A quick wallpaper updateYOU GUYS. Sorry for shouting, but I'm REALLY EXCITED to share my entryway progress with you! The other day we had our wallpaper installed, and I am just SO pleased with how it's coming along. 

You remember the before

6a00d8358081ff69e201b7c7e4d272970b-piWe've come a long way since that photo! We did keep the existing marble tile (and had the grout refreshed), but the walls have changed A LOT. 

A quick wallpaper update  I spent the most time choosing this wallpaper. The reason I was so indecisive was since we did the the turquoise floor in the room right beside the entry, I didn't want anything super loud or colorful because the floor is already SO bold. But I also didn't want it to be boring. So it look a LONG TIME to find the perfect paper. I'm so glad I let it stay unfinished for six months because eventually we did find the perfect one.  

What we ended up choosing is from Juju Papers. It's handmade in Portland and really beautiful in person. It's gold foiled, but not super shiny. I can't wait for you to see the finished photos because these photos are only from my phone and don't even do the space justice. 

A quick wallpaper update I posted this photo midway through the process because I was excited about the former wallpaper being covered and our new pink door, but I think I accidentally misled some people because it LOOKS like we were painting over wallpaper. I would actually never recommend painting over wallpaper unless it's so old that it might be a safety concern. 

In this photo they were patching over a few holes and the wall where the chair rails used to be, and then it was primed so that the old pattern would not show through the wallpaper. This is normal. In each room they basically diagnose whether you can prime and cover the paper or if it needs to be removed. It just depends on the condition of your old paper. 

I have gotten a lot of questions about DIYing wallpaper, and I honestly think it's one of the things that you should not DIY. The paper is typically more expensive than the install. So DIYing the install is so risky. If you mess up, you could potentially ruin a lot of good paper and waste even more money. And after watching three rooms in our home be wallpapered, I can see how incredibly technical the whole process is. Very tedious! 

Oh! And if you live in the Nashville area and need a wallpaper install recommendation, you can email me! elsie AT abeautifulmess DOT com. I am happy to share my source with you. (I love them!!) 

A quick wallpaper update   Here's a photo from install day. 

A quick wallpaper update     Happy doesn't even begin to describe it! Since this is the first room you see when you walk in the house, it REALLY changed the space. Jeremy was so happy as well. It feels so much closer to complete now... it's just crazy! 

A quick wallpaper update(Sorry to repeat the same pic again.)

I didn't really talk about the pink door and that just doesn't seem right! We've only painted the inside of it so far. I'm really glad we decided on pink. It really fits the space and makes it feel so personalized. I have this super cool door hardware in the closet. It was actually one of the first things I bought before we moved (I was WAY over eager, you guys), and I can't wait to finally put it to good use. 

Next up – hang our mirror, put down a rug, do a little styling and CALL IT DONE. It's so close. 

Sources: Paper/Sisters Of The Sun by Juju Papers, Table/Modern Buffet by West Elm (should I swap out the hardware or leave it?), Bench/Transit Bench by Gus Modern, Plant/Ponytail Palm (I don't know what the other two are called), Pink Paint/Baby Blush by Valspar. 

Can't wait to share more soon!!! xx- Elsie 

How I finally stopped biting my nails (via abeautifulmess.com)I recently mentioned in this post about coffee creamer that I had successfully stopped biting my nails all through March, and now into April too. Wahoo! I've even posted about it a couple times on IG in a "series" I'm calling nail updates. 

It's not really a series. I just posted about it twice. But I like the idea of making it a series. And I'm also quite shocked that I've been feeling OK enough to share about it online. Over the years I've usually tried to hide my nails in photos because I know I will inevitably have someone comment about how I should stop biting them or how bad they look. And for me, Internet-meanness only really hurts when I sort of agree with the comment. So I've felt really ashamed about this bad habit for a long, long time now and often try to hide it. 

Anyway, I've had lots of people connect with me over nail biting from these posts. Apparently I'm not the only one who has struggled with this bad habit for years and years. And there are so many different suggestions and solutions out there to try, so I thought I'd share what has worked best for me. 

How I finally stopped biting my nailsSo for any of you that don't know me, I'm Emma, I'm 30 years old, and I've been biting my nails for as long as I can remember. I have had a few times when I stopped for a month or more. The most successful I've ever been at not biting my nails was the six weeks before my wedding. I knew my hands would be in lots of photos that day (holding flowers, with my rings on, holding Trey's hand, etc.), and I just didn't want to have any of those important photos ruined for me because I hated how my fingernails looked in them. That motivated me enough to stop biting them long enough to grow them out at least some (enough that they weren't completely terrible). But after the wedding, it did not stick at all. 

I've tried lots of things over the years. I've been trying on and off to quit biting my nails since high school. I've tried fake nails, nail wraps, polish that tastes bad, getting a manicure, acrylics, wearing gloves a lot (I know, weird), and a few other random methods I either heard from friends or read online. I was sort of considering hypnosis but just didn't trust it to work (apologies if anyone is really into that, I just didn't think it would work for me). So... yeah... it felt like I tried almost everything. 

Then a couple months ago, I was listening to a random episode of Gretchen Rubin's podcast. Part of the episode touched on how we form habits and what makes us stick to habits. And the whole time I was listening, I kept thinking that maybe this could help me understand why I have this bad habit and what I can do to stop it. She has a new book out, Better Than Before, which I haven't checked out yet, but it's for sure on my list.

Anyway, the main thing I took away from it was this: I have a hard time following rules that I think are arbitrary (I'm a little bit of a rebel like that). I do well when I understand the goal. Like if my goal is to get an A in class, I can follow the rules or make a plan to get there (unless it's math, then I'll settle for a B). Even if it's something I don't really want to do, if I understand the big picture of why it's important, I can generally make plans, goals, and habits that can get me where I want to go. The big exception for me is with things I deem arbitrary or unimportant. And I realized that I guess I put nail biting in that category. It doesn't totally matter how your nails look, you will make it through life even with short, bitten off nails. I know this because I've done it for the past 15+ years. And when I'd hear someone say, in real life or on the Internet, something to the effect of, "You really should stop biting your nails," or "Your nails look so terrible like that," etc. there was a little voice inside me that kind of wanted to say, "So what? They're my nails not yours, and I'll do what I want." 

I told you. Total rebel. :)

So then I thought I could just do some research and figure out why nail biting is so bad for you (health-wise, or otherwise) and maybe that would unlock the key. It wouldn't be so arbitrary anymore; I'd have a real reason to quit. I read a number of articles online and everything pretty much said the same thing. Nail biting is bad because it's putting your germy hands in your mouth. Gross (or possibly makes your immune system stronger? I read one article that said that). Also it's possible that long term nail biting may cause your nail beds to shrink or your nails to stop growing, become weaker, etc. There were some health concerns with nail biting, but not really enough to deter me if I am being honest. I was hoping for something like, "Studies show that nail biters live an average of 10 years shorter than non-nail biters." But I just didn't find anything that seemed to suggest that. 

And it was at this point that I decided I should just give up on trying to trick the rebel in me that nail biting was going to kill me. It probably wasn't. So instead, I tried to changed my mindset towards the whole thing. I tried to make it less about following an arbitrary rule and more of a daily decision that I could choose or not choose to follow. Because the truth is, I do in fact like biting my nails. But I also like having longer nails. And these two things can't coexist. So everyday I allow myself to decide which it's going to be for that day only.

Everyday, especially when I want to bite my nails, I tell myself, "If you want to bite your nails tomorrow, you can. Just don't bite them today." And I really mean it. I figure that if a day comes when I really want to bite my nails but I don't let myself and the next day I regret it, I wish I HAD went ahead and allowed myself to bite my nails, then I can bite them. Why not? It's arbitrary anyway. But so far everyday that I don't bite them, I'm glad I didn't. So I keep going. But everyday it's something I think about and struggle with a little. Especially if I'm stressed out or in a highly social setting, as those tend to really trigger this bad habit for me.

How to stop biting your nailsAnd that's it. It's pretty simple. I just decide everyday what I'm going to do, and I only stick to it for that day. Then it starts over the next day. 

Will this work forever? I don't know. My crystal ball rarely works. 

Are my nails the most beautiful, longest nails in the world? No. I don't think I have a future in hand modeling as a career. :)

Do I miss biting my nails? Yes. Often.

Am I happy, or at least happier that for now I've kicked this bad habit? YESSSSS. I feel SO proud, you guys!

I know it's totally silly, arbitrary, probably temporary, and maybe even a little ridiculous that I'm even still struggling with this at 30, but – I feel so good that I've been able to stop this bad habit this past (almost) two months. I am really enjoying painting my long-to-me nails. I decided that if I go until the end of April without biting them, I'm going to treat myself to some new nail polishes. I've been wanting to invest in some natural polishes but haven't wanted to spend the $$$ if I was just going to keep biting my nails and not really use the polish. We'll see if I make it. 

There you go, over 1300 words on nail biting. This has kind of been my nightmare post because I seriously hate talking about my nails. Ha! 

Here's to trying to kick old, bad habits! It's hard. It's embarrassing. But there you are. :) xx. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman

Ikea Restyle! Make your tv stand more midcentury (click through for more)     If you ask me, technology is probably one of the hardest things to integrate into a thoughtful design. Things like TVs, speakers, DVD players... all that stuff that is necessary if you want to enjoy all that movies and Netflix have to offer, but they can easily cramp your design style and become a bit of an eyesore if you let them. Since we have been trying to keep our 60s ranch in the midcentury vein, I wanted to get a TV stand that would be sleek and modern but also have a bit of that classic vintage flair. Since I couldn't find exactly what I wanted,I decided to take a simple Ikea TV stand (the BESTÅ) and add a few tweaks to elevate the look and make it fit in more with our theme.

Ikea Restyle! Make your tv stand more midcentury (click through for more)                   You can see that it's a great simple shape, but it just needed a bit more personality for it to fit in with our quirky/fun theme. Vintage-inspired gold accents perhaps?!?

Ikea Restyle! Make your tv stand more midcentury (click through for more)
All I needed for this restyle was a drill, painter's tape, a ruler, some gold spray paint, these adorable brass starburst plates, and some beautiful brass knobs for the actual pulls.

Ikea Restyle! Make your tv stand more midcentury (click through for more) To find the middle of the drawers, I made a cross out of painter's tape on what looked like the middle, and then used the ruler and marker to mark where the middle actually was.

Ikea Restyle! Make your tv stand more midcentury (click through for more)  I then used the drill to drill a hole the size of the knob hardware screw into the drawer. I usually like to start with a smaller hole and then use bigger and bigger bits until I reach the desired size. Oh, and make sure to take anything out of the drawers first so you don't drill a hole into your Big Lebowski DVD. Very important.

Ikea Restyle! Make your tv stand more midcentury (click through for more)   Once I had the hole drilled, I put the hardware screw through the back of the hole, attached the starburst plate onto the front, and then screwed the knob on to secure the plate. You could also glue the plate onto the drawer, but if your hardware is tightened well enough, you don't really have to.

Ikea Restyle! Make your tv stand more midcentury (click through for more)       You can see that I also gave the legs a coat of gold spray paint before assembling the TV stand (much easier to do it before than after it's all put together!). Pretty easy, but it's a nice detail on the finished product.

Ikea Restyle! Make your tv stand more midcentury (click through for more)              Ikea Restyle! Make your tv stand more midcentury (click through for more)              Ikea Restyle! Make your tv stand more midcentury (click through for more)              Even though they were small and quick changes, I think the added hardware and gold legs give the stand a more unique look that blends in much better with the rest of the decor. The starburst is a classic midcentury shape and the brass coating makes it pop on the clean shiny white surface. Sometimes all you need is a small change to add that something special! xo. Laura

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

Why Snapchat matters AND doesn't matterIt's been more than six months since I've been active on Snapchat, and I thought it would be fun to share some of my observations and opinions about the platform. MANY of my friends have recently asked me if it's really worth signing up for, and my short answer is yes AND no. I mean, I don't think it's going to ruin anybody's career if they don't use Snapchat. But I also think it's been worth my time for a couple of unexpected reasons. I'll explain... 

WHY SNAPCHAT MATTERS:

Snapchat matters because it's different. It really fills in the gaps that are missing from other social media. Instagram is still my very favorite, but I like Snapchat because I get to see a very different side of people and they get to see a different side of me! 

The thing I enjoy about it (and what I've most often heard that others enjoy) is that the content is NOT curated and it's not picture perfect. You can't upload photos, so (besides using the hilarious filters that are included with the app) you cannot over edit photos. It just is what it is. 

There are many people who I follow on there who I've followed on other media, and I feel like I love them so much more because of Snapchat. For certain people (especially those with HIGHLY curated blog or Instagram feeds), you get to see a different side, and that can be really fun! I also follow a few of my favorite brands, and I really enjoy those as well because there will be sneak peeks, videos inside their offices – fun things like that! 

In short, Snapchat matters because it's a way to get to see the candid side of people you enjoy following. 

 Why Snapchat matters AND doesn't matterSo, if you haven't used Snapchat yet, you might only know this one fact – everything you post disappears in 24 hours. What I've learned is that this is what keeps it really fresh and random! 

At first I didn't want to use Snapchat because it bothered me that it would disappear. I LOVE looking back on my really old Instagram posts, even when they are embarrassing. So I didn't want to put my time into posting on something that was always disappearing. 

But now that I've used it for six months, I can say that this is what makes the platform REALLY GOOD.

The 24-hour reset means there is zero point in scrutinizing over every single post. Elaborate, fine-tuned strategies like people use on Instagram are basically useless on Snapchat, and I kind of love that! No matter how much effort you put into making some kind of cute post, it will be gone in 24 hours... which I really feel is what keeps the whole platform fun and effortless! 

I never plan any of my Snapchat posts, and I feel like it's just SO EASY to keep up with. I think that effortless vibe is what makes it really special. 

My takeaway from using Snapchat is while it's not as useful from a business perspective as our blog and Instagram accounts are, it's a very FUN way to connect with our readers. I have most often used my account to post half-finished home updates and progress of our renovations that for whatever reason weren't finished enough to be here on the blog or weren't photogenic enough for Instagram. It's been really fun to have a no-pressure space to share all that stuff! 

In short, Snapchat doesn't matter because it deletes your posts every day (which keeps crazy over-thinkers like me from over-thinking anything... yay!). 

SnapchatThese pics above are from last weekend when I visited Missouri and on Christmas day when I was giving a mini tour of my grandparent's house. :)) 

If you're curious to know how to use Snapchat, watch our friend Alison's video. It's very helpful. 

Oh! And if you want to follow my Snapchat, my username is @elsielarson. Emma doesn't have an account, but she's in my snaps a lot when we travel together. :) Have a great day!! Elsie 

Phoenix           Phoenix           Phoenix           Phoenix           Phoenix           Phoenix           Phoenix           Phoenix     Phoenix     Phoenix     Phoenix     Hey, friends!! This past week Emma and I traveled to Phoenix for a quick business trip. We met with Anita and Sam of Hello Merch and have decided to partner with them on an upcoming business venture. (Will share more SOON. This is not a formal announcement, only a tiny, baby announcement!) We wanted to meet them in person as well as see their operation and meet their team. We're very excited about things to come! 

We also shot a bunch of photos with our favorite photographer, Sarah Rhodes. She's so talented and just a JOY of a person to be around. 

While we were there, we fell HARD for Phoenix. The landscape and the cute lunch spots had me going a LITTLE crazy on snapchat. Haha! And we stayed at the Saguaro (did you know there is one in Scottsdale that is the non-identical-twin-sister to the Palm Springs location?). Loved that! 

Anyway! Just wanted to fill you in on what we've been up to this past week. Can't wait to share more about our newest retail project. It's been a LOT of fun to work on. xx- Elsie 

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