Easy Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade Vanilla Extract

You wouldn’t think a small change in baking, like using pure vanilla extract, would make a difference – but it does. The simple switch can elevate your baked goods from ordinary to scrumptious. If you are a serious foodie, you may want to take it up an extra level and infuse your own vanilla extract at home!

Homemade Vanilla Extract

All you need to make the extract at home is vanilla beans, your choice of alcohol and a lot of patience! After three months, your extract will be rich in flavor and ready to use. At this point you may want to keep your tincture all to yourself, but if you are feeling generous, this would be a lovely gift to give.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Ingredients:

  • 6 vanilla beans
  • 8 oz. Bourbon, tequila, or vodka

Directions:

  • Slice the vanilla beans lengthwise and place in a mason jar
  • Cover with alcohol and seal shut with the lid
  • Place in a cool, dark room and shake occasionally
  • After three months the extract is ready to use

February 27, 2017 at 2:00 AM Leave a comment

Five Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

Five Tips for Better Sleep

Hello, Monday! After a weekend back in Madison catching up with my family, I woke up wishing I could pull the covers over my eyes and catch a few more minutes of sleep. I wish this was a rare occurrence, but I often find myself forcing my eyes open when my alarm sounds. Wanting to have more energy in the morning, I decided to change my nighttime routine to encourage a good night’s rest.

Here are five things you can add to your evening routine to facilitate better sleep:

  1. Turn off all screens: Thirty minutes before you go to bed stay off all of your devices. It’s tempting to scroll through Instagram one last time or watch TV before bed, but it’s beneficial to take some time to calm your mind before sleep.
  2. Drink tea: A warm drink, especially tea, is a nice way to unwind and relax before going to sleep.
  3. Calm Stories: Some nights a silent room is an enabler to my racing mind. In these cases, I like to open my Calm app and turn on a nighttime story. These are soothing audio stories that help calm your mind and allow you to drift to sleep.
  4. Sleep Masks: I was never one to wear a sleep mask, but when we traveled to Scotland I bought a mask for the plane journey. Suddenly, I was wearing my sleep mask all the time. Obviously, it helps keep light from interrupting my sleep – but I also found it was a nice signal to my mind that it was time to unwind and fall asleep.
  5. Pillow Spray:  Is it necessary? No. But sometimes it’s nice to feel spoiled! After spraying your pillows, you will get into bed feeling pampered and ready to drift off to sleep.

What tips do you have to get a better night’s sleep? I would love to hear them in the comments!

February 20, 2017 at 2:00 AM 1 comment

Conversation Heart Ornament

Conversation Heart Ornament

As I was walking through the craft aisle at Michael’s, I found this heart ornament. After confessing my love of heart-shaped items, it’s no surprise that I left the store with the ornament in my bag. I played around with the idea of decorating it with a monogram or our wedding date, but in the end, I decided to make a reversible conversation heart ornament.

Conversation Heart Ornament

Hung on a door knob, this simple DIY adds a subtle Valentine’s Day touch to your living space. Feel like freshening things up? Simply twist the twine around to reveal a second message on the back!

Conversation Heart Ornament

Conversation Heart Ornament

Materials:

  • Clay heart ornament
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint Brushes
  • Pencil

Directions:

  • Lightly write out your message with a pencil
  • Using a small paint brush, paint over the penciled writing
  • Let dry, then gently erase visible pencil marks
  • Flip over and repeat with another message

 

February 8, 2017 at 2:00 AM Leave a comment

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