Eleven Years of Blogging


This month, we celebrate 11 years of blogging. This photo of Rachel, Emma and I was taken 11 years ago—can you even believe that!? I can’t.

In many ways, I feel like I grew up on this blog. I was 24 years old when I started A Beautiful Mess and Emma was still in college. I fell in love, got married, talked my sister into joining my sinking business (which she then rescued). I made mistakes—I had seasons of being an oversharer and seasons where I only showed an overpolished side of my life. I learned, I grew.

And btw, if you want to see a TON of old photos and links, we put together a huge post celebrating 10 years of blogging last year. So check that out!

It’s weird to me now that we became bloggers in that perfect intersection of time just after people really started to use the internet every day and just before social media became a thing.

I started this blog when I didn’t know it could become a career. I did it for fun. And I’m often thankful I had a chance to jump into it with zero expectations. My sister and I used this space to start a business (ultimately three businesses, which now stemmed from our small team). We spent all our savings to make an app, we became adults with health insurance and retirement funds. We really have grown up here.

But the craziest part of all of it is that my favorite parts of blogging are still the same as they were 11 years ago. I like sharing what I’m most excited about in life. I like hearing your television show suggestions in the comments—lol. I love making friends with readers all over the world. I still get so happy when someone comes to say hello to us in Target or at a restaurant. It still surprises me every time.

Here are some funny photos (some are embarrassing) to celebrate 11 years! Because you don’t deserve to make a career out of blogging if you can’t make fun of yourself, right?

Elsie in 2007. Ugh, so embarrassing, but also too funny not to post.


Emma in 2007. Visionary.

Falling in love with Jeremy in 2008.

One of my first e-courses with Rachel in 2009.

My studio in 2009. I used to stay up all night trying to make paintings to pay my bills. I’m forever grateful for that season of life.

One of my first outfit photos in 2010. Also note three vintage collections in one photo!

Can you believe I’ve been writing “10 Things I Love Sunday” for 10 years?!

(also, holy Photoshop—haha)


My wedding in 2011.

Emma’s wedding in 2013.

If you’ve been reading for 11 years or two years or two months … thank you. We love what we do and in the past one or two years I have started to feel some of that old-school nostalgia coming back. I am really excited about where the blog world is going lately. It feels really good to me and I still read blogs every morning with a cup of coffee.

I can’t help but wonder what the next 11 years will bring. I never imagined I would still be writing this blog after all these years, but now I can’t imagine ever stopping. Emma and I are pretty sure we’re destined to become old lady bloggers. Honestly, that sounds pretty fun.

Love you! Elsie

  • Congrats on an amazing and trans-formative 11 years! I’ve been following along since the Red Velvet days, but lost count on how many that makes it. Love watching your journey as bloggers and creative individuals.

    Etsy.com/Shop/SouvenirAndSalvage

  • Happy 11 year blogiversary. I’ve only been with you a short while but have enjoyed every blog. I may not have been here for the first 11 yrs but I plan to be here for the next 11. Keep up the good work.

  • I’ve been reading ABM since about 2011. It’s been so great watching you guys evolve through the years. I’ve learned a lot from you on the way and I really appreciate you. In fact, ABM, back when it was just Elsie, were what inspired me to start my first blog what feels like a million years ago. To many more good years with you 🙂

    ~Laurali Star

    https://www.girlynaturelovers.com/

  • Your wedding was 7 years ago?!? i’ve been reading a LOOOOONG time. happy blogaversary!

  • I rarely comment anymore but I’ve been here for YEARS, probably since your wedding or just before that. Anyway, congratulations!! The one thing I noticed in the first picture is that you’re all sans tattoos! I’m so used to them, it’s weird not seeing them 😀

  • This makes me so happy! I’ve been a religious reader since my senior year of college in 2011. Honestly your blog eased my worries of what my next step was, and inspired me to just craft for fun! (I ended up opening my own Etsy shop!) I’m SO happy so see this blog grow and all the amazing things you putting out into the world! Congrats!<3

  • I’ve been reading since 2011 (when I was only 15!). This was the first blog I ever ‘discovered’ and started reading – I’ve loved watching the blog expand and it has helped inspire me to start my own blog (just for fun, definitely not an empire like this one haha). Happy 11 years 🙂

  • It has been a pleasure to watch your blog grow, evolve, and succeed. It would be fun to have you post some of your layouts from the Two Peas days, too. 🙂 Congratulations on 11 years, and wishing you many, many more.

  • I’ve enjoyed reading your blog since a year or two before Emma’s wedding! I love reading it on work breaks. And Else, I love your “embarrassing” photo, it looks like you should have been a 90’s music video (sort of Lisa Lobe plus Madonna in her goth phase), which is a total complement in my book! 🙂 Thanks for all you all do!

  • I’ve been reading your blog since 2006! You have definitely been one of my biggest inspirations. You inspired me to start my first blog, let me see how fun photography could be, and showed me how I didn’t have to be the best at making something – the important thing was to go ahead and do it. I don’t blog anymore, but I still love reading yours and you all still remind me about that joy in making! Love you guys ❤

  • I think I have been reading your blog since then! I started working in a Craft Store with a big scrapbooking section (I knew NOTHING about scrapbooking) when I worked late nights I would search the internet to learn more and stumbled across this blog and Elsie’s scrapbooking line. I run my own art and craft store now and this blog has got me out of a few creative jams over the years! Thanks a bunch ✨✌🏻

  • I love those old pictures, they remind me of when I fell in love with y’all and your blog! You may think they’re embarrassing, but it was that quirkiness that made me a fan for life! 💕♥️😍

  • I found your blog through Pinterest, it was the photo that you posted above of your wedding and I’ve been following ever since!

  • I’ve been reading your blog since 2009! I used to stay up late in high school doing all your DIYs! Thank you for writing all these years and coming up with such fun content post afternoon post. I can’t wait to see what is in store for you guys!

  • I discovered you on Two Peas when you became a Garden Girl and have been following you since! Crazy! I’ve always loved your style 🙂 Congrats on another milestone 🙂

  • I’ve been a reader since 2011! A beautiful Mess was the first blog I’ve ever came across believe it or not. I remember loving Fashion Mixology, making The Nutella Sandwich recipe from your post, reading about your vintage store Red Velvet and also reading Emma’s Food Coma blog! Through your blog I’ve developed a love for vintage! I’ve also found other blogs to appreciate until today, friends of yours one of them Katie Shelton from Skunkboy Blog. It’s awesome to see you grow in this business. Congrats!

  • Happy blog-anniversary to you, Elsie. I’ve been here since Emma’s wedding 🙂 and now your blog is the one and only I still read. It needs a lots of transformation, growing but still stay yourself. All the best for the next 11 years to you all at ABM!

  • Congratulations! And oh my gosh… I just realised I‘ve been reading your blog for over 6 years now! You are a constant inspiration to me, and it‘s been so much fun following your business, blog and private journeys. This is the only blog I have always kept reading. Thank you!

  • Congratulations! I can’t believe I have been following you since 2012. I just realised that when you mentioned that Emma got married in 2013! I have loved following you guys ever since, and am especialy fond to see bits of the season of life you guys are in now :D.

  • I love that I remember most of those throw back pics from the first time around.
    Other nostalgia for me was tattoo of the week I think it was called that and the photo comic of you and Jeremy and your pizza date too cute.

    I love blogging now bit I feel something has been lost now especially from newer blogs they know so they emulate everything starts polished.

    I am moving to WordPress and keep thinking do I ‘re shoot old photos? I think I will keep them it is part of the journey right

  • I’ve been following you since the beginning of your adventure (not sure how I happened upon your blog – but so glad I found you!). Thank you for your inspiration!
    xoxo

  • I love this post! For me, blogging is my third… no, fourth career. It’s been a humbling experience. Your blog is one of the first blogs I started following and you have taught me so much. Keep doing what you’re doing. Much gratitude and love to you!

  • Eleven years?! I started following along in 2009, hard to believe it’s been that long. I’ve loved watching you ladies grow your business, it’s so inspiring!

  • I can’t help but notice you smile a lot more in your more recent photos than in this collection of older portraits. It looks like the family life gave you all the hapiness in the world! I am a long time reader and ABM is still my absolute favorite blog. Thank you for sharing! You are such an inspiration!

  • Congrats ABM on eleven years of blogging! I saw an article the Kansas City Star did on you guys a few years ago and I have been hooked since. One of the first things I do in the morning is read your blog. No matter what you write it is always inspiring. Thank you…keep doing what your doing and I will keep reading.

  • Congrats ABM team! Your blog and business is a bright spot on the internet for me and has been for the past few years. Elsie, I’d love to hear what your favorite blogs are these days! I want to find some new ones to read 🙂

  • It’s crazy how 11 years seems not all THAT long ago – but these photos make me realize – it’s more than a decade! Crazy! Definitely an accomplishment – especially ALL that’s come out of your little blog – incredible!

    Thank you for sharing the funny pics. It’s a reminder of how down-to-earth you ladies are. I’ve been reading since…..hmmm – about a year before Emma’s wedding (#Tremma <— it's weird how certain things stick with you :P). A lot of my fav (smaller) blogs have come and gone in that time – but I'm glad that you've been here all the while, AND that you haven't become a personality-less machine of pop-up ads and affiliate links. Love you ABM!

  • Crazy that it’s been 11 years! I’ve been following you for about the last 9 years, starting when I was 13 and in middle school, omg. I must say you’ve been a great positive creative influence in my world and I think in the internet world in general, and I’m appreciative that I can still enjoy keeping up with ABM after all this time. 🙂 I had a just-for-fun blog back then and this past year I’ve re-joined the blogging world and loving it!

  • Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it has been 11 years! I remember most of those photos, been following almost this whole time I think. Love seeing how your style has evolved. Congrats on another successful year.

  • Happy anniversary you guys! Love the trip down memory lane and especially your wedding photographs – Emma’s wedding is still in my mind all these years later. The DIY dress! The boats as seating! Trey being handed a beer! It was a great time for wedding content! I also remember loving Elsie’s hair tutorial for her bridesmaids which was using shower puffs to pad out a beehive!

    http://victoriaspongepeasepudding.com

  • Congrats! I’ve been here since the very beginning and I just love Abm. Hello from Poland! Xxx

  • Holy cow! I’ve been reading your blog for 9 years! Out of all the blogs this has been the one I have consistently followed. Great content and great people. Thank you for sharing!!!

  • Happy blog anniversary! I can’t believe I’ve been reading you guys not only for so long but through so much. :*

  • congratulation!! I take notes from your blog!!! “continuation is power” my grandpa taught me that though… I never really been good at. but I keep writing my blog liiiitttttle by liiiitttllle.

    please keep up with the good work! congratulation again!!

  • Congratulations on 11 years!! I have been following you guys for a long time (previously too shy to comment!) and you’ve really inspired me to pursue my own creative passions. Thank you for bringing so many helpful tools for those of us looking to get into blogging as well – A Color Story is legit my FAVORITE app I own.

    Cheers to 11+ more years of being your fabulous selves :).

    Woof Xo,
    Michelle & Watson

    https://www.watsonandwalls.com/

  • Happy 11 years!!
    My 11 tear blogging anniversary is this November. It’s crazy how much things have changed.

  • True story, I started my vintage paint-by-numbers collection after I came into your store on Commercial and saw the Native American PBN! (I was so sad when it was sold to someone other than me lolol) Now they’re all over my house. Thanks for always being an inspiration!

  • I’ve been reading your blog since you were contributing to Creating Keepsakes and blogging on BlogSpot! That was way back in the day! Even though I don’t know you, or Emma, or Rachel (or any of the people who were a part of your life back then- like Will and Silje), I feel like we’ve been “friends” for YEARS now. LOL. Congratulations to you and your team for making ABM what is and thank you for making it what it was back then. Here’s to another 11 years of life, love, and blog. <3

  • Hi! I’ve been following you gals since my senior year in high school, 2007, and have loved your creativity and inspirational ideas ever since! I have always had a love for crafts, cooking, home decor, holidays and more thanks to my momma and grandma. They taught me to sew in kindergarten, bake throughout my whole childhood, and celebrate traditions new and old. I lost my grandma 3 years ago, and sadly my mom surprisingly this past February. Crafts, painting, baking, decorating and using my hands to create keeps both of them with me. I have to thank you for your Countless ideas, recipes, posts, and overall inspiration! I am the oldest of 4, so I feel like you are the big sisters I never had:)

    Thank you for being you, happy anniversary! Xo

  • I remember those early photos – and they made me smile. I also bought a lot of those painting back in the day – circa ‘08 or so. Loved this recap

  • Elsie! The world is literally more colorful and creative because of what you and Emma and your amazing team does. I am so thankful for a color story app, so thanks for going all in! Totally worth it I am guessing? This post was so fun and encouraging to read! I have been blogging off and on since 2014, and I am just now feeling like I could be getting the hang of it! I will be investing in your e-course! Love you guys!

  • I need shame advice hoping you can helping… I have started glittering makeup brushes, but I’m having problems with the glitter staying on brushes that don’t have wooden handles.. What do I need to do or use… Thanking you in advance with your time and help.

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