One of the few summer rituals I had this summer (since it was cut in half recovering from my fall down the stairs) was going to cafes with my sister Jamie’s Studio Yearbook to get back to journalling and try out summer drinks all over the place. Hence why I did all those Suzie The Foodie Spy videos!
In my original review of Celena’s Bakery, I held back on giving them a perfect rating because of their not-super friendly customer service. I am glad that over the summer it did improve but I have to say the cleanliness declined, probably due to all the kids out of school that go there with their parents for a treat.
They do offer paper straws which are awesome except they kind of fall apart quite quickly. Their containers ARE recyclable so BIG kudos to them for that and they have a spot where you can easily drop them off before you leave.
They also do make decaf iced coffee drinks but often there was not enough ice so they were kind of warm. Still, Celena’s does remain one of my favourites and now that the kids are back in school I hope the floors will be a lot cleaner.
That had to have been the BEST decaf iced mocha of my life. I had been unimpressed with their hot chocolate in the winter but damn, this was perfection. I remembered to bring my stainless steel straws and my friend became a believer in them. She made a great point, for cold drinks, it actually improves the experience of drinking them because they are super cold from the moment they touch your lips.
From my adventures from coffee chain to chain, seeing who will be the most supportive of decaf drinkers like me, Starbucks was the clear winner. They did confess to me though that they do not recycle all those plastic containers which broke my heart so I went on a long trek to see what container I could find so I could enjoy my decaf cold drinks without harming the environment.
I ended up with this stainless steel interior with flat black interior container. Despite the black, the drink inside stays incredibly cold and I just love how badass it looks. I wish it had a handle though, it is kind of large and heavy for my little weak hands.
Yup, I did it. I went to McDonald’s, got the decaf hot coffee and then went to the ice machine and filled up my container and dumped in the coffee.
So I got my iced coffee for under $2!
But you know, it still felt weird. I prefer to reward good behaviour than punish the bad so I will not be doing this again. That said, I am glad I did it once.
I wanted to be sure that before my wedding anniversary (choking back tears) that I was unpacked. I only had one tote left from the move that only had a few items in it and I finally went through it and it is official. I am unpacked. Until spring when I will have to move again but until then… It’s done.
Flirting With Alcohol
I was super excited to find out at a family party that they had BLUE wine! Not just blue wine by Naked Grape blue wine. I cook exclusively with their wines and OMG, I love everything and anything that is blue.
It was sweet and a tad sour and wonderful. This is all I had, I promise!
At the after family party we went to Bodega Henriette for drinks. This has to be one of the most charming places I have ever been to and will be back for brunch with friends. BTW that is a virgin mojito which was perfect as it had just enough mint as I hate it when there is too much: it was perfect on a summer’s night.
Then I gave in. The day of my wedding anniversary I went out with friends, drank porn star shots and shared a pitcher of sangria. I could not sleep the entire night as a result but do not regret it a bit. If there is any one day of the year to get plastered, this was it.
The Pumpkin Spice Invasion
Everyone got on the pumpkin spice band wagon early this year, offering cold pumpkin beverages while it was still hot.
I had heard so much of Starbuck’s Pumpkin Frappuccino I wanted to try Second Cup’s first.
Just to make it official, I am not someone who really cares for the idea of pumpkin spice, especially in a cold beverage but I wanted to see what everyone was freaking out over.
Second Cup actually did not have this on their menu but they said they would make me one. I love that company! I will say that I can understand why people like it. There is something very festive and comforting about the spices, even with all that cold icy goodness. It does make you feel better, a kind of spice magic.
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino
Starbucks has gone completely pumpkin spice bananas and I say go for it! People want it? Give it to them.
The day I went I forgot to bring my straws damn it!
My container is only for cold beverages so I am considering picking up their reusable hot cup for the winter. Although I get out so rarely in the winter.
I really thought the only thing in their pumpkin spice frappuccinos was a gingerbread spice flavouring mix but I was wrong! According to their site, there is actual pumpkin puree in their pumpkin spice sauce. Only 2% but that is more than I thought was in there.
Again, very tasty, comforting… I can see why a lot of people love these flavours but for me, it just is not my thing. I can appreciate it but when I spend $5 on a drink, I am going for something totally naughty and not nutritious in any way.
I took myself out on a creativity day in The Beaches and stopped by Starbucks. I brought my sister’s Fall Studio Yearbook to decorate the cover with a photo of Jennifer Garner from Peppermint. Loved that movie and she has always been a big inspiration for me. So happy that she is making a kick-ass comeback.
I ordered the Ultra Caramel Frappuccino in my container and realized the flaw… Kind of hard to photograph these beautifully delicious drinks! Especially when you get a small size and skip the whipped cream and toppings.
Oh well. It is more important for me to be environmentally conscious. BTW, the Ultra Caramel Frappuccino was ultra caramelly in flavour and sweetness and was just what I needed after hanging out on a warm day at the beach. Definitely a dessert but aren’t all frappuccinos desserts?
Summer Coming To An End
It is kind of amazing that the day fall started to make its way into Ontario we got this giant wind storm. No rain. Just wind. I kept saying all day, this is just like a BC storm. Then I remembered that the exact same storm hit the night before and the day I left BC exactly EIGHT months ago to the day. I have made it eight months so far and it was like nature was trying to remind me how far I have come in that time.
Maybe I can be the comeback foodie like Jennifer has become the comeback action star? I hope so. I have not given up. I get out there with my camera, my notebook and now my phone and investigate the food and drink world around me. I have some time before I become housebound for the winter and I am going to make the most of it.
Not to worry, there was also a lot of foods of the summer too! That will be coming up soon! Can’t forget about the food silly…