Festival ready messy knotted ponytail (click-through for the full tutorial) Coachella might be over but Faux-chella can live on forever in your heart (and on your head in a festival-inspired hairdo)! To me, festival hair is all about messy but adventurous style, and this knotted ponytail has both of those categories covered and should help keep you cool while you spend all day dancing outside – even if you’re only dancing around in your backyard!Festival ready messy knotted ponytail (click-through for the full tutorial)Step One: Take two sections of hair from either side of your face. Tie them in a knot.

Step Two: Take the two strands of your knot, wrap them around the rest of your hair, and tie them together towards the nape of your neck with a small elastic.

Step Three: Repeat the previous step; take two sections of hair from either side of your "ponytail" and tie them in a knot.

Step Four: Again, pull the sides around the rest of your hair (sometimes easier if you turn your head upside down and let all of the other hair fall forward) and secure with an elastic.

Step Five: Repeat another time, and then start carefully pulling at your ponytail between each knot to add volume.

Step Six: Add a few more knots if your hair is longer, or just pull your ponytail a bit more into a messier, fuller look.

Festival ready knotted ponytail (click-through for the full tutorial) Festival ready knotted ponytail (click-through for the full tutorial)  That’s it! Easy, right? I love how this style looks as it gets messier and messier, perfect for those warmer days when you’re outside all day having a good time and too busy to worry about “maintaining” your look! I’m not going to any musical festivals this summer, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be rocking my faux-chella look and dancing outside on the weekends! Cheers, Rebecca.

Credits//Author and Photography: Rebecca Stice. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Presets for Lightroom. 

Spiced black rice pudding (via abeautifulmess.com)I have been on a pretty serious whole-grain journey for the past year or so. In general I like the idea of living a very curious life. I want to always try new things, learn new things, and I also think staying curious keeps me humble (because it's very hard to be a know-it-all and curious at the same time). What does this have to do with whole grains? Well, I guess my point is that I've been trying lots of new things. And there are SO many different whole-grain options out there and seemingly endless ways to prepare them. It's a very delicious way to apply my "stay curious" motto to life. :) 

One ingredient I've completely fallen for: black rice (sometimes called forbidden rice). You might remember me dishing up some butter tempeh over this stuff a few months ago. 

Spiced black rice pudding (via abeautifulmess.com)  There are lots of ways to enjoy black rice. We mostly use it in savory meals at our house. We are BIG into stir fry, as it's about the quickest meal you can make with so many ways to change it up that you don't have to feel like you're eating the same thing all the time. 

But here's a sweeter option – black rice pudding. If you like rice pudding, you're probably going to love this whole-grain variation. It's still got all the creaminess of rice pudding with some added nutrition. I used coconut milk and added some chai spices to this recipe, making this a great little treat option if you're looking for something dairy-free and maybe a little lighter (for a treat). 

Black riceChai Spiced Black Rice Pudding, makes 2-3 servings

3/4 cup coconut milk
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup black rice
pinch of salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
big pinch of black pepper
coconut flakes and chopped nuts for serving

In a small to medium sized pot, combine the coconut milk, water, and black rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook uncovered for 42-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. You don't have to keep a constant eye on this, but you do want to stir every now and again so the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of your pot.

IngredientsAfter 42 to 45 minutes, much of the moisture will have absorbed into the rice, so it should look like rice pudding. Taste a few grains and make sure they are cooked through. If not, add another tablespoon or two of water and continue to cook. 

Stir in the sugar and spices. The spice measurements I've included here will result in a lightly spiced rice pudding. I tried one batch where I doubled the spice ingredients (as listed above), and I thought it was still really good but maybe a little too spicy for some palates, so I've reduced it here. The good news is you can taste it at this point and add more spices if you like. :)

And if you're not feeling the chai spice, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the mix at the start of cooking. Also, you can change the amount of sugar if you like. For me, the 1/4 cup was a good amount to make this feel like a treat but not be overly sweet. You could substitute with coconut sugar, honey, or maple syrup, or even reduce or increase the amount based on what you like. I haven't tried all of these variations myself, but I don't think they would affect the rice pudding texture much, mainly just the sweetness level. 

Spiced black rice pudding (via abeautifulmess.com) Top with coconut flakes and chopped nuts, or even some fresh fruit. If you want even more creaminess, you could drizzle some more coconut milk or cream into the bowl just as you serve it. Like I said, endless options, but I highly recommend you try black rice in some capacity soon – it's so good! xx. Emma

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

Rosemary Grapefruit Sparkler (click through for recipe     Summer drinks have a totally different vibe than winter drinks for a good reason. Gone are the thick, warm fare of hot chocolate and egg nog, and in its place we want fresh flavors served as cold as possible. I love the flavor of fresh fruit and herbs together, and I like to have little pots of herbs on my back porch in warm weather so I can step out and get mint, rosemary, or cilantro any time I want. I've been really into grapefruits for the first time in my life lately, so I thought I'd combine the slightly tart citrus flavor with one of my favorite herbs for a pretty sparkling summertime cocktail.

Rosemary Grapefruit Sparkler (click through for recipe  Rosemary Simple Syrup, makes 1/2 cup

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
4 sprigs of rosemary

Rosemary Grapefruit Sparkler, serves one

1 oz gin
2 oz fresh grapefruit juice
2 teaspoons rosemary simple syrup 
seltzer water
rosemary and grapefruit peel to garnish

Rosemary Grapefruit Sparkler (click through for recipe)To make the simple syrup, add the sugar and water into a small pot and warm over medium heat until all the sugar is dissolved. Add in the rosemary sprigs and let it simmer on medium/low heat for five minutes. Turn the heat off and allow the mixture to sit for another 10 minutes before straining out the rosemary.

Rosemary Grapefruit Sparkler (click through for recipe For the drink, squeeze some fresh grapefruits and add 2 oz of juice to a cocktail glass with ice. Add 1 oz gin and 2 tablespoons of the rosemary syrup to the glass and stir.

Rosemary Grapefruit Sparkler (click through for recipe   Top off with seltzer water. To make it look a little fancy, you can add a rosemary sprig and use a vegetable peeler to peel some of the grapefruit rind for a garnish.

Rosemary Grapefruit Sparkler (click through for recipe      Rosemary Grapefruit Sparkler (click through for recipe      This is a little tart, a little sweet, a little bubbly, and a whole lot of refreshing. Totally the perfect drink for a summer porch party kind of night. And, if you also enjoy having a little container garden on your back porch, you can easily grow a pot of rosemary to enjoy this drink all summer long! xo. Laura

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

Happy mail by A Beautiful MessWelcome to another month of Happy Mail and Messy Box unboxing!! There are some really cute treats in both boxes this month! 

Happy mailSubscribe to Happy Mail here.

Note: Something I failed to mention in the video is that the really cute bow card this month is designed by one of our favorite artists, Ashley Goldberg. Love her! 

Messy Box Messy Box Subscribe to Messy Box here.

xx! Elsie + Emma 

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Janae Hardy. Video: Jeremy Larson. 

Gold Cactus Wallpaper DIYI don't think I've ever received so many requests for a DIY before!! I'm so glad. I had so much fun working on this project and am so excited to share it with you today! 

As you know I am VERY passionate about wallpaper. But wallpaper is a big commitment. Something you aren't ready for such a commitment and that's when something inexpensive and easy to execute like this comes in. Albeit this a little time consuming, so you want to make sure you really want it! 

Here's how I did a WHOLE room of gold foil cactus "wallpaper" in just one week! 

Gold Cactus Wallpaper DIY This DIY is SUPER simple. 

First, you'll need a Krylon Gold Leafing Pen. They produce a beautiful gold foiled finish! 

Next you'll beed to make stencils of a very simple, abstract design. Don't choose any shape with any more detail than this cactus. I used craft foam and cardstock to make my stencils. I loved both, but the foam was maybe a little bit better. It's good to have a lot of extra stencils because if they get any excess paint on them they have to be set aside to dry or they can make your wall messy! I was swapping back and forth the entire time. 

One of the most time consuming parts of this project was actually choosing the design for me. I spent about a week deliberating before I committed to the cactus design. 

Next, start at either the bottom or the top (haha! I learned this the hard way) of the room and work your way around, fill a row spacing the design in a staggered pattern, like polka dots. 

If you frequently step back to look at the design from far away you can make sure your spacing is consistent. I chose to just "eyeball" my design. It's not perfectly spaced and I honestly don't care. If you want it to be absolutely perfect I would go through each wall and mark each spot with a small piece of blue painters tape so you can have a guide. You can even measure if you want to, but I didn't do that. 

Gold Cactus Wallpaper DIY  Once you start I recommend working for 1-2 hours per day, or taking breaks each 1-2 hours. Depending on how much space you are covering it can be a very time consuming project. My four walls took about ten hours split between myself and two other people helping me. 

You'll also want to have the best ventilation you can. If you can open a window or at least get a fan going, do it. These pens are fumey. 

Gold Cactus Wallpaper DIY   Most wallpapered rooms cost around two to three thousand dollars when you include the installation. This DIY cost under twenty dollars! I used three pens to complete our four walls. 

Gold Cactus Wallpaper DIY    Gold Cactus Wallpaper DIY    Let me know if you have any questions!! This project ties with my fiber art for most time consuming, but also my absolute favorite projects I've made in my home so far. 

I'll be sharing the full, completed room tour next week! The eye mirror is from here and the giant plush cacti are a DIY that Laura made coming soon! xx- Elsie 

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson.  Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.


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