Creamy Tahini Chopped Salad (via  Lately I've been trying to challenge myself to work on more salad dressings that can be made with ingredients that I generally already have on hand. I will often change up what vegetables I include in salads, mostly based on whatever I have in my refrigerator. But I love adding to my ever-growing list of easy-to-make salad dressings. This one features tahini and is sort of, kind of, a lighter version of this spicy peanut sauce

Creamy Tahini Chopped Salad (via dressing is creamy and quite balanced with a little spice and a little sweetness. If you want more spice, add a little more red curry paste or throw in some red pepper flakes. If you want to keep this vegan, make sure to use a vegan-friendly red curry paste, as it often contains shrimp otherwise. 

Asian chopped saladCreamy Tahini Chopped Salad, makes two big salads or could be divided into four if served with an entrée.

For the dressing:
1/4 cup tahini
1 teaspoon red curry paste
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, minced
salt + pepper to taste

For the salad:
one head of romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 head of purple cabbage, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
two green onions, chopped (ends discarded)
1 cup cooked edamame (I used frozen that I thawed completely)
1/3 cup cashews, chopped

Prepare your salad ingredients, which mostly involves chopping everything. Feel free to channel your inner Swedish Chef for this. And again, feel free to change up your ingredients based on what you have. I have the addition of edamame for some extra protein, and I personally LOVE chopped nuts on almost anything, but especially salad. 

Creamy tahini dressingFor the dressing, once you have the garlic minced, simply whisk everything together until well combined. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.

Creamy Tahini Chopped Salad (via Now you're ready to toss your salad in the dressing and get down to business. Enjoy! xo. Emma

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

Cell phone IdeasA couple months ago I upgraded my iPhone to the 6s plus, and not only is it gigantic (which I LOVE), but the phone cases are pretty expensive and hard to find! I decided that instead of paying forty bucks for a phone case, I would DIY a bunch of CHEAP cases from Amazon and have options. After years of iPhone life the one thing I know for sure is that phone cases do not last forever. Even the fanciest ones I've owned have gotten worn out pretty quickly. 

If you're feeling these vibes and in the mood for some SIMPLE DIY, then this blog post is for you! 

Step One: Find an inexpensive case (or three!) on Amazon or eBay. I used this case for my 6s Plus. Any inexpensive, clear case will work. 

You used to call me on my cell phoneYou used to call me on my cell phoneIdea 1: Holographic Duck tape! Have you seen this stuff? I picked up this mini roll at the craft store and just used a couple strips of it to add a pattern to my case. SUPER easy, and removable too.

Hello, it's meHello, it's meIdea 2: Googly eyes. I used a couple glue dots to adhere these eyes to my clear case. It's kind of silly, I know, but I don't know...I love it. Haha! Great for a kid's phone too. I need to make one of these for my niece's phone. 

Side note—kids with phones these days! Am I right? 

Sequins!Sequins!Sequins!Idea 3: Sequins trapped inside. This is my personal favorite. I've been using my case like this since last week when I took these photos. It's really cute and simple! And the sequins really do not move that much once they're in there. I was worried they might try to slide out the camera hole, but it hasn't been an issue. 

So yeah, this is probably my favorite phone case in a while, and it was under 10 bucks to make!! 

On a kind of related note, I've noticed that the kinds of D.I.Y. projects I am drawn to making lately are changing! I am in a place where I either want to do an epic home project (like a statement wall or some kind of huge customizing project) or something REALLY simple and quick like this. Where are YOU at with D.I.Y.?? I would be really interested to hear what projects (or recipes) you've made from ABM, if any! 

Hope you guys are having an awesome morning! Our heads are still spinning from the A Color Story launch yesterday. Thank you SO MUCH for your support! :) xx- Elsie 

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

A Color Story is here!! Download in the App Store now! It's finally here!! A Color Story is now available in the iOS App Store and it's FREE!

If you want to go frantically download it RIGHT NOW, we get it...we can wait. 

Here are the main features and some examples of how we have been using A Color Story. All the photos below have been edited using only the app:

We were able to replicate our favorite color balancing techniques from Photoshop exactly in this app, making a wide range of filters that can be used as 1-tap editing for your photos!

2 Joy Ride*Image by @elsielarson edited with Joy Ride from Chroma pack

Colors that pop! (Breezy from Blush pack in A Color Story App)*Image by @KeikoLynn edited with Breezy from the Blush pack

One of our top priorities was creating filters that make your colors REALLY pop. And with so many options to choose from, there are a ton of really interesting variations within the packs! This lends itself to a LOT of creative freedom! 

Before-After edited with #AColorStory App*Image by @Laura_Elizabeth edited with Summer from the Chroma pack (yes, just one tap, and it makes such a HUGE difference!) 

A lot of filters we've used in the past change, tint or dull color instead of enhancing it. It was extremely important to us to create filters that enhance color, rather than covering it up!

A Color Story has over 20 toolsOVER 20 FREE TOOLS, INCLUDING CURVES

And for the photos that need just a little more fine-tuning, we've included over 20 tools that you can use to get it exactly right—including fully functioning curves that even allow you to target RGB. All of the tools in the app come completely free without purchasing a thing.

Kitchen-before-after*Image by @elsielarson edited Bright + Contrast (Tools) and Ice Ice from the Essentials pack. 

When it comes to iPhone photos, there's no such thing as "perfect lighting". It always needs a bit of a boost! So the go-to tools make it really easy to brighten your photo along with the many filters that brighten for you.

A Color Story effects can be moved and blend with your photo!*Image by @mandimakes edited with Flare 7 from the Flare & Bokeh effects pack

Light Leaks*Image by @ArielleVey edited with Light Leak 9 from the Light Leaks effect pack.


We have three really cool effects packs: Flare & Bokeh, Light Leaks and Color Fog. These effects are built from multiple layers of shapes and color blending at different modes to make them truly part of your photo. And each of these effects can be moved and rotated with your fingers, so you can customize your photos and make them look and feel natural. 

A Color Story lets you create custom filtersCREATE AND SAVE CUSTOM FILTERS

Like the edits you just made? Save them as your own custom filter at any point. The history menu in the bottom left will always help you keep track of your edits, and the SAVED feature will let you repeat a whole set of steps on a new photo with just one tap.

If you haven't seen our video yet, you can get a feel for all the functionality here! 


A Color Story App*Image by @ArielleVey edited with Soft & Bright from the Organic Pack. 

Alright, guys! We really need your help! Please send this app to friends who haven't heard about it yet. We really want to get the word out this week!! And if you like the app, please leave us a review on the App Store. It helps us so much! xx- Elsie 

Follow A Color Story on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

*Android version coming SOON. It's in the final stages of testing now. We're really excited to launch that version as well!

**Some people are having trouble with in-app camera access. Apple has made some updates to camera functionality in iOS, so make sure you're on the latest version of iOS, and that should solve the problem. If that or anything else is still giving you any trouble, please email support at

Make your own statement necklace with fabric yarn! Get the easy step-by-step over at www.aBeautifulMess.comFinger knitting your own chunky statement necklace is one of those instant gratification kind of projects. You can easily finish this in just over an hour and can customize it a handful of ways to fit your own unique aesthetic. My son actually taught me how to finger knit a few years ago after coming home from school one day with a 15' garland of red yarn. The teacher had taught the kids to finger knit to give their fingers a motor skill workout and to help them stay focused while she read to them in the afternoons. He would come home every day with a new garland, so I finally had him show me how it was done. I must've missed that week in Girl Scouts because I had never learned this as a kid but knew it wouldn't be the last time I had fun with it.

Refresh your spring wardrobe with a statement necklace made from fabric yarn that you can make yourself! Get the full tutorial at www.aBeautifulMess.comFinger knitting is addicting. Be warned! You'll soon find yourself not being able to stop and four hours later you'll have to dig your way out of your garland pile! For this project, you'll only need a small fraction of a whole skein of fabric yarn, and you could easily cut strips of jersey cotton yourself if you can't bear to wait for your online order to come in. I love the print on this black and white yarn and how consistent the yarn thickness is throughout the skein. I guarantee it's not the last time I'll be working with this stuff!

Finger knit necklace supplies
-fabric yarn in an interesting print
-fabric yarn in a contrasting solid

Step1-2Step One: Tuck your end between your ring and pinky fingers and wrap it around your pinky finger and under your ring finger. Then wrap it over your middle finger, under and around your pointer finger, under your middle finger, and over your ring finger. These are your first two weft rows. Just like weaving!

Step Two: Wrap around your pinky finger, under your ring finger, over your middle finger, under and around your pointer finger, back under your middle finger, and over your ring finger where you'll let your yarn hang down. These are your third and fourth weft rows.

Steps 3-4Step Three: Put your thumb on top of your tail end to keep it from flying away. With your other hand, pull the bottom row on your pinky over the top of your finger. Your tail end will be part of that. Hold tight. Move to the ring finger and pull the bottom row up and over the top of your finger. Repeat with your middle finger.

Step Four: You may need to bend your fingers down a bit as you pull the rows over the top. 

Steps5-6Step Five: Add another two weft rows by wrapping the long end of your yarn around your pinky, under your ring finger, over your middle finger, under and around your pointer finger, back under your middle finger, and over your ring finger. Repeat the process of pulling the new bottom row up and over the new top row. Pull the tail to the back of your hand and pull down snuggly so that it forms a bit of a tight spot. You'll tie a knot here later. 

Step Six: Keep this up for maybe thirty minutes while listening to a podcast or chatting with a friend. Pull at the tail every few rows to help your garland curl into a rope. For this necklace design, you'll want about 33" of garland (not counting the tail). 

7-8Step Seven: When you're ready to end your garland, cut a tail about 6" long and weave it through each loop on each finger. Pull tightly.

Step Eight: Tie a single knot to secure each end of your garland. 

9-10Step Nine: Tie three large but semi-loose knots in the center of your garland.

Step Ten: Tie a slightly tighter knot on each side of these three knots. You'll want to make sure they're all knotted in the same direction so you may have to work backwards on the left side knots.

11-12Step Eleven: Cut two lengths of solid colored fabric yarn measuring about 3' each. Loop them through two loops under the knot at one end of your garland and make sure they're centered.

Step Twelve: Wrap one of the strands of your solid yarn around the other three strands as well as the tail end of your printed yarn. Wrap tightly as you work and stop after you've wrapped about 4" long. 

Step13Step Thirteen: Tie all four strands into a knot and trim the two shorter ends. Gently pull your yarn over the cut ends to hide them. Repeat on the other side. Trim your loose ends so they're even and tie them together in a loose knot. Fabric yarn is so forgiving when trying to untie, but you can also pull this gently over your head every time since it's got some stretch to it. 

Finger knit a beautiful statement necklace with fabric yarn. Get the easy step-by-step tutorial over at www.ABeautifulMess.comEnjoy your very own unique necklace that will upgrade any ensemble. These make great gifts for friends as well!

Finger Knit Necklace TutorialHave you ever tried finger knitting? It's one of those therapeutic crafts that is great for winding down at the end of a long day or for taking with you on a road trip to help pass the time. I'd love to see your own versions of this necklace! -Rachel

Credits//Author and Photography: Rachel Denbow. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

But First, CoffeeHey, friends! Today we're taking a little field trip to our happy place...the coffee shop. I do pride myself in my ability to turn any blog post into an excuse to grab a latte...and I know Emma misses that talent of mine. So I gave us both an excuse today. (MISS YOU so much, Em!) 

The winter weather here in Nashville is, well, not that wintery. I'm not complaining though. I'm sure the snow and ice is on its way sooner or later. Until then...I'm pretending it's autumn. 

Elsie's wearing: Dress c/o Everly, Scarf/Old ABMxModCloth (but I still love it and wear it often), Sunnies c/o Bonlook, Bag/Madewell, Bracelets and Necklace/Madewell, Shoes/Swedish Hasbeens, Marbled Clutch c/o Moorea Seal

But First, Coffee But First, Coffee  But First, Coffee  But First, Coffee  But First, Coffee  (This marbled clutch kills me!)'s all you, Emma :D 

Emma Chapman of   Thanks, sister! Perfect excuse to show off one of my new favorite spots in Springfield: Cherry Picker Package x Fare. It's a tiny little corner spot tucked away in a neighborhood, and they have amazing coffee, snacks, and a great selection of wines. I've mostly been in the evenings for a glass of wine. So I was stoked to have an excuse to take a break during the day and go get a latte there. 

Cherry Picker Springfield MO  Best latte at Cherry Picker in Springfield MO Cherry Picker Springfield MO      Emma Chapman of  Cherry Picker Springfield MO    Cherry Picker Springfield MO And oh man, Springfield people, you've got to go try their new winter latte. It's got a spicy simple syrup (cardamom, vanilla, and other stuff—I don't know the recipe, but it rocks!), a lime juice lined rim, and it's served with a piece of dried mango. Whoa. So good!

Emma Chapman of     Emma Chapman of Emma Chapman of abeautifulmess.comEmma's wearing: Dress/She In, Collared Shirt/H&M, Tights/Target, Boots/ASOS, Jacket/Thrifted, Purse/Marc Jacobs, which I got from Sarah Rhodes' IG closet sale!

Springfield weather is oddly not that wintery yet either... although from the forecast, it looks like we may get some snow next week! 

Anyway, miss you, Elsie! Thanks for the excuse to go get a latte in the middle of the day. You are as efficient as ever. :) Ha! xo. Emma (and Elsie)

Credits // Authors: Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman, Photography: Laura Gummerman and Janae Hardy.


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