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 – 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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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I also chose to order their fabulous smoked salmon plate…

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

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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!

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

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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…

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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 – 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!

Friday Follow Up – Summer Starbucks Drinks

We now have officially been surrounded by summer in the Seattle area for weeks (well, besides today) and my drink choices are feeling it!

First I had to try out all those Starbucks Discoveries that I purchased last weekend on our farm trip.  Which turns out are a great addition to Starbucks Iced Coffee VIA packets!

Iced VIA and Starbucks Discoveries

And because I always have to balance out my Starbucks coffee with some great Evolution Fresh juices and Tazo tea (Teavana you are on my serious radar now) I also started making my custom “Arnold Palmers” with a variety of choices between the brands.

Perfect mixing for these hot summer days!

Tazo and Evolution Fresh blend

This is pretty much what you feel like when you blend Starbucks products together to customize your summer drinks… rays of sunshine lighting up your day!

Starbucks Sunshine

And for all those that gave me a heads up about the Starbucks BOGO this week, and all those that “thought of me” when they got theirs… I hope you enjoy(ed) your Starbucks mouth-watering choices this week!

Next up… treat receipts, YEAH!  Keep those cool summer offers coming Starbucks, WE LOVE THEM!

Starbucks BOGO
I know the Seattle area is going back into a sunny weekend, but it’s kind of a Winter-y looking weekend for me!
I look forward to meeting this Starbucks legend in person!

Have a great weekend everybody!

Weekend Wrap Up – Summer Solstice Edition

This last weekend was FULL of great things around the Seattle area!

Friday was the first day of summer and I made a Happy Summer Vine video for all the partners…

Happy Summer Starbucks

Saturday was a perfect sunny day so the boys and I ventured to the Golden Gardens beach with our Starbucks

Starbucks at the beach Boys at the Beach

Then on our way home I snapped this absolutely beautiful image of our very own Space Needle.  We are the LUCKIEST PEOPLE in the world to have such amazing places!

Space Needle

Sunday being the rainy day it was we stayed indoors taking in some swim time at our community pool.

Bubs and I swimming

Sunday evening was exactly what my Starbucks Ham & NY Cheddar Sandwich said it would be…

Starbucks Fortune Sandwiches

I swear… these Starbucks sandwich new label sayings are always right on cue for me!  I think we need to start calling them the Starbucks “Fortune” sandwiches because the only thing lovelier than their deli-fresh taste is the wonderful words you read before you bite in.

Good bye to the cookies at your local restaurant of yesterday… Starbucks sandwiches are the NEW FORTUNES you should be reading!

And I decided to top of the evening in true Starbucks Caramel Macchiato ice cream deliciousness…

Starbucks Caramel Macchiato evening

Today (Monday, June 24th) is national “Swim a Lap” day… so no matter where you are in the country grab a Starbucks “Fortune” Sandwich to enjoy AFTER swimming and go get a lap in!

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!

Starbucks Style Saturday – April 27

This last week my oldest son and I visited University Village (UV) where we ran into a stylish looking couple in front the StarbucksTaylor and Peter.

Starbucks Style Saturday April 27
Taylor and Peter obviously had a story that I wanted to know as soon as I saw them because they were not only incredibly stylish (and poised, look at that “toe point”!) but also because they were “dancing” in front of the store, so I asked for more info…
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Taylor is part of a wonderful group of women (Sasha, Cindy, Taylor and Biz) over at Hotsy Totsy Vintage that collectively have pulled their many talents to showcase vintage styles for real life.  Their website states that “we are united by our love of old clothes, good bargains, and self-expression through fashion.”  Amen to that!  I could definitely be besties with these fashionistas!  Living the Goodwill Life anybody???
And not to be out-shadowed in the stylish department is the completely dapper Peter!  Who is quite the wonderful person to “bump” into as well!   Peter is a professional Swing and Tap dance instructor and performer who has some amazing clips of his “work” over on his website PeterFlahiff.Net.  Seriously, watch this guy because DWTS needs to hire him!  It’s Gene Kelly & Fred Astaire all over again and Seattle is at a loss with your move Peter!
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Here are a couple more shots of this amazing pair… Thanks Taylor and Peter!  I hope I run into you again one day at a Starbucks!
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Weekend Wrap Up – Passover Edition

This weekend was full of celebrations!

First of all, Friday was an early Seder dinner at my youngest son’s classroom.  And in true Starbucks style I tried making a Starbucks Seder plate as best I could…

Starbucks Seder plate

It worked out pretty well with most of the items needed found from the contents of two Bistro Boxes (Protein and Chicken & Hummus) and an almond pack.

Starbucks Seder plate Bubs and IThe celebration was successful, and everybody had a great time!

Then Saturday and Sunday were spent with my oldest for his big 13th birthday!  I cannot believe I’m a parent to a teenager now… but the hour we spent shopping at the Nordstrom cologne counter gave me a pretty good idea where we are heading for the next few years!

Sheraton Starbucks

You know it’s going to be a great stay when the room has Starbucks coffee to start your day!

Sheraton Starbucks Morning

I missed getting dinner at the Evolution Fresh downtown store on Saturday night because we were shopping so late, but I made up for it on Sunday!  And took a bunch of Vine videos this weekend about our downtown Starbucks experiences including one at a store I’ve always loved…the Westlake Starbucks.

Vine Westlake Starbucks screen shot

Westlake Center Starbucks

Many more things coming up this next week…

1)  HAPPY PASSOVER!

2)  This weekend’s trip to the family farm & our Easter family gathering (see what I do with Evolution Fresh and Tazo Tea products for the event!)

3)  In ONE WEEK I will be launching on the International challenge social media site: Challengera.com!

Challengera.com logo

Sign up on their site now and get ready to showcase your Eco, Green and Environmental side in my challenge (which will be launched on April 1st through 22nd) in honor of International Mother Earth Day AND Starbucks Global Month of Service for a chance to win a fabulous Starbucks prize!

Starbucks Global Month of Service

Mother Earth Day logo

Have a GREAT week everybody!

Happy Anniversary Evolution Fresh!

Today is the 1 year anniversary of the Evolution Fresh store in Bellevue, WA and boy did I start my day off with a BANG!

First I was fortunate to meet with Kevin (yep, the Kevin that created the delicious Kevin’s Quinoa bowl!) and Marianne from the head office but then they hosted a tasting party for the three of us, AMAZING!  But before I get into all the deliciousness of their products… we had to start out the morning with a toast because it is a special day!

Evolution Fresh Anniversary toast

I of course came with a set of questions but the reality was that Kevin and Marianne’s enthusiasm for Evolution Fresh spoke for itself!  The excitement about this new Starbucks brand is quickly catching fire amongst many people like Bethenny Frankel who started tweeting about their juices last week, and of course on the smiling faces of their “Juice Partners” who are brand advocates, educators and always light up when talking about the possibilities their healthy choices bring to the world’s palate!

The amount of information I could write about from this meeting is endless, so I will be posting a follow-up piece with even more juicy (pun intended) tidbits of the buzz behind Evolution Fresh later this month.  For now let me bring you into some of the “box of crayon colors” that Evolution Fresh‘s food and juice offer because THIS is what natural food should LOOK like!

Evolution Fresh Kevin's Quinoa bowls

Both of these dishes are the Kevin’s Quinoa bowl… fabulous choices right!  One is served hot (or what they call a “simmer”) for those cooler days/nights and then one is served “traditional” (or cool) for your sunny or warmer weather, genius!  Also pictured were the amazing Field of Greens juice and Smooth Green smoothie, both are as equally yummy!  This is one of the ingenious qualities to this brand, diversity of healthy eating and drinking options, which match with their main goal which is to serve…

Delicious, Nutritious and Accessible Juice and Food!

Evolution Fresh Sweet Burn

This sample was the first time I’ve tried their Sweet Burn juice, that is handcrafted from their “Juice Wall” which pulls from a variety of fresh flavors to specially blend your own creation… a concept that I have not fully explored yet but believe me I’m going to!  I fully plan on putting together my own “Beautiful Blend” of juice because this kind of creativity is what the Evolution Fresh experience is about… those crayon boxes of food and juice colors, that unique blend of items that you can custom design to make your own, that desire to help evolve your palate to a NUTRITIOUS but also equally DELICIOUS one!

Of course I had to pick up some items to go while there AND since it’s a month of SAVING MONEY at Starbucks… I used one of my Evolution Fresh coupons!

Evolution Fresh coupon

But if you don’t have a coupon HERE IS A COUPON to help them celebrate their 1st year anniversary.  Thanks Evolution Fresh for the savings!!

Evolution Fresh 1st Anniversary Coupon

Marianne pointed out to me that this month is National Nutrition Month at our meeting… so why not start your own new good and good-for-you journey and try that Evolution Fresh juice in your local Starbucks store!  Or if you’re in the Seattle or San Francisco area grab a bite to eat.  Believe me, your body and palate will thank you!

Happy 1st Anniversary Evolution Fresh!  Here’s to many years of Delicious, Nutritious growth!

Weekend Wrap Up March 11th 2013

This weekend was a SUNNY ONE in Seattle!  So most of it we spent outside enjoying the paradise we call home!

But when I did come in from the wonderful natural world, I took advantage of  SAVING MONEY at Starbucks!

Friday was the marketing presentation of the Starbucks reusable cups with my wonderful group… who also happen to be the second edition of Starbucks Style Saturdays.  We had the new Starbucks reusable cups to provide everyone with and I brought in their wonderful coffee carafe’s so everybody could try them out immediately!

Starbucks carafe's

Starbucks Reusable Cups Marketing Ladies

After a full day on Saturday, Mommy indulged in another Starbucks Evenings with Bacon-wrapped dates, Blue Brie Cheese plate and a Stella Artois!

Starbucks Evenings Blue Brie Cheese plate

Sunday I received my first Starbucks Gold Card reward of the year, yeah!  I waited to start using my Starbucks Gold card until March to see how many uses and freebies I would get in a month and it’s only the 10th so I think it’s safe to say that I will be getting lots of FREE Starbucks goodies the rest of this month (and the rest of 2013)!

Starbucks Rewards Free drink or food

I chose to use my first reward of this year on one of my favorite Bistro Boxes, the Chicken & Hummus.

Free Starbucks Gold Card Reward

Yes, yes I know… I’m a COFFEE SHOP ADDICT!  Thanks for re-verifying that via my iPhone every 2-3 days Foursquare!  😉

Starbucks Foursquare 5th coffee level