Author: Willie Pena

Why Play Ping Pong?

Ping Pong, or table tennis as it is often called, is a game which is loved by many. This is an easy to play game and a sport which offers many benefits. This is the second largest sport in the world. It is also known as life-time sport since it can be played for life, even when old. So get started now so you can beat your fellow senior citizens when you turn 90 haha.

Let’s have a glance at some reasons why you should play ping pong.

Bonding

Ping Pong is a sport which can be played anywhere. It can be played at home, in community centers and also in schools. It helps in developing a great bond of friendship – whether it is between family members, friends, or new people. People who play the game are known to socialize much better. When kids learn to play the game, they bond in a better way with their friends and members.

Physical Development

Ping pong is one great way of staying in shape. It helps in improving hand-eye coordination. Studies have revealed that a game of table tennis helps in strengthening bones, develops muscles and strengthens the body. The game is about repetitive and also multidirectional movements, so helps in building flexibility and agility.

Great for the Brain

Ping pong helps in improving motor functions. It builds energy and helps in long-term memory functions. Table tennis is one game which helps in improving the functioning of your brain the more you play.  

Inexpensive

Ping pong is is quite cheap. You do not have to buy a lot of equipment or gear to play the game. It can be played anywhere with a ping pong paddle, a ball and a table. You bareley even need a net. Thus, you can start off quickly without making a major investment.

Easy

Though you may not become a master at once, you can learn to play the game in about 10 seconds. This is one game which can be easily played by all – irrespective of gender, age and size. The rules are simple. Teens can start playing from an early age and can master the sport by the time they are adults.

 Great Exercise

Young people often do not feel motivated to exercise and it gets really difficult to get in a workout. If you start playing ping pong from an early stage, it works as a great exercise. You start losing extra fat. The body gets flexibleand you will start moving towards fitness.

 


Author:  Lisa J. Richie has spent a lot of time researching about Ping Pong. She helps people with her tips, suggestions and advice related to the game. You can find all her articles in Gosports reviews. This is the place to find the best ping pong equipment, according to Lisa.

 

Spring Book Roundup and Giveaway! YA books and more

Attention book lovers! We’ve got a bunch of titles to bring to your attention in our Spring Book Roundup, plus a giveaway! Check out our book reviews, and scroll down to the giveaway.

The following contains affiliate links. We receive a small percentage from Amazon with every purchase. If you buy anything, thank you for supporting us and the authors below!

The Sacrifice of Sunshine Girl
Paige McKenzie
Hachette Books
Softcover, 336 pages

YouTube sensation Paige McKenzie wraps up her New York Times Bestselling “Sunshine Girl” trilogy with her latest novel, The Sacrifice of Sunshine Girl. In this installment, teenager Sunshine Griffith returns from her training to wage war against the evil demon Dubu. She is accompanied by her family and friends, including her boyfriend Nolan and fellow luiseach (guardian angel-like protector of humans) Lucio.

Our hero really “shines” (ahem) in this climactic novel, which is action packed from the start. Lovers of action and all things wizardly will delight that the very first battle occurs within the first dozen pages or so. As the book progresses, she discovers more about the race of guardians she belongs to, her powers, and also learns some extremely suprising news about her birth mother (who happens to have wanted to kill her when she was a baby). As the world heads towards a demonic apocalypse, and she faces a terrible betrayal, Sunshine has to make a life or death decision…not only for herself but possibly the entire world. Good stuff.

The book is very well written and draws you in quickly. Its a fast, fun read, and it’s even funner if you have watched a few of the Haunted Sunshine episodes on YouTube, as McKenzie has sprinkled in a few Easter eggs here and there which die-hards will no doubt spot and appreciate. Highly recommended.

Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to the Dark Side of the Moon
Bill Kopp
Rowman & Littlefield
Hardcover, 260 pages

Most teens know Pink Floyd from playing Rock Band or from checking their parents’ old record collections. For those for whom Pink Floyd appreciation means more than wearing a trendy Dark Side of the Moon t-shirt, this new book by Bill Kopp is a treat. Its full of rather technical musical jargon, but still presents insights into the band that are found nowhere else.

While the book covers a bit of the Syd Barrett era, it doesn’t rehash all of the drama of that early period which has been well-documented elsewhere. Instead, it concentrates specifically on the period from Barrett’s departure up until the creation of the rock masterpiece the band is best known for (the aforementioned Moon). That time was difficult for the band, as the departure of their leader meant having to define their musical identity — and this was not an easy journey. The author does an excellent job highlighting the trauma and travails, including the numerous failures and dead-ends the band encountered while creating its new musical style.

Pink Floyd fans, and musicians inspired by their sound, should definitely appreciate this book.

The Tombs
Deborah Schaumberg
Harper Teen
Hardcover, 448 pages

The first thing that strikes you as when you take hold of The Tombs is its beautiful cover and the deckle (frayed) edges which evoke the story’s setting of late 19th century New York. Its a nice touch which perfectly sets you up for the world you will enter when you crack the book open.

The Tombs is told from the point of view of Avery Kohl, a sixteen year old girl with the ability to see auras. She embarks on a mission to rescue her mother, who was placed in the Tombs asylum (Temple of Mind Balance Studies) due to her extrasensory perceptions. Held captive by an evil scientist and his crow-masked cronies, her fate seems destined for Avery as well — unless the teenager learns to wield her power and thwart the scientist’s evil plot.

The book is easy to read and enjoyable, albeit a bit slow in some parts. The author creates a rich world with some steampunk-ish elements, aided no doubt by her background in architecture. She makes the obligatory nods towards diversity by including African and Romany companions, but it doesn’t seem forced because, well, New York always HAS been very diverse. She also throws in a love triangle which doesn’t really have too much bearing on anything, but I guess you have to have that in any YA book these days.

Overall, the book is an impressive debut, and sets up the story for a sequel — which will be a welcome read as well!

Becoming the Dragon (The Dragon Inside Book 1)
Alex Sapegin
Litworld, Ltd
Paperback, 178 pages

Becoming the Dragon is the first in a series of four books comprising The Dragon Inside tetralogy. It starts with, interestingly enough, a list of characters, which comes in handy when trying to figure out who is who as the plot gets going. Our protagonist is Andy, a teenager who develops the ability to freak out electronics after being hit by lightning. As if that weren’t enough, he later stumbles across an experiment in time travel and gets transported to a magical realm full of dragons, elves, orcs and the whole nine yards. Afer a few misadventures, he dies. That’s not a huge spoiler, as if he doesn’t die then there is no rest of the series because he, get this, becomes reincarnated as a bad-ass dragon! Becoming the dragon, get it?

Anyway, as a dragon, he of course becomes embroiled in war, as dragons are apt to do. Without spoiling too much (did I mention Andy dies and becomes a dragon?), much of the action is PG13 and the author does a good job with world-building and with his characters. Fantasy buffs will enjoy this series. the main issue I have is with some of the dialogue and the writing itself. The book was written by Russian Alex Sapegin, and was translated to English. Because of this, some of the language just seems a bit off. Also, the human characters have typical Russian names, such as Olga, Sergey, and Irina, which threw me off at first because those are very foreign-sounding to American ears. As I kep reading, these factors no longer mattered, however, and I simply enjoyed the story.

Things We Haven’t Said: Sexual Violence Survivors Speak Out
Edited by Erin Moulton
Zest Books
Paperback, 224 Pages

This book is very timely, what with the #metoo and #timesup movements at the forefront of society’s conversations these days. Its an anthology written by adult survivors of sexual abuse and violence during their childhood and teen years. Following each story or poem, there is a brief interview with the victim discussing their recovery. Any reader who has similar experiences will no doubt find this very valuable.

But let me be blunt…it is a very, very hard read. These are real stories, and what these now-adults endured when they were young was horrible. Innocence taken. Years of guilt and shame. Your blood will boil reading some of the stories, especially as you realize that this is still happening in our world right now.

However, I would also say that in some cases, the issue of rape or sexual abuse is not so clear when viewed from a lens different from the one we look at life through today. Is a self-loathing girl who angrily has sex with a loser druggie a rape victim, just because the experience disgusted her? Or what about a sexual encounter among teens, where there is no voiced dissent, but there is disappointment afterwards? Slippery slopes, and they show just how difficult sexual relations are becoming due to shifting norms and even definitions. Where are the lines drawn? I will leave it up to the reader to decide.

 

Food Sanity: How to eat in a world of fads and fiction
Dr. David Friedman
Turner Publishing
Paperback, 352 pages

Knowing what to eat and what to avoid as can be confusing. A lot of what we consider common sense has been contradicted by health experts…none of whom seem to agree with one another. One book might help clarify that and start you on a lifetime of sensible eating which doesn’t require giving up everything you like. Its jam-packed with practical information you can use!

Lifetime television’s morning show health expert and syndicated radio host, Dr. David Friedman (as seen on ABC, CBS, NBC, E!, Discovery Health, FOX, FitTV, The Food Network, Discovery Channel and more) has spent the last 15 years interviewing hundreds of health advocates, scientists, doctors and New York Times bestselling authors. Unfortunately, a lot of the nutrition advice given by some experts would invariably be contradicted by others, making knowing the truth difficult.

Dr. Friedman created a common science meets common sense approach that “finally puts an end to all the culinary conundrum.”

Some of the topics covered include (from official synopsis):

* Meats vs. Beets – Dr. Friedman weighs the paleo and vegetarian diets’ pros and cons and reveals forensic fossil evidence divulging what exactly our ancestors really ate.

* Seeing “all natural”, “hormone-free” and “organic” on the label isn’t synonymous with healthy. Dr. Friedman explains how to read labels for accuracy. Also, how do we buy safe and healthy fish, chicken, pork and eggs?

* Does your product contain GMOs? The 5- digit numbers on the stickers you find on produce indicate how the product was grown. If it begins with an 8 that means it’s a genetically modified food.

* Weight Loss – We have more weight loss plans than any time in history yet the obesity epidemic is getting worse. From Atkins, Paleo, Zone, Keto, Nutrisystem and Weight Watchers, Dr. Friedman discusses the two crucial missing elements to achieving permanent weight loss.

It’s Not What You’re Eating, It’s What’s Eating You: A Teenager’s Guide to Preventing Eating Disorders―and Loving Yourself
Shari Brady
Skyhorse Publishing
Paperback, 192 pages

Continuing the theme of healthy eating (wow, what a problem this has become!) is the last book in our roundup. The author used to suffer from anorexia nervosa, a psychological condition that leads sufferers to starve themselves. Now a licensed clinical therapist, she has put together a valuable guide for teenagers who might not have the healthiest relationship with food or their self-image.

The book is very easy to read and full of real-life case studies, so anyone suffering from eating disorders can relate. She includes exercises to help teens uncover their feelings and learn to deal with them in positive ways. Readers will discover a lot about themselves as a whole, not just learn to adopt better eating habits. There is also sound advice about dealing with society’s insistence on thinness, and the effects of social media. This book is recommended for anyone struggling with self-image and eating disorders — teens and beyond.

Lang’s Labyrinth: Forests of the Fae Book Three
K. Kibbee
Incorgnito Publishing Press
Paperpack, 294 pages

Thirteen-year-old Anne has quite a lot on her hands for such a young girl. She has discovered that Fae creatures, so lovingly represented by Disney and others, are actually bloodthirsty creatures hell-bent on taking over the human race. Entire cities have been emptied of children by Fae depredations over the course of decades, and the evil threatens to spread — putting Anne, her family and friends in danger. She embarks on a quest to find twelve original Fae books in order to untangle a magical spell and save humanity.

First of all, having never read the first two books, I appreciate the inclusion of complete summaries of the first two books in the front pages. That quickly brought me up to speed on the world created by Kibbee, the main characters, and the plot which leads up to this final volume. The book starts off a bit slow, with Anne seeking the twelve original Fae books, which had a cast spell on them by their author, Lang, which can defeat the fairies forever. She is accompanied by her friend Grace, who has taken over the body of her brother’s pet raven, and an old bookstore owner. While the pace picks up a bit as Anne gets closer to tracking down all the books, and she meets a mysterious loner on the way to the Fae forests, the book never really delivers on the action I expected. The world-building and description of the evil fairies could have been amplified…I left feeling like I knew little to nothing about the, their history, and their motivations beyond being jealous of the human experience. The ending has a good payoff, however, and I did like that our heroine is just a normal girl rather than some “chosen one.”

Through the Barbed Wire (Wild at Heart Mystery)
Isabella Allen
Brown Books Kids
Paperback, 224 pages

Through the Barbed Wire is the debut novel by teen author Isabella Allen. It tells the story of Isla, an 11-year-old girl who lives a very carefree life on her family’s 10 acre property despite suffering from dyslexia and a speech impediment. Isla has a special bond with nature due to her staying out all day and exploring the property. She plays with deer, squirrels, and even has a respectful bond with a rattlesnake.

One day, things begin to change. A compact disc wth construction plans mysteriously shows up on the property. Strange markings on trees. And then…destruction. How are these connected? Will they change Isla’s life? Read the book to find out!

The book is very easy to read, and is more suited for tweens and early teens. Older teens might find it too slow paced. I like the perspective of the protagonist, who reminds the reader that there are just as many entertaining things to explore in nature as on smartphones or TV.

Giveaway!

We are giving away a set of the following four books:

To enter:

  1. Follow us on Instagram
  2. Mention a friend who likes to read in the comments of our “#teenbookgiveaway” post (it has a picture of the four books).
  3. For each friend mentioned, you get one entry into our drawing.
  4. We will pick and DM a random winner on Tuesday, May 1st, 2018!
  5. We will only ship to US addresses, no international entries please.

 

AND THEN I GO’s Sawyer Barth Interview with Teens Wanna Know

AND THEN I GO, a new film about bullying and school violence has just been released this week, just in time for The National Student Walkout, being held on the 19th anniversary of Columbine, April 20, 2018. (Students will walk out of their classrooms in solidarity to protest gun violence, and show their leaders they want to see action.).

We got to the chance to do a Q&A with one of its teen stars, 16-year-old Sawyer Barth, who plays Flake. Sawyer is extremely intelligent, well-spoken, and does an incredible job in the film along with his teen co-star Arman Darbo. You can read our Q&A and a quick review of the film below. But first  let’s find out more about the film:

AND THEN I GO is based on the acclaimed novel “Project X” by Jim Shepard, also features Justin Long (Yoga Hosers, Tusk, Accepted), Melanie Lynskey (“Castle Rock,” “Togetherness,” Heavenly Creatures), Tony Hale (“Arrested Development,” “Veep”), Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station, The Belko Experiment), Carrie Preston (“Claws,” “True Blood”), and Arman Darbo (Defenders of Life).

“SYNOPSIS: In the cruel world of junior high, Edwin suffers in a state of anxiety and alienation alongside his only friend, Flake. Misunderstood by their families and demoralized at school daily, their fury simmers quietly until an idea for vengeance offers them a terrifying release. Based on the acclaimed novel “Project X” by Jim Shepard, this unflinching look at adolescence explores how the powerful bonds of childhood friendship and search for belonging can become a matter of life or death.

“AND THEN I GO is a character study that dives deep into the minds and lives of our alienated youth. The film presents audiences with an important and timely story touching on such issues as bullying, mental health, parenting and accessibility to weapons.

“The film asks the essential question – why is school violence a re-occurring incident?”

The Orchard released AND THEN I GO On Digital and On Demand April 17, 2018.

QUICK REVIEW OF AND THEN I GO: This film is beautifully shot and the acting is superb. You really feel that the two main characters are just like any teens in America who feel isolated, useless, and angry because they simply do not fit in any more and life has gone from carefree to dark. The situations presented in the high school, with faculty and parents trying their best to try to help children when they act out, and not being able to do so effectively — as well as the bullying — are very real. You get the sense that, just as in actual life, a little more delving in and a little more communication and even discipline would turn things around and prevent tragedy. I hope this movie is watched by a lot of people, not as an “anti-gun” movie because it is not, but as a means of hopefully recognizing anti-social personalities and the damage they can do when left to their own devices. We can do a lot better to protect society and treat these people before they cause harm, and I hope this film gives some clues as to their characteristics and motivations — because AND THEN I GO was spot-on in this respect.

And now, let’s meet Sawyer Barth!

Hi Sawyer! Before we get into AND THEN I GO, tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live in West Long Branch, New Jersey which is a tiny town maybe an hour and 15 mins outside of New York. I go to a school called Communications High School. It’s this specialized technology school that has a radio and TV studio and teaches you how to code. It’s all sorts of visual and technical communications. I’ve played rec and travel soccer ever since I was a little kid. I’m an amateur at the ukulele and the guitar, but I like to pretend that I’m a professional musician [laughs]. My favorite color is orange, that’s a fun fact.

How did you get involved with AND THEN I GO?

Well, I auditioned for it in the spring of 2016. I auditioned for Edwin; I auditioned for the part of Edwin, now played by Arman Darbo. I went in to casting and I read for it and they gave me the Flake’s lines and told me to go out to the room and learn them and then wait until everyone else had read and left and I was the last one there. I went back in and I read for it and I was in there for like an hour working on it and trying to perfect it and then I left and I came back awhile later, maybe like three weeks or a month later, and I did a callback for Flake. It was another hour, I’m just working on it and what was really great about auditioning is I felt more like it was a workshop than an audition. I didn’t feel like I was being tested, but rather it was a collaborative effort to make this character as real as possible, which you get so rarely in auditions. Then I found out really soon after that, that I got the role and I was ecstatic about that.

Your character in the film has some pretty despicable characteristics, were you hesitant to take on a role of such a negative character?

I wasn’t so nervous about it because I think it’s fun. You know, they always say ‘it’s more fun to play villains than superheroes,’ and that’s because they’re so unlike ourselves and it’s kind of an exercise in character works. So yeah, I was excited about that. The other thing is the subject matter it’s sort of attracted me in a way because it’s so topical. I wanted to be in something that makes such a difference and it’s touching so many people who have been through situations like this. It’s just important is what really drew me to it.

You played Flake with a very raw, authenticity. What helped you get into this headspace?

Well, I think I saw a kind of no B.S. attitude in him. He does things without putting up a front and without acting for other people. He does things entirely for himself. So I thought the way his outlook on life kind of reflects the fact that he just does things to do them. He might have ulterior motives, but he knows what they are and you can kind of see this in him. He knows what he wants and he’s going to get it and he’s going to grab the future for himself. He’s very ambitious and he’ll do whatever he has to do, whatever field he’s pursuing. I definitely saw that.

Have you ever known anyone like Flake in real life? If so, how did this person affect you?

I’ve definitely known people who are as upfront about things as he is and have that kind of very straightforward, ‘I deserve this and so I shall retain it’ attitude. And the way that they affect you definitely depends on what they really want and if it’s a more malicious thing that they’re going for. They want to hurt people, which unfortunately, a lot of people like that do, then they could effect you negatively and you have to come out of it better as a person and realize the differences between you and that person. Sometimes they work for good, which is great and they can affect you definitely positively because they have such a rigorous attitude towards doing the right thing and it’s great when you see that as well.

What was the most rewarding part about working on this film and what was the most challenging?

Oh man, it’s the same thing! The most rewarding and the most challenging was getting inside his head and doing character work. Flake is such a three-dimensional character and the fact that he’s evil raises so many questions because he is still a person and why he does what he does that’s just one question that raises so many other questions that need answering to. So, I loved delving into that and I felt so good kind of diving into my own mind and doing additional research and kind of trying to personally understand you know, why this kid ticks the way that he does. It is definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It’s definitely the most challenging part I’ve ever played, There’s always thing I feel like I can improve on, but I felt like I did a good job.

Most memorable moment on set?

There was a good scene, I think that got cut out, but there was a glass window. I picked up a rock from the ground and smashed it through the window and they had this glass panel, but it wasn’t really glass, it was crystalized sugar or something. I would take a rock from the ground and I threw it through, the whole thing shatters and then I stick my foot in there. Then I removed all the loose pieces. Arman and I wanted to see what the crystalize sugar tasted like afterwards, so we both had a little chunk of it. It was definitely worth it.

Have you ever experienced any bullying like the characters in the film and if so how did you handle it?

Yeah, I got bullied a lot when I was a little kid and I think everyone does. I think it’s a fundamental part of growing up and the way that I handled it was just by recognizing what’s wrong and what’s right, realizing these things that are being done to me aren’t how a person should be treated and learning that instead of laying down and take it, say ‘I deserve better than this. This is not how things should work.’

What would you recommend to teens out there who are feeling isolated or bullied and might want to do something rash – like get revenge?

I would say talk to someone. There’s so many people who are trained in this. If you feel ostracized or down in the dumps, or like nothing is going well in your life, talk to someone. Even if you don’t want to talk to an adult, talk to a friend. Talk to someone your age because chances are, they’ve gone through the same things that you have, or something similar. Even if they can’t give you the solution to your problems, it’s good to have someone to vent to.

What would you like to see to reduce school shootings?

I think honestly, I’m not educated enough on this subject to come up with any specific solution. All I want is for something to happen. I think it’s great that kids have more power today than they ever had. I think that’s definitely unarguable with all the national school walkouts. I think kids just need to keep staying firm about everything and form their own opinions so that we can decide as a collective unit what should be done.

What has been the best part about being an actor and the hardest part?

Best part about being an actor is the ladies. No, I’m just kidding [laughs]. The best part about being an actor, for me, is stepping into another person’s shoes and kind of being enlightened as to other ways of life tat exist and ways that people live that are unlike your own life and being able to play a character that’s nothing like you. The most difficult part is often times, staying grounded and doing your job and getting everything done efficiently, especially when being taken out by the world wind of set and show business. When you go on a set, you can have as much acting training as you want but nothing can prepare you for the amount of commotion that is occurring at any one moment on a TV or movie set. There’s dozens of people, especially when you’re a kid who are all older than you and you don’t have much experience with all these people who are older than you because you’re used to hanging around kids your age. So just staying the course and doing your job and being able to work things out on your own and learn how to work efficiently on a set is definitely not something that can be learned right away. It’s not just like a math equation where you know the answer. You need to work at it and keep getting parts and keep getting on sets and hanging out with people who know what they’re doing. You’ll figure out this really difficult aspect of the industry.

What’s you biggest pet peeve?

You know what’s a really big pet peeve? When you’re tying or untying your shoelaces, usually untying your shoelaces, and you pull a certain thread of the knot and it gets more caught so that you have no way of getting it undone. That’s the worst thing ever.

Biggest guilty pleasure?

Doritos. I love Doritos. I will munch on them all night. I’ll get a bag that’s big enough for like five people and I’ll eat it by myself in like an hour if you don’t stop me.

What do you find most attractive in another person?

I think a quality that I really appreciate in people is loyalty. There are so many great things that you can find in a person. They can be good at this, good at that, be accommodating in one way or another, but in reality, if they stayed the course with you in hard times, I think that’s definitely the thing that’s most attractive to me in a friend. I find myself gravitating towards people who will gravitate towards me when I need them.

Favorite movie?

Short Term 12 by Dustin Daniel Cretton.

Dream role?

James Bond, maybe.

Favorite musical act or band?

I really like Vampire Weekend, which is kind of hipstery. But I really like their music.

Favorite book?

Wonder by R.J. Palacio. There’s a movie that came out about it about last year, which I haven’t seen yet.

What’re you working on next?

I was just in L.A. for a couple of weeks filming this pilot for ABC called “The Untitled Tim Doyle Project” which it’s not titled yet but whether or not it gets picked up in May, I could be working on that or I could have a lot of free time this summer.

Where can people follow you on social media?

I have an Instagram – it’s just @SawyerBarth. I don’t post much, but if you want to give me some support and if I get a couple more people paying attention, I might be more inclined to put some more stuff on there [laughs].

Can we get a quick selfie of whatever you are up to at the moment?

 

Pynk Le’Monade Interview with TWK!

If you have been to a Young Hollywood event in the past couple of years, you no doubt have heard of Pynk Le’Monade and probably watched them perform on stage. Composed of five talented teenage girls, this group has already recorded several well-received cover videos, has 1.8 Musical.ly followers, and is on the verge of recording original songs for their soon-to-come first EP.

While we have interviewed them several times for our red carpet interviews, we got the chance to get a little more in-depth with them via a written Q&A. Let’s meet the girls! (FTC Disclosure: Amazon affiliate links included below)

L-R: Jackie, Inaya, Tori, Sydney, Savanna. Photo: Pynk Le’Monade Instagram

Hello ladies, nice to finally do something more in-depth with you than a quick red carpet interview!  First, please tell us the name of each group member, your age, and where you are from originally.

Sydney Bourne, 15. Upland, CA.
https://www.instagram.com/sydneyb_xoxo/

Tori Kay. I am 16. I am from Dallas, Texas.
https://www.instagram.com/torikayunedited/

Inaya Ashanti. I am 16 from Northridge, CA.
https://www.instagram.com/officialinayaashanti/

Jackie Ibarra. I am 15 from NoHo, CA.
https://www.instagram.com/jackieybarra1/

Savanna Game. I’m the youngest, 14. Norco,CA.
https://www.instagram.com/savgame/

Tell us how Pynk Le’Monade was formed?

Sydney: It was formed because I used to be in a group and when I left my mom and I decided we wanted to start a group of our own

How did you pick the name Pynk Le’Monade?

Sydney: My mom went out to eat with her friends and asked for suggestions and one of them ordered a drink (pink lemonade) and when she got it she was like what about pink lemonade and my mom loved it, so we changed it up a bit and made it our own

You’ve had a few lineup changes…and even gone from 5 members to 4 to back to 5 again. How does that work? How do people become part of the group, and then how do they leave?

Sydney: Well a group is a lot of work, bonding, learning to work well together and accepting you have to all be on the same page so it’s not easy. However, we’re great friends with past members and hangout regularly. They had a different path that we support…. it’s all about girls supporting girls and friends supporting friends in or out the group. We’ve always wanted 5 members; we just wanted the perfect person and we have that now with Tori.

Is Sydney the founding member/permanent one?

Sydney: I guess you can kinda say I am the founding member/permanent one; my mom and I created the group and she co-manages it with Gigi Harville.

Sydney, I’ve seen you hanging out with social media Influencer/Actor Bryce Xavier at events, and you have the same manager. Are you guys related? If not, how did you guys become friends?

Sydney: Ha we get asked that a lot, we are best friends but practically related. We know each other cause his mom co-manages Pynk LeMonade

What’s been the biggest challenge for each of you as a group member so far?

Inaya: The most challenging part about being in a group is probably agreeing on what to wear. Since we are a group, we like to color coordinate or match along the same lines of each other. So us all having different personalities and different senses of style can sometimes be challenging on agreeing.

Tori: My biggest challenge has been coming from a solo career and learning to work with four independent girls who are all confident and talented. As I say this is my biggest challenge, it has also been my biggest growth opportunity and reward.

Savanna: One of the most challenging things being in the group is being on the same page as each other because some days we cannot off these not agree about the same things and other days we can.

Sydney: I would say the most challenging part is getting five wireless mics. Most people aren’t prepared to have a girl group perform so they never have enough mics for all of us. We either have to perform with corded or no mics at all.

Jackie: Definitely the beginning when I first had to open up and break out of my shell.?”

And the most rewarding part of being part of the group?

Jackie: The most rewarding part of being in this group is definitely the bond that we grew. We are all so close and I love that about us❤.

Tori: The most rewarding part of being in this girl group is not feeling alone and having the opportunity to have four of my best friends on stage with me

Inaya: Yes I agree with Tori. I love being able to perform with my girls especially when I’m feeling nervous and I have my sisters there with me rooting me on.

Savanna: The most rewarding part about being in a group is making great memories with my best friend.

Sydney: Being able to share the stage with the people I love.

Were you gals friends before becoming/joining Pynk Le’Monade? (fan question from Instagram)

Sydney: Yes. …me and Inaya? have been friends since we were nine years old.

Inaya: Same … We’ve been knowing each other and dancing with each other since we were nine years old.

Savanna: I met Sydney at a video shoot and then we met up again at a different video shoot and became friends. So yes, we were friends before Pynk Le’monade.

Jackie: Yes I met Inaya and Sydney through mutual friends but I’ve known them for 6 years.

Tori: Yes.. I met Sydney and Inaya at a photo shoot about year and a half ago and we’re all friends with Bryce Xavier.

Tori, as the newest member, what made you want to become part of Pynk Le’Monade?

Tori: As a solo artist life can be very lonely, and as a teenage girl we are always looking for a place to belong. And I was very fortunate to find my place to belong in a group that ‘gets me’ and understands how seriously I take my career and holds me to my best standard because they each are so confident and talented.

Favorite book?

Tori: I am a huge nerd and I love reading, so to pick one book would be hard. But my favorite books as of today would be To Kill A Mockingbird, Blink, and I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.

Jackie: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

Sydney: My favorite book is The Giving Tree.

Inaya: My favorite book is The Lord of the Flies.

Savanna: My favorite book is Unbroken.

Favorite TV show?

Jackie: Wizards of Waverly Place?

Tori: I’m gonna have to admit my family and I are big The Voice, The Four, American Idol, Showtime at the Apollo fans. Yes, we love a talent competition show.

Savanna: My favorite TV show is Gossip Girl

Inaya – My favorite TV shows are Stranger Things and This is Us

Sydney: My favorite TV show is Stranger Things

Biggest musical inspiration?

Sydney: Kehlani definitely. Her voice, how she writes everything; she’s just a amazing artist.

Savanna. Bob Marley. I just love him. The energy, the vibe, all of it.

Inaya: Rihanna and Miley Cyrus. I love how edgy and versatile they are.

Tori: My biggest musical inspiration is Jessie J because of the soul and depth in her voice. Also Britney Spears because she successfully took a Disney career and became one of the biggest pop artists that we know today.

Jackie: BTS. I just love them. The songs, the dance moves, all of it.

Biggest Pet Peeve?

Savanna: My biggest pet peeve is one uppers…. people that always try to either one up on you or one up on your conversation.

Inaya: My biggest pet peeve is when people smack their food.

Sydney: My biggest pet peeve is slow walkers.

Tori: I am a perfectionist and what I’m still learning is to not expect everyone around me to see the world through the same lens as I do.

Jackie: When people eat food off my plate without asking.

Biggest guilty pleasure? (shhh…no one will find out, except our readers lol)

Inaya: My biggest guilty pleasure is ice cream and chocolate chip cookies.

Jackie: Watching BTS videos?!!

Sydney: My biggest guilty pleasure is chips.

Savanna: My biggest guilty pleasure is saltine crackers.

Tori: My guilty pleasure would be continuously taking stupid videos of myself and my mom. Watching them back thinking I’m absolutely hilarious and then deleting them because no one should ever see them lol.

Most awkward experience you wish you could do over?

Savanna: My most awkward moment that I wish I could do over is when I fell in front of everyone.

Inaya: Most awkward moment for me probably would be walking out of a nice restaurant with toilet paper on my foot, not even noticing all the workers laughing at me.

Jackie: We performed at one of my really close friend’s birthday party and my voice cracked on stage. Really wish I could go back and fix that.??‍♀

Sydney: One of my friend’s release party interview. It was the most embarrassing moment ever.

Tori: My most awkward moment is actually a continuous situation I find myself in. Although I’m a nerd, I continuously mess up simple English words. For example, today and tomorrow, elbows and shoulders. So I find myself saying something and feeling very smart only to have people look at me with the most confused face.

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you.

Savanna: I’m Ecuadoran. Everyone gets my nationality wrong.

Inaya: I still do not know how to ride a bike or whistle.

Sydney: The surprising thing people would want to know about me is that I’ve never been to a zoo.

Tori: Something people would be surprised to know about me is that although I am what I like to call ‘fun sized,’ a whole 4’11” weighing at a good 97 pounds. I have the appetite of a teenage boy. Don’t even think I’m sharing food with you and yes dessert is a must lol.

Jackie: I am HUGE K-pop lover!!! I Love BTS!

What do you guys have coming up next?

We are really excited about our Debut EP and single. More Music! And a ton of fun YouTube challenges, tutorials and a school tour.

Ca we get a selfie of whatever you guys are doing right now?

lol we’re coloring eggs

 

Follow Pynk Le’Monade:

Youtube

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

 

Jenna Ortega from Stuck in the Middle and Jane the Virgin – Interview (Q&A) with TWK!

Jenna Ortega’s star is rising, with no sign of slowing down. The 15-year-old beauty stars in Disney Channel’s popular series “Stuck in the Middle” which is on its third season. She also plays ‘Young Jane’ in the Golden Globe winning series, “Jane the Virgin,” and has a new film coming out called “Saving Flora,” where she plays a young girl who runs away with her pet circus elephant to save her from being put down.

Jenna is proudly hispanic, and comes from a big family. She is the fourth of six children! She is also active in causes important to her, such as UNAIDS and other AIDS awareness organizations. We got the chance to ask her a few questions, scroll down for our Q&A!

Hi Jenna, nice to e-meet you! Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you like to do when not acting.

Hi! Nice to e-meet you too, haha. I’m 15 years old and I come from a big family. When I’m not acting, I love to spend time with my friends and family back home, tumble, and watch movies.

Cool. Now, “Stuck in the Middle” is on its 3rd season..how has that role changed your life?

This role has been a dream come true! It has come with an amazing platform and other really cool opportunities that I didn’t have before and I couldn’t be more grateful.

You’ve got a new movie coming up called “Saving Flora.” Tell us about it and your role in it.

Saving Flora is about my character Dawn running away from the circus with her elephant Flora. Flora is too old to perform in the circus and Dawn’s father plans on putting her down because she costs too much to keep around. Dawn wants to get Flora to an elephant preserve because she’s her best friend and doesn’t want her to die. But since her father doesn’t support this idea, Dawn has no choice but to get Flora there on her own.

What was the best part about filming it?

Working with an elephant, of course! The elephant’s name was Tai, and she was a sweetheart. She had such a fun personality and was treated like a princess.

When’s it coming out?

I don’t really know yet, but sometime this year for sure. Maybe summer?

What’s been the biggest challenge for you as an actress so far?

For the first few years of my career, I didn’t get many auditions. You can only be as good as your opportunities. It’s taken time for me and my mom to navigate through some of the obstacles of getting a really great team behind me, but I’m glad to say that we’re finally here.

And the most rewarding moment?

Representing Latinas!

Looking back on what you have done in showbiz so far, if you could do one thing over again and change it, what would it be?

I wish I could go back and not take certain rejections so seriously. You hear more no’s then yes’s in the business, and most of them didn’t bother me, but a few of the no’s really messed me up and ruined my self-esteem.

Dream role?

Super Hero! I haven’t seen a Latina super hero yet…

Okay I know you are a mix of two cool latino ancestries, Mexican and Puerto Rican…which part of each culture do you like most?

I love both my Mexican and Puerto Rican roots. Family, food and music are important to both my cultures and therefore important to me. I also love the vibrant colors used in the art.

What’s your beauty routine like? Any tips or secrets?

My beauty routine consists of African Black Soap, Witch Hazel, Rose Water, and essential oils. And as far as the tip goes, use tea tree oil for problem spots.

What do your prefer in a guy: smart or funny? Why? (gotta pick ONLY one)

Oooo… smart. I can be the funny one!

Favorite book?

IT by Stephen King

Biggest pet peeve?

Fake people!

Biggest guilty pleasure? (shhh…no one will find out, except our readers lol)

Dark chocolate

Most awkward experience?

I once threw up in the middle of a conversation with a boy I had a crush on…

In a Buzzfeed Q&A, you said you don’t you like the word “moist?” Why not? You’re the second person I know who doesn’t like this word, what’s up with that? : )

It’s just gross! Even when you say it, it feels gross.

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you.

I always know when it’s 9:27. It doesn’t matter if its AM or PM, and I don’t even have to look at the clock. It creeps my family out because I was born on that day, so they’re always calling me a bruja (that’s the Spanish word for witch, hahaha).

Thanks to Jenna for answering our Qs. Make sure to watch Stuck in the Middle on Disney, and keep an eye out for Saving Flora!

Is that person drowning? Drowning signs and symptoms to look out for.

As summer creeps closer, it’s essential to educate yourself on drowning prevention. This is an accident that should never occur. Drowning is not what we are used to seeing in the movies – with someone splashing around and calling for help. It is usually silent, especially with young children who do not realize they won’t be able to breathe underwater.

That’s why it is important to assign one person as a designated Water Watcher and change shifts every 15 minutes when children are in the pool. Active supervision means:

  • Sitting close to the pool with your full attention on the child/children
  • No phones or reading materials!
  • Do a regular headcount
  • Step in when there is too much horsing around
  • If you have to step away, another adult must be designated as the Water Watcher

Do not leave a toddler or young child in the pool area without adult supervision. Older children are not always as sensitive to the dangers of drowning, and my not recognize the warning signs.

Look for these signs of drowning:

  • Head low in the water, mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
  • Eyes closed
  • Hair over forehead or eyes
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
  • Trying to roll over on the back
  • Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder.

Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning. They may just look like they are treading water.

One way to be sure is to simple ask them, “Are you alright?” If they can answer, they are probably okay. If they return a blank stare, you may have less than 30 seconds to rescue them.

That’s also why every parent, babysitter, and teenager should be trained in CPR. This training is essential to get oxygen to the brain and can make the difference between life, permanent disability, and death.

For more pool safety tips, download the Pool Safety Guide from Life Saver Pool Fence. https://www.poolfence.com/pool-safety-guide/

Article provided by Life Safer Pool Fence

Need help tidying up? Call in a cleaning service.

What is the benefit of a home cleaning service ? Well, one of the biggest sources of strife in a family with teenagers is chores. Cleaning is especially bothersome, with seemingly few teens able to match parents’ expectations about how clean something has to be to be really “clean.” Its just not something most teens are good at for some reason.

So, what are you supposed to do. Just keep getting yelled at?

This is where a home cleaning service can help. These range from a single person who cleans houses on the side to full blown, professional operations with dozens of employees. An example is Live Clean Today, a company which serves the greater Spokane, Washington area.

Live Clean Today can be booked via their contact form or a phone call. You have to indicate how many rooms and the approximate square footage, and they will return a quote. There may be extra charges when they arrive, however, if the space is dirtier than anticipated or special techniques are required (for example, removing wine stains from a carpet–which can take several hours and special chemicals).

Here are some of the benefits of a home cleaning service:

  • They do the work for you (sweet!)
  • They bring their own supplies. Companies like Live Clean Today use natural cleaners to reduce toxic buildup in the home.
  • Most companies are licensed, bonded, and insured in the event they damage anything in your home.
  • Flexible solutions. You can hire them for for regular light housekeeping or a one-time deep cleaning.

The main negative would be cost. Expect to pay $100 and up for most services, although sometimes you can get a deal through a coupon or sale. For a teen, this might be way too expensive, so consider offering to help pay for part of the service with your other siblings and parents covering the rest.

Its worth it to live in a clean, harmonious home.

Why legal marijuana isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

Hi, I’m Kevin Bryce and this is a story about my journey with weed. I’ve had many highs, but many more lows, when it comes to smoking pot. Back in 2011, I fell in with a bad crowd that ultimately led to becoming a huge weed addict. It got to the point where I couldn’t even sleep at night due to my addiction – it was a total dependency. It had completely taken over my life. At the time I had a very low hour job in Walmart, a very high maintenance girlfriend, and rent to pay for.

My addiction to weed became so bad that at this time that I must have had my mother pay rent for about 6 months of every year for 4 years due to my lack of finances. I had brainwashed myself to believe that the weed wasn’t my problem and that all of the problems in my life were to do with me being ‘unlucky’ and that my time to shine would eventually come.

It didn’t.

Looking 5 years on – I’m in the exact same position this time but with a different girlfriend (with a relationship that’s falling apart) and I’m smoking about double the amount I was years ago. At this point, I must have been smoking about 6-8 blunts during the day and hit a bong for hours in the evening. The worse my life got, the bigger the hole I dug myself became. I started to become totally reliant on this drug that was ruining my ability to achieve my dreams of being a web designer / internet marketer.

In early 2016 I took a trip to a conference in Orlando, FL which was a congregation of Internet Marketers. I only went because one of my close buddies pretty much forced me to go. One of the speakers on stage spoke about a man who was trying to ‘fly’ (essentially referring to his start to success) and had to climb to the top of a mountain to do so. Very often he’d climb all the way to the top, jump off to try to glide, and fail. But this man was special because no matter how many times he jumped off the mountain and hurt himself, he always pushed himself back to the top. He never stopped.

The speaker made us see that the man who keeps climbing sorts out his problems from the falls. The man who pushes back up the hill when he’s very sure that he’ll not even glide this time, and keeps trying, is the man who achieves great things.

It hit me hard. What had I been doing for the last 6 years of my life? I was sitting at the bottom of this mountain blaming everyone else for my problems.

When I got home, I knew what I had to do. If I wanted to achieve my dream of being a successful web designer / internet marketer – I had to get rid of the one thing stopping me from doing that – marijuana.

I began researching online and I found this course which I commonly talk about on my website, How to Stop Smoking Pot. The course took me through a full and painful detox process which allowed me to eventually stop. The process of getting rid of a weed addiction that I had for a number of years is one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to do. But its worth it. We have a teen pot resource as well.

My advice to anyone reading this is not to bother with it recreational cannabis, legal or otherwise. Unless you’re an aspiring weed flavor tester – leave it alone. It’s expensive, addictive and it doesn’t allow you to work at your optimal performance. Everyone has dreams and I missed out on years of my life where I wasn’t able to achieve my dreams due to a drug that only flushed those away with every puff.

Proudly, I’m now at a stage where I’m working on my ambitions to be an internet marketer / web designer with my how to stop smoking pot resource. If you are struggling with a weed addiction yourself, or you know someone else who is, get them to check out my website as I have a huge amount of information on the experiences that I went through when quitting.

Getting high didn’t solve any of my problems, I was just deluding myself. Get help if you are on marijuana – or better yet never start.


The previous was a guest post by Kevin Bryce. To submit your own guest post, contact info@teenswannaknow.com

“Now is Everything” by Amy Giles Book Review

Amy Giles’ debut YA novel “Now is Everything” tackles the issue of parental abuse from a viewpoint many teens might relate to — alternating between wanting to speak out but being afraid to do so.

The protagonist, Hadley McCauley, is the eldest daughter in the richest family in town. Her mother drinks too much wine in an effort to dull the emotional and physical trauma inflicted by her controlling husband, a successful and ultra-competitive A-type personality. Her father expects the absolute best from Hadley, and flips his lid and beats her when he doesn’t get it. He over-reacts at the slightest provocation, leaving Hadley walking on eggshells all the time. She is willing to put up with the abuse, as long as her 10-year-old sister Lila remains untargeted. But once Hadley hooks up with her first boyfriend, Charlie Simmons, the carefully crafted facade she presents to the outside world begins to crack, leaving Lila in her father’s crosshairs. This forces Hadley to come up with a desperate plan to save Lila — one which will end up changing everyone’s lives forever.

The book does an adequate job buidling up the suspense of Hadley’s plan and its outcome and is an enjoyable read. The only problem I have with the book is that the characters are too shallow for me to really care about. Lila, precocious and energetic, is the best-developed character. But I feel like I know too little about Hadley and what really makes her tick. She doesn’t want to play LaCrosse or attend an Ivy League school as her father wishes…but I never get a sense of what she aspires to do or be instead. Granted, she’s a teen, and isn’t expected to really have her life figured out yet…but I would have loved for the author to reveal more about her protagonist’s dreams and ambitions besides hanging out with her boyfriend and two best friends.

The mother and father are also a bit one-dimensional. The mom is a typical upper-middle class, pretentious lush who will maintain the status quo to protect her privilege as a kept woman The father is just a tremendous jerk, with little redeeming qualities. People are not like this in real life. Most abusers also have decent qualities which gain their victims’ affection, at least until they explode. This is why victims give them so many chances. In this case, I would think Hadley would have reported him long ago, because there is not a lot of affinity between them whatsoever — especially knowing what’s in store for little Lila.

I also didn’t get a sense that the mental abuse was horrific. The physical abuse as described certainly crosses the line between discipline and criminality, but the mental aspect, for anyone growing up with tough parents, doesn’t seem to cross too far into the abuse category. Like I said earlier, the father is a completely aggressive jerk, but not sure his yelling and intimidation counts as child abuse as clearly as the physical abuse does.

Regardless, any teen with overbearing parents will relate (isn’t that all of you?), and hopefully any who read this novel that are experiencing actual physical harm will gain the courage to tell someone before things spiral as badly as they do in Hadley’s world.

Recommended.

“Now is Everything” was released on November 7th by Harper Teen. (AMAZON AFFILIATE LINK)

Visit Amy at: http://www.amygiles.net and follow her on Twitter: @AmySGiles; Instagram: @amysgiles; and Facebook: @amygilesauthor.

 

Meet Daan Creyghton from Nick’s Top-Rated ‘Hunter Street’

Daan Creyghton is a Dutch actor who stars as “Sal” in the hit Nickelodeon show, “Hunter Street”. His character is big-hearted nerd whose computer know-how helps the family unravel the mystery of where their foster parents are.

“Hunter Street” is one of the top five shows year-to-date with K6-11 across all TV, and just returned for season 2 on January 29th. Daan currently resides in Amsterdam, and balances school at one of Amsterdam’s top international teen academies production and his love for soccer. We got the chance to do a Q&A with Daan, check it out below, and make sure you tune in to “Hunter Street” on Nick!


Photo by Sanna Zoe Prins

Hi Daan, tell us how you got involved in show biz?

Through my oldest sister, Lara, who used to be a fashion model. She had to go in to her agency and they asked if they could take some pictures of me as well because they thought I had a good face for television. I did some commercials in the Netherlands that were a lot of fun. When we were living in San Francisco, I did Kids on Camera acting workshops and a Holiday Video for a big Amusement Park. Once I got back in the Netherlands, I was eager to continue acting.

You play ‘Sal’ on Hunter Street, which just started Season 2 on January 29th. What can we expect from the show this season?

It’s going to be so exciting—more intense mystery, more secret rooms, more awesome new characters, new storylines, and more comedy. Sal is growing up during the series. In this season Sal is becoming more social…

It’s your first IMDb credit. How did you book the role despite living so far away in Amsterdam, and what was your and your family’s reaction when you booked it?

One day, English speaking boys living in the Netherlands were invited to try out for the role of Sal and I was the lucky one to get the role. The shooting took place in the Netherlands and the younger roles where casted in the Netherlands. Some of the older siblings are from the United States, so they lived for 4 months in Amsterdam. My family was so excited!

What’s been the funniest moment behind-the-scenes?

The funniest moment has to be when we all were running into the kitchen and the first person fell, then the second person and so on. In the end, we were all lying on the ground laughing.

Who do you hang out with most on set, and what do you guys do mostly?

We do a lot together, so it depends on who is filming a scene and who is free to hang out. I did an Instagram live with Kyra from our dressing room—Wilson was there but it was still a secret that he was the new sibling, so it was kind of funny because he tried to make us laugh the entire time. When we all have a break we play games together, sing and dance together and have fun.

What are the biggest differences between teens in your home country of the Netherlands and teens in the United States in your view?

In general, I think teenagers in the Netherlands have more independence and are less supervised. Teenagers in the Netherlands go to school, to friend’s houses and to after school activities by themselves, even in a big city like Amsterdam. They are more in charge of their daily schedule. When we were living in California, we were dropped off and picked up at school and at after school activities. I think it also depends on where you are living in the United States. When we were living in Ross, a small town in Marin County, there were also teenagers who would go by themselves to school. But, in general, I think teenagers in the Netherlands are given more responsibility for their own daily schedule.

If there is one thing you could change about show business, what would it be?

There are a few people who are so powerful, they think they can control the people who depend on them; like all the #metoo incidents.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When we are in the car driving and the driver (usually my mom) tells us to be quiet because she wants to walk on the phone (hands free of course, so we have to hear it) with her friend during the entire ride.


Photo by Sanna Zoe Prins

What is the most attractive quality in another person?

Spontaneity.

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you?

I write with my left hand but with all other things I prefer my right.

What do you have coming up next?

I don’t have another project yet, but I am going to LA to do some cool stuff and hopefully it will help me to land a role in another project soon. And of course, it would be so amazing if Hunter Street got a third season.

Can we get a quick selfie of whatever you are doing right now?

Yes, of course. Gaming with my bro.

Check out Daan on Instagram