Category: Teen Life

How Teens Can Save Money on Sales, Deals and Clearance Items

So you want to find the best deals and get more from your hard-earned cash? Who doesn’t, right? Well, you’ve come to the right place for some quick and easy tips on how to save money the next time you go shopping.

First, we’ll start with the most important thing to understand: if you figure out when sales are happening and wait for the right time to buy, you can stretch your purchasing dollars by a huge factor. You can even make it a game to try to get the same item your friends rushed to buy the first day it came out for a whole lot less.

Read this step-by-step guide on how to shop for sale items in only 5 Steps!

Step 1. Do your RESEARCH!

Shopping for sale items requires some work unless you just happen to walk into a store with luck and find all these remarkable deals. Depending what kind of stuff you’re looking for, the best bet is to check store websites and use store apps to find the best sales. Many stores will post their weekly ads and flyers right online, so you don’t have to depend on newspaper inserts to find your deals.

I am a lover of the Flipp app.  You can do searches on what you’re looking for and circle them directly on your mobile device. You can compare prices and it will compile a list of everything you circled in any ad. This is especially helpful if you’re trying to find deals on groceries!

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Step 2. Find out their mark down schedule

Every retailer has a markdown policy, even if it’s not revealed to the public. For example, Target fans have identified an unofficial mark down schedule which seems to hold true for a lot of stores, including specific days where certain types of items go on sale. Things will be on clearance for about a week or two and most of the time the price will go down again, and the clearance sticker seems to hold clues as to whether the price will drop again or not.

Macy’s works in a similar way. It’ll start off with 25% off and then 50% off. The best thing to do for the best deals at Macy’s is to wait until their One Day Sale, which happens every month. If you absolutely can’t wait to purchase something at your local Macy’s, find out if they do price adjustments or accept competitor’s coupons.

Be careful when researching markdown policies, as some vary from store to store within the same brand, and there is inaccurate data on the Internet about some of them.

Step 3.  USE COUPONS!

I don’t know why some people are ashamed to use coupons – ­they are your best friends when looking for the best deals! Of course, read the exclusions and use them wisely.

I’ve found coupon apps to be very useful, including RetailMeNot, SnipSnap, Groupon, Cartwheel (which is a Target Coupon app) and others.

Here is another trick regarding coupons: many stores will MATCH competitor coupons and special deals. They have got to be the same type of store — think Walmart and Target and Sears for instance, rather than some obscure website — but some will even price match Amazon prices…insane!

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Step 4. Subscribe to Retailers’ Newsletters

Subscribing to retailer newsletters or “special offer” emails can save you lots of money with exclusive deals as well. Often, you will receive a coupon or code that won’t appear anywhere else this way.

These emails can get kind of out of hand, so I would recommend creating a separate email account for these kinds of things so they don’t clutter your inbox with tons of spam.

If you don’t feel like going through all the steps to create a new email address, you can always use Mailinator.com.

Step 5. Be REALISTIC and PATIENT.

This is the most important step of them all. Be realistic about what you buy and whether you need it or not. Teens buy a lot of stuff we really don’t need, so to save your money is a better choice most the time.

However, if you are going to buy, be patient and do so when items go on clearance or by using the tools above. It is understandable to feel like you have to buy something for fear of it being gone if you wait any longer (FOMO), but learn to play the sales game wisely. You’ll end up saving more and being happier at the end!

If you follow all the tips above and REALLY do your research, you’ll find what you’re looking for — with the best possible price tag on it.

Now that’s a sweet deal!

A few other things to try:

  • Install the Ebates browser extensions, which helps you get cash back on online purchases.
  • Use Honey browser extension to find the lowest price on Amazon and automatically apply coupon codes at checkout at many online retailer.

Kristen_MarquezKristen Marquez  graduated with a B.A. in Cinema & Television Arts from California State, University Northridge with an emphasis in Television Production. She is a social media coordinator by day and a content creator by night. With her great imagination, she knows she will create the next big thing whether it’s a script, a product or a simple idea that will fill people’s hearts with joy and entertainment. She blogs for a hobby and loves spending time with her golden retriever Lily.

Instagram: @lexikris
Twitter: @krisiza10

Things to Do Before Moving Into an Off-Campus Apartment for School

If you decide to live off campus at a college or university, there are factors many students fail to consider before signing an apartment lease for school and moving in. In the end, these considerations can wind up costing you a great deal of money and aggravation.

Here are some tips for your first college apartment rental.

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Talk with the Neighbors

Before you sign a lease for an off-campus apartment, talk with nearby neighbors. You may see some people coming and going from the building when you are visiting, or simply knock on some doors. This is a great way to gain information about the area, the apartment building and your potential new home. You will also find out pretty quickly whether your neighbors are the helpful and friendly sort or not!

Check Yelp reviews as well. You will sometimes find that there are serious maintenance issues or problems with rowdy residents which are never disclosed on the slick apartment websites.

Read the Fine Print

A lease is a legal document. This means you can be evicted and/or sued if you violate what is written its clauses. Most of the clauses are there to protect the property, but many are in place so the renters themselves can enjoy living there without undue disturbance.

Expect restrictions on noise, pets, use of common areas (schedules), trash disposal, number of days guests may stay — things which you might have taken for granted when living with mom and dad. Now that you are in college, expect to be treated like a responsible adult (and act like one!)

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Document the Flaws

When you move into an apartment, before you unload any boxes, hang any pictures or take your first shower, you need to go around with your camera, turn on all of the lights in the apartment and begin looking for damage. This is the time that you need to be OCD about every single flaw that is present, no matter how tiny it may be. Both video and stills should be taken and stored on a site such as Google Photos which handily keeps things organized by date.

Each stain, crack, hole, dent and scratch should be recorded and documented. Just because the landlord seems to be a nice person, it does not mean that they will not charge you for any issues that are present when you move out. If you have documentation of its presence when you moved in, you can avoid the sometimes huge fees that go along with these problems.

Be Sure Everything Works

Light switches, garbage disposals, toilets – it is important to go around the apartment and be certain that every single fixture and feature works, and works well. Take something with you that you can plug into every electrical outlet as well, because if many of them do not work when you move in, it can create a seriously frustrating problem, such as not being able to charge your phone while lying in bed.

Turn in a written report and keep a copy (just take a picture of the form with your form). Again, video and still pictures should be taken of any issues to avoid your landlord charging you for “broken electrical outlets” or other nonsense.

Check Inside the Cabinets

It is important to check inside the cabinets, but probably not for the reasons that you are thinking. While you need to ensure that there is plenty of room for your food and cups, it is also important to determine if there are any unwelcome guests residing inside of these cabinets. In addition to looking for the actual critters themselves, you should also look for signs that they have been there – droppings, spider webs or any other issues.

Report anything you find to the landlord in order to schedule a fumigation.

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Renting your first apartment is not something to be taken lightly. Take time to consider the factors here to ensure that you find a clean, healthy and safe place to live.

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Rubbermaid 3H89 Configurations 4-to-8-Foot Deluxe Custom Closet Organizer System Kit, Titanium

Tips For Making Better Choices Throughout High School

Adolescence is a challenging and confusing time of life that often leads to bad decision making. Many factors contribute to this including peer pressure, the need to achieve good grades and added responsibilities. Use these tips to help make better choices as you journey through your high school career in order to achieve greater success in higher education, as well as in adulthood.

Be Careful With Social Media Posts

Think twice before posting on any social media portals, especially if these posts contain pictures related to alcohol, drugs, sex, guns or contain vulgar language. This can affect your ability to be gainfully employed in the future. In fact, statistics reveal that over 90% of recruitment agencies investigate social media posts before placing prospective candidates.

Your future employer is not interested in your privacy or whether you were just having some fun. They will make use of the public nature of the internet to help determine whether you are of the character and dignity of a person they would like their business associated with. It is best to avoid any posts that may be considered to be embarrassing by a future employer.

Also keep in mind that social media posts have a way of going viral, even if you aren’t the one who created the original post or shared it. There are dozens of stories on the internet about individuals who lost their jobs and are now finding it difficult to be employed due to dodgy social media posts that were submitted years ago. So it’s best to behave in a manner that doesn’t attract posting from peers.

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Your Grades Matter

The pressure from parents, teachers and even peers is greater than ever to achieve good grades. This pressure, no matter how challenging to deal with, is however justified. Your grades can influence your ability to get into a good college, receive a scholarship and could affect your future employment.

The need for self-expression and finding individuality has led to the general belief that your grades don’t define you. While this may be true to a certain extent, your grades are still important, relative to how they may impact your future.

Even if you feel that the grading system is outdated and flawed, the numbers still matter at the end of the day. Especially to prospective colleges and employers who tend to be old-fashioned in their approach for selecting candidates.

Work hard at achieving the best grades you are able and maintaining these grades. You don’t always have to be a straight-A student, but must always show an effort at doing your best.

However, it is important to recognize other factors that could affect your future and not let the need to achieve affect these or your overall quality of life. The pressure and stress of being the top of your class should never affect your ability to enjoy the full high school experience.

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You Can Say No

We are all taught from a young age to be amiable and agreeable which is a good skill to develop. However, you should never feel obligated or pressured into saying “yes,” whether this pressure is being applied by parents, teachers, peers or any other person. Saying “yes” when you should have said “no” is the greatest factor that influences bad choices.

Legislation and your parents provide you with laws and rules to follow that should dictate what is acceptable and suitable for you to do at your specific age. But at the end of the day, it is up to you to make the decisions that will affect your future when no one is watching. Always keep in mind these laws and rules, most were created to protect you. Never be afraid to say “no” if you feel that entering into a certain activity is wrong.

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Protect Your Identity

Identity theft is a part of modern life that people of all ages need to learn protect themselves against. Teenagers and young adults often think that they are not targets for this type of crime. Having your personal information available to criminals may result in criminal activity that may be associated with you.

In fact, teens make great targets for identity theft due to the time they spend on unsecured networks and their tendency to leave electronic devices accessible to others and unprotected.

Just a few basic security measures can prevent this from happening to you.

  • Keep your electronic devices on your person or locked away at all times.
  • Make sure that all your devices, computers and laptops are password protected. Choose a complicated password and never share it with anyone.
  • Log out of your personal accounts, including email after use.
  • Never leave documents containing account information or your social security number where others may have access.
  • Pay attention to any activity on your accounts that you did not perform.

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Learning to make good decisions in high school will set you up to make even better decisions as you move into adulthood. Never underestimate the impact that one small mistake or bad decision can have on your future. If in doubt, sleep on a decision or find a mentor or person whose advice you trust and talk to them before making a choice. School is a place of learning and you should take this time to educate yourself in all aspects of life, including how to make better choices.


Beatrice Quany is the Marketing Director for ILoveCopperJewelry.com, a website displaying unique creations by award winning designer John S. Brana. Visit the site to view their stylish collection of beautiful copper jewelry.

Olga Noskova Interview – The Mirror Glaze Cake Wizard!

Many people are familiar with Olga Noskova’s work by now. She is the pastry artist whose incredible mirror glaze cakes took the internet by storm starting earlier this year.

Her creations, which seem other-worldy and impossible to create without the use of CGI, have garnered her worldwide fame and an ever increasing fan base — especially on Instagram where she has over 600,000 followers on her @olganoskovaa account.


Teens Wanna Know got the chance to know her better via an email interview. Here is Olga in her own words! (with a few grammar tweaks as English is not her native tongue)

1. Hi Olga, nice to e-meet you! Before we get started talking about cakes, please tell us a little bit about yourself!

Hey! My name is Olga Noskova. I’m a famous cake-blogger and pastry artist. I’m from Russia and live in the beautiful city of Ufa. I have a wonderful little son.

Do you know the English saying: “Water dripping day by day wears the hardest rock away?” Every day I tried to create something beautiful and lovely. And thanks to my unbelievable mirror and delicious cakes my popularity started to grow. The stars smiled at me. In my case, the first star who rated my talent is Britney Spears 🙂

The British Independent wrote my cake is “absolutely impeccable.” BuzzFeed called my work “absolutely flawless” and wrote that they are “too good to be eaten.”

One day I woke up famous in the world. My Instagram increased to 613K followers. I could not believe what had happened to me! Their comments, admiration, love – that’s what makes me understand that this is not a hobby and not a job. This is my life!

My business for me – it’s pure “art”. I am a pastry chef – an artist. I paint my works in the soul, and reproduce them in reality. I do not do the work [only] for sale. And I strive to make each of my next cake better than the previous. I guess what my subscribers want, feel them and create for them. It is an energy-intensive way. But this is my way. My opinion. My art.

2. How did you get started as a dessert maker?

I was an economist but I wanted to find [something] that would bring me pleasure every day. And I decided to learn to cook French Macaroon cookies, and this process took an eternity.

3. What is your personal favorite dessert to eat?

I can’t [pick] one favorite cake. Each cake is unique and has a special meaning for me. In each I put my love, tenderness, emotions and a part of myself. No cake is like the previous one: even if you use the same “paint,” you’ll still get a different cake. It’s like art, I do not copy, I create each time.

Now I’m keen on the creation of special cake for my lovely city. On October 11 in my homeland is a celebrated holiday – Republic Day. Therefore, I wanted to create something special, a “Bashcake”, into which i put all the love for my homeland. The cake combines three colors [representing the] tricolor flag of the Republic of Bashkortostan, as a symbol of freedom, openness and virtue. And, of course, the main symbol of the republic – Salavat Yulaev (for local citizens this hero means the same as William Wallace from the movie “Braveheart” for Scots).

I made it and listened to Bashkir national music: the combination of exciting kurai [Bashkortostan national flower] and a unique kobyz [Kazahk national instrument].

This cake is my Bashkortostan. I am very proud of my republic and want to tell the world about my wonderful Bashkortostan.

4. What is your favorite non-dessert dish to cook and eat?

I like fish so much and different seafood. Often I cook salmon steaks. Sometimes I love to pamper my family with Bashkir’s national food: dumplings, balish.

5. Who taught you how to make those amazing glazed cakes…was that your invention or did you have a mentor?

I started to learn from a variety of incredibly talented chefs, like a sponge; absorbing all their knowledge and experience.

But it wasn’t enough. I realized that to become a master I needed at some point to dare and make something of myself. I decided to do better than my predecessors. Began to create, to experiment.

6. How do you feel about other bakers who are copying your mirror glaze technique and putting similar pictures on Instagram?

I don’t pay attention to it. I have my own style, my secret mirror glaze. Making a copy is difficult even for me. Every cake is unique and unrepeatable. I don’t stop; I’m always looking for something new and perfect.

7. What advice would you give a teen who wants to start becoming a dessert maker like you?

Try, take risks, make mistakes and try again. Never give up and believe in your dreams!

And maybe start with something like this : ) – TWK Admin

8. What is the hardest part about the baking business?

The hardest part is: don’t eat all the cakes alone, and maintain a great figure 🙂

9. What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome in your career, and how did you do it?

I do not like the word “problem”. All that occurs during the creation of cakes – is an experiment: with color, shape, decoration. It can be successful or not, but in any case it will benefit, it will be a lesson.

I try till I reach perfection. I am a perfectionist in everything. I am very demanding on myself and my creations

10. How can someone in the Unites States order one of your cakes?

Unfortunately, for now it is impossible but I’m looking for partners in the US. In the near future I will open my brand boutique in the largest mall in Dubai. If you will come to Dubai, come to my boutique and try any cake!

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

I believe in the power of the Universe. If you want something very much, you should ask the Universe, and the Universe will send it to you.

12. If you could travel back in time and give ONE piece of advice to yourself as a teenager, what would it be?

Don’t worry, you can do it!

13. What are you working on next?

I want cakes to not only be beautiful and delicious, but on par with the artists or musicians who are doing what they want — for people to admire cake as a work of art.

My dream is to hold an exhibition in conjunction with other works of modern art, such as the Piccadilly Circus in London, where I will present my best works, the most perfect of all. A place where people from all over the world can come see them.

For me it is important to not only take energy from the universe, I want to give it away, and I do it through my cakes. I want to share this with the entire world.

14. Could you please send us a selfie? It can be you with one of your cakes, or you just relaxing…whatever!

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We look forward to seeing what amazing desserts Olga comes up with next. Make sure you follow her on Instagram at @olganoskovaa!

 

Low Calorie Teenage Mutant Mint Chip Ice Cream Recipe from GiGi Dubois

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Now that school is officially back in session… Students are once again faced with confusing chemistry text books, intimidatingly gargantuan novels that have to be read in three days and math equations that make their heads spin. The stress that comes with a new year of trying to earn good grades typically results in students self-medicating with food, and not the type of food this year’s nutrition class tells them to eat.

Foods filled with trans fatty acids and copious amounts of sugar (i.e. cookies, snack cakes, chips, etc) are typically the nibbles students turn to so as to calm their moods for those two to five minutes it takes to eat them. I mean, STRESSED is DESSERTS backward, so people assume that sweets are the cure-all.

Unfortunately, that is not the case at all. In fact, eating unhealthfully will actually cause more stress as these nutritionally void foods cause blood sugar levels to rise very quickly, but then crash just as fast, leaving you lethargic and even more anxious.

After reading all of this, you might be left feeling anxious about being told not to go hang out with Ben & Jerry’s later this evening. However, before you click out of your browser and… MAYBE… Hit the books to get a head start on some homework, here is a recipe that will soothe your stress yet also soothe your need for a sweet treat (without the sugar, trans fat and other filler ingredients that do nothing for your health or anxiety) when you just NEED IT, perhaps after trying to solve what Y equals in your Algebra book!

Teenage Mutant Mint Chip Ice Cream

WHAT are you waiting for? Get your ice cream maker…

  • Freeze ice cream maker bowl for roughly 18 to 24 hours prior to making this recipe.
  • When ready… Turn on ice cream maker (after putting the mixer and cover on top… And start pouring in the ingredients. Coconut milk first, then sweetener, followed by protein powder, dark chocolate, stevia and food coloring.
  • Grab a spoon and help the ingredients churn together by getting your utensil in there and help with the mixing process.
  • Add the water and continue to help machine stir.
  • Let the machine churn the combination for roughly 20 – 25 minutes.
  • Enjoy 100% GUILT-FREE!

-GiGi Dubois, GiGi Eats Celebrities


ABOUT GiGi

Based in Los Angeles, GiGi Dubois is a healthy living nutrition expert and blogger/YouTuber enthusiast. Her fun, laid back, comedic style and relatable approach has helped her gain thousands of followers. Her blog/vlog GiGi EatsCelebrities serves as both an educational tool and entertainment for those wanting to lead a healthy lifestyle. She is frequently called upon for her advice and opinions by nutrition and celebrity-related media outlets. She has a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Colorado and a master’s degree in nutrition communications from Tufts University.

Dear High School Self

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Dear High School Self,

Hello my friend. I see you will be graduating in the spring. You’ve had trials, drama and success the last few years. I know you still aren’t quite sure where you fit or what part you will play in life. Be patient, it will reveal itself along the way. It has been and will be worth all the effort you have and are making. Sometimes we race through the finish line with fanfare and cheers. Other times we seem to barely survive and crawl across. ‘HOW’ you finish matters a lot less than ‘THAT YOU FINISH’. Keep giving it all you’ve got and you’ll get somewhere worth being.

I know you have often wondered if you have what it takes to become something more than you are right now, or if there is even anything ‘more’ out there. Trust me, you can do it. I know now that you will never be alone, especially on those long dark roads you have and will be required to travel.

Treasure the remaining few months of High School. Don’t allow what you don’t have to rob you of what you do have. Attitude and what you choose to dwell on make a difference. Don’t allow the ‘can’t do, so don’t try’ people to control your life. There are great things out there for you to accomplish and wonderful people to meet. Keep yourself in the game so you can be on the field when the really interesting stuff happens.

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You think you’ve done some cool stuff. You will always remember your experiences in football, swimming and music fondly. Having such passion and endeavors has kept you on your feet. I know you are planning to swim in college. You will have a great experience. It may not last long but will help set a pattern you will follow all your life. Never hesitate to go for your dreams or try to accomplish really hard things. Strength and learning are more often found in the path and the effort rather than in the end result.

Hold on and continue to develop that growing faith in the divine. It will become a solid foundation during some of the storms that lay ahead. Yet it will also allow the sun to shine all the brighter each day. He is there for you too.

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My young friend, I stand at the other end of the path looking back over 43 years with a measure of envy. I am happy that you have so much in front of you. Life is a wonderful adventure and will take you amazing places. I see clearly the events that separate us and with some insight can say that who I have become is due to all the experiences combined. We don’t get to skip over the rough spots and shouldn’t want to. For it is all the good and the bad, the success and the failure, the joy and the sorrow, things lost and things found that blend together to give our lives depth, color and meaning. I see more clearly the meaning of your life and it has been worth it. All these experiences make it possible for us to become the wonderful and interesting people that God intended. One day you will see, to live…truly live, love and aspire to be something more…is glorious.

What more can I say? Thank you for making me who I am. As a result of all that has happened, I have found joy and meaning, you will too. I believe in you.

Your Friend,
Clark


The above was written by award winning YA author, Clark Burbidge, about what he wishes he could have told his teenage self. He is the writer of the fiction trilogies, “Giants in the Land” and “Star Passage”.

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Becky G Joins Yoobi to Donate School Supplies to Thousands of Students

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Inglewood native Becky G and Yoobi joined forces to donate thousands of school supplies to every single elementary school student from the Inglewood Unified School District, over 7,800 kids! The Yoobi Give Event took place at the Frank D. Parent Elementary School in Inglewood where Becky spoke to kids during a morning assembly, inspiring them to chase their dreams and that change starts from within. She then visited classrooms at the elementary school, handing out the supplies and hanging out with the kids. She colored with them and even sang with them when they asked her to sing her hit “Shower.” Yoobi partners with underprivileged schools were 70% or more of the students are enrolled in free or reduced lunch, making this donation mean a lot to students and teachers alike who were moved by today’s incredibly generous donation.

Yoobi is based on a bright yet simple idea: for every Yoobi item purchased, a Yoobi school supply item will be donated to a classroom in need, right here in the U.S. Yoobi believes that students all across the country should have access to the necessary tools to learn and be successful. This back to school, Yoobi hopes to continue to reach students with the materials they need to succeed, while inspiring kids to give back to their communities. Since their launch in 2014, Yoobi has impacted over 1.5 million kids across the U.S. and it doesn’t stop there!

Some of the most memorable moments included:

– Students screaming when they were surprised by Becky G at the morning assembly during the Yoobi Give Day.

– Becky G handing out donated Yoobi school supplies to excited students.

– Becky G hanging out and coloring with students in their classrooms with their brand new Yoobi supplies.

– A student asked Becky G if she would sing their favorite song with them, “Shower,” and began to sing promoting all of the students to join in and sing with her!

– Becky G having fun and laughing with the kids and talking to them about what they want to be when they grow up and inspiring them to chase their dreams.

 

How to Handle Your First Kiss!

So you’ve never kissed a guy…but you’ve watched kissing scenes on TV and almost every movie and it looks pretty easy.

But remember, those scenes are absolutely rehearsed! Watching someone kiss doesn’t mean you know how. First kisses can be awkward but they don’t have to be.

Follow this wonderful guide to handle your FIRST KISS and make it memorable!

Step 1. Think about what kind of “FIRST” Kiss you want.

What? There’s more than one type?! YES!

There’s wet kisses, dry kisses with chapped lips (no one wants that), mouth open, a little tongue, a lot of tongue, or a nice juicy peck on the lips where you hear the sound of a smack!

You might be thinking, “Well what if I don’t want to plan it?” You don’t have to, but it’s nice to have an achievable fantasy.

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Step 2. PRACTICE!

I know this sounds silly, but use your hand and pucker up! I’m not saying hardcore make out with your hand!

You’ve kissed a baby, your parents, and maybe a picture of the guy you want to kiss. It’s the same concept, just slower and sweeter. Practice makes perfect right? Make yourself kissable and moisturized! Speaking of that…

Step 3. Make your lips soft and KISSABLE

No one wants to kiss someone with cracked lips. You want your lips to look KISSABLE. What does that even mean?? It means that you should exfoliate and moisturize with a lip balm – nothing sticky.

Dab some tea tree oil around areas on your lips where you are breaking out. (It will sting!)   Do not apply the tea tree oil directly onto your lips, only around it. Dab the oil directly on your pimple(s) around your lips.

To exfoliate your lips, you can purchase a lip scrub from any drug store. I prefer using lips scrubs from Lush. If you want to save money, you can always make your own. There are many lip scrub recipes you can find online. Most scrubs are made of sugar and other sweet ingredients.

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Step 4. Have fresh breath!

Brush your teeth beforehand!

If you can’t, have some breath mints or Listerine strips on you. Stay away from foods or drinks that will make your breath smell or make you want to burp. (Avoid coffee, onions, tuna, garlic etc.)

Step 5. COMMUNICATE – use body language!

The man you want to kiss is finally in front of you. Let’s pretend you both are silent and we’ll assume you’re both ready to lock lips. Lean in closely and stare into his eyes. Let me rephrase that: make eye contact!

I giggle whenever I hear someone say “stare deeply into their eyes” because technically you really can’t be looking at both their eyes at the same time! Anyways, look at each other and sense the vibes he’s giving off. Guys give off strong signals, and if it’s their first time, chances are you both are nervous together. At this point, you can drop hints by looking at his lips or smiling. Move closer.

Step 6. Give permission to kiss.

Sure, you can verbally consent you want a kiss, but that’s no fun. Kiss them on the cheek. That’s always really cute and that will make him want to kiss you on the lips even more! Some guys can be really shy and you might just have to initiate it, which is okay!

Step 7. Aim for the lips!

I know that sounds cheesy, but believe me, some people miss. Timing is important too: you don’t want to kiss someone while they are smiling with teeth or have their mouth open! (If you’re lucky, that will make both of you laugh and you’ll want to actually kiss from there.) So here’s what you do, lean in slowly, aim for the lips and try to get his lower lip between yours. Be confident and smooch!

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Step 8. Know your limits!

Keep it gentle and sweet. Let the pattern of kissing come out naturally and pace yourselves!

Remember, don’t feel pressured to do something you don’t want to do. Be verbal about things if you have to.

If you have any more kissing tips, comment below!


Kristen_MarquezKristen Marquez  graduated with a B.A. in Cinema & Television Arts from California State, University Northridge with an emphasis in Television Production. She is a social media coordinator by day and a content creator by night. With her great imagination, she knows she will create the next big thing whether it’s a script, a product or a simple idea that will fill people’s hearts with joy and entertainment. She blogs for a hobby and loves spending time with her golden retriever Lily.

Instagram: @lexikris
Twitter: @krisiza10

7 Things All Teens Should Know About Applying to College

college student
Picture Source: https://flic.kr/p/nzfebX

Let’s face it: whether you’re just starting to look at colleges or racing to finish your personal essay before the deadline, college applications can be intimidating. The good news? They don’t have to be. With a little guidance, any teen can navigate the college application process like a pro.

As a content fellow at Khan Academy, I’ve spent the last year and a half talking to admissions officers, financial aid professionals, and students who’ve been through the college application process themselves. They all had a ton of wisdom to share – things I wish I’d known back when I was applying to college!

#1: Your phone is your friend.

Phones aren’t just for texting – they’re also a great way to get homework help on the go. With more and more free learning apps available every day, the information you need is literally at your fingertips. Khan Academy, for example, has practice problems, video lessons, and articles on math, science, history, and much more on its Android and iPhone apps.

By using the resources on your phone, you can take charge of your own learning. That’s important, because your high school grades are a big part of your college application. In fact, most colleges say that your high school transcript is the most important part – they want to see that you’ve taken challenging classes and done well in them.

Student story: High school classes:

#2: Don’t be discouraged by the sticker price.

Some teens avoid applying to specific colleges – or applying to college at all – because they worry they can’t afford it. There’s no denying that college can be expensive. On average, it costs almost $20,000 per year to attend a four-year public college, including tuition, meals, and housing. The average cost of attending a private college is even higher: over $40,000 a year.

Fortunately, financial aid can make college much more affordable. Financial aid includes scholarships, grants (which don’t have to be paid back), and loans (which do). You can apply for financial aid from the federal government, private organizations, and colleges themselves. In fact, the schools with the highest sticker prices often provide the most financial aid.

Perhaps you’ve heard back from your first-choice school about your financial aid application, and they didn’t offer you as much aid as you’d hoped. The conversation doesn’t have to stop there – it’s perfectly acceptable to appeal the school’s decision. For example, if you’ve received a more generous offer from your second-choice school, you can share that info with school #1.

Student story: Overcoming financial obstacles to college

#3: You don’t have to pay big bucks to do well on the SAT.

For many students, taking standardized test like the SAT and ACT is the most intimidating part of applying to college. Fortunately – since the SAT and ACT test what you’ve learned in high school – you’ve been preparing for them since freshman year, even if you didn’t realize it at the time. Better yet, you can find free resources online to help you study.

For the SAT in particular, check out Khan Academy’s Official SAT Practice. It includes information about the test, personalized practice recommendations, and tons of practice questions. These are all free, and all developed in partnership with the College Board, the non-profit organization that writes the SAT.

Student story: Standardized tests:

#4: Ordinary events can inspire extraordinary essays.

Many teens think that their college application essay needs to about something epic – curing cancer or starring on Broadway or competing in the Olympics. I haven’t done anything like that, they worry, so how can I write a good essay?

The truth is that some of the best essays are about everyday events. In fact, one of the admissions officers I interviewed – someone who’s read thousands of essays – said that his favorite essay of all time was about working at a fast food restaurant!

Your personal essay is the most personal part of your application. It’s a chance for admissions officers to get to know you – how you reflect on your experiences and what makes you unique. So don’t worry about whether your topic is important enough – write about something that’s important to you, and let your thoughts and feelings shine through.

Writing a strong college admissions essay:

#5: Do your homework.

There’s no better way to gauge whether or not a school’s a good fit than the gut feeling you get from actually stepping foot on a college campus. Visiting campuses is one of the most enjoyable parts of the application process and arguably the best way to get a sense of what attending that college is really like. For many colleges, an interview is also part of the application process. Before your interview, get to know the school – what makes it different from other colleges? Exploring the school website is a great way to start your research.

You can use what you learn as a starting point for your interview, but make sure to ask questions that can’t be answered just by reading the college’s website. For example, you might ask about the school culture, or what it’s like to participate in one of the programs you discovered in your research..

Doing your homework shows that you’re really interested in the school, and that you’ve thought about why it might be a good fit for you. You’ll also learn more and get more out of the interview if you can ask specific questions about specific programs.

Student story: Admissions interview:

#6: There’s another reason to schedule a campus visit or interview at a school.

If you already know that you want to attend a particular school, you might think there’s no need to visit it. But visiting isn’t just a way to learn more about the school – it’s also a way to show admissions officers that you’re interested.

Also, if the college’s admissions website “recommends” an interview, you should view the interview as required. Visiting a campus and scheduling an interview, tour, and/or overnight stay are all great ways of demonstrating that you’re especially interested in a school.

If you’re worried about the cost, you can always ask the school whether they have any programs to help lower-income students visit, or whether they hold virtual interviews for students who can’t make it to the campus. More and more schools are offering these options, and It never hurts to check!

Visiting campus: Campus Visit Alternative: Online Tour

#7: Get excited!

There’s no doubt that applying to college is a big job, but it’s also the start of a big adventure. College isn’t just a continuation of high school. It’s a chance to explore, make new friends from around the world, and choose what you want to learn.

College is what you make of it – so dream big, and enjoy the ride!

Student story: College brings new friends, learning, and freedom:

For more college application tips, check out Khan Academy college admissions site. And if you have your own tip to share, let us know below!

Madeleine Traver is the College Admissions Content Fellow at Khan Academy – a nonprofit with a mission to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Having recently graduated from the University of Southern California, she now helps other students achieve their college dreams.

Need a Scholarship? There’s an App for That! Interview with Scholly Founder Christopher Gray

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College application season is in full swing.  One of the biggest questions on students’ (and parents’) minds besides where they’ll be enrolled this time next year is how they’re going to pay for it all.  Unfortunately, many families cannot afford to pay for college out of pocket and their institution of choice can’t provide adequate aid. The ultimate question becomes: How do you avoid the staggering student loan debt that follows graduates well into their careers?

The good news is, there are millions of dollars in scholarships (both need and merit-based) to be had and they can all be found on Scholly (www.myscholly.com).  Scholly is a web and app platform that quickly matches students to the scholarships they personally qualify for.  Scholly’s patented matching engine uses 8 parameters (such as gender, state, GPA, race, etc.) to quickly filter and deliver a targeted list of appropriate scholarships along with links and deadlines.  The app is just $3 which covers both web and phone access.

(In addition to buying Scholly on an individual basis, the Buy 2 Give program allows companies, government agencies and other entities to buy the app in bulk to provide to their constituents.  Many cities and companies have been giving back to their community by offering Scholly to local high school and college students.)

Q&A WITH CHRISTOPHER GRAY, FOUNDER OF SCHOLLY

Describe the environment you were brought up in. 

I grew up in Birmingham, AL with a single mom and two baby siblings. My mother lost her job in 2008 when the recession hit. In fact, many people lost their jobs. Also, the fact that I was in an under funded, inner city school system didn’t help. There was violence, gangs, and a culture filled with anti-intellectualism. Students who were bright and motivated were often overshadowed and smothered, and that coupled with a lack of economic opportunity made it even harder to succeed no matter how hard you worked. If you were interested in things outside of the entertainment industry and sports, the chances of you finding like-minded peers were slim to none. Despite that, I worked hard and started my own organizations to create my own opportunities. I refused to allow that environment to define me and stagnate my intellectual potential.

chris_gray

How did you find the self-motivation to extricate yourself from those circumstances when so many others around you were not motivated?

At the end of the day, many would call me an outlier and an exception to the rule. I had never had any real desire to “fit in” and remained intellectually driven despite the culture I grew up in. While I didn’t have like minded peers, I did have great mentors who were from outside of Birmingham who helped me, supported me, and provided me with opportunities that I would not have had otherwise. It was still tough being an oddball and being so different than those around you. However, having successful mentors were somewhat of a North Star to me, directing me toward my freedom even if it was just intellectually.

Did you have any help or mentoring in terms of applying for colleges? If so, who were your mentors?

Since my high school guidance counselor didn’t have much time to help, I actually relied on websites and even added random people on Facebook who got into the schools I was applying to. It was pretty effective and some jumped on the phone with me to help. It was amazing how kind people were. These were people from schools like NYU, Drexel, Penn, and more. In my mind, what better way to find out how to get in a school than to ask the people that got in. I’m sure they thought I was weird, but I was a 17-year-old boy trying to get into college so I didn’t care. I also had a teacher who helped me with my essays so that was helpful. In fact, she was the same teacher who helped me with my scholarship essays.

Describe how you began searching for scholarships on your phone.   How did you know how to search – to put in the right terms, etc. that eventually led to you getting 1.3 million in scholarship money to fund your education at Drexel?  What particular talents did you use, and how can others learn from your example?

When I had to search for scholarships, I used sites like Fast Web and Scholarships.com. They were really the only thing out there at the time. It would take you about 20 minutes to put in all of your personal information and then the sites would give hundreds of matches that you had to sort through in order to see if you qualified for them. The process took me months.

To add to the frustration, I was only able to use computers at local libraries and at school for a very short period of time. The forced me to have to apply for some scholarships via my cell phone. For some scholarships I would literally have to write my essays down and then type them into fields on my small phone screen. The process was agonizing and tedious, but I knew I had to do it.

I started looking for scholarships during my junior year of high school, allowing me to spend that time searching in order to use my senior year to actually apply for everything. In hindsight, this was an effective strategy considering my lack of resources at the time.

How did you get the idea to turn your knack for scholarship “findology” into a business?

I found that the hardest part about getting money for college was actually finding the funds. There is money out there, but students do not know where to find it. The search process took me months and that was with an ungodly amount of grit and persistence. It can take some students even longer and most just give up altogether. There had to be an easier way. There have to be certain things each scholarship looks for that makes students qualify for them.

That’s how I came up with our “eight parameters system” for Scholly. I looked through a lot of scholarships to find out what criteria made a student eligible for a scholarship. That’s the core of the Scholly search. The goal of Scholly is remove the search process and to give students access to funds to pay for college.

Scholly App High Res ImageTalk about starting Scholly while you were still in college.

Starting a company in college has both its advantages and disadvantages. The upside is that you are in college and with entrepreneurship at the top of everyone’s minds, you have access to mentors and a lot of free capital through competitions. Between Drexel and other competitions, I won around $130,000 dollars for Scholly. Similar to scholarships, I became pretty good at raising “free money” for Scholly Also, as a student you have access to lots of mentors and programs that can assist you in starting and growing your company.

The downside is of your course that you are a student and you have to take these annoying things called classes.  As one could imagine, it was incredibly difficult trying to take five classes each term while running a growing company. The choice between being a good student and a great entrepreneur was a daily struggle. It’s really tough to strike the balance.

What was the turning point where you knew this could be a real business?

Starting Scholly was all around the notion of helping other people. In order to do that, I had to create a sustainable and growing business. We hit a turning point when my team and I realized that we couldn’t simply rely on press to keep us afloat. We had to commit full time to the company in order to push things forward.

What has been your greatest challenge getting your business off the ground?

My greatest challenge was definitely trying to balance being a student and running a company.

How many millions of dollars in scholarships have been awarded to students using Scholly?  

Currently, we have helped students raise over $15 million. We have tracked that through self reporting. When our new app comes out next month, we will be able to track other metrics. [The app is now live]

Besides leading students to potential scholarship matches for them, do you also offer advice on how to apply successfully? 

Our new app will provide tips on the application process.

Do you worry that by raising awareness of all that “hidden money” that the competition will get tougher and make scholarships harder, not easier, to obtain?

Our goal right now is make the scholarship search process as easiest as possible. By doing so, we will make scholarships more competitive. However, our goal is to eventually create a market place where more scholarships can be created and promoted to students to increase the supply side of the scholarship space to help meet the increase in demand.

Do you have any statistics on the amount of student debt that currently exists in the U.S.?    

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2015/05/08/congratulations-class-of-2015-youre-the-most-indebted-ever-for-now/

How do you see the future of Scholly?   How will the concept and the company evolve?

Scholly’s mission to provide access to opportunity. While we are starting with scholarships, we plan to begin to match students with and promote other educational opportunities as well. Our slogan is, “opportunity for all” and we plan to provide that access through our platform.