Let’s make cookies…0 Comments | leave a comment
Let’s make cookies…0 Comments | leave a comment
It’s Sunday, right? Hope you’re weekend is treating you well. Here are ten things I’m into right now:
1. Have you listened to Brene Brown’s podcast, Unlocking Us, yet? The quote above is from her episode on Comparative Suffering. I jotted it down while I was listening because it struck me as something I think we all need to remember and live by right now (in real life and online).
2. If you listened to our first ever mini episode of the ABM podcast, then you know I stocked up on library books before we started sheltering in place and they closed. I am still working through some of those, but next up on my list (once I’m done with what I already have) is Permanent Record. I loved Emergency Contact, which is by the same author.
3. Been printing photos to mail my grandmas as they are stuck at home and bored like many of us, except they don’t have social media. I have this printer— and have used it for years and love it.
6. Super inspired by this artist. I especially love her landscapes, they are almost like abstracts in a way and I just love them.
7. This before and after is AMAZING.
8. Love all the new tee designs at Hello Apparel, living room casual is probably my favorite.
9. I’m a candle person and one of my favorite companies is Wax Buffalo and I just saw they have candles based on your Enneagram number. What?!
10. Love this dress, and I generally love Dalmatian print. I am trying to buy less things in leopard print, as I already have LOT. I guess my aesthetic is a little bit Carole Baskin. #tigerking
Hope you all are doing OK. Feels like this month is lasting a looooooong time but I am thankful for the longer sunlight hours and warmer days. Love you and hope you stay safe! xo. Emma0 Comments | leave a comment
For the past year or so I was so nervous about moving with our two young kids. We are those parents who stick religiously to our routines and schedule and I didn’t want to disrupt that. That said, we’ve known for a while that it was on our horizon so I collected as much wisdom as I could from my best friends with little ones and tried to remember the light at the end of the tunnel!
As it turned out, we learned so many positive things from our move and although it was exhausting for sure- the planning and preparation we did actually paid off, so that felt good!
Here’s what I learned!
Lesson One: Our kids thrive in minimalism.
One of the first things we did to prepare our home for showings was take a 10 foot moving truck FULL of stuff to our new garage, and move a ton of clutter into our attic. Prior to this, our home was mostly clean with a normal amount of extra stuff everywhere. This job took about a week and a LOT of work as we ruthlessly decluttered every room, but the result was INCREDIBLE.
From my perspective, it was the best/happiest our home has ever felt. I was shocked because I never thought of our home as cluttered before.
Whatever we moved away I instantly forgot about and didn’t need. The extra space, clean surfaces and clear floors felt amazing. I woke up happier, went to bed happier and overall just felt more in love with our home.
I expected our kids to be a little sad that we packed up so many of their toys, but that was not the case. In fact, it was the oppostive!
Immediately, I noticed a big difference with both girls (ages four and two). They were going into their rooms and playing with their toys more and for much longer. They didn’t even notice the favorite toys of theirs that had been packed up for the move. All they noticed was what was there, and suddenly the fewer toys and books that remained were getting a lot more playtime.
I was floored and inspired!
I posted some IG stories about it because I was just curious— “IS it possible to live this way always??” The responses I got were super polarized. 50% hard yes and 50% hard no. VERY strong opinions on both sides. It was kind of surprising! Some people think it’s impossible and a lost cause while others think it’s the only way to live!
I will say, I am going to attempt it in our new home and see!
I’ve always cleared out and donated unused toys, but I also held on to a lot more than they kids were really playing with. It’s really tough donating something that you just received as a gift or that has a special memory attached to it. But after this experience I am determined to give it a try. Not only with the kids toys, but everything in our home—clothing, decor, cosmetics, kitchen gadgets…. everything! I’ve already filled so many donation boxes…. a great feeling.
I don’t think my home will ever look like a minimalist home, but I like the idea of it functioning more in that direction. I think I might be a moderate minimalist… definitely not a religious one, though. The jury is still out on that.
Lesson Two: Start new traditions at the new home immediately.
As soon as we got the keys to our new home, we took the girls’ tricycle over there and let them ride around the empty house for hours.
As the move approached we began telling Nova things we were planning to do on our new porch like eating breakfast or dinner outside, playing water games with Marigold, and painting outside.
Like most families, we were not able to move into a fully finished home—there are still years of renovating in front of us. Our children’s windows are currently “shaded” with cardboard and tape… it is what it is.
Still, I wholeheartedly believe that the kids don’t even notice whether it’s fully decorated or whether there is furniture missing or boxes unpacked. What they notice is our mood and whether we make time to do the puzzle, play hide and seek, bake cookies etc.
If I’ve learned one thing it’s that kids can overlook a lot of change as long as their parents are present and they have some little comforts. We packed some boxes with favorite toys, books, pjs and things that give them a sensory feeling of home (cozy blankets, a lavender spray we call “magic” for their bedtime routine, their sound machines). These types of comforts are far more important than decorations.
It’s OK to feel sad.
We worked so so hard to do every possible thing to give our girls a happy first week in our home and smooth transition. We visited Nova’s new preschool with her early, we packed comforting things, extra snacks and treats and immediately started to make new memories together and do fun things in our new neighborhood.
Even still, the transition was emotional for our four year old. Weeks later, she is still talking about her friends from her old pre-school (one of them is currently living with us as her imaginary friend— haha) and she still talks about missing our old home. “I’ll never ever stop missing the old home.” It has been hard for us, but we also realize it’s so normal and healthy for her to express these feelings. So every single time, we tell her it’s OK to feel sad, that it’s OK to love her old school AND her new school, and that we are going to keep making this new home cozy together. It will get better, but it’s a little heartbreaking.
And honestly, she’s not the only one who has sad moments. We do too.
Moving away from a totally finished home that took years to complete into a home that needs a lot of work is overwhelming. I knew this would be the case and I tried to be mentally prepared, but I still have to remind myself several times a day that it’s OK not to feel perfectly at home yet.
To wrap it up, moving with little kids is WAY WAY WAY more challenging than moving was before we had children. The feelings are so much more intense—it’s hard to understand until you do it. Not only do you have to try to help your children feel at home, but you also have to say goodbye to a place where you made so many memories with them. It’s not easy leaving a home where you had your first Christmas together, or feel like you brought them home to just yesterday. Ok, I’m crying now… great. Anyway, I hope some of these tips are helpful! Moving is tough, but it’s not all sad. We’re equally excited to make new memories with our children in our new home, to celebrate our favorite holidays here and to renovate our hearts out for the next several years.
If you’re about to move with young children, my advice is this— pizza helps. Also, you can do it!!! Internet hugs from me to you. xx- Elsie
Since we’ve been staying home 24/7, I have found myself with a lot more crafting time on my hands. I’ve also been cooking so much more, my house is cleaner than ever, and I have rediscovered my love for creating things with a few supplies and a lot of imagination! I made this wreath last week and I love how cheery and springy it is.
To begin, print out the spring wreath pattern. Use the pattern to cut out your felt pieces. Remove the branches from the wreath with wire cutters and wrap the outside edges of the wreath with burlap ribbon. Start gluing the leaves to the wreath by folding them in half and alternating colors and directions.
Add contrasting lines to your cut carrot piece, either by hand stitching or machine stitching. Fold in half lengthwise and sew up the back using a whipstitch. Stuff with fiberfill and close the top by using a running stitch and pulling your thread tight. Stuff your carrot top pieces into the small remaining opening with a chopstick.
Hot glue the carrots and felt balls to your wreath and then you’re all done! Hang anywhere in your house or on your front door for a healthy dose of cheery spring delight!
I just love how this wreath turned out! It’s a project that wasn’t too time consuming and brightens up any corner. I would definitely buy this if I found it in a store. Happy crafting, friends! xo. Katie
Hi friends! This week’s MINI episode is our TOP 10 favorite movies of all time.
You can find the podcast posts archive here.
Our favorite movies …
Emma: Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
(Here’s the flours scene that we mention … it’s SO cute!)
Elsie: Moulin Rouge (2001)
Anyone else in love with Ewan McGregor? Fun fact: Emma once met him on a rooftop in London (it was a meet and greet, not like a chance meeting BUT STILL) and she got his autograph for me and I had it hung up in my house for like 10 years.
Emma: Harry Potter (the whole series, but her favorite is … And The Goblet Of Fire)
Elsie: Clueless (1995)
Anyone else in love with Paul Rudd?
It looks like Urban Outfitters is sold out of the yellow plaid vinyl, but here’s another version.
Emma: Say Anything (1989)
Elsie: Dream Girls (2006)
I looooove this movie and the mansion toward the end is my number one movie dream house (here’s a link if you’re curious)
Emma: The Greatest Showman (2017)
Emma’s celebrity crush (of all time!!!) is Hugh Jackman.
Elsie: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
(it was tough to choose just one Wes Anderson movie.)
Emma: Love Actually (2003)
-We’ll circle back
Elsie: Mary Poppins (1964)
The new one is also nice (I love Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins), but the original is pure MAGIC and so wonderful. Julie Andrews is my queen forever!
Honorable mentions …
Emma: 13 Going On 30, Bridesmaids, Sweet Home Alabama, Jerry McGuire, X-Men lol, The Neverending Story.
Elsie: Down With Love, Empire Records, Amelie, The Fifth Element, The Sound Of Music, Mama Mia Here We Go Again.
Thank you so much for listening!! This was so much fun to record. We hope you are having a safe quarantine. Love, Elsie + Emma
P.S. We’d love to hear YOUR favorite movies of all time in the comments. And if you have any requests for mini episodes, send them to podcast AT a beautiful mess DOT com13 Comments | leave a comment
This week’s episode is all about decor inspiration for renters! About half of the ABM audience rents, so if you’re a long-term renter, this one’s for you!!!
We’re each giving three renter-friendly tips!
Elsie 1- Make your own art. Here’s the fiber art pictured above and there are so, so many more DIY art projects in our archives.
Emma 1- Consider removable wallpaper or paint (a lot of time you can get permission if you paint it back!). Here’s a post about our favorite removable wallpaper on Etsy. Other brands we love are Walls Need Love, Chasing Paper and Spoonflower.
Elsie 2- Invest in pieces you can take with you! I suggest a great sofa, coffee table and some rugs (8×10 and 2×3 size are most likely to translate).
Here’s the bed my parents got me that I’ll probably keep forever. You can see it above in two different rooms, but I moved it probably 10 different times over a 10-year period.
Other great purchases I made early on were a good quality dresser, coffee table and mirrors.
Emma 2- Lighting
-Swap light fixtures.
-Add twinkle lights.
Elsie 3- Thrift your heart out! (obviously we mean AFTER the virus outbreak is over—not right now).
There is SO much educational value in finding $10 furniture and painting it and making it over yourself. The possibilities are ENDLESS.
Here’s a photo from 10 years ago (ish?) that shows my home decorated with all things I thrifted (and my outfit too).
Do you like to decorate with books?? (please say yes!) Used books are a great collection to work on.
McKay’s bookstore in Nashville (great for records too!).
Shoutout to @hotpinkpineapples Wow, wow, wow … this girl is so talented and the ultimate inspiration of what you can do as a renter!!
Reader question about transitioning to a different career as well as how to choose a career (we talk for 10 minutes on this, like we usually do when there’s a business-related question).
*If you’re enjoying the podcast, please share it with someone this week!! Thank you, thank you! Love, Elsie + Emma3 Comments | leave a comment