Mara Dockery


Mara is a freelance designer who creates many, many things for A Beautiful Mess including newsletters and other fun projects. She also designs icons and other needed items for Emma and Elsie’s app company, A Color Story.

Spirit Animal: Deer
Go-to road trip snack: M&Ms
Favorite movie: Dirty Dancing
Celebrity crush: Ryan Gosling + Lena Dunham
Guilty pleasure: Carpool karaoke with James Corden
Non-blog hobby: Reading + running + baking
Childhood hero: Daria

Katie Shelton

Contributing Writer

Katie writes beautiful hair tutorials and kiddo projects for the blog. See Katie’s full archive here. She also writes her own site, Skunkboy Blog.

Spirit Animal: Tacos
Go-to road trip snack: Twizzlers and BBQ Fritos (and heartburn)
Favorite movie: This is an impossible question to answer
Celebrity crush: Jena Malone
Guilty pleasure: Bryan Adams, forever
Non-blog hobby: Music and kids, man
Childhood hero: Definitely Debbie Gibson

Mandi Johnson

Contributing Writer

Mandi creates incredible projects for us (from big to small!). She has an eye for interior style and great ideas for budget living. See Mandi’s full archive here. She also writes her own site Making Nice in the Midwest.

Spirit Animal: Hawk
Go-to road trip snack: Peanut butter filled pretzels
Favorite movie: Vertigo
Celebrity crush: Jimmy Stewart (You didn’t say he had to be living!)
Guilty pleasure: Eating endless amounts of goldfish crackers during Netflix marathons of Grey’s Anatomy
Non-blog hobby: Volleyball
Childhood hero: Zorro (I scrawled Zs across everything!)

Rachel Denbow

Contributing Writer + Product Design

Rachel has been writing for A Beautiful Mess and teaching e-courses with us for the past five years. You can see her archive here! Rachel also has a hand in designing some of the ABM shop products, and she creates beautiful weavings! You can find her shop here.


Spirit Animal: Miniature horse
Go-to road trip snack: Peanut Butter Crackers
Favorite movie: Fried Green Tomatoes
Celebrity crush: Jude Law
Guilty pleasure: Licking the spoon, bowl, & beaters when I bake
Non-blog hobby: De-cluttering the house
Childhood hero: DJ Tanner

Rebecca Stice

Contributing Writer

Rebecca writes and photographs amazing hair tutorials for ABM (see her full archive here!) in addition to running her own site, A Clothes Horse.

Spirit Animal: Fennec fox!
Go-to road trip snack: Cheezits
Favorite movie: Charade
Celebrity crush: Ryan Gosling
Guilty pleasure: Eating peanut butter straight from the jar
Non-blog hobby: Pokemon Go!
Childhood hero: Maureen O’Hara

Kara Whitten

Contributing Writer

Kara writes and photographs beautiful tutorials for ABM (see her full archive here!) in addition to running her own site, A Kailo Chic Life.

Spirit Animal: Lion
Go-to road trip snack: Gummy candy and beef jerky
Favorite movie: 13 going on 30
Celebrity Crush: Zac Efron
Guilty pleasure: Pastries
Non-blog hobby: Gardening
Childhood Hero: Martha Stewart

Kayleigh Kosmas

Contributing Writer

Kayleigh writes and photographs beautiful tutorials (see her full archive here!) for ABM in addition to running her own blog, Oh Honey.

Spirit Animal: My cat Bisou
Go-to road trip snack: Trader Joe’s (faux) bacon popcorn
Favorite movie: Funny Face
Celebrity Crush: Tina Fey
Guilty pleasure: Staying in my pj pants all day
Non-blog hobby: Growing fruits and veggies
Childhood Hero: Hermione Granger

Natalie Jacob

Contributing Writer

Natalie writes and photographs delicious cocktail and food recipes for ABM (see her full archive here!) in addition to running her own site, Arsenic Lace.

Spirit Animal: Flamingo
Go-to road trip snack: Coffee and donuts
Favorite movie: Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Rear Window
Celebrity Crush: Bruce Springsteen forever and ever
Guilty pleasure: Binge watching ID Discovery
Non-blog hobby: Thrift stores and flea markets
Childhood Hero: Audrey Hepburn

Alana Jones-Mann

Contributing Writer

Alana is a stylist, designer, and baker (see for yourself here). We’re so happy to have her amazing desserts on A Beautiful Mess!

Spirit Animal: A pug, of course!
Go-to road trip snack: Dried mango
Favorite movie: Wizard of Oz
Celebrity Crush: Ryan Gosling (I’m so basic)
Guilty pleasure: Eating way too much mint chocolate chip ice cream in one sitting
Non-blog hobby: Hunting for vintage treasure at my local thrift stores. Also spending every free minute I have with my two pugs!
Childhood Hero: My Dad

Sarah O'Callaghan, RD, CSP, LD

Contributing Writer

Sarah is a resident nutrition expert and writes about all things nutrition for the blog. She is a registered dietitian with a board certification in pediatrics. She hopes to inspire healthy habits and positive relationships with food for all ages. Sarah is based in Springfield, MO. Be sure to check our her Etsy shop, Homemade Housewives.

Spirit Animal: Gazelle
Go-to road trip snack: Puppy chow
Favorite movie: The Royal Tennenbaums
Celebrity Crush: Chris Thile
Guilty pleasure: Ghost stories and donuts, together at once
Non-blog hobby: Reading, hiking and discovering new podcasts
Childhood Hero: Topanga Lawrence

Lindsey Kelsay, MS, RD, CSG, LD

Contributing Writer

Lindsey is a resident nutrition expert and writes about all things nutrition for the blog. She is a registered dietitian with a passion for whole foods and works as a professor of nutrition. Lindsey is based in Springfield, MO.

Spirit Animal: Fox
Go-to road trip snack: Popcorn
Favorite movie: Gladiator
Celebrity Crush: Jared Leto
Guilty pleasure: Learning pop songs on the guitar
Non-blog hobby: Music
Childhood Hero: David Bowie


Sarah Benning

Contributing Writer

Sarah is a fiber artist who creates gorgeous embroidery patterns and DIY’s for A Beautiful Mess. Be sure to heck out her shop, month pattern program, and workshops here!

Spirit Animal: Sloth
Go-to road trip snack: Baby carrots
Favorite movie: Hot Fuzz
Celebrity Crush: Will Smith
Guilty pleasure: Salt and vinegar chips
Non-blog hobby: Indoor gardening
Childhood Hero: Laura Ingalls Wilder

Erin Wheaton

Contributing Writer

Erin is a hair stylist and color specialist in our hometown of Springfield, MO. She’s a national education for Paul Mitchell (go Erin!!) and was voted a “30 Under 30” colorist for Beauty Launchpad. Be sure to follow her on Instagram for some major hair inspiration! You can see Erin’s hair tutorial archives here.