Favorite green smoothie (via abeautifulmess.com) We've posted about smoothies here and there over the years here at ABM. It might not be a new habit, but it's definitely one that I'm still very much obsessed with. Especially green smoothies, packed with lots of green vegetables! I love that no matter how weird my day has been food-wise, I pretty much always have the ingredients to throw together this five ingredient smoothie in a matter of minutes. So even if I've ended up eating a random assortment of different recipes I might be testing out for ABM or our upcoming cookbook, I can still get a big serving of green vegetables in anytime. 

How to make juice without a juicerI thought I'd share my current favorite "recipe" with you all in case you are in need of some green smoothie inspiration. :)

Spinach cubesFavorite 5 Ingredient Green Smoothie, serves one.

3 frozen spinach cubes
2 frozen slices of banana (about 1 to 1.5 oz.)
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon coconut flakes
1 cup almond milk (I prefer original, unsweetened. Or I make my own.)

The real magic behind why I can pretty much always make this smoothie so fast is because I always have an ice tray of frozen spinach cubes in my freezer. Just blend a whole bunch at once with a little water and freeze in a tray. I buy spinach for this purpose. But this also works great if you have some greens (spinach, kale, or any hearty greens) that are leftover or about to turn on you. Blend them up with some water and freeze them! You won't find yourself ever throwing out greens again and it makes throwing a smoothie together super quick and easy. 

I also always have a  big bag of frozen banana slices in my freezer too. You could also use fresh banana, but having it frozen in small slices allows me to add just a little bit at a time (for sweetness mostly) without wasting any. 

Favorite green smoothie (via abeautifulmess.com)Combine all the ingredients together in a good blender (I LOVE my Vitamix for this!) and blend until very smooth, almost like juice! 

I posted a picture of my morning green smoothie on Instagram a few weeks ago and someone asked if I was doing the Simple Green Smoothies challenge. I actually hadn't checked out their site before, but it's awesome! If you need more smoothie recipe ideas, check them out for sure. 

5 ingredient green smoothieI will sometimes add something to the top of my smoothie, which I usually eat at the end after I've drunk the whole thing. Usually it's a bit of granola or chopped nuts. I recently found a jar of bee pollen at my usual grocery store, so I decided to try that out. It's certainly a unique ingredient that I've seen added to smoothies at health food stores and whatnot before. Otherwise I probably wouldn't have known what it was. Ha! After I bought the jar, I went home and started looking up info on it and I've gotten some pretty mixed info. So I can't say I really recommend it. Have you all tried bee pollen? Thumbs up or thumbs down?

But adding anything else is totally optional, I often leave my smoothie naked too. Thanks for letting me share! xo. Emma

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

Use a potato stamp to add a sweet bowtie pattern to a simple curtain panel. Get the full details over at www.aBeautifulMess.comSometimes you hear about a craft technique for years without ever feeling any desire to try it out, and then one day you just have to! In my case this was potato stamping. It sounded kind of gross, and I wasn't convinced it would get me the results I wanted on a DIY project I would actually want to use in my house. Then one day I needed a curtain panel that would compliment the rest of my daughter's new room decor without competing with it. I wanted something with pattern that was still simple. Something graphic but still whimsical. I wasn't finding what I wanted in stores and realized I would likely need to take matters into my own hands. Enter the potato stamp.

Potato Stamped Curtain 1CurtainSupplies
Supplies:
-cotton curtain panel
-potato of choice 
-steak knife (not shown)
-fabric paint
-foam paint brush
-cardboard to place behind your curtain

C1I knew my potato carving skills were going to limit me to a few simple shapes, so I went with a tried and true triangle and then turned them into a bowtie shape. It feels a little whimsical and girly without being overly so. 

To make your own stamp, cut your potato in half at the thickest part. Then cut a triangle with angles that meet at the edge of your potato for the largest size. Then lay it on its side and cut down until you meet your first cut and gently nudge that section off. Repeat on the other two sides. If your triangle isn't perfect and you want a consistent print, cut a notch near one of the angles to act as a point of reference.

Once you're happy with your stamp, place your curtain on top of a protected surface and smooth things out.

C3Use your foam paint brush to layer an even coat of paint onto the potato before you stamp it onto your fabric. Don't skimp and start stamping twice before adding more paint unless you want the faded effect. Work slowly and pay attention so you don't drip any paint onto your panel for best results. 

Potato Stamped Curtain Tutorial 1
I was really pleased with how smoothly my paint transferred from the potato and it wasn't gross at all. I do suggest letting it sit for about fifteen minutes after cutting it open to have some drying out time. I might be an official potato stamp convert, guys! Have you ever used them to print on fabric? -Rachel

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

Epoxy top jewelry box DIY (click through for more)
I have become a bit of a jewelry hoarder over the past few years. I get a ring here, a new necklace there, and all of the sudden, I have quite the collection spread across my house. The smaller rings and dainty necklaces have a tendency to wander off and disappear, so I'm trying to be better about putting each item in a "safe space" whenever I decide to take them off. Since that's the whole point of a jewelry box, I thought I'd have a few in bathrooms or on dressers to encourage the new habit, and I made a few tweaks to personalize the box a bit. I love the look of Lucite and thick epoxy, so I thought an epoxy top with a photo from our trip to Paris last year (from the gardens of Versailles!) would be a special daily reminder of the trip.

Epoxy top jewelry box DIY (click through for more)     We got to work with Canon USA for this project, specifically using the PIXMA MG7720 (pictured above), which is of course super simple to use. But also, for a project like this, clear details in your photos are very important, and I'm very happy with the quality of the prints here!

Epoxy Jewelry Box DIY

Supplies:
-small wooden jewelry box
-paint or wood stain
-painter's tape
-epoxy kit (I used this low-odor one, so much better than the smelly kind!)
-photo paper
-Mod Podge
-Canon PIXMA MG7720 Printer



Epoxy top jewelry box DIY (click through for more)
Epoxy top jewelry box DIY (click through for more)
Epoxy top jewelry box DIY (click through for more) I'll stress that you really do want to make sure the painter's tape is pulled tightly around the sides and really pressed well onto the wood so no leaks can occur (use your nails to seal the tape). My wooden box came with gold hardware on the front that I easily took off with a small screwdriver and replaced once the epoxy was dry, but you could just fill the holes and leave it without it as well. I really like how a thick epoxy top gives the box a much more specialized look than if I had simply glued a photo onto the top, and it hardly took much more effort to do so! This would be a great gift to make for your mom or a friend with a personalized photo on top (and maybe with a piece of jewelry inside as well!). I think you'll agree that this jewelry box is "clearly" a winner! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman, Video and Music: Jeremy Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

30th birthday cake 30th birthday cake Happy Birthday to me! Today is a big one for me—I'm 30 years old. I'm saying goodbye to my 20s and welcoming my 30s with open arms... and cake. :) 

For the last two years, I've shared my birthday cakes with you, so I guess this really makes it a tradition now. You can see last year's here. 

Emma Chapman's birthday cakeToday is my actual birthday, so this cake was made a little bit before so I had time to photograph and share it with you all. I sort of love that I have "a thing" I do to celebrate with all of you, my online friends. But of course, I also promptly ate a piece of this cake and shared it with Janae who was helping me photograph that day. So in that way, I kind of get to spread out the celebration, too. 

Best birthday cake Emma Chapman's birthday cake  So what is this cake? It's actually really simple. It's Joy's Everybody's Birthday Cake. I saw this recipe on her site recently, and with my birthday coming up, I thought it looked just perfect. At the moment I'm knee deep in cookbook development, regular stuff for ABM, and a little bit of menu development for our soon-to-be-open bar... so it was sort of a relief to just read someone else's work and follow it. The end result being a truly delicious cake! If you're in need of an excellent yellow buttermilk cake with creamy chocolate frosting (a true classic), then I highly recommend you try Joy's recipe. 

And then I decorated it with gourmet, colorful popcorn. I kept seeing bags of this at my grocery store, and I really just wanted an excuse to buy it. So I thought I'd use it to decorate my cake. :)

Best birthday cake  Emma Chapman's birthday cake 30th birthday cake  Guys, I'm really excited about my 30s. For real! I feel like the first half of my 20s was filled with self-doubt, worry, a lot of hustling just to make rent, failure, multiple broken heart moments, but a few great friendships. Then the second half of my 20s turned out MUCH better as I finally felt like I found my stride with a career path, I fell in love and got married, I bought my first and then second house, and I got to travel and see some truly amazing places. 

If my 30s are going to be anything like the second half of my 20s, then I am ALL IN! I have no doubt this decade will also hold plenty of challenges and difficult moments, and I certainly don't think I'll always know how to navigate it all, but I feel cautiously confident and hopeful. And I just keep thinking that if on my 20th birthday someone had showed me a glimpse of what my life was going to be like by the time I turned 30, I think I would have seriously jumped for joy. (I'm really thankful for my life, if you can't tell!) So I'm hoping something similar is true by the time I reach 40, ten years from now. 

Blah, blah, blah birthdays. Sorry to ramble so much. It just feels like a big one this year and I'm really excited about it. :)

To all my fellow Aquarians out there—happy birthday to you too! xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Janae Hardy.

Creamy Tahini Chopped Salad (via abeautifulmess.com)  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 abeautifulmess.com)This 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 abeautifulmess.com) 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.

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