Cinnamon Girl Cocktail

Cinnamon girlThere is one flavor that I get completely obsessed with this time of year: cinnamon! So, we've created a spicy but sweet cocktail that combines this flavor along with a few unexpected ones as well. We are excited to work with Kahlúa and participate in #KahluaHoliday on this recipe. We recently got to host a cocktail and craft night with Kahlúa in NYC, and we did some taste testing. Everyone loved this surprising drink, and we think you'll love it too. 

It's simple enough to make, as you can see in this video we made. 

Cinnamon Girl, serves one.

1/2 to 1 ounce Kahlúa
1 ounce rum
1/4 teaspoon (or small squirt) cream of coconut
juice from 1/2 an orange
5-6 oz. pineapple juice
1/8 teaspoon (or a big pinch) of cinnamon

Pour all the ingredients into a shaker and mix well. Pour over ice and serve with a cinnamon stick and/or orange slice.

Cinnamon girl Be sure to give this cocktail a try and let us know what you think. Enjoy! xo. Emma + Elsie

Credits// Author and Photography: Emma Chapman, Video and Music: Jeremy Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

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Make a Bench with Built-in Storage

Make a nursery bench:storage with one sheet of plywoodI made this bench the other day for IQ's (our daughter) room. It doubles as storage, which is great, because that kid has more stuff than I do. You could make this for pretty much any room in your house, or even an outdoor space (maybe when it warms up again).

Supplies:
-4' x 8' sheet of 3/4" hardwood ply (I used 3/4" particle board just because I never had before. I wanted to try it out, but if I were to do it again, I'd just use plywood.)

-4' x 8'  sheet of 1/8" DPI board (optional, if you want the bench/storage to have sliding doors)
-wood glue

Tools:
-table saw

-miter saw
-nailer
-pocket hole jig
-drill
-measuring tape
-pencil

Storage-bench-diagram--

Step One: The first thing I did was cut out all of the material. I wanted to challenge myself to make the bench from one sheet of material. See diagram above for the cut list.

Make a nursery bench-storage with one sheet of plywood  Step Two: After I had all the pieces cut, it was time to do a bit of pocket hole drilling. All of the B pieces needed to have holes drilled on both top and bottom sides (refer to diagram above). The D pieces just needed holes for the bottom. I made the sides half pieces so that even with the doors closed, Imogen could take toys out of the sides or (fingers crossed) put them away. I'm sure that day is a couple months away.

Make a nursery bench-storage with one sheet of plywood  Step Three: Once the holes were all drilled, it was time to assemble. I measured and marked out where each piece went. Each piece was about 9" apart from each other. From there, I just worked my way down, gluing and screwing. I wanted the storage to have sliding doors, so I cut a notch out of the upper piece corner, which was about 1/4" x 1/4". Once that was done, I attached it to the top of the benchMake a nursery bench-storage with one sheet of plywood        Make a nursery bench-storage with one sheet of plywood
Step Four: After the top was attached, the back was cut and attached; I cut out the doors and placed them in the opening. Then I nailed on all of the surround strips, which kept the doors in place and gave the overall piece a bit more detail. I drilled out a couple of finger holes and was done! Or so I thought. I liked the brown color, dang it! But Sarah had other plans. I ended up painting it gloss white, which looks good too. ;) The particle board needed three coats to start looking halfway decent (another reason I'll never use particle board again, but at least I know now!).

I hauled the thing upstairs (I'm just looking to kill my back again), and it looks pretty dang good!

Make a nursery bench-storage with one sheet of plywood  Make a nursery bench-storage with one sheet of plywood  Make a nursery bench-storage with one sheet of plywood  What do you think? Do you have a space this might work in? -Josh

Credits // Author: Joshua Rhodes. Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions. 

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DIY Cake & Beverage Stencil

Dress up your baked goods and drinks with this easy DIY stencil! (Click through for downloadable templates.)My favorite holiday traditions usually revolve around food. Sweet, savory... I'm not picky! But I am very particular about how my treats look when I bring them along to a dinner party. Of course, I want the food I make to taste delicious, but I also secretly crave a little affirmation at the dessert table.

"Oooh, this looks beautiful! Who brought this?" Yeah, that'd be me. Shazam!

This is the scenario I'm aiming for. So, even if I'm picking up a pumpkin pie from a local bakery, or just making brownies from a box mix, I like to add a little something special. I made these food stencils to personalize my baked goods for this holiday season and just love the charm they add to a simple pie, naked or frosted cake, or even a foamy drink. The stencils are simple to make, and I even included templates to make it even easier for ya!

Dress up your baked goods and drinks with this easy DIY stencil! (Click through for downloadable templates.)

downloadable Thanksgiving pie templatedownloadable snowflake templatedownloadable christmas cake stencil

It can be fun to design your own stencils using family names, inside jokes, or pretty graphics, but if you're in the mood for a simpler project, you can download the templates above.

Dress up your baked goods and drinks with this easy DIY stencil! (Click through for downloadable templates.)Supplies:
-printed templates
-cake pans or other round objects
-permanent market
-craft blade (Make sure it's fresh and sharp.)
-cutting mat (not shown)
-stencil sheets
-masking tape or drafting tape (not shown)

Dress up your baked goods and drinks with this easy DIY stencil! (Click through for downloadable templates.)Step One: Trace a cake pan or round object, leaving a little space for the tab that you will hold when using the stencil.

Step Two: Use a small round object to trace a little tab on one or both sides of the stencil.

Tip: Use a cake pan as a template for your stencil size. This will ensure that your stencil is the size of your cake, making it easier to use.

Dress up your baked goods and drinks with this easy DIY stencil! (Click through for downloadable templates.)Step Three: Use a sharp craft blade to cut out the stencil, making sure the marker is on the scrap pieces, rather than on your finished stencil.

Step Four: Use masking or drafting tape to fix the stencil on top of the printed template. Use a sharp craft blade to cut out the template design. If your blade is sharp, you shouldn't have to press too hard.

Dress up your baked goods and drinks with this easy DIY stencil! (Click through for downloadable templates.)
Tip: Make sure you save the little scraps you cut out from the stencils—they make great masks!

Dress up your baked goods and drinks with this easy DIY stencil! (Click through for downloadable templates.)These stencils are my new favorite baking gadget! I can't wait to use them on a freshly frosted cake to add fun sprinkle designs. So many possibilities! -Mandi

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella from the Signature Collection.

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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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