DIY Vanilla Extract!

 Hello!! Here we are in the dead of summer and I am thinking about Christmas gifts. Homemade gifts at that. I admit that this one is a little bit for me as well since I plan to keep a portion to use myself. I have wanted to make vanilla extract at home for ages and since my beloved vanilla from Mexico will run out in the next few months, I thought now is the time!

Not only is it SUPER simple, it's also WAY cost effective to make it yourself. For about $40 I will have made 32 ounces of good quality vanilla extract TO BEGIN WITH. The best part of homemade extract is that you can use the beans again more than once. I can at least use them twice making 64 oz. A middle of the road Vanilla Extract from Target will cost you about $9 for 2oz.  So, it's a deal for much better quality!
Here is everything you need!
I got all of my supplies from Amazon (minus the vodka which I bought locally).

I have had these bottles forever from when I have made kombucha. You can also use a tight sealing jar.
And I bought these beans.
You'll need 8 oz of vodka per 5 beans, so you can start small! The cheapest vodka you can find will work just fine! Don't waste money here!

A funnel is helpful.

To make the extract simply slice the beans down the center to expose the middle.
Use 5 beans to one cup of vodka. (These bottles hold ten beans each and two cups of vodka).

Add beans to bottle/jar. Add vodka. Put the lid on and shake it gently.

Sit it in a cool place out of direct sun for six months (hence why I am starting them now).  Every so often shake them a bit.

If you are going to gift a portion, remove the beans and start a new one.  If you are going to keep some, simply top the vanilla off every once in a while to extend the life of your bottle of vanilla!

You can get a lot out of five beans! I hope you try some! I thinks it's always worth it to make everything from scratch at least once to see if it's worth it! I think homemade Vanilla extract IS!

Let me know if you make some!

Paint Pouring on Kindness Rocks!

Moses was at a sleepover this week so Aaron and I tried something new: paint pouring on rocks! It’s was SO FUN! Even for a parent that does not enjoy crafting with kids (IG honesty for you), it was still fun! But, if you want to do it, I suggest hiking a few miles from your house, somewhere with a river nearby, have your kids wear their swimsuits and be prepared to bathe there because it is even messier than you think! I’ll post the kit we used below!

Paint Pouring Kit!
 The kit came with everything you needed (minus the rocks) and was not too expensive! Aaron really enjoyed it and we will probably do it again sometime with Moses!
 Do not kid yourself, it is super messy. 

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