Free cookies

Please don’t buy a cookie for the cute little girl who is hanging around my counter.

What you see is a cute little girl all by herself who gets only a free ice water. What you don’t see is that she will come back every day for at least two weeks and hang around the counter some more, hoping for more free cookies. She is not hungry- she comes here frequently and buys her own cookies (or fruit salad) with her own money. A free cookie will not help her in the least.

If you want to help this little girl (or the person you perceive her to be), donate books to her pitiful city public school library. Donate to the food pantry. Give your children’s old coats to a coat drive. Help the local the homeless women and children’s shelter. Volunteer your time at the Boys and Girls club. Yeah, those things are a lot harder than buying a cookie for a cute little girl, but they’re also a lot more helpful.

Do you really want her to grow up thinking that if she’s just cute enough and sad enough and helpless enough, strangers will buy her cookies?

For your New Year’s resolution

Here’s how to cut calories/money at the coffee shop.

The best way to cut calories (and cost!) on a latte is to order (1) a size down from what you usually get and (2) skim milk. Just doing that will save way over 100 calories. Ordering sugar-free will take off about another 100 (but in my mind it isn’t worth it). (Also, I can taste the difference between 2% and skim, but most people can’t.) A smaller size is also about 50 cents cheaper. Not a huge difference, but big enough!

If you can, though, coffee (even with sugar and whole milk) is waaaaay cheaper and has waaaay fewer calories. It will seriously save you about 250-300 calories. And the cost of coffee is about 1/2 the cost of lattes.

What I like to do: Order a flavored coffee. That way I still get my “treat” (and yes, coffee is still a treat for me) but it’s so much cheaper and lighter.

Lastly, don’t get anything baked. Just don’t. Our muffins are 400+ calories, and they’re not even huge muffins. Our scones are 500+ calories. Pound cake is 300+. Just don’t do it. Make your own stuff at home.


Lock Pick 2000

Want to know how to impress a table full of well-dressed business people?

Not by remembering their usual order- Medium skim vanilla latte at 130 degrees, small coffee, and bottle of water. That earns me an approving smile but no chatter.

Unlock the bathroom door with an old gift card labeled “Lock-Pick 2000,” however, and they are eating out of palm of my hand.

Sorry to ruin your Friday…

Fact: The fastest way to make a barista dislike you is by ordering a blended (or “frozen”) drink. For exponential dislike, multiply your order. For unparalleled dislike, order them at 6 AM.

Here’s some information that might make it easier for you to order blended drinks less frequently:

Our frozen, blended mocha has 525 calories and 90% of your daily saturated fat.

Get it with skim milk and no whipped cream, and it has 500 calories and 80% of your daily saturated fat.

That’s right, folks, you save a grand total of 25 calories and 2 grams of saturated fat.

By contrast, the same size hot (or iced) mocha with whipped cream has 355 calories and 21% of your daily saturated fat. Not a bad trade.

Bouncing off the Romper Room walls

Teen girl walks in with a four-year-old girl. 

Teen: How much is a small coffee?

Me: $1.66

Teen: (Digs in purse. Stops. Looks at me.) Do you think it would be a good idea for her? (points at little girl)

Me: No. She probably won’t like it…

Teen: Oh, she likes it. My grandma gives it to her.

Me: Well are you baby sitting today?

Teen: Yeah.

Me: Then you don’t want to give her coffee.