Peach Pavlova with Bourbon Whipped Cream

Easy make ahead dessertLast week Elsie and I hosted a housewarming party at the ABM studio. I know, we're super late! But we've only just recently felt like the house is *almost* finished. Many of our friends haven't even been over to see it in person, so we decided to throw a little party. Next week we'll be sharing more about the party, like how we decorated, activities we had prepared, food we served, cocktails we made, who was there, what they wore... all the juicy gossip.

Jk about that last part. Guys, it was just a fun little party. NBD. But, I think parties can be intimidating to host. So seeing how others do it is something I've always enjoyed. 

A Beautiful Mess front porch party A Beautiful Mess front porch party  A Beautiful Mess front porch partyFancy make ahead dessertFor dessert I served peach pavlova parfaits with bourbon whipped cream. I know, sounds fancy and somewhat unusual, right? Maybe you've never had pavlova before. I certainly did not grow up knowing what this delicious dessert was. Here's the secret, it's simply sweetened fruit (think jam or pie filling), meringue, and whipped cream. Once I figured that out, I was all in. I grew up loving lemon meringue pie and absolutely anything topped with whipped cream. 

What I love most about this dish as a party treat is you can easily make the meringue the day before, the whipped cream earlier in the day, and the peaches just sit in a slow cooker until you are ready to serve. So you won't be stuck in the kitchen while guests are over having a good time. You can have a good time too. I think it's a host's duty to have the best time, if you can call that a duty. :)

How to make pavlova Peach Pavlova Parfait with Bourbon Whipped Cream, serves 6-8

6 egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup sugar

24 oz frozen peaches
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon

For the meringue, beat together the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt for about 3 minutes until the mixture begins to look white and frothy and starts to thicken. Slowly add the sugar while your mixer is running until you have added all the sugar and the mixture forms stiff peaks (see the photo above). You should mix for about 6 minutes total. 

How to make pavlovaPipe the meringue onto two baking sheets lined with a baking mat or parchment paper. You can do this using a pastry bag fitted with any tip you like (I used a star tip), or you can just dollop small amounts onto the baking sheet using a spoon. Just depends what kind of look you are going for. Bake at 250°F for 1 hour and 20 minutes, rotating the pans once during baking so they will bake evenly. 

Once they are done baking, allow to cool before you try to remove them from the baking sheets. Place in a large ziplock bag or other air tight container to store them (they will last for up to 3-4 days this way!).

For the peaches, simply place the thawed peaches (or mostly thawed is fine), brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 2 hours. Most slow cookers will keep food on a warming setting once the cook time is over, and this is perfect for a party so guests can assemble their dessert whenever they are ready. Remove peaches with a slotted spoon to remove excess liquid when you are ready to serve.

For the whipped cream, you probably don't need any directions. But, just in case, beat the heavy cream on high for a couple minutes until it begins to thicken. Slowly add the sugar and then bourbon. Once the mixture looks like, well, whipped cream, you're done. Store covered in the refrigerator if you don't need it right away, but it's best if you use the whipped cream the day it is made.

Peach pavlova parfaitThanks for letting me share my fancy-seeming but actually way-easy-to-make-ahead dessert! xo. Emma

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

How to Apply Bronzer Like a Pro

Pro tips for applying bronzerPro tips for applying bronzer. I love using powder bronzer to contour. It's quick and easy and looks very natural when done properly. This is how I incorporate bronzer into my every day routine.

How to apply bronzerBest bronzer and brushStep One: Bronzer goes on after face makeup (foundation, concealer, and powder) but before blush. You can use any type of brush you like. My personal preference is a brush with soft, short bristles so I can control my placement.

How to apply bronzer  Step Two: Using a sweeping motion, you're going to imagine that you're drawing a number 3 on your face. Bronzer should go along the hairline/upper forehead, just below the cheekbone and just below the jawline. 

How to apply bronzer Step Three: Blending is super important, especially down the neck. Make sure everything is smoothly blended. If you feel like there's a harsh line that you can't get rid of, try using a little bit of translucent powder to smooth it out. 

Pro tips for applying bronzer.  This is a great trick for when you know you're going to be photographed! Just like the contouring with concealers, sometimes it takes a bit if practice to get the placement right. Emma has killer cheekbones, so she's a great example of where to put the product! xo. -AnnaRose

Credits // Author: AnnaRose Kern. Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions.

Modern House Number DIY

Love this! Modern House Number DIY (click through for tutorial)             Have you ever gone to a party at a house you haven't been to before and driven slowly up and down the street squinting at all the front porches trying to spot the right house numbers? I always appreciate visible house numbers in situations like that, but I figured there must be a better way to display your address than the standard format. I came up with this house address DIY and tried it out on our studio space. Now we have the cutest address on the block (at least in my opinion...)! Ready to add a little personality and fun to your front porch?

Love this! Modern House Number DIY (click through for tutorial)Supplies:
-house numbers (I used these)
-faux grass (I bought mine at Michael's but this is similar)
-3/4" wood* (you can also use a shadow box display case of the right size instead of making your own box)
-2 1/2" wood screws
-wood glue
-exterior paint
-multi-surface glue

*Like I mention in the supply list, you don't have to make your own box from scratch for this project. A shadow box with the glass removed will also work, but I've been practicing my woodworking skills, so I wanted to make the box myself too.

Love this! Modern House Number DIY (click through for tutorial)  Love this! Modern House Number DIY (click through for tutorial)   If you are also into making the box yourself (yay!), you'll want to cut your wood into the dimensions above to create the back panel and sides of the box. These dimensions worked perfectly for the size of my house numbers, but you'll want to adjust the size of box you make (or shadow display case that you buy) to fit the numbers you want to use.  

Love this! Modern House Number DIY (click through for tutorial)    Love this! Modern House Number DIY (click through for tutorial)      Once your wood is cut, put some wood glue on the bottom inside edge of each of the side panels, place them up against the appropriate side of the back panel, and nail into place (either with a nail gun or with a hammer once the glue is dry).

Love this! Modern House Number DIY (click through for tutorial)     Once your box is put together, fill the nail holes with wood filler. Sand flat when the filler is dry. Now you can paint your box your desired color. I would suggest using an exterior paint since this is an outdoor project, but if your house numbers will be under a deep porch like ours are, you could probably get away with interior paint instead. If you bought a shadow display case, remove the glass and paint the frame at this point if you want to.

Love this! Modern House Number DIY (click through for tutorial) While your paint is drying, cut your grass mats to fit inside your box.

Love this! Modern House Number DIY (click through for tutorial)       Put some multi-surface glue on the bottom of the inside of the box and place the grass on top of the glue. Allow the glue to dry.

Love this! Modern House Number DIY (click through for tutorial)        Arrange the house numbers on top of the grass and drill screws into the box that correspond with the holes on the back of the numbers. You want to use screws that are long enough to be just a bit shorter than the height of your grass when screwed in so that the numbers will look like they are nestled into the grass when you hang them on the screws. 

Love this! Modern House Number DIY (click through for tutorial)         Once your numbers are in place, you can either place hangers on the back of your box and hang the house number sign using vinyl siding clips (or use brick clips on a brick house), or you can place screws directly through the box into the siding. We had several holes in our spot already from an old mailbox that used to hang there, so we figured we may as well add two more since they would all get covered up by the sign anyway.

Love this! Modern House Number DIY (click through for tutorial)                 Love this! Modern House Number DIY (click through for tutorial)            Love this! Modern House Number DIY (click through for tutorial)
Love this! Modern House Number DIY (click through for tutorial)           If eyes are the "window to the soul" of the face, then front porches are something equivalent to that for the rest of the house.  Porches really show the personality of those inside, and I think these house numbers are the perfect compliment to our bright teal door. They let the outside world know that this is a fun house on the outside and inside too. Think you'll spruce up your home numbers as well? xo. Laura

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

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