Only 9 days left…
Evolution Fresh hot apple juice too….
And even MORE hot Tazo (Earl Grey) tea!
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.
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.
This week I’ve been enjoying Tazo teas… both hot and cold with my Evolution Fresh simmers and/or my Starbucks Evenings. So, while I’m waiting for the new Tazo/Teavana store to open in University Village… I thought I’d explore what kind of Tazo art is out there in the world?
So colorful and fun this piece is! Plus, it looks like one of my favorite Tazo’s… Brambleberry!
Another piece I had found was that of artist Elena Chudoba…
I love Elena’s use of basic black and white to accentuate the design… adding her own little elements to each piece!
This next sketch artist, Faith, has such a beautiful colorful palate to their work, and look at how she utilized a Tazo tea package as a plant container…
The first is a pretty clever way to hang the discarded tea packets the bags come in… as a Namaste Prayer Flag. I would love to see if somebody has taken it one step further and put special illustrations, poems or prayers onto each packet?
Another way of using Tazo materials is to make an artistic redesign of the tea tins… this one is from Michelle at Studio B…
Then of course, there are the three different pieces of art that I’m creating right now… while I enjoy my Tazo teas! Can anyone figure out what I’m making?
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…
I am loving all these fall colors, boots, fingerless gloves, crisp mornings, warm drinks and delicious soups… how about you?
This weekend was the last open weekend before Labor Day then Back-to-School events, high holy days, and next thing you know Halloween, Thanksgiving and the end of this Starbucks challenge year! (sad face)
So I made the most of my time and ran more, meditated more, spent time with loved ones more and definitely explored more! I got to explore my new Starbucks store and I explored an article in the Huffington Post that I discovered last week via Twitter about using tea as a beauty product!
My first use of my morning Tazo tea bags (after steeping once for my morning tea) was to use them to reduce under eye bags and dark circles…
This idea definitely worked! And after being a model since I was the age of 14, I’ve tried and used LOTS of tricks to amp up features… especially pre photo-shop! My old tried-and-true under eye trick was using (non-scented, clear) Preparation H ointment to reduce puffiness. This trick is still being used I’m sure all the time, but I’ve stopped wanting to introduce more chemicals to my body years ago so to trade out Preparation H for a good old bag of tea after you’ve enjoyed the taste is even better! Keeping your tea bags is going to become a common occurrence in my household now just for this trick alone!
But read on because I tried three of the Huffington Post tips…
The second tip I tried was using steeped black tea as a hair rinse to soften & add shine to my hair.
This tip worked SO WELL! I followed the HuffPost piece and kept the chilled, tea on my washed hair for 10 minutes (actually a couple of minutes more) and then washed, conditioned and VOILA! My hair felt like it just came out of a salon! It’s still so soft and shiny today, as I run my fingers through it 24 hours later. Here is yet another reason to not throw out those tea bags! One thing I found out last week at my Tazo tea tasting is that you can steep tea bags more than once, and usually up to 3-4 times each bag, which is not only cost-effective but now can save you even more money on beauty supplies!
The third trick we used was to try out a tea bath to cure stinky feet. I will not disclose the name of the accused, but just know that stank-foot is a very common problem for this person…one we waited to try this tea-bath on until a full, long day of activity was had to achieve full effect!
And again… This trick really works! Not only did his feet stop stinking (with the antibacterial agents) but we used two teas, one was mint… and his feet still don’t stink today, 24 hours later! I’m taking this new found knowledge to some other areas and applying them to see if they work just as well?! You can bet I’ll be back talking about what worked with tea (and this isn’t even talking about coffee beauty benefits yet!) for our home and life.
Like I posted, this weekend was about exploring new things…like using your tea for beauty remedies and exploring the amazing benefits of having a Starbucks store within walking distance! I’ll end on what my mornings now always look like… Tazo tea (or the occasional clover) in my street view of the mountains of Western Washington and of course my siren which I am in love with more and more as she helps me explore more knowledge, more community, more EVERYTHING as each wonderful challenge day passes!
Another big Starbucks week for me so let’s begin!
First of all has to be my new walking-distance store’s opening! I’ve been eying this Siren for weeks, posting photos everyday practically! First of all probably because I’ve never done a Starbucks opening…but mostly because come on, I LIVE HERE! So to have a Starbucks I can just walk to now to finish my year out with… FABULOUS!
Here is my baby’s progression…
First signs up!
Then suddenly… The clouds parted, the Starbucks corporate ways worked their magic and VOILA! The friends & family night begins…
Of course the views are some of the BEST at any Starbucks I’ve seen! And the walls adorned with beautiful coffee knowledge…
And this mornings first Tazo tea…
As well as of course having to enter the sirens address on Foursquare so everybody knew where she was!
I was meeting a local show producer (Hi Jillian!) at Lifelong Thrift store to do some serious damage and since this Pike store is SO CLOSE I thought I’d swing by for a bite…
We had a nice chat, he introduced me to even more Starbucks rock stars and I left with a spring in my step ready to take on the thrifting world.
Adventures were had that evening I can assure you, but we will leave that to insider knowledge and a few million followers on social media threads…
On Thursday, right before the Starbucks new store’s opening was announced, I was about to walk into a tea tasting I’ve wanted to experience since I first walked in the doors of the University Village Tazo store! First of all I met up with Laurance from Biscottea to drop off a little thank you card for all their lovely items at the tea party.
Laurance and I had a lovely conversation as well as some great new tea tastes but then I got serious and had the Tazo team lead me through one of the most amazing, knowledgable experiences on the intricacies of tea. From double and triple steeping and the variations in color/taste in them as depicted in this “tea timing” photo…
But I left with some keepsakes and one of the most lovely sparkling iced teas I’ve ever had! Good thing I’ve heard the new store will keep a carbonation option!
I was worried for a bit that traffic might keep me from reaching my new Starbucks store opening goal of the evening but no, again the magic parted the ways to allow me to meet fellow partner manager Stephanie (from Pine Lake) and get to meet the team I will be finishing my challenge year with!
I’ve already shown all the pre, pre, and post opening photos above of the new store so I think I’ll close with all the amazing goodies I ended my busy day yesterday with…
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I am truly a very lucky lady to be living this Starbucks brand!
What a week indeed!
Like that title? Ha-ha… yep, my Friday Follow-Up is 24 hours late, I guess the unwind of no college classes and the end of summer laziness has just finally set in with me. So here is my follow-up since last weekend at the farm which by now you know is gonna be FULL of Starbucks! (I sense a pattern going on here?!)
We stopped by Seattle’s Best Coffee to pick up goodies for our train trip to the farm…
Have you checked out SBC lately??? I mean that little drive thru in south Seattle is just the BEST (thanks to awesomesauce partners like Valerie!) but come on… even their website is SUPER CUTE!
Check out these awesome animations on their home screen… LOVE THEM! They are so my colorful, fun-loving style for sure! Great job corporate!
And yes… those SBC drinks are all super YUMMY too!
From SBC to a typical breakfast on the farm for me. Yum! I LOVE that Starbucks blueberry oatmeal with some Evolution Fresh OJ and the new one to the bunch this week was the Tazo sweet cinnamon spice tea, which is lovely!
On the way back from the farm I stopped in my little paradise town on earth… Steilacoom and enjoyed my treat-receipt frappuccino down on the beach with my youngest…
This week I’ve been experimenting with different juice and tea combos… usually from my local PCC Market because they have SO MANY varieties of both you can combine a million different summer, iced drinks!
You can pick up so many varieties at PCC (if you’re in the Seattle area)… just look at all these combinations!
And I’ve been experimenting with different custom dinners like this brie, crusted chicken pretzel sandwich that I made from Starbucks Evenings menu options and Bistro box packs. I made this sandwich back in spring too and it was SO GOOD I decided I’ll be making it a couple of more times this year!
This week I received my first FREE Starbucks drink at a drive thru because they had made an extra and the partners offered it to me! It was a mocha, cookie-crumble frappuccino and boy was it good! I’ve read a lot on the social media feeds this year about partners offering free items to customers if they are extras, I have even read about partners offering free bistro boxes or food if they are just going to throw it out?! I guess if you are a regular and are nice to your partners, they too might think of you for many of these times. But I haven’t experienced it this year until now. I get the feeling that it’s more like a “right place at the right time” kind of deal, so as far as free or reduced Starbucks items I of course ALWAYS encourage signing up and using your Gold Card from Starbucks because they will keep you in the loop of wonderful, free, reduced things coming up all the time! But I still encourage customers to be extra nice to your partners regardless (because it’s a good thing to do… not because they will give you things).
I wouldn’t normally order such a sweet drink, the regular caramel frappuccinos that were recommended to me from a Starbucks fan I’m seriously in LOVE with but they are about as sweet as I can handle. But it was incredibly nice of the partners to offer it to me and I appreciated the different drink option that I might not normally order!
And of course, if you watch any of my feeds… there is always lots of FUN in my life going on like my new oral fixation of siren-tooth picks!
Lots of great happenings are coming up once again this weekend and next week, so stay tuned! Hopefully Winter and I can hang out again!
My Living the Goodwill Life challenge has been coming back into play with the resurgence of thrift shops into cultural norm (thanks Macklemore!) and I’m loving that… and always more Starbucks, and probably now Teavana finally!
Have a great week everybody!
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!
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!)
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!
From south Seattle we started our “loop” back and drove up to the infamous Viretta Park memorial for Kurt Cobain next to his 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.
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!
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!
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…
So, with refreshers in hand we ventured over to the troll and did the ULTIMATE Seattle #Sipface (thanks to Dylan’s BRILLIANT idea!)…
There seriously isn’t anything better than troll #sipface! EXCEPT maybe…
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?”
Okay, Okay… this was the end (not really, but only Dylan knows the “rest of the story”) of our day’s adventures.
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!
Have a GREAT WEEKEND everybody!
This weekend was all about Sunday, and the Garden Tea Party in honor of the #RoyalBaby (who is due any minute now)!
I started out by getting all my crafty materials together in order to make a great hat for the party. Of course my Starbucks was there, inspiring me on…
Sunday started out great with lots of the Starbucks siren sightings all over the garden…
And of course VOILA! Here is my finished Mad Hatter Hat for the Garden Tea Party…
We had the pleasure of having a wide variety of Biscottea products courtesy of the company’s owner, Laurance, and he even included a BRAND NEW product, their savory collection that was a HUGE SUCCESS at the event!
With their traditional tea (and coffee) flavored shortbreads like: Chai, Earl Grey, Blueberry, Traditional, Mocha, Cappuccino, Espresso, Mint and Rooibos all of our teas were pleasantly paired with the perfect tea party shortbreads.
But when I introduced the new Biscottea savoury collection, eyes and mouths POPPED! With new flavors (coming to a store after October 1st, 2013) like: Spinach & Nutmeg, Blue Cheese & Black Pepper, Roasted Onion & Jalapeno, Rosemary & Red Chili and Smoky Sea Salt… many guests raved about them all! One guest wanted a couple of packages of the Roasted Onion & Jalapeno right now for her Walla-Walla tart recipe, which after hearing what she would create with it… sounded absolutely DELISH!
I think one tea-partier summed it all up when she said… “Oh My! I could eat all of those!” which was quite the compliment indeed considering it came from the Master Gardener, Jessica, who owns Pea Patch Gardens and has a plethora of food available everyday to choose from! She was definitely not alone in her love of the Biscottea new savoury options… you have a captive audience for sure with your new collection Biscottea!
Our Garden Tea Party was a great hit with the help of Biscottea but those beautiful little shortbreads wouldn’t have been complimented and the tea party could not have been complete without the help of Tazo Tea! Thanks to the team at Tazo Tea in University Village our tea party was PERFECTLY tied together with their absolutely lovely tea flavors!
Whether it was hot tea, iced tea, caffeinated or decaffeinated tea, as soon as you opened up the Tazo Tea canister and smelled those wonderful blends you knew it was going to be a great party!
As you can see, Tazo Tea was front and center at our Garden Tea Party with choices like: english breakfast, vanilla rooibos parfait, earl grey blanc and bramblewine. We used the Bramblewine for the iced tea and I made some pre-packaged options of each for all the tea pots with the tea filters which you can pick up in the store as well as their tea scooper and many more tea-related items to make your own tea experience complete!
What an absolutely fantastic time we all had with our fascinators, the lovely products from our friends at Tazo Tea and Biscottea, the wonderful company of all attendees and of course our garden, and it’s summertime beauty. From the fresh sprigs of garden mint we placed in our water and on our table settings to the strawberries the children picked and our bee hive buzzing full of honey-making activity that makes our garden a reality everyday…
Thanks again to all the wonderful women (and men) that planned, donated, hosted, attended and helped in every way with this weekend’s Garden Tea Party. It truly was a Sunday, summer day that will not soon be forgotten!
My day started in the garden and ended in the garden with a family movie night with my youngest to wrap things up…
I might not have predicted the #RoyalBaby date of birth but it’s happening RIGHT NOW, as I type, so I’m still possibly gonna get the name (Middle name has to be Diana) right?!
This week is full of more Starbucks adventures again so stay tuned, support your local garden and…
KEEP CALM and DRINK (Taz0) TEA!
The hotter weather has my taste buds all about staying cool right now, which means I’m getting creative again with my Starbucks combinations.
These creations keep my taste buds going with new flavors, which is nice since my regular menu choices lately are my staple Starbucks Protein Bistro Boxes, Starbucks Cheese and Fruit Bistro Boxes, Starbucks Zesty Chicken & Black Bean Salad Bowl to help me stay on my calorie-counting goal.
Always first on my list to keep calories down and balance out my diet with lots of natural goodness is Evolution Fresh! And with lovely, cool creations like their Smoothes (in a variety of options) you have the best of both worlds!
But every once in a while at Evolution Fresh I splurge my calories and go for their absolutely delicious Chocolate Coconut Mousse!
And while I’m shopping at University Village I usually try to pop by the Tazo Tea store to pick up a wonderful, carbonated Sangria like this Darjeeling yumminess I had the other day…
The wonderfully informative partner, Travis, had me wanting to purchase two or three more Tazo summer drinks when he spoke about all the wonderful creations you can explore with their tea! Next up is an Italian Soda Tazo for SURE!
As you can see I take the Starbucks hot cocoa (we like the salted caramel variety) and then we add those wonderful Evolution Fresh Chocolate Coconut Mousse to the mix to give it an intense chocolate flavor, which helps make the Zipzicles smoother too. I’m gonna try out a coffee & chocolate variety next week, maybe I’ll test it out on incoming Starbucks blogger, Dylan M. Austin from Five Awesome Baristas, to see how he likes the Starbucks varieties we cook up in our Seattle kitchens???
I am really looking forward to this weekend’s Garden Tea Party which should be quite the event! So stay posted to my social media feeds like Instagram, Vine, Facebook, Twitter, etc. to see the updates as they roll in… in all their big hat, Biscottea, white glove, Tazo Tea and “Royal Baby Watch” greatness!
Which date, time and name are YOU picking? I’m predicting this Sunday, around noon PST and a baby girl given the royal-historical name Hyacinthe.
BOOM! I just called her into the cool-name-club… well besides that obvious royal thing she’s gonna have going on too.