Spicy Pimento Cauliflower Bites (via abeautifulmess.com)Ok, I admit it, I am completely obsessed with any kind of crunchy, baked cauliflower recipe. I am still WAY into this version of Springfield-style cashew cauliflower and also this Hot Cauliflower Pizza. And I can't stop, guys!

These Spicy Pimento Cauliflower Bites are crunchy, spicy and go oh-so-well with the creamy pimento cheese dip I made alongside them. This is vegetarian comfort food at its best if you ask me. 

Spicy Pimento Cauliflower Bites (via abeautifulmess.com)    Spicy Pimento Cauliflower Bites (via abeautifulmess.com) The pimento cheese dip is prefect for, well, dipping the cauliflower bites into. Although I think I like it equally as well on top of celery sticks. And I don't usually like celery sticks. :) 

The recipe below is a good size for two as a meal or you could totally serve this as a fun and different appetizer or at a party. Maybe Super Bowl food? I don't know. If you mention the Super Bowl weeks after it happened will you give yourself away as the barely aware non-fan that you might be? Hmm... I guess we'll see. 

How to make cauliflower wingsSpicy Pimento Cauliflower Bites + Pimento Cheese Dip, serves 2 as a meal or more as an appetizer

1 head of cauliflower
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon diced pimento (from a 4 oz. jar)
2 tablespoons hot sauce, divided
2/3 cup bread crumbs

For the dip:
4 oz. cream cheese
2 oz. sharp cheddar
2 tablespoons mayo
remaining pimentos from 4 oz. jar
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey, for the tops
celery sticks to serve

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the bottom leaves and stem from the cauliflower head and cut into small florets. In a food processor blend together the flour, milk, pimento, and 1 tablespoon of hot sauce. In another bowl, place the bread crumbs. Dip the cauliflower pieces in the flour mix, then in the bread crumbs. Then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and coated in the olive oil. Once you've dipped all the cauliflower pieces, bake for 20 minutes.

Pimento cheese dip recipeWhile those bake, prepare the pimento cheese dip. In a food processor combine the cream cheese, cheddar, mayo, pimentos, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt. Blend to combine well, then remove to a small bowl. 

Once the cauliflower bites are done, remove from the oven. In a small bowl or cup, stir together the remaining 1 tablespoon hot sauce and the honey. Brush or drizzle over the baked cauliflower bites. 

Spicy Pimento Cauliflower Bites (via abeautifulmess.com)  Serve alongside the dip with some celery sticks. Here's just a few notes:

-I used white whole wheat flour, almond milk, and 100% whole wheat Panko bread crumbs for my version. But you can use virtually any flour, milk, and bread crumb situation that you prefer. 

-You can also use any hot sauce that you like. I used Tapatio this time, but I also really love Cholula. :)

Enjoy! xo. Emma

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

Milkmaid-12When my hair was longer, milkmaid braids were my go-to style. They keep your neck cool in the summer, keep the wind out of your face on a blustery day, and when you have the hang of them, only take a couple of minutes to do. My hair is still a bit too short to pull my signature style off, but I'm getting closer to that look by doing a couple of rope braids instead of traditional braids. This style will also work if you have longer hair and is a great technique for anyone who struggles with braids. Rope braids are made simply by twisting two sections of hair—that's it. So if you have two left thumbs when it comes to braiding, then this might be your way to get a cool look with half the effort.Easy milkmaid twists (click-through for the full tutorial)Step One: Divide your hair into two sections as if you were making pigtails.

Step Two: Take one side and split it in half. Twist both halves in the same direction; I twisted mine towards my face.

Step Three: Take both sections and twist them together, but twisting them towards the back of your head this time. Another way to look at this is: twist two sections individually clockwise, then twist them together counter-clockwise. This makes a basic rope braid. Tie it off with an elastic.

Step Four: Repeat on the opposite side. Split your section in two and twist both in the same direction. Then twist/cross them together in the opposite direction. Again, I twisted towards the front of my face and crossed towards the back.

Step Five: Take both rope braid pigtails and pin them on top of your hair with a few bobby pins. Clean up any loose/too short hairs with a few extra bobby pins, and you're done.

Milkmaid-8That's it! It's a fun twist on the milkmaid braids look (pun intended) and so easy! When I was first learning to braid my hair, rope braids were one of the styles that helped get me into braiding. Unlike so many cool styles I liked on other girls and tried and failed to achieve with my own hair, rope braided styles worked for me every time. You can make one big rope braid if your hair is long, or use this technique to make a small face-framing braid, or just mix this texture in a big messy textured look. Definitely a good technique to learn if you're just starting to play around with your hair. Cheers, Rebecca.

Credits//Author and Photography: Rebecca Stice. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess Presets for Lightroom

Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial)            My house has a few themes going on at once: pink, pastels, white fluffy fabrics, cats, and cacti! As much as I love an actual cactus, I do also have an affinity for cactus-related products as well. I love the line-drawn quality of Elsie's light up cactus marquees and thought that style would translate nicely to a pillow DIY too. If you're worried about your freehand painting skills, don't be! I've made a template for you to make it easy peasy. So let's make a cactus pillow!

 Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial)Supplies:
-white cotton fabric
-colored cotton fabric (for the back side)
-pillow insert (the template size as is works best with a 17-18" square pillow)
-black fabric paint
-various size craft brushes
-wax paper
-sewing machine
-Cactus Template (right click to download)

Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial) First you'll want to print out your template onto the four pages it contains and tape your pages together to create one large outline. Cut your white fabric into a 19 x 19" square so that you'll have an 18" square pillow once you sew it with a 1/2" seam allowance around the edge. Place your template under your white fabric and use a thin marker to trace the design onto your fabric on top (you may need to hold it up to a window or use a light box if your fabric is thick).

Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial)  Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial)  Once your design is traced, place some wax paper under your fabric so the lines won't bleed through to your work table as you paint. Add a small amount of water to some black fabric paint and use a scrap piece of your white fabric to test out a few painted lines. You want the paint thin enough that it's relatively smooth going onto the fabric, but not so watery that the line starts to bleed out from itself as you paint it.

Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial)    Once you get a good consistency, use whichever size brush you want your line thickness to be and simply trace the brush overtop of your pen lines. Experiment with different brush sizes and shapes to see which you like best for your lines. Let your paint completely dry. 

Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial)      Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial)      I'm making an envelope style pillow. So cut your back fabric color into two 19 x 12" rectangles and fold and sew down a 1/2" seam across the top of each rectangle. Overlap the rectangles seam side up so the right side of your halves are facing your painted pillow half and pin in place.

Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial)        Sew a 1/2" seam around the edge of the pillow and cut the four corners of the pillow at an angle as show above (it makes the corners a little neater when it's right side out).

Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial)         Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial)         Flip your pillow case out the right way and press your seams flat with an iron. Add your pillow insert, and you're ready to display your work!

Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial)           Cactus Outline Pillow DIY-template included! (click through for tutorial)           See? Not too hard right? I like that I made the back pink since it adds a peek of color when you view the pillow from the side or above. I think the "drawn" quality of the print has a fun feel to it, and you could even use embroidery thread instead of paint if you wanted to do some needlework with a similar look. It's certainly not hard to place this guy near a fellow cactus in my house (they are everywhere!), but if you're a little wary of the prickles of a real cactus, well, this soft pillow may be just the thing for you! xo. Laura

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

DIY Lip Balm- click through for the full tutorial!         Hi there! We're Britta & Carli from Twinspiration, and we're thrilled to joining the ABM team, as we've been longtime fans. Every month we'll be bringing you small & useful DIY projects that you can conquer in one day! We've been blogging for over three years now and what was once just a hobby has turned into our greatest passion. We hope you enjoy our projects here on A Beautiful Mess!

Let us just say that this is one of our favorite projects for a couple of reasons–it’s super easy and useful. What more could you ask for in a DIY project?! You’ll see that most of our DIYs fall into both of those categories. We love a good, easy project. Once in awhile we enjoy challenging projects that push our DIY skills, but easy is our jam.

We’ve made these balms a few times now, and we love how easy it is to switch them up. For summer months, we love mixing in grapefruit essential oil, but this time around, we went with peppermint since it just felt right for wintertime.

DIY Lip Balm- click through for the full tutorial!Supplies (for two lip balms):
-gold tins
-1 tablespoon coconut oil
-1 tablespoon beeswax pellets
-1 teaspoon almond oil
-essential oils (we used peppermint)
-beads/decorations
-E600 glue 

Once you have everything together, here’s how you make the lip balm:

Step One: In a small dish mix together the coconut oil, beeswax pellets, and almond oil.

Step Two: Microwave for 1 minute, stir, and then microwave for one more minute. We microwaved the ingredients on 100% heat. Caution—dish will be hot!

DIY Lip Balm- click through for the full tutorial! Step Three: Now remove dish from microwave and immediately add 20-30 drops of your essential oil. This may seem like a lot, but you need it to be strong enough to cut through the smell of the coconut oil.

DIY Lip Balm- click through for the full tutorial!  Step Four: Next, pour the mixture into your gold tin. Stop pouring when you reach the top of the tin. No worries if you pour too much, it’s pretty simple to clean up! Allow to cool for 15 minutes, until solid. We like to let ours cool for at least an hour to be on the safe side, but they do solidify fast. Tip—work over wax paper for easy clean up! 

DIY Lip Balm- click through for the full tutorial!   Step Five: Last but not least, glue your beads to the gold tin lid using your E6000 glue. We like to use beads with different textures to make it more interesting. Any pattern will do.

DIY Lip Balm- click through for the full tutorial!                     DIY Lip Balm- click through for the full tutorial!             DIY Lip Balm- click through for the full tutorial!                    DIY Lip Balm- click through for the full tutorial!               DIY Lip Balm- click through for the full tutorial!                 Overall we love how these little balms turned out and the process was way easier than expected. We’ve found they make perfect gifts for your friends & family... our mom uses hers every day! Make a bunch and give out for birthdays, everyone will love them. -Britta & Carli Garsow

Credits // Author and Photography: Britta & Carli Garsow. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

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