Emma's favorite summer hair style For the most part I am a wear-my-hair-down kind of gal. I like braids and up-dos a lot, I just tend to mostly end up wearing my hair down with a few curls most days.

Emma's favorite summer hair style    Emma's favorite summer hair style  But, the summer is the one season I tend to wear my hair up more often because when it's hot, it feels good to get your hair off your neck. Am I right? The style I do most often is a super simple version of milkmaid braids. So I thought I would share a super simple and quick tutorial for how I style this look with my hair length.

How to style milkmaid braids (via abeautifulmess.com)First I brush and part my hair in the center all the way down the back of my head. If you have bangs or shorter bits of hair in the front, you can leave them out. 

Second I braid each side and fasten with a clear elastic band. I like to use a clear band because often the ends are somewhat visible since I have longer hair but not necessarily super long. After braiding I will gently pull at the braids to fluff them out a bit so they will appear a little fuller. This actually works even better when my hair hasn't been washed for a day or two, or I can use dry shampoo to get a little texture (my hair is super fine).

Next I pin the first braid (you can start with either one) with a couple bobby pins to the top, center of my head. The end usually sticks up at this stage which is pretty funny looking. When Trey sees me doing my hair like this in the morning, I usually tell him it's my Whoville hair. 

Last I pin the other side into place and tuck the ends under each braid. I usually give my head a shake to see if the braids feel secure, and if not, then I add another bobby pin or two.

Emma's favorite summer hair styleThat's it! Easy, right? This style seriously only takes me around five minutes to do, and I really like how it looks with my face shape, plus it gets my hair off my neck in case it's a hot, humid day. Thanks for letting me share! Do you have a favorite summer hair style? xo. Emma

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

Creme Brulee Topped Cinnamon Rolls (via abeautifulmess.com) Guys, I love crème brûlée. It's just awesome. You probably guessed this based on the fact that we already have four different crème brûlée recipes and one creme brûlée donut post on this site. It's probably overkill. 

With that said, guys, I made crème brûlée cinnamon rolls. And overkill or not, they are so yummy that I just had to share. :)

Creme Brulee Topped Cinnamon Rolls (via abeautifulmess.com)  What do I mean by crème brûlée cinnamon rolls? Well, these are the classic topped with a thin layer of eggy custard that gets a brûlée shell just before serving. So they are basically crème brûlée topped cinnamon rolls. You know, dessert topped with more dessert. Normal stuff. 

Easy cinnamon roll doughCrème Brûlée Topped Cinnamon Rolls, makes 12-14 (depending how you slice them).

For the rolls:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup milk (I used whole milk)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon yeast (instant dry)
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/3 cups flour (all-purpose)

For the insides:
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the custard:
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon corn starch
2-3 tablespoons baker's sugar (or regular granulated is OK too)

In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Once melted, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the milk and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Pour in the yeast and give that a good stir (it does not need to dissolve). Allow that to sit for 6-8 minutes to allow the yeast to start working. 

Mix together the flour and salt. Pour the yeast mixture into the flour and stir to combine. Stir in the eggs. Knead for 3-4 minutes. Place the dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise in a cool, dry place for 2 hours (or until doubled in size). 

Best cinnamon roll dough recipeRoll the dough out on a lightly floured surface so that it's about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Brush the butter all over the surface. Sprinkle on the sugar and cinnamon. Roll the dough up and slice into 2 to 2 1/2 inch thick pieces. Place in a well-buttered baking dish.

How to make creme brulee donutsNow use the end of a spoon or fork (or your clean fingers) to create a small well inside each of the cinnamon rolls. So unconventional! This is where our custard batter needs to be poured.

To make the custard batter, simply whisk together the egg yolks, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla and corn starch. Pour into the wells. You may not need all the custard batter, but it'll probably be close.

Bake at 350°F for 28-30 minutes. The dough should begin to look brown on top while the custard will have likely moved around some, but the deeper parts will still have some jiggle. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.

Creme Brulee Topped Cinnamon Rolls (via abeautifulmess.com)   Then add the baker's sugar to the custard areas and brûlée with a torch. 

I decided to add a little glaze, made by whisking together 1/4 cup powdered sugar and a tablespoon or two of water. You don't need a ton of glaze since these rolls around have a fun topping. :)

Creme Brulee Topped Cinnamon Rolls (via abeautifulmess.com)Serve warm with some milk and enjoy! xo. Emma

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

Messy Box by A Beautiful MessHey, friends! I can't believe July is already here. This month's Messy Box is a ton of fun. If you missed the unboxing video, you can find it right here

My favorite item in this month's box is the giant gold foil letters. They are super pretty and the perfect size to fit your Messy Book pages.

Messy Box by A Beautiful Mess

There are also some really fun cards in this box. Here are a few of my favorites— 

Messy Box by A Beautiful Mess  The colors are fun. A play on red, white and blue...but more interesting with teals and pinks mixed in there. :) 

Messy Box by A Beautiful Mess   If you subscribe now, your first box will be this July box. Subscribe to Messy Box here

Happy Mail by A Beautiful MessOh and here is my favorite little print from this month's Happy Mail box. It's a really good box as well! Subscribe to Happy Mail here

Happy Sunday! Elsie 

The life-changing magic of tidying upYou, guys! I almost never blog about books, but I loved this so much that I just had to share The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

Like most books I read, I heard about this one through my friend Elise. (Haha—seriously, Elise, I am trying to think of a book I've read in the last few years that wasn't on your recommendation!) I picked it up before a weeklong family vacation in hopes that it would inspire me to declutter my home before moving.

It's so annoying to me when I spend time (and money!) moving things to our next space only to donate them because they don't have a place. This time, since our move is more substantial (bigger home and moving to a new state), I felt it was more important than ever to detox our belongings before we start boxing everything up. 

I plowed through this book on family vacation (I think it only took me three-ish days to read), and it definitely inspired me to go home and start cleaning out our belongings, with a new perspective.

Here's my basic review— 

-I love how this author has a fresh perspective! We've all heard the cleaning rules such as, "If you haven't worn it for a year, it's time to let go." I have tried for years to minimize my belongings based on rules like that and I have made some progress, but for some reason, this book inspired me to come home and clean out my (already recently cleaned out) closet, and I was finally able to cut my clothing in half. There were so many things that I was holding onto for various reasons that Marie Kondo's "does it spark joy?" motto inspired me to let go of. 

For me, her method works. No doubt about it.

-OK, so if you pick this book up after reading my recommendation (you totally should!), there are a couple things I want to warn you about. One is that the book starts slow. I wasn't into it until around page 30 and then it really picked up for me. The other thing is that there are parts of it that are too extreme for me (and I'm assuming would be too extreme for a lot of people). For example, Kondo strongly recommends that you empty out your purse and put everything away in its designated place at the end of each day (..."& for that reason I'm out"). Also, there are some parts that encourage talking to your belongings and your home...eek! A bit too much for me.

With that said, I still got SO much out of the book and her methods. If you struggle to detox your home, I highly recommend this book. It was an easy, fast read and inspired me to clean RIGHT AWAY. :)

Grab the book here—The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I'm off to tidy up...haha! Happy weekend -Elsie 

At Home with Mallory NikolausToday we are welcoming Mallory Nikolaus to the blog as she shares her beautiful home with us!

Living roomAt Home withMallory Nikolaus "I live in an 1100 square foot Buffalo, NY home that I share with my family of six. Yes, my husband and I have four little rambunctious boys under age six in our tiny home. Since I'm the only girl in the house, I overcompensate with my girly, glam style and bright, bold colors and patterns. 

Baby nookSuperhero bedroomLove this cityscape! PlayroomMaster bedroom"My favorite spaces are probably the bedrooms. My master bedroom with the wood scalloped wall still makes me so happy over a year after completing the project, which is shocking for my constantly evolving taste. I also love my boys' Superhero Bedroom because it's a space I designed with them in mind. I don't typically like to decorate with characters, but the subtle "superhero-esque theme" worked well for this modern kid's space. 

Gold flower wallBathroom"This home is FULL of thrift store scores and DIY projects. For the first two years of living there, I had a budget of no more than $40 for any one piece of furniture. I reupholstered and tufted thrift store sofas and furnished every room with that budget in mind. I've splurged on a few items here and there but absolutely nothing extravagant. I wholeheartedly believe you can decorate to your own style without sacrificing your budget. My favorite projects are the wood scalloped wall and faux floral wallpaper in my bathroom.

Love these colorsKitchenOffice"My home has totally evolved over the past four years! We moved in with zero furniture and only our clothes and toiletries, and I thrifted my little heart out to pull this home together on a student family budget. I wanted our home to reflect our family and I think I accomplished that. It was definitely a fixer-upper, but the landlord was flexible and allowed me to do simple updates."

Thanks so much for sharing, Mallory! You can find more of Mallory on her blog and on Instagram. xo

Credits // Author and Photography: Mallory Nikolaus

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