Easy Messy Bun

I think most people have an easy hairstyle that is kind of their go-to look for when they either don’t know what to do with their hair or don’t have time to do something more elaborate for the day. My hair fix is almost always a messy bun since it’s fast, easy, and is a great way to hide that you didn’t have time (or were too lazy) to wash your hair recently. There’s a simple trick to this one that a stylist showed me a few years ago that really adds more volume and texture to the bun, and I’ll show you how to do it too!

First start by sweeping your hair up into a high ponytail.

Start by teasing the roots of your ponytail (this is a great teasing brush) to help create more volume at the base.Separate your ponytail into two equal sections, and then continue to tease out the rest of each section.

Twist one of the sections lightly and wrap it around the base of your ponytail (depending on which direction you twist the section, it will lay better going clockwise or counter-clockwise around the base, so just check which direction looks better). Pin in place. Twist your second section of hair like you did with the first section.

Wrap that second section around the base the same direction as the first twist, and pin in place. Make sure to tuck in any loose ends with pins for a neater look, or you can leave them out a bit for a messier feel. Finish your bun off with hairspray, and if you have little “baby hair” flyaways in the front like I do, you can spray some hairspray on a toddler toothbrush and use that to comb them back with the rest of your hair.

That’s it! Pretty easy, right? The sectioning the hair into two twists combined with the teasing really helps to give the bun some volume and texture, and it’s messy enough to be an everyday thing, but also pretty enough that it could be a date night look like above (red lipstick optional but always fun!). If you haven’t tried this bun trick before, give it a shot! Hope you love it too! xo. Laura

Credits//Author: Laura Gummerman. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Styling Assistant: Alexa Montgomery. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.
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Cat Face Pillow DIY! 

Oh man, with just a few weeks to go until my due date, I’m getting down to the wire with finishing all my nursery projects and making sure everything is ready for #Gummerbaby’s arrival! I did want to add in at least one handmade pillow/plush into the space before Baby came, and since we always have a cat theme happening at Chez Gummerman, a kitty seemed like the perfect pillow for the job. We hope she loves her “cat siblings”as much as we do, so introducing lots of kitty faces around the house might be good training for her to get used to!Supplies:
-1/2 yard of yellow cotton fabric
small sheet of pink felt
black and white embroidery thread
pom pom trim
fabric scissors
pillow stuffing
fabric glue
cat face template
iron-erasable pen
medium weight iron-on interfacing (optional)

Fold your yellow fabric in half and cut out an oval shape that is about 10″ tall and 12″ wide. You should have two ovals—one for the front of the face and one for the back. If you feel that your cotton fabric is too thin, you can also cut out and iron on a layer of interfacing per directions to give your ovals more weight.Cut your ears out from your yellow fabric (cut two patterns of each ear) and your pink nose, cheeks, and inside ear shapes from your felt. Glue the felt pieces in place and allow the glue to dry. Once the glue has set, use a sewing machine to go around the edge of each felt shape to give your pillow more of a finished look.To complete your ears, place the right sides of the fabric patterns together (so the pink middle will be on the inside), and sew around the outside edge with a 1/2 seam allowance leaving the bottom open. Turn your ear right side out when done and iron flat.Use an iron-erasable pen to draw in the kitty’s eyes and mouth, and then use embroidery thread to sew the lines into the fabric. I doubled up lines on the lashes to make them stand out a bit more. If you want to add some whiskers, just sew three white embroidery threads coming out of each cheek circle in a radius pattern.Pin your pom pom trim about 1/4″ in from the edge of your face (pom poms facing inward), and sew or glue the trim in place. Securing the trim separately first will help it not slide around when you add the back panel onto the face later.Add your ears along the top of your face behind the pom pom trim and sew those in place. Make sure your pom poms and ears are tucked inward and pin the back oval panel onto the top of the face with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Sew almost all the way around the face to secure the two layers together, but leave a few inches open so you can turn the pillow right side out.Once you’ve sewn and turned your pillow right side out, stuff with whatever pillow fill you like to use (I’ve gotten into using this organic cotton filling for pillows lately), and then glue or hand sew your opening shut with a hidden stitch. Your kitty is now ready for the catwalk! Awww, what a sweetie. I like that he’s just kiddish enough to fit perfectly into the nursery, but I wouldn’t really think twice about seeing this on a regular chair in a living room as well. Of course, feel free to tweak the color combo to whatever you need for your space, or you could also do a fringe trim around the head to make him into more of a lion feel (which would be super cute too now that I think about it!). Hope this pillow has you fe-line fine! xo. Laura

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

Easy DIY Woven Circle ToteAs an avid lover of circles (Yes—that’s a thing!), I’ve been really diggin’ the circle purse trend. After searching for the perfect woven circle tote for spring, it finally occurred to me—this is the perfect DIY opportunity! Basically all it took was a couple of placemats and a leather strap! Check out how simple it is to make your own circle purse.

Easy DIY Circle ToteSupplies:
-two woven placemats (I used these)
-2 yards of 2″ or 3″ wide leather strip (I ordered mine from here)
-needle and thread
-scissors
-optional and not shown above: toggle button and leather cord (You can make a cord by trimming a sliver of the leather piece you cut in step one.)

Easy DIY Circle ToteStep One: Cut about 6″ off the end of your leather strap. At this point, you may choose to cut a sliver off the edge of this segment to use for your cord in step six.

Step Two: Sew the leather to a portion of the perimeter of one placemat. Keep the bad side of the leather facing inward, as shown above. Be sure to leave even sections of leather hanging off at either end. I stitched my leather around more than half of the circle.

Easy DIY Circle ToteStep Three: After one placemat is attached to the leather as shown above left (with almost even ends hanging free), sew the second mat to the leather as shown above right. I did not find any pinning to be necessary during this step. (Thank God—because who loves pinning? Not me!)

Make Your Own Circle Tote BagStep Four: Determine how long you want your tote straps to be. I cut about 3″ off the ends of each end of the leather strap. Then stitch it together. This stitch will be hidden, so it doesn’t need to be neat… unless you’re just that fastidious!

Step Five: Use your the scrap of leather you cut in step one to wrap up the middle of your leather strap. I folded the strap before wrapping it, then stitched it into place so it wouldn’t slide around.

DIY Circle PurseStep Six: I hadn’t planned on adding this detail, but I thought the purse could use a little something extra, so I decided a toggle button would be the cherry on top of this cute tote. I stitched a section of leather cord just long enough to go around where I had attached the toggle button. Easy enough, and quite cute!Make Your Own Circle Tote BagMake Your Own Circle Tote BagThis tote is just big enough to stash books and magazines, but not so mammoth that you’ll lose your sunglasses inside. I had so much fun whipping up this tote, I think I’m going to make one in pink too! –Mandi

Credits//Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson and Matthew Graber. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.
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Baked Chili Cheese Chips

Sometimes inspiration strikes at the weirdest times. Trey and I were driving home from California, a twenty-two hour trip for us that stretched out over two days. As you can probably guess, we ate a few meals in the car on the way home that would rate fairly low on the healthy scale (if you were to rate them). Road trips aren’t a bad time to indulge in a few gas-station junk food favorites, and so we did. At one stop, Trey walked back to the car carrying a bag of Fritos Chili Cheese flavored chips. And of course, I had to snag a few (who doesn’t love Fritos?!).

But as I was munching a few of his chips, mostly focused on the drive ahead, the thought just popped in my head, “I could totally make a healthier version of this.” And so, I did.

This is a lightened up version of that favorite snack, it’s dairy-free, with all ingredients you can pronounce, but they are still dangerously good. Below I’ll share the recipe to make a pretty large batch because why go to the trouble if you’re only going to make a few? But you certainly could divide this recipe in half if you like.

Baked Chili Cheese Chips, makes 4-5 cups of chips (14 oz. when I weighed the bag)

30 corn tortillas
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

First cut the corn tortillas into small strips. I think a pizza cutter works best here. Then divide the strips into two gallon sized ziplock bags. Add three tablespoons of oil to each bag and toss well. You are aiming to get every tortilla strip coated in a little oil here. Use the remaining two tablespoons of oil to coat two large baking sheets.

In a bowl, stir together the nutritional yeast, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir well. Then add half of the mixture to each bag, tossing so everything gets coated.

Distribute the tortilla strips between the two baking sheets, and then bake at 400°F for 25-30 minutes, tossing and rotating the pans every 8-10 minutes so all the pieces cook evenly (or as evenly as possible).

I love these over chili or a soup. I also made a taco salad the other night that I crunched a few of these over and that was also delicious. You do you.

Note: If you cut this recipe in half, keep in mind you may not need to prepare two baking sheets. Also, if you make a larger batch by doubling this recipe, then you will need more. You want the strips to be in one layer when baking, so prepare enough baking sheets accordingly.

Enjoy! xo. Emma

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