Emma ChapmanHey, guys! I just wanted to share something personal that is going on in my life right now. Hope that's cool. So, Trey and I have been house shopping for a little under six months now. Why? Good question. I sometimes ask myself this too when I'm feeling discouraged about our options (more on that in a minute). 

I've been living in my current house for four years this month. And man has life changed in those past four years! You can read about when I bought my first home (the one I live in now) here. At the time I was single. Elsie and I worked in a local vintage shop that we owned. My brother and niece were my roommates for a little over a year back then. And I only had one dog. Man, how times have changed. I still had ombre hair though—guess not everything changes. :) And one thing that hasn't changed at all since I moved in is that I LOVE my house. It was (and is) the perfect first home for me and all the changes that have happened in my life over the past four years. 

But, with Elsie and Laura moving to Nashville, we are also moving the ABM office. I'll be the only one left in town who needs space to craft and cook and all that. So, a more traditional office space for the rest of the team made a lot more sense than the studio house. Therefore, we're working toward selling the studio house and moving the office to the space above our future bar. It's a great spot in our downtown commercial area, so I think it will make an awesome little office. But with this move, all the food styling items, craft supplies that aren't going to Nashville, and everything else that has accumulated at the studio house over the past couple of years needs to move somewhere. And my current home feels a little small for the job. That coupled with the idea that Trey and I have been thinking about trying to invest in a rental house in our hometown made us think heavily about moving. Our thought was, move to a new house that would work better for me working mostly from home, and we could rent out our current house. It's been exciting too because this time around I get to home shop WITH someone! Getting to bounce properties off Trey and see his opinion has been awesome. 

So after some time searching, we finally found a house that felt like us. It needed quite a bit of work, and wasn't all that much bigger than our current house, but the layout made it more ideal for our lifestyle. So we put in a bid. We went back and forth with the seller until we finally found a price that worked for both parties. Then we had our inspection, which wasn't all that surprising because we already knew about some of the issues the house had because we could easily see them as we walked through it. Like, all the floors needed to be redone except the kitchen (which had tile). There was even some leftover asbestos tile in the bedroom (it's an older house and, like I said, needs some updates).

I got a couple bids on the work and got a contractor and a concrete company set to work just a few days after we close on the house. The concrete was for the floors, we planned to pour concrete through most of the house. We also had a lot of painting to do the first week after we closed, so we had our evenings planned out for us there. :) 

Everything with the bank was set. Our loan was ready to go and we had our closing check ready. The night before our closing around 9pm we got a call from our realtor, which was odd because he never calls that late at night. So we knew something was up. He let us know that the seller had just discovered that he owed $5K more on the house than he had realized, and given our offer, it meant he would be upside down on his loan. He didn't have that amount in cash to make the deal happen, so everything fell through. And just like that we didn't have a house anymore. It was a shock to say the least.

The next day I got in touch with the contractors and our bank to let everyone know what had happened and cancel everything that needed to be canceled. Instead of spending our evenings painting our new house that week, I wondered if I should start building some kind of extra shelving for all the stuff that seemed would have to move from the studio house into our current home now that we were no longer moving. Honestly, I really wasn't sure what to do and I felt sort of paralyzed by the situation. After a few days, I decided to keep looking. I knew that if we were going to move this year, I'd rather move in the summer/autumn season than the winter. So I better just keep going and see if we found something we really loved or if we should stay put and I should get to work on those extra shelves. :) 

So we kept looking. I think I've seen about EVERY property listed in Springfield on Zillow. I've made my realtor take me to just about everything in our price range that seemed like it might be us. And I felt so much relief when we found another house that we both really loved. I was rereading my first house buying story (linked above), and it's funny that I mentioned wanting a house that had wood ceilings. The house that we are currently under contract for (!!!!!!!) has wood ceilings. Ha! I guess my tastes really don't change all that much.

Because of our recent experience with that house that fell through the night before our closing, I have been really hesitant to tell friends or family all that much about the house. I'm really quick to say things like, "We MIGHT get it, but who knows!?" because I just don't think we'll feel like it's real until we have the keys in our hand. And Elsie keeps asking me what I plan to DO in the house, like how will I paint it and what changes I plan to make. It feels like she just about has her entire house planned out and nearly completed. But I just shrug my shoulders and mumble something about how I'm not even sure we'll move. It's pretty pathetic, but it's just where I'm at right now. I've felt sort of in limbo since the first house fell through because it just changed everything about our plans and timeline.

Even though that whole experience has made me feel a little bit off and unsure about things this past month, please don't think I'm complaining. How could I! I am so incredibly blessed, and whatever happens I know it's meant to be. But I did just want to share this experience with you all, because, well, we're friends and it's something that's been a big part of my life recently. 

And yes, when we do actually move, I'll be sure to give you all a tour! There's nothing I'd like more. :) xo. Emma

P.S. If you want to "picture" my current home better, check out this (ramble-y) video tour I did. 

Love this! Marbled Clay Pendent Necklace DIY (click through for tutorial)     If I had to pick one item of jewelry to wear for the rest of my life, it would be the long pendant necklace for sure. It's an easy item to wear with both casual and dressy outfits, and I'm convinced that the longer chains elongate your body and make you look a little bit taller than short necklaces do. Since I made these marbled clay ring dishes last year, I've been a little bit obsessed with the marbling process, and I thought a pendant necklace would be another great way to show off the easy marbling technique.

Love this! Marbled Clay Pendent Necklace DIY (click through for tutorial)     Supplies:
-oven bake clay
-silicon rolling pin or glass jar to use as rolling pin
-X-Acto knife or clay knife
-parchment paper
-super glue
-necklace chain, jump rings, and necklace closure
-gold pendant bails (I used these and these)

Love this! Marbled Clay Pendent Necklace DIY (click through for tutorial)     To make your marbled clay section for your necklace, follow this tutorial using black, grey and white strands of clay. Don't get too hung up on an exact measurement of clay for each color, but I would start with a hunk of white clay a little bigger than a golf ball, a grey ball of clay half that size, and then a small piece of black that's half the size of the grey. Adjust those ratios if you want more or less of something on your second try.

Love this! Marbled Clay Pendent Necklace DIY (click through for tutorial)     Once you have your clay rolled out about 1/4" thick, use an X-Acto or clay knife to cut your clay into small strips for your pendant necklace. I made the larger pendant 2" long and the smaller size 1.25" long. Place the pendants on parchment paper and bake in the oven according to the clay instructions.

Love this! Marbled Clay Pendent Necklace DIY (click through for tutorial)     Once the clay has baked and cooled, seal the clay with a glaze (only if you want to) and use glue to attach the pendants to the bail. I put the small bail on the back of the smaller pendant, but I really liked the larger bail on the front for the bigger size.

Cut your chain to your desired length, add the pendant, and then use jump rings to attach the chain to a necklace closure. If you want to do a double pendant, cut a shorter chain for the smaller pendant, and attach the long and short chain ends to the same jump ring. Then connect that to the necklace closure. See a more detailed explanation of a double chain in this post.

Love this! Marbled Clay Pendent Necklace DIY (click through for tutorial)     Love this! Marbled Clay Pendent Necklace DIY (click through for tutorial)     I really, really love how this project came out! You could make these with any colored clay you want, but I like how classic the grey and white marble looks. It's also up to you if you want to make a double pendant version with a smaller and larger pendant or just one single pendant on a chain. These are really fast and easy to make and would be a great project for a craft night party or next time you're in need of a homemade gift. So glad I decided to make a wearable version of the clay marbling. Hope you decide to give it a try as well! xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography by: Laura Gummerman and Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited using Stella from the Signature Collection

Limited edition thunderbirdsMinnetonka moccasins + ABMCoffee time with momCoffee time with mom All you longtime blog readers know that Elsie and I have always been big fans of Minnetonka moccasins! When we were little, our mom and both of us all had matching pairs (see here). So when Minnetonka asked if we wanted to pick out the colors for two limited edition Thunderbird moccasins to celebrate the shoe's 60th anniversary(!!!), we just couldn't resist! And—we got our mom in on the fun too. :)

Minnetonka moccasins + ABM    Coffee time with mom  Coffee time with mom      Coffee time with mom   Coffee time with mom    Limited edition thunderbirds  Limited edition thunderbirds If you're in the market for a pair of unique shoes that might add a little pop of color to your wardrobe, be sure to check out these pink and blue moccasins before they are sold out.

Minnetonka is also offering to giveaway a pair to THREE lucky readers! 

Minnetonka Giveaway

Giveaway is open until 8/18, and the winner will be contacted directly shortly after. Good luck! xoxo. Emma (+ Elsie)

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions. And big thanks to Kingdom Coffee for always letting us snap photos in your shop!

Overgramming course!Our latest e-course turns its attention toward our IG obsession! Overgramming is designed to help you get those photos off your phone and into albums that you can save for years and years to come.

I have been working with Rachel, the creator of this course, for many years now. And I know you all are fans of her work because she has taught some of our most popular tutorials on ABM (see her archive of work here). I've got to say, this is one of her best classes to date! I love being inspired to capture and archive my life from Rachel because she does such a great job of making it seem easy, special and just the perfect amount of cozy. I have watched her life grow and change through her IG feed. So to get to see how she uses those moments to create full albums of memories of her and her family's life has got me all excited to take more photos myself and to get printing!

Overgramming course!!So, what is this course exactly? Good question. 

Rachel shares tips and tricks to easily print out lots and lots of photos from your phone as well as some great supply sources to look to for creating photo albums that feature square images. She then takes us through seven different "trends" that many already utilize on IG to help us take note of all the little but important details that make up our lives. She shares tips for getting photos surrounding these, and shares layout ideas and challenges for using these images in a cohesive album that you can display and save for years to come.

You can read even more details about Overgramming and everything that is taught here.

Overgramming course!!!What do I get and how much does it cost? 

We want to reward our early sign ups. So for the first two weeks, you can get this course for just $24. After August 24th, the course will go back to its regular price of $34. 

With your purchase, you get immediate access to all 8 sessions as well as Rachel's full albums, access to the course's private Q&A board, a PDF of the entire course (in case you want access even when you're offline), and a bonus download of four different course printable page inserts you can use throughout your albums. 

Check out more images and information about Overgramming and be sure to sign up during the next two weeks to get that $10 off discount. 

Let us know if you have any questions, and be sure to share your layouts with us from the course! xo. Emma and the ABM team

White sauce and blueberry pizza Will you think I'm totally being dramatic if I say that pizza is my life? 

I feel like you probably fall into one of two groups. Group one is thinking, "YES! Pizza for president! Pizza is totally my life, too!" While group two is thinking, "Pizza? Yeah, I mean, pizza is good and all, but it's not even my favorite food." 

Trey and I agree on most things, but when it comes to pizza, we are in different groups. He just doesn't get it. :)

White sauce and blueberry pizzaThere's a farm in our community that hosts a pizza night every Thursday. I've only gotten to go a handful of times, but every time I do, I am just blown away with how good it is! I love brick oven pizza, and if it's loaded with freshly grown vegetables...even better. One pizza they served when I was there last had some kind of creamy white sauce topped with blueberries, which might sound like a weird combo, but it was amazing. I love how the blueberries start to get super juicy when baked. YUM. 

So, of course, I had to make my own homemade version that I can enjoy any time. This is my current favorite white sauce (for pizza) recipe, so be sure to try it even if you don't plan to top yours with spinach and blueberries. 

Easy pizza crust recipeBlueberry, Spinach and White Sauce Pizza, serves 3-4.

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (you can replace up to 1/2 cup with whole wheat if you like)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
big pinch (approximately 1/8 teaspoon) sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil

Dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Then sprinkle the yeast over the top. Allow that to sit and activate for 5 minutes. The yeast should begin to look kind of foamy, which is a good sign. If your yeast doesn't seem to change at all (doesn't foam) check the expiration date on your container of yeast. 

In a large bowl stir together the flour, salt, yeasty water mixture and olive oil until a soft dough ball forms. Sprinkle your counter with flour and knead 3-4 times. Lightly oil your bowl (you can use the same one) and return the dough ball. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free spot for about an hour or until it has nearly doubled in size. 

Best white sauce for pizza recipeFor the white sauce:

1/3 yellow onion, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup whole milk or cream (half and half)
2 tablespoons greek yogurt
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

In a saucepan sauté the onion and garlic in the butter over medium heat for about 2 minutes until the onion is very soft but not quite caramelized. Turn the heat down and pour in the milk, yogurt and egg yolk. Whisk to combine. Whisk in the flour and cheese, and cook until the sauce becomes thick but still pour-able. :) Taste and add some salt and pepper.

This makes about 1 cup of sauce. For the above crust recipe you'll only need about a 1/2 cup of sauce to cover the whole pizza. My thinking is, if you're going to the trouble of making your own sauce, I say make enough that you can use this again another night. You can store the remaining sauce in a jar or air tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week (maybe longer, but I've stored it for a week before with no trouble). So just make another pizza within the week to use up the rest of the sauce. 

White sauce and blueberry pizza  Roll out your crust and bake at 400°F for 8-10 minutes. Then top with your sauce, fresh mozzarella, and blueberries and bake an additional 10-12 minutes. I like to add the spinach just as the pizza is coming out of the oven so it's gets a bit wilted but not overly cooked. Make some pizza this week! xo. Emma

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

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