What Makes a Good Breakfast?

As a high school student who is often rushed in the morning, I find it difficult to always prepare my body for the day. Maybe I’ll grab a piece of toast or get a bowl of fruit but that isn’t exactly the best way to give my body the energy it needs to start the day. Based on personal experience and some research, here’s what I think is important and necessary for a good breakfast.

  1. Protein. Whether that’s through dairy products, nuts, or eggs, it’s important to pack your breakfast with proteins. Proteins help you feel fuller for a longer amount of time.
  2. A variety of foods. Different types of milk, meat and meat alternates, as well as a variety of fruits are important for a good, healthy breakfast. You want a variety so that there’s a variety of nutrients as well.
  3. Smoothies. Smoothies are easy to make and you can get really creative with them. To add on, smoothies are great for when you have to get out of the house quick. They make a great to-go breakfast.
  4. Fruit. In a smoothie, in a salad, or just straight from the container, fruit is awesome. It’s super filling and good for your body. Be careful though as fruit does contain sugar and consuming too much may not be the best thing for your body. As long as you live a healthy lifestyle and stay active, you should be just fine.
  5. Not skipping breakfast, ever. As a high school student, I know a bunch of kids that just don’t eat breakfast. They claim there isn’t enough time or they’re not hungry or they just didn’t want to. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s important to give your body what it needs to start the day and then get through the day. You want to be able to function properly and keep your metabolism and digestive tract in a rhythm and steady, so don’t skip a meal, especially breakfast.

It’s definitely important to have a wide variety of foods on your plate at breakfast and it’s also important to always eat breakfast. Even if you don’t have time to eat a full breakfast, give yourself something to fuel your body. Eating a good breakfast helps get you on the right track for a good day and helps the struggles of being hangry from staying away.

Have a good week!

What Makes a Good Breakfast?

Why I am a Self-Critic

Recently in AP Lang, we had a creative writing assignment inspired by a piece by Zitkala-Sa titled “Why I am a Pagan”. I chose to write about why I am so hard on myself and here is that piece. Enjoy.

Heavy breathing. Sweat dripping. Mind racing. There was no way I’m going to pull off this match. Two hours pass under the glaring sun and I’m still out on the battlefield. My back burns as the heat stabs into it. My feet burn as I dash madly from sideline to sideline in a frantic attempt to keep myself from raising that white flag. My heart burns as I watch the championship match against my nemesis go up in flames. No matter how many serves I sent penetrating the enemy’s walls or how many shots I fired evening the playing field it wasn’t enough. It never seems to be enough.

My last play haunts my mind as I walk up to the net. “You just had to miss it in the net didn’t you Ana? I can’t believe you just let that happen. It’s not like that doesn’t happen at least six or seven times in a match. You’ve been working on that! Get a grip!” My opponent and I may have ceased fire on the court but that ceasefire hasn’t reached the strident voice nagging me in my head. I hold back my frustration and overwhelming feeling of crying as we shake hands and head off the court to our families.  

I knew my family would be proud of me. They always are. They’ll see that I worked hard out on the court. Or did I? Was I good enough out there?

As I fasten my seatbelt in the car, a single tear rolls down my cheek. And then a second. And then a third. And then a flash flood rumbles down the hill. It seems like no matter how hard I push myself out there, I’m trapped swimming just below the surface of the ocean. I’m left to wander and explore the vastness of the watery depths. I’m breathless. It seems like no matter hard I work on the court, I’m doomed to endure the harsh conditions of a summitless mountain. Progress may be made but sometimes it feels like I’m headed nowhere. I see the same old trees on that horrendous mountain and every time I have to cross that river or climb over that boulder, I might vomit out of disgust. “We’re here again?! I thought we were over this already?”

I look out the window from the backseat of the car and watch as the cars, trees, and houses go by. As my dad navigates through Colorado Springs, my mom turns to me.

“Ana, you know not to be so hard on yourself. This is silly behavior. You are stronger than this. You made it to the championship, for goodness sake! Be proud of yourself for that! And who cares about some Jessica-messica Do not let that get to you, okay?”

My mom may be right. I shouldn’t let someone with poor sportsmanship like that get to me. I shouldn’t be my own worst enemy. I shouldn’t hate myself so much for losing a match in the championship of a tournament, but I have to.

Hating on myself and kicking myself in the butt for making mistakes motivates me to be better. Losing sucks, I’ll admit it, but it allows me to learn from my mistakes. I may never reach the summit of that awful mountain and I may never get to breathe the fresh, salty air by sticking my head above the water, but I’ll be able to learn from my experiences. Being critical of myself allows me to give flight to the strong, beautiful butterflies that were once weak and struggling caterpillars in my life. To some, being hard on yourself is detrimental. It’s pointless. It’s silly behavior. I don’t see it that way. I see it as an opportunity to educate myself and improve who I am. There is no limit to improvement and I am endlessly willing to become better in all I do. If this is self-improvement and growth, then forevermore, at least, I am a self-critic.

Why I am a Self-Critic
Credit to artist. Not my piece 🙂

My Five Favorite Actresses

I’m a really big movie person and I absolutely love getting wrapped up in a great movie with an interesting plot and getting lost for a few hours. There’s a myriad amount of wonderful, talented actresses out there but for this I could only have five. Here are my five favorite actresses, and they are not in any specific order.

Audrey Hepburn

My Five Favorite Actresses

I feel like Audrey Hepburn is a favorite for many and I’m with the many. She was such a talented and funny actress and in general, she seemed like a great person. I loved her in My Fair Lady and Roman Holiday. She is such an iconic and inspiring and also gorgeous actress and I feel like everyone could learn something about class and grace from a fabulous actress like her.

Jennifer Lawrence

My Five Favorite Actresses

Jennifer Lawrence was the star actress of The Hunger Games trilogy and that’s where I grew to love her as an actress. She is so funny and also very talented. She performs wonderfully in any role she’s thrown into and I think I would enjoy almost any movie she’s in.

Julie Andrews

My Five Favorite Actresses

This amazing woman has been in so many iconic and spectacular movies including Sound of MusicMary PoppinsThe Princess Diaries, and many more. Like Hepburn, Andrews is a graceful and very classy woman who has a beautiful singing voice and a lot of talent to share. Her movies always make me so happy and I would consider her as one of my idols.

Keira Knightley

My Five Favorite Actresses

Keira Knightley is another one of my favorite actresses because of her kick-butt job in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. I loved her as Elizabeth Swann. When I was younger, I really wanted to be Keira Knightley for Halloween because I loved her so much, and I still do!

Emma Watson

My Five Favorite Actresses

I know I talked about this great actress last week but I just can’t stop! Emma Watson did a fantastic job in the new Beauty and the Beast and I loved growing up with her in the Harry Potter series. Emma Watson is an incredibly kind and smart and wonderful person and I also really look up to her.

And there you have it! There are my five favorite actresses. There’s so many other great actresses that I love watching, not only in movies but in TV shows too. I’m currently really into Criminal Minds and I love AJ Cook in that show. She’s also a great actress. I haven’t seen her in anything but that show, but she’s a good one. I would recommend checking out Criminal Minds if you enjoy crime shows. I would warn you though, there can be some violence and definitely some thrills if you’re up for it.

Have a good week! 🙂

Reviewing the New Beauty and the Beast

The new Beauty and the Beast came out recently and boy, do I have a lot to say about it! Just a warning, there may be some spoilers in here so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, you may learn some things you may not want to yet. Here we go.

Emma Watson was a beautiful Belle. For many others my age, we grew up with her as Hermoine from Harry Potter. When I first discovered that she would be playing one of my favorite Disney princesses, I worried that I would only see Hermoine, but that wasn’t the case. Emma Watson fit the role of Belle perfectly and had an amazing singing voice. In addition to Watson, the rest of the cast was fantastic. Dan Stevens played the Beast and Luke Evans played Gaston and they absolutely killed it! I actually loved Luke Evans so much that I almost felt bad for Gaston when he died. Stevens and Evans both fit their roles so nicely and also did a great job singing and acting in the movie.

Reviewing Beauty and the Beast

The music was wonderful throughout the movie. I loved that Disney incorporated the music from the original cartoon but I thought it really made the movie different and even better from the cartoon by adding a couple of new songs in. They really fit into the movie.

In addition to adding a few new songs, there were a couple of new additions to the plot to fill plot holes not covered in the cartoon movie. In the cartoon, everyone in the town seemed totally oblivious to the fact that there was a castle and a beast lived in it. I thought that was somewhat confusing. In the live action movie, we learned that when the Beast was cursed, the enchantress that cursed him also cursed the town and erased any memory they had of the prince and his castle. On top of that, from the cartoon, it didn’t make any sense that the Beast had been cursed for many years and characters like Chip didn’t age. In the live action movie, I think the enchantress trapped the town in a time-loop and left them unable to age. That would explain why Mrs. Potts and Mr. Potts where still the same age when they were rejoined in the end and Chip, their son didn’t age as well. If this seems confusing in my writing, there are several other writers who share similar beliefs and ideas with the live action plot. I would suggest reading more about it.

Reviewing the New Beauty and the Beast

The special effects and CGI for Beauty and the Beast were also executed well. The Beast was extremely realistic and looked very, very real especially when around Belle. The Beast’s castle was also super cool and reminded me a lot of the one in the cartoon movie.

Belle’s dress in the popular dance scene was also gorgeous and I’m really happy that the costume designers didn’t recreate the dress Belle wore in the cartoon movie. This one appealed to the more modern age but was still classical and beautiful on Emma Watson.

Reviewing the New Beauty and the Beast

And one other thing, I thought that all of the characters were developed much better in the new Beauty and the Beast. We learned much more about Gaston and his sidekick, Le Fou, and also Belle’s father. We learned more about all of the characters in the castle too, and I think learning more about the characters also really helped build the movie’s background and setting overall.

If you haven’t seen the new Beauty and the Beast movie, I’m begging you to see it as soon as possible. I absolutely loved it and I’m so proud of Disney’s latest masterpiece. Bravo!

Reviewing the New Beauty and the Beast

How to Keep Your Dog Healthy

My two happy-go-lucky dachshunds are pretty healthy and that can be a lot of work but it’s so worth it. A dog’s health is very important, especially when they’re a part of your family. You wouldn’t want one of your own family members to be in pain or sick or feeling yucky all the time, would you? Here’s a few tips on how to keep your dog healthy.

-Feed them properly. Depending on your dog, they will need different amounts of food at different times of the day. For Marty and Boo, they eat three meals of Eukanuba for dachshunds or Science Diet for small dogs. The portions are generally pretty small and they love carrots so if they ever do feel hungry, they snack on them.

-Keep your dogs hydrated. Just like us humans, dogs need water. Make sure to give them fresh water twice a day if not daily. If they are ever running low on water, make sure you give them more. A hydrated dog is a healthy and happy dog.

-Exercise your dog. Whether this is through a game of fetch or a nice long walk, a dog needs to be exercised. This helps them maintain a healthy weight, have some fun, and explore somewhere other than the house.

-Spend time with your dog. My dogs are my best friends. Dogs deserve your attention, after all you bought them or adopted them for a reason. You wanted a companion. Dogs will love you endlessly as long as you love them back. Spending time talking to your dog or giving your dog a belly rub maintains your emotional bond and prevents them from feeling alone all the time. A dog that is often left alone can develop separation anxiety and may develop bad habits.

-Take your dog to the vet for check-ups on time. This can be difficult for busy families but it is very important to always check on your dog’s health. Check-ups can catch problems early on and save your companion from medical issues and expenses. To add to this, taking your dog to get their teeth cleaned regularly can help prevent gum disease and mouth issues down the road. Having your dog put under for teeth cleaning can be a huge expense. There are some dog food stores and grooming places that offer teeth cleaning without anaesthesia. Sometimes it can be as simple as a toothbrush or wipes or gentle cavitron cleaning.

I hope these few tips help you keep your tail-wagging buddies happy and healthy! Don’t forget to keep them well-fed and hydrated and also don’t forget to love them endlessly and enjoy your four-legged companions. 🙂

How to Keep a Healthy Dog

Finding a Good Monologue

Whether you’re auditioning for a school play, TV show, or movie, you’ll most likely need to find a monologue. Casting agents and directors look at monologues because they show memorization skill and also ability to be creative and portray a specific character within a long block of speech. The funny things with monologues is that a good one can be tough to find. It can also be challenging to find a unique and fresh monologue. Casting directors and agents call a lot of people in for auditions and they do not want to hear the same monologue over and over again. Here’s a few tips for finding the perfect monologue.

  1. Search farther than the first page on Google. Often times, people will type in “funny monologues for teens” or “monologues for female roles” or something along those lines. Many people are satisfied with those first few monologues because they’re easy to find and finding them doesn’t require a lot of work. DON’T BE LAZY when finding a monologue! You should spend a few days and at most a week or two finding a solid monologue.
  2. Look for something from your favorite actors or actresses. One of my favorite actresses, for example, is Audrey Hepburn. While some of her stuff may not be age appropriate for a teenage girl monologue, I might be able to find a monologue from one of her movies and make it age appropriate. Finding something from a favorite actor/actress of yours is a good way to refrain from picking super common, popular monologues.
  3. Stay age appropriate. As mentioned in the previous tip, if you find a monologue you like but it doesn’t quite fit your age range, you may be able to adjust it to fit. Be careful though. There are some monologues out there that definitely can’t be adjusted and should just be avoided by certain age groups all together.
  4.  Stay away from new movies and TV show episodes. Monologues from new movies and TV shows will be grabbed by all of the people too lazy to look deep. I would also recommend staying away from monologues in super popular movies and TV shows. Those will also be commonly used.

I hope these tips will help your hunt for a solid monologue if you need one. Once you find a good monologue, practice it over and over again. You’ll want it memorized and you’ll also want to add character and movement to it and that will come after you memorize your monologue. Good luck!

Finding a Monologue

Spring is Coming

Spring will be here in a couple weeks. The days are getting longer again and the weather is getting warmer. The flowers and trees will be budding soon and then summer will be here before we know it! I haven’t written or shared any poetry in a while and I felt like sharing my favorite poem about spring. This was poem written by the amazing and talented Emily Dickinson. It is titled “A Light Exists in Spring”. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period –
When March is scarcely here

A Color stands abroad
On Solitary Fields
That Science cannot overtake
But Human Nature feels.

It waits upon the Lawn,
It shows the furthest Tree
Upon the furthest Slope you know
It almost speaks to you.

Then as Horizons step
Or Noons report away
Without the Formula of sound
It passes and we stay –

A quality of loss
Affecting our Content
As Trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a Sacrament.

Although spring is not my favorite season, I do really enjoy the warmer weather. Getting to see life return to the earth is a beautiful thing too. If I’m being honest here, winter is actually my favorite season. I love it the most because of the gentle, soft beauty of snow and the idea of bundling up in a warm blanket by the fire or just in my bed to read or watch movies on my iPad. I love wearing warm sweaters and cardigans and fuzzy socks and boots. Feeling warm and cozy after coming in from walking around in the chilling snow is my favorite feeling. Walking outside in the snow and feeling the crunch under my boots excites me. The chilly feeling you get on the tip of your nose after being outside for a while and the crisp, clean smell of the air calms me and makes me feel happy.

Winter is pretty great, but sadly all things must come to an end. Spring is coming and it’ll be good for a change. Have a wonderful week everyone! 🙂

Spring is Coming!

They’re Doing What to Club Penguin?!

Ok, this might be one of the weirder posts I’ve made, but I’m really passionate about this topic. Recently, I discovered that Disney will be discontinuing Club Penguin! WHAT?! Club Penguin was a huge part of my childhood and I’m sure many of you could say the same.

From my research, I learned that Disney intends to close down Club Penguin and open up Club Penguin Island which will only be accessible on mobile devices. According to the company, they think that more children are turning away from online computer games to mobile apps and games, and so to stay up-to-date with the kids, they have to become a strictly mobile app. 🙁 I’m really worried that this could be the end of the Club Penguin franchise overall. Based on the Club Penguin Island game trailer, it looks nothing like the online Club Penguin game and doesn’t appeal to many children looking for a fun, social game to play.

As mentioned earlier, my sister and I started on Club Penguin as it was still a young game. I’m not quite sure what year we started on it, but we were around when the Penguin Secret Agency (PSA) was around. Those missions were the absolute best! As a kid, they were easy enough to complete but still challenging enough to have to think through and were so enjoyable. And when the PSA was destroyed by Herbert’s popcorn explosion, my sister and I lost it. The PSA was over and the Elite Penguin Force (EPF) was launched. Oh man, those were the days. We were also around before the Dojo was a thing and when that came out, it was our mission to become black belts and beat Sensei. When the mermaid cove was introduced, we were there. When the University was introduced, we were there. When the puffle park was introduced, we were there. My sister and I were there for the big pool party after the glass cracked in the room below the plaza. We were there for a bunch of the music jams and dance parties and Frozen party and the Monsters’ University party and the medieval parties where Scorn the dragon was introduced and the superhero parties. The stage still existed when my sister and I played on Club Penguin. We went through so much and grew up with Club Penguin.

When I got my first CP membership, I was ecstatic. My first penguin was named Courtney98. She was the coolest penguin ever (in my opinion, haha). She had exactly twenty puffles which was the puffle limit when I got my membership and I remember her first one was a cute little blue puffle. She was a super rich penguin and definitely a big party penguin. My sister’s penguin, Seddny, was great friends with Courtney98 and went on so many great adventures together. We were mermaids, pookies (penguins that acted like babies and toddlers), superheroes, robbers, band members, explorers, surfers, fairies, and anything else we wanted them to be.

My sister and I even created a joined Club Penguin account. Her name was Lelani Fleur and she was definitely one spoiled penguin. She had almost 40 puffles which is the new limit, I believe. She was also a big party penguin and attended quite a few island wide parties herself. Allyson and I had a lot of fun sharing an account. We played together a lot on her account and would switch off who got to make music in the dance club and catching fish by the ski hill.

I truly hope that Club Penguin isn’t shut down, but if it is, that will be a surely bittersweet moment. That game was a wonderful part of my childhood and I hope to share my memories of that game for a long time. Maybe it will even be brought back! That would be a glorious day. For all of you Club Penguin lovers, don’t forget to say goodbye to your penguins before March 29th. I definitely will say goodbye to my penguins. Thanks for the memories Club Penguin. Waddle on!

They're Doing What to Club Penguin?!

Another Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is just two days away. It feels like it just comes and goes every year. Being in high school, it’s funny to see people on Valentine’s Day. There’s the couples that have been together for a while and go on cute dates and get each other something sweet. There’s also the couples that go wayyyyy overboard and get each other the big teddy bears for Costco and the most cheesy gifts possible. That just screams “EWW!” to me. There’s also the other people in school who become the saddest people you’ve ever met. They complain and whine about how lonely they are and how sad their life is. First off, you’re only in high school and second, you’ll get over it. You have friends and family for a reason. Valentine’s Day is only once a year and there’s 355 other days for you to do as you wish and find someone to fill that hole in your heart.

If I’m being honest here, Valentine’s Day is one of my least favorite holidays if not my least favorite. It’s just so commercialized and used as a way to draw people to buy chocolate, flowers, cheesy cards, and other heart-shaped and romantic goodies for loved ones. I won’t deny that showing loved ones your love is a wonderful thing. I think it’s great that people want to do something special for their significant others and family. But shouldn’t that be every day? You don’t have to go out and buy a big bouquet of red roses for your loved ones every day, but you should do something every day to show your love.

People make such a big deal out of Valentine’s Day and I just don’t get it. Maybe it’s because I don’t have a boyfriend and have never been in that kind of relationship. I’ve always enjoyed picking out cute, heartfelt cards for my grandparents, aunt and uncle, sister, and parents and bringing a beautiful bunch of flowers to my mom but as the holiday has come and gone, I just don’t see the point of it anymore.

We don’t need a designated day to show our love to family, friends, and significant others, in my opinion. Every day should be Valentine’s Day in its own unique way.

Despite what I think, the holiday still goes on and the cheap chocolates are coming. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. 🙂

Did You Know: Earth’s Oceans

The Earth is covered in about 71% percent water. Most of life on Earth depends on water for survival. People travel to our oceans to swim in them, surf their waves, and explore them, but how much do we really know about the depths below our surface? Here’s a few things you might not know about Earth’s oceans.

– Our deep seas hold more antiques and treasures than all of the museums combined in the world.

-The Mid-Oceanic Range is the longest mountain range in the world and exists underwater. It runs for 35,000 miles. It has peaks higher than those in the Alps.

-We know more about the moon’s surface and Mars’s surface than the depths of Earth’s oceans. 12 people have stepped foot on the moon and only three have stepped foot in the Mariana Trench, which is the deepest part of the ocean, about 7 miles down.

-94% of Earth’s life is aquatic.

-The Great Barrier Reef spans over 1,600 miles and is the greatest living structure on the family. It can even be seen from space!

-Half of United States territory lies below the ocean.

-The average depth of the ocean is 12,400 feet. Light can only penetrate 330 feet, so most of our planet is in constant darkness.

-The water of Earth’s oceans takes around a thousand years to travel all around the globe.

-At the ocean’s deepest point, the water pressure is the equivalent of having 50 jumbo jets on top of you.

-Tamu Massif, the world’s largest underwater volcano is as big as the state of New Mexico.

There’s some much to be discovered about Earth’s oceans and it’ll be exciting to see how technology improves in the years ahead and our ability to explore our oceans improve as well. Whether or not this information is new, now you know something new about Earth’s oceans.

Did You Know: Earth's Oceans

Congratulations to the New England Patriots for grabbing the Super Bowl! Have a great week!