5 Things I Learned from a Coffee Shop

This past weekend my friend Lauren and I took a small trip to see our other hardworking, dedicated, and might I mention old, college best friends. College is a stressful time in life. Who am I kidding I haven’t been to college yet, but by the looks of Twitter, it’s pretty challenging. On our visit, we decided to mosey on down to a coffee shop to take away the stress of finals. The name of the shop was “Awaken.” That simple name got my brain juices following. Yes our brains have juices. I think. But anyways during that short time we were there, I learned many deep philosophical things. And here they are.

1. WAKE UP!!!!!                                                                        

Great! Now that you’re awake, get up and do something. Anything. Give your pet a bath. Play with your kids. Call a friend and talk to them. Go outside without your phone. Take a shower. Cook a meal. Get some exercise. Do something adventurous. My point is that life is too short. Duh. You only live once! Duh. But seriously. It’s good to have days when we can just kick back and rest, but we can’t kick back and rest every day of our lives. Our world needs us! Most importantly, we need our own selves to stay motivated and creative on days that feel like the end of the world. So if you’ve ever dreamed of doing something daring or extravagant or spontaneous, take the advice from the coffee shop and awaken yourself! YOLO!

2. IT’S OKAY TO BE HAPPY                                                  

Sometimes us humans like to hide our emotions because that’s what society tells us to do. We’re always being told that someone has it better, or what we’re doing isn’t good enough, or that we shouldn’t be happy for ourselves when we succeed because succeeding is already expected. Over time we start to listen to the world and lose the calmness that God has hand delivered to us in a pretty package. If you’re happy and you know it, don’t be afraid to clap your hands, stop your feet, and say “amen!”  

While my friends and I were sitting in this coffee shop sipping on our coffee and making our own s’mores. Yes you heard right. We had a little campfire going inside. Here’s proof.Back to the point. If you’ve ever been to a coffee shop it usually has many photo ops. For the people in the back with troubled hearing (I’ll say that instead of calling out all the old(er) people), ops means opportunities in modern-day language. So my friend Kenz and I started to scope out our set up and we found a few spots that had potential. Naturally, we started moving around the decor to use as props for the photos as you can see in the pictures below. The man who was working at the time just laughed at us the whole time. And so did everyone else that was in the shop. The thing about all the laughter is that it showed that we had something to laugh about. Something to help us forget about whatever stress we had in the back of our minds. Something that allows us to have a moment of peacefulness. And something to show us that in the midst of this messed up world, there are nice people who encourage you to keep doing what you’re doing. Like the kind people in the coffee shop. So don’t be ashamed to do something fun that you enjoy. If people stare, then good job you’re doing something right.

3. fuhgeddaboudit                                                                   

Take Donnie Brasco’s advice and just… wait for it… fuhgeddaboutit. Life tends to get busy and run away from our reach sometimes so it’s important to just forget about it every once in a while. I’m not saying to just keep pushing off your work and become a couch potato. Sometimes we just need a day to soak in everything we’re blessed with and get rid of the stress that hangs over us. A good book, a nice bubble bath, some yoga, or even a short walk should do the trick. Point being that every person on this earth, or might I say every hard-working person, deserves time off from his or her work whatever that may be. So don’t get caught up on things that aren’t pushed for time. Instead, take some time living in the moment. After all, we aren’t promised tomorrow.

4. Friends are Valuable                                                          

Do you ever find yourself saying “wow my friends are weird but I like them anyway”? Me too. But that’s what makes our friends… wait for it again… our friends. We get to bond with people who have the same hobbies and likeness as us. It’s just awesome to me that different humans with different views, morals, and attitudes can easily become a shoulder to lean on. A best friend is what most people call it. But what is a best friend you may ask? When I think about it, a best friend is someone who sees all of your flaws, but loves you anyway. Someone who always keeps you in the loop. Someone who you call or text at 3 in the morning to share a story that happened earlier that day. Someone who encourages you in all that you do. Someone that can dish your sarcasm back to you without hesitation. Someone that will tell you the truth about what outfit/ hairstyle looks best on you. It’s a person that will adventure with you whenever the time allows. Most importantly, a best friend is someone who you can sit in complete silence with and it not become awkward. That’s when you know that person is your BFF. When I was looking back at the day I had, I felt extremely blessed with the awesome friends I was surrounded by. You never know how much your friends rub off on you until years have passed and you’ve grown so much as a person. If you haven’t grown any (not physically), and you’ve instead went the opposite way down the root into the ground, then that’s probably a hint that your “friends” probably aren’t really your friends. If you caught my flower metaphor then great, but if you didn’t here’s a small visual. You begin as a little seed that can either rot and not grow at all, or grow into a beautiful sunflower (or the flower of your choice). Outside objects will try its best to knock you down, stomp on you, or just flat out eat you. But if you have strong support and get the opportunity to grow beautifully, then you’ll most likely be picked. To be someone’s best friend. Say it with me. Awwwwww. That’s the whole point of friendships. We couldn’t get through certain situations without their continuous support and patience. And overtime they help us grow for the better. So if you have that type of friendship, never take it for granted. And thank your friends right now for being awesome.

5. Coffee is Confusing                                                              

I think I can speak for everyone on the fact that coffee names are quite confusing to figure out. Of course the coffee can’t just speak to us and tell us what they are like because, like I said, they want to be confusing. Some people would compare it to a teenage girl. You can ask my friends, I literally always order what they order because they have way more knowledge than I do on what sort of coffee is needed at the moment. I have learned about a few facts that pertain to the confusing words written on a chalk board in a different language at a coffee shop though. Be prepared to be enlightened. Black coffee is just coffee that’s black- I only added this one to make my list longer. Iced coffee is just coffee with ice- this one as well. Chai has a spicy taste to it that doesn’t go well with a raw tongue. I learned that the hard way. And people get mad when “espresso” is pronounced as “expresso.” As you can tell, I’m a coffee pro. But really, if you’re stuck at the front of the line and don’t know what to get, you have 2 options. Ask the person taking your ordering their favorite drink and get that, or just simply get what your friend gets. I know by experience that 99.9% of the time neither of these 2 options will end well, so it’s best to just find out what you like before ordering.                                                                                                                       

Who knew that a simple coffee shop would contain so many life lessons. If you didn’t get anything out of these life lessons, then at least you found out a few coffee facts that you probably already knew. Shoutout to all the coffee shops out there. Keep up the good work!



Prom on a Budget

I recently attended my last prom as a high schooler. I went through many trial and errors since my first prom to make sure my senior prom wasn’t a disaster. My mom was even impressed on how much money I saved preparing for prom since my brother’s prom experience was more expensive than mine. She was so impressed that she kept nagging me to make a blog post about it. So here I am. A week after prom. Sharing the easiest ways to be nice to your bank account on prom night.

As we all know, prom has sadly (or happily) come and gone for most of us high schoolers. Although the glam and the glitz allows us girls to finally have our princess fairytale, the money that comes along with being a princess (we’ll pretend that we’re actual princesses) is over-the-top. I think our parents can agree with me on this one. It actually isn’t fair how guys can just rent out a tux for the night and brush through their hair one swift time and bam they’re ready and rushing their date out the door (or if you’re like me and didn’t have a date, moms do the same thing) and us princesses need weeks of preparation. What? Weeks? Are you out of your mind? Well maybe, but if you talk to any girl who has went to prom they will agree with me. So you might be saying “okay Kelsey get to your point, I’m trying to save money here.” Well good news, hold onto your panties because your mind is about to be blown.

The first thing girls need for prom is a freshly coated set of fingernails and toenails. Most of the time, we call a few weeks or even months before prom to get a nail appointment. So yes, I lied earlier it takes longer than weeks to prep. Oops. Here is the first hack of how to get pretty nails without spending a fortune. You paint them. But Kelsey why would I paint my own nails when I could just pay 40 bucks for them to fall off eventually. Exactly. Prom is one night. Your nails will hold up for one night I promise. But Kelsey what if I want a cute design on them? Good question. Walgreens has the answer so check there for easy stick on prints to add that glitz to your nails.

The next problem that us girls encounter is HAIR. Maybe you have too much or too little or just enough. Still, the perfect up do can make or break our emotions for that night. The key is to not pick your hairstyle the day of or it will result with tears on your light-colored dress. Nobody wants an emotional break down on their prom night so save yourself the tears and the Clorox sticks and choose your hairstyle before hand. Then have whoever plans to fix it on prom night to practice a few days before to make sure you like it. But Kelsey how does that save money? That’s the easy part. Just don’t pay. It’s that easy. I’m not saying to dine and ditch with your fresh locks. I am saying that there is SOMEONE you know of that can fix your hair for you whether it being your mom, friend, or even yourself.

Now that we’ve saved a small amount of cash, we have room to splurge only to save even more cash. Makeup meltdowns happen when someone else does your makeup and you’re too afraid to tell them that you don’t like it so you wait until the moment you see your mom to cry it all off. We don’t want makeup meltdowns so here’s how you avoid them. Do your own makeup. But Kelsey I don’t know how to do winged eyeliner and I don’t know which eye shadows, lipstick, or blush will match my dress. Have no fear because Pinterest is here! Hop on the Pinterest train and search “prom makeup” and then you’ll be a pro. Once you’ve found the colors you think you want on your face, head down to your local convenient store and purchase whatever makeup you don’t have of your own. The tricky part is to by the cheapest but best quality product because, again, you’ll only need it for one night.

Now that you have your Pinterest inspired prom look, you see that the girls in the photos have all sorts of accessories. Bracelets, necklaces, head pieces, you name it. So you look at shops to find your perfect pieces only to find out that it all costs an arm and a leg. Don’t feel intimidated. There is a solution. Make it. But Kelsey I don’t get it make what? Make your own jewelry. For example, this year my friend McKenzie insisted that I have some sort of head-piece in my hair. So we surfed the web to find the perfect “Vanessa Hudgens bohemian Coachella inspired hair piece” only to find out that there was no way we would have time to order one online. So we put our brains to work and realized that we had all the supplies to make one ourselves. All you need is old necklaces and a chain clipper. We popped that hair piece out in 5 minutes tops. If you don’t have the skills or time or patience to make your own, you can always just look for a cheaper alternative at a thrift store. Trust me, no one will notice.

Now the most important part. The dress. Buying the perfect dress is torture and I think most girls can agree with me. There’s nothing better than being surrounded by beautiful girls trying to find their dresses with their moms gasping at how beautiful they look and you’re wishing your mom would’ve taken you out to lunch after the dress extravaganza instead of before so you could actually fit into the abnormally small dresses. Just kidding I could think of a lot more things better than that. However after the day is over and we have our perfect dress, the stress and bickering has finally come to an end and we realize how fun it actually was to try on dresses. Kelsey, you’re rambling again get to your point. Oh, right I almost forgot. Instead of trying on the dresses you like before looking at the price tag or noticing the price tag before hand and trying it on anyways just for funzies. Don’t. Just don’t. I know it will be hard but it will be worth it. Find cheaper alternatives instead and think of ways to fix the parts you don’t like. You will find one dress that has potential and then you’ll know what I’m talking about. If your grandmother is a sewing pro, ask her to help you. If not, take it to an alterations store. Get the dress altered the way you want it and boom you have your Cinderella-dressed-in-yella dress.

After prom, you start to head toward your eating destination that you’ve already reserved. Yes, that’s me telling you that it’s a great idea to reserve a table before hand. But you realize that the restaurant that you’re going to is super expensive. No problemo! Just order off the kid’s menu, or better yet just order the cheapest meal. Also, order water. That’s a given.

Once your tummy is nice and full, it’s time for activities. During your prom planning meeting with your friends you notice that their suggestions involve paying your other arm and leg. We don’t want that to happen so collect yourself. Stay Calm. Don’t worry. Gently tell them that you read a blog post about how to save money on prom night. That will catch their attention. There’s plenty of wholesome things to do for fun after prom without getting arrested. You could go to someone’s house that’s in your group and have a bonfire and laugh (or cry) your night away by telling stories and catching up. Or you could project a movie onto a white sheet outside. The only advice I have is to not tell your siblings about your plan to watch a scary movie. Outside. In the dark. Next to the woods. From one scaredy cat to another, just avoid telling the pranksters in your family. This next activity is for all the competitive people out there. A scavenger hunt around your town. This, too, can be found on Pinterest by simply searching “prom night scavenger hunt.” It’s that simple.

Bada bing bada boom. There we have it, folks, a nice quality, common sense list on how to save money for prom. I have no doubt in my mind that over half the girls that go to prom already do these things. For the girls that have many proms left to go to and are desperate to save a buck or two, these tips will save your lives. And here’s the finished look.