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ABM Habitat House video (before + after)Happy Friday, everyone! We wanted to share with you one final look at our Habitat for Humanity project house via video. Jeremy and I filmed at the beginning and end of this project so you'll get to see the rooms transform one by one throughout the video. It's sort of awesome to see. And, like I say at the end of the video, YOU are really the reason a home was renovated and donated this year. So thank you for reading and for supporting A Beautiful Mess. xo. Elsie

Credits // Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions. Video and music: Jeremy Larson. 

Fried Green Tomato Salad (via abeautifulmess.com)Oh, man. If you've never had fried green tomatoes before, you haven't lived yet. I know, such a dramatic statement! But seriously, they are just too good. My dad is an avid gardener, assisted by my mom of course. So this time of year he's got all sorts of delicious things growing in his backyard. I had a hankering for fried green tomatoes, so I emailed him to see if he still had any left (I was afraid they may have all turned red by now). He texted me that day, and after I got off work, I found myself walking down the rows of his tomato plants with my mom, filling our grocery store plastic bags full of green tomatoes, red tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and a few cucumbers. I mean, I was already there after all. 

I might be giving it away from this story that I'm not much of a phone talker. Why would I email my dad and he text me back? I can't say I have an easy answer for this. I just don't like talking on the phone all that much—random fact about me.

Fried Green Tomato Salad (via abeautifulmess.com) This is very similar to a caprese salad in that it features tomatoes and fresh mozzarella as the main event. Yum! But instead of a balsamic reduction, we're gonna use some pesto...just makes this salad feel all the more fresh and summer-appropriate. 

As with any deep frying event, this takes a little work, but is SO worth it. Honestly, it's probably a good thing that deep frying takes a little more effort otherwise I would be tempted to cook this way too often. :)

How to make fried green tomatoesFried Green Tomato Salad, serves 2 as a meal or 3-4 as a starter. 

2-3 green tomatoes (or 4 if yours are on the small side)
1/4 cup flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used Panko)
oil for frying, you'll need enough to fill your pan so the tomatoes can be fully submerged
pesto (store bought, or you can make your own)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
fresh mozzarella (I like the kind that is sold in a large ball so I can slice it thick!)
lettuce or spinach for the salad

Slice up the green tomatoes so they are about 1/4 inch thick, discarding the tops. Set up your breading station by setting out three bowls or plates with a lip. You need one bowl for the flour, one for the eggs (whisk them together), and one for the bread crumbs. Now dip the tomatoes so they get fully covered in each bowl in this order: flour, egg and breadcrumbs. Set on a plate. Once you have them all breaded, pop them in the freezer for 6-10 minutes. You can prep your salad greens, make your pesto, and heat up your oil during this time.

How to make fried green tomatoes In a heavy duty pot or dutch oven, heat the oil until it's around 350°F. I like to use a candy thermometer when frying, but it's not completely necessary. Have a plate lined with paper towels ready at the side. Once the oil is hot, use kitchen tongs to add 2-3 breaded tomato slices at a time to the pot (depending on how big your pot is). Cook for 20-30 seconds on each side. Remove to your paper towels once they look golden brown.

If your pesto is super thick, use 1-2 tablespoons olive oil to thin it until it can be easily drizzled or poured over your salad. 

Fried Green Tomato Salad (via abeautifulmess.com)  On a bed of lettuce or spinach, layer the fried green tomatoes with the sliced mozzarella and top with your pesto dressing. I like to enjoy this while the tomatoes are still warm. Enjoy! xo. Emma

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

At Home with Suna LockToday we are welcoming Suna Lock to the blog as she shares her beautiful Santa Cruz home with us!

White chairsKitchen"The house is on the downtown Painted Ladies. I have admired Walnut Avenue since I first started visiting Santa Cruz in the 80's. I never thought I would end up living in a house on this street. We bought her in 2005, the year my daughter, Erica, was born. The minute I walked around the house I knew that I had to sell everything I owned to make it work. Despite the rather ostentatious exterior, the inside of the home is a series of well-proportioned rooms with 12-foot ceilings and enormous double hung windows. Lots of the original features remain intact–the fireplace and chimney for example, which had remarkably withstood two massive earthquakes.

Kitchen ladderLove this space!At Home with via abeautifulmess.comLiving roomSuna Lock"I have a little broken clock on the mantel piece which was a retirement gift from the Bradford Dyers Association in the UK. I found it whilst visiting my father, in the old city of Jerusalem in Israel in an Aladdin’s cave of junk. It appealed to me because I was studying textile design at university at the time, and I was fascinated by the journey this little thing must have taken! The vendor wanted the equivalent of $20, which was a lot back then. So after some deliberation, I left it. Months later a parcel arrived from Dad for Christmas and there it was. He had gone all the way back and found the little clock, bought it and mailed it to me. It is my favorite thing in the world without a pulse. 

Cute sinkBathroom"The house has evolved massively over time. Given what I do for a living, it is impossible to sit still. So it really is an ever-changing landscape. There were some large things like remodeling the kitchen and opening the kitchen and dining rooms up to one another which were slated and saved for. We also stained the floors black from the yellow oak color they were originally which added drama and elegance. My bathroom was a DIY rip out on a tiny budget. The sink and medicine cupboard were salvaged from the city dump. The glass tile was on Craigslist and the floor tile was from a local reclamation yard. I did all the labor myself on weekends and evenings. It's not everybody's cup of tea, but I love it. It reminds me that I am capable, independent and resourceful. 

Bouquet"The house stands on a corner lot, so it has gardens all around it. There are stairs up to a front door which lies beyond a wooden deck. To summarize: I fell in love."

Thanks so much for sharing, Suna! You can find more of Suna here and on Instagram. xo.

We would love to feature your home on ABM! Send 5-10 amazing photos to submit AT abeautifulmess DOT com

 Credits// Author: Suna Lock. Photography: Tommy Parker.

Sister StyleSister StyleSister StyleHey, friends! Feels like summer is FINALLY in full swing here. We've had so much rain this season that it's felt like such a different summer than we're used to. Nice to have some bright and sunny days to get outside and enjoy. :)

Random fact: do you see my (Emma's) dress? I recently thrifted it for $3! It had long, poof-y sleeves that I altered myself since I've been getting more and more into sewing this year. I just loved the length and bottom hem of this dress, but the sleeves made it feel really costume-y. But, easy and quick fix. Elsie and I grew up thrifting together (A LOT!) so I love it when I can still find new-to-me items that I can add to my wardrobe. I'm also crazy for Elsie's flea market purse—love those stitched florals!

Sister Style   Emma's wearing: Dress/Thrifted, Belt/From a Modcloth dress, Sunnies c/o Lulu's, Shoes/ASOS, and Purse/Vintage. 

Sister Style    Sister Style     Elsie's wearing: Dress/Chicwish, Denim vest/ Target, Sunnies/Karen Walker, Purse/Flea market, Shoes/UO. 

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Jacki Moseley (And yes, we shot these photos by Jacki's family store! That's why her last name appears on the wall.) and Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

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