Tag Archives: Starbucks



Photo by Elizabeth Atalay

1,000 babies are born every day with HIV.  By the year 2015 that number could come close to zero.  That is the goal of  (RED), and until June 10th you can take part in the (RED) RUSH TO ZERO campaign to help make that happen!  Check out the (RED) RUSH TO ZERO website to find out ten things you can do through June 10th to contribute. Two easy steps I am planning to take today to get started are to visit Starbucks  like I love to do, and check in on my foursquare account, which will then automatically donate a dollar to The Global Fund!  Then I am going do a little shopping on-line and pick a (RED) product to purchase, which will also donate to the (RED) RUSH TO ZERO campaign. Both actions are easy and fun for me to do, and it makes me feel good to know that the money I spend today on things I would buy anyway, will go towards such an important global cause.  If you need another good reason to take a look at how some of your favorite brands are getting involved, Father’s Day is coming up soon (I’m thinking the Dr. Dre headphones look pretty cool for dad)! 



You can track (RED) Money at work in Africa. To date, over $190 Million has been contributed to the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS (from (RED) partners and events). *100% goes to programs on the ground via the Global Fund-supported HIV/AIDS programs in 6 African countries: Ghana, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zambia. Over 14 Million people have been reached by programs (RED) supports.

Saudi Arabian Coffee, KSA Part 2

Saudi Arabian Coffee, KSA Part 2

As we ascended into the sky the Saudi Arabian Airlines hostess handed us tiny cups of Arabic coffee and

Arabic Coffee served with a date

a date to welcome us on board.  I mistook the coffee for tea because of its light color and almost root like flavor, a complex taste I would later learn involved cardamom and saffron.  I had been expecting Saudi Arabian coffee to be more like Turkish coffee which I love, dark and murky with grinds, and tasting like a super strong espresso.  The Saudi Arabian form of  Arabic coffee surprised me with its unique pleasant taste and lightness.  This new and unfamiliar taste of coffee signaled to me the very beginning of our trip to the Arabian Peninsula. This ritual of coffee service would be played out repeatedly over the next week of our visit.  The scenario also demonstrated perfectly why I always enjoy taking the national airline of my destination. The entrance into another culture begins upon take-off and is drawn out until disembarkment back at home.  After checking in for our flight I had noticed I was the only woman in the waiting area not wearing an abaya, so I slipped mine on over my clothes before boarding the plane.

When a Muslim prayer was recited over the loud speaker just after take off, we knew we were not in Kansas anymore.  Once we were in Riyadh we noticed many American style coffee shops, including Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks. Clearly the Saudis liked coffee, but the etiquette of Arabic coffee being served as a welcome  gesture became clear as it was offered at each new venue as we arrived.  The tiny cups of light coffee, which were generously refilled, were always offered accompanied by dates.  

The KSA is the second largest producer of dates in the world , and in areas of Riyadh the streets are lined with date palms, so it is no mystery why the fruit is so ubiquitous in their food culture.  One of the treasures I found in the Souk for us to bring back as a memory from SA is a beautiful traditional Saudi Arabian coffee pot complete with the crossed sword and palm of the Saudi emblem on it.  

I am a coffee girl, so when we weren’t being served the Arabic coffee, my husband and I went to the Starbucks near our hotel. Men may enter in the front entrance, but  as a woman, and a couple we entered in the side “family entrance”.  This led us to an entirely separate mini Starbucks for women and their families.   A man is only allowed in the family section if he is with a woman, he is not allowed to go in alone.  Despite our hotels proximity to Starbucks, and my coffee habit, during our trip I much preferred the ceremony of the Arabic coffee. I was aware that it was a taste I would only be able to experience easily while we were there, and deeply appreciated the craft and the sentiment with which it was always prepared and served.

Spread the Love: Great Gifts

Spread the Love: Great Gifts
Spread the Love: Great Gifts

You know those people who deck their homes for Christmas with neon lights, bells and whistles, inside and out? They may wear red and green all month, and have little jingle bells hanging from their ears. They lOVE that holiday with all their being. Well, that is how I feel about Valentines Day, I do wear a lot of red in February, but it’s also the American Heart Association campaign to wear red for heart health in February, so I can get away with it.  I also decorate my house a bit, but really how far can you go with the hearts and the red without it taking on the look of a brothel? My complete ardor for Valentines Day may have a tiny bit to do with the fact that it happens to fall on my birthday, but how can you not love a holiday that is all about love?! Because Valentines Day makes me so happy, I truly enjoy spreading the love with gifts and cards for my kids, my friends, and of course the love of my life, my Husband. Here are a few fabulous finds this year for the ones you cherish.


Vosges Chocolates:  I blame this little obsession on my friend Lisa who discovered Vosges when she lived inLincoln Park in Chicago way back as Vosges opened their first boutique in that area. Their packaging is exquisite, so it always makes a great gift to send, and the the contents are sublime!  Their Chocolate  flavors are curated from around the world, like the spicy dark chocolate Aztec collection (my favorite), or the Naga bar with flavors from India like curry and coconut.  Sampling the exotic flavors is an adventure in every bite!



The Best Friends Bangle set by Alex & Ani.  They are an amazing Jewelry company that serves as a great example by giving back to society. How much do you love this bracelet set!?  Their bangles have become hugely popular, and just in time for Valentine’s Day they launched the Best Friends bangle set.  This is a beautiful way to share the sentiment that you care, and 20% of the proceeds from this set goes to The American heart Association to help save lives.  So you are really giving twice with this gift!



The FEED (RED) LOVE 30 bag  is another great gift if you like the idea of giving something that also helps others.  I love the look of  it, and each bag purchased provides about one month of life-saving assistance in food and medication to someone in need.








Have you seen the new Tony Duquette Jewelry collection by Coach!? Beautiful! Any of the brilliant  baubles in this line are sure to please!








Sometimes it’s the little things…at Starbucks if you pick up one of these cute cards in stores now, then on any day between now and Februaury 14th you can bring it in after 2pm and buy one Caffe Mocha or Hot Chocolate and get one free for your friend.


Happy Valentines Day! It is all about love! So share it!