Friday Follow Up – Starbucks Bloggers Activate!

I always loved the cartoon characters the Wonder Twins, I think I originally seen them on Scooby Doo… another staple of my childhood.  But the whole thing about the Wonder Twins was their phrase “Wonder Twin powers ACTIVATE!”  That concept of two people coming together to activate into a super power was EXACTLY what Dylan M Austin’s adventures with me on Wednesday felt like.  We were a Starbucks force for sure because our day’s worth of adventures were POWERFUL to say the least!

And when I say adventures, yes… we pushed the bar to get as much Starbucks and Seattle sight-seeing in that we possibly could take in one day.  Which we successfully achieved and which I had to take a day of rest (yesterday) to catch my breath from!

After a whole day spent with Dylan I have so much appreciation for his love of the siren, his youthful vigor and mature demeanor, his visions and goals both personally and professionally and when I tell you he is an absolute joy to be around I am not kidding.  This young man is certainly on his way in life and Starbucks is all the better for having people like him under their wing!

So, let the following pictures guide you through the adventures we had on Wednesday and if you get a chance to check out his videos along with the other Five Awesome Baristas please do!  Also, Dylan can be found at his Twitter and Blog pages… and hopefully at a Seattle location near us SOON!

First of all, we drove to the SBC (Seattles Best Coffee) drive-thru only blocks away from corporate.

SBC Seattles Best Coffee Drive Thru

I had not visited this location before but learned SO MUCH about new menu items for me (YEAH!) and a LOT about the Seattle’s Best Coffee (@SBC) expansion in Texas and where they are headed.  We learned all this and more from the super-friendly partner, Valarie, who was just a pure joy to begin our day with!  Valarie (and partners) I will be back to try MORE of those wonderful SBC pies!  (probably today!)

SBC Valarie

From there it was a quick hop, skip and a jump down to one of my favorite Starbucks stores, the container store!  Boy, do I ever want a tour inside that place someday!

Dylan Starbucks Container store

From south Seattle we started our “loop” back and drove up to the infamous Viretta Park memorial for Kurt Cobain next to his home.

Kurt Cobain's home

I haven’t made a Seattle “pilgrimage” for a long time considering I’ve pretty much lived here my whole life.  The experience is pretty neat to relive and even if you are a local, I would suggest doing these touristy things sometimes so you can reflect on what we are surrounded with everyday that is special!

From Montlake we headed over to University Village Tazo Tea.  Partner Travis was again a pleasure to learn from, and this visit I decided to try his last suggestion… a Sultry-Strawberry Tea Italian Soda.  OMG, this drink is SO YUMMY!  Here is part of the process of hand-making this creation, the carbonation station.

Tazo Carbinator

We both had a plethora of information to contemplate concerning tea, and it’s a product that is very much on both our radar’s to explore for sure!  We were greeted by the store manager, Meggan, who also had a visiting partner from Toronto in store… it was really turning out to be a fabulously, sunny, Seattle adventure!

Tazo TeaLicious Italian Soda

But we were not through yet… OH NO!

From there we walked over to the University Village Evolution Fresh store so Dylan could try out their store.  We were sorry to miss the wonderful new manager, Lena, but we were greeted by her super friendly and helpful, knowledgeable partners Nate and Molly who helped Dylan sample so many wonderful items from the Evolution Fresh menu!  I’m sure by now most readers, partners, SSC and anybody I can speak to know how much I LOVE this Evolution Fresh brand, and hopefully the rest of the country (world?!) will one day too because it is really amazing!

Evolution Fresh Lunch with Dylan

With full tummies from our Evolution Fresh lunch and juice tasting (that sweet burn ROCKS!) Dylan and I decided to go for a walk because I had been hearing rumors that a NEW Starbucks CONCEPT was in the making.  I’m not sure where the new store will be housed by my sources tell me that it is a “re-evolving the store (Tazo) to be a new concept store under the Teavana brand name.”  Apparently the new store will open in November and “will represent a cafe’-style experience to include hand-crafted tea beverages and tea inspired food pairings in addition to the portfolio of Teavana’s world-class loose leaf tea and merchandise.”

Um, YES PLEASE!  More Tazo, more Teavana, more Starbucks concepts coming SOON!  I am truly the LUCKIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD this year with this challenge and I am so happy to help spread the word about everything amazing that Starbucks is doing… Living in Seattle truly is an experience of a lifetime!

From our little walk we decided to first check out Gasworks park and then make our way over to the infamous Fremont Troll.  But before we could go trolling we had to make a quick stop at the Fremont Starbucks and pick up our #treatreceipt goodies…

Fremont Starbucks

So, with refreshers in hand we ventured over to the troll and did the ULTIMATE Seattle #Sipface (thanks to Dylan’s BRILLIANT idea!)…

Fremont Troll #Sipface

There seriously isn’t anything better than troll #sipface!  EXCEPT maybe…

Dylan in Seattle

A Kerry Park #sipface?  I had to show Dylan this memorable spot of Seattle photo-taking since I already did my version this summer (back in May) too…

Seattle Starbucks Sipface

Were we done yet???  OH NO WE WERE NOT!  Dylan and I quickly realized that there was ONE MORE stop left on his list, my cozy little fav up on the hill… Roy Street Coffee!

Roy Street Baked Goods

I know I’m on a diet, I KNOW I am on a DIET… but really?  This sign, this case, THESE Strawberry Rhubarb Bars RIGHT HERE!  Yep… “what diet?”

Of course, just having the pleasure of sitting down with Winter at Roy Street Coffee last week, Dylan and I had to take the (soon to be iconic) photo in front of the Roy Street Coffee sign!

Dylan and I at Roy Street

Okay, Okay… this was the end (not really, but only Dylan knows the “rest of the story”) of our day’s adventures.

Like I said, the day was a whirlwind of Seattle, Starbucks and getting to know this up-and-coming talent in the Starbucks and Internet communities which was truly a real pleasure!

Dylan I hope your trip back home was nice and RELAXING, especially after the amazing day we had on Wednesday!  I hope you liked my hand-made card, that you have grown to LOVE my home even more and that our city will be lucky enough to have your presence in it soon!  Our Wonder Twin powers definitely activated the Starbucks social media feeds all day!

I am so excited for another Starbucks, Tazo, Teavana concept store this fall… OMG!

Have a GREAT WEEKEND everybody!

Friday Follow Up – First Day of Summer

Today is the official FIRST DAY OF SUMMER (woohoo!) and it’s also my first “Friday Follow Up” post because, well… sometimes I don’t make the Mid Week Munch deadline.  Oops, but let’s get into it…

The first day of summer is reflective of the typical June weather for Western Washington… sunny, cloudy, sunny, rainy, cloudy, cloudy, a little sunny, nope rainy again!  If you have lived here you know what I mean.  So the photos of my week will reflect this variance in weather extremes (and one of the reasons Western Washington is so dear to me) if there is one thing you can count on here it’s that the weather will always keep you guessing!

Starbucks on the beach

I love this image!  My Tazo Shaken Iced Passion Tea (a summer must have) and my little La Boulange pink bag on sun-drenched legs dipping into the chilly water of Lake Washington.  This is a favorite image of this challenge year for sure!

First day of summer sipface

This week also started the boy’s summer vacation (another reason my posts might be farther between) and what better way to kick it off but with a Summer #Sipface?!

Foursquare Starbucks Mayor

If you follow me on Foursquare you will see my quirky “check-ins” at nothing but Starbucks.  So it shouldn’t surprise anybody that I’m kind of a big-deal-mayor (not really, ha ha) at many Starbucks locations in the Seattle area.  That OR, I’m hearting your Starbucks check-ins!

I adore Foursquare’s quirky badges and sense of humor… keeps ya guessing!

Tazo Tea White Tip Oolong and treats

See, what did I tell ya?  One day #Sipface by the lakeshore and the next hot Tazo Tea White Tip Oolong… Western Washington weather, I just adore your indecisiveness sometimes.

Tazo Tea Sparkling Sangria w: White Tips

And yet another day and I’m back to sipping iced tea… well, actually it was raining that day but I figured “What the heck?” and just went with it anyways!

Well, since it is the FIRST DAY OF SUMMER here in the Seattle area I thought I’d put together a nice Vine video to welcome in the SUNNY WEATHER (wink wink).  Let’s hope that my little poem “Ode to Starbucks Summer” works with Ms. Mother Nature!

Starbucks First Day of Summer

Happy SUMMER!

In the Drink

In the “drink” of creativity around Starbucks on the Internet, there are endless options to be able to Make It Yours that I have found.

Here are a couple Make It Yours drinks that I’ve been creating this week and others I have found all over the Internet…

Tazo Passion and Evolution Fresh

Tazo Shaken Iced Passion Tea– unsweetened mixed with Evolution Fresh Pineapple Coconut Water = A light and refreshing version of Tropical Punch!

Tazo Green Tea Frapp

I’ve really been into Tazo Tea lately (I really need another store visit SOON!) and have been enjoying fusing their offerings into other Starbucks products like this Tazo Tea decaf chai latte that I mixed into my Green Tea Frappuccino yesterday = #MyTEAFine #sipface!

Green Tea Frapp

After adding more “invites” to my Starbucks Pinterest page I came across this lovely looking drink made from Starbucks VIA Cool Lime Refresher

Pinterest Via Mojito

Over on Instagram I’m trying to keep up with all the Frappuccino creations spilling over (pun intended) from the huge #sipface campaign…

Starbucks Instagram Capt Crunch Frapp

And for still more inspiration… check out the official Starbucks Flickr group!  There are so many Starbucks images there that my Pinterest account is about to explode!

Starbucks Flickr group

 Have a GREAT WEEKEND everybody!

I hope you get to Make It Yours this weekend, you can find inspiration all over the Internet!

Mix n Match

I started reaching out to partners and Starbucks customers last week when I started my Make It Yours May focus and I’ve been getting GREAT response so far!  It seems when it comes to making new creations with food, everybody’s game for some mix n match!

This week I started off the conversations with an online friend via Instagram, TheDoctor31 (aka Sergio) because well, he LOVES Starbucks too…

Screen shot 2013-05-10 at 6.25.55 AM

and he had a beautiful photo of a favorite store of ours… Starbucks Store that I just have to share I love it so much!

Sergio's Starbucks photo

I might make a whole month on just Starbucks Art!  I’m really getting into the creativity that’s captured through the Mermaid’s eye(s) in the world!

Art isn’t the only thing going on in the Starbucks Tweet-iverse, I also commented on a Twitter feed from @LaxFittie13 this week…

Screen shot 2013-05-10 at 6.09.41 AM

because she posted this mouth-watering Tweet about her Tazo Passion Tea over homemade lemonade ice cubes… a brilliant Make It Yours creation!Screen shot 2013-05-10 at 6.09.23 AM

I had been viewing the Tazo Tea feeds a lot more this week because of The Washington Apple Frappuccino I made earlier with Tazo Tea’s Baked Cinnamon Apple tea, which got me thinking… what kind of blends can I do with an Evolution Fresh smoothie and a Starbucks Frappuccino to enhance my #sipface even more????

So I went through the menus’… and put together what I think might be another true first in the world of Make It Yours Starbucks Frappuccinos

First I went to the Bellevue Square Evolution Fresh and picked up my Smooth Carrot, then walked next door to the Bellevue Starbucks

Evolution Fresh Smooth Carrot

Then I asked the partners for a big favor to blend 1/4 of my Smooth Carrot into a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino (add two pumps of Cinnamon Dolce syrup)… the result?

The Carrot Cake Frappuccino!

The Carrot Cake Frappuccino

I’m telling you this sucker is GOOD!  I really wanted to put Oatmeal cookies crumbled on the top but the store didn’t have any, but the next time I try this I’m getting the Starbucks Outrageous Oatmeal cookie because I think it’s the cherry on the top of this creation for sure!

My oldest has had many Frappuccinos and when I let him taste this his first words were “Your NOT getting this back!“… that’s some serious #sipface cred from your teenage target market Starbucks!  Oh, and I’ve been talking about this creation on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and FB since I posted it 24 hours ago….

I’m telling you,  you gotta try it!

Mid Week MUNCH

I have established a regular posting after my weekend adventures called the “Weekend Wrap Up” so now I’m going to start posting a 1/2 way mark too that I’m calling the “Mid Week MUNCH” because well, this year is all about eating/drinking.  Next year’s adventure in 2014?  I’ll title my mid-weeks with another clever moniker but for now the MUNCH is what I’m going with.  Follow these on Twitter with (what else?) hashtag #MidWeekMUNCH

For the first Mid Week MUNCH I’m starting with a Twitter exchange I had with @Tiffany_Clute about my Cinco de Mayo “Make It Yours” creation, a blended Cool Lime Refresher

Screen shot 2013-05-06 at 9.00.18 PM

But as good as my original blended creation was Tiffany suggested adding Lemonade to it which I tried and BOY!  was it PERFECT for the hot, sunny day we had in Seattle!

Frapp bomb!

When I ordered this drink it was at a new Starbucks store for me on Lake City Way I put together another Vine video of it up… I have started amassing a Starbucks Store Vimeo collection now, check it out!

Also, when I was there I owed a local DJ Richard J Dalton a Chocolate Cookie Crumble Frappuccino for helping out with the Dining Out for Life event I Tweet-casted last week so I decided to Frapp-bomb the C89.5 studios

C89.5 Frappuccino Pledge Drive

Richard and the staff were incredibly sweet and showed their Starbucks appreciation (as well as their current Pledge Drive) with some perfect product placement!  And YES, Richard you can start using the hashtag #FrappBomb but ONLY if you start #FrappBomb -ing others too!  (share the LOVE, share the Frappuccino LOVE!)

I was on the run all day so I grabbed one of the new Stoneground Dijon, Bavarian-Style Pretzels… yep, another great item Starbucks Corporate! and wonderful for a girl-on-the-go!

Starbucks Bavarian Dijon pretzel

As if this level of activity wasn’t already a blast, I’ve heard through the Tweet-iverse about some Starbucks Secret Menu that would showcase the “Make It Yours May” theme that I’m focusing on but I hadn’t looked or found such things until I befriended an online coffee expert lately… @Coffee With_E (Eliot).

Screen shot 2013-05-06 at 8.44.04 PM

@CoffeeWith_E and I started chatting after I posted my own Frappuccino creation last week called “The Beautiful Blueberry Frappuccino” and from there we started chatting about coffee and next thing I know I’m getting these fabulous partner creations sent to me from @CoffeeWith_E for everybody else’s #FrappuccinoHappyHour inspiration!  Just check out these wonderful creations popping up in Starbucks around Richmond, Virginia!

Frappuccino dreaming

Captain Crunch Frappuccino?  Brown Sugar & Nut Frappuccino?  YES. PLEASE!  I’ve gotten so wrapped up in the whole #sipface launch this week that I decided to make a second Make It Yours May creation… The Washington Apple Frappuccino!

I took the fabulous Baked Cinnamon Apple Tazo Tea, steeped and iced it…

Tazo Tea baked cinnamon apple ice tea

Then I went to Starbucks and ordered an Apple Pie Frappuccino from the Starbucks Secret Menu.  I nicely asked the partners to leave space at the top for me to add the two together (which they did, thanks!) and VOILA!  The Washington Apple Frappuccino was born!  I named it that because, well I LOVE Washington state… we have LOTS of apples, and Starbucks, Tazo Tea and me are all from Washington state so what better way to honor the creation than naming it after our home!

And yes… it was DELICIOUS!  The tea adds extra apple UMPH to it but also gives the drink a nice tea-blend, sort of like you would find in a traditional Thai-iced tea.

The Washington Apple Frappuccino

and then if The Washington Apple Frappuccino wasn’t enough to tempt your #sipface cravings….

Frappuccino dreaming 2

Then @CoffeeWith_E had to post one of my all-time favorite desserts… Strawberry Cheesecake Frappuccino (from Hannah Q)?!!  OMG…I have so MANY GREAT Frappuccinos to try now!  This is NOT helping me get ready for bikini weather AT ALL Starbucks!  🙂

But, one awesome new creation from Starbucks that DOES help your waistline is the Zesty Chicken & black bean salad bowl that I tried for the first time.  Yep, I am officially in LOVE with almost every new Starbucks meal they have put out this week, including this amazing dish with less than 400 calories!  The “zesty” sauce is so yummy… I want to put it on anything & everything! (okay, NOT on the Strawberry Cheesecake Frappuccino but you get the picture)

Zesty Chicken & black bean

I’ve been working on many more partner and customer Make It Yours recipes and creations and will have more Starbucks and Evolution Fresh up by the weekend, just in time for Mother’s Day!

Weekend Wrap Up May 6th

Boy, oh boy… do I have a LOT to share from this weekend!

First, on Friday I released my first year’s video (taken by my filmmaker friends, thanks!) for “The Beautiful Blueberry Frappuccino” which also happens to be The LONGEST Starbucks drink order in the world!  I launched this drink in honor of Starbucks Frappuccino Happy Hour which started on Friday as well!  #sipface

The Beautiful Blueberry Frappuccino ss

After a long day Friday we decided to go with our cousins and aunt & uncle to see Ironman 3 and guess what?  They had Starbucks at the theatre!  I enjoyed my second Frappuccino that day while watching the movie… it was a good thing I was so busy all day that I could afford the extra calories!

Starbucks at the theatre

Then on Saturday we enjoyed the sunny, Seattle weather and went to the opening of boating day & of course we brought Starbucks Cake Pops and #sipface to the event!

Cake pops and frapps

After an afternoon in the sun we went to a friends Birthday BBQ pot-luck and what did we bring?  Starbucks Cake pops for everybody!  They were the hit and looked FABULOUS next to all the beautiful flowers, birthday presents and colorful cards!  They were a BIG HIT with the guests and everybody had to grab one to try as soon as I could get the picture taken… always a good sign!

Adrienne's Cake Pops

Then on Sunday it was Cinco de May0!  Or as Starbucks put it… Feliz Frappuccino! (quite brilliant marketing slogan by the way!)  So in honor I did two things…

First I decorated my coffee of the morning…

Starbucks Cinco de Mayo

Then I ordered what might be a go-to drink for me this summer, a Cool Lime Refresher but blended!  OMG… I loved it so much and was it a perfect, sort-of Cinco de Mayo drink.  I actually had twitter conversations with people after I posted it on Instagram and will be trying another variation to showcase for “Make It Yours May”.

Cool Lime Refresher blended

We spent the day down at the farm and all enjoyed the quiet, relaxed & sunny afternoon at the river having a Starbucks lunch and climbing on tractors, playing fetch with our dog and riding on the quads!

Starbucks lunch at the creek

On the way back up to Seattle I had a free Gold Card meal so we stopped at what is becoming our south Puget Sound go-to Starbucks drive-through in Dupont and I grabbed a second (yes, I totally went there) Cool Lime Refresher blended and a new Hearty Veggie & brown rice salad bowl.

Dupont Starbucks

The salad bowl was filling and delicious!  It reminded me of the Kevin’s Quinoa Bowl at Evolution Fresh… I am starting to see a merging of the two stores in their new foods which is not a bad thing since Evolution Fresh is such a wonderful & natural choice and the bowl was a wonderful end to our busy weekend!

Starbucks Hearty Veggie bowl

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend too… lots of recipes coming in from partners, customers and next weekend is Mother’s Day!  Another week, another Starbucks!

The Beautiful Blueberry Frappuccino

Today starts Starbucks Frappuccino Happy Hour from 3-5pm May 3rd through May 12th you get 1/2 off these wonderful drinks!

Frapp Happy Hour

In honor of Make It Yours May and the Starbucks Frappuccino Happy Hour (#sipface) I announce my creation of…

 The Beautiful Blueberry Frappuccino!

The Beautiful Blueberry Frappuccino ss

**Oh, and this drink just happens to be the LONGEST Starbucks Drink Order in the World!**

Kids DO NOT try this during Starbucks Frappuccino Happy Hour, partners will thank you!

Make It Yours May!

Today is May 1st… otherwise known as May Day.  And for this month’s focus I’ve decided to look at all the different and wonderful recipes that partners & customers make with their Starbucks ingredients!  My inspiration came originally from my meeting with Kevin from Evolution Fresh who suggested to “make my own dish”… so I’ve been trying them out at Evolution Fresh and will showcase my recipes (along with partners) all month.

But for now, especially since Starbucks is about to start their Frappuccino Happy Hour on May 3rd I’ve decided to start off with Frappuccino recipes…

Show us your #sipface

The Beautiful Blueberry Frappuccino (my new drink) will be posted along with the video that was created about it, this week…. but for now let’s look at parter ideas for Frappuccinothat were posted to the Starbucks Facebook page when asked to submit their ideas, just look at these blended masterpieces!!!

Alyssa Frapp recipeThis first  Starbucks Partners Facebook (#blendoff) recipe was from Alyssa Homan.  It sounds similar to a favorite drink of mine from Evolution Fresh, the Smooth Breakfast.

Smooth Breakfast

They might sound alike but they both have their own unique flavors… Great job creating this lovely Frappuccino Alyssa!

Sierra Frapp recipe I have always LOVED Butter Pecan pies that my grandfather would buy us children, so when I saw this Butter Pecan Frappuccino recipe by Sierra I knew it was a MUST-TRY!

I hope to try this when Frappuccino Happy Hour starts!

Tatiana Frapp recipe With everything that Boston’s gone through lately, the name of this Frappuccino recipe from Tatiana… the Boston Creme Pie was absolutely necessary to put on my MUST-TRY list too!

Starbucks should make this a special Frappuccino as a fundraiser for Boston!  I’m just sayin…

So there you go folks… many new Frappuccino recipes straight from the partner themselves to try starting May 3rd for Frappuccino Happy Hour!  (weekly contest is at #sipface)

**Side Note** I would like to point out that none of the Frappuccino recipes above (including The Beautiful Blueberry Frappuccino that is soon to be released) is a regular, Starbucks MENU ITEM.  There are reasons Starbucks doesn’t make certain items yet, so if a store is hesitant (or will not) make your special creation it is just part of the game… don’t cry over spilled Frapp!

My suggestions… go to a store where they know you, go at an OFF TIME so it’s not busy for them and LEAVE A BIG TIP because these partners are helping make your experience a wonderful one and if your going to ask for something special then help them feel special back!

Now go out and MAKE-IT-YOURS in MAY!  And share with me (and the world) what wonderful creations you’ve come up with!