Last Minute Gifts – DIY Vanilla Extract

Oh crap! Christmas is a week away! Are you ready? Do you have all your gifts wrapped? Cards sent? Meals planned? NO!?! Me either.

That is the joy of the holidays, seems like it goes on forever (with no help from christmas decorations showing up earlier and earlier each year) but it sneaks up on you and bites you square in the butt!

Dearest friends I have a super easy last-minute gift for you to make!

Vanilla Extract!

Bittersweet Susie | DIY Vanilla Extract

Ohhhhh fancy

What you need:

• Booze

• Glass bottle with tight fitting lid

• Whole vanilla beans

This is seriously the easiest gift to make – and is something that I (as a frequent baker) go through fairly quickly.

First you need some BOOZE. I have seen homemade vanilla made from a number of spirits. Vodka, bourbon, rum and someone even used GIN! Vodka is a good place to start – sort of blank canvas for the vanilla beans but bourbon also sounded like it would be good – I think I am going to try RUM in another batch.

Bittersweet Susie | DIY Vanilla Extract

I raided my fathers liquor cabinet for this little project. My parents are always reliable for a good bar stash!

Dad gave me some of this Bakers Bourbon to use – the bottle was practically empty before I used it – SHUT UP – it wasn’t ME.

I don’t think he got that I wasn’t going to drink it straight. I didn’t have the heart to tell him.

Bittersweet Susie | DIY Vanilla Extract

Filled your cleaned bottles with your booze of choice! These little stopper bottles came from Cost Plus.

Next – fresh vanilla beans! I get mine from this AWESOME spice shop in Santa Barbara store called Vices and Spices. They ship! They also have amazing teas and coffee.

Make sure your vanilla beans are not dried out.

Bittersweet Susie | DIY Vanilla Extract

Cut off the ends – but keep them! Don’t waste the vanilla! Slit the beans open so they can get completely infused – I also cut mine in half because they fit in the bottle easier and they need to be completely submerged.

Bittersweet Susie | DIY Vanilla Extract

I used two beans per bottle.

Shake up your concoction and warp it up for a friend. I have no friends so these are FOR ME.

Give them a good shake and let them sit in a cool dark place for a month. Some people leave it longer for a stronger vanilla flavor. Just check on it weekly for a good SHAKE SHAKE and to make sure the beans are still fully submerged.

Bittersweet Susie | DIY Vanilla Extract

The great thing about these is that it lasts practically forever (or until the beans flavor weekends)

Always make sure beans are fully covered in liquid. I top mine of every time I use it – NEVERENDING VANILLA EXTRACT!

YAY! You domestic badass! People are going to be impressed with your fancy gift!

Here are some posts of Christmas’s PAST to get you through this holiday:

Christmas Tree Skirt Tutorial

Christmas Dance Party Playlist

Holiday Craft Bonanza – part 2

DIY Wrapping Paper


Stay tuned this week for this years Christmas Playlist  – and check out my instagram for all my holiday baking for the BIG DAY. I hope Santa is down with paleo.

Homework:

• What are you making for your holiday meals?

• What dishes or desserts are tradition that you MUST MAKE year after year?

• The best homemade gift you made or received? 

 

2016 Halloween Playlist!

Bittersweet SusieHi Friends.

I almost forgot to post this years playlist. I didn’t TOTALLY forget, that is a bit of a stretch. I remembered but I just was not into it. I firmly believe that we should have certain big holidays every other year – that way it is like – Yay Halloween I missed your guts SO much – instead of – OH CRAP HALLOWEEN IS NEXT MONDAY!?!?!

I am usually super pumped for Halloween – I do a bunch of posts and take photos of my spooky adventures. I just didn’t this year. I am sorry. I DID decorate the house a little and the roommies humored me with that. “Festive!” “Cute!” “Oh you decorate for EVERY HOLIDAY?” Thanks gang – I appreciate the understanding and support.

I managed go to two of the major theme parks Haunt events – Universal Studios & Knott’s Berry Farms. I had NEVER been to the Universal one before and had not been to Knott’s since *cough* 1998 *cough*.

I was TERRIFIED of these types of things – but this year I was fine. I am either way more brave or so old and bitter I no longer care to be scared. Either way – they are both fun! I felt like I was everyone’s MOM at Universal. So, there was that. And the lines were ridic. What the crap is the purge and why is it EVERYWHERE. If I had to pick one to return to it would HANDS DOWN be Knotts. I love that little park. And the Ghost Town all filled with fog and decorations is pretty much the closest thing you will get to living in a spooky Halloween special of our childhood AND it has Elvira – plus it is half the price – is there even a contest here? We know who the clear winner is.

Bittersweet Susie

I am also most likely NOT going to dress up for Halloween this year. I was never even temped with that idea. Adult Halloween is sometimes just NOT my jam. I do like carving pumpkins! And the smell of a FULL bucket of Halloween candy. It is the best.

As a peace-offering for being the worst blogger ever for the five friends and family members who read this (Hi mom! LOVE YOU) I have two treats for you today!

The 2016 Playlist! AND some crafty fun freebies! Wooooo! Party!

It is time to get crafty because I made you a “Tomb Sweet Tomb” Cross Stitch – AND of you run out of time (like I do every damn year) you can also just download a free printable fakeout – See fellow procrastinators – I GOT YOUR BACK!

Download Tomb Sweet Tomb Freebies HERE!

Bittersweet Susie | Tomb Sweet Tomb

 

And the most important tradition here at Bittersweet Susie – The 2016 Halloween Playlist!

2016 Halloween Playlist

 

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Don’t forget to check out the posts of HALLOWEEN’S PAST – in case you missed them or you are old like me and FORGOT!

2015 Halloween Playlist 

2014 Halloween Playlist 

Vincent Price Cook-a-long

Swingin’ at the Séance

 

Homework:

• What was your favorite Halloween Candy as a kid?

• What was your LEAST favorite?

• Are you dressing up this year??

 

Holiday Craft Bonanza – PART 2

Hey there. Hi there. Ho there.

We are just SO DARN CLOSE now, aren’t we? I still have so many crafts to share with you. I was so so busy about a month ago and then – out of nowhere – my computer died. It was like losing my best friend. I was so worried about the thing and not really having a place to post and well, it was just the worst. So sorry I am late but you may be one of the lucky ones on vacation this week and can just hanker down and craft with your bad self.

I have SEVERAL projects for you today. THAT’S RIGHT! This is a fucking party and you are TOTALLY invited. But don’t bring THAT BITCH I don’t care for. You know the one.

I was going to tease them out up until the BIG DAY but we ain’t got time for that!

OK I will SHUT IT and get on with it.

First up:

Fusible Bead Gift Topper

Bittersweet Susie | Holiday Crafts

You remember these, right? Perler Beads? Hamma Beads? Apparently also RAVER BEADS?!?!? Who knew? Probably you – if you were a raver.

We this little project is a complete throwback to the camp craft time days of my youth. I think I got a bee in my bonnet that I was going to make a bunch of coasters and start myself a nifty little business. That works WAY better if you are little and cute OR maybe if you are a delusional Etsy seller.

Dyed Bottle Brush Trees

Bittersweet Susie | Holiday Crafts

Everyone is making these. Fall into line and make them too!

Felt Christmas Pin

Bittersweet Susie | Holiday Crafts

Got another last-minute party to go to? Only have that ONE red shirt that you have already worn out THREE TIMES? Have no fear – the Felt Christmas Pin Tutorial IS HERE! This is such a fast and easy project you can make this before you head to that family party you have dreaded all year. At least your outfit will be festive even if your face is looking shabby.

Photo Decal Plate

Bittersweet Susie | Holiday Crafts

Are you like me and just gave everyone fat I mean TREATS for Christmas? Deliver that diabetes on a custom plate. You can even put grandmas face on the plate. HO HO HO.

This is a LOT of craft goodness. Pace yourself. Bookmark it for later. Share with your mom.

The 2014 Holiday Playlist is coming. You should subscribe so you don’t miss it, because that would be lame.

HOMEWORK

• Did you DIY this Holiday season? What did you make?

• What are your favorite treats to pass out this time of year?

• If you make anything you see here TAG me in the post or #bittersweetsusie because you love me and I love you right back.