Suspended Coffee ~ Let’s Do It!

BonniebygateThe idea, begun in Naples, Italy, and called “Suspended Coffee” is where  a customer pays for a coffee and “banks” it for someone less fortunate who could really use a jolt of caffeine and good will. This idea has become an international sensation with coffee shops in Europe and North America participating in the movement.

What a great idea! I have not seen it in any coffee shops that I’ve visited, but I sure hope I do one day. I’d happily buy a coffee for someone in need. Come on BC let’s do this. After doing some googling, I found a Facebook page for Suspended Coffee Vancouver, so there is some effort to get it going here. Hamilton, Ontario has the program set up in the coffee shop, Homegrown Hamilton. How about stepping up Starbucks? Tim Hortons? Come on, let’s do it!

Why not take it one step further and do this with food? When you buy a sandwich why not “bank” one for someone less fortunate? It is being done in Taiwan already. A noodle shop in New Taipei has served noodles to people in need for free in honour of the Italian tradition of “caffe sospeso,” or suspended coffee. According to the Apple Daily, Yen Lin-ying, who has run the shop in a market in Banqiao District for 32 years, started asking customers in late March whether they would pay for noodles to give away to others after her son told her about the suspended coffee movement he saw on Facebook. The response was surprisingly positive, she said.

In two weeks, customers have paid for more than 40 suspended bowls of noodles. Among those she has given food to are a single mother and her child who shared a bowl of noodles and an unemployed man who ordered the noodles to go so he could give them to his elderly mother at home.




Hello Handsome…

I wrote a post last week called Exploring All Your Senses. I mentioned that sometimes we meet or know people who see us for who we truly are and it’s those individuals who make us strive to be better people. They keep us in check. They are not afraid to call us on things we say or do.

The sun came out this morning almost blinding me as I went through the Tim Hortons drive though to grab a java. I soaked up each ray with a ginormous smile on my face and even said out loud “Hello Sunshine” it felt like spring was in the air. The cashier had an extra big smile when I arrived, saying “your coffee was bought by the gentleman before you…and he was very handsome!” I giggled and said “really?” in my sweetest voice. (I was saying really to the coffee being bought not that he was handsome) I didn’t see him but that’s how she described him! Was it the kind gesture that made him handsome or was it simply his appearance that appealed to the cashier?

Which leads me to the real topic of my post…

So, I apparently describe men I meet more often than not as handsome. (my mind instantly sticks up for me justifying with…”and that’s wrong…why?”) I am only writing about this because it has been brought to my attention on more than one occasion. My initial reaction when it was first pointed out was (I won’t mention her name but she’s known me my entire life) “Well I’m just not going to tell you when I meet someone…handsome” and then the next time by two others (both handsome by the way) I said annoyed in denial “I do NOT say every guy I meet is handsome!” Which lead to a debate…that I sadly lost because of a technicality. I do in-fact describe men as handsome more often than not. One ‘other’ person added that I say “he was actually a really nice guy” but we’ll leave him out of it (he too is handsome!) 😉 HA! How lucky am I to meet so many really nice guys who so happen to be handsome! I know Bonnie is giggling with me right now!

When I describe a man as handsome I think they are but for more than their exterior. You don’t get described as handsome by me just because of how you look. I describe those guys as ‘hot’ (lol) Handsome is much deeper than hot.

I see the eyes first, then smile, then neck, and shoulders, and hands…okay, okay sorry! It’s the warmth that comes from behind a mans eyes that attracts me to him. Our conversation is what makes me want to listen and look longer, if he can make me laugh, bonus! A kind warm open heart is what will get me in the end, not handsome! Throw in intellect and I jump in with wide eyed enthusiasm! That is what makes a man handsome to me. It would have been the kind gesture that made the man who bought my coffee handsome to me. I will admit that when I am with my girlfriends feeling feisty we s-o-m-e-t-i-m-e-s just sit and appreciate the outer shell of men as they stream through the coffee shop because that’s just fun!

So, it may appear to some that I use the word ‘handsome‘ far too often and perhaps I do need to be more specific when describing the really nice men I meet. They are manly, kind, helpful, sarcastic, loving, cute, pleasing, generous, interesting, tempting, irresistibly sexy, alluring, tough, serious, intriguing, talented, intellectually stimulating, hilarious, confident…I could keep going but I am sure you get the point. I may describe men as being handsome but only because it’s a quick way of saying they made me look a little deeper than their surface because of something unique they showed me about who they are.

The man in both the photos I used has been my living example of what handsome truly is. He is my measuring stick, he is my Dad and I think he is the most handsome man EVER to have walked the earth…inside and out! xo (the beautiful woman is my Mom :))

Handsome is as handsome does…Character and behaviour are more important than appearance ~ proverb


Snap Out Of It!

Some days you wake up on the wrong side of the bed.  Something just feels off.  You get out of bed and stub your toe.  You sit down on the toilet and discover you are out of paper.  You’re not sure what sparks all of this negativity but you know it when it’s there.  The air feels heavy around you and even the birds singing outside your window sound more annoying than sweet.  When your husband affectionately smacks your butt as you pass you have to fight the temptation to take a swing at his chin with your fist.  Oh-oh.  Not a great way to start the day.

Maybe I just need to eat something, you think, so you go to the fridge and discover you are out of _______.  Of course you are.  As you prepare breakfast anyway, you are thinking about how it’s always you that prepares breakfast and cleans up after.  And lunch…and dinner, come to think of it. Now you are feeling the venom in your veins heat up.  It’s usually about this time that the love of your life suggests you finish doing that task you started last week and you stop and stare at them. Awe struck.  Really?  Do you think I need to be told by you that I still need to get ______ done?, you think, but you find their bad timing so incredulous that instead you just glare and shoot death daggers out of your eyes at them.

Well this was the kind of day I was having recently. Ok, exactly this day.  My husband and I had to travel to another town to make a delivery.  Before heading back we decided to stop at Tim Horton’s to grab some lunch and caffeine for the ride home.  We ordered three chicken snackers, one with caesar dressing and two with ranch. When we got to the pick up window there were only two chicken snackers in the bag…and no napkins.  My husband politely asked for the missing snacker while I huffed at the girl that we also needed napkins. Hello? How hard is it to include a couple of napkins in the bag?  Pht! Three hot snackers in hand, we were off.  But as we drove away I realized they weren’t marked.  So which one was the caesar snacker? I had to unroll them all only to discover that the caesar dressing and the ranch dressing look identical and making matters worse some pieces of the chicken were rolling off the wrap and disappearing between the seats in the car.  “Aargh! Oh for @$#% sake! This is ridiculous! It wasn’t a difficult order, why can’t they get it right?!” I yelled.  Well I had to yell to be heard because the cars air conditioning had stopped working and it was thirty five degrees out and we needed all the windows down and my hair was whipping my face and getting tangled up with my tongue.  And then it hit me…

I suddenly had an image of Somalian parents walking hundreds of miles in the African heat to try and find food for their starving, dying children.  They would have been so grateful for this car with or without air conditioning.  And the small snackers would be a glorious feast for them.  This realization was a well needed slap in the face.  I immediately snapped out of my mood and felt an overwhelming wave of gratitude wash over me.  Sometimes it is necessary to look at the contrast of your life to another life to remember what is important and what is trivial.  It was also a great reminder that it’s just that easy to change your thoughts and thereby change your mood and thereby change your experience.  From that moment on I enjoyed every aspect of my day.  The scenery was spectacular and I was grateful for it.  I reached over and kissed my husbands cheek which made him flinch at first until he saw that my face had softened and he knew I didn’t want to hurt him anymore.

What is happening in Somalia is heart breaking.  I grabbed this from CBC’s web site.

The famine in East Africa has killed tens of thousands, and more people are dying every day.

A devastating drought across the region, plus war, neglect and spiraling prices have all contributed to what is now the worst hunger emergency in a generation.

In some areas of Somalia more than half the children are severely malnourished – and one-in-three could die.

You Can Help

Donations to registered Canadian charities will help to provide food, clean water, shelter and health services that will save lives.

For every dollar Canadians contribute to a registered Canadian charity responding to the East Africa drought, the Government of Canada will set aside one dollar for the East Africa Drought Relief Fund. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) will allocate these funds to established Canadian and international humanitarian organizations for humanitarian assistance efforts that benefit the people most affected by the drought. The government will match eligible donations made from July 6 until September 16 2011. If you would like more information about the Fund, donating and fund raising criteria please visit East Africa Drought Relief Fund

For a complete list of experienced humanitarian organizations working in the region visit


Svaha Spirit Series ~ The Spirit of Giving

Now would be a good time to look around your house and see how much you have received over the last couple of days. It’s embarrassing really, that we receive so much, and give so little. I was very touched by this video when I saw it posted on Facebook. I give in many different ways, from lending to empower an entrepreneur in a developing country through Kiva to supporting We Give a Damn by purchasing a I Give a Damn T-Shirt to spread the message about Bullying. This year my family bought Tim Horton gift cards to hand out to the less fortunate in our community, providing a warm meal. I think it is so important to help those in need when you can, and especially important to get your children involved. The Spirit of Christmas is the Spirit of Giving. Narayanan Krishnan is someone who completely understands this spirit!