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Week In Pictures

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

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

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

Sbux5738

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!

Friday Follow Up – Grateful for Dylan Austin

It would be appropriate that this week I’ve been on an Evolution Fresh juice cleanse, because one of the partners that I’m very grateful for, Dylan Austin, is also a huge fan of the Starbucks brand.

So this week, like I said… pretty much my entire menu has been Evolution Fresh, which I find in a variety of flavors at either PNW based PCC Markets or on a national level at Whole Foods markets.

Just look at all these possible choices!

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One of my absolute favorite juices is one you can get in their stores too, it is called Sweet Burn and boy oh boy is it a delicious blend of spicy, sweet goodness!

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And yep, this is what my purse looks like everyday…

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So, speaking of Evolution Fresh… This week(end) I want to share my appreciation for one of the most influential and sweetest partners I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know this year… Dylan Austin!

Dylan is one of The Five Awesome Baristas who contacted me earlier this year on all the numerous social media feeds we share (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) and arranged a Seattle trip in which we shared an entire day of me playing tour guide…

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For his youthful age, Dylan has recently (and quickly) taken a new position as a store manager and if there is any partner that SSC should have on their SHORT-LIST to move home to Seattle it is this young go-getter!  Talk about a partner with a “ground-floor-up” story!  I often find his feeds studying successful people, their biographies and in the day-long discussions I got to share with him this summer Dylan and I share the “Upward and Onward” mentality.  So I know I will be friends with this brilliant and energetic young man for quite many years and FULLY expect to see him expanding his life’s successes here in Seattle in the near future!

With a combined love for the siren and her world, this young man will be one of the people I will miss interacting with MOST!  But, you never know… with me taking Evolution Fresh into next years challenge, and Dylan’s appreciation of them too… I feel our paths will cross again someday!

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I’ll never forget what an amazing addition to this year you’ve been to me Dylan!  Keep your eyes on this (Seattle) prize because you belong here and Seattle would be better with your energy & enthusiasm for Starbucks and life!

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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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Friday Follow Up – Grateful for Winter

This week has been about hot Tazo tea and hot Evolution Fresh simmers and soups…

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Evolution Fresh hot apple juice too….

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And even MORE hot Tazo (Earl Grey) tea!

Red Cups and Red Lips

With the Seattle weather being the typical rainy and windy mess it is in winter, no wonder we are the home of HOT GOODNESS like coffee & tea from Starbucks!

Speaking of Winter… at the beginning of this year, shortly after meeting Christine Hall online, another Starbucks “insider” introduced himself to me online, Winter.  I’m pretty sure most everybody that reads this blog knows Winter and his challenge to visit every Starbucks store around the world (termed “Starbucking” in his documentary).  Winter has been taking this challenge on since 1997 and you can read all about it on his website Starbucks Everywhere.

Luckily, this year I also had the pleasure of meeting Winter in person a couple of times since he was on a contract position in Portland, OR for awhile.  We first met at a favorite place of mine here in Seattle… Roy Street Coffee & Tea.

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Not only has Winter been a great inspiration for my Starbucks year-long challenge, sending me photos of places he has been (especially of the foods which are very different Internationally!), keeping me in the loop about Starbucks interests he has found, but he has been a good online friend that I hope will stay in touch with my future challenges…No matter what, as long as Starbucks stores are still opening around the world, you will have plenty to follow with Winter’s challenge.

I am grateful to have met and to now know Winter and his amazing dedications in life!

Red cups are here…. and so is Winter.  Let the holidays commence.

Mid Week MUNCH – Great Things Happening!

I started my week off in a FABULOUS WAY with the new veggie burger at Evolution Fresh

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This burger is SO GREAT!  Fresh, crisp lettuce and tomato… Perfectly toasted bun… A beautifully spiced veggie patty… even the choice of Terra chips was perfectly matched!

So, as if this wasn’t already a GREAT way to start the week, early this morning I woke to the email from Starbucks for a #PayItForward campaign!  I JUST blogged about this last week with the inspiration from the #AJO story, everybody must be on the same wavelength?!!

Howard & team, THANKS for picking up on what this country needs right now…. some serious feeling of community and doing GREAT for one another!  I can’t WAIT to see what happens this week when the Starbucks community’s generosity is asked to #StepUP… If ANYBODY can do this, the Starbucks community CAN!

This week is off to a GREAT start…. now let’s go show the rest of the world what we are capable of!  #ToBeACustomer!

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Weekend Wrap Up – Fall on the Farm

This weekend our family farm visit was sprinkled with Fall…

From the browns and orange-colored decor, to the smells of chimneys smoking and apple pie spiced candles, heck even the sounds were of this wonderful season with fires crackling and leaves and twigs crunching below your feet!

We started our weekend at Evolution Fresh University Village with some smoothies for the drive..

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Then on the way down south I thought we would attempt the new shipping container store to see if it had opened… Nope, not yet.

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Then of course a fall bonfire had to be started once we arrived…

20131006-185827.jpgI took in all the fall decor and took photos of cobwebs, pumpkins and leaves all weekend long around the farm…

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The rest of the weekend was full of peaceful misty Starbucks mornings…

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And quiet, listening-to-cows-graze while eating my ice cream Starbucks evenings…

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Sunday we enjoyed ending our weekend with a sunset at the Edmonds marina…

LaBoulange at Edmonds Marina
We hope everyone enjoyed their weekends!  New tastes are launching this week…. can’t WAIT!

Mid Week MUNCH

The first Mid Week MUNCH for October will be showcasing of course my Starbucks foods of the moment AND the Starbucks Art I’m loving too!

In fact, most all posts will be showcasing art this month, so be prepared for LOTS of inspiration!  So first, all the yumminess this week so far…

Of course, fall means Warm-Your-Tummy-Goodness for me!  And I’ve fallin in love again with Evolution Fresh’s Soups, Simmers and Hot Apple Ciders…
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Something new that I wasn’t counting on was trying the Ramon’s Apple-paya smoothie which is this creamy blend of apple juice, papaya, cinnamon, hemp granola, bananas & ginger.  What a fabulous smoothie for fall!  It has that cinnamon-y, apple fall flavor but with a creamy, fullness to it like the Smooth Breakfast they used to have.

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I’m definitely getting this smoothie again!

And, I even got the story behind the Ramon’s Smooth.  Apparently, the new Assistant Manager of Bellevue “Ramon” worked down at the Seattle Pike store and one day last year they had a huge case of papaya delivered that they needed to get creative with… QUICK!  So through Ramon’s diligent work to resolve a hurdle (storage space) this obstacle eventually became this beautiful smoothie that we get to enjoy today!

So the moral of the story kids is that you should ALWAYS look at obstacles as opportunities in life!  And that each one could hold a better possibility at the end… kinda like Ramon’s creation.  Because now his name is up on menu boards across the country feeding people natural goodness at Evolution Fresh stores!  Great way #ToBeAPartner Ramon!
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So to match this concept of “making obstacles opportunities” I’d like to share the Starbucks art that I’m loving for the moment of which comes from Tokomo Shintani. This brilliant illustrator started incorporating Starbucks cups into her art early on and have become an International success!

Here is a very early version…

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That eventually became a fully expanded concept…

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I adore the themes of her art!  They are whimsical, childlike innocence, with brands, letters, animals, music & holiday themes.  This “B” was a favorite for bringing The Beatles, their song Blackbird and my classic VW bug into this piece!

But if the upcoming Halloween holiday is your thing, yep!  She has plenty of pumpkins to go around!

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Or maybe your celebrating a birthday soon?  Because Tokomo says that everyday is somebody’s birthday after all!

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Or one of my favorite pieces is this “E” one because it is after all my FAVORITE letter!

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No matter what, if you look through all the art of Tokomo’s Instagram site your bound to find a couple that you like!

What kind of drawings, poetry or art have you created with your Starbucks cup?  Or better yet…. what OPPORTUNITIES do you see on that cup your holding right now?!

Become the next Ramon or Tokomo by taking a new view of your surroundings and create something in the world that you LOVE!  The rest of us could end up thanking you that you did!

Tokomo… here is my paper cutting #PSL artwork in honor of you!  Thanks for making our world a little more creative!

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Mid Week MUNCH – Pumpkins & Sirens

Today my youngest and I ventured out to buy some new rain boots because little boys grow through shoes like crazy!

Afterwards we decided to venture over to University Village and took a peek in on the remodeling of the Tazo/Teavana store…

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Then over to Evolution Fresh to pick up a great Fall soup… This time it was a French Lentil & mushroom soup that I paired with a warm cinnamon Tazo tea & Starbucks Parmesan pretzel…

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Then it was time to design our new Fall display area… Pumpkins, Fall leaves & Starbucks Sirens!  The Hunter boots are going to school for puddle-jumping tomorrow!

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I am loving all these fall colors, boots, fingerless gloves, crisp mornings, warm drinks and delicious soups… how about you?

Friday Follow Up – Jimmy and the Juice

As if flying across the country for three days, visiting natural disaster torn Colorado and getting to see the (second in the country) Starbucks shipping container store wasn’t already enough for a week…

I flew back in just enough time to also meet the founder of Evolution Fresh (and Naked juice) Jimmy!

Ever since I met with the Evolution Fresh team on their one year anniversary in March I have been asking to meet this juice legend, a man truly with a vision to help humanity eat and drink natural, good-for-you products…. Jimmy Rosenberg!

Jimmy was kind enough to speak to a group of us about his journey from taking juices from the streets of southern California to across the country (and eventually the world) through Starbucks with Evolution Fresh!

Jimmy and Us at Evolution Fresh

As you can see, I tried to capture Jimmy’s passion, his utter happiness about juice when he was pouring out his beautifully healthy product for all of us to sample.  All you have to do is be around him and you’ll see his passion about good juice in the world!

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So, already with a full tummy of healthy goodness from lunch, a head FULL of Jimmy’s passion of good-for-you choices for all people, the amazing juice tasting that I already knew was the clincher on why I choose to take on a year of Starbucks… if that wasn’t all enough, then team Evolution Fresh pulls out a swag bag with guess what?  A NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH!

OMG!  If I didn’t already LOVE Evolution Fresh, and the pleasure of meeting a true visionary changing the world’s palate with healthy choices, now I was being given the one thing I have not been able to have this entire year… a BURGER!

Yes, you see this announcement below right… Evolution Fresh will be launching a new veggie burger in select stores in a matter of weeks and I for one plan to make this a staple item for my last couple of months for sure!  Besides the fact that Evolution Fresh has wonderful soups and simmers for our chilly autumn and winter nights… now I can grab a family-full meal for my boys and I with burgers too!

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Kevin & Evolution Fresh team… Thank you so much for yesterday’s meeting with Jimmy!  And THANK YOU for allowing me to finish off my year with a product I’ve been craving for months, Veggie Burgers!

Evolution Fresh will definitely be the place my boys and I will be enjoying dinners before movies, after shopping, or just because from now on and so should YOU!  Take advantage of this new menu offering, try some of Jimmy’s visionary good-for-you juice and/or smoothies and know that Starbucks has your well-being in mind with every new product and brand they keep introducing into the world… thanks to amazing people like Jimmy!

P.S.  Jimmy… I fully expect to hear that naming story and get that front seat ticket to your “Jimmy and the Juice” Ted Talk some day soon!  😉

Have a FABULOUS WEEKEND EVERYONE!