Weekend Wrap Up – Treat Receipt Style

This weekend was filled with plenty of activity…good thing those treat receipts kept my explorations going all weekend long!

First, I’ve been watching construction on my new (walking distance) Starbucks store which is so exciting!  I’ve never thought about all that goes into a Starbucks store before this year, but with all the different locations around the world that I see through my eyes or the eyes of partners/customers, I have a LOT more appreciation for all the design and work that goes into them now!

The latest Seattle store proved that to me on Sunday… so follow on down this post to see more about the new store and what’s happening all around us with Starbucks if you stop to take a look around….


With the oldest at the farm, my Saturday was spent all day and night with my youngest…just the two of us!  We spent a good portion of the morning relaxing but then went for a swim at our community center and then enjoyed the last outdoor movie of the season in our garden.

The bonfire was burning and s’mores were a melting (at least for the little one)…and WAY too many chocolate pieces were eaten!!!

That is probably why there was a lot more watering and playing in the garden going on than watching of the movie!

Sunday was a busy one that started with meeting Winter and his filming crew for a National Geographic show at Kerry Park.

It was great to see Winter again, speak to him at least for a little while and meet the NatGeo team and hear about their show!

From Kerry Park I just had to take advantage of the beautiful afternoon and get a Beechers cheese & Salumi plate at Roy Street Coffee.

While enjoying one of my favorite dishes I get a text from Winter who’s right down the street taping at the new Broadway & Pike Starbucks store, with news that a wonderful Tazo partner, Cody, was now at this newest store.  Of course after enjoying my Roy Street Coffee dinner I knew I had a #TreatReceipt in my pocket just waiting to be my last of the summer season, so why not make it at the new store!

The store is simply beautiful!  From the carefully restored antique doors at the entrance, to the restored wood tables and up cycled lighting, to the open-case, Parisian-style baked goods display…no stone was left unturned when putting this complete Starbucks package together!

I learned a LOT on Sunday!  From Winter & National Geographic’s crew, about the focus at Starbucks to get new stores to be LEED certified, to the Broadway & Pike’s restored, up cycled and Eco focused design.  I especially loved learning about the new, yummy “Evolution Harvest” treats for Starbucks stores that are of course inspired from the brand I love, Evolution Fresh, and soon to be coming to a Starbucks store this fall!

When NatGeo was interviewing me for Winter’s show they asked if I was tired of the Starbucks menu 7 months into my challenge?  I get asked that question (and what next years challenge will be) a lot now.  But with all I’m surrounded with already, and now with even MORE goodies like “Evolution Harvest” coming out soon…. I ask you how I EVER could get tired of the innovative, amazing options from the brilliant minds at Starbucks?

Everywhere I turn lately something new is being introduced that’s part of a bigger, grander plan…and these new options are all starting to support each other in the Starbucks stores too, not just as individual, stand-alone concepts anymore!

This year’s theme has been coming into view for me for months and is now being supported in every direction I turn…. Community!

So with that, I tip my hat (or should I say Frappuccino?!) to you, the partners of Starbucks because whether it is Howard’s grand design or a collaboration of minds at corporate, there is no grander word, no grander concept in the world than the building of and the establishment in a strong, beautiful community that cares like this Starbucks one I see all around.

Thanks for the #TreatReceipts, the (sometimes too many to keep my girlish figure!) Frappuccinos, the new push towards more LEED & Eco living that we all HAVE to implement into our lives, but mostly…thanks for this community Starbucks.

Community is what the world continues to fight for, what we dare to dream big about, what we all continue to be inspired through and (I believe) is at the core of every humans desire to belong and be apart of something bigger than ourselves in some way shape or form.

Starbucks, take it from a person who’s been living your brand for over half a year, a sense of community is what anybody will see everyday, through and through if they are stopping to take a look around…and yours dear siren is growing into a community that is nothing short of spectacular!

Weekend Wrap Up – Winter in Summer

This weekend my youngest and I went to his first movie theater experience.

We stopped by the Starbucks drive-thru for our popcorn and frappuccino ahead of time…

Bubs with Starbucks at first movie

Just look at this Frapp… so lovely!

Movie Starbucks Frapp

What a great time we had all weekend in sunny Seattle!  Going to parties, community festivals, parks, waterfront beaches and of course one of my FAVORITE Starbucks drive-thrus… South Lake Union!  This trip was made even more pleasant with the help of a very nice partner, Sterling.

Westlake SLU Starbucks

I’ve been playing around with different combinations of Starbucks items all weekend, this Evolution Fresh Pomegranate juice mixed with Tazo White Cranberry tea was excellent!

Tazo and Evolution Fresh Summer Drink

Then on Sunday I had a wonderful afternoon talking to the Starbucks legend himself, Winter, at a favorite place of mine Roy Street Coffee and Tea!

I was pleasantly welcomed into the store by the friendly partner Coral and the whole environment at Roy Street Coffee and Tea seemed active and wonderfully upbeat, representative of the glorious sunny day outside!

Roy Street Coffee with Winter

Winter and I had great conversations about his history with Starbucks, the menu choices they offer around the world, his love of Scrabble, music, the arts and many more wonderful things about my new Starbucks friend!  Just touching upon his amazing journey so far definitely educated me, but really piqued my curiosity into this world of being a coffee connoisseur.

I left our afternoon thinking about what a blessing it is to be able to meet these amazing people during my challenges.  I am so lucky to get to know them, learn from their experiences and not only apply it to my own life but to share these adventures with you!

Thank you Winter for spending your afternoon with me, I hope you accomplished your goals for the day and your Seattle trip.  I also hope that we keep in contact because your wisdom of coffee is inspiring to my growing awareness of its culture and appreciation… a focus for my last 5 months and possibly one that will become an everlasting part of my life after this year!

Weekend Wrap Up Birthday edition

Yes, today is my birthday and I’ve literally been going at it since last Friday so this Weekend Wrap Up is all about the Starbucks Birthday!

First, on Friday I received a couple of lovely presents in the mail and while enjoying my Tazo Shaken Iced Passion Tea and La Boulange Raspberry Passion Fruit Loaf Cake, I opened them up and found beautiful gifts such as that reclaimed fashion bracelet from my mom!  I adore it with my grandmother’s vintage silver charm bracelet (yes, that’s the Space Needle charm from the World’s Fair!) and of course they pair well with my Starbucks treats too!

Birthday gifts and Starbucks

Then that afternoon I decided to go on a nature walk with the little one…

Nature walk

We had a great time, coming across a bunch of zen-rock formations that were randomly placed, watching all the bees buzzing around the newly opened wildflowers… which mommy picked a beautiful bouquet of and wrapped my La Boulange ribbons around back at the house.

La Boulange wildflowers

Then Friday night I kept working on a couple of Vine videos (with Hitchcock-hidden Starbucks cameos in them) that I’ve been inspired lately to create!  My first was Teddy Bear Tea Time, then came the Farm (complete with screaming goats!) and then my Starbucks of the Sea video…

Starbucks vine

I adore this Vine app so much and it helps me get back into the video production I used to be apart of when I owned Green Scene TV in Denver.  I have many more vines in my mind to put into the world this summer so watch for them, and see if you can spot the Starbucks cup in each?!!

On Saturday I woke up to the pure enjoyment of my regular latte and the La Boulange Classic Coffee Cake… so buttery, cinnamon-y, warmed-moist goodness… YUM!

La Boulange coffee cake

Then, I worked on Vine videos again with my boys that afternoon (I’m teaching them stop animation techniques with multiple media integrations which is easy to do with the un-editable Vine) and then I got ready for one of my birthday parties that evening with my girlfriends…

BDay dancing

I should have taken pics at the first place we went… Roy Street Coffee, but we were all having such a great time with the Beecher’s cheese plates, the wine, the beer, the desserts and tea pots and discussion… well, they were all gone before I could remember to get shots of any!  But, we did pose outside the dance club for a quick shot… thanks for all the great birthday memories ladies!  I am truly blessed to know such amazing women in my life, always my inspirations!

Sunday was another birthday celebration with my parents and my boys down at the Seattle waterfront.  Our family has been visiting the waterfront, going to the Pacific Science Center, traveling on the Monorail, visiting the Pike Place Market and going on Ferry rides my entire life.  We used to do it with my cousins and my grandfather every summer at least once, and usually it was around my early summer birthday.  This year we had lunch at our favorite waterfront place… Ivars.  But this time I of course brought my Starbucks to the party!

Starbucks and Ivars

I do love the Turkey & Havarti sandwich from Starbucks and after a LONG night of libations and dancing with my girlfriends the night before… Evolution Fresh OJ and Carrot Orange Mango juices are lifesavers that give you an extra spring in your step!

My family asked if I was tired of eating only Starbucks while they enjoyed their Ivars fish and chips and chowder (one of my favorite Seattle foods!) and while it was a bit harder to not enjoy the Ivars tradition with my family this birthday, I told them “no” because of all the new Starbucks products I’ve been able to enjoy lately, and the reality is that I’m half-way through my year and I know I’ll get all those foods I love about Seattle (which I will give a list of favorites later on) soon!

We then decided to go into a bunch of waterfront shops and of course have a ferry ride…

Seattle Ferry Ride

Well today is my actual birthday and I’m spending time pampering myself this afternoon and reflecting on what I want to create by next birthday (which you all should know is well underway and being designed with multiple people and it’s going to be a DOOSEY!).

Thanks to everybody that’s shared my birthday with me so far, and to the parties later this week!  Maybe I’ll do a Vine video on one of them?!  And you KNOW it’s gonna have a Starbucks cameo somewhere in it!

Weekend Wrap Up April 15th

Today we are officially half way through April’s challenge to cut down my Starbucks packaging in honor of Earth Day.  So let’s get into the weekend’s review and where I am in my environmental (and community serving) focus for April!

First on Friday I started planning ways to contribute to my local community for Starbucks Global Month of Service.  I was sent this email a week ago announcing the website where you could look for projects and sign up to get involved.  This email is great because I already volunteer quite a bit running social media for local nonprofits but I am a HUGE advocate for serving your communities so I just had to find somewhere to help out!

Starbucks email Month of Service

I’ve found some great projects in my area and plan to help two or three teams out in the following weeks to help add that #extrashotofgood to our world!  If you would like to find a place to help out in your area you can visit their website too at: Starbucks Global Month of Service.

Later that evening I stopped by my Issaquah Starbucks for a dinner at Starbucks Evening.  I just LOVE their Blue Brie Cheese Plate!  I also had the pleasure of meeting Starbucks Partner Andrea who loves Thrifting, Social Media and Starbucks just like me!

Starbucks Evening Blue Brie Cheese plate

Next on Saturday night I enjoyed a wonderful Starbucks Evening with friends at Roy Street Coffee.  It was great catching up and of course enjoying some of Roy Street Coffee’s wonderful offerings such as the Beecher’s Cheese and Salumi plate!

Adrienne and I at Roy Street Coffee

Later that night I had to stop by our local QFC and pick up some more Evolution Fresh OJ because well… after an evening out with friends this juice replenishes and refreshes you immediately!

Evolution Fresh juice at night

Sunday I set out to tally up all the Starbucks packaging I’ve accumulated so far and to point out just how much of it is recyclable or not.

This is what all my packaging looks like 1/2 way through this month… as you can see most of it is recyclable, especially if you live in an urban area like Seattle.  For more information about plastics HERE is a great post about the plastic breakdown from The Daily Green.

Starbucks April 15th packaging breakdown

As you can see most of these packages will be recyclable and I will be putting in recycling bins at the end of April.  After rearranging the packaging I’m still at less than one grocery bag full!

April 15th Starbucks packaging in grocery bag

This week is going to be more environmental ideas for your Starbucks packaging as we lead up to Earth Day on April 22nd!

Don’t forget my environmental challenge over at Challengera.com and get your submissions in by this weekend to win that great Starbucks prize!

1 Year Of My Life Earth Day Challengera Prize

Weekend Wrap-Up Oscar style

This Oscar weekend was FULL of parties for this Starbucks fan!  So let us get to it!…

Friday was a Purim costume parade with the youngest to start the weekend festivities with a BANG!  Speaking of which… I had my first taste of the Starbucks VIA Vanilla flavored coffee which was light, refreshing and perfect for my custom-designed Starbucks Oscar-inspired reuseable cup!

Oscar Starbucks cup

That night we also took a trip to the farm and got stuck in I-5 southbound traffic at JBLM which ended up doubling our trip time to 5 1/2 hours?!  This normally wouldn’t be an issue except all I brought was one pack of Starbucks Dry Roasted Almonds & a Starbucks Refreshers Strawberry Lemonade  so by the time we got to the farm, spent a couple of hours there then made it back to the nearest Starbucks Drive-through in DuPont I was absolutely STARVING!!  I learned really quick on Friday night that I better stock my car & purse with more Starbucks snacks ASAP!  LESSON LEARNED!

Saturday day was pretty mellow in preparation for a party my oldest and I attended that night in Seattle.  We decided to hit up Roy Street Coffee again for some dinner and while we were there I utilized my FAVORITE new app Vine to make a fun little video about this absolutely lovely “Starbucks-inspired” gem!  Sign up for this wonderful app and see the video or on my Facebook page.

The party Saturday night was LIVE!  The crowd was ELECTRIC!  And we both had a fabulous time stage-front for Washington-based musicians Oscillator X!  Richard J Dalton was also pretty entertaining in that chicken costume!  🙂

Oscillator X

Sunday was the Purim carnival and mommy stocked up in the drive through on a Venti, 2-pump vanilla, soy latte, a hot chocolate and Starbucks Bacon and Gouda Artisan breakfast sandwiches for the boys prior to party-time.  Getting to any party ahead of time, especially with toddlers, is highly advised because the crowds are still forming and by the time you spend two fun-filled-popcorn-jumpy castles-and-cotton-candy-hours in a gym… Toddler burn-out ratio is spiking off the scale!!  But most of the time we all were super happy and that Starbucks coffee did the trick for mommy!

Next was the Oscars… but I have to admit, I’m not a huge TV fan so I just watched my friend Kim’s Facebook feed and the twitter feeds both of which are so much more entertaining than the red carpet show with yet again, another pretty dress *YAWN*.  Kim, you need your own FB reality show darlin, your stuff is FUNNY!

An eventful and fun weekend full of Starbucks with this week wrapping up this month’s focus of I HEART Starbucks.

Weekend Wrap Up 1-21-13

This is the Weekend Wrap Up for January 21st, 2013 (otherwise known to Americans as Martin Luther King Jr. Day)

Friday was supposed to be the evening we took our first trip to my family’s farm but I stayed in Seattle to meet up with some friends for my first Starbucks Evenings.  The Starbucks EveningsStarbucks Evenings Truffle Mac & Cheesewine and food options at both the Olive Way Starbucks and a Starbucks “inspired” shop called Roy Street Coffee were fabulous to all that attended and I will be back for more evenings with friends and special guests!

After Friday’s wonderful events I popped into the Bellevue Evolution Fresh store and packed up for the trip to the farm.  I picked up a new dinner choice of the Evolution Fresh Buckwheat Noodle BowlBuckwheat Noodles Hot Simmer bowl with added chicken breast (per employee suggestion) and I was told it would “sort of” taste like chicken soup but I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t taste like Campbell’s but it tasted like a wonderful chicken Pho’ soup and anybody that knows me knows that I LOVE ME some Pho’!  So this meal is definitely going to be able to substitute for my Pho’ cravings for 2013 easily!

I picked up a variety of Evolution Fresh juices to have my family try while at the farm.  Evolution Fresh packed up for travelI have been having a conversation with family members who are partners and they don’t have all the choices we do around Seattle so I had to share!  I brought down a their wonderful Strawberry Lemonade, their tarty-goodness in the Ginger Limeade, their staple OJ (to test against other orange juices like we did last week at the Evolution Fresh store) and a Carrot Orange Mango.  Since I was on a role when I ordered my items to go I also picked up a couple of pre-made sandwiches, the Turkey and carmalized onion and the Grilled Chicken breast… I also decided to try their smoothies for the first time and picked up the Pineapple smoothie with greek yogurt.

Bubs and CowWhile at the farm we did the normal feeding of the animals, which my youngest LOVES to do!  There were all sorts of animals just loving Leroythe extra attention from us…the cows, the bunnies, the chickens and even the farm’s mascot, Leroy the Bull Mastiff! (How could you not just LOVE that face?!!)

I also pulled out those Evolution Fresh juices for everybody to try out… Nana liked the same tarty-goodness that I do with the Ginger Limeade, my oldest took the whole bottle of Strawberry Lemonade (after tastes were given) and my youngest took all the OJ.Nana trying Evolution Fresh

Then it was time to say goodbye to the farm.  We packed up what Starbucks items were left and headed north.

We hope everybody had a great holiday weekend!  Now back to regularly scheduled programming… and the last two weeks of my New Years Resolution to LOSE WEIGHT while on my Starbucks only year.  Next up is a weighing-in to see where I am… the first in almost two weeks?!  *shutter*

Starbucks Evenings

Before our weekend trip to the farm I changed our departure plans so I could attend my first Starbucks Evenings with friends and try out the menu.

Starbucks Evenings

I went to the Olive Way, Seattle location and tried out their Truffle Mac & Cheese, Bacon-wrapped dates and paired it with a favorite beer… Stella Artois.

Starbucks Evenings Olive Way

The dinner selections according to our multiple patrons were big hits!  The service was attentive, the place was busy most of the time and over all I have to say that Starbucks did a nice job creating a great little menu.  I cannot wait to try the rest of the options out!  If you live in Portland, Chicago, Atlanta or LA you have the Starbucks Evenings option too!

Starbucks Evenings Truffle Mac & Cheese

I then decided to take a short cab ride up to the other later-evening Starbucks in the area, Roy Street Coffee.  This beautiful shop is “inspired” by Starbucks and has a rustic-eclectic interior situated within an open floor plan making it spacious yet comfortable.  It is also a bit more quiet since it sits off the end of Broadway avenue, making it easier to grab a table and order a nice plate with some wine or pull out your laptop and get some studying done.  And that’s exactly what I did (the wine and plate option).  I was lucky enough last night to have the advice of a wine connoisseur (thank you Dr. Max) and enjoyed Roy Street’s Terra Rose Malbec from Argentina.

Roy Street's Malbec

I have to admit, I have not had a red wine in quite a few years but the experience was SO enjoyable, so rich on my palate that I will have to try the bottle again!

I was enjoying the company, the wine and the food but I was also getting updates via my social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest about a local record shop (Easy Street Records) and a closing party they were having… so I took a quick ride up to the Queen Anne store to check it out.

East Street Records Closing

The DJ’s were fun, people were filtering in and out, rummaging through the isles of CD’s, Vinyl and T-shirts… it was a happy but bittersweet environment.

At least I could say that I was “HERE” before it was gone!Easy Street Records I was HERE

Now off to the farm and a weekend away from a Starbucks store.  The Weekend Wrap Up will have more to share…

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!