Office Archives - A Beautiful Mess Crafts, Home Décor, Recipes Fri, 23 Jun 2023 20:16:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Office Archives - A Beautiful Mess 32 32 Organized Tea Station Fri, 10 Mar 2023 14:00:00 +0000 I love a hot mug of tea for an afternoon pick me up and to warm up during winter. Recently, I realized that I had a spot in my office that is perfect for a tea station.

I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner. As a person who works from home, I love my tea station. I had so much fun choosing my own perfect tea collection and organizing everything.

In this post, I will share the exact organization items I used and lots of ideas for creating your own drink station at home.

Organization Ideas: 20+ Ways To Keep Your Home Organized, How I Organized My Fridge In One Afternoon, 10 Organizing Tricks I Learned from The Home Edit.

Tea Bag Organizer:

My favorite storage option for tea bags are these bamboo tea organizers. They come in a variety of sizes so you can find the perfect match for your drawer. I used two tea bag organizers and a set of bamboo drawer organizers to fill in the empty space.

Tea, Coffee, and Sugar Canisters:

Here are a few smart ideas for storing tea, coffee, and sugar in your drink station or home office.

Home Beverage Station Ideas:

In my home office, I keep a variety of hot teas, some canned and bottled beverages in a drink fridge, and frozen coffee in my freezer.

Key items for a tea station:

Key items for a coffee station:

Here’s a full tour of my home office.

Elsie’s Favorite Tea:

My favorite teas in no particular order:

I’d love to hear your favorite teas as well! xx. Elsie

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The Best Affordable Area Rugs Sat, 06 Aug 2022 13:00:00 +0000 I think we can all agree that shopping for area rugs can be overwhelming. There are so many styles, sizes, and prices to choose from online.

In this post, I’m sharing the best affordable area rugs that you can find online. I’ve included a variety of colors (bold, neutral, and in between) to choose from.

Also, let talk about texture! I know shag carpet ended years ago, but it’s fun to have different options depending on which room your rug will be in—like a living room, dining room, bedroom, or office. An area rug can really make a big impact on a room.

Related: The Cutest Sofas Under $1,000, Best Living Room Rugs (Splurge + Save), Best Coffee Tables (Splurge + Save), and Best Round Dining Tables.

At the end of the post, I’m going to share our tips for keeping area rugs clean. This is a popular question in the A Beautiful Mess world since so many of us love light-colored rugs!

Types of Area Rugs in this Post:

  • Shag
  • Jute
  • Chenille
  • Wool
  • Tufted
  • Moroccan
  • Bohemian

Rug Sources: Wayfair, Rugs USA, Urban Outfitters, World Market, Rifle Paper Co., and Amazon.


Simple Jute Rug

You can’t go wrong with a simple jute rug. Elsie swears by this rug and has used it time and time again in her home. This neutral color goes with everything and this rug is available in 11 versatile colors.

One reviewer said “This jute rug is not only beautiful, but it’s very soft on your feet. It lays perfectly with no wrinkles.”


Colorful Shag Rug

This vibrant shag rug has all the 70s feels. It would be great in an area where you want to hide stains and marks (like a playroom or kids room) or as a colorful statement piece in a living room.

One reviewer said “This is a fantastic rug. Super bright colors, very soft, and a great price.”


Wool Terrazzo Rug

Laura has this amazing terrazzo rug in her pink living room. I love the vintage-inspired pattern and the dusty pink color is fresh and fun. This rug is also available in ivory and navy blue.

One reviewer said “It’s gorgeous. There are metallic threads in it, which you can’t see from the pictures. And this size of rug for the price is incredible.”

Urban Outfitters

Orla Chenille Rug

This soft chenille rug has rich, earthy colors with a cool bohemian-inspired geometric design. This type of rug works best in low traffic areas with a rug pad.

One reviewer said “I get so many compliments on this rug. It matches a lot of my other decor because it has so many different colors in it.”

Rifle Paper Co.

Power Loomed Rug

Rifle Paper Co. makes high quality rugs and the prices are very reasonable. Elsie has this loomed rug in her master bathroom. This stunning rug also happens to be stain and fade-resistant. If you’re looking for a neutral rug with a lot of charm, this one is for you!

Rugs USA

Moroccaan Jute Rug

I’ve been looking for a pink textured rug for my living room, and this Moroccan jute rug is on my list. Handmade in India, this rug is made from an eco-friendly fiber that’s easy to clean (a huge plus if you have pets). It’s available in 4 colors.

One reviewer said “It’s very well made. I also have a $5K rug in the house and it is hard to tell the difference.”


Striped Taupe Rug

Elsie has this affordable striped loomed rug on her back porch She actually placed two of these rugs together to create the look of one long rug to work for her outdoor space. I love a versatile rug that can be used outdoors as well as inside.

One reviewer said “I am super happy with this rug. I plan to put it on the balcony in the summer, but couldn’t resist using it to layer and now I think I need a second.”


Southwestern Tufted Rug

I love this handmade ivory rug. It’s extra plush with a wonderful geometric pattern and bright, fun colors. And, you can’t beat the price.

One reviewer said “I love this rug! It’s super soft. I bought it for my office to make it cozier and more welcoming.”

World Market

Faux Cowhide Rug

I had no idea that faux cowhide rugs were so easy to maintain and clean until Emma told me about one she has in her dining room! The fibers can be spot cleaned, so you don’t have to worry about spills as much. And, this neutral rug can “dress up” any space.

One reviewer said “I bought this to layer over a vintage Turkish rug and it looks elevated and luxurious. This rug is soft and nice.


Boho Dots Rug

This rug that would look so good in a bedroom or dining room. This wool polka dot rug (I love the imperfect dots) is thick enough to be used without a rug pad. It’s also available in dark blue.

One reviewer said “Just what I was looking for. Great quality, heavy rug. Looks phenomenal in my space.”

What’s the Best Way to Clean a Rug?

Elsie owns a mix of vintage and newer rugs and she swears by this stain remover. Keeping your rugs vacuumed (at least once a week) is another trick to keep them looking new and fresh.

If you have pets, Folex is the best cleaner you can buy, hands down. Elsie and Emma swear by it, and it has nearly 80k positive reviews on Amazon.

Looking for more tips? Check out How I Clean My Vintage Rugs and Leather Sofas.

Speaking of vintage rugs, Elsie’s favorite places to shop for them are:

Looking for More Rug Inspiration?

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Office Wallpaper – In My Home Office Tue, 26 Jul 2022 13:00:00 +0000 Recently, I added some office wallpaper to my little home office and I’m SO happy with how it turned out! This is now my second favorite room in our house, second only to my son’s nursery, as I love the wallpaper in that room as well.

I worked with Spoonflower on this post and got to try out their newly reformulated peel and stick wallpaper. It’s the best peel and stick wallpaper I’ve ever used! The design I went with is Wildflowers by writtenbykristen.

It’s really high quality, and it doesn’t feel like a “disposable” wallpaper by any means, even though you can easily remove it.

I did the accent pieces, but had a professional hang the wallpaper on the wall, and she also told me that she thought this peel and stick was much easier to use than others she has worked with—what a great review!

What’s new/different about Spoonflower peel and stick removable woven wallpaper?

  • Thick, high quality wallpaper. This is not a cheap, crappy alternative to traditional wallpaper like some peel and sticks can be.
  • The Spoonflower Peel and Stick wallpaper is a high quality paper with a subtle linen texture that is thick and tear resistant. They digitally print the design you select (or create!) in the quantity you need when you order it.
  • Although it’s a peel and stick (no glue or paste required/needed), there is some give while you adhere the paper to your project, making it much easier to work with. If you need to line up two panels, this is super helpful.
  • No need for messy glues or paste. Peel the backing off of the paper, press the sticky side onto the surface and smooth. Stand back and admire.
  • All Spoonflower wallpaper is made in the US and is free from formaldehyde, phthalates, VOCs and PVC, providing a safe product for your home.

Why use peel and stick wallpaper over traditional wallpaper?

  • If you think (or know) you will want to remove the paper within a few years or less, it’s a great option. Most often, this is recommended for folks renting their home/apartment and looking for a damage-free option. But, if you are someone who likes to change up your space fairly often, even if you don’t rent, this may be a better choice.
  • You can use the paper on small accents or things other than walls. I used the same peel and stick wallpaper on a wall in my office, as well my bulletin board and a few storage bins. Other ideas might include: cabinets or dressers, stairs, interior doors, backs of chairs, or really any smooth non-porous surface that isn’t super high traffic.

I really liked adding these accent pieces to the room in addition to the office accent wall. It really made the room feel pulled together but not necessarily too matchy.

I also LOVE this wallpaper design! It’s so subtle and goes perfectly with the vibe of our house. That’s one thing I love about shopping from Spoonflower is there are so many independent artists to choose from.

Not only do I get to support their work, but there are lots of different style options and colors to choose from.

If you are working with accent pieces (things other than walls), I recommend creating a template for the area from scrap paper (like old wrapping paper, or even packing paper you saved to reuse).

Next, cut the peel and stick wallpaper using the template.

Then, if possible, cut a line down the center of just the backing. This way you can add the paper from the center rather than a corner. This may not be possible for any/all accent items.

How long will peel and stick wallpaper last?

Peel and stick wallpaper lasts just as long as traditional wallpaper. This is one of those things I feel like people forget, as we get really focused on how easy it is to remove the paper without damaging your walls.

But as long as your paper doesn’t get damaged by outside forces (like a water leak or something like that), it can last just as long as any traditional wallpaper does.

I love my office wallpaper! It adds just a little color, texture, and interest to my space but isn’t so wild that it distracts me while I work. Lol. Thanks for letting me share. -Emma

P.S. Elsie also used Spoonflower peel and stick wallpaper in her daughters’ room (so cute). Here’s the retro pattern she chose!

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Elsie’s Office Tour Fri, 21 May 2021 12:51:57 +0000 Hello, hello! Welcome to my office tour! I am finally done renovating this room and I’ve been working through adding the final touches of decor. I’ll show you every detail in this post! As most of you probably know, I work from home full time.

During the weekends, this space doubles as a craft zone with my kids where we watch Disney+ and eat endless animal crackers and glue buttons to construction paper. It’s a magical space!

Then, on Monday morning, I clean it all up and start over again. I LOVE this routine and this phase of life. I designed the room to be a functional office, with bonus features.

Before we jump in, would you like to see some BEFORE and after pics???

This view THRILLS ME because rarely does a room turn out this close to the vision in my head. I looooove the wallpaper and the island desk is super functional! I am still planning to change the 1990s-shaped window to a rectangle in the future and add curtains at that point.

Flipping around the other direction here. I will talk more about the Murphy door later in this post. Along that back wall/corner I would still like to add two large chairs or loveseats and a lamp. I really love the flow of this room! There is plenty of space and we were able to optimize it pretty well!

And, of course, this view is my ABSOLUTE fave. I love the contrast of patterns, the colors, and it’s a pure luxury to have a place to stash my office snacks.

I’ve had quite a few home offices through the years and this one is the total dream! I will never get over this little nook—it’s my favorite. (You can read more about my coffee bar here).

OK, let’s start here! The combination of the Fireclay Tile and the Hygge & West wallpaper is my absolute favorite detail of the office! I have never done a colored tile before, and it felt really scary at first, but I absolutely love it!

Links: Faucet / Shelf Hardware (mine are the 7″) / Brass Cabinet Pulls / FridgeCabinet Paint Color

Here are a few more pics so you can really see the space! We went with a simple butcher block counter that is white washed. I have been collecting mugs from Etsy and ceramic artists for the past year or so, and I love displaying them all here on this single shelf.

Check out this post to see my DIY wet bar!

OK, let’s talk about the desk! We took three kitchen cabinets from IKEA, built out the sides to create an island, and then had a stone place add a quartz countertop to it.

It’s an AMAZING desk. I love that it provides a ton of storage as well as a place to spread out and make crafts! Here’s a link to the hardware.

The wallpaper is Sonoma (in white) by Hygge and West. I have used their wallpapers in my past three homes.

I decided to wallpaper the ceiling in this room because if you look at the “before” pics, you can see that it was vaulted, but not in a cool way. To make it cozier I knew I wanted to paint, wallpaper, or panel the ceilings. The wallpaper ended up working out perfectly!

My wallpaper installer, Bill, said that this is a very forgiving pattern to use on these types of ceilings. You would not want to use something like stripes where the mismatching would stand out. As it is, I can’t even notice the seams!

I know this floral isn’t for everyone, but I LOVE IT for our space. I wanted something warm and nostalgic. It completely transformed the feel of it. I feel like I’m in a ’90s movie like Home Alone and I loveeee it. It brings pure joy to my heart every single day.

As I was planning this space, I debated whether it was a good idea to have a TV. I was afraid it would be a waste since I don’t plan to watch it during work (OK … maybe an occasional Nancy Meyers movie while I make a time consuming craft).

I ended up deciding to do it so that we could put cartoons on while the kids make crafts during the weekend. It has been a HUGE hit with them.

Even though we have a movie room with a way bigger screen, they prefer to watch TV in here so they can make crafts and art. I love it so much. Special memories! I want it to last forever. These little TV chairs were a great buy as well. I love that they are personalized.

By the way, we LOVE the frame TV and highly recommend it! We actually purchased this TV for our last home, right before we moved.

Links: Chairs / Samsung Frame TV (and Wooden Frame we used) / Console Table (with This Hardware)

I looove these monogramed chairs.

You can see my organized tea station setup here.

Let’s talk about the fridge for just a sec. It’s a great drink fridge—perfect for an office space or a secondary fridge. I don’t recommend it for a main fridge unless you don’t keep much food at home. They do make a bigger one though that’s still a great price.

These are a great dupe for SMEG if it’s out of your price range. I’m linking the SMEGS here as well—I’m a lifelong fan!

Links:  White Fridge / Top Freezer SMEGBottom Freezer SMEG

Links: Murphy Door / Crock Vase

Let’s discuss the Murphy door. I found mine on this site. I have gotten a lot of questions on how the stuff stays on the shelf when you open the door. Sticky velcro is the solution I chose.

Thank you so much for joining along! If you have any questions for me, please leave them in the comments! I’m definitely open to doing more followup posts about this room! xx- Elsie

P.S. Check out Emma’s home office tour for more inspiration!

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Home Office Shopping (On a Budget!) Fri, 26 Feb 2021 13:55:58 +0000 Since so many of us have started working from home the past year, I thought a home office wishlist was in order. I mean, I’ll admit … I haven’t set up an office space for myself yet (hello, dining room table and/or couch), but I’m planning on using these finds (and color palette) as a mood board. Speaking of colors, I never thought I would like blush pink so much in my life, but here we are—I realized it make me very happy. So there’s that!

I hope this wishlist helps you pick out a few things for your space. And if anything, gives you a little inspiration to create one (ahem, me) if you are working from home now. xo, Jacki

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Elsie’s Office Coffee Station (Office Tour–Part One!) Sat, 05 Dec 2020 14:30:54 +0000 I’m SO EXCITED (sorry for yelling) because this is the first truly completed space in my home!!!!!! This is our first big reveal!

Today, I’m partnering with Delta Faucet to show you how I gave this little coffee bar a fresh new look. You probably know but Delta is my go to faucet brand and we’ve had them in our past homes so we knew they’d be perfect in this space.

Before we dive in, though, I have to remind you how it looked just a few months back when we purchased the home.

This is kind of an interesting room setup. It’s a bedroom that has its own bathroom with a second small room attached. The second room is where this little wet bar is. It was pretty clearly meant to be an “in-law suite.”

For our purposes, I knew immediately I wanted it as my office and I LOVED the idea of having my own little fridge for beverages and a place to make coffee while I am working. Immediately, I started thinking about how to make this little nook extra special!

Here’s the after!

I took this photo with my phone to get the same angle (all the rest of the photos in this post are by my photographer, Amber). The color above is also more accurate to real life in these photos, specifically the cabinet color, which is “Smoke Bush Rose” by Behr.

The first big change we made in this room was new flooring. As you can see from the before photos, this room was previously carpeted. Next, we removed the upper cabinets. I knew the storage beneath was sufficient and I wanted to be able to display my mug collection above the coffee stuff.

We ended up painting the existing bottom cabinets and swapping hardware (we do this often and it saves a lot of money).

I picked my first statement tile (I have a whole post about the tile coming soon by the way). At the last minute, I was so nervous that I almost backed out and ordered white tile, but I went with my heart and got a matte peachy-toned star and cross-shaped tile.

As soon as it started going up, all my nerves were replaced with joy. I love it SO much.

We added a single shelf with hardware purchased from Etsy. Collin installed a butcher block counter for us and white washed it. He also installed an under mount sink.

I picked a retro style fridge that was surprisingly affordable. And, of course, we installed my beloved Delta faucet in Champagne Bronze—my dream faucet! I will probably use these in my whole house.

This faucet has Touch2O Technology, which means you can gently tap it on and off. It’s also really beautiful, like so pretty, right? I had a similar one in our last home for five years, so I can attest that they really last.

It looked as new and beautiful on the day we moved out as it did on the day it was first installed. The pull down feature is perfect for a kitchen or bar top, making it super simple to rinse or wash items.

I’m so happy with how this little nook came out! It’s functional and beautiful too. I am so excited to fill those drawers up with work snacks and move in.

I’m excited for all the memories I will make in this room—career milestones, art projects with our girls, and endless DIY projects. You can see another DIY wet bar option here!

OK, who wants a coffee or a snack?? :))

Thanks so much for following along! I had so much fun working on this coffee nook. I will share more wide shots of my office as it’s completed. I am currently waiting on a wallpaper appointment … it’s going to be so cozy and most importantly, organized and functional as well!

Sending love to all of you! Check out my finished office tour now that’s it’s all together! Elsie

Source List: Faucet / Shelf Hardware (mine are the 7″) / Brass Cabinet Pulls / Fridge / Espresso Machine

My mugs are from here, here, and here.

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3 Ways to Update Floating Frames Fri, 07 Aug 2020 13:27:45 +0000 Today, I am sharing a few ideas for updating floating picture frames. I recently added these to my home office. You may have heard me mention in our newsletter that I recently moved my office into the guest bedroom of our house. I am still very much in the process of decorating and making the space my own, but you’re getting a little peek today with this project. 🙂

I worked with Canon USA to create this post, printing with my trusty PIXMA TS9521C—which I’ve had for some time now. I love this printer. I use it for printing photos, artwork (like this project), and work documents.

It’s a great printer that can handle all of these tasks since it can print high quality color or black and white images. You’ll see I printed these pieces on Luster Photo Paper, which is a great paper to print photos or artwork on, as it’s sort of in between glossy and matte. It won’t show fingerprints but doesn’t have a lot of glare. It’s the perfect in between, if you ask me.

There are SO many printable art pieces being offered on Etsy and online generally, so I love being able to print something like this at home and not have to wait for a print to come in the mail and hope it isn’t damaged.

-PIXMA TS9521C and Luster Photo Paper
floating picture frames
aluminum sheet/hobby metal sheet
cane webbing
metal cutters/power shearers
-power drill (for hanging the frames)

The aluminum sheets come in different styles/colors and can usually be found at either hardware stores or hobby stores. You can use any fabric, but as you can see I used some from our fabric line, Flower Market.

First, print your artwork (or photos).

Idea #1 – Cane Webbing

Cut the cane webbing to fit inside your floating picture frame. Depending how the frame you are using is constructed, you may want to use the inside glass or inside frame (as mine had) as the template to cut the webbing.

And even though cane wedding is fairly thin, it’s the thickest of the materials I am using in these projects. And it’s possible that some floating picture frames may need some creative thinking to make it work properly. For mine, I simply skipped the second layer of glass that came with my frames as it wasn’t needed.

Idea #2 – Aluminum Sheet

Use the metal cutter or power shears to cut the aluminum sheet to the size you need to fit inside your floating picture frame. Be careful as you cut the metal—it can be very sharp. For extra protection, wear work gloves.

Idea #3 – Fabric

You can use any kind of fabric to become the matting inside a floating picture frame. You may need to iron or steam your fabric before cutting to fit inside the frame.

Once you have the inside pieces all prepared, assemble the frames and then hang in place. Super simple!

A couple of bonus ideas! You could also use sticker letters or window clings to add words or phrases to the glass of a floating frame. You could add pressed leaves or flower petals inside a floating frame.

You could also create a design with thin yarn or thread in between the layers of glass. And the last idea—you could paint simple designs like lines or polka dots inside the glass (and allow to dry) to have a partially transparent painted look to your floating frame. I bet there are even more ideas—how would you update a floating frame???

And yes, I do have a this pink couch/futon in my office. Once I get things a little more put together, I promise I will share a tour. I can be a bit of a slow decorator—the opposite of a good HGTV show. Ha. Thanks for letting me share! -Emma

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Episode #37: Our Dream Home Offices Mon, 18 May 2020 12:52:25 +0000 Hi there! This week’s episode is all about our dream home offices. We’ve both spent a LOT of time dreaming and visualizing, so this episode is full of hopes and dreams. We also get back to our roots with some guilty pleasure treasures!

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:

-Emma wants an office with a DOOR, lol. By the way, here’s a photo of Emma’s current home office. See more photos here.

-Elsie’s dream office is basically a replica of Darcy Miller’s office, who is a FOREVER inspiration to both of us. You can follow Darcy on IG here.

-A photo of Emma’s “diaper dog” Love Love (aka Lovers). He’s a good boy!

-Elsie’s office struggles are currently related to not having a home office at all. If you work from home without a proper office space, I’d love to hear your tips and tricks! To make it even trickier, we also don’t have any dining room tables yet … but we will probably next month. Specifically, where do you keep your printer and your essential documents/files?

-Here’s a pic of Elsie’s former office (it was always a LOT messier than this). More pics here.

Here’s a link to Elsie’s printer (the big one—it prints up to 13×19) and Emma’s printer (which includes a scanner).

-Do you enjoy perusing stationery supplies just for fun? We do!

-Emma makes a good point that you may spend more time in your office than any other room, so prioritizing your office and making it beautiful, organized and functional makes a lot of sense!

-Here’s a photo of the modern room dividers Emma mentions as a solution for her no-door issues.

I found this image at IkeaHackers, but I am not sure that’s the original source. If anyone knows the original source, please let us know in the comments so we can link them.

-Elsie talks about open vs. closed shelves (in kitchen, but this applies to offices as well). If I had to choose 100% open or 100% closed, I would choose OPEN every time. But I think the best office or kitchen for me would be a combination of both open and closed storage!

-Elsie’s guilty pleasure treasure: Open Book by Jessica Simpson (10/10)

-Also loving the Libby app for listening to audiobooks for free!

-Emma’s guilty pleasure treasure: Seedlip non-alcoholic spirit.

-Here’s a link to our mocktail recipes, and this one too, if you like Bloody Marys.

-Check here for our home office budget finds!

Thank you so much for listening! :)) There is no mini episode this week. If you have topic requests for future episodes, we’d love to hear them!

P.S. We have been working hard to bring you a weekly transcript of our podcast, so that is coming soon!!

Miss an episode? Get caught up!

Episode 37 Transcript

[read_more id=”1″ more=”Read More” less=”Read Less”]

Elsie: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast. The beginning of every good room makeover or DIY is having a dream. We spend a lot of time dreaming about rooms, so today we’re here to chat about our dream home office. We’re also bringing back one of our favorite segments that we haven’t done in a while, Guilty Please Treasure. So our first order of business is labeled Rant Time. And this is where we get to talk about the things that aren’t great about our current home office situation, because this whole episode is about our dream office. And I feel like since, you know, the quarantine and working at home with your partner, like Emma and her husband are still working together, basically in the same room all day long for the beginning of the third month now. We’ve learned a lot of things. So. It was a good time to evaluate right?

Emma: Yeah. It’s never a bad time.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: OK. Well, I’ll start my rant.

Elsie: Go for it sister.

Emma: Yes. Ok. So the main thing I’ve learned since quarantine, but also this is just something generally, I’ve lived in my house for a little over four years or maybe almost five years. I don’t remember. And so I’ve had the same home office that whole time.

Elsie: Mm hmm.

Emma: And I’ll put a picture in the show notes at But basically, my home office, if you don’t know, is part of an open floor plan. That is our kitchen dining room and this kind of like entryway living room. It is a living room, but it’s small and it kind of leads to our garage. We have a second living room that’s more traditional. Anyway, and my office is one of those open spaces, so it’s kind of available to see all the time. It’s also easy for me to go from my office to the kitchen to the window where I photograph, I develop recipes. That’s a big part of what the content that I do…

Elsie: Snack time.

Emma: Yeah. Also snack time. Yeah. So, yeah. So it’s in this open floor plan and it has really high ceilings. And yeah, my dogs hang out with me all day, all that stuff. So there’s a lot of things I like about it. Here’s some rant things. Here’s some things I don’t like about it. So especially during quarantine. But even before I really wish I had an office that had a door. (laughs) So during quarantine, it’s not that my husband…he does not talk to me all day. He’s very focused on his own work. But there’s something about just having someone kind of in the background, whether they’re on a call or, you know, just stuff happening there. It’s very easy to get distracted.

Elsie: Yeah I Facetime you constantly, like three or four times a day and he’s always there. He’s always listening! (laughs)

Emma: Yeah, he’s always back there. Yeah. Yeah. We can’t talk about him like we normally do. No kidding. But yeah. So having a space where you can be really secluded is nice generally. But I also really appreciate it whenever I’m doing parts of my job that are more creative. Whenever I have to basically live in a little Make-Believe world for a little while and that’s kind of what you’re doing when you’re creating basically anything, I guess. But for me, that’s usually writing. So yeah. So I wish I had a door. There’s really no great way to do that in my current office. So yeah. So there’s that. And then other than that, I have…it’s a little like drafty. Like I have a space heater all the time in the winter and it just gets kind of hot in the summer. But that’s sort of a high ceilings issue. You know, if you like high ceilings, then you probably have fairly drafty house, kind of how it is. I mean, this was built really recently. And, you know, I don’t know. You have some kind of magic going on. So there’s that. And then also, I love that my dogs hang out with me all day. But also…

Elsie: I knew there was gonna be a but. (laughs).

Emma: Well, I don’t really want to change it, but the the downside of having your dogs around you all day is they bark a lot. Like if there’s ever a delivery or just anything, a squirrel in the backyard, which is all the time, then they bark a lot. And that’s kind of annoying if I’m on a meeting call.

Elsie: It’s nice to have options when it comes to having your pets work with you or not. I feel the exact same way like…sometimes it’s kind of nice and really cute. And sometimes I just need my space.

Emma: Well, when they’re taking a nap and they’re quiet and they’re not tracking mud into my office or, you know, one of my dogs is in diapers, so he has little accidents. So when they’re not doing any of those things. I love having them in my office.

Elsie: Let’s put a picture of your diaper dog on in the show notes because it’s actually really adorable.

Emma: He has this huge dog bed in my office, too. It’s like I take the cover off every single week and wash it. It’s like machine washable, so it helps with the smell. Anyway, I got a lot of dog problems in my life generally, but in my home office especially. But that’s pretty much it for me. That’s my rant is I wish I had a door. My dogs kind of get on my nerves, but I also love them. What can you do?

Elsie: Yes. Yeah. Okay. Mine are very different. So we recently moved, as you know, if you’ve been listening for a while. If not, I’ll just sum it up quickly. We moved from a substantially larger house to a smaller house. We’re planning to do an addition, we’re doing all the planning phase right now and it’s not going to happen until at least next year. So we’re just living in a much smaller space than what we were used to, which has had some good things about it. I’d like to do an episode about this in the future. It has some good things about it, but not having an office, it is by far the thing that I dislike the most. By far, it’s been very challenging. During the quarantine with my children at home, it became 10 times more challenging to do my work. We just have a very small space with a lot of things going on. And so, yeah, it’s it’s definitely been something I’ve spent a lot of time fantasizing about — my dream office. So I’m really excited that we’re doing this episode because currently I’m working pretty much most of the day from my bed. So if you ever have one of the Zoom calls or the Skype, we do a lot of Face Timing in our business — it is always in my bed.

Emma: Yeah, and your last office wasn’t a huge office. It was, I think, the smallest room in your house.

Elsie: So let me describe my former office. So my former office was nothing that great. I’m just gonna be honest, I shared quite a few times, like how messy it got. It got crazy messy in there because it was kind of like…this is actually a nice thing, just not once in your office. But it was the room closest to the front door where you could just, like, throw all the Amazon boxes and throw all that extra stuff, like if you have to clean up in a pinch. Having guests over whatever, you can just throw a lot of stuff in there. So it was pretty much always messy. But just now, the things that I miss the most or just simply having a place where I can go and shut the doors for the meetings, that where it’s like clearly, you know, an office and nobody’s gonna, like, come into the room, like to get, you know…

Emma: Momma momma!

Elsie: Yeah. Stuff. And then the other thing is just having — this is such a small thing, but it’s become really big to me, having a place for my printer, because you all know, I love my enormous printer. I have this giant black printer and I use it everyday, really use it every day and there’s just no place for it. So we’re working on that now that in the short term, finding just a place for that printer besides my bedroom floor is our first goal. And then in the long term, this dream office is something that has…it’s really helped me when I’m feeling especially kind of angry about the situation to just think towards the future about what kind of office would I like to create, because it’s nice that we have an option for that. Just not today.

Emma: Yes, I totally agree. I really identify with two things you said, the having a place to kind of like shut stuff for if you’re having friends over, like if you’re hosting and you just need to, like, put some things away just to minimize the visual clutter. Just having a space to kind of shut it away and which is nice. And also, I also have a printer. Mine isn’t as big as yours. I forget the number right now. But you can you can find it on our blog. We talked about our printers a lot. We’ve worked with Canon for a long time.

Elsie: We can put them in the shownotes.

Emma: Yeah.We’ll put them in there.

Elsie: We’re definitely very loyal to our printers. I get a lot of DMs about…

Emma: Oh, yeah.

Elsie: …What kind of printer to buy. And I am very passionate about it. It’s just huge.

Emma: Yeah. Well in mine…my isn’t` as big as yours and I use it for photos and craft projects, but also for all of the documents and things that I do for our company. And so I print stuff every single day and I probably scan stuff most days to like if I’m making a copy, I use it like as a copy machine. Not that I make hundreds of copies, but like I do have a lot of documents that I have to sign a lot of things for banks and other institutions.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: So not whenever I don’t have my printer set up and I can’t scan. That’s a major like oh I can’t get my work done. Like this is a big deal.

Elsie: Absolutely. No, I feel that way. Even just doing like returns like you want to return something, you have to print it out. Like I’ve had a lot of stress surrounding this. So, yeah, it’s exciting to talk about the dream office today. And so my dream office is basically Darcy Miller’s office. So I’m just gonna go ahead and say that up top. It’s the most beautiful office I’ve ever seen. Yeah. Emma and I got to meet Darcy last year. And if you don’t know who she is, she was…in my formative years, she was the editor of Martha Stewart Weddings. And she has a fantastic art business, design business. She does a lot of – every year she sends a little Valentine from her and her girls. She’s just very creative and inspiring and definitely a woman we look up to. And her office is a real dream office when you see it. It’s like a catalog. It’s like a mag— I mean, she’s a magazine editor. I guess that’s that’s why. But I basically just want to copy her office and then maybe add and customize a few little things. But it’s just perfect. So I’ll put that in the show notes. And then we kind of each wrote down three things that would make our dream office a real dream. So if you’re planning yours, hopefully this will be helpful. If not, I just think it’s fun to dream about.

Emma: Yeah. Tell us your first thing.

Elsie: I’ve always loved offices like I’ve always been that person who likes to peruse Staples or Office Depot for fun.

Emma: Oh yeah, me too. Oh yeah. Buy a new notebook. That’s like a whole…that’s a fun little moment for me right there. That’s like. That’s when you know you’re an adult because you’re like, this is a fun treat. I’m gonna buy myself some more office supplies that are cute. Yeah, but I. I do think that your office, when you’re an adult, is very much like your bedroom when you’re a kid, because you it’s the place that you get to customize and it’s kind of like your space. Even if you have like a cubicle at a, you know, more corporate place, you still probably get to like. Put up photos or decorate it in some way, you know? So that and then also you spend a lot of time in your office. You spend 40 plus hours, probably if you work full time. So that’s a lot of — a lot of your life is spent in this space specifically. So I think it makes a ton of sense to, like, care a lot about your office, whether it’s at your your home, like for us or, you know, at an office building. But, yeah.

Elsie: I 100 percent agree with that. My first dream is to — and this is definitely as a result of my recent experiences, which have been somewhat unpleasant — having access to all of my art craft, DIY supplies 24/7, just like having my own little Joann craft store, mini, inside my home. I’m very lazy, even when it’s not quarantine time, I’m very lazy about not wanting to run to the store for just one thing. So if it’s possible that it’s in a box in my office, I will go through every box and find it. It’s just how I operate. So I just love the idea of if you you know, sometimes you just get an itch to make like a random craft. And I just love having the stuff already ready to go.

Emma: Oh, yeah, I’m the same way. I have lots of random little bits and pieces that I’m always like. I get so upset if I buy a duplicate of something and I’m like, oh dang it I already had glue dots and I bought glue dots, you know, just feels so, well one, it’s just kind of a waste of money. You’re like, oh, I could have saved myself money. And so it’s…but it’s also just like…

Elsie: You’ll use the glue dots, you’ll probably use them all on one project. That’s what I always do.

Emma: Yeah. Well yeah. I mean glue dots or Penny will come over…

Elsie: I’m always out of glue dots.

Emma: Yeah. That’s why I brought it up with glue dots. That’s kind of the number one thing you need. OK. Anyway, my number one dream trait for an office is you could probably guess by my rant, is a door.

Elsie: (laughs) I can’t believe you just said a door. Oh that’s funny.

Emma: A door or just like a wall. You know, like I want it to be a room. And this isn’t going to work in my current home. So this is not like something I’m planning to do in my it’s…

Elsie: Something you would look for when you’re house shopping.

Emma: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Because I think turning my space currently into a room would really kind of make the layout of our home a lot worse if we were ever going to resell. I mean, I would, I don’t plan to do that. Yeah. I don’t plan to do that at all. I have been, though, looking up and I’ll show you a photo later, Elsie and I could maybe put in the show notes. It’s not my photo though, and I’m not sure of the source. I was just looking on Pinterest, so I always hate…I’d like to put the source if I know. Anyway, though, it’s these kind of like modern room dividers and it’s not the folding kind. It’s not like that. It’s more like a built in. And it has little vertical slants of wood, like pieces of wood that look like they’re floating and they’re held there by like steel. And then it has almost kind of like a little built in side table or console or something like that. So basically, it would kind of be a see through wall, which is not the same thing.

Elsie: Yeah. That doesn’t sound right to me. But I want to see the picture.

Emma: It sounds like a good solution to my current prob…like it sounds like the best solution I could do for my current space. So that’s why I’m kind of like thinking about it. But I’m also like, if I really want this to look super, super nice, I don’t think it’s really a DIY. So I think I’m going to have to invest. Yeah, yeah.

Elsie: You guys, Emma had a dream house and because you haven’t shared that yet on the podcast. She had a dream house for like six months…

Emma: Two years. No it’s two years.

Elsie: Oh my gosh. Two years?

Emma: Yeah. I saw it as a open house like over a year ago.

Elsie: She had this really adorable dream house in the cutest neighborhood of our hometown. And they finally decided to go buy that house. And it was sold. Like, what, a month before?

Emma: It sold like two months before we were trying to offer. Yeah.

Elsie: So she’s a little bit heart broken right now.

Emma: Yeah, it’s OK. It’s one of those. I think it’s just I’m kind of sick of thinking about it. I just want to feel like…

Elsie: I’m sorry I brought it up. I know she was crying a lot last week. It was so sad.

Emma: Yeah, I cried. Yeah, it’s a bummer. But, you know, there are worse problems in the world. But yeah, I just would like to feel settled.

Elsie: And now you need a rebound.

Emma: Yeah, I only plan to move once more in my life for sure. I probably will more, but I only for sure, you know, like I feel like this next one’s it for a long, long time. So I’m not really interested in settling and I’m not, you know what I mean? Like, I’m just like it has to be…has to be the one. Or forget it.

Elsie: Good for you sister. That’s inspiring.

Emma: I guess, but it makes it very like well, this could take many, many years. That was the only one I saw in the last few years that I liked. I’m on Zillow like every day. So I went, well, OK. Anyway, who trait number two.

Elsie: OK, my second one is, I’m dreaming of something kid friendly. And here’s why. I’ve seen some offices that have like a giant island in the middle, kind of like a kitchen island. But, you know, just like as a workspace. And I really, really want to do that in my next office because I’m just imagining that would just be so nice to have a place where my kids can be sometimes while I’m working. You know, if our kids have like a sick day from school or something like that, you know, or just, you know, it’s the weekend and we’re making crafts together or whatever. I would just love to have like a big open space where we can make ornaments together and, you know, all of our little Halloween crafts and stuff like that. So I do really care that it’s kid friendly and there’s like the perfect seat for them, you know, like there’s.

Emma: Yeah I was gonna say…

Elsie: It’s like a whole thing that I’ve taught Emma about kids in chairs. Like, not every chair is kid friendly. And that’s a big thing when you’re picking them.

Emma: Yeah. There’s so much I don’t know about. Yeah. That’s why I’m like…so tell me a little more about the kid friendly. Like you want it to be like a low table? So when they’re short they can still stand there or like what about it is. Do you want it to be made of wood so they can get paint on it and it’s OK. Or like you know what I mean. Like what what exactly makes it kid friendly?

Elsie: If it’s an island, I would probably pick a quartz top because that’s really durable and…but maybe a butcher block too, because I feel like as long as you can mentally handle a butcher block getting some wear and tear from crafting, which I totally can, then that could work as well.

Emma: It’s fairly inexpensive, butcher block. So if it gets ruined over time, you know.

Elsie: Yeah, I wouldn’t pick marble. I’m a little anti marble. I’m like one of the only bloggers who doesn’t pick all marble, everything for my home.

Emma: Well, it’s not very durable sometimes. So…

Elsie: I had some in my last home and I liked it OK. As far as being kid friendly, I just want to have the kind of office where I can see my kids making crafts, you know, and they’re not going to like — chairs that are accessible for them, you know, at their ages. Now, they have those little counter stools where they can stand by the counter. I’ll probably get one of those. If I had an island office situation right now for Marigold’s age, you know what I’m talking about? The little safety kids.

Emma: Yeah. They like can climb up it kind of thing.

Elsie: Yeah. So something like that.

Emma: Oh Goldie.

Elsie: Goldie. She’s the best. What’s your number two?

Emma: Ok. My number two is I think it’s kind of similar to your first one, but it’s essentially storage you can see. When I first moved into this home. We had two coat closets in this hallway that leads from our living areas to our bedrooms. One of the coat closets we used for coats and like our vacuum cleaner and the other one I used as a craft closet. And it had all my extra crafts, supplies and just stuff from work.

Elsie: Yes.

Emma: And that was great because it was out of the way. So I always felt like I had a place to, like, put stuff and I would clean it out once a year and like, donate things or give to friends or whatever. But recently I redid my office or like way earlier this year. So now it’s already been like six months. And I added this big metal kind of very industrial. It’s like something usually put in your garage. Just, um, what am I trying to say? Shelf unit. And I moved everything from my craft closet one, I cleaned it out again. And then I guess I was due. And then I put everything on the shelf unit so I can see it all now. And it’s been great. I’ve been making crafts just for fun, like I’ve been making stuff out of clay all this week. And Trey is like, oh, is that for blog post? I’m like, I’m just making it will be like nighttime and I’m just like making stuff with, like air dry clay.

Elsie: That’s so cute.

Emma: Because I can just see it all and I kind of, you know, know where everything is. And I just can very quickly…I don’t have to like go into the closet and turn on the light and look out for a spider and dig around for something I can just like see on my, you know, shelf unit in my office that I can look at all the time if I have it or not. Or I can very quickly look in the bins and see. And I will say I, I do think, you know, the problem with storage you can see is you have to really keep it minimal and keep it clean or it starts to look kind of janky and it can really cause a lot of visual clutter in your life. But I really like it because I think it helps me to like know when I have some supplies or like, oh yeah, I was meaning to make something with that.

Elsie: I do agree that open storage is better than closed storage. This is similar, but different. But I just wrote a blog post about our kitchen, which I think will be up around the time of this podcast.

Emma: No, I think it’ll be just after.

Elsie: Just after. OK, so it’ll be up this week anyway. A lot of people have asked me, do you like the open storage better because we had the open shelves in our previous kitchen, or do you like the closed better? And a lot of people thought I was going to love the closed better. Much better. And I will say I like them both. I think the ideal perfect situation for my dream kitchen will be having a combination of both. I don’t think every single shelf needs to be open, but I really love open shelves and I miss having them. And if I had to pick between one or the other, I would pick open. And the main reason is just because I can see everything and I know it takes a while to learn your kitchen and stuff, but I’ve lived in our house for almost three months now and I still just kind of feel like that, you know, and I’m like trying to cook and stuff. So, yeah, I miss the open shelving and for a craft room or anything that’s just functional, I guess I’m conflating craft room with office now. Maybe some people wouldn’t have any craft stuff in their office and they’re like, why are you talking about crafts so much? This is just us. But anyway…

Emma: I have craft supplies everywhere.

Elsie: …whatever stuff you have to store, like some people have the office that’s kind of like the fashion blogger office where it’s basically a closet with a desk in it, you know? Same thing, but different. So anyway, yeah, I like open storage.

Emma: I do too. And just to add to that, I feel like I kind of said it. But just to add to the you know, you like it because you can find things. I also think that the open, which closed is fine too, I have closed up at my kitchen and it’s great, but I do notice that I tend to kind of fill up the space and then just shut the door, you know, on the cabinet and not necessarily take as much time to organize it or to really be like, hey, do you really use all of the appliances that you have shut away in this cabinet that you don’t have to look at? Do you really use all these craft supplies that are shut away in this closet? And the answer is most the time. No, because that’s why it’s shut away, because I don’t really need it. So I like, I kind of like open because it reminds me what I have in it. It reminds me, are you using this? Do you find it valuable? If you don’t, do you really need it in your life? You know, maybe you should donated or at least stop buying it if you’re not using it, you know, whatever it is.

Elsie: Definitely. So my third one is I spend a lot of time, I mean, it’s definitely a DIY blog. We make crafts, we do all these cute things. We have a ton of supplies. But the majority of my work day is working on my computer. Being on my computer and doing meetings and phone calls. So that’s really what the office is for, also printing papers, as we’ve discussed. So having a space that is just organized and clean is really appealing to me. So something that’s kind of like easy to keep clean. And for me, this is kind of random and maybe just like strangely personal. But for my next office, it’s really important to me that it’s really far away from the front door because of a huge problem I had in my last home of it becoming an Amazon box graveyard at all times. And just like the one room, it was the one room where you could shut the doors. It was very small. So people would just like, well Jeremy and I would just throw everything in there, you know, to clean. And there was times when there was stuff like to my knees. So for me, the biggest thing is something that I know I can keep clean. So I think having a lot of storage, having some like, I really like to my last office, how I had the bottom cabinets that closed. Kind of like, you know, your bottom kitchen cabinets. And then there was open ones on the top where I had a bunch of little simple IKEA storage boxes that were labeled. And that was perfect. That was plenty of space. It was a tiny, tiny little office. I think it was considered like a study like it in the old days. Tiniest little office. Although I do want the big island. I think my dream office is kind of crazy.

Emma: Well, it sounds like you’re still developing it. You know.

Elsie: That’s true.(laughs)

Emma: You’re in the dreaming phase. It’s okay.

Elsie: I’m enjoying thinking about it every day as I work from my bed. (laughs) What’s your third thing?

Emma: OK. My third thing is way less specific because I don’t really even know how it would come to life. It is either, so beautiful natural light of some kind, which, by the way, I already have in my office. I have really pretty natural light, although I hate skylights.

Elsie: I think that that is an excellent thing to put on your list because you don’t miss it until it’s gone.

Emma: Yeah. Wait, there’s more.

Elsie: Oh, OK.

Emma: Natural light and or, it’s an and or, because I feel like they could go together but also maybe not. And or a pretty view.

Elsie: A view!

Emma: A view. Yeah I know. And I don’t even know because like I’m not really planning — because I’m like oh it be amazing to have a view of the ocean, but I live in Missouri and I’m not really planning to move, so I don’t really know what that like. That’s kind of a stupid dream…

Elsie: That’s not stupid! From a lot of the rooms in our new home, it’s just a view of trees, but it’s really beautiful. They’re really close up and the windows are big. And it’s one of my favorite things about the whole house.

Emma: Yeah. And I definitely have a view of the forest in our backyard right now, which is really nice. I do like it, but it also, I don’t know, gets kind of muddy. And there’s this chain link fence and one time there was a really large snake. I don’t know, there’s some drawbacks too, so.

Elsie: Snakes.

Emma: Yeah, but so I don’t really know exactly. I feel like I kind of already have this one. So maybe more what I’m trying to say is like I value this thing I already have. And I wouldn’t mind if it was different, but I don’t want to lose it if I ever have a different office. I really like having a space filled with light or that feels like I can see a little bit of nature in some way. Even if it’s a snake, that only happened one time.

Elsie: So, OK, here’s where I struck gold in my marriage. My husband’s dream office is really dark. He likes his spaces really dark. He likes to have candles, he likes to have twinkle lights like that’s how he likes his offices. He doesn’t care at all about having…

Emma: More of a lair.

Elsie: Yeah. It’s more of a. So he always takes like the basement areas for his studios in our last two homes. And that really is perfect because I would not I would not at all want a basement studio that was like closed off and but it’s like perfect for a music studio. So yeah, I want the windows too.

Emma: Yeah, I like windows, but not skylights.

Elsie: Why don’t you like skylights?

Emma: I like them OK. I think sometimes they cast really weird light. And then it makes it hard to photograph things. And I don’t have the kind of skylights that, like, have any kind of curtain or you can block it like you have no control over it.

Elsie: Oh because you have shades on them. Some people have like the remote…

Emma: Yeah. And I don’t have that. So I would probably need to get that. I guess I don’t really know. I just feel like they’re really high up there and kind of unpredictable. But I do like the sound of rain on the skylights. I’ll say that. Whenever it rains, it’s very soothing. So that’s nice.

Elsie: I always like it when I see skylights in a home. I mean, yeah, really pretty, but that makes sense if the uneven light is a thing.

Emma: It just gives it kind of a weird like a glow from below. Whenever you’re trying to photograph something and it seems strange. OK, should we do Guilty pleasure. Treasure or did you have anything else you can say about your dream office?

Elsie: I am ready for the guilty pleasures.

Emma: OK, cool. Well, tell us yours.

Elsie: OK, so recently. So I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here on the podcast before, but I have this app called Libby and it lets you check out library books and you can check out audio books on it for free, which is really cool. You just have to enter in your library card number. And so I listen to a ton of audio books on it. I usually have at least one or two. Sometimes you do have to wait like multiple weeks for a book, which is fine. It’s just hard to remember that, you know, that you were way right. And like, right now I have to and I feel a lot of pressure because it’s only 14 days and I’m like, oh, God, I have to get on this. But anyway, my favorite one that I’ve listened to recently was Jessica Simpson’s Open Book, which I knew it was a guilty pleasure when I pressed download on that, obviously, but I didn’t know how much I would love it. Like it. It is a legitimately amazing story just all around. Amazing story. Ten out of ten, if you’re even a little bit interested in Jessica Simpson or just learning about a pop career and an incredibly successful fashion career. It is a very interesting book. And what should I say about it?

Emma: Yeah, I want to hear a couple things from it.

Elsie: A couple of specific things.

Emma: Because I love Jessica Simpson. She’s way rad.

Elsie: Yeah I love Jessica Simpson. So before, I had heard a couple of the like John Mayer slash Nick Lachey’s new wife like responses to the book. And so I knew I was going to have a lot of drama. Like, it was going to tell some really personal stories about other people’s lives, too. So I was prepared for that. But it definitely delivers in that department. It’s very, I don’t know what the word is — juicy? It’s extremely juicy. It goes into detail. I don’t think that it says anything that would really make you like, hate, any of the other celebrities. It just makes them seem more human to you, which I thought was…I liked it. I enjoyed it. And it’s one person’s story, you know. So in that context, I really enjoyed listening to it. And then she talks a ton about what it was like having the pop career, and then was like having her fashion brand, which was, I believe, the first celebrity fashion brand to reach a billion dollars.

Emma: Oh really, it was the first?

Elsie: Yeah. It was.

Emma: Wow, that’s amazing.

Elsie: I think it’s still the most successful celebrity fashion brand. It’s a very, very big, successful brand.

Emma: I have owned a number of things from her line.

Elsie: Yeah. Because being from Springfield, Missouri, the best store is Dillard’s, which nothing bad against Dillard’s. But it’s the best store in our home town…

Emma: In the mall for sure. Other than that I’d say Stacks. Have you been there? Anyway, let’s. We don’t need to go into that.

Elsie: A local shop is also really good.

Emma: It’s good. Anyway…

Elsie: So anyway, they I’ve bought so many pairs of Jessica Simpson jeans when I still lived in Missouri and even some since I moved here. And she also has like kids clothes, maternity clothes, really good shoes. She is like very short, like we are. So she has lots of heels which I like. So anyway, yeah, ten out of ten definitely recommend. I didn’t at all think I would have so much in common with her. The book opens. Okay. This is the last juicy thing. The book opens with her talking about her addiction to drinking and like her last day of drinking ever, I guess. So it starts off with a banger of a story and then just gets better and better.

Emma: I didn’t know she was sober. I didn’t know she didn’t drink anymore.

Elsie: Yeah. She has a really interesting life. And she’s a good writer. Yeah. So I was overall, just super impressed and enjoyed it. Like, I like reading memoirs, so it’s definitely like a category that’s enjoyable. But this one was better than most. What’s your guilty pleasure?

Emma: Cool. Cool. Well, speaking of being sober…I’m doing, not the same thing but just a month off of drinking, which I do every now and again. I do it at least once a year. It’s just a nice little reset button. I like to drink and I will be returning. And I think it’s nice to take a break so that I can you know, I like to make sure I’m still in control, make sure it’s not becoming a habit that I am getting too much into. You know, all those things. So anyway, so this month I’m. Taking a month off of drinking and a friend of mine knew I was doing that. Brandon Goodwin. And he left me this bottle of it’s a non alcoholic spirits. It’s like a distilled spirits, but it’s non alcoholic. And the name of the brand is Seed Lip. And they have multiple different flavors and kinds. I think they’re kind of meant to taste. I mean, they’re all kind of different, but they’re kind of like a gin, is what I would say. Oh, hey.

Elsie: So it’s herbal-y.

Emma: Yeah, it’s herbal-y. They have different flavors, but it’s kind of herbal-y. And so it’s citrusy. So anyway, he left me a bottle of that. I think he just kind of had. And so he was just, you know, being nice. He knew I was doing a month off drinking. And so I’ve been using that. And I make what’s essentially a nonalcoholic lemon drop martini. Most nights.

Elsie: Oh, my gosh. I just had the best visualization. But please, please, for the love of God, take a lemon drop martini picture for our show notes. I’m begging you!

Emma: I just ran out of the spirits, like yesterday. I’ve been drinking them. Well, it’s not real spirits, but, you know, I have to say. So, yeah, it’s…I use. I’ll use like my little shot glass. And it’s like one shot of fresh lemon juice, one shot of simple syrup and I just make my own and have a little bottle in my fridge. And then two shots of this Seed Lip spirits, nonalcoholic spirits. And I shake it up in a cocktail shaker and I strain it with my strainer and I add a little lemon rind wedge to it and I squeeze it over. I do the whole, like I think for me, I just like making a cocktail. I mean, I like to drink, but I also really do enjoy, like, making a cocktail. Like, I just I like cooking. I like making things.

Elsie: I definitely agree with that. I feel like the presentation and making it beautiful and making it feel…like last night I made this kind of like orange rosemary margarita and making it, like I put a little bit of salt on the rim, making it look like a restaurant cocktail is really important to me. And just other than that, I would just drink canned wine.

Emma: Yeah. Which I totally do. Yeah. Lots of I mean, I will be next month when I’m back. Don’t you worry. But yeah. So I think for me too I really enjoy having some kind of drink like a special little something. Doesn’t have to be alcoholic obviously, but something when I’m making dinner at night. To me that just feels like man I’m fancy. I’ve really made it in life. That’s that’s my rich life is like making dinner and having a cocktail, a fancy cocktail or a glass of wine. And since I’m taking this month off of drinking, I make these nonalcoholic cocktails every night when I’m making dinner, not every night, but most.

Elsie: I love that because I feel like the tradition is a big part of enjoying it. It almost doesn’t even matter if you have alcohol. I mean, it does matter, but you can still enjoy the tradition of it.

Emma: Yeah, exactly. I really sincerely do. Like I look forward to my little end of the day, quote unquote mocktail, you know, and yeah, I don’t know. Trey seems to get out the shaker and he’s like, oh, she’s making her mocktail. Yeah. So anyway, that’s that’s it. I’ll put a link. But if you’re interested, it’s and we’ll put a link in the show notes. I really like it. And I am about to hit a milestone on a certain goal which we’ll talk about in another episode. But when I do, I already have it in a cart like on on my computer. I’m gonna buy me this little like it’s it’s not like a small sample, but it’s a pack of all three of the Seed Lips spirits like flavors because I’m really into it.

Elsie: That’s your reward.

Emma: Yeah, it’s my reward. And I think even though next month I plan to start drinking again, I like the idea of having nights where I’m still making a nonalcoholic cocktail just to kind of mix it up.

Elsie: And it’s also very important when you have guests over to have something festive to make for, you know.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: If there’s someone who’s a non drinker or someone pregnant or, you know, any number of reasons. I think that it’s really nice to have, like, to give them a real mocktail instead of just a LaCroix.

Emma: Yeah. Yeah, I do too. I totally agree. Yeah.

Elsie: Okay, well I want to try that. And also in the show notes let’s link our, we did a mocktail post once, we came up with some really good ones.

Emma: Yeah. You could make some pretty delicious mocktails so. Well that’s it for this episode. Thanks so much for listening. And as you know, we’re still only thirty seven episodes deep. It still means a ton to us if you share our podcast or help us grow in any way. And another way, if you’re like, I don’t want to share it, but I do want to help in some way. We’re always looking for podcast episode ideas, things you might be interested in hearing from us. And you can leave a comment on our blog at A Beautiful Mess dot com. Or you can write us at podcast at A Beautiful Mess dot com.


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How I Share My Office/Craft Space With My Toddler Fri, 20 Mar 2020 18:55:33 +0000 While sometimes I do dream of having a house in the future with a little more room (especially as a family with two adults working from home), we’ve definitely learned to make use of the space that we do have, and try and share most areas of the house for dual purposes. Our front room doubles as a guest room, our dining area doubles as my work table, and what used to be just my office/craft storage room is now also Lola’s playroom and where we’ve been storing the majority of her toys. As you can imagine, it takes a little bit of thought and planning to share a space like that with an active toddler. So I thought I’d share what works for us in case anyone else needs to have a dual-purpose room as well!

Harmless items are accessible while dangerous ones are not: Especially in my craft supply area, I have a lot of things like scissors, X-Acto knives, and other little sharp tools that I obviously do not want Lola to get a hold of. Even as she learns to use scissors (which she loves doing), her little scissor sets are up with my big ones high on a shelf where she can’t get to them on her own. It’s also a good idea to think about any stools or chairs in the room that could be used to stand on and make sure they are unreachable even standing on one of those. I don’t feel the need to put every item of mine up high though, if it’s not a dangerous thing. For example, she could get to my fabric supply that I keep in a low dresser or my paper collection which is on the bottom shelf of my storage lockers. But that would be more of a nuisance than a hazard. Of course, each age has its own things to think about, so while Lola can get to small wool balls and pom-poms in my craft storage (she likes to play with them in lots of ways), a younger child that’s still putting things in their mouth may choke on those so they would be in the “out-of-reach” category for them. Even things like art supplies are placed accordingly so Lola can get to crayons or colored pencils whenever she wants, but the permanent markers are out of sight.

Make use of storage cabinets (with lockable options): I got this storage locker specifically because it had shelves that were up high and out of reach and had an option to add a little padlock to a door if it was one you wanted to keep locked. At the moment, I’ve followed the above guide for keeping harmless things like paper on the bottom and sewing needles at the top, so I haven’t had to lock anything, but it’s great to know that if I needed to have the cabinet full of things I didn’t want her to get to, I could very easily.

Shelves for everyone to share: Rows of shelves are handy because they can be easily switched to store any kind of object and Lola has the bottom shelves for her items while I can use the top ones she would need help with reaching anyways. I have a cluster of built-in shelves that we share, but then I also have some lower ones elsewhere that she keeps some art supplies on.

Toys are easy to get to (and easy to put away): As there is actually SO much stored in this room with both Lola’s and my items, I wanted a toy storage system that made tidying up easy and something that Lola could do on her own. Things like open shelving and cube baskets make it possible for Lola to get things down and clean up and put away things on her own as well. It’s not every time, of course, but I find that a lot of toddlers actually like to put away toys when you have a clean up song they like, and they love throwing small items into bins and baskets. So it’s great practice for learning to be a helper around the house.

Make use of kid-proofing items: Of course, there are lots of kid-proofing items on the market, so make use of any that help keep your stuff out of your kid’s hands (we use magnetic locks in our kitchen and they are great), but the only thing that I have in the room is a childproof doorknob cover for the closet. I purposefully tried to find places to store anything she would need to get to in the room without having to use the closet, so I could just put whatever I wanted to in there and close the door. I don’t have anything dangerous down low in the closet just in case I forget and leave the door open for a minute, so it’s more like breakables or fragile things I’d rather not have destroyed. Haha.

I don’t know if there’s a perfect system for sharing an area with kids, but this seems to be working well for us so far. Yes, sometimes Lola gets paper out of my cabinet without asking or pushes buttons on the printer (I usually keep it unplugged and then she’s not interested in it), but those are just part of the normal conversations you have with small kids as they learn how to listen and follow rules. Like everything around the house, you’ll adjust things as kids grow to fit their stage of development (eventually she’ll figure out childproof doorknob covers so I’ll have to think of something else there if needed), but that’s a pretty normal thing that parents are always on the lookout for. I have noticed that there are items Lola could get to that I would prefer she didn’t (like some paints), but because they are in a different container than what she’s used to seeing her paint in, she has no clue they are there. Haha! I guess that one is a bit of a gamble, but the worst case scenario would be a mess to clean up, so I guess I’ll risk it. Hope this was helpful for your home if you have to share your space as well with someone small! xo. Laura

Sources: Shape Print, Leopard Print, Swan and Unicorn Heads, Lion Head (DIYBear Head.

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
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Emma’s Home Office Refresh Fri, 24 Jan 2020 14:28:24 +0000 I am super excited to share my home office refresh with you all today! I think an alternative title to this post could be something like, “The Power of Paint,” as the majority of what I did to refresh this space is paint it. But wow, what a difference!

For this project, I worked with The Home Depot. I checked out the Behr 2020 Popular paint colors and actually considered three different ones before I landed on the paint color for my space—Battleship Gray. I used Behr Marquee paint in a satin finish for my walls. And I highly recommend talking to the folks at the paint counter when you are working on a paint project. I’ve always found everyone at my local Home Depot to be super friendly and helpful. I actually asked them a few questions around painting my office desk and shelves, so I’ll share more of what they recommended to me (which I followed) below. I’ll also show you the other paint colors I was deciding between.

Before we dive into painting tips and tricks, let me share a few of my goals for this refresh. First, I wanted to go ahead and take down my faux living wall. I had it up for about a year and a half, and this past autumn I actually added fall color leaves to the mix too (which was really fun!). But I was ready for a change to something that was way more visually minimal and streamlined. We are also (casually) looking for a new home and although I don’t necessarily think we’ll move anytime soon, we are looking and for us it’s just a matter of finding THE house we both fall in love with. Anyway, with that in mind, I knew my faux living wall was something I would probably want to take down before we try to sell this current home (as even though I loved it, I could see other potential buyers finding it strange or off-putting).

Other goals:
-more storage, preferably open storage
-minimal and clean feeling
-space for a large calendar and small bulletin board
-space for my painting easel
-I wanted this space (which has no door or fourth wall) to feel like its own space/separate
-something that shows off my black and white floral file cabinets

Here are the three colors I was considering: Battleship Gray, Graphic Charcoal, and Back to Nature. Most of our home is decorated with black, white, grays, and greens. Of course we have other various pops of color like photos and throw pillows, but these colors make up the majority of our home and I wanted to stick to that general color palette. In the end, I decided on the gray because I thought it would show off accents, go with my cabinets and some other things I owned (like my office chair).

When you’re considering multiple colors for a paint project, it’s great to tape the paint chips up in the space so you can see them alongside any furniture and also with the light in the space. Another option is to buy small sample amounts of the paint you’re considering and paint small swatches on the wall. I think it’s definitely worth the extra effort either way to make sure you are happy with a paint selection before you buy your paint.

Painting projects are usually 50% painting and 50% prep and clean up work. Or at least that’s how it seems to go for me. Ha. If you are planning to paint interior walls in your home, here are some things to consider:

-Remove any outlet or switch covers.
-Tape off any seams or trim you don’t want to get paint on.
-Cover floors and any nearby furniture you can’t move away.
-Remove any wall anchors or screws and fill the holes.
-Prime! You may not need to depending on the color before and the type of paint, but ask the folks at the paint counter if you aren’t sure (show them pictures of your room from cell phone pics if needed).

I also decided to paint a few furniture items in my home office. We painted my desk as well as two floating shelves. Since one of my goals was for my space to feel very minimal and streamlined, I wanted the desk and shelves to feel almost built in or like they disappear in the space.

We talked to the folks at the paint counter about painting this desk and shelves. They suggested giving the surfaces a light sanding and then either painting two to three coats or sealing the paint once dry to give it some extra durability. I just completed this space about a week ago, so I’ll have to update you all how the desk holds up over time.

I am LOVE with how my home office feels. It feels a lot less cluttered and I think a big part of this is the open shelving unit I added. I still plan to regularly clean and donate anything I’m not using, but I do often have a random influx of supplies. So it’s nice to have storage that I can quickly access but doesn’t feel super cluttered.

Thanks for letting me share! And thank you to The Home Depot for sponsoring this post. Do YOU have any painting projects in your future? xo. Emma

Room Details: Paint/Behr “Battleship Gray,” floating shelves, metal shelf unit, grey storage baskets, black storage baskets, rug, file cabinets from Poppin that I covered with removable wallpaper. In case you’re curious, my sweatshirt is from

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