Lime + mint popsicles (no added sugar!) click through for recipe     It's certainly been fun to get to try lots of new restaurants and such since we moved to Nashville this summer, but it's also been nice to have a few places we were already big fans of from our previous trips to town over the past few years. One of my favorite spots is a popsicle place called Las Paletas that sells some amazing popsicle flavors (avocado popsicle anyone?). I remember one of the first times I went there I got a lime and mint popsicle that was such a breath of fresh air on that hot summer day, and I thought it would be fun to try to make my own version since I can't always run across town every time a popsicle craving hits. Plus, I think it would make the perfect party dessert, so it'd be nice to make my own. I try to do a pretty low refined sugar lifestyle, so I wanted to recreate the treat using Truvia Natural Sweetener.

Lime + mint popsicles (no added sugar!) click through for recipeWe actually got to work with Truvia on this post, which was great for me. It really is one of my go-to sweeteners for my eating plan. Plus, it's just easy to use, coming in multiple box sizes for single serving options, but I mostly stick with the jar. :) Anyway, on to the recipe!

Lime + Mint Popsicles

For the Truvia Natural Sweetener simple syrup:

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Truvia Natural Sweetener

For the popsicle:

1 cup water
1/4 cup Truvia simple syrup
1 peeled cucumber, chopped
10-12 mint leaves
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
zest of one lime

Lime + mint popsicles (no added sugar!) click through for recipe    To make the simple syrup, add the water and the Truvia Natural Sweetener to a small saucepan and heat over low-medium heat until the sweetener dissolves. Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature before adding to the recipe.

Lime + mint popsicles (no added sugar!) click through for recipe  While the syrup is cooling, juice and zest your limes, peel and dice your cucumber, and wash and pick your mint leaves.

Lime + mint popsicles (no added sugar!) click through for recipe  Add your popsicle ingredients to a blender and puree until all ingredients are smooth.

Lime + mint popsicles (no added sugar!) click through for recipe        Pour your liquid into a popsicle mold and freeze in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Remove when frozen and enjoy!

Lime + mint popsicles (no added sugar!) click through for recipe       Lime + mint popsicles (no added sugar!) click through for recipe       The crisp mint is perfect with the tart and zesty lime and the cucumber cools off the intensity a bit and gives the popsicle a thicker consistency. These will definitely be making an appearance at my next party (or maybe I'll just keep them for myself!). I love that I only have to walk to my freezer now to get my perfect summer treat and no added sugar means it's guilt-free too. I guess I know how I'll be spending the rest of my end-of-summer afternoons! xo. Laura

P.S. If you've never tried Truvia Natural Sweetener, you can get a free sample here.

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

How to make a square apronHow to sew an apron How to make a no sew apron As you can probably guess, I wear aprons pretty often. I highly recommend them. Honestly I don't think home cooks wear them enough. I cannot tell you how many shirts I have saved because of my love of aprons. No really, I don't know how many because I don't keep track, but it's a lot. Aprons, man, they are awesome. Plus they can be totally cute. 

Anyway, as I mentioned in this post where I shared my first homemade dress, I'm getting into sewing this year. I really want to make a quilt this year, or at least start one. Maybe something like this, which was SO inspiring. But my latest project is two square aprons, one of which I didn't even sew. 

What's a square apron? You can probably guess, but here you go anyway:

Square apronA square apron is made from a square piece of fabric. Which makes it SUPER simple to make, but you can change the size of the square depending on your height and desired fit. 

Supplies:
-23 inch square piece of fabric*
-scissors
-sewing machine and thread (or none if you do the no sew version)
-1 1/2 yards ribbon, canvas trim or rope for the straps
-4 small grommets (for the no sew version)
-fray check (for the no sew version)

For the sewn apron (black and white stripes), my supplies, not including sewing machine, came to $7.50. For the no sew version (red plaid), my supplies, not including fray check because I already had it, came to $12. 

*The 23 inches I recommend is what works for me. I'm 5'4", so you may want to adjust this some for yourself if you choose to recreate this. Also if you are making this as a gift, try to keep your recipient in mind. :)

First I snipped off a small triangle on the "top" of the apron, to give it that straight line across.

Emma Chapman's sewing machineFor the sewn version I just folded and pinned all around my edges with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Then I stitched the edges in place. Then I pressed my edges.

How to sew a simple apronNext I pinned my canvas trim in place. As you can see, it's just one long piece that I can pull over my head. Once I pinned this, I tried it on, careful not to prick myself, and adjusted it a few times so it looked right and was easy to take on and off. Then I stitched it into place and I was done! This was probably a 20 minute project from start to finish for me, which made me feel like a much more experienced seamstress than I am. :)

Please note my little sewing helper in the bottom right of this photo. He follows me from room to room and I have to use my dining room table as a cutting board because there isn't space in my sewing room (we use that room for multiple purposes). So my pug got really worn out and needed a nap at this point. :)

How to make a no sew apron copyBut what if you don't want to sew? Well, then the project gets even easier. You simply cut out your square (This can be an inch smaller than the sewn version since we won't lose any length from sewing the edges). Fray check along all the edges. Attach the grommets to the top and sides. Add rope or ribbon that you can remove later when you need to wash the apron. That's it—way, way easy.

How to make a no sew apronHow to sew an apronThanks for letting me share my latest sewing project with you guys! If you're interested in learning to sew yourself, or just improving your existing sewing skills, I highly recommend Sew With Us, our sewing based eCourse by Rachel Denbow and Katie Shelton. That's what got me into sewing and their course is really, really good and full of fun projects. xo. Emma

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

Create fun felt pockets for your scrapbook or mini album with A Beautiful Mess merino wool! Get the full tutorial on www.ABeautifulMess.comWhen you get your hands on a new product that you love, it's hard not to find more and more ways to use it up, right? I'm back to share another way to incorporate the gorgeous new Merino wool felt by creating a few simple pockets for your scrapbook or mini albums. These are simple ways to add some texture and touch-ability to your album while also making space for photos or journaling spots you want to include that might not fit into traditional photo sleeves. 

Hand-Stitched Felt PocketMy first idea is to hand-stitch a piece of wool felt onto a postcard or thicker piece of card stock. The postcard I used here came from Life Love Paper and was perfect for this kind of option because it's thick enough to keep the pocket from warping but not so thick that I can't stitch through it. You could easily use a piece of chipboard covered in your favorite scrapbook paper as well. I used a 2' length of embroidery floss and an embroidery needle, tied a knot at one end of the floss, and then starting from the back of the postcard, stitched all the way around three sides as shown before tying another knot and trimming my end on the back side. To cover my knots, I covered the back side of the postcard with another piece of scrapbook paper and trimmed my edges carefully. 

Felt PocketThe next option was to cut down a photo pocket page from the Monroe photo sleeve. I added papers to the outer two squares and then stapled a piece of felt across the outside of the sleeve along three edges. This creates a side pocket for tucking larger photos in from the side that overlap with the pocket squares. I made sure to add journaling on the back of the photo because it is visible from the back, too. I stapled it on, but you could also hand-stitch or machine stitch those edges. 

Staple PocketAbove is a better image of the pocket without the photo tucked inside.

BlanketStitchFeltPocketThe third option is just as easy. Use a full sheet of the Merino wool felt and fold it in half. Then use a blanket-stitch to stitch up the sides. The wool felt is stronger and more dense than the felt you'll find at most hobby stores because it's a much higher quality. So you don't have to worry about it stretching out or losing shape easily. It was easy to punch holes through and makes for a sturdy pocket for this batch of personal photos from years ago that I want to include but don't want to reprint to fit specific photo pocket pages.

Add texture and layers with fun felt pockets. See three siple ways to add your own on www.aBeautifulMess.comI'm all about the simple add-ins that go a long way in my albums, but think of all the ways you could incorporate embroidery skills or hand cut letters and shapes onto the front of your felt pockets! Have you been experimenting with felt, too? I'd love to see how you've used it in your own scrapbooks! -Rachel

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

ABM x BonlookHey, friends! So, last year we designed a pair of glasses for Bonlook called Jack & Norma. We named them after our grandparents who have been married for more than sixty years! Those glasses come in two colors—Chai and Champagne

ABMxBonlookThis year Bonlook invited us to re-release our design in a couple new colors. I got giant boxes of samples at my house and had to weed them down to just two choices (#torture). And today I'd like to introduce you to the new Jack & Norma colors—Spaceship and Snappy

ABM x Bonlook Snappy is a super contrasty tortoise. It almost has the look of leopard. We're SUPER in love with how they turned out. 

ABM x Bonlook  Spaceship is an awesome matte mint color. I have come to the conclusion that in my world, mint is a neutral. These frames are perfect—sorta funky but not over-the-top. Ya know? 

ABM x Bonlook    Oh, and they make great sunglasses too, especially if you need prescription sunnies! Shop our new frames here! 

Sometimes our job is sorta fun. :)) xx. Elsie 

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman. Photos edited with Color Pop from The Signature Collection

No regrets purchases and decorCan you believe that fall is almost here? August was filled with a lot of awesome things, so we thought we'd go through our favorites from the month. First on the list is our post about "no regrets" purchases and decor. So many good things in that one! 

Blueberry and spinach pizzaWatermelon slice jello shotsSmore ice cream bombsiRosemary foccacia breadHungry yet? We shared some amazing recipes like blueberry spinach pizza, spicy and stout cheese fondue, watermelon slice jello shots, s'more ice cream bombs, chicory vanilla latte, rosemary focaccia bread, white wine spritzers, and more!

Overgramming e-courseLimted edition minnetonkasABM academic agendasWe launched our latest eCourse, Overgramming, and teamed up with Minnetonka to design their limited edition moccasins—do you have a favorite? Last but not least, we launched our academic planners. And just FYI, our 2016 planners are now available!!

How to Palm Springs your homeEmmas house buying storyBrass light fixtures for any budget

Since Emma, Elsie and Laura are moving into new spaces, we're loving everything home decor right now! We showed you how to add a Palm Springs vibe to your home, Emma shared her (second) house buying story, and Elsie put together this amazing post for buying brass fixtures on any budget!

Dolly Parton bagCopper tape vase DIYLarge scale instant film displayMarbled clay pendant necklaceDIY and craft time. We showed you how to make a Dolly Parton bag (love you, Dolly!), aquarium rock planter, copper tape vase, large scale instant film display, sunburst mirror medallion, and a marbled clay pendant necklace!

September is going to be even better! -The ABM team

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