Episode #137: Our Spring and Summer Fantasies

We are over winter, but winter isn’t over us yet! This week, we are fantasizing about porch decor, pool season, picnics, and anything involving sunshine. 

We are also answering some design questions and talking about our random celebrity crushes.


You can stream the episode here, on the blog, or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayTuneInPocket Casts, and Stitcher. You can find the podcast posts archive here.

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Show notes:

Spring/summer decor ideas: 

Elsie: Getting fresh mulch for our landscape, new pillows for patio furniture, creating a painting space on our balcony and decorating the pottery studio.

Emma: Put a picnic table on the patio for Oscar.

Spring/summer decor fantasy: 

Elsie: Put a play set in the yard. Here’s the mid-century play set we had at our previous home.

Emma: Remove the pillar in front of her house and add brick/stairs to the front porch.

Here’s a picture of the front of Emma’s house:

Outdoor activities we’re looking forward to: 

Elsie: Swimming, outdoor date nights, and farmer’s markets.

Emma: Boat days (check out Emma’s recipe for Love Dip) and hiking.

Here’s a link to my stoneware vase from Target.

Spring/summer fashion: 

Elsie: Gigi Pip hats, long dresses, and dresses to wear over your swimsuit.

Emma: Wearing sandals and the summer clothes she hasn’t worn in two years.

Something you didn’t get to do last summer that you’re looking forward to:

Emma: Taking Oscar to the pool.

Elsie: Making pottery and having guests over.

Home decor trend you once loved but now hate:

Elsie: Black and white and lots of color.

Emma: Black and white and orange.

Our interior styles that have stayed the same:

Elsie: Wicker, Etsy wall art, my record player, and art studio.

Emma: Quirky art and decorating with books.

Weird celebrity crushes:

Elsie: John Oliver

Emma: William Dafoe

See you next week. xo!

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Episode 137 Transcript

Elsie: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast. While we’re over winter it’s not done with us yet. And we’re not wrong that the grass is greener on the other side this time. This week we’re fantasizing about porch decor, pool season, picnics, and anything involving sunshine. We’ll also answer some design questions and a random celebrity crush thing, just for the hell of it at the end.

Emma: Fun.

Elsie: Whoo. I know I love the celebrity crushes. I just have like so many. Okay, so do you like love celebrities? 

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: I love celebrities.

Emma: Okay, yeah, I was like, I don’t know where you’re going with this but yes, I do. I mean, it’s just fun.

Elsie: I feel like I could call anyone a celebrity crush because I just love celebrities.  I like to learn about their lives and know where people are from and kind of like random stuff. It’s like a little mini hobby for me.

Emma: Oh, definitely. Yeah, anytime we’re watching a movie we’re also like googling the cast or seeing what else they’ve been in or where they’re from. That’s always fun. Yeah, it’s interesting.

Elsie: Yeah, you get the little brain tingle when you find out that Tom from Succession is British. 

Emma: It’s Mr. Darcy. Haven’t you seen Pride and Prejudice?

Elsie: No, cuz, you know, I have a Jane Austen thing. 

Emma: Oh, you’re going to be into it one day.

Elsie: I desperately want to be into it.

Emma: She’s coming for you.

Elsie: Every time I tried to watch one of the Jane Austen movies, I fell asleep. I keep trying again in the future. 

Emma: Yeah, he’s Mr. Darcy. So I kind of can’t unsee that when I watch Succession and I’m like, this doesn’t really add up.

Elsie: Okay, so this is my thing I wanted to talk about, I think that a lot of people are gonna write with this. I feel like even though it’s March, the New Year is still kind of starting because it’s kind of had a rough start. I know that we can’t be the only ones. But it’s like our Christmas break, kind of like never really ended because we had so many childcare lapses and just things coming up. For example, yesterday, while we were having dinner, I was crying and saying,

Emma: Sorry. It’s not funny. 

Elsie: It is funny because I’m laughing too. It’s okay. I cry a lot. But I was crying and saying, you can’t be creative when you’re always doing an overdue project. 

Emma: Yeah, that’s true.

Elsie: Like the feeling like you’re always finishing something that’s overdue. That feeling is just like, the last two months for me. So anyway, I thought we would talk about it a little bit because I just feel like this season has been particularly weird and overwhelming. Maybe not for everyone. Like maybe you had a great January and February but we didn’t.

Emma: Yeah, I mean, if you did that’s wonderful and I hope you did. I really hope people did too. 

Elsie: Someone went to Hawaii. 

Emma: Yeah, like someone like had the most productive work time of their life and that’s great for you, man because I did not so. Well, so I counted up for January at least and we only had five daycare days, all of January. Which for the record, we usually have five daycare days each week. So just a different level of like trying to get things done in between nap times and switching off with your husband and all of that stuff.

Elsie: There’s been a ton of snowstorms. 

Emma: Yes, there been snow days. We all got COVID. Oscar has been teething so that comes with its own things that like a lot of times he can’t go to daycare because he might have a little fever or have a little bit of diarrhea. Sure everyone wants to know about this. I got food poisoning, which I do periodically, at least once a year I get it.

Elsie: Emma has this food poisoning thing where she gets it every year. It’s really weird. Like she gets food poisoning more than anyone I’ve ever met in my life. It feels to me like it’s every six months. It is every six months because you had it last September and now you just had it this week.

Emma: I had it right before we did the holiday special. And then I just had it in February, mid-February. I had it for Valentine’s Day, just so everyone can picture that. So that was great. It’s just been a rough first quarter. That being said, I was feeling a little down about it. I kind of like looked at my work goals for the quarter and I still am going to hit 80% So yeah, I was like that’s awesome. Maybe I didn’t need to feel so guilty the whole time because I’m doing okay. Have a been the best communicator? No. Have I gotten everything done? No. Have I been as thorough as I would like to be on everything? Definitely not. But I’ve still gotten quite a bit of the goals done that I wanted to for this quarter. I can tell that they’re, we still have a month left, but I can tell it’s like, okay, it’s okay. It wasn’t the best ever, obviously. It’s not as bad as it felt, I guess. That made me feel a little bit better.

Elsie: Yeah, but I think that that’s also like what people say about bloggers is like that our outward facing work is so much better than our real lives because we’re all like fake, which, in this case, is true. Looks better for the outside a lot better than it really was.

Emma: Yeah, I’ve always found that such a strange criticism, because it’s like when someone comes over to my house, I’ve invited them over. I know they’re coming over. I usually pick up. I usually clean and never once have I had someone show up and be like, oh, you cleaned you’re so fake. It’s just strange. I don’t really understand that criticism, to be honest. Obviously, you always put your best thing forward. Why would you not? That doesn’t make any sense. I don’t know. It’s not a reality TV show. I don’t know who thought that but it’s not. By the way, those aren’t real either.

Elsie: Our blog is more real than a reality TV show. Our podcast definitely is I mean, I just told everyone that was crying at dinner last night.

Emma: Yeah, I mean, I don’t know. I’ve never been on a reality show. So I really couldn’t speak to that. How real it is.

Elsie: I can, more real. I was joking. Okay. So yeah, enough about that but everyone gets a hug. Everyone gets a gold star. Everyone gets a cocktail if you want it, whatever else thing, some Jenny’s ice cream. 

Emma: Whatever you need, you made it. 

Elsie: I mean, I’m proud of myself for staying up with the book club and just like getting into this new year when things just are, like today I had to pick up our three-year-old from school way, way early. She was only in school for two hours because there was like a potential tornado, and it was like, gotta come now or else you might get stuck later. So anyway, it’s like that every day and if you’re going through that as well, we see you and we give you this giant thumbs up and this giant hug.

Emma: Cheers. You’re doing it.

Elsie: Okay, so this week, I thought it would be fun to do an episode like a fantasy episode about spring and summer. Because I know some people are like, I know that it’s still winter, okay, it’s definitely still winter, we get it. Where we live is still going to be cold for a little while but I would say that March 7th is a time when you’re allowed to start planning the plants that you’re going to put on your patio and the furniture and the pillows and whatever thing and the power washing that you can’t wait to do if you’re me, you know what I mean? It just brings me joy this time of year. So yeah, I thought we would just like do an indulgent dreaming episode about spring and summer decor and what we want to do for our spaces and even a tiny bit of fashion because why not. Then we have some funny listener questions at the end that will do so. 

Emma: Yes. All right. First up, let’s talk about outdoor decor or plans or fantasies, maybe it’s not even going to happen, whatever so okay, what do you have planned?

Elsie: So we get one fantasy too, nice.

Emma: Yeah, why not? Why not? We’re trying to get over winter here so let’s just go big or go home. 

Elsie: I love it. 

Emma: So what are your outdoor decor ideas or plans, the real ones, fantasies?

Elsie: Alright, so my real ones are, so every spring we’re definitely going to refresh our outdoor space. It just gets kind of gross during winter. Our patio is light-colored it needs to be powerwash. Our dog just randomly pees on the porch sometimes, things like that, little spots from dirt, leaves. So I’m very satisfied with the blower and the power washer. Those are like joyful things for me that I love. 

Emma: I agree. 

Elsie: I love getting the landscape refreshed, getting the fresh mulch. We usually only do it once a year. Our mulch looks horrible now. I don’t know how it looks so bad but it looks horrible.  I guess it just doesn’t last. Do you have to do that every year?

Emma: I have no idea. As you’re saying it I’m nodding and I’m like, you get mulch every year? Wow.

Elsie: Last year, we got our landscaping done and we really did it. Most of our trees survived. A couple of them died which can be replaced but most of the plants we planted are perennials and they’re all doing great but like the mulch for sure fresh for spring like 100%. Anyway, it’s very rainy here though maybe it’s worse here. It’s probably what it is. So yeah, getting the outdoor space refreshed. I love that part. For this year, like last year, we were kind of like setting it up for the first time so I like bought some stuff. I got this like beautiful hanging chair and things like that. This year, I don’t think I really need anything new. But I will still refresh it. I will probably get like a couple of pillows and some like fresh plants.  I brought in a large amount of our outdoor plants and like, they’re sort of like hanging by a thread through the winter in my house. So when they finally go back out, they will like be thriving again and I always loved that. We’re really into making pizza right now. So Jeremy just like decided that he’s ready for his deep dive of few weeks ago, and he’s been making homemade pizza dough all the time. We’re always doing that and that is super fun. It’s definitely like a perfect sit on the porch. I can’t wait to have dinners on the porch. Then this is my exciting idea that I just got so you know how we have a little balcony off of our bedroom? 

Emma: Yes. 

Elsie: Okay, so I know that like when we first moved in, I showed it a lot. And it was a thing that I was really excited about. But so far, it has not been a space like I haven’t decorated it. We haven’t used it a lot. For like the first year or so we had our fire pit up there so we used it a little bit more. But then we moved downstairs because it made more sense downstairs, sort of like near a kitchen because our kids are really into s’mores. Ever since the fire pits have been gone, we just like use it never. We just don’t really go out there. So I feel like it’s just this underused but really cool space in my home and I like hate the idea that someday if we moved away, and I felt like I never used it. If we moved away now, which we’re not moving, by the way, not to scare anyone. but like if we moved away, now I would have major regrets not using that porch enough. So this is my idea. I was thinking the spring, I could give it a little spruce. It already has a little double bench like a chair where two people can sit, maybe a few more plants. Then I think I’m going to move my easel my big painting easel which is currently in the garage up there on that patio and put one of those gather mats under it and make it like a little painting spot during the warm months. I think it’ll just be like the most like, world’s most romantic thing like from The Notebook. Also something fun I can do with the kids. Also, it’ll make me feel like, give me a reason to go out there and use that special space. 

Emma: Nice. I like it. 

Elsie: Okay, and then my last one, this list is really good, I think. I’m really excited for spring. The last one is okay, so just to finish decorating the pottery studio. So I mentioned it a little bit in the last episode. But the whole last year, we were starting to get this pottery studio prepared. First I had to get a new roof. Then we painted it. I had to wait more than six months for the kelm that I had to wait probably another six months to find an electrician who was willing to install it and then get it actually installed. There’s a lot of steps to it, I had to get like a new power, I don’t know. It was a whole thing. Now it is finally done so I want to really spend some time there this year and really enjoy it and bond with it and learn how to use everything and make stuff. That’s probably one of my biggest things I’m looking forward to like the warm weather months. So my fantasy that I know I’m not doing this year, but I kind of wanted to but it’s just not on the list is I kind of wanted to put like, so in our side yard. Okay, so behind where our pool is. Have you seen how there’s a big magnolia tree there? 

Emma: Yes. 

Elsie: There’s a side yard back there that’s just kind of not very good-looking. It has patchy grass. It doesn’t get a lot of light. You could never make a garden there because it’s very shaded. But I think it would be a great spot, I actually think it could have way less grass-like maybe a lot of stones and stuff because it doesn’t really like grow grass anyway, and I was thinking that it would be really cool to put like a playset there. 

Emma: Oh, I love it. 

Elsie: It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for several years, but I don’t think it’s going to happen this year so it’s a fantasy. Maybe next year it’ll be something we can really get on the list. 

Emma: I like that. I love playsets. that’d be really cute.

Elsie: It’s so sweet. It’s the biggest thing for sure that I miss from our old house is like we had those two really cute playsets that Cullen built. Yeah, I really miss them. Okay, now tell me yours. 

Emma: So same on the old blowing the leaves, blowing the debris, power washing everything. I even made a power washing video last year where I was washing off the cover to our fire pit or fire table. I didn’t end up finishing it. I was like, what if this was reel, but honestly, it was pretty gross because it gets so moldy. 

Elsie: Power washing is gross that’s why it’s good. 

Emma: Yes. satisfying. Yeah, it’s so satisfying. So anyway, same on that, that’s fun. That’ll be like a thing and Trey does it with being it’s really kind of fun. This is the fun you have in your 30s I guess and I love it. So then another little thing is, I have this little white picnic table. It’s like a kid’s picnic table. It was on top of the roof for a long time because I use it with the skeletons for Halloween and then for Christmas, I just put Christmas hats on the skeletons instead of taking them down. So I like literally just got them taken down this past week. So yeah, but I have my stuff together. But anyway, that table was on the roof for a long time and it held up well so it’s weatherproof. That’s what I learned from that. I was like maybe I could put this little picnic table outside because I’m picturing by the summer, Oscar might be at a place where he could kind of sit at the table a little bit or pull himself up. He’s not going to sit there and like eat a whole meal or anything, he’s still going to be in his highchair but maybe like a little bit kind of a deal. It could be kind of a just like a thing to do in the evenings like early evenings to sit out there and have like a little snack or just a little moment. Because I just like being outside. It’s like just a happy thing. So anyway, I kind of want to figure out how that could fit on the back deck. We already have this other dining table and like I said, we have a fire table. So I don’t really want it to just look junky back there like, here’s just another little table I threw back there. Do you know what I mean? So I kind of want to think that through a little bit more.

Elsie: You can make that work for sure.

Emma: I think so. Then my fantasy, which I will not do. This is just a fantasy. Okay, so it starts with something real, which is in the front of the house, there’s these three pillars and two of the pillars are stucco and they look finished and they’re normal. It’s a bungalow house, you can see it on our blog, we’ll link something in the show notes. Then the middle pillar is just a thick metal pole and it doesn’t look very good. It looks very unfinished and it’s always been that way. It was that way when we bought the house when Elsie and I bought the house years ago. 

Elsie: It’s like they added a support when they saw a little sag, right?

Emma: Something like that and it just needs to be like built around it so that it either matches the other two or its own thing or something

Elsie: Would you get them all built around or would you just make it stucco to match the other two?

Emma: Well, this is where the fantasy begins. Because here’s something that I really do need to do, because it doesn’t look great. I just need to do something with it and really, what I should do is just kind of match it to the other two poles.

Elsie: I think I’m guessing what you’re gonna say but everyone just guess what she’s gonna say. Okay, go.

Emma: So that’s what I should do, and probably will do at some point. But I won’t lie, I’m not very motivated to do it. But here’s what I’d like to do, here’s the fantasy is I’d like to actually remove that and instead have two side by side and change the front railings so that it has an opening in the front. So you just see straight up to the front door instead of it being kind of hidden behind that pole. Then it has stairs that go up the side so like from the driveway that’s along with our house, you can enter that’s already there that we have those. But then this would be added stairs in the front so that you could walk up from the front yard to the front door. 

Elsie: I love this. That’s not what I thought you were gonna say so you could have a pumpkin stairway, right?

Emma: Wait, there’s more, there’s more. The decor of that, currently, the porch has tile on it, which is really cute and looks really cute with the house but we might have to do something different if I actually did this fantasy. So I might do something more leaning towards craftsman or a brick porch because I think it would go more with the neighborhood generally. So anyway, so that but then here’s the super, super fantasy part. So my neighbor across the street, she’s so cute. Her kids every time it snows, not every time but if there’s enough snow on their front steps, they’ll kind of build like on one side steps so you can get into the house. But then there’s like a little piece that’s like a snowy slide and they just slide down it and then walk up the steps and slide down all day long. I thought wouldn’t it be cool if we were going to add stairs leading up to the front porch what if there was just built in a little cement flat area that’s like a ramp basically. It’s a ramp, a small ramp. When it’s cold enough I could put water on it and it would freeze overnight and then it would be a slide in winter. It would be like a little adorable shoot that you know Oscar and I could use and like it’d be just like a fun little thing so that’s the fantasy and that makes no sense.  It’s like such a like adding a fireman’s pole inside of your house kind of thing, Pee Wee’s Playhouse, but I think it’d be fun.

Elsie: I think it’s fun to put something highly personal and weird in your house remodeling. 

Emma: I feel like it could look at it like people would see it and they would think like, oh maybe that’s for like a wheelchair like it’s handicap accessible. Maybe it would be big enough for that. I don’t know. But I was thinking more just it could have ice on it and it would be a slide.

Elsie: It would probably be too steep to be handicapped. 

Emma: Yeah, I think it would be too steep. Yeah, it wouldn’t be regulation. I just mean, I think people would look at it and probably assume that was what it was. They wouldn’t think oh, sweet slide. Anyway, so that’s my fancy.

Elsie: That’s adorable.

Emma: But really, I should just match that pillar to the other two.

Elsie: I mean, I think that adding stairs to the front, if you’re already redoing your porch, I think that’s a really smart idea. I think that would add a lot of charm to your house, like a lot of curb appeal. Because right now where your porches to the side when you put pumpkins on it no one can see it. I hadn’t really thought about that before. 

Emma: No, I think the design of it would maybe not be the slide part, although I would want that. But it would add a lot to the house. It’s just like, is this a $1,000 project or a $10,000 project? Which one is it because it would require taking down that pole, adding two new support beams, opening up the railing that’s already there, changing the porch probably to partial brick. It’d be kind of a lot of, building stairs that aren’t there currently. Like it’s kind of a lot of things.

Elsie: If you’re already redoing the porch tile it might not be that crazy.

Emma: Yeah. Well, at the moment, we’re not planning to do that but if we did do that, then we might. Well, anyway.

Elsie: I love that you have a big plan for your porch and that is a way better fantasy than mine. So good job. You win that round. Okay. Oh, the next one is outdoor activities that you are looking forward to. So I know you love your walks. 

Emma: Oh, yes I love walks. That’s like a daily thing. I do that in the winter though, too. That’s basically my fitness and mental health thing. So yeah, love walks, they get better when it gets warmer so that’s nice. You just have more time to do them because it’s not like so dark outside at like 5pm. But my big thing that I really look forward to in the summer here in southwest Missouri, where I live is boat days. Yeah, we’re into the boat and just be on the lake. We don’t own a boat, we rent a boat, and you just get a cooler of whatever you want stacks and things. I always make this thing called love dip. I have a version of it on the blog. Yeah, I don’t know. I love both days. It’s very chill. Last year, I learned how to drive the boat so now I can drive the boat. I don’t have my license but in a pinch, I could drive it if I needed to.

Elsie: In an emergency? 

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: That’s fun. Okay, I’m looking forward to definitely swimming. So our kids do swimming lessons and we’ll start them again as soon as it’s warm enough to meet in the middle with the pool heater. So probably this month, or if not at the very beginning of April. So that’s something I’m really looking forward to because Nova is a great swimmer now. But last year, Goldie got to where she could like sort of swim. It was like on the line like she was swimming technically, but this year I’m expecting that by the end of her lessons this year, she’ll be able to swim by herself across independently. For her age that would be like it would be a comfort to us and it would also just be like a lot more fun for her. Because she can spend a lot of time on the stairs when Nova is able to do everything already.  

Emma: So any other outdoor activities you’re excited about this year? 

Elsie: Yes. Okay. So I think that Julie Blanner changed my life last summer when we had that little retreat because she made these elaborate outdoor dinners and they were just like a fantasy. It was like being in a movie. 

Emma: It was like you’re on The Bachelor or something. 

Elsie: Yeah, it was better than that but okay, here’s what I realized. I realized that I have all the stuff to do that. It’s just like taking it all and putting it outside and moving it around. She had a huge amount of faux candles and like I have faux candles and tablecloths. I have tablecloths and just like all the things and then just a ton of hydrangeas, which guess who has hydrangea bushes in the front of our house. So anyway, I just thought it was amazing and really inspiring. Especially like, during a time in our life when we don’t have a reliable babysitter. This is like a thing like a way to have a fancy, beautiful date night at home so that was really inspiring.

Emma: Yes, I love that. Any date idea that’s like, not just sitting in front of the TV, which nothing wrong watching your shows together. I’m all for that. But I just need something now and again, that’s a little different. So I love that so much. You should definitely do that. 

Elsie: Then my other thing is that just since we moved because we moved right before the pandemic or during and we haven’t really gotten to farmers markets. There’s so many things in my life where we just like didn’t get back into the habit and at this point, there’s really no reason why we can’t go to a farmers market every week if we want to. It’s just a habit that we got out of. So yeah, when I realized that it’s something I really want to do. We used to go like every Saturday morning and it was really fun. It doesn’t even matter what vegetables you buy. For me, it’s just the experience of doing it. I love to buy like, you know, sometimes they have like the little doughnuts, and sometimes they have pretty flowers. I just like going and my kids have those little tiny roller baskets. So I think it’ll be like a joyful thing that we can start doing again when it’s even just like the tiniest bit warm, which there are days. It’s spotty now, it’s like a cold day a warm day. 

Emma: I forgot this one too. So this one was kind of something Trey brought up. He showed me, so our friends Brandon and Morgan, I guess Brandon was texting him pictures. Their daughter Nona is almost the same age as Oscar. She’s a little bit younger. They’re very similar ages. They go on hikes now where she’s like in the little backpack behind you and she’s just kind of like her heads poking out. She has a little hat on and all that. Trey was like maybe we should get one of these for Oscar and I was like, oh my gosh, I would love that and I would love to go on hikes. Three of us and it also would be so fun to go with the Goodwins.  I know Morgan listens so now we really have to do it because I’ve put it out into the Universe Yeah, so I love being outside. I love going on walks so the idea of hiking with her son sounds so fun.

Elsie: Yeah, that’s magical. That’s wonderful. Oh, yeah,  a hike sounds really fun to me too. I have like potty panic with the kids. Yeah, I don’t know if I’m ready for like a long one but I guess you do what you have to do it. 

Emma: You could do any amount and it doesn’t have to be a four-hour hike. That’s not necessary. That is not necessary. You can do anything that fits.

Elsie: That’s true. It can be 30 minutes. Okay. Yeah.

Emma: What about spring and summer clothing?

Elsie: This is so fun. The last few years I feel like I just wear yoga pants, yoga pants, yoga pants you know what I mean? It was very repetitive. I do feel like kind of no matter what I just want to dress up for fun now. It’s just like so fun. I’m bored of being casual. I decided to give hats another try. Have you heard of the spring called Gigi and Pip I got one of those hats. 

Emma: No, I haven’t. 

Elsie: So I’ll link it in the show notes. It’s really cute and I think that’ll be fun. Then I’m still really into long dresses so I think that those are just fun to wear and it just feels like spring and summer. I mean short dresses are cute too but I think long ones are, it’s just like more like a whole outfit.

Emma: Yes. It’s like a jumpsuit but in the summer because it’s just one thing.

Elsie: You can wear them with no shoes and then just like it’s a vibe. Then the other thing I’m in the market for so tell me if anyone has an idea for this I’ve been shopping for this for a while but I want cute swimsuit coverup dresses where it’s kind of like loose but probably short. I don’t know, maybe long but just like easy dresses that you can wear over your swimsuit because sometimes it’s like we go straight from swimming to eating with the kids or things like that. There’s like hours in there and you don’t want to wear a bathrobe for that many hours. So I want to have something that also if you end up like sitting by the pool talking just like that type of dress, So I’m in the market for that. What about you?

Emma: Well, so I bought two pairs of sandals at the very end of summer this last year. They were just like on sale and so I’ve been looking forward to wearing them. I kind of knew when I bought them I was like oh these will be so fun next summer. it’s like a thing to look forward to so they’ve been sitting in the closet. One is this like yellow pair that’s like strappy it’s very similar to a pink pair that I already have. But I just wore it all the time and I love them and they can go on a boat.

Elsie: What do you mean by it can go on a boat? Can’t any shoes go on a boat? 

Emma: Yes, but they’re just like completely waterproof. The bottoms are made of foam and the straps are like fabric and Velcro. So they’re kind of like, they’re not flip flops, but they’re water shoes in a way.

Elsie: Are they kinda like outdoorsy college kid shoes?

Emma: I suppose so but they’re very brightly colored. So they’re fun to wear with any outfit. Then I got a new pair of Birkenstocks because my old ones are getting a little stinky, getting a little worn out because I just wore them to hell so I bought some new ones. I had silver before and I had white souls, and I didn’t love the white souls. I loved them right at first and then they just get kind of dirty. So this time, I went with a black soul and it’s like a coppery gold strap. I do the two-strap one. Last year, I got like a whole Birkenstock tan.  I wear them way too much but so I’m happy to have a new pair. Last year, summer and like early fall, I was very much in the throes of breastfeeding. So I feel like I don’t even have to buy anything new this year and I have a whole new wardrobe because I have things that I can wear that I don’t have to take off quickly. Because that’s basically the whole thing when you’re breastfeeding is like I need to undress quickly. What can I wear that’s like, buttons all the way down so I have a whole bunch of dresses that I just really didn’t wear very much last year because I would have to take them all the way off and just sit around naked.

Elsie: Things that zipped up in the back and things like that? 

Emma: Yeah, exactly. So I feel like I have this whole new wardrobe that’s just been waiting for me because it’s been like a whole like, basically two years so anyway, yep.

Elsie: Nice. Yeah, that’s cool. So what’s something that you didn’t get to do last year that you’re looking forward to doing this year?

Emma: Last year, we did take Oscar to a pool one day, the community pool one day, and it went good. He was very little because he was born in early June. He was tiny, tiny so it was the cutest thing ever. It was like good, it was a good day. But I’m really looking forward to taking him to the pool this summer.

Elsie: It will be way more fun for his age now. 

Emma: Yeah, he’ll like understand where we are but obviously you can’t swim yet and things like that. But it’s going to be really fun. So I’m looking forward to that. Last year, I put this little inflatable pool on my back porch just so I would have like a summertime thin but at home because that was when I had my maternity leave last year. I’m thinking about putting that out again this year but I’m not sure because I feel like Oscar and I will definitely play with it. But it also either has to go in the yard, which kind of takes up a lot of grass. 

Elsie: Kills your grass.

Emma: Kills your grass and like Steve can get in, it’s just kind of a whole thing or it takes up most of the back porch. So I just have to decide which is the lesser evil in that if I’m going to do it, and it’s just kind of a whole thing. It takes like half a day to set it up and fill it up. I put like a fitted bed sheet over it, which I think you said was Carson’s trick. It’s a great solution. I do that because then I don’t have to clean it every day. But sometimes I use my little strainer just to strain out little dead bugs and things like that. Anyway, so I’m thinking about setting that up but it’s kind of a whole thing. So I’m just like will Oscar want to do that with me or will this be a lot of work for nothing? I don’t know. So I’m thinking it through.

Elsie: Well, you gotta at least try. That’ll be fun. Ah, I loved our baby pool days. That was so special. I killed so many patches of grass but it grows back. Yeah, it was so fun. It’s really, really special. So something that I didn’t get to do last year I’m looking forward to this year is definitely the pottery thing because last year, I was like, I think I delusionally thought it would get done. It would be able to be done faster than it really was. Then also having guests over. So we really just haven’t done that hardly at all yet. I think that that’s something I want to do more of this year. I’m hoping maybe we can have a few like weekend guests and things like that, I think would be nice. I want to try to be a little bit more social this year. Anyway, well, I’m really looking forward to it. I feel like I could talk forever about just like, I just like love. I think that having a swimming pool did make me a summer person because now it’s so fun if anyone ever wants to come over at like 10am on a Sunday morning and just eat chips with me by the pool. I am so into that. It’s just like such a good vibe just to like, sit and talk and chill. It’s fun.

Emma: Oh, I see that. Yes. 

Elsie: I’ll post a picture if I ever get my leveled up Julie Blanner inspired outdoor dinner that I really want to do.

Emma: Well don’t compare yourself too much to Julie because she’s kind of 100 out of 100. 

Elsie: I can and I will. I can achieve this. I know I can. Anyway, yeah, it’s so fun. Yeah, for people who are like, winter is still like 18 more years where I live. I’m sorry. I do get that. But hopefully, it’ll be here when it gets here. I think the beginning of spring, this is one thing I’ve learned from blogging, never say Spring is here because we get so many mean comments because it’s so different everywhere. If you’re still like wearing a coat and having snow where you live, in some parts of the country, it’s already feeling like warm spring weather. Anyway, it’s just wildly different, in our country. The weather is so wildly different from state to state.

Emma: Yeah, it’s a large body of land. 

Elsie: Okay, cool. Well, let’s do some listener questions. I have quite a few fun ones this time.

Emma: Yes. So the first one is, what’s a trend you used to have all over your home, but now you hate?

Elsie: The first thing I thought of was black and white. Just a lot of like, strongly contrast black and white. I think the word hate is too strong because you can still like love it in someone else’s home. Like one of my friends just did a black and white kitchen floor and I think it’s so cute. But I wouldn’t do it in my kitchen because it’s like, you know, I don’t know. So anyway, I used to decorate really colorful, like, really colorful. Now I mean, I think that actually a thing that people say, like when people say like I liked you better before. That’s the thing that they say sometimes is that I used to be more colorful, and I really did. I really did use to be like crazy with my colors. Trust me someday in the future that side of me will come back again but right now I like the muted colors and the neutrals. I feel like if you can create a vibe in your home that makes you feel really good, then why wouldn’t you do that?  It’s just like what’s making me feel good now. Okay, what are yours? 

Emma: So also black and white so that’s funny that you said that. Same, not against black and white just used to do a lot of like high contrast and I’m just not as into it at the moment.

Elsie: I had a lot of like black and white rugs. Did you have that? And like wallpaper and stuff like that. 

Emma: Yeah, it was like the rug from Ikea for a while. Do you know what I mean? 

Elsie: Yes, yes.

Emma: So that and then also orange. I had a lot of like, kind of middle like very kindergarten classroom orange, like bright pop orange.

Elsie: Think I’m the same I used to have orange chairs on my porch and it was like one of my main colors in my home. I probably wouldn’t get orange chairs right now. 

Emma: Yeah, I am are not against orange at all. It was more like a small kitchen appliance. I had this espresso maker and I bought the orange one. Just little things like that more. they’re not really like little like a throw pillow but they’re not necessarily like your refrigerator. It is something that you could maybe change out. Anyway, I would probably wouldn’t buy, as far as buying a new small appliance right now, I probably wouldn’t buy it in orange, unless I didn’t have another option. 

Elsie: Yeah, that’s me too. I think that in my 20s I always wanted to pick the most fun color of everything that was available. Now I think ahead a lot more about how, like the comments that used to annoy me that are like, you’re gonna change your mind. I actually like think I do agree with that to some extent now. We’ve had a lot of different kitchen aides. Most people don’t want to have that many different kitchen aides. It’s good to pick the neutral one. It just is.

Emma: It’s true. Next listener question is, what’s the way your interior style has stayed the same over the years?

Elsie: Okay, I love this question because I had to think about it for a long time. I have a couple so I’ve always loved wicker, you can look way back from the beginning, and I did use to paint it a lot. Now I usually wouldn’t, but I still think painted wicker is cute, too. I’ve always loved wicker. I’ve always liked a lot of Etsy art, quirky art is just it’s forever for me, I really like it. I like a lot of photography in my art that I choose to display. Then also like vintage collecting, that has remained the same through the years. I just bought a huge box of vintage cameras from eBay and it made me feel so nostalgic. I used to have some cameras like that in one of my first houses. We probably sold them in our vintage store. Then another thing is I’ve always had a record player, which is kind of a random one. Before Crosby’s and Urban Outfitters and all that, before that even I had like a record player from a flea market that I got when I was like college age. So I’ve always had a record player and loved to have one and use one. I just think they’re cool. Honestly, like I’ll be honest, we don’t play ours as much as we play like the Google Home is way easier, because you can just like say, obviously. It’s still like there’s a thing about it. It’s like vibey and fun. it’s a fun collection. Then I love this about myself, but it’s kind of weird. I’ve always felt ever since I was like 20 that I had to have my own art room or my own like some kind of, in almost every house that I’ve ever lived in, you can like imagine them all, there’s some kind of a studio space. In a lot of houses, I made it like, out of like the living room or I would like not have like another room. Just like having a creative space even if it’s like half of a room or a corner or I have to give up my living room is always a worth it for me thing. Now I have like two rooms of my house to make art in which is like the best thing ever. 

Emma: I love it. 

Elsie: So what about you what hasn’t changed?

Emma: Yeah, some of the same things like quirky art, and really just kind of like a good amount of art and photography on the walls. But the other thing is I’ve always loved decorating with books. I’ve always had somewhere in my home like kind of a book collection. So yeah, that’s never changed. The books have changed. But yeah, I always have to have some kind of space for some kind of, it doesn’t necessarily be a library, but like some kind of book display.

Elsie: That’s true. I remember in high school, you had the complete collection of teen Vogues. Then you had like all of the Harry Potter’s as they were coming out and that’s so cute.

Emma: Yeah, I’m into it. Last listener question is do you have any weird celebrity crushes? So this isn’t just celebrity crushes this is weird ones. That’s what they want.

Elsie: Okay, so I get it like not Robert Pattinson talk about someone else. Got the memo. Okay, so mine I have two. I think it’s kind of saying weird means they’re unconventionally attracted. That’s kind of rude. Call it what it is like these are mind where people are like, I think that they sometimes think I’m like trying to be ironic, but it’s 100% sincere. It’s mainly one. My main one is John Oliver. I love him with all my heart.  I always have and I always will since he was on The Daily Show. Recently, I watched his episode of Comedians in Cars with Jerry Seinfield and he was so charming and wonderful. Have you seen that episode? 

Emma: No, now I’m definitely gonna go watch it. I love that show.

Elsie: It amplified my crush. So that’s mine.

Emma: Yeah, mine would be and again, I think he is extremely attractive. But I also feel like people don’t think of him as a celebrity crush so that’s why I’m putting him in the weird category. But anyway, it’s William Dafoe. 

Elsie: Oh, yeah, I just watched his SNL episode and I was thinking about you. She has had this crush since we were in high school. He’s been a movie star since like, the days of like, very walking through blockbuster. So yeah, she’s always, always had I thing for him.

Emma: Yes. I just think he’s so handsome. Yes. I feel like everyone just knows him for Green Goblin, which is great. But I think of all his like Wes Anderson movies and he’s always something so different and weird. Anyway, he’s a very handsome man.

Elsie: Yeah, that’s a good one. Yeah, I hope everyone’s satisfied with our celebrity crushes and we’d love to hear yours too because I think that kind of stuff is like fun. I just think celebrities are the best. Okay, we have still lots of episodes left in our spring season and we’ve got some holes in our schedule. So we’re still adding new topics at all times. So if you have a request for a certain type of episode or even like a question or a segment or anything, email it to us this week at podcasts.@abeautifulmess.com. I would love to hear them like I would love nothing more than getting a ton of emails. I usually only get a couple each week. I would love to get a massive amount of requests that would be so helpful. I will also ask this question on Instagram because I think that that’s the easy place to get a lot of responses. But, I mean, we’re here for you. We want to make episodes that are enjoyable for you and if you don’t give us any ideas, we’ll just keep cycling between goals and my living room forever and forever

Emma: Yep, that’s all we’re gonna talk about unless you send some ideas.

Elsie: Yeah, okay. Well have a wonderful week and we will be back next week.

Read More
  • Elsie! I feel like you would LOVE the new version of Jane Austen’s Emma. The DECOR alone, but also it’s more fun when you compare it to Clueless since that’s what Clueless is based on. It makes the story more easy to follow. Also there are some real Handmaid’s Tale vibes.

  • Love listening to you girls. You´re just fun! Thanks for helping me kick off my weekend!

  • Episode idea: Tips and tricks to making your home decorating look more professional. I have done what I consider to be a pretty passable job decorating my home, love the color scheme, and have pieces I am happy with. However, I always feel like there is something I could do to take my rooms to that next level (i.e., the level you see in magazines) that I have struggled with. What are some tricks from the pros that might be helpful?

    Love you podcast and media content, Elsie and Emma!

  • Would love to hear more in-depth your favorite blogs from years ago to today. First blog you followed and the why’s.

  • I would love a podcast episode on spring recipes you’re making or wanting to try and cover your fitness goals.

  • OMG I SAID THE SAME THING ABOUT WAMBSGANS. I was OBSESSING to my husband because I had NO clue (clearly I had never seen him as Mr. Darcy). I watched a bunch of interviews with Matthew Macfadyen after finding that out. TBH still not over it.

    • I recently rewatched P&P and the Russell Crowe “Robin Hood” and was so pleasantly surprised to see Matthew Macfadyen on my screen! His role as the Sherriff of Nottingham made so much sense to me after seeing his ability to act so smarmy on Succession.

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