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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Words of Wisdom: Competition 101

A little competition never hurt anyone right? Wrong…

While it’s completely natural for most people to feel a sense of competition here and there, it too often happens between friends. As a woman, its hard not to compare yourself to the other women around you. Unfortunately in my case, the women around me most also happen to be my best friends. Comparing things like clothes, beauty, hair, and style are really only minimalist, trivial things and usually aren’t enough to encourage actual competition.

But what do you do when the comparisons start to happen with bigger, more important components of life such as school or college applications? This is where it gets tricky. Meeting your best friends in college or university also means there is a high chance they are in the same program as you. While this can be a positive thing (having friends in your classes, sharing notes, having good partners for group projects), it can also be not so positive.

Going beyond the competition that comes with college applications, what do you do when you and your bestie also have the same dreams, goals, and career path? In this case, it becomes EXTREMELY hard not to get  competitive.

Here are some examples of NORMAL thoughts that might go through your head:

  1. How could she apply to the same program as me, its MY dream not HERS. 
  2. What if she gets in and I don’t? 
  3. What if she becomes successful and I’m stuck waiting tables my whole life? 
  4. What a b*tch. 

Harsh? Not really.  Continue reading