Mocha Java Latte Love {make your own mocha recipe}

Make Your Own Mocha Syrup

It’s no secret around here that I love coffee.

Like, a LOT.

And I adore a good iced mocha. But I don’t so much adore the cost when getting one at the oh-so-convenient drive-thru around the corner….

I’ve attempted to make my own here and there over the years and never could get it quite like I liked it.

Then, one day I decided to try it again and was determined to get it right this time! So, I thought I’d share my discovery with you…

Now, there is something you should know about me. I don’t like super sweet anything. I don’t even like sweet tea.

{Gasp. I know…and I’m a native Texan….}

I drink my coffee black at home. And if I’m out and about, you might see me add cream and sugar. Just depends on my mood and how strong/bitter the coffee is.

My mochas? I don’t like too sweet. So, just FYI, this is not a super sweet mocha syrup, but you can adjust it to your liking….that’s the beauty of making it yourself, right?! Right.

Mocha Syrup DIY

Basically, you take some unsweetened cocoa powder, strong brewed coffee and a little sugar and whisk it all together in a sauce pot….

Mocha Syrup DIY

bring it to a low boil and whisk it while it thickens….

Make Your Own Mocha Syrup

{not quite ready yet}

I Spilled My Coffee Mocha Syrup DIY

{done!}

Then let it cool and place in a jar and then pop in the fridge for when you want to make up your own mocha!

Mocha Syrup DIY

{Now when you make this, be sure to lick the chocolate off the whisk (obviously for taste testing purposes), but do it just before a neighbor knocks at your door, so that when you answer, you have just a little something on your face and your neighbor is staring at you, and you’re all wondering why, and then you check the mirror later….It’ll be awesome.

Not that I’ve…ahem….done that or anything}

Mocha Valencia DIY

Want to kick it up a notch and make it mocha valencia syrup? Just zest an orange into the mix while whisking the ingredients together. YUM!

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Recipe recap forĀ DIY Mocha Syrup:

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INGREDIENTS:

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup strong brewed coffee (I kick it up a notch in my french press for this) or coffee concentrate.
1/4 cup sugar (I use organic cane sugar and sometimes coconut sugar)

DIRECTIONS:

Whisk all ingredients together in a pot on low heat
Bring to a low boil, whisking often until it begins to thicken
Once thicknened, remove from heat and let cool.
Place in glass jar {like a mason jar} and refrigerate.

Easy Peasy!

Here’s the fun and delicious part…..

To make yourself an iced mocha, simply pour one cup of your favorite milk {I use coconut, but almond, cow’s, whatever you like kind, would work well too} into a sauce pot and place it on the stove on medium-ish heat. While that’s heating up, take your favorite glass or mason jar and add in a couple tablespoons of the mocha syrup.

By the time you finish doing that, your milk should be warmed up enough, so go ahead and pour it right over the mocha syrup in your glass and stir it up!

{if you like your mochas warm, just do the same, but add it to your favorite coffee cup and enjoy a nice hot mocha!}

You could add in a little extra coffee at this part, or leave as is. You could add some ice cubes (or some coffee ice cubes ), grab a straw and drink it up! Or, as I like to do, at about 10-ish in the morning I make this up, then place it in the fridge. Then when the littles go down for a nap, I grab my already made mocha, toss in some ice, add a straw and take a deep breath and enjoy my iced coffee for the two seconds the house is quiet.

I Spilled My Coffee Mocha Syrup DIY

{happy sigh}

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go do that right now….

Day Dates…..What You Have When Night Dates Don’t Always Work Well for Your Family

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Sometimes we go on “day dates”, the husband and I.

When the bigs are at school and it’s just the littlest littles with us. Sometimes we’re able to get someone to watch the twinnies, and sometimes they join us.

{The funny thing is, when you have four kiddos, only having two with you seems almost easy…sometimes…}

When you’re not fielding bigger kid questions and special needs situations and arguments and LOUDNESS with all four kiddos in the van all at the same time, well, it can definitely feel a little more relaxing!

And sometimes, when you have four kiddos, one with special needs and the youngest being twin toddlers, finding affordable child care can be difficult. And sometimes night dates just don’t work out as well….especially not in our current season. “Date Nights” can almost be more stressful than helpful and can be more time spent trying to get OUT the door than you actually spend time being out TOGETHER.

So, “day dates” happen. And they’re pretty awesome.

Like this last week, we ended up with an impromptu Day Date, the twinnies were doing great, we had some errands to run, and well, we decided to make it a mini date! Sometimes, that is just the way it works. And sometimes, the way it works, is the way it needs to happen to stay connected.

On our “mini day date”, we had to drop off some books to the library. We used the book drop off that’s on the outside of the library, but my littlest little knows that THERE ARE BOOKS IN THAT BUILDING. She loves books. LOVES them.

She didn’t stop asking “can we go get books?” for the rest of the morning and again after nap time.

{she really really really likes books}

So, after our “day date” of running errands and enjoying some quiet, the bigs arrived home from school. I decided to take the oldest (that also really really likes books and was wanting to go pick some up that had been reserved) and the youngest with me on what turned into a mama and kid date.

Two dates with my people in one day….well, three out of the 5 of them at least.

{don’t worry…the other two will get their mama time too. Promise}

I don’t always have “big black” with me (what I lovingly call my DSLR), but there were some moments I was quick to grab my phone and used it’s handy dandy camera.

{seriously…WHAT did we ever do without those? Oh yeah, we used point and shoots..and had a phone…and…too many other things to juggle and balance…}

The photos above captured two of my kiddos perfectly in their element. My oldest and my youngest. My book lovers.

I loved standing back and just watching them navigate the isles of books. M and I exploring some books for her, then going to find her big brother and her running to him when she found him.

Having four kiddos spanning a fairly wide range in ages can be crazy and difficult and chaotic at times, but days and moments like these bring it home and remind me just how amazing it all really is.

The Coffee Dates I Miss The Most

Coffee.

I love coffee for all it’s amazing a wonderful benefits and how it helps make my bloodshot zombie mom-ness dissipate when my body fully finishes caffeinating.

But there is more to the story of my love of coffee.

My Gramms.
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My Gramms introduced me to coffee. She always had her cup all day, every day full of the dark goodness.

She drank it black. Always. So do I….perhaps because that is how I learned to drink it.

As I got older and was able to enjoy a cup along with her, we would sit at the kitchen table and chat about life as we drank our coffee.

It was our time together. We were the only coffee drinkers in the house.

I grew up, got married, had a family….but, we still almost daily got together for coffee.

It was our thing. Whether taking her to a doctors appointment and grabbing some as a treat at the coffee shop, or her making some in the percolator, knowing I would be coming over soon….we always had our coffee dates to keep us connected.

My Gramms also loved cardinals. She even had a little porcelain one sitting on a side table. I remember it always being on that table growing up.

When my Gramms passed away unexpectedly almost five years ago, I spoke at her memorial about how I would miss those coffee dates….I learned so much about my Gramms through those moments shared over a cup of coffee.

It wasn’t too long after she had died, that I got a new phone. I had a message saved on my old one from her….the last one she ever left, wishing me a Happy New Year. I never wanted that message to fade. Ever. When things were changed over, that message got lost.

I’m pretty sure I cried until I couldn’t any longer. I know it was only a message, but it was my message, to me, from MY GRAMMS only a few weeks before she passed away.

I was devastated.

When we moved a little over a year ago to our current house, I remember seeing a cardinal here and there. It wasn’t until we were well settled that I began to notice them daily.

She has never been to this house, but I know she’d love it. When I cook in my kitchen or bake apple and pumpkin pies for the holidays, I think about how much fun we’d have in this kitchen. We had so many laughs in my last one that was tiny and she, my sister, and I would somehow cram in there and bake pies for our families on what became our annual “Pie Day”.

Sometimes, when there is a (very brief) moment when the big kids have left for school and the twinnies are happily occupied for five seconds, and I am able to sit at the table and drink my (amazingly still) hot coffee….it’s not uncommon to look out the window and see one or two cardinals.

And I smile. And sometimes I cry…because I miss those coffee dates with my Gramms the most.

I sometimes imagine what we would be talking about these days…so much has changed in the past 4, almost 5, years. Three more kids and seemingly a lifetime of change has occurred in that short time. And there are days I want to talk to her so badly about it all….

Over coffee. At the kitchen table.

Loving It Tuesday!

I don’t always talk about it, but I am a sorta crunchy gal.

Like a baby wearing, cloth diapering mama and all. But! I’m totally cool if you’re not. Sometimes you just really need to do what works best for your family. Really.

And total confession? I sometimes use disposable diapers too. Life happens. It’s totally okay. Promise. Our double stroller is also a favorite sanity saving item too.

{see, only sorta on the crunchy…}

Last year I also stopped using antiperspirant and switched to a more natural, not so scary ingredient list, deodorant.

But here’s the deal…when I work out, I don’t glisten or sparkle, I sweat. Like a lot. And kickboxing pretty much is the most intense and sweaty workout ever for me.

Sooo….I’m not gonna lie. I was worried the more natural stuff wasn’t going to cut it and keep me from stinking up the kickboxing studio.

I had already been using this one deodorant that I LOVED and it worked great for both the hubs and I. But, I started having some irritation with it and, through trial and error, discovered it was the baking soda. Apparently that isn’t uncommon. My hubs still uses it and it works great…even for extra stinky worked in the yard man sweat.

{As always, in full disclosure, this post may contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase something through them, I get a tiny percentage at absolutely no additional cost to you}

One day as I was searching for an alternative natural deodorant that wouldn’t irritate my under the arms area, and stumbled upon this really fun little online shop called Meow Meow Tweet. I saw they had a baking soda free cream deodorant…..hmmmm, I was intrigued. So I read through some of the reviews and decided to take a chance.

You guys. I LOVE this deodorant. Like, it’s amazing and awesome and WORKS! It smells good, but not overpowering and keeps the stank at bay. Regular, everyday wear it’s awesome….then, I tried it out at kickboxing….

FABULOUS! Seriously, it works. But, I decided to keep trying it to make sure it was going to stand the test of sweaty workouts and stank.

Guess what?

It totally still works. It’s been almost 3 months using this now, and I am definitely going to keep using it. I raved about it so much, my sister tried it. She said she’s sold on it too. Totally win.

They have more than just deodorant…lots of goodies I haven’t tried yet, but all look fabulous.

Oh, and this company has absolutely no idea who I am. I just love this product so much, I wanted to share it with you. It’s just so awesome.

Do you have a favorite natural deodorant you love?? Please share!

Over Here In Between All That……Is Me. I Think.

In the current state of the stage of life I am in, I seem to fall somewhere in-between “I really want to look put together” and “I totally do NOT have my crap together, I’m a total mess”…..

Haven’t quite figured out where that somewhere is yet.

Coming out of the last two years of “twinfant turned twinadoe toddler” stage, and actually taken a breath and been able to keep my head above water for more than 3 seconds, I finally feel more like getting into jeans and a nice-ish {read, not covered in snot and goldfish crackers} t-shirt and maybe even some {gasp!} makeup and actually brush my hair out of it’s usual pulled back pony.

Now, let me say, I am a huge fan of my yoga pants. I love them. AND? I actually do workout in them…and then just keep them on, because: twin toddlers. For real.

However, in this wanting to be more put together when leaving the house, I almost feel like I’m TOO dressed by having some lip color and earrings in. And my kids notice…even the littlest littles. And then it makes me more self conscious, like, am I trying too hard here or something?!

Naturally, then I just totally overthink things. Because that is just totally WHAT I DO. It’s a terrible habit.

But then people notice I am wearing non snot covered, non sticky like clothing…..and then I think to myself, “so do I always look like a slob?”….cue that blasted overthinking again.

I want to look put together. But I don’t want to look like I care TOO much. But, I also don’t want to look like I am a completely ridiculous person who totally doesn’t have her crap together.

You get me?

Yeah. I know…I totally don’t have it all together. I’m not really sure I ever will.

Then there are those days that I am totally rocking it, lunches packed, homework signed, clean laundry for all my people, and actually have clean clothes on ME TOO. And it’s awesome.

Then other days, well, opposite of all that.

Balance.

Does this actually exist? Because I’m truly beginning to wonder.

{Le Sigh}

SO, I’m a little in between right now. Perhaps for longer than I wish. Also? Learning to except that sometimes it’s absolutely perfectly OK to not have it all together.

But I still want to.

How about you? You ever feel in-between the put together and not so much so? What do you find helps to balance it all out?