Last month I wrote a blog post about my newfound appreciation for finding ways to slow down, so I could focus more on the important things, and clear out some of that life clutter that creates unnecessary stress. I made myself go back and re-read it for a reminder to prioritize and focus during these crazy last few days before the holidays. It made me look at my to-do-list and laugh at the stuff that was stressing me out — one of them was holiday baking (hello, first-world problems!). It seems silly, but it was really important to me that I make these cookie recipes that are traditions in my family since I’m not going to be heading home to see my family in New York this year. Also I’m 9 months pregnant so not having cookies easily accessible at all times actually is quite stressful. read more

I had such a good weekend — it was my birthday and I had the best time relaxing, celebrating with friends and family, and of course indulging in some birthday treats. I have been craving Thin Mints lately, some subliminal Girl Scout messaging must have seeped into my brain and sure enough the Girl Scouts were waiting at the top of the subway platform on my way home from work last week and the cookie gods had given me a sign that it was time for Thin Mints. Now serving a bowl of Girl Scout cookies would probably have been a welcomed dessert by my family that came over to celebrate my birthday, but you know I don’t roll that way. So I crushed up the cookies and layered them in glasses with brownies and whipped cream,  the flavors melded together into a minty, chocolatey sweet treat — it was delicious! Full recipe below:Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset read more

As promised, I’m sharing a few of my favorite shots from our Holiday Crafts and Cocktails party that’s over on Style Me Pretty Living today. The holidays can be a crazy busy time of year, so we decided to throw a little party for our best girlfriends that would allow us to celebrate together while being productive and tackling some Christmas projects. We decorated cards, wrapped presents, and ate our fair share of cheese and crackers and cookies.  It was great to take a break from the holiday madness and enjoy time with friends, all while marking items off our Christmas to-do-list! Head over to Style Me Pretty to see the full party.

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All images by Bring To Light Photography, floral design by Little Flower Cottage

One of the very last stops we made on our cross-country road trip honeymoon was a walk down Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice Beach, and on that lovely little stroll ending our two-week adventure, we popped into LemonadeLA and tried their tasty drinks and cookies. So when I saw that the Lemonade Cookbook was being published this fall, I jumped at the chance to take a peek through it! I can tell the SoCal vibe of the recipes will be perfect come summertime, and in the meantime I tested a more seasonal recipe — their oatmeal raisin cookies —  which went over quite well at a family get-together last weekend.

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Cookbook gifted to me c/o Lemonade LA, all opinions are my own. 

Ready for the last installment of Handmade Holidays? There is no sweeter gift than homemade treats! 

Remember when I said this was the easiest DIY holiday present? I lied — it gets easier! Grab a package of Tollhouse chocolate chips from the grocery store and using the recipe on the back measure out all of the dry ingredients, layering them one by one in a mason jar. Next, write the recipe out on a pretty piece of paper and stick it on top of the jar, and finally, adorn the front with a personalized message and some ribbon (I printed my message out on Martha Stewart Avery Labels). How easy was that? Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Handmade Holidays Gift ideas here, here, here, and here!

It’s an all-carb day here at DomestiKatedLife… first bread, now sweet treats! I took my new Flour Bakery cookbook for a test run today and made milk chocolate hazelnut cookies for my New Years Eve party on Friday. The taste as good as they look, and they smell even better.

I definitely recommend picking up a copy of the book, it’s a little complicated but with some precision and patience, the results are very, very worth it. I have to try out the infamous sticky-bun recipe next!