It all started about a month ago when I made Pioneer woman's recipe for Vanilla Bean Scones. When I went to the grocery store to buy the (2) whole vanilla beans that the recipe requires I was blown away by the cost of just two vanilla beans.... it was $11-12.50 and for the most part these beans were bent in two to fit in a small jar and they were a little dried out from being folded up. I began my search for a new vanilla source because after making these amazing scones which taste even better than the Starbucks ones they are named after I knew I would be making this recipe many times over! Well you know how one click leads to another when you are internet surfing, I came upon an amazing vanilla resouce in my own backyard Arizona Vanilla Company! They have a warehouse location that ships their wonderful products anywhere and if you live locally and call ahead you can stop in and buy your products in person!
I was in vanilla heaven they have Mexican Vanilla, Hawaiian Vanilla, Madagascar Vanilla, and Tahitian Vanilla. They carry whole beans starting at $1.25 a piece depending on the type of bean you purchase some or more pricey than others, but none of the beans are priced near the cost of the grocery store pricing. Arizona Vanilla Company also carries Ground Vanilla Ground Vanilla which is made by grinding the whole vanilla pod...wow is the smell and flavor intense, this can be used instead of scraping out the inside of a vanilla bean and it is more intense so it takes less! You must check out their site, They are super nice people who got into the business because they were simply frustrated at the price of good vanilla beans and vanilla and didn't think it should cost an arm and a leg to have amazing vanilla to cook with! they have a cool blog on their site too.
A few weeks ago my friend Stacy Julian asked me if I was willing to give myself a present... the gift of present day scrapbooking that is, my answer was most definitely YES! I challenge everyone who reads my blog to do the same. So often we focus on documenting the events that we are anticipating and capturing all that has transpired in the past that we forget to glory in the beauty of the present and life's everyday goodness. I challenge you to take 10 photos that capture your everyday life and put them in a little album that you can toss in your purse or put in your kitchen drawer.. put it somewhere you will look at it often to remind you to scrapbook the present and be engaged in your every day life. Look at this little collection of ordinary beauty often over the next year, then lets all create a layout or a project next October 1st, 2009 to commemorate a year of scrapbooking in the present! ( Don't worry Stacy said she wouldn't let us forget!) I will post my little mini book pages below, I wanted to keep this simple and really reflective of what I see every day in my life, I like it , it is me and my world right here, right now, today. Check out Stacy's blog today to see who else is joining in this challenge today . Please leave a blog link in your posts on my blog if your are participating so we can enjoy your present day scrapbooking!