Episode #183: Summer Bucket List & Book Club Selections
This week, we are going over our summer bucket list and letting you in on all our summer plans. Plus, we are revealing our Q2 book club selections and what has been sparking joy for us lately.
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Download your Summer Bucket List
What’s on Your Summer Bucket List:
Emma – Family trip to Costa Rica, start working on novel #3, and organize holiday decor.
Elsie – Bond with Springfield, nesting, and more food blogging.
Check out our Springfield City Guide
Q2 Book Club Selections:
Beach Read by Emily Henry
The Creative Act by Rick Rubin
Elsie – Vinyl star decals and espresso machine
Emma – Brief-style underwear
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Episode 183 Transcript:
Emma: You’re listening to The Beautiful Mess Podcast, your cozy comfort listen. This week we are going over our summer bucket list and letting you in on all our summer plans. Plus we’re revealing our quarter-two book selections and what has been sparking joy for us lately. This should be a fun one. Getting ready for summer. Got summer reading. We got summer plans. Oh yeah.
Elsie: Yes. So before we jump in, I just wanna talk about how we are so close. This is our second to last recording day where we’re apart, where we live in different states still. And we are so close to living in the same town and going to the pool all summer, and it’s gonna be amazing. I’m so happy. I’m so, so happy. It’s finally almost here.
Emma: I’m so happy. Yeah. Yay. We’re in the pool all the time. Constantly.
Elsie: Yes, we’re gonna have so much fun. Yeah, cuz when we first decided to move, it was last summer, so it’s been almost a whole year since we’ve just been planning it and it started to feel like it was never going to happen or like it was sort of like an imaginary thing and now it’s really happening in a few weeks, so it feels really good. So we are gonna go through our summer bucket list. Did you prepare three? I prepared three.
Emma: Yes. So we can just go back and forth. Okay. So the first thing on my summer bucket list is a pretty big one. We got Oscar, who’s two a passport. Who has the tiny baby passport. I didn’t have a passport until I was like 18. So to me, this is a big deal. Some people are probably like, well, yeah, you got your coat at the passport, but like I never had one until I was like 18. So anyway, yeah, we got Oscar’s passport and on our summer bucket list is sometime this summer, we are gonna go on a family trip to Costa Rica, and that will be the first time he uses his passport and gets a little stamp. And he’s also, never flown before, so it’s gonna be just gonna be a big trip for us as a family. And I’m really excited about it. I’m also a little nervous. I think he’s gonna do great. He loves to just observe and stare at people. So I feel like the plane will be fun for him, and he’s pretty good about being able to sleep in different places. So I think he’ll still if it’s like nap time, I think he’ll still be able to take a little nap. So I think it’s gonna work out. But maybe we’ll have a giant meltdown and that’ll not be the most fun part of the trip. But that’s okay.
Elsie: Yay. Yeah, it’s definitely some of the hardest moments of my parenting journey have been on planes with people staring at us while our kids cried. But overall, I think it is usually easier than you think it’s gonna be.
Emma: And you know, you get through it even if it’s terrible time passes and you get through it. So whatever.
Elsie: Do you wanna know my random tip? If you bring a little box of band-aids, just like regular band-aids, if you really need something, you can just like let him undo and play with Band-Aids because it’s something exciting that they don’t usually get unlimited access to. I think it works really well, it’s a toddler age they just love band-aids.
Emma: Yeah. No, that’s a great tip. I am 100% going to do that. The emergency bandaids.
Elsie: Yes, exactly. So my first bucket list item is, so we’re having our first season in our new home, in our new city. It’s not really new to us, but it’s gonna be brand new to our kids.
It’s gonna be the first time we’ve lived there in eight years. The first time we’ve lived there since we had kids, and I grew up there, but it’s been a while. Things have changed, so my goal is to have a bonding season to try to really bond with the city, be open to new things, and try new places. There are a lot of places that have changed or opened that we haven’t tried yet. We’ll have to find all new routines, all new, everything. Like boring things like an orthodontist, but like exciting things like a farmer’s market and new friends. I just wanna have a very open-minded, open-hearted season and try to just make the best of it. Because this summer is kind of like our time to settle.
Emma: Yep. And we can link something to show notes for anyone passing through Springfield or if you live here, we recently put up a city guide so it has lots and lots of locally owned businesses like restaurants, bars, desserts, ice cream, places like Pineapple Whip, coffee shops, places to shop, whatever. Lots of family-friendly stuff, lots of stuff just for adults and yeah, we can link that. But yeah, I think the fact that you’ve never lived here with kids is gonna be a whole different level because I do think it’s such a great city for family life. So, Yeah, it’s gonna be great. You’re gonna love it. Don’t worry.
Elsie: I’m so excited. I’m a little nervous and it’s exciting. Just wanna make this summer all about trying everything since there are so many different places. I will say the city guide was very good. She got all my favorite flea markets and I was impressed. And it has our favorite Chinese food place.
Emma: Yes. So I was like, you have to put my favorite because Springfield cashew chicken is kind of a thing, and like everyone has their place because there’s so many and so I was like, I really wanna put my place in here. The one that I like the most. So anyway, yeah, I’m excited for the summer too. We are gonna make it a special one. Oscar is so excited to play at the pool with your girls and just do all sorts of things. You’re gonna love it. All right, the second thing on my bucket list is I am going to start working on novel number three. So my murder novel, novel number two, I’m talking to a few people like agents. Nothing to announce at this time when I have news to announce that it’s more official. I will be on our podcast when it’s time, but I have nothing to say at the moment, just talking with some folks. We’ll see. But yeah, so in the meantime, I’m gonna start working on novel three, and I think I’ve mentioned a little bit in the past like what the idea was. So essentially months and months ago when I was finishing my second novel, I stayed at this little modern tree house in Branson, Missouri, which is about 45 minutes from where I live. And if you’ve never heard of Branson, Missouri, it’s a very big tourist destination. They have lots of shows and they have Silver Dollar City, which is like an old-timey-themed amusement.
Elsie: It’s the Las Vegas of Missouri.
Emma: It truly is, and it’s really fun and really charming and very just, I don’t know, a funny place. So anyway, from the Airbnb I was staying at, you could see the lake and I could see the showboat Branson Bell, which is, I think like a steamboat-style big boat. Kind of like a cruise, if you’ve ever been on a cruise. It’s like that type, it’s not that big, but it’s that type of a big boat and you can go on it. And they have like a dinner theater, so you have dinner and there’s like a show. I’ve actually never done it, even though I only live like 45 minutes. But I’ve heard about it a lot. And anyway, I could see that from the window and I just got it in my mind that I was like, I’m gonna do a book that’s like Murder on the Showboat Branson Bell. Like characters are on the boat and a murder happens and they have to figure it out, and that’s basically the premise. I don’t have much else worked out. So it’s gonna be a little more like clue kind of, a lot of different characters. Everybody has a motive, who knows who did it, blah, blah, that kind of thing. So I hope it will be fun. I have no idea. I’m just starting it but that’s on my summer bucket list to really, I feel like it takes me a long time to figure out the plot and the outline and once I have that, the writing is just the factory work. As long as I give myself time, that’s no big deal. That’s just like barreling through it. But it takes me a long time to kind of marinate on how’s it gonna happen. And who are the characters? Yes. And just all those things. So I’m working on that this summer.
Elsie: Magical. I am so excited to read this one. I have your new novel printed out and sitting on my bedside table, so I’m so excited to read that as well.
Emma: Oh, and I have to go to the show about Branson Bell. I mentioned that. I haven’t ever been, so that’s like step one. Yeah. As I’m making a whole bunch of my friends go with me. I haven’t booked it quite yet, but we’re gonna go pretty soon. So probably by the time you listen to this, hopefully, I’ll have already gone, we’ll see. Gotta go. Gotta get inspired.
Elsie: Okay, so my second goal for this summer is to do nesting level 10 out of 10, like whatever, I don’t know what to call it, code red alert. So I want to be crazy about nesting. I just wanna fully settle into our house and I wanna make it perfect and perfect is a relative term. I wanna make it perfect to me like I wanna make it feel like home. So a couple of episodes back, we talked about how we sold our house furnished and yesterday I got lots of questions on my Instagram about it and I was thinking maybe in a future episode we could do one about furnishing a house from scratch because that’s the next step and that’s what I’m doing now. Yeah. There’s so much to it. But I’m very inspired. I’m really enjoying it so far, and I’m just kind of looking forward to spending the summer setting up the rooms and filling things out with antiques and lots of flea market hunting and things like that. Organize those cabinets, all those things. And then basically set the scene so that we can have the most epic Halloween and Christmas ever. So that’s my dream and yeah, it’s definitely nesting season.
Emma: I love it. I love setting up a house. It’s also that moment where you know if you go on a vacation and it’s like you had to take a couple of flights and then an Uber or you had to get to your rental car and you waited in line, all the things, and then you finally get to wherever you’re lodging and you sit down on the bed and you set your stuff down. You’re just kinda like, Ah, you know, that moment. I feel like when you’re first in your house after you’ve moved and you’ve set enough up that you can live like you’re not done. You haven’t opened every box, but you’re like, set up enough. I feel like that’s the moment of ah, you know, and moving is so stressful. So I’m excited for that moment for you.
Elsie: Thank you. I’m looking forward to that moment as well. All right, okay, what’s your third one?
Emma: Third thing on my summer bucket list is I’m gonna organize all my holiday decor, and I know what you might be thinking. Emma, why are you organizing all your Christmas and Halloween stuff in the summer? Well, one, it gives me a great excuse to be messing around with all my Christmas and Halloween stuff in the summer. But two mainly I want it to be done before the season starts because I feel like once I’m ready to get out all my Halloween stuff, I don’t want that day as I’m decorating for Halloween, since that’s before Christmas, same thing for Christmas though. I don’t want that day to just be like, oh, I’m so disappointed that all my shit’s just shoved in a closet and I can’t even find stuff and I’m just like dealing with that. I actually think pulling out all the stuff is like the happy part. It’s so exciting and so I think it’ll feel better if I already have it all organized and easy to access, so that’s a goal for this summer. Plus, I feel like the summer for us tends to be a little bit slower. As far as like blog world. So I feel like it’s a good time to do that because Q4 and the holiday season tend to be pretty busy. So, I don’t want to make it a goal in that season to organize it. I just don’t think it’ll happen.
Elsie: No, that makes sense. I think it’s good to give a designated time to do the organizing and not having to do that when you’re just trying to put stuff away real quick. Okay, my third goal is, so I officially am entering my food blogger era and Emma knows this, but I wanna tell our podcast listeners as well, I’m like food blogging so crazy and it’s so much fun. I’m so excited about it. I’ve food blogged the whole time, like every once in a while. Not consistently as my main thing, but this is a good season for me to do this because I’ve already shared all my house tours and I’m not gonna have new finished rooms, I wanna settle and enjoy it. It’s not a good time for me to be like a home blog or lady because I just wanna l enjoy it. I will definitely share overshare my home on my Instagram, don’t worry. But on the blog, I’m mostly doing recipes right now and it’s so fun. I feel like I have a new love for blogging from starting it because it’s just really different and I’m really enjoying the photography. I’m really enjoying the research, just like trying. I feel like I’m learning all the time, which is something that works really well for my personality. Just be constantly learning how to do something new that I didn’t know. So yeah, please leave me a five-star recipe review and that’s how I’ll know that you love me.
Emma: If you don’t, you don’t love us.
Elsie: Emma leaves me one on every recipe.
Emma: Yeah, because I love you and I guess no one else does. No, I’m just kidding everyone. But yeah, I think for so long we felt like people wouldn’t be interested in like basics and now we’re kind of realizing, and this is not super new like this has been like a year or two in the coming, but we’re like, no, people want to know really good all the information, how to do something that is maybe kind of basic, but that’s what they’re actually making. They don’t necessarily always wanna make the wacky, weird, super hard, super difficult stuff. Which, that’s not even like what I’m good at cooking and I think for you at times you always felt intimidated, like that’s what you were supposed to be. And you were like, no, I make like really good smoothies and really good coffee, and should I talk about using my air fryer or is that like boring to people? And it’s like, no, people like wanna hear about it. So yeah, I think it’s a good era.
Elsie: Me too. I’m having so much fun. I’m working on my cocktails archive this summer. So if you like cocktails or smoothies, it’s popping. It’s popping off.
Emma: I’ve been working on, some coffee stuff, so I have been highly caffeinated lately.
Elsie: Nice. Oh yeah, I just ordered, Emma sold me on her espresso machine and I just ordered one. So I’m so excited. I’ll put it in the show notes because if you’re looking for an espresso machine, this is medium-priced, not too expensive. It’s not cheap but it’s not too expensive.
Emma: Yeah, it’s an espresso machine. They tend to be pretty pricey.
Elsie: It’s around like $500 I think, which is in the middle. I just want one that works well, that’s consistent, that doesn’t break all the time. And that’s the problem I had with my old one. I’m really excited to try something different because for a minute I thought we just weren’t gonna get a new espresso machine because we were so fed up with the braking.
Emma: Yeah. And I will say I also, if you’re looking for something even cheaper, one, you can do stove top espresso, and that’s the cheapest thing you can do. But yeah, two, it is a little more involved, you’d have to have your own grinder and some different things, but you can do it and that’s the cheapest way. Also, I sincerely do like espresso. Some people don’t like pods, they don’t want any coffee maker that has pods, I get that. So if that’s not for you, I get it. But if you’re getting one, I do think they’re pretty high quality and I like them. But this espresso machine I have, it’s you use whole beans so you can buy any beans you want, which I think makes the espresso better because I just buy local beans from Coffee Epic or Kingdom, which are two coffee shops in town that like roast throw beans and you don’t have to do the thing where you like to press it into, the little cup, like a barista. You just put the beans in and you press the buttons. You will have to add water and it’ll prompt you when you need to clean out the grounds and things like that. But it’s truly the easiest to use, but still really high-quality home espresso and it’s cute. It’s a cute machine so it can be sitting out and it’s pretty. So that’s my quick soft sell if you want an espresso machine. This is how I sold Elsie, I was like, listen, this is the best one.
Elsie: Yeah, we’ll blink it in the show notes. I’m really excited to try it.
Emma: I love it. We use it like every day. We’ve used it every day since Christmas.
Elsie: Oh, wow. Okay. Well, that’s a shining review.
Emma: Yeah. We love it.
Elsie: Cool. Okay, so next we’re going to share our Q2 or Summer Book Club selections. So this will take us all the way till August, and then in August we’ll announce how we’re gonna do a Halloween book club theme this year, and it’s gonna be spooky. Okay, so for summer, Emma did something super generous. She sent me all the books and they were mostly books I had read, which I was so happy about because of moving. So we’re gonna do two books for the summer and they’re both books that I’ve already read.
Emma: Elsie’s ahead.
Elsie: Yeah, I get a little bit of like easier time. So yeah, since I’ve already read these books, I thought I could do the recommendations. Okay, so the first one is Beere by Emily Henry. If you’ve never read an Emily Henry book, you’ve probably seen them. They’re like really cute, colorful colors. I think that she might have a thing where eventually she’s trying to do the whole rainbow because they seem like each one is a different color and they’re really pretty. I’ve read, I think two of her books, and they’re definitely like a romantic comedy in book form and I love them. I think they’re really fun. They’re definitely mood food for me. I have to be in the mood for just a light, easy, romantic book. And the stories are nice and it’s fun, they’re each different. Yeah, so Beach Read is a summer romance, I think the title is cute, the cover’s cute, and I will also say that Julia Whelan performs all of Emily Henry’s audiobooks and if you’re an audiobook person, you probably are like everyone who likes audio books loves Julia Whelan, I hear this all the time. She’s just really talented at doing these types of books. And she does a lot of popular books because she’s done I think most of the Taylor Jenkins read books also and all of the Emily Henry books and then some other really popular books. So anyway, if you haven’t tried an audiobook I think this is a good one to try. I would definitely recommend it.
Emma: Yep. And I will be reading this at the pool this summer.
Elsie: Yes, definitely, I think the fact that the cover says Beach real big, makes it cute for a vacation.
Emma: Yeah, I do too.
Elsie: It’s sweet. The next book is The Creative Act by Rick Rubin, and I listened to this book also. I listened to it on a drive. It’s pretty short, I think it’s around five hours long. And Rick Rubin is a famous music producer. I don’t really know what’s what with that sort of thing, but I definitely know that he’s one of the most famous music producers in the world, and that’s probably all you really need to know. The book isn’t about music, he’s not talking about his career hardly at all. So if you don’t care about that, don’t worry the book is Big Magic adjacent. It Vibes nice, really well for Big Magic fans, which I think most of us are. That’s one of my favorite non-fiction books of my whole life and this book, has a lot of that, but it’s a little different and it was very nice. He has, I don’t know if they’re called gongs or chimes, but there’s like sound effects, very frequently throughout the book, which I enjoyed and I just thought his performance was very entertaining. So I definitely recommend this book if you like, a creative, any kind of book that encourages creativity, this is going to be your jam. If you like an audiobook, his performance is cute. If you don’t like it, read it, it’s not long at all. So, yeah, that’s my hard sell on both of our summer books, and I hope you all will read along with us.
Emma: Yeah, I’m very excited for both of them. They were both ones that I suggested to Elsie. I haven’t read either, but I’m very excited about both of them. All right let’s do a sparks joy. What has been sparking joy for you lately?
Elsie: All right. I have a very specific one, so, our daughter is turning eight in June. She has asked for a space and science-themed bedroom, and nothing could be cuter to me it fits her perfectly. It’s what she’s been interested in for a long time, so I’m very excited. I think next year when she turns nine, it’s possible she could go to space camp. I was reading about that and I think you have to be nine at the youngest to do it. So anyway, very special. So my sparks of joy this week are these vinyl star decals. So in our last house, we used these same decals as Christmas decor, and I would just stick them on the wall and kind of just stick them all over. It’s just like little gold stars, just like adding a little magical flourish in rooms. But for her bedroom, we did a black ceiling, and then we’re using these, two different kinds of gold star decals, they’re vinyl, they’re just stickers to decorate it as like a sky, a night sky. And then she’ll have a little mobile with all the planets. And also an antique chandelier. So I think it’s gonna be like a very magical kids’ room. I’m really excited about it and yeah, that’s what’s sparking joy for me this time.
Emma: Yeah. It makes me think of, I feel like in the nineties, so many kids, including myself, had the like plastic glow-in-the-dark stars that you would tape onto your ceiling. That was like the nineties starter pack, and I definitely had them in my middle school bedroom. Okay, my sparks joy is underwear. That’s right, I’m gonna talk about underwear for a second. So I bought a pack of like boxer brief style underwear but for women. So basically my thing is all my cute pajamas are very wintry. They’re like long sleeves. They’re long, they’re pretty warm, and I love them. I wear them all winter long. I have a whole bunch of them, a whole bunch of sets. And I don’t ever really know what to wear for pajamas in the summer because it’s warmer and we change our comforter. So our bed isn’t sweltering hot, but I still don’t feel like wearing those long pajamas that I usually wear all year round. I have a couple of short-sleeved, but I just don’t have as many sets and I kind of don’t feel like buying as many sets cause I don’t love the patterns as much. All my winter ones it’s like I have a pair that’s like ghosty. I have a lot of Halloween types.
Elsie: I have the same problem. Yeah. My fall and Christmas and winter pajama collection is huge and my summer is just a couple of sets with shorts, with flowers. So tell me about this underwear.
Emma: That’s what I have is like a couple of sets that are like florals and they’re fine, but I don’t want tons more of ’em. So anyway, so I was like, you know what I’m gonna do? I am just gonna wear T-shirts and underwear to bed, but I don’t really like wearing my regular underwear around the house. I wear a lot of regular bikini styles, and I also wear thongs a lot. And I’m not walking around the house with a t-shirt and thong. there’s too much dog hair in my house. I’ll be honest, that’s why I’m not gonna do it. I’m not sitting on the couch in just my thong. No, it’s too much dog hair, I can’t do it. So anyway, it’s not a modesty thing, it’s just a, we got crumbs on the couch. I can’t deal with this. So anyway, I was like, my husband wears briefs and I was like, I think I would wear that to bed. And so anyway, I bought a pack and that’s what I’m doing now and it’s a sparky joy for me cause it’s nice and breezy but I think they’re kind of cute. I feel like I’m just wearing gym shorts kind of but they’re not like compression like gym shorts. And so yeah, it just feels very comfortable and nice.
Elsie: That sounds cute, you’ll have to link to them. I’m curious to see what they look like. That sounds cute.
Emma: I will, I’ll link to ’em and then you’ll know the kind of underwear I’m wearing around my house at night. Sitting on my couch.
Elsie: So good. I’m glad. Okay, it’s now time to go over a joke and a fact with Nova. All right. I have Nova here, Nova this week. Do you have a fact for us or a joke?
Elsie: A fact. Okay. I’m ready.
Nova: Did you know that pugs are known to be funny, smart and I think cute. They like to live in people’s houses and they originally came from China.
Elsie: Nice fact. That was a good one. All right. Have a good week.
Emma: All right. Thank you so much for listening and remember that you can submit your questions at podcast a beautiful mess.com, or you can call and leave us a voicemail at 417-893-0011. We’ll be back next week. We’re gonna have tips for decorating the exterior of your home.