Sister Style: Flyover Country

Scenes from southern Missouri (abeautifulmess.com)Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman.   Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman.  Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman. Scenes from southern Missouri (abeautifulmess.com) Scenes from southern Missouri (abeautifulmess.com)  Elsie Larson and Emma ChapmanElsie and I get asked fairly often if we ever plan to move to a bigger city or a different state. We are both born and raised southern Missouri gals. I won't pretend that I have a crystal ball and know everything the future holds, but I doubt anywhere else will ever feel more like home than here.

Some of my very favorite memories are from this part of the country. I loved spending weeks at our grandparents' cattle farm during summers back when we were kids. Nearly all of my childhood I lived in the same house where my parents still live today. I learned to drive on two-lane highways in a town where it's almost laughable how easy it is to find parking in the middle of downtown, and a 20-minute drive means "a lot of traffic". We have a western apparel store that's as big as a Target. I feel just as comfortable in cowboy boots as I do Chuck Taylor tennis shoes.

Sure, some people don't like it here and can't wait to get out. I defnitely had that itch right after college. But there's a comfort and warmth here I just can't find anywhere else. We are from flyover country. And we couldn't be more proud.

Of course, we adore getting to visit big cities and both coasts of our great nation. We love to travel internationally, although we don't get to as often as we'd like. And I'd be lying if I didn't admit that during the dead of winter there is a part of me that wishes I lived in southern California. But nothing is ever perfect. And we are in love with the Midwest. Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman.           Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman.        Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman.    Scenes from southern Missouri (abeautifulmess.com)     Scenes from southern Missouri (abeautifulmess.com)   Emma ChapmanElsie LarsonFun fact: About ten minutes after we started snapping these photos we were forced back to our car because it started to rain, and shortly after that a tornado warning went into effect. I don't think any tornadoes were spotted this time. But it's that time of year. And in case you're curious, this field is about 15 minutes away from our studio house, out near the airport. 

Outfit details // Emma's wearing: shoes/flea market find, jeans/James Jeans, green shirt/F21, kimono/Frolic, necklace/BuenoBueno and sunglasses/UO. Elsie's wearing: Tops/F21, Skirt/Vintage, Necklace/Her Silver Lining, Headband/Ban.do, Tote c/o Sseko Designs, Boots c/o Swedish Hasbeens

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited using Willis from the Folk Collection and Petal from the Fresh Collection.

  • Lovely Photo Shoot ladies! And I love that tote!!

    I love the sound of the Mid West, will def plan a visit there one day πŸ™‚

  • This makes me so happy! I was born and raised in Indiana. I couldn’t wait to leave, but now I have grown to appreciate the Midwest as well πŸ™‚ Thanks for posting this.

  • I love the bohemian feel of these pictures and of course you ladies. Beautiful and outdoorsy is always IN.
    xo
    Carelia

    “Florals With An Edge” Blog post on:
    MySmallWardrobe.com

  • I’m from Southern California and I wonder if I wouldn’t find more magic in the midwest. The wide open spaces and friendly conversations. Definitely something I’m going to try.

  • I was born and raised in the midwest (currently live in LA), and there are points where I definitely miss it. There is a sort of connection in the midwest that I personally don’t feel out here in LA. However, I don’t mind missing the cold winters anymore. Lovely shoot, ladies!

  • I love the pride you have for your home state. I feel the same way about Ohio, and specifically Cleveland. I will always think of this area as home, even though unlike you, I grew up moving around a bit. To me, though, Cleveland is the tops! I love the idea of being from somewhere. I want to plant my roots in the northeastern Ohio countryside, eventually, so my future kids can feel the same way about their home state that I do. Thanks for sharing!

  • Interesting post to read….when people think of the Uk….they tend to think of London and London only….but the Uk has so much more and beautiful cities than London….and I guess it’s the same in the US….people tend to think New York or Los Angeles….but it has so much more to offer..

    http://vodkaandarose.blogspot.co.uk

  • Love this! From another born and raised Midwesterner (Kansas), there’s just something about the Midwest that will always feel like home.

  • I love the fun vibe of these photos. Those are gorgeous pictures. I love finding flea market boots! Yours are adorable. The lace kimono is pretty, too!

    Jenni

  • I love seeing some pride for southern Missouri, the same place I was born and raised!

  • These photos are SO fun! Oh, and I loved your first cooking YouTube video! Even though cocktails aren’t up my alley (to young ;), it was still so fun to see how you two interact on camera.

    -Charlotte
    boyerfamilysingers.blogspot.com

  • Awesome photo shoot (as always)…but I mostly wanted to let you guys know how much I LOVED the video cocktail recipe πŸ™‚

  • I love this one. β™₯ I grew up in Springfield, or the 417 area code in general and feel the same way. You should do a sister style at PFI. They were giving samples of moonshine cider last time I was there!

  • I absolutely love this! It’s refreshing to see young creatives embracing the Midwest and really owning it. I am absolutely the same way – born in Illinois, and now live in Missouri. I don’t see myself ever leaving (permanently, that is). You have to listen to yourself and go with what feels like home. Love these photos! Looks almost like where Kinsey took me & my husband’s engagement shots! πŸ™‚

  • Beautiful photos!

    I am a born and raised Nebraska girl- and love it there in the midwest!
    Now I live in Alaska!

  • I feel the same way about Ohio.
    πŸ™‚
    I’ve thought many times about moving… Especially in the middle of Winter and during the windy season…
    But no where is perfect. I had family visit that had never come to Ohio before and when they saw the lush green grass, they about cried. They said they had never seen such fluffy, nice grass! It just amazes me! I couldn’t imagine being away from it!

    πŸ™‚

  • We’ve only been in Missouri for a few days for vacation and it’s interesting. We live in Michigan so we’re used to large, empty fields and unpredictable weather, but we sure don’t have the gorgeous views when you reach the top of a big hill. It’s pretty breathtaking and they always seem to come at the perfect time when we’re like, “why did we come to Branson again?” haha! I can definitely see why you guys love it here though, it just instantly makes you feel like home.

    xoxo
    Taylor

  • I’m the same way. I had the awful itch to leave the desert after college. I was born and mostly raised here, always ending up back here after a nomadic stint. Now, I appreciate it and find things everyday to love about it. Traveling is fun and exciting, but I still want to call the desert my home.

    857notebook.blogspot.com

  • Love the scenery! Cityscapes and bright lights are beautiful sometimes but nothing beats seeing wide open spaces and clear fields. It’s peaceful and serene and refreshing all at the same time!

    xo Trisha
    http://www.trishasales.net

  • I grew up in Pennsylvania but my dad’s side of the family lives in Wisconsin. Every summer we’d come visit and I always felt more at home in Wisconsin that where I was actually from. Once I was old enough to strike out on my own, I moved to Milwaukee, WI and despite the sometimes terrible winters (like this year) I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. The Midwest rules!

  • As a born and raised Southwest Michigan gal I understand your love for your hometown. In the dead of winter I sometimes dream of being somewhere warm but for me no state will ever compare to my MI. I try to remember how lucky I am to be able to experience all 4 seasons and to live within a few miles from Lake Michigan. Lovely Sister Style post ladies!

  • I β™₯ β™₯ you guys even more after reading this post. I’m a Missouri girl myself. I just wrote a guest post about it today, check it out. I’ve put a few photos of ‘home’ on there as well.

    I’ve moved a lot since then and my definition of home has changed so much. Nowadays, home, for me, is a place where I’m loved and accepted for who I am. Mainly anywhere my husband and little boy are, that’s home for me.

    xx
    V @ Life+1
    New Post : Blasphemous Creme Egg Brownie Bites

  • Yay! It’s great to hear that you have find joy in your hometown. I’m in Arkansas. My parents still live in my childhood home and I live in the same town, too! I’d been following your blog for a while before I realized you guys were in MO and it made (and continues to make) me so happy and inspired. It’s wonderful to hear that you can live the dream anywhere.

  • You look so beautiful <3 Today I took some pictures inspired on your book!!I'm always looking for inspiration in there πŸ™‚

  • I do agree with you Jessica … Same for France … France = Paris … Having been lucky enough to travel a lot in every corner of the world, I discover my country, France, since a few years and it is a so attractive one. We so look the grass is greener on the other side of the fence by forgetting our roots. Elsie and Emma remind it to us with a lot of sweetness : the happiness is often in the simplicity and closer than we think.

    Amitiés à vous toutes les filles (et à vous aussi les garçons),
    Claire

  • That second photo is the best! And it’s awesome that you guys feel that way. Sometimes home is just seriously the only place to be.

  • I think part of the reason I love reading your blog is because you’re Missouri girls just like myself! πŸ™‚ I was so excited to find out ladies are just 2 hours away from where I have lived all my life, Kansas City! Theres no place like Missouri!

  • As a true blue mid-westerner, born in raised in Joplin, now living in SoCal, you described the mid-west perfectly. It is and will always be my favorite place.

  • As a midwest girl (born and bred) who moved to California for work, the grass is always greener. Your photos make me so nostalgic (and glad I am visiting home soon as well as your notes about the weather…people here have asked me what it is like to have a snow day??!! Meanwhile, I ask…so what’s it like to be in an earthquake?) There are great things wherever you are…one just has to be willing to appreciate that place and you girls do! Love.

  • These are great photos, it’s made me want to go and frolic in some fields!

    Holly Sparkle | Giveaway now open

  • Let us know when you’re coming to visit San Diego!
    We’re having mid 80’s weather at the moment:)

    p.s. I love the photo with the grass as antlers!

  • I love your pics. They’re very inspiring… This post made me think of where I come from – southern Poland, which I don’t get to visit very often these days and miss it a lot…

  • Beautiful photos. I live in Chicago and love nothing more than escaping the city to see family in the southern part of Illinois. Love the midwest and it’s wide open spaces

  • Sometimes I wish I felt as connected with the Midwest as you both seem to. I think I get wanderlust because I wasn’t raised here, but in the South — and also because the middle of Iowa, even in a ‘town’ is a lot more rural than I’d like. I miss ethnic food and having more than three restaurants! I miss having a theater less than an hour away that shows Wes Anderson movies or indie flicks. I miss living somewhere where people dress up (it seems like pajama pants are an epidemic these days….) Is it like that where you are, too? Or is it because you’re in/around a bigger city that you have more ‘fun’ stuff to do / more culture? Our town is very blue collar.

  • Great photos ladies πŸ™‚ I feel like that about my hometown too. There’s nothing quite like home, I’d never feel settled in a big city x

  • Gorgeous shots, and such a refreshing attitude!

    Georgina at itotallypaused.com

  • I wish I had just ONE photo of my sis and I together living it up and relaxing, there aren’t too many of those due to the fact she’s in Texas and I live thousands of miles away in Hawaii. It can be TOUGH! But at least in one another’s arms we feel at “Home”, both of us originally Ohio girls. The fields of corn and first snow falls always call me back there, even though I’m enjoying my beachy view here;)

  • I love how you don’t assume the only place to find creative and forward thinking people are in the big cities. Heartland proud!

  • I love these photos. Small towns are my favorite, wide open space like this are so refreshing. And yes, it is home πŸ™‚
    Jordyn
    Pretty Lovely

  • Ladies,

    I also wanted to congratulate you on your cocktail video! It was AWESOME. You both are very natural in front of the camera, love to actually hear you…keep those videos coming!

    Thanks for sharing. Also the kitchen in the Studio looks lovely, and the shaker you used, hello I have to got to find that!

    Congrats again, and also to Jeremy, fabulous production.

  • Gasp! These are the most beautiful and magical sister style photos ever! Swoon! So in love with them. You girls are beautiful! xoxo

  • I love these photos! I totally get your sentiments about living where you are now. I’m a prairie girl- I come from a town of 500…and now live in a city of over half a million. It’s fun and there’s always something going on or restaurants to try, but I don’t think it’ll ever feel like home here. At least, not the type of home I knew in the prairies!

  • Love these photos! There’s something so special about the midwest. I grew up in Illinois but went to the east coast for college, and I must say, the midwest has the friendliest, most down-to-earth people of anywhere I’ve been. I daydream about living in other parts of the country but I’d definitely miss this region if I moved.

  • <3 Love you guys so much for posting this! <3

    I grew up where the suburbs meet the cornfields in O'Fallon, Missouri (my sis lives in Springfield!) but I've spent most of my adult life on the coasts. I currently live in SF designing mobile apps for startups and loving it, but I still miss my home state, especially the warm summer nights!

    Thank you so much for showing folks that you CAN run a viable, successful business from almost anywhere. Not everyone has to live in SF or NYC to make an amazing app or blog. Yay!

    Also, tornadoes - my Irish husband has yet to understand why I love them and actually *miss* them. hehe.

  • I grew up and am currently going to school in North Dakota, and while this winter has me itching to move away (we got over a foot of snow only a week ago!), the majority of my family is here and I know it will always be a special place to come back to.

    ps LOVE this Sister Style! Crushing hard on Elsie’s skirt & Emma’s kimono

  • I’m a Nebraska girl that has moved around the country. After 10 years in Boulder, CO I said a tearful goodbye and headed home. Although I wish I could have brought the Boulder “mindset” with me, I’m back among very friendly people and the beautiful wide open spaces. I think I’ll call this home again. Lovely photos ladies! I can certainly relate to them.

  • You lovely ladies are blowing us away on these photo’s!
    I wish I could have a place where I’d feel so comfortable that I wouldn’t feel the need to look for that somewhere else.. I haven’t found it yet! I am moving from country to country, crossing oceans.. here’s hoping..!!
    http://CoralynxBlog.com/

  • Beautiful sister style! I live here in Springtown, too, and I used to want nothing more than to get out. Now that I’ve been a bit of here, there and everywhere, I have come to realize that this is indeed a special place with special people in it. It will always be home.

  • I absolutely love this post. I live in what most would describe as “small town America,” even though it’s really not that small in north Texas. I love to travel and see new places, but I really love coming back to the quiet of this area. I love my wide open spaces and seeing cows on my drive to work (which only takes about 7 minutes). Thank you for reminding people that the small places can have big impacts!

  • Sisters are the best, yeah? Sometimes people look at me like I’m nuts when I talk about how much I love my sisters but you two understand. You know.

    Also, I had no idea how much I loved Indiana until I lived in Texas for a year. The midwest is best πŸ˜€

  • This is one of my favorite sister styles that you two have ever done! I love the neutrals- so beautiful and suit you both so well.

    We are in Missouri as well- St. Louis, to be exact. And though we have lived all over the country, we feel like the midwest is just so great- St. Louis has everything- great music, art, tons of free interesting things to do in the city, plenty of hipster hang-outs, and most of all, it is really family-friendly and affordable. What could be better?

  • We do have some unpredictable weather her in missouri. I do love the changing seasons here.

    Vintagehoneybee.blogspot.com

  • I love the sister style serie and your photos are always an inspiration, your photographer is excellent! Thank you for posting so much, I love the blog and its content, the lifestyle is simply and inspiration and aspiration. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  • Beautiful post! I live in small country (Slovenia, in the middle of the Europe) in small village near the small town, hehe. Even though I sometimes dream about big cities, I most of the time feel like the luckiest person in the world, because it’s so freaking beautiful here. All that nature, green fields and forests and hills and friendly neighbors. And I don’t need to have my dog on leash, when we go for a walk!

  • Just so loved that photo shoot looks like a great place to be as you both look so happy. I loved reading your story. x

  • These photos of you are so beautiful. They reminded me of my plan to take similar ones with my sisters. We really need to take them soon…

    I grew up on the countryside, in a small town. I got frustrated with it and couldnΒ΄t wait to move somewhere else. I still love to go back there, but never for long. It will need a longer while until IΒ΄m ready to go back and live there again. If I ever will. But itΒ΄s nice to hear that you found your spot to stay.

  • There really is no place like home and it’s such a joy when we’re able to accept and cherish that.

    You’re both beautiful and the photo shoot is stunning. (:

  • my FAVORITE sister style yet! i live in a small town too, so i completely relate to this post. and as everyone around me could not wait to move as soon as they got out of high school, i still found it beautiful. if james and i ever move, i doubt well leave the texas hillcountry. it is just so beautiful.

  • As a fellow fly over state girl (from Oklahoma)…I appreciate the truth to this post so much. I love traveling and working internationally with all my heart, but even then, I still miss the warmth of the Midwest and the comforting feeling of being home. πŸ™‚

    http://www.thesebeautifulramblings.com

  • I’m from Springfield too!!! Lived most of my life there, and mostly resented it. But after moving away I do realize that Springfield has its own certain type of charm. Plus, the chinese food in Springfield is paralleled!!! I literally cannot find better chinese food. It’s always a treat when I get to go home now.

  • It’s great that you guys love Missouri and prefer to stay there. I have always wanted to live in the capital city of my state. Am planning to do so by next year.
    Love your photos by the way. They’re beautiful!

  • I absolutely love this. As a Midwest girl myself, I can totally relate. After high school all I could think about was getting out of here & going somewhere “exciting”, but now I can’t imagine living and raising my family anywhere other than my hometown. I LOVE it.

    PLUS I think you guys are at a serious advantage when it comes to thrift shopping, with sheer number of flea markets within a 1-hour radius of Springfield! My husband’s family all lives in that area and I force him to take me to at least one flea market every time we visit. Last weekend I came home with the most AMAZING brass armadillo and a set of silver pineapple coasters πŸ™‚

    Gorgeous photography, as usual ladies! Midwest represent!

  • What a beautiful post, both in word and photos. I found you through Bloglovin’ and so glad for their e-mail to me. I look forward to more of your posts and checking the rest of your blog.

  • I loved this. Thanks for showing everyone that you can be successful and do interesting things, even if you live in the Midwest.

    I’m from flyover country, too. North Dakota to be exact. People ask me all the time how I can stand to live here. They say there’s nothing to do, there’s no culture, and it’s too cold. The truth is: there’s lots to do and there is plenty of artistry and culture. You just have to look for it.

    Like you guys, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Yes, the winters are beyond brutal, but Spring never skips its turn – so I’ll take it!

    Thanks again, ladies. You’re always an inspiration.

  • You girls seem right at home there πŸ™‚ I love seeing the happy sister photos – they make me miss my siblings!!!

  • First of all, I thanked him so much that he had done so beautiful pictures. The site has been very beautiful. Many thanks for posting images.

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