Yum! spicy red pepper dip (click through for recipe)  If you've ever had food restrictions in your diet for health or allergy reasons, you know that frustrating feeling of trying to find alternatives for some of your favorite snacks and meals. I did a pretty intense diet change a few years ago to try and correct some health issues I was having at the time, and the list of things that I could eat was so teeny tiny that I just about gave up on the plan. Thankfully, I found a few staple recipes to adapt like this pepper dip and this chocolate pudding to satisfy my snack cravings while maintaining my eating path. Since the ingredients are so simple, I've found that it also has worked for a lot of other people that try to steer clear of their own list of items, so I thought I'd share it with you to hopefully enjoy as well!

Yum! spicy red pepper dip (click through for recipe)Spicy Red Pepper Dip
Adapted from Averie Cooks' Spicy Doritos Cheezy Dip

1/3 cup sunflower seeds (unsalted)
1/2 cup hemp seeds (try sesame seeds if you don't have these)
1/2 of a red pepper (seeds removed)
3 tablespoons lemon juice 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder 
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Yum! spicy red pepper dip (click through for recipe) OK, now it takes hours to make this dip because you have to individually clean each seed and then...JUST KIDDING! Put it all in a food processor (or blender) and blend until smooth. Easy peasy.

Yum! spicy red pepper dip (click through for recipe)      Yum! spicy red pepper dip (click through for recipe)      This dip is great with lots of different dippers, so feel free to try different kinds of chips or veggies and see what combination you like best! If you are timid when it comes to spice, dial back the spices a bit, and if you like it hot, then add a little more. The weird thing is that I don't even like red peppers that much, but I love this dip! Think you'll give it a try? xo. Laura

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

At Home with Brooke FishLove this kitchenWe are welcoming Brooke Fish to the blog today as she shares her mid-century home and workspace with us!

Kitchen decor"My husband is a photographer and was renting a studio space for years downtown. We finally decided it was time for him to have an office from home since he's mostly on location. Our hopes were dashed when the city told us we couldn't build above our garage. We began looking for a new home that would allow us to add on.

"Three years ago we found THE PERFECT mid-century modern; it hadn't been touched since it was built in the 50s. It was perfect with a lovely brick entryway, wood paneling, and super cool details throughout. The layout allowed us to close in the breezeway that connected the garage and home and build up! Since we were taking off part of the roof anyway, we decided to add two rooms upstairs. One is now a photography studio and the other is my sewing studio.

Living roomLiving room details"I look around our home and almost everything is vintage, thrifted, gifted or scored at an estate sale. Only our couch and our rugs are new really. I love that about our home; it makes it super inviting and welcoming. Nothing is too precious and everything has a story. In our living room, we have a peacock blue chest of drawers that we scavenged from an old house that was being demolished. My husband was convinced that I would never refinish it. I proved him wrong. It holds our laptops, bills and blankets. So super convenient.

Dining room"One of the very first things we did as soon as we signed the papers and got the keys was pull up all of the carpet and measure for new windows! We now have beautiful concrete floors throughout the entire house that allow our two boys to be boys! Our windows are larger than life and allow natural lighting to flood into every room. Then, on our wedding anniversary, my husband gutted our kitchen. We now have a huge, beautiful kitchen with a waterfall island that allows us to entertain. My husband and father did the entire kitchen. So that also adds to my love for it. Not to mention that I can see the living room and playroom and backyard all while cooking dinner.

White fireplaceBedroomBedroom details"In our guest bedroom, we have a painting of an old red barn/house that I scored at a thrift store. I fell in love with it at first sight and then years later, my step-mother-in-law showed me that it glows in the dark! During the day the painting is a daytime scene with the sun, but at night, when the lights are out, it depicts a night scene with snow, stars and moon. It's stunning.

Wall hanging"In our master bedroom, we have a vintage wall hanging that my mother-in-law found for me at an estate sale. I love how it pops against our dark grey walls.

Details in kids roomStudio"This room has been made into my sewing studio and Fresh BiB headquarters. We couldn't have planned it more perfectly if we tried. Our studios are the only two rooms upstairs, and they both get beautiful sunlight throughout the day. Our studios allow us to both work from home, walk our boys to school and have about a 2 second commute, which is unheard of in Dallas. Since moving here, our life has become insanely simple. I love it."

Little detailsShelfThank you so much for sharing, Brooke! You can find more of Brooke on her website and on Instagram. xo.

We would love to feature your home! Send 5-10 pictures of your space to submit AT abeautifulmess DOT com

NOLA travel guideAs some of you who follow us on IG know, Trey and I visited NOLA earlier this month. For us it was an early two year anniversary trip (our anniversary is June 8th). But we went early because we wanted to walk (and bike!) around New Orleans without having to worry about the heat. So early May seemed like the perfect time. 

Pretty nolaYellow buildingWe absolutely LOVED New Orleans! We've been talking about it ever since. We got lots of recommendations before we went, so we thought we'd share all the places we went to and enjoyed in case any of you plan to take a trip there soon.

You'll note that most of the places I'll be sharing are either in the French Quarter or very nearby. We decided we'd have more fun if we skipped the rental car and just walked, biked, and occasionally took an Uber or cab. So this meant we stayed mostly around the area we were lodging. NOLA is a big city, so there are certainly many more places to visit and stay at outside the French Quarter. But if you're looking to centralize your visit like we did, then you'll really benefit from this list.

Cane and tableI'll start with our very favorite spot, which we actually visited twice during our short stay (it's that good!), Cane & Table. The atmosphere is very cool and unique. Plus they have great small plate options and an awesome cocktail + rum selection. We're really into tiki drinks and rum at the moment, so this was perfect. If you go early, ask to be seated in the patio area because it's SO pretty. Unfortunately we were there too late both times we went. 

CochonWe also really loved Cochon. This is very meat-focused (pork—as you might have guessed from the name), but everything we had was just delicious and the atmosphere is very good too (lots of pretty wood inside). If you plan to go, call ahead and make a reservation because it gets busy!

Lattitude 29One evening we had dinner and drinks at Latitude 29, and it was awesome! Their interior and menu are super tiki-themed. So if you like that kind of fare and cocktails, you'll love this place.

A couple other late night spots we liked (but that I didn't get photos of) were Yuki and Horn's. Yuki is a great second or third stop for the night as it's kind of a dive, but it's a great sake bar with amazing veggie dumplings. We loved it. Horn's is a great spot for dinner or a second spot for a drink and dessert. It's a quiet little corner cafe tucked away in a neighborhood. We had a chocolate pot de creme with salted caramel that was amazing! 

Du mondeFor breakfast one morning we hit up Cafe Du Monde. They are one of the most famous establishments for beignets and chicory coffee, and if you've never been to NOLA, it is a must. If you can, go during the week day or at a weird hour because they get really busy. Also, bring cash because it's cash only.

NOLA is colorfulOn our bike tour (more on that in a minute), one spot we went to was Elizabeth's. This is a great spot for breakfast/brunch. They are famous for their praline bacon. I had decided before we went to NOLA that I was going to ease up on my mostly vegetarian lifestyle for the trip since I wanted to try all the good food that came my way. And I must say, the praline bacon was AMAZING. But they have lots of other options too if you don't eat pork. Elizabeth's is inside an old house and decorated with lots of art from Dr. Bob (a local artist), which makes it feel really quaint and authentic to the area. 

Ruby slipperWe also had brunch at The Ruby Slipper, which is inside an old bank building (or at least one of the locations is). Yum!

SurreysProbably my favorite breakfast was at Surrey's Cafe and Juice Bar. Fresh juice and coffee? Yes, please! And their food was delicious as well. If you go on the weekend, expect a little bit of a wait (we waited 40 minutes on a Saturday at 9:30am), but that's how you know it's a favorite spot. :)

Bikes in nolaElizabeth'sIf you are new to New Orleans or find that you only have a limited amount of time and you're worried you won't get to try enough authentic foods, say no more! I was worried about this too. So Trey and I booked a culinary bike tour with Confederacy of Cruisers. Basically you get to bike around NOLA (which is a treat in itself) with a knowledgeable guide who takes you to four different spots to enjoy a small, family style meal with everyone else on the tour. I am SO glad we did this because it was so fun and also so delicious. I also felt like I learned a little bit about NOLA from our guide, Victor, who was from there and had been a part of the food scene there his entire adult life.

They offer a number of different bike tours. I highly recommend checking them out.

MeltdownI actually didn't end up having as many treats as I thought I would on our trip. But I did very much enjoy Meltdown popsicles, which was the last stop on our bike tour. These were totally refreshing, inventive flavors, whole ingredients and most of them were vegan. This may have been one of the healthier things I ate while in NOLA. Ha!

Lamothe hotelHotelHotel2There are plenty of great hotel and home away spots throughout the city, but in case you're curious, we stayed at the Lamothe house. This spot felt unique because it is comprised of an older building separated from a carriage house by an enclosed courtyard with a pool/hot tub. Our room was simple and cute and located in the carriage house. We wanted a hotel with some character and an outdoor pool that was centrally located to everything we wanted to do so we could easily walk most places. This one totally fit the bill and was pretty affordable too. 

Bourbon streetAnd yes, of course we spent one night walking and drinking on Bourbon Street. If you've never been, then I would say that it's certainly something you should experience at least once—it's like a giant party! We were looking for a more laid back, just-us trip for our anniversary, and I think the Bourbon Street atmosphere might lend itself more to a larger group of friends (especially a bachelorette party or something festive like that!). But, it's quite fun and exactly what you might expect. 

Things we didn't have time for but wish we had:

The Rum House—We love rum, so of course this was on our list, but we just didn't have time. I hear their tacos are amazing, and based on their website, it looks really cute too. Next time!

District Donuts—I heard from multiple people that these are so good. I was bummed we didn't have time as I am a donut fanatic. 

Sucre—I have had macarons from here before (mail ordered), and they were easily the best I've ever had in the USA.

If you live or used to live in New Orleans and you want to recommend some things we missed, PLEASE do! We'd love to hear more about this beautiful city. Thanks so much for letting me share some of our favorite spots from our trip to NOLA this year! xo. Emma

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

Spinach + Artichoke Fondue (via abeautifulmess.com)Confession: I hadn't pulled out my fondue pot in nearly a year before I started thinking about this combination. I know! WHAT WAS I THINKING? 

The worst part is promptly after making another melty pot of delicious fondue, I realized I basically missed this entire past winter season! And clearly, winter is the best season for making fondue (followed closely by every other season). 

I will say though, I'm happy to add another thing to my list of reasons why winter isn't so bad. I will for SURE be remembering this one next year.

Spinach + Artichoke Fondue (via abeautifulmess.com) But in the meantime, I'm still going to make more fondue. It's just SO good. Make this for your significant other for a date night in. Or have a few friends over and make fondue your appetizer instead of your regular cheese plate routine. It's not only TOO delicious, it's also really fun to eat because you get to use poky sticks.

Yes, I'm pretty sure they're called poky sticks and not fondue forks. I mean, that would just be too obvious, right?

Also, I don't think you can really tell from this photo, BUT (drum roll please): I haven't bitten my nails in three weeks. Which for me is huge! I'll probably slip up now that I told you all, but at any rate I'm proud for this moment and I'll just keep plugging away at that goal. I digress, let's get back to the cheese.

How to make fondueSpinach and Artichoke Fondue, serves 4-5 as an appetizer.

6 oz. Gruyère cheese (I know it's pricey, but it's seriously the best!)
2 tablespoons flour
2 oz. cream cheese
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup white wine* (I like chardonnay for this, but choose a brand you like to drink or cook with.)
1/2 cup chopped, fresh spinach
5-6 artichoke hearts, chopped

*If you don't like or can't have alcohol, you can make this with vegetable or chicken stock instead. It's not exactly the same since wine has that delicious, yeasty taste to it, but it's still pretty good. I mean, it's still melted cheese after all. :)

Easy spinach and artichoke fondue First shred the Gruyère and toss in the flour coating all the pieces. Chop your spinach and artichokes so everything will be ready as this doesn't take much time to make once you get started.

Cut a garlic clove in half and rub the inside of the pot with it. Mince the garlic and add it to the pot on medium heat (I have an electric fondue pot, so this is #5 on the dial for me). Add the wine (or stock) and bring to a boil. 

Easy spinach and artichoke fondueTurn the heat down once the wine (or stock) boils, and start adding the cheese. Stir with a wooden spoon (so you won't scrap the bottom of your pot) as you work. Once all the cheese is incorporated, add the spinach and artichokes. Taste and season with a little pepper if you like.

Spinach + Artichoke Fondue (via abeautifulmess.com)  Serve with toasted bread and fresh vegetables. Really anything that can fit on the poky sticks that you like with spinach and artichoke dip will work here. Make this for a party soon! xo. Emma

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

Scrapbook in a Week36a01543277ddab970c01bb0820c470970d-800wiIMG_3030IMG_3071Today we are SO excited to share our latest e-Course with you, Scrapbook in a Week

6a01543277ddab970c01b7c7786ea1970b-800wi6a01543277ddab970c01b7c77cbe8c970b-800wiScrapbook in a Week2In Scrapbook in a Week, instructors Rachel Denbow and Elsie Larson share their step by step guide to finishing an entire scrapbook in just seven days! If you've ever felt overwhelmed about making an entire album, or if you've started multiple scrapbooks but have a hard time finishing anything, this is the course for you. Rachel will guide you through manageably-sized tasks each day and share examples from her album of her son, Smith's, first year, and Elsie will share her wedding album. Each of their albums were created in under a week, and they will share their secrets for starting (and finishing!) a scrapbook you will love for years to come. This is a great course to use over and over again as you work through many albums over the years.

Scrapbook in a Week4Scrapbook in a Week6a01543277ddab970c01bb081fb10c970d-800wiYou can read more about the course and everything you will learn here. Not only do you get all the course materials, but if you act fast, you will also receive an exclusive 3x4 stamp with your purchase (only while supplies last!). 

Course exclusive stampWhether you've never made a photo album before or you feel like a seasoned scrapbooker who needs a little extra push to finish projects, this is the perfect course for you. This course costs $34 USD. Shipping for the exclusive course stamp is included. Click here to learn more. 

IMG_2957IMG_3092If you have any questions, let us know in the comments. We can't wait to see the albums you all are going to create with this course! xo. Elsie, Rachel and the ABM team.

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