Work Wears: Donut Fails

Work Wears from A Beautiful Mess If you've been reading for very long, you probably remember when we started sharing a few of our workday outfits in a feature we call "Work Wears" last year (see the archives here). We thought we'd spruce this feature up a little for 2015 and share two to three outfits from our week with you in each post. So here goes nothing...

Flannel and leather skirt I like having a long sleeve shirt or jacket handy at the office because sometimes I get cold. It's a well-heated space, I think I'm just cold-blooded I guess. 

I also have to point out my shirt—my good friend, Mallory, made it and I love it. She's awesome. You might remember Mallory from way back when she interned with us. And now she makes and sells her own independent clothing line. Go Mallory!

Outfit: Boots/BC Footwear from ModCloth, tights/Target, skirt and flannel shirt/F21, t-shirt/Mallory

Oversized tunic and leather leggings I'm currently really into over-sized shirts or sweaters with leggings, so cozy. I must admit though that I would consider these shoes more "date night" shoes than office wear. I like them with this outfit though, so I wore them. But I also had brought a pair of flats to the office as well because I knew I wasn't going to be at my desk all day. I did a little work in the wood shop (working on some bookends I'll hopefully share with you soon!), and I did some work in the kitchen too.

Cake donut fail!One thing I worked on was a blueberry cake donut with a crumb topping (like a muffin). The first round that I made turned out OK in the taste/texture department but was very, well, ugly. We passed them around the office, but I'll be working on this some more before it will be something I'd share with you. It's just not quite there yet.

Also, this batter sort of matched my outfit that day. So... that's cool. 

Outfit: Blouse and Shoes/Half of Half (it's a discount/final sale type store in our town), Leggings/F21, glasses/A Beautiful Mess for BonLook.

Boots and peach pants I actually wore these boots three times during this week. I love them! This is also what I do with my hair when I just can't get it to do anything else. And now you know. 

Outfit: Boots and Scarf/ ModCloth, Pants/James Jeans, Tops/H&M.

Emma Chapman Thanks for letting me share some peeks of my week with you. Hope you are having an awesome week! xo. Emma

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

Comments - 66
Pin it!

How To Clean and Care For Your Leather Boots in Winter

How To Clean and Care For Your Leather Boots in Winter (click through for tips)As someone who has never, ever said, "Hooray, it's winter!" I have to say that one of the only redeeming qualities of the season are a few of the wearable categories appropriate for this time of year. Boots happen to be pretty high on that list for me, and I always want to take the best care of my boots to prolong their wearability. Whether your issue is salt stains from harsh winter conditions or just your average amount of dirt from muddy puddles, cleaning and protecting your leather boots is a way to ensure they will be around (and in good condition) from one season to the next. Here's what you'll want to keep in mind when it comes to leather boot care:

How To Clean and Care For Your Leather Boots in Winter (click through for tips) 1. Cleaning. Whether you have a salt ring, dried cracks of salt around the bottom of your boot, or just dirty marks from day to day living, your first step is to clean your boots of all debris. For salt stains, use a soft cloth and mix of white vinegar and water (equal parts) to remove the stains. Allow the boot to dry, and buff with a soft cloth when finished. Try to remove salt stains as soon as they happen, and if you can get to them before they dry, a quick wipe with a damp cloth should do the trick. For general dirt, use a saddle soap that will also help condition and waterproof your boot. Wipe off dirt with a damp rag, rub the wet rag into the saddle soap to create a lather, rub the soap into the boot, and wipe off the lather with a damp cloth after a few minutes. If you feel like there's too much saddle soap on your boots, you can always add a little more water to create more lather. 

How To Clean and Care For Your Leather Boots in Winter (click through for tips)    2. Erase scuffs. You have all you need to erase scuffs in your pantry closet! Just dab a soft cloth into water, then into baking soda, and rub the scuffs gently until they disappear. Wipe the boot clean and allow the boot to dry before giving it a final buff.

How To Clean and Care For Your Leather Boots in Winter (click through for tips)

3. Prevent future damage. Always try to give your boots a proper protective barrier at the beginning and end of each season (and in between too after any cleanings). Spray clean, dry boots with a waterproofing spray to prevent salt stains before they start. It's a good idea to line all your boots up at once and do them all in one sitting.

4. Storing. Any time you are letting boots dry out (either from cleaning or wet conditions outside), leave the boots in a warm area but not a spot that is directly next to heat (like next to a radiator). If the heat is too harsh, it can make the leather more brittle and create cracks later on. Don't store leather boots in plastic bags as the leather needs to breathe and a lack of air can cause the boot to dry out or even mold. If you don't leave your boots out year round, choose a box with a loose lid or a fabric bag for storage instead. And before you store your boots, make sure they are clean and dry so you don't have salt eating away at the leather for months during the off season.

How To Clean and Care For Your Leather Boots in Winter (click through for tips)   But what if I have suede boots? OK, suede boots are a totally different thing, and you can't clean them the same way you would with smooth leather or you risk losing the suede quality and texture. Instead of getting the boot wet to spot clean, rub off dirt with a kneaded eraser or grab an emery board from your makeup drawer and sand off any marks. If those actions flatten the suede too much, you can bring the texture back by scrubbing the area with a clean toothbrush or terry cloth towel. For more heavy-duty matted stains, hold the boot over the steam from a steaming teakettle for a few moments, and then brush against the grain of the suede to loosen the dirt (and make a cup of tea since the water's ready!).

Test your product first! No matter what kind of boots you have or what product you are using, make sure to test a small area of the boot first when using a product. You can also check with the boot manufacturer to see what items they recommend for cleaning and care of certain boots. 

How To Clean and Care For Your Leather Boots in Winter (click through for tips)     So remember, try and wipe off any dirt or salt soon after it makes contact with your boot to cut down on the the amount of time you'll spend cleaning them later. Taking care of your leather boots properly will not only allow you to keep them around longer, but they will look better over their lifetime too. Now get out there and give your boots the care they deserve! xo. Laura

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

Comments - 54
Pin it!

Toasted Sesame + Miso Dressing

Miso and Toasted Sesame Dressing from A Beautiful MessI think this is the fifth or sixth recipe I've shared with you on this site that calls for miso. I'm trying to convert you if you can't tell. It's just a fantastic flavor. And to all you already confirmed miso-lovers out there, you're gonna LOVE this salad dressing.

Miso and Toasted Sesame Dressing from A Beautiful Mess  I mean this dressing has it all: nutty depth from toasted sesame seeds, sweetness from a little honey, a touch of tart from lime juice, and the savory goodness of miso. This is the kind of dressing that really makes you look forward to a salad meal. So, feel free to double this recipe as needed. :)

How to toast sesame seedsToasted Sesame + Miso Dressing, makes 2-3 servings.

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons miso (Shiro)
1 teaspoon water
juice from 1/2 lime
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 cup peanut oil
salt to taste

First, toast the sesame seeds (unless you can find them already toasted). You can do this in a dry pan (no oil needed) over medium/high heat. Keep a close eye on these as you toast them as they can quickly burn if you're not careful. Remove from heat once golden brown and allow to cool.

Best miso dressing recipeIn a small bowl or glass measuring cup, combine the miso, water, and honey. Whisk to combine. Then slowly drizzle in the oil as you whisk so everything combines well. I like to use a squirt bottle for this as it makes adding the oil slowly much easier. Last, stir in the sesame seeds, taste, and add salt if needed.

Miso and Toasted Sesame Dressing from A Beautiful Mess If you have leftover dressing, you can store it in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for a day or two. If you want to make a larger batch to last you all week, I recommend leaving the sesame seeds in a separate container and just combining them as you use the dressing. Happy salad days! xo. Emma

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

Comments - 34
Pin it!

Scrapbook Sunday: December Daily

1Hi, guys! Scrapbook Sunday is backkkkk. Apologies for the short break. I've been scrapbooking for an upcoming e-course (I'll share a peek at the end of this post!). So thanks for being patient with me and I'll be back next week. With that said, this week I have something AMAZZZING to share with you! Laura's December Daily Album! She did such an incredible job. You'd never believe this is one of her virgin voyages into scrapboooking. Here's what she said about her experience-

"I had known about this challenge for a couple of years now, and although it sounded really fun, I think I was also intimidated by it. I haven’t really done much scrapbooking, so to be honest, I was afraid I wasn’t going to be very good at it. Thankfully, Elsie convinced me to give it a try this year and I’m so glad that she did! I will admit though that this was not an easy challenge for me. I found it tough to take pictures (let alone interesting pictures) on the mundane boring days, I kept forgetting to take pictures at events I wanted to remember, and the whole process of choosing/editing/resizing/printing/cutting the photos took way more time than I was expecting. Once I had all the photos printed though, it was really fun to finally put them together and see the book come to life. I would definitely suggest completing the book in stages throughout the month so it doesn’t all sneak up on you at once at the end. It makes the process a lot more manageable. Overall, I love the end result and I’m so glad that I accepted the challenge this year. It was definitely a lot of work, but I documented so many special moments that I’m sure I’ll brave it all again next year!"

2222222222222SO cute, right?!!! Thanks so much for sharing, Laura. 

And here's a little sneak peek at my upcoming e-course... 

Sneak peekHappy Sunday! xx. Elsie 

Credits// Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Laura Gummerman and Elsie Larson. 

Comments - 78
Pin it!

Jeremy's new project—Violents

Violents musicMy husband, Jeremy, recently started a new music project called Violents. The project is unique because he is creating a series of EPs that feature different female vocalists, but all the music is written by him. It's basically his dream project, and I am so proud to be able to cheer him along. The music is incredible! 

Today I wanted to share that leading up to his next EP release (on February 10th), you can download the first Violents EP for free through Noisetrade. Noisetrade is a site that artists can use to offer free music in exchange for email addresses, to help build a mailing list. It's a really great concept and a win-win for both artists and fans. 

Violents music Wanna listen? 

To get the Blush EP for free, head over to Noisetrade or use the button above. You can also find Violents on iTunes and Spotify. 

Please follow Violents on Instagram @ViolentsMusic! That's the best way to keep up with future music.

Thanks so much for letting me share something so special to me. Happy Sunday! Elsie 

Credits// Author: Elsie Larson, Music: Jeremy Larson, Photography: Kylie Dailey.

Comments - 38
Pin it!

The Shop

Check out our Photoshop Actions, E-Courses and new product line!