Circle Chain Mirror DIY (click through for tutorial)          While we still have a lot of  "big picture" projects left to work on at our new house, there are a few spots where I can start to do the fun little filler projects. I had a big brass mirror that hung in the entryway of our last house, but it's a little too big to fit next to the door at this location so I thought I'd make a smaller mirror to fill that spot instead. I really like having a mirror near the front door so you can do a double check for lipstick smears or food in your teeth before you head out for the day or answer the door when guests arrive. What? That's never happened to you? Uh, me neither...

Circle Chain Mirror DIY (click through for tutorial)          Supplies:
-round pre-cut 15" circle of wood
-safety cup hooks
-gold hanging chain (you can also have them cut it to your needed length in the store, but if you have to but it online you may need small bolt cutters to cut the chain as well)
-gold spray paint
-12" round mirror
-epoxy glue
-drill

Circle Chain Mirror DIY (click through for tutorial)  First give the edges of your wooden board a quick coat of spray paint. Since the mirror will cover most of the middle, you just have to do the edges and the sides. Mark two locations for your cup hooks to be installed about 11" apart from each other. You can try and screw the hooks in by hand if you don't have a drill, but it's much easier to pre drill a hole and then screw the hooks in. Make sure to rotate the hooks so they have the side that opens facing outward from the mirror so the chain can't slip off.

Circle Chain Mirror DIY (click through for tutorial)  Use your epoxy glue to glue the mirror onto the center of the wooden circle and allow the glue to fully set.

Circle Chain Mirror DIY (click through for tutorial)      Circle Chain Mirror DIY (click through for tutorial)  In the meantime, cut your chain to whatever length looks best in your space and attach the chain ends to the cup hooks. Once the glue is set, you're ready to hang your mirror!

Circle Chain Mirror DIY (click through for tutorial)        Circle Chain Mirror DIY (click through for tutorial)        Pretty cute! And the other benefit is how fast you can make this mirror. I mean, the drying time for the paint and glue is much longer than the actual working time for the project, so that's a plus as well! If you're in need of other mirror DIYs, check out our gem mirror, delicate sunburst mirror, or starburst mirror—they're all so cute, you just can't go wrong! xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Laura Gummerman and Todd Gummerman. Photos edited with Stella from The Signature Collection.

ABM cookbook announcementLast night Elsie and I hosted a Live Stream (you can watch it here in case you missed the live version), and we made a pretty special announcement. Here it is (drum roll....): we're writing a book again!!!

I remember when we announced our first book deal (which was for two books). It was 2012 and for some reason I seemed to have really sweaty looking hair in those photos even though it was March. What was I doing before we took those photos? Moving furniture? I guess we'll never know, but it will be forever documented (sigh). 

;)

So, what kind of book, you might ask? Good question. It's a cookbook, guys. Finally. I cannot tell you how excited I am to write this book. I LOVE cookbooks. Like, seriously, I own way too many (ask Trey). I love food photography and sharing recipes and I've been doing it for years right here on the blog, with all of you. And I feel so honored, excited, totally scared, and completely humbled that we will get to one day have a book sitting on the cookbook shelves in bookstores. It's seriously a dream come true and something I've been working towards for a really long time now. 

Will it be a best-of type book with the same kind of recipes we share on ABM already? Excellent question. This is actually the question I've been asking myself for quite a while before I started working on my pitch. Many other websites and food bloggers have come out with cookbooks that feature recipes from all the categories they usually cover. Which is totally cool, as I've bought many of these books myself. But for us, I didn't want to do a big blogger cookbook. And here's why. This could be the only cookbook I ever get to write. You guys might LOVE it, or you might not. I don't really know yet. You've certainly requested we write a cookbook many times, but this doesn't necessarily mean it will be a bestseller. So, I started thinking, if someone from the future came and told me, "Look, Emma, yes you will get to write a cookbook but it's going to be the only one you ever write. So make it a good one." what would I want to write? It could be super specific, like all ice cream, or it could be all my very favorite recipes that span over every meal. It could be anything. So what would I really want to write if I only got one? What would be the most useful and exciting thing that I could put out there? And that's how we approached this cookbook concept. I promise we will share more later. For now I'm just gonna leave you with those thoughts. 

ABM cookbook announcement ABM cookbook announcement  (Here's some really attractive outtakes for you! Ha!)

We've already started work on the book. Elsie and I have different sections and roles that we will be working in while we complete the content this next year. Then we edit and print for a year. Well, not us, our publishers (Chronicle—yay!) will edit and print it. And then it will come out. It's a lot of work and a lot of time before we'll actually get to show you this thing—but I am seriously SO excited. I think I've said that about 50 times in this post already. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your encouragement and support. xo. Emma + Elsie

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Yes Please! Moscow Mule Jello Shots (click through for recipe)     I can vividly remember being out for drinks with Elsie and Emma about a year ago and hearing them order a drink that was unfamiliar to me—a Moscow Mule. I had no idea what the drink actually was, but the name intrigued me, and once I saw it brought to them in the shiny copper cups, I really had to know what this drink was. Thankfully, they are totally the kind of happy hour companions that let you try their cocktails, and it only took one sip of the sweet ginger drink to hook me. We've done a few twists on the classic cocktail here at the blog, but when I saw this Moscow Mule jello shot, well, let's just say the word "genius" came to mind, and I was driving to the grocery store for ingredients before I even knew what was happening. I mean, hello, it's two of our favorite things combined!

Yes Please! Moscow Mule Jello Shots (click through for recipe)Moscow Mule Jello Shots
slightly adapted from Domesticate Me

1 cup ginger beer
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin (about 5 1/2 teaspoons)
3/4 cup vodka
silicon ice cube tray

Yes Please! Moscow Mule Jello Shots (click through for recipe)  Squeeze 1-2 limes to get your lime juice and add that to a small saucepan with your ginger beer. Sprinkle the unflavored gelatin on top of the liquid (don't stir). Allow the gelatin to sit for 5 minutes. The gelatin will turn into a rubbery film on top. Turn the burner on to low-medium heat and stir until the gelatin dissolves. Be careful not to let it boil! 

Yes Please! Moscow Mule Jello Shots (click through for recipe)  Use cooking spray or oil to lightly grease a silicon ice cube tray (wipe up any excess with a paper towel). Pour the vodka into a glass measuring cup or other container with a spout, add in the lime/ginger beer liquid, and stir to combine. Pour the liquid into the ice cube tray and place it in the fridge for at least 4 hours until set. 

Push your jello cubes out from the bottom side of the tray (slide a knife around the edges as needed), and you're ready to serve! I love the cubes presented in Moscow Mule copper cups, so I would suggest that as a serving vessel if you have them (or it's just another excuse to buy some if you don't!). Yes Please! Moscow Mule Jello Shots (click through for recipe)      Yes Please! Moscow Mule Jello Shots (click through for recipe)      Isn't that such a pretty copper cup? I like my regular Moscow Mules a little more on the lime side, so adjust the lime quantity by using more ginger beer if you're not as into lime. I know it's hard to wait the long hours until your jello shots have set in the fridge, but don't despair! You have all the ingredients to make a  liquid version of the cocktail right in front of you while you wait for the jello version to be ready. Cheers! xo. Laura

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

Make your own hydrating face mist! All natural ingredients- super easy DIYI've been a fan of face mists for a couple years now. (I've used this one and this one and love them both.) Recently, when I started looking at the ingredients in the mists, I realized this would be super easy to make at home. I customized the formula to my own preferences and it turned out super well. Today I'm here to share an easy recipe for making your own refreshing, hydrating face mist at home. 

Make your own hydrating face mist! All natural ingredients- super easy DIY In a glass spray bottle, combine—2 teaspoons Pure Aloe Vera, 1 teaspoon Pure Vitamin E Oil, 1 teaspoon Pure Argan Oil, 4 drops Geranium Essential Oil, 2 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, 4 drops Peppermint Essential Oil, 6 tablespoons Pure Moroccan Rose Water. Next, fill half the remaining bottle with Unscented Witch Hazel Toner and then top it off with distilled water. Shake and spray. 

Other things I used—glass spray bottle (I used this one but on second thought a tinted bottle might be cuter since the oil and water do not mix, which my husband called "gross". Here's another good option.), tiny funnel, distilled water. 

If you don't have every single ingredient, it's OK! You can tweak the ingredients list a little. It's really not a big deal. Essential oils are kind of expensive if you only need them once, so I borrowed mine from a friend! 

Make your own hydrating face mist! All natural ingredients- super easy DIY  Make your own hydrating face mist! All natural ingredients- super easy DIY   Since this mist contains both oil and water, just shake it a little before you spritz! 

Oh—I also used letter stickers from the art section at the craft store to label my bottles (I made two. I'll share the second one sometime soon!) 

This face mist smells SO GOOD. I use mine in the morning (makes me feel more awake) and throughout the day I'll do a little spritz if I want to add a little moisture on top of my makeup. 

Make your own hydrating face mist! All natural ingredients- super easy DIY    As an added bonus, I've been using my new aloe and vitamin E oils on their own, just on my skin. So even though you do have to buy a bunch of ingredients to make this mist, it's good to know that it's stuff you can actually use anyway. Also you can use the ingredients to make refills for a long time, or make extras as gifts! 

xoxo- Elsie 

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

Buttermilk Ice Cream with Cherries and Pretzels (via abeautifulmess.com)Every Thursday my grandpa spends the afternoon with my parents. I think my grandma has some kind of appointment or errands she runs during that time, and since my grandpa doesn't drive anymore, she will drop him off at my parents' to spend some time with them every week. My dad has quite a few cute stories from their weekly adventures. Mostly they involve playing pool (apparently my grandpa is still pretty good and beats my dad regularly!) and getting an ice cream cone for a treat. I never thought of my grandpa as having a big sweet tooth, so it's fun to hear that every week he requests ice cream, always the same flavor (vanilla with cherries and pecans). Not that I blame him, I think I'll do the same thing when I'm his age. Get my then-grown up kids to take me to get ice cream as often as I can. :)

Buttermilk Ice Cream with Cherries and Pretzels (via abeautifulmess.com) This ice cream recipe is somewhat inspired by my grandpa, mostly because of the bright and sweet pops of cherry throughout. I also have been loving buttermilk lately, with it's almost sour and complex taste. So pairing that alongside cream cheese and sugar in an ice cream batter creates something very comforting but still surprising. If you've never used buttermilk when making ice cream before, I highly recommend you give this recipe a try—I don't think you'll regret it.

Buttermilk ice cream ingredientsVanilla Bean Buttermilk Ice Cream with Cherries and Pretzels, makes about 1 1/2 quarts.

5 egg yolks
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
4 oz. softened cream cheese, cubed
1/2 cup sugar
seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries
1/4 cup chopped pretzels

In a pot combine the buttermilk, cream cheese and sugar. Cook over medium heat so the cream cheese will begin to melt into mixture. Stir so the sugar will dissolve throughout as well. 

How to make ice creamIn another bowl have your egg yolks ready. Add a few spoonfuls of the warm milk mixture to the egg yolk bowl and stir. Continue until you can feel that the bowl (and mixture inside) has begun to warm. You want to temper (warm up) the yolks before adding them to the pot so they don't cook too quickly, causing cooked egg pieces to form throughout your ice cream batter. If this does happen though, don't fret. We'll fix it. Just keep reading.

Once warmed, add the yolk mixture along with the vanilla beans (scraped from inside the pod) to the pot. Cook over low/medium heat until the mixture has thickened and can easily coat the back of a spoon. In the photo above my batter is not quite thick enough yet, but it's starting to get there.

How to make homemade ice creamPour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer (removing any cooked egg bits or stubborn pieces of cream cheese) into a gallon size ziplock bag over ice. Allow the mixture to cool until it is chilled. I usually put my bowl in the refrigerator to move along the process. You can also leave this mixture in the refrigerator overnight if you aren't ready to make your ice cream yet. 

Strain once more into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions to make ice cream. Every ice cream maker is a little different, so just follow the steps for yours. During the last few minutes of mixing, when the ice cream is a soft serve consistency, add in the cherries and pretzels. Freeze if you want a firmer consistency from what your ice cream maker can produce.

Buttermilk Ice Cream with Cherries and Pretzels (via abeautifulmess.com)  A bit of work, as ice cream tends to be, but worth it! Or at least it is to me since I LOVE ice cream...almost as much as my grandpa. :) xo. Emma

P.S. Want more frozen, sweet treats? Check here

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

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