Confusion at Starbucks – just give me a basic coffee!

My town does not have a Starbucks !

but I have teen daughters who apparently although not having a store in town know the menu and lingo by heart.Often I am asked to drive to the next town to get an outrageously priced cup of coffee and snack.I try to appear cool but usually feel nervous when I get to the cashier.

I look up at the board and am so confused. When I go in,  I take some time to study the menu before I get in line and think  I have it all down. But then the girl (Barista they call them) asks me so many questions

This is usually how it goes

Me: “Can I get a  coffee please?”

Girl/Barista: “Would you like to try a Cappuccino, Macciato, Frappe or Espresso ma’am?” ( that’s what they call up sell!)

“Uh, I will have a cappuccino “-at least I know this drink and know what I will get

“Would that be a

“Tall, Venti,  Grande?”


My daughter looks embarrassed as I ask for a medium not a “Venti”, did not know I need to speak Italian to get a coffee in America.

“Regular milk, soy milk or  half and half” ?

“Yeah regular milk” 

“would you like cream on that” ?

“would you like a pump of  anything”?

Ahhhhhhh !!


(Google Images)

Ok, now I have to order a tea – Lord help me !

“would that be iced or hot”?

” ice tea please” .

“would  that be whole leaf , full leaf or flat leaf”…….

oh no here we go again!

The girl looks annoyed as I stumble on my order and blindly say “yes “or “that’s fine”  to her questions, not knowing what I am agreeing to !  She is eager to get the line moving , behind me I hear noises of annoyance from regulars who just want me to get out-of-the-way so they can get their coffee fix faster – by 4 pm, coffee addicts are a pretty scary bunch.

“what’s your name “? 

there should be  a how to order brochure at the entrance for people like me.I make so many decisions in the day why should the coffee shop be so stressful, I appreciate they are giving wonderful and plentiful choices but I am a simple girl.

I admire the pretty young girl after me who confidently and effortlessly says

“hey it’s Brittany, I’ll have a tall Latte , skim, no sugar ,130 with a pump of vanilla thanks”.

Other words to learn for Starbucks are,

skinny (means non fat ha!), pumps, soy, triple skinny, octo shot(8 shots espresso),extra whip ,drizzle.


28 dollars later (5 items) , I wonder if my coffee would have tasted better if I made it my own – as i just noticed a sign saying make it your own on the menu board ugh! too late.

well at least my teen loves her coffee and is in a great mood so it was worth it.


check this out, he makes it sound so easy! I wonder are there others like me ? I am not a Starbucks hater – I am just a dumb consumer.


The Exhausted Paranoid Traveller

travellerThe good news is , I have no fear of flying.

But it is  overshadowed by so many fears of everything else that could go wrong that really ,even if I had a fear of flying it would be a relief – just add that to the list of fears. Some of my top concerns would be failure to remember to take passports and tickets to airport, getting caught in traffic and missing the flight, child getting sick on flight, me getting sick on flight, loosing my passport at destination, credit card fraud,hijackers, wallet stolen, missing a connection, loss of or stolen baggage ( this has happened to me twice so my fears now are fully warranted!)

I drive my family mad in preparing for all these bad things that will happen to me – eventually. But if that is the case I will be prepared.

Usually well before the due travel date , i have informed my best friend of travel itinerary ,emergency contact information and also told her what to do in case of death !

Before I leave the house I will leave post it’s on my purse and the back door where we exit from the home  reminding myself to pack passports and tickets – I may sometimes put a reminder alarm on my phone 1/2 hour before we leave.

I will also have a copy of passports and tickets in every bag just in case.-but will the authorities accept a photocopy of a passport  i am not certain.Also I will call all credit card companies to say I am travelling and keep copies of cards and emergency numbers in case credit card is stolen.I spread my money between wallet and hand luggage.I also have researched American Embassies at destination and have that information on hand.i will also check the weather incessantly and weather history of destination for that period and fully prepare for the here 

Copies of children’s’ birth certificates always in my wallet – In case they get lost from us during travel and I have to prove they are mine.

Leave house 5 hours before actual flight time leaving 2  hours for travel  to airport in case there is a traffic jam – this sometimes proves difficult as my husband is always late and last-minute ( this is where the arguments usually start)

Once inside the plane I am usually the only passenger intently listening to safety instructions.I know exactly where the flotation devices and exits are, I will be an expert in case of an emergency at sea landing.

I am also scouting my fellow passengers in case a hijacker is among them, should I be later questioned if there should be an event , I will be ready with great descriptions on their behavior and what they were wearing.I am blissfully unaware that given my coloring, I might be the only hijacker looking person on the flight ( minor detail)

in case of in flight sickness I am armed with a plethora of medications for every ailment ( see packing list).I also have my children keep their air sickness bags close at hand although none of them get motion sick. On no  occasion are they allowed to mix fruit juice and eggs on a flight.Although my oldest is now 14 I will still make her eat candy or chew gum while taking off so her ears will not give trouble.She insists this has never happen and I insist that’s because she’s always eating something while take off and landing .

Lost luggage at destination? no problem, I have 3 days worth of clothes in my hand luggage, plus a business card in every bag with all my details and also strong luggage tags with all information outside.I have also had TSA open my baggage and leave a sweet note that they did so! For this purpose all my delicate underwear is always in a zip loc bag so no one has touched it ugh!

I will constantly count the number of bags at every turn to make sure they are always with us  and i will make sure my bags are right above me in the overhead bins. This proves difficult these days as people are usually fighting for bin space.

It is exhausting isn’t it? I wish I could just board a flight with no care in the world and come out looking fresh as a daisy like all celebrities do.

The paranoid travelers packing list.

Copies of e tickets, passports in every bag

Copy of birth certificates

Copy of credit card/ medical card/driving licence

Credit cards separated and not all kept in wallet ( in case wallet gets stolen)


Pepto bismol, immodium – Acute stomach ailments due to airplane food.

Dramamine  for air sickness

Aspirin ( in case of sudden chest pains)


Band Aids, antibacterial cream

Cream for sprains

UTI medication – I may get dehydrated not drink enough water and get a bladder issue.

Eye drops

Ear drops

Benadryl – sudden allergy

After bite – if there are no see ums in flight

Nose mask – in case passenger next to me is having a bad virus or now, a  worse  worry Ebola!

Purell  or travel size Lysol spray – As soon as I am in my seat , I Purell or Lysol arm rests, food trays ,remotes, and any part of the plane that touches my body.

Hydrocortizone – for a sudden unknown travel rash.

Toothpicks – for so many purposes.

Emergen C – for a good immune system and to avoid colds.

Extra underwear in hand luggage.

That’s all …………….


What crazy thing do you do when you travel ?

**google images**







Tiramisu from Zazacook

I am so thrilled to bring you guest blogger Zazacook who works so hard to make, photograph and try out new and exciting food.check her out on


Hi, I am Zazacook, a French expat, food blogger and amateur photographer, wife, mom, shih tzu lover, currently living in New York area.

Addicted to cookbooks and cooking magazines, I love to find easy and delicious recipes.
I really enjoy cooking new recipes and taking pictures before anybody gets to eat.
You can follow my journey on Simple and Delicious.(link above)
Today, I am so excited to share with you my Tiramisu’s recipe.


This Italian dessert is my favorite.  It’s wonderful for a special occasion. I always make it with my daughter.
It’s easy to make and so delicious. It’s an amazing recipe to impress your guests.
Ladyfingers are soaked in the coffee. Mascarpone is sweetened with sugar and vanilla sugar. This cake is a great combination between biscuits and Mascarpone. They are many ways to serve Tiramisu : square dish, rectangle dish. It would also make very nice individual servings in dessert glasses!
Serving : 10 -12

Ingredients :

  • 16 oz (450 g) mascarpone (check best before date)
  • 4 eggs
  • 7 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 envelope vanilla sugar (0.32 oz) ( easily found at any large grocery store, I use Dr.Oetker brand)
  • 17 oz (480 g) ladyfingers
  • 4 cups coffee
  • 3 tablespoons amaretto liquor
  • cocoa powder

Directions :

  1. Make coffee, add amaretto. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix mascarpone, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla sugar.
  3. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Add the egg white in the mixture mascarpone-egg yolk-sugar.
  4. Dip ladyfingers briefly in coffee and put them in a dish (sugar side under).  Spread half the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers. Repeat with remaining ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture.  Cover and chill overnight.
  5. The day after, dust with cocoa powder (not too much) just before serving.

Tiramisu-- Tiramisu-