DIY Coffee Shop Drink: Maple Pecan Latte

Maple Pecan Latte #diycoffeeshop #natural #norefinedsugarI have a serious confession to make.

*Deep breath.*

Ok. Here goes.

The truth is. I’m addicted to fancy coffee shop coffee.

{insert shocked emoticon}

I know, right? The fact that it’s crazy expensive and that I would never consider spending that much money on anything else so trivial and transient does not deter me. The fact that it’s hardly good for me does not deter me. The fact that it doesn’t satisfy me as much as I think it will does not deter me. NOTHING deters me!

So I put myself on a coffee shop fast. I did it earlier this year in January, and it actually really helped! But then I fell off the wagon and I’m back to my usual tricks again.

{insert tragically sad emoticon}

So another coffee shop fast for me.

Thank goodness I have this amazing little diy coffee shop trick up my sleeve. It makes withdrawal so much easier. 

Maple Pecan Latte #diycoffeeshop #natural #norefinedsugar

Maple Pecan Latte #diycoffeeshop #natural #norefinedsugarAre you also addicted to coffee shop drinks? Try my other DIY Coffee Drink recipes: 

Chocolate Orange Coffee #diycoffeeshop

Chocolate Orange Coffee

Lavender Sy Lavender Iced Coffee #diycoff Lavender Iced Coffee #diycoffeeshop

Lavender Iced Coffee #diycoffeeshop


Cold Brewed Coffee #diycoffeeshop

Cold Brewed Coffee #diycoffeeshop

Brazilian Chocolate #diycoffeeshop

Brazilian Chocolate #diycoffeeshop


Lavender Syrup

Lavender Syrup  - 3 ingredients!  #yleo #essentialoilsI never ever would have considered lavender as a beverage flavoring were it not for a pleasant occasion a month ago or so when my sister and I went to a favorite coffee shop in Maryland, one we are rarely able to visit but enjoy very much. As we perused the lengthy menu board, the final item on the list caught my sister’s eye and she exclaimed that she *HAD* to try it. 

What was that concoction she had to try? Lavender Iced Coffee. 

Hmmm, I thought, unconvinced,but in the end, decided to follow my sister’s footsteps and give it a try. It sounded refreshing, and didn’t seem like it would be too horrible, plus I love to try new things.

A Refreshing New Twist

Word. It was amazing. Refreshing, yes! Also, quite delicious and crave-worthy. In a remarkable turn of events, however, I completely forgot about it once I got home and only remembered it when I was trying to brainstorm essential-oils-based refreshments for a class I was teaching.

In a flash of inspiration, I recalled the herbal goodness of the lavender iced coffee I had enjoyed, and realized it would be ridiculously easy to duplicate it by quickly boiling up a simple syrup and adding some lavender essential oil to it.

Easy peasy! And, of course, this versatile lavender syrup can be used for much more than coffee – splash it in lemonade, tea, punch, or anywhere else you’d like a dash of flavor.Lavender Syrup  - 3 ingredients!  #yleo #essentialoils

Recipe: Lavender Syrup

Summary: a refreshing flavored syrup you can add to hot and cold beverages


  • 1 cup sugar (I used coconut sugar)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3-4 drops lavender essential oil*


  1. Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or so.
  3. Cool to room temperature and add lavender oil. Store bottled in the refrigerator.

*Most lavender oil available on the general market today is more than likely adulterated in one way or another. I only use Young Living lavender oil because I know that Young Living controls the process from planting the seed in the ground to putting the seal on the bottle, and I know there’s nothing in it but the best and finest lavender oil available!

Simple Hospitality: Host a Kaffeeklatsch

Some times I think we have the idea that hosting guests in our home has to be a big ordeal complete with written invitations (or at least an evite), a set of fine china, a sparkling clean home, and the perfect balance of dinner guests. And sometimes I think that our hours spent browsing on Pinterest have convinced us that no event is complete without handmade decor, cute-si-fied mason jars, and/or an assortment of creative, delicious, and – of course – uber-healthy treats for every dietary need possible.

Simple Hospitality

Forget all that stuff. That is not what hospitality is all about!

Hospitality is about people getting together, plain and simple. The setting doesn’t really matter – you don’t need to spend hours of time impressing your friends with either your millions… or your ability to create what looks like a million bucks out of  nothing.

Sure, we all love good food, and I love a themed party as well as anybody! Cute decorations and creative touches make me smile and say “awww”. But really, when I host (or attend) a get-together of any kind, what I’m really looking for is good conversation and fun with other people. All that other stuff is auxiliary and completely unnecessary.

So if you’re not feeling up to scrubbing the house top-to-bottom, or if you don’t have a crafty bone in your body, or if the thought of cooking up a full-course meal for other folks makes you sick to your stomach… well, then, don’t. Don’t do all that stuff. 

But do have other people over. One of the easiest ways to get some friends over to your house for a good time of conversation and fellowship is to have them over for coffee. The Germans even have a name for it – Kaffeeklatsch – so if you want to make it sound a little more exciting, then that’s what you can call it!

A Kaffeeklatsch is super simple, inexpensive, and enjoyed by just about everybody (even the non-coffee drinkers; I’ll get to that in a minute).

How to Host a Kaffeeklatsch

Here’s how I recently hosted a Kaffeeklatsch myself:

  • I invited my guests by text, Facebook message, and cell phone. No fancy-schmancy invitations needed!
  • I ran to Safeway (literally at the last minute) and picked up some coffee (Did you know, by the way, that Gevalia coffee is now available in grocery stores? It used to be mail-order only back in the day, but now it’s available to pick up any time! And it’s yummy stuff, so that’s what I got. Decaf for the sleepy folks who wanted to stay that way, and regular for the rest of us.)
  • While at Safeway, I also picked up some healthy-ish treats. Since this was a total impromptu gathering, I didn’t bother taking the time to make some truly healthy treats at home; I chose instead to compromise health for the sake of hospitality! So we had all-natural ice cream, Newman-O’s ginger creme cookies, dark chocolate with fruit and nuts, and some bake-at-home cookies from the Immaculate Baking Company (also all natural).
  • Once home, I set out the cookies and treats on trays, and got my French press ready to go.
  • I also set out different kinds of sweetener (chocolate-flavored stevia, for one –  yum!), some chocolate syrup (all natural again), real whipped cream, and cinnamon for my guests to dress up their coffee.
  • I also had some organic hot chocolate mix ready for friends who preferred not to drink coffee. And if I had any tea-drinking friends present, I would have set out some options for hot tea as well.
  • And we all sipped our coffee, nibbled our treats, and chit-chatted until it got dark!

That’s it, friend! All there is to it.

What’s your favorite easy hospitality?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Homemade Pink Lemonade

All Natural Homemade Pink Lemonade For my birthday in May, my wonderful DH hosted a lovely party for me, and even made most of the food! (I think I’ll keep him!)  Included in the menu was some delicious strawberry lemonade, which he made himself from scratch to the delight of all our guests. He made a HUGE batch, and it was gone almost instantly.

Since then, we’ve made it a few more times because it was just so good we couldn’t resist. The last time I made it, though, I took it one step further. That one little step went from “amazing” to “Uh.May.Zing”. Just like that.

All Natural Homemade Pink Lemonade

It’s still strawberry lemonade… but it’s pink. So I call it “Pink Lemonade”. Fitting, huh? But unlike the pink lemonade you can buy just about anywhere else, this pretty little beverage has no artificial colors. No artificial flavors or preservatives, either! In fact, it has no refined sugar, and very little sugar at all. Can you say, “Mmm-mmm!”

All Natural Pink Lemonade

Natural Pink Lemonade

Homemade Tea Recipes {Raising Healthy Families}

Homemade Tea Recipes

Over the last 50 years, we’ve had a major shift in the American diet. We’re now consuming more of our calories by drinking them. In fact, the average American is now drinking approximately 400 calories per day!

Soda, fruit juice, energy drinks and sports drinks. My kids ask for them, do yours?

Reach for a healthier alternative: tea. Full of potent antioxidants, studies have proven tea is good for your health. Can any soda say that? Plus, with so many flavorful recipes, you’ll have no problem convincing your family to drink more healthy tea.

Andrea Green from The Greenbacks Gal shares her Homemade Tea Recipes that are sure to become family favorites.

Pumpkin Not Chocolate – Smooth & Creamy Hot Pumpkin Beverage

Now I have nothing against chocolate, mind you. Quite the contrary. A hot and creamy cup of homemade cocoa fits the bill deliciously on a cold winter evening. It’s just that at this time of year, when the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock (whatever that is), I go a little pumpkin crazy and start putting pumpkin into just about everything. 

Including hot chocolate. Except without the chocolate. So it’s not chocolate.

pumpkin not chocolate

pumpkin not chocolate

What’s your favorite thing to do with pumpkin puree?

Pssst! Out of pumpkin? Vitacost has canned organic pumpkin for only $1.85!

Read more inspiring and informative posts at these link-ups: Motivation Monday, Mom’s Monday Mingle, Homestead Barn Hop, The Bulletin Board, Better Mom Mondays, Natural Living MondayTip Me TuesdayTrivium TuesdayMom’s LibraryTitus 2sdayTeach me TuesdayHip Homeschool HopTitus 2 TuesdayDelicious DishesOpen Call TuesdayTiny Tip TuesdayHealthy 2Day WednesdayFrugal Days Sustainable WaysWorks for me WednesdayWomen Living Well WednesdayReal Food WednesdayWhole Foods Wednesday,Allergen-Free WednesdayEncourage One AnotherLife in BloomThought-Provoking ThursdaySimple Lives Thursday, Homemaking Link-UpTastetastic ThursdayKeep it Real ThursdayFrugal Thursday RewindHomeschooling on the CheapFellowship FridayFight Back FridayFeast in Fellowship FridayFrugal FridayI’m Lovin’ ItWeekend Bloggy ReadingSnacktime SaturdayShow & Share SaturdayWeekend Whatever

Tropical Traditions Coconut Chips & Coconut Milk Recipe

You probably already know that Tropical Traditions is famous for its Virgin Coconut Oil. (Curious about coconut oil? Click here.) And if coconut oil was the only thing available at Tropical Traditions, it would be totally worth it. Check out this video with all the uses of coconut oil if you don’t believe me.


But as much as I love Tropical Traditions’ coconut oil, I’m not here to talk about that today. Today I want to focus on one of their other amazing coconut products: coconut chips.

Tropical Traditions generously sent me a gallon of their Coconut Chips to try, and I started digging in right away. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, to be honest. I’m familiar with coconut flakes, coconut shreds, desiccated coconut, and the like, but coconut chips? Wasn’t real sure exactly what that was. 

It turns out that coconut chips are basically like coconut flakes, just a little bit larger. I was expecting a thicker, crunchier piece of coconut, but it’s actually rather thin. Tropical Traditions recommends using their shredded coconut or coconut flakes rather than the chips for baking, but I personally think these coconut chips would also work in any dried-coconut-based recipe, like these Orange Chocolate Macaroons. The texture would probably be different, but I think it would work. You could also try this recipe for Gluten Free Coconut Fudge Cupcakes.

What did I do with my delicious coconut chips?

Well, first of all, I ate them plain. Yummy!

Then I added them to a trail mix I made:

  • dried cranberries
  • raisins
  • sunflower seeds
  • chocolate chips
  • chopped walnuts,
  • and, of course, coconut chips

Dee. Lish. Us! And perfect for on-the-go snacking.

I also used the coconut chips to make home-made coconut milk for my Certain Little Someone. This is how I did it (in my Vitamix):

  • I placed 1 cup of coconut chips in the bottom of the Vitamix.
  • I poured 2 cups of boiling water over the chips, and let them soak for a while as I puttered around the kitchen doing other things.
  • I then put the lid on the Vitamix, turned it on, set it on variable 10 and then High. I let it run for 2-3 minutes to pulverize the coconut chips.
  • I strained the milk through a mesh sieve lined with a tea towel, and squeezed out the tea towel thoroughly after it had cooled some.

That’s it! I then used that homemade coconut milk to make some yogurt for the same Certain Little Someone. He loved it!

If you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.

Girl, Eat Your Breakfast!

Don’t miss a single exciting post in my Women’s Wellness Seriessubscribe today! We’re talking about all aspects of women’s health. Follow my Women’s Wellness board on Pinterest for even more great articles and product recommendations.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say, “I’m just not a big breakfast eater.”

Um, hello. Didn’t your mama ever tell you it’s the most important meal of the day? Not that you should skip any meals, but you definitely shouldn’t skip breakfast. 

Do you really expect to be able to function on an acceptable level when your body hasn’t been fed since the night before? The reason (at least one reason) we eat is to provide energy and nutrition to our body. If you haven’t done that, your body’s just not going to work the way it’s supposed to. Your mind isn’t going to think straight, your body’s going to lack energy and be sluggish… and worst of all, you’re more than likely going to gain some weight. 

Yep, it’s true. Studies have proven that women who skip breakfast gain weight.

I know, I know. It’s hard enough to wake up and get dressed and get the kids out the door in time for school, let alone fix a decent breakfast for everybody.

I’ve got ya covered. The answer to your dilemma is simple: smoothies! I don’t know anybody who doesn’t love a good smoothie (OK, well, except my DH, but he’s weird. Whatever.), and they are SO fast, SO delicious, and SO packed full of amazing goodness to nourish your body all morning long. (Because, you know, breakfast only lasts so long. You’re going to have to eat lunch, too!)

I’ve already posted 2 smoothies during the course of this Women’s Wellness series ( maybe it should have just been the smoothie series!): try the Shamrock Shake (mint gives it a delicious flavor and pretty green color), or Nancy’s Maca Mocha Smoothie.

A smoothie can be a well-rounded breakfast in a cup, complete with protein, fat and carbs to get you going and keep you going. And you can even put it in a to-go cup if you’re really in a hurry!

See how QUICK that was?

And so EASY, too – only one little line of instructions. I’m sure you can handle that even before your morning coffee!

It’s CHEAP enough, I guess. I estimate probably between $1 and $1.50 for this one, depending on how much you pay for the components. Not too shabby!

And wow, is it HEALTHY! You’ve got healthy fats and protein from the milk and yogurt, more healthy fat in the avocado, plenty of fiber between the banana and the avocado, plus antioxidants and vitamins to boot! Drink it up!

Hearth & Soul Hop realfoodallergyfree

Maca Mocha Smoothie

Regular guest contributor Nancy, from Real Food Allergy Free, brings us today’s post,

with a delicious-looking smoothie recipe… plus information about how maca increases a women’s wellness!

Maca is a tuber root (similar to potato) grown high in the mountains of Peru.  Though it’s been used medicinally in Peru for thousands of years, it’s just recently gaining popularity in the US.  Since its Women’s Wellness Month here at Quick and Easy, Cheap and Healthy, we will focus on how maca root benefits women.

Maca root is a super-food that is packed full of nutritious goodness.  It’s loaded with over 60 micronutrients, 18 amino acids and 20 fatty acids. Maca is 40% potassium, 10% calcium and contains vitamins A, B, C, D, E, B12, B1, 2, 3, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, silica and zinc.

It is believed that maca is most beneficial because of its effect on the endocrine system.  Maca is an endocrine modulator and the

endocrine system includes all of the body’s glands and the hormones they secrete.  Hormones regulate many, many things including tissue function, mood, growth and sexual development.

Here are some of the ways maca can help women:

  • Sometimes called Peruvian ginseng, maca increases energy and provides mental clarity.
  • Maca helps to regulates hormones which can alleviate PMS and perimenopause symptoms.
  • Leveled hormones lead to less mood swings and better emotional health.
  • Also called nature’s Viagara, maca is known as an aphrodisiac, increasing libido.

Maca has a very strong smell and taste.  It is somewhat malt like, so I find a chocolate based smoothie is the best way to get it down.  This Maca Mocha Smoothie is my favorite.

Maca Malt

Maca Mocha Smoothie


  • 1 Banana, frozen
  • 2 tsp Cocoa Powder
  • 3 tsp Maca Root Powder (buy it here)
  • ¾ cup Vanilla Coconut Milk Beverage or Dairy Milk



  1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.  Add sweetener if necessary.


Nancy is a God fearing, family loving, and homeschooling mom to four. You can find her at where she shares her family’s favorite recipes and money saving deals for foods that are free of the top 8 common food allergens (egg, dairy, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, peanut, tree nut).

Hearth & Soul Hop

Copycat Shamrock Shake – Healthified!

Healthy Copycat Shamrock Shake #freshmint #avocado #smoothieI have never actually had one of those famous Shamrock Shakes at McDonalds. Not because I am too good for McDonald’s (Because, um, yeah. Sometimes I go to McDonald’s.). No, the thing is I’m not a huge milkshake fan. They’re just not my thing. Especially fake green ones. Cookies ‘n’ Cream would be a different story, but fake green? Nah. I’ll pass.

This copycat “shamrock shake”  is therefore probably nothing like the original, but it does have  a pretty green color – made from real food and not from a bottle. It’s gently sweet, but not sugary. And it’s perfect for breakfast on St. Patty’s Day! The light minty after bite will perk you up and get you ready for a great day.

Healthy Copycat Shamrock Shake #freshmint #avocado #smoothie

Instead of ice cream, I froze bananas – remember that banana ice cream craze last summer?  I made both coconut milk and whole milk versions, and they were both great! The coconut adds some extra special flavor. Also, I only had dried mint the day I made it, but I think fresh mint would be amazingly fabulous in this! Oh, and the green color? From avocados! Cool, huh? (And no, you can’t taste it.)