DIY Room FreshenerWhen I try or learn something I love, I can become extremely loyal to it. Hardcore, if you will. ;) And that's my opening line for this blog post about air fresheners. 

Last year I made this pillow mist recipe with natural ingredients, and I've been using it all year. In fact, that bottle is still sitting in my guest bedroom right now. I spritz all the sheets in the house on laundry day and always give it an extra spritz before we have guests. 

I've even used it for general room freshening a couple times. I don't typically buy many air freshener products from the cleaning aisle at the grocery store because they tend to be full of chemicals, which is the opposite of what I want in my home. 

Today I experimented further with my original recipe and came up with some fun (and pretty!) options for natural room sprays using essential oils! You can still use them on sheets, but also so much more! 

Here's how it's done– 

DIY Room Freshener Supplies:
-essential oils (a variety of scents) 
-water 
-witch hazel 
-mini funnel 
-pretty perfume bottles (I found mine on Amazon – this size and this size

DIY Room Freshener  Using a tiny funnel, pour 15-20 drops each of two different essential oils into your bottle. (I'll share my combinations below!) 

DIY Room Freshener   Next, fill the bottle halfway with witch hazel. 

DIY Room Freshener    Then, fill the bottle the rest of the way with water. 

So the recipe is basically – 1 part witch hazel, 1 part water, and 30-40 drops essential oils in any scents you like. 

Last, I used a white paint pen to write a fun (made up) name on each bottle! You can name them anything you want. So fun, since one of my not-so-secret dream jobs is to be someone who gets to name nail polishes and paint colors. :)) 

You can create endless scents using various essential oils, choosing them was my favorite part! Here are three recipes that I really like! 

Cozy VibesCozy Vibes is a combination of white fir and bergamot. My absolute fave! 

Fresh VibesFresh Vibes is a combination of combination of grapefruit and Purify. Very fresh and citrusy! 

Campfire VibesCampfire Vibes is a combination of wild orange and clove. You can really smell both, and it reminds me of the perfect mixture of summer and autumn! 

DIY Room Freshener      The perfume bottles give it a nice touch! You can use any glass bottle, but I went ahead and chose these since they're so beautiful, and you can use them over and over again. 

Two words – GIFT IDEAS! 

DIY Room Freshener         These smell SO good! I am obsessed with how they came out and know I will get plenty of use out of these. It's really too bad you can't reach through the screen and smell each one because if you could, I know you'd be making some right away! They're really nice.

I love knowing that there are no weird chemicals hiding in there, but additionally, they smell so much more REAL than anything you'll find in that grocery store aisle. 

One more note! I like to shake the bottle between each use. Although I have tested it and you don't have to shake it to get the scent. Since it's oil, it never completely combines with the water, but don't worry – it still does the job! 

Thanks so much for reading! xx- Elsie 

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer and Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions

Mid century wooden plant stand DIY (click through for tutorial)          Though I love my plants in all sizes big and small, the smaller ones are definitely less expensive to "outfit". You can buy several small, cute planters for the cost of one big one. There are lots of large planters that I love, but the bigger they are the pricier they get too. I wanted to do something a little special for my fiddle leaf fig that I've kept alive for over two years now (doesn't sound like a lot, but that's my record!), and I thought making a midcentury inspired wooden stand for the simple square planter would make it more interesting than if it was simply sitting on the floor.

Mid century wooden plant stand DIY (click through for tutorial)          Supplies:
-1.5" x 1.5" boards
-jigsaw 
-wood glue
-wood screws
-paint
-ruler and pen
-drill

First decide which planter or pot you want to use with your plant stand. The stand does feel really sturdy once it's built, but I know that some of the oversized thick porcelain pots can be pretty heavy just by themselves and almost impossible to lift by yourself once filled with dirt and a plant. So I would suggest more of a lightweight planter (like this one) to keep the weight limit down. Measure the width and height of the planter so you can decide how big of an opening you need for your planter to sit snugly in the plant stand and how high you want the sides of the plant stand to stand against the planter.

Mid century wooden plant stand DIY (click through for tutorial)          Use a jigsaw to cut the boards into two lengths. One length will make an "X" across the bottom of the planter for the planter to sit on. You need two boards that length (mine were 12.5" long). The other length will be the side legs for your plant stand. Add how high you want the planter to sit up off the ground with how high you want the legs to come up the sides of the planter (mine were 13" high total). You need four identical pieces for the side legs.

Mid century wooden plant stand DIY (click through for tutorial)          Next, use a ruler and a pen to mark the middle of your two underneath pieces. Mark off an area in the middle that is exactly the width of the board and continue that mark halfway down the sides of the board. So, since my board was 1.5", I marked .75" on either side of the middle mark across the top and then drew the line .75" down each side. You are trying to carve out the same size notch in both boards so they will make a flush surface when you put the notches together.

Mid century wooden plant stand DIY (click through for tutorial)   Use the jigsaw to cut down the two side lines.

Mid century wooden plant stand DIY (click through for tutorial)
Since you can't make a 45 degree angle turn with a jigsaw to get across the bottom line, drill a hole as wide as the jigsaw blade right next to the line. This will give you a place to insert the saw blade and begin cutting from there to the corner. Once you get to the corner, you can turn around and cut back the opposite way across the bottom line.

Mid century wooden plant stand DIY (click through for tutorial)   See? It works! Repeat process so that both of your underneath boards have the same notch.

Mid century wooden plant stand DIY (click through for tutorial)   Put the two notches together with some wood glue between them and add a wood screw in the middle to secure.

Mid century wooden plant stand DIY (click through for tutorial)   Once you have your middle "X", you can measure how long you want the legs to be (I made mine about 5" long), and attach the X to the outer legs at that measurement with some wood glue and a wood screw from the outside edge.

Mid century wooden plant stand DIY (click through for tutorial)         Do a light sanding to remove any rough edges, and paint your plant stand. I find that if I am painting wood with a metallic paint, it looks a lot better if I do a base of a white primer before adding the gold finish. Once your paint is dry, you can add your plant and you're done!

Mid century wooden plant stand DIY (click through for tutorial)         Mid century wooden plant stand DIY (click through for tutorial)         I really like how simple and clean the plant stand looks in the space. Just getting it up off the floor a few inches highlights the planter more (and it makes the tree look taller as well!). The gold legs also compliment the touches of gold on the TV stand and the brass globe sconce next to the plant as well. That makes the "design balance" part of my brain so happy. This would also be a great idea to hold outdoor planters if you used outdoor treated wood and an exterior paint or stain and made a few of different heights... Uh oh, looks like it's back to the lumber store for me!! xo. Laura

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

Oui FreshWe're so excited to share that Oui Fresh has officially launched today! For months and months we've been putting together a small, curated shop of clothing and accessories that we're excited to offer to you. All items are things we love or designed ourselves. Our plan is to keep the shop stocked with small amounts of things we are super excited about and grow it over time with things you love as well! 

Here are a few of our favorite pieces... 

Oui Fresh Good Vibes tank

Oui Fresh   Team Palm Springs tank

Oui Fresh        Brunch Club t-shirt (so you can be an official member :))

Oui Fresh         The Babe With The Power t-shirt

Oui Fresh            Lulu Bag in Blossom (comes in white as well!)

Oui Fresh         Lots of fun and colorful sunnies!! 

IMG_0642IMG_0748Thank you so much for getting excited with us! If you have any questions at all, we can answer them for you here.

SO so so excited!!! XOXO! Elsie + Emma 

Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream (via abeautifulmess.com)  Key lime pie has got to be one of the very best and most loved pies in the world. It must! I mean, I haven't conducted any kind of scientific research on this topic. I'm just assuming based on my own deep-rooted love for it. Sweet but tart and then a little crunch from the crust – Mmmm!

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream (via abeautifulmess.com) I decided to experiment and turn one of my very favorite pies into an ice cream. And man, this ice cream tastes EXACTLY like key lime pie to me. It's got plenty of bright, tart flavor from lime juice and zest, a little crunch from graham crackers, and the sweetness comes from adding sweetened condensed milk. Bonus point that this is one of the absolute easiest ice cream batters to make. The only drawback is you're probably gonna want to freeze this unless you prefer the soft serve texture most at-home ice cream makers produce. So, there's some waiting involved. Biggest drawback. :)

LimesKey Lime Pie Ice Cream, makes one quart

8 oz. (one package) softened cream cheese
14 oz. (one can) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lime juice
2 1/2 teaspoons lime zest
big pinch of salt
4-5 graham crackers

In mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, blend the softened cream cheese for a few seconds. You want the cream cheese soft and very spreadable so that your final ice cream batter will be smooth and free of any small lumps of cold cream cheese. I set the cream cheese out on the counter for a few hours before I made this, much like softening butter before making cookies. 

Homemade key lime pie ice creamThen add to the bowl the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, lime zest, and salt. Blend until smooth. Chill the batter for an hour, covered, in the refrigerator before freezing.

Follow the manufacturer's directions on your ice cream maker to turn the batter into ice cream. I have a KitchenAid stand attachment that I use, and it usually takes about 30 minutes to chill and stir that batter into a soft serve texture. During the last 5 minutes is when I crumble the graham crackers and add them to the ice cream so they distribute throughout but don't get overly soggy like they might if I added them in the beginning. Then I remove it to my container (a loaf pan works well) and freeze overnight. The next day I have that thicker ice cream texture that I'm looking for. 

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream (via abeautifulmess.com)If you have some whipped cream, then add that just before serving. I actually had some but totally forgot to add it before I took these photos – oh well, just more to eat later. :) xx. Emma

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

Android AnnoucementAfter waaaay too long of a wait, we finally get to announce A Color Story is available on Android!!

We're so happy with how it turned out and can't wait to see what our Android friends make with the app!

It was quite the process getting here, and it took much longer than the matter of weeks we initially said in the announcement post here on ABM (so so sorry!). Our first Android developer on the project took a job at Google about halfway through, and finding a replacement set us much further behind schedule than we anticipated. However, our new developer is one of the best we've ever worked with. While it put us behind schedule, we ended up with an even better app in the end! 

And now it's time to CELEBRATE!!! You guys have no idea how excited we are today! 

Here's a quick overview of what it can do:

A Color Story on Android!!You can see the full capabilities in our app tour here! Or to see the app in action, here's a photo shot edited on an Android with just one filter. (Essentials > Pop)

2016-03-24 Flower, pad, coffeeThank you for hanging in there with us and checking in daily on the @acolorstory Instagram! We hope you love the app as much as we do. The app is free with in-app purchases. And for a limited time, there's a bonus pack of filters, Good Vibes, available for FREE! Now what are you waiting for? Go to the Google Play store!

Love, Elsie + Emma 

P.S. There will no doubt be some technical issues that crop up for a few of you with all the devices available out there. Please reach out through our support form with any challenges you're running into! The app is only optimized for Android phones, not tablets, and requires Android 4.1 or newer.

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