Weekday Weekend – Our Cookbook 

Today we are beyond thrilled to announce that our cookbook, Weekday Weekend, is now available! We have shared lots of little peeks as we’ve been working on this book since 2015 (when we let you in on the secret).

Elsie and I have emailed, texted, and traveled to work together on this book SO many times over the past year and a half. This is one of the first big projects we’ve completed together while living in two different states and I kind of can’t believe it’s already here!

So what the heck is this book? Maybe the name “Weekday Weekend” sounds like more a calendar project to you than a cookbook. Well, like we hinted at in our announcement post, our goal was not to write just any old cookbook. We really wanted to create something that reflects the overall message of our brand, A Beautiful Mess.

So we wanted the book to be brimming with positivity and inspiration, with a message aligned with living a happy and healthy (balanced!) life, and if it would somehow have a sprinkle of goal-setting thrown in, that would be a big plus (obviously we packed it full of recipes and beautiful food photography as well).

The book really has two components: First, there’s a challenge you can take. We call it the Weekday Weekend challenge, which is how the book got its name. For 4-6 weeks, you eat according to five rules for five consecutive days (your weekdays) and then on the weekend you kick back and enjoy a few treats you’ve been craving all week. It’s simple but, hopefully, still challenges many of you. It’s a lifestyle that we both feel really good about living, or you can use the challenge as a kind of reset button after you may have gotten a bit off track (hello holiday season, am I right?). What are the five weekday rules?

Eat a variety of foods.
No refined or artificial sugars or sweeteners.
No refined white flour or white rice.
No dairy.
No alcohol.

It’s basically four no’s and one BIG yes. And the cookbook is also based on a mostly plant-based diet, as basically every recipe is vegetarian-friendly and many are vegan-friendly as well. But there is a LOT more information about the rules, the challenge, and what it all means in the book.

And speaking of information, we developed this cookbook along with two dietitians’ who also provide lots of additional information throughout the book. You will LOVE learning from Lindsey and Sarah; I have learned so much from them already.

And I hope many of you will get to know them through this cookbook as well as through a small series we are going to begin on the blog later this month called “Ask a Dietitian.” I don’t know about you but I’ve found that eating healthy can become really challenging when you’re presented with lots of different, and often conflicting, information.

So it was really important to us to work alongside our experts, Lindsey and Sarah, so that we can all learn more together and feel empowered to make the best choices we can. 🙂

And if you are wondering if every single recipe in the cookbook is based on the weekday rules, the answer is no. A large portion of the cookbook is dedicated to recipes that fit within the challenge, but we’ve also included recipes for your weekend too, including desserts and cocktails.

We believe the good life is a balanced life.

And if taking the challenge just doesn’t sound like your thing, that’s cool. No pressure! But if you enjoy beautiful cookbooks that are filled with a blend of healthy and indulgent recipes, then you’re already gonna love this cookbook anyway.

Friends, I also have to add a big, huge THANK YOU to all A Beautiful Mess readers. I have about one million cookbooks on my shelves at home. I would say the word “obsessed” might apply to my love of cookbooks. And I’ve been dreaming about getting to write one for probably nearly a decade by the time this one comes out.

And really, truly, I don’t know if we would have gotten this opportunity without this blog, and without all of you who read it. From the very bottom of my heart, thank you. I am silently thanking the universe as well because I feel so incredibly happy to be writing today about our cookbook coming out. It feels so good and a little bit surreal.

If you want to know more about our cookbook, check here. And if you have any questions or want to know more, please let us know in the comments. xo. Emma (+Elsie)

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Amber Ulmer, Emma Chapman, and Brittany Wright.
  • I just got the cookbook last night! Love it! On a separate question, Elsie, what color is your hair? I looooooooove it <3

  • WOOOO! I’ve been waiting for this! So excited to read it! You two are so dreamy and make such dreamy things IT’S INSANE. <3

  • Soooo Happy for you Emma! I remember when you guys announced it!! Congratulations and I am so excited to have it on my shelf and to take the challenge in January! Much love to you both and the other writers on the blog <3

  • Absolutely fresh, original and exciting concept for a cookbook, my husband and I are eager to get our hands on it and do the virtual challenge. Wonderful job, ladies!

  • I am loving this for so many reasons!!
    Quick questions… are there lunch options that do not requiere to be reheated or refrigerated?

  • The WDWE diet is already what I do in my current life! All 5 rules and the schedule fit me, to a tee. All my coworkers even know not to offer me cheese (because it’s Thursday), or that I’m gonna have a water instead of beer at happy hour (because it’s Tuesday). I do eat dark chocolate as a mid-afternoon snack, and tend to go all out on the weekends! I kind of “made up” these rules for myself a few years ago based on what made me feel good, and wanting to not limit myself in weekend social situations. I’ve lived these guidelines with VERY few exceptions (travel and client meals where options are limited), since then! I’m so intrigued that others are doing this to the same degree that I am. As someone that’s very routine-driven and disciplined, it’s really nice to be able to eliminate the cravings, temptations, guilt, and decision-making from weekday eating. Super interested – thanks for sharing the rationale behind the name and challenge details.

  • I’m really excited about the cookbook. One question though, in what measurement units are used in the book? I’m from Europe and for the love of God I can not work with cups and ouches. I really hope you used double units. Much love from Holland

  • Congratulations!! I have bookmarked so many of your recipes over the few years I’ve been following you ladies and now you have created a cookbook! =o)


  • I cannot wait for this! Emma, you come up with the most original, healthy, and delicious recipes, you truly have a talent. I am so happy you were able to realize your dream and share it with all of us! 🙂

    I love you recipes, one of my faves is JOSH’S FAMOUS SWEET POTATO + BACON HASH… so yummy. I can’t wait to try the recipes in this book and give the Weekday Weekend Challenge a go. YAY!

  • So much congrats! I have appreciated your creativity in experimenting with unique, healthy ingredients even while it’s still evident that you don’t deny the gratifying tastiness of less than healthy stuff. So if the book is a reflection of your usual offerings then it likely will appeal to my taste and visual palate. I love that you included lifestyle intentionally since it dictates ones food choices. Kudos. I too love cookbooks, and the historical account older cookbooks provide of lifestyle choices of society at the time of publishing. My Mama’s day cookbooks account for women juggling workforce and ideal, traditional family values struggle. The answer as a result of market and food/health ignorance, which appears in cookbooks is prepackaged, processed quick foods. No judgement. Product of those dinners. But we are blessed as children of that generation to be on the swing back towards purity in foods and balance in lifestyle. There is still the juggling act of the single mom, but she (me) needs the cookbook and the challenge hand in hand. Way to be creative!!!

  • I’m so excited for y’all. I’ve been waiting to get my hand on the cookbook after it was announced. Brittany’s photo is stunning. I absolutely love her work.


  • Just requested it from my library! I am super duper excited for it to be released. Congratulations! I am sure it is a dream come true to see a lot of hard work come together in a physical book.

  • Congratulations!
    Keep up the amazing work 😀

  • I’m so excited! I’ve been excited about your cookbook since you announced it. Now that I know the theme I’m even more excited. My husband and I eat Whole30-ish Monday-Friday and sprinkle in some treats on the weekends. This will fit in perfectly with our new healthy eating habits and your guidelines are pretty similar. Kudos to you ladies, and all of the warmest congrats!

  • Congratulations on the cookbook! May I ask why “no dairy” is one of the rules (for those who take the challenge)?

    • There are a lot of reasons, most of which are in the introductions of the book and the dietitians we worked with on the book I think do a better job of explaining some aspects than me. But, big picture, one of the big goals of WDWE is you will have to know exactly what you are eating and it pushes you naturally more toward whole, real foods. (Because reading food labels gets tedious, although can be very enlightening) It also encourages a mostly plant based diet but with some exceptions and with a lot of flexibility. Dairy is one of those food groups, at least for me, that you can start to lean heavily on (putting cheese on top of everything, always adding cream to coffee, cooking everything in butter, etc.) so it can be a good challenge to cut it out for a while. Also if you’ve never tried a no-dairy or very low dairy diet before it’s a great thing to try because there is a surprising amount of people who although not lactose intolerant, do feel much better when they skip dairy. And skipping it also may encourage you to try some of the awesome alternatives out there (hello nut milks!) that even if you don’t plan to use those exclusively in your diet they are still a really great thing to get familiar with so you can have even more variety in the foods you reach for and love, which is our number one rule—variety!

      I feel like I could go on but this is probably already getting kind of ramble-y. Would you like to learn more about this specific subject? We’re about to launch a blog series with the two dietitians we worked with on this cookbook here on the blog and I’m sure they’d love to provide a lot more info (with less rambling) if you all have an interest?

      • Thanks for the thoughtful reply! I only ask because there seems to be a generally accepted idea that “dairy = bad”, which isn’t true – it can be a positive component of a healthy, balanced diet. But I can appreciate wanting to avoid the temptation to put cheese on everything 😉 Also, things are a bit different here in Canada because all our milk, whether conventional or organic, does not contain growth hormones, steroids, or antibiotics. If I understand correctly, that’s not necessarily the case in the US.
        Thanks again for the response and all the best with the cookbook!

        • Totally! Sounds like we’re of like minds. I think you’ll see that the “rules” for the weekdays are not at all about saying some foods are BAD. That’s only the case if someone were allergic or had other health reasons why they needed to avoid something all the time. It’s more about getting you to really think about and KNOW what you are eating, and then getting to take a break and have a well deserved treat on the weekend.

          Also, yes, sadly here in the USA we have not modernized our rules around our meat and diary industry like other parts of the world have. Of course it’s a complicated issue, but I think a lot of things could be improved that would result in healthier options for us here in the USA and better care for our environment of which we are all a part. And although I think those are really, really important issues, they are not things that we delve into for this cookbook. 🙂

  • Congratulations! I literally said “yay!” out loud when I saw your IG post today. Can’t wait to see it in person!

  • I’m so happy for you guys! You both look radiant, and I’m wishing you much success throughout book launch! 🙂

  • Congratulations guys! The book sounds amazing, and looks super sleek. My husband and I have recently taken on the DASH diet and it sounds like these recipes might be really helpful for us and provide a us with more variety of foods to try. Super excited to order this!

  • Congratulations! I LOVE that photo of the rainbow produce, so beautiful!

    • Me too! Brittany did such a beautiful job! I am such a big fan of her work. And I just saw that her book is also on pre order today. Our universes collide even more. 🙂

  • Aw man, why is the presale only available for the USA? I live in Canada and would order if it was available.

    • Hmm. You know, I am not totally sure. Did you check all the retailers listed on the info page (Chronicle, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound)? There are other book sellers who may be carrying the pre sale as well, sadly I do not have complete list but if I get one I’ll add it to the info page for sure!

      • Ashley (and other international readers)-

        We added links how for how to pre order in Canada and the UK on the cookbook info page. If you are located in other countries your best best is to request it from your favorite local book shop.

  • CANNOT WAIT to hold this book in my hand and flip through the magic. So proud of you and all of the intentional work you put into this book. Congratulations, friends!!!

  • FINALLY it’s here! So excited. Been waiting for this thing ever since y’all announced it!

  • Hey there! Just tried to pre-order through Chronicle with your promo code but got an error saying the code isn’t valid. Anybody else having that issue?

    Truly can’t wait to get my hands on this cookbook! Congratulations. Thanks for loving your readers so well!

  • Congratulations! It sounds like this cookbook includes such a big variety of recipes. So exciting!

  • Congrats on finally releasing your first cookbook! I cannot wait to peruse through the pages and give the Weekday Weekend method a try. Pre-ordering today for sure! 🙂

  • I am so excited to see the cookbook – it’s going to have amazing visuals just like your content! You girls are doing so well!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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