Tag Archives: Starbucks

Un-laboring on Labor Day :)

Day 394 in my relaxing my way to meeting Mickey

According to the US Department of Labor website:

“Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”

Happy Labor Day!  I celebrated with a Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) and a Salted Caramel Cake-pop.  I have an early pass for  a PSL from my Starbuck’s app.  They officially start selling them on September 8th (tomorrow).  This will be my only PSL until we travel to Walt Disney World where I will order one at the Magic Kingdom and happily sip it there.  It was a delicious “holiday” treat, and now I’m back to sugar-free until our trip in one month and six days.  (OMGoodness!  It’s getting so close now!)  Yippee!

Well, done, Starbuck’s!  I hope the labor of making the PSL and the cake-pop was USA labor.  Buy American!

Meet you at the Kingdom!

Sunday Shenanigans

Day 296 in my keeping busier than I used to so I am healthier when I meet up with Mickey in October

My plan today is to eat well, shop for groceries, get our guest room ready for my daughter’s visit, and visit with my son and daughter-in-love tonight.

  1. After sleeping in and showering up at the sauna, Mike (my squeeze) and I went to brunch at Maevery Public House in beautiful downtown Lake Bluff.  I ate there yesterday and was so taken with it that I had to get Mike there today.  He ordered the BELT (bacon, egg, lettuce and tomato sandwich) with potatoes fried in butter.  I ordered Croque Jasper (brioche with a lean sausage patty and a bit of cheese sauce).  We both had black coffee which was Douwe Egbert.  For those not familiar with Douwe Egbert: it is a Danish coffee, very full bodied and yet mellow.  It comes in somewhere between Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donut coffee.  Maevery Public House is not inexpensive, but pamperingly delicious!)  Yes, I know I just made up a word, but it seems so apropo.  Now usually I make a habit of cutting my entree in half and bring half home for another day.  Today I ate the WHOLE thing.  I used the excuse that it won’t reheat well.  🙂  So I will not eat a full meal until dinner tonight.  If I get hungry, I have a piece of fruit or something else light.
  2. Our daughter Emi, who lives in Bristol, England, comes tomorrow!  She’ll be here for a week.  Woo hoo!!!  When she’s here, we end up eating out quite a bit so, we picked up just enough groceries so she (a vegetarian) will have some choices for lunches.  And also we got the groceries to have some friends (Yay, Ken and Chris Hall!) over for dinner on Tuesday evening.  On the menu for the evening: Cranberry-Pine Nut Quinoa, White Bean, Herb and Tomato Salad, fresh veggies and hummus, and fresh berries and whipped cream for dessert.
  3. Gotta change the bedding and straighten our guest room for Emi.  I’m so-o-o excited to see her and hug her and kiss her face!  She’ll sing with Damascus Road (the contemporary band at our church) next Sunday, and she’ll sing with Ken Hall and a friend at Cafe Pyrenees in Libertyville on Friday evening.  Mike may play some guitar there, too.
  4. Tonight Jake and Eliza come to dinner and to hang out.  We are having Apricot-Almond Chicken with last night’s leftover Chicken Rigatoni with Broccoli and Peppers as a side and a nice large spinach and Romaine salad.

That’s it for today, dear readers.  Meet you at the Kingdom!

BTW: All recipes mentioned are from Betty Crocker’s 30 Minute Meals for Diabetes.  Seriously, if you’re watching your sugar intake, then this is a GREAT cookbook to have.

Disney’s Magical Advantages!

Day 274 in advancing toward meeting up with Mickey Mouse at the Magic Kingdom.

GAH!!!!  My plan for today was to book our trips to and from Disney’s Old Key West Resort and Orlando International Airport on Disney’s Magical Express.  Can you tell?  I’m just a little excited about that!  All six of us who are going in October (me, my honey Mike, our son Jake, his wife Eliza, our daughter Emi and her husband James) have finally booked our flights.  Once all flights are booked, if you are a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) Member (and we are), you can go to the DVC website and book the bus.

Now for those who are not Disneyphiles, Disney’s Magical Express is a free perk that folks staying at Disney resorts are provided.  It is literally a FREE ride to and from the airport.  (Now I know there are skeptics out there saying, “Oh, you’re paying for it.”  And that may be true, but I would stay on property even without this perk, so it feels free to me.  And I appreciate it!)  🙂  And on top of that, we can check our luggage in Chicago, and they will deliver it to our room at Old Key West.  Can you say, “Holy wah!”?  I love it!

So, now we are one step closer to being all ready for our vacation.  I hope to write soon about: Disney Vacation Club (it gets me to my happy place), My Disney Experience (an absolutely fantastic planning app), and  apples (I have a bone to pick with the apples/doctor saying).  Thank for hanging in there with me, my dear readers.  Meet you at the Kingdom!

BTW: I am drinking a cup of Starbuck’s coffee from my Magic Kingdom mug, as I type.  It arrived yesterday!  I LOVE it!  Two of my favorite things in one place–Magic Kingdom and Starbuck’s.  Yahoo!   Ya-le-hoo-lah! Thank you so much, Bro Geno and Sis-in-love Patsy!  And thanks to Regina, niece-in-love extraordinare,for picking up an extra mug, just in case.  🙂  Love you guys!

Getting Down to Dis-ness (Business toward a Disney Trip)

Day 211 in my challenges to get ready to meet Mickey in October. (7 months and 6 days to go)

Today’s plan was to take care of a lot of little things that needed seeing to, and to gauge my energy level to get through the day.

Here’s the list:

  1. Make a delicious. nutritious breakfast–I made another batch of Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal.  It is sugar-free decadence.  And I have enough left over for 2 breakfasts this week.  I fry a leftover patty in just a bit of coconut oil.  So good!
  2. Finish paying our last two bills for this pay period–I wrote out a check for one and brought it to the post office to mail, and I arranged to pay the other online.
  3. Take a shower and clean up–I showered, washed and treated my hair, brushed and even water-piced my teeth.  (I don’t use my water-pic nearly enough.)
  4. Go and visited my sister/pal Joan–we had a lovely visit.  (Prayers for her, please.  She is having knee replacement surgery on Tuesday.)  A visit with Joan is always so good for my heart and soul!
  5. Pick up groceries–I went to my new favorite store, Heinen’s, and picked up some necessary items for tonight’s dinner, and for the week’s menu, and for cleaning the house.

I got everything finished by 5:00 pm, and am now in my favorite chair with my feet up sipping a Decaf Skinny Hazelnut Latte from Starbuck’s.  I had plenty of energy to get through my day.  I’m glad to be back home and chilling, but I am so-o-o grateful to have the va-va-voom to move around more and get a few things done.

Life is good, my friends, and God is even good-er!  Meet you at the Kingdom!

BTW: Happy birthday, to dear Eliza!!  She is our daughter-in-law extraordinaire!  Such a beautiful person inside and out, and I am in awe of the way she loves our precious son.  Love you, Girl!

Nesting Up & Resting Up

Day 111 in my journey to Mickey

Today’s plan is to rest up.  I find I am tired out today.  We made rather merry yesterday, and I stayed up ridiculously late last night.  So after writing the bills for this payday, finishing cleaning up the kitchen, putting clean sheets and new pillows on the bed and doing some laundry, I am giving myself some time to watch some favorite Thanksgiving movies.  I especially like, “An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving.”  Such a beautiful period film about a family trying to make ends meet after Papa dies suddenly.  I highly recommend it.

BTW:  Eliza and Jake found sugar-free pumpkin spice flavoring for coffee.  And, as if that isn’t enough, Eliza brought over her espresso maker and her milk steamer and made me a sugar-free pumpkin latte yesterday.  Sheer bliss!  And this morning I had a sugar-free pumpkin spice coffee in the comfort of my own home.  Take that, Starbucks!  🙂

Meet you at the Kingdom!

In the Sweet Spot

Day 97 in my exciting adventure toward my date with Mickey

My plan for today was to meet with my Health Coach, and I did.  My two goals for the next four weeks are:

  1. Try out walking at the Lake Bluff Health and Fitness Center sprung track.  It is right on my way home from work, so no excuses to not drop in there.  The sprung track will make walking easier on my sore joints.
  2. Research and adjust my holiday recipes, so they are more nutritious and not so filled with empty calories.

Friendly little facts that are making my life exciting:

  • I always weigh myself before I talk to Alex, my heath coach.  And…tan-ta-ta-a-da…I made my 30 pounds this morning!!!  So exciting! I’m very happy about that.
  • OMGosh…Starbuck’s has a Skinny Peppermint Mocha.  I got one yesterday with decaf.  It might be my favorite treat EVER!
  • Jake & Emi (our kid)s, Eliza and James (their spouses), Mike (my amazing husband) and I are booked into Old Key West for our vacation in October.  I have our 5-day Park Hopper passes in hand.  And they are all connected up on “My Disney Experience.”

So right now, gentle readers, life is very good at the Jarvi household. Meet you the Kingdom!

BTW: Shout out to Chris, my wonderful work partner.  (Prayers coming your way, my friend! )  She fell and broke her wrist yesterday.  If you have a sec, offer up a quick prayer for her today.  Thanks, all y’all!



Ode to the Pumpkin Spice Latte on Halloween

Day 83 in my destiny to dance with Mickey

“O Pumpkin Spice Latte, I love you.  I do.  When October winds blow, my mind turns to you.  When I’m freezing my patootie off, you warm me right through.  O Pumpkin Spice Latte, I love you.  I do.

O Pumpkin Spice Latte, I love you.  I do.  You’re a cinnamony, gingery pumpkin delight, with just enough sugar to give me a fright.  Today I savor you without any fear, then leave you behind until Thanksgiving is here.

O Pumpkin Spice Latte, I love you I do.  And to your sweet taste I will always be true.  I can’t drink too many, my blood sugar is the cue, but Pumpkin Spice Latte, I love you.  I do.”

Ahhh…I am enjoying my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the year.  (I ordered a venti decaf skim Pumpkin Spice Latte with no whip.  Yum!   Starbucks could make a fortune if they would just create a “Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte.”  Their “Skinny” drinks are made with skim milk and sugar-free syrups.  I have tried Skinny Vanilla Lattes, Skinny Hazelnut Lattes, Skinny Caramel Lattes and my personal favorite Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Lattes.  They are delicious!  Come on, geniuses, invent!!!  How hard can it be to take the sugar out???

Anyway my plan for today is to savor my drink and pick up a cupcake for Mike and I for our Halloween treat tonight.  And I really do want to get out there and take that walk on the wild side.  It is freezing here in Lake Bluff with gale force winds, but no snow accumulation yet.  PTL!  Pray I don’t blow away, or become the victim of a “Widow Maker.”

Happy Halloween, dear readers!  Meet you at the Kingdom!

BTW: Mike worked at a sawmill for a bit when he was working his way through college.  They called very windy days Widow Makers, because in the woods limbs could snap off at any time and come crashing down on the workers, thus making their wives widows.  How’s that for a macabre Halloweeny thought?  🙂

My Demon: Sugar

Day 74 in my assignment to assimilate a better life-style to meet up with Mickey

I’ve been asked, “How did you completely go cold-turkey and give up sugar if you were such an addict?”  Well…that’s just it.  I haven’t completely given up sugar for the rest of my life.  The thought of never having sugar again for the rest of my life is daunting indeed!  It makes me feel deprived and more than a little sorry for myself.  So,  I’ve just given sugar up for today…and for yesterday…and I plan to give it up for the day that is tomorrow.

I have a date with sugar.  A one day date.  Not to go crazy and eat anything and everything in sight.  Believe me, I’ve been there and done that.  But on Halloween my morning treat is going to be a vente, decaf skim-milk pumpkin spice latte, no whip.  Starbuck’s speak for a sugary, delicious Halloweeny treat.  Then my evening treat will be a Halloweeny cupcake from Bent Fork Bakery.  Mikey will join me in this evening treat.  (It turns out he likes cupcakes.  “Something plain,” he said, when I asked him what kind.  If you know him at all…it figures.)  These treats will replace my usual treat of several bags of Halloween candy: candy corn, marshmallow pumpkins, chocolate bars, and whatever else caught my eye at Walgreens.  🙂

We will purposefully and completely savor our Halloween treats.  And then on November 1, I plan to go cold-turkey again.  You see, after 73 days of being sugar-free, I like what I see and feel and hear, and taste and even smell.  Things just seem clearer and brighter and more intense when I’m not living under the shroud of sugar.  Confession time:  My name is Donna, and I am a sugar addict.  (The appropriate response is, “Hello, Donna.”)

My plan for today is to share this truth with you.  Meet you at the Kingdom!

Lovely Lake Bluff Lingering

Day 35 in my march to meet Mickey at the Magic Kingdom

My plan for today was to take a 20 minute walk.  However, here is what actually happened.

I got a call this morning from Wayne, a dear brother and friend.  We chatted about this blog and then firmed up some plans for this October.  It was a delightful way to start my Saturday.  Talking with the Best Man from our wedding and thinking of him, his amazing wife and their lovely family.  *happy sigh*

Then I went to breakfast at the Full Moon.  While I was there I im-ed with my dear sis-in-law.  There I learned of the death of another sis-in-law’s sister.  This is out of the blue, as she died from an aneurism.  So sad! My heart goes out to Judy and Howard.

Then although I LOVE the Full Moon for breakfast, their coffee is not-so-good.  So my next stop was our local drive-through Starbucks.   I ordered my coffee, but when I got to the window to pick it up there was a wasp hanging out there.  So I went inside to pick up my skinny caramel latte.  What a lovely surprise awaited me there: Jake and Eliza were there just ordering some coffee.  I had a short, sweet visit with them, and then I was on my way.

Next stop: I parked in front of Inovasi (a local eatery in town).  Now if you’ve been to Lake Bluff, then you know what a pretty, little, Norman Rockwellian (to quote my cousin Terry) place it is.  What better place to take an afternoon stroll?  I walked to Viola, a favorite local shop and picked up a 60044 bag.  Then I walked to Peg Ann & Co., another favorite local shop and picked up a couple of t-shirts.  Then I gathered up my bags and started walking.  I walked a block past the library to 4th of July corner, so named because we watch the 4th of July parade from there. Then I crossed the street and walked to the post office.  Then I crossed the road and walked back to my car.  Now you may be thinking that that is not a very far walk.  And maybe it’s not very far…for you.  But for me, who has been majoring in the five minute walk, it was far.  I was very out of breath and a bit shaky by the time I got back to the car.  And, here’s the great part, I was out there walking and shopping for 30 minutes!!  I can’t tell you the last time I was on my feet for 30 minutes.  Having just come through a year of sedentary depression, I know it’s been longer than that year.

I feel like Rocky must have felt when he made it to the top of those stairs!  🙂  Victorious!  Thank you for taking the time to read this rather lengthy entry.  Love all y’all!  Meet you at the Kingdom!