Monday, January 25, 2010

Winter Bargain Shopping

Between post-holiday shopping and the overall state of the economy right now, most people, especially teens, can’t afford to do all of our shopping at Nordstrom and other expensive department stores.

Fortunately, the end of January is the best time to shop the end of winter sales for great buys!

Below are several stores in the Greater Seattle Area ranging in price points that are currently having sales or regularly sell for bargain prices.

Aritzia- Women’s clothing store in Bellevue Square with higher end clothing, but their winter sale features top designers such as Seven for all Mankind, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and See by Chloe for 25-75% off.

Buffalo Exchange- Always a good place to find some new or used clothes for bargain deals, on University Way, clothing for men and women. 4530 University Way Northeast, Seattle, WA 98105; (206) 545-0175

Best-Kept Secret- in Bellevue offers brand-name clothing for women, men and children. Store hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. 102 Bellevue Way N.E.; 425-637-0363.

Everyday Music- Extensive collection of used CDs and DVDs. 112 Broadway Ave. E. Seattle, WA 98102

H&M- You can always find low prices here, but the current winter sale features H&M’s trendy clothes for ridiculously low prices. Various locations including University Village and Downtown Seattle.

Also check out small boutiques around the Seattle area, most of them have sales around this time of year to get rid of their winter merchandise, so check it out and support local businesses!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pay it Forward- by Giving Back!

Hey Faithful Readers,

With all that's going on in relief efforts in Haiti after the Jan 12th earthquake that demolished much of the capitol, I've been thinking about what it means to give back.

Most schools have graduation requirements of a certain amount of hours of community service you must complete.
What are your thoughts on this?

Do you think community service would still be done by teens without these requirements? Do you think it's important- or necessary- to give back to our community and do service? What would happen if these service requirements did not exist? Do you think it should be mandatory, like many schools are making it to be now?

With that said, most of us know why we have to (have to?) volunteer. Along with the obvious, helping the community, it does benefit you. Colleges look at what you have done, it looks good on resumes, can help you figure out what kind of job you want in the future, and- hopefully- it benefits you by making you feel good that YOU have made a difference!

So, if you do volunteer, why do you do it? Multiple reasons? If you don't, what is the reason? I'm sure we all know how busy our schedules can get and volunteering falls to the last on the list!

With this new year upon us (two thousand- 10, or twenty-10???!) maybe a new year's resolution could be to do those volunteer hours- for whatever reason or cause YOU believe in! 2010 seems like a year of change- and who better to change things than OUR generation!?

To get started with volunteering, and why it benefits YOU, check this website out!

Also, if you're looking for a simple way to give to the relief efforts in Haiti you can text a donation! It will charge it automatically to your phone bill- so talk to whoever pays the phone bill first! So if texting sounds like your way of giving back, then be sure to check it out:

Text: "HAITI" to "90999"
This will make a donation of $10 to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill.

Or Text: "YELE" to "501501" which will donate $5 to YĆ©le Haiti for helping relief efforts there.


A Teen Link volunteer

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Musings on Love...from a teenage guy

From Wikipedia: "Love is any of a number of emotions related to a sense of strong affection[1] and attachment. The word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure ("I loved that meal") to intense interpersonal attraction ("I love my husband"). This diversity of uses and meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, even compared to other emotional states."

One of the most beautiful and frustrating things that a teenager encounters is love - the passion, the amazement, the pure warmth you feel when you're around the object of your affection. You smile wide at the memories and good times that seem to never leave your thoughts and at the same time, it can make you cry from all the exhausting emotional work you put into it.

Well, I want you to know, I'm not writing this to give hints or to criticize - I'm writing this to endorse love.

But, when love goes wrong, hearts break. I know it hurts. I know mere words can't describe how it feels and if you tried to explain it, it would just come out in some form of confusing mumbled jumble. If you're dealing with a heartbreak right now, take a moment to reminisce about people you have had crushes on, things that make you feel really warm inside - the kinds of things that keep your heart beating fast.

Now if you don't have "that" person in your life and you think it's because of your appearance, I would just like to say that as a guy, I don't want a magazine model.

Love is about the beauty they can see not the beauty you make them see. I have had the experience to speak the truth to this matter... I was once like that but I've matured and my view has changed. And now, I want to say, to all who read this blog post: you are beautiful, you are amazing, you are phenomenal. You're a great person no matter how you feel about yourself. So be true to what you what you want in a relationship and a partner.

I'll end with these words: love is strong, brave, and one of my favorite emotions. It's also one of my favorite words. It makes me smile when I see couples together.

When I see a girl that I like, it reminds me that love is one of life's best things. Adults will tell you you're too young to know what love is, but I say believe your heart. What does it tell you?? What does it say everyday??

I hope it tells you that that there is at least one person that uses that four letter word to describe you...because it's true.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Wanna take a trip?

Interested in broadening your horizons, challenging yourself, and growing as a person? One great way is to see different horizons, aka TRAVEL!!!

Click on the YouTube links below to watch video captured from the YMCA Global Teens program "which offers teens the opportunity to engage in the powerful journey of global discovery." Hear from the youth who participated talk about what made their experiences so powerful in their own words.

"In Their Own Words" - YMCA Global Teens:

Kids give back, have eyes opened:

One of the best ways to experience another culture is through it’s food, and no, Taco Bell doesn’t count. Neither does Olive Garden, Panda Express, or any other restaurant experience you have in your own neightborhood. It's better than nothing, but the epitome of food experience is eating the food in the land in which it originated, surrounded by the people of the culture and the culture itself. So, take a chance and get out of your comfort zone!

New York City teens eat a frog in Thailand - YMCA NYC:

"Imagine being 16 years old and arriving in Paris for the first time on a hot June morning. Your host family for the next month is waiting to take you by train to a small village called Oradour-sur-Glane. It is in the heart of France, where there are green hills and shimmering lakes, porcelain is made, and the villagers are some of the friendliest in the world.

This is the new trend for high school students--spending their summers traveling, learning, sightseeing, and experiencing cultures overseas. These students take their once idle summers and turn them into the adventure of a lifetime..." Opportunities Abound for High School Students By Vanessa Relli-Moreau

Sounds pretty glamorous doesn't it? But is it as easy as just hopping on a plane?

There seems to be no shortage of programs available for youth who want to travel (try Googling "Teen Travel" and see how many sites pop up!), and the costs can range from upwards of $10,000 to FREE or doing community service work in exchange. Where would you want to go? For how long? Do you want to focus on sight-seeing or staying with a host family? Go solo or with a group? The questions can get overwhelming pretty quickly so CLICK HERE to read the rest of the article above that might be helpful in narrowing the search for what will fit you best.

Many high schools and religious organizations have travel programs usually based around study and/or service work, so check at your school and any religious groups you have connection with as well.

Additional Exchange Programs and Resources

Online International Education and Travel Databases:;;

WorldWide Classroom,, an international consortium of schools that offers intercultural and educational programs.

Long-Term Youth Exchange Programs

Generally youth exchange programs are geared for students 13-18 years of age. Program requirements vary, so check to make sure that you meet the application requirements.

The following is a sampling:

AYUSA International,
Nacel Open Door,
Rotary Youth Exchange,
Youth For Understanding,