Miss Woodhouse's Musings

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

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?


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!


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?



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?



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! 



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



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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New Life

Sometimes it’s really funny how thoughts come together. This Easter season, I’ve been thinking a lot about the significance of new life. Not so much in terms of babies and fresh starts, but in terms of transformation.

You see, about a week ago I found this necklace I’d made and completely forgotten about. It’s a little out of the norm of what I usually wear, but I love it all the same.

Butterflies are often used in Christian circles as a visual representation of the verse in 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Butterflies aren’t born, they are made, transformed from awkward earthbound caterpillars to glorious insects able to take flight. The process which turns them from crawling to flying isn’t easy, safe, or effortless. However, the end result is worth all the pain and effort.

Today my pastor preached on the resurrection, and how important it is to the Christian faith to believe that the resurrection really took place. While listening, it dawned on me that in a way, Jesus went through a transformation as well. He started Passion Week as the sacrificial lamb, the One who would take away the sins of the world. It was an important role, vital for the plan of salvation. After His death though, there had to be a transformation.

For Christ to just die for our sins would simply have made atonement for the sins that had come before that moment. His death, therefore, would have been just like the death of any other sacrifice. But something was different about this sacrifice. THE SACRIFICIAL LAMB ROSE FROM THE DEAD. 

Christ rose. He conquered the hold that death had on humanity, He made it possible for all people to access the grace and forgiveness found in the shedding of His blood. He made it possible for us to transform our lives.

So, this Easter, rejoice in His power, love, grace, and mercy…they are for you, from Him. Happy Easter.

50I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.51Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:50-58, ESV

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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.)


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.





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




The new French Press is also totally adorable.


The tumbler matches it perfectly too!


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


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!


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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Stamen Power

This past week we’ve had a little sun, a little snow, and a lot of rain.

I, for one, am over it. It’s time for spring! With that in mind, this week’s shot is of a lovely lily.

To put it in perspective, here’s a wider-angle shot.

Have a happy Friday!


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!



Green Beans

Today’s Friday Frame Up is actually a sneak  peek to a Starbucks post I’m working on! This is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a local Starbucks: bins with a visual representation of beans at every point in the roasting process.

My only regret is that the merchandise was blocking the last panel, so it isn’t in the picture. Overall though, it is still a pretty cool thing to see at the counter.

Have a happy Friday, and I’ll see you all soon.

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Keep Calm and Brew Coffee

Welcome back to Friday Frame Up! I’m on day 4 of 9 closes in a row at Starbucks, so things are all well and good here. Have a fantastic start to your weekend, and I’ll be back with some Starbucks stories over the next few days!




Well, now that we’ve that out of the way, I thought I’d share some of our Christmas traditions. The first thing that we love to do is go see The Nutcracker. It’s beautiful music, a fun story, and just a really great time overall. This year and last year we went to see the ballet in The Land Of No Internet, in a beautifully historic theatre. Isn’t it pretty?




See? It’s a lovely setting for the whole experience.

We also usually attend a Christmas Eve service. The past few years we’ve gone to the service at a Lutheran church, which is different than what I’m used to, but nice nonetheless. It’s even better if the service includes candles!

Cookies are a favourite too. 7 layer bars, Mexican Wedding Cakes, Whippersnappers, Rolo Cookies, and of course Mum’s world-famous chocolate chip cookies! Mum and Dad also each have a party mix they make; Mum makes a white chocolate one, and Dad makes a savoury one.

Usually we spend some time driving around looking at the crazy Christmas lights people put up on their houses. You know, like the stuff I posted last year. Our town has whole streets that try to outdo each other in the light departments, which makes it fun for us.

So, those are just a few of ours. Do you have traditions? Feel free to share them in the comments, and have a very merry Christmas!


Mum’s Birthday Blog


2:20 – Just chased Mum down the hall, laughing, with a pot of foundation. Perhaps that’s enough said?

3:01 – At Red Lobster so Mum can have her favourite Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp!




3:54 – Stuffed! Wonder what’s next?

7:10 – Game time! Let the sacrilege begin….


7:44 – Singing along to the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic, Starlight Express.

8:14 – Mum: Em, you want to make the dip?
Me: I haven’t been doing well with that lately.
Brother: Well, we have graham crackers…
…and frosting.

8:48 – Playing Bananagrams! image

10:00 – Watching the film adaptation of Dead Man’s Folly. Always a Folliet at Nasse…House….

11:22 – Birthday cake! Pie! Ice cream…something!!!!


Three Years and Counting

Today is my three year anniversary of working for Starbucks.

It’s hard to believe that three years ago I was sitting in our cafe, filling out tons of paperwork, memorising new policies, and learning how to tidy the condiment bar and the layout of the back room. It was an overwhelming day, but a good day nonetheless.

The last few years certainly were a journey! I’ve had three and a half managers, some good, some bad, and some to be determined; multiple partners floated in and out of our little cafe; customers came and went; babies were born and other dear ones died. I’ve discovered awesome coffees and met great teas.

I’m not saying that things have always been, or will continue to be easy or pleasant. But I do love my job. I love the connecting with the customers, the rhythm and process of making drinks, the rush of creating a drink that makes a customer happy. It’s been a great three years, and I’m hoping to have many more before life sweeps me away from the little green siren.

“To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”