Our Goals For Spring + Summer 2018

We thought it would be fun to share some of our professional AND personal goals for this upcoming spring and summer seasons with you!

Elsie: I’ll start with professional. I have been spending a lot of my time creating new photos and videos for the ABM Instagram recently. We decided we wanted to give it a more personal touch and I have been enjoying the work SO much. I think anyone who blogs for a long time (it’s almost 11 years for us!) has to step back from time to time and try to visualize how it’s time to grow, evolve and stay creatively challenged. It’s so easy to fall into routines. Not that routines are bad, but at the moment I am having the best time creating content we’ve never done before, like little videos, for our IG.

I don’t think we’re ready to announce just yet, but Emma and I are working on some products that we’ve never done before. It’s super exciting to branch into new space—and we’ve found some areas that just feel like the most natural fit. Sorry to be vague … I promise you’re going to love it! Anyway, I guess my goal is to just give each collaboration 100% and see where it takes us!

We’ve also had a lot of really good, big conversations about what we want next for our brand. (At this point, I should really say “brands” because A Color Story and Oui Fresh each have their own goals, although we are always working on all three in tandem.)

If I had to sum it up into one sentence I would say that my goal currently is to personalize A Beautiful Mess. I think it’s cool that people think of us a “big” business, but it’s really not accurate. We run everything we do with a minimally-sized team and we are personally involved in just about every aspect of our business. In reality, what we have is a small, women-owned company that’s doing a lot with the resources we have. I want our readers to see more of the everyday elements of what we do and feel even more a part of it.

On a personal note, this spring and summer is all about Nova. As a new mom and a working mom, I spend most of my time outside of work with Nova, and after she goes to bed is the one part of each day that Jeremy and I have to hang out alone. I am still adjusting to this new way of life. With very little “free” time or “me” time I am learning how to make the most of it and prioritize what I really need and want. Recently, I am focusing on self-care and self-improvement. When I have a free block of time, I try to spend it on something that is important to me … like going to get a quick massage or going for a walk at the park. I’m trying to take the best care of myself I can so that I have more to give to Nova, my marriage and our business. So that means going to bed earlier, drinking less wine, being outside more, learning to work faster and smarter … honestly, I think it’s what I’ve needed all along! I feel surprisingly balanced with the occasional full-on breakdowns here and there. Haha. New mom life is not for the faint of heart.

Emma: I have been feeling SO much more inspired lately. I honestly think it’s the weather and the sunlight hours. I always notice that I have a hard time during January through March to get motivated and make goals. I am thankful for every season but I won’t lie, I have been feeling SO much better this past month or so. I cannot wait for this spring and summer, and fall! OK, I’ll start with a few personal goals since Elsie started with professional.

Be more social.

This is probably a laughable goal to some of you. I get it! But I am one of those people who likes to stay home, and generally spend quite a bit of time alone. I just get a lot more done when I am alone and generally feel more balanced. I also prefer to hang out in smaller groups rather than big group settings or loud places. If you’ve ever met me at an event before and I seemed awkward (ha!), it’s probably because I was feeling a touch of anxiety. I can get that way in larger group settings. That being said, I love people. I love connecting with others, learning from them, helping them, and just knowing that I am not alone and I am not the most important person in the universe. So I’ve been making an effort to set up more double dates (small groups, but still being social—win for me!) and also just say yes more when others reach out. I am going to a blogger meet up this spring that I am really excited about, and also speaking at a small event in my hometown in order to connect with others that I don’t know (yet). I will no doubt still spend plenty of time at home, alone, making stuff. That’s my lifeblood. But one goal I have this season is to be more intentional in my social life.


I am currently participating in the 100 Day Project, and my goal is to write a paragraph a day. It can be anything for fun—mostly I am working on a YA novel that is loosely based on my niece and grandma solving mysteries. Will it be good? Will it be terrible? I don’t really care, I’m writing it anyway. So far, I have written most days but not everyday, though I will continue on. I also write random other bits and pieces of things too. It just can’t be anything work related.

Backyard Goals

Trey and I have never really spent much time working on our backyard since moving into our home over two years ago, and I’m thinking this summer is going to be the summer we finally make that space more useful. Our backyard faces the forest and I’d love to carve out a little space to sit and sip a cocktail together in the evenings. Doesn’t that sound dreamy? If I do actually get that space spruced up, I promise I’ll share.

OK, so moving on to some of my professional goals for the season … I pretty much have a few things that are always ongoing, but here’s what I am specifically thinking on and working toward this year:

Our cookbook!!!!!

This August, our cookbook, Weekday Weekend, will turn 1 year old. I kind of can’t believe it’s been out that long, it honestly feels like it just came out to me. To everyone who has already bought our cookbook—thank you! I love seeing your books on Instagram, and all the recipes you cook from it too. If you haven’t checked out our cookbook yet, please do. It’s a mix of healthy and indulgent recipes, the way we like to eat. We are both SO incredibly proud of this book and your support means a lot—really! So as that anniversary draws near, I am thinking on ways to celebrate and also just ways to make sure we keep talking about it here and online because, again, we are super proud of it, and we want everyone to know.

A Color Story – our app company

We keep you all informed about what’s going on with our apps, but in some ways it feels totally separate to us as (like Elsie said) it is a separate business with its own small staff of talented and amazing people. I am already committed to one speaking event this summer for our app company and hopefully we will be doing a few more events all over so we can meet you and share more with you. We have a super special party in the works to celebrate A Color Story later this year, but we’ll announce more when it’s closer. (I know, so vague, sorry!)

New Oui Fresh products

We have a few new products in the works for Oui Fresh that I am SUPER excited about and I know you’re going to love. It’s going to be a good year for Oui Fresh, I can feel it. In case you missed it last week, I talked a little about why we have decided to reverse scale our beauty box, and even though that product has to stay small in order to achieve our goals, we have other things in the works too. I think of Oui Fresh as being at a stage where we are trying to grow deeper and not just wider or bigger, if that makes sense?

I feel like I could probably add like three more personal and work-related goals, but I don’t want to talk your ear off. 🙂 Let us know what questions you have, what things you’re excited about, or what goals you have for the coming seasons. xo. Elsie + Emma

Credit//Author: Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman. Photography: Darling Juliet. Edited with A Color Story filters.

  • love these! i also set some spring goals this year – i want to try and get into setting goals for each season to try and make the most of it.

    one of mine is working on my backyard as well, except i’ve already been in my house for four years (yikes!). it seems so overwhelming but i just need to get started!

  • Emma- I love that you are writing a book! thats awesome. y’all have some amazing goals and I love that y’all share the professional and personal! can’t wait for all the upcoming ABM stuff!

  • I loved reading this post; I feel like I can relate to both of you.

    Elsie, I became a mom last May and even though I’ve had a year of maternity leave, I still feel like I’m having a hard time balancing everything—especially getting time for myself. And when I do get time to myself, I sometimes choose to do things that aren’t fulfilling (like scrolling instagram) because they’re faster or easier (or seem to be) than other activities like exercising or going out or even sleeping! I would love if you could share more about this, especially if you could expand on: “I’m trying to take the best care of myself I can so that I have more to give to Nova, my marriage and our business. So that means going to bed earlier, drinking less wine, being outside more, learning to work faster and smarter”

    Emma, I think I’m like you and I call myself an extroverted introvert. I love time alone and need it to feel happy, calm, and fulfilled, but also like being in social settings… even though they give me anxiety. I’d love to hear more from you about this.

    P.S. I’ve been loving the stuff you guys are sharing on Instagram lately—on your A Beautiful Mess account and your personal accounts! You’ve always seemed more “real” to me than some other bloggers and your personalities shine through, but it feels even more-so lately!

  • I’m so excited to hear about The novel you’re writing a Emma! I write ya too, with the goal to be published but mostly I do it just because I love it and that’s how it should be. As you move forward with that I would love to hear about your journey. Also if you are interest I just read a really inspiring book about writing called “Paper Hearts” by Beth Revis. I really loved it.
    Thanks for sharing guys!

  • I love that one of your goals is to make the blog more personal and growing your businesses deeper (which I totally get) I think you do a great job of that already, but knowing that is your mindset just shows that you have a really good instinct about what people really want. We all want to connect to your awesomeness! :)You guys just continue to amaze me. SO good!!

  • I totally get that “deeper” sense you talk about Emma around Oui Fresh. Deeper seems to be the new way of 2018 instead of growing outward exponentially!

    This must be the year of the landscaping. My husband and I are tearing out all the gross jungly landscaping from the previous owners so we can one day have a lovely backyard to chill in.

    Love all these goals from both of you! You both inspire me as I work on growing my business and the behind the scenes glimpse into ABM are always interesting to me <3

  • I hear you Emma! My goal is also to be more social, since I’m way more likely to sit at home and read/work rather than see people. But it’s amazing how easy people are to reach out to and willing to hang out. I feel so lucky to have such nice friends, even if I don’t see them as often as I should!

    Eva | www.shessobright.com

  • Echoing the “more personal posts” applause! I know it can be hard to share certain things with a big audience, but it’s one of my favorite things that you do. 🙂

  • It’s so nice to see Emma’s face on the blog! It feels like an old friend we haven’t seen in a while. Personal post from both of you ladies would be awesome!

  • These are all such great goals! It’s always fun to get to know you ladies on a more personal level!


  • I love your more personal posts! Emma, I love the idea of your book as your Grandmother seems a really cool lady so that is definitely something I would read 🙂 I’m also interested in seeing how your backyard turns out as I find the ideas you guys (including Laura) have had for your homes to be really inspiring.

    I’m expecting my first baby in September, so my goals are all baby focused it seems with a little bit of travel tagged in and honestly just probably not trying to freak out about all the changes coming our way!

  • You girls have achieved so much! I can’t wait to see what more you’ll be doing!
    Emma congrats on the novel! I hope it goes well!
    Debs @ https://tiger-mint.com

  • Emma! I also had a slow/rough Jan-Mar and made the exact goal to be more social. It’s been pretty great, I find myself saying yes to things I think I would naturally decline just to connect with more people and I haven’t regretted a single thing. Cheers to a great summer start!

  • Glad we will be hear you will be sharing more of yourselves on the blog. I think that is what the blog is missing lately! Love you guys can’t wait for the new content!

  • Can’t wait to see what you girls cook up with these new plans in mind! I want to do a 100 day project myself – writing bits of my novel too! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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