Episode #53: A Listener AMA (Ask Me Anything)

Hiiii! This week’s episode is an old school AMA (ask me anything) and we answer a big variety of listener questions!

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: 
-In this episode, we answer 10 random questions. Topics we cover include remodeling, pivoting in business, our Airbnbs during COVID, $, celebrity ghosts and more.

-Elsie mentions her favorite painter, Lulie Wallace.

-Links to our airbnbs that are currently booking (or still running for the future) … Elsie’s Nashville bnb, Emma’s Nashville bnb, and Emma’s Florida (Harry Potter) bnb. We’ll share news on how we’re pivoting for the holiday house in Springfield, Missouri soon.

Lovers’ butter costume

-Here’s a link to the ABM Print Shop.

-Here’s a link to our ABM e-courses. Use code PODCAST for 25% off your purchase!

-This episode is sponsored by Grove Collaborative. As you know we’re big fans of Grove, so if you haven’t yet be sure to check out our offer! First time shoppers can receive a free cleaning set and a free VIP Trial. Visit grove.co/ABM for more info.

Miss an episode? Get caught up!

Episode 53 Transcript

Emma: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast today, we’re doing a listener AMA, which means ask me anything and we have some good ones. This episode is sponsored by Grove Collaborative and we’ll talk more about them later in the episode.

Elsie: Nice.

Emma: Nice.

Elsie: I am excited about an AMA episode. We’ve never done this before and I’m not sure how.

Emma: Yeah, it feels like a Q&A on Instagram, but it’s different.

Elsie: But we get to talk.

Emma: Mm hmm.

Elsie: So we have, what, ten questions that we got from Instagram and it is a big variety. So should we just jump in. Should we just go for it.

Emma: Yes. First up, listener says I think this is for when you’re moving. So what are the most important things to fix up when you buy a new home?

Elsie: OK, I love this question.

Emma: It’s very good.

Elsie: Very passionate about it. So I think first, every home has, like, the one thing you hate that you can’t wait to change. And I think that one thing deserves to just be at the top of the list just for your own emotional…

Emma: For yourself.

Elsie: Yeah, like just so that you can feel like you’re settling in and you’re putting your touch on it. Like don’t leave something that you just, like, absolutely hate just because it’s not practical, you know? And then after that, I would really say living spaces. And if you want to do a big remodel, the most important thing by a lot is the kitchen. What do you think?

Emma: Yeah, I think kitchens like that’s a big one. As far as like resale, I think floors is never a bad one. And I actually completely…I’m more practical than Elsie. I don’t know if you’ve picked up on that so far, but I actually really agree. If there’s something that just you hate, just change it. Don’t live with it forever just because it’s not the most resell important thing. But my only caveat is if you notice that you have like ten of those, maybe pick only the top one or two and then work on some other things and then get back to that list, because that might be a little too many. So.

Elsie: Right. I think that when you first move into a space, you see it the most clearly. And then over time, like we talked one time about how Emma had…

Emma: Blindspots.

Elsie: …her, she had no curtains on windows in her bedroom for like two years or so.

Emma: Years. Yeah.

Elsie: Like if you live with something for long enough, like your toilet is just a hole in the floor, you will it will become normal to you. And then people will, you know, come over and you’ll be like, oh yeah, that was I meant to do something about that hole in the floor. So I think addressing the things that really bug you first, you know, it kind of like. I don’t know, maybe they would have bugged anyone.

Emma: Yeah, and I think to it’s also like maybe that’s the next question that should be being asked if you’re moving into a new home is not only like what do I do first, but like, what’s my three-year plan here? And really, try to stick to it.

Elsie: Oh I love a three-year plan.

Emma: Because maybe you can’t afford to fix the toilet hole in the floor the first month, but put it on the list because don’t forget about it. Don’t let it become your curtains that I never put up, you know.

Elsie: Yes, I’m on a three year plan right now, and I highly recommend it because then if you’re like me, Enneagram seven, where you just look around and you’re anxious to fix everything all at once, it helps you realize that, you know, in the blink of an eye, it’ll be here like the time will come when it’s time for me to redo my kitchen. But that time is not right now. Right now, I’m doing this space and this space and yeah, that feels really good to me. Anyway, next question.

Emma: Next question. OK, this one’s really hard. Do you put a time limit on risky entrepreneur ventures or go for it until it works? So this is kind of about pivoting and failing like there’s really a lot to unpack in this question. It could be a whole episode.

Elsie: I agree. We love this subject, I think on a short answer. I think it’s good to put a time limit on it.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: I think that for yourself, for your project, for everyone involved, you know, like one of my very, very favorite painters, Lulie Wallace, she told me that she had just gotten out of college and she was like, I’m going to give myself I don’t know if it was like a summer or a year, but I’m going to give myself this time to be a painter full time. And if I can start, you know, to make something happen, great. And if not, I’ll look for a job. And she ended up being a painter. And I think that, you know, it’s always, always a good idea to have both to keep both options open ahead of you, if you can.

Emma: Yeah. And the only other like…I completely agree, but the only thing I would say is I feel like the reason sometimes people hold on to their thing long past when they should have is because they’ve wrapped up their personal identity in this thing working out. And so that’s another thing I would say is like just because you have some kind of entrepreneur business or creative venture that doesn’t work out, that doesn’t mean that you’re not good at business or you’re not a creative person. It means that one thing didn’t work and it’s probably taught you a lot. And you can now move on to the next thing. And you don’t have to view it as I’m a forever failure. Like I would hope if she hadn’t made money at painting in that summer or year, she wouldn’t have just quit painting. I would hope that she would know. Like, this isn’t necessarily a reflection on just me as a human. This is just a setback.

Elsie: There are options between all and nothing.

Emma: Yes, a lot.

Elsie: Yeah, I agree. And I think that something that we always like to say as an encouragement to our younger listeners is that you will never even remember all the things that we’ve tried and failed at and stopped doing. Everyone just sees our career as successful for the things that worked, but they don’t see all the things that didn’t work that fell by the wayside through the years. You know that we’re still good learning experiences, some of them really good learning experiences that helped us get to the next level. So I don’t think that failure is a bad thing. I think it’s something that should never define you. But you have to teach yourself to learn from it. And I do think that that’s a skill that you develop.

Emma: Mm hmm. Amen. Hallelujah. (laughs) All right, next question. How are your AirBnBs during covid. Regrets? Just regrets question.

Elsie: Do we ever have some regrets. OK, so I will say, first of all, though, we’re so grateful, first of all, that we even have jobs during covid. And I just want to recognize…

Emma: We haven’t laid off anyone at our staff. Yeah, we’ve had we’ve been very lucky.

Elsie: We recognize how lucky we are. And yeah, our AirBNBs have not been doing well during this time, but it hasn’t sunk us, which is something to be really grateful for because we have a pretty diverse income, which is definitely another thing that we always recommend. But yeah, there was a time a few years ago when I was like, man, if I could just have ten AirBnBs, my life would be cooking. I would be so rich. And now I look at that person who has ten AirBnBs and I feel so sorry for them. So I think it’s been an extremely helpful perspective maker for a lifetime, like how fast things can change that you never thought would change.

Emma: And do you want to share about our Florida house?

Elsie: Yes. Yes. OK, so this is sad news, bringing some sadness to the podcast. So I decided to sell my Florida house because in March, in March, ironically, Collin and I had booked a two-week stay to go there and make it our little Disney fantasy.

Emma: Give it it’s makeover.

Elsie: Yeah, give it the full makeover, because before that we had only been I’ve only ever been to the house one time anyway, March came, covid came. We realized that it didn’t feel safe to go, that we deleted a month and another month and another month and another month. And then, you know, I was thinking for a while, OK, well, we’ll do it this fall. And then eventually I had to just come to a place where I was like, we’re not going to Florida in 2020. Collin is one of my dear friends and he’s the father of two. I’m just not going to do that right now. And so we put it up for sale and currently it’s under contract and we’re probably going to close before this podcast comes out.

Emma: Yeah, yeah. And I, my Florida house is the one that’s Harry Potter themed.

Elsie: Yes.

Emma: And you might remember me talking about it from previous episodes where I had last year in November. I had gone for over two weeks, almost three weeks, and did a big makeover to it. Not like everything I ever wanted to do with it, but just get it set and set up and start the theme and all that. And we’re keeping our Florida house. It’s done okay, I don’t think it’s quite broken even, but it’s gotten close. And, like financially…

Elsie: It’s doing it’s best!

Emma: Oh yeah. She’s doing her best. She’s all right. So we’re keeping it. And that’s what we’ve decided for ours. But it definitely has not been a great year. So, yeah.

Elsie: So on the show notes, we’ll link to we have our two Nashville BnBs running and then we have the one in Florida, the Harry Potter one, and we’ll link to all of those. And then the one in Springfield we’re not currently renting. And I think we’ll save that maybe for another episode because things are kind of up in the air. And then…

Emma: Oh this is a teaser now.

Elsie: Oh! And then, yeah, my house in Florida is definitely never, ever, ever getting back together.

Emma: (Sings) We are never ever ever! (laughs)

Elsie: (laughs) Alright.

Emma: Ok, next question, fun one. Have you picked out your Halloween costumes yet?

Elsie: Whoo!

Emma: Yes. Let’s talk about Halloween costumes, waiting for someone to ask me this. Yes, you can go first.

Elsie: Ok, so our five-year-old Nova picked our family costume, which is based around her. The heroine.

Emma: Of course. (laughs).

Elsie: And it’s the…her favorite thing in the world right now is Vampirina. And so we’re going to be Vampirina’s family and she’s going to be Vampirina and it’s going to be wonderful. And my husband’s pretty much agreed to be painted blue. We’ll see how it goes.

Emma: They have blue skin if you haven’t seen Vampirina.

Elsie: It’s an adorable little Disney Junior show and it’s been a bright spot in kind of not the best year. So …

Emma: She loves it. She’s always singing the songs…

Elsie: It’s a joyful thing. The songs are so cute.

Emma: They’re like, positive little songs with positive messages. It’s great. So it’s really cute she wants to do that.

Elsie: Yes, I’m excited and I haven’t decided yet if I want to do like just for fun, like an Instagram photo costume, you know, or something for the blog. I think my brain is just not there yet. What about you?

Emma: Right. Well so ours, so last year I kind of picked our family costume and it was themed around the protagonist of my family last year, which was my dog lovers who recently passed away. But last year I wanted him to be a stick of butter. I was just really amped on the idea and I made his little costume and he was just a little stick of butter.

Elsie: His last Halloween was a good one!

Emma: He went out with a bang! Yeah, yeah. And he looked so cute as this little stick of butter. And so the rest of the family was just themed around him. So our other dog, Steve was a lobster. And then Trey and I were chefs. So it was like chefs with a stick of butter and lobster. And I thought it was really cute and Trey liked it too. He was into it. He wore the chef’s outfit. We got some photos that were just kind of for fun. And they’re in my annual album for our family. And now they mean a lot to me since my dog did pass away since then. So I’m really happy we did that. And so anyway, so I knew, though, it wasn’t really like Trey’s top choice to be a chef for Halloween. So I told him then I was like, OK, well, you pick the costume next year. So he has he decided like a year ago and I keep kind of bringing it up and he’s still into it. So what we’re going to be is two different David Bowie’s so we’re both Trey is David Bowie. I’m David Bowie. But just like different eras.

Elsie: That’s like my dream costume, I think I’m going to be like a third David Bowie just appearing. (laughs).

Emma: Yeah. (laughs) And then I want our dog to be in it again just because it meant so much last year. And now I’m just thinking about all that and being very sentimental with my dogs. So I’m going to make Steve our dog a spider so it can be like Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, you know, so that’s what we’re going to be and we’re not going anywhere. So I feel like I’m just going to make someone take photos of us just so I can have them for our album. And that’s basically the whole reason we’re doing a costume.

Elsie: Same.

Emma: But I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care if that’s stupid. I love it it makes me happy.

Elsie: We’re actually going to do trick or treating for our kids ourselves, which anyone can do. So if you’re worried about Halloween being canceled, just remember that you can still…you still have a front door, you still have candy. You know what I’m saying?

Emma: Yeah, just have them walk around the house and ring the bell again. (laughs).

Elsie: Yeah, our kids are young enough for that. Totally works. They will love it. It’s all good.

Emma: All right. Next question.

Elsie: The next question is, what’s your biggest revenue streams for A Beautiful Mess? We love a money question. And you know we’re not, like, too private about this kind of stuff. So, OK, so I think I put them in order and you can tell me if I got them right or not, because I don’t exactly look at our bank account. (laughs)

Emma: Right. I’m aware. (laugh)

Elsie: And Emma does. (laughs)So the biggest revenue stream for A Beautiful Mess is sponsored content.

Emma: Yep.

Elsie: Yes. So that’s like when we do a post partnered with a brand. The second biggest revenue stream is CPM based ads.

Emma: Yup.

Elsie: So that is like on the page when there’s like a little ad in between the post as you’re scrolling down or like in the sidebar or popping up from the bottom. They’re very sneaky. They make a lot of money and they are easy. So easy.

Emma: Yes.

Elsie: So that’s cool.

Emma: Yes. And we’re with Ad Thrive, also known as Cafe Media. But there’s lots of other options and I only bring that up in case other bloggers are listening and they’re looking at options for themselves. That’s who we use and we’re very happy with them. So just, you know, Ad Thrive.

Elsie: Yes, OK, the third biggest revenue stream. Affiliate income?

Emma: Yes. Yep.

Elsie: OK, affiliate income means that…

Emma: These last two streams are probably tied, but yeah.

Elsie: OK, but yeah, affiliate income is pretty good. We have worked really hard at it and Laura and Jackie who work with us have worked really hard at it. Affiliate income means, for example, if I buy a couch from West Elm and there’s a picture of it in my room tour and then I put a link to West Elm on the site and it could be attached, it could be an affiliate link where when people click through if they buy something, either that same thing or maybe something else from the site, then we get a tiny little commission and those all add up over time.

Emma: Mmhmm. Yep.

Elsie: Yes, I think affiliate money or affiliate links are a great thing. I know some people find them like annoying.

Emma: People find all of these things annoying. (laughs)

Elsie: Actually you’re right! (laughs) But I, I think affiliate I’m proud to always buy an affiliate thing from my friends like swipe ups and things like that, because it is hard work. It actually is. All right. So I want to continue this conversation, but let’s have a quick word from our sponsor.We’re so excited to share an offer from Grove Collaborative this week because in 2020 we like things that ship to our homes. No extra trips. Grove delivers healthy plant-based cleaning products. They have products that are non-toxic and sustainably sourced for your home. Personal care and even stuff for kiddo’s. Grove carries everything from dish soap to toothpaste and more. Do you want to know my favorite Grove items? I always grab a bunch of their walnut scrubbers. I really like them because honestly they’re really pretty compared to the brightly colored ones that you see in the stores. And I love their refillable glass bottles. They’re reducing my plastic waste and also super pretty as well. Ok, here’s the offer for a limited time, when our listeners go to Grove.co/abm, you’ll get a free cleaning gift set. Plus free shipping for your first order, go to Grove.com/abm to get this exclusive offer. That’s Grove.co/abm.

Elsie: The next one is our own products. So occasionally we do our own products. We just launched the ABM printshop this year. We will put a link to that in the show notes, maybe a code, even we do what other kinds of products? (laughs)

Emma: We do lots of things. We’ve done a million things over the years. Talk about pivoting, but right now it’s mostly the print shop and then our courses program, which actually I wanted to bring up because all the things we’re talking about right now, revenue streams, this is a whole section in the I’m working on a new blogger course. And my hope is, basically we just needed to update our courses. And I wanted to create one that’s a little bit more shorter, more digestible, but with a big punch. That’s my goal. That’s what I’m working on.

Elsie: Get to the point, right?

Emma: Yeah. Get to the point, make it super helpful. Get people the information they need to really get going. That’s the point. So we’re doing that and there’s a huge section that’s about monetizing. And so all the things we’re talking about right here, if they’re kind of going over your head but you are a blogger or you’re wanting to get into blogging, we are going to have a course pretty soon that really dives into a lot of this. It’s a subject that I love to talk about. I love the thrill of business. I mean, I love blogging.

Elsie: Yeah. Emma is an excellent teacher. She, really out of both of us, she’s the person that loves to go to the conferences,

Emma: I do…I did. (laughs)

Elsie: Kind of like I did talk shop with our blogger friends and that’s how we know all these secrets.

Emma: I just love learning about business. It’s really fun and I love to share if it’s helpful for someone, it means a lot to me if I can help in any way. So anyway, I think that’s going to be fun and I’m excited for the course to come out. It probably will be sometime next month. But trust me, you will hear me talk about it more on this podcast.

Elsie: Yes.

Emma: So, yeah.

Elsie: OK, one last revenue stream is the podcast, which is the smallest one, but also it is almost our, we’re getting kind of close to our one year anniversary, like our first year birthday of the podcast. So we still feel like we’re very much in the establishing zone. And I think that that also goes to show how much work you have to be willing to put in before you start making money on things.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: A lot of times our friends will start a blog or whatever, and they want to start making money right away. And it’s not realistic. Like even for us, we have an established audience. We didn’t start making a lot of cash on our podcast, well we definitely haven’t yet. But hopefully in the future we will. And that’s what we’re working towards. And thank you for the support you’ve given it, because we feel like our podcast audience is kind of our mst lovely part of our audience.

Emma: Yeah, they really are. I feel like we’ve said that before us. I don’t want to be a broken record, but…

Elsie: We say it every episode.

Emma: We get so many nice emails at the podcast at abeautifulmess.com and so many nice reviews, like it’s. Yeah, we haven’t made a ton of money from this yet, but I’m hopeful and it has meant a lot just to see the support.

Elsie: Right.

Emma: Because it’s been a year!

Elsie: And it’s always an investment up front. We’ve put a ton of time into it. So…

Emma: And not just us. You don’t see the people who have to record us and edit us. And, you know, it’s a ton of work for them, too.

Elsie: So, yes, it’s…anyway. Still growing, but exciting. All right. The next question is, what is your favorite part of the business to work on? So maybe we could both pick two or should we both pick one?

Emma: I mean, if you have two.

Elsie: I have two.

Emma: OK, well, what are your two?

Elsie: Ok, so I want to say the apps, because I do think that the apps are a very exciting part of our business that we don’t talk about as much because I mean, it’s not really a part of this podcast at all, but we have four apps. We’ll link to them all in the shownotes. Working on the apps, both creating them and launching them. And then now, you know, any time I get to make a new pack or we, you know, work on new features all the time, it’s just very exciting. And it’s kind of we should do another episode sometime.

Emma: Well, there’s a whole new part of the app company that’s starting up in November… or it’s already started up. We’re building it, but it’s going to come out probably in November. And I’m really excited for it. And we’re definitely going to talk about that more. But it’s really cool.

Elsie: Ok, so yes, obviously. OK, my other part, my other favorite part, forever and ever is blogging. I love blogging. I always get happy every week when I have when it’s time for me to write a ten things I love Sunday Post, when it’s time for me especially to write a personal post, a room tour. I truly love blogging and I don’t know, it’s weird how even after like seven thousand blog posts, it’s just not getting old at all.

Emma: I thought you would say that one because that one is like my main one too. Is blogging.

Elsie: (laughs)

Emma: Well, no, I just mean, I think that’s why we’re bloggers and why we put in all the years of work and why we keep going with it is it’s not just because, oh, it’s a job. So we get paid. It’s like, no, we actually really love blogging. It’s so fun. I feel like I have, like, enough ideas that I will never get them all done. I’ll never get all the blog posts that I want to write done because I just have so many and I’m so excited about it. I feel more into blogging than even when…like years before. Like, it’s a love that keeps going.

Elsie: I agree. I think that’s how, you know, that you’re doing the right job, is that you feel like you would do it even for free, even if, you know, your career was kind of over or whatever, that it would still be something that was interesting to you and exciting. And it definitely would be, yeah.

Emma: Mm hmm.

Elsie: All right. Oh, this next question is a little bit related to this, too.

Emma: Oh OK.

Elsie: After ten plus years of professional content creating, how hard is it to view everyday life without thinking about how to make it into content? Is it hard for you to live in the moment? All right. So I will just say this is probably something that people assume about us. You know, when people do the like, ‘what do you assume about me’. Yeah, the same about me.

Emma: I think this is yeah. I’m always like this is the biggest misconception.

Elsie: Yes.

Emma: I feel like people don’t understand. Yeah.

Elsie: It’s not hard for us to keep parts of our lives private at all. I actually love to have a private life. I feel like I do share little bits from a lot of different areas of my life, but I don’t feel like I owe the Internet anything. And I don’t feel like it’s hard to spend a fun day with my family and not take pictures of it…

Emma: To post.

Elsie: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It just it doesn’t feel difficult anymore. And I think that that’s maybe just years of creating boundaries and it’s kind of just settled by now. And also just realizing that you can take too many pictures on a vacation and kind of mess up your vacation like you can try to, you know, get too much out of a family moment for the blog and kind of like be a downer for everyone. So I think we kind of got that out of the way maybe earlier. And I know I did earlier in my relationship with my husband. And nowadays we’re kind of just chill to the max.

Emma: Yeah. Yeah. And I just don’t really view, like, we definitely do share our lives on the blog. And like, when I write posts, I definitely try to talk about my life and like why I came up with this recipe or when I make it or you know what this — where this craft lives in my home or whatever. It is definitely very personal, but it does not at all to me feel like my entire life, like you will get a 100 percent full picture of who Emma Chapman is if you read A Beautiful Mess, it’s like, no, I mean, this part of her is the real me. But there’s just a lot more like humans are very complex. We have lots of different things. I mean, there’s 24 hours a day and you only see my crafts and cooking like I do other things, too, you know? So it never really feels like my whole life is about content. It doesn’t feel that way to me at all. I can totally understand why someone thinks that, I don’t find it offensive or anything, but it just that it’s not at all what my life feels like to me.

Elsie: Agree. So, OK, one last thing I want to say about this question is like in case you haven’t met a lot of influencers because we have.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: And it’s kind of like most of our friends. And while many of our friends are influencers…

Emma: It’s our industry we work in.

Elsie: Yeah, it’s what we do. So never, ever look at someone’s life on the Internet and assume that you really know them. You know, people can be really surprising. People can be really different than how you think they’re going to be. And I think that we’re surprising. I think most people I’ve ever met are surprising. And I think most people have a lot more privately that you’d never see.

Emma: Yeah. And that’s for the most part, like how it should be. Like, it’s good. It’s all good. You know, like we don’t none of us are living with, like, a camera filming us 24/7, you know, that like weird first reality show. It’s like just not what any of us are doing. So, yeah. There you go. There you go. Moving on, next question. OK, you can say the next one.

Emma: OK, what is an average workday like for you? I feel like it’s probably a little different this year, but let’s just.

Elsie: Yes, an average covid workday for me. So I definitely see a lot less people do a lot more online meetings, which I love. I love the zoom culture and I hope it stays forever. I think zoom culture simplified things a lot.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: And yeah, I’ve been really great, but I kind of try to speed work because my children are home quite a bit and we do have a part-time nanny right now, but it’s, it’s not full time and our hours are still limited and I’m still splitting a lot of time with my husband. So yeah, we’re pretty much just speed working batch working. I work with Collin quite a bit. We have our mask’s protocol with each other and that’s been great. Actually, not not a big deal at all. And I do tons of meetings and stuff. I feel like I spend a lot of my day texting with the behind the scenes part of our team, you know, and, you know, it’s always fun days when we get to shoot a shoot day is exciting. A podcast recording day is exciting. That’s the stuff that you see. But a lot of it is behind the scenes, filling out forms and papers and helping people complete things that they need to complete.

Emma: Yeah, lots of emails and communication. Yeah, I’m pretty much the same. I like start work around eight or nine and before that I usually try to work out like I’ll go for a run or I’ll even spend like twenty minutes stretching or I’ll do a little modified body pump at my house by myself which if you don’t know is a class at my gym that I used to go to a lot. So I usually try to do that in the morning and yeah, I start working around eight or nine and I usually work till five or six and I’m kind of a homebody, so I stay home a lot. And those are most of my average days really. So and yeah, I work alone, but we have so many meetings and texts and calls that it really doesn’t…it feels like I have a lot of communication with my team. I don’t feel like I sometimes feel like they’re waiting on me to like finish something or be more available or like get to their email, you know. But but I definitely do feel like we have a lot of communication. Luckily, it was all like that before this year. So it hasn’t changed that much, which is really nice. So yeah, yes, I work on a computer most of the day. It’s really not that riveting, but I love my job. So there you go.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: OK, next question.

Elsie: Ok, what is the good and bad about working with your sister. Oh I love this question because it’s probably like one of our most asked questions, like a lot of people, like they have a sister, but they’re like I could never work with my sister as a business partner…

Emma: I hear ya. No just kidding (laughs)

Elsie: Yeah, OK. So the good I think is like we truly are, like if you’ve heard the term work wife, I feel like our relationship is so deep. And so what’s the word like time tested.

Emma: Yeah, we definitely have each other’s backs and like the trust and loyalty…

Elsie: Endurance…

Emma: We never question…

Elsie: Yes.

Emma: From one another.

Elsie: So I feel like in that way, like if you work with people where you don’t know if you’ll be. Working together in five or 10 years or, you know, you work with someone you don’t really like that much, but you still have to get along like we don’t have those problems, which is awesome. The problems we do have are we have had some of the most sad fights that and I mean, a lot of it was a while ago in our establishing years, which is good.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: But when I think back on them and like recently in my therapy, I was telling my counselor about one of them because she was like, why do you think you have this problem? And I realized it was it was directly from a fight we had once where we said some weird stuff, really mean shit. Yeah. So I think that those like Kardashian type of fights that you, it’s it’s a drama that you never forget. I think that’s the sad part because.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: You know, it’s like…

Emma: It cuts you deep because you love them so much.

Elsie: Sometimes you so when someone says something or you say something that you can’t ever take back and that is. Yeah. Horrible.

Emma: Someone had recommended that we do an episode about our biggest fights. And I think it’s an interesting idea.

Elsie: Mm hmm.

Emma: And I’m sure people would love to hear it because who doesn’t love a little drama? But I also was like, will it be too sad? Because that’s what a fight is. It’s like one of the low points.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: And so I was like, I don’t know. I mean, it’s not like I think everything has to be happy butterflies all the time. But I just was like, oh, I don’t know. Part of me is like unsure if that’s a good idea.

Elsie: Now I feel like I don’t have to do it because they’re going to want to hear it. You know, they’re going to like that idea.

Emma: This is kind of a tease. I’m teasing. I’m seeing if people are going to be like, no, we’re already sad. Don’t do it, or…

Elsie: Tell us if you think…maybe we should wait till 2020 is over? Yeah.

Emma: I don’t know.

Elsie: No more sadness in twenty twenty.

Emma: I’m not against t at all. I just was kind of like, I guess I will show like the trajectory though because we’ve clearly made it through.

Elsie: It’s true.

Emma: Anyway. Well I don’t know. We’re still thinking on it.

Elsie: It’s always easier for me to talk about something really hard after a few years has gone by. I don’t have a struggle anymore. But at the time, it’s so hard.

Emma: Especially when, you know, you were the person who said some mean shit, you know, which I’m pointing my finger at myself right now. I’m like, well, it feels a little better to have some time from it. So I can be like, yeah, I, I have enough time now where I feel like I’ve shown that I truly was sorry about that. I’ve taken action to move forward, you know what I mean. Like, it’s just hard, it’s hard to love people because we’re all flawed.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: Surprise!

Elsie: Well clearly our fights are horrible and now you know that. So…

Emma: You did say Kardashian level, so.

Elsie: I’ve never even seen the Kardashians. I’m just assuming there’s good fights on there.

Emma: There must be. I haven’t seen it either. Laura would know. Laura’s into it.

Elsie: Please advise. All right. How has your beauty routine changed since covid? (laughs) This is funny. I feel like I don’t even have a beauty routine anymore.

Emma: Did you have one before?

Elsie: Yes.

Emma: Okay (laughs).

Elsie: I had a lot more of a routine than I have now, and I do think I’ll pick it up again at some point. Hopefully maybe next year, soon. But for this year I feel like I’ve been surviving. Like I mentioned a little bit ago, we have had our kids home a lot this year and a lot. Yeah, there’s a lot of things I just let go and wearing makeup on my face, if you like, see a picture where I’m wearing makeup that was like one in a million.

Emma: It was a special day.

Elsie: It’s just not a thing I care about right now, which I think is fine. Yeah. And what about you?

Emma: My answer is opposite, mine is exactly the same…

Elsie: (laughs)

Emma: Because oddly enough, my like life like I just kind of described my work day. It didn’t…like for me it just didn’t change that much because I don’t have children and I already worked from home. So, you know, I had like we had like a couple of months where Trey also worked from home, which was different. Like, he doesn’t usually…they have a very small office.

Elsie: He was always in the background every time I called.

Emma: I know.

Elsie: He was always back there. (laughs).

Emma: I was like, try not to talk bad about Trey. He’s here. No, I’m just kidding. She doesn’t do that. (laughs) Well, yeah. So that was different. But not like my life’s really similar this year, which is weird because so many other peoples have been turned upside down. But mine’s relatively the same, it turns out have been quarantined for five years. So my beauty routine is the same. Like I have days, I wear makeup, I have days I don’t. I’m really more like pretty, pretty up on my skin care routine. I don’t deviate too much from that. But my makeup, I sometimes wear it, sometimes don’t. Whatever.

Elsie: I need a facial more than I need anything except for maybe a massage.

Emma: I really want a massage.

Elsie: I really, really need that in the future. But I just haven’t felt ready yet. I haven’t been doing appointments. I don’t think I’ve done any almost any appointments this year. So. Yeah. All right. The next question, which dead celebrity would you choose to haunt your house?

Emma: Yes, I love this question. It’s so weird.

Elsie: It’s so silly. I know I was talking to Jeremy about it and he had like the strangest ideas, and then we both were like, it’s I don’t know, it’s like a cool celebrity. A lot of times would be too sad, and they might be scary.

Emma: Right. That’s what I thought I’m like “hmm?”

Elsie: And then a funny celebrity, that might be annoying.

Emma: Might be annoying. Yeah.

Elsie: A child celebrity.

Emma: That’s too creepy.

Elsie: Yeah. No I like it. I kind of I think that where I landed besides David Bowie, I would always pick him to be my ghost. Of course. And I hope the ghost can still change costumes because that’s a big part of why I want him.

Emma: Right. I’m sure they can.

Elsie: I think I would rather have a regular person ghost. I don’t think I want a celebrity ghost. That’s my answer.

Emma: Too much pressure.

Elsie: Too much. Too weird.

Emma: Well David Bowie would be rad, of course he’s up there. I think though what I landed on, I felt the same. I was like, some people are too dramatic, or might be funny, but it might be like like there’s days I’m like, dude, don’t even like I don’t really want your routine right now. So I want to kind of landed on was I think it would be cool to have Mister Rogers haunt my house (laughs). I feel like it would just be the right amount of of like simple quiet pep talk you need every once in a while. I feel like Mr. Rogers is my speed.

Elsie: It’s true. Every once in a while you would just feel a creepy pat on the back.

Emma: Yeah. Or just a little puppet pop up slowly and be like “you’re doing a good job”, you know or something (laughs), and it’s like that’s what I needed. Thank you.

Elsie: Good choice, Emma. Ok, we are to our last question and it’s a good one. If A Beautiful Mess was done and you could start fresh, what career would you choose…

Emma: So like a second career?

Elsie: Like your second second life, which I love. You know, I love thinking about this.

Emma: Oh yes.

Elsie: You go first because I still have to think mine’s so obvious, but maybe someone doesn’t know. I would definitely want to be a writer of fiction. I’m trying to write fiction right now and I need to do what we need to do an episode where I update people and where I’m at with my book because I’m finished. I’ve been submitting it and I do have some news. So we need to do a little update at some point, maybe the next one or whatever. We’ll figure it out. But yeah, I love reading and I just yeah, it really makes me excited to escape into another world. This is going to sound so cheesy. And so I just I love the idea and I also really love being alone. Like, I really enjoy working alone and just like being in a quiet space, like I was one of those kids in high school who often would eat her lunch in the library because it was quiet. I didn’t, like, get picked on or anything. I feel like you say that people think…

Elsie: Emma loves the quiet.

Emma: Yeah, I love people. I really do. I’m very social, but I need a lot of time alone. And so I think writing would really suit me as far as the lifestyle of it. And I also I love reading and I would love the thought of people reading things that I wrote, stories that, you know, entertain them or make them feel something would be so cool. I would love it. So I really hope that will be part of my life. I’m not really planning to change my career because I love my job, but I would love that to be like a little part of my life. And we’ll see if it happens. Yeah. What’s your start fresh job?

Elsie: OK, so I’m just such a blogger. All my first ideas are like I would start this kind of a blog or this kind of a website or this kind of a, you know, definitely have more app ideas, more site ideas. But I’m trying to pick something that really is different because I feel like that’s what the person wanted to hear who asked this question?

Emma: Probably. Yeah.

Elsie: So I think that I would enjoy and I don’t think I’ll be able to do this. And in my own life, I think I would enjoy being a designer and designing, you know, like my bucket list is to design a hotel. I would love to design a restaurant. I would love to design like one of my friends in Nashville, you know, Katie, who started Porter Flea, she’s a designer and she’s designed some of our favorite restaurants in Nashville. And I do always get a little FOMO from that.

Emma: That would be fun.

Elsie: So I think that’s really cool. I don’t think I would be good at it, honestly. I think I’m much better at what I do now. But I think it sounds exciting and fun.

Emma: I think it’d be fun to do a little motel someday. You know.

Elsie: Whatever I did in life, I like jobs that go from project to project. That’s definitely a thing that I love.

Emma: Yeah, you like to kind of start finish something and then start, finish the next one and. Yeah, yes. Yeah I see that.

Elsie: Thank you so much for listening to A Beautiful Mess podcast. We are still collecting ghost stories, but your time is running very short. You can send them to a podcast at A Beautiful Mess dot com and we’ll talk to you guys next week!

Emma: Bye!

Read More
  • Emma, would you be willing to tell us more about your process of writing your book? Like, how did you organize yourself to have a dedicated moment to write, did you know the ending of your story? did you take a writing course? do you have a special reader you share your writing with? etc. Maybe it is not the right time to share about that but when it is, I would love to hear more about it.
    I almost never comment, but I really appreciate your contents. A reader from Paris, France.

    • Emma talks about writing her novel in episode 41 of the podcast and answers lots of these questions!

  • Mr. Rogers as a celebrity ghost is the best thing ever! Thanks for the laugh, Emma 🙂

  • Love this episode- lots of fun! I have one quick question and one comment:

    1. What is the blogger-to-blogger etiquette with affiliate links? If you buy something off another bloggers affiliate link do you then affiliate link it on your own site? Does the original blogger have any claim, so to speak?

    2. Emma, your description of why being a writer is a good second career for you sounds a lot like what I love about my job. I’m a chemist working in ambient air pollution monitoring! I work with a great team that I communicate with often over email, phone, zoom, etc. but get to spend as much time as I want ALONE in my lab. I put my ear buds in, listen to some great podcasts, and just get it done! I work hard to produce a product for publication (you: novel, me: air quality data) and the public gets to enjoy the fruits of my labor haha! I know it probably sounds crazy but you sounded so much like all the scientists that I know so I just wanted to share. Hope you get a kick out of it! 🙂

  • This episode was lots of fun! I’ve been loving the podcast, but I was wondering—why haven’t there been any segments at the end of the episodes recently? I miss them. Also, I would love some episodes interviewing other ABM staff members, especially those behind the scenes!

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