Use the December Messy Box to make your own mini book during your holiday travels. See the full mini book at www.ABeautifulMess.comOn every holiday road trip, I love bringing a project along to keep my creative energy from bottling up and making me crazy in the car or while the kids are busy having fun with grandparents. Sometimes that's a weaving project, other times I'm finishing up a handmade gift. This year it was bringing along my December Messy Box kit to put together a quick mini album using some photos I took for a Christmas Home Tour on my blog. This month's kit had such fun colors and accessories, so all I had to add-in were some extra alpha, fun glitter stickers and a stamp from my stash. I printed out my photos on the road and bought an inexpensive photo book, and I had an easy project on my hands!

CoverThe inside of my album was less than cute, so I cut some paper to cover it up and glued it down. Then I used double-sided tape to attach another layer of pattern on top and then one of the darling die-cuts on top of that. The 'Merry' clip was another way to help keep the papers together on both the outer cover and the inside cover. 

Christmas scrapbooking on the road with the December Messy Box from www.ABeautifulMess.com. See how simple it is to create fun pages with just a few color-coordinated suppliesHomeSweetHOmeI used the acrylic page as my intro page and added some little tags on top and then journaled directly on some photos. The confetti was a festive addition to the next spread.

Oh!Dear!SoVeryMerryI made sure to include photos of the kids and journal some of the elements of this year's build up to Christmas so I don't forget that time one of them decided on their own we should make cookies to pass out to strangers downtown. 

CozyNaughtyOrNiceSpreadThis has been a watershed year for my oldest who is starting to make up his own mind about Santa. He's nostalgic about how that all plays out but has also heard the origin stories of that tradition. He's decided he's willing to be a good big brother and still join in the fun for the sake of his little brother and sister. 

NaughtyOrNiceDeckTheHallsThe best part of the drive to our first holiday destination was singing Christmas carols through that last twenty minute stretch to keep everyone from asking how much longer. I love knowing our kids will probably be doing the same thing with their own kids on their way to our house some Christmas break years from now. 

ScrapbookingOnTheRoadSimple and sweet was the name of the game for this Scrapbook Sunday, and I now have a sweet little mini album to add to my growing shelf of big albums. Do you take supplies for crafting when you go on road trips or does it make you crazy crafting out of a suitcase? What are your essentials that you bring with you? -Rachel

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

Easy split pea and lentil soup (via abeautifulmess.com) Soup doesn't get praised enough. When it's cold outside, there are few things more comforting than a big bowl of hot soup. I really love the soup I'm sharing with you all today because it's a thick and creamy kind (although there's no actual cream in it). 

Easy split pea and lentil soup (via abeautifulmess.com)   This split pea and lentil soup is hearty! You don't have to serve it alongside anything if you don't want to. I ate this for lunch two days in a row (it's good! but also this recipe makes a lot) with just a few pieces of whole grain toast that I tore up, so I guess they were kind of makeshift croutons. :) I also think a small bowl of this along with a salad or a grilled cheese would be amazing too. 

IngredientsSlow Cooker Split Pea and Lentil soup, makes 6-8 servings.

1/2 yellow onion chopped (around 1/3 to 1/2 cup)
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped carrots
2 small to medium russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
8 oz. split peas
8 oz. lentils
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
7-8 cups vegetable stock 
salt and pepper

Sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil until they begin to turn brown and caramelize. Remove from heat. In a large slow cooker (where I'm from we call 'em crock pots—but that kind of sounds less appetizing, right?), combine the cooked onions and garlic, chopped carrot, chopped potatoes, split peas, lentils, bay leaf, oregano, cayenne and 7 cups of vegetable stock. 

Making soup in a crockpotYep, you pretty much just dump it all in there and then set it to high for six hours. If you want to give it a creamier texture, you can blend it with an immersion blender or in batches in a good blender. Remove the bay leaf before you do this. Taste and add salt and pepper or even a bit more cayenne if you want more heat. 

I think this tastes even better the next day warmed up! It will get quite thick, so you can thin it out with more stock or water as you reheat it. 

Easy split pea and lentil soup (via abeautifulmess.com)  I didn't end up freezing any of this batch, but I have a feeling it would freeze well if you don't need this many servings and don't want it two days in a row. Up to you here! Personally, sometimes I like having the same thing to eat the next day. It sort of feels like someone laid out my clothes for me. :) If that even makes sense. Ha! Anyway, enjoy and make some soup soon, guys. It's getting cold! xo. Emma

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

Lengthen curtains without sewingMy family and I recently moved into a lovely new home. Okay, okay... so a lot of you already know that the old ABM studio house has now become the Skunkboy house. Guys, we are absolutely loving transforming this former workspace into a cozy home. It feels like such a good fit for our family. We're in love. Anyway, our last home, which was a little bungalow built in the 1930s, had much smaller windows. This house, which was built in the late 1800s, has tall, gorgeous ceilings and windows. I get that at this point you might be thinking, "Great, Katie. But why are you telling us this?" Well, new spaces can pose new problems, and now all of my existing curtains are too short! I went from buying standard length, 84" curtains, to needing curtains over 100" in length in some of the rooms. I do not have the money to cover my home in all new panels (that would be SO expensive). So I got to planning my next DIY. Here is a little "before" photo for reference:

Curtains before lengtheningThis room is upstairs, so the length wasn't TERRIBLE, but we can surely do better. After all, this is our bedroom, and I really want to make it something special. My last bedroom was also our music room AND my sewing space, and that became more than chaotic. This room is going to be a peaceful, relaxing space. No work allowed. Lesson learned.

Simple SuppliesSupplies:
-curtains
-trim of any kind
-stitch witchery
-seam ripper
-iron & ironing board
-damp cloth

Step 1- remove the seam from your curtainStep One: Carefully remove the bottom hem from your curtain panel with a seam ripper. As you can see, my curtains easily snag, so this was the most tedious part of the whole DIY for me.

Step 2- Press your seams openStep Two: Once you have ripped out the seam, take your curtains to the ironing board. With your steam setting on, press the former hem open.

Step 3- use a damp cloth and stitch witchery to fuse the trimStep Three: With my curtains re-hung and the hem removed, I measured how much longer I needed them to be to hit the floor. I bought my lace trim to fit that measurement, and it worked out perfectly!

So...now we're getting to the fun part! Take your Stitch Witchery and lay it on top of the raw edge of the curtain. Lay your trim on top of that. Take a damp cloth and carefully place it on top of the lace. Press for 5-10 seconds with the steam setting on (make sure to only press, don't slide the iron). Continue this process all the way across the panel.

First layer of lace appliedSecond row of lace appliedStep Four: Now that your first row of lace has been applied, repeat this exact process with the second row. I layered three different tiers of lace by the end, and I absolutely love the look. Also, you can see from the photo above that I left the edges of my lace raw. If you like a more finished look, just wrap the edges all the way around and press exactly the same way. Once the curtains are hung, you really don't even notice the raw edge.

A lovely way to lengthen your curtains without sewingHere is a comparison photo for you. Like I said before, our curtains weren't terrible, but I love how dramatic they feel now that they touch the floor, instead of hitting in a sorta awkward spot.

Lengthen your curtains without sewing!Lengthen your curtains without sewing (click through for tutorialLengthen your curtains without sewingA tutorial for lengthening curtains without sewingOur house is really starting to come together, and it feels so great to have little handmade touches here and there. The dining room windows are much taller than these. So for those I'll actually be sewing panels together to get enough length! 

Anyway, thanks for letting me share this practical and pretty DIY with you! Now, I'm off to start another house project! xo. Katie

Author: Credits and Photography: Katie Shelton. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions.

Christmas at homeHey, friends! This is a pre-scheduled post. You can imagine us all in our pjs eating pumpkin pie right now because, well, that's probably what's really happening. 

Merry Christmas, you guys!! 

Here are a few snapshots from our homes, some are more elaborate than others (cough-cough, Laura). We all think it's pretty HILARIOUS that at this time last year we had no idea we'd be moving, and all three of us are living in new houses now. It's crazy what a difference a year can make. Anyway...enough gabbing. Here are some fun snaps.... 

Elsie's house    Elsie's house    Elsie's house    Elsie's house    Elsie's house    (Elsie)

Emma and Trey's 2015 Christmas cardEmma's Christmas tree(Emma)

Christmas at home   Christmas at home   Christmas at home   Christmas at home   Christmas at home   (Laura)

LOVE YOU GUYS! xx- Elsie, Emma, and the ABM Team

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Elsie Larson, Laura Gummerman, and Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Master Bathroom progress reportHey, friends! As promised, I'm here to start sharing our progress reports. First up, the master bathroom. This room has come a LONG WAY in the past month. It's about 60-70% done now. It's functional, but not decorated yet. So it felt like a good moment to pause and share our progress! 

Before I begin, here's a little refresher on how the bathroom looked before... 

Before Before And here's how it's looking today... 

Master Bathroom progress report      Master Bathroom progress report      We LOVE the way the herringbone floors turned out. I shared a little more about that process here. It turned out beautiful and feels very fresh and clean. 

Master Bathroom progress report  We decided to try something fun for the shower floor and did a stripe pattern with penny tile. I LOVE it. It's a very small area, but it makes a big statement. 

Master Bathroom progress report   Inside the shower I am SO excited we added this little built in shelf. We used a piece of the marble backsplash that came with our vanity to make those little shelves. 

Master Bathroom progress report When you look closely, you can see I still have some painting to do. I chose not to use the tile corner transition pieces. I think it looks more modern and clean this way, especially with the pattern I chose. So I just have to go through and paint all these unfinished edges with bright white oil-based paint. 

Master Bathroom progress report        For the walls in the bath/shower/toilet part of the room and also behind the vanity, we chose to do a crosshatch pattern with white subway tile. 

You can also see our pretty brass faucet here. I had it metal plated and it was about half the price of what it costs retail. I'll share more about that whole process in another post soon! 

Ugh—you can also see that I missed that silver piece. I missed a couple other drain covers you can't see too. Just adding that to my never-ending to-do list. No biggie. 

Master Bathroom progress report    Master Bathroom progress report    For above the tub, I picked this Schoolhouse Electric chandelier. I love how it fits the space and creates balance. 

Master Bathroom progress report             For the vanity, I looked all over at a lot of different options and in the end went with this vanity from Amazon (I love that it's simple, white and real marble) and decided to replace the hardware with these beauties from Rejuvenation. The mirrors are from CB2. I have to say, they look about a million times nicer in person than they do on their website. I love them and they were a really good deal. The sconces are from Cedar & Moss. Love them. You can't really see here, but there are three of them. 

Still need to replace the silver knobs that came with the vanity and add some kind of baskets or containers to that bottom shelf. Oh yes, and I'm hunting for a rug to go in front of this vanity and another one for in front of the bathtub. 

Master Bathroom progress report          Master Bathroom progress report          Master Bathroom progress report          A few details! 

Master Bathroom progress report          AR5A1219My current mood is DELIRIOUSLY HAPPY. Like, SO happy. 

I know I still have a lot of decorating to do, BUT we have a working toilet, shower, tub and sinks, and we can FINALLY move our clothes into a real closet. So I'm just gonna celebrate these milestones for a bit. :)) Thanks for reading! xx- Elsie 

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

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