Spring Has Sprung, the Grass Has Riz, I Wonder Where the Birdies Is?!?


Ahh, spring.

Ahhh Spring…

Ah-chooooooooo… Damn.  It’s spring.

 

Spring time is finally appearing here in Southern Ontario and aside from the increasing temperatures, here are the 13 most obvious ways to tell that Spring has Sprung.

  1. Sports cars in need of muffler repair and convertible cars are zooming around, blasting their horrid music and looking for attention

  2. A.L.L.E.R.G.I.E.S

  3. People are wearing colours again!  Yay.  Winter is dreary enough and everyone in black makes it that much more bland and blah.

  4. People begin to stink.  Not from sweat, at least not yet, but now is the time of year when they think a little bit of cologne or perfume might be a good idea but it’s not.  It’s horrid if I can smell it over a super-stuffy nose. (See 12)

9.  TAXES!!!  It’s tax time!!  Don’t forget to file, even if you think you don’t owe.  File, file, file!  If you need help anywhere in Canada, search up and hit up inTAXicating.

8.  Flips flops and PJ’s make their returns to coffee shops.  In the winter it’s just too darn cold to roll out of bed and drive or walk to the local coffee shop, but not in the spring!

7.  Exposed skin everywhere on everyone, male, female, young, old… If it’s in combination with leggings or yoga pants, it’s a bonus!

6.  I see neighbours!  Seriously, I cannot believe how little we get out in the winter – especially with kids programs keeping us out and around – I found out this morning that our neighbour had a baby and we didn’t even know she was pregnant.  So hard to tell covered in a giant Canada Goose jacket.

5.  Bikes everywhere!  And I’ve mellowed over the years, so I want bikes and bike lanes everywhere.  I also want safe and clean public transit and I want better roads and more parking for cars.  I want everyone to commute and be happy and healthy and safe.  Hey, City of Toronto… If you want business owners to thrive and survive, back off the parking tickets for people who park in actual spots.  If they park illegally, or block traffic, tag and tow them, but let businesses earn money!

4.  Joggers abound!  I’ve always said that out-of-shape joggers (like myself) run at night when no one can see them shaking and bouncing around or hear them gasping for air.  The fit joggers run during the day where everyone can see them.  Whatever your motivation, just run!

3.  My lawn kicks ass!  My front lawn is very green and soft.  I put the snow on it in the winter before the City salts the street or sidewalk and in the spring, and it makes a difference.  It’s so nice, and I have a neighbour who doesn’t talk to anyone but I catch him walking across the street and touching my grass in awe.  Love it!

2.  Change!  Changes come in spring.  People clean their houses, change their jobs, their clothes, their demeanor, and even the homeless-looking guy who visits the Starbucks I frequent cut off his ridiculously long white beard.  Wouldn’t have recognized him – looks somewhat respectable now – except for the same army fatigue pants he wears every day and the shmatta (towel?) he covers his head with.

1.Spring means an end to winter programs for my kids, so say goodbye to hockey, but it also means saying hello to baseball (call me “coach”) and to being able to throw a ball around and walk to park and shoot hoops, or go for a bike ride, and work at losing the winter gut and getting back into a shape that doesn’t resemble a pear.

3 cheers to spring!

Hip hip, hooray

Hip hip hooray.

Hip… Hip… Achhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhooooooooooooooooooo

 

Geez, I hate spring!

 

 

 

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Starbucks Prices Going Up in Canada and the US on July 12th, 2016.


Word broke a couple of days ago that Starbucks is planning to increase the price on select drinks, upwards of $0.30 per drink on July 12th, saying only that the increase would impact “select beverages.”

Starbucks raised its prices by 5 to 20 cents for some of its drinks in July 2015. That increase mostly impacted hot beverages.

Since 2013, Starbucks have been increasing prices every summer, including last summer’s increase of between $0.05-$0.20 on hot drinks.

Heck, they even changed their rewards program to make it a longer timeframe for purchasers of the cheapest drinks to reach their free coffee.

And, they posted a revenue of nearly $5 billion last year!

What a business model!

According to the Canadian operations, the price of a Venti coffee will increase by $0.10 in some but not all provinces, and the price of their lattes in Grande and Venti sizes will increase $0.20, again in some provinces.

In the US, Starbucks announced that their Tall, Grande and Venti-sized coffees will see a price increase of $0.10 each in most States in the country.

At this time of declining coffee prices, we can clearly see that Starbucks coffee prices are not closely tied to the price of the bean alone, but also tied to the other costs, including the stores, employment, and other items which comes with a Starbucks drink.

Starbucks NEW Pumpkin Spice Latte Arriving September 2015. Updated.


My coffee sources tell me that Starbucks is set to roll out the new and improved Pumpkin Spice Latte in September 2015.

In an effort to rid their drinks of artificial ingredients and artificial flavors (as they do in Europe), Starbucks has reinvented the Pumpkin Spice Latte, with natural ingredients, without artificial caramel coloring but with real pumpkin.

Hard to believe that it has already been 12-years since Starbucks introduced the Pumpkin Spice Latte. My understanding was that he Pumpkin Spice Latte was not a slamdunk choice by Starbucks and that that they had tested an “orange cream” creation (yum) and when they settled on the “Pumpkin” drink for the fall, they were leaning towards using the name “Fall Harvest Latte” instead.

Word on the street is that when Starbucks tested the “Pumpkin Spice Latte” in stores they found out very quickly that their customers loved it and they knew it was going to be a regular fall / winter drink for the company.

Up until recently, you could not even purchase the Pumpkin Spice Latte syrup in store or online, but one quick peek of the starbucks online store at starbucks.ca/store tells me it is available in wide circulation.

As for the new, revamped, Pumpkin Spice Latte… Real pumpkin.  Real spices.  It’s coming! Real soon.


Update:

So I went to Starbucks, tried the drink and I thought it was fantastic.  Its even better than the “original” one which I had always found to be a bit chemically.  The new Pumpkin Spice Latte is not overly sweet, and no where near too pumpkin-y.

It was satisfying and really does hit the spot as the weather turns cooler.

I think the couple behind me are breaking up… Or trying to hook up… I can’t tell anymore…


I’m working in the Starbucks this morning and I cannot help but overhear the discussion behind me because the couple are really loud and seem to forget that they are sitting in a Starbucks.  At first, I thought they were breaking up, then I thought they were hooking up, but now I really have no idea what is going on and, to be honest, neither do they!

Here are some highlights of this loud and public conversation;

Him:

  • Oh, you’re taking advice from him?  Of all the guys I’ve wanted to beat up for looking at you, he is at the top of my list.
  • You’re dressed like you run drugs
  • Look at yourself… Don’t you have any shame?
  • I’ve gotten over you twice.
  • I’m going up north for a week of total partying.  Nothing else.  You’re not invited.
  • Between last week and this week I made a lot of plans with people and they all fell through so I need to make plans about how to make better plans so they won’t fall through.

Then his side gets kind of weird and awkward…

  • These plans that fell through messed up my son, because, he needs to nap and stuff… He overheated, had sand in his ass and stuff
  • My son hates water ever since I pulled his feet out from under him and he went under the water… He hated that.
  • He won’t even bathe.
  • He must have a red ass, or stuff that he doesn’t want cleaned.
  • He’s cried in the bath every time for months…

Yikes!

 

Since he did most of the talking…

Her:

  • We should go dancing!
  • Why?
  • Oh, I hope he’s okay.
  • You’re not supposed to do that to kids
  • You have to clean him up
  • Where will he be while you are partying?
  • Can I come with instead?
  • I’m not running drugs.  I’m not a whore.  I like the way I look.  Look at you?  You’re in a Starbucks looking like that… Eww.
  • Oh yeah?
  • Can we get out of here?

And off they went… Together.

The guys at the table beside me started to clap and said that would make for a great soap opera.

I’m more concerned that this father thought it was a good idea to pull out his kids feet from him while the kid was standing in the bathtub.  He was trying to explain to the girl that he tried pushing the kid down to the seating position but the kid is really strong.  He wanted him to sit and this was the only way… Sure, he could have smashed the kids face into the side of the tub, or worse give the kid a complex / fear of the water having almost drown.  But this kid is dirty, red and smelly and the dad needs to start again and get this kid into the tub before the kid grows up afraid of the water because his dad is a partying moron…

What have you guys overheard in public space before?

Starbucks Secret Menu Drink of the Day: Roasted Chestnut.


I came across a fantastic website devoted to the Secret Menu at Starbucks.  I too have an interest in the Secret Menu possibilities at Starbucks and have written about it, here.

A drink that caught my eye is called the Roasted ChestnutRoasted Chestnut Starbucks

Here is the recipe:

  • Start by ordering a Hazelnut Macchiato
  • Add toffee nut syrup (1 pump for a tall drink, 1 1/2 pumps for a grande, and 2 pumps for a venti)
  • Add extra hazelnut syrup (1 pump for a tall, 1 1/2 pumps for a grande, and 2 pumps for a venti)
  • Add white chocolate mocha syrup (1/2 a pump for a tall and for a grande drink or, 1 pump for a venti drink)
  • Top with spiced whipped cream and hazelnut drizzle

Drink.

Some important notes to keep in mind when ordering a drink from the secret menu:

1.  Make sure you know the recipe of the drink you would like to order and not just the name.

2. Depending on what drink you’re ordering and what add-ins there are, be prepared for extra costs.

3.  Paying with a registered Starbucks card or with the Starbucks mobile app will earn you stars towards free rewards.

4.  Savour every sip

5.  Come back and post your thoughts here!

What are your favourite Starbucks drinks?