Strawberries and champagne galette with a chocolate crust (via abeautifulmess.com) Just the mention of strawberries and champagne makes me think of Pretty Woman. Which quickly turns into me reminiscing about movies I grew up watching (mostly because it's what they'd play on TV, like before Netflix and all that). Some of my favorites included: Pretty Woman (as I already mentioned), Pretty in Pink, Say Anything, Footloose, The Beverly Hillbillies and for reasons I cannot fully explain, Crocodile Dundee (which now that I think about it has a lot in common with The Beverly Hillbillies). 

I guess I like romance and people who don't quite fit in. Hmm. Let's not analyze that too much. 

:)

Strawberries and champagne galette with a chocolate crust (via abeautifulmess.com)  Strawberries and champagne galette with a chocolate crust (via abeautifulmess.com)Old movies aside, this galette (or you could call it a free form tart if that feels better to you) does boast strawberries and champagne among its ingredients. But the most prominent flavor would have to go to the chocolate crust – you know I love chocolate! The cocoa gets a flavor boost from a shot of espresso. Now that I'm explaining all this, maybe it sounds a bit too fussy? Well, I promise it's not. It's just as easy, if not easier, than making pie. Plus we're gonna make some extra strawberry and champagne jam to enjoy later on, so it's almost like this galette comes with a sidecar or something. :) 

Strawberries and champagne jamStrawberries and Champagne Galette with a Chocolate Crust. Makes one galette and a heaping cup of jam. 

For the crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa 
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1 shot of espresso over ice + plus enough water to make 6 tablespoons liquid

For the jam:
1/2 cup champagne (Make this on a day you can drink the rest of the bottle with someone!)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
16 oz. (one carton) of strawberries
an additional 16 oz. (one carton) strawberries for the top

To make the crust, first make a shot of espresso and pour it over ice. I used my Nespresso to do this, but you could also buy instant espresso powder and follow the directions for that if you don't have any kind of home espresso maker. (I get it, you hate homemade lattes. :)) Allow that to just sit and cool and also melt some of the ice while you complete the next steps.

Combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the 1/2 cup cold butter cut into cubes. Use a pastry blender or your (clean) hands to blend the butter in with the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles very small pebbles. You don't want the butter to melt at all during this process, so if it's warm in your house, one trick is to place your dry ingredients in the freezer (in the mixing bowl) for 15-20 minutes to help keep everything cold as you work. Now add the espresso. Measure so you get 6 tablespoons of liquid. My espresso shot plus melted ice only came to about 5 tablespoons so I added an additional tablespoon of water. Do what you need here to get the right amount of (cold) liquid. Stir and press together until a dough ball forms. Press into a disk, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. 

Chocolate and strawberries galette To make the jam, cut the tops (with the leaves) off the strawberries and also cut each in half. Combine the strawberries, champagne, sugar, and vanilla extract in a small pot. Cook over medium to medium/low heat (so it's just bubbling but not a rolling boil) for about an hour, stirring occasionally. You don't have to hover over the pot, but do give it a stir every now and again so nothing sticks to the bottom, especially in the beginning while the sugar is melting into the mixture. The jam will break down and then reduce some. Once it's quite thick (see photo above), remove from heat and place the jam in a bowl to cool. If you aren't baking your galette that day, you can store this in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. 

You won't use all the jam in the galette, but it's quite delicious (and not overly sweet, which is how I like my jam). So if you are going to all that trouble, why not make enough so you can enjoy it on morning toast for a week or two. Plus it's difficult to make smaller batches than this, so I feel this is the best option. But if you want to try to make a smaller batch, be my guest. :)

Chocolate and strawberries galetteRoll out the crust, top with about 1/4 cup jam, and a layer of sliced strawberries. Roll up the edges of the crust. Then bake at 375°F for 45-50 minutes. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing into pieces. 

Strawberries and champagne galette with a chocolate crust (via abeautifulmess.com)    This galette has some really rich and interesting flavors, but it's not super sweet. So feel free to top with powdered sugar or a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you like. Enjoy! xx. Emma

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

At Home with New Darlings                    Hanging macrame/Lark and Arrow.

At Home with New Darlings                     Today Robert and Christina are sharing their beautiful apartment with us! The earth tones are so great!  We love their blog New Darlings and seeing their adventures together. So cute. Ready to see more?

At Home with New Darlings        CouchCoffee Table, and Rug/West Elm. Indigo and Mudcloth Pillows/Etsy.

At Home with New DarlingsWall art inspired by this DIY.

R&C: "Shortly after getting married in 2013, we moved across the country from New York to Arizona. Many of our friends and family thought we were crazy, but we grew up in NY and lived there our whole lives… we were ready for a new adventure and a new chapter together. We definitely went through a transition phase our first few months in Arizona, but we quickly found our place in Central Phoenix and fell in love with a mid-century apartment with white brick walls and all the original charm. We’re currently in the early stages of house hunting, but this apartment has definitely been our favorite place to live so far in a prime location. It was a little two bedroom, one bathroom casita. So it felt more like a house than a traditional apartment. With its clean white walls, it was the perfect blank space for us to explore our style with lots of plant life, piles of our favorite books, and a lot of texture. We definitely have fallen in love with the southwestern desert, bohemian style since moving west."

At Home with New Darlings   Basket/Amazon.

NewDarlings-UO-PlantsFeature-28At Home with New Darlings                 Robert: "Our living room seems to always be the heart of any place we live in. Luckily in this place, the living room was open to the dining room and kitchen too, which created a nice open concept and was really fun to decorate. When moving into this apartment, we made a conscious decision to only bring in pieces we absolutely loved.”

Christina: “Yeah. I grew up in a house with a formal living room and dining room. They were the kind of rooms you had to tiptoe in and make sure not to ruin any throw pillows on the couch. We really only used them on holidays, and it was always so silly to me. So when we picked out furniture for our place, we wanted to make sure it was something we loved visually but that was also comfortable. We lounge around, celebrate with friends, and host movie and game nights. It’s a place for gathering and laughing, but can also be a place to just kick back and relax with a good book when we need it."
 
At Home with New Darlings
Leather Butterfly Chair/The Citizenry.
 
At Home with New Darlings
R&C: "While we don’t have many traditional photos framed and hung in our place, we loved repurposing the terrarium on the coffee table and filling it with polaroids from our dating days and different trips we’ve been on. It’s a fun little conversation starter too. We have quite a few photo booth strips in vases and baskets on different shelves as well. The hanging/plant swings were a fun DIY we did with our friends one weekend after a quick trip to Home Depot. It created an interesting plant display with varying heights and we love that it's something we all did together."
 
At Home with New Darlings
Robert: "Although most of our furniture is newer, we filled our home with a lot of little treasures we've picked up along the way. Our favorite older pieces are definitely the accents and knick knacks we've incorporated into the space. Each one has a story and memory attached to it, like the framed ballerina postcard in the living room."
 
Christina: "On the back is a note that was written to me from my great Uncle before my first dance recital as a young girl. I'll never forget how much I cried my eyes out that day, but it's a gentle reminder to keep reaching for things that might be a little scary at first."
 
At Home with New Darlings
Robert: "One of my favorites has to be the triangle shelf made by a talented Etsy shop owner out of California. For us it acted as a less traditional spice rack and we nestled in a planter we picked up on our first trip to Palm Springs together."
 
At Home with New Darlings
At Home with New Darlings             At Home with New Darlings
Bicycle print/Etsy.
 
At Home with New Darlings
At Home with New Darlings       "Although we are currently on the hunt for a home, and this wasn’t the first apartment we lived in together, this little casita will always feel like our first real place together. In one short year, we created a space that was so comforting to us with a mix of textures and earthy tones, that just created a feeling of life and happiness. We’re excited to see where we end up and know this place will serve as a major source of inspiration for us moving forward, as well as be full of many amazing memories."
 
Thanks so much for sharing your space with us! You can find more of Robert and Christina on their blog and on Instagram. xo!
 
 Authors and Photography: Robert and Christina. Wall hanging above the bed from Lark and Arrow
 

Scrapbook Sunday July Messy Box from www.aBeautifulMess.comJuly's Messy Box is full of those juicy summer colors that are going to look great with your beach photos! Or maybe your public pool photos? Yeah, as long as you've got a few summer photos with a body of water in them, you'll be glad you got your hands on this particular scrapbook kit. Also, public pools... where do you stand on them? Taking your health into your own hands or the cutest backdrop for photos when you find one that hasn't been remodeled since the 50s? We have one here in town with minty blue locker room walls, and it takes everything I have not to whip out my phone and take a selfie in front of it. It's probably one of those locker room faux pas. 

Anyway, back to this month's kit! It's got a touch of 70s flair with vintage typography in tonal colors and some fun embellishments to layer over photos or patterned papers. With fun chipboard tags and orange crush alpha, I don't think I even used anything outside of this kit to create these pages. Very well rounded, this one. 

1
For this first page, I printed one of my favorite summer photos because it perfectly tells the story of my kiddos' personalities. Sebastian is usually game when it comes to being silly in the strike-a-pose department, Ruby would rather be doing something else, and Smith is watching what Ruby does and then he'll do that too. Me? I'm obviously not a regular mom. I'm a cool mom. 

23My second page has some fun chipboard embellishments, one of the see-through plastic icons, a laser cut word that I inked in black, and some handwriting. It came together pretty quickly, and I love how the colors in that pool tile and the No Lifeguard sign work so well with the scrapbook colors and type. 

54My third page shows off a few more of my favorite 3" x 3" cards from this kit. 

Scrapbook Sunday- Messy BoxScrapbook Sunday-July Messy BoxI feel like there are three or four different looks within this kit depending on how you combine your color combinations. You could go really girly with all pinks and sherbets, go heavier on the blues and oranges for something a little more vintage, or stick to a lot of the cards with plenty of white and go minimalist but still get those pops of color.  I can't wait to start seeing how you are using your July Messy Boxes soon! Don't forget to use the hashtag #messybox to show off your pages! -Rachel

Credits// Author and Photography: Rachel Denbow.

Jeff after 2We've been super excited to see all the fun ways you're using the effects in the A Color Story app. So we invited one of our favorite photographers and A Color Story users, @jeffmindell, to offer up his best tips for using the app's effects in a little Q&A!!

Q: What do you think are the best practices for using effects in A Color Story?

A: For me, I want all my images to feel really bright, happy and colorful, but also very natural. For example, the lime color fog doesn't make sense to layer over a sky and cityscape, but for a flat lay on a table of the same color would look awesome! I wouldn't shoot an interior of a home and then add in a warm lens flare, although that same flare would probably really make your image pop should you move your camera to the backyard outside of that same home! Biggest takeaway here is consider your environment and make editing decisions that make sense for that environment.

Jeff after 5Q: What are your favorite effects to use?

A: I mostly use light flares and color fogs. For flares, I like 7, 8 and 12. For color fogs, it depends. If it's for a sky, I like peach, coral, mint, peony, sky. But if I'm filling in an existing color in my photo, I'll use any.

Jeff after 3Q: How do you go about layering multiple effects?

A: For my images with skies, I like to start with a bright sky to begin with. So if the original image has a dark sky, I brighten that up first. Then, depending on the content/context/time of day, I'll take that into account.

I try to keep in mind the natural color(s) of the sky, but definitely try and have fun with it whenever possible! In one of my images, you might for example see my base color as a light blue, and then I'll layer in a mint fog followed by a peony fog in an upper corner near an added flare. With a lens or light flare, the colors that come with it are warmer, so the paired color fog should be a warmer tone as well. Your end result will look more natural and typically really pretty (see this next image as reference).

A Color Story Before-AfterQ: How do you consider your light source when transforming a sky?

A: In the opening photo for example, it was really dark, so I brightened it up. Based on the shadows under the cars, we can tell it's midday so the sun is really direct and high in the sky. Considering my light source, I will layer shades of blue color fogs to my liking (I tend to lean more on the teal or turquoise hues vs. darker, richer blues). Then I will throw in a light flare or two on top of my color-fogged sky. This not only hides any imperfections I might have in the sky such as striations or graininess, but looks a little more realistic as we are photographing in harsh outdoor light to begin with. Might as well embrace the sun's natural glow I say! Here's the before/after of that:

A Color Story Before-After  Q: Should you edit your photo before or after you add an effect?

A: I will always, always, ALWAYS edit or tweak a photo both before and after I'm done and happy with my effects I may have applied. Once I'm happy with my placement of any and all effects on my image, I will save it to my phone's camera roll (just in case I want to use that as a jumping off point should I choose to redo anything!), and then bring the image back into ACS and test out a few of the app's filters on it. I generally don't go 100% on a filter but see what it looks like at 50-60% and adjust accordingly from there. By the time I'm done, I will have a pretty interesting before and after between my original and final images!

A Color Story App @jeffmindelThanks, Jeff! If you haven't tried the app yet, it's out now on iOS and Android! Go download A Color Story for FREE and send it to a friend who you know loves color! Happy Weekend!!  

Credits//Author and Photography: Jeff Mindell

DIY Choker NecklaceThere are so many trends from the 90s that I care not to repeat. I even have a few relics in my closet that I've been holding on to all these years, like a pair of floral bell bottoms that are WAY less cute than what you are imagining. But not all 90s trends are horrifying. In fact, a huge number of them I welcome back with open arms. Overalls, I missed you... Birkenstocks, c'mere... Crop Tops, 4ever... Even crushed velvet and Dr. Martens. 

And choker necklaces!

So this past week I went to the craft store, grabbed a bunch of inexpensive supplies and made my own choker necklace collection... to have and to hold! I'm so in love! 

Best part – you can customize this tutorial to your personal style and color preferences! Here's how it's done– 

SuppliesSupplies:
-any ribbon or trim 
-2 inch chain length (add jump rings to each side if it doesn't already come with them) 
-1 small jump ring (4mm) 
-1 clasp
-2 ribbon ends 
-round nose jewelry pliers 

How toUsing your pliers, secure the ribbon ends to each end of the ribbon or trim (make sure all stray edges are clamped down so it does not fray). Attach your chair length to one ribbon end. Attach your clasp using your jump ring to the other ribbon end. 

Completed ChokerHere's what the completed choker should look like. 

See how ridiculously easy this is! You're limited only by the cute ribbons and trims you can source. So start hunting! 

DIY Choker Necklace DIY Choker Necklace DIY Choker Necklace What do you think? Are you going to make some? I want to see a photo if you do! Tag us on Instagram #ABMcrafty :) xoxo! Elsie 

Credits// Author: Elsie Larson, Photography: Elsie Larson + Laura Gummerman. 

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