Today is a BIG DAY! After 12 years of blogging and almost 7,000 blog posts (crazy, right?!), we decided to dive headfirst into the podcast world! We are really excited to have a new, very casual, format to connect with you.
For our launch, we decided to go ahead and put up three episodes so can have a little mini-marathon and get a more well-rounded feel for the types of topics we want to cover.
You can stream the episodes here on the blog or you can stream them on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, and Stitcher.
Episode 1: Welcome To A Beautiful Mess Podcast
We decided to devote a full episode to just introducing ourselves and sharing some of the topics coming up in our first 10 episodes. We are big believers in the Ira Glass quote (below) and decided to JUST START. We know our podcast will not be, and can’t be as incredible as we want it to be out the gate, so we consider this our practice session!
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.
But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work.
Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” –
Show Notes + Links:
-The enneagram book Emma mentions: The Road Back To You.
-Not sure what enneagram you are? Take a free test here (and more importantly, read all the descriptions of the ones you test higher on—you usually know in your gut which one it is).
-Our friend Ryan O’Neal did a deep dive episode on his podcast for each of the nine types.
-The astrology app Emma references is Co-Star.
As promised! Here are a few embarrassing childhood photos!
-Hell yes! Found a link to watch Escape to Chimp Eden. 31 EPISODES OF PURE JOY!
Episode 2: Forever Homes
Emma and I are each currently shopping for our “forever” homes. In this episode, we explain what that means to us, what we are looking for and also a little history of the homes we have owned up to this point.
In the episode we promise to give a lot of links! Here we go!
Elsie’s favorite IG: @cheapoldhouses
Show Notes and Links:
My very first home we lived in pre-blog, so I don’t have any photos to share (at all! so sad!). However, we’ve lived in two homes we owned since this blog has been around.
The first one is immortalized in a 20-minute video tour. You can also see the dining room, kitchen and living room here. That home (and also Emma’s first home) are the main spaces photographed in our book, Happy Handmade Home.
My current home has been toured much more extensively. Here’s a quick run-through: Kitchen, Den, Master Bedroom, Master Bathroom, Closet, Guest Bedroom, Guest Bathroom, Kiddo Guest Bedroom, Living Room, (that was before we added the rainbow shelves), Nova’s Bedroom, Marigold’s Bedroom, Kid’s bathroom, Jeremy’s Studio, My Office, Dining Room and Sunroom. Also here’s our exterior and our DIY a-frame and play set. Oh, and I have to add “what my home looks like on a normal day.”
And you can see a full video of the “befores” here. It was a big renovation that took three years and was the learning experience of a lifetime!
I put my whole heart into this home and am so proud of the transformations!
OK! On to Emma’s home links. We’ll start with her first home. As I said above, her first home was pretty well covered in our first book, Happy Handmade Home. But there are tours too! Emma’s Bedroom Tour, Living Room, Kitchen and Dining Room.
And then Emma’s current home: Living Room, Kitchen, Dining Room, Office, Backyard Patio, Front Living Room.
Also! Here’s the “scary house” Elsie wanted to buy. We explain why it didn’t work out in the episode.
Here are the links to our Guilty Pleasure Treasures!
-Elsie’s current obsession—The Righteous Gemstones. Here is the trailer.
-Emma’s romance novels … Book one, Book two, Book three, Book four, Book five.
*wow—the covers really are amazing!
Episode 3: How To Do a 100-Day Challenge
Earlier this year I published this post, How I Changed My Life, and the number one comment (DM, etc.) that I heard from you all was asking for more detail on exactly how I structured the challenge. So we spent a whole episode going over the details and giving tips for doing a 100-day challenge! I really hope it is helpful!
We created this simple worksheet that you can download here.
Show Notes + Links:
-Elise Blaha Cripe book: Big Dreams, Daily Joys. We are also big fans of her planner, Get To Work Book.
-Also, just in case you haven’t listened, here is a link to John + Sherry’s podcast, Young House Love Has A Podcast.
-OK, I have to say I am getting slightly jealous because Emma’s guilty pleasures are always WAY better than mine!
Whew … well, there it is! Three episodes for your listening pleasure. We truly hope you enjoy it!
As with anything new, we feel super vulnerable! Learning a new skill publicly does that to you—haha. So please be kind to us and remember that we are still in the midst of our learning curve. We want to produce a high-quality podcast for you, but we also have to learn how by doing it one week at a time. Thank you so much for the love and support you’ve already shown to this new project.
If you want to support our new podcast, you can do so by leaving us a review on any of the platforms where you listen, subscribe so you never miss an episode and post on IG (or wherever you like to post) to share it with your friends! Those little steps would help us SO much to get a strong start!
Moving forward, we will be sharing one episode per week, every Monday! Since we did put up three at once for this first one we may take a couple weeks off around Christmas, but we’ll see. We will aim to keep it at one episode per week consistently. And we are treating these first two months like an experiment, so PLEASE let us know which episodes are your favorites and what you’d like to hear more of!
xx- Elsie + Emma
P.S. Special thank you to Mara Dockery, who designed our show art, Amber Ulmer, who took the photo, Jeremy Larson, who wrote our podcast music and Keely Rust, who edits each episode! If you ever look at us and think “How do they do it all?,” it’s because we have amazing support and work with some of the most talented, hardworking people. We are lucky!
Episode 1 Transcript
Elsie: (laughing) I feel stupid, okay…
Elsie: …is that just how you do it?
Emma: Next time do a shot, psycho!
Elsie: Well, you went to like, actor school.
Emma: Okay, number one, there’s no such thing as “actor school”…
Elsie: Yes there is and yes you did go to it! Okay, I’m gonna start now. Sorry. I just…this is why I never wanted to do a podcast!
Elsie: You’re listening to A Beautiful Mess Podcast, our very first episode. We wanted to use today as a get to know you episode as well as share some of the topics we’re going to cover over our first ten episodes.
Emma: Well hi there, I’m Emma. I am one of the sisters behind this podcast and also behind our main business, A Beautiful Mess. I have the deeper voice of the two of us you’ll notice *laughs*.
But yeah, Elsie and I, we really are sisters. A lot of times people have heard us say that and then they’ll say “are you really sisters or are you close and call yourself sisters?”
Elsie: People sometimes don’t believe we’re sisters, that’s a thing.
Emma: I think it’s because some people think we look alike and some people don’t. Some people are like “no, you don’t look alike” but on this podcast, you will notice that our voices do not sound like we are biological sisters, but we are.
*Elsie and Emma both laugh*
Emma: But yeah, we’re really sisters, we grew up in Springfield, Missouri and I still live there, and we have a little brother Doren. What else…yeah and we have a main company A Beautiful Mess
Elsie: We’re work wives, we work together every day
Emma: We are work wives. Or work husbands, you can think about it whatever way you want *laughs*. But yeah, we’re partners on a bunch of businesses but the main one we work at every single day is called A Beautiful Mess which is a blog. And, we’re supposed to say what our favorite part of our job is, and I’m like “really?” I always tell people that I truly have a dream job. I mean, it’s not perfect — nothing is ever perfect in life, but I really love my job. I love that it’s different every day, I love that is a mix of business and also crafts and cooking and just stuff that I enjoy. I feel like I get to do all my favorite hobbies for a living, plus learn about running a small business and I love it. I really really enjoy it, I totally lucked out in the career lottery and yeah, I feel really grateful.
Elsie: Yeah, same here. I’m Elsie and I live in Nashville, TN with my husband and two kids. Little cuties! And my favorite part about A Beautiful Mess and the apps, are just that every day is different. I love that, like today, we’re recording a podcast!
Elsie: Yeah we have days where we do photos all day, like what you think a blogger would do. We have days where we’re on our computers all day and Skyping and doing meetings, and today we’re sitting here recording this podcast. It’s a pretty cool job because you know, it’s different every day. So, we wanted to share a brief history of what our business is since this is our introduction, get-to-know-you episode, so the first fun fact is that ABM, our blog, has almost 7,000 posts and we’ve been writing it for 12 years. So it’s very much a career for us and when I say to someone, “I’m a blogger”, they don’t know what that means. That could mean I started a blog last week…no no no. Seven thousand posts. So, yeah it’s a big part of our lives, a big part of what we’ve spent our time on for the past 12 years. We have our own little app family, which includes A Color Story, our app A Design Kit, Filmm, which is a video app, and Template, which is launching this month and it is a story template app. And let’s see, we are working on our second round of short term rentals right now. We’re going to announce that in an upcoming episode, but that is something that’s kind of new to us. We really want to be real estate moguls — Emma likes to call us that all the time *laughs*.
Emma: I do but I always mispronounce “mogul”, so, I always say “moogle”. I always mispronounce everything.
Elsie: We wanna be real estate “moogles” *laughs*.
Emma: Yeah *laughs*
Elsie: And the last fun fact is that we Facetime a lot, every day almost, we Facetime maybe like an hour? So, it is work but it’s also — it is, I mean it’s mostly work, but we also just like to talk. So that is one of the reasons why I finally caved. I’ll give Emma credit that she’s wanted to do a podcast for more than five years and she brings it up all the time. And I was always like “No, I hate my voice, I like a visual platform” and hey you know what? Guess who won?
Emma: Eventually, me *laughs*, it took a long time but here we are. I think too, you’ve started listening to a lot more podcasts in the past two years.
Elsie: Yes, so yeah. We worked on this podcast e-course last year with John and Sherry from Young House Love and I listened to their podcast a lot, and when we were traveling this summer to China to adopt our one-year-old, I think on the way there and back I probably listened to like, 30 episodes for real. I cued them up and it was just something to do. And I just felt like this very fond attachment to them as humans and it made me realize I want to have an attachment like that with my audience. It just felt like a really great way to connect with people.
Emma: Yeah I think too, podcasts are one of those things where depending on what you do with your day or what stage in life you’re at, you might have a lot of time to listen to podcasts or not as much. I think it’s similar to consuming books. I love to read, and there are certain times I read a lot of books, like if I’m going to have a long flight. And there are other months where I don’t read hardly anything because I’m really busy with work, I’m really busy with my life, whatever. And I think podcasts too, I’ve had so many of my friends who have young children, like you Elsie, who are like “I kind of need something to listen too while I’m driving my kids around or while I’m finishing up all the dishes after my kids went to bed”, and just something where you can’t be looking at Instagram, you can’t be looking at a blog, you can’t really be watching TV but you want something teaching you or just entertaining you, keeping you company is how I think of it sometimes. And so we’re hoping our podcast is something that keeps you company and gives you some positive vibes. Maybe you’ll learn something now and again but I don’t think we’re really planning on teaching tons and tons per se. I mean we’re not opposed. I just always think of John and Sherry’s podcast, Young House Love Has a Podcast, as my friends I hang out with during lunch with once a week. I just listen their podcast as a lunch break at my house, because I work from home, that’s how I think of their podcast. And I do learn things!
Elsie: I think that’s more our speed, too. When we were picking the category, which we picked Home & Garden by the way, we were like, should we pick business? Because there are a lot of business things we want to talk about. And we were like “nope”! Because we didn’t want that pressure to always be teaching. We teach a lot on the blog, we’ve written god knows how many ecourses. This is just a fun outlet for us. So I’m really excited that you’re listening.
So should we start it off with the bucket list or the enneagram, Emma?
Emma: Yeah, we’re trying to let you guys get to know us. We’re also aware that this whole episode is us talking about ourselves…
Elsie: Ah! Don’t talk about it!
Emma: *laughs* But we were still thinking we want for people to get to know us a little bit, I mean, otherwise you can’t figure out if you want to listen to someone for that many minutes, like, “actually I don’t like these people”.
Elsie: That’s true. It’s definitely a get-to-know-you but I promise we have other topics to talk about in the future besides just ourselves.
Emma: Oh for sure. But I feel like when I’m getting to know someone, some of the things I want to know (and you can judge me if you want listeners). I want to know what’s on their bucket list, what are their goals in life if they have a five-year plan I want to hear about that. What’s your enneagram, this is very important to me, I need to know “What is your enneagram tell me right now”, and I also am interested when people are into star signs or if they’re into anything like that. I love to hear about it, not because I think people fit neatly into these little boxes, I don’t think we do, everyone is so complex. But I do think it kind of gives you a picture of someone quickly because it really does take a long time to truly know someone, we all know that. But it’s kind of fun to see in a quick picture of how someone describes themself or views themself. Anyway, you get it! So we’re gonna tell you about ours.
Elsie: I agree.
Emma: When I really started to learn about it (the enneagram) I started a book in this book group I’m in and it’s called The Road Back to You. If you’re interested in enneagram but you want to learn about it on a deeper level, I highly recommend that book, it was really good. And it has a chapter on each of the nine types, so you get to learn about each type. And at the beginning of each of those chapters, it has a list of what it’s like to be a three or whatever, so I thought it might be fun to go through a few of those, like I know Elsie’s enneagram is a seven and mine is a nine, because I took a test, blah blah blah…
Elsie: It took her like a year to figure out what her enneagram was. She changed it like, five times. But after I found out she was a nine, I really understood some things about her for the first time, and we’re sisters, we know each other very well. So this can help.
Emma: Yeah, because I took the test I got the same score on a nine and a three. And when I read the book, The Road Back to You, which we’ll link in the show notes, that’s when I was like, “Oh okay, I’m a nine.” And the reason was it encouraged you to think about yourself as a child. Because as we grow up and mature, we realize that there are things we might need to alter about ourselves, or it’s not okay to behave a certain way or whatever, so then you kind of become a little like all the numbers, you kind of make a journey around it. But if you think about what you’re like as a kid it can help you identify what you are naturally. So that’s when I finally figured it out. Anyway, we’ve all known Elsie is a seven forever. She’s like a seven seven seven, seven seven seven seven.
Elsie: Yeah. I’m a very “seven” seven. So you’re going to read the characteristics and I’m going to say yes or no?
Emma: And you can say more than yes or no if you want, or you can just say one word, it’s up to you.
Elsie: Okay, I love this game. This is like an enneagram game.
Emma: Pretty much, yeah, and this is just five — in the book there’s a bunch more — but I thought let’s not do twenty, that’s too long. Okay so Elsie, being a seven. Would you agree or disagree with each of these: “I suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out)”.
Elsie: Yes. Definitely. I definitely have FOMO to an extreme, and it’s one of the biggest things I have to work on in life: recognizing if I really want something or if I’m just afraid of regret.
Emma: How about: “I am an optimist to a fault”
Elsie: Yeah, for sure. Like when I’m boarding planes and I miss my flight! And everyone’s like, “I told you!”
Emma: You’re like, “I thought I would make it for sure!”
Emma: Okay, how about this one: “People close to me say I can be argumentative and act superior”
Elsie: I don’t like it, but yes. Definitely true.
Emma: Really? I was trying to find a mix because usually there are things we don’t agree with, with our number, because again, people don’t fit neatly in boxes. I actually don’t know if I agree with that one for you.
Elsie: Really, you don’t think I am?!
Emma: I think you can really be opinionated, but I don’t really think you think you’re superior, I’ve never gotten that vibe from you.
Elsie: Aw thanks Em. Okay, I think that I’m judge-y though, and that’s something I’m trying to work on.
Emma: Hmm. Okay, well, good for you.
Elsie: Ever since…remember you told me how judge-y I was? And I was like, “Oh, I see it now”.
Emma: *laughs* Well, that was for like, deeper things I guess. But, more like life stuff. Anyway, how about this one: “I quickly get bored with the same routine and like to try new things”
Elsie: Okay, so I do like to try new things, but I disagree that I get bored with the same routine because I think in my older age I actually love routines, and it’s one of the best, healthiest things in my life now. So I feel like I thrive with routines.
Emma: Yeah, I see that in you too. Last one: “Anticipation is the best part of life”
Elsie: Yes. One hundred percent agree. I love it. Okay, I’m going to do yours. So Emma is an enneagram nine, and I was very surprised to learn this because she’s kind of a bad bitch, but an enneagram nine can be known to kind of almost be like a victim or a softy.
Emma: I used to be a sweetheart. As a child. As a child, I was a sweetheart and then I grew up to be a bad bitch *laughs*.
Elsie: That’s true. She was the sweetest child in the whole world. “Elsie, listen to mom! Obey mom!”
Emma: *laughs* Yeah, that was me.
Elsie: Okay, so I’m going to read the things and you can say agree or disagree: “I’m happy to go along with what others want to do”
Emma: Agree. I get stressed if it’s all my ideas, actually.
Elsie: I love that about you when we travel. “I tend to procrastinate”
Emma: I agree, although I don’t think people know that about me unless I tell them or if they watch me, because I think I look like I get a lot done but I actually have a really hard time getting started and I do procrastinate a good amount when I’m nervous about something.
Elsie: “I am not a self-starter”
Emma: That one I disagree with. I definitely am a self-starter. I don’t know why. I think it’s because our parents told us how awesome we were, I guess? *laughs* I don’t know why but I’m definitely a self-starter.
Elsie: I think that’s your business side. Your business side comes through.
Emma: I guess so, but that one I don’t agree with.
Elsie: “I find routines at home and work comforting. I feel unsettled when something throws them off”.
Emma: I agree. Although I do think that statement sounds like you’re going to be very Type A, which, there’s nothing wrong with being Type A, I’m just not really. But I do really like routines. I really like knowing what’s coming up. If I don’t know what’s coming up I get a little anxious.
Elsie: “Sometimes I tune out and think about the past.”
Emma: Yeah, I agree with that one, too. I’m definitely a daydreamer type of person, and I really dwell a lot on the past. Not in a regretful way, just, I like to relive good moments and things. I don’t know.
Emma: So yeah, that’s a little bit about our enneagrams. We would love to hear about yours!
Elsie: Let’s move on to the star signs. So I am a Scorpio. And what are you, Emma?
Emma: I’m an Aquarius. But I’m kind of a cusp-er, because my birthday is on January 21st.
Emma: So I think I’m…I’m not really that knowledgeable on star signs.
Elsie: I’m not either, full disclosure.
Emma: I think I’m on the cusp of Capricorn.
Elsie: Yeah I think. You’ll be able to tell when I give my analysis, it’s not a strong area for me.
Emma: Yeah me too, me too.
Elsie: I still think it’s interesting! I’ve always been interested in star signs even though I’m not an expert by any means and I’m not trying to be. Okay, so do you want to tell a little bit about how you feel like being an Aquarius shapes you?
Emma: Yeah. So I basically just googled “Aquarius” and wrote down a couple of things because I’m not really an expert in this area, although I will say if you’re interested in star signs and you want to learn more, one thing that I did like was this app, I believe it’s called Co—sign? I think I sent it to you because it was like, “contact your friends”. I don’t know. If I got the name wrong we’ll put it in the show notes so we’ll get it right there. But anyway, so Aquarius. Two things that the internet said about Aquarius that I kind of agreed with are that Aquarius is forward-thinking and innovative, which I think is true, because I don’t see how I could be a blogger if I wasn’t a little bit out-of-the-box I guess, or whatever you want to say. I kind of hate that expression, but you get it. And the second thing they said is that Aquarius can appear emotionally detached but truly value social contact. And I liked that one because…I felt a little bit seen when I read that on the internet *laughs*.
Elsie: That’s super you.
Emma: Yeah! Because I think if you don’t know me super well or when you’re first getting to know me you might not think I totally care or that I’m just not very emotional. I think I come off that way. But I actually really really value my friends and I have to be social and connect with others. I think about others a lot. And not that I’m a perfect person or anything, I feel like I’m making myself out to be really cool or something, I’m not, I just think if you don’t know me you might think I don’t care but I actually really do care.
Elsie: Yeah. I think you’re one of those people that’s super loyal once you’re inside of your circle, and if you’re outside of that orbit, then…byeeee. *laughs*.
Emma: Yeah. Yeah, pretty much.
Elsie: I’m a Scorpio, and I don’t really know what that means or anything, but what’s interesting is my husband is a Scorpio, my first husband was also Scorpio, my DOGS are both Scorpios, and more than half of my close friends are Scorpios. Most of my best friends are Scorpios. It’s very strange. So, I have a very extreme attraction with Scorpio people and I always thought that our children would be Scorpios, but they’re not. So *laughs*, twist of fate!
Emma: What are your children?
Elsie: One is an Aquarius like you — Marigold is in yours…
Emma: Oh that’s right!
Elsie: …and a Gemini! *laughs* Okay, so next do you want to talk about birth order?
Emma: Yeah! I feel like birth order is a thing. Although I feel like some people would disagree. You know what I mean? I just feel like it’s one of those things…you can find a family where all the kids are like “Oh no, it doesn’t apply to us at all, we’re all so different”.
Elsie: I don’t think people disagree! I think most people think this is a very big part of who you are. Except for only children. They’re like “It doesn’t define me!”, but it does.
Emma: I don’t know if only children even say that. *laughs* Anyway, birth order. Here’s what you should know about our family: Elsie is the oldest, I am the middle child, and our brother Doren is the youngest. So typical middle child stuff is kind of like, you feel a little bit overlooked, and you feel a little bit in competition with your siblings, both when you’re little and when you’re literally trying to get attention by talking or doing whatever, and then as you grow up, I felt anyway, that if my siblings had talents, I usually didn’t want to do those things too much because I felt like I was in competition with them.
Emma: Elsie and our brother Doren are really good at drawing and they were when they were little and they still are. They’re both artists. So I never wanted to draw or get too much into that world. I wanted to find my own thing because I didn’t want to feel like I was just going to be second-chair all the time. *laughs* So yeah, I definitely did feel —not overlooked because our parents are really awesome — but I did feel as a child a lot quieter than you and Doren. I kind of found other ways to stand out or get affirmation. I tried to be really good at school and get good grades — not that you and Doren didn’t get good grades — I just felt that was an area you guys had less interest in. *laughs*
Emma: And so I got more into school and reading and that kind of stuff. And I was never a straight-A student, but I think I tried a lot harder at that because I felt like it was something you guys weren’t as interested in so that I could find my place to shine or whatever.
Elsie: Emma is 100% the golden child in academics, behavior, general sweetness.
Emma: I was just trying to be noticed! *laughs*
Elsie: Yeah. She was a darling child and I was always very jealous. Also, she was like an adorable little blonde child, and I hit my awkward phase really young and it lasted for about 10 years *laughs*, so…
Emma: Well you’re the pretty one now sister.
Elsie: Oh, Emma! Oh god. Whatever. You’re beautiful Em.
Emma: That wasn’t my point. My point is that you’re beautiful. It wasn’t a diss to me!
Elsie: *laughs* Okay, so for me, oldest child. I relate with our oldest daughter a lot. Our youngest daughter is one and she’s learning to walk, and she walks back and forth between my husband and I about four feet. And Nova, the four-year-old, wanted to do that. She wanted to take turns doing that where she got to walk, and that was basically my whole childhood. Wanting to play with Barbie’s when I was in junior high, I watched Power Rangers with my brother every day when I was in high school and I loved it. I was just always a little bit immature for my age and a late bloomer. Which now that I’m older, I don’t see as a bad thing, you know? You don’t want to rush childhood. And our niece Penelope, she has a little bit of this. She’s a young soul and she’s savoring her childhood and we LOVE that. Don’t rush it, you know. We’re not ready for her to like boys and all of that stuff yet, right?
Emma: Yeah. I think too for you, we have a lot of great childhood photos, if we can find any we should put one in the show notes. But, basically, Elsie’s standing in front of me, posing, trying to kind of block me? It’s just really really cute.
Elsie: I have that one hanging in my office. I’ll put it in the show notes for sure. It pretty much just describes our childhood dynamic.
Emma: It’s hilarious — it’s the best. You’ve gotta get some photos of your daughters like that, it’s so cute.
Elsie: Aww. Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s going in that direction.
Elsie: Okay, so the next thing is “Top three hobbies that help you relax”. My number one thing is alone time. I think I’m thinking that right now because I haven’t had alone time this week and I’m going a little coo-coo, you know? Even the simplest things like going to Target or going to the grocery store by myself gives me this intense charge and makes me feel human again. I like to be totally alone for at least one workday every week, which is not a big deal because I work from home and I usually schedule my meetings together and not all on different days. And, I like to have goals. Having goals in my life grounds me and it gives me something to look forward to and I find that I can’t relax if I don’t know what’s next or what I’m reaching for. What about you?
Emma: So goal setting is one of your hobbies to relax?
Elsie: *laughs* Well, it’s like a control thing. Does that make sense?
Emma: Yeah it does, I’m basically teasing you.
Elsie: Yeah. Oh, wait I forgot one! House shopping online. That’s the ultimate.
Emma: I get it. I’m the same way. If I don’t know what’s coming next I feel not relaxed. We’ll put it that way. Okay, my hobbies to relax are reading. I love to read, I love to read fiction. Going on walks. I really prefer to go on walks outside, but if it’s the dead of winter I will walk around the YMCA track, which is not as scenic but that’s fine. I love going on walks. And especially in the winter, chilling out in my hot tub is one of my favorite relax-time things. Which I’ll do it totally by myself if my husband isn’t home, but I really love it with friends and with my husband. A lot of cell phones now are waterproof, but, you know for the most part you don’t really take your phone into a hot tub unless you’re just, a crazy CEO business person or something from a movie. So, it’s just a nice place to connect with others I think, because you have to talk, you can’t be scrolling or checking on the news, so I really like it I think it’s really relaxing.
Elsie: I love that you do it by yourself, too. Emma’s grandma side is one of her most adorable sides.
Emma: Yeah, I usually like to do this thing I call “Hot Tub Yoga” — where I just stretch a lot in the hot tub if no one’s there…
Emma: It’s not true yoga, but, I call it that.
Elsie: It counts! Okay, so what’s on our bucket list?
Emma: First I think you should say what a bucket list is. I think most people know but define it.
Elsie: I know that we misuse the term “bucket list” a lot because we do the seasonal bucket lists like fall-time is apple-picking, and I know that bucket list means what you do before you die, but I don’t care, I just like to use it however I want, right? But in this context, I mean an actual, in my life before I die, these are the top things that are important for me to accomplish or to experience.
Emma: Okay cool, so tell us some things on your bucket list then. Like, BIG bucket list.
Elsie: I have a lot and I always forget, and then I have deep regret later for forgetting one so I’m just going to have to live with that. I know I want to buy a house in Palm Springs, and at some point in my life, retired or otherwise, I want to live there. It doesn’t have to be permanent but I want to live there for a while. That’s really important to me. I eventually want to buy a house in cash. It’s just cool to me. It’s just the novelty of paying for a house without getting a bank loan sounds awesome to me and I really want to do it. Probably a small house. *laughs* I really want to write a children’s book series and this is inspired by the past year of my life has been totally consumed by Llama Llama, Red Pajama and all the million spin-offs, and we have almost every single one and it’s the main book we read. When I look at the woman’s picture in the back of the book, I just know I want that in my life someday.
Emma: Yeah, there could be toys with it. I’ve heard you talk about this and I’m just waiting for it to happen because I just think it will be awesome.
Elsie: Yeah, it was one of my dreams before to do a toy line and I don’t know if it is right now or not, but that could definitely come back around. I love toys. It’s a cool industry, it’s very airtight and tiny. A tiny group of people making all that money.
Elsie: Yeah it’s really cool.
Emma: I think too, you get to become such a part of someone’s childhood, like their memories.
Emma: I think that’s amazing and probably such an honor, but also I know people are doing it for a living, it’s not just an honor, but I think is.
Elsie: Yeah it’s definitely both, it’s magical for sure.
Emma: Yeah it’s very cool. You gotta have toys. Is that all the things you want to share for now on your bucket list?
Elsie: Oh, I really want to hold or foster a baby chimpanzee. That’s my last one. Yeah I know you can’t keep chimpanzees their whole life and I know you can have them for a pet, but if there was just any way I could take care of one for awhile — I’ve never even held one before — it’s my favorite animal. It’s been my favorite animal since I was a little kid, and it’s something I really want to experience in life.
Emma: Yeah, we were obsessed with that movie Monkey Trouble as kids.
Elsie: That’s not a chimpanzee!
Emma: Yeah that’s not a chimp. I know. I KNOW. Oh I know, there’s no need to correct me, I know it’s not a chimp *laughs*. Wasn’t there some documentary you watched about a chimp sanctuary?
Elsie: Yeah. Okay so, the month that I got married my husband and I were watching a series, a docuseries, called Escape to Chimp Eden? And since then, we can’t find it online to stream again, so if anyone knows the show, I would love to rewatch it. We can’t find it. It’s about a chimpanzee sanctuary in South Africa, and you get to know each one by name. It has a lot of ups and downs because they have a lot of anger issues and they attack people and stuff, but also they’re very loving and wonderful and they have a lot of dynamics with each other. Anyway, it was one of my favorite shows of all time. It was wonderful.
Emma: Okay, so, foster mom to a chimp someday. Bucket list. Okay.
Elsie: *laughs* Yes, yes that’s it. You should go now
Emma: Okay, I don’t have that much on my bucket list right now. I’ve noticed this thing about me — I do have something I’m going to share – but before I do I want to say this: I have this thing about me where I will come up with way too many goals that I can’t do at once, and then I’ll basically get a little bit depressed because I’ll get like two-thirds of them done. So to the outside world, I think people are like “Wow, awesome, you’re getting all this stuff done”, but on the inside, for me, I’m like “Man, I’m failing because I’m not getting that other 33% done.” And I’m just kind of realizing over the years, I’m spending all this time feeling like I’m not accomplishing things when I am! This is just a mindset shift that I should work on. So anyway, I’m trying to be a little bit more selective about…
Elsie: So like a minimalist bucket list?
Emma: Kind of. I’ve also been doing this thing where I have those little notecards, like those little recipe cards — index cards! — I have one goal on the index card and I usually have three to five at a time that I carry in my notebook constantly. And on the index card, I write the goal in the present tense as if it’s already happened. You know, manifest destiny stuff, whatever, The Secret, you get it guys. *laughs* And over the last year, two of the index cards I was carrying previous I’ve done. They’re a done deal, I’ve done them.
Elsie: Can you say what they are?
Emma: Two of them I’m not going to share because they’re kind of personal, but one of them I’m about to share with you.
Emma: The one I haven’t accomplished yet, but I have it on my index card in the present tense, is the I want to write a work of fiction. So, a novel. And I’ve started one and I kind of have writing goals, but honestly I’ve been working on it really slowly, and I think part of it is, it’s a busy season right now with work, but I think the bigger part that I hate to admit is that I’m really scared of it. I’m really scared that I will suck at it, and normally I don’t care so much if I’m bad at something, but I think in my heart, I really want to write fiction as a part of my life. I don’t want that to be my whole job, I love my current job and I love my current life, but I just would love to write a novel like, one every three years or something for the rest of my life. And I’m just a little bit afraid that I might be kind of bad at it. Which means I can still do it for fun, there’s no stopping you even if you’re bad at something, whatever. But, I also think it’s a lot more exciting to think about self-publishing it or whatever. So I think a little bit in my heart, I’m kind of procrastinating — enneagram 9 — because I’m scared I won’t be good at it and I really want to be good at it. Which is stupid, because if you want to get good at something you need to do it. I don’t know, anyway it’s a whole loop.
Elsie: I mean I relate to being nervous when something’s like a big dream and really important to you, but I also think that most people have a book that they think they’re going to write or that they wish they would write and most people never do it. So, don’t be one of those people.
Emma: Yeah, I think the worst thing is a dream you don’t do. The second worst thing is a dream you do and it’s not very good, but that’s not the worst. The worst is never doing it. So yeah, I think I’m definitely going to do it, I’m just kind of — still kind of in the psych myself up phase and working on it a lot slower than I normally work on things. But I am working on it! I work on it almost every week, it’s just I kind of mean to work on it more and then I get kind of nervous.
Elsie: I can’t wait to read it! Now everyone’s just going to want to read it and know what it’s about and it’s this big mystery.
Emma: Well, it might be a little bit of a mystery…
Emma: Dun dun dun!
Elsie: A mystery novel?!
Emma: Yeah. I think so. A little bit, I mean it’s a lot of things too. But, yeah. Someday I want to write a romance novel…
Emma: I’m doing a little additional research right now if you know what I mean!
Elsie: Oh my god!
Elsie: Ooookay, so to close out this episode we wanted to share some of the topics we have coming up because when we announced the podcast I was just scrolling through some of the comments this morning and a lot of the comments said: “What’s the podcast going to be about?” And I guess it hadn’t occured to me that yeah, we do a lot of different things in our career, we talk about a lot of different things on the blog, so as many of you probably could have guessed we are not going to be nailed down to just one topic. So here is a little sneak peek at some of the ones we have coming up: we have an episode just about “forever homes”, and sort of our journey to find that, whatever that means. We have an episode about how to do a 100 day challenge, because that was one of our big questions this year and we wanted to spend a whole episode explaining and talking about that. We have an episode about being a women-owned business, which is a big thing in our lives that we don’t get to talk about enough. We have one about homemade gift giving because the holidays are coming up. We have one where we’re going to announce our next year’s AirBNB projects that we’re doing. We have one on holiday traditions, one on redefining what it means to us to be rich, and a whole episode on New Year’s resolutions. I know a lot of people think New Year’s resolutions are waste of time and worthless, but this year I actually did two of them the whole year long, and I can tell I’m going to finish out the year and it’s been life-changing and amazing, so I’m excited to talk about that.
Emma: That’s all! So thank you so much for listening. This has been our very first episode, it was a very nerve-wracking thing so we appreciate you coming on the journey with us. If you’d like to leave us a review it’s a great way to help us start, so it would mean a lot, especially given that this is our first episode, and if you have any topic ideas for us you can find us on our blog at ABeautifulMess.com or on Instagram.
Episode 2 Transcript
Elsie: You’re listening to a A Beautiful Mess podcast. Today we’re chatting about forever homes and our current journeys to find “the one”. Also, we’re talking about guilty pleasures and Emma’s is pretty embarrassing. Ok. So we thought we would start off this episode about forever home sharing a little bit about our background with our various different starter homes. So, we were both raised in Missouri, which has its own cultural norms. If you’ve ever seen the Instagram account Cheap Old Houses, which is one of our favorites, that’s kind of how Missouri is. It’s possible to get a house even for $50000. That’s livable. It might not be like big in nice, but it’s livable and, you know, functioning. So that is something that is unique about Missouri that we know a lot of places in the country don’t have.
Emma: Yeah. When Elsie when you were like, let’s talk about forever homes and home renovation and all that stuff I was like we have to start off by telling people what it’s like buying a home in Springfield, Missouri, where we’re both from and where I still live. Cause I just think if you don’t like, really if you’re listening this, probably you should just hop off unless you’re in the car and get on Zillow and look up Springfield, Missouri, because I think just it’s a unique place. Other places are like it, too. But just if you’re from like Phoenix or Los Angeles, then you might be a little bit shocked. It’s definitely like cheap old houses, Instagram. I live in that Instagram. So.
Elsie: That’s one of my favorites. I actually had unfollow for a while because I liked it too much. But then I followed it again because I couldn’t stay away. Yeah. Yeah. Definitely my number one favorite, Instagram. My first house was fifty five thousand dollars, which is crazy. And it was a three bedroom with two bathroom home. And it was a little…what would you call it. Not a craftsman, not a Victorian. I don’t know. But it’s it was definitely like a nineteen hundred-ish home with two stories. A bungalow! Yeah, that’s the right word. In that home, I didn’t do much. I kept almost everything. It was a little bit of paint. I definitely learned some lessons. I painted our bedroom bright red, which was like horrible,.
Elsie: Something I would never do again, but a good learning experience. I replaced a countertop, which our dad’s friend came over and did it for free. Just to be nice to our dad, a favor to our dad. And it was like polishing a couple floors and hanging up some pictures. That was the extent of it. And I remember when we sold it, it made about like $5000. And I thought that was amazing. Like the greatest thing ever. Our second…
Emma: I mean, it’s not bad for a fifty thousand dollar home.
Elsie: Yeah, especially. I was like 22 years old. Our second home was a Victorian in midtown in Springfield, Missouri. And I think I think we paid around like $180k for it. And it was a four bedroom, two bathroom home. It was really charming, but it had a severe 80s renovation and that was most of our work was cosmetic, taking out the red walls. That is like a lot of red and mustard yellow. I feel like I didn’t want..
Emma: You’re like, never mind on the red.
Elsie: Yeah. Different ages. Different stages, right? Yeah. And that was the home I turned 30 in and it was a very, very special home. But yeah, I thought at the time it was a huge renovation, but there was no gutting. There was no bathrooms ripped out or anything like that. So then next comes our first home in Nashville, which is the home we currently live in. And it was built in 1972. We did a garage conversion. It is around 5000 square feet. And it was a complete renovation. It was my first experience with a head to toe complete renovation where every single surface was changed. We moved walls. We gutted a couple rooms, not very many, just the kitchen and one bathroom. And…
Emma: Those are big. That’s a lot of gutting, though, kitchens and bathrooms, because all the tile, all the like…I don’t know. Those are big ones.
Elsie: It was crazy. And when we first moved in, it didn’t have even a fridge yet. Or a kitchen sink.
Emma: Are you going to tell us what you bought your house for? Or is that kind of awkward. Since you’re still living in it.
Elsie: I can it’s OK, I think it was $380? And yeah, we’re hoping to sell it like around 550. And we did pretty extensive renovation. So…
Emma: Plus, Nashville, the market is just crazy.
Elsie: Nashville is a really, really different market with its own set of ups and downs for sure. So anyway, that’s my three renovations. And then I’ve done a pretty big renovation on also an air BNB house. And that is my renovation story. So tell us yours.
Emma: Okay. So my homes, I’ve lived in two homes that were personal homes. My first house I ever bought, I was, I think twenty five or six. And I’m currently 33 and it was $89,900 because my budget was ninety thousand dollars…
Elsie: Aw, you remember exactly.
Emma: Yeah. Well I’m a very like, I even know like what my rate was like from my bank it was 4.7, which is not great but not terrible anyway. That house, three bedroom, two full bathrooms. And what did I do in that house? I mainly painted the kitchen cabinets. I changed out the countertops for stainless steel countertops. They were vinyl and the bedrooms had very old stained carpet that I eventually swapped out for wood linoleum like those not real hardwoods, but it matched the rest. The house and a lot of painting. I put in a floor to ceiling bookshelf that also had our TV in it. So it was kind of like a hidden TV, but it was cute and I love reading, so that was cool. It had a little ladder. This was before you could get the ladder kits everywhere. Anyway, that was our first home and I bought it before Trey and I got married, my husband, and we lived there though, after we got married, I think for like two or three years. So we lived there together. So we just had a lot of memories there. We still own that house and it’s currently a long term rental. So I still. It was a pretty good price, as I mentioned. Sometimes I still drive by not to like spy on the renters. I just loved that house. I still love it. I have so many memories and I’ll just drive by. And when I get home, I’ll tell Trey or if he’s out or whatever, I’ll text him like I drove by our old house and someone has a wreath on the door. That was my latest update. Someone put an autumn wreath on the door. He’s like, “OK, cool”. Anyway, and then in our current house that we live in was second home I ever bought to live in. And so far in that house, we’ve redone the countertops, all the floors, the master bathroom, done a lot of painting. We’re about to update the laundry room and half bath. It’s a three bedroom, two and a half bath, but it’s about a thousand square feet bigger than our last home. And I think we bought it for $233k?
Elsie: The Snake bathroom?
Emma: Yeah. I don’t like to talk about that. Have blocked it out of my mind. But yeah, we had a snake get into our house. We have a pretty extensive forest behind our house. We don’t own it. We just have a little backyard.
Elsie: And so it was a giant snake.
Emma: It was a giant snake. Like the snake trapper came and he was like I was like, “what’s the craziest story you have?” Because I was hoping he was gonna be like “one time there was a bear in someone’s house”. This is the Ozarks, so I was expecting something awesome. And he was like, “actually, I think this is it” because it was like the biggest snake he’d ever seen. I was like, oh, my gosh. So, yes, the snake bathroom, the half bath. We’re getting ready to redo it pretty soon.
Elsie: Oh, cool.
Emma: We haven’t done a lot to the exterior and it’s something that we always talk about. But I’m so bad at exterior stuff because I spend all my time inside of the house.
Elsie: Maybe you’re not bad at it, maybe you just haven’t tried it yet. It’s really fun.
Emma: Yes. I don’t know. I don’t know what it is. But we talk about it. We’ve lived in this home about four years. And ever since we moved in, we wanted to paint the exterior. We want to do a couple of things. We did like some minor landscaping when we moved in cause it was just pretty terrible. So we mostly just got a whole bunch of like poison ivy bushes ripped out. But other than that, we haven’t done anything to the exterior. So I think that’ll be something we maybe think about next year. I don’t know. I say that every year, though. So. But yeah, those are my those are my two so far.
Elsie: All right. So, I’m gonna tell a little bit about our current house shopping journey. And feel free to interrupt me, Emma, cause you’ve heard you’ve been along for the ride like you’re one of the only people who’s like heard every single update from the constant Facetiming.
Emma: I like to get the weird photos of the the real uggos. And then if Nova’s there, I just die laughing. She’s just like walking around.
Elsie: Nova likes to do open houses. It’s one of those hobbies together. She likes to get comments, real estate agent when she goes up or probably just have her own real estate empire. That seems her speed.
Elsie: I think so. Ok. So we started off. First of all, we love our home in Nashville. Like a lot of our blog readers will always ask, like, why would you even move? Which I do understand. It’s a valid question. And I’ve had a couple times when I got really attached to bloggers houses and they moved and I was like I don’t like your new house as much as your old house. So I really, really do understand that that’s probably going to happen. But for us, it’s like the walkable thing we were talking about. And then in the home we live in right now, we’ve just already improved it to its maximum potential. So if we were to keep improving it, we would be over improving it, which, you know, at that point you you’re not making an investment anymore. You’re just doing it for fun. So I like the idea of going ahead and selling it now at the point it’s at now. And then we’ll have money, you know, to move forward to the next one and do a new project, because it’s not that I always want to have a renovation in my life, but I definitely do feel like I have one more big one inside of me for the forever home.
Emma: You probably have a whole bunch. I’m not going to say that to Jeremy because I think it will bum him out, but I think you’re going to be doing lots of houses, but they may not be all ones you live in. So who knows?
Elsie: Yeah. So we started casually shopping last summer. Nova’s going to be entering kindergarten next fall.
Emma: So crazy…I can’t even…it’s just crazy to me. I’m like, no, it’s not time yet.
Elsie: Yes, it’s sad. It’s happy and sad at the same time. But that definitely put a fire under my ass to be like, OK, I need to know what school. There’s a complicated school system here, so it’s important to know, like what neighborhood? And then if we’re going to do the charter school lottery or if we’re going to be moving to another county or blah, blah, blah, there’s all these different factors with schools. That’s a huge part of the whole thing. So we started casually shopping just for fun. And last spring, it was actually right after we got matched with Marigold. We saw this house in Brentwood, which is a suburb. And it was this insane mid-century. It looked like a Palm Springs house, but it was in a regular neighborhood and it had a lot of convenient things around it. We had never really looked at Brentwood before. I thought about it, but we went just for fun because I was just like, I have to see this house. It had like some cool history behind it because the architect had built it for himself, like just based on what he loved. And it was just really, really uncommon for our area. So we went and saw it and it wasn’t that great in person. It was one of those…Yeah, it was one of those houses that was just way more exciting in the photos, which happens sometimes. And that makes me feel like it’s good to just go see because you know what, if it’s nothing or what if it’s amazing, you don’t know till you see. I feel like you can like tell like within like 10 seconds of walking inside a house. Do you feel that way? Like you can just.
Elsie: Feel yes or no really quickly?
Emma: Yep. Yep. I don’t know why either. It’s just different things usually, but I feel like even driving up sometimes I know like sometimes I’m like “oh no” I already can tell. I don’t love like how close it is to something or what the neighborhood feels like or whatever.
Elsie: Yes. So fast forward a few months. We were like, okay, well really what we need to be doing is saving. We hadn’t saved up all the way yet. And we didn’t want to move before we adopted when we were matched. So obviously, like, it would’ve been a stupid time to move. And I knew that. But I still was going on Real Tracks every night, which is our local version of Zillow. And I fell like madly in love with this house in one of our favorite neighborhoods where we go all the time.
Emma: Oh that oneyou showed me when we were in…
Elsie: I showed you in China. Yeah. Yeah, it was…
Emma: That house was really awesome.
Emma: It was this beautiful historic little Victorian, well, not little, medium sized Victorian house. It just was perfect. It was like a dollhouse. And it was so cute. It even had an Air BNB apartment like over the garage in the back. And it just seemed really, really perfect. I got obsessed with it, but I never went looked in person, which I definitely regret now because I knew I shouldn’t be looking and I didn’t want to waste the realtors time. But I wish I would have gone now because now I can’t. Sold while we were in China and the psycho that I am. I saw it sold that day. Even though we were in China adopting a child. I still was like checking in on this house. Yeah. And then we got home and double checked and it had definitely sold and we moved on. And so we’ve been looking in that neighborhood ever since. It kind of moved us from like a suburb mindset to this special neighborhood mindset.
Emma: It made you you realize what you’re missing out on…
Elsie: Well, yeah, like, I kind of felt like when I fell in love with this house that it made me rethink everything. And I realized like, I’m willing to make all these sacrifices. I’m willing to do this whole like charter school lottery thing that I hadn’t even been thinking about. And so, yeah, it just set me on a different path of research. And ever since then, I look at this, I have like a saved search of this one little neighborhood and I refresh it multiple times a day. I see every single house that goes up for sale. There’s almost maybe a couple times a week. There’s one that’s like even close. But we’ve only gone to look at a couple more. And I guess I’ll move on to the scary one.
Emma: Oh, yes. Yeah. When I saw photos of this one, that you’re about talk about I was like, this is a murder house…like there are ghosts in the photos.
Elsie: So this house popped up, and the first day it popped up it didn’t have any pictures except for the outside of it. And you couldn’t really see it. And then it showed like what it was next to, which is this really nice park in this neighborhood we love. And then it showed a picture of downtown just to sort of like prove to you, like, look, it’s close to downtown, but you couldn’t even see the house and it had an open house. We were like, okay. Of course we’re going. So this was a couple months ago and we went into this open house on a Sunday with both our kids and we were on maternity leave and it was so destroyed and had so much stuff like it had like clothes on the floor. And then there was like parts of the floor that were ripped up and missing…
Emma: Wait there were clothes on the floor…what?
Elsie: Yeah, it was like either a really angry renter had left it in a bad state or maybe there had been like squatters living there for a while. That was kind of what it looked like. It was one of the most bad, poor condition houses I’ve ever been in before. Ever. So we were in there for like five minutes, but we felt like it wasn’t really even right to have the kids in there because the floors weren’t even very safe. And anyway, Nova was like also kind of embarrassing us because she was yelling real loud. “They need to clean up in here. I think they forgot to clean it up!” So we were just like all right…we’ll just, you know, leave. This isn’t going to be… this is above our pay grade or whatever.
Emma: She was right, though. She was right. They did forget to clean up.
Elsie: She was right. But then. Okay. So then a month goes by. No more houses come up. The problem with this neighborhood is like when a house comes up, it’s almost always either fully remodeled and super expensive or like tiny. There’s never a big house that needs a renovation, like hardly ever. So this house still just like kind of kept staying in the back of my mind. And I kept bringing it up to Jeremy, like, remember that scary house? And so a month later, I asked our friend, who is kind of my mentor in remodeling, our friend Ting, if he would come with me and the realtor to help us sort of do like some estimates and stuff. So we went through the house. And long story short. He was like, you can do it for this enormous sum of money, which is like almost as much as the house cost. But when you like, add together everything. It was still a doable price. So I was like, okay, maybe. And if I’m being honest, I basically redesigned the whole house for 24 hours, like extensively — like I had this insane mood board on my computer going. And then we heard back from the historic society I don’t know what it’s called the historic people, like some rules about what could and couldn’t be changed about the house. And since it was a duplex, we wanted to make it a single house with a single door. They said you can’t do that. And then they said, you can’t paint the brick at all. And it was kind of like yellow-y beige. And I was like, kinda not certain. I mean, it might have power washed off. And been okay, but it probably…I don’t know. It’s like we’re shopping for a forever home now. So I feel like I can’t compromise on major things.
Elsie: So for those are two reasons we…
Emma: Tragic ending to the story, because normally I think those like historical, you know, neighborhood. I don’t know what they’re called — association…
Elsie: Their job is preserving the integrity of what’s there. And I try to totally respect that. But I guess I don’t because I wanted to paint it white.
Emma: Exactly. That’s kind of I’m saying I’m like normally I completely think it’s a great idea to preserve homes, you know, and make sure people don’t like just turn them into, you know, whatever, because it’s fun to preserve historical things. I totally get it. But on this one, I’m kind of like, wait a second. It’s a duplex. And she wants to turn it into a single family. Usually that’s a good thing for a neighborhood. You know, it ups the value of the other homes nearby. I feel like the neighbors would have been really happy with what we could have done with it.
Emma: Well, yeah. And I’m just like, I don’t know who’s going to buy it and make it over to be a duplex. It’s just gonna be a lot of cash. So it’s definitely gonna be an investor. And I don’t know, it’s just I just on this one, I gotta say, I really don’t agree with the historical society people.
Elsie: I think it was pretty sad. Yeah. Because then we just knew, and I was still like only 80 percent sure I wanted to do it. It was all, it was a big renovation and it was a lot of juggling, I guess, you know, it just it wasn’t going to be like a simple project. And I knew that something really bad would happen in the middle of it and be like an extra, you know, $50,000 or something. So this was too scary, I guess. And maybe that was probably what I realized. Like maybe I don’t need to do like basically a new build inside of an old house. Like that’s maybe like biting off more than I can handle. All right. So then we started looking at the suburbs again. And I were just like, I see it a little bit depresse Like, I’m kind of in a funk right now because I feel all this pressure. I don’t know what’s best for our kids. Like I want to do what’s best for kids. I don’t know what that is. I don’t know where they’re going to be happy. This isn’t the easiest city to shop in because things are just more expensive than you think they’re going to be. And everyone’s opinions about the neighborhoods are really severe. And we like more than one thing. So that’s where I am. And I am excited to find out where we’re going to end up living, but I honestly have no idea. Now,.
Emma: Here’s the quick little three things that I think I did really good on my first house and I didn’t nail it on my second home buying. So the first one, number one, this one’s kind of obvious. So I really understood my budget. I had nine thousand dollars. That could be my down payment. So that meant my maximum house I could buy was $90000 and I ended up buying a house for eighty nine thousand nine hundred, as I said. So I understood that about my budget. I also knew I didn’t have any money to do major renovations. I knew I could paint like paint walls, but I wasn’t gonna be able to change anything major. So for that reason, I knew like, OK, well, whatever condition the house is in, I need to be fine with that for at least a couple of years until I save up to change things. So that meant, you know, I looked for a house that was, you know, a number of things, like it already had a fence in the backyard. It had mostly hardwood and tile floors. Not a lot of carpets. I knew I didn’t want that. And, you know, just a few other little things like that that I looked for. So I feel like understanding my budget made a huge difference. It means that I basically bought the best, for me, house in my price range. And I think that’s something I didn’t do a great job on the second time around. I think I just I think Trey and I failed to really talk through our budget. So that’s one thing I’m really thinking on. And we’ve had a lot of really good conversations together about that for our next house talking about like, well, what do we really value? How much do we want to spend? How much do we want to be spending every month on our mortgage? You know, all that stuff. So that, then the second thing is I really understood and had a clear picture of what things do I need and what things are nice to haves. So I knew I needed three bedrooms and two bathrooms and one of the bathrooms had to have a bathtub and a shower combo. And the reason I knew that was because my little brother Doren, our little brother was going to live with me and he had our niece Penny, and she was two at the time. And so she needed a bathtub and they both needed their own bedrooms. So, you know, I knew like this is what this is the bare minimum, what I need. And then I had some nice to haves like I would I didn’t really want any carpet in the house. I would really like to have some high ceilings in some of the house. But I also knew I don’t have to have those things. So if they don’t fit my budget, then forget it. So that helped me like whittle things down because I just feel like if you have too many options, then I can get, or at least I, get kind of like paralyzed.
Elsie: That’s so helpful.
Emma: Yeah. So I just like whittled it down. And then the third thing that I think I did really well and I didn’t do as well in this house, was I didn’t expect it to be perfect. I just yeah, I knew I was like, I’m going to buy the best house I can for the budget I have and the time of my life that I’m in right now, which is single and have no idea if I’ll get married. No idea if I’ll have kids. But I have a dog. So here we go. And I just didn’t expect it to be a perfect house. I expected it to be as good as it was gonna be. And I think, like, I just kind of lowered my expectations. And I think with this house that we’re currently living in. I do actually love it, although I have a couple things that make me feel like it’s not our forever home. But I actually think I had a lot higher expectations before we bought it. And for that reason, I think any little thing that was wrong with it, like we ended up, we’ve had to do some repairs on the well, you know, some things like that. Or we replaced a water heater a couple of months, you know, just stuff that happens when you own a home. I think it just always kind of deflates me because I just thought it was going to be this perfect home that was mostly finished. We would change a couple things. And I just had these much higher expectations. And so now I’m trying to, like, keep that in my heart a little more. The next time we’re gonna be house shopping is like, hey, no house is perfect. Just remember that no house is perfect. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for the best house you can afford that fits your needs. You should do that. But it’s not going to be perfect. So just chill out. Emma. Lowering your expectations I think is one of the keys to like happiness generally. Whether you’re talking about loving your house, loving your career, loving your spouse, whatever. I just think like if you’re expecting things to be perfect and magical 100 percent of the time, it’s just it’s not going to work out that way. Like real life isn’t like that. Real life has perfect, magical moments. But those are like moments. They’re not the whole thing all the time.
Elsie: All right. So we’re trying out our first segment and you guys have to let us know what you think. It’s called guilty pleasure treasure.
Emma: I love the name.
Elsie: So what it is, we’re just gonna tell our guilty pleasures.
Emma: All right. You go first. So…
Elsie: Home related or not. OK. So we started watching Fixer Upper, and it’s different from how I thought it would be. So I thought…OK. So a lot of people used to say that all the houses look the same. You know, like farmhouse, farmhouse, black and white. Yeah. So that’s what I expected. Just like farmhouse, black and white. Shiplap. And I wasn’t interested in it ever. But then when I started watching it, like, there actually is like a pretty good variety. And I really like when they do really, really crappy houses. That’s my favorite. And like a horse barn, things like that. But I don’t so much like it when they do mid-century houses, which is only, I’ve only seen two of those. But they were a little sad that part…
Emma: That’s not quite the style that I know them for.
Elsie: That didn’t work anyway. So it was fun. It’s a guilty pleasure. I feel like it’s like something that I was I was like, oh, I don’t watch Fixer Upper. And now I’m like like, marathoning it. And also, Jeremy likes watching it, which is fun. And I like it when he gets really passionate about things because it’s just interesting for me, like which things he really hates or which things he likes. You know, I feel like we’re learning things about each other. And my other one, I have two TV related, is the show Righteous Gemstones…have you watched it?
Emma: Yes. Yes. We just started! Yes. I’ve only seen two episodes, so don’t spoil anything. But I love it so far.
Elsie: Oh, OK. It’s definitely my comedy of the year like last year was Schitt’s Creek for me and I watched the whole thing. And this year, this is an amazing comedy. It’s just it’s…It’s amazing. It’s incredible. Anyway, Righteous Gemstones is the funniest show ever. And I’ll put the trailer for it in the show notes.
Emma: I love it. Yes. I don’t even…I don’t consider that a guilty pleasure. It’s just a pleasure.
Elsie: Actually, you’re right. Maybe my guilty pleasures weren’t very good.
Emma: I guess TV is a guilty pleasure maybe, because it’s like, you know, your chill out time. It’s not an embarrassing show to like. It’s a really cool show to like.
Elsie: You’re right I should have said something more embarrassing. What’s yours? I hope it’s embarrassing.
Emma: I would have thought it was embarrassing two years ago, but now I don’t agree. So mine is…and I don’t know exactly how to pronounce this author’s last name. So I apologize on that. But I love the books by Lisa Kleypas. It’s K L E Y P A S, we’ll put that in the show notes and I’m sorry, I don’t know how to say her last name properly, but she is a romance author.
Emma: I had never read a romance book ever. Until like four months ago. And I just heard her on a podcast that I was listening to, she was giving an interview and I thought she seemed really cool and I couldn’t tell from the interview that she wrote romance. I just knew she wrote period pieces and I love period pieces. I love Jane Austen. Who doesn’t?
Elsie: Can I interrupt you to tell everyone that you brought a romance novel in your backpack to China and you were reading it the whole time we were on that trip?
Emma: No. I didn’t bring a romance novel to China. I brought three romance novels to China and I read all of them. It’s called The Wallflower series. And it’s awesome it’s by this author. And I love I now love romance novels. I’m so into it. I think I didn’t get into it before because I assumed it was stupid, which was totally wrong of me. And I can’t believe what a snob I was. And then also, I don’t always love the covers of the books. I don’t know why they have kind of a formula and I don’t always love them. I wish they would get a little more artsy with their covers, but I love romance novels. Highly recommend you like romance novels. You should read the Wallflower series. And if you don’t like romance novels because you think you’re too cool. You’re wrong. They’re awesome.
Elsie: We’ll you get the award for most embarrassing guilty pleasure because that’s pretty good.
Emma: I’m proud. I love reading them. They’re awesome.
Elsie: So to close us out, we’re going to do a reader question. So this one I got from Instagram. But if you want to send us a question, we have an email now. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org. And you can send us any question. Tell us your name and the city you’re from and then maybe we’ll do your question. Next on the podcast. So this one just came from my Instagram and it is: “What renovations do you consider to be a crime?” Do you wanna go first?
Emma: I can try. Well, OK I do think that’s really hard. I’m not even being nice. I’m not trying to be like overly nice to people or anything. I just really do think it’s very subjective because here’s the thing: when people in the past have left us comments on our blog or on our Instagram and they’re like, “I hate what you did in your home it’s so ugly, you’re a crime”! (laughs) I’m like, hey, wait a second! That can be your opinion, but I like it! So, you know, so there’s a little part of me that’s like, hey, don’t be that commenter. That’s not cool. But then.
Elsie: But their question is, what do YOU think? Not what’s an actual crime.
Emma: Exactly. That’s the other side of me. I’m kind of thinking like, well, but there are things I don’t like. So it’s OK if I like it…
Elsie: Just say it just say it! Yeah. Don’t be afraid.
Emma: Number one would probably be tile that looks like wood. I really don’t like it.
Elsie: (Gasp) That’s one of mine too!
Emma: It’s okay if it’s very light and it looks like gray, like petrified. I still don’t like it. I wouldn’t choose it necessarily.
Elsie: It’s okay in like, an office.
Emma: Yes, it can work okay. Sometimes, maybe. But overall, I really don’t like it. We have this in our guest bathroom right now. It’s what came with our home. And I really don’t like it. I just find it obnoxious.
Elsie: One of my contractors said to me once, we were just talking about things he rips out. And he was like, in 10 more years, I’m gonna be doing nothing. But ripping out wood look tile (laughs). And I was like, I think that’s actually true because it’s just I don’t think it will age well.
Emma: I’m not into it. If someone is, that’s great. But my opinion is it’s a no. And then the second thing is, I think everyone would agree with this one, just for the record, but I really don’t like it when I walk into a home and it has a whole bunch of different floors. Like there’s a certain type of flooring in the living room and then a certain type of flooring in the kitchen and then a certain type of flooring in each of the different bedrooms.
Elsie: I don’t like elevations because our child is visually impaired. It’s just so annoying. Like all. Yeah. Up and down. Up and down. It’s a house like that is not for me.
Emma: Yeah. And I don’t know if you can help the transition sometimes. Like sometimes you’re kind of stuck with what you got. But I just don’t understand. Sometimes when I see a house and there’s like five different floorings. I can understand wanting to put tile in bathrooms and then having another flooring throughout your home. But why so many different ones? So anyway, I consider that a little bit of a crime.
Elsie: I agree with that too. Maybe it’s not exciting to just match, but it is usually what’s best for the house.
Emma: Yeah. I also, it always makes me kind of feel like it’s a house that maybe an investor owns and it’s been a rental. And as they’ve had issues, they just replace one little part. You know, just for budget reasons. And I totally understand being on a budget…
Elsie: But they could have replaced that one little part with something that matched.
Emma: Exactly. So I’m like, what did you just pick out what was on clearance? And that’s what you went with. And it was different every time. I don’t know. Anyway, that one’s mine. You can tell yours now. What’s your renovation crime?
Elsie: Mine. Okay. I’m. I am kind of a judgy bitch about everything, so I can admit that. And I’m not I’m leaving off like, a list of literally like 50 things. Yeah. Because it’s like, one of my friends will have that in their house and then I’ll feel guilty. But this one I think is just this is a real a real bad one. Right. Okay. It’s just when houses are flipped, like in the worst possible way, like you see them all the time, if your house shopping, you’ll see, OK, this house looks like it’s been flipped, but like with the cheapest possible…like the bathroom countertops that are basically plastic or, you know, brown tile floor through the whole house in all the rooms, you know, things like that. I don’t like super, super fast, soulless flips is soulless too judgey? Yeah, probably. I think that people should live by a rule of karma. I understand that people flip houses for a living. I will say it’s not like a career choice that I want to do myself, so maybe I don’t get it. But I think that if you’re going to flip you should respect the life of the house, especially if you’re doing an old house. You know, I think that you should respect its quality, you know, and not just fill it up with things that are brand new, but are going to be super shitty in five or 10 years. So that’s my sin. And I think that people should stop doing it. I was going to say. Go to hell. But it’s too harsh, too much.
Emma: I should say “lock her up”. Just kidding. Now, it’s political.
Elsie: Shit, ok. I think it’s a good time to end this podcast. So, Emma. Do you want to say the part about leaving us a good review?
Emma: Uh oh, let’s get your…let’s get Nova to do it. Then maybe people will actually do it, haha.
Elsie: Ok. Alright. Deal.
Nova: Please leave a ‘view of momma’s podcast. Remember to be nice, because mom do her best!
Elsie: Thank you all so much for supporting our brand new podcast. We appreciate you listening, leaving us reviews and sharing it with your friends. Check out our show notes this week at abeautifulmess.com/podcast to see links to our past renovations that we talked about in this episode, as well as photos of that scary house I almost bought but didn’t. And links to Emma’s guilty pleasure romance novels. And we’ll see you next week!
Episode 3 Transcript
Emma: [00:00:10] You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast. Today we’re chatting about how and why to do 100 day challenge, conquering fears, and as always, my guilty pleasure is way better than Elsie’s.
Elsie: [00:00:21] So earlier this year, I published a blog post called How I Changed My Life, which told the story of a bunch of healthy changes I made during a 100 day challenge. So to begin this episode, I wanted to just kind of tell the short version of that post and that experience. I set aside 100 days to do a series of self-improvement goals. My goals were pretty random, but they were all things that I wanted to work on within myself. So there were healthy things that are kind of general to most people, like I want to eat healthier. I want to be moving my body more. But there were also some things that I wanted to face that were kind of fears for me. One of them was that I wanted to start getting professional massages, which I know probably sounds like crazy to some people, but I hadn’t gotten one in years, like 10 years and I was really afraid to start doing it. Another thing was that I wanted to start going in to get a yearly skin cancer screening, but it was kind of scary to me just because I had never done it before. And I think with anything like that, you’re always afraid the first time you do it more than once it’s a routine.
Emma: [00:01:35] Were you scared that you were going to have skin cancer or were you just scared of, like, having to take off all your clothes and have the doctor? Or were you just like, I don’t want to look up a doctor in my health care network and all that comes with it? Like, what piece of it? You know
Elsie: [00:01:49] I mean, I think that anytime you…I’m always afraid I’m going to have cancer, have something look seriously wrong, right? But I think I was more just afraid of like being naked and like just sort of facing the fear of just going in and making the appointment and doing it just cause it was the type of appointment I had never done before. But it ended up being so easy, of course, just like going to the dentist or going…
Emma: [00:02:19] Sorry but let’s back up a little, too. I want to hear why you were afraid of the massages. So I’m guessing you wanted the massages because you became an instant mom to a 2 year old when you adopted your first girl. And so you’ve had some back stuff. And so, you know, you talked about that a little bit in the post. But what exactly were you afraid of with the massages, was it making the appointments and like getting there on time and all that? Or was it like, oh, I have to undress and be in this room and someone’s touching me and I like it but it makes me feel kind of nervous or whatever.
Elsie: [00:02:49] A lot of people are afraid of massages because I’ve heard. I mean, you’ve you never heard this? Like I’ve heard like several people close to me who just won’t do it. And I think it’s a combination of having to be naked with a stranger and also not knowing if you’re gonna like it or not. Or the awkward, like it can be awkward when you have to be like, I don’t want that part or I don’t like that part or whatever. You know, you have to kind of say something if it’s painful or whatever.
Emma: [00:03:17] Yeah, that’s true. And that is kind of like a little anxiety inducing if you have to be like…a little less pressure of whatever.
Elsie: [00:03:24] Each of these things, there are other ones too on my list. Each of these things by themselves, it seems really simple, but really it was just because it was something that I couldn’t break the cycle of putting it off. So if you’ve ever had something in your life where there’s no logical reason, but a year later you still have something on your to do list that has, you know, been there every single month, like that’s something that I have a problem with and that’s something that I wanted to kind of address in this challenge. And I ended up facing almost all my fears. I think I have one left that I still need to do. But it was a very big breakthrough for me. I did lose around 20 pounds, which I didn’t want…first of all, I didn’t want to talk about weight loss ever like on our blog, because in the old days, we used to sometimes talk about it. And I just kind of don’t feel like it’s a subject that is comfortable to talk about anymore. I have lots of friends who struggle with disordered eating and I don’t want to give advice about something when for years I have like tried different things and nothing worked for me. And I just know that it’s like a really toxic negative cycle for a lot of people. And I didn’t want to contribute anything to that. But after months of getting…I started getting Demme’s every day that are like, what are you doing? What diet are you doing? How are you losing weight? And I realized that, like, you know, it makes you feel good in a way, but it also makes you feel bad in a way like it’s, it’s tricky…
Emma: [00:04:56] Why did it make you feel bad in a way? Like you felt like they noticed that you were bigger before?
Elsie: [00:05:01] Yeah. Yeah. Because you’re like, wow, I’m getting so many compliments now. But like, I don’t know. It’s just kind of. Sad in a way, I guess. It’s tricky. But anyway, the reason why I decided to write the post was because I realized that I wanted to tell people. It’s not just like a diet or one thing that I did differently, like an exercise routine. I actually changed my whole life and all these different habits all at once. And it all contributed to this snowball effect. And it really wasn’t just, you know, one thing.
Emma: [00:05:39] Yeah, that was probably. I mean, I had a few things from that post that I loved as I was reading it because I read it…you had already started maternity leave. I don’t think it had gone live yet, but I read it and there’s like two or three times at least where I think I was sitting at my computer and just out loud. I was like, Uh-Huh! Just like, I agree with that so much. And that was part of it was you really talked about how, you know, weight loss is like a thing that people can see because it’s on the outside of our body, you know, but people can’t see our inside, obviously. But, you know, those things are interconnected sometimes. And I just thought it was…I liked how you address that. It was like this. This wasn’t just a diet. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you’re in a healthy place and that works for you. But it was like this is so much more than that, because to me, like I…and this is probably going to sound mean. But, I didn’t really notice that you’d lost weight. I just thought you seemed really happy.
Elsie: [00:06:39] Aww!
Emma: [00:06:41] And I think a lot of it to me was probably like, because I knew you wanted to become a mom and you became a mom with the adoption of you first daughter and then you guys got matched for your second daughter. And I was like, she’s just in this happy place in her life. And she’s soaking it up. And it’s not like I mean, I guess I feel kind of silly that I didn’t notice that my sister lost 20 pounds. But to me, I just didn’t. I honestly didn’t notice that. I just felt like you seemed so happy. And to me, that was like the big change. So it made so much sense to me when I read your post about how you changed your life. So I’m like, yeah a diet doesn’t make you happy, but changing your life does. Totally. Yeah. Anyway, sorry. Side note.
Elsie: [00:07:21] One of the things I learned that really changed my life is that the best workout for me to do or the best diet, whatever, set of eating habits, however you want to put it, is whatever thing I can do long term. So to me, like anything that is quick or easy…it’s just I mean, it could be helpful like for the moment, but it’s not going to help your life. Right. So for me, like that was when I started to have like a different outlook, especially on fitness. And now I consider like dancing and moving and just standing up more and going for a walk. I consider all those things exercise where before I felt like if I wasn’t like taking a barre class or going and running more than three miles, then I wasn’t really working out. And that’s a totally different perspective that I have now.
Emma: [00:08:17] Yeah. My favorite thing ever was, I don’t think you put this in a highlight, so if people missed it, they missed it. But Elsie on her Instagram stories did this day where she was just like, here’s the best workout for you moms: dance with your baby. And you were just like dancing with Goldie, like kind of like holding her up above your head and, you know, so that and then you’re like and when your baby gets sick of it, just dance for your baby and you’re like dancing for Goldie. And it was just the most hilarious thing. But as I was watching you, I was like, honestly, that’s a really good workout. Like, I go to a group fitness class and that’s like probably a little bit harder if you did that sustained for 30 minutes. Like that’s a pretty good workout.
Elsie: [00:08:55] It’s legit. Yeah. I have a private Instagram now. It’s like like a funny. It’s my. It’s for myself. I’ll show it to you sometime.
Emma: [00:09:04] What? You’ve never showed it to me!
Elsie: [00:09:05] It’s not allowed to have followers because it’s for myself, you know, it’s my own little journal of funny dancing videos and it makes me really happy. That’s awesome. Yeah. So anyway, that’s what I’ve found. It’s like a thing that works for me because I like doing it. I enjoy it. I look forward to it. And it’s a thing that makes me move my body more that doesn’t feel like work. And where we got inspired originally to even think of doing on 100 day challenge challenges from our friend Elise Cripe, who has done these over and over and over through the years. I’ve followed her for probably, I don’t know, 10 or 15 years. And she is always doing a 100 day challenge. About once a year. She’ll do them with sewing, knitting, art, things like that. And it’s always super inspiring because she actually finishes every single one that she starts, which to me that’s like mind blowing because I have a tendency of not finishing things. So, yeah.
Elsie: [00:10:07] We’ll link her in our show notes!
Emma: [00:10:09] She’s an Enneagram three, I bet you, I don’t know for sure…
Elsie: [00:10:12] She has to be.
Emma: [00:10:13] She also she has her own planner “get to work” book and Elise also has a book out now all about goal setting. It’s called Big Dreams, Daily Joys, and we’ll link it in the show notes. But she is goal setting extraordinaire. So you should follow her online and check out her stuff. If you are interested in that cause she’s awesome.
Elsie: [00:10:32] I’m currently doing a new 100 day challenge and I’m on day 13 and this is cute…it was my husband’s idea this time he got into this as well and he…this is his second time to do it. And so we’re kind of just doing a healthy challenge with healthy eating and exercise. And it’s really exciting…
Emma: [00:10:55] Are you cuttingout drinking?
Elsie: [00:10:56] Oh, and no drinking. No drinking is the main part, actually. That’s the only part that is every day, because I don’t workout every day and I don’t always eat healthy every day. But yeah, we have like at the beginning of the challenge, we marked off like on Thanksgiving. Both our birthdays and Christmas. Those are like the days where drinking alcohol. And like until the new year, that’s it. Which is pretty minimal for us.
Emma: [00:11:21] Yeah. Sounds tough to me. I like to drink. But also I do think that having the few cheat days like for holidays here and there would, for me, help me feel like I’m looking forward… so when I’m having a day where. Man, I wish I could have a drink, I can be like well in two weeks it’ll be Thanksgiving. You can have a drink then. So it just makes it where it’s not like this is my life forever. I think that’s hard to sustain.
Elsie: [00:11:42] I agree.
Emma: [00:11:43] But if you’re like, oh, yeah. I’m going to a break. Cool.
Elsie: [00:11:45] The next one we have coming up is his birthday and it’s in about two weeks and we already have the dinner reservation. And I like already think about it every day. It’s kind of fun to have like something to look forward to. So in this episode, I’m going to give you all of my tips for how I complete a 100 day challenge and just some encouragement for what might help you. We also have created a downloadable PDF where you can have a little chart to mark off your 100 days and that will be in our show notes at abeautifulmess.com/podcast. And first, we’re going to have our very first commercial break.
Elsie: [00:12:23] So as you know, we’re still very much in the learning curve of becoming, quote unquote, podcasters. But we learned so much from John and Sherry’s course, Launch a Podcast. I took this course when we were considering launching a podcast, I was kind of on the fence 50/50, and it is what put me over the edge. One of my favorite parts from the course is a quote that one of their listeners said. And it was “I feel like I know you guys better after listening to three podcasts than I did from reading your blog for three years”. That’s incredible. And that is really what inspired us to start our podcast here. John and Sherry are great teachers, and they’ve been podcasting for, I think three years now and they have more than 10 million downloads. Is that right? They’re legit. Also, my husband Jeremy contributes some lessons to the course of the recording because he is a professional producer. You can sign up for John and Sherry’s course, Launch a Podcast at courses.abeautifulmess.com and use the code ‘podcast’ all lowercase for 25% off their course or any other course on our site. And we will also put this code in our show notes and it will be an evergreen code. You can keep using but use it now because it’s a great deal.
Elsie: [00:13:36] So next up, I wanted to kind of just share some tips for how to complete a 100 day challenge. First of all, don’t make it too complicated, OK?
[00:13:46] I’m going to share with you exactly what we did and it doesn’t need to be too complicated. So when I did my first challenge, I had a bunch of goals that I want to address over the course of 100 days. I had issues with wanting to eat healthier, some financial goals…a couple of doctors appointments that I wanted to make sure and do, a parenting and then some exercise goals. And I worked on this whole list over the course of 100 days, but by no means did I work on all of these goals every day. So don’t worry, you’re not going to be overwhelmed. You can do this in even a busy season of life. I’m doing one right now and it’s our busiest blog season of the year. And we’re launching an app next month, right Emma?
Emma: [00:14:32] That’s right. Yeah, I I definitely think that’s good advice and that you shouldn’t wait until you have like a free one hundred days because that’s like never going to happen. So you’ve got to do it now. Yeah, but I did want to ask. So some goals do take you know, some goals take like a week or less and then some goals will take, you know, more than 10 days. We’ll say that. So how did you schedule them? I guess, like, did you have a big calendar where you kind of knew, OK, this week I’m tackling this and this and I’m starting on this. And then I know, you know, like I don’t know, like, how did you figure that out? Because I think for me, if I made a big list like that, I would know. OK. All these appointments I could call and make all these appointments in one day, I could do that. And then I’ll still have to go to the appointments. But I at least could do all that. But then some goals like fitness. It’s like you need to be doing it, you know, at least two to three times a week or something along those lines, depending what you’re doing. So I don’t know. Just how did you organize it for yourself?
Emma: [00:15:33] Yes. So I have a tip for that. So I think it’s OK to have one goal that you do every day through the whole thing. Like I said earlier, my goal in my current challenge is not drinking for 100 days. And there’s a couple of exceptions planned out in there. And in the first…the first time I did it, it was kind of a healthy eating emphasis. I really didn’t even workout that much during that challenge. Don’t make it on yourself where you think you’re going to like have a perfect diet and a perfect exercise routine and you’re going to do all those things every day. I think that’s too much. So one goal that you do every day and then the other goals, you’re going to spread out. And so how I like to do it is every 10 days, like when I’m marking off the calendar, every 10 days is my chance to reflect and pick a new mini goal to focus on. So, and I also pick a reward every 10 days, which that’s something personal to me. Not everyone is silly like that. But I really, really enjoy the feeling of getting a reward and knowing what I’m working towards for the next one. And they’re usually…
Emma: [00:16:39] I don’t think rewards are silly.
Elsie: [00:16:42] No, no. And they’re really motivating for me. And there’s they’re usually small like the one I just completed was like I got to get like a workout set that I wanted. It’s not a big deal, but it’s just like an outfit. Yeah. Like a bra and yoga pants that match. It’s not a big thing, but it was just cute and special and it was something that I wasn’t gonna get unless I did this thing. And I’ll do like a manicure facial or things like that. And if you do a manicure, like in my first challenge, I remember I put down like get a manicure and a color that you would never usually get because I thought it was like somehow signal to my brain like that this is like a new stage in life and yeah it’s special. And I also got three earrings, like I got my ears pierced for one my rewards in the first challenge. And I had wanted three earrings for a long time and I just went ahead and did it. And it’s kind of like a signal to me. Like now when I see them, I kind of remember that a lot of the time that that was why I was doing it. So, yeah. That’s like a very significant thing to me is to buy special things or give yourself treats like when it’s celebrating something that you’ve accomplished. Another tip is to check a box every day, even if you don’t make your goal for that day. And I think that this one is really important because a lot of people get hung up on, this is how I used to be,starting over and starting over and starting over. And then you feel like you’re always failing and you know, you do a diet, you maybe get five or 10 days in and then you have a cheat day or a couple or a week. And then you’re like, okay, I need to start over. And my life was just always a cycle of starting over my goals. So now, like when you’re doing this 100 day challenge, the goal is that you complete the 100 days no matter what, even if you have a day or several days where you don’t meet your own goals.
Emma: [00:18:40] I like that. So it’s like even if you had a week where, like, I failed this whole week, you just that you don’t start over. You just, you know, like if you’re in the middle, you’d like. All right. Well, I’m just going to recommit and do the next 50 days better.
Elsie: [00:18:54] Yes.
Emma: [00:18:55] Hmm. Cool. I like that.
Elsie: [00:18:56] And I mean, really, when you think about it, big picture, I think that’s why Elise originally created her 100 day thing so that you can see that like even if you don’t do something every day, when you do it most days, you still achieve, you know, a large amount of progress towards your goals.
Emma: [00:19:13] Well, it makes me think too, like some years ago probably like five or six years ago, we ran a half marathon together. And there are moments where, like we walked, but most of it, I’d say we ran. And it’s just like. Either way, you finish, you do the half marathon and you could be like, if it’s your first half marathon, it’s like, well, that just means next time you can do it a little bit better. And then you know, it kind of gives you like a baseline. So if it’s like your first 100 day challenge, I love the idea that you could look at the chart and be like, oh, okay, I did like I did like half of it right. Okay. Well, next time I’m going to do 60 percent, right, at least or more. And it’s like you just can grow from there rather than starting over all the time and kind of basically feeling like a constant failure, which I think would be pretty demoralizing like that does not motivate me. So.
Elsie: [00:20:06] Right. Another big tip is to define your goals. So my thinking here was like instead of making it a goal to like lose weight or have this kind of body or whatever, like don’t make your goal be the accomplishment, make your goal be the action that you’re going to take, the positive actions in your life. So, for example, a few things on my list right now are I want to eat healthy and have some specific ways that I’m doing that. I want to save money and I have an actual chart with where I color in, you know, each little bit towards my goal. I have a couple of appointments that I know I need to make. It’s on the list and I have some parenting goals since I am now a mom of two kids. And it’s definitely like thrown a curve ball into a lot of our routines. So these are all specific goals that are taking me towards where I want to be as a person. But I’m not just making the goal be a good mom. I’m making the goal like do this and this with your kid for quality time instead. So the last tip is just don’t quit no matter what. So just make sure that you keep going and you will be surprised what you can achieve in 100 days. 100 days, relatively like you think a little over three months. It’s a pretty short amount of time. It does go by really fast, especially once you get into it. But it’s a long time and you can achieve something big for yourself that you’ve wanted for a long time. So I think it’s something that you can apply to any area of your life, a career goal, a personal goal, a family goal, a marriage goal, you know, anything that is bugging you or that you’ve been putting off. So, yeah, I hope that you guys will do a 100 day challenge. Please let us know if you have any questions and download the PDF off of our show notes: abeautifulmess.com/podcast. Our next segment is a reader question. So if you want to send us a question, you can at email@example.com. This question came from Haley on Instagram and it is one of my favorites. “What are you embarrassed about from your early days of blogging?” Do you have anything Em?
Emma: [00:22:25] You can go first? Maybe I’ll think of something.
Elsie: [00:22:27] Okay. So I have two sides to my personality a side where I am embarrassed of everything and the side where I’m embarrassed of nothing. And it just depends on which side I’m accessing. Right. But I mean, obviously, like I’m embarrassed about a ton of things, but I feel like, OK, it was 12 years ago. You know, I was twenty five years old, like. So in some ways, honestly, yeah, I’m embarrassed of nothing.
Emma: [00:22:52] Yeah, I feel the same way. Pretty much. I mean, I just feel like that’s what brought us to where we are now. So I just don’t really care. I’m like, whatever, you know. But yeah. There’s definitely some posts that I’m like. It wasn’t very good. But, you know. What are you gonna do, gotta start somewhere.
Elsie: [00:23:12] I mean, if you don’t have embarrassing pictures on the internet, like I said, I feel like you’re a unicorn.
Emma: [00:23:18] You’re not a millennial…
Elsie: [00:23:18] Yeah, I mean, I don’t know. I’ll say, like, if I went back and read the posts, like, I’m embarrassed that like I used to use like a ton of Photoshop. I used to fight with people in the comments quite a lot. Be really defensive, you know, get hurt really easily, things like that. And those are things that. Yeah, like if I read it now, I’m super cringe. But I also think it was like a part of learning how to do what we do. Like you’re not born with this hard shell where those things don’t bother you or you feel confident in yourself. You know, unfiltered, like that’s a thing that I had to learn over time. So I guess I’m embarrassed that I learned publicly, but also I’m proud of it because we all do. I don’t know.
Emma: [00:24:06] Yeah. I think probably the thing I’m…it’s not as visible I guess so I don’t know if embarassed is even the right word. But you made me think of this as you were talking about learning on the job, which is what we’re doing, because blogging really didn’t even used to be a career. But I think I used to listen to the comments and the reader feedback a little too much. Not even like the mean stuff. Not necessarily “haters”, but I just mean, I really let people decide what was good and bad work. And now I don’t do that as much. And I actually think, like, our stats are better. Like I think, you know, I just I should have trusted myself a little more. I do think my work has gotten better over time, or at least I hope so. But yeah, I just wish I had trusted myself a little more and not listened so much to the outside, which is what I thought we should be doing, you know? But now I’m like. And, you know, I think it’s a balance. And I think I was doing it a little too much back then. And I think it was out of fear.
Elsie: [00:25:13] Yeah. I mean, getting your first handful of negative comments, especially ones that can get pretty personal, is like a very vulnerable experience that you don’t know how you’re going to feel about it until it happens. So I think that’s really normal. And yeah. Like I remember lots of times when I did things that I wouldn’t do now because people told me I should.
Emma: [00:25:37] Yeah. I was just afraid that people would stop reading. And then what would we do? Like, what would we be? You know? What would our career be at that point if people stopped reading?
Elsie: [00:25:46] Now you’re like, who cares?
Emma: [00:25:47] Yeah. Now I’m kind of like, it’s not that I’m like, who cares? I wouldn’t say that. I would just say I just know I feel a lot more secure in who we are and I’m just going to be who I am. And I think there’s an audience for it. And I think for some people, they’re not into it. And that is fine. So…
Elsie: [00:26:03] I love that. Ok. Our last segment is The Guilty Pleasure Treasure and mine this week is Facebook Marketplace. So I think I’ve made it pretty clear through the years that I hate Facebook. I’m not a Facebook person. I don’t like it. And basically don’t use Facebook.
Emma: [00:26:22] And I don’t even know if you say it out loud…they’re listening.
Elsie: [00:26:25] Why? No. Who cares? It’s fine. I just. I mean, Instagram is owned by Facebook and I like Instagram. So they got me there. But yeah, I’m not on Facebook much and I’m not engaged with it. But once I discovered that Facebook marketplace is so active where we live. I don’t know if it’s like this everywhere, but like people barely use Craigslist anymore here. And everyone uses Facebook Marketplace. And you can always find something good for a really good price. And a lot of times like really surprising things. So, yeah, I’m very excited when we eventually move and we’re working on our next home to utilize it a little bit more because my house is kind of like done right now at the moment. But it is a treasure chest. I just, sometimes I just go in there and like search mirrors and tables and…
Emma: [00:27:19] Have you bought anything off there? Like, what’s the last thing you bought or are you more like just stalking it?
Elsie: [00:27:26] I’ve sold a ton of stuff. That’s how I discovered it. I sell stuff quite a bit because I just need to, like keep….you know when we we know when we make something or like recently we made our dining room table, a new one, and we had to get rid of the old one so we sold it on Facebook Marketplace for a steal. But as far as buying, I think I might still be a Facebook Marketplace virgin. I don’t think I’ve bought anything yet. I think I tried to, but I…Yeah. A couple times I was going to buy a dresser and fell through. I was going to buy a table and it fell through. So, yeah, I’ll bring an update when I find my first real treasure. But usually it’s just sending things to other people and being like, you should buy this, because my house really is full right now and I’m not in the market for like a new bed or anything, but I’ve seen some amazing ones on there. Do you have a guilty pleasure this week?
Emma: [00:28:20] My guilty pleasure is, over the weekend. I was just watching random movies. Trey was out of town and I was just working during the day. And then I would get home and I was really tired because I’m doing a kind of like physical project right now. So I was just like spent so just watching TV. So one thing,, and this I don’t even know if I should call this a guilty pleasure, but this was something we watched growing up, Elsie. And for whatever reason, I just remembered this one scene from the movie, so I wanted to rewatch it. It’s called A Walk in the Clouds. I think it’s from 1995 or 1996. It has Keanu Reeves in it. And it’s a love story about he like meets this woman randomly. And I’m not spoiling anything. This happens early on in the film. She is pregnant, but she’s going home to her family and they’re gonna be disappointed in her. So he pretends to be her husband. And that’s kind of the premise of the movie. And I rewatched it and it was a lot more cheesy than I remember. It had a lot of like interesting choices the filmmaker had made. And I just sort of felt a little silly watching it. But it does have this one scene that I remember from when we were, I don’t know, teenagers or something. And it’s where they’re in a vineyard and there’s frost. And so the grapes are gonna be hurt in some way where they won’t make good wine. So everybody has to put on these basically like makeshift wings and they light all these fires and they’re all out there fanning with these wings like butterflies, trying to get the frost off the grapes. And for whatever reason, I’ve always remembered that scene. So I wanted to rewatch it. But when I rewatched the movie, it did not hold up as much as my memory of it did. So I’m gonna call that my guilty pleasure for this week.
Emma: [00:30:09] That’s it for this week, y’all.Thanks so much for listening. And it means a whole lot if you leave us a review. That’s a great way to help us start as we’re just getting started with this podcast adventure. And we really appreciate you coming along for the ride. Bye!
Just started listening to your podcast after catching up on the Young House Love podcast and I wanted to say that podcasts are my guilty pleasure for when I’m doing the dishes (only my kids aren’t usually in bed yet) or cleaning the house or just want to tune out my kids and give my brain a break (who knew they’d talk so much??? and ask so many questions???). I love your banter with each other- I’m excited to keep listening and catch up!
Just wanted to say, I started listening to your podcasts a couple of weeks back. I’m only on episode 9 BUT I am hooked!! It is so refreshing to hear how you each respect each other. Your tidbits and info are fun and easy to listen to. I’ve already downloaded Emma’s romance novel and The Curated Closet. I can’t wait to get to the newer episodes!! With so much going on, I wish I had found these in early March!! Thanks for the great content.
THANK YOU KIM!!! :))
I enjoyed listening to you two! I’m kinda new to podcast and find I love listening, while I’m doing some house work, better than anything on television! Lol!! 😉 You guys have definitely perked my interest on reading some romance novels! Have a wonderful week!
Hi Emma and Elsie
I have just been introduced by a client of mine to your podcast and to your Instagram. I am new to podcasts honestly and have to say I LOVE yours so much! First of all I feel a real connection to you both as I work and have lived in Springfield MO for 20 plus years and my youngest son of 2 lives in Nashville along with his wife (a musician) and their baby daughter. I live in Harrison Arkansas now and drive to Springfield to work 3 days a week, I used to listen to books on CD but now I fill my time in the car with your Podcast keep up the good work ladies!! P.S I am hoping to plan a trip to FL in the near future with our children and grands and hope you utilize one of your BnB’s!
Hey girls! I just started to listen to your podcast! I absolutely love it. I’m writing to you to let you know that in iTunes your website link is this (http://abmpodcast.libsyn.com/website) which doesn’t have any show notes or much info. I had to google your podcast… Other than that great podcast!
Keep it going!
You guys need a Podcast tab / link / button on your main page (maybe I missed it?). I need access to all of these episodes in a row for easy listening! 🙂
Also, I love this podcast! Favorite thing you have launched ever, and I have been following Elsie since 2007 when I found her scrapbooking pages online in my high school computer lab. 😛
I so loooove listening to you guys! I have learned so much from you two over the years and its been amazing to be able to reconnect with you both via the website, Instagram and now podcasts! You both are still as amazing as you have always been!! keep up the GREAT work you are such an inspiration to many young people (women)!!! love you both!!
I really like the podcast! It is so easy to listen to and I mean this in a good way… it’s really simple. Not trying to do anything too much or too crazy. I have loved just learning a little more about you, your interests (which are so similar to mine so… lol), successes, etc. It’s just really pleasant. I’m in the thick of a big, full house remodel while working full time and need some inspiration/distraction!
P.S. Thank you so much for the flash back of a walk in the clouds. When Emma described the scene where they’re fanning the grapes, I instantly remembered and couldn’t stop laughing. I was desperately in love with Keanu Reeves and watched ALL his movies in the early 2000s. I think I’ll have to rewatch now too… 🙂
I’ve been a fan of your blogs and IG accounts for a long time. Your podcasts are so great you should be really proud. I especially loved hearing about your design no – no’s. I think one of you mentioned ‘boob lighting’ in a blog post years ago and I’ve never forgotten it! I like the tips as you’re always right imo! I don’t even notice until you point it out and then I’m like “oh yeah!”. I look forward to many more episodes to come. Xx
Hi Elsie and Emma,
I am really enjoying your podcast! I need to assure Emma she does not have to be embarrassed about enjoying Lisa Kleypas’ books. First, not only is Lisa super talented, and writes fabulous stories, but she is also one of the nicest people in the world. A few years back, I was at a writer’s conference..a total newbie…and she went out of her way to introduce herself and sit and chat. Really lovely person…and I just smile when I read her wonderful books!
Second, because we have to have our things. It can be Abba songs or a love of the Carpenters. Maybe we sing songs by the Monkees in the car or have a secret crush on Harry Styles. Think about it…it was not that long ago that superheroes and comic books were only for nerds. Now it is cool. I love Romance novels. A lot of the modern ones feature self-employed women who are turning their passion into profits…and just happen to meet a suitable love. My major was in 18th and 19th Century English novels and also love Jane Austen…a writer that most of my professors did not take as seriously as Dickens or Thackery!
Btw there is a modern Romance writer who writes about the Regency era is Julia Quinn. READ THE BRIDGERTON SERIES!! Do it now. Because in a few months, Shondaland’s Bridgerton will be on Netflix and when you read these books, you will know why you want to be streaming them. I am SO EXCITED!! (!!!!!!!!!!!) Julia’s heroines are very worthy..and her storytelling is quite charming. LOVE her books! Amanda Quick’s romances also have some quirky heroines and out-of-the-box heroes.
And Second…because Emma, you love enough cool things to feel confident that you can also love these Romance novels. We have too many frustrating and sad things going on in the world. Romance novels gives our minds a respite and allows us to focus on what is good in the world. I love the Pre-Raphaelites and I love Hallmark movies. I listen to Roxy Music and adore the haunting songs of Lana Del Rey.
Thank you both for your podcast. I love how you focus on possibilities!
I am so jealous you met Lisa! That’s so cool. Currently I just follower her on IG like any good internet fan. 🙂
I had someone else recommend Julie Quinn as well, seems like I will need to check out that series soon. Thank you!
Yes please podcast on Airbnb business side! Also one on time boxing..
By episode 3, I enjoyed the way Emma dug for deeper answers from Elise. Emma should be a professional interviewer.
I love your podcasts!! I’ve been listening to them on my commute home and they have been amazing! My favorite has been #2 Forever Homes, but they’re all great. Please make more soon 🙂
In one of the episodes you mentioned wanting to feel a different connection to your followers…You NAILED it! I love it and I feel like you guys are even more personable! Great work!
I have two more episodes to go and I am already looking forward to the 5th. Congratulations and I am very happy you chose to podcast. I am hooked!
Thank you SO much Trish!!!! 🙂
This is my first podcast post! Admittedly I am not an avid podcast listener! However I enjoyed binging on your episodes so much that I’m eagerly awaiting your next post! Congratulations and all the best for you both!
Thank you Patrice! I wasn’t either until this past year! 🙂
I’m so excited that you guys started a podcast! I live in LA, so I spend a lot of time in the car listening to podcasts and now I feel like I get to hang out with my favorite bloggers on my commute! Also — I’m so excited that you are loving Righteous Gemstones!! I worked on the show as a VFX editor and I had so much fun! It is such a funny, clever, well-written show!
“I have a tendency of not finishing things!” What??! It’s probably because some things are worth finishing; you do A LOT. And your podcast is fantastic, I loved to hear about the 100 days challenge. Thank you for opening up so much.
I LOVE your podcast!!! I’ve been following you for a long time now but I think this is my favourite content from you guys 🙂
I loved getting to know you guys better, especially Emma. But as a long time blog reader I was surprised to learn Elsie had an ex-husband! And Emma may have convinced me to read a romance novel…..maybe.
Loved the 100 day challenge episode & how Elsie said even if you slip up you don’t need to start again. That was a real light bulb moment for me & has inspired me to do my own challenge. Thank you.
Here’s to many more eps!
Long time reader also 10 years with plenty of back reading to catch up and down they way – interesting that you were comfortable to slip the ex though and dont want to pry but it was certainly a surprise.
Love both of you for everything really just amazing what you both have a achieved.
Im not sure if anyone already gave you the address for Chimp Eden but here it is -https://www.chimpeden.com/ – you can “adopt a chimp” too on there!
Also love the 100 day challenge especially at the moment were I am looking for something to motivate me more, so will go back and read your article.
Have a great week further ladies.
Ps South African here *hi*