Home Life Style Episode #165: New Years Goals & Plans

Episode #165: New Years Goals & Plans



If you know us at all, you know we LOVE goals! This week, we’re chatting about our goals and plans for 2023, sharing our first book club picks of the year, and we have some fun podcast news to share!

You can find the podcast posts archive here.

A big thank you to our sponsors! Check out the offers from WildGrain, Modern Fertility, Calm, and Ritual. And, if you’re looking for a specific code you heard on the podcast, you can see a full list on this page!

Show Notes:

Listen to Episode #130: New Year, Same Me to hear our 2022 goals.

An update on our 2022 goals:


  • Enjoy home more (archived)
  • Wake up early (did for three months)
  • Live guilt-free (still working on)


  • Work on her novel (archived)
  • Work on dry eyes (have gotten better)
  • Buy less junk food (archived)

-We mention The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Moran 

Our goals for 2023:


  • Work on a big art project (and share on the podcast) by the end of the year 
  • Read 52 books (and stop reading if not hooked three chapters in)
  • Jump around to different genres of books
  • Travel to one new place
  • Prioritizing creative time every day


  • Work more on her mental health
  • Getting back into fitness
  • Be more consistent with going to therapy
  • Submit her novel to agents

Podcast changes in 2023: 

  • No longer taking summers off
  • New types of episodes: comfort rewatch episodes + “how to” deep dive episodes

Q1 book club selections (January-March):

-To get physical copies of older books, go to thriftbooks.com

The most fun listener email EVER from Michelle: Do you have any ideas for displaying a vintage hanging crystal collection?  

  • Hang them from a chandelier 
  • Display them in a decorative bowl
  • Hang them in windows
  • Put them in a shadowbox
  • Display them in your front yard

Miss an Episode? Get Caught Up!

Episode 165 Transcript:

Emma: You’re listening to The Beautiful Mess Podcast, your cozy comfort listen. If you know us at all, then you know that we love goals. So this week we’re chatting about our goals and plans for the new year, sharing. Our first book Club picks for 2023 and we have some fun podcast news to share. 

Elsie: So excited. It’s nice to be back. 

Emma: It’s nice to be back. I miss our podcast friends. Even though we don’t actually get to talk to them during recording or anything, but I like to envision them around us, hanging out. 

Elsie: Well we read the emails every week and we get dms and things like that from our listeners, so we definitely can feel it when you guys are in the mood to care. Like I always feel like when we come back from a break is always like a good day in the podcast world. I’m happy. So before we jump into it, do you wanna talk a little bit about Christmas, Christmas break, and New Year’s? Anything exciting? 

Emma: Yeah, I don’t know. Like everybody else I’ve had those two weeks where I was like, what day is it? Who knows? And actually, even this morning I went to the gym thinking it was Monday or Wednesday when my group fitness class was, and as soon as I got there, I was like it’s Tuesday, what was I thinking? What was my plan? So then I just did something else, but I was like, all right, I don’t, I still don’t know what day it is, I guess. But anyway, Christmas was awesome. Our son got a bike and lots of toys and all sorts of little things, but the big present from us anyway was his bike, and that was really cute. At first, he was kind of like, I don’t know about this, because it’s like an open-air, like he just sits in, it doesn’t have straps. But it does have a handle that I push it around or his dad, whoever. At first, he was a little like, I don’t know about this, but then he got into it. So we’ve been pushing him around the house. It’s been kind of nice this week. So I’ve pushed him outside a little bit, but I feel like if we leave it for a few days and then get on it, he’s like apprehensive again. So it’s probably gonna be better in the spring. But anyway, it was cute and it was a fun Christmas. 

Elsie: Cute. Yeah, we had a magical Christmas. I feel like we’ve really Marathoned the Christmas magic this year. Because of certain situations in our life. I didn’t start decorating until a little after December 1st, which is very, very late for me. So I felt like we lived a real people Christmas because that’s what normal people do. That’s how it was when we were growing up. And yeah, like blogger Christmas is like, for example, this year we were wearing Christmas pajamas and when we shot the videos for that little cheese ball snowman and everything, it was August. Goldie was fully dressed up with us too and she was with us and we like, I think that’s how it is to have a mom, a blogger mom. And then I have been trying to have, at least simulations of normal life, like normal mom life, and which I love, I always think about our mom raising us with no cell phone at all the whole time. So I just love putting my phone away and being a little more old-fashioned about it. But we had a magical time. We made lots of cookies, so many cookies. We did the paper chain. We did a ton of model magic. The little dough ornament type of things. All kinds of stuff like that. So it was a very wonderful Christmas and I do have to admit I have a tiny bit of a Christmas hangover. Like I’m still right a little bit obsessed about it. I still can’t stop thinking about it, but I think that’s just how I was born. Emma said that in our top episodes of the year last year, there was a lot of like holiday content, so I know it’s how a lot of you were born as well.

Emma: Yeah, I’m kind of humming Christmas songs all year round. That’s just the type of person I am.

Elsie: I love it. That’s good. 

Emma: Did you do anything for New Year’s? 

Elsie: No. Okay, here’s what we did. I did buy a beautiful floor-length sequin dress on Black Friday, and I was so excited to wear it. But then when real New Year’s came around, we were like, nah, and we just stayed in our pajamas and our kids wanted to stay up until midnight. I don’t know how many more years this is gonna last. So we went and got them out of their bed at 8:00 PM and then did a fake ball drop video. Just Googling last year’s ball drop video and just tell them it’s midnight and it works every time. It’s so cute. They don’t even notice that it’s the wrong year on the screen. They were like bragging. The next day we were at Nova’s orthodontist and she was bragging about staying up until midnight and I was like, I wonder if she believes her, but either way. What did you do for New Year’s? 

Emma: We hosted a party. Yeah, last year Our friends, the Houghtons hosted this wonderful party at their house and they just had a tiny baby about a month ago, a little girl. So I kind of assumed they may not be hosting this year. So I text her and I was like, if you’re not hosting, I would love to host just this year. Because, I like hosting but also, I am happy to let other people host. It’s just a lot of cleaning and stuff too. So I kind of wanted to be like, Hey, if this is your thing, I’m not stealing it, I just would take it over for a year. Cause you just had a baby. So that’s what we did and it was really fun. So many of my friends came. Oh, this was interesting to me, maybe not, I don’t know, but I set out like a puzzle on the dining room table. Kind of to have different areas in the house that people could congregate to and chat and eat their snacks and drink and whatever because if everyone’s in the kitchen, I think it, it can start to feel too full and you can’t hear each other.

Elsie: Think it’s good in different zones to sit and talk and not to all be congregated. 

Emma: So I thought setting the puzzle out would kind of be like a signal because I really only had snacks in the kitchen. I had a cheese board and a little dessert board and stuff. So I set out this puzzle and my puzzle trap totally worked. I had so many people working on the puzzle and they were still having fun and chatting and drinking, having a good time, and people would kind of dip in and out. I did the puzzle for a while and then I would go talk with other people and this and that. And then we also had a ball drop type thing on our movie screen in our other living room and afterward, everyone was in the mood to dance, so we did a lot of dancing. We also we’re one of those couples where Trey has a karaoke machine, so sometimes parties end up with karaoke and we had that out, but it didn’t go that route. This time it just turned into more of a dance party, so that was cute. And then I made pizza bagels sometime around 1230. And then I went to bed right after one. I don’t know how late people stayed, but I went upstairs to take my contacts out cause my eyes get so dry and I was just like, I think I’m just gonna go to bed. That’s what they did. 

Elsie: Hilarious. I love it. 

Emma: It was fun. I had so much confetti to clean up the next day though, worth it. But I think I’ll be finding confetti for like months from now, in the corners and in the couch cushions and things. 

Elsie: So cute. That sounds like a very epic New Year’s.

Emma: Yeah, it was really fun. And also, I do not mind giving it back to my friends next year because like I said, it’s kind of a lot of cleaning. I love having people over and we have a new house this year, so it was a lot of people got to see it who hadn’t seen it yet. So that was fun. But yeah, I don’t mind not hosting. I love to go over to someone’s house and leave afterward, but anyway. 

Elsie: Yeah, definitely fun. Okay, so in this episode, we are gonna talk about our New Year’s goals and plans. We’re gonna talk a little bit about what we’re doing differently this year on the podcast. Oh, and we have our Q1 book club selections to share at the end. Cool. Okay, so before we go into our 2023 goals, I thought it would be good to reflect on our 2022 goals from last year and like how we feel like we did. Did you have a chance to check what years were, do you remember what years were? 

Emma: Yes. I had to check too. Oh, right. I did pretty good. 

Elsie: Yeah. Okay, so what I had down was enjoy our home more. I think that what I really meant when I said that, I don’t remember exactly what I said on the podcast, but I think what I meant was to take a renovation break, and we definitely did that this year. We finished up our renovation that we had started before last year and over the holidays last year. It basically crashed our holidays and was a learning experience for me. And after that was over, it took longer than I thought to wrap up, which is fine. It always does. And then we took a nice long break and have just enjoyed living in our home this year and done more stuff with the kids And more focus on living the way we wanna live instead of always being focused on renovation, which is how it has been. And then, my second goal was this waking up early goal. And so I did this last year for, I would say I made it, I don’t know exactly, but I would say I made it maybe three months, like maybe a quarter or maybe a little bit more than that. I know I definitely didn’t make it to the summer, so I’ve started doing that again. I guess I’ll save that, but I. Feel like it was just like a thing, like a goal that I put on the shelf and then took it back off. I will defend that. There’s nothing wrong with that every once in a while. Sometimes it’s kind of like a gotta do what you gotta do situation. And then my third thing that I was trying to focus on lesser was like living more guilt-free. I spend a lot of my life in my own head, and I don’t know if it’s part of being a seven on the Enneagram, I don’t know if it’s other things. The pressures of balancing work and motherhood. All kinds of things, but this year I did feel like I spent less time online probably than any other year in my adult life, which was cool. I spent less time comparing, and I feel like I spent a lot of time figuring out for myself like, what even is the point. Because sometimes you just have to step back for someone who’s done the same internet personality work for so long, it can become sort of where it feels like a trap. In certain burnout seasons, and this past year, I was able to take a break and think, what am I trying to do? What’s the meaningful part and what’s the part that I could let go? I definitely feel like I’m more on track to being a person who’s not controlled by guilt, which feels good.

Emma: That’s awesome. 

Elsie: Yes. Tell me yours.

Emma: Last year’s resolutions were, to work on my novel. Work on my dry eyes, which I’m always about, and then buy less junk food. So yeah, if you’re a longtime listener, then you probably know that I was able to finish the first draft of my second novel, which is my murder novel. And I tend to call it handmade murder. I don’t know what it’ll actually be titled someday, but that’s just how it’s saved on my computer. Yeah, I finished the first draft of that and that really took the whole year. I like barely finished, I’d say, but I did, so that’s great. 

Elsie: Good job. Woohoo. I feel I can speak for everyone and say, we’re so proud of you.

Emma: Thanks. And I think I did work on my dry eyes. I think it’s one of those things that I’ve been kind of working on for years and years now, probably like three years. And I can really tell that actually, the things that I’ve been doing consistently have made a big difference. Like I actually feel like my eyes are completely different and better than they were like three years ago. Like I almost never have that thing where I’m driving and I just start getting really watery eyes and I feel like I can’t see. I used to get it like pretty often and it would really scare me, especially if I had to drive at night. And now I like never get that anymore, which is great. So I feel like it’s one of those things that you do like small things and they add up over a long period of time. Kinda like wearing sunscreen every day and then when you’re in your forties you’re like, oh, that actually did make a difference. But it like takes so long to notice any difference that this little thing that you’re doing makes, and I actually feel like my dry eyes are one of those things in my life. So yeah, I think I did pretty good on buying less junk food. I didn’t really have a measurement. Yeah. That was one of my goals.

Elsie: Oh, that’s funny. Was it like a specific junk food or was it general? 

Emma: I think it was general. I think part of it is this time of year, this is part of why I’m against New Year’s resolutions. In some ways, I feel like you start to make goals based on the season you were just in, which for me, December is a heavy holiday food season. Like we just got done with Thanksgiving. I’m making all sorts of treats for myself, for friends, for parties, hosting, and lots of parties. So I feel like that’s what’s on my mind. Whereas like in April, I’m not feeling the same way. So anyway, so sometimes I feel like in January you make goals based on what Q4 was like and it’s like, well there’s a whole year anyway. But I’m not against new’s resolutions. I just think you should make goals all year round. And that’s kinda like how you were saying you took that goal, you put it back on the shelf and you’re taking it back down. I think that kind of thing’s totally fine because I think you should be constantly reevaluating and setting new goals and checking in, making sure something’s still serving you well, like all the time. I don’t think January is the only time of year to do it. 

Elsie: I agree and I guess for transparency’s sake. When I say New Year’s goals, I’m actually just doing my goals for Q1, cuz I do still believe in the 12-week year. And that’s a book that we’ve talked about on the podcast before. If you haven’t read it, we’ll put it in the show notes. It is excellent and I think it helped my productivity quite a bit. And I think that for someone like me, with my personality, if I think I have the whole year to do something, I will do less in the first quarter. So that’s the reason why. Everything that’s a goal of mine and now it’s really just for the next few months and then whatever happens after that, I’m not worried about it right now. 

Emma: Yeah. I’m kind of the same.

Elsie: It doesn’t matter how you structure it. I feel our listeners are probably all nodding along and on the same page, like we’re not too worried about whether or not like goals are good or not. Whatever. You know how a lot of people have like hot takes about that stuff? It’s like just make it work for you. That’s really all that matters, so do what works for you. If something feels like, oh, this is a waste of my energy, or it’s just not productive, or it makes me feel bad, then don’t do it.

Emma: Yeah, definitely. 

Elsie: So have you set any goals for 2023, Emma? 

Emma: Yes, these are personal goals only because I didn’t put all my work-related goals on the list cuz frankly it’s kind of boring and our listeners will see a lot of it. If I accomplish them, then you’ll see it cuz it’ll come out. So anyway, so that’s not very interesting to me. So these are my two main 2023 goals. One is like a long-term, gonna be doing it all year thing because it’s kind of like the dry eyes where it’s kind of small things that add up over time. You gotta keep doing it. And then one of ’em is more of a Q1 goal. So the long term all year around one is, I’m gonna work a little more on my mental health this year. Last year was a pretty tough year for me. We’ve mentioned this on the podcast before. It’s just a tough year. I think a lot of people are in the same boat, a lot of different reasons, blah, blah, blah. But it was a tough mental health year. So I am doing a number of things. Basically trying to be more consistent about it. So the three main things that I’m working on right now, and I’ll update these throughout the year, but they all kind of ladder up for me towards mental health, is I’m getting back into my fitness routine, which I think that like cardio for me, I think is just an endorphin thing. And I don’t know, man, I’m not a scientist, but I think it helps, so getting back into that. And I like to do group fitness, so then I can kind of just zone out and do whatever the instructor says. And that’s nice, so doing. And then, I try to do that twice a week and then two other times a week, twice a week, I try to go on a walk outside. So for me, that’s about fresh air and sunshine this time of year.

Sometimes it’s not that much sunshine because it’s a dark time of year, but that’s okay. You still get the fresh air, and for me, it’s just something about being outside is nice. I like the outdoors. I’m not particularly like camping outdoorsy person, but I do really like to be outside. So anyway, and then the other thing is more consistently go to therapy. So I’m just going to book an appointment every single month. Cause last year I would sometimes go every month and then I would miss like two or three months. Basically cuz I would get busy and I would feel like I couldn’t take the time off of work. And I’m just not gonna do that this year. I’m just gonna say, you know what, if I have to reschedule a meeting or if something doesn’t get done too bad, everyone can be mad at me. I don’t care. I need to do this. So I’m just gonna. 

Elsie: Oh yeah, I think it’s just as important as well, or maybe more important than any other kind of appointment. Yeah, I think just like staying on the books is like the key, because I’ve also had it where I took a short break and it turned into a longer break at one point, and then, you have to Restart again. And I personally prefer it to just stay on the books all the time and even on the weeks that I feel like I don’t have much to say it’s still nice that it’s there. You know what I mean? Yeah. It’s like the worst thing that happens is you maybe talk about your childhood or something that you normally wouldn’t talk about as much. That’s the worst thing that can happen. So I think it’s great. 

Emma: I think sometimes I could feel like those times I’m like, oh, well I probably would’ve been better off spending my time working on our business, or blah, blah blah. But it’s like, you know what, I’m just gonna make an appointment for three to four weeks later, every time I’m there this year, and just see how I feel at the end of the year. And it’s not gonna be a waste of time. That’s 12 times. It’s not that big of a deal. So I’m just gonna do that. So that’s sort of my all year long good job small steps thing. And I said here in like three months, six months, I’ll reevaluate. I may add some more things for my mental health. I may change something. Whatever I’m needing, I will continue to evaluate that. But this is what I’m doing right now. And then my Q1 goal is to submit my novel to agents. So I’m gonna try to polish it a little bit into a second draft. It still probably won’t be like final, final, at least to me. But I also feel like I don’t really want it to feel final. Final. Cuz if I ever do get to connect with a great agent and or editor at some point, which hopefully I do, they will probably have suggestions and things that I should change anyway. So I kind of wanna polish it up in a place where I’m ready to show it, but not so polished that I feel cagey about changing it, maybe even changing it in major ways because I wanna stay kind of open to it. So, I’m gonna try to polish it up this quarter. So that’s three months. Sometime in the next three months, I’m gonna be sending it off to a few agents who I’ve talked to in the past, literary agents, and see what they think and go from there. So here it goes. 

Elsie: Love it. These are great goals. So I have your goals, three or four goals. Yeah, so my first goal is just a personal goal. I have been working on this big art, we’ll call it an art project. It’s a project. I’ve been working on a personal project. It’s now my second year, and I’ve been always kind of like, Not ready to share it yet since I started, but it is my goal to be able to share it on the podcast by the end of this year, which means that I will need to be pretty much done to feel good about that.

So I think that I do need, I benefit from a timeline. I just did one of those personality strengths tests. Did you get that? I emailed it to you. 

Emma: I did. I took it.

Elsie: Oh, you did it. Oh, okay. Well, let’s talk about that in a future episode cuz that’ll be fun. That was one of our requests. Anyways, so I did the strengths test and one of my top five strengths that I discovered is that I thrive on deadlines, which I had no idea about, but it does make sense that it’s like if there’s no deadline, then it’s two different kinds of projects. And so I just have to think. I had to recategorize this project into a deadline type of situation. So yeah, that’s my first goal. Share it by the end of the year. If I don’t share it, you guys can send me hate mail and you can unsubscribe, you can leave a bad review that’s one star. You can do anything. Please don’t do that. I’m trying to be accountable, I’m trying to put myself out there and really, this is something I’ve talked about it endlessly in my close friend circle, but I feel I need to just finish it at this point, and get it going. So yeah, that is my first goal and then on Good Reads, I know there are different sites you can use to track your reading. They’re all probably amazing. I just use Good Reads because it’s common. So I am doing the 52 books Goal again. I did it last year. I definitely think I can read more than 52 books easily, but I decided just to keep with that goal because isn’t that a book every week? Yeah, that’s a book every week. It’s still like plenty of books and I just didn’t feel like I needed a bigger goal. I actually think so last year I got to 79 and that’s what I ended with. I was so proud of myself to be totally honest. The one thing that I will change for this year, Is that I feel like I forced myself to finish books that I wasn’t enjoying, pretty often, probably two out of every 10. So 20% of the time I feel like it, it’s stressful when you feel you’ve already invested time getting like a fourth of the way through or whatever. That’s usually fourth of the way or half of the way is where I feel like it’s like I know for sure, that it’s not gonna get better for me. Which is pretty far in, and so that’s why I always force myself to finish it. And then it’s harder also with popular books because you’ve heard other people talk about how amazing it was for them, and you’re like, I wanna see what they saw in it that I’m not seeing yet. And sometimes it does come around, but I haven’t heard, or at least for me, there haven’t been that many times when I did not like a book in the first half, and I did like it in the second half. So I think for this year I’ve learned my lesson and I’m gonna just have no guilt about quitting a little bit more.

Emma: Yeah. I do feel like that’s something that people will ask me now and again, I feel like you’ve asked me before too. Anyone who’s a reader, I think we talk with each other. I never know what to say when people are like, do you finish books that you’re not enjoying or not? Because I’m kind of In the middle on it sounds like the same as you. Because I feel like when people ask, what I really wanna say is are you a new reader, or do you really know what you like? Because if you’re kind of new and you only have read one genre before, then I would say maybe give it a go. Because there are books that halfway through they do totally change and can surprise you. But I also think if you’ve been reading for a long time or if you’re someone crazy like Elsie who read a billion books last year, then you probably know what you like and you probably have already exposed yourself to a lot of different genres. 

Elsie: I actually still consider myself a new reader because the first fiction book I ever read was like a year and a half ago since like high school. So I do still consider myself a new reader, and I do think that I still want to try things I wouldn’t have tried. I never would’ve tried it, like sexy fairy book if it wasn’t for like you and the podcast listeners.

Emma: Sherry, I think it was Sherry. 

Elsie: Never. Yeah, and Sherry, and really kind of most of the internet. I never would’ve been interested in that topic. It wasn’t like one of my number one favorite books, but it was a lot better than I thought it would be. I’m still glad I read it. Anyway, I do still wanna try weird things, but sometimes it doesn’t pay off. And I think just like accepting that.

Emma: I also think it could be a good thing. There have been times I picked up a book at that point and I was like, I’m not into this. And then a year later it’s still on my shelf and I’m like, why didn’t I like that? I can’t remember. And then I start reading it again. I’m like, this is awesome. So I think it can also be the stage in life you’re in. Sometimes you’re not in the mood for something dark or something intellectual. You know what I mean? Sometimes it’s a good thing, I think too.

Elsie: Yeah, a hundred percent. Okay, and then the other thing about it, oh, I wanna try to jump around to different genres a little bit better. I did quite a bit last year, but I would say I stayed pretty consistently on the, I dunno what you call ’em, like the romantic comedy type of books. The romantic books. Then the fantasy books and popular books. That was like Carnival All I read. And then a couple of other things. And I read a super old book and I loved it, which I didn’t think I could or would. So yeah, I just wanna try more things that I’m not sure about. I think that is a good goal. And then the other thing I just wanted to note and say, this is like I get this question a lot and I hate it, is people are like, do you think audiobooks count as reading? Which, first of all, my children are mostly blind. Audiobooks count as reading. It’s like it’s offensive and ableist to ever even suggest that they don’t for that reason. It depends on your lifestyle. For me, a lot of the reading I do is when I’m driving or sitting in the car line or what’s the other time. Oh, working on setting up or tearing down or a lot of our blog work is things like that and we make these little rooms and posts and all of that is like an hour or two of prep and all of those are times when I’m quote unquote reading, but I wouldn’t be able to if I were like committing myself to only read from a paper book. So I just think it’s so snobby and I am totally against anyone who says that it doesn’t count. I mean, it doesn’t matter to me because I count it. , but I just, what’s the point? 

Emma: I think it’s, yeah, okay. If you’re of the opinion, cuz I would put myself in this camp where I enjoy the experience of reading a book and in fact I would go so far as to say I enjoy the experience of reading paper books. I like to flip the pages. I used to have a Kindle, but I didn’t enjoy the experience of that as much. That’s just like for me, that’s part of it. But I do think it is quite snobby and sort of narrow-minded to think that other ways of experiencing books and literature is not, I don’t know. I think anytime you’re asking a question and you’re kind of putting somebody else down, maybe take a second and think about what you’re about to say, and think why? Why do I need to do that? Am I trying to make myself feel better? Like I’m more superior? Just take a moment, we all do that. We wanna think we’re awesome.

Elsie: I do like paper books and especially like on an airplane day or there are certain types of days when we went on our trip to Palm Springs last year and we basically read the whole time in pool chairs. That type of thing is the best. Like last night I was reading before bed because my husband wanted to watch an annoying TV show and those are all great. But yeah, I think that it’s just the whole, does it count? It’s like count for Why? Ew. 

Emma: A Lot of people are different. Reading can be different for different people. So like get on off your high horse folks. 

Elsie: Yeah. Another time I wanna talk about the kids, their experience with their Yodas and stuff. Cause like their audiobook, it’s like they’re going so far above their age levels though, and I think it’s really good. Even if it’s not technically the same thing. It’s still something. Anyway, okay, so I set a family goal. So my goal for the year for my family is to travel to one new place. And this is something that we just set up as a goal for the first time, but we’re going to, we’re gonna do it every year. We just kind of have started to realize the number of years that we have with our kids and for our lifestyle. One trip a year to go to a new place is the most that we wanna commit to. And we still wanna go to old places. We still wanna visit our same friends in different states and we wanna go to Disney over and over. And the annoying things that we like to do, we like to go to Palm Springs every couple of years. I think that this goal, We’ll be really significant because we’ll just be able to make more memories. Going somewhere one time and having one set of photos there is a lot different than going to Disney once every two years for your kids’ entire childhood. So yeah, I’m excited about that. I’ll let you know how it goes after it’s done. And then other than that, I just have down, I have this little quote, it’s not really a quote, but it’s written in a lot of my journals and my, like my vision board and stuff. It says creative work is never wasted. And it’s kind of like one of the mottos of my life that I live by. So this year I just wanna prioritize creative time every day. So I have been working on my ceramic journey. I’ve been painting again. I’ve been writing, and there are other things that I just wanna try that I haven’t tried yet. So yeah, I really believe in my core that any type of creative work that you ever do, Whether it’s for an hour or a month or a year is never wasted because it will always circle back to your life and help you on a future project, and it’s sometimes it’s when you least expect it. It’s something that we’ve learned from being DIY bloggers, like the skills that we think are random, end up being actually very useful. Anyway, that is all my goals. I’m so excited about this year. I feel like a good energy for 2023. 

Emma: Yeah, I do too. I’m very hopeful about this next year. I think it’s gonna be a good one. All right. So we also wanted to tell you all about some podcast changes for the new year, for 2023. So, number one, which we think everyone is gonna be excited about, we hope we will not be taking summer off. We tried that last year and it was great to have the time off, but also, I don’t know, it went by really fast and it just felt like.

Elsie: It was kind of sad. We got a lot of sad emails. 

Emma: Yeah. We got a lot of sad mail and just to be clear, just because if we felt like that was the best thing for us, we would still do it. But after trying it for a year, we just feel like, you know what? We’re good. We’re not gonna take the summer off. So that’s what we’re gonna do this year. 

Elsie: We’re adding a couple of new types of episodes, which we’re gonna talk about in a moment that will help us record more episodes in each recording sitting. And I have heard on occasion feedback from our listeners that you don’t like to know that we batch record. And to that, I would say we literally wouldn’t podcast anymore if we couldn’t batch record. So it’s not an option for us to do like a diary of our week and talk about just what happened this week. And hopefully, it will make more sense when we have our summer going up and we have a new episode every week and it’ll feel worth it. I think that there are just different types of podcasts and podcasts that do like news or current events or things like that should maybe record every week or of the moment. But that’s really not what we’re trying to do at all. Thank you and I also wanna say we had an overwhelming amount of support for taking the summer off. But the reason we decided not to do it again is that we feel like the best way for us to grow our podcast and the best way for it to sort of serve all of our goals is for it to be really consistent. So we’re giving more consistency and we definitely appreciate your support. It’s been, and I feel like our podcast listeners are the most supportive. 

Emma: Oh yeah, definitely the most supportive and the most engaged, I would say, part of our audience. We just hear from you guys a lot, so it’s really fun. So we’re excited for that and we’ll be here this summer. It’s just here’s the new episode types we’re gonna try in part because we’re gonna record more episodes this year than we did last year. 

Elsie: Okay. Let me announce. So the first new type of episode, and we’re gonna have the first one up in two weeks. So it’ll be at the end of this month, called the Comfort Rewatch series. So we are going to do a rewatch series. We will try to tell you in advance what they’re going to be. But no promises, like with the book club. But what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna do whole episodes about comfort movies, because some of our most popular topics that we come back to over and over again are movies and specifically like talking about like the interiors and movies and the feel and like how it can inspire our everyday lives and things like that. We have been asking for your comfort request on Instagram and please email us anytime. podcast@abeautifulmess.com. And especially after you hear the first one and you kind of know the format, send us your request cuz that is a big part of how we’re gonna fill the summer. And also we’re gonna take a little bit less breaks like we’re not gonna take off like Labor Day and Memorial Day. Just able to have a little bit more consistency by having more of these Comfort Rewatch episodes. And then the other type that we want to do is called the Deep Dive episodes. So where this is coming from is that there are a lot of topics that we have talked about over and over and over on the podcast, maybe 30 times, but there’s not an episode for it. So it becomes really hard to find for our listeners. So we are gonna do a whole episode on money, A whole episode on adoption. A whole episode. What are some of the ones we had? Oh, the curated closet. We’re gonna do a whole episode. 

Emma: On making a five-year plan? 

Elsie: Yes. Making a five-year plan is actually our first one that we have coming up. We think that just having, more titles will be cleaner. It actually reminds me a lot of early blogging in early blogging I would just be like, here are 10 things that I did this week and they’re all completely random. Three of ’em are important and seven of ’em are stupid. That’s how we’ve been podcasting. But then it’s like you’re not really building an archive that people can use and find value in later other than binging. And so I think that’ll be good for us. And we kind of like geeking out on subjects. You guys probably know. We have our things that we like to really get into. So yeah, that’ll be fun and we will definitely do listener request for that as well. 

Emma: We hear a lot from you that you like to re-listened to episodes, and so we feel like these deep dive or how to type episodes might be something where if the episode comes out and you’re like, oh, you know what, like five-year plan, I’m not in the mood, or I’m not in a space in my life right now where I wanna do that. For whatever reason, but six months later you might feel like, oh, I am in the mood or I am in a place in my life where I’m ready for that content. I wanna re-listen to it. Wait a second. What episode was it? I think they were also talking about their grandma in that episode. Let me see. So now it’ll be more clean for you to find, like that one episode, that thing that you might be wanting to re-listen to. That’s part of the idea too, behind it. Probably just another way of saying what else you said, which is like an archive of useful content.

Elsie: Yeah, 110%. We want you to be able to find the episodes. Oh, Emma, do you wanna share the Q1 book club selections? 

Emma: Yes, absolutely. Yes. So these are for January through March. There are four of ’em, two fiction and two nonfiction, and as usual, we don’t totally know which ones we’re gonna do first or last. So just whatever sounds interesting to you, if you’re gonna join us. Go on in, because we won’t do them in one of the next episodes by any means, but probably like three or four episodes, we’ll start with one. So, the two fiction books are this Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub, and I’ve read two of her other novels before and loved them. I love this author. I also follow her on Instagram. I’m kind of a fan girl and this one I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve heard has a little bit of time travel. So I think it’s gonna be fun and different and I’m really excited for it. The other one I don’t really know very much about it. It’s one that Elsie put on the list, so I’m really excited. It’s called Cleopatra and Frankenstein by Cocoa Millers. 

Elsie: Okay, here’s what I know about it. I bought it because it has an irresistibly beautiful cover. When you see the cover, you’ll understand the irresistibly beautiful coffee table for the novel cover. I have also seen it on a lot of people’s top books list recently because it’s like the new year just happened and people were doing their top books. I know it’s by a British author and I know that it is a love story about two people I think named Cleo and Frank, who I think they have an age gap and I think it’s kind of a period, like an early century thing. That is probably not the best synopsis, but I’m excited to read it and it’s been on my list for so long, that’s why I put it on there. I was like, I really wanna read this book that’s been on my show shelf all of last year. 

Emma: I love a love story, so I’m intrigued. And then our two non-fiction picks for this quarter are Think Again by Adam Grant. If you’ve never heard of Adam Grant, you should start following him on Instagram or Twitter, whatever you like to be on. He’s so cool and I’m very excited about this book. 

Elsie: I love Adam Grant. I’m so, I don’t know why I haven’t read this book yet. It doesn’t make sense cuz this is exactly the type of book I’m into. He’s the person if you follow him on Instagram, he posts the tweets, like it’s just like his tweets. But then they’re always a little bit of a slightly different pastel color as the background. And people repost them an insane amount because I feel like his whole thing is like thoughtfulness. And sort of not buying into cliche or… what’s the word? Like tribal behavior. And anyway, he’s been interviewed on Sharon’s podcast and he seems like a very interesting person I’m excited to read this book.

Emma: Yes, me too. And then the last nonfiction you’d pick for this quarter is an oldie but a goodie. So if you’ve never read it or if it’s been a while, you should join us. It’s Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. 

Elsie: We picked this one specifically because we wanted to put a reread on. It was between two books and I won’t say what the other one was cuz we’re probably gonna do it later on in the coming quarter. I love this book. I remember that I read it at, I think the very beginning of the quarantine, which is a very strange time to read a book. I just downloaded it again and saw that it’s only a five-hour audiobook, which if you read audiobooks is very short. It’s something you can definitely read in a couple of days, if not maybe one day depending on what you’re doing. So, very short, and I loved it the first time I remember we talked about it in a very, very early podcast episode. 

Emma: So I’m excited to reread it. I read it a long time ago, maybe like, I don’t remember when it came out, but I wanna say it was like 2018. So it’s been a while. I’m very excited.

Elsie: There’s no one who doesn’t like this book. Oh. Also just like a little tip if you want a physical copy. I kind of wanted one just cause like why isn’t this on my shelf? Go to thrift books because older books like this are the type of books that you can get on there for very, very cheap. So anytime there’s like a book that was really, really popular like five to 10 years ago, that’s the thing to buy on thrift books.

Emma: That’s a good tip. 

Elsie: The book club is going your own pace, read whatever you want. When we come to an episode where we’re talking about it, we will let you know if they’re spoilers. And a lot of times there’s not. A lot of times, we try to do it where it’ll make, you still wanna read the book even more. It’s just kind of like the most low-maintenance book club I think that you can have. But it makes me happy because I do feel like we’re having like a group activity to do together. 

Emma: Yeah. Honestly, I’m in a real-life book club and I feel like it’s a similar thing where half of us read the book, and half don’t. But you can still enjoy the group. It’s a good time. Don’t worry about it.

Elsie: Okay. Before we go, we have the most fun listener question ever. 

Emma: I think this was an email, and this is from listener Michelle, and she says, Do you have any ideas for displaying a vintage hanging crystal collection? I inherited my grandmother’s collection of pink and white crystals. She loved them dearly, but never displayed them. She was a conservative southern lady and was afraid that guests would see her crystals and think she was into the occult. It seems silly now. I know. It’s so cute. Michelle says it seems silly now, but I respect her feelings at the time. I’d like to display the crystals in a way that reclaims their joy. I think grandma would love that. Any ideas? 

Elsie: First of all, I love this. I sent a clarifying email to Michelle and just asked can I see a picture of them. I just wanted to make sure I knew. So what she sent me back, really looks like crystals that would come off of a chandelier or the little ones that you would buy, that you could hang one of them like in a window. Though with lots and lots of sides. So yeah, they looked like a variety like that, and they are pink and clear. 

Emma: Wonderful. Wonderful. Yeah, it sounds like a great collection. And honestly, I’ll start because those were two things. I did not get the clarifying picture. So smart. Elsie, good thing you emailed her cuz I was like hanging crystals. I feel like maybe these are the type of things that are gonna go on a chandelier. So I was like, I wonder if she could buy a chandelier. That has hanging crystals, that’s like maybe in disrepair or kind of maybe it’s cheaper cuz it’s not really very desirable. And she could take off the pieces that are on it and put on these. So then it’s kind of a DIY slash reclaiming the frame of it if that makes any sense. Kinda like recovering a lampshade. You’re not really making the whole lamp, but you’re giving it new life here. So I was thinking something like that might be cool if she wanted to have it as a chandelier in her home, or I also thought hanging them in windows throughout her house would be kind of special. In my mind, I’m like, that means like a little piece of your grandma’s in every room, like every window that you walk past and it glitters through the crystals.

Elsie: I love that.

Emma: It’s not actually in the crystal, but the memory of her and stuff, you know what I mean? 

Elsie: The certain kind of windows that have the little, I don’t know what you call it, the little piece of hardware in the middle between the two pans like older windows have that a lot. That would be perfect. I had written it down, so I definitely have seen on eBay crystal chandeliers that are stripped from all their crystals. That is definitely a thing that you can buy for a small price and make something. I think it sounds complicated, but very, it does fun. I would suggest maybe a candle chandelier, just so you don’t have to like mess with the electrical something. Then you can hang it anywhere and you can just get those little remote candles. I think candle chandeliers are so pretty anyway, but yeah, I think one in every window is probably the move. I think it’s so sweet and special and you could just have one hanging there and then you’ll get the little glow lights on your walls and it will make you think of your grandma, which nothing could be sweeter than that. Then the last idea I had was to go out, go to the flea market, buy yourself a latte and pick the prettiest vintage bowl you can find and just put them on your coffee table with all your pretty books and then this bowl with your grandma’s crystals. And I also think that would be a nice way to have them, because for me, my kids love playing with crystals. I have a big crystal collection from before I had kids and when they found it, oh my God, it’s like better than toys. So that’s fun. 

Emma: Crystals are pretty and anytime someone has a bowl of crystals out on a coffee table displayed, I tend to touch them too. Unless it’s clear you’re not supposed to. But I feel like that’s kind of pretty obvious, like go ahead and touch these. Move. I had that on my list too. I had two others that I don’t feel, I feel like the ones we’ve listed are the ways to go, but I had two others that were just different ideas in case she had a lot in the collection and she wants to put them in windows and then has more. So it’s kind of like, I want a few ideas. So the other two were a shadow box and they wouldn’t necessarily be hanging, but they could be displayed in there. So you could have sort of an art display of some of your favorites or some of the more different shapes. And then the last one and this one, I don’t know, because it sounds like these crystals are really, really special to her. So I don’t know, but I just thought I’d throw it out there. I used to go on walks in my old neighborhood and there was this one house that had all these oddly shaped big crystals. They’re not even really, all of ’em were crystals. Some of them were just like colored glass pieces in the front garden bed. It was like a crystal garden.

Elsie: I know exactly which house you’re talking about. The one that has sort of like the little art gallery. Like they make it like a living, what do you call it, like a low-key outdoor art gallery and there’s just like different stuff in there all the time. It’s very tactile, it’s like very touch-friendly, kid-friendly. I think it’s like very, Inspiring and cool like it makes the whole neighborhood cooler. 

Emma: It really does, and I think this really depends on your neighborhood because in this particular neighborhood, there’s a lot of fairy gardens, there’s a lot of little free libraries. So I think it is very clear to people when. You can touch things but not take them. And when you can touch things and they can move around and that’s okay. So I think you would wanna make it clear somehow with the way you displayed it, that you can touch these, but do not take them. I think that that can be done pretty easily. You could also, depending on how your house is set or your apartment, you might wanna even do it in a planner box or something that just makes it clear like this is a display for you to look at and enjoy, but please don’t touch them or take them. Kind of up to you. It depends, on the vibe you’re wanting to go for and stuff. But yeah, just like you say l see, it’s like a special thing. And I also love the idea of, when you have a collection or something that’s special to you and let others see it and you also wanna obviously take care of your things and make sure they don’t get damaged, especially if they’re family heirlooms. But I don’t know, it makes it really special to me when I get to, in some way share my collection with others. I think it’s really fun.

Elsie: Okay. Well, you’re gonna have to let us know which one you end up doing and send us a follow-up picture cuz now we’re all invested in this crystal collection.

Emma: We are Michelle.

Elsie: But yeah, I think it’s very cool. Thank you so much for listening. We will be back next week with our reactions to 2023 trend predictions.


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