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.

At Home with Kelly Moore ClarkToday we are welcoming Kelly Moore Clark to the blog! We designed a camera bag with Kelly last year, and we're super excited to have her back on the blog as she shares her home with us. It's beautifully decorated!

Pops of yellow!Gold cart"When we were searching for a new home, my husband wanted to buy something brand new that was move-in ready. I of course did not like anything brand new! I wanted something older that we could put our own personality into. When we found this place, it had been on the market a while because no one would touch it! With a chopped up floor plan and peach colored cabinetry and trim throughout, it was an eyesore. I was able to see past that to what it could be with a little love and attention.

KitchenLove this chairDining roomKelly Moore Clark"My kitchen and living room are my favorite spaces in the house! Since we opened up several walls, it's now all one big space. We get lots of afternoon sunlight, so I love having all of the windows open and enjoying the sun-filled room as we hang out, eat, listen to music and just live our lives. We also completely fenced in our backyard, so as the girls come in and out from playing on their playground, it all becomes one big living space.

Kids roomBedroomBookshelvesMaster bedroom"My grandfather was a carpenter and also taught my father to build furniture when he was young. Our bedroom suit was made by my grandfather in the 1950s, so this is something I treasure! Recently, my father also built me a buffet in my kitchen, so I know this is going to be a special place for years to come. I am also a plant addict! Almost every corner of my house is filled with some type of plant! I feel like beautiful plants bring life to a home."

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

Credits// Author: Kelly Moore Clark. Photography: Martin Graham Myers.

White wine spritzer 3 ways  White wine spritzer 3 ways Summer should be all about: bare feet, lazy days, lake trips, berry picking, fire flies, tan lines (even though you totally wore sunscreen, of course) and back porch lounging while sipping on something refreshing. I love how summer feels both laid back, but still super packed with activities, trips, and family visits. Summer time is tricky like that. 

For a laid back night at home, one drink I like to make is a white wine spritzer. If I open a bottle to make risotto for dinner, you can bet I'll be using some of the remaining wine to make a spritzer. It's also a great drink to serve if you're having guests over because everyone can easily make their own. So you don't have to play bartender all night. 

White wine spritzer 3 waysHere are three easy variations I like to make. We worked with Mirassou Winery on these and I used three of their delicious white wines. I like that you can easily change up what type of white wine you use (based on which you prefer), and you can just use up leftover fruit or citrus from your refrigerator if you're in a pinch. 

Ginger and lime white wine spritzerFirst up is probably my favorite—mixing Mirassou Chardonnay and ginger. Here's what you use:

4-5 oz. chilled Mirassou Chardonnay
2-3 oz. chilled ginger beer (or ginger ale if you want it a little sweeter)
juice from half a lime
garnish with fresh or candied ginger

You can serve this over ice in any style glass you prefer or have on hand. If you want a little more sweetness or just a little less wine, you can change up the proportions on any of these to be 1/2 wine and 1/2 whatever mixer we use (in this case, ginger beer). I personally really like the Chardonnay from Mirassou, but another option to make this a bit sweeter would be their Moscato.

Watermelon and basil white wine spritzerSecond is a Mirassou Sauvignon Blanc paired with club soda, watermelon and basil. Here's what you need:

4-5 oz. chilled Mirassou Sauvignon Blanc
2-3 oz. chilled club soda (or tonic if you want a little more sweetness)
3-4 frozen melon cubes
1 big sprig of fresh basil

I like to make the frozen melon all at once and then use it throughout the week. Frozen melon cubes are great in water as well for a tasty ice cube alternative. Just FYI.

Peach white wine spritzerThis one is actually probably tied as my other favorite because I LOVE using fresh fruit ice pops as an ice cube alternative. Here's what you need:

3-4 oz. chilled wine (I used Mirassou Pinot Grigio for this one. It already has notes of pear and peach in the wine, so it works well here.)
1-2 oz. chilled sparkling water or club soda
1 fresh fruit frozen ice pop (I used peach)

The longer you sit and sip the more the ice pop will melt into your drink. The only real trick with this one is you need to serve it in a glass that will easily fit your ice pop, whether you choose to buy or make your own.

White wine spritzer 3 ways   I told you white wine spritzers were easy! Get creative and mix up your favorite flavors this summer. Cheers! xo. Emma

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

Terrarium side table diy  1Early last month I saw a project for a plexiglass terrarium side table in Natural Accents by Stacy Risenmay. Whoa. I immediately thought it was one of the coolest projects I've seen in a while, so I couldn't wait to try and create my own. I had never worked with plexiglass before and Trey can tell you that I am now super obsessed. (I've already created another project using plexiglass since then, see here.)

Terrarium side table diySupplies:
-4 sheets of plexiglass that are 24 x 18 inches
-2 sheets of plexiglass that are 24.5 x 24.5 inches or larger
-weld-on #4 and applicator bottle with needle
-1 sheet 24.5 x 24.5 inches OSB or plywood
-(2) 24.5 inch 1x2 wood pieces 
-(2) 26 inch 1x2 wood pieces
-one 1 inch dowel for legs
-4 screws
-plexiglass knife (if needed)
-saw (if needed)
-paint (I used pink spray paint.)
-terrarium insides (gravel or river rock, moss, manufactured mulch, faux succulents)

As you can see there are quite a few supplies for this project as we're really creating a side table or piece of display furniture. And I would put this DIY on the more advanced level, so I wouldn't attempt this unless you've tackled a few projects this size before and feel excited by a challenge. The total cost for my supplies (not including tools) as well as the items needed for inside my terrarium came to $225.

Assemble the baseStep One: Assemble the base of your terrarium. You can see from the photo above how I (very simply) put mine together. Basically you're going to make a short table with a lip that is sized to fit your plexi box inside. Sounds easy enough, right? It is, just be sure to plan and double check your measurements before you start sawing or screwing things together. :)

Putting together the plexi planterStep Two: Assemble your terrarium box. You'll be using electrical tape and the weld-on #4 to fuse the corners together. I bought my side plexi sheets in the size I needed and planned my terrarium around that. You can also cut the plexi sheets yourself or have them cut at the hardware store if you can't find the size you need. As you can see, I left the protective plastic sheet that comes on the plexiglass on during this process. It's good to keep that on until you are completely done and ready to display your finished terrarium because it will protect your plexi from scuffs. 

How to make the top plexi panelStep Three: Create the top piece by fusing two plexi sheets (one smaller than the other) together. This way if the top slides once you put it on, the bottom piece will catch and it won't slide completely off, but you can still open it to water your plants (if you use real plants, I used faux). 

Step Four: Fill any edges of your base with wood filler and then paint the base (I went with pink!). I did this last because I wanted to make sure my plexi box would fit in the base, just in case I needed to adjust it or start over. It was snug, but once I knew it fit, then I went ahead and painted my base. 

Step Five: The fun part! You're ready to put together and fill your terrarium. Like I said, I used faux succulents in mine so the rocks, moss and mulch layers are really for aesthetics than any plan to keep real plants alive. I know succulents are supposed to be the easiest thing to keep alive, but I still have killed enough that I find a better investment for me, right now, is faux. That way they don't die and I don't have a graveyard terrarium on my hands.

Although that would be kind of cool for Halloween.... hmmm....

Terrarium side table diy 2This original project and images, along with a more detailed tutorial can be found in Natural Accents. Check out that book if you love plants because it's got a lot of really cool projects (like this one) in it! 

Thanks for letting me share my version. I love how it looks in our living room but I'm also anticipating how it will look in our new house...that we just closed on last week. (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) xo. Emma

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

Need to do this! Sunburst ceiling medallion DIY (click through for tutorial)           When renovating a space, it's amazing to see how much changing out light fixtures can alter a room. We have mostly been focused on changing out wall colors and flooring options at our new house, but the existing light fixtures have really been killing the new room vibes. So I thought I should turn my attention upwards for a bit and find a solution for some of the basic fixtures in the house. I was searching online for something unrelated a few weeks ago when I ran across this amazing DIY light fixture that uses a sunburst medallion to makeover a standard "boob" light. Not only is it genius, but I also happened to have the exact mirror that she used. So it seemed like the light and I were made for each other. I changed up the process and the light I chose a little to fit the more mid-century vibe we have going, but this is a great idea for anyone that wants to create a statement flush mount light on the cheap.

Need to do this! Sunburst ceiling medallion DIY (click through for tutorial)               Supplies:
-sunburst mirror frame (I used this one. You can use any similar mirror as long as the mirror can be taken out or carefully broken out so that you can use the frame.)
-ceiling flush mount light small enough to sit inside your mirror frame hole (I used this one.)
-gold spray paint
-painter's tape
-screws and a drill

Need to do this! Sunburst ceiling medallion DIY (click through for tutorial)               Now, since we are talking about removing and installing light fixtures, you can either do this project in tandem with an electrician, a family member or friend that has experience, or follow Mandi's guide to hardwiring light fixtures yourself! I just learned how to do it myself while working on this house. It's really pretty simple once you get the hang of it, and I'm so glad I have that skill now.

OK, so, depending on the method you choose, you'll need to remove the existing light fixture. Since I chose a light that was a few inches smaller than the mirror frame, I needed to paint the ceiling area that would be showing in between the fixture and the mirror. I just placed each fixture where they would go and traced around them to get the area I needed to tape off and paint. If you're worried about possible overspray from spray painting indoors, then use a liquid paint and brush instead (or hang up plastic behind you and make your husband hold the vacuum hose near the paint like I did—ha!). Remove painter's tape when dry.

Need to do this! Sunburst ceiling medallion DIY (click through for tutorial)               I took the same spray paint and painted the base of the light fixture so they would match (carefully taping off the inside and back so no electrical parts would get painted), attached the base of the light to the ceiling, and then added a bulb and attached the globe shade.

Need to do this! Sunburst ceiling medallion DIY (click through for tutorial)               For the mirror frame, I bent back the tabs that were holding the mirror in place and removed the mirror and cardboard backing from the middle. All it needed was a coat of the same gold spray paint so they would all look like one unit and it was ready to hang! I just used 4 screws and wedged them in between spokes of the light to hold the frame in place. Once the frame was secure, my new light was finished! 

Need to do this! Sunburst ceiling medallion DIY (click through for tutorial)               Need to do this! Sunburst ceiling medallion DIY (click through for tutorial)               Need to do this! Sunburst ceiling medallion DIY (click through for tutorial)               So much prettier, right?? It makes such a difference in the kitchen and adds a big dose of personality as well. If you like the idea of a ceiling medallion, but this is a bit too bold for you, check out this modern starburst medallion project instead. Either way, don't forget when redecorating a space to look up every once in a while. There's plenty of ways to change up your space on the ceiling too! xo. Laura

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


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