Because My Favorite Color Is September

Yesterday was a day of celebration.

The Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks came out!

And yeah, I know there’s a ton of awesome coffeeshops in Portland other than Starbucks and I fully plan on exploring/supporting/patronizing them above and beyond Starbucks, but the Pumpkin Spice Latte is a THING of Starbucks, so I’m getting it at Starbucks. If you know of Portland coffeeshops that make an awesome Pumpkin Spice Latte, tell me about ’em and I will totally make it a thing to go there and (enthusiastically) try it. But for now, the only coffeeshop I know of that was able to even match the Starbucks PSL was Big Water Coffee in Bayfield, which is not in Portland (but the former owners have moved back from Bayfield to Portland and I am sending up a daily prayer every single day that they open another coffeeshop here because then it really would be like the coffee gods love me because their pumpkin spice latte was incredible and it would also give me a chance to right a wrong from when we were going to do a spotlight on them for Girl from the Northwoods but the phone I recorded our long interview on self-descructed before I could transcribe the interview and then we couldn’t post it and it’s still one of my biggest regrets because they are AMAZING).


So I decided to celebrate by posting a couple of dumb videos on Instagram (click ’em to play ’em, cuties!) –



And today I decided to repost a blog post that I wrote for An Amber Colored Life waaaay back in 2014 (I know – do you even remember what you were doing back in 2014?!).

You’re welcome. And remember:

Because My Favorite Color Is September |


The Candida Diaries Pumpkin Spice Latte: ‘Cause You’re Anything But Basic

(Originally written + posted September 22, 2014)
Because My Favorite Color Is September |

Here’s the thing.

I love Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

Love them.

I loved them before they were a thing to be loved. I am that old (and also that trendsetting). I can remember loving them before there was anything on the internet about them being a Girls Love Fall thing or a Basic White Girl thing or a hilarious Twitter thing.

(Also, I find it hard to believe that *just* white girls love Pumpkin Spice Lattes. C’MON. Pumpkin Spice Lattes are like pizza parties – do not deny their universal power. To do so only makes one weaker.)

But, as feared and dreaded last January when I was first diagnosed with Candida overgrowth, Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks? Not on my protocol, son. While anyone with half a brain already knows that there isn’t any actual pumpkin in a Pumpkin Spice Latte, the sad truth is that the drink is laden with tons of other not-so-stellar stuff – toxic food coloring, TONS AND TONS of sugar (like, seriously, TONS), lactose, caffeine, etc. There’s probably not one single ingredient in the Starbucks version that I could/should have.

I know. My life is dark and sad sometimes. I get through it by buying boots.

BUT. Because my favorite color is September and fall is my religion, I shalt not give up thine worship to the autumnal gods, and have instead created an alternative deity at which to give thine thanks.

I call it: The Candida Diaries Pumpkin Spice Latte™. It’s lactose free, (almost) sugar free, caffeine free, and has minimal food coloring or additives.

It’s also goddamn delicious.

Because My Favorite Color Is September |


The first step is to pick up a carton of Silk AlmondCoconut Blend (make sure it’s the unsweetened kind…trust me, you won’t taste a difference and it’s much better for you). If you want to be a total purist, you can make your own coconut and almond milk (and I’m working on a tutorial for you guys on how to do that), but this is the best and easiest alternative I’ve found. I will say that, since it’s not totally sugar free, I wouldn’t have more than one or two servings of it a day…especially if you’re like me and your body goes batshit crazy over even a tiny bit of sugar and suddenly you’re addicted to AlmondCoconut milk and greek yogurt on the daily the way you formerly were to ice cream or chocolate. It’s best to look at this stuff as a treat.

While your (decaf) espresso or coffee is brewing, fill your cup with the AlmondCoconut blend about halfway:

Because My Favorite Color Is September |


Stick it in the microwave for about a minute (or steam it if you’re fancy).

Next, add Pumpkin Pie Spice to the milk. (I like to do this before frothing my milk so that the spice blends into the milk nicely):

Because My Favorite Color Is September |


Then, I like to use a milk frother I got from IKEA for $2.49 that works FANTASTICALLY for creating easy lattes (you can find similar ones at Williams-Sonoma and other specialty kitchen goods stores. Immersion blenders are also awesome if you’re RICH).

Because My Favorite Color Is September |


Next, add your (decaf) espresso or coffee. I like to use the darkest decaf espresso I can find, and for those on the Candida protocol, it’s best to pick up a bag of beans from a local roastery that are relatively fresh from the roasting process (you want to stay away from the mass-produced brands at grocery stores because you don’t know how long they’ve been sitting on the shelf and coffee beans are super susceptible to mold, which can exacerbate the Candida overgrowth).

Because My Favorite Color Is September |

Final step: Enjoy the sweet smugness that comes from making your very own Candida Diaries Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Namaste, bitches.

Because My Favorite Color Is September |
This is my smug face.


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About Amber L.

Hi! I'm Amber. I've been telling stories with books and blogs since 2004. I also spent 10 years working as a behavior therapist, which I now put to proper use by publishing thought pieces and dissertations on '80s pop music and the defining TV shows of our current times ('The Bachelor', 'Vanderpump Rules', etc). I can also be credited with single-handedly ruining the city of Portland, OR just by moving here.

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