DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte.

It's that time of year again to put on cute boots, long socks and sip a PSL.
Thank you Starbucks for your "Fall in a cup" as I like to call it!

Ok so I may be the most impatient person that I know. I don't like surprises, waiting, or preparation in general. I see something that I want to make/craft/cook and I will cut corners and cut and add ingredients to make is happen as soon as possible! This was no exception! I found the original recipe HERE at 20something Cupcakes and knew I had to try it.

But I didn't have pumpkin pie spice...or regular coffee...or a crock pot (it's at a friends house)
So I improvised! I am sure her version is also way good, and I will definitely be trying it when I have my crock pot back, but I was VERY happy about the way mine turned out! Hope you like it!

DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte.

3 cups milk
4 (or more!) Tbls canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar (I used half vanilla sugar)
2 1/2 cups strong brewed coffee
2 tsp vanilla extract
Finely grated nutmeg (use your discretion!)
Cinnamon (up to you!)
All-spice (however much you want!)
Or you can just use pumpkin pie spice!


Add all your ingredients to a large pot, except the coffee (and whip cream of course!!) and stir until sugar and pumpkin puree has been dissolved.

 I used the Libby's brand canned pumpkin, not sure I have ever used another kind! This works well for me!

Brew coffee and add to pot with other ingredietns. I used Hazelnut coffee cause that was all I had, like I said I'm impatient...and it still turned out great!

Now heat latte on low, stirring continually. Don't let it sit or it will burn the milk, which is disgusting!


Add some whipped cream on top, or some more of your nutmeg or cinnamon (or both!)

I had some the night of and for the last 2 mornings in a row, and honestly it has been better and richer each time!

Let me know how yours turns out!


Happy Fall!

Here are a few Fall Favorites to get you in the Pumpkin Spice Latte, tights-wearing, leaf changing season!

I love every season equally. I never dread the changing of the seasons but embrace them because they are all so unique and special to me! I know we are a few days shy of the OFFICIAL Fall beginning, but I don't care.

I love me some AUTUMN!

Who doesn't love Michelle Williams - and boots and tights.

Why yes I would love to stay inside, listen to the rain and sip tea all day long.

I don't know her personally but I have a feeling if we met, we would have a lot of things in common. 
Love her blog!

Happy Fall! Stay tuned for some lovely Fall DIYs!

I may even have to try one of Danielle's yarn wreaths!


Portland in Pictures.

The Mr. and I decided to kick it a little closer to home for our Honeymoon and spend most of our money on a bangin' hotel. Total worth it. Totally recommend it! And hey...now his parents are taking us to Cabo so we didn't really miss out on the exotic (is Cabo exotic?! haha) beach aspect. 

We instantly fell in love with The City of Roses and I kid you not we looked at rentals and jobs there while on our honeymoon! But fret not we are not packing up and moving anytime soon, we just have many plans to go back there for vacations and get-a-ways!

Our honeymoon in Instagram.

The Nines - Portland.

Every night our hotel served free gourmet dessert. We never skipped free dessert - ever.

This is how pretty much every morning started at Public Domain Coffee

Many afternoons were lazily spend browsing in Powell's bookstore - the largest in North America.

Adorable home "how-to" book from homemade wine and brewing to how to raise chickens and goats.

Little Big Burger

A trip to the Chinese Tea Garden in China Town.

Voodoo Doughnuts of course.

We would just walk around the city until we found a shop or coffee place or restaurant we wanted to try. We spent the better part of an afternoon browsing Anthropologie and Sur La Table across the street.

Amazing pour-over coffee again at Public Domain

Is it normal to be so in love with paper?


I love this man to the moon and back and can't wait for the rest of our married adventures!

Please do me a big favor and plan a trip to Portland...It is amazing and relaxing and just completely wonderful!

A lot of people ask " how was the honeymoon?!" and I think the best way to respond would be:
It was like the best Saturday morning stretched out over an entire week.

Waking up late, getting coffee, walking around in the city, staying up late, eating dinner our, getting cockatial.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?


How to eat well on a budget.

As I have mentioned (like a million times...) before Greg and I am on a pretty tight budget these days.

It has made our newly-wedness pretty cool though! We have dinner together almost every night, we are definitely wasting less and enjoying more creative meals. I try to use up every last veggie and pasta sauce  remnant in our fridge before I even think of going grocery shopping. 

I am usually surprised at the "stone soup" I come up with, after thinking for an hour "There is nothing in the cupboards!!"

I try to come at it systematically. I will sit down my cookbook and puruse the pages (it's torture really...haha) and think about all the things I wish we could make...and then settle on the practical and creative dishes instead. I try to make "American" food only about 1-2 nights a week and make ethnic or fusion food the other nights. This spices things up a bit without breaking the bank, as Asian and Indian/Pakistani markets usually have cheap specialty foods.

My personal fav go to cookbook is The Joy of Cooking. I know it is old school but it seriously has EVERY kind of food imaginable. 

Some things I have learned.

Eating on a budget does not mean you have to eat unhealthy. I know those snack foods and processed meats and cheeses are more expensive than the organic natural ones, but shop around! 

*Go to your local farmer's market and shop the smaller veggie and fruit stands, they usually have lower prices. Also there are a lot of farms around Sonoma County that have veggies for sale that are cheaper than in the grocery store. You can even go to some local farms and pick your own veggies for super cheap! A little manual labor never killed anyone. ; )

*Spend time finding food that are rich in nutrients and fiber that will fill you up more than calorie and fat packed snacks. While it will initially seem more expensive it will fill out up more and be an actual meal where as you could be spending twice as much on "cheap snacks" that in actuality you are eating BETWEEN meals anyway!

My sideways shopping list.

*Plan meals ahead of time and don't change your mind in the middle of the grocery store. This means making a list and NOT straying from it at the store. Go in there with a determination of steel and don't add this and that last minute, because most likely it will be a whim purchase will sit in the cupboard or rot in the fridge and never get used.

*Buy things that can be used for multiple meals. For example, meat can be expensive, but buying a slightly larger cut of meat that can be used for multiple meals will be cheaper than buying individual smaller (and cheaper) cuts of meat. Plan two (or 3 or 4...) completely different meals with the same kind of meat and it will be creative, and cost effective.

for example: Chicken enchiladas and Chicken Curry. 2 different continents 1 kind of meat. Boom. Roasted.

*There are a million and one ways to dress up white rice and plain Quinoa. Fact. Utilize spices that are in your cupboard already to dress up rice, which is very cheap to buy. Again, use it multiple times a week. One night it is dressed up with butter and ground pepper, another night it is cooked in tomato sauce for a mexican meals, cook it in a little vegetable oil and steam all those rando veggies you have lurching in your fridge and bam you have fried rice!

*Do NOT be fooled by big box stores! While Costco is AMAZING...know what you are getting and if you are really getting a discount. Crappy Coscto paper towels are not cheaper than crappy Target paper towels. But a pack of Brawny paper towels are definitely cheaper at Costco, so know if you just need to get as cheap as possible or if you want cheaper name brands.
Also determine the need for bigger quantities by the size of your family (duh...right?). The big crates of perishables are not practical for a family of two, but loading up on canned foods and household items can ultimately save us money. 

Hope this helps! Keep on keepin' on sisters! And budget the heck out of that grocery list...it's kind of fun...no?


Hitched 08.06.11

I figured it was time to share some pictures of our big day! I am trying to submit these pictures to a couple different wedding blogs...so wish me luck! 

Vintage book table displays

Paddle fan programs designed by my Hubby.

Vintage book "ring pillow"

Wedding shoes. 

Aisle decorations

Billy Button Boutonnieres

The dress!

My adorable nervous groom

The Horton and Van Hooser men.

The men.

Reception decor

The yellow candy bar

The gift and card table

Mr. & Mrs.

Our dessert table and candy bar

The vintage lace cake, designed by me!
Inspiration photo: HERE
sewing pattern Mr. & Mrs. bird cake toppers made by me.

Me and my groom.

What a wonderful day! Sigh.

Thank you for looking, hopefully you didn't fall asleep! I know other people's weddings are as fun as your own, but thank you for humoring me and getting all the way to the end of this post!

I have a feeling I am going to be one of the grandma's with a "brag book" I can just tell.


Dresser: Before and After

Greg came into this marriage with very little in the way of furniture. Me of course being the crazy wife I am re-painted the only piece of furniture he brought.

Men never win do they?

Here is the old dresser...I forgot to take a picture of it with drawers IN. By the time I remembered they were already painted and sitting out in the sun to dry. Oops!

This dresser is actually in really great shape, and was used by Greg's mom 26 years ago when Greg was just a baby (see diaper changing bumper on top of dresser) so it is a quality vintage piece.

The problem is it had outdated drawer pulls, and Child Greg had put stickers all over it with ghosts on them that said "boo!"
While cute, not suitable for our new newlywed bedroom. There is nothing sexy about ghost stickers.

Anyway my parents had a 1/2 gallon of paint left over from painting their living room in a gorgeous shade of eggshell/off-white and I bought a couple packs of $5.99 drawer pulls at Target.

Here she is now! And for a measly $12 I brought her into the 21st century without compromising any of the original design or vintage quality.

It will also be helpful when we have a little Hortling of our own and we need somewhere to change them. : ) And the can put their own stickers all over it and the cycle continues.


I need your opinion!

I am currently in the market (the FREE or CHEAP) market for a new blog design. I found this one over at The Cutest Blog on the Block, and I like it ok... I really want something a little more personalized and me. Greg IS a graphic designer so I am hoping to get him on board for this project...but we shall see what his schedule is like. 

He is working extra hard to put me through school so I don't have to work, so I won't beg to much...

In other news...


Greg's parents just booked us a New Years Eve cruise to Cabo and PuertoVallarta!
2012 can't get here fast enough.

What's on the menu...Saturday Morning Breakfast!

I was going to post this yesterday morning, but eggs and pancakes seems a little to irreverent for the 10th anniversary of September 11th. 

Being a newlywed has made meals so much more fun (I guess that is why they say you gain weight after you get married!) I finally have not only someone to cook for,but someone to enjoy my meals with!

And who could resist this adorable mug in the morning? Heavy metal t-shirt, messy bed head and sleepy eyes.
Yep you guess it that is my knight in shining armor. 


1cup bisquick
1 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking powder
grated nutmeg
Enough milk to give a "pancake batter" consistency. Not too runny, but shouldn't stick to the spoon when trying to put it into the frying pan.

Don't forget the Mrs. Buttersworth -Greg's favorite.
I prefer Trader Joe's Honey Apple Butter - swoon!

Fried egg 
Toasted leftover bread
Sliced nectarines

A nice hot cup of Jo...thank you Crate & Barrel for your irresistible labeled dishware.

Another Crate & Barrel love.