Spicy cauliflower taco (via abeautifulmess.com)I don't think cauliflower gets celebrated enough. Could it be because it looks like a lumpy white veggie brain? I can't imagine that would deter anyone, right? Lately I have been falling for cauliflower because despite its brain-like looks, it's a super versatile vegetable and that means it can become SO many different things. Prepared well, cauliflower is absolutely something to get excited about it. And I like this combo because the florets get a spicy jacket just before roasting.

You could say they go from ho-hum to OH-YUM!


Spicy cauliflower taco Also I think tacos should count as one of the universal love languages. You make me tacos and I love you. It's simple. Plus they (finally) got their own emoji this year! Whoa. I'm thinking it's safe to say it's the year of the taco.

Spicy roasted cauliflowerSriracha Roasted Cauliflower Tacos with Quick Red Cabbage Slaw, serves 2-3.

1 head cauliflower
3-4 tablespoons Sriracha 
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the slaw:
1/3 to 1/2 red cabbage, shredded
1-2 carrots cut into matchsticks or cubed
1/4 cup mayo
juice from 1/2 lime (use the rest to serve alongside these)
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons chopped green onion

Remove any leaves from the head of cauliflower and cut into small, bite-sized florets. Blanch in boiling, salted water for 2-3 minutes. In a small bowl or glass stir together the hot sauce, soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon rice vinegar. Once the cauliflower is done blanching, drain well and then toss in the sauce. Oil a baking sheet and spread the cauliflower out in one layer. Roast at 400°F for 20-22 minutes, tossing once in the middle (just to make sure they don't stick and all sides get roasted). 

Quick red cabbage slawWhile that's cooking you can throw together the slaw. Shred the cabbage and cut up the carrot(s). In a bowl or large glass stir together the mayo, lime juice and 2 teaspoons rice vinegar. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking. Drench the cabbage and carrots in the sauce so that all pieces get coated in the creamy goodness. 

Spicy cauliflower taco  Once the cauliflower is done roasting, assemble your tacos, topping with some green onions or salsa or sour cream (or all three if you live dangerously). I ate mine in crunchy corn tortillas this day, but you could totally wrap these in flour tortillas if you prefer. xo. Emma

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

Make this beautiful brass globe sconce! (click through for tutorial)     OK, you guys are going to love this one! I've been wanting to do a light fixture DIY for a while now, but it looked a little too intimidating to jump into, so I kept putting it off. Thankfully our new house forced me into it as we were looking at buying some wall mounted lights for our den and I balked at the price tag of some of the globe sconces I loved. So, what's a girl to do? Make her own, of course! This is probably the most time I've ever spent on a project as far as the preparation stage goes (i.e. figuring out what parts I needed), but thankfully, it's one of my favorites that I've ever done and it is way easier for you to do now that I've already made two and figured out my mistakes—you're welcome! This light will plug right into your wall so you don't have to worry about hardwiring a permanent fixture either. You can move it wherever you like!

Our den is a bit of an odd shape and there aren't really any good spots for floor lamps. So we've been installing new lighting in the ceiling or walls that we can dim as needed to create a softer glow. I mean, we all know there's nothing worse than a harsh overhead light to kill the cozy mood, am I right? Dimmers are my jam.

Make this beautiful brass globe sconce! (click through for tutorial)With dimming being such a key element to the lighting I needed for this room, it was the perfect project to team up with Philips and use the Philips LEDs with dimmable warm glow effect. We wanted a warmer glow, and we really wanted it to last so I don't have constantly take the globe on and off and on and off. So these bulbs were perfect! Perfect warm light, and they last over 22 years! Love them. 

Make this beautiful brass globe sconce! (click through for tutorial) Supplies for one light (listed with the part number in parentheses so you can find each component at this store):

A. neckless frosted globe (GLGB08NLSO)
B. brass canopy (CAS05)
C. dimmer (DI6250I)
D. brass socket cup (CU578)
E. porcelain socket (SO10045C)
F. brass neckless holder set (HONL04BR)
G. 90 degree brass arm (AR90B)
H. silver socket top (comes with part E)
I. snap in lamp plug (PL123PW)

Make this beautiful brass globe sconce! (click through for tutorial)J. slip star lock washer (WASTAR1/8)
K. 2 acorn caps (FI855-8/32)
L. 2 threaded studs (SCS600)
M. threaded hollow steel nipple  (NI1-0X1/8)
N. hex nut (NU233WZ)
O. threaded straight coupling brass (NE438)
P. slip ring with side screw (SRS0-3/8)
Q. washer (WABP1)
R. crossbar and wood or drywall screws for mounting to the wall (not pictured) (CBSV2-3/4)
S. nylon braid lamp wire (not pictured) (WI18SPT1POULW)

-drill with metal drill bit
-allen wrench
-wire strippers

Make this beautiful brass globe sconce! (click through for tutorial)          If you aren't happy with the finish of your brass pieces, polish all the brass before you start. (Wear gloves when you assemble the light or you'll have a few finger smudges to buff out when you're finished.) Take your nylon braid wire and thread it through your brass arm. One side of the arm is a little shorter than the other, and the end of that side is what your socket and globe will attach to.

On that shorter side, slide the slip ring onto the arm (you don't need to tighten it yet), then the gold and silver dome of the neckless holder kit, the brass socket cup, and the silver top of the porcelain socket. Screw in the silver socket top to the end of the brass arm so they are attached and tighten the silver screw on the side.

Make this beautiful brass globe sconce! (click through for tutorial)           Pull back the nylon braid about 1 1/2" from the end of the wire that is through the silver top of the porcelain socket. To keep the braided nylon you cut from fraying, you can hold a lighter under the nylon for a second until it melts the nylon together. Pull the wires underneath apart to separate the wires (you can make a small cut between them to get the separation started), and use a wire stripper to expose about 1" of both the silver and copper wires (you want to leave some plastic covering on the wires near where they meet up).

You'll see on the top of the porcelain socket that there are two screws. One is silver and one is gold. Wrap the silver wire clockwise around the base of the silver screw and tighten in place. Repeat with the copper wire and gold screw.

Make this beautiful brass globe sconce! (click through for tutorial)            To attach the wired porcelain socket to the silver socket top, match up the two screws that are inside of the porcelain socket with the two holes in the silver socket top, and screw the two together through the inside of the porcelain socket.

Make sure when you are wiring light fixtures yourself to follow some common sense guidelines and only use bulbs that have a wattage your socket can handle (the ones I chose can do up to a 660 watt bulb).

Make this beautiful brass globe sconce! (click through for tutorial)             Push the silver and brass domes of the neckless holder back in place and use an allen wrench to tighten the screw on the slip ring. This will keep all those pieces from sliding around while you work on the other side. 

At the other end of the brass arm (the side that will attach to the wall), thread the nylon wire through the threaded straight coupling, and screw the coupling halfway onto the brass arm. Thread the wire through the threaded hollow steel nipple and screw that into the other half of the coupling.

Put the brass canopy onto the steep nipple, then thread through the large washer, the lock washer, then hex nut. Tighten the hex nut in place.

I couldn't find a brass canopy that also had a wire way at the bottom (a hole for the wire to hang down through since we aren't hardwiring it into the wall). So I just used a metal drill bit to make a hole big enough for the wire to come down through.

Make this beautiful brass globe sconce! (click through for tutorial)              Once your wire is threaded down through your makeshift wire way, splice in the dimmer so you can adjust your brightness as needed. Choose where you want your dimmer to go in your cord and peel away about 2" of nylon from the wire. Separate the wires in the area you exposed and cut only the copper wire in the middle of that 2" section (look at the bottom of the wire to see which is on the left and right in case you lost track of which color is where). Use wire cutters to strip each 1" of the copper wire.

Open the dimmer switch, and wrap each end clockwise around the top and bottom screws. Tighten the screws to secure and replace the top on the dimmer.

Make this beautiful brass globe sconce! (click through for tutorial)               Cut the end of the wire to the final length you want for your fixture and pull back the nylon about 2". Pull out the middle section of the snap in lamp plug and you'll see that each side of the plug has either a gold or silver prong that will clamp down into the wire once you insert it. Thread your wire through the back of the lamp plug housing and into the back of the lamp plug middle making sure the copper is on the gold prong side and the silver is on the silver side. Push it through until it won't go any further. Then push the prongs into the wire and snap the middle back into the lamp plug housing.

Once you're all wired up, it's time to attach the light to the wall!

Make this beautiful brass globe sconce! (click through for tutorial)                Mount the flat part of the crossbar to the wall at desired location, and thread in your 2 stud screws all the way until they hit the wall.

Place your brass canopy over the two screws and secure in place with your acorn cap nuts.

Make this beautiful brass globe sconce! (click through for tutorial)                 Make this beautiful brass globe sconce! (click through for tutorial)                 Loosen the slip ring above the brass neckless holder so you can push back the slip ring and brass dome and screw in your lightbulb. Gently angle the silver portion of the neckless holder so that it slides into the inside of your glass globe and center the silver plate in the globe opening.

Pull down the brass dome and slip ring and tighten back in place.* That's all! You're done! Now plug in your light and watch it glow!

*Note: If you need to replace a lightbulb that has burned out, you'll loosen the slip ring and slide the gold dome up again so you can remove the globe and change the bulb. It's not that hard to do, but using a long lasting bulb (like an LED) will ensure you don't have to change it for years!

Make this beautiful brass globe sconce! (click through for tutorial)      Make this beautiful brass globe sconce! (click through for tutorial)        Make this beautiful brass globe sconce! (click through for tutorial)    Make this beautiful brass globe sconce! (click through for tutorial)      The first night we plugged these in we were giddy with excitement. They look so good and I love how we can dim them to whatever brightness we want according to our mood. And the other best part is that I made both of these lights for less than one of the ones I wanted online (each one was less than $100!). BOO-YA! These would be great as bathroom lights as well or on either side of a bed. If you've been looking for a beautiful brass sconce and feel that urge to tackle a new skill, then this is totally the project for you. I can't wait to make more lights, so I guess my future is looking bright! xo. Laura

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

Homemade pretzel pizza bites (via abeautifulmess.com) Homemade pretzel pizza bites (via abeautifulmess.com)  The red and green color palette and dusty Parmesan cheese that totally looks like snow was an absolute accident, but I'm taking it as a sign that it's time to put up our Christmas tree. Really I'm only barely early at this point. I keep seeing everyone on IG with their trees already up and decorated, so maybe I'm behind! Ah well. Whatever. 

Aside from my inexplicable holiday looking scene here, I've got to point out the important thing: those pretzels have cheese in them, guys! Oh yes, soft chewy pretzels with gooey melted cheese get dusted in fresh herbs and then dunked in hot marinara sauce. It's all just as good as it sounds. Turn your oven on with me and let's make a treat!

Pizza pretzel bites recipe Homemade Pretzel Pizza Bites, makes two dozen.

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 cup hot water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
24-30 mozzarella pearls

For the pretzel bath:
3 cups water
1/3 cup baking soda

For the tops and sides:
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon coarse grain sea salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (I had parsley and rosemary on hand)
1-2 tablespoons dusty Parmesan cheese
2-3 cups of your favorite tomato or marinara sauce

In a large bowl combine the 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with 1 cup hot water and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir to combine as the butter melts. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and allow to foam and activate for 5-6 minutes. Then stir in the flour and 1 teaspoon salt. Use your clean hands to press into a dough ball and knead for 4-5 minutes until the dough begins to feel somewhat elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise in a warm spot for about an hour or until it has nearly doubled in size.

Pizza pretzel bites recipePunch the dough down and divide into 24 pieces. These do not have to be precise. If you get a few that are slightly larger or smaller that's OK. Press into a sphere and then roll up one or two mozzarella pearls inside, pinching into a little ball. 

In a large pot bring the 3 cups water and 1/3 cup baking soda to an almost boil. Cook the dough balls in the water for about 45 seconds. They will shrivel up a little at this stage. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat. Slice a small X in the top of each ball. Brush with butter and sprinkle some coarse salt on top. Then bake at 400°F for 15-16 minutes until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and brush with a little more butter. Then sprinkle on the fresh herbs and Parmesan. 

Homemade pretzel pizza bites (via abeautifulmess.com)    While those were baking, did you go ahead and warm up your marinara sauce? You're so smart. 

Homemade pretzel pizza bites (via abeautifulmess.com)These not only taste amazing, but added bonus: your house will smell of yeasty, cheesy goodness. Serve these along side a big delicious salad and a good red wine. Bread, cheese, salad, wine—maybe not a balanced meal but certainly a very comforting one. Make these this week, guys. They are just too good. Enjoy! xo. Emma

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

Our December Daily PlansHey, friends! Laura and I are looking forward to participating in December Daily again this year! It's my third year in a row. It's a LOT of work, but having a completed book of the busiest and most magical time of the year always feels worth it by the end! 

We both picked the exact same products to work with. Haha! On that note, we've been picking a lot of the same stuff lately and have been setting boundaries on how many times we should buy the same rugs, pillows and paint colors. Hilarious! 

In this case, though, it's kind of perfect because we'll get to see how differently we both use the products when we make our books. We'll be sure to share with you, too! 

Oh yes—the products we picked are white albums, mini kit by Kelly Purkey and mini kit by Ashley G. You can see all the choices here

Right now we're just getting the initial prep done. During December we usually like to print and add photos about once a week. I wish I could work on it every day, but once a week is doing pretty well for me because #busy. Aren't we all, though? 

Here are some random photos of our past December Daily albums. If you want to join in the fun, you should! It's a fun tradition. 


Jack and Jill Bathroom (BEFORE)Hey, friends! This bathroom is a doozy! I'm excited to share it with you today. 

So, this is the first bathroom you come to in our hallways (which means it's the one 90% of our guests use). It's also a Jack and Jill bathroom, which means it's connected to two bedrooms. This was perfect for us because we decided early on to make these two front bedrooms into our guest rooms. (I'll explain why in those posts, but they've already been really useful!) So, besides our master bathroom, this bathroom gets the most traffic. For that reason, we want to make it really practical and beautiful (you know, beautiful in a bathroom kind of way—haha!). 

Our initial plans included removing that teal carpet and replacing the floor. There was cracked tile underneath, but more importantly our inspection revealed there was a rotten subfloor under this bathroom. It became a BIG ordeal, but we're glad we took care of it upfront because our contractors said that at some point the floor could have literally caved in. No thanks! 

Besides that, we wanted to make mostly cosmetic changes in this space. 

Jack and Jill Bathroom (BEFORE) Here's the view from the hallway door (sorry for the weird wide-angle lens distortion). You can see here that there's not a lot you could call "modern" or "updated" in this space. Our goal is to make it more functional, while also making it beautiful and fresh. 

Sidenote—two of the three bathrooms in this home had carpet when we bought it! 

Jack and Jill Bathroom (BEFORE)  I like the layout of this room. The toilet is tucked away in the corner with some storage cabinets above it. Since this small room has a shower, a vanity and three doors, there isn't much wall space. I originally considered doing a fun or bold wall in here (either with color or pattern?), but the space doesn't really call for it. So we decided to bring in color in other ways. 

Jack and Jill Bathroom (BEFORE)   From this view you can see the hallway door and both bedroom doors. You might also notice that all the bathrooms in our home were updated for the the elderly couple who owned it before us. 

This vanity initially attracted me because it has some kind of shells or stones encased in resin. It's really cool! It reminded me of a lot of the cat eye glasses my grandmother's generation wore. I will always be a vintage enthusiast in that way. 

Jack and Jill Bathroom (BEFORE)     Upon closer inspection, though, the damage was pretty bad. And with the unique shape, I couldn't think of a way to preserve it. At the end of the day, I realized that I didn't even really want the countertop that badly (for my own style). I just thought it was cool and wanted to save it. 

Then my friend came in and said it looked like "old fingernails" and I was really over it. 

Jack and Jill Bathroom (BEFORE)    While I didn't like the finish on this mirror, I kept it incase I could make it work with the new space. I painted it white, but still am not sure it fits. So I'm keeping it until I can find one that suits the space better. I've learned that on certain things (mirrors, rugs, curtains) it's best to wait for the perfect one than to waste money on something temporary. 

Jack and Jill Bathroom (BEFORE)       Here's one last view of that vanity. We decided to keep it and give it a DIY makeover. The only thing we replaced professionally was the counter top. This has been on my "weekend projects" list for several weekends now. But I'm still on the fence about what color to paint the cabinets. I am going back and forth between charcoal and blush pink. Charcoal appeals to me because it would really match the space. I just know it would look nice. But a pop of color appeals to me too because this is really the only place in this room where we'd use a bold paint color. What would you do? 

This space has really come a long way. We just need to paint the walls and the cabinets, hang some plants and maybe add a little artwork. Oh and I'm still hunting for a mirror with clean lines to fit the space. I'll share a progress report with you soon! xx- Elsie

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson  


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