10 Things I Love Sunday

This past week has been a roller coaster of emotions for me. I stopped myself seconds before posting the most emo Instagram caption of all time … haha! It’s just crazy. I think it’s a combination of many things: our adoption trip being SO close, pre-anxiety over taking a maternity leave (I haven’t taken a month off work in 10 years and so even though I am grateful beyond words, I’m a little nervous too), a remodel that I’m trying to wrap up and THE SUN GOING DOWN BEFORE 5 P.M. In the words of The Home Edit … I’m surviving, not thriving. But I’m pretty sure you’re going to make me feel better by saying this is a completely normal way to feel two weeks before becoming a mom? (Please!)

On to the favorite things …

1. My best gal Andi did the sweetest home tour (and be sure to read the interview … so inspiring!) I spy a pink Violents record too.

2. We started watching Parks & Rec and it’s been the perfect way to unwind.

3. Getting a star manicure with these nail tattoos before our trip next week.

4. I really want a cozy sweater like this, but I know myself and I’m afraid I would wear it exclusively for the rest of winter. Haha!

5. Nova really, really, really does not need any more dresses right now, but LOOK!

6. How do I not own this scorpio pillow? #ScorpioPower

7. After looking at every diaper bag option under the sun, we found one for $30 that’s perfect!

8. Should I buy these pants??

9. Couldn’t resist this Etsy T-shirt for Nova’s stocking.

10. Got my copy of Essential Glow in the mail. Essential oil lovers … you’re going to need to add this book to your Christmas list!

P.S. I posted something here about my fears for sharing Nova’s childhood online. I’d love to hear your perspectives and how you found balance.

xx. Elsie


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Anti Spider Spray (Essential Oil Based)

If you are the kind of person that can’t sleep for a week if you see a spider near your bed, then join the club! We live only a few yards from a large wooded area here in Nashville, so we get our fair share of spiders in the house—especially in the winter, when they are looking for a warmer place to hang out. Now, I figure a few basement spiders are just going to happen and that’s OK, but I don’t love seeing them (especially the larger variety) striding across my couch or bedroom floor. Anyways, I wanted to find a less toxic solution to the problem and it turns out that essential oils are a great way to keep those eight-legged guys away from our living space. Essential oil sprays don’t kill spiders (good news for those of you who catch and release every bug in the house so as not to harm them), but they create an environment that they are just not into, and so they leave! It’s like you meeting your friend at a bar for a drink, and when you walk in it’s dark and smelly. What would you do? Probably leave and find another bar that had a better atmosphere, right? It’s basically like that.

Our Oui Fresh oils are great for this spray since they are therapeutic grade oils and are 100% pure with no fillers (they have also been tested for quality and safety). There are several oils that spiders are really not into: lemon (any citrus oil is good), peppermint, tea tree, and lavender. I would just pick the one that you like best since you’ll have to smell the scent too. While peppermint oil is usually said to be the most effective, we don’t suggest using peppermint essential oil around children under 6. So if you have a little one like I do, I would choose a different oil to spray (I chose lavender instead). Storing your oils on this cute pink tray isn’t required, but doesn’t hurt either. ?

Select the oil of your choice and drop 5-10 drops of it into an empty 16 oz. glass spray bottle (amber spray bottles are best for storing and extending the potency of essential oil products, but if you keep home sprays in dark cabinets like I do a clear glass spray bottle is fine too).Fill the rest of your bottle with water and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid at the end (the soap will help the oil mix into the water more evenly). Screw on your nozzle and give the mixture a few good shakes. If you want your new spider spray to look “official,” download our anti spider spray label and print it onto sticker paper so you can easily recognize your DIY mix.  To use your anti spider spray, spray along baseboards, around doors and windows, and in the corner creases of walls in rooms where you have (or want to prevent) issues. If you have a current spider issue, you may want to spray those areas a few times that week and then spray once a week for maintenance after that. You can also put a drop or two of these oils onto a cotton ball and place them in harder to spray areas like under your bed. Spraying oils may cause spots on carpets or upholstery, so make sure to test a small area before spraying it on larger sections. Since dealing with spiders (real or imaginary) can be a bit stressful, it’s a good thing you’ll get a little calming aromatherapy while you spray! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
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DIY Terrarium Coffee Table

If you saw my living room refresh last month, then you probably already noticed this pretty terrarium coffee table. This is a pretty new addition to our home and (bonus!) it’s a DIY, so I thought we’d share that for all you woodworking DIYer’s out there.

Two years ago, I built this terrarium side table and loved it. It was next to our couch in the living room of our last house. Since we moved, I’ve never really found a new home for him in our current house. I moved it around the house a few times, trying out different spots. The best spot was where the giant split leaf plant now is (see here), so once I got that my terrarium side table was homeless again. So it’s just been sitting in the back of my home office area, collecting random things on top of it (not great). I really loved the terrarium aspect but the overall size and shape of the side table (basically a large box) just didn’t seem to fit anywhere in our home. What’s a gal to do?!

So that became the inspiration behind this coffee table. I wanted something that felt like the right shape and size for in front of our brown couch, but I still wanted it to have a terrarium aspect to it. I even planned to reuse the (faux) succulents from the last terrarium in this new one. Ethan was helping me with some other things in our home last month (including the bathroom remodel—whoa!) and he created the final design for this table as well as put it together. So I’m gonna let him teach you how to make your own, take it away Ethan:

Hello everyone! I was very excited when Emma asked me to design and build this coffee table for them. The goal was to continue the sleek, clean lines in the rest of the house while brightening the room. We decided to go with pine boards to achieve that lighter, brighter look. Which brings us to supplies!

-6 10-in x 8-ft pine boards
-1 3-in x 5-ft pine board
-1 14.5 x 2-ft acrylic sheet
-2 7.5 x 2-ft acrylic sheets
-1 box of 1 3/4-in wood screws
-1 box of 1-in screws
-4 white hairpin legs
-wood glue
weld on #4 with applicator (glue for acrylic)

-Circular saw
-Medium and Fine grit sandpaper

Step One: I took three of the boards and using a circular saw, cut them in half to make three 4-ft boards. Once the boards were cut, I used medium grit sandpaper to smooth out the cut ends and prepare the sides to be glued together.

Then I took the three, 4-ft boards and ran wood glue on the long sides and began to place my clamps. (When placing the clamps, ensure the ends are even.) Then begin to place your clamps on the desired spots. Make sure there are clamps on both ends and across the middle, keeping the boards even and flat. Add clamps on the sides, forcing the boards together. A tip when using clamps is to place something in between the clamp and wood (or whatever material you are working with) to prevent unwanted dents in your wood, I used scrap cardboard and scrap wood. Tighten the clamps until beads of glue appear from the joints. Let the glue dry overnight. Once dry, sand away the dried glue beads.

Step Two: Build the boxes for the ends of the table. I wanted to make this as simple as possible when planning the sizes of the boxes and terrarium. I decided to divide the table into fourths and make the boxes 1-ft long and the terrarium 2-ft long. I cut four, 1-ft boards and four, 28-in boards to make the boxes. When it makes sense, I like to screw and glue joints to make them really strong. I started by pre-drilling holes from underneath the base up into the box. I screwed the 1-ft boards in first then applied glue to the 28-in boards and once in place screwed them in. I then placed clamps on the corners to make sure the joints were tight, allowing that to dry overnight.

An optional addition, you can make a cross brace for the inside of the box to make it extra sturdy. I used scrap wood in my shop, but any wood will do. Just make sure one half of the cross is shorter than the other. Measure and cut the wood to fit inside the box. Place the shorter board on the side of the taller board, and trace the edge. Then cut out the traced shaped, making a half-lap joint. Then just like the sides of the box, predrill and screw the cross brace in place.

Once the boxes were dry and in place, I used the remaining wood to cover the top of the boxes. I cut six, 1-ft boards for the top of the table. I glued the sides of the top wood pieces and the perimeter of the top of the box, clamping the top pieces of wood to the box until glue beads appeared, allowing the glue to dry overnight. After the glue dries, sand the dried glue beads from the joints.

Next, I cut the 3-inch board to fit in between the two boxes to create a lip for the acrylic box to fit inside. I repeated the steps for the box walls here and predrilled, screwed and glues the boards in place, allowing to dry overnight.

Step Three: Build the acrylic box. After doing some research and testing, I found acrylic is hard to cut and maintain smooth edges. I used my circular saw as carefully as possible, while being smart and planning out the edges, to make sure to use as many of the smooth factory edges as I could. It’s possible you may be able to buy acrylic in the sizes you will need (noted in the supplies), but more than likely you will need to cut one larger piece down to size, like I did.

Measure the inside of the middle of your table and cut the acrylic to match the height and width of your space. Once cut, apply acrylic glue to the edges then clamp the joints. Don’t tighten too tight or you run the risk of bowing the acrylic, or worse, breaking it! Allow that to dry overnight. Now insert the acrylic box and screw the legs in the desired position and you have yourself a new terrarium coffee table!

Thanks for letting us share! And remember, if you create this project (or any project from our site) we’d LOVE to see it, so please tag us on Instagram! xo. Emma + Ethan

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman and Ethan Randolph. Photography: Janae Hardy and Ethan Randolph. Photos edited with ACS for Desktop.
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Elsie’s Nashville BNB Kitchen Tour (Before + After)

Hello friends!! Today is FINALLY the day I get to share our completed bnb kitchen renovation with you!!!! I have been working on this since last spring and it’s been a prettyyyyy dramatic renovation (aren’t they all?). So needless to say, I am SO HAPPY that it’s complete! Today, I’m here to share all the details of our kitchen renovation with you.

But first … you know what time it is! Time for a walk down memory lane …

The before kitchen had good bones. I knew right away that we could repurpose the builder grade cabinets with a fresh coat of paint and I was excited to try a new, more contrasty, color scheme since I am usually drawn to all-white-everything. You can see all the before photos right here.

OK, there’s a LOT to cover in this renovation. I’ll start with the sink and faucet! This tour is sponsored by Delta Faucet and The Home Depot. Delta faucets are my favorite for kitchen and bath hardware. I have many in my own home (in Champagne Bronze), so I was excited to get the same faucet I love in Matte Black for this home! It ties together perfectly with the hardware we used in the BnB Bathroom, which you can see here. Delta sent the most amazing Trinsic Faucet with Touch2O Technology—when it is running you can touch anywhere on the spout or handle to stop and start the flow of water. This is amazing for washing dishes (which I have already done quite a bit of getting this house ready for our first guests!). I’ll be sure to share videos on Instagram stories of how it works—it’s pretty rad!

The counters are quartz, which has become my absolute go-to for kitchens. The color is Pearl Jasmine by Cosentino, available at The Home Depot. They have a pretty strong marble pattern, which I love! We worked with The Home Depot’s Home Services for our countertop installation; they had a certified fabricator come to the home to create the exact outline before construction of the custom countertop began, and made the entire installation process so easy! I lost my mind a bit the first time I saw them installed … they are SO pretty!

The stripe ceramic vase is from 31 Bits.

The light is from my go-to Lucent Lightshop. I have their brass lights all over my own home, so when I found out they could make any light in matte black I was SO happy! I love how it blends into the kitchen and makes a statement at the same time.

The appliances are from Kitchenaid and they are truly stunning. I love that we were able to continue the matte black theme with the black stainless appliances. Here are the product links: Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Microwave and Range. These appliances are so sleek and beautiful. I will be sure to share more details on Instagram stories as well (hope you are following @abeautifulmess because I’ll be sharing a tour today on our stories).

Let me just say, for someone who has almost nothing black or high contrast in my own home, designing this space truly changed me! I am obsessed!

This Barista Express espresso machine is kind of bananas. It is one of my favorite birthday gifts of all time, so I am excited to have one in our bnb. I am planning to make a video tutorial of how to use it because THE FUTURE IS NOW.


I’m so happy to share the totally finished breakfast nook now that the floors are in (when we first shared this project there was still stick on tile on the floor). The wallpaper is from WallsNeedLove and the pendant is from Schoolhouse Electric. I have to say, out of all the things I was nervous about, the patterned tile was probably the thing I was more scared of. I worried it would be too busy. But it isn’t. And it turned out incredible!!!!

Speaking of the tile, I haven’t shared a link yet.

This tile is from The Home Depot and I’ve already gotten so many comments (both online and in person) that are shocked and excited that such an affordable tile can look so expensive. I’m honestly blown away by it. It’s even prettier in person!

On the nook tabletop I currently have a few server pieces and some cloth napkins. In the future, I would love to to put some board games here … how sweet would that be for guests?

Thank you so much for following our renovation! It has truly been a labor of love. I am so proud of this space and I cannot wait to host our first guests (which will be friends and family during the holidays).

One more floor shot—A. because I love this tile and B. because I forgot to tell you that underneath the stick on tile was rotten subfloor and mold that took a LOT of extra time and money to repair. This is just a part of renovating. It’s still worth it! But I have learned over the past three years that when Jeremy’s dad told us, “count on it costing twice as much and taking twice as long” that he was right SO much of the time. Renovations are frustrating and longer than you think and sometimes really expensive. But when you get to the end of it all, there is so much joy in your finished project! So thank you for sharing my joy today.

xx. Elsie

Other Sources: Paint/Thunderbolt by Valspar and and Marshmallow by Sherwin Williams, Hanging Planter/WayfairKitchen Towels,Cutting Boards, Soap Dispensers, Marble Tray, and Wooden Tray/Target, Utensil Holder and Honey PotWorld Market, White Pot/HomeGoods, Rattan Tray/Amazon.

P.S. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Project Assistant: Collin DuPree. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop Presets.



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