Homemade Pantry

So what are you up to this weekend?  Me?  I’m just chilling at home making homemade vanilla.  I know, I know.  I can buy vanilla at HEB.  But I’m kinda obsessed right now with making my own stuff.


I found this book at my library and loved it so much I had to buy a copy.  It’s called Homemade Pantry  by Alana Chernila.  It is filled with everyday staples that you can make.  For example, brown sugar.  Did you know you can make your own brown sugar?!?  How cool is that!  It’s just regular sugar with molasses.  Who knew?

So I decided to try my hand at the homemade vanilla.  That meant I had to turn to trusty Amazon to order some real vanilla beans from Madagascar.  What did people do before the internet, seriously?


Look at those cool specks of vanilla bean and the curvy tips.  They smell amazing!

Turns out, all you have to do is fill a container with some plain vodka, add some beans, and shake once a day for a month.  Bam- vanilla!  I’m looking forward to some homemade chocolate chip cookies with this vanilla.


So easy and pretty!

In other weekend news, we also took Charlie to the dog park this morning and Tim made a new friend.  Here’s Peaches!



Such a love bug!

If you want a copy of the book, I’d love it if you’d click the image below.  I’ll earn a few pennies toward a new camera lens if you do!

Photo Fun

So I finished my “Quick Start” class, and I have a page of notes on camera settings and very little actual photo experience.  I went outside in the back yard today to see what I could get.  About 100 photos later, I have learned a little bit more and have some interesting ones.  These are my favorites so far!


So the composition isn’t great, but it’s in focus and has good lighting- which is harder than it sounds!


I liked the pattern on the boards and the edges.  I snickered in my head when I named this photo “good wood.”


Prosaic, but I guess it’s a classic for a reason.

Happy Birthday!


Happy birthday to me!  Gerber daisies are my favorite flower and hubby gets extra points for remembering.  We went out to eat for my birthday, so no new photos to share of dinner.  However, I did get an excellent birthday gift!!


I think I should name it.  Suggestions?


Oh, and I’m taking an online class so I can learn how to use it.  I highly recommend the class.  It’s for getting started with my specific camera, but the instructor, John Greengo, is very clear and thorough.  I’m intrigued by his Fundamentals of Digital Photography class.  I tried to take a class in person through my local university, but it didn’t make enrollment.  If that happens again, I may seriously consider taking this class.  I like the idea of face to face contact with the instructor and other students and I actually want homework!  But driving to a class in traffic can be such a drag after working all day.  I’ll keep you posted!