Christmas in July – Homemade Vanilla Extract

With just under 5 months until Christmas, it might be time to start thinking about gifts for your friends and family. That’s what I was doing about a year ago. I am definitely a big planner and had decided early in 2009 to make as many Christmas gifts as I could. Some of these gifts required quite a bit of time and some were easy to throw together. This week I’ll be sharing the gifts that I gave our family and friends last year.

The first gift came about due to a sale on Amazon. There was a great deal on 1/2 lb of vanilla beans. I started with two bottles of vodka and the vanilla beans. Once the beans were split (but not scraped) and placed in the vodka, the bottles just had to sit in a cool dark place. Every couple of weeks Hubby would pull the vodka out of the closet and shake the crap out of it. A couple months later the vanilla extract was ready to go!

I ordered some bottles online and made some labels for the bottles to finish off the look. I also placed two vanilla beans into each bottle.

I love that the vanilla extract tastes so good, has the specks of fresh vanilla beans, and will essentially never run out. If the vanilla starts running low, you can just top it off with some more vodka. As you use vanilla beans, just throw the pods in the bottle to replenish the vanilla flavor.

One Year Ago: Goat Cheese Potato Salad and Salmon with Yellow Pepper and Cilantro Pesto
Two Years Ago: Champagne Cupcakes

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12 Responses to “Not-So-Newlywed Map”

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    bcallegra — April 28, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Very neat idea! I may have to try this out, since our house is filled with empty walls at the moment.

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    We Are Not Martha — April 28, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Aww this is such a cute idea! I’m not married yet, but when I am, I might consider it… It’s so classy-looking too 🙂

    Sues

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    paulak01 — April 28, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Love the idea and had to send it to my husband. You are so creative – what an excellent job putting it together! Thank you for posting.

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    bonappetitbeantown — April 28, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    What a great idea! Such a fun experience for you both to share! I’ve always wanted to make a map like this and you just gave me the motivation to do it 🙂 I love the map you used!

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    ashley — April 28, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    i made one of these for hubby for our first Christmas together. unfortunately we haven’t had as many opportunities as we hoped to travel so ours looks sad with the lackage of pins 🙂

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    The DIY Show Off — April 28, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    I love this idea and it’s something we want to do too. Thanks for the motivation! Oh and we’ve been married 5 years so ours will be a not-so-newlywed map too. 😉

    R

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    holly2460 — April 28, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Love this idea! Thanks for sharing, I really want to do this!

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    Cupcake Activist — April 28, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    That’s so crazy…I was just thinking about doing something like this the other day. I guess that means that I need to get on it. Thanks for the idea!

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    Jes — April 28, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    LOVE THIS! Ordering my map NOW!

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    Memória — April 28, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Is this map only for heterosexual couples? haha j/k. You just wrote hubby (I guess you’re assuming all of your readers are females and are straight), and I was taken aback. This would be great for whenever my future wife and I get married. Thanks for sharing! It really is a cool idea!

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    Jen — April 28, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Memória – I hope I didn’t offend you. I wasn’t making any assumptions about my readers. I was just speaking the way I talk. This map could be perfect for anyone or any group of people.

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    yumventures — April 28, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    I looove this idea! I’m going to do it, even though I’m not married 🙂

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