DIY: Pumpkin Spice Latte-licious

I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw this. I admit, I am that girl. Unashamedly loving everything about fall and consuming as many pumpkin spice lattes as I possibly can every time this season rolls around.image

As much this season warrants jokes from all sides, I will embrace them wholeheartedly. Because I LOVE FALL. AND I LOVE PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES.

So, because I love them so much, I went on a search to find a delicious homemade recipe for them because I love you Starbucks, but I cannot afford your $3.95-$4.95 price tag for one of these babies all the time. I found a lovely little recipe from Heather at Farmgirl Gourmet. I’ve made this twice now, the second time adjusting it to my personal preferences. Also, I believe it is dairy free! My dairy-free friends need to verify that, because I know dairy is a sneaky little thing finding its way in ingredients that you’d otherwise never know it existed in.

What you’ll need:

2 cups milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk to make it dairy-free)
4 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract (I used pure Mexican vanilla–makes all the difference!)
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup strong coffee or espresso
canned whipped cream (exclude this if making dairy-free)

*and a blender, no fancy machine needed!

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Add the milk, sugar, pumpkin puree, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice into small pan over medium-high heat, stirring continually, until it’s almost boiling. You don’t want to burn the milk, but you want to make sure its good and hot.

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Remove milk mixture from heat and pour it in your blender. Put on lid tightly. Blend on high for about 2 minutes until the milk begins to froth.

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Divide the milk mixture between two LARGE mugs, then add your strong coffee, pouring it down the side into the mug so the froth stays on top. *Be careful to not add too much coffee. I was making mine with about half coffee/half milk mixture, and it tasted more like coffee with creamer and less like a pumpkin spice latte. Of course, play around with it and figure out your ratios according to your liking!

For dairy-free, you can add a pinch of pumpkin pie spice to the top and you’re finished! But for a truly decadent treat, add a spray of canned whipped cream on the top and sprinkle some spice for a truly decorative, homemade, delicious pumpkin spice latte.

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Enjoy! Have some variations or other ideas? Add them in the comments!

Happy Fall, Ya’ll.

Even If

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This morning I was so encouraged by the new mercy I received from the Lord. You know how sometimes He just seems to grab your attention in a new way that will stick with you forever? Well that was me this morning. On my way into work I was just spending some time praying with God and felt like He was probing me with the question, “Will you still praise me even if ____________?” Honestly, you could fill in that blank with anything. Even if your life doesn’t look like how YOU plan it to look? Even if you feel stuck? Even if you receive bad news from a family or friend? Even if you don’t understand? Even if it doesn’t look like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel?

It’s a question we all have to ask ourselves at some point or another. But I believe that in the asking, we are able to get real honest, and then ask the Lord to help us in our unbelief; to be faithful when we are not; to give us faith in the midst of doubt. And He will. His mercies are new every morning. And just like Psalm 5:12 says, “…but it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield.”

When we take refuge in God, He shelters us with His lovingkindness. We can sing for joy at the work of His hands. We can praise him “Even if.”

Football Season is Upon Us!

As the world knows, football season is finally here! And in the south, that means college football dominates our TV’s on Saturdays. Fall is my favorite season of them all…and you know it’s arrived once Starbucks starts carrying pumpkin spiced lattes and your schedule now revolves around college game day. I don’t hate it.

Unfortunately, Matt and I are devoted to two different teams. Alabama (#1, obviously, the best, my namesake, and my heritage) and Florida (they’re okay, I guess 🙂 ) At least we’re in different divisions and we only play each other every 3-4 years, but we still enjoy a good trash-talk now and then. The truth is we cheer for each other’s teams UNLESS they’re playing each other, and then, all bets are off. Full fledged rivalry goes down at the Renney house.

So since we finally have a house of our own this football season, it was time for a little……..team spirit.

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I have one FINE looking husband, ya’ll. No shame.

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I thought it was perfect just like that. He didn’t seem to agree.

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But look at that look of pure joy on his face. I just can’t deny him that.

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There’s literally no denying which house is ours…As soon as you turn on the street, BAM!

Both of our teams won their opening games (even though Alabama looked pathetic compared to what they’re capable of) and we had a lot of fun welcoming college football season back again.

Three-peat anyone?? ROLL TIDE 🙂