Girls' weekendA couple weekends ago, Rachel, Jacki and Emma came to visit. Rachel was hosting one of her weaving classes, and she invited us to join in the fun. Ummm... yes, please! I was thrilled by the chance to learn weaving from her. 

As is typical when you're having lots of fun, we didn't take as many photos as we should have. But I'm really glad Jeremy snapped this quickie of us in the guest room. Love these ladies!!

Rachel's Weaving Class      Rachel's Weaving Class      Rachel's Weaving Class      Rachel's Weaving Class      Rachel's Weaving Class      Rachel's Weaving Class      Rachel's Weaving Class      Rachel's class was both inspiring and informative. I felt like I learned enough technique to make more weavings at home (I have a pillow cover idea I really need to make time for soon!). But it was also pretty chill and relaxing. We had a wonderful time. 

If you ever get a chance to take one of Rachel's classes, I highly recommend it! You can find out info via her Instagram. And if you don't think you'll be able to attend a class, check out her tutorials here, here and here as well as her new book, DIY Woven Art

Rachel's Weaving Class         Oh and here's Jacki trying the famous Avocado Margarita at Avo

Ugh... posting this makes me really miss my friends! What a wonderful weekend. xx -Elsie 

Try this- a modern solution for hiding your trash canHey, friends. Check it out! It's the back of my house. You don't notice anything ugly and distracting, like maybe four trash cans?

Do you?


Woooohooo! You have no idea how proud I am of my hidden trash can situation. :) Here's a quick post sharing exactly how we made this custom fence (would you call it a fence??) that hides my trash cans and gives the rest of my home the clean/modern feel we are going for. 

BeforeFirst, here's the before. This photo was taken just a couple months ago before the house was painted. You can see here (behind the ladders) that there was already a "fence" type situation around the trash cans. It looked fine before, and I was glad it was there.

Once the house was painted white, it suddenly looked really old. There was moss growing on it and a lot of the wood had rot, so my plan to paint that white quickly flew out the window. We decided to get rid of it and add a new, more modern cover for the trash cans. 

I got a quote to build one with breeze blocks (we're planning to do something else with breeze blocks as well, I promise I didn't get a whole quote just for my trash can fence), but the quote was very expensive. Since we had just spent a pretty penny getting the house painted, we decided to hold off on any more contracted projects until next year. 

Buuuutt, with the new white house, the black trash cans really stood out. See? 

Try this- a modern solution for hiding your trash can BEFORESo I decided to try a DIY option! I thought about it a lot, and then the perfect, simple idea came. 

Here's what we did! 

Try this- a modern solution for hiding your trash can Woohoo!! So simple. So clean. 

The supplies for this project ended up being around $150 for the size we needed. Not bad, not bad. 

Try this- a modern solution for hiding your trash can  Here's how it looks pulled away from the house. It is still moveable. We chose not to secure it down because it's heavy enough that it won't tip over in the wind or storms. And keeping it movable is the easiest way to be able to hose it down back there if we ever have a trash accident (it happens). 

Oh! If you're curious, we have a trash service that drives up to this spot so we don't have to roll anything to the curb (it's AWESOME). 

Try this- a modern solution for hiding your trash can   Here's how it looks from behind, in case you want to make one that's similar. It's so easy (but also extremely custom for our house) that we didn't think it was necessary to show you a whole DIY. But I can help you with any questions you might have if you want to make your own. 

The boards are the pre-primed white boards (6" tall by 3/4" wide). Then there are four posts that are 2.5 inches wide on each corner. If you have that and screws, you have everything you need! 

Try this- a modern solution for hiding your trash can      You can see here that the cans are hidden, but still fully accessible. Since they are the small trash cans, they are easy to lift out.

I guess that's everything! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. 

Oh... ONE more before/after before I go! 

Before:After Back of the house!I'm really excited about all the little tweaks we've made so far! 

Next up on our outdoor list are some flower beds. Then, next year, we are hoping to add a deck to the back (more to the left where the photo cuts off) and really fix up the landscaping. 

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

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

Caramel Dreamin' Wishlist

The fall leaves are starting to drop, and we've got dreams of caramel apples, cozy sweaters, and warm mugs of tea on the brain. We've teamed up with Werther's Original to create a caramel-themed wish list for you all—in case you're feeling like us. :) They've put out this cute quiz that you can take to see which caramel flavors match your personality. From their Classic Hard Caramels to the Caramel Apple Filled Caramels, there's a flavor for everyone! When I took the quiz, I got Werther's Original Caramel Popcorn, which is perfect because I love the salty mixed with sweet flavor combination! 

1. The easiest ever caramel apples made with Werther's Original Chewy Caramels. Check our IG for a quick how-to in case you want to make your own. 
2. Cozy turtleneck sweater
3. Warm AND cute gloves
4. A delicious smelling candle
5. Pom pom stocking cap for the win (see how to make your own stocking cap)
6. A roomy and stylish backpack
7. Classic Dr.Marten boots for all you 90s lovers (You can't see it, but I'm raising my hand.)
8. Snug throw blankets
9. OMG this coat is too cool!
10. Love, love these mugs bc you can never have too many mugs

What about you? Do you have anything on your wish list this season? xo. Emma

Credits // Author, Photography, and design: Emma Chapman. Images from sources linked throughout. 

Mid-Century Modern Planter with gold legs... and it's a DIY!!!  As I've posted house photos and room tours this past year, one of the biggest requests we hear from you guys over and over again is the cry for affordable mid-century inspired decor! 

These plant stands are affordable, doable and super pretty! The pots themselves come in a huge variety of sizes via Amazon (the 12 inch ones we used are here). I've used the smaller sizes a lot throughout our home, like on our kitchen shelves! 

Anyway! I hope you guys enjoy this project. Here are the DIY instructions! 

_MG_1533 copy
-2 pieces of wood 1' x 2" x  3/4"
-4 1" square pieces of wood (cut to whatever length you want your plant stand to be) 
-countersink drill bit
-tape measurer
-wood filler
-sanding sponge 
-white paint
-gold leaf paint

_MG_1535 copyStep One: Start by determining what size you want your stand to be (this will be based on what planter you're going to be using with it). Measure the bottom width of your planter and add an extra 2" to that measurement. Cut your 2" x 3/4" pieces of wood to that length. Next, mark a 3/4" notch in the middle of both pieces of wood with a pencil and use your jigsaw to cut out the pieces. These two pieces will connect later and create the base of your plant stand.

_MG_1541 copy_MG_1541 copyStep Two: Drill two holes below that line in each leg with a countersink drill bit. Next, take your legs one at a time and hold them up to your 2" x 3/4" pieces of wood but make sure the 2 inches you marked with a pencil are hanging over the top. Then screw your legs to your base pieces with one leg on opposite sides of each piece of wood.

_MG_1545 copy_MG_1545 copyStep Three: Next, line up the notches you created earlier to connect your two base pieces together. Attach the pieces by drilling a hole through the bottom of them and use a screw to secure.

_MG_1551 copyStep Four: Lastly, give your planter a light sand with a sanding sponge, and then it's ready to paint!

_MG_1551 copyFor an extra touch, you can tape off the bottom few inches of each leg and paint the sections gold for a "dipped" look. Let the paint fully dry, and you're done!

Mid-Century Modern Planter with gold legs... and it's a DIY!!! Mid-Century Modern Planter with gold legs... and it's a DIY!!! Mid-Century Modern Planter with gold legs... and it's a DIY!!! If you guys make your own set, PLEASE share them with us on Instagram with #ABMathome Love you guys! xoxo! Elsie 

Note: While making this post, we were training Collin on writing DIYs. Please leave him a little thumbs up or high five if you like this post!!!! :) 

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

Should I insure my equipmentHello, friends. Time for another round of Blog Q&A! Although today's question could easily apply to bloggers as well as many small business owners. If you want to see the past questions and answers from this series, here is our archive of blogging advice. Today's question came from the comments section of our blog:

"I know it's an individual choice, but does ABM normally insure their photography equipment when you buy it? Have you found that you need it due to such heavy use of the equipment on your blog? Thanks so much!"

There are lots of different ways to approach the concern here (protecting equipment used for business), and I'm pretty excited to see if others have thoughts. Our company, like all small businesses, is unique, and the challenges we face are probably not exactly the same as everyone else. So, know that I am approaching this question from my perspective, but I'm also hoping to just give you some things to think about knowing that your situation may be quite different. 

Here are a few questions I would ask anyone who is considering insuring their business-related equipment. Also, when I say business-related equipment, I'm referring to smaller priced items like DSLR cameras or laptops, not necessarily company cars or larger priced items like that. But we'll talk a bit more on that at the end. 

What kind of business are you running? 

I am sort of getting at two things here. First, if your business is somewhat similar to A Beautiful Mess—a blogger, content creator, lifestyle based company—then first I would just question what items are truly necessary for business functions. If you are in the beginning stages of your business, whatever you do, it might also be a good time to think about making sure you have all your business files set up and you are official with the federal and your state government (possibly your county too if you need certain licenses or other business documents). I bring this up because as soon as you establish your business, you should seek to get liability insurance, also sometimes called commercial general business liability insurance. This does not protect your business from EVERYTHING, just many of the big, bankruptcy type fears. I know, fun stuff to think about. :) 

You will likely need to find an insurance broker or agent that you trust and feel confident working with in order to get this set up. Just as a quick note, a broker can quote you insurance from multiple companies while an agent generally works with just one company. We work with brokers most of the time, but the most important thing is to find someone you feel confident working with. That way when something does arise in your business, you can ask them lots of questions and get things sorted quickly. Now, the liability insurance will probably not cover damaged property like a camera. It's possible, but I know ours does not. So I would ask your broker their thoughts on coverage for any specific equipment your business might own or what they feel is the best way to protect your needed equipment in case something should happen to it. If possible, get a few quotes and make sure you pay attention to what it truly covers. Many policies will not cover "wear and tear" type issues but may cover equipment if it's lost, stolen, etc. Take note of any deductibles as well since we're thinking about lower priced items. If your deductible is high enough that you might as well buy a new camera, then it may not be worth it. 

What about warranties or other coverage? 

Insurance companies are not the only entities that can help you if your equipment gets damaged. They are a good option that you should explore (get those quotes!), but exploring a few other options might prove more cost effective. Most manufacturers offer some kind of warranty, so make sure when you are getting ready to buy that you take note of this. Often it will cover certain types of damages and not others, and it may only be for a set limit (1 year, 2 years, etc.). In order to take advantage of the warranty, you sometimes have to register your equipment or at least save the original purchase documents so you can prove how long you've owned it. File these with your other business papers. I recommend a file cabinet from here (they are so cute! makes business filing at least a little fun). 

When shopping, it's good to also check into other, extended warranty options that sellers may be offering. Just as an example, if you purchase your camera equipment from Best Buy, they offer a protection plan (additional cost at time of purchase) that can last up to four years and cover all sorts of damage. If you use your camera often, like we do for work, then this might be the most cost effective option. So no matter where you plan to buy, before you do, see if they offer additional protection warranties, how much they cost, and what all they cover. And be sure to save your paperwork/receipts to take advantage of the plan should you need. And just to be 100% clear, I am just using Best Buy as an example because I have a photographer friend who told me about their plan, and when I looked into it, it did seem really worthwhile. This is not sponsored or an affiliate of any kind, just something I've seen that could be useful to you, but do some research and see what you think. Go look into options in your area for what might work best for you. 

The bottom line: make sure you are covered in some way, but I'd research insurance vs. warranty options before investing in either. 

Also, one more quick note regarding business equipment: consider depreciation rates for your business taxes. Typically any equipment over $2500 will be depreciated over years if you plan to use it during that time for business. We use an accountant for our business taxes, so if you do too, then ask them how this works or at the very least make them aware when do you buy equipment that could fall within this range. It could be that the camera equipment you use doesn't quite fall into this range, but larger ticket items certainly could. So I figured I'd at least mention it. 

Insurance, warranties, taxes—oh my! That was a fun one, huh? :) What about you guys? Any other small business owners out there who have more thoughts on insuring equipment? xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Elsie Larson. Image Design: Mara Dockery.


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