First of all … we wanted to say the BIGGEST THANK YOU. Thank you for supporting our brand new podcast. We had an incredible first week and we are so grateful (and excited!)
You can stream today’s new episode here:
OK … a few show notes links! These are things mentioned in episode four.
-Nova’s snack drawer. This is where we keep all the packaged snacks. It makes lunch packing simple because we grab a few of these along with a few fresh things like bananas, clementines, cucumbers or grapes.
-Here’s a link to @thehomeedit. Their houses really are as organized as their IG feed. It’s inspiring!
And, as I suspected, there is no ghost toilet photo to share. Haha … probably for the best.
Happy Monday! XX- Elsie + Emma
Miss an episode? Check out these favorites!
- Episode #4: Three Things That Make Our Homes Happier
- Episode #5: Our 2020 Bnb Plans REVEALED
- Episode #6: Handmade Gifts
Episode 4 Transcript
Elsie: You’re listening to A Beautiful Mess podcast. Today, we’re sharing three things.
Emma: Six things! There’s three each…
Elsie: That make our homes happier. Some of them are surprisingly simple and things you could do this weekend. We’re also sharing our beloved and very embarrassing ghost toilet story. Ok. So before we begin, a little disclaimer this week as we’re recording, I’m having a little bit of construction done on my house, we’re having some floor repairs. So if you hear, I don’t know, say some giant power tool sounds, just try to ignore that and try to forget it because this is our only day that we can record this week.
Emma: Yeah, hopefully it’s not too loud. I feel like some people probably won’t even hear it, but it might bother some people. So we just wanted to let you know that.
Elsie: Fingers crossed! All right. So jumping in. This week’s episode is about things we’ve done to make our home happier. And we are…we’re really excited about this idea because a lot of the things are just so simple. It’s things that like it…OK, so for the work we put in, you got like a 10 times return on happiness.
Elsie: So, OK, we’re going to go back and forth. We each have three things to share. Emma, do you want to go first and share your first one? Yeah.
Emma: Ok. So I didn’t put mine in order of importance or anything like that. I just picked the basically the first three things that came to my mind, but that fit this that truly do like up the happiness factor.
Emma: So the first one for us is after. I think the first two years we lived in this home, we added a projector and a screen to our living room.
Elsie: Oh, my God. That was one of mine. Now I have to change mine!
Emma: Oh no! Haha , well, I guess I go first, sucker.
Elsie: OK. No, go ahead. OK. Whatever you’re going to say. I’m going to agree with it.
Emma: Well, really, though, I should have let you do it because you guys had a projector and screen first and we loved yours. And that was part of why we wanted to get one. But, so here’s what I love about it: it truly makes our living room feel like a home movie theater and Trey and I love to go to the movies. Call us basic, but that’s like one of our number one date night things that we do is go to the movies. We especially love Alamo Drafthouse, which if you have one of those in your area, you know what I’m talking about. Because it’s awesome and their food’s amazing. Anyway. So we love to watch movies at home. We watch TV together, not every night. But it makes it feel a little bit special. So thatT then I also love that the projector and the screen, our screen, and we’ll put a link. You can see it in a blog post and we’ll put a link in the show notes. But our screen kind of sucks up into our ceiling, like literally into our ceiling. They installed it in our attic. So when we’re not watching TV, it doesn’t have to feel like that room is all about the TV. So I love that because I don’t hate TV as we watch TV. Like I just said, I love it. But I also like not having the screen put away. And it’s like, oh, it’s not time to watch TV. It’s time to chat or it’s time to hang out. But we’re not watching TV right now. I just like that feeling.
Elsie: Yes. I would add to it. Sorry.
Emma: No, no, no, you’re fine.
Elsie: Interruption time. I would add to that in our living room, we had no place for a big TV. So it’s like the three walls. So there’s a fireplace. And I would avoid at all costs putting a TV up on a stone fireplace like it’s a giant wall of stone. So I feel it would be awkward to mount a TV over that. It also really does burn a fire. And it just seems kind of. I don’t know. I don’t like that. So then beside that, the wall beside that is a window. And the wall across from that is a giant bookshelf all the way across the room. So our choice was either to add the projector screen and it comes down over the bookshelf, which is amazing, or to face the sofa completely away from the fireplace, which I think would have ruined the room. So it’s good for a room where there just is no good place for a big TV.
Emma: Yeah. And I think your setup is similar to mine where…so it’s a little bit breaking one of those design rules where they kind of say you shouldn’t put a TV or a projector screen where people are going to walk through it. But I personally feel like I like the way our room is set up because people can get up and get a snack and come sit back down. And it’s not a big deal, and the same thing in your living room…
Like people do sometimes walk across.
Emma: It’s really not a problem, though, because the projectors are mounted to the ceiling. And so when you walk across, it’s like a tiny bit of your head. And we honestly like it’s it’s really a non-issue. Yeah. Yeah.
Emma: It’s just one of those design rules that I would actually be like, eh, break that one if you feel like it. Because I just you know, we could have flipped our room. But I’m just so glad we didn’t because it didn’t…it doesn’t make as much sense to me. And then the very last thing I want to say, one more thing about the projector screen and then I’ll stop because I’m clearly on it too long. But the last thing is it truly does impress all of my nieces. They love it. They come over and they’re like, oh, can we see your movie theater? That’s what they say. “Can we see your movie theater.” And then I give them the remote and they press a little button and the screen comes out of the ceiling and I can just see it on their faces. They think I’m so cool. And I’m like, yes, anything to be coolest aunt, I’m like, sign me up.
Elsie: I totally agree with that. Impressing little kids is a good qualifier for me on like if a project is worth it or not.
Emma: Mm hmm. That’s the level I’m at in life. That’s the level I’m at in life, what can I say? OK, now you do one.
Elsie: All right. So my first one is, if you thought yours was basic, this is even more basic. But Google Home speakers. So for…we’ve lived in our home for four years and for three and a half of those years, we had no good way to play music. We have a record player. But I mean, as anyone with record player knows, it’s like you have to kind of stay attentive to it. Flip your record. It’s really fun, but it’s kind of high maintenance. And then occasionally we have like kind of played music through our TV speakers, I think in the past. But it was really just something we would do, like at a party or something. But so anyway, one day I was working from Keely’s house and she was just like, “Hey, Google Play, you know…” And I was like, oh, I kind of like this. It felt very easy. And then when you walked through her house in all the different rooms, you know, the music, the same music was playing in every room, which was really appealing to me. I had always wanted to get like a big Sonos system. Since we moved in. But just the price tag, you know, it’s like up there in the thousands to do your whole house. So we have a pretty large house with, you know, like a long hallway to go back and forth on. So I had just always hesitated for that reason. So when we did this, it was a couple hundred dollars. It was, you know, not a big deal at all. And it’s something that we have used every day and now even Nova. She it’s like her party trick that she can make it play songs. And she likes to say, hey, Google Play cat noises and yeah, it’ll do like “meow”. You know, so like, hey, Google, tell a joke. She thinks stuff like that is hilarious. So it, just for something so simple and I know a lot of people have these, but it is a huge game changer if you haven’t thought about it like it would be a great Christmas gift. And if one of your goals is to play more music for your family or for your kids or even for yourself, I really think it’s a great way to do that.
Emma: Yeah, I should probably get something like that in our personal home because I kind of we have some things in like some of our BnBs, but for whatever reason, I haven’t made it a priority to like do that in her personal home.
Elsie: So you should do it. It’s so awesomely definitely put one in…you need it in your living room, dining room and wherever you get ready in the morning, like your bedroom or your bathroom, that’s kind of nice to have it too.
Emma: Mm. Yeah. Okay. If you thought that was basic, just you wait. Ok. So as I mentioned in a previous episode Trey and I don’t necessarily feel like the home that we’re currently living in is our forever home. We’re somewhat looking, but also not really.
Elsie: Too many snakes.
Emma: Yeah (laughs) if you don’t know what that means…
Elsie: (laughs) You specifically told me not to talk about the snakes anymore.
Emma: I was like, that’s my secret. I live in the Chamber of Secrets anyway. OK. So this this relates, so for whatever reason, for like four years, I didn’t do this. And when I tell you what it is, you’re gonna think I’m an insane person because. So in our master bedroom, we have these double doors. They’re kind of like French doors, I guess. They open into our bedroom and we usually only open one of them, but they have glass and they’re very pretty. And they go they look to our outdoor porch area that’s screened in and it has our hot tub. And truthfully, in the summer, we really don’t go out there. But I do use the hot tub all the time. So these window doors just seemed like a weird thing to cover up with curtains. And they’re right next to an adjacent wall. So it just it didn’t. It’s an awkward place to put curtains. So for years, I didn’t because I was like, oh, that’s not really what you should do design-wise. It doesn’t really make sense. I don’t want it to look kind of clunky over there. But also…
Elsie: Wait, you didn’t want to put curtains on windows in your bedroom?
Emma: In our bedroom, yes I know.
Elsie: And you just had open windows for years?!
Emma: For years…four years.
Elsie: That’s horrifying, Emma!
Emma: So our backyard leads into a forest so no one can see it’s very private. So there’s no people that can see…
Elsie: But did it wake you up in the morning?
Emma: Yes, the sunlight. And you couldn’t really take a nap in our room, which not that me or Trey are big nappers, but every now and again on the weekend, we might take a nap, you know. So it was just really impractical. And like you said, totally insane that I never put curtains, but I just kept being like, well, I don’t really feel like they fit here. And we’re probably going to move at some point. And whatever and then four years later, I didn’t do it.
Elsie: Like people develop these huge blind spots about their own home where if you don’t do something right away, then you start to believe that you can’t or shouldn’t do it, even though like, I’m sorry, but this is crazy. Not having curtains on a window in your bedroom for years like that’s insane!
Emma: I am both offended and agree with you. Yeah. It was crazy. And I finally was like, okay, we’re…I’m just going to in my mind, say that I’m staying in this house for at least another two or three years. I don’t know if we are or not, but I was like, I’m just going to say we are. Are there any little things in this house that are driving me nuts that I should just fix, like in a weekend, like simple things. And this was the number one thing on that list. And so I bought these black velvet curtains that are like blackout curtains. And our room’s very black and white. And I hung them and it immediately, like, we sleep better. I like it. I love the routine of shutting the curtains at night. And then I get into bed and I read a little bit and I go to sleep. And then in the morning, I open the curtains when it’s time for us to get up and get ready. And I love the routine of it. You can take a nap in our bedroom now, like it is truly bananas that I didn’t do this sooner. But there you have it.
Elsie: Hell, yes, sister. That I mean, everyone should take a minute to evaluate. Is there something in my home that drives me crazy every single day that I could change? Because we all have one. Well, I’m really glad you changed that, because that gives me like the heebie jeebies.
Emma: Yeah. It was, it was nuts, but I had to tell you about it. So there you go.
Elsie: Alright. So my next one is one of those areas in life where I think I felt like I was being too extra. So I always knew that I wanted to have an insane holiday decoration, you know, closet, I guess, just like an insane amount of holiday decorations and an insane amount of Halloween decorations. And those are kind of my two special holidays. And it does take up like half of our storage room. But anyway, the year that we became parents, I finally just did it. And I think that I had been, like wanting to do it for so long that it felt like it was going to be a bigger deal than it really was. And, you know, you get it in your mind, like, where am I going to put all this stuff? Do I really need all this? Am I a grandma? Am I the bad kind of grandma? Am I a hoarder? You know, things like that. But I just went ahead and just, you know, went to the craft stores and spent like five hundred dollars buying just Christmas decorations. And it made our home ten times more magical and just the greatest feeling in the world. And it went from being like a person who was like enthusiastic about Christmas to a person who was like psycho about Christmas. And it was like a rite of passage for me, like for the rest of my life. I will always be on this side of the before and after of me as a holiday person. So, yeah, being crazy about holiday decorations is one of the things that exponentially increased my happiness. And looking back, I think it’s kind of silly that I had any apprehension or like shame around going like, you know, 110 percent.
Emma: Going HAM — that’s what Trey would say. It means going crazy. Yeah. I think it’s interesting you mention being a little bit scared of like being a hoarder. I think you kind of call it like bad grandma or something. I totally get that because I’m the same way. I love decorating for the holidays. I actually like decorating a little bit early, which I know is super annoying to most people. But I like it because it makes the holidays last longer because I don’t want the holiday to only last one month. That’s not long enough.
Elsie: I totally agree with that. And if you’re someone who gets offended about other people decorating their house too early, just remember it’s not your house and you don’t have to live in it. So maybe don’t be offended just decorate your house when you want to.
Emma: Unless you’re my husband and then you’re like, oh, well, here’s a little bit stuck because your roommates crazy and wants to decorate for the holidays…
Elsie: You’re a blogger. I just think you get an automatic free pass for that one.
Emma: Well, I think, too, it’s interesting that your hang up on the decorating. It sounds like it was a couple things not to go too far on this, but I feel like I have a similar thing. So I’m just like interested. It wasn’t just the. You know, like, oh, I’m buying a bunch of stuff and I feel very like, do I want to be the kind of person who buys a lot of stuff, like having a fear about being a hoarder. For me, it’s usually the cost. Like I’ll go into stores and I’m like, have these grand plans of buying all this stuff. And then I’ll put a few things in my cart and then I’m like, I don’t want to spend…this is getting out of hand. I have one hundred dollars of things already, you know. And so then I kind of like get a little gun shy or whatever you want to say. And then it sounds like too, the big thing for you was storage. You wanted to make sure you had a place to put it after the holidays before you really jumped all in like you needed that storage closet…
Elsie: It is a commitment. I will say, like when we’re house shopping now, I always want to check and make sure that I can fit like all these things that have made my life so much happier. Also getting a deep freezer, you know, it’s like silly, but well, it’s not because it’s it’s super helpful.
Emma: You know, yes. That’s kind of a theme of all the ones. And I’m about to say my third one. But all of them are things that now as we’re kind of somewhat shopping for a new house, like very casually, but still we talk about them like, you know, we went and looked at a house, I don’t know, like three weeks ago or a month ago. And we immediately were like, yeah, but where would the projector and screen go? Because we know how much we love it. And even if we don’t take the one that’s in our current home, even if we end up selling that with the home, we still know we want it because we love it so much. So it’s just interesting, like the things that you’re like, oh, no, I really do love this because I have to have it at my next home, whereas there’s some things in my house I really like. But I’m like, I don’t really care if I have that in my next home.
Elsie: Absolutely. Like, Emma will never be without a hot tub because, yes, it was like her first and most important adult purchase.
Emma: Perfect segue, because that is my third thing.
Elsie: Oh, cool. OK.
Emma: Yeah. So on the adult purchase thing, it actually was…and I feel like I might have said this in a previous episode, so I’m sorry for being a broken record, but the hot tub that we own was actually a reward for Trey for when he landed a really big account when he worked at A Beautiful Mess in sponsorships. It was like back when you really couldn’t even hardly get sponsors as a blogger. It was just a different time. And people…
Elsie: It was one of our first big ongoing campaigns.
Emma: Yes. And he got it. And so he was like, I really…if I get this, I want to get a hot tub. And at the time, I was like…a hot tub. I don’t want to be hot tub people. Like, I just had this picture in my mind.
Elsie: What do you say to your past self now?
Emma: And now I look at my past self and I’m like, you, snob. And I’m also like, I LOVE the hot tub. I am the lady out there who’s just like drinking her chardonnay and is like I love the hot tub. Just, you know, I’ve embraced who I truly am.
Elsie: Hot tub yoga.
Emma: Yeah, I do.
Elsie: We’ve heard about that previously.
Emma: That house we looked at, again, there was no good place to put the hot tub outside. And that was a big we were like, would we have to, like, cut a hole in this deck? I think we’d have to because we have to have our hot tub because I like get in it every single night. I love the hot tub. I love it just on my own. And I love it with my partner, with my husband or with friends, because you don’t usually take your phone. And so it ends up being this place where you can have great conversations. And actually, my niece is staying with me, Penny, for about a week now. Our little brother is moving. So anyway, last night I was in the hot tub and Penny got home. And I think Uncle Trey told her where I was. And she came out there and she is like, hey, can I put on my swimsuit and come out in a hot tub with you? And I was like, yeah. Ask your dad and Ruby. Sure, if you want to. And she, after like five minutes, she was like, hot water makes my stomach kind of hurt. I’m just going to sit on the edge, put my feet in. But she just like wanted to talk to me. It was just really cute. Yeah, and sweet. And I was like, I love the hot tub. This is a funny…and I like thinking. I’m like, oh, I’m the aunt who has the hot tub. And it’s just like out there by myself. And Penny like comes out there to hang out with me, it’s just funny. Let’s hear your third one.
Elsie: Ok. So my third one is pretty recent and it’s a small thing, but it did make the whole like ten times better qualification.
Emma: It made the cut.
Elsie: OK. Last year I went to Clea’s house from the Home Edit and everyone probably knows the Home Edit, we’ll link their Instagram. But they’re are just, you know, like adorable professional organizers.
Emma: They’re awesome.
Elsie: And I saw, I actually went to Joanna’s house recently, too, and both of their pantries, like it really is perfect. Like what their Instagram is, is like their real life home. So I got really inspired by that because I think we all kind of feel like life can’t be that perfect all the time and sometimes it can’t. But on Nova’s snack draw, it can. And and it is. So basically I just cleared out a drawer underneath where like our rainbow glassware is in our breakfast nook, I cleared out a drawer that used to just have like Tupperware and stuff in it. Extra stuff. Put it somewhere else and put these little acrylic organizers in and lined up all of her snacks that we mostly use them to pack lunches for school. But sometimes she gets one after school too, and they’re by, you know, organized by color. And, you know, it just looks really beautiful and it makes me really happy. And it’s something that I take a strange little bit of pride in when another kid comes over and I get to say, “Hey, Nova, go show them your snack drawer”.
Emma: Oh, does she do it?
Elsie: Yes. And she’s proud of it. It’s within her reach. It’s low. So, yeah, it’s one of those things, a small thing. I wouldn’t have thought it would be so important to me. But now that I’ve done it, I will definitely keep doing it. And it just feels right when you’re packing a lunch every day to have this little rainbow drawer with like the apple sauces and the bars and things like that.
Emma: Mmmm. Snack drawer sounds like a dangerous addition to my home for me because I would just use it myself constantly.
Elsie: Yeah. I mean, to be honest, it’s mostly things that I’m not interested in eating.
Emma: Sure, it’s like the apple sauce and the squeezy things.
Emma: Yeah. I’d only eat that if I was desperate, not because it doesn’t taste good. Just because it’s clearly for children.
Elsie: I’ve eaten, when there’s Cheez-Its in there I’ve eaten those before so.
Emma: Mmmm. Yeah.
Elsie: Cheez-Its are for everyone. All right. So that was our three things each that make our life happier. And we will put some links in the show notes, especially to the speakers, to the projector and a picture of the snack drawer because I don’t think I’ve ever shown it before. And really, it’s not a big deal. I literally just copied Clea’s house.
Emma: I was hoping you’d say that…I really wanted it. Can you please include a picture of the snack drawer? I really want to see it. But I don’t think you’ve ever blogged about it, so…
Elsie: I’ll show it. Yeah, it’s one of those things like I you know, like when you’re like this doesn’t warrant a blog post, but I’m so freaking proud that I just want to.
Elsie: Shout it from the rooftops. All right. So we’re segueing into a segment that we’ve never done before. But when we first started planning what we wanted to do in our podcast, one of the biggest things we were excited about was telling embarrassing stories because we have some really, really horrific embarrassing stories that we’ve just never shared online before. Because they’re just not the kind of thing you type out. It’s a little more comfortable saying it. So now that we have this new format we have all this new freedom. And so, yeah, when I was trying to explain to my husband that we really were going to start a podcast. Like for several weeks he was like “Elsie like, do you even have a podcast idea or do you just want to tell embarrassing stories about yourself?” Cause that was like, what I was so excited about I kept being like, but what about if you know? So…
Emma: I mean I’d listen to that podcast. It’s just like someone telling embarrassing stories about themselves. I would subscribe now.
Elsie: Well, yeah, we do have a lot of embarrassing stories that we don’t want to use them all at once. So I think we’re going to do like one a month-ish and see how that goes. But there’s a pretty deep well.
Emma: Twelve a year? Yeah, I can handle that.
Elsie: OK. So the first one that we’re so excited to tell is the ghost toilet story because Emma and I were together when this happened. And anyway, I’m just going to jump into it. So this was about like maybe five or seven years ago. And Emma and I and her husband Trey were in New York and we were sitting eating dinner at the restaurant in the Ace Hotel. And I remember that.
Emma: Man we sound so cool right now.
Elsie: We sound very fancy. We’re not…We were on a work trip, and. Yeah, regular life. Just kidding. Anyway, so Jeremy texted me and it was like, hey, did you do a spray tan? And I was like, that’s a strange question. The time I basically never did a spray tan and I had not had spray tan. And I was like, no, why? And he sent me a picture of the toilet from our upstairs of our house at the time, which was the only toilet. And he said, “when I woke up this morning, there was this butt print on the toilet”. And he sent me a picture of it. And it was like a bluish gray, very clear. Butt print of someone who had been sitting there and he was like, “it had to be you”. And I was like, it wasn’t me. Someone must have snuck into the house or there must’ve been there must be another solution. It wasn’t me. I didn’t put anything new on my body. He was like, well, did you use lotion? Or, you know, asked me all these questions I was like, no, no, no, nothing like that. And so anyway, I. Showed it to Emma and Trey and they were dying laughing because it’s so embarrassing that he sent me a picture of the toilet.
Emma: And you were just confirming and we were like, yep, that’s a butt print. I don’t know who it was but, indeed there is a butt print on your toilet.
Elsie: And so this house at the time, like we had a little bit of a…not like confirmation, but a suspicion that it was probably haunted. And I still think that, like, it was definitely the most haunted house I’ve lived in in my life. So I was like, well, it’s a ghost. It has to be a ghost, obviously. So anyway, hours later, Jeremy texted me again and he’s been Googling and, you know, find the answer to all of your life’s questions. And so according to Google or to his Google search, he was like, I think you’re pregnant because other people online have had this phantom butt print on their toilet and it’s hormonal and it has to do with pregnancy. And of course, like at the moment, we had just been celebrating. We had, you know, had a little couple of cocktails. And I was a little bit tipsy. So I was like, oh, no, if I’m pregnant, what do I do? I’ve just been drinking! So I was like texting everyone frantically. And it was, you know, like midnight. “Do I make myself throw up? Is it too late?” First of all, I wasn’t pregnant. Second of all, the butt print never went away. And we just had to get a new toilet seat. It never happened again. We do assume it maybe was the hormonal thing, like maybe there was something going on, but I wasn’t pregnant. I checked right away. Like the next day I took a test and it and I never was. Anyway, there’s my humiliating story. Of the time, my butt made a print that everyone got to see.
Emma: Sounds like, though, we haven’t really ruled out ghost butt yet, so unconfirmed if that was Elsie’s butt print she showed me and my husband, or if it was a ghost.
Elsie: It probably was. And also, let me just say, I know that you will be dying to see this picture if we can resurrect it, I will, but I don’t think we can, because this was, like I said, like five or seven years ago…many cell phones ago. So that’s probably not going to happen. But if you want to Google around, you can probably find something similar. All right. So. (laughs)
Emma: Oh, man. The ghost butt print, phantom butt print. That would be a good…we should have named the episode that. Phantom butt print.
Elsie: Thank you so much for supporting our podcast. Here are three things you can do to help us grow. The first one is leave a review wherever you listen to your podcast. The second one is share our podcast on Instagram or wherever you like to share. I know we sound a little desperate right now and honestly I feel embarrassed, but it really would help us to share it with your friends. And the third thing is to get involved by sending us your question at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emma: See you next week.