Pumpkin spice: the flavour that rules them all

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Spotted: a wild pumpkin spice latte

Pumpkin spice has become a crazy cultural food craze.  It began as flavouring for pie, but has since grown into a long list of foods and household items that seems to get longer every year. There are the pumpkin spice cereals, doughnuts, candles, lotions, beers, and of course the infamous Starbucks pumpkin spice latte just to name a few.

So where did it all come from and why is it such a big deal? Simply put, it’s nostalgic. Americans root themselves in tradition, and pumpkin spice can be traced back farther than you think. The first reference to pumpkin spice was in 1796 in Amelia Simmons cookbook “American Cookery”. Amelia called for stewed pumpkin spiced with ginger and nutmeg for her “pompkin pudding” pie.

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Pumpkin spice cupcakes

As Americans moved on to urban living, pumpkin spice and all of its glory came with them. Fast-forward a couple of centuries and pumpkin spice is no longer just a flavouring for pie, but a mass source of commercial revenue. In fact, in 2013 alone Americans spent $350 million on pumpkin flavoured products alone. The crown jewel of this pumpkin spiced epidemic happens to be – you guessed it – Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. The popularity of this fall drink is said to have been the reason for so many copycat products hitting the shelves. It has gotten to the point where even the most obscure of items seem to have found a way to jump on the bandwagon.PSL

We have seen:

For the sake of my appetite, I’d rather not go on.

What I can say about the pumpkin spice trend is that as over-saturated as it may be, I really don’t mind it. Fall is a season for crisp air, crunchy leaves, cinnamon and cozy sweaters. I’ll deal with the pumpkin spice hummus, vodka and chips if it means I can warm up by a fire drinking a delicious pumpkin spice latte.

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The Trials and Tribulations of Being 20-Something and Jobless

tumblr_inline_ml1simeHBD1qz4rgpOk. So you’ve just dropped more than a few stacks on your premium college/university education and now you find yourself going back to that old summer job as camp counsellor. It’s only natural to be disappointed as you’ve just spent the last four years being filled with ideas surrounding the promise of success and a dream career. Think again. Being 20-something and FOC (fresh-outta-college) is the equivalent of being stuck in an awkward unemployed limbo that will seem impossible to get out of. While this stage of your life is bound to be nothing short of disappointment, late nights, hard work, and an endless life-supply of coffee… I assure you there is light at the end of the tunnel (I REPEAT: LIGHT. AT. END. OF. TUNNEL).

Now that we’ve come to a mutual understanding that the economy is pretty much a sad pile of sh*t right now offering little to no jobs for college graduates, it’s time to be more positive. So yes, landing a good job is like clawing your way to the finish line of a spartan race, but no, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

In my experience, FOC job hunters seem to have this sense of unnecessary self-entitlement. As though reading textbooks and writing exams for the past four years gives a person the “right” to a good job. While you might have an amazing education… you have pretty much no practical skills or experience that lands you the right to a good job (with the exception of those do-gooders who took advantage of internship opportunities – go you!).

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The Harsh Truths About Valentine’s Day No Single Lady Will Admit

Valentine’s Day. Even the thought of it is cringe-worthy for the single ladies out there… or so they say.

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For every 5 girls who claim they “hate Valentine’s Day” at least 3 of them are lying. Why lie you ask? I thought it was obvious – no one wants to admit they’re lonely. The truth is, for most girls it’s easier to spend the day faking their hatred rather than roll around in a bed of self-pity spoon feeding themselves ice-cream (been there, done that). What most singles desire most, is to be in a relationship celebrating this hallmark holiday for themselves and their significant other. Unfortunately, this is not a reality everyone gets the “pleasure” of experiencing and this is why people project hate towards the world on this day. I don’t blame them. Even though most singles don’t actually hate the holiday, there are many reasons to have it out for V-Day. Here are a few of my favourites:

  • First of all, what is it with the correlation between chocolate and V-Day? I mean I love chocolate and all but I don’t need to be receiving heaps of it from my significant other just so they can watch me stuff my face – pass.
  • And what are you supposed to do when V-Day falls on a weekend? If you’re going to go out on Valentine’s Day you might as well walk around with a giant sign that reads “SINGLE & DESPERATE”.
  • The whole world has built up this expectation around V-Day that it’s meant to be spent with someone. If you’re single you’re better off staying home and avoiding anyone whose going to hit you with the “awe, it’s ok… you’ll find someone someday!” spiel.
  • Ok, so you’re single and have decided to embrace it. You and your fellow single ladies (or fellas) make dinner plans, but unfortunately every restaurant is impossible to get in without a reservation. You find yourself  sitting in a Mickey D’s at the end of the night stuffing your face with a Jr. bacon cheeseburger and once again, reminded of how single you all are.

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While the above circumstances are harsh realities every single person has experienced at least once in their life (if you don’t agree with me stop lying to yourself),  it’s all a part of the viscous cycle. And as much as being single on Valentine’s Day can suck, it’s really not all that bad. Here’s why the single’s need to stop pretending to hate this holiday and just embrace it:

  1. Indulge yourself: you can’t expect another to love you without loving yourself. Corny? I don’t care.
  2. Throw a party: Ok. So you can’t go out without appearing desperate. All I hear is an excuse to bring the party to your house.
  3. Go shopping: Cute red dresses… everywhere. Besides, everyone needs an LRD.
  4. Save money: Alternatively, you can skip the mall and just save your money. No one’s expecting presents from you… bonus!
  5. Be thankful: While a lot of relationships appear ‘perfect’ online, many are not. Be thankful you’re not “faking it ’til you’re making it”, ‘aint nobody got time for that.

Moral of the story: stop pretending you hate V-Day, hit up the candy sale the next day, and embrace your single status.

xo

Wanderlust…

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“Life knows no borders, adventure awaits, have less do more”… I’ve heard it all.

For as long as I can remember i’ve never had the travel bug. Something always seemed to hold me back. I always blamed my lack of adventure on family, friends, work, essentially any lame attempt at an excuse I could muster up. Looking back I realize I was only ever holding myself back. Since overcoming a life changing year in 2014, and ringing in 2015 with a well deserved vacation, I can officially say with confidence that i’ve been bitten by the travel bug.

My desire to see the world has never felt so strong. The idea that there are people, places, and cultures just waiting to be explored excites me. Continue reading