Wooden Animal Photo Holder DIY (click through for tutorial)       Now that I am in the third trimester of my pregnancy (yay!), I can feel the nesting instincts kicking in stronger than ever. So far most of those instincts have been directed towards cleaning, organizing, and spending hours and hours online looking up baby-related items, but I also wanted to make sure that I made a few items for our baby's nursery as well.  Since we will all be "getting to know each other" for a while after she finally gets here, I thought it would be a sweet idea to make her a little photo holder that introduces her to all the members of her new family. I have lots of animal planters, bookends, and figurines around the house, so using a cute wooden animal as the base of the holder seemed like a good way to continue the theme into the nursery as well.

Wooden Animal Photo Holder DIY (click through for tutorial)Supplies:
-wooden animal figurine (I used this adorable wooden unicorn)
-Canon PIXMA TS8020
-brass wire (a thicker gauge like 10 or 14 would work best)
-drill with drill bits
-super glue with a thin nozzle (to get the glue down in the hole)
-wire cutters and needle nose pliers

Wooden Animal Photo Holder DIY (click through for tutorial)           I partnered with our friends at Canon USA on this project, and the first thing you'll need to do is to prepare your photos for printing. Depending on the size of animal you have, you'll probably want to size them smaller or larger to fit the scale, so you can even cut out pieces of paper to a size that looks right, and then measure how big those papers are. Print your photos onto photo paper, and then cut out each photo. For this step I used my new Canon PIXMA TS8020! This new size is more compact, so it fits great in my office space but still produces top quality prints. Plus it comes in 4 different colors and can even print 5x5 squares!! 

Wooden Animal Photo Holder DIY (click through for tutorial) Decide how many holes you want (so how many photo holder sticks you want to come out of your animal) and where you want the holes to be placed. Use a marker or pen to mark the spots for drilling. You can also put painter's tape or scotch tape on the animal and make your marks on that if you want to eyeball the placement first without marking the actual animal. Use a drill with a drill bit the size of your wire to make each hole (about a 1/2" deep hole will do).

Wooden Animal Photo Holder DIY (click through for tutorial)  Put a drop of super glue down into each hole and cut sections of wire that are 1-2" longer than you want their final height to be. Insert your wire sections into each hole.

Wooden Animal Photo Holder DIY (click through for tutorial)  Straighten out your wires and curl the top 1-2" of each wire around a pen or pencil to create a loop of several layers. Use your wire cutters to cut any excess length if needed and make any wire adjustments with your needle nose pliers.

Wooden Animal Photo Holder DIY (click through for tutorial)  Slip your photos in between the loop layers of each wire, and you're ready to display your new photo holder!

Wooden Animal Photo Holder DIY (click through for tutorial)        Wooden Animal Photo Holder DIY (click through for tutorial)  Wooden Animal Photo Holder DIY (click through for tutorial)  Awww, so sweet! This is perfect for a nursery or kid's room, but it's totally something you can make for any age. Don't be afraid to repaint or stain an animal first as well if it's a great shape and size but the wrong color or look. That's another great way to customize it for your space. I've still got a long way to go in getting the nursery ready, but in the meantime, I'll set this little guy on our den shelf until he's got his new home set up. Exciting! xo. Laura

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

 

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookies (via abeautifulmess.com)I'm filing this one under inspired by childhood favorites. I was definitely one of those picky-eater kids who likely drove my parents completely insane as I refused to eat much besides peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I am not proud of this era of my life, but I must admit that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are still totally OK in my book. :) 

These cookies are the dessert version, with a cookie base somewhat resembling white bread, and then a peanut butter and jelly jam glaze top. They pair well with milk, as you can probably imagine. 

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookies (via abeautifulmess.com)  They are also a twist on the classic black and white cookies. I grew up watching Seinfeld after school and always loved the black and white cookie episode. Surprise, the girl with a sweet tooth likes the episode that revolves around being in a bakery. Ha! And the very first time I visited NYC when I was nineteen or twenty years old, I promptly walked into a random corner bakery and bought a black and white cookie like a total tourist. No shame, no regrets. I mean, who could regret buying a cookie? 

If you want to make a homemade version of the classic, then check out the two recipes I used to create this twist version. They both rule and come from sites I love. :)

Peanut butter and jelly cookie recipePeanut Butter and Jelly Cookies, makes 12-15
Adapted from Annie's Eats and Smitten Kitchen Black and White Cookies 

2 cups cake flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum-free)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 cup whole milk

For the glazes:
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons jelly or jam
2-3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk well to remove any clumps in the cake flour, set aside. 

In a large bowl combine the softened butter and sugar, cream well. Then stir in the egg and extracts. Then stir in the milk until combined. Now add the cake flour mix to the bowl and stir until your cookie batter forms. The batter will kind of be a cross between cake batter and most cookie batters, soft but won't spread much as you spoon it onto a baking sheet covered in parchment or a baking mat. 

CookiesBake at 350°F for 18-20 minutes. The bottom edges of the cookies will begin to brown and the centers should look cooked (and not gooey). Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack. 

In the meantime make the glazes. For each, in a microwave safe bowl or small pot, combine 3 tablespoons of water and 1 tablespoon of light corn syrup. Stir together well as you heat (or, if microwaving, cook for 30 seconds on high and then stir to combine well). Then stir in 1 cup of powdered sugar. Then stir in either 2 tablespoons of jelly or peanut butter, and if the consistency seems too thin and runny, add another tablespoon of jelly or jam. 

GlazesFlip all the cookies over, as you want to glaze the flat bottoms. Add some wax paper under the cooling rack to catch any run off glaze. Then spoon the glazes over half of each cookie. 

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookies (via abeautifulmess.com) Enjoy! Personally, I like to get a little bit of peanut butter and jelly in each bite, but you can eat these however you like. Just a couple notes here:

-I used a no-sugar added blueberry jam that I love, but if you want your jelly glaze to have a super uniform and smooth consistency, then you might consider going with the real deal childhood grape jelly. I liked the little specks of blueberry you could see in my glaze, and I didn't want to buy a different jelly just for this one recipe, but if the look bothers you, just use something more uniform in texture. 

-You may have some leftover glaze after icing all the cookies. I worked on this adaptation a couple times and found it hard to make just the right amount of glaze. This was as close as I got. The original recipes have you make twice this many cookies, which is great if you want to make that many, but I was aiming to make around a dozen so worked up glaze recipes that corresponded. See what you think and let us know how it went for you. 

Thanks and happy baking! xo. Emma

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

Frozen Avocado Margarita (click through for recipe)Hello, everyone! My name is Natalie, and I’m a bartender turned blogger who will be contributing all things booze related here on A Beautiful Mess. I’m SO excited to be bringing drinks into all of your homes, so let's get started.

For my first recipe I’m making a delicious Frozen Avocado Margarita—just in time for National Margarita Day! You heard me right: instead of putting it on your toast, which I totally support, we are going to be adding it to our drinks. I promise you’re going to love them, because seriously, have you ever met a person that didn’t enjoy a margarita? There might just be some avocado left over for that toast I mentioned or, who knows, maybe even a taco. Please let there be tacos! 

Frozen Avocado Margarita (click through for recipe) Frozen Avocado Margarita, serves 1

2 oz tequila
1 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz agave nectar
avocado cut into quarters 
tabasco
salt and chili pepper
lime wheel for garnish
blender
ice

If you’re making these for more than one person, just multiply the recipe accordingly. You can also adjust this drink to taste. I have a very high tolerance for spice. So if you like spicy, too, you can go a little heavy handed on the hot sauce. If you’re sensitive to spice, I would say dial it back a little and maybe only use a dash or so.

Frozen Avocado Margarita (click through for recipe)  In a shallow bowl or on a plate, mix the salt and chili pepper. Run a lime wedge around the rim of a glass and then dip in the salt mixture so that it is evenly distributed. 

Frozen Avocado Margarita (click through for recipe)   I don’t know about you, but I love it when there is enough salt for every sip of my margarita. Salt makes this savory drink so much tastier, so be generous!

Frozen Avocado Margarita (click through for recipe)     Juice your limes and add tequila, lime, agave, tabasco and 1/4 avocado to a blender with ice. 

Frozen Avocado Margarita (click through for recipe)      Blend on the smoothie setting and pour into your salt rimmed glasses. Extra points for cute glassware like these vintage Blendo margarita glasses! I found a whole set at a Goodwill. Best find ever!

Frozen Avocado Margarita (click through for recipe)       I absolutely love how this drink turned out! I had a similar drink at a tequila bar in Disney World this past fall, and I’ve been dying to recreate my own version of it ever since. It’s a spicy and savory version of a classic margarita, and it is best enjoyed in the company of tacos. OH—I meant others.

Frozen Avocado Margarita (click through for recipe)        If you decide to make this recipe, I would love to hear about it. Comment below and don't forget to tag your photos #ABMhappyhour. Cheers, everyone, and Happy National Margarita Day! xo. Natalie

Credits // Author and Photography: Natalie Jacob. Photos edited with Just Kissed from the Natural Beauty Collection.  

At Home with Lindsay Kujawa Plant Shelves/DIY.

Hey, friends! We have a special At Home feature for you today. Lifestyle photographer Lindsay Kujawa is sharing her renovated home with us today, and get this. It used to be a barn! 

Here's some before photos—

BeforeBefore  And after!

At Home with Lindsey Kujawa                    "Around January of last year, my husband Ian and I started throwing the idea around of us possibly moving. We loved Temecula Wine country (in California) and knew we wanted to be in that area, but none of the houses for sale were our style. Then one evening, my husband pulled up a 12 stall horse barn that was for sale on Redfin and asked me what I thought about it. He said maybe we could gut it and completely transform it. I am usually the one with the crazy ideas, so this was completely unexpected coming from him. I LOVED the idea of a possible barn conversion, so the next morning we decided to go drive by the barn and see what we thought.

At Home with Lindsay KujawaSofas/Thrive Furniture, Coffee Table/Mt Hood Wood Works.

At Home with Lindsay Kujawa                     "I remember driving by slowly and immediately getting goosebumps and teary eyed (I'm an emotional person, haha). I KNEW it was for us! I also knew it would be the craziest adventure ever, but we decided to jump in with both feet and go for it! We did a ton of the renovation ourselves along with the help of family and friends, which made it that much more special in the end. 

At Home with Lindsay Kujawa                        "Our two chairs in our living room were thrifted Danish midcentury chairs that my aunt found for me, and we had them reupholstered with West Elm fabric. And I would say the thing that I am most obsessed with (ha) in my home is my plant wall. My motto has always been, "When you can't find art, add plants." And I feel like the more plants you have the merrier. :)

At Home with Lindsay Kujawa                 Pendant Lights/Barn Light Electric.

At Home with Lindsay Kujawa     Dining Table/Pottery Barn.

"My favorite space in my home is the kitchen. It's a little bit modern and a little bit country, and I just love it! I always dreamed of having an all white kitchen with open shelving, and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. We love to have friends and family over, and it's always the space that everyone gravitates towards. I also decided to leave the ducting exposed, and I feel like it's the perfect industrial touch for our home.  

At Home with Lindsay Kujawa      At Home with Lindsay Kujawa        Headboard/DIY.

At Home with Lindsay Kujawa                    At Home with Lindsay Kujawa            Nightstands/West Elm.

"When we took on this renovation, we wanted to try and reclaim as much as we possibly could. The ceiling is all lined with the original horse stall wood. And all the exposed beams were wrapped, and then we hand distressed and stained them ourselves... that was a lot of work, and I don't think I ever want to do that again. Haha, but it was worth it! I would call my style modern farmhouse, and I love mixing new with old and giving thrifted items new life again.

At Home with Lindsay Kujawa             At Home with Lindsay Kujawa              "We have lived in our home for a little over a year now, and it's just such a rewarding feeling to know that we did so much of it ourselves!"

We're in love! You can find more peeks of Lindsay's home on Instagram. xo.

Author: Lindsay Kujawa. Photography: Lindsay Kujawa and Paige Buffington

 

Laura's Palm Springs Mini Album (click through for more photos)        Hi Guys! Most of you know by now that I'm pregnant and our little #gummerbaby is due in May (yay!). We decided to take a Babymoon trip to Palm Springs last month while I could still easily travel and we invited a few of our favorite pals to come along and make the trip even more fun! Since my list of things to do before the baby comes only seems to get longer and longer, I wanted to make sure and make a mini photo book of our trip ASAP before I ran out of time! It's was pretty easy to get a lot of cute pictures in Palm Springs because, well, the whole place is just so darn cute! Here's a few highlights from the mini book of our trip...

Laura's Palm Springs Mini Album (click through for more photos)        Since I knew I would want to use some gold embellishments, this gold mini album was perfect for this book (page inserts here). The first time we passed the official "Welcome to Palm Springs" sign it was pouring down rain and already dark, so I was glad we could come back later and get a better picture of it while the sun was out. The desert area behind the sign is so pretty!

Laura's Palm Springs Mini Album (click through for more photos)        We loved our Airbnb house and since we went in January it was really important to find one with a heated pool, hot tub (not for this pregnant lady though-wah!), and fire pit! 

Laura's Palm Springs Mini Album (click through for more photos)        The Parker hotel is amazing!! The gardens were closed to non-guests on the weekend, so I need to go back and visit that spot again next time...

Laura's Palm Springs Mini Album (click through for more photos)        We found the door!! So funny to be excited to see a "celebrity door" in person.

Laura's Palm Springs Mini Album (click through for more photos)        It wasn't easy to find clothes in January for a Palm Springs trip when you're almost 6 months pregnant, but I was so glad I at least had a few looks that made me feel special for the trip—and they are all things I can wear post baby too! Yay!

Laura's Palm Springs Mini Album (click through for more photos)        This was a fun book to use some 3D stickers with so I could place little flamingos or palm trees in certain spots and add a little dimension.

Laura's Palm Springs Mini Album (click through for more photos)      We took a few panoramic shots during the trip so I used both sides of the pages to create one long photo and they look great! It's a nice way to break up all the single photos on the rest of the pages.

Laura's Palm Springs Mini Album (click through for more photos)           Laura's Palm Springs Mini Album (click through for more photos)          I love using stickers whenever I can to spell out words or phrases. It takes a little longer than writing it out, and you need to have various sizes on hand, but I love how it looks when finished!

Laura's Palm Springs Mini Album (click through for more photos)           Laura's Palm Springs Mini Album (click through for more photos)           How cool are those gold chipboard letters? Love them. This was a great album to use gold letters and embellishments in and really compliment the gold of the album cover as well. I feel like this album has a colorful and fun vibe to it, which is perfect because so does Palm Springs! I can't wait to go back on another trip sometime, but until then, I can always take a stroll down memory lane with this cutie album...xo. Laura

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

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