Seasonal drinks at Starbucks

Starbucks Corporation is an American coffee company and coffeehouse chain. Starbucks was founded in Seattle, Washington, in 1971. As of 2018, the company operates 28,218 locations worldwide. Starbucks is one of the many coffee places that sell seasonal drinks, a favorite being the holiday drinks. Here is a list of the Holiday Drinks that are coming out.

  • Peppermint mocha

“A holiday classic made with our signature espresso, steamed milk, sweet mocha sauce and peppermint-flavored syrup. It’s all topped off with whipped cream and dark chocolate curls.” 



  • Caramel Brulee Latte

“Espresso, steamed milk and rich Caramel Brulee Sauce, topped with whipped cream and Caramel Brulee Topping.”



  • Chestnut Praline Latte

“Espresso, steamed milk and flavors of caramelized chestnuts and spices. Topped with whipped cream and spiced praline crumbs.”



  • Eggnog Latte

“This perennial holiday favorite is made with rich, steamed eggnog and our signature espresso. Then we top it off with a dusting of ground nutmeg for the perfect finish.”



  • Toasted White Chocolate Mocha

“Our signature espresso, steamed milk and flavors of caramelized white chocolate are finished with whipped cream and a topping of holiday sugar sparkles and crispy white pearls.”


  • Gingerbread Latte

“Sweet and delicately spicy gingerbread flavors mingle with our classic espresso and steamed milk and are topped with whipped cream and ground nutmeg for the perfect holiday touch.”



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I’ve heard a lot of different reviews on Starbucks Holiday drinks, and some people have positive things to say, while some others don’t really like them at all.

One response that stood out to me, by someone who wanted to stay anonymous, was that the flavors that are represented in the ads, don’t really match the name of the drinks. For example, she had said that the Gingerbread Latte had “good flavor” but “did not taste like gingerbread.” She did say though, that she really enjoyed the decorations of the Starbucks cups, and that it somewhat made up for the drink flavors.

In my opinion, I understand what Starbucks is trying to do: promote the holiday season by selling seasonal drinks to get everyone in the holiday spirit. However, I do have to agree with the anonymous responder that the flavors don’t really match the drink titles very well. I have also tried the Gingerbread latte and I have to say that I really did enjoy the flavor of it, but again, felt they could’ve added a little bit more gingerbread.

Funyun facts

Funyuns are a chip brand invented in 1969 by a Frito-Lay employee. That employee’s name? George Bigner. They are meant to be like onion rings with their flavoring and shape. The flavor comes from a salt and onion mix that they pour onto the chip.

Funyuns were named by Jim Albright, a professor at the University of North Texas. Funyuns were originally going to be called OnYums, but that was already a copywrited product of Rudolph Foods.

Frito-Lay chip bags used to have a “window” on the bags so you could see the food inside. Funyuns were the last chip of Frito-Lay that gave up the window. This happened in 2005.

Funyuns also had five different flavors. Original, Wasabi, Flamin’ Hot, Chile & Limón, and Steakhouse Onion. Wasabi was only a Funyun flavor from 2001 to 2002, and Steakhouse Onion was created in 2015 and was only discontinued this year. But the other three flavors are still here today!

Funyuns are made mostly from cornmeal, and then put into their ring shape from an extrusion process. As mentioned earlier, the flavor comes from a salt and onion flavor mix.

And last, a fun fact! In Brazil, Funyuns are called “Cebolitos”.

History of Thanksgiving foods

Thanksgiving Dinner Image taken from:

The holiday we all know and love is coming about,m and the festive season is blooming. If you’re a feverish Thanksgiving fan (even if you don’t even celebrate), here are some interesting facts about the history of Thanksgiving foods that you may or may not know.

We all know the modern staples of a Thanksgiving dinner: cranberry sauce, roast turkey, stuffing and more. But would it surprise you to know that none of these were present at the first Thanksgiving feast?

Instead of wild turkey, it was likely that the settlers ate roast duck or goose. Additionally, seafood, including lobster, clams, and mussels, made an appearance at the meal in the New England colony.

The forest provided chestnuts and walnuts, and crops provided squash, carrots, and peas for sides. Though corn is one of the most iconic Thanksgiving foods, it’s unlikely that settlers had corn on the cob this time of year — the only corn present at the first Thanksgiving was dried.

So, how did we get to eating turkey and mashed potatoes?

Well, the turkey was added to the annual celebration, and later popularized. Indigenous people boiled cranberries with sugar and used it to pair with the turkey. This sauce can be found in a cookbook from 1796. Sweet potatoes with marshmallows originated in France and then was adopted by Americans in attempt to add sweet potatoes to their meal. Pumpkin pie wasn’t found on tables until the 1800s.

While a nutty, herby stuffing could possibly be found at the first Thanksgiving, it wasn’t until 1792 when the modern stuffing was a hit. Green bean casserole, a hot dish, wasn’t popularized until 1955 – less than 63 years ago.

While Thanksgiving food has changed, and been altered over time, it’s not what the holiday is actually about. Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful and gracious for what we have.


Things to do in the Big Apple

Are you traveling to New York anytime soon and don’t know what to do there? Here are some ideas of things to do around the city of New York to make your trip the best!

Tour Bus

Taking the Times Square double decker tour bus is so cool because you get to sit in the top of this high bus and see the city from a cool view, while learning about what’s around you. I recommended the company Top View for the tour bus.

Shop in Times Square

If there’s a rainy, or bad weather, day when you are on your trip I suggest going shopping in Time Square. They have the best stores and so many you can find anything and everything. Also, it’s fun to explore the different stores they have there.

Visit Chinatown

It’s fun to explore different cultures, so why not visit Chinatown. They have really cool shops to explore and good authentic Chinese food. If you’re looking for a good gift shop, I suggest going to Chinatown where they have really cute stuff there and for not too much. In the stores around the area, things will either be super expensive or super cheap, so it fits what you want to get.

Here’s a tip: look out for scams in Chinatown. So many people will try to scam you on the street for your money. If someone on the street offers you something for a really high price, offer them a lower number and if they say no, start to walk away, and most the time they will give in.

Go out to Eat

Don’t stay in your hotel’s restaurant, go travel around the area for some good places to eat. Time Square has some of the world’s best bakeries. Also, walking around helps you see the city and explore.

See a Broadway Show

The one and only Broadway is located in New York. Go out one night and see a Broadway show. They are truly amazing. I recommend my favorite show The Phantom of the Opera.

The Met

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is so pretty. I would highly recommend going to this museum to see so much history from the world. It also gives you access to the roof, where some art is, and it’s the prettiest view of the Upper East Side.

Central Park

Central Park is gorgeous. If you’ve been in the city your whole trip, I recommend going for a nice walk in the park. You can do a lot in the park. You can go on a rowboat in a small lake, or even go on a horse carriage ride. Also, if your looking for somewhere pretty to take pictures this is the place.

Statue of Liberty

While you’re in New York, why not visit and see the thing that makes it so special up close? Going on a ferry ride on the Hudson River to get to the Statue is a really cool experience. The ferry tour is very cool, but super windy if you go on the front deck, so I’d be careful of things flying away. The tour guides explain so much about New York, and actually explain other good places to visit and good places to eat.

Travel tips!

10 Helpful Travel Tips

Have you ever left something really important at home while leaving for vacation, or not have enough room in your suitcase for clothes? Here are some useful travel tips to help you out.

1. Pack Light

Take half the clothes you think you will need…you won’t need as much as you think. Write down a list of essentials, cut it in half, and then only pack that!

2. Don’t fold your clothes flat, roll them in your suitcase

Do you ever run out of space while packing clothes? Instead of folding your clothes so they are flat, roll them, and you will see this method gives you so much more space.

3. Always have a backup plan.

It’s important to have a backup plan as we all tend to mess up sometimes. You could forget renting a rental car, but you thought you did. You could get lost while exploring, or not have any WiFi to call anyone. Traveling is a lot of work, don’t think to yourself that nothing will go wrong, because that’s just not true.

4. Plan ahead

Book flights and hotels 2-3 months in advance in case they end up getting booked. Also, it’s a lot cheaper if you don’t wait until the last minute.

5. Be prepared for the worst

Like I said, you never know what’s going to happen. Pack a flashlight and a basic first aid kit just in case. You or someone else could get hurt or the power could go out.

6. Be patient

Traveling takes a lot of time, especially in the airport. Those security lines are the longest, but just stay cool you’ll get there. There’s no need to rush, it won’t make you go any faster.

7. On travel days get everywhere early

As I said, the airport security lines are so long so you’ll need to plan out how long you think it will take to get through them, and when your flight is. It’s better to be there a little early and sit, then miss your flight because of a long line.

8. Don’t fall for the scam!!

Travel scams are very common in famous places, that’s how some people get their money. Be cautious of people coming up to you and offering you something for money. Since you’re not familiar to the area you could think it’s not a scam and makes sense, but don’t fall for it because it most likely is!

9. Check the weather ahead

Wherever you are going it’s most likely the weather is different, so check the weather ahead of time. This will help you to know what clothes you’ll need, like if you need a jacket and boots or tank top and shorts. Then you won’t freeze or be to hot.

10. Finally, wear sunscreen

This only applies to those traveling in the tropic areas and places where the sun can hurt you. It’s so important to wear sunscreen, most of us think it’s no big deal. The sun does so much damage to your skin if not protected from it, so do your skin a favor and wear sunscreen you don’t want melanoma.

Tokyo Sushi

Tokyo Sushi is an all you can eat restaurant that won’t break your bank. This sushi place has been talked about amongst many of our friends so we wanted to see if it was really worth it.

Tokyo Sushi hasn’t been around for very long, but they’ve already made such good business with their fair price, and good quality food. The restaurant itself is very dim lighted, almost calming and intimate. The interior design is far from traditional; it has a very modern, sleek look to it, having a very dark color scheme including: black, grey, and brown. The place is very spacious, I would say, with a majority of the seats being booths. It’s the perfect place for a date night with your significant other, or even a night out with your friends.

Now, since this is an all you can eat place, you can always order as much as you want, making sure to eat your money’s worth. They have many choices including, nigiri, sashimi, rice bowls, tempura, and much, much more.

Tokyo Sushi is a great place for people who have not tried sushi and want to try it. The restaurant has so many choices that are appealing to first timers, such as the spicy salmon hand roll, which is almost like a taco and very savory.

It’s best to have a side dish such as a rice bowl as well, so you can have something to eat on the side that is not raw or fishy, in case you don’t like the sushi you have previously eaten.

Eating sushi at first is a little surprising and intimidating if you aren’t used to the flavors, and especially if you haven’t had raw fish before. Because of this, it is best to stick to the simple rolls. The recommended sushi to try depends on if you have had fish before, and if you like it. If you have had fish before, then trying some salmon, or another fish that isn’t too extreme with taste, will help you adjust. Who knows, you may end up liking sushi.

If you haven’t had fish or don’t really like it, then it’s recommended that you try something very simple such as shrimp, or try the handrolls since the handrolls don’t just come with raw fish, but have many other foods in them as well. But, when you go to try new sushi, or to try it for the first time, it’s best to go with people who know about sushi, or just be a daredevil and do it with people who haven’t, and see how it goes.

Some of the things we ordered were eel fried rice, seafood udon, beef don, squid teriyaki, and eel nigiri. I have eaten sushi before and it is one of my favorite foods, so I already knew what to order. Our friend who tried it out for the first time had a few difficulties, like figuring out what to order and asking what certain foods were. When our food came, she was afraid to try them out.

I think first timers should try out small pieces first and go on from there. As someone who loves seafood, I can eat just about anything with fish, but those who aren’t used to the taste of fish should try out easy and non exotic food first. It was fun seeing my friend’s reactions to the food, and hearing her thoughts on how they tasted. If you haven’t tried sushi before, you should totally give it a try.

Saji-Ya restaurant review

By, Riley Lumpkin and Gabe Mattick

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Japanese restaurant Saji-Ya was quite the experience. The traditional Japanese food was amazing. We were able to get the full experience by sitting at a table with the teppanyaki. Teppanyaki-style cooking requires a chef that is both a great cook and a performer. It is a steel grill that cooks the food right in front of you, our chef was extremely entertaining. He performed many tricks and told many jokes as he was making our food. His performance definitely made our time at Saji-Ya great. Our favorite part of his cooking was watching the onion volcano. Our chef made a volcano from onions, he poured oil into it then lit it on fire. This created the volcano.

Our food was amazing. The meal started off with a cup of white rice, chicken liver, miso soup, and a salad. This was our appetizer, I (Riley) was a little hesitant about trying the chicken liver, although I’m glad I tried it because it was very good. The miso soup and salad were also very good. For our entree, we both ordered the salmon and steak combination. We both like our steak medium rare, which is what we ordered.

The overall flavor of the steak was great, the seasonings he used worked well together; although our steak was cooked a little more than we would’ve liked it to be. The salmon was also very good, with seasoning similar to the steak. It was cooked perfectly and almost melted in our mouths.

As a side to the meat, we were served a side of vegetables. They were cooked with the onion volcano. Overall, there was a nice mixture, it included: squash, tomatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, carrots, and broccoli. The flavor was nice because the taste of the vegetables was not lost in all the seasoning.

Overall, our experience was very nice and special for prom. It was not expensive, and there were options for vegetarians. We recommend sitting by the grill and going with a group of friends.


Our spring break

By: Sagal, Anisa, Mariam, and Ilham

Spring break is the time of year everyone looks forward to because it’s that time of year where you can travel. Go see new places possibly meet new people. There are a lot of places to travel, like Wisconsin, California, even outside of the country. I (Ilham) traveled inside the state to Eden Prairie where I helped my cousin clean her house. I also traveled to Minneapolis to eat at a really fancy Somali restaurant; the restaurant was called Hamdi. I had the rice and chicken, and man when I tell you the food was really good, it was really good.

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During spring break I (Anisa) just stayed home and caught up on my shows that I missed. Watching shows during spring break makes me feel relaxed because I don’t have to worry about anything like school work and other stressful things. Netflix, Hulu and Xfinity Stream comes in handy during spring break because you can easily binge watch all shows. I also watched hilarious YouTube videos. The pranks that they do is so hilarious. Basically, I found out you don’t have to travel to enjoy spring break.

I (Mariam) didn’t travel far during spring, the only different city I went to was Minneapolis. I went to this famous Somali restaurant in Lake Street called Qurxloy; the food there is amazing. Most of my spring break I spent at my grandmother’s house, because it’s so quiet in there and I intended to be in relax mode all spring break long. Obviously, I started watching a new show during spring break. I started watching a show called This is Us, I strongly recommend people to watch that show, because it’s filled with family drama, and healing. I also spent some time with my younger brother because we don’t really hangout a lot, except for the weekends, so it was great to spend some time with them.

During my spring break I (Sagal) traveled to Dallas, Texas. I went to visit family. It was really fun. The weather over there was really hot, and humid. It also rained a little while I was there. But overall, my trip was great. I did a lot of fun activities with my cousins, like go-karting, bowling, golfing, and a lot more. I will totally be going back next spring break.

Places to travel in the summer

According to the U.S News Travel, these 10 top attractions are right for you and your family, and they include many fun activities and entertainment.

New York City, US
New York City is a popular place to go to because it includes arts, food, and fashion. Broadway is a popular place in New York, especially the shows and performances. NYCs main attractions are the Statue of Liberty and the museum about 9/11.

Paris, France
For first time visitors, the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum are great places to go to when going to France. Also, they have nice malls and restaurants like Forum des Halles and Carrousel du Louvre, and restaurants like Pierre Gagnaire and Ze Kitchen Galerie.

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam has famous museums like the Van Gogh and the Rijksmuseum. They have places for families like Vondelpark and NEMO science museum. Leidseplein has night clubs, movie theaters, and concerts.

Florence, Italy
Florence’s attractions include art like visual art and architect. There are works hung in the Uffizi and Galleria dell’Accademia, and also Duomo and the Palazzo Pitti. Also, they have Boboli Gardens which is a big attraction that includes arts and a huge garden.

Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona has many unique art and architecture and has museums, churches, and parks. Some include: Casa Batllo, La Sagrada Familia, and Parc Güell. The main attraction is La Barceloneta beach and the FC Barcelona’s headquarters.

Singapore, Malaysia
In Singapore, they have both urban and natural attractions which include Orchard Road and Little India showcase. They also have Gardens by the Bay,  and the Singapore Botanic Gardens that provide fresh air. They have a huge playground for adults and children including Sentosa and Merlion Park.

Kauai, Hawaii
This island has so many outdoor activities including: hiking, kayaking, swimming, or just relaxing at the beach. The most popular attraction is Napali Coast which includes hiking and adventure. It is known as number 2, in the Best Romantic Getaways in the U.S. Also, Tunnels Beach is considered as one of the best places to go snorkeling.

Sicily, Italy
Sicily has so many attractions and adventures which include the Valley of the Temples, and the Segesta Temple. It has a Volcano, called Mount Etna, which has top activities such as hiking and a tour around the mountain. They also have the Valley of the Temples which includes Ancient Roman temples.

Savannah, Georgia
Savannah has historic areas which include Mercer Williams House, and the home of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of Girl Scout Cookies. They have Bonaventure Cemetery and the City Market. They also have Tybee Island which includes a huge Light station, and a Marine Science Center.

Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh is known for their museums and castles. Some include: the Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat, the Museum of Scotland, and more. If you visit Holyroodhouse Palace then you’ll see Arthur’s Seat and Calton Hill. They have annual festivals like Military Tatto, the Fringe festival, and the Edinburgh festival.

Best spring break experiences

By: Riley Lumpkin and Gabe Mattick

Spring break this year was great; we both had amazing experiences on our vacations. Gabe went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and I went to the Big Island, Hawaii. These are our best experiences.

In Mexico I had a great time, I traveled with my family and we did lots of fun activities. My top two favorite things from spring break were the food and swimming in the ocean. The whole trip, I never had a bad meal, I also ordered something different every time we went out. One of my favorite meals was at Joe Jacks in Old Town, I had fish on top of rice and beans.


My second favorite meal was at a fancier restaurant. I had sea bass on top of rice with shrimp, mussels, and calamari. This was on Easter, so the restaurant was packed with tourists.

My second favorite experience was swimming in the ocean. It was great because we could go whenever we wanted. Every day we were there, it was warm and sunny; perfect for swimming. We found a beach with waves that were great for boogie boarding. Other than swimming, we woke up to beautiful sunrises and dolphins in the morning, and sunsets at night. 


My spring break vacation, to Hawaii, was my favorite trip I’ve been on. I have never been to a more beautiful state. My two favorite experiences were going on a helicopter tour and going to a luau.

The helicopter tour was my favorite for many reasons. First, because I have never been on one before and it is fun to try new things. Secondly, because we were able to see parts of the Island you can’t see by foot. From the helicopter we saw many waterfalls; my whole family lost count. We also saw the jungle where the wild pigs live. On the North West side, there was a sharp drop, that was from land that fell off the island because of an earthquake. The pilot was also very nice; he was a former pilot for the Airforce. Although I did many fun things, the helicopter tour was definitely the best.


My second favorite experience was the luau. Luau translates to “feast.” In the Hawaiian culture, families put on luaus to acknowledge and celebrate their past. There was hula dancing, which was very entertaining, and really good food. We went to a luau at the Fairmont Orchid, apparently, this was the best luau in the area. My favorite part about it was watching the dancers. They tell a story from their past through dancing; it is very clear what the message and story are even though they weren’t talking. Unfortunately, I was not able to take pictures of the dancers. I did take a picture of a little message written out in dry coral on top of lava rock.