Episode #30: (MINI) Our Bucket Lists

In this mini episode, we’re sharing items from our bucket lists!

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

Show notes: 

Elsie- buy a home in Palm Springs.

-You can see the “Swiss Miss” homes and read some history here.

Emma- publish a work of fiction.

Elsie- be a crazy dressed old lady (and also middle aged lady on the way!)

Emma- live in a comfortable, peaceful, beautiful home that others enjoy spending time in.

Elsie- travel to Japan and India as a family.

Emma- travel to Antarctica.

Elsie- design a hotel or motel.

Emma- learn to speak Spanish, possibly through an immersion program.

Elsie- build a ceramics and painting studio for my golden years.

OK, your turn! What’s on YOUR bucket list?

And if you have questions, send them to us here: podcast AT a beautiful mess DOT com

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Episode 30 Transcript

Elsie: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast today, we’re talking about our bucket list and some of the most important items on them. Also, some aren’t as important if you’ve never made a bucket list. Maybe this mini episode will get you thinking about what would be on yours. Ok. So we’re just going to go back and forth and talk about our bucket list. And some of this…

Emma: This is a real bucket list because sometimes we’re like…

Elsie: Yes!

Emma: This is the spring activities bucket list and it just means like what we’re gonna do this spring. No, no, no. This is the what we’re doing before we die.

Elsie: Thank you for clarifying, because we use the term bucket list very loosely.

Emma: Very loose.

Elsie: And we’re fine with that because. Yeah, Autumn bucket list means that you’re going to make sugar cookies that look like ghosts. And this bucket list means you’re gonna do these things literally before you die.

Emma: That’s the idea. Before you kick the bucket, that’s. This is the real kick the bucket bucket list.

Elsie: I’m excited to talk about this because we’ve had a couple of episodes about goals. We had the Hundred Day Challenge episode and then the New Year’s goals episode. And goals are just a big subject to us. We love it. It’s one of our big passions in life that’s just always consistent. Any time that you ever want to sit down and have coffee with us and you don’t know what to ask. Just say, what are your goals? Then we’ll talk for like an hour…

Emma: Yeah. We’ll talk until our coffee’s cold and you’ll be like, okay, see you later. (laughs)

Elsie: Yeah. (laughs)

Emma: All right. Tell us your first bucket list item.

Elsie: Okay. My first and. OK, can I just start out by saying you’re not allowed to make fun of these if you’re listening to this episode and you’re going to make fun of us, just stop listening now, OK? Because these are our bucket list. And it doesn’t matter if they’re. It doesn’t matter, okay?

Emma: I don’t even care. You can make fun of me if you want because I make fun of myself way more harsh than you will ever make fun of me.

Elsie: Actually you’re right, make fun of me. But I’m just…I don’t know what I’m saying. I’m just saying I know people are going to make fun of me.

Emma: She’s starting off defensive. I’m excited to hear what this first one.

Elsie: (laughs) It’s a rich people thing.

Emma: Oh, that’s what she’s nervous about. Now we’re getting to the heart of it.

Elsie: I know. OK. So my first thing on my bucket list is to buy a house in Palm Springs. And I’m serious and I want to do it. I used to want to. I used to say I wanted to do it when I turned 40. But now that’s kind of soon. And so maybe just like in my 40s some time. I don’t know. I’m gonna keep it fluid at this point. But I definitely want to buy a house in Palm Springs. And I go back and forth between if it should, what type of house it should be. But I’m very, very attracted to the Swiss Miss houses. OK. So they’re called Swiss Miss Houses because they kind of are an a-frame in the center and then a ranch that comes out on the sides. And I will post a link to them in the show notes. The thing that’s really cool about them is that there’s only a certain number. I think it’s maybe like ten or fifteen or something like that. And there will only be that many forever because their historic homes from a certain era and they’re really gorgeous. Some are better than others. Some of them are like mansions and some of them are like nice, nice little Swiss Missies. So I, that that’s my dream house. And that’s the number one thing on my bucket list. What’s yours?

Emma: OK. So one thing I do, I got this from a book. I forget which one, but I talk about it in that episode where we share our favorite self-help books. But I have these index cards. I’m showing Elsie on Skype right now where I write in the present tense. My future goals. And the idea is it kind of helps you visualize it coming to be. So one of mine is it used to say, you can see it Elsie, I like marked it out. It used to say write a work of fiction. And now it says publish a work of fiction because…I told Elsie I’m like halfway done with my novel. I’m like a little over 40000 words. I’m trying to get to 80000 words. It’s just a general goal. The story might end at seventy eight thousand words or 82. I don’t really know, but I’m just aiming for something.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: Yeah, so I’m about halfway done. I am so nervous about it. I’ll probably done by the time we’re all done doing our self-quarantine, I imagine, because it feels like we’re going to be doing this a bit longer. And at the pace I’m going, I feel like I might be at least close to finishing by then.

Elsie: Can you hear that sound?

Emma: Yeah. My stomach’s gonna growl during this mini episode. Heads up, y’all. I’m sorry. It’s almost lunchtime for Emma.

Elsie: Say that last part again. (laughs).

Emma: I don’t remember what it was, I’m sorry. I’ve no idea.

Elsie: (laughs)

Emma: But yeah I’m writing my book. I’m halfway done and I’m very nervous about it. I think I can. Like tell in my heart I really want to write fiction. I really want it to be a part of my life. I don’t want it to be my whole job. I’m so I love my job. So I just really do want to write like a book. One book every three years or something. Like I want to write more than one. I really enjoy it. It’s really fun. And I love reading so much to the thought of like being a part of that community of people that’s making stuff that people enjoy reading. Like how I enjoy reading my favorite books just makes me like that. Just feels like a dream. So anyway, that’s that’s like number one on my bucket list is to publish a work of fiction. And I secretly would like to publish a lot of works of fiction, but I feel like I got to do the first one first. So…

Elsie: That’s magical, sister. My next goal and this is serious. This is sincere, is I want to be a crazy dressed old lady and…

Emma: Oh yes.

Elsie: It means so much to me in my heart. It’s how I visualized myself since I was, you know, a teenager.

Emma: Miss Frizzle!

Elsie: Right. I’m very inspired by Iris Apfel and Linda Rodin and just I don’t even know if crazy is like the word, but like an a non-conservatively dressed old lady. I guess what I’m trying to say, like a point of view, you know, whatever that means to you. And I realized somewhat recently that to become a crazy dress, a lady, I need to become a crazy dress, middle aged lady, which is more. It’s different than like I don’t know. It’s just not how I imagined it. I imagined myself going from, like, very young to very old. Like, you don’t imagine the middle as much. So that has been a good thing for me to think over and kind of realize about life, which is something I don’t know that I never really like. You know, when you’re young and you get a tattoo and everyone’s like, what’s that gonna look like when you’re old? Like, you think of yourself as like very, very, very old, you know?

Emma: Yeah. You don’t picture 40 year old, you picture or like thirty seven, you don’t picture 37.

Elsie: You don’t picture like how you’ll feel a tattoos going to a wedding when you’re like in your 40s or 50s. So yeah, that’s been a good thing for me to think over. What’s your next one.

Emma: I love that one. I mean I think that’s very serious. I love the idea of like thinking about how to embrace age just because I feel like sometimes we’re not encouraged to do that as women and as people.

Elsie: Totally.

Emma: And so I love any goal that’s around embracing, you know, all of life. I really do love that. So I think it’s rad. All right. My second one. I’m going to read it off my index card because it’s kind of long, but I think you’ll get the gist of it. So here it is, live in a comfortable, peaceful, beautiful home that others enjoy spending time in. And that’s not to say that…

Elsie: Can you describe your dream home a little bit?

Emma: Yeah, I think I can. But also, I do like to leave a lot of doors open because I don’t know what is going to be.

Elsie: See how private she is? (whispers) She’s so private.

Emma: It’s not even that I’m just private. It’s that this goal is intertwined with my partner who also lives with me.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: Right. So just like anyone who’s married and lives with someone or just has a roommate or whatever that you’re committed to. So it’s most of my goals, like if I if I write a book or not. Hundred percent up to me. If I wake myself up in the morning and get on that, you know, word doc and type out words. It’s up to me. No one else is really, you know. But this is the one goal on my list that really very much has to do with my husband too. So I’m just really aware of that. And it’s difficult for me to say, here’s what I want, here’s everything that I need and it’s my goal. And I must you know, it’s like I don’t think that’s the right attitude to approach that one. But as you can see from the description, I do want it to be a very comfortable place. I want to be very peaceful. I want it to be really beautiful. I want it to be a little bit of a work of art.

Elsie: Can you just say one feature that you wanted. Like one thing about it.

Emma: It’s not so much about the style. I have a lot of styles I love. I have one that I love the most. My husband has one that he loves the most. They are not the same. I don’t know where we’re going to net out on that. But I do know that I want it to be comfortable, peaceful, beautiful, like a work of art. And I want people to really enjoy spending time there. You know ,my family. I want to host parties. I want friends to come over and I want people to enjoy spending time there where it’s easy and there isn’t anything about it that’s difficult. Like they’re not scared of where they’re going to park when they come over or they feel like they can easily get there and easily. You know, like just different things. And I really, I have more like, I want to spend a lot of time with people that I love in this space. And there’s some things that I think have to happen with a home in order for that to be. And I have lots of like design and style things, too, that I love and that I enjoy. And I have them on Pinterest and all that. But to me, it’s…it is that. But I have to find that with my partner. It’s more about, I want it to be a home that at the moment my home is a little bit too remote. Like people have a hard time getting to my home. You have to take a highway. And where I live, that’s kind of a big deal. And in the winter, we have…we live on a hill and there’s nowhere to park, like our driveways rather small. So only a few people, only like four to five cars can be in our driveway at a time. So if I have a party and if it’s slick, you can’t, you know. So there’s some things like that. And I know those are so minor, but I just love, I just have a certain group of friends that I’m really close with. And I never realized how important that would be in my life until now.

Elsie: It would be cool to live in a neighborhood with some of your friends because a lot of Emma’s friends in Springfield live like grouped into certain neighborhoods.

Emma: Yeah, they do. Anyway, so that’s on my bucket list is home stuff.

Elsie: Emma’s going to have a dream home. And once she has it, then she’ll share about it. She doesn’t want to jinx it.

Emma: And I’m going to try really hard not to cheap out about it too. Because I am such a like. I have dreams. And then I’m like, oh, how much does it cost? Never mind. I don’t need that. Like, I’m very like that where I’m like, oh, I don’t want to get too much out of life. I don’t deserve good things. I really am always like working on that mentality. So I’m like, why do I believe I don’t deserve good things? I don’t know. I do that to myself. No one else is saying that but me. Don’t do that!

Elsie: Good for you sister.

Emma: This has become a rant. Let’s move on.

Elsie: No I relate with it. My next one is a travel one. I would…Okay. So my number one ultimate. Like all the things we talked about in the last vacation mode episode, like all the places to go. I would love to go, but these are the two where I feel like if I don’t do these trips, then it would be sad or heartbreaking. Like these are the really important ones. Okay. So with our children, not right now, but in a few years, we really want to go separately on two different trips on two different years to Japan for a good full Japan trip and to India during a color festival for a good full India trip. And yeah it makes me so happy to think about.

Emma: I love it. I have a travel one on my list. I’ll do that next. So my place that I really, really want to go before I die, I don’t really care when, but hopefully sooner rather than later is I really want to go to Antarctica. I just love photographing glaciers. I love how remote and quiet it seems. Something about it just seems so otherworldly. So, yeah, I really, really want to go there.

Elsie: She’s been talking about this for years.

Emma: It’s so as far as I can as I’ve research so far, which isn’t extensively, but pretty much how you do it is you have to take some kind of cruise or some kind of ship. There’s a few different options and it’s, it’s quite expensive. So again, there’s kind of this little voice in my head that’s like, you don’t deserve to spend that much money on something you want. And so…and I do think you need to be smart about your finances. You shouldn’t just spend any amount of money just because it’s for yourself. But I also like…

Elsie: You’re very smart about money.

Emma: Thanks. Yeah, I think I just have a hard time getting over the hurdle of spending a lot of money on something that really isn’t in any way functional. It’s in no way an investment. It’s just something I want to do. And I have a hard time. I really have a hard time with that. I really struggle with that. So I think that’s a big part of why I haven’t done this one yet. But it is on my list because I really do want to go there.

Elsie: That’s the point of a bucket list, I think is that it can help you to justify the importance of something when you can’t really explain it or describe it. But you just know it’s something that you really, really, really want to do.

Emma: Penguins!

Elsie: Oh, have you seen that…okay. Yesterday. Disney Plus, you guys best $5 a month I’ve ever spent. Have you seen this Penguins movie that is narrated by Ed Helms?

Emma: No.

Elsie: Nova was watching it yesterday. And it was so wonderful and cute.

Emma: Is it real penguins or like animated penguins?

Elsie: I think they were real.

Emma: You think?

Elsie: If I’m just being honest I wasn’t watching it with her. I was like walking by quickly trying to do stuff, you know? Because she was busy.

Emma: Yeah yeah yeah.

Elsie: It took me five or five or 10 times of her watching Frozen Ever After or whatever. Oh, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure before I realized it was a Christmas movie. So I don’t exactly watch the movies with the kids. I just try to like speed work while they’re doing it. Yeah.

Emma: Right that makes sense.

Elsie: So my next one is this is the only one that is some of what career related, because if I’m just being like totally honest and this feels really weird to say, I’ve like I feel like I’ve done a lot of our career bucket list things like we’ve published books, we’ve you know, we’ve done a lot of cool things that we’re really proud of. I still have one that I didn’t put on the list. But OK, this is my career… career moment one. This almost happened, but then it didn’t. I really want to design a hotel or motel. It doesn’t necessarily have to be our hotel or motel that we own. I’m pretty open ended about how it could be, but I really want to design one because it’s to me, it’s the ultimate design project because I get so much inspiration from staying in the hotels and motels designed by my design heroes. So yeah, it’s something that I would love to do at some point in my life. I actually don’t want to do this one too soon. I want to do it when I really, really feel ready.

Emma: Yeah. We have to do it when we have the right financial moment. We also had thought about turning that into a TV show.

Elsie: That’s true. We pitched a TV show a couple years ago that was about kind of air BnB type of rentals that we were gonna make over. It was a makeover show and then you could rent them. And I think that in the end it kind of fell apart because there was like this looming question of like, how are you going to pay for that?

Emma: Well, no, I think that part I think we maybe would’ve figured out. I don’t know. We don’t really know. But I think the real looming question on the TV show thing so far has basically been you have young kids and just figuring out the schedule, not because you can’t film a TV show and have young kids. Obviously, people do it. But we also already have full time jobs. There’s trying to balance all of that.

Elsie: Everyone is different. If you guys want to know the truth, we’ve thought about doing a TV show for years and we want to, but we always back out at the last minute because of family stuff. And it is… it’s a serious commitment. It’s not just the months that you spend filming the show. It’s also traveling for all the promotion. And then you have speaking and there’s a lot of things attached to it. It’s a it’s a more serious time commitment than anything else we do, that’s for sure.

Emma: OK, here’s my last one. It’s not work related and this one. This is by the one I’m the most embarrassed about. I’ll tell you why it is. I am really interested in learning to speak Spanish. And before the COVID 19 really hit the U.S. Trey and I were actually very seriously considering, like I had almost booked doing a month long immersion program in Costa Rica.

Elsie: Wow.

Emma: We could also work. We would take our laptops and, you know. But half a day we would be in classes and then it’s an immersion program. So you have like people you speak with conversationally.

Elsie: That is so cool. I didn’t know about this.

Emma: Yeah. I’m very interested in it. The reason I’m embarrassed about it. So I took Spanish in high school and college. Our mom is from Venezuela. I think we’ve mentioned up for she’s…she can speak Spanish. She moved when she was like nine or 10. So she’ll tell you she doesn’t speak, you know, like her practicing kind of stopped at that age anyway….

Elsie: Our grandma really, really, really speaks Spanish like…

Emma: She has an accent. If you ever meet her you’re like, oh, where’s she from?

Elsie: So I really, really want her to be on the podcast. It’s one of my dream guests.

Emma: That’d be fun to figure out how to rig up a system for her at her cabin. Anyway, yeah, I’d love to learn Spanish, but it’s one of those things where I feel like I need to do something kind of immersive to kick it off because I just feel like I’ve done classroom Spanish and I’m good. I like flashcards. You know, I could do that, but I just feel like I’ll…I think it would be better if I did something like that. So, you know, the time and the money to do that is kind of tricky. And then also, I feel like embarrassed to learn something like that because I will suck at it. And I’ll have to speak with people who speak real Spanish and they’ll have to listen to me stumble along. And, you know, it’s kind of an embarrassing process to learn something new. So I think I’m kind of like nervous about that. Like when I think about having to talk to people and having to have them listen to me be so terrible at it. It makes me feel like a like a little anxious. But I really do want to learn Spanish. And the part of the reason is because our mother is from Venezuela. I have a whole side of my family that’s kind of from that part of the world. And something about learning Spanish makes me feel a little more connected to that part of my, I don’t know, heritage or whatever. And then I also just really love the culture. And I I’ve always I love listening to people speak Spanish. I’ve always thought it would be really, really fun. And I also think, you know, a lot of people in the U.S. speak Spanish. So, of course, it’s not necessary. But I do think it would be really a fun second language to learn. And I’d really like to at some point in my life. But I’m very nervous about it. So anyway, it’s on the bucket list. There you have it.

Elsie: I love that one. OK. This is my last one. It is my later in life goal, I guess. So our mom is a huge inspiration to us because she was an art teacher for many years. And then she decided to stop teaching and become a painter full time. And she paints every day. It’s it’s been so wonderful. During the quarantine, we’ve been face timing almost every day. And she is usually painting so. Well, not always. But yeah, a lot of the time she’s painting and Nova was like, do you paint every day? And she was like, well, yeah. (laughs) So anyway, whenever I visualize myself in sort of the retirement zone or age, I I think about painting. And also the thing I really, really, really want to do, I’m even like saving a place in our home for the future, is ceramics. And Emma and I took a ceramics class and I was so horrible…I might give it another go.

Emma: You were trying to be bad. You were like…didn’t want to do it the way they told you. (laughs)

Elsie: Stop it! Okay. So I think I do want to learn ceramics. Like with the wheel. But I mostly want to learn like the painting, the glazing. And so I do want to do some work with molds. Like when we were in high school, our mom when our mom was an art teacher for one semester, I went to the school where she was a teacher. And I did her early morning ceramics class at like six AM every day. (laughs) And you would like pour the really wet clay into the molds. And then a couple days later, you busted out and you sand off the seams, paint it, and I just got so, so super into it. So I’d really love to have a setup like that someday in my future to be really into making ceramics. It’s just something that feels really, really inspiring.

Emma: Maybe you could own one of those places where people come to, like paint it with their kids.

Elsie: Eh, no. I just want to do it.

Emma: You just want to do it for fun.

Elsie: And actually. OK. Part of my dream of this is…

Emma: This is me and Elsie’s dynamic. Elsie is like, here’s my dream. I’m like, here’s how you could make money at it. And Elsie sometimes says yes and sometimes says no.

Elsie: Yeah. The older I get, the more I say no.

Emma: Yeah. (laughs).

Elsie: Some things have to stay fun. Right. But anyway, the part of my fantasy, I just I hope that someday maybe because you never know in the future what’s going to happen. But if our mom was ever to be like living with us, then I would want to be able to do this with her every day, too. So I think about that or I think about doing it with my kids or my grandkids or I think of it as kind of like a little family ceramics painting studio where, you know, we can, I don’t know, make stuff together.

Emma: I love that. That sounds like pure magic. Yeah.

Elsie: So anyway, we will love to hear what’s on your bucket list. And if you have any request for a mini episode, please message them to us or e-mail them to us at podcast@abeautifulmess.com. Please leave us a review. Don’t forget to subscribe. What else Emma?

Emma: We love you.

Elsie: We love you! Thank you for listening. Thank you so, so much for listening. And we’ll be back next Monday with two more episodes.

Read More
  • It took over a year of my kids watching frozen many times for me to figure out what happens to Elsa and Anna’s parents! When the kids are watching movies, I’m working!

  • Oh my goodness your description of your mom was so like my fiancé’s mom, a Venezuelan artist and a ceramicist to be specific. I totally know that accent you’re talking about and I’ll send a couple pics of her work because you might find it inspiring.
    Love the pod and all things ABM

  • I LOVE LOVE LOVE Emma’s comfortable home item! I think my list says something like “buy a house, make it a home” and it’s essentially the same. I was sending all the virtual long-distance high fives listening to Emma talk about it.

    I don’t know what that home looks like, and I don’t know for sure where it is. I know that it has room to gather the people I love in it comfortably, so that we can share conversation and food and puzzles and drinks and laughs and quiet moments and hugs. In a way I’m already working on this – my current home isn’t IT, but I’m always tweaking it to get closer and closer to that feeling.

  • I’ve been following you guys from Japan for I don’t know how many years — and I’m just SOOO thrilled to know that Japan is on your bucket list Elsie! I can’t wait to see your plans!! Make sure to include Kyoto, the old capital, in your itinerary — I can give you a few recommendations 🙂

  • I loved this episode – both for the content and also just listening to you two tease each other and your overall dynamic. I feel like you’re really getting into a groove and seem more comfortable podcasting in the last few episodes! (Not to say I haven’t enjoyed every single episode, but I think the early episodes of any podcast are a lot of figuring out the dynamic and the tone).
    Emma, I relate SO much to having to remind myself that I do deserve nice things and that it’s okay to sometimes spend money on things that aren’t practical/utilitarian. Or even just, splurge and buy the really nice practical/utilitarian thing! Haha.

    My major bucket list item is more…general I guess? Maybe similar to Emma’s wanting to have a comfortable and peaceful home. My main goal is to find contentment and stability. I know that these aren’t permanent things and obviously (see: right now) things can change in an instant, but I want to feel content and stable (in a variety of ways) more days than not.

    Love the show!!

  • I Love this episode. Dear Emma I live in Argentina a bit closer to Antarctica and I offer the chance to practice some Spanish. You must visit my country you kilo to birds in one journey. ????

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