Episode #150: We’re Back! Summer Recap


We had a wonderful summer break, but we’re back and so excited to bring you weekly episodes. We LOVE our Monday podcast crew. We missed you!

This week, we’re sharing about our summer, some big news for Emma, and some big news for A Beautiful Mess!!

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Elsie – Took the kids to NYC for the first time and spent most of the summer doing art and crafts.

Emma – Taking Oscar to the pool, reading, and her writing retreat. (Here’s the treehouse she stayed at.)

Elsie: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess Podcast. We had a wonderful summer break, but now we’re back and we’re excited to bring you weekly episodes again. We love our Monday podcast crew so thank you for being here. We missed you so much. This week we’re sharing about our summers, Emma has some big news and we have some big news for A Beautiful Mess. So let’s jump.

Emma: First let’s talk about summer. See what everyone did this summer. Well specifically me and you, I guess, because we’ll get to hear from everyone else, but they can leave us a comment. How was your summer? What were the highlights?

Elsie: Oh me. Well, first of all, I have to say thank you to everyone who sent us we miss your comments. Every Monday we got them the whole summer, every Monday. It really did mean a lot because I honestly didn’t think so many people would miss the podcast so it did feel really good.

Emma: We were a little scared to take a break because it’s like, what if no one’s there when we get back? What if nobody actually cares? They’re just in this habit loop or something, but I think people actually did care so it did mean a lot. It was really nice to hear from everyone that they’re like, please come back. When are you coming? I need something to listen to while I wash my

dishes and I’m like, we’re coming, we’re coming back. Don’t worry. It was sweet.

Elsie: Yeah. So my highlights from the summer. Okay. So first of all, we took the kids to New York City for the first time. So we have not traveled a lot with our kids because of you know what pandemic for the past few years and that started to happen sort of right after we adopted our daughter, who’s four now. She was one and a half at the time. I remember specifically that we went on one trip together where we flew in that tiny zone between when we adopted her and six months later when the pandemic started.

Emma: Oh, wow. What was it? What was the trip you guys went on?

Elsie: It’s when we went to Florida for that house we bought for like five minutes.

Emma: Yeah. That’s the only trip Goldie’s been on until New York. That’s wild. I mean, it makes sense.

Elsie: Yeah. We hadn’t flown with them in all that time. We took them to New York and it was a really challenging trip. There’s no way to sugar coat it and be honest, it was a hard trip. So the first night, no one slept at all because we got an Airbnb. It looked like a great Airbnb, but what it ended up being was basically trying to sleep in someone’s really hot attic so no one slept. Then the next day we decided to switch to a new emergency living accommodation just for the sake of just like having sleep and being reasonable. Anyway, we kind of just never recovered from that one whole night of our kids not sleeping on the first night. It was kind of a disaster trip. But highlights, we got to go to Chinatown for the first time. It was like, I think all of our first time to ever be in Chinatown and obviously like we’ve been to China, so it was exciting. It was something that we all really wanted to do and it definitely lived up to the hype and our expectations. I can’t wait to go back in the future. It was really, really special and very cool. Then other than that, we just went to a bunch of parks. We had picnics and things like that, and it felt like just a lovely like there were lovely moments in there. I wish that things would’ve been a little more different, completely different. So anyway, that was my summer. Then other than that, so we’re gonna talk about this more later in the episode, but I had the craftiest kid summer of my life. We did the most crafts. I mean, I feel like world record-breaking levels of crafts so we just had so much fun with that and my kids are four and seven right now so the age felt really, really good for a summer of incredible marathon crafting days. That’s so fun. Um, so yeah, it was, that was really special too, but I feel like it went by really fast because here in Tennessee school starts like August 3rd or something. In my opinion, ridiculously early and I wish it would start on September 3rd. If I had the decision-making power but I don’t. So it still feels like summer to me right now, we’re recording this mid-August and I’m still like, oh, it’s still summer. We’re gonna go swimming tomorrow, all of that but school’s already started and so in some ways, it feels like fall. So confusing. Anyway, tell us everything about your summer.

Emma: When we left, we talked about our summer bucket list a little bit. So I’ll say a couple of successful things. One, we did join that pool, a neighborhood pool and we went tons and tons and tons. So, my son, Oscar turned one in early June. So he’s still like, he’s one. It feels weird to say like 14 months. I don’t know, I still have a hard time. I always say he’s one, I don’t know but there are so many little milestones so it’s weird.

Elsie: I support going by years and not months but it seems like that is a really hard transition for a lot of toddler parents.

Emma: I feel like if you’re talking to another parent, who’s in the zone, they know. They understand what 13 months versus 15 months means. But if you’re talking to anybody else, they’re like just doing math in their head, as you said it to them. Then they are like so one in a little bit, one and a half, one in, you know?

Elsie: Yeah. So true.

Emma: It’s just that whole thing. Anyway, so he’s one. So we went to the pool tons this summer and at first, he’s like a very cautious little guy. He got really into it though and now I could say he’s definitely like a little water baby. He loves the pool and we’ve just been a whole bunch so that was really, really fun. I also read quite a bit, I think I read two or three books, which for me is a good amount. I know some people would read a ton of books and that’s really cool, but I just don’t have that kind of time. But I had a great time reading. I love reading so it was fun to have some summer reads. Oh, the last thing was so my thing for myself this summer, we didn’t really go on a family vacation or anything like that. Like I said, we joined the pool, so there was a lot of like time together, but we didn’t like do any kind of trip, but I wanted to do a weekend writing retreat for myself. That’s what I’m calling it. I laugh because it feels weird to even call it that it just feels so self-conscious because I’m not a fiction writer. I’ve never been paid to do that. I don’t even know if I ever will be, but I’m just really wanting to write a novel.

Elsie: Let me just interrupt you and say it’s definitely a writer’s retreat. Everyone is like it’s definitely a writer retreat. Don’t feel self-conscious about that. Writing a novel, writing a first novel is an amazing thing to do.

Emma: It’s a second novel.

Elsie: Okay, sorry.

Emma: It’s ok. I don’t care.

Elsie: Writing your first best-selling novel is an amazing thing to do. I think that if you don’t own it and let it be official, don’t you think that that’s what makes people quit?

Emma: Well, I did it. I booked this modern tree house in Branson, Missouri, which is about a 45, one-hour drive from where I live.

Elsie: Describe the modern tree house. What does that mean?

Emma: So if you’ve ever stayed at a Treehouse, I feel like most of the time, like they’re not usually, well there’s all different kinds, but this one it’s essentially built on stilts. So it’s up in the trees, but it’s not actually built into a tree or around a tree. When you go onto the back deck, you feel like you’re in the trees.

Elsie: Oh my God, that’s fun.

Emma: Yeah and it had a really nice view. You could see really far and you could see one of the lakes here in the Ozark. We have lots of really beautiful lakes and I could see the showboat Branson Bell from my studio.

Elsie: That is like a giant, like a Steamboat. Is that what you would call it?

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: It’s a Steamboat that serves like dinner and stuff. It’s very iconic for Branson.

Emma: It really is. But anyway, I could see that. You can really tell what kind of boat it is. So anyway, I could see that and I saw lots of other people on the lake, but the tree house itself was very much like just kind of boxy and it had two bedrooms technically. One on the bottom and then a loft bedroom on the top. Two couples could stay there, but it would be very open so I think it would be more of a good, like just one couple or a couple of friends, like a girl’s trip or whatever, that kind of thing. I went by myself though and for me, it was two nights. I was there basically 36 hours, I guess, or something like that, an evening and then a whole day the next day and then I left the next morning. I just wrote the whole time. If you’ve been a long-time listener, then you know that I’m trying to write a novel. I call it my murder book. I had eight chapters done basically when I got there and when I left I had 14 chapters done. That was really exciting because I really haven’t gotten to write it much in the last three or four months it feels like and that’s totally fine. I have a really full work schedule and mom life schedule, which I love but it’s fun to basically do a hobby that’s just something you love, just something that you’re passionate about. When I was driving there, I felt like, so, oh, I’m just like leaving my son for a couple of nights just to go do something for me, but it was fine. He was fine. He had a great time with his dad and they don’t need me every single second. I don’t even know why I think that. There’s a lot of stuff that I probably could have done for work. I often catch up on work on the weekends just because that’s how life shakes out sometimes. I just didn’t do any work. I just wrote my book and it was really, really fun.

Elsie: We’re all cheering for you.

Emma: I also reread it when I got there and I felt like it was pretty good for a first draft. So I feel like I’m really excited to try to finish it and maybe send it to someone this fall. I don’t know. I don’t really know any kind of timeline or anything but my outline has 22 chapters so I have 14 done like I said, and I’ll probably end up with 23, 24 chapters. I feel like something is gonna surprise me at some point because I already like added something to one of the chapters while I was there. I was like, oh, this should happen. Like my friend Stephen King says, you have to discover the fossil. Just kidding. I’m not really friends with him, but I read his book.

Elsie: Oh, no, I claim myself as his friend.

Emma: I don’t think he claims us but we do claim him.

Elsie: He’s not gonna unclaim us. That would be very rude. I claim him as my BFF, personal friend. I mean, I read his book one and a half times I think that that makes best friend status.

Emma: That’s pretty good.

Elsie: Yeah. I love him.

Emma: So anyway, that’s pretty much my summer, a lot of pool time, a lot of work and then I did my little writer’s retreat, which was a blast. Great summer.

Elsie: That is really inspiring and I think everyone is cheering for you right now. I can just tell. I can hear it. I mean it’s still summer. Okay, let me just say something that I hate in the world, is the line of the seasons, they’re all wrong. Every time that you’re getting excited for the next season or in my case, my kids started school so it feels a little bit like fall but it also feels like summer because it’s also like hot as hell and we’re still swimming and stuff like that. I think people are just like so policing each other about too early for that. We should enjoy this but it’s not our fault that it’s confusing and add to that people who do the type of work we do, you have to work ahead. You have to work a season ahead on a lot of things, or it wouldn’t be possible to just do the work we do. We already are shooting some stuff for Christmas next week and it is August still, but that’s part of our schedule, part of what makes us able to have the things we wanna have when we need them. Anyways, I just think that the world should just be more fluid about all seasons because it kind of, for me, it just all blends together all year round.

Emma: I think it is though because I know you see people complain like, oh, how could you. Don’t let summer end, but I feel like the data must back up. Here’s the thing I was in a big box craft store buying some stuff for work in the middle of July. It was blazing hot and they were wheeling out the pumpkins and the Halloween stuff while I was there. In my heart, I was like, yes, because I was just really excited because I love that stuff. Also, in my mind, though I know some people find that very annoying, but there must be a lot of customers who are going to buy these things right now, or they would not bother putting them on the shelves, like what a waste of resources. So I just feel like the data that I’m not seeing like sales numbers and things like that must back up the fact that a lot of people are psychos just like me and wanna buy a Halloween mug on like July 30th. It just must be true despite what you hear and that’s where I’m at. This is my conspiracy theory about the seasons.

Elsie: No, I don’t think it’s a conspiracy theory at all.

Emma: Well, it’s a theory. It’s a theory. I don’t know if it’s a conspiracy.

Elsie: I think that’s an interesting thought. I know like QVC has Christmas in July and that we were always like, I don’t think we could participate in that because I don’t think our audience would accept it or find it palatable to shop for Christmas in July.

Emma: I don’t know.

Elsie: But obviously a lot of people do embrace that. So anyway, I embrace it though. I just shop for Christmas ornaments year round if I’m sad and save them in a drawer like, well how hard is that?

Emma: I bought Halloween stuff in February this year because I was sad. There you go.

Elsie: Love it. In February?

Emma: Yes.

Oh, that’s cute.

It’s a dark time where I’m from. I was like I need some Halloween stuff.

Elsie: Okay. So we’re getting into like alert, alert news time. Huh? So we have two pieces of big news that we saved for. We kind of already were, and they were all like a little bit in the works already when we left for the summer break.

Emma: We’ve been keeping secrets.

Elsie: We’re so good at it because you’ll never guess, actually one of these we’re so bad at it because we talk about it all the time. Okay.

Emma: One we’re good at, one we’re bad at so we’re great at secret-keeping 50%.

Elsie: One of us is very good at keeping secrets and I bet you can’t guess which one? Okay. So

Emma, do you want to share the ABM news first or your personal news first?

Emma: Well I’ll share my news first. So my news is that we are moving to a different house still in Springfield, Missouri, but just a different neighborhood and a different house. We bought the house in late April of this year and we’ve been renovating it and we’re planning to move in mid to late September. That is the goal and target. We’ll see if it happens. I think it will, but we’ll see. So yeah, that’s kind of my big secret is we were been kind of planning to move here for a little bit.

Elsie: So first question, just tell us like a little bit about the house. What made you see it? What was the first thing you liked about it? Then what made you like actually make the offer? What were the things?

Emma: We almost didn’t go see this house. So my husband and I have been trying to buy a house that we both wanna live in for five or six years it feels like. I don’t even know how long, a long time. We just kinda wanted different things, liked different things. So the house we’re in before the one we’re in right now, I didn’t love. Now the one that we’re in right now, my husband doesn’t love certain things about it. He loves some things about it of course. Every house I feel like you love some things about it.

Elsie: You like different styles of homes.

Emma: I think it’s different styles. I also think a big piece of it for me is location. I don’t like living outside of town at all and my husband doesn’t really wanna feel like he’s living in the middle of town, which I also understand. So just various things like that. Lots of little things. We almost wanna go see this house. It was in the neighborhood that is kind of like the best neighborhood for both of us. It’s like the one that it’s a great neighborhood.

Elsie: It’s a really cool neighborhood. It has a pond with swans, famously the swans.

Emma: Mostly geese though but yes. Well it’s a great neighborhood and it’s in town, but it’s still very walkable and still feels very neighborly, which is what I like. The house itself just didn’t really have much of a style at all. It’s a split level.

Elsie: It was vibing kind of low.

Emma: It was vibing very low. It wasn’t that it was in repair or anything. It wasn’t falling apart or anything like that. It was just, really just had nothing to it and so I don’t know., I just was like, mm, I don’t think we’ll like, it. I don’t think either of us will really like it, but it’s in the neighborhood that we want and it’s in the price range that we want. So finally I was like, well, what do you think? Maybe we should just look at it. I hate to waste my realtor’s time because we have been for years, as I already mentioned. So finally we’re like, oh, let’s just go look at it. Who knows? We’ve already looked at so many different things over the years and when we walked it, we liked it a lot more than how it looked in the photos. Which can happen. I feel like it can go either way with listing photos. You can like it so much more. You can like it so much less and be like, wow, they got these photos looking great because the house is not good. Yeah. I felt the house was better than the photos. Not that whoever took the photos was bad, it just felt bigger and more open. It felt kind of closed in and sort of dumpy in the photos, but it didn’t feel that way as much in real life. So I was like, okay, I think this has more potential and this is a very subjective opinion, but I didn’t feel it had any point of view or any choices that had been made about it. Like if you were like, what era is this house? I think people would guess all sorts of different things because it didn’t really look, it looked like a nineties house, but it was built in the late seventies. It just didn’t have any personality. That’s about what I would say.

Elsie: I’ll say in my opinion, when she sent me the listing, I was like, yeah, I don’t think you’re gonna like that one. I just didn’t really see anything about it that was interesting. It wasn’t until I went to it, just like her, in person that I could like see and the vibes are very good in person.

Emma: Well, we very quickly were like, we really like the location. We knew it was in the neighborhood we wanted, but it’s a really close walk to the elementary school, which is what I have always wanted because I really wanna walk our son to school one day. It’s just like a special thing to me because our grandpa used to walk us to church when we would have grandparents’ weekends and that was just something that was really special to me growing up. So I’ve always wanted a version of that with my kids. So anyway, so that was like on my list, to be like a walk to the elementary school really limits your housing choices. I knew that was very specific. So it was like, okay, we’re really gonna have to like, make something work in order to get that thing on my list. And this house checks that box for me and for the things that my husband wanted, Trey wanted, it checks the boxes for him. We were just like, we just are gonna need to really renovate it and give it a whole different inside, basically. So that’s what we’re doing. We didn’t renovate the basement, the sunroom, and a couple closets, but about 80% of the house, we basically gutted. It’ll feel very, very new, but it won’t be a new house. Like I said, it was built in the late seventies. I think we’re gonna love it. I think it’s gonna be great. I think it’s gonna be the perfect fit for what each of us wants and a great place to raise our son. I don’t really plan to share a whole lot about it on our blog. I’m not really planning to do the whole, here’s the empty house, and here’s the whole renovation process. As you’ve heard, I already bought the house in late April so I’ve kind of been sitting on this for a while. It’s just because that’s what I wanna do basically. I feel like that’s what fits our family’s needs and wants at this stage of my life. We’re wanting a little more privacy. I have a very young son. That’s a thing that’s on my mind, but you’ll still see peeks of it. I photograph all of my food and craft content at my home. So you’ll still see little bits of it here and there, but I’m just not really planning to do like big before and after room tours or anything like that necessarily

Elsie: Home blogging is a grind. I love that Emma is ready for her privacy era. I feel that too. I don’t think I’m like quite as private as you, but I do feel much more than I used to. I think that’s a normal thing to feel after you’ve become a parent. That you just like kind of keep your guard up a little bit more and think about your family’s privacy instead of just your own needs.

Emma: Yeah. Like what I want, it’s like just different.

Elsie: So tell us your favorite, the most exciting room for you. The room you can’t wait to use and the room that’s been the most fun to redesign.

Emma: Gosh. Yeah, like I said, we’ve really ripped apart and are redoing a lot of the house, a huge portion of it. We vaulted one area like the ceilings and kind of made it more of an open concept. There’s two living rooms. So one of the living rooms or living areas, I guess, it used to be separate and now it’s a part of the kitchen. There’s a peninsula so I really like that. We haven’t entertained tons in the last few years for pandemic reasons and newborn purposes but I’d like to have that a part of my life again one day. I love cooking. I love cooking for people. I love having people over. So I love a space that can feel very fluid. Where people can kind of walk around and also chat while you grab a bottle of wine or while you’re finishing up making dinner, whatever. So I like feeling like you’re not completely separate when you’re in the kitchen. So I’m really excited about that. One little quirky thing is our main bedroom has this tiny closet room off to the side of it. It has a closet and this is not a closet. The previous owners, it seemed that they were using it as a sewing room. I don’t know if one of them sewed, but they had a little sewing machine in there and I’m gonna turn it into a tiny library. I’m really excited about that. I probably will show something about that, just because it’s just like a small little funny feature, but I’m really excited about it. I think it’s just cute and quirky, so, yeah. ,

Elsie: I think it’s gonna be amazing. I’m excited for you. I am so happy that you get your tiny library and her bathroom is gonna be so epic. I’m excited the most to see the kitchen. , can I say what color it is?

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: So she’s doing a green kitchen.

Emma: I’m sure they’ll see it in the background of a food post at some point.

Elsie: I’m very excited about it. I think that it’ll be perfect. All these years, Emma does like 99% of all the recipes on A Beautiful Mess and all these years, she’s always had this certain type of kitchen that she really wants and I feel like she’s finally gonna get that with like all of her windows and spots to take photos. That is really exciting.

Emma: Yeah. I’m really excited for it. I’m sure I’ll show little things, but I’m not really planning to share it tons and tons, but I probably will talk about it on the podcast because I just feel like that’s a different thing rather than yeah. I feel like it’s easier to keep it more private in the ways that I’m wanting. Anyway, so that’s that news. Let’s move on to the big A Beautiful Mess news.

Elsie: Okay. Okay. So can I do like kind of an origin story? You think that’d be fun?

Emma: Yes. Love an origin story.

Elsie: Okay. So our big news is that we are creating a second site and this is a first for us. Actually, it’s not a first for us because in the very old days of our very early blogging, when I was getting married, we started a wedding blog. I seriously think we only blogged on it like 10 times and then quit. It was not a serious commitment and it also wasn’t something that we were likable to take on at that time. It was just a mistake all around. Anyway, so all these years I’ve always thought about having a second site and obviously, A Beautiful Mess is the type of site that does lots of different things. It’s our strength. Every once in a while, I feel like it’s a weakness but I think for the most part it’s been a strength for us.

Emma: I think it’s who we are.

Elsie: Yeah. Like our number one post, it’s like something that’s a cocktail, something that’s a fire pit, something that’s an oatmeal.

Emma: What books we’re reading.

Elsie: Yeah. It’s very random and obviously it all ties into our interest, our demographic, just like lifestyle stuff, I guess. I don’t know. I’ve always sort of fantasized about doing a little niche side project but I did not expect it to ever happen just because at this stage in our life adding something on seems dumb, like frankly, because we are moms with young kids. We’ve kind of really been taking things away from our business more than adding things on. Okay. What it is is our new site is gonna be called Childhood Magic and it is a kids project website. So originally I’ll tell you about like the day I pitch the idea to Emma, and all of that. So I was having lunch with some other bloggers and they were like, hey, a kid site is a good opportunity. They were just talking about what different opportunities, different things that are working for people in the sort of strategy of like people who want to get traffic from Google and do it as a long term, not necessarily just sharing your life for fun, like a long term.

Emma: Being a resource for what people are searching.

Elsie: Yeah. So, which is what we’re trying to do with A Beautiful Mess nowadays. Anyway, so they mentioned the idea of a kid’s site and they were like someone should do a kid’s craft site, but just make it a little bit more aesthetic. Immediately I was like, I want that project so bad, but I was like, Emma will never let me do that. I just knew that she was gonna say no.

Emma: I say no alot.

Elsie: And to be fair, like with the wedding blog, I shouldn’t have done that because it was a huge waste of time setting up something that I didn’t even really have a plan or want to do, I guess because I didn’t even really do it. Anyway, I called Emma the next day and made this list of the pros, and cons, the pros only

Emma: The pros only. Yeah.

Elsie: I Was like let’s do the second site. So, the first question, of course, the obvious first question is why wouldn’t we just put more kids’ projects on A Beautiful Mess? Because we have lots of kids’ projects on A Beautiful Mess and it’s not an off-limit subject at all. I was like, well, I kind of do like 500 kids projects. I think it’s just too many. It’s like it could survive as its own site. I think the biggest pro for us is that our team like we have a small team, ourselves and three other women, and we can use the strengths and the skills that we already have doing A Beautiful Mess to also do the second site. So it’s like, we didn’t really have to learn any new skills. It’s just making the same types of things, but for kids and styled for kids and ideas for kids and there’s some big differences, but there’s a lot more similarities. So I think people who like A Beautiful Mess will like Childhood Magic if you’re interested in kids stuff. The other reason that I wanted to have it as a separate site is for the people who aren’t interested in kid stuff. I totally understand that a huge part of audience is not into that. I think I’m like a maybe kind of a rare person, but I’ve always been interested in kids stuff even long, long, long before I was a mom. It’s just something that I’m into as, I don’t know, like when the Martha Stewart kids magazines in the early two thousands, I love that type of thing. I always bought every single one, even though I didn’t have kids or nieces and nephews at that time.

Emma: I think same. I think too, for me, some of the things that stuck out in my mind, so stepping aside from like the business of it. So just stepping aside from that for a minute, one thing I really liked about it was I felt like Elsie and I, and our brother Doreen, we had a lot of creativity fostered in our childhood because of our parents, especially our mom, but really both of our parents. But our mom, once we were all in school, she stayed home with us. She was a stay-at-home mom, whenever we were all little. Then once we were all in school, she became an art teacher and our mom’s just an extremely creative person. She’s now a painter and she’s just probably the most creative person I know and she just fostered a lot of that in our lives. I could probably do a whole podcast about this so I’m like trying to think about how to say this quickly.

Elsie: We did do a whole podcast last year called childhood magic. Not last year, the year before.

Emma: It was in my maternity leave. So yeah, I guess the year before but anyway, we can link that. So in my mind, I guess what I’m trying to say is I thought that this site sounded like an opportunity to do for not just our children but a much wider audience, the gift that we were given in our childhood. So I really liked that, that really appealed to me, that made me feel really excited to work on it, even though we’re really busy and we knew it would be a lot of work. It was like, oh, that’s actually really motivating. So that, and then the other piece of it was and this, I don’t know, maybe this will sound cheesy, I don’t know, but we’re trying to infuse into childhoodmagic.com, our site, a lot of like many seriously one or two sentences, kind of like pep talks throughout the content. That’s kind of like, hey, if you’re the person who’s doing all the research, gathering the supplies, setting it all out, helping the kids in your life do some kind of project, and then you’re probably the person cleaning it all up, that’s a lot of work. But you’re making childhood magic and we see you and we’re just like, we’re here and we think you’re awesome. We’re trying to make something that’s gonna help you and also acknowledge you in the content and in the text of the website over and over again. Hopefully, it doesn’t feel too repetitive, but we’re really trying to infuse that into it a lot because I really believe that creativity is for everyone. I think there’s a lot of ways to go about it. Obviously, we are gonna have specific projects on our site, but I think also we’re trying to kind of put out there, like, do it your way, do it however you want. If you need something quick and easy or printable for this or that, we have that too, you know, whatever, but it’s like creativity is for everyone and it’s also, frankly, a lot of work when you’re the adult doing all the things. A lot of times you don’t really get the thanks from kids because little kids, they don’t, they can’t thank you.

Elsie: You basically never get the thanks from kids.

Emma: That’s fine. That’s not against the kids. It’s just, that’s not how it works, you know? So we’re trying to infuse some of that thanks into the site. So that was also to me kind of motivating when I thought it through. Like I was like, ah, that makes it kind of worth doing all this work. That’s exciting. That makes me excited to write. So those are a couple of things that I kind of, I don’t know, latched onto with the concept quickly and felt excited to work on it because of those things.

Elsie: I do think we’ll do another episode at the official launch where we talk a little bit more about our favorite post and explain the categories a little bit more because at the moment we still haven’t launched yet, but it is coming really soon and we’re just kinda like finishing up the design and housekeeping stuff. So, yeah, let’s talk a little bit about what it was like to do that because obviously like A Beautiful mess was still running this summer and we had actually a smaller team than we have ever in the past. So how we did it is we did do a little bit less A Beautiful Mess post which if you notice that and you were alarmed, now you know why. Honestly, it’s gonna be worth it, but getting the launch, I really wanted to launch with a hundred posts. The reason why is because I wanted from day one for it to be a useful resource with populated pieces from all of the holidays that we cover and the different types of projects. There’s like content in all of those areas. So you can see what it’s going to be like and you can sort of trust that it’s like a real site that is going to be running and take it just as seriously as A Beautiful Mess. But I mean, it didn’t write itself. It was a lot of extra work and a motherf*cking grind this whole summer. I think we started in March.

Emma: Who’s sick of pipe cleaners? No, I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding. It’s really fun.

Elsie: I’m not sick of any of it.

Emma: I’m not either. I love it.

Elsie: Like I’m like weirdly addicted to the kind of like all the projects, like my office, Emma can say, it’s weird in there right now.

Emma: Mine too. It’s full of dinosaurs and Halloween stuff and Hanukkah stuff. Like just all sorts of things, that are like for the projects and the styling and yeah. It’s fun and it’s wild.

Elsie: Yeah. It’s been a huge creative challenge and administrative challenge, just getting it done was a huge challenge. Then learning more about writing for things that are helpful for kids, for teachers of young kids, and parents of young kids, that was a whole new thing to learn. It was a very fun and exciting year and then, of course, our kids helped even baby Oscar has his footprint crafts with his real foot. He’s really contributing.

Emma: It’s his real foot. It’s not a model’s foot. It’s his foot.

Elsie: All my hammers are real. One day I texted Emma and it was like, Marigold says no more hand prints. Don’t even ask.

Emma: She quit, her summer she quit.

Elsie: Yeah, when you see it, I hope you love it and we will link in the show notes, but you can follow us on Instagram. We have a Pinterest and then our site will be childhoodmagic.com. Woo. Yeah. I’m so excited. It is special. Like I have a special place in my heart right now. Actually like very restorative because after the pandemic I was, you guys know like severely burned out and I think I’ve talked about that. I know Emma’s talked about it and I feel like this was sort of a little bit of a reset, like creatively.

Emma: Yeah, I would agree. It also in a weird way, and I know I just like talked about our childhood with creativity, but it feels kind of like that, like making stuff for fun when we were kids, making dioramas in high school or weird collages on your trapper keeper cover and things like that. Which those are not the projects, but I’m just saying, it feels like that in a way, it just makes me feel like my life’s on track. Like I’m doing the thing I was always meant to do even though it kind of doesn’t make sense to me at times.

Elsie: That’s exactly how I feel. I’ve said before, it’s weird how life has a way of like the things that we’re doing for Childhood Magic, it’s like all of these things that I’ve practiced for years that I never knew why. Like Emma has made seven different kinds of slime.

Emma: I’m the slime lady.

Elsie: But she knows how to write recipes fast and perfectly. They’re well made and they’re like, I mean I don’t wanna say perfect, but they’re kind of perfect.

Emma: It translates more than you would think.

Elsie: Yeah. It’s so interesting. So yeah, I felt very lucky that we found something that we could do with the skills we already had with the team we already have and everything kind of clicked into place, but I won’t say that it was like easy because I think it was a lot of work. It was a lot of extra work and that’s why Emma was saying earlier, like working a lot of weekends and stuff. That’s not what we normally do, but this season has been pretty exceptional.

Emma: Yeah. It’s been a full season.

Elsie: Next year might be our more restful year. We’ll see.

Emma: Yeah. I’m open to what the future brings.

Elsie: Well, I’m so happy we got to share both those things because it’s been such a happy time in life, and can’t wait to share it.

Emma: We have a listener question from Rachel. She says, I love your podcast and I would love to hear your thoughts on picking the perfect purse. I feel stuck in the diaper bag phase and want to occasionally bring something sleek or less diaper baggy. I would love to hear what you use when you’re on an adventure like Disneyland or out for a dinner date or night out with your spouses and what you bring when you’re by yourself going somewhere. I kinda love this because I was like, yeah, you get stuck with the diaper bag. You start putting your wallet in there and then all of a sudden it’s your purse and it’s like, uh oh, I don’t want this. I mean my diaper bag, you gave me my diaper bag, it’s cute but it’s also big and doesn’t go with a lot of outfits when you’re wanting to go out or you want, just different vibes. I have a couple things, but I wanna hear what you have to say first. What do you do? So you’re kind of outta the diaper bag phase, right?

Elsie: I currently don’t have a diaper bag, but I have been using a backpack for like, I think I got it before we went to New York and then I just never switched out of it.

Emma: Did you get into that in your diaper bag phase and you’re just like, I like this?

Elsie: No. I went back to it recently because now that I’ve had the diaper bag years, I feel like a purse is usually too small. I like small cross-body purses and I will be honest like I have a lot of them that I’ve worn like once or a few times or for a week, but it’s like, I can’t get there where that’s my main purse right now. I like love how they look with outfits and stuff. For me right now, I’m kind of not in a fashiony part of my life. So yeah, the backpack, I got the cute one, I’ll link it in the show notes, and it is cute. I think it looks good for what it is. Like I would say it’s cuter than a diaper bag but yeah, I think that I’m gonna stay with that for a little while, just because right now the kids in, I don’t know, I feel like I’m just like bringing my journal a lot, you. There’s other reasons too besides diaper bag why you wanna like carry just stuff. You just don’t want a tiny purse. Okay. Tell me your advice.

Emma: Okay. So one, I probably will link my diaper bag because it is really cute.

Elsie: The Fawn Design one?

Emma: Yes. Fawn design, Elsie got me mine.

Elsie: I love them. I have like three or four and then I got Emma the leopard one because she’s like a leopard lady.

Emma: I love leopard. Yeah.

Elsie: Do you know if it’s the big one or the small one?

Emma: It’s the small.

Elsie: I like the small one. I don’t think the small one is like, I didn’t feel like I ever needed the big one.

Emma: Yeah. There are times like it’s full, but I don’t feel like it’s too small, so it’s good. So yeah, I use that all the time. So what I do, and I don’t know if it’s gonna fit what Rachel would like, but is I got into the Fanny pack thing. Where you wear like across your chest diagonal.

Elsie: No, I’ve done that too. I like that too.

Emma: Yeah. So I have a black leather one. I can link it and I really like it. It’s a great size. It fits everything that I want in a purse. I usually can stuff it into my diaper bag if I’m wanting to. So it’s kind of like I’m carrying a mini purse inside of the diaper bag. Like if we were at the pool or something and I wanted to grab my purse, the Fanny pack, and sling it over and walk over to the snack shack and buy something for Oscar or whatever, then I can leave the diaper bag and whatever. I dunno, this is not a good example, but so I really like that. I also feel like as a mom of a young kid, I actually prefer this to a cross-body bag because it’s more like stuck to my body when I’m wearing it. So I have my hands free to chase him around or grab something out of his mouth before he chokes or all the things that you do when you have a one-year-old. I also actually really like the look when I’m wearing it with normal clothes, my jumpsuits, whatever. I feel like it’s almost like wearing a harness. Like if you’re wearing a moo-moo dress, which I do that a lot in the summer because they’re breezy, it kind of like gives it more of a shape, which is kind of cool. So anyway, I dig it and I’m really late to this trend, but I saw people doing it for a few years and I was like the Fanny pack’s back. I don’t know. Then I had a kid and I was like, oh, this is really useful. So that’s my thing now. I also have taken it when I’ve traveled, which I’ve only traveled once at any rate. Again, I could stuff it into like my carry-on backpack, where I have my laptop and like other things. So it’s just like a nice, basically very small purse that you can then wear like a sling over diagonally on your chest and I really like it. I feel like all the kids are still doing it so you can look like you’re on trend so that’s cool. They come in so many different styles. Mine’s just black leather, but there’s so many different ones. I feel like black leather for me fits a lot of my outfits so that’s great, but whatever you wear get something that goes with whatever you tend to wear.

Elsie: I honestly think a Fanny pack is like a good mom purse, but a little bit cuter, little bit more stylish.

Emma: Yeah, it works for me. It’s very practical and luckily, somewhat trendy, somewhat. I think it’s a little late to it at this point, but still, it’s working for me, so I’m loving it and I got my hands free, so I can be like, don’t put that rock in your mouth.

Elsie: Before we go, let’s do a little sparks joy. So this is where we share something affordable. Mine is free. That has made a big difference in your life or brought you joy or didn’t know if you would like it and then you loved it. That sort of thing. Okay. So mine is Estatesales.net and I think I’ve mentioned this before on the podcast, but I wanna like really mention it because I wanna really explain why it’s great for people who haven’t tried it yet because until you’ve tried it, you might know it exists but until you have experienced it you don’t really know. So here’s what it is, it’s an estate sales collecting website. All you have to do is go on there, make an account, and set up a search for your area. So you’ll put in your address and for mine, I put within 10 miles and then every week I think on Thursday or maybe Wednesday it sends me an email once a week with all of the upcoming estate sales in my area and it is amazing. I’ve always been the type of person that stops when I see an estate sale but a lot of times you don’t know if it’s the first day or the last day. A lot of times you go in and it feels like a waste of time because everything’s not stuff you’re interested in or whatever. So the thing I love about this site, the first time I ever used it is like, remember when I made that Halloween dollhouse?

Emma: Yes.

Elsie: That’s when I first got it. So I specifically was like looking for an estate sale that had a doll house. Like a good, big dollhouse that I could do my Halloween thing with. So yeah, what I love is that you can also like favorite sales, and it sort of helps you organize, but you can look at, usually, each sale will have at least 20, but probably more like 40 or 60 photos of the items that so you can scroll through it really fast though. It’s not like a thing where it doesn’t take much time. I would say spend like maybe 15 minutes a week looking at it and if there’s a sale, sometimes, because estate sales, it’s like one person’s house so every once in a while there will be a sale that is just like tailor-made for you that you have to go to and it doesn’t happen very often at least not for me. But when those come up, it’s just so cool to know about them. Then you can go on the first day and get the thing that you really want. I’m a huge advocate for estatesales.net. It’s totally free and I just think if you like estate sales at all, why not use this because it just helps you get more of what you want out of something that can be pretty random.

Emma: Yeah, it sounds like it really simplifies it in some ways.

Elsie: I think this makes it more worth it because like a lot of times, you have to drive 10 minutes or something and it takes a little tiny bit of planning, but anyway, I hope someone uses it. If you use it and you have a good experience, message me about it or email [email protected] so we can hear just because I think that’s fun. I wanna be an influencer for estatesales.net.

Emma: I love it.

Elsie: Okay. Tell us yours.

Emma: Okay. My sparks joy is not free. It costs more than that but I love them so much so I just feel like I have to put it in the segment. I bought more jumpsuits. I told myself some time ago now months ago that I was like no more and then I bought one more. I thought, oh, this is the last one and then yesterday I bought two more.

Elsie: We were sitting at the table working yesterday and I was like they just put up a restock of jumpsuits and she was like, immediately checking out.

Emma: Yeah. I was like, oh, do they have my size? So yeah, I just love it.

Elsie: So say the brand and like explain what they are.

Emma: Yes. It’s Big Bud Press and they have stores in I think LA, Palm Springs, and New York, maybe they have them other places. I know they have them there, but you can also order online. I mostly order online. I’ve bought a couple in person in Palm Springs when Elsie and I went.

Elsie: That was a delightful day.

Emma: But yeah, I love the brand. It’s a small business and they just make really high quality, colorful, cool stuff. They also make a huge effort to do really inclusive models in all their shoots. It’s just like a really diverse, different looks and I love that.

Elsie: They also show their jumpsuits on men because they’re unisex, which is kind of cool.

Emma: Almost always, I get a random compliment from someone when I’m wearing my jumpsuits. Yeah. I wear jumpsuits all the time, but I don’t leave my house that much.

Elsie: Me too. I really have a huge collection of these jumpsuits and I think if you haven’t tried one, they are like not everyone likes it. Just order one and just try it, just see but, for me, it’s like the perfect fit. I’ve never had one tailored before. The sizing is consistent enough I always wear the same size and they’re just easy to wear. They’re the type of thing like I wear ’em on date nights, I wear them to a blogger event if I like have to try to feel cool. It’s the type of thing where you’re like wear a hat or something.

Emma: Yeah. I feel like you can dress it up or kinda dress it down.

Elsie: You can also just wear it any, you know, whenever.

Emma: Yes. So yeah, that’s the other thing I really like about it is it could be really fast to get ready in the morning. So if you are trying to watch a young child or you just woke up late or whatever, and you don’t have time to throw together a cute outfit, then I feel like a jumpsuit is a great way to just, boom. You have an outfit already put a scarf on, put a hat on, whatever, and it can be really dressy or not dressy. So anyway, love jumpsuits. I’m done buying them now for sure. No, just kidding. Probably not.

Elsie: I’ve never said I was done buying them and I think I wanted to finish the whole rainbow and now I think we can do like lots of twinning videos, which is fun because she’s got the purple one. Now I want the purple one. I don’t know. I think that it is kind of a thing where there is no end to it, but it’s like supporting a small business so who cares? It’s fun. The other thing is that I’ll say I’m not a fashion person and a lot of times I like will buy a trend and then change my mind about it. And like, just kind of change my mind about what I like a lot and I’ve been buying these jumpsuits for like seven years. Since I first moved to Nashville and I don’t really see them as a trend. I see them as just a classic staple. They’re just so cool. I think I’ve gotten more wear out of mine than I’ve ever gotten out of any dress ever.

Emma: Yeah, I wear mine at least three times a week. Yeah, I have dresses too and jeans. But yeah, jumpsuits, jumpsuits.

Elsie: Okay. I hope the Big Bud Press girl hears this she’s gonna be like, wow.

Emma: I know people will be like, they must get paid to talk about it. I’m like, no, I do not. I buy them all myself. I don’t care. I love it so much. Love it.

Elsie: So next week we will be back with our autumn book club selections, and we’re gonna do a

full-on cozy episode. I feel like we do that every year. It’s the last week of August so we’re about to enter September, which I feel like even for the Scrooge Mcducks of seasonal things, September, you have to at least consider that sort of fall, right? It’s sort of autumn. So it is time. It is now. It’s happening. Oh, and by the way, blogger autumn starts August 1st so we are actually not rushing with that at all. See you next week.



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