Just Desserts Cincinnati is Here!

Look over to the sidebar, and you will find a link to my newest venture, Just Desserts Cincinnati! 
As most of you already know, I absolutely love to bake all sorts of sweet treats! 
After some gentle and not so gentle nudging from friends and family, I've decided to throw my hat in the ring and start making custom cupcakes, cake pops, caramel corn, and other desserts. 

I started this little venture just before the holidays and had some really wonderful feedback! 
I'm loving every minute of it and am looking forward to lots of baking in 2016...

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at or you can find me on Facebook under Just Desserts Maineville. 

Cranberry Bellinis

 I love a good festive cocktail around the holidays!

Last weekend our friends came from out of town for a little pre-Thanksgiving celebration, so it was the perfect time to fancy up my favorite Prosecco with some holiday flavor.
This is quite possibly the easiest drink recipe ever. 

Rustic Centerpiece DIY

I went antiquing in this cute little town called Waynesville the other day while my mom was in town and got just a little bit obsessed with these cute wooden planter-style boxes that I saw in several different shops. They ranged in price from $35-$80 depending on size (keep in mind these were empty with no seasonal fillers!), which I most definitely did not want to pay before trying my hand out at making my own. 
DIY just leaves so much more in the budget for fillers and other decor, right?!

Buffalo Chicken Mac 'n Cheese

I love buffalo chicken in just about any form.
 From traditional wings to dips, there are so many yummy ways you experiment with buffalo flavor. This mac and cheese is my new fave, and I'm pretty sure it'll be on heavy rotation in our house this winter (hello, elastic waistband pants!). 

Sriracha-Ginger Mayo aka The Best Sauce Ever

I am a sucker for a doctored mayonnaise, and this one in particular is my absolute favorite these days. This spicy and flavorful Sambal Chicken dish can be served in so many different ways and has been on repeat in our house for the last year. The first few times I made it, I didn't use a dipping sauce or drizzle of any kind, and kept searching for something that add some cool creaminess to the dish. After tinkering around with some ingredients, I came up with this flavorful and super easy sauce. It's great drizzled on flatbread, as a dipping sauce or slathered on a sandwich!

The Lowdown on Homemade Bread: My Fave Recipes and Shortcuts!

Pardon this latest absence- as my husband likes to tell me, I tend to shove about 15 pounds of "stuff" in my 5 pound bag (that's the PG version!) each day, leaving me little to no time to actually blog about the "stuff" I've been doing, ha!

Anyway-I've tried to at the very least Instagram my recent adventures @thislifewellloved. In the meantime, I've gotten lots of requests for different recipes I make and a lot of questions specifically about baking bread at home.

I always found the idea of baking your own bread a little overwhelming until I actually tried it myself and found some nice little shortcuts. 
 Here are my favorite tips:
For one thing, I don't use a bread machine. Like never. I use my trusty Kitchen-Aid stand mixer or just a big bowl and a fork for my favorite bread recipes. 
-Another tip is to keep your yeast in the refrigerator in a Ziploc. That way you can buy the bigger -containers and keep them fresh for months.
-When I'm in a hurry, I'll microwave a cup of water until just boiling then put my dough on a sheet in the microwave with the door shut for a half hour or so to speed up the leavening process.
-I keep leftover dough in the fridge for up to three days. When I'm ready to use it, I just let it rise on a baking sheet covered with a towel for a few hours. I typically take it out in the morning and let it rise throughout the day.

Decor Hack- Storing Your Seasonal Home Accents

As each season comes to an end, I get the itch to break out the next season's decorations...
The tons of fall pins floating around (and don't even get me started on how early I saw fall decor at Hobby Lobby and Michaels!), and the first day below 80 degrees killed any willpower I had left to keep my summer decor out any longer...
I get a little tired of looking at the same decor all of the time, so I have quite a few decor pieces that I like to swap out as the seasons change. It freshens up the look of my house and keeps things from getting boring. I love the way a good decor piece can change the whole feel of a space, and it's a fun way to usher in each new season just by making a few simple adjustments around the house.