Wonderful winter flavors

Story by: Caty McGovern, Staff Writer
Photos by: Caty McGovern, Staff Writer


When winter and the holiday season comes around, many places start using all the elated holiday seasonal feelings to market seasonal drinks. Many of these drinks are based off holiday favorites like peppermint candy canes, gingerbread and chestnuts. The flavors often come in hot latte form such as the peppermint mocha latte, gingerbread latte, and chestnut praline latte. These are some of the flavors the popular coffee franchise Starbucks has. I found similar flavors at the school coffee shop, Coffee Connection.

My question is: How do all these flavors taste from coffee shop to coffee shop?

When I tried these flavors, there were both hits and misses. I started with peppermint mocha latte. I enjoyed the Starbucks drink over Coffee Connection’s, as the Starbucks drink had the delicious peppermint flavor I expected. Now, mocha wise, Coffee Connection nailed the chocolate to coffee flavor ratio. Yet, overall, Starbucks has the better of the two peppermint mochas.

The next drink I tried was the gingerbread latte. In the Coffee Connection drink, I could actually taste the ginger, but it was rather strong for my taste. The Starbucks gingerbread latte was outright disappointing, as it had zero ginger flavor and was just nauseatingly sweet. If I had to recommend this drink to anyone, I would say to go to Coffee Connection as they will not disappoint ginger-wise.

The next flavor I tried was the chestnut praline latte. It is also known by the simpler name, coffee connectiontoffee nut latte, as both are made with toffee nut syrup. I preferred Coffee Connection’s toffee nut latte over Starbucks’ similar drink, the chestnut praline latte. The reasoning behind my decision is that the toffee nut latte has the nutty taste that one might expect when hearing any type of tree nut in the name of a drink. It also had an undertone of caramel that caused the drink to be great.

I think each coffee shop had their strengths and weaknesses. Neither shop was an obvious winner since both had lackluster moments.

Ipsy makeup review

Story by: Baylie Clevenger, Managing Editor
Photos by: Baylie Clevenger, Managing Editor


During November, I had the amazing privilege of having ordered a service called Ipsy.

Ipsy is an company where avid makeup consumers, such as myself, can receive custom chosen makeup samples in a small makeup bag once a month for only ten dollars.

In the bag, I received an eyeliner from Be a Bombshell Cosmetics, and an eyelid primer from Jesse’s Girl Cosmetics, a Robanda Mood lipstick, a mascara from Smashbox and an eyeshadow blending brush from Crown Brushes.

Of the cosmetics I received, I was not displeased with any. My favorites, however, were the Smashbox Mascara and the Crown brush.

The Crown brush is very soft and perfect for blending. Not once have I created an eyeshadow look with the brush that I was displeased with. I am very satisfied with the quality of the brush and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for good blending brushes. I am also looking forward to purchasing from this company in the future.

The mascara I received was high quality. It is called “full exposure” by Smashbox, which is one of my favorite makeup companies. The formula is very smooth and the brush does not clump the lashes. Mascara usually varies from person to person based on the desired look, but I would definitely say that this one is a winner for anyone. It elongates the lashes and is very dark. It also does not flake or run onto the under eye.

I would say that all together Ipsy is a winner, and so are all of the cosmetics that came in my November bag. I would definitely recommend Ipsy or any of the products to anyone I knew that was interested in makeup.

Diamond Candles are a girl’s best friend

Story by: Baylie Clevenger, Managing Editor
Photo by: Baylie Clevenger, Managing Editor

diamond ring

Of my many favorite things in the world, jewelry and candles rank in the top ten. I never imagined that combining the two would be a possibility but I have been proven wrong.

Recently I have become familiar with a company called Diamond Candles. This is a service that will create, and deliver, candles that have diamond rings in the wax.

It works like this: you buy the candle which is ranges from about 20 to 30 dollars, depending on the scent. The candle is burned until the foil-wrapped ring is revealed. Once the ring is revealed from the wax, it can be pulled out and unwrapped from the protective foil covering. There is also a code attached to the ring in which can be entered online for the chance to win another ring of $10-5,000 dollar value.

My experience with this company and their products was outstanding. The pumpkin spice candle smelled fantastic and arrived in a timely manner. They offer other great scents like caramel apple cider, guava berry, and french toast. Also, the ring I received was gorgeous.

Having discovered this company is truly amazing. For $22 I got an awesome candle as well as a diamond ring.

Overall I would definitely give this company an A+ and I would suggest them to anyone looking for a cool gift or for my fellow jewelry and candle lovers.  

An AP Euro Renaissance

Story by: Ian Carson, Editor in Chief
Photos by: Ian Carson, Editor in Chief

Ren Faire full

This month, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Renaissance Faire, an event organized to celebrate and relive the past. People from all over the world, including Canada, flock to this event clothed in Renaissance garb and ready to have a great time.

The atmosphere of the event is relatively historically accurate, with an interesting mix of past and present. For example, there was a historical reenactment of a joust which captivated myself and the audience. The joust pitted a female jouster against a male. Throughout the joust there was a high air of suspense as the two fought using period weaponry and armor. Perhaps the most interesting part was that the host of History Channel’s “Full Metal Jousting” was there to provide commentary during the joust. With witty comments and amusing remarks, Shane Adams provided an additional layer of interest to the event. The female was knocked off her horse and required medical attention after the incident, adding to the intense atmosphere.

The food at the fair was relatively decent, but it was lacking the charm of the Renaissance era. For example, most of the foods offered were modern but with older names. For example, curly fries with cheese and meat were called “Kinky Spuds.” However, even more out of place, there was a Gigi’s Cupcakes booth that offered an assortment of cupcakes.

Ren Faire partialThe staff at the fair was very interactive and I enjoyed playing along with them. Because I was outfitted as a plague doctor, the staff began putting black clothes pins on fair-goers and having them come to me for removal. Along with that was a fairy virus called “Glerpes,” which involved sparkles being thrown at people. The staff consistently called phones “fairy screens,” which added to the overall amusement.

Those in attendance included Mrs. Terrell’s AP European History class, all of whom enjoyed the experience.

Leanza Valenti, 12, said, “It was a lot of fun and a really interesting experience. I plan on going next year.”

All in all, I would say that the Renaissance Faire in Fishers was a success, and I cannot wait to return next year.

A Lagoon adventure

Story by: Claire Dorsch
Photos by: Claire Dorsch

Lagoon swings

Lagoon Amusement Park is located in Farmington, Utah, which I had the opportunity to visit during fall break vacation while visiting family. My group consisted of my mother, her cousins Katie and Brooke, Katie’s son Mason, and my little brothers. With an arsenal of food courtesy of a necessary trip to Costco, we made or way through the crowd, deposited our food and jackets in an unattended corner, and went on some rides.

My favorite ride was Cannibal, a 22 million dollar roller coaster that reaches 70 miles per hour. The best way to ride was to get in the singles line, which was conveniently empty, and park my butt in an open seat.

At first I was scared, because getting on I was close to the ground, but where the ride actually began was several stories inside a large brown building. Little did I know that there was a giant elevator that actually took us up the entire 208 foot tower and precariously placed us on the edge. At this point, the family of three next to me was subject to my babbling about calling CPS on my mother, who had convinced me to go on the ride in the first place.

It was comparable to the Diamondback in King’s Island, which is located in Mason, Ohio, but not the kind of scary that gave me dry mouth like the Diamondback does for me.

My next favorite ride was Samurai, a red and black terror that plays the Fruit Ninja background music as I and 29 other rides spin for ninety seconds, that on Lagoon’s website, is described to be extreme yet smooth and thrilling. Each radial arm of the ride freely rotates, so one second I was sitting upright, and the next I was upside down and being knocked around like a penny in the clothes dryer. Eating before getting on this ride was not a smart decision on my part, but in all my stomach stayed relatively indifferent to the centrifugal force whipping me around for all to see.

Roller Coaster, the oldest ride in the park, reminded me of the Beast which is also in King’s Island. I love wooden roller coasters because they make me wonder how people were scared of them back when they were first being built, because they are relatively tame compared to today’s thrill rides.

Lagoon big bookThe whole day was a great experience, and I was glad to get a chance to reconnect with my family from Utah who I see almost never. If anyone were to travel to Salt Lake City and want a place to hang out with friends have have a day to let out the inner adrenaline junky inside like I did, this would be the place to be.

Lagoon octopus


Story by: Baylie Clevenger, Managing Editor
Photos by: Baylie Clevenger, Managing Editor

Baylie's 5SoS 1On August 22 the band 5 Seconds of Summer paid a visit to Klipsch Music Center, and I had the privilege of being able to attend such a fun and entertaining concert.

The concert began after the less-than-impressive opening act, Hey Violet. While I was dissatisfied with the opening act, having mediocre vocals and lyrics, the rest of the concert was stellar.

5 Seconds of Summer opened with their song “End Up Here.” I thought the song was a great choice to open their performance, it was very fun and upbeat and I was impressed.

Baylie's 5SoS 2This concert had the best atmosphere,  there was not only chemistry between the band members, but also between the band and the crowd. It was clear that the band loved being on stage and they were glad to be there performing. They also thanked the crowd multiple times for having them and I thought it was pretty neat that they were so grateful to have been performing for us.

The most impressive part of the concert, by far, was their performance of the song “Wrapped Around Your Finger.” The vocals of Michael Clifford, guitarist, were spectacular and sounded as if he were recorded in a professional studio. The song was also just awe inspiring  and the emotion put into it was astounding.

The only part about the concert I was not pleased with was their decision not to sing “If You Don’t Know,” a fan favorite. The setlist was pretty good, but there were definitely some songs I wish would have been there that were not. Some of them include the first song of theirs I ever listened to, “Heartbreak Girl,” which was replaced by their new single “She’s Kinda Hot.”  I was also sad to find that their song “Never Be,” which is my favorite of all of the 5 Seconds of Summer songs, was missing.

When I can walk out of a concert and hear a large group of complete strangers singing one of the band’s songs together, I know it was a good concert.


Tying the knot on the Slipknot tour

Story and Photos by: Halee Evans, staff photographer


Metal heads and rockers of the like flocked to Klipsch Music Center on August 14 for a night of partying and music.

With a lineup that could kill and a total of three bands, Slipknot’s “Summer’s Last Stand” tour ended with a bang. Their last concert for the tour was on September 25 in Dallas, Texas.

Also playing at the concert were Bullet For My Valentine and Lamb of God.

Bullet For My Valentine was the first band to perform, and they had the crowd pumped. People were screaming along with the lyrics and mosh-pits were a common occurrence.

Lamb of God was a little less impressive. Their set seemed to be the perfect time to get a snack or talk to the people walking around.

“The line up was perfect, two good bands sandwiched in between a bathroom break. Lamb of God was the bathroom break by the way,” said Alex Jeschke, 11.

There were a lot of very friendly people at the concert or in the crowd. Everyone talked with each other, mostly about music and previous concerts. The most interesting people to talk to there where the people who were veteran concert goers. The whole event was one big party, with lots of rules and safety precautions of course.

After the snacks were had and everyone was ready to rock again, the main event started.

Slipknot killed their performance and had the crowd out of their seats and jumping.

As always, Slipknot made a huge production with their stage decorations. With their signature masks and flaming drum set, every eye was on stage and every mouth was singing along.

This is my second time seeing Slipknot live and I would recommend seeing them any chance you get. Their music may be a little aggressive for some, but they put on a show like no other.

Playing a total of ten songs, including the three encore songs, Slipknot had the crowd in the palm of their hands. With the mosh-pits at an all time high and the volume all the way up, I could not have been more in my element. The concert was one of the best I had ever been to.

By the end of the night everyone was dripping with sweat and and reeked of a good time. This was one concert that if you didn’t lose your voice and you mind by the end, than you were doing something wrong.

One Direction sells out Lucas Oil

Story by: Baylie Clevenger, Managing Editor
Photos by: Baylie Clevenger, Managing Editor

one direction crowd

The lights go out, the music blasts and screams erupt. Everyone is in a frenzy in an attempt to see as much as they can, and the tears run. The concert has begun.

On July 31st, One Direction took Indianapolis by storm in a way no one could have expected.

I attended the concert, and after seeing this band for the third time, I  can say that I am always more than impressed by their talent and ability to entertain.

The show opened up with a song off their most recent album, Four, called “Clouds.” It was upbeat and the perfect way to get the crowd pumped up. One would expect the performance to be less impressive seeing as they just lost their fifth band member, Zayn Malik, but they did not fail to absolutely knock everyone’s’ socks completely off.

“I don’t even like the band and they impressed me,” said Sydney Shurman, 12.

By far the best part of the concert was when they performed their new single, “Drag Me Down,”  live for the first time. The song has a catchy beat, and to say that the vocals of these four beyond talented young men are impressive would be an insulting understatement. This song will be featured on their new album, which is yet to be named.

The concert was a great experience and I recommend seeing One one direction concertDirection live. They were entertaining and it was obvious that they genuinely wanted to be doing what they were doing. They even thanked the crowd multiple times just for being there.

I left the concert that night with one of feeling like I had had the time of my life. Seeing them again in the future is definitely something I am looking forward to.

Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson rocked our state’s capital and I am grateful that I was able to experience it.

Mr. Holmes

Story by: Tess Barnett, Reviews Editor

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s beloved character Sherlock Holmes has been portrayed by many actors in both movies and a TV series. Until now, all have been at least loosely based off of Sherlock Holmes while he was still an active detective.

Writer Mitch Cullin, however, decided to go in a new direction with his Holmes. “Mr. Holmes,” directed by Bill Condon, tells the story of a senile Sherlock who has retired to the English countryside. As the story unfolds, we discover that he left the detective business after a botched case that he was unable to overcome.

Sherlock Holmes is accompanied on his journey of trying to remember the case by his housekeeper’s young son, Roger, who is played by Milo Parker. Holmes spends his days caring for his apiary and trying to discover ways to regain his memory.

While it is not the most exciting movie I have ever seen, Ian McKellen,also known as Gandalf, does an extraordinary job of playing the dying detective. His interactions with Roger are highly paternal and he incites genuine concern and wonder from the audience.

“Mr. Holmes” is a highly original movie that starred beautiful people in a beautiful area. There is much to be said for the cinematography of the film, which left me longing to return to the beautiful countryside of the British Isles.

Even though it will not be in theaters much longer, “Mr. Holmes” is definitely a movie that all fans of Sherlock Holmes should see.

Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong.

Story by: Kailee Isham, staff writer
Listening to For King & Country’s new album, it is easy to see why the album won a Grammy at this year’s ceremony. The album boasts songs that utilize several styles of music and an array of different electronic and conventional instruments, such as cellos, synthesizers, and snare drums.

One song, “Without You,” is a bittersweet love song that employs an intricate piano part to convey the feeling of the song, whereas “Fix My Eyes,” is an upbeat song about living to the fullest, and features drums and violins.

“Shoulders” is a sad but hopeful song about God making up for one’s shortcomings, and is one of my personal favorites on the album.

“This is Love” is a song about someone realizing that the feelings they have for another, and making a promise to be strong and faithful. It takes advantage of a strong beat and a simple, but beautiful, piano part.

The album “RUN WILD. LIVE FREE. LOVE STRONG,” cannot be pegged into just one category. The one feature each song has in common is that, while not each song is explicitly Christian, each song is uplifting and free from all forms of vulgarity.This album has earned its place on my playlist.