Don’t text while driving

Why not to text while driving
The main reason not to text while driving is because it kills innocent people and probably the person who is driving. If someone is texting you, don’t look right at your phone, instead, wait until you make a full stop.

According to the FCC (Federal Communications Commision), people who text and drive think that they can get away with it without getting caught. In a recent study conducted by the FCC, it was shown that 18% of crashes were caused by drivers who were texting while driving.

In 2012, the FCC reported that 3,328 people were killed and around 420,000 people were injured. Texting forces you to take your hands of the wheel. Statistics have shown (FCC) that 40% of teens admitted to texting while driving. In most states, texting and driving is against the law.

Texting while driving happens at about the same rate for both men and women. That means that both genders text while driving.

How to avoid texting while driving
Staying off your phone while driving can be difficult. Once you hear a ring or a buzz, you are likely to be distracted, which means your eyes will be pulled from the road. Here are some tips to abide being distracted while driving:

  • The first thing you could do is to turn your phone on silent, especially while driving. That will help you to focus more on the road than your phone.
  • If that doesn’t work, then completely shut off your phone so you don’t start texting and causing distractions.
  • If those 2 steps don’t work out for you, then keep your phone out of reach, but don’t put it near you.
  • Lastly, download an app that prevents you from texting while driving.

These tips should help prevent you from texting while driving. It is important to be alert at all times and not be a distracted driver.

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

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:, 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!

Budgeting and saving with HIWAY

When you set a goal, accomplishing it is easier said than done. Setting a financial goal can be a bit complicated. Whether you’re saving for college, a car, or even something for yourself, it takes a lot of discipline and determination to reach your financial goal when it may seem impossible. Saving money also starts with being financially stable, and knowing how to balance out your income.


photo courtesy of HiWay Federal

Say you have a job and you get paid each week, or every two weeks. If you are trying to save money, but need some cash on hand, it’s up to you to decide how much you are willing to put away each time you are paid. It can be hard not having a lot of money to spend, and there have been some cases where people start to take money from their savings and spend it. I will admit, I am one of those people who has a hard time figuring out how much to save, or what to save, or anything concerning money.

People have different financial goals which they feel is a good investment to benefit themselves. As you grow up, you many have different things to start saving for like: college, or a car, or a home, or anything that you think is important to acquire with a good plan.

There are several ways that you can start to save money and grow financially. First thing is to start saving at least something, even if it’s a small amount. If you put $5 away in savings every week, that can grow and bring you closer to your savings goal. Second thing is to develop a strategy for your income. For example, if you are associated with both a bank and a credit union, it may help you to put some of your money at each place. It can help you to grow a habit of not touching your money as you save.

Handling money is a stressful skill that takes time for people to develop as they grow up. When it comes to saving money, no one’s perfect. But you can start by setting a goal and giving yourself an action plan towards achieving it in the future.

If you want to start saving money or have questions about other financial topics, stop by Hiway’s Scots Branch. We can help!

Transition from summer to school

The hardest part of Summer is when it comes to an end. That transition you have to make to get ready for a new school year must be hard for a lot of people. Having to start changing your sleep schedule is a struggle, because you know you got used to sleeping late at night, and waking up late in the afternoon. Having to be excited to see your friends you haven’t seen all summer but that slowly starts to fade into sadness when assignments get thrown at you left to right, and all you want do is zone out during the school day and come home only wanting to complain about how much you dislike school. But hey, who hasn’t? After awhile you get used to it, you may not like it, but after doing it for so many weeks you look at it like eh, whatever.

Students need to be assured that it’s acceptable to be nervous going into a new school year, not expecting your classes to be that hard is something most students expect the first weeks of school. Not having the same classes or lunch as your friends could be hard on some students. And they might end up thinking that the fun part of school is not possible anymore.

But we are here to give you some tips on how to make the beginning of a school year go nice and smoothly.

  • First get your sleeping schedule in check. Start by sleeping early the last week of summer. To get you used to it.
  • Second if your friends are not in the same class as you, make some new friends, we know it’ll be hard but hey, at least you tried and you might make a couple new friends.
  • Last, but not least, make sure you have fun with the new school year, don’t stress yourself too much; you don’t want to do that for the 10 months you’re in school (that would be no fun).

Hope these tips will help you feel more at “home” this school year!

Mother’s Day ideas

This year, Mother’s Day is on Sunday, May 14th. Mother’s Day celebrates motherhood and is a time to celebrate our mothers and mother figures. For some people, it’s hard to think of what to give, or do for, our moms/mother figures because they deserve the world for everything that they do. These are some of the things I was able to come up with, and I hope they’ll help you when picking out something for your mom.

Breakfast in bed

This will always make anyone feel special and is easy and affordable. Figure out their favorite breakfast foods, and what they like to drink (coffee, smoothie, tea, etc.) and make it! You can add a flower to make it look prettier. Here are a few easy recipes if you’re stuck on what to make:




Who doesn’t love receiving makeup? Or better yet, getting a makeover! Sephora comes out with gift sets specifically for Mother’s Day. You can also just buy your mom’s favorites (you can add brushes too) and put it in a box and decorate it. Sephora also does makeovers in store, but most hair salons also do makeovers. Or, you can give your mom her makeover yourself!





If you’ve been on social media you would see that bath and shower products are the new hype. Brands like Lush come out with special products for Mother’s Day, which you can buy individually or buy in a set. Other brands also come out with luxury soaps.



image taken from: blue_skies_bouquet.htm




Flowers are always the easy go to gift. But you don’t have to get the typical red roses. There are so many other beautiful flowers besides roses! I personally love sunflowers, and I know my mom loves daffodils. They’re easy to find at any store, or you can order them online and have them delivered. You can always add flowers to any other gift you give.






Customized anything

Whether you DIY a picture frame and put a photo you know is special, or have your mom’s name engraved onto a nice piece of jewelry, she’ll love it. Customized gifts are nice, and can also vary in prices, so it can fit any budget.


Mother’s Day is right around the corner, so start looking!

Things to do if you’re not going to prom

This years prom will be on Friday, May 5th. Some people are very excited and are planning on going, while others aren’t. If you are not planning on going, but still want to do something fun with your friends or alone here are some ideas:


Getting a manicure and pedicure done is always fun and relaxing. You can sit back, read a book, watch videos on your phone, or catch up with whoever you went with. Tams Nails (Woodbury) is one of my favorites.

Movie night

By yourself or with family and friends, binging on movies you love is always a good time. Some of my recommendations are Grease and The Breakfast Club. But if you’d rather go to the theater these are some of the movies that are currently playing, The Fate of the Furious, The Boss Baby, Beauty and the Beast and Smurfs: The Lost Village.



Bake something new. If you’re into baking, you can find a new recipe online and try out! This is extra fun if you do it with friends or siblings. But if you prefer the easier route, you can head to a grocery store and buy your favorite cake mix. Whatever you make will be great to eat as you watch movies!



Have a photoshoot!

Dress up in your favorite outfit and go to a park or to your friends house and take pictures! You don’t need any kind of fancy camera; your phone will do just fine! Be creative and have fun! You can buy props from places like Urban Outfitters or a dollar store.


Go to a party/teen event

Prom isn’t the only place where you can dress up and dance the night away. If you’d rather go to a more casual event/dance than prom, start looking now for events. Myth Nightclub (Maplewood) sometimes hosts events for teens ages 16-21. There are also more venues in Minneapolis that do events for teens so start looking!

There are many more things you can do if you choose to not go to prom. These are just some of my ideas. Whatever you choose to do be smart and safe.

For even more ideas, go to:

Valentine’s Day gift ideas

Valentine’s Day is filled with love and happiness, but if you’re a last minute shopper, it’ll be a day of stress for you trying to find the perfect gift for anyone special in your life. Here’s a list of a couple of ideas for everyone.


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If you and your partner struggle to decide what to do on date night, give them a mason jar full of date ideas so when date night rolls around you two are set! This link is a DIY on how to make this gift,





You can never go wrong with giving chocolate and/or candy as a gift! Thankfully, many candy companies come out with heart shaped boxes full of their candy. You can get them at places like Walmart, Target, Walgreen’s and many other stores. Prices go from $1 and up. 




Stuffed animals are also a super easy choice. Again, you can find them in almost any store. Since prices are $5.99 and up, you’ll be able to find something that fits your budget.



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If you and your significant other have been together for a while, or you just want to get them something more sentimental you can get them a personalized keychain. has this, and many more items, you can customize to give to your significant other. 





Another easy option is to put all of the person’s favorite candies, snacks, and anything else they might like, or need, into a gift basket. You can buy Valentine’s Day themed candies and decorate the box with pink red and white decorations. You can also buy them from various websites. This gift basket is from





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For anyone that enjoys food, chocolate covered strawberries are a must! You can DIY (do it yourself) it and make as many as you’d like, or you can buy them and have them delivered to whoever you’d like. Prices depends on where you buy them, but it will be cheaper if you do them on your own.




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If you are really out of time, you can always get a cute, funny, cheesy card, and just write down your feelings for the person you will be gifting this to. Add in a gift card to their favorite store or restaurant and they’ll love it and you!

Different ways to deal with stress

For Highland Park Senior High, finals are coming up fast, and we all know what comes with finals: stress. Finals are something almost everyone dreads, all the late night study sessions, all of the homework that you have to do, and of course, all the stress that comes with it. Some people may not know how to release that stress, or to calm their nerves. I’m here to try and help those people.

There are multiple ways to try and reduce stress and not all people can use the same method to help. So here are some ideas/methods that you can use to try and help reduce your stress.

Of course, one of the most popular ways to relive stress, is to meditate. Some people don’t have the time to meditate though, especially if they’re piled with homework.

If you don’t have spare time, something you could do while studying, is blast some soothing music. According to Psychcentral. com, music has been proven to calm anxiety, heart rate, and even lower blood pressure, so create a calm playlist and listen to it while you study away. 

Laughing out loud is another way to reduce stress. Not only does it lighten the mood mentally, but it also boosts a brain chemical called endorphins which helps your mood.

Some people say that going online and texting isn’t the way to lessen stress, but it is proven to not only make us happier, but to also reduce our stress by a lot. The Mayo Clinic says that it is better that you Facetime a friend, or call one another to maybe study together, or share what’s going on in your life.

The final idea that I’m going to share today is to be active. Go for a jog around your neighborhood, or even do some jumping jacks and sit-ups on your living room floor. Getting your body to move can ease your stress and even depression.

If you’re feeling stressed about anything at all, all of these methods could help you try and reduce it. Good luck on your finals everybody; you’ll all do great!


Dealing with the cold

Minnesota is having one of the coldest winters of any state in the U.S. This means residents from all over the state have to prepare to face the cold in order to get wherever they are going. Students are especially affected by the cold because they have to commute to and from school every week-day. We asked students of Highland Park Senior High how they deal with the cold inside or outside.

A common response from students was to wear lots of layers. Ranging from jackets, sweatshirts, and blankets students said they wore whatever they could to stay warm traveling to and from school.

At home, some students said that the best cure for the cold was a warm blanket and a hot beverage. One student said, “I deal with the cold by bundling up, then I go home to drink hot chocolate, or tea, then watch a movie occasionally.”

Some students were pros when it came to the cold, and didn’t feel like it was something to deal with. “ The school is warm, so I don’t worry about the cold before I go to school,” one student said. “ I don’t wimp out, and go outside without fear,” another student exclaimed. Cold doesn’t seem to bother these people which is a trait most wish they could have.

Some students, however, simply are not coping with the cold at all. Despite living in Minnesota, some people just do not get along well with frigid weather. One 10th grader said, “I don’t deal with the cold. I get frostbite.” Another senior student said, “I just look forward to getting back indoors.” It seems some of us Minnesotans can barely make it through each winter alive and well.

So far, this winter has been very cold, and there has been quite a lot of time with temps below zero. But, we are looking towards a warmer few weeks coming up, and spring is coming right around the corner.


J.A.M. – How to pass your permit test

Hello, this is Jane, Alandra,  and Michelle and we have recently received the question: “I’m about to take my permit test what will help me pass ?”

We have all gone through drivers ed, and have gotten our permits, so here are some great methods that can help you out. We would like to say that the permit test is fairly easy and mostly based on common sense, a few laws, and signs.

When teens go to driver’s ed, the first thing they receive is a manual. Many overlook this essential tool, tossing it on their bedside table and completely disregarding it. If you’re smart, you won’t do this though, as it’s like the study guide for your permit test, and along with notes taken in class, looking over your manual is key to acing your permit test. Reading helps information process thoroughly in our minds, helping the jumbled words from instructors come together to make sense. When looking over your manual, take it in as if it is a textbook for one of your academic classes, memorizing key points and phrases. The manual gives you headings, which helps you when taking your own notes. Use this valuable tool to your advantage.

Along with your manual, one thing that really helps is studying with good and specific notes. During drivers ed, you are supposed to be taking in everything the instructor tells you, so notes are really helpful. You should go over the notes you receive and highlight the important things (measurements, traffic laws, signs, and symbols). After you have highlighted what you think is important, then you should look over them, maybe make a game with them, have someone quiz you, and anything else that you will think will help.

Another method to use, besides reading, is observing things as you’re in the car with an experienced driver. It is extremely crucial to ask questions and get comfortable with certain signs, intersections, and proper driving etiquette. Many of the questions on the test are easier to remember once you have asked and/or discussed the laws and scenarios that come with driving. Talk with your parents, go over your quizzes from drivers ed, and you’ll be ready to get your permit!

Overall, the permit test isn’t something you should overthink. With these helpful strategies you’re basically guaranteed to pass. Once you arrive at the facility to take your test, stay calm and try remembering everything you’ve worked so hard to learn. If you’ve studied enough you’ll be out the door and ready to drive!