Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe: DIY Favors

pumpkin spice latte syrup

I tried my first Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte the other day and that’s what inspired me to hunt down this amazing l’il recipe.

I love pumpkin (any time of year!) and I love Starbucks coffee, so I was greatly anticipating my first Pumpkin Spice Latte. After all the hype about this Starbucks treat, I was sorta expecting to be blown away. Well, my friends, it fell short. I was completely underwhelmed. But I’m grateful; Pumpkin Spice Lattes could be an expensive habit! Unless, of course, you make your own – and that’s exactly what I did.

Not only does the homemade latte taste much better than the Starbucks version, it’s made with natural ingredients. You won’t find caramel color or artificial flavor in this syrup! But you will find real pumpkin!

If you are getting married, make up a batch of syrup and bottle it up to give to your guests as favors.


pumpkin spice latte

Here’s how to make Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup Favors: (Adapted from Good Housekeeping)

Ingredients: (Makes 4 cups syrup)

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 pure pumpkin (we used organic canned pumpkin)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice


pumpkin spice latte

In saucepan, simmer ingredients, whisking 10 minutes. Strain mixture with cheesecloth twice.

pumpkin spice latte diy

Pour syrup into small bottles and add tag if giving as favors.

pumpkin spice latte recipe

Mix 2-3 tablespoons with coffee and warm milk to taste. Top with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice. Yum!

pumpkin spice latte syrups
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Kelly and Lee’s Boho San Francisco City Hall Elopement

Free-sprited couple Lee and Kelly met in a Paris hostel while travelling, and have spent most of their relationship flying back and forth between her home in the U.S. and his in the U.K. before choosing to settle down together permanently in the United States. Faced with the overwhelming logistics of organizing a wedding for all their international family and friends, they opted to elope – just the two of them – instead.

With few expectations of how things should go and minimal planning, save for their city hall time slot, they let their wedding day unfold organically as they roamed San Francisco’s beautiful city hall with their photographer Clara Rice in tow, and celebrated their newlywed status with a champagne toast!

San Francisco City Hall elopement

Kelly, 28 & Lee, 26

San Francisco, CA

Wedding Date: October 23, 2014

Number of Guests: 0

Total Wedding Cost: $1,049

Breakdown of Costs: Bride’s outfit – $70 dress (BCBG shoes and jewellery already owned); Groom’s outfit – $45 for jacket, shirt and shoes (trousers and belt already owned); Bride’s ring – $250; Groom’s ring – $147; Flowers & flower crown material – $23; Props (vintage suitcase and iron Eiffel tower) – $14; Travel/transport – $300 ($240 rental car + $60 gas); City Hall parking – $5; Paperwork (marriage license and registry costs) – $164; Photographer – $0 (exchange of services – Lee traded his graphic design work in exchange for 3-4 hours of photography. Our photographer was also our only witness and signed our marriage license!); Champagne! – $35

Wedding Ceremony Location: The Rotunda, San Francisco City Hall

Wedding Reception Location: No reception

Passports Wedding rings bride outside city hall groom outside city hall Bride and groom outside city hall Couple in San Francisco City Hall Black and White Elopement portrait

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

Lee is from England and Kelly is from Santa Barbara, California. We met each other in a Paris hostel while both traveling Europe. After endless flights back and forth between the EU and the US, we eventually decided to remain State-side and so the logistics of planning a big wedding here with both families and all of our friends seemed too large of a task to take on at this point. We opted for an intimate “just you and me” wedding as we knew not everyone would be able to make the trip with short notice and we didn’t want to leave anyone out. Based on the intimacy of how we met and the way our lives have been together so far, we wanted to share this special moment with each other only and not have to worry about all the other details that come along with a large scale wedding. We plan to have a full family/friends celebration on our 1 or 2 year anniversary which we will then also try to keep fairly small and intimate, just focusing on the important things like great company, food, wine, and a special atmosphere.

boho wedding outifits red rose flower crown bride and groom's hands bride and groom crossing San Francisco street San Francisco City Hall

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

The main challenge for us, as well as a lot of other people in a similar situation to ours, is trying to explain to family that they will not be there! And also explaining why we are not following traditions. It can be tough to make them understand, but you have to remind yourself that this day is about you and your significant other.

bride and groom inside San Francisco City Hall Boho bride in rose flower crown elopement portrait inside San Francisco City Hall bride sitting on vintage suitcase groom kissing bride's hand boho bride portrait groom kissing bride's cheek

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list? 

No, it was a breeze as we chose to have no guests.

Bride and groom standing inside City Hall window Portrait inside City Hall window Bride and groom standing inside City Hall window bride and groom looking outside city hall window brie and groom portrait next to window

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

Not yet!

groom sitting in window at City Hall \ brie and groom sitting on window ledge bride and groom sitting on window ledge

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

The whole day of our ceremony was one big rush! But it had a very fun, exciting feeling to it; it was not stressful at all. From morning coffee, to buying materials for the flower crown, bouquet and boutonniere which Kelly finished making just 1 hour before our City Hall time slot!; to hopping in the car and driving into SF, meeting our photographer, going through City Hall security and seeing the inside of such an amazing building for the 1st time – which reminded us a lot of where we met in Europe – everything had a special aura about it. We knew that this was exactly what we wanted. The main highlight for us, if we had to pick just one would be roaming around this beautiful building as if we were in a magazine photoshoot with our vagabond style props and incredible photographer Clara who captured the vibe of the day perfectly.

elopement ceremony in the rotunda at San Francisco City Hall bride and groom with marriage certificate

What were the highlights of the reception?

There was no reception! Just a champagne toast afterwards.

bride and groom in San Francisco City Hall bride whispering in groom's ear San Francisco City Hall Portrait bride and groom hoding hands on second level of San Francisco City Hall bride and groom walking down city hall stairs bride and groom leaving city hall bride and groom in city hall doorway

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

No worries! We literally just had to show up and take it all in. There was no pressure to make sure that everything was going as planned because there was no plan! No expectations = a great time. Having an intimate wedding made the whole thing a lot more special and personal for us.

bride and groom portrait bride and groom walking up San Francisco street bride and groom climbing stairs bride and groom walking down San Francisco street

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

Firstly, don’t plan too much! We told our photographer to just document our day as it unfolded and to do whatever felt right. So the main thing for other couples, is to do whatever feels right for you. Know that you are not trapped by traditions and people will always chirp in to give you their two cents on what they think is right, but it is YOUR small big day and you can choose to celebrate it however you wish. If you remain positive and up-beat about it, keeping everything fun, you will have a very rewarding day of memories. If it feels right, just do it, you don’t need a reason.

polaroids of bride and groom


Bride’s Dress: Tua Tua from Lovebird boutique

Flowers: Trader Joes

Grooms Outfit: H&M (jacket, shirt), Zara (trousers), Bufalo exchange (shoes)

Bride’s Ring: Etsy

Groom’s Ring: Etsy

Photographer: Clara Rice

Vintage Suitcase: Thrift store (hand painted by Lee)

Iron Eiffel Tower: World Market

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Wanting to keep the focus on why they were getting married, rather than how they were getting married, Megan and Zsolt first determined the things they couldn’t live without on their wedding day – a ceremony, dinner, and Zsolt’s parents being there – and cut out everything else. As cost also played a huge part in their planning and decision making process, the couple chose to keep their actual wedding day guest list to immediate family only, and celebrated their nuptials with friends and extended family at an informal beach party the next day.

A big thank you to Annie Hall for generously sharing Megan and Zsolt’s wedding day photos with us.

intimate santa barbara wedding


Megan, 26 & Zsolt, 29

Santa Barbara, CA

Wedding Date: June 6, 2014

Number of Guests: 25

Wedding Cost: Our out-of-pocket cost for the all-things-wedding was around $11,000. We had several family members graciously help us by taking care of the flowers, rental chairs for the ceremony, and our unity tree.

Wedding Ceremony Location: Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens

Wedding Reception Location: Olio e Limone Ristorante – everything about this place is excellent!

santa Barbara wedding venue engraved wood bride portrait bride walking down stairs aerial view of garden wedding ceremony bride and groom planting tree bride and groom walking

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

Cost was really the main factor, and as we got further and further into the planning process, we realized that it was a perfect way to honor our family members who have been with us from the beginning, instead of making a huge, dramatic spectacle out of the whole thing. We were really able to focus on why we were getting married, and much less on how.

wedding dress hanging up bride getting make-up done groom getting dressed

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

Once we made up our minds, it was relatively easy to keep it to immediate family only. We are still sad that we couldn’t have more close friends there, especially since many of them have seen our relationship develop from the start. As a compromise, though, we had a very informal party at the beach in Carpinteria the next day. I think almost 200 people showed up for that!

bride portrait groom portrait bride and groom portrait wedding portrait wedding portrait

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

I think sincere disappointment is a better word for this than “issues.” We have wonderful close friends, and it was painful to have to let them down. We’re all in similar positions, though, so when we told them that cost was the driving factor, it was easy for most everyone to understand. Also, our friends and extended family seriously rock, so it would have been surprising to see any of them freak out over this.

groom walking down the aisle groom waiting at the altar bride walking down the aisle

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

So many! It meant the world to us that Zsolt’s parents could be there. Zsolt translated the whole ceremony in Hungarian for them. Our roommate, who is my best friend from college, performed the ceremony. That was very special.

Santa Barbara outdoor wedding ceremony bride reading her vows garden wedding ceremony bride and groom first kiss outdoor wedding ceremony

What were the highlights of the reception?

The toast my dad gave was amazing. I wish we had recorded it – he did it completely off the cuff. The food was also fantastic!

bride and groom walking to restaurant bride and groom walking to restaurant restaurant awning bride walking into restaurant guests walking into restaurant

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

Staying realistic and true to our priorities.

restaurant reception table setting antipasto platter pouring wine restaurant wedding reception guests at restaurant wedding reception restaurant wedding reception bride wiping away tears at reception bride giving speech restaurant wedding reception

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

Just think about the things you can’t live without, and cut everything else. For us, we knew we had to have a ceremony, a dinner, and Zsolt’s parents absolutely needed to be there. That was pretty much it, and drove all our decisions.

bride and groom kissing at reception


Dress: J.Crew (it’s actually a bridesmaid dress that I got on sale)

Suit: Indochino

Hair & Make up: Noelle from Chateau Belle

Photography: Annie Hall Photography

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With all this dreary winter weather we’ve been having lately, the thought of saying I Do on the beach with the sand between our toes and the warm tropical sun on our skin sounds pretty dreamy to us right about now. Being able to do it on our own private beach, however, sounds even better. At the Dreams Villamagna and Dreams La Romana, you can do just that!


With their gorgeous tropical destinations, their intimate venue settings, glamorous luxury amenities, and their ultimate wedding package – providing you with everything you need and more for your wedding day – we think Dreams Resorts is the perfect spot to tie the knot.

Dreams Resort wedding

Best of all, once you’ve said your I Do’s, get ready to be pampered with their complimentary Newlywed and Anniversary package featuring a romantic breakfast in bed, a discount on spa treatments, and special turndown service.

apple vacations intimate weddings

Now, if planning your Dreams destination wedding seems overwhelming, Apple Vacations is here to help. A one-stop-shop for all your planning needs, Apple Vacations will take care of your travel arrangements and legal requirements, put you in touch with an experienced wedding planner, and find you great ways to save; they’ll even help you with your wedding registry!

Dreams Resort wedding

And with their Group-Ease program, you can enjoy great promo-code discounts for groups as small as ten guests! Book 10 or more rooms, and get airfare credits on exclusive vacation flights and a free hotel stay. What more could you ask for?

Sponsored Post.

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Marsala: Wedding Inspiration

Pantone has released their Color of the Year for 2015 and we think it’s a perfect wedding color!

Marsala is described as a “naturally robust and earthy wine red.” It’s a statement color that will look great on its own or paired with other colors as an accent. It’s reminiscent of fig, burgundy and wine tones; complementing clay and champagne decor as well as different shades of green.

Combining different earthy reds on your table creates a unique look, from berry to burgundy you’ll really capture the essence of the marsala color.


Mix deeper hues with light pink and white for a classic look, with the addition of antique silver.


You can’t go wrong with a red velvet cupcake, not only will it make a delicious dessert but will add a bit of a brighter red to your color palette.


This is such a wearable color and looks just as good on a tie as it will in your table settings.


We’ve established that white is definitely not the only way to go when it comes to wedding dresses. This dress is unbelievably romantic and a real statement piece.


Oversized floral arrangements with dark green leaves emphasize the jewel tones in the bouquet.


Poaching pears in a deep red wine is a wedding-worthy dessert that your guests will love. Taste aside, it will also look amazing with your color scheme. Including fruit in your decor adds another interesting element, stick to the theme by using red grapes, figs and plums. You can also use them to decorate a naked cake.

http-::mygoldenpear.com:2013:12:27:poached-pears-2: http-::www.stylemepretty.com:gallery:picture:1348935:



Colorful wedding shoes are such a fun idea. If you’re wearing a short dress, they’re even better. These shoes are an elegant way to work this trend on your day and long after.


A Marsala inspired bridesmaid dress is another way to include this color in your wedding.


Photo one: stylemepretty.com; Photo two: kinawicks.com;Photo three tumblr.com; Photo four: chicvintagebrides.com; Photo five: emilia-jane.com; Photo six: magnoliarouge.com; Photo seven: mygoldenpear.com; Photo eight: onelove-photo.com; Photo nine: polkadotbride.com; Photo ten: elizabethannedesigns.com; Photo eleven: josevilla.com

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