A Beautiful Mess goes to the Netherlands and Iceland!We've seen a few people talking about this on Twitter already, but we wanted to let all our readers from around the world know that we will be speaking at Meet the Blogger (in Amsterdam) this October.

We have spoken at conferences only a few times before, so we were absolutely delighted when Meet the Blogger invited us! I (Emma) have never been to the Netherlands before, so I am so excited to get to see that beautiful country and hopefully meet some of our European readers. Elsie and I are super proud that ABM is read all over the world (40% of you are located outside of the USA where we are based), and this will be the first time we will be part of an event overseas together, along with our husbands who will be joining us as well. So hopefully we will get to shake some of your hands come this October!

A good friend of ours also told us about the Icelandair layover option. Have you heard of it? Basically when you fly with Icelandair, you can include a layover in Iceland for up to seven days with no extra charge. This sounded like quite a deal to us, so we immediately started looking up flights to see if that could work with our trip. And, much to our delight, we were able to make it happen. (Insert squeal here!) One of my goals for the year was to try and travel more because there is so much beauty in this world we are living in, and I want to see as much of it as I can over my lifetime. So I feel like this trip is coming at the perfect season for us. :)

We've already booked our lodging (all short term rental apartments), but we'd really LOVE to hear any and all recommendations you might have about these two areas. Again, we'll mostly be in Amsterdam and Reykjavik (and nearby). So if you live here or have visited here and want to tell us about something cool we need to check out, we are all ears! xo. Emma (and Elsie)

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Left photo source, Right photo source. I tried to find the original sources for these images, but if I have made an error, please let me know so I can correctly link them. Thanks!

Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman of A Beautiful MessElsie Larson and Emma Chapman of A Beautiful Mess I've noticed that I'm really good at collecting clothes that I work in. Which for me includes crafting, cooking, building furniture sometimes, answering emails most days, and a whole bunch of things in between. You can probably guess, but a lot of my daily outfits involve jeans. And I do a good job of finding cute tops or different things that can work within these types of activities. What I'm not good at is remembering to pick up a going-out dress every now and again. Which for me simply means a dress that I probably would not want to wear to make any kind of craft in.

Laura does this smart thing where if she finds a date night dress for a good price, she'll buy it and save it. Smart gal. So I've been trying to remember this easy little shopping trick. And that's how I got this blue dress. Elsie and I snapped these photos in the afternoon, and later we all had a happy hour with our husbands and I felt really fancy in a summer-night kind of way. Got to use my date night dress just a few weeks after finding it. :)

Emma ChapmanEmma Chapman Emma's wearing: Dress/French Connection, Shoes c/o ShopRuche, Necklace/ModCloth, and Sunnies/ABM for BonLook

Elsie Larson Elsie LarsonElsie's wearing: Dress/ASOS, Sunnies/Crap Eyewear, Headband/Ban.do, Bag/J.Crew, Shoes c/o Swedish Hasbeens

Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman of A Beautiful Mess  xo. Emma (and Elsie)

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

Cyberbulling is NOT ok (click through to see what you can do to promote kindness!)I was bullied as a child. It's weird because when I remember the things that other children said to me in upper elementary school, it still hurts a little. Logically, I can see now that they were just kids. But it still feels weird, and when I was recently reintroduced to a girl who made fun of me in sixth grade, she still intimidated me. I thought it kind of odd that the shame I felt as a child was still a little bit there after all these years. 

The saddest thing that I have learned over the past ten years as a blogger and entrepreneur is that bullying is not just for children. My experiences being harassed, insulted, diminished and slandered as an adult are incomparable to my childhood.

The first time it happened I felt shocked and a little sick. I tried to fix it by reasoning with anonymous commenters and defending myself. But it didn't make me feel better and it didn't stop it from happening again. So for the longest time I have worked to tune it out. I have lived with bullying as a sort of dark cloud in my life. I can ignore it for the most part, but every once in a while someone says something that really messes me up for a little while. It never gets easier. 

Through the years I have been approached by countless friends, acquaintances and strangers seeking advice for how to deal with cyberbullying, especially after their first experience. I always give the same advice and it never seems to be what they want to hear. The reality is, no one can shield themselves from negativity. I tell them to rally their support system, to be confident and that negativity is the price of success. It's not earned or deserved. But it still hurts. 

I don't talk about this topic online much because, well, I don't want to give it more power than it already has. I believe in focusing on the positive because the Internet already has so much negativity. But today I decided to open up the conversation because it is important and, like so many other women I know, I want to find ways to counteract negativity with kindness. 

I recently watched this TED Talk with Monica Lewinsky, and I was floored by every minute of it. It's 22 minutes long, so grab a coffee and some headphones. It's so worth it. (Here's a transcript version if you prefer to read the speech.)

Shame cannot survive empathy. 

I love that. It is incredibly comforting for me to realize that while I can't control what others choose to do online, I can make a real difference by spreading kindness.

I want to live in a world where women work hard to help and encourage each other. Don't you? We can do this together. We can make a real difference. 

Here's what we can doHere's the call to action! 

-Be kind.
Let's say the nice things we think. (You know, the ones we usually don't take the time to type out.)

-Your clicks matter.
Let's say NO to clicking on negative articles and message boards (even/especially legit news sites!).

-Stand up.
Next time we see someone being shamed, let's leave a kind comment. 

These are small, simple actions that we can take to choose kindness and create a healthier Internet. 

Leave me a comment if you commit with me to practice these positive actions starting today! Elsie 

Copper Tape Vase DIY (click through for tutorial)   Sometimes a DIY project is born because you have a need for something and you want to make it yourself, and sometimes an idea is generated because you see a product and think, "Whoa! I need to find a way to use that!" Well, that's pretty much how I felt when I discovered copper foil tape, and I thought that it would be especially pretty when used to make a pattern on a vase. A beautiful vase to hold pretty flowers? Don't mind if I do!

Copper Tape Vase DIY (click through for tutorial)   We're excited we got to work with The Bouqs Company on this post because who wouldn't want flowers from the side of a freaking volcano?! Way before working with them, I remember seeing them on Shark Tank and thinking it was the cutest little company. If you haven't heard of the service, they offer fresh cut flowers (like, cut the day you order) shipped straight from the farm to your house (here's a video about the process). I can testify that what you see is what you get. The flowers in this post weren't some special blogger order. It was just my order, and they're so pretty! 

Copper Tape Vase DIY (click through for tutorial)   All you really need for this DIY is a vase, scissors and your copper foil tape. I did find that the tape had a hard time sticking to glass, so I switched out my glass vase for a plastic one that was a similar shape and the problem was solved. It also sticks well to ceramic vases, so that's a good option too.

Copper Tape Vase DIY (click through for tutorial)   Just use your scissors to cut strips of the foil to create whatever pattern you like on your vase. I'm a little obsessed with furniture with gold corners right now. So I made a pattern that gives the vase the same sort of feel. But if making a pattern feels too intimidating for you, even just doing stripes with this tape would be really pretty.

You should be able to fill your vase with water and rinse it out with no problem after the tape is applied, but I would only gently hand wash the inside of the vase as needed (and don't put it in a dishwasher).

Copper Tape Vase DIY (click through for tutorial)   Once your copper tape is applied, add your beautiful blooms to your vase and you're done!

Copper Tape Vase DIY (click through for tutorial)   Copper Tape Vase DIY (click through for tutorial)   The copper tape looks so elegant with the flowers and it adds a fancy touch to what would otherwise be a pretty plain vase. And let's face it, a vase DIY is just an excuse to buy flowers, am I right? Now that you have your excuse, go fill your place with some beautiful blooms! xo. Laura

P.S. You can get 15% off your Bouqs.com order if you use the code 'BEAUTIFUL' before 8/20/15!

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

At Home with Catherine CachiaWe are so happy to welcome Catherine Cachia to the blog as she shares her lovely home with us! We found Catherine's home via #ABMathome on Instagram and fell in love with this bright yellow door and cute chalkboard wall. We had to see more! :)

Living roomCityCute dog!"We live in Toronto, Canada where the real estate market is pretty tough! When we decided to take the plunge and go from renting to owning, we looked at approximately 50 homes in a few different areas and got into several bidding wars before coming across this semi-detached house that we now own. It didn’t have the greatest kitchen and so we were hopeful that it wouldn’t get too many offers. And it didn’t! We were surprised and thrilled to actually come in slightly under budget on the house and in a position to fully renovate the kitchen. The week we moved in, we began knocking out a large opening in the wall that separates the kitchen from the living space to create a sort of ‘breakfast bar’ and let as much light flow throughout the main floor as possible.

KitchenCute decor"My favourite space in our home is definitely the main floor living area. It’s not a huge space, but it is definitely the heart of the home where my husband, pooch and I spend the majority of our time together. It is also where we hang out with friends and family. I love that they can sit and have a drink on our stools at the ‘breakfast bar’ and chat with me while I’m preparing food in the kitchen. The four-person midcentury sofa is great because it provides a decent amount of seating without cluttering up the limited space with a lot of furniture pieces. The living space has gone through endless furniture arrangements and I’m happy to say that I think I’ve finally got it right. Well, at least for now!

At Home with Catherine"My current favourite item in our home is the vintage peacock chair I found at a garage sale on my street for $10, which my Dad cleaned up and repainted for me in my favourite colour. I also love my Judy dress form, which used to be my Great Aunt Dorothy’s. I collect and sell vintage clothing, so she is the perfect place to display some of my favourite pieces.

Vintage tableDecor details"Our décor is basically an eclectic mix of vintage and thrifted pieces, with some DIY projects and a handful of new things. I don’t like to rush pulling a space together but rather like to let it evolve over time, slowly removing things that feel tired or cluttered and adding things that feel fresh or energizing.

BedroomWhite lockers"Perhaps my greatest thrifting achievement is the vintage king-size Hudson’s Bay blanket I found at the Salvation Army for $15. I examined that thing top to bottom, assuming something had to be wrong with it, but there were absolutely no stains or imperfections to be found! 

Studio"With our first little babe on the way, I look forward to seeing my studio get transformed into a nursery, and generally love seeing all of our spaces continue to evolve!"

Thanks so much for sharing, Catherine! You can find more of Catherine on her blog and on Instagram. xo.

Credits://Author and Photography: Catherine Cachia.


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