Thanksgiving break is
coming soon, and everyone seems to be excited for it.
Most of the people go back home, and celebrate with a humongous turkey sitting on the middle of table. As an international student, however, Thanksgiving is not as welcoming as other holidays. I love going back home, but 1 week is simply too short. To go back, we have to endure 13 hours of flight and then another 2 hours to go back home. Then you have to deal with Jet lag, which takes a while to get over.
Time just flies during thanksgiving, and it is exhausting to spend a full day just in plane, but I guess I’m still excited to see my family.
October traditions lead to massive pumpkin waste! In November when pumpkins begin to decompose, unfortunately they turn in to methane. That, of course, is a harmful greenhouse gas that plays a huge part in climate change.
Transforming a plain old pumpkin into a jack-o’-lantern is one of the highlights of Halloween. But once we’re done, second nature – we throw them away instead of disposing them in an eco-friendly manner. Pumpkins are organic waste, which means you can compost them, but we often fail to do so. Here are some ways to extend the life of your used jack-o’-lantern and uncarved pumpkins.
Firstly, what you’re going to want to do is split the pumpkin seeds and guts apart. Then cut the pumpkin in half. With the seeds you can either roast them, creating a delicious plant protein snack, or you can store the seeds to grow your own pumpkin patch.
To roast them you simply preheat the oven to 320°
-Boil the seeds in salt water and drain
-Scatter them on a cooking sheet
-Add olive oil and a little bit of salt
-Roast for 10 minutes and you’re done with an easy healthy snack.
Now for the guts – many overlook the endless possibilities of how you can use the guts – If you have a juicer you can juice the pumpkin with apple, ginger or cinnamon, creating a healthy drink. You can use the pulp for these recipes- but if you don’t have a juicer, you can use the guts of the pumpkin for various recipes.
If you have a savory sweet tooth but want to stay healthy around the holidays this might be the perfect drink for you –
Pumpkin Pie Milkshake (Vegan)
-Steam the pumpkin guts for 30 minutes
-Let it cool and using a blender purée
(If using pulp you can skip this step^)
-4 tbsp purée or pulp
-Either 3 ice cubes and a Banana or 1 cup vanilla vegan ice cream
-¼ cup of any plant-based milk (my favorite, oak milk)
-½ TBSP vanilla extract
-½ tbsp pumpkin spice, cinnamon or nutMeg
And enjoy a healthy holiday dessert!
This next recipe will make your dogs love you a little bit more around the holidays – pumpkins are considered one of the best “people foods” you can give your canine companion, supporting their urinary and digestive health!
Pumpkin Flaxseed/oat Dog Treats
Blend: the pumpkin pulp
-1 ½ cups of flaxseeds or oats
-¼ cup of water
– *2 tablespoons of coconut flakes or peanut butter (If desired)
Roll into ball shapes and freeze them
With this same recipe you can make a brightening face mask filled with vitamin A and C
All you do is you the same ingredients, minus the peanut butter and freezing.
If you don’t want to do any of these sustainable recipes you can always donate pumpkins to local animal sanctuary. The animals love them. You can also compost in your own backyard, or find a local composting facility or community garden that will utilize the pumpkins.
Make the most out of your pumpkins this season and let’s all be less wasteful together!
California will always be the greatest state to me, don’t get me wrong. We have everything here. Some of the best skiing in the world, iconic beaches, wine country, incredible and unique cities. But despite all of these, the golden state lacks one thing- seasons. For me, and probably many of us who were raised here, Fall is warm breezes and dry air. The landscape maintains a tan and green hue, and the blue skies yield temperatures in the 80s. Here, it isn’t harvest season. The skies are not gray. Sweaters are not the garment of choice. Yes, we do have an abundance of pumpkin spice themed foods at the local Trader Jose. But it doesn’t quite make up for an abundance of colored leaves and ominous sky. In some ways it feels like fall. The lighting is different than summer, and the nights colder. There’s a general sense of giddy unease, and everything is a shade darker. But it isn’t the same. Visiting colleges display fold outs of orange yellow and gold tinted campuses, scarves and beanies, coffee and scarecrows resembling the flourishing crops. I know I’m not the only one that yearns for this, but sometimes it feels that way. California I love you, but there’s a few things you lack. Don’t even get me started about winter.
But, it’s comforting to think
that the same wet grass I
walked across today
will soon turn brittle and dry.
It’s comforting to think
that, with the help of the rain,
the fields will fill up with wheat,
which will later be cut down
and turned into hundreds of bales of hay,
all lining the bottom of the hillsides
in a grid of little golden rectangles.
Then, in time, they will be shipped off
to somewhere far away from here
and the cows will return to eating
the new grass, gently swishing
their tails as they chew.
It’s comforting to think that
the world will continue to spin
and the sun will set tomorrow
and the next day,
just as it is meant to.
And I hope,
that in time,
I will see, and do, and live
just as I am meant to.
I found this a while ago, while looking through notes on my phone:
To many people, Christmas is a day to wake up early and run to all of the presents that await you. Many of my friend’s stories on Snapchat were pictures of things they got, like a Hydro Flask, new phone, drum set, AirPods, and more, with the caption “Merry Christmas.”
Unlike many of my friends, for me, today was not a day focused on gifts. I spent the day with my grandparents and parents. We did not exchange physical gifts, our gift was being together as a family.
Instead of being sad or mad that my family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, I took a different approach. Today reminded me of all I have and all I can do to give back. Christmas is about giving, so I did, but a little different that most people did today.
This evening, I spent over two hours signing petitions, calling senators, and sending letters to change the injustice happening today.
This evening, I sent, signed, and made over 105 petitions, letters, and calls.
No, today I did not wake up to an abundance of presents. No, today I did not celebrate Christmas like most people do.
But today, I used my power to make a difference, in my opinion, and learned my ability to express my beliefs is better than anything that could be under the Christmas tree.
At 11:59 p.m., Friday, January 18th in Santa Barbara, I was still seventeen years old.
I spent the last sixty seconds of my childhood in a Lyft with all my best friends going back to my aunt’s house after just watching Escape Room and I was truly happy.
But, as the clock struck 12, I was no longer a minor. I was eighteen years old and officially an adult.
During every single birthday, my family always asks me if I feel older at all. Usually, I don’t, because there usually aren’t any changes that happen that make me feel older. I know that as a sixteen year old I was legally allowed to get a driver’s license, but I didn’t get one and I still don’t have one because I haven’t found any reason for it. At seventeen, I was able to go to a rated R movie, but I always went to those anyways.
However, when I turned 18, I truly, finally felt older right away than ever before.
I know I’m a year older, but it happened only in a day. From 11:59 to 12:00, it suddenly hit me that I was a legal adult.
On my 18th birthday, I went and got a cartilage piercing and I didn’t need my parents to sign my release form. I was old enough to do it by myself. Then, I went and bought a scratcher ticket, and when they asked for my ID, I was able to satisfyingly show it to them and buy it. I didn’t win any money and I don’t plan on buying one again, but it was the experience that made me so happy because I finally can buy one if I wanted to. For the first time on my birthday, I finally felt older.
My birthday itself was amazing too. I remembered last year I was on a train up to Santa Barbara, breaking down because the mudslides kept me from having a birthday celebration with my friends. This year, I spent the whole weekend with my best friends in Santa Barbara and Santa Monica. My two worlds came together and my friends from OVS and my friend from my old school finally met for the first time. We were out until midnight laughing crazily on all the rides at Santa Monica Pier without a care in the world. My birthday weekend was also full of delicious meals, amazing desserts, and all my family and friends. My cousin was even able to come to the brunch celebration on the Sunday afterwards, she usually is never to come to those events because she’s so busy, but it was amazing.
I know my eighteenth birthday will always be one I remember and though I’m horrified about the fact that I’m no longer a minor and that I actually feel older, I’m happy about it.
I have a family friend who is staying with me over the holidays and she has a young son who still believes in Santa. He was scared I didn’t believe in Santa, so my mom told him that I still believed in Santa. He said that if I didn’t write a list I wouldn’t get any presents from him, so I had to write out a list and send it to my mom so he could see it. It was fun to write, so I thought I would share it:
This year for Christmas I want a dirt bike, tall boots, more riding gear, new earrings, clothes from American Eagle, a car wash, buckeyes, new tires, new rims, stuff for my car, a Kat Von D contour palate, a snowboard, plane tickets to Tennessee, squared toe boots, clutch/gas socks, anything car related, and CD’s for my car.