came Twilight tie-in with which they landed big with the song Decode, a song that perhaps even intensified the mass media frenzy over these guys. Paramore has tremendously grown over the past 5-6 years. I’ve followed them since 8th grade - and you can see the confidence in them that they didn’t have before. From the viewpoint of a fan, you can see that the band would grow up and see success as two things - something that can hinder them down or something that can pull you straight up. They decided to take it slow and I see that they’re enjoying every moment in it. Brand New Eyes shows that maturity. Their 2nd album, Riot! Definitely was the turning point as the 1st one, All We Know Is Falling often labeled them as a young Evanescence - and they virtually had no identity then. For me, “All We Know Is Falling” has somewhat influenced in some of their songs in Brand New Eyes, something that showcases the best of their musical creativity in the previous albums so far and doing it better. Brand New Eyes is getting positive feedback across the net, and I’ve read a couple of reviews, before doing a personal take on this one. Reception has been very good, and fans are so pleased.11 tracks is quite short for me, not that they put up long albums with more tracks, but it felt just right for a 3rd album as people wanted more. It features the infectious catchy hit, Ignorance that we all know is making airwaves with its video. Ignorance reminds me of a toned down version of Misery Business with a twist of Fences in its instrumentals. but nonetheless its energy is sufficient for a lead single off the album. The lyrics are in a way reminiscent of Misery Business as well but this time, the lyrics have gone way better than their previous albums. Brand New Eyes based on the songs is a relationship album. It talks about building relationships and of course it also deals with various issues regarding it. Songs like Ignorance and Feeling Sorry tells you the story of a rela-

tionship gone wrong, while others are a little hopeful like the song The Only Exception. What I like about the songs here, is the fact that they have improved their musical compositions drastically as a result of knowing what they want and what they can do. They are more mature in the way the songs lyrics are written - the bitchiness of the lyrics is less but in some songs they are intensified quite well in a good way. But don’t get me wrong, Paramore still has its roots intact, from various songs like My Heart, When It Rains and Emergency, Brand New Eyes seems to reflect the melodrama that we haven’t seen from them in Riot! that much. Songs in Brand New Eyes like The Only Exception and Misguided Ghosts give the listener a good feel of acoustic amidst Hayley’s singing - a good point to take into consideration is Hayley’s improved singing. She sings better and better - and as a result, Paramore has gone way better in live performances across the years. Give credit to the other guys as well, the addition of Taylor York as the band’s newest guitarist to the lineup officially may have eased the tensions of their internal conflicts such as Hayley’s undying pregnancy rumors that almost wrecked them apart from the inside. The music in general is also better for me, a little of everything from infectious riffs as those in Riot! to the keyboard playing in Where the Lines Overlap. I loved how Paramore do their acoustic songs with those subtle string plucking of theirs which blend nicely with Hayley’s voice. Nothing extravagant though - it’s just that they all come into place well enough for the listener to enjoy the songs. Their musical masterpiece extends further in songs like All I Wanted - the song is a gem. I first thought of Avril Lavigne and Kelly Clarkson in Hayley’s singing but it was evident that she was taking the spotlight nicely. Her singing is just damn good in that song. Band anthems like Born For This And Whoa from their first albums are apparent in catchy “feel” right mellow-rock songs Looking Up and Where the Lines Overlap with the perfect blend of catchiness of the band. Concerts would very much benefit from songs like these as the crowd would definitely singing their hearts out in tune with these songs.

Paramore doesn’t need to make much noise (which was something that Riot! did in excess) to really make an impact and they’ve learned that in this album. Everything here is toned down - Feeling Sorry, Playing God and Careful is an example of Paramore doing the right things with everything they’ve done before is presented in fresh memorable songs which sometimes are just “right” with nothing too much. But I do agree that the toning down of music in general, somewhat made critics say that Paramore played it safe, and just wanted to go mainstream to get some fans. It’s not in the apparent heaviness that you notice the apparent toning down - it’s the aggressiveness to their approach - the lyrics, the high notes that Hayley occasionally belts out, the heavier grunge rock sound that somewhat is lessened here. For me they’re not in a hurry - after all they almost disbanded early 2008, they did deserve to slow down in a while with that regard. The timing in this album’s release perhaps made all the difference in making this album stand out this much. Paramore appeals to everyone now - it’s just that they are labeled mainstream as such, the genuine quality of their music gets tarnished a bit. So all in all, Brand New Eyes is the epitome of Riot! and All We Know is Falling - a very good album that deserves to be in the shelves of a Parawhore and a new fan alike. Listen to it - and pay attention well. Paramore isn’t the band that everyone listens to the first time you listen to it (in my case it took me a couple of listens before I got hooked on their first few singles because I didn’t appreciate them much at those times). Just is the case here as well in Brand New Eyes. It’s short, but sure is sentimental. I do feel that they could’ve done more. But maybe a re-release of some new songs that didn’t make the cut wouldn’t be bad. People shouldn’t over expect much from the band - so don’t go fuzzy and say that the first albums were better - or even say that Decode disowns the entire album of its accord. Do not fret - Paramore is progressing just fine. My overall take? Buy it. Many people say that it is the best album so far for them. And I do kind of agree with that. It will breed a new following of Parawhores for them to sing their songs with.


culture

--------------------------------------------------Magnifique Frenc h Singers and Ba by Cosmic La nds tte

Emi

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Superbus

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The lovely Emilie Simon, with her pure voice and childlike, innocent quality, is a singer/composer of electronic music and was born in Montpellier, France. She studied music throughout her life and attended the IRCAM in Paris, a prestigious technology music school. She wrote, produced, and performed the music for the French (original) version of March of the Penguins, and has won three “Victoire de la Musique” awards (sort of like the French version of the Grammys). Emilie uses some very inventive instruments and technology in her live performances, one being the “Brissot”, a device sometimes seen on her arm (pictured above) which allows her to control her live voice (not to mention that it looks awesome). This artist has songs in both French and English. Her albums include Emilie Simon, La Marche de l’Empereur, Vegetal, The Flower Book, and The Big Machine, plus several singles and her live album/DVD A L’Olympia. Many of Emilie’s songs have a haunting sound, such as her charming English song Flowers and very popular French song Desert. Others, like Fleur de Saison, Dame de Lotus, and most of the songs on her 2009 album The Big Machine are more upbeat.

Kyo Kyo is a rock band composed of Benoit Poher (vocals), Florian Dubos (guitar, backing vocals), Fabien Dubos (drums), and Nicolas Chassagne (guitar, backing vocals). They all met and formed their band in secondary school. They started out covering songs of their favorite bands, such as Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, etc., and released a debut album in 2000 which...wasn’t very successful. Later they released more albums which certainly were successful; in 2004 they received four NRJ music awards and three Victoires de la Musique. In 2006, they wrote a song for the association Fight Aids Monaco. Kyo’s albums include Kyo, Le Chemin, 300 Lesions, and Best of, plus many singles and a DVD called Kyosphere. This band’s sound will probably be familiar to the American rock fan; it’s just in French! Their songs are powerful and catchy, and resemble the music of popular American rock groups. One of their most popular songs is Le Chemin, which features Dutch singer Sita. Some others are Je Cours, Derniere Danse, and Contact (a song featured on the FIFA 06 video game).

c n o r t u D s Thoma

Superbus is a rock band formed around the creative ideas of its lead singer, Jennifer Ayache. The rest of the band is composed of Michel Giovanetti (backing vocals, guitar), Guillaume Rouse (drums, replaced by Greg Jacks in 2006), Francois Even (backing vocals, bass), and Patrice Focone (backing vocals, guitar) Jennifer named the band after seeing the word “superbus”, meaning proud and superior, in a Latin dictionary. They are inspired by the music of the 50’s and 60’s, as well as by bands like No Doubt, Weezer, and Blondie. They released their debut album Aeromusical in 2002, but it was their 2004 album Pop ‘N’ Gum that brought about their commercial success. The albums that followed were also successful. In 2006 they won an NRJ music award for Best French Band. The albums of Superbus include Aeromusical, Pop ‘N’ Gum, Wow, and Lova Lova, plus many singles. If you like the bands that inspired Superbus, then you’ll probably like Superbus. I also think that they sound a bit like Paramore, so if you like Paramore, try Superbus too! Jennifer’s vocals are energetic and easily recognizable, and their music is very catchy. My personal favorite songs are Lola and Ca Mousse, but I also love Radio Song, Pop ‘N’ Gum, and Apprends-Moi.

With his wit, humor, and gentle voice, Thomas Dutronc is considered a pop music artist. He was born in Paris to French icons Jacques Dutronc and Francoise Hardy, and began studying the Gypsy jazz guitar at age 18. He has since collaborated with a variety of artists from both the jazz and pop worlds. Thomas composed the soundtrack of the film Toutes Les Filles Sont Folles and released his first and only album thus far, Comme Un Manouche Sans Guitare, in 2007. The refreshing album was a great success, and in 2009, Thomas received a Victoire de la Musique “Best Song” award for the album’s title-track. Most of Thomas’s music is light, fun, and guitar-based, with a jazzy feel. Three of his most popular songs are J’aime Plus Paris, Nasdaq, and of course Comme Un Manouche Sans Guitare, the song for which he won his award. He also has several instrumental songs and covers.

Carla Bruni The beautiful Carla Bruni, First Lady of France, just happens to also be a pop singer/ songwriter! Ironically, she is actually Italian; she was born in Turin, Italy, and moved to Paris when she was five. She was a very successful supermodel, modeling for names like Chanel, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, and Prada, and became one of the twenty highest-paid fashion models. After ten years of modeling, she moved out of her fashion career and into music. She was highly successful there, too! You’ve probably heard of some of the people Carla’s dated, like Mick Jagger, Donald Trump, and Vincent Perez. She was married to French philosophy professor Raphael Enthoven and had a son, but the couple later divorced and Carla married Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of France. This not only made her the First Lady of France but also a princess of Andorra. Carla Bruni’s albums were met with critical acclaim, and her debut album, Quelqu’un M’a Dit, quickly sold over a million copies. She has two other albums, No Promises and Comme Si De Rien N’Etait. Carla has songs in both French and English. Her music is relaxed, and her voice is smooth and pleasant. She plays the acoustic guitar in most of her songs. Her most popular song is the lovely Quelqu’un M’a Dit (featured in the movie 500 Days of Summer), and some others that I like are L’Amoureuse, Raphael, and English songs Those Dancing Days Are Gone and If You Were Coming in the Fall.


culture --------------------------------------------------p i r T r e m m u S around Asia

By Animeuver

Of Fireflies and Fireworks

ming in full ng o lo n so a se st e rm a With the w can you do to spend your lo force, what ort nights? Let me take you on days and shd Asia to show you what you a trip arounhill during the upcoming sumcan try to c mer heat!

Chilling Desserts

GAIJIN PHOTOGRAPHER@FLICKR

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or anyone who is in the mood for warmth and fire, why not head to Japan for their renowned summer activities; firefly watching and Hanabi (fireworks) festivals. Year after year, tourists have flocked over to Japan for their annual summer activities of fun…and romance. When you say ‘summer’, any tourist must visit their summer festivals, which are located in almost any district. Dress up in their yukatas and kimonos as you waltz down the crowded streets where makeshift vendors sell things ranging from local delicacies, to everyday accessories and even gaming experiences. As night falls, don’t forget to look out for the fireworks booming and illuminating the starry night sky, making a perfect ending for the festivals. Of course, for those who are into pop culture, might want to try and get your hands on A-nation’s ticket; an annual summer concert set up by the music company Avex Japan, where top artistes like Ayumi Hamasaki in Avex perform in front of crowds in several locations like Tokyo and Osaka. For those who are (not afraid of these beautiful insects and) interested to feel what it is like to be immersed in the romantic setting of watching these small twinkling orbs can visit the Fussa Hotaru Koen (Fussa Firefly Park, located in Fussa, Tokyo) or Matsuo-kyo (located in Tatsuno, Nagano). I can assure you that it will be a brand new experience! ORGANICINDIA.COM

Take a Dip In The Monsoon Rains

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ou girls might just want to give up your dieting plans for this one. Speaking of chilling desserts, one can never forget a must-eat delicacy in Taiwan, especially on a hot summer day; Mango Ice. With the delicious fresh mango cubes splayed over the thin shaved ice, topped with homemade mango ice-cream, syrup and condensed milk, this is one refreshing dessert that is well loved by males and females alike. It’s a fairly affordable treat with a generous serving; every day locals and tourists flocked to

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eeding relief from the hot, humid weather? Want to spend some time doing something different and out of the ordinary? Looking for adventurous and down to Earth experiences? Why not head over to India, with the cool monsoon rains will wash away all the overwhelming heat late summer and interesting activities awaiting you. For those who would love a hike up the mountains and be in a place where nature is at its peak, you might just want to head down to Ladakh region, where you can join in the hikes amidst the blooming flowers and stony roads.

FOODJOURNIES.COM

the stall asking for more! Although found almost everywhere in Taiwan, let me introduce the place highly recommended by the locals and netizens alike; the Ice Monster (bing guan,) at Yongkang Street in Taipei. Besides Mango, there are also many other varieties for those who want something different; from red bean toppings to strawberry, and even the local ‘eight treasures’(varies store to store, but likely to include peanuts, green beans, red beans and starch balls) topping, yummy! Those that want an experience and join in the crowd can definitely head over to Mumbai for their annual Ganesh Chaturthi, an annual festival for worshipping their elephant-headed god. On the very last day, locals and tourists could join in the parade where they immerse the huge clay figure of Ganesh into the Arabian Sea. Looking for a relaxing summer? You can opt for a traditional Ayurvedic treatment along the coasts of Kerala, India. Pamper yourself with traditional oil massages, and indulge in their healthy diet and yoga sessions which aim to restore your strength, relieve stress and provide beauty care. What more can you ask for right, ladies?


About This Project

http://www.itstartswith.us/

http://www.itstartswith.us/

The goal of ItStartsWith.Us is to build a global community of individuals focused on making a positive impact in the lives of the people around them. Each and every one of us has the ability to change the world by touching lives in this way. And when we hear stories about the positive things others are doing, we become more aware of the opportunities we have to make a difference for the people around us. We have a global team of thousands of people who join together each and every week to make a difference in this world. We have a Love Bomb team who provide hundreds of notes of love and encouragement to hurting people every week. We’re developing a Love Drop team who are beginning to give back financially to families who need a little help. I work with large organizations to show them how they can use this concept of microgiving among digitally connected people to make a huge difference in their community. We’re changing the world, in just 15 minutes a week.

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Mommy,

A short story by our summer writing contest winner, Jayna Lee Ostler

Can We Keep Him?

I smothered my hair back against my head, trying to keep it from sticking to my face with sunny sweat. I cupped my hand over my forehead and peered up into the blazing sun. It had to be almost noon, or it wouldn’t be this hot. Courtney and Rae were in the water, splashing each other from their spots in water down sand. The beach wasn’t crowded, the sun being so excruciating that it was driving people away, terrified of sun burns that would ruin their tans.

back in the water, letting the waves wash over my hand and clean in nicely. “They were all broken, I’ll help you find some real shells after we get more sunscreen on you rascals.” I stood up, taking one of their hands in one of mine, walking them to the large EZ-UP I had set our stuff under and sat them down on towels.

Rae attempted to help him, wanting to get to grandma’s a.s.a.p.. They bounced in front of me, chanting together “Ice cream! Ice cream!” I laughed and shoved the last few things, their towels, into my bag and stood. We could get the EZ-UP when it was cooler outside.

My car was sitting at the closest point of the parking lot. All the winBoth children had dark brown dows were unrolled in an attempt hair and chestnut eyes. Their noses to make it easier on the AC when turned up slightly, yet cutely. If they turned on. I helped them both into weren’t different genders, I would their seat in back, strapping the seat “Mommy! Mommy!” Rae shout- more than likely get them mixed belts over them. It was nicer now that ed at me from the water. She was up, even if I was their mother. They they were older, before with two car holding a handful of crushed sea both wore bright colored swim suits seats had been hell. We drove to my shells in her small palm and wav- and were already turning pink de- mom’s house, singing along with ing it back and forth, getting bits of spite the pounds of sunscreen I had Taylor Swift (even Courtney didn’t object when it came to ice cream). sand on her brothers cheeks as he poured on them. watched her curiously. “I think it’s time to go home beMom was waiting outside for us, “What did you find Rae-pie?” I fore you two fry up like bacon.” I swinging on her bench and fanning squatted down, making a mental said, tossing both of them old shirts herself with some plastic bowls se check to put sunscreen on the two of mine we designated as ‘swim- would use for ice cream. The kids four-year-olds in a few minutes. I suit-covers’. They groaned in dis- got out by themselves and ran to her, held out my hand and she poured agreement and stalled with putting giving her big hugs as she kissed them into my palm excitedly, acci- on their shirts as long as possible by each of their cheeks. “Grandma, moving the sand with their feet. mommy said you had ice cream.” dently crushing them more.

should decide who gets the first and most.” Mom said, smiling gently at me, a smile I knew all too well from growing up. “I think…” I put my hand on my cheek like I was thinking really hard. Then my eyes grew large and I opened my mouth in realization. “I know who! Me!” “Mommy…” They both groaned at me but laughed at mom handed me a bowl of her homemade vanilla ice cream. They both got their bowls with equal distribution of sweetness. I sat down on the rolling office chair in the corner of the kitchen by the computer that was humming quietly on the desk. “How is that dating site going?” My mom asked me. I ignored her, eating my ice cream and spinning around and around on the seat. I had done this countless times when I was little and trying to brush past such questions from my mom, but she was persistent.

“Fine.” I lied. I hadn’t even been on the site at all, not that she needed I started putting stuff in the large “She did, did she?” Mom raised “Fish poop!” Courtney said as he finally got a better look at the blue beach bag, smiling to myself as her eyebrow and grinned at them, to know that. sandy-shelly mess in my hand. I watched them from the corner of getting up to take them inside “Have you gone on any dates?” “Mommy it’s fish poop! Rae found my eye. “I heard grandma was mak- where the delicious treat sat waiting some homemade ice cream.” ing. I followed, finger combing my She started washing dishes in the fish poop!” hair into a side pony tail. The kids sink and Rae put a glob of ice cream They both gasped and hurriedly sat at the counter, bickering about on Courtney’s arm. In return, he I laughed “This isn’t fish poop, it’s sea shells.” I put the mixture threw on the shirts, Courtney’s head who got the first scoops and who gobbled it up happily. ended up in a sleeve on accident and got the most. “I think your mother

An interview with Jayna Lee Ostler What got you interested in writing? Reading, I loved to read stories and thought that I could make up my own as well. Of course, at first, in Jr. High my writing sucked, but creative writing classes always help. My friends and family would also say things about my writing and imagination that got me into

thinking of writing more than just things required in school. Have you made any other short stories? I love writing short stories, though sometimes they turn out to be not so short. I have notebooks and buckets and bookshelves full of my writing that I’ve done, most no one has read or seen, but alot of it I

like sharing with my teachers, mom, and fellow writers. What are you currently working on? Mostly on anything I think of. I am trying to re-write a novel I had going until I decided that I didn’t like some aspects, so now it’s back to the begining. I’m also trying to write articles for Reasons to be Beautiful

magazine and for other writing contests as well. Hopefully, I can take a creative writing class at college that will get me writing more things as well. Who is your favorite author? I have a few favorites, Ellen Hopkins (Crank), Heather Brewer (Chronicals of Vladimir Tod), J.K. Rowling (Harry Pot


“No.” I said, and then added. “Not yet.”

dated from there were pretty awesome as well.

She turned to stare at me, my face Please fill out the following intilted toward the ground, examining formation about yourself so we can the tiles I knew all too well. “You match you with the best person. didn’t sign up.” She said bluntly. Name “Sweetie, I asked you to sign up. Date of Birth You need a husband to help you Marital Status: Single :: Single with these kids.” Mom :: Single Dad :: Widow :: Widower My face wanted to flush with anInterests ger. How dare she say I can’t raise “About Me” my kids on my own. I worked from Picture home, with a very high paying company. I paid all the bills, had plenty My hand’s hovered over the keys. of food and snacks for my kids, and I didn’t know If I was scared to do they had very decent Christmas’s this, or if I just didn’t know how to and Birthdays. But I stayed cool. type at the moment. I highly doubt“I’m fine mom.” I got up to take my ed mom would take the second exnow empty bowl to this sink. “Be- cuse. I started typing very slowly. sides, I don’t want a man in my life when I already have a boy and girl Name Brodie Lee Frost that make my life.” I smiled at my Date Of Birth March 13th 1988 kids as I started to help mom with Marital Status: Single :: Single the dishes. Mom :: Single Dad :: Widow :: Widower She pushed me away with her hip. Interests My Children, Painting, “Now you listen to me missy. I’m Photography, Reading, Concerts, not saying you are going to marry and Coloring. anyone tomorrow, but I want you “About Me” I’m a strong single to be dating at least.” She pointed mom with two adorable four-yearat the computer with a soapy finger. old twins, Courtney and Rae. I like “Go sign up.” She pushed some hair to spend most of my time with my out of my face with a clean finger children but wouldn’t mind another and added, “Please.” person in my life. Picture I sighed and went to sit down with a huff. I scrolled through the “Hey Rae, Courtney. Come here.” site she was on to stall, Reasons To I held out my arms for them as they Be Beautiful, an online magazine ran over to me, gooey ice cream where mom was looking up some covering their faces. They squirmed recipes. I typed in the web address in my lap as I adjusted mom’s web to one of the most popular dating cam she used to talk to my brother sites I knew “Singles Mingle”. One who was in the army every once in of my friends in high school had a while. “Make a funny face.” I told married someone she met off this them and snapped a photo of the site and said that the other men she three of us. I kissed them both on

ter), and many others. I can’t get enough of reading, my mom usually gets upset because I will get stuck saying “Just one more page, mom. One more page.” What do you to other girls who are looking to write? Have a wild imagination! Don’t let anything get in your way, especially people who say things like “Psh, that can’t really happen in a story.” Anything can happen in a story.

Also, read, read, read. That’s the number one thing to becoming a great writer. Read everywhere, carry a book in your purse for waiting rooms, and even the bathroom. Take up challenges and write every style you can, even if it’s not your forte. You can get prompts from teachers, fellow writers, or even off the internet. Join some writing sites or groups and have people read and critque your writing so you

but I’m going to need a babysitter soon. I decided to go on a date with someone.” I threw the toys in the “See, that wasn’t too hard.” Mom “toy hamper” and went back to the said as she came and stood behind computer. me. “Soon you will have lots of “That’s great! Just tell me when hot bodies asking for a date.” She winked at me then followed the and I will be more than happy to kids into the TV room so they could take my sweet little grandchildren.” I could never tell if she was ever watch a movie together. unhappy or tired of my kids, they could be a handful sometimes, but You have one request she was always a good sport. The computer blinked at me, I sat down at the computer as a flashing the words in the bottom corner of the browser. So far, I screen popped up with the place, had worked my way around four time, and prices. “Looks like it’s dates so far, not wanting to go out Friday, at six. Is that okay mom?” with any of the men in particular. I “Of course, of course darling.” clicked on the link and it took me to a Mr. Dylan Parker. Surprisingly, I She tried to hide it, but a big yawn found myself scrolling through his echoed through the phone. “Just information for a bit longer than I bring them by and I’ll make sure to usually would have. His picture was have some SpongeBob Macaroni of a very handsome man with sandy ready for them.” blonde hair and a boy looking just “Night mom.” I hung up the like him. phone and wrote down the address. Well, It was just a date right? Confirm the top of their heads and sent them off to finish their ice cream.

I clicked the button and sat back. Great, now it would choose a place for dinner for both of us to meet and a time. And I would be stuck. I grabbed my cell phone and dialed mom’s number, tucking it between my shoulder and ear as I cleaned up the small house of ours in the dark. Rae and Courtney were fast asleep in their room.

I nervously ran my hand over my pink skirt. Waiters bustled around me and couples chatted happily with one another. The room was dimly lit, setting a perfect mood for a date. Shiny table ware sat neatly in front of me. I was early—like I was with everything—and just waiting for Dylan to show up.

I’d never done this before. Did “Hey sweetie!” Mom’s voice chimed. She was someone who was I look okay? Had the sun outside always chirpy, no matter what time made my hair go flat and it didn’t hold its slight wave anymore? of day or night it was. Would he like me? Would he think “Hey mom, sorry if I woke you, badly of me?

can improve. Don’t take any critque as bad critque. Everyone has different opinions on writing and sometimes, they just don’t like your style, but that never means you’re a bad writer. How long have you been writing for? I know I wrote lots of little (mostly lame) things in elementry and such, but I know I really started having a passion for it in 7th grade. Since then,

it has been almost 7 years. What motivated you to write this story? The challenge of summer. I’m certainly not a summer person, I hate the wretched heat. So I figured, writing about something I wasn’t exactly comfortable with (setting wise) would be a great challenge, and I’m really glad it paid off well. I also wanted to do something that wasn’t from a teenage perspective per-say. It was really fun.


then it grew kind of quiet as we ate. trying not to wake my sleeping kids He was very well mannered, but I as we carried them out to my car. also noticed him not realize he had She just laughed at me, “I’m glad a bit of steak sauce on his chin. It you had such a good time, I love was cute. to say it, so I will. I told you so.” “I have to tell you, I was really I strapped Rae into her car seat as nervous about this date.” He said mom did the same for Courtney. I “I am. You must be Dylan than.” between bites. “I was honestly won- walked around to her side of the car I smiled and took a deep breath. I dering why someone as beautiful as after shutting the door and gave her a big hug. could do this. It was just one date. you would be single.” “You must be Brodie.” said a warm voice from my side. A tall man, wearing clean straight slacks and a blue button up shirt sat down across from me. His sandy blonde hair was spiked slightly and his smile was adorable.

“I’m sorry it took so long for me to get here,” He apologized as he scanned over the menu placed in front of him. “We had a little accident on the way to the babysitters, also why I don’t have a tie. I hate when my boy gets sick.” We both laughed. His eyes sparkled with hope, hope that he would get something out of this date. I hoped mine didn’t show how utterly nervous I was. “I have to agree, but try having two little kids who get each other sick. Twice the laundry, twice the miserableness.” “How long have you been a single mother?” He asked. Most people would’ve taken it offensively. But we were both single parents and both knew the question would come up eventually. And we both knew we shouldn’t be ashamed of why we were single.

I blushed madly, hoping that the dim light wouldn’t give it away. Maybe we would do a second date at this rate. “As I’m sure you have gotten from people before, most assume I’m not single because I have kids.” He nodded in agreement. “Plus, this is the first date I’ve been on since high school.” His eyes grew wide in what I thought was surprise. Great. Now I had opened my big mouth and said something stupid. He swallowed what he was chewing before responding, “I sure hope I’m not making it a bad experience then!”

I laughed and said it was more than fine. I was actually having a lot of fun, more fun than I would’ve ever expected to get out of a date at this age. We finished our meals and even though I started for the bill, Dylan insisted on paying. We exited the restaurant, still chatting about little things and started towards our “Since I got pregnant actually.” cars in the parking lot. I laughed a bit. I used to hate that fact, but I had dealt with it fine. I “Well, thank you for such a hadn’t needed a boyfriend or hus- wonderful evening.” He said poband at the time. “What about you? litely, stopping with me at my car. How long have you been single?” “I really hope we can do this again, very soon.” He leaned in briefly “Two years, my wife decided that and kissed me on the cheek. I felt she didn’t want kids or any respon- butterflies that I hadn’t felt since sibility, so she packed up and left.” grade school when Thomas Hadley He signaled for a waiter to come had kissed me at recess. Again, I take our orders. “I’ll take the steak couldn’t help but blush some. and shrimp special.” He looked up at me and smiled, waiting patiently “I hope so too, maybe we can for me to order. make it a play date next time too.” I reached into my purse and found a “And I’ll have…” I bit my lip fortune and a pen, writing down my as I scanned through the items one number for him. “Call me?” last time. I had to choose carefully so I didn’t make a fool of myself “You can definitely count on it.” eating. “The chicken bowl.” The He opened my door for me and I got waiter smiled at us before taking in, watching him walk to his own out menus and leaving. vehicle and wait for me to exit the parking lot before him. “So what do you do for work?” Was his next question. We talked “Mom, it was amazing! He was about work until our plates came, nice and funny and cute and nice and—“ I blurted out in a whisper,

gether.” Dylan laughed, watching me with a sparkle in his eye that made me smile. “How about… the faris wheel?” I suggested and all three of them jumped up and down, blurting things like “That was my choice” and “I wanna go, I wanna go!”

We lead them to the large circular ride, piling into a large blue cup that “Thank you mom, thank you so would spin from the rod holding it to much.” She hugged me back, giv- the machine. Dylan sat across from ing me the warming sensation it did me and all ten hands found their when she would hug me when I was way to the disc in the middle that little after getting good grades or would spin us. We started turning, making the school play. the little hands giving up eventually and leaving just me and Dylan. Our “You’re father would love to see hands would brush often and both you this happy.” Was all she said of us couldn’t help but blush as they before kissing me goodnight and did. heading back to the house. She waved from the front porch until I We rode ride after ride until the was out of the drive way. If only dad kids started getting tired and their had lived another summer to see. eyes dropped as they walked with us. I picked up Rae and carried her Summer heat was beating ev- on my shoulder. Dylan carried the eryone. It hadn’t subsided in the remains of blue cotton candy that least, but at night, the air was warm was now all over the kid’s fingers enough for shorts and tank tops and and cheeks. Rae closed her eyes and two little hands in yours. Dylan whispered to me, “Mommy, can we picked up Rae, Courtney, and me a keep him?” few days later. His son was enthusiastic to have other kids to play with I smiled and stroked her hair beand bounced all over the place as fore letting my hand fall and gently my children did too. bump Dylan’s. He grabbed it in his, linking fingers as we walked to“This was a really good idea Dy- wards the exit of the fair grounds. lan” I said, walking with our kids We placed the kids in their seats up to the gates of the fair that was and they quickly fell into a deep and here for the 4th or July celebrations. happy sleep. Big carnival rides towered over us, flashing lights and making excited “Thank you Dylan.” I said, I whooshing sounds as they whirled looked at him through the other side and twirled. Scents of fresh cotton of the car and he shook his head. candy, funnel cakes, and barbequed corn on the cob engulfed all of us. “No, thank you Brodie, I don’t think I could find another woman “I figured you’d like it.” He as downright awesome as you.” He smiled at me then added, “And our stood and walked around to my side kids.” of the car, putting both my hands in his as he leaned down and kissed After paying for admission and my lips gently. No one had kissed tickets for enough rides to drive all me the way he did. He wasn’t forcefive of us crazy, we walked inside, ful or slobbery like other men had looking at all the busy lights that been, but he was gentle, not wantgrabbed everyone’s attention. I bent ing to ask too much. down to be eye level with all the kids, “Where to first munchkins?” I pulled back and looked at him, a grin playing on my lips as I brushed Rae, Courtney, and their new some of his sandy blonde hair back friend, Chase pointed to three dif- out of his eyes. “It’s going to be one ferent things at once. “There!” They great summer.” I kissed him again. all shouted. “Hey, none of that, decide to-


* A short story submitted by reader Moonhart44

Friendship on the Rocks

D

alia sat on the edge of her bed, staring at the only photo she had of Gina, her best friend: A robust blonde in a pink bikini smiled as the waves pushed her on the sand while Dalia, in her black one piece, tried to help her up. Dalia remembered that short, summer moment so sharply. She sucked her cigarette and slowly let out the smoke through her nose. The white smog danced around the photo. Dalia placed the picture back on the small desk beside her. She walked out of her room, but not before smashing the half-finished cigarette. When Gina and Dalia first met, they were both in preschool. During that time, they were very much the same - they both liked In went the lanky, young woman into her green, busted buggy. Dalia searched for another cigarette in her dashboard. As she dug one out of the carton, she let out a sharp sigh and rubbed her shaved head. After fifteen minutes on the freeway, and an immediate turn on Lavender Avenue, Dalia reached her workplace, Starbucks. She parked her car and let out a huge breath of air. Dalia put out her cigarette and placed it in the cup holder, where dozens of other butts laid. Meagan, Julia, and Oliver all looked up at Dalia when they heard her enter the store. It was 8:50 in the morning. On Thursdays, no one came until the Big Rush ten minutes later. “Hey Dalia,” said both Meagan and Julia. “Hey.” She put on her apron and started working by refilling the food bar. “Dalia, how’s everything?” Oliver asked. “Everything’s the same.” She stared at him with her piercing, brown eyes. He was the only person she knew that could withstand her gaze. Everyone else would look down almost immediately. “Yo, Goods,” said Julia, “you can start you’re break now.” Oliver shook his head. “Nah, that’s okay. I’ll start it later. It’s no fun sittin’ for ten minutes by yourself.” Julia shrugged her shoulders, “That’s fine.” A group of people came, practically running through the doors. “The Big Rush,” Meagan murmured. “Oh, hell.” After three, long hours, it was finally time for Dalia’s break. She briskly walked outside to the outdoor tables and frantically searched for a cigarette. “Julia,” said Oliver, “I’m gonna take that break now.” “Go ahead.” Outside, Dalia stared at the gloomy sky. “Hey, D.” Oliver sat down next to her. They sat for five minutes in a comfortable silence. Oliver’s mere presence seemed to make the gray clouds evaporate, and the sun’s rays lightly tapped Dalia’s face. Evenutally, the silence was broken. “Are you going to Gina’s funeral?” “Gina’s family never liked me. I don’t think I’ll

be welcome there.” Dalia remembered the first time she met Gina’s parents: Chaotic was the best word to describe it. She tapped her fingers on the table. “They think it’s my fault that she died.” “Did you kill her?” Oliver asked. Dalia glanced at him before answering, her hand shaking. “Yes.” She sucked her cigarette once again. Her eyes became red. Clouds returned and began swelling. Oliver scooted his chair over to Dalia and comforted her. “Tell me how it happened.” With a trembling voice, she confessed to him. “She and I got into an argument, and I couldn’t control myself. She imploded.” Rain poured hard, but Dalia didn’t. It was too dangerous. “What were you arguing over that made you so angry?” “She said that I was jealous of her.” “Were you?” Dalia shook her head. “I never was jealous of her. I was shocked that she even said that. That’s why it hurt especially hard, and I wasn’t able to control myself.” “When was the last time you did anything with it-” “Three months ago. When my shrink got arrested. For a fuckin’ DUI. Can you believe it?” She shook her head. “Do you want any company tonight?” “Yeah. It’s been hard tryin’ to maintain balance lately. Obviously.” She looked at the clouds. “Okay then. After work I’ll drive over to your house.” “Sure.” Their break was over, and they both went back to work. As they served the customers, Dalia remembered when Oliver first confessed to her, or rather, when she found out: He and she were at Gina’s birthday party. The place was covered in pink wall paper with bubblegum pop vibrating between rooms. Everybody was roaring drunk at her house, except for the two. Dalia preferred the taste of tobacco while Oliver never did either. “Goods, you need to live it up a bit. You’re 28, and you’ve never done anything but go to church on Sundays.” “Somebody has to be like this.” A song played that they both liked: “Season Song” by Blue States. “Why would they have this amazing song at a party like this?” Dalia asked. “I don’t know. Come on, let’s go dance.” She smashed her cigarette on the bookcase nearby while Oliver pulled her to the floor. Oliver laughed as they attempted to dance. He did the robot offbeat, and Dalia wiggled her arms in the air. Everyone was too intoxicated to notice their horrible moves. They were alone, on their little island of sobriety. Oliver took Dalia’s hand and spun her around. “Embarrased?” He bent down and they were both nearly touching the flesh-colored carpet. “No. I think I’m enjoying myself too much to care.” The corners of her lips turned up. A rarity.

Oliver rose himself and Dalia back up. “Good. Me too.” He looked at her with his green eyes and furrowed his thick brows, happily focusing on every detail of her face. That was when Dalia noticed. “There is something wrong . . .” As Oliver expressed confusion, she closed her eyes and searched for the answer. In the darkness beneath her lids, a red burst of light grew. A light that came from Oliver. Dalia opened her eyes, afraid, surprised, angry. “No,” she whispered, “You can’t do that.” “Do what-” He quickly figured out that she discovered his secret. He stammered. “I-I . . . Dalia-” She stepped back. “You can’t do that to yourself. Forget that feeling. You don’t deserve it.” She exited the house and left Oliver, isolated in the sea of drunkards. Dalia remembered the days that she cried: Her wooden furniture rotted, her flowers in the living room withered, and all the windows cracked. A few hours later, she was back at home, expecting Oliver soon. She showered and ate dinner. Eventually the doorbell rang. Dalia opened it to see her longtime friend practically glowing in the dusk background. “Hey, Goods. Come on in.” He had a backpack with him and plopped it on the side of the door. “Sorry I took longer than expected. My mom needed help getting rid of her old table.” He looked at her face and grimaced. “Woah, you look horrible without all that makeup.” Normally, white foundation, and black eyeshadow, eyeliner, and lipstick were applied on her face. But it was all washed off, revealing her olive-tone skin. “And where’s your crazy goth outfit? That little night gown doesn’t cover up your scrawny limbs.” “Shut up” Dalia punched him. “Just kidding! Just kidding!” The fist landed in his bony arm, and he rubbed it to soothe the pain. “You look just fine.” “Hmm. Well you’re here now. What do you want to do?” Oliver pointed to his backpack. “I brought monopoly and a ‘In Living Color’ season collection.” “Put the disk in.” The phone rang. “I’ll get it.” As Oliver set up the DVD, Dalia answered the phone. “Hello?” “Ms. Dalia Sinclair?” The voice was mysterious, foriegn, and deep. “This is she.” “How fantastic.” There was almost a giddiness in his voice. ‘I’ve finally reached you.”’ “What do you mean ‘finally’?” “Very soon, Dalia, we will meet. I just called to inform you of that, nothing more. To explain everything on the phone, that would be too much.” “Who is this?” A click was heard. He had already hanged up. “D, come over, it’s starting,” said Oliver. Dalia slowly put down the phone as the theme song started. “Okay,” and she walked toward her small living room.


* A short story submitted by reader rini_ moon_neo

It’s (Not) Too Late

H

ey!” He ran down the sand towards the water barefoot and greeted his best friend happily. “I haven’t seen you in a few weeks. You’ve been so busy with school and work and writing for that blog, what’s it called, How to be Pretty, Beautiful, something like that?” His voice trailed off. “It’s Reasons to be Beautiful,” She corrected him. “Yeah, anyways, how are you doing?” But instead of being greeted happily by Her in return, He was greeted with a cold shove into the ocean waves that crashed upon the shore. He quickly stood up and faced her, but her back was turned. “Don’t you see?” She spun around to be faceto-face with Him. “I hate you!” He stared back Her and for once in his life, all He wanted to do, was hear what She had to say to Him. He couldn’t help but notice the tears building up in her eyes. Her voice, if even possible, was strong and shaky at the same time. “I hate you for always running to me when the girls wouldn’t chase you back! I hate you for leaning on me through everything without so much as the favor returned! I hate you for falling in love with my sister! I hate you-“ Her voice broke off and she now spoke in a shakier, more quiet tone, “And most of all, I hate you for making me fall in love with you.” By this time, the tears were impossible to hold back. He embraced Her, pulling Her close to Him and holding her tightly. She was just short enough for Him to be able to rest His head on top of Hers like a pillow. Her soft sobs were muffled as She clung to His chest.

(Based off of WB’s The Lake)

It wasn’t long before She broke away from the embrace and looked up at Him, in the eyes. “All of this time, I have loved you. From the moment I met you, standing outside of the theater doors to this moment right here. I have always loved you and I always will.” “Why haven’t you bothered telling me about any of this?” He asked, slightly oblivious and confused. She wiped a tear and shed a look of utter disbelief. She let out a small chuckle, “Why haven’t I told you? Are you serious? Did you not just hear what I said? You’re in love with my sister! Did you even think for a moment that I would be heartless enough to try and tear you two apart?” “Tear us apart?” He was still a bit lost. “We’re not even together.” She laughed some more. “I know you’re not together! She has a boyfriend! She’s just stringing you along, like her freaking toy! And here I was forced to stand and watch as-“ Her rant was stolen away by a kiss, the type that you would see in a movie. It seems as if the world disappeared around them and they were now floating among the stars. After they broke away from the kiss, She looked at him, her eyes now being drowned in tears. “I love you.” “And I love you back,” “No, no, you don’t. You can’t lie to me!” “But I do!” “NO! It’s-it’s just too late. I’ve been waiting for such a long time. It’s too late now.” And with that, She ran away. He kicked the sand beneath His feet in anguish, wanting to chase after Her, but He knew that She was right. Deep down, He knew they had a mutual feeling, but He chose only know to do something about it? It really was too late.

“Well?” “I told Him.” “And?” “And? And what? And nothing! He told me he felt the same way!” “Why do you sound so angry about all of this?” “Why? Because He waited too long! We both did. In two hours, I’ll be driving away, far from Lake Eleanor and I will never be coming back! This was the last summer that I could ever spend with him and now it’s over! After this, we’ll be splitting our separate ways. I’m running off to college in two hours! Who knows where he’ll be! We will never see each other again!” “Madison, turn around.” Madison turned around like Olivia told her to. And what stood before her, took her breath away. “Luke,” “Madison, I know that we won’t ever see each other again, and I’ll do everything n my power to stop that from happening. Who cares about the distance? People do it all of the time and works out just fine!” “No, Luke, I am moving on. This was a summer fling, that’s all.” “That’s all? Maybe a summer fling that has lasted since my freshmen year. But, no! I’ve given up on chasing all of those other girls, but I won’t give up on you!” A deep silence followed those words as Madison tried to process it all. “Am I forgiven?” “Mhmm…Yeah,” And the kiss occurred again, just as perfect. “I guess it’s not too late then?” Madison looked up at Luke, filled to the brim.


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