Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

December 8, 2016

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte | ThePrettyRelaxed.com
Ah, the pumpkin spice latte, PSL if you will. This generation’s signifier that the holidays are officially here. Though the iconic Starbuck’s drink has been out for awhile, I decided to concoct my own version to save money, coincide with my laziness, and find a use for all of the leftover canned pumpkin puree we have laying around the house from Thanksgiving.

This sweet and creamy drink is the perfect treat for a rainy weekend morning, a snuggly Netflix binge, or just when you are craving that addicting holiday spiciness. Since most of the ingredients are household staples, once you have everything at home, you can whip up one (or multiple) of these a day! PSL on command anyone?

Time to indulge!

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte | ThePrettyRelaxed.comHomemade Pumpkin Spice Latte | ThePrettyRelaxed.comHomemade Pumpkin Spice Latte | ThePrettyRelaxed.comHomemade Pumpkin Spice Latte | ThePrettyRelaxed.com
I had to add more frothed milk on top because the first time I made this, the milk-to-espresso ratio was too low. But don’t worry, the right amount is already calculated correctly in my recipe below! Also, if you don’t have a frother to make the milk super lush like in coffee shops, just be prepared to whisk a lot (like I did), or you can also try blending the milk up in a blender.. Word on the street is, that works well too. Just don’t expect the results to be as good as an actual frother!

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte | ThePrettyRelaxed.comHomemade Pumpkin Spice Latte | ThePrettyRelaxed.com

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte
Serves 1
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup whole milk
  2. 2 ½ Tbsp pumpkin puree
  3. 1 Tbsp sugar
  4. 2 tsp vanilla
  5. ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  6. 1 shot espresso
  7. whipped cream
Instructions
  1. Combine first five ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Whisk occasionally until mixture comes to a slight boil.
  3. Simmer and whisk milk mixture vigorously for a minute or two until it foams up (if you have a frother, feel free to use that!)
  4. Pour espresso into a mug, then top with pumpkin milk mixture and fresh whipped cream. Sprinkle with additional pumpkin pie spice and serve!
Notes
  1. If you don’t have espresso, use 1/3 cup strong brewed or instant coffee.
The Pretty Relaxed http://theprettyrelaxed.com/
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte | ThePrettyRelaxed.com

Don’t forget the whipped cream! Extra for me please. And in a way, it acts as a richer, creamier milk froth replacement! I’m down for that.

What other drinks do you crave during the holiday season?

Always,
Madison

My Cruise to Mexico in Pictures

November 24, 2016

My Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.com
I came home from work a few days ago and wanted to watch Netflix in bed (I mean, a must, right?), but when I powered up my laptop, my worst nightmare came true: it froze, crashed, and now it is forever fried!!! I tried everything to get it to work, and Googled like a mad man, but ultimately I discovered that my best bet is to take it to the Apple Genius Bar and pay $$$ to try and repair it to life. But even that’s not a guarantee. Ugh, sad day.

I’m telling you this because during my flight to New York, I wrote a longgg draft for this blog post about my trip to Mexico. So basically, the file is now lost! Luckily, I think that’s the only major thing that I lost. A while back, I downloaded all of my laptop files on to an external hard drive and also transferred them to my new desktop computer. Hoorah for backups!

My Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.com
So the reason that this post is super late is because I couldn’t save my draft, blah blah blah. Even though I really should be blaming my obvious procrastination-ness..

Ok. Now, enjoy my rewritten version:

I went on a super fun 11 day Mexican Riviera cruise (my first time!) with my family a little over a month ago. We stopped in Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Matzatlán, and Cabo. Everyday aboard the ship, we ate all the foods and drank all the drinks. We got to tan poolside at the back of the ship, enjoying the amazing view of the vast Pacific! And I’m not kidding; I ate SO many loaded baked potatoes and plates of chicken Parmesan, all poolside. LOL, so random, but so delicious. There was even an outdoor basketball court on the very top looking out to endless ocean, an outdoor mini golf course, a giant movie screen above the main outdoor pool, live shows, an endless list of activities like Bingo, a gym, a spa, and ice cream and pizza available whenever!

Since the food is all-inclusive (read: unlimited), it felt like everything you ordered was free.. haha and you could order as much as you wanted! At the buffet I would pile up and at our sit-down dinners, I would often order two appetizers, two entrées, and dessert!! But I think one of my favorite parts of the cruise was getting to know all of the crewmembers. They are from all over the world (like Romania, Serbia, Mexico, South Africa, and the Philippines), and they really became our friends! Especially our waiters, because they were assigned to our table for our ENTIRE trip. We miss you Milan and Gabriel!

My Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.com
We got off the ship at each port and it was really cool and interesting to see the culture in each Mexican city. We got to go on tours and went snorkeling in Cabo! Shout out to my favorite and hilarious tour guide Alex!! During our tour of Manzanillo he shouted out “And look! Over there, that’s a local, Bill from Seattle!” as he pointed at a random white guy exiting a grocery store, ha! My other favorite part of the cruise was the authentic Mexican food! SO good. Like the best guac I’ve ever had. Ever.

Unfortunately, the food came at a high cost: my brother, dad, and I all got food poisoning! It was literally the worst food poisoning of my life. It was so bad, the onboard medical practitioner had to come up to our rooms to give us medicine shots in our butts! LOL. Man was that an experience, and the constant rocking of the ship didn’t help either. Our food poisoning was so extreme, they were worried it was a viral or bacterial infection that would spread to other passengers. So we were quarantined in our rooms until they had to PRIVATELY escort us off of the ship when we docked back in San Francisco. I guess, luckily we got sick at the end of our trip, and not in the beginning…

Besides our unfortunate sickness, my first cruise experience was great! But at times, I wanted to be on land when there was no possible way to be. As my brother said once on the ship “um, I’m kind of tired of relaxing..” Lol! And while the average age of the passengers was about 55 (didn’t bother me!), I had a super fun time with my family! Oh, and I like to call it the burnt-n-turnt trip too: we tanned too much, and (almost) drank too much!

And now get ready, here are the rest of my pictures from our trip:

My Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.com My Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.com

Puerto Vallarta:

My Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.com

All the cool (painted) kids are doing it… arms up errybody!

My Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.com

Manzanillo:

My Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.com

Mazatlán:

My Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.com

Cabo:

My Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.com

Back to the ship!

My Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.comMy Cruise to Mexico in Pictures | ThePrettyRelaxed.com
Have you taken a cruise before? Would you go again? Or if you haven’t yet, would you try it?

Always,
Madison

p.s. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 🙂 I am SO thankful for the opportunity to have this experience and even more thankful to have the best, craziest, funniest family ever to enjoy it with!! Enjoy today (and everyday) with your loved ones!

A Quick Update on My Life

November 7, 2016

Hey guys! It’s been awhile.

I sound like a broken record; announcing each break and return to this blog.. but I just wanted to take some time to tell you what’s been happening in my life, and what I’m planning for, for the future!

I’ve recently been traveling, which has been amazing yet equally exhausting. I went on a 10-day cruise to Mexico, stopping in Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Matzatlán, and Cabo! And then after, I went to New York for a week! It was my first time being in all of these places, and I took a lot of pics, so I hope I will get a blog post up about my trips very soon!

An Update on My Life | ThePrettyRelaxed.com
But the main reason I’ve been MIA so much, is that I finally got a job! It’s nothing major, but it keeps me buuusy. In early August, I got hired at Francesca’s, a boutique-like clothing and gift store. I started as a “stylist,” or sales associate, but just 2.5 weeks into the job, I got a promotion as sales lead/key holder/manager! I had to interview with our district manager for the new position, and let me tell you, I was sweating like a mad man during it too.. ha! Having this new title was a little overwhelming at first, given that I was only looking for part-time hours so I could focus on my blog and such. But better pay and more hours meant I could really start saving for bigger things in life and help pay for my routine expenses like gas, food, and you know, the occasional Sephora run! My position at the store is considered part-time, but since we don’t have a full team yet, I’m getting a full-time schedule. I work most weekends, and I’m notified of my new schedule just one week in advanced.. Though planning around this unexpectedness is difficult, I LOVE my job! Working in retail, with amazing and funny people is perfect for where I am at in my life right now.

An Update on My Life | ThePrettyRelaxed.com
An Update on My Life | ThePrettyRelaxed.com
Yet, when I check Instagram or browse the web on my spare time, I can’t help but get the urge to start blogging more consistently again! I’m self-proclaimed as a relaxed person (hence the blog name), but in reality, I was living a pretty stressed lifestyle. To be honest, every blog post from day one, was a struggle and were big reasons for my daily stress. Taking time off to focus on something else (my job) has helped me realize what I really want to be sharing on this site. Being away from most social media made me realize that I’m really not cut out to be managing ALL the platforms. I never once thought about posting on my Twitter account these last few months and found that my Facebook page was a literal iteration of my Instagram feed.

I’ve decided to truly do what I want, how I want, and when I want.

This blog is a platform that is completely mine, and a space for self expression, honesty, and sharing fun things!

I want to work on my photography and quality of content, as well as hone in even more on the design of my site. This also means I’ll be deleting some posts I no longer think represent the style and feel of what I really want my blog to be. I will deactivate some social media accounts, and focus on the ones that I actually like using. I was always so adamant on getting my posts “out there” in order to gain readers and followers, but who am I kidding, I ain’t got time for all of that!!

Maybe some day I’ll use all the social media platforms again, post everyday, create comprehensive email blasts every week, reach out to thousands of other bloggers on my free time, and try and become Insta-famous… But for now, I vow to do what makes me happy, and thinking practically, do what I ACTUALLY can do on a daily basis. I mean, a girl’s gotta have some me time now and then!

And again, thanks so much for being a loyal reader and friend, thus far. 🙂

More posts to come soon!

Always,
Madison

P.S. It’s been over a year since I started this blog! Omg, time flies by!! Halloween was this past weekend and I totally wish I had time to make 2016 versions of this and this post

Outside Lands 2016: My First YouTube Video!

August 31, 2016

Hey all!

It’s been quite awhile (again), but I’m back with a YOUTUBE VIDEO!! It’s nothing fancy, but it’s a compilation of my Sunday spent at this year’s Outside Lands music festival in San Fran! It’s more of a vlog than an official “YouTube video,” so I’m not expecting it to go viral or anything… I’m working with what my momma (iMac) gave me!! aka just iMovie. So I present to you the simplest of simple, vlog-style video!

Outside Lands 2016: My First YouTube video! | ThePrettyRelaxed.com
I had a blast at the festival, eating donut burgers and dancing my butt off with Major Lazor. You know, GETTIN’ TURNT. I got to witness the perfection that is Lana Del Rey, but had to go pee right as she began belting “Summertime Sadness.” I couldn’t hold it in, so I sprinted across the field to the porta-potties, but luckily as I made it to said porta-potties, Lionel Richie did me a solid as I heard a melodic “Hello? Is it me you’re looking for?” YAS. I didn’t miss the 2nd headliner of the night (and the one out of two songs I know by Lionel). I also got to play a game of Jenga with giant blocks, buy an overpriced (but worth it!) Outside Lands beanie, and do some good people watching with some good friends.

Would I go to the festival again? Maybe. Even if I had a great time this year, I just wished there were more artists playing that I liked, to justify the price of a ticket. But I would go back just to try more food!! (The ramen burgers and porcini doughnuts are still on my list!)

What festival should I check out next? My friends and I were thinking about BottleRock for sure!

Always,
Madison