Scrapbook Sunday: July Messy Box

Hi there! I’m happy to be back sharing the July Messy Box! I know I say this every month, but the colors in this kit are so good! There are really pretty pastels with some darker, bold shades. This kit has a great summer activities theme. July in Phoenix has been really warm, so I’ve been going to coffee shops with friends a lot and talking about creativity and our goals. It’s so fun to chat with friends about creative goal setting. I made one layout to document all my coffee dates with friends and a “dream board” for my creative work.





My first layout was about all my trips to coffee shops with friends. I love sharing goals with friends and hearing what they are working on. Life gets busy, so I’ve been trying to make seeing friends a priority. It’s so inspiring to talk about what we are each working on. This kit came with pretty, mint alphabet stickers. Alphabet stickers will always be my favorite way to add captions to photos and journaling cards. One of the coolest cards in this kit was a transparent ampersand. Normally, I like to have the transparent cards show through to the next page, but I really wanted this one to pop, so I backed it with another journaling card.

I’ve been working on starting a podcast, so I was excited to see the headphone journaling card when I opened my kit. I decided to make a page that highlights my work goals that I want to strive towards. Some are happening sooner than others, but it’s fun to have big goals to keep working towards.

The July Messy Box also comes with the best pen! How great is that ice cream cone pen?! This month’s kit is so perfect for documenting a variety of summer activities. What summer activities will you be using your Messy Box to document? Keep sharing your scrapbooking pages on Instagram! xo. Laura

PS – August will be the last month for Messy Box. You can read more about that here! (Don’t worry, we have some awesome products launching soon!) Let us know if you have any questions in the comments. xo.

 Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Hager. Photos edited with Scrapbook from the A Beautiful Mess actions.
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10 Things I Love Sunday

Hi there. I hope your weekend has been lovely and sunny. I am deep in another nesting spree and it feels SO good. Here are 10 things that I am loving right now!

1. I am not proud to admit this, but I have never enjoyed learning foreign languages. I know it’s awful, but it’s never been something I had any desire to do and it definitely does not come naturally to me. That said, my friend Ashley posted about this app called Hello Chinese and I tried it (after failing miserably at staying interested in Duolingo). You guys, it’s FUN! I am obsessed with it and it feels like a game to me. It claims that if you do it for 10 minutes a day for three months you can be fluent. Honestly, I would be happy with ANY level of fluency for our trip to China and I am so excited to have found something fun. Jeremy is doing it too. I’ll report back before our trip and let you know our progress.

Bonus points: Kids can play it too!

2. Here’s my most recent cookbook I picked up. So inspiring, and gorgeous too. Perfect for summertime!

3. Kelly’s new room tours are so incredible!! Obviously, this is my favorite!

4. I just bought these mustard sneakers and have been wearing them everywhere. Scored some cool points with my husband.

5. I’ve been working on our kiddo bathroom and I was wondering if you all have any links for cute bath toys or kids bathroom stuff you love? It’s so fun—I can’t wait to share!

6. Cantaloupe Margaritas sound SO good!

7. I’m working on an ALL pink gallery wall and I just ordered this print and this print … so excited!

8. My friend, Ashley G, just designed a BEAUTIFUL collection of planners at Target. I am currently using this one.

9. I LOVE these photos of LaTonya and her kiddos. So beautiful!

10. We just watched the episode of The Office where Michael leaves and I cried for, like, 20 minutes. I don’t think I had ever gotten that far. We usually only watch seasons one or two until Jim and Pam’s wedding and then start over again. Haha—finally going to go to the end!

PS: The books pictured above are Allegra Hicks: An Eye For Design and Avedon Fashion 1944-2000. The pink woven bowl is from here.

If you haven’t read our 10 Year Of Blogging Recap Post, it’s a special one! xx!

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Anniversary Giveaway: Arielle Vey Prints

Happy weekend, friends! We are continuing our giveaway series celebrating A Beautiful Mess turning 10 years old this month! I am super stoked for today’s giveaway!!! One lucky reader will win $150 of credit to Arielle Vey’s print shop. I just bought a print for our bedroom last week and it was honestly so hard because she has SO many stunning photos to choose from. Go check it out.

Many of you are probably already fans of her work, as Arielle has been on this site a few times sharing her photography and her filter pack, Weekend, that came out with A Color Story last year.

Arielle’s prints make me feel excited to plan my next trip. Since she’s based in California, a lot of her work features gorgeous photos of the Pacific Ocean as well as many plants that just aren’t found in the Midwest, where I live. So I thought along with this giveaway I’d share a peek back at some of the trips Elsie and I have shared on A Beautiful Mess over the years. 🙂

Elsie and Jeremy’s 2012 trip to Austin. Did you know they also honeymooned there? Aww.

Elsie and Jeremy’s short 2012 trip to Nashville. Maybe this is when the city started to steal them away from me … hmm… 😉

Emma and Trey tag along on the Larson’s anniversary trip to Hawaii. It’s true! Elsie actually invited me and my then-new boyfriend Trey on her anniversary. She’s a nice sister like that. That was the first trip Trey and I ever went on together. I didn’t travel much at the time, so I remember I had to buy a suitcase for the trip because I didn’t yet own one. 🙂

We took our Mom on a trip to NYC that year, too. Highlights included lots of cupcakes, giggles, and seeing Mary Poppins on Broadway. Great trip, but I think we owe her on a trip that isn’t so insanely hot next time, and maybe has a beach. 🙂

The first time Elsie went to Palm Springs, which has since sparked what seems to be a lifelong obsession with this spot. Ha!

Emma and Trey’s honeymoon to Switzerland and first international trip together. Aww.

We all went to visit Rachel when she lived in Colorado Springs. Girls trip!

The whole gang goes to Costa Rica—such a beautiful country!

And if you want to see even more travel posts, you can check here.

Are you ready to enter the giveaway??? Giveaway is for $150 credit to Arielle Vey’s print shop, open to the U.S. only.
$150 to Arielle Vey’s Print Shop!

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A Letter To My 24-Year-Old Self….

I’ve been reflecting on 10 years of blogging, all that has changed and some things that have surprisingly stayed the same! When I started this blog, I didn’t imagine very far into the future—if I’m being honest. I didn’t plan ahead. Things just happened, things fell into place. We did more of what was working. We learned as we went.

That said, I have some advice to send back to my younger self. Maybe some of you can relate.

Dear 24-year-old Elsie,

I know you think you’re so smart and so grown up, but listen to what I have to say because I know way more than you do.

– Don’t rush each milestone. You’ll want to get married fast, get a book deal fast, design products fast, decorate your home fast and have kids fast. Don’t rush. Looking back, the years you were less rushed are so much more full of memories. Your brain needs downtime. So take the important milestones slow, and enjoy them. Enjoy the planning, the little steps. Sometimes you get to the end and realize your favorite part wasn’t even the finish line. Don’t worry so much about the end goals.

– Make friends outside your bubble. The more you do, the more you will grow.

– Accept your company’s growing pains. There is a lot of growth ahead and some of it will hurt for a while. You probably think that having a bunch of employees will make your job easier, that you’ll never have to do the things you don’t love anymore. Well, it doesn’t work that way in real life. It will always be challenging. Training new employees takes a long time; you’ll be surprised how long. But don’t let it bum you out, you’ll be so glad you did it in the end.

– Always listen to Emma when it comes to money and business. Always insist she listens to you when it comes to creative direction. Eventually you’ll learn to stay in your own lanes and you’ll both be happier for it. And don’t forget to tell her you appreciate her as often as you think of it! You need each other.

– For God’s sake, don’t Photoshop your face! It’s something you’ll regret looking back, and feel so dumb about. Don’t ruin perfectly good photos. Let it be.

– Trends will come and go, so spend more time tapping into the vintage styles that you have always loved. These are the key to finding your style. Everything else is in flux.

– Don’t worry about competition. Like, really, don’t worry about it. You’ll realize later it’s not a thing.

– Learn to accept the Internet for what it is. Sometimes it’s far too nice, sometimes it’s unfair and cruel. It’s not going to treat you reasonably all the time. So don’t take it personally. Don’t fight it. Don’t try to edit your life to avoid critique. Eventually you’ll honestly be able to laugh it off. I promise you, it will get easier. By the time you’re 34, you’ll feel like you can fend off bad vibes with a water gun, while sipping a Mai Tai.

– Ask for help as much as you can. You have people in your life who are much smarter than you. Ask their advice and listen.

– I know that when you’re 24, being 34 sounds so old and gross, but I promise you it’s all good. Your 30s are pure magic—everyone knows it (except 29 year olds).

– Only do business with people who believe in karma.

34-year-old Elsie

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