Mug Half Empty – My Starbucks Drive-Thru Experience

Between dropping off my February rent and heading out to my 12pm meeting I decided to cave into my craving for some amazing Starbucks sweet iced tea. Instead of going to my normal brick and mortar store where the baristas know me and my order is always right, I thought I would try out the newest drive through Starbucks location down the street from my college. “Oh this will be great – much quicker than standing in line and waiting for my drink and I get to enjoy the radio while making it to my meeting on time!” – I thought as I was driving there. Boy did I make a mistake.

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Upon getting to the Starbucks drive thru, I was SHOCKED at how full the line was at 11:50am! This is surely not peak hour for coffee connoisseur’s! How could there be this many people wanting coffee right now!

Still, I was being an optimist and expecting to breeze through the drive-through line in 10 minutes or less, allowing me to make it to my meeting A-OK. Alas, I was unfortunately blessed with the misfortune of being stuck behind a truck full of people who ordered four complex drinks that took them over 2 minutes just to order at the drive through menu! I mumbled to myself – This can’t be good, how unlucky can I be! Still, I was trying to convince myself that as with most drive through restaurants, Starbucks will be able to make the orders on the fly and made-to-order with as much success as they do in their traditional stores.

Finally, I was one car away from getting my thirst-quenching iced tea to get me through my meeting and afternoon off! I was anticipating that first refreshing sip of ice cold tea and the sweetness to follow. However, the truck in front of me sat at the pick up window for over five minutes! FIVE MINUTES. This was perplexing at first but I soon realized that they were passing all of their drinks back to the quick serve staff barista and their orders were ALL WRONG. Then, after another five minutes, they finally accepted the drinks they were expecting and left the drive through.

As I pulled up to the pick up window, I reassured myself that I ordered such a simple order (Venti Iced Black Tea, Sweetened) that it was virtually foolproof and unable to be misheard. However, I was not given my total immediately after ordering and wasn’t really paying much attention with the barista let me know that my total was $4.45 for a simple venti black tea. It seemed like a bit much, but I hadn’t been to Starbucks in a while so I might just have forgotten how much it was.

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However, to my surprise, the Venti drink I was given after paying was a Venti Hot Skinny Syrup Latte. Immediately I knew it was wrong, and switched it out with a Venti Iced Tea that the baristas made on the fly. I was confused as to how ordering a Venti Iced Black Tea with Sweetener sounded anything like a hot skinny syrup latte and figured it must have been the drink belonging to the woman behind me in line. How can a Starbucks store, which I have always known to be great at order satisfaction and correctness, get five orders wrong in a row?! This has made me vow never to go to that store again, and I was so excited to have that option near my school if I was ever in a hurry for class or meetings. Especially since I wasn’t offered any type of refund or perk to come back again even though I paid an amount I wasn’t charged for unknowingly and for the incorrect product!

My apologies to Starbucks aficionados, because even though this experience was subpar, I am in LOVE with Starbucks products! This may actually prove useful to Starbucks addicts so they know where to go to make sure their addition is fed correctly and in a timely manner. I think that after this I am going to stick to the traditional coffee environment, because let’s be honest, Starbucks is such a fine product that it shouldn’t need to be served in a drive-through, no matter how immediate your need for its caffeinated goodness is! Thankfully this annoyance only deterred me from one location, my addiction is still wildly active.

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For more Starbucks news, check out Starbucks Melody, a great source for all things Starbucks and I love all of the posts on the site!

5 Simple Rules to Meet your Exercise Goals this Year!

Exercise is one of the most common subjects related to resolutions, goal-setting, and health maintenance. Like most humans, I too struggle with making time for my daily exercise requirements even when my schedule has plenty of time for it. The hardest part of getting started with exercise routines is taking that first step – just doing it. Along with that Nike phrase that signifies the epitome of grit, grind and elbow-greasing your way to supreme fitness, here are five mantras I have learned to live by in pursuit of a healthier, stronger body, mind and soul.

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1. Use Exercise as Your Daily Moment of Zen 

Exercise is one of the best natural remedies for stress and clearing your mind. Activities like running and yoga cause your body to increase your breathing rate and focus on that instead of any stressors you have encountered during your day. Yoga also employs use of meditative states, allowing you to focus what is weighing you down that day and clear the negative thoughts out of your mind while replacing them with serenity and relaxing thoughts and emotions.

2. Realize Why You Exercise in the First Place 

Most people do not realize that while any exercise can benefit the body, straying from your routine can do more harm than good. In fact, taking more than one rest day off in between exercise days can actually cause your body to revert back to a lower fitness level and lose all of your progress. Additionally, exercise regimens have various health benefits such as preventing diabetes and obesity, and maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels too.

3. Grin and Bear it

Motivation is one of the hardest things to gain momentum with when you are starting any new routine. If you start out your new routine too strong, it can often lead to “burning out” and you will inevitably fail at your goal of fitness and health. Instead, I have focused on the small things, such as finishing a new work out each day and celebrating after each full week of exercise by gifting myself with a rest day. Often times, setting mini goals helps a lot in the beginning stages of starting anything new because they are more easily and quickly attainable leading to feelings of success and increasing motivation. Grinning and bearing through the annoyance, struggle, or loss of motivation to stick to working out may hurt at the time, but when you reflect on your progress a few months down the road, it will be so worth it!

4. Switch it Up

When people set fitness goals such as “running 6 miles every day on the treadmill,” the goals are often proven hard to stick to. The reason why? THEY ARE BORING! Make sure to switch up your workout routines often enough that you don’t get bored during them to encourage sticking to your work out schedule. Try doing a HIIT cardio routine like Betty Rocker’s HIIT Circuits every other day instead of constantly running on the treadmill – you will save your knees a bit of wear and tear too! Switching up routines consistently doesn’t give your body and muscles any time to get complacent and used to the workouts. New routines keep your body working hard and gaining strength, tone and stamina while holding your interest too. If all else fails, any work out can be jazzed up by switching inside workouts to outside or by adding a pump-up workout playlist to your iPod!

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5. Make it a Part of Your Social Routine

One of the easiest ways to motivate yourself to exercise is to do it with friends! Creating workout routines that fit around multiple friends’ schedules makes it easy to motivate each other and hold your friends accountable for each time you plan to get together. Being held accountable by your friends will make you more likely to stick to the routine because – let’s be completely honest – your friends will know if you skip out, and it will probably the hot topic of your next ladies night or lunch date. Easy ways to work out with friends while making time for social lives are through taking classes like Zumba or weight training at local or campus gyms, meeting up for a mid morning walk after dropping off kids at school, or even meet up at a friend’s house and do a group work out along to a fun or quirky work out DVD!

I know that #5 is super easy to get you motivated – I work out daily with my boyfriend along to Tony Horton’s P90 Workout circa the 2000’s and during it we constantly keep the mood light and muscle through the routines by laughing at the terrible music tracks, funny quips Tony says, and the flubs in the filming of each routine. He also keeps me honest when I have rough days, and I return that honesty to him, especially on days when he is exhausted from work and his course-load and could really use the workout time to de-stress instead of just sleeping it off!

 

What’s in a Name?

I have been blogging under the blot title of Lilly Lane for the last few weeks. However, I am starting to wonder if I should stick to this name. I want my blog to be a mix of my opinions and a place for others to create a community to share ideas and experiences. Lilly Lane to me is a destination and serves both of these purposes, but I am conflicted about the lack of personal connection I have to the title itself.

I have written extensively about why I chose my blog name in the About section of this blog site. There, you can find some true insight into me and what I wish to embody as an online presence in the greater blogging community. Please visit it to understand the background of my site and give me any feedback, whether positive or criticism! I thrive off of feedback!

Does anyone out there have any feedback as to if my blog name would be effective as a brand in the long run? I am going to buy a domain name and want to be completely sure of my blog title before that to keep all of my social media accounts consistent with it. I am looking forward to becoming more influential and experienced in the blogging realm and am ready to dive in headfirst!

Becoming Wonder Woman – Unlocking the Art of Body Language

Can faking it till you make it really change your actual sense of power and confidence?

Tonight I came across a TED Talk by Amy Cuddy surrounding the topic of body language and its effect on individuals’ lives and their ability to control their life’s direction.

As a budding young professional, body language is an essential part of the communication skill set I need to be successful in my career. However, I did not realize that by changing your body language for a mere 2 minutes, I could possibly alter my mindset and emotional state just through portraying a more “confident” and powerful persona.

All too often I have found myself curling inward and making my body appear small when I am faced with situations where I feel powerless, uncomfortable or ill-prepared. Presently, these occasions often are during presentations, talks and sorority recruitment events. Through Amy’s talk, I learned that these hunching movements can actually impede your ability to make a successful first impression and portray your real self in situations like job interviews or speeches.

Amy Cuddy posed this question: “Do nonverbals [communication] govern how we think and feel about ourselves?” In essence, I think that they play an extremely important role in the cultivation of confidence and power assertion. Amy Cuddy discussed the fact that power stances, both powerful and non-powerful, can impact the body on a hormonal level. This hormonal change causes a shift in the balance of cortisol (the stress hormone) and testoterone (the dominance hormone) to the point where a person’s emotions can become charged with powerful or powerless thoughts and expressions. Those who feel/are more powerful in situations exhibit less stress hormone concentrations and higher dominance concentrations. These people, Cuddy argued, are more successful as leaders and are also more stable and reliable. In contrast, powerless people exhibit higher stress-reaction but less dominance hormones and feel more uneasy in powerful positions if they feel like they don’t belong in a leadership position.

This TED talk has encouraged me to take a back seat to my life in times of stress or uncertainty and reconsider how I am approaching these situations. I will do my best to assess my body language, posture, and emotions surrounding job interviews, speeches and the like to reevaluate them. From doing this, I will try to catch myself when I am feeling powerless, take a deep breath, and engage in a power stance for a few moments. I hope to practice power stances to enhance my confidence and ability to succeed in new situations, places and groups.

I want to become wonder woman. To do this, I need to give myself the easiest confidence boost the body can provide: body language. Who knew that body language could harness such super powers and provide confidence and power to people just from placing your body in a certain position. Body language surely is an art, and I am excited to delve into its science and unlock more of its mysteries.

If you are looking for more awesome, thought-provoking videos, hit up TED.com for ideas to challenge the way you think and share with others in your community!

I’ll Be There for You

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Friends. At every point in your life, you’re more than likely someone’s best friend or confidante. Friendships are relationships that help you grow as a person and develop into your own unique personality and help to guide your way in life. In my opinion, my best friends have taught me so much in just twenty-one years. In short, here are the three most important things my best friends have taught me thus far in my life.

1. Talk about your problems, don’t internalize them.

All too often, people encounter personal problems and struggles in their lives but don’t share their feelings about them to their closest friends. I have been victim of this in the past, but over the last few years I have found that sharing with confidantes can help solve problems and give me an outlet to vent emotions and look at situations with fresh perspectives. Internalizing problems can only breed more emotional trauma and lamenting without any chance of solving the issues or problems at hand.

2. Being different is okay.

People always find comfort in people who are just like them and group together in a type of herd mentality for social comfort and confidence. However, I have realized that a lot of my best friends have been different types of people than I am. I think that this is a fantastic quality in a best friend, because they offer spontaneity, different perspectives and most importantly – fun! Almost all of my most interesting stories have come from doing some wild thing with my best friend Molly that was completely out of my comfort zone! While I can’t argue that my friends are 100% different to me in any specific way, I think that surrounding yourself with close friends from different backgrounds creates a safe space for people to share different ideas, beliefs and values without fearing their friends will cut off their relationship or judge them negatively.

3. Best friends help you grow.

Since joining my sorority three years ago, I have met many amazing friends through that organization. Not only did these women become my friends, but they rallied around me in support of anything I set my mind to succeeding in. Whenever I am having difficulty with carving out my life path after college, with relationships within my sorority or school, or with my personal life, my sisters are always there to support me and help me blossom into a better person than I was when I first joined. I feel confident knowing I have 100 women to fall back on if something doesn’t go as planned or to celebrate with if I get a job offer or succeed in an area of my life I was worried about.

As long as I have my friends to keep me sane, support me and be there for me at all times, life is good. To all of my amazing friends and bloggers out there: I’ll be there for you!

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How am I blogging so far?

Thank you to all of my loyal readers that have been commenting and continuing to keep me excited about becoming a blogger!

Since I’ve been blogging for a week, if love for you all to tell me how I’m doing so far!! I’m still very new to blogging and am learning the ropes as I go along, so feedback is greatly appreciated!!

If you have any comments, ideas or new things you want me to blog about, let me know through commenting or filling out the contact form!

Thanks in advance!!

-Lindsay

Does the Bachelor Romanticize Love?

The Bachelor(ette) have been aired on tv for years. These dating shows are the epitome of every man and woman’s dream: being surrounded by two dozen sexy singles who are vying for his or her attention and being able to “date” all of them at the same time! However, does the Bachelor skew society’s view on how love should develop?

I enjoy my real life relationship and being able to spend quality time with my boyfriend going out to eat at the restaurant down the street, going on random road trips, and even just enjoying a good TV show or two on the couch. But while watching the bachelor, I am in awe of the extravagance of each of the group and one on one dates each episode shows. To be honest, I think that it’s extremely difficult for women or men going through this experience to truly live a normal life with a normal relationship after the cameras stop rolling. Let’s be honest, how can you keep up your dating speed after visiting different countries, taking rides in $100,000 amphibious vehicles, or in a self-made Californian winter wonderland!!

I can appreciate my relationship so much more from watching the Bachelor. Now I see my relationship will help me grow as a person and part of something greater than myself to enrich my boyfriend’s life. To me, fabulous dates and whirlwind trips don’t sound exciting to me, but rather the experiences with my partner that I would have there.

I definitely think that dating shows romanticize love. It’s what they are designed to do! While they are “reality” shows, the fact that they say you can build a successful relationship over a three month period with another 20 people fighting to beat you to the proposal is a bit outrageous. I am perfectly happy in my relationship, and don’t need any tv cameras, million dollar trips or competitions to help me find my perfect match.