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.

Under water photography gearJust wanted to share a little bit about some underwater photography gear that I've used (and loved).

My favorite underwater photography gear My favorite underwater photography gearBest under water photography gear My favorite underwater photography gear  Best underwater camera bag

I recently went on a short trip to Tulum with some friends and business associates (how grown up-ha!). Maybe you saw some of my snapshots from the trip over the weekend? Anyway, one of the days we were there, we visited some of the Cenotes, which are kind of like cave pools. The ones we visited were called Dos Ojos, and if you get a chance to visit any Cenotes in that area, I highly recommend it because they were like nothing I have ever seen before! We actually have lots of caves in the Ozarks where I live, but nothing quite like this.

For my birthday this past year, Trey got me a DSLR Waterproof Case, and this was finally a great opportunity to use it. I had only used it once before at the lake. So I already knew that the case worked well but that I needed some clearer water than our local lakes to get any good photos.

I LOVE this case. It works so well, and I love that I can just use it in addition to my DSLR that I already take with me on trips. Even if you don't want to completely submerge your camera, you can still use it to protect your gear while on a boat or near the water. For me there are only two real drawbacks to this case. First, it's pretty bulky. So you have to make space to pack it in your suitcase and then you have to be willing to carry it while out exploring. For me this is no big deal because carrying a DSLR is already a bit cumbersome at times, so I'm used to it. I think it's totally worth the inconvenience because I LOVE photography. The second drawback is you can't really change your settings once the camera is in the bag. You can turn the camera on and off and press the shutter release button, but other than that, it's pretty tough to do much else. I like to shoot in manual mode, so I'm constantly changing my settings. So having to shoot in auto during a fairly tough lighting situation (underwater caves) is a bit frustrating, but you still can get so many good pictures that it's still worth it if you ask me. On the plus side, if you are with friends, it's fun to pass the camera around and let everyone play with it. So having it stuck in auto mode sort of works out as not everyone wants to mess with camera settings all the time. 

Using a go pro underwater Using a go pro underwater  Gopro hero 3 plus black edition with waterproof case

The second piece of gear we've used and loved is the GoPro HERO3: Black Edition with a waterproof case. We've taken this to Costa Rica (the pool and the ocean) as well as Colorado (skiing in the snow!). This little guy is great because it's super lightweight and easy to carry. It can take great video as well as photos. So it's great for vacations, especially if you're doing something active like skiing or scuba diving. This is really Trey's camera. It's something I bought for him a couple years ago. But he's good at sharing, so I play around with it from time to time. :)

The only real drawback to the GoPro for me is we basically had to buy a whole new camera just for the features we wanted (waterproof, lightweight). Although, it is certainly less expensive than my DSLR was. The other thing is it's completely different from using a DSLR camera, so it's not quite the same photo-taking experience, which is important to me. But, it works great and takes great photos. So if you're looking to capture some fun underwater moments, it's a fantastic product to try.

Iphone underwater caseI've tried a couple different waterproof iPhone cases, but none that I felt were good enough to recommend to you. Most of them have done a great job of protecting my phone from water, but they don't work well once the phone is completely submerged. It's really hard to press the "shutter release" button once underwater. Basically the best I ever get is a photo like this one above, where the camera isn't actually underwater yet. If any of you have underwater iPhone or smartphone case suggestions, I'd love to hear them! Thanks for letting me share. xo. Emma

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

1Hey, friends! This week I'm sharing 10 things I love from Etsy! I had too many things for one list, so I decided to break it up into wearable things and home things. Wearable first! This past year I've been slowly working on reinventing my personal style (aren't we always, though?). I recently donated more than half of my clothing (after reading this book), and it was a NICE, fresh start. I learned a lot about what things I keep and wear over and over long term and what things I don't wear very much. Some of the things that I now consider my wardrobe staples are white t-shirts (preferably with funny text), super simple gold jewelry and cute clutch purses. Here are a few of my favorites from Etsy

1. OK, But First Coffee T-Shirt

22. Pizza Pizza Pizza T-Shirt 

33. What Would Mindy Do? T-Shirt

44. People Disappoint Pizza Is Eternal T-Shirt  

55. Initials Ring (awwww!) 

66. Simple Bar Ring

77. The prettiest pouch I have ever seen... 

88. Pink and Copper Clutch 

99. Love this clutch. Perfect for a makeup case. 

1010. Brass Bangle 

I had fun writing this. If you know of an Etsy shop that you think I would like, please leave me a comment! I'm always looking for new shops to follow. xx. Elsie 

AlterYourAlphaBack-to-school season has been reminding me of how quickly my kids are growing, and that I need to not only be taking more photos of them, but to be making more scrapbook pages! I've been scrapbooking a lot more than art journaling this year, and I've really enjoyed getting our memories compiled for the kids to flip through and enjoy over and over again.

I recently noticed my scrapbook alpha sticker stash was almost exclusively black or white, but I wanted something a little different for these pages. So I came up with three ways to make them more fun. These specific stickers are from the scrapbook section at Target and are matte so they took pen and watercolor really well. The two pen techniques would likely work on a variety of matte stickers from different brands, but I can only attest to the watercolor for this particular brand.

CrissCrossALPHAFor the first page, I used my Medium Messy Pen for a thicker line and just drew a crisscross pattern across each letter in my word before adhering it to the paper. You could easily do a diagonal stripe as well. 

PolkaDotAlphaI used the same pen for my next work and just free-handed a polka dot pattern. It helps to do the patterns before you remove them from the sticker sheet so you can get a clean look on the edges. 

WaterColorAlphaFinally, I experimented with a watercolor set (also from Target) and loved the results. Since I was using a large black and white photo, I opted for rainbow colors to help them stand out. I was worried about the stickers warping, but I used a minimum amount of water and they didn't wrinkle or tear at all. These are some tough stickers! 

AlphaExamplesI also used some paper polka dot confetti and plastic hearts from previous Messy Box subscriptions as embellishments on these pages. 

Altered Alpha ImagesI love finding new ways to customize product! It makes it feel like I'm getting a little more bang for my buck when I can make one little change and get a completely different look. How else would you alter your alpha to get a whole new look? -Rachel

Credits//Author and Photography: Rachel Denbow. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Tulum day1Beach day Beach day

Happy Saturday, guys! Last weekend I got to spend some time in Tulum, Mexico with friends. It was a short trip, so we really only had two full days there to soak in everything we could. Some of you saw me posting on IG and asked if we'd be doing a city guide. I think it was just too short of a trip to get enough info for a guide together, but I'd be happy to share what we did and loved with you anyway in case you're curious. 

Ziggy'sBeach dayTulum day1 Tulum ruinsBeach picTrey at the beachTulum gangTulum day1  Emma and TreyGitano signOur first day we spent some time on the beach. There was a LOT of seaweed this time of year, so we mostly just hung out in the beach bars but didn't swim much. I really liked Ziggy's, which is where that photo with all the hanging basket-looking chandeliers is from. We also spent about an hour or so visiting the ruins nearby, which was totally worth the short drive. And for dinner that night we went to Gitano, which was really good and had the best atmosphere. We stayed at an AirBnB while we were there. It was a very short distance from pretty much everything, so it was very easy to get around in our rental van. :)

PopsiclesCenotesDos ojos in tulumSwimming in cenotesUnderwater photographyDos ojosSnacks!Tulum in AugustOn our second day we got breakfast, did a little shopping and then got Paletas (at Flor De Michoacan). It was a good morning! Then we drove to Dos Ojos, which is one of the Cenotes in the area. We spent most of the afternoon there swimming and hanging out. In the parking area there was a guy with a cart selling a sort of crepe-like wrap that had bananas and Nutella. So, obviously I got that on the way out. Then we had dinner on the beach at Posada Margherita, which is a charming little Italian spot.

Like I said, it was a short, but awesome trip! I LOVE Tulum and would highly recommend staying there if you are planning a trip to Mexico and don't want to stay on a resort. xo. Emma

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


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