Want to Give Homemade Vanilla For Gifts This Christmas? Time To Get it Started!


Yep, it’s that time of year again.  It takes 4-6 months of brewing time to get a really good, pure vanilla extract.  If you would like to give Homemade Vanilla Extract for Christmas gifts this year, it’s time to get your supplies together and start a batch!

Here is all the information you need about making homemade vanilla.  Be sure to take advantage of the 10% discount offer Olive Nation gives us here at Heavenly Homemakers.  Use the code home to receive the discount at check-out.  I love their vanilla beans, their price, their quality and their free shipping on this product!

Important Announcement!  We have a batch of our Heavenly Homemakers Vanilla Extract ready to bottle and sell.  If you would like to give it a try while you wait for your own vanilla to brew, or if you simply don’t want to make your own, we are thrilled to offer you a bottle of ours!  We plan to offer this batch for sale on Saturday, June 14 beginning at 8:00 am CST.  It will only be available while supplies last, and the supply typically only lasts a few hours.  So mark your calendar and be prepared to stop by our site to snatch some up if you’re interested!

Homemade Bubble Bath

I’ve had this recipe on my site for over six years.   Since it’s become buried among all the food recipes, I decided to pull it out and share it again.  I first made this when Elias turned 6.  As far as I can remember, his 6th birthday was about twenty minutes ago.  But in fact, Elias is now 12 - and not so much into bubble baths.  (He is learning some great card tricks, though!)

Why make homemade bubble bath?  Well, because it’s fun.  Because it is very inexpensive.  Because you can personalize it if you want to give it as a gift.  And because you can use ingredients you feel good about.

I think making this together with your kids, then letting them enjoy using it might just be a very helpful way to get through these spring/winter/warm/cold/rainy/windy/crazy days many of us are experiencing this March!

Homemade Bubble Bath

1/2 cup shampoo (I use this shampoo)
3/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

In a bowl, mix the shampoo and water until well combined.  Add salt and stir until it thickens slightly.  Use a funnel to pour it into a bottle.

Homemade Bubble Bath
To use this Bubble Bath, pour a few Tablespoons into the bath water as the tub is filling.  Have fun!

A Jar in My Ceiling Fan

I’m not sure how long it was up there without me noticing it.  Finally, Matt pulled me into the kitchen and asked, “Hey, have you seen the new addition to our dining area?”

Let’s see…fresh crumbs and a chunk of scrambled eggs under the table.  Surely that’s not what he’s referring to.  Tablecloth is the same.  Scattered paper pile under my Bible, same.  I give up.

“Look higher,” he suggested.



Does my husband know me, or what?

He had seen the idea online somewhere to replace our regular light bulb cover with a quart sized jar.  Knowing my love for and obsession with jars, he took the opportunity to make the switch while I was out with the boys one afternoon.

Love that guy.

Apparently, it was as easy as finding a jar that fit, and screwing it in where the regular cover had been.  In our case, a regular-sized mouth (not wide mouth) jar worked perfectly.

If only all of our home improvement projects were this fun, easy, and jar themed…  :)

12 Days of Gifts in a Jar Recap

Thank you all so much for your fun input as I shared 12 days of Gifts in a Jar ideas!  To make things simpler for us all, I compiled a list of all of the ideas and links here.  Need some ideas for inexpensive, homemade gifts?  We’ve gotcha covered!

1.  Applesauce Bread
2.  Cranberry Biscuit Mix
3.  Steak Rub
4.  Homemade Bubble Bath
5.  Caramel Sauce with Apple Basket
6.  Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffin Mix
7.  Apple Crisp
8.  Peppernuts
9.  Santa’s Snot
10.  Cranberry Pecan Granola
11.  Whole Wheat Pancake Mix
12.  Fruit and Nuts Trail Mix

For more ideas, don’t forget to download our FREE Gifts in a Jar eBook!

Be sure to Download Your Free Gifts In A Jar Tags too!

Fruit and Nuts Trail Mix {Gifts in a Jar ~ Day Twelve}

We made it!  12 days in a row of Gifts in a Jar.

(I wasn’t actually sure it was going to happen today.  Did you try to check my site today and see that it was nowhere to be found?  My server was down ALL day.  Wow.  I never realized how much I rely on my own website to look up recipes until I didn’t have access to it today.  Anyway, here we are and all is well.  Even if I did have to wing it when I made Breakfast Cookies this afternoon.)

Today’s Gift in a Jar idea is really too simple.  There’s not really a “recipe” for this trail mix, because you can throw in whatever dried fruit and nuts that you like.  Of course, I like to pour in some chocolate chips for good measure.  :)

Here are some suggestions for ingredients to use when creating your Trail Mix:

Roasted peanuts, cashews, pecans, and/or almonds.
Dried cranberries, blueberries, cherries, and/or raisins
Chocolate Chips – any variety (dark, semi-sweet, or milk)

You can use any size jar – and simply fill it with the recipients favorite trail mix treats. 

And there you have it.  Twelve days of Gifts in a Jar that ended just a little bit…nutty.   But you expected nothing less, right?  :)

Whole Wheat Pancake Mix {Gifts in a Jar ~ Day Eleven}

Our family devours homemade whole wheat pancakes!  Storing this mix in the freezer is best.  Be sure to attach mixing instructions if you’re giving this as a gift. 

I think it would be fun to tie a whisk and/or a metal spatula (for flipping pancakes) to this jar of mix.  And, you could sprinkle mini chocolate chips into the mix to make Chocolate Chip Pancake Mix, which would be even more fun!

Whole Wheat Pancake Mix

6 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup baking powder
3 teaspoons sea salt
3 teaspoons sucanat (optional)

Mix ingredients and place in a 1.5 quart jar. 

Instructions for making pancakes:  Mix 1 cup mix with 1 egg, 1 cup of milk, and 1 Tablespoon melted butter or coconut oil.  Cook pancakes on a hot griddle or skillet.

Want a fun tag to use for your gift? Download Your Free Gifts In A Jar Tags Here!


Cranberry Pecan Granola {Gifts in a Jar ~ Day Ten}

Tweaking my Easy Homemade Granola recipe just a little bit, you can create a yummy Gift in a Jar that is perfect for the season.  Shoot, what am I talking about?  Cranberries and pecans are great during any season.  ;)

Cranberry Pecan Granola

4 cups rolled oats
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sunflower nuts
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup honey

In a small sauce pan, melt together coconut oil and honey. Stir all remaining ingredients together in a large bowl. Drizzle on the honey/coconut oil mixture and stir well. Pour mixture onto a large, parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake at 300° for 35 minutes, stirring after the first 20 minutes. Store granola in an air tight container.

This makes 4 pint sized jars of granola, so you can make lots of gifts…or have several servings of granola on hand for busy mornings.  :)

Want a fun tag to use for your gift? Download Your Free Gifts In A Jar Tags Here!

Santa’s Snot {A Gift in a Jar for the Practical Joker ~ Day Nine}

A few years ago, I was invited to a gift exchange in which the gift needed to be silly…and homemade.  If you ask me, that was a tough order to fill.  I’m not big into making crafts, so I could think of nothing cutesy or crafty to make.  I could think of all kinds of homemade food gifts I could make - but something silly?  I’m way too practical (and apparently boring) for that.  Plus, I didn’t want to go to the trouble to make something and have the food be wasted. 

Finally, I remembered that sometime in my life, I had seen mini-marshmallows in a baggie, given as a joke with the label, “Snowman Poop”.  Ha…very clever.  And so, I looked around my kitchen and tried to think of what other yummy…yet disgusting homemade gift I could create.

Thus, the idea for Santa’s Snot was born.

Disgusting?  Yes.  Funny?  Mostly.  Still practical and edible?  Absolutely.  (As long as you forget the label and remember that the jar actually contains Homemade Applesauce.)

This is certainly not a Gift in the Jar for everyone – can I get an amen on that?  But if there’s a practical joker on your Christmas list and you have no idea what to give him or her…might I suggest a lovely jar of Santa’s Snot?

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programing in which Laura brings you cheerful, tasty, and much less icky posts….

Homemade Peppernuts {Gifts in a Jar ~ Day Eight}

Ahhh, Peppernuts.  Little bites of delicious memories from my childhood.

One batch will go a long way – filling several jars for gifts!  If you’ve never had peppernuts before, I can only describe them as spicy, sweet, munchy, crunchy bites of Christmas.  My grandma made them each year at holiday time, and we all loved them.  They are great for gift giving – and great to keep in a jar on top of your refrigerator!  :)

Click on the link below for the recipe!
Homemade Peppernuts

Want a fun tag to use for your gift? Download Your Free Gifts In A Jar Tags Here!

Apple Crisp {Gifts in a Jar ~ Day Seven}

Remember how I mentioned how easy it is to bake in a jar?  How about putting together some individual apple crisp desserts in small jars?  Or peach crisp.  Or cherry crisp.  Or a combination of them all.  :)

Find my Fruit Crisp Recipe, then fill several half-pint sized wide mouth jars with fruit and topping.  Place the jars in a baking dish with just about an 1/8 inch of water in the dish.  Bake at 375° for about 25-30 minutes or until fruit is tender. 

You may need to taste test one of these before giving them as gifts, as it is almost impossible to smell this baking and not eat one.  :)