Our December Daily PlansHey, friends! Laura and I are looking forward to participating in December Daily again this year! It's my third year in a row. It's a LOT of work, but having a completed book of the busiest and most magical time of the year always feels worth it by the end! 

We both picked the exact same products to work with. Haha! On that note, we've been picking a lot of the same stuff lately and have been setting boundaries on how many times we should buy the same rugs, pillows and paint colors. Hilarious! 

In this case, though, it's kind of perfect because we'll get to see how differently we both use the products when we make our books. We'll be sure to share with you, too! 

Oh yes—the products we picked are white albums, mini kit by Kelly Purkey and mini kit by Ashley G. You can see all the choices here

Right now we're just getting the initial prep done. During December we usually like to print and add photos about once a week. I wish I could work on it every day, but once a week is doing pretty well for me because #busy. Aren't we all, though? 

Here are some random photos of our past December Daily albums. If you want to join in the fun, you should! It's a fun tradition. 


Jack and Jill Bathroom (BEFORE)Hey, friends! This bathroom is a doozy! I'm excited to share it with you today. 

So, this is the first bathroom you come to in our hallways (which means it's the one 90% of our guests use). It's also a Jack and Jill bathroom, which means it's connected to two bedrooms. This was perfect for us because we decided early on to make these two front bedrooms into our guest rooms. (I'll explain why in those posts, but they've already been really useful!) So, besides our master bathroom, this bathroom gets the most traffic. For that reason, we want to make it really practical and beautiful (you know, beautiful in a bathroom kind of way—haha!). 

Our initial plans included removing that teal carpet and replacing the floor. There was cracked tile underneath, but more importantly our inspection revealed there was a rotten subfloor under this bathroom. It became a BIG ordeal, but we're glad we took care of it upfront because our contractors said that at some point the floor could have literally caved in. No thanks! 

Besides that, we wanted to make mostly cosmetic changes in this space. 

Jack and Jill Bathroom (BEFORE) Here's the view from the hallway door (sorry for the weird wide-angle lens distortion). You can see here that there's not a lot you could call "modern" or "updated" in this space. Our goal is to make it more functional, while also making it beautiful and fresh. 

Sidenote—two of the three bathrooms in this home had carpet when we bought it! 

Jack and Jill Bathroom (BEFORE)  I like the layout of this room. The toilet is tucked away in the corner with some storage cabinets above it. Since this small room has a shower, a vanity and three doors, there isn't much wall space. I originally considered doing a fun or bold wall in here (either with color or pattern?), but the space doesn't really call for it. So we decided to bring in color in other ways. 

Jack and Jill Bathroom (BEFORE)   From this view you can see the hallway door and both bedroom doors. You might also notice that all the bathrooms in our home were updated for the the elderly couple who owned it before us. 

This vanity initially attracted me because it has some kind of shells or stones encased in resin. It's really cool! It reminded me of a lot of the cat eye glasses my grandmother's generation wore. I will always be a vintage enthusiast in that way. 

Jack and Jill Bathroom (BEFORE)     Upon closer inspection, though, the damage was pretty bad. And with the unique shape, I couldn't think of a way to preserve it. At the end of the day, I realized that I didn't even really want the countertop that badly (for my own style). I just thought it was cool and wanted to save it. 

Then my friend came in and said it looked like "old fingernails" and I was really over it. 

Jack and Jill Bathroom (BEFORE)    While I didn't like the finish on this mirror, I kept it incase I could make it work with the new space. I painted it white, but still am not sure it fits. So I'm keeping it until I can find one that suits the space better. I've learned that on certain things (mirrors, rugs, curtains) it's best to wait for the perfect one than to waste money on something temporary. 

Jack and Jill Bathroom (BEFORE)       Here's one last view of that vanity. We decided to keep it and give it a DIY makeover. The only thing we replaced professionally was the counter top. This has been on my "weekend projects" list for several weekends now. But I'm still on the fence about what color to paint the cabinets. I am going back and forth between charcoal and blush pink. Charcoal appeals to me because it would really match the space. I just know it would look nice. But a pop of color appeals to me too because this is really the only place in this room where we'd use a bold paint color. What would you do? 

This space has really come a long way. We just need to paint the walls and the cabinets, hang some plants and maybe add a little artwork. Oh and I'm still hunting for a mirror with clean lines to fit the space. I'll share a progress report with you soon! xx- Elsie

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson  

Elsie's kitchen progressHello, friends! I'm getting dangerously close to having TWO finished rooms to share with you soon. I can't believe we're finally to this point. HUGE milestone. 

I thought I'd share one more progress report on the kitchen. It's at that awkward stage where it could pass as finished even though it's really, really not yet. We still haven't installed the hardware. There's a big gap between the stove and the wall that we have to get filled by the countertop place. There are a few issues with the grout that need correcting. A rug that needs to be found. And a BIG DIY project planned that still needs to happen.

But I'm not here to talk about my to-do list. Let's talk about the progress! 

Elsie's kitchen progress Here's a view of both sides of the open shelves. Side 1. 

Elsie's kitchen progress  Side two. 

Since these shelves are a huge part of the storage we have in our kitchen, I've been working on solutions for using the space in the most functional way. But I obviously want it to be pretty too. So it's taking some time. I snapped these photos after my first late night styling session. Every day since then, I've moved things around more and more. And I'm slowly adding more useful/functional storage options. (I'll share more on that soon!)

Elsie's kitchen progress   Elsie's kitchen progress   Elsie's kitchen progress   Elsie's kitchen progress   Elsie's kitchen progress   I'm having SO much fun working on this. It's turning out to be a space that we love to be in, which is what matters the most. 

Elsie's kitchen progress        OK! One last photo of this in-between phase. I love seeing it take shape. I am hoping we can wrap up details and share a full tour with you in either December or January. Send us all the good/productive vibes! 

If you want to see more of the process, see the BEFORE here and the first progress report here. xx! Thanks for following along! Elsie 

Sources: Brass light fixture (in center)/Lucent Lightshop, Small light (above sink)/Cedar & Moss, Countertops/Stone World, Gold flatware (in jars)/flea market find. I'll do a more exhaustive list in my next post, but if you want to know any other specific source, ask me in the comments! 

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions

Brussels sprout and purple potato hashYou guys! Today is a monumental occasion. Because after, oh I don't know, five or maybe six years of asking Jeremy to help me write a recipe post, HE FINALLY CAVED!

We cook together a lot. If there's one thing that months without running water or a stove will teach you, it's that eating out is kind of overrated and cooking at home is a miracle! We've been experimenting with lots of vegetable-based meals lately, and since this one turned out so delish, he agreed to help me make it into a recipe for you! 

Brussels sprout and purple potato hash Brussels sprouts. Historically, they've gotten a bad rap. But in recent years, they're the cool girls at all the hipster restaurants. I'm so happy for them, their time has come! 

Brussels sprout and purple potato hash  Purple potatoes. The prettiest potatoes by a lot. I don't know how or why I never bought them until this past week! 

Anyway! Enough chit chat. I never know the right amount of dad jokes to put into a blog post. Sometimes it's way too much, sometimes it's not enough. Sometimes you're like, "Share WAY more," and sometimes you're like, "Please shut up." Here's the recipe... 

Brussels sprout and purple potato hash    Brussels Sprout + Purple Potato Hash
*serves 1 VERY hungry person or 2 people who are also eating avocado toast. 

3 cups Brussels sprouts 
3 cloves garlic
1/4 onion
1 purple potato
coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
fresh rosemary 
avocado slices 

First, thinly slice the purple potato. Pan fry it with coconut oil (or your oil of choice, butter works too). We like to do this step separately because we like our potatoes very crispy. Plus, they take longer to cook. So let them cook while you're prepping the rest. Then set them aside when they're done. 

Next, fill your food processor with Brussels, garlic and onion and chop your veggies. Process it till it looks about like this- 

Brussels sprout and purple potato hash   Now it's ready to cook! Throw it in a pan on the stovetop with a little coconut oil and the salt and pepper. As you're cooking it, give it a taste and see if you want any garlic powder or more pepper or salt. I feel like we over-garlic all of our food, so I made the recipe "safe". 

When the slaw is almost done cooking, throw the potatoes back in so they can heat up. 

Almost done! Just fry a couple eggs and garnish them with a little paprika, some fresh cut rosemary and some avocado slices. 

Brussels sprout and purple potato hash      Now, dig in! You've earned it. 

xoxo. Elsie + Jeremy  

Credits// Author and Photography: Jeremy and Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions

Homemade hot cereal mix (via abeautifulmess.com)A couple weeks ago I came down with a cold. And for me this wasn't a sniffle-for-a-few-days but ultimately you're fine kind of cold. No. This was the kind of cold that rendered me useless for about three days, and I'm a to-do list kind of gal for crying out loud! I ended up having to stay home from a family wedding that Trey and I already had plane tickets and a hotel booked for. I was afraid to let my SIL and her newborn stay over when she was in town for fear her son might catch whatever was knocking me off my feet. Which meant I missed my chance to hold a baby—and guys, I have baby fever, so this put me at an all time low.

I was humbled. I like to think of myself as a fairly healthy and productive gal. The kind that goes to family weddings and holds every baby in sight!

OK, I think I might be oversharing a little. One morning, while I was still feeling pretty sick but was on the mend, I made myself a big bowl of hot cereal. I added all sorts of nuts, fruit and a little maple syrup. I ate it while sipping some lemon tea with honey and it was a comforting moment, to say the least! There's just something about a warm, healthy breakfast. And here's my confession: I ate the same thing for lunch that day too. Of course I'm not saying this hot cereal healed me. It did not. But man did it make me feel better, I guess in the way a warm, nourishing hug might. And good news—hot cereal is great all the time, not just when you're sick.

Hot cereal mix ingredients Homemade hot cereal mix (via abeautifulmess.com)  I'm stoked to share my current favorite homemade hot cereal mix with you all. We are partnering with Vitamix on this recipe and I could not be more excited! I found out Vitamix was interested in working with ABM right around the time I was shopping for a new blender, as luck would have it. This was going to be my third blender in under two years. So needless to say, I was excited to try something that promised to be more durable since I love to cook and want something that is going to last. I'll keep you all updated as time goes on, but so far I've been SUPER impressed with my 780 blender. I've already made lots of (green) smoothies, a few soups, and this hot cereal mix a few times and it's pretty amazing how well it works compared to past blenders I've used.

Anyway, hot cereal. Let's do this.

How to make your own hot cereal Make your hot cereal mix in a blender!Homemade Hot Cereal Mix, makes 15-18 servings. Feel free to cut in half if you want to make less.

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup brown rice
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup flaxseeds
1/2 cup wheat germ*
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup sliced almonds (or other nuts you prefer)

*If you want to keep your hot cereal mix gluten free, then omit the wheat germ.

Place all the ingredients in a quality blender and pulse until well blended. The mixture should be a very coarse powder, not quite as fine as flour but very small pieces throughout. If you want even more control over the texture of your mix, you can pulse each ingredient separately and then combine. That's it! Easy, right? Just store in an air tight container and use whenever you like.

To make hot cereal, cook with a 3:1 ratio of water. I usually cook 1/3 cup hot cereal mix with 1 cup of water for a serving because I like to add lots of nuts, fresh fruit, sometimes nut butter, sweetener and sometimes almond milk. If you don't plan to add much to your mix, then I'd recommend cooking 1/2 cup mix with 1 1/2 cups water for a serving, but this is really up to you.

Bring water with a sprinkle of salt to a boil. Whisk in your hot cereal mix. Cover, reduce the heat, and cook for 8-9 minutes. Remove the lid, stir, and continue to cook for another minute. 

Homemade hot cereal mix (via abeautifulmess.com) I do recommend refrigerating your unused mix and here's why: my jar of wheat germ recommends you refrigerate it after opening. So although most of these ingredients are pretty shelf stable without refrigeration, just to be safe I'd still go ahead and refrigerate. But, I'm not a food scientist. This is just my thinking based on the labels I read. 

Guys, you can totally change up this mix however you like! Honestly the possibilities are endless—there so many other ingredients you could add or change up depending on what you have on hand and what you prefer. I totally recommend you make some hot cereal for yourself this week. xo. Emma

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


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