Lauren’s Halloween Candy: Ranked

With midterms and Halloween upon us, I thought this post was timely because stressed backwards spells desserts, and that always eases the pain a little bit. Growing up, the main reason I loved Halloween is because I got to run around my neighborhood with my best friends, with the goal of filling my Halloween candy bag to the very top. Ironically, that Halloween candy sat there for the entire year, filled with all the pieces I rejected. I won’t be shy to admit that I’ve got a sweet tooth, but it’s always been very selective ever since I was young. For this post, I thought I would reflect on my trick or treating days, even all the way back to one of my first outings where the guy opened the door and yelled boo, resulting in me screaming and running away crying. While I can’t have any of my childhood favorites anymore due to this lovely dairy free life, being able to think about why I liked what I liked back then was kind of funny! Here are all of my favorites, ranked, according to my elementary school  reasoning!


Starting with the worst…

10. Anything not made out of chocolate

Ever since I can remember, I have not liked any “fruity” sweets, or hard candies. This includes Skittles, Twizzlers, Smarties, Jolly Ranchers, Laffy Taffy, Runts, Starbursts, Suckers, Swedish Fish, etc. For some reason, I just never got hooked on those kind of sweets, but also, I am one to bite Dum Dums and Jolly Ranchers right away because I don’t have the patience to let them dissolve. While I don’t mind the occasional taste time to time, I never crave it like some people do. I never understood why so many of my friends were obsessed with Skittles, and trading all their chocolate for all the Skittles they could find. In my elementary school head, Skittles were overrated little spheres just waiting to break your teeth because they’re so hard to bite into. I also never understood why everyone was infatuated with Starbursts, especially the pink ones (red ones are the best in my opinion). Back then, my classmates were eating all the Starbursts they could just so they could make a bracelet out of the wrappers. It was a good system for me though, as I traded all of my Skittles and Starbursts for more chocolate. If given the option, I’d rather not taste the rainbow.

9. Nut Rolls

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I don’t know what I was thinking back then, but I never touched these things when they landed in my candy bag. I gave them straight to my mom because I thought they were boring candies made for adults. In my mind, Nut Rolls were the Raisin Bran of candy. I really was missing out back then because now that I have gotten older, and have apparently accepted that they are for “old people,” these babies are right up my alley. I don’t know if it is because I thought the name was weird, the packaging was boring, or the fact that I wasn’t a big caramel girl as much as I am now, but my elementary school self had no logical reasoning to not like them. I often wonder if today’s kids think the same way that I did back then. If so, I would definitely go back out another round and collect all the candies I thought were for oldies such as Nut Rolls, Pay Day, 100 Grand bars, Whoppers, Take 5, and Snickers. Besides, I still get mistaken for being in middle school, so I would fit right in.

8. Baby Ruth

 

Baby Ruth is similar to the Nut Roll situation, but more. This one is ranked number eight because it did have some chocolate in it, an obvious deal breaker for me at this point. There were several explanations as to why this was not one of my favorites growing up. The first is that I thought the name Ruth was for and old person, leading me to not eating it because I thought old person candy tasted gross. Second, I always saw my mom eating it, which had no connection to the old person thought, she was an exception. Since she ate them, this “obviously” meant I wouldn’t like how it tasted because she liked weird things that I didn’t (aka preferred a nice pork tenderloin over Wendy’s chicken nuggets). And lastly, I thought it had something to do with baseball. For the record, Baby Ruth was named after the creator’s daughter, not the legendary Babe Ruth. To little Lauren, that didn’t matter, it related too closely to baseball and reminded me of all the cold rainy games I logged to watch my brother. Sorry Baby Ruth, your odds were never really good in the mind of little Lauren.

7. Milky Way

As I am getting farther and farther into my favorites, I have started to see a common trend. I like things based on factors that have nothing to do with how they actually taste. Milky Way is ranked higher than this others because it came in a milk chocolate, and dark chocolate version. Most people in my grade back then despised dark chocolate, so I always ended up with all their Milky Ways. This is probably why I liked them better (there’s a psychological theory that says you liked something more when you have more exposure to it). That right there is probably the only logical part as to why I liked Milky Ways. The other big reason I liked Milky Ways more than others was because “Drops of Jupiter” by Train mentions Milky Way in the song, and every time it played, I thought of the candy bar, not the actual Milky Way.

6. Butterfinger

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There was a picture that I was trying to find for this one involving me standing in my swimsuit with dolphin goggles on my head, holding a half eaten Butterfinger. I believe I was about 6 or 7, but I remember always liking them. Peanut butter and chocolate is one of my favorite combinations. I would eat the Butterfingers out of my candy bag first because they were the easy to spot, bright yellow rectangles. Butterfinger would rank much higher on my list if it were not for the fact that every time I bit into it, it would crumble everywhere. Back then, I was still a neat freak like I am now, so those crumbles were frustrating and absolutely unacceptable to me, especially when they got on my favorite shirt from Justice.

5. Kit Kat

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Some of you reading this may be gasping at this point for having Kit Kats ranked this low instead of first, but little Lauren had other priorities back then. If given the choice now, Kit Kat would be ranked higher, but I had my reasoning back then apparently. The reason I liked Kit Kats was because I could do more with it than just eat it. This sounds so weird, but I liked breaking them apart (as one should do) instead of just biting into it with no regard to the perforation. I had a legit routine for eating my Kit Kats. After I broke them into two separate sticks, I would nibble off all of the chocolate encasing the wafer. I don’t know why, but it definitely made it last longer which was ok with me. To those of you that just bite into Kit Kats, it is time to stop, because that is not the proper Kit Kat etiquette.

4. Almond Joy

 

I am fully aware that Almond Joys don’t bring many people that much joy. I was known for being the only one in my second grade class to like these, which again, was a good system for me because I got everyone else’s. There are two kinds of people in this world, those who like coconut, and those who don’t. I have always been one to like coconut everything. My mom always used to sing a little jingle to me: “Almond Joy’s got nuts, Peter Paul Mounds don’t” and that is what I thought of every time I had one. Also a helpful tip for all y’all that don’t like almonds; the red Mounds ones don’t! Here is where the illogical reasoning comes in. Almond Joys would have ranked higher for me, but as a kid, the fact that the almond was not perfectly centered in the middle of the bar drove me absolutely insane. Out of all the Almond Joys I’ve had, I don’t think I have ever found one to live up to my expectations.

3. Twix

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I didn’t learn to like these until my middle school years because Twix were my brother’s favorite, and it was against the law to have the same favorite candy as my brother up until then. As my mind matured, I realized two things. First, I realized that saying I didn’t like caramel even though I never tried it before because I thought I wouldn’t like it in the first place was insane. Second, realizing that sharing something in common with Christopher wasn’t a bad thing. These two realizations led to Twix shooting to the top of my favorites list. The chocolate/caramel combo was a game changer, as Twix used to be at the bottom of my favorite’s list in elementary school. The reason it isn’t sitting at number one, is because there is one dynamic duo that can’t be beaten.

2. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

That dynamic duo is peanut butter and chocolate. I would have been thrilled to get all Reese’s in my Halloween bag. I always gauged how well I was doing during my trick or treating outing by how many orange squares I had floating around. They had to be the cups, not the pieces! Usually, I never did get that many because they were everyone else’s favorite too. There is no question about whether or not the pumpkin shaped ones taste better than regular, they definitely do (nowadays they look nothing like a pumpkin). Hitting the jackpot for me was getting one of the special edition Halloween white chocolate peanut butter cups. I am a big peanut butter gal to this day, so it makes sense that Reese’s have been my favorite since basically day one. You may be wondering why Reese’s aren’t ranked number one since they are my favorite. As I mentioned earlier, this list is based on my elementary school reasoning for what I thought was my favorite at the time. So with that my number one favorite thing to get in my Halloween bag was…

1. Anything bigger than fun size

As a short person, any other time of the year I would be saying how fun size is better, but not on Halloween. Back then, it didn’t matter what it was, but if it was  bigger than the usual fun size bar, that meant I hit the jackpot for the night. Examples of this that I have gotten in the past are a microwave bag of popcorn, an apple, diet coke (I hate diet coke but the fact that it wasn’t candy was HUGE for me), king size Hershey Bar, toothpaste, and lastly I got a king size Nut Roll and thought it was the grand prize of the night (still gave it to my mom). My friends and I would keep note as to which houses would hand out the best things from the year before. Just like any other little kid, quantity was better than quality.

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There are my top 10 candies ranked from my elementary school candy bag. Since then, my taste buds have definitely changed, and some new products have come out that would without a doubt change the ranks of my bag. Some of my all time favorites now are Lindt Chocolate, and Cookies and Cream Hersheys… also can never go wrong with nature’s candy aka fruit (little Lauren would not be proud of the old person I have become). I have found it interesting that as new generations move into neighborhoods, Halloween treat giving starts to follow current trends. My house was always the “popcorn house” giving out the microwave bags, but recently we started giving the bags of Boom Chicka Pop kettle corn, which has become popular very fast. These past couple years I have also seen more granola bars, pieces of fruit, and non food items. I wouldn’t be surprised if in the next couple years things like protein bars and protein shake packets were given out. It sounds ridiculous now, but I also never thought elementary school aged kids would have better iPhones than me right now. If this is what Halloween turns into, there is no question that I will be pulling my butterfly suit out of the closet and making the rounds for some free food!

I hope your Halloween isn’t as spooky as my midterms!

~Lauren

 

 

 

 

Fall Feels

 

Usually by the end of summer, there are two kinds of people. The first kind is those that are still trying to hold onto every ounce of warm weather, and all things summer. The other kind is the ones that actively seek for anything pumpkin spice flavored, and dig out the flannels and baggy sweaters when they see one single leave turn a tint of red. I am one of those people. This post is all about the “fall feels” aka the comfy and joyful mood as we transition from sweaty dorm rooms to scary movies with the roomies.


 

1. Fall Festivities

 

You know how every single girl at this time of the year posts a picture on Instagram at an apple orchard or with a pumpkin? Or your snap stories are filled with those little Pillsbury sugar cookies with the pumpkin or ghost on them that you only eat once a year?  This is exactly what I am talking about. As much as I understand that it’s mostly just to get the Instagram picture because those girls never come back holding any apples,  I will admit that I am a sucker for “oh so basic” pictures like that. Fall justifies so many behaviors for me. For example, if it were any season other than fall and I saw a picture of someone holding an apple next to their face and smiling, or sitting on a pumpkin, I would strongly question their decision to post a smiley picture with produce. But in the fall? That is #goals. If it weren’t fall, jumping into a pit full of corn would be the last thing I would want to do. But in fall? Finding corn kernels in places they shouldn’t be would be my ideal day. Getting lost in a corn maze while a scarecrow chases after you is not exactly my idea of fun, but in the fall I would love to get lost for hours in corn (is this what Nebraskans feel like everyday?) Lastly, pumpkin spice everything. While I don’t actually take advantage of this because pumpkin spice dog treats, butter, Pringles, and gum sounds nasty, just the fact that I see pumpkin everywhere means it’s fall . Everything about fall is a stereotype (at least for college girls), and I am totally ok with that. That’s just what you do in college at this time of the year!

2. Fall Fashion

 

Finally, the time that I can wear the other 2/3 of my closet. I can’t really speak for guys on this one, but for us girls, being able to pull out the baggy sweaters, flannels, hoodies, and fuzzy socks are the reason we get up in the morning on those gray gloomy days. Fall typically has a comfy feel to it, or at least that is the stereotype that has been created for it. Fall fashion is all about simplicity.  Simple earthy colors, leggings, sweatshirts, honestly nothing special, and that’s why I love it. Because fall has the reputation of “comfy and cute,” I can throw on a pair of leggings with a big sweatshirt or sweater, put my hair in a messy bun, and still be in style. Of course I don’t always just throw myself together, because fall is the beginning of vest season, scarf season, colored jeans season, and boots season- and I take full advantage of them all.  Catch me wearing my banana jeans around campus! As much as I tell myself that I plan to dress cute every single day in college, I usually end up resorting to dressing for comfort anyways, hence why fall is my favorite season. Another reason I love fall? Guys in khakis is always a great sight.

3. The Weather

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As depressing as it sounds, I love myself a brisk, cloudy fall day. Fall has a common trend of all things crisp. The air, fresh apples, and the dead leaves scattered around that a majority of us go out of our way to crunch just because the sound is so satisfying. Cloudy in my mind is the equivalent to cozy. When it’s a dreary day here on campus, I like to curl up in a fuzzy blanket and do something relaxing such as listening to music, read, or tune into Netflix. I don’t know if this is true for others, but when it is sunny out, I feel lazy and like I am not supposed to be cooped up in my room all comfy. With gloomy days, I have the permission from myself to do this. I’m weird like that, I know. Fall weather is also much better for life in the dorms because we no longer are dying of heat in our cubes for rooms. Being able to do laundry without breaking a sweat, or climb a flight of stairs, makes me feel much better about my athleticism! It’s also nice not feeling like I’m a hot burrito while being wrapped up in my hammock under the beating sun for hours.

4. Movies

 

 

This one runs along the lines of fall festivities, but this is definitely a thing. With Halloween being in the fall, that’s when all the Disney Channel classics turn back up, and all the scary movies come out. For all you 90s kids out there, don’t deny that Halloweentown was a childhood highlight. I remember back in elementary school, I would make sure all my homework was done because Halloweentown was coming on that night. Casper the friendly ghost was also a favorite of mine, as well as Twitches. Back then, scary movies for me were Hocus Pocus, and E.T. (it’s my brother’s fault that I’m still scared of that wrinkly dude to this day). Now, watching scary movies has become a part of the fall stereotype, therefore, one of the things I do only at this time of year and never any other time. I absolutely hate scary movies, and the thought of going to watch one on the big screen gives me the creeps just thinking about it. But watching them with someone who can “protect” me, aka hold their composure better than I can and remind me that a little ghost boy is not living in my wall, makes me like them.

5. Soup and Stuff

 

Soup, warm drinks, and fall go very well together, just because everyone seems to get sick here on campus at this time. Usually this is around the beginning of October for me, and you bet I reach for a can of chicken and stars! I swear the stars taste better than regular noodles. I honestly don’t know how this became a thing, but some of my friends here on campus refuse to eat soup or drink anything warm in the summer. Unfortunately, I have caught onto this.  Fall means I get to eat soup and drink hot tea publicly again! I will admit, there is something more satisfying when having something warm during the fall rather than when it is hot out. My favorite is my mom’s vegetable soup that she makes for me every year, and I bring buckets of it back to college with me. So, if anyone would like a big ol’ bucket of soup this fall for when you get sick (not if, when), you know where to find me. Fall food is comfort food.

6. Feeling Feels

 

Studies have shown that people couple up the most in the fall. There is actually a name for this phenomenon: cuffing season. While this may sound strange, cuffing season is basically the time where individuals look for a partner to spend the long frigid months of winter with. In psychology, this fits perfectly into the evolutionary theory! These studies have shown that men are 15% more likely to be looking for something during this time, and women are 5% more interested in something long-term during this time. I highly believe that all the fall festivities contribute to this. Think about it, when scrolling on Instagram, there are way more cute couple pictures than any time of the year. It is so common to couples posting pictures at the orchard with the overused, cliché caption that their significant other is the apple of their eye. Looking through engagement pictures with the vibrant fall colors in the background is all I do on Facebook nowadays. Lastly, the chilly weather, and ability for girls to pretend they are scared while watching a scary movie and claim they need protection when they actually don’t is a perfect set-up for a cuddle session. Fall feels lead to feeling the feels.

7. Football

 

This is the point in my post where the guys (if any are reading) perk up a bit because it is the most not-basic and non-girly thing about this post. Football does not involve pumpkin spice, cuddling (tackling is pretty close though), rules about soup, smiling with apples, or banana colored jeans. We all know the Sundays are for church…and football. It really is the day of rest, except when it comes to screaming at the screen because someone just messed up their fantasy team. When I picture Sunday night football, besides Carrie Underwood, I can’t help but imagine your average guy wearing their favorite jersey, dad jeans, with hot wings in hand. I am pretty sure I’m not alone on this one though, right ladies? While I can’t say that I am a big football gal, I do like football season because that means hockey season is getting closer!

8. Bye Bye Bugs

I shouldn’t need to explain this one much. If you are one that enjoys getting stung by bees, and eaten alive by mosquitos, you are the one that has some explaining to do.

9. The Leaves

 

It may be called fall, but there is a reason fall can also be commonly referred to as autumn, and I definitely think it has to do with the changing of leaves. One of the prettiest sights all year is the prime time that the leaves are glowing red, yellow, and orange. I remember when I was in elementary school, I learned that when the Sumac starts to turn red, that means fall is coming. Little Lauren then learned to hate when the Sumac was red because that meant school was starting soon, but now, I enjoy it. I truly believe that God made the leaves do this just for our enjoyment, and to add to the already great place He created. It gives us something to look forward to every year. Leaves are by far the only thing I know that are THAT beautiful going through the process of death. Just because they are so vivid and pretty, I don’t even mind having to rake my whole yard!…ok maybe I mind a little. I feel bad for those who don’t have the privilege of experiencing a MN fall day, because waking up to a sight like that is the difference between a good day and a great day.

10. Halloween

 

You all probably knew this was coming. In case you didn’t know, Halloween takes place in the fall, and I’d say it is pretty significant in creating the fall culture. Halloween happens to be one of my favorite holidays for many reasons. One being all he traditions that my family does together. I loved going to Pahl’s market when I was little and trying to find a pumpkin that was small, had no bumps, stood up straight, didn’t have a weird stem on it, and had absolutely no dirt on it (picking one out took me an extremely long time as you can probably see). After that, I would draw the face that I wanted on my pumpkin for my dad to carve out because I couldn’t be trusted with sharp objects. I also made him scoop out the guts because they’re just gross. Other things I loved were helping my mom hang up the decorations around the house such as the pipe cleaner spiders on the stairs, the talking pumpkin, and the ghost I made in pre school which basically is a bunch of white paper squares glued onto a piece of paper in a formation that is the farthest away from resembling a ghost. Dressing up for trick or treating was always my favorite. Some past costumes were a butterfly, cat, witch, cowgirl, and of course, a gymnast. Currently, I love Halloween because I get to see all the kiddos dressed up in cute costumes. I will never be able to look at a baby dressed up as a pumpkin or lady bug and not want to instantly hold it. Seeing the kids trick or treat reminds me of how excited I got, and how my dad was the designated “dumper” with a bigger bag for when me and my brother’s buckets got full. The reaction kids have when they get candy brings me so much joy, it is basically the same as college students’ reactions when they hear about free food.

Being full swing into fall also means that we are knee-deep into the semester with the first round of tests and papers coming up, but all of these fall feels help with the stress a little bit. The transition from summer to fall is a lot better than fall to winter, which is why I appreciate all the little things that fall brings before we freeze our behinds off and wish we could step on just one more crunchy leaf.  In the mean time, stop staring at your phone while on the way to class and actually look at how fantastic a MN fall is!

Have a great week, friends!

~Lauren