Easy Leather Cord Keeper DIY (click through for tutorial       There's nothing worse than gearing yourself up to finally go for a run (especially if you don't run that often) only to find your headphones are a tangled mess. So, rather than starting your workout off on a high note, you spend the first few minutes in a brisk walk while you attempt to untangle the knot so you can finally get your workout playlist pumping. Well with a quick DIY cord keeper, your knotty days are behind you, and you'll never have to spend half your flight trying to untangle your headphones again!

Easy Leather Cord Keeper DIY (click through for tutorial) Supplies:
-leather or faux leather in two colors
-Crop-a-dile or 1/8" and 3/16" leather hole punches
-fabric glue
-button stud with screwback (I used the 7mm for the small keeper and the 8mm for the medium keeper.)
-fabric scissors

Easy Leather Cord Keeper DIY (click through for tutorial)Use a marker to trace a 2.5" circle on the underside of your leather (I used the bottom of a spray paint can to get my circle). You can also trace a 2" circle if you want a mini cord keeper.

Easy Leather Cord Keeper DIY (click through for tutorial Use fabric scissors to cut out as many circles as you want cord keepers. Cut a small triangle out of your circle with scissors so you have a pac-man shape. Trace a portion of the curve of your circle onto the back of your other color of leather. Line up the curve with the triangle opening in your original circle and trace the cutout area.

Easy Leather Cord Keeper DIY (click through for tutorial  Use scissors to cut the curve of your second color circle on the line, and then cut 1/4" out from your traced triangle lines so the fabrics will have a bit of overlap for gluing together. Place a small line of fabric glue next to the edges of your triangle cutout on your original circle and place your second color cutout on top of the glue so that the top circle edge lines up with the rest of the circle.

Easy Leather Cord Keeper DIY (click through for tutorial   Allow the glue to fully dry, fold your cord keeper in half, and mark with a pen where you want your button stud closure to sit. Use your Crop-a-dile to punch a 1/8" hole through your folded circle at the marked location, and then punch a slightly bigger 3/16" hole over the first hole on the side that is the front of your cord keeper. Use scissors to cut a small slit out from the bottom of the 3/16" hole so that it has a "keyhole" shape that will fit over the top knob of your button stud.

Easy Leather Cord Keeper DIY (click through for tutorial    Screw your button stud through the smaller hole in the back and push the button stud knob through the front hole to close. Wind whatever cord you want to keep tidy around your hand, and then use your keeper to keep the cord from unraveling.

Easy Leather Cord Keeper DIY (click through for tutorial      Easy Leather Cord Keeper DIY (click through for tutorial      Easy Leather Cord Keeper DIY (click through for tutorial)        Ahh, a cute solution to an irritating problem—what's better than that? I also like that I can use whatever colors of leather I want too so I can match the headphones to their keeper as well. These are quick to make a few at a time so they would be a perfect handmade gift for a techie friend, or come to think of it, just anyone else that hates to untangle cords as well! And isn't that basically everybody? xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman

Elsie Larson Hey, there! I'm not going to lie—I've been sitting here for 20 minutes starting and deleting opening lines. Haha! Blogging is weird like that. Some days you can just shoot the breeze and talk about the first thing that comes to your mind, and other days there's the overthinking. 

I'm trying not to overthink so much anymore. 

There are so many different ways you can blog. And, truly, I think there is no right or wrong. This past week I was catching up on some of my favorite blogs (a long list), and I noticed that there are so many extremes these days. The extremely styled blogs where you never see a photo that's not taken on a paper backdrop. Studios, big teams, fashion bloggers who fly to Paris to take outfit photos for a week's worth of content. It's mesmerizing to me! And I mean that sincerely. Each year I am continually blown away by how much blogging grows as an industry. Just when I think it's hit a peak... never! 

And on the flip side, I still read blogs where it's one random cell phone photo and a ramble-style update about somebody's week. Kind of a rare bird these days, but I still follow a few blogs like that, and it almost feels like a time capsule to me since that's how my own blog started all those years ago. And I see a special-something there that's sometimes missing in the blog world. I guess it's a lack of polish or a lack of filter. 

In my own brain, I am always trying to find a balance between both because I really see the beauty of both approaches. And if I had to classify our level of production, I think it definitely does fall safely in the middle. And, now that I think of it, I feel pretty OK with that! 

Emma, I'm curious to hear how you think food blogs have changed since you started reading (what, like, 8-10 years ago??). 

Elsie LarsonElsie Larson Elsie Larson Elsie Larson Elsie's Wearing: Plaid Top/Similar, Tie Waist Skirt/ASOS, Necklace/Madewell, Clogs/Swedish Hasbeens

Shift dress and flat sandals Glitter purse and shirt dressOmbre hairI've always read lots of different kinds of blogs, but I must admit that food blogs have probably always been my favorite. Not that you have to pick a favorite! I just think they are the ones I started using the most out of the gate, as I've always been interested in cooking. And I love to read blogs to catch up on what so and so is doing, but for me, I tend to gravitate toward things that I find useful, like an online resource. And I think in that way blogs haven't changed all that much. There's still tons of talented people sharing information or inspiration from their kitchen, their home, the crafting tables, their outfits, and their lives. And I love it, just as I always have. 

But back when I first started reading blogs, there wasn't Instagram, IG stories, or snapchat. And I love that these are available now! I love sharing random things and "behind the scenes" type stuff. Like just last week I shared two pie recipe attempts (it's still not there—but I'm still testing) on my IG stories and that was fun but not something I would have taken the time to photograph for our site, because again, it's not really useful. So, yeah, LOVE all the options we have available. Although I must admit, most days I forget to share anything. Ha!

Glitter purse and shoes Shirt dressEmma's Wearing: Dress, shoes/ASOS (similar here, here and here), and Purse/ASOS (similar here.) (Can you tell I love ASOS?), and Necklace/F21

What do you all think? Have the blogs you loved changed over the years? Do you love following along online and via social media? Do you love sharing or are you are lurker? :) xo. Emma + Elsie

Credits // Author: Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman, Photography: Janae Hardy and Amber Ulmer. 

Bath Bomb
A sure way to impress your friends and family is by making them a homemade bath bomb. Seriously! I got so many oohs and ahhs after making this DIY at home and absolutely loved giving them away. My mom and mother-in-law didn't hate it either. Interesting fact, for those of you that don't know... I majored in chemistry for an entire semester... ;) So I kinda didn't hate feeling like a scientist putting together this recipe. Major throwback! 

In all seriousness, this is a really fun project to do during the weekend, or if you're really wild... on a week night! ;) There are so many beautiful combinations you can make with the colors, and they make beautiful gifts... or just a prize for yourself at the end of a long week. Hello, me time! 

I also recommend checking out Emma's bath bomb video. This gives you a great visual of the entire process! For this DIY, we have some slight variations and play with pigment/color, but I definitely suggest watching before starting the project. 

Ready?? Let's do this!

Bath BombSupplies:
-4oz. baking soda
-2oz. corn starch
-2oz. citric acid
-2oz. epsom salt (I used one that already had some essential oils in it, and it smelled divine!)
-1 1/2 teaspoons water
-essential oils (In addition to the epsom salt, I also used wild orange essential oil.)
-1 1/4 teaspoons coconut oil 
-food coloring
-gold lustre dust
-plastic ball ornament (to use as the mold)

I first want to note that I used the above amounts for each color I created. I made four colors for my bath bombs, so you'll want to make sure you have quadruple (or more!) of your ingredients depending on how many colors you make for your bath bombs. If following this recipe and doing four colors, you'll be able to make 6-8 bath bombs. 

Step One: Carefully measure and combine all dry ingredients into one bowl. Baking soda, corn starch, citric acid and epsom salt. Mix together and set aside. Do make sure your measurements are pretty exact. I used a scale to measure everything out, and it made things much easier! 

Bath Bomb               Step Two: In a separate bowl, combine your wet ingredients. Water, essential oils, coconut oil and food coloring. For the essential oils on top of the already scented epsom salt, I added about 10 drops of wild orange to each batch I made for each color. For the food coloring, I kinda eyeballed it until I got the desired color. I wanted these to be more of a jewel tone and make my bath water super colorful, so I added a lot more than I usually would. I suggest starting with 10 drops and going from there if you are looking for a more vibrant bath bomb. Mix all your wet ingredients together and set aside.

Bath Bomb              Step Three: Now for the fun part. Again, if you haven't watched Emma's video, check it out... it really helps clear up this step. Little by little you are going to add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. As you add in the wet ingredients, your mixture might start fizzing. We want as little fizz as possible, so be sure to add in your ingredients drops at a time and stir. Towards the end of adding your wet ingredients, I suggest using your hand to really mix everything together and make sure the consistency isn't too dry. If it's too dry, you'll have issues with your bath bomb potentially crumbling or breaking. An easy fix is to add in just a sprinkle of water until it holds together when squeezed. Set aside your mixture and repeat steps 1-3 per color you wish to add to your bath bomb. For this recipe, I did four colors. 

Bath Bomb             Step Four: Once all of your colors/mixtures are complete, it's time to add everything to your mold. I sprinkled a pinch of gold lustre dust to the bottom of my mold before adding in the mixture to give it a little shimmer and sparkle. Just make sure your lustre dust is food grade. Mine was originally meant for cake decorating and worked beautifully. After the dust, start to layer in your colors. I used a spoon to add in the mixture and pack everything in. I suggest using your fingers to make sure everything is packed in too. Slightly overfill each side before putting them together and closing the mold. 

Bath Bomb            Bath Bomb           Bath Bomb          Step Five: I let some of my bath bombs stay in their molds overnight and noticed that after they dried and expanded a little, they cracked the plastic mold. So I would suggest very carefully taking off one side of your mold after it dries for a few minutes. Finally, let your bath bombs sit overnight. Again, carefully remove the remainder of the mold the next day. If your bath bomb falls apart, you can put it back into a mixing bowl and add a little more water to try again. ;) 

Step Six: Wrap in colorful tin foil or store in a glass jar to keep it safe for giving or using in your own bath. Enjoy!

Please note, since we used a lot of coloring in these, I suggest doing a quick rinse out after taking your bath to prevent any staining.

Bath Bomb     Bath Bomb   Bath Bomb Bath Bomb  Bath Bomb       Have fun mixing colors and making your own rainbow bath bombs! Lots of love, Sav.

Credits//Author & Photography: Savannah Wallace. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions

Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess (photo by ©AlyssaRosenheck)Oh hey, guys! I'm excited to open up a big debate here today! So I just listened to the new episode of Young House Love Has A Podcast (one of my favorite podcasts, by the way) where I was a guest, and my mind is BLOWN. Let me explain...

When they asked me to be on the podcast, I was very excited, and when I heard that the interview I was giving was about white walls, I kind of shrugged. White walls ain't no thing to me. I paint all my walls white. It's my go-to. 

But when I listened to the full episode, I learned that 1. Some people think white walls look good in photo but not in real life (shocked), and 2. A lot of people paint walls white and then see them as unfinished, cold or boring. (whut?) 

Argh! This was a crazy discovery to me because I am exactly the opposite. The few colored walls I've tried out in my house never last long, and I end up painting everything white because it FEELS right to me. And colored walls (or even grey or black, etc...) are more photogenic, but I often feel like I like them better in the photo than in person. 

Now, I haven't always loved white walls. I remember the days of apartment dwelling (ever lived in a beige palace, anyone?) where living with someone else's paint color choices felt like the death of me. And this one time I had an apartment where they let me paint two statement walls, and I chose crazy bold turquoise and crazy bold orange and was so thrilled. Then in Jeremy's and my first space together, we painted and painted and painted... never white. 

But then four years ago, when we moved to our 1890s house, we went almost all white and never looked back. 

You can listen to the podcast episode here:


A Beautiful Mess (photo by ©AlyssaRosenheck) Here's our white bedroom with blush ceiling. 

A Beautiful Mess (photo by ©AlyssaRosenheck)And maybe the ultimate sin? Our natural stone fireplace that we painted white. 

So, I love a good debate! Here's my side. 

I love color. All kinds of color. But when it comes to my home, I find it very cohesive to stick with a simple color scheme anchored in white, with mostly white walls. I love the way it feels in person. I do think it's photogenic because it's so reflective and soft, but I personally think colored walls (or patterned walls) are MUCH more photogenic because they have a stronger catchiness factor. Like if I were decorating a room for a magazine photoshoot, I'd pick colored walls, but if I were decorating a room to live in, I'd probably stick with white. 

I love how white walls feel. And more than anything, I love a room that's light and airy with textures as the statement. 

I'm curious if in ten years I'll read this laughing from my colorful-wall house. Probably. I see trends coming and going ALL the time. I love trends, but I also tend to be someone who will drop it when I feel it's "played out" and never touch it again. I feel nowhere near that phase with white walls. If I moved again next week (definitely, definitely an imaginary scenario, you guys), I would buy more white paint. 

OK, I've rambled long enough! And I'm sorry if I am annoyingly passionate about my love for white walls. I loved hearing what John and Sherry and Katie had to say about white paint on the podcast. 

I want to hear what YOU think! Do you like white walls? Do you feel the trend is dying? Does it feel better to you in person or in photos? Would you, or have you painted white walls in your own home? xx -Elsie 

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Alyssa Rosenheck.


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