A VERY Bitter Christmas!

Hi Gang! We are almost in the home stretch.

Bittersweet Susie

In my family Christmas is a casual affair. We get together on Christmas Eve, draw names for a gift exchange, eat until we can’t move and are in bed by 9! Christmas day we just eat leftovers in pjs. I usually eat candy for breakfast to really keep with the manic sugar fuel frenzy that some of us get when we go all in to the holiday spirit.

Bittersweet Susie

What are your traditions?

Today is my BAKING MARATHON DAY! I am pretty excited about it. Also, I have pretty much watched EVERY holiday movie and special there is, some of them twice (I am looking at you White Christmas). I, as I do every year, had GREAT PLANS for all the crafty things I was going to make and per usual I did almost NONE of them. Typical. There is always next year!

I DID manage to make these cute mid century putz-style glitter house inspired from a tutorial on Retro Renovation. It is one of my FAVORITE blogs if you have not had the chance to check it out.

Bittersweet Susie

I also made these HOMEMADE Vanilla Extract that I posted here a few days ago. Look at me posting TWICE in the same month.

And as a HOLIDAY Tradition here on the blog I have for you the 2016 Bittersweet Christmas Playlist! I had a theme going for a minute. First a Country Christmas, then it was a bluesy Christmas and now it is just A RANDOM CHRISTMAS! Like our year this playlist has some ups, some downs, and some total turds! Not everything can be the best thing you ever heard, right? I will be listening today while I finish up (or start) wrapping, and baking, and meditating on being the MOST FESTIVE I can be!

Bittersweet Susie

Cheers to a great Holiday!

No homework! CHRISTMAS VACATION!

 

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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 Thanksgiving Playlist – Thankful ISHHHHHH

Hi friends!  Hows the cooking going?!? I am onto the 4th pie I have made this week! WOOOO the Holidays!

This is what I look like

I know it is the super busy this time of year, and 2016 has been HARD. Too damn hard. It’s hard for me to try to be funny on here or have anything cute and kitsch to post. I need to remember to be thankful and content in what is good. There have of course been wonderful things that have happened (cute babies being born to lovely friends) and lots of dogs and cats to pet and take care of! There has been some good tv – REALLY good tv – and good books to read. There has not been a shortage on BOOZE – so YAY for that. And there is always chocolate to eat. See, good good things.

Even though it is a holiday I have given myself homework and I am assigning it to you to. Break out those post-it notes you have in your junk drawer and WRITE DOWN the things you are thankful for right now. Go ahead and do it…I’ll wait.

Now post one in the kitchen where you are cooking today, or on top of the tv, or the computer. Put one in your medicine cabinet. And all day (even if you aren’t having the greatest of holidays or your fam is mean or annoying or someone made REALLY dry turkey) look at your post-its and remind yourself that “Yea! I AM THANKFUL FOR VODKA!”

You don’t have to be PC, be selfish and silly. I am thankful for comfy cotton unds that don’t ride up. I am thankful for Gilmore girls having new episodes. I am thankful for group text messaging.

Here is mine:

bittersweet Susie | Thankful

Obviously there are a number of things that you could write down, we all have some pretty great things going on in our lives despite the bad but I just want you to write down three. Do it for me, ok?

I promised the 2016 Thanksgiving playlist yesterday and HERE IT IS!

Crank it up! It is totally fine for
mixed company! I promise Grandpa will enjoy this playlist!

And I have made a master playlist of all previous Thanksgiving so you can stream it for your party and not be bothered with that terrible dinner music mom likes to sneak on sometimes! (sorry mom you know I love Rod Stewart too)

I will be adding music all day !

And if you are feeling fancy check out some posts from previous Thanksgivings! I think there is a recipe for PIE in there if you are scrambling and don’t know how the internet works!

Have a great holiday friends!

 

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. 

Holiday Craft Bonanza! – Retro Felt Christmas Tree Skirt Tutorial

Ok how it is only a week before Christmas?  WEEK. I had great plans for making lovely crafted gifts for every person I have ever met. Instead I am going to re-watch Twin Peaks for the millionth time and skip the holiday altogether.

A month or so back I was full stop into the Christmas Spirit. I did manage to crank out some crafts for EHOW and now I can share them with you.

All of them are simple and easily customizable. You still have time to do any of these guys before the holiday knocks on our door. Most you can do while watching your favorite holiday film (or two!) and will give you the satisfaction of being one crafty and creative bad ass mother fucker.

So get on with it!

First up – The Retro Felt Christmas Tree Skirt

Bittersweet Susie | Retro Felt Tree Skirt Tutorial

This project can be easily changed to match your decor. I have GRAND PLANS to make some different versions.

Maybe a Halloween Tree one year???

Tune in every day leading up to Christmas for more tutorials and the long awaited Holiday Playlist (to tide you over click on link to last years!

Homework

• Did you have any grand plans you never completed?

• What is your go to Holiday movie?

Balls

Hey there! I made you some balls!

RUM BALLS!

These are easy, no bake and TOTALLY full of booze. A win on all fronts.

Rum Balls | Ehow | Bittersweet Susie

I photographed a cooking tutorial for EHOW – it is never too early to start planning your holiday baking.

Rum Balls | Ehow | Bittersweet Susie

Yes, actually it is too damn early but you can bookmark it for later.

Rum Balls | Ehow | Bittersweet Susie

Homework:

• What are your favorite holiday cooking recipes?

• Are you willing to share this recipe?

• Will you still like me if I eat the last cookie?



Summer 2014 Playlist – ROADTRIP

Bittersweet Susie | Summer Playlist 2014 | Roadtrip

Grandpa Delaney – the coolest!

 Ahh summertime – you know what that means? Yes, waiting in a too long line to see a movie we have seen a thousand times but this time it’s in a cemetery so clearly this is better. BUT it also means its time for my annual SUMMER PLAYLIST (which may or may not actually be annual!)

Check out some of my other playlists here!

I have given this one the theme of the ROADTRIP. I can think of nothing I want to do more than to sit on my ass until it falls asleep with the pooling sweat making my thighs stick to the seat! HEAVEN

But seriously, I want to go on a road trip and see all the neon signs and eat ALL THE THINGS. Any suggestions for the ultimate but also maybe doable in a week road trip?

To go with this delightful collection of the most random of tunes I have included some amazing Polaroids I found of my dad and his parents – 1960 whatever I am sure.

Bittersweet Susie | Summer Playlist 2014 | Roadtrip

Grandma Delaney – Give me all your clothes!

Bittersweet Susie – ROADTRIP – Summer 2014

 

 

  1. Death Cab for Cutie – You Are A Tourist
  2. Johnathan Rice – We’re All Stuck Out In The Desert
  3. The Animals – We Gotta Get Out Of This Place
  4. Edwin Starr – Twenty Five Miles
  5. Iggy Pop – The Passenger
  6. Cake – The Distance
  7. Bob Wills – Take Me Back To Tulsa
  8. Tom Petty – Runnin’ Down A Dream
  9. Talking Heads – Road To Nowhere – Remastered
  10. Woody Guthrie – Riding in my car (Car song)
  11. Golden Earring – Radar Love
  12. Wilco – Passenger Side
  13. Willie Nelson – On the Road Again
  14. Chuck Berry – No Particular Place To Go
  15. Wilson Pickett – Mustang Sally
  16. The Allman Brothers Band – Midnight Rider
  17. Tom Waits – Long Way Home
  18. Prince – Little Red Corvette
  19. R. Miller – King Of The Road
  20. Arcade Fire – Keep the Car Running
  21. Johnny Cash – Jackson
  22. Old 97’s – If My Heart Was A Car
  23. Hank Snow – I’ve Been Everywhere
  24. The Beach Boys – I Get Around – 2001 – Remaster
  25. Roy Orbison – I Drove All Night
  26. Sam & Dave – Hold On! I’m A Comin’ – LP/Single Version
  27. Vanity Fare – Hitchin’ A Ride
  28. Ray Charles – Hit The Road Jack
  29. The Highwaymen – Highwayman
  30. Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited
  31. The Sonics – Have Love Will Travel
  32. Paul Simon – Graceland
  33. Canned Heat – Going Up The Country
  34. The Cars – Drive
  35. The Coasters – Down In Mexico
  36. Patti Page – Detour
  37. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes – Country Roads
  38. C.W. McCall – Convoy
  39. Rufus Wainwright – California
  40. Richard Thompson – 1952 Vincent Black Lightning
Bittersweet Susie | Summer Playlist 2014 | Roadtrip

MY DAD! Before he was famous for eating crap jello on my blog!

Thanks for stopping by! Don’t forget to subscribe (on the right) so you don’t DARE MISS any of my summer adventures.

This will probably be me waxing poetic about the best pair of flip-flops I have ever owned.

 

Homework:

• Send me your favorite road trip tunes – we need a road trip VOL 2!

• Dream Roadtrip

• Where should I go on mine

• Road trip pro tips – I know everyone who reads this blog is very clever and smart about ALL THINGS ROADTRIP