Catch the Up Market Fresh Bus Tour! {Giveaway!}

Y’all remember me blogging about the new Walgreens Flagship Store in San Francisco a while back, right?! Did you know they also have an Up Market Fresh Bus? I didn’t, until they contacted me & told me all about it- they even invited me to check it out in San Francisco this past weekend. Curiosity got the best of me & I had to check it out. photo-122 Isn’t she a beauty?! This custom made, 40ft bus is part of Walgreens mobile tasting tour, the “Up Market: Fresh” Experience. The bus visits select locations and special events nation wide. The bus is visiting the San Francisco Bay Area for the month of May. The Fresh Bus is giving out samples of Walgreens Fresh new offerings to celebrate the grand opening of the Walgreens Flagship store & its Fresh stores throughout the Bay Area.The Fresh Up Market is Walgreens approach to healthy, convenient & high-quality food offerings. If you’d like to learn more about Walgreens Up Market, the Fresh Bus is the place to be! photo-113 What can you expect to find on the bus? I’m glad you asked!

The “Up Market:  Fresh” bus will be serving free samples of a variety of items to celebrate the fresh food offerings available at the new flagship store. Free tastings include:

  • Juices  — Samples of nutritious, fresh-made juices made from a combination of fresh fruits and vegetables.“Painted Lady Punch” is a featured juice and is a blend of apples, strawberries, lemon and ginger. “Cable Car Carrot” is also a featured juice and is a blend of carrots, oranges and pineapple.
  • Smoothie — The featured smoothie will be the “Ocean Beach Peach,” which is blended fresh from peaches, bananas, pineapple and coconut water.
  • Frozen Yogurt  Two premium, low-fat frozen yogurts will be sampled alongside a selection of toppings.
  • Café – Visitors can receive free samples of a selection of coffees brewed using the same fresh roasts and barista quality techniques showcased at Walgreens.

photo-114 You know I’m all about the Smoothies, so that’s the first thing I had! photo-120

The bus is fully equipped with everything it needs to whip up smoothies & other tasty treats… Fro-Yo anyone? photo-116 photo-117 photo-115

There was even some action going on outside the bus. Walgreens had a few tents set up, passing out more samples of their healthy items. Everything from sunscreen to granola!photo-121

True to form, everyone on the bus was friendly and eager to help out. They were happy to discuss the Up Market Fresh items available on the bus & inside Walgreens. You don’t want to miss this bus! I wonder if Walgreens will let me have one of my own?! A girl can dream!

Want to know where the Fresh Bus will be stopping next? You can follow them on twitter at UpMarketFresh. Here’s the schedule for the rest of this week:

Walgreens, 1333 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612
  • Wednesday, May 29 – Noon – 4 p.m.
 Walgreens, 2801 Adeline St., Berkeley, CA 94703
  • Thursday, May 30 – 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Walgreens, 5055 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, CA 94609
  • Friday, May 31 – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Who’s ready for a GIVEAWAY?  (Click on the blue “Rafflecopter Giveaway” icon below to be taken to the entry form!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was provided with a GC in exchange for this post, no other compensation was given. All opinions are mine. Don’t miss the Fresh Bus when it hits your town! Thank you to Walgreens for hosting this Giveaway for my readers! Be Well!


Walgreens San Francisco “Flagship” Store Grand Opening, A Traveler’s Dream! #SFWAG

Growing up, my family always went to our neighborhood Walgreens for all of our over-the-counter and prescription meds. Walgreens was conveniently located near our home and we trusted them, after all, they are the nation’s largest drugstore chain. My mom knew that whatever she needed, she could find it at Walgreens. That hasn’t changed, but boy, so many other things about Walgreens certainly have! If you haven’t been inside a Walgreens lately,  you’re going to love this post. The new Flagship Walgreens just opened up in San Francisco, at the corner of Powell & O’Farrell. When Collective Bias invited me to tour the new Walgreens, I had no idea what was in store for me. The moment I walked through the doors, I thought to myself, “This ain’t my Mama’s Walgreens!”SONY DSC SONY DSCSONY DSC This Walgreens is big and bright, and did I mention Big?! I’m talking 18,000 sf and 2 stories tall! It is unlike any other Walgreens I have ever been to. There are 15 cash registers and 90 employees, we’re talking huge here! It reminded me more of a department store, than my friendly, neighborhood Walgreens. We began our tour upstairs.SONY DSC First stop, was the LOOK Boutique beauty department, and it is fabulous! It features tons of prestige and niche cosmetic, skincare, and hair care brands that you don’t normally find in drugstores. For example, you can find the U.K.’s number one skincare line, “No 7,” created by Boots, here at Walgreens. No 7 is known for their anti-aging beauty serums. (I’ll take 2 of everything, please!) The specially-trained beauty advisors can help you choose just the right product for your skin type. They’ll even touch-up your make-up for you! If your brows are looking a little rough, just head on over to the Ramy Eyebrow Bar to get some expert brow shaping and grooming services! How fantastic is that? Getting your brows done at Walgreens… I told you this wasn’t your Mama’s Walgreens! SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC Walgreens main purpose is to help people get, stay & live well… so it made perfect sense that we toured the Pharmacy next. The pharmacy is open 8:00am-8:00pm Monday through Friday, 9:00am-6:00pm on Saturday, & 9:00am-5:00pm on Sundays. Nimesh Jhaveri-Executive Director of Pharmacy Operations, was on hand to give us the grand tour. He explained to us how the role of the pharmacist is changing & evolving. Walgreens wants to be your one-stop healthcare shop. It makes perfect sense, Walgreens’ are everywhere, you can find one on virtually every corner. Why not utilize them to the fullest extent? Vaccines, sports physicals, urgent care- it’s all available at Walgreens. They even  do diabetes screenings and can check your cholesterol levels! Not everyone has access to a nearby doctor, but we all have access to a nearby Walgreens, right?!

As someone who loves to travel, I’m lovin’ this new Flagship Walgreens! Imagine being a tourist here in San Francisco and getting sick. You don’t know where the nearest doctor is, or urgent care… but you do know where the nearest Walgreens is, at the corner of Powell & O’Farrell! (They have suitcases too!) Walgreens is working hard to be your first choice for health & daily living. Once you’ve taken care of all your health and beauty needs, you might be a little hungry. Walgreens has that covered too! SONY DSCSONY DSC Your eyes are not deceiving you, that is a smoothie bar. Smoothies are available at the new Walgreens in San Francisco, along with a juice bar. But that’s not all. In keeping with their mission to keep you well, Walgreens also offers hundreds of fresh food items. Produce and high-quality, on-the-go meal options such as wraps, sushi, salads and sandwiches are made fresh daily. SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC When I tell you this Walgreens is like no other I have ever been to, I truly mean it! You can purchase Fro-Yo here… awesome! You pay by the cup size, not by weight… even better! There’s a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine dispensing 130 varieties of Coca-Cola fountain drinks. (I’d never even seen one until I toured this Walgreens!) The Upmarket Cafe’ offers a barista preparing fresh brewed premium coffee & espressos. Got a sweet tooth? You’ll love the freshly baked pastries and other goodies the Upmarket Cafe’ has to offer. SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC And then there was this! The promised land for chocoholics! A replica of Ghirardelli Square. It has one of the largest (and yummiest!) selections of Ghirardelli premium chocolates and gift selections in the San Francisco area. SONY DSCI could go on & on about this new Flagship Walgreens. It’s the first of its kind here in Northern California and it promises to bring customers a unique shopping experience. This store has it all! With offerings like fresh food, an enhanced beauty department and unique pharmacy- this is My Walgreens! Next time you are in San Francisco, be sure to drop by and check it out for yourself, and don’t forget to try the Vanilla Fro-Yo, it’s delicious!

Y’all know I love to take photos, and I have many more to share with you. You can see them all all on my #SFWAG Google+ Album.

For more Walgreens info, here’s their website. You can follow them on Twitter and FB too! Be well!

**I was invited to the opening of the Walgreens store opening by Collective Bias®.  I was compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias ™ and Walgreens #CBias #SocialFabric  All Opinions are my own.**

My Thai Kitchen BBQ House Party & Recipe for General Tso’s Chicken Sliders with Crunchy Slaw!

Last weekend I had my Thai Kitchen BBQ House Party! I am a member of House Party. ( House Party hosts many different parties every month, with name brand products. You apply to host a party & if chosen, House Party will send you a box of goodies to get your party started. As you can see, my box was filled to the top with everything I needed to create some delicious meals! (Well, almost everything, I did have to purchase the meat!)


This was the third House Party I have hosted. The first one was a DiGiorno Pizza Party, I was mailed coupons for free pizzas and all I had to do was go out and get them. My guests enjoyed trying out all the different varieties DiGiorno has to offer. The second House Party I hosted was for Oscar Meyer Carving Board lunch meats. Again, I was sent coupons for free lunch meats, I went to the store and got them. House Party also sent me several full-size Kraft flavored mayos…which were a total hit with my guests. We made sandwiches and had a great time. The carving board lunch meat is much thicker than regular lunch meat.

While I enjoyed hosting the first two parties, there was no real cooking involved…anyone can throw a pizza in the oven or make a sandwich! This House Party was different! I was actually able to cook for my Thai Kitchen BBQ House Party! Woo-Hoo! And cook I did! I made three different dishes, General Tso’s Chicken Sliders with Crunchy Slaw, Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce & Ginger Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps.

  <— filling for lettuce wraps

  <— shredded chicken for the sliders

 <— chicken satay ready for grill

The dishes were all very easy to prepare, the Chicken Satay does need to be refrigerated one hour prior to placing it on the grill…no biggie! Everything else required very little prep time. I was really impressed with the final products! All three dishes tasted very authentic, which is extremely important to me as a cook. I love Lettuce Wraps & I am thrilled that I can now make my own! The Sliders were so tasty…I’m not one for adding cole slaw to my sandwiches-but the slaw made these sliders stand out! And the Chicken Satay & Peanut Sauce were on point! Of course, we also had some fried rice, chow mein, egg rolls, spring rolls, cake pops, cheesecake & smoothies! If you are gonna have a House Party, you gotta do it right! 😉

One of the party guests brought her mom, who just so happens to be visiting from Thailand! She speaks very few English words, but did manage to say “Yum, Yum!” while eating her food! I thought that was the best compliment I could get! Here she is with her plate:

  <— Yum! Yum!

Thanks to House Party for choosing me to host this Thai Kitchen BBQ Party! It is my favorite House Party to date!

At the request of one of my readers, I am sharing the recipe for General Tso’s Chicken Sliders with Crunchy Slaw, you’ll love it!

Until next time, keep on cookin’ ,

The Cookin’ Mama 😀