Week In Pictures

Wrapping up my year-long Starbucks challenge this month. Here is my last week in pictures….

A little bit of SBC….
A little bit of Starbucks coffee…
A little bit of Willows Lodge…
A little bit of Oooh-La-La!
A little bit of Costco shoppin…
A little bit of gift openin….
A little bit of Evolution Fresh….
A whole LOT for the rest….
A happy holidays at SSC….
A new Teavana Latte/Tea….
A radio #FrappBOMB for three…

And ONLY two more weeks of Starbucks for ME!

Weekend Wrap Up – National Coffee Day!

So this weekend was National Coffee Day (in America) on Sunday, and our Seattle AIDS Walk… Let’s get into all the goodies!

First, let me start with a dinner that my boys and I were invited to by my oldest son’s best friend.  The parents were not aware of my eating adventure until I arrived with my Starbucks in hand, but were very curious and gracious about my addition to their wonderful feast.

The one thing I’ve found that you can count on with my challenges is that they always allow for plenty of conversation, questions and other people’s insight, ideas, loves and dislikes about the brands I’m living!  And the evenings pleasant discussion taught me about the mom’s love for Starbucks hot cocoa which I’ve only purchased at the store and her choice to purchase it at Costco (another fabulous PNW brand!) for cost-saving reasons which I always need to be aware of this year.  So I think my next Costco trip means my searching for this prize as well!

I read the container and was pleasantly surprised to find Starbucks sources their cocoa in an ethical, transparent & sustainable way!  Since I run communications for a Sustainability department and am always very interested in all things moving towards sustainability… this was a great sign to see posted on their product!

The evening was thoroughly enjoyable and I look forward to sharing more Starbucks stories with our new friends!

Saturday was a blustery, wet day in Seattle… and the Seattle AIDS Walk.  I went to shoot the walk and had a great time (even in the rain) supporting our wonderful local nonprofit Lifelong AIDS Alliance and International plight to find a cure for AIDS.  And of course Starbucks was out with their #ExtraShotOfGood for all those Seattleites braving the cold, wet and windy to support this wonderful cause…. Thanks Partners for keeping us going!  #ToBeACustomer is amazing when you have #ToBeAPartner (s) out there making it happen everyday!

Starbucks AIDS Walk

Of course, being up in Volunteer Park I had to stop by Roy Street Coffee for lunch, and was welcomed by a very comforting (and PERFECT for a cold, rainy Seattle day) advertisement for Apple Cider!

So after speaking to the partners about the freshly-made cinnamon whipped cream I had to try it!  And let me tell you this fall drink choice is AMAZING!

I also chose to order their fabulous smoked salmon plate…

And for dinner I decided to take Roy Street’s wonderful tomato soup home since staying warm right now in Seattle is highly advised.

Sunday was National Coffee Day, and Starbucks was giving out FREE Ethiopian samples, so of course I had to try a sample after my morning run!

It was such a great sample that I got the clover of it!

I hope everybody enjoyed their weekend and National Coffee Day sipping their favorites whether it be clover, latte, Americano or straight up brewed!

This is how I ended my evening…

A LaBoulange chocolate croissant, Ethiopian from the clover, my fuzzy faux fur throws, another Scarecrow Video Film Noir choice and everything charged in preparation for the first windstorms of the season!

Weekend Wrap Up – March = SAVING MONEY AT STARBUCKS!

So it’s already 4 days into March and I’ve been BUSY putting together lots of great ideas for this month’s focus SAVING MONEY AT STARBUCKS!

Saving money?  Yep!  I’ve been learning from the pros, saving up coupons, looking constantly for cost-cutting savings and many other wonderful tidbits about how to rock your Starbucks in style while saving a pretty penny!

First off, let me start with February’s monthly and daily totals, drum roll please….

I saved over $130 in February from my January total of $571.44!  That’s a savings of over $2.67 cents a day in one month!  I’m already on a roll… my first month’s focus was to lose weight with Christine Hall’s Starbucks Diet which I did by losing over 12 pounds that month alone, now I’m entering my month of Saving Money at Starbucks and I’m already down to a $16.00 a day average!  Let’s see how much lower I can go this month on my Starbucks bill?!  Any guesses???

February Starbucks receipts

Want to know how I dropped my costs on Starbucks items already?

Well, as part of my Weekend Wrap Up I’ll offer the following options that I’m already trying…

Friday night I went over to my local Costco and picked up two cases of Starbucks yumminess, a case of Refreshers and a case of Vanilla Frappuccino.

Costco Starbucks

Then on Saturday night I took my oldest son to Bellevue Square and headed over to the Evolution Fresh store to use my $2 off coupons!  So I ordered a wonderful Pineapple smoothie with added Kale, SO GOOD!

Evolution Fresh coupon

I also picked up a wonderful Southwest Scramble from Evolution Fresh which I enjoyed when making everybody else’s Sunday morning brunch with bacon, sausage, pancakes and eggs.  Was I hungry for their choices?  NOPE!  Not with the filling, healthy and tasty Evolution Fresh Southwest Scramble!

Evolution Fresh Southwest Scramble

My goal this month is to have over 70% of my receipts showing a savings over regular retail prices.  Do you think I can meet that high average???  Let’s find out!

The news of the day…

While I sit at my keyboard typing and eating my Evolution Fresh Crystal’s Black Beans & Greens salad I am reflecting on my first interview about my challenge.

Two years ago, while doing my Living the Goodwill Life challenge of ONLY buying everything from Goodwill (I obviously like ONLY kind of challenges!) I met a wonderful local media star, Linda Thomas from KIRO.  I actually met quite a few local media stars that year but I’ve kept up with Linda via social media and when she heard about Starbucks & Stripes Forever (my quirky little name for this years challenge) she said “talk to me about it” so I did this morning.  I know the story won’t air for a couple of days but just talking to Linda about why I’m doing this challenge really brought out a lot of the underlying points I’d like to touch on this year, namely how much our local Seattle/Washington companies and organizations do in our world!  I’m excited to see what Linda pulled from our conversation but will leave that for The News Chick blog.Linda Thomas, The News Chick

After my eventful morning I spoke to a friend’s coworker (Rebecca) about the challenge and she mentioned going up to Roy Street Coffee and checking it out.  Roy Street Coffee, Starbucks, Beautiful Existence

The store came up because Rebecca and I both have big birthday parties this year and with me only eating/drinking everything from Starbucks she thought that it might be a good place to hold my party?  I had heard about Roy Street Coffee and passed by it a ton of times but never looked further until today.  After asking some questions of the barista, checking out the rental space areas and going over the 1/2 Starbucks 1/2 not menu I decided to get the event planners contact information and see if this could be my party place?!

Funny thing, the “definitions” of my challenge parameters came up in all my conversations this morning from the interview with Linda to my conversation with Rebecca and even with the barista who pointed out the “not-Starbucks” menu items.  I’m already finding that I can diversify my palate (and my checkbook) this year if I allow myself to buy or frequent places that sell or are “inspired” from Starbucks like Costco, Whole Foods or Roy Street Coffee.  Since I have already decided that I will buy Starbucks items from other retailers (like Whole Foods and Costco) because to me the bottom line is that I’m still giving my money to Starbucks, then at this point I think Roy Street Coffee is fair game this year too!

Tea PartyNow if I can just make sure that my “theme” of a bunch of mis-matched tea sets and pots, a make believe tree & garlands, a mouse & hare (not real) and a group of Mardi-Grais-style-Seattle-Hipster-Mamas frequenting their dwellings in June will be allowed at Roy Street Coffee… then my big birthday bash might be easier to plan than I thought?!

P.S.  Linda and Rebecca… watch for those invitations!