Oui Fresh With only twelve days left until the launch of our new brand, Oui Fresh, we thought it would be fun to share a Sister Style wearing some of the new collection!

We're not good at keeping secrets, so in Arizona we were trying not to show the t-shirts in our social media posts and, well, that lasted for about four hours. Haha! 

We had such a good time in Arizona shooting with our OG photographer, Sarah Rhodes. She's a gem of a human and so much fun to spend a day with. Here are some pics from an afternoon in sunny Arizona... 

Oui Fresh     Oui Fresh   Oui Fresh   Oui Fresh   Elsie's Wearing: T-Shirt, Bag and Sunnies/Oui Fresh (our new brand coming May 16th!!), Skirt/Madewell, Wedges/Target. 

Oui FreshOui Fresh            Oui Fresh            Oui Fresh            Oui Fresh            Emma's Wearing: T-Shirt, Kimono, Sunnies, Bag/Oui Fresh (our new brand coming May 16th!!), Shorts/Levi's, Shoes/H&M

Oui Fresh         Oui Fresh         So, which t-shirt is your favorite so far????? 

xx- Elsie + Emma 

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson, Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Rhubarb strawberry and almond pie (via abeautifulmess.com)    I've been seeing pretty red stalks of rhubarb at the grocery store for the past month or so, and I finally decided that it was time to make a pie. I must admit, rhubarb pie is not a flavor I grew up with. I suspect that it was around, probably at church pot luck nights among other places, but I can imagine picky-eater Emma passing it up for things like chocolate pudding pie or apple pie. So basic. :) 

But in adulthood, I am happy to report that I have learned to love rhubarb pie, especially when paired with strawberries!

Rhubarb strawberry and almond pie (via abeautifulmess.com)I like to mix the two because it adds more of that beautiful red color, and while strawberries are still fairly tart, they aren't quite as much as rhubarb or raspberries. So I think they make a nice balance together. 

The filling is quite simple here, really just fruit, sugar, and flour. The pie crust is equally simple but with some almond meal added in to add a little more depth of flavor among the flaky goodness of pie crust. I also like the little speckles it adds to the crust, almost like the pie has freckles. :) 

IngredientsRhubarb, Strawberry, and Almond Pie

For the crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter, divided (we use 15 tablespoons in the crust and the remainder in the filling)
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon cold water

For the filling:
2 1/2 cups sliced rhubarb
2 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

To make the crust, in a large mixing bowl stir together the flour, almond meal, and salt. Use a box grater to grate 15 tablespoons of cold butter into the mixture. Then use your clean hands to blend into a coarse, grainy meal (like tiny pebbles). To make sure your water is very cold, fill a tall glass with water and add ice cubes. Then measure out the 1/4 cup water needed and add this to the bowl. Press together until a dough ball forms. You want to use the least amount of water possible here, but if the mixture seems too dry and won't hold together when pressed, add another tablespoon of cold water. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight (up to two days). 

Pie fillingFor the filling, combine the sliced rhubarb, sliced strawberries, lime juice, sugar, and flour in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine well; the flour and sugar will become wet from the juices and will turn into a kind of ooze – this is good. :) 

Divide the dough in half. Roll out half so that it's larger than your pie pan. You want enough dough to hang over the edges so you can fold it up into a nice crusty edge. Lightly butter the pie pan and add the dough. Fill with the pie filling, then top with the remaining tablespoon of butter cut into four pieces. Roll out the remaining dough for the top crust. Feel free to get creative here! After rolling the dough out, I cut mine into long thin pieces and just kind piled them up inside the pie. Do whatever you want here. My only suggestion is to keep the crust fairly uniform in depth, meaning you don't want half the dough piled up on one side with barely any on the other as this could result in some dough (the thicker areas) still being raw while the rest of the pie is done baking. 

Cover the edges in foil (optional, but it does help) and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for another 28-32 minutes. 

Rhubarb strawberry and almond pie (via abeautifulmess.com) Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into it. And remember to top with vanilla ice cream before serving – that is a very important step! Happy pie making! xx. Emma

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

Add Geometric Panels To Your Plain Closet Doors! (click through for tutorial)            Once you start to really get a room together, it becomes obvious how important all the finishing details are. I find with most things it's the little touches that really draw you in and keep you interested in a space. So I wanted to add some personality to as much as I could in our "soon to be finished" den area. I am still over the moon with how the DIY trim detail came out on our bedroom closet doors. So I wanted to do something similar but a little more subtle in shape and color in the den. Since the centerpiece of the room is our teal Joybird sectional (in Notion Thunderbird), I didn't want to do a colored door again, and I thought a white-on-white scheme would make the design more subtle and not steal too much visual attention from the couch in front of it. 

Since the other door project was a lot of small trim pieces put together to make the effect, I though that larger geometric shapes would give a different feel to these doors as well. I do love my geometric shapes!

Add Geometric Panels To Your Plain Closet Doors! (click through for tutorial)               You can see that I had already painted the doors in the before photo. We had to get different doors when we installed new flooring (the floor was raised a bit), and I just got plain flat doors so I could add something special to them. It took me forever to decide what I wanted. So I painted them white in the meantime. I couldn't find a link for the exact doors, but they were basic wooden flat front closet doors from Lowes. The difference between the two isn't punch-you-in-the-face-crazy, but I love how it turned out, and I think they look so much more custom and special with the added pieces. Want to see how I did it?

Add Geometric Panels To Your Plain Closet Doors! (click through for tutorial)               I bought two sheets of this 2'x4' thin birch plywood and used my jigsaw to cut the sheets lengthwise down the middle into 12" strips. Seriously, get a jigsaw. I'm going to keep telling you this...

Add Geometric Panels To Your Plain Closet Doors! (click through for tutorial)               They make saw guides that you can use to keep your cuts straight. Very important on this project. 

Add Geometric Panels To Your Plain Closet Doors! (click through for tutorial)               I also cut two 12" wooden circles in half to use in the design.

Add Geometric Panels To Your Plain Closet Doors! (click through for tutorial)               I wanted the strips of wood to mirror the edge of the circle above and below it, so I used the half circles I had cut, traced those lines, and cut the line with the jigsaw. When I went to check the placement on the door, I realized that it apparently wasn't the right way to go about it. When I tried to center the circle 1.5" away from the top and bottom half circle cuts, they didn't line up or look right anymore. Apparently if you want to mirror the edge of a circle 1.5" away from the circle, you have to trace a circle that is 3" bigger than your original circle for it to look correct. You double the number of inches you want the mirrored line to sit away from the original circle and make that new circle that much bigger in diameter than the original. So, once I traced a 15" circle (instead of the original 12") and recut the wood with that angle, it looked perfect.  

Add Geometric Panels To Your Plain Closet Doors! (click through for tutorial)               Once the circle angles were correct, I cut those panels in half again so they were now 6" wide.

Add Geometric Panels To Your Plain Closet Doors! (click through for tutorial)               Before cutting the height of the 6" panels, I placed the circles where I wanted them to go (I put them higher up rather than in the middle so they could be seen over the couch in front of it), and then measured how tall the top and bottom panels should be in relation to the circle.

Add Geometric Panels To Your Plain Closet Doors! (click through for tutorial)               Add Geometric Panels To Your Plain Closet Doors! (click through for tutorial)               When everything was cut, I used wood glue to first glue all the panel pieces onto the doors, and then I used small nails to nail the panels in place.

Add Geometric Panels To Your Plain Closet Doors! (click through for tutorial)               Add Geometric Panels To Your Plain Closet Doors! (click through for tutorial)               I wanted the panels to look completely seamless with the door. So I went the extra mile and used a nail setter to hammer all the nail heads further into the wood so I could fill each indent with wood filler and then sand the filler down flat. WHAT NAILS? I DON'T SEE ANY NAILS...

Add Geometric Panels To Your Plain Closet Doors! (click through for tutorial)               After that, it was time to paint the panels to match the doors! When the paint was dry, I drilled new holes to install the hardware in a slightly different spot to accommodate the panels, and I was done!

Add Geometric Panels To Your Plain Closet Doors! (click through for tutorial)
Add Geometric Panels To Your Plain Closet Doors! (click through for tutorial)               Add Geometric Panels To Your Plain Closet Doors! (click through for tutorial)               Add Geometric Panels To Your Plain Closet Doors! (click through for tutorial)                    I think the monochromatic pattern adds just the right amount of interest to the otherwise boring doors while still letting the pretty couch in front of it be the star of the space. I like that the mirrored circle pattern of the doors have a mid-century feel but also remind me of the swinging doors to the kitchen in a fancy French restaurant type of place. I love to make what could be basic a little more custom and get that personality of the house into as many aspects as I can without everything competing for visual attention.

If you don't have a jigsaw, you can still do this type of idea if you can find wooden shapes that would create a pattern without being cut in half (or if you can find shapes that are already cut in half). Hope you found something new to try on doors in your home! xo. Laura 

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

One dollar planning toolThis trick is SOOOO simple to make/use, but it's been a big game-changer in my life this year. So I thought I'd share. 

Basically, at the beginning of 2016, I was evaluating the past year, looking forward to the coming one, and thinking about how I could improve and also avoid making the same mistakes again. One thing that's been happening in my life since ABM started growing and my career started changing over the past few years is there are times I'm just too busy. I like staying productive, we do a lot of things at ABM, and I have a lot on my bucket list in life. I'm happy with a full life, in other words. But when life gets too full, I can start to feel super stressed, I miss out on time with friends and family, and I don't allow time for me to do my best work and to also reflect and think on how I can improve or if I'm happy with the direction things are headed. In a nutshell, I'm looking for the same thing probably most of you are looking for – a balanced and fulfilling life. 

I want to work hard but not be a workaholic.

I want to spend time with my family and friends, but still achieve work and personal goals.

I want to be a good wife, daughter, friend, and business owner. And someday, mom (this is NOT an announcement, just something I think about).

I want time to reflect, chill, meditate, and hopefully come to realizations that help me be a better person. 

Work / life balance is not something I'm an expert at, and I probably never will feel that I have it mastered. BUT, that doesn't mean I won't try. :) I decided that one thing that could help me a lot is if I could view my entire year at once. My thinking was, if I can take a more big picture approach to my career and personal life, then maybe I can find ways to have a healthy, balanced amount of both. 

Emma's favorite one dollar planning tool
So here's what I did: I took out a piece of paper and drew nine boxes for the coming nine months. Why nine? I think I just liked the symmetry of the 3x3, and it just so happened to be the last 9 months in the year. :) I have this hanging near my computer at my desk, and I add to it constantly. It doesn't contain any "regular" activities. All my usual work tasks, or off-duty habits don't necessarily make it on to the calendar. Instead it's filled with big deadlines, work trips, vacation travel, work duties that fall outside of my usual stuff, and some personal events (like a friend's wedding, etc.). And unlike my calendar that closes like a book and buries plans in pages and pages of dates, it's clean, simple and at-a-glance. It's a quick macro view of my year.

My goal was to try to spread out my life better. If I knew I had a big work deadline one month, I tried not to schedule vacations or commit to other big personal things around that time (if I could). If Trey and I plan a vacation together, or a family trip pops up, I try not to overlap work stuff with that time frame. 

Simple, right? But that's exactly the point and why it's more useful to me than any macro calendar you can buy. It's so simple I almost feel ashamed I wasn't doing this sooner! But it's been a HUGE help to me this year. I can't control every event or opportunity that comes my way, but I feel a lot more confident saying no when I can see that a particular month is already too full. I don't feel guilty or scared that I'm passing up a big opportunity, because I can see that I've already said yes to other things that I've deemed are important. 

That's it! Paper, pen and other fun stuff like markers and stickers if you wanna make it cute. Once a month or two has passed, I update it to reflect the next nine months. If you wanted to make it twelve months at a time, that would certainly be pretty easy. I just decided I wanted a bit more room to write, so I left it at nine. But if you try this little trick, make it work for you – that's what matters! xx. Emma

P.S. The stickers and the cute print behind my calendar are from past Happy Mail kits

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