Spyhouse review

By Piper Gallivan and Alivia Arredondo

Spyhouse is a new coffee shop in the Highland area, just over a mile from school. This is the first expansion of a very popular location in Uptown Minneapolis. We wanted to see what all the hype was about and check it out.

Spyhouse had a very cozy and modern feel to it. For a few years, it has been known as a very hipster coffee shop in Minneapolis that is Instagram famous. This is understandable as it has a very cool color scheme and mugs that are recognizable from the Minnesota outline on them. They have the perfect blank walls for pictures, and there are also plants placed here and there. The building is pretty small, about the size of a large classroom, so it could easily be overcrowded on a busy weekend morning. It is the perfect kind of vibe for a study session alone or with friends.

Due to the fact that the Spyhouse is a coffee shop, it did not have actual food on the menu. However, you can choose from a selection of pastries that are located in a case in the front. There is a long list of coffees to choose from and a variety of teas. If you’re looking for a nice coffee or tea, the Spyhouse menu is guaranteed to have it.

We ordered a chai tea latte and a chocolate croissant. Both of these were very good, and we recommend them. The latte was sweet, but not overwhelmingly sweet, and it was very warm, but not too hot that it burned your mouth. The chocolate croissant was also very sweet and tasted very good when accompanied by the chai tea latte. It tasted fresh, and not like it had been made days ago. It also wasn’t very messy like many pastries tend to be.

The food and drinks of this cafe were also very aesthetically pleasing, which is a plus. Many people nowadays love to photograph their food, and this food was overall pretty to look at. It wasn’t messy, and the mugs were really cute along with the good lighting from the windows.

The customer service was very pleasing. When you walk into the door and start to order your food the workers there all seem to be really hipster and cool. They wait there for you to decide what you would like patiently, while at the same time, they are filling up coffee orders or are working the cash register. This contributes to the chill and hipster vibes from the cafe. When you are ordering, if you have any questions or concerns, the workers there are very open to answering your questions and making your coffee just how you want it. Once your drink is ready, they will bring it to the station where you pick it up, and make sure everything is in order and how you ordered it, before you go sit down. After the meal, once you’ve placed your dish in the dish bin, they will politely wave goodbye as you leave, if they get the chance.

Overall, we had a positive experience at Spyhouse. It has proved to be a good environment to chill with your friends or work on homework. It did not have a great variety of things to order, and the drinks did not really stand out, but the food was very good and the location was hard to beat.

MeMe DaY!

MeMe DaY!!
By Alivia Arredondo and Piper Gallivan

Last week was Spirit Week at Highland Park!

A meme is a humorous image, or video, that is copied and widely spread on the Internet. Often times, these memes have pieces of text on them that can be altered depending on the interpretation of the meme.

This year, students voted on having a Meme Day at school so Highland Park had its first Meme Day! The point of Meme Day was to dress up as/or imitate your favorite meme, or any meme found online, and come to school as that meme.

Here are some of our favorites that we saw throughout the day.

Ms. Becker took her own approach on a classic meme, taking a jab on a common issue teachers have with students.

Sophomores Abby Johnson, and friend, have simple outfits with their clout glasses, a recent trend.

Exchange students really loved getting into the Highland Park spirit with some of the most dedicated outfits we’ve seen all day. There was  Ugandan Knuckles: He knows da wae. And fidget spinners were brought into a new light with a whole outfit dedicated to them.

Juniors Nectaree Thao and friend take on their versions of some classics. Ruquiya is from an iconic scene in Mean Girls that has lived on for many years. Necteree was very creative with her glasses in recreating a meme from a few years ago.

A Sophomore took on the original meme of Kermit the frog sipping his tea. She was very creative in making her own Kermit the frog costume and really took it the next level by bringing her own tea (which she later spilled) and making her own sign to go with her meme costume.

Some students just chose just to dress in fun ways without recreating a specific meme like Sebastian Isett with a very unique jacket.

Meme Day hit or miss?

Overall, for Highland’s first ever Meme Day, we’d say it was a hit. It is true that not as many students participated in this, but those who did really made people smile and laugh. There were many students around the school who came dressed as their memes, such as those in the pictures we’ve shown you.

In the following years, if Meme Day is voted on for Spirit Week, it would probably generate more participants by the students and would probably be more successful!




By Piper Gallivan, Alivia Arredondo, and Alani Bayon

Let’s face it, almost everyone has been to Target at least once in their lifetime, and most people say it’s pretty great. We hope you love Target as much as we do, and if you don’t here are six reasons to love Target!

Whether you came specifically looking for it, or just found it along the way, Target has everything you will ever need. They have you covered for clothes, food, home decor, furniture, toys, a health clinic, an optical clinic, a separate section for alcohol, and of course, Starbucks. It’s so hard to leave with just what you came to get because you will see a million other things you want. If you had to go to only one store for the rest of your life, Target would be the most logical option.

Who doesn’t love Target clothes? Target has a variety of clothes and clothing styles. They carry: sports/workout, maternity, work, pajamas, undergarments, baby, teen, kid’s, men’s, women’s, swimsuits and accessories. Basically, any type of clothing you need you can find at Target! Not only that, but the clothes at Target are very stylish, and they are also half the price of clothes you would find somewhere else like, American Eagle. Target also fits all sizes! So no matter your size, Target will have something for you. Their clothes also include a variety of brands to choose from, so it’s guaranteed you’ll find something you’re interested in. Finally, in most Targets, the clothes sections are located in the front of the store so it is easy to find, and easy to locate your desired style.

Another great thing about Target, is that for most people, it is convenient and not a far drive! Targets are stationed nationwide, and there is generally one in each city. There are a variety of Targets that range in size, location, and products. Some Targets are smaller like the Target Expresses, which usually are in busier places, and smaller buildings, like the one in the Village, in St. Paul. Then there are the much larger Targets, like Super Target, which is larger and has more products inside. Finally, you have the regular sized Targets.

Another great thing about Target is that you can shop online, so if you live too far away, you can easily purchase it online and they will drop it off at your house. Target also has a drive-in, and a pick-up, section, which basically allows you to shop online and Target will have it ready for you to pick up at the store when you arrive.

Depending on the Target you live by, you may have a food section. You can find fruits, vegetables, grains, and much more. Target also can meet your dietary need,s which is something amazing. If you have a gluten free diet, Target has gluten free bread, gluten free cereal, and anything you could think of. Perhaps you are vegan. Target can supply you with vegan meat, chips, dips, yogurt, and much more. Even if you don’t have a specific diet, Target has such a large variety of food to choose from, you should be able to find something you can eat.

Not only is Target convenient for buying groceries, it also has a pharmacy. The pharmacy is an easy and quick way to get in with a doctor instead of having to go to an urgent care or to your personal doctor. So, if you have strep throat, or an ear infection, or the flu, you can easily go to Target and they will take care of you.

Bullseye’s playground is my personal favorite part of Target. If you don’t know, it is Target’s dollar section. It is usually located at the front of the store, so it’s the first thing you see; that is part of what makes it so irresistible to stop and check it out. The things they carry vary by season, so just looking at it can make you so excited for the upcoming holiday or season. You can always count on a few staple items to be there such as: stationary, candles, socks, toys, and homeware. The prices are always $1 or $3, with the occasional splurge item of $5. The quality of their merchandise is actually really good, so you can find valuable items for some good deals. Overall, this area of Target is always there to bring you some joy at low costs!

Overall, Target is a great store where you can find all of your needs at an affordable price, and we hope this article has convinced you to love Target as much as we do.

8 Ways to get in the Christmas spirit

By Piper Gallivan, Natalie Braga, and Alivia Arredondo

December is here and for all the people who celebrate it, it’s officially time to get into the Christmas spirit. For those who want to immerse themselves into this joyful holiday, here are 8 ways to get into the Christmas spirit!

Christmas Movies
Christmas movies are essential for getting into the Christmas spirit. There’s nothing better than getting all cozy and warm on the couch while watching your favorite Christmas movie. There are a variety of Christmas movies to choose from.

Some are old classic ones like Miracle on 34th Street (1950’s), that really touch the heart and teaches about the true meaning of Christmas, and others are more modern day Christmas movies like Elf and the live action Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, that are meant to make people laugh.

Meanwhile, there are the romantic Christmas movies like Love Actually, and family classics like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas and  the cartoon version of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Overall, Christmas movies are great for gathering around with family and friends, and enjoying each other’s presence while being cozy and comfy.

After Thanksgiving it’s time to get the Christmas tree up! Everyone knows the best way to get into the Christmas spirit is decorating. Setting up the Christmas tree with family and other loved ones, while playing Christmas music, can get anyone into the Christmas spirit. There are many ways to decorate for Christmas. Some people get real trees, and others get fake ones, but either way everyone loves decorating their beautiful trees with lights, ornaments, and a center-piece on the top.

Another way to decorate for Christmas is setting up lights around the house, inside and out, so that everywhere you go it feels like Christmas! In some religious households, the manger scene with the birth of Jesus Christ is displayed, which also helps some people to get into the Christmas spirit.

Finally if you’re really into the Christmas spirit, or are really wanting to get into it, some people make huge snow statues and buy huge blow-up Santa Claus’, and other Christmas figurines, like Rudolph. These huge blow-ups will definitely draw attention to your house while you get to proudly show off your Christmas spirit.

Christmas Clothing
To get into the Christmas spirit, you must dress for the occasion. You can do this by pulling out any holiday spirit wear you have, including sweaters, socks, and hats. If you haven’t got any at home, there are many options on sale at stores, all over, including: Target, TJ Maxx, and Macy’s.

Often times, these can be expensive, but luckily, if you stop by your local thrift store, you can usually find some cheap festive sweaters. It may be a simple change from a regular sweater to a Christmas one, however it’s an easy and fun way to feel more connected to the holiday.

Christmas Shopping
A major part of Christmas is being able to give gifts to your friends and family to show your love for them (and also to get some gifts in return). Gift giving is not always the easiest task, and can be overwhelming at times, but by planning ahead you can make sure you not only get all the gifts you need, but also get in the spirit while you’re at it!

Stores, all around town, are showing their festivity, and having many holiday sales you can take advantage of. If you’re buying a gift for someone with a definite list of things they want, we recommend buying off that, however, if not, there are some basic gifts that can be used for anyone. These gifts include: perfume/cologne, books, blankets, small clothing items such as hats or socks, candles, mugs, and more.

Gifts don’t always need to be material goods either; a loving letter, or time well spent, can be just as good, or even better. Christmas Shopping doesn’t need to be difficult, and in the end it is worth it to see your loved ones be surprised with great presents.

Christmas Music
Christmas music is an essential to feeling the Christmas spirit. There are many varieties of music, and you can pick which one based on your preference or your mood. There are the more classic types such as carols like “Deck the Halls” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas,” those with a rock kinda vibe like “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “Jingle Bell Rock,” and there is also the modern-pop style like “All I Want For Christmas Is You” or “Baby Please Come Come.” All are amazing options for getting you in the spirit. You can play these during any Christmas activity like decorating, cooking, baking, or just generally hanging out with your loved ones.

Christmas Parties
Christmas parties are a great way to celebrate and make the most out of the most festive time of year. Whether they are spent with family or friends, they are a great way to spend time with the ones you love. Hosts can decide on the general theme they want for the party, and there are many fun options.

If you wanted a more intimate celebration with your friends, Secret Santa is a great way to do it. It works best with groups of 4-20. If you’re not familiar with Secret Santa, it is when a group of people put their names into a hat or bowl (or more recently electronic versions), and each person picks out 1 other name and buys a gift just for them. This is a simple way to help save money, because you only buy one gift. You can have a party at the end of it, where everyone gives their gift and has a good time.

You can also follow other themes like: an ugly sweater party, where the person wearing the ugliest one wins a prize; or a white elephant party, where everyone brings a random gift and you can steal the ones you like! Whatever you do, we hope you have a great time with all your loved ones!

Christmas Events
If you are lucky enough to live the Twin Cities, you have access to wonderful events throughout the season to participate in. The Union Depot is known as the “Hub for the Holidays,” and they host may events throughout December. They have multiple movie screenings in their grand hall such as Elf and The Polar Express.

They also host a full re-enactment of the train from Polar Express, with a running train where they decorated it almost exactly as the train from the movie. Then they have employees recreate iconic scenes like the dancing hot chocolate part.

They also have a European Christmas Market up all season, where you can buy everyone on your gift list authentic European gifts, and help support family businesses.

If you want to venture out into Minneapolis, you can go to a classic Minnesota tradition at the Holidazzle parade, and festive events at Loring Park.

If you want a fancy night out, there is nothing better than a nice evening at the Guthrie. Every year they put on A Christmas Carol, and it is a great way to enjoy the arts while getting in the festive spirit.

We hope you have found something to help you enjoy the season around the city!!

Volunteer Work
Not only is Christmas about being surrounded by ones you love, but it is about giving, and one easy way you can give is through volunteer work in your community. People all around the world have little, to nothing, on this holiday, and there are many ways to help them out.

One way to do this is through the Salvation Army by: helping prepare and serve holiday meals, being a bell ringer, and more.

Another way, is through Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly Holiday Volunteers where you can prepare and serve meals at their locations in Minneapolis/St. Paul, and deliver to elders who can’t get to the centers.

Neighbors, Inc. helps distribute a large wish list of food items, and gifts, to needy families, and they have a variety of other tasks to do.

These ways and more, are easy to do, and will make you feel the Christmas spirit through helping out those in need.

Taylor Swift’s new singles

Natalie Braga, Piper Gallivan, Alivia Arredondo

The international pop sensation Taylor Swift has just released her new album Reputation. This album has shocked the nation with her new, bold lyrics, videos, and image. She has made it clear that she has grown and developed into a new person and is nothing like her past self. With this new album and image, she has released four singles: “Gorgeous,” “Call It What You Want,” “Ready For It,” and “Look What You Made Me Do.” While three singles had already come out prior to our writing this, we gained early access to the lyric video of “Call It What You Want” and we will be giving our opinions on each.

“Look What You Made Me Do”
This hit single was the first of the four that was released on August 24, and the first look the world got at Taylor’s new self. Though it may get stuck in your head, the quality of it is nothing amazing. The lyrics are very dramatic and attention grabbing and incorporate many hidden references throughout. These may be subtle, but they clearly get the message across that Taylor is done with all of the drama and because of all the things that people have done to her, she has become someone new and stronger. However, the extreme dramatization of all of the lyrics make the whole song sound not only repetitive, but also somewhat childish. At no point in the song does Taylor showcase much vocal talent, and considering half of the song is her repeating the line “look what you made me do,” we believe this song definitely got its point across, but is really not very enjoyable.

Ready For It”
Taylor begins this beat based, intense song, with the bold lyric “knew he was a killer first time that I saw him,” letting the listener in on the topic of this song, which is to no surprise, a boy who has given her trouble. The majority of the lyrics in the verse are backed by a distorted beat, which Swift tops with a mix somewhere between rapping, singing, and talking. Though this type of singing runs throughout not only this song, but the whole album, we agree that this style of singing does not seem to suit her voice or persona. The verses use some lyrical tricks to connect different lines which can be catchy, however, in terms of substance they seem lacking and recycled. They are the usual, arguably average, boy-centric lines that Swift has been using since the beginning of her career.

The pre-chorus, and chorus, slows it down and is when she goes more into her familiar singing voice, which is enjoyable enough but nothing we’d really listen to again. Each chorus ends with the title line of this track, with Swift pausing before speaking the line “Are you ready for it?” This transitions into a loud and repeated computer generated sounding rhythm, which could possibly be entertaining in some crowded and large settings, however, once again, it’s not something we’d really see ourselves listening to on anything near a daily basis. This repeats itself a few more times, but the song really never hits a peak moment and to us, seemed quite bland and overused. It really doesn’t seem to have any major distinctions from the rest of her singles, and doesn’t seem to be anything special that will go down in history. Overall, it is okay for a possible party tune but nothing we’d truly recommend.

Swift’s “Gorgeous” was released in late October as one of her first singles for this album. This is a simple song – just about a crush she has on a guy she sees from across the room. It has no significant meaning or anything that really makes it stand out from anything you’d hear within 5 minutes of turning on KDWB. It seems the most similar to her old “prime of Taylor” music, but lacking the fun and upbeat tone that used to make her music more easy-going and catchy.

Taylor is definitely going for a new vibe, and wants to portray that in her new songs, but by doing that, she is downgrading the quality. Her lyrics are portraying having a crush as something that’s troubling her, and something that the man has to enjoy. Towards the beginning of the song she says; “Cause look at your face (look at your face)
/And I’m so furious” This kind of sentence is repeatedly said throughout the song, portraying that she is mad at the way he looks. She is also bragging about a boyfriend she already has. By talking about this new guy she thinks is gorgeous, she is implying that she is thinking about cheating. She says:

“And I got a boyfriend, he’s older than us
He’s in the club doing, I don’t know what
You’re so cool, it makes me hate you so much (I hate you so

This is not something that a role model for a lot of young girls should be saying as something that’s right or that it’s a situation that people should strive for. She is also saying that the gorgeous man should automatically like her, even if she’s not treating him well. The first lines of the song state: “You should take it as a compliment/ That I got drunk and made fun of the way you talk.” The idea is that he should be grateful for how she’s treating him, even though she doesn’t do anything nice and is just assuming he wants her. Overall, this song is just bland, and doesn’t achieve the point it’s trying to make. But fun fact, the baby saying gorgeous at the beginning of the song is Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds daughter!!

Call It What You Want”
Compared to the other 3 songs we reviewed for this article we found this one to be the least disturbing. Although many of lyrics have no value, for instance the lyrics “I want to wear his initial on a chain around my neck,” and “My baby’s fly like a jet stream.” These lyrics give off no true value to the song and they don’t have a deeper meaning. This song has a rather catchy beat. Unlike her most recent songs, this song’s beat is not dark and EMO, but more upbeat like her old self.

However, many of the lyrics in this song do not entirely support women in our constant fight to earn the respect we deserve. One of her lyrics read “ He loves me like I’m brand new,” this compares herself as an object that is bright and shiny and well new. This can give the impression to men and other women that women in general are shiny new objects that can just be replaced and this is not a good message for younger girls, boys and girls, and boys of all ages to be hearing.

As we’ve seen before, Taylor is known for bashing out friends/exes in her songs which hasn’t gone well for her before and only causes her more trouble. In this song some of her lyrics read “All the liars are calling me one,” and “All the drama queens taking swings/All the jokers dressing up as kings.” This could have been an intentional insult to some of the other artists in the music world and insulting them could just create another Katy Perry vs. Taylor Swift battle so why create the unnecessary drama? Overall, this song was not our favorite of hers but it was, however, our favorite of the 3 we reviewed.

After listening to all of Taylor’s new singles, we found ourselves quite disappointed by the end. Her new image, persona, and sound seems honestly quite fake, and they don’t showcase the talent we know she is capable of. The songs seem overdone and really don’t have much substance or redeeming qualities. On a scale from 1-10, we give them a 4.5, and we hope to see some stronger music from her in the future.

Fall fun in Minnesota

Start your fall off right with our fun seasonal activities in and around St.Paul!!

We’ve got the best apple orchards. Head on down to Pine Tree Apple Orchard (450 Apple Orchard Rd, White Bear Lake, MN 55110 ) for some great apple picking, corn mazes, baked goods, pumpkins, cute photo opportunities and more! Another exciting orchard for all ages is the Minnetonka Orchards (6530 County Road 26, Minnetrista, MN 55364). With scenic, and pet friendly grounds, this is the place to find the best tasting apples, nature trails, play areas, petting zoo animals, a corn maze and more! Visit the orchard from 10am to 7pm any day of the week!

Pumpkin patches are also the ultimate multi-purpose fall item! Head down to Afton Apple Orchard (14421 So. 90th St. Hastings, MN 55033) to find pumpkins of every shape and size! They have pumpkins for all your decoration, carving, and cooking needs. You can also find many other great foods to pick, such as apples, raspberries, strawberries, and more! It’s family friendly and open 7 days a week!

If you are looking for the perfect fall outing, Twin Cities Harvest Festival is the perfect place for you!!! Pick any chilly day and drive on up to Brooklyn Park for endless fun! Included in your $10 ticket is a corn maze (largest in Minnesota!!), hay bale maze, hayride, corn pit, petting zoo, live music, and more! When I was there I even held a baby kangaroo!! Go with family or friends and it will be a day you will look back on and remember how amazing fall is!! More information can be found here https://twincitiesmaze.com/

Haunted house! Everyone loves a good scare! Head on over to Valleyscare for rides full of fun and a haunted house that’ll make you scream! 1 Valley Fair Dr, Shakopee, MN 55379.

Have you ever gotten so into a horror story that you felt like you were in it? Well, you have the chance to actually immerse yourself into a haunted story at The Haunted Basement (Building 9 of 2010 East Hennepin Avenue). You can step right into an artist-created and terrifying environment. With real life actors there for one purpose (to scare you), you’re sure to be chilled to the bone!

In need of fresh fall fruits and vegetables? Or some artsy food photos? Head on over to the Lowertown Farmer’s Market for some healthy snacks and a lot of fun!!

Movie nights! Everyone loves Halloween movies and snuggling in warm blankets with popcorn and snacks. Here are some of our favorite movies that would make your Halloween movie marathon great!

Family friendly movies:
Halloween Town (1-3)
Twitches 1 & 2
Hocus Pocus
It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!
The Addam’s Family

If you’re more into being scared this fall, here’s a list of our favorite super scary horror movies!
The Conjuring
The Shining
The Babadook
American Werewolf in London
The Blair Witch Project

No one can argue that apple pie is an undeniable staple of fall. The smell of the oven when you come in to warm up after enjoying a chilly fall day is an unbeatable feeling. Homemade apple pie is the best way to do it, so we found the best recipe for you!! It is from Taste of Home and only takes 20 minutes to prepare!! It can be found here: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/apple-pie, and we suggest to eat with some cold vanilla ice cream, enjoy!!!

Soup is another great fall food for everyone to enjoy. It is perfect for being cozy and making you feel better when that fall cold comes around. Here are some great soup recipes that are easy to make and will guarantee to make you nice and toasty.

Apples is the signature fruit of fall. There is so much you can do with them like make candy apples or caramel apples or apple salad and more! Here are some great apple recipes that will make the most of your fruit.

Who doesn’t love bread (if you are gluten free or just don’t like bread I sincerely apologize)? Bread is an essential part of many meals, especially fall meals. There are many different kinds of bread that could satisfy your sweet tooth or just be the perfect addition for your soup. Here are some great bread recipes that will give you a new love for bread.

Potatoes are always a great idea. No matter the weather nothing is better than a nice dinner with potatoes. There are all kinds of different potatoes to satisfy your potato need. Here are some great potato recipes.

There are a million more fun things to do this fall in Minnesota, but we hope you found something to do, see, or eat!