Posts Tagged ‘Starbucks’


Big changes are about to arrive at Starbucks. Starting today (March 3rd) you will notice an entire new line up of pastries from a bakery called La Boulange.

boulange - case

This is a bakery that’s iconic in  San Francisco and was founded by renowned chef and baker and cookbook author, Pascal Rigo.

Lucky me….I got the chance to meet him at a recent launch. I have to say that when he was talking about his childhood and his first adventures in the kitchen, I could sense his love for baking.

starbucks - pascal

Of course, I also had the opportunity to sample croissants, cookies, and more. #HappyTummy

starbucks - croissant

It’s interesting to note, that croissants can now be served warm. How awesome is that?

boulange - croissants

I have a feeling that Canadians are going to be delighted to see these changes at Starbucks and will be nibbling on more pastries while they enjoy their coffee.

I know I will be indulging!! (after I run – of course). LOL

For more information:


Twitter: @StarbucksCanada

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Halloween is the perfect holiday for Foodies.

Here’s a list of what I will be eating on Halloween:

1) I will always select chocolate of candy. Love the names of these Nestle “Crave Yard” Chocolate Bars…Scaero, Scaries, and Coffin Crisp. Too Cute. (and yummy too)


2) Pumpkin Caramels  from Purdy’s. So pretty. Not to mention I love the combo of pumpkin and chocolate!!

purdys chocolates

3) Pumpkinstein Froyo at Yogurty’s.

yougurtys - pumpkin

4) OK I didn’t buy this cereal but the fact that the ghosts turns the milk green appeals to my inner child!!

halloween crunch

5) Pumpkin Ale by Great Lakes

6) Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks….good thing I have been using my app and have collected a lot of free drinks to help me with my obsession with this flavour!!

7) I’m sure I will be making a pumpkin pie over the next few days. Feel free to send links to your favourite recipes!!

Happy Halloween!!

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For 20 years, I lived at Bathurst/Sheppard. Therefore, the Milestones at Empress Walk was my “go-to” restaurant for a drink. Never ate there though….till last week when I was
invited to a six course tasting menu.

This menu featured culinary creations showcasing twists off Milestones’ upcoming Summer Chef’s Menu, paired with a selection of Constellation Brands finest wines. I have to say, I felt pretty honoured to be invited to this event. It was not only a “tasty” event but educational too as Executive Chef Jason Rosso and the Milestones Management Team were also present and spoke to us about the new initiatives at Milestones.

I have no doubt that these items will be a hit with customers this summer!

1. Crispy Quinoa Shrimp in a chimmi churri ailoi served with a vegetable slaw: This dish was my favorite. It had everything going for it and I KNOW I will be ordering this on my next visit

milestones - quinoa

2. Panko Blue Crab Cakes with Fennel and Arugula Slaw and Chipotle Aiola. Again, another great dish!

milestones - crab3. Spicy Thai Basil Stir Fry – rice noodles, shrimp and coconut milk. Something tells me that this is going to be a popular dish.

milestones - pad thai4. Surf and Turf: A duo of grilled flat iron steak and lobster fricasseemilestones - surf

When coffee was served at the end of the meal, I turned to the Director of Operations for Eastern Canada, Todd  Attridge, who was sitting next to me and said: “Wow – this is really good coffee” and he replied “We just partnered with Starbucks!”. I think this is great fit for both brands and delighted to have  my coffee of choice (Starbucks)  after a fantastic meal.

Milestones has it all – cocktails, wine, great food, and great coffee too!

Congratulations to the whole team at Milestones for such an amazing evening.

PS Loved the fact that the COO @FindlayMark was tweeting throughout the meal. #impressed.

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It’s been an interesting week!

I spent five days in Ottawa for the first time in decades and it wasn’t enough time! SO much to do….so little time!!

Sadly I was sick on the weekend (see previous post). But the minute I felt better, I went to have a beer at Les 3 Brasseurs. I think this new location at 240 Sparks is nothing but brilliant!

On Monday and Tuesday night, I celebrated Passover with my parents. Highlights of my meal consisted of: gefilte fish, matza, eggs with salt water and chicken soup with matza balls. I  also had some delicious chopped liver from Creative Kosher Catering that I wish we had in Toronto.

ottawa - passover


Not the best picture. Sorry!

Not the best picture. Sorry!

On Monday and Tuesday: I hung out in a variety of coffee shops so I could work. (Thanks to my twitter friends @foodieprints @AMWATERS for the suggestions)

Bridgehead (130 Anderson and 109 Bank St….went to both locations)

-Starbucks at Woodroffe and Carling

Happy Goat (35 Laurel)

-Illume Espresso Bar  (1433 Wellington St).

-Simply Biscotti ( 307 Richmond St.)

ottawa - coffee (happygoat)

I got a lot of work done and was well caffeinated.

Plus, I managed to give my first twitter lesson in Ottawa!

Hopefully will be back in Ottawa so I can enjoy the Tulip Festival  (May 3-20th) . Hopefully I will  drink more beer and less coffee on my next trip. So many new beer restaurants have opened and I really need to check them out. #lovebeer



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T’is the sesaon to drink eggnog. I know it’s Christmas when I see eggnog in the stores and will always buy a litre (or two). I also know it’s winter when Starbucks introduces their Gingerbread Latte, Eggnog Latte, and Peppermint Latte. Seems like winter is a good time to drink flavorful drinks. Last nite, I had a chili hot chocolate at Grindhouse in Kensington Market…but will blog about hot chocolate in another blog post.

I only seem to drink my eggnog pure  i.e. without any alcohol in it, but always  in small quantities. Eggnog is not good for the waistline even if I’m MOMWHORUNS….and these days I’m running on the treadmill 4x a week.

Back to the eggnog. I decided to do an eggnog taste test from 3 different brands:

The nutrional information is as follows:

Neilson Light Eggnog:  Per 1/2 cup – 110 calories,  2% Fat (4% saturated fat), Protein 3 g

Harmony Organic Eggnog – not listed (interesting)

So Nice Noel Nog:  Per 1 cup – 120 calories, total fat 5%, Protein 6 g

Here are the results:

Neilson Light Eggnog: watery (very), dark yellow color, sugary

So Nice Noel Nog: strong nutmeg flavor, beige, you know it’s soya milk but I don’t mind actually

Harmony Organic Eggnog: best color – lovely and yellow, tastes like eggnog – no overwhelming nutmeg flavor,

I was also lucky enough to experience a HOME MADE EGGNOG this past weekend. (with rum). It was totally different than the commercial eggnog that I’m use to, so it was a real treat. (thanks @JasonRees).

Real Eggnog - not from a carton or a jar

Basically I like eggnog, eggnog ice cream, eggnog lattes….except eggnog does not like me. Sad but true. I’m delighted that the stores only carry it for 6 weeks a  year.

Cute story before I finish the blog entry: Two years ago, I saw a tweet declaring that there was no more Harmony Organic Eggnog to be found in the GTA.  I read the tweet while visiting Garden Foods in Bolton and happen to notice that they still had a few bottles left – so I picked them up. I then tweeted “just bought a few bottles. Happy to share”. I met her at the bottom of her condo later that week. Twitter is awesome…and Harmony Eggnog is awesome too.

Who else is an eggnog fan?

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Dear Starbucks,

Today I was on twitter and read a tweet from @SteveatGoodLife that I could pay for my Starbucks coffee using my iPhone. I was ecstatic. This news made my day. (thanks Steve)

I am one of those people who carry around 4 different cards with 4 different balances and this app is really going to make my life SO much easier.  I am truly in love with those companies who embrace technology. I sincerely  think you “get it”. I follow you on twitter (and hope you follow me back…hint hint) and hope that other retailers will follow your lead and embrace this type of technology too.

Last week, I was at an independent coffee shop who asked me if I wanted a “loyalty card” – you know, the type where they punch a hole, every time you visit. I declined, just the way I decline when given coupons. If you want my business – for heaven sakes – go hi tech! I can’t believe coupons or those types of loyalty cards even exist.

Starbucks, you really know what you are doing and I’m impressed. Even though I can’t find a table (don’t ask – my neighborhood Starbucks is busy ALL THE TIME), I will still get my tall pike from you on a regular basis.

My daughter is also a  fan of your hot chocolate (with peppermint), and I’m sure she will be downloading the app on her phone soon too. (She is 12). She once sent me a text on her way home from school that said “can i stop off at Starbucks and get a cookie”. How could I say no?

Congratulations once again for developing this amazing feature for your customers. I hope the news spreads quickly and more and more customers will be flashing their iPhones to pay for their lattes, cookies, coffees etc.

I am one happy customer! (can you tell?)


Vicky – @momwhoruns

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On Oct 13-15, hundreds of women (from Canada and the U.S.) who are bloggers, social media pros and PR divas, will get together at the Toronto Hilton to attend a conference called BlissDom.

This is my definition of BlissDom:

B….is for BLOGGING. Many of the women who attend this conference will be bloggers. They are passionate, engaged and love to share and network. This conference will be the perfect place for them!!

L….is for LEARNING. Throughout the conference, there will be roundtables, speakers, and panels that will cover a variety of topics such as:

  • Taking Your Craft To The Next Level: A Little Sprinkle of Viral Dust. Making Your Message Blaze Against the Medium
  • Being In A Borderless Digitial World
  • She Works Hard For The Money. Why and How You Should Be Making Money From Your Blog.

I… for INTERACT. BlissDom will be all about interacting!! It will be a fabulous opportunity to interact with other bloggers, publicists, and women who just love social media!!

S… for SOCALIAZING. I suspect there will be a party or two. Enough. Said.

S… for SOCIAL MEDIA. Women who attend this conference will be on TWITTER and will be tweeting using the hashtag #BlissdomCanada. You too can follow along, even if you aren’t there. HINT.

D….is for DISCUSSION. There will plenty of discussion!! Participants will want to discuss photography, WordPress, business cards and more. There simply won’t be enough time. (this always happens).

O….is for OPPORTUNITY. BlissDom is all about giving women the opportunity to learn and connect. No doubt, participants will walk away from this conference filled with information, new friendships and a deeper understanding of  social media.

M…is for MUCHO INFORMATION. Participants will walk away with MUCHO INFORMATION (I know I know…I made up this word) that will help them become better bloggers. They will learn from each other and from the speakers and will definitely will be recharged when the conference is over.

I am thrilled to be able to attend this conference and will be blogging about my experience on Friday Oct. 15….i.e You will be able to find me at the nearest Starbucks on my MacBook at the end of the conference!

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When I visited  Arowhon Pines in June, I was in desperate need of gas for my return trip back to Toronto.  The great staff there, told me to go fill up at the Portage Store down the road. While paying for the gas, I noticed a brochure that said that they supplied everything one would need to go on a camping trip in Algonquin Park. I took the brochure and said to myself “Im going to go camping  THIS SUMMER in Algonquin Park” even though I havent gone camping since I was 16 years old.

I planned it a little late (ok 3 days to be exact) but it all came together. My friend Kris accepted the invitation to join me and knew how to stern a canoe (bonus points). Ontario Parks helped me out by finding me the last camping site on Tom Thompson Lake and the Portage Store helped me out with the the Lightweight Equipment Only Package for $59 a day. All I had to do was bring up the food. Kris and I agreed that cheese, wine, olives, cherries and a baguette or two would be a great meal plan. Oh yeah – add Starbucks Via coffee to that list.  So far so good.!! This trip was going to be awesome.

Deerhurst Resort also kicked in by providing us with a wonderful room to crash in AFTER the trip. Kris and I were psyched at the thought of camping and then glamping!!

The trip was such a success, that we decided that we are going to go next year for TWO days…and bring another friend with (you know who you are). Can’t wait to go camping again. It was SUCH a great experience.  Oh yeah – glamping at Deerhurst was a great idea too. We won’t be camping without glamping. It’s part of the package. LOL.

PS…Kudos to the staff at Portage Store who were so patient, thorough, and genuinely nice. We were blown over with the great service we received.

Here’s some photo’s that will best describe this trip: Wish I figured out a Picaso collage for this, but perhaps I will for the next blog!!

I did it - I did it!!

I did it - I did it!!

wine o'clock



Beer O'clock - in Glamping Style

one word; HEAVEN

Sigh – the trip is over. Sadness. However I have great memories and know that I will be camping and glamping again in the future.

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Look at my Starbucks Gold card!!

I met some cousins at  Starbucks in the summer  and as she paid for the coffee, I noticed she had a STARBUCKS GOLD CARD. I immediately asked  “whats that?” She replied “I received it last year in the mail”. Then I fired away some questions: what does she receive for owning a gold card?  how was she selected? can I take a photo of her with her card? etc etc.

She answered that she has been buying Starbucks cards for along time and that “someone” must be tracking her loyalty and how much money she is spending.

I really thought the GOLD CARD was cool. I mean, seriously…. how many people have you met with a Starbucks Gold Card.

I should mention, that my dear cousin lives part time in Florida and that this program does not exist in Canada yet. Last time I spoke to the publicists for Starbucks in Canada they told me that there was  a small pilot-test being held out West.

Let’s cross our fingers that GOLD CARDS will make their way to major cities throughout Canada.


The last time I had a GOLD CARD was in 1980 for  a club called Tobascos in Hull. For those who are reading this in Ottawa, I am POSITIVE that this is bringing back memories!!

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Can Anyone Relate to This Photo?

I have a coffee every day? Do you? I have a coffee card for Tim Hortons, Second Cup and Starbucks and I use them regularly. I love independent coffee shops too. Some of my favortites include: Manic, Sam James, Ezras Pound, Jimmys and Dark Horse Espresso Bar.

Coffee is my chance:

-sit down for a minute and read a book or a newspaper

-to meet a friend and catch up

Unlike the photo to the left…I just have a normal black coffee!! No special lattes.

I seriously think about what it would be like NOT to have a coffee every day. Not sure I could do it. Could you? Lately I have been grating ginger into boiling water and I am completely enjoying it. However I still have this NEED to have a coffee.

I’m known sometimes as the “friend who delivers coffee” as I often drop off coffee to friends who cant get out of the house cause they are sick, or their kids are sick, or they are in mourning over a loss, or just had a baby etc.  It’s a small act of kindness but  I love knowing this small gesture makes a difference in their day.

So as I write this..I’m wondering when Tim Hortons is starting their Roll up and Win campaign. I’m already looking forward to it.  Wonder if this year, I might win a bit more often. Wishful thinking. I know.

If you ever want to do a “coffee crawl”…here’s the information for those independent coffee shops listed above:

Manic Coffee…426 College

Sam James Coffee Bar...297 Harbord St.

Dark Horse Espresso…215 Spadina or 682 Queen East (thanks @climbguy)

Ezras Pound…238 Dupont St. or 913 Dundas St. West

Jimmy’s Coffee…107 Portland St.

Aroma...500 Bloor West, Promenade Shopping Centre, Yonge/Eglinton and more…

Tell me about your coffee habits. Are you loyal to one chain? do you have a coffee a day? do you only make coffee at home? do you ever go to independent coffee stores?

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