Sweet Chili + Garlic Salmon

Sweet Chili + Garlic Salmon (via abeautifulmess.com)This is may be only barely a recipe. I think I'll file this under my halfway homemade tag... because it's so easy. Which I like because some nights I just want something that I can make in about 15 or 20 minutes with little to no brain power. Not every night, guys, just some nights. 

Sweet Chili + Garlic Salmon (via abeautifulmess.com) We occasionally eat fish or seafood at our house, and salmon is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I love this miso and honey variation, but when I'm feeling like spicing things up, this is a close second favorite. 

Easiest ever salmon recipeSweet Chili + Garlic Salmon, serves two.

8-10 oz salmon (if frozen thaw first)
2 tablespoons sweet and sour sauce (any brand you like or have on hand)
1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (or a little more if you like more spice)
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt + pepper

Simply grate or mince the garlic and combine in a small bowl or cup with the sweet and sour sauce and chili garlic sauce. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly oil with a little olive oil. Place the salmon on the prepared baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Then spread the sauce over the top. Bake at 400° for 8-12 minutes, until the salmon is cooked through (check with a fork in the thickest part before serving). 

Sweet Chili + Garlic Salmon (via abeautifulmess.com)  Cut the salmon in half (if it's not already cut into two) and serve along side a big salad or steamed vegetables. I'm really into broccoli lately so that's what I went with. Happy (easy) dinner making to you! xo. Emma

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

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HFHS Project Update: Paint Colors!

Habitat House ColorsJust wanted to give you an update on where we are with our Habitat for Humanity Springfield project house. In case you haven't heard about our HFHS project this year, you can check the archives here

Before we dive into some photos and notes about what we've been working on this past month, I wanted to show you this:

Habitat houseA few readers requested we show a layout map of the house so you can (hopefully) better understand the space as we show sneak peeks and images from throughout the house. Josh created this awesome map so we'll all be on the same page. :)

The big news this month is we've been painting... a lot!

Paint chipsFront doorYou might have seen Elsie's peek of the some of the paint colors we're using in the house from her IG feed this month. Keep reading if you want to know the specific colors we chose (we used Valspar brand unless otherwise noted).

First off, deciding on paint for this project was MUCH harder than any other project we've worked on before. We wanted to refresh the space and make it feel more complete/cohesive. We also wanted to keep it somewhat neutral since we won't be the final residents in this house. In the end we knew there was no "right" or "wrong" answer when it came to paint. Many of the doors and trim around the house had already been partially painted white (some doors where painted half white and left half unpainted). So, we decided to finish painting all the trim throughout the house. We also painted most of the walls ( probably 80%+) an off white (Paramount White) to make the space feel bigger and also to keep it somewhat neutral. In the above photo you can see the front door, which we painted a bright blue (Wishing Well). 

Dining roomHere is a peek at one of the walls in the dining room (that faces the hallway and bathroom). We painted it a grey (Worn and Weathered Tin by Benjamin Moore) chalkboard paint and kept the rest of the walls white.

Kitchen doorSneak Peeks of our HFHS house colors!  The door that leads from the kitchen to the laundry room got a fresh coat of mint (Mino's Eye), which is the same color as one wall in bedroom 1 (see layout map).

Master bedroomAnd here's one wall in bedroom 2, painted with La Fonda Flamenco Pink. The other walls remained white. So, a little splash of color here and there but nothing too crazy. :) All in all it cost right around $950 for the supplies to paint the entire house. 

Paint party for HFHSWe want to say a BIG thank you to everyone who came out this past month to help us paint: everyone at the ABM office, Brandon and Morgan Goodwin and the college group from NCC. Thank you!

EmmmmmmaHere's a gif Josh made of me when we were prepping the ceilings. I think this is a good look for me, right? :)

As you can see, we're still a long way from being done. We've started cleaning up the floors, doing some tiling, and we still have some kitchen updates on our list for the immediate next steps. We're also going to be sharing a longer, fuller post (from Josh!) full of information on how we prepped and painted this entire house. Probably many of you have painted in your home or apartment before, or you will in the future (you should anyway—yay for color!), and we learned a lot from this house and encountered a few situations that we had never seen before. So we'd like to provide you with that resource of information from what we learned, so stay tuned for that. :) 

Thanks for letting us share the latest update of our HFHS project with you! Let us know if you have any questions. -The ABM Team

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

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Make Your Own Homemade Seasoning Mixes

Make Your Own Homemade Seasoning Mixes—these make great gifts! (click through for recipes)OK, it's happened to all of us before. You're making dinner and there are lots of flavorful ingredients in your dish, but for some reason it just tastes...bland. Boring. Uninspired. I made a burrito bowl the other week and even though it was piled high with veggies and proteins of all shapes and colors, I couldn't get over how dull the dish tasted. The next night I experimented and added a ton of different seasonings and spices, and it made a world of difference—it was so much better! Spices are, well, the spice of life for the food world. So if you feel like your dishes could use an extra kick, I would highly recommend trying some new seasoning combinations to elevate the flavors. Probably the most commonly used seasoning mixes would be for chili, pizza, and tacos, and I've got delicious suggestions for all three!

Make Your Own Homemade Seasoning Mixes—these make great gifts! (click through for recipes)  Pizza: This one is probably my favorite, but that's because pizza is my favorite food, so I'll declare that bias up front. I've tried this seasoning on both homemade pizza and store-bought frozen pizza, and I absolutely love it! I used to always sprinkle a generous amount of pre-made Italian seasoning on our pizza, and it definitely helped, but this seasoning mix makes the Italian seasoning look like a fool. It's so much more complex and flavorful and adds a lot of dimension to the taste. I add it before I bake the pizza, but you could use it on top of a takeout pizza as well.

Make Your Own Homemade Seasoning Mixes—these make great gifts! (click through for recipes) Chili: This is definitely a chili (and a "chilly") time of the year for us here in Missouri, so it's a good idea to have a good seasoning mix on hand to make the dish more exciting. This seasoning is really well-rounded, and it's on the milder side as far as heat goes (which I like). Of course you can add more of the spicy ingredients if you like your chili hot. I omitted the flour on this recipe (a lot of the reviews suggested that). If you are making a chili recipe that calls for a packet of seasoning (usually single packets have 1 oz of spices in them), then I would start with 2 tablespoons of this seasoning and add more if needed. I ended up using about 3 tablespoons total for my chili recipe.

Make Your Own Homemade Seasoning Mixes—these make great gifts! (click through for recipes)   Tacos: My husband and I are big fans of Mexican food, so tacos always sound good to me. I love how this seasoning mix tastes different from any packaged seasonings that I've tried. I think the chili powder in this mix adds a bit of a smokey chipotle taste, and it makes the flavor a little more unique. Just sprinkle the seasoning over your meat as you brown it (or over beans if you make veggie tacos instead). We used around 2 tablespoons for a pound of ground beef and I omitted the flour from this recipe as well.

Make Your Own Homemade Seasoning Mixes—these make great gifts! (click through for recipes)    Of course, like anything you are mixing together, take a look at the ingredients first and tweak anything as needed. If you know you hate any hint of cumin, then leave it out! Addicted to garlic? Add more! Love/hate spice? Adjust the red pepper flakes. Also, I did notice that some people said sea salt (especially large grain) can't really be measured the same as table salt, so dial back the sea salt a bit if you are substituting that in a recipe until you know just how salty it will taste. You can also leave out the salt and salt to taste if you want to have complete control over the salt level. The other thing I love about searching for seasoning mixes is that most recipe sites have lots of reviews where other people give tips about any adjustments or ways they like to use the seasoning. Very helpful. You can use a spice or coffee grinder to grind your spices together, or you can use a mortar and pestle as well. This grinding step isn't required, but it does help to release more flavor.

You can also use these seasonings in other similar dishes (like the pizza seasoning in spaghetti sauce or lasagna and the taco seasoning in burritos, etc.) This set of three seasonings would also make a great hostess gift when you go to a housewarming party or a present for a foodie friend (these are the spice bottles that I bought). Once you start trying homemade seasonings, you'll get really into finding out what other mixes are out there for other dishes too. Do you have any homemade seasoning mixes you swear by? Now go and, in the immortal words of a certain all girl group from the 90s, "spice up your life!" xo. Laura

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

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DIY Abstract Painted Pillows

DIY abstract pillows—so cute! (click through for tutorial) Hi, friends! Today I am excited to share a fun DIY for making abstract pillow cases with fabric paint, working with our good friends over at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. This past year I've been obsessed with abstract everything from paintings to textiles to home decor pieces. And in this new year, one of my big goals is to refresh all my spaces, even if it's something as small as a new simple accent. I have been crushing on these pillows since I spotted them on Gal Meets Glam a while back, and wanted to try my hand at creating something inspired by them! And, of course, I couldn't stop without doing a colorful abstract pillow as well!

Supplies NeededSupplies Needed: For each set of two pillows you will need 1 yard of white denim (for the front) and 1 yard of black or colored denim (for the back). You will also need fabric paint. I like matte fabric paints best, but I'll branch out to any type to get the right colors for the colorful pillow. You'll also need a used gift card. A sewing machine is optional. If you don't want to sew, buy pre-made plain pillow covers. For pillow forms (I used the 20" x 20" and 24" x 24" sizes). 

Abstract painting with a gift  cardThe painting process is super simple! 1. Squirt fabric paint directly onto your denim or canvas. You can see here that I used quite a bit. 2. Use the old gift card (or any piece of small, hard plastic) to scrape the paint across the fabric. It will create a different type of line than a paint brush. It's cleaner, but still messy looking in a cool way. It's also MUCH easier to clean up and control your lines. 3. Continue adding lines all over the fabric. 4. Crisscross some of the lines for an interesting effect. Allow the fabric paint to dry completely before sewing. 

Next, stitch your pillow up. If you've never sewn a pillow, learn how here

Abstract painting with a gift card For the colorful pillow, I did the same exact technique, but created blocks of color instead of lines. 

DIY abstract pillows—so cute! (click through for tutorial)  DIY abstract pillows—so cute! (click through for tutorial)DIY abstract pillows—so cute! (click through for tutorial) There you have it! An easy, pretty pillow set that you can make to match the colors in your home! This is a DIY I will definitely be repeating in the future! xx. Elsie 

Credits// Author: Elsie Larson, Project Assistant: Laura Gummerman. Photography: Laura Gummerman and Emma Chapman. Photos edited with The Signature Collection

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