This was probably one of my favorite shops so far. Someday, I’ll look back and try to find the store number to give the shop the credit it deserves, but for now, I don’t feel like it. I didn’t interact with the staff too much because I was too enamored with the rest of the shop. The store itself was set up so great with obvious area separation that left the shop feeling orderly and spacious. My only complaint is the same for all Starbucks shops: folks hover around the bar area instead of taking a seat and waiting patiently so it creates a cluster by the main entrance. But while I got stuck there for a few moments, I met two ladies that I ended up chatting with that were just so entertaining.

I LOVED the way the tables were all connected in 3 rows. It gives the impression of everyone having their own table but it also forces people to sit close enough to be somewhat social if they chose. After all, it is the Holidays. We should interact with our neighbors more . . . those that are around us. Besides . . . you never know who you’re going to meet! The lights above the center row were a great modern/contemporary design and gave just enough lighting to the row that didn’t get enough natural light. The cushioned seating area was AWESOME. I didn’t want to get up. The seat I was in was SO comfortable . . . I wanted to take it with me. And of course, the husband wanted to take the table with us. I swear he asked me to stick it in my purse.

Speaking of meeting strangers – the two gals I met are Mary Kay Reps. When I told the Husband, he said, “Of course they were, I could have guessed. They have the personality for it.” Which is a funny thought to me . . . because I think we all SHOULD have that kind of personality. The warm, welcoming and friendly demeanor is so great to come across. And one of the gals had the BEST hair do . . . short and silver with spikes of bright purple. LOVED it. She said it was pink last month (for Breast Cancer Awareness). How cool is that? I love funky!

I didn’t get a picture of the patio (because we were too busy rushing to get back into the warm truck) but it was a great space; lots of room with plenty of seating and a sprinkling of umbrellas for shade. But in this weather, I would gladly take all the sun warmth I could get!

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I have the privilege of being related to my favorite photographers (Check out RAW Photo Design) and also had the extreme luck of making friends with the photography professor at my last school. I was in his class one day because one of the students was working on some of my items for me (I get the photography and she gets the experience) and his lecture that day was about “staging.” He commented that the creative styling is sometimes the hardest part of being a successful photographer. Coming up with ideas and concepts to photograph is a lot harder than it looks when you’re starting at the beginning and looking for motivation.

Of course I had to speak up. 🙂

That part is hard? The students there that day were trying to pick back drops for a customer’s albino hedgehog (seriously, it was awesome and I WANT one) and were just standing there. Not a one of them was trying anything. So I went to their studio and grabbed a bright purple feather boa. Stellar. Then I had one of the gals take off her chuck taylors and we tried everything to get that spiny little hog to sit inside of it. Awesome. I asked for a jar full of skittles or colored paper clips but they didn’t have that. So I grabbed a couple over-sized stuffed animals. And some fake flowers. Done. And even better.

So that got me thinking about staging a photograph and what MY perfect picture would be of. And I’ve got it. I know what I want a picture of. But I’m telling you because you’ll fall in love with it and do it before me and then I wouldn’t be happy. But I can tell you that it involves the color green, a tutu and bubblegum. Hmmm . . . do I smell a contest? I WOULD LOVE to see what each photographer comes up with for their interpretation! YAY! Let’s do that! Tell your friends. And send your pictures to I get to pick the winner. Because its my contest and my idea. I’ll even send a $25 Starbucks card to the winner. How do you like them apples?

So here’s the contest: Submit one image (along with your name & email) to by January 31, 2011. The image has to have all of the following elements included and all will be posted & shared (with credits to each of the photographers and links to your pages if you have them):

  • Include a bright green theme. A happy, bright green. Like fresh spring grass. That’s been freshly mowed. None of that weedy crap.
  • A tutu
  • Bubblegum

The winner not only gets incredible bragging rights to my awesome “I’m just somebody with a random idea” contest and $25 to Starbucks (who of course is in no way affiliated by this contest – I’m just an addict), but also will get posts on both this blog and featured all over my personal and business FB pages.

I’m so excited for my next life. I’m totally coming back as a photographer. But in the meantime – I’m really excited to see your pictures!