Hearts on our Sleeves

Emma and Elsie from A Beautiful Mess  Emma and Elsie from A Beautiful MessEmma and Elsie from A Beautiful Mess Emma ChapmanElsie and I didn't really mean to be so matchy-matchy. We laughed when we realized we were both wearing heart prints (mine on my jacket, hers on her blouse). We are too cool. Obviously.

Coats and jacketsElsie and Emma  Looking over the city  Looking over the city    Looking over the city Looking over the cityElsie and Emma You guys, is it just me or is this the best time of year? Jackets, boots, layers, crisp breezes, hot coffee always being appropriate any time of day—it's just the best, right? And I don't know if it's the anticipation of the busy holiday season or the release from finally seeing new adventures come to life, but this season seems to always be filled with a constant and exciting buzz.

Or maybe it's all that hot coffee that's making that constant buzz. Hmm.

Red scarfPony tails foreverHigh heelsHearts on our sleevesWe worked with our long-time friends and supporters at ModCloth for this autumn-y Sister Style.
Emma: Jacket / Shirt / Skirt / Purse / Boots
Elsie: Coat / Scarf / Shirt / Skirt / Shoes

Emma and Elsie Emma and ElsieWhat about you? Do you have any new adventures happening in your life this season? xo. Emma (and Elsie)

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Merit, India, and Magnolia from the Signature Collection; and Bella and Light Leak 1 from the Folk Collection.

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Warm Cabbage & Noodle Salad

Cabbage + Ramen NoodlesRamen noodles is one of those grocery items that we pretty much always have on hand at my house. Maybe I shouldn't admit that, I don't know. But hot (overly salty) noodle soup is the perfect quick comfort food during these cold months, especially if you happen to have a runny nose.

I sometimes like using just the noodles in salad or stir fry dishes. Then when I place that over-sized plastic "box" of ramen in my shopping cart I can think, "Oh that's for a salad I'm making and not for lazy week night dinners."

The lies we tell ourselves. :)

Cabbage + Ramen Noodles.  What's fun about this dish is that we are going to use an entire cabbage! It might look like a plate full of noodles, but it's actually a pretty decent sized serving of vegetables too. Spicy, salty, super flavorful veggies alongside warm noodles—yum! 

Stir fry cabbage and noodlesWarm Cabbage & Noodle Salad, serves two as a meal or four as a side.

1 cabbage
2 carrots
2 packages of ramen noodles (any flavor since we won't be using the seasoning)
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
2 cloves of garlic, minced
juice from 2 limes
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

In a large bowl, place the noodles (do not add the seasoning packets). Pour enough hot water (almost boiling) over the noodles so they are fully submerged. Allow those to soak for 2-3 minutes until well softened.

Secret sauceIn a small bowl or cup, combine the minced ginger, minced garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir to combine. Set aside.

Chop up the cabbage and carrots. I like to cut the carrots into thin matchsticks or use a vegetable peeler to cut into thin strips. 

Cabbage stir fry dinnerIn a large skillet or saucepan, heat the oil over medium/high heat. Add in the cabbage and carrots and cook until just beginning to soften. Add in the noodles (drained from the water). Then pour the soy sauce mixture over everything. At this point the cabbage will begin to cook quickly, releasing some additional moisture. Cook just until everything is hot, then remove to a platter or plates.

Cabbage + Ramen Noodles. Top with chopped peanuts and cilantro. Taste, and if needed, sprinkle on a little more salt. I like to serve this along with a fresh lime wedge too, as I'm a citrus freak. Enjoy! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Try This: Skull Succulent Planter

Succulent skull planter idea! If you like the thought of decorating for Halloween but don't feel very crafty (or don't have a lot of time to devote to decor), then this skull with succulent eyes is a quick idea to add a bit of spooky fun around the house. When you love growing things as much as we do, it's hard not to see the planter potential in most objects, and the abundance of plaster skulls in the craft stores seemed like the perfect opportunity to make a Halloween-themed planter.

I gave my skull a coat of semi-gloss spray paint to add a bit of luster to the surface, and then cut fresh stems off a larger succulent plant and added them into the eye sockets. Since these particular succulents are a bit top heavy, I used a drop of super glue to keep them in place so they wouldn't fall out. You can use real succulents if you'd like, or, if you want to keep the look for much longer, you can use fake succulents instead. Air plants would also be good for this project because you can just pull them out to water every so often and put them back in. 

Succulent skull planter idea!   Succulent skull planter idea!   Succulent skull planter idea! Besides the fact that I find this little guy visually adorable, I also like the contrast of a living thing (the plant) coupled with something dead (the skull). It kind of adds a poetic depth to it that you can totally pretend you did on purpose to be a super-duper smarty pants. Isn't that how highly intelligent people refer to themselves? That's what I thought. Now go plant some skulls! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Flower Grapevine Wreath

OpeningI love a pretty fall wreath hanging on my front door. The only problem is that in California it's still over 100° outside. So having a wreath on my front door when the weather screams summer feels kind of funny to me. Even still, I didn't let that stop me from creating a wreath for display, but instead of the front door, I hung it in front of one of our mirrors inside our home. It instantly gave that room a more cozy vibe. So while it feels like summer outside, it looks like fall inside. 

I've been into dried flowers lately and initially wanted to make a wreath with dried flowers. Instead, I chose flowers that would dry nicely and made a wreath with mostly fresh flowers (the hydrangeas were slightly dry), and then I allowed them to dry on the wreath. 

OpeningOpeningSupplies:
-18" grapevine wreath
-fresh flowers that would dry nicely (I used one bunch of each of these: hydrangeas, craspedia, seeded eucalyptus, marigolds, caspia, button poms, and pyracantha.)
-floral wire
-wire cutter

OpeningOpeningStep One: Cut the stems of the flowers to about 5" - 7" in length. Decide on the placement of your flowers on the wreath, and insert the flowers that are individually stemmed into the wreath first. The marigolds, craspedia, and caspia inserted into the form of the grapevine wreath nicely. I wanted to clump all the same flowers together instead of mixing them with each other. 

OpeningOpeningStep Two: Continue to add the remaining flowers and wrap the stems to the wreath with a floral wire until your entire wreath is covered. You can also wrap the stems of the flowers that were already inserted to secure them in even more. Tip: to keep the direction of the flowers continuous, have the stems of the flowers all going the same direction as you work your way around, layering the heads of the flowers on the previous flowers' stems.

Also, when working with hydrangeas, you want them be somewhat dry when you put them on the wreath, otherwise the petals will clump together and fall flat. A few days before making the wreath, place the hydrangeas in a vase with fresh water covering half the length of the stems. After a few days, when the water has evaporated, the hydrangeas will be dried, and that is the optimal time to use them in a dried wreath or dried flower arrangement. 

OpeningOpeningDSC_0474 copyThe last photo above is what the wreath looks like dried two weeks later. The marigolds aren't as full, and all the colors have dried to a muted tone with a little hint of brown in it, but it still looks perfectly autumn. Maybe once the weather feels more like fall here, I'll make another one for the front door. -Rubyellen

Credit // Author and Photography: Rubyellen Bratcher. Photos edited with Imogen from the Folk Collection

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