End of Month – One Month To Go!

So it is the beginning of December which means a couple of things…

How much I spent in November, which was…

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AND, more importantly.  I ONLY HAVE ONE MONTH LEFT TO GO?!!!

Do you know HOW HARD it is to eat & drink ONLY Starbucks for an entire year?  It was easy, easy, EASY until lately.

Call it short-timers syndrome, call it being distracted (especially with the holiday meals) but this Bistro Box was my Thanksgiving dinner and yes, I’m getting ANTSY to engage in other types of foods/drinks in the world again!  I mean think about it… I didn’t do this for a mere 30 days?!  No, that would be SUPER SIZED EASY!  Nope, I have done this now for almost 365 days!

And I want a HAMBURGER!

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But, even in the midst of my final countdown, in the midst of all the tempting holiday treats and meals that everybody in the world is practically enjoying except for me right now, this entire time I’ve stayed true to my goal… and now I only have 1 month left to go!!!

I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been secretly planning a HUGE smorgasbord of my Seattle (and PNW) favorites come stroke of midnight December 31st!  Naughty or nice has nothing on my list.

Simply stated… I. WANT. IT. ALL!

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Besides…. I’ll be able to work it off (and MORE) immediately afterwards with my 2014 challenge!  So I’m not worried about overeating anything in 31 days…. I’ve waited AN ENTIRE YEAR to do so!

We are in the home stretch now and I wonder…. WHAT would YOU EAT after an entire year of nothing but Starbucks?!!

Thanksgiving – Grateful for Linda Thomas

If you have followed me and my yearly challenges since 2011 when I lived an entire year ONLY shopping at the Goodwill, you would know that from the start Linda Thomas has been there to announce my latest yearly challenge adventure.

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Linda has been a long-standing Seattle media personality that believes in the “stories of others” and from the very start, Linda has been talking to and reporting out on many PNW people and all the interesting, good, bad, strange or celebratory stories that unfold in their lives.  I have been interviewed all over the world since my challenges begun and I’ve become acquaintances with a number of media personalities that are lovely people to follow as well…

Jamie Tompkins
Sabra Gertsch
Marco Collins
Marty Reimer
Dale Emanuel

And there are many others in PNW media that are funny, nice and entertaining that I would encourage to find online and hook into their Twitter, Facebook or Instagram feeds!  They often show not-seen-on-TV pictures and MUCH MORE (like Marco Collins is an avid Art Connoisseur) in their personal interactions in the PNW community!

But since this month is about showing my gratitude for those that have been a major component of this Starbucks years challenge, Linda is my lady!  Our PNW media personalities are wonderful people who I have been fortunate enough to get to know as each challenge year comes along and I for one will always be grateful for them ALL, and especially Linda Thomas’s presence in my life.  I will be the first to stand behind her wherever her new media path may lead, Thank you Linda for everything!  And…

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYBODY!

Friday Follow Up – Grateful for Photo Media

This week was the opening of the new Teavana store in University Village and boy am I happy about this newest addition!  Not only is it lovely tea that just smells incredible when you step into the room… but, Starbucks expanded my menu yet again with this stores opening!

I first of all had to try the Butternut Squash salad (add bacon) because, um BACON!!!!  I haven’t had bacon bits all year?!  I wanted to order a bowl of just bacon alone… but I refrained because the store wouldn’t have anymore for anybody else!

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And with a case FULL of new goodies like this, you know I had to grab me a couple of those Lemongrass Ginger Chicken Rice Balls as well!

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I know, I know… so many new food choices (yet again!) from Starbucks.  I could dwell on Teavana’s opening all day but this is THANKSgiving month so…

For this month of gratitude, and since photography has always been my thing, I cannot go this month without giving praise to the two major photo social media sites I live on… Pinterest and Instagram.

I’m a photojournalist at heart!  I adore the ability to tell a story with one great image, a hashtag or two and let it live in the world through social media.  Both my accounts have many of the Starbucks stores, partners or customers on them including all those that I’ve regularly spoken to and am very grateful for during this challenge year…

DylanMAustin

TheCoffeeQween

JacobWigley4

MyNameIsNimi

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TheHumanitarian31

RachelMAdams

RobberBand

VeganAng

And over on Pinterest I created Starbucks and Evolution Fresh boards that I’ve invited many Pinners to populate so feel free to check it out and add/repins from the collections.

I adore and utilize these sites so much that next years challenge will be REALLY be focused off of these two platforms.  Since a large part of next years challenge entails tracking my years challenge & brand in many, many areas of Washington state, the PNW and the world… so showcasing all of that means TONS of photos!

For all my current followers, thank you so much for all you’ve brought to this years challenge… Your lives through your photos have been educational, informative, funny and down right inspirational!  I hope you all will enjoy the beauty of our wonderful Mother Earth with me in 2014… and maybe tag me in some Starbucks selfies of you now and then just for old times sake!

Weekend Wrap Up – Grateful For Freedom

This weekend we enjoyed some relaxing weekend activities like bubble baths, Evolution Fresh juice parties, Starbucks sandwich-building and some patriotic movies.

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Speaking of patriotism… Today is also Veterans Day in America.

A national holiday that honors our military personnel and one that Starbucks has recently made announcements about…

First free coffee for veterans today!

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And secondly, the company’s wonderful decision to focus their hiring efforts to include veterans!

All this got me thinking about those military partners that I speak to on Twitter.  There are many, many partners that I am very grateful for on my Twitter feed such as…

@BUXpartner4life
@BuxDan
@CoffeeWith_E
@mchugh_cmchugh
@Tiffany_Clute
@ShortyShortCup
@DevinChangRx
@meckensb
@EyeoftheSiren
@Rockstar_Fac
@LindaJMills
@AKNoden
@PaigeIam

But out of all these partners on Twitter, today is an extra-special day of gratitude on my part for @SBUX75DEVILDOG and @sempersue.  Not only am I grateful for each of these partners presence on Twitter this entire year informing, educating, sharing and entertaining me with their Starbucks work and lives but because of partners like @SBUX75DEVILDOG and @sempersueI owe an eternal amount of gratitude for their dedication to our personal freedom as American citizens!

So today, for all those veterans & veterans family members you know give thanks, honor, help or simply maybe Tweet-A-Coffee out of respect for all they have given you.

Maybe your next barista might be someone who not only gives you a latte but also helped give you your freedom!

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Weekend Wrap Up – Family & Fortunes

This weekend I was fortunate enough to spend it on the sweetest things in life… Family, Art, enjoying the fall season and of course Starbucks!

We had another trip down to the farm the last couple of days, with a road-trip stop at SBC for some much-craved-by-mommy POP!  (yes, I say pop not soda or soda pop)

SBC Pop Sipface

Our SWW adventures always come with some great, old farm truck spotting.  This one I have never seen before in the LC… AND it was Starbucks Siren green!

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Our family gathering was so wonderful to talk about recent events, see the kids play and we even had an impromptu photoshoot to get holiday images…

This is my immediate family, I love these small-town farmers, hometown realtors & corporate managers so much!

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All our gatherings mean LOTS OF FOOD!  And even though I didn’t make it to drive thru in time to get my tomato & cheese croissant (or my chicken Caesar salad) everybody’s accustomed to me bringing Starbucks by now…
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After a great weekend mommy picked up ice cream at the store for dessert and what should I find stuck to my Caramel Macchiato but a fortune?!

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Has anybody else had “Fortune Ice Cream” before?!  Either way… I think I’m going to parties a lot in my near future!

We finished the weekend in true fall, Washington state dessert style…

Apple pie a la -AMAZING-mode (the Starbucks version!)

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Have a great week everyone!

Weekend Wrap Up – Seasons Change

This weekend was full of BOOM in Seattle! The thunder & lightning made it an easy pick for recreational activities…

First, Saturday was all about new Fall Colors (with my at least one a day PSL habit)…

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And then all the Holiday items made it out to decorate in my farm-nana-Tchotchke way!

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See the Starbucks? And why YES, those are vintage coffee cans… gifted to me by a very wonderful Partner Stephanie! (and seriously one of the most amazing bakers around too!)

This weekend social media was abuzz with all sorts of fun stuff. If you aren’t on my over 12 social media platforms you really should catch up because you miss monumental happenings like “the Starbucks BACON quote” that erupted Saturday on their Twitter feed. Needless to say my final bid was for BOTH to go hand-in-hand, hence my cup-poetry stating so that got “EPIC” reviews! 😊

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I’m such a social media nerd! I write in Hashtagku, I post Instagram cup-poetry, I have an intricate mapping of all my platforms feeds that looks like the NYC subway map! AND I get to meet people all over the world everyday that share the most amazing experiences with me! Like my Instagram Starbucks friend, Nimrod, who lives in Israel (WHEN are they getting Starbucks back there?!) and travels all over Europe visiting Starbucks tagging me in spectacular stores like this one from Prague.

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YEP! Us and Starbucks IS BIGGER than coffee…There are seriously so many amazing things to see, learn and follow on Starbucks social media feeds that I could live an entire year alone just talking about what happens on their sites! *Dream job comes to mind*

So find yourself an app to download and get into this technology game… If you love Starbucks your contribution online is required! Via video, visual, audio… Heck even writing poetry on cups could become EPIC!

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This Sunday was such an amazing show of nature in the PNW, and a perfect time to restart my Scarecrow Video habit back up! For those in the PNW-know, Scarecrow is THE independent movie/video awesomeness you would expect from SIFF-town!

And with the darker-muted skies of fall upon us, I went for both Film Noir and family-friendly (you start culture out young in a Beautiful Existence household!) so our choices were the classic Ebert-endorsed “The Night of the Hunter” (such great videography!) and the beautiful masterpiece that is “The Painting” (wow! Just wow on this one!). Of course, great flicks deserve great treats too!

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This week is my first HUGE fall week with lots of amazing things going on that you will want to know about!

So stay on top of the news on one (or all) of my social media platforms (since that is where items get posted first) and please keep this Beautiful Existence in your positive thoughts and maybe even written down on your “thinking-of-you cup-art?! Much appreciated amazing Starbucks community!

Weekend Wrap Up – Labor Day

Today Starbucks “officially” launched their Pumpkin Spice Latte (#PSL) and rest of their fall menu.

So “officially” today is FALL in my books (who needs weather patterns when you have a siren?!)

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And being that it is now September 3rd, and the day after Labor Day Weekend… lets review my Starbucks spending for August and the weekend that will go down in the history books for SURE!

First of all, the months totals are in…. still a bit lower than other months, thanks in part to friends and Starbucks rewards!

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This weekend was amazingly extra beautiful in the PNW so we all spent so much of it outdoors, having lunch…

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At the beach…

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Mommy had a weekend that was the BEST!
Like hanging out with my Fastbacks/Filmmaker friend Lulu!

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Taking an amazing tour of Seattle on Saturday that started with the siren watching over us!

An evening that is already in draft…. watch for more about where to buy your copy SOON!

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Ended the weekend at Bumbershoot and of COURSE the Starbucks Gold Card VIP area!

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The world became Beautiful 2 (squared) this weekend…

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Kuddos to all the partners that pulled off an AMAZING area!

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Times of our lives were had by ALL (even long boarders and Zombies)!

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And as our siren knows…

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The world is ALWAYS amazing through her eyes!

Happy FALL Everybody!  Let the #PSL BEGIN!

Friday Follow Up – What A Week!

Another big Starbucks week for me so let’s begin!

First of all has to be my new walking-distance store’s opening! I’ve been eying this Siren for weeks, posting photos everyday practically! First of all probably because I’ve never done a Starbucks opening…but mostly because come on, I LIVE HERE!  So to have a Starbucks I can just walk to now to finish my year out with… FABULOUS!

Here is my baby’s progression…

First signs up!

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It’s getting serious…

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Almost there! I can just TASTE the coffee….

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Then suddenly… The clouds parted, the Starbucks corporate ways worked their magic and VOILA! The friends & family night begins…

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Of course the views are some of the BEST at any Starbucks I’ve seen! And the walls adorned with beautiful coffee knowledge…

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And this mornings first Tazo tea…

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As well as of course having to enter the sirens address on Foursquare so everybody knew where she was!

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Okay, the week was full of other amazing things so keep reading…

Besides my new store, last week was the opening of a Starbucks design inspiration… The Seattle Pike store!

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I was meeting a local show producer (Hi Jillian!) at Lifelong Thrift store to do some serious damage and since this Pike store is SO CLOSE I thought I’d swing by for a bite…

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And I’m happy I did! I finally ran into Mr. Adam Brotman… a partner I was hoping to meet this year!

We had a nice chat, he introduced me to even more Starbucks rock stars and I left with a spring in my step ready to take on the thrifting world.

Adventures were had that evening I can assure you, but we will leave that to insider knowledge and a few million followers on social media threads…

On Thursday, right before the Starbucks new store’s opening was announced, I was about to walk into a tea tasting I’ve wanted to experience since I first walked in the doors of the University Village Tazo store! First of all I met up with Laurance from Biscottea to drop off a little thank you card for all their lovely items at the tea party.

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Laurance and I had a lovely conversation as well as some great new tea tastes but then I got serious and had the Tazo team lead me through one of the most amazing, knowledgable experiences on the intricacies of tea. From double and triple steeping and the variations in color/taste in them as depicted in this “tea timing” photo…

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To all the regions of tea in the world and the color/taste changes in them because of region…

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I left knowing this might be my last trip to this lovely store (unless they have a SALE?!) which left me sad in a way but excited to see the new concept store of Tazo/Teavana this fall!

But I left with some keepsakes and one of the most lovely sparkling iced teas I’ve ever had! Good thing I’ve heard the new store will keep a carbonation option!

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Then I braved the traffic down and back to the farm and stopped at the Tacoma drive thru for the first time..,

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I was worried for a bit that traffic might keep me from reaching my new Starbucks store opening goal of the evening but no, again the magic parted the ways to allow me to meet fellow partner manager Stephanie (from Pine Lake) and get to meet the team I will be finishing my challenge year with!

I’ve already shown all the pre, pre, and post opening photos above of the new store so I think I’ll close with all the amazing goodies I ended my busy day yesterday with…

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I am truly a very lucky lady to be living this Starbucks brand!

What a week indeed!