Miss Woodhouse's Musings

…about life, the universe, and everything. Don't panic!

Enough

Today my paycheck got stuck in New Jersey, labour was cut to bare bones, customers were uber thoughtless, and the shift ended with my barista being called a horrible name.

I’m ready for this day to end. Food Network, here I come.

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BLTired

Gentle Readers,

Seeing as how pure exhaustion has set in, tonight will have to be brief and about food. One of my favourite sandwiches is a Smoked Salmon BLT, which incidently was what I had for lunch!

Not only does this beauty have the obligatory bacon (smoked applewood, of course), lettuce, and tomato, it also has honey smoked salmon, red onion, cucumber, and spread with boursin cheese.

Absolutely amazing!

Until tomorrow,

Miss W

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Collection of Thoughts

Gentle Readers,

* Teaching Tinturn Abby ito my class went much better than teaching Songs of Innocence and Experience. I will admit, this is a first in my teaching experience.

* I think Farm Fresh employees hate their lives. I can’t blame them at all.

* They found Richard III’s bones while building a car park. There might be irony enough in that for a whole blog post, we will see.

* Though I never would have ordered it on my own, pepperoni and pineapple pizza with cheese stuffed crust is quite yummy.

* When “It’s your thing, do what you wanna do” comes on, you have to sing along with it. That’s a rule.

* If you are going to preach about pitching tents, make sure to say pitching tents. Still laughing about that, D!

* Midsomer must be an awful place to live. So many murders…thanks, Mystery!.

* Josh Groban’s new album came out today, All That Echoes. Go. Buy. Listen. Repeat.

Until tomorrow,

Miss W

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GGGG

Gentle Readers,

I’m excited. A few weeks ago I noticed that my phone showed a 4G connection at school. Then at a local mall. Sunday I saw it at church. And tonight, tonight I found it in my neighbourhood.

For those of you not tech savvy, 4G refers to how your phone or other mobile device connects to the internet, phone services, messaging, pretty much everything. I usually explain 4G as the equivalent of broadband versus dial-up. It isn’t a perfect or complete metaphor, but it works.

So, why does this matter to me? Mostly because I live on my phone. Blog posts? Written on my phone. Tweets? Phone. Netflix? Phone. Games? Phone. Note taking? Phone. Emails? I think you get the picture. I’m very excited to have excellent, fast service no matter where I go.

For those of you wondering, I have an HTC EVO 4G LTE. I loooove it to death. HTC puts out some quality phones, and the EVO line is my favourite so far. The Samsung Galaxy SIII is a lovely phone too, in case you’re in the market to buy a new phone.

It should also go without saying that I’m Team Andriod. Apple is pretty, but Droids have my heart.

Until tomorrow,

Miss W

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Accentuate the Positive

Gentle Readers,

People and situations have been a wee bit…shall we say “trying” of late. It’s only to be expected; anytime you interact with others, tensions are bound to occasionally run high.

At Starbucks, we’ve been talking a lot about “assuming positive intent” when it comes to customer service. This idea has also arisen in other articles and conversations, but Starbucks expresses it best. It is easy to apply this principle at work. One only has to be nice for a few hours before the shift is over or it is time for a break. We can do just about anything, cope with just about anything, if we know it will eventually end soon.

But how does this look in day to day life? I think it means that we shouldn’t take things so personally. For example, maybe a friend is shoving their achievement in your face for the umpteenth million time. You can be completely human and see it as a malicious attempt to make you feel inferiour. Or, you can choose to see it as your friend being so genuinely excited about something good that they need constant affirmation to believe it is real.

Of course, chances lean in the favour of this person being thoughtless and selfish, but what good is dwelling on that mindset going to do you? By assuming positive intent, you empower yourself to smile, encourage, walk away, and forget the whole interaction. What’s the point of letting something eat you up? It doesn’t harm the other person, it just drives you crazy.

That’s today’s challange. Assume positive intent…how does that look in your life? Feel free to share!

Until tomorrow,
Miss W

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Goals

Gentle Readers,

My goal for this month is to try and blog something every day. We will see how this goes!

January was a fairly uneventful month, a welcome relief after the craziness of the holidays. This is the first year our family did not go to The Land Of No Internet, so the first year that I worked all through the holiday season.

Oh. Em. Gee. In case you didn’t know, people are craaaazaaay around the holidays. They are so stressed out that they don’t know up from down, right from left, in from out…and since I work in customer service it is all my fault. Thankfully our awesome regulars made the crazies seem less daunting, and we all survived.

My Brit Lit class just ended their Pepys diary assignments, which is what gave me the inspiration to start blogging again. Even with all the social media around…Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, oh my…they still struggled to write down a daily recap of their day. Samuel Pepys is famous for his diary, for his general, informal, everyday observations on life. From the coronation of a king, to the great fire of London, to a day spent with friends, Pepys recorded it all. He didn’t know how important his writings would be to world, but we are grateful for them to this day. So, who knows? Maybe one of my students will end up being the Pepys of this generation…or maybe not. Either way, recording life is rarely a waste.

Until tomorrow,

Miss W

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Four Years In, And A Fresh Start

Today is my fourth Starbucks anniversary! Sometimes (like after this past weekend) it feels like I’ve been doing this job forever. Other times, it feels like I’ve just begun. Either way, it’s been an exciting ride. The best thing is that it’s not like my job is stagnant. I’ve been on my store’s management team for 6 months now, and will be moving up as soon as I finish out this year’s teaching contract. With everything going on in the district and the company right now, I’m very excited to keep on going. 

 

To celebrate my four years with Starbucks, I took a special trip up to see a brand new store that opened up just last week! So, here’s what it looks like:

ImageHow about that shade of yellow??? It is so cheerful; I had to drive through almost whiteout rain to reach the store, but as soon as it came into view it made me smile. So cute! This store is a drive-thru, the window is on the far side. 

 

ImageThis is what you see when you first walk in the store. I like that the merchandise is visible, but not totally up in your face. There are display shelves right by the front door, but they are just the small, two-shelf assembly. 

My favourite part of the store is the right wall, behind where the majority of seating and comfy chairs are located. That wall is covered in large photographs depicting the coffee voyage before it gets to our stores and takes that last journey of 10 feet. Isn’t it pretty?

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The new tables and chairs are very muted, and quite lovely. It’s hard to tell with the lighting, but that wall is a lovely, warm amber. It’s all very inviting, but I also love how light and bright the layout is. 

 

So, that’s to the right, here’s what is to the left!

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Just kidding, there’s a picture of those display cubes/shelves. I love that the bar seating faces out onto the road; nice for those people who wander in on their own. See the condiment bar tucked up in the corner?

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This is genius! It is nice and out of the way, can still have at least two people working on their coffee at the same time, gets plenty of light, but has a place out of the sun where carafes can sit. So perfect!

Can you see the detail on the edge of the wood?

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All of the edges are like that, from the seating bar to the handoff plane. It is a really cool look, believe it or not. Speaking of handoff planes and drinks…

ImageThe registers are to the right, the handoff is on the left. The only downside here, from what I’ve been told, is that the area between the registers and the plane becomes “socializing area,” making a bottleneck of sorts. That’s a minor flaw, though, that can easily be corrected by barista direction. Oh! See those high top tables??? I absolutely love them. They have the coolest seats! 

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On a geeky barista note, the storage here is totes adorbs. Do you see how cool these cabinets are???

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I see spaces for tags on each door, and…I think…it looks like the center of each door is a chalkboard! Oh, the possibilities. Seriously, I want to get my chalkboard markers on those. So much potential for fun. 

 

There you have it. We’ve got a few more stores opening and making major changes in the next few months, so stay tuned for more pictures!

 

 

 

 

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MIA

Things have been quiet here for a few weeks, so I thought it was time for a brief update.

Work is cah-ray-zee right now. In case you missed the announcement, I was recently promoted to Shift Supervisor (YAY), meaning I have a lot more responsibility and a lot more hours. Both are good things, but it is keeping me busier than ever and a little more stressed out. I’ve come so close to going over 40 hours the past few weeks! (That’s a BIG no-no in our district.) Thankfully, my manager is being very awesome and supportive, to the point where she didn’t even ask me to pick up a shift over across the water yesterday…she simply told the other manager that I needed the day off. I do have a new blog all about this journey, justanothershift.tumblr.com, and my goal is to get that blog up to date this week.

Work is the main focus of my life right now, but there’s some other stuff going on too. As those events settle into place I’ll write more about them. Right now, the focus is not messing up at work, and getting my room/life in working order. I did manage to complicate life by getting into a car accident last week, so I’m trying to figure out when I can take a long drive over the water to deal with that mess. And shop for a new car. And everything all that entails.

My dear little phone, HTC EVO 4G, is starting to feel his age. He’s getting older, and because there’s a new EVO hopefully coming out in June, Sprint isn’t really releasing any new major Android updates. I’m looking for some temporary fixes to my frustrations that will last the next two months until I can decide whether to change phones, or just get a newer model of my current phone. I love love LOVE my EVO, so not in any hurry to change it up. In the meantime, a very nice guy at church gave me the extended battery that he used when he had an EVO, so battery life is now crazy long.

I’m watching cars go by outside as I write this. I don’t know what’s getting into drivers today. Last night there was a bad crash in front of our house, and just in the 10 minutes I’ve been sitting here, there have almost been two more. Craziness.

Hope you all are well. I can tell that you all still check in here, so thanks! I appreciate your loyalty so, so much.

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Coffee and Pie

It is the simplest combination known to 1950’s TV programming: a cup of coffee and a slice of pie. Now, you can go to your local Starbucks and experience that same, wonderful joy. So what’s new at Starbucks? Here we go….

First off, Tribute is back! For those of you who don’t remember the debut of this coffee last year (for our 40th anniversary), it is the history of Starbucks’ coffee in one convenient bag. There is coffee from every growing area, and every processing method. The ever amazing sun-dried Ethiopian, perfect aged Sumatra, rare Papua New Guinea, and assorted Columbian coffees round out this awesome post-roast blend. Remember, when you buy Tribute you are not just buying a pound of coffee, you are buying a piece of a story.

Tribute is mellow and bold, with cherry notes (and I taste some floral in there too, but I’m odd like that.)

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What goes perfectly with a cherry-noted coffee? Why, cherry pie, of course! We’ve added 4 new petites: cherry pie, apple pie, a brown sugar and walnut tart, and a chocolate hazelnut tart. (Tart is the wrong word, but I can’t think of the correct one.) They are yummy! And pretty filling too.

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Okay! Let’s move on to some of our new merchandise! First up, how cute are these cups???

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The new French Press is also totally adorable.

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The tumbler matches it perfectly too!

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We also have these adorable bags. They aren’t exactly *new*, they are cute nonetheless.

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Finally, some big news! At long last, Starbucks is selling their chai concentrate for the first time in my memory. The best part is that it is only $4.95, which makes it super affordable. And look how awesome the carton is!

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I didn’t get a chance to take pictures of our new waterbottles and our new number mugs, so you’ll have to go into your local Starbucks to check them out. Also, we have chocolate covered cherries and triple chocolate espresso beans! Don’t forget that Tribute comes in VIA as well as whole bean.

Last thing! Starting tomorrow through the 14th if you come in before 11 am and buy an espresso-based drink, you can bring that receipt back in after 2 pm and get another espresso-based drink for 1/2 off! It’s a cool benefit if you already come in twice a day. If you don’t usually come in more than once a day, then consider this your invitation to do so! Make sure to try out a vanilla latte, or my personal favourite: the caramel macchiato. Both are delicious, as are our range of other lattes, mochas, and macchiatos.

And that, my friends, is that. Go drink some coffee!

EDIT: I almost forgot! I have a new Starbucks blog all about my new journey at work. Check it out here!

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A Big Announcement

Soooo, I know I promised a Starbucks post soon to come. And trust me, it is still to come…but this is important. Big. Exciting (at least to me).

Here’s another random Starbucks picture to make up for the delay:

We good? Okay!

Here’s the story. A few weeks ago, I was having a random conversation with my SM and mentioned I was looking for something. Monday night, she called me saying her husband might have found it for me, did I want him to check it out? BOY DID I! But I tried not to get my hopes up.

Tuesday morning he went to look at it. They called me and said that everything looked good, so the ball was in my court. I took a drive out to see it, and unexpectedly fell in love. Tuesday night I ran it by my parents and we agreed to pursue obtaining this object.

Wednesday, Dad drove out to conduct his own investigation. All came back well. We put in a low bid…too low for the seller to be willing to accept. He told us that there was another buyer interested. I’ll be honest, I lost hope and pretty much gave up any thought of getting this item.

Thursday I went out to do a final inspection just on the off chance that the other potential buyer didn’t make a higher bid. Bad idea, because it only confirmed how much I wanted it. At prayer that night, I prayed the same thing that I had prayed Monday night: If I’m supposed to get this, please let it work out. If I’m not, then please make it fall through.

Today, Friday, we reached a happy money medium and tomorrow morning it’s going to be mine all mine!!!!!!! I’m very excited.

 

I gave three clues on Twitter tonight, each one giving a hint to a letter that spells out the object. Ready? Here they are:

1.  “I never saw a moor, I never saw the ***, But know I how the heather looks….”

2.  It’s a kind of frame house.

3.  “*** Town”

 

Can you guess?????

It’s a car!!!!! A cute little Honda Civic Coupe that handles just how I like it. Isn’t it pretty?

 

 

 

I need to spend some time with it to decide if it is a girl or a boy, and what I am going to name it. But with my busy schedule, the car and I will be spending a ton of quality time together. Like I said, I buy it officially tomorrow, then take it to my friend for him to do some minor repairs, and I should have my own wheels by next week!

Thanks for sharing in my good news with me!

 

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