New Girl in Town – Seattle Starbucks’

Untitled 2Hello everyone! It’s Katie, Jennifer and Mike’s assistant. This month’s blog post is all about coffee, something near and dear to every Seattleite’s heart. Before I moved to Seattle, I was a barista for two years in a local coffee shop. Therefore, I have some knowledge of the coffee world and my own coffee preference. So with this opportunity to live in a city built on coffee, I decided to explore two very different Starbucks’ with my best friend Mallory. The two places we visited were the Starbucks on the 40th floor of the Columbia Tower and the newish Starbucks Roastery and Tasting Room in Capital Hill.

12728795_1257292910953825_4534591232572258117_n

 

The Columbia Tower is the tallest skyscraper in downtown Seattle and they have an Observatory on the 73rd floor, which costs about $15. But, the elevator ride to the Starbucks on the 40th floor is free! Obviously the views are not as great, but it’s free and Mallory and I are both financially conscious. So we grabbed an elevator and rode it to the 40th floor where we found a pretty typical looking Starbucks. The views were alright, but blocked by some nearby buildings and the weather was overcast so we couldn’t see very far. So, Mallory took some pictures and we headed on our way. However, this might be a good place for a cheap date on a nice afternoon.

 

12745658_10153548361909217_4038576708020389345_nNext, we grabbed a bus to Capitol Hill to visit the Starbucks Roastery and Tasting Room. This place is massive! According to an article I found, it is a 15,600 square foot property that is rumored to have cost $20 million to build. Starbucks has taken their love for coffee and created a once in a lifetime experience. As soon as I walked in I was in awe of the design and layout of the Roastery. There is copper everywhere! Starbucks even went so far as to design their own espresso bars. Espresso bars are extremely expensive in the first place, so you can tell how much thought they put into the environment of the roastery. There are multiple areas where you can order coffee and a large gift shop. Mallory and I began by talking with the barista we met at the door and he suggested we go to the Experience Bar in the lower level of the building. coffeeOnce at the Experience Bar, we ordered a flight of three different types of Starbucks coffees and a smoked butterscotch latte. (That was probably too much coffee, but I’d like to think that’s not possible.) The coffee flight was cool because there was a very distinct difference between all the coffee’s we chose. It was interesting to taste them at the same time. The latte was good, but not something I would order again. It wasn’t overly flavorful and if I order a latte with butterscotch flavor I want to taste the butterscotch.

The best part about the roastery is that it is so different from every other Starbucks. You can tell from your first step in the door that a lot of time, money and research went into building this facility. This is a specific, behind the scenes look at the high end product that Starbucks can create. It is not your typical Starbucks on every single street corner, selling the exact same thing to impatient customers. The details are my favorite part, besides the coffee of course!

Advertisements

Why I hate your House Plants

How could anyone “hate” house plants?  I know, I just made some enemies.  As I have come to know over the years, your house plants are these docile, often forgotten looking, affectionate things in random containers throughout your houses.  Many of these “family members” have stayed with you over the years, moved with you, been gifted to you by mothers-in-laws, given to you by neighbors, and are almost invisible comforting treasures you don’t even really think about.  The fact that you don’t think about them is evidenced by at least half of them looking like they almost died last week, two weeks ago, 3 months ago, and frankly, are probably almost always on the verge of dying, except for the last minute watering that revives them and reminds you they are special little things to be loved and cared for.

Blog Pics.JPGI say all of this in pure judgement, finger pointing accusation.  The only flaw in my argument is that I am one of you.  Maybe not to the extreme of some, but I too have 1 house plant I cannot part with. I have a love/hate relationship with it. It is a giant spiky leafy plant/tree (don’t even know what kind) that moved in 12 years ago and since then has made a  permanent mark on my wood floor, is outgrowing its pot, the leaves are always half brown and when I finally water it, it reaches out and hugs me, so I keep it . In addition, my husband Mike has 5 or 6 in our home at one time depending on how well the resuscitation goes each month. His plants live with plastic containers under them to keep from staining the ledge they sit on. For those who argue that plants give oxygen, I’m not sure these particular plants are fully up for their intended duties.

UntitledHere’s where the tough part comes in.  You call me to sell your home.  I come over as any good Realtor and we talk about “Getting the home ready for market.”  One of the tasks is de-cluttering, and turning the house from a home into a product for maximum appeal.  It’s fairly easy for me to talk you into putting away the toaster, the 35 spatulas in the utensil holder, and the kitchen sponge that has been in the family since your first child was born.  But for some reason…..the house plants always cause for pause.  Surely I don’t mean ALL the house plants do I?  Yep, I do.   All of them.  Here’s why.

Home buyers are starting their home search online.  To help sell your home we hire a high-end photographer to take pics and videos that highlight the home and give tours through the home.  Pictures are 2-D and any medium objects such as house plants block the view of the room, the view between rooms, or the view outside.  In addition, the smaller plants look like do-dads in pictures, which are distracting. The goal is to help the buyer purchase the space, not the items in the space.

Plant Staging

Unfortunately there is a genuine cause for alarm. What do you do with house plants that you can’t have in your house?  If you have natural light, and a warm garage, you could put them in there.  If that doesn’t work, it will need to be part of the strategic planning, along with things such as Fido and kiddos.  One tactic might be to ask a friend to watch your kids and your pets, and when they hesitate, offer the house plants instead….they will gladly care for them while you get your house sold.