Recreating Starbucks’ Cold Foam Iced Espresso at Home

This quarantine life makes me miss a lot of things, like our usual coffee runs at Starbucks. In hindsight, craving for commercial, overpriced coffee seems so trivial now with all the world’s problems. If anything, this ECQ serves a reset button for many of us, myself included–a reminder that often, the most meaningful things in life are also the simplest.

I find myself making a lot of things in the house, using simple and affordable ingredients. You wouldn’t believe how easy and cheap it is to enjoy a venti cold foam iced espresso at home! All you need are some coffee, ice, sugar, and skim milk.

Here’s a video I made while I tried to recreate my all-time favorite drink from Starbucks: (shameless plug: please like the video and subscribe to the channel! :))

This drink is a great way to relax and refresh during a hot afternoon. Try it yourself and let me know how it goes!

~Ingredients (for a venti-sized drink)~

2 tbsp instant coffee powder mixed with 1/2 cup of water (or 2 shots of espresso)

Ice to fill the glass

1 cup skim milk

2 tbsp white sugar


Blend the milk + sugar using a high-speed blender for about 3 to 5 minutes.

Make your coffee while the blender is running.

Put ice into the glass, then pour your coffee.

Top with the milk and scoop out as much foam as you can.



Lucas’ 1st Birthday: Camp Quarantine

We decided to push through with our planned camping trip for the boy’s birthday. With the community quarantine strictly enforced though, we just had to camp at home! Sharing with you how we celebrated our son’s special day. Like his conception and birth, his first birthday is one for the books!

Enzo and I woke up early to prepare. We didn’t have guests, but we wanted it to still look festive. After all, Lucas is at the stage where he’s amused with everything that he sees–lights, hanging stuff, trees, animals, etc. I was able to buy a dinosaur “happy birthday” banner right before the quarantine announcement. We hung it above our dining table and it became our theme for lunch. Enzo got a few banana leaves which we used as a table runner to make it look more, er, Jurassic? :)

dinosaur themed birthday

I cooked spaghetti and hotdogs on sticks. VeryΒ Pinoy birthday.

And the cake! I ran out of cocoa powder and I couldn’t find any at our nearest mini-grocery. Good thing they sold boxed chocolate cakes! This one’s from Magnolia, and it’s actually good! I still had chocolate bars in my pantry so I made ganache for the frosting. We topped with a used candle (good thing I hoard stuff!) and a Godzilla toy. Because I insist that Godzilla is a dinosaur, lol.

As for the gifts, I re-wrapped (using old magazine pages) some of Lucas’ favorite toys and books so he could open presents. I got the idea from a Montessori mama that I follow on Instagram. I agree that at Lucas’ age, he doesn’t need new toys and he won’t appreciate them anyway. But I do want him to have the sensory experience of opening and tearing wrapping paper. Lucas was thrilled!

Enzo pitched a tent in the boy’s room and we stayed there after dinner. It was missing stars, trees, and real grass but it was a special memory for us as new parents. Wow, has it been a year? Raising a child is not easy, now more than ever. The world is changing right before our eyes. What challenges will we still face, what hurdles will we encounter? Many more, I am sure. But this boy, our wonderful boy, is a reminder that there is beauty after every battle and that whatever it is, this too shall pass. <3

Baby’s Room Tour

Lucas is turning one in four days. We had planned a fun camping trip with his cousins. Enzo had a grill made, we ordered picnic blankets, prepared a few games and prizes, I ordered souvenirs, and reserved a venue. Sadly, that is not going to happen.

It’s been a crazy tough week for everyone. In our part of the world, we are in an enhanced community quarantine. A lockdown, basically. Because of the increasing threat of COVID-19. NCoV, Coronavirus, or “veerus,” our president calls it. My family and I are all safe, grateful that we have ample food and essentials in the house. While we entertain ourselves with funny memes about this pandemic, we are seriously anxious about things. The husband’s work–our livelihood–is dependent on live shows and mass events, which for sure will change once this is all over.

It’s just been a week. We’re in it for the long haul. As they say, it will get worse before it gets better. For now, we’re using this time to plan our next steps and making the best of what we have now. Enzo has been busy tinkering with his tools, while I finally had the time to clean, fix, and take photos of the baby’s room.

Nursery Room Tour

I read several books on Montessori parenting when I was still pregnant. While I’m not as strict as other Montessori moms, I do appreciate many of its principles. One thing that I practice is the concept of having a “prepared environment.” The goal is to promote independence and encourage learning through exploration within boundaries. A baby’s room should be safe, simple, clean, and orderly.

A prepared environment is this: even if you leave the baby alone for a few minutes, he’ll be safe. You may find him crying, hungry, and with a soiled nappy. But he’s safe.

This is really important for me because how many times did I have to take a few moments to pee, have a drink, or talk to the phone? Sharing a few details of how we assembled this area, for mamas who are planning to do the same during this crucial time of social distancing:

1. Large floor mat with a thin foam

Maria Montessori also advocated mats over beds. I agree. More floor time for baby means he’ll develop motor skills and independence faster. However, Lucas still sleeps with us in our room, on our bed. When he does sleep here though, we just lay him on the mat. We ordered that from Shopee. The bed here is more for when we have guests sleeping over because we only have two rooms in the house.

2. Mirror with a bar just beside the mat

Here’s another Montessori principle that we adopted early on. Having a mirror beside a baby’s sleeping mat encourages self-awareness and space consciousness. We put a bar when Lucas was around six months, just as he was trying to grasp things and pull up. This bar is life-changing. He’s been happily pulling and standing up since he was six months!

Pikler Triangle with Ramp

3. Pikler triangle with ramp

Dr. Emmi Pikler was a pediatrician and infant educator, and she believed in the child’s innate ability to learn through independent playing. She designed a climbing triangle, now known as a Pikler, so babies can learn to navigate spaces at their own pace. Like the bar, this has been life-changing for Lucas. He was already pulling up when we first introduced the Pikler to him, but he seemed uninterested at the time. We didn’t force him. “Observe more, do less,” as RIE parenting advocates would say. After a few weeks, we caught him attempting to climb up–one to two steps at first until he mastered going to the top. We attach the ramp from time to time to practice his uphill crawling.

We also did not show him how he’s supposed to use the Pikler. Sometimes, Lucas drops toys inside the triangle and crawls through it as if it’s a tunnel. We’ve had a few frustrations–he gets trapped most of the time–but if I didn’t interrupt, I’ll see him solve his own problem and get out after a few attempts. It’s amazing how imaginative babies are when they’re learning.

A few moms who have seen this Pikler at work on my IG have asked me where I got it. Enzo actually made it using dimensions I found online. We actually wanted to order from an online seller but found the price too steep. I’m lucky my husband is a carpenter. If you want to have one made, DM me and I can send the dimensions. :)

Walker Wagon

4. Walker wagon

Montessori also discouraged the use of contraptions such as traditional walkers. According to her studies, babies develop motor skills in a specific sequence and it’s crucial not to restrict or skip these steps. A walker wagon provides babies the freedom of movement to develop their standing and walking skills at their own time. I ordered this wooden wagon from Happy Story Co.

5. Bookshelf and knickknacks

On the other side of the room, we have a shelf and a comfy chair I used for nursing. We’ve had that tall bookshelf since forever, and while most Montessori rooms you’ll see have low-lying shelves, we decided to just use our existing one. I just put all the books and toys at the bottom rows, so Lucas can easily reach them when he’s playing.

On the upper rows, we have some classic books we hope Lucas will be interested to devour once he’s reading. That cute portrait is made by a former colleague who’s now a mom of three. You can ask her to paint your baby or godchildren (drawings make the cutest gift!)–see her other works at Selah Soul Art.

We love this room because it’s safe and we can leave Lucas on his own here with minimal supervision. I’ve even napped while he’s awake, playing on his own. If you’re keen on setting up your own Montessori nursery, I strongly recommend that you read this book. Also, follow other moms who have done it so beautifully. I personally follow How We Montessori.

How are you spending your quarantine time, mamas? Are you also busy with baby projects? Share them in the comments below!