Life Lately | According to my iPhone – New backyard version

These kind of posts are my favorite! I love to look back and scroll through the memories I capture on my iPhone. I’ve always been given a hard time for constantly having my phone with me to snap pictures, but in the end it pays off.

This Summer we have really been enjoying our backyard. When we first built our house we had no fence and no grass. It was weeds and junk. We didn’t want to get in over our heads financially so we waited…Finally, 3 years later came a fence and another year after that came the pretty yard! Waiting was no fun but the fact we were able to do such a big project without using a credit card was a big step for us!

To show how bad it was, here’s a before picture…which is pretty obvious why we never spent time in the backyard…IMG_2969.jpg

We also built our own pergola, and by we I mean Josh and his buddies. When we looked into buying one at the local stores, the price for the size was just flat out yuck. So we built bigger for cheaper and since we were paying cash, that was priority!
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Now this momma wants some patio furniture but I’m remaining thankful for all that we were able to do this Summer and maybe I’ll get surprised with some for Christmas!

I also got something I’ve been wanting to experiment with for a while, a greenhouse! I didn’t use it much in the heat of the Summer but I’ve been getting it ready for Fall/Winter so I can still grow fresh veggies in the cold seasons. This has become my favorite place to be in the mornings and evenings. Who knew a greenhouse could be so “cozy” and peaceful. It’s my “me” time where I often find myself praying. I just planted broccoli, lettuce, kale, turnips (which I won’t lie…I’ve never tasted…) snow peas, carrots, and a few things that I really can’t remember planting…IMG_7063.JPG

And you can’t forget about this guy…he’s our German Shepherd.
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When we started on our backyard we knew we’d definitely have to have a dog run for this guy. He doesn’t dig and he doesn’t destroy anything, but big dogs naturally ruin the grass. So we gave him 20X50 feet of space to hang out when we aren’t home and can’t keep an eye on him.

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So that’s our life lately (New Backyard Version)

Now we enjoy coffee on the patio in the evenings and have even added a small pool. I’m hoping next year that our budget will allow for a big pool and possibly a tree 🙂

To check in on whether or not I’ll be a successful Fall/Winter greenhouse gardener, follow me on Instagram.

DIY Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte

Clearly, I enjoy coffee (hence the title of my blog…) but I don’t necessarily enjoy paying the price of them at the coffee shops. Well a couple of years ago I bought Josh an espresso machine for Christmas so that we could
a.) make special espresso drinks for our friends when they come over and
b.) save money.
Well, I haven’t been the best at using it to save money; however I’ve made it a goal this Fall/Winter to make all my drinks from home.

One of my favorite drinks lately has been the iced cinnamon dolce latte from Starbucks. I decided to figure out how to make this from home and to be honest, I enjoy mine better because I make it with espresso and can actually taste the coffee in the drink.

To make the syrup, all you need to do is bring the following ingredients to a boil:
1 cup of brown sugar, 1 cup of water, and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon.

Once it starts boiling turn the heat down and let it simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat and there’s your syrup!

Then, head over to the espresso machine and begin pressing 2 shots of espresso.
While that’s going on, get your tall cup and add some ice and fill 3/4 of it with milk. Add two tablespoons of your syrup to your two shots of espresso and mix it in with the iced milk. Stir it up, add some whip, top with cinnamon and BOOM – you have your homemade iced C.D.L.

** I put my syrup in a container and set it in the fridge to last all week. Stir the syrup each time before use as it settles a bit.

** Also, if you don’t have an espresso machine just use really strong coffee 🙂