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Planning, Packing and Homemade Vanilla Extract

Good morning! I’m yawning and stretching and yawning some more this dark Monday morning, wrapped securely in a quilt as I eat a Christmas orange. It’s been a good weekend filled with hustling and bustling and getting some much needed rest. After not taking any vacation time this year, I now have two trips, back to back, with only one day in between to prepare. Yipes!

As a result my house is dotted with stacks and piles and lists, one set with boots, sweaters and scarves for Europe, the other with sundresses, sandals and sunscreen for Australia. Then there’s the other lists, the ones filled with things to do for work: articles and posts to be written, interviews to be done, projects to be completed, all by Thursday. Again I say, YIPES! 🙂

All this madness WILL be worth it though. I’m going to see people I love, experience things I’ve never experienced, eat things I’ve never tried before. I’m excited and grateful.

In the meantime there is regular life to be lived and in between scrubbing floors, washing dishes, and sorting laundry, I had such fun this weekend cooking up a couple different curries to last me the week: Green Chili Cilantro Chicken and Chicken with Spinach and Tomatoes. Mmm.

I also got to see the progress of my homemade Vanilla Extract. My friend Darren made me a Vanilla Extract Making Kit for my birthday – complete with a bottle of vodka and 6 vanilla beans that we sliced in half and slid into the vodka. It’s coming along beautifully, the liquid getting darker and darker as the vanilla infusion works its magic.

Tomorrow I’m excited to be participating in a Blog Challenge with my friend Cailin from A White Picket Fence. We are going to be writing and sharing photos about warm holiday destinations such as Jamaica, Mexico and Fiji.

If you could go to any warm place for your next holiday, where would you go?

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Ingredients:

1 bottle good vodka
6 vanilla beans

Directions:

  1. Lay vanilla beans on cutting board and careful split each one in two, leaving 1/2″ at one end intact for easy removal.
  2. Open vodka bottle and insert vanilla beans, split ends first.
  3. Seal tightly and store in cool, dark place for 6+ weeks.



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Cailin - Yay! I am so excited!

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RamblingTart - Me too, Cailin! Can’t wait to see your pictures and hear about your adventures. 🙂

Kat - Did Darren mention what *size* bottle of vodka? 🙂

Andi - I would go back to Brasil, I’m obsessed!!! I’m sooo excited for your upcoming trips!

RamblingTart - Ahhh, he did not, Kat! But it’s not very large. We can check his bottle at CEC tonight. 🙂

RamblingTart - Oh, I would love to visit there, Andi. 🙂 I’ve never been to South America and I absolutely LOVE all your photos and video. It looks incredible. 🙂

Tuula - Good luck with the packing Krista! And also for the blog challenge – sounds like a fun one!
You so deserve 2 vacations back-to-back…it’s going to be so fun & give you a breath of fresh air 🙂
Excited for you! xo

Debi Shawcross - With travel plans like that on the horizon I would have trouble sleeping—I would be so excited! If we were headed to warmer weather over the holidays I would be tossed between 2 destinations: the island of Kauai (where we used to visit quite often while living in CA), or to the beaches of Thailand (a place I have not yet been).
Ah to dream–instead we will be here listening to the cold winter wind howl outside.
Safe and happy travels!

bellini - I know you will have an amazing time my dear. Last week I received an email for a culinary trip on a Bali cooking vacation, so, since it is a warm destination it is on my list:D

Susan - The busy week will be so worth it once you get on that plane! I would love to go to Peru.

Anna Johnston - Wow Krista 🙂 Sounds like you’ve got your work cut out for you this week girlfriend 🙂 Warm holidays are all about Australia & the islands that surround 😉

A Canadian Foodie - I love the idea of a vanilla making kit. Brilliant friend… you are such a busy traveller it is difficult for me to not feel twinges of envy. I work at just being happy for you – which is easy, as I am…. but, I am frustrated with myself that I am more homebound than I would like to be. HAVE A BLAST!
🙂
valerie

Mia - Ahh , since i have already done extract im making vanilla sugar!!
SOunds like u sure are going to have fun!

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