On Saturday, September 28, 2013, I declared on Instagram that I would start a hunt for some good flavored pumpkin food and drinks. My goal is to find 25 pumpkin flavored goodies by Monday, November 25, 2013. Follow #TinaLovesPumpkin or #PumpkinAdventure on Instagram to see my pumpkin pictures!

I’m almost halfway there. Here’s what I’ve tried so far!

1. Mimi’s Cafe pumpkin muffin fresh from the oven! Well, at least I hope and think it’s fresh from the oven because it was darn warm! The muffin is so big that two people can share it. The best part about the muffin aside from it being fresh was the crispy edges of the muffin top! Unfortunately, I have no picture of this except that some of my SnapChat friends may have seen evidence of this beauty.

2. Starbucks #PSL aka Pumpkin Spice Latte. I believe this is my second or third year drinking Starbucks seasonal #PSL and I love it. There’s a roasted taste to it that I really like. Too bad the first time I had the PSL this year, I spilled at least a quarter of it onto my lap. Fail, fail. It doesn’t look to pretty when you spill it.

Starbucks #PSL gone wrong.

3. Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s pumpkin muffin with chocolate chunks. This bad boy had about 500 calories but I didn’t feel guilty eating it at all! I shared a little bit of it with a friend but finished majority of it. I couldn’t share much because it was that good.

That pumpkin muffin with chocolate chunks!

4. Yogurtland’s pumpkin pie yogurt. In general, I’m not a fan of Yogurtland because of their watery and somewhat cheap flavors. But because of my pumpkin challenge, I decided to try out their pumpkin pie yogurt. It was surprisingly good! It didn’t taste watery or cheap. It tasted just like pumpkin pie. I couldn’t stop thinking about the pumpkin pie itself.

5. Trader Joe’s Organic Pumpkin Pop Tart. Finally had a “healthy” pumpkin treat thanks to Victoria who randomly had the pumpkin pop tart in her purse! The pop tart was pretty light in sweetness. Probably because of the organic part. So I didn’t feel too guilty eating it.

6. Cheesecake Factory’s Pumpkin Cheesecake. Oh man, this is rich in flavor. Too rich that I couldn’t finish a slice. You could definitely taste the pumpkin flavor from the cheesecake. It was good for only a little bit.

7. Ralph’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie. Fluffy in texture. Weird pumpkin flavor. Don’t know how to explain it. But it was just ok. Probably wouldn’t try it again.
Ralph's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie.

8. Cal Poly Pomona’s Homemade Pumpkin Bread. Tasted the homie-ness to the pumpkin bread and the love the students put in to bake it!

9. Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cereal Bar. Good breakfast on the go but it may have been a little too sweet to have in the morning.

10. Pop Tart’s Pumpkin Pop Tart. The festive fall colored sprinkles on the pop tart made me enjoy eating it. This was definitely sweeter than Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pop Tart. I’d have to pick the artificial over the organic pumpkin flavored pop tart. Guilty.

Pop Tart's Pumpkin Pop Tart
I have to say that my top three so far is #1, #2, and #8. If you have any suggestions on some pumpkin flavored sweets I should try, definitely let me know! As for now, I haven’t been really going out of my way to try them. I’ve been lucky enough to go to places that have pumpkin goodies unexpectedly. Well, there’s a lot of pumpkin food out there because it’s in season. Aside from that, sometimes someone has pumpkin in their pocket and they want to share it with me. So I’ll humbly take their offer and thank God for providing it and helping me add it to my #TinaLovesPumpkin list. I’ll have another post coming up if I’m able to find a dozen more places! Wish me luck!
Happy Pumpkin Season!

Ugly Sweater Parties

I’ve been wanting to go to an ugly sweater party for the longest time! I was determined to make an ugly sweater for some Christmas gathering. There was a Christmas party at my church and I told myself that I’d make an ugly sweater even though there was no dress code. So I bought some fabric, sequence, and some holiday stickers from Walmart and Michael’s. I also used some small ornaments from my Christmas tree. I think I spent a little less than $12 on my sweater which included the sweater itself ($5) and the decor. I had to make myself a budget for the sweater just because it was going to be ugly and because it was going to be a one time kind of a thing.

Ugly Sweater Party #1
The day after I bought my ugly sweater materials, I found out that my church was having an ugly sweater competition! It was perfect timing! I’ve never worked so hard a project that I wasn’t going to be graded on! I didn’t even procrastinate on this! So a lot of love and time was put on my sweater. Though a good amount of time was spent on my couture sweater, it was really fun putting it together when it came down to it.

So I wasn’t the only one wearing a homemade ugly sweater. A few competitors/friends made their own too! Who do you think won? Drum roll. The one on the right at the end. Michelle! Her sweater was definitely ugly!


Ugly Sweater Party #2
My company was encouraging all employees to wear holiday sweaters and anything festive for our annual holiday party. Once I found out that it was ok to wear “holiday sweaters”, I immediately knew I was going to wear an ugly sweater. This time, I switched it up a little. I made my sweater cugly aka cute ugly. A lot of my coworkers were impressed with my sweater. They all liked it but I’m not sure if that meant they liked it because it was more ugly than cute or the other way around. Either way I took it as a positive comment!


The cool thing about our holiday party was that there was a photo booth! So my coworkers and I took one! I had to put a Christmas tree hat on just to match with my ugly sweater even though you can’t see the tree!

Ugly Sweater Party #3
My last ugly sweater party was a girls only gathering! Before going over to the party, I had to buy some salad since it was potluck. I went to Ralphs with my ugly sweater on. People started looking at me intently. Well, they kept looking at my sweater. I was getting really uncomfortable so I ended up zipping up my jacket. I’ve never felt so self conscious before! It was a little humorous though. At the grocery store, a kid complimented out loud about my headband with the big bow. So that was nice but I was still self conscious about the ugly sweater. Anyways. At the party, two people, including myself, were the only ones who wore our ugly sweater. I kept my sweater still cugly.


Knowing that I was able to wear my ugly sweater three times made the craft work worth it! I can’t wait to make another ugly sweater next year!