Parmesan Baked Brussels (via abeautifulmess.com)This is a side dish recipe that I make way too often. Brussels sprouts are one of my very favorite vegetables, and these are so easy to make that if I'm feeling like I need to eat some more veggies before my day is done, I tend to make these along with a veggie burger or something for a quick, easy, almost-don't-have-to-think dinner. 

If you are not yet a brussels sprout fan, please do yourself a favor and try these!

Parmesan Baked Brussels (via abeautifulmess.com)  I like to bake mine long enough that the outside gets nice and crispy, but you can bake for a little less time if you like and still get an amazing side dish out of the deal. I'll give you a few thoughts on that below. 

Brussels sprout recipesParmesan Baked Brussels Sprouts, serves 1 as a side

8 oz. brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon powdery Parmesan
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 lemon

If you're brussels have come on a stalk, then cut them off the stalk first. Even though it's more work, I'm always so excited to buy brussels still on the stalk because something about it just too cute to me. :)

How to bake brussels sproutsCut off the very bottom, or any bit of stem that may be left. Then cut each brussels sprout in half and toss in to a small bowl. If any leaves fall off during this process, toss those in the bowl too. They will get extra crispy while baking, so you'll be glad you saved them. 

Toss in the olive oil, and then sprinkle on the cheese and bread crumbs so everything is evenly coated. 

Best baked brussels sprouts recipeDrizzle the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil on a baking sheet, and use your (clean) hands to spread it around so the pan is coated evenly in oil. Place the brussels on the baking sheet, cut side down. Sprinkle on a little salt and pepper.

Bake at 400°F for 20-22 minutes. If you don't want to cook your brussels as long as me, check on them around the 12-15 minute mark. Once they are bright green, they are good to go, but if you want those extra crispy edges, then wait until the 20-22 minute mark. 

Parmesan Baked Brussels (via abeautifulmess.com) Just before serving, squeeze on a little lemon juice. I like to do this on to the cut side, so the juice runs down into the brussels a little bit. Then when you bite into one, you get this delicious citrus, crispy bite. Yum! 

-If you are avoiding cheese, you can omit it here. I've made these this way without the Parmesan, and they are still very tasty. I like the Parm as it adds a nice salty, and well cheesy, flavor, but if you don't like it or are choosing not to consume dairy, just leave it out, but don't skip this recipe. 

-I often make this just for myself, but you can easily double or triple the above if you want to make a great vegetable side dish for more than just yourself. 

-You can use any bread crumbs, but I usually buy Panko, and just found they have a whole wheat version that I tried and have been loving. 

Happy veggie roasting to you guys! xo. Emma 

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

Staying In or Going Out on Valentine's Day? (click through for links)We know, we know, some people love and some people hate Valentine's Day for various reasons, but either way, it's coming! You may be finalizing grand plans for an evening out or gathering supplies to stay at home for the evening, but either way, we've got a few suggestions that can help make either choice something to really look forward to this year...

If staying in...

1. This sweatshirt has all the "V-Day lounging" vibes. Rose not included, so make sure to pick up a bottle for yourself as well.

2. If you don't feel like painting the town red, at least you can paint your nails red with this 7-free polish.

3. Even if you're wearing sweats at home, nothing makes you feel fancier than munching on delicate and delicious macarons. Unless you're an amazing pastry chef, do yourself a favor and order a box from Sucré in New Orleans. You'll thank us.

4. Take the time indoors to pamper yourself with a dead sea mud mask!

5. Dipping items in either chocolate or cheese should definitely be on your "fon-DO" list.

6. When Harry Met Sally is still one of the best movies of all time. Whether it's your first or one millionth viewing, it's classic Valentine's Day material.

7. If relaxation is number one on your agenda, treat yourself to a luxurious bath bomb!

8. If you're feeling crafty, invite a few gals over to make some jewelry DIYs, and then hand out some cute ring dishes as favors.

If going out...

9. Wear your heart on your sleeve as well as on your finger with this delicate heart ring.

10. These lip earrings are a fun way to show some holiday spirit.

11. Talk about "heart eyes" for these sunnies!

12. Whether you are out for dinner, a movie, or a walk in the park, these pretty-in-pink heels can be dressed up or down to suit your V-Day needs.

13. Don't forget to take along a card to give to your special Valentine! This one is too cute!

14. Keep these lips sealed, and they'll also carry your phone and wallet for you.

15. Even if you aren't normally a pink lips girl, try a slightly mauve shade for a trendy look that is flattering on lots of skin tones.

16. Grab your jacket Lady in Red! A colored moto can make a simple jeans and t-shirt look more polished, or it can give a bit of edge to a fancy dress-up option.

There you have it! Whether you are staying in, going out, or a little bit of both, you've got lots of options to make this a Valentine's Day to remember. Hope you love whichever option you choose! 

Color blocking  Emma Chapman Cute flare pins Boots Color blockingI babysat my seven year old niece a few weeks ago, and one of the activities we do almost every time she comes over is play dress up. I have a few colorful wigs I bought a couple years ago just after Halloween (you know, when they are basically giving them away). So she likes to wear those and then just go through my closet and MESS EVERYTHING UP. Jk. I mean, she does make a huge mess, but she generally helps me put it all back up... or most of it anyway. :) 

So, this last time, she walked into my closet and I had just gotten the boots I'm wearing in this post. And she immediately noticed them and said, "Oh, I'm gonna dress up like a rock star because those are rock star boots." So now every time I wear these boots, I feel pretty cool, guys, because apparently these boots are rock star boots. Obviously I had to pair them with a rock star tee, and my ultimate idol, David Bowie. 

But in all seriousness, one of my favorite "tricks" is to try and dress up what is essentially a tee and jeans outfit. I wear tees and jeans SO often. I also love dresses, leggings, and all that, but jeans end up being something I wear more often during the week because you can do anything in them (like computer work or stand on a step stool to take photos of food or craft projects—ha!). So finding ways to dress up that uniform works well for me. 

Jack and Norma glasses David Bowie teeColor blocking Emma's Wearing: Tee/eBay (similar here), Coat/SheIn, Jeans/F21, Purses/Marc Jacobs, from Sarah Rhodes IG sale (similar), Boots/Rebecca Minkoff (similar pair), Choker c/o Bauble Bar, Glasses/ABM for BonLook Jack and Norma frames. Also, my pins are all my "local" pins as they are from Springfield, MO: Golden Girl, The Mixtapes, and Coffee Ethic

Take it away, sister! 

Elsie LarsonElsie LarsonElsie LarsonElsie LarsonElsie's Wearing: Dress/ASOS, Shoes/Swedish Hasbeens, Sunnies/ZeroUV

"Dress up time" is definitely on my top five list of things I CANNOT WAIT to do with my daughter. I'm almost tearing up right now! I already have a dress up bin in our kiddo guest room with so many random gems. It's a fun way to reuse old halloween costumes. And I love having a reason to buy a crazy hat at Goodwill! Ugh—MY HEART. 

xx -Emma + Elsie 

Credits//Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Janae Hardy and Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with New A Beautiful Mess actions

So pretty! DIY Flower Napkin Rings (click through for tutorial)      While I love going out for a fancy (or even not so fancy) Valentine's Day dinner, we've definitely done our fair share of V-Day celebrations at home as well. Anytime our house becomes the date destination, I always try and do a few decorations to make the holiday feel a little bit more special than a regular dinner at home. This year I thought it would be fun to make some easy flower napkin rings for the table settings, and I love how they turned out!

So pretty! DIY Flower Napkin Rings (click through for tutorial)      Supplies:
-flowers (fresh or faux) in 2-3 shapes or sizes
-greenery
-floral wire
-floral tape
-wire cutters

So pretty! DIY Flower Napkin Rings (click through for tutorial) First take your floral wire and bend it to make a loop that is about 2" in diameter. Wrap the ends around the loop to secure and cut any excess wire.

So pretty! DIY Flower Napkin Rings (click through for tutorial)  Cut your center flower so that the stem is about 1" long, and use your floral tape to secure your flower stem to your wire. If you have a flower head that's droopy or won't stand upright, you can always insert a piece of wire up into the stem and head so you can bend the flower head at whatever angle you need. 

So pretty! DIY Flower Napkin Rings (click through for tutorial)   Keep securing flowers with the floral tape one at a time to either side of your main flower until it's full enough for your liking (make sure to add in some greenery between the flowers as well).

So pretty! DIY Flower Napkin Rings (click through for tutorial)      Once your flower ring is full enough, wrap the rest of the wire in tape to finish the look, and you're ready to add in your napkin!

So pretty! DIY Flower Napkin Rings (click through for tutorial)      So pretty! DIY Flower Napkin Rings (click through for tutorial)      So pretty! If you won't have much time on the day of your dinner, you can make this with faux flowers ahead of time or make it a little earlier in the day with fresh flowers and keep them in the fridge to help preserve their beauty until dinner. While it can be fun to make an over-the-top Valentine's Day display for a party or dinner, sometimes small and simple things can make an event feel really special too! xo. Laura

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

Uniform 1This post is in response to a bunch of questions I got when I posted my book review of The Curated Closet (by far the BEST book on everyday fashion I have ever read). In that post I talked about how the book helped me find my "three uniforms", and a lot of you wanted to hear more about them! So here I am. 

Uniform #1: Short Dresses
This one was obvious to me. I have always loved above-the-knee dresses. Maybe it stems back to my high school years when I attended Christian schools and your skirts had to go below the knee? Haha! 

Nah—the real reason I love short dresses as opposed to long ones is that I feel like they make me look taller. And looking taller is something I am always striving to do. I know a lot of people dress with a "problem" they are trying to solve (like to minimize this or play up that), and I'm not saying that it's a good mindset to have. But I will say, I LOVE feeling taller. That's why I wear platforms with basically every outfit. 

I guess now that I think of it, maybe I'm happy with my height because if I was ACTUALLY as tall as my heels make me, maybe I wouldn't want to wear them. I don't know—someone tall please tell me how it feels! 

Anyway, short dresses are one of my go-to uniforms. I like ones with a defined waist the best, but I'm still open to shift dresses. Although I do typically stay away from the trend of dresses that look like they could maybeeee be a maternity dress. They tend to be less flattering on me (again with the looking short phobia, I think!). 

Uniform 2Uniform #2: Button-up (or Zip-up) Skirts with a Tucked in Top 
This uniform is new to me (that's why most of these photos are from within the past six months). In the past I bought a lot of skater skirts, which are a similar cut but fuller and sometimes fluffy. And I didn't wear them as often as I wanted to. But recently, I figured out that these button-up or zip-up skirts (almost always high waisted and on the shorter side) really work well for me. They come off less casual than a dress, and they give more opportunity to mix and match. They also coordinate really well with coats and jean jackets—better than dresses. 

I like this uniform because I can wear it pretty much anywhere. The denim skirts can even go with a t-shirt or sweatshirt, and then the scalloped ones can be dressed up for a date night. 

I just realized I am wearing the same pair of shoes in all the photos. Ha! I've been trying to branch out a bit in the shoe department. I love Hasbeens (I mean, obviously, I'm like their #1 fangirl!), but I've been looking to add some new styles just for variety's sake. So if you have any shoe brand suggestions that you think would fit my style, please share! 

Uniform 3Uniform #3: Jumpers, Rompers or Overalls 
Basically anything that makes using a public restroom a nightmare because you have to completely undress... ha!

The book helped me find this uniform even though it was hiding in plain sight. These outfits make me feel really confident, and are a lot of fun to wear! I have this pair of overalls, and I've probably worn them, I don't know, fifty times at least. They're not even that photogenic, but I wear them in real life A LOT. 

So ever since I completed the homework in the book (around Thanksgiving), I always remember to check the rompers section when I am shopping online. They can be really hit or miss, but when they're a hit, they're a big one. 

Stuff I realized I don't love wearing as much.... 
One of the best pieces of homework in The Curated Closet is the homework to take a photo of EVERY outfit you wear (I think for two weeks) and rate how confident you felt while wearing it and also what you were doing when you wore it. This helped me to weed out some bad outfit habits I had formed (stuff I wore because it was easy but always made me feel kind of blah), and it also helped me to realize what kind of clothes I really need and use in my everyday life. 

So, one of the big things I learned was that jeans and flat shoes (especially Birkenstocks) make me feel very meh most of the time. I am now working on creating outfits with pants or jeans that make me feel confident. It's definitely a more put together look. For super easy/casual days I've learned that throwing on a simple dress and jean jacket suits me better. 

By taking the photos, I also discovered some pieces that I don't think are that flattering, so I decided to sell or donate them. 

Oh! And there are definitely exceptions in my closet! Here are some of my "oddball" outfits. They don't fit into my typical uniforms, but they're still super flattering and fun to wear! 

Oddball outfitsI don't normally love long dresses, but because I love off-the-shoulder things, I decided to give it a try and I LOVE it. I even wear it with flat shoes! And a full midi length skirt isn't normally a go-to for me. I've tried a lot on that weren't very flattering, but this one was special. Same with this long red skirt. I saw a friend wearing a similar one, and it looked so good on her. So I gave it a try and loved it. And sweaters have been tough for me. I think I tend to like very thin sweaters more than big chunky ones? 

Anyway! Rules are made to be broken. I consider my three uniforms kind of easy go-tos, but I definitely won't limit myself from trying on anything that looks fun. It's always worth a try! 

I learned so much from The Curated Closet. I feel like the biggest help to me, because I mostly shop online (and I return A LOT), is that I now recognize when I'm purchasing a "safe" piece that I know I'll wear a lot versus a risky piece. And the second best thing I picked up is shopping for occasions. I know when I'm shopping now which pieces I'll wear over and over and over and which are more for a certain special occasion. In past years my closet was mostly filled with "photoshoot clothes" (loud, bold pieces that look awesome in a photo but that you don't wear that much in everyday life). Now it's mostly everyday clothes, but it's still a mix of both. 

Ah! That was a fun post to write. I hope it was helpful to you and maybe will kickstart a few of you into getting curious about your own everyday uniforms. xx -Elsie 

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photos (all from past sister style posts or Instagram) by Diana La Counte, Jeremy Larson, Amber Ulmer, Emma Chapman and Alyssa Rosenheck

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