Scrapbook Sunday: Keepin' It Simple

Scrapbook SundayHi, friends! Happy Sunday. Today I'm here to share some super simple scrapbook pages with you. I made these three pages in an hour (or two?) one afternoon last week. I've probably said this before, but my favorite way to scrapbook is current and FAST. It's so much easier to scrapbook things that just happened. So even though I am trying to catch up on past, years I am prioritizing THIS year at the top so that I can stay caught up from here on out. 

Here are three simple pages I made. They all involve full page photos and stamping. 

Scrapbook Sunday My friend Kelly Purkey just sent me a bunch of stamps that she designed. That's mostly what I am using today along with Staz On ink and my own inks, which you can get in our shop. Staz On ink is what I always use if I am stamping on a photo or other weird surface (leather, plastic, metal etc). 

Scrapbook Sunday  For this page all I did was use one stamp all the way down the edge of the photo. I love big, simple pages like this. 

Scrapbook Sunday    Yes, please! 

Scrapbook Sunday   Scrapbook Sunday     Coffee needed. :) 

Scrapbook Sunday      Scrapbook Sunday      Next up I did some letter stamping and then filled the letters in with colored markers. I love the finished look. And you see how the stamping isn't perfect? Even better. 

Scrapbook Sunday         Here's the finished page. Gotta print ALL our selfies REAL big since we only get a few on every vacation. :D 

Scrapbook Sunday          This is a sneak peek of a new product coming soon for the Messy Book. Clear printed page dividers. I can't wait to show you the rest! They'll be out in a few weeks—don't tell anyone I showed you, k? ;)

Scrapbook Sunday            At the moment, the best part of scrapbooking to me is putting my new pages into the album and seeing them add up over the weeks and months. I'm so excited to be back in this habit! 

Chit chat with me in the comments, OK? Happy Sunday! xx. Elsie 

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

A Few Favorites

Great cookbooks to check outAs you could probably guess, I am completely obsessed with cookbooks. I love reading them. I love cooking from them. And I LOVE geeking out over the food photography. Just for fun I thought I'd share a few new (or new to me) cookbooks I'm into right now.

1. The Forest Feast was a book that was gifted to me by my mother for my birthday a few months ago. The photography and food styling is stunning, the book design features lots of hand-painted and just pretty touches, and it's a vegetarian cookbook. So basically my mom totally nailed it—I love everything about this book!

2. When I saw Prune on the shelf at Barnes & Noble a couple weeks I go, I got so excited! I loved Gabrielle Hamilton's (sort of) biography, Blood, Bones, and Butter, and I've wanted to check out her New York restaurant (Prune) ever since. I haven't been able to make it there yet, but at least I have the cookbook. And I must say, the dark pink cover and overall design and, frankly, heft of this book seems fitting for a chef who I think is probably equally intimidating and cool. Can you tell I'm a big fan of Hamilton? I am SO excited to cook some of her recipes soon.

3. If you enjoy step-by-step detailed guides, then you'll love Baking by James Peterson. A very useful resource for anyone looking to take their baked goods game to the next level.

Food photography4. I love the concept behind The Soup Club Cookbook. It's sort of a unique approach to writing a cookbook in that it is authored by four friends who teach how to start a successful soup club (raise your hand if you'll start a soup club with me?!?!), and it has over 150 recipes they've created together from their soup club. Fun, right?

5. Afro-Vegan mixes African, Caribbean, and southern American flavors together to create some really unique (and vegan!) dishes. It's got a lot going on, so if you like truly unique recipes, you'll love this book.

6. A good friend sent me a couple books last month. Asian Pickles is one of the books she sent me and I loved it immediately. It's a little bit quirky and filled with pretty photography and inventive flavors.

7. Although this is not technically a cookbook, I guess I'm still putting Skin Cleanse on the list because it's a new book I recently picked up and have been enjoying so far. I would put my skin on the "OK but probably could be healthier" spectrum of things. I don't have plaguing problems outside of some dryness in the winter, but I think a reminder that what we put into our bodies manifests itself through out skin and health in general is a good thing. I mean, I can always use a friendly reminder to make healthy choices. But that's just me. 

If you have any cookbooks (or other books) you'd like to recommend and share with us, please leave me a comment. And happy Saturday everyone! If you need me, I'll be in my kitchen trying to pretend I'm Gabrielle Hamilton. xo. Emma

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

Baked Seafood Dip

Baked Seafood Dip (via I show up to a party, I head straight for the snack table. Oh yes, I'm that girl. Give me all your dips and cheese plates! 

Baked Seafood Dip (via So, of course, I'm always looking for new dips, appetizers and party snacks that I enjoy and can throw together for future parties of my own. But the thing about serving food is you really need to "test" out the recipes first, possibly multiple times. It's hard work, but someone's got to do it (she said with a mouth full of dip and celery). 

Baked Seafood Dip (via   Baked Seafood Dip, serves 6-8 as an appetizer.

8 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste*
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 oz. canned tiny shrimp, drained
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4-1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

*Don't be a afraid of the anchovy paste! It's actually really good as an accompaniment to a cheese plate or to make your own Caesar dressing (among other things).

Baked Seafood Dip (via     In a mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, mayo, anchovy paste, garlic, seasoning and parsley until well combined. Then stir in the tiny shrimp and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. The anchovy paste and Parmesan cheese are already quite salty so you really don't need to add much, if any, additional salt. 

Scoop into a small baking dish or oven safe bowl. Top with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes until the cheese begins to look golden brown on the edges. Serve hot with crackers and fresh veggies.

Make easy crackers from store bought pie crustYou might recognize those little lobster crackers if you remember when I shared a lobster mac and cheese recipe a couple years ago. I used my lobster cookie cutter to cut out store bought pie crust that I topped with a little Old Bay seasoning and baked until crispy. Ta da! Homemade lobster crackers to go with the seafood dip. :)

Baked Seafood Dip (via  I think I'm gonna need to host a party soon. Maybe I'll make this AND my jalapeño popper dip. Dip party! xo. Emma

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

5 Ways to Style a Leaning Ladder

5 Ways to Style a Leaning LadderOne of my first projects for A Beautiful Mess back in 2013 was this leaning ladder, and it remains a very favorite piece in my home, being moved about depending on my mood. It's a pretty simple project for the beginner woodworker, and so versatile as a decorative accessory in the home. You can also find old weathered ladders at antique shops and salvage stores too if you're not keen on making one.

If you already have a leaning ladder in your home, or are considering making or purchasing one, here are some ideas that will help you decorate confidently.

5 Ways to Style a Leaning Ladder1. VERTICAL KITCHEN STORAGE

Do you have a spare section of wall in your kitchen? Lean a ladder against it and you've got some practical and beautiful vertical storage. All you need are some large s-hooks and you can get to hanging pots, pants, and even linens. This would also be a great place to hang herbs with some twine for drying.

Products shown:
• Set of 2 Large S-Hooks
• 8-Inch Ceramic Frying Pan (white inside)
• Orange Cast Iron Skillet
• White Mini Colander
Nesting Mesh Strainers

5 Ways to Style a Leaning Ladder5 Ways to Style a Leaning Ladder2. MAGAZINE STORAGE + READING LAMP

This idea is a two-for-one! Lean a ladder beside a chair or sofa, and hang your favorite magazines for a fun combo of convenience and decor. Need a little light for reading? All you need to do is clamp a light onto the ladder for an element of industrial style.

Products shown:
• 5" Clamp Light
• Frankie Magazine

5 Ways to Style a Leaning Ladder3. HANGING PLANT DISPLAY

House plants add such a fresh and cozy feel to a home, but if you've run out of surfaces for your potted plants, have no fear! You don't need to hang a hook in your wall or ceiling to display hanging plants— all you need is a leaning ladder, special hanging pots, and some large s-hooks.

If the windows in your home aren't giving your plants the light they want, you can also hang a clamp light on the ladder for supplementary light.

Products shown:
• 5" Clamp Light
• Set of Two Ceramic Hanging Planters
• One Small Ceramic Hanging Planter
• Set of Two Large S-Hooks
• String of Pearls Hanging Plant (I bought mine here)

5 Ways to Style a Leaning Ladder5 Ways to Style a Leaning Ladder4. STRING LIGHTS DISPLAY

Brighten up a dim corner of your home by stringing lights on a leaning ladder. I think this look adds just the perfect touch of whimsy without looking too dorm-room chic, if you know what I mean. You can use seasonal lights to decorate for holidays, or just leave up some plain lights as I have done here for some every day charm.

Product Shown:
• 26' White White Outdoor String Lights 
White Dining Chairs
White Globe Lights

5 Ways to Style a Leaning Ladder5 Ways to Style a Leaning Ladder5. HANGING BLANKET STORAGE

Using a leaning ladder for vertical blanket storage is a look I've always thought of as traditional country, but lately I've seen this functional decor idea in more contemporary homes. You can make this look more modern by using a sleek ladder or minimal blankets with graphic patterns.

Products shown:
• Painting- Milton Avery Print I framed here
• Blankets are vintage

5 Ways to Style a Leaning LadderSo what do you think? If you don't have a leaning ladder in your home, are you itching to make one? Why not try out this project over the weekend? -Mandi

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


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