Kale pasta with easy garlic sauce (via abeautifulmess.com)  About three years ago, Trey got me a set of pasta making attachments for my KitchenAid mixer—and everything changed. 

OK, not everything. But I did learn to make and appreciate fresh homemade pasta. The texture is out of this world! I love dry pasta too, as it certainly takes WAY less time to throw a meal together using it, but fresh pasta is worth the effort when you have the time to make it. 

Somehow I pretty much always end up making homemade pasta at least once or twice around this time of year. I think with Valentine's on my mind, I just figure February is the month to spend a few nights making an extra special homemade meal if you're into that kind of thing. And I'm WAY in it. :)

Kale pasta with easy garlic sauce (via abeautifulmess.com)   This dish features pasta made with a whole cup of kale! It gets topped with a two minute butter, oil, and garlic situation. Then you throw on some Parmesan cheese and a big squeeze of lemon, and you're in business. The pasta takes time to make, but everything else about this meal comes together in minutes! I love that the topping on this dish just enhances the flavor and texture of the fresh pasta. 

Have I convinced you to make this yet? Good, let's do this. 

How to make homemade pastaKale Pasta with Easy Garlic Sauce, makes 4 generous servings.

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour*
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 yolks
1/2 cup kale juice**

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves of garlic
1 lemon
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Let's address those asterisks first. I used 1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour in this pasta, but if you prefer to use only all-purpose, you can easily use 2 full cups instead of the 1 1/2 listed. 

Next, what is kale juice? Is that something only Whole Foods sells? (Maybe.) I made 1/2 cup of kale juice by blending together 1 cup (about 1.75 oz.) of raw kale, large veins removed, and 1/3 cup water. You can do this in a good blender (I used my Vitamix) or a food processor. You could also make real kale juice with a juicer. No matter your method, you want the juice to be, well, very liquid. You do NOT want large pieces of raw kale still present as this will not make for that smooth pasta texture we're going for. 

Homemade kale pastaIn a large mixing bowl combine the flours, oil, yolks, and kale juice. Stir together until a loose dough ball forms. Then knead together with your clean hands. If your dough does not hold together and is still very crumbly, it may need more moisture. Just add a teaspoon or two of water at a time until you are able to press it into a ball. You don't want excessive amounts of moisture here, but it does need to hold together. 

Now you can roll and cut pasta by hand, but I've already revealed that this is not what I do. :) I have a pasta roller that attaches to my KitchenAid mixer. I simply follow the manufacturer's instructions to roll out the dough, and then I use a fettuccine attachment to cut. Have a plan for how you are going to hang your pasta so it won't stick together while you get your water ready, or for where you will dry it out so you can store it in the refrigerator. A pasta rack is great, but you can also just get creative. 

You can read more details on rolling, cutting, and drying pasta here.

Homemade kale pasta (via abeautifulmess.com)Now you've made kale pasta! Hooray!

If you are cooking your pasta the same day you make it, then get some salted water boiling! Fresh pasta will cook faster than dry; I cooked mine for about 5-6 minutes. 

While the pasta is boiling, get your sauce ready. Mince the garlic. In a small saucepan melt the butter and oil together over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, just until it begins to brown and becomes very fragrant. 

Toss the sauce over the cooked, drained pasta. 

Kale pasta with easy garlic sauce (via abeautifulmess.com) Top with salt, pepper, Parmesan, and a few fresh herbs if you have them (I used parsley and thought it went great with this!). Serve with a lemon wedge to be squeezed over everything just before eating. I know, I'm getting a bit bossy here, but trust me! The bright pop of lemon juice goes great with the subtle kale flavor in this dish. Happy pasta making! xo. Emma

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

Canon GiveawaySo I think this is officially the BIGGEST Instagram contest we've ever done!! Working with our longtime friends and supporters at Canon USA, we want to come to your home and help you make over an accent wall! This means we want to see your prettiest and most colorful photos on Instagram in the #ABMColorContest. 

Once a winner is chosen, we'll be coming to your town to help you make over your wall. Whoa. But wait, what does this mean? Well, you've probably noticed on the blog that we are constantly updating our walls and homes with colorful, personal touches. We love creating unique frames for displaying photos or art prints, adding fun features, or even brushing on a bit of paint to make a bold statement. We can't wait to brainstorm with the winner!

Let's make over your wall!Since big photos are our favorite wall accents, you're going to need a large format photo printer!! So the winner will also be getting Elsie's go-to photo printer, the Canon PIXMA iP8720 Crafting Printer. It prints up to 13x19" and captures the richest colors! Here are some of our favorite gallery and statement wall ideas from the blog:

Our favorite accent walls ideas!-01Top left // Top right // Bottom left // Bottom right

A Wall Makeover with Elsie & Emma: Elsie and I will personally come to your home to help you design and make over a statement wall. We'll work with you beforehand to land on the best ideas that you love, maybe share a pin board, then come to your town and get it done!
• $1,000 to cover any costs of the makeover (and then some!)
• Canon PIXMA iP8720 Crafting Printer

• Make sure you're following @canonusa + @abeautifulmess on Instagram
• Hashtag your favorite colorful photos on your Instagram account with #ABMColorContest and mention @abeautifulmess + @canonusa

You can enter more than once and tag old photos! U.S. residents only. The contest is open until 2/18/16, and then our team will pick out our favorite photo and contact you directly. So make sure you're checking your DMs!

So excited to see all your colorful photos. Good luck! xoxo. Elsie + Emma

DIY open closet system- for those with tiny bedroom closets!When my husband and I purchased our small ranch home, we knew the bedroom closet wasn't big enough for the both of us. So instead of having a showdown at high noon, or doing something even crazier like becoming a wardrobe minimalist, I decided to implement an open closet system onto one of the bedroom walls. What really happened, though, was that we lived with a hodge-podge bedroom for three years, making us feel like we were actually sleeping in a messy closet each night. Not exactly relaxing at the end of the day.

This January I felt super motivated to start fresh on the opposite side of the room with a neater attempt at creating a nice looking closet system. We also finally changed up the light green walls that came with the house for a calmer color scheme to help make our bedroom a more enjoyable place to relax.

DIY open closet system- for those with tiny bedroom closets!Check out how I went about installing and organizing the closet system below!

DIY open closet system- for those with tiny bedroom closets!Step One: Decide where to place the closet system. I originally had mine on a wall with no windows, which didn't end up working well for our room's arrangement. The reason I had decided to place it there was because it gave me more space for my clothes. But recently I decided to downsize my wardrobe and move the closet system to the opposite wall, incorporating my husband's dresser and space for the window into the arrangement.

DIY open closet system- for those with tiny bedroom closets!Step Two: Determine the height for your top shelf by deciding what's important for your shelf spacing.

Option One: Do you have objects you plan to place on the top shelf? If so, use those to space the top shelf brackets from the ceiling. (Be sure to leave a little bit of breathing room!) Or if you are planning to hang dresses, be sure your longer dresses don't drag on the floor. If you have maxi dresses, I recommend making the lower row of clothes shorter than the top row, so long dresses can be hung on the top rod and hang down alongside the clothes on the bottom rod.

Option Two: If you don't have any specific items you plan to place on the top shelf, then grab a hanger and see what your comfortable reach is. Mark your bracket screw holes where you are comfortable reaching, and move onto hanging the brackets.

DIY open closet system- for those with tiny bedroom closets!Step Three: Align your bracket marks with the studs in your wall. Your wall studs will be approximately 16" from the corner of the wall, or evenly spaced 16" apart from each other. Use a stud finder to be sure you're drilling into a stud. You must fasten the shelf brackets into a stud or their will not be stable. The last thing you want is for your entire closet system to come tumbling down in the middle of a peaceful night's sleep!

Tip: Use a level to make sure each bracket's drill holes are spaced perfectly level with each other.

Step Four: Drill into the marks you made with pilot holes a bit smaller than the size of your screws. (Don't worry, I was only posing for the above photo after I had drilled the holes. Baby wanted held, so baby was held for the posing of this picture! No drywall dust fell on this angel face, but this is a pretty realistic look into how I manage to get a lot of things done with a baby!)

DIY open closet system- for those with tiny bedroom closets!
Step Five: Screw the brackets into place, making sure to only tighten the screws once you've made sure the brackets are level with each other. (You can do this by placing a shelf with a level on top of them.)

Step Six: Trim the rods to fit your allotted space using a pipe cutter. I used aluminum conduits for my rods because they were less expensive than the chrome ones at the store. Twist the (black) end of a pipe cutter as you circle it around the circumference of the pipe, making the blade go deeper into the pipe with each round until the pipe is cut.

At this time, you can cut your shelf boards to the same size as your pipes, or note their lengths to have them cut at the hardware store where you plan to purchase the shelving material. My shelves are standard laminate coated particle board, which is inexpensive and perfectly suited for closet shelving.

DIY open closet system- for those with tiny bedroom closets!Step Seven: I used iron-on banding to finish off the cut edges of my shelves. Super simple, and no trimming needed, since the banding came in the same width as my laminate shelves.

Repeat this entire process with as many closet sections as you need or have the wall space to accommodate. I did one section on either side of my window. Hey—the racks of clothes are like added insulation, right?

DIY open closet system- for those with tiny bedroom closets!Step Eight: Fill the rods and shelves with your clothes and storage accessories. I used white baskets to store items that aren't hung, such as purses, scarves, and other less frequently used items up top, and gym clothes and knits down lower for easy access. It's important for me that this system looks nice, so I used the same style of basket for a neat, organized appearance.

DIY open closet system- for those with tiny bedroom closets!Here you can see a bit how small our bedroom is, with the bed in the photo. The doorway off to the right is my husband, Phil's, closet. I'll share more about what space-saving ideas I used on the opposite wall in a later post. But taking advantage of the entire window wall for a closet system has been such a sanity saver!

DIY open closet system- for those with tiny bedroom closets!Creating this open closet system was also a great opportunity to reevaluate which items in my wardrobe needed to go and which of my favorites could stay. Now the trick is to not be so tempted by the clearance rack in stores so my bedroom doesn't become overwhelmed with more clothes than I need. I've noticed the items I rarely wear will eventually acquire dust, which is a great indication that they probably should be ousted from the gang.

So what do you think? Would you ever install an open closet system in your bedroom? -Mandi

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Make your own glitter barrettes for Valentines Day!I don't know if you're a gal like me, but I have QUITE the collection of hair accessories. The right barrette or headband can be the perfect finishing touch to an outfit. I've been looking to add some more flair to my tresses (seriously, give me all the flair), so I grabbed some crafty supplies and went for it! 

-Sculpey oven bake clay
-Mod Podge or craft glue
-fine glitter
-barrette blanks
-letter cookie cutters
-small rolling pin

Step 1Step One: To begin, roll out your clay onto a covered surface (I covered mine with wax paper). Begin cutting out your designs and baking the clay as the package suggests.

Step 2Step 2aStep Two: Once your clay has been fully baked and cooled, cover the surface in Mod Podge or craft glue. Sprinkle on your glitter and let dry.

Step 3 Step 4Step Three: When the glue has dried under the glitter, attach your clay letters and shapes to the barrette blanks with E6000. Once those are dry— VOILA! Pretty new barrettes to make your hair super fancy.

DIY Glitter Barrettes Love these DIY glitter barrettes for Valentines Day! DIY Glitter BarretteI love anything Valentine's Day themed, but these are especially great because I can wear them year-round! Now, excuse me while I go make a ton more of these cuties! Happy crafting! -Katie

Credits://Author and Photography: Katie Shelton. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

The Parker Palm SpringsAlternate title: I'm Dreaming of a White Bedroom 

Today I'm here to talk about the progress and plans going on in our master bedroom. You can see the BEFORE here. So far, I'm having the BEST time planning out our cozy, chill master bedroom. It's completely different from the other spaces in our home because I am placing more priority on coziness and less on how exciting the design is. I mean, I still hope it turns out cute, BUT I'm OK with it being a teeny bit boring if it elevates our quality of relaxation. 

Originally I was shopping for a platform bed. I had my heart set on that, but after seeing this photo from The Parker, I decided to keep our canopy bed and paint it white. 

Look how cute it turned out!!! 

I'm dreaming of a white bedroom(It's this bed frame, by the way.) It really lightens up the bed frame. I was feeling like it was too heavy for my decor in the past few years, but this changes everything. I love it SO much. 

I'm considering gold corners for the bed frame too. But I'm going to wait till the rest of the room is more complete to decide. 

We still have a lot to do in this space, but it's functional enough to move in to! #progress 

My current plans are too keep it very simple, light and airy. I want it to be a relaxing space. Our internet doesn't reach back to that bedroom and we decided not to get it fixed, and rather to try to never bring our computers back there. I'm really excited about this. Since we moved we've completely stopped watching television in bed and I think it's a really healthy change and we're both sleeping better. 

Here are some of my initial decor plans... 

Bedroom Inspirations1. I love this moon marquee.  2. Plant life is a huge priority. Since we want to keep it pretty simple, plants are one of the best ways to add color and make a room feel more fresh. 3. I love these juju hats. Such a pretty way to create texture! 4. Cozy blankets like this one are essential. 5. We chose this rug a while ago. It was one of the first things we chose for the space. I knew I wanted something with great texture that was neutral, and it fits perfectly!  6. Cute baskets. 7. Always room for a striped pillow. 8. Fun pillow cases

So as you can see, I'm still in the very beginning stages. Lots of options! 

We're considering wallpapering the ceiling, which would add a little texture and pattern. But I have to find a good neutral paper, and I haven't found the perfect one yet. Going to take my time deciding on the fixture. And for the dresser I am considering doing an Ikea hack! 

So far these plans are blending pretty seamlessly with the master bathroom. That's important to me because, although they're technically two different rooms, I want them to have the exact same vibe. 

We've made a LOT of progress on the house these past few weeks! I'll check back in with more progress reports soon! xx- Elsie 


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