Holiday sips are on the menu at Starbucks and what is Utah’s favorite Thanksgiving side dish?

Good Things Utah
  • On Good Things Utah this morning – The first holiday sips of the season will hit the menu at Starbucks on Thursday. The Seattle-based coffee company announced Wednesday the return of familiar favorites — such as the peppermint mocha — along with the debut of its first non-dairy iced holiday coffee beverage, an iced sugar cookie almond milk latte. The beverage will be available both hot and iced and was inspired by freshly baked holiday cookies, made with sugar cookie-flavored syrup, Starbucks Blonde Espresso, ice and almond milk, topped with red and green sprinkles. In addition to those beverages, the caramel brulée latte, chestnut praline latte and toasted white chocolate mocha will return, along with Irish cream cold brew hitting the menu earlier than ever.
  • Plus, feel like it’s too early to get in the Christmas spirit? It’s actually not a bad idea to celebrate Christmas early. Experts have said that decorating for Christmas makes people feel happier and jollier. And those who start hanging the holly earlier end up becoming happier along the way, as the Deseret News reported. “When you’re putting up decorations, you’re thinking of happier times, times with family and friends and family traditions you engaged in,” psychotherapist and author Amy Morin told “Good Morning America.” “For some people it’s bittersweet — if family members are no longer here — but it’s still a way to connect.” Celebrating Christmas earlier makes you happier because you’re thinking of your family and friends, Morin said.
  • And across the United States, mashed potatoes are hands down the most popular Thanksgiving side dish. analyzed Google Trends to determine each state’s favorite Turkey Day side dish. They found that mashed potatoes are No. 1 in nine states. Some like other forms of potatoes including baked and hash brown casserole. What about sweet potatoes? They are a Thanksgiving must-have and are No. 1 in South Dakota, New York (specifically, with marshmallows) and Alabama where they specify sweet potato casserole – yes! So what do we love here in the Beehive state? Rolls.
  • Finally, the benefits of a weighted blanket. You can’t scroll through Instagram without seeing someone curled up under a weighted blanket. If you’ve wondered if these bead- or pellet-filled wonders live up to the hype, you’re not alone – but there’s actually quite a bit of science behind why they work, especially for people with anxiety. A weighted blanket is exactly what it sounds like: a heavy blanket with evenly distributed weight throughout that essentially cocoons you while you’re using it. Its benefits are twofold. The blanket both hugs your body and grounds you, and each of these actions affects hormone levels, easing your anxiety. Consider the hug first. Hugs naturally make people feel better because they release oxytocin, a hormone that helps bring your blood pressure down, slows your heart, and makes you feel relaxed. The simulated hug can also release serotonin, a hormone that decreases stress.
  • And at the end of the show – forget the cereal and just pour the milk! Froot Loops now has a cereal flavored milk for all of you that love to slurp it down when the cereal is gone. It’s available in January! Hope you join us as we dive into these Hot Topics with a spoon, on a Thursday edition of GTU.

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