Elsie LarsonI've always read that you should invest your money into staple pieces you'll wear for years to come. BUT HOW? 

No really, HOW? 

I truly do not understand how that works. How can you buy a pair of jeans or a jacket that you know for sure you'll love and wear in ten years? Anything in my closet that I have that's that old is extremely sentimental. 

I don't get it. But that's OK. (Feel free to try to educate me in the comments if you know the secret!) 

That said, I am kind of loving my routine of cleaning out (one part Kon Mari, one part IG closet sale) my closet in big hauls and attempting to create my version of a capsule wardrobe (not a fan of limiting it to 30-something pieces, but a HUGE FAN of collecting things that mix and match).

It's kind of my hobby right now. If you guys know any fun, secret (online) shopping places that you think I would like, please share in the comments!!! 

Elsie Larson Elsie Larson Elsie Larson Elsie Larson Elsie Larson Elsie's Wearing: Dress/Everly (similar), Jacket/F21 (similar), Clogs/Swedish Hasbeens, Necklace/Madewell, Bucket Bag/Oui Fresh

What do you think, sister?

Emma Chapman Crochet cardiganCrochet cardigan Emma ChapmanI don't know if I'm particularly good at investing in "classics" either, but I do value a pair of jeans that truly fits well, or a pair of shoes that you wear so much they eventually wear out. That I get! I guess to me, it feels like the point should be to spend your money on things that you will actually wear. And not just something cute but random or cute but doesn't really flatter your shape, and then it just sits in your closet and eventually you sell or donate it. 

But I do kind of think our personal styles are (or should be) as diverse as our personalities. So, what might be a good investment for me, might not be such a good investment for others. I know lots of friends who would not be caught dead in this crochet cardigan, but I've had it for years and I still LOVE it. I can definitely see myself wearing this as a grandma someday too—it's gonna have a long life with me. :)

Bow tightsEmma Chapman  Crochet cardigan  Emma Chapman    Emma's Wearing: Cardigan/vintage, Brunch Club tee/Oui Fresh, Skirt/F21 (similar), Tights/Target (similar) and hat/Target, Boots/ModCloth, Purse/Zara (similar).

What in your closet do you consider a classic? What have been some of the best (wardrobe) investments for you? xo. Elsie + Emma

Credits // Author: Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman. Photography: Amber Ulmer and Janae Hardy. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.

Bath Salts Whether you believe it or not, the holidays are quickly approaching! So I can't wait to share this simple bath salt DIY with you. It's a perfect gift for friends, coworkers and family. You could also host your own spa night and make these with friends! I'm always looking for an excuse to get friends together. I love that you can really make these bath salts special by customizing your essential oil blends and packaging them up beautifully. Not only will they be an excuse for some relaxing "me time", but they will look stunning in your bathroom. Useful and decorative? I'm a sucker for multipurpose products. ;)

Bath SaltsSupplies:
-essential oils
-pink Himalayan salt
-Bokek Dead Sea Salt
-glass jars
-funnel
-wooden scoops
-ribbon
-pretty labels

For this DIY I created three bath salt recipes. One to energize and invigorate, another to help you feel cozy and relaxed, and finally one to give you lovely happy feelings. :) To make your infused bath salts...

Bath Salts DIY Step One: Start by measuring your salt by pouring it into the jar you plan on storing it in. Fill to the top. I used 12oz paragon jars. Once measured, pour your salt into a small mixing bowl. 

Step Two: Add your combination of essential oils and mix together with a spoon thoroughly. 

Step Three: Pour your infused salt back into your jar! I found using a funnel during this step really cut down on the mess!

Bath Salts DIYBath Salts          Step Four: Add a beautiful label to your jar to add an extra special touch. I'm obsessed with the labels from Whimsy and Wellness. Tie a scoop with a pretty ribbon around it to make your gift ready for giving.

Guys, that is seriously all! So easy right?

Bath Salts
To use your bath salts, draw a hot bath and add 1-2 scoops. Soak and take in the beautiful aromas. Maybe add in a candle, a good book and some background music to make it the "me time" night you've been dreaming of! ;) 

Here are my favorite infused recipes...

Bath Salts   Invigorate:
For this recipe I used
-pink Himalayan salt
-6 drops of Wild Orange
-6 drops of Grapefruit
-1 drop of Lemongrass 

Bath Salts    Serene:
-I used Bokek Dead Sea Salt since it's known for softening the skin and relaxing the muscles!
-10 drops of Lavender
-3 drops of Eucalyptus

Bath Salts  Affection:
-I also used Bokek Dead Sea Salt for this recipe
-7 drops of Ylang Ylang
-2 drops of Cinnamon
-1 drop of Jasmine 

Bath Salts      Bath Salts     Homemade gifts are usually the best gifts. :) Enjoy, friends! Lots of love, Sav.

Credits//Author + Photography: Savannah Wallace. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions 

Elsie's Bedroom ©AlyssaRosenheck2016You guys! You guys! You guys! 

I am so embarrassed because I was searching through the archives for this post, and I realized I never posted it! Haha. 

When Alyssa Rosenheck photographed my home for domino, this was the first time our bedroom was photographed in its current state. It's really close to where we want it to be. It's light, airy, simple and relaxing. 

Sources: Painting/Teil Duncan, Console Table/All Modern, Tray/Schoolhouse Electric, Wall Planters/West Elm

Elsie's Bedroom ©AlyssaRosenheck2016   This really is my dream bedroom. I regret zero choices we've made in here, which is pretty much a first for me. I think it helped that we designed it to be really chill and a good place to sleep and that's pretty much it. Originally I was afraid it would be kind of a boring room, and then it surprised me and turned out to be a favorite. And do you remember what it looked like before??? 

I seriously ordered this chandelier the week it came out. It's just such a dream (and so affordable!), I think it went into my shopping cart the moment it came up on the website. It was one of the last rooms I swapped (and we went without any light up there for several months). Good things come to those who wait, I guess! 

Elsie's Bedroom ©AlyssaRosenheck2016 Sources: Bed/Room & Board, Chandelier/West Elm, Ceiling Medallion/Amazon, Pom Tassel Curtains/Anthropologie, Fiber Art (above bed)/DIY, Painting (left)/by my amazing mom—Elizabeth Chapman, Painting(right)/Teil Duncan, Rattan Chair/Shop Candelabra, Pink Bullet Planter/Hip Haven, Bed Cover/Anthropologie, Pink Sheepskin/Amazon, Bench/Amazon (we painted the legs gold), Blue Pillow/The Vintage Rug Shop, Area Rug/Amazon. (Haha—now you know my secret—ALWAYS check Amazon for price comparisons. Sometimes you can find crazy good deals there.) 

Want to hear a funny story about this bed? My parents bought it for me almost ten years ago. It's a queen size, and I love it. I moved almost every year all through my twenties and squeezed this big metal bed frame into some tiny, very awkward apartment bedrooms in the past. We almost got a new one when we moved because we wanted to try a lower bed (because of our dogs and their delicate little backs—that's why the bench is there now). But then we were going over budget in all kinds of areas. So we decided to keep it, and we painted it white to match our new vibes. Then I fell MADLY in love with it again. So much love. And then, after we moved, we needed a new mattress, so we invested in an organic one. Everything was absolutely perfect. Until we went on a trip to Palm Springs last month and slept in king size beds all week. And Jeremy (the man who never asks for anything, especially things that cost $$$$) says we should change to a king size bed. Sigh. (I told him maybe next year.)

Elsie's Bedroom ©AlyssaRosenheck2016  Elsie's Bedroom ©AlyssaRosenheck2016  Still loving our DIY IKEA dresser. Originally we had a mirror up there but realized that with our bathroom with double mirrors right in our room, we didn't need it. So instead I opted for a gigantic Max Wanger print from Urban Outfitters. Love it so much! 

Found that salt lamp at Home Goods. The pretty brass hand is Jonathan Adler from Lulu & Georgia

Elsie's Bedroom ©AlyssaRosenheck2016    That's all, you guys! Hope you enjoyed these peeks into our master bedroom. And if you have any advice for us, whether for or against the king bed situation, we'd love to hear your thoughts! xx -Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Alyssa Rosenheck.

Scrapbook Sunday November Messy Box (abeautifulmess.com)It FINALLY feels like fall in Phoenix, and I'm so happy! I always look forward to this time of year. The cooler weather, my mom's pumpkin rolls, family game nights and peppermint mochas have me dreaming about November all year round. Sometimes it feels like it flies by too quickly. Documenting my memories helps me slow down and enjoy all the weather, food, and traditions this time of year brings. The November Messy Box is perfect for this time of year. It is so pretty! Honestly, I had a hard time using this kit, because I just wanted to save all the pretty paper! All the neutral colors are great because they will match almost any holiday decor theme that might be captured in your photographs. It's such a warm and cozy kit to document all your happy November memories. 

Scrapbook Sunday November Messy Box  (abeautifulmess.com)Scrapbook Sunday November Messy Box       (abeautifulmess.com)Since I'm so in love with the colors and prints in this month's kit, I knew I wanted to highlight the pretty paper in my scrapbook. I thought it would be fun to create a pattern out of the 3 x 3 cards. My other favorite thing about this kit is the puffy stickers. I used the 3 x 3 pocket page and created an alternating pattern of a photo, then journaling card, then a photo to fill up the entire page. I added one puffy sticker to each paper so the page reads like a list of my favorite things this season. 

Scrapbook Sunday November Messy Box   (abeautifulmess.com)I love keeping my layouts simple and letting the photos tell the story! It makes scrapbooking on a busy schedule easier too.

Scrapbook Sunday November Messy Box    (abeautifulmess.com)All the neutral colors in the kit are the best! I love all the grey, brown, navy, white, and pops of gold. My kit came with the mint alphabet letters and the contrast of the bright with the neutrals looks so good. It's so fun to play with these color combinations!

Scrapbook Sunday November Messy Box  (abeautifulmess.com)Scrapbook Sunday November Messy Box (abeautifulmess)The cool weather in Phoenix only lasts a few months, so I'm really making an effort to slow down and savor this season. It's great to document the big holidays, but I also love documenting all the little moments that make this time of year so special. What traditions are you looking forward to scrapbooking this month? -Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Hager. Photos edited with Scrapbook from the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions

Wohoo! Custom flower beds!Hi, friends! Today I wanted to share a project we've been working on this month that hugely improved our curb appeal! We built flower beds!!! 

So, this past summer Jeremy and I had the exterior of our home painted white (it was an orangish brown brick before). During that process, we had quite a few of our bushes removed. We spent a long time at the nursery one day looking at different options for bushes or plants for the front of our home. We didn't want to do bushes (except for a couple peony bushes, but they are highly seasonal and wouldn't look good all year round), so we finally decided to go with flower beds that we would rotate with seasonal flowers! We are still keeping some bushes on the sides of the home, but for the front this was an option I was much more excited about. I LOVE seasonal flowers! 

A few months ago I got a quote to build brick flower beds, similar in size to what you see here. The quote was 'SPENSIVE, you guys. So we looked into DIY options and figured out we could cut the cost down from around 5k to around 1k (and these flower beds are BIG!). The best part is, it's a super simple building project. We'll share below what supplies we used and the basics of how we built it in case it's something you want to look into. 

For months our house felt super incomplete because, even though it had its fresh coat of white paint, there were no plants of any kind along the front of the house. 

Wohoo! Custom flower beds! Here's how it looks today! I'm so so so so so thrilled with the flower beds. It was the perfect choice for us because they add so much color to our exterior. 

Fun fact—I had a mini freak out the week before we painted our home and was like, "Jeremy! If we're paying all this money to get the house painted, shouldn't we paint it pink or something instead of just white?" You can guess what his answer was. Haha!

But now that I see it all coming together, with the fun door, the flowers and the changing decorations on the steps, I really think white was the right choice. I mean—obviously!

There's still so much I want to do next year including working on our grass "bald spots", trying to grow wildflowers from seeds, growing peony bushes for the first time, planting some bigger bushes (considering white hydrangeas, but still looking at options). And don't even let me get started on the backyard. 

That said, it feels really good to get these first few steps completed. I didn't even think we'd get around to doing any outdoor projects in 2016, and we knocked out two really big ones. High fives! 

Wohoo! Custom flower beds!  Basic Instructions-

Supplies: 

-PVC boards 
-4" x 4" pressure treated wooden posts 
-concrete mix 
-post hole diggers 
-level 
-screws 
-power drill 
-flower bed lining 
-miter saw or circular saw 
-soil 
-staple gun 

 
Once you have measured your space where you're going to be building the flowerbeds, dig your post holes every 6' or 8' depending on what size boards you choose and about 18" deep. (We used 8' boards, so the post holes were dug every 7' 8" to leave a 2 inch overlap for your continuing boards.) Once you have all of your post holes dug, measure and cut your 4"x4" posts to whatever height you want your raised beds to be, one post for every hole you dug (keep in mind to add that 18" from your post hole to your measurement!). Set your posts with concrete by placing your post in the hole and simply dumping the concrete mix in around your post and then adding water and mixing with a piece of scrap wood. With a level, keep checking every side of your post to make sure it is perfectly level. Keep doing this for about a minute until it seems like it's not going to move on you. After all of your posts are set, I would recommend letting them harden completely for at least 2 to 3 hours. Once your cement is completely dry, it's time for your boards. Starting on one side, mount your boards with screws starting from the bottom and working your way to the top, making sure each one is perfectly level as you go. Continue until all boards are fastened. Next, take your fabric bed lining and lay it in the bottom of your flower beds. Using a staple gun, staple your lining up to a few inches above where your soil level will be all along the inside of your beds. Next shovel in your soil. (Or if you're getting it delivered from a local nursery, see if the person delivering can dump the soil directly into the beds if they have access to back up their truck. It helps save you from a lot of potential back pain!) 

Wohoo! Custom flower beds!    And I'll leave you with this fun little snapshot of Penelope and Scarlett helping me a couple weeks ago. How freaking cute is that?!

I love that these flower beds are one part decoration, one part activity! #memories 

Hope you are having a great great weekend! xx -Elsie 

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson and Collin DuPree. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions

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