Homemade Vanilla Coffee Syrup

Homemade Vanilla Coffee Syrup via Leslie ReeseIf you have been following me here for a while (or on social media) you've probably noticed a couple of things about me. First of all, I am a coffee lover (addict), and second, I have one heck of a sweet tooth. I make no apologies for either one. I believe in that whole "everything in moderation" thing. It's what keeps me from getting out of control. So as much as I occasionally indulge in the things I love, I do what I can to balance it all and make better choices whenever possible. One of the changes I recently made was to my morning coffee routine. I love a good  latte in the morning and a flavored one is even better. I decided that using an artificial sweetener in my cup every morning might not be a good thing so I created my own vanilla flavored coffee syrup. It still has sugar in it but it's a healthier version which is definitely a better option. It's a simple 3 ingredient recipe that can be used in many different ways. I'm keeping mine by the coffee!

Homemade Vanilla Coffee Syrup RecipeThe first thing I did was trade regular processed sugar for Zulka Morena Pure Cane Sugar. Zulka is a NON-GMO product. It's never refined and has a great flavor.

Homemade Vanilla Coffee Syrup Recipe (2)I used equal parts  Zulka and water to make a simple syrup (this batch was 3 cups of each). I cooked it over medium/high heat for about 10-15 minutes until it was well blended and a little syrupy.

Homemade Vanilla Coffee Syrup Recipe (1)While the syrup was heating I sliced 2 vanilla beans lengthwise and scraped out the inside.

Homemade Vanilla Coffee Syrup Recipe (3)I removed the syrup from the heat and added the scraped vanilla bean and pods. I stirred it well and let it cool.

Homemade Vanilla Coffee Syrup Recipe 2Once the syrup was cool I poured the entire contents, beans included, into a bottle.

Homemade Vanilla Coffee Syrup Recipe (6)I added a pump that I bought in a kitchen store.

Homemade Vanilla Coffee Syrup Recipe (7)The flavor is so rich you really don't need much to make a great latte!

Homemade Vanilla Coffee Syrup Recipe (8)Heaven!

Some days I really think I would really benefit from a complete sugar detox (who knows, you may read about that soon!) but for now I am all about making small changes while still enjoying some of the little things that make me happy. And vanilla lattes make me happy! What are some of the "little things" that make you happy?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Leslie xo

Read More about Zulka Morena Sugar

Find my Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies and other great recipes on Zulka.com

Favorite Things

Favorite Things Ice Cream (5)I don't hide the fact that I'm someone who refuses to give up sweet things. I just can't imagine life without sugar and even though I have total control most days there are many days when I cave to the craving. During the summer months ice cream is my weakness. Some days it's a scoop of chocolate peanut butter ice cream with peanuts on top and other days it's an all out party at our local Kiwi Frozen Yogurt shop where you can add all of your own toppings. Either way, it satisfies the craving and it's all good. I thought since today is the first day of summer and my ice cream habit will be kicking into full gear I would share some of my favorite toppings with you. Happy Friday!

Favorite Things Ice Cream (1)Shredded Coconut

Favorite Things Ice Cream (2)Sprinkles or "Jimmies" as we call them in my house

Favorite Things Ice Cream (3)Miniature Marshmallows

Favorite Things Ice Cream (4)Chopped Peanuts

Favorite Things Ice CreamChocolate and Peanut Butter Syrup

Enjoy everything the warm weather brings and every once in a while indulge in the things that make you happy. Happy Summer!

Leslie xo

Favorite Things

Social Media the ability to connectSocial Media is all the rage these days. From Facebook to Pinterest there are apps connecting us to people all over the world and we're sharing anything from recipes to photos and everything in between. I'm a people person and I love that there are so many ways to meet new people and stay in touch with old friends. But there are limits. How much is too much? How much time do you spend scrolling through Twitter or hanging out on Facebook? I don't spend a lot of time in any one place but I do have a few favorites. I like gathering information and sharing my ideas. I have one rule for myself; keep it positive. If you share positive information you receive positive feedback. And if you spend your time wisely, social media can be beneficial as well as a lot of fun. Here are a few of my favorite sites. Happy Friday!

Social Media InstagramInstagram

Instagram is a place where you share photos. You can follow businesses, friends, blogs etc. I love to see how creative people can be with their photos.

Social Media PinterestPinterest

Pinterest is a place where you create digital inspiration boards. You can gather your favorite photos and ideas from different websites and put them on boards that you categorize and save. I love Pinterest!

Social Media SeesawSeesaw

Co-founded by my rock-star brother-in-law, Jesse Engle, Seesaw is a place where you can get help making decisions by posting photos and asking for opinions. Maybe you need help choosing a dress to wear, shoes to buy,  or recipe to make. Just ask and people answer. Seesaw is addicting and a lot of fun!

Social Media TwitterTwitter

I love Twitter. There are so many interesting people on Twitter and the opportunity to learn and grow is huge. If you follow the right people it's amazing who you can meet. I found my graphic designer for my blog on Twitter. She's from Alaska! I also met my friend Melissa from Best Friends for Frosting on Twitter. It's a great place to connect!

Social Media Vine


Vine is a fun app for sharing short videos. I'm not sure how much I will use this but it's been interesting to see what people are posting. Some businesses post really cool videos. Others not so much. It has been fun to explore but we'll see if I stick with it.

Social Media FacebookFacebook

I don't know many people who aren't on Facebook. I resisted for a long time and when I finally tried it, I realized it was a great way to connect with people you don't get a chance to see often. I have a personal page to connect with family and friends and a business page to share blog posts and other fun stuff. I spend a limited amount of time here but it's a great way to stay connected!

So those are a few of the social media sites where you might find me hanging out. Stop by and say hi. I'd love to connect with you.

Have a great weekend!

Leslie xo