Episode 21: Childhood Magic

This week, we are talking about childhood magic—lessons we learned from our parents about living well and living creatively. Elsie also shares practical things parents can do with young children. But even if you aren’t a parent, we think you’ll enjoy this feel good episode. 🙂 We are also sharing a couple Guilty Pleasure Treasures as well as a mini update on how our New Year’s goals are going so far!

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

This week’s episode is sponsored by Grove Collaborative. We introduced our new offer with their team a few weeks ago, and if you haven’t taken advantage of it definitely check it out! If you’re a first time Grove customer you can get a five-piece set to help you swap out plastics in your home! Visit this link to learn more. We talk more about how and why we use Grove in this week’s episode.

Show Notes:
Our mom’s artwork—she’s a really talented painter (among other things). We look up to both our parents for modeling creativity to us when we were growing up.

Here are just a few great photos of us from high school. Ha.

Here’s a link to the kid’s safety knives Elsie talks about, the USA puzzle, and The Best Nest book.

Guilty Pleasure Treasures:

Emma is watching Shrill and Elsie is getting into TikTok (our name on there is abeautifulmessblog)

New Year’s goals update:

If you missed us talking about our New Year’s goals, click here.

Emma has been working through The Curated Closet Workbook and also working away on writing her first novel.

And Elsie has been working on her photography goal.

Thanks for listening! xx. Emma + Elsie

Miss an episode? Get caught up!

Episode 21 Transcript

Emma: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast. Over the years, we’ve had folks ask us questions revolving around how we were raised and how our parents instilled a love of creativity in our lives. Elsie is already well into her journey as a mom and looking add magic to her daughters’ childhoods as well. So we are dedicating this week’s episode to this topic and at the end of the episode we are sharing some guilty pleasure treasures as well as a New Year’s goals update. This episode is sponsored by Grove Collaborative. We’ll talk more about them later in the episode.

Elsie: I feel like this is kind of our first episode about parenting, huh? Yeah, I think it is. So I am excited because obviously I love parenting and I love talking about it. But…

Emma: I had thought about this coming out maybe around Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, but then we were like, oh, let’s just do it. You know, now because we’re excited about it. But yeah, I definitely think it’s in a lot of ways gonna honor our parents because I do think they did such a great job and I had such a happy childhood.

Elsie: OK. And I want everyone to know, because this is the cutest thing ever. Our mom told me that she and my dad listen to the podcast together like they they play it in the living room and they listen to it together and they make popcorn every Monday night.

Emma: It’s like a radio show.

Elsie: Oh, just like — that visual. I will hold that in my heart until the day I die.

Elsie: Yeah, that is relationship goals right there. Yeah. Yeah.

Emma: But yeah. So childhood magic. I think this is like to me what I’m meaning when I say that is positive experiences that you have in your childhood that you remember that meant something to you that maybe instilled a sense of self worth, of creativity, of happiness, you know, being a good person, just happy childhood stuff that, you know, you look back on and appreciate as you age. So that’s really what I mean by childhood magic. So it’s really pretty broad. But yeah, we have had lots of people over the years, kind of be like what did your parents do to get you guys to be so self-confident and creative, which I don’t even always feel like a self-confident and creative person. But I totally get from the outside looking in why people think that. And I do think our parents did some things right. So that’s the perspective I’m going to come from on this. And Elsie, I hope you share from that, too, but also share some stuff that’s working in your life from being a mom. And we’re gonna give some practical stuff at the end, too. So…

Elsie: Yes, totally. This is one of my favorite topics. So we each put down sort of three things that are important and we’re just going to kind of go back and forth and talk about things our parents did and things that we’re trying to do.

Emma: And just for the record, there’s a number of things on here. If you’re not a parent like I’m not a parent, I still think a lot of this stuff is super valuable because if you didn’t learn it when you were a kid, you maybe want to learn it now. Also, I think a lot of these behaviors and different things we’re gonna talk about can be beneficial in all sorts of relationships, not just a parent and a child. They can be good in your friendships and your marriage and you know. So anyway, I…

Elsie: Emma is aunt of the year. So yeah, you can use this for any relationship you have with a child or honestly, even if you’re babysitting for one day, there’s probably something magical in here that you could implement into your experience.

Emma: Yes. Don’t feel left out. If you’re not a parent, I don’t. So anyway, I’m just inviting everybody.

Elsie: I did want to give one disclaimer before we start.

Emma: Oh, okay.

Elsie: Because I feel like any time I try to give like mom advice, it makes someone sad and I understand why. Because being a mom is so hard. Being a parent I should say. So hard. And there are days when you feel like a piece of your soul has been chipped off. Never to return. There are days that are that hard. They really, really are. So if you’re a mom or a parent having that day today and you hear all of these cute ideas, don’t let it make you feel sad about yourself, please. Because this is a big picture, a big zoomed out picture of all the good things our parents did from the time we were little babies until we graduated high school and beyond. And no one’s, you know, day is this perfect ever.

Emma: Oh, yeah. And a lot of them are just like little things. So if you’re feeling like, oh, today was a bad day and things did not go well or I did something, I lost my temper. Or I…you know, there’s always tomorrow. There really is.

Elsie: Right.

Emma: So, like, don’t fret.

Elsie: It’s so easy to be hard on yourself when you’re parenting. So, yeah, I just wanted to give like a teeny little pep talk because I know I’ve been through the wringer lately and I really, really, really do understand. And we never, ever want someone to, like, look in and think that it’s somehow like magically easier in our life than it is in your life…it’s not.

Emma: It’s not. And you are awesome and you are doing great. So don’t worry. OK. Let’s get let’s get into it. So my first one is one thing I saw our parents do is they modeled a lifestyle of creating more than consuming. And what I mean by that is, you know, we had a TV growing up and my parents watched TV and, you know, like I love to read books, like there’s nothing wrong with consuming. But I definitely watched my parents do a lot of making and creating, too. My mom loves arts and crafts. She’s a painter. And she also was she’s a really great cook and enjoys cooking. And I think there’s a lot of creativity in cooking. And then my dad is actually a super talented musician. Not everyone knows that about him. He plays quite a few instruments, but especially guitar. And I watched him play a lot of guitar and singing growing up. And he’s also a really great gardener. So in the summer, watching him bring his garden to life was always interesting. So I think they really modeled the importance of having hobbies as an adult human. Like, it’s good to have hobbies and it’s good to have things you’re interested in that bring you joy and that you should be making stuff and doing stuff. And that’s part of a healthy, good life. And I think I’ve brought that with me into my adulthood because of their example.

Elsie: I absolutely agree with all those things. And my first one kind of goes along with that. So I have down they let us get bored and gave us the space to figure out how to make our own fun. I really believe that this is a huge reason why Emma and I run a DIY blog today because we stayed home a lot. We would like go to the swimming pool in the summer and things like that. But we did not leave the house a whole lot. We didn’t leave the house every day. Whenever, like years when we were in school, we didn’t do a lot of things at night. We were never in a ton of extra curricular things. Like we would do them, but, you know, like one here and there, we were never the family that was busy every single night. And although I can see Jeremy has a brother who has kids that do sports literally every single night, and I see value there for them. But for me, I think I want to do it the boring way. I really feel like we got something out of it. That is just really super beautiful because, you know, we would get to the place where we started digging around and making things out of shoe boxes and writing our own stories, you know, and just really sweet things like that. We have like, you know, turn our living room upside down and make our own Peter Pan. You know, we did all these things that we wouldn’t have done if we had other options. And I think that that’s really like where a lot of our creativity was born. And at a young age, learning that like you can, you know, make something out of a box or in high school, we had a small allowance and we would buy clothes at thrift stores and cut them up and kind of sew them back together. And like maybe now we kind of laugh at them. But I think at the time that experience was really valuable and gave us a lot of pride in what we could do with our own two hands.

Emma: Yeah. Taught you that you can like do things. And also like if you’re bored, you can solve that yourself. You know, you’re not looking to somebody else to do it for you. Or like some organization, you’re like, oh, I’m going to find stuff to do. It’s like that whole saying, like, only boring people are bored. You know, I really do kind of believe in that. So any day that I feel a little bit bored, I’m like, well, Emma, what are you making? You need to make something. So, yeah, I agree.

Elsie: Absolutely.

Emma: I love it. OK. My second one. So my second one is our parents let us be individuals. So an easy example of this is Elsie went to like three or four different high schools. (laughs) And you know, if you listen to this podcast or you’ve read our blog for a while, you probably understand Elsie is Enneagram 7. She gets very excited about things and she hops around a lot. So she went to like three or four different high schools. Our parents totally let her. They facilitated it. And you even graduated a year early because you just, high school couldn’t contain Elsie. No. And then I went to one high school for four years, a public high school. And I loved it. And that’s where my parents left me. Like, we had a semester where we all started going to a private school.

Elsie: And you went to one college. I went to like four colleges and I didn’t even graduate.

Emma: I did graduate a year early so I was like chomping at the bit to get out of college. But yeah, we had this semester where all of us all three kids, we went to a private school. And I told my parents after one semester, I was like, I just want to go back to the public school. And I’m sure my parents a little bit were probably like, sweet, we’ll save some money because I’m sure it wasn’t cheap to send us all, you know. But also they were like, open to us being individuals and being different. I’m sure it’s frustrating as a parent. I’m not one, but I can imagine it might be a little bit difficult if you have multiple kids. I mean, it’s nice when one solution works for many different things because then you have solved the problem one time and you don’t have to do all this extra stuff. But I really appreciate that our parents let us be free to be different. You know, all us siblings, we have different personalities and different things that lit us up. And they like let us explore that. So I really appreciate that.

Elsie: So true. OK. My second one is they almost never said no to our creative projects and ideas. And I put the word almost because I know someone out there is gonna be like my kid ask me to paint today…

Emma: You did ask for like, a killer whale. And you had like a shoebox diorama of how you going to have this tank for him in the backyard. So they did say no sometimes.

Elsie: Watches Free Willy one time. Right?

Emma: And then a monkey, you really wanted a monkey. Remember that phase? Monkey Trouble?

Elsie: Mmhmm.

Emma: So they said no sometimes, but we had a lot of hamsters. (laughs)

Elsie: So, yeah, they almost never said no. And what I mean by that is, like through high school, I was a crazy dresser, like crazy. I will put a couple pictures in the show, notes that will shock you and amaze you. And our mom only told me to change clothes before I left the house one time.

Emma: Do you remember what it was? Because it must have been outrageous because they were pretty accepting.

Elsie: I do remember and I don’t know why this one time was different, but I was going to wear to the mall a full head to toe yellow look of polyester. And for some reason that day she said no. But I mean, I wore polyester to our school dance. I had one of those duck tape prom dresses. I had a kind of Chinese prom dress that is probably considered very fairly offensive now.

Emma: Yeah, definitely.

Elsie: Didn’t know at the time. Yeah, no. You know what? I just I only wanted to be different. So bad, so bad. That was like my number one priority. And they let us do that. And I think that that is amazing. And I’m going to try to remember that anytime that my kids want to wear something that makes me cringe.

Emma: I love that. Yeah, they I have plenty of. You can put any photos you find of me too, feel free. Put those in too, because I got some pretty great outfits…

Elsie: Oh, Emma.

Emma: From High School as well that my parents never said anything about because they are super, super nice. OK. My third thing is I always knew that if I tried my best. It was enough. I always knew that with my parents. And I think this the whole point here is just like unconditional love. That’s so important in all our relationships, like finding ways to give each other unconditional love. And I don’t mean, that means you love them no matter the behavior. It means you love the person. No matter what. Because, like, I got in trouble, like our parents. You know, I remember one time I had lied to my mom. I lied to her, and she caught me in the lie. And I got in so much trouble. I was grounded. And she was just like, Emma I’m disappointed in you. Which I was a very sensitive child. So I like wilted immediately upon hearing that. But I earned it because I lied. And so it wasn’t like they never punished us or anything like that. But I just always knew, like, if I really do my best and if I’m being a good person and I’m, you know, doing everything I can. My parents are gonna think I’m amazing. And I’ve I felt that way my whole life. So. And I think it’s such a gift because I never felt like — there’s definitely times I put a lot of pressure on myself because Emma wants Emma to succeed and Emma wants Emma to be… You know, whatever. Like, I put a lot of pressure myself. Sometimes I let the external world put pressure on me, which is my own problem. But I’ve never really felt that from my parents. I never felt like I had to impress them. I had to like earn enough money or get a good enough job or buy a big enough house. I’ve always known my parents thought I was awesome. And I think it’s such a gift that I just will always be in debt to them for.

Elsie: I totally agree. Okay. I’m gonna say my third one. But first we need to take a break.

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Elsie: Oh Emma that was so sweet. Oh my heart feels a lot of feelings.

Emma: I try to do that for my husband. I try to do it for you. What a gift to give unconditional love. You know.

Elsie: Yeah, I totally agree. Okay. My last one. I feel like this is directly from our mom. So mom, if you’re listening and I know you are…

Emma: Eating your popcorn!

Elsie: I hope that I do this justice for you. So when we’ve asked her, like, how did you raise us more creative than usual or like, how did you do so many art projects and so many, you know, like crazy decorations. Like in high school, they let me take my whole bedroom out of my room. I don’t even know where they put it. They bought me Astroturf for my carpet and then I had a camping tent. And then I painted my walls blue with clouds with glitter on them.

Emma: With glitter. I don’t know what the glitter was.

Elsie: And yeah, it was just all these little…

Emma: That was a magical bedroom, man.

Elsie: It was magical. I mean, it was a vision. It came to life. I really believe that I got my love of decorating when I was in high school. And they let me redecorate my room so many times and they tried to never tell me no. So it’s unbelievably wonderful. Okay. So our mom always says, like, it wasn’t hard. We just let you be kids. We just let you, you know, do stuff. So I put down: trust your instincts. Don’t overthink everything. Cause I feel like if there’s one theme about parenting nowadays that’s unhelpful, it’s just overthinking. And remember, like when our parents were parenting us, they didn’t have the whole Internet telling them what they were doing wrong and they were still great parents. So sometimes we just need to kind of clear out all the noise and just trust our own instincts. We know our children best and we know how to be their parent best.

Emma: Love it. That’s awesome. Okay, so moving on from lessons we learned from our parents. I thought it might be fun to hear from Elsie since she’s mom. Some maybe like practical things are like activities you’ve done with your daughters or things you’re wanting to try. Really whatever. But just I thought it might be more fun to have some practical stuff for listeners in addition to basically us talking on and on about how we love our parents.

Elsie: Yes. No, totally. So the thing that has helped me more than anything is the seasonal bucket list. And we usually put downloads up on our blog in the sidebar pretty often at least. If not, you know what you don’t need to download because you can just use a piece of paper any day you want. You don’t need anything. So all it is, is saying, and I know some people think you shouldn’t use the term bucket list constantly because it’s supposed to mean before you die, I don’t care though, cause I use it to…

Emma: You can say whatever you want. That’s what I say.

Elsie: So it’s pretty much just a to do list of what we want to do in the next season. Or if it’s a holiday season, maybe it could be just for the holidays or something like that. So right now, I should probably be making my spring bucket list because it’s getting pretty close to the beginning of spring. It’ll be Easter soon, everything like that. So my ideas are mostly for little kids because that’s the people in my life. If you have teenagers, I’m sorry, I can’t help you, but you know your kids best and just customize these ideas…

Emma: Comeback to this podcast in 10 years and then Elsie will have some teenagers and you get the tips.

Elsie: Yeah. Gonna need a time machine for that but…so here’s some ideas that are just things you can always do to have fun with your kids. Like I said before, I personally believe that having a bit of a more empty breathable schedule is key because if your kids are going from activity to activity to activity, at least with my kids, it’s harder to get them excited about some of these things. But if you let them get a teeny bit bored, all the sudden these things sound really fun. So we keep a craft stash, we just have one closet in our home and on top of it is filled with craft stuff. And our mothers often will get us like craft kits. And so I just put them in there and pull them out on a rainy day when we need one. And I love that. Always have a craft ready. And it doesn’t have to be hard. Like at Nova’s age. She really does just like cutting with children’s scissors, just cutting up paper with scissors. That’s all the craft is. And we can do it for 20 or 30 minutes.

Emma: That’s a great craft. I love it.

Elsie: OK, so cooking stuff that children can do. This is a little bit tricky. And is one of those areas like painting where I totally understand why you don’t want to do it, because it does make a big mess and feel borderline not worth it at times. So the first day of preschool, we made one of those little boards for a photo and it said When I grow up I want to be…because I saw one of our friends do that and they do it every year and I just thought it was so cute, I wanted to do it. And she said, I want to be a cook. And I couldn’t believe it because I’d never heard her say that before or express any interest in cooking. So we got the kids safety knives. And ever since then, a couple nights a week, when she’s in the mood, we put the little IKEA step stool up to the counter and she just cuts cucumbers or mushrooms. Cantaloupe or mushrooms. Yeah, that’s all it is. It’s very simple. They’re basically just plastic knives that are…they’re pretty little pastel colors. I will link them in the show notes and they’re safe for kids. They can’t hurt themselves at all. And it’s something that she is so proud of. And one time for a brunch, she did technically make the fruit salad by herself.

Emma: Yes. Go, Nova. No need to wait till you grow up. You are a cook.

Elsie: Yeah. And we let her help a little bit with like baking and other things like that. But it is — you do have to kind of pick and choose. Our kids know that they’re not allowed to be on…there’s a rug in front of our stove and they’re not even allowed to touch the rug. They’re not allowed to be near the stove at all. Right. And yeah, that can be a little tricky. But she is so excited for when she’s Bella’s age, which is our twelve year old niece. She knows she’ll be able to cook and use the oven and she’ll like sometimes ask older kids, are you allowed to use the oven yet? (laughs)

Emma: Yes, rite of passage.

Elsie: Mmmhmm. Ok. So simple skills, learning simple skills like I probably will never be a home school mom, but I understand why it’s appealing because I love teaching my kids things. So we have a United States puzzle and we’re so proud because she knows a lot of states now and she knows where they go. So she knows a lot about geography. She is learning to read a little bit. That’s really exciting. She has a little workbook we do together. She’s learning math on her fingers where you can say like what’s 3 plus 1 or what’s two plus two? And she can figure it out. All those little things are so magical. And there’s something that if you just keep doing it, you know, a little bit each day. I can’t wait till she starts reading. It’s going to be another level of parenting. I just know it is, because right now she reads me books she’s memorized and is probably my favorite single experience as a parent. It’s just she’s reading The Best Nest right now. Do you know that book?

Emma: I think I’ve seen it at your house, but I don’t remember.

Elsie: I love my house. I love my nest in all the world. My nest is best.

Emma: Oh, yes. I think I actually saw her reading it. You put it on Instagram one day.

Elsie: It’s so cute.

Emma: I need to remember to read in front of her next time I’m in town so she can see that it’s cool to read when you’re older, too. You know, I mean, I know she was excited about reading, but, you know.

Elsie: Oh, no, she’s gonna love it.

Emma: Aunt Emma’s got lots of books don’t worry.

Elsie: I’ve been trying to teach her about Harry Potter. And she’s always like, is he a witch? Is he scary? Does he put spells?

Emma: He is witch, he does spells. He is not scary.

Elsie: And then my last one I had done was imaginary play. So this one is so important because I always forget that kids don’t need toys and we’re gonna do a future episode about semi minimalism. I’ve been having a lot of feelings about it because we cleared out almost all their stuff. So their rooms are, they’re not really minimal — minimalist bedrooms. It’s probably not minimalist approved, but it’s a lot more minimal than it was before. And all the sudden, guess what? They’re playing with everything more. They’re engaging with the rooms where they’re staying in there alone, just like excited to be in there. It’s crazy what the difference it makes.

Emma: That’s interesting.

Elsie: Yeah. So I wanted to say imaginary play because it’s hard to kind of remember how magical little kids are. But right now we have these tiny imaginary monkeys that we hold in our hands.

Emma: Princess Taco?

Elsie: Yeah. They sit on their heads while we dance. There’s one in her backpack today that she took to school.

Emma: Oh, I hope he didn’t get out and cause mischief!

Elsie: Mmhmm. They. Yeah. They kind of try to wake you up in the morning. And these imaginary monkeys are the greatest toy in our house right now. And guess what? You know…

Elsie: Free.

Emma: Zero dollars. Free.

Emma: I love the imaginative play. Makes me think of Mary Poppins and how she would like get into it with the kids. You’re like, oh, that’s the nanny I want. Yeah. So…

Elsie: Yeah. Mary Poppins is the greatest inspiration. So anyway. And for our bucket list, it’s usually a combination of fun places to go, some crafts, some seasonal things to bake. Try a few new things that you’ve never tried before. It doesn’t have to be anything…it can be mostly things you maybe would have already done. But all it is is a reminder that keeps you moving on from thing to thing to thing.

Emma: Yes. Yeah. I’ve done it just like, not for kids, just for myself to like do more stuff with my husband. And I really it just serves as a reminder of like, oh, I already wanted to make sure we did this the season. But, you know, sometimes you get busy and you don’t plan to like have that good life that you want. So you just need to, like, make a list. So I love it.

Elsie: Should we do Guilty pleasure Treasure?

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: I have a good one this week.

Emma: OK. I’ll go first. Mine’s real short, so mine’s good, but short. Mine is I am watching the TV show Shrill. Have you seen that yet?

Elsie: Oh! No, I haven’t. With Aidy Bryant, right?

Emma: Yes Aidy Bryant, yes. And the only reason I’m making it my guilty pleasure is because I feel guilty that I didn’t start watching it sooner. It’s been out for a while. And I’m like, oh, this is so up my alley. It’s hilarious. And I just love all of the actors in it. And it’s also very like uplifting and empowering in a certain way. And I also, like, love all her outfits. So love it. Love it. Watch Shrill if you haven’t yet.

Elsie: OK. OK, here’s my guilty pleasure is TikTok. We started a TikTok for A Beautiful Mess and I also started a personal one so I could post a bunch of stuff about my kids and not feel guilty. And it has been. So much fun. I don’t totally understand it. When I go on the page where it shows like the popular page or everywhere, it shows everyone’s videos and I still feel like…Hmmmm?

Emma: Yeah I’m like what?

Elsie: What’s going on here?

Emma: What are we doing?

Elsie: Yeah, it’s very, very different from Instagram. And I think that’s what I love about it. It’s just something different. And I am already planning a video to make this weekend. So it’s a creative outlet. Like if you’ve heard of TikTok, but you’re like, I’m definitely too old for it. I’m not going to do it. Listen to this from a 37 year old woman. Just try it for fun and don’t care what anyone thinks because it’s actually kind of fun. So real quick, before we go, I think we should do an update on our New Year’s goals, which…what episode was that?

Emma: Don’t know.

Elsie: We’ll put it in the show notes. We did a whole episode about our New Year’s goals and we shared everything we were going to try. So tell me how yours are going so far. We’re recording this at the end of February.

Emma: I’m doing quarterly goals and I felt like I got a real jumpstart on my first one. So I’ve kind of started on my second one already, but I’m a little ahead of schedule. But that’s also kind of like I have to get ahead of things. If I’m like on schedule, I start to get anxious that I’m going to fall behind it’s just my own neurotic way anyway. So what I’ve worked on is the first one I worked on was my personal style. And what I did to work on that was I was doing the Curated Closet workbook and I’ve worked my way through most of it and I love it. Here’s my…since this is not super, super…this could be a whole episode. But just I’m going to make a short. What I’ve learned is that I really want to have just like basically a uniform or a formula that I stick to with my outfits that have a couple of kind of iconic pieces that make me feel excited. And I want them to fit me really, well. They don’t have to be expensive. But I do want them to fit me really well. And I feel a lot of bonus points when I buy them second hand or from a company that like I know is a little bit more caring about the environment or, you know, just giving a shit about stuff that matters. Bonus points for that. So yeah, I feel like my winter wardrobe right now is great and I love it and I’m super happy with it and I feel like I have everything I need in my closet, which is a great feeling.

Emma: Can you like describe your uniform or share some pictures with us maybe in the show notes?

Emma: Yeah. I’ll put some pictures in the show notes of like me doing the two weeks before you start the workbook and then I could just show like some outfits. But basically it’s like different jeans. And my favorite jeans are Good American and Uniqlo. I feel like they fit me well. I have a kind of big booty, which is I like, but also small waist. So it’s kind of hard to find jeans sometimes that are like skinny fit or whatever because they just don’t fit me as well. But yeah, those two brands I really, really love. So I just have like five pairs of jeans that I love and then I always wear a plain t shirts and I have a lot of them for made well and I have like necklaces I wear with them or I have like five to six sweaters and that’s pretty much it. Then I have like three cardigans because I get cold at my house, I wear those and I have like five winter coats. So I really have like a good amount of clothing, but it’s very much just like a formula of like I wear this with either this or this. And I can get ready very quickly. But I feel like put together and that everything in my closet is something that I like and that I want to wear. But nothing is like very extravagant or why I have a very, like, basic look, which I find I like. But for some people, they might find it boring. I really enjoy it, though, and I feel like I have a lot of fun with like my eye makeup or wearing different headbands…like that’s like where I spice it up. So anyway, so that’s been great. But I am kind of putting it on pause now because I feel like basically I achieved what I wanted to do. Not like, oh, everything’s perfect…

Elsie: Wow that was fast!

Emma: Yeah. I felt like I was already kind of close and the Curated Closet workbook put me over the edge. But I’m going to pick it back up this like late spring, because here in southwest Missouri, where I live, it’s very four seasons. So right now, all my uniform looks are very much kind of around cardigans or sweaters. So in the summertime, I think I’m still gonna be doing kind of a jeans and T-shirt thing, but I’m a little worried that might feel too boring because I won’t have the cardigans and jackets just to make it different. So I’m going to pick it back up then and kind of work on my summer uniform, a little, you know, a warm weather uniform. So I have cold weather and then I have warm weather. So, yeah. Yeah, that’s where I’m at on that. And then the second goal that I’ve been working on is I am writing my novel that I’m working on. Feels so like…*sigh* I have been writing it and I’m about 20 percent done and I feel like it’s…God I feel dumb saying this. I feel like it’s pretty good when I read it back. I’m like. I think this is good. If I had picked this up at the library, I think I would really enjoy it. I think it’s good and fun to read.

Elsie: Oh my gosh I can’t wait to read it!

Emma: But I also feel like a lot of I find myself really procrastinating when I’m like when I’ve blocked off time on the weekend or whatever to write. I find myself finding all sorts of things to clean in my house or errands I need to run. And really what I’m doing is I’m like nervous to do it because I’m like, I don’t know if I’m good at this. And I think a part of me, like, really wants it to be good. I really want to, like, write a book that I could get published, you know? And so I just kind of like getting in my head about it a lot. And it’s it’s very silly, but I am doing it. It feels like I’m going at a snail’s pace. So that’s part of why I’m like kind of starting it sooner than I thought in the year. But anyway, I am excited about it. And I think it’s a fun story if I ever do actually finish it. I think people will enjoy reading it. But man, do I feel like I’m writing, like so slow because I’m just like just basically nervous about it. So that’s my update on my New Year’s goals. What about you?

Elsie: OK. So I have also been doing the Curated Closet, so fun and I’ll probably be doing it all year. But I actually feel like I’m going in the opposite direction a little bit from you, like. But it’s…part of it is because I already started off because I did the capsule wardrobe a few years…

Emma: I feel like you already did what I’m doing now. Like you’re ahead. You know what I mean?

Elsie: Yeah. I’ve worked on it for several years. Like there’s nothing in my closet that doesn’t fit me. There’s nothing in my closet I hate. I clean out all the time, but lately I’ve started wanting more like fun and crazy clothes. So, and that’s kind of new. Yeah. Because for a while I was just like Madewell lady. So yeah, I’m kind of feeling in a new phase with that. I think it’s also because I’m like thinking about my new home and I don’t really want this big pink statement room or, you know, I want I think I feel like a better place for my love of color is in my closet than in my home if that makes sense?

Emma: Mmhmm.

Elsie: So I’m kind of exploring that. And honestly, just moving and then working with my contractors has been a crazy two months and we’re about to put our house up for sale.

Emma: Yeah, that’s a lot.

Emma: That has all just felt like a blur. And then the goal I remember I shared in the episode was that I was gonna take a photo every day, not with my phone. So how I’m doing on that. I definitely have not done it every day at all.

Emma: What’s your percentage, if you had to put a 50 percent, 70 percent?

Elsie: Not that well, it’s probably like 20 or 30 percent. But it’s so…it’s like twice as much as last year. You know, whatever. It’s a lot better than last year. And the photos that are on the camera, I mean, I’ll put a few of them in the show notes. But like last night at dinner, Nova made all her fingers have olives on them. And I got a picture of that. I got a picture of them sitting on the counter, brushing their teeth together, just like a couple things that like for some reason, like your phone, you reach for your phone when you feel like an Instagram coming on. And this is just different stuff and it feels different and it feels really good. And I’m glad I made the goal. And even though it’s not going like perfectly percentage wise, I still feel like it’s going well and like it’s something I want to finish throughout the year. So, yeah, I guess that’s like something I want to encourage people on is like if you start a goal and you don’t do it perfectly, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still do it.

Emma: Yeah, I think like to me that’s like a normal for goals. It’s like they start off kind of rocky and you got to like work through that part of it, you know, and like keep pushing. Or you realize you’re not into it. You know, that can happen, too. But it sounds like you’re into this. It’s just you’re kind of like easing your way in a little bit and also finding like, oh, yeah. We’re also moving and I have other stuff going on.

Elsie: I could probably do better. Like, I think if I put my camera in a more prominent location or something. But at the moment, I’m just I’m thinking that when they do something just like so exponentially cute. And then I go and run and get my camera and yeah, it’s I’m still really glad I made the goal because these months are really going by fast for us and they’re really cute ages and it feels like I’m getting more real life photos right now. So.

Emma: Well, I can’t wait for the olive photo (laughs).

Elsie: Okay so thank you so much for listening. And if you haven’t yet remember to hit subscribe because that’s how you get an update every Monday when our new episode comes out.

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  • I loved this episode! My sister and I grew up in a very creative family and I could relate to almost everything your parents did. I was thinking all the time, my parents did that too! Both my sister and I try too raise kids creatively as possible and even though it’s not always easy it’s the way I believe great kids are raised.

  • Omg Emma, I love your style! You give a unique spin to each of those outfits and I LOVE it!!

  • Loved this episode! And here Nova is inspiring me to get out my paints!

  • I’m trying to work through the curated closet too! I need to work on my spring weather wardrobe. I feel the same about my basics as Emma. Thank you for your podcast.

  • I love that you’re taking photos of your girls with a “real camera”, Elsie! Can’t wait to dive into this week’s pod.

  • Emma- the outfit with the striped turtle neck– is it a black dress over leggings? I like that look!

  • Another great episode! Thanks for sharing! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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