Scrapbook Sundays: On Finishing Projects

On finishing projectsI've always struggled with finishing projects.

I love starting a new project. I always have a journal in my purse overflowing with more ideas than I could possibly ever execute. So when I start something, and it doesn't go perfectly, I often leave it "for later" and never return. 

This album was one of those. I started it a month or more ago. I wanted to make an album for Penny to remember a special vacation that we took just for her. I know children's memories are very... hmm... let's just say "spotty"? So I wanted to give her something simple and tangible to remind her of this trip we took. 

I started the album during a busy week, got all my photos printed, then set it aside and forgot about it for a few days. And the days became weeks, and you know what happens from there. 

This week I saw the partially made album sitting there and decided to just finish it. FAST. And I did. I cut out the photos and threw it together in twenty minutes. And it felt AWESOME. 

You know what the best kind of scrapbook is? A finished one!

On finishing projects On finishing projects On finishing projects On finishing projects On finishing projects My challenge to you is to go find that partially finished project and just knock it out. You'll feel inspired and productive, I promise! 

Products used: Coral Album, 1 extra pack of 4" x 4" page protectors, chipboard letters by Pink Paislee (which I attached with Glossy Accents)

Happy Sunday! I'm spending the weekend in Kansas City with Jeremy. We're coming for you, Ikea! xx. Elsie

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions.

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Try This: Stamped Name Tag Place Cards

Quick and easy way to use stamps to create place cards (click through for more)If you are planning to decorate for a dinner party this holiday season, it's a smart idea to plan out a mix of both easy and hard projects for your tablescape (or all easy if you're in a rush!). Place cards are a great addition to a table in that they add a decor element and show your guests where to sit without any awkward seat fumbling or fighting. You just can't argue with a place card. For Friendsgiving we wanted to add quick, but cute, place cards to each seat, and our new "Hello My Name Is" stamp was the perfect choice for the occasion. 

Quick and easy way to use stamps to create place cards (click through for more)  I just cut pieces of white cardstock that were 4" x 7", folded them in half, and stamped the stamp at the bottom. Once the names were filled in, we were all set!

Quick and easy way to use stamps to create place cards (click through for more)   Quick and easy way to use stamps to create place cards (click through for more)   This stamp is great for seating at dinner parties, but I was also thinking how cute they would be stamped on a brown paper bag for a kid's lunch. Have you thought of any other uses for this adorable stamp? xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman. Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Stella from The Signature Collection

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Roasted Grape + Honey Goat Cheese Crostini

Roasted Grape + Honey Goat Cheese Crostini (click through for recipe)      Perfect party food alert!! This is not a drill, you guys. I really have found one of the best party appetizers ever. I discovered this delicious little gem when I went to a birthday party at our office manager, Jacki's house a few weeks ago. Her friend Mallory had brought the most delectable looking little crostinis topped with roasted grapes and rosemary garnish. I've certainly never had roasted grapes before, so I didn't know what to expect. But they were so good that I literally stood next to the table for the next 45 minutes and ate more than my fair share of them. I made a few small tweaks to Mallory's recipe, and I think it's a winner!

Roasted Grape + Honey Goat Cheese Crostini (click through for recipe)
Roasted Grape + Honey Goat Cheese Crostini, makes 20 crostinis.

3 cups washed and halved grapes
2-3 sprigs of rosemary
6-8 oz. of honey goat cheese (or just mix in some honey to taste with regular goat cheese if you can't find honey flavored)
1 large baguette
olive oil

Begin by taking your washed and halved grapes and putting them in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil on top. Finely chop your rosemary, add it to the grapes and olive oil, and mix together.

Roasted Grape + Honey Goat Cheese Crostini (click through for recipe)      Preheat oven to 450˚F, and place the grape and rosemary mixture on a baking pan. Bake the grapes for 17-20 minutes until their skins are wrinkled and begin to blister.

Roasted Grape + Honey Goat Cheese Crostini (click through for recipe)      Turn the oven down to 350˚F. Cut your baguette into thin slices. Brush each side of the bread slices with olive oil, and bake on another baking sheet for 7 minutes or so until they are toasted.

Roasted Grape + Honey Goat Cheese Crostini (click through for recipe)      Spread your honey goat cheese onto each crostini, and top with your roasted grape and rosemary mixture. Mallory used a combination of goat cheese and cream cheese for her creamy base, but I thought that honey goat cheese would be delicious as well and add another layer of flavor to the bite. Try it both ways!

Roasted Grape + Honey Goat Cheese Crostini (click through for recipe)      Roasted Grape + Honey Goat Cheese Crostini (click through for recipe)      Roasted Grape + Honey Goat Cheese Crostini (click through for recipe)      The creamy and tangy taste of the honey goat cheese pairs so well with the sweet earthy taste of the grapes and rosemary, and it all comes together in a nice crunch with the crostini underneath. This would be great for a holiday party appetizer, and I seriously can't wait to have people over so I can make this (although mostly for myself to eat of course). Think you'll give it a try at your next party? xo. Laura

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

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Elsie's Week In The Life Album

Elsie's week in the life album www.abeautifulmess.com A few weeks ago I took a challenge to photograph a week in our life and make an album out of it. The challenge was created by my pal, Ali Edwards, and you can read more about her thoughts on it here. I've read Ali's blog for, like, ten years (hers was the first blog I ever read actually, and an early inspiration for starting my own blog!), so I've seen her do this challenge year after year, and I've always loved the thought of it. But for whatever reason, I never joined in myself until this year. Today I'm here to show you my album and share my experience with documenting a week in my life through photographs and then an album. 

Like most people, I don't feel like my everyday life is all that interesting. For the most part my weekdays and weekends are pretty routine. I go to work at 8am. I sometimes take either a coffee or lunch break with Jeremy. I work till five-ish. We eat out a lot. And some nights we cook easy meals at home. We watch The Mindy Project and Scandal and The Biggest Loser. And on the weekends we do brunch and usually work a few hours in the afternoons (Jeremy loves working to break up a day, and I am always behind on my to-do list), and then go to a Mixtapes show or hang out with another couple. And to me, that pretty much sums it up! We have a happy life, but I didn't feel like I would have a lot of different things to take photos of. I was worried my album would be boring. 

Well, I was right, and I was wrong. 

My week wasn't perfect, and it wasn't always photogenic. It was boring at times. It was a stressful week at work, not one of my best. I didn't get tons of awesome photos every single day. But what I did get, I LOVE. Taking the photos and making the album made me realize how many special in between moments each week is filled with. 

Looking back through it now, I am so glad I took the challenge. I am so glad I didn't quit on Tuesday. I feel like the album accurately portrays the ups and downs that my real life is made of. The week happened to fall on Halloween (yay!), and there are some super special fun photos in there of our funny costumes and my niece's Disney princess moment. But there are also photos of the little things, like a cleaning day I had and some outtakes from a work shoot that I wouldn't have normally printed. 

All in all, I'm so happy I took this challenge. It inspires me to do more. Next up, December Daily! (Last year was my first year and it was totally worth the time invested.) 

Alright—enough talking. Here's a bunch of photos of my completed album—

Elsie's week in the life album- the inside cover Elsie's week in the life album- the inside cover (I used our Emoji Stamp Set and Jet ink to stamp the entire inside cover of my book. I love the pattern it adds as well as the sentiment of a very emotional week!)

Elsie's week in the life album

Elsie's week in the life album

Elsie's week in the life album

Elsie's week in the life album

Elsie's week in the life album

Elsie's week in the life album
Elsie's week in the life album
Elsie's week in the life album
Elsie's week in the life album
Elsie's week in the life album     (Had to include a closeup of Penny's epic solo sword fight.)

Elsie's week in the life album
Elsie's week in the life album
Elsie's week in the life album          What do you think? Do you feel like everyday life is awkward or special to photograph? I think it's definitely both. :) xx. Elsie 

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions.

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