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Elsie + Emma A Beautiful Mess

Stay home + make something! 🍪✂️ A blog by two sisters and homebodies for life @elsielarson @emmaredvelvet

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Turning our books around in preparation for holiday decor to take center stage! We change them back after Christmas. Would you flip your books like this?

Still loving this felt and tassel garland that Laura made last autumn! Search "fall garland" on the blog for the full DIY.

I have always loved vintage, but I haven't always been super proud of the things I bought. In high school, I started to thrift shop (immediately after getting my driver's license) as a way to dress unique and to stretch my allowance dollars (yes, I had allowance in high school—lol) much farther than they could go at our local mall. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I amassed a pretty insane vintage collection (heavy on '70s polyester) in those years, and my love for vintage truly never died. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In our 20s, Emma and I had a vintage shop in our hometown. During these years, I wore nearly exclusively vintage and I decorated my home in almost exclusively vintage. It was a lot of fun and budget friendly, but I got too into the "thrift hauls," wanting to always find a lot of treasures. A lot of times I would buy things I wasn't absolutely in love with, just because it was cheap. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In the end of that season, I began to realize that I actually did not even know what I *loved*. After my first Konmari clean out, I started fresh at our new home in Tennessee. And over the past four years, I have slowly (and I mean VERY slowly) added vintage pieces to our home that are beautiful, that spark joy and that bring family together with my aesthetic (which I finally have nailed down—WOO!). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Would you like to see some of my favorite vintage finds all over my home? Check out the blog today!

Emma's upside down banana coffee cake is the kind of thing you might bake to bring to potluck brunch or a book club gathering. It’s dense, flavorful, not overly sweet, and just plain delicious. Sort of the perfect cake alongside a cup of coffee, so if you choose to eat this for breakfast we will not judge you (we may be just as guilty after all). Find this recipe on the blog today!

This modern dartboard is the stuff of dreams — head to the blog for a step-by-step tutorial on how to make it! 🎯

Mini Meditation: This has two sides. First, the hard part. Change! Change is hard, right? Sometimes we get into habits or ways of thinking and it’s really difficult to see any option beyond what we are used to. But if you want something in your life to change then you have to be willing to change yourself. The flip side though is that this means we all have the POWER to change our lives! 💪👊 We can choose change and see our lives, jobs, situations improve and change too.

An easy way to cut cherry tomatoes! 🍒🍅

Happy weekend! Did you sleep in today?! 😴 Also, yesterday we posted some of our favorite bedding DIYs on the blog — so comfy cozy. ✨

To me (Emma), baking season is now in full swing as the weather has been cooling off where I live. I was making a cake to share with you all (next week) and given what day I had better sunlight for photography, I decided to ripen my bananas sooner than expected to go ahead and bake the cake. It dawned on me that knowing how to quickly ripen bananas for baking is one of those things that I've been doing for years, being a banana bread obsessed person. Ha. And I have a feeling that a lot of you already know this, but just in case anyone didn't know this little trick I thought I'd share.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ There are two methods I tend to use based on how long I have. One method to quickly ripen bananas will take just a day or two, while the other will get them ready for bread-making in just under and hour.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 1. If you have very yellow (maybe even a little green) bananas but you want/need to use them for baking that day here's what you do. Simply place the bananas on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 300°F for 40-45 minutes. I don't even bother flipping them halfway through. Once they cool you're ready to go!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 2. If you have a day or two but the only bananas at the store were very yellow (maybe even a little green) try to buy a ripe avocado or even an apple that looks like it's maybe getting toward the end of its ripe life. I think it's easier to tell with avocados, like banana's, but the goal is to find something that is ripe and place it in a brown paper bag (like you would get from the grocery store) with the bananas. Then place in a cupboard or somewhere dark (not the refrigerator though) and this will speed up the ripening process.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ These are just what I do when I in NEED of banana bread or other banana-based baked goods but can't wait for them to ripen. Anyone else have other tricks or hacks that work for them?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ (These are Banana Bread Cookies — recipe can be found on the blog!)

This darling oversized acrylic calendar is a DIY on A Beautiful Mess — search 'acrylic calendar' on the blog for the details! Do you use a planner or calendar to stay organized? Tell us your favorite below!

You can make a room feel fully renovated on a small budget. Here are my top three renovations that give you a lot of mileage for your money. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 1. Paint! Captain obvious, I know. Paint is one of the easiest DIYs to do a great job on. We almost never hire a professional painter (with the exception of our home’s exterior). For so long this was the only renovation I could really afford and it can make a MASSIVE visual impact. From walls to cabinets to trim and shelves and even my stone fireplace, painting a room with a fresh coat of white paint can make it look and feel cleaner, more expensive and sometimes even larger. On the flip side, painting something a bold color can make it seem more interesting, more trendy or more dramatic. Paint is for sure the hero of most budget renovations! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 2. Update light fixtures. Another area where you can get a lot of mileage is swapping out outdated fixtures in your home for fixtures you love. They go a long way in bringing a certain style to a room. In fact, I would argue that outside of paint they are the most important home update that most homes can benefit from. And a cool thing is that you can usually sell the fixtures your home came with to make back some of the money (and if not, donate them to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 3. Concrete countertops. They hold up much nicer than the cheapest vinyl countertops and they cost even less. It’s a lot of work, but it’s a great way to get a super nice countertop on a small budget. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ (and one bonus one!) Refinish wood floors. Dollar for dollar, this is one of the best updates you can give your home (especially if you have original hardwood hidden under old carpets). It’s a lot more affordable than most people think and can really modernize a home. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ If you don’t have hardwoods, look into options like bamboo flooring. This can also be a great, affordable investment. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Want to hear five more budget friendly renovation tips? Search "Low budget renovations" on A Beautiful Mess!

Still smitten kittens over Laura's carport ➡️ porch transformation! Swipe for the before! 🌿😻

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