Valentine’s Day: Covid-19 Edition

By Jacqueline Pernice

February 12, 2021

Yeah, I know, yet another Valentine’s Day is here. Look, I don’t blame you for dreading the day. February 14th is either your day to feel special or, it’s the day where you wish hell upon anyone in a relationship. 

  Valentine’s Day is the time for gifts, flowers, and candy to be exchanged between loved ones, all under the name of St. Valentine. Weird, right? The fable was that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. The Emperor at the time, Claudius II made the executive decision to ban marriage for young men. He believed that single men made better soldiers than those with families. As a priest, Valentine believed Claudius’s actions were unjust and continued to marry lovers in secret. When the Emperor found out, he ordered St. Valentine to be killed at once. He was beheaded outside of Rome, so I guess that’s that.

  I know Valentine’s Day certainly isn’t the ideal day for those who may not be in a relationship, but honestly, who cares? Either way, you can still make it fun. Whoever said that chocolate and flowers can only come from a lover? No one. Exactly.

  Valentine’s Day is still a holiday, so use it! You may as well treat yourself to a day of self-love and care – everybody needs a little. First things first, spa day! Pull out all the stops, starting with a nice bubble bath alongside a book of your choice, some candles, and maybe even a few chocolates. Maybe even throw a manicure and pedicure in there. Relationship or not, it’s always fun to throw on a good rom-com and just binge. Eat Pray Love is one of my favorite choices, following Julia Roberts as she travels the world, taking on each location independently, and finding her motivation and empowerment within the chaotically peaceful world surrounding her. 

  Now, if you are in a relationship, COVID-19 has certainly made this holiday quite the challenge. The normal go-to restaurants that you may be spending a magical date at are most likely closed down, solely takeout, or, if you’re lucky, outdoor dining only. Yeah, it’s sucky. But here in LA, creativity is always the answer. 

  If you’re looking for something adventurous, try a new restaurant around you. Pick up to-go from a nearby kitchen and do a picnic in the park. In Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, you can sit in the grass surrounded by Egyptian date palms and sweet bay trees. Not far away, you can also relax next to the koi ponds in the Doris Japanese Gardens. 

  Next up would be the recent comeback of the drive-in movie date. Drive-in movies are offered around LA, giving you a quarantine taste of that Hollywood glam. The Drive-in Theatre at the Hollywood Roosevelt has movie after movie lined up for this Valentine’s Day weekend. From Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Casablanca, there is quite a variety.  

  Following the flower theme, The Huntington Gardens are the place to be, with 120 acres of themed gardens and plants to explore. Flowers are in full bloom, with the smell of peach, citrus, and blossoms in the air. However, you must still purchase tickets online ahead of time. 

  Last, but not least, plan an at-home date night with your own personal twist. Maybe do something you’ve always wanted to try together, do a cook-off, or do an online escape room. Your options are limitless with the internet at your fingertips, just be creative. 

  Whether it’s a Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, or something in between, make the best of it. Amidst the pandemic, there can still be those cherishable moments, it’s all up to you. 

Coincidence or Charisma?

By Jaqueline Pernice

February 4, 2021

Most people have now come across the term, manifesting, whether it be through social media, family, or friends. The concept of manifestation has been becoming more and more popular over the years. It’s a simple idea that resonates with the Law of Attraction. The idea is that positive or negative thoughts will bring positive or negative experiences into your life, essentially, thoughts can become realities. 

The truth is, we are always manifesting. When we bring attention and intention into our life, that’s manifesting. When you give out positive energy, positivity will come back to you. Same goes for when you give out negative energy, you will receive negativity. The concept can be both amazing and a little scary. Manifesting is basically just humans putting energy into their thoughts, which begs the question, “If I do that everyday, why don’t I have all that I want?”  Manifestation is a simple process, but depending on the ask, not a quick one. 

Through manifesting, words and thoughts can have the power to become more. If you can envision and will it to life, there is a possibility that it will happen. When manifesting, it’s always crucial to have a clear intention. There are so many different ways to manifest, all that work differently for every individual. 

Many people use techniques, attracting whatever they would like into their lives, however the key is, you have to think about it the right way. Many people think of it as a wish, like “I wish I had a brand new car in my life”. Instead, change your thoughts to, “I am so grateful that I have a new car in my life”. As silly as it sounds, the universe believes you have already obtained this item, and therefore it will consequently lead you to it. 

Manifesting is always about the future and looking forward in life, but it’s always important, in both manifestation and real life, to be grateful. Being grateful for your life, what you have and what’s showing up releases positive energy into the universe. By physically reflecting on what you have that is positive or negative, you can work out what you’d like in the future. One simple way to do this is by creating a vision board. Vision boards are a popular way of manifesting. Creating a board of images, words, quotes, or whatever you wish for is a way of manifesting and welcoming into your life the hopes and dreams you want to accomplish. 

Another technique that you may have heard of is the 3, 6, 9 method. While not nearly as fun and entertaining as the vision boards, the method still works just as well. The idea is that you write down your desire in a particular sequence; 3 times in the morning, 6 times in the afternoon, and 9 times at night. Others use the method by writing out the focus three times, the intention six times, and the action nine times. 

The biggest thing about manifestation is patience. Nothing will happen overnight, and nothing will happen by not being proactive. You can’t just sit back and expect everything to come to you. You have to work for it, strive for it, and put in the effort. Manifestation isn’t like a genie in a bottle, you have to work for what you wish, and manifestation gives you the opportunity at what you wish. It opens doors for you and gives you chances you may have never thought to have. 

Manifestation isn’t for everybody. You may think it’s  completely insane to believe  in this, but that doesn’t matter. Call it the power of positive thinking or simply coincidence, it’s not hurting anyone so why not try it? You never know what could happen, so what’s the harm in giving it a try? You have nothing to lose, but lots to possibly gain. It’s all up to you.

Human Trafficking Awarness Month

Maya Mellberg

January 28, 2020

Human trafficking awarness month is January 2021, and it is an important time to educate ourselves on the current cases taking place today. Not only is it important to educate ourselves, but our community in order to notice the signs of trafficking and make a difference to help potential victims. Trafficking is not only happening in our country, but worldwide; it has become an international issue with The International Labor Organization estimates “there are 40.3 million victims of human trafficking globally, with hundreds of thousands in the United States. The victims of this crime in the U.S. are men and women, adults and children, and foreign nationals and U.S. citizens.” This number is constantly growing as more people become victims to dangerous and inhumane trafficking rings.

   Human trafficking is a major issue worldwide, in honor of January 2021 being human trafficking awareness month, it is important to address serious issues regarding sexual exploitation, forced labor, domestic servitude, and organ harvesting. 

   Uyghur Muslims are victims of trafficking and genocide; in China, Uyghurs are being exploited and forced to work in Xinjiang’s “labor programs”. “It is believed about one million Uighur people have been detained over the past few years in what the Chinese state defines as “re-education” camps”(BBC). Not only are they being trafficked to work in factories across the country, but the Chinese government is also attempting to destroy their culture as part of cultural genocide. Women are forcibly having their ovaries removed and forced to take birth control in order to prevent the growth of the Uyghur population. The Chinese government either fines mothers with a number of children that exceed their legal limit, or force expecting mothers to have abortions. If they do not follow through with the abortion women are “being threatened with internment in the camps for refusing to abort pregnancies that exceed birth quotas.”(BBC), making this a clear cultural genocide. 

  Thousands have already been killed by the Chinese government, and they are continuing their search for Uygurs throughout China. Huawei, a Chinese technology company, is now aiding the Chinese government with this genocide with the use of  a new patent mentioning the use of facial recognition technology to find those of Ugyhur descent. According to CNBC “patented technology can be used to identify the attributes of a pedestrian, for example. One attribute that can be recognized is “race.” Uighurs are referenced as one “race” that can be detected by Huawei’s system.” In essence this will allow the Chinese government to take anyone targeted by this new technology to the concentration camps. 

  Human trafficking is also a major issue in the United States. It is estimated that about 20,000 people are trafficked into the United States every year, with this number increasing annually. It is also estimated that in the U.S, 200,000 children are at risk of being trafficked into the sex industry. During the pandemic, there has also been an impact on human trafficking. Criminals are finding victims online through social media and luring potential victims by agreeing to drop drugs off at their homes. This has become much easier for criminals as school programs and interventions are essentially non-existent. Child predators are now finding ways to further exploit children knowing they are spending large amounts of time online and isolated. Although COVID-19 has made an impact on the transportation of victims, these predators are finding new tactics to get victims, leading to a new generation of human trafficking victims.

Are Hallmark Movies Whitewashed?

By: Colin Murphy

December 15, 2020

Hallmark movies are famously known for their movie posters that feature white, heterosexual couples surrounded by beautiful landscapes and Christmas lights. Not only are these movies ridiculously silly and over-the-top festive, but they represent more than just what is seen in these films. These Hallmark movies represent a culture that is unwilling to change throughout societal pushes for diversity. In recent years, the Hallmark Channel has received a lot of negative pushback for their lack of diversity. 

In 2019, Hallmark released a record number of 24 Hallmark Christmas movies. Only four of which featured a black lead character. Some people complained that it was less than Hallmark’s 2018 movie’s  five out of 21 black lead characters, but that completely misses the point. This type of debate should not come down to a percentage difference, 24% in 2018 and only 16% in 2019. That statistic completely fails to show their lack of diversity in religion and sexuality. Streaming service Netflix and cable channel Freeform both show diversity in their holiday films. Freeform does not produce nearly the same amount of Christmas films as the Hallmark Channel does, yet they still have made steps to further diversify the stories that they do feature. 

In 2019, the channel released “Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas” and “Same time, Next Christmas”. Both of these featured films have leads of color in addition to other cast members who are people of color. Clearly, Freeform has put in their effort to further diversify their films and has increased their stories that are representative of their viewership. This use of teen romance and animation does a great job of expanding the scope of the holidays. Netflix’s lineup attempts to break molds and they succeed at showing more than just another happy couple. Their attempts are much more than what we’ve seen from Hallmark. 

Although the first Hallmark Christmas movie was only released in 2002, the “Countdown to Christmas” block was not released until 2010. Since then, the Hallmark Channel has released hundreds of holiday films. All of these films feature the seemingly familiar yet safe storylines over and over again, each with their own slight twists. 

Why are these movies that just repeat the same storyline each and every year with little to no diversity still so popular? Well, Hallmark movies are notably profanity free and steer clear of any sexual scenes or significant drama. It’s believed that these factors have a strong impact on Hallmarks viewership as their movies are watched during the holiday season when families are more likely to gather around the television together.  By avoiding significant drama, the Hallmark Channel believes they are trying their best to be as noncontroversial as possible. 

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter  Crown Media family Networks’ CEO Bill Abbott said, “In terms of broadening out the demographic, it’s something we’re always thinking about, always considering and we’ll continue to make the movies where the best scripts are delivered to us and what we think have the most potential.” Abbott continues on to say that with all the work that goes into reviewing scripts, and with the network releasing several dozen original titles a year, there just is not enough time to spend emphasizing diverse casting. 

Ultimately, the Hallmark Channel seems to be content with their movies released each year as they mean no harm with their little to no diversity in their films. 

New Year’s Resolutions

By: Joseph Kurtz

December 15, 2020

The year of 2020 is coming to an end. This means New Years is just around the corner, so it’s time to start creating new goals for the coming year. Unfortunately the circumstances of this year have changed the way that we celebrate certain holidays. For example, Thanksgiving was recently canceled in the county of Los Angeles because of the difficulties resulting from the pandemic. Basically you weren’t allowed to go to any restaurant or have large family gatherings.  Despite these challenges, there is still hope for this New Year’s holiday. One of the biggest traditions of New Year’s is to make New Year’s resolutions. According to Cambridge university, a New Year’s resolution is a promise or goal that you make on New Years. According to YouGov, “the most common ones are exercising more (50%), saving money (49%), eating more healthily (43%), and losing weight (37%)”. Though there is no reason to feel obligated to make one of those New Year’s resolutions.  

Here are some New Year resolutions that you may want to consider.  The first New Years resolution that you may want to consider is to go on more hikes. This one is very similar to the exercising resolution, but it requires you to spend more time with nature, which is needed more than ever (just remember to bring a coat). The second New Year’s resolution to consider is going to more small businesses. This one will not only help the struggling business but it also gives you something fun to do for the holidays. Small businesses definitely need our help because of this difficult pandemic. The third New Years resolution is to recycle more. This one may seem strange at first, but when you start to collect all of the Amazon boxes and hand sanitizer bottles that you have, you start to see just how much you can recycle (plus you get some cash for just recycling). The fourth New Years resolution is to be on a screen less. This one could be difficult (especially if the epidemic continues) though I believe its best. Society today requires us to be on a screen everyday and to be honest that is not the healthiest. 

Another New Year’s resolution we could all use is best described as picking a new hobby. Most people probably did this at the start of quarantine, but it’s always important to discover and start a new hobby. Starting your own colony of small organisms is a great and unique new hobby. It might sound strange to own a colony of anything, but it is surprisingly quite relaxing and a very beautiful hobby. If you want to see what it’s like to own an ant colony, AntsCanada’s youtube channel has a selection of videos all about ant farms. Or maybe you will decide to start an aquarium. Start by doing some research on the marine animal you would like to raise as some species will not coexist peacefully.  There’s no permit necessary to start an aquarium which makes the process a bit smoother. SerpaDesign’s youtube channel offers some videos that display different and intricate aquarium designs. 

This last New Year’s resolution is about doing altruistic activities. According to Merriam – Webster altruism is a behavior that is not beneficial; or is harmful to oneself but is beneficial for someone else. We could all use a little kindness nowadays. Volunteering is a great way of fulfilling these resolutions, and it’s one of the few activities we are still able to do. Recently, at a church in Santa Barbara there were volunteers feeding the homeless. In sum it doesn’t matter if your New Year’s resolutions are about sleeping or exercising.  The main point is to commit to a new goal for the year. 

The Holiday Confectionary Breakdown

By Isabella Howe

December 15, 2020

After what seems like an action-packed, stressful, and chaotic year we have made it to the last stretch of the year, and arguably the most enjoyable time of year, the holidays. The season of celebrations has arrived, and with every celebration, there is an accompanying feast. Dinner tables are a collection of mom’s crip rosemary turkey, dad’s roasted pomegranate Brussel sprouts, and grandpa’s sweet strawberry and rhubarb pies. There is finally an excuse to start excessively baking the hundreds of desserts that have been collecting dust in your Pinterest boards. If you aren’t already prepared with a collection of recipes, here is your archive for finding holiday dessert ideas and recipes.

It’s always necessary to have a good breakfast recipe under your belt in preparation for any surprise brunch gatherings. In an attempt to stay festive and in the theme of sweets, Half Baked Harvest has created the delicacy known as “Baked Cinnamon Creme Brulee French Toast with Raspberry Preserve”. This breakfast dish puts a spin on the simplicity of french toast and utilizes the tartness of the raspberry to subtly mute the sweetness of the sugary creme soaked toast. The ingredients and measurements necessary for this recipe include ¼ cup real maple syrup, ½ cup brown sugar, 6 tablespoons of melted butter, 8 large beaten eggs, 2 ½ cups of whole milk, 3 tablespoons of Grand Marnier (or any type of orange liqueur), 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, 1 loaf of thickly sliced challah bread, 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1-ounce raspberry preserve, and whipped cream for serving. After greasing your 9×13 inch baking pan, combine maple syrup, brown sugar, and butter and spread that mixture on the bottom of the dish. Next whisk the eggs, milk, Grand Marnier, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until well combined. Dunk each slice of challah into the liquid allowing for a one minute soak, and then place it in the baking dish in a semi-organized manner. Pour the remaining egg mixture over the slices in the dish, then take this dish and cover it and place it in the fridge for any time past an hour. Once taken out place in a 375-degree oven and bake for 45-50 min or until french toast looks golden. While baking takes your raspberry preserve in a saucepan and dilute it with about ½ a cup of water, let simmer until warm. Best while served warm with a generous spread of both cream and raspberry preserve. 

I think it’s fitting to say that the holiday season can and should also be known as pie season. During the holiday season bakeries turn out dozens of pies in hopes of satisfying everyone’s demand for the quintessential holiday dessert. Though, arguably, after years of eating the classic buttery pie crust with the cinnamon-spiced apple filling, things can start to become quite monotonous. Though there are ways to still stay true to the tradition of pie while introducing a new take to the structure and flavor of it. The French dish Tarte Tatin is an upside-down apple tart made with caramelized apples laying on a bed of puff pastry. The Bon Appetit kitchen has created the recipe known as “Vanilla Bean Tarte Tatin” in which the following ingredients and measurements are necessary, 5 Pink lady or any other type of crisp peeled apples, ½ cup sugar, ½ of a split vanilla bean, 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt, and 1 sheet of thawed puff pastry (about 14 oz). Begin by preheating your oven to 425 degrees, and slice your apples into three lobes with cuts as close to the core as possible. Take around half of the sugar and sprinkle it on a 9-inch skillet with the vanilla seeds. Cook on medium heat until sugar begins caramelizing and the mixture has reached a pale amber color. Next, add in the rest of the sugar into the caramel and continue cooking until the sauce is a deep amber color. Take the butter, vinegar, and salt and mix it into the caramel. Once done add the apples onto the skillet, cut side down, and cook until they have released some of their juices and have slightly shrunk (this should take about 5-8 minutes). Next, turn apples over and arrange them so they are close together and barely overlap, and take off the heat. Roll out the puff pastry and cut into a size that will snuggly fit the skillet. After draping over the apples, place the skillet into the heated oven and let bake for around 20-25 minutes, and the pastry has puffed and slightly browned. Serve warm on its own, or with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Regardless of our personal dietary requirements or restrictions, everyone deserves to enjoy a dessert at a dinner party. For those of us who refrain from foods that contain gluten, coconut flan is a delicious dessert choice that requires no form of alternative in order to be gluten-free. Flan is a common and traditional dessert for many countries including Spain, Brazil, France, Italy, Portugal, Mexico, etc. Once again created by the Bon Appetit chefs, this dessert is a sweet and creamy pudding-like dish that integrates the nutty and floral flavors of coconut with the custard flavor of the condensed milk exquisitely. This coconut flan requires the following ingredients and measurements, 1 cup of sugar, 3 large eggs (at room temperature), one 14 oz can of condensed milk, one 13.5 oz can of unsweetened coconut milk, ¾ cups of evaporated skim milk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and ⅓ cup of unsweetened coconut flakes. Heat oven to 325 degrees and place a rack in the middle of the oven (this ensures the flan will bake evenly). Next, take a 10-inch glass pie dish and place it on top of a roasting pan. Take your sugar and place it in a saucepan with about ¼ cups of water and mix until sugar is dissolved (this should take about 3 minutes). It is important that while this mixture is heating that you occasionally swirl the pan and brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush (but do not stir) to prevent crystallization of the sugar. Continue doing this until the mixture reaches a deep amber color which should take 10-12 minutes. Do not wait, once done immediately pour the mixture into the pie dish and evenly coat the bottom with the thick mixture. Let this sit aside for around 10 minutes, and settle while you mix together and form the custard mixture. Take the eggs, condensed milk, coconut milk, evaporated milk, and vanilla and blend this together in a blender until it reaches a smooth liquid consistency. If there is a layer of thick foam remove with a spoon. Next, take this mixture and strain it through a cheesecloth or a clean dish towel. Pour liquid into the pie dish. Place the pie dish that is in the roasting pan into the oven and carefully pour hot water into the roasting pan surrounding the pie dish until the water comes up to about ½ way up the sides of the pan. Bake this until the flan is still a little jiggly but still set in the center and slightly gold. This should take around 50-55 minutes. Once cooled and ready to serve, run the knife around the pie dish’s circumference and flip the pan onto a plate to invert the flan. Garnish with coconut flakes. 

Baking is an activity that can be enjoyed when done as a family, with your friends, or simply by yourself. At times, if you let the process flow, it can become therapeutic. It allows for people to come together with the purpose of creating something delicious through the dynamic of collaboration. Why not try it this holiday season, even if the final product is not the tastiest, it will be enjoyable nonetheless.

How to Debate with Your Family

By Claire Buran

November 2, 2020

These are especially charged political times. Election day is rapidly approaching and things are quickly coming to a head the 1st week of November. Opinions and temperatures are rising fast as we approach a high stakes election by all accounts. This heated political season has seeped into our homes and onto our dinner table.  We are seeing nightly heated discussions in family homes across the country and within our own community. Doors are slamming,  food is being left unfinished on plates. 

So, what are kids supposed to do when current politics seem to rely on lies and bully tactics?  Where has the science that we learn every day gone, only ignored in current decision making?  How do we remain calm when our leaders fail to take any direct action to fix the existential crisis of climate change?  It’s enough to give a kid a headache.

Traditionally, young people living at home tend to align with their parents beliefs regarding political views until we have a chance to experience life and develop our views. But in our current world full of easy access to information through social media and online news sources online, it is a lot easier to follow the issues and understand different points of view. In this new world, political divisions are showing up even before we’ve left for college. 

We have all likely heard the same claims that we are “just” kids and our opinions tend to be viewed as  naive, inexperienced, lacking real world exposure.  How are we supposed to find our voices at the dinner table? How are we supposed to state our views and opinions effectively without being disregarded or setting off an argument? 

Senior Kira Smit says, “While we can usually have calm discussions, there have been a few that haven’t been, it’s just frustrating sometimes because my dad  is much more informed than me and so it’s sometimes difficult for me to articulate my points. He counters my points with his own, since he has more information. He usually ends up dominating the conversation since he seems to be more knowledgeable.” 

Junior Juliana Simpson says, “occasionally there are calm conversations but sometimes there are certain topics that you cannot stay calm while discussing them.”

So here is a compiled list of suggestions to help avoid the heated discussions, avoid major family divisions and ensure you get to finish eating your dinner in harmony. 

Avoid all political discussion.  While that is a guaranteed way to avoid political arguments, it seems extreme and misses the point of talking around the family dinner table.  In other words, the point of having discussions is to listen, consider, reconsider or convince others.  You will never change someone’s mind if you can’t find effective ways to express your own thoughts and this is a great chance to learn these communication skills required for the adult future ahead.   As students, we need to learn to express our opinions, support our core beliefs effectively in the adult world. So this solution is just temporary. 

Know your facts and source of your information.  In order to be persuasive it is critical to state facts.  While the absence of common facts is a new phenomenon later, there should always be a common core set of information or result that form the basis for the discussions.  We might all disagree with the steps needed to fix a problem but it helps to at least agree there is a problem.  Effective discussions with parents, requires knowing your facts and where you read it or base your statement. For adults to take you seriously, you have to prove yourself which means if you have to cite your sources even. 

Use direct follow-up questions.  Feel free to call out your parents if they are just repeating their own assumptions and not using facts.  Those follow-up questions can poke holes in their seemingly super amount of information or experience.  You can avoid conversations turning into lectures by questioning the basis of someone’s facts effectively which levels the playing field a lot.  Examples like “What is the basis of your opinion that Covid -19 is going away? What statistics are you using to claim that we are rounding the corner?  What specific study says that masks are harmful in any way?  Which scientific research paper supports the idea that climate change is not occurring?  Which 

Stay calm.  Do you best to stay calm. No matter how frustrated you get,  if you get upset it will only reinforce that you are just an emotional teen. To stay calm in the face of unsupported arguments, or condescending parental attitudes, try considering that our parents are in a different stage of life and prioritize different things than you. They grew up in a different world and there are rapid and substantial changes that affect every generation as they age.  Remember that change is disruptive and harder to accept as we all age.  We are still forming our own opinion and have a lot less investing in our “political” identities.  Imagine how scary it is to be wrong after 50 plus years of learning and experience.

Avoid personal attacks. Don’t call them “old, ignorant or afraid”. Try to keep an open mind and remember that at the end of the day, they pay the bills and find a way to support us on our paths of learning and growth and we love them.

Image by Isabella Howe

Your Guide to the Top Fall Fashion Trends

By Jacqueline Pernice

October 27, 2020

The end of summer has come, leaving the sunny days and warm weather behind. As the leaves start to turn, everything changes along with it. The new fall drinks and pumpkin-spiced items return to the menu, and the Thanksgiving shopping begins. The days are beginning to get cooler and sweater season is approaching. As the new fall fashion makes it debut, the new trends of the season start to appear. 

Starting with faux fur, Cruella DeVille makes her way back into the scene. The fur jackets and sweaters take bougie to the next level, giving your simple jeans and a casual shirt a confident yet comfy picturesque look. For a night out in LA, throw any faux fur coat over a monochrome outfit, or over a silk slip dress to give it some elegance. Up on the rise, during New York Fashion Week, there was nothing but faux fur, and better yet, brightly colored/patterned faux fur has even reached Vogue. If that isn’t enough to sell you on the idea, faux fur lasts longer than animal fur, it’s easier to clean, store, and overall cheaper. Faux fur, both environmentally friendly and fashionable.

Next up, fringe returns to the runway. The fringe trend was first created by ancient Mesopotamians. Fringe was used mainly in skirts and shawls, used to embellish garments. It came in a variety of styles; hanging straight, knotted, or tied into unique designs. In the later years of Mesopotamia, fringe became increasingly more elegant. Fringes that had been dyed in all kinds of shades, or layered in tiers, were introduced into the market. The fringe concept began to grow and develop, from becoming a part of Native American culture (used to help repel rain by traveling down the tassels, away from the body) to adding a strike of rebellion.

Even though fringe may be just a small detail, it adds the necessary touch to any outfit. If on just a plain pair of pants or a dull denim jacket, the texture of the fringe brings out your insurgent side.
Continuing with the autumn aesthetic, jewel tones and colors are coming back. Shades like citrine, emerald, ruby, and sapphire are returning to the scene. These darker, laid back tones attribute to the cozy feeling of fall, giving you a chic yet casual look. More neutral and nude tones are also back in season. Designers are finally beginning to take a hint and create pieces in nudes of all skin tones. From deep browns to warm camel hues, shades of nude are the colors to choose from this season.

Next up is the famous look first worn by Cher from every teen’s favorite movie, Clueless. Her preppy look, along with everything Gossip Girl’s Blair Waldorf would have worn, paves the way for this fall trend. This year, instead of sharp tailoring and muted colors, the style is taking its incentive from Princess Diana’s ’80s looks and incorporating sporty elements, pastel colors, and so on. The trend is more of a style trend with a wide variety of looks. For example, instead of tying a sweater around your waist, drape it over your shoulders or knot it over a basic t-shirt. Another styling tip for either would be to layer a crew neck over a collared shirt, leaving the collar exposed. To add to the look, wear a ribbed sweater vest over the collared shirt, giving you a preppy yet chic appearance.

Lastly, returning for the holiday season, metallics resurface. The gorgeous golds, silver, and bronzes bring the final touch. The extra pizazz gives an eye-catching twist, however, you must keep one thing in your mind; do not go overboard. Metallics are supposed to underline your individuality. By wearing a metallic top, pants, midi, or mini skirt, you create a statement expressing your character. However, if you want to show off your sophistication, try a metallic dress or blazer. The final look gives off a strong impression, both extravagant and “voguish”.

A Change in Celebration

 By Isabella Howe

October 27, 2020

The season of Autumn has finally arrived and that means it’s time to take the blankets out of the cupboard, stock up on hot cocoa mix and tea, and prepare for the most anticipated day of the season, Halloween. In the past, the Halloween tradition for the kids of Malibu consisted of gathering in Malibu West or The Colony to spend the night trick or treating amongst friends. However, due to the pandemic, this year will require a change in traditional Malibu celebrations. If this year you decide to opt-out of the usual Malibu traditions because of health concerns, here are a number of ideas on how to still have a memorable Halloween. 

Have a horror Halloween movie night with friends by using Google Chrome’s extension Netflix Party. The extension allows for multiple people to view the same movie at the same time. While viewing the film participants can text with one another using their chat feature. With the use of Netflix Party, this Halloween, you could enjoy a scary movie with your friends while still maintaining a safe distance. Grab a bag of candy and some popcorn, start the movie, and enjoy Halloween through a different lens.

Bake a collection of fall-themed desserts with your family over the holiday. A quick Google search will provide you with endless possibilities for recipes. Whether it’s your first time baking or you are a baking protege, Google always has a selection of recipes for all skill levels. You can even attempt to create a homemade version of your favorite Halloween candy. If you have certain dietary restrictions, this can be a fun project. It allows you to enjoy Halloween candy without any health risks as you now know exactly what ingredients are being used. Recruit your family to help you out in the kitchen, turn on a Halloween playlist, and go get your hands dirty.

Go visit some COVID safe Halloween attractions. Many theme parks and communities have created events known as drive-through experiences where you and your family can watch a Halloween themed show from your car. Netflix TV show, Stranger Things, has created a drive-through experience that will take place on the thirty first of this month. You will have the ability to watch a show consisting of actors, special effects, and sets from the comfort of your car ( Griffith Park has also taken on to this trend by shifting their well known Los Angeles Haunted Hayride to a drive-through experience as well. They also plan to have actors, sets, and a huge screen for viewing their show ( So pack your family and close friends into the car, stop at the grocery store to stock up on some snacks, and go have an adventure in this new type of experience. 

Carve and decorate some pumpkins with your friends over facetime or zoom. If you decide to carve some pumpkins, you can go with the classic jack o lantern look or just go freestyle and try an intricate pattern or shape. You could also paint your pumpkin rather than carve it. Pinterest is a great resource when looking for some creative ideas if you decide to paint your pumpkin. You can coordinate with friends and set up a certain time to call one another so you and your friends can all craft together. After your carving session, you can then go roast your collection of pumpkin seeds for a crunchy fall snack. 

Halloween this year could also be spent with some good old alone time. Stop at Starbucks and grab a nice warm pumpkin spice latte to sip on. Then go home and make a cozy fort with a ton of blankets and pillows. Grab a mystery, thriller, or horror book and just enjoy the night getting deep into a book. 

The options are endless when it comes to celebrating the holidays. Everyone has a particular taste in how they like to spend their time. Nevertheless, we can all find a way to enjoy this year’s Halloween despite the circumstances.

The Real Coconut

By Sophia Pilot

October 19, 2020

   I was sitting underneath the umbrellas at the patio of the newly-opened Real Coconut Restaurant, snacking on a plate of decadent, gooey nachos, hard to believe it’s all, gluten, dairy, grain, corn, soy, oil, and refined sugar-free, but 100% delicious. Surrounded by happy families, six feet apart, of course, eating yucca fries, tacos, avocado toast, and ice cream shakes; this new Malibu eatery is a welcome addition. I followed the nachos with the Macho Pancakes with sides of organic maple syrup and berry compote to create the perfect end to a meal that will leave you feeling satisfied, but not sluggish.

   The Real Coconut opened its second location in Malibu on October 1st. Owners Daniella Hunter and husband Charlie are thrilled to bring their passion for sustainability and health to Malibu. In my conversion with Charlie, he explained that developer, Steve Soboroff approached the company with the idea of a second restaurant in the Park Complex, due to the success of their Real Coconut Co. products sold in Whole Foods, “We live close by and have been in the community for 30 years and it was important for Daniella and I that our first USA Real Coconut Conscious Kitchen had our presence as our Tulum, Mexico location in our hotel Sanara has had for the last six years.”

   The couple uses their knowledge of healthy digestion to construct a sustainable menu. Their fish is wild-caught, and they source all of their ingredients organically and locally. The owners recognize the impact ingredients have on the environment, “Weʼll always choose organic produce, wherever possible, and make no compromise in the sourcing of our animal proteins, using only organic, pasture-raised eggs and chicken, or wild-caught fish and seafood, from local farmers & fishermen.” The Real Coconut menu is centered around coconut, cassava, plantain, hemp, and marine phytoplankton which are nutrient-dense grains. 

   Daniella experimented with coconuts in her cooking as opposed to grains, rice, corn, and wheat, cultivating her love for sustainable cooking. Their organization works with the Influence Foundation (IF) as a resource for developing countries. The IF, along with the support of The Real Coconut, plan to feed 11 billion people by 2020. This goal will be achieved by reducing food waste, going on a plant-based diet, returning land to indigenous people, and supporting cooperatives to produce more tonnage per hectare (2.4 acres) on their lands. Charlie explains that “it’s going to require persistence to recognize how we feed 11 billion people by 2050. In our restaurants, our conscious commitments are to use low-impact crops that don’t require irrigated water and at the same time serve healthy yummy food for all the family.” 

   An assortment of Real Coconut Co. products is sold in Whole Foods and a variety of retailers. Their selection of products will also be offered in their market within the Restaurant. The restaurant also offers catering and delivery to locals which is a great alternative to eating out during the pandemic. 

   As the weather cools, I’ll be happy to swing by for an apple cider donut and chai tea with fresh coconut milk. It’s not cheap, but fresh food that nourishes the body and the environment comes at a price. The menu items and hours will expand within the next few weeks, so be sure to check