Five EASY To Care For HouseplantsHey, friends! We have had LOTS of requests for this post, and I am really excited to share it with you today! 

Over the past few years, I've gone from a plant killer to a borderline-crazy plant LOVER. They really are my favorite thing about our home and what makes it feel like HOME to me. 

Now, some are easier to care for than others! And there's nothing worse than buying a special plant only to have it die on you when you are trying your best to care for it (I'm looking at you fiddle leaf fig trees!). So today I've rounded up five types of plants that are on the easier side to care for, that can live in mixed lighting and are pretty low maintenance. These are the ones that are thriving and growing like crazy in my home. 

Hope you enjoy! 

Five EASY To Care For Houseplants  1. Philodendron – I have a lot of these in our spaces. They can live in high light, but don't need it, and they do pretty well with my slight over-watering tendencies. They grow very large. The one above is newer, and the one below we've had for about six months. 

Five EASY To Care For Houseplants (It's almost twice the size of when we bought it!) 

Five EASY To Care For Houseplants           I also love the split-leaf philodendron. It's slightly prettier (to me) and just as easy to care for. 

Five EASY To Care For Houseplants   We have four of these in the house and the oldest one is almost TOO big. They grow really quickly. 

Five EASY To Care For Houseplants     2. Cactus – It's no secret that I REALLY love Cacti. There are endless varieties. I am trying to buy more of the spineless ones from here on out, just to keep the house a little more safe for children (we have a LOT of kiddo house guests and visitors around here). I love the huge variety they come in! 

Five EASY To Care For Houseplants      These prickly pear cacti are probably my favorite to collect. Mine have been growing REALLY well. You can see here, all the bright green pieces are new growth. They're so pretty. There are even some varieties (not these) that can live outdoors in Tennessee through the winter. SUPER excited to plant some outside. 

Five EASY To Care For Houseplants    This huge eight foot cactus is super low maintenance. I'm only supposed to water it once a month (that's pretty normal for cacti). 

Five EASY To Care For Houseplants       3. Snake Plant – These snake plants are very easy to keep alive and work well in low light rooms. In rooms with high light (like our sunroom) they do well too, they just grow more. I love the shape they have, good for variety! 

Five EASY To Care For Houseplants         4. Ponytail Palm Trees 

A type of bonsai tree, these little guys have SO much personality and are very easy to care for. I have three in very different sizes (the mini is the cutest, though, I have to say!), and they live in rooms with high and low light, even though they are recommended for low light. 

Here's the big one... 

Five EASY To Care For Houseplants        I love that their leaves look like hair. So adorable!! 

Five EASY To Care For Houseplants          5. Ivy – These are my favorite for hanging planters because they can grow really long and pretty. This one is growing like crazy in our kitchen right now. 

When it comes to watering and keeping them alive, here are the two tricks that help me!

  1. Water on the same day every week. My day is Sunday. We usually tidy up on that day too, so that's the first step in that process. It's really good to get into a consistent routine so you don't forget about watering. When I buy new plants, I always check the tag or ask how much much to water and what kind of light, but after a while, it's up to you to use common sense and tweak things if your plant seems unhealthy. 
  2. Move them around. If you notice brown leaves or a lot of dropped leaves and you know you're watering the correct amount, then move them to a different lighting situation. Sometimes the smallest changes (like one room over) can be the difference between dying and thriving for my plants. Just pretend they are people who can't talk and keep trying different things until they seem happy.  :)

I hope these suggestions are helpful! If you have any questions, I am happy to answer them. And I would love to hear YOUR suggestions for any houseplants that have been easy to care for! xx- Elsie 

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson, Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Perfect for summer! orange mango margarita (click through for recipe)         Summer means lots of different things to different people, but when I think of summer, I always picture myself poolside (or beachside if I'm lucky that year) with a fruity drink in my hand. I don't think I've ever had a fruit-based drink that I didn't like – I love them all! We're excited to partner with the Florida Department of Citrus to bring this fun tropical version of a classic margarita. To really channel my inner beach babe, I thought it’d be fun to create an orange and mango combination. And make sure you keep reading. There’s a fun cocktail kit giveaway coming! 

Perfect for summer! orange mango margarita (click through for recipe)Orange Mango Margarita, serves one

2 oz Florida Orange Juice
2 oz mango juice
2 oz silver tequila
1 oz triple sec
juice from 1/2 of a lime
honey and coarse salt for rim
limes and oranges for garnish

Perfect for summer! orange mango margarita (click through for recipe) Take two plates, drizzle honey on one and pour coarse salt on the other. Dip the rim of your glass into the honey, and then place into the salt to create a salt rim.

Perfect for summer! orange mango margarita (click through for recipe)  Add your orange juice, mango juice, tequila, triple sec, and lime juice into a shaker with ice, and shake to combine. Add ice to your salted glass and pour your cocktail into your glass. Add slices of orange and lime for garnish and get ready to taste the tropics!

Perfect for summer! orange mango margarita (click through for recipe)     Perfect for summer! orange mango margarita (click through for recipe)     The sweetness from the orange and mango is balanced with the bite of the tequila and lime for the perfect sweet and sour combination. Of course you can make a few of these at a time or make a big batch to server pitcher style (a better choice for parties), and what better way to serve it than with some new cocktail serving essentials? The Florida Department of Citrus has put together a fun cocktail kit that we'll be giving away to a lucky reader! To enter, follow the steps below.

Perfect for summer! orange mango margarita (click through for recipe)          Florida Orange Juice Cocktail Kit

Giveaway is open until 07/05/16, and the winner will be contacted directly. Good luck!!  xo. Laura

Credits//Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

A Beautiful Mess Giveaway Rules 

3 beauty products I am loving     Hi, friends! Today I have a new mini series to share with you. I have been wanting to share my healthy deodorant for, like, six months. But it always felt like kind of a random thing to post about. But sharing products I truly love and use IS RANDOM. So today I am kicking off a small series of posts about the beauty products I use and love. Since I last posted about my routine (a few years ago?), I have changed out almost every product for something with less chemicals. I spent the last six months really cleaning up my beauty, bath and household products. And although it's not perfect (it never is), I am really proud of the HUGE amount of unnecessary, harmful chemicals that I cut out. 

Anyway! Here are three products I am using daily (or regularly) and loving! 

3 beauty products I am loving    The Healthy Deodorant I love this stuff. I have tried at LEAST a dozen brands in the past that did not work (sometimes it felt like I wasn't even wearing deodorant it was so bad). This stuff works, it smells good, and Jeremy and I both love it. We've been using it for about six months, and I can now say it's good enough for summer weather and fitness as well. It's less strong than something you'd buy at the drugstore, but BY FAR the best aluminum free option I've ever found. It comes in different scents, but I like "Sport Luxe". 

3 beauty products I am loving  Acure Cell Stimulating Facial Mask A classic green mask that doesn't dry your skin out. This one is new to me, and I love it! Bonus points – it's reasonably priced and you can get it at Target. 

Here's what it looks like on your skin– 

3 beauty products I am loving   Ew gross! (Kidding – I love this kind of stuff!!) 

3 beauty products I am loving Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist I love it when I find a brand that I trust and end up loving ALL their products. Herbivore is that brand for me. I initially discovered them through Moorea Seal, and now I have a massive collection and am a certified fan girl.

Anyway – about the face mist! Once you get into the routine of using a face mist (I use it when I wash or rinse my face, morning and night), it's kind of addicting. It makes me feel more awake in the mornings and ready for bed at night. Routines, man! So good. 

3 beauty products I am loving     Alright!! I hope you enjoyed my randomness. Please do let me know if you try any of these products and what you think. Also, if you have suggestions of products you love (whether for beauty, bath or home cleaning), I am very interested and would love to hear them! xx- Elsie 

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson, Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions. 

Omg... Goat Cheese LogsYou can file this one under "simple ideas that make me ridiculously happy." I love goat cheese, but it's not the prettiest cheese for a cheese board. So this past weekend I tried covering three logs of goat cheese with random toppings and they came out REALLY cute! 

Omg... Goat Cheese Logs The toppings are toasted coconut, wasabi peas and unsweetened chocolate chips (to which I also drizzled honey). Sweet and savory! 

Omg... Goat Cheese Logs   Some other toppings I want to try are pan-fried rosemary, salted caramel and diced peaches. mmmmm

Omg... Goat Cheese Logs    Omg... Goat Cheese Logs     Omg... Goat Cheese Logs      Next time you're making a cheese board, try adding some goat cheese logs with fun toppings! What flavors would you choose? 

xx- Elsie 

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson, Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Progress Report- Elsie's ClosetHey, guys!!! I'm really excited to share my newest progress report with you... my closet! It's finally starting to feel really good. It's both functional and inspiring.

But first, a walk down ole memory lane– 

6a00d8358081ff69e201bb08962da0970d-piThis is the "dressing room" inside of our master bathroom space. When we first viewed the house, it was carpeted and the walls were a little bit different. We expanded the wall you see to the right just a bit to provide room for a larger bath tub. The thing I loved most about this space, originally, was the pretty door molding. 

Here's how it looks today– 

 Progress Report- Elsie's Closet We replaced the chandeliers with this fun star flush mount (painted gold, of course!). I really debated about keeping the chandeliers. I liked them, but ultimately I decided to stay committed to my mood board to maintain a unified vibe throughout the rooms. 

The acrylic frame is a DIY you can see here

Progress Report- Elsie's Closet   We updated the hardware on the closet doors with these hex knobs

Progress Report- Elsie's Closet  And we pulled the carpet up and had the floors refinished in a light white wash color. 

Progress Report- Elsie's Closet    For the mirror at the end of the L-shaped closet, we replaced the folding doors with a standard door so that I could have a standing mirror. I hated to lose that pretty molding, but it was definitely the most practical place to have this mirror. So I'm glad we did it! 

Progress Report- Elsie's Closet     This wall was made more useful with a little DIY magic. I'm really glad we did that. It's been helpful! 

Progress Report- Elsie's Closet      This little dresser area is AMAZING. I love having a place for everything, and I am mildly obsessed with re-styling it every couple weeks. I find that the more visible things are, the more I wear them. So pretty storage like this really works for me! 

Progress Report- Elsie's Closet       I found this dish on Etsy a few weeks ago. I've been on a kick collecting blush pink ceramics for all over the house. 

Progress Report- Elsie's Closet         And this brass cactus is an eBay find. The perfect place to store all my gold bracelets. 

Progress Report- Elsie's Closet           I found this ring dish from Suite One Studio. It's a nice place to keep earrings together. 

Progress Report- Elsie's Closet            Progress Report- Elsie's Closet             This tray was a housewarming gift from a good friend. I'm swapping out sunnies on it each week. The rest are in this top drawer– 

Progress Report- Elsie's Closet Makeover   Argh! I love organizing things. 

Progress Report- Elsie's Closet              Pretty details that make me smile every day. 

Progress Report- Elsie's Closet MakeoverAnd I finally found the perfect spot to store my flair collection, this pretty millet basket

Progress Report- Elsie's Closet Makeover Progress Report- Elsie's Closet Makeover I'm using these Lewis Dolin pulls again in this room (same as our DIY dresser). 

Progress Report- Elsie's Closet Makeover      Here's a quick peek into my closet.

Progress Report- Elsie's Closet Makeover        Thanks for taking a peek at my progress!! It's definitely still a "one day at a time" thing, but this past month, I've been feeling really encouraged by the progress we've made in just eight months (or a year, depending on when you start counting). Either way!

If you're currently renovating, don't let yourself get discouraged when looking at other people's already-finished rooms. This stuff takes TIME. You're doing great!!! xx- Elsie 

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

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